My Oscars Thoughts (2015)

The beginning of each year means a season of film-related award ceremonies. This time is capped off with the ever-famous Academy Awards! This is my first ever time watching the Oscars live, and it was definitely an interesting one at that. I’ll only be covering some of the larger categories, so here we go:

Best Animated Short Film

Winner: Feast

Glad to hear Feast won. Even though I’m such a huge animation person, I actually haven’t seen Feast, but I’m sure it is great none the less. It also would have been great if The Dam Keeper won, made by ex-Pixar employe Dice Tsutsumi.

Best Animated Feature Film

Winner: Big Hero 6

This was a big surprise to me, after the Lego Movie (which should have won) was snubbed, I was extremely sure that How to Train Your Dragon 2 would win the Oscar. I’m glad for Disney. I also have not seen Big Hero 6, because I’m waiting for tomorrow’s DVD/Blu-ray release, but this just makes me more excited to see it!

Best Supporting Actress

Winner: Patricia Arquette

Boyhood was one of my favorite films of this past year and I’m glad it’s getting some recognition. Patricia Arquette’s performance was great in the film, as well!

Best Supporting Actor

Winner: J. K. Simmons (Whiplash)

This was a totally obvious choice, but a great one at that! Simmons was great in Whiplash (which I loved) and I’m not even sure what else to say. that’s how great he was.

Best Actress

Winner: Julianne Moore (Still Alice)

Now, I tried to watch as many Oscar films as I could, but I never got to Still Alice. I’m sure here performance was great, as I have heard from others, but I’ll just have to take your word for it.

Best Actor

Winner: Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything)

Eddie Redmayne was incredible as Steven Hawking! From the beginning to the end of The Theory of Everything, he was my favorite part. I’m glad he one, although Micheal Keaton (for Birdman) would have been a good choice as well.

Best Director

Winner: Alejandro Iñárritu (Birdman)

Honestly, I did not like Birdman. Iñárritu, however, did do a good job with directing. I would have much preferred any of the other choices for Best Director, though. My pick was Richard Linklater for what he did with Boyhood.

Best Picture

Winner: Birdman

As I said before, I did not like Birdman, and I think any of the other films would have been a better choice for Best Picture. My favorite of the nominations, however, was Whiplash. It was a great film and I wish it had won more awards. I never thought Whiplash would win, but I was rooting for Boyhood, which would be my next choice. I’m just disappointed in you Academy. The Lego Movie and now this.

So, these are my thoughts on the large Oscar categories. What do you think? Who should have won each category? Leave your comments below.

Neill Blomkamp to direct Alien 5

With the release of Chappie coming next month, the word is out on Neill Blomkamp’s next film! Last month Blomkamp released multiple pictures on his instagram page, suggesting to be concept art from a new Alien film. This eventually was shown to be true, after many sites reporting that 20th Century Fox made a deal with Blomkamp to make the film, which will apparently take place after Prometheus 2. Neil also posted this to his Instagram earlier today:

It looks like it’s definitely official. No official release date has been mentioned by Blomkamp or by 20th Century Fox. Last month, however, ComingSoon.net reported that Sigourney Weaver would be willing to reprise her role as Ripley in an Alien sequel, although we do not know if she will be returning in the film.

Blomkamp is fairly new to the directing game, only having directed three films so far (District 9, Elysium, Chappie), but has proven that he has what it takes with these films. I’m sure Alien 5 will be great!

Review – Guardians of the Galaxy

We are Groot! Guardians of the Galaxy is one of my favorite films of 2014. From Star Lord to Groot, the characters are not only hilarious, but carry the story along very well. James Gunn also does an extremely great job with the action and adventure of the story. Although you’d think a talking raccoon in a superhero film would be ridiculous, Bradley Cooper is great as the role of Rocket Raccoon. That brings up another thing about Guardians, Marvel continuously presenting new and inventive ways to bring to the story of each of its films and Guardians of the Galaxy is their comedic attempt. This attempt was a success, especially for such an unknown name like Guardians of the Galaxy. Now to the star of Guardians, Groot. Not only is Groot the most epic tree in the history of film, but he is incredibly great as a character, in his heart and comedy. If you have not seen this film yet, you need to go see it. It is epic. It is funny. It is full of heart. What do you think about Guardians of the Galaxy? What is your favorite Guardians of the Galaxy character and why? What is your favorite superhero film of 2014? Leave your comments below. I’d love to see them.

The People of Film – Pete Docter

Welcome to a new segment here on The Reel Insider that I call “The People of Film”. In each new post, I’ll discuss a new person in film (whether it be a director, writer, actor, producer, etc.), their accomplishments, their film work, and how they touch me through their films (as well as any other form of media, such as television).

To start off this series, I’ve begun with a somewhat unknown filmmaker, who is actually one of my favorites in not only animation, but in the film world in general. This man is Pete Docter.

Docter is an Oscar® winning director, as well as one of Pixar’s best filmmakers. He has worked on such Pixar greats as Toy Story, Toy Story 2, Monsters Inc., Wall•E, and Up. He will also be directing his third Pixar film (after Monsters Inc. and Up) called Inside Out.

Ever since childhood, Pete Docter has been drawing since his was just a child. Making hand-drawn animations and creating his own worlds of which he controlled the story. Watching films and cartoons, he was inspired by the story-telling of people like Walt Disney and Chuck Jones. As Docter grew, he never pictured himself being an animator, but eventually finding himself at the California Institute of the Arts and eventually a small (at the time) company, now known as Pixar.

He began there working on some shorts for different companies and eventually went on to be one of the three people to to come up with the concept for Toy Story as well as an animator and writer on the film. In 1994, as Toy Story was just being completed, Pete Docter and three other Pixar heads (Andrew Stanton, John Lasseter, Joe Ranft) came up with film ideas, which became the films A Bug’s Life, Monsters Inc., Finding Nemo, and Wall•E. In the following years, Docter went on to work on storyboards for A Bug’s Life and work on story for Toy Story 2.

Docter’s next work is the film Monsters, Inc. It is his first ever directorial role, as well as pixar’s first director besides John Lasseter. Monsters, Inc. is a great film, it is very emotional and funny as well. Most of all, I have a special connection with Monsters, Inc. Not only was it my favorite of the Pixar films (until the release of Up), but it was the film that introduced me to Pixar in the first place. For years, I had watched Pixar films, but I never thought about the production company until one time that I watched Monsters, Inc. and I asked myself who made this. The rest is history.

Over the next several years, Pete Docter took somewhat of a break from directing, working on the shorts Mike’s New Car and Boundin’. He also helped out on the English dub of the Studio Ghibli film Howl’s Moving Castle and more story work for the film Wall•E.

Then in 2009, came the release of Up. The first 10 minutes of Up are famous for being a tear-jerker and the rest of the movie doesn’t disappoint for heart, comedy, or action. I was personally extremely excited for this film before it released, being that Monsters, Inc’s director was the director of a new film. Docter brought on Bob Peterson as his co-director, who was the lead of story on Monsters Inc. as well, which also excited me. I went on opening day and saw it in 3D… It instantly became my favorite Pixar film and still is to this day.

Pete Docter soon began working on a new film, while helping new director Dan Scanlon on the story for the sequel to Monsters Inc., Monsters University. 2015 will come the release of his new film, Inside Out, of which he is bringing on his co-director of Up, Ronnie del Carmen, and producer of Up, Jonas Rivera. If you have seen my Most Anticipated Films of 2015 list, you know that Inside Out is my most anticipated film of 2015. The story follows a tween girl named Riley’s emotions: Joy, Sadness, Disgust, Anger, and Fear. Joy and Sadness get lost inside the mind and the other three must take over. It is an incredibly original idea and the trailer’s are great. If you have not seen the trailer, go see them and I’m sure you’ll be excited.

Well, this concludes the first episode of “The People of Film”, did you enjoy it? Do you want to see more? What do you think of Pete Docter? Who do you want to see next in the series? Please comment below, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Review – The Lego Movie

Lego Movie

Everything is awesome with this film. Many people thought The Lego Movie would have been like a 2 hour commercial for Lego, but unsurprisinly directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller did a great job of making this film enjoyable. After directing the first Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs film and both 21 Jump Street films, I could never imagine this being horrible. Thankfully, I was correct in my assumptions. This film was great from the cast (including Chris Pratt, Will Ferrell, Elizabeth Banks, and Will Arnett) to the animation (which I have to say was great and really captured the look of legos) to the comedy (which was great just as it has been in Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s other films). The premise is interesting and the ending (which I won’t spoil) is great, as well. I really love Chris Pratt as Emmet, he captures the personality of him very well. Same with Will Ferrell as the villain, and I’m surprised Will Arnett hasn’t been Batman before now. I have to say, I wasn’t expecting this, but The Lego Movie is my favorite animation film of 2014. I was really sad to hear there was no nomination for Best Animated Film at the Oscars, which it frankly should have won. I suggest that if you haven’t seen this film yet, you should check it out as soon as possible. What do you think about the Lego Movie? What is your favorite animated film of 2014? Leave your comments below. I’d love to see them.