The Best of 2020: Movies

Movie theaters were open for like five minutes this year and it doesn’t look like their reopening anytime soon. Most all big movie releases this year were either delayed or went directly to streaming so it’s been a crap year for new movies. There were a handful that snuck out before the pandemic hit, but all the blockbusters haven’t seen the light of day yet. In fact, this past Christmas day, Wonder Woman 1984 was released on HBO Max, for no additional cost. This is the first giant movie to do this and Warner Media is continuing this strategy into 2021. All in all, 2020 was a crap year for movies, hopefully next year is better.

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Beard Blog Oscars Predictions – 2018

The Beard Blog Academy Awards Predictions

This is definitely a strong female year.  Most of the great movies from this past season feature strong female performances and even a female director.

I have chosen my favorites from this past year and given out my own “awards”:

Beard Blog Outstanding Performance Awards:

Director:

  • Greta Gerwig – Lady Bird
  • Jordan Peele – Get Out
  • Aaron Sorkin – Molly’s Game

Actress:

  • Sally Hawkins – The Shape of Water
  • Margot Robbie – I, Tonya
  • Saoirse Ronan – Lady Bird
  • Laurie Metcalf – Lady Bird
  • Octavia Spencer – The Shape of Water
  • Jessica Chastain – Molly’s Game

Actor:

  • Michael Shannon – The Shape of Water
  • Tom Hanks – The Post
  • Idris Elba – Molly’s Game
  • Ansel Elgort – Baby Driver

 

90th Academy Awards:

Best Picture:
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Best Actor:
* Gary Oldman – Darkest Hour

Best Actress:
* Francis McDormand – Three Billboards…

Best Supporting Actor:
* Sam Rockwell – Three Billboards…

Best Supporting Actress:
* Allison Janney – I, Tonya

Best Director:
* Guillermo del Toro – The Shape of Water

Best Adapted Screenplay:
Molly’s Game

Best Original Screenplay:
Three Billboards…

* = correct prediction

See my movie reviews here

Oscar Nominations 2018

The 90th annual Academy Awards airs Sunday March 4, 2018 on ABC

Here are my picks for this years Oscars. These are not my predictions (those will come later). These are my votes as if they let me into the Academy.

Oscars

*Unfortunately, I have not see all the films listed below as of writing this (which could change), so I only voted for those I have seen.

My picks are highlighted in gold.  Visit the links to see my reviews.

  • Best Picture
  • Actor in a Leading Role
    • Timothy Chalamet – Call Me by Your Name
    • Daniel Day-Lewis – Phantom Thread
    • Daniel Kaluuya – Get Out
    • Gary Oldman – Darkest Hour
    • Denzel Washington – Roman J. Israel, Esq.
  • Actress in a Leading Role
    • Sally Hawkins – The Shape of Water
    • Frances McDormand – Three Billboards…
    • Margot Robbie – I, Tonya
    • Saoirse Ronan – Lady Bird
    • Meryl Streep – The Post
  • Actor in a Supporting Role
    • Willem Dafoe – The Florida Project
    • Woody Harrelson – Three Billboards…
    • Richard Jenkins – The Shape of Water
    • Christopher Plummer – All the Money in the World
    • Sam Rockwell – Three Billboards…
  • Actress in a Supporting Role
    • Mary J. Blige – Mudbound
    • Allison Janney – I, Tonya
    • Lesley Manville – Phantom Thread
    • Laurie Metcalf – Lady Bird
    • Octavia Spencer – The Shape of Water
  • Directing
    • Christopher Nolan – Dunkirk
    • Jordan Peele – Get Out
    • Greta Gerwig – Lady Bird
    • Paul Thomas Anderson – Phantom Thread
    • Guillermo del Toro – The Shape of Water
  • Writing (Adapted)
    • Call Me by Your Name – James Ivory
    • The Disaster Artist – Nuestadler & Weber
    • Logan – Frank, Mangold, and Green
    • Molly’s Game – Aaron Sorkin
    • Mudbound – Williams & Rees
  • Writing (Original)
    • The Big Sick – Gordon & Nanjani
    • Get Out – Jordan Peele
    • Lady Bird – Greta Gerwig
    • The Shape of Water – del Toro & Taylor
    • Three Billboards… – Martin McDonough

Movie Review: It (2017)

You’ll Float Too

Coming into this movie, I didn’t know a lot about the Steven King novel, the 1990 TV miniseries, or this new version, which I feel made the viewing experience much better. I knew there was a clown, I’ve seen the red balloon imagery before, and I knew it was in the horror genre. Beyond that, I was just going on the hype and sales of this movie.

Skarsgård has what it takes to be nightmare fuel.

About a month ago, I signed up my wife and I for MoviePass, a service that allows you to see unlimited movies every month for a flat fee. This will be great for the fall season and hopefully into the future. Because of this, I will be trying to review every movie I see, so stay tuned!   MoviePass is not giving me anything to write this, nor is anyone paying me anything.

It opens in the late 1980s with two brothers building a paper sailboat. The older brother Billy is clearly the babysitter in the family, and the younger brother clearly needs babysat. The younger brother, Georgie, has fears of the basement and when he’s forced to go down there nothing happens. This was a slow start for me, but then it immediately got better. See spoilers at the end for more.

The star of the show by far is Bill Skarsgård who played Pennywise (the clown). It was almost on par with Ledger’s Joker in The Dark Knight. You could see the legitimate terror in the face of the actors when they had scenes together. Skarsgård has what it takes to be nightmare fuel.

pennywise
Bill Skarsgård as Pennywise

Throughout this movie I was distracted by trying to figure out the mechanics of how the villain worked and how he could be defeated. The writers very early on spoiled the fact that they were going to be making a sequel, and by the end of the movie, it was painfully obvious.

Overall this movie was very entertaining and kept me interested the whole 2 hours and 15 minutes. If the same production team is involved in the sequel, it should do very well too.

Who should watch this movie? If you like Stranger Things, It Follows, and 80s horror movies, you will definitely like It.

Who shouldn’t watch this movie? Fans of modern/terrible horror movies like Paranormal Activity. It has more of a story and character development and less jumpy scary stuff. Also, if you have a problem with clowns, teenagers swearing, or blood/guts, you should stay home.

Score

8 / 10 – Great movie to better enhance the currently cliche genre

*Spoilers*

Do not read below if you do not want to read any SPOILERS!

The entire movie we are constantly reminded that in 27 years, blah blah blah, the clown/It comes back. The movie takes place in 1989 which is 27 years from 2018. I wonder when the next movie will come out and take place… The opening scene where Georgie meets and later gets killed by Pennywise was my favorite. This scene created the baseline of fear for the clown and also showed that this movie was going to have no mercy, even on the youngest kids. Hopefully in the future they do a better job of explaining the history of this ‘It’. We got a couple of stories that the Ben character researched, which made me hope for a deeper history lesson, but alas that may come later. Since I’m not a It originator, that may have already been explained in the book or miniseries.

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