Posts tagged Whiplash
MOVIE CLASSROOM: Updated archive on YouTube channel

In returning to my "Movie Classroom" series of interactive whiteboard video reviews with new vigor, new skills, and new tools, I wanted to bring back and upload my old video attempts to my Every Movie Has a Lesson YouTube channel.  In a massive file drop, I recently uploaded 29 of my past Movie Classroom videos from 2014, including winners like Whiplash and Birdman.  Head over and reminisce on some fine films and commentary by yours truly.

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MOVIE REVIEW: La La Land

In front of and behind the camera, you will find creative people that deftly understand and properly tap into the spirit and flavor of the classic genres and eras they are blending.  Breathing jazzy life into a Hollywood musical set in the present day of Priuses and iPhones, Damien Chazelle’s follow-up to “Whiplash” is a modern cinematic masterpiece.  It is the kind of film where you will remember where you were when you first saw it.  You will not find a more jubilant, romanticized, or flat-out entertaining film this year.

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MOVIE REVIEW: War Dogs

You know the "Goodfellas" tropes: excessive narration, ordinary people getting rich or powerful doing extraordinary and often illegal activities played by colorful actors or actresses, dramatic license spinning a likely lesser true story, a kicking period soundtrack, pervasive drug use, freeze-frame shots to stamp moments, and a tidy epilogue of comeuppance.  Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but it is also lazily standing on the shoulders of giants.  That’s the impact and existence of Todd Phillips’s “War Dogs” in a gun… err… nutshell. 

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MOVIE REVIEW: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

By tackling the subject of cancer and doing so in the guise of a quirky high school comedy, "Me and Earl and the Dying Girl" stands out as proof that a movie can be earnest and humorous at the same time.  It can be understated in one moment and then completely outgoing the next.  It is a film that can feel facetious and yet still be profound.  It takes the modern high school setting that is deliberately riddled with innate tropes, stereotypes, and cliches and masterfully steers around every single one of them to offer you something smart, touching, and, most of all, original.  That is no small feat and something to stand up and celebrate.

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MOVIE REVIEW: '71

Even as a little movie that most aren't going to see, let along hear of, "'71" enters my scorecard as the first great film of 2015.  This is one is going to get remembered all year on this website.  It will make the half-way "Best of 2015 (so far)" list in late June and will hang around until the year-end.  Like my fervent love of "Whiplash," I may have found another hidden gem to stump for.  

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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: 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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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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MOVIE REVIEW: Whiplash

A movie like "Whiplash" shouldn't do all of what it succeeds at, but it does.  Before you even read what it's about, be assured that this film is a delicious piece of entertainment from top to bottom.  This is a rare treat combining remarkable acting, music, energy, and twists that will follow you out of the theater.  As of the calendar turning to November, this is the best film this writer has seen this year.  This is the new film to beat, as unexpected as that sounds.

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COLUMN: 2014 Fall Movie Preview

Traditionally, the months of September and October are the dumping grounds of movies that weren't good enough or too dark to be summer releases or films not quite good enough to be held until the prime awards season during the winter months of November and December.  Every now and then, though, a future Academy Award winner sneaks into early into the Oscar race with an October release.  Here is my full preview of the 2014 fall movie season.  I hope I can steer you to a few hidden gems before the real big-timers get here in November and December. 

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CHECKLIST: 2014 Fall Movie Calendar

Now that September is here, the summer movie season is officially over and we shift girls to the fall movie season.  Here's a handy checklist and calendar of upcoming releases for September and October.  Bookmark this, print this out, or slap it on the fridge as your new must-see list.  My full 2014 Fall Movie Preview will be dropping soon.

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EDITORIAL: The 15 films to watch for the 2015 Oscars

Once one awards season ends, another one begins!  The winners from last night's 86th Academy Awards can bask in the glow of immortality for a while.  Meanwhile, business in Hollywood will quickly shift and move on to the 87th Academy Awards that will happen in February or March of 2015.  Here are 15 films to watch for the 2015 Oscars.

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