A look at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter: Diagon Alley

From the books to the movies to its own theme park, Harry Potter has almost taken over the world.

In the summer of 2014, Universal Studios Orlando opened up its expansion of the Potterverse with Diagon Alley. I’ve had the fortunate opportunity to visit this section of the park on two occasions and each time has never failed to “wow” me.

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Click on each picture for a fuller view.

At the end of the park, where the Jaws attraction used to inhabit and next to the Men in Black area, is a row of English shops and Kings Cross Station. Those familiar with the world of Harry Potter will know that it’s by the Hogwarts Express taken at Kings Cross that Harry travels from London to Hogwarts. Those of us with enough money to buy a park-to-park ticket ($147-adult, $142-child) can ride the Hogwarts Express themselves! Unfortunately for me, it’s a little too pricey so I have yet to experience this luxury.

Before you enter Diagon Alley through the open brick pathway (which Harry uses behind the Leaky Cauldron pub), you can enter the magical world of Harry Potter early by viewing Sirius Black’s family residence (try to spot Kreacher in the window!) and hanging out by the Knight Bus.

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A busy, but not too crowded, Diagon Alley at 10 a.m.

Walking through the brick wall is one of the first of many times you will probably gasp because Universal Studios did an amazing job bringing this magical world to life. It feels like you are in the book and looks pretty similar to the movie. To the left is the Leaky Cauldron pub with your English theme park food (meat pies, bangers and mash) and Butterbeer! They include hot Butterbeer here which is actually pretty tasty, almost like a butterscotch hot chocolate, (and my second favorite next to frozen Butterbeer). To the right is Weasleys Wizard Wheezes with an assortment of gag gifts (sadly just like an ordinary muggle joke shop, no magical toys inside) from rattling wind-up dentures to fart cushions. What makes the Weasley shop a go-to destination is the candy inside! There is more of an imaginative design with Chocolate Frogs (you can collect all four Hogwarts founders and if you’re lucky, the rare Dumbledore card), Bertie Botts Every Flavor Beans, Puking Pastilles (just hard candy, don’t worry!), Pepper Imps, Treacle Tart, and more!

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The whole shop is lined with stacks of wands like these.
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A display of the variety of wands for purchase.

There are a few shops you can’t enter which was disappointing. There’s a door for Flourish and Blotts (the bookshop) and the Daily Prophet. The only place you can buy the Harry Potter books are in a Universal Studios gift shop at the entrance to the park. It would have been neat to buy the Harry Potter series in Harry Potter world! The wand shop is completely stacked with various wands. They’ve came out with multiple characters wands which is awesome (I have Sirius Black’s wand), and you can collect wands from the trio (Harry, Ron, Hermione), to Bellatrix, Voldemort, Dumbledore, Draco, Neville, and Death Eaters. In addition to a “plain, old wand” Universal is selling interactive wands! Buy this special wand and cast spells in Diagon Alley. Included with the wand is a map of Diagon Alley with marked places where you can point your wand at something and make magic happen!

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A magical ceiling in Wiseacres gift shop.

Shops you wouldn’t even think of to see have been included! Madame Malkins has school robes for sale, the Magical Menagerie has fluffy stuffed pets (and leashes!), Wiseacres has cups, glasses, journals, keychains and your average gift shop items. In a small side shop you can buy Galleons to use instead of dollars! What’s more to these shops is the fact that there is so much to see! Look up and find objects hanging from the ceiling, moving on their own! In the Weasley shop, see toys move and dangle. There is always something new to find.

And that’s not all! You HAVE to stop in the Fountain of Fair Fortune for a Butterbeer (or one of Universal’s specially created alcoholic brews for those 21+). Next door is Florean Fortescue’s ice cream parlour where you can eat Butterbeer flavored ice cream! I have yet to try this delicacy because I keep spending my money on frozen Butterbeer.

IMG_5036Have I mentioned the super awesome place they also included? Knockturn Alley! YES! They included this side-attraction and there is just as much detail put in this section of Diagon Alley as anywhere else in this park. It’s dark and shady, (but totally safe because this is Universal after all) which is appropriate as you enter Borgin and Burkes dark magic shop. The lighting is dim so it’s a little difficult to see the items. In this store they have glass cases of dark objects you have read about and seen in the movies like the Hand of Glory, cursed necklace, Slytherin’s locket, and more. Wanted posters for Bellatrix Lestrange and Sirius Black stare down at you as they hang from walls.

Last but not least, the main attraction: Gringotts wizarding bank. This stunning, marble building is one of the first things to catch your eye as you enter Diagon Alley. It’s crooked, it’s tall, and there’s a fire-breathing dragon on its roof. This is Diagon Alley’s only ride, and it’s a fair one like the Hogwarts adventure ride. One thing Universal really improved upon the building of Gringotts was that most of the waiting takes place inside the building. I think many people (as well as myself) were disappointed that while waiting for the Hogwarts ride, a majority of the standing time took place outside. When all you want to do is explore Hogwarts, it was disappointing to wait most of your time outside (and being in Florida, it gets HOT).

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Goblins checking their gold inside of Gringotts bank.

Inside Gringotts is a beautiful, large room which leads you through the bank just like you see in Sorcerer’s Stone. Tall desks line the hall on each side as goblins weigh, inspect, and account for their gold. The goblins look life-like and even move. What is incredible about this room are the huge crystal chandeliers that line the hall down the middle. Out of this room you are led down a dim, stone hallway until you get your picture taken by a Universal staff member. After, you meet a holographic Bill Weasley who explains the ride and you go through to an “elevator” (simulated) which takes you to stairs and to your ride!

The Gringotts adventure ride is a little fast but by no means a rollercoaster. You sit in rows on a cart while it moves you on a track, watching a large IMAX-like screen as you make your way through Gringotts. It’s almost identical to the Hogwarts ride, but with a little more adventure to it.

Despite how pricey everything can be while visiting Diagon Alley, you don’t need to be a millionaire to enjoy it. Personally, I would have loved to splurge on a Hufflepuff scarf ($34.95), buy Harry’s wand ($39.95-$47.95), buy a Hogwarts school robe ($109.95), a Chocolate Frog ($10), and enjoy my purchases while drinking a frozen Butterbeer ($5) at the Leaky Cauldron ($12-$16). But as you can see, that would add up when you already pay $108 (tax included) for a one-park ticket entrance at Universal. An annual pass would be worth while for those die-hard fans who live in Florida. So I settled for treating myself on one of my visits (while trying to be cheap), to a Hogwarts pin ($8), Butterbeer, and Chocolate Frog. It doesn’t have to be an expensive trip and for die-hard fans like me, entering the world of Harry Potter was blissful enough.

*This review was not endorsed by Universal and the opinions are of my own.
**Photos were taken by me.

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Ultimate Movie Bucket List

As someone who claims to love watching movies, there are a lot of ones I haven’t seen that are classics or just popular that I missed.

I did a lot of research (and asking around) for movies that everyone should see and I compiled a list to be done at my leisure. If you find yourself nodding, thinking, “She hasn’t seen that?” then I did a good job! My goal is to be able to scroll through top movie lists and be able to say I have seen at least 99% of them. So, if you have thought of a movie you didn’t see on here, please comment and let me know! Chances are I have seen it already but haven’t written a review for it. I always enjoy adding some bonus movies.

*Movies watched will either be in bold or include a link to my review, which opens in a new tab.

Movies watched as of Aug. 8, 2016: 18/100

007: Dr. No
007: From Russia With Love
007: Goldfinger
007: GoldenEye
2001: A Space Odyssey
A Beautiful Mind
American Psycho
Armageddon
Back to the Future
Batman (’89)
Being John Malkovich
Big
The Big Lebowski
The Birds
Blazing Saddles
The Bourne Identity
The Bourne Supremacy
The Bourne Ultimatum
Braveheart
Cleopatra
Cool Hand Luke
Dead Poet’s Society
The Departed
Die Hard
Dirty Dancing

Donnie Darko
The Elephant Man
The Evil Dead
The Fast and the Furious
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
Four Weddings and a Funeral
Full Metal Jacket
Ghostbusters
Gladiator
The Godfather
GoodFellas
Groundhog Day
Halloween
Hannibal
Highlander
Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
Insomnia
It’s A Wonderful Life
The Jerk
Kill Bill: Vol 1
Kill Bill: Vol 2
The King and I

Labyrinth
Legally Blonde
Léon: The Professional
Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels
Lost in Translation
The Machinist
Mission: Impossible
Mona Lisa Smile
Nanny McPhee
Never Been Kissed
Nightmare on Elm Street
Nosferatu
The Omen (’76)
The Pianist
Planet of the Apes (60s version)
Platoon
The Point
Pretty Woman
Psycho
Pulp Fiction
The Quiet Man
Rain Man
Rebel Without a Cause
Red Dragon
Remember the Titans

Rent
Requiem for a Dream
Reservoir Dogs
Rocky
Roman Holiday
Rudolph the Rednosed Reindeer
Rumpelstiltskin (’87)
Scarface
Schindler’s List
Scream
Se7en
The Shawshank Redemption
Sin City
Sixteen Candles
Spirited Away
Stargate
Steel Magnolias
Sunshine
The Ten Commandments
The Terminator
The Thing
There Will Be Blood
Warriors
Wet Hot American Summer
Zodiac

Bonus round! At the suggestion of fellow bloggers:
Cape Fear
Mystic River
Seven Samurai
Singin’ in the Rain

Ultimate summer movie list part one (May-June 2015)

All you need to know about what movies are coming out this summer from May through June. This list includes all kinds of movies from blockbuster hits, horror, British period-pieces, comedies, and movies that look like they’ll sink on opening weekends. Click on the link to see the trailer!

Avengers: Age of Ultron (out now)
The Avengers are back! When Tony Stark’s peacekeeping machine changes its mind toward doom and destruction, America calls on the superheroes to save them again.
Why you should watch it: The first movie was awesome; it contained humor and drama, and we saw a lot of good character interaction from these superheroes. This sequel looks darker and intense. It’ll be interesting to see how the Avengers interact with each other a few years after battling Loki in New York.

Far From the Madding Crowd (out now)
A young woman in Victorian England captures the hearts of three suitors; a farmer, sergeant, and rich bachelor are all beguiled by her headstrong nature. Will she choose any of the three?
Why you should watch it: Carey Mulligan is the star and as a versatile actress has showed off how well she can act. This movie is a period piece (one of my favorite genres!) and a classic love story by Tom Hardy. Far From the Maddening Crowd is a true love story that takes a deep look at human nature and passion.

Mad Max: Fury Road (May 15)
Max is a captive who frees himself from becoming enslaved and partners with a woman to safety while followed by a gang of loons. In a post-apocalyptic world, every day is followed by a fight to the death.
Why you should watch it: Mad Max looks like an intense action movie with fast cars designed to kill with weaponry attached and crazy people driving them. Based on the trailer, it looks like the type of movie made for the big screen and won’t be as impressive watching on DVD at home.

Pitch Perfect 2 (May 15)
After proving that girl a capella groups are cool in the first movie, the Barden Bellas have gained enough popularity to perform at the Lincoln Center. But when an embarrassing moment degrades their cool status, they enter an international singing competition that hasn’t been won by an American group before to show everyone what they’re made of.
Why you should watch it: The first movie was surprisingly great with bits of humor sprinkled throughout for all viewers (guys and girls) to laugh at. This sequel has high expectations to be just as enjoyable a movie as the first. With international a capella groups fighting to win a singing competition, it will be fun to see what countries are represented.

Slow West (May 15)
A young Scottish man emigrates to America to find his true love. He meets a sharp-shooting traveler along the way who protects him on his journey west. Bounty hunters follow behind as they look for a man and woman worth $2000.
Why you should watch it: It’s a wild west movie in the 1800s starring Michael Fassbender. The Western film genre is not often portrayed and in the past few years have ranged from an unsuccessful Disney attempt (The Lone Ranger) to satire (A Million Ways to Die in the West). Yet Slow West has the potential to rise above and be entertaining.

Poltergeist (May 22)
A family moves into a new home but discovers that it’s full of evil spirits. Their youngest daughter is kidnapped without explanation and the parents must find a way to get her back while fighting these forces in their home.
Why you should watch it: It looks terrifying. I haven’t seen the original Poltergeist but as a remake in 2015 it’s bound to be good with our advanced technology. The graphics alone look shockingly real based on the trailer.

Tomorrowland (May 22)
A teenager finds that she is transported into another world when she picks up a pin. She traces the pin to an inventor and the two embark on a mission to save their reality from an alternate universe.
Why you should watch it: Tomorrowland doesn’t look like your average Disney movie made primarily for kids. It’s a sci-fi thriller that could be fun to watch for all audiences.

San Andreas (May 29)
A massive earthquake in California causes destruction up and down the coast, sinking California into the earth. A rescue-chopper pilot fights his way across the state to find his daughter before it’s too late.
Why you should watch it: It’s another doom and gloom destruction movie but looks like it’ll be entertaining. Plus there’s an added anxiety that East coasters will feel the next shock and maybe cause some destruction there!

Insidious: Chapter 3 (June 5)
Taking us back to a time before the Lambert family needs help, medium Elise Rainier tries to help a teenage girl trapped in the “other world”. A spirit has latched on to the girl’s soul and won’t let go.
Why you should watch it: It looks pretty scary and after two already great Insidious movies, the third should be promising. While it looks like the budget was increased to make the movie, I’m hoping it won’t disappoint by trying too hard to be a scary movie.

Jurassic World (June 12)
Jurassic Park is back in business with a new, genetically-altered dinosaur to attract more visitors. The park is bigger and badder than last time but people still keep coming back.
Why you should watch it: It looks overdone but it’s got to be entertaining. Who doesn’t love holding their breath in their seats to hide from dinosaurs? Plus watching these dinosaurs on screen can be awing since they’re no longer here to walk the earth and bother us.

Inside Out (June 19)
Introducing the emotions joy, anger, sadness, fear, and disgust, as they fight for the control of a young girl’s mind when she moves into a new home. When Joy and Sadness get lost in her memory bank, the other emotions try to keep a normal routine without causing too much mayhem.
Why you should watch it: Pixar has made what looks to be a heart-warming story of how sometimes emotions can get the best of us. It’s a cute movie personifying emotions and how they can make us feel over certain events in our lives.

Ted 2 (June 26)
Ted wants to get married, have kids, and live as close to normal of a life he can manage. Getting married? Easy, but when the state doesn’t recognize you as a human being to have children, Ted fights the law to be seen as “human”.
Why you should watch it: It looks entertaining and among the raunchy humor, has a meaningful moment trying to legalize a teddy bear as human so he can be treated equally.

The 2015 Oscar Winners

Neil Patrick Harris was this year’s host for the Academy Awards. As his first year hosting, he played it pretty mild, trying not to offend anyone with vulgar jokes we sometimes hear at less classy awards (Golden Globes, MTV movie awards). He may have been the first host to appear on stage almost naked, showing up at one moment in underwear.

Musical guests included Maroon 5 for the movie Begin Again’s song “Lost Stars”.
Teagan and Sarah, accompanied by the Lonely Boys did a rendition of the LEGO movies, “Everything is Awesome”.
Tim McGraw for “I’m Not Going to Miss You”.
Rita Ora (?) for “Grateful”.
John Legend for “Glory”.
Lady Gaga for “Sound of Music”.

The winners are in bold, while my predictions are in italics.

Best Picture
American Sniper
The Imitation Game
Birdman
Selma
Boyhood
The Theory of Everything
Whiplash
The Grand Budapest Hotel

Actor in a Leading Role
Steve Carell- Foxcatcher
Michael Keaton- Birdman
Bradley Cooper- American Sniper
Eddie Redmayne- The Theory of Everything
Benedict Cumberbatch- The Imitation Game

Actress in a Leading Role
Marion Cottilard- Two Days, One Night
Rosamund Pike- Gone Girl
Felicity Jones- The Theory of Everything
Reese Witherspoon- Wild
Julianne Moore- Still Alice

Actor in a Supporting Role
Robert Duvall- The Judge
Mark Ruffalo- Foxcatcher
Ethan Hawke- Boyhood
J.K. Simmons- Whiplash
Edward Norton- Birdman

Actress in a Supporting Role
Patricia Arquette- Boyhood
Emma Stone- Birdman
Laura Dern- Wild
Meryl Streep- Into the Woods
Keira Knightley- The Imitation Game

Animated Feature Film
Big Hero 6
Song of the Sea
The Box Trolls
The Tale of the Princess of Kaguya
How to Train Your Dragon 2

Cinematography
Birdman
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Ida
Mr. Turner
Unbroken

Costume Design
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Inherent Vice
Into the Woods
Maleficent
Mr. Turner

Directing
Birdman
Boyhood
Foxcatcher
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game

Documentary Feature
Citizen Four
Finding Vivian Maier
Last Days in Vietnam
The Salt of the Earth
Virunga

Documentary Short Subject
Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1
Joanna
Our Curse
The Reaper
White Earth

Film Editing
American Sniper
Boyhood
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
Whiplash

Foreign Language Film
Ida
Leviathan
Tangerines
Timbukta
Wild Tales

Makeup and Hairstyling
Foxcatcher
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Guardians of the Galaxy

Music- original score
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
Interstellar
Mr. Turner
The Theory of Everything

Music- original song
“Everything is Awesome”- the LEGO movie
“Glory”- Selma
“Grateful”- Beyond the Lights
“I’m Not Gonna Miss You”- Glen Campbell… I’ll Be Me
“Lost Stars”- Begin Again

Production Design
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
Interstellar
Into the Woods
Mr. Turner

Short Film- animated
The Bigger Picture
The Dam Keeper
Feast
Me and My Moulton
A Single Life

Short Film- live action
Aya
Boogaloo and Graham
Butter Lamp
Parvaneh
The Phone Call

Sound Editing
American Sniper
Birdman
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
Interstellar
Unbroken

Sound Mixing
American Sniper
Birdman
Interstellar
Unbroken
Whiplash

Visual Effects
Captain America: the Winter Soldier
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Guardians of the Galaxy
Interstellar
X-Men: Days of Future Past

Writing: adapted screenplay
American Sniper
The Imitation Game
Inherent Vice
The Theory of Everything
Whiplash

Writing: original screenplay
Birdman
Boyhood
Foxcatcher
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Nightcrawler

Brittany’s favorite movies to watch this holiday season

While it doesn’t mean they are Christmas movies, I’ve always felt myself drawn to pulling these DVDs out as soon as Thanksgiving ends and December begins. It’s so nice to sit on the couch, wrapped in a blanket, and hot chocolate at your side with one of these movies on. With the holiday decorations up, it adds to the atmosphere of enjoying a good movie with friends or family.

Below is my list of absolutely must-watches this holiday season!

 

Bridget Jones’s Diary
A hilarious British rom-com involving a 30-something-year-old. Bridget is trying to kick her dirty vices of smoking and drinking for the New Year. Meanwhile, she gets wrapped up in an office romance that turns sour. On the side, an old acquaintance is eyeing her but their awkward encounters leave them clueless as to how they really feel for each other. Two of the biggest appeals for this movie: Hugh Grant and Colin Firth. Also, who doesn’t want to see these two ruffle and tussle in the snow in a fight over Bridget? Would recommend spiking your hot chocolate with Bailey’s to go along enjoying this movie!

Bridget Jones

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
In the very first of a series following Harry Potter’s adventures, the Sorcerer’s Stone is a great holiday movie because it introduces us to the magic of Harry’s new world. Young Harry is so innocent to magic and what he can do. Everyone loves him, we discover Hogwarts for the first time, and we can watch as his friendships blossom after fighting a troll and saving the sorcerer’s stone from an evil dark wizard! My favorite scenery is when the castle is alight with snow and Harry, wrapped up in a Gryffindor scarf, is out with his owl, Hedwig.

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Elf
No Christmas holiday is complete without seeing Elf! In this cute family-friendly movie, Buddy the Elf travels to New York to find his real father. Seeing Buddy adjust to our world with his extremely positive attitude is so fun. He has an awkward encounter with a department store Santa, brings the Christmas spirit to those around him, and shows us a new way to eat spaghetti (maple syrup anyone?). It’s a fun movie for everyone!

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Love Actually
For those of a suitable age, Love Actually is the first and last movie I have to see this holiday season. Come December 1st and December 25, I will be popping this movie in my DVD player to enjoy! What isn’t there to love about love? We get glimpses of love in the form of friendships and romance, not all of which are successful but it does have a heartwarming ending. There’s humor spread throughout and it feels like getting a hug from your favorite actors. Hugh Grant, Colin Firth, Keira Knightley, Andrew Lincoln, Rowan Atkinson, Bill Nighy, Alan Rickman, Emma Thompson, and so much more make this wonderful ensemble!

Love-Actually-love-actually-17754567-500-282

 

Picture sources:

http://harrypotter-pix.blogspot.com/2008/12/chrismas-in-poudlard.html
http://imgfave.com/collection/254878/funny
http://www.filmdiliveedebiyati.com/2014/10/gunun-film-tavsiyesi-love-actually.html

86th Academy Award Winners

The 2014 list of Oscar winners

Best Picture:
American Hustle
Nebraska
Captain Phillips
Philomena
Dallas Buyers Club
12 Years a Slave
Her
Gravity
The Wolf of Wallstreet

Actor- in a leading role:
Christian Bale, American Hustle
Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave
Bruce Dern, Nebraska
Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wallstreet

Actress- in a leading role:
Amy Adams, American Hustle
Judi Dench, Philomena
Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
Meryl Streep, August: Osage County
Sandra Bullock, Gravity

Actor- in a supporting role:
Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips
Jonah Hill, The Wolf of Wallstreet
Bradley Cooper, American Hustle
Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club
Michael Fassbender, 12 Years a Slave

Actress- in a supporting role:
Sally Hawkins, Blue Jasmine
Julia Roberts, August: Osage County
Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle
June Squibb, Nebraska
Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave

Animated Feature Film:
The Croods
Frozen
Despicable Me 2
The Wind Rises
Ernest & Celestine

Cinematography:
The Grandmaster, Philippe Le Sourd
Gravity, Emmanuel Lubezki
Inside Llewyn Davis, Bruno Delbonnel
Nebraska, Phedon Papamichael
Prisoners, Roger A. Deakins

Costume Design:
American Hustle, Michael Wilkinson
The Grandmaster, William Chang Suk Ping
The Great Gatsby, Catherine Martin
The Invisible Woman, Michael O’Connor
12 Years a Slave, Patricia Norris

Directing:
American Hustle, David O. Russell
Gravity, Alfonso Cuarón
Nebraska, Alexander Payne
12 Years a Slave, Steve McQueen
The Wolf of Wallstreet, Martin Scorsese

Documentary Feature:
The Act of Killing, Joshua Oppenheimer and Signe Byrge Sørensen
Cutie and the Boxer, Zachary Heinzerling and Lydia Dean Pilcher
Dirty Wars, Richard Rowley and Jeremy Scahill
The Square, Jehane Noujaim and Karim Amer
20 Feet of Stardom

Documentary- Short Subject:
Cave Digger, Jeffrey Karoff
Facing Fear, Jason Cohen
Karama Has No Walls, Sara Ishaq
The Lady in Number 6: my Life, Malcolm Clarke and Nicholas Music Saved Reed
Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall, Edgar Barens

Film Editing:
American Hustle, Jay Cassidy, Crispin Struthers and Alan Baumgarten
Captain Phillips, Christopher Rouse
Dallas Buyers Club, John Mac McMurphy and Martin Pensa
Gravity, Alfonso Cuarón and Mark Sanger
12 Years a Slave, Joe Walker

Foreign Language Film:
The Broken Circle Breakdown, Belgium
The Great Beauty, Italy
The Hunt, Denmark
The Missing Picture, Cambodia
Omar, Palestine

Makeup and Hairstyling:
Dallas Buyers Club, Adruitha Lee and Robin Mathews
Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa, Stephen Prouty
The Lone Ranger, Joel Harlow and Gloria Pasqua-Casny

Music- original score:
The Book Thief, John Williams
Gravity, Steven Price
Her, William Butler and Owen Pallett
Philomena, Alexandre Desplat
Saving Mr. Banks, Thomas Newman

Music- original song:
“Alone Yet Not Alone” from Alone Yet Not Alone, Music by Bruce Broughton; Lyric by Dennis Spiegel
“Happy” from Despicable Me 2, Music and Lyric by Pharrell Williams
“Let it Go” from Frozen, Music and Lyric by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez
“The Moon Song” from Her, Music by Karen O; Lyric by Karen O and Spike Jonze
“Ordinary Love” from Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, Music by Paul Hewson, Dave Evans, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen; Lyric by Paul Hewson

Production Design:
American Hustle, Judy Becker (Production Design); Heather Loeffler (Set Decoration)
Gravity, Andy Nicholson (Production Design); Rosie Goodwin and Joanne Woollard (Set Decoration)
The Great Gatsby, Catherine Martin (Production Design); Beverley Dunn (Set Decoration)
Her, K.K. Barrett (Production Design); Gene Serdena (Set Decoration)
12 Years a Slave, Adam Stockhausen (Production Design); Alice Baker (Set Decoration)

Short Film- animated:
Feral, Daniel Sousa and Dan Golden
Get a Horse!, Lauren MacMullan and Dorothy McKim
Mr. Hublot, Laurent Witz and Alexandre Espigares
Possessions, Shuhei Morita
Room on the Broom, Max Lang and Jan Lachauer

Short Film- live action:
Aquel No Era Yo (That Wasn’t Me), Esteban Crespo
Avant Que De Tout Perdre (Just Before Losing Everything), Xavier Legrand and Alexandre Gavras
Helium, Anders Walter and Kim Magnusson
Pitääkö Mun Kaikki Hoitaa? (Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?), Selma Vilhunen and Kirsikka Saari
The Voorman Problem, Mark Gill and Baldwin Li

Sound Editing:
All Is Lost, Steve Boeddeker and Richard Hymns
Captain Phillips, Oliver Tarney
Gravity, Glenn Freemantle
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Brent Burge
Lone Survivor, Wylie Stateman

Sound Mixing:
Captain Phillips, Chris Burdon, Mark Taylor, Mike Prestwood Smith and Chris Munro
Gravity, Skip Lievsay, Niv Adiri, Christopher Benstead and Chris Munro
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Christopher Boyes, Michael Hedges, Michael Semanick and Tony Johnson
Inside Llewyn Davis, Skip Lievsay, Greg Orloff and Peter F. Kurland
Lone Survivor, Andy Koyama, Beau Borders and David Brownlow

Visual Effects:
Gravity, Tim Webber, Chris Lawrence, Dave Shirk and Neil Corbould
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton and Eric Reynolds
Iron Man 3, Christopher Townsend, Guy Williams, Erik Nash and Dan Sudick
The Lone Ranger, Tim Alexander, Gary Brozenich, Edson Williams and John Frazier
Star Trek Into Darkness, Roger Guyett, Patrick Tubach, Ben Grossmann and Burt Dalton

Writing- adapted screenplay:
Before Midnight, Written by Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke
Captain Phillips, Screenplay by Billy Ray
Philomena, Screenplay by Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope
12 Years a Slave, Screenplay by John Ridley
The Wolf of Wall Street, Screenplay by Terence Winter

Writing- original screenplay:
American Hustle, Written by Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell
Blue Jasmine, Written by Woody Allen
Dallas Buyers Club, Written by Craig Borten & Melisa Wallack
Her, Written by Spike Jonze
Nebraska, Written by Bob Nelson

February Movie Releases

Here is a short list of the must-see movies of February 2014.

The Vampire Academy- Feb. 7

Based on the book series of the same name. In this fictional world, there are two types of vampires: the Moroi who are peaceful and mortal, and the Strigoi, bloodthirsty and immortal. Rose is a Dhampir, a half-human, half-vampire, and a guardian for the Moroi. She attends the hidden  vampire academy and is in training as a guardian. The academy is not as it seems and she must protect a royal vampire princess as they are hunted down by the Strigoi.

The LEGO movie- Feb. 7

This animated story follows an average citizen named Emmet. He is mistakenly identified as the one to save the LEGO world and is recruited to join a group of strangers to a stop an evil tyrant. Chris Pratt, Will Ferrell, Liam Neeson, Morgan Freeman, Elizabeth Banks, and more famous celebrities voice the characters.

The Monuments Men- Feb. 7

Based on a true story from World War II, the Monuments Men are a group of museum directors, curators, and art historians. Their task of going to Germany to rescue artistic masterpieces the Nazis stole. The goal is to return the works of art to their rightful owner. The problem? They must go behind enemy lines and collect the pieces before the Nazis can destroy them as the Reich falls. They must risk their lives to save works from 1000 years of culture.

(It was supposed to be released in December, but got bumped to February.)

Robocop- Feb. 12

Fast forward to the year 2028, where a multinational conglomerate called OmniCorp is leading the world in robot technology. Their drones are used overseas for military purpose and they’d like to use them at home, despite not being a popular decision. When a good cop gets seriously injured in Detroit, the company sees an opportunity to create the first part-human, part-robot, police officer. OmniCorp has plans to use a robocop in every city but what they don’t count on is the fact that robocop is still part-man, seeking justice.

Endless Love- Feb. 14

An upper class good girl falls for the charming valet. As her relationship with the boy develops, her parents don’t like the change becoming of their daughter. They dig into the boy’s past and what they find might keep the couple apart forever.

Winter’s Tale- Feb. 14

Peter Lake is an immortal thief. He’s chased through time by a gangster by the name of Pearly Soames. Peter is saved when he breaks into the house of a dying girl. They fall in love but it cannot last. Even as he lives to the present day he is somehow reconnected to the woman he loved.

Pompeii- Feb. 21

In a race against time, a slave turned gladiator, must find the love of his life before Mount Vesuvius erupts. She is unwillingly betrothed to a corrupt Roman senator and he has to fight his way out of the arena to get to her.

The Son of God Feb. 28

The Bible which was released on the History channel earlier last year, is re-releasing the story of Jesus Christ just in time before the religious event of Lent.