Everybody’s Chattin’ + Question of the Week on Emmys winner wishlist

Happy Midweek everyone! Just two more days until Friday, yay ūüėČ I’m going to hit two birds with one stone again today in combining two post *series* in one.

EverybodysChattin

Ok, so let’s start with some of my favorite posts from the past week:

  • The legendary director Steven Spielberg’s been is a lot of my fellow bloggers’ minds lately thanks to¬†Michael, Kellee¬†and Aurora‘s Spielberg Blogathon. Here are a few notable posts celebrating his work:
    Michael wrote about his TV work on an Amazing Stories series ‘The Mission’ episode, whilst¬†Richard chose to highlight Spielberg’s keen talent on directing his actors.¬†Bubbawheat reviewed Spielberg’s adaptation of one of my all time favorite comics The Adventures of Tintin and Monkeyboy wrote why he loved Spielberg’s 1971 movie¬†Duel.
  • Speaking of celebration, do wish Josh big congrats on his third Blog-aversary!
  • ChattinVisualParallelsMargaret‘s brilliant Visual Parallel series is back, this time she sets her astute eyes on comparing David Fincher’s Zodiac¬†+¬†Se7en.
  • As I’m still putting finishing touches on my August Blindspot, but Chris has just posted his thoughts¬†on¬†Studio Ghibli’s Castle in the Sky.
  • Dan¬†participated in a 1984 Blogathon and chose a film I had never heard of: Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes¬†[with¬†Christopher Lambert as Tarzan!]¬†from the director of Chariots of Fire.
    ..
  • Chattin_BoyhoodNow these two movies couldn’t have been more different from each other, but the reviews are both awesome: Mark reviewed Boyhood, whilst Mikey reviewed Into The Storm, which I will attest is¬†definitely more enjoyable than the movie!
  • Last but not least, Kristin observed the movie trends of the last five years, some of which are sadly not going anywhere anytime soon.

Now for Question of the Week!

Since it’s still fresh on everyone’s mind, well some of us anyway, I thought I’d pick your brains simply out of curiosity. Now, I only watch clips of it afterwards but I didn’t tune in LIVE because frankly, I don’t watch hardly any TV to be rooting for anyone.

EMMY2014logoOut of those I did watch, only Benedict Cumberbatch & Martin Freeman (and they both won, wahoo!) and Dame Maggie Smith were the only nominees whose performances I’ve actually seen, and none of those awesome Brits attended the event. Besides, my darling Toby Stephens wasn’t nominated [grrr!!], which is a shame as his fantabulous, superlative performance as Captain Flint in Black Sails is as deserving as any of those leading actors, but naturally he’s overlooked as he’s not famous enough for them to notice [heh]. Anyway, enough with the rant, I kind of know he won’t get a nod anyway, but in my heart he’s already won an Emmy [and Golden Globes + whatever other TV award there is out there] ūüėÄ

Now, my lovely pal Melissa has posted a recap, so check out her top 12 good, bad & the ugly moments of the Emmys. From the Twitter reactions as well as some articles like this one, it seems that there’s a whole lot of d√©j√† vu thing going on this year as the majority of winners are previous winners.

I had to double check these photos were taken from this week and not last year.
I had to double check these photos were taken from this week and not last year.

Though I don’t watch the show, I could see why Breaking Bad swept the major acting awards. It seems like a phenomenal show, heck even my crush Toby himself said it’s his favorite show, that and Boardwalk Empire. Clearly he’d rather do those shows than his mum’s period drama Downton Abbey, ahah. I have only seen one episode of Modern Family and to be honest with you I think it’s waaay overrated. But again, enough with the rant, this is supposed to be a question for YOU dear friends, esp. you who watch way more TV than me [which is basically everybody, ahah]. Surely you all have actors/actresses you think are more deserving than most of the people nominated here, so I’d love to know who they are so we can all commiserate ūüėÄ


So my question to you is:

Which actor/actress who’s never been nominated for an EMMY before that you wish had gotten a nod?

The Spielberg Blogathon: Reminiscing about Raiders of the Lost Ark & Jurassic Park

SpielbergBlogathon

This post is part of the SPIELBERG BLOGATHON hosted by Outspoken & Freckled, It Rains… You Get Wet, and Once Upon A Screen taking place August 23-24. Please visit these host blogs for a full list of participating blogs

TedSaydalavongBanner

When Ruth asked me to participate in the Steven Spielberg blogathon, I wasn’t sure what to write about so I figured I should do a write up about two films of his that I’ve watched many times. These two films also made me into a film fanatic and home theater enthusiast that I am today.

Raiders of the Lost Ark

I was born in the Far East and the martial arts films was the only genre I’d watch, but after seeing this film I became a fan of American action films. I think I was about 8 or 9 years old when I first saw this film, my family and I were living in the Philippines Islands at the time and I saw it at some old movie theater. I was too young to really understood what the film was about but the visual and of course the action pulled me in. I still remember that the film’s climatic scene gave me nightmares, I freaked out when I saw the villains’ faces melt off and they were burned alive.

But I still thought the film was magic and when my family and I arrived to the States a year later, I begged my parents to buy me a VHS copy of the film. What’s so funny was that I didn’t know there were sequels until I saw a TV spot of The Last Crusade the year we arrived in the States. Unfortunately I didn’t get to see the third film on the big screen but watched it several times on VHS. Then a couple of years later I watched Temple of Doom on the old Sci-Fi Channel. I enjoyed the two sequels but to me Raiders is still the best in the series.

RaidersOftheLostArk

I’ve owned this film on many formats, first I had the VHS copy then later when I was able to afford a LaserDisc player, I bought a LD version of the film. When DVD became popular, I of course bought the DVD set then just a couple of years ago I got the Bluray set, unfortunately I had to buy the dreadful fourth film too.

Since Spielberg is a big fan of David Lean and Lawrence of Arabia is one of his favorite films, he even stated that the film’s script is the best ever written, so Raiders of the Lost Ark was his ultimate tribute to Lean’s classic film.

 

Jurassic Park

The summer of 1993 was dubbed Arnold vs. Sly since both of those action stars had two big films opening in the same summer and the so-called industry “experts” predicted that Sly’s Cliffhanger and Arnold’s Last Action Hero would dominate the box office. Of course Spielberg’s Jurassic Park was also one of the hyped up films but no one expected it would stomped both Sly’s and Arnold’s films. Sure I was excited to see new action films from Sly and Arnold but I super excited to see this film about dinosaurs. It’s one of the first films to have included full CGI effects in many scenes and it’s about dinosaurs!

Yes, like many kids back in those days, I was obsessed with dinosaurs and I’ve just finished Michael Crichton’s novel that it’s based on. I still remember to this day which theater I saw the film at on opening weekend and still remember how at awe I was after the film was over. The first time I saw the CGI dinosaurs, my jaw dropped and throughout the film, I had a smile on my face. It’s one of the best experiences I’ve ever had at the cinemas. I actually went to see the film twice on the opening weekend, around this time digital surround sound was pretty new in movie theaters so I wanted to hear the T-Rex’s roar in full digital sound over and over again. I was bummed that I couldn’t make it to the re-release on IMAX last year. With an opening weekend of over $50mil, it’s a record opening at that time. I think the summer of 1993 should’ve been called, T-Rex stomped Sly and Arnold.

JurassicParkStills

Like Raiders of the Lost Ark, I’ve owned this film on many formats. First VHS then LaserDisc and years later on DVD. Recently I bought it on Bluray but I have yet to watch it. Apparently Universal didn’t give the film a proper HD transfer so I was hesitant to buy it. Since I haven’t watched the film in a couple of years, I need to see and hear it in HD soon. This film also turned me into a home theater enthusiast, as mentioned earlier, I saw the film at a theater that has the new digital surround sound and after experiencing that, I wanted to have a home theater. Of course being a high school kid, I didn’t have the money to buy home theater products yet. But as I’ve gotten older and can earn bigger pay checks, I’ve invested some good amount of cash on home entertainment. In a way, I can thank and blame this Spielberg’s film for making me obsess with home theater.

Spielberg is one of the best filmmakers ever and these two films proved that he can make films that can please both the critics and audiences.

TedS_post


What do you think of these two films, were you lucky enough to have seen them on the big screen? Do share your memories on the comments section.

The Spielberg Blogathon: My Top 10 Favorite Spielberg-Directed Films

master-spielberg-banner-6

This post is part of the SPIELBERG BLOGATHON hosted by Outspoken & Freckled, It Rains… You Get Wet, and Once Upon A Screen taking place August 23-24. Please visit these host blogs for a full list of participating blogs

I first learned about this blogathon from my pal Michael’s blog, and having grown up watching a bunch of Spielberg’s films, naturally I have to take part! Steven Spielberg is such a legend because so many of his films are not only entertaining but they have such strong emotional resonance and timeless quality about them. For this list,¬†I’m focusing on the 50+ films that Spielberg has directed, as there are nearly 150 projects that he has produced for¬†both TV and film. I didn’t realize this until I made the list but the scores of ALL of the films on my top 10 are¬†done by John Williams! I guess I shouldn’t be surprised as a lot of the scores also made my top 10 scores by the legendary composer.

So here they are ranked from bottom to top so #1 is my MOST favorite ūüėÄ

10. A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001)

AIArtificialIntelligence

Many great sci-fis dealing with artificial intelligence make us ponder what it means to be human, and this film definitely did so.¬†The story about a robot boy who desires to be real and craves real love from his parents was¬†poignant and emotional, it’s not a cold or distant type of sci-fi that’s more concerned about¬†cool set pieces and futuristic designs. The moral dilemmas presented here are genuinely thought provoking, with compelling performances from Haley Joel Osment, Jude Law and Frances O’Connor.

9. The Terminal (2004)

TheTerminal

It’s a story about an¬†immigrant from an Eastern European country finds himself stranded in JFK airport.¬†Though¬†the story takes a lot of liberty from the real thing, I was quite engrossed and entertained by this. It’s perhaps one of my favorite Tom Hanks‘ performance¬†in an¬†underrated but endearing role. Hanks is an immensely and effortlessly likable actor, which makes him the perfect actor to portray¬†Viktor Navorski. Even with an exaggerated Russian-sounding accent, the actor is at his most charming here as he befriends the airport staff and even took a chance at romance. This is also the first time I saw the then-unknown¬†Zo√ꬆSaldana as a Trekkie Immigration Officer, which is interesting as she later plays Uhura in the J.J. Abrams movie!

8. Catch Me If You Can (2005)

CatchMeIfYouCan

Leo DiCaprio at his most charming and, with his¬†Jack Dawson looks and that devil-may-care swagger. I guess this¬†is like Wolf of Wall Street lite as both Jordan Belfort and Frank Abagnale Jr are both charming con artists. I love the retro look and feel of the movie and the sense of fun in the chase as the FBI¬†are on to catch the teenage fraudster. The dynamic between Frank and the federal agent played by Tom Hanks is fun to watch, they definitely play off each other well. There are also great supporting cast and cameo throughout, including Christopher Walken, Amy Adams, and Jennifer Garner.¬†The lighter tone somehow work nicely here, with the darker moments only sprinkled throughout¬†which showcase Frank’s vulnerability to great effect.

7. Empire of the Sun (1987)

EmpireoftheSun

I saw this one fairly recently and I wish I had seen it sooner. Even at such a young age, it’s evident that Christian Bale had the chops to carry a film. I’m usually not into war films but I do like it when it focuses more on a certain character’s life being affected by war and this one shows that from the perspective of a young boy named Jim ‘Jamie’ Graham. There is an epic quality to the production, as one would expect from Spielberg, yet it feels personal and intimate at the same time. I love the unlikely relationship between Jamie and the soldiers in the camp, particularly Basie (John Malkovich). It’s a wonderful coming-of-age story and a survival tale that certainly lingers long after the end credits.

6. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

ET

I was pretty young when I saw this movie and it’s one of those movies that¬†one simply doesn’t forget. It might’ve been one of the earliest movies about alien that I saw [well apart from Superman¬†which came out a few years before] and perhaps cemented my love for sci-fi movies. There’s a sense of wonderment in Spielberg movies that definitely appealed to this wide-eyed kid filled with curiosity. The fact that I was the same age as Drew Barrymore‘s character when I saw this made me identify with her even more. I remember wondering what it would be like if there were such an alien creature living in my grandma’s garage. E.T. is the kind of film that fuels the imagination and of course it’s got¬†so much heart, who didn’t at least tear up watching the bicycle scene as it flies across the full moon? It’s also one of the most iconic cinematic scenes ever.

5. Minority Report (2002)

MinorityReport

I regard this as one of my favorite sci-fi movies. I own the Blu-ray and on recent rewatch, I was amazed how this movie still holds up to this day. A lot of futuristic films often look dated even a few years after they’re released but somehow the concepts still¬†feel fresh and modern. The whole *Precrime* notion doesn’t seem all that far-fetched now, not to mention having those annoying ads who know who we are. It’s interesting to see how some of the technology presented here have been realized, while some are still being dreamed up [wonder if we’d have flying cars by 2054? Wouldn’t that be nice?]. I find this movie immensely entertaining and intriguing, with Tom Cruise playing what he does best as a former cop on the run. Though I’ve seen this repeatedly, I’m still surprised by that twist towards the end, thanks to a great performance by¬†Max von Sydow and Colin Farrell. Samantha Morton is also memorable here as one of the three Precogs who could predict the future.

4. Schindler’s List (1993)

SchindlersList

One of the most, if not THE most, essential holocaust film ever made, this film is as beautiful as it is heart-wrenching. I’ve only seen Schindler’s List once but it’s one I shall never forget, in fact, some of the scenes are forever etched in my mind. It’s one of the most powerful displays of the best AND worst of humanity, as well as a testament how a single person can make a difference even in the most dire circumstances. There are so many indelible performances here, Liam Neeson as the hero is as iconic as Ralph Fiennes‘ villainous turn as Amon Goeth.¬†John Williams‘ evocative, soul-piercing score makes the whole experience even more unforgettable.¬†It’s not a hyperbole to call this one Spielberg’s masterpiece.

3. Jurassic Park (1993)

JurassicPark

I had just rewatched this recently and I was reminded by how wonderfully entertaining this is. Even the latest Godzilla still falls short as it lacks that sense of wonderment and sense of humor. Jurassic Park is such a thrilling ride from start to finish, filled with great, memorable characters courtesy of Jeff Goldblum, Sam Neill and Laura Dern. Of course those cloned dinosaurs are wildly entertaining, as terrifying as they are dazzling thanks to the special effects prowess of Stan Wilson & co. Too bad the sequels never measure up to this amazing original film.

2. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

IndyTheLostArk

I’m still mad at Spielberg for ruining his own awesome franchise with that godawful fourth movie! I grew up watching the Indiana Jones movies with my two older brothers and to this day I’m still a huge fan of the¬†first and third movies. Infused with fun action, special effects and a dose of good humor, it’s the quintessential¬†action adventure that never gets old with multiple rewatches. Plus you’ve got an awesome heroine who’s equally charming & fun to watch, Karen Allen‘s Marion. The chemistry between the two is¬†perfect, absolutely perfect. Speaking of perfection, Harrison Ford¬†made¬†the role of the archaeologist adventurer so iconic. It’s crazy to think that George Lucas wasn’t keen on casting him initially [Tom Selleck was the first choice],¬†I really can’t imagine anyone topping Ford as Indy in the inevitable remakes.

1. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)

IndyTheLastCrusade

This is one of my favorite movies of all time, not just from Spielberg but of ALL movies I’ve seen in my life. There are just so much to love here,¬†even more so than the first one thanks to the inspired casting of Sean Connery as Indy’s father,¬†Dr. Henry Jones Sr. They’ve become my favorite cinematic duo ever, apparently there was an inside joke to say that James Bond is the father of Indiana Jones, ha! There are quite a few actors here who’ve been in various Bond movies: John Rhys-Davies, Alison Doody & Julian Glover, they’re all great in their respective roles.¬†This movie has everything I loved about the first movie, but on top of the sense of humor and rousing adventure, we’ve got that spiritual aspect going for it that fits perfectly with the familial theme of the film. That whole finale in the¬†mysterious Holy Grail is so wonderfully-filmed and leaves a lasting impression for years to come.

 


HONORABLE MENTIONS: 

1975 Jaws
2005 Munich
2005 War of the Worlds
2011 The Adventures of Tintin
2011 War Horse

Well that’s my top 10 faves from Spielberg. Which movie(s) would be on YOUR top 10 list?