The screenwriting categories always feel the most genuine of all the major awards. It’s not about big films for buzzing films—just about good writing. It seems as if these are the “safe” categories in which to nominate popular films or independent films that just flat-out told good stories in compelling ways.
Considering the high bar set these days for animation, Best Animated Feature seems to be the only category with an upward trajectory at the Academy Awards. While the music categories and documentary categories need some serious fixing, the right animated features seem to be in contention each year. Best Foreign Film tends to still be […]
One of the first ever posts on Movie Muse was my Top 10 Superhero films, a celebration of a genre near and dear to my heart, or at least one that I love to dissect more than most considering I’m a product of the superheroes on TV/film era. Yet as many triumphs as we’ve witnessed […]
Unlike in previous years, the Best Documentary Feature award has none of the widely released, popular or well-known documentaries. I’m not sure who make the shortlist, but they’re probably the same people who choose what constitutes an “original score.” In the short subject, it’s all about the topic of discussion, as the Academy has shown […]
We’re now more than a decade into the modern superhero movie era, folks. At this point, we’ve just crossed the threshold of the “reboot phase,” in which studios have either been forced or decided to re-imagine some of the 2000‘s major superhero properties. We saw “X-Men: First Class” successfully relaunch the “X-Men” franchise last summer […]
With a mid-week Valentine’s Day, anything goes for this weekend. If you delayed your celebrations, “This Means War” offers your romantic action comedy and features a reliable vet and two strapping up-and-comers. If you’re so over love, I might suggest “Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance,” perhaps the very antithesis to the notion. For kids and […]
Since the Golden Age of comic books, folks have been imagining what it would be like if ordinary people came across extraordinary power. But not until 2012 with “Chronicle” has anyone truly attempted to capture this notion with a sense of realism. Josh Trank and Max Landis have done just that with their low-budget found-footage […]
My first year of predictions, I could find all these shorts on YouTube, but that hasn’t been the case the last two years. As if I wasn’t taking enough of a shot in the dark already. Much of this was done through reading reviews and watching trailers.
Although both categories have to do with music, audience favor in these two Oscar categories are going in opposite directions. With more and more noteworthy musicians, artists and composers trying their hand at film scores, Best Score is becoming a category of intrigue, whereas Academy rules have completely butchered the Best Original Song category over […]
Coming-of-age stories come in all forms, though one would expect a New York City drug dealer at the height of hip-hop in the mid ’90s to have already experienced a loss of innocence. For Luke Shapiro (Josh Peck), however, dealing pot is just a summer job, and for all his street cred, he’s a lonely […]
They say “time is money,” and so it seems filmmaker Andrew Niccol took them too seriously. “In Time” imagines a dystopia in which humans have been genetically modified to stop aging at 25 and at that point receive a year to live as indicated by timers on their forearms. The only way they can prolong […]
If you have yet to take notice, 2012 has gotten off to a very successful start in both box-office terms and with regards to critical acclaim. This year films made $115 million over Super Bowl weekend. That compares to $87 million last year. Each week’s winner has also brought in at or just under $20 […]
My final technical predictions come in the Best Cinematography and Best Editing categories. The people whose names are recognized alongside these categories are pivotal in the filmmaking process. Most filmmakers work exclusively with one cinematographer or “director of photography” their entire careers. When a film turns out visually just as the director sees it, it’s […]
Few of us can truly grasp the economic fundamentals of the 2008 stock market crash—how it happened, why it happened. Most of what we understand are the after effects, the human consequences. Rookie filmmaker J.C. Chandor’s “Margin Call” attempts to merge those two understandings: the economics and the executive-level decision-making with the real-life impact and […]
Stop number two on my 2012 Oscar breakdown involves the more old-school technical categories, the stuff that can’t be done entirely by computer. As you might imagine, these categories tend to be a parade of period pieces with some musicals thrown in. In fact, the final “Harry Potter” film looks to be the only exception […]