16th Mar2015

The Entertainment Website Readers Choice Best in Film

by timbaros

images-346Voting in The Entertainment Website Readers Choice Best in Film ended last week and the readers have spoken. You’ve chosen American Sniper as the Best Film last year. It easily won this category, taking 33% of the vote. Boyhood, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Imitation Game and Whiplash all tied for second.

images-311Eddie Redmayne was the overwhelming choice for Best Actor – taking 50% of the vote in this category – for his performance in The Theory of Everything (which recently won him an Oscar). Ben Affleck for Gone Girl and Jack O’Connell for ’71 (surprisingly) were next.

images-347Rosamund Pike was chosen as your favorite performance by an Actress. The Gone Girl star was the overwhelming favorite in this category. Julianne Moore for Still Alice and Reese Witherspoon for Wild were behind Pike’s win.

JK Simmons took 75% of the best performance by a Supporting Actor vote – the highest percentage of all the winners – for his role in Whiplash. Ethan Hawke was far behind for second place.

There was a three-way tie for Supporting Actress. Recent Oscar winner for Boyhood Patricia Arquette tied with Keira Knightley for The Imitation Game and Emma Stone for Birdman.

Your choice for Best Director was NOT recent Oscar winner Alejandro Gonzales Inarritu for Birdman, nor was it critic’s darling Richard Linklater for Boyhood, it was Clint Eastwood for American Sniper. The 84 year-old Eastwood proves that age doesn’t matter and that he’s still on top of his game.

The Lego Movie was chosen as your favorite Animated film.

Thanks to you, the readers, for taking the time to vote. We can’t wait to see your choices next year!

18th Jan2015

American Sniper – Film

by timbaros

Add American Sniper to the list of very good Clint Eastwood movies.

While it’s not his best film ever (see Unforgiven and J. Edgar) nor his worst film (see the recently poorly received Jersey Boys), it’s a loyal and factual re-telling of the true story of Chris Kyle, a member of the elite Nave SEALS. He was the most lethal sniper in the history of the U.S. Military, having 160 confirmed kills. He was also a husband and the father of two children, but being the best sniper and serving his country were the most important things in his life.

Kyle (played valiantly by Bradley Cooper) in the beginning of the film is a ranch hand in Texas. His life doesn’t amount to much, especially after her finds his girlfriend in bed with another man. But after getting his arm injured, he decides to join the navy. His commitment for his countries becomes imbedded in him after the catastrophic events of 9/11. After months of gruelling training, him and his team are sent to Iraq to fight the enemy. And they are tasked with some of the most dangerous missions in the military. This includes heading directly into enemy territory and looking for a man called Shiekh Al-Obodi (Navid Negahban), one of the leaders of the Taliban.

Kyle serves four tours, in between each one going home to be with his family but getting the pull to serve again. He’s urged against it by his pretty wife Tanya (an amazing Sienna Miller). Even the birth of his two children doesn’t keep him home. He continues increasing his sniper kill tally, which includes women and children who threaten to kill U.S. soldiers. Kyle is also determined to kill
a man called Mustafa (played by Sammy Shiek). Mustafa is a Syrian shooter who had competed for his country in the Olympics. He’s also killing the insurgents (the Americans on the ground). Kyle is determined to kill him as he has killed one of his fellow soldiers. The film then becomes a cat and mouse story to dramatic effect, where Mustafa aims to shoot the soldiers but Kyle aims to shoot him. It all culminates in an amazing shootout between the U.S. soldiers trapped on a rooftop in Sadr City while the enemy comes in from all sides, all in the midst of a massive sandstorm. It’s one of Eastwood’s best film sequences I’ve ever seen.

However, American Sniper doesn’t end there. Kyle, after getting shot in the massive shootout, returns home, but has a hard time rejoining society, and his wife has a hard time getting connected with him. He’s a changed man, but seems to slightly recover after he starts helping soldiers at a local veterans hospital and also helps to train them on weapons and combat tactics to lift their spirits. American Sniper would’ve had a better impact if the film ended after the shootout in Sadr City. This last bit of the film seems to be tacked on to tell the rest of Kyle’s story.

Cooper excellently plays Kyle though he’s a bit too old to be playing Kyle in his younger years. It’s a performance that has just won him an Academy Award nomination for the Best Actor Oscar. Miller is also excellent as Tanya – it’s the best performance of her career. And while American Sniper looks and feels like a good film, it’s the last ten minutes that don’t need to be there. American Sniper is adapted by the book of the same name by Kyle by actor turned-screenwriter Jason Dean Hall. Kyle was shot and killed in Texas in 2013 by a 25-year old Marine Corps Veteran, a veteran he was trying to help.

15th Jan2015

Oscar Nominations Announced – Film

by timbaros

Oscars-560x315LOS ANGELES, CA — Directors Alfonso Cuarón and J.J. Abrams, actor Chris Pine and Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs announced the nominations for the 87th Academy Awards® today (January 15). For the first time, nominees in all 24 categories were announced live.

“Birdman” and “The Grand Budapest Hotel” led nominations for the 87th Academy Awards, each earning nine nominations to top all films.

“Birdman,” subtitled “The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance” stars Michael Keaton as a former superhero actor trying to revive his career and his life by mounting a Broadway play.

It earned nominations for best picture, best actor for Keaton, director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, supporting actor (Edward Norton), supporting actress (Emma Stone), original screenplay and cinematography, as well as some technical nods.

Others receiving nominations for best picture are “American Sniper,” “Boyhood,” “The Imitation Game,” “The Theory of Everything,” “Selma,” “The Grand Budapest Hotel” and “Whiplash.”

“The Grand Budapest Hotel,” about the denizens of a European hotel in the years between the world wars, has just won best comedy/musical at the Golden Globes (defeating “Birdman,” among others). The film was nominated for best picture and director (Wes Anderson), along with original screenplay, cinematography, score and a host of other awards.

“The Imitation Game” received eight nominations. The drama stars Benedict Cumberbatch as British mathematician Alan Turing, who helped break the Germans’ Enigma coding machine in World War II and was a pioneer of computer science.

Cumberbatch earned a best actor nomination to go along with the film’s nods for picture, director (Morten Tyldum) and supporting actress (Keira Knightley).

“Boyhood,” which won the Golden Globe for best drama, also performed well, earning six nods. Director Richard Linklater picked up a nomination, as did supporting performers Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette. The movie follows the maturation of a child over 12 years and was filmed for a week or two each year so that audiences could see the actors age in real time.

There were no major surprises in the big categories, though Mr. Turner was shout out of the major awards, and Selma only picked up a Best Picture nomination. Meryl Streep, as expected, picked up a Best Supporting Actress nomination for Into the Woods – her 19th nomination.

The 87th Academy Awards will take place Sunday, February 22, at Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre. Neil Patrick Harris will host. The show airs on ABC.

Best Picture
American Sniper
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
The Theory of Everything
Best Actor
Steve Carell, Foxcatcher
Bradley Cooper, American Sniper
Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game
Michael Keaton, Birdman
Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything
Best Actress
Marion Cotillard, Two Days, One Night
Felicity Jones, The Theory of Everything
Julianne Moore, Still Alice
Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl
Reese Witherspoon, Wild
Best Supporting Actor
Robert Duvall, The Judge
Ethan Hawke, Boyhood
Edward Norton, Birdman
Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher
JK Simmons, Whiplash
Best Supporting Actress
Patricia Arquette, Boyhood
Laura Dern, Wild
Keira Knightley, The Imitation Game
Emma Stone, Birdman
Meryl Streep, Into the Woods

Best Director
Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Birdman
Richard Linklater, Boyhood
Bennett Miller, Foxcatcher
Morten Tyldum, The Imitation Game
Best Adapted Screenplay
American Sniper, Jason Hall
The Imitation Game, Graham Moore
Inherent Vice, Paul Thomas Anderson
The Theory Of Everything, Anthony McCarten
Whiplash, Damien Chazelle
Best Original Screenplay
Birdman, Or (The Unexpected Virtue Of Ignorance), Alejandro G. Inarritu, Nicholas Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr., and Armando Bo
Boyhood, Richard Linklater
Foxcatcher, E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman
The Grand Budapest Hotel, Wes Anderson and Hugo Guinness
Nightcrawler, Dan Gilroy
Best Animated Feature
Big Hero 6
The Boxtrolls
How to Train Your Dragon 2
Song of the Sea
The Tale of the Princess Kaguya
Best Foreign Language Film
Wild Tales
Best Documentary Feature
Finding Vivian Maier
Last Days in Vietnam
The Salt of the Earth
Best Production Design
The Grand Budapest Hotel Adam Stockhausen (Production Design); Anna Pinnock (Set Decoration)
The Imitation Game Maria Djurkovic (Production Design); Tatiana Macdonald (Set Decoration)
Interstellar Nathan Crowley (Production Design); Gary Fettis (Set Decoration)
Into the Woods Dennis Gassner (Production Design); Anna Pinnock (Set Decoration)
Mr. Turner Suzie Davies (Production Design); Charlotte Watts (Set Decoration)
Best Cinematography
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Mr. Turner
Best Costume Design
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Inherent Vice
Into The Woods
Mr. Turner
Best Editing
American Sniper
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
Best Makeup And Hairstyling
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Guardians of the Galaxy
Best Score
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
Mr. Turner
The Theory of Everything
Best Original Song
“Everything is Awesome,” The LEGO Movie
“Glory,” Selma
“Grateful,” Beyond the Lights
“I’m Not Gonna Miss You,” Glen Campbell… I’ll Be Me
“Lost Stars,” Begin Again
Best Sound Editing
American Sniper Alan Robert Murray and Bub Asman
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) Martin Hernández and Aaron Glascock
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Brent Burge and Jason Canovas
Interstellar Richard King
Unbroken Becky Sullivan and Andrew DeCristofaro
Best Sound Mixing
American Sniper John Reitz, Gregg Rudloff and Walt Martin
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño and Thomas Varga
Interstellar Gary A. Rizzo, Gregg Landaker and Mark Weingarten
Unbroken Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño and David Lee
Whiplash Craig Mann, Ben Wilkins and Thomas Curley
Best Visual Effects
Captain America: The Winter Soldier Dan DeLeeuw, Russell Earl, Bryan Grill and Dan Sudick
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, Daniel Barrett and Erik Winquist
Guardians of the Galaxy Stephane Ceretti, Nicolas Aithadi, Jonathan Fawkner and Paul Corbould
Interstellar Paul Franklin, Andrew Lockley, Ian Hunter and Scott Fisher
X-Men: Days of Future Past Richard Stammers, Lou Pecora, Tim Crosbie and Cameron Waldbauer
Best Animated Short
The Bigger Picture Daisy Jacobs and Christopher Hees
The Dam Keeper Robert Kondo and Dice Tsutsumi
Feast Patrick Osborne and Kristina Reed
Me and My Moulton Torill Kove
A Single Life Joris Oprins
Best Documentary Short
Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1 Ellen Goosenberg Kent and Dana Perry
Joanna Aneta Kopacz
Our Curse Tomasz Śliwiński and Maciej Ślesicki
The Reaper (La Parka) Gabriel Serra Arguello
White Earth J. Christian Jensen
Best Live Action Short
Aya Oded Binnun and Mihal Brezis
Boogaloo and Graham Michael Lennox and Ronan Blaney
Butter Lamp (La Lampe au Beurre de Yak) Hu Wei and Julien Féret
Parvaneh Talkhon Hamzavi and Stefan Eichenberger
The Phone Call Mat Kirkby and James Lucas