apocalypsos: (Default)
My mom shot me a text this morning and asked me if I wanted to go see this with her, so even though I already have it on my computer (heh), I said yes.

That said, I thought it was really great. The acting was superb across the board, and I don't think I disagreed with a single one of the acting nominations. I kind of want to single Robert DeNiro out if only because I've questioned his taste in scripts the last ten years or so, but I think he showed why he is the legend that he is in this movie. Jacki Weaver does great supporting work as the mom, and it's hard to argue against Bradley Cooper's nomination after watching this. I am really not the biggest Bradley Cooper fan in the world, or at all, but I thought he really showed that he's got some acting chops.

I do think Jennifer Lawrence was the heavy hitter here, though. I stand by my assertion after watching "Beasts of the Southern Wild" that while I want Quvenzhane Wallis to win, if Jennifer Lawrence wins I will be thrilled and I wouldn't argue against it. I saw one review before I saw the movie which called her a Manic Pixie Dream Girl and after seeing the movie I heartily disagree. Manic Pixie Dream Girls are weird, but it's not a genuine medical diagnosis. Like, if she were a Manic Pixie Dream Girl, she would like the Smiths and dresses with weird prints and wearing jelly shoes unironically. This girl has honest-to-goodness mental illness. I don't know if I would call it manic depression or just depression, but she's not doing to be cute, which is usually the impression I get from Manic Pixie Dream Girls. She's just as ill as Bradley Cooper's character.

I think that's why my main issue with the movie is the ending. Cut for spoilery comments. )

Still, I did like the movie for the most part. And hey, that's a good chunk of my Oscar checklist taken care of. \o/
apocalypsos: (Default)
I didn't write about this the last time I watched it because I stopped about a half an hour before it ended, and then for some reason I deleted it, and so I had to download it again so I could finish watching it.

That said, I'm crossing my fingers for Quvenzhane Wallis to win Best Actress. I expect Jennifer Lawrence to win, and I wouldn't be upset if she did because while I haven't yet watched "Silver Linings Playbook" (I'm going to later today) I know from what I've heard that she deserves the recognition. That said, I think there's a decided difference between Jennifer Lawrence (who I think is an amazing actress, don't get me wrong) and a six-year-old first-time actress deftly carrying an entire goddamn movie. She's only a little girl, and she does better work in this movie than a lot of adult actresses do in their entire careers. Besides, I think Jennifer Lawrence will have plenty of other opportunities to win.

I'm also a little disappointed that the actor who played her father in the movie didn't get nominated for best supporting actor. He's another first-time actor and he also turns out a performance that's miles above what most other actors did last year. I always feel like I'm more impressed by the acting nominees who come from a less professional start because they're got farther to go.

I think what helps Quvenzhane Wallis is that the movie plays really well on the small screen. It's really intimate and rough, and I think the people who are watching screeners in their home theaters are going to have an easier time connecting with it than they would in the theater given that.

I just really, REALLY want Quvenzhane Wallis to win. If I can have one happy surprise on Oscar night, I want it to be that.
apocalypsos: (i think that's going to leave a mark)
Okay, that was incredibly cute. It was kinda like an animated version of "Monster Squad". I enjoyed the style of the animation and I thought the voice casting was really interesting, especially since I couldn't recall who half of them were until the credits rolled. (Which is a surprise -- I'm usually scary-good at identifying voice actors.)

I also forgot this was the movie where the big brother that Norman's sister keeps flirting with turns out to have a boyfriend. So that was a nice surprise. :)
apocalypsos: (Default)
So I started watching this a while ago and stopped halfway through because it's kind of "Leaving Las Vegas" with a different cast and a strangely happier ending, if that even makes sense. There's certain genres of movies that generally do nothing for me -- mob movies, James Bond, etc. -- and substance-abusing leads in a downward spiral is one of them. It usually doesn't do much for me unless everyone hits all the right notes.

I'm completely unsurprised by Denzel getting nominated, and I know he's kind of the guy who can get nominated for reading the phone book, but this performance is one of the best ones I've ever seen him pull out. He's completely fucked up, he's a complete asshole, and yet you *still* somehow manage to find sympathy for him. I'm always impressed by the lengths that he'll go to, and while I'm always a little "eh" when it comes to drunks in film confronting their demons, I really got the character thanks to Denzel's work.

I kinda wish John Goodman had been nominated for a Best Supporting Actor for this. He's only in a few scenes but he steals every scene he's in. He's one of those actors I really wish would get recognition from the Academy for his film work. (I hear he also did great in "Argo", which doesn't surprise me, but ... well, I still have to see that one, too.)

I think my only problem with the movie is that the religious references do feel a bit heavy-handed at times to the point where I was afraid the end would be him having a literal come-to-Jesus moment. In the end, I was okay with it even though I sort of cringe away from a lot of the bang-you-on-the-head religious stuff in the movie, but I think they presented the religious characters in the right ways. You were supposed to feel a certain way in response to the characters -- as in, you were supposed to respond to them the way he does -- and you do. I felt for the people who were at the crash scene even though I don't agree with them, I thought the stewardess was very nice but I think if I knew her in real life she and I would both know I'm never going to her church, I sat there while he was visiting the co-pilot and his wife thinking, "Oh, man, these people make me want to drink."

I liked it, though. I did kind of laugh at myself, though, if only because as soon as the plane screwed up and started going down, I knew why. I think I may have watched too many episodes of "Air Crash Investigation", you guys. ;)

*

Okay, seriously, I can already see the screeners on the torrent sites. That was quick. :)
apocalypsos: (Default)
Two things:

1. This is the first movie I've seen that's nominated for something this Oscar season that I burst into genuine tears over. God, what a lovely movie. Can't recommend it enough.

2. Demian Bichir is currently my favorite Best Actor performance, and I doubt he'll win. Damn it.
apocalypsos: (Default)
Okay, I have to admit this much. I didn't actually finish watching "The Tree of Life." I got through about thirty minutes of it, if that, and walked away. Christ, what an awful pretentious pile of student-film bullshit.

That said, I actually quite liked "Midnight in Paris". I'm usually not much of a fan of Woody Allen's work -- I think the only film of his I've ever liked was "Radio Days", which I can easily blame on the music -- but it's a charming little movie for dorks. And when I say dorks, I mean the sort of person who would freak out just a little bit to meet people like the Fitzgeralds and Gertrude Stein and Toulouse Latrec. I made clappy-hands every time I recognized someone. And yeah, Owen Wilson does do the twitchy-mensch-protagonist that's in most every Woody Allen film, but then again he does that in a lot of his movies, so it's not so distracting. I feel weird recommending a Woody Allen film, but yeah, this was definitely worth it.

So now I have seen every Best Picture nominee, except for "The Tree of Life", which I don't think I was quite enough acid to watch. Anyway.

If I had to guess, I would say it would either go to "Hugo" or "The Artist". I think it depends on in what format the voters view the films. "Hugo" was brilliantly beautiful on a big screen in 3D, but in DVD screener form in 2D "The Artist" could give it a run for its money. That said, I think "The Artist" is the lighter of the two, the winner which would make a lot of people question the tastes of the voters in a few years' time. "Hugo" has the advantage of being wonderfully acted, intriguingly nostalgic, entertaining as all hell, and lovingly directed by Scorcese. I can't see people questioning the win if "Hugo" snaps up Best Picture.

As for the others, I could possibly see "The Descendants" sneak in as a dark horse, or perhaps "War Horse". "Midnight in Paris" is charmingly geeky in a way that's hard not to enjoy, but I'm just not sure it's substantial enough to award Best Picture. "Moneyball" wasn't bad, but it's also more about the numbers than the baseball. "The Help" is well-acted but even the Academy's voters must have noticed the glaring "Thank you, white lady, for this civil rights movement!" BS making up the plot. "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close" suffers from the fact that the movie is saddled with a main character who's an irritating, aggravating little punk, and it's a 9-11 movie to boot, which the Academy probably doesn't have the stones to award. And "The Tree of Life" is ... ugh, don't even get me started.

By the way, apparently if you want to get a movie nominated for an Oscar this year, cast Brad Pitt ("Tree of Life" and "Moneyball"), Jessica Chastain ("Tree of Life" and "The Help"), Viola Davis ("The Help" and "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close"), John Goodman ("The Artist" and "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close"), Tom Hiddleston ("War Horse" and "Midnight in Paris"), and Benedict Cumberbatch ("War Horse" and "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" with Best Actor nominee Gary Oldman).
apocalypsos: (i'm sick of your bullshit)
(For the record, I'm the unexpected guest/jerk in this one. We had to write from the POV of someone else.)

Unexpected Guest

You pop up on my doorstep too late for polite company, unfolded
and tattered in unwashed clothes, still perfumed
in eau du Burger King.

You fall apart in my arms like a
badly pasted paper doll, a waterfall of snotty tears in girl form.
We've only met twice before.

Yes, now that you mention it, this is awkward.

You ring your parents – Yes, Mom, still alive. No, Mom,
not coming back.
You hang up, then tell stories of things that fly, like
fists and words and heavy rolltop desks.

We're friends in the binary sense, but I usher you
to the spare bedroom, the one with a
guttered mattress.

I'm sure you won't mind.

You can eat whatever you want. Finish off my
husband's favorite cereal, why don't you?
Swallow up my free time – gorge on it, if you're able.

How many things can one person flunk out of? Turns out,
it's a lot.
You can fail out of college, get an F in
emotional development, drop out of
your goddamn family, and impressively sputter
and wheeze in Being a Friend 101.
apocalypsos: (Default)
First off, I made a crack the other day about how I really hope this movie wouldn't be in 3D, which would just be profoundly creepy.

Then I found out tonight that "Titanic" is going to be rereleased in 3D.

... yeah, I got nothing.

*

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close )
apocalypsos: (i cannot believe you just said that)
Albert Nobbs )

Ten more to go, aaaaaaaand I've cleared off all of the movies in Best Supporting Actress. :)
apocalypsos: (i'm an amused children's bullfighter)
I was supposed to be doing homework today. Instead, I was mostly knocking movies off my Oscarwatch list.

*

Bridesmaids )

*

The Descendants )

*

War Horse )

*

I have thirteen movies left to see before the Oscars, and this year I will complete Oscarwatch before the day of the show if it goddamn KILLS me. Hmph.
apocalypsos: (i think that's going to leave a mark)
The Help )

Fifteen more movies to go, I guess.
apocalypsos: (i think that's going to leave a mark)
So I didn't exactly do my reactions to this year's Oscar nominations, which were mostly a few WTFs combined with some FUCK YEAHs, but I've officially started in on this year's Oscarwatch. I have to watch eighteen movies total to see all of the Best Picture, Director, and acting nominees, and I've got two down so far.

*

The Artist )

*

Moneyball )

*

Aaaaaaand now I get to watch The Help. Or as I like to call it, Thank You, White Lady, For This Civil Rights Movement.

(For the record, part of what pisses me off about that movie -- aside from the obvious -- is that I love every actress is in it, and YET.)

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