Pick your movie of the week: Stop Motion Animation! (Mar 3-9/17)

2379I loved Kubo and the Two Strings (2016), a stop motion animated film that I was hoping would win an Oscar this year. It’s a cool form of movie making that dates back to the black and white silent movie days, most notably King Kong (1933). In fact, if I’m not mistaken, the first animation used in films was stop motion.

So, which of the following SMA movies would you choose to be this week’s movie?

The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

Chicken Run (2000)

Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)



The Greats and the Average Greats

32758654081_3cf8db13e0_zIt is interesting to see who has the most points, wins, and awards, in anything competitive. This year’s darling at the Oscars, La La Land (English translation: The The Land) boasts a director who has directed three movies so far. THREE! And two of them have been nominated for best picture at the Oscars, with one of them being the favourite to win thisyear. The third one, Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench (2010) is no slouch either. It has a 90% on the Tomatometer, a 6.2 on IMDb, and has 2 wins and 5 nominations in a varietyof film festivals. He has also written for The Grand Piano (2013) and for one of my favourite 2016 movies, 10 Cloverfield Lane. His na6787511858_53353b2ba3_zme is DamienChazelle. He is 32, but his IMDb pic looks like a twelve-year-old’s smiley yearbook photo. Perhaps he will become one of the greats.

He could also become one of the “average greats.” This doesn’t mean he would be “just average” as a director, but that perhaps he will have the best “batting average.” Kind of like John Cazale: he’d only ever been in 4 movies, but each one was nominated for best picture. Who will ever beat that average??

So let’s have some fun and look and some of the greats of our time, and some “average greats.”

Great Actor: Jack Nicholson has won 3 Oscars (plus 6 noms), but if you count all wins and nominations in any and all respected award shows and film festivals, he has 68 wins and 56 nominations.
Average Great Actor: John Cazale (see above).
Great Director: William Wyler (Ben-Hur) has 3 awards with 12 nominations

Average Great Director: John Ford (The Grapes of Wrath) has won 4 out of his 5 nominations (That’s an 80% win average!)

Great Actor: Cloris Leachman (8 Emmys)
Average Great Actor: I can’t believe I’m saying this, but… Audrey Hepburn! She is not only 6-time Oscar Nominee with 2 wins, she is also an Emmy winner. In fact, she’s one of the very few who managed to pull off an “EGOT.” She has won Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony awards.

Great: Wayne Gretzky
Average Great: Chris Chelios (most playoff games at 266) and Henri Richard (most Stanley Cup wins at 11). And no, that’s not the Rocket. He’s Maurice. Henri is his brother
Great Coach: Scottie Bowman. His # of wins (1,244) almost doubles that of the #2 through #7 spots.
Average Great Coach: Tom Johnson with 74% win average (although this was only through barely 2 seasons and it was with the then-unbeatable Boston Bruins.

Great Player: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar with 38,387 career points.
Average Great Player: Michael Jordan (can you believe I’m listing referring to his basketball career using the word “average”??) who average 30 points in every game he played.648699467_dbb3c95e21_m

Great: Though he’s far from my favourite, Ric Flair is often cited as the greatest and has been the World Heavyweight Champion 16 times, amoung other championships. However, the most decorated WWE wrestler is a guy most of you haven’t heard of: Raven with a staggering 32 titles.
Average Great: But to make this interesting again, two wrestlers with the highest win percentages are the Ultimate Warrior and El Torito (a “midget wrestler” who dressed like a bull).

I suppose there are more categories, especially in sports, but really… who cares about anything beyond the above, right?

Congratulations La La Land. This is your week (perhaps in more ways than one).

And the Oscar goes to…

32945559751_7dab9238bf_mBest Actress: As you may recall, my pick is Natalie Portman, but for this week I’m going to go with Emma Stone. I just love every performance she gives.

Best Actor: Again, my call is Denzel Washington, though from what I’m hearing it’s going to go to Casey Affleck, who is very deserving. So let’s go with him this week.

Best Quote:With the world so set on tearing itself apart, it don’t seem like such a bad thing to me to want to put a little bit of it back together.” — Andrew Garfield as Desmond Doss in Hacksaw Ridge.

I just finished watching Lion and absolutely loved it. Here is how I would list the 8 of the 9 nominated movies that I have seen so far according to my own taste:

8. Fences31900532590_fc51767fa3_z
7. Moonlight
6. Hacksaw Ridge
5. La La Land
4. Hell or High Water
3. Manchester by the Sea
2. Lion
1. Arrival


Pick your movie of the week: The Oscars! (Feb 24-Mar 2/17)

oscar-noms-2016There are 9 nominations this year for Best Picture. I have watched 7 of them (still need to see Lion and Hidden Figures) and I’m having a tough time calling which one I think will win best picture. Below are all 9 nominees, you pick 2 that you believe have the best chance of winning, regardless of whether or not you’ve seen them. And feel free to offer any other Oscar predictions of your own.

You will also find below my picks for all the major categories of this year’s Academy Awards. I haven’t listened or read anyone’s predictions other than two friends of mine who tend to pick based on what they’ve watched, not what they’ve read.

1. Arrival

2. Fences

3Hacksaw Ridge

4. Hell or High Water

5. Hidden Figures

6. La La Land

7. Lion 8. Manchester by the Sea

9. Moonlight

My Predictions

   Will win: La La Land
Should win: Arrival
That is my official pick for “should win,” but in reality for me it’s a dead heat between 
Arrival, Manchester by the Sea, and La La Land.

  Will win: Denzel Washington
Should win: Denzel Washington

Will win: Natalie Portman
Should win: Natalie Portman

Will win: Mahershala Ali, Moonlight
Should win: Lucas Hedges, Manchester by the Sea

Will win: Viola Davis, Fences
Should win: Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea

Will win: Moana
Should win: Kubo and the Two Strings
Again, this is my official “should win” pick, but I believe both of these movies are equally deserving.

Will win: Moonlight
Should win: Moonlight

Will win: Jackie
Should win: Jackie

Will win: Damien Chazelle, La La Land
Should win: Denis Villeneuve, Arrival

Will win: I Am Not Your Negro
Should win: Undecided (I haven’t seen any of them)

Will win: The White Helmets
Should win: The White Helmets
I watched 3 of these shorts and they were all amazing. You can find them on Netflix:  
The White Helmets, 4.1 Miles, and Extremis.

Will win: La La Land
Should win: Arrival

Will win: A Man Called Ove
Should win: Undecided

Will win: A Man Called Ove
Should win: Undecided

Will win: La La Land
Should win: La La Land

Will win: “City of Stars,” La La Land
Should win: “The Empty Chair,” Jim: The James Foley Story
I did not see the Jim movie, but I listened to all the nominated songs and I liked this one the most.

Will win: La La Land
Should win: Arrival

Will win: Borrowed Time
Should win: Undecided (though I did enjoy Piper a lot)

Will win: Silent Nights
Should win: Undecided

SOUND EDITING (creating the sounds)
Will win: Arrival
Should win: Arrival

SOUND MIXING (putting all the sounds together)
Will win: Arrival
Should win: Arrival (with Hacksaw Ridge close on its heels)

Will win: Deepwater Horizon
Should win: The Jungle Book

Will win: Moonlight
Should win: Fences

Will win: La La Land
Should win: La La Land
Movie of the Week


Laugh Out Loud Movie Quotes

6473128033_7d8fb08e9b_zThe following words are not my writing; they are simply comedic quotes from movies, and they’re the funniest I could find. Regardless of whether you’d seen any or none of the movies quoted, you could read through each one and have a good laugh. They also won’t spoil the movie for you. Enjoy…

“I think I got it. But just in case, tell me the whole thing again. I wasn’t listening.” — The Lego Movie (2014)

Hey, bro? You mind putting on some pants? I find it a little weird I have to ask twice.” — The Hangover (2009)

“Looks like you’ve been missing a lot of work lately.” ◆ “I wouldn’t say I’ve been missing it, Bob.” — Office Space (1999)

3270506120_b298b27ac5_q“Gentlemen, you can’t fight in here! This is the war room.” — Dr. Strangelove: Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)

“Yeah I called her up, she gave me a bunch of crap about me not listenin’ to her enough, or somethin’. I don’t know, I wasn’t really payin’ attention.” — Dumb and Dumber (1994)

“The price is wrong, bitch.” — Happy Gilmore (1996)

“…You can milk anything with nipples.” ◆ “I have nipples, Greg. Could you milk me?” — Meet the Parents (2000)

“Thank you for a memorable afternoon. Usually one must go to a bowling alley to meet a woman of your stature.” — Arthur (1981)

“Roses are red, violets are blue. I’m a schizophrenic and so am I.” — What About Bob? (1991)

6705002825_513b751264_q“Can I just spray a little PAM down there right before the baby comes out?” — Baby Mama (2008)

You guys might not know this, but I consider myself a bit of a loner. I tend to think of myself as a one-man wolf pack. But when my sister brought Doug home, I knew he was one of my own. And my wolf pack… it grew by one. So there… there were two of us in the wolf pack… I was alone first in the pack, and then Doug joined in later. And six months ago, when Doug introduced me to you guys, I thought, ‘Wait a second, could it be?’ And now I know for sure, I just added two more guys to my wolf pack. Four of us wolves, running around the desert together, in Las Vegas, looking for strippers and cocaine. So tonight, I make a toast!” — The Hangover (2009)

Take this quarter, go downtown, and have a rat gnaw that thing off your face! Good day to you, madam.” — Uncle Buck (1989)5953241092_e7ffde5024_q

Look on the bright side. Nobody got hurt. ◆ People got hurt. ◆ I’m saying, I think they died quickly. So I don’t think they got hurt.” — The Nice Guys (2016)

I have a feeling we should kiss. Is that a good feeling or an incorrect feeling?” ◆ “Well… sometimes I have the feeling I can do crystal meth, but then I think, mmm…better not.” — Pitch Perfect (2012)

I’m kind of psychic.  I have a fifth sense.  It’s like I have ESPN or something.” — Mean Girls (2004)

Whenever I’m caught between two evils, I take the one I never tried” — Klondike Annie (1936)

Like a midget at a urinal, I was going to have to stay on my toes.” — Naked Gun 33⅓: The Final Insult (1994)

I know, I know. We are your chosen people. But once in a while can’t you choose someone else?” — Fiddler on the Roof (1971)2163480845_1fa3b16376_q

“The ratio of people to cake is too big.” — Office Space (1999)

“Say, Lou, didya hear the one about the guy who couldn’t afford personalized plates, so he went and changed his name to J3L2404?” — Fargo (1996)

Describing another character’s flatulence… “They sound like a baby blowing out birthday candles.” — The Other Guys (2010)

I once thought I had mono for an entire year. It turned out I was just really bored.” — Wayne’s World (1992)

Suicide makes you hungry. I don’t care what anyone says.” — Anchorman 2 (2013)

“There’s only two things I hate in this world. People who are intolerant of other people’s cultures and the Dutch.” — Goldmember (2002)

“Those aren’t pillows!”

Congratulations Planes, Trains and Automobiles. This is your week.

And the Oscar goes to…

10894722186_c0cf7bddda_mBest Actress: Kathy Bates as Annie Wilkes in Misery.

Best Actor: Steve Buscemi in Fargo.

Best Quote: “Now Daisy, I want us to work out a signal system of communication. When I elbow you real hard in the face, that means ‘shut up’!” — Kurt Russell as John ‘the Hangman’ Ruth in The Hateful Eight.

It’s nice to get that out. I love quoting movies and sometimes I get a little pent up. Thank you everyone for your forbearance.



Pick your movie of the week: Snowstorms! (Feb 17-23/17)

feb-17-23-17We’ve had a couple of storms already here in the Maritimes, and we’re in the middle of a big one right now. In our house we love snow days where we’re locked inside watching movies and playing games. Which movie containing a snow storm as an important part of the plot would you choose for this week’s movie?

Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987)

Misery (1990)

Fargo (1996)

The Hateful Eight (2015)


Great Movie Posters

000000-movie-posterI love movie posters. Looking at each one on display is one of my favourite things to do when I go to the movies. The following are some of the most celebrated posters, and of course, I’m going to list my favourite ones. The way I figure out which ones go to the top of the heap for me is picturing them on my wall in a den or TV room. Here they are in descending order:



20. The Crow (1994). I just love the look of both the movie and its poster. Not a great flick, but “aesthetically pleasing” (Shout out to the Sussex local business of the same name!)





19. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993). Again, I’m pretty much Burton’d out by now, so his look in his movies are getting tiresome. But I still love this poster. It’s like Pixar meets Van Gogh. (Yes, I know it’s not a Pixar movie…)





18. Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961). Of course Audrey’s look is iconic, but I also love how it appears in this cartoonish depiction. Back then the movies used a lot of this kind of art, but to me this is the best version.





17. August Rush (2007). Our movie of the week, and one of the very best posters of the 00’s.






16. Platoon (1986). For me, this movie is good, but the poster even better. The tags forming the o’s and the man reaching up to the sky, the men lining the top in the poster (which looks to me like an homage to the classic army-on-the-hill shot pioneered by Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai, 1954). It makes me want to watch the movie, which is what a poster should do.




15. Dial M for Murder (1954). I know the guy looks creepy, almost giving the poster a kind of True Detective Comic look, but this poster really makes you wonder what happens next. And it illustrates such a memorable scene of this movie, one of my favourite scenes of 1950’s cinema.




14. The Exorcist (1973). I haven’t seen this movie, and I’m not convinced that I need to or want to. However, this is one of the coolest movie posters ever.






13. 300 (2006). It may reveal too much, but this is a truly original poster. It lets you know ahead of time of the bloodiness, the killing, but more importantly the epicness.




Image result for fargo movie poster


12. Fargo (1996). I have no idea how someone came up with this idea. The illustration itself is compelling, but to show it as a needlepoint work is something I’d never be able to dream up. It does complement the story’s message very well actually, but that a whole conversation on its own.





11. Chinatown (1974). They could have tried to capitalize on the the star-power this movie had. In a way they did, but choosing this unique style of artwork, with that original font for the title, and his cigarette smoke forming her hair… now that’s cool!





10. Little Miss Sunshine (2006). Again, originality wins out here. The simple yellow background with the family running to get on the van is fun, intriguing, and true to the movie without spoiling anything or making any false promises.





9. Walk the Line (2005). Do I really need to say anything here? Someone deserved a big fat raise after designing this one.






8. Pulp Fiction (1994). Making this poster look like an actual well-worn pulp-style comic is genius (An overused word, I realize, but it applies here dangit!).






7. Almost Famous (2000). I’ve always thought this was a cool looking poster. The sunglasses on a young, impressionable, and slightly vulnerable Kate Hudson with the reflection of a rock band on stage draws me into that movie and its story every time. You can easily forget it’s even Hudson on the poster. Her expression is a little more packed than what can be assumed at first sight.




6. The Godfather (1972). I also like the other versions of this poster where it’s him without the cat or even the one that’s just the title design. Most of what I like here is the simplicity and iconic nature of the poster.





5. Back to the Future (1985). Again, the iconic nature and the nostalgia makes this one a big favourite. And despite the Delorean being clearly seen, it doesn’t show too much. I think one of the best decisions they ever made with this poster and other promo material linked with this movie was to not show anything at all to do with the 50’s.





4. Jaws (1975). This one is often celebrated as the greatest movie poster of them all. You’d think that maybe it was showing too much, but for this movie (especially since you see so little of the shark) it’s perfect. Give you the willies PLUS makes you want to pop it in and watch.





3. Birdman (2014). No movie poster piqued my interest like this one did. Not in a very long time anyway. It was refreshing to finally see some originality in movie posters after what seemed like a 20 years drought. The other poster with all the red on it is terrible, though.






2. Rocky (1976). Sweet Lincoln’s mullet! I love this poster! It really ought to be #1, but…






1. Rosemary’s Baby (1968). I haven’t even seen this movie, but this poster looks so ominous, simple, and captivating. I’ve been wanting (and not wanting) to see this one based on reputation, but this is the kind of poster that makes me want to watch regardless.




Congratulations August Rush. This is your week.

And the Oscar goes to…

000000-movie-posterBest Actress: Keri Russell as Lyla in August Rush.

Best Actor: Sean Connery as Captain Ramius in Hunt for Red October.

Best Quote: “There is a mysterious ritual that dates back thousands of years. No living creature has survived it except the penguin. They have wings but cannot fly. They’re birds that think they’re fish. And every year, they embark on a nearly impossible journey to find a mate. For twenty days and twenty nights the emperor penguin will march to a place so extreme it supports no other life. In the harshest place on Earth loves finds a way.” — Morgan Freeman in March of the Penguins.

You know a movie poster I’m NOT crazy about? Star Wars. Love the movie, but why Luke Skywalker is showing off big pecs and a six-pack with the kind of open shirt that Larry would wear on Three’s Company is beyond me. And why is Leia sitting at his feet showing off an Angelina Jolie at the Oscars leg? Then he’s handling what looks like should be a light saber, but it appears to be exploding, or summoning the powers of Castle Grey Skull. A super weird poster to me.

But I do love movie posters that are minimalist. I wish more movies chose this style. Often000000-simple-posters posters reveal too much (e.g. E.T.‘s moon and bike) or they do overdone tropes (e.g. Unforgiven’s from-behind shot of a main character holding a weapon). But with these movie posters, you do the guessing of what the movie will be like and teases you to find out the truth. Here are some great examples:


And finally, HONOURABLE MENTIONSHalloween (1978), American Beauty (1999), La Dolce Vita (1960), So This Is College (1929), Forrest Gump (1994)Attack of the 50 Foot Woman (1958), The Matrix (1999).



Pick your movie of the week: Month Movies! (Feb 10-16/17)

feb-10-16-17There aren’t a lot of movies that have a month of the year in the title, but here are 4 that people still talk about today. I didn’t include The Ides of March (2011) because I found it to be quite a boring movie. So, which month and movie would you choose to be Movie of the Week?

Born on the Fourth of July (1989)

The Hunt for Red October (1990)

March of the Penguins (2005)

August Rush (2007)