Leonard Nimoy…

LeonardNimoy-WIDE

Okay, I wanna say something… I am a newcomer to Star Trek, I watched it here and there as a kid, but I appreciate it more as an adult.  But that doesn’t matter, because I’ve always known who Mr. Spock was… I can’t remember ever NOT knowing who he was.  Spock is an icon… Star Trek is an icon.

I have much respect for Leonard Nimoy because of Spock.

It’s really a shame though.  Excuse me as I get on a bandwagon… Leonard Nimoy died as a result of having COPD, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary disease.  According to a great article I read, COPD is related to emphysema which is the disease most associated with smoking tobacco.

Leonard Nimoy quit smoking 30 years ago, my grandfather quit smoking over 40 years ago… I stopped smoking over 2 years ago… it’s not worth it, the damage is done.

#smokingsucks

Leonard Nimoy 193-2015

https://www.yahoo.com/health/what-killed-star-trek-star-leonard-nimoy-the-112239917382.html

Don't take it from me, take it from the man himself.

Don’t take it from me, take it from the man himself.

 

 

Boyhood

boyhoodIn case you’ve been living under a rock, boyhood is the newest film by Richard Linklater shot over the course of 12 years.

The film mostly follows the story of Mason (played by newcomer Ellar Coltrane) as he navigates life as a adolescent, a teenager, and a young adult. He is surrounded by a loving and supportive family; his sister Samanta (played by Linklaters own daughter Lorelei Linklater), his mother (Patricia Arquette), and his part time father (Ethan Hawke).
Boyhood is getting a lot of hype, especially leading up to the Oscars, partially do to Linklater’s gimmick experiment of shooting it in real time. (I clearly write these reviews in advance)
The film was originally titled 12 Years, perhaps this title is more fitting than the one it ended up with. (The name was changed so as not to be confused with the 2013 Best Picture Winner; 12 Years a Slave). The reason this point is worth mentioning, is because truthfully this movie is more than just a portrait of a young mans life over the course of 12 years, but rather a portrait of his family.
Many critics have said that this film was equally the story of Masons’ Mom than it is about Mason. But I’d take that one step further because his sister Samantha’s life was just as important as Mason and his Mom.
This film suffers from too much story, it felt unbalanced, focusing too much on Mason, regardless of the films title.  The story that Linklater wrote often times feels repetitive and daunting. Many times throughout the film there was this overwhelming sense of doom within particular scenes, this led me to feel like something bad was about to does, but ultimately nothing happens. Not to mention, Linklater loves writing dialog filled with philosophy and life lessons, and ad Mason got older, the audience is presented with more and more life lessons. At a certain point as another teacher, mentor or family member give Mason more advice, it becomes eye rolling, as if everyone in Masons life has the answer, and there’s no opportunity for him to figure it out himself. As a result Mason felt flat and uninteresting, he was just a vehicle, floating aimlessly through the world for Linklater to share his words of wisdom through.
By balancing the story and allowing Mason’s sister and Mother to have more focus would have made this film much better. Of course then the film would have to be called Familyhood instead of Boyhood.
Overall I have never been a fan of Richard Linklater. For every one of his movies I like, there’s two I don’t like. And it seems the ones I do like, are the ones most people don’t. So overall I find him a little overrated, but I appreciate him for not only his love of cinema but also his willingness to experiment and try things no one has done before.
Making a movie with the same actors over the course of 12 years is a very brave move on his part. The need for instant gratification has to be eliminated, and patience has to take over. By doing this he most likely had a huge amount of unknowns… especially when dealing with kids who are constantly changing as they are growing up.
There were a few things that really interested me as a result of this experiment. One that stood out in particular is the technology in the film. If this had been shot in a traditional way with different actors playing the different ages, and sets dressed to look like 2002, (but shot in 2014) there would have been a lot of things done to made to look like its 2002. You would not have seen an iPhone in 2002… but since it was shot as it was, an old iPod to is was a new iPod when they filmed that scene. And to me that made things feel more authentic.
Obviously the story is really what bothered me the most about this film. To me, Linklater is not the best writer, his dialog is more like back and forth monologues than a conversation. Because of that, (as with many of his films) Boyhood failed to impress.
However, that is just one jaded critics opinion, this movie really is the talk of the town. Because of all this hype, I really believe this film could ultimately win the Oscar for Best Picture. It has already been nominated for more awards than any of Linklaters other films, and even one the Golden Globe for Best Picture – Drama. And Linklater himself also won for Best Director.
In closing; I do think this film and its director are very deserving of an Oscar, and despite my feelings I shared above, Linklater really does deserve it.

Last Minute Predictions

Now that we are 6 hours from this years Oscar Extravaganza, I figured it’s finally time to share my suspicions and my predictions with all my 7 readers.

I know that all of my readers use my predictions as a yard stick on what to expect this evening. So I better not disappoint right?  As usual I must provide a disclaimer stating that I am not psychic, so I am not responsible for anyone who loses their Oscar pool by listening to me… This is purely for glory, not fortune.

And finally, this is only a partial list, if you are interested to hear more about my prognostications, as well as Jared’s rebutle, then check out the upcoming episode of The Cinematic Misfits.

Most of my predictions are based on industry buzz, and things I have heard and read from various podcasts and blogs.  And sometimes it’s based solely on my opinion… I call it predictions of the head versus predictions of heart.

Most of my predictions are based on industry buzz, and things I have heard and read from various podcasts and blogs.  And sometimes it’s based solely on my opinion… I call it predictions of the head versus predictions of heart.

When I give a prediction of the heart it usually is because I don’t have a logical, from the head prediction.

Okay, where do we start? Best Supporting Actress…

The nominees are; Meryl Streep, Emma Stone, Laura Dern, Keira Knightly and Patricia Arquette.

I don’t think this is one of those categories where I am still able to give a logical prediction.  The industry favorite is definitely Patricia Arquette.She’s never won in the past (check?) and the performance she gave in Boyhood was definitely an Oscar worthy performance.  I’m sure the rest of these ladies also deserve the award, but I think/hope it is Arquette’s year

Best Supporting Actor… the nominations are; Robert DuVall, Edward Norton, Ethan Hawke, J.K. Simmons,  and Kenosha, Wisconsin’s own; Mark Ruffalo.

This was difficult for me.  On one hand Edward Norton, Ethan Hawke, and Mark Ruffalo deserve to win the Oscar.  Mark Ruffalo in particular really transformed himself into that character, but the part was so small yet consequential that it’s easy to dismiss

I think the Oscar should really go to J.K. Simmons… I will admit that I am speaking mostly from the heart on this one., Simmons is a very underrated actor with a wide range of characters under his belt, and I would love him to win the Oscar.  His performance was downright terrifying, and Simmons was unrecognizable from his past roles as Juno’s dad, in Juno, or J. Jonah Jameson from Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy.  He was outstanding…

Industry Buzz also has Simmons winning the Oscar, so we’ll see if we are right.

Best Actress… the nominees are, Reese Witherspoon, Rosemund Pike, Julianne Moore, and Marion Cottiliard.

Honestly this was a tough one… All these ladies have extraordinary talents, but I have heard a lot about Julianne Moore’s performance in Still Alice.  Unfortunately I can’t speak to this, because I have not seen it.  But Julianne Moore is one hell of an actor, and I have no doubt she deserves it too.

Likewise I haven’t seen the movie Marion Cotilliard is being nominated for, but honestly this Oscar could go to anyone.

For Best Actor, Eddie redmayne, Michael Keaton, Benedict Cumberbatch, Bradley Cooper, and  Steve Carrell.

And the winner is… Michael Keaton, hands down.  As much as I think it would be cool to say Academy Award Winner Steve Carrell, it would be even cooler to say Academy Award Winner Michael Keaton.  His whole career has been building to this moment.

And Finally, I will share with you my thoughts on Best Picture. This is the year of experimental film techniques.  No I’m not talking about the type of films that show in a museum that nobody understands, I’m talking about the type of film that uses some kind of gimmick to help tell the story.

Birdman gained attention for its cinematography that made the film look like one long take, and Boyhood which was shot over the course of the 12 years.  These were the films most talked about in the last few months of 2014.  These are the gimmicks that got film lovers to the theater.

With that, I truly believe that the Birdman and Boyhood are the biggest contenders this year.  Audiences loved boyhood for its charm, as well as feeling like you are a part of this familiy’s life. And Birdman impressed audiences for its underdog tale about an actor that was once beloved and now forgotten about.

Honestly I could make a case for and against each one of these movies.  As a fan of Wes Anderson I would love to see his film win (although I think he may win for best original screenplay) but I think compared to the other films, it has the least chance.

This year turned out to be quite interesting… there so many great movies, and allo f the movies have a good chance of winning at least one award in any of the various categories. I think that’s a trend that we ‘be seen in the last few years, each movie gets something, spread it out and mame everyone feel good.

But then again, I could be wrong as i usually am.  Either way, I’m looking forward to the Oscars, and all that it entails.  The red carpet, Neil Patrick Harris, the celebrities, and the anticipation.

Here’s to the 2015 Oscars, celebrating the hard work and fine filmmaking.

Once again, check out The Cinematic Misfits Podcast featuring Jared Schmitt, and me; Christian Kocinski.  We’ll get into more than just Oscars here… And we’ll cover more than what I’ve covered here.

And now… On with the show!!