Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Oscar Nominated Short Films

So in my last Oscar post I wrote that I would be seeing all the nominated shorts for this years race at an event hosted in Detroit. The event was held at Detroit Institute of Arts and it was in a lovely theater.  To my pleasant surprise the crowd was filled with an array of people from the very old to the young. It was great to see the entire house packed with excited faces and wonderful feelings that these events are still organized and enjoyed. It was also great to see that the shorts were films from all over the world including the USA, Sweden, France, Spain, Russia and India. So here is my take on what we saw.

Animated Shorts:
French Roast by Fabrice Joubert - This was a cute little film set in a cafe in France and follows a man who accidentally leaves his wallet leaving him penniless to pay for his coffee. The film was CGI animation. Most characters had very exaggerated features, which I love. It was lovely. You can watch it here.

Granny O'Grimm's Sleeping Beauty by Nicky Phelan, Darragh O'Connell - This was hilarious and had everyone laughing from the 60+ man sitting beside me to my 13 year-old stepsister. The story is very nicely constructed and presents a retelling of the famed Sleeping Beauty by a bitter elderly lady to her grandson. The film was mix of CGI and hand drawn animation. It was just a pleasure to watch and is my second favorite of the bunch. You can watch it here.

The Lady and the Reaper by Javier Recio Garcia - This was cute and had a great rhythm to it. The film parades a frenzy between an old women being taken by the Reaper and being saved continuously by a playboy doctor with a team of pin-up nurses. The battle is stellar in CGI.  You can watch it here.

Logorama by Nicolas Schmerkin - This was my favorite. WOW when it says Logorama it means it. I wouldn 't be  able to count all the logo's used in this short. I was also surprised to found out the this short film hails from France. The film has everything from Ronald McDonald shooting up the cops in the streets of LA, to the Pringles man hitting on a diner waitress. You have to see it to believe it. Watch it here. (It's not the best quality but at least you can watch it)

Wallace and Gromit in 'A Matter of Load and Death' by Nick Park - This was good to be expected as that which is Wallace and Gromit magic. But this time teaming up(somewhat) to beat a baker murderess on the loose.

Live Action Shorts:
The Door by Junaita Wilson, James Flynn - This film while depressing was shot wonderfully and tells the tale of a family in the aftermath of Chernobyl. Not my favorite of the bunch but very touching. Trailer here.

Instead of Abracadabra by  Patrick Eklund, Mathias Fjallstrom - This was a hilarious Swedish film and for me one of the best of the bunch. It follows the misadventures of a 25 year-old, still living at home with dreams of being a celebrated magician. He has a dark sense of humor but an endearing quality shared by all in the film. The entire crowd was having a hoot with this one and I believe it is one of the top contenders to win for this category. I'm trying to find a full length version for you all to watch but for now you can watch the trailer here to get an idea of how great it is. Ps. the soundtrack is marvelous!

Kavi by Gregg Helvey - A submission by a MFA student at USC, this film shows some of the tragedy that is still occurring today with slavery in India. The film is quite sad, and follows a little boy in present day India working in a labor camp.  What continues to amaze me and is demonstrated wonderfully here is the strength in child actors. This little boy (see pic) is amazing. Trailer here.

Miracle Fish by Luke Doolan, Drew Bailey- An Australian submission and with a surprise appearance(for me) by Tara Morice who played Fran in Strictly Ballroom. This follows a introverted little boy on the day of his eighth birthday. To retreat bullies he takes a nap in the nurses ward at school and wakes up to a completed empty building. What happens next you can watch here.(Got to the end of the article to play video) It's quite good and one of my favorites.

The New Tenants by Joachim Back, Tivi Magnusson - My absolute favorite of the bunch. I'm trying my hardest to get a full video of it so you can experience the genius. So wonderful and the entire crowd was roaring with laughter. Follows new tenants in a building, as we discover,  inhabited with an array of characters from scorned lovers to drug dealers. The film features appearances by Vincent D'Onofrio and Kevin Corrigan. Trailer here. Website here.

And that's all folks...See who the winners will be March 7th!

Happy Moviegoing!

Monday, February 22, 2010

First Footage From Sylvain Chomet’s The Illusionist

/Film just posted the first footage for Sylvain Chomet's The Illusionist. Here it is:

Who's excited now?

Happy moviegoing!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Sydney Chomet's The Illusionist

Premiering at Berlin Film Festival. Sydney Chomet's latest, five-year-in-the-making, animated endeavor is co-written by Jacques Tati. Now who's excited even more? MOI! An unlikely friendship blooms between an aging French magician and a young Scottish girl. I'm only going to add some photos here, so you can get the best understanding of why I am so excited about this. If you haven't seen any of Chomet's stuff, I suggest you do. Particularly his 2003 Triplets of Belville. This is my favorite type of animation to date. I love it dearly. I'll also put a clip of Triplets at the end so you get an a sense of what awaits you in his newest film.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Cool Stuff: Cartoon Saloon Sells The Secret of Kells DVD and Original Sketch

On March 6th Disney will release The Secret of Kells.  Unfortunately I hadn't heard about this movie until the Oscar nominations; since it's nominated for Best Animated Feature. However now that I do know, I will spread the word as much as I can. Brought to us by Irish company Cartoon Saloon. It looks super cool. I'm gonna post some photos from the site, just so you can get an idea of how great this looks. But the cool stuff is that the site's online store is selling the DVD with a personalized original sketch signed by the director. AWESOME no!? Check it out!

 Happy moviegoing folks!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Oscar Nominations Are In! Everything As Expected

So they're in! Nothing was too surprising. But these are the things I've noted.

Best Picture: Blind Side?! Really? It wasn't even that good, but I guess they need 10 nominations so they had to it there. District 9 I'm happy for the recognition for this, but it wont win. Everything else was anticipated.

Best Actor: Yay for Jeremy Renner! Although its unlikely that he'll win. He's definitely next up after Jeff in my eyes.  His performance was amazing.

Best Actress: Well no surprises there. Meryl Streep is a force to be reckoned with. No one can touch her now. The best part is she is so bloody humble. LOVE HER!

Best Supporting Actor: Well I think it will be a travesty if Christoph doesn't win this one. But I am happy Woody Harrelson and Stanley Tucci are there.

Best Supporting Actress:  Again no real surprises here, except Penelope. I am not sure why she was nominated. I feel like her performance in Nine was the same as in Vicky Christina Barcelona.

Best Director:  KATHRYN BIGELOW! Enough said.

Best Original Screenplay: Well this looks wondrous. I am happy Quentin is being recognized again. And I am pleased to see the writers of Up there also. I am hoping it goes to Mark Boal for The Hurt Locker.

Best Adapted Screenplay: I haven't heard of In the Loop but it's safe to say that I should take a look at it. This category is a little tight. All of the nominees seem great. One thing I can say is I rather see Nick Hornby get anything over Jason Reitman. Up in the Air, was a big let down for me. It was good. But it wasn't great. And the only reason it was as good as it was was because of the genuine performances the cast gave.

Best Cinematography: Harry Potter???? Really?...How bout Bright Star anyone? I am glad to see The White Ribbon up there though. Black and White is beautiful and I can't wait to see this film. All I can say here is a really hope Avatar doesn't get this.

Best Editing: Again anything but Avatar.

Best Art Direction: Again Bright Star anyone. As long as Nine and Avatar don't win here I think I'll be pleased with any of the others taking the prize.

Best Costume:  Yay Bright Star!  All these nominations are to be expected, I am please that Coco is also up here.

Best Make-up:  Il Divo! Holy I finally saw what this is about. Why I haven't seen this, is beyond me. Toni Servillo's transformation is magic. Hope it wins.

Best Original Score: It's safe to say that Up composer, Michael Giacchino, will get this one. But I am happy Desplat got a nod here for Fantastic Mr. Fox.

Best Original Song: Faubourg 36... I heard about this film a while back but I didn't know this was in contention for anything. But I guess so. Very glad that clad of song "Cinema Italiano" wasn't nominated. Looks like "The Weary Kind" will take this.

Best Sound Mixing: I think it's safe to say that Avatar will sweep these technical awards. But you never know. A war flick might always take the cake, or even Star Trek.

Best Sound Editing: Up? Who knew. Avatar will probably take this one.

Best Visual Effects: Do I even need to write who will grab this one up.

Best Animated Feature: Ah animation, my love. The Secret of Kells was out of left field, but after seeing the trailer (which I'll post at the end of this) I'm please to see it up there. But I think Up will take it.

Best Foreign Language: The White Ribbon should get this one.

Best Documentary Film: Everyone is talking about The Cove. If you get a chance to see even some stills from this, you'll get a pretty good understanding as so why this will probably get this award.

Best Documentary Short Subject & Best Animated Short & Best Live Action Short: I am going to be seeing these all screened soon in Detroit. So I'll be putting up my thoughts later.

For now here is the trailer for The Secret of Kells. Enjoy!

Happy moviegoing folks!