The Oscars or as some calls it the La La Land awards will be held this Sunday, the following are my predictions of the movies that will win big at the Academy Awards this year :
- Male Actor in Leading role :
Who will win : Casey Affleck
Who I think should win : Casey Affleck
Casey really stole every award this year for his role on Manchester by the Sea, it was a realistic and powerful performance and I really hope he gets the recognition he deserves.
- Female Actress in Leading Role:
Who Will Win : Emma Stone
Who I think should win : Emma Stone
Emma really took her acting chops to another level with La La Land and I doubt she will walk home empty handed
- Male Actor in Supporting role
Who will win : Mahershala Ali
Who I think should win : Mahershala Ali
Moonlight is one of my favorite movies of the year and the first act of the film is highlighted by Mahershala Ali’s masterful performance, really amazing.
- Female Actress in Supporting role
Who will win : Viola Davis
Who I think should win : Naomie Harris
I haven’t seen Fences but I heard how good Viola is in that movie and I think she will take the statue home, personally I think Naomie Harris was absolutely fantastic in Moonlight.
- Best Original Screenplay
Who will win : Damian Chazelle for La La Land
Who I think should win : Damian Chazelle for La La Land
La La Land’s screenplay is great for few reasons, it is funny, deep, moving and emotionally packed while being an engaging story about love and chasing dreams, it doesn’t get any better than that.
- Best Adapted Screenplay
Who will win : Barry Jenkins for Moonlight
Who I think should win : Barry Jenkins for Moonlight
Moonlight takes a simple coming of age story to another level by its amazing performance and story and it owes both of them to the amazing screenplay.
- Best Director :
Who will win : Damian Chazelle for La La Land
Who I think should win : Denis Villeneuve for Arrival
While Damian is getting a lot of attention for his amazing musical for me Denis made one of the best movies of the year too bad Sci-Fi films don’t usually get so much love from the Academy
- Best Picture
Which movie will win : Moonlight
Which movie I think should win : Moonlight
Moonlight deals with a very tough subject and it does it so well, it is a perfectly crafted movie that doesn’t entertain you but shows you a reality that people go through and I think that is rare.
I will update this post as soon as the Winners are announced.
Nintendo Switch is only few weeks away which only means my bags are in the overhead and I am on board the hype plane, yes it is a plane now. “Game Journalists” around the internet are making lists about the games they want on Switch in the near future so I thought maybe I should do the same, the following are five franchises that are not announced to come out on Nintendo Switch as of now but would love to have them show up, Keep in mind while games like Smash Bros. hasn’t been announced yet it is very obvious that it will at some point that is why I didn’t include those in the list :
- Advance Wars
Advance Wars was a huge title on the Gameboy Advance back in the 2000s and it also had two great sequels on the DS but the games has been absent for almost 10 years and most of that goes back to Fire Emblem’s new found success on the 3DS hence why it has 3 titles coming this year only, while I love Fire Emblem I think it is a universal truth that we want a new Advance Wars and I really wish it came out sometime next year.
when Nintendo announced Federation Force I said this is bad both ways, if it is a successful title Nintendo will push the new formula for a decade which means bye bye Samus and if it was a failure then Nintendo will put off the series even further which means bye bye Samus, I really hope they prove me wrong and bring back the series to its roots and I think it could work really well now days, if games like Shovel Knight can find success I am sure a 2DS Metroid will too, Please Nintendo.
- Final Fantasy Tactics Advance
Tactics Advance and its superior sequel on DS were amazing games, now I also like the PS1 game even though I only put in 30 hours and didn’t finish it but I think I liked the simpler on surface yet super deep tactics and progression systems, I really enjoyed those games and I do think the climate is very suitable for another Tactics game in the Final Fantasy universe and the Switch is perfect for it!
- Megaman ZX
Megaman ZX and its sequel ZX Advent came out DS and I personally think they are the evolution of Megaman Zero games in a really good way, the games has a Metroidvania or Zelda-like structure which allows you to explore the map by acquiring keys or skills which will help explore more and beat new bosses and get more powers, what shines here is the classic Megaman gameplay and universe in a post apocalyptic setting with lots of depth, I have been begging for more ZX and it is time for Capcom to hear my cries, or a Battle Network reboot.
- Monster Hunter
I can’t stop playing Monster Hunter, I love this series and it is obvious that Capcom is trying to make it appeal to a wider audience in the west the problem is this game does well in Japan on handheld but handheld is not doing so well in the west so it is really a tricky situation and that is why the Switch is really perfect to solve this issue, I believe that Monster Hunter and Pokemon are crucial to Switch’s success and the sooner they appear on the console the better for everyone, but mostly for me.
Ofcourse I would love to see Overwatch and Persona 5 on the console but I know that wont happen so I kept the list a bit realistic.
Nocturnal Animals is written and directed by Tom Ford staring Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal, it is an adaptation of a 1993 novel named Tony and Susan by Austin Wright, the film is Tom Ford’s 2nd directorial effort after 2010’s A Single Man.
The film has three separate stories taking place at once and all connect to each other like a jigsaw puzzle at the end, the first story takes place in the present day with our lead character Susan played by Amy Adams who is an art dealer in the high society and she is married to a business man played by Armie Hammer who is always traveling to New York to take care of his business, one day she receives a novel written by her ex-husband Edward that he called Nocturnal Animals and he dedicated it to her, as she begin to read the novel it makes her think about her life and and reflect on how unhappy she is, the 2nd story is the past which is the story of how Susan and Edward fell in love and got married and later on got divorced, now the third one which is the bulk of the film is the dramatization of the novel and in it Jake Gyllenhaal plays the husband Tony Hastings and he is traveling on the American highway with his family and something tragic happens to them, and I will not talk about that part.
For me it is rare to watch a movie twice in a row, but after I watch Nocturnal Animals I felt like I was haunted by this film and I needed to watch it again which I did. I got a sense that Tom Ford was all over this film his attention to detail and his artistic vision and finger print was literally everywhere which complimented Seamus McGarvey’s masterful cinematography and Abel Korzeniowski’s amazing score. it is really well made every frame of the film speaks for its self and the contras of color and the crisp images really do standout as one of the best 2016 movies.
I don’t understand how Jake Gyllenhaal is not nominated for an Oscar for his role he really did a masterful job especially as Tony, Michael Shannon was also very brilliant and he is nominated for an Oscar, Amy Adams is 2016’s biggest snub because she didn’t get the recognition that she deserved for either of her movies and she was really good here,Aaron Taylor-Johnson was completely unrecognizable in this film he did an impressive job by becoming his character he was really captivating.
Verdict : Nocturnal Animals is an impressive movie from every aspect, it is extremely well made, well written and masterfully acted. despite its critical acclaim I feel like it deserved more recognition and I really hope Tom Ford keeps making more films like this in the near future. (10.0/10.0)
Justice League Dark is directed by Jay Oliva staring Matt Ryan, Jason O’Mara, Camilla Luddington and Nicholas Turturro, it is a 2017 DC Original animation movie produced by WarnerBros. Animation studios.
The story takes place in the DC universe as people keep getting crazy and going on murdering sprees and claiming they were killing demons and monsters. the story is very conventional in the DC Universe style, there is a villain and our heroes are going to stop him but what set the previous DC animations was the heroes and villains that I cared about but most of the cast here are unremarkable and they do too little to make me care about them especially Constantine, the villain is also very unremarkable I cared very little about him or his motives little they were.
but those weren’t the only problems I had with the film, the faces look like they are made in flash and not the new versions of it, they don’t look like a product of 2017. the voice actings are nice and well done but it just doesn’t make any sense why the animations are that bad, some of the action sequences are also good it is just the faces that are near abysmal.
Verdict : Justice League Dark does very little for me to care about it, the face animations are terrible, the story is flat and the villain is very weak it is nice to see Batman hanging out with a different group but that basically is. (3.0/10.0)
Manchester by the Sea is written and directed by Kenneth Lonergan staring Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams, Lucas Hedges and Kyle Chandler. the film released on November 2016 and currently nominated for six academy awards.
The film follows Lee Chandler who is played by Casey Affleck, an isolated man who lives in Boston and works as a janitor who get news of his brother Joe’s death and finds out that he named him his son’s legal guardian who is played by Lucas Hedges. bit by bit we get to know why Lee is living such an isolated life and what darkness is he running from and when we do finally get the whole picture it is one of the most tragic and upsetting characters I have seen on a screen in 2016.
The film’s most celebrated performance is Casey Affleck who shines as a broken beyond repair man, his performance is so surreal and raw every facial cue is leading to something else masterfully performed, I always knew Casey had a tremendous talent I am very glad he is getting the recognition for it, the rest of the cast are doing a remarkable job even though they don’t get much of screen time, especially Michelle Williams who had two very powerful scenes and of course Lucas Hedges was very believable as the teenager who lose his dad and trying to cope with it.
If I could get a chance to explain what most of the film’s scenes are it would be a bunch of people screaming at each other, but the thing is those scenes all make sense once you understand why every character is doing they are doing, the motives and the character backgrounds are all very masterful and tragic and they work marvelously well.
Perhaps not the best highlight of the film but I really did enjoy the scenery of the film as someone who loves cold winters and grey weather, the color palate of the film are very low tone and reflects the mood of the film.
Verdict : Kenneth Lonergan comes back after almost a decade to direct a masterful film that is tragic and upsetting which complements by Casey Affleck’s jarring performance. (9.0/10.0)
Note : this is a spoiler free review, nothing regarding the plot beyond the first 20 minutes or so will be discussed here.
Resident Evil 7 : Biohazard is developed and published by Capcom, directed by Koshi Nakanishi and it was released on PS4, XBOX ONE and PC.
In this game you play as Ethan who is looking for his wife Mia after she went missing three years prior to the game’s events but after three years you receive an email from her asking you to come pick her up at the Baker farm in Louisiana. Naturally when you arrive at the mansion you are greeted with warm hugs because this is Resident Evil. I wont get into any plot details but just know that the story of Resident Evil 7 is one of the best told in the franchise if not the best, it is grounded and on small scale but also giving you an idea on where the whole continuity of Resident Evil is and leaving you with couple of burning questions for the future questions.
The game ditches the third person view in favor of a first person view but don’t think this is going to be a run and gun shooter with hundreds of enemies coming at you like the action games before it, as a matter of fact Resident Evil 7 has the least amount of enemies in the series but the fights are all very memorable, very well directed and really scary. the first person view really adds to the scariness of the game, I found myself at times thinking I was going to get a heart attack while walking in a hallway knowing someone might be there at the end of it, the game doesn’t just rely on jump scares there is a subtle horror that takes place in the game that works really well, also going from an urban theme to a Southern Gothic theme which I really really love worked so well for me.
The graphics is one of the best I have ever seen, the backgrounds are so well designed and it just feel like you don’t just see and hear it you smell it too. there is some great voice work that is done here from the Baker family members to the main character is very well done, everything in the game is top quality. it doesn’t have the best sound track and the game doesn’t rely on musical pieces most of the time there is no music to comfort you basically you are forced to listen to the wind and the rain and the sounds of the old house cracking and that was indeed terrifying.
Some people had an issue with the game’s length, I finished it in 11 hours and I thought the length was perfect, I usually like games that I can spend hundreds of hours in it but for a game like RE7 the experience was very intense and I loved that I didn’t have a single dull moment in those 11 hours.
Verdict : Resident Evil 7 is a marvelous game, beautiful and really terrifying with one of my favorite RE stories to date. I feel like the best thing about Resident Evil 6 was the lesson Capcom learned from their mistakes to make Resident Evil back on top of the survival horror genre. (9.5/10.0)
The Good Place is created by Michael Schur staring Kristen Bell, William Jackson Harper, Jameela Jamil, D’Arcy Carden, Manny Jacinto and Ted Danson. it is a comedy show on NBC that just completed its first season which consisted of 13 episodes.
The story follows Eleanor played by Bell who finds out in the first episode that she is dead and her soul was send to heaven, or as the show call it The Good Place, a near perfect society run by Michael played by Danson who is the architect of that place. at the beginning of the show Micheal gives the people who live there an orientation about their lives in The Good Place and how they will be living in a perfect harmony forever with their soulmates which we get introduced to Chidi played by Harper who is supposedly going to be Eleanor’s soulmate, also we get to know Tahani who is played by Jamilla Jamil and her soulmate Jianyu Li played by Manny Jacinto. the show takes a dramatic turn at the end of the first episode and I really don’t want to spoil anything but it is going to a very funny foundation to a very funny show.
what makes the show that funny is the smart writing and the show’s really good setting and story, every character gets a background which gives them a fantastic depth and all leads to an amazing finale that makes everything feel well thought out and well planned from the first episode, it really takes a show that starts good and gets better and better and they all get wrapped in a really good finale.
I made a pledge a while back to not watch shows on NBC, CBS, FOX or ABC due to their stupid system and cancel hammer especially after shows like Community and Hannibal getting cancelled the way they did, but I did give The Good Place a chance and at this point I really do wish they renew it for a 2nd season but if it didn’t I think the show did leave the characters in a spot that is both interesting and comforting if we didn’t get a 2nd season. the show has good performances from all the cast but the funnies is Manny Jacinto’s character that left me almost breathless every time he talked.
Verdict : The Good Place is a surprise show that has some of the most hilarious characters in a very funny setting. (9.0/10.0)