Saturday, January 17, 2009

Counting Down the Hits





Digging deeper than that Top Ten List and squeezing some movie scribbling in between bouts of professional errands and toil, here are the first four six categories of the 2008 Nick's Flick Picks Honorees. I promise I have seen more movies than The Dark Knight (stay tuned...), and I am perfectly aware that I never even finished this project last year and am extremely hopeful of not reprising that lamentable (non-)conclusion. Keep me going with comments, even if it means expressing horror at my selections or omissions.

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6 Comments:

Blogger Colin said...

1. Do the movie images picked for each category signify the winners among your nominees?

1a. If so: I'm intrigued, given your professed love for both performances, whether Heath Ledger or Mickey Rourke will clinch your Best Actor prize.

2. You run like clockwork! Is this a habit formed from your academic schedule?

3. I am somewhat saddened that you didn't catch Kung Fu Panda, which for my money offered the year's best direction: top-notch choice of camera angles, visual and aural kinetic thrills, a splendid color palette, a keen eye for theatrics, and well-syncopated vocal performances that drew out the most humour and pathos from the script's lines as possible (given that the celebrity casting was likely out of the directors' hands).

12:39 AM, January 18, 2009  
Blogger NicksFlickPicks said...

@Colin: 1. Nope, and all the less so because I don't repeat any movies among the twenty tabs. I also hate picking winners and frequently have trouble; I'd probably go with Synecdoche for Art Direction and Visual Effects, Milk for Costume Design, Burn After Reading for Score, The Wrestler for Makeup, and certainly WALL•E for Sound Effects, but that's just right now.

2. Not sure what you mean? The round numbers on the posting times? Just an easy way to write things early and space out their appearances on the blog.

3. I never even considered it, but now I might. Great rec!

3:36 AM, January 18, 2009  
Blogger Cal said...

I wonder if the Academy will rally around The Dark Knight in the techs the way you have. Haha.

I haven't seen a good chunk of your nominated films. I definitely agree with the Burn After Reading score mention though. Some of it reminded me of Michael Clayton but obviously in a kind of upbeat way, which is really exactly what it's going for, the whole corporate satire.

In the same category I'd like to draw your attention to the Horton Hears A Who score, which is really clever and lovely. I'm convinced it was that that made me cry at the end of the film. Or it may have been some kind of hormonal imbalance.

It sounds like all I care about is sound but the would-be honoree I think most inexplicably absent is The Strangers in Sound Effects. They absoloutely scared the hell out of me. Doors slamming, windows reverberating, footsteps, those sudden, eerie contrapuntal bursts of folk music from the record player.

Looking forward to the Acting categories :-)

6:54 AM, January 18, 2009  
Blogger NicksFlickPicks said...

@Cal: I clearly messed up by staying away from the big kiddie-targeted animated films this year. First Kung Fu Panda and now Horton. Thrilled you agree about the Burn score. I've been saving The Strangers for the sound mixing category (the combination and heavy emphasis on those elements grabbed me more than the individual elements themselves), but you're making me second-guess that distinction in my mind, and I at least oughta throw it an Honorable Mention.

7:33 AM, January 18, 2009  
Blogger Lev Lewis said...

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12:13 PM, January 19, 2009  
Blogger Lev Lewis said...

Brilliant work, of course, but I feel I must speak up in defense of Best Original Score?

If you look past the usual suspects, there is lots to be impressed by this year. You mentioned how you were not a fan of Benjamin Buttons score (which I liked) but what of Johan Söderqvist' score for Let The Right One In? I cant remember a strong theme, per se, but it was tonally fitting, none the less.

More importantly, what about Alberto Iglesias' brilliant work on Che as well as Jon Brion' great score for Synecdoche, New York? These two composers might not be breaking new ground for themselves, but their instrumentation and melodies are never overbearing or obvious and they add depth and emotion to both Soderbergh and Kaufman's visions.

Clint Mansell's score for The Wrestler might be extremely sparse and minimalist, but it never gets in the way (something that James Newton Howard and Hans Zimmer could learn) and added to every single scene it was in.

Jan A.P. Kackzmareck did a very beautiful job on The Visitor, even if the film lacked in other areas. And any composer that borrows from Morricone is good in my books.

Just a few suggestions and all (in my books) stronger than the sometimes great, sometimes middling score for The Dark Knight

12:15 PM, January 19, 2009  

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