CinemaNerdz.com http://cinemanerdz.com Mon, 15 Dec 2014 17:11:17 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 Boyhood Dominates the 2014 Detroit Film Critics Society Awardshttp://cinemanerdz.com/boyhood-dominates-the-2014-detroit-film-critics-society-awards/ http://cinemanerdz.com/boyhood-dominates-the-2014-detroit-film-critics-society-awards/#comments Mon, 15 Dec 2014 17:11:17 +0000 http://cinemanerdz.com/?p=18613 The most distinguished film critic group in Michigan, the Detroit Film Critics Society, released their Best of 2014 nominees and winners in ten categories. The society was founded in Spring 2007 and consists of a group of eighteen Michigan film critics who write or broadcast in the Detroit area as well as other major cities within a 150-mile radius of the city including Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Lansing, and Flint, Michigan.

BoyhoodEach critic submitted their top five picks in the following categories: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Ensemble, and Breakthrough Performance, Best Screenplay, and Best Documentary. From these submissions, each entry was given a point value and the top five in each category were placed on the final ballot. The final ballots were then given to each critic to rank in order and the final results were tabulated in the same way.

This year, there was a three-way tie in the category of Best Ensemble with Birdman, Guardians of the Galaxy, and The Grand Budapest Hotel all ending up with the same point value. Boyhood was the top winner in four categories of Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actress, and Best Screenplay. Birdman and Whiplash took two awards each.

 

The Best of 2014
as picked by the Detroit Film Critics Society
(nominees are listed in alphabetical order)

BEST FILM

  • Winner: Boyhood
  • Birdman
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Under the Skin
  • Whiplash

BEST DIRECTOR

  • Winner: Richard Linklater, Boyhood
  • Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Damien Chazelle, Whiplash
  • Jonathan Glazer, Under the Skin
  • Ajejandro González Iñárritu, Birdman

BEST ACTOR

  • Winner: Michael Keaton, Birdman
  • Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game
  • Brendan Gleeson, Calvary
  • Jake Gyllenhaal, Nightcrawler
  • Tom Hardy, Locke
  • Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything

BEST ACTRESS

  • Winner: Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl
  • Essie Davis, The Babadook
  • Scarlett Johansson, Under the Skin
  • Julianne Moore, Still Alice
  • Reese Witherspoon, Wild

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

  • Winner: JK Simmons, Whiplash
  • Josh Brolin, Inherent Vice
  • Ethan Hawke, Boyhood
  • Edward Norton, Birdman
  • Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

  • Winner: Patricia Arquette, Boyhood
  • Laura Dern, Wild
  • Rene Russo, Nightcrawler
  • Emma Stone, Birdman
  • Tilda Swinton, Snowpiercer

BEST ENSEMBLE

  • Winner: Birdman
  • Winner: The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Winner: Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Boyhood
  • Into the Woods

BREAKTHROUGH

  • Winner: Damien Chazelle, Whiplash (director, screenplay)
  • Jennifer Kent, The Babadook (director, screenplay)
  • Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Belle, Beyond the Lights (actress)
  • Chris Pratt, Guardians of the Galaxy (actor)
  • Dan Stevens, The Guest (actor)

BEST SCREENPLAY

  • Winner: Richard Linklater, Boyhood
  • Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Damien Chazelle, Whiplash
  • Nicolas Giacobone and Alejandro González Iñárritu, Birdman
  • John Michael McDonagh, Calvary

BEST DOCUMENTARY

  • Winner: CitizenFour
  • Finding Vivian Maier
  • Jodorowsky’s Dune
  • Keep On Keepin’ On
  • Life Itself
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Box Office Weekend: Exodus King for Now, But May Abdicate Soonhttp://cinemanerdz.com/box-office-weekend-exodus-king-for-now-but-may-abdicate-soon/ http://cinemanerdz.com/box-office-weekend-exodus-king-for-now-but-may-abdicate-soon/#comments Mon, 15 Dec 2014 14:46:54 +0000 http://cinemanerdz.com/?p=18607 Director Ridley Scott may be pleased about his Exodus: Gods and Kings is in first place at the box office with an estimated $24.5 million; however, it is an extremely weak start to the $140 million epic (even with overseas box office), and with a critical slamming it cannot compete with the likes of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1. Even at only an estimated $13.2 million in its fourth week, it has managed to become the second highest earning domestic film of the year, second only to Guardians of the Galaxy, and there is reason to believe even that status could be in trouble if Mockingjay – Part 1 continues to press on at the same rate. In the meantime, Penguins of Madagascar, with an estimated $7.3 million, falls well short domestically but continues to do well overseas, doing nearly double the business across the world than it is doing at home…enough to draw a profit on its production costs, anyway.

Exodus: Gods and KingsChris Rock has been wowing critics and audiences alike with his Top Five, though with an estimated $7.2 million it did not quite compete with the bigger name releases of the week, or even those of previous weeks…Big Hero 6 and Interstellar remain joined at the hip with an estimated $6.1 million and $5.5 million respectively, with Big Hero 6 at a slight edge domestically but Interstellar a massive worldwide hit. Horrible Bosses 2 broke even thanks to an estimated $4.6 million, though maybe the most interesting news is the release of budget information for Dumb and Dumber To. While not as big a hit as the original film, the estimated $2.8 million weekend turned out to add a little flesh to a successful venture, as the $40 million budget was nearly matched in its first weekend of release. As it stands, it has made back over double that with $82.1 million.

Finally, The Theory of Everything held up well enough for releasing company Focus Features, bringing in an estimated $2.5 million at the box office over the weekend, enough to gain a marginal profit against a $15 million budget…and still ahead of the critically acclaimed Wild, the Reese Witherspoon-starring film based on the memoir of Cheryl Strayed, which picked up a few theaters and some revenue in the form of an estimated $1.6 million.

Weekend Box Office (December 12th – December 14th)

  1. Exodus: Gods and Kings…$24.5 million
  2. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1…$13.2 million
  3. Penguins of Madagascar…$7.3 million
  4. Top Five…$7.2 million
  5. Big Hero 6…$6.1 million
  6. Interstellar…$5.5 million
  7. Horrible Bosses 2…$4.6 million
  8. Dumb and Dumber To…$2.8 million
  9. The Theory of Everything…$2.5 million
  10. Wild…$1.6 million
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Movie Review: Exodus: Gods and Kingshttp://cinemanerdz.com/movie-review-exodus-gods-and-kings/ http://cinemanerdz.com/movie-review-exodus-gods-and-kings/#comments Mon, 15 Dec 2014 03:02:51 +0000 http://cinemanerdz.com/?post_type=os_movie_review&p=18600 Exodus: Gods and Kings is unequivocally a technically savvy remake of the classic film The Ten Commandments (1956). The Ten Commandments was, for its day, pretty amazing in and of itself. Exodus: Gods and Kings is certainly not completely Biblically accurate, but what it lacks in authenticity it makes up for with an entertaining account of the Book of Exodus. Those that may have a problem with it not being true to the Old Testament account might do well to consider that this can be a means for opening up a dialog with those curious to learn about the God of the Bible.

Exodus: Gods and KingsKudos goes to Christian Bale for playing the part of Moses. There were many scenes in which I felt Bale was an exact replica of Charlton Heston’s Moses. In addition, Joel Edgerton as Ramses was also very believable. Not quite of the same caliber as, my favorite, Yul Brynner, but entertaining for sure.

The story goes through the life of Moses, him learning that he was really a Hebrew, being exiled from Egypt, and then returning to free his people from Egypt. You are walked through all of the plagues, and of course the parting of the Red Sea. What I find interesting is all of the talk about how terrible it is to not be totally accurate, the refusal by many to even give the film a chance because it in some way will dishonor the Exodus account. Hogwash! Let’s give credit where it is due. With all that this century has to offer as far as cinematography, this film can finally give the truest sense of what it just may have looked like to have the sea turn to blood, the invasion of the locusts, the incredible parting of the sea. Please people, take this film for what it is, a story based on the Biblical book of Exodus. You may just leave with something in your mind’s eye that you could previously only imagine.

Honorable mention goes to Aaron Paul as Joshua. Paul, best known for his role as Jessie in the award-winning series Breaking Bad, really steps out in his performance. I was pleased to see this for I was certain that Breaking Bad had him typecast as a loser/stoner.

All and all folks, Exodus: Gods and Kings is a film anyone can enjoy. I would put it right up there with films that would help Biblical believers share the faith with their families. Let’s remember that when we re-watch The Ten Commandments at Easter or Christmas since it too is not completely accurate yet we still enjoy the rendition.

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Movie Review: Top Fivehttp://cinemanerdz.com/movie-review-top-five/ http://cinemanerdz.com/movie-review-top-five/#comments Sun, 14 Dec 2014 00:54:26 +0000 http://cinemanerdz.com/?post_type=os_movie_review&p=18592 Prior to Chris Rock’s new film Top Five, my favorite of his scattered (sometimes sadly corny and embarrassing) big screen efforts has been the writer-director’s illuminating documentary Good Hair where he played himself: genial, witty, and inquisitive. Most of his movies underestimate Rock’s range of influences: his stage persona the dominant perception in everyone’s mind. But unless you’re Rodney Dangerfield, seldom does a stage act translate well in features. The wacky inspirations of Louis CK and Rock’s Pootie Tang were tamed by studio fools; CB4 is just a series of bits. When he does settle his rhythms for a good indie role (2 Days in New York, Nurse Betty), Rock is affable but lacks the confidence shown in concert or a club. Finally perfecting the formula, Top Five is Rock’s triple-hat artist’s statement on fame, culture, relationships, New York City, stand-up, hip hop, families, and maturation.

Top FivePacking so many dilemmas and loves into one breezy, heartfelt dramatic comedy with hardly any stumbles proves Rock’s evolved writer’s hand; navigating around buddy cameos, realistic romance, raunchy comedy, philosophical drops, idol shout-outs, and all without a patina of narcissism is a feat. Top Five is too crass, broad, and choppy and the romance not organic enough to reach Annie Hall genius, but Rock’s Woody Allen worship comes through in both story structure and the warm framing and tones of cinematographer Manuel Alberto Claro (Melancholia, Nymphomaniac). A debt as well to Richard Linklater for the extended conversation device between fame-spoiled movie star surrogate Andre Allen (Rock) and a challenging New York Times reporter (Rosario Dawson) profiling him during a PR marathon. Rock’s truths aren’t as deep as those in Linklater’s Before series, making room for a couple of Borat-strength scatalogical sequences that will make audiences wince and roar. Funny as the material is, the movie loses some of its hold by dipping into fairly inconsequential gross-outs.

Andre enters as a sobered-up, self-loathing, body-guarded commodity of the Hammy the Bear franchise, promoting a serious passion project on the 1791 Haitian slave rebellion, but all everyone wants is Hammy 4 and gossip: an E! camera follows his gold-digging, talent-free fiancee. Obvious, nearly-shadeless satirical targets (or blatant in Tyler Perry’s case) could have made Top Five another episodic sketch movie if Rock did not keep the silliness at bay in favor of real discussions and interactions between people; even the famous face parade is naturally integrated. The title comes from a hilarious centerpiece riff-off in Allen’s old Brooklyn family apartment as several of the best black comedians today (Leslie Jones and Tracy Morgan among them) bounce off each other, playing dozens and throwing out their top five hip hop/rap artists with a raw energy and relatability that is the essence of great humor.

A generously overstuffed career best, Top Five should be the jump-off for future Rock film projects. I’m sure Martin Lawrence is available for the next Hammy-type offer.

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The 2014 Detroit Film Critics Society Awards Nominationshttp://cinemanerdz.com/the-2014-detroit-film-critics-society-awards-nominations/ http://cinemanerdz.com/the-2014-detroit-film-critics-society-awards-nominations/#comments Thu, 11 Dec 2014 19:55:36 +0000 http://cinemanerdz.com/?p=18584 The most distinguished film critic group in Michigan, the Detroit Film Critics Society, released their Best of 2014 nominees in ten categories. The society was founded in Spring 2007 and consists of a group of eighteen Michigan film critics who write or broadcast in the Detroit area as well as other major cities within a 150-mile radius of the city including Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Lansing, and Flint, Michigan.

BirdmanEach critic submitted their top five picks in the following categories: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Ensemble, and Breakthrough Performance, Best Screenplay, and Best Documentary. From these submissions, each entry was given a point value and the top five in each category have been placed on the final ballot. The final ballots are being given to each critic to rank in order and the final results will be tabulated in the same way and the winners will be announced on Monday, December 15th.

Leading with seven nominations this year is Birdman. Other top nominees with include Boyhood (6), Whiplash (5), and The Grand Budapest Hotel (4). Receiving three nominations each are Under the Skin and Nightcrawler. Wes Anderson, Damien Chazelle, Alejandro González Iñárritu, and Richard Linklater have all been nominated twice this year for Best Director and Best Screenplay. Damien Chazelle was also nominated in the Best Breakthrough category.

 

BEST FILM

  • Boyhood
  • Birdman
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Under the Skin
  • Whiplash

BEST DIRECTOR

  • Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Damien Chazelle, Whiplash
  • Jonathan Glazer, Under the Skin
  • Ajejandro González Iñárritu, Birdman
  • Richard Linklater, Boyhood

BEST ACTOR

  • Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game
  • Brendan Gleeson, Calvary
  • Jake Gyllenhaal, Nightcrawler
  • Michael Keaton, Birdman
  • Tom Hardy, Locke
  • Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything

BEST ACTRESS

  • Essie Davis, The Babadook
  • Scarlett Johansson, Under the Skin
  • Julianne Moore, Still Alice
  • Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl
  • Reese Witherspoon, Wild

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

  • Josh Brolin, Inherent Vice
  • Ethan Hawke, Boyhood
  • Edward Norton, Birdman
  • Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher
  • JK Simmons, Whiplash

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

  • Patricia Arquette, Boyhood
  • Laura Dern, Wild
  • Rene Russo, Nightcrawler
  • Emma Stone, Birdman
  • Tilda Swinton, Snowpiercer

BEST ENSEMBLE

  • Birdman
  • Boyhood
  • Guardians of the Galaxy
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Into the Woods

BREAKTHROUGH

  • Damien Chazelle, Whiplash (director, screenplay)
  • Jennifer Kent, The Babadook (director, screenplay)
  • Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Belle, Beyond the Lights (actress)
  • Chris Pratt, Guardians of the Galaxy (actor)
  • Dan Stevens, The Guest (actor)

BEST SCREENPLAY

  • Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Damien Chazelle, Whiplash
  • Nicolas Giacobone and Alejandro González Iñárritu, Birdman
  • Richard Linklater, Boyhood
  • John Michael McDonagh, Calvary

BEST DOCUMENTARY

  • CitizenFour
  • Finding Vivian Maier
  • Jodorowsky’s Dune
  • Keep On Keepin’ On
  • Life Itself
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