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Film Review: Wild Tales

A Dish Best Served Cold

Over the past few years there have been a fair few additions to the genre of anthology movies, with V/H/S and The ABC’s of Death both being examples of films that have been admirable but have ultimately fallen rather flat in the wider context of horror movies, particularly the latter, with ABC’s being painful (not in a good way) in some places to sit through. What a genuine surprise it was then to see that one of the nominated films for “Best Foreign Language Film” at this year’s Oscars was in fact an anthology movie, showcasing six segments based around the theme of revenge. Sounds awesome doesn’t it? And boy, Wild Tales really is.

With the tragic events of Germanwings happening over the past week or so, the uncanny nature of the first segment within the film was inevitably going to make headlines in the UK this week, yet this particular slice of strangeness shouldn’t put you off, with the film being released in countries across the globe since last summer anyhow, as well as it being being bloody brilliant from start to finish. Black comedy is fundamentally hard to perfect within cinema, but Wild Tales has barrels-full during its’ two-hour runtime, with scenes that are tense, violent, and completely bonkers, of which, encapsulated me entirely, something of which other anthology movies have failed to succeed at.

Wild Tales includes stories that will make you think twice about who you should piss off, who you should trust, and, most importantly, who you should marry. It’s comical take on the age-old theme of revenge is hilarious, if dark, making it one of the most interesting, yet enjoyable, films of the year so far. Muy Buena.

Overall Score: 9/10


Film Review – The Tale of the Princess Kaguya

The Princess Diaries

Although I was chuffed when Big Hero 6 walked away with the Oscar for Best Animated Feature at this years’ ceremony, my joy was short-lived when I realised  I hadn’t seen any other contender in the category. Yes, not even How to Train Your Dragon 2. One excuse was that The Tale of the Princess Kaguya hadn’t been released in the UK yet, even though it had been floating around cinemas across the world for the past couple of years. Now released and featuring an English-dubbed cast consisting of Chloe Grace Moretz, James Caan, and Lucy Liu, it was time for redemption, and to watch what once slipped through my fingers. Or eyes. You know what I mean.

Once upon time, in a galaxy far, far away, Mr Bamboo cutter, voiced by Sonny Corleone himself, James Caan, finds the tiniest of children hidden in a magical bamboo shoot and decides to take her under his, and his wife’s, wing, raising her like their own and naming her Princess, due to her ability to grow at the speed of knots and develop much quicker than that of a mortal human. One day, Mr Bamboo cutter finds gold and cloth of fine quality in the same place he found his beloved Princess, and decides that she must be moved to the capital in order to fulfill her fate of nobility and become a real-life princess. First off, the film looks beautiful. In terms of effort and sheer elbow-grease the film must have required from the makers, it deserves a standing ovation, and I’m rather glad it got recognised by the Oscars, albeit losing out to the much more mainstream Big Hero 6. Each scene looks like it should be paused, printed out, and shoved in the Louvre for close examination. It is simply a wonder to behold.

Now on to the story. Imagine the wonder of Pans Labyrinth. but set in the delicate world of a U rated movie; that’s what came to mind during the course of Tale’s simply glorious story that deals with all the key subjects of childhood, moving home, arranged marriage, and finally, fulfilling  your destiny. The length of 137 minutes for an animated movie might be questionable, with the film suffering slightly during the half-way mark, but sticking with it results in one of the most heartbreaking, yet inevitable, endings of an animated movie you may ever see. In a nutshell? It’s lovely.

Overall Score: 8/10

Live Oscars 2015 Feed:

Live Oscars 2015 Feed

00:21: Here we go then! The 87th Academy Awards is upon us! Here at Black Ribbon we will be doing a live feed of tonight’s Oscar ceremony starting from the Red Carpet which is happening right now!

00:31: I must admit, Margot Robbie is looking pretty damn fine on the Red Carpet tonight. Be sure to see her new film Focus this week! I will be reviewing it at the end of the week!

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00:36: J.K. Simmons is looking pretty bad ass with that hat. Whiplash was probably my favourite of the best picture nominees and he is a dead cert to walk away with the Best Supporting Actor gong.

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00:42: Probably my favourite picture of the night so far. The fake baby from American Sniper definitely should be in the Best Actor category instead of Mr. Cooper.

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00:46: JENNIFER LAWRENCE UPDATE! Have seen no sign of J-Law or any cones for tripping.

00:55: Sherlock is here people!

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01:07: Okay. Lady Gaga looks like she has killed someone.

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01:10: The love of my life has arrived. Reminding me of how amazing Interstellar was!

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01:13: I think these three presenters on Sky should be replaced straight away. Alexa is just annoying. Noel needs to go back to Doctor Who and the other guy should be replaced by Mark Kermode.

01:17: With Pizzas being bought last year, what are the odds Neil Patrick Harris goes one further and orders McDelivery? Still hasn’t come down the Plymouth yet…

01:22: Probably the best photo of the night so far. Emma Stone gorgeous as always!

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01:28: Umm John, get the hell off Black Widow. She’s mine.

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01:31: Cool. The Red Carpet is over. TIME FOR BUSINESS PEOPLE.

01:33: Ouch. Slightly racist beginning. But we carry on… Onto a rather comical-yet-slightly spoiler-ridden fashion! And Jack Black. Who always is amazing!

01:37: Apparently this ceremony is only being showed on Sky Movies (Which I thankfully have) which is rather disappointing for 75% of the world who can’t afford to pay 70 pounds a month for such a privilege.

01:40: Ethan Hawke was looking like I felt after NPH started with a slightly racist dig. WTF

01:41: Best Supporting Actor is… J.K.SIMMONS!!!

01:43: Fully deserved. Absolutely loved Whiplash and gave it a rare 10/10. Even Miles is smiling like a little puppy. J. Jonah Jameson has stepped up. Although he has used the same joke as he did at the BAFTAS, that joke still rules. Don’t worry J.K… I will ring my mum. Maybe not now though, may wake her.

01:54: Break One. Cup of Tea time. Summary so far? Glad J.K Won as it was fully deserved, but the ceremony itself has been a bit underwhelming with NPH looking a tad nervous with jokes (particularly the racist one) failing flat !

01:57: NPH seemingly looks at the audience for acceptance whenever he tells a joke. Not good. Hey its’ Captain Kirk!

01:58: Best Costume Design is… THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL


02:01: Achievement in Makeup and Hair styling goes to… THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL

02:05: So, The Grand Budapest Hotel is doing well. Probably is my favourite Wes Anderson film to date so well done! In other news, NPH has failed to solidify himself as host.

02:07: Here is my man J.K. Simmons. Fully deserved to win.

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02:09: Blimey… Get the name right. Do not do a John Travolta NPH. That has been done already.

02:10: Best Foreign Language Film is… IDA

02:12: I love it that the music has not put this guy off. Fair play. Keep on going son… Take over from NPH while you are at it!

02:14: Nice trio of films there. Boyhood, The Theory of Everything and Birdman are all pretty damn good. Best out of the three? Boyhood. Which should win best picture.


02:23: Sit rep. Hot Ribena has been replenished and the bakewell tarts have been consumed. Sugar levels need to be leveled even higher if I am to continue! Come on NPH. Wake me up…

02:25: Best Live Action Short Film is… THE PHONECALL

02:28: Blimey they are really getting everyone off quick this year. That poor guy only had about 30 seconds to speak about doughnuts! Anyway Best Documentary Short goes to… CRISIS HOTLINE: VETERANS PRESS 1

02:34: Oh Emma Stone you look lovely.

02:38: Another break time! This is worse than the Superbowl!

02:41: Best Supporting Actress is coming up! I think I picked Rosamund Pike but I think Ms. Arquette will have this one.

02:42: But first Best Sound which should go to Whiplash. And it goes to… Hold up we have NPH naked, Miles Teller and the gorgeous Margot Robbie first.

02:46: Best Sound Mixing goes to… WHIPLASH

02:49: Best Sound Editing goes to… AMERICAN SNIPER

02:50: Blimey, Sienna Miller looked gorgeous then. But she had Captain America next to her so that’s her gone. Glad Whiplash has won another! Should win for Editing too!

02:52: Best Supporting Actress goes to… PATRICIA ARQUETTE

02:55: Emma Stone holding that LEGO Oscar was rather cute though… She should have won it just for that! And look at Ed Norton. He killed Lucy Beale.

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03:00 Into the first three hours of the day. And we have Rita Ora. Eugh… In good news Best Animated Feature is soon! Which surely features the most shocking oversight of this years’ ceremony with The Lego Movie not being there.

03:03: Best Visual Effects time surely must be Interstellar. Absolutely beautiful. This decades 2001: A Space Odyssey. 

03:04: Best Visual Effects… INTERSTELLAR

03:05: I really do not understand why Interstellar hasn’t had the love that previous Nolan efforts have had. I thought it was brilliant and on par with Inception and The Dark Knight. 

03:08: Anyway… Best Animated Short – Feast

03:10: Yes… THE ROCK

03:10: Best Animated Feature Film is… THE LEGO MOVIE

03:11: Jokes… It’s Big Hero 6

03:16: I agree with the Sky panel. NPH hasn’t been on form tonight i’m afraid. Bit awkward and not on par with Ellen from last year.

03:18: Ahh it is the Dick Poop culprit! I love this woman.

03:21: Best Production Design goes to… THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL

03:23: Blimey, Wes and his hotel are doing incredibly well tonight! Are on course for taking home the most awards this year!

03:24: Sass personified. Idris Elba and Jessica Chastain! Both brilliant people! And awarding Best Cinematographer.

03:25: Best Cinematography… BIRDMAN

03:26: Hmm. I wouldn’t say the one-take-cinematography was as ground-breaking as everyone says it is in Birdman, particularly when it was done years before in Hitchcock’s Rope, but it still is a great film.

03:34: Sass

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03:40: And break time. When normal service resumes I assume it’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty side of this year’s awards. Let’s do this.

03:43: Time for Whiplash to win another award!

03:43: Best Editing goes to… WHIPLASH

03:46: Time to give some love to Whiplash. It is simply brilliant. Sorry if I keep going on about it but if you haven’t seen it, watch it. Now.

03:50: Best Documentary Feature goes to… CITIZENFOUR

03:51: I’m ashamed to say I haven’t seen Citizenfour yet! For all you UK viewers however, it is on Channel Four sometime this week! Sorry I’m a bit vague!

04:00: I do love a bit of John Legend. Especially that song he did for Django Unchained a couple of years back. Not too fond of this song for Selma though.

04:01: Here is Jared Leto. With a brolly.

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04:03: Bring on the tears! Even Chris Pine! AND A GOOD JOKE FROM NPH!!!

04:05: And the joke of John Travolta is over…

04:06: Best Original Song goes to… GLORY FROM SELMA

04:09: Very good speech from Mr. Legend and Common there. Best one so far… And it’s going to be followed by Lady Gaga. Kill me now.

04:15: Boooooooooooooooooooo…. Get Muse on instead. Actually, it’s not too bad. At least it has woken me up slightly. Time for Julie Andrews to out-sing Lady Gaga ten-fold. Go on. Do it.

04:22: Best Original Score goes to… THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL

04:24: Wow. Wes is doing really well tonight. Might have to get around to seeing Moonrise Kingdom sooner than later.

04:28: Julie Andrews is 79. 79 people.

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04:29: Time for one of the most tightly-fought categories so far. Best Original Screenplay.

04:30: Best Original Screenplay goes to… BIRDMAN

04:33: Oprah Time…

04:34: Best Adapted Screenplay goes to… THE IMITATION GAME

04:35: I’m glad The Imitation Game won something. Was a brilliant film with a beautiful central performance from Mr. Cumberbatch. It’s a shame he won’t win Best Actor.

04:41: Big hitters time!

04:42: Best Director goes to… BIRDMAN (Alejandro González Iñárritu)

04:44: Really thought it was going to go to Linklater for Boyhood. Can only mean Boyhood will get Best Picture instead.

04:48: The lovely Cate Blanchett is announcing Best Actor! Good times.

04:49: Best Actor goes to… EDDIE REDMAYNE (OR REDMAYBE)

04:52: I think Eddie is a bit excited! Bless him! Well deserved.

04:53: Nice beard Matt…

04:54: Best Actress goes to… JULIANNE MOORE (STILL ALICE)

04:57: Cannot judge as Still Alice is still yet to come out in the UK! Out next week in cinemas.

05:00: It’s the big one! Best Picture time. Should be Boyhood. Might be Birdman. AHAHAHA.

05:01: Best Picture goes to… I WANT TO KNOW NPH!!!

05:03: Best Picture goes to… BIRDMAN

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05:07: All in all, a pretty predictable Oscar ceremony with a rather awkward host in the form of Neil Patrick Harris. I’m glad Whiplash won a few awards but it was really Birdman and The Grand Budapest Hotel who did the best tonight. See you all next year… Here are the full winners list:

Best Supporting Actor – J.K.SIMMONS

Best Costume Design is – THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL

Achievement in Makeup and Hair – THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL

Best Foreign Language Film – IDA

Best Live Action Short Film – THE PHONECALL


Best Sound Mixing – WHIPLASH

Best Sound Editing – AMERICAN SNIPER

Best Supporting Actress – PATRICIA ARQUETTE

Best Visual Effects – INTERSTELLAR

Best Animated Short – FEAST

Best Animated Feature – BIG HERO 6

Best Production Design – THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL

Best Cinematography – BIRDMAN

Best Editing – WHIPLASH

Best Documentary Feature – CITIZENFOUR

Best Original Song – “Glory” from SELMA


Best Original Screenplay – BIRDMAN

Best Adapted Screenplay – THE IMITATION GAME

Best Director – Alejandro González Iñárritu (BIRDMAN)

Best Actor – Eddie Redmayne (THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING)

Best Actress – Julianne Moore (Still Alice)

Best Film – BIRDMAN

87th Academy Awards: Best Supporting Actress

Oscars 2015: Best Supporting Actress

Here we are at last. Our dedicated blog to the Oscars is nearly at its’ end with the ceremony only a matter of days away. Before then we have one more category to discuss; the category for “Best Supporting Actress”, which this year features a range of talent, and Keira Knightly. All joking aside, her performance in The Imitation Game was one of her best to date, but unfortunately for her, the bookies favourite this year is Patricia Arquette for Boyhood, which is incredibly hard to disagree with, although Emma Stone for Birdman would also be well received with everyone loving Emma Stone. Or at least I think they do. In terms of overlooked, I thought Jessica Chastain was pretty darn good in A Most Violent Year and so was Rene Russo in Nightcrawler. Anyway, enjoy the ceremony!

Meryl Streep – Into The Woods

Laura Dern – Wild

Patricia Arquette – Boyhood

Emma Stone – Birdman

Keira Knightly – The Imitation Game

87th Academy Awards: Best Supporting Actor

Oscars 2015: Best Supporting Actor

We are now on to the penultimate blog regarding this years Oscars ceremony, the focus of which is  on the “Best Supporting Actor” category, featuring Hulk, Hamlet, J. Jonah Jameson, Tom Hagen and, oddly, Hulk again. In terms of bookies favourite, J. K. Simmons is the best bet to win the gong, and for the second time running, I completely agree with them. His performance as the ferocious Terrence Fletcher in Whiplash, transformed a film with a rather simple and, dare I say it, boring plot, into the most gripping cinematic experience I have witnessed in a long while. Hats off to him. As an added extra, I wouldn’t be surprised to see either Edward Norton or Ethan Hawke, pick up the award instead, for their roles in Birdman and Boyhood respectively, highlighting the strength of the nominations in this particular category this year. In terms of overlooked, James Gandolfini for The Drop, and, i’m calling it, Dave Bautista for Guardians of the Galaxy. That’s right. Drax the Destroyer. Instead, we have:

Robert Duvall – The Judge

Ethan Hawke – Boyhood

Edward Norton – Birdman

Mark Ruffalo – Foxcatcher

J. K. Simmons – Whiplash

Next… Best Supporting Actress

87th Academy Awards: Best Director

Oscars 2015: Best Director

Next on this dedicated Oscar blog is the “Best Director” category, which this year primarily consists of  rather “indie” filmmakers such as Richard Linklater, famous for films such as Dazed and Confused, A Scanner Darkly, and, of course, School of Rock, and Wes Anderson, responsible for The Royal Tenenbaums and The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. Once again, Boyhood is tipped by the bookies to win in for this category, meaning Richard Linklater will be walking home with the Oscar, and for the first time in this blog, I agree with them, although I do have a soft spot for for Mr. Anderson as The Grand Budapest Hotel is a quite brilliant and bonkers movie. In terms of those who may have been overlooked, Christopher Nolan for Interstellar, which I personally thought was brilliant, and Jonathan Glazer for Under the Skin. The nominations are:

Wes Anderson – The Grand Budapest Hotel

Alejandro González Iñárritu – Birdman

Richard Linklater – Boyhood

Bennett Miller – Foxcatcher

Morten Tyldum – The Imitation Game

Next… Best Supporting Actor

87th Academy Awards: Best Actress

Oscars 2015: Best Actress

And now on to the “Best Actress” category which this year features actresses who may have shown off their acting skills in films that might have just slipped under the radar of the average cinema goer. A prime example is Marion Cotillard in Two Days, One Night, which I admit to not having seen until I began writing this blog and thus decided to catch up with. In terms of bookies favourite, Julianne Moore is tipped to win for her performance as Dr. Alice Howland in Still Alice, even though she equally could have been nominated for her freakish performance in David Cronenberg’s Maps to the Stars which also came out last year. ‘Tis was a good year for Ms. Moore. On the subject of freakish, my own nod goes to Rosamund Pike for her portrayal of Amazing Amy in Gone Girl which (without spoilers) was spine-tingling. I’m not too sure Neil Patrick Harris will want to see her again at the Oscars. For the overlooked category, Essie Davis in last year’s brilliant The Babadook, who sadly, hasn’t had a sniff in this year’s main ceremonies anywhere. But you know, whether if its in a word, or if its’ in a book, you can’t get rid of the Babadook. Here are the nominations:

Marion Cotillard – Two Days, One Night

Felicity Jones – The Theory of Everything

Julianne Moore – Still Alice

Rosamund Pike – Gone Girl

Reese Witherspoon – Wild

Next… Best Director

87th Academy Awards: Best Actor

Oscars 2015: Best Actor

Second on this Oscar blog, is the Best Actor category, which features some brilliant performances, particularly from the two British representatives, Benedict Cumberbatch and Eddie Redmayne (Or benedict XCuebrvatch and Eddie Redmaybe, as the Guardian call them*) portraying the iconic Alan Turing and Stephen Hawking respectively. In terms of bookies favourite, Michael Keaton is top of the list for this years gong, for his portrayal of Riggan Thompson in Birdman. In terms of my own particular choice, it’s hard to shy away from Eddie Redmayne, whose transformative performance as Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything is just a wonder to behold, and after winning the Golden Globe, where for the last three years the winner has gone on to win the Oscar, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him lift the golden guy next month. In the category of “overlooked”, is Ralph Fiennes in The Grand Budapest Hotel, Brendan Gleeson in Calvary, and unbelievably Jake Gyllenhaal, for both Enemy and Nightcrawler. Don’t worry Jake, I thing you’re fab. Anyway, we have:

Benedict Cumberbatch – The Imitation Game

Bradley Cooper – American Sniper

Eddie Redmayne – The Theory of Everything

Michael Keaton – Birdman

Steve Carell – Foxcatcher

Next… Best Actress

87th Academy Awards: Best Picture

Oscars 2015: Best Picture

It’s Award Season! Grab the coffee, get the red bull and ready the doughnuts, the annual celebrity get-together is within touching distance, and i’m rather excited. Last year’s ceremony was rather splendid,  with Ellen DeGeneres keeping all of the Hollywood egos in check, supported by a wonderful raft of movies to celebrate and John Travolta introducing Adele Dazeem. This year promises to be another spectacular affair, with Neil Patrick Harris hosting and a wonderful array of films to spur on during this particular race. Within this blog I will be focusing on this year’s nominations, selecting the favourite in each category, along with my personal choices and nominations that may have been overlooked. So sit down, relax, and enjoy the ride…

Best Picture

Starting off this particular blog is, ironically, where the ceremony ends; the Best Picture category, which this year includes some real gems. In terms of bookies favourite, Richard Linklater’s Boyhood seems to be winning this particular race and it’s hard to not understand why, with it’s quite remarkable telling of one child’s experience growing up over the course of 12 real-life years. It’s emotional. It’s brilliantly acted. What more do you want? In terms of my own personal choice, Whiplash is the film that surprised me the most out of all the nominees, with it gripping me throughout, helped particularly by a striking performance from J.K. Simmons. In regards to overlooked films, I believe Under the Skin, Calvary, and even Guardians of the Galaxy, all should have been under consideration. Instead we have these:

American Sniper
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
The Theory of Everything

Next… Best Actor