Archive for the ‘PGCMAs’ Category

PG Cooper’s Top Ten Films of 2015

Posted: February 25, 2016 by Daniel Simpson (PG Cooper) in Lists, PGCMAs

Written by Daniel “PG Cooper” Simpson

PGCMA 2015

*The above image represents 2014’s PGCMA Best Director and Best Picture winner; Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman.

When I put together my top ten list last year, I had quite a struggle putting together my top ten. Simply put, I saw a lot of great stuff in 2014 and could have swapped out my bottom slots for a few other films and be just as satisfied. This year was a little different. While I saw a lot of good movies, there weren’t as many clear locks for the list as last year. That is not to say I’m unhappy with the list. These are all good movies and I’m particularly happy with my top tier selections, but the bottom slots are filled out by movies which, though containing a lot of great elements, ultimately are shy of reaching that greatness fully. I don’t want to make that sound like a bad thing though as its allowed me to celebrate some interesting films which really work in spite of some flaws. (more…)

PGCMAs: Best Original Screenplay and Best Adapted Screenplay (2015)

Posted: February 24, 2016 by Daniel Simpson (PG Cooper) in PGCMAs

Written by Daniel “PG Cooper” Simpson

PGCMA 2015

*The above image represents 2014’s PGCMA Best Director and Best Picture winner; Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman.

Best Original Screenplay

Olivier Assayas, Clouds of Sils Maria: The actual plot for Clouds of Sils Maria is pretty straightforward; what really shines are the characters and the themes. Everyone here is pretty well-drawn, with the characters played by Juliette Binoche, Kristen Stewart, and Chloe Grace Moretz really resonate. The film also proves to be a very effective meditation on identity, ageing, and relationships. Analysis of the details shows just how well thought out the script is.

Matt Charman, Joel Coen, and Ethan Coen, Bridge of Spies: Matt Charman is the one who wrote the original story, while the Coens were brought in to add some flavour and humour in the dialogue. It is those little details that really shine. There are some great dialogue exchanges here which cut to the heart of the film’s themes directly and elegantly. There are a few missteps here and there, but for the most part the film is very well-written. (more…)

PGCMAs: Best Actress, Best Actor, and Best Cast (2015)

Posted: February 23, 2016 by Daniel Simpson (PG Cooper) in PGCMAs

Written by Daniel “PG Cooper” Simpson

PGCMA 2015

*The above image represents 2014’s PGCMA Best Director and Best Picture winner; Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman.

Best Actress

Juliette Binoche, Clouds of Sils Maria: Juliette Binoche is such a reliable actress, but she also doesn’t get lead roles too often and thus can be easy to overlook. Her work in Clouds of Sils Maria is a reminder of how excellent she is. Binoche plays a middle-aged actress going through something of a crisis in identity as she struggles with her age and her personal relationship with her assistant. It’s a very subtle performance, but that just makes her success all the more impressive.

Emily Blunt, Sicario: Emily Blunt has played characters who are hardened and strong before, but her character in Sicario also needed a more vulnerable element. Kate Macer is somewhat lacking in experience, and the character also needs to be frustrated and confused. Blunt does a great job capturing these elements while also maintaining Macer’s professionalism. (more…)

PGCMAs: Biggest Surprise and Most Underrated Film (2015)

Posted: February 21, 2016 by Daniel Simpson (PG Cooper) in PGCMAs

Written by Daniel “PG Cooper” Simpson

PGCMA 2015

*The above image represents 2014’s PGCMA Best Director and Best Picture winner; Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman.

Biggest Surprise

The Gift: The Gift’s trailer looked like a really standard Hollywood thriller and having just seen Cache for a film class, this also looked like a rip-off. As it turns out, the resulting film was a lot smarter and well-made than I expected.

Kingsman: I suppose I should have had faith in this given Matthew Vaughn has generally put out solid stuff, but man did the trailers look stupid. Turns out, this is actually a pretty fun film and while I don’t love it as much as a lot of people seem to, I definitely enjoyed myself. (more…)

PGCMAs: Best Animated Film, Foreign Language Film, and Action Film (2015)

Posted: February 20, 2016 by Daniel Simpson (PG Cooper) in PGCMAs

Written by Daniel “PG Cooper” Simpson

PGCMA 2015

*The above image represents 2014’s PGCMA Best Director and Best Picture winner; Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman.

Best Animated Film

Over the last few years I had abandoned this award, but given that I actually saw some animated films in 2015, I thought it time to bring it back. I unfortunately was unable to see Anomalisa.

The Good Dinosaur: I almost didn’t nominate this film as on the whole I don’t think it’s good, but the animation is impressive. The backgrounds in particular are pretty striking.

Inside Out: The general vibe upon Inside Out’s release was that Pixar had returned to the greatness they had built their name on. I don’t quite love the film, but it is certainly a lot more ambitious, intellectual, and emotional, than anything they’ve done post-Toy Story 3. (more…)

PGCMAs: Best Comedy and Best Horror Film (2015)

Posted: February 18, 2016 by Daniel Simpson (PG Cooper) in PGCMAs

Written by Daniel “PG Cooper” SimpsonPGCMA 2015

*The above image represents 2014’s PGCMA Best Director and Best Picture winner; Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman.

Best Comedy

The Martian: There has been a lot of debate regarding whether or not The Martian counts as comedy, but given Mark’s comedic attitude and the humorous soundtrack, I’d say it belongs. More importantly, the film made me laugh, more so than a lot of the “real” comedies in 2015.

The Night Before: There really isn’t anything new about making a raunchy Christmas comedy, but The Night Before succeeds thanks to some great jokes, a fun cast, and just the right amount of heart. (more…)

PGCMAs: Best Cameo and Best Villain (2015)

Posted: February 16, 2016 by Daniel Simpson (PG Cooper) in PGCMAs

Written by Daniel “PG Cooper” Simpson

PGCMA 2015

*The above image represents 2014’s PGCMA Best Director and Best Picture winner; Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman.

Best Cameo

Most people define cameos as a famous actor or character making a very brief appearance, which is usually only one scene at the most. My definition is a bit more flexible. The described appearances still count, but I’m mostly looking at any actor or actress who provides a memorable turn in a role which is not quite substantial enough to be a supporting role.

Jesper Christensen, Spectre: Many anticipated Mr. White would return in Spectre to connect the Quantum organization with Spectre itself and that is a clever way to link them. More than that though, I genuinely thought it was pretty interesting what the film did with his character.

James Franco, The Night Before: Franco’s character is in some ways the punchline of a joke but his appearance also yields new comedy and its fun when he shows up. (more…)

PGCMAs: Best Supporting Actress and Best Supporting Actor (2015)

Posted: February 12, 2016 by Daniel Simpson (PG Cooper) in PGCMAs

Written by Daniel “PG Cooper” Simpson PGCMA 2015

*The above image represents 2014’s PGCMA Best Director and Best Picture winner; Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman.

Best Supporting Actress

Joan Allen, Room: She may not have a lot of screen time, but Joan Allen does paint a very real portrait of someone reuniting with a long lost daughter while forming a new bond with a grandson. It isn’t the showiest of performances, but it is moving.

Jessica Chastain, Crimson Peak: Jessica Chastain has consistently proven herself to be one of the best actresses of her generation. In Crimson Peak, she gets to stress her theatrical muscles by playing an over the top and insane villain. The character could have been played too broadly, but Chastain rides the line perfectly. (more…)

PGCMAs: Best Poster and Best Trailer (2015)

Posted: February 9, 2016 by Daniel Simpson (PG Cooper) in PGCMAs

Written by Daniel “PG Cooper” Simpson

PGCMA 2015

*The above image represents 2014’s PGCMA Best Director and Best Picture winner; Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman.

Best Poster

Crimson Peak: This is a simple poster, but the contrasting colours look great, I love the one-word tagline “Beware”, and the whole thing has an old school charm.

The Hateful Eight: I don’t have much to say about this one. It’s a nice piece of art that I like to look at. I also like that it avoids plastering the casts’ faces all over the poster. (more…)

PGCMAs: Best Musical Performance and Best Score (2015)

Posted: February 9, 2016 by Daniel Simpson (PG Cooper) in PGCMAs

Written by Daniel “PG Cooper” SimpsonPGCMA 2015

*The above image represents 2014’s PGCMA Best Director and Best Picture winner; Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman.

Best Musical Performance

This award is all about honouring performances of songs by the characters on film. These can be covers, or original works. It’s worth noting that I’m more focused on the role of each performance in the film more than the musical integrity itself.

“Big Rock Candy Mountain”, Room: This is a relatively lowkey performance where Joy sings this song as a sort of lullaby to get Jack to sleep pending the arrival of Old Nick. The performance captures the love Joy has for her son as well as her fear of Nick and the song’s slightly melancholy tone is a good choice.

“Blood Bag”, Mad Max: Fury Road: This is actually a piece of score, but the song is briefly performed live in the film by the Doof Warrior (a.k.a. the guitar guy) and his percussion section when Joe and his army first leave the Citadel in pursuit of Furiosa. Simply an awesome scene which is presented in epic fashion. (more…)