Sunday, February 7, 2016

Sunday Edition (Oscar Edition)

I like movies.  I'm sure I'm not alone.  Like everything else in my life, I find a way to make them competitive, and as such, I've always loved the Oscars (even now with the new ridiculously bloated Best Picture nominations).  Below are my picks, in order, for this years Oscars (based only on what I've seen), followed by my own Top 10 list.  Feel free to tell me why I'm wrong.

Best Picture
1. Mad Max Fury Road:  As you'll notice below, the two best movies I saw this year weren't even nominated.  Go figure.  Of the nominees, I'm going with Mad Max by the narrowest of margins over the Revenant.
2. The Revenant: I'll take no issue if this movie ends up winning.  Where my enthusiasm for Mad Max has admittedly wained since seeing it last summer, I find this movie continues to grow on me.
3. Spotlight: This was a great movie, and that's coming from a guy that doesn't really like Michael Keaton.  I don't dislike him, I'm just not a huge fan, but he, and everyone else in it, was great in this movie.
4. The Big Short: This movie will likely piss you off.  Sure Wall Street is corrupt, yadi yada yada, but why the hell didn't anyone tell me those guys make so much?  I would have gone to school for that instead of law.
5. The Martian:  A very entertaining movie that has no business being nominated for Best Picture.
6. Bridge of Spies:  A fluffy Tom Hanks version of a gritty cold war spy movie.  I didn't care for it.
7. Room: Felt like a 20/20 or Dateline docudrama.  Just an all around depressing movie.
Didn't See: Brooklyn

Best Actor
1. Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant: I'm going with Leo because for reasons that elude me, Johnny Depp wasn't nominated for his performance in the excellent "Black Mass."  Sans Depp, Leo is the easy choice.
2. Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs:  I thought this was a weird movie that held my attention and and was somewhat interesting, and it was more or less two hours of Fassbender's face talking about Apple products.
3. Matt Damon, The Martian:  He was good, but again, why is this run of the mill popcorn flick getting Oscar nominations?
Didn't see: Bryan Cranston, Trumbo; Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl

Best Actress
1. Brie Larson, Room: She annoyed me even more than she did in the otherwise good "21 Jump Street."  But she's the only nominee I saw.  Emily Blunt in "Sicario" was robbed.
Didn't See: Everyone else

Best Supporting Actor:
1. Rocky Balboa, Creed: How do you not vote for Rocky when you have the chance to give Rocky an Oscar?  Even in a loaded category like we have this year.
2. Christian Bale, The Big Short: Bale was weirdly awesome as he is in just about everything he does.
3. Mark Ruffalo, Spotlight:  When Ruffalo is good, he's great, when he's not, he comes across kind of whiney and pompous.  He was very good in "Spotlight."
4. Tom Hardy, The Revenant: Suffers from being out performed by DiCaprio and Gleeson, but was still excellent in his own right.
5. Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies:  I didn't care for this movie, and thought Rylance was equally forgettable.

Best Supporting Actress
1. Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight:  The easy (and correct) choice and it's not even close.
2. Rachel McAdams, Spotlight:  She didn't detract at all from a great film, and I could at least remember her role in the movie when the nominations were announced.
3. Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs:  I had go back and look to see who she was because I didn't remember her from the rather mediocre movie.
Didn't See: everyone else

Best Director
1. George Miller, Mad Max Fury Road: A visual masterpiece.
2. Alejandro Inarritu, The Revenant: A visual masterpiece, but I'm tired of listening to him give acceptance speeches.
3. Adam McKay, The Big Short: How he made this into an entertaining movie is beyond me, but he did it.
4. Tom McCarthy, Spotlight: Turned in an entertaining and fantastic movie based on difficult subject matter, all while not being too preachy.
5. Lenny Abrahamson, Room: How this ABC Movie of the week looking piece of garbage is getting so many nominations is beyond me.

My Top Ten
1. Sicario: Everyone involved with this instant classic turned in an absolutely epic performance.  Brolin, Blunt, and Del Torro were all robbed of nominations.
2. The Hateful Eight: Tarantino's best movie since Pulp Fiction.  Pure cowardice that the Academy chickened out due to Tarantino's "radical" view that police shouldn't shoot innocent civilians.
3. Mad Max Fury Road: Everything an action movie should be.
4. The Revenant: Somehow a beautiful movie full of bleak brutality and pain.
5. Black Mass: Suffers from comparisons to "The Departed," but still a great movie.
6. Spotlight: Very entertaining
7. The Big Short: Somehow explains the incredibly complicated in a concise, smooth flowing fashion.
8. Ex Machina: A super cool movie, that was likely hurt by it's release date.
9. It Follows: A weird, if not all that scary, movie that you'll have a hard time forgetting.
10.  Straight Outta Compton: No mention of the classic "It's on" Eazy E LP, and sugar coated the Eazy E/Dre feud in a manner very forgiving to Dre, but still excellent.  Just too diverse for the Academy I guess.

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