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Month: January 2015

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2015 Oscars Challenge: [15] Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes – Best Visual Effects

“DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES” Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, Daniel Barrett and Erik Winquist Here’s how good the visual effects team on “Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes” is: for two straight films now, critics and audiences alike have been rooting for Andy Serkis to be nominated for an acting award for his motion capture performance as Caesar the ape. Let … Read More 2015 Oscars Challenge: [15] Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes – Best Visual Effects

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2015 Oscars Challenge: [14] X-Men: Days Of Future Past – Best Visual Effects

“X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST” Richard Stammers, Lou Pecora, Tim Crosbie and Cameron Waldbauer Even if it does showcase prominent visual effects, “X-Men: Days Of Future Past” was a surprise nomination in the Best Visual Effects category (I had picked “The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies” or “Transformers: Age Of Extinction” for the fifth spot). The reason for surprise is not because … Read More 2015 Oscars Challenge: [14] X-Men: Days Of Future Past – Best Visual Effects

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2015 Oscars Challenge: [12] The Grand Budapest Hotel – Best Picture

“The Grand Budapest Hotel” is like your favorite rock band. You probably started off going to their shows at intimate venues with hardly any crowds and the next thing you know, they’re selling out the Staples Center and winning Grammys. Everyone is listening to them now and tickets that used to cost $10-$20 are more like $80-$100 or more. That’s what I feel like … Read More 2015 Oscars Challenge: [12] The Grand Budapest Hotel – Best Picture

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2015 Oscars Challenge: [12] The Grand Budapest Hotel – Best Directing

  WES ANDERSON “The Grand Budapest Hotel” No one in Hollywood is embracing their creativity and individuality more so right now than Wes Anderson. And he always has. Look at any of his previous films and you will notice a style of film that no other director is even trying to touch. And with a record setting limited release box office this year and … Read More 2015 Oscars Challenge: [12] The Grand Budapest Hotel – Best Directing

2015 Oscars Challenge: [12] The Grand Budapest Hotel – Best Original Score

“MOONSHINE” FROM “THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL” Alexandre Desplat As is the case were Wes Anderson to win Best Directing, if Alexandre Desplat wins Best Original Score, it will be because he is due. Now, whether you agree with the Academy people because they are due and not because of their particular merits on the given nominated film is your own opinion, but Desplat, who … Read More 2015 Oscars Challenge: [12] The Grand Budapest Hotel – Best Original Score

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2015 Oscars Challenge: [12] The Grand Budapest Hotel – Best Original Screenplay

  WES ANDERSON & HUGO GUINNESS “The Grand Budapest Hotel” Another year and another Best Original Screenplay nomination for Wes Anderson, this time for his screenplay, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”. Nominated for Best Original Screenplay three times now (previously nominated for “The Royal Tenenbaums” (2001) and “Moonrise Kingdom” (2012)), some will argue that this year’s entry is his best film yet. It involves a … Read More 2015 Oscars Challenge: [12] The Grand Budapest Hotel – Best Original Screenplay

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Theatrical Releases: Black Or White & Project Almanac

Kevin Costner is making his rounds, first with last year’s “Draft Day” and now this year with “MacFarland, USA,” and now “Black Or White,” both of which attempt to blend the race barriers. In “Black Or White,” Costner plays the grandfather of a little black girl who has lost her mother and grandmother. Left to raise her alone, her paternal grandmother, played by Octavia … Read More Theatrical Releases: Black Or White & Project Almanac

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2015 Oscars Challenge: [12] The Grand Budapest Hotel – Best Makeup & Hairstyling

FRANCIS HANNON & MARK COULIER “The Grand Budapest Hotel” Most of the makeup in “The Grand Budapest Hotel” is subtle. Apart from turning Tilda Swinton into an entirely different person, the rest of the makeup just tends to accent certain features of a character, like Agatha’s birthmark or Edward Norton’s mustache. Or the makeup is used to comedic effect, like making Harvey Keitel bald … Read More 2015 Oscars Challenge: [12] The Grand Budapest Hotel – Best Makeup & Hairstyling

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2015 Oscars Challenge: [12] The Grand Budapest Hotel – Best Film Editing

Would “The Grand Budapest Hotel” be as funny if editor Barney Pilling wasn’t willing to hold on certain shots for longer than some normally would? Or as cutting abruptly to a reaction when others might take their time or cut the reaction at a normal pace? For someone that’s never worked with Wes Anderson, Pilling gets it. Take a look at his past editing … Read More 2015 Oscars Challenge: [12] The Grand Budapest Hotel – Best Film Editing

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2015 Oscars Challenge: [12] The Grand Budapest Hotel – Best Costume Design

MILENA CANONERO “The Grand Budapest Hotel” The costumes of “The Grand Budapest Hotel” should be catnip for the Oscar voters this year. Not only is it a period piece set in several different eras, including the 1930s and ’60s, but it also has a fantasy style to it, with rich colors and on-the-nose representations of those eras, as ridiculous as they may be. The … Read More 2015 Oscars Challenge: [12] The Grand Budapest Hotel – Best Costume Design

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2015 Oscars Challenge: [12] The Grand Budapest Hotel – Best Cinematography

  ROBERT YEOMAN “The Grand Budapest Hotel” The magic behind the films of Wes Anderson is how interconnected all the elements are when you really look at them. Of course, any film has interconnected parts. If the visual effects are bad, it makes the cinematography perhaps look less intense. But to make a style all your own, you need everyone on the same team … Read More 2015 Oscars Challenge: [12] The Grand Budapest Hotel – Best Cinematography

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2015 Oscars Challenge: [13] How To Train Your Dragon 2 – Best Animated Feature

Being one of the more successful entries coming out of Dreamworks, it really is no surprise of the success that the sequel, “How To Train Your Dragon 2” has had this year, and rightfully so. In the original film, a young Viking boy named Hiccup finds that he’s not keen to the life of killing dragons that his father and the village has set … Read More 2015 Oscars Challenge: [13] How To Train Your Dragon 2 – Best Animated Feature