GOLDEN FLAMINGOS

The Golden Flamingo Winners 2016

And the winners are…

Best Picture

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Best Director

George Miller    Mad Max: Fury Road

Best Actress (tie)

Alicia Vikander    The Danish Girl

and

Brie Larson     Room

Best Actor

Michael B. Jordan    Creed

Best Supporting Actress

Rebecca Ferguson     Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation

Best Supporting Actor

Idris Elba    Beasts of No Nation

Best Editing

Mad Max: Fury Road

Best Cinematography

Mad Max: Fury Road

Best Music

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Best Animated Film

Good Dinosaur

Best Sound

Creed

Best Visual Effects

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Best Production Design and Costume Design

Mad Max: Fury Road

Best Screenplay

Steve Jobs

Best Documentary

The Salt of the Earth

Best Short Live Action

Day One

Best Short Animation

Lava

Worst Picture

Ted 2

Best Animal

Buttercup the cat    Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2

 

Totals

4-Mad Max: Fury Road

3-Star Wars: The Force Awakens

2-Creed

 

 

 

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Two Popped Corns

I Just Watched This Movie; “The Revenant”

Realism. Movies are a representation of the human condition as well as a reflection of society. A movie that doesn’t create a world that is believable cannot get an audience to relate or feel for the film. Understanding this, filmmaking God, Alejandro G. Inarritu decided to make “The Revenant” as real as possible. Shooting the film in chronological order is a good example. I personally hate seeing an actor say lines in a beginning scene when you can totally tell he’s already acted out his death for a later scene. because the film was acted chronologically, the crew had to keep up with the traveling of the actors. The opening scene where all of the fur trappers have to jump on the boat, is actually being repeated offscreen by the crew, only they have to grab equipment instead of furs. Like the characters, they unfortunately had to leave most of it behind, as a result the rest of the film doesn’t use lights or a tripod, and most of the sound has been digitally replaced.

Oscar hunting. Some actors need validation for their work in a form other than critical praise, money, or celebrity. These actors look for the highest honor in their field and strive for that award. Leonardo DiCaprio (“The Basketball Diaries”, “The Beach”) is one of those people. In past years, his attempts for an Oscar have been unsuccessful, losing to actors such as Forest Whitaker and Jamie Foxx. Luckily for Leo this year, the Academy didn’t nominate any black actors. In the “Revenant,” DiCaprio manages to capture the audience’s hearts, or perhaps their sympathy, hmm… I don’t know actually, you’d think a mountain man wouldn’t just stumble upon bears. Anyway, after being viciously attacked, we really feel sick from the gore, I mean we feel bad for Leo. You know, I’m not really sure who DiCaprio’s character is. It seems to me that there’s a lot of scenes making us feel bad for him, but at a certain point I just looked into Leo’s eyes and saw a desperate man pleading for an Oscar. That may be the real performance.

The art of cinematography. While some may foolishly argue that “The Revenant” is a film about a guy in the woods who wants to kill another guy, the real film is about a man who wants to shoot a movie in the woods. That man is cinematography God, Emmanuel “Goat” Lubezki. In an effort to expand the capabilities of cinematography, Lubezki took the camera off the tripod, saved the lights, and went running through the middle of scenes. Proof that the film is all about Lubezki is when the camera lens fogs up, when water gets on it, or when blood gets on it. This really draws your attention to the camera and you remember how great a job this guy is doing. Perhaps the most impressive shot is one in which DiCaprio rides a horse off a cliff (spoilers: he survives, gets naked, climbs inside the dead horse, and points to his tattoo of an Oscar statue). In the shot as DiCaprio goes off the cliff, so does the camera. Did he zipline? Was he hang gliding? My money’s on him simply throwing the camera off the cliff and willing the shot to stay in focus and frame.

Gore. Many films claim to have gore and violence. But it’s always fancy effects or choreographed fighting. Additionally, the camera always cuts away at the grossest part just leaving you with sound. Great movie makers like Inarritu understand that an audience needs more. So his gore is real. Why has Tom Hardy kept his hands in his pockets on the red carpet? Because he’s missing several fingers. Why did DiCaprio make a face when Lady Gaga bumped him at the Golden Globes? His back was still healing from the bear attack. Why wasn’t Forrest Goodluck at any of the award shows, because he really died when he was killed in the movie. If you haven’t seen “The Revenant,” go see it for the amount of blood, guts, bone breaks, gunshot wounds, arrow wounds, skin tears, and neck wound cauterizations that are all shown on screen, never looking away (the camera never looks away at least, I think I only looked at the screen for half of the movie).

An exercise in brilliant craftsmanship, the film was hampered by the lack of relatable deep characters that would have allowed the audience to become emotionally invested in the main character’s success rather than simply sympathetic to his misfortune. I give it two popped corns.

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THE MARC

The Marc Nominees

The Golden Flamingo Awards are proud to announce a new award called the Marc. The award will be determined by Marc and will represent “the best in art-proper.” Marc hopes that this award will encourage people to explore these nominees and works.

The Marc


  • Charlie Kaufman, Anomalisa
  • Sufjan Stevens, Carrie & Lowell
  • David Foster Wallace, The End of the Tour
  • The Guilty Remnant, Season 2 of The Leftovers
  • Joanna Newsom, Divers
  • Marc Merrill, Siege: a play by Marc Merrill
  • Herman Hesse, Narcissus and Goldmund
  • Don Hertzfeldt, World of Tomorrow
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GOLDEN FLAMINGOS

Golden Flamingo Nominations 2016

Today marks two weeks until the big show, and by big show I mean the Golden Flamingo Awards. As is tradition, the Golden Flamingo nominations were announced by Connor at 5am. Like last year, there were surprises and snubs and fan theories and heated debate and trending hashtags and comment videos and the conclusion that these awards don’t matter to anyone but Connor.

As a review, the rules to qualify for a Golden Flamingo are as follows:

  • The film must have been viewed by Connor
  • The film must have been released within about the last year or so

The voting process is as follows:

  • Connor rates the films on a bad to great scale
  • Everything great or better gets nominated
  • Connor’s favorite wins

Here are the nominees…

Best Picture


  • Creed
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • Room
  • Steve Jobs
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  • The Martian

Best Director


  • Cary Joji Fukunaga          Beasts of No Nation
  • Ryan Coogler          Creed
  • George Miller          Mad Max: Fury Road
  • Lenny Abrahamson          Room
  • J. J. Abrams          Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Best Actress


  • Alicia Vikander          The Danish Girl
  • Brie Larson          Room
  • Carey Mulligan          Far From the Madding Crowd
  • Daisy Ridley          Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  • Jennifer Lawrence          The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2
  • Maggie Smith          The Lady in the Van

Best Actor


  • Abraham Attah          Beasts of No Nation
  • Eddie Redmayne          The Danish Girl
  • John Boyega          Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  • Leonardo DiCaprio         The Revenant
  • Michael B. Jordan          Creed
  • Jacob Tremblay          Room

Best Supporting Actress


  • Jennifer Jason Leigh         The Hateful Eight
  • Jessica Chastain         The Martian
  • Kate Winslet          Steve Jobs
  • Laura Linney          Mr. Holmes
  • Rachel McAdams          Spotlight
  • Rebecca Ferguson           Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation

Best Supporting Actor


  • Benicio Del Toro         Sicario
  • Corey Hawkins          Straight Outta Compton
  • Harrison Ford          Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  • Idris Elba          Beasts of No Nation
  • Samuel L. Jackson          The Hateful Eight
  • Sylvester Stallone          Creed

Best Editing


  • Bridge of Spies
  • Creed
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  • Steve Jobs

Best Cinematography


  • Creed
  • Good Dinosaur
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • Sicario
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  • The Revenant

Best Music


  • Creed
  • Love & Mercy
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  • Straight Outta Compton
  • The Hateful Eight

Best Animated Film


  • Good Dinosaur
  • Inside Out

Best Sound


  • Creed
  • Bridge of Spies
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  • The Martian

Best Visual Effects


  • Jurassic World
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  • The Martian

Best Production Design and Costume Design


  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  • The Danish Girl
  • The Martian
  • The Revenant

Best Screenplay


  • Creed
  • Spotlight
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  • Steve Jobs
  • The Hateful Eight
  • Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation

Best Documentary


  • Going Clear
  • Making a Murderer
  • The Salt of the Earth

Best Short Live Action


  • Ave Maria
  • Day One
  • Everything Will Be Okay
  • Shok
  • Stutterer

Best Short Animation


  • Lava
  • Sanjay’s Super Team

Worst Picture


  • Avengers: Age of Ultron
  • Kingsman: The Secret Service
  • Ted 2
  • Testament of Youth
  • Welcome To Me

Best Animal


  • Blue the velociraptor          Jurassic World
  • Buttercup the cat          Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2
  • Chewbacca the wookie          Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  • Mother Bear          The Revenant
  • Pixie the dog          The Danish Girl
  • Rango the bull          The Longest Ride
  • Shamus the dog          Room

 

Notes

Eddie Redmayne, Ryan Coogler, J. J. Abrams, and Emmanuel Lubezki are tied for most nominations all time (2)

Star Wars has the most nominations for one film (13) passing the record (11) set by Selma last year.

This is the first year that all of the acting categories have six nominees each.

This is the first year that the best animal category has existed.

 

Nomination breakdown by film:

13- Star Wars: The Force Awakens

9- Creed

7- Mad Max: Fury Road

5- The Martian

5- Room

4- Steve Jobs

4- The Hateful Eight

4- The Danish Girl

4- The Revenant

3- Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation

3- Beasts of No Nation

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One Popped Corn, Zero Popped Corns

I Just Watched This Movie: “Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2”

Evolution. Every strong story has characters that evolve over the course of the plot. The basics of story are that a character lacks something, need something, and takes action to fulfill that need. A gratifying ending is one where the character changes or acquires what they truly need. The writers of “The Hunger Games” tetralogy did not understand this concept at all, or at least it didn’t come across on screen. We all know that in the beginning, the characters are starved. Katniss and her “just a friend” had to kill wild animals just to survive. Peeta had to bake bread, which I assume was all he ate. So in order to end the series right, it would have been necessary to show them with a ton of food- really emphasize the character’s development from hungry to full. The film sadly did not include very much eating and the epilogue scene shows, by the lack of obese children, that things really haven’t changed.

Knowing Your Audience. Films are made for the people. A writer is constantly thinking about what an audience will think and feel when they experience a movie. The crew and cast must also do the same. When Keanu Reeves acts in a film, he knows that the audience isn’t looking for an emotional performance, they just want the guy on screen to say his lines. Critically acclaimed” actress Jennifer Lawrence obviously does not know this important acting rule. “The Hunger Games” is a young adult, dystopian future, love triangle franchise and as such, the level of acting should be mediocre. However, Lawrence brings her full effort to her performance and the result is a disconnect between audiences’ average expectations and the superior quality of the actual movie.

Cat. It is rare that an oscar winning actress can be upstaged, but Jennifer Lawrence never stood a chance against the cat playing the role of Buttercup. In a film that involves so much violence and emotional trauma, the passive resolve of that cat provided the movie with vital contrast.

Despite an outstanding performance being unnecessary, Jennifer Lawrence gave one anyway and the film was elevated to something more than just popular action movie. I give it zero popped corns only because the person sitting next to us really wanted one of the popped corns.

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Zero Popped Corns

I Just Watched This Movie; “The Martian”

Spin-offs. There are often movies and television shows that include a character or subplot that is so popular it demands its own standalone film. In the case of the movie “Interstellar,” it was obvious that the character dynamic between Matt Damon’s character and Jessica Chastain’s character was not fully explored. Out of that came this film, “The Martian.” Spin-offs usually incorporate hints and details from the original work as a way of linking the stories. However, “The Martian” takes many liberties. The Matt Damon character’s personality feels very different from “Interstellar,” it’s almost like he’s supposed to be the hero in this film. Also I don’t understand the choice to re-cast Michael Caine’s role with Jeff Daniels. Daniel’s British accent is horrible.

Pay off. It’s always said that you ought “to leave the audience wanting more.” This way of leaving a story without gratification is a perfect way to encourage the audience to see a sequel. At the very least, it draws people back to the movie to see if they missed something. “The Martian” does not do this at all. The film is built in many scenes that heighten drama and tension, bringing the audience to the edge of their seat. But then the film resolves that tension each time. Sure it makes you feel an emotional release at the time, but when the movie ends you feel catharsis rather than the unsettling feeling that you’re missing something.

Comedy. It’s one of the hardest aspects of storytelling to master. The perfect combinations of irony, wit, and puns can leave an audience rolling in the aisles. It is rare for a movie to get this formula right, but the jovial coot that is Ridley Scott (“Black Hawk Down”, “Blade Runner”, “Gladiator”) created a masterpiece of humor. Perhaps nothing in the film was funnier than the scene where Damon, a man who was left for dead on Mars, complains to his video journal that he hates that the only music he has is disco music. Its hilarious because it seems like he’s going to die alone listening to music he doesn’t like.

“The Martian” is one of those films that is enjoyable yet suspenseful and never ceases to entertain. I give it zero popped corns.

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Zero Popped Corns

I Just Watched This Movie; “Steve Jobs”

Performance. When an actor appears in a film, they are expected to play a role. A good performance can sell the audience on any idea or emotion. That is why it is so disappointing when a movie displays the type of performances found in the new Aaron Sorkin written comedy “Steve Jobs.” A film about a man that simply wants you to say hello to his computer, Michael Fassbender plays the titular character with such complexity and thought that it’s hard to imagine Steve Jobs was a real person and not just some role created to thoroughly entertain an audience. Kate Winslet also provided a ‘performance’ that is just as powerful as Fassbenders, but also completely what you’d think an audience would want. Not for nothing, but, Seth Rogen actually was well cast and did well as Steve Wozniak.

Scenes. A movie is made up of scenes that progress the overall plot and themes. The best scenes have their own arc and develop the characters in new ways. Sorkin may know this, but he certainly doesn’t know how to make a scene that is easily understood by an audience. The goal of any writer should be to make a scene where one character finds out new information and reacts with one emotion. That way an audience doesn’t get lost when charting out the character’s arc. In Sorkin’s script, the scenes have so many character developments, and changes in emotions, that an audience just has to give up trying to track the story and just watch whatever’s going on on screen. What makes matters worse, is that the dialogue is so voluminous that the actors have to constantly talk, which allows no time for bathroom breaks or popcorn refills. Not for nothing, but, Sorkin is actually quite witty.

Portrayal. Some of the most powerful stories use an audience’s familiarity with a notable figure in order to build interest in the film. However, sometimes a film can cross the line from accurately portraying that person, to a more fictional representation. Having never met Steve Jobs, it is difficult for me to know whether this film showed him and his story accurately. I can comment on some unusual story elements though. A large issue between Jobs and Wozniak regarded how many slots should be on the first mac computer. I find this to be unrealistic because computers don’t have slots so why would they care. Also, as the movie takes place on only three different days in the twenty minutes before three separate Apple launch events, it is hard to believe that Jobs has 15-20 meaningful conversations that shape his life in that small amount of time on just those days. I can see why Apple is skeptical of the fictional film’s historical accuracy! The film will for sure have people asking whether Steve Jobs was indeed a human person with human flaws rather than the infallible visionary that Apple argues he was. Not for nothing, but, Bill Gates was portrayed great in this film, whoever that actor was did a spot on job!

Brilliantly written, “Steve Jobs” features great performances well directed by Danny Boyle to touch the right amount of deep feelings and sentimental moments to raise the film above expectation. I give it zero popped corns!

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