Us (2019) – Review

Bonkers, dense and straight up scary. 

Continue reading Us (2019) – Review

My Oscars 2019 Predictions & Wishes

Will The Academy redeem themselves?

The Oscars are this Sunday. For film fans, it’s the climax of a tumultuous period of whinging, moaning and celebrating; an eclectic season that brings out the very best and worst of modern movie culture – and I wouldn’t change it for the world. Like everyone, I have a who’s who wish list of winners, but the creeping whisperings of reality mean my former naivety isn’t as pure as it once was. Here are the nominees, who will win, a possible alternative and who should win, in my humble opinion.

BEST PICTURE:

ROMA
© – Netflix
  • A Star Is Born
  • Roma
  • BlacKkKlansman
  • Green Book 
  • The Favourite
  • Black Panther
  • Bohemian Rhapsody 
  • Vice

WILL WIN: Roma

POSSIBLE ALTERNATIVE: BlacKkKlansman 

SHOULD WIN: BlacKkKlansman 

BEST ACTRESS: 

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© – Fox Searchlight
  • Glenn Close – The Wife
  • Lady Gaga – A Star Is Born
  • Olivia Colman – The Favourite
  • Melissa McCarthy – Can You Ever Forgive Me?
  • Yalitza Aparicio – Roma

WILL WIN: Olivia Colman

POSSIBLE ALTERNATIVE: Glenn Close

SHOULD WIN: Olivia Colman

BEST ACTOR:

vice-2018-still
© – Annapurna Pictures
  • Christian Bale – Vice
  • Bradley Cooper – A Star Is Born
  • Rami Malek – Bohemian Rhapsody 
  • Willem Dafoe – At Eternity’s Gate
  • Viggo Mortensen – Green Book

WILL WIN: Christian Bale

POSSIBLE ALTERNATIVE: Rami Malek

SHOULD WIN: Bradley Cooper

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: 

regina-king
© – Annapurna Pictures
  • Marina De Tavira – Roma
  • Amy Adams – Vice
  • Regina King – If Beale Street Could Talk
  • Rachel Weisz – The Favourite
  • Emma Stone – The Favourite

WILL WIN: Regina King

POSSIBLE ALTERNATIVE: Rachel Weisz

SHOULD WIN: Regina King

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR:

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© – Universal Pictures
  • Mahershala Ali – Green Book
  • Richard E. Grant – Can You Ever Forgive Me? 
  • Sam Elliot – A Star Is Born
  • Adam Driver – BlacKkKlansman
  • Sam Rockwell – Vice

WILL WIN: Mahershala Ali

POSSIBLE ALTERNATIVE: Richard E. Grant

SHOULD WIN: Richard E. Grant

BEST DIRECTOR:

ROMA
© – Netflix
  • Alfonso Cuarón – Roma
  • Pawel Pawlikowski – Cold War
  • Spike Lee – BlacKkKlansman
  • Adam McKay – Vice
  • Yorgos Lanthimos – The Favourite

WILL WIN: Alfonso Cuarón

POSSIBLE ALTERNATIVE: Spike Lee

SHOULD WIN: Alfonso Cuarón

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY:

THE FAVOURITE
© – The Favourite
  • Roma
  • The Favourite
  • Vice
  • First Reformed
  • Green Book

WILL WIN: The Favourite

POSSIBLE ALTERNATIVE: Green Book

SHOULD WIN: The Favourite

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY:

blackkklansman
© – Focus Features
  • The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
  • BlacKkKlansman 
  • If Beale Street Could Talk
  • A Star Is Born
  • Can You Ever Forgive Me?

WILL WIN: BlacKkKlansman

POSSIBLE ALTERNATIVE: If Beale Street Could Talk

SHOULD WIN: BlacKkKlansman

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY:

marina-de-tavira-marco-graf-yalitza-aparicio-diego-cortina-autrey-and-carlos-peralta-in-roma-2018
© – Netflix
  • Matthew Libatique – A Star Is Born
  • Alfonso Cuarón – Roma
  • Robbie Ryan – The Favourite
  • Caled Deschanel – Never Look Away
  • Lukasz Zal – Cold War

WILL WIN: Roma

POSSIBLE ALTERNATIVE: The Favourite 

SHOULD WIN: Roma

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE: 

black-panther-review-14
© – Marvel
  • Terence Blanchard – BlacKkKlansman
  • Ludwig Göransson – Black Panther
  • Nicholas Britell – If Beale Street Could Talk
  • Marc Shaiman – Mary Poppins Returns
  • Alexandre Desplat – Isle Of Dogs

WILL WIN: Black Panther

POSSIBLE ALTERNATIVE: If Beale Street Could Talk

SHOULD WIN: If Beale Street Could Talk

BEST ORIGINAL SONG: 

astarisborn-lead2
© – Warner Bros
  • ‘Shallow’ – A Star Is Born
  • ‘The Place Where Lost Things Go’ – Mary Poppins Returns
  • ‘All The Stars’ – Black Panther
  • ‘When A Cowboy Trades His Spurs For Wings’ – The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
  • ‘I’ll Fight’ – RBG

WILL WIN: ‘Shallow’ – A Star Is Born

POSSIBLE ALTERNATIVE: N/A

SHOULD WIN: ‘Shallow’ – A Star Is Born

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE: 

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© – Sony
  • The Incredibles 2
  • Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse
  • Isle of Dogs
  • Ralph Breaks The Internet
  • Mirai 

WILL WIN: Spider-Man: Into The Spider Verse

POSSIBLE ALTERNATIVE: N/A

SHOULD WIN: Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS: 

ddl3k9wxby811
© – Marvel
  • Solo: A Star Wars Story
  • Avengers: Infinity War
  • First Man
  • Ready Player One
  • Christopher Robin

WILL WIN: Avengers: Infinity War

POSSIBLE ALTERNATIVE: First Man

SHOULD WIN: Avengers: Infinity War

BEST FILM EDITING: 

vice-1200-1200-675-675-crop-000000
© – Annapurna Pictures
  • Green Book
  • The Favourite
  • Vice
  • Bohemian Rhapsody
  • BlacKkKlansman

WILL WIN: Vice

POSSIBLE ALTERNATIVE: BlacKkKlansman

SHOULD WIN: BlacKkKlansman

BEST SOUND EDITING:

2493_d030_00395r_grd.jpg_cmyk_2040.0
© – Universal
  • First Man
  • Roma
  • Bohemian Rhapsody
  • Black Panther
  • A Quiet Place

WILL WIN: First Man

POSSIBLE ALTERNATIVE: A Quiet Place

SHOULD WIN: First Man

BEST SOUND MIXING: 

merlin_144555117_13c7fad7-bf39-4a5e-8f36-9157161449b8-articlelarge
© – Warner Bros
  • First Man
  • Roma
  • Black Panther
  • A Star Is Born
  • Bohemian Rhapsody

WILL WIN: A Star Is Born

POSSIBLE ALTERNATIVE: First Man

SHOULD WIN: A Star Is Born

BEST COSTUME DESIGN:

the-favourite-tf_03776_rgb
© – Fox Searchlight
  • The Favourite
  • Mary Poppins Returns
  • Black Panther
  • The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
  • Mary Queen Of Scots

WILL WIN: The Favourite

POSSIBLE ALTERNATIVE: Black Panther

SHOULD WIN: The Favourite

BEST MAKE-UP AND HAIRSTYLING:

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© – Annapurna Pictures
  • Vice
  • Mary Queen of Scots
  • Border

WILL WIN: Vice

POSSIBLE ALTERNATIVE: Mary Queen of Scots

SHOULD WIN: Vice

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN: 

5janfilm
© – Fox Searchlight
  • The Favourite
  • First Man
  • Black Panther
  • Roma
  • Mary Poppins Returns

WILL WIN: The Favourite

POSSIBLE ALTERNATIVE: Roma

SHOULD WIN: The Favourite

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM: 

roma-still-2-1024x576
© – Netflix
  • Roma
  • Cold War
  • Shoplifters
  • Capernaum
  • Never Look Away

WILL WIN: Roma

POSSIBLE ALTERNATIVE: Cold War

SHOULD WIN: Roma

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE:

carousel8b.d77c115a
© – National Geographic
  • Free Solo
  • RBG
  • Hail County this morning, This Evening
  • Of Fathers and Sons
  • Minding The Gap

WILL WIN: Free Solo

POSSIBLE ALTERNATIVE: RBG

SHOULD WIN: Free Solo

What are your thoughts? Who do you want to see win on the big night? Let me know in the comments or send me a tweet.

Cameron Frew – @FrewFilm

The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part (2019) – Review

Mad Max: Fury Road on LSD. 

Once briefly a harmless jingle, inevitably becoming a near-perturbing earworm, 2014 was the year of ‘Everything Is Awesome’, thanks to the blockbusting ultra-animation, The Lego Movie. A wacko concept bound for critical dismissal defied the odds, both charming and wildly exciting, smartly written but hilariously silly. Through the success of a caped crusader’s solo outing and a not-so efficient Ninjago spin-off, we’ve arrived at the sequel, and what a joy it is.

Bricksburg’s time as a utopia is short-lived, after Duplo aliens invade, turning their happy world into a wasteland, aptly named Apocalypseburg. Amidst the turmoil and raised survival instincts is Emmet (Chris Pratt), an optimistic spirit planning out his life with Lucy (Elizabeth Banks) in a place ravaged of hope. However, when General Mayhem (Stephanie Beatriz) and Queen Watevra Wa-Nabi (Tiffany Haddish) kidnap the residents, Emmet is forced to buck up his courage, with the assistance of hero-figure, Rex Dangervest (also Pratt).

Lucy, Batman (Will Arnett on predictably brilliant form) and others are taken to the Systar System, where an impending marriage awaits them. The thing that really made the first film work was the fact it was high-concept animation; both visual entertainment and a heartwarming tale for families, a reminder to adults particularly that they were kids once, and as such, they should have some compassion to kids. Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, who have penned both scripts, very much continue this theme, this time moving on to a brother and sister’s tenuous relationship when it comes to toys.

hero_lego-movie-2
© – Warner Bros

Whilst in the mix of all the brick-building tomfoolery and dimension-transitions, you never lose sight of where you are or struggle to comprehend the rules of the feature. It’s only when you walk out and try and explain it, you’ll find yourself bumbling around some convoluted explanation. That in itself is a remarkable achievement; doing something narratively bold and keeping in line with a solid message. The lesson this time round isn’t quite as punchy in the emotional department (although it is drawn out in a much different way than the first’s climactic turn), but as you’d expect from Lord and Miller, the jokes are better, thicker and faster.

The gags are amazingly varied and seemingly endless. From a vision of the Statue of Liberty à la Planet of the Apes, to Batman referring to his own three movies in production, to a knock at the earlier film’s female representation, to a wide cast of terrific cameos – Velma, Aquaman, Bruce Willis and, wait for it, Ruth Bader Ginsburg. It’s a film that embodies the challenge of make believe and all the strange, imaginative set-pieces that can conjure. Only a small number of the jokes don’t land – Haddish’s villainous royal especially struggles to merge with the rest of the ensemble. But, similarly to the original, the self-referential, uber-meta jabs take form in both zingers and the fabulous, poppy soundtrack. Bringing together a range of artists, including the eagerly-awaited return of The Lonely Island, The Second Part has its very own memorable tune, appropriately named ‘Catchy Song’, with a central, recurring lyric: “This song’s gonna get stuck inside your head!” There’s also the best super-sad twist on a cheery song since Team America.

While Lord and Miller cheekily dissect Hollywood tropes both on and off screen, Mark Mothersbaugh (best known for Trolls) helms the film with a confident hand, helping to orchestrate dazzling, kaleidoscopic action sequences alongside his talented animators. The densely realised visuals are completely bonkers and surreal, but that’s the point isn’t it? The Lego series is an advancement of something as rudimentary as building a tall tower of bricks, an ode to the wonder of the creative side of the brain. And here, among the demented, nonsensically gleeful offerings is Pratt doing a fantastic Kurt Russell impression, skateboarding dinosaurs and Super Mario star-bombs. Name another kids film that riffs on Mad Max: Fury Road and homages 2001: A Space Odyssey while producing something entertaining for the whole family (but particularly the adults).

A surrealist, pop culture tornado that whirls you up and spits you out in a state of post-playtime delirium. 

Rating: ★★★★☆

Cameron Frew – @FrewFilm