Posts tagged The Imitation Game
MOVIE REVIEW: A Monster Calls

J.A. Bayona’s film, based on the 2011 novel of the same name and adapted for the screen by the author himself, Patrick Hess, operates with a similar dichotomy and balancing act with its genre.  “Fantasy” and “genuine” are two words that do not normally mix together.  “A Monster Calls” creates an engrossing tale of allegory and myth and still roots it in a setting of stark reality filled with family and flaws.  

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MOVIE REVIEW: Passengers

Mixing romance with science fiction always seems to be a dodgy proposition of preposterousness.  The emotionality of love is not something readily explained by science, unless some smarty pants cites neurotransmitters, adrenaline, dopamine, and serotonin.  The marketing and publicity push of “Passengers,” starring the hot ticket names of Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence, want you believe that you’re stepping into “Titanic in Space.”  Hey now, come out of hyperdrive or drop out of warp speed (your choice, fellow geeks) and pump your space brakes!  The only apt comparison between “Passengers” and “Titanic” is the metaphorical sinking.

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MOVIE REVIEW: Ex Machina

"Ex Machina" has much more good than bad and much more surprise than contrivance when it comes to traversing the mine field that can be the science fiction topic of artificial intelligence, especially with a potentially damning title like that.  The high-minded science is there.  The ominous ambiance of implications and ramifications is properly defined.  "Ex Machina" is very smartly created and makes the list of good (excuse my language) "mindfuck" films, joining the excellent and underseen "The One I Love" from last summer.  But, it's still missing that next edge of sharpness or gear to ascend to the next level.  

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EDITORIAL: Final 2015 Awards Tracker and Oscar Reactions

Let's put a bow on the 2014 Oscar race.  Last night, I correctly predicted 16 of the 24 winners.   In my final update of this year's Awards Tracker, here are the final tallies, Oscar winners, and my reactions.  The Oscar winners in each category are in bold.  See you next year for another data session and awards season!

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CHECKLIST: My full and official 2015 Oscar predictions

Alright, folks!  I've done all of the research I can.  I've read all of the tea leaves and broken down every race.  I've made my detailed picks in seven columns and editorials over the past week.  Here's my master list.  In the three years of writing these Oscar nominations and following the data on my website, my prediction score has improved every year.  Last year, I correctly guessed 20 of 24 awards up from 19 and 17 from the two years before.  I'm gunning for another 20+ night again. 

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OSCAR PREDICTIONS 2015: The race for Best Picture

In this seventh and final post, we've come to the big one, folks.  Here's my analysis and breakdown of the race for Best Picture.  This is a close one, so read on!  Let's do this!  I've said it all season.  Stick with me and I will win you your Oscar pool.

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OSCAR PREDICTIONS 2015: The music and sound categories

It's time to begin making my formal and official Oscar predictions.  In this second post, we look at the musical and sound categories that include original score, original song, sound editing, and sound mixing.  Let's do this!

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OSCAR PREDICTIONS 2015: The visual and artistic categories

It's time to begin making my formal and official Oscar predictions.  In this first post, we look at the visual and artistic technical categories that include cinematography, production design, costumes, makeup/hairstyling, editing, and visual effects.  Let's do this!

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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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COLUMN: The 10 Best Films of 2014

Getting into the numbers, I reviewed twenty four-star films and twelve five-star gems.  That means my final "10 Best" list are all champs with two that had to be bumped to lead the next ten.  From there, my four-star reviews were ranked from 12-20 and then honorable mention.  In keeping with the hook of my website, each of my "10 Best" are presented with their best life lesson and linked full reviews.  Enjoy! 

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ADVANCE MOVIE REVIEW: The Imitation Game

This year, the annual Weinstein push will be given to "The Imitation Game."  The film checks all of those boxes of "Oscar bait" qualities.  You have a war-time period story of great significance, a central biographical figure, and a top-notch cast of revered pedigree.  Most important of all, "The Imitation Game" checks the box about being worthy in the first place.  The film is tailor-made for awards season and borders on greatness.  "The Imitation Game" is better than "The King's Speech" from three years ago and deserves every single over-indulgent and self-glorifying piece of shameless Oscar campaigning that it is going to put out there.  This one is worth the hype, folks.

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COLUMN: 2014 Holiday Movie Preview

 The holiday movie season of November and December is what really starts and decides the Oscar race every year and this year's schedule of films is no different.  There are some real contenders here looking to make people forget about "Birdman" and "Gone Girl."  Let's see what happens.  Here is my complete "Holiday Movie Preview" for 2014.  Enjoy! 

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CHECKLIST: 2014 Holiday Movie Calendar

Here is the master calendar for the upcoming holiday movie season releases for November and December of 2014.  Be sure to check ahead at theaters because release dates shift all the time.  Print this out, pin it, or put it on the fridge for the next two months.  Enjoy your holidays and enjoy these movies!

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CAPSULE REVIEWS: My slate from the 50th Chicago International Film Festival

In accordance with the rules placed on me with my press credentials, I am not allowed to publish and post full reviews of the films I saw until their official U.S. distribution and release date.  For some movies, that's happening now with the festival itself and for others that holding stretches into 2015.  I would love to lay out everything, but I can't and you have to be patient.  What I am allowed put out are capsule reviews: brief takes and short critiques that offer a taste of the full meal.  Here are capsules for all of the films I attended from the 50th anniversary schedule.  Each are listed with their anticipatory U.S. release dates for when you will find my review.

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COLUMN: Must-see films for the 50th Chicago International Film Festival

While the festival doesn't boast anywhere near the amount of red carpet headliners found at Toronto or New York's film festivals, there are still several worthy films coming to Chicago for the first time in advance of their theatrical release and the year-end Oscar and awards season.  This very writer has acquired press credentials through Examiner.com to cover this year's event and here is a list of the must-see films from the festival's schedule.

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COLUMN: 50th Chicago International Film Festival special events

Since starting in 1965, the Chicago International Film Festival has operated as the country's oldest competitive international film festival.  Following "Miss Julie" and the Opening Night Gala, two films will be featured as the Festival Centerpieces.  Both films will screened on Wednesday, October 15th. Over the course of the two and a half weeks that follow, over 300 more films and events will take place primarily at the AMC River East 21 theater on 322 East Illinois Street.  Best of all, this whole extravaganza is open to the public.  For this watershed anniversary, several special presentations are planned.

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