About a third of the way into Focus, Jess (Margot Robbie) turns to Nicky (Will Smith) and asks, "What about the big con?" I suppose it can be said that the big con feels like the one being pulled over on the audience that sits patiently waiting for that moment that never really comes. Focus, which does have a few things going for it, never really lives up to the grandeur of heist films such as The Italian Job or Ocean's Eleven, where the rewards are big and the stakes are even bigger.
No one understood the teenage condition in the 80's better than John Hughes. His characters were memorable and relatable. From awkward Samantha Baker battling personal esteem issues and forgetful parents in Sixteen Candles, to the enigmatic charisma of Ferris Bueller, or the raging hormones oozing from Gary and Wyatt in Weird Science, everyone could find a connection with themselves lurking in some corner of the Hughesiverse.
Another Oscar ceremony is in the books, closing out another self-congratulatory Hollywood awards season. As per usual, the evening was filled with highs and lows, but how will this year's show stack up against shows of Oscar past? Hit the jump as we discuss the best and worst moments from the 2015 Academy Awards.
When you consider what constitutes the best picture of the year, it really comes down to what lingers- what stays with you well after the credits roll. What is likely to be the film that sits on your blu-ray shelf to watch on a whim a couple times a year? Certainly, the Academy doesn't always get it right. Actually, they often get it wrong. But that's just one man's opinion. Movies are such a subjective medium that to put too much stock in what film they deem the best of the best is pointless. It doesn't change who your best of the best is or what films spoke to you the loudest.
Without further ado, here are the nominees and our picks for Best Picture of the year...
Conventional wisdom dictates that you cannot make a great movie without the services of a great director (apparently unless the movie is Argo). This year's group of visionaries range from quirky nuance to patient maestro to technical bravado- but leave no doubt that each of these helmsmen leave an indelible mark on their specific film.
The nominees and our picks for Best Achievement in Directing are....
Finally, we get to an awards race that doesn't seem to be as predictable as the ones we've examined thus far. We have some rising young talent and a veteran comeback. We also have an actor that seems to be making a habit of stockpiling nominations (3 straight years) and an actor stepping away from the genre he's made a career out of.
Here are the nominations and our picks for Best Actor in a Leading Role...
Much like the supporting races, this one seems to be just about wrapped up. That doesn't mean we must necessarily agree, or that the category isn't worth discussing though. It simply means there's really no intrigue to the proceedings, which is unfortunate.
The nominees for best actress in a leading role are...
Steve and Dan don their red carpet finest to discuss the upcoming Academy Awards. We'll be telling you who we think will walk away with little golden men in the big 6 categories.
Before we get into the Oscar talk, we'll regale you with a couple of brief news topics and some mini reviews of Jupiter Ascending, John Wick, The Last Five Years, Predestination and What We Do in the Shadows.
It's the Slice & Dice podcast #32. Stick it in your ear!
All Slice & Dice podcasts are available for free on iTunes.
Much like the Best Supporting Actress category, this year's race for the men seems pretty cut and dry. Here are five great performances, but one transcends them all.
The nominees for Best Supporting Actor in a feature film are...
This year's crop of Best Supporting Actress nominees has a few journeymen (or journey-women if you will) additions along with a couple of younger yet very accomplished actress. I mean seriously, it's about time Meryl Streep got some respect from the Academy, right?
Here are the nominees and our picks for Best Supporting Actress in a feature film.