Oscar hopefuls and favorite films – By: Harrison Giza

A great film is rare. Theaters nowdays are crammed and filled with low-resolution horror flicks, CGI charm, and tacky lackluster love lessons. Few films this year had me buzzing in the lobby or made me stop and ponder the story I just watched. The movie business is not a boomin’.

Yet, there were some great films this year. Some are worthy of multiple viewings and extra buttered popcorn. Hell, you should even buy a few.

The Wolf of Wall Street

I saw the trailer. I liked the trailer. I thought about the trailer. I watched the trailer again. I become Cloverfield-hyped. I stayed Cloverfield-hyped. I bought my ticket, I sat in my seat, and instantly found myself snorting Martin Scorsese harder than 80’s Scorsese inhaled cocaine.

In an era where comedy is truly a small box of chocolates, a box lacking in rich flavor and humor, “The Wolf Of Wall Street” is like the dark caramel cream. All the performances hit with gusto – DiCaprio, Hill and Robbie (the older and more advanced Emma Stone) are particularly powerful. The jokes stick and the camera knows what it is doing every time it swings, twists, whams and twirls. The soundtrack is as tight and compact as McConaughey’s abs and filled with enough rarities to make music snobs happy for hours after the film is over.

If this film won Best Picture, I think it would be the smartest choice the Academy has made in over a decade. I absolutely love it.

The Conjuring

Horror is a sour genre. It’s cheap to make, it’s cheap to write, it’s cheap to cheap and good lord is it cheap. All the “Paranormal Activity” tripods and shaky-cam sequels are nothing but make out music for theatergoers. Scaring isn’t as important as it used to be.

“The Conjuring” broke every bad notion, barrier, and absent grace prior semi-sequels performed. The movie has real characters and a script that is dark, engrossing and actually quite funny. In fact, I laughed quite a lot. Patrick Wilson proves that he is believable even in demon drama.

Credit really should be given to James Wan – one of the few horror directors that creates scares and scenes that last long after the film reel slows. With “Saw,” “Insidious,” and now “The Conjuring,” Wan is showing signs of a classical and post-millennial John Carpenter.

American Hustle

If you rounded up any other cast of actors, “American Hustle” would fall the way of “The Counselor.” However, the acting in this film is thunder thrown from Olympus itself. Bale is brilliant and Cooper makes you care and cringe throughout the film. Jennifer Lawrence deserves as many awards as you can possibly give her. I wasn’t even a big fan of hers, but sweet lord I am now. The soundtrack is a bit odd at certain points and the film often feels familiar but that’s only because you have fallen into David O. Russell’s trap.

Instead of showcasing hardball criminals robbing and plotting for bundles of cash, the main characters show real emotion and seem tender regardless of the portraits and paintings they steal.

The Wind Rises

It’s Hayao Miyazaki. See it.


Spring Breakers

Tits, beer, sex, ass, fucking, sucking, guns, cash, drugs, sluts, bikinis, ice, pools, Gomez, Franco, Gucci and Aliens are not words to describe this film. Spring Breakers is like a nightmare blazing with videogame religion, neon electricity and a devil of a great script. Harmony Korine is better than ever and this piece is heavy on themes and iconic dabbles of the man’s prior work. It shines just as much as it can make you sick.

While watching, I found myself constantly flip-flopping between love and hatred. Do I like this or do I want to smash my TV screen? It made me feel and that rarely happens in a world where Kevin Hart has a new smash hit every weekend. It is unique beyond your wildest definition – stopping at points of non-interest and highlighting the young money flavors of youth in America.

PS. James Franco was ROBBED of a nomination.


Don Jon

I am now a JGL fanboy because of this movie. Moore, Johansson and the director himself are all wonderfully-addicting to watch on screen with a good book to back them. The man didn’t try and limit himself to being creative and makes his first film something to remember long after your ticket stubs slides away. It isn’t perfect, but it made me smile.

It’s like a modern day “Saturday Night Fever” but with a post- internet heart and much better acting.


A Spike Jonze movie with Joaquin Phoenix. Why are you even reading this article?


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