Saturday, February 25, 2012

84th Oscar Night 2012

The one thing that I am looking forward to at the 84th Academy Awards on Sunday night, February 26, 2012 starting at 7pm EST is Admiral General Aladeen (Sasha Baron Cohen), The Dictator of Wadiya, showing up at the red carpet. Initially he was banned from showing up at the Oscars. Outraged, Admiral General Aladeen released this threat to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences:

According to latest news, the Academy lifted their sanctions and gave Admiral General Aladeen his tickets back:
Sacha Baron Cohen's "The Dictator" alter-ego not banned from Oscars, producer Brian Grazer says

As for the nominees this year...
I don't have much of an interest in them. Mainly because I haven't watched most of the nominated movies. Here's the full list of the nominees on Wikipedia:
84th Academy Awards

I listed the movies I'd watched after the "JUMP!" along with some brief thoughts on their nominations.

War Horse
(you can check out my review here)

  • Best Picture - I don't think it'll win for "Best Picture" since Stephen Spielberg was not nominated for "Best Director." I'll definitely check out the rest of the nominated movies some time soon.
  • Best Original Score - During the Stephen Spielberg Q&A that I'd attended, he said that John Williams works closely with him on the conception of his films and the emotional outcome. John Williams at times even suggested not using music during moments of the movie to heighten the dramatic effect. In the last couple of years, I haven't been "wow'ed" by John Williams' scores but, War Horse has excellent music. I hope it'll win. If not, John Williams has another chance since he's nominated twice this time. The other nomination in the same category is The Adventures of Tintin. Another movie that I missed and really need to check out since it consists of a creative team that I like a lot.
  • Best Sound Editing - War Horse is a Stephen Spielberg war movie... the sound editing in his war themed movies and tv shows ever since Saving Private Ryan has been consistently excellent.
  • Best Sound Mixing - same can be said in this category as with sound editing.
  • Best Art Direction - the art direction in War Horse did an excellent job submerging the audience into the 1940's aesthetics.
  • Best Cinematography - Stephen Spielberg shot War Horse with a very wide lens, using the backdrop/the land as a character in the movie and gives the audience a chance to decide on what they want to focus on. The credit for cinematography definitely goes to the DP Janusz KamiƄski who found the right lighting and camera angles. War Horse is beautifully filmed.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

  • Best Actress - Rooney Mara was excellent portraying the troubled and genius, Lisbeth Salander. Noomi Rapace was the first to play Lisabeth Salander in the Swedish version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and did a great job but, in my opinion I thought Rooney Mara was better.
  • Best Sound Editing - I have no idea how to give a good example of the sound editing in this movie without spoiling anything. I am curious as to which clip the Academy Awards will show?
  • Best Sound Mixing - There was a mysterious foreboding atmosphere to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and the sound mixing has a lot to do with it.
  • Best Cinematography - Similar to Stephen Spielberg movies, has there ever been a David Fincher movie with weak Cinematography? Cinematographer, Jeff Croneweth was able to help make David Fincher's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo unique from the Swedish version. Jeff Croneweth is always able to bring the camera to to a gritty level and somehow turn the crude personalities of cities, buildings and people into iconic beauty. I hope The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo wins in this category.
  • Best Film Editing - There's kinetic energy in the editing of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, even during the slower paced scenes. The drama was expertly paced and the action happens with a sense of danger. Obviously, this has a lot to do with the direction, the actors, the music... but, a good movie must have good editing in order to tell the right type of story. Again, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is my favorite in this category.

Kung Fu Panda 2

  • Best Animated Feature - Really? Was 2011 a slow year for animated movies? Kung Fu Panda 2 was entertaining, animated nicely but it was a stretch for needing to come up with a sequel to the excellent first Kung Fu Panda movie. Recently, I'd watched Red Line which I guess would be considered as a low brow Anime from Japan by the Academy. But for me it was highly entertaining, with amazing animation. Red Line reminds me of Katsuhiro Otomo's works.

The Muppets

  • Best Original Song - "Man or Muppet" by Bret McKenzie from The Muppet Movie. A very happy movie and an entertaining watch but, I thought it fell flat at moments. The song "Man or Muppet" was surprisingly emotional. I don't know why I still get caught by surprise emotionally by the Muppets. There was a great visual surprise during the scene when the song was played which I don't want to spoil (if you are a fan of a certain CBS show).

(you can check out my review here)

  • Best Sound Editing - Some pretty good sound editing in Drive. Personally, I think it should have been nominated for "Best Score" as well. The sound editing coupled with the score had this 80's pulse to it that reminded of some of Michael Mann's best works. Another category that I thought Drive was snuffed in is "Best Supporting Actor." Bryan Cranston and Al Brooks were excellent.

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

  • Best Sound Editing - Ugh!
  • Best Sound Mixing - Grrr!
  • Best Visual Effects - Blah! Alright, I guess it does have some pretty good technical aspects. Especially the special effects. At least this time we can see the robots transforming. This is a very good example as to the numbers not justifying the quality of the movie.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows - Part 2
(you can check out my review here)

  • Best Art Direction - I believe Harry Potter should win in this category. If only just for one reason and that is, the Art Department was able to bring to life things that we'd have never seen before.
  • Best Makeup - Excellent make up with all the non human characters and sometimes even with the human characters. Voldemort is forever creepy and lives on in my nightmares. Voldemort is so powerful that he shows up in the "auto-correct" option
  • Best Visual Effects - This last installment of Harry Potter had some really impressive effects; from the dank caverns under Gringotts to the battle of Hogwarts but, it's not my number two choice in this category.

Real Steel

  • Best Visual Effects - This was not the movie I hoped it was but, despite my expectations, I was pleasantly surprised. Real Steel is a very entertaining movie and it had a bit of darkness in it. The boxing robots were really fun to watch and that has a lot to do with the people behind the special effects.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes
(you can check out my review here)

  • Best Visual Effects - Rise of the Planet of the Apes should win hands down in this category. WETA again does a superb job. This time they were able to bring emotions to CGi apes. At first, before the movie was released, CGi apes sounded like a very very bad idea. So much can go wrong but it went wrong in the right way as the end of humanity began and the Apes Rose. The apes were endearing at the right moments and creepy when they were intended to be. Rise of the Planet of the Apes should have been nominated in other categories as well. To name one, John Lithgow should have been considered for best supporting actor. Why don't I own this movie? I need to get on right away.

One More Thing:

Best Foreign Film - I have not heard of any of these movies but, I think it's a shame that Takashi Miike's 13 Assassins was not nominated. I was never a fan of Takashi Miike. The movie that turned me around was Sukiyaki Western and it was still pretty weird. I'm very surprised by Miike's focus and maturity in 13 Assassins. He proves to be much more than a capable shock and gore director. He is a capable and a quality director. 13 Assassins is structured like Seven Samurai and Magnificent Seven but, it also brings some interesting new elements along with a social commentary which doesn't jump out and poke your eyes out which, is very surprising to me coming from Miike. Always look outside of the Academy's choices for foreign films.

No comments:

Post a Comment