Oscar nominations announced tomorrow!!

Although there’s still 46 days left until the 86th Academy Awards (March 2, 7e/4p on ABC), we only have to wait ONE more day until the nominations are announced (!!!).

Last year I tried to see as many Oscar-nominated films as I possibly could before the Oscars aired, and I am going to attempt the same thing again this year (hopefully with a better outcome). Some of the nominated films will still be playing in theatres, but for those that are not, I will do my best to share with you what outlets these nominated films will be available (Netflix, Redbox, On Demand, etc).  If anyone is able to add to the list, please do!

Check out my blog tomorrow as I will be posting the Oscar nominations on FJ!

Happy Wednesday, and look forward to my review of Her (will be posted today).

-FJ

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71st Golden Globes

The 71st Golden Globes was on this past Sunday.  Here are some of my thoughts on the show…

1) I was a little shocked by all the awards “American Hustle” won.  Like I said in my review of the film, I didn’t dislike it, but I didn’t think it was great enough to win an award for Best Picture. I am a fan of Jennifer Lawrence, but I will admit, I was shocked when she won the award for Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture.

2) I am so happy Jared Leto won for Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture.  He more than deserved it.  His performance in “Dallas Buyers Club” was amazing.

3) I am so glad Bryan Cranston won for Best Actor in a TV Series, Drama.  Same goes for Breaking Bad‘s win for Best TV Series, Drama.  Bryan Cranston was incredible as Walter White, and Breaking Bad was a great series.

4) I couldn’t help but be shocked by both of Brooklyn Nine-Nine‘s wins.  By the reactions of the cast and crew, I think they shared the same sense of shock.  Good for the underdog, though.

5) Most Awkward Award Speech goes to Jacqueline Bisset, hands down.

6) My picks for Worst Dressed: Drew Barrymore, Julia Roberts, Jennifer Lawrence, Caitlin FitzGerald, Jacqueline Bisset, Paula Patton, Melissa McCarthy.

7) My picks for Best Dressed: Elisabeth Moss, Sandra Bullock, Amy Adams, Zooey Deschanel, Margot Robbie, Naomi Watts.

8) Bono needs to stop wearing sunglasses everywhere he goes.

9) Why were Usher and P. Diddy there?

10) Tina Fey and Amy Poehler did a great job hosting.  There is no need for 20-minute musical numbers during a 3-hour award show.  They had the right amount of jokes, I thought.

11) I’m glad “The Great Beauty” won for Best Foreign Language Film.  It was the only film I’ve seen from the category, but it’s definitely worth watching.  A little long, but a cool film.

What did you guys think about the Golden Globes this year?  Anyone you wanted to win who didn’t?  Any films you were surprised won?  Let me know your thoughts!

Have a great Tuesday.

-FJ

Review: American Hustle

FJ Rating: Renter

Cast: Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Jeremy Renner, Louis C.K.

Director: David O. Russell

R, 2 hr 9 min

American Hustle” tells the story of con man Irving Rosenfeld (Christian Bale), who finds himself caught between his unpredictable wife, Rosalyn (Jennifer Lawrence), and his mistress/charming partner Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams). After being caught by FBI agent Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper), the two are forced to work together with the FBI to help take down some of Jersey’s most powerful political figures, one being the mayor of Camden, New Jersey (Jeremy Renner).

I didn’t dislike “American Hustle,” but I didn’t leave the theatre ranting and raving about the film either.  If I’m being honest, I thought it was okay.  This may have been partly due to the fact that so many people have been putting it on such a high pedestal, that it just didn’t live up to the expectations I had for it.  The film felt slow to me at times, and I did catch myself wondering how much time was left towards the end.

As for the performances, I will start out by saying I am a big fan of Jennifer Lawrence.  So many people raved about Jennifer Lawrence’s performance in “American Hustle” and I guess I just didn’t get it.  I didn’t find anything exceptionally special about her performance in the film.  I thought she was great in “Winter’s Bone” and “Silver Linings Playbook,” and is perfect for her role as Katniss in “The Hunger Games” films, but I just wasn’t fully-satisfied this time around.  As for everyone else, I thought Christian Bale was great – the look and feel of his character was very convincing.  I thought Amy Adams was great as well – one of her more impressive roles to date.  Bradley Cooper’s performance was pretty good, and Jeremy Renner was so-so.  Overall, I thought the film was entertaining but a little too long.

Check Fandango to see where “American Hustle” is playing in your area.

Have a great weekend, FFLs!  Lots of posts to come in the next few days following my absence.

-FJ

Guess who’s back, back again

Happy Friday, FFLs!

Due to the craziness that surrounded the holidays this year (and the fact that I got engaged on December 17th!!!), I got sidetracked and put off posting to Film Junkette for far, far too long. BUT, I am back!  So many reviews to post about, so let’s get to it!

Review: Cutie and the Boxer

FJ Rating: Big Screener/Renter

Cast: Ushio Shinohara, Noriko Shinohara, Alex Shinohara, Ethan Cohen

Director: Zachary Heinzerling

R, 1 hr 22 min

Ushio and his artist wife, Noriko, struggle to make ends meet in New York City.  Known as the renowned “boxing” painter, Ushio treats his wife more like his personal assistant, putting his needs before hers.  After 40-years of marriage, Noriko decides it’s finally time to put her talent and independence at the forefront.

Cutie and the Boxer” is a film about love and sacrifice.  The film really gives its audience a deeper look into the struggles and hardships that come with marriage.  For most of their 40-year marriage, Noriko has been more of a personal assistant/cook/maid to Ushio than the hardworking, talented wife that she is.  Throughout the film, the roles change and Noriko begins to establish her own independence and sense of self through her art.  “Cutie and the Boxer” is eye-opening, funny, and will make you reflect on what’s important in your life.

Check Fandango to see if “Cutie and the Boxer” is playing in your area.  If it isn’t being shown in your area, you can rent or buy it on Amazon or iTunes.

-FJ

Gravity companion short: Aningaaq

For those of you who have seen “Gravity,” you’ll definitely want to check this out.

Jonas Cuarón, the son of “Gravity” director Alfonso Cuarón, wrote and directed a beautifully done short film that gives viewers a look into the other side of Dr. Ryan Stone’s distress call in “Gravity.”  Also a co-writer of “Gravity,” Jonas Cuarón’s short film could potentially be up for an Oscar nomination at the 86th Academy Awards next year (nominations will be announced on January 16, 2014).  And according to The Hollywood Reporter, if both “Aningaaq” and “Gravity” are nominated for an Oscar, it would be the first time in history that a film and its spin-off are up for a nomination in the same year.

Click on the link below to watch the full short film (7 min 8 sec):

The Hollywood Reporter: Aningaaq

-FJ

Review: Gravity

FJ Rating: Big Screener

Cast: Sandra Bullock, George Clooney

Director: Alfonso Cuarón

PG-13, 1 hr 31 min

Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) is a medical engineer on her first shuttle mission.  Teamed with composed veteran astronaut Matt Kowalsky (George Clooney), all hell breaks loose when their shuttle is hit by debris.  Losing all communication to Earth, the struggle to return home becomes their newest, most important mission of their lives.

First off, I need to admit that I’m extremely disappointed in myself for not having seen this in IMAX 3D when it was available to me.  Epic fail.  However, I did see it in regular 3D (phew!). I must say, I really enjoyed it.  I was nervous, with my feet up on my chair, hands up near my mouth out of worry, and I even forgot at times that I had a free popcorn waiting for me to munch on (compliments of Marcus Theatres’ Free Popcorn Tuesdays – see below!).

Sandra Bullock’s character is on her first shuttle mission, and although she’s gone through extensive training, I still felt like I was on my first shuttle mission right alongside her.  I felt what she felt – nervousness, worry, frustration, fear.  In my opinion, this role really proved what Sandra Bullock is capable of and I will be shocked if she isn’t nominated for an Oscar (among other awards). Although George Clooney didn’t have as much screen time as Sandra Bullock, the time he was on screen impressed me as much as it possibly could.  The story focuses more on Sandra Bullock’s character anyways, so if you’re planning to see “Gravity” in hopes to see sexy astronaut George Clooney steal the show, don’t get your hopes up.

As for the film itself, critics can go on and on about how certain details of the film weren’t realistic or possible, but I guess I see things in a different light.  I don’t get all technical when watching a film.  I share my opinions based on whether or not the film was enjoyable and the acting up to a certain bar.  If a film is a drama, I want to feel sadness and pain and sympathy while watching it.  If a film is a comedy, I want to laugh and be entertained.  If a film is an action film, I want to be on the edge of my seat and feel my heart beating faster and faster.  These are all the things I take into consideration when giving my opinion of a film.  With that being said, I enjoyed “Gravity.”  I thought the graphics were phenomenal, Sandra Bullock did a great job, and it kept my attention.  I must admit that the film is more graphics than an extensive storyline, so my only piece of advice would be to see “Gravity” in 3D.

MONEY SAVER: Check “Gravity” out while it’s still playing at a Marcus Theatres near you.  Marcus Theatres’ newest promotion lets you see ANY movie for $5 on Tuesdays.  If you want to see a movie in 3D, it’s only a few dollars more.  Not only that, but Tuesdays through December you also get a free 44 oz. popcorn.  That means you could go see “Gravity” in 3D and get a 44 oz. popcorn for next to nothing.  Take advantage of it!

I’m not sure how much longer “Gravity” will be in theatres, so check Fandango to see where “Gravity” is playing in your area.

-FJ

Review: Dallas Buyers Club

FJ Rating: Renter

Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Jared Leto, Jennifer Garner, Steve Zahn

Director: Jean-Marc Vallée

R, 1 hr 57 min

It’s 1985 in Dallas, Texas, and Ron Woodroof (Matthew McConaughey) has just been told he’s HIV+.  Homophobic and uneducated about the disease, Ron’s initial reaction is denial.  Given 30 days to live, he eventually comes to the realization that his diagnosis is probably true and he begins doing research of his own.  After quite a few unsuccessful attempts at smuggling non-FDA approved drugs from Mexico into Texas, Ron starts up a Buyers Club with Rayon (Jared Leto), an HIV+ transvestite he meets while in the hospital.

I’ll start off by admitting I thought Jared Leto made this film.  Jared Leto played the frail HIV+ transvestite, Rayon, who meets Matthew McConaughey’s character in the hospital.  Rayon is free-spirited, flirtatious, sometimes coy, and the drug addict/business partner of Ron Woodroof. Jared Leto did an excellent job at his portrayal of Rayon.  I think it’s safe to say he will definitely be on the nominee list for Actor in a Supporting Role for the 86th Academy Awards (which will air March 2, 2014, so mark your calendars!).  I’m sure Matthew McConaughey will also be nominated for an Oscar – for Actor in a Leading Role – I just wasn’t as impressed with his portrayal of Ron Woodroof as I was Jared Leto’s character.  If I’m being brutally honest, I think the physical transformation was really the only thing that blew me away in regards to Matthew McConaughey’s role in the film.  Certain parts of the film seemed to drag on and lacked to keep my interest, so I’d save your money and wait until “Dallas Buyers Club” is available to rent.

Check Fandango to see when “Dallas Buyers Club” is playing in your area.

-FJ

Review: The Book Thief

FJ Rating: Big Screener

Cast: Geoffrey Rush, Emily Watson, Sophie Nélisse, Ben Schnetzer, Nico Liersch, Barbara Auer, Rainer Bock, Oliver Stokowski

Director: Brian Percival

PG-13, 2 hr 7 min

Taking place in Nazi Germany during World War II, a young girl (Sophie Nélisse) is sent to live with her new foster parents (Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson).  Through her fascination of stealing books and curiosity with life, the young girl touches the lives of everyone she meets, including the Jewish refugee hiding in the basement of their home.

“The Book Thief” made me laugh, cry, and kept me captivated throughout the entire film.  I thought the acting was phenomenal and the film beautifully done.  Sophie Nélisse is a newcomer you’ll definitely want to keep your eyes on.  The story was touching, heartbreaking, and will make you want to pick up a book (instead of a Nook) again.  Definitely a great film to check out during the holiday season.  I left wanting to go back in the theatre and see it again.

Check Fandango to see when “The Book Thief” is playing in your area.

-FJ

Happy Veterans Day!

First and foremost, Happy Veterans Day to all of the brave individuals who have served for our country.

After watching the Packers lose on Sunday, it’s back to the grind.  Mondays are always long and tiresome, but hopefully this news will cheer all you FFLs up:

For those of you who weren’t aware before, Marcus Theatres used to offer $5 select movies every Wednesday and Thursday.  As awesome as that was, their newest promotion is even more amazing.  Now, Marcus Theatres has a new promotion where ALL movies are only $5 on Tuesdays.  As a bonus, you also get a free 44 oz. popcorn on Tuesdays through December.  I hope all you film lovers take advantage of this deal, I know I’m going to!

Image credit: Marcus Theatres

To keep up with all the latest from Marcus Theatres, follow them on Twitter!

I hope everyone has a great Monday!

-FJ