Tag: academy awards

MOVIE REVIEW | Moonlight (2016)

In a nutshell, Bored & Dangerous says: “It’s a tough watch, but tough in the way that a movie with this sort of subject matter should be.”

Moonlight 1

“Running around, catching a lot of light. In moonlight, black boys look blue.”

Every year for at least the last five, I’ve made a point of watching every Academy Awards Best Picture nominee before the Oscars ceremony.  I’m enough of a move nerd and read enough pop culture news that I usually have a good idea of what will make the list long before its official, and I usually have a good idea of what every movie is, who made them and who stars in them.

This year, I was well and truly out of the loop, knowing close to nothing about several Oscar finalists.  Including Moonlight.  Before watching it, all I knew about this movie I had gleaned from its provocative poster design, which created some strong preconceptions.  What Moonlight delivered totally met and totally defied those preconceptions. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | ***FOREIGN LANGUAGE WEEKEND*** Tsotsi (2005)

In a nutshell, Bored & Dangerous says: “It’s the kind of movie that doesn’t celebrate its titular character, or judge him either.  It impartially tells his story and let’s it speak for itself.”

The main reason I started this blog was to make me watch more movies, and to vary the kinds of movies I watched. The first part of that has been well and truly accomplished with me watching hundreds of movies for the first time, instead of falling back on old favourites over and over again.   But l’m not sure if I’ve varied my selections enough. I still watch mainly American movies, with directors, writers and actors that make them a pretty safe bet. So this year, I’m forcing myself to seek out more international movies. With Foreign Language Weekends, every weekend(ish) during 2016, I’ll review two(ish) non-English language movies.

Tsotsi 1
“What kind of bastard would break a dog’s back?”

According to movies, South Africa is a hell hole, a place of misery with no real happiness to be found.  Well, at least according to the movies I’ve seen about South Africa, that seems to be the case.  Are there any upbeat, fun, positive movies set there? My (admittedly very limited) experience with stories set in South Africa might be entirely made up of the horrible racism of The Power of One, the horrible racism and inhospitable slums of District 9, and Chappie, the movie set in a sci fi dystopia, that looks like they just used present day South Africa as is, no set decorations or faux desolation required.  Well, I can add another title to the list of movies that make me never want to go there, Tsotsi.


Leading a gang of thuggish teens, Tsotsi (Presley Cheweneyagae) coordinates a mugging on a train that leads to the death of their victim.  When Boston (Mothusi Magano), one of his underlings, questions their increasingly violent actions, Tsotsi beats him severely before disappearing into the night.  Relieving even more aggression and trying to deny the fact that he knows Boston is right, Tsotsi shoots a woman and steals her car, only to find her infant son in the backseat. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | ***FOREIGN LANGUAGE WEEKEND*** Cinema Paradiso (1988)

In a nutshell, Bored & Dangerous says: “Possibly the absolute best movie of the 80s.”

The main reason I started this blog was to make me watch more movies, and to vary the kinds of movies I watched. The first part of that has been well and truly accomplished with me watching hundreds of movies for the first time, instead of falling back on old favourites over and over again.   But l’m not sure if I’ve varied my selections enough. I still watch mainly American movies, with directors, writers and actors that make them a pretty safe bet. So this year, I’m forcing myself to seek out more international movies. With Foreign Language Weekends, every weekend(ish) during 2016, I’ll review two(ish) non-English language movies.
Paradiso 1
“Not to take credit away from the Lord, but if I had created the world, in all modesty, certain things would have come out better. But unfortunately such was not the case.”

The word ‘nostalgia’ usually comes with negative connotations when talking about movies.  I think it’s often seen as kind of cheap in its manipulations.  And I tend to agree with that.  But there are times when I’m totally fine with those cheap manipulations.  When a movie trades on the nostalgia for a time or place that I myself am also nostalgic about, then obviously it’s a shortcut to generating my interest.  The other, is when a movie manages to make me nostalgic for a time and place I have absolutely no connection to.  Which is exactly what I got from the phenomenal Cinema Paradiso.


In 80s Rome, the middle aged and respected film maker Salvatore Di Vita (Jacques Perrin) is awoken in the middle of the night to learn that someone from his home town has died, promoting his first visit in over three decades, and prompting a flash back to his time as a young boy.  In post WWII Sicily, young Salvatore (Slavatire Cascio), affectionately known as Toto, spends all of his spare time in the local cinema, fascinated by the projectionist, Alfredo (Philippe Noiret).  But this is more than just a movie house, it’s the centre of Toto’s life, and the centre of his small village.  A place where young and old, rich and poor, all gather together every night, to escape their lives, and jointly jeer the clunky edits dictated by the local priest, censoring even the most chaste kiss. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | Whiplash (2014)

Whiplash-Poster-slice

“I was there to push people beyond what’s expected of them. I believe that’s an absolute necessity.”

Whiplash has had a long, blessed year of nothing but festival and critical acclaim. Now that it’s been nominated for a Best Picture Academy Award, it also holds the record for the lowest budget movie to ever make that shortlist. That is usually the kind of combination of ingredients that would have me champing at the bit to see a movie. And when I first heard about Whiplash, I was. Then I watched a trailer. That two minutes was so intensely excruciating, I thought I’d never be able to sit through it. I don’t mean excruciating as a criticism. I mean the story being told and the characters telling it seemed too believably assholish for me to ever sit through. But, Whiplash got that Oscar nod, and I try to watch ever Best Picture nominee every year. So, here I am.


Andrew (Miles Teller) is a first year student at a prestigious music school where he plays the drums. One night, while practicing alone, he’s paid a visit by the school’s head conductor, Fletcher (JK Simmons). Called up as the drum alternate to the main studio band, Andrew discovers the originally stern, but encouraging Fletcher to be a full blown, megalomaniacal bully. The kind of guy who’s not averse to throwing a chair at someone’s head to inspire perfection. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | 20 Feet From Stardom (2013)

20 Feet

“It’s up to you to perfect that gift that you’ve been given. Put your spirit into that song. Focus on the words that you are singing. Get into the experience that you are singing about and sing your heart out”.

Like any Academy Awards, there were very few surprises at the 2014 Oscars. Gravity won a shit load of awards like we all knew it would. The Wolf of Wall Street predictably won none, despite being the most mind blowing movie of the year. And Matthew McConaughey got the Best Actor nod that everyone saw coming. But there was one huge, infuriating surprise.


The Actor of Killing not winning for Best Documentary might be the biggest cock up the Academy has made since Dances With Wolves beat Goodfellas. It pissed me off so much that I automatically hated the movie that did win, sight unseen. But that’s unfair, so I thought I should actually watch 20 Feet From Stardom and give myself some legit reasons for dismissing it so readily. (more…)