Tag Archives: Academy Awards

Yellow Flicker Beat

I think I’ve established before that I’m a huge fan of Lorde.  I’ve listened to her music endlessly and I’ve seen her in concert (which you HAVE to do, she’s incredible live).  So, naturally, I was over the moon when her song from The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part One got nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Original Song.  And probably like all the other Lorde fans out there, I was sad that it did not win the Golden Globe last night.

The great thing about this song is that Lorde perfectly captured the essence of Mockingjay Part One.  She sings in the chorus, “This is the start of how it all ends/ They used to shout my name, now they whisper it,” which perfectly resonates where Katniss is at this point in the film series.  The film is the start (part one) of how the whole series ends (there’s a part two coming November 2015).  Further, Katniss was once something revered in the Capitol, but now she’s their enemy and something not be admired, therefore they “whisper” her name.

The song as a whole has these incredible, thought provoking lines that just seamlessly fit to the story of Katniss, which I think means it deserved the Golden Globe, and quite possibly an Academy Award nomination.  I doubt we’ll see Lorde at the Oscars, but I hope I’m wrong!

Gravity: One Hell of a Ride

I just saw Gravity and…I actually enjoyed it.

I had a friend who saw it in theaters, and she absolutely hated it.  She said basically it was a movie about how there’s nothing in space, and that it’s Sandra Bullock floating around gasping for air.  Even the trailer did nothing more than  give you the impression that it was about Sandy B struggling in zero gravity.  Then I saw this “Honest Trailer” about it, and I started to think that Gravity was in fact the stupidest movie ever:

But I still wanted to see it because I’m a huge Sandy B fan.  Every movie she does I think is just #brill.  I love Miss Congeniality (both the original and the sequel), Two Weeks NoticeThe Blind SideSpeedThe NetThe HeatThe Proposal, etc.  She’s one of the few actors who I can trust will do an incredible job whatever movie she’s in, and I will at least enjoy her character if not the whole film.  Since she got a lot of nominations for Gravity, including an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress in a Leading Role, I decided to at least borrow Gravity from the library to watch Sandy’s performance.  And what a performance it was.

The first half of the movie is really meant, in my opinion, to showcase Director Alfonso Cuarón’s graphics.  Basically the honest trailer summarized this part of the movie: they crash into things, they scream, people die, nothing to meaningful happens.  However, I think there comes a real turning point towards the end when Bullock’s character, Dr. Ryan Stone, is about to give up and essentially kill herself.  As she’s dying, she has a vision/dream of her fellow astronaut, Matt Kowalski (George Clooney), who previously sacrificed himself for her, coming in to help her steer the space craft she was on.  In this dream sequence, he tells her she can either give up like she was planning or she can fight for her life and continue to live.  He emphasizes to her that if she chooses to live, she has to move on with her life (you find out earlier that her daughter had died, so she pretty much grieves for her daughter and goes to work…she doesn’t have much of a life on Earth).  When Kowalski, in Stone’s dream, is about to take the wheel of the space craft from her and drive it to the Chinese space station, he says to her:

“I get it. It’s nice up here. You can just shut down all the systems, turn out all the lights, and just close your eyes and tune out everyone. There’s nobody up here that can hurt you. It’s safe. I mean, what’s the point of going on? What’s the point of living? Your kid died. Doesn’t get any rougher than that. But still, it’s a matter of what you do now. If you decide to go, then you gotta just get on with it. Sit back, enjoy the ride. You gotta plant both your feet on the ground and start livin’ life.”

I found that inspiring for my own personal life: you can let problems no matter the size bog you down, or you can enjoy the life you have and not waste a second of it.  Because he’s right, what’s the point of living if you’re going to hate life?

I also found this scene to be the point that creates a change in Stone in that she starts to view life differently and she actually fights to get back home; she’s not going to give up.  In fact, when Stone is on her way back down to Earth [SPOILER ALERT], she says to “Houston in the Blind:”

“The way I see it, there’s only two possible outcomes.  Either I make it down there in one piece and I have one hell of a story to tell, or I burn up in the next ten minutes.  Either way, which ever way, no harm no foul!  Because either way, it will be one hell of a ride.  I’m ready.”

This was my favorite part.  The spirit that Sandra Bullock embodies, her whole demeanor, is just breath taking.  I feel like her character had so much growth from an almost depressed scientist who was grieving her daughter to a woman who was going to live life to the fullest and not give up.  She wasn’t going to let everything that happened to her knock her down; she was going to live in spite of it all.

So Gravity isn’t about Sandy B floating/screaming/failing in space.  It’s not even meant to scare people about space travel.  It’s meant to tell people to never to give up on life.  No matter what.  Even when the odds seem to be against you.  Never.  Give. Up.

JLaw’s Dance Number

I finally got the American Hustle soundtrack, and I’m pumped because it features today’s #PhillipsSongOfTheDays: “Live and Let Die” by Wings/Paul McCartney.

Over my winter break, I had decided to go see American Hustle with my siblings.  As a broke college student, I probably go to the movies like once or twice a year; it’s just easier and cheaper for me to wait for the DVD release and borrow it from the library to watch.  I was so pumped to see American Hustle because it was filmed around the Boston area – basically my backyard.  I remember when they were filming it, there was a breaking news on the local news stations saying they spotted Jennifer Lawrence and Christian Bale dressed in ’70s attire; as it turns out, they were filming the final scene of American Hustle where they are picking up their son at school.  Also, I had seen this clip on youtube where Jennifer Lawrence blew up a microwave (or as they call it, a “science oven”):

But then my friend tweeted that American Hustle was a big disappointment and “JLaw” was the only good part.  This shocked me.  Do I go see this movie? Or do I save my money?  What to do?!  I asked her to clarify, and she said JLaw had a dance/singalong number that was worth the ten bucks (if this sounds familiar, I wrote a similar post reviewing American Hustle that you can read here).  That dance/singalong was set to “Live and Let Die” by Wings, and since seeing American HustleI’ve just been obsessed with this song.

I find “Live and Let Die” to be infectious and rather frantic.  The energy makes you want to get up and dance or run or something.  The intense level of energy that comes from that orchestral/horn melody is unrivaled; I have yet to hear such a frantic/panicked/intense song.   Take a listen to this panicked-feeling melody (e.g. 0:46):

Anyway, “Live and Let Die” has been on repeat today and has inspired me as a musician/songwriter, plus it was motivating to listen whilst running on the treadmill.  In honor of that, and the fact American Hustle is coming out on DVD in six days (March 18th!), “Live and Let Die” by Paul McCartney is #PhillipsSongOfTheDay.

 

UPDATE!!!:

I found the clip of JLaw’s dance/singalong, enjoy!:

 

The Most Beautiful 12 Seconds of My Life

Last week, Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez won the Academy Award for Best Original Song for “Let it Go,” from Frozen.  When I saw Idina Mezel perform the song live during the Academy Awards, I was taken with her incredible vocal ability and the power of the song.  And naturally I had the chorus of “let it go, let it go” stuck in my head.  I then decided to download the song, and what a good decision that was.  “Let it Go” performed by Idina Menzel is #PhillipsSongOfTheDay.

After downloading “Let it Go” from iTunes and it started playing, I got shivers from the opening music.  The piano is just beautiful.  So beautiful that I actually put a loop on it just to listen to that piano.  It’s just…ah, take a listen:

These twelve seconds suck you into listening to the rest of the song, which isn’t a bad thing.  I know what you guys may be thinking right now, “Phillip, really?  A disney show tune?  You need to man up, dude.”  Well, I think this song is pretty catchy, but more important, it’s empowering.  It doesn’t matter if you male/female, masculine/feminine, young/old, these lyrics emphasize that you can get through any struggle and all your problems/mistakes in the past are just that, the past.  For example:

“Let it go, let it go
Can’t hold it back anymore
Let it go, let it go
Turn away and slam the door

I don’t care
What they’re going to say
Let the storm rage on,
The cold never bothered me anyway

It’s funny how some distance
Makes everything seem small
And the fears that once controlled me
Can’t get to me at all

It’s time to see what I can do
To test the limits and break through
No right, no wrong, no rules for me
I’m free

Let it go, let it go
I am one with the wind and sky
Let it go, let it go
You’ll never see me cry

Here I stand
And here I’ll stay
Let the storm rage on”

“I’m never going back,
The past is in the past”

Perhaps I just enjoy songs whose narrators overcome some obstacle or hold a high level of confidence, but I find this song truly inspiring and uplifting.  Even after a stressful week of midterms and craziness, it feels good just to get lost in such a song that makes you realize that everything will be alright, things will work out….eventually…

Side Note: If you get a chance to look up Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez's acceptance speech after winning their Oscar, I would totally suggest it, it was so adorable!  They rhymed/sang their speech and dedicated it to their daughters (they're married!).  I just thought their speech was one of the highlights of the Oscars… I tried to find a clip of that and a clip of Idina Menzel performing at the Oscars, but YouTube is taking down such clips down so fast that even if I found one, it'd be gone by tomorrow...