The Oscar Project
I didn't realize until I was writing this post that it's going to be Friday the 13th tomorrow. I'm not superstitious, but perhaps I should be a bit more fearful with the four new releases this weekend. The one film expanding into wide release after spending a few weeks in limited release looks like the only Oscar contender in the bunch.
Borg vs. McEnroe
Anyone who knows tennis, knows the names Borg and McEnroe. Perhaps one of the greatest rivalries the sport has known, this film focuses on their paths to meet in the men's final at Wimbledon in 1980.
I knew that this was a crazy rivalry from hearing my dad speak about it whenever the big tennis tournaments rolled around. I have also seen footage of McEnroe completely losing his cool on the court, and his antics are even the subject of television commercials in recent years.
Ultimately, the question here is if this will get any nominations from the Academy. There is an outside possibility that LaBeaouf or Gudnason could get an acting nomination, but I don't see any other nods from this film.
Roger Ebert (2*)
Rotten Tomatoes (83%)
Every time I see the trailers for this film, my reaction is "this film looks ridiculous." Don't get me wrong, I love Dwayne Johnson and enjoyed his addition to the Fast & Furious series opposite Vin Diesel. He was great as Maui in Moana, but I just can't shake the feeling like this film wants to be a cuddlier version of King Kong.
We just had a giant ape movie last year (Kong: Skull Island) that DID get nominated for visual effects so I'm not sure the academy would repeat itself here. That being said, I feel like visual effects may be the only nomination option for this film. It could be a crowded category this year though with the likes of Ready Play One, three Marvel films (Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War, and Ant-Man and the Wasp), Solo: A Star Wars Story, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, and more that I've probably missed, it seems unlikely that this big guy will get a nomination.
Roger Ebert (2.5*)
Rotten Tomatoes (51%)
Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero
Who the hell is Sgt. Stubby? And why is he an American hero?
Stubby was a stray dog who became a hero during the First World War. According to Wikipedia, he was the official mascot of the 102nd Infantry Regiment and participated in 17 battles along the Western Front.
This animated film looks like a cute one to tide over younger viewers until the summer animation films come out, but it isn't likely to get nominated for any Oscars. I don't think this one can hold a candle to The Incredibles 2, Hotel Transylvania 3, or The Grinch.
Roger Ebert (3*)
Rotten Tomatoes (87%)
Truth or Dare
Just because this is from the same producers as last year's hit Get Out, doesn't mean it will get the same award buzz. Based on the trailers, this feels very much like the Final Destination series, with some force (Death? "The Game"?) only being satisfied when all the participants are dead.
I'm not typically a huge horror fan, and this one feels like more of the same to me. If I really want to get pulled out of my seat, I'll be checking out last week's A Quiet Place. I don't see any nominations here either. Truth of Dare will likely be out of the public consciousness before the month is out.
Roger Ebert (2*)
Rotten Tomatoes (15%)
Isle of Dogs
Out of all the films going into wide release this week, this is the one film assured of an Oscar nomination. If Isle of Dogs is not nominated for Best Animated Feature, I will be very surprised.
Since this film has been out in limited release, the reviews are all around and generally positive. The visual style of this film is stunning and I think will garner a nomination for animation just based on that. As noted above, the animation category has some strong contenders from big names this year, but I think Isle of Dogs will join them as a nominee.
Roger Ebert (1.5*)
Rotten Tomatoes (91%)
I'm just a film buff who wants to watch great movies. Where else to find the best, than the list of those nominated by the Academy each year?