Oct 13, 2015

Movie Review: The Martian [2015]

The Martian
Directed by: Ridley Scott
Written by: Andy Weir (book) Drew Goddard (screenplay)
Runtime: 141 min
Cast: Matt Damon, Jessica ChastainKristen WiigJeff Daniels, Sean BeanKate MaraChiwetel Ejiofor, etc
Nominations: None

RRR8.6/10 Letter-grade: A-

I always get excited for adaptations of my favorite books, just like I did last year. Gone Girl ended up to be my most favorite. Even further, The Perks of Being a Wallflower sneaked in my all time favorite list, just as I rewatched it multiple times. 

The Martian turned out to be an amazing adaptation - as joyful and entertaining as Weir's brilliant work. In fact, I loved most parts of the book, because it was smart, with quirky humor and delightful main character. Andy managed to create the most realistic story about living on Mars, so realistic that you will never cast a doubt on anything he writes. Having said that, there were few parts where a though of skipping couple of pages crossed my mind. Anyways, I read all of it.

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Jun 18, 2015

Bests of TV 2014-2015

Last year I wrapped up the TV season by naming 10 best drama episodes, which was not surprisingly led by The Good Wife's masterful Hitting the Fan. This year, I decided to name favorites in  more categories, party because I've not written here for quite a long time and mostly because I've watched a lot drama series [38 Emmy eligible shows]. Traditionally, I've divided "awards" in drama and comedy category.

I applied minor changes to Emmy rules. First, I consider Shameless as drama and especially current season, which has two major dramatic story lines - Ian's illness and Fiona's marriage/personal issues. Second, I included some guest performers in Supporting actor/actress nominations, because I find it extremely hard to follow or remember most guest performers. For that reason, I did not make top choices in respective categories.

[Huge disclaimer: I have not watched House of Cards S3 yet]
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Mar 2, 2015

Hit Me With Your Best Shot: The Sound of Music

the Film Experience hosts an incredibly interesting post series Hit Me With Your Best Shot that I've been following for quite a long time. Thought it's my first time participating. The series celebrates the great work of directors and cinematographers who succeed to impressively deliver ideas and emotions in a single shot, with colors, sets and masterful camera work.

First movie of the 6th season to watch is The Sound of Music. Despite my great passion with musicals, I've never watched it before. It was three hours of absolute pleasure and I am glad I finally set down for it.

The Sound of Music is a story of Maria (Julie Andrews), an unsettled future to be nun, who extremely loves music, singing and mountains. Unlike to many nuns in abbey, she does not enjoy to obey rules, that keep her in the walls of church. For that reason, she is sent to Von Trapp family to take care of 7 children of Captain Von Trapp (Christopher Plummer), whose wife has recently passed away. To cut it short, Maria brings an unusual joy and happiness to family and she finally falls for Captain

The Sound of Music celebrates music with amazing songs and Ted D. McCord's mind blowing cinematography. I was not an easy job to choose THE one shot, that I could call THE BEST. Before jumping to my choice, here is honorable mention:
It's a scene where Von Trapp family gives a heartwarming singing performance in the name of Austria, during the yearly days of Nazi occupation. Except really beautiful work with lights, I found this shot very significant to what's really going on in this scene. Captain Von Trapp feels disgraced that Austria decided to give up independence without fight and he decides to run away with family. Here, the audience is full of people who actually welcomed Nazi armies. In fact, Von Trapp family is the only one against occupation. What we see here is them being the only people "under light", the rest is as dark as the idea of Nazism itself. As if director Robert Wise wanted to show superiority of Captain's ideas. 
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Feb 19, 2015

3 days until Oscars: 3 Academy Awards record no one will ever break

There are dozens of official Oscar records, by age, number of nominations/wins, for movies, for individuals, etc. Some are recent, some are really old. I find reading articles about those record very entertaining and I know some of them well. Even though, I believe most of them will never be broken due to simple fact that these years are alot more competitive compared to past. However, there are 3 records that will NEVER, EVER be broken. So they are:
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Feb 18, 2015

4 days until Oscars: Actors who can still win their 4th acting Oscar

Katharine Hepburn is the only person to win 4 Oscars in an acting category. Out of 12 total nominations she scored 4 lead actress nod becoming a record holder for most acting win. She is closely followed by 5 actors with 3 wins, of whom 2 are passed away. The rest three (pictured above) still stand a chance to break a record.
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Feb 17, 2015

5 days until Oscars: 5 essential thoughts on Oscar race

5 days left until the big night. I had different plans for today's post, but changed my mind, because of the toughest Oscar race I can remember. I've been predicting The Academy awards for more than 7 year (most of it just sitting home, writing down my choices in my textbook). There has not been an year more unpredictable, even when The Hurt Locker won over Avatar or No Country for Old Men over There Will Be Blood

Accordingly, I have enormous amount of thoughts on future winners, especially in Best Picture and Directing nominations. Here they are:
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Feb 16, 2015

6 days until Oscars: 6 Best Losing Performances

There are exactly 1,322 loser and 344 winner acting performances in 86 years of Oscars. Nevertheless the winners deserved the glory or not, there always have been losing performances that were no less equally good to have their name on that envelope. So, before we add up 16 more losers and 4 winners to these numbers, here is my 6 best performances that lost their battle to other nominees.

The honorable mentions, in alphabetical order:

Bette Davis (All About Eve, 1950) - lost to Judy Holliday in `Born Yesterday`

Robert De Niro (Taxi Driver, 1976) - lost to Peter Finch in `Network`

Al Pacino (Dog Day Afternoon, 1975) - lost to Jack Nicholson in `One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest`

Kate Winslet (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, 2004) - lost to Hilary Swank in `Million Dollar Baby`

So, my top 6 losing performances are:
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