Good morning Bleary-Eyed Fans, did you watch the Academy Awards last night? No? Neither did we. In fact we cared so little, our post was both late, terrible, and unfinished. Also, as far as predictions, we only got one: Leonardo DiCaprio won his Best Actor in a Leading Role.
All I can say is that it seems like a little bit of a pity Oscar. Not that Leo doesn’t deserve an Academy Award…it’s just that he should have got it one of the other four times he was nominated. The Revenant just wasn’t that special (and pretty inaccurate). Oh well, he won, are we done now?
Of course there was a ton of racist issues this Oscars (pretty much like the 87th preceding ones), from boycotting, asking Chris Rock to step down as host, and even the absolutely correct viral statement: #oscarssowhite. There wasn’t anything we could do and it’s just going to keep happening. I wish I could say something different, but I can’t. It’s just a despicable time we live in where all people are not created equally. It’s a shame, but all a movie dissector like myself can do is point it out and choose not to be like those that perpetrate hate and racism. Although I will say, even though he has quietly slipped into the “B-List” of acting, Chris Rock had some good things to say about it. I was proud of him monologue (or what I caught snippets of this morning) and while it wasn’t a joke, he didn’t hide anything.
There are no videos of the full monologue yet, but I’d like to recount my absolute favorite part from Chris Rock’s discussion on race, how awful the Academy Awards are, and how strange the whole damn this is in general:
“But things are changing. Things are changing. We got a black Rocky this year. Some people call it “Creed.” I call it “Black Rocky.” And that’s a big, that’s an unbelievable statement. I mean, cause, “Rocky” takes place in a world where white athletes are as good as black athletes. “Rocky” is a science fiction movie. There’s things that happened in “Star Wars” that are more believable than things that happened in “Rocky”, O.K.?”
Alright, we can agree I can’t fix racism. But what I can do is report on some of the better things of the night. Starting with the big winners:
Best Picture: Spotlight
Best Actor in a Leading Role: Leonardo di Caprio for The Revenant
Best Actress in a Leading Role: Brie Larson for Room
Best Actor in a Supporting Role: Mark Rylance for Bridge of Spies
Best Actress in a Supporting Role: Alicia Vikander for The Danish Girl
Best Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu for The Revenant
Best Animated Feature Film: Inside Out by Disney/Pixar
Best Visual Effects: Ex Machina by Andrew Whitehurst, Paul Norris, Mark Ardington, and Sara Bennett
Best Original Song: Writing’s on the Wall by Sam Smith for Spectre
Most Awards Won: Mad Max: Fury Road with Six Awards
Let me toss in a bit of thoughts regarding the winners after the jump.
I honestly had a real plan for this article. It was going to be a week long event in which we had guest writers discussing things like #OscarsSoWhite, how terrible the panel is due to ridiculous rules, eligibility, and voting, but I just can’t seem to care enough about the award show to make a real effort at posting something profound.
In lieu of an article about how awful the Oscars have become (and pretty much always have been), I’m going to go over some of the major categories and see if we can find something of interest somewhere among them to talk about.
Academy Award for Best Actress
First off, I really don’t like the fact that we still distinguish between “Actresses” and “Actors” via gender. They are all actors and should be treated as such. In my opinion, we should really put Jennifer Lawrence (nominated this year for the movie Joy) up against Eddie Redmayne (nominated for his (her?) performance in The Danish Girl) or Matt Damon (nominated for The Martian). If you’ve seen Joy, you know it’s no where near the caliber of her past performances (Silver Linings Playbook, American Hustle, etc.), but it’s still a well put together movie and for her part, she does everything right and again, showcases an immense amount of talent.
Anyway, there are other actors (yes, screw the word Actress) that are nominated as well, here is a quick round up:
Cate Blanchett, in Carol Aird, as Carol
Brie Larson, in Room, as Joy “Ma” Newsome
Jennifer Lawrence, in Joy, as Joy Mangano
Charlotte Rampling, in 45 Years, as Kate Mercer
Saoirse Ronan, in Brooklyn, as Eilis Lacey
IWTMM’s Prediction: Jennifer Lawrence
Of course it has to be Jennifer Lawrence. Everyone loves her (she is really seemingly charming by all accounts) and if the panel even recognized any other actor’s name in that pile, then I would be surprised. Just give her another one, let her trip on the stairs or her dress *cue laughter* and a “surprised” winning speech.
IWTMM’s “Who Should Have Won”: Charlize Theron as Imperator Furiosa in Mad Max: Fury Road.
Seriously, you’ve likely seen Mad Max: Fury Road, the other nominations, not too likely. If you have (or even if you haven’t), Charlize Theron kicks so much ass in two hours than all the “Action Stars” of the 80’s combined. I totally think she should go all Kanye West on the Winner.
Academy Award for Best Actor
I believe they add, “in a Leading Role” to this title, but I don’t really care (that’s going to be a theme during this whole article). Let’s take a look at our powder-white nominees:
Bryan Cranston, in Trumbo, as Dalton Trumbo
Matt Damon, in The Martian, as Mark Watney
Leonardo DiCaprio, in The Revenant, as Hugh Glass
Michael Fassbender, in Steve Jobs, as Steve Jobs
Eddie Redmayne, in The Danish Girl, as Lili Elbe / Einar Wegener
IWTMM’s Prediction: Leonardo DiCaprio
Leo has been passed over for this award in four separate years. They skipped a year between nominating him so it didn’t look too suspicious, but I believe DiCaprio has been thoroughly snubbed. It likely doesn’t make any difference to him. Did you see what he got to do in The Wolf of Wall Street?
I mean, come on, you think Leo cares? Does he want to win, probably, it’s seemingly a big deal to these Hollywood types. But if a little gold statue is more important than the millions he rakes in for almost every film he does, then I really think the “art” in film is moot.
Academy Award for Best….
You know what, I really don’t give a crap. The Oscars are horrible. The monologue is obnoxious and no matter who wins, someone is going to be upset. I don’t even have enough apathy to finish this article.
IWTMM’s Prediction for Best Director: Adam McKay for The Big Short
IWTMM’s Prediction for Best Picture: The Big Short
Seriously, I don’t care. The Big Short was a phenomenal movie with excellent actors, a horrifying reality, and was honestly both entertaining and filmed very well. It’s on the “Unicorn List”. It’s both entertaining and “Critically” acclaimed. So, for my money, it’s going to come out the winner, but I really don’t care. The whole thing is just a big Hollywood circlejer…….
…..and that’s all I have to say about that. At least I get to see Zootopia next weekend.
There is a lot of potential for a review of Deadpool. We could have had him personally write the review and us having to fight him for control over the keyboard (which, honestly, wouldn’t have ended well for Manchicken and I), we could have tried to write the review in the style of the film, or we could have just thrown some Fourth Wall breaking nonsense together and called it a day.
Deadpool is not your typical Marvel Superhero film. Sure, the film’s plot was done with the typical origin story, but with this character, I actually believe it was somewhat necessary. In the case of Wade Wilson, I believe that the general public had no knowledge of his existence outside of the brilliant marketing campaign put together by Fox and Ryan Reynolds himself.
Ah hum. And no matter what I can say about this film, it’s all about Ryan Reynolds. The man who single handedly took the crap given to him from Gavin Hood, David Benioff, Skip Woods (Director and writers of X-Men Origins: Wolverine) and likely 20th Century Fox’s evil lead, Jim Gianopulos, (depicted below in his true form), and made sweet sweet lemonade out of fetid lemons.
From showcasing some of the character’s fighting abilities in the failed prequel to X-Men, endlessly campaigning for the film, somehow being first to showcase “leaked” footage from a 2011 proof of concept to this film on Twitter, and appearing in countless ads and other marketing stunts, including an amazing “self help” video advocating “Touching Yourself” to look for testicular cancer, oh, and actually staring in this record breaking R-Rated film.
It’s very rare that studios are comfortable releasing R-Rated films. Mainly because it really kills their chances at getting all that sweet allowance money from the coveted 13-16 year old demographic. I imagine Fox did everything they could to try and make this film PG-13, but both Reynolds and director Tim Miller (this was one hell of a wide-release debut) lobbied as hard as they could for the film’s essence to be maintained. Even when they had to lose $7 Million from production at the last moment, they came through and took away the previous release record for an R-Rated film (previously held by The Hangover Part II). With an opening weekend of $135M in the US (way more in other territories), it not only blew those records away, but it kicked some major studio butt by becoming Fox’s largest opening weekend (stealing it from Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith).
Don’t know what Fight Club has to do with it, but, I’ll roll with it. Anyway, for not being a fan of Deadpool in the comics (I’m more of a DC guy), I enjoyed the heck out of this film. The most common thing I hear people say about it is that it was “fun”. I think that is a fantastic way to describe Deadpool, but I believe there is a better one: Original. And I really worry, just like director James Gunn that filmmakers are going to learn a completely different lesson from Deadpool. While I’ll be the first to advocate for more R-Rated films in wide release as well as less serious comic book films (sorry my dearest Ben, I’m looking at your Batman vs. Superman).
As Gunn worries, Deadpool’s success will only mean more of the same. Yes, we loved Deadpool, but we didn’t love it just because it broke the Fourth Wall,
had gratuitous amounts of violence and blood, or even was extremely funny in pretty much every way. Unfortunately, that’s what Hollywood is going to take away from Deadpool. The trope of “comedic-ultra-violence” will hit screens (hell, I’d pay to see more blood while Wolverine with the gloves off his claws rips through the entire cast of the Brotherhood of Mutants). Why lie? We’d all watch that…but then we’d get fatigued again and they would just be another brand of superhero films. The magic from Deadpool would be lost in the sea of uncharacteristic actions taken by notable heroes.
I was thinking of Spider-Man creating nooses for the bad guys but sure, Kevin Smith can laugh at us.
Apart from Reynold’s obvious passion for the character and the film in general, his supporting cast are taken along for the ride. Not a single one of them miss a beat as the Merc with a Mouth goes on one killing rampage after another (sometimes even turning the camera away when it could get too bad), makes self-referential humor, or even decides the film needs Colossal ball punching. That last part is literal. Needless to say, the supporting actors look like they’re having as much fun as the audience and can hardly keep from laughing in almost every scene.
Slow-motion action is nothing new. Both Wanted, Kingsman, and the granddaddy of them all The Matrix all had variations of the fight choreography in Deadpool. There was something special about the ultra-violence depicted on screen, but even displays such as Watchmen and the first two Terminator films had copious amounts of ultra-violence. In my opinion, the two directors who have pulled off action as well as that in Deadpool are Timur Bekmambetov (Director of Wanted and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter) and Matthew Vaughn (Director of Kick-Ass and Kingsman: The Secret Service). There are scenes in Wanted and Kick-Ass that still make me cringe when I think of them.
Okay, well, I did cringe at Green Lantern, but that wasn’t the point. In general, others have done what Deadpool has done, but I think their real trump card here was the internal dialogue from Wade. In fact, several sequences are shot in such a way that Deadpool is actively telling a complete story while dealing out death to anyone who was foolish enough to continue fighting after the first few bullets didn’t put him down. Again, as I said, it all comes back to Ryan Reynolds.
Something I don’t often cover in movie reviews, but applies here, is the musical score. Horror films utilize the score to create tension and unless you are watching a film with the name “John Williams” or “Danny Elfman”, you’re not likely to notice the score. Deadpool was an interesting case. The 1990’s Hip-Hop vibe and general zaniness of the music flaring with the action is one impressive bit. I don’t want to spoil anything, but there was a moment in the film where an action movie trope was exploited for a gag that had the theater in stitches.
There was only one flaw in Deadpool’s otherwise stellar story, action, and acting was the villain. Unlike *spoilers* President Underwood up there, I don’t know why Marvel, Fox, or Warner Bros. have not been able to produce a good villain since Heath Ledger’s Joker in The Dark Knight. Did he set the bar too high? It’s been almost 10 years and we’ve seen squat in a fully formed villain. All I want is someone that has a reasonable scheme, no mystery casting (we all knew he was Khan), and can act worth a damn. I was however impressed with Gina Carano in the henchmen role which is her best role since she played “Crush” on the revamped “American Gladiators” during the 2008 Writer’s Strike.
Didn’t read my fancy words, here is the short version:
Deadpool is an instant classic in the superhero genre that has become saturated. Perhaps all we needed was a little bit of passion, humor, and debilitating ultra-violence injected straight into our veins to wake up from the action films that major studios have been peddling too us lately. They’re going to have to seriously up their game because not only is Deadpool a blast to watch, but it’s original without having to resort to filming the whole movie with computers. Just go see this movie, you won’t regret it…unless you bring your children. The explanations you’ll have to endure on the ride home will be harrowing to say the least.