Slender Man (2018)

Slender Man

Hallie (Julia Goldani Telles) is one of many haunted by the Slender Man

 

 

I truly have awesome friends. I am not talking about the type of friend who would watch a video online that may be dangerous. No, I mean the type of friend who (along with his two sons who like horror films) would be willing to pay for me to see a movie like Slender Man. Okay, not pay so much as throw the money on the ground and trample it. Basically the same thing.

Over the last couple years, I have seen a lot of promise of the horror genre (The Witch, Get Out, Hereditary), yet with every good movie must be a bunch of crappy ones. Well, to call Slender Man crap may insult the uses of what can be used as potential fertilizer. It is truly one plot hole short of becoming a sponge. Basically, four friends Hallie (Julia Goldani Telles), Wren (Joey King), Chloe (Jaz Sinclair), and Katie (Annalise Basso) watch a weird video that says if they see the Slender Man, they will all vanish. They watch it, and stuff begins to happen that neither looks scary, cool, plausible, or interesting.

I admit to feeling very sorry for the actors (not the characters). All are talented  but are in a script that straight up wreaks of something that smells very unpleasant. I expect that the director Sylvain White has some form of talent, but it seems put to little use here (by which I mean no use).

Parents, there is a lot of dark matter and material and stuff, so I guess I should say High School and above.

So yeah, this movie is bad. I would say more, but the horse is dead already.

 

Overall: 1/2 Star  */2

My predictions of the 90th Academy Awards (2018)

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#Metoo has been what Hollywood was known for in 2017 more than any film title. People went so far as to making sure that all the presenters at the SAG awards were all female (which I thought was too much).

I mention this because that is what is still at the forefront of everyone’s minds, and what may be the key indicator of certain categories at this year’s Academy Awards.

That, and talent, of course.

 

And the Oscar will (probably) go to…

 

Best Picture

 

Best Picture

 

It has become a two-way race between The Shape of Water and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. The former is my favorite (as well as my second favorite of 2017), but I am going with the latter. The Shape of Water does have more nominations (it was a technical marvel), but I think the Academy will go with the top-notch acting, smartly written, and daring power of Three Billboards.

 

Will win: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Could win/Should Win: The Shape of Water

 

Best Actor

Best Actor

There is no way, in any shape or form, I can see anyone beating Gary Oldman. His turn in Darkest Hour is the easiest win of the night. Not even legend Daniel Day-Lewis in his last role (which I still hope is not true) has a chance. Also, kudos to young Timothee Chalamet from Call me by your name.

 

Will win: Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour

Could win: Timothee Chalamet, Call me by your name (again, won’t happen)

Should win: Daniel Day-Lewis, Phantom Thread

 

Best Actress

Actress

It says something when Meryl Streep (The Post) is the least likely to win. In any other year, these woman would have won easily, but it is far too competitive. The one who has emerged is Frances McDormand for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. The only possible upsets would be Saoirse Ronan for Lady Bird, or Sally Hawkins for The Shape of Water. Still, like the character she plays, I would not mess with McDormand.

 

Will win: Frances McDormand, Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri

Could win: Saoirse Ronan, Lady Bird

Should win: Sally Hawkins, The Shape of Water

 

Best Supporting Actor

Best

 

All talented men, but Sam Rockwell of Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri has become the frontrunner. This is one of the few categories where I agree with the Academy. Rockwell had one of the best character growth arcs I saw last year. However, if he splits the votes with his co-star Woody Harrelson, it could possibly go to Willem Dafoe for The Florida Project (who was the backbone of that film).

Will win/Should win: Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri

Could win: Willem Dafoe, The Florida Project

 

Best Supporting Actress

BSA

An upset could still possibly occur in the form of Laurie Metcalf for Lady Bird, but it is still a safe bet to call Allison Janney will be winning her first Oscar as I, Tonya ‘s mom from hell.

 

Will win/Should win: Allison Janney, I, Tonya

Could Win: Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird

 

Best Director

Director

If you win the DGA award, it is very hard to not win the Oscar. So expect the winner to be Guillermo Del Toro for The Shape of Water.

 

Will win/Should win: Guillermo Del Toro, The Shape of Water

Could win: Christopher Nolan, Dunkirk 

 

Best Original Screenplay

Best

Easily one of the toughest categories, nearly any one of these films can win. However, since Martin McDonagh did not get a best director nomination, I am pulling for him to win for writing Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.

Will win: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Could Win: Get Out

Should win: Lady Bird

 

Best Adapted ScreenplayBest

Despite three past nominations for Best Director, expect the 89-year-old James Ivory to finally win for his work on Call me by your name.

Will win: Call me by your name

Could win: Mudbound

Should win: Logan

 

Best Cinematography

Cinematography

Kudos to Rachel Morrison for becoming the first woman nominated in this catagory. Still, with his 14th nomination, can we please just give an Oscar to legendary Roger Deakins for his work on Blade Runner 2049? It has been far too long.

Will win/Should win: Blade Runner 2049

Could win: Mudbound

 

Best Costume Design

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Will win: Phantom Thread

Could win: The Shape the Water

 

Best Film Editing

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Another close one, but I am having a gut feeling the action packed (and underrated) Baby Driver will win.

Will win/Should win: Baby Driver

Could win: Dunkirk

 

Best Sound Editing

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Will win: Dunkirk

Could win: The Shape of Water

 

Best Sound Mixing

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Will win: Dunkirk

Could win: The Shape of Water

 

Best Original Score

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One of the central parts of The Shape of Water was the score, which is why it will win.

Will win: The Shape of Water

Could win/Should win: Phantom Thread

 

Best Original Song

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Another close call, but I am going with “Remember Me” from Coco. While the songs were the only universal praise for The Greatest Showman, it was near impossible to not cry during the scene between Miguel and his great grandma.

Will win/Should win: Coco “Remember Me”

Could win: The Great Showman “This is Me”

 

Best Make-Up/Hairstyling

Make up

Despite great make up on a fantastic young actor (Jacob Tremblay) in Wonder, expect the winner to go to make up on another fantastic actor (Gary Oldman) for Darkest Hour.

Will win/Should win: Darkest Hour

Could win: Wonder

 

Best Production Design

 

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Will win/Should win: The Shape of Water

Could win: Blade Runner 2049

 

Best Animated Feature

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It is not wise to mess with Disney/Pixar.

Will win/Should win: Coco

Could win: The Breadwinner

 

Best Foreign Language Film

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Will win: A Fantastic Woman

Could win: The Square

 

Best Documentary Feature

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Will win/Should win: Faces Places

Could win: Icarus

 

Best Documentary Short Subject

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Will win: Edith + Eddie

Could win: Heroin(e)

 

Best Animated Short

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Kobe as an Oscar winner? It could happen, and should.

Will win: Dear Basketball

Could win: Lou

Best Live Action Short

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Due to the terrible recent school shooting in Florida, expect the Academy to award Dekalb Elementary, which revolves around a similar situation.

Will win: Dekalb Elementary

 

Best Visual Effects

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Will win: Blade Runner 2049

Could win: War for the Planet of the Apes

 

2017: Halftime Report

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Every year, the first half is more difficult to find great movies in (since studios put their best in theaters in the last months of the year). As always, I am not able to see all the films (or avoid all of them), but I managed to make a top five of the year that are so far worth remembering the most six months from now.

However, let us first look at the five movies that I are worth forgetting (at least till I make the worst of the year list in six months).

The Worst

 

5.  Split

I am sorry, but the script was not something I could believe, no matter how great James McCovoy.

 

4. Get Out

Ok, I will get a lot of feedback on this, but I still am trying to find out how this movie is so well rated on rottentomatoes. I admit the movie was funny, but scary? Hardly.

 

3.  Pirates of the Carribean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

Javier Bardem makes an good villian, but he entered this tired franchise far too late. It has officially sunk.

 

2. Transformers: The Last Knight

Yeah, no real surprise here. Does this franchise still have fans?

 

1. Life

 

Predictible. Unoriginal. Don’t get me started on the ending.

 

 

Ok, now the best of the year so far…

 

5. Okja

Streaming now on Netflix, this story of a little girl on a quest to save her giant pet pig is no kiddie flick. It is strange and weird, but also beautifully original.

 

4. The Lego Batman Movie

Lego strikes again with originality and humor. Stretching even further into the Lego universe, it is got plenty of entertainment for any age.

 

3. Wonder Woman

DC has not had as many solid hits as Marvel, but this was definetly a big one for the company. Gal Gadot gives a solid performance in a movie that will have both genders rooting.

 

2. Baby Driver

With the exception of Mad Max: Fury Road, no movie in the last few years has had as much road raging action and octane. Not to mention the acting and comedy.

 

1. Logan

Hugh Jackman gives a bittersweet performance in his swan song film of the character he brought to life over a decade ago. Add in a tight script with fine supporting acting, and you have a comic book movie for people who don’t like comic book movies.

 

Here is to the second half of the year…

Get Out (2017)

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Daniel Kaluuya is Chris, the new boyfriend of Rose (Allison Williams) in Get Out.

Ok, seriously, what did I miss here?

As I am writing this review, Get Out has a 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. Perhaps it is a good thing I am (as of now) not a paid movie critic, or it would not be at that perfect score.

Fifty years ago, a great movie called Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner? was released with Spencer Tracy (his last film), Katharine Hepburn, and Sidney Poiter. That movie was about a woman who brings her fiance (Poiter) to meet her parents (Hepburn and Tracy). Throw in horror, cheesy chords of music, and some unreal acting, and you have Get Out.

The people in the movie are talented, indeed. You have Daniel Kaluuya as a photographer named Chris, who is dating Rose (Allison Williams). One weekend, she brings him to meet her parents out in the country. They are Missy and Dean (played, respectively, by Catherine Keener and Bradley Whitford). There is also her brother Jeremy (Caleb Landry Jones), who is creepy, and not, I am afraid, in a good way.

The movie did not scare me at all (save for one moment where it was a “gotcha” moment followed by a high music chord). The movie did, however, make me laugh a lot. This is mainly attributed to Chris’s best friend Rod (Lil Rey Howery). His timing and delivery are perfect, and it is him who had me interested as long as he was on-screen.

The other actors are good (I have always been a fan of Catherine Keener), but it is the party scene that ruined the movie for me. No one in their right mind acts the way Rose’s extended family does. I can’t say why the characters act the way they do without spoiling the movie, except to say that, when you find out the twist, you realize it could not have been anything else.

Parents, it is a hard R rating (no nudity or sex, just a lot of swearing and blood/gore). 17 and above.

It is true that many movies need more than one viewing to potentially appreciate it more. However, after seeing Get Out once, I don’t plan on seeing it again anytime soon.

Seriously, the title screen alone should serve as a warning.

 

Overall: Two Stars