Labels

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Review - Better Call Saul: Episode 1.2 - Mijo


I think it’s fairly safe to say, even at this early stage, that this second episode of Better Call Saul will not go down as one of the best. It’s not a bad episode but merely a serviceable one in a show that’s still moving its pieces into place.

The episode kicks off with the recapping of last week’s denouement from Tuco’s perspective. We know that Tuco will become the crazed, hysterical drug dealer by the time Walter White enters his life, but here he is nowhere near that level of derangement. He’s still crazy, but just not batshit crazy. He seems to accept that his grandmother is in the wrong, albeit unaware of her accidental participation in Jimmy’s hare-brained scheme. He appears to be willing to speak with our skater knuckleheads right up to the point where one of them calls his grandmother a “crazy old biznatch”. Of course they don’t know that Tuco isn’t a shining example of mental stability, but we do.




Sunday, 22 February 2015

Oscars 2015 - Final Predictions

My final predictions for tonight's ceremony


Some last minute predictions for tonight's Academy Awards. As per usual, some awards are all but sewn up whilst others are wide open.

Picks for Will Win and Could Win choices are based on all nominated films, Should Win choices are only based on the films I have seen and I will only pick a Not even nominated choice if I can think of a suitable one.

Brief list of films that I haven't seen: American Sniper, Wild, Still Alice, The Judge, Into The Woods, Mr Turner and (somehow?!?)  all of the nominees in the Best Foreign Film, Best Animated Film and Best Documentary categories.

Best Film

Will Win: Boyhood
Could Win: Birdman
Should Win: Boyhood
Not even nominated: Foxcatcher

Best Director

Will Win: Richard Linklater (Boyhood)
Could Win: Alejandro G. Iñárritu (Birdman)

Should Win: Richard Linklater (Boyhood)
Not even nominated: Damien Chazelle (Whiplash)

Best Actor

Will Win: Eddie Redmayne (The Theory Of Everything)
Could Win: Michael Keaton (Birdman)
Should Win: Eddie Redmayne (The Theory Of Everything)
Not even nominated: David Oyelowo (Selma)

Best Actress

Will Win: Julianne Moore (Still Alice)
Could Win: N/A
Should Win: Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl)
Not even nominated: Scarlett Johansson (Under The Skin)

Best Supporting Actor

Will Win: JK Simmons (Whiplash)
Could Win: N/A
Should Win: JK Simmons (Whiplash)
Not even nominated: Josh Brolin (Inherent Vice) / Riz Ahmed (Nightcrawler)

Best Supporting Actress

Will Win: Patricia Arquette (Boyhood)
Could Win: N/A
Should Win: Patricia Arquette (Boyhood)
Not even nominated: Rene Russo (Nightcrawler)

Best Original Screenplay

Will Win: The Grand Budapest Hotel
Could Win: Birdman
Should Win: Foxcatcher
Not Even Nominated: Calvary

Best Adapted Screenplay

Will Win: The Imitation Game
Could Win: Whiplash
Should Win: Inherent Vice
Not even nominated: Gone Girl


Best Foreign Film

Will Win: Ida
Could Win: Leviathan
Should Win: N/A
Not even nominated: Two Days, One Night

Best Animated Film

Will Win: How To Train Your Dragon 2
Could Win: Big Hero 6
Should Win: N/A
Not even nominated: The LEGO Movie


Best Documentary Feature

Will Win: Citizenfour
Could Win: Virunga
Should Win: N/A
Not even nominated: N/A


Best Cinematography

Will Win: Birdman
Could Win: Ida
Should Win: The Grand Budapest Hotel
Not Even Nominated: Inherent Vice / Only Lovers Left Alive / Interstellar

Best Film Editing

Will Win: Boyhood

Could Win: Whiplash
Should Win: Boyhood & Whiplash (TIE)
Not even nominated: N/A

Best Production Design


Will Win: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Could Win: Into The Woods
Should Win: The Grand Budapest Hotel
Not even nominated: Only Lovers Left Alive / Inherent Vice

Best Costume Design

Will Win: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Could Win: Into The Woods
Should Win: The Grand Budapest Hotel
Not even nominated: Only Lovers Left Alive


Best Hair & Make-Up

Will Win: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Could Win: Guardians Of The Galaxy
Should Win: The Grand Budapest Hotel
Not even nominated: Only Lovers Left Alive

Best Original Score

Will Win: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Could Win: The Theory Of Everything
Should Win: Interstellar
Not even nominated: Under The Skin

Best Original Song

Will Win: Glory (Selma)

Could Win: Everything Is Awesome (The LEGO Movie)
Should Win: N/A
Not even nominated: N/A


Best Sound Editing

Will Win: American Sniper
Could Win: Interstellar
Should Win: N/A
Not even nominated: N/A

Best Sound Mixing

Will Win: American Sniper
Could Win: Whiplash
Should Win: Whiplash
Not even nominated:

Best Visual Effects

Will Win: Interstellar
Could Win: Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes
Should Win: Interstellar
Not even nominated: Godzilla

Best Documentary Short

Will Win: Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1
Could Win: Joanna
Should Win: N/A
Not even nominated: N/A

Best Animated Short

Will Win: Feast
Could Win: The Bigger Picture
Should Win: N/A
Not even nominated: N/A

Best Live Action Short

Will Win: The Phone Call
Could Win: Boogaloo And Graham
Should Win: N/A
Not even nominated: N/A

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Review - Better Call Saul: Episode 1.1 - Uno

Deconstructing Saul


Is it possible to strike televisual gold twice? Given Breaking Bad’s gradual transformation into a cultural behemoth, one could argue that even if Better Call Saul amounted to nothing more than (in this clumsy metaphor) a few bronze coins and a handful of bottlecaps, then that would be ok; just as long as it isn’t awful. Based on this opening episode, the future looks bright for everybody’s favourite shady criminal lawyer. This first episode works so well because it manages to establish the show’s relationship to its big brother whilst also breaking down the man we knew as Saul Goodman into the constituent Jimmy McGill sized parts.

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Kingsman: The Secret Service - Dir. Matthew Vaughn

Many people have proclaimed Kingsman: The Secret Service to be light hearted fun and have called out some of the more vociferous critics for taking the film too seriously. Yes, not every film has to be <insert obscure, black and white, foreign film here>, but a film that so trivially asks the audience to take pleasure from thousands of people killing each other needs to be taken seriously.

Council house teenager Gary “Eggsy” Unwin (Taron Egerton) gets himself arrested after a dangerous joy ride across London. As a last resort, he calls in the favour given to him by a suave and sophisticated super spy Harry Hart (Colin Firth), who wants to help Eggsy after being partly responsible for the death of his father. Hart offers Eggsy the chance to become a member of Kingsman: an independent intelligence agency saving the world one courteous quip at a time.