If you want the gravy…

…You've got to get the biscuits!

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Predicting the 89th Academy Awards


The biggest possible screen for the likeliest winner…but would that make it better? (Source)

We’re getting down to the wire here, people.

I’ve watched every Picture, Director, acting, and writing nominee, and most of the tech nominees, and pored over a season’s worth of winners and nominees, to bring you a thorough overview of the nominations and a carefully considered prediction of the winners in each category.

Get comfortable, kids. We’ve got a lot of territory to cover.

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The Films of 2016, in 100 Words or Less: Part V


All hail practical effects. (Source)

Here’s the rest of the ***½ films, including some of the most acclaimed of the year. Behold my takes:

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"Family is a cruel joke"--but sometimes, family is precisely what you need. ()

“Family is a cruel joke”–but sometimes, family is precisely what you need. (Source)

The Skeleton Twins is the kind of film which suffers because I cannot totally judge it in a vacuum. On its own, it would still be a flawed film, but in the greater context of modern cinema, it stands as yet another indie comedy-drama about dysfunctional middle-class characters, played by hitherto largely comedic actors, who go through their quotidian crises before something like a happy ending. Here, though, the dysfunctions are poorly explored, the crises seem contrived, and the sort-of-happy ending leaves more than a few story threads dangling. The acting (and, to my surprise, the direction) is good enough to make it a *** film, but the script lets it down.

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The extinction of what, though? Entertainment? ()

The extinction of what, though? Entertainment? (Source)

For some cinephiles, Michael Bay is their bête noire, the embodiment of all that is wrong with movies today and a consistent source of over-edited, lowest-common-denominator garbage. I’m not quite one of them. Yes, Bay has made some awful films, but don’t forget that two of his films are in the Criterion Collection–The Rock and Armageddon. And the first Transformers movie was, all things considered, a pretty fun film. The second was much shakier (the story was messy, the humor was stupid when not offensive); I never bothered with the third, although it was less critically shredded than the second or fourth films. But, admittedly looking for a likely bad film to round out what has been a mostly good year, I took advantage of a discounted ticket and soldiered forth (ha ha); 165 minutes later, I emerged, sadder and wiser. Though not the worst film I’ve seen this year (Winter’s Tale is a bigger trainwreck), it comes close, an ugly, often boring film with ugly, off-putting characters.

It moves me to ask: how much robot fighting do you really want? Isn’t this just a little tedious by now? But first, let’s review the movie.

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