2015 BAM Award Considerations – July

It seems that awards season on this blog just ended, however, assembling those nominees is a year-long process. So the cycle begins anew with posts at the end of the month and master lists offline in preparation for the big dates of the award’s calendar year. A collection of most, if not all titles viewed, can be seen on my Letterboxd.

Eligible Titles

Creep
Vacation
We Are Still Here
The Stranger
Paper Towns
Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief
Father’s Chair
Ant-Man
Aferim!
13 Minutes
Self/less
Minions
7 Days in Hell
The Culling
Human Capital
Reckless
Terminator Genisys
Big Game

Best Picture

13 Minutes
Human Capital
Reckless

Best Foreign Film

Father’s Chair
Aferim!
13 Minutes
Human Capital
Reckless
Big Game

Best Documentary

Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief

Most Overlooked Picture

As intimated in my Most Underrated announcement this year, I’ve decided to make a change here. Rather than get caught up in me vs. the world nonsense and what a film’s rating is on an aggregate site, the IMDb or anywhere else, I want to champion smaller, lesser-known films. In 2011 with the selection of Toast this move was really in the offing. The nominees from this past year echo that fact. So here, regardless of how well-received something is by those who’ve seen it, I’ll be championing indies and foreign films, and the occasional financial flop from a bigger entity.

We Are Still Here
Father’s Chair
Aferim!
13 Minutes
Human Capital
Reckless
Big Game

Best Director

Aferim!
13 Minutes
7 Days in Hell
Human Capital
Reckless
Big Game

Best Actress

Sarah Chronis Reckless
Barbara Crampton We Are Stil Here
Valeria Bruni Tedeschi Human Capital
Cara Delevigne Paper Towns 
Christina Applegate Vacation

Best Actor

Jay Duplass Creep
Ed Helms Vacation
Andrew Sensenig We Are Still Here
Nat Wolff Paper Towns
Wagner Moura Father’s Chair
Teodor Corban Aferim!
Christian Friedel 13 Minutes
Fabrizio Bentivoglio Human Capital
Marwan Kenzari Reckless
Samuel L. Jackson Big Game

Best Supporting Actress

Connie Neer We Are Still Here
Cara Delevigne Paper Towns
Mariana Lima Father’s Chair
Katarina Schüttler 13 Minutes
Natalie Martinez Self/less
Matilde Gioli Human Capital
Jaz Sinclair Paper Towns 

Best Supporting Actor

Skyler Gisondo Vacation
Monte Markham We Are Still Here
Austin Abrams Paper Towns
Justice Smith Paper Towns
Michael Douglas Ant-Man
Burghart Klaußner 13 Minutes
Ben Kingsley Self/less
Kit Harington 7 Days in Hell
Fabrizio Gifuni Human Capital
Tygo Gernandt Reckless
Arnold Schwarzenneger Terminator Genisys

Best Performance by a Young Actress in a Leading Role

Best Performance by a Young Actor in a Leading Role

Onni Tommila Big Game

Best Performance by a Young Actress in a Supporting Role

Catherine Missal Vacation
Meg Crosbie Paper Towns
Jayne-Lynne Kinchen Self/less
Abby Ryder Forston Ant-Man 

Best Performance by a Young Actor in a Supporting Role

Steele Stebbins Vacation

Best Cast

Vacation
We Are Still Here
Paper Towns
Ant-Man
Aferim!
13 Minutes
Human Capital
Reckless

Best Youth Ensemble

Vacation

Best Original Screenplay

We Are Still Here
13 Minutes
7 Days in Hell
Big Game

Best Adapted Screenplay

Vacation
Paper Towns
Aferim!
Human Capital
Reckless

Best Score

13 Minutes
Human Capital
Reckless
Big Game
Ant-Man

Best Editing

13 Minutes
Self/less
Human Capital
Reckless
Big Game

Best Sound Editing/Mixing

Ant-Man
13 Minutes
Human Capital
Reckless
Terminator Genisys
Big Game

Best Cinematography

We Are Still Here
Aferim!
13 Minutes
Human Capital
Reckless

Best Art Direction

We Are Still Here
Paper Towns
Aferim!
13 Minutes
Human Capital
Reckless

Best Costume Design

We Are Still Here
Ant-Man
Aferim!
13 Minutes
7 Days in Hell
Human Capital
Reckless
Big Game

Best Makeup

We Are Still Here
7 Days in Hell
Human Capital
Big Game

Best Visual Effects

We Are Still Here
Ant-Man

Best (Original) Song

“Kiss from a Rose” Vacation
“Look Outside” Paper Towns
“Summer Breeze”Vacation
“Walley World Theme” Vacation
“Universal Fanfare” Minions

I commented last year that there was a film that had me reconsidering the soundtrack as a potential category. It’s happened again so I will be tracking it and seeing if it’s worth re-including this year.

Best Soundtrack

Vacation
Paper Towns

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Review: Vorstadtkrokodile 2 and 3

Introduction

This is a post that is a repurposing of an old-school Mini-Review Round-Up post. As stated here I am essentially done with running multi-film review posts. Each film deserves its own review. Therefore I will repost, and at times add to, old reviews periodically. Enjoy!

Vorstadtkrokodile 2 and Vorstadtkrokodile 3: Freunde Fur Immer

Perhaps one of the most interesting things that one can start learning or realizing when you obtain films from other regions is that various film industries world-wide are not too different from Hollywood, for better and worse. What we in the US get in art houses are the more erudite, obviously artistic films from overseas. If you look at trades when they report on international bureaucratic/business-related controversies art versus commerce comes up. Essentially, we get the independents from overseas. Next time you watch a foreign film pay attention to the credits and see how many production companies, governmental agency logos and other corporate logos pop up in the opening credits. But the major studios have presences overseas, and even without that each country has its own brand of genre cinema, which is generally made for domestic consumption. Subtitles aren’t found on all foreign-made DVDs and many times only languages of neighboring nations apply.

However, globalization is here and many films are seeking to attain some popularity in the home video market abroad by including more and more subtitles.

Vorstadtkrokodile 2 (2010, Constantin Film)

Which brings me around to the Vorstadtkrokodile movies. Or as they’re called in English The Crocodiles.

This version is a recent German trilogy based on a popular children’s novel, which I believe was even translated to English at one point. Not unlike American trilogies this series raced to the multiplexes with releases in 2009, 2010 and 2011. Such that the second installment feels a little flimsy and all over the place. There’s some cool fantasy elements, some good jokes but the characters seem to be in stasis. Also similar to American movies, a musician-turned-actor is in the mix; Fabi Halbig drummer from the popular band Killerpilze was recruited to play one of the main roles. Also, not unlike American films Nick Romeo Reimann, one of the latter additions to Die Wilden Kerle (The Wild Soccer Bunch) goes immediately from that series and takes the lead in this film.

Now, all that commentary may sound cynical but they’re just facts. What occurs in the third film is a very pleasant surprise. The story is far more unified. It starts light and frivolous and gets serious. There’s great comic relief and it connects back to the first film. It closes a circle and consciously concludes the series. Just taking a few series by example at the very least these series come fast and furious and know when it’s time to close. It’s a warm and heartfelt conclusion that takes some outlandish plotlines to real and honest places emotionally and give the trilogy great closure.

Reimann, now moving on to other projects, seems destined to continue finding work and may even transition seamlessly into adult roles. It’s a bit early yet, but considering his steady participation in two series, totaling six films, with increased emotional demands in each successive film; drawing a parallel between him and Daniel Radcliffe is not far-fetched.

4/10 and 8/10