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Archive for the ‘Nerd!’ Category

I’m winging it on some of these, but it’s still fun.  Let’s see how many I get right.

Actor in a Leading Role

My pick: Sean Penn
Prediction: Sean Penn

Actor in a Supporting Role

My pick: Robert Downey Jr.
Prediction: Heath Ledger

Actress in a Leading Role

My pick: Kate Winslet
Prediction: Meryl Streep

Actress in a Supporting Role

My pick: Taraji P. Henson
Prediction: Penelope Cruz

Best Animated Feature

My pick: WALL-E
Prediction: WALL-E

Art Direction

My pick: The Dark Knight
Prediction: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Cinematography

My pick: Slumdog Millionaire
Prediction: Slumdog Millionaire

Costume Design

My pick: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Prediction: The Duchess

Directing

My pick: Danny Boyle
Prediction: Danny Boyle

Documentary Feature

My pick: Man on Wire
Prediction: Man on Wire

Film Editing

My pick: The Dark Knight
Prediction: Slumdog Millionaire

Foreign Language Film

My pick: ?
Prediction: Waltz with Bashir

Makeup

My pick: The Dark Knight
Prediction: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Music Written for Motion Pictures (Original Score)

My pick: Thomas Newman (WALL-E)
Prediction: A.R. Rahman (Slumdog Millionaire)

Music Written for Motion Pictures (Original Song)

My pick: “Down to Earth” from WALL-E
Prediction: “Jai Ho” from Slumdog Millionaire

Best Picture

My pick: Milk
Prediction: Slumdog Millionaire

Animated Short Film

My pick: Presto
Prediction: This Way Up

Live Action Short Film

My pick: ?
Prediction: The Pig

Sound Editing

My pick: The Dark Knight
Prediction: Slumdog Millionaire

Sound Mixing

My pick: Slumdog Millionaire
Prediction: Slumdog Millionaire

Visual Effects

My pick: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Prediction: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Adapted Screenplay

My pick: Slumdog Millionaire
Prediction: Slumdog Millionaire

Original Screenplay

My pick: Milk
Prediction: In Bruges

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Hooray it’s Oscar Night.  I’m looking forward to see who will in each category.  But my favorite category is achievement in music written for motion pictures (original score).  I love film scores.  Every movie I watch I’m always listening for the music.  I know, I’m strange, but I think the film scores are so important and sometimes can either really kill a movie or add to it.  So what about this year’s nominees?

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Well, I thought Alexandre Desplat’s score for The Queen was much better. This movie, I thought, was so long and flat and unfortunately the music didn’t really help.  It’s beautiful score, the string and harp melodies were wonderful, but that’s it.  It was basically a two hour lullaby.  Wonderful to listen to, but nothing really note worthy.

Defiance

How can you go wrong with Joshua Bell?  Bell is designated violinist for film, just like Yo-Yo Ma is the designated cellist.  I can’t really say much about the score because, well, I haven’t seen the movie.  All I can say is James Newton Howard is no stranger to Academy Award nominations (The Village, Michael Clayton).

Milk

This is a surprise score from Danny Elfman.  Yeah, Danny Elfman is known for his campy soundtracks, but he is also known for composing some beautiful pieces.  I thought Big Fish was a great score and Milk is another one of his greater works.  This was a well deserved nomination.  It was so haunting, yet strangely beautiful.  The piece during the main titles of the film is what I think got Elfman the nomination.  It’s a strange mix of string melodies, a piano, an electric guitar, and a saxophone, yet somehow it all fit.  The saxophone solo was the perfect instrument to feature.  It’s something that you don’t really hear in a film score, but Elfman proved the saxophone can be just as soft and beautiful.  A great soundtrack, it has some of the unique Elfman qualities that most people are used to hearing, but overall the score is very different from his previous works.

Slumdog Millionaire

O…Saya!  Well certainly, like the film, this is a clear standout from the rest.  A.R. Rahman is insanely talented.   He is a huge Bollywood composer and has sold over 100 million records.  At first I wasn’t sure about the music of this film, but after watching it, that is what made the film.  It’s so complex and unique and unlike anything I’m used to hearing.  This soundtrack grew on me, I loved how modern it sounded yet it incorporated styles and instruments from the traditional Indian film soundtracks.  One of the best tracks is the scene when the children are running away from the gangster.  The sitar player is amazing and it’s not the usual way a sitar is used.  Another great track is ‘Ringa Ringa’, which is a  typical Bollywood sounding track.  It’s so driving and fun and features the popular Indian singer Alka Yagnik.  This score is so rich and full of layers it’s impossible to not give it a nomination.

WALL-E

Thomas Newman never disappoints.  His is in his own genre.  I love his compositions.  Each of them are so different, yet it has that Thomas Newman signature sound to them.  WALL-E is no exception.  The score has a driving percussive feel, but manages to sound other worldly.  The harps and guitar beats mixed with the strings sound so beautiful.  Newman was the perfect fit to put music to outer space.  It’s a joy to hear all of these weird sounds and mixes put into lovely sounding score.  WALL-E is Newman’s tenth Academy Award nomination.  Two this year, one for the score and one for the song “Down to Earth.”  Maybe he’ll actually win an award this time.

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Kudos to Hania for the song and video.  I love it.

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Leaving Again

Yes, I’m off on another vacation, because you can never have too many vacations.  It’s nothing special, just off to Orlando, Florida.  Home of “Walter Elias Planet.”  We’re big  theme park nerds, so we’re really excited.  I just hope we find a lot of trashy tourists.  I can’t wait to spot the mullets and fanny packs.  It’s going to be a fun week.

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You can find the translated version here, but it’s not as fun.

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Vodpod videos no longer available.

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Vodpod videos no longer available.

I’m still bummed this movie won’t be playing later this month.

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