My Top 25 Films I’ve Seen

Well, I always talk about how this movie and that movie are ranked in my top films of all time, but I realized I never really had a list compiled of my favorite films. Well here it is! Starting with 25-21.

25. The Shining (1980) Dir. Stanley Kubrick- What can you really say about this film, aside from the fact that it is just an unbelievable Horror film? Jack Nicholson (who you will see again on this list) goes all out in this film about a family that spends most of the winter in a hotel by themselves in Colorado. What happens in this hotel during this time remains the most chilling parts in film for me.

24. Snatch (2000) Dir. Guy Ritchie- Brad Pitt shines as Mickey, the fast talking Gypsy bare-knuckle boxer that is one of the many good characters in this multi-layered plot. The final fight is something that is truly incredible.

23. The Master (2012) Dir. Paul Thomas Anderson- This was one of those movies that I watched and I resembled with a favorite author of mine, Thomas Pynchon. The plot of this movie is as mind-bending as Pynchon’s first novel, ‘V’ and that’s probably why I fell in love with it so quick.

22. Tombstone (1993) Dir. George P. Cosmatos- This is a film I give my dad credit for introducing me to. Val Kilmer, Sam Elliott, Bill Paxton, Kurt Russell are a part of this brilliant re-enactment of the shootout at the O.K. Corral. My all-time favorite western that I can basically recite word for word.

21. Lawrence of Arabia (1962) Dir. David Lean- This to me is the ‘Epic of all Epics’. After seeing this for the first time a couple of years back, I just was stunned by the beauty of this film. I feel Peter O’Toole got snubbed big time for his role as T.E. Lawrence. Watch it on Blu Ray and ask yourself…’How did they do this type of film back then?’

Could be someone’s missing, maybe. — Mulholland Drive

Who are the Best Character-Actors in Cinema?

Who are the Best Character-Actors in Cinema?

Calvin Johnson

What exactly is a character actor? How I define it is an actor or actress who plays a role that is quite unlike them, but yet they pull it off completely. There are a lot of them in cinema today, living or dead, but who rules my current Top 10 list?

10. Phillip Seymour Hoffman

Like others on this list, he has quite a diversity of characters in his pocket, none of them seeming alike at all. We saw him gain an Oscar for Capote in his portrayal as Truman Capote, a problematic doctor in Patch Adams, Doubt’s witty priest, and many others. Hoffman truly goes out of his element when it comes to his role of acting.

9. James Cromwell

L.A. Confidential, The Longest Yard, Babe, Salem’s Lot, The Queen. What do these films have in common? Nothing, and that’s what makes him unique. It may in a way seem like he is a similar character, but once you get into the body of his work, L.A. Confidential more notably, it’s amazing what happens to Cromwell.

8. Dennis Hopper

This late actor gave us some of the biggest thrills in cinema in the past 20 years, whether it be his psychopathic side in Blue Velvet, or the edge of your seat effect on us in Speed. Easy Rider showed all of us his different side in acting, and we all saw where exactly his career was going to take off until his untimely death. 

7. John Malkovich

I’ve always been a fan of Malkovich’s work. Dangerous Liasons, Burn After Reading, Con-Air, Shadow of the Vampire, and Being John Malkovich are some of the better films by him, and we see his diversity in his acting skills and how great this man is in film. For me, Burn After Reading gives me the approach of how he is really seen as a person, and sometimes that’s not always a bad thing, because it’s funny as hell.

6. Peter Lorre

This man’s talents are so stretched out, and it’s usually in the villain form. His ‘quiet villain’ approach in film is masterful, such as the roles in The Maltese Falcon and Casablanca. He provides the audience with the approach where we have no idea what he is thinking until the very last moment, and it’s hard to do that in film these days.

5. Steve Buscemi 

Easily one of the most unpredictable characters in cinema aside from DiCaprio’s numerous performances, Buscemi has the roll of the tough guy, as well as the ‘stupid guy everyone counts on’ approach to film. Fargo, Reservoir Dogs are two that really bring out the best in Buscemi’s work, and you see his personality come out of his performances.

4. Claude Rains

This classic actor plays the eccentric character in most of his movies, but to different styles. Casablanca may be one of the more notable performances, but one can’t count out Lawrence of Arabia and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. He has some of the most quotable lines in cinema, and his depth into his character is remarkable in the biggest way.

3. Christian Bale

Okay, so dick-headedness aside, this guy is a perfectionist, with hard-to-top talent. If you’ve caught his interviews, it’s clearly shown that he has the most deep English accent anyone has ever heard, but when he is on the screen, it’s almost impossible to top his creativity to character. American Psycho does this perfectly. This film has been in my top 10 of all time for who knows how long and for good reason. It’s hard NOT to praise his performances that resemble Daniel Day Lewis’ dedication. The Machinist, Rescue Dawn, Batman, Empire of the Sun, and The Fighter (Supporting Actor Oscar) are some of his notable performances in defining the character he has portrayed.

2. Gary Oldman

This was a toss up between him and Christian Bale for 2nd place on this list. Anyone who has seen Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy  or Sid and Nancy, MAYBE even Bram Stoker’s Dracula will agree that it’s one of those things where you go ‘How does he do it?’ He does play a fantastic Commissioner Gordon in the Batman (Nolan) films, but his other works have gone above and beyond compared to those. Even in video games, it’s amazing to hear his voice talents in the Call of Duty Franchise when you are trying to kill the next opponent in multiplayer.

1. Daniel Day-Lewis

This guy has had easily some of the most memorable performances, ranging from Gangs of New York, There Will Be Blood, My Left Foot, and coming out this year Lincoln. I can only imagine what his character as Abraham Lincoln will be like. What separates him from everyone else in this category is his ability to transform into the character so well. The movie that did this for me was There Will Be Blood, directed by Paul Thomas Anderson. His image easily portrayed what life was like in those times of oil-searching, hard labor, and hard-times for everyone. This pick was just too easy.

Here We Go: Oscars 2012

The Big day is finally here! We already saw HUGO take 2 awards thus far out of 2 total….what’s to come?!?! Enjoy the Oscars Everyone!

My Official Oscar Picks!

Well, as promised, I have my official picks for the Academy Awards this season, and here we go! This was one of the hardest years for some of the picks, but some of them seemed like a unanimous decision. 

Best Picture:

Nominees: The Artist, The Descendants, Extremely Loud Incredibly Close, War Horse, The Help, Moneyball, Tree of Life, Midnight in Paris, Hugo

Front Runners: The Artist, The Descendants, The Help

My Pick: The Artist

Reason: This was easily the hardest decision to make on the Oscars this year. The Descendants won at the Golden Globes, but if history proves anything, it’s that most of those winners do NOT win the Oscars. The Help was a fantastic movie and has won numerous, NUMEROUS awards and critical acclaim. For my reasoning for The Artist, though. It captured my attention due to it’s classic feel, and it’s the most feel-good movie of the year in my eyes. One of the most accomplished films to date.

Best Director:

Nominees:Martin Scorsese, Michael Hazanavicius, Alexander Payne, Woody Allen, Terrence Malick

My Pick: Martin Scorsese, Hugo

Reason: This was another tough one, due to the fact that normally a best director will go on to win best picture as well. Hugo won’t win best picture, but will come away with another fantastic award by Acclaimed Director Martin Scorsese. Hazanavicius did well with the Artist, but I just don’t think it’s enough to trump the beauty of what Scorsese did to Hugo.

Best Actor:

Nominees: Jean Dujardin, George Clooney, Demian Bichir, Gary Oldman, Brad Pitt

My Pick: George Clooney, The Descendants

Reason: Clooney is legendary already for his acclaimed movies. I don’t see anyone remotely close to him aside from Dujardin, whose witty smile in The Artist could be a potential upsetter.

Best Actress:

Nominees: Glenn Close, Rooney Mara, Viola Davis, Meryl Streep, Michelle Williams

My Pick: Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady

Reason: She’s gone too long without an Oscar under her belt. She deserves this one. With much reason. Good historical account and portrayal of a complete B****.

Best Supporting Actor:

Nominees: Kenneth Branagh, Jonah Hill, Nick Nolte, Christopher Plummer, Max Von Sydow

My Pick: Christopher Plummer, Beginners

Reason: Like Meryl Streep, Plummer has been long overdue for one. Now is his time. Too easy to pass up to be honest.

Best Supporting Actress: 

Nominees: Octavia Spencer, Janet Mcteer, Berenice Bejo, Jessica Chastain, Melissa McCarthy

My Pick: Octavia Spencer, The Help

Reason: Octavia has won every supporting actress award this season it feels like, and rightfully so. The Only competitor that she is up against is Berenice Bejo in my eyes. Melissa McCarthy would be awesome though.

Here are the rest, or my ‘short picks’:

Animated Feature: Chico and Rita

Cinematography: The Artist

Art Direction: Hugo

Costume Design: The Artist

Documentary: Hell and Back Again

Documentary Short: The Barber of Birmingham

Film Editing: The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo

Foreign Language Film: A Separation

Makeup: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Pt. 2

Best Original Score: The Artist

Original Song: “Man or Muppet” The Muppets

Short Film: La Luna

Short Film (Live Action): Timefreak

Sound Editing: Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

Sound Mixing: Hugo

Visual Effects: Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Writing (Adapted Screenplay): Moneyball

Writing (Original Screenplay): Midnight in Paris - Woody Allen

Hope to see your guys picks! Be Sure to watch the Oscars Next weekend!!!!

Oscar Nomination Picks!

Be sure to check in one week before the Oscars to see my personal picks for everything (not just the major awards). Should be a great one, so stay tuned!

Biggest Oscar Snub of all time? (any category)

So, who or what do you think was rated as the biggest Oscar snub of all time?

My opinion is Saving Private Ryan. This movie had everything, and everyone in it. What really confused me was the fact that Tom Hanks usually wins SOMETHING when it comes to a big movie like this and he didn’t win either. Shakespeare in Love did. Not knocking that brilliant film in any way, but Saving Private Ryan should’ve won. Everything.

Oscar Nominations: Biggest Surprises/Snubs of 2012

Finally! The Nominations are out!!!! 

Needless to say, I’m a bit surprised by a lot of the nominations, in a good and bad way of course. There were the real predictable ones (The Artist, The Descendants), but there were some I was wondering….where the hell are they? How come certain people got nominated, some didn’t?!?! It didn’t make sense to me to see certain ones in the hunt and some not, and here are my big ones.

Ryan Gosling-Ides of March, Drive

Okay, so Ryan Gosling got the nod last year of ‘Blue Valentine’, one of the most depressing films i’ve seen in years (The Descendants may top that this year), but he was Hollywood’s big star for the whole year, and he didn’t get any nominations for his acclaimed roles in ‘The Ides of March’ or ‘Drive’. The Ides of March was a pivotal role with him, and quite out of his element. in ‘Drive’, one would argue that he didn’t say anything in the movie, so why nominate him? He had the Steve McQueen-esque vibe to him in that film that was hard to top, and no other actor could’ve played it better. Drive was Peter Travers’ best movie this year, over all the other nominees for best picture, and that film didn’t make the cut!

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo- Best Picture and Best Director Snub

Really upset with this. I did not like the fact that David Fincher didn’t get any recognition for one of the most critically acclaimed films of the year. I applaud Rooney Mara being nominated for best Actress in the company of Meryl Streep and Michelle Williams, but the movie itself is quite stunning. Fincher is long overdue for an Oscar.

Best Animated Film

I wasn’t impressed by this list, at all. Why in the hell did we put ‘Puss in Boots’, ‘Kung Fu Panda 2’, and ‘Rango’ on the list??? TinTin came out this year, and Hugo, is practically an animated film! I hope one of the foreign films takes this one, because none of the others really deserve it. Poor nominations on their part.

Best Picture

'Hugo', 'Extremely Loud, Incredibly Close', 'Midnight in Paris', 'War Horse', 'The Descendants', 'Moneyball', 'The Artist', 'The Tree of Life', and 'The Help' were the big nominees this year. 'Big' is an overstatement. Hate me if you must, but in my personal opinion, none of these seem like they could outdo what 'The Kings Speech', 'The Hurt Locker', 'Slumdog Millionaire', or 'No Country Old Men' did. Those movies made quite an impact on cinema, and they were quite groundbreaking. Even if they replaced any of the nominees in this list, I don't think anything from this year was 'forever memorable' type of film. I have no clue who I would pick for a front-runner (The Descendants won the Golden Globe, but given the past couple of years, that changes at the Oscars). I'm not upset, because I can't wait for Feb. 26th's big winner, but i'm kinda wondering if next year will have that 'Big Film'. The Hobbit?

The Artist (2011), bringing the silent film back to Hollywood in a BIG way. In Theaters now!

The Artist (2011), bringing the silent film back to Hollywood in a BIG way. In Theaters now!

Rise of the Planet of the Apes: a Visual Journey

Caesar/ played by Andy Serkis

 I have been quite 50/50 on whether to see this Rise of the Planet of the Apes, but when I finally picked it up and turned it on, it turned into a fast-paced journey that you want to see again after it’s ended. Powered by the terrific voice-acting of Andy Serkis (Gollum, Lord of the Rings), this movie sets the bar for visual action.

The story centers around Will Rodman, played by James Franco, where he tries to find a cure for a disease, and tests it on chimpanzee’s. What ensues is an act of selfishness, ignorance and most notably, compassion. What comes of the character of Caesar in the movie is a terrific tale of growing up in a world where you know you aren’t the same as everyone else. If Serkis doesn’t get nominated, or at least get hinted that he may be nominated for an Oscar, we may have problems.

I suggest all of you go out to rent or buy this movie because it’s one you will want to watch over and over again, because Tim Burton’s Adaptation just didn’t do it. For anyone.

My Rating: 9.5/10