Tag Archives: oscars

Watson Presents the 25 Best/Worst Movies of 2013

GRAVITYAm I too late to be posting this? Most people post their “best of the year” lists in late December, early January, right? And this is March. Bugger. Oh well, better late than never. And hey, the Oscars were on last night, so I can just seamlessly tie it into that. Yeah, that’ll work. So, 2013 was a great year for cinema and yadda yadda yadda, let the fawning commence! (CONTINUE READING THE 25 BEST MOVIES OF 2013)

PIC

So, my unfashionably late “best of 2013” list was posted last night. Now it’s time for the opposite side of the spectrum: the worst of 2013. You know when I said 2013 was a great year for movies? Well, you wouldn’t know it from this sorry lot. Let the self-righteous hatred commence! (CONTINUE READING THE 25 WORST MOVIES OF 2013)

For More From Stephen Watson, visit “ADVENTURES IN MOVIE BLOGGING!

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Talking Nerdy, Ep. 84: 50 Ways to Leave Your Penis

In this week’s episode we go over our Oscar Winners once more and one of us gets to spin the Wheel of Pain to discover what their punishment will be. We talk about the new GTA Online expansion, Walking Dead’s slow burn, and the new comic book releases of the week!

Ep84_50WaysToLeaveYourPenis

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Talking Nerdy, Ep. 83.5 “Alex and Charlie Do The Oscars”

In this special half episode of Talking Nerdy, Alex Gross and Charlie Lightning have an intimate Oscar Party, go crazy with Tweets, and talk drunk and nerdy about the Academy Awards. Charlie Lightning challenges Alex in past Oscar Winners, and we reveal the winners and losers on our Oscar bets!

Ep_83

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Talking Nerdy, Ep. 83: King Cake Baby Goes to the Oscars!

In this week’s episode, we reveal the new mascot for New Orleans: the terrifying King Cake Baby. We also place our sensible Oscar bets, talk new comic releases, and play some games! It’s the return of America’s Favorite: Jose Can-Say-So and our new social experiment: Dan Explains #Supernatural Tweets from FanGirls. Not a moment is wasted in today’s long episode–ENJOY!

Ep_83_KingCakeBaby

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Who’s Going to Win the Oscars? (The Important Ones)

600full-john-goodmanI don’t think I filled out one of these lousy brackets last year, so I figured I’d use some of this anus-clenching suspenseful time before the big Academy Awards celebration to offer my two cents. Let’s get to it.

Writing-Adapted Screenplay– ARGO–I really think Argo‘s going to take home most of the key awards tonight, but we’ll see how that goes. They may want to show respect to every one of those 9 nominees…christ.

Writing-Original Screenplay– DJANGO UNCHAINED–Would’ve liked to see Moonrise Kingdom take this, but it won’t.

Directing– LINCOLN–Not sure why Tarantino isn’t listed here, but but I don’t think anyone else stands a chance.

Animated Feature Film– BRAVE–Because Wreck It Ralph didn’t have a lesbian ginger in it…just Sarah Silverman.

"BRAVE"

Actress-Supporting– Anne Hathaway (Les Miserables)

Actor-Supporting– Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained)–I was going to pick Tommy Lee Jones for this one, but I don’t think he really did anything different than his normal grumpy man act.

Actress-Leading– Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty)–I didn’t see this film, but she’ll win for the same reason BRAVE will.

Actor-Leading– Hugh Jackman (Les Miserables)–Honestly, I think Daniel Day-Lewis is going to win. I just really want to see his mind snap when he doesn’t.

Best Picture– ARGO

argo

Well that’s it. Now we get to see what happens. Having said that, there will be an hour of the ceremony that AMC will be on…from 9-10pm.

Later, winners!

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Academy Awards 2012 Thoughts and Predictions

While the Academy Awards are certainly more prestigious than their Golden Globes counterparts, they are nonetheless much more boring. I will be hosting Quizzo at Coyle’s Cafe in Roxborough tonight, and therefore will be unable to post or tweet during the ceremony (for the most part). However, I still thought it would be appropriate to document my predictions for tonight’s winners and perhaps make myself feel slightly more significant for having done so. You can contact me on Twitter @SuperDPS to tell me how horribly I missed the ball on these predictions as tonight’s event unfolds…or congratulate me on a job well done! Just to be clear, these predictions don’t really indicate favoritism, they’re just my best guesses at the winners.

I hope they thaw out Billy Crystal in time for the show.

Writing (Original Screenplay): Midnight in Paris–Woody Allen

Writing (Adapted Screenplay): Moneyball–Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin

Sound Editing: War Horse–Richard Hymns & Gary Rydstrom

Sound Mixing:War Horse–Gary Rydstrom, Andy Nelson, Tom Johnson & Stuart Wilson

Visual Effects: Hugo–Rob Legato, Joss Williams, Ben Grossmann & Alex Henning

Music (Original Song): “Man or Muppet” from The Muppets–Bret McKenzie

Short Film (Animated): La Luna

Short Film (Live Action): The Shore

Foreign Language Film: Iran, A Separation–Asghar Farhadi

Makeup: Albert Nobbs–Martial Corneville, Lynn Johnston & Matthew Mungle

Music (Original Score): The Artist–Ludovic Bource

Documentary Feature: Undefeated–TJ Martin, Dan Lindsay & Rich Middlemas

Documentary Short: Saving Face–Daniel Junge and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy

Film Editing: The Artist–Annie-Sophie Bion & Michel Hazanavicius

Art Direction: Hugo–Dante Ferretti & Francesca Lo Schiavo

Costume Design: W.E.–Arianne Phillips

Directing: The Artist–Michel Hazanavicius

Animated Feature Film: Rango–Gore Verbinski

Cinematography: The Tree of Life–Emmanuel Lubezki

Actor in a Supporting Role: Christopher Plummer, Beginners

Actress in a Supporting Role: Berenice Bejo, The Artist

Actor in a Leading Role: Jean Dujardin, The Artist

Actress in a Leading Role: Glenn Close, Albert Nobbs

Best Picture: The Artist–Thomas Langmann

Here’s a little something extra for indulging me for a few minutes:

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The Singing, Cursing and Cross-Dressing of the 83rd Academy Awards

Well, all the excitement from last night’s highly anticipated Oscar ceremony is finally over, and what a bundle of thrills it was. Undoubtedly the biggest and most dramatic night of the Hollywood year, the annual event was just as lively and glittered as usual, just with less campy Hugh Jackman dancing. Some twists, some turns, some downright “what the heck?” moments, but that’s the Academy Awards for you.

In its 83rd year, the parade of movie awards showcased yesterday was hosted in the Kodak Theatre of Hollywood, California, as it has every year since 2002. The red carpet was trod on by all species of animals in the cinematic jungle, strutting their stuff and showing off their fur. Cate Blanchett came dressed as a decorative, pink flower vase, while Penélope Cruz decided to wear a gown that made her look like she was covered in flames. Ryan Seacrest interviewed the celebs on E! Entertainment, while Giuliana Rancic and Kelly Osbourne nit-picked at the arrivals’ fashion sense; this included circling Scarlett Johannson’s jugs to show how see-through her dress was. Classy.

Four Good Actors

The ceremony itself kicked off with a lovely montage of all the Best Picture nominees set to Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’ extravagant remix of “In The Hall of the Mountain King” from the score of “The Social Network.” This was then followed by MTV-style spoofs of each movie previously shown, in which the dream elevator from “Inception” was used to hop from one film to the next in Alec Baldwin’s mind. Nice juxtaposition there — adorning them, then mocking them.

Hosts James Franco and Anne Hathaway (sadly no Ricky Gervais) then took to the stage and, of course, began to crack jokes, including the “Love and Other Drugs” actress responding to her co-host’s compliments with, “You look very appealing to a younger demographic as well.” Hathaway was all chirpy and bubbly, while Franco looked stoned and bored. This opening consisted simply of them standing and talking, reciting weak gags and pointing out family members in the audience. Where the heck’s Hugh Jackman when you need him?

Stop Yo Twittering, Franco!

We were then presented with a look back at the Oscar-winning 1939 masterpiece “Gone with the Wind,” images from which filled the gigantic screen at the back of the grand stage as its luxurious orchestral score played overhead. In a horrifying turn of events, this was followed by an award being given to Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland.” This was for Art Direction, presented by Tom Hanks, who redeemed this blemish of indecency by announcing “Inception” as the deserving recipient of the Cinematography gong.

The first “big” award was introduced by a slightly dead and hysterically time-consuming 94-year-old Kirk Douglas, the Best Supporting Actress award going to Melissa Leo for her performance in “The Fighter.” Leo, out of sheer passion, livened things up a bit by letting the F-bomb slip in her heartfelt speech, as well as the word “dick,” though that may have been a reference to a man named Richard.

This man invented FarmVille

The screenplay awards, both announced by Javier Bardem and Josh Brolin, were handed to the two front-runners of this year’s award season: “The King’s Speech” and “The Social Network.” The former’s David Seidler took for Original Screenplay, while the latter’s Aaron Sorkin took for Adapted Screenplay.

This was followed by Miss Hathaway, clad in a tuxedo and bowtie, singing a big musical number about 2009′s host Hugh Jackman bailing on her for this performance. Franco followed suit, walking onto the stage dressed as a rather intoxicated-looking Marilyn Monroe. Happy birthday, Mr. Oscar President.

A clean-shaven Russell Brand and French-speaking Helen Mirren approached the podium to present Best Foreign Language Film (because they’re foreigners, you see), which was awarded to Susanne Bier’s Danish drama “In a Better World.” Christian Bale ran up next, taking Best Supporting Actor for his scene-stealing in “The Fighter.” Having binned the holy Jesus look he fashioned at last month’s Golden Globes, he was sporting a full-on homeless beard of awesome bushiness last night; Joaquin Phoenix should be proud.

Sorkin can type WORDS!

Three accolades in the category of sound were subsequently handed out, with Best Original Score going to Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross for “The Social Network,” and Sound Mixing and Sound Editing passed on to “Inception.” If I’m honest, I’m baffled as to what the difference between those last two awards is.

Scattered throughout the show were live performances of the four tracks nominated for Best Original Song, twinned together in two separated sets. The first set (from “Toy Story 3″ and “Tangled”) was introduced by Kevin Spacey, and the second set (from “127 Hours” and “Country Strong”) was introduced by Jennifer Hudson, who announced the winner as Randy Newman’s “We Belong Together” from the Pixar family favourite, which earlier received Best Animated Feature.

After Best Documentary went to “Inside Job,” there was an unexpected appearance by the late Bob Hope via a hologram, this introduced by the hilarious Billy Crystal. Hope, who hosted the ceremony 18 times before his unfortunate death in 2003, had his voice altered to appear as if he was introducing Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law for their presentations of Best Visual Effects and Best Film Editing. This sequence was pretty darn creepy.

Unshaved homeless man wins Oscar!

Another unexpected moment came in the form of the Best Director category, with Tom Hooper taking home the gong for his work on “The King’s Speech.” It seemed most were anticipating either David Fincher (“The Social Network”) or Darren Aronofsky (“Black Swan”) to be a recipient here, but the first-time-nominated British filmmaker was a very honourable winner.

There were no jack-in-the-boxes springing up in the Leading Actor/Actress sections — we already knew the acting champions before the show even began. All nominees were gone through thoroughly, the actresses by Jeff Bridges, the actors rather more cheekily by Sandra Bullock. Natalie Portman was first up for her breathtaking performance in “Black Swan,” giving a broken-voiced, name-packed speech as she fought back tears.

Transvestites Increase Popularity

And then there was, of course, Colin Firth up for his performance in “The King’s Speech,” and anyone with a half-working brain cell could predict his inevitable recognition. “I’m afraid my career’s just peaked,” Firth said once first approaching the podium, which I assume we all hope is not true.

Following this, all eyes were staring at telly screens in tense anticipation, fingers grasping at armrests as Steven Spielberg opened up the envelope containing the name of the winner of the Best Picture Oscar. Would it be the Facebook movie, would it be the British stammering film, or would it be another of the ten features nominated? And, as about 50% of the public would have predicted, it was the UK’s night to gloriously reign at the Academy Awards last night; “The King’s Speech” was crowned the winner.

NIN's Trent Reznor and some insignificant workmate

So, as dedicated David Fincher fans sobbed their scrunched-up little eyes out, the cast and crew of the winning period drama took to the stage and accepted the angelic award, the film taking its place in Oscar history. The night concluded with a corny but sweet sing-song of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” by the PS22 Chorus, a choir consisting of fifth-graders. Behind them, the winners of the night held their awards high in the air as Franco and Hathaway said goodnight.

Last night was certainly not the best stint the Oscars have had, but it was undoubtedly fun, no? While Franco was a bit stiff (probably tweeting a bit too much), Hathaway’s joyful exuberance kept the show on the right track. There were memorable moments (some planned, some not-so-planned), there were laughs, and there were surprises, mainly good ones. Still, I miss my all-singing, all-dancing Australian Wolverine.

Stephen Watson

Here’s a full list of all winners in order of presentation.

"I won, bitch!"

Best Art Direction
“Alice in Wonderland”

Best Cinematography
“Inception”

Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Melissa Leo — “The Fighter”

Best Animated Short Film
“The Lost Thing”

Best Animated Feature Film
“Toy Story 3″

Best Adapted Screenplay
Aaron Sorkin — “The Social Network”

Best Original Screenplay
David Seidler — “The King’s Speech”

Best Foreign Language Film
“In a Better World”

"Yay! We can go home!"

Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Christian Bale — “The Fighter”

Best Original Score
Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross — “The Social Network”

Best Sound Mixing
“Inception”

Best Sound Editing
“Inception”

Best Makeup
“The Wolfman”

Best Costume Design
“Alice in Wonderland”

Best Documentary Short
“Strangers No More”

Best Live Action Short Film
“God of Love”

Best Documentary
“Inside Job”

Best Visual Effects
“Inception”

Best Film Editing
“The Social Network”

Best Original Song
“We Belong Together” — Randy Newman, “Toy Story 3″

Best Director
Tom Hooper — “The King’s Speech”

Best Actress in a Leading Role
Natalie Portman — “Black Swan”

Best Actor in a Leading Role
Colin Firth — “The King’s Speech”

Best Picture
“The King’s Speech”

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The Top Ten Best Films of 2010

2010 has been host to some
truly inspiring works of cinematic art. In a year of catastrophic
oil spills and Chilean miners trapped 2,300 ft underground, films
allow us to momentarily forget these instances outside the theatre,
letting us get sucked into the realities they create and raise a
smile or arouse a tear. Sure, 2010 hasn’t been the strongest of
years for moviemaking (don’t we say that every year?), but a select
few flicks are nothing other than superb examples of committed
craftsmanship
. Without further ado, here are my ten
favourites. See these if you can.

10. “Rabbit Hole
– A true cry-a-thon if I ever saw one, “Rabbit
Hole
” stars Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart as two
parents who are in grieving. Their four-year-old son has been
killed in a car accident, a tragic event that changes them as
people and as a once-happy couple. The film is a melancholy one,
almost depressing, but the melodrama that surrounds it is
stacked-up on emotion that doesn’t seem forced or contrived. Kidman
near cries herself to dehydration for an
Oscar, and by golly she’s worthy of it. A bit
of a downer, but an effective piece of poignant filmmaking that
will make lips quiver and eyes fill with tears.

9. “Exit Through the Gift
Shop
” — The fact that
Exit Through the Gift Shop” might
possibly all be a hoax makes it all the more fascinating. A
documentary on a documentary, it follows shop keeper Thierry
Guetta, a quirky Frenchman who has a passion for filming every
aspect of his daily life. He doesn’t have any focus for the
mountains of tapes he’s collecting — that is, until he begins to
point the camera at local street artists. The footage (of which
there is many) has been hijacked and re-edited by British graffiti
icon and genius Banksy, the faceless artist Thierry ends up working
with. Unexpectedly hysterical, “Exit Through the Gift
Shop
” is a compelling exploration of not only the
world of art, but of a man who shows how easy it is to become what
some blindly consider a visionary. Real or fake, fact or prank,
it’s a bloody brilliant documentary/mockumentary that should
provoke some thought in your noggin.

8. “Black Swan
– Haunting and bizarre, Darren Aronofsky’s drama-horror and
psychological thriller shows how ambition can drive one totally
nuts. Natalie Portman is a ballerina who lands the role of The Swan
Queen in a New York production of “Swan Lake,” causing her to
obsessively rehearse and rehearse until her grip on reality begins
to loosen, with nightmarish hallucinations taunting her fragile
mind. Portman is astonishing in the lead role, and Aronofsky’s
direction is a visual jaw-dropper. Disturbing and bold, this will
linger and twirl in your defenceless brain for quite some time –
and not only for the lesbian sex scene.

7. “Let Me In” –
The only remake on the list, Matt Reeves’ “Let Me
In
” is based on the cult Swedish vampire horror “Let
the Right One In,” directed by Tomas Alfredson. Relocated to 1983
New Mexico, the American remake centres on a bullied boy, Owen, as
a blood-thirsty, yet innocent-looking girl, Abby, moves into the
apartment next door. She’s been 12 for a very long time,
apparently. The two bond over the course of the film as mismatched
friends, Owen blissfully unaware of Abby’s vampiric state. A creepy
aura surrounds every shiver-inspiring scene, the film as
unforgettably unsettling as the acclaimed original, making for a
chilling and remarkably enticing horror-drama.
Twilight” fans, take note.

6. “Scott Pilgrim vs. the
World
” — It’s rare that a film is as
zany or creative as “Scott Pilgrim vs. the
World
,” an adaptation of Bryan Lee O’Malley’s
six-volume cult comic book. Edgar Wright’s astoundingly energetic,
cartoonish hipster-comedy is set in a world in which the laws of
physics are similar to that of a video game — Nintendo
sound-effects, people exploding into coins, etc. The titular
character, played by a shaggy-haired Michael Cera, must battle the
seven evil exes of the girl of his dreams to win her over, leading
to some beautifully-shot action sequences, as well as a Bollywood
musical number. Brilliant, mesmerisingly inventive stuff that nerds
everywhere will gawk at in wonder.

5. “Toy Story 3
Pixar expectedly did it once again with the
third instalment of the celebrated toys-gone-wild franchise, mixing
deep-rooted nostalgia with colourful visuals to make for a
magnificent family film. This adorable adventure had our iconic
stuffed characters accidentally sent away to day care, where they
must try to escape from the once-comforting residents.
Fantastically comical, angelically animated, and eye-wateringly
sentimental, “Toy Story 3” is a
triumphant ending to the rightfully-idolised trilogy. Woody and
Buzz are still as awesome as ever.

4. “Four Lions
– This Brit-flick revolves around a group of wannabe radical
Muslim terrorists as they prepare to mercilessly suicide bomb the
London Marathon. Perfect subject matter for a comedy, then. Chris
Morris’ seemingly controversial, side-splittingly funny satire
balances hilarity with surprising tenderness as we watch our
utterly incompetent jihadists screw everything up for 97
titillating minutes, aiming bazookas the wrong way round and
accidentally blowing up sheep in grassy fields. Fuck mini baby
bells!

3. “Kick-Ass” –
Kick-Ass” can easily be described as
the filmic definition of the word
fun.” A hilariously sick-minded
satire of the superhero genre, Matthew Vaughn’s gorgeous comic book
action-comedy-thriller is a rare example of a popcorn
audience-pleaser at its very finest. Aaron Johnson stars as Dave
Lizewski, a young adult who dreams of one day becoming an
ass-kicking superhero, and so decides to take on crime as a
wetsuit-wearing vigilante named Kick-Ass. An awesome cast –
including a foul-mouthed, relentlessly violent 11-year-old girl –
makes for the best superhero feature of the year, with bullets
piercing through the air and blood spraying with no end in sight.
This is my kinda movie.

2. “Inception” –
Christopher Nolan, how I love thee. The “Memento” director proved
himself once again to be nothing short of a genius of the
filmmaking profession with his ambitious, original, and beautiful
Inception.” Following fugitive
Leonardo DiCaprio as he tries to get back to America to see his
kids, “Inception” takes place mainly
in the dream world as DiCaprio and his loyal team raid and
physically explore the mind of Cillian Murphy to plant an idea in
his subconscious. Innovative and intellectually stimulating,
Inception” is a blockbuster
masterpiece that never fails to amaze. I’ll have antigravity fight
scenes with a side of buildings folding in on themselves, and a
dash of Hans Zimmer’s breathtaking score, please. Extra epicness,
too.

1. “The Social Network” — Easily taking the top, bright, golden prize for 2010, “The Social Network” is the kind of Oscar-baiting stuff that actually deserves the naked statuette. David Fincher’s stylised
drama tells the true story of the invention of relatively
well-known website Facebook, mixing in themes
of betrayal, loss, ambition, and power to the superbly intriguing
narrative. With an awe-inspiring, godly script by Aaron Sorkin that
has machine-gun characters mercilessly blasting bullets of sharply
scribed dialogue at each other, and top-notch performances from the
magnificent cast, “The Social Network
is a friend request you know you’ll accept. Stephen Watson likes
this, and you should, too.

 

Watson

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SuperDPS Review of Black Swan

I’ve never been much of a fan of ballet. I admire the art form, I’m astonished by the skill of the performers, but, like opera, I wouldn’t be particularly fond of sitting in a theatre and watching an entire show. Perhaps I’m not arty or tasteful enough, but I’d most likely end up just imagining how bruised and battered the performers’ toes must be, instead of paying attention to the spectacle itself.

Still, there’s something about Darren Aronofsky’s “Black Swan” that enticed me in a way that few movies have done before. Like Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s “The Red Shoes” of 1948, Aronofsky’s disturbing drama portrays the dancing art in a beautiful light that entrances and allures, heightening the impact of events that take place off-stage.

The film centres on a fresh-faced dancer, Nina Sayers (Natalie Portman, “V for Vendetta“), aged 28. She’s committed to her profession, almost unhealthily, and is determined to reach what all ballerinas see as the pinnacle of success — to be The Swan Queen in a New York production of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake.”

The current Swan Queen, Beth MacIntyre (Winona Ryder, “Edward Scissorhands“), has just “retired,” and her position needs to be filled. Nina sees her chance and goes about auditioning for the role. The director of the production, Thomas Leroy (Vincent Cassel, “Mesrine“), is at first unconvinced by Nina’s performances, but gives her the part when she bites his lip. Hurrah!

Nina rehearses and rehearses, striving for perfection, to impress Thomas, to become the Swan Queen. Her fellow ballerinas look upon her with jealousy, while Lily (Mila Kunis, AKA the voice of Meg on “Family Guy“) strikes an unlikely friendship with the leading lady. However, Lily’s motivations become questionable when Nina gets to know her a little better.

With “Black Swan,” Aronofsky confronts melodrama and darkens it, spinning it away from the stage of cliché. The film is intimidating in tone, much more distressing than one might imagine upon learning of the general plot. Several scenes had me cringing at the imagery, some including self-mutilation. The images the film conjures up will make one turn one’s head from the screen, if briefly. If you were to glance at me as I watched “Black Swan,” you’d swear I was watching John Carpenter’s “The Thing.”

Portman’s character is a fragile one, seemingly virginal, called “weak” by Thomas, controlled by her overbearing ex-ballerina mother, Erica (Barbara Hershey, “The Portrait of a Lady”). She is told that she shines as the innocent White Swan, but falters when portraying the seductive Black Swan. Obsessed with perfection, she lets the double-character role consume her out of desperation for flawlessness on the big night itself.

Portman is spellbinding in the role, playing a girl whose entire life revolves around her skills as a dancer. Her character begins to lose sight of what’s real, her grip on reality loosening as her life spirals into a hallucinatory nightmare, the likes of which David Lynch should be proud.

Kunis, on the other hand, portrays a more laid-back girl, showing up late for rehearsals, her prowess as a dancer more befitting the Black Swan than Nina’s techniques. She’s the party-going type, introducing Nina to alcohol, drugs and sex, awakening something long-buried within Nina’s persona. Kunis’ performance dares to be as fascinating as Portman’s, and succeeds, her underrated talents worthy of much more attention than they get.

Cassel is delightful as the runner of the production, of which his character is aptly passionate. A French prick by profession, he tries to get Nina to let go of her innocence and indulge in her sensual and sexual side, his attempts altering her mannerisms, morphing her into a more violent and unstable person.

As Thomas tells Nina to let go of her painstakingly memorised moves and lose herself in the performance, Aronofsky does the same. He utilises a similar shooting method as his very own “The Wrestler,” using handheld cameras to their stylistic advantage, putting us up on stage with the performing ballerinas as if we are one of them, frolicking for the audience in white tutus.

The “Requiem for a Dream” director gets up close and personal with the well-choreographed dancers as they strut their stuff, his work not feeling perfected or polished to death, but fresh and almost improvised. The cinematography by Matthew Libatique (“The Fountain,” “Iron Man“) works wonders with Aronofsky’s beautiful and bold direction, the dark and icy visuals dancing off the screen.

Black Swan” is unlike anything I have ever seen before. It’s part psychological thriller, part drama, part horror, all pliéing together with seductive and bizarre results. It’s an awe-inspiring portrayal of a woman transformed from an innocent to a beast, from White Swan to Black Swan, her determination driving her mad. Oh, and if your five-year-old daughter asks to see “the new ballerina movie,” I’d advise against taking her.

10 outta 10

Watson

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For Your Consideration…

AlexWell it’s once again time for Oscar (not the Grouch) to make an appearance and there are some interesting films up for consideration. As I did with the Golden Globes, I will attempt to accurately predict all of these outcomes. I think I scored about a 70% on my Golden Globe predictions. Let’s see I can keep this ship afloat any better.

(EDIT: Jerry Lewis wins the Humanitarian Award. Couldn’t have gone to a better person. Glad to see some geniuses of classic cinema still remain amongst us.)

1. Actor in a Leading Role–Mickey Rourke (The Wrestler)

(EDIT: And the Oscar goes to…Sean Penn. I’m no enemy of Sean Penn. His talent supercedes his character. I didn’t see MILK, but I probably will eventually. I enjoyed The Wrestler so much that I think I give it more credit than it apparently deserves. Rourke won a Golden Globe though, so that’s fine.

In addition: I would have much rather seen Mickey Rourke spit psychotic babble at the podium than Sean Penn make a monotonous political speech. Sean Penn did give Rourke a shout out, so my heart is now warmed.)

2. Actor in a Supporting Role–Heath Ledger (The Dark Knight)

(EDIT: Alan Arkin proves he is out of touch by referring to Philip Seymour Hoffman as “Seymour Philip Hoffman.” Well, this one was pretty fucking easy to call. Why should the academy deny a decent actor a full-fledged standing ovation? I think the award went to the right person in this case…however, I would probably go as far to say that if Heath Ledger were alive, he probably wouldn’t have won.)

3. Actress in a Leading Role–Kate Winslet (The Reader)

(EDIT: She forgot to thank Ricky Gervais. He told her that she could win Awards for doing a Holocaust Movie. There are some actresses who lose something through the “magic” of HD TV. Kate Winslet is one of them. Still, no complaints. She beats the cunt off of Julia Roberts.)

4. Actress in a Supporting Role–Penelope Cruz (Vicky Christina…)

(EDIT: First Oscar of the night is a RIGHT answer for me! Should’ve been Marisa Tomei though…This award show is going to be drawn out ad nausem.)

5. Animated Feature Film–Wall-E

(EDIT: RIGHT AGAIN!! This is starting to become less and less interesting…I still haven’t seen Wall-Ebut maybe some day. Actually, I think a Blu-Ray copy of it is sitting somewhere on my shelf.)

6. Art Direction–The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

(EDIT: And now we’re back on track. At least it gives me a reason to give two shits about the less interestingawards. That being said, the less interesting awards are arguably the most important. Good job, guys. There’d be no movie without you!)

7. Cinematography–Slumdog Millionaire

(EDIT: Right again btw…but let me get off topic for a moment…As awesome and intense a movie as The Dark Knight was…I honestly believe that the onlyreason it exists at the Academy Awards is because they want to give as many post-humous awards to Heath Ledger as possible. If he wins Best Supporting Actor, my case will be made.)

8. Costume Design–The Dutchess

(EDIT: Could this award be any more obvious? I was a bit worried about Benjamin Button, but all the other nominees had suits and dresses as costumes…If MILKwon best costume design, I’m sure there’d be a massive wrist-slitting from the Fashion Design community.)

9. Directing–Slumdog Millionaire

(EDIT: OMG! Waaay out of left field!! Who would have thought that it would be…oh…Slumdog Millionaire.)

10. Documentary Feature–Trouble the Water

(EDIT: Man on a Wire was the winner. Can’t be right all the time, I guess…although I think I have earned my stripes thus far. Hard to call, this one. Personally, I would’ve loved to see Religulous win. Wasn’t nominated.)

11. Documentary Short–The Final Inch

(EDIT: Wrong answer…but…then again, there was no justification for my random stumbling guess. Oh, the winning short film was Smile Pinki. Yeah. That’s what I thought.)

12. Film Editing–Frost/Nixon

(EDIT: Slumdog Millionaire again?! How fucking good is this movie??! I need to see this. I think my pick of Frost/Nixon was probably the worst call I could’ve possibly made, but I really didn’t think Slumdog Millionaire would take practically every minor category. *sigh* Oh well.)

13. Foreign Language Film–Waltz with Bashir

(EDIT: Hmm…The Golden Globes were not consistant this time. I was Wrong with Bashir.)

14. Makeup–The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

(EDIT: There’s another RIGHT answer. I was concerned about Hellboy II, but you can’t really give an award to a film that had absolutely zero significance to any one or any thing.)

15. Music (Score)–Slumdog Millionaire

(EDIT: Well that was pretty clear. Golden Globes II: The Revenge of Slumdog Millionaire.)

16. Music (Song)–“O Saya” (Slumdog Millionaire)

(EDIT: Well, I guess M.I.A. didn’t have the clout to win this award. So, Slumdog Millionaire was actually BEATEN by…wait for it…Slumdog Millionaire. Yeah. That’s right. The other Slumdog Millionaire song won. Amazing…)

17. Best Picture–Slumdog Millionaire

(EDIT: Though this list is not in order, this was obviously the last award given. And…there it is. Weird how none of the actualy ACTORS were nominated for anything. I guess the movie could stand up to the “big boys” but the actors weren’t good enough? Who knows…? Still, now I really need to see this fucking film.)

18. Short Film (Animated)–This Way Up

(EDIT: La Maison en Petitis Cubes is the winner. First WRONGanswer of the night. I wonder if there’ll be any more…Oh well, Short Films are impossible to call, especially if you’ve seen none of them.)

19. Short Film (Live Action)–Spielzeugland (Toyland)

(EDIT: This was a hard one to call, but I managed to guess RIGHT…The segment that opened up this segment and highlighted COMEDY movies was pretty great…along with James Franco’s butchering of the pronunciation of this title.)

20. Sound Editing–Wall-E

(EDIT: NOPE! This was a surprise. The Dark Knight won this one…maybe this makes my statements about The Dark Knight‘s place in the Oscars flawed. Hmmm…)

21. Sound Mixing–Wall-E

(EDIT: Slumdog Millionaire???!!! Really?! Fuck! I mean, I knew it would be a sweep, but not for cunting SOUND MIXING…You’d think the sound mixing and editing for an Animated Movie would be much much more work because you have zero frame of reference for what certain things should sound like. Oh well. I can’t say I agree with this choice…but then again, who the fuck am I?)

22. Visual Effects–The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

(EDIT: I was torn here. I wound up getting this one RIGHT, however, there was a systematic approach here. The effects in The Dark Knight and Iron Man were fucking amazing…but, they were comic action movies and didn’t need to have a super-realistic and true-to-life nature to them. Benjamin Button had to keep the audience in a REAL atmosphere. I still haven’t seen it, but I think I’m probably right.)

23. Writing (Adapted Screenplay)–Slumdog Millionaire

(EDIT: Third Announcement and THIRD right answer in a row. I might just sweep this mother…as Slumdog Millionaire is sure to as well.)

24. Writing (Original Screenplay)–Milk

(EDIT: Second Award Announcement of the night and SECONDright answer! Should’ve been In Bruges IMO, but…I’m still smug.)

I don’t think there will be many surprises this year. I’m expecting an essential replay of the Golden Globes. We shall see! Hopefully Ricky Gervais makes another “Oscar Worthy” performance!

(EDIT: The Red Carpet interviews were a fucking train wreck. The creepy Interviewer Personalities made for severly awkward moments and snappy answers to stupid questions worthy of the pages of MAD magazine.)

alexG

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