Archive for February, 2011

2011 Oscar predictions

Posted in Festival/awards on February 26, 2011 by Steve Mesa

  The award season come to an end tomorrow night at 8 p.m. ET on ABC when the Academy of Motion Picture & Science present the 83rd annual Academy Awards, where the famous faces of the film industry comes out and to find out who will become the new recipients of the little golden man known as Oscar. If you are here looking for the most accurate predictions for Oscar night, look no further then my choices on who will go on to win the Academy Award in the six main categories and who should have won. First things first, let me get my predictions for the rest of the categories out of the way.

Animated Feature: Toy Story 3

Art Direction: Alice in Wonderland

Cinematography: True Grit

Costume Design: The King’s Speech

Documentary Feature: Inside Job

Documentary Short: Strangers No More

Foreign Langauge: In a Better World

Makeup: The Wolfman

Original Score:  The Social Network

Original Song: “We Belong Together”-Toy Story 3

Short Film Animated-The Gruffalo

Short Film Live Action-Wish 143

Sound Editing: Inception

Sound Mixing: Inception

Visual Effects: Inceptiom

Adapted Screenplay: The Social Network

Original Screenplay: The King’s Speech

Best Director

Darren Aronofsky-Black Swan

Joel and Ethan Coen-True Grit

David Fincher-The Social Network

Tom Hooper-The King’s Speech

David O. Russell-The Fighter

  All of these directors deserve their nomination for the work they did. The only thing that makes me mad about this category is that Christopher Nolan was snubbed by the Academy once again for his latest film, Inception. In this category, it looks like David Fincher will win his first Oscar over the current front runner, Tom Hooper. Hooper directed a great film in The King’s Speech, but it was nothing compared to Fincher’s meticulous, detail-oriented and superb direction. For the last five years, the directors who won the DGA (as Hooper did) have gone on to win Best Director Oscar. I think this could be the first year that could break the streak since Roman Polanski won the Oscar in 2002 for The Pianist (Chicago won Best Picture that year).


Best Supporting Actress

Amy Adams-The Fighter

Helena Bonham Carter-The King’s Speech

Melissa Leo-The Fighter

Hailee Steinfeld-True Grit

Jacki Weaver-Animal Kingdom

Melissa Leo is the front runner in this category for The Fighter, but I would say that this category will be the upset of the night as Hailee Steinfeld will get the Oscar after years of middle-aged actresses winning in this category. The only problem I have with Steinfeld in the category is that the Academy nominated her in the wrong category. She truly deserved and should have been nominated in the Best Actress category because she is the true lead actress in True Grit as the story is told from the perspective of her character and she is in all of the scenes in the movie.

WHO WILL/SHOULD WIN: Hailee Steinfeld

Best Supporting Actor

Christian Bale-The Fighter

John Hawkes-Winter’s Bone

Jeremy Renner-The Town

Mark Ruffalo-The Kids Are All Right

Geoffrey Rush-The King’s Speech

At the beginning at the award season, it was said that this category would pit Geoffrey Rush (The King’s Speech) against Christian Bale (The Fighter), and things have been going on the side of Bale when he won all the major awards. Both actors deliver tremendous performances, but Academy members are suckers for the more obvious/transformational performances, so Bale wins.


Best Leading Actress

Annette Bening-The Kids Are All Right

Nicole Kidman-Rabbit Hole

Jennifer Lawrence-Winter’s Bone

Natalie Portman-Black Swan

Michelle Williams-Blue Valentine

Even though Annette Benning delivered an equally impressive performance in The Kids Are All Right, Natalie Portman’s performance as the ballerina on the brink of a mental breakdown in Black Swan will get her first Oscar win in her second Oscar nomination. Not only is her performance is amazing, but Portman’s commitment to this role to truly outstanding. She lost 20 pounds, paid to be trainer for a year as a dancer, suffered a twisted rib injury and sustained a bad concussion and she did not quit and/or back down from her role. Now that is dedication.

WHO WILL/SHOULD WIN: Natalie Portman


Best Leading Actor

Javier Bardem-Biutiful

Jeff Bridges-True Grit

Jesse Eisenberg-The Social Network

Colin Firth-The King’s Speech

James Franco-127 Hours

It is a no-brainer to pick Colin Firth from The King’s Speech to win the Best Actor. He really delivered one of the best performances of 2010 as King George VI. From the first scene to the last, you can’t help but to cheer for him to overcome his stammer and truly become the leader he was meant to be. There is no chance anybody in this category will pull any kind of upset.


Best Film

127 Hours

Black Swan

The Fighter


The Kids Are All Right

The King’s Speech

The Social Network

Toy Story 3

True Grit

Winter’s Bone

In this category, it is The King’s Speech vs. The Social Network. David Fincher’s latest film got momentum in December/January when it started picking up Best Picture awards from critics all over the country, including the Critics Choice and Golden Globe awards. However, The King’s Speech has won the PGA for Best Picture and the SAG Best Ensemble. I really want The Social Network to win, but it looks like the Academy will go with the safer bet in The King’s Speech.

WHO WILL WIN: The King’s Speech

WHO SHOULD WIN: The Social Network


Opening Feb. 25-Drive Angry 3D and Hall Pass

Posted in Movie News on February 26, 2011 by Steve Mesa

  A kick-ass grindhouse B-movie and the latest comedy from the guys who brought you There’s Something About Mary and Dumb and Dumber opens this weekend.

  In Drive Angry 3D, the latest movie to come out in 3D, Nicolas Cage plays a man who escaped from hell and is on a quest to save his daughter and granddaughter from a cult leader (Billy Burke) with the help of a hot young woman (Amber Heard) in Daisy Dukes. Meanwhile, Cage is being chased by Satan’s right hand man (William Fitchner) who wants to return him to hell.

  Bobby and Peter Farrelly are the directors who made hilarious films like There’s Something About Mary. Their latest movie, Hall Pass, may not be one of their best films but  it still provides a couple of laugh-out-loud scenes. The film is about two clueless middle-age guys (Owen Wilson and Jason Sudekis) who are granted a “hall pass” by their respective wives (Jenna Fischer and Christina Applegate), which means they get a free week to do whatever they want. This gives the guys an opportunity to relive their single days before they got married, but they soon realize they have no game whatsoever.

Opening Feb. 18-Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son; I Am Number Four; Unknown

Posted in Movie News on February 18, 2011 by Steve Mesa

    Three more new movies open this weekend as we are close to end of this month.

  Martin Lawrence returns in drag for the third Big Momma movie, but this time he is joined in drag by Brandon T. Jackson (Tropic Thunder). As FBI agent Malcom Turner, Lawrence goes undercover with his stepson Trent (Jackson) at a all-girl performing arts school after Trent witnesses a murder.

Roger Moore: 1/4 stars

  I Am Number Four is about a teenager (Alex Pettyfer), who is actually an alien on the run, passes himself as an ordinary high school student in Paradise, Ohio. It is at Paradise where he encounters his first love (Glee’s Diane Agron) and discover newfound abilities in order to fulfill his destiny. This movie is basically a retread of Twilight except with aliens. The best part of the film is the last 20 minutes of the movie where a full-blast action sequence takes place at a high school where Number 4 and Number 6 (Teresa Palmer) battles the aliens that are hunting them down.

Hudak on Hollywood: 2.5/4 stars

Roger Moore: 2.5/ 4 stars

Roger Ebert:  1.5/4 stars

In Unknown, Liam Neeson plays a man who wakes up from a coma and discovers that his identity is stolen and no one (including his wife) does not believe him. With the help of a young woman (Diane Kruger), he sets out to prove who he is. 

The Miami Herald: 2.5/4 stars

Hudak on Hollywood: 3/4 stars

Roger Moore: 2/4 stars

Roger Ebert: 2/4 stars

Early Oscar Predictions

Posted in Festival/awards on February 14, 2011 by Steve Mesa

Dan Hudak from Hudak on Hollywood has featured me in an early Oscar prediction feature on his website. Check it out as it has my predictions on who will win the Oscar in two weeks and links to where you check out my latest reviews on my blog and Examiner website.

Opening Feb. 11-The Eagle, Gnomeo and Juliet, Just Go With It, Justin Bieber: Never Say Never

Posted in Movie News on February 11, 2011 by Steve Mesa

  There are four new and different films opening wide this weekend with a different audience for each movie. This weekend is all about BIEBER fever vs. Adam Sandler with Bieber’s 3D film opening at number one.

  Directed by Kevin Macdonald (The Last King of Scotland), The Eagle is set in Roman-ruled Britain where a young Roman soldier (Channing Tatum) is accompanied by a slave (Jamie Bell) to find a golden emblem that was thought to be lost in order to honor his father’s memory.

The Miami Herald: 2/4 stars

Hudak on Hollywood: 2/4 stars

Roger Moore: 2/4 stars

Roger Ebert: 3/4 stars

  The first Disney animated film of the year is a re-telling of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet except all the main players are garden ornaments in Gnomeo and Juliet. Voiced by James McAvoy and Emily Blunt, the star-crossed lovers are caught in a war between neighbors where plastic pink flamingos and lawnmower races is an ordinary occurrence.

Hudak on Hollywood: 3/4 stars

Roger Moore: 2.5/4 stars

  The latest Adam Sandler/Jennifer Aniston film is not really original as it is a loose remake of the Goldie Hawn movie Cactus Flower, which was based on a Broadway stage play which in turn was based on a French play. Sandler plays a plastic surgeon who convinces his assistant (Aniston) to pose as his recently-divorced wife to cover up a lie he told his latest and younger girlfriend (Brooklyn Decker).

Hudak on Hollywood: 2/4 stars

Roger Moore: 1.5/4 stars

Roger Ebert: 1/4 stars

  Last but certainly not least, we have the Justin Bieber musical documentary Justin Bieber: Never Say Never. The film follows Bieber’s rise to fame and footage from a concert performance during his 2010 tour. Shot in 3D, the movie also feature appearences by Jaden Smith, Ludacris and Boyz II Men.  

Roger Moore: 2/4 stars

Opening Feb. 4-Sanctum and The Roommate

Posted in Movie News on February 4, 2011 by Steve Mesa

This week is not a banner week for films in wide release and supposedly it is the worst movie release date ever. With this in mind, you have two unspectacular films this week.

  The Roommate is bascially a Single White Female ripoff with a college student gets the roommate from hell after she moves into her a dorm room. The movie has not been screened for critics, which means that this movie sucks.

  From Jim Cameron comes another underwater movie from him except this time, it is not a documentary. Shot in 3D, Sanctum follows an underwater cave diving team during an expedition and when all hell breaks loose, the team must find a way out of the cave they are  in and escape with their lives. Here is what critics are saying in their reviews of Sanctum:

The Miami Herald: 2/4 stars

Hudak on Hollywood: 2/4 stars

Roger Ebert: 1.5/4 stars

Roger Moore:  2.5/4 stars