Movie Review: The Cloverfield Paradox

The latest installment of the Cloverfield movies came as a surprise. When people actually watched it, for the most part, they hated it. I see a lot of negative reviews from fans and critics. To get to the point, it is an okay movie. I love the franchise. The first film is a unique take on a monster movie with the sequel being one of the most intense thrillers I have seen in years. The Cloverfield Paradox explains the franchise in a somewhat interesting way, but not the most satisfying of executions.

The story takes place in a space station with various scientists from around the world trying to solve the planet’s energy crisis. The world is on the break of war, and they might be able to do some good for mankind if things go well. However, as the name of the film suggests, they get sucked into another dimension. The main threat becomes their own reality as they try to get home.

The scientists that take place on this station are Hamilton (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) who gets the most development as a character, Kiel (David Oyelowo), Schmidt (Daniel Bruhl), Monk (John Ortiz), Mundy (Chris O’Dowd), Volkov (Aksel Hennie), Tam (Ziyi Zhang), and a mysterious woman who gets transported to their station from another dimension named Jensen (Elizabeth Debicki). Nobody is that special of a character. Hamilton gets the most fleshed out with her relationship with her husband Michael (Roger Davies). Even then she is not the most exciting characters. A relatively typical troubled past and a relationship that has nothing unique to it. Other than that, nobody gets a whole lot of development. All of the actors do a fine job, but they are left with characters that do not have the best dynamic and typical drama that feels too short to give any weight.

The story was a bit difficult to understand for the most part to see what their primary objective in space was. The time paradox was not only mentioned in the title of the film but even in a throwaway scene with a guy on TV saying that this will happen. Which felt too forced. Let the audience discover what is happening in a more natural way like the first two movies. The mystery of the franchise is great, and this movie gave an easy answer. Even with the time paradox that explains this universe of movies, it did not feel as satisfying because it felt too easy to explain these events. However, this does make sense since J.J. Abrams has said in the past about the first two films being connected, but not in the traditional sense of a direct sequel. Cloverfield Paradox gives more insight to the other movies (I won’t put in too many details about that). It is interesting throughout the film to explore this idea but did not feel right exactly.

The directing was well done from Julius Onah, and the writing was interestingly done by Doug Jung and Oren Uziel, but maybe handing this movie to more experienced people would have been the smarter idea. The franchise has always done marketing differently and usually gives the power to people less experienced for a possible big break, but things did not work as well here. Maybe with someone with experience with a similar style of movie and in this genre then things could be different. Who knows what messed up from making this into an okay film from a great entry to the film’s universe.

There is a lot that is special to the franchise, especially the first two movies. There are strengths to the latest film with its special effects and interesting story but fails to deliver with characters and better development of the universe. Maybe keeping everything a mystery would have been better off since a time paradox feels too easy to explain the events in different movies. I personally enjoyed it as a fan of the series, but it is the weakest of the three. Something is just missing that puts it up to par with the other films. With a possible World War 1 entry that is rumored to come out late this year, we may get a film that will have something to it that makes this franchise so special.

You can see the movie for yourself on Netflix. As a fan of the franchise, I would highly recommend the first two films, especially the second 10 Cloverfield Lane.

Score: 6/10

Image via Netflix

 

 

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Trailer Impressions: Venom

After months of discussion about when the world will get their first look at the upcoming Venom movie as Tom Hardy as the iconic character, we finally got it. I have been looking forward to seeing the trailer after all the rumors and discussions online about what the movie could hold for us. After watching the trailer, I am left with mixed feelings.

This is just our first look at the movie and more of a teaser than anything, but I can not help to feel different things that are good and bad. The trailer is full of mystery and action, but not a whole lot of substance. A trailer should not show too much because that can ruin the film, but not showing enough can make it so people will not see the movie. A trailer can sell a person on the film or not. I try to watch the first trailer then ignore everything else. I want that initial taste to sell me on the movie then go see it for myself. Venom shows some impressive things, but shows so little that leaves me more worried than excited. Let’s dissect it.

The trailer starts off with an interesting moment with Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) at the hospital. He is getting a CT scan. Since I do not know much about the character from the comics and the possibility that things could change for the movie, all we know is that there is some illness involved.

Next are shots of San Fransisco as Eddie walks around and narrates. He is talking about how everyone has their issues. A shot of a blond woman, possibly  Anne Weying (Michelle Williams) looking worried is shown. One of the things he mentions is an accident in which we get a shot of various people from police, firefighters, and other emergency responders in a field with something on fire. This looks like it might be a car that is on fire, but difficult to tell. In the background, there is a structure that in another shot we see people looking around in. Eddie then says how these issues can make you into something else in which we get a shot of him at the hospital. He opens his eyes quickly and wide as he looks around.

After this we see some vehicles driving in the rain. Some of these cars look like they might be a part of an organization that is transporting something. We see the symbiote in a container with a man in a suit standing above it and some scientists behind him.

The mysterious moments of the trailer die down as we see Eddie running away from various people and quick cuts of classic action movie moments with cars crashing starts to happen. As everything is happening, Eddie continues to go on his thoughts about people having their own issues. As he mentioned we all have our own demons, he is shown laying down in the hospital when he starts shaking violently with black veins coming out of his neck.

Sadly, no Venom in this trailer. Some action, running around, and interesting dialog from Eddie Brock. This might be mysterious to bring the audience in to see the full movie. It is possible we can see what Venom will look like before then when we get an official full trailer, but this is all speculation.

Overall, the trailer is okay. There are some excellent things about it. I like what Eddie has to say, and it goes with what he is going through with the symbiote. Everything in the hospital is interesting at the beginning of the trailer. The problem is that there is not enough shown. Usually, movie trailers show way too much by the time the second trailer is released. This needed to show a tiny bit more to get me on the hook. If you have read anything online then you know that many people feel the same way. I know I will see it, but my expectations are set low, which might work out when it is review time at the movie’s release. Who knows, maybe all of this mystery can prove to benefit the film in the long run. Even if we get a terrible movie, at least we know there will be a gripping performance from Tom Hardy who will cause a lot of mayhem along the way.

Venom comes out in theaters October 5th.

Watch the trailer here and tell me what you think:

Image via Sony Pictures

Trailer Impressions: Deadpool 2

Deadpool 2 comes out this May, and we finally got our first full trailer for the film. The only other thing we have gotten to see are posters and hilarious shorts with our loud-mouthed hero. The primary focus of the trailer is to introduce the main villain, Cable (Josh Brolin). We see many other characters, both new and old, tons of action, and the style of humor you would expect from a Deadpool movie.

I love the first film, but I was worried that this would be a sequel that would try too hard which would lead to its downfall. However, by the look of what we see in the trailer, this could be just as good or better than the first movie. Now let’s dive into what happens in the trailer.

The trailer starts off with an intense introduction to Cable. The style of this opening has the same feel to other superhero trailers. Cable is narrating as you see him in a destroyed room then walking through destruction while armed. We even see him getting prepared by loading some heavy weaponry. By what he is saying it sounds like he is talking why he has robotic parts on him. The trailer pauses with a typical wall breaking moment from Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) who points out the CGI is not complete on one of Cabel’s arms. This is taking a shot at DC for Justice League having a poor job of covering up Henry Cavill’s mustache. The trailer’s tone now goes towards what we would expect to see.

The next cut sees Deadpool in a room with a toy set of buildings with two action figures, one being himself and the other is Cable. He is playing with the toys on how he thinks their battle will go. Once a timer goes off to signal that the CGI on Cable’s arm is fixed, the scene cuts back to the regular trailer, better thank Deadpool for catching the missing CGI!

Next thing we know, we see Cable start to cause destruction and go on a killing spree. Along with this, we see Deadpool and various other characters in action-packed scenes. Domino (Zazie Beetz) gets her time to punch some people and show off herself as a new character in the film. Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand) is back for a few brief moments as we see her get charged up with her superpower. All of Deadpool’s other friends make a return such as Weasel (T.J. Miller), Blind Al (Leslie Uggams), and Dopinder (Karan Soni) who are all with Deadpool to fight off a wave of enemies.

Most of the trailer is action oriented with a lot less comedy outside of Deadpool pointing out the botched CGI. If you have seen the first film or any promotional material, then we will get plenty of laughs out of this sequel. However, the most exciting part of the trailer regarding the story is the last few seconds. We see Weasel, Blind Al, and Deadpool holds their guns out to Cable who does not have any robotic gear attached to his body. This will probably lead to how Cable become the person we see at the start of the trailer.

Overall, I am excited by what I see in this first look at the movie. The first film is one of my favorites from the superhero genre because of its clever writing, great action, and hilarious characters. My biggest problem was the dull villain, so I hope that the film does enough to make Cable a worthy villain. I know Josh Brolin will kill it with his performance, so we have to hope that he gets enough screentime.

Deadpool 2 comes out May 18, so we do not have long to wait to finally see how this holds up compared to the first movie. Are you excited for the sequel? What do you think of the trailer?

Image via 20th Century Fox and Marvel Entertainment

Buy the first movie:

Trailer Impressions: Westworld Season 2

It has been about two years since the first season of Westworld aired on HBO. We have had some information given in the past year with some teases, but we got a brand new trailer that aired during the Super Bowl. If the season is anything like what is shown in the minute and 40-second trailer, then we are in for one gruesome ride.

If you have not seen Westworld, then stop reading and go watch this brilliant show.  Some discussion about the first season may take place here, so you have been warned.

The trailer shows beautiful shots of the facility and amusement park while a piano is being played. The music is in the same style as the first season, in other words, is that it is excellent. Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) narrates as we see various scenes take place. She talks about the world around us. She describes how beautiful this world is that we have created. These make a grim turn as the camera shots change and the music changes as she mentions, “But this world is a lie.”. Robots and humans are battling it out in the central facility. There are less beautiful shots of landscape, but instead, have brutal camera shots of people getting slaughtered. From everything seen in the trailer, the show looks as beautiful as ever.

This turn makes sense due to the ending of the first season that will lead into a (potentially) chaotic second season. Besides people getting killed left and right, we see various characters from the first season. A shot of Bernard (Jeffery Wright) looking at something in a dark room. The Man in Black (Ed Harris) returns standing in the rain. As robotic bulls ram through men with machine guns, the camera pans to see Maeve (Thandie Newton) walking through broken glass as she watches the mayhem. Dolores is seen riding a horse with a lever-action rifle and is seen in the last shot to say the last words, “Our world.”

If the show manages to build off of what was excellent with the first season and adds something different with this upcoming season, then it should be just as fantastic. One of the best aspects of the first season of Westworld was the mystery. The show did a great job by giving the audiences a lot of questions but answering enough of those issues to be satisfying. I hope they maintain a lot of the mystery with the added answers to flesh out the world, but give the audience that sense of wonder at the same time. Plus the amount of violence from the trailer indicates we are in for a season full of death. By the ending of the first season, it is safe to say that we will get that delivered to us. Words can not express how excited I am to watch this show. Season 2 of Westworld comes out April 22nd on HBO.  Watch the trailer below and share your thoughts:

 

Image via HBO

Quick News: Doom Guy Plus Wolfenstein, Red Dead Redemption Release Date, Possible Spider-Man PS4 Date, and more.

Some news is too short to have a full article. I have decided to try something new and give you all a few quick updates about what is going on in movies, music, or video games. Here we have a few video game updates that have come up in the last few days.

  • id Software co-founder Tom Hall along with id Software designer John Romero who both recently confirmed on Twitter that DOOM protagonist Doom Guy, Commander Keen, and Wolfenstein protagonist B.J. Blazkowicz are all related. This is an excellent bit of information that will change our views while playing these games. Now maybe we can get a crossover between DOOM and WolfensteinDoom guy.png
  • The wait for Red Dead Redemption 2 was so close. Rockstar has said in the last trailer that it is coming Spring 2018. Turns out Spring has turned into October. Today they have announced via Twitter that the game will come out October 26th. It is not the date anyone wanted, but we finally have a solid date. Let us hope that this time frame sticks.RDR2 confirm
  • Take this next story with a grain of salt, but we might have a release date for Insomniac’s upcoming game Spider-Man. A retailer from Denmark called CoolShop has leaked a September 28, 2018, release date. What makes this interesting is the fact that CoolShop has correctly leaked a game’s release date before such as GTA V.
  • Anthem has been delayed to a 2019 release date. This is not a surprise since the game was announced not that long ago along with some issues lately with EA titles. They probably want to take all the time possible to make sure that BioWare nails this game. Plus the game gets more room for itself since it would have been released this fall which is right next to the upcoming Battlefield game.

That is it for this first roundup of quick news. Hopefully, you all enjoyed it. What are some highlights of news in the entertainment world that have stuck out to you?

Image via FrancoTieppo from DeviantArt

Song Impression: Jonathan Davis – What It Is

Jonathan Davis has finally debuted the first single off of his upcoming solo album. The new song, What It Is, is a chilling track caught me by surprise since I knew of his upcoming solo project, but was not following it in particular.

The song’s verses are filled with drums and a piano that makes for a beautiful and chilling tone. Jonathan’s voice comes in and elevates this feeling even more. With a more powerful chorus that still has some elements from the verse. The guitar comes in to fill the gaps for a heavier sound but does not add a whole lot overall. The song has an orchestral style that makes everything feel huge, which is precisely what you would expect from Jonathan Davis. There is a hint of industrial mixed in too. Everything is different from his work in Korn but is familiar enough to make it easy for fans to dive into this song.

Lyrically speaking, there is a lot of emotion. Anguish and internal conflict are felt from Jonathan’s vocals and lyrics. “I have done everything, everything. Not to feel what it is I’m feeling.” There is a nice variety of lyrics that flesh out what is being said and not being too repetitive. The glimpse into what is going on in Jonathan’s heart and mind is powerful.

Vocally, if you love Jonathan’s style, then you will love this song. His eloquent way of singing grabs you right away. His melody carries throughout every second most beautiful. Everything with the instrumentation and vocals come together for a powerful and beautiful song that is a notable standout from other rock music currently coming out lately.

Besides feeling that the guitar work is not that strong, everything else in the song is superb. I can not wait for his solo album to hit this summer. What do you think and are you excited about his upcoming solo album? Give it a listen below:

 

Buy the song here:

Image via Shutterstock

My Picks: Oscar Nominations 2018

This time of year again to start predicting the Oscars. We have a few months before the actual award ceremony, but the nominations are out now. This list is purely what I am hoping for, so none of you will be that happy.  This is a tough year for the Oscars since some categories have multiple movies I love. I can say that this is one of the best lineups of films at the Oscars in years. Some of these movies I am shocked to see on there, but those same movies are what I wanted to see get a nomination since I first saw them back in 2017. If you read my list of top movies last year, you will know how happy I am by The Shape of Water, Get Out, Baby Driver, and Logan. Now let’s dive into the nominees now to see who will win my Oscars that mean absolutely nothing.

A side note: Some of these movies I have not had a chance to see, so things may be skewed certain ways for particular categories. For example, I did not see any foreign language or animated films, so that will be skipped. Sorry to say, but time restraints are there as a student and I just simply suck in every way for missing out on some of these movies, but I will do my best, only the best for my readers.

Best Picture

Call Me by Your Name
Peter Spears, Luca Guadagnino, Emilie Georges and Marco Morabito, Producers

Darkest Hour
Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Lisa Bruce, Anthony McCarten and Douglas Urbanski, Producers

Dunkirk
Emma Thomas and Christopher Nolan, Producers

Get Out
Sean McKittrick, Jason Blum, Edward H. Hamm Jr. and Jordan Peele, Producers

Lady Bird
Scott Rudin, Eli Bush and Evelyn O’Neill, Producers

Phantom Thread
JoAnne Sellar, Paul Thomas Anderson, Megan Ellison and Daniel Lupi, Producers

The Post
Amy Pascal, Steven Spielberg, and Kristie Macosko Krieger, Producers

The Shape of Water
Guillermo del Toro and J. Miles Dale, Producers

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Graham Broadbent, Pete Czernin, and Martin McDonagh, Producers

My Pick: The Shape of Water
Guillermo del Toro and J. Miles Dale, Producers

A love story between a woman and a creature that a fish man sounds ridiculous, but it is easily one of the best love stories in years. The Shape of Water has everything from romance, comedy, drama, suspense, violence, and so much more. This will go down in history as a cinematic masterpiece.shapeofwater

 

Best Director

Paul Thomas Anderson, Phantom Thread

Guillermo del Toro, The Shape of Water

Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird

Christopher Nolan, Dunkirk

Jordan Peele, Get Out

My Pick: Jordan Peele, Get Out

Jordan’s debut movie, Get Out was not on my radar. Word of mouth got me to go with no idea what it is about. A horror comedy is all I knew. Get Out is so much more. The best movies tend to blend a lot more than just a pure comedy, or whatever genre that it is. There is a lot of humor, tension, suspense, and more. The story is unique, and every aspect is perfectly crafted. The most prominent accomplishment is Jordan’s attention to detail that gives the story and tone everything that it needs.
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Best Actress

Sally Hawkins, The Shape of Water

Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Margot Robbie, I, Tonya

Saoirse Ronan, Lady Bird

Meryl Streep, The Post

My Pick: Sally Hawkins, The Shape of Water

The winner here did not have to say a word. Sally’s performance as a mute character was phenomenal. She was able to be funny, enthusiastic, and envoke so much emotion to the audience that was gripping throughout the entire movie. It is one thing to say a word the right way, but it is different when all you have is your facial expressions, posture, and hand gestures.
MJK35133_Sally_Hawkins_(Maudie,_Berlinale_2017).jpg

 

Best Actor

Timothee Chalamet, Call Me by Your Name

Daniel Day-Lewis, Phantom Thread

Daniel Kaluuya, Get Out

Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour

Denzel Washington, Roman J. Israel, Esq.

My Pick: Daniel Kaluuya, Get Out

Let’s add Daniel Kaluuya to the list of actors who seemed like a genuine American by his acting, but you realize after looking on IMDB that he is from England. How British actors do it will always be a mystery. Besides his great accent, his overall performance was incredible for his lead role in Get Out. You felt his true emotions from his painful memories about his mother, awkward moments with his girlfriend’s family, and his relationship with his friend back home (who was the real star of the film, if you saw this movie then you know what I mean). 33251490846_4e20637775_b

 

Best Supporting Actress

Mary J. Blige, Mudbound

Allison Janney, I, Tonya

Lesley Manville, Phantom Thread

Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird

Octavia Spencer, The Shape of Water

My Pick: Octavia Spencer, The Shape of Water

Octavia is full of hits such as Snowpiercer, and more recently she starred in Hidden Figures. Like the rest of the main cast in The Shape of Water, Octavia is able to bring a lot to the table. This movie is full of different emotions and tones. Octavia brings a comedic side to her character while able to be grippingly compelling for scenes that are much more intense. There is no stopping her from continuing her great career as an actress._Hidden_Figures__Screening_at_the_White_House_(NHQ201612150008).jpg

 

 

Best Supporting Actor

Willem Dafoe, The Florida Project

Woody Harrelson, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Richard Jenkins, The Shape of Water

Christopher Plummer, All the Money in the World

Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

My Pick: Richard Jenkins, The Shape of Water

Yes, another win for the cast of The Shape of Water. Richard Jenkins plays Giles, the next door neighbor to Sally Hawkins’ character Elisa. Quirky, funny, and a loyal friend that makes you care for him more than just about anyone else in the movie. One word to describe his character and performance is rememberable. Just like all of his past work. After one previous nomination that he lost out on, it is about time for Richard to take home his prize.
richard jenkins.jpg

 

Best Original Screenplay

The Big Sick (Emily V. Gordon & Kumail Nanjiani)

Get Out (Jordan Peele)

Lady Bird (Greta Gerwig)

The Shape of Water (Guillermo del Toro & Vanessa Taylor)

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (Martin McDonagh)

My Pick: Get Out (Jordan Peele)

Get Out is unique and will stick with you forever. When I was trying to pry information out of people to know what this movie was about, I was glad that I got nothing significant out of them. Go in knowing as little as possible, and you will not regret it. The movies nominated here are all great and unique. Whether it is a woman falling in love with a fish creature, or a comedy-drama about a woman wanting the murder of her daughter to be solved. Yet, the disturbing comedy that Jordan Peele has created is phenomenal on all levels.
429px-Jordan_Peele_2012

 

Best Adapted Screenplay

Call Me by Your Name (James Ivory)

The Disaster Artist (Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber)

Logan (Screenplay by Scott Frank & James Mangold and Michael Green; Story by James Mangold)

Molly’s Game (Aaron Sorkin)

Mudbound (Dee Rees & Virgil Williams)

My Pick: Logan (Screenplay by Scott Frank & James Mangold and Michael Green; Story by James Mangold)

I am not sure how you will feel about any of my picks, especially this one. I am not a fan of Wolverine, but Logan is genre defining. Not only is it one of the best superhero movies, but it is also just great on its own compared to any genre. The Western style brings it a unique tone along with how dramatic it is. This story is compelling and brutal. Hugh Jackman is getting the perfect sendoff for his iconic role. logan

 

Best Cinematography

Blade Runner 2049 (Roger Deakins)

Darkest Hour (Bruno Delbonnel)

Dunkirk (Hoyte van Hoytema)

Mudbound (Rachel Morrison)

The Shape of Water (Dan Laustsen)

My Pick: Dunkirk (Hoyte van Hoytema)

Despite my overall negative opinions of Dunkirk, (I know everyone loves it, sorry, but I strongly disliked it) I loved the way everything looked. Hoyte did an excellent job shooting to make everything fit the movie’s tone. Beautiful shots that were breathtaking were filled throughout the entire film.Dunkirk_immediately_after_British_evacuation.jpg

 

 

Best Film Editing

Baby Driver (Jonathan Amos & Paul Machliss)

Dunkirk (Lee Smith)

I, Tonya (Tatiana S. Riegel)

The Shape of Water (Sidney Wolinsky)

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (Jon Gregory)

My Pick: Baby Driver (Jonathan Amos & Paul Machliss)

Besides excellent characters, acting, music, and action that made Baby Driver come to life, it was the editing. Jonathan Amos and Paul Machliss. The cuts were perfectly done, and there was just a sense of style. The movie had style, so the editing cut everything in a way to showcase that.
babydriver

 

Best Sound Mixing

Baby Driver (Julian Slater, Tim Cavagin, and Mary H. Ellis)

Blade Runner 2049 (Ron Bartlett, Doug Hemphill, and Mac Ruth)

Dunkirk (Mark Weingarten, Gregg Landaker, and Gary A. Rizzo)

The Shape of Water (Christian Cooke, Brad Zoern, and Glen Gauthier)

Star Wars: The Last Jedi (David Parker, Michael Semanick, Ren Klyce, and Stuart Wilson)

My Pick: Blade Runner 2049 (Ron Bartlett, Doug Hemphill, and Mac Ruth)

If you read my review of this movie, then you know my negative feelings. Just like Dunkirk, it does not matter how you feel about the film, you have to give credit where credit is due. Blade Runner 2049 is beautiful both from a visual standpoint to even the sounds. The sound mixing done by Doug Hemphill and Mac Ruth were both able to properly execute their job in a way to capture the essence of the movie and its overall tone.bladerunner

 

Best Sound Editing

Baby Driver (Julian Slater)

Blade Runner 2049 (Mark Mangini and Theo Green)

Dunkirk (Richard King, and Alex Gibson)

The Shape of Water (Nathan Robitaille, and Nelson Ferreira)

Star Wars: The Last Jedi (Matthew Wood, and Ren Klyce)

My Pick: Dunkirk (Richard King, and Alex Gibson)

For any war movie, you need excellent sound editing. Some of the best moments in Dunkirk was the sound itself. The various sounds from explosions, gunshots, and more from the battle scenes were tremendous. This movie sounded and looked just beautiful.Dunkirk-Teaser-Poster-640x949.jpg

 

Best Visual Effects

Blade Runner 2049 (John Nelson, Gerd Nefzer, Paul Lambert, and Richard R. Hoover)

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (Christopher Townsend, Guy Williams, Jonathan Fawkner, and Dan Sudick)

Kong: Skull Island (Stephen Rosenbaum, Jeff White, Scott Benza, and Mike Meinardus)

Star Wars: The Last Jedi (Ben Morris, Mike Mulholland, Neal Scanlan, and Chris Corbould)

War for the Planet of the Apes (Joe Letteri, Daniel Barrett, Dan Lemmon, and Joel Whist)

My Pick: War for the Planet of the Apes (Joe Letteri, Daniel Barrett, Dan Lemmon, and Joel Whist)

The Planet of the Apes trilogy is incredible on all levels. Visually it is stunning from the environment to the apes. Motion capture is no longer what is used, it is performance capture. The actors of the apes all do a phenomenal job while the special effects team make them look alive. The combination of actors and crew prepared for lifelike apes as they move through their journey.apes

 

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Darkest Hour (Kazuhiro Tsuji, David Malinowski, and Lucy Sibbick)

Victoria & Abdul (Daniel Phillips, and Lou Sheppard)

Wonder (Arjen Tuiten)

My Pick: Darkest Hour, Kazuhiro Tsuji, David Malinowski and Lucy Sibbick

The transformation for Gary Oldman to Winston Churchill is unbelievable. Gary Oldman typically has his look, but not here. I could not believe what I saw. Not just that, the makeup and hairstyling for everyone in the movie is fantastic. Kazuhiro, David, and Lucy did an outstanding job that needs this award.darkesthour.jpg

 

Best Costume Design

Beauty and the Beast (Jacqueline Durran)

Darkest Hour (Jacqueline Durran)

Phantom Thread (Mark Bridges)

The Shape of Water (Luis Sequeira)

Victoria & Abdul (Consolata Boyle)

My Pick: The Shape of Water (Luis Sequeira)

Any fan of Guillermo Del Toro knows that the movie will look stunning with its practical effects. This means that any creatures will be men in suites. Of course, some added CGI will be the final touches to bring the beast to life, but it is all in the costumes. Luis Sequeira knocked it out of the park. Not only does the creature look amazing, so does everyone else to capture the look during that era. This is a stunning movie from all aspects, especially the costume designs.shapeofwater

 

Best Production design

Beauty and the Beast
Production Design: Sarah Greenwood
Set Decoration: Katie Spencer

Blade Runner 2049
Production Design: Dennis Gassner
Set Decoration: Alessandra Querzola

Darkest Hour
Production Design: Sarah Greenwood
Set Decoration: Katie Spencer

Dunkirk
Production Design: Nathan Crowley
Set Decoration: Gary Fettis

The Shape of Water
Production Design: Paul Denham Austerberry
Set Decoration: Shane Vieau and Jeff Melvin

My Pick: Blade Runner 2049
Production Design: Dennis Gassner
Set Decoration: Alessandra Querzola

Blade Runner 2049 is a stunning movie. The production design perfectly crafted this fascinating world in such a beautiful way. I may not have found it to be the most interesting, but I was amazed by the way it looked. This movie is easily one of the prettiest movies of 2017.bladerunner

 

Original Score

Dunkirk (Hans Zimmer)
Phantom Thread (Jonny Greenwood)
The Shape of Water (Alexandre Desplat)
Star Wars: The Last Jedi (John Williams)
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (Carter Burwell)

My Pick: Star Wars: The Last Jedi (John Williams)

How could I resist this one? Whether you like it or not, you can never go wrong with John Williams working on the song for a Star Wars movie. Fitting every moment of the film. The music in this franchise is a character of its own, especially in the latest installment of the current trilogy.Star_Wars_Episode_VIII_The_Last_Jedi_Word_Logo_-_White_teaser_poster_variant.svg

 

Those are my picks! I am sure I probably upset some of you. What are your choices for the Oscars? You can watch the Oscars on March 4th.

Images via Shutterstock and Flickr