I think I’ve stated before that I’m a fan of this franchise- it embraces its B-movie aesthetic and is fun and cheesy (it’s almost a parody), especially the second movie. Hopefully the third one will keep improving on the series. Parabellum comes out in May and this time adds Halle Berry and Anjelica Huston to the mix, but all the guest stars usually play second fiddle to Reeves, who kicks everyone’s asses throughout the films. That’s the kind of the point of them actually- they could be titled Keanu Reeves Kick Ass: The Series.
Quentin Tarantino’s new movie is upon us, people. A massively star studded cast showers this supposed look at the time in California right before the Manson murders take place. Margot Robbie is playing Sharon Tate and everyone’s hoping Tarantino restrained himself from showing her horrifically violent death onscreen, but I’m kind of wondering if might be some sort of historical revisionist fantasy, like Inglorious Basterds. On another note, this is Leonardo Dicaprio’s first film since The Revenant, almost four years ago. Guess he really wanted to savor that Oscar, huh?
Natalie Portman seems to specialize in playing characters that slowly unravel- Black Swan Jackie, Annihilation. Now she’s an astronaut who seems to be undergoing some sort of breakdown, but it’s hard to tell exactly what the plot is. Noah Hawley, showrunner of Legion and Fargo, is making his directorial debut with this, which one doesn’t have a release date yet.
I love the Toy Story movies as much as anyone, but is it me or are they starting to become a little repetitive? After watching this trailer, it’s hard to imagine how many more times Woody can get lost, reassess whether he wants to be with his kid, and then presumably come back to them, right? Bo Peep being the leader of a lost toy group doesn’t look that different from the Jesse stuff in Toy Story 2, or the daycare plot in Toy Story 3.
Still keeping the plot under wraps, the new trailer for Avengers: Endgame shows off some new hairdos (I normally find it irritating that Black Widow’s only personality trait is her ever changing hairstyle/color from one movie to the next, but Hawkeye outdoes her this time with that goofy mohawk), and brings in Captain Marvel at the end, while recapping some of the original Avengers’ journeys, since this is supposedly their last outing. You can still see some of the people who didn’t die in the last one though, like Rocket and Nebula, joining the old gang. I think a lot of people believe RDJ’s Tony Stark will finally perish in this one, which is possible, but I’d prefer a happier ending and just let him and Pepper ride off into the sunset, since the stakes and the villains in these movies never mean anything to me anyway.
After the universally panned initial teaser with Will Smith’s ridiculous looking blue genie, I suppose this one is a slight improvement (at least visually as far as he’s concerned, but the “Friend Like Me” song- wow that looks terrible), but it still doesn’t look good. All these movies are bad, unnecessary, entirely cynical cash grabs. You want to watch the “A Whole New World'“ scene again? Pull out the blu-ray of the original. What’s the point of this?
This comedy written by Mindy Kaling was bought by Amazon at Sundance for a hefty $10 million price tag and is now coming out June 7th. It looks very reminiscent of a movie like The Devil Wears Prada, but this trailer is short on the laughs it wants. Actually, there’s something off about the whole premise to me. I don’t recognize it. I guess the joke is that Emma Thompson’s talk show host is too old, white and out of touch, so hiring a non-white writer brings in diversity and culture clash, etc., But in the real world there has NEVER been a female late night talk show host on the major networks, so just seeing Emma Thompson as this supposed David Letterman-esque figure feels utterly unfamiliar to me. I’m guessing this is supposed to be topical, but if the whole idea of the film is already taking place in a bit of a fantasy world, who are they supposed to be satirizing?
I originally thought this comedic take on Shazam might be interesting, if they did a Big-esque story, but this new trailer just makes it look kinda stupid. DC movies are a crapshoot as it is, so I no longer have any curiosity about it. Maybe the movie is better than the trailer, but expectations are always at rock bottom for WB’s superhero movies. Plus I think they should have just done the full Big thing and had him be a teen in an adult body- I don’t get why he’s a separate entity from the kid.
I thought the first trailer for this made it look like it could be amusing, but this new one is mostly a bunch of CGI mess. Ick. The Guillermo del Toro ones were good because they weren’t just your typical action heavy comic book movies- they were sort of quirky and eccentric and had real character to them. This one doesn’t look like that so much. Too bad.
After being delayed a whole year for reshoots and now having filmed almost two years ago, Dark Phoenix is finally scheduled to come out in June, but this does not look very good to me. I don’t think making Sophie Turner’s Jean Grey the main character and villain is a smart move at all (was anyone invested in her after X-Men: Apocalypse?), and it’s now kind of absurd that having yet another ten year time jump makes it 30 years that are supposed to have passed between this movie and 2011’s First Class. I’m sorry, 30 years? They haven’t even tried making them look older. Professor X and Magneto are literally supposed to be about 60 years old here. I don’t have a good feeling about this one.
Ugh! Well, I’m not gonna lie. This was a really big disappointment for me, given how mediocre I thought this movie was. But the preferential ballot strikes again and the PGA continues to be the most important guild of the big three because of it. I also had a bad feeling after Green Book won screenplay and then Congressman John Lewis was brought out to introduce the clip from the movie, which was the last Best Picture nominee announced. I see what you did there, AMPAS. As for the show itself, it moved pretty smoothly without a host, actually. It was relatively speedy (for the Oscars), at 3 hours and 15 minutes, no unnecessary montages or annoying host bits needed to waste time. Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s performance of “Shallow” was my favorite moment of the night, followed closely by Olivia Colman’s huge surprise win for Best Actress and her adorably frazzled speech (poor Glenn! I doubt she’ll get another shot now).
2019 OSCAR WINNERS
BEST PICTURE: Green Book
BEST DIRECTOR: Alfonso Cuaron, Roma
BEST ACTRESS: Olivia Colman, The Favourite
BEST ACTOR: Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Mahershala Ali, Green Book
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: BlacKkKlansman
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: Green Book
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY: Roma
BEST EDITING: Bohemian Rhapsody
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE: Black Panther
BEST ORIGINAL SONG: “Shallow,” A Star is Born
BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN: Black Panther
BEST COSTUME DESIGN: Black Panther
BEST SOUND MIXING: Bohemian Rhapsody
BEST SOUND EDITING: Bohemian Rhapsody
BEST MAKEUP & HAIRSTYLING: Vice
BEST VISUAL EFFECTS: First Man
BEST DOCUMENTARY: Free Solo
BEST FOREIGN-LANGUAGE FILM: Roma
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT: Period. End of Sentence.
BEST LIVE-ACTION SHORT: Skin
BEST ANIMATED SHORT: Bao
I went 18/24 in my predictions, not such a great year for me. My risk in supporting actress did not pay off, as the votes for The Favourite went into the Best Actress category instead, which I did not see coming. It was a year with a lot of diversity in the winners- women, the first Arab-American in Best Actor, a record number of African-American winners all across the board, with firsts in production design, costume design and animated feature, and Spike Lee finally got his long overdue Oscar. That was a great moment as well, but of course the year that he finally wins is the year that Green Book, or Driving Miss Daisy redux (and even that’s a better movie, by the way!) has to take Best Picture. I say get rid of the preferential ballot and go back to five nominees, but maybe keep the no host thing going. The show moved quickly and didn’t drag- and that’s a plus.
Here it is! Finally, my top ten favorite films of last year. You should watch every one.
3. BLACK PANTHER
4. THE DEATH OF STALIN
5. FIRST MAN
6. A STAR IS BORN
8. MINDING THE GAP
9. ISLE OF DOGS
10. FIRST REFORMED
5 HONORABLE MENTIONS: SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE; THE SISTERS BROTHERS; IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK; PRIVATE LIFE; BURNING