87th Academy Awards Picks and Predictions (2015)

Once again, it’s time for Oscar predictions.  I did pretty well last year, getting 16 correct once again (that seems to be what I always get), but there are some tight races this year, and I didn’t make it to nearly as many of the nominees as I would have liked.  I make no promises that any of these will be correct, with the exception of a few seemingly done deals, but read on for all of my predictions and personal picks for this year’s Oscars. Tomorrow night should be lots of fun with Neil Patrick Harris as the host!

(I realize this is very late, getting it just a day before the Oscars, and that I haven’t updated the blog as much recently as I would have liked.  I hope that will change going forward, and I thank you for your patience.)

Best Short Film, Live Action:
Prediction: Aya
My Pick: N/A

Best Short Film, Animated:
Prediction: Feast
My Pick: Feast

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What I’d like to see from tomorrow’s Academy Award nominations

With the Academy Award nominations due to be announced tomorrow morning, most movie blogs and websites are busy trying to predict what names will be called before dawn. I don’t have the expertise to join them, nor have I seen enough films to really get a sense of how things will shake out. However, despite my feeling that 2014 was a bit of a dud at the movies, I still have some nominations I’d like to see in the morning. I’ve broken them down below into three general categories based on their likelihood, with some seemingly locks for a nomination, others possible but less likely, and others that will never happen no matter how much I want them to.

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My Top 10 (and Bottom 3) at the Movies in 2014

2014 has come and gone, and while there were some definite highlights to the year of movies, overall I’d say it was a bit disappointing compared to years past.  There were some movies that I really loved, but I wasn’t nearly as enthusiastic in 2014 as I usually am for the world of cinema.  However, things are looking up for 2015, with a lot to be excited about, plus there are still a few movies I need to catch up on from 2014 that I either missed or haven’t gotten around to (Big Eyes, Selma, The Imitation Game, etc.).  But now that 2015 is underway it’s time to take a look back at the highs and lows of 2014 at the movies.  Instead of a traditional top 10 list of movies, I like to list out my favorite cinema-related things from the year.  Some of them are movies, but others might be scenes, characters, moments, or even just announcements.  So without further ado, here are my top 10 and bottom 3 of 2014 at the movies.

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Review: Big Hero 6

At this point it’s pretty safe to say that the Disney Revival is now in full swing.  The era which began with either Bolt or The Princess and the Frog depending on your tastes, and which so far seems to mirror the trajectory of the Disney Renaissance in the 1990’s, has seen Disney producing some seriously outstanding films in the last few years.  Tangled is an underrated masterpiece, Wreck-It Ralph is a creative, kinetic marvel, and Frozen has reached the point where it no longer requires description.  Big Hero 6 represents not just the next big step for Disney Animation, but also the first attempt by Disney at creating its own Marvel-based content outside of the wildly successful Marvel Cinematic Universe.  And while Big Hero 6 could never hope to live up to something like Frozen, it’s still wildly entertaining and enjoyable in its own right, and another solid rung in the Disney Revival ladder.

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Review: Feast

I’m definitely a fan of the recent resurgence of animated shorts preceding feature films.  It harkens back to an earlier time when cartoons and news reels were a part of the cinema experience (though I hope they don’t bring back news reels!).  Pixar, of course, has always had a short attached to each of their new releases, but Disney Animation has gotten back in the game for their last three movies and the results have been impressive.  Paperman (which aired before Wreck-It Ralph) is nothing less than a masterpiece, while Get a Horse! (attached to Frozen) was a fun, creative use of 3D that captured a bit of that historical Disney magic.  The recent debut of Big Hero 6 brought with it a new short, Feast, that serves both purposes of an animated short: it serves an hors d’oeuvre for the main film while also telling an endearing and entertaining story of its own.

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