Monday, January 31, 2005

Hammerle's Favorites--Revised

To get a sense of the man behind the blog, I've decided to post a list of my 22 all-time favorite films. Ten is too small, and I like too many damn movies to narrow it down. This list is revised from its previous posting because I forgot two films that are essential to this list: Speed and Toy Story. It's not the same without them. Before we get into it though, I'd like to hear which film on this list you agree with the most, and which you disagree with. Also, are there any surprises on this list, i.e., films you didn't think I would like as much as I do? Let the games begin. Here they are, in order:

  1. A Few Good Men
  2. Pulp Fiction
  3. Boogie Nights
  4. Moulin Rouge
  5. JFK
  6. Se7en
  7. Planes, Trains & Automobiles
  8. This is Spinal Tap
  9. Scent of a Woman
  10. Jerry Maguire
  11. Crimson Tide
  12. Who Framed Roger Rabbit?
  13. Raiders of the Lost Ark
  14. Back to the Future
  15. Die Hard
  16. Dr. Strangelove: or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
  17. Speed
  18. Unbreakable
  19. The Matrix
  20. Innerspace
  21. Bad Boys
  22. Toy Story

DVD Watch: 2/1/05

On DVD this week:

Ray (***1/2)
Shall We Dance (**1/2)
Mr. 3000 (**1/2)
Vanity Fair (**)
The Grudge (**)

Watch out Scorsese!

Looks like Clint Eastwood and Million Dollar Baby just dealt a fatal blow to Scorsese's Oscar chances. Eastwood won the DGA award for Best Director. The DGA winner has gone on to win 50 out of 56 times in the past. Looks like a done deal. Change in my Oscar picks: Million Dollar Baby and Eastwood for director. No Hilary Swank. Annette Bening or Imelda Staunton will win Best Actress. Morgan Freeman is taking home Best Supporting Actor still--now more than ever.

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Best and Worst of 2004--Updated!!!

The Best:
  1. The Incredibles
  2. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
  3. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
  4. Hotel Rwanda
  5. Team America: World Police
  6. Spider-Man 2
  7. Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow
  8. Kill Bill Vol. 2
  9. Ray
  10. Collateral

Honorable Mention: Sideways, Mean Girls, House of Flying Daggers, Shrek 2

Most overrated: Fahrenheit 9/11, Kinsey, Hero

Most disappointing: Ocean's Twelve, The Life Aquatic

And The Worst:

  1. Catwoman
  2. Taking Lives
  3. Dogville
  4. De-Lovely
  5. Birth
  6. The Forgotten
  7. Resident Evil: Apocalypse
  8. White Chicks
  9. The Punisher
  10. The Alamo

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Academy Awards Nominations Announced!

Well, it's about that time again: Oscar Season 2005! The nominations were just announced this morning, and though there were no real shocks, there were a few mild surprises. Among them: Alan Alda for Best Supporting Actor in The Aviator; Mike Leigh for Best Director for Vera Drake; and no Paul Giamatti for Best Actor in Sideways. Looks like Clint Eastwood took his place. Clint is nominated for Best Director and Best Actor. Has anyone in the history of the Academy Awards ever won Best Actor and Director at the same time? If not, I don't think Clint will be the one to do it since he's up against Jamie Foxx in Ray. I was also happy to see Don Cheadle get nominated--his first. Also nominated: Morgan Freeman in Million Dollar Baby. Now, Morgan was good in that film, but not as impressive as others. However, Morgan has never won an Academy Award--that's a damn shame, and my money's on him winning this year.

Here's a list of nominees in the big categories and my picks as of today (these are subject to change and probably will). A full list of nominees can be found by clicking on the link. Enjoy!

Best Picture
The Aviator
Finding Neverland
Million Dollar Baby

I was happy to see Ray nominated. I wish Hotel Rwanda was there instead of Finding Neverland. It doesn't matter though: the race is between Aviator, Million Dollar Baby, and Sideways. Aviator has the most nominations (11) and that's usually an indicator of what will win, but I don't think people love that movie enough. My money's on Million Dollar Baby, which got seven nominations total. Plus, its a way to award Clint, since he won't win Director or Actor. Watch for a big push in the weeks ahead. Sideways will probably take Best Adapted Screenplay so don't look for it to win here.

Best Actor
Don Cheadle, Hotel Rwanda
Leonardo DiCaprio, Aviator
Johnny Depp, Finding Neverland
Clint Eastwood, Million Dollar Baby
Jamie Foxx, Ray

This is the one category I really feel strongly about. Jamie Foxx deserves to win, and will win. He is unbelievable in Ray.

Best Actress
Annette Bening, Being Julia
Catalina Sandino Moreno, Maria Full of Grace
Imelda Staunton, Vera Drake
Hilary Swank, Million Dollar Baby
Kate Winslet, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

This looks like it will be a rematch of the '99 Oscars: Bening v. Swank. My money's on Hilary Swank. People love Million Dollar Baby, and who the hell has even seen Being Julia? Plus, Bening's Golden Globes speech sucked. I'd like to see Kate Winslet come in and steal it from the two of them, but I don't think it will happen.

Best Director
Clint Eastwood, Million Dollar Baby
Taylor Hackford, Ray
Alexander Payne, Sideways
Martin Scorsese, Aviator
Mike Leigh, Vera Drake

Finally, I think Martin Scorsese will win Best Director. Eastwood could win, but he's won already for Unforgiven. Scorsese has never won. All of the film's 11 nominations are leading up to this one.

I'll just run down my picks for the rest:
Best Supporting Actor: Morgan Freeman, Million Dollar Baby
Best Supporting Actress: Cate Blanchett, Aviator
Best Adapted Screenplay: Sideways
Best Original Screenplay: Hotel Rwanda
Animated Feature: The Incredibles
Art Direction: Phantom of the Opera
Cinematography: Aviator
Costume: Aviator
Documentary Feature: Born into Brothels
Documentary Short Subject: The Children of Leningradsky
Film Editing: Aviator
Foreign Language Film: The Sea Inside
Make Up: Passion of the Christ
Original Score: Finding Neverland
Original Song: Phantom of the Opera
Short Film (animated): Gopher Broke
Short Film (live action): Little Terrorist
Sound Editing: The Incredibles
Sound Mixing: Aviator
Visual Effects: Spider-Man 2

You heard it here first folks.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Attn: All Polar Express Fans!

Looks like Robert Zemeckis is directing another "performance capture" movie: Beowulf.


This has to be the weirdest idea I've heard in a while. Apparently, Robert DeNiro and Martin Scorsese are in pre-production on a sequel to Taxi Driver. If ever a movie didn't need a sequel, I think its Taxi Driver. Nevertheless, part of me is really curious to see what they come up with. Grandpa Travis Bickle? Mmmm....

Thursday, January 20, 2005

DVD Watch: 1/25/05

Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (***1/2) hits DVD stores on Tuesday, the 25th. It's an awesome adventure film a la Indiana Jones. Very stylized special effects that look cool and retro. Jude Law's best movie last year, and he had a lot of them! Could possibly be the only good movie that Angelina Jolie's been in. Didn't do too well at the box office, but this one should be a big discovery for a lot of folks.

AVP: Alien vs. Predator (**) also comes out. Avoid if you have any fondness for the Alien and/or Predator films.

Jamie Foxx--Best Actor

Looks like Oscar Host Chris Rock is in agreement with me here. He has a lot more power than I do though to give it to the link.

The Jacket poster

Check out these freaky new images from The Jacket starring Adrian Brody and Keira Knightley...and to think, from what I've heard--this movie is this year's The Notebook. Weird.

David Fincher Goes All Se7en Again!

David Fincher is set to direct another serial killer movie. This one's called Zodiac. If it's anything like Se7en, I think we're all in for a treat. Se7en is, in my humble opinion, the best serial killer movie ever made. Period.

In Theaters This Weekend: 1/21/05

Word on the street is that the remake of John Carpenter's Assault on Precinct 13 is that it's a damn fine flick. Lots of exciting action, and Ja Rule's annoyance level is kept to a minimum. Ethan Hawke is supposed to be awesome in it.

Then there's Are We There Yet? I've heard this sucks, and that the funniest thing about it is thinking about its pedigree: "From the director of Beethoven's 2nd, The Flintstones, and Jingle All the Way; and the star of Boyz n the Hood." Somehow the two just don't seem to go together. You're on your own with this one.

Harry Potter Has a New Director

Turns out Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix has a director. No, its not Alfonso Cuaron, who so brilliantly directed Prisoner of Azkaban (my third favorite movie of 2004)--its an unknown: British television director David Yates. I don't know anything he's done, but apparently Warner Bros. must have a huge heap of confidence in the man. The Harry Potter franchise is one of the most important and lucrative out there. Sounds like he's done some music videos though too--so maybe he'll bring something visually interesting to the table. The movie has a new screenwriter too: the guy who wrote that Peter Pan movie a few years back, and the upcoming Where the Wild Things Are (directed by Spike Jonze). Hopefully, he does a good job. I'm guessing that it will just be one film despite the book's massive length. Some heavy duty editing will have to happen. We'll keep our eye on this one.

Superman Cast Revealed!

By now, most people know how the "Superman" cast has panned out. Bryan Singer, director of "X-Men" and "Usual Suspects" is behind the helm. Here are my thoughts.

Brandon Routh is Superman.
Casting an unknown. Good job. He looks the part. I really like what Tom Welling has done w/ the character on Smallville, but I like going into the theater w/o any preconceptions. Let's just hope he doesn't suck like little Anakin Skywalker in Phantom Menace.

Kate Bosworth is Lois Lane.
Interesting. She's a good actress. Pretty. Has yet to really prove herself. But she's blonde. Will she wear a brown wig? A blonde Lois Lane?

Kevin Spacey as Lex Luthor.
I like it. Spacey was great in Beyond the Sea--its his best performance since American Beauty. He's been in a lot of crap lately, but who better than Bryan Singer, the man who directed him to an Oscar in The Usual Suspects, to bring him back to greatness. Plus, he plays a bad ass bald villain--see Se7en.

Hugh Laurie as Perry White.
Another good choice. Good character actor. He's on that Fox show "House" right now.

James Marsden as...Lois Lane love interest
Cyclops. Pretty boy. I wonder how substantial this part will be...

Jackson To Mount Sebold's "Bones"

After King Kong, which will be released in December and should be fantastic, Peter Jackson will adapt and direct Alice Sebold's huge bestseller The Lovely Bones. I read the book, and it seems to be an excellent choice on Jackson's part. It's small scale--unlike Kong and LOTR, but it still has plenty of great visual opportunities. Exciting.