The Oscar Project
While my efforts over the last week and a half have been focused on getting the early episodes of The Oscar Project Podcast off the ground, I wanted to take a little time to present the films that are hitting theaters this week.
The good news about these releases is that a few of them may be up for Oscars when the nominees are announced on Monday, January 13th. I can almost guarantee several nominations for 1917 and perhaps one for Just Mercy as well. Click through the find out where the contenders are and which films may have to wait for next year.
I am extremely excited about seeing this film and so glad it's getting a wide releases ahead of the Oscars. Much has been made of this film in terms of being presented as a single shot. It is not, of course, and the work that went into making the film a seamless fluid piece cannot be understated.
The story is simple enough. Two young soldiers in WWI must trek across battlefields, treacherous landscapes and bombed out towns to deliver news that a group of their comrades are walking into an ambush the next morning. Pile on top of this that one of the soldiers' brother is in the group they are trying to save, and this film is sure to have you on the edge of your seat the entire time.
I've heard multiple reviews and interviews about this film and every single one raves about it. The Little Gold Men Podcast had an excellent interview with cinematographer Roger Deakins on a recent episode where he talked at length about the techniques that went into filming this story. Several reviews have mentioned that you don't really pay attention to the fact that there are no clear cuts in the film. The action has an ebb and flow to it where you still get "scenes" when lighting changes or the location has significantly changed.
The other film that is expanding from limited to wide release this week hasn't had quite the fanfare as 1917, but I still think there is something here. It definitely takes on a more serious topic than the other fare I will get to shortly.
Michael B. Jordan (Creed, Black Panther) stars as Bryan Stevenson, a well known civil rights defense attorney who works a case to free a man who was wrongly convicted and sentenced to death row. Jamie Foxx (Ray, Django Unchained) plays the condemned man and has already been nominated for his acting for other awards so it wouldn't be a stretch to see him land a nomination from the Academy in a few days.
Like a Boss
If you're looking for lighter fare this weekend, here's your movie. Starring Tiffany Haddish and Rose Byrne as two long time friends that start a beauty company, only to have it drowning in debt. Selma Hayek shows up as a successful business woman who wants to buy their company, and save them from financial ruin.
It turns out however, that Hayek's character is only interested in getting her hands on their new product and passing it off as her own. Cue the devious revenge that the young entrepreneurs seek against their corporate overlord.
Kristen Stewart (Twilight) and T. J. Miller (Cloverfield) star in this film about a team of researchers stationed deep at the bottom of the ocean. The trailer begins by telling us that we're miles from the nearest surface land and seven miles beneath the surface of the ocean, so what could possibly go wrong, right?
Apparently everything. Just looking at this trailer, it feels like it wants to be Alien, just on Earth and under water, instead of millions of miles from Earth in space. We've had films like this before, including The Abyss, Deep Blue Sea, and most recently The Meg. If you've seen any of those films, chances are you can probably skip this one, and still be able to follow any conversation about it at your next party.
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?