Posts tagged Jake Gyllenhaal
MOVIE REVIEW: Life

You’ve seen bits and pieces of this human buffet and interstellar peril before in the likes of superior films like “Alien,” “Gravity,” and more.  To its credit, the dour tone frames “Life” as a straight-shooting creature feature trading camp for tension and thrills, plenty of which elicit sly pleasures.  Nonetheless, what separates the spectacular from the mediocre in this science fiction subgenre is the monster and the creative uses by which it is employed.  This one goes derivative.

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MOVIE REVIEW: Nocturnal Animals

The leap for every filmmaker is translating their creative eye to the cinematic medium.  Hitchcock’s feverish writing fed his mise-en-scene and attention to detail.  Spielberg grew his outdoor sense of adventure to the highest possibilities and beyond.  With an eye for the cultured human form and colorful finery, Tom Ford saturates every edge of his films with ornate style.  The man is never boring and neither is one iota of “Nocturnal Animals,” Ford’s second feature film and a cage-rattling psychological thriller.

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MOVIE REVIEW: Everest

Marketed like a thrilling disaster film yet playing like a respectful drama, "Everest" is still carries the sheen of every other Hollywood mountain climbing movie while offering enough of a eulogistic history lesson to be respectful of its true story.  Based on the real 1996 events documented in Jon Krakauer's massively best-selling novel "Into Thin Air," astute viewers who know how it will all end will still be engaged and entertained through the cliches.  Director Baltasar Kormakur veils the seams of Hollywood dramatization enough to not sour the experience.

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MOVIE REVIEW: Southpaw

If you've seen one boxing movie, you've seen them all.  They are their own formula, cliche, and sub-genre of sports movies.  If you've seen one rags-to-riches triumph or riches-to-rags-back-to-riches redemption, you've seen them all.  If you've heard one trash talking villain or one sage mentor/trainer/coach jaw on their own, you've heard them all.  If you've seen one smoothly-edited training montage that leads to the big, loud and predictable ending fight, you've seen the all.  "Southpaw" sadly brings nothing new to the table.

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COLUMN: Five snubs and five surprises from the 87th Academy Award nominations

The Oscar nominations for the 87th Academy Awards were announced this morning.  Directors J.J. Abrams and Alfonso Cuaron mapped out the little categories and then actor Chris Pine and Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs drops some bombs this morning.  As always, there are plenty of surprises and plenty of snubs.  Through it all, the frontrunners have already emerged and this race is taking shape, so much so that I could probably name the eventual winners already today.

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COLUMN: Predicting the major 87th Academy Award nominations

With the 87th Academy Award nominations being announced tomorrow morning, I'm cutting it close with my predictions of who and what names will hear their named called.  I've been following the full awards season over on my Awards Tracker page, where I've been following the trends and reading the tea leaves.  Using that data and a batch of hunches, here are my savvy predictions for tomorrow's nominations in the eleven major categories.

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COLUMN: Who will win/should win the 2015 Golden Globes?

More and more each year, the Golden Globes have become more an a popularity contest than a true precursor to the Academy Awards.  What you're watching on TV is a party thrown by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association in an effort to be loved and share some love.  To its credit, the awards show still garners legitimate attention and ratings.  The winners do get a pretty positive rub and the marketers gain a few more "Winner of..." graphics to put in the newspapers next to their films.  Let's take a look at the film categories and pick some winners.

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MOVIE REVIEW: Nightcrawler

"Nightcrawler" is the cinematic equivalent of not being able to look away from an impending accident.  This is the movie on that test that stops and watches for even more peril.  In a movie like this, our own voyeurism and curiosity takes over and we find ourselves enraptured in what we see, even if it is wrong and against our usual likes, dislikes, morals, or beliefs.  Movies that do that and still entertain are rare. 

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