Well guys, this is it. At long last, I'm going to take my talen... I mean, my trip to WordPress! (Sorry, I couldn't resist the urge to take a shot at LeBron. Lakers all day!) I know this is long overdue, just like the hundred plus unfinished reviews I've accumulated since starting this website, but I'm finally coming back here to Weebly to say goodbye for good. I won't be advertising this final farewell blog, and I don't know if anyone will ever see it, but in case any one should stumble upon it, I hope it will provide some closure and understanding. After two years spent with my website on Weebly, I decided to change course and move to WordPress. While I did enjoy having my website here, I feel Weebly's lack of community features and interaction limited my growth and views, and that's my main reason for leaving. Personally, I found it hard to keep pushing when it felt like no one really noticed or appreciated all of my hard work and dedication. Still, I did enjoy it. I like having a place to express my ideas and gather my thoughts and share my opinions with the rest of the movie-loving world. Surely that's what has kept me coming back again and again, even if it's been sporadic at best.
As I switched to WordPress, I changed the domain of this outdated Weebly site to 5minutemovieguy.weebly.com, which ended up resulting in hundreds of broken links. At the time, I didn't want to bother with fixing them all, nor updating my home page. Instead I kept my sights on moving forward. But now, looking back, this place deserves better. So I've spent the last day fixing any broken links I could find and just doing some general site clean-up. All in all, despite my lack of consistent content, I can at least take comfort in knowing that I produced quality content here at Weebly. It's been an experience I'll never forget, and I want to thank all of you who joined me for the ride. Giving me your time, input, and support is something I will always be grateful for. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart!
Now hop on board, my friends. You've got a train to catch! I'll see you at WordPress! This is 5 Minute Movie Guy, over and out!
5 Minute Movie Guy
As the world eagerly awaits tonight's release of the much anticipated final trailer of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, I find myself pondering the big question that is on all of our minds -- where the heck is Luke Skywalker?!
Outside of a leaked image and a voice-over in the second teaser trailer, we haven't really seen him, aside from maybe an arm. It seems director J.J. Abrams is determined to keep him under wraps as much as possible. I hate spoilers as much as the next guy, so I have no problem with that, but it does seem rather peculiar that our franchise hero has been so glaringly absent. We're less than 2 months away from the release of The Force Awakens, and still no Skywalker. Of course that could all change tonight when the trailer drops on ESPN's Monday Night Football, but in the meantime, allow me to share my own theory...
Let's first take a moment to consider the possibilities here. At the end of The Return of the Jedi, Luke Skywalker is the last known living jedi. He saved the galaxy and with the help of his father Darth Vader, he overthrew the Emperor of the evil Galactic Empire. (Spoilers be damned! If you haven't seen the original Star Wars trilogy by now, you need to rethink your life!) What happens next in the Star Wars timeline isn't exactly clear. We know that the Empire has been defeated, Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine are dead, and the second Death Star has been destroyed. The last time we see Luke Skywalker, he's looking onward as his dead father's body and armor burns in a funeral pyre.
Where does this leave Luke? He's now arguably the most powerful person in the galaxy and there's probably a whole lot of people that want him dead. I don't imagine he's ice-fishing on Hoth or sunbathing on Tatooine. The most likely scenario is that he has, like his mentors Obi Wan Kenobi and Yoda once did, gone into hiding. Or perhaps, he's gone into disguise...
Enter Kylo Ren. Not much is known about his character, but we do know that he is aligned with the Dark Side of the Force. He wields a never-before-seen crossblade lightsaber, he wears a mask, and he has an obsession with Darth Vader. If you start to piece things together, I think there's plausible evidence that he very well could actually be Luke Skywalker, and that J.J. Abrams has actually been hiding Luke Skywalker under our noses this whole time.
Here are some brief bulletpoints to explain my theory, and I'll expand upon it later (sorry guys, I'm pressed for time here!)
I've got at least a couple more points, but I'll have to explain them later when I have more time. I want to be clear, though, that I'm not in any way suggesting that I think Luke Skywalker has turned to the Dark Side. I think he's working undercover to keep fighting against them, while also protecting himself. Remember, the Dark Side is hard to see. What better way to spot them than by earning their trust and appearing to be one of them?
Enjoy the trailer, guys! I can't wait to see it when I get home from work tonight! Let me know what you think about my crazy fan theory. I really think I might be onto something here!
5 Minute Movie Guy
One Ticket to Jurassic World!
When I was a young kid, I had two major obsessions. One of them was Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The other? Dinosaurs.
As a kid, I was shy and introverted, with a fervent passion for learning. I wanted to be a ninja, and I studied the ways of Master Splinter and the Turtles. Heck, I pretty much thought I was a Ninja Turtle. (Jonatello, to be precise). I also had countless books about dinosaurs and studied all of the various species. Though I wouldn't go so far as to say that I wanted to be a dinosaur, but I did dress up as one for Halloween in like the third grade, so then again maybe I did. I read these books so often that I'm still able to recognize the artwork today (see below). I was completely fascinated with anything and everything about dinosaurs.
In addition to all of that reading, I remember learning even more about dinosaurs in school, including theories about what may have caused their extinction. (Anyone who's anyone knows it was the aliens in Independence Day that wiped them out.) But my exposure to dinosaurs surely didn't stop there. You might recall an awesome, animated dinosaur movie by the name of The Land Before Time. Who doesn't love that timeless classic? Talk about a tearjerker! I'm experiencing nostalgia overload over here!
Then of course, there's these bad boys hanging out along Interstate 10 in Cabazon, California. Any of you fellow Californians remember Dinny the Dinosaur and Mr. Rex? I can recall the excitement I had when I'd see them on the way to our family's favorite vacation spot. I think I can even vaguely remember us stopping there once to get a closer look. Pretty cool!
However, as great as all of that dinosaur stuff was, none of it could compare to what happened in 1993, when Jurassic Park hit theaters. This movie changed my whole world. Steven Spielberg had done the impossible. He brought dinosaurs back to life!
Can you remember all of the excitement and wonder you felt when watching Jurassic Park for the first time? Do you remember looking on with amazement as the first dinosaur, a towering brachiosaurus, was finally revealed? Spielberg perfectly channels that feeling through his memorable characters, who are just as astonished as we are. Then John Williams' legendary score kicks in at just the right moment to create one of the most awe-inspiring movie moments I've ever seen.
Even without watching the scene, I can hear the sound of that grand musical score blarring in my head right now. It was an unforgettable moment, and better yet, it just the beginning! I can't even imagine how ridiculously excited I must have been in this iconic moment. For the first time ever, I was seeing what looked like a living, breathing dinosaur!
The more I look back on the film, the more I remember what a masterpiece it really is. None of us had ever seen anything like it. Watching Jurassic Park was a completely surreal and mesmerizing experience. Although, of course, all of that joyous wonder quickly turned into true horror with the inclusion of the Tyrannosaurus Rex...
All of the scenes with the T-Rex were sensational. The jeep chase, the car attack, and that incredibly epic ending too. Spielberg turned the T-Rex into an unforgettable movie monster. It's attack on the two cars during the tour is undoubtedly one of my all-time favorite movie moments. The terrifying kitchen scene with the raptors ranks high up on my list too. Jurassic Park is filled with so many great scares and thrills, and Spielberg demonstrates an impressive attention to detail. It's an all-time classic and I love every minute of it. As a child, it was literally the coolest thing I had ever seen, and I still get all giddy just thinking about it now as an adult. Perhaps most importantly, though, it spawned the greatest piece of fan art the world has ever known. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you, "Ian Malcolm: From Chaos"! Behold it's glory. Life finds a way, indeed!
Needless to say, Jurassic Park was one of the defining films of my childhood, and now, 22 years later to the day, I'm heading back to it with the release of Jurassic World. As a child, my dad took me to see Jurassic Park in theaters three times! A personal best record that it held for nearly 20 years! The Dark Knight Rises ended up tying it at 3. At least that was until I saw Jurassic Park again in theaters two years ago when it was re-released in 3D. That pushed it back to the top! An all-time 5 Minute Movie Guy record four times on the big screen! I seriously don't imagine any movie will ever be able to take away that crown from the legendary T-Rex. Not even Batman, the world's greatest superhero, could share it for long!
As you can guess, I'm totally stoked to relive that childhood nostalgia when I see Jurassic World in IMAX 3D tonight! (IMAX 3D? I'm sparing no expense!) I'd love to talk in more depth about all of my love and appreciation for dinosaurs and Jurassic Park, but you're just gonna have to hold onto your butts and wait for that to come later. I've got a ticket to Isla Nublar, to return back to the place where it all began. A trip 65 million years into the past, and I have no intention of being late!
This blog is in the refrigerator! The door is closed, the lights are out, the eggs are cooling, the butter is getting hard, and the JELL-O IS JIGGLIN'!
Now that I'm focusing my efforts back on the website, I'm going to be doing a little bit of clean-up around here. I just wanted to warn you guys ahead of time, since certain things are going to be disappearing permanently. Most significantly, that includes movie trailers. I had debated doing it long ago, but now it's finally happening. The trailer page is just unnecessary busy work and website clutter. I imagine you guys just look up movie trailers you want to see on youtube anyway. That's what I always do.
Of course, removing a feature on the website is never quite as simple as just clicking "Delete" but I will be immediately cutting off user access to it and will gradually eliminate it (that way I won't end up with a whole bunch of dead website links). Fortunately, I will still be sharing movie trailers on my Facebook and Twitter pages for movies I'm personally interested in. So if you're not already following me on social media, then I suppose now is as good of a time as any for you to start. You can follow me on Facebook by clicking here, and on Twitter by clicking here.
I'm also going to be completely eliminating the movie hub pages on the site, which will drastically reduce the number of overall pages. Again, it's too much unnecessary work. I'm just one guy, so I'm not trying to compete with IMDB (it's actually one of my favorite sites, so check it out, movie lovers!) I like things to be neat, organized, and concise, so it's time to tidy up my website once and for all. Thanks for your patience and understanding! Also, if you should happen to run into any broken links in the meantime, please do me a favor and let me know!
5 Minute Movie Guy
My Love for the Wasteland
This week will see the release of Mad Max: Fury Road, one of my top 5 most anticipated movies of the year (find out how high it ranks here), and needless to say, I'm totally pumped for it. It looks insane in the best possible way. Visually and artistically, I think Fury Road may end up being the most breathtaking movie of the year. Call me crazy if you will, but for me, this movie looks like a dream come true. It's as if my greatest desert apocalypse movie fantasy has come to fruition, and yet it looks better than I could have ever possibly imagined. You see, this may sound strange to you, but I have developed something of an obsession with the wasteland. I don't know what it is about it exactly, but something about the desert apocalypse is just entirely fascinating to me. In all honesty, something about it just feels like home.
Maybe it's because I was raised by a family of dirt bike riders. Growing up, the Mojave Desert was our typical weekend getaway. Family and friends would load up their trucks and trailers to meet out in the desert and ride together. Sometimes that involved camping overnight and gathering around a raging campfire where we stayed up late sharing stories and roasting marshmallows. We would sleep in tents under the brilliantly lit stars, only to awake the next morning to do it all over again. It was a crazy, and thrilling experience filled with lots of fun and lasting memories. It was undoubtedly an integral part of my childhood.
My father was the ringleader of it all. He still is. He's been riding dirt bikes for over forty years. He's in his sixties and still revving the throttle every weekend. Age has shown no signs of slowing him down. He even still actively recruits new friends to join him on his riding adventures, since most people can't keep up with his level of dedication and endurance. Dirt bike riding is truly his greatest passion. He raised both of my older brothers into incredible riders, and taught and supported countless others. Even my sister was riding a dirt bike for years. We all grew up surrounded by this cool and captivating world of adrenaline and excitement. Yet despite all of that, I personally never really got into it. I only gave dirt bike riding a haphazard attempt before calling it quits.
Maybe I was too young. Maybe too easily discouraged or frightened. I just don't think I was ready, and as I got older, my interest in it waned. I always figured I'd give it another shot as I reached adulthood, but I never did. Instead I developed something of an adverse attitude towards it all, at least in terms of doing it myself. You see, dirt bike riding has something of an infectious quality to it. Once people start doing it, they just can't get enough of it. It becomes like an addiction. More than the fear of broken bones, it's this obsession that I think really deterred me from it as an adult. I never wanted to be caught under that spell.
Perhaps one day I'll hop back on the saddle and try again. It's not entirely out of the question. I guess we'll just have to wait and see. I'm sure my dad won't hold his breath for it, but I know he'd be the first one to show me the ropes if ever I decide to join him. While we might never share a passion for dirt bike riding, at the very least we still do share a passion for the movies, and that's pretty cool. We're both more than eager to see Mad Max: Fury Road tomorrow when it hits theaters.
Well this blog ended up taking quite a detour. I had intended to talk about my obsession with the wasteland in the Fallout video game series, my self-perceived sanctity of the Mad Max trilogy, and the parallels between the two. Instead I think I'll save all of that for a Part 2. Now if you'll excuse me, it's time for me to properly acquaint myself with the original Mad Max movie.
Just got this Collector's Edition of Mad Max in the mail this week! What a lovely day to watch it!
The 2014 5MMG Awards!
After spending months working on my 2014 5MMG Awards, I feel kind of obligated to write a little something about it. This is that little obligatory something. If you haven't yet seen them, now is as good a time as any to check them out. By now, I imagine most of you have actually seen a good portion of the nominated movies and will have your own opinions on them. With that said, I'd love to hear about your own favorites of the year and see how much they either match up with or differ from my own.
As you read in my last post, The Return of the Movie Guy, a cat attack and a subsequent lack of motivation delayed the awards for a time, and as a result, they weren't finished until long after The Oscars. However, I just want to make it clear that The Oscars' results had no bearing on my choices. I had chosen my winners long before the show, and for the most part, I don't think my nominees often even matched up with the Academy's choices anyway. The only things we really agreed on were Birdman being our favorite movie of the year, and Big Hero 6 being the best animated film. Ironically, I expected Boyhood to win the Oscar for Best Picture and How to Train Your Dragon 2 to win Best Animated Film. Go figure.
So in the end, I came up with 25 award categories in all, with 5 nominees a piece. In retrospect, that part alone was a massively ambitious endeavor. Plus, of course, I wanted to talk briefly about each of the nominees to explain why they were selected. So I wrote a paragraph about each of the 125 nominees, and then longer paragraphs about the 25 winners. I'm not going to waste time trying to break that down any further, but good God, what was I thinking? Hahaha. I jumped right in completely over my head. Factor in all the time that went into formatting the awards, as well as choosing and cropping all the pictures, and well, I probably spent a lot of time looking something like this:
Still, at the end of the day, I'm really proud of the end result here. It was worth all of the struggle, the head banging, and the lack of sleep. If I end up doing movie awards again next year, don't expect them to be nearly this in depth. By then, I'd really like to switch it all to video format. I imagine that would be an easier way to both create and share my content with you guys, especially since I know some people hate reading (obviously not you guys, though, if you're still reading this. You guys are awesome!)
There were a lot of other award categories I came up with but didn't use because A.) I couldn't find 5 suitable nominees for the award, or B.) they weren't that interesting, or C.) 25 awards is already too many. Just for giggles, I'm gonna share a few of those unused award ideas along with which films would have won:
Well there you have it, folks. Those are the 2015 5MMG Awards, and that's all I have to say about that. Please check them out, please vote and comment, and please share your favorites as well. Thanks for reading! I can't wait to read your thoughts!
The Return of the Movie Guy!
Greetings, my friends! I am alive and well, although I've been noticeably absent from my site for the last couple months. I guess I needed a break. During this time, I've mainly been focusing my efforts on social media (mainly Twitter) which is truthfully far more manageable than an entire website. I've nearly even quadrupled my number of Twitter followers in that short time! (Although as my dad would probably joke, "What do you have now? 3?" Yeah, yeah, ha-ha, very funny.)
Still, while increasing my social media followers is cool and all, it's no excuse for neglecting my own website. You guys should be my primary focus, so I need to get hard at work with getting things back on track here. I'm going to start by giving you all one of my regular status update blog posts. You know, where I talk about what I've been up to, what I'd like to do for the future of the site and all that good stuff. We've got a lot of catching up to do, but I'll try to make it brief.
It all began with a cat attack. My own cat, actually. She got her tail caught in the space between the door hinge. I tried to help her and she latched onto my hand, which was then clawed and bit and mauled. This all unfortunately happened right in the middle of my 5MMG Awards (and just days before this year's Academy Awards ceremony). While I thought I was fine, my hand swelled up and reddened significantly, indicating an infection. (I'll spare you the pictures.) Anyway, I had a brief, albeit absurdly expensive visit to the hospital, and decided not to do any extensive typing for the following couple days. This of course meant the 5MMG Awards would not be completed before The Oscars, as had been intended.
What was certainly not intended, however, was for me to take another 2 months to finally go back and finish the awards. I have two explanations for this. 1.) My hand injury gave me a much needed break that I enjoyed a little too much. 2.) I kind of fell in love with Twitter and opted to use that instead. All reasoning aside, I'm really proud of my awards, so if you haven't done so, I hope you'll take a look. I put a tremendous amount of work into the 25 award categories I created, and literally spent months slaving away over it. It was no doubt overly ambitious, but I think it all turned out really well. Here's a link in case you missed them!
A lot has happened in the movie world in the meantime, and if you've been following me on Facebook or Twitter, then you're probably still up to date. For those of you that aren't followers of social media, I'll try to spread some of that love back to the site for your viewing pleasure and convenience. I did just add a Twitter feed to the site's home page so you can scroll through my most recent tweets even if you don't use Twitter. I post some great stuff, so I promise it's worth at least a look. As for the rest of the home page, I acknowledge that it needs some work. I got a few ideas to promote some more content on the page, but I am planning to stick with a more minimalist approach since it's easier to upkeep.
Rather than ramble on right here about everything you may have missed, I'm going to break it down over a few upcoming blog posts. I know it's late, but I'm gonna buckle down and give you my take on this year's Oscars anyway. I'm also going to briefly discuss the 5MMG Awards, as well as my experience with watching the entire Fast and Furious series leading up to the release of Furious 7. I also have my review for Avengers: Age of Ultron in the works, so stay tuned, and please pardon my 4-month hiatus!
(P.S. My cat is totally fine and was giving me kisses shortly after the attack. I was just the unfortunate victim of a freak accident.)
The long-awaited announcement of this year's Academy Award nominations has arrived at last! Thank God Almighty, they are here at last! Oh wait, what? Bad time to reference Dr. King? Oh, wow, would you look at that? Selma got snubbed! Didn't see that coming! I expected Best Picture to be a battle between it and Boyhood, but without even a Best Director nomination, it looks like Selma's chances at taking the top prize are gone, gone, gone! Huh? Wait, what? Gone Girl got snubbed too? All it got was a nod for Best Actress? Not Best Director? Not Best Score? Not even Best Adapted Screenplay? Ouch! How did that happen? Well, it looks like there are quite a few notable omissions in this year's list of nominees, but before I get into all of that, let's check out what did get nominated. Ladies and gentlemen, here are your 2015 Academy Award nominees!
Allow me a moment to speak a little more in depth about this year's top nominees. Ever since I saw Boyhood earlier this year, I've been saying that it's a total lock for Best Picture of the Year. I still think that's true, and even moreso now. The only film that I thought could possibly end up throwing a wrench into this category was Selma, and after seeing that incredible film, I really thought it had a legitimate chance at pulling off an upset. However, since it failed to earn any other nomination other than Best Original Song, I think it's safe to say it's no longer a real contender. On the contrary, we have The Grand Budapest Hotel and Birdman, which each scored 9 nominations apiece, to Boyhood's 6 nominations. Could they take the Academy's top honors this year? It's certainly possible, but given how off-the-wall those films are, I don't expect that to happen. Make no mistake, this is Boyhood's year. It is a film that has been 12 years in the making and it is a truly special and unique piece of cinema that will be recognized and awarded with the highest honor bestowed by the Academy.
While I did really enjoy The Theory of Everything, I'm a little perplexed that it found itself nominated for Best Picture. There are plenty of other films I would have rather seen in its place, namely Gone Girl, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Fury or The Drop. The unfortunate thing about these award shows is that the most popular films don't tend to get much love from voters. In fact, I'm willing to bet that most people haven't seen any of these nominees. I've personally watched 50 movies in theaters in 2014 and yet I've only seen half of them so far. Heck, the highest grossing film nominated is The Grand Budapest Hotel which reached a lackluster box office total of $59.1 million (making it the 53rd highest grossing movie of the year). None of these movies are exactly drawing the masses here, and likely won't be drawing too many viewers come Oscar Sunday.
Eddie Redmayne may have won the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Drama, but despite his impressive portrayal as Stephen Hawking, my money is on Keaton for the win. Jake Gyllenhaal's performance in Nightcrawler failed to make the best actor list, and even worse is that Selma's David Oyelowo is missing. I am borderline appalled that Oyelowo didn't earn a nomination for his outstanding portrayal as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Selma. Oyelowo brilliantly captured one of the most important and revered figures in history, with a performance so captivating, so inspiring, and so passionate, that I thought he was on his way to Oscar glory. As far as I'm concerned, the voters made the wrong choice. This is the true upset of this year's nominees.
The big shocker here is that Amy Adams just won the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Comedy or Musical for Big Eyes, but she isn't even nominated. Instead, we get Marion Cotillard. Granted, she's a great actress, and she even won an Oscar playing Edith Piaf in La Vie en Rose, but this feels like a pretty big snub. Especially when you consider that pretty much no one this side of the globe has actually seen Two Days, One Night.
With a Golden Globe win, J.K. Simmons is now the frontrunner for this category, but I certainly wouldn't say he's a shoe-in for the victory here. While I don't expect Duvall to come away with the win, I do think Edward Norton may possibly be able to seize the golden statue. I'll shamelessly confess that I'm rooting for Hawke to win, and that his victory would mean more to me than any other win at the Oscars this year. I may be a little biased, but I'm predicting he's taking his first Oscar home this year.
While I fully expect Arquette to win this one, I would really like to take a moment to recognize the lovely and incomparable Meryl Streep for her 19th Oscar nomination! No one else even comes close! And I must say, her performance as The Witch in Into the Woods was astonishing and well-deserving of a nomination. In terms of the other nominees, Jessica Chastain's performance in A Most Violent Year was shut out in favor of Laura Dern's in Wild.
So Selma gets a Best Picture nomination, but not a Best Director nomination, and vice versa for Foxcatcher. Something about that seems mistaken. The odds of either of them pulling off a win look pretty slim (nay, annorexic!) without nominations for both. I do have to give some props to Alejandro González Iñárritu for his work on Birdman, which he filmed as if the whole movie were one, long, singular take. It feels almost unfair for other nominees to go up against Boyhood as its filming has transpired over a dozen years to lead to this point, but I guess that's just the luck of the draw. That thought considered, it is certainly possible that voters may attempt to spread the wealth to give other great films a fighting chance against Linklater's juggernaut.
Best Original Song
Begin Again - "Lost Stars" by Gregg Alexander, Danielle Brisebois
Beyond the Lights - "Grateful" by Diane Warren
Glen Campbell: I'll Be Me - "I'm Not Gonna Miss You" by Glen Campbell, Julian Raymond
The Lego Movie - "Everything is Awesome" by Shawn Patterson
Selma - "Glory" by John Legend, Common
I'm predicting Selma's "Glory" is going to win this category. It's a moving and powerful song with a strong message, performed beautifully by John Legend and Common. It's truthfully the only song of the bunch I like at all. Glen Campbell's heart-breaking final song could possibly win instead, but I would be seriously surprised if any of the other three songs won.
Best Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling
Foxcatcher - Bill Corso, Dennis Liddiard
The Grand Budapest Hotel - Frances Hannon, Mark Coulier
Guardians of the Galaxy - Elizabeth Yianni-Georgiou, David White
Hey look! A category that Guardians of the Galaxy has a good shot at winning! With all of their different colored characters and whatnot, there's no way Guardians is going to exit the show empty-handed. This one is in the bag. On another note, I do wonder if Steve Carrell's nose prosthetic alone was enough to get Foxcatcher nominated here. It's quite a nose!
Best Achievement in Visual Effects
Captain America: The Winter Soldier - Dan Deleeuw, Russell Earl, Bryan Grill, Daniel Sudick
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes - Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, Daniel Barrett, Erik Winquist
Guardians of the Galaxy - Stephane Ceretti, Nicolas Aithadi, Jonathan Fawkner, Paul Corbould
Interstellar - Paul J. Franklin, Andrew Lockley, Ian Hunter, Scott R. Fisher
X-Men: Days of Future Past - Richard Stammers, Lou Pecora, Tim Crosbie, Cameron Waldbauer
I think this one is going to be between either Dawn of the Planet of the Apes or Interstellar. I'm giving the edge to Interstellar because of its creativity. While Planet of the Apes does outstanding things in bringing life to the apes, we have seen it all before. In terms of visuals, I've never seen a movie quite like Interstellar. It was a feast for the eyes and the brain!
Best Achievement in Production Design
The Grand Budapest Hotel - Adam Stockhausen, Anna Pinnock
The Imitation Game - Maria Djurkovic, Tatiana Macdonald
Interstellar - Nathan Crowley, Gary Fettis
Into the Woods - Dennis Gassner, Anna Pinnock
Mr. Turner - Suzie Davies, Charlotte Watts
I don't know much about production design, but given Interstellar's amibitous nature and the fact that director Christopher Nolan insisted on creating functional sets rather than relying completely on special effects, I think it's going to win this award. My second guess would be for The Grand Budapest Hotel.
Best Achievement in Sound Editing
American Sniper - Alan Robert Murray, Bub Asman
Birdman - Aaron Glascock, Martín Hernández
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies - Brent Burge, Jason Canovas
Interstellar - Richard King
Unbroken - Becky Sullivan, Andrew DeCristofaro
Best Foreign Language Film of the Year
Ida - Pawel Pawlikowski
Leviathan - Andrey Zvyagintsev
Tangerines - Zaza Urushadze
Timbuktu - Abderrahmane Sissako
Wild Tales - Damián Szifrón
Best Documentary, Feature
Citizenfour - Laura Poitras, Mathilde Bonnefoy, Dirk Wilutzky
Finding Vivian Maier - John Maloof, Charlie Siskel
Last Days in Vietnam - Rory Kennedy, Keven McAlester
The Salt of the Earth - Wim Wenders, Juliano Ribeiro Salgado, David Rosier
Virunga - Orlando von Einsiedel, Joanna Natasegara
Best Documentary, Short Subject
Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1 - Ellen Goosenberg Kent, Dana Perry
Joanna - Aneta Kopacz
Our Curse - Tomasz Sliwinski, Maciej Slesicki
The Reaper - Gabriel Serra
White Earth - Christian Jensen
Best Short Film, Animated
The Bigger Picture - Daisy Jacobs, Chris Hees
The Dam Keeper - Robert Kondo, Daisuke 'Dice' Tsutsumi
Feast - Patrick Osborne, Kristina Reed
Me and My Moulton - Torill Kove
A Single Life - Joris Oprins
Best Short Film, Live Action
Aya - Oded Binnun, Mihal Brezis
Boogaloo and Graham - Michael Lennox, Ronan Blaney
Butter Lamp - Wei Hu, Julien Féret
Parvaneh - Talkhon Hamzavi, Stefan Eichenberger
The Phone Call - Mat Kirkby, James Lucas
Well, that just about sums up my thoughts on the list of nominees. Considering I haven't seen so many of these films, I'll give another update as we get closer to Oscar night. It's on February 22nd, so mark your calendars! What do you guys think? What movies would you like to see win? Share your thoughts on the comments below!
The 2015 Golden Globe Awards!
Did you guys catch the Globes tonight? Maaan! I totally missed them! I had to work and forgot to set the DVR. Oh well! In truth, I usually don't watch them anyway, but I wanted to this year for the sake of the site. I promise I won't miss the Oscars though. I'm planning on doing a live feed blog this year as I watch the show and I'm really excited about that. Anyway, as I've said before, I don't watch television shows, so half of the Golden Globes are meaningless to me, which is why I don't usually bother tuning in. However, now that awards season is in full-swing, I thought I'd share the results of Sunday's show, as well as my thoughts on some of the nominees and winners. Look alive, people! Golden Globe spoilers abound!
I'm a little disappointed that I won't be having this category featured in my own upcoming 5MMG Awards since I haven't seen 5 animated films this year to make it eligible. I did, however, see all of these minus The Lego Movie, and I think How to Train Your Dragon 2 is an excellent choice. It really was a beautiful and impressive film that was brimming with creativity.
I wasn't about to listen to 5 or more hours of musical scores to give more thorough feedback on this award, but the movie that had the most memorable score to me was Birdman. It's just so fresh and unique with its emphasis on drum use. Gone Girl's score is perfectly eerie and unsettling, while Interstellar's is about as epic as humanly possible. What I recall of The Theory of Everything's score was that it was whimsical and delightful and felt very fitting to the film.
I just went ahead and listened to all of these nominated songs, and I definitely think the best song won. Glory is a powerful, uplifting song with great lyrics and an even greater message. It is beautifully sung and is a wonderful collaboration between Common and the always impressive John Legend. Nothing will stand in the way of this song winning an Oscar.
Considering how off-the-wall and brilliant Birdman is, I'm think it's a worthy winner here. It's even more impressive when you discover the ways it parallels Shakespeare's Macbeth. It's fresh, bizarre, and completely fascinating.
This win should come as no surprise to anyone who has been following the buzz of the awards race or who has actually seen Boyhood. Patricia Arquette gives a deeply insightful and touching performance in the film. I think she has a great shot at winning the Oscar too, but then again, I haven't yet seen A Most Violent Year nor The Imitation Game. As for Meryl, I was astounded by her performance in Into the Woods. How foolish of me to ever underestimate Meryl Streep!
I would have put my money on Ethan Hawke pulling away with this win, but then again, I haven't seen Whiplash. Still, I think Hawke was the best thing about the brilliant and magical film Boyhood. I can't knock Simmons until I see Whiplash myself, but in the meantime, I still have my fingers crossed for Ethan Hawke when Oscar night comes around.
It's strange to me how the Golden Globes break up the Best Acting awards into drama and musical or comedy. It gives more actors a chance to win, but it also leads to some suspicious categorization. I personally wouldn't consider Big Eyes, Maps to the Stars, or The Hundred-Foot Journey as being comedies, but I guess that's just how the Globes want to roll. I'm pleased to see Emily Blunt and Helen Mirren score nominations here, but I can't comment on the other performances.
Julianne Moore has been the frontrunner of the award buzz and she delivered with an important win here. Can she win the big one from The Academy? She's been nominated four times already but has never earned Oscar gold. I think this will be her year.
I'm elated to see Michael Keaton walk away with the win here. He's outstanding in Birdman. I loved every moment of his ballsy performance. It'll be interesting to see how well he fares against the tougher competition he'll no doubt face during the Oscars.
When I first heard that Eddie Redmayne was a Best Actor contender, I easily dismissed him. I didn't think he had any shot at actually competing with the big boys. Then I went and saw The Theory of Everything, and I made a complete 180! Not only did I realize he belonged, but I felt he had a legitimate chance at winning. He proved that here at the Golden Globes. His touching transformation as Stephen Hawking as he succumbs to motor neutron disease is nothing short of remarkable. Bravo, Eddie!
What Richard Linklater did to create Boyhood is a landmark achievement in cinema. He spent 12 years putting his masterpiece together, and it's a joy to see the hard work of his incredible vision pay off. Did you know the movie was filmed in just 39 days? He would film for one weekend each year. There's no telling how many hours he put into perfectly editing it all together. It was an ambitious project and I admire that he has devoted himself to it for over a decade. This win is well deserved!
I haven't yet seen The Grand Budapest Hotel, and I do think it looks delightful, but I'm quite surprised it pulled off the win over Birdman. I thought Birdman had this one in the bag. This win just makes me want to watch The Grand Budapest Hotel even more.
I've been saying all year that Boyhood was going to win Best Picture, so it's no surprise to me that it nabbed the top Golden Globe award. The only movie that has a chance at keeping it from winning the top Academy Award now is Selma. Now that I've seen Selma for myself, I can say it's going to be one heated race. They're both worthy winners in my book.
Well, it looks like that's it on the movie side of things. There were a few big surprises, but none that I can strongly object against. The Globes are always a nice preview of what's on the horizon, with several award shows soon to follow. On Thursday morning, Oscar nominations will be revealed, and I'm still hard at work on the even more illustrious 5MMG Awards. Now is the perfect time to start paying attention to the movies you've missed this year and to start watching some of the award show favorites!
2014 - The Year in Review
Happy New Year!!
I hope you all had a great time last night ringing in the new year, and that you had a wonderful holiday season too! I personally really love the holidays and Christmas time is my favorite of the year. I've been awfully busy the last few weeks interning part-time as one of Santa's helpers, but now I'm back and ready to get the ball rolling towards bigger and better things!
2015 is now officially underway and we have some huge blockbuster films to look forward to over the next 365 days of the year. We also have a jam-packed January to kick things off as we head into awards season in the quest for that coveted Academy Award! In light of the New Year, I'd like to take a moment to look back and reflect on the year and give you all some insight into what it's been like running my very first website here at 5 Minute Movie Guy.
Before I get into that, I'd like to announce that I'm going to be holding a 2014 Awards ceremony of my own. I'm excited about it and hope you will be too! Rather than telling you what I think are the best movies and performances of 2014, I'm going to focus instead on my own personal favorites and least favorites. I've decided that I'm going to save my "best of the year" selections for when I do my Oscar predictions in a few months from now. Why? Well, just because you can respect and appreciate a film, it doesn't necessarily mean you like it. Plus doing it this way also gives me the opportunity to make my own silly categories, so I intend to have plenty of fun with that. Anyway, let's get started by breaking down the first half-year of 5minutemovieguy.com with some statistics:
All in all, it's been a long and arduous year. Starting my own website turned out to be a far more ambitious and rigorous project than I had ever anticipated. Still, I'm happy with what I've accomplished, and I'm grateful for any help I received along the way. To be perfectly honest, however, I feel as though I'm at a crossroads here with this website. I'm not really sure how much longer I'm going to continue to do this. While I've enjoyed having this website, it may very likely end up getting put on the backburner while I pursue my dream career. The immense time investment required to run this website without a staff makes it illogical to attempt to juggle both. I had thought that perhaps this site could potentially end up turning into a career of sorts, but after sixth months of hard work, I'm not seeing any indication of that happening. Still, no matter what happens, I'm not just going to pull the plug on the site, as I still have lots to share with you and I love having it as a platform to write about my passion.
While it's evident that I'm feeling burnt out at the moment, there has been a lot of fun and satisfaction in creating something of my own and watching it grow. For me, there's a tremendous thrill in creating something from an idea. I love losing myself in that conceptual stage and seeing my ideas realized and transformed. I vividly remember the day I opened my website, when I was finally able to show my creation to the world. I had been preparing for that day for weeks, and although I didn't have too much to show for it that day, it was the start of something fresh and exciting. The feedback was outstanding and it felt so immensely rewarding. This little website grew from being just a blog page and a couple reviews into having news, galleries, polls, trailers, interactive features, and more. It's been a fun ride even if I ended up getting myself in way over my head. I'd like to clarify that I'm not finished and I'm not calling it quits. I'm just interested in exploring some new avenues, here and elsewhere. I want to thank you all for the support you've given me. I greatly appreciate your feedback and interaction, and most of all, your time. It means a whole lot to me that you guys spend your time taking a look at my site and reading what I have to say (no matter how ridiculous some of it is). That's truly invaluable to me, and I sincerely thank you for that.
So what lies on the horizon for 5 Minute Movie Guy? There's still something really big and crazy and stupid I'd like to tackle this year. Another idea of mine that I've kept mostly under wraps, and I'd really love the chance to make that dream come true. While that idea is currently on hold, I'm certainly not giving up on it. I'd really like to also get a youtube channel up and running for the site this year. It'll allow me to combine my passion of filming with my passion of talking about movies. Plus I think it would just make things easier for me, and simultaneously would allow me to improve my social skills as well as my comfort level in front of the camera. I'm personally really pumped for the Oscars this year, and I think you should be too. Despite what box office sales may suggest, it has been a fantastic year for movies. I think this year, it really will be a pleasure just to be nominated, given how strong the competition is. The Academy Awards are my favorite event of the year and for the first time ever, I'm going to have seen all of the Best Picture nominees before the big show. It'll be even cooler to watch after having actually seen so many of the films and performances that are going to be nominated. In the meantime, my year-end awards are on the horizon and they are in progress! Stay tuned! Nominees and winners are coming soon to a 5MMG blog near you!