Your Guide to the 2018 Academy Awards

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The 2018 Oscar ceremonies take place on March 4 and here’s your guide to the major categories.

First, let’s talk about the snubs. This year a multitude of excellent candidates were left out. My biggest disappointment is not seeing Wind River on this list. Penned and directed by Taylor Sheridan (writer of Sicario, and Hell or High Water, both Oscar nominees) I believe Wind River easily surpassed Darkest Hour and The Post as a film, and shone out as one of the tightest scripts I’ve seen in awhile. Easily the best performances Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen have ever given and some very good editing to go along with it all. I look forward to whatever Taylor Sheridan produces in the future, and wish he’d been recognized for this effort also. Additionally, and, not nearly as surprising, no recognition for James McAvoy performance as a disturbed person with split personalities was truly incredible. He truly gave a masterclass in character acting in Split.

Best Picture Nominees
Call Me by Your Name
Darkest Hour
Dunkirk
Get Out
Lady Bird
Phantom Thread
The Post
The Shape of Water
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Of note, Get Out, a cultural satire in the guise of a horror film, has landed a nod.

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movies of 2018

The Top Movies to Watch or Not in 2018

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As we await the 2017 movie award ceremonies, it’s time to look at 2018. A list of the best movies to watch may vary from person to person, so what I’ve put together is the list you will hear about due to marketing or your friends, things you will probably want to see because of their fun or quality, and films I think will be absurdly bad and you should avoid at all costs. So, without further delay, the top movies to look out for in 2018!

February 2: Winchester comes as an entry into the horror genre from twin brothers Michael and Peter Spierig. I’m not personally huge into horror, but this intrigues me since actual events inspired the script. Helen Mirren anchors the cast, and the Spierig brothers usually create decent, plot heavy pieces (see Daybreakers and Predestination), so I imagine most critics will receive it with a “meh, it’s okay” and audiences will dislike it, looking for something more jump-scare riddled. Nothing groundbreaking, but it’ll make its money back.

February 16: Black Panther is easily one of the most anticipated films this year, Black Panther delves into the story of the newly crowned King of Wakanda.

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the last jedi

Movies for 2017: The Good, The Bad, and the Over-Hyped (Part 2)

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So, after putting together the preview for the first half of the year, I found the second half far more interesting, and it took a bit longer to pull together. Let’s jump right in:

Spiderman Marvel
Spiderman returns to Marvel Studios after years of being on loan to Sony. ®Disney 2017

Spider-Man: Homecoming / July 7th – Finally, the Spider-Man everyone has always wanted. Sony has loaned the distribution rights to Marvel Studios for what was likely a hefty sum. But, no matter, Spider-Man has finally joined the Avengers, and fans eagerly anticipate this latest release as the beginning of something fantastic. Most considered Tom Holland to have held his own well against Robert Downey Jr. in Civil War last year, so knowing that more of that is in store will likely delight audiences. In a twist of irony, Michael Keaton has been cast as The Vulture, which feels like a giant inside joke after his role in Birdman. The last thing to note: Donald Glover has been added to the list of top billed cast members, which should elicit some excitement after his incredible success with his show, Atlanta, at the Golden Globes.

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Kong skull island 2017

Movies for 2017: The Good, The Bad, and the Over-Hyped (Part 1)

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Great movies for 2017 have already hit theaters, with more on the way. And of course, we’re already getting a lot of hype about some of the upcoming flicks. Hype doesn’t necessarily mean a movie is going to be good or bad. However, if a movie is over-hyped and turns out not to be great, we are left feeling pretty disappointed. Additionally, there are some pictures that we just do not hear about until after the fact, so I want to shine the spotlight on a few of those, hence the following list.

It’s not a comprehensive list of all the biggest or best movies coming out this year. Nor is it a list of movies I want to see personally. Instead, this is a type of hype list. A list of movies that are being marketed heavily as either a blockbuster event like Kong: Skull Island or maybe as extra relevant like Get Out.

Honestly, I think some of these movies will be really terrible. But, for others, I expect great things. The only movie that I would retroactively put in this list from January, would be Splice (I loved it, by the way).

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Oscars 2017

#OscarsSoLaLa: La La Land Gets 14 Oscar Nominations?

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The Academy Award nominations have finally been announced, and already discontent, to say the very least, has swept across the world at the 14 nominations La La Land received. Incredibly, the film is now tied for the most nominations ever with Titanic in 1997 and All About Eve in 1950. My first thought was, “Wow, are you kidding me?” Those very generous Oscar nods thrown La La Land‘s way notwithstanding, the nominations are indicative of numerous other things going on with the Academy Awards as well — things of positive note.

The most obvious and most welcomed item of note is Hashtag Oscar [isn’t] So White anymore. Hollywood has diversity! Well, at least this year, the Oscar nominations seem to recognize Hollywood’s diversity. Numerous films, actors, and a cinematographer (only the second ever) of African-American descent were recognized for their excellent work in the industry. Moonlight in particular has been well-recognized by festivals and other award ceremonies (though many argue it was snubbed at the Golden Globes).

Barry Jenkins nominated for Best Director

Here’s the complete list:

  • Denzel Washington, Best Actor, Fences
  • Ruth Negga, Best Actress, Loving
  • Mahershala Ali, Best Supporting Actor, Moonlight
  • Octavia Spencer, Best Supporting Actress, Hidden Figure
  • Viola Davis, Best Supporting Actress, Fences
  •  Naomie Harris, Best Supporting Actress, Moonlight
  • Barry Jenkins, Best Director, Moonlight
  • Bradford Young, Best Cinematography, Arrival
  • Raoul Peck, Best Documentary Feature, I Am Not Your Negro
  • Roger Ross Williams, Best Documentary Feature, Life, Animated
  • Ava DuVern, Best Documentary Feature, 13th
  • Ezra Edelman, Best Documentary Feature, O.J.: Made in America
  • Joi McMillon, Best Film Editing, Moonlight
  • Barry Jenkins and Tarbell Alvin McCraney, Best Adapted Screenplay, Moonlight
  • August Wilson (posthumous nomination), Best Adapted Screenplay, Fences

It is also the first time three films up for Best Picture each have black producers.

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