My Own Awards Ceremony 2016

So the Oscars happens, the Leonardo DiCaprio meme is dead and it’s time for my own award ceremony with blackjack and hookers. I’ve managed to cover most of the actual awards from the Oscars and one new award I came up with. So lets start with…

Best Game Tie-In

Best Game Tie-in

Disney Infinity 3.0 – The Force Awakens Playset

Expect to see The Force Awakens a few times in these awards. After seeing the movie I played through this playset and I think it’s the best playset Disney Infinity has made so far. It’s a quick retelling of the movie with a bunch of side quests inbetween the main plot points with a pretty challenging fight against Kylo Ren (especially when compared to the other Star Wars bosses) at the end. It’s also neat that the original actors for Rey, Finn, Poe and Kylo Ren all reprise their roles.

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Damian Martin, Lesley Vanderwalt, and Elka Wardega (Mad Max: Fury Road)

Hey look, the Academy actually made the right call on this one. Fury Road gets this award from me mostly because of Furiosa’s design. Speaking of character design…

Best Costume Design

Best Costume Design

Michael Kaplan (Star Wars: The Force Awakens)

Star Wars has always had great costumes and this film is no exception. It captures the look of the old films while also looking unique to this film. I expect to see a fair amount of Force Awakens cosplayers at MCM this year.

Best Cinematography

Best Cinematography

Russell Carpenter (Ant-Man)

The fight between Ant-Man and Yellowjacket is one of the best in the MCU. A big part of making Ant-Man work as a character is making the world look huge when he shrinks and the film does a fantastic job at that.

Best Visual Effects

Best Visual Effects

Chris Corbould, Roger Guyett, Paul Kavanagh, and Neal Scanlan (Star Wars: The Force Awakens)

The Force Awakens had the best balance of practical and CG effects that sometimes it was hard to tell which was which. I’m still impressed by the fact BB-8 isn’t just a practical effect but that the toys function the same way, likewise by how well Maz Kanata and Supreme Leader Snoke fit into the world. So yeah I agree with the BAFTAs on this one.

Best Production Design

Best Production Design

Rick Carter and Darren Gilford (Star Wars: The Force Awakens)

I said this film was going to turn up a lot, and we’re not even at the actors yet. Jakku could easily have just come across like it was just another Tatooine but the junkyard element gives it a unique look and personality.

Best Film Editing

Best Film Editing

Maryann Brandon and Mary Jo Markey (Star Wars: The Force Awakens)

Oh look it’s Star Wars again. Something I can’t really find a good image to show is how this film keeps the wipe transitions from the original trilogy. It’s details like this that show the kind of love for the series that went into the editing process.

Best Original Song

Best Original Song

Barenaked Ladies – Lazer Team (Lazer Team)

So because IMDB considers this film to be a 2015 film and this song was in the film during the 2015 screenings it’s eligible for this award. The song plays at the start of the end credits and right away I wanted to get the soundtrack and hear an extended version. Unfortunately the soundtrack isn’t available yet but someone has ripped the song from the movie (along with the song that comes after it) and posted it on Tumblr.

Best Original Score

Best Original Score

Mychael Danna and Jeff Danna (The Good Dinosaur)

I really feel this movie was underrated (a side effect of coming out the same year as Inside Out), I really liked it and one of my favourite parts of the movie was the soundtrack. I especially like the recurring melody (or leitmotif as it appears to be called). I’d say the best track would be Run with the Herd.

Best Adapted Screenplay

Best Adapted Screenplay

Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber (Paper Towns)

It’s hard to look past book bias when you watch a movie based on a book you liked. So when one not only manages to be great but actually improve on areas of the book (something John Green also agrees on) I’m impressed.

Best Original Screenplay

Best Original Screenplay

Lawrence Kasdan, J. J. Abrams and Michael Arndt (Star Wars: The Force Awakens)

It’s also hard to make a new film in a series as huge as Star Wars, especially after the reaction the prequels got. Sure there are a lot of similarities to A New Hope but each of those similarities comes with a “but…” preventing it from simply being a remake. Plus most of these story similarities are recurring plots in the entire saga.

Best Director

Best Director

J. J. Abrams (Star Wars: The Force Awakens)

When I watched Star Trek: Into Darkness knowing J. J. Abrams would be directing Star Wars I could see the potential for a great Star Wars movie in a not so great Star Trek movie. I also think his first Star Trek film was a great reintroduction to the universe for new fans and was interest in the way he’d reintroduce us to Star Wars. As you can see by the amount of awards I’ve given it already he did a great job.

Best Reprising Voice Actress

Best Reprising Voice Actress

Rebecca Shoichet as Sunset Shimmer (My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Friendship Games)

Sunset Shimmer’s story really has been the highlight of the Equestria Girls movies. Without her I doubt I’d enjoy them quite as much as I do. This is the first movie where she gets to be the main character and Rebecca Shoichet updates her voice to fit the new role. She also has improved Sunset’s singing voice since Rainbow Rocks that makes it different from Twilight’s singing voice (which she also does).

Best Reprising Voice Actor

Best Reprising Voice Actor

Paul Bettany as J.A.R.V.I.S. (Avengers: Age of Ultron)

While he will continue to appear in the MCU as the Vision this was his last time playing Tony Stark’s A.I. who has been a part of the series since the beginning.

Best Reprising Actress

Best Reprising Actress

Carrie Fisher as General Leia Organa (Star Wars: The Force Awakens)

While she doesn’t appear until the third act when she really is one of the stand out performances of the movie. She’s also been one of the most entertaining members of the cast to see in interviews often calling out tiresome interview question cliches.

Best Reprising Actor

Best Reprising Actor

Harrison Ford as Han Solo (Star Wars: The Force Awakens)

Having the biggest role out of all the returning actors it was great to see Harrison Ford fully embrace being Han Solo again. He could have easily just phoned it in (something he tends to do a lot these days) and no one would have blamed him but I’m glad he didn’t.

Best Supporting Actress

Best Supporting Actress

Cara Delevingne as Margo Roth Spiegelman (Paper Towns)

While she is one of the main characters of the movie because she only really appears around the beginning and end of the film so supporting actress category it is. Margo is an interesting character and Cara Delevingne does a great job playing the different sides to her character.

Best Supporting Actor

Best Supporting Actor

Michael Peña as Luis

Luis is one of those characters who could have been really annoying but Michael Peña’s performance is so entertaining he became one of the funniest characters in the movie. His narration of conversations that have happened are especially entertaining and includes one of Stan Lee’s best cameos yet.

Best Voice Actress

Best Voice Actress

Lupita Nyong’o as Maz Kanata

Despite only appearing in three feature films (and one short film) so far Lupita Nyong’o has really made a name for herself and won an Academy Award. It’s just a shame they don’t celebrate voice acting an motion capture performances because she deserves another award for this performance. I’m really looking forward to seeing more from her in the future, especially as Maz again next year.

Best Voice Actor

Best Voice Actor

James Spader as Ultron (Avengers: Age of Ultron)

So far this award has always gone to motion capture performances and this year is no exception. While Age of Ultron wasn’t as good as I’d hoped it would be James Spader’s performance as Ultron is one of the best villain performances in the MCU.

Best Actress

Best Actress

Daisy Ridley as Rey (Star Wars: The Force Awakens)

While the returning cast members helped make The Force Awakens feel canon it was the new characters that made it great and out of all of them main character Rey stood out the most. She’s been such a huge success with audience Hasbro have faced a lot of criticism for not making enough merchandise of her. Out of the new actors she’s been in the least amount of films but after this role I expect we’ll be seeing a lot more of her.

Best Actor

Best Actor

Ian McKellen as Sherlock Holmes (Mr. Holmes)

In this film we see Sherlock Holmes at three different points of his life and Ian McKellen does a fantastic job portraying each, especially the latest stage of his life as he struggles with his memory.

Best Animated Short Film

Best Animated Short Film

Sanjay’s Super Team

Pixar animator Sanay Patel directed this short based on his own childhood. Reading about the story behind the short makes it even better. It’s a heartwarming short both with and without context.

Best Live Action Short Film

Best Live Action Short Film

Kung Fury

The extremely cheesy 80s inspired video was a huge hit online. Funded through Kickstarter this short really feels like a long lost VHS of an 80s action film. It’s really something you need to see for yourself, fortunately you can watch it on YouTube.

Best Documentary

Best Documentary

Twinsters

A film I probably wouldn’t have even seen if I hadn’t been scrolling Netflix for 2015 films to watch. Another Kickstarter funded project this film centers around the personal journey of two twin sisters adopted by different families in different countries meeting thanks to the internet. Compared to most documentaries I’ve seen it’s a much more personal to the film makers and that is a big part of what caused it to make it into my 10 last year.

Best Animated Picture

Best Animated Picture

Boruto: Naruto the Movie

2015 was a great year for animated movies in my opinion. Two Pixar movies, the Peanuts movie and the second canon Naruto movie. As I said in my previous description of this film in my top 10 this was the first time since Pokémon the First Movie I’ve seen an anime film in the cinema, I made a trip up to Plymouth just to see this and spent a lot of time waiting for the screening to start and for my train home but it was worth it.

Best Live Action Picture/Best Picture

Best Live Action Picture

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Are you even surprised? Even if you haven’t read my top 10 films of last year you could probably guess this was coming from all the awards I gave it. It lived up to the hype and I can’t wait for Episode VIII next year. But until then I’ve got Rogue One to look forward to.

Thank you for reading, last year was a good year for movies in my opinion and I had a lot of fun putting this article together. It’s hard to predict what will be on next year’s list so I’m looking forward to seeing what it’ll be like.

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The Archdjinni of the Rings: Hoopa – Review

So with my 3DS broken I figured the best way to spend the 20th Anniversary of Pokémon was to watch a Pokémon movie. Fortunately last year’s film has finally been subbed. I wanted to watch this before making last year’s top 10 list but the subs weren’t available until earlier this week and there was no way I was going to watch the dub (can’t stand Ash’s current English voice).

This was a fun movie, it has some of the best action in any of the Pokémon movies so far. This is because as the image at the top of this article shows a lot of the biggest and most powerful legendary Pokémon are summoned. It’s pretty much a Pokémon kaiju movie.

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As Pokémon movie plots go it’s pretty standard. Ash and friend meet the cute event legendary and the main antagonist is one of the bigger legendary Pokémon, it’s just this time they’re both the same Pokémon. The extra legendaries are great to see too, naturally the Hoenn trio are present for some ORAS promotion. Shiny Rayquaza battling against fellow third game legendaries Giratina and Kyurem is particularly exciting to watch.

Hoopa_Unbound_anime

I do wish Groudon and Kyogre had a bigger role,we haven’t really got a good Groudon Vs Kyogre battle in the anime yet. Still overall this was a great film, in fact…

Top10MoviesOf2015

It’s made its way into my Top 10 list from last year.

Deadpool – Review

So here’s a movie that was either going to be really good or really bad. Fox’s Marvel movies have been somewhat hit or miss lately which tends to be the case for Deadpool in general, sometimes he’s hilarious and other times you can’t stand him so this movie was always going to be a big risk. Fortunately the risk payed off because this is a great movie.

So given my choice to include the redband trailer over the greenband version lets start with that age rating shall we since it’s a popular topic concerning this film. Do I think they could have made a decent Deadpool movie with a 12/PG-13 rating? Sure. Would it have been as good as the movie we got? Not even close. See one of the best things about this movie is that it appeals to every kind of Deadpool fan and a huge percentage of the Deadpool fandom considers his foul mouth and brutal violence to be a big part of his charm. So while I’m not part of the “it had to be rated 15/R” crowd I do think the rating helps make this a better film.

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One thing I finally noticed watching this movie is how similar Ryan Reynolds and Nolan North’s Deadpool voices are. It’s not a particularly important detail but I like the consistency. Speaking of voices I love the fact Colossus has a full stereotypical Russian accent, it not only fits the humour of the film but serves as a more faithful portrayal of the character than we’ve gotten before. Colossus’ reactions to Deadpool are also a good example of why the film’s age rating improves the movie with Deadpool’s R rated antics are too much for family friendly Colossus who wants him to tone down the violence and swear less, a bit like those parents who complain about the film not having a lower rating.

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One of the biggests risks with the Deadpool character was his fourth wall breaking. They pull it off, it’s adapted properly to the format with most examples being in a Ferris Bueller’s Day Off/Malcolm in the Middle style with the occasional remark  in the style of his comics (my favourite being “McAvoy or Stewart? These timelines are so confusing.”). It’s there just enough to work as a gimmick without overstaying its welcome, exactly how it should be too because it just wouldn’t be Deadpool without it.

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Overall it was a fun film and out of the 2016 films I’ve seen so far it’s the best. This also marks that start of the point of the year when films I’m interested in seeing start coming out at a more frequent pace so next month I’ll be reviewing more than just one cinematic release. Until then it’s time to browse Netflix and my parents’ DVDs to figure out what movie to watch next.

Little Door Gods – Review

The trailer for this film caught my attention when it appeared on my Tumblr feed (along with a fair amount of screenshots and fanart) and I made a note to watch it when it became available.

The thing that really stood out for me about this film are the visuals. Everything from the character designs to the look of the Spirit World are really impressive. This is something I really like getting to see when I watch an animated film from another culture, I get to see their own unique approach to animation that I’m not used to.

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The story focuses on the fact that in the modern world the Chinese gods aren’t really needed any more and are facing unemployment with a parallel story of a little girl and her mother trying to keep their family’s shop open with a risk of getting shut down a rival store owner. It’s a nice story but does have a bit of a slow pace at times.

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Overall I enjoyed this film but I don’t expect to see it in my top 10 by the end of the year. I will however continue to be listening to this song from the dance scene because it’s extremely catchy. I also hope to see cosplayers of some of the characters at MCM this year, especially the flower goddess Huaxian (who disappointingly isn’t in the movie that much).

Next review is probably going to be Deadpool.

 

What We Do in the Shadows – Review

I had this film on my list on Netflix after hearing about it on the podcast The Morning Stream, then when I was at AniMangaPOP it came up in a conversation and I was told I’d like it. So I tried watching it last night but Netflix decided it didn’t want to work. Fortunately it was working better today so we have this review.

The trouble with reviewing a comedy is it’s hard to talk about the film without just saying “it was/wasn’t funny” or quoting the movie. Fortunately as a vampire movie I can compare it to other vampire movies I’ve seen recently… which is just the Hotel Transylvania films since people don’t really make that many vampire movies after Twilight put people off them. But yes while I did enjoy the Hotel Transylvania films and see them as an example of Adam Sandler proving he can actually act when he works outside of Happy Madison they’re ok at best. What We Do in the Shadows on the other hand is hilarious.

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The effects have the right balance of impressive and cheesy making the vampires really feel like they belong in an old vampire film. Likewise the documentary format feels natural being a combination of a modern following people around documentary and a historical documentary, which is exactly how it should be.

What-We-Do-in-the-Shadows-A-Vampire-Comedy

Looking back at my 2014 top 10 list this film would have been on there had I seen it back then. I might post an updated version of the list some time as Tamako Love Story which I saw last year also deserves a place on the list. In the case of both films I simply hadn’t heard of them at the time I made the list.

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So yes I’m glad I saw this and if my friend who recommended this is reading thank you for the recommendation. I’m going to try picking up the pace with the amount of films I see soon and yes I do plan on seeing Deadpool later this month.

Tomorrowland – Review

So last night my dad told me he’d recorded Tomorrowland and asked if I wanted to watch it with him. So I sat down to watch one of the films from last year that I didn’t feel the need to see before making my top 10 list. And yeah this really wouldn’t have effected the list in the slightest. But anyway here’s the trailer.

So first off I want to talk about an annoying bit of confusion that happened when we started the movie. I remember when this was still showing in cinemas there was a Tomorrowland DVD being sold that had an extended title. So when the film started with the title Tomorrowland: A World Beyond I did worry dad had recorded the wrong film. But as it turns out that’s just the title of the film for the UK release. I’m really getting sick of films changing their name between the US and UK despite being the exact same movie. The worst example of this was the fact The Peanuts Movie has the mouthful title of Snoopy and Charlie Brown: The Peanuts Movie like we somehow needed clarifying who a movie based on Peanuts was going to be about.

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You’ll notice I haven’t actually been talking about the movie itself yet, that’s because there really isn’t much to say about it. The film spends most of the time building up to Tomorrowland itself that when they finally get there the movie is almost over. There was also an odd narrative choice at the start when George Clooney’s character starts telling the story but getting interrupted. Halfway through the movie I realized this was probably done because by this point people would probably have been asking “where’s George Clooney?”

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So when they finally get to Tomorrowland is it worth all the build up? Not really. The design is pretty neat but gets boring quickly. There’s nothing much to the place and that’s actually intentional, but when you spend the entire movie building up to this place and the state it’s in being kind of empty is pretty anti-climactic.

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It’s got a talented cast but their skills are wasted (especially Hugh Laurie). Overall the film is just mediocre. The best thing to come out of it was this weapon for Disney Infinity.