Cinema Crazed Covers The 2016 Oscar Contenders

It’s that time of year again, where Hollywood either guides us in to celebrating actual works of cinematic art, or will likely arouse the ire of cineastes for years to come by playing it safe with the obvious crowd pleasers once again. In either case, “Oscar” night 2017 promises to be an interesting and controversial one. With the political landscape, racial landscape, and current crop of movies nominated at this years’ ceremony, a lot of us are hoping the Academy celebrates films that hold a miror to society rather than simply celebrate the safe, and light hearted fare that pass itself at “escapism.” That said, while we are a bit of cynics, we have a good time every year with the pageantry, the fun, and celebration of film.

To remind you of who is nominated this year, we covered a lot of Oscar nominees. If you want to a refresher course of what we thought of a lot of the films up for an award this year, we’ve compiled a list of movies reviewed by the Cinema Crazed contributors. Feel free to voice your own opinions on these films and many others in the comments!

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Adam and Dog (2011)

Writer and director Minkyu Lee presents a hypothetical and bittersweet animated short about the first dog ever created. Somewhere along the line after the creation of man and woman, God figured he’d create a dog. The dog however had to find its purpose in nature, and “Adam and Dog” garners an interesting story about man and dog eventually became best friends in nature. Upon the creation of man, the dog found his way around the startling and often frightening landscapes of the world, and Lee presents us with vast and fantastic terrain in which the dog travails.

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The Longest Daycare (2012)

The-Simpsons-Longest-DaycarBasically, “The Longest Daycare” is a much more advanced and intricate sequel to Maggie Simpson’s adventures in daycare that pays homage to Looney Tunes while also giving the character Maggie some depth. We only saw a portion of it in the episode “A Streetcar Named Marge,” where Maggie united her fellow babies to reclaim her pacifier in the spirit of “The Great Escape.”

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Film Craft: Directing [Paperback]

The crown jewel of the Film Craft Series is of course the volume entitled “Directing.” While every aspect of filmmaking takes work, time, and dedication, directing is essentially the most difficult aspect of making a film. Whenever a movie fails or succeeds the filmmaker is blamed. And whenever an acclaimed actor decides they want to direct it not only becomes a big deal, but it makes it impossible for other directors to step up and achieve acclaim. Which is not to say actors can’t direct, as the book “Film Craft” interviews many noted and incredible directors, all of whom have their own experiences in the field.

As with the previous books in the series, “Directing” is about the hard work and utter pressure it takes to be a director. Lensing a project and achieving some sense of success or artistic satisfaction is tough, and often times it requires massive sacrifice and stress for an artist to express themselves on film. Author Mike Goodridge is able to garner some truly excellent insight in to the directorial process from some very big name auteur. Engrossing and detailed, “Directing” lends readers an intelligent exploration in to movie making that all movie buffs will relish and aspiring filmmakers will treasure.

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Room 237 (2013)

There’s just so much mystery behind Stanley Kubrick’s “The Shining,” that you have to ponder on the mystery behind “Room 237.” The Rodney Ascher directed documentary is a film that explores the dimensions of “The Shining” but also garners its own curiosities in the mean time. I mean there’s no denying that “The Shining” was never meant to be anything more than a puzzle from Stanley Kubrick, but what is the puzzle? Did Kubrick really pay so much attention to the film to include a yet to be deciphered message within the film cells? Or is it just a pastiche of random imagery left for the laymen to tinker with for decades to come? Did Kubrick find cinematic immortality by simply giving his audience a movie to think about that ultimately just meant nothing? You have to wonder, why would Kubrick be so meticulous about scenery, props, and symbolism, but forget to hide the shadow of his chopper during the opening scenes of the film?

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TCM Presents AFI's Master Class – The Art of Collaboration: Robert Zemeckis and Don Burgess

Turner Classic Movies, the best cinema based channel on US cable television, has so far remained one of the go to channels for rare and wonderful classic films that cineastes can explore, and while they have yet to really sully their reputation in exchange for original programming, they are being wise to include original shows that explore film in the spirit of the channel. Celebrating his newest live action film “Flight,” director Rober Zemeckis and frequent collaborator cinematographer Don Burgess sit down to discuss their filmmaking careers and the techniques used through some of their films that they found most notable and entertaining. The discussion never quite touches on Zemeckis’ motion capture animated films, and there isn’t so much explanation as to why he chose motion capture as a medium upon which to tell stories.

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Playboy: The Nude Marilyn [Magazine]

The most iconic and groundbreaking erotic magazine for men in the world, has sought out to celebrate another icon: The one and only Marilyn Monroe. Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the starlet’s unfortunate death, Playboy Magazine has dug in to millions of their archival photos in their database and has shared with fans an exclusive spread of Monroe’s nude shots, some of which have never been seen before. One can only imagine what continues to keep the world enticed and allured by Marilyn Monroe, and why, in spite of her tragic life and terrible end, young female starlets and actresses alike continue to emulate and worship the woman. Monroe was clearly in a league of her own, a bombshell of a beauty who defined sexuality and approached all forms of sexual appeal without batting an eye. She was sensual but humble, daring but innocent, vivacious but modest, and gave a smile that many modern female stars simply can not duplicate. Mostly though, she was an angel without wings.

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The Art of "Rise of the Guardians" (The Art of Dreamworks) [Hardcover]

For aspiring animators and or fans of “Rise of the Guardians,” this hardcover look at the development of “Rise of the Guardians” from a series of eight young adult books that were compressed and transformed in to a marketable fantasy animated film will be thrilled to learn all the facets and elements of the film that were finely tuned and included to give the movie that extra dimension.

Though the film is primarily built around the belief in deities, the film implements a lot of international aspects that reflect belief including the Middle Eastern influence on the Tooth Fairy’s costume, as well as the Bunny’s giant egg sentinels, all of which were influenced by Eastern mythology. There’s also a detailed glimpse in to the creation of the realms for the guardians, including the small trinkets and interesting details added to certain background and environments, including North’s toy shop, and the detailing of his Yeti workers, all of whom were a fine addition to the story.

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