Top 5 Favourite Character Performances In The Planet Of The Apes Series

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1. & 2 Cornelius & Zira-Played By Roddy Mcdowall (Planet of the Apes and Escape from the Planet of the Apes) And Kim Hunter (Planet of the Apes, Beneath the Planet of the Apes and Escape from the Planet of the Apes) 1968-1971

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Without question the most likeable Apes characters in the history of the series, Roddy McDowall and Kim Hunter both shine in their respected roles as a devoted couple, who could be my favourite couple in screen history, no lie. While in the first film Hunter shines more than McDowall I must say, and definitely gets more screen time, and in the second McDowall was replaced and it kinda wasn’t the same, in their third and final outing together there a double team this time, being lovely, funny and wholly endearing that it’s utterly tragic the horrific fate that they receive.

3. Caesar-Played By Roddy McDowall (Conquest of the Planet of the Apes and Battle for the Planet of the Apes) 1972-3

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Continuing on in the series playing his own son, McDowall not only gives his best performance in his first go around as Caesar, it may also be his best role period! In Conquest McDowall went through the wringer as Caesar, going from a frightened, embittered pet, to a hostile slave, to a rageful and forceful revolutionary leader, and McDowall expertly handles it. The bit where he’s in tears that turn quickly, ever so quickly into rage after his kindly master as been killed in Conquest also is McDowall’s crowning acting moment in the whole series, but let’s not also rule out his climactic speech at the end of Conquest too, but chilling and scene chewing in equal measure. He may not have been as likeable as he was playing his Dad, but he sure was better this time around.

4. Col. George Taylor-Played By Charlton Heston (Planet of the Apes and Beneath the Planet of the Apes) 1968-1970

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Hammy and dated by today’s standards of acting sure, but Heston sure did deliver the best human character the series has ever had, one that has never been topped, and at this rate unlikely to. Playing a cynical, disillusioned astronaut who’s really a prick when you think about it, who’s put through the wringer when he lands on earth centuries later dominated by Apes, Heston memorably scene chews his way through the film, screaming his most memorable lines (“It’s A Madhouse!”, “You Maniacs! You Blew It Up! Oh Damn You! God Damn You All To Hell!”) and detractors of Heston’s performance should be noted that he came down with a bad case of the flu while filming, which greatly helped however when he delivered his first immortal words to the apes (“Take Your Stinking Paws Off Me You Damn Dirty Ape!”) so think about it, how many actors could deliver a lively, classic role with gusto as well as Heston did here hmm?

5. Koba-Played By Toby Kebbell (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) 2014

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The dopest Ape ever created, Koba is as Iv said before spine chillingly terrifying, along with the scars on his body also helping, as well as equally badass in full measure. Every single moment with Kebbell’s Koba is just amazing, and each scene of his just gets better and better, best of all is when he’s leading the battle against the humans, riding on horseback and firing two guns like a pimp, as well as eventually jumping onto a tank and taking over (hands down the best shot in the film) kind of like a gremlin. An already dark character, however he manages to get darker as the film goes on, but it’s just utterly gripping and Kebbell completely sells, and very nearly even gives original series star Roddy McDowall a run for his money. I hope he returns for the next and that his fate is not sealed, because this is just too good a character to just have for one film, and if I were in charge of nominating and even giving out Oscars he’d not only get a nod for Best Supporting Actor, he’d win it. Yes he’s that good!  

    

 

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes: A Review

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I have seen my favourite film of the year. More than halfway through the year I have seen it. It’s doubtful it’ll be topped in the remaining months, cause it’s just so God damn good. Yes Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, the sequel to the already well done reboot of the classic Planet of the Apes franchise Rise of the Planet of the Apes is not only one of those sequels that’s exponentially better than it’s predecessor, it’s also one of the best films ever made period!

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I had been anticipating this sequel since Rise’s conclusion way back in 2011. Being a massive fan of the original Apes films since I was a kid the Apes franchise holds a special place in my heart. There my Star Wars. So it goes without saying that this was the film I was looking forward to most this year no doubt. But whenever I’m anticipating something, I try my best to not get too excited by it should I be disappointed by the end result.

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But to my wonderful surprise, it not only gave me practically everything I wanted, it exceeded expectations too! I was expecting good like on the same level of good that Rise was, but better as it is a sequel, but oh man I was not expecting that bloody good. This is a dope ass chilling movie man, especially when shit gets very real in the second half. But it also has heart to it, something I was pleasantly surprised by.

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The ape performances through motion capture are way better this time around, it goes without saying. The first 10 or so minutes follows the apes in the jungle and it’s practically wordless with the apes choosing to speak in sign language and it’s just completely captivating that you wish this whole film had only apes in it not humans (a feeling that continued when humans finally do enter the picture). Andy Serkis is even better in this than Rise, and he was great in that also. But the real MVP, the VIP of the whole film goes to another damn dirty ape though however.

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Toby Kebbell, a little known young English character actor, who maybe best known for being in Guy Ritchie’s RocknRolla (2008) but who’ll soon be impressing large audiences again in The Fantastic Four Reboot completely steals the show here as the villainous Koba, a chimp who despises humans for what they did to him in the past, and decides to take matters into his own hands when Caesar won’t do anything about the remaining humans that are left after a virus caused by James Franco’s scientist when he was testing on Caesar and other apes (such as Koba) has wiped out most of civilisation. He is both chillingly terrifying and equally badass, one of the best animated villains ever, up there with Scar from The Lion King (1994) and is the best motion capture performance since Serkis’s own Gollum in The Lord of the Rings series, he’s certainly my fave role of the year, and when he starts the war between apes and humans that will signal the beginning of the end for us humans, but will bring on the Planet of the Apes, it’s just amazing.

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Honestly man, this film gave me so much, and delivered it so well that I feel absolutely wrong here to make a few quibbles. But there’s no such thing as a perfect film, and even an amazing film like this as a few minor problems. The humans for one were completely unengaging, with main Jason Clarke a complete bore, and a horrible face to look at to boot, and the best actor out of the bunch Gary Oldman was severely underused, but y’know this doesn’t wind up being too big a problem as the apes are honestly what you want to see more anyway, so to have a human performance try to top the apes would have been unthinkable. But still, it would have been nice to have at least one human being be as on par as an ape was in this though.

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The ending too was kind of what I wasn’t expecting, in a half not a good way. I thought by the end of this we’d be seeing the apes fully taking over earth and the world becoming the Planet of the Apes. But really the war has only just begun, and we’re still a long way’s off to seeing a world that was shown in the 1968 original classic. By the time we do wind up seeing this I’m pretty sure I’ll be well in my 30s by then, which is mind boggling.

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But my biggest gripe, though admittedly the most minor of them all in the grand scheme of things, is Kitty, er, Judy Greer’s in it, playing Caesar’s wife Cornelia, though you’d honestly wouldn’t tell as she didn’t speak once, not once during the whole film, being relegated to just moan and be sick for most of her screen time, a complete waste of her time and talent, you seriously didn’t need her for this. Hopefully, no she better be used better in the next as I did not experience the fun novelty of seeing an Arrested Development actor in an Apes film yet.

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But honestly though who gives a flying monkey fuck though at whatever problems this film had, it had more awesomeness, smarts, and superb film making than your average film that isn’t made by a genius does, as well as surprises. I never thought I’d hear one of my favourite songs, a 60s song that featured in Easy Rider (No, not ‘Born To Be Wild’) but The Band’s ‘The Weight’ be heard in an Apes film, but it was, nor did I think I’d ever see another classic Apes film after the very first. But now I have. When Godzilla came out earlier in the year I declared that as a staple for how blockbusters should be made. And while it is a great film, sure, this left it in the dust though and I now declare this the blockbuster for which all blockbusters should aspire to, outside of a Christopher Nolan. And so whatever the next instalment has in store for the series I can’t wait so bring it on! *****

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Going Ape! A Planet Of The Apes Retrospective

Iv been an Apes geek for awhile now. Since I was 10 years old in those far off days of 2001, back when Tim Burton was releasing his misfire of a remake was I exposed to the Planet of the Apes, and the franchise that helped turn me into the film buff I am now. Up until POTA I was just a simple, lowly, though admittedly strange kid, basically into whatever all the other kids were into back in those days I suppose. I loved Disney movies, especially Hercules (does anyone even remember that?) and the classic The Lion King, saw every Pixar film at the flicks (remember when they used to be great?), and absolutely loved the series PokemonDigimon and Dragon Ball Z of which I was banned from watching since I tended to get violent towards my young sis whenever I was exposed to it. These sure were far cries from the shows I watch now; Arrested DevelopmentM*A*S*HCurb Your Enthusiasm.

That began to change when I saw 1968’s POTA and it’s subsequent sequels from the 70s. While the films maybe aimed at both young and old alike, with the idea of seeing people monkeying around (excuse the pun) in monkey masks just great fodder for the children, as it certainly was for me, the series was from well before my time and I wasn’t really exposed to older films outside of classics that transcend time such as 1939’s The Wizard Of Oz, 1971’s Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory, to 1978’s Grease (of which I hated at the time, what was wrong with me?!) as well as old Disney classics, some 80s hits such as the 1984 whammy’s of Ghostbusters and especially Gremlins and their sequels, and the original Star Wars trilogy sure.

But after the POTA series my tastes started to deviate more toward older than newer, I began seeking out other films with the stars of the POTA series, Charlton Heston was my favourite actor for a time, at least until I saw Bowling For Columbine and Michael Moore exposed Heston for a pretty insensitive, arrogant gun nut (or did he? Discussion for another time) and as I grew older and was exposing myself to these films before my time I was hooked, simply put, hooked by these movies and performances that may have been out of date yeah, but to me were as in as Pokemon was back in the day.

So what’s so great about Planet of the Apes and why do I love the franchise? First of all it’s a great concept for a film: A planet where walking, talking apes rule much like we do today, minus technology, though that was because of budgetary constraints, a problem the entire series would sadly face. Like I said before it was just cool seeing people in monkey masks acting like people, and it just seemed like the perfect films to lean me towards the older films/shows I eventually got into and make me the man I am today as it’s a pretty childish tale sort of no, but dealt with as seriously (sort of actually) as it could be.

And so when I got into the POTA series, I didn’t just get into it like a normal person would. No I went rather ape with it. Watching em a lot and I do mean a lot, a trait Iv continued with anything that Iv become enamoured with, annoying my older bro who was into the series first and to be fair got me into them in the first place. As I mentioned before Charlton Heston, who played lead human Taylor in the first (and briefly in the second) was my favourite actor at the time I was suffering from monkey fever the most. He was even my idol, which seems rather ludicrous now as I don’t idolise handsome, muscular men at all today.

But then after Bowling For Columbine I stopped watching the original classic for awhile, and gravitated towards the four sequels and became even more into the star and face of the whole franchise Roddy McDowall, who played the lead ape in all but one, than I ever did before. He truly was amazing and wholly convincing, giving a human, credible performance in each film, and I reckoned he should have even been Oscar nominated for his third and especially fourth outings in the franchise. The fourth in particular was not only the best performance he gave in the series, but may have also been his greatest performance period.

Likewise Kim Hunter was loveable as chimp Zira in the first three films, and she too deserved an Oscar nod for either the first but especially the third film, in fact the whole series was filled with memorable characters and performances (as a series should), from as Iv mentioned above Charlton Heston’s Taylor, to Roddy McDowall’s Corneliuis and later his own son Caesar, to James Gregory’s General Ursus (my favourite villain), Maurice Evans as Dr. Zauis, Don Murray’s Governor Breck, to Claude Akins as Aldo, it goes on and on and on.

The plots for each film were good also, if rather bleak, harsh and tragic too. Any time it was able to do any of those three things boy did they take it, and every film ended on a sour note also. The series dealt with adult themes such as war, racism, violence, slavery, religion, politics, they were all there, ranging from subtle to not so, and just because it was shown with actors in ape costumes, it seemed lighter but was still pretty dark anyway.

I was at the height of my Apes mania between 2001-2003. That’s when I would watch the entire series religiously (the first especially in the early days or first year). Like everybody I never got into Tim Burton’s remake, which is a mess, but I do enjoy some aspects of it, and the attempted TV and especially animated series were a bust really. But my Apes obsession died down a little when I was 12 for a bit when I decided to marathon all 5 from the original series all in one day and it was just overkill frankly. I stopped watching the series until eventually either my vhs copies died, or like everyone we converted to dvds and it took me awhile to get them all on dvd and then blu ray. But once I did finally get them in new formats they have become regular fixtures in my life, and I’ll always re watch em for the rest of my life, no doubt about it.

And so in honour of the better reboot Rise of the Planet of the Apes, and on the day of the release of it’s sequel Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (which I’m seeing today) I thought I’d jot down my history with the Apes series and now I’m gonna quickly review and then rank each and every film as well as series.

Planet Of The Apes (1968)

The first and still the reigning champ of the bunch, as it all: An intriguing plot following a cynical astronaut (Charlton Heston) who crash lands on our planet centuries later to discover it’s now run by apes, fascinating even trippy direction from Franklin J. Schaffner, great score from Jerry Goldsmith, thoughtful script from Rod Serling and Michael Wilson that’s more character driven than action packed, stellar performances all around, but special mention has to go out to Heston and Kim Hunter as kind hearted chimp scientist Zira, the most famous twist ending in film history (even people who haven’t seen the film know it, especially since it’s on the covers of any dvd or video copy) and excellent, Oscar winning make-up by John Chambers. Just a genuine classic all round.

Beneath The Planet Of The Apes (1970)

My least favourite film in the series, starts off well enough as a basic retread of the first’s, with another astronaut (James Franciscus, likeable) finding himself in the exact same scenario as Chuck Heston faced in the original, that is until the weird second half involving the astronaut Brent finding himself underground in a buried NYC inhabited by deformed mutant humans who worship a bomb that’s capable of destroying the planet! This sequel suffers from average direction, since the original’s director was busy making the classic Patton. also absent is Roddy McDowall’s Cornelius, this time replaced as he decided to make a film of his own at the time, as well as the pretty bad last half involving the mutants, loses me entirely, and never really manages to find it’s way again. Benefits though from a rousing performance from great character actor James Gregory as General Ursus, and the obligatory downer ending in which Heston’s Taylor blows up the world! So how do you carry on after you’ve blown up the world?!

Escape From The Planet Of The Apes (1971)

Following my least favourite entry, the series came back better than ever with my favourite one, in which my favourite characters Cornelius (Roddy McDowall making his welcome return) and Zira (Kim Hunter) manage to travel back in time to the 70s where their at first greeted positively by us beings, whining and dining (especially Zira which eventually leads to her downfall) but are later feared and hunted down after Zira reveals she’s pregant. Light hearted and rather lovely for the most part, but the second half gets very real on us leading to an inevitably tragic climax. McDowall and Hunter get my vote for possibly favourite couple in screen history, and it’s truly tragic and rather horrific how their both brutally hunted down at the film’s conclusion. But it does neatly set up the final two entries in the series though.

Conquest Of The Planet Of The Apes (1972)

The most violent and bleakest of the series, shows interestingly enough, but ridiculously, how apes came to take over the planet, courtesy of Caesar (Roddy McDowall) the surviving son of Cornelius and Zira. McDowall shines the most in this out of the whole series, believably going through every pathos that he has to go through throughout the film (and he goes through a lot), and handling it expertly. The direction from J. Lee Thompson is also good too, as well as Don Murray’s scene chewing, Hitler-esque performance as the vile, despicable Governor Breck, and it has a truly exciting, dark riot conclusion also.

Battle For The Planet Of The Apes (1973)

The last entry in the original series, maybe a lil cheap looking and I have to agree with one reviewer who recently on their website pointed out that this does look more like a TV Movie, but is better than the rep it’s gotten though. This continues the adventures of Caesar, a few years after he’s taken over the earth, as he faces danger from avenging mutated humans, as well as his own gorilla general Aldo (Claude Akins, entertainingly bad) leading to a climactic battle that although couldn’t go as all out as it would have liked though due to the budget, is still pretty damn good with what they managed to do, a testament to returning director J. Lee Thompson’s skills. It may not have been an epic conclusion to this original series that began more than epically, but is a decent, fine one though that won’t sully the series as a whole, even though it does end literally on a whimper: That of a statue of Caesar crying, pretty bad really.

The TV Series (1974-5)

Following the end of the film series, two attempts to bring the franchise to TV were made, and they both failed. Though the live action one had film star Roddy McDowall in it also, not even he could save the series from being too formulaic and just average. The animated series however was just cheap and dull with barely anything of interest what so ever.

The Remake (2001)

The first attempt to bring it back on the big screen should have been amazing. It was made by visionary director Tim Burton, had an all star cast including Tim Roth, who was the best thing about this film as ape villain Thade, as well as Helena Bonham Carter, Paul Giamatti and Michael Clarke Duncan, had excellent make-up from Rick Baker, and even a memorable though laughable cameo from the original star Charlton Heston as an ape. What went wrong? Well for starters casting Mark Wahlberg as your lead, sorely miscast (though he does sell the bewilderment does he not), Burton’s direction is surprisingly flat, the film borrows waay too much from the classic original, and the ending twist is just too baffling. It would take another ten years, ten long years until the franchise was finally brought back on track.

Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes (2011)

Now this is more like it. A franchise re starter that’s not only good, but also lovingly pays homage to the original film series it’s honouring by continuing it, with excellent motion capture effects as well as performance from the king of mo-cap Andy Serkis as Caesar, that OK I don’t like as much as seeing actors in ape make-up, but is well done none the less. James Franco maybe just as miscast as Walhlberg was 10 years before, but at least this film is good and a worthy redo to the franchise, and I can’t wait for Dawn, which looks even better, and I hear it is. I’ll know soon enough…

Rankings

1. Planet of the Apes (1968) *****

2. Escape From The Planet Of The Apes (1971) ****1/2

3. Conquest Of The Planet Of The Apes (1972) ****

4. Battle For The Planet Of The Apes (1973) ***1/2

5. Beneath The Planet Of The Apes (1970) ***

6. Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes (2011) ***

7. The Remake (2001) ***

8. The Live Action Series (1974) **1/2

9. The Animated Series (1975) **  

             

What Iv Watched Recently

True Detective Season 1: Episodes 1-6 (2014) 

Other than possibly Game Of Thrones this seems to be the most loved show of the year. Certainly the most loved new show of 2014 for sure. It’s got everything: two stars, one experiencing a second wind in his career that I’m not sure is well deserved yet, although McConaughey is pretty fascinating in this as strange, philosophical, obsessive detective Rust Cohle, who sure can make some mean as monologues, an interesting plot following the star studded duo as they try to solve a series of horrific deaths against women that stretches years, even decades, to even the highest honour of having the best made sequence of television so far this year, one that I don’t think will be topped (although a kind of similar scene in Fargo comes close); See the ending 6 minute long tracking shot of episode 4. It’s cinema worthy, as good as something Scorsese does, and would surely make Hitchcock either proud or jealous, most likely both. So why don’t I flat out love this show then? Because as detractor’s have noted it is very dour, doesn’t illicit any rewatchability, and doesn’t grab my attention all the way. When my favourite thing about it is the opening credit sequence that opens each and every episode then that’s a problem. But then again I’m not finished with the show just yet, Iv still got 2 more eps to watch, but surely just 2 more eps isn’t gonna change my opinion on this surely? Seems a very safe bet that out of the 2 popular miniseries to air recently, this and Fargo, that the latter has more than slayed it. ***

The Man Who Wasn’t There (2001)

After getting into Fargo: The series and it not only becoming my favourite new show, but also delivered my fave performance in Billy Bob Thornton’s delightfully eccentric Lorne Malvo, when it ended recently I decided to rewatch films with Thornton in em. And what better film to first rewatch than his starring role in the Coen’s dark, weird, neo noir, black and white homage to film noir. A seemingly slow paced and dull effort this may seem at first, like Thornton’s performance as a disillusioned, barely talkative (although he does narrate a lot), perpetually bored barber on the outset, but like most Coen Bros. films there’s more to it and when the main plot kicks in involving Thornton attempting a blackmail scheme goes typically out of control does the film pick up and settles on a calm, steady, but kind of unnerving mood. Filled with fascinating and amusing performances, especially Richard Jenkins (who maybe remembered in the Coens later comedy Burn After Reading as the poor chap who gets viciously killed by John Malkovich) and James Gandolfini, this may warrant repeat viewings, but if you’re in the right mood you should enjoy it. ****

Bad Santa (2003)

Thornton gives hands down his funniest performance in this vulgar, very foul mouthed, often laugh out loud black comedy, playing a career criminal who every year on Christmas poses as a department store Santa and with his partner in crime, an African American midget naturally posing as an elf (Tony Cox) rob the mall. If only he could quit drinking, shagging plus size women (on the job btw, but not in front of kids) and being able to hide his contempt from everyone, including the poor kids who sit on his lap. Maybe the chance friendship he’s seemingly struck with a cute, chubby outcast kid (Brett Kelly) will help. If you like you’re Christmas films naughty, not nice, then this is definetly for you, however if you’re easilly offended, then you should without a doubt avoid, though you’re missing out. ****

Community The Final Season: Episodes 11-13 (2014)

After over a month since it was announced that it was cancelled, I only just recently finally watched the last 3 episodes ever of the wacky cult comedy I so loved, but had cooled over as even though it was a decent return to form since show runner Dan Harmon’s return, it wasn’t as amazing as it once was, so ultimately I felt that Harmon and co. had managed to take the show as far as it could and that yeah it was time to call it a day. R.I.P Community, you had a good run, lasted longer than I expected, had one of the funniest starter season’s of any show ever, amazed me with you’re excellent pop culture references, and for the most part created one of my favourite characters in film/tv buff Abed Nadir played by Danny Pudi who was excellent in this final season. You will live on in my dvd collection and I’ll always revisit you, definitely. Thanks again Georgia Takai for getting me into this show, cause I honestly still have no idea how I would have possibly discovered this. ***

Sling Blade (1996)

Thornton’s breakthough came in this terrific drama that he not only starred in, but also wrote (winning an Oscar for that) and directed too. In it, Thornton plays Karl Childers, a simple man with a weird yet imitable voice, recently released from an institution after he murdered his mother and her lover with a sling blade, struggling to adapt on the outside, who quickly befriends a young boy (Lucas Black) and his mother (Natalie Canerday), but falls foul of her abusive boyfriend (Dwight Yoakam) a truly despicable person. Also in the cast is the always likeable late John Ritter as a timid, gay confidant to the mother who befriends Karl. Thornton’s truly unique and completly different than usual that when you watch it you almost think that it’s someone else, that’s how convincingly different he is in this, and it is his best showcase yet. *****

Under The Skin (2014)

Review On My Facebook Page.

A Simple Plan (1998)

What would you do if you happened to stumble upon a bag full of millions, no, billions of dollars of cash? Would you kill for it, do absolutly whatever it takes to keep that money at the expense of your soul? That’s exactly what happens to Bill Paxton in this underrated thriller from Sam Raimi (yes the man behind The Evil Dead and original Spider Man trilogies) with shining support from Billy Bob Thornton as Paxton’s dim witted yet kind hearted brother, who crumbles under the stress that ensues when he and his bro find the cash. His final scene with Paxton is truly heartbreaking. ****

Hitchcock (2012)

Bio on my favourite film maker, during the tumultuous making of his seminal classic Psycho takes many liberties and fabricates a lot of stuff, but is entertaining, though nowhere near as well made as an actual film by the man. Anthony Hopkins is great fun as the Master of Suspense, ably supported by an equally fine Helen Mirren. ***

Dexter Season 1: Episodes 1-6 (2006)

It seems weird that since I’m a Michael C. Hall fan from Six Feet Under that Iv never really given his more famous role as a sociopathic blood stain analyst by day, and serial killer of serial killers by night more of a chance. But better late than never so Iv decided to rectify it and hurry up and get into this properly ahead of other shows that maybe better atm, and while it seems it’ll get worse as it goes on (it lasted 8 seasons, way too long for this kind of plot) it has a nice, deliciously bloody black start with Hall very much different from his role in Six Feet Under but still great as he relishes this dark, new character as we see the world from his viewpoint and yep see him kill, kill, kill. Most of the other characters I don’t really care about, especially Dexter’s sister Deb (Jennifer Carpenter), but Erik King is pretty amusing as the one person who is rightly creeped out by Dexter, Sgt. Doakes, Julie Benz is sweet as Dexter’s girlfriend Rita, and James Remar stands out as Dexter’s foster father Harry Morgan. ****

Thunder Bay (1953)

If There Will Be Blood's Daniel Plainview was likeable, and actually cared about people and the town's he drills oil from, he'd no doubt be Jimmy Stewart in this OK, average vehicle for him in which he's his usual loveable, self righteous every man, but is surronded by a cast that's entirely annoying, least of all his buddy (Dan Duryea). As a pretty amusing appearance from a young Harry Morgan, who M*A*S*H fans should know played Col. Potter. **1/2  

Bad Words (2014)

Jason Bateman makes his feature directorial debut in this well made but uneven, waay too mean spirited and only occasionally funny foul mouthed black comedy. Bateman does give an interesting performance for the most part as a total ass hole who through a loophole enters himself in a spelling bee contest for kids for reasons that are not explained until well into the second half of the movie, the kid who he befriends is absolutely adorable, which gives it comparisons to the hilarious Bad Santa but annoyingly this is nowhere near as funny, a shame really. It does have a pretty good soundtrack though and I hope Bateman gets better in his future directing outings, cause he does have some talent behind the camera though. ***

Jeff, Who Lives At Home (2012)

Stoners, they are a funny bunch. Well not surprisingly Jason Segel is one in this amusing and entertaining comedy that goes in unexpected directions. The film may seem pretentious as it does have some pretty seemingly pretentious moments and dialogue perhaps, but if you go along with the mindset of Segel’s likeable slacker stoner then you may find this little comedy pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty good. *** 

The Paradine Case (1947)

Long and only mildly interesting courtroom drama by the Master of Suspense, starts off interesting when it’s at first star Gregory Peck investigating his latest client (Alida Valli) whose accused of murder, but trails off in the second half when it becomes a court procedural. Fans of Hitchcock should enjoy some as to be expected well made sequences, and a good score from Franz Waxman also. ***

Firecreek (1968)

Earnest and peaceful sheriff Jimmy Stewart eventually has to use violence against Henry Fonda and his truly hateable gang who stop by in his small town and disturb the peace in this mean western. Stewart’s used well doing what he always does, but Fonda who was a very memorable, classic baddie in Once Upon A Time In The West the same year mostly sleepwalks through this film, mostly spending his time in a bed with a former flame (Inger Stevens) that when he turns full blown bad in the end it’s really unexpected and not in a good way. He’d be much better alongside Stewart in their only other pairing together. ***

The Cheyenne Social Club (1970)

Now this is more like it. After being wasted as adversaries, here Jimmy Stewart and Henry Fonda are great amusing fun as 2 bickering yet inseparable cowboys in this light, breezy comedy in which Stewart inherits a whorehouse from a dead brother, and Fonda tags along. Though it’s set at a whorehouse, and some of the situations may have been risque at the time, are now more than tame. ***

Fave Discovery (Film) Jeff, Who Lives At Home

Runner-Up The Cheyenne Social Club

Fave Re-Watch (Film) Bad Santa 

Runner-Up A Simple Plan 

Least Fave Discovery (Film) Under The Skin 

Runner-Up Thunder Bay 

Disappointment (Film) Bad Words

Fave Actor (Film I Discovered) James Stewart + Henry Fonda (The Cheyenne Social Club)

Runner-Up Jason Segel (Jeff, Who Lives At Home)

Fave Actor (Film I Re-Watched) Billy Bob Thornton (Sling Blade)

Runner-Up Billy Bob Thornton (Bad Santa) 

Fave Supporting Actor (Film I Re-Watched) Billy Bob Thornton (A Simple Plan)

Runner-Up Dwight Yoakam (Sling Blade)

Fave Discovery (TV) Community The Final Season: Eps 11-13

Runner-Up True Detective Season 1: Eps 1-6

Fave Re-Watch (TV) Dexter Season 1: Eps 1-6

Fave Actor (Show I Discovered) Matthew McConaughey (True Detective)

Fave Actor (Show I Re-Watched) Michael C. Hall (Dexter)     

Shit Iv Seen So Far This Year

Fargo

The best film turned series since MASH. Ok since This Is England, but that’s not as known as MASH though. Iv yet to see Friday Night Lights or Buffy though, but anyway this mini series inspired by the Coen Bros classic is a wickedly entertaining, gripping, darkly disturbing but amusing tale, with Billy Bob Thornton the naturally scene stealing stand out as basically a more expressive version of Anton Chigurh essentially. Martin Freeman makes a truly believable turn from wimp, to cold blooded, cocky self confident ass hole and becomes completely hateable (though his Minnesota accent ain’t great), while newcomer Alison Tolman went to kind of bugging me to absolute endearing sweetheart, sometimes doing no more than a facial expression. An absolute tip top, A one quality series this is you betcha, and is to me the successor to Breaking Bad. It’s almost as great, and hell it even has Saul Goodman himself too. Until I see whether True Detective is truly better this is the best new show of 2014 so far, and if you haven’t seen it yet check it out cause you are missing out indeed.

Rick And Morty Season 1

The funniest new series Iv seen since Parks And Rec and Community in there prime, is coincidentally enough co-created by Dan Harmon. This insanely weird, perverted sometimes, but utterly original series could have you die laughing in how fucked up it is, and boy does it revel in it. From the instant it starts it should grab you’re attention and never let go, with an amazing lead vocals from co-creator Justin Roiland, this may sometimes go a little too far in it’s madness, and could spell trouble in future seasons, ala Community, but for now it’s the most hilarious first season to a series since Community and I hope it continues in it’s awesomeness.

The Double

Excellent, near perfect and bonkers comedic thriller, superbly crafted and executed, and extremely well made on par with the best of Hitchcock and Scorsese by Richard Ayoade (Submarine, The IT Crowd), down to the Bernard Herrmannesque score, anchored by lead Jesse Eisenberg playing both a very likeable and sympathetic loser, and a douchey, dickish asshole. It’s pretty much his version of the Nic Cage film Adaptation.

The Grand Budapest Hotel 

Wes Anderson’s latest, may not be a return to form, but is a delightfully silly and very enjoyable caper anyway, with wonderful performances all around, especially Ralph Fiennes and Adrien Brody, as well as an exciting, lovely score from Alexandre Desplat, arguably the film’s best asset, was certainly mine.

How I Met Your Mother: The Final Season

After the fairly average 8th season, the show’s final season managed to rejuvenate itself nearly in an original, cool gimmick of a way: By having the plot centre round the weekend of Barney and Robin’s upcoming wedding, leaving the show to do endless flashback’s and flash forward’s which I greatly enjoy anyway. May have started averagely, but picks up immensely as it goes along, culminating in a divisive series final, although I actually enjoyed it, in spite of it’s flaws. The one thing that was flawless though was Cristin Milioti’s performance as the titular Mother, and single handedly became my dream woman in the process.

Godzilla 

Epic and amazing blockbuster, one of the best blockbusters ever made, and should be a staple for how such films should be made. Bryan Cranston naturally a scene stealer, and Alexandre Desplat once again knocks it out of the park in the score department this year, delivering a loud, rousing but not overbearing score, but the use of Godzilla himself, from it’s epic first shot, to climactic fight to it’s last moment was just perfection.

Parks And Rec Season 6 

In spite of the many changes that happened in this it’s ultimately penultimate season, from Leslie losing her dream job, to a pregnant Ann and Chris departing, it ultimately felt like a series that has run it’s course and needs to end, which it is next year. Still good don’t get me wrong, but the glory days are long gone.

Community: The Final Season

Dan Harmon made his glorious return for what turned out to be the show’s last hurrah anyway. While he more than ably managed to make the series interesting again after the utter forgetfulness of last season, he alas couldn’t bring it back to the greatness it was though, with the exception of one classic bottle ep though. Danny Pudi was the season’s stand out as Abed Nadir, showing more range and relatability than before, but there was also a new, very welcome addition in Jonathan Banks as Chevy Chase’s replacement, which OK yeah he was being Mike, but so what it was entertaining, as well as amusing appearances by both Arrested Development and Breaking Bad creator’s Mitchell Hurwitz (as a Van Wilder hippie) and Vince Gilligan (as a cowboy actor of an interactive game).

22 Jump Street 

Practically exactly the same as the original, beat for beat, but with diminished results. However it’s amazingly self referential though.

The Amazing Spider Man 2

A loud, over the top mess this maybe, but compared to  the boring and forgettable first’s though this was amazing however. Emma Stone you’re slowly getting back into my good books. Keep it up.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier 

The best Marvel film Iv seen since The Avengers (which slowly grew on me), was surprisingly delivered by 2 brothers responsible for the best eps of Arrested Development and Community. Go figure.

Robocop

Better than to be expected remake of the 80s action classic, is a solid, well made actioner which starts well, but unfortunately loses steam in the middle and isn’t quite able to regain momentum. Still as far as redo’s go it could have been a lot worse.

Nymphomaniac 

Bleak, quite dull in parts, but epic, surprisingly amusing and excellently made two hander, with Charlotte Gainsbourg and newcomer Stacy Martin hands down giving the most fearless performances of the year, with scene stealing support from Shia LaBeouf, fine support from Stellan Skarsgard too, as well as neat appearances from Christian Slater, Jamie Bell, and especially Uma Thurman. Eclectic soundtrack also a winner.

Muppets Most Wanted 

Pleasantly enjoyable and amusing sequel to the decent if way too childish reboot. This is more what the predecessor should have been, goofy, silly, sure, but not too annoying and shouldn’t just be solely aimed at kids with ample, amusing support from Tina Fey, Ty Burrell and Ricky Gervais, aswell as good songs, although no classics like the ‘Man Or Muppet’ number from the previous, but whatever, small price to pay for a better sequel.

Bad Neighbors

50% pretty damn funny raucous comedy, 50% annoying as fuck, same as Rose Byrne’s performance, but has a surprisingly decent message about how growing up ain’t such a bad thing, and to not waste your college years partying  instead of studying or you’ll screw you’re future up,  thrown in the mix though.

Fading Gigolo 

Amusing if unexpectedly odd in a different way, and ultimately average dramedy, has funny support from Woody Allen, who delivers exactly what you expect but it’s always enjoyable though, so, but aside from a nice, jazzy and very Jewish soundtrack, much like the film is also, heavily Jewish, offered very little else however.

Joe 

Good if slow burning drama, takes awhile to get going, but as usual Nic Cage is as always engaging, and special mention has to go out for the abusive father, played by a non professional actually homeless man who’s now sadly deceased.

Cheap Thrills 

Intriguing and at first enjoyable high concept film, gives way to a bleak, horrible, cold, hard to watch violent second half and never recovers from it. You’ll feel like shit afterwards.

The Lego Movie 

Well made, with dazzling chase scenes, and most of the voice work is fine, but there’s nothing more I can say about this unfortunately unamusing, animated flick.

From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series Pilot

If Fargo showed the right way to adapt a film to series, then this belong’s among the worst ways to do it apparently. Now I may have only seen the first episode of this 10 ep remake of the cult classic, but it was a complete slog to get through as it turned the great 10 minute prologue of the film and mutated it into a dull and needless bore. The performances of the Gecko brothers, is so amateur, with Clooney’s stand in trying waay to hard to emulate his predesessor (don’t even try!), while the Tarantino substitute may not be trying to be like him, but his character has been fucked into an anti-hero, as opposed to the crazed, enjoyable maniac Quentin played him as. Worse of all this series is by Robert Rodiguez himself, whose more than lost his touch. The direction here is flat compared to the energetic frenzy of the feature. I may continue to watch the rest someday, but honestly there are other films turned shows to watch before this.

TV Finales: The Best, The Worst & The Inbetween

The Best

M*A*S*H-Goodbye, Farewell & Amen

Still undefeated 31 years after it aired, the most watched episode in television history neatly, satisfyingly and emotionally wrapped up the classic series in a two and a half hour TV Movie basically, giving you everything you could possibly want in a finale, but best of all (and what every show should aim to acheive when there ending if they can) closure, and especially rewarding the longtime viewers and devoted fans who stuck it out through the long, eleven season run, with it’s final season up until the end really very forgettable it must be said, with the makers very clearly putting their efforts all onto this finale, but at least it was worth it.

Six Feet Under-Everyone’s Waiting

M*A*S*H’S final ep maybe better, heck even I like it better, but in terms of final moments it doesn’t hold a candle to the simply beautiful, haunting, touching, utterly sad but very fitting epilogue to my favourite drama. While the rest of the episode is brilliant also, it’s the ending that truly takes it a step beyond all the rest, when in a montage set pitch perfectly to ‘Breathe Me’ by Sia, the show shows us the future’s of all the major characters, and in a bold and audacious move their deaths also! There’s absolutly no ending like it, and there never will be again, a finale that literally brings closure to everything and it’s just wonderful. While other shows may have better finales, and future shows may indeed top it, There will never, ever be a better epilogue to a series, just not at all, and anyone who thinks there are or that there will I just won’t understand what you mean or how you feel that way.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nnTPGdqJRLs

 The Office-Christmas Specials

While both M*A*S*H and Six Feet Under’s endings are technically happy in a way, there both bittersweet also, no doubt about that. But an ending that’s truly happy and will make you feel that way also with no strings attached is Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant’s home run of a conclusion to there darly comic but touching mockumentary series. Split into two parts, with the first part funny yes, but also bleak and gets bleaker as it goes along, the second part is the silver lining, the light at the end of the tunnel with everyone getting what they truly deserve; Tim and Dawn finally hook up, Gareth is the new manager, but still the same old weird but amusing guy he always was, and David Brent  not only finds love and begins to mature, but in the show’s final scene, the one thing he’d been trying to get through each ep; everyone laughs at a joke he makes. I know the way I’m describing it makes it sound not that great, but if you’ve seen it you know it’s great, and for those that haven’t oh man why did you read this, seriously?

The Good

30 Rock-Last Lunch

Ended suitably as wacky as it always was, with a few homages and spoofs of other finale’s (including sort of Six Feet Under’’s, minus the deaths) but with a few genuine heartfelt moments, the most touching bit oddly coming from Tracy and Liz in a strip club haha, ultimately ending in a pretty hilarious piss take of emotional last moments with the cast and crew of ‘TGS’ gathered round the set to hear Jenna sing an emotionally charged, but gibberish song to farewell the audience, and us viewers and fans alike. Who could ask for anything more?

Breaking Bad-Felina

I was convinced before I ultimately saw it that this would be straight after M*A*S*H and Six Feet Under my third favourite conclusion to a series ever, only fitting as I agree with alot of people and consider this the greatest show ever and all. But alas rather disappointingly I didn’t. While it’s fine, sure, doesn’t leave loose ends, gives closure and doesn’t sully everything that came before it at least, it not only wasn’t emotional enough, but also wasn’t epic, or, more accurately didn’t feel that epic. Hell previous season finale’s were better and more epic than this, cheif among them season four’s one ‘Face-Off’. But for a show that continued to spoil me rotten by how effing awesome it was, it seems almost rude to nit pick on the show just because I wasn’t fully satisfied by it’s end, but for a show that constantly raised the bar and always amazed and suprised me, it’s no wonder I was expecting the absolute best a finale could do. At least it didn’t end like Sopranos.

Scrubs-My Finale

Forgetting the fact that they foolishly did one more season, this very clearly was intended to be the series finale, so I’m gonna go ahead and think of the unnecessaery ninth as a spin-off instead and have this be the final ep it deserves to be. And it’s pretty damn near perfect to, with J.D. on his last day at Sacred Heart as he says goodbye to everyone, with an awesome scene at the end where as he finally prepares to leave he imagines seeing past characters both alive and dead farewell him, culminating in one more fantasy sequence where he imagines what the future maybe like for everyone, which would have been flawless, if not for the choice of song which I unfortunatly didn’t like. But aside from that it was a well done closer.

The Bad

Seinfeld-The Finale

Sorry LD, but when Seinfeld and the gang kept making cracks about this finale, only for you to try and defend it on Curb Your Enthusiasm, they sadly were right and you did drop the ball unfortunately. It was an unfunny misfire, with unnecessary and unamusing returns of previous classic guests/enemies of the gang, with the only guest even remotely chucklsome being Phillip Baker Hall’s library cop Bookman. The annoying thing was that the finale actually started out alright. Not great, but had potential, only for it to go down, down, down, like the plane the foursome were on that almost crashed. Maybe Larry and Jerry should have taken the phrase this show is commonly referred to as ‘the show about nothing’ to heart, and didn’t opt for a big finish, just one last hilarious hurrah as a reminder of why I and fans of the show love it in the first place.

The Sopranos-Made In America

If only it had a proper end it would have been good, as the rest of the ep was solid. But I’m sorry, having the show just abruptly end, with simply no closure after you were tying up every other loose end and plot thread imaginable is just plain annoying, and I have no respect for it at all.

Extras-Christmas Special

After completly nailing it with The Office’s, here Gervais and Merchant barely even come close to that finale’s greatness, with a very bleak and only occasionally funny ender that will make you feel more sad than good, even by the end. They should have left it as is from the previous ep, which balanced the humor and heart of the show very well, and also gave you hope. Where as this special ultimately shatters it.

The Office-Finale

Doesn’t even come close to the UK’s at all. It’s not so much bad as dull and disappointing, with attempts at heartfelt moments pretty much falling flat, which is a shame since this show could nail dramatic moments when it wanted to. Has a nice cameo from Steve Carell though.

Boston Legal-Last Call

One of those shoulder shrugging, forgettable ends to a series I greatly enjoyed. The mere fact that I only really remembered the opening and closing moments, and in fact had to wikipedia a synopsis for the purposes of this list tells you everything bout how little this finale meant to me.

The Worst

Flight Of The Conchords-Evicted

Unless they do a special, ala The Office (please do), they saved the worst for last. An utterly lazy (it opens with the duo banging objects round the house as a musical interlude) and oddly unfunny mess that culminates in a bleak punchline that will rightly piss off anyone who sees it. One more odd thing: It was directed by Taika Waititi, whose usually always reliable.

The Inbetween

Dinosaurs-Changing Nature

Hands down the darkest ending to a TV series yet. Yes a Jim Henson children’s puppet show holds this honor for the mere fact that the series had the guts to depict the extinction of the dinosaurs, and take it seriously too, traumatising whatever kids who watched it back in the day. Thank God I was a baby when it originally aired, and didn’t catch it until years later cause God knows the damage it could have done to me.

Spaced-Leaves

More a solid season finale than an all round closer. But if The World’s End anything to go buy, apparently Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg don’t seem to know how to end things properly.

Freaks And Geeks-Discos And Dragons

For a show that was cancelled after it’s first season, it’s originally intended season finale actually is an alright all round end to the series, juggling well that tricky balance of possibly giving the show abit of closure for if it were not to come back, aswell as setting up little things that could be addressed and brought back for if there were to be another season.

The Golden Girls-One Flew Out Of The Cuckoo’s Nest

A good, alright finale, wasn’t emotional enough, but had enough moments to make me laugh at least.

Eastbound & Down-Chapter 29

Another solid, but not paticularly great closer, has an amusingly weird appearance from Sascha Baron Coen, and somehow a redemptive end of sorts to season’s villain Guy Young, but a bat shit bizarre conclusion that’s sort of a homage/spoof of Six Feet Under’s.

Undeclared-Eric’s POV

Like Judd Apatow’s previous, a one hit wonder, but unlike Freaks And Geeks this only works as a season finale.

Top 10 How I Met Your Mother Episodes

The Pineapple Incident (Season 1, Episode 10)

Maybe the funniest episode. Arguably the show’s first classic, with a possibly never funnier Ted Mosby, aswell as a nice appearance from The Wonder Years’s Winnie Cooper herself, Danica McKellar as Ted’s one night stand. Man did she grow up a hottie.

How Your Mother Met Me (Season 9, Episode 16)

Or more accurately should have been called ‘All About Your Mother’ since (SPOILER ALERT) the Mother doesn’t exactly meet Ted by episode’s end (End of Spoiler). But aside from that and how clearly obviously this should have been a 2 part 40 minute ep, this instant classic milestone 200th focuses solely on the Mother and in the short span of a typical 20 minute ep Cristin Milioti manages to completly win me over and totally earns the eponymous role with her winning, adorable, hilarious, simply loveable turn.

The Possimpiple (Season 4, Episode 14)

When I happened to catch a clip of Barney Stinson’s hilarious, ridiculous but catchy rock ballad Video Resume Song on a site’s list of best TV moments of 2009, that was the moment when I realised that I needed to get into this show. And boy did it obviously not disappoint. The episode that features said moment is a sweet, winning and naturally funny ep with Barney helping secret crush Robin out through the power of filmmaking.

How I Met Everyone Else (Season 3, Episode 5)

Not even the mostly annoying performance of Ted’s girlfriend of the week (“Blah Blah”) could get in the way of this awesome or has Barney would say “Legen-Wait for it-Dary” origins ep.

The Stinsons (Season 4, Episode 15)

The moment that may have made me get into the series may have been from the ep that came right before, but the thing that put this show on my radar was when I saw that Barney’s Mom would be played by none other than Six Feet Under’s Frances Conroy, whose naturally a delight being a more loose mother with a whorish background. In other words pretty much exactly what you’d expect Barney’s Mom to be.

Murtaugh (Season 4, Episode 19)

I may not be able to relate to getting old just yet (although I am quite chubby now, compared to my skinny teens) but when I do maybe I’ll make a Lethal Weapon inspired “Murtaugh” list like Ted did, and perhaps may even foolishly try to redo all of em in one go like Barney amusingly tries.

The Wedding Bride (Season 5, Episode 23)

The arc featuring Ted dating my fave of all his girlfriend’s is twisted and turned into a God awful yet naturally popular romantic comedy portraying Ted as a bumbling obnoxious idiot, played by the always funny Chris Kattan. Judy Greer as Ted’s girl of the week is an added bonus aswell, cause when is she not?!

Game Night (Season 1, Episode 15)

Barney’s past before he was the suit wearing, womanizer that he’d become is revealed in this very funny ep. The bit where the gang watch the tape of an uncool, bohemian looking Barney sobbing and breaking into song to try and win his ex back is one of the show’s most hilarious moments. Also has a nice Revenge Of The Sith homage/spoof.

Bad News (Season 6, Episode 13)

One of the best episodes, is unique in that it’s you’re typical amusing ep, but yet as a tragic twist. Benefits on repeat viewings as all throughout the ep the show throws subtle clues of what’s to ultimately come. When this show is funny, it usually succeeds, but whenever it goes dramatic, it does so practically perfect always.

Symphony Of Illusion (Season 7, Episode 12)

Another ep with a sad twist, but this one is quite abit more sombre. There were plenty of eps and moments where I felt sorry for Robin alot, but arguably this has to be the most Iv ever felt for my favourite character, in this very touching and sincere half hour in which she becomes depressed after discovering that she can never ever have children, and tries in vain to cope with it.

The Bottom 10: Slap Bet (Season 2, Episode 9), First Time In New York (Season 2, Episode 12), Benefits (Season 4, Episode 12), The Best Burger In New York (Season 4, Episode 2), Arrivederci, Fiero (Season 2, Episode 17), Legendaddy (Season 6, Episode 19), Sandcastles In The Sand (Season 3, Episode 16), Sorry, Bro (Season 4, Episode 16), The Naked Man (Season 4, Episode 9), Subway Wars (Season 6, Episode 4).

Oscars: Who Will Win? Who Should Win? & Who Was Overlooked?

Best Picture

Nominees

The incredibly overrated and annoying as fuck American Hustle

The fine true story with a great performance by Tom Hanks, especially in the end of Captain Phillips

The Matthew McConaughey has aids and Jared Leto dresses in drag true story of Dallas Buyers Club (Which I have not seen btw)

The Sandra Bullock and George Clooney (mostly Bullock) being stuck in space in Gravity (Which I have not seen either)

The sweet and pretty sad futuristic Her

The good if waay too low-key Nebraska

The Steve Coogan helps Judi Dench find her kid true story Philomena (Which is the last nominee I haven’t seen)

The intense, expertly acted and very well made horror show that is 12 Years A Slave

And finally my own personal favourite, the excessive, explicit, long, but insanely enjoyable and damn pretty funny exploits of The Wolf Of Wall Street

What Will Win?

12 Years A Slave

What Should Win?

I have no beef with 12 Years A Slave winning if it should as it’s a damn fine picture, but if it were up to me I’d give it to The Wolf Of Wall Street  because not only is it insanely entertaining, which you obviously can’t say bout 12 Years though that’s an incredibly unfair thing to say, but every second and moment of the film is expertly and wonderfully made, and at 3 hours long there isn’t a dull moment at all! Repetitive, perhaps, but dull oh hell no

What Was Overlooked?

Well if it were up to me I’d get rid of American Hustle, Dallas Buyers Club, Gravity and Philomena. I realize I still haven’t seen the last three I mentioned, but there’s no way I’m gonna like em more than Frances Ha, a sweet and very funny indie comedy by Noah Baumbach, Don Jon, Joseph Gordon-Leavitt’s insanely well made, and very entertaining directorial debut in which he also stars as a porn addict, Enough Said, a sweet and touching middle aged dramedy and The Place Beyond The Pines, an epic three act structured drama that ok yes has a middling middle half with Bradley Cooper (though at least he’s not annoying like he was in American Hustle), but the first part with Ryan Gosling, and final part with his son, played by up and comer Dane DeHaan are amazing and very engaging.

Best Actor

Fat and stupid looking Christian Bale being equally annoying (though the least annoying cast member at least) in American Hustle

The good and pretty entertaining, but the let’s pay our final respects to a an ol pro of Bruce Dern in Nebraska

My personal fave, the very entertaining and gives it his all performance of Leonardo DiCaprio’s asshole of a role in The Wolf Of Wall Street

The very emotional, reactional Chiwetal Ejiofor as he experiences the horrors of injustice after he’s wrongly 12 Years A Slave

And finally the only performance I haven’t seen, the aids afflicted Matthew McConaughey in Dallas Buyers Club

Who Will Win?

In a repeat of when Tom Hanks won for playing an aids sufferer in Philadelphia 20 years ago, it appears like it’s McConaughey’s for the taking “All right”.

Who Should Win?

DiCaprio, who’s part of many legendary celebs who hasn’t won one yet, and has been wrongly snubbed several times, the most egregious one’s for What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, The Aviator, and the flat out snub for Django Unchained. But as real life scum bag Jordan Belfort in Wolf, this could be his best performance. He seriously gives it his all, he’s his typical ott self, showing his all too, but also manages to have fun too, something you can’t really say bout a DiCaprio role.

Who Was Overlooked?

Well for starters I’d lose Christian Bale and put in Joseph Gordon-Leavitt for his unflinching, explicit, ok a lil fake but enjoyable and likeable performance in Don Jon, Tom Hanks would obviously be in here and really should have for Captain Phillips, even though he’s already been nominated alot and heck has already won twice in a row, but if Meryl Streep could get her umpteenth nod again then so could he. Believe it or not I’d also give Johnny Knoxville a nod for Bad Grandpa, cause I mean if Lee Marvin could get a nod and even win for his comedic role in Cat Ballou, so could the Jackass star. And even though I didn’t like the film, Oscar Isaac managed to make a pretty likeable performance a little sympathetic, and also has an amazing singing voice in the otherwise depressing and cold Inside Llewyn Davis.

Best Actress

Amy Adams being slutty, shouty and putting on an English accent in American Hustle

Cate Blanchett acting her socks off to deliver her greatest performance yet in Blue Jasmine

Sandra Bullock floating in space in Gravity (Which Iv yet to see)

Judi Dench searching for her kid in Philomena (Again yet to see)

And Meryl Streep once again getting her token nod for the once again yet to see August: Osage County

Who Will Win?

I’ll accept no other answer but Cate Blanchett.

Who Should Win?

Again Cate Blanch no contest. It’s clearly the best performance out of the bunch, heck the entire year, an uncompromising, ugly, sad and scene chewing role that deserves every single bit of praise that it’s gotten. And if Amy Adams, the only nominee who has yet to win, pulls an upset and takes it away from her for just being a loud, obnoxious slut, I’ll be more than pissed off.

Who Was Overlooked?

Oh man soo many good female performances were overlooked from 2013. In fact with the exception of Blanchett obviously, I’d replace all the other nominees (regardless of the fact that a majority I haven’t seen) but still, Greta Gerwig deserved to be in there for her insanely likeable, hell, loveable, adorable and amusing turn as Frances Ha, Julia Louis- Dreyfus gives a career best performance supplying not only amusement, but also dramatics in Enough Said, Emma Thompson oh man I can’t believe she was overlooked for her wonderful, funny and acerbic turn in Saving Mr. Banks, and although I felt the film was a bit overrated, there’s no denying how great Julie Delpy was playing a completly unlikeable continuation of her role in the Before series with Before Midnight.

Best Supporting Actor

Barkhad Abdi’s completly confident debut performance in Captain Phillips

Once again another annoying performance with Bradley Cooper in American Hustle

Jonah Hill’s very entertaining turn in The Wolf Of Wall Street

Michael Fassbender’s despicable performance in 12 Years A Slave

And Jared Leto in drag who maybe a woman in Dallas Buyers Club (Which is the only performance I haven’t seen)

Who Will Win?

Looks like it’s gonna be the one performance Iv yet to see, Leto.

Who Should Win?

Between Jonah, Fassbender and definetly Abdi, if any of them wins I’d be satysfied. But if I had to give it up to one, I’d give it to Abdi since it’s his debut, and he’s a natural.

Who Was Overlooked?

Sadly James Gandolfini was for unfortunatly one of his last roles in what was his best film performance in Enough Said he was both touching and amusing. Tom Hanks too was once again snubbed for his naturally loveable portrayl of Walt Disney in Saving Mr. Banks. Bill Hader provided his usual scene stealing work in The To Do List and likeable 80s TV star Tony Danza was amusing as the sexist father in Don Jon

Best Supporting Actress

Sally Hawkins shoulder shrug of a performance in Blue Jasmine

Julia Roberts in August: Osage County, of which I have nothing to say, cause I don’t care and she should not be here even though I haven’t seen it, but I’m not a fan of hers anyways.

Lupita Nyong’o’s tortured and extremely sympathetic performance in 12 Years A Slave

Jennifer Lawrence’s very miscast and naturally overacting role in American Hustle

And June Squibb’s foul mouthed old ditty in Nebraska

Who Will Win?

Although it shouldn’t be, it’s a tie between Lupita’s deserved win for 12 Years A Slave, and J-Law’s severely miscast yet somehow praised (cause everyone loves her for some reason) role in the similarly overrated Hustle.

Who Should Win?

Lupita, duh!

Who Was Overlooked?

Julianne Moore was quite good in Don Jon and managed to make my favourite role in the remake of Carrie her own too. Kristen Scott Thomas although wasn’t in it enough, made every bit of her role in Only God Forgives count also.

Best Director

Alfonso Cuaron for shooting Sandra Bullock and George Clooney stranded in space in Gravity

Steve McQueen for brutally showing us the reality of slavery in 12 Years A Slave

David O. Russell for mostly doing close-ups on Amy Adams in American Hustle

Martin Scorsese for showing the epic, reckless, and explicit fun of The Wolf Of Wall Street

And Alexander Payne’s drab and low-key direction of Nebraska

Who Will Win?

Once again it appears to be the one nominee I haven’t seen, Cuaron.

Who Should Win?

Scorsese for his hip, colorful, energetic direction of Wall Street.

Who Was Overlooked?

Woody Allen could have gotten in for Blue Jasmine, Joseph Gordon-Leavitt definetly should have been in there for his self assured, stylistic direction of Don Jon, Derek Cianfrance also deserved recognition for his stellar, epic work in The Place Beyond The Pines, Spike Jonze too for Her.

Best Original Screenplay

The confusing American Hustle

Woody Allen’s bleak and not very amusing Blue Jasmine

The sweet and sad Her

The even more sadder Nebraska

And probably saddest Dallas Buyers Club

Who Will Win?

I honestly don’t know, but my horrible gut reckons it’ll be American Hustle. It will win something so I should expect to be annoyed hopefully at least once, but it’ll probably be more.

Who Should Win?

Spike Jonze should definetly be the one who gets up on stage to collect that Oscar.

Who Was Overlooked?

Both Noah Baumbach and Greta Gerwig were for the delightful Frances Ha. Don Jon, Enough Said, The Place Beyond The Pines were also snubbed.

Best Adapted Screenplay

The depressing final chapter of Before Midnight

The harrowing true story of Captain Phillips

The painful account of 12 Years A Slave

The dope and reckless account of The Wolf Of Wall Street

And the real life account of a mother trying to find her kid in Philomena

Who Will Win?

Seems a safe bet that 12 Years A Slave’s got this one.

Who Should Win?

It’ll be fine if 12 Years wins, but damn if Terence Winter didn’t do a hell of a job writing Wolf man.

Who Was Overlooked?

I looked and couldn’t find any.

Best Editing

The very stellar 12 Years A Slave

Ok American Hustle’s editing was pretty damn good. Slick, and awesome especially in the music scenes.

I haven’t seen Gravity so I don’t know if it’s good enough

Captain Phillips editing was pretty good too

And I’m not sure bout Dallas Buyers Club’s editing, but it can’t be that good.

Who Will Win?

I think it’s between 12 Years and Gravity, but something tells me it’ll be Gravity.

Who Should Win?

12 Years, although the music based sequences in Hustle are pretty flawless, but no fuck Hustle Imma giving it up for Slave man.

Who Was Overlooked?

Thelma Schoonmaker was overlooked like a mother fuck for her amazing, experimental editing on The Wolf Of Wall Street. Frances Ha also had some great editing, as did Don Jon, and for the most part (especially the first half) Edgar Wright did his usual sterling editing for The World’s End.

Best Original Song

Pharrell Williams corny but alright ‘Happy’ for Despicable Me 2

The very corny ‘Let It Go’ for Frozen

The serviciable ‘Ordinary Love’ from U2 for Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom

And the wonderful and touching ‘Moon Song’ from Karen O for Her

Who Will Win?

Unfortunatly it seems like Let It Go will, and if it were to lose it appears that it would lose to U2, which is fine with me.

Who Should Win?

Why Karen O’s sweet little tune for the equally sweet Her.

Who Was Overlooked?

Practically every song in Inside Llewyn Davis was for sure. Definetly the best thing bout a film I didn’t even like deserved a nod here the most.

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Happy Birthday Larry David

Happy Birthday Larry David

Oscar Results

Well the Oscar winners have been announced, and unfortunatly it was another shitty, routine year (and according to a mate the ceremony was once again boring too) and I’v become even more disinterested in this once exciting event. In fact I practically don’t care for this award show anymore, I think It’ll just be the Emmy’s that will be really good for now. Yeah why not I mean this year Boardwalk Empire will be leading the race and Steve Buscemi should win Best Actor. Or the Guy’s Choice Awards, the most superficial, but extremely funny awards show, and the Globes was only really good lately with Ricky Gervais hosting, so if they keep giving it to him I’ll be interested, but nomination wise meh. Which is a shame, cause I used to really like the Oscars and the Oscar race, and the ceremony was always good, but if it keeps going down the path it’s going then I’m gonna become more and more disinterested in it until I finally really don’t care.

The Winners

Best Picture

The King’s Speech

Ok Colin Firth won Best Actor, which he probably deserved, but was this two hour film about a King with a speech impediment really the best picture of the year? Even if I like it I bet it isn’t half as good as The Social Network.

Up Against: The Social Network, Black Swan, True Grit, 127 Hours, The Fighter, The Kids Are Alright, Winters Bone, Toy Story 3.

What Deserved To Win? The Social Network, because of it’s relevance to our times, how it manages to turn a rather dull idea of how a website is created and turn it into high drama, and manages to be wildly entertaining at the same time.

Best Director

Tom Hooper-The King’s Speech

What would have been harder to make, a fine actor like Colin Firth act good or getting Natalie Portman to perform ballet, lesbanism too, not to mention those brilliant original shots Darren Aranofsky did in Black Swan?!

Up Against: David Fincher for The Social Network, Darren Aranofsky for Black Swan, The Coen Brothers for True Grit and David O. Russell for The Fighter.

Who Deserved To Win? Darren Aranofsky, for the effort, not to mention years it took to finally be able to make this wondourous and scary thriller.

Best Actor

Colin Firth-The King’s Speech

Yes I’m sure he’s good in this, but I’m betting Firth deserved it more for A Single Man last year and the Academy could have given it to Jeff Bridges this year (even though I wasn’t blown away by his take on Rooster Cogburn) but he was more entertaining in True Grit than he was in Crazy Heart. Though I wanted Jesse Eisenberg to win, I can understand if Firth was better, even if I’ll like Eisenberg more.

Up Against: Jesse Eisenberg for The Social Network, Jeff Bridges for True Grit, James Franco for 127 Hours and Javier Bardem for Biutiful.

Who Deserved To Win? Probably Firth. I’v got no real beef with this win.

Best Actress

Natalie Portman-Black Swan

A win totally deserved, Portman gives it her all in this fiery, tragic performance, still managing to be as beautiful as she always is, despite how emotionally draining the role is. I haven’t been this impressed (or liked) Portman in anything since her debut in Leon.

Up Against: Annette Benning for The Kids Are Alright, Nicole Kidman for Rabbit Hole, Jennifer Lawrence for Winters Bone and Michelle Williams for Blue Valentine.

Who Deserved To Win? Portman all the way. 

Best Supporting Actor

Christian Bale-The Fighter

While he was watchable in this, I do also think he over acted and wasn’t as good as Mark Wahlberg (can’t believe I’m saying this), but then again all Iv really liked Bale in was in American Psycho so. The one I felt deserved to win was Jeremy Renner for his scene stealing performance in the snubbed fine crime drama The Town.

Up Against: Jeremy Renner for The Town, Geoffrey Rush for The King’s Speech, Mark Ruffalo for The Kids Are Alright and John Hawkes for Winters Bone.

Who Deserved To Win? Renner, for his magnetic, scene stealing in The Town, should have stolen the trophy right off Bale during the ceremony. Sure Bale lost weight, but he loses weight all the time, it’s like me drinking coke everyday, nothing for him.

Best Supporting Actress

Melissa Leo-The Fighter

To be honest I don’t really remember Leo’s performance in this all that well. I just knew she was a bitchy ma and that was about it. Now Jacki Weaver, all she really did was act all nice, when really she was terryifying and pulled the scariest expressions on her face, but she was waay more memorable in Animal Kingdom.

Up Against: Jacki Weaver for Animal Kingdom, Hailee Steinfeld for True Grit, Amy Adams for The Fighter and Helenna Bonham Carter for The King’s Speech.

Who Deserved To Win? Weaver for her absolute scary performance as the matriarch of a screwed up Aussie crime family. If looks could kill.

Best Animated Film

Toy Story 3

No suprise there. Rightly deserved, this touching Pixar film was definetly the best animated film of the year.

Up Against: How To Train Your Dragon and The Illusionist.

What Deserved To Win? Toy Story 3.

Oscars

Well it’s that time of the year again, Hollywood’s biggest night for movies as the 83rd annual Academy Awards air in the states tonight (or if you have Sky Movies will air here from Midday), and for the first time ever I’m not that interested in the award show. At least not like I normally am. In the past I’d look extremely forward to this event, would stay up late on a school night and even tape em, or in more recent years since only airing on Sky would try and see em at a friend’s house. But this year I’m not as excited, and the reasons not because Scott Pilgrim got over looked by the Academy (I knew from the get go that it wouldn’t get any awards consideration). No, it was after watching the last Oscars and seeing the very overrated and extremely dull Hurt Locker winning practically everything, and being soo annoyed (not to mention kind of bored by the ceremony itself) that I started to become disinterested in the Oscars, and it made me realise how much the Oscars have really screwed up in the past. Alfred Hitchcock never won an Oscar for Best Director (Although he got an Honorary Oscar) that’s still not the same, Saving Private Ryan losing Best Picture to Shakespeare In Love, the rap group Three 6 Mafia winning an Oscar before Martin Scorsese! It goes on. Oh sure there have been wins that I have liked or were very much deserved: Annie Hall winning Best Picture, All About Eve, How Green Was My Valley, Casablanca, The Apartment, The Godfather’s I & II, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, Rainman, Forrest Gump (Yes I truly think it deserved Best Picture), American Beauty; James Stewart and Katherine Hepburn my fave actor and actress of all time receiving golden statues (Hepburn four and to this day the actor with the most wins); and this year’s Oscars has my second favourite film (and in my opinion best) of the year The Social Network being a popular contender to win Best Picture, although it could be beaten by the Colin Firth inspirational drama The King’s Speech, in which case if it does, and sweeps all the Oscars and becomes a repeat of last year, then I’ll become even more disinterested in the Oscars. I’ll know in a few hours whether the Academy will make up for their decisons last year, or make it worse!

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Films To See In 2011

This year has quite a lot to make up for the disappointments I constantly endured last year. With Date Night, Cop Out being completely average, Jason Bateman doing a shitty Jennifer Aniston veichle (which I still haven’t seen), to Woody Allen extremely under performing after doing my now third fave film of all time (Whatever Works) with You’ll Meet A Tall Dark Stranger. Sure there were solid gold locked films that I knew I was gonna like no matter what with Shutter Island, Inception and especially The Social Network, and one huge suprise that became my favourite film, Scott Pilgrim, but as a whole 2010 was a pretty average year for cinema, with only a few suprises. Will 2011 be the same? I hope not, but if it does I won’t be as annoyed as there’s new Curb Your Enthusiasm to look forward to, to make up for it. Here’s some films I’m eager to see this year, films I’m anticipating, or just films that I may not be too interested in but I know I’ll be seeing regardless.

Paul

Plot-Two Brit sci-fi geeks on a roadtrip round the US encounter a friendly alien, and are doggedly pursued by two FBI agents, while also being helped by a friendly, eccentric woman.

Director: Gregg Mottola

Stars: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Seth Rogen, Jason Bateman, Bill Hader, Kristen Wiig, Sigourney Weaver.

Why I Want to See This?- My most anticipated film of the year. Pegg & Frost team up again minus Director Edgar Wright, though Mottola is a more than capable Director has he’s Directed Bateman before on Arrested Development and Rogen and Hader in Superbad, for this sci-fi comedy, with Bateman returning back into my good graces, SNL Players Hader and Wiig co-starring! And the final icing on the cake being Rogen voicing the title alien. A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. Can’t wait.

The Green Hornet

Plot-Bored billionaire decides to become a superhero, and teams up with a martial arts expert to stop a crazy villian.

Director: Michel Gondry

Stars: Seth Rogen, Christolph Waltz, Cameron Diaz.

Why I want to see it?-Seth Rogen is back after a year’s absence with this action comedy, Directed by Michel Gondry, and featuring Christoplh Waltz as the villian. Huzzah.

Red State

Plot-Teenagers find themselves stranded in an extremely radical christian conservative town, where horror, pain and suffering follow.

Director: Kevin Smith

Stars: Michael Parks, John Goodman.

Why I Want to See It?-Kevin Smith (yes the same man behind those funny Jay & Silent Bob comedies) immidiatly making up for Cop Out with this chilling looking horror, with Michael Parks going to be a sensation as the sinister religious zealot. And John Goodman’s back. Yuss. The teaser for this is amazing.

Movie 43

Plot-Anthology comedy by the Farrelly’s with some of the funniest people around today.

Directors: The Farrelly Brothers.

Stars: A lot, including Johnny Knoxville, Naomi Watts, Anna Faris, Hugh Jackman, Seann William Scott.

Why I Want to See This?-I love anthology movies, I love Farrelly Brothers films, and this has a lot of stars I like. Automatic must see. Hopefully the world will follow suit.

Scream 4

Plot-After ten years of peace, The Ghostface Killer is back to terrorise Sidney, Dewey and Gale again. New teens too.

Director: Wes Craven

Stars: Neve Campbell, David Arquette, Courtney Cox,

Why I Want to See This?-A decade has passed since the last, but Wes Craven and cast are back, aswell as a new batch of teens to be terrorised. Bring it.

Horrible Bosses

Plot: Three friends decide to murder their horrible bosses after finally having enough of years of torment.

Director: Seth Gordon

Stars: Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis, Charlie Day, Colin Farrell, Jennifer Aniston.

Why I Want to See This?-Another Bateman comedy that sounds funny. Co stars SNL Player Sudeikis, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’s Day, and Hollywood A-Listers Farrell and Aniston, again in a Bateman film, but I know this will be better.

The Change-Up

Plot-A married man switches bodies with his best friend.

Director: David Dobkin

Stars: Jason Bateman, Ryan Reynolds, Leslie Mann.

Why I Want to See This? Silly plot, but will be made funny by the comedy talents of the three leads.

Hugo Cabret

Plot-An orphan becomes tangled in a mystery to do with his late father and an automaton.

Director: Martin Scorsese.

Stars: Chloe Moretz, Jude Law, Sacha Baron Cohen.

Why I Want to See This?-Scorsese doing a family friendly film. Will still be great. Having Baron Cohen is another plus.

Hesher

Plot-About a violent, loner who hates the world and everyone around him, until he happens to meet a young boy does his life naturally drastically begin to change.

Director: Spencer Susser

Stars: Joseph Gordon Leavitt, Natalie Paortman.

Why I Want to See This?-Gordon Levitt playing a violent loner? Yes please. Have seen a clip. Looks good.

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (US)

Plot-Remake of the Swedish sensation, about a jounalist’s search for a woman who’s been missing, or dead for forty years.

Director: David Fincher

Stars: Rooney Mara, Daniel Craig, Stellan Skarsgard.

Why I Want to See This?-Because Fincher has proven that he can make anything and it’ll always be good. This being a thriller is right up his alley. Will also watch the original before seeing this.

Midnight In Paris

Plot-A presumbly neurotic couple travel to Paris for business, and will get more than they expected.

Director: Woody Allen

Stars: Michael Sheen, Rachel McAdams, Marion Coitillard, Adrien Brody, Owen Wilson, Kathy Bates, Allison Pill.

Why I Want to See This?-Woody Allen’s latest. Please make up for You’ll Meet A Tall Dark Stranger. With a cast like this (minus Rachael McAdams) he just might.

The Muppets

Plot-Those loveable, classic puppets are back, with Kermit and the gang putting on a show to save their old theater.

Director: James Bobin

Stars: The Muppets (duh), Jason Segel and a host of other major celebrities.

Why I Want to See This?-It has been too long since The Muppets have been on the big screen (1999’s Muppets In Space to be precise, but 1997’s Muppet Treasure Island was their last great hit), so Segel, along with his Forgetting Sarah Marshall Director bringing back those wonderful puppets. God bless them.

Caesar: Rise Of The Apes

Plot-Remake of the fourth outing in the original Planet of the Apes series from 1968-1973 Conquest of the Planet of the Apes, shows how the apes conquered mankind and ruled our planet, thanks to a talking ape descandent from the future named Caesar.

Director: Rupert Wyatt

Stars: James Franco, Andy Serkis, Freida Pinto, John Lithgow.

Why I Want to See This?-I am a huge Planet of the Apes fan. The original series is my favourite science fiction series ever, more than Star Wars definetly, though I was quite disappointed with Tim Burton’s remake. Now exactly a decade has passed since that disaster and this better make up for that, and not be a repeat. So far it’s not, with the apes being cgi now, and I couldn’t care less for the Director and stars attached. I’ll just have to wait and see.

Guns, Girls And Gambling

Plot-A bunch of people, including Elvis impersonators, Indians, Cowboys and various other shady people are all chasing after a priceless American Indian artifact stolen during a poker game at an Indian casino.

Director: Michael Winnick

Stars: Gary Oldman, Christian Slater, Dane Cook, Chris Kattan.

Why I Want to See It? Slater, Oldman (True Romance reunion huzzah) and Cook in a movie! Awesome.

Happythankyoumoreplease

Plot-Follows the life of a struggling NY writer, and his relationships with his friends, as well as their own dramas.

Director: Josh Radnor

Stars: Josh Radnor, Malin Ackerman, Tony Hale.

Why I Want to See It?-To see if How I Met Your Mother’s Ted Mosby can carry a film, and after seeing the trailer and seeing that their’s drama for Tony ‘Buster Bluth’ Hale automatically makes it a must see.

Tree Of Life

Plot-Drama about a young boy’s troubles growing up in the 1950s, also follows him into his adult life too.

Director: Terrence Malick.

Stars: Brad Pitt, Sean Penn.

Why I Want to See This?-Originally I thought this was gonna be a three hour epic about Brad Pitt and Sean Penn as Cavemen fighting dinosaurs. Instead it’s a three hour epic about a boy’s life growing up in the 1950s. Still intruiged and I’m sure it’ll be good, but damn that first idea sounded soo much better.

X-Men: First Class

Plot-Prequel, showhing how the X-Men were formed, how all the classic characters discovered their powers, and how the war between Professor X and Magneto begun.

Director: Matthew Vaughn

Stars: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender.

Why I Want to See This?-After a disappointing third, and spin-off too, can a prequel bring back the charm? With Kick Ass Director Vaughn Directing and Inglourious Basterds Fassbender starring I think so.

The Beaver

Plot-Troubled husband and father decides to put a beaver puppet on and use that has his way of communicating.

Director: Jodie Foster.

Stars: Mel Gibson, Jodie Foster.

Why I Want to See This?-Gibson may or may not return to good graces with this film, but I’m pretty interested in it none the less due to the rather interesting plot. But can it be taken seriously?

Dream House

Plot-A family who have recently moved to a new house find themselves terrorised by a killer who’d killed the previous owners.

Director: Jim Sheridan

Stars: Daniel Craig, Rachel Weiz, Naomi Watts

Why I Want to See This?-Naomi Watts doing what was done to her in Funny Games!? Sweeeet.

The Hangover Part II

Plot-Sequel to the suprise (and very overrated) comedy hit of 2009, follows the gang as they travel to Bangkok for a wedding.

Director: Todd Phillips

Stars: Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zack Galifianakis, Ken Jeong.

Why I Want to See It? I’m sure this will be pretty funny, and their bringing back Jeong, the funniest person from the original. But it will be overrated for sure.

My Week With Marilyn

Plot-An employee of Sir Laurence Olivier documents the tense relationship between him and Marilyn Monroe on the set of The Prince And The Showgirl.

Director: Simon Curtis

Stars: Michelle Williams, Kenneth Branagh, Emma Watson, Judi Dench.

Why I Want to See This? Another new expose on someone famous, and while another film on Monroe is being made at the moment called Blonde with Naomi Watts as the blonde bombshell, I feel it’s better to get this one out of the way first as I’m waay more interested in the next.

Mission Impossible IV

Plot- Once again super spy Ethan Hunt is thrust into another deadly impossible mission.

Director: Brad Bird

Stars: Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg.

Why I Want to See This? After a great third, another continuation for Cruise, with Pegg and Directed by Bird I’m down with.

Green Lantern

Plot-A test pilot is granted mystical powers and becomes the eponymous superhero.

Director: Martin Campbell.

Stars: Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively, Peter Sarsgaard, Temuera Morrison, Taika Waititi.

Why I Want to See This? While I’d rather Reynolds be doing Dead Pool instead, this should be an entertaining super hero blockbuster.

Bridesmaids

Plot-Two women battle to plan their friend’s wedding.

Director: Paul Feig

Stars: Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Jon Hamm.

Why I Want to See This? Ok the plot couldn’t be anymore what I’m not into, but it stars Wiig and Rudolph, two of the funniest women in the world so it could be really, really funny.

War Horse

Plot-A young man’s bond with a horse is threatened when the horse is sold and shipped over to the trenches of WW1. So the man decides to enlist and save his friend.

Director: Steven Speilberg.

Stars: Benedict Cumberbatch, David Thewlis, Tom Hiddleston.

Why I Want to See This? Speilberg’s latest, can make up for Indy IV. But the plots muffed.

Sucker Punch

Plot-A young girl who has been commited, imagines a dream world to help her cope, and also to plan a daring escape.

Director: Zach Schneider.

Stars: Emily Browning, Vanessa Hudgens, Abbie Cornish, Jon Hamm.

Why I Want to See This? Schneider’s latest, could be another Watchmen, or the female 300. Here’s to the former.

The Rum Diary

Plot-Johnny Depp plays a freelance journalist juggling many problems, based on a Hunter S. Thompson novel.

Director: Bruce Robinson.

Stars: Johnny Depp

Why I Want to See This? Depp returning to Hunter S. Thompson territory. Please be toned down in the excessiveness that Fear & Loathing relished.

A Dangerous Method

Plot-A look at how the intense relationship between Carl Jung and Sigmond Freud gives birth to psychoanalysis.

Director: David Cronenberg

Stars: Viggo Mortensen, Michael Fassbender, Keira Knightley

Why I Want to See This? Cronenberg and Mortensen’s third pairing in a row sounds interesting, and should be better than Eastern Promises. But maybe not History Of Violence. Plus it’s got the always good Fassbender.

Drive Angry

Plot-A vengeful father chases after the men who killed his daughter by literally running them over with his pimp ass car.

Director: Patrick Lussier.

Stars: Nicolas Cage, William Fichtner.

Why I Want to See This? Ridiculous plot will be made interesting by Nic Cage.

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Plot-A semi retired veteran spy is forced out of retirement to track down a Soviet agent during the Cold War.

Director: Tomas Alfredson

Stars: Tom Hardy, Colin Firth, Gary Oldman, Ralph Fiennes.

Why I Want to See This? The Director of Let The Right One In’s next film starring Gary Oldman and Ralph Fiennes.

Super 8

Plot-A Cloverfield repeat.

Director: J.J. Abrams.

Stars: Elle Fanning, Amanda Michalka, Kyle Chandler.

Why I Want to See This? Another Cloverfield. Sure it will be good

Friends With benefits

Plot-The relations between two friends gets obviosuly complicated when they decide to get kinky.

Director: Will Gluck

Stars: Mila Kunis, Justin Timberlake, Patricia Clarkson.

Why I Want to See This? A romantic comedy starring Timberlake and Kunis, so what? But if it’s got Clarkson then I’m in.

Anonymous said: Do you really think 'Boy' was like a Wes Anderson film? Personally I felt it was less awkward than alot of his humour, and I was wondering where you were coming from with that comment? Im interested as to what similarities you saw and with what film.

Ok in humour maybe not as it’s quite distinctly Kiwi, but I felt the way it was shot, the camera angles and movements, reminded me of Wes Anderson. It felt more of a Wes Anderson film to me than Fantastic Mr. Fox, which was only good in parts, otherwise I felt it was abit of a waste and don’t get the praise it gets.

Fave Performances of 2010

Jessie Eisenberg-The Social Network

In David Fincher’s last two efforts, the things I really liked about em were the way they were filmed, told, and in Zodiac's case it's soundtrack, but the performances didn't really resonate. Although I was entertained by Robert Downey Jr., creeped out yet compelled by John Carroll Lynch, and thought Mark Ruffalo was good in Zodiac, they just didn’t resonate and stand out from Fincher’s three films before, but compared to Benjammin Button where seeing Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett in old age makeup was more interesting than their performances, well. So walking into Social Network I was kind of expecting a third round of it, maybe just liking Justin Timberlake. I really wasn’t expecting to like Eisenberg’s performance as Mark Zuckerberg, more appreciate it. But I certainly wasn’t expecting for him to deliver my favourite performance of the year, which he did. It took me three movies to finally get me to like him; in Squid And The Whale, he was good but such a dick until the end that it stopped me from liking him, in Adventureland he was dour, too straight and very, very dull, while in Zombieland actually he was good, enjoyable and sometimes funny, but that was all pretty much lost on me by Woody Harrelson stealing the show. Finally in Social Network he shone through for me, playing a dick, but a socially impaired, practically aspie genius. From the moment the film started with Mark talking in a bar as he’s being dumped by his girlfriend (Rooney Mara) and struggling to comprehend the situation, while also correcting her on trivial little things in the conversation she’s getting wrong, Eisenberg was on. Other highlights are the hearing scenes scattered throughout the film as Mark is rude and smarmy to the Winklevoss twins who are suing him over the rights to Facebook, aswell as their lawyer as he’s asked “Mr. Zuckerberg, do I have your full attention?” To which his response is “No” and when asked why he responds with “I think if your clients want to sit on my shoulders and call themselves tall, they have the right to give it a try - but there’s no requirement that I enjoy sitting here listening to people lie. You have part of my attention - you have the minimum amount. The rest of my attention is back at the offices of Facebook, where my colleagues and I are doing things that no one in this room, including and especially your clients, are intellectually or creatively capable of doing.”. Other asshole moments follow like the small but funny scene where he and once best friend Eduardo (Andrew Garfield) go for an interview to sell Facebook, and Mark decides to be rude and make clicking noises because he simply doesn’t care. But my absolute favourite moment of Zuckerberg’s is small but it’s when he meets up with Eduardo at a college party, and after doing a very weird and awkward martian like greeting to him, he has an aspie moment and complains about the theme of the party which is carribean, and how it’s not carribean at all and is soo annoyed by that he has to go outside. He later refers to that in a telephone argument with Eduardo near the end of the film. Eisenberg may not deserve the Oscar for Best Actor (and I don’t think he will anyway) but if he did win it I’d be very happy.

Joaquin Phoenix-I’m Still Here

Joaquin Phonex is not one of my favourite actors. Out of all his movies only two have I really liked him in: The villain in Gladiator and ofcourse Johnny Cash. But I was anticipating this supposed documentary showing him quitting acting to pursue a rapping career and basically end his career and become a living joke as his raps were not only stupid, but non sensical and hard to comprehend (except for the many uses of bitch). So when I’m Still Here came out I half thought it was one of the funniest things I’d ever seen, and because I didn’t know till like two days later that it was all a hoax, also felt slightly sorry for the man who had seemed to lose his mind. But second time around knowing the truth I was able to laugh as much as I wanted and not feel bad as Phoenix gave the funniest performance of the year playing one of the most warped and unflattering versions of a person playing themselves ever. Phoenix goes one up over Sacha Baron Cohen in that he’s not playing a character, he’s playing himself, and while sure the top celebs who featured were in on the joke, many involved, and more importantly the public believed this was real, and while ultimately the two year running joke didn’t pay off at all as it was a box office flop and has pretty much faded away, to me this was funnier than any comedy that came out this year. Their wasn’t a single scene this year that was as funny as Joaquin going to P. Diddy’s studio and showing him his demos as they one by one get worse and worse, and Diddy can’t believe what he’s hearing.

Michael Cera-Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World

Sure he was a bit of a dick and all, but compared to the over sweetness, feeling too sorry for himself performance in Nick & Norah Michael Cera was amazing then. Being part of a rock band is one thing, but being able to single handedly take on seven people that’s skill. Now his taste in girls is rather too emo for my tastes (seriously was all that trouble for Ramona really necessary?) aswell as the type of music his band plays is too ott, but the fact he’s a bit of a anti hero and I never once rooted for him, makes him more interesting to me. 

Will Ferrell & Mark Wahlberg-The Other Guys

The funniest duo of the year. One of a long line of mismatched partners in film, but this year their haven’t been many. With Ferrell as the seemingly by the book Allen Gamble with a dark past and Eva Mendes as his wife! And Wahlberg as hot tempered and easilly annoyed Terry Hoitz, they were the buddy cop team that Tracy Morgan and Bruce Willis should have been.

Ralph Fiennes-Cemetary Junction

Ralph Fiennes is always good at being a villain, straight up. Schindler’s List my God of course is the epotomy of what I mean, as well as his disturbing performance in Red Dragon. And once again he can add Cemetary Junction to his list of classic mean characters. In it he plays Mr. Kendrick, the cold hearted and controlling boss of a Life Insurance company that protagonist Freddie (Christian Cooke) works at, aswell as father to the girl of his dreams (Felicity Jones). Kendrick only cares about himself, and couldn’t care less about the people around him, including his family who he controls over. When his wife (Emily Watson) appears to have disagreed with him about something, he threatens to take back the dress she’s wearing. But his coldest moment is when at a company banquet he’s farewelling a worker who’s retiring, but in the most unflattering way possible, with the farewell gift being a glass bowl! And then immidiatly after that saying “right now onto something a little less depressing”. A classic of meanness if ever I did see one.

Armie Hammer-The Social Network

Playing the twins who get screwed over by Mark Zuckerberg, Hammer turns in amazing performances who for all but one scene of the film are getting annoyed by one thing after another. From Mark screwing them around, to the Dean of their college not giving a damn, to losing their big rowing match, The Winklevoss Twins lose hardcore. And it’s funny to watch.

Nicolas Cage & Chloe Moretz-Kick Ass

The coolest duo of the year was this bad ass father and daughter team who were the true heroes of the film. Honestly everytime they were on it was gold. From the moment they appear with Cage’s Big Daddy shooting Moretz’s Hit Girl for target practice, they never dulled. Cage makes his performance even funnier by talking like Adam West. And Moretz, after kind of bugging me by playing someone beyond her years in 500 Days of Summer, here perfects it.

Ryan Reynolds-Buried

To do a film about a man who’s buried alive, and have it be completely set inside the coffin with him the whole time, you need an actor who will keep you interested the whole way, who will keep you enthralled the whole way through, and one with a lot of charm. I can’t think of a better actor then than Ryan Reynolds to be chosen for this project, and that’s exactly what he did.

Leonardo DiCaprio-Shutter Island & Inception

In both these films, DiCaprio continues to play a stressed out, demanding performance. But in Shutter Island he goes through the ringer, delivering his most demanding performance to date as a detective who loses his mind. The ending in paticular is when he’s at his most stressed out in the film, and the flashback with Michelle Williams Jesus. While in Inception he’s just as stressed out and shouty, losing his mind, and also has a deceased wife aswell, but unlike Shutter I choose to believe he gets a happy ending in Inception with his spinning top kind of slowing down.

Jon Hamm-The Town

Jon Hamm once again continuing to impress me. After returning briefly as the “Oh so handsome, yet oh so dumb” Dr. Drew Baired on 30 Rock, in The Town he’s the primary antagonist, the cop wanting to take down Ben Afleck and his crew at any costs, even if innocent people get killed along the way. A total dick who you wanna see go down, which you kind of do when he doesn’t end up apprehending Affleck by film’s end.

Taika Waititi-Boy

Another choice performance from the talented Kiwi.

Joseph Gordon Leavitt-Inception

The one out of the team who looks like he could be bad or turn coat, based mostly on the fact he’s got slicked back hair, instead he’s the sanest out of the group, and the one who really should be in charge. Also is part of the film’s coolest scen; The spinning hallway fight scene. Joseph you’ve done it again.

Will Forte-MacGruber

Probably the biggest dick of the year was Forte bringing a mildly funny creation from SNL to the big screen. Their was seriously no redeeming features to him; He was an idiot, rude to practically everyone, most memorably Ryan Phillipe (“I bet you wish your nose was a dick, so you could fuck butts”), when begging for something his offer is to suck their dick, and he has the most bizarre method of execution; ripping out throats, and the most horrible and sick puns such as when he’s about to rip off somebodies throat he chucks em a pack of throat lozengers and says rather sadistically “You’re gonna need the whole box”. So, so rude, yet so, so funny.

Patricia Clarkson-Shutter Island

After Whatever Works Patricia Clarkson bugged me with her stealing the film away from Larry David. Sure that’s what I love her for, but when Larry David only has Curb, then let him be the center of his own movie. Thankfully I was won back by her by her sole scene in this when as the film was becoming too much for me and I was getting uncomftable, Teddy Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio) stumbles upon a cave and meets the supposed real patient who escaped, Rachel 2 (Clarkson) who reveals that she’s a doctor who stumbled upon a conspiracy in the institution, and is now hiding in the cave, and freaks out the near unstable Daniels. It’s great as even though it’s more freakiness, it’s oddly very calm in the way it’s told, and Clarkson quietly talks to DiCaprio and acts as she normally does when she acts; gracefull.

Chris Evans And Brandon Routh-Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World

The two funniest out of the evil exes, both only got about 15 minutes of screentime but deserved more. Evans played a self absorbed Hollywood action star who’s so fly the Universal Pictures logo is his theme, and he directs his films instead of the Director. He also delivers the meanest fight out of the 7 as he and his many stunt doubles take on Scott Pilgrim. But it’s his mean skateboarding skills that prove his downfall. His 15 minutes in this were funnier than his comic relief role in The Losers.

While Routh plays Scott’s ex’s boyfriend who because of him being Vegan gives him awesome strength which he uses on Scott and Knives Chau (”I’m not above punching a chick”) and psychic powers, but that still doesn’t make him all that bright, as Scott easilly tricks him into drinkink milk with half soy, and half dairy, and he’s defeated when the vegan police (Thomas Jane and Clifton Collins Jr.) strip him of his vegan powers! Now that has to be the most interesting defeat of the year for sure.

Sam Rockwell-Iron Man 2

The film was a disappointment, but one thing it nailed was Rockwell’s slimy, smarmy turn as villian Justin Hammer. Hammer wants to be Tony Stark, but is not quite cool enough, and Rockwell delivers this perfectly. His best moments are when he’s reached breaking point with Mickey Rourke’s Ivan Vanko who have collaborated to bring down Stark, and yells at him on how he can’t speak Russian, which he kept doing to him, and his end presentation scene, trying to emulate Stark’s opening number, but only succeeds in two things: Being a douche but being very funny at the same time.

Topher Grace-Predators

Besides Traffic, Topher Grace’s foray into movies I haven’t liked. But in Predators he was not only seemingly likeable, but he turns that all around in the end and gives a good turn. Playing an un masculine doctor plopped on an alien planet with masculine men and women, Topher easilly seems like the odd one out. What with constantly running away, screaming, and begging for mercy and all how could he possibly fit. Until it’s revealed in the end how not so out of place he is, and shows his true colors. Watching it in multiple viewings you can notice the subtle hints to his dark nature.

Ned Beatty-Toy Story 3

The villians in the previous installments didn’t really do anything for me. Even when I was a kid they didn’t. But Ned Beatty’s turn as Lotso is a chilling one. A seemingly benevolent huggable teddy bear who runs the day care which are heroes are taken to, is revealed to be an evil, embittered old grump who runs the day care as if he’s Ralph Fiennes in Schindler’s List. Terrifying.

Mickey Rourke-The Expendables

Ofcourse it came as no suprise that Rourke was gonna deliver the best acting in this film. Playing Tool, the retired Expendable who now runs a tattoo parlor which the gang frequent, Rourke delivers the film’s sole dramatic scene, and naturally nails it as if he’d actually been there and done it as he retells to Stallone how he let a woman commit suicide when he could have saved her. The tears he brings in that scene felt real too.

Dolph Lundgren-The Expendables

While Rourke was the best actor, the best character was Lundgren as Gunner Jensen, the unstable one in the group, who has to be let go, turns on them, is supposedly killed and miraculously survives and is reformed at the end!

Jeff Fahey-Machete

In a film which featured many A-List superstars, it was Fahey who walked away with this film, as the man who double crosses Machete and comes to regret it. He was as funny and watchable as he was in the Grindhouse trailer.

Jason Patric-The Losers

The only good performance in this otherwise lacklustre action, the villian. And what a treat Patric was as the severely mad Max, who everytime the film was getting boring, he’d show up and do something amazing; The best is when he shoots a woman holding an umbrella over his head just because the wind made her lose focus of holding!

Michael Keaton-The Other Guys

Michael Keaton, where have you been? It’s been awhile. Nice to see you appear in this funny comedy as the Captain of the Police, who for no reason quotes TLC songs and when called on it has no idea who they are. His funniest moment however is when after Will Ferrell is shot, he thinks he’s badly hurt and screams out for a medic in extremely comic fashion. Please continue to appear in films as much as you can man.

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