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  1. Today
  2. Oscars 2018: Best Animated Feature

    The Visual Effects Society award nominations, starting with the animated-feature-only categories: Outstanding Visual Effects in an Animated Feature Captain Underpants Cars 3 Coco Despicable Me 3 The LEGO Batman Movie The LEGO Ninjago Movie Outstanding Animated Character in an Animated Feature Coco; Hèctor Despicable Me 3; Bratt The LEGO Ninjago Movie; Garma Mecha Man The Boss Baby; Boss Baby The LEGO Ninjago Movie; Garmadon Outstanding Created Environment in an Animated Feature Cars 3; Abandoned Racetrack Coco; City of the Dead Despicable Me 3; Hollywood Destruction The LEGO Ninjago Movie; Ninjago City Outstanding Effects Simulations in an Animated Feature Cars 3 Coco Despicable Me 3 Ferdinand The Boss Baby So the tally is: 4 nominations -- Coco, Despicable Me 3 4 nominations in 3 categories -- The Lego Ninjago Movie 3 nominations -- Cars 3 2 nominations -- The Boss Baby 1 nomination -- Captain Underpants, Ferdinand, The Lego Batman Movie But there is one other category in which a photoreal feature is nominated: Outstanding Model in a Photoreal or Animated Project Blade Runner 2049; LAPD Headquarters Despicable Me 3; Dru’s Car Life; The ISS US Marines; Anthem; Monument So Despicable Me 3 has more nominations than any other animated feature recognized by the VES this year. The winners will be announced February 13.
  3. Oscars 2018: Best Visual Effects

    The Visual Effects Society award nominations, starting with the photoreal-feature-only categories: Outstanding Visual Effects in a Photoreal Feature Blade Runner 2049 Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Kong: Skull Island Star Wars: The Last Jedi War for the Planet of the Apes Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Photoreal Feature Darkest Hour Downsizing Dunkirk mother! Only the Brave Outstanding Animated Character in a Photoreal Feature Blade Runner 2049; Rachael Kong: Skull Island; Kong War for the Planet of the Apes; Bad Ape War for the Planet of the Apes; Caesar Outstanding Created Environment in a Photoreal Feature Blade Runner 2049; Los Angeles Blade Runner 2049; Trash Mesa Blade Runner 2049; Vegas War for the Planet of the Apes; Hidden Fortress War for the Planet of the Apes; Prison Camp Outstanding Virtual Cinematography in a Photoreal Project Beauty and the Beast; Be Our Guest Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2; Groot Dance/Opening Fight Star Wars: The Last Jedi; Crait Surface Battle Thor: Ragnarok; Valkyrie’s Flashback Outstanding Effects Simulations in a Photoreal Feature Kong: Skull Island Only the Brave; Fire & Smoke Star Wars: The Last Jedi; Bombing Run Star Wars: The Last Jedi; Mega Destroyer Destruction War for the Planet of the Apes Outstanding Compositing in a Photoreal Feature Blade Runner 2049; LAPD Approach and Joy Holograms Kong: Skull Island Nelson Sepulveda Aaron Brown Paolo Acri Thor: Ragnarok; Bridge Battle War for the Planet of the Apes So the tally is: 7 nominations in 5 categories -- War for the Planet of the Apes 6 nominations in 4 categories -- Blade Runner 2049 4 nominations -- Kong: Skull Island 4 nominations in 3 categories -- Star Wars: The Last Jedi 2 nominations -- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Only the Brave, Thor: Ragnarok 1 nomination -- Beauty and the Beast, Darkest Hour, Downsizing, Dunkirk, mother! But there is one other category in which a photoreal feature is nominated: Outstanding Model in a Photoreal or Animated Project Blade Runner 2049; LAPD Headquarters Despicable Me 3; Dru’s Car Life; The ISS US Marines; Anthem; Monument So Blade Runner 2049 and War for the Planet of the Apes are tied for the most VES nominations of any film this year. Also worth noting: Valerian and the City of a Thousand Worlds is the only theatrical Annie Award nominee for character animation that was snubbed by the VES entirely. Of the other nine films on the Academy's visual-effects shortlist, the VES also snubbed Alien: Covenant, Okja and The Shape of Water. The winners will be announced February 13.
  4. Yesterday
  5. Favorite films of 2017

    So I have to give the usual disclaimer that a lot of the movies I list are stuff that many of you would have seen last year, as I’m going by Australian release dates. My 12 favourites (in order of preference): 1. SILENCE 2. DUNKIRK 3. A GHOST STORY 4. THE SALESMAN 5. THE UNKNOWN GIRL 6. MUDBOUND 7. I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO 8. PADDINGTON 2 9. MENASHE 10. GET OUT 11. WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES 12. MY HAPPY FAMILY 15 Runners-up (alphabetical order): 1. AFTER THE STORM 2. ALL SAINTS 3. THE EDGE OF SEVENTEEN 4. FENCES 5. I CALLED HIM MORGAN 6. I DON’T FEEL AT HOME IN THIS WORLD ANYMORE 7. THE INNOCENTS 8. LOVING 9. MOUNTAIN 10. ONLY THE BRAVE 11. PATHS OF THE SOUL 12. A SILENT VOICE 13. THINGS TO COME 14. THE WEDDING PLAN 15. THE YOUNG MESSIAH 20 Honourable Mentions (alphabetical order): 1. BABY DRIVER 2. BAD GENIUS 3. THE BIG SICK 4. BLADE RUNNER 2049 5. THE CASE FOR CHRIST 6. COCO 7. GOOD TIME 8. INGRID GOES WEST 9. INVERSION 10. THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE 11. A MONSTER CALLS 12. MOONLIGHT 13. 1922 14. PATRIOTS DAY 15. STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI 16. STRONG ISLAND 17. THE TEACHER 18. THOR: RAGNAROK 19. THREE WEST 20. WONDER WOMAN
  6. Last week
  7. Star Wars: Episode VIII: The Last Jedi

    Joshua Wilson wrote: : It occured to me that the complaints about Luke's character in this film (which I don't recall hearing after TFA) really have to be laid at the feet of the conclusion of TFA in the first place. I'm pretty sure I *did* hear complaints to that effect when TFA came out, but of course, the movie didn't give us much to complain with. But yes, most of my biggest problems with TLJ stem from the way it is bound to the prequels and TFA -- films that I would really rather ignore, but obviously, any sequel to those films *can't* ignore them if it's to stay within "canon". (One of the reasons I keep harping on the Yoda scene is that it is one of the bad things in TLJ that didn't *have* to be there -- you cannot blame that scene on TFA or the prequels. Indeed, one of my biggest problems with the Yoda scene is that it kind of *ignores* the prequels and what they told us about Yoda's character arc.) : Besides the fact that if you criticize Luke's character for this action, you have to be just as upset at Obi Wan and Yoda for doing almost the exact same thing after the old Jedi order was destroyed. Well, no, you don't, because it was *not* the same thing. I mean, for starters, Yoda and Obi-Wan weren't hiding from *each other* or from any of their other allies; that is precisely why Bail Organa knows where to send his daughter in A New Hope. Luke, on the other hand, doesn't tell Leia or Han or anyone else where he's going. Yoda and Obi-Wan had also just watched a Sith lord take over the Republic and wipe out the entire Jedi Order; some prudent hiding from *him* at that point made perfect sense. Luke, on the other hand... well, what exactly happened? One of his apprentices killed a few other people and burned down a building, and...? I mean, Luke says Ben Solo had already been corrupted by Snoke at this point, but who was Snoke exactly? Did Snoke actually have an army yet? He certainly wasn't running the entire galaxy like the Emperor was; the New Republic seemed to be doing just fine, for the most part, until the events of TFA (when the Starkiller base destroyed five key Republic planets in one fell swoop, in one of the dumbest, most JJ-ish moments in the entire film). Luke went into hiding and *made things worse* by doing so, by not helping everyone else deal with the growing but still manageable Snoke problem. Yoda and Obi-Wan, on the other hand, had already seen things get as bad as they could be. Yoda and Obi-Wan retreated strategically like the British at Dunkirk. Luke just surrendered and abandoned his allies.
  8. Star Wars: Episode VIII: The Last Jedi

    A video review of the film by James Raney: (Warning: spoilers)
  9. Room (2015)

    I came across Room at the library and so watched it last week (along with Star Wars I, II, III½ & VII and The Case For Christ) going in cold, not having read anything, only seeing part of a 60 seconds review by David DiCerto of 'Reel Faith' who liked it. No one I knew saw it. And I just now skimmed the A&F discussion above, not the links, and did not find written here that something sitting on my mind about the film. Tell me if I'm crazy. When the film ended, mostly I liked it quite a bit. The overall story, the boy & mother, the aftermath, all of it. Enough to think I'd like to tell people at work or friends about it. And what I didn't like wasn't something I put my finger on immediately probably because what was good in it overshadows that. After the movie, I read about the writer Emma, and how she influenced the making of the film. And that she's a Canadian feminist with previous work popular in the lesbian community. So it made me reflect on the film for possible bias reflecting her life orientation. Suddenly I thought, in Room, all the key white men are losers. Now is that crazy or legitimate? Of course old Nick had to be a primo loser. Not problematic. But the next white man you get to meet a little bit is the cop driving the car to first arrive when the escaping boy is found. Compared to his female cop partner, the man comes off like an ignorant taxi driver at best. The female cop is sensitive, solves the crime immediately, and astounds the white man cop. The male cop is such a numbskull while looking over his shoulder toward the two in back, what he says is laughable. The next adults we meet who are experiencing pressures of the story, not the flat healthcare people or crowd control guys, we meet are the 3 grandparents. The real father (Robert) leaves the film marked as being strongly prejudiced against the child we've all come to love. He's been divorced, replaced, and can't see past the rape. If any white guy in the film might shine it would have been the father/grandfather. Next, the step-father (Leo) acts much nicer than the real father but he looks like he just stepped out of a Western or a prison film of which he did not play lead, looking sort of dishevled, mussed up, even deranged. In fact I read that Leo almost played the part of old Nick. Leo really contrasted the middle class surroundings. The only adult man that we meet for any bit of time who seems admirable is the helthcare worker visiting their home and he was never a 'white boy from Ohio'. I grant that the writer Emma worked to make the boy, mother, grandmother, lady cop etc all seem real. Those characters were not all-powerful, they had troubles of their own to face and overcome but the viewer ends up seeing the worlds of these characters work out well enough in the end and we like them afterwards. Not so the men. This reflects the bias of Emma Donoghue who also greatly controlled the filming. "In 2012, (director) Abrahamson and Donoghue spent one week at her house in London, Ontario as they revised the screenplay. She served as executive producer and was included in major filmmaking decisions." Should it spoil the film? It does somewhat for myself, not entirely.
  10. God's Not Dead: A Light in Darkness

    Links to our threads on God's Not Dead (2014) and God's Not Dead 2 (2016). Loooots of vocal fry here.
  11. Oscars 2018: Best Director

    The Directors Guild award nominees: Feature Film: Guillermo Del Toro, The Shape of Water Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird Martin McDonagh, Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri Christopher Nolan, Dunkirk Jordan Peele, Get Out First-time Feature Film: Geremy Jasper, Patti Cake$ William Oldroyd, Lady Macbeth Jordan Peele, Get Out Taylor Sheridan, Wind River Aaron Sorkin, Molly's Game I haven't fact-checked this yet, but a friend says this is the first time none of the nominees for the Feature Film award are white American men (of the two American nominees, one is black and one is female). This is the third time the DGA has had a First-time Feature Film award, and the second time that one of the nominees in that category *also* got a regular Feature Film nomination. Last year, Lion's Garth Davis was nominated in both categories, and he won the First-time Feature Film award (while the regular Feature Film award went to La La Land's Damien Chazelle). Will the same pattern hold true for Jordan Peele? And if it does, would that affect his prospects of winning the Oscar for Best Director at all...? The winners will be announced February 3.
  12. Oscars 2018: Best Documentary Feature

    The Directors Guild of America nominees in this category: Ken Burns & Lynn Novick, The Vietnam War Bryan Fogel, Icarus Matthew Heineman, City of Ghosts Steve James, Abacus: Small Enough to Jail Errol Morris, Wormwood Notably, this is the first guild that did *not* nominate Jane. The Vietnam War and Wormwood were not on the Academy's longlist, much less its shortlist, possibly because those documentaries are more accurately described as TV miniseries rather than as feature films. (The fact that O.J. Made in America -- another documentary miniseries -- won the Oscar last year prompted the Academy to revise its eligibility rules, I think.) The other three DGA nominees are all on the Academy's shortlist. City of Ghosts was nominated for a PGA award, but neither of the other two have been nominated for any guild awards, to my knowledge. The winner will be announced February 3.
  13. 2017 lists

    Some good stuff here: http://www.lookingcloser.org/blog/2017/12/25/your-favorite-song-of-2017/
  14. Oscars 2018: Best Animated Feature

    The Cinema Audio Society award nominees in this category: Cars 3 Coco Despicable Me 3 Ferdinand The Lego Batman Movie Once again, a guild goes for the boring, commercial, big-budget, big-studio movies. The winner will be announced February 24.
  15. Oscars 2018: Best Documentary Feature

    The Cinema Audio Society award nominees in this category: An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Eric Clapton: Life in 12 Bars Gaga: Five Feet Two Jane Long Strange Trip Three of those films are on the Academy's shortlist. Jane is the only one that has been nominated by the other guilds. The winner will be announced February 24.
  16. Oscars 2018: Best Sound Mixing

    The Cinema Audio Society award nominees: Baby Driver Dunkirk The Shape of Water Star Wars: The Last Jedi Wonder Woman The winner will be announced February 24.
  17. Oscars 2018: Best Costume Design

    The Costume Designer Guild award nominees: Excellence in Contemporary Film Get Out – Nadine Haders I, Tonya – Jennifer Johnson Kingsman: The Golden Circle – Arianne Phillips Lady Bird – April Napier Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri – Melissa Toth Excellence in Period Film Dunkirk – Jeffrey Kurland Murder on the Orient Express – Alexandra Byrne Phantom Thread – Mark Bridges The Greatest Showman – Ellen Mirojnick The Shape of Water – Luis Sequeira Excellence in Sci-Fi/Fantasy Film Beauty and the Beast – Jacqueline Durran Blade Runner 2049 – Renée April Star Wars: The Last Jedi – Michael Kaplan Thor: Ragnarok – Mayes C. Rubeo Wonder Woman – Lindy Hemming Note: the latest "period" film, The Shape of Water, takes place in the 1960s, while the earliest "contemporary" film, I Tonya, starts in the 1970s (but mostly takes place in the 1980s and early 1990s). The winners will be announced February 20.
  18. Oscars 2018: Best Cinematography

    The ASC Awards nominees: Theatrical release: Roger Deakins, ASC, BSC for Blade Runner 2049 Bruno Delbonnel, ASC, AFC for Darkest Hour Hoyte van Hoytema, ASC, FSF, NSC for Dunkirk Rachel Morrison, ASC for Mudbound Dan Laustsen, ASC, DFF for The Shape of Water Spotlight award: Máté Herbai, HSC for On Body and Soul Mikhail Krichman, RGC for Loveless Mart Taniel for November The winners will be announced February 17.
  19. Earlier
  20. Stan Brakhage

    This is great. Hope it sticks. I am training this year for a long race in July - so I will join you as you journey through these discs.
  21. Mother! (Darren Aronofsky)

  22. Stan Brakhage

    I don't post here much, but wanted to jump back in to say that, five and half years after buying this set, I think I may have, at last, stumbled on to a way to approach the material. I've mentioned over the years both that I easily fall asleep when viewing feature films at home, and it's happened multiple times while trying to watch the Brakhage disc(s). I've also said that I've had revelatory experiences with certain films while at the gym, on the treadmill. (This happened with Scorsese's New York, New York and, at home on the treadmill, with Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette.) This morning, for my run, I had no audiobook to listen to and couldn't get my OTA antenna to work (I figured I'd just put on the local news - something I never do - just to have something to stare at while I ran on the treadmill). So, searching for a DVD that wouldn't require me to read subtitles or captions - I have trouble with those from the distance my treadmill is from the TV, but also because the slight bouncing in my stride makes it hard to lock in the text) - I decided to put the Brakhage Disc 1 on. I don't know if it's the endorphins or some sort of chemical response from the exercise, but the films played as new to me, and as extraordinary. I think I'm only on the third one, Dog Star Man, but some of the imagery was unfamiliar to me and, having to pull the disc out quickly once my workout was over so I could get ready for the day, couldn't confirm from the chapter listing that I was actually watching DSM (yes, I felt stupid; googling it before posting this morning didn't provide the visual confirmation I was hoping for). Still, whichever film I was watching was just beautifully strange, and now I feel like maybe, just maybe, I'm ready for more Brakhage. Another 2018 movie resolution, maybe?
  23. Favorite films of 2017

    As I now live in the UK, I'm going to have to adjust my end-of-year list-making to UK release dates. So, Lady Bird, Phantom Thread, Coco, and a number of others aren't being released here until February. In fact, I'll be able to watch Black Panther before I'll be able to see Lady Bird. There will likely be films released in the UK which aren't available in the US too, hence my Paddington 2 inclusion on my 2017 list.
  24. Favorite films of 2017

    Normally I'd post my list this week, but both Phantom Thread and The Post are opening this weekend, so I'm definitely waiting to see those, and I may wait until next week to see Call Me By Your Name as well.
  25. Favorite films of 2017

    Ooh, great idea, Brian! I thought this was a significantly above average year at the movies; thus my longer than usual "Best of" and "Honorable Mention" lists. Here are my top 13: 1. I Am Not Your Negro 2. Makala 3. BPM 4. mother! 5. The Shape of Water 6. Call Me by Your Name 7. Silence 8. Wonderstruck 9. Last Men in Aleppo 10. Cries from Syria 11. One of Us 12. Get Out 13. Faces Places
  26. A better film about...

    For 2017 films about the same WWII event: Dunkirk > Their Finest > Darkest Hour. They're all worth viewing, but for entirely different reasons.
  27. Favorite films of 2017

    Here's my Top 20 of 2017 (plus one TV show: Twin Peaks): Dunkirk The Unknown Girl The Salesman Personal Shopper Columbus Wonder Woman The Son of Joseph Graduation Get Out Princess Cyd The Florida Project Good Time The Lost City of Z Star Wars: The Last Jedi Blade Runner 2049 War for the Planet of the Apes Mudbound Paddington 2 Song to Song The Beguiled
  28. 2017 lists

    Your list of favorite songs or albums from this year, please! Here is Joel Hartse's list of "audio stuff" from Image: https://imagejournal.org/2017/12/29/listening-life-17-listens-2017/
  29. Would love it if anyone would share their list of favorites for 2017. I'm too behind in this year's films to share my own list, but hopefully that will come with time.
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