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By Bhalachandra Sahaj

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Hi everyone.

A couple of days ago, actors, directors, producers, composers, and other people related to cinematography—as well as millions of common people around the world—were watching the 88th ceremony of the Academy Awards, far more well-known to the public as the Oscars. As always, there was some dramatic action, unexpected turns, and gallons of tears of happiness (or chagrin). What especially pleased me is that all the three movies I wanted to get an Oscar won. Here they are:

  • The Revenant

    I think this was the major event of the ceremony: Leonardo DiCaprio finally won his first Oscar! In my opinion, he has proved himself to be a good actor in “Inception” and latter movies (before, like in “Titanic,” his characters were too immature and cheesy), and he has deserved this Oscar at least a decade ago. As for the “The Revenant” itself, I didn’t quite like the movie, and only felt for Leo to get the award. Talking of another survival film, “The Grey” with Liam Neeson is much more credible (the key word!) and engaging, and the plot is thrilling. The costumes and especially the camera work in “The Revenant” were great though.

  • Mad Max

    This one is my absolute favorite among action movies filmed in 2015. I never enjoyed the original movies with Mel Gibson (except the first one, which is alright) and went to the cinema mostly for a piece of dense post-apocalyptic atmosphere. I was awed, shocked, amazed, and thrilled, all at once. Roaring diesel engines, endless sands, savage people fighting to last a little longer under the burning sun than their neighbors, and of course the vehicles! They are the main characters of this movie, not the actors (although the latter did well, especially Charlise Theron). An exclusive big thanks goes to the director for the flamethrowing blind electric guitar thrasher: I might be wrong, but this was something not previously shown in action movies!

  • The Martian

    After “Interstellar” I anticipated some kind of revolution in sci-fi movies. Despite rare but pleasant exceptions such as “Gravity” or “Interstellar” itself, the genre has been stagnating for a long time. People who call “Star Trek” sci-fi have probably never seen any actual science fiction films, thus confusing it with “an action movie in space.” Considering this, I enjoyed watching “The Martian,” even though it is not as good as I dreamed it would be when they were filming it. But anyways, I am glad it has been recognized and awarded, and I hope this will inspire directors to put more effort into making serious scientific fiction movies. Come on guys, science is trending!

  • And a small bonus:

    Ex Machina—my biggest personal disappointment

    I know it has an Oscar for the best visual effects, but I guess this is the only thing this movie could be awarded. I am a huge fan of the cyberpunk subgenre of science fiction. I grew up on the movies about AI, such as “Bladerunner” and “The Matrix” (my first one). In my teen years, I played “System Shock” and “Deus Ex” so many times, I knew them my heart. I’ve been a devoted fan of Philip K. Dick and William Gibson for years and still now. My first novel was written in this genre. I mean, I believe I know a lot about cyberpunk. And with all the great masterpieces in my mind, I go watch “Ex Machina”… and feel deeply disappointed. To me, it is the weakest AI-movie I have seen in a while.

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