Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea. —Henry Fielding

25 February 2018

Oscar Nominations 2018: Part 10 of 12

Back to Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5Part 6Part 7, Part 8, or Part 9.

War for the Planet of the Apes
1 Nomination
  • Visual Effects
Director: Matt Reeves
Cast: Andy Serkis, Woody Harrelson, Steve Zahn, Karin Konoval, Amiah Miller, Terry Notary, Ty Olsson, Michael Adamthwaite, Toby Kebbell, Gabriel Chavarria, Judy Greer

Such squandered potential. This movie looks very cool and the first two movies in the series were very cool, but this one overdoes every scene, overplays every hand, and is all around just extra. I think I would be ok with this if it weren't a melodrama, So what ends up happening is that most of what it overdoes is feelings. We have evil villains, we're shown that the alt-right is evil and racist, and every ounce of feeling is milked out of us while a tiny white girl-child looks at us with tears in her eyes. For me this fell flat. There are five options for the visual effects Oscar. The Star Wars movie seems to me the most likely winner – Shape of Water didn't get one, despite its 13 nominations – but I suppose if that one doesn't win, this one will, and last year's winner (The Jungle Book) was a lot like this one: computer-animated animals.
Will Win: N/A
Could Win: Visual Effects
My Rating: #62 out of 82

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
1 Nomination
  • Visual Effects
Director: James Gunn
Cast: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper, Dave Bautista, Michael Rooker, Kurt Russell, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Vin Diesel, Sean Gunn, Sylvester Stallone, Elizabeth Debicki, Chris Sullivan

I hate to criticize this film for the same thing as I criticized War for the Planet of the Apes, but I was also mostly bored with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. This is a shame. The first one was so good, that I suppose such a thing is easy to replicate. But this one felt like a great confused mess to me, and instead of Chris Pratt fucking up and getting into trouble, this is about him, like, finding himself and learning his origins or somesuch business. There are so many feelings in this movie. This is just unnecessary! Tell us some jokes, blow some things up, have baby Groot dance. Why take things so seriously? Normally I am really into father–son narratives, but I found this one silly. Vol 2. does have some cool setpieces, and whenever we were in full fight mode I was usually enjoying myself, but I think this movie mostly just returns us to the usual Marvel, it's-almost-the-end-of-the-world-if-only-we-could-save-it formula. This is better than Apes, certainly, but not by much.
Will Win: N/A
Could Win: N/A
My Rating: #55 out of 82

Kong: Skull Island
1 Nomination
  • Visual Effects
Cast: Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, John C. Reilly, John Goodman, Toby Kebbell, Corey Hawkins, John Ortiz, Tian Jing, Jason Mitchell, Shea Whigham, Thomas Mann

This is the one that deserves to win. It is so much better than the other nominees (including Star Wars and Blade Runner). I really really liked this movie, and I know, I know, it's a King Kong movie, but this one is excellent. Obviously, I love monster movies, and this one gives us monster after monster after monster, but it also does this really well, and it is has some interesting themes to boot. I can't recommend this enough, and although I know it won't win on March 4th, I'll be rooting for it.
Will Win: N/A
Could Win: N/A
My Rating: #19 out of 82