91st Academy Awards: Predictions and Hopes

This year’s Academy Awards, unfortunately, includes some of the worst nominees in recent memory. Some outright terrible films and performances were nominated this year, and some are even expected to win. Here are my predictions for the major eight categories: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Adapted Screenplay.

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2018 in Review: Top 10 Films

The year 2018 gave us a few of the best superhero movies of all time, some truly audacious debuts and breakthroughs, and a couple of followups from directors whose prior breakthroughs went on to win Best Picture. Here are some honorable mentions:

Avengers: Infinity War
(dir. Anthony Russo and Joe Russo)

Black Panther
(dir. Ryan Coogler)

BlacKkKlansman
(dir. Spike Lee)

Eighth Grade
(dir. Bo Burnham)

Mandy
(dir. Panos Cosmatos)

The Old Man & the Gun
(dir. David Lowery)

Private Life
(dir. Tamara Jenkins)

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
(dir. Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, and Rodney Rothman)

Sweet Country
(dir. Warwick Thornton)

You Were Never Really Here
(dir. Lynne Ramsay)

JUPITER ASCENDING Is Beautiful Garbage

Jupiter Ascending hit somewhat of a rocky road in the time leading up to its release. Originally scheduled to be released on July 25, 2014, it was pushed back a week to July 18, 2014, and later, February 6, 2015, supposedly to allow time for completion of several special effects shots. It becomes clear when watching Jupiter Ascending that special care was put into meticulously crafting its gorgeous, creative, and detailed aesthetic, as is standard practice for Hollywood auteurs Andy and Lana Wachowski. Unfortunately, it appears that the usual visual ambition of the visionaries behind The Matrix is once again matched with their usual lack of ambition when it comes to Jupiter Ascending’s clichéd and overstuffed screenplay.

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A Love Letter to THE BABADOOK

Last night, after countless weeks of putting it off, I finally sat down and watched The Babadook with my brother. Both of us were itching for a good horror film, and of the last two we watched, Rosemary’s Baby turned out to be more of a drama with some horror elements, and 13/13/13 was just flat-out hilarious (we sort of expected that with the latter). Generally, the modern horror movies that I enjoy the most are the ones that are darkly comedic, like You’re Next or the Final Destination films, which are more fun than outright scary. The ones that go the more straightforward route are often ugly, cheap, and lazily thrown together. Such is not the case with The Babadook. Within the first ten to fifteen minutes, my brother and I were simultaneously captivated and anxiety-ridden.

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