Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Star Trek Beyond - 1 nomination and Suicide Squad - 1 nomination

Please note that the Academy shortened the time between nominations and show by a whole week, that's seven days of reviews, so I've had to get a bit creative in order to get you reviews of all the 63 nominated films.  Today, I'm combining two of the three Makeup and Hairstyling nominees, and the third will be in the post about all 5 foreign films.  Next year, the Oscars are on March 5, so I'm hoping they will go back to a 40 day time period between announcements and broadcast.

Makeup and Hairstyling - Joel Harlow and Richard Alonzo

How to summarize Star Trek Beyond?  Our gang of fearless star voyagers encounter a murderous alien bad guy and have to protect the universe from his evil intentions.  This time on a planet where the beings already hate the Federation, and one from among them forges a bond of friendship with the officers and helps them avert the danger and win over the beings so that they can see that the true intention of the Federation is galactic peace.  So sure, variations on the theme.

But you know what?  I liked it.  I like the themes that Star Trek promotes, I like the action, I like the comedia del arte character archetypes, I like the incredibly creative makeup and hairstyling, I just like science fiction!  This is a film that is not going to change the Star Trek universe and make it something that it's not, but everything about it is engaging, if you like that sort of thing.  And I do.

Makeup and Hairstyling - Alessandro Bertolazzi, Giorgio Gregorini and Christopher Nelson

Viola Davis may be killing it by the Fences, but she did some pretty stupid stuff in Suicide Squad.  In the name of using a very big bad to aid US Defense, Davis releases a force unexpectedly too evil and too powerful to control.  Someone has to fight this supernatural being, so she assembles a ragtag group (yes, I know it's cliche, stay with me) of super villains to do the job.  We meet a whole gang of DC comics anti-heroes - Deadshot, Harley Quinn, Killer Croc, you name it.  We get to learn each of their origin stories while The Joker tries time and again to break lover Harley Quinn out of the Squad and back into his life of crime.

Followers of this blog know that I love a good superhero movie, and even a good anti-hero movie. The nomination is absolutely well deserved - the makeup and the hairstyling are unequaled.  But the movie is a little bit slow, far fetched (even as comic book movies go), and just has a little bit of work to do to compare to the genius of the Marvel universe.  Don't get me wrong, I was mostly entertained, but I'm a really easy mark when it comes to enjoying movies and I can usually find something redeeming.  There is a lot of humor in the darkness of the movie, and who doesn't love Will Smith? 

It's not a great film, but if the filmmakers can learn from this film and screen a few more Marvel movies to analyze what makes them great, there could be a great sequel in the mix.

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