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 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!!"

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!