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Entries in Visual FX (93)

Wednesday
Feb032016

Links: Secret Talents, Visual Effects, Best Girlfriends

Salon Why Rooney Mara can't win for Carol. Interesting piece on what really matters in Supporting Actress (Hint: Best Actor)
MCN David Poland looks at the writers branch and how the new Academy rules might affect them
Gurus of Gold interesting to see where the volatility is in the new charts: Best Picture and Best Director contain all the (seeming) drama 
Towleroad Jonathan Groff interviewed by Kevin Sessums talks sex scenes in the Looking movie, filming wrapped, and his Sutton Foster obsession 

 

AV Club The Flash will officially crossover with Supergirl despite different networks
Variety on the new warp speed market for television shows 
The Film Stage first clips and new images from Jeff Nichols's Midnight Special. I'm not watching them because I want to be surprised 
Variety Jessica Chastain still looking for her Oscar movie, in talks for Woman Walks Ahead, about a 19th century woman who advised Sioux chieftain Sitting Bull 
The Hairpin a listical "best friends of rom com heroines"  from Judy Greer through Joan Cusack and back to Carrie Fisher
Pajiba praises Helen Mirren's beer commercial 

Today's Watch
Secret Talents of leading ladies and more links after the jump

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Jan272016

Personal Ballots Continued: Editing, Makeup, Visual FX

I promised daily Film Bitch Award nominations and I aim to deliver since we were supposed to technically be done by now. The best laid plans. Yesterday I shared male acting choices and jazzed up two Oscar charts. Today half of the visual categories have gone up and I've updated the correlative three Oscar charts, too.

FILM EDITING
I'm so disappointed that Academy voters skipped Sicario's Joe Walker in this category so I've rectified that obvious error. Talk about sustaining the tension masterfully for two hours. He's best known for his work with director Steve McQueen and was Oscar-nominated a couple of years ago for 12 Years a Slave. He had a good year since he also edited Blackhat which people found lacking in the emotion and story department but which was quite fine on a craft level. Two editors we interviewed here Nathan Nugent (Room) and Affonso Gonçalves (Carol) are also honored. 

VISUAL FX
Look I get that people didn't love The Avengers: Age of Ultron but passing on its visual effects strikes me as pettiness for feeling disappointed and getting Marvel fatigue. This is state of the art superheroics. Looking over my nominees now I'm realizing it was a very good year for robots: Ultron, The Vision, Ex Machina's Ava, and even Tomorrowland's Athena 

MAKEUP & HAIR
I mostly adhere to Oscar rules with my traditional categories but not here as I am adamantly opposed to this category being ghettoized the way it is with the Academy. The makeup artists are the ONLY artists with an oscar category that are allowed only 3 nominations. Everyone else gets 5 and that is just messed up since every single film uses a hair and makeup team. With five spots, I have room for both of the high profile Oscar nominees because who can forget Leo's horrific zombie face in The Revenant or smoky eyes reaching their gonzo apotheosis in Mad Max Fury Road. For the other spots I've embraced maximum beauty (Carol), stylish comedy (Spy), and the world's most famous detective (Mr Holmes). Read the writeups here.

*If any makeup artists are reading I'd love a better education on how these departments work on film sets. It's one of the behind the scenes jobs where credits dont feel very consistent from film to film in terms of titles of the players.

Wednesday
Jan132016

Visual Category Madness... and Guild Nominees for Makeup/VES

This just in. Here's a quick Oscar chart update on all the Visual categories... (You can see the index of Oscar Predictions here - we're almost finished -- but of course everything gets taken down and rebuilt tomorrow - whew). I have worked through the sadness as I removed predictions for Carol in no brainer should be easy get categories like Production Design (seriously sometimes Hollywood make-a-me-crazy). The one I left in that I'm very worried about is Cinematography. It's one of the most beautiful movies I've ever seen. Watch them replace it with something basic like The Hateful Eight or The Martian (sigh). 

MEANWHILE... The Makeup and Hairstylists Guilds and the The Visual Effects Society, which have much larger voting bodies than their correlatives within the Academy released their nominations so we'll share those after the jump if you're interested with a few comments on each...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Dec292015

"By the Hoary Hosts of Hogarth, it's hard to keep up!"

Lukewarm off the presses! Herewith a collection of very brief thoughts on this, that, and the other things that we haven't had time to comment on but definitely wanted to note. Please to discuss in the comments. 

• By now you've seen Entertainment Weekly's gallery of Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange. The film arrives in 311 days which means most movie blogs have about 622 more articles left to write about it in "anticipation" BLARAARGGGH! How to reverse the equation and get people to write the bulk of their thoughts on movies AFTER seeing them? Even Marvel's Sorcerer Supreme probably can't cast a spell that powerful. I have three things to say about these photos. 1) I still find Cumberbatch's casting weird because his face is so non angular / eyeberowless both of which are complete opposites of traditional depictions of the sorcerer 2) can't anyone ever find a way to represent magic that isn't shapeless CGI color beams. I beg filmmakers to try something new since this is literally the only way it's been done since CGI took over the cinema. 3) Marvel superheroes are always trying to make wing-tip hairdos happen --- see also Wolverine -- but it never translates into the real world trends. 

• Tired of movie awards yet? Too bad. You've still got two months of it to go. The latest critics orgs to throw their hat in the ring is the Austin Film Critics. They chose Mad Max for top hours but Room won the most prizes (3) taking Actress (Brie Larson), Breakthrough (Jacob Tremblay) and Adapted Screenplay (Emma Donoghue)

• Since Star Wars: The Force Awakens has been seen by 25% of the Earth's population already (we're guessing) we're getting the usual raft of what might be in the next film articles (including the silly/wonderful Poe & Finn are gay for each other fanfic wishful thinking) and a flood of info on what could have been... the post-movie release equivalent of the what-might-be speculation articles the internet is a hardcore junkie for. (ANYTHING TO NOT TALK ABOUT ACTUAL AS-THEY-EXIST MOVIES!) But I will say this: according to /Film our heroine Rey's original name in the script was "Kira" and we should all breathe a huge sigh of relief that they changed it. It's already unfortunate enough that Daisy Ridley stole Keira Knightley's face, clenched jaw stress, and speaking voice (do you think she trapped it in a seashell necklace Ursula style?). If she also had a homophonic name it'd be even more disastrous. Is it silly that I'm really worried about what the Daisy Ridley explosion will due to Keira's Knightley's career?  We've grown so fond of Keira over the years and really admire how much she's pushed herself to grow as an actress taking on challenging roles and stage work and so on.

• The internet is having a field day suggesting that Chris Nolan just can't handle his lack of Oscar nominations at this point and will embark on a World War II film next. Mark Rylance, Kenneth Branagh and Tom Hardy are the first announced cast members

• November and December are punishing insatiable mistresses. There are SO MANY new trailers we haven't even managed to do a DIY Yes No Maybe So on including but not limited to Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find ThemStar Trek BeyondMidnight Special, The Legend of TarzanThe Nice Guys, Mojave, Storks, Gods of Egypt, X-Men: Apocalypse, and Terminus. Which have you watched and wanted to discuss? I don't even think I said anything about Captain America: Civil War in November and you know how I feel about the good captain. (Hint: pretty much how he feels about Bucky Barnes.) 

new roles for Oscar Isaac

• FINALLY... we're really proud of our web friend Angelica Jade Bastién who's getting a lot of attention for her Atlantic Essay "The Case Against Colorblind Casting" which is a really fascinating read about acceptance versus erasure. It kicks off with the of the moment example of Oscar Isaac, riding high at the moment (and working constantly) on his considerable talent. 

It would be nice to believe that someone as talented as Isaac could have done as well without colorblind casting or an ability to be seen as “ethnically flexible.” Isaac has steadily increased his profile in recent years by bringing intensity and intelligence to vastly different roles...

But his success hasn’t come without compromises. Isaac is open about the choices he’s made in his career including dropping his last name, Hernández. “Starting out as an actor, you immediately worry about being pigeonholed or typecast,” he said to the magazine In. “I don’t want to just go up for the dead body, the gangster, the bandolero, whatever. I don’t want to be defined by someone else’s idea of what an Oscar Hernández should be playing.” His tendency to play characters of different backgrounds extends to his new Star Wars character, whom Isaac has described as “non-ethnic.” Notably, he didn’t say “white” or “racially ambiguous,” instead referring to his character’s absence of ethnicity.

Give it a read

Tuesday
Dec222015

Batman v Running Time, Ex Machina v Blockbusters, and More

Can you believe Christmas is just 3 days away? Eeep how fast the month has gone. Let's jump right into news & links...

Women and Hollywood well, this is good timing. Charlotte Rampling is getting an eight film retrospective in NYC starting Wednesday... just in time to remind East Coast AMPAS members of her brilliance before balloting. Do NOT miss The Night Porter (1974) or Under the Sand (2000) if you haven't seen them.
THR looks at make or break moments coming in 2016 from Batman v Superman to MTV's Shannara Chronicles
Comics Alliance Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is apparently 151 minutes long. Yikes. Here's an idea: cut the death of little Bruce's parents because how many times we gotta see that origin story. The entire world knows it. No need for "previously ons" at this point.
The Wrap Dustin Lance Black and Gus Van Sant are working together again post-Milk. The new project is a miniseries When We Rise about the gay rights movement kicking off with the Stonewall riots

Variety Guy Ritchie's untitled King Arthur movie has been pushed back to 2017 
Variety Star Wars pay scales... back end bonuses don't kick in until the film grosses one billion dollars. Not that it won't pass that in record time (it's already over half a billion globally after that first weekend)
Slash Film modern movies getting the old VHS cover treatment
W Magazine the most provocative fashion photography of 2015. Miley Cyrus, Jessica Chastain, and Cate Blanchett among the subjects
W Magazine Bryan Cranston does a dramatic reading of Drake's "Hotline Bling"
AV Club charts the 24 times 2015 totally lost its shit. Outrage culture is exhausting! 

/Film Cuteness. You can sit in a BB-8 chair (row BB, seat 8 in the balcony) while watching movies in the El Capitan in Los Angeles through February 7th.
The Guardian on the Bechdel Test's origins and Star Wars. Good history feminist politics piece but for the very odd suggestion that gays aren't interested in seeing heterosexual romance onscreen. What the what now? History (and LGBT culture) does not remotely support this notion.
i09 on the devolution of the fan fiction trope "the Mary Sue" with the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens 
Gawker the complete history of Quentin Tarantino's use of the N word, used 65 times in The Hateful Eight which is second only to its use in Django Unchained  

Prize-Giving. Tis the Season
Playbill The Sydney Theater Award nominees for 2015 have been announced for fans of Aussie actors (i.e. everyone). Cate Blanchett and Hugo Weaving are among them
St Louis Film Critics chose Spotlight as Best Picture and Leo & Brie as best leading actors
Nevada Film Critics Society gave those exact same top 3 prizes but since The Revenant won four prizes it feels like the defacto winner

And Finally...
The Academy has announced the 10 finalists for Best Visual Effects, chosen from that longlist of 20 we shared earlier. The 5 Oscar nominees will come from these 10 pictures...

 

  • Ant-Man
  • Avengers: Age of Ultron
  • Ex-Machina
  • Jurassic World
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • The Martian
  • The Revenant
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  • Tomorrowland
  • The Walk

 

The most surprising miss among the earlier semi-finalists is probably Spectre since James Bond films generally make the finals in the Daniel Craig era, don't they? But this category gets more competitive every year. I'm suddenly less confident about my current predictions (Avengers, Jurassic, Mad Max, Martian, Star Wars). Might Ex Machina, which hasn't left the awards conversation despite an April bow and is 1000% deserving of this particular nomination, actually make it despite not being of their preferred size and with the effects actually in a supporting role for a change? 

Saturday
Dec192015

Star Wars & Oscar. How Will "The Force Awakens" Fare? 

The second that people started realizing that everyone was actually loving the new Star Wars episode, you could feel the Oscar buzz wave building and building and broke with lots of "Best Picture nomination! demands online. The BFCA even announced a ridiculously embarrassing extra ballot measure to ask the members if they'd like to add the movie into their Best Picture lineup after the fact. In short: no one will ever take this group seriously again. (Sigh) 'The Force Awakens will be swimming in Oscars!' the internet seems to have proclaimed en masse.

But not so fast young padewans.

Oscar nominations can prove elusive, especially for franchises, family films, and genre films three groups to which Star Wars belongs. People will cite "Oscar voters grew up with the franchise -- they'll be nostalgic!" but, consider: I grew up with the franchise. I loved episode 7. And I wouldn't vote for it. 

This is not to say that I would make a typical Oscar voter. I would not. But typical Oscar voters tastes lie somewhere in the space between critics and general audiences. Put more plainly: there's a difference between totally enjoying a spectacle and wanting it honored as the very "Best" of its year.

Let's look back at Star Wars Oscar history to get some clues as to how The Force Awakens will fare after the jump...

Click to read more ...