Movie Commentary: Award-Nominated Films 2016

The 85th Academy Awards® will air live on Oscar® Sunday, February 24, 2013.
Photo: Disney

I’m currently on Oscar watch, actively viewing the movies up for awards at the 2016 Golden Globes, SAG Awards, and potentially, the Academy Awards. Below are my thoughts on the films I’ve finished thus far. For purposes of not repeating myself in each section, please note that I found all of the movies below just okay or worse, except the last 4 films in this post.

WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD.

BROOKLYN
While this film is also a potential Best Picture nominee, mainly it’s been garnering Best Actress buzz for its star, Saoirse Ronan (Atonement). I was also interested in watching it when I heard the screenwriter is Nick Hornby, who also wrote one of my favorite books, A Long Way Down.

Brooklyn isn’t my favorite, but it’s a sweet film. Centered on an Irish immigrant choosing between her homeland and America, the movie broke box office records in Ireland. If nothing else, it’s already a success in that it has most likely paved the way for more Irish films in Hollywood.

I also have to talk about Ronan’s co-stars. Ronan’s love interest was so charismatic the moment he appeared on screen that I Googled him and was surprised to find out that he was the same actor who played Bradley Cooper’s son in the critically acclaimed The Place Beyond the Pines.

emory-cohen-saoirse-ronan-brooklyn-680
Emory Cohen and Saoirse Ronan, stars of ‘Brooklyn’ | Photo: Indiewire

The actor, Emory Cohen, looked so different in both films that not only is he emotionally transformative as an actor, but physically transformative as well, which makes him a casting director’s dream. I wouldn’t be surprised if Cohen was nominated for his own Oscar in the future.

 

Ronan’s other love interest in the film is played by Domhnall Gleeson (Harry Potter, Ex Machina), who is also on his acting game. With the both of them, Brooklyn continues the trend of having two equally good love interests for its central character. Neither of them is the bad guy, which just makes for more interesting storytelling.

Even though I was looking to watch the movie for the aforementioned reasons, I was most excited when I saw Emily Bett Rickards on screen in a small role; I let out a small shriek of glee as I’m a fan of hers from the television show, Arrow. She’s just another reason for you to watch Brooklyn, if you’re a Rickards fan like me.

With the two great love interests and countries of choice for its lead character, it looked like it would be hard for the story to stick the landing. However, to me, the ending was satisfying.

JOY
Joy is a contender this awards season for Best Actress nominations for its star, Jennifer Lawrence (The Hunger Games). In this film, Lawrence didn’t particularly shine for me, but I’m a fan and she’s a talented actress and worthy of an Oscar nomination.

ROOM
Based on Emma Donoghue’s best-selling novel about a mother and son stuck inside a room, the film adaptation is a potential Best Picture nominee and has a potential Best Supporting Actor nominee via Jacob Tremblay as the son and a practical shoo-in for a Best Actress nod with Brie Larson as the mom.

Again, I wasn’t wowed by the lead performance, but so far, my hope is that the Best Actress win goes to Larson.

Continue reading

TV Commentary: ‘Jessica Jones’

36190303jessicajones-1447896466558_540h
‘Jessica Jones’ | Photo: Assets1.ignimgs

Jessica Jones is the latest binge offering from Netflix and with any binge, you may be left feeling both empty/unsatisfied and full/satisfied, but with this show, it’s more of the latter, thankfully.

 

Jessica Jones is about a former superhero who, after a tragic life collision with a big bad, starts over as a private investigator. She has super strength and can fly, but not well, so basically, she jumps really high. (I, for one, am excited to see the future episode if and when and what propels her to fly.)

SPOILERS AHEAD.

Continue reading

Music Commentary: Justin Bieber’s ‘Purpose’

JustinBieberPurpose
Justin Bieber’s latest album, ‘Purpose’ | Photo: Hiphopdx.com

After listening to clips of all of Justin Bieber’s music on his new album, Purpose, I thought, “Justin Bieber’s all grown up.” That and “I’m so old.”

I remember hearing his first single, One Time, way back when and wondering who sang it. Until now, his performance of that song on The Ellen Show sticks out as a cute moment in his career. Mid-song, he grooves toward Ellen, who’s watching in the audience, and points to her as his girl. Too cute, right?

But back to Purpose — this album is still composed of pop songs, but more heavily on the dance side (which is similar to what Britney Spears did for her career with her In the Zone album).

The songs have a more mature tone; they’re obviously well-produced and lyrically, they’re slightly better. There are still simply worded lyrics, but they carry more pain and emotion.

Continue reading

TV Commentary: ‘Game of Thrones’ Season 5

Peter Dinklage for 'Game of Thrones' Season 5. Photo: The Sydney Morning Herald
Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) for ‘Game of Thrones’ Season 5. Photo: The Sydney Morning Herald

Season 5 was Game of Thrones‘ (GoT) worst one yet, ranked just above the second season. Both the second and fifth seasons were boring, but the latter was made worse by the fact that so many momentous storylines were supposed to happen this season, but were excruciatingly slow to unravel. SPOILERS AHEAD.

Continue reading

TV Commentary: ‘iZombie’ Season 1

Rose McIver as Liv Moore in 'iZombie.' Photo: Seriable
Rose McIver as Liv Moore in ‘iZombie.’ Photo: Seriable

As a mediocre show, I would consider iZombie the walking dead. The show recently concluded its first season and from what I’ve seen, I don’t think I’ll be tuning in for its second.

In a drastic turn of events, medical resident, Liv Moore (Rose McIver from The Lovely Bones), turns into a zombie and suddenly has cravings for brains. Working in the morgue, she eats the brains of the dead and with that, comes the memories and personalities of the deceased. She uses that to help the police solve cases on a weekly basis. The episodes are okay, nothing cringe-worthy, but definitely nothing great.

SPOILERS AHEAD. Continue reading

My Pitch for ‘Mission: Impossible V’

Tom Cruise, star of the
Tom Cruise, star of the “Mission Impossible” franchise. Photo: Kai Space

I started out the other night watching Hot Tub Time Machine, but the first scene grossed me out. Spoiler alert: One of the main characters works at a pet grooming place, and he checks out a dog’s butt. He pulls out the feces and tosses it at the client who catches it with his hand. HE HAS HIS DOG’S POO IN HIS HANDS — IN THE FIRST SCENE. Anyway, I debated for a bit if I’d continue watching the film right then and there, or watch something else. I decided re-watching Mission: Impossible III (M:I III) was better use of my time. It’s the best one in the franchise yet. So, within the first few minutes of re-watching its first scene, 1) my mind was blown and 2) I developed an idea for Mission: Impossible V. SPOILERS AHEAD! Continue reading