Cinemalaya 2014 – New Breed Feature Films Predictions

Mariquina

Commentaries to follow.

Film
Will Win? SUNDALONG KANIN.  Because there hardly was a soul who hated it.  Plus it was actually good period film.
Could Win? #Y.  Second time’s the charm for Gino Santos?
Should Win? MARIQUINA.  Because it was by leaps and bounds better than the majority of the films shown.

Jury
Will Win? CHILDREN’S SHOW.  Because it is the type of film that they go for.
Could Win? RONDA.  I dunno.
Should Win?  DAGITAB.  Not a close second, but a great great work.

Director
Will Win? FRANCIS XAVIER PASION, BWAYA.  Technical wise, it was his best film to date.
Could Win? GINO M. SANTOS, #Y.  He had that “voice of the now generation” thing going for him.  Young director who is actually really good at what he does.
Should Win? MILO SOGUECO, MARIQUINA.  For creating the best film of the festival.

Actor
Will Win?? RICKY DAVAO, MARIQUINA.  Because this is arguably his best work in recent memory.
Could Win? NONIE BUENCAMINO, DAGITAB.  He is bound to win something, this might be his chance, plus, he is REALLLYY good.
Should Win?  RICKY DAVAO, MARIQUINA.

Actress
Will Win? ANGELI BAYANI, BWAYA.  She has the momentum, and she was great and devastating in the film.
Could Win? AI AI DELAS ALAS, RONDA.  Stunt casting. will it pay off?
Should Win? EULA VALDEZ, DAGITAB.  It was nice to see her topbill a film and bringing her A game.

Supporting Actor
Will Win? MARTIN DEL ROSARIO, DAGITAB.  Young actor who deserves to get noticed when they are doing career high work early in their careers.
Could Win? PAOLO O’HARA, SUNDALONG KANIN.  Filmmaker and actor to boot!
Should Win? MARTIN DEL ROSARIO, DAGITAB

Supporting Actress
Will Win? BARBIE FORTEZA, MARIQUINA.  Wishful thinking.  But she was perfection.
Could Win? COLEEN GARCIA, #Y. CHYNNA ORTALEZA, #Y.  Both great and scene stealers.
Should Win? FORTEZA, MARIQUINA

Screenplay
Will Win? MARIQUINA.  Tarrog’s most heartfelt written work.
Could Win? CHILDREN’S SHOW.  I dunno really.
Should Win?  MARIQUINA

Film Editing
Will Win? CHILDREN’S SHOW.  Gritty work?
Could Win? #Y.  A repeat win?
Should Win?  MARIQUINA.  Effortless switching of timelines.

Cinematography
Will Win? BWAYA.  No bad frames at all.  Beautiful all throughout. Aerial shots WOW!
Could Win? MARIQUINA.  Great composition and framing.
Should Win? BWAYA

Production Design
Will Win? K’NA THE DREAMWEAVER.  Because period works get noticed here.
Could Win? CHILDREN’S SHOW.  Dirt.  Grime = beauty?
Should Win?  DAGITAB.  Exquisite detail!

Original Score
Will Win? MARIQUINA. Tarrog in the house!  Another beautiful work.
Could Win? SEPARADOS.  Because I just want to fuck with it.
Should Win? MARIQUINA

Sound
Will Win? #Y.  From the houses to the bars.
Could Win? RONDA
Should Win? #Y

Audience Choice: #Y.

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Cinemalaya 2014 – 1st Ko si 3rd

1st ko si 3rd
1st Ko si 3rd

Directed by Real S. Florido
Cinemalaya 2014: New Breed Section

If you have been reading my blog for the longest time, which probably you aren’t. you would know that I have a weak spot for films about old people, and would some day make one myself.  So imagine my enthusiasm to see this film as part of the festival.  My expectations were up.  I was expecting it to be a bittersweet tale of old people.  But somehow after seeing it, I was left unaffected.

The film excelled the most in its quiet moments.  That scene with Nova Villa looking at the mirror and taking off her clothes and seeing and loathing her aged body was the highlight of the film for me.  Villa gave a good but not memorable performance as a whole and probably was my only reason to say something positive about the film.  The film wants to be charming and maybe it was.  It also was trying to be funny.  It succeeded in some aspects but I think that the wooden acting, the uneventful script, and the superficial storyline hindered the film from actually taking off.  It just sits and never took off.  The flashbacks, though probably “nakakakilig” felt superficial compared to the flashbacks of “Mariquina”.  The overall ensemble performance was wooden and the dialogue deliveries sounds “Batibot”-ish.

I laughed at some parts of the film.  Especially the part wherein Cory used facebook for the first time.  But even if I just saw the film, not a day has passed, I barely have recollections of the film, not that I was not paying attention, but I was just unmoved.  C-

Cinemalaya 2014 – Tiya Bening

image

Tiya Bening
Directed by Ralph Quijano
2014

I was intrigued by the look and feel of this feel. It felt sort of morose and dreadful. I feel an impending death. The film captured the feeling of dread quite well, what with the black and white cinematography, sound and jump cuts.

But I was not emotionally connected to it.  The theme is something I am quite attached to. But while I felt the dread and all, I was not that much moved. Maybe the camera movements distracted me a bit.  C

Cinemalaya 2014 – Lisyun Qng Geografia

image

Lisyun Qng Geografia
Directed by Petersen Vargas
2014

Though technically not a Cinemalaya film, it was a part of the Kapampangan shorts in exhibition, the film is the highlight of my Cinemalaya 2014 movie going experience, so far. I have seen this film before (one of the perks of knowing the filmmaker personally hehe), but it really was a treat to see it on a bigger screen. It was a story of two young male best friends and how their “relationship” evolved and became conflicted. The film boasts a beautiful camerawork, something that is consistent from the filmmaker. The editing was spot on and adventurous in a way. it effortlessy shifted timelines, from the present to the flashbacks. i love the overall feel of the film. I felt that Vargas is passionate at what he does, and the film shows just that.

If ever you get a chance to see this film, you should. You really should. A

2013 Year in Review: Best Films of the Year #9 The Missing Picture

Best Films of 2013 #9: The Missing Picture

Best Films of 2013 #9: The Missing Picture

2013 Year in Review
Best Films of the Year

#9
L’IMAGE MANQUANTE (The Missing Picture)
Directed by Rithy Panh
Cambodia and France
, 2013

I can still remember the feeling that I had when I first saw this film.  I got chills all over, I was in awe with what I am seeing.  It was a didactic film without trying to be one.  It showed the horrors of a bloody past, and it showed those without being to sentimental, or melodramatic about it.  It felt raw, honest.  Chills chills chills from start to finish.  I hope more documentaries (or even animated films if you consider this as one) would take more risks in its storytelling.

2013 Year in Review: Best Films of the Year #14 Frances Ha

Best Films of 2013 #14: Frances Ha

Best Films of 2013 #14: Frances Ha

2013 Year in Review
Best Films of the Year

#14
FRANCES HA
Directed by Noah Baumbach
USA
, 2012/2013

A lot of filmmakers made their career best work in the past year, one of them was Noah Baumbach who made “Frances Ha”.   It was deliciously hipster, deceptively aimless but was not, brimming with life like the protagonist.  Baumbach continues to prove that he has a unique voice in Cinema.  Ditto, Greta Gerwig.  She continues to prove that she is one of the best actresses of her generation.

Oscars 2014 Predictions and Winners

ellen-degeneres-2014-oscars-host-4jpg-e85addb2529b8f01

Best Picture

  • 12 Years a Slave
  • American Hustle
  • Captain Phillips
  • Dallas Buyers Club
  • Gravity
  • Her
  • Nebraska
  • Philomena
  • The Wolf of Wall Street

Will Win: Gravity
Could Win: 12 Years a Slave
Should Win: Gravity
WINNER: 12 YEARS A SLAVE

*   It’s really a tough pick here.  I feel that “12 Years a Slave” is the clear frontrunner, but the populist choice here is “Gravity” what with the major box office haul.   I am on the “Gravity” for the win side as well.  I am predicting it to win, on a slight slight slight advantage.

Best Director

  • Alfonso Cuarón, Gravity
  • Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave
  • Alexander Payne, Nebraska
  • David O. Russell, American Hustle
  • Martin Scorsese, The Wolf of Wall Street

Will Win: Alfonso Cuaron, Gravity
Could Win: Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave
Should Win: Alfonso Cuaron, Gravity
WINNER: ALFONSO CUARON, GRAVITY

* I think that Cuaron solidified his win status with that DGA win.  The only spoiler here is McQueen if they go overboard in love with “12 Years a Slave” which is not that far from happening.

Best Actor

  • Christian Bale, American Hustle
  • Bruce Dern, Nebraska
  • Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street
  • Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave
  • Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club

Will Win: Matthew McCounaughey, Dallas Buyers Club
Could Win: Leonardo diCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street
Should Win: Bruce Dern, Nebraska
WINNER: MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY, DALLAS BUYERS CLUB

*  McCounaughey has the edge here, what with the heap of precursor awards he got.  But it is still a four way race here.  Ejiofor won the BAFTA so that means he has major backing; Dern seems to be the sentimental favorite (and mine as well), and diCaprio is diCaprio and he has not won an Oscar for acting yet, he is bound to win one, and this may be his year, but it is a tough tough tough year.  Bale is just happy to be nominated.

Best Actress

  • Amy Adams, American Hustle
  • Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
  • Sandra Bullock, Gravity
  • Judi Dench, Philomena
  • Meryl Streep, August: Osage County

Will Win: Cate Blanchett
Could Win: Amy Adams
Should Win: Meryl Streep or Cate Blanchett.  I can’t choose!
WINNER: CATE BLANCHETT, BLUE JASMINE

* Lovely speech she gave, probably the best speech of the night. I love the shout-out to all the other nominees and the humor she had.  Divine.  I loved her more after that speech.

Best Supporting Actor
sactor

  • Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips
  • Bradley Cooper, American Hustle
  • Michael Fassbender, 12 Years a Slave
  • Jonah Hill, The Wolf of Wall Street
  • Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club

Will Win: Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club
Could Win: Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips
Should Win: Michael Fassbender, 12 Years a Slave
WINNERJARED LETO, DALLAS BUYERS CLUB

* Why oh why do I have that stinging feeling that Leto can still lose amidst winning almost all the precursors?  But this is his to lose, and Abdi is on the wings as the dark horse to win the award.

Best Supporting Actress

  • Sally Hawkins, Blue Jasmine
  • Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle
  • Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave
  • Julia Roberts, August: Osage County
  • June Squibb, Nebraska

Will Win: Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle
Could Win: Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave
Should Win: June Squibb, Nebraska
WINNER: LUPITA NYONG’O, 12 YEARS A SLAVE

*  This is a very tough category to predict.  Nyong’o and Lawrence split the precursors though Nyong’o won more.   Lawrence is the current IT girl and she was a blast in “American Hustle”.

Best Adapted Screenplay

  • 12 Years a Slave, by John Ridley
  • Before Midnight, by Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, & Ethan Hawke
  • Captain Phillips, by Billy Ray
  • Philomena, by Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope
  • The Wolf of Wall Street, by Terence Winter

Will Win 12 Years a Slave
Could Win: The Wolf of Wall Street
Should Win: Before Midnight
WINNER: JOHN RIDLEY, 12 YEARS A SLAVE

*  I love the screenplay of Before Midnight but I feel that it does not belong in this category, it should be original.  This is one of the categories that I think “12 Years a Slave” can easily win.  But it faces threat from Philomena and The Wolf of Wall Street

Best Original Screenplay

  • American Hustle, Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell
  • Blue Jasmine, by Woody Allen
  • Dallas Buyers Club, by Craig Borten & Melisa Wallack
  • Her, by Spike Jonze
  • Nebraska, by Bob Nelson

Will Win: American Hustle
Could Win: Her
Should Win: Nebraska
WINNER: SPIKE JONZE, HER

* Even though “Her” snagged the most precursor wins, “American Hustle” is a contender in this category.  It has major support, see the heavy nominations it go.  Here’s me hoping “Nebraska” wins something…

Best Cinematography

  • The Grandmaster (Philippe Le Sourd)
  • Gravity (Emmanuel Lubezki)
  • Inside Llewyn Davis (Bruno Delbonnel)
  • Nebraska (Phedon Papamichael)
  • Prisoners (Roger Deakins)

Will Win: Gravity
Could Win: Inside Llewyn Davis
Should Win: Gravity
WINNER: EMMANUEL LUBEZKI, GRAVITY

*Methinks that this is a very beautiful list.  But after Lubezki’s losing streak for works that he should have won in, I am rooting for him to win here.  Not only because of his overdue status, but it is such a tremendous work.

Best Editing

  • 12 Years a Slave (Joe Walker)
  • American Hustle (Jay Cassidy, Crispin Struthers, Alan Baumgarten)
  • Captain Phillips (Christopher Rouse)
  • Dallas Buyers Club (John Mac McMurphy, Martin Pensa)
  • Gravity (Alfonso Cuarón, Mark Sanger)

Will Win: Captain Phillips
Could Win: Gravity
Should Win: Gravity
WINNER: ALFONSO CUARON and MARK SANGER, GRAVITY


Best Production Design

  • 12 Years a Slave (Adam Stockhausen; Alice Baker)
  • American Hustle (Judy Becker; Heather Loeffler)
  • Gravity (Andy Nicholson; Rosie Goodwin, Joanne Woollard)
  • The Great Gatsby (Catherine Martin; Beverley Dunn)
  • Her (K.K. Barrett; Gene Serdena)

Will Win: The Great Gatsby
Could Win: American Hustle
Should Win: Her
WINNER: CATHERINE MARTIN, BEVERLEY DUNN, THE GREAT GATSBY

Best Costume Design
costume

  • 12 Years a Slave (Patricia Norris)
  • American Hustle (Michael Wilkinson)
  • The Grandmaster (William Chang Suk Ping)
  • The Great Gatsby (Catherine Martin)
  • The Invisible Woman (Michael O’Connor)

Will Win: The Great Gatsby
Could Win: American Hustle
Should Win: (I have not seen Invisible Woman) The Grandmaster
WINNER: CATHERINE MARTIN, THE GREAT GATSBY


Best Makeup & Hairstyling
makeup

  • Dallas Buyers Club
  • Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa
  • The Lone Ranger

Will Win: Dallas Buyers Club
Could Win: Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa
Should Win: NONE!
WINNER: ADRUITHA LEE AND ROBIN MATTHEWS, DALLAS BUYERS CLUB
Best Score

  • The Book Thief (John Williams)
  • Gravity (Steven Price)
  • Her (William Butler and Owen Pallett)
  • Philomena (Alexandre Desplat)
  • Saving Mr. Banks (Thomas Newman)

Will Win: Gravity
Could Win: Philomena
Should Win: Her
WINNER: STEVEN PRICE, GRAVITY

Best Song

  • From Despicable Me 2: “Happy”
  • From Frozen: “Let It Go”
  • From Her: “The Moon Song”
  • From Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom: “Ordinary Love”

Will Win: Let It Go
Could Win: Ordinary Love or Happy
Should Win: Let it Go
WINNER: “LET IT GO”, FROZEN

Best Sound Mixing

  • Captain Phillips
  • The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
  • Gravity
  • Inside Llewyn Davis
  • Lone Survivor

Will Win: Gravity
Could Win: Captain Phillips
Should Win: Gravity
WINNER: GRAVITY


Best Sound Editing

  • All Is Lost
  • Captain Phillips
  • Gravity
  • The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
  • Lone Survivor

Will Win: Gravity
Could Win: All is Lost
Should Win: All is Lost
WINNER: GLENN FREEMANTLE, GRAVITY

Best Visual Effects
vfx

  • Gravity
  • The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
  • Iron Man 3
  • The Lone Ranger
  • Star Trek Into Darkness

Will Win: Gravity
Could Win: Gravity
Should Win: Gravity

WINNER: GRAVITY
* No one else is gonna win this.
* DUH!

Best Animated Feature

  • The Croods
  • Despicable Me 2
  • Ernest & Célestine
  • Frozen
  • The Wind Rises

Will Win: Frozen
Could Win: The Wind Rises
Should Win: (I Have not seen The Wind Rises) Ernest and Celestine
WINNER:  FROZEN


Best Foreign Language Film

  • The Broken Circle Breakdown (Belgium)
  • The Great Beauty (Italy)
  • The Hunt (Denmark)
  • The Missing Picture (Cambodia)
  • Omar (Palestine)

Will Win: The Broken Circle Breakdown
Could Win: The Great Beauty
Should Win: (I have not seen Omar) The Missing Picture
WINNER: THE GREAT BEAUTY

Best Documentary

  • 20 Feet from Stardom
  • The Act of Killing
  • Cutie and the Boxer
  • Dirty Wars
  • The Square

Will Win: The Square
Could Win: 20 Feet From Stardom
WINNER: 20 FEET FROM STARDOM


Best Documentary Short Subject

  • CaveDigger
  • Facing Fear
  • Karama Has No Walls
  • The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life
  • Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall

Will Win: The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life
Could Win: CaveDigger
WINNER: THE LADY IN NUMBER 6: MUSIC SAVED MY LIFE


Best Animated Short Subject

  • Feral
  • Get a Horse!
  • Mr. Hublot
  • Possessions
  • Room on the Broom

Will Win: Mr. Hublot
Could Win: Get a Horse
WINNER: MR. HUBLOT

Best Live-Action Short Subject

  • Aquel No Era Yo (That Wasn’t Me)
  • Avant Que De Tout Perdre (Just Before Losing Everything)
  • Helium
  • Pitääkö Mun Kaikki Hoitaa? (Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?)
  • The Voorman Problem

Will Win: Helium
Could Win: The Voorman Problem
WINNER: HELIUM

Boven Is Het Stil (It’s All So Quiet), 2013

Boven Is Het Stil (It's All So Quiet)

Boven Is Het Stil (It’s All So Quiet)


Boven Is Het Stil (It’s All So Quiet)

Directed by Nanouk Leopold
2013
Netherlands, Germany

Minimalist films could really test a viewer’s patience. But interestingly enough, this film, minimal as it is, never really tested my patience. In fact I savored every moment of the film and was just in awe with its natural yet memorable simplistic beauty.

The main problem with minimalist films, and this is just the way I see it, is that they seem to have a very thin story, and relies much on viewers to make up the story for themselves. I did not have that problem while watching the film. The story was simple and not entirely original, yet it felt authentic and rich. I have to give kudos to the two towering performances in the film. Jeroen Willems and Henri Garcin were brilliant as father and son. I could not pick which one of them was better. I think that they complimented each other quite well.

I quite dug the overall slow pace of the film. The film would suffer much from a patchy jumpy pace, and the glacial pace complimented the feel of the film.

It’s weird because some of the aspects of the film are things I hated watching. Somehow the film utilized those well and is one of the best films of 2013. A

Happy New Year!

I have been meaning to revive this blog for some time now.  I have the time, I do, but I do not have the motivation to write anything at all.  I have however, was still able to watch a lot movies whilst this blog was in an unplanned hiatus.  You’ll notice that I already changed the theme.  I like it.  It’s clean and, uhm, white.  Another thing that I would motivate me to blog again is that I installed a WordPress app in my phone.  Cheers to that.  So here’s to a great new year since 2013 was sort of a dud.

RIP 350GB Hard Drive

RIP 350GB Hard Drive

Two weeks ago, I think, I accidentally dropped my laptop from not that high up a place and my laptop stopped from working. I tried numerous ways to recover stuff and fix it, but it just would not work. At first the I heard the hard drive was making weird ticking noises, then it faded. Methought that it was going to be ok. I was wrong. It just gave up. I cried. Gone are some of my film projects that I failed to back up. Gone are the documents that kept hidden. Gone are stuff I downloaded. Damn.

But now my laptop is working again. Finally. After purchasing a new hard driving and borrowing an external DVD drive, welcome back laptop. Fuck. Now it is so bare. Nothing on it.

Now if there is a way for me to recover the files I had in my old hard drive…..

Cinemalaya 2013: New Breed Feature Predictions

Transit

Transit


Film

Will: Transit.  It really has the making of a best film winner.
Could: Quick Change. A modern domestic horror of sorts.  Babagwa.  A timely thriller that is also a crowd-pleaser.
WinnerTransit.  Sweep!

Jury Prize
Will: Debosyon.  More of wishful thinking, but it deserves more than just jury prize.
Could:  Purok 7.  A light fare that tugs the heart.
WinnerQuick Change.  I feel bummed that Debosyon end up empty handed.

Director
Will: Alvin Yapan, Debosyon.  Arguably his best work to date.  Will they finally award him before he goes to directors showcase?
CouldHannah Espia, Transit.  Could sweep wins.  Unless they spread the love.  But she showed bravura filmmaking, she could easily take this. Mikhail Red, Rekorder.  The youngest of the bunch made one heckuva film.
WinnerHannah Espia, Transit.

Actor
Will: Alex Medina, Babagwa.  The obvious frontrunner.
Could: Mimi Juarez, Quick Change.  Honestly I think he could win this as well or in another category. Depends if they want to make news or something.
WinnerMimi Juarez, Quick Change.  A brave work.

Actress
Will: Krystle Valentino, Purok 7.  More of wishful thinking but damn this is my performance of the festival and she SHOULD win.
CouldIrma Adlawan, Transit.  Will they finally give it to her?  Mimi Juarez, Quick Change. Why not right? Eugene Domingo, Instant Mommy.  One of her best works to date, methinks.
Winner: Irma Adlawan, Transit.  Happy to see her win, finally, but sad in a way that my bet lost.

Supporting Actor
Will: Joey Paras, Babagwa.  Arguably a co-lead performance.  He was scary brilliant!
Could:  Marc Justine Alvarez, Transit.  See the possible sweep? That said, child actors mostly outdid older actors this year.
Winner: Joey Paras, Babagwa. 

Supporting Actress
Will: Jasmine Curtis Smith, Transit.  Suprisingly great.
Could:  Irma Adlawan, Transit.  If they see her as supporting.  Mara Lopez, Debosyon.  Arguably better than her Palitan performance.
Winner: Jasmine Curtis Smith, Transit.

Screenplay
Will: Jason Paul Laxamana, Babagwa.  if he won’t win best director, he could win here.  Or win both.
Could: Carlo Obispo, Purok 7. Simple and heartfelt work.  Alvin Yapan, Debosyon. Writing masterwork.
Winner: Eduardo Roy, Quick Change

Cinematography
Will: Dexter dela Pena, Debosyon.  Nature eye candy.
Could: Arvin Viola, Rekorder.  Could be seen as gimmicky, but I really can’t complain cause it was good. Ber Cruz and Lyle Sacris, Transit. Could easily take this methinks.
Who WonBer Cruz and Lyle Sacris, Transit.  Almost got it right.  Had the winners as my alternate.  Solid and great camerawork though.  Nice pick.

Editing
Will: Benjamin Tolentino and Hannah Espia, Transit.  Editing exercise a la Inarritu.
Could: Carlo Francisco Manatad, Babagwa.  Great suspense building.
Who WonBenjamin Tolentino and Hannah Espia, Transit.   Got this one right.  It was one of my surest predictions.

Production Design
Will: Joel Bilbao, David F.,  production work across generations.
Could: Whammy Alcazaren, The Diplomat Hotel.  Creepy, frightening hotel.
Winner: Roy Red and Mikey Red, Rekorder.

Musical Score
Will: Teresa Barozzo in any of her multiple works.  But her best was in Debosyon.
Could: Barozzo?
Winner: Mon Espia, Transit.  Sweep!

Sound
Will: Transit.  Errr transit sweep?
Could: Babagwa.  Babagwa sweep?
Winner: Quick Change

Netpac:  Quick Change
Winner: Transit

Audience Choice: Babagwa
Winner: Transit

Le Jour des Corneille (2012)

The Day of the Crows

The Day of the Crows

The Day of the Crows
Directed by Jean-Christophe Dessaint
2012

There was something sweet and beautiful about this film, the connection that one kid has for his father whom he started to doubt if his father loves him back, that kinda struck me.  I thought that for that part I think the film excelled.  I also quite liked the touch of supernatural in this film, wherein ghosts take the form of animals they resemble when they die.  However I think that the film was kinda messy and loose and lacked imagination to make the film more powerful than it was.  It was such a great material that they had but I think it could have been pushed more.  Nevertheless, it was an OK at best film.  Could have been special, but was stuck to being lackadaisical. B-/C+

Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013)

Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters

Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters

 

Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters
Directed by Tommy Wirkola
2013

There are those movies that you wait for it to get better but they just don’t.  This is one of them.  I actually think that there was something about the film.  I am not expecting it to be great or anything.  I saw it when I was sick, I just want to be entertained.  I really was not.  There are already films that exist that feels like this.  The least thing that I wanted was to have fun.  It was just a blah, repetitive and unimaginative film.  D

World War Z (2013)

World War Z

World War Z

World War Z
Directed by Marc Forster
2013

It took me quite a time to digest and appreciate the film.  At first I was sort of slightly negative about it because it felt that it lacked a bite, and it missed a bit more gore for my liking.  But on second thought, that was not the focus of the film to begin with.  I really liked the silent moments, they felt raw and on point and very much fitting.  I also really enjoyed the well executed chase sequences, they may lack gore and bite but they surely was thrilling.  All those said, I hated the preachy, patchy ending.  But.  All in all, it was a very solid popcorn film that had moments of greatness.  B/B+

Man of Steel (2013)

Man of Steel

Man of Steel

Man of Steel
Directed by Zack Snyder
2013

I have got to say that I did not think that I would be able to see a Snyder film that I genuinely like.  Methinks that, whatever he has done prior to “Man of Steel” were all crap.  Obviously this means that I genuinely liked “Man of Steel”.   It was not a perfect comic book superhero adaptation, but their fresh and sort of sad and serious take on the new film kinda worked for me.  Henry Cavill was a very good Superman, and I think we’d be seeing him again don the new suit.  Amy Adams was good as Lois Lane as well.  But when the two are together, they did not have chemistry at all.  I also kinda dug Diane Lane’s mini screen time presence.

But what was impressive was the whole visual extravaganza.  It has one of the most impressive destruction sequence ever filmed albeit being a tad too long.  But you look for that in an action summer film.  Those kabooms, the destruction, the hell yeah visual effects overload (but put to very good use).  All in all, I really liked the new Superman film and would probably be seeing it again, soon.  B+

2012 Year in Review: Overview of Winners

Film:  Eldfjall

Director:  Carlos Reygadas, Post Tenebras Lux

Actor: Theodor Juliusson, Volcano

Actress:  Emmanuelle Riva, Amour

Supporting Actor:  Nicholas Varela, Aberya

Supporting Actress:  Nicole Kidman, The Paperboy

Breakthrough Actor: Alex Medina, Palitan

Breakthrough Actress: Rachel Mwanza, Rebelle

Original Screenplay:  Whammy Alcazaren, Colossal

Adapted Screenplay:  Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Film Editing: Chuck Gutierrez, Harana

Cinematography: Alexis Zabe, Post Tenebras Lux

Art Direction/Production Design:  Sarah Greenwood, Anna Karenina

Costume Design:  Jacquelline Durran, Anna Karenina

Make Up and Hairstyling:  Les Miserables

Visual Effects: Life of Pi

Original Song:  “Umpisa”, MNL 143

Original Score:  Moon Fear Moon, Colossal

Sound Editing: Life of Pi

Sound Mixing: Post Tenebras Lux

2012 Year in Review: Best Films of the Year #16

16 p047

P-047
Directed by Kongdej Jaturanrasamee
This film though cryptic at times reminded me of the early works but really polished Apichatpong Weerasethakul.  The movie wonderfully pieced together dream sequences, realities, flashbacks to come up with a unique movie going experience.  Plus, I also love it when a film leaves you guessing, making you want to watch it again.

85th Oscar Final-ish Predix

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I have completely ignored the Oscar awards season last year.  Part becuase I am not that interested in the race, but biggie tinge happy that some categories are wide wide open; and also part I was just not in the mood.  Not to mention that I do suck at predicting anything.  Anyway.  I do this because, it has been a tradition of mine to predict the Oscars, and it is such a waste to break tradition just for laziness sake.

Best Picture
Amour
Argo
Beasts of the Southern Wild
Django Unchained
Life of Pi
Lincoln
Les Miserables
Silver Linings Playbook
Zero Dark Thirty

Will Win: Argo
Could Win: Lincoln
Should Win: Life of Pi

It is still an open race up to now, “Argo” seems to have the momentum what with all the precursor support it has gotten.  But then there is “Lincoln” who has a sort of underdog status and has the most nominations to boot.  It was a good year for cinema, and the roster did not have that standout fugly film.  “Life of Pi is my favorite in the bunch.”

Best Director
Michael Haneke, Amour
Ang Lee, Life of Pi
David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook
Steven Spielberg, Lincoln
Benh Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild

Will Win: Ang Lee, Life of Pi
Could Win: Steven Spielberg, Lincoln
Should Win: Ang Lee, Life of Pi

This is a toss up for me between Lee and Spielberg, both giving brilliant works this year.  But really.  Aside from Zeitlin, I can see any of the four taking the award.  Russell because they seem to like the movie, really like.  Haneke because they seem to also love the film as well.  I’m confused.  Fuck.  But it was Lee’s work that I am most impressed at.

Best Actor
Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings Playbook
Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
Hugh Jackman, Les Miserables
Joaquin Phoenix, The Master
Denzel Washington, Flight

Will Win: Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
Could Win: Hugh Jackman, Les Miserables
Should Win: Hugh Jackman, Les Miserables

One of the “locks” of the night, Daniel Day-Lewis will win his third Oscar this year.  But hey, the roster is a good bunch.  I’d be happy too see any of them win, any but Cooper.

Best Actress
Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty
Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook
Emmanuelle Riva, Amour
Naomi Watts, The Impossible
Quvenzhané Wallis, Beasts of the Southern Wild

Will Win: Emmanuelle Riva, Amour
Could Win: Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook
Should Win: Emmanuelle Riva, Amour

It was fun to see how this race shaped up.  At first it was Lawrence.  Then came Chastain.  Now Riva.  I love Riva.  I loved her in the film.  She is my favorite of the five and I want her to win, so I am going for an upset, but welcome suprise win for her.

Best Supporting Actor
Alan Arkin, Argo
Robert De Niro, Silver Linings Playbook
Philip Seymour Hoffman, The Master
Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln
Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained

Will Win: Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln
Could Win: Robert De Niro, Silver Linings Playbook
Should Win: Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln

Tough one.  Hmm.  I am thinking Jones will win because of the support for the film.  Waltz can win this too, but he just won plus it was arguably a lead performance.  But de Niro also has that veteran and overdue thing going on like Jones.

Best Supporting Actress
Amy Adams, The Master
Sally Field, Lincoln
Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables
Helen Hunt, The Sessions
Jackie Weaver, Silver Linings Playbook

Will Win: Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables
Could Win: Sally Field, Lincoln
Should Win: Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables

Easy pick.  Anne Hathaway is going to win this.

Best Adapted Screenplay
Argo, by Chris Terrio
Beasts of the Southern Wild, by Lucy Alibar & Benh Zeitlin
Life of Pi, by David Magee
Lincoln, by Tony Kushner
Silver Linings Playbook, by David O. Russell

Will Win: Argo
Could Win: Lincoln
Should Win: Life of Pi

Argo has the momentum here, precursors and all, but Lincoln got high praises for the screenplay as well.

Best Original Screenplay
Amour, by Michael Haneke
Django Unchained, by Quentin Tarantino
Flight, by John Gatins
Moonrise Kingdom, by Wes Anderson & Roman Coppola
Zero Dark Thirty, by Mark Boal

Will Win: Amour
Could Win: Django Unchained
Should Win: Zero Dark Thirty

While I have problems with Amour to be totally original, but I think it was tightly and well written, I think that it is going to win ala Almodovar in 2002.  They are going to reward Haneke one way or another, and this is where I think he would win.  BUT, Boal and Tarantino also had critical and precursor backing as well.

Best Cinematography
Anna Karenina (Seamus McGarvey)
Django Unchained (Robert Richardson)
Life of Pi (Claudio Miranda)
Lincoln (Janusz Kaminski)
Skyfall (Roger Deakins)

Will Win: Life of Pi
Could Win: Lincoln
Should Win: Skyfall

Though it seems like a cheat if Miranda wins what with all the computer generated imageries in the film.  I hope Deakins wins this, because he was obviously in top form in Skyfall.

Best Editing
Argo (William Goldenberg)
Life of Pi (Tim Squyres)
Lincoln (Michael Kahn)
Silver Linings Playbook (Jay Cassidy & Crispin Struthers)
Zero Dark Thirty (Dylan Tichenor & William Goldenberg)

Will Win: Argo
Could Win: Zero Dark Thirty
Should Win: Zero Dark Thirty

Argo could land some technical wins here and there and I think it could snag this one as well.  Doesn’t mean that it does not deserve the award, it was brilliantly edited, just so happen that I think Zero Dark Thirty was tighter.

Best Production Design
Anna Karenina (Sarah Greenwood and Katie Spencer)
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Dan Hennah, Ra Vincent, and Simon Bright)
Life of Pi (David Gropman, Anna Pinnock)
Lincoln (Rick Carter, Jim Erickson, and Peter T. Frank)
Les Miserables (Eve Stewart)

Will Win: Les Miserables
Could Win: Life of Pi
Should Win: Anna Karenina

I think this is one of those categories that goes for the musicals, that’s why I think Les Miserables will win.  But then again, all those CGI gorgeousities of Life of Pie can win as well.  

Best Costume Design
Anna Karenina (Jacqueline Durran)
Lincoln (Joanna Johnston)
Mirror Mirror (Eiko Ishioka)
Les Miserables (Paco Delgado)
Snow White and the Huntsman (Colleen Atwood)

Will Win: Anna Karenina
Could Win: Snow White and the Huntsman
Should Win: Anna Karenina

I don’t want to predict her to win, but she really deserves this.  Durran should have won way back for Atonement.  Could Atwood upset again?

Best Makeup & Hairstyling
Hitchcock
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Les Miserables

Will Win: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Could Win: Les Miserables
Should Win: Les Miserables

The Hobbit baited in this category.

Best Score
Anna Karenina (Dario Marianelli)
Argo (Alexandre Desplat)
Life of Pi (Mychael Danna)
Lincoln (John Williams)
Skyfall (Thomas Newman)

Will Win: Life of Pi
Could Win: Lincoln
Should Win: Anna Karenina

Life of Pi seems to have the edge here, but I can see any of them winning.  Williams again perhaps?

Best Song
“Before My Time”, Chasing Ice
“Pi’s Lullaby”, Life of Pi
“Suddenly”, Les Miserables
“Skyfall”, Skyfall
“Everybody Needs a Best Friend”, Ted

Will Win: Skyfall
Could Win: Life of Pi
Should Win: Skyfall

Seems like a lock already.  Plus I want to see Adele win an Oscar.

Best Sound Mixing
Argo
Life of Pi
Lincoln
Les Miserables
Skyfall

Will Win: Les Miserables
Could Win: Argo
Should Win: Les Miserables

Musicals usually win in this category.  Im predicting Les Mis.

Best Sound Editing
Argo
Django Unchained
Life of Pi
Skyfall
Zero Dark Thirty

Will Win: Life of Pi
Could Win: Argo
Should Win: Life of Pi

Thinking about it, Life of Pi could really sweep the night and steal some wins from Argo.

Best Visual Effects
The Avengers
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Life of Pi
Prometheus
Snow White and the Huntsman

Will Win: Life of Pi
Could Win: The Avengers
Should Win: Life of Pi

I just could not see any other film winning this award.

Best Animated Feature
Brave
Frankenweenie
ParaNorman
The Pirates! Band of Misfits
Wreck-It Ralph

Will Win: Wreck-It Ralph
Could Win: Brave
Should Win: ParaNorman

After the Annie wins, Wreck it Ralph seems poised to win this award.  But can it pretty please be ParaNorman?

Best Foreign Language Film
Amour (Austria)
Kon-Tiki (Norway)
No (Chile)
A Royal Affair (Denmark)
War Witch (Canada)

Will Win: Amour
Could Win: War Witch
Should Win: No

One of my favorites of the year is in this category, but it is only wishful thinking that “No” will upset Amour.  Amour has this one already.

Best Documentary
5 Broken Cameras
The Gatekeepers
How to Survive a Plague
The Invisible War
Searching for Sugar Man

Will Win: Searching for Sugar Man
Could Win: How to Survive a Plague
Should Win: Missed Gatekeepers.  But rooting for How to Survive a plague

Sugar man is the frontrunner me thinks.

Best Documentary Short Subject
Inocente
Kings Point
Mondays at Racine
Open Heart
Redemption

Will Win: Inocente
Could Win: Mondays ar Racine

Best Animated Short Subject
Adam and Dog
Fresh Guacamole
Head Over Heels
Maggie Simpson in The Longest Daycare
Paperman

Will Win: Paperman
Could Win: Adam and Dog
Should Win: Maggie Simpson in the Longest Daycare

Paperman seems to be the obvious choice and a crowd pleaser.  But can the little Simpson upset?

Best Live-Action Short Subject
Asad
Buzkashi Boys
Curfew
Death of a Shadow
Henry

Will Win: Buzkashi Boys
Could Win: Asad