August 19, 2010 § Leave a comment
It’s truly unfortunate that Edgar Wright‘s Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, an adaptation of the beloved comic book series in which Pilgrim (Michael Cera) falls in love with Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and has to defeat her seven evil exes, failed to catch on with mainstream audiences. Not that that’s surprising or anything; the film takes place in an ADD-like videogame world, with rapidfire dialogue and smart humor (as opposed to say, the $158mil-earner Grown Ups) and a cast known more for being nominated for Oscars (Anna Kendrick, as Pilgrim’s younger sister) and starring in acclaimed but little-seen TV shows (Aubrey Plaza, as the delightfully bitchy Julie Powers) than in blockbusters about vampires. But honestly, who cares about box office receipts when the film is this good? It is unashamedly fun, and Cera makes for a shockingly winning action star. The entire cast is absolute gold (Kieran Culkin as Pilgrim’s gay roommate is brilliant) and the world the film inhabits is truly unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. The exes turn into gold coins when Pilgrim defeats them, and there’s even a “Seinfeld Scene” (in which the theme music plays, and a studio audience claps and laughs at the jokes). Sometimes the film dips a bit too far into absurdity (I wasn’t a huge fan of the fight scene involving CGI dragons and a troll), and the fight scenes can get repetitive. Thankfully the cast is game for anything, and there really isn’t a dull moment in the entire 112 minute runtime. B+
August 18, 2010 § Leave a comment
My predictions for the visual technical categories (Editing, Cinematography, Art Direction, Visual Effects, and Make-up) are up and completed. Things I’m feeling good about?: lots of Inception, Tree of Life, and The Way Back. There’s still lots of questions about many of these categories. For example, will the Academy wait to honor the Potter series with The Deathly Hallows Pt. 2 or will they jump the gun and start with a few random nominations for Pt. 1? And the pickings for the visual effects category seem surprisingly slim (could that mean that Scott Pilgrim vs the World could score a nomination? If only…)
August 13, 2010 § Leave a comment
Eat, Pray, Love (RottenTomatoes: 38%, Metacritic: 51). Based on these middling reviews, awards prospects seem limited to a Golden Globe nomination for Julia Roberts at best.
The Expendables (RottenTomatoes: 43%, Metacritic: 46). I would be seriously surprised if this was nominated for anything outside of MTV Movie Awards.
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (RottenTomatoes: 80%, Metacritic: 69). Should be a minor hit, but awards prospects are slim regardless. Maybe some tech noms (Visual Effects, Make-up)
Animal Kingdom (RottenTomatoes: 94%, Metacritic: 82). It will probably be too small of a film to gain any serious awards traction, but with reviews like this you never know.
Tales from Earthsea (RottenTomatoes: 41%, Metacritic: 39). The latest from Studio Ghibli (famed for films like Princess Mononoke and the Oscar-nominated Spirited Away) have a rare clunker on their hands. They’ll have to try again if they want another film to get nom’d in the Animated Film category.
August 13, 2010 § Leave a comment
This absolutely stellar one-sheet for the Michael Cera-starrer (which comes out tomorrow) comes courtesy of graphic designer Martin Ansin. And good news if you live in the Austin, Texas area: this and another poster designer by Ansin will be on sale at the Alama Drafthouse South Lamar tomorrow!