Sunday, January 25, 2009

Got Milk?

I watched the SAG awards tonight because I just HAPPENED to be sitting in front of the TV whilst it was on TNT. So, I watched the whole 2 hour spectacle... And just a few thoughts:

-Kate Winslet, I love you, but if you're going to suck so bad at giving speeches, I hope you never win another award again. All the best actors are snubbed away!

-Not movies, but Tina Fey's acceptance speech was great. And Hugh Laurie winning for house? I didn't know anybody besides myself watched that show. But, Hugh Laurie is awesome.

-This "Trailblazers" montage=worst montage ever?

-Heath wins again, Gary Oldman accepts award on his behalf. Best decision ever! I needed a Gary Oldman fix. And he was nice and emotional. God bless the G.O.

-I decided clipping my toenails would be better than the 20 minutes segment for James Earl Jones winning the Lifetime Achievement Award

-Meryl Streep's acceptance speech=the reason I love Meryl Streep. Thank god Kate Winslet didn't win again.

-Sean Penn wins best actor. I still can't decide who I loved more--him or Mickey Rourke. I think it might be him. But it's tough. Anyway, his speech was ridiculous. What the hell was he talking about.

-Best "ensemble" goes to Slumdog. Bullshit. I realize that they won best picture at the GG's and they will win the Oscar, but they were NOT the best ensemble. If there was any award for Milk to be had, it would be this one. That ensemble? Fogeddaboutit.

This award show was better than the Golden Globes in that it delivered less disappointing results and better speeches. And it was an hour shorter. Though, there was a distinct lack of Darren Aronofsky's mustache in my night.

Shameless Plug: My other blog

Hey to my small band of readers, I just wanted add a little plug for my design blog, which I've finally started using.



Saturday, January 24, 2009

Video: Benjamin Button=Forrest Gump

I'm so sorry I didn't post this sooner. I just got around to watching it today.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Favorite Films of 2008

At long last, I have my list. It took a lot of deliberation, but I'm quite happy with it. It's actually 11 films, because of a technicality I couldn't get past. Anyway, this thing is really indulgent, try not to have an embolism just looking at it. Click for bigger view.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Oscar Nominations 2008

Best Motion Picture of the Year
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008): Ceán Chaffin, Kathleen Kennedy, Frank Marshall
Frost/Nixon (2008): Brian Grazer, Ron Howard, Eric Fellner
Milk (2008): Bruce Cohen, Dan Jinks
The Reader (2008): Nominees to be determined
Slumdog Millionaire (2008): Christian Colson


Well. Revolutionary Road didn't get nominated. That's good. But The Dark Knight ALSO didn't get nominated. That's bad. And The Reader? I mean, it was good, but not Oscar good.

However, I'm really glad to see Kate Winslet only get nominated for The Reader, and in the Best Actress category, because now if she wins, it'll be for the right film. Also, now I need to see Frozen River.

I'm glad to see Josh Brolin AND Robert Downey Jr. with Oscar noms. Totally well deserved. And Heath Ledger, bless him. I can only hope he wins. The Best Supporting Actor category this year rocks.

And hey, In Bruges got nominated for best original screenplay. Woo.

Best Song- No Bruce Springsteen? Okay....

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Review: Che (2008)

Ernesto Ché Guevara's legacy in America has been reduced teenaged boys wearing his face on overlarge t-shirt. I think this is because we don't know a lot about him. Most people know he was a revolutionary, but for what, it's not entirely clear.

I don't think many directors could pull off a feat like this. Soderberg compiles over a decade of details from Ché's life and uses different styles and techniques to illustrate them, but never getting over indulgent. On the contrary, I think he does it exactly right, and it's what makes Part I interesting and engaging. Part II is different because instead of jumping around from time to location, it stays on a slow and steady journey that's harder to get through, but still interesting. It's quiet and barren. For the scale of the film, it's a huge accomplishment. I would say there are very few, miniscule flaws. I can barely point them out. I think for anyone interested to know a bit more about him, they would do well to see this film.

Also, I thought it was bold to have it all in spanish, but it's what makes it that much more realistic and candid; and the amount of work put in by its lead actor (Benecio Del Toro) to learn Argentenian Spanish is completely worth praising. It's a true epic of a film.

Recommended? Most definitely.


Friday, January 16, 2009

Review: Bride Wars (2009)

It's only fitting that I would follow up The Wrestler with a gem like Bride Wars.

Uh, there's not a whole lot to say about this, because it is a romantic comedy with tweaked circumstances. Translation: It's exactly how you would expect it to be, but you already know what happens with the characters. Two best friends, who have dreamed of a June wedding at the Plaza Hotel in New York since they were girls, both get proposed to at the same time by their blandish boyfriends, and both have their dreams realized. Until, that is, a scheduling error occurs and they are forced to share their wedding day (which means they can't be each other's maids of honor. Drag). Sabotage ensues, and except for a few moments of clever self-awareness, it's all pretty lame.

Also, as someone who is unashamedly obsessed with weddings, I was expecting more of that kinda stuff, but I was extremely let down.

Recommended? Pass.

Grade: D

Trailers: Bronson (2009)

so cool

Download: Sundance 2009 Short Films FREE
(note: you must already have iTunes installed)

Acting for the Camera —An acting class. Today’s scene: the orgasm from ‘When Harry Met Sally.’

Countertransference —A comedy about an awkward woman with assertiveness problems who seeks the questionable help of a therapist.

HUG—Drew is a musician with a contract ready to sign. When Asa, his friend and manager, realizes Drew is off his meds the across-town drive to sign the contract becomes significantly more complicated.

Field Notes From Dimension X: Oasis —Captain Fred T. Rogard muses in isolation on planet Oasis.

From Burger It Came —An animated film that recounts early 1980s-era Cold War fears of a young boy in middle America. Using a variety of techniques, the visual narrative is colorfully assembled over semi-documentary audio conversations between a grown adult recounting his fears and his mother’s memory of the time and her own concerns.

I Live In The Woods —A Woodsman’s fast-paced journey, fueled by happiness, slaughter, and a confrontation with America’s God.

Instead of Abracadabra—Tomas is a little bit too old to still be living with his parents, but his dream of becoming a magician leaves him with no other option.

James—A young man grapples with the impulses and thoughts about being gay.

Magnetic Movie—Natural magnetic fields are revealed as chaotic ever-changing geometries, as scientists from NASA’s space sciences laboratory excitedly describe their discoveries.

This Way Up—Laying the dead to rest has never been so much trouble.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Video: 11 Commercials from Famous Directors

This is pretty cool. Check it out here.

Thoughts on the Golden Globes

Hm, I love Kate Winslet. She's a spectacularly talented actress. BUT... I didn't like her in Revolutionary Road. I feel like her win for that spoiled her win for The Reader, which she was actually great in.

Slumdog MIllionaire was the Globes darling (I shouldn't be surprised)... I really did like that movie, but I also really loved Milk, and that wasn't nominated for hardly anything, so, come Oscar time, I'm going to have a tough time with predictions. I'm thinking I should put my money down on Slumdog.

I was all about the awards for The Wrestler (Best Song, Best Actor in a Drama). Very well deserved. And for some reason seeing Darren Aronofsky with that mustache made me have a huge crush on him.

And there's Heath Ledger--but who thought he wasn't going to win, right?

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Review: The Wrestler (2008)

My general knowledge of Pro Wrestling comes from the flash, hollywood glamor I've seen on TV from a young age, with cocky and superficial "athletes" talking smack to one another. In Darren Aronofsky's latest film, there's some of the same flash, but none of the glamor, and none of the glory. In fact, this film is stripped of all pallor and modesty. It's the very brutal, honest look into a broken down man's life. It seems the only thing significant thing about him (Randy "The Ram", played by Micket Rourke) is that he's alive.

The film has the very real feel of a documentary, and the character is a real man who we want to help out, but can't. It's heartbreaking to watch him go through day-to-day life, through the mundane struggles of a man past his prime and devoid of glory. We see all that life has to offer outside the ring (his confused relationship with a stripper, played superbly by Marisa Tomei, and his damaged relationship with his daughter, played briefly by Evan Rachel Wood), but by the end, all that matters is what's inside the ring. Rourke completely transforms himself into Randy. Even when he's at his least sad, the years of hardship are still present on his face and in his movement; it's hard not to sting from that.

Aronofsky abandons his usual crispness for loose handheld work that works like magic. There is nothing pretty about any of it, yet somehow, it's absolutely beautiful. One of the year's best, hands down.

Recommended? Yes a hundred times

Grade: A

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Review: Gran Torino (2008)

Wow, I just do not know what to say about this movie.

Except that it totally ROCKED! I'll admit, the trailer is just awful. So, I was really not expecting a lot from this film. But boy was I entertained. Clint Eastwood seems to be playing a caricature of himself, with the perpetual crease between the eyebrows, and a low raspy grumble for a voice. He may be old, but he kicks ass. As far as actor of the year? I wouldn't go that far. Though this is said to be his final performance as thespian, and I think he deserves respect and recognition.

Recommended? Hell yeah!

Grade: B-

Monday, January 05, 2009

Review: The Reader (2008)

Oh, I don't want to review this.

Recommended? Not really.

Grade: B-


Thursday, January 01, 2009

Birthday Time: This Blog

So my little blog is 1 on this day. I started it to keep myself busy, and because last year I saw so many movies, but didn't have anywhere to archive my thoughts. I'm surprised I actually kept it going.

Sadly, since my little town of Minneapolis still hasn't released certain films released in 2008, I can't do my end of the year list.

Also for 2009 I'm going to do a new thing for reviewing stuff.

Year end total: 81