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Archive for February, 2009

The Oscars were boring as usual last night, with a few exceptions. Here are the hidden gems I enjoyed.

  • Danny Boyle’s constant smiling brought several puppies back to life. Seriously, as if the cast of Slumdog Millionaire weren’t adorable and happy enough, the shots of Danny Boyle smiling throughout the show was probably what was keeping the electricity on in the Kodak Theater. If he and Amy Adams had sat next to each other, Los Angeles might have exploded.
  • Foreign people continue to be the highlight of the award show. Between Penelope Cruz saying G-d knows what and the animated short guy quoting Styx lyrics, foreigners continue to effortlessly be funnier than any of the scripted material on the show. For shame, Bruce Vilanch.
  • Goldie Hawn’s left breast moves independently from the rest of her body. Maybe it was trying to tell us something? Like “Goldie Hawn’s career fell down a well.” Zing.
  • As per usual, the “In Memoriam” portion of the show was coupled with “Oh My God, He/She died??” Deaths most surprising to Brooklyn Skeptics? Roy Schneider and Brooks from Shawshank Redemption.
  • Jerry Lewis was not that annoying. And quite frankly, I was disappointed.
  • That kid from Twilight apparently thinks he is actually Dracula. Seriously kid, try looking straight into the camera, without your eyebrows raised. And try having an expression on your face that doesn’t suggest that you are hypnotizing me and will drink my blood at any minute. Because it’s working. Do you want to drink my blood? Fine, drink my blood.
  • Coldplay used as the background music in several montages. Clearly, this was an effort to make the Oscar ceremony more appealing to people who enjoy standing in airports or elevators for no particular reason.
  • Beyonce sings “At Last” again. That’s just another pin in Etta James’ voodoo doll.
  • The “five past winners present this year’s winner” thing. Nothing says the Oscars like Sophia Loren and Cuba Gooding, Jr. telling you how fucking awesome you are.
  • Despite Wolverine trailers, the “movies of 2009” reference to Wolverine and Hugh Jackman ending the first musical number with “I’m Wolveriiiiiiiine,” I still think the award show could have included 30-40% more Wolverine. If only the Oscar statuettes were made of adamantium.
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Hey gang! It’s time for OSCAR PREDICTIONS 2009! This year’s best picture contestants are super interesting. And guess what? You didn’t see any of them, did you? None at all. Alright well they sound like they could be interesting. Like the one about Nazis! Nazis, guys! Nazis are always crazy and violent and…what’s that? Oh, okay it’s about a Nazi who is learning to read, so…okay. Uh…well what about that Benjamin Button one with Brad Pitt? He’s a handsome triangle of hunk sandwich with the crusts cut off, right? You’d watch him in anything right? Oh. Okay. So, for the majority of the movie he plays a 3 foot tall man baby? Hm…

Alright well the one that I’m super excited about is Frost/Nixon. Frost was always one of my favorite characters on Mortal Kombat (you remember, she was Sub-Zero’s protege?). So imagine a movie where she goes back in time to have a super awesome icicle fight with Richard Nixon! I mean that sounds like an awesome mo- what? Fuck. Alright apparently it’s not about that. That’s really a shame, because that sounded like a slam dunk of a movie.

Alright well whatever, the Oscars are happening, and you may or may not care. But here are some predictions for you. If they don’t win you your office pool, don’t blame me, or steal the rights to my Mortal Kombat meets Watergate idea.

Best Supporting Actress

Nominees:

  • Amy Adams (Doubt)
  • Penelope Cruz (Vicky Christina Barcelona)
  • Viola Davis (Doubt)
  • Taraji P. Henson (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button)
  • Marisa Tomei (The Wrestler)

I have a feeling that even though Benjamin Button received the most nominations this year, it’s going to fail in everything. I mean, if there is an award for best artistic rendering of a weird looking man-baby, I’m sure it will win (with Mickey Rourke as a close second). I think this award is going to Viola Davis, who packed an amazing amount of awesome into a really short role.

Will Win: Viola Davis

Should Win: Viola Davis

Best Supporting Actor

Nominees:

  • Josh Brolin (Milk)
  • Robert Downey Jr. (Tropic Thunder)
  • Philip Seymour Hoffman (Doubt)
  • Heath Ledger (The Dark Knight)
  • Michael Shannon (Revolutionary Road)

Duh.

Will Win: Heath Ledger

Should Win: Heath Ledger

Best Actress

Nominees: 

  • Anne Hathaway (Rachel Getting Married)
  • Angelina Jolie (Changeling)
  • Melissa Leo (Frozen River)
  • Meryl Streep (Doubt)
  • Kate Winslet (The Reader)

So Melissa Leo is out because no one has ever heard of her really. Meryl Streep has won for better and more likeable characters. Angelina Jolie has won an Oscar already and her movie didn’t do that well critically. And Anne Hathaway, despite being the one who deserves it, happens to be in a movie that criminally got no other Oscar recognition.  So yes, Kate Winslet will have her Oscar.

Will Win: Kate Winslet

Should Win: Anne Hathaway

Best Actor

Nominees:

  • Richard Jenkins  (The Visitor)
  • Frank Langella (Frost/Nixon)
  • Sean Penn (Milk)
  • Brad Pitt (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button)
  • Mickey Rourke (The Wrestler)

Richard Jenkins is the Melissa Leo of this category. I have no clue why Brad Pitt is on this list. It really comes down to Mickey Rourke, Sean Penn and Frank Langella. Sean Penn has had his fun with the Academy already, although he was much more deserving an award in Milk than the overacting fest that was Mystic River. Frank Langella has been around for a long time and is just now getting the amazing parts he deserves (with the exception of being a loveable dickhead in Dave). I somehow think that Mickey Rourke has too much momentum to not win at this point though.

Will Win: Mickey Rourke

Should Win: Mickey Rourke

Best Animated Film

Nominees:

  • Bolt
  • Kung Fu Panda
  • Wall-E

Wall-E. Although I still want to see that hamster looking thing from Bolt. Fucking adorable.

Will Win: Wall-E

Should Win: Wall-E

Best Original Song

Nominees:

  • “Down to Earth” (Wall-E)
  • “Jai Ho” (Slumdog Millionaire)
  • “O Saya” (Slumdog Millionaire)

This is a weird category. There are only three songs compared to last year’s five. And two of them are songs from Slumdog Millionaire that I don’t remember. I mean, I remember liking the music, but I don’t know Jai Ho from O Saya, and I doubt the Academy will either. I remember the song from Wall-E, but it wasn’t that good. And Peter Gabriel has probably pissed off the Academy by not performing at the ceremony. So I’m going with Jai Ho. I don’t really know why.

Will Win: “Jai Ho”

Should Win: “Jai Ho”

Best Adapted Screenplay

Nominees:

  • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (Eric Roth)
  • Doubt (John Patrick Shanley)
  • Frost/Nixon (Peter Morgan)
  • The Reader (David Hare)
  • Slumdog Millionaire (Simon Beaufoy)

Doubt dragged a lot on screen I thought. It was really more suited for the stage. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button somehow turned a short story printed in a magazine into a 165 minute movie, which everyone says is way too long. Frost/Nixon was breezy and entertaining I guess, but not in the same league as Slumdog or The Reader.

Will Win: The Reader

Should Win: Slumdog Millionaire

Best Original Screenplay

Nominees:

  • Frozen River (Courtney Hunt)
  • Happy-Go-Lucky (Mike Leigh)
  • In Bruges (Martin McDonagh)
  • Milk (Dustin Lance Black)
  • Wall-E (Andrew Stanton, Jim Reardon)

Another interesting category, because they often give this to smaller films that didn’t get a lot of attention from the Academy otherwise. This year I doubt it will be Frozen River, because not enough people saw it (as opposed to past winners like Juno, Little Miss Sunshine, Eternal Sunshine, Lost In Translation, Almost Famous and Talk to Her – which were all indie favorites). Happy-Go-Lucky is a possibility, but after winning a bunch of awards across the globe for acting and direction, it totally got the shaft from the Academy. That leaves Wall-E, which doesn’t have much dialogue (even though it’s brilliant) and will be winning the animated award instead. And In Bruges barely made a mark, despite being a really fun movie. So I think this is where Milk will get its due.

Will Win: Milk

Should Win: Milk

Best Director

Nominees:

  • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (David Fincher)
  • Frost/Nixon (Ron Howard)
  • Milk (Gus Van Sant)
  • The Reader (Stephen Daldry)
  • Slumdog Millionaire (Danny Boyle)

Best Director is almost always awarded to whoever wins Best Picture. In the past 10 years, this has happened 7 out of 10 times. I don’t see anything winning best picture but Slumdog Millionaire, and it would be great to see Danny Boyle win an Oscar. Besides, The Reader got Best Adapted Screenplay already (aren’t you following?) and Milk got Best Original. So everyone’s happy (except Benjamin Button, who is old and crotchety).

Will Win: Slumdog Millionaire

Should Win: Slumdog Millionaire

Best Picture

Nominees:

  • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
  • Frost/Nixon
  • Milk
  • The Reader
  • Slumdog Millionaire

As I said above, Slumdog should be winning this. Benjamin Button kind of sucked and was too long, Frost/Nixon was entertaining enough but nothing special, Milk was pretty good but sort of by-the-numbers for a Gus Van Sant movie, The Reader was alright but divisive and everyone and their mother loved Slumdog Millionaire.

Will Win: Slumdog Millionaire

Should Win: Slumdog Millionaire

And that’s all.

Versus 

                                                 Think about it.

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