Thursday, December 14, 2006

Golden Globe Nominations

Ok – so the Golden Globe nominations were announced this morning. For some reason, today’s announcements make me feel like I did on November 1st, the day after Halloween, when I walked into Super Target and saw it was already decorated for Christmas. Sigh. I still can’t quite get over the fact that these noms come out before some of the movies nominated are released to the public, but then again – the awards aren’t for the movie-going public, right? Uh … right? Hmmm … what ARE the awards for anyway? It’s a mystery to me, people.

Anyway – I haven’t seen ANY of the movies nominated today, although I know I will be seeing some of them once the Academy Awards nominations are announced. I’m definitely hoping these movies ARE included in the Oscar nominations: Dreamgirls, The Queen, Little Children, The Departed, The Pursuit of Happyness, Little Miss Sunshine, and United 93. I definitely want to see those films. (I know, I know, I should have seen Little Miss Sunshine and United 93 by now … sue me!)

Then there are the movies that make me think, “Meh, I kinda want to see this movie,” so I won’t be disappointed if I have to see any of these: Flags of Our Fathers, Letters From Iwo Jima, and Blood Diamond. The latter movie may move into my definite list simply because I respect DiCaprio’s acting chops so much.

And then of course, are the movies I’m really, REALLY hoping don’t get nods: Apocalypto (Please, please, PLEASE don’t make me watch!), Bobby (I’m so tired of the Star! Studded! Cast! ensemble movies, especially when they aren’t done well – and the buzz is that this one isn’t), and Babel. I don’t know why I don’t want to see Babel. I don’t know much about it at all except that as a movie goer, I’m supposed to want to see it. Maybe that’s why I don’t want to? Molly – I know you and I talked about this last week. I confessed then that I didn’t even know what Babel is about, and well, I still don’t. I have learned that in some scene Brad Pitt’s character carries Cate Blanchette’s character, and am reminded of The English Patient. Maybe THAT’s why I don’t want to see it.

Since The Globes split movies into two categories, I’m expecting that Bobby will get booted from the list when the Oscar noms come out, and will be replaced by Dreamgirls. I can see one of Eastwood’s films making it into the Best Picture category, too – simply because the Academy seems to adore him (I don’t have a problem with that; I’m just stating the obvious). I’m just hoping that if Flags or Letters makes the list, that it doesn’t boot Little Children. I’m really looking forward to seeing the performances in that movie.

What do you think? Are you surprised by any of the nominations today? How do you feel about Babel? Apocalypto? Dreamgirls?

Oh, and STOP the PRESSES while we’re at it … I am going to see a movie today. Yes, you read that right. I, Peggy/Grubmer/Fegs, She Who Loves but Never Sees Movies, will be at a movie theater in a mere 2 hours. My team at work chose lunch and a movie as our holiday celebratory outing. Yay!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Cars and Pirates. Pirates and Cars.

Pathetic. I just realized those are the only movies I have seen in the theater since the Oscar season.

I could sit here and tell you my life is really, really difficult and busy; I could come up with 100 excuses as to why I haven't seen any movies - you know, like those "the Phone! the Doorbell! Calgon! Take me Away!" moments? And that would be partially true. It's seriously hard to schedule movie time when #1) your husband hates going to the movies and #2) your schedule is dictated by work and kid and family stuff. Not much I can do about that. But the other truth of the matter, and the one I want to focus on here, is that I'm a bit disillusioned by movies right now.

All of them LOOK good. All of them are advertised with glowing reviews. Not all of them are good, or deserve good reviews. I'm tired of the spin the studios give us. I get excited about seeing a movie right before it comes out. I get wrapped up in the "must see this one" aspect of a movie, or movie ad campaign, eventually don't see it, and then come to the realization that it's ok if I don't see it. Next thing I know, I just don't care anymore. I figure, "I'll see it when it comes out on pay-per-view, or DVD. Or maybe not. No biggie."

There were movies I was excited about, too! Like SoaP, and Superman Returns, and Talledega Nights. I still want to see those. And there are newer films out, still in the theater - like The Departed, The Queen, For Your Consideration, and Stranger Than Fiction, that I want to see, but most-likely will NOT see in the theater unless they get noms for Oscars and we see them in our manic rush to see all the nominated films before the Oscar telecast.

It is pathetic. I am pathetic. It depresses the heck out of me, makes me wish that Hollywood could focus on making fewer films so as to focus on the quality of those few ... And that they wouldn't spin the marketing so much. It also makes me wish there were more days in a week. You know, the Eighth Day. "And on the Eighth Day, God opened movie theaters for us and we watched movies and they were good."

As November turns into December, I know that realistically I will not see any movies until after Christmas. That's ok. But maybe my New Year's Resolution for 2007 will be to MAKE SURE to see at least one movie per month. What do you think?

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Mid-Year Movie Season

I wanted to write a whole "summer wrapup" and here it is late October and I've barely started. Sigh.

But, I'm going to do a recap of some movie "season"... we'll call it the "Mid-Year Season":

I think it's been a weird year for movies. The summer was smattered with fun films like Superman, X-Men, and Pirates. But somehow, even though the effects get bigger and bigger, I don't have the joie de cinema that I used to have. Could be my age... right?

Or could it be that summer movies aren't that good this year? I think I'll go with that one.

X-Men was actually fun... and good. And the whole concept of mutants gives them license to use special effects all over the place. They killed off a lot of characters ... so I'm guessing it really was the last stand. I give them kudos for completely restructuring the original story (to shorten the entire history of "The Phoenix") without destroying it. Excellent rewrite... but you'd have to be a long-time fan to appreciate it.

Superman got rave reviews but to tell the truth I missed it in the theater! Gasp.
Stay tuned for a really late review of that one.

Dead Man's Chestwas great because I love Johnny Depp. But I walked out of the theater with Back to the Future deja vu (is that redundant?). I love Jack Sparrow (which is the same thing Gianna kept telling me during the movie. She loves Captain Jack too!) I just wish they'd spent less money on the boats and more on the plot. I think it's gotten quite convoluted. The fight scenes are predictable instead of being fresh and fun.

In the first movie, I was completely taken in when Johnny and Orlando had their fight scene. You don't know if either of them are any good and it's a fun scene... the donkey, the tipsy cart... and the sword fight at the end is brilliant when you find out that Jack is "dead" too. Wonderful twists to the sword play.

But, this year I just wasn't impressed... the rolling water wheel was gimmicky (and way to hard to follow... I just got tired of the round-n-round! I sure hope the next one has some freshness to it!

Hollywoodland was wonderful. To quote my movie-mate, "It was a nice, adult film." I love Adrian Brody, and I've never said that before. The sets and costumes were wonderful. I found myself enthralled with the look of 40s Hollywood. The shine on the cars, the glint on the seedy motel sign... the wonderfully retro-look. Turns out it was filmed outside the US ... ironically... I think in Toronto, because there is nothing left of retro-Hollywood in LA.

Aside: the retro-look and nod to the 50s and 60s is what I loved about Disney's Cars this summer too. But the kids I went with were totally bored during the nostalgia stuff.

I loved how they played out the possible scenarios, so you can envision them... can enjoy each one... and then they just leave it "unsolved." I read criticisms of the movie that poked at the film for not telling them how George died. But, of course, we'll never know more than the movies tells us. And I think it's a strength of the film, not a gap.

The Illusionist was just okay and the high point for me was that I discovered that Ed Norton is a babe. He was absolutely adorable. My movie-mate summed it up: "It was a silly little film." Jessica looked good. Paul Giamatti was excellent. But, I wasn't fooled by the plot machinations ... so the illusion didn't work on me. The costumes were really cool, but I think that about every period movie.

You'd think I'd have more movie info, what with all my free time, but alas...

I have to see The Prestige (Peggy... are we picking a date?)
I've got The Departed on my list, and
I can't wait for Stranger Than Fiction.

I just hope the end of the year is better than this Mid-Season.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

I have not given up on the movie blog!!!

It's been several months since any of us have written anything on this blog. I can attribute that to the following:
  1. Complete disinterest in films starring Jessica Simpson and her peers
  2. All of my energy I've expended for popular culture has been used up by Project Runway, and the return of the fall TV season (my first with a DVR, which is nice).
  3. A bunch of other crap that leaves me too tired to think about movies.

But, it's now October, and time to start watching Ebert and Roeper again. There are a lot of movies coming our way this fall into winter that I am particularly psyched out of my mind about. To wit:

  1. I'm not the biggest fan of the "intense relationshippy drama about infidelity" genre, but if the movie is half as good as this incredible trailer for Little Children, I think you can count me placing the film on my "must see" list this movie season. I'm not kidding when I say I think this is the BEST. TRAILER. EVER. Seriously, like the trailer should get an oscar for its fantastic traileriness.
  2. I quote the film Elf on a nearly daily basis (and once so far in this post). Will Farrell is already my hero, but I've had grave concerns for his career after that bad kid soccer movie. After seeing the trailer for Stranger Than Fiction, I am confident that he's firmly back on track (and co-staring with Emma Thompson at that, good on ya, Frank the Tank!).
  3. I've only watched a few of Da Ali G show, count me in as intriqued by all of the good press Borat has been getting from its debut in Toronto. I may not make it to see this in the theatres, but it's already on my netflix queue.
  4. On pedigree alone, I will be seeing this movie (Nicholson! Scorcese! Damon! DiCaprio! Baldwin! This is a sausage fest, but you have to admit, it's good sausage). Based on the fact that I have crushes on Leo and Matt Damon, I will be seeing this movie. Most importantly, the reviews sound great. I want to see The Departed.
  5. Finally, Richard Linklater's latest. I feel like I've grown up with Richard Linklater. When I as a senior in high school, he made Dazed and Confused. We just wanted to party and beat up freshmen. Then when I was in college, our world opened up to wanting to make out with hot foreign people and hear ourselves talk in Before Sunrise. 10 years later, we still wanted to hear ourselves talk, but we had to own up to our responsibilities in Before Sunset. His latest project represents further maturity in realizing how absolutely complicated and messed up the world is: Fast Food Nation. I'm psyched about this movie for so many reasons. First of all, it has Greg Kinear in it. So, there's that. Also, I thought it was such a brave and smart choice to fictionalize the incendiary non-fiction book upon which this movie is based. It can emotionalize this very disturbing subject of the non-food that is in our food without resulting to the Michael Moore school of disturbing subject documentaries. I am hoping that the end result will be just as mobilizing, but not as polarizing. We'll see. ALSO, the movie has launched a totally kick-heinie website, which includes retorts from and blogs written by McDonalds, safe food advocacy and activist website links, etc. It's pretty cool.

Anyway, I'm back on board for another movie season. I hope all of the hype is worth it!

Friday, August 18, 2006

SoaP??

Okay... vote me least likely to see a movie about being trapped with snakes. Then read this really positive review and go with me for "the most fun we'll have all summer!"

Snakes on a Plane

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Things To Do In Denver When You're Waiting for Ricky Bobby

So, as you wait in great anticipation for this Friday's opening of Talladega Nights - The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, take a sneak peek at the next movie starring Will Ferrell, Stranger Than Fiction.

Will! This is your vehicle man! And I'm not talking about Ricky Bobby here, but Harold Crick.

If, while watching old SNL eps w/ Ferrell as the boy cheerleader, anyone had told me that Will Ferrell would eventually star in a movie with Emma Thompson and Dustin Hoffman, I would have pooped an anchor! But here he is. Good for you Will, GOOD for you! I only have one teeny little suggestion though ...

I need more cowbell.

God, I love Will Ferrell.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Trailer Park!!! Super psyched edition!!!

Did YOU go see Pirates of the Caribbean Dead Man's Chest yet? No? Well, go! It's fun!

And besides, you'll get to see a trailer for a movie I'm so very excited to see.

You see, The Kid, my son, is a dinosaur junkie. Because he is a dinosaur junkie, we have pretty much every single dinosaur book written for the 2-10 set. One of his (and honestly mine too) favorite books that was given to us because of the dino-obsession was a little apparently out-of-print book called The Night at the Museum. It's about Hector, a newly hired night guard at the American Museum of Natural History in NYC. Hector is left to do his job but finds out that the exhibits that are so still during the day, are not quite the same at night. He he.

So, as we were settling in for the totally fun swashbuckling adventure that is Pirates 2, we got to see this preview for Night at the Museum, based [very] loosely on that book. With a cast including Ben Stiller, Robin Williams, Ricky Gervais, Owen Wilson, Dick van Dyke AND Mickey Rooney, this movie looks like some guaranteed F.U.N!

UPDATE: I tried to link directly to the movie, but that link didn't work afterall, so you will have to find the movie in the list of trailers from the moviefone site above. It was released 7/10/06.

Oh, and while you're there, check out the newest Simpson's Movie trailer.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Cheers!

Last night, CBS aired the American Film Institute's list of America's top 100 most inspiring movies. If you missed it, here's a link to the list: AFI's 100 Cheers.

I love these lists. As you can tell from our List Friday posts, I tend to love lists. Period. But I confess that I ABSOLUTELY adore slacking in front of the television for a gluttonous 3 hours watching clips of the best movies ever made. So I was H A P P Y last night. (Incidentally, Molly - I only could have been happier if you were watching with me. I didn't call - mainly cuz I was pushing it with the hubby to assume control over the giant screen tv set for the 3 hours, anyway. sigh.)

So of course, there were films that made the list that made me scratch my head ... like Working Girl? 2001: A Space Odyssey? High Noon? The last two are great movies, don't get me wrong, but inspiring? Huh?

And of course, there were omissions - I mean, if you can put One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest in the list, can't you include Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King in there, too? Yo, Film Dudes? Samwise Gamgee is my hero! And maybe, just maybe, if you're gonna include a film like Sullivan's Travels, of which I've never heard, could you maybe think about including The Goonies? The Goonies inspired nerdy kids to just be themselves waaay before Napoleon Dynamite made it hip to be square.

(Aside: Who should be an icon to the 30-something generation, but isn't? Sean Astin. He made the list two times more than Colin Farrel ... )

Ok, and then - there's the argument of placement. I knew I'd have placement issues with this list the moment they showed #100 ... Chariots of Fire, and minutes later announced #98, The Karate Kid, and #95, Places in the Heart. To me, each of these movies should have been higher up on the list. Braveheart was placed at #62, and Rudy (another Sean Astin!) at # 54 ... Are we seriously saying that Dead Poet's Society at # 52 is more inspiring, more apt to make us cheer? Uhh, for teen suicide? Again, I give you a hearty "HUH?"

Overall, the list is fun and a great reminder of all the great movies out there. So, AFI, what's your next topic????

Friday, June 02, 2006

List Friday! Doomed Romances

Ok, so right off the bat I’m going to admit that I borrowed this topic from an MSN article that I read earlier this week … Rather than trying to re-write the premise, I’ll just copy theirs here:


10 movies that would have been better without the 'happily ever
after'
By Martha Brockenbrough
Special to MSN Movies

Sixty-four years after it first came out, the nearly unanimous pick for most romantic film ever is "Casablanca."
"Casablanca."
If this movie were a person, it'd be old enough to qualify for senior-citizen discount tickets at the multiplex. And yet, even as babies conceived in its aftermath have grown old and gray, no one's yet been able to craft a more enduring and compelling love story.
We have a theory why: The filmmakers were smart enough to skip the happily-ever-after part. Instead, Ilsa gets on the plane and escapes Nazi-controlled Casablanca. Rick starts a "beautiful"
friendship with the police chief, in the pre-"
Brokeback Mountain" era, when men could walk off into the sunset together without ever having to worry about quitting each other.
There are some movies, of course, that depict true love that we know will never, ever die. "
The Princess Bride," "The Wedding Singer," "Shrek." All classics in their own right.
But for our money, more moviemakers should give us good break-ups. After all, it's better to have loved and lost than to be stuck with someone unsuitable, unstable or — egads! — boring.
As we prepare to see real-life couple
Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn split on screen in "The Break-Up," here are 10 films we wish had ended with a break-up:



And then she proceeds to list the films and couples she thought were DOOMED … I’d post her list, but that would be leading the listers, right? But if you need help, know that one of her first picks was Harry and Sally from When Harry Met Sally. Why are they doomed? Well, weren't they doomed throughout the entire film to be both in love, and in hate at the same time? (Peggy's aside: Wait a minute - isn't that the definition of marriage?)

Anyway, Cinema Firmamenters – let’s see your lists of the romantic couples DOOMED for a break up. Ready? Set? COMMENT!

Friday, May 26, 2006

“Poseidon” (or “Is it Really Different Upside Down?”)

I love the original “Poseidon Adventure.” I love Gene Hackman as the priest who leads the survivors to safety, I love the girl and her brother who are accidentally swept to salvation, I love the Shelley Winters valiantly doing her part to aid their little group. It’s a loaded cast… and a fun disaster movie.

The other thing I love about the original is the attention to detail of the filmmakers. They made a film about a boat that was upside down. Being upside down is an important part of the story. It’s hard to walk up the ceiling of a staircase. Its’ hard to figure out where you are when everything is upside down. The world is different and that, itself, is part of the adventure.

I realized what I loved about the original when I saw the new one!

“Poseidon” tries to load the cast with Kurt Russell, Josh Lucas (who is my new superstar crush next to Johnny), and Richard Dreyfuss. When you get a cast that can act, you have to give them good stuff to work with. Josh Lucas is a gambler who wants to get out… he doesn’t care about anyone else. He’s a pitiful replacement for Gene, and you wonder why he doesn’t just run away from his rag tag group.

Kurt Russell is an overprotective father who does have to find his daughter… his motivation for leaving the ball room. The others? NO good reason to hang out with Josh. And Josh doesn’t want them. Dreyfuss has the hardest role. He plays a older, gay man (is that a stretch for him?) whose lover has left him. He’s on deck, climbing over the railing to jump overboard when he sees the wall of water coming toward the ship. Evidently dying in a big wave is scarier than throwing yourself overboard, so he runs into the ballroom to tell people, and then spends the rest of the movie struggling to stay alive. Is he suicidal or not? Dunno.

And, there’s the whole upside-down and boat-on-fire thing. In the original, you see the characters struggling with the stairwells, and the upside down issues. I was always scared when they had to walk through the engine room and everything was so hot that one little stumble would result in life-threatening burns. Excellent.

The new one doesn’t make the obstacles as interesting. I kept forgetting that they were upside down because they move so easily through the ship. Of course Josh “knows ships” and that explains it. The explosions and fires don't make it too hot to do what they need to do. Kurt is a retired fireman (Josh is ex-Navy), so they've equipped characters with all the skills to make it “easy.”I liked the priest, the geek, the old people, and the girl and her brother all without skills and still trying. It’s dramatic.

So… not my favorite movie.

Having said all that, I watched the “Making of…” on HBO last night and realized a few things:

1. I would have liked this movie more if I hadn’t compared it to the old one. And, while some of that is my fault, I’m also blaming the screen writer who made the plot close enough that comparisons are inevitable. If he’d copied a bit less, I would have let go of my old notions.

2. The actors in the movie did almost all of their own stunts, and there isn’t a lot of CGI stuff. And THAT is cool. When I saw some of the scenes, I was pretty impressed with the enormity of the physical set and the way they actually flooded the ballroom with 100,000 gallons of water and stuff like that. So, it would be wrong to review it and not mention that it gets an A for technical merit and stunt stuff.

3. The director was conscious of the upside down stuff and actually talks about it. So, it wasn’t something they missed. Now, I think they wanted so many obstacles (and always bigger and better ones) around each corner that they overdid it. The characters should have struggled a bit more with each one. But there would have been less time for more obstacles. They move so fast that you don’t worry about the water behind them…

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Francine's Review - Mission Impossible: 3

I miss the days when I loved Tom Cruise. I really loved how cute and buff he was in MI2. Now, he’s just a bobble-headed caricature of himself. And, he’s really wound up… both on Oprah and in this film.

MI:3 has all the good stuff that you love about the IMF (Impossible Mission Force). They break into the Vatican, rescue the girl, speak any language they need to, have all the right costumes and gadgets (oh the gadgets!!). It’s everything you love when the music comes on “Dum, dum, dum-dum…Dum dum dummmdum.” The special effects are really good and they fit the movie perfectly. And there’s Phillip... and Kerri... and Ving.

Unfortunately, they all get a little bit of screen time and the rest is all Tom. It is, after all a “Cruise/somebody” production. It’s Tom looking tired, Tom all stressed out, Tom looking too short… Tom running gimpily, then running fast, then running REALLY fast and looking stressed out at the same time.

As a little aside, why do you think they cast Ving Rhames to work with Tom Cruise? They can never actually stand in the same scene together or Tom looks like one of the munchkins from OZ. I looked it up and, if IMDB is right, Ving is 6 feet (and not a little boy). Cruise is 5’7”. 5 inches on camera means that Tom looks at Ving’s clavicle, right??

That wasn’t as much of an aside as I thought, because Tom just seems smaller in this film. There are no fabulous buff shots. In one scene I actually thought “Tom runs like he’s getting old” and he’s too busy being frenetic to be charming. He doesn’t smile much. And when he does, you remember why you ever liked him. But, he smiles only a couple of times in the entire film and it made me stop and think, “He should smile more often.”

But, it is a movie, right? And not just a Tom fest (go with me on this one). So.. let's talk about the movie. The plot is a bit weak, you don’t really know why Ethan is getting all involved in the mess until they threaten his lady love, and then he’s (yup, you got it) all stressed out and running REALLY fast.

The twist is completely predictable. You know, where they point you to the double-crossing bad guy but it ends up being the guy next to him? Yup, Laurence Fishburne is our decoy (I forgot to mention him earlier) and he’s totally flat and unbelievable in his little bit of screen time. When the real bad guy pops up… I’m not the least bit surprised.

They were trying to add some relationship drama into the plot and I applaud that. Ethan is driven by his need to protect the woman he loves from the bad guys and from the loss of innocence that “knowing” about IMF will bring her. He’s trying to keep a bit of his world safe from IMF. He’s trying to have a life. It’s all in there. It's all really slow and boring. And at the end, the bad guys do get the girl for a while, she ends up shooting people to save herself, and Ethan has to tell her all about IMF. It’s a happy ending. Oh wait… he’s failed at ALL his goals. Hmmm… well, just believe me that it’s a happy ending. And when they do the relationship thing, remember Fred Savage and say, “skip the kissing.”

Friday, May 12, 2006

The Elemental List Friday

Here's a little game I used to play with my friends in college. You list the top three elements that a perfect (in your mind) movie needs.

For example, if your perfect movie includes Morgan Freeman, Zombies and a soundtrack written by Yanni, well, then you list, Freeman, Zombies, Yanni. It's that easy! Or you could say: Jane Austen novel, Steven Seagal and Cameron Diaz. And, boy, what a perfect movie that would be.

So, to reiterate, today's Friday slacktastic task is:

List three elements that would make up a perfect movie. It can be anything, a landscape, a soundtrack, a director, actor, novel, cartoon character, plot mechanism, anything.

It's fun!

Friday, May 05, 2006

List Friday!!! Countdown to Summer Movie Season

Today marks the early start to the 2006 summer movie season, with the release of MI3. I thought it would be fun if we all counted down to the #1 most personally anticipated movie coming this summer. I'll post mine here - as an example ... (I've only used a countdown from 6, but if you have more ... use a higher starting number!)

#6) Click
This one looks promising. Adam Sandler as a guy who discovers a universal remote that will actually fast forward life's boring (or preferably avoidable) tedium, turn down the volume on his wife's ranting, etc. I can't wait to see if Sandler has matured ... I've heard he has, but I hope not too much!

# 5) The DaVinci Code
As someone who never saw Far and Away, I can honestly say that I've never been disappointed by a Ron Howard movie. I'm really looking forward to this adaptation.

#4) The Break-Up
I know I am not the only person in the world who really wants Jennifer Aniston to have a successful film career. I am looking forward to seeing this movie because of the Vaughniston aspect, but also because I love Rachel ... err, Jennifer, and Vince, and well, I just really want to see a GOOD romantic comedy.

#3) Poseidon!
I'm really psyched for this one ... probably because I missed seeing Titanic in the theaters. Every time I see the movie trailer with the giant wave approaching the still-right-side-up ship, I get a tiny dose of adrenaline!

#2) Pirates of the Caribbean - Dead Man's Chest
Oh, please, please, PLEASE deliver one heck of an awesome sequel! Johnny, please don't phone it in! I'm so in love with the first one that I am nervous about this one living up to my expectations. Can't believe I have to wait until JULY to see it. *hmmph!*

and, my number one personally anticipated movie of the summer ....!!!!!

Nachooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo Libre!
Molly, hope I didn't steal your thunder for this one, but the more I think about it, the more excited I am to see this movie!

Ok other posters and lurkers ... Which movies are you counting down the minutes to see this summer? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? heh heh heh.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

List Friday: Movie Music

In celebration of my conversion to Idol-dom (that’s American Idol, and I’m now caught in the same frenzy as everyone else), this List Friday is dedicated to songs that completely stole a scene or movie!

I got this idea when I found myself completely enchanted by scenes in “The Wedding Date.”
“Enchanted?” you gasp??
Yes… enchanted.

There two or three scenes that are wonderful, and I realized that I loved them because the music in the scene is fabulous. I probably stopped watching the movie and just focused on the music. And I’d watch them again. Peggy did point out that Dermot Mulroney is in all the good scenes, but I contend that the value is based in the music!!

Create your lists!!

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Films that Spoof Other Films

I just found a great little article about spoofs... Gianna and I watched Shrek 2 this morning and the "Mongo" giant gingerbread man just cracked me up. Hours later I find an article that not only mentions "Blazing Saddles," but mentions a bunch of other spoof movies...

So, though only the "Scary Movie" mention is about anything remotely new, I thought it was a totally fun list!

http://movies.msn.com/movies/springmovieguide/parodies

Friday, April 14, 2006

List Friday: Bad Movie Season

April is a time in the year where there is a definite decrease in the quality of films in theatres. I think I read somewhere of the last two or three weeks of major studio releases, the majority didn't even have advance screenings for critics, because the movies are so bad.

So, while Hollywood shells out crappy movies in advance of marketing campaigns for the big summer popcorn flicks, most of us wile away our moving image time in the spring in front of the small screen. I'd venture to say that 90% of what's on TV right now is better than 99% of the movies in theatres right now. For instance, given the choice between a marathon of America's Next Top Model (chosen because in the television firmament, it's not good) is innumerably better than spending $10 to see Phat Girls.

This week's List Friday?

Name the television shows you are watching right now, and that you think are generally better than the average movie. Please tell us why you think this....

I could be off base. You might be at the park and not in front of the tube. But I know I've got a few tele-addictions going right now...

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Sorry for the absence

We're not gone. Peggy has had computer troubles. I've been fretting about my son.

But I've been watching movies. I never stop.

Recently, I watched Pride and Prejudice, which is not the BBC one, I guess, but is fantastic and must be watched.

And I also saw North Country, which was a very gritty human drama which turns into a very bad episode of Perry Mason within about 3 minutes. But it's still worth watching.

So, don't fear movie lurvers. We're still here.

Friday, March 17, 2006

List Friday! Happy St. Patrick's Day!

No, we aren't completely giving up on Molly's theme from last week --- so bloggers, if you have birthday-themed movies to list, please list in the post below.

But since it's St. Patrick's Day, we should list Irish movies today!

So, this week's theme is:

List movies that are about Ireland in some way!

One caveat - let's not list movies that just have Irish actors in them. That's kinda ridiculous. But if the Irish actor is in a movie that has something about Ireland ... then LIST IT! So, I guess what I'm saying is that your list should contain movies whose plotlines have an Irish theme (ok, ok - it can be an Irish-American theme, as well). But it's about the plot ... not the actors. Cool? Cool.

Ready? Set? POST (comment)!

Saturday, March 11, 2006

List, um, Saturday?

The Cinema Firmament bloggers have officially finished Oscar season and have quickly moved on to birthday season. Between the bloggers and our collective progeny (and spouses), we will celebrate four birthdays between yesterday and next Friday. Two of those four are birthdays that are divisible by 10, and are thus somehow more "important" (please note bitterness as the writer is one of these, and will be entering her "thirties" on Thursday, as if its a big deal or something, oosh). Personally, I'm most freaked out by Peggy's son C, who launched headfirst into teenagerhood yesterday by turning 13. Whoa. So, in the spirit of the many birthdays, the list of the week is as follows:

What are your top 5 films wherein a birthday is featured?

The birthday thing need not be a central plot point, a la Sixteen Candles, but just a featured thing, such as Ray, in which Ray Charles realizes he's a junkie and will go into detox as a child's birthday party rages on in the back yard. Got it?

Happy Birthday, E, C, Boc, and um, Me.

Ready? Set! Go!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

I Still Love the Movies But I Think I Can Quit Oscar!!

I'm completely disappointed that Crash won for best picture. I'm sad and droopy because Heath, Jake, and Joaquin got nothing. I'm thrilled that Brokeback got the adapted screenplay cuz it so deserved it.

But I leave the Oscars disappointed in the entire event...

And now I remember that this happens to me a lot. I don't like it when a movie sweeps all the accolades because I feel sad for the other guys. But I hate it when everything is all spread around so everyone gets a bit of credit and goes home feeling the pat on the back. It's pitiful. It's like making sure that every country in the Olympics gets a medal for something... "Uh.. okay ... you can have the medal for ... ummm... bob-skiing!! Yeah... that's it!"
(See all the categories for sound mixing and sound editing...)
Francine's Grammy aside: I'm STILL confused, and though Peggy tried to explain it, I never did get the difference between "Best Album" and "Best Record").

When it seems like they are trying to make sure no one gets left out... I think it devalues the entire honor. And I felt like the whole thing was devalued this year. Of course, when a movie I LIKE wins, say "Chicago," I seem to let the whole moralistic argument go. So maybe I'm just mad that they didn't pick my movie and award my favorites.

But, I did drive home Sunday night thinking about the year of "The Crying Game" where it got only the screenplay accolades... and the year that "Ghost" made the nominee list (yeah... it's a peeve with me). Or the year that "Chicago" didn't really seem to be THAT good and yet, they picked it. Or the year "Driving Miss Daisy" took the honor over "Born on the Fourth of July" and "My Left Foot."

Maybe I've got a point or... Sigh... maybe they'll vote with me next year.

Monday, March 06, 2006

And now I'm so looking forward to the Sopranos

So, I hate that Crash won for best picture. I needn't waste any more time hating on that movie, but I do have to reply to the crap that has been spewing from stupid TV news people. No, Crash didn't win because Hollywood is not ready to award gay themes (um, did Phillip Seymore Hoffman NOT just win best actor? Did Brokeback not win writing and directing?). It is because the Academy loves itself, and Crash is about ugly petty bullshit that happens in LA.

A few other things I'd like to say about Oscar night:

1. Naomi Watt's dress. I can't cut into her as well as the Go Fug Yourself girls, so read this.

2. George Clooney, if you weren't the Rock Hudson of the 21st century, you'd so totally be my secret celebrity boyfriend.

3. Lily Tomlin and Meryl Streep's introduction of Altman was pure genius.

4. Also genius? The "Cowboys are Frequently, Secretly Fond of Each Other" montage.

5. I'd like to personally invite Jon Stewart to host the Oscars indefinitely. He was brilliant.

I'm so tired, so I'm done. It was a good season, even though my favorite movie (brokeback) didn't win the big one, my second favorite movie (constant gardener) only got supporting actress, but deserved it, and my third favorite movie (munich) got a big batch o' nothing. Ah well.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Molly's Oscar Rundown (filled with opinion)

I had a little movie marathon today. I took myself to the movies today and watched Munich immediately followed by Good Night, and Good Luck. I have now managed to see the 5 nominated films, and for the first time ever I think, the 5 actor performances, and if I get around to watching Cinderella Man tonight (I don't know if I can do three movies in a single day, without being home sick from work or something), all of the nominees for editing and make up as well. Netflix has been very very helpful in acheiving this whole see-them-all thing.

So, what follows is my quick rundown of the 5 films, plus a few others, read on...

Brokeback Mountain: Hands down the best film of this year's crop. This movie had me thinking and more importantly, emoting, long after I'd seen it. This movie has much of what I look for in a movie: a connection between characters and between the screen to the audience, wonderfully and sumptuously shot, and an economic, smart screenplay.

Capote: This wasn't a bad movie. Phillip Seymore Hoffman is one of my very favorite actors ever and he carries the movie in his fey performance, completely. His acting nomination, and probable win is well deserved. However, I didn't love this movie, as a whole film. I don't think it was one of the top 5 movies of last year. I thought the pacing dragged, and dragged to the point that I wasn't engaged and wanted the film to end already. I didn't connect with it. After I saw a few other passed-over movies, I quickly began to believe that it didn't belong in this category.

Crash: I hated this movie. It was very well executed, however, and as a whole film, has its place in the world, I suppose. I can't exactly fault the acting. It's the screenplay, and ultimately the entire conceit of the film. So, it was the film equivalent of Christina Aguilera for me: technically fine, but just not something I care to invest in, listen to, or pay attention to in general.

Good Night, and Good Luck: I'm so totally conflicted about my response to this one. I'm very interested in the subject matter, I enjoyed the no-nonsense tone of the film. But there's something missing, or too much of one thing, or something. It's still a little too new to me to put my finger on it. I read a review that called it hermetic, and I think that is part of it: it's claustrophobic. It's also very sterile, in an acting/cinematographic sense. I also think that there was too much reliance in the film on actual footage of Joe McCarthy. Like enough screen-time that Joe McCarthy could have been nominated for a best supporting actor Oscar. What continues to haunt me is that he wasn't acting, that he was real. And hence, conflicted.

Munich: WOW! This movie was fantastic. It was thrilling, scary, empathetic, cruel, sad. The movie dug deep into emotional territory, which is something most suspense dramas cannot succeed with and few actually even try to acheive. What is it to be an assassin? What is a society that employs the methods of assassins? What does revenge do to the legitimacy of moral high ground? Who, then, is the terrorist? Spielberg just rocks, and always puts such rich humanity into his work. This movie is trying really hard to make me root for it over Brokeback. REALLY hard, because Eric Bana is also S-E-X-EE in his 70's coif and bellbottom pants. I think he might need to become my new secret celebrity boyfriend.

The Constant Gardener: This movie blew my mind. Like Munich, it crossed genre stereotypes, being a love story, mystery and suspense-thriller successfully and concurrently. The acting was clean, but it's the story here that got me. I think it should have gotten a best picture nod, certainly over Capote, and possibly over Good Night, and Good Luck. It gets 4 stars from me, go rent it NOW!!!

Walk the Line: It is unfortunate that Walk the Line came out the year after Ray. I think Oscar doesn't like to do too much of one thing (except bad re-imagining of old TV shows), and the biopic of the tortured, drug using musician got all the attention last year. I think the performances were good, the film engaging, and the connection viable. I really think that in a year not following Ray, this would have been nominated more. Oh, and Reese Witherspoon has the most beautiful hair. Evah.

I can't wait for tomorrow! With all of my venom above, I sure hope Crash doesn't win best picture. But I guess if you can't fix it, you've got to stand it, right?

Friday, March 03, 2006

List Friday!

List your favorite Academy Award moments!

You don't have to list 10, and you don't have to know what year (afterall, this isn't the buttkicking msn.com quiz that Francine posted below). This is just a place to note moments in the Oscar telecasts throughout the years that have proven themselves memorable to you.

Ready? Set? LIST!!!

Oscar Quiz

MSN posted this quiz today... I was pitiful "Not even nominated!!"

http://encarta.msn.com/encnet/departments/adultlearning/?page=Quiz106&Quizid=106&GT1=7850

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Thank you, Mr. Hanks!

Mr. Tom Hanks, experienced and decorated academy award nominee and winner, is doing the viewing public a great favor related to the Academy Awards telecast this year. Read more about it here, and join me in thanking him! I'm looking forward to interesting and memorable ceremony without any of the boring speeches. It's about time they thought of something like this!

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Set your TiVo, DVR, VCR or Watch This!!!

Do you want to get a leg up on your fellow Oscar-pool competitors? Do you want to watch a movie that can effectively use the words "sexy" and "quadriplegic" in the same sentence? I know you do.

Tonight on A&E, Murderball will be aired at 8pm and again and midnight (at least here in Denver). I was really lucky to have been able to attend a special screening of the film last spring. It is about the quadriplegic rugby team that represented the US (plus a little about those pesky Canadians) in the Paralympics. The movie follows principally about 4 players of the team, plus one megolomaniac coach, the basics of the sport, and about the challenges that being disabled brings to a man. It also shows the positives of being disabled as well, which is perhaps the most shining and mindblowing message the movie brings. It's fascinating, and the sport is really exciting. The doc also succeeds in widening its scope, showing the beginning of one man's journey after an accident causing a four-limb disability, as well as visiting the Walter Reid hospital in Bethesda, MD to remind us how many among us, with the war brewing on and on, are battling, surviving and living with disabilities.

Murderball gets my vote for best doc on Sunday night, but the only other doc I saw this year was March of the Penguins. That said, I have a feeling that my 2 for 5 is far better than most of the academy voters, and we'll see one of those adorable little penguins accepting an oscar before the film makers who introduced us to the champions in this film...

Saturday, February 25, 2006

(Fake) Trailer Park

I've been wasting my Saturday morning watching a few fun re-mixed trailers. It's amazing what a little background music and Peter Gabriel's Solsbury Hill can do...

Shining, the next family comedy

Sleepless in Seattle, a thriller

West Side Story, a zombie flick.

What do you think?

Friday, February 24, 2006

List Friday!

This week's listing exercise ....

Which movie quotes do you find yourself using in actual conversation most often?

For example, when telling a new friend your life story, do you begin with "I was born a poor black child," from The Jerk? When you win a board game with your family, do you raise your arms and yell "I'm the king of the WORLD!" like Jack Dawson in Titanic?

List the quotes to the best of your ability ... and have fun! If you need help, you might want to check out IMDB.com (here). Most movies include a quote section and might get your brain tickin'!

Have Fun, Get Set ... POST!

Monday, February 20, 2006

Short Story to Film

Well, I decided to read "Brokeback Mountain." It's in a collection of short stories called "Close Range (Wyoming Stories). Evidently Annie lives in Wyoming (who knew?). It's a 30-page story.

It's really nicely done. But the most amazing part for me is that all the key scenes in the film are in the story. The first intimacy, Ennis' fight with his ex in the kitchen, the shirt on the peg at the end... and I've missed more than I've listed. The other amazing thing is that there is quite a bit of dialog, and the movie used it verbatim. I do not think there is a bit of dialog in the story that you wouldn't recognize from the film.

There are two paragraphs that I think give the story a bit more heart than the movie. The first paragraph describes my favorite scene where Jack is remembering Ennis hugging him and it describes the tenderness and sexless love in that embrace, and then follows the tenderness with the awareness that Ennis would never hug Jack face-to-face and "face" the relationship and what they are.

The second one describes the shirts Ennis finds in the closet and has some nice imagery about them being one inside the other, together as one skin (or something like that).

Both are perfect examples of how prose can tug you in a completely different way than a film. And I love them both. But I think the film is actually more poignant all around.

(I thought about typing these bits up and then got lazy, but I'll get Peggy the book this week, so if you're interested, you can check it out!)

Friday, February 17, 2006

List Friday

My last post grew out of a movie that had been hyped to the point that I was told that it would be the most amazing movie I'd see, evah. Considering my reaction to actually seeing the film, this week's List Friday topic is:

What Movies, After Much Hype, Have Disappointed You The Most Once You Saw Them?

On your marks, get set, COMMENT!!!

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Molly: Crash

So, I watched this about two weeks ago, but I've been stewing on how to write about it. I decided to write my review tonight, but first I had a few things to do. First, I had to call my HOA to complain about the greasy spics who are supposed to shovel my sidewalk, but clearly had too much cervesa last night and could only muster up energy to do half of it, and then I ordered chinese food and the stupid chinks couldn't bring my food fast enough, and then I got distracted watching the faggoty Russian figure skaters on the Olympics tonight.

Yeah. That was as hard for me to write as it was for you to read it. Crash is built on the conceit that people actually talk like that.

I certainly don't. And I don't think like that either. As Peggy noted below, the comment most heard about this movie was, "it really made me think..." What Crash made me think, however, was, "is this really how Americans think, and if so, why?" This movie tries so hard to be provocative, but I think it truly and deeply failed in offering any reason why there is the divide between the people who share the cities we live in. How and why did LA come to this culture that Paul Haggis has characterized?

I'm not saying in any way that racism doesn't exist. But I do think that what is truly at issue with race in this country is truly much more insidious than the racial slurs we can hoist on to one another. It is institutional, it is bureaucratic. It was personified with Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Really devisive racism in this country is not the words we forcibly use, but in the things we don't say, and in the people we let fall through the cracks.

I finished Crash thinking of all of the ways it let the real root causes and issues of race and racism fall through the cracks. I found it profoundly disappointing. Considering that, I don't see the point of having this movie made.

So, yeah. That was a really harsh review. I must say that I found the performances to be really exemplary, and there were story lines that I thought were starting to go somewhere, but they never really realized what I had hoped they would. Again, I am guilty of thinking too hard.

This movie was just so "in your face" with its controversality, that I'm feeling a little weary in having to see the remaining three "controversial" Oscar pics this year. Anyway, more on that later...

Article for the week!!

Yeah... I'm working at home!

http://movies.msn.com/movies/oscars2006/civilwar

Monday, February 13, 2006

Trailer Park

Today's selection is one close to my heart, or at least, my past: The Art Student. I was an art history major in college and lived in the art building, and knew these people so well (especially the pipemaking ceramicist, ha ha):

Art School Confidential

It also looks to have an amazing cast: Jim Broadbent, John Malkovich, Angelica Houston, and Ethan Suplee!

Friday, February 10, 2006

It's List Friday Again!!!

I was trying to think of a timely topic for List Friday this week. I reviewed the upcoming week’s events, and came up with two topics:

  • Winter sports, in honor of the 2006 Winter Olympics (yawn – and really, how many great winter sports films are there – if you don’t count Warren Miller films, The Snowball Express, or Cool Runnings … yeeeeaaahhh mon). Yo - I'm KIDDING. Well, about Warren Miller and Cool Runnings ... Ha!
  • or something to do with Valentine's Day.

I think you can tell which topic won out …

List 10 Love / Sex Scenes That Make Your Toes Curl!

These scenes don't have to be graphically sexy - although they could be. Maybe it makes you sigh - or cry, or want to hug someone. Maybe there's a scene that makes you fall in love with love - or maybe there's a scene that makes you, as Austin Powers would say, "Horny - baby!" Whatever it is, however it strikes you, list it here by commenting below.

On you mark, get set … LIST!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Trailer Park

Here's a little movie I'm particularly psyched out of my mind about.

Luchadors + Tenacious D = Nacho Libre

Jaci, are you out there? Can you believe they are FINALLY making a movie about mexican wrestlers? It's possible that this movie will be very very stupid, but it's also possible that Jack Black did good, too...

What do YOU think?

Friday, February 03, 2006

List Friday!

Whoa ladies - this blog is getting to brainiacal for me! I'd like to turn up the lights in the room a bit and introduce a new feature to our Cinema Firmament blog ... LIST FRIDAY!

On List Friday, we'll post a topic suitable for creating a list. We'll ask our contributors and readers to feel free to contribute their version of the lists (via a comment on this post - below) within that week's time frame. This is a primo slack-at-work activity that Molly and I have participated in on Fridays by email (with our other sister, Kathy) for many moons. We thought we'd spread the joy to our fellow members of the CF.

Here are the rules:
  • Anyone can contribute a comment - if you have a list to share, please click on "comments" below!
  • When we say favorite - we mean YOUR favorite, so there are no right or wrong answers. So, if the List Friday asks you for your 10 favorite Disney characters in film, and you just L-O-V-E David Spade's characterization of Kuzco in "The Emperor's New Groove," list it!
  • Some list topics may require different rules, which will be included in the post for that List Friday. For example, if we post a List that asks you to list as many movies with a day of the week in the title, well then - DUH, you have to follow that rule. If it's a quiz list like the aforementioned example, we ought not to cheat by searching on the internet for appropriate films for the list, K?
  • Think up additional topics for List Friday. We'll take turns coming up with the list ideas.
  • Have FUN!

And now, for today's List Friday topic:

List Your Top 10 Favorite Movie Moments of All Time!

Ready? Get Set .... COMMENT!!!

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Francine: Capote

I know you haven’t seen it yet… so no “spoilers” but I have to say that I was as haunted by “Capote” as I was by “Brokeback Mountain.”

Did you know that Truman Capote never finished another novel? It was his defining, and final, complete work. The film captures the period of his life that made him iconic and ruined him at the same time.

Hoffman is fabulous in his portrayal and I was both drawn to him and completely horrified by his willingness to exploit the lives of his subjects. In some ways this movie is the “play within a play.” We see in the art of this film, the making of his true crime genre. It captures the innocence of the Midwest rural community and contrasts it with the decadence and sparkling affectation of the New York lifestyle that Capote lived.

Okay… that’s a snapshot. I loved it. I was haunted by it. I was saddened. I think there are a few defining scenes in the movie, both with Harper Lee who was a childhood friend of Truman’s.

As you see it, see what you think about Harper Lee, knowing that the real Harper Lee was a consultant on the film. I think that is SO cool. I want to say more. But I’m stopping.

Maureen… this was more than you wanted to read, huh?

Fiction vs. Real Life in the Movies

It struck me at lunch the other day (with Peggy actually) that three of the five noms for best picture are “real life” movies.

And I find myself wondering whether it’s easier to recount real life? Whether it’s harder to portray a real person? We treat them as the same genre: the dramatic film. But one is really biography, isn’t it?

I find myself fascinated (weird though it is) in the comparisons. And, I’ll be especially interested as I see more of the movies… And, I’m sure I’ll have more thoughts!

Molly: Brokeback Mountain

Here's the post where I give my little review of Brokeback Mountain. We usually get pretty rushed with the whole seeing all five movies in one month thing, but I'd like to try this. Please, my four other oscar compatriots, please try and join me in this.

DISCLAIMER: I am home sick from work today, and am on sudafed. I would be sleeping, except that sudafed gives me the jitters. The jitters, I'm hoping will keep me up to write this post, however, sudafed also gives me the stupids, so we'll just have to see.

All four of us, Maureen, Francine, Peggy and I went to see Brokeback Mountain last Sunday. We all know this movie as the "gay cowboy movie." It was so much more than that. It's so beautifully shot and acted, the screenplay is economic in the best possible way. It so wondrously lays out the passions and tragedy of star-crossed love. What makes this so much more than a love story, however, it that the men's relationship far passed the short-term, all-consuming passion that Romeo and Juliet never lived to see beyond, into the realm of companionship, which left unrequited, creates so much of a greater and more gaping wound in a life: Loneliness, loss, and the horrible recognition that fear kept one from fulfilling ones life. God, it is so sad.

And so yes, it features cowboys and homosexuality. But that is not what it is about. I think Brokeback Mountain is about lying.

As a theme in film, we've seen "the lie" in movies a lot lately. See Catch Me If You Can, See Sideways. These two films take us on the roller-coaster that self-possessed compulsive lying can take you on, from Frank Abignale's jet setting highs and the thrill of the hunt, to Miles disdain at Jack's lying, when he himself is as big, if not bigger, of a phony (I will never get over the fact that he stole money from his mother!). These two films follow ultimately the same arc: Thrill ride set in motion by lies, the fact that lying can make you feel like a better person, and then: the downfall. Oh, and of course the denoument, wherein the guy gets the redeeming job, or the girl, or the 50-year-old bottle of wine in a paper cup at the In and Out Burger.

Brokeback Mountain never needs so predictable of a story arc. It's aim was not to thrill us, or even to redeem Jack and Ennis from their sullied state as "liars." Even their "good times," their fishing trips, are flavored with an underlying sadness. Jack asks Ennis, "Why can't it be like this all of the time?" Ennis's answer, that they have wives and children and jobs and neighbors who would mutilate them if they knew, shows us that their lives' lie is compelled not necessarily from within, but from without, from their culture. Their lie is keeping them from a fulfilled life. The tragedy in Brokeback Mountain is not some climatic downfall, but the fact that they have to lie at all.

Heard it through the grapevine...

I read today at ew (link on the sidebar) that Imelda Staunton has been cast as Delores Umbridge in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. I must say, I can already see her wry smile and big pink bow in my head, and yes, Imelda Staunton is so perfect.

How much fun must it be to be a british actor lining up for these roles? The series has gotten all of the best! I am voting for Kate Winslet as Tonks next!!! Who should play Charlie and Bill?

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

The Cinema Firmament

WHAT HAPPENED TO CINDERELLA MAN??

I am sooo excited that we now have an official OSCAR-MOVIE BLOG!! Thank you ladies for creating it and inviting me to post.

Today has been so crazy for me, it's 8:00 P.M. now and I am still at school sitting at my computer and I have pending work all around me. Yet with today being the day that the nominations were announced, I have been so impatient to post my thoughts. I really should go home and see my family, but I just have to get this written. . .sigh. . .my priorities are sometimes clouded.

Anyway,
I am upset and so disappointed that Ron Howard, Renee Zellweger, Russell Crowe and C.M. were all snubbed by the Academy. Paul Giamatti gets the nod for Supporting Actor? What??? Hmmmm. . .I mean he was very good in that movie, but why they picked only him from that movie is beyond me.

OKAY-now it's a change of plans for us and our hubbies, what movie will we get them to this year since Walk the Line is out?? We had our double date already planned Pegs--Let's see, it probably will have to be Munich or Capote, don't you think? I guess we should run it by the guys also??? They might want a say. . .

I just have to say that I liked Cinderella Man better than Brokeback-I suppose the reason being that I can relate to that love story b/w a husband, wife and their kids more than I could between Ennis and Jack. I mean, Jake and Heath were so sexy in their cowboy jeans, hats and boots-I was thinking I should have been in that pup tent with them on that mountain, not fair!!
Sorry Pegs-but it's true. Are you surprised about my thoughts on THAT? Besides, James Braddock was an Irish boxer that fought his way out of the Depression, literally, for his family--that stubborn Irish pride!

Anyways, love you two Gleason girls and 33 days and counting to the big day! (And I'm not talking the Superbowl) Mitch actually suggested a family ski trip that weekend! "Are you nuts??" I asked-It's the Oscars and the only place I am going to is to Peggy's house for our party. . .in my pajamas-or is it Red Carpet dresses this year?? We have a couple of dated wedding dresses we could wear, along with some bridesmaids dresses??




Molly's take

1. George Clooney is the next Mel Gibson, and Mel Gibson had some replacing coming, because Mel Gibson has gone bat-shit crazy. The bad news here is that George is not likely to go the way of Mel with Braveheart, as I seriously doubt he can win in either best picture or best director. The good news is that perhaps this means that George will not be going the way of Mel, ever.

2. So happy Jake Gyllenhall got nominated. I'm happy not only because he's my future husband and it's always good to be supportive in situations like that, but because his character was so beautifully nuanced and interesting. I'm three days past seeing Brokeback Mountain, and I'm still occasionally wistful, thinking of the character of Jack Twist, and his relationship with and ownership of his own homosexuality.

3. I completely agree with my sister, below, when she talks about the-normally-gorgeous-actress-goes-ugly-and-therefore-obviously-qualifies-for-best-actress-because-dammit!-lookit!-she's-ugly! thing. I am conflicted, however. I have always really liked Felicity Huffman. I've watched a total of 5 Desperate Housewives episodes, and she is my favorite (I think it's the whole working mom thing). Also, I remember her talking to the press when her hubby, William Macy, was up for best actor for Fargo. She described him as the sexiest man alive, and she said it so sincerely, and I'm a sucker for real marriages in Hollywood, and I think she's in one. Okay, that has NOTHING to do with her acting ability, but I'm honestly endeared. Plus, I don't think I'll have an opportunity to see Transamerica until Netflix can mail it to me. I still think I might root for Reece just because she's a pretty woman who plays a pretty woman, and from all the other awards she's racked up so far, I assume she does it pretty well. What a trailblazer, that Elle Woods.

4. I want to go on record to state that I really really hate "It's Hard Out There For A Pimp," nominated for best song, and from the film, Hustle and Flow. I watched the film on Saturday night, and the song has since been etched in my mind, and NOT in a good way.

5. My first reaction to the five movies nominated for best picture this year was that I was really excited to have to see them all in the next month, but that none of them looked like much "fun." No Chicago, no Shakespeare in Love-like film this year, just unrequited love, relationships between and with murderers, racism, prejudice and commies (or at least, those opposed to those opposed to supposed commies--say that 5 times, fast!). Some might say this is a "intellectual" push by the academy and a victory for independent and otherwise "smaller" films, and I do think it is. What gets under my nails and bugs me until I have to get out the nail file on this one is that the fun movies are incredibly important to film making too. This is very close to getting me to spew on and on about how comedic actors are never included in the Oscars, despite the whole acting their butts off thing, but I will refrain.

6. Go Murderball!

My take on the nominations ...

Hey Molly - thanks for pointing out that this has truly been more of a life-long obsession for us. Oh, and one of the first social things I did with Maureen and her family was to go over on Oscar night. That was the first time I participated in a ballot ... It was the year of Cher, and Moonstruck. I remember winning the Doyle family Oscar Pool that year! I was hooked! :-)

Here's my initial thoughts about the nominations:

#1) People clapped their hands when Crash was nominated. It got the buzz in the room, like Sideways did last year. I have seen Crash. It was ... a'ight, I suppose. I've heard some people say that it "really got them thinking." To which I say - you should have been thinking a long time ago. Have you seen Do the Right Thing? So - Crash is my pick for overblown accolades this year. I figure so many people were IN the movie that it's receiving a bunch of noms simply because of the degree of separation most Academy voters have to the movie.

#2) The Beautiful Actress turns Ugly theory seems to be in effect again this year ... Felicity Huffman, usually an interesting beauty, made herself look trans-gendered. Turning otherwise beautiful women into ugly/unattractive women is THE KEY to a Best Actress Academy Award nomination. This year, we have two working models of the theory - Huffman, and Charlize Theron, who did her best to look drab in North Country (ok - maybe three ... depending on what you think of Dame Judy). Meeeooow! I'm so catty. Ok - I haven't yet seen any of the films starring the women nominated in this category though - so I oughta shuddup.

#3) I was THRILLED to see that Jake Gyllenhaal received a nomination for Brokeback Mountain. It's just right, you know?

#4) Dolly Parton got nominated for Best Song. That's cool. How weird to think that Dolly Parton has received more nominations (and wins!) than Don Cheadle? I mean, didn't Parton win for "9-5" ????

#5) George Clooney is a MOVIE STAR. Molly and I saw him in his first big screen flick - From Dusk Til Dawn. Prior to that he was primarily famous as Dr. Ross on ER, and the cute guy from The Facts of Life - little screen stuff. During From Dusk Til Dawn, I remember turning to Molly and saying, "George Clooney is a movie STAR."

#6) Revenge of the Sith gets NO LOVE for special effects? I thought that was kinda weird.

#7) Sorry Maureen - Russell Crowe and Cinderella Man got no love, either. I trust you when you say he, and the movie, deserved it.

So -- we have plenty to dish about for the next month! Let the discussions begin!!!! Yeeeehaaawww!

Oscar Nominees Announced!

I was 3 for 5, but I'm excited to see the four movies that I've not seen yet that are on our slate. Briefly, the five best picture nominees are:

  • Brokeback Mountain (because, well, duh!)
  • Capote
  • Good Night, and Good Luck
  • Crash
  • Munich

More nominees here.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Whoo Hoo!

I have to say that this is very exciting. I love the movie blog idea.

I have to add that Peggy and I have been addicts to the Oscar thing for much longer than three years. I remember watching with her over the phone for many years. I also remember getting to visit my way cool big sister in college and watching the oscars at her apartment, eating mac-n-cheese out of the pan and making fun of those fugly late 1980's "gowns." I have also watched the Oscars from Europe twice, from start to finish. The show there begins around 2am, and I stayed up all night for both (the second time watching in half subtitled/half dubbed Portugese). We have been freaks for this kind of thing for a way long time, but due to having babies and stuff we hadn't been able to make the commitment to see ALL of the movies until just a few years ago. And just so you know, we were still just as competitive and "in to it" even when we hadn't seen all of the movies.

So basically what I'm trying to say is:

Pop Culture + Competition = Peggy and Molly Heaven

So, who will be nominated tomorrow? I am going to pick the five best picture nods.

1. Brokeback Mountain (because, well, duh)
2. Walk the Line
3. Crash
4. Good Night, and Good Luck
5. The Constant Gardener

Heh, and I've only seen one of those... Geeking out, in its purest form...

Academy Award Nominations Announced Tomorrow!

I'm geeking out, as Molly would say. I'm so excited to find out what the nominees will be for 2005 ...

For the past 3 years or so, my sister Molly, and my best friend Maureen, and I have seen all of the Oscar nominated best-picture films prior to the Oscar awards show. Our friend Francine is in on it this year. We have really enjoyed it - even if we sometimes end up at the very last weekend rushing to get that final movie in. But then we all watch the awards show together - and have running ballots of who we think will win, and who we WANT to win. Very fun.

So this blog is an attempt to capture our mania in the next month. The mania starts tomorrow morning in earnest, as I know that Molly and I will be awake and watching E! channel at 6:30 am MST as they read off the names of the nominees in Hollywood. I'll probably be clutching a mug of coffee in one hand, and the telephone on the other - cuz Molly or I will end up calling each other by the time all of the names have been announced and before the studio audience is finished clapping.

I love watching the announcement - it's so early in CA, and the poor blokes that read the nominations are usually on the verge of something important (career-wise) that makes them realize that reading the Academy Award nominations is actually a complimentary assignment, even if it means they have to wake up at like, 3:00 am, and speak in complete sentences by 5:30 am. Wonder who it will be tomorrow?

Anyway ... we're about to embark on another Oscar movie watching season. Hip-hip-hooray! I'm hoping that Maureen and Francine will enjoy posting here too - as well as anyone who enjoys a good movie. Oh, and "good movie" is completely subjective here - what you like, you like and that's good enough for me.