Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Production Design

I'm progressing along at a pretty decent clip having seen a dozen films* since the Academy Award nominations were announced and seven in the past seven days. I've also tracked down the dates to see the animated and live action short films as well as the documentary shorts that are nominated this year. I always love the shorts I get to see and highly recommend finding your own location and making the time to see them. If you're completely unwilling to do that, at least go see Frozen both because it is great as well as for the short Get a Horse! which is itself fantastic and thoroughly deserves to be seen in a theater setting. Honestly, the theater experience is more necessary for the short film than for the feature.

In seeing all these films, I've finally finished off some categories and thus get to talk about them. Today, I start with the production design nominees which are
  • American Hustle
  • Gravity
  • The Great Gatsby
  • Her
  • 12 Years a Slave

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

On Captain Phillips

I don't plan to write about every film I see. However, I just finished watching Captain Phillips, and I feel mostly awful about it.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Hollywood doesn't value women, duh

If you don't know anything about how we value women in Hollywood, compare the Best Performance Academy Award Nominees with the Best Picture nominees.

Nominated for Actor/Actress/SuppActor/SuppActress: American Hustle
Nominated for Actor/SuppActor/SuppActress: 12 Years a Slave
Nominated for Actor/SuppActor: Dallas Buyers Club, Wolf of Wall Street
Nominated for Actor/SuppActress: Nebraska
Nominated for SuppActor: Captain Phillips

Nominated for Actress/SuppActress: Blue Jasmine, August Osage County
Nominated for Actress: Gravity, Philomena

Every film nominated (6) for Actor or Supporting Actor was also nominated for Best Picture. Of those, One carried a nomination for Actress and three for Supporting Actress with it.

Oscar Quest 2014

Well, the 86th Academy Award nominees have been presented and I'm doing it again: trying to watch a ton of Academy Award nominated films. Last year I didn't pace myself very well and ended up not having access to the documentaries and otherwise falling one film short (The Master) from completion. Even still, I went on vacation shortly before the Oscars and didn't make time to do any writeups. I got nearly all the personal value I was seeking from watching the films, but I got none of the value of sharing my thoughts.
Not counting the categories of Original Song, Documentary Short Subject, Short Film Animated, or Short Film Live action (because they're really hard to find, often), there are 40 films to watch - 43 if you count the prequels I hadn't seen when I started this undertaking.
I have seen 8 films plus one prequel (Despicable Me) which leaves me with 35* films and 2 prequels (Before Sunrise and Before Sunset) as well as the short films. I'm updating this as I go, so those numbers won't be reflected below.

Academy Award nominated films I have seen:
The Act of Killing (watched 02-24)
All is Lost (watched 02-12)
American Hustle
August: Osage County (watched 02-04)
Before Midnight (watched 02-26)
(Before Sunrise watched 01-23)
(Before Sunset watched 02-01)
Blue Jasmine (watched 02-20)
The Book Thief (watched 02-15)
The Broken Circle Breakdown (watched 02-21)
Captain Phillips (watched 01-21)
The Croods (watched 02-01)
Cutie and the Boxer (watched 01-27)
Dallas Buyers Club (watched 02-05)
(Despicable Me watched 01-16)
Despicable Me 2 (watched 02-28)
Dirty Wars (watched 02-23)
Documentary Short Subject (watched 02-08)
Ernest et CĂ©lestine (Ernest and Celestine watched 03-01)
Frozen (watched 01-25)
La grande bellezza (AKA The Great Beauty Watched 02-25)
The Great Gatsby (watched 2013-05-12)
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (watched 01-22)
Inside Llewyn Davis (watched 02-06)
The Invisible Woman (watched 01-29)
Iron Man 3 (watched 2013-06-16)
Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa (watched 01-29)
Jagten (The Hunt watched 02-09)
Kaze Tachinu (The Wind Rises watched 02-28)
The Lone Ranger (watched 02-07)
Lone Survivor (watched 02-03)
Nebraska (watched 01-27)
Omar (watched 02-23)
Philomena (watched 02-03)
Prisoners (watched 01-30)
Saving Mr. Banks (watched 02-14)
Short films: animated (watched 02-06)
Short films: live action (watched 02-06)
The Square (watched 02-05)
Star Trek Into Darkness
12 Years a Slave
20 Feet from Stardom  (watched 02-24)
The Wolf of Wall Street
Yi dai zong shi (AKA The Grandmaster watched 01-24)

Academy Award nominated films I have yet to see:
Alone Yet Not Alone
Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
The Missing Picture

*Alone Yet Not Alone's nomination was redacted, and it saw an extremely limited release. I doubt I'll even get the chance to see it, so this number is more accurately 34.