Recap: Oscars 2016!

Following tradition of the last two years, here’s a little recap! I wasn’t sure if I’d end up catching Oscars but we changed up our plans and ended up joining my mom for sit down and dinner together to enjoy the ceremony. My conclusion is that I make better guesses when I haven’t seen any of the movies than when I do.  I guess bias comes into play at that point and it affects my judgement.

I am glad that Mad Max: Fury Road did so well because it was well deserved.  I gave a personal standing ovation in my mom’s dining room to Ex Machina for winning Visual Effects.  There was a bit of cringing when I felt like Sam Smith was about to go off-tune and he looked nervous as heck to be up there but his speech was inspiring and he looked genuinely enthused to win it even if probably Lady Gaga’s song would have been the win that was deserved but I don’t care much for the “Original Song” category.  The only one I was genuinely a little angry at was Mad Max winning Costume Design because Cinderella may not have been a great movie but it was all about costumes while I mean how many costumes were there for Mad Max.  On a happier note, I am happy that Mark Rylance won for supporting actor.  Even if I didn’t see The Revenant, I was fairly certain Innaritu would win for Best Director and Leo for Best Actor because just from the trailers, it looked like the sort of movie that had the calibre and achievement to rightfully earn it. However, I did end up catching Spotlight over the weekend right before Oscars and even posted my review for it and I’m telling you that to me, it was a justified Best Picture winner.  I don’t think I’ve agreed much to these winners in the last few years but then I haven’t caught up with the majority of them either but Spotlight really connected with me in presenting their story and the content.  Out of all those movies, as wonderful and fantastic as they were, Brooklyn didn’t stand a chance in my book and even The Revenant probably wouldn’t have the depth of telling a story that reflected an issue that is maybe probably unfortunately still present today. For none of the other movies I saw in the Best Picture did have as much of a discussion at my home than Spotlight either and we finished that movie at 2am on Saturday night or something (just to give you an idea).

This year I decided to do my Oscars recap of the winners in advance and now, let’s check out the Top 5 Best Dresses.

Oscars 2016

Cate Blanchett

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Charlize Theron

Oscars 2016

Alicia Vikander

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Saoirse Ronan

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Priyanka Chopra

Elegant, beauty, grace: These ladies all had it.  Not to mention, Cate Blanchett picked the perfect dress for the category she was presenting for: Costume Design. Just look at the intricate flowers on her dress! Its amazing! And kudos for Charlize Theron pulling off that style because normally, I’m not a fan of that cut of the deep V plunge (or whatever you call it) but she accessorized well and made it look very nice.

And then for some great moments that I liked quite a bit.

Jacob Tremblay & Star Wars

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Mark Ruffalo Winking for his Nomination

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Michael Keaton Fist Pump for Spotlight Win

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I was equally as happy as Michael Keaton was when I heard that Spotlight won.  This reaction is just priceless!

Brie Larson in Awe

Oscars 2016

And her speech thanking everyone including the movie-goers! It warms my heart even if I didn’t see it in theatres and bought it on the Play store 😉

Leonardio diCaprio Winning Speech

Oscars 2016

Leonardo diCaprio winning was *almost* set in stone.  I was pretty sure he made a solid performance even if I only saw trailers.  However, he didn’t just win an Oscar.  He also delivered a meaningful speech and the best part was his final line about not taking the planet for granted, he wouldn’t take his Oscar win for granted.

I think to wrap it up this year, Lady Gaga’s song deserved more recognition.  I haven’t found the time to watch The Hunting Ground but it does intrigue me. While I can’t find the video for the Oscars performance she made and I only saw a snippet as I left my mom’s at that point and only had snippets online.  The song holds true meaning that deserves to be heard.

That’s it for Oscars 2016! It was a great year with some outstanding movies this year! 🙂
Did you watch the Oscars 2016? What were your fave moments? Did any winners surprise you? Any disappointments?

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Spotlight (2015)

One more movie before we get to the Academy Awards tonight.  I usually don’t do reviews on the weekends but I couldn’t turn away the opportunity to watch Spotlight and it finally was available for rental.  Oscars’ choices seems to be some dreary topics, right? The Martian is comedic and Mad Max: Fury Road was action-filled and entertaining but for the most part, it seems like some serious stuff going on (as usual, not even sure why I’m surprised).

Enough of my rambles, let’s check it out! 🙂

Spotlight (2015)

spotlight

Director and co-writer: Tom McCarthy

Cast: Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, John Slattery, Brian D’Arcy Jame, Stanley Tucci

The true story of how the Boston Globe uncovered the massive scandal of child molestation and cover-up within the local Catholic Archdiocese, shaking the entire Catholic Church to its core. – IMDB

 This year’s look at Oscars movies has possibly been one of the most successful and possibly one that has brought on a lot of movie discussions in my home with my husband.  While there is no doubt that the other movies were powerful, Spotlight brought out a very dark side of religion and faith.  It looks into a story that highlights the ethics and the damage and the age-old system that has its flaws.  Spotlight makes it about the system and revealing the facts of the story and the struggles of finding the information than about the people that are looking for the information.  We don’t really know anything about these reporters but rather we know about the victims and the issue that is being covered up.  Its for that Spotlight highlights the issue really well and tells this investigative story effectively.  Making it possibly, the movie so far that has impacted my thoughts the most.  It also highlights the fact that sometimes we get masked by our society and challenging the authorities that sometimes an outsider can see much clearer.

spotlight

Spotlight carries a lot of subtlety.  It has a quiet yet beautiful score in the background which is only noticeable in transitions of scenes but most importantly, its full of a quiet cast that works towards uncovering this investigation in their respective characters.  Spotlight is a talky movie.  Its a lot of looking at details and slowly uncovering what is hidden underneath.  The opening scene does a good job at setting the stage of the issue while the ending keeps the issue at its core and keeps you pondering a little on what you just watched. Honestly, this whole thing about looking at the issue of molesting children in a religious rank truly made me starting being disgusted about the whole situation but also at how it was covered by so many people who really just wanted to protect themselves but most of all, it always angers me when its about taking advantage of children who really don’t even know how to defend themselves.

spotlight

Although its hard to tell who stands out more in Spotlight out of the cast, Mark Ruffalo definitely makes an impressive performance.  Along with Michael Keaton and Rachel McAdams, the three have a good bit of screen time.  Spotlight is the group and therefore they should be the centre of the news, even if it was all started by Baron played by Liev Schreiber.  I’m always a fan of Stanley Tucci.  He only had a supporting role as usual but he was a key character in this story and he carried his part very well.  The ensemble did a great job in making sure that the story was the forefront here.

Overall, Spotlight is a great movie, carrying a story that highlights on religion, ethics and the wrongful and corrupt handling of a situation and how authority plays a big part in communities.  The story is the focus point and it makes sure to highlight the impact and damage this has caused and the cover-up and keeping many things as subtle.  Its hard to write up about this, in my opinion.  With some solid performances and a solid script, Spotlight is an outstanding film.

Have you seen Spotlight? What do you think about it?

Need For Speed (2014)

Need For Speed is one of my most anticipated movies in 2014.  It sounds a bit ridiculous, right? I don’t have any high expectations for it and I’ll explain what I mean in a little bit, not that I think anyone else has any higher expectations than I did either.  Still, as the weeks after it opened went by, I started to think that I wouldn’t go see it but on Monday, my friend called me up and asked if I wanted to go see a movie and he was paying, kind of, since he works for a company that offers sweet deals on things such as Cineplex.  After a rather rushed dinner, I went off to go catch Need For Speed!

Two movies in a week! Now, I can see my 2014 movie watching picking up 😉 Let’s check this out!

Need For Speed posterDirector: Scott Waugh

Cast: Aaron Paul, Dominic Cooper, Imogen Poots, Dakota Johnson, Scott Mescudi, Rami Malek, Ramon Rodriguez, Harrison Gilbertson, Michael Keaton

Tobey Marshall (Aaron Paul) is a up and coming star in his hometown of Mt. Kisco where he took over his father’s car shop.  He keeps it going with a bunch of his buddies who are all great at what they do.  Tobey Marshall is also known for his great street racing skills.  When Dino Brewster (Dominic Cooper), a wealthy businessman and also a professional racer challenges him, it causes some trouble that lands Tobey in jail for two years.  When he comes out, he skips parole and drives across the country trying to catch the eye of Monarch (Michael Keaton), who is the guy who sets up one of the biggest street race competitions so that he could get the last spot against Dino in hopes to have his revenge.

Need For Speed

Before I tell you what I thought about Need For Speed, I really think I should clarify why I didn’t have high expectations for it even though I anticipate it so much.  Point is, Need For Speed is based on a video game and a very arcade style racing game on top of that.  It could easily turn into the Fast and the Furious ripoff and it could be hurt by my assumption that it has a low budget (which I might but I haven’t researched it) and well, the actors are all that known, at least not by me.  BUT, BUT, with all that I said, Need For Speed is my most favorite video game and to see it get a movie even though there isn’t all that much of a storyline is just the most awesome feeling. I loved the trailer and it reminded me of the game a lot.  So, you know what, I’m totally on board with the concept.  The lack of a thorough storyline from ALL the games gives it just that much room to weave a decent story.  I love to give chances to movies and for Need for Speed, anything!

Need For Speed

Now that I’ve professed my love for Need For Speed, you all want to hear what I thought, right?

Here it goes!

Honestly!

I totally had so much fun with it! I’m going to say it right now that you have to really like the Need For Speed franchise to love this.  I saw this because I’m not exactly sure if Need For Speed comes in normal viewing in theatres but we had 3D and let me tell you, watching it in 3D was set in a way that it was like when I was holding the controller and playing the game. Obviously, without the mad skills, Tobey Marshall has because I’m a really bad video game player.  I mean, in NFS, you don’t see the cars get fixed, you see them roll in and roll out and they are transformed.  If you look really closely, some of the tracks actually look like the tracks that the game has: the set up and the lighting and especially the blurred effects when they are going fast. Some of the camera angles were shot to have that effect of feeling like being in the car and behind the wheel.  Seriously, it was so fun!

Need For Speed

Now that thats off my chest, let me take a deep breath to calm myself.  Need For Speed is no masterpiece and you know even when you watch the trailer that its not.  Its a guilty pleasure flick.  Its meant to be fun and entertaining wrapped with a little bit of drama to add some purpose to the character and the overall storyline.  The story itself is actually pretty thin and at some times, I even questioned why certain things went the way it did but still, with a movie like this, I’m willing to overlook it and take it for what it is.

Need For Speed

Its actually pretty funny because I’ve never actually watched any of these actors except for Dominic Cooper in Captain America and Mamma Mia and well, we have Michael Keaton (who I could not figure out his name until the credits rolled). Thats horrible, right? And no, I haven’t watched Breaking Bad yet so no I don’t know Aaron Paul.  My favorite character in this has to be Michael Keaton as Monarch.  He brings this different weird but pretty enthusiastic vibe to the movie and he pops up some random moments.  I have to also admit that when Aaron Paul first entered as Tobey, I wasn’t totally liking the way he talked.  He has this calm, silent husky voice and theatres don’t have subtitles so I was really focusing to understand it all but very soon, I totally connected with his character and he has awesome chemistry with his buddies who were the comic relief along with Imogen Poots who was somewhat cute and feisty at times.  Somewhere before we reached the middle, I just believed that Aaron Paul was perfectly cast for this role.

need for speed gif

Honestly, admitting that I love Need For Speed makes me feel like how I express my profound love for the Resident Evil series but you know what, I’m a fan and I’m going to buy the movie when it comes out.  Plus, it just revived the urge to play hours on hours of Need For Speed. Did I tell you that between my boyfriend and I, I think we actually own all of them except for the newest one? I’ve played only bits of the PS3 ones but I’m working on playing through all of them on my free time and even though its at a slow pace, I’m halfway through Underground 2!

If you are a fan of Need For Speed, this is definitely a must-see.  Don’t get all nit-picky about the story and just enjoy the thrilling ride this movie has to offer and it can get pretty fun.  It might be predictable in some parts but before you know it, maybe you’ll start cheering Tobey Marshall on also 😉 Just to give you an idea of how much I liked it: I would be down for a second one (although I doubt that would happen ever).

Are you a Need For Speed fan? Did you see this movie? What did you think?