Category Archives: wachowski brothers

Cloud Atlas Preview

Based on the wonderful groundbreaking steampunk novel by David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas opens on October 26th, 2012.

Oscar Thoughts and Predictions 2010

First up on the agenda is the wild number of films up for the best Picture Oscar. The Academy is rather transparent in this ploy. Open it up to some super-popular blockbusters and maybe more folks will be interested, root for their favorites and tune in. Ratings equal money, awards for accomplishments be damned – this is America after all.

No matter how many hope for their favorite ‘popular’ movie, it’s probably not going to win. That’s just not how the Academy works, thankfully. It’s how their publicity people work, but not the Academy. Yeah, Up and Avatar are in the mix, but no one’s voting for them over The Hurt Locker or Precious, trust me.

And there are important oversights this year. Most notable is Sam Rockwell with his acting tour de force in Moon. Oh yeah, I forgot, with rare exception, the Oscars are only for films that came out in the last two months of the year. Oh well, the ‘rules’ eliminated that one, but what about Anthony Mackie in The Hurt Locker? He acts the ass off Jeremy Renner who is nominated.

And I bet Julia Roberts is steaming that Sandra Bullock cleaned up this year with roles that Roberts turned down, and may even win an Oscar for one. I really hope Julia is on hand for candid reaction shots Sunday night.

Nothing for Watchmen. Wow. I’m really surprised, especially after the way the Academy kissed the butt of one of the worst superhero movies ever, The Dark Knight last year. You’d think they’d have a little something for one of the best. And speaking of genre films – where was Ponyo? Not in foreign or animated. Damn.

Well, enough rambling and bitching. Here are my picks – and let’s keep in mind, these are who I think will win, not who should win…

Best animated film – As much as I’d like to see The Princess and the Frog take it, it’s Up all the way. It’s easily one of the best films in some time. Of course, had Ponyo been here, it would have won.

Best documentary – I think the politically correct Academy will bow to the Health Nazis this year and give it to Food, Inc.

Best song – This one depends on other awards I think. If Jeff Bridges doesn’t get best actor, they’ll give it to “The Weary Kind” to make up for it. And if Up doesn’t get best animated it will take the song here, probably with “Down in New Orleans.” My bet is “New Orleans.”

Best original score – I’m a huge Michael Giacchino fan so my heart leans toward his score for Up but I also think Hans Zimmer’s Sherlock Holmes blows it away. Why wasn’t Giacchino’s Star Trek nominated? That was the best soundtrack of the year easily.

And as much as I’m tempted to pull a Bill Murray from the classic days of “Saturday Night Live,” I do think these categories matter…

Best supporting actor – This is between Christoph Waltz’ chilling Nazi in Inglourious Basterds and the ever-talented Stanley Tucci. I think the Academy will count Tarantino against Waltz and give it to Tucci. Not the way it should be, but the way it will be.

Best supporting actress – No question, if we can’t have the Nazi villain as a winner, we’ll take the evil mother. Mo’Nique is a definite here.

Best actress – I think that Gabourey Sidibe has good odds, but I also think this may be Sandra Bullock’s year.

Best actor – It’s between Jeremy Renner and Jeff Bridges, although it might go to Morgan Freeman for body of work. Renner is young and it’s about time for Bridges. My money is on Jeff Bridges.

Best picture – The Hurt Locker. It’s a hell of a film, powerful, well acted, and brilliantly shot. Kathryn Bigelow deserves it.

Best director – James Cameron, for Avatar. It’s a hard call, but he’ll get it for advancements in film and special effects. But then again, if that were actually how things worked, the Wachowski brothers are owed a few direction Oscars for Speed Racer and the Matrix trilogy. But who says these things are fair. And if I’m right on these first two awards, it should be a happy night in the Cameron/Bigelow household.

There you go, folks, place your bets. See you late Sunday night!

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Speed Thrills

Speed Racer ~ Forget the Matrix films, and even forget Bound, this –at least so far- is the crowning achievement of the Wachowski brothers.

Folks have said that it’s too bright, too busy and too fast to watch and that it causes headaches, but my advice is to get used to it. But if memory serves, those are the same complaints made to Toni Basil about her “Mickey” music video waaay back in 1982, and so she toned it down. Now, not only are fast cuts commonplace but that particular video is considered extremely tame. Media will change, and the audiences will get acclimated. With Speed Racer, the Wachowskis have come very close to creating a completely new style of film. Twenty years from now, they will be praised as visionaries. I would bet on it. This is an experience rather than a film.

Speed Racer is busy, and I’m sure multiple viewings will be required to catch every nuance. For this reason I predict its box office as well as DVD rentals and sales will be huge. There are superior performances from Matthew Fox, Susan Sarandon, Christina Ricci and Rain, and especially all the cars, real CGI or green screen. If I were pressed to find something wrong with the flick I would say at times the Wachowskis make the same mistake NBC made with “Knight Rider.” When in doubt, always remember, the car is the star.

Speed Racer is an incredible film. As a kid who grew up watching the original “Speed Racer” cartoon, and then, like all my friends, replaying out what I’d seen with my Hot Wheels and Matchboxes, this is a dream come true. See it, see it twice, and as they say in lacrosse – you’ll pay for the whole seat, but you’ll only need the edge.