Thursday, February 26, 2009

Trailers: I Love You, Man (2009)

Not sure why I haven't put this up yet. But, I'm excited.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Video: Pineapple Express sketch from The Oscars

Video: Academy Award's 2009 Movie Preview

In case you missed it.

Music is Beck covering Bob Dylan's Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat

Rant: Awards Season

When Kate Winslet accepted her award for Best Actress on February 22, she didn't look thrilled or particularly surprised. (Her speech was still on the cringe-worthy side). When she won the Golden Globe for her role in The Reader, she DID seem taken aback and genuinely shocked. Before that time, she had a very long losing streak. So, she broke it, but at the Golden Globes. And, as everybody knows, no one ever mentions Golden Globe nominations not won when talking about an actor or actress. Kate Winslet won the SAG, The Golden Globe, The BAFTA, Several critics awards, and now an Oscar.

But by the time we get to the climax of Awards season, I'm pretty sure everyone is burned out on getting dressed up, going to sit in an uncomfortable theater for 3 hours and watch montages and listen to actors and actresses deliver painfully awkward speeches. And Kate Winslet didn't seem to revel in her glory of finally winning an oscar after going 0-5. In fact, she seemed to accept it pretty easily, and for someone who's wanted her to win for a long long time, it wasn't that exciting.

At the Golden Globes, nobody had an idea about who might walk away with the Best Drama award, as it was still pretty up in the air at that time. When Slumdog did, and then it won a slew of others, there was absolutely no surprise or excitement on Oscar Night. People only want oscars and stupid award season is ruining it.

So why the ceremonies? Why the Golden Globes? Let Television have the Emmys. Film can have the Oscars and the Spirit Awards, and the rest can go away and celebrities can get their awards mailed to them.

But, if they're going to keep doing all these award shows, I might as well watch them.

2009 Oscar Winners

Slumdog Millionaire (2008): Christian Colson
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008): Ceán Chaffin, Kathleen Kennedy, Frank Marshall
Frost/Nixon (2008): Brian Grazer, Ron Howard, Eric Fellner
Milk (2008/I): Bruce Cohen, Dan Jinks
The Reader (2008): Anthony Minghella, Sydney Pollack, Donna Gigliotti, Redmond Morris

A few thoughts:
-Yay, Sean Penn
-Yay best original screenplay, Dustin Lance Black
-Boo Jai Ho
-Yay Man on Wire

The Ceremony:
I watched it with my sister, and before it started we were really thrilled with the prospect of Javier Bardem presenting the Best Supporting Actress oscar to Penelope Cruz (they ARE still dating, right??) but then STUPID thing with the winners past probably added a good half hour to the show. I hope they never do it again.

Too many musical numbers. I know, Hugh Jackman is a hollywood actor who has been in broadway musicals and he hosted the Tony's that one year. But really, it's embarrassing. I'm embarrassed for the Oscars.

The Judd Apatow directed/Seth Rogen written Pineapple Express parody was the most inspired moment of the night.

I liked the set. And the theme was interesting. Other than that, I didn't care much else what happened. It was a night of very minimal surprises... Except the only category anybody cared about: Best Actor.

See the full list of winners HERE.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Trailers: Inglourious Basterds (2009)

Hey, don't watch this, because Ingourious Basterds is in glorious HD over at Apple. So, go there.

Can't wait.

2009 Spirit Award Winners

The Wrestler (2008): Darren Aronofsky, Scott Franklin
Ballast (2008): Lance Hammer, Nina Parikh
Frozen River (2008): Chip Hourihan, Heather Rae
Rachel Getting Married (2008): Neda Armian, Jonathan Demme, Marc E. Platt
Wendy and Lucy (2008): Larry Fessenden, Neil Kopp, Anish Savjani

Man, I can't believe I missed Steve Coogan hosting.


Saturday, February 21, 2009

Trailers: Funny People (2009)

There's gonna be a twist in there somewhere... I just know it. That can't have possibly shown that much information in the trailer.
But anyway, this looks great. Some new blood (Jason Schwartzmann?? Eric Bana), and some very old blood (Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, Leslie Mann). And Adam Sandler. Yay.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Entertainment Weekly posts the stupidest list ever

EW has recently posted their list of the "25 Greatest Active Filmmakers". The results may shock and anger you:
1. Steven Spielberg
2. Peter Jackson
3. Martin Scorsese
4. Christopher Nolan
5. Steven Soderbergh
6. Ridley Scott
7. Quentin Tarantino
8. Michael Mann
9. James Cameron
10. Joel and Ethan Coen
11. Guillermo del Toro
12. David Fincher
13. Tim Burton
14. Judd Apatow
15. Sam Raimi
16. Zack Snyder
17. Darren Aronofsky
18. Danny Boyle
19. Clint Eastwood
20. Ron Howard
21. Ang Lee
22. Paul Thomas Anderson
23. Paul Greengrass
24. Pedro Almodóvar
25. Jon Favreau

From /film:
I could write a blog post on the placement on some of these named alone (Peter Jackson above Martin Scorsese? Zack Snyder over Paul Thomas Anderson and Clint Eastwood?) but I thought I’d take this space to complain about some of the filmmakers not included on the list. Like what about Woody Allen? Surely he is greater active director than Pedro Almodóvar, right? Where is Wes Anderson? Spike Lee? The lack of aniamtion directors is crazy. What about Hayao Miyazaki, John Lasseter or Brad Bird?

Hear, hear

Review: The Class (2008)

This film is a BIG DEAL. It won the Palm D'Or at Cannes. That means it's a big deal. It's also been nominated for an Academy Award. So, yeah, it's a big deal.

But, I don't really see it. The Class is essentially a documentary, based on one man's (François Bégaudeau, who also wrote it and starred in) experiences as a teacher of troubles students in a French suburb. It starts out strong. It's candide and very real. We see his interactions with his fellow instructors, and his students. But, the scenes drag on for way too long, and there's nothing of real substance happening. The film is too long at 2:08, as I couldn't help but notice when I systematically checked my watch every 10 minutes.

Yes, it's very natural and real. Yes, it IS watchable and at times, enjoyable. It's not a typical inspirational-teacher-enlightens-troubled-students film, as nearly none of the students have made any sort of progress by the end of the year. But, I've been there, I've seen that. I went to public school. I had to live with this stuff everyday. Still, the film is well made and the acting is very good. But, it won't win the Oscar.

Recommended? If you must...

Grade: B-

Posters: Inglourious Basterds (2009)

Well holy crap. This is pretty awesome.

Go to EMPIRE to see two other shades of awesome.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Review: Coraline (2009)

Coraline is a movie with a lot of personality. Adapted from Neil Gaiman, the legendary fantasy writer with an attitude, it's witty, pretty, and totally adventurous.

It has an absolute masterful use of stop-motion animation, which is still not widely used in modern cinema. But, that's okay, becuase it makes this film even more unique. In fact, I don't think it could've worked any other way. Director Henry Selick (Nightmare Before Christmas, obviously), you can tell, had so much fun putting this piece together, and it's fun for the audience too.

Coraline is a lonely girl in a new, creepy house, with apathetic parents and dreary neighbors. But then she finds a portal to an alternate reality where her "other parents" dote on her like a princess. She gets swept up until she finds out her other mother is actually evil and plans to steal her away and essentially make her a slave child. Is it all a dream or not? That part is pretty ambiguous, but a child's imagination is more fun than what we normally have to deal with in average day-to-day life.

I think this movie was charming and whimsical. It wasn't too cutesy or glamorous. It had a very distinct air like that of Lemony Snicket. It's mischievous and fun. Really, truly, a terrific film.

Recommended? Yes. For everyone.

Grade: A

Review: Confessions of a Shopaholic (2009)

What, you didn't expect me to put all my eggs in one basket with He's Just Not That Into You, did you? That's right, I saw TWO chick flicks today for the price of one. The awesome thing about being a girl is that no matter how refined your taste in movies is, you can still feel no guilt by being completely enamored by a chick. fa-lick.

SO! Omg, this movie made my day. This movie makes me feel the way Rebecca Bloomwood (Isla Fischer) much feel when she shops. I love this movie because it definitely DOES NOT take itself seriously at all. It's ridiculous but also so FLUFFY and CUTE and ENERGETIC. And everytime Hugh Dancy is on screen I want to die. Men don't get cuter than him. OMG! And he and Isla Fischer have the BEST chemistry of ANY on-screen couple of the last 100 years, for sure.

It's also PG, which is awesome, because younger girls can like it too, and probably grow up more superficial because of movies like it. But, I'm 20, so I'm smarter than that! So, good for me! I've heard things like "Feel good movie" in regards to this film, and it's totally true. I felt so good coming out of it, all bouncy and smiley. It made me feel like Hugh Dancy could fall in love with me, too!! I mean, he probably could, because he's totally dating Claire Danes right now, and people have always said I look like her. But chances are, I'm more interesting than her, so I have an even better chance of sweeping him off his feet. Claire Danes sucks.

But anyway, this has been, like, the best day ever. I'm totally never going to love a movie better than this. Totally.

Recommended? YEAH! You'll SO fall in love!!

Grade: A!!

Review: He's Just Not That Into You (2009)

This is a serious movie, so it shall be reviewed in a serious manner.

I really have had no interest in seeing this movie all the up until probably this morning. But, I heard some really decent things about it, and figured I may as well give it a try. So, I did. And I actually really liked it.

It's not purely a romantic comedy. It's got some uncomfortable drama as well. Not so much "omg he hasn't called me" as it is "omg my husband cheated on me." We're seeing a lot of different stages of relationships, and how they intertwine. As you can guess from that poster, this is a large cast of well-known actors. Actually one of the things that made me so unwilling to see it at first. It looks like someone's dream cast that they photoshopped together into a movie. But anyway. Yes, there are so many different types of people here. And, I feel, many people can relate to them. I think the characters interact with each other in very real ways. If maybe a bit exaggerated.. For dramatic effect, of course.

I'm usually not too interested in Jennifer Aniston, but her performance was sweet and sincere. A lot of women long to be married, and she's been with her guy (Ben Affleck) for 7 years, and still no ring. Yet, she plays it cool and never does the big freak out. When she finally comes out and says what's really in her heart, it's sad and honest. I could actually feel sympathy for (most of) these characters. I think there was an indecent amount of Drew Barrymore (read: not very much), and an unfortunate amount of Scarlett Johansson (read: too much). Her character was unstable and consisted mostly of making uncomfortable advances on a married man (Bradley Cooper, married to Jennifer Connelly). Whenever she got shafted by him, she went to her dopey and desperate backup (Kevin Connolly), who in the very beginning of the movie, we see on a date with Gigi (Played by Ginnifer Goodwin), who is so desperately into reading signs and overanalyzing everything. That is, until Alex (Justin Long), plays it straight with her and tells her what the guy REALLY means when he says what he says. Whew... Did I get everyone?

I do feel like this movie is maybe too sympathetic towards women. They are always winning in this. Is that just some overly compensated way of showing that not all women are dramatic and whiny and clingy? Well, I don't buy it. Listen, I wouldn't like the movie any less if a girl didn't get her way. Thumbs down on that.

I enjoyed this movie. It had heart and soul, it had some laughs, but also some stressful moments. Definitely worth my time. Yay!

Recommended? If you are a girl, yes. Yes indeed.

Grade: A-

Friday, February 06, 2009

Review: Wendy and Lucy (2008)

Wendy Carroll is a very unlucky lady. She's making the long slow trek from Indiana to Alaska by car to look for work. Think Into the Wild, with more sad and less happening. Wendy is Michelle Williams, and Lucy is her only friend, who is missing half the movie. She's stuck in Oregon with a broke down car, no food, minimal cash, and only a Walgreen's parking lot guard to lean on. It's a quiet character study with an ambiguous beginning and end. It's one of those hard-to-watch films that, when it's over, make me so glad it didn't really happen. It's a trim 80 minutes, which is good, because if it had gone on for any longer, I might've lost interest. Michelle Williams is the perfect Wendy. She shows anger and frustration at the right times, and when she's happy, it's subtle and genuine. We only see her for a few days in her long journey and are left with little closure. It's an interesting choice, but not unwelcome.

Recommended? Sure, what the hell

Grade: B-

Review: Waltz With Bashir (2008)

Innovative, haunting, tranquil, beautiful... Wow, that wasn't so hard.

Recommended? Yes

Grade: B+

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Video: Trifecta of funny

January was a slow month. Though I still do have a review to write. For now, here's some 'hump day' stuff. I lol'd at all three:

(I can't believe I've never seen this guy before. Hi-larious. Makes me want to see the movie)

The Techno remix of Christian Bale's recently unearthed outburst...

Happy Wednesday