Thursday, January 28, 2016

Thursday Movie Picks: Movies Adapted from Movies of a Different Language

Another Thursday, another Thursday Movie Picks, and this one is a great one!  Foreign Film adaptations, and this one could go any which way (as in, it could be a foreign film that was adapted from an English language film and not just English language films adapted from foreign films) and so with so much to chose from, I personally narrowed this down to films for which I've actually seen BOTH the original and the adaptation.  It didn't narrow it down THAT much, but it helped!

And here's what I've got.

Last Man Standing (Walter Hill, 1996)
Adapted from Akira Kurosawa's beloved Yojimbo, this dusty Bruce Willis western is sadly never talked about.  It's actually a really well paced and nicely rendered adaptation that feels uniquely it's own while still paying homage to the original.  Last Man Standing was one of those films I snatched up during my 'I want to be Bruce Willis' stage, and it's one that I've never let go of either.  

City of Angels (Brad Silberling, 1998)
When you compare this film to Wim Wenders' brilliant Wings of Desire, it pales, sure...but when you judge this for what it is it actually soars.  Anchored by a beautifully moving performance by Meg Ryan (let's not talk about Nicolas Cage), City of Angels has the right amount of sexy to go with the thought provoking premise, and while it may not go as deeply as the original, it still taps into the themes presented in Wenders' classic. 

Vanilla Sky (Cameron Crowe, 2001)
Alejandro Amenabar's original film, Open Your Eyes, became one of those sought after foreign films after Crowe's remake took audiences by surprise.  Personally, I prefer Vanilla Sky, but the similarites run so deep that I guess I love them both.  Cruz's performance (as the same character, mind you) is better in the original, but Crowe's mindf*ck has Cameron Diaz in such a delicious villain role that it kind of trumps the original for that fact alone.  Either way, you can't go wrong placing either (or both) in your queue!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Tuesday Tunes Tastings

It's Tuesday, so it's time to talk about some new music.  I wasn't able to get to everything I wanted to last week, but here are some thoughts on the nine albums I was album to listen to.  This week marks a very nice shift, since one of the albums I was able to get my ears on is one that I wholeheartedly ADORE and wouldn't be shocked to see make the long haul to my Mouthi Album of the Year ballot at the end of the year.  It's that good.

But you'll have to read below to find out which album I'm talking about.

Monday, January 25, 2016

A Fistful of Thoughts...about Leonardo DiCaprio and the quest for the elusive Oscar!

Alright, so this week I had a slew of topics ready to go for this entry of A Fistful of Thoughts, and only ONE of them had anything to do with #OscarsSoWhite (I edited) but then that got (got?) annoying and I didn't feel like talking about it anymore.

And then I saw The Revenant.

Yes, over the weekend I was blessed with the latest offering from torture porn enthusiast Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu and I decided that I knew exactly what I was going to talk about today.

Leonardo DiCaprio.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

The 1972 Fisti Awards

1972.  Legend.  The Godfather, one of the most beloved 'classics' of all time was born and remains a benchmark in filmmaking to this very day.  One may hear this film title and recall it's legacy and think, "This must have slayed at the Oscars" and then you'll think of it's eleven Oscar nominations and think, "It must have taken them all, right?" and you'd be very, very wrong.  No, Oscar may have lavished The Godfather with eleven nominations (ten if you count the retracted Score nomination) but at the end of the day there was a force brewing that stood in The Godfather's way.

Cabaret, Bob Fosse's beloved musical, DOMINATED The Oscars, snagging 8 statuettes out of the ten awards it was nominated for.  The Godfather may have taken the biggest award of the night (Best Picture), but Cabaret pretty much cockblocked it everywhere else, including Best Director.

Here's the deal; both of these films are epic masterpieces and so I'm torn all the way down these awards because I want them both to win everything.  But life is never that easy, is it, and so tough decisions were made and, with that said, I present to you The Fisti Awards for 1972!

Thursday Movie Picks: Airplane Movies

It's Thursday!  Time for another edition of Thursday Movie Picks, and this one was...significantly harder to do than the previous two.  I guess I just don't watch a lot of movies that center around an airplane.  I did have this nostalgic memory of watching some crazy movie as a kid that had the top of an airplane rip off and I vaguely remember a passenger losing his scalp or something, but I think that was a TV movie and I have no idea what it was called.

But I was petrified of flying for a long while after that.

ANYWAYS, here's what I got for you today!

Fearless (Peter Weir, 1993)
This touching character portrait deals with the survivors of a tragic plane crash and how they emotionally handle the personal wreckage left behind.  Some very strong performances anchor this film, including an Oscar snubbed Isabella Rossellini (yes, she was better than her Oscar nominated co-star).  Fearless tackles some very weighty topics and it does so with a finesse we come to expect from it's director.

Red Eye (Wes Craven, 2005)
Sure, it's tacky fun, but Red Eye is FUN, and that's what counts with these kinds of guilty pleasures.  What ever happened to Cillian Murphy?  I thought for sure he was going to break out in the best possible way after his string of mid-aughts success, and I figured by now he'd have an Oscar.  But...such is the movie world.  One day you're harassing Rachel McAdams on a plane, the next you're popping up in popular movies as some random guy we think we know but can't place.  

United 93 (Paul Greengrass, 2006)
Arguably the most important film of the three chosen by me this week, there are few films that can match the balancing act put on by United 93, a film that takes a very tragic and almost 'too soon' real life event and treats it with equal parts respect, exploration and entertainment to create a film that cements itself as a benchmark in this form of filmmaking.  I don't think I ever want to watch it again, but it's a film that needs to be seen at least once.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

United Movie Awards

One of the things I love most about this community of film-bloggers is the variety of styles, interests and tastes in film, and one thing I love so much is seeing the personal awards my fellow bloggers put together.  I personally have the Fisti Awards.  A few weeks ago I was asked to participate in something special; the UMA's (United Movie Awards).  Hosted by the creative minds behind Tale of Two Dans, Slip/through Movies and That Moment In, these awards are a way for bloggers to get together and make their voices heard.  So far, the 'fun' categories (think the MTV Movie Awards for the internet) are up and awaiting your votes.  The more serious categories are to come soon!  Please stop by,  cast your vote and lend your support to this fun collaboration within the blogging community.  

Tuesday Tunes Tastings

It's Tuesday, y'all...and that means it's time to talk music!  Last Friday was a mixed bag of good, great and mediocre, and while I didn't get to every release, I think I got my hands on most of them.  I have to say, this has been such a fun way to explore and discover bands/groups/singers I'd never heard of before and probably never would have given a listen to, so I hope that these posts are inspiring you to load up Spotify and check some of these acts out, even if it's just for a song or two.

So, let's get on with the week:

Monday, January 18, 2016

A Fistful of Thoughts...about punching people in the face, celebrating crap and bringing back the dead!

So, it's Monday and today we have a few things to talk about, some of which we've already mentioned, and some of which barely matters...and then there's some Sean Penn crap because, well, he's Sean Penn and he's mostly full of crap.

Let's begin with him:

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Trailer Break: Sing Street

I'm so excited for this!  I love John Carney's work.  I find him to have such a sharp and unique grasp at understanding relationships and people, and so I'm all in for anything with his name on it...but did you say 80's Irish Musical?  Yeah, I'm all in for this, and it looks so fun, and the young cast looks great here!  The roster of bands used for the soundtrack is top notch, and Carney writing original music is always a plus, so this is certainly A.I.S.


Friday, January 15, 2016

Oscars So White?

If you were anywhere near social media yesterday, then you know the second Oscar nominations were announced, posts/tweets/statuses and the like were all exploding with a very specific and familiar hashtag.


Yes, once again (second year in a row) all 20 acting nominees (and also the directing nominees) were all white.  Now, last year, after the Selma award’s run debacle, I wrote a piece on this very issue and once again I find myself somewhat baffled and kind of rolling my eyes a tad at all these outraged tweets and this constant use of the popular hashtag.

Before you get offended, let me explain.

Thursday, January 14, 2016


Well, the Oscar nominations were announced about an hour ago, so here they are in their complete glory alongside my scores for my Final Predictions from yesterday as well as my April Predictions from last year.  Have fun!

Thursday Movie Picks: Post Apocalyptic World

Another Thursday, and so that means it's another episode of Thursday Movie Picks.  This week is all about Post-Apocalyptic Worlds, not Apocalyptic, so we're talking AFTER the world ends!  My initial thought was The Road, which is such an underrated film, but I had a feeling that it would also be a lot of 'first thoughts', so I opted for some more obscure titles.

Although I'm sure that my #3 will land on a few lists as well.

Let's get started.

La Jetee (Chris Marker, 1962)
Such an astonishing piece of filmmaking, this short film (not even 30 minutes long) is so well constructed and thought out that every frame becomes an impression on the mind.  La Jetee was later remade in 1995 with Bruce Willis and Brad Pitt (12 Monkeys anyone?) and it was remade well, but there is something about this stunning short that continues to haunt the brain.

Delicatessen (Jean-Pierre Jeunet, 1991)
Jean-Pierre Jeaunet is kind of a nut-job, and his films reflect that aesthetic.  Delicatessen is such a bizarre look at the world post-conclusion with such macabre life breathed into every frame and endlessly enjoyable aspects, from the performances to the set decor to the score to pretty much everything you could ask for being compiled in astonishingly delightful form.  I'd take this over Burton's Sweeney Todd any day.

Children of Men (Alfonso Cuaron, 2006)
There are few films as jarringly exposed as Children of Men, a film that teases us with the end of humankind only to trickle hope in front of our faces and dare us to chase it, and chase it we will, to the ends of the Earth (or what's left of it).  There is a reason it lands on my 100 (and then some) Favorite Films list.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Final Oscar Predictions

Well, Oscar nominations are tomorrow, and this year has been such an insane ride that I was, unfortunately, unable to keep complete track of and so I'm somewhat blindly throwing together a mix of what I expect, what I hope and what I fear.

And here it goes:

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Tuesday Tunes Tastings

It's Tuesday, and so it's time for another Tuesday Tunes Tasting.  There was a LOT more to ingest last Friday, and so this is going to be a far longer post than last week.  Some good, some great, some awful; there's a lot to discuss today.

I want to start by making a slight note regarding David Bowie.  The first album I listened to and graded was Bowie's latest release, Blackstar.  I was tempted, upon hearing of his death Sunday night, to revisit the album and even my grade, but I didn't want it to be tainted by emotion, so I have decided to keep my initial review as it was written last week.

And on that note; here we go:

Monday, January 11, 2016

A Fistful of Thoughts...about Kate Winslet's globes, tweets of hilarity and the dearly departed!

So last night while the rest of the cinephile world was watching The Golden Globes, I was eating a sandwich and watching Kingsman for the first time.  Yeah, I was pissed but I made the best of a bad situation.  For the first time since 2003 (when I started watching Award's shows religiously), I'm missing the televised awards because I no longer have cable and am relying on streaming services, and last night NBC was a b*tch.  I swear to god, if the Oscars don't live stream somehow, I will cut someone.

So, I don't have anything to say today about the fashions or speeches or jokes because I saw none of them.


I do have a few things to say though:

Friday, January 8, 2016

What's the deal with Best Picture this year?

What in the world is going on this year?  I swear, I picked the absolute worst year to take a break from the Oscar coverage game, because this has been the greatest year of absolute randomness I’ve ever seen.  The consensus on all categories is so all over the place, that aside from some hunches there really isn’t a frontrunner in any category, including Best Picture.  Now that BAFTA has announced their nominees, I’m ready to start attempting to compile my final Oscar nomination predictions (like, we get them in a week or something like that) but today we’re just going to talk about Best Picture because I don’t have the time or patience to get something more up at the moment.

Let’s look at the five biggest representations of what the voting bodies are supporting; BAFTA, BFCA, Globes, PGA & SAG

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Thursday Movie Picks: Downstairs People

Alright, so it's time to start the year anew and that means it's a whole new set of Thursday Movie Picks to fawn all over and I am determined to actually get all these done this year!  New year, new format, new movies, new life...let's go!

So this weeks theme is Downstairs People, and my first thought was Mole People and then I read the fine print and I thought GOSFORD PARK and then I thought of nothing else for a long while and figured that one was going to be a HUGE pick this week so I opted to wrack my brain and come of up three that might get scarce recognition this week.  So here goes nothing.

The Innocents (Jack Clayton, 1961)
Haunting, terrifying, unsettling, chilling, thought-provoking; this Gothic horror film is one of the most spectacular examples of using atmosphere to bolster the intensity of a story, and what a story this one has!  Brilliant performances all the way around, especially from Kerr and young Martin Stephens, The Innocents is a classic horror staple. 

The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant (Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1972)
Unfolding much like a stageplay, there is a naturalness to Fassbinder's tale of the brutal effects of unrequited love in so many splintered directions that it is completely consuming from start to finish.  Bold and highly engaged, The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant introduces us to a pool of rich female characters that are hard to shake.

The Remains of the Day (James Ivory, 1993)
My first Merchant Ivory production, and still my favorite, The Remains of the Day remains in my heart, forever.  This beautifully woven tale of love, loyalty and integrity couldn't be more intricately developed.  It still has the power to take my breath away.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Tuesday Tunes Tastings

Alright, so since I've decided during my break to add my own music awards to the slate (The Mouthis), I figured I should start reviewing/grading music releases, and what better way to do it then through a post each week dedicated to new releases!  So, every Tuesday (barring some awful issue), I'll be posting Tuesday Tunes Tastings, a rundown of the albums that dropped the Friday before that I was album to...taste.  I'll only be grading full albums, not single releases, since in order to be eligible for The Mouthis you must have your songs part of an album or ep.

Now, I've decided to grade these on a scale of Miley tongues, since it has become evident that more and more of you need to be reminded of Miley Cyrus's talent and incredible contribution to modern pop, so she'll be grading these releases accordingly.

Now, this week (err, last week) only brought us one actual new release (Opeth re-released a remastered version of two of their lauded albums, but I'm not grading re-releases) and so this will be a nice tester as to how well these posts will work out.

Let's get right into it!

Monday, January 4, 2016

A Fistful of Thoughts...about golden streams, violent dreams and the return of the mack!

So, I'm going to attempt to get back into the swing of some Fistful of Thoughts posts.  I don't want to promise every week, but I want to try and get back into a routine of making this a Monday thing, so wish me luck.  I'm not going to lie, this one was a little thrown together, so forgive me if this seems...not entirely well crafted.  I'm still getting my footing here.

Enough excuse making...let's just get right into this:

Friday, January 1, 2016

2015 Mouthi Awards Ceremony

The ceremony for the 2015 Mouthi Awards took place in Miami, FL at the Miami-Dade County Auditorium on December 31st at 8:00 PM, Eastern Standard Time.

It was hosted by music legend, Paul McCartney.

Here are the highlights: