Monday, December 21, 2009

Almost At the End of 2009

It's almost Christmas, which means it's almost New Year's, which means everybody and their mom putting up end-of-year lists. Of course I can't miss out on that, so my annual lists for movies and music should be up soon, perhaps in a week or so. I'm still trying to get through some movies left on the must see list (located to the rightside of this blog) before I finalize the top 10.

One interesting little twist to the end of 2009 is that, since it's the end of the decade, the Internet is filling up with best-of-the-decade lists as well. I would love to get in on that. I really would. But the thought of it makes my brain hurt. I can't even remember what I liked in 2005, let alone the whole decade. So no decade list from me. Cue the smallest violin in the world.

Saw AVATAR over the weekend, in 3D, but not in IMAX. I was impressed with the visuals, I mean, it cost over $200 million (reportedly, the rumors say it's actually lot more than that) so it better be damn good to look at. The 3D was used well, not in a over-the-top-bullet-coming-straight-at-you sort of way, but in a more subtle fashion, giving the things on the screen more depth and dimension. The story is cliché and predictable. The characters aren't very interesting, especially the main guy, Jake Sully, who was very bland, but I think that may have been intentional. The movie has been described as DANCES WITH WOLVES in space, and it's kinda accurate. Diana said it's like FERNGULLY; I haven't seen it so I can't say I agree with her, but she's probably right. So when you take away the visuals and the 3D technology behind the movie, what's left? In my opinion, not much. I think in about 5 years when other filmmakers catch up on the technology and 3D becomes more widely used, AVATAR won't be remembered too fondly.




Mr. Cameron, please start hiring writers. I know you're a perfectionist and you like to be in control of everything (believe me, I can relate), but maybe you should think about getting some talented writers (they're out there, I think) to put all of your awesome ideas into something... less cliché, less predictable, less cringe-worthy ("I'm the king of the world", really?)... I mean I'm still trying to wrap my head around how Kyle Reese is John Connor's father (time travel plots do that to me, generally). You're a visual artist and your attention to detail is admirable, so please keep that going behind the director's chair, and let the writers do their job. Thank you.

Sincerely,

- jaded film geek wishing he had a fraction of your talent

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Movie Night #27


  • Synopsis: Thanks to his starring role on a hit TV show, Bolt the pooch has become a household name. But Bolt has bought into his own heroic image, now believing that he really possesses the super-canine powers of his fictional TV series. When he's accidentally shipped from Hollywood to New York City, he must rely on the help from his two newfound friends -- an abandoned cat named Mittens and a TV-addicted hamster named Rhino -- as he embarks on a cross-country quest to get back to his owner, Penny. (from Blockbuster.com)
  • Bolt? Really? It's actually really, really good. Surprisingly good. It's not as awesome as the next movie, but it's very entertaining.
  • Next movie? Read on.



  • Synopsis: Carl Fredricksen is a 78-year-old balloon salesman. His entire life, Carl has longed to wander the wilds of South America. Then, one day, the irascible senior citizen shocks his neighbors by tying thousands of balloons to his home and finally taking flight. But Carl isn't alone on his once-in-a-lifetime journey, because stowed away on his front porch is an excitable eight-year-old wilderness explorer named Russell. Later, as the house touches on the world's second largest continent, Carl and his unlikely traveling companion steps outside to discover that not only is their new front lawn considerably larger, but that the predators therein are much more ferocious than anything they ever faced back home. (from Blockbuster.com)
  • I see a pattern here. They're both animated, and they're both about characters going on a journey, both physical and emotional? No, they both have talking dogs.
  • When: 11/28, first movie starts at 7:00PM.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

You Teach Me and I'll Teach You

word of the day:

milque⋅toast

[milk-tohst]
–noun (sometimes initial capital letter)
a very timid, unassertive, spineless person, esp. one who is easily dominated or intimidated: a milquetoast who's afraid to ask for a raise.

You know how I know you're a milquetoast? You listen to Bright Eyes.

...

From last night:

Di: (while playing Bejeweled) "When you're playing Bejeweled... do you ever hear the Pokemon song in your head?"
Dan: "What?"
Di: "Forget it..."
Dan: "No, what did you say? Hear what?"
Di: "The Pokemon song."
Dan: "No... Do you?"
Di: "Yeah..."
Dan: "Why?!"
Di: "... Because I want to be the very best."

So she's been obsessed with Bejeweled on Facebook for several weeks now. I try to keep up, but she destroys me with a new high score on a regular basis. I'm not really into puzzle games, but there's something very addicting about this one. Maybe it's the 1 minute limit? Perhaps it's the excitement of getting a higher score than your friends? Whatever it is, it's working. As long as it stays free.

You know how I know you're a milquetoast? You listen to Bright Eyes while playing Bejeweled.



she just can't sustain the pressure where it's placed, she caves

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Raditude

I just witnessed --- nay, feasted my eyes on -- no, basked in the glory of cinematic abortion genius that is TORQUE, and I'm sort of speechless.

(10 minutes later)

So... I've finally regained all five senses and my brain seems to be functioning (if barely).

TORQUE could very well be the best worst movie ever made. It's an 84 minute music video directed by Michael Bay's retarded cousin, and edited by that guy's little brother who has ADD. It has two chicks fighting in the majestic martial arts style known as motorcycle-fu. Ice Cube has two facial expressions in the movie: scowl, and scowl harder. He's also the best actor in it. The movie is so over the top, it gives Jason Statham aneurysms.



I love it. And I hate it.

No words can do it justice. Witness it for yourself.



so make a move, 'cause I ain't got all night

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Sudden Crave For Ramen

Hmm... why does this song sound so familiar?



Wait a minute...



YOU RAPED MY CHILDHOOD, SNSD!

Quick, I need something to un-depress me!



Ahh, that's better.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

I'm Jack Bauer



How do they get away with this stuff? I love you Japan, but you had me at "hentai."

...

Diana and I bought Disneyland passes on a whim, with no planning whatsoever.* We've gone three times in three weeks, all on weekdays. It was packed EVERY SINGLE TIME. Don't you people have stuff to do? Like work? Or taking care of your kids?**

We still haven't been to California Adventure though.

...

It's absolutely hilarious that on the same day that Diana received a very significant raise in her salary, I lost my job. Granted, it was a long time coming and I wasn't surprised at all. They told me they would contact me if they had something available at a different location. Now I can fully concentrate on my studies.

Right after I beat Diana's score in Bejeweled.



*That's the way we seem to operate 95% of the time.
**Yes, I'm impervious to hypocrisy.



oh I'm so clever, I'm so clever, I'm so clever

Friday, October 16, 2009

Don't Mess With Demons

The strangest little thing happened tonight, right after we got home from watching PARANORMAL ACTIVITY (great movie, BTW).

While Diana was turning on the A/C and closing the windows (it gets hot up here on the 4th floor) in the living room, I went in to our bedroom -- turned on the lights, closed the patio door, then took off my glasses and laid it on top of the dresser. That's when I realized that my MP3 player was on. Its display screen was brightly lit, like it had just been turned on (the screen goes black after awhile to save battery life, even if the music is still playing). The thing is, it's pretty difficult to turn the player on and off. It doesn't use a button, it has this sliding thing on its side that you have to hold down for about 3 seconds to power it on or off. So there's almost no way it could've accidentally turned on by itself, even if something were to hit it.

I guess it doesn't sound too scary now that I've typed it out, but I gotta say, Diana FREAKED OUT when I told her, especially because we had just watched a movie about this sort of thing.

Now she's going to watch PETER PAN on DVD to clear up her head before she tries to fall asleep.

I think I'll join her.

Monday, October 12, 2009

"Rise from your grave!"

trag⋅e⋅dy [traj-i-dee] Show IPA
–noun, plural -dies.
1.a dramatic composition, often in verse, dealing with a serious or somber theme, typically that of a great person destined through a flaw of character or conflict with some overpowering force, as fate or society, to downfall or destruction.
2.the branch of the drama that is concerned with this form of composition.
3.the art and theory of writing and producing tragedies.
4.any literary composition, as a novel, dealing with a somber theme carried to a tragic conclusion.
5.the tragic element of drama, of literature generally, or of life.
6.what's happened to this blog, once a magnificent creature bursting with life, fun anecdotes about movies, music, and pop culture, now consisting of posts about movie nights and Youtube clips.




I've been meaning to resurrect this puppy for several months now, yet I had no work to show for it. Until now, bitches.



"Oh how clever. He complains about Youtube clips then immediately posts another one." You think that's clever? It's called "he's out of ideas."

Wait, where was I? I really need to get this ADD thing sorted out. If I would just remember to write this down or get it tattooed to remind my... OOH LOOK A KITTEH!



To quote Andy's future wife (sorry Sharon): "Oops I did it again."

I'm really getting sidetracked here. What the hell was I going to write about? Think, dammit. Stop getting high off dried mangoes (ZOMG DELISH) and think!

...

How can I ever write a screenplay when I can't even write a single coherent post on my pathetic blog?

...

My all-sugar diet isn't going so well. It's going straight to my medulla oblongata.

...

Okay, let's start nice and easy. Let's get updated on what's happened since my last significant and meaningful post. Baby steps.

(fell asleep going through old posts; I think I got to October of 2008 before my eyelids gave up)

Screw the old stuff, let's just talk about what's been happening lately.

marriage: Got tied to ball and chains back in August. Sorry, ladies. Actually, I think the guys were more upset. Pictures are up on Facebook because putting them on here is just redundant hard redundant.

job: My hours at HP (which were already low to begin with) got severely cut sometime in the summer due to number of reasons. Coincidentally, they all sound like "recession." I've been looking for another job, but in case you haven't heard - "recession." So I've decided to study and get myself certified by Microsoft (MCDST) so my resume would look a little less crappy.

school: Because the wedding was so close to the start of the fall semester, I missed the first week of school, and wasn't able to add the classes I wanted. So in bitter defeat, I've been playing WoW I've decided to study and get myself certified by Microsoft (MCDST) so my resume would look a little less crappy. Whoa, was that a glitch in the matrix?

church: Roy is leaving because ha hates us. Can't really blame him. Not everyone appreciates BATTLESTAR GALACTICA like he does. (except me) All joshing aside, I appreciate everything he's done for our EM and wish him luck in grad school and his future endeavors. I hope the new pastor isn't a cylon.

fantasy basketball: New season is about to begin pretty soon, and we just had our rookie/trash draft last night. I didn't pick up anyone I really wanted, and my team is still looking mildly horrendous. As long as I can beat David, I won't cry myself to sleep.

That'll do for now. I gotta keep my (two) readers wanting more. Let's hope my next real post isn't in 2010.



we move like swing sets

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Movie Night #26


  • Synopsis: As the Korean peninsula falls into the hands of Japanese imperialists and countless Koreans seek refuge in the vast wilderness of Manchuria, a determined thief, a coldblooded hitman, and a mysterious bounty hunter all vie for an elusive map that could lead them to buried treasure from the Qing Dynasty. (from fandango.com)
  • What happened to Movie Night #25? That was last month. What, were you not invited?
  • A Korean western? Really? I guess Americans should stop making martial arts flicks, then.*
  • When: 10/10, 8:30PM.


*They really should, actually. Did you know that there's a remake of THE KARATE KID in the works? And it's called KUNG FU KID, stars Jackie Chan in the Mr. Miyagi role (renamed Mr. Han) and Will Smith's little boy as the titular (lol) kid? Kill me now.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Movie Night #24


  • Synopsis: Shortly after his best friend, Dr. Andrew Bagby, was slain by jealous ex-girlfriend Shirley Turner, filmmaker Kurt Kuenne was shocked to learn that Turner was pregnant with Bagby's unborn child. Hoping to create a film that would serve as both a memorial to Bagby and an introduction to the father the boy would never know, Kuenne quickly began production on a film celebrating the life of his late friend. Traveling across the entire continental United States, Kuenne made it his personal mission to interview everyone who had ever known his best friend so their memories would be captured on camera before they faded. (from Blockbuster.com)
  • Is this a documentary? Well technically it is, but it's hard for me to call it that because it's basically a homemade movie and it wasn't intended for theatrical distribution. Furthermore, it doesn't have the most objective view as the filmmaker is the subject's best friend. Still, if I had to give it a genre, it would fall under documentary.
  • Sounds like it would be a sentimental weep-fest. You have no idea what you're talking about. This is one of the best documentaries I've ever seen. Don't miss it.




  • Synopsis: Set in 2027, when no child has been born for 18 years and science is at a loss to explain the reason, African and East European societies collapse and their dwindling populations migrate to England and other wealthy nations. In a climate of nationalistic violence, a London peace activist turned bureaucrat Theo Faron, joins forces with his revolutionary ex-wife Julian in order to save mankind by protecting a woman who has mysteriously become pregnant. (from imdb.com)
  • What, another movie? Since this the last movie night I'll be having for a while, I decided to show off one of my favorite movies in BLU-RAY. Plus, I couldn't end on a documentary. I mean, come on.
  • When: 7/25, first movie starts at 7:30PM.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Zombieland



It looks like the game LEFT4DEAD, done as a comedy. Looks funny, but can it top SHAUN OF THE DEAD?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

E3 2009: The Last Guardian



The third and final game from the Ico trilogy. It's going to be the best game ever.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

NBA Finals Game 3:
What happened to Kobe after the awesome 1st half? 5 out of 10 from the charity stripe? Missed jumpers down the stretch? Turning the ball over trying to break the double team, then fumbling the pass from Gasol? At least help the man up, Kobe. He's your teammmate for Pau's sake.

Still, I did want Orlando to win this game because I want a competitive series. I didn't want no boring sweep. They can't shoot that well every game... can they?

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Hurt Feelings



I got hurt feelings, I got hurt feelings
I’m not gonna wear a ladies’ wetsuit, I’m a man!
I got hurt feelings, I got hurt feelings
Get me a small man’s wetsuit, please




random thoughts:
  • Why do joggers feel the need to acknowledge each other with a nod or a wave as they pass by? Is it like a mutual respect thing? "Yo, you like to run too? So awesome. [nod]" Yesterday, a man gave me a thumbs-up as he ran by me on Bastanchury. That's a little overboard, no?
  • Done with school until August. Work maybe one week every month. So much free time. Yet the days go by so damn fast. I get nothing done. When will you begin?
  • The wedding's less than 3 months away. Stressed? Hardly. Nervous? Not really. Cold feet? Not yet.
  • Lakers over Magic in 6. Dwight will have couple of monster games. Will Jameer coming back make a difference? Sure, but not enough. Lamar better show up.
  • This year's E3 is looking great so far. Metal Gear on the 360? Final Fantasy XIV (that's 14) is announced before XIII (that's 13) is even released? The next masterpiece from Fumito Ueda? Uncharted 2 looking amazing? Good stuff.
  • CHILDREN OF MEN is out on Blu-ray. Need it.
  • "He's not your fairytale." Ouch.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Movie Night #23


  • Synopsis: Patrick Kenzie, a private investigator from working-class Boston takes on a case involving a kidnapped girl. The girl's aunt begs Patrick to take the case because he has connections to criminal Boston that the police do not. He agrees and along with his partner, Angie Gennaro, they uncover a web of corruption that threatens the relationship between the two. (from Blockbuster.com)
  • Sounds like a typical cop/detective movie. What's so special about it? Casey Affleck, for one. Ben's baby brother had a great year in 2007 when he had this movie, OCEAN'S 13, and THE ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES BY THE COWARD ROBERT FORD come out. (He was nominated for an Oscar for that last movie, but lost to Javier Bardem for NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN.) He's become one of my favorite actors recently, and he gives a great performance here.
  • Anything else? Yeah, how about Ben Affleck's direction? Who knew he could direct?! Frankly, and you'll probably agree with me, I'd rather see him do more directing than acting, if he can make more films as good as this one (his debut).
  • When: 5/16, 8:00PM

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Movie Night #22


  • Synopsis: A man being pursued by a murderer stumbles into a mysterious lab and accidentally travels back in time. A naked girl in the midst of the forest. A cloaked stranger with his face covered in bandages. A disquieting mansion on the top of a hill. All of them pieces of an unpredictable jigsaw puzzle where terror, drama and suspense will lead to an unthinkable sort of crime. Who's the murderer? Who's the victim? (from tributemovies.com)
  • Another horror movie? No, despite the poster with the masked man holding a pair of scissors, this movie isn't scary. Although it has characteristics of a thriller, it's more about the time travel aspects, more like a modern sci-fi story. Think BACK TO THE FUTURE, minus the comedy. (It does have some funny moments though.)
  • A naked girl? Awkward... OMG bewbs?! Grow up, a nipple sighting won't kill ya.
  • When: 5/2, 8:00PM

Monday, April 13, 2009

Movie Night #21


  • Synopsis: Down and out, with only straight-to-DVD titles under his belt and a recent job lost out to fellow has-been Steven Segal, the aging action star Jean-Claude Van Damme returns to Belgium a broken man fresh from losing a custody case for his daughter in Hollywood. Upon his arrival, the bad news continues with a disastrous ATM encounter that leads him into the bank and straight into a robbery situation, for which he's about to be blamed. Soon, crowds grow outside on the street, with the cops quick to point the finger at him and his fans cheering for his release. (from Blockbuster.com)
  • This can't be good. That's what I thought when I first heard about it. Sometime after, few clips of the movie were released online, which were surprisingly funny and piqued my interest. Then I read all the glowing reviews after its screenings at festivals and I knew I had to see it.
  • So, is it any good? It is. I liked it A LOT. It's funny, it's sad, it's well-crafted, and Van Damme shows that he can actually act! Who woulda thunk it? Seriously though, don't knock it 'till you've seen it.
  • When: 4/18, 7:00PM

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Movie Night #20


  • Synopsis: Accused of cheating and desperate to prove his innocence, an eighteen-year-old orphan from the slums of Mumbai reflects back on his tumultuous life while competing to win 20 million rupees on India's Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. (from Blockbuster.com) All for LOVE. (from Dan)
  • Is it as good as they say it is? No, it can't cure cancer. But it made the top of my 2008 list, so it's not too shabby.
  • When: 4/4, 7:00PM

Monday, March 09, 2009

Movie Night #19


  • Synopsis: Oskar is a young boy who can't seem to shake off the local bullies, but all of that begins to change when a new neighbor moves in next door. After striking up an innocent friendship with his eccentric next-door neighbor, Oskar realizes that she is the vampire responsible for the recent rash of deaths around town. Despite the danger, however, Oskar's friendship with the girl ultimately takes precedence over his fear of her. (from Blockbuster.com)
  • OMG, this looks so scary! I hate horror movies! I don't really consider this a horror film; although it is about a vampire and has elements of horror, it's more of a drama about childhood and friendship. And it's approximately 297 times better than TWILIGHT.
  • How can you say that when you haven't even seen it? You don't need to eat poop to know what it tastes like.
  • When: 3/14, 7:00PM

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Movie Night #18


  • Synopsis: The skies are darkening, and the outlook for planet Earth is grim. Though the encroaching darkness at first seems unstoppable, scientists have concocted one desperate last-ditch plan to buy the human race a temporary reprieve from the grim future that looms just past the horizon. A crew of eight men and women has been given a nuclear device designed to literally reignite the sun and sent hurdling through infinity on the most crucial space mission ever attempted. Suddenly, as the crew loses radio contact with mission control, everything begins to fall apart. Now, in the darkest reaches of the galaxy, the men and women who may hold the key to ultimate survival find themselves not only struggling for their lives, but their sanity as well. (from Blockbuster.com)
  • Is it on Blu-Ray? Yes. Yes it is.
  • When: This Saturday (2/28) at 7:00PM.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Favorite Movies of 2008

We're already two months into 2009?! At least I'm getting this list in before the Oscars. Cut the small talk, let's get this started.

10. FUNNY GAMES
written and directed by Michael Haneke


This is a shot-by-shot remake of the original, which was also directed by Haneke. Since they're nearly identical, I don't think I'll ever be watching the original. This is not a movie you can watch over and over again, unless you're a masochist. With that said, why is it on the list? Well, because frankly, it's brilliant. Haneke uses the film to criticize the thriller/horror genre(s), and I particularly liked the way he manipulates the audience while doing so. This is unlike any other movies out there. That could be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on who you are.

9. WALTZ WITH BASHIR
written and directed by Ari Folman


Why is this not nominated for a Best Animated Film Oscar? Finally, a true adult animated film gets made and it gets overlooked for more CGI kiddie flicks. At least it got the Best Foreign Film nomination. If you haven't seen this and you're skeptical, let me just say this: it's a masterpiece. The use of animation for this story is perfect. When was the last time you saw a documentary that didn't make you fall asleep?

8. THE CHASER
directed by Hong-jin Na
written by Won-Chan Hong, Shinho Lee, Hong-jin Na



With a story loosely based on actual events that happened in Korea, this little movie puts a great twist on the serial killer genre. What's the twist, you ask? You really want me to spoil that for ya? Okay, all I'm going to say is that it doesn't waste too much time hiding the killer's face and identity. Still curious? Catch the original before it gets remade with Leonardo DiCaprio. I'm not kidding.

7. SON OF RAMBOW
written and directed by Garth Jennings


This was a big hit at my last movie night, and deservedly so. The story is great, the characters are likable, and the 80's soundtrack is awesome. What's not to like? I expect big things from Will Poulter, the boy who played Lee Carter.

6. IRON MAN
directed by Jon Favreau
written by Mark Fergus, Hawk Ostby, Art Marcum, Matt Holloway


2008 was a sad year for many reasons, and one of those was the loss of Heath Ledger, who gave the best Joker performance to date. But look on the bright side, we still have Robert Downey Jr., who is the definitive Tony Stark. I hope this doesn't jinx him. How about a sequel to KISS KISS BANG BANG, Robert?

5. LET THE RIGHT ONE IN
directed by Tomas Alfredson
written by John Ajvide Lindqvist, based on his own novel


Two words: beautifully tragic. All you TWILIGHT fans: if you want to see a REAL vampire movie with romance, please put the books down, take off the Edward t-shirts, and go check out this film. The pool scene alone is worth the price of admission.

4. THE WRESTLER
directed by Darren Aronofsky
written by Robert D. Siegel


I have newfound respect for Darren Aronofsky after watching this film. It's such a simple story, yet told so skillfully. This movie will depress you. I'm going to be very surprised if Mickey Rourke doesn't get an Oscar for this.

3. KUNG FU PANDA
directed by Mark Osborne & John Stevenson
written by Jonathan Aibel & Glenn Berger, story by Ethan Reiff & Cyrus Voris


Every year, there is a movie that places high on my list that people are confused about. In 2007, it was SUPERBAD at #5. For 2006, it was NACHO LIBRE, again at #5. And in 2005, it was SKY HIGH at #3. What do they all have in common? They're comedies. Comedy is subjective, people. And every year, there's at least one comedy that I just connect with, that I unabashedly love, like it was made just for me. In 2008, it was this movie, a CGI flick about a panda that wants to learn kung fuuuuuuuuuuuUUuuUuUUUUUuuu. Most people are sick of Jack Black and his shtick, but I ain't. Especially in animated form. Keep 'em coming, Jack!

2. THE DARK KNIGHT
directed by Christopher Nolan
written by Jonathan Nolan & Christopher Nolan, story by Christopher Nolan & David S. Goyer


I don't think anyone would be shocked that this is on the list, although some may be surprised that it's not #1. Well, it was close. This was my #1 until December, when I saw...

1. SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE
directed by Danny Boyle & Loveleen Tandan (co-director: India)
written by Simon Beaufoy, based on the novel by Vikas Swarup


I'm not a shameless romantic like Johny, but I do enjoy romantic movies when they're well done. After being bombarded with movies with depressing stories and bleak and dour themes in 2008 and 2007, it was refreshing to see something filled with heart and hope. Sure it's a fairytale, but it's a well-made fairytale. A Dickensian story on an Indian setting. I loved it.



Here are some assorted "awards" for other 2008 movies that deserve recognition.

best cinematography: THE FALL
most badass scene: Tai Lung's escape from prison in KUNG FU PANDA
hardest to sit through: (tie) TOWELHEAD & FUNNY GAMES
best movie made for TV: BOY A
best use of midgets: IN BRUGES
most violent: RAMBO
best horror film: THE RUINS
best Brad Pitt performance: as Chad Feldheimer in BURN AFTER READING
best movie that flopped at the box office: SPEED RACER
best movie with Rain: I'M A CYBORG, BUT THAT'S OK
best special fx: BENJAMIN BUTTON
best use of "Paper Planes" by MIA: SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE
best movie by David Gordon Green: SNOW ANGELS
best line: "You just got killed by a Daewoo Lanos, motherfucker!" (from PINEAPPLE EXPRESS)
proof that Ben Stiller needs to direct more movies: TROPIC THUNDER
best 90's soundtrack: THE WACKNESS
best only western: APPALOOSA
best Norwegian film: REPRISE

Thursday, January 22, 2009

2009 Academy Award Nominees

These were just announced this morning. Let's go through them, shall we?

Best Actor:
Richard Jenkins - THE VISITOR
Frank Langella - FROST/NIXON
Sean Penn - MILK
Brad Pitt - THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON
Mickey Rourke - THE WRESTLER

Mickey Rourke is a lock for this. Now don't forget about SIN CITY 2, Mr. Rourke.

Best Supporting Actor:
Josh Brolin - MILK
Robert Downey Jr. - TROPIC THUNDER
Philip Seymour Hoffman - DOUBT
Heath Ledger - THE DARK KNIGHT
Michael Shannon - REVOLUTIONARY ROAD

Heath deserves it the most, and I'm 99% sure he'll get it. That said, how AWESOME would it be if Robert Downey Jr. won? Imagine the acceptance speech! (in character!)

Best Actress:
Anne Hathaway - RACHEL GETTING MARRIED
Angelina Jolie - CHANGELING
Melissa Leo - FROZEN RIVER
Meryl Streep - DOUBT
Kate Winslet - THE READER

Sadly, I've yet to see any of those movies. But even without seeing her performance, I can safely say Meryl Streep should win; she's the best actress alive right now. Though I hear Kate gets buck nekkid a whole lot in THE READER, so maybe she'll win. I'm joshin' of course. Ahem.

Best Supporting Actress:
Amy Adams - DOUBT
Penelope Cruz - VICKY CRISTINA BARCELONA
Viola Davis - DOUBT
Taraji P. Henson - THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON
Marisa Tomei - THE WRESTLER

Although she was great, Marisa already has an Oscar so I'm guessing it goes to... Viola Davis. I've heard very good things about her in DOUBT.

Best Documentary Feature:
THE BETRAYAL (NERAKHOON)
ENCOUNTERS AT THE END OF THE WORLD
THE GARDEN
MAN ON WIRE
TROUBLE THE WATER

In a just world, WALTZ WITH BASHIR would be on that list. MAN ON WIRE will win.

Best Animated Feature Film:
BOLT
KUNG FU PANDA
WALL-E

I prefer KUNG FU PANDA (of course), but WALL-E will win. Oh, and BASHIR should be on here also.

Best Foreign Language Film:
THE BAADER MEINHOF COMPLEX - Germany
THE CLASS - France
DEPARTURES - Japan
REVANCHE - Austria
WALTZ WITH BASHIR - Israel

I've only seen BASHIR, and I still know it'll win.

Best Art Direction:
CHANGELING
THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON
THE DARK KNIGHT
THE DUCHESS
REVOLUTIONARY ROAD

BENJAMIN BUTTON should take this.

Best Cinematography:
CHANGELING - Tom Stern
THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON - Claudio Miranda
THE DARK KNIGHT - Wally Pfister
THE READER - Chris Menges and Roger Deakins
SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE - Anthony Dod Mantle

Roger Deakins was robbed last year. But how do you have two cinematographers? I'm going with Claudio Miranda. Even if you don't like BENJAMIN BUTTON, you can't look past its technical brilliance.

Best Editing:
THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON - Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall
THE DARK KNIGHT - Lee Smith
FROST/NIXON - Mike Hill and Dan Hanley
MILK - Elliot Graham
SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE - Chris Dickens

SLUMDOG!

Best Makeup:
THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON - Greg Cannom
THE DARK KNIGHT - John Caglione Jr. and Connor O'Sullivan
HELLBOY II: THE GOLDEN ARMY - Mike Elizalde and Thom Floutz

Hmm, this one is tough. They were all great -- HELLBOY is the most obvious (just for the Troll Market sequence alone), but I was most impressed with the work on BENJAMIN BUTTON, and I can't dismiss how the Joker and Two-Face looked in THE DARK KNIGHT either... I'm going with my gut: BENJAMIN BUTTON.

Best Visual Effects:
THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON - Eric Barba, Steve Preeg, Burt Dalton and Craig Barron
THE DARK KNIGHT - Nick Davis, Chris Corbould, Tim Webber and Paul Franklin
IRON MAN - John Nelson, Ben Snow, Dan Sudick and Shane Mahan

Again, a tough category. Again, it goes to BENJAMIN BUTTON.

Best Original Score:
THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON - Alexandre Desplat
DEFIANCE - James Newton Howard
MILK - Danny Elfman
SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE - A.R. Rahman
WALL-E - Thomas Newman

Where the frack is THE DARK KNIGHT?! SLUMGDOG, then.

Best Original Song:
"Down to Earth" - WALL-E
"Jai Ho" - SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE
"O Saya" - SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE

Where the frack is THE WRESTLER?! You got snubbed, Mr. Springsteen. One of the SLUMGDOG's, then. Probably "Jai Ho". Although I have a strange feeling it'll go to WALL-E.

Best Adapted Screenplay:
THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON - Eric Roth and Robin Swicord
DOUBT - John Patrick Shanley
FROST/NIXON - Peter Morgan
THE READER - David Hare
SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE - Simon Beaufoy

SLUMDOG!

Best Original Screenplay:
FROZEN RIVER - Courtney Hunt
HAPPY-GO-LUCKY - Mike Leigh
IN BRUGES - Martin McDonagh
MILK - Dustin Lance Black
WALL-E - Andrew Stanton, Jim Reardon and Pete Docter

IN BRUGES!

Best Director:
THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON - David Fincher
FROST/NIXON - Ron Howard
MILK - Gus Van Sant
THE READER - Stephen Daldry
SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE - Danny Boyle

I'm pulling for oh Danny Boy, although I wouldn't mind Fincher winning.

Best Picture:
THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON
FROST/NIXON
MILK
THE READER
SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE

Replace THE READER with THE DARK KNIGHT and I would be very, very happy. Yes, I would take Christian Bale's annoying Bat-voice over Kate Winslet's buba anyday. I still would have gone with SLUMDOG, though.

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I don't think there will be many surprises at the Oscars this year. SLUMDOG should win big, BENJAMIN BUTTON will take most of the technical awards, and the acting Oscars will probably go to the favorites. I am bummed about THE DARK KNIGHT and Christopher Nolan being snubbed for Best Picture and Best Director, respectively, and THE WRESTLER not getting much love (not even for Best Original Song? Really?!). So much for THE DARK KNIGHT transcending the superhero genre and opening doors for comic book adaptations to be taken more seriously... I guess THE WATCHMEN is our last hope.

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