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Binky International Film Festival: Day One

Hello and welcome to the first ever (and maybe even the first and the last, we’ll see about that next year) Binky International Film Festival! As I have explained in my previous post, this year I’m doing something different to end 2011 with, instead of just making a list, I’m actually going to revisit all the movies I’ve seen in this past year (well, not all, just the ones released in 2011, though there are one or two that were released in 2010 but I never got around to watching them until 2011) and share my thoughts about them with all of you fabulous people of the blogosphere. Why? Why not, it’s the holidays, isn’t it? 😉

Today, our genre is “Big Budget Awesomeness” (note: “special effects-heavy” falls into the category even if the budget isn’t astronomical) and there are quite a few to get through so let’s not delay this any longer! Binky International Film Festival officially opens!

“Big Budget Awesomeness”

Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part 1 & 2

Opening Weekend: November 19, 2010(part 1), July 15, 2011 (part 2)
Approx. Running Time: 146 min (part 1), 130 min (part 2)
Director & Screenwriter(s): David Yates & Steve Kloves (parts 1 & 2)
Stars: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Alan Rickman, Ralph Fiennes, Helena Bonham Carter, etc.
Budget: £150,000,000 (part 1), $125,000,000 (part 2)

Okay, first I would like to formally apologize to all you Harry Potter fans out there for not actually liking the movie franchise that much. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge fan of the book series. But I was so disappointed by the first two movies and Daniel Radcliffe that I just couldn’t get into it. But two years ago I got bored and had nothing to watch during the holidays so I decided to catch up on the movies. And as it turns out, even though I’ll never like them as much as the book, they were alright. And Radcliffe’s acting improved greatly as he and the rest of the cast grew up right before our eyes. But still, I wasn’t crazy about the movie franchise, so when Part 1 and 2 of the final Potter installment came out I didn’t rush to the cinema to see them, instead I waited for the DVDs. But even so, I actually quite like both movies.

First of all, this time around everyone can act. The actors all brought their A-game and the three stars; Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson all have become seasoned actors. Second, the adaptation stayed pretty close to the book, so no complaints there. Third, the special effects got even more amazing, obviously. And finally, I never expected that I would get choked up watching the very last movie, but I did. I guess these crazy wizards have become more than just characters from my favorite book series but have felt like my best friends and family. I will miss this franchise, and sorry Twilight fans, but there is NO greater series than Harry Potter. Even Stephen King thought so too.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

X-Men: First Class

Opening Weekend: June 3, 2011
Approx. Running Time: 132 min
Director & Screenwriter(s): Matthew Vaughn & Ashley Miller, Zack Stentz, Jane Goldman & Matthew Vaughn. Story by Sheldon Turner & Bryan Singer
Stars: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, etc
Budget: $160,000,000

This was one of the most anticipated blockbuster release of 2011 and I’m happy to announce it did not disappoint. At all. Not even the slightest. In fact, X-Men: First Class was so good it made me forget about the disappointment that is X-Men 3 or X-3 or whatever it was called. A lot of what made this prequel awesome came courtesy of one Michael Fassbender, who was beyond amazing as young Magneto. But James McAvoy and Jennifer Lawrence were pretty great too, not to mention Nicholas Hoult, who you probably know as little chubby Marcus in About A Boy who grew up to be the sexy, diabolical Tony in UK’s hit teen series Skins. This installment of X-Men opted for great writing and acting instead of relying on special effects – and it made the movie more than just a comic book adaptation that only fanboys can appreciate. If you’re not big on comic books and superheroes, I still recommend you check out this movie, because it is more than just a superhero movie. It’s about the choices we all make as humans (and mutants) that in the end will determine where we end up in life.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Sucker Punch

Opening Weekend: March 25, 2011
Approx. Running Time: 110 min (127 min extended cut)
Director & Screenwriter(s): Zack Snyder, screenplay by Zack Snyder & Steve Shibuya, story by Zack Snyder
Stars: Emily Browning, Abby Cornish, Vanessa Hudgens, Jena Malone
Budget: $82,000,000

The public’s reaction to this movie’s a bit polarizing and most critics hate it but I happen to enjoy this movie very much. After Inception, I am game for any movie that deals with the subconscious mind, and Sucker Punch is really about that – but without the clever high concept of Inception, instead it chooses simpler route to explain the fantastical elements of the mind: mental illness. And sure, I too have a problem with all the girls dressing like warrior strippers half the time. I mean, If the imagination sequences come from the mind of a resilient girl being subjected to some horrendous electroshock therapy, why do the girls look like they are created in some geeky guy’s wet dreams? Nonetheless, the core message of the movie stuck with me and despite it all, it does have good self-empowering message. Zack Snyder did a great job creating the dark, sinister but ultimately hopeful world of the subconscious and if you get past the whole fanboy objectification of the female characters, it’s actually a pretty decent, if a bit sad and dark, movie to watch.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Super 8

Opening Weekend: June 10, 2011
Approx. Running Time: 112 min
Director & Screenwriter(s): JJ Abrams
Stars: Kyle Chandler, Elle Fanning
Budget: $50,000,000

Super 8 was also among the most highly anticipated blockbuster of 2011 and I waited with bated breath for this movie to be released, only to be sorely disappointed by it, about Cloverfield-size of disappointment to be exact. JJ Abrams, I think you’re kind of a genius, but you can’t keep pulling this kind of shit on us impressionable movie junkies, you know! The next time your movie is shrouded in mystery and is overly hyped up, I’m going to assume it’s a hybrid of Cloverfield and Super 8 disaster. You should be ashamed of yourself, Abrams! Seriously though, I think the hype was what made the movie a disappointment, mostly because it was nothing more than Transformers but with pre-teen kids in the Shia LaBeouf/Megan Fox roles. I feel bad for Kyle Chandler, he can do no wrong in my eyes after Friday Night Lights, but this was a serious mistake. He should’ve waited for Star Trek. Shame on you, JJ Abrams!

Rating: 1.5 out of 5 stars

I Am Number Four

Opening Weekend: February 18, 2011
Approx. Running Time: 109 min
Director & Screenwriter(s): DJ Caruso & Alfred Gough, Miles Millar, Marti Noxon
Stars: Alex Pettyfer, Dianna Agron, Timothy Olyphant
Budget: $60,000,000

Let’s put it this way, 2011 is not a good year for aliens, well, except for the Transformers kind. But when you’re wedged in between a beloved boy wizard and sparkling vampires, do you even have a chance? In the case of the aliens in I Am Number Four, also adapted from a popular young adult book series, the answer is not a chance in hell. And neither Harry Potter nor Twilight is to blame this time. Who is to blame? Everyone but Timothy Olyphant, who is sublime, as he usually is in everything he’s in (I may be bias). Alex Pettyfer may know how to woo his co-stars, but he’s not a good actor. Period. And I don’t really see the appeal, frankly. Dianna Agron plays Dianna Agron in this movie, which is not necessarily bad, but we need more from a leading lady. Halfway through the movie, she doesn’t seem like she cares that much anymore, and neither do I. Or anyone, for that matter.

Rating: 1.5 out of 5 stars

Cowboys and Aliens

Release Date: July 29, 2011
Approx. Running Time: 118 min
Director & Screenwriter(s): Jon Favreau & Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, Damon Lindelof,  Mark Fergus, Hawk Ostby. Story by Mark Fergus, Hawk Ostby & Steve Oedekerk.
Stars: Harrison Ford, Daniel Craig, Olivia Wilde
Budget: $163,000,000

Talk about a major blockbuster bummer, we can’t escape this highly overrated sci-fi adventure movie from Jon Favreau, Cowboys and Aliens. It’s almost as bad as Super 8, but not quite. It’s not that bad but it’s definitely not good either. It’s just pretty damn mediocre, despite boasting the acting greats of both Indiana Jones and James Bond. Jon Favreau clearly isn’t a Firefly/Serenity geek because if he were, he would’ve known how to make this space western genre a lot more interesting. As it were, Cowboys and Aliens is nothing more than a 2 hour yawn-fest. The only thing I’m grateful of is not actually seeing this in the cinema and pay good money for it.

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

Immortals

Release Date: November 11, 2011
Approx. Running Time: 110 min
Director & Screenwriter(s): Tarsem Singh & Charley Parlapanides, Vlas Parlapanides
Stars: Henry Cavill, Frieda Pinto, Stephen Dorff, Isabel Lucas, etc.
Budget: $75,000,000

If X-Men: First Class is my favorite blockbuster of 2011, then Tarsem Singh’s Immortals is a close second, and I’m not just bias because I’m a huge fan of his first incredible movie The Fall. Immortals is amazing for so many reasons, not only the brilliant, artistic, fantastic, dream-like special effects, but also for Henry Cavill’s beautiful… body. And acting. But mostly his body. Mickey Rourke plays the villain beautifully here, and once again, just like The Fall, Tarsem takes us to a fantasy world that is like nothing you’ve seen before. And the best part of the movie: Stephen Dorff is cool again. Immortals has resurrected Dorff’s image and career and that is all right by me.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

And that concludes Day One of Binky International Film Festival. Check back in for Day Two tomorrow, where we will be watching a few “Sundance darlings” of 2011.

See you then!

Binky Bee

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Did You Hear About The Emmys?

The Emmy nominations were just announced, and this year, just like last year, I am not utterly disappointed. Sure, the snubs are still pretty frustrating, most notably John Noble for his brilliant work in Fringe (what does a guy has to do to get an Emmy nod around here? Play two characters in one show? Oh, but he does!), but still, the fact that Friday Night Lights is finally nominated for Best Drama, is definitely an improvement, especially since the show has bowed out after five incredible and yet criminally slept-on seasons. Also, the Academy has FINALLY acknowledge the brilliance of Parks and Recreation! Sure it snubbed Ron Offerman (how dare they!) and totally ignored Community, but all in all, this year’s nomination list is a step in the right direction. Note how The Killing is NOT nominated for Best Drama, despite the Best Actress and Supporting Actress for Mireille Enos and Michelle Forbes respectively. After the whole season finale debacle, I would’ve thrown a hissy fit if they nominated the show for Best Drama. I guess the finale pissed The Academy as much as it did (most of) us.

Just like last year, I’m still going to do predictions (divided into my usual ‘Who I Think Will Win’,  ‘Who I Want To Win’ and ‘But It Could Very Well Be…’) seeing that the votes can go any which way this year as well. And just like last year, I could totally be wrong… so you might want to reconsidering making your bets based on my predictions. 🙂

Okay, we have a lot to go through, so let’s get straight to it! (NOTE: Since there are so many categories, I decided only to post the ones that I can predict, or care about. To see a complete list, you can go straight to the Emmy Website)

Outstanding Lead Actor In A Comedy Series:

– Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock.

– Matt LeBlanc, Episodes.

– JimParsons, The Big Bang Theory.

– Steve Carell, The Office

– Johnny Galecki, The Big Bang Theory.

– Louis CK, Louie

Who I Think Will Win:

Steve Carell, The Office

Why: I know I predicted him to win last year and he didn’t, and truthfully I have no idea who seems to be the voters’ favorite for this year, but Steve Carell will never be nominated in this category for The Office ever again. And he has been nominated for so many times but has never won, so I hope the voters will do him a solid and give him the statue. It’d be a bittersweet victory for him, and I think we know he’ll give a good acceptance speech.

Who I Want To Win:

Matt LeBlanc, Episodes

Why: Well, it’d be nice to see Joey Tribbiani won the Emmy for playing Matt LeBlanc. 🙂 Besides, Episodes is such a funny show and truthfully, Matt is half the reason why the show is so great. The other half is of course British imports Stephen Mangan and Tamsin Greig.

But It Could Very Well BeJim Parsons. After all, didn’t he win this last year? (Did he win last year? My memory’s not what it used to be).

Winner: Jim Parsons

Outstanding Lead Actress In A Comedy Series:

– Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie.

– Tina Fey, 30 Rock.

– Laura Linney, The Big C.

– Mellisa McCarthy, Mike & Molly.

– Martha Plimpton, Raising Hope.

– Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation.

Who I Think Will Win:

Laura Linney, The Big C

Why: Well let’s see, she plays a mother and housewife with stage 4 melanoma (heavy), and she makes us all not only sympathize with her but at times, frustrated at her stubbornness and unwillingness to share the burden with her family. Sure, season 1 was a bit shaky but she gets better and better. And plus, she plays a woman with terminal cancer. This is the kind of role that will almost guarantee you an Emmy.

Who I Want To Win:

Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation

Why: I know she was my pick last year, and she lost, but I’m still rooting for her this year simply because Parks and Recreation was so so good last season. Even after being pushed to mid-season, it didn’t fail to steal everyone’s hearts. And Amy Poehler was amazing, especially considering she was pregnant for half the season. And if she won, I would not hate the Academy so much for not nominating Ron Offerman.

But It Could Very Well BeTina Fey. 30 Rock had a really fantastic season, and Fey was outstanding as always. Not to mention, they did a live episode, and they nailed it!

Winner: Melissa McCarthy

Outstanding Lead Actor In A Drama Series

– Timothy Olyphant, Justified.

– Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire.

– Hugh Laurie, House.

– Michael C. Hall, Dexter.

– Kyle Chandler, Friday Night Lights.

– Jon Hamm, Mad Men.

Who I Think Will Win:

Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire

Why: Since there’s no Brian Cranston to win again this year, Steve Buscemi seems to be the front-runner in this category, especially since he did win the Globes for Boardwalk Empire last January. And let’s face it, who doesn’t love him in Boardwalk Empire?

Who I Want To Win:

Timothy Olyphant, Justified

Why: Oh this category is hard because I’m definitely torn between him and Kyle Chandler, who very well deserve an Emmy since he made me cry so many times during the last season of Friday Night Lights. But at the end… my undying devotion for Timothy Olyphant, and the fact that he is indeed a god (ohhh, Timothy Olyphant…), wins out. I mean, just look at him! If the voters are like me, he totally has this in the bag.

But It Could Very Well BeJon Hamm. He hasn’t won once, so maybe now that this category is Brian Cranston-less, he actually has a chance.

Winner: Kyle Chandler. I did not predict this, but hell yeah Coach Taylor!! Well deserved!

Outstanding Lead Actress In A Drama Series

– Connie Britton, Friday Night Lights.

– Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife.

– Kathy Bates, Harry’s Law.

– Marisa Hargitay, Law & Order SVU.

– Mireille Enos, The Killing.

– Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men.

Who I Think Will Win:

Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife

Why: I don’t watch the show but judging from what I read in various medias, its second season was exceptionally good and apparently Margulies knocked it out of the park every time. And everyone, present company excluded, does love this show.

Who I Want To Win:

Connie Britton, Friday Night Lights

Why: Since I didn’t pick Kyle Chandler as my favorite to win, I better do Friday Night Lights a solid and pick her for this category. 🙂 And like Steve Carell, this will be her last chance to win in this category for Friday Night Lights. She deserves it.

But It Could Very Well BeMireille Enos. I know that some TV blogger (forgot who) called Enos’ Sarah Linden as The Worst Cop on TV (and I happen to agree with that blogger), but critics seem to dig her performance in The Killing. Besides, she didn’t write the show. Linden’s ineptitude cannot be blamed on her.

Winner: Julianna Marguiles

Outstanding Comedy Series:

– Big Bang Theory.

– Modern Family.

– Glee.

– 30 Rock.

– The Office.

– Parks and Recreation.

Who I Think Will Win:

Modern Family

Why: It did win last year despite Glee’s domination at other award shows, and unlike Glee that declined in quality in its second season, Modern Family continues to stay strong and gave us a really hilarious season. And 30 Rock did win at least twice in this category so the same fate could befall this show.

Who I Want To Win:

Parks and Recreation

Why: Since Community wasn’t even nominated (boo!), I want my second favorite comedy to win this category and show everyone else how it’s done. Even with a shorter season, we got so many great episodes last season: Ron and Tammy 2, Andy and April wedding, the one with the snake juice, the season finale with the passing of Li’l Sebastian… honestly, why don’t more people watch this show?

But It Could Very Well Be30 Rock. Like I said before, they had a really good fifth season and the only show in the category that actually dared to do a live show. So yeah, Tina Fey and crew can win again this year.

Winner: Modern Family

Outstanding Drama Series:

– Boardwalk Empire.

– Dexter.

– Friday Night Lights.

– The Good Wife.

– Game of Thrones

– Mad Men.

Who I Think Will Win:

Boardwalk Empire

Why: It won the Globes, it’s executive-produced by Martin Scorsese, and it’s on HBO. And plus, with Mad Men not returning until next year, this freshman drama is more fresh in everyone’s mind. It’s not as well-written as Mad Men in my opinion, but considering the powerhouse performances of the actors and how much Emmy voters love HBO, it can totally win.

Who I Want To Win:

Friday Night Lights

Why: Because this show is still the best show on television, even though it has wrapped its fifth and final season. And because I bawled like a baby watching the series finale, and continued to cry for days after. Because the people of Dillon, Texas has stolen the hearts of everyone who has ever decided to watch it. And finally, because clear eyes, full hearts can’t lose. (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, get the DVDs!)

But It Could Very Well BeGame of Thrones. I didn’t see it, but apparently everyone raved about it.

Winner: Mad Men

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Comedy Series:

– Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Modern Family.

– Chris Colfer, Glee.

– Jon Cryer, Two and A Half Men.

– Ty Burrell, Modern Family.

– Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family.

– Ed O’Neill, Modern Family.

Who I Think Will Win:

Chris Colfer, Glee

Why: Ryan Murphy pretty much dedicated most of season 2 on Chris Colfer’s Kurt Hummel, and he did pretty much nail it every episode. While some people are getting a little sick of him, I have a feeling award voters still love him. After all, he did win the Globes…

Who I Want To Win:

Ty Burrell, Modern Family

Why: Honestly, I love all the Modern Family guys and I don’t know how Emmy voters can choose between all four of them in the same category (which is why I think this year Colfer might win). But ultimately, Phil made me laugh so hard last season, and he’s too damn adorable so I gotta go with Ty Burrell. I wish they all could win though, wouldn’t that be something?

But It Could Very Well BeEric Stonestreet.  He won last year, and Cameron was still hysterical last season, so he could win this again.

Winner: Ty Burrell, hells yeah!

Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Comedy Series:

– Jane Lynch, Glee.

– Betty White, Hot In Cleveland.

– Kristen Wiig, Saturday Night Live.

– Sofia Vegara, Modern Family.

– Julie Bowen, Modern Family.

– Jane Krakowski, 30 Rock.

Who I Think Will Win & Who I Want To Win:

Sofia Vergara, Modern Family

Why: I am in love with this lady! 🙂 And seriously, she’s the best thing in Modern Family, and everyone practically raved about her performance last season. Not to mention, Jane Lynch is hosting this year and hosts rarely win (see: Neil Patrick Harris), and out of all the nominees Vergara’s got the most buzz.

But It Could Very Well BeBetty White. America’s not as obsessed with her as they did last year, but she’s still got enough clout to actually take home an Emmy in this category.

Winner: Julie Bowen

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Drama Series:

– Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones.

– Josh Charles, The Good Wife.

– Alan Cumming, The Good Wife.

– Walter Goggins, Justified.

– Andre Braugher, Men of A Certain Age.

– John Slattery, Mad Men.

Who I Think Will Win:

Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones

Why: I don’t watch the show, but man is it popular! Not only does it have die-hard fans who would probably start a riot if he didn’t win, but the whole time Game of Thrones was airing, the social media was buzzing with praises for this man’s performance. So I’m guessing, he’ll probably win this one.

Who I Want To Win:

Walton Goggins, Justified

Why: Okay, the fact that Justified wasn’t nominated for Best Drama baffled me because last season was incredible, but fine, I’ll let it go as long as either this man or Timothy Olyphant gets some Emmy love. Walton Goggins was brilliant as Boyd Crowder, and last season he brought his A-game in every episode. And since I didn’t actually see Game of Thrones, I have to root for this guy.

But It Could Very Well BeAlan Cumming. Speaking of brilliance, this man never fails to impress me. I don’t watch The Good Wife but I know he must’ve been amazing in it. He’s Alan Cumming!

Winner: Peter Dinklage

Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Drama Series:

– Christina Hendricks, Mad Men.

– Margot Martindale, Justified.

– Archie Panjabi, The Good Wife.

– Christine Baranski, The Good Wife.

– Michelle Forbes, The Killing.

– Kelly MacDonald, Boardwalk Empire.

Who I Think Will Win:

Kelly MacDonald, Boardwalk Empire

Why: Well Boardwalk Empire seems to be the favorite this year, it’s up for I think 19 nominations, so miss MacDonald is definitely a shoe-in. And besides, she was great as oh crap I don’t remember the name of her character… but yeah, that woman. 🙂 Sorry. It’s been a while. But yeah, she was great as whoever-her-character’s-name-is. And the Emmy voters do love this show.

Who I Want ToWin:

Christina Hendricks, Mad Men

Why: She’s Joan Holloway. She’s awesome. And just like Emma Stone, I totally have a girl-crush on the fabulously voluptuous Christina Hendricks. And Joan got some pretty good storylines in season 4, so I think it’s not a stretch that I want her to win.

But It Could Very Well BeArchie Panjabi. She did win last year, didn’t she?

Winner: Margo Martindale

Are you going to watch The Emmys this year? Who are you rooting for? Whose snubs are you most upset about? Discuss below.

xoxo

Binky Bee