Howdy everyone! It’s been a while and I apologize but I’m here with Tonk ‘N Movies Oscars for 2016 and 3 mini reviews.
First the reviews!
Star Wars: The Force Awakens – Go see it. Do I really need to say more? Yes it’s a bit of a carbon copy of the first one, but did I care?? No! It’s friggin’ Star Wars! I mean if you told younger me you’d get a new Star Wars Trilogy plus anthology films EVERY YEAR I would’ve freaked out! I do worry about a bit of overkill and the dread of one of the films stinking up the joint but I have a feeling Disney will not let that happen. Episode VIII is being directed by Rian Johnson of Looper fame (which is an excellent film) so I have hopes for the next one. Episode IV is being directed by Colin Treverrow of Jurassic World so that one I am slightly worried about that one, but JJ Abrams is overseer of the whole deal so I have faith.
The Hateful Eight – This movie is really just a play on film, and all the actors are up to the task. It’s the usual Tarantino lot plus a few new faces. Samuel L. Jackson is the star and he does his scenery chewing best, but I want to mention Walton Goggins. He was good in Django Unchained and he’s great here. The chemistry between him and Jackson sizzles and, if Tarantino does another western, I would be all in on these being the two stars. Nice to see Goggins get these gigs after his excellent work on Justified. See it First Day (especially if they have the Roadshow version near you – You get a musical overture, an intermission, and a program! Worth the extra money!) Go see it.
The Revenant – This movie was an experience! I had Spotlight as my best film of last “season” but after seeing this, I don’t know. Leonardo DiCaprio stars as Hugh Glass, a man mauled by a bear and left for dead by the men assigned to keep watch over him until he passes. One of those men, Fitzgerald is played by Tom Hardy, who was great. None of the performances suck, cinematography is amazing, and my only gripe (because I’m believe in being true to the book) is the “romance” that you get in flashbacks to Glass’ past. It not much of a romance (closest word I could find to describe it) but I found it unecessary. I like it only slightly more than Spotlight. Go See It ASAP.
Oscars 2016 Nominations
Oscar nominations came out this week so I’ll take a look at the major categories and the few snubs that jump out, to me anyway. (The Oscars take place on the 28th of February 2016 at The Dolby Theatre, in the Hollywood district of Los Angeles, USA.)
Best Picture: I’ve seen four of them, plan to see as many as I can but at first glance I think it comes down to Spotlight Vs The Revenant, and it could be close. Awards season has started already and The Revenant won Best Picture. Once we get into full swing of it I think it will narrow down who will win. If I was voting it would come down to The Revenant or Spotlight, and you can make a case for both. Spotlight has a traffic cast, and I think they did a good job of keeping the story coherent. Revenant to me wanders a little bit, but I felt it more.
I’m glad I’m not voting, I would have a tough time deciding between those two. FYI Mad Max: Fury Road would be third for me. Just watched it the other day and it holds up well. The fact it got nominated surprised me a little bit. An out and out action movie get a nomination? That tells you how good it is.
Best Actor: It’s gonna be Leo. Looking at the list, I think it comes down to him vs Matt Damon for The Martian. They both have similiar roles (lone man in the wilderness/lone man on Mars) but Leo carried the movie more than Damon did. Don’t get me wrong, both did excellent jobs, but I lean slightly toward Leo more.
Best Actress: Ashamed to say I haven’t seen any of these films (but plan on seeing Room this week). Based on hype and what I’ve read it seems its Brie Larson’s to lose. Wouldn’t be shocked to see Jennifer Lawrence win though, the Academy seems to love her.
Best Supporting Actor: I think Sylvester Stallone is in the lead but Tom Hardy would get my vote, but this is a strong category. Bale always seems to get nominated and Rylance has theater pedigree but Stallone seems to have momentum based on his Globes win and rave reviews. Shout out to Ruffalo for the best performance in Spotlight. I liked Stallone in Creed but seems like he was just riffing on himself whereas Ruffalo and Hardy brought their characters to life. My vote would be for Hardy over Ruffalo. After I saw Revenant I hoped Hardy would get recognized for his work. Glad he did.
Best Supporting Actress: Saw Jennifer Jason Leigh in Hateful Eight, she went the get ugly route, but it worked. I thought she had a strong performance. She would get my vote because it’s the only film of these I’ve seen. Rachel McAdams was solid in Spotlight (way better than whatever the hell she was doing in True Detective) but nominated? Eh, I don’t agree with that. Kate Winset won for Steve Jobs, so I guess that puts her out in front in the early going. My vote goes for Leigh for now.
Best Director: I’ve seen three of them, and since I think it’ll be tough for Alejandro Inarritu to win back to back think Tom McCarthy has the slight edge for right now despite Inarritu winning the Golden Globe. Whoever wins the Director’s Guild Award wins this one since that is the tendency for this award. My vote to McCarthy for being the better storyteller and keeping the film tight. Glad George Miller got a nomination for Mad Max: Fury Road, another nice surprise.
OK my thoughts……
Oscars for 2016 Some Thoughts
1) Surprised Tarantino got shut out, expected at least a screenplay nom for him.
2) Happy that Straight Outta Compton got something, but would like to have seen Jason Mitchell or O’Shea
Jackson get nominated but I guess that was wishful thinking.
3) Never saw Steve Jobs but was surprised to see Michael Fassbender get nominated over Will Smith. Seemed like Smith had momentum on his side, guess I was wrong.
4) Hope to see Mad Max: Fury Road win something! Anything! Same goes for Star Wars: The Force Awakens!
5) No Peanuts? BOOOOOO!!!!!
6) Of the songs nominated I’m pulling for Sam Smith’s “Writing’s On The Wall”. That song was the only good thing about Spectre.
7) Expect Inside Out to win Best Animated Feature and read it might actually be in the lead for Best Screenplay.
8) Idris Elba had a lot of hype for Beasts of No Nation but was not nominated.
I’m going to do my best to see as many of these as possible, time permitting, to be better informed about the nominees. The real barometer will be who starts winning the different Guild Awards. That will really tell you who can be expected to win come Oscar night.
As always agreements/disagreements welcomed. I can be reached on Twitter @OwenTheTonk