Feb 22, 2013

Franky's Oscar Picks Part II - 2013 Edition


By Guest Blogger Franky C. Cabrera

Best Visual Effects:

  • The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
  • Life of Pi
  • Marvel’s The Avengers
  • Prometheus
  • Snow White and the Huntsman

I swear I couldn’t be more torn here. On one end, Life of Pi demonstrates precisely what big budgeted visual effects can accomplish for storytelling through artistic means. Like Hugo last year, it’s part of an emerging sub-genre of 3D films that exhibit a sense of careful artistry in its 3D implementation. Renown and veteran directors challenging themselves with a 3D feature is probably the most exciting thing to come out of Hollywood in a while (here’s to hoping Danny Boyle or Aronofsky tackle it next…). Now with that being said, does this render classic Hollywood blockbusting features and the extravagant big budgeted chaos, completely obsolete and unworthy of enjoyment for us film buffs? The Avenger’s says NO. NOT AT ALL. As a matter of fact, bring on those beautifully rendered explosions and the best looking green super hero monster half a million can buy! I frankly, can’t get enough of it. I’d argue that the craftsmanship of some of those impeccably designed battle sequences possess the same, if not JUST as much artistic merit to them. The special effects were impossibly good, to the point that I couldn’t believe what was besetting my eyes as I sat in the theater with tears streaming down my face because all those fight sequences I realized with action figures when I was a kid were now happening in real time right in front of me. And it’s all mostly thanks to the visual effects crew. I was prepared to call one film “spellbinding” and the other “marvelous” when I started writing this and now I can’t really tell which adjective I originally intended to describe which. Both are Visual Effects masterpieces and compelling arguments for the continued expenditure of masses of money that could be spent feeding 3rd world countries.

Who I would give the Award to: The Avengers, no, Life of Pi, no no The Avengers, oh wait definitely Life of Pi, ok ok The Life of Avengers Pi. There.

Feb 19, 2013

Franky's Oscar Picks Part I - 2013 Edition


Best Supporting Actor:
  • Alan Arkin – Argo
  • Robert Deniro – Silver Lining’s Playbook
  • Phillip Seymour Hoffman – The Master
  • Tommy Lee Jones – Lincoln
  • Cristoph Waltz – Django: Unchained

Something notable about this year’s crop of Supporting Actor nominees is that all of these fine blokes (been watching Hugh Jackman interviews all day, sorry) have actually WON Acting Oscar’s before. Can’t say I remember the last time I heard about a category entirely dominated with “veterans” so to speak, but you can just imagine the kind of talent competing for this award this year, if you haven’t already done yourself the favor of watching these films. I absolutely loved all of these performances but if you pointed a gun at my head and made me choose one (you sadist) I think I’d have to go with Robert DeNiro in SLP (pompously abbreviate movie titles: check). The last time Robert DeNiro acted this good everyone was playing a Super Nintendo and gas prices were cheaper than Jr Bacon Cheeseburgers, and I for one welcome his return to legitimacy as a dramatic actor with open arms. But truthfully, I’d be fine with anybody else winning EXCEPT Alan Arkin in Argo. Although it was a stand out performance that provided the much needed comedic relief for the film, it isn’t anywhere near the caliber of the other nominees. It’s like the Ringo Starr of the group here. Your solo album was great man… but you’re just not one of the other guys. - Who I’d give the Award to: Robert DeNiro - 

 Best Supporting Actress:
  • Amy Adams – The Master
  • Sally Field – Lincoln
  • Anne Hathaway – Les Misérables
  • Helen Hunt – The Sessions
  • Jackie Weaver – Siler Lining’s Playbook

As most of the entertainment news media (and female friends) will assure you, Anne Hathaway’s performance in Les Misérables is *gasp* AMAZING! Like, the best performance of all time! Just give her the Oscar already!.... And I guess I could somewhat agree that she deserves to take the gold statue home on Oscar night (despite dreading the thought of having to hear another one of her unbearable overly perky speeches again)… but quite frankly, her performance, like that guy with perfect personality and great career you won’t marry, is just TOO SHORT. It’s undeniably one of the best onscreen, no-holds-barred, completely-going-bananas-and-losing-it meltdowns in acting history… but it all transpires so fast and it’s over all too soon. Plus it’s very ‘SHOWY’. I’ve always been a sucker for subtler performances. Jackie Weaver’s for example. As much as I hate looking like the biggest SLP fanboy ever (which I assure you, I’m not) by picking two performances from the same film back to back, I just can’t’ deny the level of satisfaction Jackie Weaver’s role brought me. Playing the compassionate, humble, and noble mother not unlike any of ours was so precise and quietly stood out among all the flashy and loud performances the film had, oftentimes in the same scene. Jackie Weaver wasn’t this hot, crazy, outspoken or sassy lady telling everyone off. She was an adorable lady who loved cooking for her family and providing the only effort for sanity amongst all the dysfunction, even if nobody around her knew it or gave her credit for it. It was like a testament to all the true mothers out there and I’m so glad I’m not the only one who noticed the brilliance of it. Should Sally Field take this though, I’d be happy as well. - Who I’d give the Award to: Jackie Weaver -