Author Archives: oktayegekozak

About oktayegekozak

Oktay Ege Kozak is a film critic for www.beyazperde.com, Turkey's premier film web-site and is a screenwriter.

Over/Under Movies Episode 8: Independence Day and They Live

Standard

TheyLive1

In this episode of Over/Under Movies, Mike and Ege talk about the importance of using practical effects to elevate the terrible storytelling in Independence Day while Karim tells us his story of being brought up as the Fresh Prince of Wimbledon.

Mike and Ege also try to find a suitable cast for a remake of They Live while Karim warns us about the Lizard People who will surely doom us all into a life inside The Matrix.

As usual, please grace us with your comments and let us know how we’re doing.

http://overundermovies.podomatic.com/entry/2013-07-02T17_22_38-07_00

Download mp3

Over/Under Movies Episode 6: Lost in Translation and The Weather Man

Standard

weathermanlist

Hi Everyone,

This is the 6th episode of our Over/Under Movies Podcast, where we take one overrated and one under appreciated film and analyze them.

This episode’s overrated film is Lost in Translation:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0335266/?ref_=sr_1

The underrated film is The Weather Man:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0384680/?ref_=sr_3

Please give us comments so we can improve the podcast. Thank you!

To Listen, Please Click Here

To Download

Over/Under Movies Episode 5: Beasts of The Southern Wild and This is England

Standard

beasts-of-the-southern-wild02

Hi Everyone,

Presenting the new episode of our Over/Under Movies podcast where we pick one overrated film and one under appreciated film and we analyze them.

This week’s films are:

Beasts of The Southern Wild for overrated:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2125435/?ref_=sr_1

This is England for under appreciated:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0480025/?ref_=sr_1

We would love to hear your feedback so please give us some comments below.

If you have any ideas for overrated or under appreciated films, please let us know as well, we might pick it for one of the following episodes.

 

To stream, please click here

 

To download, please click here

 

You can also find this podcast on iTunes (https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/over-under-movies/id579531147?mt=2) so you can subscribe and listen on your iPhone or iPad.

 

Thank You!

Oktay Ege Kozak

OVER/UNDER MOVIES EPISODE 4: LIMITLESS AND SECONDS

Standard

F3.large_-1024x540

 

Hi Movie Lovers and Everyone Else!

Here’s the fourth episode of our Over/Under Movies podcast, where our film panel chooses one overrated and one under-appreciated film and discuss them in great detail.

This episode’s theme is “Second Chance at Life” Movies.

The overrated film is Limitless (2011):

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1219289/

The under-appreciated film is Seconds (1966):

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0060955/

 

We get around 50-100 downloads per episode, which is very encouraging. But please, please, please give us some comments and feedback at the bottom of this page.

 

To stream, please click here

 

To download, please click here

 

You can also find this podcast on iTunes (https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/over-under-movies/id579531147?mt=2) so you can subscribe and listen on your iPhone or iPad.

 

Thank You!

Oktay Ege Kozak

OSCAR NOMINATIONS: PREDICTIONS, COMMENTS AND SOME BITCHING

Standard

OscarMayer

 

It’s off to the races once again. Academy Award nominations have been announced and here are some of my comments and predictions:

Best Picture:

I believe Argo is going to win. It’s going up against another, more dry but equally as pulse pounding-political thriller Zero Dark Thirty. As impeccably made Zero Dark Thirty was, it has two things going against it. First is the controversy surrounding the picture regarding torture, which is made by a bunch of people who haven’t even seen the film. If they had, they’d see that argument is overblown. Second, and more important, The Hurt Locker already won a couple of years ago and it’s quite simply Ben Affleck’s turn.

Life of Pi is a sweet and life-affirming film, the kind that Oscar loves, but the ending might not have sat too well with the atheist or agnostic members of The Academy, the way it didn’t with me. Argo provides political and artistic credibility, as well as an exciting and thrilling movie.

Best Actor:

I wish Joaquin Phoenix would win for his mesmerizing performance inĀ  The Master. Like many, I never really liked his public persona but you have to separate the person from the work. But his usual brain farts, this time taking a dump on The Oscars, might have hurt his chance. I believe in the case, Daniel Day-Lewis will nab his third Oscar, he’ll deserve it too.

Best Actress:

Jennifer Lawrence was the heart and soul of the excellent Silver Linings Playbook. She was obviously too young for the role, but never telegraphed that fact for one second of running time. However, if Driving Miss Daisy taught us one thing, Oscar loves giving one last nod to the aging greats. I think this time it will go to Emanuelle Riva.

Best Supporting Actor:

I was hoping Alan Arkin would get a nomination for his portrayal of a fictional, exuberant and pompous producer in Argo and he did. But he got his turn with Little Miss Sunshine. This is a very strong list of actors and every one of them deserves it. Philip Seymour Hoffman, Robert DeNiro, Christoph Waltz. But I believe it will go to Tommy Lee Jones for Lincoln, he was responsible for keeping the audience awake with his boisterous performance.

Best Supporting Actress:

Sally Field is going to win. The line-up is not very strong and she was the energetic flip to Day-Lewis’ stoic Lincoln. She fought for that role, even though she was too old for the part, and you can tell she gave it her all and more.

Best Directing:

I believe this will be the category where Life of Pi will get some recognition. No matter what my personal feelings of the story are, Ang Lee delivered a powerful piece of entertainment.

Best Writing:

For Written directly for the screen, I think Tarantino will win for his excellent blend of historical fact and pure bloody exploitation entertainment. For Material previously published, I think Argo will win.

Best Animated Feature:

As good as it was, Brave wasn’t up to Pixar’s very high standards. It grew on me more on a second viewing. I hope it will win, yet Paranorman might prove to be the triumphant underdog. It did win our Online Film Critics Society award over Brave.

Best Foreign Language Film:

Haneke’s Amour, all the way.

Best Cinematography:

Another obvious pick. The name cinematography should be changed to something else since a lot of films are being shot digitally now. Life of Pi is an example of that, and I think it should win as the most beautiful looking film of the year by a long margin.

Best Editing:

Argo deserves it and I think will win, if only for the way the heart stopping finale was put together.

Best Production Design:

Les Miserables will win since it’s a giant classic Hollywood spectacle with showy sets.

Best Costume Design:

Les Miserables again.

Best Make-up:

I think the Hobbit will win.

Best Music:

None of the scores really stood out for me this year. Life of Pi had the most soulful and beautiful score and fit the film perfectly, and I think it will win.

Best Song:

Usually a musical adaptation will win, so Les Miserables again.

Best Sound:

Sound Mixing, Life of Pi. Sound Editing, Zero Dark Thirty for the final raid scene.

Best Visual Effects:

Life of Pi once more, Academy usually favors creative uses of special effects over more obvious action-adventure picks like The Avengers.

Best Documentary:

The best documentary of the year, Central Park Five wasn’t even nominated!? What the hell is this!? Ugh, The Gatekeepers will win as the critical favorite. For Documentary Short, I have no idea. Kings Point?

Best Short Films:

Randomly picked: Paperman for Animated, Curfew for Live-Action.

The Complete List of Nominations can be found at:

http://www.imdb.com/oscars/nominations/

BEST AND WORST OF MY BOND MARATHON

Standard

2427135_orig

 

First of all, I have no life. I already know this, so please get over it and stop asking “Why the hell would you watch all 23 Bond movies in a month?”

Now that we got the obvious out of the way, as a film critic it’s very hard to undermine the pop-culture importance of the 50 year old Bond franchise. It has always been an influential staple in action film making and has tons of fans who love suave suits, bad-ass cars, cringe-worthy one-liners, blatantly misogynistic double enterdre female names, obvious alcoholism and lots and lots of gratuitious explosions.

So taking the 50th anniversary of the franchise and the release of Skyfall into account, I got the Bond box-set on Blu-Ray, which includes all 22 Bond films (Official canon EON productions, which doesn’t count Never Say Never Again and the spoof Casino Royale) except Skyfall. My plan was to watch these films in a row, document the changes in the franchise along the way and end my marathon with Skyfall.

The first thing that became clear to me along the way is that these films are very much products of the time each one was released in, therefore it’s hard to fully appreciate them on the visceral level they were meant to be appreciated, even the really good ones like Goldfinger and License to Kill. The style of film making, the cars, the vibe, everything in each film is meant to entice and impress the audience of the year it was released in. It’s easy to understand that the iconic Aston Martin with its sweet ejector seat must have looked amazing and cool in 1964, but in 2012 it looks quaint and retro.

The same goes for every ridiculous, semi sci-fi technology introduced in each film. That’s why no matter what the narrative quality of the film is, as much as there can be in a Bond movie, they become more entertaining and less tedious to watch as it comes closer to contemporary times. When the charm of the Connery Bonds wears off, it’s time to play the numbers game until the next decade: “3 movies until we get to the 80s”, “4 Movies until the 2000s” etc… As I got to Pierce Brosnan and the 90s slick action film making kicked in, it becomes that much easier to sit through. And once we get to Daniel Craig, we feel right at home. The opening of Skyfall was an exhilarating experience. But I can’t help but think how dated it will look 50 years from now.

Worst Bond Movie:

The Man With The Golden Gun or Octopussy, or any Roger Moore Bond for that matter. With 7 Bond movies, Moore made the most out of any Bonds, and pretty much all of them suck. Besides the fact that it’s gross to see him hook up with 21 year-olds when he’s almost 60, the overly whimsical tone of the 70s Bond was a bit too much to handle. Watching Moonraker, it’s easy to imagine that since it was the late 70s, everyone was high on coke.

Best Bond Movie:

Casino Royale, by a long shot. Daniel Craig is the perfect Bond and this is a highly entertaining film. It took 44 years for Bond to get it perfectly right with a smart and gritty reboot.

Most Underrated Bond Movie:

License to Kill. Timothy Dalton himself is an underrated Bond, with only 2 films to his name. But this is the gritty, more down to earth Bond of the Daniel Craig movies 17 years before Casino Royale came out.

Most Overrated Bond Movie:

Dr. No. Just because you’re the first, doesn’t mean you’re the best. Aside from a low-budget, Dr. No only takes place in a single location and has one of the lamest Bond girls in Ursula Andress. I guess we now know the dead-eyed blandness of Megan Fox is not just a 21st century thing.

Best Bond Song:

Bond songs are almost as iconic as the films themselves. A good song can make an unbearable Bond movie at least a little bit enjoyable. After the action-packed teaser, we always look forward to the iconic credits sequence full of naked silhouettes of hot women and guns (That’s about it really). The reason I like Chris Cornell’s “You Know My Name” from Casino Royale the most is because it’s the only sequence that doesn’t utilize those two base concepts and bring something fresh to the animation. The song is great in my opinion. Every time a best and worst Bond song list comes out, Shirles Bassey’s Goldfinger always tops it. Although I enjoy the lounge and ballad Bond songs, I have a soft spot for the more upbeat rock tunes, like Paul McCartney’s Live and Let Die and even A-Ha’s obviously shitty 80s techno-rock A View To A Kill.

Worst Bond Song:

The Man With The Golden Gun by Lulu, ear grating crap.

After sitting through all of these films, some with much boredom, it was sweet to see the franchise come full circle when at the end of Skyfall, we lay eyes on the classic production design of M’s office dating back to From Russia With Love.

ABOUT THE “DICKLESS LUNATICS” AT THE NRA

Standard

3922464889_95d67592c0

 

When we live in a country where a gun-toting crazy fuck starts spraying his easily-bought semi-automatic at a public place, usually full of innocent women and children, it’s just a matter of time when the madness knocks on your back door. Don’t keep thinking “It’ll never happen here” because it will until there’s a legitimate and concrete change in our insanely loose gun laws (Or lack of any, I should have said).

That’s what happened to us in Portland. A day after Gabby and I were casually hanging out in the same neighborhood, another insane asshole opened fire at a mall and killed two people. Not like the media could have any time giving us every little tiny detail about this piece of shit’s life and background, therefore turning him into a public figure, which is probably what he was after anyway. Because two days after this tragedy, a much, much bigger one took place at Sandy Elementary.

Of course when asked, the “Dickless Lunatics at the NRA”, as affectionately coined by our lord and savior George Carlin, will blame anything but guns. They say it’s because of violent movies and video games, a godless society and even a lack of guns. Yes, according to them, the way to solve the gun-toting lunatic problem is by arming everyone aged 0 to 120. They think we live in an action movie and that Die Hard and 24 are documentaries.

They keep quoting war-torn nations having to train their teachers and staff to protect themselves from terrorists. If teachers were packing like they do in Israel, they so lovingly state, none of this would have happened. Of course in their eyes there’s nothing different between a professional who was trained in the army and a random, clueless guidance counselor who study after study shows will more than likely shoot more innocent people by accident instead of the assailant.

And why does the press ask the NRA about their opinions on guns after such a shooting takes place? When a serial child rapist is caught, no one asks NAMBLA their opinion. If they did, would we find it so offensive after they would defend the rapist and accuse the children of “asking for it”? Why are we so shocked when the NRA says similar stupid shit?

Anyway, what does any of this have to do with movies? Here it is: I am all for violence in movies and I support a strict separation of entertainment and real life. Whenever right-wing zealots complain that violent video games and movies are corrupting our youth, I just laugh it off.

But maybe there’s something to this. Maybe the corruption is not about the youth, but people’s maturity in general. After all, I’m sure there are millions of 12-year-olds who can differentiate the graphic violenceĀ  in R-Rated and M-Rated movies and video games and real life, consider it to be nothing but visceral entertainment and grow up to be normal members of society. I was watching R-Rated action movies when I was 10, now I hate guns and could not get near one. When I write an action movie, however, of course I will think of any creative and gruesome ways for random bad guys to die. It comes with the territory of the genre.

But apparently there are “adults” in this world, 40, 50, 60-plus-year-olds, who watch 24 and apply it completely to real life and believe torture to be an excellent way of interrogation. How else will Jack Bauer find that bomb that’s about to go off in 35 minutes? They watch Under Siege or Die Hard and wholeheartedly believe that if there was anyone armed in that situation, the day would have been saved.

Maybe there should be an additional movie rating next to the age limit. I would call it NRA-NO. Here’s how it works: When you’re buying a movie ticket online or at the box office, if the movie is rated NRA-NO, the computer will search your name in the NRA member database. And if you’re an NRA member, you don’t get to see the movie. It doesn’t matter how old you are.

I would say any action movie that turns shoot-em-up violence into pure entertainment should be rated NRA-NO. You’re an NRA member and you wanna rent The Rock? Tough shit buddy, you might get the impression that Nicholas Cage’s character, an egghead who would have been killed within two seconds in real life, would exist in real life and could have saved children if only he was armed. You wanna watch Skyfall? Fuck no! What if you actually believe any armed British person can kill the bad guy at a shopping mall shooting?

The bottom line is, we need to protect our NRA members from such filth. There should be strict protection on NRA-NO rated movies and video games so we don’t have to keep dealing with idiots who cannot separate fiction from real life.