Best Show You Don't Know About

Best Show You Don't Know About
Leverage

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

movie rating system (again)

I am going to be doing several new reviews this week and just wanted to remind how I review, since it has been a while. If you want to go back through the archives, I did the major post on December 12, 2007 about this.
I will give a quick description along with likes and dislikes, but at the end I will give 2 ratings.
One rating will be for the film quality. This means- is it a well made and well produced film? Is it possible that it may be up for the next Oscar ceremony? As a fan of film making, did they produce a high quality film?
One rating will be for the movie quality. This means- is it fun to watch? How much enjoyment did I get out of this? Is this one I want to see again and again?
By my rating system, Schindler's List would get a high film rating, but a middling movie rating (what can I say, I have rewatched Schindler many times.)
Major League, on the other hand, would get a middling film rating, but a very high movie rating.
I feel that this way I can talk about both aspects of a movie.

Offending People

As most of you know, my goal in life is to offend people. :)
I work in a building where the heat washaving a problem the last few days- it wouldn't turn off! A couple of people brought stand alone fans.
I get to work at 6:40 after my wife drops me off on her way to work. I am the first one there. Several of the people who brought fans came in just before 7 this morning and were doing what most of the people whose lives were influenced by the film Tommy Boy do- they were quoting the line where Chris Farley is talking into the fan. "Luke, I am your father, Lo, la, Lo, la".
So, being the movie geek that I am, I walk over and continue with the scene. David Spade comes in and says, "Look, I know you'd like to sit there and continue to be unslim, but we have work to do."
The main guy doing it is not petite, but also a movie fan. He knows I am a movie fan as well. But, because this gentleman is not petite, you could have heard a pin drop after I said it.
I immediately said, "Yes, I am a movie geek. That is David Spade's next line."
But, they continued to stare at me, and, as I walked away, I heard, "That was rude."
If anyone who was involved in that reads this, I am sorry. I never meant to be rude or offensive.
BUT...
if you are goofing around in the workplace and feel that it was directed at you instead of being a movie quote, maybe you shouldn't be doing it, either.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Oscars 2009

E!'s Red Carpet-

While talking to Michael Sheen, Danny Elfman walked by in the background- go Danny!

Amy Adams is starting to use Cruel Intentions 2 in interviews as her own personal mocking tool a la Turner & Hooch.

ABC red carpet- accounting montage- loads of fun! Midnight Run, Casino Royale, Untouchables...

ceremony-

Great opening number with Hugh Jackman and a "surprised Anne Hathaway" as Nixon

Nice concept of 5 past acting nominees talking about why this year's nominees are up- but I want to SEE why they are up.

Best Supporting Actress- Penelope Cruz- not a Woody Allen fan, but because of this award and Rebecca Hall being in it as well, it now becomes a must see.

Fun bit of having Steve Martin and Tina Fey actually read parts of the nominated screenplays.

Original Screen play- Milk- Way to have a purely emotional speech about how great all gay and lesbians are and how they are all beautiful( read sarcastically). I have been heterosexual all my life and have met quite a few idiot heterosexuals. You can't tell me that being gay makes you a great person either. I love how everything is black or white on this issue in Hollywood.

Adapted screenplay- Slumdog- I totally disagree with this because I feel it is one of the most hackneyed screenplays of the year- even Crystal Skull was a better screenplay.

Best Animated- WALL-E. It better have been! Later on in the show, they show a clip montage of Romance and it ends with WALL-E and EVE. It's best animated and best romance and it's not up for Best Picture- WHY? Dirfector talks about how he was cast in his High School production of Hello Dolly- that explains the mystery of WALL-E's love for that musical.

Art Direction- Benjamin Button- Because it was much harder, obviously, to create something that existed as opposed to something that didn't (Dark Knight, cough). And in the clips, why did they show the plain white interrogation room with table and chair?

Costume Design- Duchess- Nothing here that was nominated was for anything interesting at all! And, as Aleisha says, Can't they get away from this damn time period? I wholly second that!

Makeup- Benjamin Button- Chris Cannom has always done good work, although I personally would have gone for Hellboy 2. In its defense, though, It is hard to make people age realistically as opposed to demons and monsters which can look like anything.

Cinematography- Ben Stiller mocking Joaquin Phoenix- very funny. Slumdog Millionaire- Based on the clips, I would have given it to Changeling. I found nothing special about the cinematography of Slumdog- parts of it have been done by years of television lighting.

Best Supporting Actor- Heath Ledger- again, I can't fault the choice. Amazing performance that will go down in history, only a bit more because of his death. I still feel Downey, Jr.'s performance is the toughest role, though in the same way that Bale in Prestige and Norton in Fight Club were.

Documentary- Man on Wire- haven't seen it, but friends who have really enjoyed it and were amazed.

Visual Effects- Benjaman Button- Haven't seen, but again, it was something realistic instead of fantastical

Sound editing- Dark Knight- It was good, but it wasn't Ben Burtt!

Sound Mixing- Slumdog Millionaire-WTF?

Editing- Slumdog Millionaire- The hyper-kinetic style wins an Oscar, however, Natural Born Killers was regarded as being too much for any audience member to handle.

Humanitarian award given to Jerry Lewis- fast forwarded through it.

score-Slumdog- predicted it- but I still liked Elfman and Newman's scores better. I will be surprised if we ever hear from A.R. Rahman again, though.

song- performance-WALL-E doing counterpoint to Slumdog? How weird was that?

song-award- Jai-Ho (sp?)- Since Down to Earth wasn't going to win, at least they picked the best of the 2 songs from Slumdog.

foreign film- Departures- no opinion

in memorium- they remembered Stan Winston, ended on Paul Newman, and the final clip was Sting.

Director- Danny Boyle- Slumdog- as said before- very disappointed in the film and also, I don't feel like he should ever have won. The second credit during the end credits was "Co-Director-India' which means that Danny should not win this award.

Actress- Kate Winslet- although I feel it is a make up award (5 previous nominations, zero wins) her call out and wave to her dad after she asked for him to whistle, was one of the highlights of the show.

Actor- Sean Penn- Milk- still haven't seen it, but I must say, he is a great actor and deserves it.

Picture- Slumdog Millionaire

I am going to go on record right now and say that in the year 2020, Oscar watchers are going to look back and say "Slumdog Millionaire? Really?"

I worked at Blockbuster Video for a very long time and although it was very popular when it was first released on video 7 months after winning Best Picture, a short 4 months later and Shakespeare in love was totally forgotten. It won over Saving Private Ryan which, almost a decade after it was originally released, is still constantly checked out at all times.

Slumdog Millionaire will follow in Shakespeare in Love's footsteps.

Count n it.

Jumping back in- Oscar night and predictions

What better nightfor me to start blogging again than Oscar Night? This is my Super Bowl night.
I have not seen as many nominated films this year as I would have liked, a fractured radial head in my right arm contributed to that, but I am still excited.
Right now, the only 2 nominations that I really care about are Ben Burtt for sound for WALL-E. Most sound people only have between 700 & 1000 sounds to make and mix even for the huge action blockbusters. For WALL-E, Burtt had almost 3000! Ben Burtt, for those who don't know, created all of the sound for the Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and Jurassic Park films. T-Rex roar? Burtt. Light sabers and alien languages? Burtt. Giant rolling boulder and ark hum? Burtt. He is one of my personal idols and deserves each of these awards.
Although I have absolutely no problem with Heath Ledger winning Best Supporting Actor for the Joker (it is an acting tour de force that will go in cinema history), I think Robert Downey, Jr.s performance in Tropic Thunder was so layered, perfect, and hysterical, that he is my actual pick.
I want Danny Elfman to win for best score, but A.R. Rahman will win for Slumdog, and, for that award, I am okay with Slumdog picking it up.
The toughest part of the night will be the 'In Memoriam' section. 3 of my idols have died this year, and it will be rough seeing their names in that list this year- Paul Newman, George Carlin, and Stan Winston. The first 2 you probably know and the third you should. Stan Winston created some of tghe most recognizeable live action effects in film history. T-Rex, Terminator, Iron Man, Galaxy Quest, Predator, Aliens, Edward Scissorhands- all Stan.
Yesterday in preperation for the Oscars, we caught Slumdog Millionaire and Frost/Nixon. I will give more in-depth reviews later this week for them both, but I was blown away by Frost/Nixon, and thought that Slumdog was just 'Meh" for a Best Picture nominee. It was a fun show that I enjoyed, but it would be like putting Sleepless in Seattle up for a Best Picture. Slumdog was contrived and nothing special.
Frost/Nixon however, was amazing in the same way that Apollo 13 was- even though the outcome was known, it was still absorbing and you were left breathless with anticipation at scenes. The acting was top notch (I was upset that Langella earned a nomination and Sheen didn't until the final 15 minutes when Langella just rocked). There was drama and also, a surprising amount of humor. I have yet to see Benjamin Button , The Reader, or Milk, but I can't imagine any of those films being any better than Frost/Nixon.
I will say, though that Dark Knight and WALL-E were still probably better than Frost/Nixon, but, since I can't vote for the Oscars, who am I to talk?
I am going to try to blog about my reactions as the show happens, but, if not, look for an update tomorrow.