Thursday, January 10, 2013

Oscar: Early predix in the big races

Well, I'm kind of glad I didn't write a predictions list this year, since I would have gotten my butt kicked, just like Ben Afleck and Kathryn Bigelow. Emerging unscathed for now, I will tread into the waters of early predictions.


Beasts of the Southern Wild
Django Unchained
Les Miserables
Life of Pi
Silver Linings Playbook
Zero Dark Thirty

No real big surprises here. I was a little sad Moonrise Kingdom missed the cut, but it was never a sure thing.  With 12 nominations, Lincoln shapes up as the early favorite, though Life of Pi and Silver Linings Playbook are positioned to steal. 


Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings Playbook
Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
Hugh Jackman, Les Miserables
Joaquin Phoenix, The Master
Denzel Washington, Flight

The president is the prohibitive favorite. So much so that I can't even call second place.

Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty
Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook
Emmanuelle Riva, Amour
Quvenzhane Wallis, Beasts of the Southern Wild
Naomi Watts, The Impossible

Watts is the only one I don't see winning. They won't have many more chances to award Riva, and Wallis could be a one-hit wonder like Keisha Castle-Hughes of Whale Rider. Still, I think this is a tight race between Jessica Chastain and Jennifer Lawrence. I give the edge to Chastain, who still has momentum left over from her amazing run last year.


Alan Arkin, Argo
Robert De Niro, Silver Linings Playbook
Philip Seymour Hoffman, The Master
Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln
Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained

One of the tougher races to call.  All all prior winners. But Jones almost steals the film from Day-Lewis, and that's no small feat.

Amy Adams, The Master
Sally Field, Lincoln
Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables
Helen Hunt, The Sessions
Jacki Weaver, Silver Linings Playbook

Anne. Not even up for debate. Forgive me, Amy.

Michael Haneke, Amour
Ang Lee, Life of Pi
David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook
Steven Spielberg, Lincoln
Benh Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild

Had Affleck been nominated, I would have said he could win. Alas ... I think Mr. Spielberg will win his third Oscar for making a film that's really a chamber piece. And had I written that sentence 20 years ago, I'd have said I was crazy.

More to come ...

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

The 2013 Films I Most Want to See

Some media outlets have put together stories forecasting what people are most looking forward to seeing, like this one. Most of them lists titles like the next Hunger Games and Hobbit movies.

In the word of Homer Simpson, BOR-ING!

Granted, I'm looking forward to some blockbusters, but my taste for upcoming movies doesn't tend to run towards big, giant franchises with advertisements that bludgeon us into seeing them. So here are the 10 movies Sir Critic most wants to see in 2013, partly because they haven't all been previewed to death. In no particular order, except for the first title.


The Wolf of Wall Street: The four words "directed by Martin Scorsese automatically value any film to the top of the list. I'm only pained that there is no definite release date; but I'm betting sometime in October or later. (TBA)

Oz: The Great and Powerful: The Wizard of Oz is one of my very favorite films, and I would normally resist any attempt to follow in its footsteps. But the trailers for this one are truly impressive. (March 8)

The Great Gatsby: Baz Luhrmann's take on F. Scott Fitzgerald was one of my most anticipated movies of last year. Now it's one of my most anticipated films of this year. I'm especially eager to see how the visaully ostentatious Luhrmann plays with 3D. (May 10)

Man of Steel: I feel sort of funny looking forward to any film directed by Zack Snyder, especially after something as awful as Sucker Punch. But the newest trailer has my attention, and I'm certainly not going to argue about Amy Adams playing Lois Lane. (June 14)

Oldboy: Spike Lee remakes Chan-wook Park's movie. Gee, guess I better get around to seeing the original. (October 11)

Star Trek: Into Darkness: This is one blockbuster I simply can't resist. It's predecessor, um ... Energized me.

Gravity: Alfonso Cuaron directs. I don't really care what it is, since it's been seven years since his last movie, Children of Men. But as it happens, he's venturing into sci-fi again with a story of a fateful space shuttle mission. (October 18)

Captain Phillips: Paul Greengrass (the middle two Bourne films), directing the true story of a ship hijacked by Somali pirates. Tom Hanks stars. (October 11)

Saving Mister Banks: Hanks again, playing none other than Walt Disney as he buys the film rights to something called Mary Poppins. It does fairly well. (Dec. 20)

Inside Llewelyn Davis: The Coens direct Carey Mulligan. Le sigh.

Grown-Ups 2: Only kidding. But I will concede it's the 2013 movie with the most ironic title.


Wednesday, January 02, 2013

The 2012 Film Tally

On the BIG screen

This includes everything I saw in the theater. The X, if present, refers to the repeat viewings in the calendar year.

  1. My Week with Marilyn A
  2. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo A
  3. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy C-
  4. Carnage B
  5. The Artist X2  A+
  6. Le Havre B+
  7. A Dangerous Method B+
  8. Shame A
  9. Haywire B
  10. The Iron Lady C+
  11. Chronicle B+
  12. War Horse B+
  13. Moneyball A
  14. The Tree of Life B+
  15. The Descendants A+
  16. Hugo A+
  17. The Help A-
  18. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close D-
  19. Midnight in Paris A+
  20. Pina B
  21. Red Tails B+
  22. John Carter C
  23. The Hunger Games B
  24. Silent House C+
  25. Bully B
  26. The Cabin in the Woods B
  27. Mirror Mirror B
  28. Titanic A+
  29. Joe vs. the Volcano A-
  30. The Truth about Beauty and Blogs B
  31. Phunny Business: A Black Comedy A-
  32. Big Fan A-
  33. Kinyarwnda C+
  34. Terri A
  35. On Borrowed Time B
  36. Wild and Weird A
  37. A Seperation A+
  38. Higher Ground A-
  39. Patang C+
  40. Take Shelter A
  41. Citizen Kane A+
  42. Jiro Dreams of Sushi B+
  43. Damsels in Distress B-
  44. The Avengers A
  45. Dark Shadows C
  46. Attack the Block B+
  47. Brainstorm B
  48. The Captains B-
  49. Electroma F
  50. The Green Slime Z
  51. Battle Royals B+
  52. Manborg D
  53. Source Code B+
  54. Reptilicus Z
  55. They Live B
  56. Men in Black 3 A-
  57. Bernie A-
  58. Snow White and the Huntsman D
  59. God Bless America B
  60. The Sound of My Voice B
  61. Rock of Ages C
  62. Brave A-
  63. Magic Mike B+
  64. The Birdman of Alcatraz B
  65. Ted A-
  66. The Amazing Spider-Man C
  67. Moonrise Kingdom X2 A+
  68. To Rome with Love B+
  69. Savages A-
  70. The Dark Knight Rises X2 A
  71. The Great Escape A
  72. Girl Crazy A-
  73. Beasts of the Southern Wild  B
  74. Hope Springs A-
  75. Mary Poppins A
  76. Murder on the Orient Express B
  77. The Bourne Legacy B-
  78. The Godfather A+
  79. The Godfather Part II A+
  80. The Godfather Part III B+
  81. Cosmompolis D-
  82. Killer Joe B+
  83. Lawless B
  84. Paranorman B+
  85. Trouble with the Curve B+
  86. Total Recall C-
  87. Premium Rush B+
  88. Looper X2 A
  89. The Master X2 A-
  90. The Perks of Being a Wallflower A+
  91. Frankenweenie B
  92. Pitch Perfect B
  93. Argo X2 A+
  94. End of Watch B
  95. Arbitage A-
  96. The House at the End of the Street C+
  97. Lincoln A
  98. Cloud Atlas A
  99. Seven Psycopaths C+
  100. Wreck-It Ralph A
  101. Flight A-
  102. Samsara B+
  103. The Sessions A-
  104. Skyfall A+
  105. Hello I Must Be Going B+
  106. The Silver Linings Playbook A
  107. Meet Me in St. Louis A+
  108. The Life of Pi A
  109. Anna Karenina C+
  110. Rise of the Guardians B
  111. Hitchcock C
  112. Killing Them Softly D
  113. The Hobbit: An unexpected Journey B+
  114. Jack Reacher B+
  115. Django Unchained A

On the small screen

And this list encompasses everything I saw on TV, be it through cable, streaming or disc. Titles are for the most part unseen, although I did include some titles I had not seen in a long time. 

  1. Margie B
  2. It’s Kind of a Funny Story B
  3. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (TV cut) A-
  4. Captains Courageous A-
  5. The Killing A
  6. Boys Town B
  7. Reel Injun B
  8. People Will Talk B+
  9. Interview with the Assassin B
  10. The Debt B+
  11. Keeper of the Flame B
  12. Sweet Dreams C+
  13. Warrior B+
  14. 21 Hours at Munich B
  15. Another Woman B
  16. Shark Night C
  17. Being Elmo A-
  18. MIldred Pierce A
  19. Make It Happen C
  20. Megamind B+
  21. Corman’s World A-
  22. Tabloid A-
  23. Texas Killing Fields C+
  24. The Swell Season A-
  25. Silkwood B+
  26. Witness to Jonestown A-
  27. Second Jonestown doc A
  28. Dolores Claiborne B
  29. 21 Jump Street B+
  30. Side By Side A
  31. The Executioners Song A-
  32. Catching Hell A
  33. Little Shop of Horrors A-
  34. We Need to Talk About Kevin A-
  35. The Girl C+
  36. The Life Before Her Eyes C+
  37. The Five-Year Engagement B
  38. Safety Not Guarenteed B+
  39. Seeking a Friend for the End of the World B
  40. Strange Fruit B+
  41. The Boy in the Plastic Bubble B+
  42. Ruby Sparks A-
  43. Cleanflix B+
  44. Key Largo A-
  45. Bananas A-
  46. The Circus A-