Watchmen – The Huge Anticipation

November 28, 2008

When I originally watched the first trailer for Watchmen, I shrugged my shoulders, yawned, and moved on. But it intrigued me to some extent. It purported to be “The Most Celebrated Graphic Novel of All Time”, or something along those lines. Really, now? I’ve read a number of “celebrated” graphic novels. I used to be hugely into comic books. X-Men and Spider-Man mostly. Batman a bit as well. But I’d never heard of Watchmen. It couldn’t be THAT popular. Or THAT celebrated. So, to Wikipedia I went. And as I did more research, I realized I’d really been missing out. So I went out, got a copy of Watchmen (the graphic novel), and read it. It took a while, because of how busy the election made me. But finish it I did. And since, I have realized just how excited I am for this movie to come out.

There are really two reasons that I’m so excited. The first is how truly remarkable the graphic novel is. Now that it’s coming to the big screen, I get to experience it all over again. The second is how well it seems the film is being made, and how closely it seems to be following the graphic novel. That’s a very, very good thing. It’s the kind of thing that doesn’t really need to be adapted to the screen so much as it needs to be portrayed on screen.

Yet there are a couple of things that have me worried. The first is how truly remarkable the graphic novel is. The second is the director, Zack Snyder. I can’t say he has a wonderful track record. There is one caveat to his work on 300, though. As far as I know, he very faithfully brought the graphic novel to screen. Maybe part of the reason that 300 wasn’t a great movie was that it was too faithful to the source material. With Watchmen, however, that could be a very, very good thing.

Frankly, after watching both trailers for Watchmen, I couldn’t be more excited, or have more anticipation for it. I hope I don’t get my hopes up on this one.

Late Update: You can watch both trailers for Watchmen in full, glorious HD right here.


The Osars Page

November 24, 2008

I have added an Oscars page, which (if you noticed) can be accessed from above, next to the Reviews Archive section. As I say in there, I will be adding a list of films that I think will be or could be nominated, and explanations as to why. I’ll probably be staggering things. I do have extra time in the day, but with Thanksgiving, it’s gonna be a bit difficult. Still, expect daily updates.


Deep Vote Predicts The Oscars

November 24, 2008

Roger Ebert atests to meeting with an anonymous Hollywood insider in the Anime section of a small Blockbuster in an anonymous Midwestern city. He slyly codenames him, “Deep Vote” and claims that he can predict the Oscar nominations and/or wins. Ebert claims that last year, Deep Vote “batted 1000”. Pretty crazy. I guess we’ll have to wait and see whether he does so again this year. His predictions are as follows:

Best Picture
Slumdog Millionaire
Frost/Nixon
Doubt
Revolutionary Road
The Reader

(Extremely strong possibility of The Dark Knight, maybe The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, WALL-E and Synecdoche, New York)

Best Director
Jonathan Demme (Rachel Getting Married)
Ron Howard (Frost/Nixon)
David Fincher (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button)
Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire)
Gus Van Sant (Milk)

Best Actor
Frank Langella (Frost/Nixon)
Mickey Rourke (The Wrestler)
Sean Penn (Milk)
Clint Eastwood (Gran Torino)
(One of the following: Brad Pitt, Josh Brolin, Richard Jenkins, Ralph Fiennes)

Best Actress
Meryl Streep (Doubt)
Kate Winslet (The Reader or Revolutionary Road)
Kristen Scott Thomas (I’ve Loved You So Long)
Anne Hathaway (Rachel Getting Married)
Melissa Leo (Frozen River) — Predicted as winner.
(Maybe Sally Hawkins in Happy Go Lucky)

Best Supporting Actor
Heath Ledger (The Dark Knight) — The other nominees don’t matter. Ledger will win hands down.

Best Supporting Actress
Penelope Cruz (Vicky Cristina Barcelona)
Marisa Tomei (The Wrestler)
Rosemary DeWitt and/or Debra Winger (Rachel Getting Married)
Viola Davis (Doubt)
Sophie Okonedo (The Secret Life of Bees)
____________________________________________________________

Now, I guess the question is, do I agree? I haven’t seen most of the films mentioned here. I probably won’t see some of them by the time The Oscars come around. I hope to see most of them, though, as I did last year. But my personal opinion? These guesses are as good as any, and for the most part, slightly along with conventional wisdom. There are a couple of points he makes that should be paid attention to, though.

He predicts that Heath Ledger will win the award for Best Supporting Actor, and his confidence is such that the other nominees aren’t of any importance in comparison.

He predicts Melissa Leo to win for Best Actress. A bold prediction, if I do say so myself. Frozen River got quite good reviews, it’s true. It’s possible… Perhaps I’m just more cautious, but I don’t know if I would make such a prediction myself.

Clint Eastwood might very well get a nomination for Gran Torino. I’ve seen the trailer for the film, and I must say, Deep Vote might well be on to something. Of all the nominations, I think this is the one to watch out for. I personally think Gran Torino is a film to look out for in general, especially given the lackluster response to Changeling, Eastwood’s other film this year.

In the end, though, we’ll just have to wait and see what happens with both the nominations and awards. Will Deep Vote be right? How accurate will he be? We’ll find out eventually.

You can read the original article on Roger Ebert’s website here.


Some Thoughts on The Wrestler

November 23, 2008

One of my favorite internet passtimes is to watch movie trailers. My favorite place to do that is Apple.com’s movie trailers website. The HD-quality trailers make it a must for those that care about such things. (I prefer it if I have the ability to watch something in HD. But who wouldn’t?) The point of this is simply to offer some context to my finding the trailer to The Wrestler, Darren Aronofsky’s new film. If you haven’t seen it, I highly suggest watching it, either below, or if you prefer, watch it here in HD.

I knew nothing about this film. I have not been as up-to-date as I would like to be about upcoming films. But, as a result, I was pleasantly surprised to learn of a film that looks to be wonderful. And a wonderful turn for Mickey Rourke, who some think might be nominated for an Acting Oscar.

Rourke was, I think, denied a Supporting Actor nomination for his turn in Sin City. I think it would certainly be a good thing if he ended up getting nominated this time around. As David Ansen of Newsweek notes, “To say this is a great comeback for an actor whose talent was exceeded only by his self-destructiveness is obvious.”

Given the fact that The Wrestler currently holds a 100% with 17 reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, it would not surprise me in the least if we do, in fact, see Rourke show up on the ballot come Oscar day.


A LOT To Talk About

November 23, 2008

Well, I guess I’m back. I really apologize for pretty much abandoning my work here. But I am back now. I’m going to try to write more reviews and write more articles on upcoming films, The Oscars, etc. This IS Oscar season, after all.

Ok, so… My reasons for not being here… Mainly, it had to do with my relocating to Missouri to work on Barack Obama’s Presidential Campaign. Now that he’s been elected, I can return to other (non-politics-related) subjects, such as film.

I know I’ve been bad in keeping this place going. I hope to really get some cool things started here in the near future. There’s only about a month and a half left before all the films vying for Oscar glory have been released. December 31st is the deadline. After that, there will be a huge scramble to predict which films will be nominated for what. There’s still a bit of a scramble, but it’s harder to tell what will happen right now, since even some of the films we think will be big Oscar contenders end up getting horrible reviews and audience reception, and as a result, lose any hope they had of winning anything.

That happened with Changeling. Although many thought it was destined for Oscar glory as a result of it being a Clint Eastwood-directed drama starring Angelina Jolie in (what appeared to be) an intensely well-acted role, the critics seem to have thought otherwise once they actually got their eyes on it.

We’ll see what happens from here on out. I’ll be giving my (prelimiary) Oscar predictions soon and work from there.