movies, music and everything else

This blog is about pretty much what the title implies... movies, music and everything else.

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Saturday, January 20, 2007

2006 HUMBY'S: technical awards

This is simply one of the most beautiful films I have ever seen. Taking place in three intersecting time periods, each has its own look, but all come together to form a piece of art. This is the third collaboration between director Darren Aronofsky and D.P. Matthew Libatique and it is their finest. Each frame of THE FOUNTAIN looks amazing. The fact that the story is as beautiful as the photography is enough to make this a must see for anyone that loves movies.

2. PAN’S LABYRINTH – A beautiful and haunting look in the dark imagination of a master filmmaker.
3. CHILDREN OF MEN – Some of the best camera work I have ever seen in a film. While the lighting is not “pretty”, it achieves the stark natural look of a world gone past the point of no return. Or is it?
4. THE PROPOSITION – Stark, yet stunning. The use of light and the natural landscape is stunning.
5. THE PRESTIGE – This is a film made by masters of the craft. It is precise and calculated in its beauty.

Every so often a movie comes along and throws out the rule book on what is allowed. There are many reasons why the style in A GUIDE TO RECOGNIZING YOUR SAINTS should fail, but it all fits together to transport you into this world. There is a saying that great editing should never be noticed. Here, the editing works to create the feel of the movie and is vital to what makes this film so damn good.

2. THE DEPARTED – Thelma Schoonmaker is to editing what Martin Scorcese is to directing. Good thing they collaborate on every film.
3. LITTLE CHILDREN – One of the trickiest balancing acts of the year in tone and in style.
4. THE PROPOSTION – Slow and steady in parts and kinetic in others, but it comes together flawlessly.
5. UNITED 93 – It feel like a documentary in all the right ways.

The combination of the fantasy and the real world intertwine, yet feel completely unique. Like the rest of the film, there are moments of beauty, moments of surrealism and moments of darkness and gritty realism and the costumes add to all of this.

2. DREAMGIRLS – Great outfits, multiple time periods and LOTS of changes.
3. A GUIDE TO RECOGNIZING YOUR SAINTS – A key element to the realism created in capturing this specific time and place.
4. LAST KING OF SCOTLAND – Once again, vital in capturing this time and place.
5. THE PROPOSITION – It is Dark, dirty, dusty and feel %100 accurate, putting you right there in the story.

There is no question. The creature effects alone make this the stand out of the year. Add to that the accomplishment in the real world make-up of scars, blood, horrifying wounds, and you have a clear-cut winner.

2. PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN’S CHEST – Much of the effects make-up was done in the computer, but Bootstrap Bill was ALL make-up Fantastic!
3. APOCOLYPTO – The scarring, tattoos and piercing were the only thing about this film that felt real to me.
4. THE DESCENT – Great blood and really cool creatures on a low budget.
5. THE FOUNTAIN – Multiple time periods, styles and looks that intertwine and stand apart at the same time.

There is another world created in this film. The fantasy world is dark and daunting. In particular the lair of the Pale Man is one of the best sets of the year. The creation of the Mill, the town and the Labyrinth in the real world is fantastic and never for one second feels like a set, no matter how fantastical the movie gets.

2. THE FOUNTAIN – Some is simple and others are complex. This is one of the best looking films in years.
3. PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN’S CHEST – It is so big. There is so much. All of it is well done.
4. CHILDREN OF MEN – Realism in a world filled with apathy that is not far off from the present.
5. THE PRESTIGE – Like the photography, precise and calculated, but it still always feels real.

What is a fairy tale without a lullaby? Taken from a touching moment in the film where Mercedes hums a lullaby to comfort Ofelia, the theme of the film is simple, but the score is anything but. Music sets the tone for a film and this is no exception. Beautiful and haunting.

2. LITTLE CHILDREN – Thomas Newman is one of the greatest around and this is a different kind of score, but lives up to his other great works.
3. THE FOUNTAIN – Beautiful and transcendent.
4. BREAKING AND ENTERING – Gabriel Yared breaks into new territory working with Underworld.
5. MISSION IMPOSSIBLE 3 – This is just a great score. Nuf said.

Layered and textured. The gunshots punch through you as much as the silence fills you with a sense of emptiness and reflection.

2. PAN’S LABYRINTH – The sound is heightened, adding to the fairy tale aspect of the film.
3. PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN’S CHEST – Just great effect for the sound with the larger than life action.
4. THE FOUNTAIN – As complex as the story and the emotion.
5. THE DESCENT – Claustrophobic. Terrifying. Effective.

Once again… the clear cut choice. As Kong was last year, Davey Jones is a standout in how far CGI has come and shows where it can go when used well. Aside from that character, the scope, the scale and of course… the Kraken. Impressive.

2. THE FOUNTAIN – One of the most innovative use of effects I have ever seen. %90 of the effects in this film are not computer generated.
3. PAN’S LABYRINTH – The effects work hand in hand with the make-up and art direction to create a world.
4. SUPERMAN RETURNS – Sure we believe a man can fly in today’s world of film, but the plane sequence is fantastic.
5. NIGHT WATCH – Low budget and Russian. There is some of the most creative use of effects of 2006.


Blogger Cutshaw said...

Did you forget V FOR VENDETTA came out in 2006. It's technically one of the year's most skilled productions, yet you find it to be AT BEST 6th place in every category. While I appreciate that you remember NIGHTWATCH, and you obviously love PAN'S LABYRINTH, V deserves the same consideration - and I'm speaking purely on a technical level - as PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN'S CHEST.

5:41 PM  
Blogger Reel Fanatic said...

Great stuff .. my only quibble would be I would definitely put Children of Men on the list for cinematography, and probably at No. 1 .. that final set piece alone in the burned out apartment building is just beautifully shot, as is the rest of the movie

4:08 AM  
Blogger Humby said...

i DID put CHILDREN OF MEN on the list for cinematography... it is my number 3 choice. i agree that the movie is beautifully shot...

5:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

um...Score is a technical award? your wife is going to be very upset at you. and you and that cutshaw guy are nuts not having UNITED 93 on your best cinematography lists. just nuts.

10:55 PM  
Blogger lucdaring said...

I love to be at odds with you. It's so fun. PAN'S LABIRYNTH failed for me in the special effects department, and that is basically the only place it failed. I don't think it had horrible special effects but they were right on par with THE ILLUSIONIST, which effects, in my mind, were shameful. Just by the look of the trailer for MI:3 where TC gets thrown into the side of a car after a missle explodes close by, were enough to get me excited about the F/X. I never did the see the movie though.

9:46 PM  

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