Movies: The Top 10...

Right around 20:00 Goyer discusses an aspect of Man of Steel and what it means moving forward with the character.

"I am tired of Earth.  These people.  I am tired of being caught in the tangle of their lives."
-Dr Manhattan 

"I am tired of Earth.  These people.  I am tired of being caught in the tangle of their lives."

-Dr Manhattan 

(Source: michael-percy, via stargazermagazine)

Captain America: The Winter Soldier; Marvel’s feeble attempt at a political thriller

Captain America: The Winter Soldier takes place in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe sometime after the events of The Avengers.  At the onset of the film Steve Rogers, AKA Captain America, is still in the process of reintegrating into modern society.  He is being helped along in the process by the government agency SHIELD who uses the super solder for what he was made to do: go on impossibly difficult missions.  But, this is SHIELD and it seems like every character in the Avengers at one point or another has called their methods into question.  And in Captain America: The Winter Soldier the situation is no different.  From the first assignment of the film, Rogers calls SHIELD’s tactics into question and this leads into the political story-line of who is really in charge of SHIELD and it’s not SHIELD director Nick Fury.  While this is going on there are a series of attacks orchestrated to remove or incapacitate certain members of SHIELD carried out by a mercenary called ‘Winter Soldier’.

The film is successful early on in its unique action sequences showing why Cap is a super soldier.  But, soon enough the action scenes regressed into fast-paced, over-edited, incomprehensible sequences.   Between the action scenes Directors Anthony and Joe Russo attempt to build suspense via the mystery investigated by Cap and Black Widow of who is controlling SHIELD and why.  In this attempt the film falls flat.  Every twist and turn is so obvious that every blundered reveal has no impact.  This is especially obvious in the final action sequence where the heroes are set on a task with a literal timer and the audience is supposed to believe that there might be a chance that they don’t succeed. 

The film introduces a handful of new characters including Winter Soldier, Alexander Pierce, Agent 13, and Falcon.  Writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely underutilized the film’s central villain Winter Soldier.  He only has about 3 lines of dialog throughout the film, but is outstanding in action sequences.  The character could have been much more developed and interesting than the boring puppet he ended up being.  Pierce is a fairly effective character, but Robert Redford would probably be effective in any role at this stage of his career.  What the point of Agent 13?  She was a completely useless character which is unfortunate.  Falcon was also interesting, but underdeveloped.  Throughout the film his single purpose is to go along with whatever Captain America wants to do.  Aside from Redford the cast, not surprisingly, delivers fairly mediocre performances.

With Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Marvel delivers another uninspired, average film.  The only memorable moments of the film are a pair of action sequences early on and a couple of references to other superheroes (Iron Man, The Hulk and Doctor Strange) and a brilliant, but easily overlooked nod to Pulp Fiction.  This film puts Marvel Studios at 2 successful films (Iron Man and The Avengers) out of 9 releases.  Hopefully the studio’s next two releases, Guardians of the Galaxy and The Avengers 2, will help out that average, but it doesn’t seem likely.

Overall: 5/10

Just Because. 

(and I don’t know why, but her hair is my new favorite style.)

(Source: northfalls, via northfalls)

This film would look interesting if the entire premise wasn’t based on a misconception. Most people believe that we only use 10% of our brain’s capacity, this is incorrect. This misconception is based on a century old quote stating that, at that time, they only knew what 10% of the brain was used for and somehow that was reinterpreted as we only use 10% of our brain. Please stop perpetuating this myth.

The Possible Brilliance of the HIMYM Finale

**SPOILERS FOR HIMYM**

For 9 years I watched Ted, Marshall, Lily, Robin and Barney and I will admit it, the only ending that I could imagine for ‘How I met your mother’ was Ted sitting in front of his kids saying the lines, “And that kids is the true story of how I met your mother.”  And for a moment I had the ending that I wanted.  Just cut to black.

But the show wasn’t over.

And you know the ending.  

I was torn.  The ending that I always wanted was taken away from me and those last two minutes undermined the entire ninth season.  Cut them off and I would have been just fine with how the show ended.  

I couldn’t get it out of my head.  Ted ends up with Robin?  It just didn’t feel right.  Why would they do this?  As a fan of the show I was disappointed, the show didn’t give me the ending that I had always wanted.

But, then I thought about the show as a writer and it hit me.  I realized why the show ended in the way that it did.

As a longtime fan of the show you know what Ted’s favorite book is, right?  The book that he’s reading on the train platform the night he met the mother, the book he’s reading when she’s in the hospital.

Love in the Time of Cholera.

(spoilers from the book to follow)

Haven’t read it, well here’s the synopsis from wikipedia:  

(But honestly, you should read it, it’s an excellent book.)

The main characters of the novel are Florentino Ariza and Fermina Daza. Both Florentino and Fermina fell in love with each other in their youth. A secret relationship blossomed between the two with the help of Fermina’s Aunt Escolástica. They exchanged several love letters. However, once her father, Lorenzo Daza, finds out about the two, he forced his daughter to stop seeing him immediately. When she refuses, he and his daughter move in with his deceased wife’s family in another city. Regardless of the distance, the two continue to communicate via telegraph. However, upon her return, she suddenly loses interest in Florentino. Dr. Juvenal Urbino meets Fermina and begins to court her. With her father’s persuasion and the security and wealth marrying Urbino offered, they wed. Urbino is a medical doctor devoted to science, modernity, and “order and progress”. He is committed to the eradication of cholera and to the promotion of public works. He is a rational man whose life is organized precisely and who greatly values his importance and reputation in society. He is a herald of progress and modernization. Even after their engagement and marriage, Florentino swore to stay faithful and wait for Fermina. However, his promiscuity got the better of him. Even with all the women he was with, he made sure that Fermina would never find out. In their elderly age, Urbino attempts to get his pet parrot out of his mango tree, only to fall off the ladder he was standing on and die. After the funeral, Florentino re-proclaims his love for Fermina and how he has stayed faithful to her. Hesitant at first because of the advancements he made to a newly-made widow, Fermina eventually remembers her love for him.

The two main characters fall in love at an early age, but then she falls out of love with him.  She ends up marrying a wealthy man.  He ends up sleeping around.  In the end, against all odds they end up with one another later in life.  Sound familiar?  Like how Ted and Robin were together when they were young before Robin broke up with Ted.  Robin goes on to marry Barney, who is wealthy.  Ted sleeps around (I know, he meets the perfect woman and has two kids, just, ok?  Damn, be cool.)  Then, against all odds Ted and Robin end up together later in life. 

Do you remember the title of the last episode?

Last Forever. 

Here’s a fun fact: the last lines of Love in the Time of Cholera is,  ” ‘And how long do you think we can keep up this goddamn coming and going?’ he asked.  Florentino Ariza had kept his answer ready for fifty-three years, seven months, and eleven days and nights.  ‘Forever,’ he said.”

Last Forever.

But what does this all mean?

I choose to interpret the end of ‘How I met your mother’ as creators/show runners Carter Bays and Craig Thomas’ contemporary retelling of Love in the Time of Cholera.  And if it is?  If they were able to construct the entire show around the book and have the answer hidden in plain sight the entire time, that would be legen - wait for it - dary.

2013 Oscar Scorecard

Here are my predictions for this years Oscars. Only two wrong, putting me at 89% this year.  Lifetime: 55/75 (73%).

Best Motion Picture of the Year

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

Actor in a Leading Role

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

Actress in a Leading Role

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

Actor in A Supporting Role

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

Actress in a Supporting Role

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

Animated Feature Film

(I didn’t see any of the films nominated in this category.)

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

Cinematography

  • Gravity
  • Inside Llewyn Davis
  • Prisoners
  • The Grandmaster
  • Nebraska

Costume Design

  • 12 Years a Slave
  • American Hustle
  • The Grandmaster
  • The Great Gatsby
  • The Invisible Woman

Directing

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

Documentary Feature

(I didn’t see any of the films nominated in this category.)

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

Film Editing

  • Gravity
  • 12 Years a Slave
  • American Hustle
  • Captain Phillips
  • Dallas Buyers Club

Foreign Language Film

(I only saw two of the films nominated in this category.)

  • The Broken Circle Breakdown
  • The Hunt
  • The Great Beauty
  • The Missing Picture
  • Omar

Makeup and Hairstyling

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

Original Score

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

Original Song

  • "The Moon Song" by Karen O; Lyric by Karen O and Spike Jonze
  • "Let it Go" by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez
  • "Ordinary Love" by Paul Hewson, Dave Evans, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen; Lyric by Paul Hewson
  • "Happy" by Pharrell Williams

Production Design

  • 12 Years a Slave
  • Gravity
  • American Hustle
  • Her
  • The Great Gatsby

Sound Editing

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

Sound Mixing

  • Gravity - Skip Lievsay, Niv Adiri, Christopher Benstead and Chris Munro
  • Inside Llewyn Davis - Skip Lievsay, Greg Orloff and Peter F. Kurland
  • Captain Phillips - Chris Burdon, Mark Taylor, Mike Prestwood Smith and Chris Munro
  • The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - Christopher Boyes, Michael Hedges, Michael Semanick and Tony Johnson
  • Lone Survivor - Andy Koyama, Beau Borders and David Brownlow

Visual Effects

  • Gravity - Tim Webber, Chris Lawrence, Dave Shirk and Neil Corbould
  • The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton and Eric Reynolds
  • Iron Man 3 - Christopher Townsend, Guy Williams, Erik Nash and Dan Sudick
  • The Lone Ranger - Tim Alexander, Gary Brozenich, Edson Williams and John Frazier
  • Star Trek Into Darkness - Roger Guyett, Patrick Tubach, Ben Grossmann and Burt Dalton

Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published

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

Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen

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

2013 Oscar Predictions

Here are my predictions for this years Oscars. Nominees listed in order of best to worst, predicted winner in bold

Best Motion Picture of the Year

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

Actor in a Leading Role

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

Actress in a Leading Role

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

Actor in A Supporting Role

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

Actress in a Supporting Role

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

Animated Feature Film

(I didn’t see any of the films nominated in this category.)

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

Cinematography

  • Gravity
  • Inside Llewyn Davis
  • Prisoners
  • The Grandmaster
  • Nebraska

Costume Design

  • 12 Years a Slave
  • American Hustle
  • The Grandmaster
  • The Great Gatsby
  • The Invisible Woman

Directing

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

Documentary Feature

(I didn’t see any of the films nominated in this category.)

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

Film Editing

  • Gravity
  • 12 Years a Slave
  • American Hustle
  • Captain Phillips
  • Dallas Buyers Club

Foreign Language Film

(I only saw two of the films nominated in this category.)

  • The Broken Circle Breakdown
  • The Hunt
  • The Great Beauty
  • The Missing Picture
  • Omar

Makeup and Hairstyling

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

Original Score

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

Original Song

  • "The Moon Song" by Karen O; Lyric by Karen O and Spike Jonze
  • "Let it Go" by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez
  • "Ordinary Love" by Paul Hewson, Dave Evans, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen; Lyric by Paul Hewson
  • "Happy" by Pharrell Williams

Production Design

  • 12 Years a Slave
  • Gravity
  • American Hustle
  • Her
  • The Great Gatsby

Sound Editing

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

Sound Mixing

  • Gravity - Skip Lievsay, Niv Adiri, Christopher Benstead and Chris Munro
  • Inside Llewyn Davis - Skip Lievsay, Greg Orloff and Peter F. Kurland
  • Captain Phillips - Chris Burdon, Mark Taylor, Mike Prestwood Smith and Chris Munro
  • The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - Christopher Boyes, Michael Hedges, Michael Semanick and Tony Johnson
  • Lone Survivor - Andy Koyama, Beau Borders and David Brownlow

Visual Effects

  • Gravity - Tim Webber, Chris Lawrence, Dave Shirk and Neil Corbould
  • The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton and Eric Reynolds
  • Iron Man 3 - Christopher Townsend, Guy Williams, Erik Nash and Dan Sudick
  • The Lone Ranger - Tim Alexander, Gary Brozenich, Edson Williams and John Frazier
  • Star Trek Into Darkness - Roger Guyett, Patrick Tubach, Ben Grossmann and Burt Dalton

Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published

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

Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen

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