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85th Academy Awards: My Picks & Predictions

The Academy have their opinions, I have my own.  And though I do not intend to watch the Oscars in their entirety, due in large part to the host (so sue me), I can still anticipate what will unfold.  Some of the categories won’t be included here, as I haven’t seen or heard of enough of some of the movies to make a fair call.  Others I’ll simply list what I anticipate to win.  Anywho, let’s dive into the 85th Academy Awards, predictions versus my picks.

Best Visual Effects

My Pick: Life of Pi
Prediction: Life of Pi

Best Sound Editing

My Pick: Skyfall
Prediction: Zero Dark Thirty

Best Sound Mixing

My Pick: Skyfall
Prediction: Argo

Best Original Song

My Pick: “Before My Time” by J. Ralph (from Chasing Ice)
Prediction: “Skyfall” by Adele (from Skyfall)

Best Original Score

My Pick: Mychael Danna, Life of Pi
Prediction: John Williams, Lincoln

Best Makeup

My Pick: Les Miserables
Prediction: Les Miserables

Best Film Editing

My Pick: Life of Pi
Prediction: Life of Pi

Best Costume Design

My Pick: Les Miserables
Prediction: Les Miserables

Best Cinematography

My Pick: Life of Pi
Prediction: Life of Pi

Best Art Direction/Production Design

My Pick: Les Miserables
Prediction: Les Miserables

Best Animated Feature Film

My Pick: ParaNorman
Prediction: Wreck-It Ralph

Best Original Screenplay

My Pick: Moonrise Kingdom, Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola
Prediction: Amour, Michael Haneke

Best Adapted Screenplay

My Pick: Silver Linings Playbook, David O. Russell
Prediction: Lincoln, Tony Kushner

Best Supporting Actress

My Pick: Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables
Prediction: Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables

Best Supporting Actor

My Pick: Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained
Prediction: Robert De Niro, Silver Linings Playbook

Best Lead Actress

My Pick: Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook
Prediction: Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty

Best Lead Actor

My Pick: Denzel Washington, Flight
Prediction: Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln

Best Director

My Pick: Ang Lee, Life of Pi
Prediction: Steven Spielberg, Lincoln

Best Picture

My Pick: Silver Linings Playbook
Prediction: Lincoln

 
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Posted by on February 24, 2013 in Blog, Film, Movies

 

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Epic Movie Scenes: The Opening from Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope

For today’s installment of Epic Movie Scenes, I’m here to talk about easily one of the biggest, most lasting moments in film altogether.  We all know the reputation following the Star Wars franchise; how it immediately exploded and has since become a bit of shameless marketing that we can’t seem to let go.  Regardless of what the movies have become, what can’t be denied is the impact they had, especially the original trilogy.  And all of it started with this opening sequence from the original film, later retitled “Episode IV: A New Hope.”

Why Is It So Epic?

Even as a movie that’s technically considered the fourth installment, the film opens by showing exactly what we need, with or without the opening text.  We have the small rebel ship fleeing and firing back at a Star Destroyer, which looms overhead, going on and on just like the size and strength of the Empire.  From the first time you watch this scene, it sticks with you.  There are movie scenes that we can remember in bits and pieces, but this one is permanently implanted into your mind.  I can still remember the first time watching this as a kid, I thought to myself “how long and big IS that ship?”

One thing that makes the transition from the plain yellow text to the detailed ships is the music, courtesy of probably the biggest film composer ever, John Williams.  We nicely move from the upbeat, triumphant theme played at the beginning of each movie to a few quick seconds of adrenaline-building music before the ships are well within our sight.

Then we cut to being on board the rebel ship itself, with plenty of C-3PO’s pessimistic statements serving as morale for the rebels.  When we see the ship again, it’s covered in shadow while being pulled into the Star Destroyer, more or less preparing us for what will inevitably ensue.  And then the Storm Troopers come in flocks, invading the ship and taking out rebels with little effort or repercussion.  Finally, to top it all off, we get our introduction of Darth Vader, who we only need to hear breathe as he looks over the fallen bodies.  His mechanical, all-black costume is a perfect representation for who this character is to us, while also serving as a contrast to the white armored Storm Troopers.  On one hand there are several plain characters who blend into the rebel ship’s white walls, carrying out orders; on the other there’s Vader, standing out and proving himself the darker, less conventional being.

This scene was big when it came out and continues to prove itself 35 years later.  Many films are still put to shame by this opening, which proves you don’t need something long and drawn out to leave a lasting impression.

 
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Posted by on July 9, 2012 in Film, Movies

 

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