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: Maleficent

Maleficent tries to do for Sleeping Beauty what Wicked did for The Wizard of Oz.  It strives to take a villain and reexamine her life, giving us context and an explanation for her actions and making us question our preconceptions.  Yet it lacks the grace and power of Wicked.  Maleficent is occasionally shockingly old-fashioned, it has a mediocre script and an inconsistent tone, and it trades one shallow villain for another while leaving few of the characters with any depth.  Yet Maleficent shines in spite of all that, defying expectations and rising above the things that might hold it back.  It’s truly more than the sum of its parts, and it owes any success it finds to its two charismatic lead actresses.

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Trailer Thursday: Cinderella

Welcome to “Trailer Tuesday” where I talk about trailers for upcoming movies.

When you see the poster above, what story immediately comes to mind?  Disney is banking on the fact that Cinderella’s glass slipper is such a recognizable image that that’s all they need to show to get people excited for the film.  In fact, that same iconic image is carried over into their first teaser trailer.  Check it out below and then read on for my comments:

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Trailer Wednesday: Maleficent

Welcome to “Trailer Tuesday” where I talk about trailers for upcoming movies, since I’ve always found them to be fascinating.

We’ve gotten what will probably be the final trailer for Maleficent, now that the film is just two months away, and this final trailer goes deeper into the story we’re going to see, while giving us some new looks as well.  The first trailer mostly focused on the film’s imagery, while telling us little about the movie itself.  The second trailer gave us a bit more, while highlighting the parallels between Maleficent and Sleeping Beauty.  But this final trailer is the one that for the first time has lead me to being genuinely excited about the film, beyond the curiosity that had held my interest thus far, though I fully admit that it may just be the dragon that’s gotten my attention.  Take a look below, and read on for my breakdown of the trailer:

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