5 Biggest Snubs From the 2019 Oscar Nominations

The Academy Awards can never satisfy anyone due to the abundance of films that come out every year; however, sometimes their issues cannot be ignored like some major snubs that happen each year. Now that the nominees have been announced, the gaping holes shine the light on plenty of issues, but five of which infuriate me the most.

#5: Annihilation gets nothing?

Many have forgotten this beautiful film, but the sci-fi adaption delivered a brilliant artsy narrative along with the best visuals from the year. The film could easily grab at most eight nominations. The Academy should have put Alex Garland’s trippy flick under the following categories: adapted screenplay, makeup and hairstyling, visual effects, sound mixing, sound editing, costume design, production design, and cinematography. While many missed out on one of 2018’s best films, the ones who saw and fell in love with Annihilation will agree its right to take home an Oscar.

#4: Avengers: Infinity War deserves more nominations

Many may disagree, but Infinity War deserves more nods than Black Panther. The cultural significance of Black Panther makes it an essential film for all of Hollywood and the superhero genre. Comparing quality, Infinity War holds up far better and achieved the impossible by standing as one of the biggest blockbusters in history, not in budget and earnings, but in its stature in storytelling and directing.

Black Panther could move the comic book adaptions into the Academy more often, but I worry for the future recognition excellent movies in the genre will receive. Hopefully, King T’Challa can break through to the prestigious award ceremony to let in his fellow Avengers for the coming years.

At the very least, the epic battle against Thanos should have earned more nominations from the other visual oriented categories.

#3: Eighth Grade got nothing?

Offensive is the only word to describe Bo Burnham’s directorial debut snub. The resonating story made this small teenage journey one of the most important films of the year. Despite praise upon its release, the Oscars are for the cool kids, and not the awkward teenager.

Both Elsie Fisher and Josh Hamilton could squeeze into best actor and actress categories or replace someone for their position these significant slots.

Bo Burnham himself could get a place for his directing and original screenplay, however, he sits out just like his cast and crew.

Shame on the Academy Awards.

#2: Toni Collette ignored for her performance in Hereditary

I don’t know which of these last three slots on my list make me angrier, but Toni Collette not getting a nomination for her performance in 2018’s best horror film drives me insane. She delves into such emotion ranging from rage, feeling resented, depressed, desperate, and so much more to bring her character to life.

While most of my list is wanting a film or person to get a simple nod by the Academy, this is the one I demand to win due to her incredibly moving performance that took my breath away.

#1: Bradley Cooper does not get best director for A Star Is Born

How does one of Hollywood’s best actors get in so many categories, but not the best director? The Academy loves directorial debuts, but somehow Cooper could win all of the biggest awards despite one for one of his most momentous achievements in his career. Criminal might go too far, but describes how robbed he has been from such a respectable selection.

What are the biggest snubs from this year’s Oscar nominations to you? Comment what you think below.

Image via A24 and Warner Bros. Pictures

 

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Edgar Wright’s Next Project is a Psychological Horror Flick, Plus Updates on Baby Driver 2 and Sparks Documentary

Edgar Wright’s career has centered around comedy with the zombie rom-com Shaun of the Dead and his spoof on the British police force with Hot Fuzz, after taking a turn to the crime-thriller genre with Baby Driver, the director told Empire his eyes are set on a new direction into the world of psychological horror featuring a female lead in London.

“I realized I had never made a film about central London – specifically Soho, somewhere I’ve spent a huge amount of time in the last 25 years,” Wright told Empire. “With Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead you make movies about places you’ve lived in. This movie is about the London I’ve existed in.”

The film will shoot this summer and will be co-written by Krysty Wilson-Cairns (Penny Dreadful).

Besides this horror project, Wright remains working on a documentary based on the rock band Sparks and has his first draft of the sequel to his 2016 film Baby Driver. He told Empire that it will “takes the story further” and introduce plenty of new characters.

You can read everything he has to say on Empire’s new issue.

Image via commons.wikimedia/Punktoad

Every (Main) Resident Evil Game Ranked According to Critics

One of the most beloved classic survival horror games, Resident Evil 2, is getting a remake from the ground-up. To celebrate the upcoming title that will bring in people who missed out on the original or old veterans looking for a trip down nostalgia avenue, it would be best to go over every game in the franchise. Ranking will go by reviews from Metacritic*, not the ultimate tool for measuring quality, but works well for our purposes.

Many of the titles end up getting ported or having remasters and many more launches that confuses this system. For simplicity, I will rank each game when it initially released so you will not have to see a dozen re-releases of Resident Evil 4 which appears on every console.

*Not every main title could be found on Metacritic, so other sources may be used in some entries.

#11: Resident Evil 6 (74/100 PS3, 67/100 Xbox 360) Originally released on Oct. 2, 2012

#10: Resident Evil: Revelations 2 (74/100 PC, 75/100 PS4, 65/100 PS Vita, 75/100 Xbox One) Originally released on Feb. 24, 2015

#9: Resident Evil 3: Nemesis (79/100) Originally released on Sept. 22, 1999

#8: Resident Evil: Revelations (82/100) Originally released on Jan. 26, 2012

#7: Resident Evil Zero (83/100) Originally released on Nov. 12, 2002

#6: Resident Evil 5 (84/100 PS3, 83/100 Xbox 360) Originally released on March 5, 2009

#5: Resident Evil 7: Biohazard (86/100 PS4, 83/100 PC, 86/100 Xbox One) Originally released on Jan. 24, 2017

#4: Resident Evil 2 (89/100) Originally released on Jan. 21, 1998

#3: Resident Evil (91/100) Originally released on March 22, 1996

#2: Resident Evil Code: Veronica (93/100 on Gamerankings) Originally released on Feb. 3, 2000

#1: Resident Evil 4 (96/100) Originally released on Jan. 11, 2005

Image via Capcom

Spider-Man: Far From Home Theory: How Mysterio Will Turn into a Villain

Trailers for any entry into the MCU gets jam packed with content to dissect and with Spider-Man: Far From Home, one specific detail caught me, Quentin Beck/Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal) fights on the same side as our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. Traditionally the special effects worker turned criminal has given Spidey plenty of trouble, but seeing him as a hero feels wrong. Due to Marvel’s current trend with their baddies, I have a few ideas about where Mysterio will end up.

The story we know so far is that Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) highjacks Peter’s (Tom Holland) vacation to Europe into a new adventure to face against Hydroman and the other Elementals. He gets introduced to Mysterio who has been hired by the uniter of the Avengers to help the web-slinger defeat these new foes.

Marvel has addressed their antagonist problem in a significant way with Thanos (Josh Brolin), Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan), and Vulture (Michael Keaton), who have all been able to prove themselves as worthy foes and have a sympathetic backstory that makes their motivations impact the audience point of view. My thoughts here are that Mysterio will start off as a hero, but end as a criminal. Something traumatic will occur to lead him down a darker path, which leads to a loveable new character to turn down the wrong path, not only affecting Peter but the audience too.

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Image via Marvel Studios

Having a change of heart for Mysterio will become important, especially as Vulture gets reintroduced. Keaton’s excellent birdlike crook will make a return in a way that has not been shown or mentioned. The most obvious reason is to move into a Sinister Six direction. Mysterio and Vulture both tend to have significant roles in the clubhouse of supervillains, along with Shocker (Bokeem Woodbine) and Mac Gargan (Michael Mando) who eventually turns into Scorpion. Since the standalone films have consisted in threes, Spider-Man’s third journey could have the ultimate climax by facing against six of his greatest enemies, all we need is two more introductions.

Often times the leader of the Sinister Six flips between Green Goblin or Doc Ock, neither of whom have made an entrance into the MCU, yet. The Osborn storyline has been beaten to death with the Garfield and Maguire films, so going to Otto Octavius who has not made any live-action appearances since Spider-Man 2 in 2004. Tony Stark will no longer be around as Peter’s superhero guardian, introducing Otto as a new father figure could push the iconic hero into a new direction that has not been seen on film, along with the leading into his toughest challenge to take on alone.

The motivations to Mysterio could go in a different direction if the Sinister Six option becomes a reality, even without five villainous buddies, he has room to digress into a supervillain. His drive in the comics relates to frustration with the film industry and a desire to become famous, so he tries to take down Spider-Man to achieve a high level of stardom. Not a strong motive for a big screen adaption, but his ego driving him for glory could work against him by moving towards heroism then having those plans blow up in his face to corrupt his moral compass.

Another direction for his desires can stem from a falling out with either Nick or Peter. Seeing heroic men not turn out who he expected could lead Quentin Beck to a darker life. The classic story of betrayal or having different outlooks could turn Quentin into a sinister force rather than an avenging one.

Marvel has come to love their misdirection like in the trailers for Thor: Ragnarok and Infinity War. Due to how many edits were made in the third Avengers, I can no longer trust what gets shown in any preview for new entries in the MCU. No matter what trick lies waiting for audiences, I can guarantee a plan for Mysterio to go rogue will occur at some point in Far From Home.

What do you think about my ideas about Sinister Six or the lone Mysterio fighting against Nick Fury and Spider-Man? Comment any of your thoughts on my theory or your own theories below.

Header image via Marvel Studios

Trailer Impressions: Spider-Man: Far From Home

Marvel surprised me with a trailer for Spider-Man: Far From Home this early and show the man himself, Peter Parker (Tom Holland). After Infinity War, I felt the trailer’s tone and what we will see would be different from here, but we got a standard trailer that shows no spoilers to either Avengers films by standing on its own as a satisfying and intriguing peek into Spidey’s next adventure.

After a special thank you to Spider-Man at our first look into Aunt May’s (Maria Tomei) homeless support program, he goes backstage to see May embrace Peter and his superhero alter-ego. I hoped to see resistance from her initial discovery of Peter’s secret life, but seeing her support him works to help push him further when tensions rise. Happy (Jon Favreau) walks in to have an awkward exchange with May, a possible new romance which feels suitable due to the unlikely pairing and the dynamics that can happen in the future, I am on board.

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Image via Marvel Studios

Peter goes off for a school trip in hopes of hanging out peacefully with his best friend Ned (Jacob Batalon), and his new found crush MJ (Zendaya) in Europe, no Spider-Man needed. Of course, due to having these powers, the superhero life comes for him after Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) tranquilizes Ned and gives the young hero a brand new suit to fight off a new enemy alongside a brand new protagonist, Quentin Beck AKA Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal).

His new costume looks like a cross between the Stark suit from Civil War and an old school appearance. A beautiful red and black combo that works well to capture what was perfect about the costume we already knew from previous entries in the MCU and the traditional look he has sported for decades.

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Image via Marvel Studios

Nick will take a significant role in the film as Peter’s new guardian, due to Tony probably getting killed in Endgame or whatever conclusion happens in that film. One quick shot show Fury and a woman holding their guns to a giant monster, which could come from Mysterio or the main antagonist Hydroman (casting unknown as of now). Due to Mysterio always has appeared as a criminal, the trailer could mislead fans by introducing Hydroman, or Quentin’s arc will go from shiny hero to crooked villain.

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Image via Marvel Studios

Chaos circles London with a montage of colorful lightning, explosions, and common thugs with machine guns, which reveals a short glimpse at another suit the web-slinger will sport, a similar look as the stealth costume and Noir Spider-Man.

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Image via Marvel Studios

An ultimate glance at Hydroman comes to light as he squares off against Peter, who does not have his Spider garb equipped. To save the day, Mysterio reveals himself in an outfit that surprisingly works well on screen. Many, myself included, were skeptical on how the character would look in a movie, but those worries snapped to dust due to his stylized armor, and Gyllenhaal always nails his performances, a dream come true for me to watch him appear in the MCU.

In case of anyone wondering, yes, the fishbowl helmet does appear. Shockingly, it works well and does not look goofy.

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Image via Marvel Studios

After the action-packed fight between Mysterio and Hydroman, Peter stands with his classmates watching the TV as the two characters clash together. Some banter occurs between MJ, and Flash Thompson (Tony Revolori) makes for the perfect comedic endpoint.

My main issue stems from revealing Peter is alive and well from the events that occurred in Infinity War,  but marketing the sequel to Homecoming would never happen if everyone at Marvel worried about complete spoilers. It would not be possible to show a trailer without the iconic hero himself. Maybe pushing into the fall or late summer would have been a smarter plan, but I am just happy to get more Spider-Man.

Mysterio makes for an excellent choice, but I hope they stick to him acting as a villain rather than a vigilante. Knowing Marvel, a lot of misdirection covers the whole trailer; I have learned not to trust them after the first look at Infinity War.

I was already excited for Captain Marvel, Endgame, and now Far From Home got me in its web. Marvel might have its best year if Captain Marvel can make a standout debut, Endgame delivers a satisfying conclusion, and the next Spidey adventure can adequately incorporate the aftermath of Thanos along with providing something near Homecoming. 

What do you think of the trailer? Comment your thoughts below. Also, you can watch the trailer here:

Spider-Man: Far From Home releases July 5.

Header image via Marvel Studios

 

5 Metal and Rock Bands Who Have Gotten Better Over Time

When an artist releases new material, people find a way to hate. Often times people say, “This fucking sucks, go back to your old sound,” or “You have stayed the same, this is shit.” In rare occasions staying the same is beneficial, allowing time to develop what will become a signature sound, or some can evolve into something greater to provide constant refreshing music. Sometimes finding the sweet spot of good quality music, whether you change a lot or stay the same, can take time. These bands found their way somehow after years of perfecting their art.

#5: Carnifex

The blackened deathcore group have adequate music throughout their discovery, but nothing that feels special. The grim quartet consists of musicians who taught themselves because they love heavy metal, an incredibly admirable. They did strike gold on their 2014 release with Die Without Hope, a gruesome, yet honest approach that took their instrumentation to a more complex and melodic route while holding down heavy breakdowns. Lyrically the songs made their usual topic of depression, suicide, and other related issues into a deeper and honest perspective. Ever since the band launched the phenomenal followup Slow Death, an EP titled Bury Me In Blasphemy, and will take the black metal elements along with all that they have learned into the next album sometime this year.

 

#4: Breaking Benjamin

Breaking Benjamin hit hard with each release; however, their quality significantly increases after every album. Since getting new members, the band rekindled a creative fire that takes their typical sound into new heights while still being is so recognizable from their music.

 

#3: Fit for a King

For a band that has dropped plenty of solid metalcore albums, the Christian metalcore outfit has found themselves a perfect blend of evolution and staying true to their roots. Their last release, Dark Skies, builds off of the direction of the excellent Deathgrip. With a blend of deathcore and metalcore, Fit for a King has a future to place themselves at the top of the food chain in this scene.

 

#2: Behemoth

Originating as a group who leaned fully into black metal, the Polish metallers have transcended into a blackened death metal outfit who have improved not only their theatrics but their songwriting too.

After recovering from cancer, singer/guitarist Nergal gathers the band to create one of the best records of their career, and in recent years for extreme metal. The Satanist was a statement to the world of not only their return but for world domination. The album features plenty of strong tracks but has the greatest finale in history with O Father O Satan O Sun. Now after having a strong followup with I Loved You at Your Darkest, it appears Behemoth will not be going anywhere anytime soon.

 

#1: Ghost

Another band who has always put out consistent work while rising to something greater. While Ghost’s first two albums stand strong, but Meliora and Prequelle show how these Swedish rockers are the most innovative band in the modern landscape of the genre. Elevating their lore behind their characters and music, they will go down in history for their unique direction.

 

Header image via Nuclear Blast Records and Metal Blade Records

Opinion: Horror Movies are Making a Comeback From the Grave: How the Horror Genre is Rising Back to Greatness

The lucrative horror movie genre has always been profitable, but the quality is often rotten. Sequel after sequel of storylines that get beaten to death then mutilated to further their descent into utter garbage and bad Rotten Tomatoes scores, the overall quality of most films in the world of everything spooky has gone downhill, especially in the 2000s. In the last couple of years, a shift has taken place where these films are making money and people, both critics, and audiences, enjoy these pieces of entertainment for their value rather than seeing it for the sake of watching something at the theater. With movies from 2018 like A Quiet Place, Halloween, and Hereditary finding success and 2019 having plenty to offer, creating something terrifying never looked so good as it does now.

The amount of tickets sold in horror continually goes up and down. According to The Numbers’ data, a sharp 6.98 percent increase has taken place from 2014 to 2017. The most notable movie during this increase is Andy Muschietti’s IT remake which grossed over $700 million during its run in the theaters, making Pennywise’s return the highest grossing in the horror genre and for R rated movies.

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2017 had more to offer than just the excellent adaption from Stephen King’s classic novel. The New York Times reported that the year saw the biggest rise for the genre. The USA alone saw $733 million total from scary movies and worldwide the total came to slightly over a billion. Get Out, Happy Death Day, and Jigsaw all helped the killer clown shapeshifting entity take the horror into new heights. Comparatively the biggest year prior was 2000 which grossed $616 million due to reboots of classic horror films like Rob Zombie’s Halloween and original flicks like Saw. The 2010s have increased due to those same reasons, but more original ideas have been popping up.

Get OutA Quiet Place, and Don’t Breathe not only score well at the box office but did well on the Tomatometer. While Rotten Tomatoes is not the judge, jury, and executioner in the world of film, it still holds value as a respectable measurement when looking at how audiences and critics view a movie’s quality. John Krasinski’s A Quiet Place scored a 95 percent with experts and an 83 percent with viewers while grossing $340 million on a roughly $17 million budget. Jordan Peele stepped out of the comedy into the darkness to deliver his standout debut with Get Out received a 98 percent from critics and an 86 percent from fans with a slam dunk by earning $255 million on a budget of $4 million. The director of the 2013 remake of Evil Dead, Fede Alvarez made his most successful film with Don’t Breathe got an 88 percent from the professional reviewers while obtaining a respectable 78 percent from the public. No matter whether people die by a blind slasher, a racist family, or aliens, the masses will throw their money and high opinions over who can scare and entertain better than the rest.

Plenty of good ideas go to waste in the past, still happens today, but riskier projects can thrive. As Above So Below received an abysmal 25 percent with a mediocre return in profit, Flatliners got crushed by a 4 percent by squeaking in $45 million, and Chernobyl Diaries got eaten by a 17 percent but making a respectable $37 million off a $1 million budget. Original ideas in the last few years such as the brilliant Get Out, the unique It Follows (a 96 percent on Rotton Tomatoes), the adrenaline pumping Train to Busan (96 percent), and sweat-inducing A Quiet Place takes their new ideas to win over the world.

Films need to have a better objective, a focus on jump scares and high body counts will not do any justice in creating an enjoyable horror flick. According to a survey of 200 movies from the reviewing juggernaut, any film with higher than five deaths will most likely hinder its rating and proceeds. A Quiet Place and Hereditary (89 percent then raking in a modest $79 million while costing $10 million) came out on top as some of 2018’s highest reviewed horror flicks. Both films have a few deaths while their attention centered around suspense, character development, and narrative. Just like an action movie, if you have nothing but explosions with no meat on the story or personalities, then you become a Michael Bay movie.

The future for these grim films looks bright as they dismember and spread nightmares throughout the world. 2019 holds the sequel to the wildly successful IT, Jordan Peele will deliver a terrifying experience that matches Get Out‘s thought-provoking message with his second outing with Us, another Stephen King adaption storms through with John Lithgow (Dexter), John Clarke (Zero Dark Thirty), and Amy Seimetz (Alien: Covenant) in Pet Semetary, the long-awaited sequel to zombie-comedy Zombieland arrives this fall, and the insanely popular superhero genre will showcase The New Mutants, and Brightburn will turn the idea of cape-wearing vigilantes upside down. Based on the past few years of the rising numbers of these horrific tales that get brought to life on the big screen, make sure you lock your doors and windows every night because this year will be a dangerous and haunting time with evil Superman, killer clowns, and vicious dead animals.

Header image via Warner Bros. Pictures, RADiUS-TWC, Universal Pictures