My Oscars 2016 Predictions

Best actor: Bryan Cranston
Best actress: Brie Larson
Best picture: Spotlight
Best director: Alejandro Inarritu
Best supporting actor: Tom Hardy
Best supporting actress: Alicia Vikander
Best animated feature film: Inside Out
Best original screenplay: Straight Outta Compton
Best cinematography: Mad Max Fury Road
Best costume design: Cinderella
Best visual effects: Star Wars The Force Awakens
Best film editing: Mad Max Fury Road
Best adapted screenplay: The Martian
Best sound mixing: The Revenant
Best foreign language film: Son Of Saul
Best original score:The Hateful Eight
Best production design: Mad Max Fury Road

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Back to the Future Trilogy Review

Back to the Future PosterToday is Back to the Future Day. Why? Because that’s the day Michael J. Fox’s character Marty McFly goes to the future in 1985 in the Back to the Future sequel.
This is a trilogy review because I never saw any of these movies by themselves, and even when I did, the sequel was aired the following day. I’m sure you can watch each of these movies by themselves, but I think each of these movies is a perfect movie (10/10) so why not make a night out of it and have some fun?

Back to the Future is a movie made famous for its DeLorean time machine modified by Christopher Lloyd’s character Doc Brown who is actually quirky play on Albert Einstein which is actually name of Doc Brown’s dog.

The first movie was made in 1985 and is set in 1985. I saw it in 90s for the first time as a kid and it absolutely made wonder about what it would be like to have a DeLorean that could take me to any point in time. However, before we ever get to the DeLorean, we get to see the town of Hill Valley, meet the characters, and see the sights. And everything you see will be a clue to something that would happen later on in the movie or early on in the timeline, depending on how you look at it.

This is a perfect date movie, and time travel is great. There are rules and boundaries that need to be kept in order to not break the space-time continuum. Another great thing about Back to the Future is that it was shot back-to-back, so the first movie ends where the next one starts. The music is great. Michael J. Fox seared Johnny Be Good inside my mind for all times, and the score by Adam Silvestri will never leave your head. It’s both adventurous and mysterious, and fits the movie perfectly. The score stays throughout the trilogy, but gets a new score for third movie (for a very specific reason).

So, what makes Back to the Future 2 so special? Well, once an adventure ends in first movie, we find out there’s trouble brewing 30 years later that could seriously affect current events. The future we go to has flying cars, 3D movie posters, fingerprint door locks, Skype (though not by that name), and last but certainly not least self-lacing Nike shoes, hoverboards, and self-drying jackets. As I kid I thought that was what 2015 should look like. Well, even though it doesn’t, that doesn’t make this movie any less of an amazing adventure it is, even when I watch it today. Things happen in this movie that seriously affect the past, and it’s up to Marty to put the timeline back in order, and once he does, things happen that make us wonder what will happen next to him. This movie ends right where the next movie starts.

So, with that being said, I won’t go much into the third movie except to say that it takes us back to the old west, and the reason we end up there is because – well, that’s a spoiler I don’t want to reveal. However, Back to the Future 3 is a bookend to this amazing trilogy and once this adventure ends, you will want to own a DeLorean and do something that will seriously change the times we live in.

This trilogy, I believe, influenced a lot of people in different ways, and even though we still don’t have self-lacing shoes, flying cars, self-drying jackets and hoverboards, we do live in a world where we can make those things possible; and that’s the reason these movies are timeless.

So, if you haven’t seen any of these movies or think they are over-hyped and over-rated, I suggest watching them today. If it’s your first time, I hope you aren’t watching them alone because these movies are supposed to be watched with a family or group of friends. However, if you are watching them by yourself, be prepared to go back in time and then forward, and back again.
You’re in for a ride for which you need no road.

Oscar (1991) – Movie Review

Oscar (1991)I first saw this movie back in 90s and it’s always stayed with me in memory not only as a great movie, but also fun, entertaining, and a great mob movie, especially because it’s different from all the other mob movies which we’re so used to seeing, especially after you take a look at the cast. If you ever thought you’d see Sylvester Stallone as a mob boss in a movie, you were probably high, drunk, or dreaming – at least until you saw Oscar. Or at the very least until you see it.

Oscar is not an action movie. It’s a comedy that mimics the drama style of The Godfather, and that’s where all the similarities between the two movies end. Oscar was directed by John Landis who said he tried to create Chicago of 1930s and spoof it. That’s the same John Landis who directed The Blues Brothers (which is my favorite comedy of all time and review is coming soon), Coming to America, and Three Amigos among his other works.

Oscar opens with a version of Barber of Seville, a famous opera score, but only after we’re introduced to the main character Angelo Provolone played by Stallone, and the premise of the movie, which is a gangster promising his dying father that he will go straight.

After the opening, we see the movie progress to one month later and Provolone has no issues on keeping the promise he gave to his father, but it’s not an easy task. His staff is still packing, and the feds are still monitoring his every move. What turns the movie into exciting comedy it turns out to be is a device often used in heist movies and that is using same-color suitcases that are mistaken for each other.
There’s also another device that’s used in this movie that’s showcased early on in the movie (as well as in the trailer) that adds to overall comedy.

The movie is tied really well together with the soundtracks in the background throughout the movie, and Oskar overall will take you back in time, make you laugh, and make you wonder what’s going to happen next even though that gets pretty predictable every time there’s a ring at the door which is something the movie tries to hide to leave you guessing who’s at the door and how is that person going to add to the plot.

If you’re a fan of mob movies, comedies, or Stallone you will enjoy this movie. I give it a score of 8/10.

Speed (1994) – Movie Review

Speed 1994If you’ve never seen Speed, I’ve no idea what you’ve been waiting for; and since you’re reading this right now, I command you to go and buy the DVD, or rent it, or do whatever it is you do and finally see this movie. Your life may not change, but Speed is as unique as it gets. Starring Keanu Reeves, the late Dennis Hopper, Sandra Bullock, and Jeff Daniels, as well as few other well-known faces but unfamiliar names, Speed takes a premise we’ve never seen before and puts us on a really wild bus ride.

You see, the movie doesn’t start out like you thought it would with people getting on the bus and driving and then all of a sudden mysterious serial killer calling cops and a rescue operation. Instead, movie starts two days before that event and somewhat introduces us to the characters and circumstances surrounding this particular event. This is how we learn Keanu Reeves and Jeff Daniels work for L.A.P.D; that Jeff Daniels is a bomb expert, and Keanu is a great tactician. Dennis Hopper’s character, on the other hand, is cold and calculating, and I’d dare say resembles a Unabomber kind of persona; definitely one of the most evil characters ever simply because he’s willing to kill innocent people for something they have no control over. And this all happens inside an elevator shaft on 31st floor before we ever get to the famous bus drive.

The day after the next some people get on the bus, Keanu Reeves gets a phone call and things start happening. It’s a pretty fast-paced movie for the first hour. Second hour is a bit slower and none less exciting. Theme song plays a big role because it plays every time excitement picks up.

Speed is truly one of the most iconic and best action movie not just of the 90s but of all time due to its premise, plot, and execution. I give Speed 8/10.

Avatar (2009) – Movie Review

Avatar 2009Originally when it came out Avatar was 2 hours long, and for this review I watched the extended version that is almost 3 hours long. Another thing to bear in mind is that I never liked trailers for Avatar and I wasn’t excited for this movie, even though I liked it first time around. What bothers me the most about this movie is that it steals from World of Warcraft and Halo; which are both well-known video game properties; and that’s something I noticed just from the original trailer alone. This is something that bothers me a lot about Avatar, even if James Cameron says that he’s been developing Avatar since 91, and even if no one else noticed the similarities between all the properties mentioned. Anyway, that’s my beef with it even if no one else notices it and even if no one else agrees with. Now on to the movie review.

What I like about Avatar is the huge exploration premise of going into space and finding planets that can help humanity in one way or another; and that’s pretty much all I knew about the movie before seeing it first time around. And now watching the extended version, I was hoping for a better experience.

One of the first things you’ll notice are cliches, mainly portrayal of the future and few of the characters. However, Avatar does a pretty good job of adding cliches – even the few within dialogue – and mixing it with unknown possibilities that are about to transpire.

When it comes to the weakness of the plot, there’s more to the story that’s being told between the lines because Avatar is much deeper than it appears on the surface. Just think about it – humans are aliens in this movie. The future is bleak and it’s basically Independence Day in reverse. Yes, plot and characters are generic, but when you look beyond that, you’ll see the greed of humans which is fueled by the need to survive next to making a profit. You will also notice the struggle of the natives to survive under the oppression of the aliens, who are in this case humans. Cameron takes us to a completely different world where we learn the ways and the culture of the natives; and then we become one of them – or at the very least learn to identify with them because we can connect with them in different ways. When you combine that with amazing visual and sound effects – we get a great movie.

Despite my beef with Avatar, I can’t help but answer for myself the hard questions Cameron presents so well. Not only that, but what Cameron does is show us the darker side of humanity as well as its beautiful side and conflicts them in most raw way possible. It is the type of movie that will tug at your heartstrings and make you want to change the world as well as enjoy every second of the amazing trip we take. I give Avatar 7.5/10.