domingo, 26 de febrero de 2012

And the Oscar goes to...

There's no better excuse to resurrect the blog after... (how long it was?!) to talk about the biggest night of cinema: Oscar Night!

Billy Crystal returns!! To me, the best host the Oscars can have. Can't wait to see him back. Been told Cirque du Soleil will perform after their performance post-9/11 Oscars ceremony. Really looking forward to see my boys (even two are presenters and the other is just a wonderful to support his movies noms) and which is the most elegant woman/man of the night. I enjoy fashion, what can I say? LOL
As every year, I tried to watch all the movies nominated and once again, I accomplished this great challenge. YAY! I think it's the best thing you can do if then you wanna actually voice your opinion and ponder if the final winners are the ones deserving it or not.

 So, here are my bets in the main categories and little bit of analysis:

Best Picture

The Artist
The Descendants
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
The Help
Midnight in Paris
The Tree of Life
War Horse

Prediction: The Artist.

I believe The Artist will be the main winner of the night because the movie won the Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild Awards. Plus, the big almighty producer Harvey Weinstein is behind this production. Everybody knows in Hollywood how powerful this man. A very high profile marketing & promotional campaign behind. The Artist is the most original choice of the night. A black & white and mute movie in the 21st Century. Considering that half of the members of the Academy are +60, they would really appreciate this trip back in time. Still, the movie is well constructed, consistant score and Berenice Bejo and Jean Dujardin do a great job in transmitting emotions and keep us interested in the plot.

The Descendants presents a familiar drama, helmed by wonderful George Clooney who has to take care of a dying unfaithful wife and two daughters with whom he didn't really had a very deep paternal connection. The movie accomplishes the taste of moral instilled in all Alexander Payne's movies: Live life intensely, learn to cope with death, learn to love what you have.

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close is a nice movie. A stellar cast there with Tom Hanks, Sandra Bullock and Max Von Sydow. A movie with barely Oscarwatch promotion but with much ado about nothing won 2 noms at the awards. It's a touching story, a boy who loses his father at the 9/11 NYC terrorist attack and afterwards, goes around the city trying to find a lock that matches the key his dad gave him before dying.

The Help happens to be one of my favorite movies of the Awards Season. The cast is just marvellous, all the actresses shine and the dialogues are funny, witty and sparkling. It really makes laugh a lot at some points, specially when nominee Octavia Spencer is around. Nothing funny about the theme touched (The Civil Rights movement of the 60's) in this movie though.

Hugo is a fairytale, in my opinion. I enjoyed it. It's a different Scorsese we're used to see. An homage to the history of cinema. Melies. Paris. A bit slow path, though.

Midnight in Paris is an enjoyable movie. I enjoyed it more than Vicky Cristina Barcelona. (Sorry!) Being able to meet Hewingway, Dali or any other personality from the Golden Age in Paris by a touch of magic is quite appealing to me. Allen's portrait of love relationships are always material to discuss. Paris looks super lovely, as always!

Moneyball is one of the movies I didn't quite enjoy. Sorry for the people who loved it to bits. To me, it's Jerry Maguire in beisbol. It didn't touch my heart, although I must say Brad Pitt's performance is good.

The Tree of Life, that's one some loved and other's hated to death. I'm in between.  Really long movie.

War Horse is not the best Spielberg but it's Spielberg and it's a must-see. Based on a West End production, the movie centers in the strong bond of a boy and his horse Joey, which takes a big part at war. One of the things I loved about the movie is that it's a war movie but there's not a bloodshed, which is something to be appreciated. If you want blood, go see Saving Private Ryan. The photography is just so beautiful, just mindblowing: That wheat field and all the soldiers getting ready to assault. Please, let me just mention the biggest scene-stealer of the movie, a certain outstanding Brit you all know I love and respect. 15 minutes on screen and got the best speech of the movie. Bravo Major Stewart!

Missing Movies: Shame, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Drive.

Best Director

Michel Hazanavicius - The Artist
Alexander Payne - The Descendants
Martin Scorsese - Hugo
Woody Allen - Midnight In Paris
Terrence Malick - The Tree of Life

Prediction: Michel Hazanavicius.

Missing Directors: Steven Spielberg (War Horse), Roman Polanski (Carnage)

Best Actor in A Leading Role

Damián Bichir - A Better Life
George Clooney - The Descendants
Jean Dujardin - The Artist
Gary Oldman - Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Brad Pitt - Moneyball

Prediction: Jean Dujardin

I can't comment of Damián Bichir's performance because I haven't seen his movie but I think I'm not the only one who got surprised by his nomination, considering other more powerful names where sounding.

George Clooney is just so great in The Descendants. Fragile, lovable, worried and with the biggest mission of trying to decipher his daughters. Personally, Clooney is my third winner's choice the winner but Dujardin has better options.

Jean Dujardin's performance is great. Brings back to old Hollywood Gold era and because with no dialogue connects with the audience.

Gary Oldman, the veteran of the list. He's my personal choice. I love Oldman since God was a child. Long overdue at the Oscars, this will be a wonderful time to award him. His performance as George Smiley is powerful, outstanding and elegant. A portrait of a spy pre-James Bond. If I was the one to choose, I'd nominee each one of the actors of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. You can't really tell who's better because all are stellar.

Brad Pitt is ok in Moneyball but as I said before, the movie didn't touched my heart.

Missing actors: Michael Fassbender (Shame), Ryan Gosling (Drive)

Best Actress in A Leading Role

Glenn Close - Albert Nobbs
Viola Davis - The Help
Rooney Mara - The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Meryl Streep - The Iron Lady
Michelle Williams - My Week With Marilyn

Prediction: Meryl Streep

Glenn Close tries her best in Albert Nobbs but she doesn't convince me. Starts strong but at the end, it's so weak. It's a pity because Close is such a magnificent actress.

Viola Davis is simply fantastic in The Help. Strong performance, friendly to the audience and to me, it's the other winner if Streep doesn't win. 

I'm in the group who really liked Rooney Mara as Lisbeth Salander. Strong, totally believable and cool, at times. Impossible not to point out the great chemistry with fantastic Daniel Craig. The loss of weight, accent, body piercing and compromising scenes in the movie are reason enough to appreciate her job. Not Oscar worthy but you gotta say it was a great job.

Meryl Streep or The Perfect Actress. We all love Streep at home. Give her a drama, a musical, a comedy and she's always superb. Her performance as Margaret Thatcher is impecable. The best rendition the politician could have. Academy is about time, you give the statuette after a decade of many nominations and no wins. Golden Globes, Baftas, Screen Actors Guild show her love, now it's your time. It'll be a standing ovation if that happens, guaranteed!

Michelle Williams is becoming a recurrent in these leads. Last year, she was nominated for her super job in Blue Valentine and this year, resurrects that blonde bombshell called Marilyn Monroe. I really enjoyed her performance but her competition is stronger.

Missing actresses: Tilda Swinton (We Need To Talk About Kevin), Jodie Foster & Kate Winslet (Carnage)

Best Actor in A Supporting Role

Kenneth Branagh - My Week With Marilyn
Jonah Hill - Moneyball
Nick Nolte - Warrior
Christopher Plummer - Beginners
Max Von Sydow - Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

Prediction: Christopher Plummer

I would love Kenneth Branagh to win. He's just a fantastic actor, good at everything he does. He's the perfect encarnation of Sir Laurence Olivier in the movie and every interaction with Marilyn Monroe is just priceless. Moreover, he happens to be another actor he didn't not have Oscar love and I think it's about time.

I don't have to say much about Jonah Hill. His nomination surprised me because I think there are actors who deserved his spot more than him, but that's just me. Guess this nomination proves that he can also do drama after so much comedy in his career.

Nick Nolte or how to show how my past was in a movie. An ex-alcoholic boxing trainer tries to reconnect with his two boxer sons. There are tears, arguments, breakdowns. Nolte is a veteran for the Academy and he deserved to be nominated in his comeback.

A word to define Christopher Plummer in Beginners is sensational. You instantly fall in love with his character once you meet him. A gay man in his 70's who confesses his son, Ewan McGregor, his sexual orientation once he discovers he's dying of cancer. 

And another veteran in this category is Max Von Sydow. When silences speak more than words.

Missing actors: Christoph Waltz (Carnage)

Best Actress in A Supporting Role

Bérénice Bejo - The Artist
Jessica Chastain - The Help
Melissa McCarthy - Bridesmaids
Janet McTeer - Albert Nobbs
Octavia Spencer - The Help

Prediction: Octavia Spencer

Bérénice Bejo is just adorable in The Artist. She's articulate with her body and as well as his partner, Dujardin, connects with the audience instantly. We all wanna be Peppy!

Jessica Chastain is one of the busiest actress in Hollywood, that's not a doubt! Playing the naive Celia, she's one of the scene-stealers of the movie. A vulnerable and humble woman trying her best to pursue the American dream.

Melissa McCarthy is the soul of Bridesmaids. Simply hilarious! Nice to see a comedy actress being nominated at the Oscars, where drama envolves it all.

Knockout performance of Janet McTeer but a bad year to be nominated.

There's nothing not to love of Octavia Spencer in The Help. Outstanding, witty, funny and a woman who fights for hers and her community. Never a pie full of shit had such an hilarious response. 

Missing actresses: Bryce Dallas Howard (The Help), Carey Mulligan (Shame)

Let's see how many of my predix come true! My gut says it'll be a very French night! Oh, la la! Enjoy!

sábado, 31 de diciembre de 2011

My 2011 In Movies

I think this year I have seen more movies than in 2010. YAY!!! Counting, counting... 153 movies, all new releases. Some were excellent, some were OK, some were really forgetable! 44 more than last year. Not bad!

Here's the list, how many have u seen?

127 Hours
A Dangerous Method
Albert Nobbs
Angels' Crest
Another Year
Arthur Christmas
Apollo 18
Bad Teacher
Balada Triste de Trompeta
Battle: Los Angeles
Blue Valentine
Bringing Home Ashley
Brooklyn's Finest
Breaking Dawn P. 1
Captain America: The First Avenger
Cinco Metros Cuadrados
Country Strong
Cowboys & Aliens
Crazy Stupid Love
Don't Be Afraid of the Dark
Dream House
Faces in the Crowd
Fair Game
Fast Five
Final Destination 5
Friends with Benefits
Fright Night
Fuga de Cerebros 2: Ahora en Harvard
Habemus Papam
Happy Feet 2
Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows P.2
Horrible Bosses
How do you know...?
I Am Number Four
I Don't Know How She Does It
In Time

J. Edgar
Jack & Jill
Jane Eyre
Johnny English Returns
Just Go With It
Killer Elite
La Piel Que Habito
La Voz Dormida
Larry Crowne
Last Night
Le Premier Cercle
Les Émotifs Anonymes
Les Petits Mouchoirs
Like Crazy
Lo Contrario al Amor
London Boulevard
Love and Other Drugs
Manuale d'Amore 3
Margin Call
Martha Mary May Marlene
Mientras Duermes
Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol
Morning Glory
Midnight in Paris
New Year's Eve
No Habrá Paz Para los Malvados
No Strings Attached
One Day
Paranormal Activity 3
¿Para qué sirve un oso?
Perfect Sense
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
Puss In Boots
Real Steel
Red Riding Hood
Scream 4
Shark Night
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
Sleeping Beauty
Something Borrowed
Soul Surfer
Source Code
Spy Kids: All the Time in the World
Straw Dogs
Super 8
The Adjustment Bureau
The Adventures of Tintin
The Beaver
The Collector
The Conspirator
The Change Up
The Debt
The Fighter
The Green Hornet
The Green Lantern
The Help
The Hungover II
The Idus of March
The King's Speech
The Muppets
The Perfect Host
The Resident
The Romantics
The Roomate
The Rum Diary
The Smurfs
The Son of No One
The Three Musketeers
The Tree of Life
The Whistleblower
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
Torrente 4: Lethal Crisis
Tower Heist
Transformers 3: The Dark Side of the Moon
Tres Metros Sobre el Cielo
True Grit
Water For Elephants
We Need To Talk About Kevin
What's Your Number?
X-Men: First Generation

jueves, 30 de diciembre de 2010

My 2010 In Movies

So, 2010 is living its last hours and there's been plenty of cinema this year. I must say the quality hasn't been really good, in my opinion. Too many sequels, superheroes and all that stuff that I've watched anyways (sometimes really wanting the movie to finish, I confess), LOL. Still, I miss quality and stories that move my spirit and make me think. Hollywood needs talented writers!! They exist but they are not given a chance! Take some risks sometimes! I'm one of those people who like to put in the main character's shoes. I like to cry, smile, feel nervous, frightened or laugh when I'm told a story. That hasn't happened much this year, that's why I'm making this reflection.

109, I've counted. Not bad considering there are 365 days in a year. Let's surpass this mark in 2011! My fave films of the years, um, clearly Inception, Black Swan, A Single Man, Rabbit Hole. A bit of Downey Jr, Cruise, Brosnan and Streep always make me happy. Weaknesses that one has.

Here's the list, how many have you seen?

Sherlock Holmes
Up In The Air
The Lovely Bones
It's Complicated
Leap Year
The Fourth Side
Did You Hear About The Morgans?
Love Happens
The Stepfather
Percy Jackson and The Lightening Thief
Shutter Island
Crazy Heart
Alice in Wonderland
Green Zone
Dear John
Remember Me
The Back Up Plan
Date Night
Spanish Movie
Iron Man 2
The Crazies
Letters To Juliet
The Losers
The New Daughter
Sex And The City 2
Knight & Day
Grown Ups
Shrek Forever After
The Ghostwriter
Nanny Mcphee and The Big Bang
The Sorcerer's Apprentice
The Greatest
Kick Ass
The Private Lives of Pippa Lee
Toy Story 3
The Bounty Hunter
Prince of Persia
Despicable Me
The Joneses
El Mal Ajeno
The A Team
The Rebound
Dinner For Schmucks
New York, I Love You
Paris, Je T'Aime
The Switch
The Expendables
I Love You Philip Morris
Piranha 3D
Fantastic Mr. Fox
Resident Evil 3D: Afterlife
The American
The Last Exorcism
Repo Men
Going The Distance
Eat, Pray, Love
Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps
A Single Man
The Social Network
Saw 3D
Paranormal Activity 2
The Kids Are All Right
Due Date
Harry Potter and the Deathly Shadows: Part 1
Didi Hollywood
Rabbit Hole
The Next Three Days
The Tourist
Life As We Know It
Tron: Legacy
Black Swan
The Extra Man
For Coloured Girls
Little Fockers
Every Dat
Los Ojos de Julia
Never Let Me Go
I'm Still Here
The Town
Let Me In
You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger

martes, 14 de diciembre de 2010

Golden Globes Nominations: What it is and what it should have been?

So, the Golden Globes nominations have been announced and I'm so happy to see that my predictions were very close to reality. There were some surprises, though. Let's compare what I said yesterday and what happened today.

My predix in drama movies:  Black Swan, 127 Hours, Rabbit Hole, The King's Speech, Inception, The Social Network and The Fighter.

Official nominees in drama movies: Black Swan, The Fighter, Inception, The King's Speech and The Social Network.

* My predix of Rabbit Hole and 127 Hours have not been included but it's normal, the category is for five movies only. I would have put Rabbit Hole instead of The Fighter or The Social Network. The rest have been what I said it would.

My predix in comedy/musical movies: The Kids Are Alright, Love and Other Drugs, Due Date, Easy A.

Official nominees in comedy/musical movies: Alice in Wonderland, Burlesque, The Kids Are All Right, Red, The Tourist.

* Super surprised by this category, two action movies have been included in a comedy category where Easy A, Love and Other Drugs and Due Date should have been. Alice in Wonderland is a good choice but Burlesque is definitely not. Thank God, The Kids Are Alright has been included.

My predix in drama actresses: Natalie Portman, Nicole Kidman, Helena Bonham Carter

Official lead & supporting drama actress nominees: Halle Berry, Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Lawrence, Natalie Portman, Michelle Williams, Amy Adams, Helena Bonham Carter, Mila Kunis, Melissa Leo & Jacki Weaver

*The three names I proposed are in the list. I'm happy with this category, they all deserve it. The only name that troubles me is Halle Berry. Don't know if she should have been nominated.

My predix in comedy actress nominees: Julianne Moore, Annette Bening, Anne Hathaway, Emma Stone

Official comedy actress nominees: Annette Bening, Anne Hathaway, Angelina Jolie, Emma Stone.

*My four choices were included. Angelina's nominees was unexpected. She's a great actress but she doesn't deserve it for The Tourist. I think Anne Hathaway should have had a double nom: one for Love and Other Drugs and the other for Alice in Wonderland.

My predix in drama actor nominees: James Franco, Aaron Eckhart, Colin Firth, Javier Bardem

Official lead & supporting drama actor nominees: Jesse Eisenberg, Colin Firth, James Franco, Ryan Gosling, Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, Michael Douglas, Andrew Garfield, Jeremy Renner, Geoffrey Rush

*2 of my four were included. I cannot believe Aaron Eckhart was left out. He should have taken Jesse Eisenberg's nomination. Happy for Ryan Gosling, Michael Douglas and Geoffrey Rush. Michael Douglas was better in the first Wall Street but as always, awards take pity to the ones who are sick. Shouldn't be that way but every single time happens the same. Take the example of Michael C. Hall last year. And Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale, whoa, really??

My predix in comedy actor nominees: Robert Downey Jr.

Official nominees in comedy actor nominees: Johnny Depp, Johnny Depp, Paul Giamatti, Jake Gyllenhaal, Kevin Spacey.

* Must say that Depp's nomination for Alice in Wonderland is understandable but the second for The Tourist isn't. That one should have been taken by Robert Downey Jr, who was super hilarious in Due Date. Giamatti, Gyllenhaal and Spacey are good choices.

Now, on TV, the old family reunited again. It was predictable!
My predix in drama series: Mad Men, True Blood, Boardwalk Empire, Lost.
Official predix in drama series: Boardwalk Empire, Dexter, The Good Wife, Mad Men, The Walking Dead

*Very deserved nomination for The Good Wife. 2 of my predix were in. Happy not to see True Blood because as I said yesterday, the past season wasn't really good.

My predix in comedy series: Glee, Modern Family

Official predix in comedy series: 30 Rock, Glee, Modern Family, The Big Bang Theory, The Big C, Nurse Jackie.

*No complains here. It is what it was supposed to me.

My predix in lead drama actress: Julianna Margulies, Anna Paquin

Official nominees in lead & supporting drama actress: Julianna Margulies, Piper Perabo, Elisabeth Moss, Katey Sagal, Kyra Sedwick, Hope Davis, Kelly McDonald and Julia Stiles

*Nice to see that Anna Paquin is not in the list because as I said yesterday, Sookie is annoying. Kyra Sedwick had to be there and more now that The Closer has been cancelled. Thumbs up for Julianna and Elisabeth but Piper Perabo?? Excuse me? I must say that I like Covert Affairs and Piper Perabo but not in a way that it should be considered in awards. Covert Affairs is not Alias, just as Piper Perabo is not Jennifer Garner. Sorry but that Perabo's spot should have been for Anna Torv.

My predix in comedy actress: Laura Linney, Jane Lynch, Sofia Vergara.

Official predix in lead & supporting comedy actress: Toni Collette, Edie Falco, Tina Fey, Laura Linney, Lea Michele, Sofia Vergara, Jane Lynch

*Same group as last year, no complains.

My predix in drama actor:  Hugh Laurie, Jon Hamm, Michael C.Hall

Official nominees in lead & supporting drama actor: Steve Buscemi, Bryan Cramston, Michael C.Hall, Jon Hamm, Hugh Laurie, Chris Noth, Scott Caan and David Strathairn.

*The family of lead drama actors reunites again. Nice to see Hugh again, it was a relief because wasn't so sure. Noth, Caan and Strathairn really deserve their nomination as supporting actors. Happy overrall.

My predix in comedy actor: Eric Stonestreet

Official nominees in lead & supporting comedy actor: Alec Baldwin, Matthew Morrison, Steve Carell, Jim Parsons, Thomas Jane, Chris Colfer, Eric Stonestreet.

*As in dramatic actor, the same old family joins again. Hello Thomas Jane!

I miss nominations!! Fringe and Lost deserved some! At least to Terry O'Quinn and Michael Emerson. Maybe the Emmy....

lunes, 13 de diciembre de 2010

Reflections Pre Golden Globe Nominations

It's been a month since my last entry (I still have three or more articles pending about Undercovers, I feel bad about it but the show's already cancelled, what's the point then?) and I've been repressing myself because I have so much to say and very little time to sit down and write without rush. Believe me, I've sit in front of the computer many times these past weeks but when I was beginning to map something up, my mind went back to all the things I had pending to do. (Never underestimate the great power of the brain!). Now, I'm about to start my xmas holidays and I have less stuff to do, that's why you are all reading these lines. LOL

The thing is that tomorrow are the Golden Globes nominations and I couldn't be more excited about it. You may think, why's that? You're not even an actress? True, it's true (although I've been an actress in dreams, LOL) but I'm a massive consumer of cinema, I like to know who's doing what and with whom and believe me, every single day I'm discovering more and more interesting stuff about this business thanks to the master's degree I'm doing and dear friends who are near this fascinating world that my love for cinema is like a great and true love story.

So, why do I like the Golden Globes? To me, it's the most spontaneous award show ever. Everybody all together at Beverly Hills Hotel' dining room, having some drinks, eating, chit-chatting, gossiping, standing out to say hello to friends who are on the side of the room. You can see all that from home (yeah, we're peeping tom!) and you comment to your sofa partner how wonderful that dress Anne Hathaway is wearing or how well Hugh Laurie wears his tux (which is true!) or you can't believe your eyes when you see Brad whispering Angie something or George Clooney giving a hug to Julia Roberts. You don't see stars there but normal people hanging out. It's an annual night where everybody sees everybody because otherwise, they won't see each other. Kinda like X-Mas when all the family is all together. It's NOT AT ALL a tight show like the Academy Awards are. I think if the Academy Awards introduced a little sparkle of this spontaneous interaction, people at home and at the Kodak Theater would enjoy it a whole more. Because, let's be honest, the Academy Awards are boring! Another reason why I love this awards is because the Hollywood Foreign Press Association gives them and they tend to be very fair. I've been watching these awards for 10 years and I've never felt disappointed. They award people wisely.

The host, this year, will also be Ricky Gervais, who was absolutely great. What can I say? I love witty dark British humour. Every single time he appeared on stage, he took a sip to his beer and bam! great joke. He really can't shut his mouth, he likes flattering people but also say what other people don't dare in a way that 98% of the people would enjoy and the rest would feel offended.

I won't be able to get my predictions 100% but taking into account what I've seen and what I've read, my predictions will be kinda close. So, here are some names that I expect to be called tomorrow.

In movies, Black Swan, 127 Hours, Rabbit Hole (this is a personal choice! even though the movie hasn't been considered in its whole), The King's Speech, Inception and The Social Network (telling you the truth, I'm an avid Facebooker but the movie was kinda blah! to me, don't get why critics think is that good). The Fighter with Mark Wahlberg is getting a lot of buzz but what's the point? Didn't we have The Wrestler two years ago? Sounds like an old story to me. That's in drama. In comedy, The Kids Are Alright, Love and Other Drugs, Due Date, Easy A.

As for actors: Natalie Portman, James Franco, Nicole Kidman, Aaron Eckhart (that's another personal choice), Colin Firth, Javier Bardem, Helena Bonham Carter, Julianne Moore and Annette Bening (although both have done better performances). Probably Anne Hathaway, Emma Stone and Roberth Downey Jr.

I think in the TV category, the same old family will be reunited again and a couple of newbies will get in. Glee, Mad Men, Modern Family (which will win!), True Blood (even though, I think this season doesn't deserve it ), Boardwalk Empire, Lost. Sadly, I have the feeling my dear and loved Hugh Laurie won't get his sixth nomination but I want to be wrong. He already has two GG, can't complain at all but it's always nice to see him win because he deserves and his acceptance speeches are awesome. He's such a SUPERB actor. Jon Hamm, Michael C.Hall, Julianna Margulies, Laura Linney, Jane Lynch, Sofia Vergara, Eric Stonestreet and probably Anna Paquin (although, I must say Sookie Stackhouse is becoming more and more annoying). Please, I'd like to see some Lost nomination, I think it's appropiate and please, give Anna Torv some love. She's fantastic in Fringe, one of the greatest series on TV these days that FOX refuses the good treatment it deserves.

Let's see if my intuition gets close to reality or not tomorrow....

domingo, 14 de noviembre de 2010

TV Review: Undercovers - "Assassin"

"Article first published as "TV Review: Undercovers - "Assassin"" on"

First of all, let me apologise for writing the review of the Undercovers episode "Assassin" two weeks after it aired. Still, the episode is worth exploring.

In this new adventure, Agents Samantha (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) and Steven (Boris Bodjoe) Bloom must travel to Lima (Peru) in order to prevent the assassination of the new president of the country, Alberto Loya.

The opening teaser shows us Steven aiming a gun and ready to shoot the president of Peru but, wait a minute, wasn't Steven a good guy? At this point, the episode goes backwards so we can all get an explanation to why Steven is in this situation. This strategy of storytelling was greatly used in Alias as well. I think it's a good cliffhanger for the audience.

As in every episode, we get to know how the Bloom Catering is doing. This week, the catering's new client is Jennifer Anthony, an old friend of Sam's who opens Pandora's Box again when she mentions a former college professor with whom Sam had a special friendship.

Agent Shaw (Gerald McRaney) pays his weekly visit to the store so he can debrief the couple about their new mission. Shaw tells them about Victor Guzman, a very dangerous hitman who was recently caught by the authorities and who had confessed he was hired by a guy called Ivanov to assassinate Loya.

Sam infiltrates in a junket as a reporter in order to talk with Loya and warn him about being in danger. Like in almost all J.J Abrams' productions, Abrams likes to give small roles to friends or actors who have previously worked with the director. Here, the familiar face is David Anders. Probably if I say he played Sark in Alias, you'd quickly remember him, right?

After the meeting in Lima, the team travels to Rio so Sam could get important data related to Loya and Steven could approach Ivanov and take Guzman's job as he's "dead" - actually Guzman is imprisoned but that's the lie Steven tells to Ivanov. I think now you understand why Steven was aiming that gun at the beginning of the episode.

Thanks to Leo's (Carter MacIntyre) hookup with a member of Loya's administration, we get to know the real (oil) enemies of the politician. Then, the story suddenly takes a twist when Sam gets captured and we realize that the enemy targered by the agents is not who they thought he was.

At the end of the episode, the president and Peru are saved thanks to the team. We again are hinted about the possibility of a romance between Leo and Lizzy (Mekia Cox) as they seem to have very good chemistry together and Sam confesses to Steven the reason why she left the agency. At last, we get to know a little bit of her past!! Too bad, it's so late, because the show won't run for much longer.

NBC announced the cancellation of Undercovers days ago. Don't you find it a bit contradictory? I mean, a few weeks ago, the network ordered nine more scripts and now, the idea has been revoked. I feel bad for the cast and crew because new plots and roles were announced. There are three more episodes pending before we say a definite goodbye to the Blooms & Co, so stay tuned!

viernes, 5 de noviembre de 2010

Five Movies That Scream Oscar Buzz

"Article first published as Five Movies That Scream Oscar Buzz on"

Fall is a season I particularly dislike but when it comes to cinema, it represents the very best of the year. Fall season seems to be the time of the year when big studios reveal the greatest treasures they have been working and hiding for months. It also means the beginning of the award season - at least, when it comes to nominations.

In my opinion, 2010 has generally lacked of strong and powerful movies. So, I really hope the last months of the year contribute to great quality. I know there are plenty of offers coming up but here's a short selection of movies I can bet they'd be considered for the Oscar race.

1. The King's Speech by Tom Hooper (Nov. 26th)

Last year's Oscar contender Colin Firth seems to want to return to the Oscar race this year, not as a single man but as king, as George VI of Britain, to be exact in Tom Hooper's The King's Speech. The movie is centered on George VI's sudden ascension to the throne and his constant struggle to overcome his insecurities. Presented in many film festivals such as Telluride, Toronto or London, the cast is completed with Helena Bonham Carter, who plays George VI's wife, Queen Elizabeth; Michael Gambon, Geoffrey Rush and Guy Pearce. A very big and talented British cast in a history drama. The Queen's Helen Mirren reigned the Oscars in 2007; will Firth be crowned best actor this year?

2. The Kids Are All Right by Lisa Cholodenko (in theaters)

Annette Bening and Julianne Moore play a long time and loving lesbian couple with two children conceived by artificial insemination in this dramedy that has delighted critics since it was presented in Sundance. Children are curious by nature, there's no doubt about that! So, what do you think is going to happen when they look for their father (Mark Ruffalo) and decide to bring him to the family life?. This is not American Beauty but the Academy tend to like family issues. Plus, I think it's about time that both Bening and Moore get recognized after many nominations for the golden statuette.

3. Black Swan by Darren Aronofsky (Dec. 3rd)

This movie has travelled all over the world and has visited the most prestigious film festivals you can imagine. In Black Swan, director Darren Aronofsky turns Natalie Portman into a ballerina haunted and pressured by a new dancer (Mila Kunis) who wants to snatch her spot in the ballet company's new production. This fight for the precious spot leads Portman to a deep and dark turmoil we haven't seen the actress portraying before.

4. Rabbit Hole by John Cameron Mitchell (Dec.17th)
I'm really excited about this movie because I think it'll represent Nicole Kidman's comeback to drama; to her best, strong and almost flawless performance level she used to give us years ago in movies like The Others, The Hours, and Eyes Wide Shut. Based on David Lindsay-Abaire's play, the story revolves around a young happy couple (Kidman and Aaron Eckhart), whose life is turned upside down after their son dies in an accident. I haven't seen the movie yet but it seems the movie is not only centered on the grief and helplessness of losing a child but also on how a marriage is affected by such loss. A very delicate matter and by the trailer, we can see all the cast is giving very heartfelt performances.

5. 127 Hours by Danny Boyle (Dec. 22nd)

Slumdog Millionaire gave success and excellent recognition to Danny Boyle, will the same happen to 127 Hours? Based on a true story, the movie focuses on Aron Ralston (James Franco), a young fearless climber who gets trapped under a boulder in Utah and resorts to very desperate measures in order to stay alive. This is a story about survival - we are Aron's company during those terrible 127 Hours and we suffer with him - but also about how extreme situations could make us re-examine our lives and look for things to improve if we are able to move on safe and sound.

Other contenders: Inception by Christopher Nolan, Biutiful by Alejandro Gonzalez Iñarritu, Somewhere by Sofia Coppola, The Social Network by David Fincher and True Grit by Joel & Ethan Coen.

What do you think of these movies? Which one are you really looking forward to watch? Share your thoughts!