Tag Archive: World War II

Starring: Chris Evans, Hugo Weaving, Hayley Atwell, Tommy Lee Jones, Stanley Tucci & Toby Jones
Screenplay by Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely
Directed by Joe Johnston

During World War II, scrawny patriot Steve Rogers joins a top secret military project that turns him into brawny Captain America and pits him against Nazis and the power-hungry villain known as Red Skull.

Flag-waving Evans
makes up for the flame-out that
was Fantastic Four.

Grade: B+

By Daniel J. Hoag
Captain America: The First Avenger is now playing in theaters nationwide.

Starring: Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham Carter, Guy Pearce & Michael Gambon
Screenplay by David Seidler
Directed by Tom Hooper

Based on the true story of King George VI who struggled to overcome a lifelong, debilitating speech impediment and become the inspiring voice of nation facing war.

Hooper’s a thief but
Firth earned the Oscar on his

Grade: A-

By Daniel J. Hoag
The King’s Speech is available on Blu-ray and DVD tomorrow.
It was the winner of the Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Actor (Colin Firth), Best Director (Tom Hooper) and Best Orginal Screenplay (David Seidler), 2010. It was also nominated for Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, Best Editing, Best Original Score, Best Sound Mixing, Best Supporting Actress (Helena Bonham Carter), and Best Supporting Actor (Geoffrey Rush).

The Haiku Review’s Oscar Wrap-up

By Daniel J. Hoag

The 83rd Academy Awards have come and gone and the Haiku Review has some final thoughts and reactions to the festivities.

So many movies
were more deserving of Best
Pic than The King’s Speech.

I hope Tom Hooper
has trouble sleeping at night
Continue reading

2011 Oscar Spotlight: Best Actor

By Daniel J. Hoag

The 83rd Academy Awards are here, and though this race is all but over, you can still take a look at the Haiku Review’s Oscar Spotlight focusing on the category of Best Actor in a Leading Role.

Javier Bardem, Biutiful
Javier Bardem is no stranger to Oscar: this is his third nomination, and he won Best Supporting Actor a few years back for his memorable performance as the psychopathic Anton Chigurh in No Country for Old Men.  And if going to a dark place for that role weren’t enough, Bardem practically drowns in bleakness for his role in Biutiful, a nominee for Best Foreign Film.  Bardem plays Uxbal, a single father from Barcelona who is dying a painful death from cancer, unable to trust the futures of his children to his emotionally unstable, alcoholic ex-wife.  As if that weren’t miserable enough, he’s surrounded by the hard knock lives of illegal immigrants he traffics in (for money), many of whom suffer poverty, slave wages, sweatshop working conditions, deportation, and gruesome death.  And he kinda sees dead people.  Through it all Bardem wears sorrow and hopelessness like an old sweater, frayed and sagging from age.  But as bleak and distubing as the movie is around him, Bardem’s performance is, indeed, beautiful–no matter how you spell it. Continue reading

By Daniel J. Hoag

The second in the Haiku Review’s Oscar Spotlight series focuses on the category of Best Supporting Actress, which is likely to be the closest acting race this season.

Amy Adams, The Fighter
This is Adams’ third time competing in the Best Supporting Actress category; she was previously nominated for 2005’s Junebug and 2008’s Doubt.  As Charlene Fleming, thick-skinned girlfriend to Mark Wahlberg’s titular pugilist,  Adams goes head-to-head with some heavy-hitting actors.  Charlene finds herself at odds with her beau’s drug-addled brother and manipulative mother (played by fellow nominees Christian Bale and Melissa Leo); she even gets into a front-porch smackdown with several of his scrappy sisters. Continue reading

By Daniel J. Hoag

The 83rd annual Academy Awards take place on Sunday, February 27th, 2011. With the ceremony only a few weeks away, the Haiku Review begins a series of spotlight features focusing on individual categories.  Up first is the race for Best Actor in a Supporting Role.

Christian Bale, The Fighter
It’s hard to believe this is Bale’s first nomination, especially considering the fine work he’s done in Rescue Dawn, American Psycho, and the viral recording in which he screams insults at the poor director of photography who happened to have the misfortune to be doing his job in Bale’s line of sight. Continue reading

Haiku Review: The Way Back (2010)

Starring: Ed Harris, Jim Sturgess, Saoirse Ronan, Colin Farrell & Mark Strong
Screenplay by Peter Weir & Keith Clarke
Directed by Peter Weir

Based on an alleged true story from the 1940s, seven prisoners escape from a Siberian gulag and endure a brutal 4,500-mile trek to freedom across the world’s most treacherous landscapes.

A beautifully shot
but oddly impersonal
trek (of “iffy” truth).

Grade: B-

By Daniel J. Hoag
The Way Back is now playing in select cities.
It is an Academy Award nominee for Best Makeup, 2010.