Tag Archives: Oscars

Oscar Fail

Despite the effort to get out early and knock out those contending flicks, Jen and I did not see all the Best Pic nominees.  Sadly, then, I cannot reasonably offer any critique or prediction on the outcome Sunday’s show.

On TMJ this morning, they did mention the predictions of some sort of math genius who likes movies and has been mostly spot-on with the “big categories,” over the last few years.  Take that for what you will.

Other than that, I will open it up to you, my comrades, about the nominees you may have seen this year– what are your thoughts?  Here is a quick summary of an Oscar-related talk I had with Schneidie via phone yesterday:

  • Ben Button — really, really, REALLY long.  Gump-ish, which is not necessarily a bad thing; it’s just that Gump has been on cable like twice a week for the last 10 years, so everyone in America has seen it like a million times.
  • Slumdog Millionaire — nice movie.  Truly.  But what’s with all the hubub?  The way some people are talking about it, it BLEW them away in a Star Warscirca ’77 sort of way.  For the uninformed, they have had motion picture technology in India now for more than a couple decades…

Enjoy the show, if you decide to watch it.  I usually only catch the last 30-40 minutes, then review the recap of winners in the morning.  Maybe I’ll watch The Producers, at home from my Netflix right now…

Gut Reactions

Jen and I went to Mayfair to watch a couple Best Picture nominees today.  I will have more to say about everything when I get to my final “Oscars Preview” post, but for the time being, these were my initial thoughts:

  • Slumdog Millionaire – Nice movie.  Well-directed.  Interesting for Americans to see for the sake of some exposure to India, but that’s probably most unique thing about it.
  • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button – Long movie.  Very, very long movie.  There’s a decent payoff in the last 30+ minutes, but I don’t think the build-up was worth it.  13 nominations?  Seriously?

Now I am very tired, and I am going to sleep.

Oscar Time: The Usual Suspects At It Again

Just to note: There was not a sequel to The Usual Suspects released this year.  If there ever was, I suspect (ha-HA!) that it would NOT receive an Oscar nom.

In terms of the vast majority of nominees for Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Director, and Best Actress, though, I am Jack’s total lack of surprise.  Seems like I’ll need to get to work, though, as I have seen zero of the nominees so far.  Major work.  In a profound way.

Off to check the movie listings…

Oscar Time Part Deux

A couple weeks ago when the nominations came out, I offered up my list of flicks that I intended to see before the beeg pahtee on 2/25.

Well, of course I won’t have a chance to see ALL of those, but let’s have a look through the nominees that I have seen, and the categories that I have some license to talk about…

You may have seen my initial review of The Departed earlier in the year, I might have talked about a couple others, and I’m not feeling like re-hashing thoughts on the individual films. So with that said, here is a one-sentence review of each:

The Departed— Scorsese’s best flick since Goodfellas hits on all cylinders, and the end is a surprise.

BabelCrash-like in plot, but no racist aftertaste; more of a comment on a shrinking global community.

Letters from Iwo Jima— Strong performances against a gritty Eastwoodian backdrop, with a (relatively) uplifting finale.

Little Miss Sunshine— Superb screenplay made better by a terrific ensemble.

The Queen— The movie with this year’s Best Actress winner is an interesting flick regardless of historical accuracy.

My pick is The Departed. Best chance for an upset will come from Letters from Iwo Jima, since it is well-known that everything Clint Eastwood touches turns to gold,* unless nominated in the same year as a movie with hobbits.**

Nominees here are the same as best pic, with the exception of Paul Greengrass and United 93 subbing in for Little Miss Sunshine. Greengrass did a phenomenal job, and that movie actually made me want to not watch any other 9/11 movies for a while. I guess for me, though, the proof of that film’s quality will come with time, when the people who were NOT around to witness 9/11 firsthand look at it. Other people might think about it differently…

But in any case, I’ll pick Martin again. Of course, there’s always the chance that the Academy will kick him in the balls one more time and hand this statue to Josey Wales.

That might be a much more interesting way to settle the Best Director award, no? Eastwood gets dressed up like he’s back in Fistful of Dollars and he and the little Italian wiseguy count off 10 paces in front of Mann’s Chinese Theater, turn and fire. Done and done. Once and for all. Christ, man, it would be like Blazing Saddles.

That covers both categories where I’ve seen all the nominees, but I could make a couple other random picks, I suppose…

– Would like to see Alan Arkin win for supporting actor in Little Miss Sunshine. Thought he really gave that character an edge.
– How did Dreamgirls get all these nominations?
– How bout an award for Click, just for the sake of putting the words “ACADEMY AWARD WINNER” on the DVD box (it’s up for an award for makeup)?
– I would have to see Pan’s Labyrinth to make a call in the Original Screenplay category, but out of the other four (Babel, Iwo Jima, Miss Sunshine, and The Queen), I will be pulling for Little Miss Sunshine.

* - see the 77th Academy Awards
** - see the 76th Academy Awards

AM Notes

1. Got busted at work this morning for running BitTorrent. This woman from Networking who was no younger than 55 went into a detailed explanation of how much bandwidth I was using and what the repercussions are for the network at-large. All she really needed to say was, “Hey– stop using BitTorrent. Now.” In any case, my thought was, “if they don’t want us using this, why don’t they just block the ports..?”

2. Oscar Noms are out. I’ve made it a ritual in recent years to at least see all the candidates for Best Pic, so when I bitch about who won, I feel like I have a good reason. I’ve also expanded that to trying to see as many of the director and screenplay nominees as I can, too. Here, in no particular order, are a list of flicks I’ll have to catch in the next few weeks with that in mind:
– Babel
– Blood Diamond
– The Pursuit of Happyness
– The Last King of Scotland
– Half Nelson
– Dreamgirls
– Letters from Iwo Jima
– The Prestige
– The Illusionist
– The Queen
– Pan’s Labyrinth
– Little Children

That is all…