Pearl (2016)

Pearl ReviewPearl Review

 Pearl is a 2016 animated short film that was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film.

The film follows a man and his younger daughter as she grows up. The film is an interesting experiment as we follow her growing up from the front seat of a car, that is where we watch all of the action from. The animation is solid and the highlight for me was the score. The song that accompanied it was beautiful and heartwarming and it certainly fitted this story like a glove.

However, Pearl is an interesting, but not successful experiment. The idea behind it is great, but it wasn’t executed properly. I thought that it wasn’t that engaging or comprehensible to follow and it should have been much more emotional as it left me cold personally. But the biggest problem is that the film is the first Oscar nominated VR film and I do not have that technology so I couldn’t watch it as it should be watched. So the movie is made for just a handful of people who have that technology and that is troublesome.

Pearl is definitely a unique experiment which unfortunately isn’t fully successful as it needed more characterization and emotion in it.

My Rating – 3.8

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2nd Simbasible Awards

2nd Simbasible Awards

Top Ten Films of 2016

Best Film

Arrival 

Captain Fantastic   

Graduation

Doctor Strange  

Fantastic Beasts 

Lion

A Monster Calls

The Salesm

Fences

Silence

 

Best Indie Films 2016

Best Indie Film

10 Cloverfield Lane

Captain Fantastic

Hello, My Name Is Doris

Moonlight

Sausage Part

2nd Simbasible Awards

Best Blockbuster Film

Captain America: Civil War

Doctor Strange

Fantastic Beasts

The Jungle Book

The Mermaid

2nd Simbasible Awards

Best Director

Asghar Farhadi – The Salesman

Cristian Mungiu – Graduation

Garth Davis – Lion

Martin Scorsese – Silence

Mel Gibson – Hacksaw Ridge

Top Five Male Performances of 2016

Best Actor

Andrew Garfield – Hacksaw Ridge/Silence

Casey Affleck – Manchester by the Sea

Denzel Washington – Fences

Lewis MacDougall – A Monster Calls

Viggo Mortensen – Captain Fantastic

2nd Simbasible Awards

Best Actress

Amy Adams – Arrival

Hailee Steinfeld – The Edge of Seventeen

Natalie Portman – Jackie

Sally Field – Hello, My Name Is Doris

Viola Davis – Fences

Best Supporting Actor

Best Supporting Actor

Andre Holland – Moonlight

Dev Patel – Lion

John Goodman – 10 Cloverfield Lane

Mark Rylance – The BFG

Sunny Pawar – Lion

2nd Simbasible Awards

Best Supporting Actress

Michelle Williams – Manchester by the Sea

Nicole Kidman – Lion

Priyanka Bose – Lion

Best Original Screenplay

Captain Fantastic

Graduation

The Salesman

Sausage Party

Zootopia

Best Adapted Screenplay

Arrival

Doctor Strange

Fences

A Monster Calls

My Life as a Zucchini

Best Animated Film Moana My Life as a Zucchini Sausage Party Sing Zootopia 2016Best Animated Film

Moana

My Life as a Zucchini

Sausage Party

Sing

Zootopia

2nd Simbasible AwardsBest Foreign Film

Graduation

The Mermaid

My Life as a Zucchini

The Salesman

Tanna

2nd Simbasible AwardsBest Documentary Film

Cameraperson

The Eagle Huntress

Life, Animated

2nd Simbasible AwardsBest Short Film

Blind Vaysha

Pearl

Piper

2nd Simbasible AwardsBest Score

Arrival

La La Land

Moana

Swiss Army Man

Tanna

2nd Simbasible AwardsBest Song

Another Day of Sun – La La Land

Can’t Stop the Feeling! – Trolls

How Far I’ll Go – Moana

Someone in the Crowd – La La Land

We Know the Way – Moana

2nd Simbasible AwardsBest Cinematography

The Eagle Huntress

Lion

Rogue One

2nd Simbasible AwardsBest Costume Design

Fantastic Beasts

Jackie

The Witch

2nd Simbasible Awards

Best Pacing

Arrival

Hacksaw Ridge

Lion

A Monster Calls

My Life as a Zucchini

2nd Simbasible Awards

Best Visual Effects

Arrival

Doctor Strange

Fantastic Beasts

The Jungle Book

Rogue One

2nd Simbasible Awards

Best Character Development

Captain Fantastic

Doctor Strange

Fantastic Beasts

Fences

My Life as a Zucchini

2nd Simbasible Awards

Best Character

The Ancient One – Doctor Strange

Ben Cash – Captain Fantastic

Conor – A Monster Calls

Jacob – Fantastic Beasts

Nadine Franklin – The Edge of Seventeen

2nd Simbasible AwardsBest Scene

Adoption Conversation – Lion

Farewell End Scene – Fantastic Beasts

Imaginary End Scene – La La Land

Reunion Scene – Lion

Reunion Scene – Moonlight

Rose’s Heartbreaking Speech – Fences

2nd Simbasible Awards

Best Dialogue

Arrival

Captain Fantastic

Fences

Lion

A Monster Calls

2nd Simbasible Awards

Most Emotional Film

Captain Fantastic

Fences

Life, Animated

Lion

A Monster Calls

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Hidden Figures (2016)

Hidden Figures Movie Review……………………………………………………………..

Hidden Figures Movie Review

Hidden Figures is a 2016 biopic starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monae. It is a clichéd film in every way.

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Here at NASA we all pee the same color

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Hidden Figures Movie Review……………………………………………………………..
This is one of those movies that are so predictable not only in the actual execution, but also in the expected rating and quality. I knew I was going to give it a 3.5 and I ended up giving it that exact rating in the end. It is that kind of middling movie that is so familiar and such a shameless crowd pleaser, but still well acted, imporant and competently made. It is basically the ‘Bridge of Spies’ of 2016.
The three characters themselves are never properly developed, though the actresses playing them are certainly immensely likable in their roles. Octavia Spencer was nominated basically just for being a popular actress and everyone is talking about Janelle Monae and her role is also very slight and not the best. I do not understand that, but clearly Taraji P. Henson gave the best performance and her role was the biggest and best established. She should have been nominated.
This is obviously an important story. These three African American female mathematicians were hugely influential in NASA and it is certainly admirable that we finally see their stories. But although you have that importance factor and it is a charming, certainly extremely likable film, it is predictable from beginning to end and that hurt it a lot.
Hidden Figures is well acted, directed and shot. It is okay in its execution, although not the best. The script is solid and the movie can also be quite funny at times while constantly being likable in its characters. But the dialogue is so on the nose and lacking any subtlety whatsoever that it actually annoyed me hearing some of the more ridiculous lines spoken.

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Hidden Figures Movie Review……………………………………………………………..

I liked the glimpses into their personal lives and the issues were mostly well emphasized. But I would have liked to have seen more of the space stuff as I am a big fan of astronomy myself. But here we mostly only get boring mathematics and some of those scenes were done in the most obnoxious, arrogant manner possible which unpleasantly reminded me of ‘The Martian’.

But overall it is a solid film and although long, it is quite engaging and harmless. It did not deserve to be nominated for Best Picture at all in a very strong year and it is certainly the weakest nominee after the mediocre ‘Hell or High Water’.
Hidden Figures is an expectedly solid and clichéd film. It is very well acted with Taraji P. Henson actually being the highlight, the characters are very likable and this is definitely an important story, but it is told in the most predictable manner possible with not enough astronomy in it, overly annoying science scenes and a total lack of subtlety filled with many ridiculous lines.

My Rating – 3.5

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Ranking the 2016 Best Picture Nominees

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Ranking the 2016 Best Picture Nominees

2016 proved out to be an exceptionally strong year and that can even be seen in the Best Picture slate. The Academy nominated nine movies for their most prestigious award and seven of them really deserved their nominations. That is a rare feat and it is certainly infinitely better than that dismal slate from last year. So here is my ranking of all nine Best Picture nominees of 2016.
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Hell or High Water Movie Review
9. Hell or High Water
This is the only truly mediocre movie nominated this year. It is certainly okay and has nice scenes and performances, but even the acting is overrated and the entire film is one of the most overrated indie flicks in recent memory. The entire plot and feel of the movie is obviously influenced by the late 60s and early 70s crime thrillers and that lack of originality is baffling to me. And it is even boring and thoroughly forgettable. Needless to say, it is by far the worst Best Picture nominee of 2016.
Hidden Figures Movie Review
8. Hidden Figures
Another one of the two undeserved nominees, Hidden Figures is probably the most cliched film of the entire year. It certainly benefits from three strong performances and extremely likable characters, but even though its story is important, it is executed in the most predictable and standard manner possible. An even worse offender is the dialogue which is at times borderline ridiculous in its thoroughly unsubtle approach. It is a charming, but ultimately tiresome film.
Manchester by the Sea Movie Review
7. Manchester by the Sea
From here on, all of the movies are either very good or excellent. This one is a terrific showcase for acting and such a strong, emotional and realistic drama with a couple of sequences that are very poignant and even heartbreaking. However, it still features an overly depressing tone and the protagonist’s backstory is needlessly tragic. It is a very good, strong film, but the one movie here which disappointed me the most as I expected much greater things from it.
Moonlight Movie Review
6. Moonlight
Another movie that had great potential, but ultimately ended up being just quite good and never great, Moonlight is certainly very well acted, realistic and featuring such fantastic, emotionally powerful third act, but everything that came before it was overly familiar in terms of storytelling and it is again a movie that is more important than truly great. Of all the nominees this year, it is the one movie that felt the most like an Oscar film and surely it ended up taking the trophy and becoming the first gay film to do so which is admirable, but not entirely deserved.

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

5. Hacksaw Ridge
This is probably the nominee that surprised me the most as I did not expect the level of quality that this anti-war film possesses. It does feel pretty typical in its first half, but it has such a great, really interesting spin on the usual war picture with the pacifism and spiritual angle being very well explored and leading to many emotional scenes. Overly brutal, but realistic, its action is also highly memorable. But the heart of the movie lies in Andrew Garfield’s truly great turn which is the year’s finest male performance and excellent, truly accomplished direction from Mel Gibson who here marks a welcome return to the directing chair after a long absence.
La La Land Movie Review
4. La La Land
La La Land ended up being a giant loser in that shocking turn of events at the end of the ceremony and it certainly divided a lot of movie goers. It definitely features a muddled tone plus Mia is frustratingly unlikable. But apart from that, it truly is a very good musical romance that benefits from the year’s best score and a couple of very catchy musical numbers. But the romance is memorable as well and that beautiful ending is certainly one of the most unforgettable and original endings of the entire decade. It is an uneven, but highly rewatchable, charming and ultimately satisfactory film that I hope will lead to a return of the musical genre in the future.
Fences Movie Review
3. Fences
This is the best acted film of 2016 as Viola Davis is just so powerful in it. But everyone knows and talks about that. What is even more admirable is its dialogue which is very realistic and always fascinating along with the screenplay which is stellar and filled with many relatable and very well explored issues. It does feel a bit too much like a stage play as it is obviously based on it, but I love these highly realistic and dialogue heavy dramas and it wonderfully reminded me of the 1950s dramas. It did receive strong critical reception, but it is still a bit underapprecitated in my book.
Arrival Movie Review
2. Arrival
I love hard science fiction and I love strong storytelling. That is why I ended up loving Arrival. It is the best alien invasion movie that we’ve got in film history and probably the only one that felt real and truly scientific. Amy Adams is phenomenal and the film’s sound and visuals are superb too, but it is the twist that is the most unique thing about it along with its clever and very intriguing mix of sci-fi and drama elements. Arrival is such a wonderful mix of science and linguistics and that is why I enjoyed it immensely as I love those two areas.
Lion Movie Review
1. Lion
And of course Lion is my pick for the best nominee of the year as it is the finest film of 2016 as a whole. And the fact that it is basically forgotten even now goes to show how the general movie going public and critics cannot appreciate real human dramas. This is a fantastically acted, edited, directed and shot film, but it is above all imbued by such a beautiful real life story almost flawlessly executed. It is one of the rare movies that made me cry as its ending is unbelieavably beautiful and moving. But it is so raw and honest in its thought-provoking and relevant issues. It is the movie that affected me the most on a purely emotional level alone and it is by far the best and most underrated film of the year.
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Piper (2016)

Piper ReviewPiper Review

Piper is a 2016 Pixar short film that was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film.

It follows a baby sandpiper learning to overcome her fear of water by digging into the sand. The plot is very simple, but it is cute and endearing. The baby follows the hermit crab and by copying its behavior, the bird discovers the beauty of the underwater world while learning a new way to find food, thus inspiring others. It was a clever way to explain these birds’ behavior.

The animation is absolutely fantastic, so impressive. The character design in particular is superb. It was evident that this was a major, time-inducing project as the feathers and the overall birds look as realistic as they can be. The backgrounds are also nice and polished. The score is pretty solid too. But somehow it ended abruptly and it is just never particularly inspired or original in terms of storytelling and characterization. It is just a pretty solid Pixar short, but nothing more than that.

Piper isn’t ambitious or particularly original, but it is cute and charming with absolutely fantastic animation.

 My Rating – 3.8

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Ersatz (1961)

Ersatz ReviewErsatz  Review

 Ersatz (The Substitute) is a 1961 Oscar-winning Croatian animated short film which was directed by Dusan Vukotic.

A man takes a trip to the beach and every object he brings with him, no matter how unlikely, is inflatable. That is the plot here and, needless to say, it is slight and the film is almost plotless. It is an excuse to venture into surreal territory, but I did not grasp the meaning or the point of it.

But you can’t deny the strengths of its animation. It is stupendously well animated and actually quite inventive in some of its scenes. I really liked the main character and the sounds that he made were quite amusing. The designs here are odd, yet very authentic. The movements and the colors were all really well incorporated and the film is quite unique in some of its imagery. But it is still a flawed film as the plot is nowhere to be found and the conclusion isn’t the greatest. It got the Oscar and although not deserved in my opinion, it wasn’t a terrible choice as I can see where they’re coming from as the film is pretty artistic in its own way.

Ersatz is imaginative and quite inventive in its animation, but pointless in plot and ultimately just solid.

 My Rating – 3.5

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The Shop on Main Street (1965)

The Shop on Main Street Movie Reeview…………………………………………………….

The Shop on Main Street Movie Review

The Shop on Main Street is a 1965 Czechoslovak war drama film directed by Elmar Klos and starring Ida Kaminska and Jozef Kroner. It is such a good Oscar winning film.

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I’m your Aryan and you’re my Jewess… understand?

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The Shop on Main Street Movie Review…………………………………………………….

It is about the Aryanization program during World War Ii in Slovakia. The plot is in my opinion very strong, but not as well told. Let me explain. It has way too many characters and a clear lack of focus as it shifts from one supporting character to the other and only around the half of the movie starts the real story and the most important one.

I really liked the scenes between the protagonist and his wife, but of course the major strength of the film lies in its third act where he is conflicted whether or not to hide or expose an old Jew lady to the authorities because he would otherwise be proclaimed a Jew-lover. Those last moments were so dramatic, so difficult to watch and heartbreaking that they stay with you after you’ve seen it.

The Shop on Main Street is of course stupendously well acted. It was nice seeing that Ida Kaminska was nominated for Best Actress at the Academy Awards for a Slovak film as that would never happen these days. And she deserved it as she was magnificent here. But Jozef Kroner is very good as well in a very difficult main role. I liked his character a lot as he was sympathetic and I liked his wife, some of the scenes between the two were very charming. But other characters are all forgettable and not well used in the story unfortunately.

The Shop on Main Street is very well directed and very well scored. The score is repetitive, but definitely memorable. Some of the shots are marvelous and I really liked the fantastical sequences too. Those were quite memorable with their white coloring. The same goes for the romantic scenes which are wonderful.

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The Shop on Main Street Movie Review…………………………………………………….

The editing is not good as some scenes are prolonged and the film doesn’t run smoothly. But even though it could have been much better executed as a whole, it is still a very good, respectable film that deserved its Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film for sure. It is also one of the better films of a very weak year for film.

The Shop on Main Street isn’t well paced and it lacks focus as there are too many characters and subplots in it, but the film is otherwise very strong not only in score which is good, acting which is terrific and cinematography which is quite polished, but also in its main characters, some very charming scenes and the third act which is very dramatic, unforgettable and quite heartbreaking leading to one of the better war dramas.

My Rating – 4

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Ranking 1950s Animated Short Oscar Winners

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Ranking 1950s Animated Short Oscar Winners

The 1950s decade proved to be much different from the previous two when it comes to the Animated Short Oscars. For once, it featured many different studios and series and even some independent shorts. From Looney Tunes to Tom and Jerry to Magoo to the indies, here is my ranking of all ten of the winners.

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 Magoo's Puddle Jumper Review10. Magoo’s Puddle Jumper

This one easily takes the last spot as it is such a weak film. It is still not a bad film and it has its moments, but it is mostly immensely inferior to the previous Oscar winning Magoo adventure owing to a repetitive and overly familiar storyline, a lack of big jokes and a fairly subpar animation.

 

 Moonbird Review9. Moonbird

I get this movie and why it won the Oscar. It truly is an authentic experiment as the director filmed his own kids having an imaginary adventure and that is how this movie was created. But although the premise and the approach is highly inventive, the execution is very poor with bad audio, quite weak animation and an overlong and uninvolving plot.

 

 

Toot, Whistle, Plunk and Boom  8. Toot, Whistle, Plunk and Boom

As the only Disney flick on this list, Toot, Whistle, Plunk and Boom is as charming and as superbly animated and scored as you would expect from the studio, but it is still just a basic documentary and its history musical lesson is very boring to watch, prolonged and in the end far from great and undeserving of the award.

 

 

The Two Mouseketeers 7. The Two Mouseketeers

Now this Tom and Jerry outing left a very polarizing effect on me. On the one hand, Nibbles is as endearing as ever, the French setting is interesting and the execution of Tom was very bold for the series, but it was still overly violent, the setting isn’t particularly well utilized and it to me did not feel enough like a Tom and Jerry film. The Academy obviously loved this historical sub-series, but I wasn’t particularly thrilled with it to be honest.

 

Johann Mouse6. Johann Mouse

This is where we get to the really good stuff. Johann Mouse is the better of the two Tom and Jerry Oscar winners from this decade. It is obviously similar to ‘The Cat Concerto’ and although not funny at all, it is actually not that worse from the aforementioned film as it uses such a good animation and human character designs, a great use of music and many excellent scenes.

 

Speedy Gonzales 5. Speedy Gonzales

I really like this movie. It isn’t as great as it could have been as its second act is a bit weaker from the rest of the cartoon, but the titular character is so memorable here, the animation is splendid, the voice acting is terrific and both the plot and the action are so well established here with a couple of highly memorable and entertaining sequences.

 

 Gerald McBoing-Boing4. Gerald McBoing-Boing

I felt that the sound was too loud here, but other than that, it is such a good film with a moving story and such a meaningful message. It is a story that benefits from being told in animated form as it is very odd, but pleasantly so and still ending with a great message for kids. The animation is one of the standout aspects here as it beautifully reminded me of comic-strips with its interesting style.

 

 Birds Anonymous Review3. Birds Anonymous

This is such a great Tweety and Sylvester short with not as great action, but it’s still good enough. I loved the beginning and it was a great setup, but of course everything afterwards was very entertaining to watch and it features signature lines from its characters and such a good humor. Also the sound and the animation are both top-notch.

 

When Magoo Flew Review 2. When Magoo Flew

This is the quintessential Magoo offering and the film that rightfully got the Academy Award as it is just great. I absolutely loved its different and more mature humor than usual and it really is a funny film, but the old and clueless protagonist was also unique for the animation field of the period and he truly is such a memorable, funny character. The situational comedy is beautifully executed here and the ending is very amusing.

 

Knighty Knight Bugs1. Knighty Knight Bugs

And of course the number one has to go to Knighty Knight Bugs which is one very accomplished Looney Tunes entry. Everything in this film is great from the animation which is wonderful to the characters as both Bugs Bunny and Yosemite Sam are superbly utilized and the story which is entertaining and charming and benefits greatly from its setting with a good use of the sword and the dragon. It is one of those classic, timeless cartoons that got almost everything right and is as polished as they come leading to a much deserved Oscar winner.

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Review and Analysis of the 89th Academy Awards

Review and Analysis of the 89th Academy Awards……………………………………………………..

Review and Analysis of the 89th Academy Awards

This year’s Academy Awards was not only the most exciting in recent memory, but also probably one of the most satisfying in terms of the wins. 2016 was a really strong year for film and I really liked most of the nominees so I was satisfied with their victories. The Oscars were very evenly spread out among its contenders and it was a nice change in pace to see the upset in the Best Picture category, but more on that later. For now, let’s talk about the ceremony itself.

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Review and Analysis of the 89th Academy Awards……………………………………………………..

THE CEREMONY

Unlike the last year’s bore of the ceremony, this one was much different and much livelier. Thematically speaking, the narrative was of course Donald Trump and that was expected. Some speeches were way too political and aggressive in tone for sure. However, I still think that it wasn’t as political as it could have been given that the atmosphere in Hollywood is so hot these days. I thought Farhadi’s speech was on point and I even thought that some jokes were quite good. But because they still managed to put in some homages to the stars and pictures of yesteryear, the ceremony turned out much better than the terrible one from the last year.

Jimmy Kimmel was a fine host. Actually he was one of the better hosts of the decade as he was never as annoying or as plain unfunny as most of his predecessors definitely were. I thought that that bus sketch was just horrible and obviously staged, but other than that, he was pretty solid and even funny at times. I thought his “Meryl Streep is overrated” lines were quite funny and the highlight is definitely the tweet part. I liked the new tweets edition and his tweets that he sent to Trump were very amusing.

As for the speeches, most of them were typical and overly sentimental. Some were better than the others, but as a whole, I thought they were forgettable and not particularly inspiring or original. I am going to talk about the Best Picture category in the next section, but let’s first touch upon the mix-up here. I think I am one of the rare people who still thinks that it was all staged and to me that is obvious mostly because of the acting awards being switched from the usual actress then actor to actress being given last. So obvious. But even though the entire affair looked like some sort of wrestling match, it was still exciting and unbelievable to watch and it is definitely going to leave a lasting impression and become the most memorable thing from the entire ceremony.

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Moonlight Movie Review…………………………………………………….

BEST PICTURE

Unlike last year, almost all of the nominees here were deserving of their slots. I wouldn’t have been angry if La La Land had won, but I was glad that it didn’t as that led to a very pleasant surprise. The last year’s Best Picture choice was also surprising which goes to show that the Academy is finally becoming braver in their choices and original instead of following in the footsteps of the other awards. As for the eventual winner Moonlight, I still think that that film is far from great, but it is still very good and I am fine with its win here. It feels like an Oscar flick, but is groundbreaking in its subject matter. I overall really liked the film and although it didn’t end up on my top ten list for the year, that is because the year was very strong. Moonlight is actually the most deserved Best Picture winner of the decade after ‘The Artist’ in my opinion which is why I was pleasantly surprised.

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Review and Analysis of the 89th Academy Awards……………………………………………………..

BEST DIRECTOR

Damien Chazelle won here for his work on La La Land and even though I found his directing to be not the greatest, I still am fine with him winning as he deserved to win for Whiplash in 2015 and this was basically the Academy honoring him for both of these movies. My pick from the nominees is Mel Gibson, but again, I did not have any objections to their choice whatsoever. What I do find frustrating is that once again they gave two different movies Oscars for directing and best film which is odd and I do not see why they continue to do it. Sometimes that is warranted, but I think them making a tradition out of it is problematic.

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Manchester by the Sea Movie Review……………………………………………………..

BEST ACTOR

Casey Affleck won for Manchester by the Sea which was not as expected as some of the other winners on this list, but I still called that out. I am again fine with their choice, but to me Andrew Garfield was better and I have yet to see Denzel’s performances as I still haven’t seen Fences. Affleck was capable, but not as great as everyone says he is.

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La La Land Movie Review……………………………………………………..

BEST ACTRESS

This was one of the most obvious categories and Emma Stone ended up taking the award. La La Land isn’t the most well acted film of the nominees, but she is very strong in it and although rarely truly great, she still deserved this award as it was about time for them to give her an Oscar. Natalie Portman was much better in Jackie, but she already has one Oscar so I was fine with Emma taking it.

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Moonlight Movie Review……………………………………………………..

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

This was the weakest and most frustrating category this year. Most of the nominees did not deserve to be here, but Mahershala Ali was just such a terrible choice. His is one of the most forgettable characters in Moonlight and Andre Holland deserved to be in his place much more. Ali’s win was expected and unfortunate.

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BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Nicole Kidman or Michelle Williams deserved to take this award as Viola Davis plays the main role in Fences. I do not understand why they continue to do this, but on the other hand, even though I haven’t seen the movie yet, I am more than happy that she won as she is such a great actress who deserved to win for the Help in 2012 and this was their compensation for that loss.

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Manchester by the Sea Movie Review……………………………………………………..

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Manchester by the Sea won for Best Original Screenplay and again I am fine with this choice (see the pattern here). I found some plot elements to be quite poor actually, but as a whole, the film is well told and the script is mostly sophisticated and strong. Of the nominated scripts, it is certainly the best one.

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Moonlight Movie Review……………………………………………………..

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

Arrival and Lion are much, much better choices than Moonlight, but Moonlight still has a very good, mostly satisfactory story so I wasn’t angry that it won at all. It isn’t the best, but it is far from a bad choice too.

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Zootopia Movie Review

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BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM

This was one of the most obvious categories. Kubo and the Two Strings had some momentum, but thankfully Zootopia won as it is a much better movie. However, both Moana and especially My Life as a Zucchini are much better films so to me this was a disappointing, if an expected turn of events. I just wish that for once some other studio besides Pixar or Disney wins.

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The Salesman Movie Review……………………………………………………..

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

The Salesman is an amazing, hugely admirable film that is one of the best films of the year which is why I was so glad that it won its much deserved Oscar. Asghar Farhadi is one of the best directors working today and he deserves to have two Oscars and I hope even more in the future.

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BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

O.J.: Made in America won for Best Documentary Feature which was expected and unfortunate. I have no intention of even seeing this movie and most of the other nominees sound boring. This was one of the worst years for this category for sure.

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BEST ANIMATED SHORT FILM

Blind Vaysha is a better movie than Piper, but Piper is still immensely charming and sweet so I wasn’t at all angry with it winning. It is Pixar’s first win here in more than a decade. But this year was quite weak for animated shorts in my opinion and 2015 was infinitely better.

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La La Land Movie Review……………………………………………………..

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

La La Land won for score which is of course a natural turn of events as it is a musical. Its score is actually better than most of its songs so in my opinion the Academy made the right choice this time around.

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La La Land Movie Review……………………………………………………..

BEST ORIGINAL SONG

City of Stars is an endless bore. It is the worst and most bland song in La La Land without any doubt. My favorite songs from the movie Someone in the Crowd and Another Day of Sun weren’t even nominated, but of the nominees How Far I’ll Go easily should have taken the award as it is infinitely better than all of the other songs on this list.

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Arrival Movie Review……………………………………………………..

BEST SOUND EDITING

Arrival winning here was just so unexpected and such a huge breath of fresh air. That sci-fi has some great and spooky sounds and it thoroughly deserved to be honored for them.

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Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review……………………………………………………..

BEST SOUND MIXING

Another surprise in the sound categories where Hacksaw Ridge got the one for Sound Mixing. Having in mind the nature of the movie, it was a very fitting choice for this particular award.

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La La Land Movie Review……………………………………………………..

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

This is one of the rare awards that La La Land honestly really deserved as it features some excellent imagery, sets and interiors which is why I am glad that it won.

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

But this was a travesty! I wasn’t angry as I knew it would happen, but La La Land has some truly horrible and mediocre camera movements leading to such a ridiculous choice from the Academy. Lion should have taken this one instead.

Review and Analysis of the 89th Academy Awards……………………………………………………..

BEST MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING

Nobody expected that Suicide Squad would win an Oscar, but when you look at the makeup and hairstyles from the movie, you begin to see why it got it in the end.

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Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Movie Review

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BEST COSTUME DESIGN

I was just so thrilled with Fantastic Beasts winning here! It thus became the first Harry Potter film to win an Oscar and although that is ridiculous of course, it was still overdue and very much deserved as the film has some gorgeous 1920s costumes that beautifully transport you to this time period. It was an interesting and wonderful choice from the Academy.

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Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

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BEST FILM EDITING

Hacksaw Ridge surprisingly got the Editing Oscar and even though I was glad for that movie, it was still ridiculous that Arrival didn’t get this as it entirely depends on this aspect in terms of storytelling alone and it excels at it. This was in a way both a disappointing and satisfactory choice.

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The Jungle Book Movie Review……………………………………………………..

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

This is the only award that I was immensely disappointed in. The Jungle Book features some very good effects, but Doctor Strange is to me a visually visionary movie that features some of the most innovative and imaginative effects I’ve seen in recent memory which is why its loss frustrated me.

In the end, this was a very strong year for not only movies, but also the Oscars as they picked very good nominees all around. I also admired how unpredictable their choices turned out to be and I really liked Moonlight being awarded Best Picture. As for the ceremony, it was solid and not nearly as annoying as some of the earlier ones so in the end, this was one of the most satisfying and entertaining Oscar ceremonies of the decade.

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Blind Vaysha (2016)

Blind Vaysha ReviewBlind Vaysha Review

Blind Vaysha is a 2016 animated short film directed by Theodore Ushev and nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film.

It is about a girl who cannot see present with her left eye seeing the past and her right eye seeing the future. Rarely have I seen such an original concept in an animated short before. It is unique and it is perfect for this medium. However, I still find the film far from great because the narration isn’t the greatest and I would have chosen a different approach to tell this story. I also found the ending to be abrupt and the overall film needed to have been longer in length.

But the animation is phenomenal. It is the kind of artistic animation that suits this particular tale really well with great colors and very interesting character designs. I liked the score quite a bit and it is again fitting to the plot. The film is very authentic both in visuals and in plot which is why it succeeds as one of the year’s best animated shorts even if it isn’t as great as it could have been.

Blind Vaysha definitely could have been better, but it is still quite good with a terrific premise and fine animation.

My Rating – 4

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