Poll Results: Biggest Oscar Snub

Out of many, many possible choices, here’s what you guys selected as this year’s biggest Oscar snub:

Moonrise Kingdom

– “Moonrise Kingdom” for Best Picture: 7 votes
– Ben Affleck for “Argo” (directing): 6 votes
– “The Dark Knight Rises” for Anything: 4 votes
– “The Master” for Best Picture: 3 votes
– Paul Thomas Anderson for “The Master“: 3 votes
– Kathryn Bigelow for “Zero Dark Thirty“: 2 votes
– Leonardo DiCaprio for “Django Unchained“: 2 votes
– Quentin Tarantino for “Django Unchained“: 2 votes
– “The Intouchables” for Best Foreign Language Film: 2 votes
– John Hawkes for “The Sessions“: 1 vote
– Marion Cotillard for “Rust and Bone“: 1 vote

The write-ins:
Looper or Cloud Atlas for ANYTHING: 1 vote (shocked at these snubs myself)

Last year was a pretty strong year for films, and the Academy could have easily rounded the Best Picture nominations to an even ten — whether it’s Moonrise Kingdom, The Master or otherwise. Sticking with “just” nine is a bit of a head-scratcher, and many of these other snubs are glaring as well. I must say I am happier with this year’s nominations compared to those from 2011, but there’s still plenty to complain about as always.

This Week’s Poll: Last week I posted my top 10 films from 2012. Since I already highlighted my best of the year, I would like to hear *your* thoughts. What is your personal favorite from my top 10 list? In order to further diversify the results, I am allowing two votes.

Have a great week everyone!

Poll Results: Best Film of 2012 So Far + Weekend Roundup

For the first time ever, we have a tie in the poll results:

The Dark Knight Rises
Moonrise Kingdom

– The Dark Knight Rises: 6 votes
– Moonrise Kingdom: 6 votes
– The Avengers: 4 votes
– The Intouchables: 2 votes
– The Hunger Games: 2 votes
– Beasts of the Southern Wild: 1 vote
– Brave: 1 vote
– Chronicle: 1 vote
– The Grey: 1 vote
– Prometheus: 1 vote
– The Raid: Redemption: 1 vote
– Ted: 1 vote

Wow. Love the diversity this time! So many good films were represented, and this was a pretty tight race throughout. It will be interesting to see how these results compare to the end of the year. The fall/winter lineup is looking pretty stacked, so we might not even see most of these make an appearance. Either way, it has been a fun year and it’s only going to get better.

This Week’s Poll: For the last couple weeks, the film world has been abuzz thanks to the latest results of the Sight and Sound critics’ poll. In a bit of a shocker, Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo was selected as the greatest film of all time, finally dethroning the legendary Citizen Kane. My question for you is, what do you consider the better film? Do you agree with this change?

I had a pretty quiet, but active, weekend. I still found time to catch a handful of movies, including a classic matinee in the theater: a new 35mm print screening of The French Connection. Here’s the rundown of what I saw:

Once Brothers: This ESPN 30 for 30 documentary is one of the best I have seen from the series. Really moving story about Vlade Divac and Drazen Petrovic, former NBA stars and members of the Yugoslavian national team, whose friendship was soured thanks to the war between their home countries of Serbia and Croatia, respectively. Sadly, Petrovic died at age 28 before they could reconcile. Highly recommended. 8/10

O Brother, Where Art Thou?: Part of the 50 Movies Project. Will be writing about it soon.

Singin’ in the Rain: See above. Will save my thoughts for later, but I will say this: my girlfriend loved the hell out of it.

The French Connection: Loved it, and glad I saw it on the big screen. Everyone talks about the big car chase scene, but there’s a lot more to this. Just thrilling from beginning to end, and you can’t go wrong with pairing Gene Hackman and Roy Scheider together. 9/10

A Woman is a Woman: Second Godard film I have seen. Playful and silly, this is a peculiar effort that tries many different techniques. I wasn’t a fan of some of the weird music editing, but for the most part I enjoyed this. 7/10

Actually, I’m kind of surprised that I was able to fit in five movies this weekend. That’s more than I had seen all month. All in all, a good weekend with a lot less work than usual.

How about you guys? What did you see over the weekend? Did you hit the cinema?

Movie Review: Moonrise Kingdom [2012]

Moonrise Kingdom [2012]

Moonrise Kingdom [2012]
Director: Wes Anderson
Genre: Comedy/Drama/Romance
Starring: Jared Gilman, Kara Hayward, Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Bill Murray and Frances McDormand
Runtime: 94 minutes

Moonrise Kingdom is the perfect antidote for these hot summer days. Light, vibrant and fun, Wes Anderson’s latest film takes us back to the days of being an adventurous kid.

The movie takes place in 1965 on a small New England island. There are no paved roads, and it is so sparsely populated that everyone knows each other. During the summer, the local “Khaki Scouts”, led by Scout Master Ward (Edward Norton), set up camp there. As the group of boy scouts work on their badges, one of them sneaks out and runs away. This errant child, Sam (Jared Gilman), has set off to secretly rendezvous with his local crush, Suzy (Kara Hayward), who has also run away from home. Both are outcasts in their social groups, and they have been eagerly awaiting their chance to be together since their random first encounter the previous summer.

Moonrise Kingdom [2012]

Once the children are discovered to be missing, the island’s adults begin to panic. Scout Master Ward reaches out to police Captain Sharp (Bruce Willis) and the two of them begin a search party with the rest of the scouts. Suzy’s parents, Walt and Laura (Bill Murray and Frances McDormand, respectively), are also informed of the situation and join the others in seeking out the missing children.

At its core, Moonrise Kingdom is a story of young love. Sam and Suzy will do anything to be together, and their awkward transition from friendship to dating lends itself to some amusing moments. Although both characters exhibit traits of erratic behavior, they are eminently likable. Wes Anderson did an excellent job with his casting of these two young unknown leads, as they steal the show from the big name adults found in the rest of the cast. It helps to have Bruce Willis, Ed Norton, Bill Murray and others as support, but the children are more than capable in their roles. I will say, however, that it was a lot of fun to see guys like Harvey Keitel and Jason Schwartzman dressed up as scout masters.

Moonrise Kingdom [2012]

All of the familiar Wes Anderson traits are present here. He has succeeded in creating a colorful world that is unlike any other, and his trademark fashion selections are as wild and memorable as ever. For those who are less appreciative of his quirks, rest assured that Moonrise Kingdom is easily one of his most accessible feature films.

There were a few moments near the end of the film that I felt were a little too ridiculous (including one seemingly random lightning strike), but on the whole this is an especially enjoyable feature. This is a movie that anyone and everyone can enjoy, and it is one of the early summer highlights this year.