Wednesday, February 29, 2012

And The Winner Is...

There were multiple winners at this year's Academy Awards, of course, but that title sounds better. To me anyway. "And The Winners Are..." It sounds rather nautical, in a pirate way. Moving on. Last night, I finally watched the 84th Annual Academy Awards, and while two days after the actual event does not sound that long a wait, it definitely was. All throughout the past two days, I avoided the Internet and conversations surrounding the topic. (I just caught myself digressing in a pointless description.) Instead of detailing my days pre-Oscars, allow me to continue onto my reception of the event.

Let me tell you now, this was, perhaps, the greatest Academy Awards ceremony thus far, that I've seen. Not only did the winners please me immensely, but the show itself was a major improvement from last year. Considering Billy Crystal hosted, this was no shock. Like an Oscar host should, he made me laugh more than a few times, particularly when he told us what actors were thinking (Martin Scorsese and Nick Nolte were the tops). Also, his opening montage, where he inserted himself in the nominated pictures, was delightful, as was his small song-and-dance. I, for one, think he has a charming singing voice. Even at sixty-three, he proved he still has that irresistible, comical charm that makes the Academy Awards an entertaining ceremony. Not that age matters or anything. While my dad and I were a bit disappointed that Eddie Murphy did not get a chance to host (and never will, according to my dad, but I disagree), it was very refreshing to see a true Oscar-master take the reins of the show. This was Billy Crystal's ninth time hosting. Thought that was worth mentioning. And, again, Eddie Murphy is still young, and as long as he doesn't make any Jack and Jills, I'm sure he'll get another chance.

Onto the Oscar recipients! The exclamation point is to emphasize my vast thrill of the evening's turn-out. I have to warn you now, what follows is basically an "I'm-so-happy-with-the-winners" post. More often than not, an "I'm-so-aggravated-about-who-won" post is much more enjoyable, since expressing opposition is more interesting to read than one of simple pleasure. Unless you disagree with what I thought to be an utter joy, then you'll have some fun arguing with your computer screen. Again, I won't get into too much detail of how enchanted I was by the winners. Just the basic synonyms for "happy" and "great" will do.

And the Best Actor goes to...Jean Dujardin for The Artist!

That deserves an exclamation point because it truly was the highlight of the show. Never have I been so anxious to hear the envelope being torn open and read. Each second felt like two seconds. As Natalie Portman introduced the nominees, giving a small, flattering description of each actor's performance, my heart was beating so loud and so dramatically. Time stopped for a moment when they showed a clip of Jean Dujardin in The Artist, and I beamed at the marvelous actor's brilliant silent performance. When the nominees were called, Natalie Portman breathed those frightening words: "And the Oscar goes to...Jean Dujardin, The Artist." It's as if I cannot help but repeating this, that the Oscar went to him, "against all the odds". I won't even mention his supposedly neck-at-neck opponent because this is a celebration for Jean Dujardin, in the greatest performance of the year, perhaps of the entire decade. Perhaps it is, indeed.

And the Best Actress goes to...Meryl Streep for The Iron Lady!

In all honestly, I was surprised by this triumph. Of course, Meryl Streep is a renowned First Lady of Cinema, proving that she can transform herself into any character and execute it flawlessly. Particularly here, as she portrayed the formidable Margaret Thatcher with such ease and poise. I'm sure even Great Britain was astonished by the keen resemblance, so much so that they must have hated her on the screen as they did in reality. Despite all this, Viola Davis was still in the lead for her decent performance in The Help. As I probably said before, the Academy should not award mere decency but true grandiose, and it was proven here as Meryl Streep was called up to the stage. I'd also like to note how majestic she looked that night, in a dress only she could pull off. Anyone else wears that and they'd be shunned to the worst dressed list. Just another example of how dominating and extraordinary Meryl Streep, the Iron Lady, is.

And the Best Supporting Actor goes to...Christopher Plummer for Beginners

Totally called that. Did you know that he is now the oldest Oscar recipient at eighty-two? To the Oscar statuette, he said: "You're only two years older than me, darling. Where have you been all my life?"

And the Best Supporting Actress goes to...Octavia Spencer for The Help!

Even though she was the definite winner of her category, I was pleased to see her walk up to the stage to accept her most-deserved award. Also, she waited to cry until the very end of her speech, when she walked backstage, which I thought was very professional, classy, and a helpful time-saver. Not that I am itching to point this out, but, most of the time, African-American recipients cry a lot during their speech, and excessively thank God, and yada yada yada. I'm sorry, but the audience gets tired of that emotional fluff. Well, I do, anyway. Octavia, however, put a tiny joke in her speech, thanked the state of Alabama, and trotted off to wipe her happy tears away. Absolutely a most deserving win.

And the Best Director goes to...Michel Hazanavicius for The Artist!

Now, this, is a truly remarkable victory. A French director, unknown in the States, triumphed over legends like Martin Scorsese and Woody Allen. (Who were the other two nominees? Whatever.) As I've said before, a director's work does not usually pop out at me; if the movie's good and the acting is good, then so is the director. In this case, however, besides the film's obvious magnificence and the actors' impressive performances, the work of Michel Hazanavicius was put on display for my eyes to feast upon. Perhaps it is because the film is silent, allowing me to concentrate more on its entire surroundings rather than get distracted by informational dialogue. Regardless of why, Michel Hazanavicius is certainly the most ingenious director of the year. Finally, a newcomer I can adore.

And the Best Original Screenplay goes to...Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris!

Another delightful triumph. (Many delights at this ceremony, aren't there?) As much as I adored this light yet enormously satisfying film, I expected Michel Hazanavicius to pick this up for The Artist, as it is exceedingly original in nature. Instead, the Academy, rightfully, bestowed this honor upon Woody Allen's sensational romantic film...of course, he was not there to accept the award.

And the Best Picture goes to...The Artist!

Although this was more or less a certainty (to me anyway), I was just as delighted to see this magnificent film win its fifth Oscar of the evening. I believe I've exaggerated my affection for the film enough for one post, don't you? One more. The Artist is a freshly exquisite black-and-white silent film, an ode to the golden era of cinema, as well as a sweet romance, with a dash of whimsical comedy. Magnifique!

Overall, this year's Academy Awards were beyond amazing. No need to add any more unnecessary, nominal compliments to the show's quality. Farewell, Awards Season! Until next time.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

A Crucial Oscar Announcement

Seriously, to those who actually read this thing, please hold for the following announcement.

Alrighty then. As you are all aware, or should be aware by now, tomorrow night is the night I've been waiting for. The Academy Awards. No need for any fluffy introduction, right? Plus, I'm suffering from minor writer's block. Yes, I consider myself a writer, and, no, I am not bragging. (Didn't I warn you?) Anyway, before I sink into any embarrassing phrases a la Carrie Bradshaw, let me give it to you straight. I am very much anticipating hearing the winners come Oscar night, indubitably so, especially after reading this week's Entertainment Weekly and its interview with Billy Crystal. Oh, I am melting to watch the broadcast. (Melting? Well, I felt "oozing" sounded rather gross.) As ecstatic as I am, there's one slight obstacle: I will not actually watch it tomorrow night. Instead, I will wait until sometime into the week, hopefully Monday evening, which will allow me to truly enjoy it commercial-free and with my dad. (How is this even conceivable?) The reason I am informing you of my situation is so no one will contact me somehow asking how I felt when a certain someone won. That's reasonable, correct? Not that anyone would be itching to hear my opinion on things anyway. I can just imagine someone rushing to their computer, knocking loved ones down along the way, breathing heavily, to comment somewhere on here how a certain someone triumphed at the ceremony. Mental images, what will we do without them? Once again, I am pleading that nobody will spoil any surprises. Even those pricks out there who just would because I asked them not to. (But it's not as if this announcement will scare them into resisting.) So, don't ruin it for me, you got that?

Now, onto some Oscar-talk! Like I said, tomorrow is Oscar night, and there has been such a shortage of award posts this season. Damn "work" is who's to blame. So, allow me to present my honest predictions of who will take home the title of Best in their category, followed by my own ideal line-up.

Best Picture will go to...The Artist
A most deserving masterpiece is acknowledged, at last.

Best Actor will go to...Jean Dujardin for The Artist
Greatest performance, and he owes it all to his charming self.
Don't you just adore him?

Best Actress will go to...Viola Davis for The Help
It has to go to her this year, since she was clearly wonderful.
Actually, she was merely a decent part of a fantastic film.

Best Supporting Actor will go to...Christopher Plummer for Beginners
No question about it.
It's all in the scarf.

Best Supporting Actress will go to...Octavia Spencer for The Help
Definitely the stronger part of The Help, she was excellent.
And I just love this picture.

Best Director will go to... Michel Hazanavicius for The Artist
In a year with two legends, the award will most definitely go to a fresh mind.
Such innovative creativity, I am thrilled for him and his entire production.

There you have it, my honest predictions. Most of them are what I actually wish for, so I won't repeat myself with my own line-up. However, there are a few exceptions, plus a few odd balls I'd like to point out.

Best Actress should go to...Meryl Streep for The Iron Lady
Only she can transform herself into a worldwide-recognized British Prime Minister, and execute it flawlessly.
Meryl Streep is, and forever will be, the Iron Lady of film.

Best Supporting Actor should go to...Albert Brooks for Drive
I am aware that he is not nominated, though he damn well should be.
Not only was he the best part of an otherwise mediocre film, but he proved he can go well beyond his usual goofy bounds.
A true disappointment, for sure.

Best Supporting Actress should not be...Melissa McCarthy for Bridesmaids
I am no longer shy about my genuine dislike of Bridesmaids, particularly when she was announced as a candidate.
Really, she does not belong anywhere near the Oscars, and I don't mean that in a Pretty Woman-Rodeo Drive kind of way.
To make this caption short, she shit in a sink. That is, and forever will be, the ugly, unnecessary truth.
Best Picture should not be...War Horse
Seriously, who watched this?

Best Actor should not be...George Clooney for The Descendants
Absolutely nothing impressive, if not inadequate and awkward.
As if the movie weren't bad enough, his cheesy, expected "you-got-thats?" were a bore to sit through.
So that's why this movie wasted only forty minutes of my time.

There you go, my predictions and opinions on this year's line-up of Oscar nominees. And just in time for tomorrow night! Now, if you will excuse me, I have to live in a cave for a few days before I watch the event I've been anticipating all year. No Internet whatsoever, until my eyes feast greedily upon the fabulous event. Forgive me, I've been watching too much Sex and the City. Even now as I type,
I cannot help but wonder, when it comes to starving yourself of something you crave, is it okay to be socially anorexic?

One more day! (Except when it's really more than that, for me. No spoilers please.)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

(A Single) Best Actor Frontrunner

Our gorgeous nominees.
This picture is smaller.
I was contemplating on whether I should do another comparison between two Oscar nominees, as I did with the Best Supporting Actresses. I've seen the three prime contenders in their praised roles (there are really only three, as neither Gary Oldman nor Demian Bichir have any chance of winning), so it is only logical that I evaluate their performances, then choose who I believe should win. Of course, you all should be aware that my passionate choice for Best Actor is Jean Dujardin for The Artist, for he gave a tremendous portrayal as the suave, fading cinema star, George Valentin. That being said, I feel there is no purpose in even placing George Clooney or Brad Pitt beside his magnificent performance. What I will do is point out the reasons why Jean Dujardin should and will receive the honor this Sunday.

George Clooney for The Descendants (D)
Let's start with the most obvious one: acting. That is what the award is given to, isn't it? Lately, I've been doubtful to that axiomatic assumption. (Axiomatic is my word of the day. I won't insult your intelligence by defining it.) In the past few years, the Best Actor title has been given to a completely absurd and unworthy performance or a merely decent performance based on that year's overall deficiency of good acting. An example of the former would be Jeff Bridges winning for Crazy Heart, a movie I'm sure you wouldn't have remembered if I didn't say it. The movie itself I have not seen, for it would be a complete waste of time. Therefore, I can predict Jeff Bridges's acting was no more worthy of my time. In other words, not Oscar material. Once again, the Academy nominates an indie movie that most certainly does not belong in such a prestigious venue. I am referring to George Clooney's mediocre portrayal of a Hawaiian absentee dad who discovers his comatose wife had been cheating on him. Might I say how utterly original that sounds. (Sarcasm.) Surely, I've mentioned enough of how adverse I am to this unfortunate piece of "cinema" in one of my previous posts. (Yet Another Pointless Award Entry...) Like Jeff Bridges two years ago, George Clooney has been a front-runner for the award the minute Award Season began, to my dismay. As much as I like Clooney, really I do, The Descendants just didn't do anything for me. At all. In fact, I was rather disturbed by watching this, not physically but as an admirer of film in general. Recently, however, with the Screen Actors Guild and BAFTA Awards, Jean Dujardin has finally been considered for actually being named Best Actor at the Oscars. This is a most-deserved prediction on the critics' part, and I'll even forgive them for being so late for noticing the actor's clear acting prowess over George Clooney.

Brad Pitt for Moneyball  (B)
I hope you will permit me to return to the second part of a sentence I made earlier. I'll even rewrite it for you. Well, copy and paste anyway. In the past few years, the Best Actor title has been given to a completely absurd and unworthy performance or a merely decent performance based on that year's overall deficiency of good acting. As for the latter of this statement, Colin Firth could apply to that description quite nicely. Although I expressed much support and jubilation for Colin Firth during last year's award season, his performance was not utterly remarkable, as an Oscar winner should be. Yes, he was the best of the nominees last year, no question, but that was his only accomplishment. Running up against a fast-talking nerd and a hiker who gets crushed by a boulder is a pretty easy competition, if you can even call it that. Therefore, Colin Firth was simply given the award, as opposed to truly earning it. (Though I am pleased that he actually got it, solely because I enjoy the actor overall.) Which brings me to this year's similarly decent nominee, Brad Pitt, for his portrayal as the Oakland A's determined general manager Billy Beane. In another, weaker year, Brad Pitt would most likely be given the title of Best Actor, at last...seriously, one would think he'd have one by now. (Then again, he hasn't made many movies. Anyway.) The movie itself, like Brad Pitt's performance, was absolutely sufficient (looked up a synonym for decent), however there was nothing there that was shockingly outstanding. For a sports movie, it was rather satisfying, and I was somewhat keeping up with all the statistical baseball talk. Because of the mathematical element in the film, I'm sad to say that it was the reason I wouldn't watch it another time, nor do I place it high in my Best Picture want-list. Additionally, Brad Pitt is not my first choice either. (Obviously, considering who my first choice really is....)

Jean Dujardin for The Artist  (A)
Jean Dujardin. From the moment I was graced with his charmingly attractive visage, I was captivated by his presence every time I laid eyes on him once more. Quite a spell he has me in, no? I was so intrigued by the French actor that I decided to watch some of his movies, with English subtitles. That is a rather flattering gesture to the actor, as I rarely relish reading movies. Regardless, I enjoyed his OSS: 117 films immensely. Coincidentally, Michel Hazanavicius directed both spy spoofs, much to my delight and further joy. This was all just a prelude, a glorious prelude at that, to what I've been anticipating for months: The Artist. Absolutely sensational, unequivocally the highlight of the year in cinema. (The Artist: A Cinematic Masterpiece) Rather than get into yet another cajoling account of Jean Dujardin's stunning performance, I'll simply say that he entranced the audience with his facial expressions alone. (Did you hear it was completely silent?) This is something that not only is a rare mastery, but worthy of the renowned recognition of the Academy. Let's just hope they will uphold such a distinguished position in cinema by honoring the true triumph.

Rather than listing why Jean Dujardin is worthy of the title of Best Actor, I'm going to request that you read my post on The Artist yourself. I know it's asking a lot from you, but, please, humor me. The link is just above, so you won't have to trouble yourself searching for it manually. Thank you for your cooperation. The post would, also, illustrate the marvelous film itself, therefore explain why it, too, will receive the most-deserving title of Best Picture. Let's face it, The Artist has finally reached the culmination of Best Picture front-runner, so you might as well pleasure yourself by viewing a true work of artistry. And by pleasure yourself, I mean enjoy the film for its quality. Do not masturbate please. I had to specify what I meant. Did I? Have a wonderful day.

Four days until Oscar night!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Jack and Jill went up a hill...

This is in reference to Adam Sandler's recent Hollywood dud of a movie. Critics and audiences everywhere are deeming this his worst movie ever made, calling it immature, pointless, and just plain unfunny. Emphasis on "un-". Before getting into all this (watching the movie, I mean), I figured that this movie would be just as good/bad as all his others. As we all know, Mr. Sandler can be a bit of a child when it comes to making his films hilarious. That, I believe, is his only purpose of making them. And in every movie, he uses the same types of jokes: humiliating the fat/ugly/dim-witted, sudden occurrences of injury, and a few disgusting scenes here and there. Of course, there are a few exceptions to his standard, which I will point out in this post. Let me just inform you that Jack and Jill was not one of those exceptions.

Jack and Jill - Allow me to begin with this nearly-unbearable piece of garbage. As I said, I did not expect anything great nor did I assume this was, indeed, his worst movie, as the public announced. Therefore, I was not prepared for what was in store for me. Not only was this Adam Sandler's most terrible movie, but perhaps the worst of the decade. Never have been so appalled and bored, at the same time, by a single film. Nay, this is no film. This is garbage. That simple. I'm sure you all are aware of the movie's plot: Adam Sandler plays both Jack and Jill, twins extraordinaire. (Not really. Extraordinaire, I mean.) It's not as if I was anticipating a bunch of laughs, but I definitely didn't see myself cringing the entire time. No lie. Unquestionably the worst part of the production, Adam Sandler's portrayal as Jill, a female (barely), is extremely awful. Just awful. His, or her, so-called Brooklyn accent sounded more like a whiny, disabled person who is in desperate need to be euthanized. Along with the movie itself, of course. The mere fact that Adam Sandler actually came up with this idea, for a comedy, to play twin brother and sister is, well, foolish. And that's the nice way of putting it. Seriously, who would want to watch such a "comedy"? Aren't we a bit too old for this ridiculous child's play, Mr. Sandler? Or should I just call you Wittle Adam? Because that's what he's acting like. I mean, come on! I just can't get over how mindless the mere idea of this movie is! (Deep breath. Moving on.) Adam Sandler, playing the male part of Jack, was very...distant, in that he was the main character and I felt he was barely there. They should have titled it Happy Holidays Jill! (Say, that's not bad.) But I guess Wittle Adam wanted a nursery-rhyme connection to the title. Katie Holmes, playing Adam Sandler's wife, looks more like his teenage daughter who's visiting from community college. And her own acting isn't short of cheesy-smiley. She actually urges Jack to spend time with his squawking sister. One factor of this movie that actually got decent praise (in other words, was not scorned) was Al Pacino playing himself. Is he that desperate to appear in this trash? I pity him. I was hoping he would be rather amusing, in fact he was the reason I continued watching it. However, I only hoped, for he wasn't too impressive either. (Even placing the word "impressive" near this movie is a crime.) Another jaw-dropping cameo? Really, you are not going to believe this. I still have trouble seeing it fathomable. Johnny Depp. Boom. In a condensed sentence, grow up Adam Sandler. F

The Zohan - From one horrible piece of junk to an amusingly hilarious movie. Yes, I consider this one of Adam Sandler's best comedies. Movies, actually. What dramas has he dished out recently? Ahem. While the humor here may be perceived as immature and silly, in some way, it is genuinely hilarious. From this one movie, my dad and I actually pull stuff out and quote it on a daily basis. Not that it's rare, but it sure is saying something. Adam Sandler plays The Zohan, an Israeli agent who moves to America to accomplish his dream: cutting and styling hair. As I said, the humor is most likely simple, intended for the simple-minded people. (I used simple twice in that sentence.) Nevertheless, it is veryvery funny. The movie itself mocks Middle Eastern culture, such as hummus being used for everything by Israelis and disco as their daily activity. (Disco disco.) That may offend many viewers, which explains its rotten reviews. But that brings me to wonder, didn't My Big Fat Greek Wedding do the same thing? And yet, that got an Oscar nomination? Opa! I do not concur. Rob Schnieder, one of Sandler's many friends he places in his movies, shines in his only good role. Because, let's face it, he's a bad actor. Here, however, hilarious. John Turturro, playing Zohan's Arab nemesis The Phantom, is also veryvery funny, and, quite frankly, under-used in comedies. That's my opinion. Anyway, Zohan is literally so hilarious you may just get stomach cramps from all the carbon dioxide you release. From laughing so hard. B+

Just Go With It - Honestly, I did not enjoy this movie. There, I said it. The first time I watched it, with my mother, I didn't like it. (She sure got a kick out of it, though, laughing every minute I could barely think. I love my mom.) The second time I watched it, with my dad, I didn't like it any less. Or any more. Not in the phrase of "I didn't like it anymore", suggesting that I did like comprehend. However, I do not mind watching it. Sometimes, I even have a feel to watch it again. Like now, after I watch Chuck and Larry, I will most likely want to watch Just Go With It. (Actually, I'm going to watch Hairspray instead.) I guess one could say this is another Sex and the City-substitute. One thing that may have turned me off was Jennifer Aniston. I must say, not her biggest fan. My mother adores her, which explains her extreme enthusiasm for this movie. Me, on the other hand, not at all. She;s just so pretentious and fake. All that "I want a baby" nonsense is what did it. Then it was just downhill from there. Plus, when she's portrayed as some hot babe, such as in here, when she walks in slow-motion and guys ogle at her, well it's a little short of pathetically irritating. Okay, she looks good for her age. We get it. Enough. Another annoying bit was Brooklyn Decker, otherwise known as that blonde with the huge breasts. (Tits is not a word. Shut up.) Once again, Mr. Sandler, I ask how old are you? C

Click - This may be his most serious movie, but even it had a fart joke in it. Don't mistake the flatulence for a bad movie, for, quite on the contrary, this was delightfully wonderful. Adam Sandler plays a middle-aged guy who cannot balance work and family. So, like everyone else, he goes to Bed Bath & Beyond for the answer. There, he is given a universal remote control that can bend his life the way he wants. As usual, there are many opportunities for Sandler to take advantage of such features as the pause button to generate some goofy amusement. By now, I think that goes without saying, that he will try to make everyone laugh in such a manner. Once again, as with Zohan, that humor is refreshingly entertaining and funny. With this movie, however, Adam Sandler, remarkably, creates something that touches audiences. (Not in a creepy way. Come on.) Every time I watch this movie, and that is quite often, I find myself in tears by the end. Click illustrates the value of life and its precious moments, especially those that may seem insignificant at the time but will definitely make you smile when you look back as you grow older. The movie really emphasizes how little time we have here on earth, in a way that sometimes scares me and makes me wish death was optional, and it honestly pushes me to cherish the time I have now with all my loved ones. Just what this needs, a little Hallmark magic. It's a movie like this that causes me believe Adam Sandler does have the potential of making a decent, mature film with a dash of heartwarming sentiment behind it. A-

There you have it. A half-and-half slice of what Adam Sandler is capable of. The two halves being genuine entertainment that is both sweet and funny...and utter garbage. I'm sure many of you are aware of most, if not all, of his movies. And, for those hard-core fans out there, it's about time for you to grow up as well. Shall we?

Here are some of his other movies that I couldn't get to.
The Wedding Singer  B+
Mr. Deeds  B+
Anger Management  B
Big Daddy  B-
Little Nicky  B-
50 First Dates  B-
Spanglish  B-
Bedtime Stories  C+
I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry  D+
Grown-Ups  D

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Yet Another Pointless Award Entry...

When I say entry, I do not mean post on this blog, but an entry on the Oscar ballot. Every year, it seems, the Academy loves to include a totally unimpressive, ordinary film to stand beside the truly glorious films of the year. Some examples include The Hurt Locker, Slumdog Millionaire, The Kids Are All Right, among many others. Their reasons for Oscar esteem, I'm guessing, has to do with politics. Damn Oscar politics. Seriously? An award ceremony honoring the greatest movies of the past year is no place for political correctness and pleasing the government, or whomever. I'm not saying that it is a place for actors to simply say whatever they want about touchy subjects, such as race and sexual orientation, but there shouldn't be any schmoozing going on either. Whether it's an army-endorsed movie about a de-bombing squad (boring), a tale about an Indian boy who is accused of cheating based on his ethnicity (dull), or a couple of lesbians (lesbian couple) and their relationship with their sperm donor (come on now). From those small descriptions alone, would you want to watch any of them? Be honest now. There's no one standing behind you who will call you a jerk and tell your friends and family what a bigot you are. Anyway, this isn't a post about how political the Academy has become, nor is it one condemning these movies I've just described. No, it is about this year's award dud: The Descendants.

Looking at this, you'd think it was a comedy...
I'll tell you right now, I did not finish this movie to the end. Rather I watched the first twenty minutes of it (felt like hours), then skipped through to see if anything happened that was worthy of continuing. And wouldn't you know that there wasn't. Not a single interesting factor in this entire piece of pretentious cinema. I am reluctant in calling this "cinema", as that term is applied to great pictures that will stand the test of time. I just didn't want to call this movie "crap" because that's such an annoying word. The only slightly promising element of this movie was Shailene Woodley, who played George Clooney's troubled teenage daughter. Known for her role on The Secret Life of an American Teenager (a show I have never watched), she did rather well compared to her much-more famous co-star. I won't say she's Oscar-worthy, but she was the only thing that kept this movie going, if it was indeed going anywhere. That's my opinion, at least. Anyway, what follows is a very brief review of the little I've seen of this incredibly boring piece of work.

Yeah, a genuine auteur.
More like a prick.
Now, I wasn't expecting much from this movie to begin with. The trailer did not appeal to me, the director hasn't impressed me beforehand (plus he looks like a pretentious prick), and the entire plot seemed void of that captivating magic the Oscars should be searching for. Alexander Payne has directed Election, About Schmidt, and the Oscar-winning Sideways. All are extremely dull movies, especially the latter considering how let-down I was. I was expecting more from both Paul Giamatti and Thomas Haden Church, as I enjoy each actor very much in movies. Their performances, however, were not enough to get me intrigued by this slow, slow movie. And what does slow add up to? Boring. Here, with The Descendants, Alexander Payne proves that he is not only one of the worst directors I've had the inconvenience of encountering, but that he can create a movie so uninteresting that it is actually remarkable. Not in a good way. Remember what I said about Michel Hazanavicius performing his role as director exquisitely, that I do not usually notice their work but in his case I was enthralled by it? Well, Alexander Payne did the exact opposite, performing his role terribly, that I severely hope he will not be going home with the title of Best Director come Oscar night.

Hide in shame.
Moving on. George Clooney is considered the front-runner of this year's Oscars. At first, I didn't mind, considering I generally enjoy this actor in movies (essentially in comedies). Even in his own directorial efforts, such as Good Night, and Good Luck, he's proved to be a very impressive specimen of Hollywood. Actually, it was just that one movie he directed, that I watched. Regardless, I like him all the same. There's just something about him that is so likable! Charm? Charisma? His laid-back ego? You decide. And you have to admire the guy for rising from ER stud to movie royalty. After watching The Descendants, however, well, let's just say my admiration has declined. In fact, I'd rather that Mexican guy win the Oscar than Clooney. (That was clearly a joke. I hope you knew that.) But Clooney is definitely number four on my want-list for Best Actor. Not only was his acting nothing memorable or ground-breaking (really, it wasn't), but it actually bordered inadequate. Seriously, all he did was go on a scavenger hunt for his wife's lover. Nothing. Impressive. At all. I can't emphasize it enough.

Such an adorable moment.
(On our left, the one worthy of esteem.)
Oh, I'm sorry. Did I leak the entire movie's plot just now? By saying that his comatose wife was having an affair with some surfer-dude? Oh, damn, did I give away the fact that she is in a coma throughout the whole movie? Well, the trailer could have done that for you. Honestly, the trailer gives everything away, there's no point in even watching the damn thing all the way through. Take my word for it, watch the trailer and you'll get the gist of the movie. And won't have to waste two, exhausting hours. In addition to that, your opinion of George Clooney probably would not alter, as mine has upon watching a slice of this thing. (Unless you dislike Mr. Clooney to begin with. Then, by all means, watch it. You'll hate him even more.) I feel my rant against Clooney is unjustified, considering I still like the darn guy so much, but it definitely is. If he actually gets the Oscar (which is not at all doubtful), then I will simply ask a group of kids to sneeze on the Academy, figuratively speaking. In other words, I will develop a major grudge against them for not rewarding the title to Jean Dujardin for The Artist. Did I mention how absolutely sensational he is?

He doesn't sweeten the deal.
Well, I believe I've made my point on how I feel about The Descendants. Just to summarize, this was the largest waste of my time spent on films thus far in the year. Even though I didn't actually watch the whole thing through, for if I did I would still be sleeping from how dull it was, I can say with confidence that it is absolutely nothing special. If the film was featured in the Sundance Film Festival, for example, then I'd most likely enjoy it a tad more, knowing that it has no chance of reaching the Academy Awards. However, considering that it has, in fact, found its way into the prestigious, acclaimed group of films, I am vehemently opposing this film, and anyone who roots for it. ("Vehemently" is my word of the day.) By all means, argue with me by highlighting the greatness of this film, though I doubt you'll find anything worth mentioning. Again, I hope The Descendants will not see any gold this year, if you know what I mean.

I'd like to note that George Clooney's wife was cheating on him with Shaggy from Scooby Doo.

Scooby Dooby Doo!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Super Bowl Sunday

This isn't a post about that silly American football game. (Nor am I European for calling it American.) I titled the post this way because I just found out that today was the biggest day of the year for ravage sports fans, and I had to give this a title. Why not Super Bowl? Anyway, in the last thirty minutes, I've had quite an eventful evening that involved a coked-up bathroom, a neglected home, and, of course, the drama surrounding this ridiculous Super Bowl. (Why is it called the Super Bowl? It would be a waste of time to Wikipedia that.) After a rejuvenating weekend with my dad, I'm back home for another pounding week until the end of it. The week, I mean. It is truly a laborious task to keep up my routine here for the entire week. Allow me to detail it for you: wake up, coffee, "work", come home, exercise, shower, wait an hour, drink, eat, more work, tend to my mother, read, sleep. Literally, that is my day-by-day routine for the week. And I'm not complaining, per say, just pointing out how dull it can get. But what can one do when you have to work? Where was I...?

Ah, yes, Super Bowl Sunday. So, I arrive home and find my nine-year-old (half-)brother and my mother's husband lying on the couch with their eyes glued to the television. Desperate for quiet, and to avoid contact, I rush up to my room. On the way, I find a plate on the ground and a slice of pizza on the staircase. Just an average, hectic day, I suppose. When I reach my room, seeing it just as I left it, I plug in my chargers, put away my socks, and go to freshen up before bed (i.e. take a leak...eww). As I bring light into the bathroom, I am greeted by a glittery, chaotic mess. Chaotic may be exaggerating it, just a tad, but it was amusingly messy. The carpet was soaked, there were balloons floating on the ceiling, as well as in the shower, and the toilet was, shall I say, not flushed. Nasty. For the few minutes I was in there, I cringed at the thought of what exactly this carpet was marinated in. I always thought a person's bathroom did not require them to wear shoes upon entering.

When that minor, frivolous thing occurred, I jumped onto my Mac (not literally, I hope you would guess) and went straight here to tell you all about what I though was an amusing event. Well, was it? Fortunately, my mother called me to spice this post up a bit. (Isn't it a little sad that people have to call each other on the phone when they're in the same house?) She was the one who informed me on it being Super Bowl Sunday, and, boy, was she sore about it. She called to ask if there was still a slice of pizza on the stairs, and there was, so she also apologized if I slipped and possibly fell. Then, without being asked, she burst out in a tizzy, explaining how her night went. Apparently, my baby (half-)brother tossed the pizza down the stairs, and, while she was occupied with putting him to sleep, she asked her husband to pick it up and throw it away. A simple, effortless task, wouldn't you agree? Well, on Super Bowl Sunday, it was utterly impossible. So, as I told her that the pizza was, in fact, still lying there, she went on saying he was incompetent, useless, and an overall asshole. I'm paraphrasing, of course, but that's basically what she said. In all honesty, I enjoy when she's angry at him, for he is, indeed, a fucking asshole. Earlier today, she continues, my older (half-)brother lashed out at her for interrupting their game. (Not their game, but the teams' game.) Evidently, she "had it up to here" (gestures with hand showing maximum capacity) and she declared that only I and her youngest were all she could handle (since we are absolute darlings) and that she would take us and move somewhere "better". One would assume, considering how indifferently abominable I am towards her husband, that I would be cheering at such a bold announcement. However, she often does this: gets angry, makes empty promises/threats, then forget they ever happened. Quite literally, she actually has no recollection of her past fury. It's happened before, and it will most definitely happen again. Oh well. I've gotten over that fantasy and moved on to better things. Like watching Sex and the City.

In fact, I've just returned from my dad's place having just watched four or five episodes. We're in the middle of season two, for those who are avid viewers, like ourselves only with an opposite connotation. We watch the show to satisfy our craving for pleasurable torture. Since we have watched the movie versions of the show twenty times or so, it was necessary to find another source of such entertainment. We've searched through countless bad movies that were just that (bad), as well as this season of Desperate Housewives, which is actually very close. Yet, we miss our four gals and all their flaws. Oh, especially their flaws. Mainly Carrie Bradshaw, and her high-maintenance, condescending personality. For example, Mr. Big, her boyfriend, says he has to move to Paris for work (for work) and she takes this to mean he is noncommittal. Really? He just said he loved you, after you practically begged him to, and he even let you keep your disgusting panties next to his own possessions, and now you won't let him do his job? Pardon my French, but what the fuck is wrong with you? See, it's just that irritation she stirs up in us that makes us coming back for more. In other "news", Miranda is a frigid feminist who flashed her gay (I'm sorry, homosexual) neighbor across the street; Samantha is having sex all over the place, as if that's even necessary to point out; and Charlotte is just incredibly sweet, pretty, nice, and adorable. Gee, I sure do love that show. Next season, I hear Aidan is making an appearance. More pain, I can't wait!

As for the rest of my weekend, I watched both live-action movies based on The Flintstones. (Just recently I found out it was Flintstone with a t, as opposed to Flinstone.) Anyway, they are so colorfully cheesy and childish. But, that's the point. Why the emphasis? Both movies were nominated for Razzies, including a "win" for Rosie O'Donnell in the first one. That, I can agree with, for she is a terrible actress, and an awful choice to play Betty Rubble. Seriously, she's supposed to be thin and attractive! Elizabeth Taylor was, also, nominated, for Worst Supporting Actress, playing Wilma's mother. Now, that, is just preposterous. She was really that bad, huh? Except, she wasn't. Those Razzie pricks just wanted to nominate a legendary actress. Score. I bet they feel like pricks now know. (It's still tragic.) As for the second one, it was just as cheesy, and there was still a bad casting job. That giant beast of a woman playing the classy, elegant Wilma Slaghoople? I don't think so. I must repeat it, these movies are not intended for critical acclaim, or disclaim in this case, therefore do not deserve Razzies. It's just not that type of movie! It's not as if they were shooting for anything special, they were bringing a cartoon to life for crying out loud. But, what can you do but sigh and shrug. It's not as if these Razzies condemn people from society. If they did, they would have a better title. (Golden Raspberry sounds just as immature as Kids' Choice.)

So, that was my weekend in a condensed manner of speaking. Right now, I'm rushing to get off this Mac and go to bed, as my mom is standing by my door glaring at me. Not really, but I really must be going.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Best Supporting Actress Frontrunners

Octavia Spencer vs Berenice Bejo

There really is no competition in this category this year, as the award will clearly be given to Octavia Spencer. Usually, a sure-thing win does not please me, or have any effect on me, but Octavia will take home the Oscar most-deservedly. (Unless the Academy pulls a fast one on me and gives it to Melissa McCarthy. But they won't.) Anyway, I felt as if I should post some sort of Oscar candidate comparison, like last year, because there seems to be a void of Oscar posts, wouldn't you agree? I've seen most of the Best Supporting Actress nominees, excluding Janet McTeer who portrayed a man (I simply will not watch that), so I will just choose Berenice Bejo, who gave a charming performance in The Artist, to compete with Octavia Spencer.

Octavia Spencer for The Help - Not only did The Help surprise me by turning out to be one of the greatest films of the year, but the performances proved to be worth the acclaim. While Viola Davis was decent as Aibileen Clark (she is a Best Actress frontrunner, though I do not wholly support that), Octavia Spencer is the one who shined as Minny Jackson, the fearless maid who has a remarkable sense of humor for a woman in her position. She displayed wonderful acting prowess as she boldly defied against her employer, the malicious Hilly Holbrook (played convincingly by Bryce Dallas Howard). After quitting her job, she returned only to bake Hilly a "special" pie for a hilarious revenge. Amazingly, this joke never grew old throughout the film (as it was mentioned a few times after it occurred), which was a truly impressive feat considering how jokes grow old quite fast. Now, you may be wondering why I though this "special" pie joke to be amusing, since I rebuked Melissa McCarthy's shitting in a sink as offensive to the Academy. That though may have never crossed your mind until I mentioned it, and now you're probably assuming me as some sort of hypocrite. Well, they're actually quite different: While Octavia Spencer merely said the pie was (spoiler) made out of her shit, just to cause Hilly to feel embarrassed and truly appalled, Melissa McCarthy literally mounted a sink and just started unloading. I no longer feel shy to call her performance exactly what it was: disgusting, inappropriate, and not Oscar material. Anyway, back to the worthy nominee, Octavia Spencer most definitely provided the audience with a performance that was excellent, truly worthy of the recognition the Academy should uphold to harness.

Bérénice Bejo for The Artist - I think I've made it apparent how I claim The Artist to be the greatest, most worthy of the title Best Picture this year. Indeed, this year, we will witness the first silent picture to win since 1927, when Wings won at the first-ever Oscar ceremony. Indeed, I am very positive in my prediction, so much that I would call my prediction plainly stating a fact. (All right, we get it.) In addition to the amazing film itself were two incredible performances by Jean Dujardin and Bérénice Bejo. I believe I've explained myself to the limit on how marvelous they were. (The Artist: A Cinematic Masterpiece) Bérénice Bejo delivered a delightful performance. I realize I've penned the term "delightful" to her before, but that is just what she was: delightful. Like Dujardin, she is greatly talented in providing a fantastic performance with solely her facial expressions. Her cheerful, ambitious aura, as Peppy Miller, throughout the film was simply enchanting, as was her ideal harmony with Jean Dujardin as screen partners. Even though Berenice Bejo will most likely not win the award, I see her transition from French cinema to the Academy Awards as a remarkable itself.