Tag Archives: cinema

Trailer Thursday: “Kumiko the Treasure Hunter”

Every year around this time you hear some art house hipster complaining that the Independent Spirit Awards have somehow “gone Hollywood.” And while I can see how some people might think that — especially considering how much overlap there is these days between the Spirit Awards and the Oscars — actually, many of the films celebrated at the Spirit Awards are as freaking weird and independent as they come.

This year, there were two movies that got me excited enough to think about actually paying (!) to see them in a theatre. I know, shocking, huh? The first one was writer/director Ana Lily Amirpour’s B&W Iranian vampire spaghetti western A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night which, well, kind of had me at B&W Iranian vampire spaghetti western. So cool!

And the second movie was Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter. Starring Academy Award nominee Rinko Kikuchi (Babel) as a young Japanese woman on a quest to find buried treasure in the frozen American heartland, the movie looks just as cool as the concept sounds.

Scoring two Spirit Award nominations this season, one for Best Director (David Zellner) and a Best Actress nod for Kikuchi, Kumiko opens next month in select theatres and I, for one, cannot wait to see it. So, check out the badass trailer below and let me know what you think!

 

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Oscar Nominees 2015

OK, let’s just start with the biggest upset of the morning, no LEGO Movie Oscar nomination for Best Animated Feature? What the hell?! To steal a line that has been tweeting around the internet all morning: everything is NOT awesome. Seriously, even the Best Original Song nomination for the film’s crazy-addictive “Everything is Awesome” can’t numb the pain of losing out on what many considered to be sure bet for Best Animated Feature. Wow…still totally shocked.

Also very disappointed to see Nightcrawler’s Jake Gyllenhaal and Rene Russo overlooked in the acting categories. They both deserved serious consideration for their stellar work in the film, but, I am thrilled to see it score a Best Original Screenplay nod for writer/director Dan Gilroy. Nightcrawler was one of my favorite films last year and I’m definitely rooting for Gilroy to take home the gold, so, rock on, dude!

If I had one major gripe — aside from the two mentioned above — it’s that the Academy showered so much love and so many nominations on movies that, in my mind, were just OK. I mean, seriously, Whiplash and Foxcatcher for Best Picture? Yikes…

And while I’m delighted to see J.K. Simmons finally getting some Oscar love for his kick-ass turn in Whiplash, I gotta say, the rest of the movie is completely overrated. A total “actors movie” with a lot of showy stuff going on but not much else. Same thing with Foxcatcher. Again, very happy to see Steve Carrell finally snare a richly-deserved Best Actor nod, but, beyond the acting the movie was a mess and the fact that it scored Best Adapted Screenplay and Director nods is completely flabbergasting. Wow…

On the plus side, I actually yelped out loud (OK, more like screamed) when Laura Dern’s name was read in the Best Supporting Actress category. She gave an absolutely transcendent performance in Wild and if you ask me, this is her time to shine. She was the heart and soul of the film and literally lit up the screen with her powerful, soulful work. I think she was my favorite nomination this morning. Very excited for her!

I’m also totally stoked to see Boyhood continuing it’s climb to the top in a very chaotic award season. This movie has haunted me more than any other this year and I’m hoping it wins everything it’s nominated for. And yes, I know that means Patricia Arquette would beat Laura Dern in the Best Supporting Actress race, but, hey, there’s room for more than badass mother performance, so, I’m hoping for a tie!

Another cool surprise was the Best Original Song nomination for “Lost Stars” from another one of my favorite films last year, Begin Again. That movie was amazing and even if they didn’t get nominated for their performances in the film, I’m gonna pretend that Kiera Knightley and Mark Ruffalo’s Oscar nominations this morning — for The Imitation Game and Foxcatcher, respectively — were for that movie instead. Either way, glad the stodgy old Academy remembered this lovely film.

And speaking of memory (I know, nice transition here, sorry) I am so excited to see Julianne Moore in the Best Actress race for her career-best work in Still Alice. That movie devastated me and her performance is definitely the stuff Oscar gold is made of. And if you ask me, it’s about freaking time Moore takes home an Academy Award. No one even came close to her this year…she’s probably the one sure bet this season and she deserves everything she gets. Rock on, red!

And even though Guardians of the Galaxy missed out on a Best Picture nomination, it did score a Writers Guild of America nomination last week and picked up two Oscar nods this morning as well. One for Best Visual Effects, (go, Groot!) and one for Best Make-up and Hairstyling (go, Gamora!) so, I’m not complaining. On a related note, it was very cool to see something other than stuffy English period films in the Best Costume Design category with Maleficent and Inherent Vice picking up surprise and totally deserving nominations. Rock on, crazy Maleficent horns!

Speaking of Inherent Vice, even though I only liked the first hour of the film (which is perfect!) and it descended into total madness in the second half, I have to admit I am glad to see writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson nominated in the Best Adapted Screenplay category. Knowing Oscar voters, who have a rich history of rewarding people for the wrong movies, Anderson, who should have won for Boogie Nights, Magnolia and There Will Be Blood, will finally win an Oscar for his work here.

The bad news is that two really deserving writers got totally shut out in Anderson’s Adapted Screenplay category. Novelist Nick Hornby’s script for Wild was incredible and deeply moving. And though I haven’t seen it yet, Gilian Flynn’s adaptation of her novel Gone Girl is supposed to be pretty badass too. Sadly, their slots got taken by the likes of total groaners like Foxcatcher and Whiplash instead. Oy…makes me want to groan again.

And finally, even though Bradley Cooper knocked Jake Gyllenhaal out of the Best Actor race, Cooper gave one of the best male performances of the year in American Sniper and I was really glad to see the film pick up so many nods this year. It’s a really great flick with a, pardon my French, fucking doozy of an ending. Amazing!

OK, that’s all for now. You can find a complete list of this year’s nominees here. And, as always, I’m dying to hear what you guys think of this year’s crop of nominees, so, comment away!

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Date Night Movie: “Into the Woods”

Usually when I write about date night movies I'm taking about stuff that Mrs. Yeti and I see without Greta, but, tonight's “date night” was even more special. Greta and I saw a screening of Into the Woods on the Disney lot tonight and it was magical.

The movie was fantastic, the weather was wet and shimmery but not cold and the studio backlot was decorated to the hilt for tomorrow's annual tree lighting ceremony. Daddy/Daughter “date night” perfection! Seriously, we could have strolled around that gorgeous, candy-colored backlot all night…in fact, we kinda did. Enjoy the pics!

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Trailer Thursday: “Interstellar”

Since premiering at Comic Con a couple of weeks ago, this new, extended trailer for the upcoming flick Interstellar has been thrilling sci-fi geeks everywhere. I finally saw it yesterday without having heard anything about the movie and I was totally along for the ride based on the, pun intended, “stellar” cast involved alone.

But once I saw that the mad genius at the helm was Christopher-freaking-Nolan, well, that pretty much sealed the deal. I literally cannot wait to see this movie! So cool!!

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“Star Wars” Sneakers!

Any Star Wars fan worth their Adegan crystals knows that today is Star Wars Day, or, as some prefer to call it: “May the Fourth be with You” Day. And while there are probably millions of celebrations taking place around the globe today — Greta and I have been playing the LEGO Star Wars video game on the Wii — perhaps one of the coolest involves the release of a brand new line of bad-ass footwear by Vault for Vans.

STAR WARS sneakers by Vans

That’s right, Jedis, the slacker geniuses behind the world’s favorite skater slip-ons have upped their cool factor once again by releasing a limited edition line of sneakers, backpacks, hats and accessories featuring characters from the Star Wars universe.

My favorites are the pair with the stormtrooper helmets and the slip-on’s with the AT-AT Walkers, lightening bolts and little palm trees! Talk about the perfect shoes for summer! Awesome!

To check out more of the very cool stuff Vans is doing to celebrate Star Wars day, click here. And however you chose to celebrate today, rest assured that the fourth will be you…always.

STAR WARS sneakers by Vans

STAR WARS sneakers by Vans

STAR WARS sneakers by Vans

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Trailer Thursday: “Boyhood”

I’ve been a huge fan of writer-director Richard Linklater’s work since his mid-90’s glory days of Slacker, Before Sunrise and Dazed and Confused. Hell, I even dig most of the big studio movies he directed for hire as well. For while projects like School of Rock and the hilarious Bad News Bears remake with Billy Bob Thornton might not have penned by Linklater, they are still totally infused with this distinctly Linklater-ish warmth and offbeat humor.

Of course, School of Rock was written by another one of my film geek heroes, the super cool Mike White, and features a bunch of very cute kids playing music (which Greta absolutely loves!) so, it’s got that going for it as well.

Anyway, I’m always excited to see what Linklater’s got cooking, but, this new trailer for his upcoming flick Boyhood totally threw me for a loop. Simply put, it looks amazing!

Shot over twelve years with the same actors (newcomer Ellar Coltrane, Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette, among others) the movie follows Coltrane’s life in real time like no other movie I can think of. Sure, Michael Apted’s critically-acclaimed Up series covers similar terrain, but, those films are documentaries. Linklater’s fictional story about one boy’s coming of age looks like something totally new and boldy-original.

I can’t even imagine the level of patience something like this would take to make. Wow. And as a parent who has watched the last five years fly by, the changes in Coltrane’s appearance as he ages literally took my breath away. Wow!

So, even if the movie itself totally sucks, I applaud Linklater for tackling something so totally outside the box. Enjoy the clip and kudos to you, Mr. Linklater…long may you innovate!

 

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“Star Wars: Episode VII” Cast Unveiled

Star Wars fans everywhere rejoiced this week at the news that director J.J. Abrams had finalized the cast for his upcoming and still untitled, Star Wars sequel. Even cooler than the confirmation that old favorites like Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford would definitely be returning was the news that such bad-ass actors as Girl’s star Adam Driver, Inside Llywen Davis lead, Oscar Isaac, Max von Sydow, and the man who plays Gollum, Andy Serkis will be joining the franchise as well.

I mean, seriously, just the idea of Serkis — an actor from one of my all-time-favorite film franchises: The Hobbit/The Lord of the Rings — joining the cast of another of my all-time-favorite film franchises is enough to make my big geeky head explode! So cool!

New STAR WARS cast

And even though there was only one new female cast member announced (newcomer Daisy Ridley) Abrams has hinted that there may be more to come in the weeks ahead, so, you never know.

I’m just hoping they cast someone to play Anakin’s former Padawan, Ahsoka Tano. Tano was, by far, the coolest character to emerge from The Clone Wars animated series and her fate was left very much in limbo at the end of the televised series. So, the thought of her character re-emerging in the live action sequels is almost too cool to contemplate. Seriously, I get goosebumps just thinking about it! Go, Ahsoka!

To read more Star Wars: Episode VII casting news, click here. And in the meantime enjoy this amazing pic of the new cast at a “table read” with Abrams. I love how R2-D2 is there in that little packing crate too…so rad!

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