Monday 28 Jul
 
 

Escape from Tomorrow

With Escape from Tomorrow, one fears the story behind the movie would loom larger than the movie itself. Luckily, that is not the case. After all, it opens with a decapitation on Disney World’s Big Thunder Mountain Railroad roller coaster.
05/06/2014 | Comments 0

Sorcerer

William Friedkin spends a lot of time in his 2013 memoir discussing why Sorcerer didn't click with critics and audiences even though he believes it to be better than his previous film, The Exorcist. Now that Warner Home Video has reissued Sorcerer on Blu-ray, we can see what Friedkin's fuss is all about.
04/23/2014 | Comments 0

Broadchurch: The Complete First Season

Welcome to the coastal resort of Broadchurch, population … oh, who can keep track, what will all the corpses? Yes, Broadchurch is yet another British television procedural involving the search for a murderer in a quaint little town, just like the limited series The Fall and Top of the Lake.
04/23/2014 | Comments 0

Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones

Essentially part five in the ridiculously profitable horror franchise, Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones continues the found-footage conceit of the other films. The difference is instead of the scares taking place in rich white suburbia, they do so in a junky apartment complex on a largely Latino side of Oxnard, Calif.
04/23/2014 | Comments 0

Holy Ghost People

Holy Ghost People examines two sisters whose bond is torn — but by what? After her sibling has been missing for more than a year, Charlotte (Emma Greenwell, TV's Shameless) intends to find out.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0
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Features
 

Short stuff


Brief in length but long in creativity, this year’s crop of Oscar-nominated shorts fills the screen at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art.

Rod Lott February 9th, 2011

Each Oscar season, the Oklahoma City Museum of Art affords movie buffs the opportunity to see the Academy Award nominees it otherwise wouldn’t: the short films. All five animated and all five live-action shorts will be shown Friday and Saturday in separate programs, with the animated ones unspooling at 5:30 p.

ANIMATED

“The Gruffalo” concerns a mouse saving his skin by outwitting a fox, an owl and a snake via a tale about the titular fabled monster in order to save his own skin. Crisp-looking and narrated by Helena Bonham Carter, it's one joke too long at 27 minutes.

France’s “Madagascar, A Journey Diary” plays like a colorful travelogue of the island nation and utilizes a range of animation styles and a boisterous score, while “Let’s Pollute” takes a tongue-in-cheek look at our endangered environment by spoofing the educational films of yesteryear.

Australia’s “The Lost Thing” is a charming fantasy of much imagination, about a young man who finds and befriends a tentacled beast on the beach to which no one else pays attention. The playful “Day & Night,” seen in front of “Toy Story 3” last summer, finds personifications of just that struggling to co-exist.

LIVE-ACTION

Britain’s “The Confession” follows two boys nervously awaiting their first confession to the priest. What essentially begins lighthearted turns tragic, as mischief begets more than enough misery. Ireland’s “The Crush” concerns another grade-schooler, this one in love with his fetching teacher; the youth challenges her boyfriend to a duel to the death.

In “Wish 143,” a teenage virgin dying of cancer tells the Make-A-Wishesque Dreamscape Foundation that all he wants to do is have sex. It’s touching, not raunchy. Despite having the best soundtrack, “God of Love” is the only limp offering of the bunch, a blackand-white comedy about a mop-headed hipster being a modern-day Cupid, but stumbling in landing love for himself.

Finally, “Na Wewe” depicts bus passengers’ tense, roadside brush with South African rebels ready to commit an act of ethnic cleansing.

WIN THE POOL!

Whether played in the office or at a party, the Oscar pool usually comes down to who wins at predicting the victors in the shorts categories. Because even the most ardent moviegoers more than likely have seen none of them — excepting whatever’s shown in front of Pixar’s latest feature — they cast their vote by title. Not this year, you don’t!

In live-action, go for “Na Wewe.”

It doesn’t matter how you pronounce it. Just know that its theme of the disenfranchised standing up to oppressive forces often translates to Oscar gold.

In animated, people always assume Pixar has it in the bag. Not so: It’s actually lost the category twice as many times than it’s won (6-3). However, look to “Day & Night” to put another notch in Pixar’s plus column. It’s simple, partly hand-drawn and, at six minutes, has the virtue of brevity on its side. Plus, it imparts an Very Special Message.

Should these picks pay off, you can send my 15-percent cut to me here at the Gazette. I even take checks.

 
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