GregHorrorShow Film Awards 2009

It’s been a good year for film, with lots of great releases. I don’t get to the flicks as much as I used to so these awards might have a touch of the DVD’s about them đŸ˜†

Here we go…

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BEST TRAILER

WINNER: Zombieland

This trailer perfectly captures the feel of this film and I ended up watching it several times as it was just funny as hell. A good advert for a brilliant film.

RUNNERS UP:

Sherlock Holmes

The Hangover

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BEST SPECIAL EFFECTS

WINNER: Watchmen

You can say what you like about the film itself but I don’t think anyone could argue with the fact that the special effects in Watchmen were absolutely superb. From Dr Manhattan to the other heroes and even the city itself, this was a truly stunning experience.

RUNNERS UP:

Zombieland

The Damned Utd

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BEST SOUNDTRACK

WINNER: The Boat That Rocked

I’m sure people will question the quality of this film for a long while to come but one thing that can’t be questioned is the quality of the soundtrack: The Who, Dusty Springfield, The Beach Boys, Smokey Robinson, Cream, Jimi Hendrix, David Bowie and The Kinks are just a few of the bands to feature in what was the highlight of the film… it’s soundtrack. 

RUNNERS UP:

Watchmen

Zombieland

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BEST COMEDY

WINNER: The Hangover

A close call this one as all three of these films were absolutely superb but I’m still chuckling over Zach Galifianakis’ performance. The story of the Stag Night from hell, with no-one remembering a thing, the groom missing and the time until the wedding ticking away – The Hangover is essential viewing.

RUNNERS UP:

I Love You, Man

Role Models

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MOST ANTICIPATED FILM OF 2010

WINNER: Kick Ass

I’ve already seen a rough cut of this and can confirm it was fantastic, even in it’s unfinished state. Stand out performances throughout and big props to Nic Cage for his role as well. Check it out when it hits next year.

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BEST ACTOR

WINNER: Mickey Rourke (Randy ‘The Ram’ Robinson – The Wrestler)

The Wrestler was such an emotional film it had to have some strong performances and Mickey Rourke really nailed it in his role as aging wrestling star Randy ‘The Ram’ Robinson. The scenes with his daughter were among the most touching I’ve seen in a long time and it looks like he invested a lot in the performance.

RUNNERS UP:

Jackie Earle Haley (Walter Kovacs / Rorschach – Watchmen)

Michael Sheen (David Frost – Frost/Nixon)

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BEST ACTRESS

WINNER: Rachel McAdam (Della Frye – State Of Play)

I almost gave this to Abigail Breslin for her stirling showing in Zombieland but in the end, looking back over the year, it was Rachel McAdams performance in political thriller State Of Play as journalist Della Frye that really impressed me. Firstly because it was a great bit of acting and secondly because I’d only ever seen McAdam in rom coms and it’s always nice to see an actor/actress leave their comfort zone and put on a good show.

RUNNERS UP:

Abigail Breslin (Little Rock – Zombieland)

Marisa Tomei (Cassidy – The Wrestler)

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FILM OF THE YEAR

WINNER: Zombieland

Head and shoulders above everything else I saw this year was the superb Zombieland. The tale of four survivors of a zombie outbreak just trying to stay alive long enough to learn to trust each other. Great performances from all four leads, and a wonderful cameo I had no prior knowledge of, made this a joy to watch.

Close behind were The Wrestler, a truly touching tale of an aging ring warrior and Watchmen, which I really enjoyed even if most of the World didn’t đŸ™‚

RUNNERS UP:

The Wrestler

Watchmen

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So that wraps up the film awards for 2009 – only games to go now!

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State Of Play – Review (Film)

State of Play is a taut thriller based on the BBC TV Mini Series of the same name, which aired in 2003.

The film tells the story of reporter Cal McAffrey (Russell Crowe) and his attempt to solve the suspicious death of a congressman’s research assistant. Added into the mix is the fact that the congressman, Stephen Collins (Ben Affleck), is an old friend of McAffrey’s.

As the pieces of the puzzle unravel McAffrey is teamed with up and coming political blog writer Della Frye (Rachel McAdams) and the clash of McAffrey’s old school journalism and Frye’s new school journalism mean they often have different ideas about how the story should be presented but they work together to break the story.

 

State Of Play takes a sinister turn as the plot progresses and the shadow of the PointCorp operation is cast over the whole story. McAffrey and Frye have to redouble their efforts as they get nearer to the truth and find themselves in deeper than they could ever have imagined.

This is a film full of great acting – Russell Crowe will most likely get the plaudits and rightfully so, this is a very natural performance from him. Affleck really brings a believable character to the screen with congressman Collins as the politican watches his political and personal life unravel in front of the media.

Dame Helen Mirren as McAffrey’s boss puts in a classic ‘ballbreaker’ turn as Cameron Lynne and Jason Bateman is at his best with a restrained and darkly comedic role.

It was great to see Rachel McAdams step out of the rom-com safety zone (Wedding Crashers/Family Stone etc) and her bold perfomance as Della Frye cements her as a potential ‘A-List’ actress from here on out.

I would be interested to see the original mini-series to find out what was changed in bringing the time down from 6 hours to just over 2 hours. It’s been reported that a fair bit of the story was shuffled to reduce the running time and turn the story into a cohesive film experience.

It’s difficult to go too much into the story without giving anything away and it would be a real shame for you to read what happens here rather than watch it for yourself.

State Of Play isn’t your average thriller – it’s been a while since I’ve seen one as well done and with as strong cast performances as this. I really enjoyed The International but State Of Play is Premier League in comparison.

I strongly recommend you check this one out whenever you get a chance.

Rating: 9/10

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