Talking Oscars: Reviewing Skyfall, Django Unchained and Seth MacFarlane

The 2013 Oscars have come and gone. In past years, I haven’t focused too much on the awards ceremony, but this time around I was invited to an Oscar viewing party (more on that at the end of this post) so I paid more attention to the Academy Awards than usual.

Up until a week ago, I hadn’t seen any of this year’s Oscar-nominated films, but this past week I put aside some time to watch a couple of this year’s bigger films, Skyfall and Django Unchained, so that I could at least form some opinions on this year’s event.


I was looking forward to seeing this film for quite some time. Overall, I thought Skyfall was a solid addition to the Bond franchise. A nice rebound from the sappy Quantum of Solace,‚ the opening chase scene is exciting and I really loved the scenes shot in Shanghai. That’s a city I need to visit in the next few years.

The film showcases an aging James Bond, struggling to cope with his deteriorating skill set. I guess this makes for a good plot line and vulnerability is what modern day audiences want to see from their on screen heroes, but damn, I still prefer Sean Connery and his badassness. He never apologizes, he never gets depressed and never lets a woman bring him down. Daniel Craig’s character is way too soft throughout the three films.

Bottom line: Would I recommend Skyfall? Yes. It’s a solid film with some great stunts and beautiful imagery.

Django Unchained

This was another film I had been meaning to see. I loved Inglourious Basterds and I’ve always liked the Quentin Tarantino movies I’ve seen.

Once again, Christoph Waltz is outstanding, playing a completely different character than Hans Landa, which catapulted him to worldwide fame. He’s deserving of the Oscar he won last night.

Samuel L. Jackson is also fantastic in Django, mastering a very controversial role that’s stirs up a lot of emotions depending on who you are. Check out this clip to get an idea. Warning: strong language!

One thing that really stood out to me in this film: Unlike Inglourious Basterds, this film is a lot more intense. While‚ Basterds is just a fun shoot-em up, go on an adventure kind of movie, Django is much darker. The on-screen abuse that the black slaves suffer at the hands of white people in this film is shocking. Nothing in Basterds left that kind of impression on me. The carving of the swastika into German foreheads seems tame compared to the lashings, fights to the death and other dehumanizing acts we see in Django.

Bottom line: Would I recommend Django Unchained? Absolutely. It’s riveting cinema, well worth the watch.

Oscar Night

As for Oscar night itself, I attended a viewing party, with a bunch of Ottawa’s up-and-coming cinefiles. They had all printed off ballots and had cast their own votes on each category, tracking their scores as the night rolled on. I think for most of the people there, this was their Super Bowl.

As a side note, if you want to read some real movie reviews, check out The Cinemablographer, who chose correctly on 17‚ 20/24(!!) of the awards. His reviews are always well-written.

I just want to touch on Seth MacFarlane as host. I thought he did a good job. The opening with William Shatner (Canadian content!) was fun and his edgy jokes helped move along what can end up being a tedious three hours. I saw a lot of hate on Twitter, but when you’re performing a stand-up routine in front of a billion people, there’s bound to be a large and vocal contingent of unimpressed whiners.

This video neatly boils down MacFarlane’s best:

Did you watch the Oscars? What was your favourite moment? Did your movie/actor/director win or were they snubbed?


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