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January 26, 2017 at 5:31 pm (Movies)

Forgot this even existed.

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The Tree of Life wins Cannes 2011

May 25, 2011 at 7:53 pm (Festivals, Movies, Posters)

Great list of winners at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, and, to my delight, one of my most anticipated movies of 2011 ended up with the Palme d’Or. Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life amazed me a couple of months before with an intriguing trailer and a perfect poster (that you can see above), and now this award can only contribute to the hype.

Other than pissing off Cannes by joking about Hitler, Lars Von Trier went home with an award for his new film Melancholia (best actress for Kirsten Dunst), while Nicolas Winding Refn’s first Hollywood film also impressed the jury, Drive winning the award for Best Director.

You can check out the full list of winners for Cannes 2011 here.

Next up on the awesome festival schedule: TIFF, in Cluj-Napoca, Romania – and only the second time I am not able to attend, in the last 9 years.

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Random thoughts

May 10, 2011 at 8:38 pm (Books, Festivals, Movies, Music, TV shows)

– First post in 3 months, yay!
– The reason for my silence: I recently moved to Canada, and the last couple of months have been hectic. Hopefully now that things have settled down somewhat, I’ll start writing here again.
– Many music releases lately. And So I Watch You From Afar’s new album is amazing, so is the new Explosions in the Sky, so is the new Mogwai. A trio of phenomenal instrumental rock bands. If you don’t know them, check’em out.
– Radiohead, however, released their worst album since Pablo Honey.
– Biggest musical disappointment: the new dredg album.  They turned from art-rock of the highest quality into a bland and boring pop-rock band. I can’t believe how atrocious their new album is. I have decided it’s the last dredg anything I buy, until they start writing music again. And now I’m also stuck with a t-shirt that came in a bundle with their CD that I preordered.
– Fave 5 movies of 2011 so far: Source Code, Hanna, Paul, Insidious and Rango.
– Cannes begins tomorrow – such a great line-up this year. Can’t wait for the first reports.
– Got tickets for Seinfeld this August, front row 😉
– “Fringe” ended Season 3 with a bang. And what an amazing season it was.
– “Community” can’t seem to do any wrong. All their episodes feel so fresh and inventive.
– “The Strain”, by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan, is one of the best novels I’ve ever read.

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Oscar nominees: no Nolan, WTF?? + 83%

January 25, 2011 at 3:41 pm (Movies)

For every pleasant surprise the Academy had when reading the nominees for this year’s Oscars, there was one big snub that left me scratching my head. Despite this, however, most of the list is okay, and, if I were not to think about the next paragraph, I might actually say they got most nominees spot on.

But they didn’t, because, in what might be the biggest surprise in recent years, they completely ignored Christopher Nolan in the Best Director category. I have no idea how could this happen, because A), Inception still got plenty of love from the Academy, scoring 8 nods, including Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay, and B), it’s safe to say the direction is pretty much the number 1 asset the movie has. No disrespect for Aronofsky, the Coens, and even David O. Russell, they all deserved their places, but choosing Hooper over Nolan is insane. After all, Hooper directed a character film that entirely relies on Colin Firth’s role and performance, and not on direction.

Leaving this monster rant aside, many other things are well from my point of view. Here are some pros and cons:

Pros
– I’m very happy with Winter’s Bone performance, which got 4 very deserved nominations, including for the stunning Jennifer Lawrence for Best Actress, and John Hawkes for Best Supporting Actor.
Black Swan, Aronofsky & Portman
The Social Network and The King’s Speech got tons of nominations, as expected.
Toy Story 3 getting nominated also for Best Picture and Best Screenplay, other than the already-in-the-bag Best Animation award they will win
– The lack of mediocre crap from the important categories (after last year’s The Blind Side, and this year’s Golden Globes debacle, you can never be too certain)
Dogtooth scoring a Best Foreign Film nomination
– Since Clint Mansell couldn’t be nominated for Black Swan, I’m glad Hans Zimmer (Inception) and Reznor & Ross (The Social Network) are in

Cons
The Town not getting anything other than Supporting Actor for Jeremy Renner
– Mila “Sweet Lips” Kunis left out of Best Supporting Actress
Black Swan ignored for Best Script
– other than Best Director, Inception should’ve also been nominated for Best Editing

… and some self-praising, to end this post: I scored 83% at the predictions I wrote earlier, which is my all-time record to date (I missed only 9 nominees, out of 53). And, check this out, I got all the 10 Best Picture nominees correctly! 🙂

Here’s the complete list of nominees. Awards take place on February 27th.

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My Oscar predictions

January 25, 2011 at 10:15 am (Movies)

We’re just a few hours away from the announcement of the nominees for the 2010 Academy Awards. So why not try to predict them again? Last year, I forgot to post these, but 2 years ago I got a respectable 74% 🙂

Anyway, here are my predictions for this year.

Best Film: The Social Network, King’s Speech, Inception, 127 Hours, Black Swan, True Grit, The Fighter, Winter’s Bone, Toy Story 3, The Kids Are All Right.
Best Director: David Fincher, Christopher Nolan, Danny Boyle, Darren Aronofsky, The Coen Bros.
Best Actor:  Colin Firth, James Franco, Jesse Eisenberg, Javier Bardem, Jeff Bridges.
Best Actress: Natalie Portman, Annette Benning, Jennifer Lawrence, Hailee Steinfeld, Julianne Moore.
Best Supporting Actor: Christian Bale, Andrew Garfield, Jeremy Renner, John Hawkes, Geoffrey Rush.
Best Supporting Actress: Amy Adams, Melissa Leo, Helena Bonham-Carter, Mila Kunis, Jacki Weaver.
Best Original Script: The King’s Speech, Inception, Black Swan, The Kids Are All Right, The Fighter.
Best Adapted Script: The Social Network, Winter’s Bone, True Grit, The Town, The Ghost Writer.
Best Foreign: Biutiful, In A Better World, Incendies, Even the Rain, Dogtooth.
Best Animated: Toy Story 3, How to Train Your Dragon, Tangled.

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My most anticipated films of 2011

January 18, 2011 at 2:29 pm (Movies)

As promised, here are my most anticipated movies of 2011. As usual, release dates aren’t certain, and new films might pop up during the year, but, as things stand now, Lars Von Trier‘s “no more happy endings” end-of-the-world project “Melancholia” takes the top spot.

1. Melancholia (dir: Lars Von Trier)

2. Sucker Punch (dir: Zack Snyder)

3. The Tree of Life (dir: Terrence Malick)

4. Super 8 (dir: J.J. Abrams)

5. A Dangerous Method (dir: David Cronenberg)

6. Red State (dir: Kevin Smith)

7. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (dir: David Fincher)

8. Source Code (dir: Duncan Jones)

9. Insidious (dir: James Wan)

10. Contagion (dir: Steven Soderbergh)


Honorable mentions (random order):

Hugo Cabret (dir: Martin Scorsese)
The Descendants (dir: Alexander Payne)
11-11-11 (dir: Darren L. Bousman)
Scream 4 (dir: Wes Craven)
We Bought A Zoo (dir: Cameron Crowe)
Your Highness (dir: David Gordon Green)
Deep Red (dir: George A. Romero)
Livide (dir: Alexandre Bustillo)
Rango (dir: Gore Verbinski)
Battle: Los Angeles (dir: Jonathan Liebesman)
Paul (dir: Greg Mottola)
Hanna (dir: Joe Wright)
The Impossible (dir: Juan Antonio Bayona)
Twixt Now and Sunrise (dir: Francis Ford Coppola)
Ted (dir: Seth MacFarlane)

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The Social Network wins 4 Globes

January 17, 2011 at 1:48 pm (Movies)

Last night’s Golden Globe awards were surprisingly decent, not only concerning the winners, but also the gala – Ricky Gervais is one funny dude.

As expected, The Social Network nabbed the most important awards, for Best Film – drama, best director, screenplay and soundtrack (how about that Trent Reznor? Dude makes his first soundtrack and is already winning awards).  Also – as expected, Colin Firth won Best Actor, for The King’s Speech, and, to my delight, Natalie Portman won Best Actress, for a movie I have yet to see, Black Swan.

Good results also in the comedy department. Only one of the 5 nominated films was any good, The Kids Are All Right – and that was the winner. Paul Giamatti and Annette Benning are also worthy winners for Best Actor / Actress. Thank God the other 4 crappy nominated films got nothing. Even Gervais was spot on with some hilarious comments regarding this category (“Everything this year was three-dimensional, except the characters in The Tourist“).

For the complete list of winners and nominees, check out imdb.

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A year in movies: 2010

January 14, 2011 at 2:08 pm (Movies, Tops)

I have to start by apologizing for the long delay in posting the top of my fave movies of 2010. At first, I wanted to wait a few days, in order to maybe catch a couple of more films that I might enjoy; then a nasty bronchitis got the better of me, and made me forget about posting this altogether.

Anyway, at long last, here are my favorite films of 2010, with the very important note that I haven’t yet seen some movies that I might love and that might make the top ten, especially Black Swan, The Fighter, True Grit and Animal Kingdom. As soon as I see them, I will post a revised version of this top.

Until then, my favorite film of 2010 is…

Inception (dir: Christopher Nolan)
I wrote about this once it came out, and nothing has changed since. It’s a brilliant heist movie, the perfect popcorn film, a rare smart blockbuster, and the final proof of the complete director Nolan has become.

Rest of the Top Ten:

2. Enter the Void (dir: Gaspar Noe) – another crazy ride from Gaspar Noe, a brilliant film about the last trip of the human mind, right before death, caught between reality and imagination, between memories and dreams. It’s shocking, very hard to watch, but ultimately fabulous.

3. Kick-Ass (dir: Matthew Vaughn) – when I first saw this back in spring, I loved it, but it wasn’t in my top 3. However, I watched it again a few weeks ago, and I enjoyed it even more, clear sign of something memorable. Hit Girl is my new favorite superhero. 🙂

4. Toy Story 3 (dir: Lee Unkrich) – the perfect way to end an amazing trilogy. You thought animations can’t be, literally, thrilling? Think again. There’s one scene at the end of this film that kept me on the edge of my seat. Brilliant filmmaking from start to finish.

5. Shutter Island (dir: Martin Scorsese) – a creepy story with a creepy Di Caprio, brilliant cinematography, and an all-around amazing film.

6. The Social Network (dir: David Fincher) – the story of our generation. Who thought a movie about Facebook can be so good? Sorkin’s script is amazing, just as the performances, and the unconventional score by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross.

7. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (dir: Edgar Wright) – the most under-rated movie of the year. An audio-visual treat, perfect for arcade game lovers and pop culture fans like myself.

8. The Town (dir: Ben Affleck) – The crime drama of the year. Ben Affleck proves once again he is an extremely talented director.

9. Winter’s Bone (dir: Debra Granik) – A very small, minimalist movie, carried by a solid script and an absolutely breathtaking performance from new star Jennifer Lawrence.

10. 127 Hours (dir: Danny Boyle) – Getting trapped in the mountains for days, and having to cut your own arm off in order to survive, has never been so much fun.

Come back in a couple of days (and this time it will be a couple of days, I promise :P), for my most anticipated movies of 2011.

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Golden Globe nominations – WTF?

December 14, 2010 at 3:46 pm (Movies)

The Golden Globe nominations have just been announced, and it’s safe to say it’s one of the weirdest, most surprising lists I’ve seen in recent years. I’m not saying it’s good or bad, I have mixed feelings about it. Here they are.

Pros:
– Black Swan getting nominated at everything it matters: movie, director, actress, supporting actress. I was actually surprised to see Mila Kunis get some love as well (Natalie Portman was a lock)
– The Social Network kicking ass as well
– Inception getting a best movie nod (Nolan as director was also a lock)
– Emma Stone!
– 3 phenomenal soundtracks getting the recognition they deserve: Inception, The Social Network and 127 Hours. One of them has to win.
– Le Concert nommed for Best Foreign Film. Well done Radu Mihaileanu!
– The Walking Dead for Best TV series! After just 6 episodes. Tough competition though.

Cons:
– What the fuck happened with True Grit? Is it released too late for consideration? Did they not see it? I don’t get it. Everyone thought it’s a clear contender for both Oscars and Globes, the critics love it, and it’s the fucking Coens, for Christ’s sake.
– The collection of films nominated for “Best Movie – musical or comedy” may just be the worst bunch of movies in the history of the Golden Globes. If Toy Story 3 would have been nommed for it as well (not just Best Animation), it would have won easily.
– The Tourist, despite being a putrid piece of shit that everyone hates, gets 3 nominations.
– No Clint Mansell for Best Soundtrack, for Black Swan.

The Golden Globes take place on January 16th, followed closely by the Oscar nominations.

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Random thoughts

November 30, 2010 at 10:56 am (Movies, Music, Trailers, TV shows, YouTube)

System of a Down is back together! They just announced a European summer tour for 2011.

– I’ve been listening to a lot of post-rock recently, hence I found plenty of quality bands. My biggest recommendation: And So I Watch You From Afar. Brilliant stuff.

– Brussels, here I come! 2 more days until a well deserved vacation – that will include seeing Disturbed and Papa Roach live.

– One more episode until season 1 of The Walking Dead is over. And what a season it has been.

– After a shaky start (despite the brilliant first ep), Dexter seems to be back at full speed. I still can’t stand Julia Stiles, I find her completely inexpressive, but everything else is top notch. Loved this weekend’s episode.

– The Oscars just announced Anne Hathaway and James Franco will host the ceremony. Wouldn’t it be cool if Franco would give the best actor award to himself? By the way, I still stand by my pick: The Social Network for best movie.

– Lots of cool trailers recently, including Source Code, Your Highness, Cowboys and Aliens, and Battle: Los Angeles.

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and 127 Hours are the best films I’ve seen recently. Still waiting for Black Swan.

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