Oscar Predictions 2016

In exactly 24 hours time, the awards season will be crawling to its end with the annual overlong pat on Hollywood’s back known as the Oscars. With this year set to be the year in which Leonardo DiCaprio will finally hear his name read out in something other than the list of nominees, why not whet your appetite by checking out my predictions for the awards. As usual, I’ve predicted what should win and what will win in tonights ceremony. Feel free to add your own predictions in the comments and look out for a possible tweetalong at @movie_mad internet permitting. For now though, the predictions:

 

Best Picture

The Revenant – Will

Room – Should

Best Director

Alejandro G. Iñárritu, The Revenant – Will

George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road – Should

Best Actor in a Leading Role

Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant – Will

Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs – Should

Best Actress in a Leading Role

Brie Larson, Room – Will

Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn – Should

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies – Will/Should

Best Actress in a Supporting Role

Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl – Will/Should

Best Animated Feature Film

Inside Out – Will/Should

Best Cinematography

Emmanuel Lubezki, The Revenant – Will

Robert Richardson, The Hateful Eight – Should

Best Costume Design

Sandy Powell, Carol – Will

Sandy Powell, Cinderella – Should

Best Documentary (Feature)

Amy – Will/Should

Best Editor

Margaret Sixel, Mad Max: Fury Road – Will/Should

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Lesley Vanderwalt, Elka Wardega and Damian Martin, Mad Max: Fury Road – Will/Should

Best Original Score

Ennio Morricone, The Hateful Eight – Will/Should

Best Original Song

‘Writing’s On The Wall’ Sam Smith, Spectre – Will

‘Simple Song 3’ David Lang, Youth – Should

Best Production Design

Colin Gibson (Production Design); Lisa Thompson (Set Decoration), Mad Max: Fury Road – Will/Should

Best Sound Editing

Mark Mangini and David White, Mad Max: Fury Road – Will/Should

Best Sound Mixing

Chris Jenkins, Gregg Rudloff and Ben Osmo, Mad Max: Fury Road – Will/Should

Best Visual Effects

Andrew Jackson, Tom Wood, Dan Oliver and Andy Williams, Mad Max: Fury Road – Will/Should

Best Adapted Screenplay

Charles Randolph and Adam McKay, The Big Short – Will

Emma Donoghue, Room – Should

Best Original Screenplay

Pete Docter, Meg LeFauve, Josh Cooley; Original story by Pete Docter, Ronnie del Carmen, Inside Out – Will/Should

NB. I’ve not predicted the winners for Best Documentary (Short)Best Foreign Language FilmBest Short Film (Animated) and Best Short Film (Live Action) because I’ve not seen all or enough of the nominees.

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Bottom 10 Films of 2015

As another 12 months pass, what better way to start off the celebration of the past year in film than with a look back on the most dire excuses for art to grace the silver screen! Hopefully you’ll be able to take this list as a warning not to approach the films mentioned but apologies if it serves as simply nightmarish reminders of when you witnessed the atrocities yourself:

10. Knock Knock

Eli Roth’s latest is a poorly written ‘thriller’ which brings more laughs than thrills. Not even Keanu Reeves can save this film. But what’s more distressing is that this was able to get a UK release this year yet still Roth’s previous film The Green Inferno still struggles to get into cinemas here.

9. Inherent Vice

Paul Thomas Anderson’s latest had two things in it that begged to be seen on the big screen, the long awaited reuniting of Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon. At least it was for me, a die hard Walk The Line fan. But not even this repairing could speed up the films dull 148 minute runtime nor its muddled story.

8. Jupiter Ascending

Sean Bean is in this. He plays a bee. And he doesn’t die.

7. The Boy Next Door

How this managed a cinema release I’ll never know. It barely even deserves to be on channel 5.

6. Mortdecai

As I type, even my macbook rejects the title of Johnny Depps ‘comedy’ in which he prances about with a grating british accent and even more disturbing moustache. You can’t blame Gwyneth Paltrow for gagging at the sight of it.

5. The Visit

While it divided audiences upon release, M. Night Shamalamadingdong’s latest is a cringeworthy found footage horror with the most insufferable child actors of the year. Barely 5 minutes into it I was in uncomfortable.

4. Terminator Genisys

The latest entry into this once great franchise brings back it’s main selling point and then proceeds to shit all over the originals in a clear attempt to ruin the timeline as much as possible before the rights revert back to James Cameron.

3. Fantastic 4

The worst thing about Fant4stic was how much potential it had. With a great young cast to reboot the comic book franchise into a grittier retelling, all interest is swept away from us thanks to a title card that shoves us forward a year before a hastily joined on final act that’s over before it’s even begun.

2. Pixels

Adam Sandler hangs out with his buddies again. Having previously nearly destroyed Al Pacino’s career in Jack and Jill, this time he destroys the nostalgia of classic arcade games while plonking Kevin James in as president of the United States for good measure. Save yourself the time by watching the original short which in 2 minutes long, gives a much better version.

  1. Absolutely Anything

The Monty Python gang gather to bring a story in which Simon Pegg is able to make anything happen just by saying it. Unfortunately he couldn’t make the film disappear.

Park Chan-wook’s Vengeance Trilogy

Over the weekend I was lucky enough to go to a screening of The Vengeance Trilogy at the Prince Charles Cinema in Leicester Square. Director Park Chan-wook’s trilogy is made up of Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (2002), Oldboy (2003) and Sympathy for Lady Vengeance (2005) and although they aren’t connected through storyline they have similarities in the actors used as well as the themes. Having only seen Oldboy before I took this as an opportunity to try writing my first (of hopefully many) features on film series.

So without further ado, enjoy as I try to sum up 6 hours worth of film in one article.

Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (2002)

The first in the Korean trilogy, Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance tells the story of Ryu (Shin Ha-kyun), a young deaf mute who, after finding out he can’t donate one of his kidneys to his suffering sister, soon finds himself playing kidnapper to his ex boss, Dong-jin’s daughter in a bid to use the ransom to pay for a kidney on the black market. However after the plan goes awry, Dong-jin soon comes looking for revenge.

With slow but promising start, Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance begins to pick up pace after the first half hour with brutal violence and interesting scenery. However as hard as the film tries, it doesn’t quite grab as much attention that it clearly wants. With long, silent scenes which seem to take long breaks from the storyline for no apparent reason. The ambiguous ending is almost a sigh of relief after several suggestions that the credits will soon start rolling. Performance wise it’s nothing particularly brilliant. Shin Ha-kyun’s role of Ryu is perhaps the most interesting, but credit must also go to the young Bo-bae Han as Ryu’s child hostage, Yu Sun.

In all, it’s a satisfying revenge film with a couple of particularly pleasant scenes for gore lovers which with a more gripping storyline could have had real potential.

3/5

 

Oldboy (2003)

Perhaps the most well known of the trilogy, Oldboy really does live up to it’s hype. Chan-wooks strongest film in this trilogy is the one with the most interesting storyline as Oh Dae-su is kidnapped and locked away for 15 years before being released and given a phone and some money, but no explanation for his kidnapping. As Oh Dae-su is thrown back into the world with no family to go back to, he tries desperately to piece together what his captors motive is with the help of sushi chef Mi-do.

A Hollywood remake is already being planned for this surprise hit and it’s easy to see why. With an absolutely brilliant storyline filled with twists and turns and shocking revelations as well as a fantastic corridor fight scene it is easily one of the greatest thrillers of recent years. Choi Min-sik’s performance as Oh Dae-su is almost Oscar worthy and is an absolute treat to see on the big screen. With such a strong performance it’s almost satisfying to see that Min-sik has not turned his career down the usual Hollywood route, instead sticking to his roots in Korean film.

The climax will leave you completely dumbstruck and satisfied and if you don’t leave with the knowledge that you’ve watched something close to perfection then I strongly suggest you give this film another try. After my second viewing I had a rare occurrence where I had to bump up my original rating of the film but it’s a mistake I’m willing to admit to.

5/5

 

Sympathy for Lady Vengeance (2005)

After nearly two hours of Oldboy it was onto the third and final film of Chan-wook’s Vengeance trilogy, Sympathy for Lady Vengeance which was going to have to be almost as good as, if not on par with Oldboy, to keep this critic awake for another two hours at 4am. And it didn’t disappoint.

The final instalment centres around Lee Geum-ja, who upon being released thirteen years after being arrested for the murder of a young boy, decides to exact her revenge on the real killer whom she took the blame for. Of the whole trilogy Lady Vengeance is definitely the most beautifully shot of the three, with an opening of rich colours soon transforming into a more dull, serious tone as the story begins to descend into darker territories. The theme of kidnapping is used again and towards the latter half the plot soon deepens into something much more than just the revenge of Lee Geum-ja. To say any more would perhaps be giving away spoilers to a film which really deserves to be seen without any reveals. As the story moves on it seems to take its time only to be slightly let down by the climax which after such a build up is the only slight disappointment.

However all that aside it’s a worthy end to an interesting trilogy, keeping the theme of revenge and kidnapping strong in the storyline and with another great central performance, this time by Lee Young Ae as the troubled and determined Lee Geum-ja

4/5

 

Keith Lemon: The Film

In the last year or two Leigh Francis has risen to fame with his alter ego Keith Lemon. With not one but recently 2 tv series currently airing it’s safe to say he’s popular in Britain. So much so that Keith Lemon’s antics have finally hit the big screen. In a film which begs the question, WHY exactly is he as popular as he is?
Right from the beginning a loud groan escaped my lips as I found that Lionsgate studios, the people who brought us such films as the Saw franchise among many others had helped in the release of this film. Of course there were other, minor production companies who helped out but to think that Lionsgate offered money for this film to be not only made but released for our eyes to be scoured with was just too much to bear. Then the film started.
If you do intend on subjecting yourself to this film I must warn you that for 85 pain inducing minutes you will be ‘treated’ (Like in a hospital but without the anaesthetic) to crude and painful attempts at jokes alongside a half-arsed storyline as you see the origin story of Keith’s rise to fame.
The conclusion is without a doubt one of the worst I’ve ever seen but still at least a sigh of relief came when the credits finally began to roll. Although for you fans (of which there seems to be quite a few of. One of the great mysteries of the world.) there’s a gag take for you to indulge in whilst Keith pretty much narrates in between.
But before you hand your money over and give yourself this 85 minute torture just remember that I tried to warn you.

1/5