The Silver Bullet ~ A Good Day to Die Hard – Trailer #2

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Synopsis: John McClane travels to Russia to help out his seemingly wayward son, Jack, only to discover that Jack is a CIA operative working to prevent a nuclear-weapons heist, causing the father and son to team up against underworld forces.

Release Date: February 14, 2013

Thoughts: There’s still some life left in John McClane as we approach the Valentine’s Day release of A Good Day to Die Hard, the fifth entry in the series.  Though the look of this film feels light years away from the rugged 1988 original, I’m happy to welcome back Mr. McClane as he teams up with his son (Jai Courtney, impressive in Jack Reacher) to battle  the Russians over, what else, nuclear weapons.  The previous entry in 2007 had some incredibly entertaining action sequences and this film looks to outdo its predecessor in the stunt work department…much to my delight.  There’s a fine line these films have always walked between action and comedy but the great equalizer has always been Bruce Willis with his easy-going delivery that he can back-up with a punch.  Still…am I wrong in wishing that Bonnie Bedelia would make a cameo in this as McClane’s wife?

Oscar Nominations – 2013

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Well…the Oscar Nominations were announced this morning and I have to say…I’m troubled.

Here’s why.

There were so many snubs this year that overall I felt the best people weren’t even nominated.  Instead of a real race to the finish in many categories we have some that are open and shut before the votes are even tallied. 

You can click HERE for the full list of nominations but let’s go over who/what was really robbed of an Oscar nomination:

The Actors

The Longshots: Dwight Henry (Beasts of the Southern Wild) and Kerry Reilly (Flight) were more than longshots for nominations…but how nice would it have been to see their names up there recognizing the solid work they did in their respective films?  A missed opportunity if ever there was one.

The “Sure Thing”: John Hawkes (The Sessions) was considered by many to be a sure thing for his bravura work in The Sessions.  I’m thinking that Joaquin Phoenix replaced him in the nominees but can’t for the life of me figure out how he missed the cut.

Bond Girls/Guys: Javier Bardem and Judi Dench were cherries on the top of Skyfall’s massive appeal.  He’s one of the best villians in Bond history and she’s the irascible mother/boss figure to James Bond.  Both turned in award worthy performances.

The Too Easy Actors: Maggie Smith was wonderful in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel but I can see where she missed the cut if voters thought her role on Downton Abbey was too similar and already bringing her awards.  Samuel L. Jackson was a devious riot in Django Unchained but nominee Christoph Waltz bested both Jackson and DiCaprio to earn the nomination.  Let’s forget that Waltz should really have been in the Best Actor category as his role is large enough to warrant that. 

The Directors

Tom Hooper – the director of Les Miserables insisted on his actors singing live and increased the intimacy/immediacy of that picture.  Guiding stars Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway to acting nominations should have brought him into the race as well.  Still…I didn’t think he deserved the award for The King’s Speech so maybe this is just karma.

Ben Affleck – this was upsetting to me.  Already an Oscar winner for writing the script for Good Will Hunting, Affleck’s third outing as director with Argo should have absolutely earned him a nomination.

Kathryn Bigelow – the first female to win an Oscar for directing with The Hurt Locker, Bigelow was thought to be a major frontrunner for not only a nomination but the award itself with Zero Dark Thirty.  Leaving her off the list has cleared the way for Steven Spielberg to pick up another trophy.

The Films

The Dark Knight Rises – not even a technical award nomination for the big budget finale of the trilogy?  Ouch!

The Intouchables – an astronomical hit in France, this should have earned a spot in the Foreign Film category.  It had its fair share of critics but I loved the film and its tender heart.  Many had speculated it would be left off the list due to its popularity and because it may have overshadowed Amour.

Skyfall – I would have loved to see this nominated for Best Picture…but the Academy didn’t feel like recognizing this excellent film for doing something different with a 50 year old franchise.  Kudos for some spot-on technical nominations and also for nominating Adele’s excellent title tune.  Here’s hoping she performs it live on the show!

Moonrise Kingdom – Another film I would have liked to see in the Best Picture nominees…Wes Anderson’s delightfully off kilter color explosion at least was recognized for its strong screenplay.