Podcast: Fresh Picks Movie News Episode XXV!

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After my two week break, and absence from the Fresh Picks Movie News Podcast, “I’m Back”, as our beloved Terminator would say! Episode 25 is out and available for you to stream for free, so please enjoy!

Massive thank you to Melissa at The Creative Fox Den for co-hosting the show with David, while I was away!

David’s Site – ThatMomentIn.com

Subscribe to the show on iTunes here.

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Fresh Picks Movie News Podcast Episode XXii!

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It’s that time of the week again, were David and I talk movies on our Fresh Picks Movie News Podcast show, and we’re up to episode 22.

This week we talk about Ugandan cinema, a mysterious film along with interesting news items from around the movies news grapevine.

Help us spread the word by sharing the podcast with friends and family. Massive thank you always, for your continued support. We love to do the show, and we hope you love it as much too!

David Site – ThatMomentIn.com

Subscribe to the show on iTunes here.

 

Mad Max: Fury Road, What Are It’s Chances at The Oscars?

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It’s hard to believe that it’s that time of year again, when for about 6 weeks some movie lovers and enthusiasts eagerly await the Oscars, or Academy Awards, whatever you prefer to call them. Here at FilmMunch we are such enthusiasts, even though we don’t entirely agree with the voting process, and the voters themselves, plus just type in #OscarSoWhite into any social media outlet, and there’s another reason why the Oscars continually get a bad wrap. But, having said all that, the movies brought to our attention by the Oscar Nominations this year are pretty darn good movies, and that’s what we do here, we love movies, so let’s get right into it!

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Mad Max: Fury Road is making all Australians proud, after it raked in 10 Academy Award Nominations, and in some of the big categories too. If you would like to check out how much we love Mad Max: Fur Road here at FilmMunch, make sure to check out our Spoiler Free Review, back when the film came out, plus an additional celebratory post entitled, 7 Stunning Frames in Mad Max: Fury Road. We also covered all the original 3 Mad Max films, so make sure to check them out too. Let’s take a look at what categories it’s been nominated for, and it’s chances of winning.

1 Mad Max: Fury Road for Best Picture at The Academy Awards 2016

Personally, I totally agree with this nomination, and for me, it was surely one of the best films of the year gone past, I mean, if you’d ask me to watch the film with you, I would cancel all plans, and immediately start watching! Mad Max: Fury Road will not win best picture at the Oscars this year, simply because the competition it’s up against is so strong. Most likely Fury Road will score big in some of the technical categories, and has been given the Best Picture nod, simply because of how much the voters liked the film. We all love the film, is there anyone out there who doesn’t, and if so, please explain!?

FilmMunch Prediction for Best Picture – The Revenant

2 Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller) for Best Achievement in Directing at The Academy Awards 2016 

George Miller has a strong chance at winning for Best Director. Alejandro Gonzalez Iñarritu totally deserves another Oscar win for his unbelievable work on The Revenant, but remember that film he made last year, Birdman, the virtue of ignorance, or something or rather, well, he won THREE Oscars for that, so chances he will win another this year are small, well, what I mean is, the odds are against him. Plus the Academy may chose to give it to George Miller, because of his age, his amazing career, perhaps they should have also included Ridely Scott, if that’s their reasoning, we’ll see.

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FilmMunch Prediction for Best Director – George Miller

3 Mad Max: Fury Road for Best Achievement in Cinematography at The Academy Awards 2016

John Seale, cinematographer for Mad Max: Fury Road came out of retirement to shoot Mad Max number 4, no doubt Miller pulling strings to make that happen, therefore, most likely this would have been his last film, so an Oscar seems fitting, but he already has an Oscar under his belt for The English Patient, 20 years ago. Regardless his work is amazing, just check out our post on 7 Stunning Frames in Mad Max: Fury Road. At 73, in the desert, at high speeds, this man deserves to win another Oscar. Having said that, have you seen how stunning The Revenant is? It really is like nothing you’ve ever seen, you have the ‘one-take’ scene in the opening battle sequence, with swooping shots from ground level and then up to ariel view, it’s something truly wonderful, and then there comes the breath-taking bear attack scene, Emmanuel Lubezki will most likely score an unprecedented ‘hat-trick’ for this category. Three years in a row, wow.

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FilmMunch Prediction for Best Cinematography – Emmanuel Lubezki (The Revenant)

4 Mad Max: Fury Road for Best Achievement in Editing at The Academy Awards 2016

Editing is an interesting category, simply because it is one of the arts that seems to go unnoticed most of the time, but there are times when movie aficionados will say, something along the lines of, “the editing was spot on.” Not to brag, but I recall when I said that once, about the film, 12 Years a Slave, particularly in reference to  the scene where Chiwetel Ejiofor (much easier to write, than to say out loud) is literally hanging, by the neck, from a tree, and the camera lingers for that extra few seconds, just enough to make you seriously uncomfortable, now that’s good editing, the choice to cut or not to cut is important, no doubt that is why the Academy has seen it fit to award a single Oscar to whoever is responsible for this essential and arduous task. Margaret Sixel is up for an Oscar here, and so it turns out, that she is also married to George Miller. When asked why he chose her to edit, his reply was interesting, and went on to say, that because she’s never edited an action film, she wouldn’t edit the film like ‘one of those guys.’ Referring to a seasoned action film editor. The result is brilliant, her editing is indeed spot on! With 480 hours of footage to edit, it’s a marvel that she completed the task in time, so yes, she deserves an Oscar here, and we’re barracking for her to win!

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FilmMunch Prediction for Best Achievement in Editing – Margaret Sixel (Mad Max: Fury Road)

5 Mad Max: Fury Road for Best Achievement in Production Design at The Academy Awards 2016

Surely Mad Max: Fury Road will win hand down for this award, just look at those crazy and truly insane machines that they built! Really, I have no idea why Star Wars: The Force Awakens has not been nominated in this category, because they are really a massive  contender in this category. Another film that I believe deserves to be nominated in this category is Carol, in particular for achieving the 1950’s look so effortlessly. The Martian is a strong contender too.

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FilmMunch Prediction for Best Achievement in Production Design – Mad Max: Fury Road

6 Mad Max: Fury Road for Best Achievement in Costume Design at The Academy Awards 2016

This is probably the consolation prize that Star Wars: The Force Awakens would have won had it been nominated in this category, because let’s be honest, the Rey outfit and Kylo Ren outfit are stellar! Who doesn’t wish, even a little bit, that they could wear the Kylo Ren costume everyday to work!? Plus it looks comfy as. Regardless there is stiff competition, particularly from The Revenant and even The Danish Girl for that matter of fact. Plus Disney’s live adaption of Cinderella did impress. Tough call.

FilmMunch Prediction for Best Achievement in Costume Design – The Revenant 

7 Mad Max: Fury Road for Best Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling at The Academy Awards 2016

Only three are nominated in this category, and as much as the makeup and hairstyling was truly impressive in the George Miller action masterpiece, it will go to The Revenant. When you watch Leo in The Revenant, it does look as if he has in fact been brutally mauled by a massive bear, the makeup is phenomenal, plus did you see Tom Hardy’s hair, or lack-of?

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FilmMunch Prediction for Best Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling – The Revenant

8 Mad Max: Fury Road for Best Achievement in Sound Mixing at The Academy Awards 2016

Had Mad Max: Fury Road’s trailer been nominated for the Oscar in this category, and I had control over who got this award, it would have landed on George Miller’s front step. The film as a whole had great sound mixing, with the multiple layers of sound, in terms of score, sound effects and even hair-raising metal guitar strumming, but as noted here at FilmMunch, Star Wars: The Force Awaken had some truly rad sound mixing. I bet you could close your eyes and just listen to Episode VII and enjoy it as much.

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FilmMunch Prediction for Best Achievement in Sound Mixing – Star Wars: The Force Awakens

9 Mad Max: Fury Road for Best Achievement in Sound Editing at The Academy Awards 2016

Just to clarify, in case some of you were wandering what the difference is between sound editing and sound mixing, the editing refers to the creation process of the sound layers, where as the mixing is the combining of these layers to make a complete soundtrack. That is why the new LightSaber sound is the one that will prove to be strong in it’s chances of winning here. Plus can you still hear that crying sound that emanated from those fancy TieFighters?

FilmMunch Prediction for Best Achievement in Sound Editing – Star Wars: The Force Awakens

10 Mad Max: Fury Road for Best Achievement in Visual Effects at The Academy Awards 2016

What a year it has been for visual effects, in all truth, films have not looked this great for a very long time! And, I get the sense that it’s only going to get better. CGI, when used properly along with Practical Effects can generate stunning imagery. The bear attack in The Revenant has to be the VFX moment of the year, but that worked so well because of the cinematography choices made. This is going to be another category that will be too close to call, and I sure hope Mad Max: Fury Road wins, because it’s got the best VFX for the year, but something tells me it will go to the J J Abrams project codenamed, exHanSolo.

FilmMunch Prediction for Best Achievement in Visual Effects – Star Wars: The Force Awakens 

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Final tally for Mad Max: Fury road is 3 out of 10. Point is, it’s an awesome film, worthy of everyone’s attention. Hope you are enjoying the awards season, and feel free to tell us your thoughts and even your predictions. Keep FilmMunching!

7 Stunning Frames in 45 Years

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MINI REVIEW: Charlotte Ramplings could very likely be up for at least an Oscar nomination for her performance in 45 Years. Perhaps the highlight of the entire film is her subtle but powerful performance, particularly in the closing seconds of the film, leaving you with an idea of how grand and truly epic this small film really is. 45 Years is a film about the human experience, that stirs the emotions, plus it manages to generate intensity and surprising tension. It was a joy to watch this film, because of it’s delicate use of framing and a clever segment where Kate Mercer (Charlotte Rampling) expresses how she would like to feel, versus how she really feels, in a bout of beautiful piano playing. This film is not about old age, it’s about truth and life, things everyone can relate to.

To celebrate this brilliant film, here are 7 stunning frames from 45 Years, enjoy!

1 Slightly Off

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2 Significant Thought

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3 Finding Vs Searching

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4 Pensive Haze

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5 Trapped 

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6 Serious Projections

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7 Futile Reach

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Fresh Pick Movie New Episode XXI

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Episode Twenty One is ready for all my fellow FilmMunchers! There is always plenty to talk about, Movie-wise, when David and I team up for the Fresh Picks Movie News Show, so tune in and help us spread the word by sharing this podcast with friends and family, remember, you can subscribe to the show on iTunes, or stream it straight away below. Enjoy!

David’s Site – ThatMomentIn.com

Subscribe to the show on iTunes here.

One Of These Guys Might Be The New ‘Young’ Han Solo …

So, if you haven’t already heard, Star Wars: The Force Awakens is about to hit the 2 Billion dollar mark, and Disney is serious about doing a spin-off film about a ‘young’ Han Solo. So serious that there is a shortlist, and this is who is on the list:

Miles Teller – Whiplash 

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Ansel Engort – The Fault in Our Stars

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Dave Franco – 21 Jump Street

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Jack Reynor – Transformer: Age of Extinction

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Scott Eastwood – The Longest Ride (yes, Clint Eastwood’s son)

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Logan Lerman – The Perks of Being a Wallflower

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Emory Cohen – Brooklyn

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Blake Jenner – Everybody Want’s Some

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What are you thoughts? Is a ‘young’ Han Solo, solo film a good idea? There is chatter that the young actor selected to replace the iconic Harrison Ford may have a small cameo in the upcoming Star Wars: Rogue One film. Sweet or Sour?

The Revenant: Leonardo DiCaprio Vs Tom Hardy

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Watching The Revenant feels like watching a David Attenborough documentary, in that nature is key and the brutality of nature is what literally robes Hugh Glass or Leonardo DiCaprio. This is a difficult film to watch, while simultaneously providing some of the most stunning visuals ever caught on camera, and is a story of revenge with Leonardo DiCaprio (Hugh Glass) and Tom Hard (John Fitzgerald) as the versus parties.

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It seems that Leo can’t do a film these days without the word ‘Oscar’ being mentioned, not only because he is such a talented actor, but because after ‘X’ amount of nominations, you might be inclined to say, “this has got to be the one.” If I am to comment I would say that there is a lot of intense competition this year as far as Oscar races go. Leo’s performance is like no other, and you do feel pain, you do feel the sense of agony that Hugh Glass is going through. This performance is probably his best since What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, plus he manages to archives this greatness with minimal lines, relying heavily of facial expressions and exclaims of anguish. A nomination in the Best Actor Oscar category, for sure, but a win is going to be a close call.

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Tom Hardy steals the show here, although he has considerably less screen time than Leo, and you may not understand what John Fitzgerald is saying half of the time in this film, and perhaps a second viewing with subtitles is necessary, his performance is solid. Tom Hardy has had a fantastic year with Mad Max: Fury Road, Legend and now his portrayal of an insane man in The Revenant has truly garnished him with a more than impressive filmography. Super keen to see where he goes next.

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My major gripe with The Revenant is the simplicity of the tale, versus the extensive run time. This film is close to three hours long, which is ok, when every frame is as stunning as the last, but ultimately we are at the cinema to be told a story, and eventually the “gimmick” of natural light filming and stunning locations does take it’s toll. Plus there is only so much setback you can see a man take, before it becomes well, not believable. Alejandro is a visionary filmmaker, there is no doubt about that, he has demonstrated that he thinks outside the box, but it seems here that the focus on making an entertaining film was lost to making a Samsara-esque visual treat.

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Enough negatives, because this is an amazing film, that does challenge you, more physically than emotionally. So, back to something positive, and all I ned to say is, The Bear Attack. Wow. First I would like to forget that it was CGI, because the entire bear is CGI, but the scene is played out remarkably well, and it is a major innovative step in cinema. The Bear Attack scene deserves an Oscar on it’s own, there is something very intimate and very scary about it, it’s painfully beautiful.

The Revenant is like no film I’ve seen. It is something that needs to be experienced on the big screen, but be warned, it’s not for everyone. I honestly heard sighs of relief, around me, when the credits started to roll. It’s a brilliant start to 2016 and I am sure that The Revenant will indeed make it to all the must see movies lists that will inevitably start to circulate as the year starts to close. But that’s a way way off, in the meantime keep FilmMunching!

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Congratulations to the FilmMakers of The Revenant and Leo for their triple win at the 2016 Golden Globes.

TRIVIA COOKIE: Leonardo DiCaprio is vegetarian, but so in character was he that in one scene he devours a raw slab of bison liver. Now, that is dedication!

7 Stunning Frames In Mad Max: Fury Road

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Mad Max: Fury Road is probably my favourite film for 2015, and most definitely up there as one of my favourite films of all time. So, I couldn’t let 2015 pass without sharing some stunning frames from this action packed and meaningful film. When you check these frames out you can’t help but realise that George Miller is a cinematic painter, Fury Road is quite literally art. If you missed it at the cinemas, there is chatter that an alternate version may get a limited theatrical releases. The alternate version is said to be in black and white, so that should be interesting!?

1 Contemplative Stance 

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2 Life’s Source

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3 Terror Skies

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4 Uprooted

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5 Mirage

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6 Heroines

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7 Sun Of Favour 

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FilmMunch wishes you a fantastic new year! Keep FilmMunching and keep safe. We’ll be back in 2016, so stay tuned.

 

7 Must See Films Of 2015 You Probably Haven’t Even Heard Of!

It’s hard to realise that 2015 is for the most part gone, and along with it came some really amazing films. There were some very popular films that were actually very good movies too, like Mad Max: Fury Road, Inside Out and the juggernaut that is Star Wars – Episode VII: The Force Awakens. But there were some ‘smaller’ films that may have gone unnoticed, so here is a list of 7 ‘must-see’ movies of 2015 that you probably may not have heard about, enjoy!

1 Slow West

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Although this film did grow in popularity towards the latter part of the year, it was mostly forgotten after it’s Sundance release back in January. What makes it memorable is it’s lack of mercy, plus it’s a visual feast for any lover of incredible cinematography.

2 Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter

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A quiet film, with a not so quiet ending. You may not know when to laugh or cry in this one.

3 The Wolfpack

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This documentary makes you feel uneasy, and I am sure that everyone watching it will have different emotional reactions to it. With constant pop-culture references and the unbelievability of this story, it’s hard to imagine something like this would happen.

4 The Stanford Prison Experiment

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How far will the human being go? This film is testing, and also presents some promising young acting talent.

5 The Nightmare

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If you really want to be creeped out, this is a ‘documentary’ that will make you double check, when you’re in the dark.

6 The Tribe

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So. This film is entirely in Ukrainian Sign Language, composed of only 34 shots, enough said. Plus an ending you might not see coming.

7 Heaven Knows What

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Based on the novel by Arielle Holmes and also starring said author, this film is the closest thing to the real thing, in terms of the New Yorker Heroin addiction scene. It’s not an easy watch.