Opinion Battles Year 3 Round 3 – Favourite Film From 2015

Round 3 of Opinion Battles (Year 3) is here! We’re looking at our favorite 2015 film. 2015 was a year of many many great movies. I’d be lying if Ex Machina didn’t sneak in there somewhere but then got pushed down with my final choice of Spotlight. Its great to see Ex Machina having a mention along with some other great titles.

Head over and drop a vote to whose choice you agree with!

Movie Reviews 101

Opinion Battles Year 3 Round 3new-logo

Favourite Film From 2015

Hitting the year 2017 we can now start looking back at films from 2015 and think what was our favourite without solely looking at the most recent watch. We had a brilliant list of Oscar contenders, the return of classic franchises with nearly all being great or better in their own way but just what do we call our favourite from this year?

If you want to join Opinion Battles our next question is returning to the Oscar winners as we pick our LEAST Favourite Oscar Winning Performance from an Actor in Leading or Supporting Role. To enter send your choices to moviereviews101@yahoo.co.ukby 19th February 2017.

Darren – Movie Reviews 101

Mad Max Fury Roadmad-max

Mad Max Fury Road came from nowhere because nobody thought we were going to get too much from this sequel with such a…

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Podcast: The Random Chat Show Interviews Brandon Terry About “Spotlight” Visual Effects

This week on The Random Chat Show, we have a special guest joining us for an interview.  This person is Brandon Terry, a visual effects editorial lead who worked on a few TV and movie projects that you probably have heard of.  Brandon is also Melissa’s husband.  Join us as we talk about visual effects and he tells us about his job and what visual effects entails.  In a world that computer graphics is becoming huge, visual effects deserve much more praise and recognition.

Hope you enjoy!
Happy Saturday!

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

Oscars 2016

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

Oscars 2016

Mark Ruffalo Winking for his Nomination

Oscars 2016

Michael Keaton Fist Pump for Spotlight Win

Oscars 2016

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?

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?