Friday, January 17, 2014

The 9th Annual Golden Gallo Awards

Now that the Razzies and Oscars have had their say, it's time for a different celebration of the films that was the year 2013. Here are the winner's of the 9th annual Golden Gallo Awards. Enjoy.

 Best Performance by a Scientologist: Tom Cruise, OBLIVION

Best Selfie Fight: Tom Cruise and Tom Cruise, OBLIVION

The “What the Heck Were They Thinking” Award: MOVIE 43


Best Film with a Cast Member of TV’s ‘Lost:’ IRON MAN 3

Worst Attempt to Start a Franchise: ENDER’S GAME

Worst Revamping of a Dying Franchise: SCARY MOVIE 5

Best Opening Title Sequence: OZ THE GREAT & POWERFUL


Best Closing Credit Sequence: IRON MAN 3

Best Cameo: Channing Tatum, THIS IS THE END 

Best Film Title as Unintentional Tribute to “Arrested Development”: HER (who?)

 The “Wear a Rubber” Best Makeup Award: JACKASS PRESENTS: BAD GRANDPA

The “WTF? I-Had-To-Turn-It-Off” Award: SPRING BREAKERS

Worst Futuristic Fashion Trend: high-waist pants, HER


Best Futuristic Fashion Trend: nerd chic, PACIFIC RIM


Film Least Deserving of an Award, Even a Golden Gallo: A HAUNTED HOUSE

Scene Stealer Award: Jennifer Lawrence, AMERICAN HUSTLE

Best Use of a Blender as a Weapon: YOU’RE NEXT

Best Supporting Teeth: Jonah Hill, THE WOLF OF WALL STREET  


The Jaws 3D “I Only Wanted to See It Cause it Was in 3-D” Award: TEXAS CHAINSAW 3D

The “I Was in Every Single Movie Made This Year” Overachiever Award:
Benedict Cumberbatch

Best Chemistry: Joaquin Phoenix and Scarlett Johansson, HER

Worst Chemistry: Charlie Hunnam and Rinko Kikuchi, PACIFIC RIM


The Trailer is Better than the Movie Award: MAN OF STEEL (don't believe me?)

Movie Most Likely to Cause Nightmares (in a good way): THE CONJURING

The Slumdog Millionaire Why-Don’t-I-Like-This-Movie? Award: WORLD WAR Z

The Ishtar Big-Budget Stinker Award: WHITE HOUSE DOWN


Most Gratuitous Use of Bathing Suits: SPRING BREAKERS

Best Film Most Likely to be Forgotten by the Academy: RUSH

Most Insulting Tribute to the Horror Genre: MAMA

Least Insulting Tribute to the Horror Genre: YOU'RE NEXT

The “Or How I Learned to Love a Bomb” Guilty Pleasure Award: OLDBOY

The Grease 2 Unnecessary Sequel Award: A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD


The Come on People It’s Not That Bad Award: THE LONE RANGER

The Don’t You Forget About Me “This Came Out This Year??” Award: WARM BODIES

Coolest Movie Poster Award: YOU’RE NEXT


Best Prop: Annabelle the Doll, THE CONJURING

Best Unintentional Tribute to the Videogame “Portal”: THOR: THE DARK WORLD

Worst Hairdo: Christian Bale, AMERICAN HUSTLE


Worst Hardo (Female): Jodie Foster, ELYSIUM

Best Reason Not to Go to Sea World: BLACKFISH

Best Complete Mental Breakdown in a Drama: Cate Blanchett, BLUE JASMINE

Best Comeback from a Previously Horrid Attempt at Filmmaking: Ron Howard, RUSH

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

2014 Oscar Nomination Predictions

UPDATE: Wow the nominations are out, and like every year, there are some interesting surprises. Like take for instance, Saving Mr. Banks which got ONE nomination (thankfully for Thomas Newman's original score). wow. Lots of fun surprises in the acting categories... both Christian Bale AND Leonardo DiCaprio got nominated leaving the senior members of the group (Tom  Hanks and Robert Redford) in the dust. Ms. Streep AND Amy Adams made it in at the expense of Emma Thompson. Oprah snubbed in favor of Sally Hawkins, which is actually a good thing. Daniel Bruhl from Rush snubbed (in fact Rush didn't get anything, not even any technical nods) in favor of Jonah Hill which is a delightful surprise. They really liked Dallas Buyers Club giving it both a surprise (though not shocking) Screenplay nod, an editing nomination, and even Makeup & Hairstyling over presumed favorite American Hustle. (Don't worry Bad Grandpa and The Lone Ranger made it in like I always knew would happen). I'm disappointed Blackfish, one of my favorite documentaries of recent memory was snubbed. That was a tight race. I'm pleased with Her's production design nod, and Prisoners' cinematography nod. Who would have thought the Pixar film Monsters University would get pushed out by The Croods of all films? It's interesting to note that 12 Years a Slave didn't quite get the huge number of nominations most people thought. It's absence in the score, cinematography, and sound categories isn't necessarily shocking, but it may be telling. Gravity and American Hustle lead with 10 nominations. March 2 can't come soon enough! My predictions in red were incorrect. I manged only one category completely correct: Adapted Screenplay.

see the nominees HERE

I can’t believe it’s that time of year again.  It’s time to predict Thursday’s Academy Award nominations. There are some really close calls this year and it’s extremely competitive – especially the main categories. There’s not one single category I’m completely confident in predicting. I don’t pretend to know how exactly the 6,000+ members Academy thinks, though I’ve attempted to do so anyways. Here we go…
Best Picture
American Hustle
Captain Phillips
Dallas Buyers Club
Inside Llewyn Davis
Saving Mr. Banks
12 Years a Slave
The Wolf of Wall Street
(Alternate: Philomena)

Like the past two years, there could be anywhere between 5 and 10 Best Picture nominees. I’m guessing there will be AT LEAST 9, possibly 10. There are also a handful of other films that could easily take the 9th or 10th slot. I’m talking about Philomena and Blue Jasmine. Heck, I wouldn’t even be entirely shocked to see The Butler show up. If there were only 9 nominees I’d probably take out “Inside Llewyn Davis,” a film that hasn’t had much love from the guilds yet it seems wrong not to predict because it’s a Coen Brothers film. Hey, even A Serious Man ended up making it in a few years back.

Best Director
Alfonso Cuaron – Gravity
Paul Greengrass – Captain Phillips
Steve McQueen – 12 Years a Slave
David O. Russell – American Hustle
Martin Scorsese – The Wolf of Wall Street
(Alt: Alexander Payne – Nebraska)

After last year’s shocking debacle in the Directing category I’m pretty much prepared for anything to happen here. I’m not quite sure about Scorsese and Greengrass. Sometimes the directors branch choose smaller scale, intimate films which makes me wonder whether we’ll see the likes of Spike Jonze or Alexander Payne show up instead. It wouldn’t be a big surprise. If McQueen, Cuaron, or Russell get snubbed I’m pretty sure the apocalypse is right around the corner.

Best Actor
Bruce Dern – Nebraska
Leonardo DiCaprio – The Wolf of Wall Street
Chiwetel Ejiofor – 12 Years a Slave
Tom Hanks – Captain Phillips
Matthew McConaughey – Dallas Buyers Club
(Alt: Robert Redford – All is Lost)

I felt like Redford was a lock months ago. But that was months ago. How many Academy members have watched “All is Lost?” And Redford himself refuses to schmooze with the Academy and campaign. That shouldn’t be a requirement to get a nomination, but that’s sometimes how this stuff works. DiCaprio is the most vulnerable and he’s in the most divisive movie here, but it also hit at just the right time. However, DiCaprio has a long (and unfortunate) record of being shamefully snubbed at the Oscars so I’m not all that confident here to be quite frank. Even Christian Bale could show up in a surprise “American Hustle” sweep.

Best Actress
Amy Adams – American Hustle
Cate Blanchett – Blue Jasmine
Sandra Bullock – Gravity
Judi Dench – Philomena
Emma Thompson – Saving Mr. Banks
(Alt: Meryl Streep – August: Osage County)

Since when did Meryl Streep become the underdog? After having a million nominations I guess. What we have is a six woman race with only five slots to fill, so someone is going to be left out. I was hesitant about Amy Adams. She was left out at SAG but got a BAFTA nod. Streep got the SAG nod but left out of BAFTA. Let’s not forget that just last year Adams got snubbed at SAG for The Master but the Academy came through with a bid for Supporting Actress. It’s officially a fight between the former Doubt and Julie & Julia co-stars.

Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Barkhad Abdi – Captain Phillips
Daniel Bruhl – Rush
Bradley Cooper – American Hustle
Michael Fassbender – 12 Years a Slave
Jared Leto – Dallas Buyers Club
(Alt: James Gandolfini – Enough Said)

I remember just a few months ago when Tom Hanks seemed like an expected contender here for his role as Walt Disney in “Saving Mr. Banks.” Then he got snubbed by every precursor award including the Critics’ Choice Awards where there are even six nominees. So much for that. And that’s ok because it makes room for five fresher candidates. I have a hunch the Academy could go for the late Gandolfini as an alternate choice which is what SAG did, but I’m confident Cooper will feel all the American Hustle love instead. Bruhl is probably the most vulnerable, I’m still not sure how much love they’re going to give the highly underrated “Rush.”

Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Jennifer Lawrence – American Hustle
Lupita Nyongo – 12 Years a Slave
Julia Roberts – August: Osage County
June Squibb – Nebraska
Oprah Winfrey – The Butler
(Alt: Jennifer Garner – Dallas Buyers Club)

It is possible people might be overestimating Oprah Winfrey here as she doesn’t quite feel like the lock she once was months and months ago. Even the Golden Globes, who love big stars, snubbed Oprah in favor of Blue Jasmine’s Sally Hawkins. But Ms. Hawkins couldn’t even get an Oscar nod for “Happy-Go-Lucky.” Also, I really wonder how much the Actor’s Branch likes “August Osage County?” I don’t feel completely confident in Roberts scoring here. However, if there’s going to be any surprise I’m looking for an out-of-nowhere shock ala last year’s Jacki Weaver. Hence I’ll assume the Academy likes “Dallas Buyers Club” more than we think and possibly give Jennifer Garner some love instead.

Best Adapted Screenplay
Before Midnight
Captain Phillips
12 Years a Slave
The Wolf of Wall Street
(Alt: August: Osage County)

I don’t see much wiggle room in this category. Sometimes the writers shock with a random nomination, but that usually happens in the Original category.

Best Original Screenplay
American Hustle
Blue Jasmine
Inside Llewyn Davis
(Alt: Dallas Buyers Club)

I’m still curious what the surprise nominee could be here. Could it be “Gravity” after all? Most people (even those who love the film) don’t necessarily see the strength in the film’s script which is a shame because the film has a strong emotional core. Sometimes an uplifting indie will make it here which is why “Dallas Buyers Club” has a decent shot in case the Academy feels like snubbing the Coens or Spike Jones.

Animated Feature
Despicable Me 2
Ernest and Celestine
Monsters University
The Wind Rises
(Alt: The Croods)

Some might argue that this year wasn’t a particularly strong year for animation. I’m inclined to agree. For once the Pixar film isn’t really the favorite to win and Disney might have a clear shot to take home its very first victory in this category. Yes it’s true, remember this category wasn’t created until Pixar and Dreamworks started dominating feature animation back in 2001, a time when Walt Disney Studios Animation was in a serious creative nosedive. I still don’t think “The Croods” will get in there no matter how hard Dreamworks campaigns but if a movie like “Shark Tale” could get in than anything is possible.

And the rest of the pack:

Documentary Feature
The Act of Killing
God Loves Uganda
Stories We Tell
20 Feet From Stardom
(Alt: The Square)

Foreign Language Film
The Broken Circle Breakdown (Belgium)
The Grandmaster (Hong Kong)
The Great Beauty (Italy)
The Hunt (Denmark)
Omar (Palestine)
(Alt: The Notebook (Hungary))

Best Cinematography
Captain Phillips
Inside Llewyn Davis
12 Years a Slave
(Alt: Rush)

Best Costume Design
American Hustle
The Great Gatsby
The Invisible Woman
Saving Mr. Banks
12 Years a Slave
(Alt: Oz: The Great and Powerful)

Best Film Editing
American Hustle
Captain Phillips
12 Years a Slave
The Wolf of Wall Street
(Alt: Rush)

Best Makeup & Hairstyling
American Hustle
Bad Grandpa
The Lone Ranger
(Alt: The Great Gatsby)

Best Original Score
The Book Thief
Saving Mr. Banks
12 Years a Slave
(Alt: Rush)

Best Original Song
“Happy,” Despicable Me 2
“Let it Go,” Frozen
“Young and Beautiful,” The Great Gatsby
“I See Fire,” The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
“Ordinary Love,” Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
(Alt: “The Moon Song,” Her)

Best Production Design
American Hustle
The Great Gatsby
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
12 Years a Slave
(Alt: Oz: The Great and Powerful)

Sound Editing
All is Lost
Captain Phillips
Lone Survivor
(Alt: Pacific Rim)

Sound Mixing
All is Lost
Captain Phillips
Inside Llewyn Davis
(Alt: 12 Years a Slave)

Visual Effects
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Iron Man 3
Pacific Rim
(Alt: World War Z)