March 28, 2010

If I Had To Choose...

I’m sure it’s a question we’ve all asked ourselves. If we were stranded on a desert island, and could only take a set amount of things with us, what would they be? Now, before we go any further, I just want to point out that I’m not so shallow that I will only take movies with me to the island; it’s for the purposes of the article. I know there are more important things out there, and, yes, I do love movies but... I’m kinda working myself into a rut here, so, SUBJECT CHANGE! Andy Hart over at Fandango Groovers is hosting this event, which calls for people to come up with the end all, be all of movie lists. What are the eight movies you could not live without? A lot of people are taking part and giving there opinions. This is mine.

Before we begin, let me say something real quick. These might not be my favorite movies of all time. These eight films make this list because I admire them so. They pushed boundaries, came up with new and risky ideas, pulled them off with flying colors, or affected me in ways that most people would have trouble admitting. Just because I liked a movie doesn’t mean it’s worthy of my veneration. Ok, so, with that out of the way...

March 23, 2010

Box Office Madness

What with March Madness in full swing right now, and the summer movie season just around the corner, Fletch over at the LAMB is gearing up for March of Box Office Madness. It's basically March Madness, but instead of choosing which college basketball team will win on the court, you're choosing which summer blockbuster will win at the box office. There's a banner in the sidebar. You do not have to be a LAMB or have a film blog to participate. Come on. It'll be fun!

March 13, 2010

Spell It Backwards! Drop the S!

This is the best scene from an inspired piece of lunacy! For those of you who don't know, Black Dynamite is a spoof of 70's blaxploitation films. Starring Michael Jai White as the title character, the films sees Black Dynamite and his crew as they go around cleaning up the streets and taking on the man! Everything you've come to expect from movies like this, from prolonged and cheesy zooms, to completely unnecessary explosions, to ridiculous fight scenes and some of the most balls out stupid dialogue out there are all here, but are put to such good use that you just love the whole thing! Let me put it this way. (BEWARE: HERE THERE BE SPOILERS) The finale sees Black Dynamite having a nun-chuck fight with Richard Nixon, because Nixon was the mastermind behind a plot to shrink the black man's dick! Black Dynamite pimp slaps the first lady into a china cabinet, and the ghost of Abraham Lincoln appears to deliver an ass whooping! You can't get more ridiculous then that! This is one piece of pure, camp, parody that you don't want to miss!

March 7, 2010

Oscar Minutes...

...are here. The show was good tonight! It was pretty much what we expected in terms of winners. Sandra Bullock undeservedly won over Carey Mulligan, and Kathryn Bigelow righteously owned her ex. Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin were fantastic as the hosts, and I'm interested to see how they will top these two next year. The changes this year were actually well implemented. I'm still furious that they got rid of the performances of Best Original Song, but the 45 second wasn't as bad as I thought, seeing as they didn't cut off the people everyone cares about. And Taylor Lautner and Kristin Stewart didn't really present an award, so, everything's fine. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't surprised Avatar didn't win Best Picture. It was never going to win Best Director, and wasn't nominated for any other major awards. I thought for sure that the Academy would honor the highest grossing, best looking film of all time by giving it the top award. But, I'm not complaining. The Hurt Locker deserved all of it. How Inglourious Basterds or Up in the Air didn't win for their respective writing awards baffles me. I mean, Hurt Locker and Precious certainly deserved it, but they were already locked into other major awards. I thought for sure that the Academy would recognize Tarantino and Reitman in some way. Oh well! Also, Sandy Powell deserves to be slapped for her ungracious speech after winning Best Costume Design! Regardless, it was a good show. Some minor gripes with who the Academy chose, but, all in all, there's really nothing to complain about. See you next time.

March 1, 2010

Fie, For Shame Oscar: The Ones You Don't Appreciate

The Oscars are on Sunday! It's very exciting! The final votes were due today, I believe, which means that winner's have been chosen, and there's no changing them, whatever they may be. I've already given you my opinions on the nominees, so, what about the others? What about those other films that clearly deserved recognition, but received none? Pay attention Oscar! It's time to answer for your crimes!
First on my list of unappreciated films this season is, of course, (500) Days of Summer. I know, it's a romantic comedy. It didn't have amazing box office numbers. It's stars aren't the most bankable in the biz. But I don't care! (500) Days of Summer was my absolute favorite movie last year. Despite all the previously mentioned things working against it, there is one thing that everyone can agree on. (500) Days of Summer is good! Really good! I believe that should have gotten nods for Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Original Screenplay. I don't think Mark Webb was ever in the running for Best Director, so I'm not at all steamed about that. I am steamed at the other ones though! I know it was a long shot to hope that it would get noticed in the Best Picture race, but, come on. Can't a guy dream? Same goes for both acting categories, even though the performances by Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel are far superior then most of the nominated ones. If there was any category that (500) Days had a legitimate shot at getting noticed in, it was Best Original Screenplay! I thought for sure it would get nominated here, but, like I said before, the Academy has a habit of disassociating themselves with the movie I deem to be the best of the year. I'm sorry if I'm not as mainstream as the average Academy voter!
The other, big, glaring omission is even more surprising to me then (500) Days of Summer. Where the Wild Things Are is based off a beloved and classic piece of literature, is directed by Spike Jonze, tells an amazing story with great acting to boot. It's a bonafide art house picture! It's simply spectacular, but, it goes unnoticed. Why? It didn't make money! It was a critical darling and one of the best reviewed films of last year, but, since the Academy is more concerned about their telecast then honoring achievements in cinema this year, it is snubbed. Not only should Where the Wild Things Are have gotten nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay, but it would have been a strong contender for some technical awards. Just witness the seamless blending of puppets and CGI, and you'll see what I'm talking about. This is the type of movie the Academy always goes for, small, intimate, thought provoking, and all around excellent. Instead the went with The Blind Side. Ughhh...
There are a few other gripes I have, but won't go into too much detail about. I think Neill Blomkamp should have warranted considerable consideration for Best Director for District 9, but, it's a freshmen effort, not counting Alive in Joburg, so that was mostly vain hope. I think The Blind Side got two nominations too many! Public Enemies got no play as well, even though both Johnny Depp and Marion Cotillard deserved to get noticed. Cottilard especially this year, since she, along with her wonderful work in Enemies, was the only actor to maintain any dignity in Nine.
I don't know. Maybe I'm making too big a deal out of this. I know that not winning an Oscar isn't going to make these films any less good! It's just a shame that they won't be featured during the telecast, and, as such, probably won't reach the wider audience that should experience them. It's a shame, but, hey. Maybe the retrospective video they play will highlight at least some of these.
On another, less fiery note, my write up of the Oscar minutes will be featured on The LAMB following the telecast, so... that's cool!