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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

An Amazing Treat

I bet you're mighty curious about what this post is about--what exactly makes this an amazing treat, that is. Well, for starters, it has been a while since I've shared my unique inner thoughts. A long while. And, just to warn you, I've been utilizing those dashes in many of my written sentences--as in that dash I just typed in, that signifies a pause, whether it be awkward or necessary for effect. Anyway, yes, I have not been active for quite some time, and I can say without a shred of a doubt that, after this post, I will feel so satisfied that there may be another extended pause between posts yet again. The reason for this is that I feel, after I've written what I think to be a decent, insightful post, I tend to gain so much pride that I feel that one specific post was enough for the next week, or two, or four. You've noticed, I'm sure, so why bother in explaining? To occupy space, of course, for this unnecessary information takes up a lot of room on this page. Have you noticed? However, this post will be about something. There may even be a movie review deep within the recesses.... How ominous of me, those dots. Dot, dot, dot, period.

As I squeeze the veins on my hands, I contemplate on where I should begin. At the moment, my mother is conversing (yes, it's a word) with her husband, about incoherent paraphernalia that I really shouldn't listen nor care about. Yet, I do. Because, as proven with Sex and the City, I enjoy digesting ridiculous dialogue, and criticizing it thereafter. I won't disclose whatever they were just discussing here because, frankly, I do not know. Nor should I care. Anyway, today is the twenty-third of October, in case you were just wondering, and, throughout my "office" people have posted flyers declaring that today is "mole day". This day is a play on the date, 10/23, which could be interpreted as ten to the twenty-third power--this is the accompaniment to the quantity of a mole, a unit in chemistry, which is 6.02 x 10^23. Oh, how I hate typing numbers. Anyway, everywhere I look, I see a reminder that today is mole day. What a vile occasion, based on its name, of course. Can I move on? I'm sure you'd be pleased. Because of the irritating ambiance emanating from the bathroom (where my mother is talking to her husband), I've opened iTunes and am now listening to a soothing song called "Wonderful Life" by Black--one of those myriad one-hit wonders. It is so wonderful.

This date, in addition to a distasteful-sounding "holiday", also commemorates the birthday of Johnny Carson, who, apparently, is a big deal. I've never experienced the classic humor and wit of this renowned talk-show host, who is further recognized and adored for his hosting stints at the Academy Awards. He was one of the names listed when the Parents Television Council was protesting Seth MacFarlene hosting the next ceremony--which I still express immense enthusiasm over. ("Personal Jesus" by Depeche Mode just came on. Quite a beat.) Johnny Carson is revered as "the greatest talk-show host of all-time", and I am paraphrasing from what I read from IMDb and Wikipedia. More accurately, he is the "King of Late-night TV", according to his biography on IMDb. Looking at his profile image, I have to say he resembles Dana Carvey, one of the best performers on Saturday Night Live, which causes me to wonder if he ever parodied him. (Parodied is a term, right?) He looks as if he would have been a sweet, old guy, if I were to have met him. But I didn't, clearly, and I'm sincerely upset that he is no longer with us. In 2005 (nearly eight years ago), emphysema claimed his life when he was not even eighty-years-old. What a shame. And I mean that. His show, The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, actually received a Golden Globe nomination, for Johnny Carson as Best Television Actor in a Musical/Comedy, something that is unheard of in talk-shows I believe. Based on his biography, he has made a massive impact on late-night television talk-shows, as well as humorous insight on politics and society. 

Excuse this interruption, as it is completely uncalled for and "out of the blue". I'd just like to express my deepest sympathy for the deaths of Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon, the original odd couple that has affected audiences such as myself in such a touching manner. Each of these magnificent actors are absolutely flawless in character and humor--they never take it too far in their jokes or their acting in general. Their humor is--was--simply perfect. As I continue to praise their unquestionable greatness, I cannot prevent tears from falling down my face, and that's not just an expression of reverence, I literally cannot hold them back. I'll continue on my path of intention.

Since I am not so familiar with the timeless wit of Johnny Carson, I'll move on to that movie review I mentioned. As an alternative to suffering from this obsessive-compulsive disorder, which has become increasingly disturbing, I will simply state the movie which I have been hinting towards though supposedly clever titles and whatnot: The Amazing Spider-Man. Initially, I was annoyed to hear of yet another Spider-Man installment being added to that disgustingly tiresome franchise starring the equally disgusting Tobey Maguire. (He might be the reason for the each of the films' poor quality. That's how effectively obnoxious he is.) However, upon learning that this Amazing film would be a reboot--a film completely different from what audiences know, and in some cases love--I was quite thrilled over the idea of an alternate perspective. Furthermore, learning that Andrew Garfield would be assuming the role of Peter Parker, I was a little short of ecstatic. Haven't you heard? He's rather attractive, in the subjective mind of my own. And, as his co-star, not white-trash Mary-Jane Watson, but the sharp, intelligent Gwen Stacy, with Emma Stone in the role. What could be more adorable or ideal? Again, all this is from the subjective, non-conformist opinion of me, myself. The fact that Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone are now dating as a result for their undeniable chemistry, both on-screen and off, is just an overly pleasing perk. Additionally, this couple is far more appealing and likable than that mopey Tobey Maguire and unsympathetic Kirsten Dunst. (Those three movies they shared the screen were so excruciating that I can't forgive either of them for partaking in it, and, in the process, assuming the identity of those two irritating characters. They made them unlikeable to begin with.) There have been many forums, it has come to my attention, concerning the inadequacy of this reboot, including the casting choices; many declare that no one can regenerate the chemistry Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst shared. Pause. Really? There was unmistakable chemistry present, was there? Right, around the time Tobey Maguire rejected Kirsten Dunst at the end of the first one, for no fully explained reason; or when they were meant to have a relationship in the second one because Mary Jane was upset Peter never showed up at her play; or when Tobey Maguire acted absolutely repulsive in the third one when he became a version of Venom, and his confidence undeservedly sky-rocketed. All those instances may have been confusing to comprehend, and I apologize. In my head, I make sense.

Let's move on to the reboot. The Amazing Spider-Man was a pleasant treat following the major misfire the third one ignited, that caused a whole lot of unnecessary complexity around a basic plot. Three villains, all of whom are normal people motivated by immorality such as jealousy or rage; pathetic relationship issues; an impending marriage that involves Mary Jane but not Peter, yet they share the most "romance"; and, of course, those scenes where Tobey Maguire portrayed an irresistible, confident beast. Indeed, this reboot was incredibly enjoyable considering what it follows. Even as a single film in itself, the quality is rather decent, if not more than that. (Note that I may compare this to the previous inferior installments.) First and foremost, the plot was relatively coherent and believable, for a superhero film anyway. While Peter Parker did get bitten by a spider at Oscorp Industries, he acquired his powers rather suddenly, which sped up the formerly dull process of realizing his new-found powers. Granted, it was a very quick realization--from being an awkward teenager to a sticky gymnast with amazing reflexes--it was much more flowing, plot-wise, than Tobey Maguire's long learning process. Also, Andrew Garfield's character invented the "webslingers" based on some schematics found in the laboratory, I believe, as opposed to Tobey Maguire's already-included web powers, which was a more standard superhero gift. (I prefer Andrew Garfield's transformation, overall.) I also liked, which my dad pointed out, how Andrew Garfield developed his costume: it was logical how it came to be, by researching fabrics and all, while Tobey Maguire simply drafted some sketches and his costume magically appeared. (Are we to believe that he purchased that material and knit it himself?) Minor detail, yet still impacts my eccentric evaluation.

Furthermore, Tobey Maguire is simply an awful choice for a superhero, and allow me to explain: he's unattractive (yes, objectively), unsympathetic (therefore, you can't root for him), mopey-dopey (my word for overly-sensitive), feminine (heroes need to emit a manly aura, one that assures they will protect), and just disgusting to watch. Andrew Garfield, on the other hand, is very attractive and enormously charming. As a geeky hero to begin with, for Peter Parker is, indeed, depicted as a clumsy nerd, Andrew Garfield is certainly the cutest geek one can find that suits the age requirements and all.
As for the ladies, it is almost unneeded to declare which one I prefer. I love Emma Stone, just love her. Her humor, acting style, the way she presents herself, everything. Especially how she transitioned into the Hollywood majors from starting out in dim roles such as House Bunny, that awful excuse for a comedy starring Anna Faris, who I no longer like. Now, Emma Stone is appearing in Oscar-nominated films (The Help), witty teen comedies (Easy A, which she earned a Golden Globe nomination for), and terrific romantic-comedies (Crazy, Stupid Love.). Are you currently in awe of this girl? She's only twenty-three, to add even more inspiration. Or aspiration. Perspiration? Well, it is more than safe to say that Emma Stone impressively trumps over Kirsten Dunst's annoying, whiny, dependent Mary Jane Watson. Gladly, that actress will not be returning to reprise a character she is now stuck with for the rest of her career. (Nice try trying to get nominated for Melancholia, though.)

Diving deeper into the plot (though not too deep as to give anything away), let's analyze the villain and his motives. Here, we have Dr. Curt Connors, also known as The Lizard, who has a mental struggle with himself as he attempts to devise a serum for regenerating limbs. What makes his determination all the more palpable is the fact that he, himself, has no right arm, and it is understandable why he is striving to concoct this potion. Alas, there is an obstacle: an Indian business(?)man. This semi-villain arrogates the doctor's ability to experiment, which induces him to test the serum on himself, before having successfully tested it on animals, including a lizard. In turn, he his right arm is regenerated, while his entire body subsequently transforms into that of a giant lizard. Standard villain development, in comic-book terms. The villain is portrayed by Rhys Ifans, a talented British actor who is only now being rediscovered in a sense. (He appeared, most notably for me, in Little Nicky, as a devilish brother, and in The Replacement Players, as a misfit soccer player.) Upon hearing this casting choice, I was not fully on board with the decision, though, after watching it, I now have no problem. (I am just now finding out that Michael Fassbender was originally attached to the role, and, while he may be too young, it would have been a wonderful thing.) Anyway, the character of The Lizard displays a keen similarity to Gollum from Lord of the Rings, in that Dr. Curt Connors "talks" to The Lizard, trying to convince him to be nice, to which The Lizard refutes.Very basic plot, villain-wise, but I prefer that over excess evil or an origin of evil out of stupidity. (What exactly was Doctor Octavius trying to do with his metallic arms?) The physical appearance of The Lizard was a bit unsettling, resembling an enlarged lizard (which was unexpected) with a disturbing Joker-like grin. Although I did admire the fact that Rhys Ifans was that actual Lizard in a stop-motion, CGI-dot suit. And, I might be biased in saying this, but I think this may be the best villain i  the entire Spider-Man film franchise thus far.

Notice what I just said, emphasizing on the part about being biased. This is a key factor in why I liked the film, and I am not too blinded by such bias not to admit it. Yes, I prefer Andrew Garfield over Tobey Maguire (an understatement, yet nonetheless a statement), and, true, Emma Stone is much more talented and lovable than Kirsten Dunst. Their performances, in my opinion, were far superior, as well as more professional when analyzing them objectively, than those of the original. The reboot's plot was, also, much more modern and even realistic in superhero-terms, unlike the childish, painfully simple plot of Sam Raimi's trilogy. The villain was a more sympathetic character, and therefore his rage was a factor of the film that moved the audience into wishing for his reconciliation with himself. The other villains were either completely unlikable or ridiculous in their reason for villainy. All these could possibly be a product of my prejudice against Tobey Maguire and the original three films. Perhaps I enjoyed this reboot as much as I did solely out of spite for the other three. True, this is definitely a possibility, but what is also true is that The Amazing Spider-Man was a more-than-decent superhero picture that stands beside the likes of Iron Man. Well, it's difficult to compare because of the age demographic; also, they are two different films, owned by two different companies. (Marvel owns the rights to Iron Man, while Sony owns Spider-Man, which is probably why Spider-Man does not appear in The Avengers. Interesting facts for interested readers.) Whether I enjoyed The Amazing Spider-Man truly or spitefully, I enjoyed it nevertheless, and highly recommend it for those who were skeptical if another actor could assume a role previously coined by another. Yes, Andrew Garfield can, and did.

Why, what a terrific post. Long and everything. I am very satisfied with what I have here, which indicates that I may go on another unexcused sabbatical from writing. No, I tease; whenever I feel the urge to write, I will damn-well write. For now, before I drift aimlessly into the realms of upcoming films, I shall bid thee all good evening. I was going to mention, in detail, a new film starring Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, and Sean Penn called The Gangster Squad, but my shoulders are in pain from this seated position. For your own benefit, watch the trailer for that film, and decide for yourselves what you think of it. If it reminds you of a particular film produced fifteen years ago, starring Kevin Costner and Sean Connery to be exact....

I just had to include this image to prove my point--that Tobey Maguire is, truly, a dreadful Spider-Man.

P.S. Even though this was posted on October twenty-fourth, the mark claims it was published yesterday, and that is because it was actually written yesterday. My computer would not allow me to post it last night, which is why it was not posted last night. I assure you, this was written on the twenty-third of October.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

A Desperate Reminder

Oh, hello. Can you guess what I am watching at this very moment--as I type this very post? Desperate Housewives, of course. What else? I really don't know what my current tally is now, how many times I watched this particular episode, for instance. Three, most likely four? Anyway, I am still engrossed by this fantastic show, simply captivated by it. Right now, a whole lot is going on, in case you would be interested in knowing. Edie is blackmailing Carlos by exchanging a reluctant and unwanted engagement for the security of his financial secrets; moreover, Carlos is having an affair with his ex-wife, Gaby, who is newly married to the mayor of Fairview, Victor Lang. Lynette has cancer, which is truly a sickening display from beginning to end, from her alien baldness to her victimized coughing and complaints of "Oh, I'm so ill, yet strong as an ox." (She is neither of the two.) Another sickening display is Susan's cliched pregnancy antics, which include an exaggerated increase in hormones, as well as her overall irritating personality, and the oh-so-funny food cravings and breast enlargement. Yeah, they look just like a pair of melons. The still-lovely Bree Hodge (it's Hodge for now) is faking a pregnancy to cover her promiscuous daughter's secret, which is just so wonderful of her. What's equally wonderful is her darling husband, Orson, who supports her completely in every decision she makes, as well as adores her throughout. Of course, we all know that Bree will return the favor of adoration when she forces him to serve his sentence in prison for running over Mike at the end of the second season--thanks to that hormonal beast called Susan Mayer. (This happens later, but Orson is sincerely remorseful of what he did, considering all that's occurred with his demented mother and all. Why must Mike be honest with his wife?) Lastly, there is the intriguing mystery surrounding Katherine Mayfair, who returns to Wisteria Lane following a scandal that happened involving her husband in Chicago; she is, as expected, secretive about her hidden history which includes her ex-husband and daughter. It is truly remarkable that I am still willing--more than that, pleased--to be watching this soapy dramedy, even after three or four times. Knowing what exactly will happen through the array of events unfolding on Wisteria Lane, and still wanting to watch it during dinner or whenever I have nothing else to do, is a work of utter brilliance. I hate to say it, but, bravo Marc Cherry. Even though your ruined the show by killing off Edie and bringing in dull "mysteries" including Angie Bolen and Renee Perry. Oh, I'm sorry, Renee was brought in to fill in the void of Edie's vicious, sexy character. That turned out just swell, too. (Not really.) Anyway, the whole point of this post, other than to inform you all that I am, indeed, still hooked on Desperate Housewives, even after its finale last year, is to recite a poem I wrote about my sick obsession. As you all know, not all poems have to rhyme.

A Desperate Poem
I am obsessed with Desperate Housewives.
I wonder why characters think the woods is the best place to cover up secrets--oh, Mike.
I hear Mary Alice Young's voice narrating each episode.
I see the idyllic Wisteria Lane as the background for the drama of the residents.
I am obsessed with Desperate Housewives.
I pretend to see past the error of Bree Van de Kamp, as she sends her husband, Orson, to prison.
I feel remorse towards Edie Britt as her electrocution approaches.
I touch my veins anxiously, sensing that the season is reaching its end.
I worry about Mike Delfino, since he is married to that crazy klutz, Susan Mayer.
I cry when Orson Hodge transforms into a creepy, handicapped kleptomaniac.
I am obsessed with Desperate Housewives.
I understand why Katherine Mayfair adopted a little girl who resembles her own daughter, who had an accidental tragic death. Her regret is chillingly and poignantly believable.
I say obscene comments when Lynette Scavo acts undeservedly self-righteous.
I dream about the steamy affair between Gabrielle Solis and her teenage gardener--and then another affair with her first husband, Carlos Solis.
I try to enjoy the show, even when it degrades in quality.
I hope that the Housewives will return on the big screen, as the Sex and the City ladies did.
I am obsessed with Desperate Housewives.

Was it a pleasant read? I certainly hope so. That is all I have to write about, for now, ladies and gentlemen. But I will say a final thought or two. The later seasons of Seinfeld (another show I am obsessed with--I hope this isn't disorienting) are deemed to be the worst of the series. To that, I object vehemently, as they may be the finest of the entire series. Every episode is equal to the other, as the show is sensational from beginning to end. Particularly, I love episodes such as The Dealership and The Betrayal. That's my humble opinion, as well as the opinion of my dad's, and that is all that matters, correct? Absolutely. And, another thought: Chinese take-out is delicious, so there should be no harm in ordering more than once a week.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Happy Birthday Kate Winslet!

Indeed, today marks the thirty-seventh anniversary of the life of an enormously talented British beauty. Here is another skilled yet also incredibly beautiful actress, joining the likes of Charlize Theron and Ashley Judd. Unlike those other two actresses, who are, by the way, outstandingly gorgeous, speaking as a heterosexual female, Kate Winslet has something unique in her appearance. By that I mean that she is not a traditional beauty, for her facial features are, objectively speaking, strange and even too large, yet the overall product (her face and body as a whole) create a breathtaking actress. Aside from her apparent beauty, Kate Winslet is an extraordinary actress, perhaps the greatest of her time, at least in British statistics. Her roles have ranged from innocent young girls caught in love to strong intelligent women facing certain circumstances; generally speaking, Kate Winslet has given a wide variety of performances, and every single one is brilliantly delivered. Such a description, of course, should suggest that accolades have been granted to this fine actress, particularly the most important of all, the Oscar. Sadly, she has received merely one for a film that was decent, but definitely not her best and most deserving work. The following post shall share several of her greatest roles, ones that should have been honored, as well as the one that gave her the title of Best Actress, a role that, again, is not all that special. (Just a warning, but I will not be covering her wonderful performance in Titanic because, frankly, I feel I have praised that film quite enough. It is, truly, an outstanding piece of cinema.)

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind - I've always considered this Kate Winslet's greatest performance, and that may be on account of her uncanny American accent. Of course, she has proven her versatility in the past and beyond this film, but, for some reason, I consider this her most American performance. And why should such a judgement affect my opinion on which is the best performance, one may ask? Well, I don't know. Maybe I enjoyed her performance for another reason. Yes, I'm certain I did. Anyway, I've seen this film twice, possibly more, and every time I am simply mesmerized by it. There are many films that captivate me, such as (on the top of my head) Inception, but that admiration is based on the obtuse scenery, as opposed to the plot. Well, the plot was rather astounding, as well, but different than Eternal Sunshine was. The film in question had such an odd premise, characteristic of the peculiar Charlie Kaufman, so odd that I was just entranced from beginning to end. I was so absorbed by the movie that the duration of the film (time, that is) flew by. The basic idea of the film (I don't want to give too much a way, it's a delightful trip) is the disintegration of the main characters relationship due to the process of one of them erasing their entire memory of the other. Wicked screenplay, yes? It did attain an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. (Its only one, unfortunately.) Within that illusory time frame, I did, however, catch a glimpse of the sensational performances. That's right, plural, for there was an additional actor who shined in a role so unlike him: Jim Carrey. Many are aware of his attempted (and successful) transition into dramatic films, revealed in The Truman Show, and this film was no less wonderful. As Joel Barish, an "emotionally withdrawn man" who meets the love of his life, who turns out to be Kate Winslet's character, Jim Carrey unleashes depths of his ability unknown to people who only know him as Lloyd Christmas from Dumb & Dumber. I'm surprised he didn't get an Oscar nomination for this role, but then again there were plenty of great male performances that year. (One of which, Leonardo DiCaprio in The Aviator, was not recognized to its full potential.) Moving on. Kate Winslet plays the lucky girl in question, Clementine Kruczynski, a "dysfunctional free spirit" who somewhat resembles a modern, more troubled Annie Hall. Moreover, like Diane Keaton, Kate Winslet delivers a phenomenal performance worthy of the title Best Actress in a Leading Role. (Alas, the amazing Hilary Swank won that year for Million Dollar Baby. Clearly a resentful and sarcastic remark.) With her colorful hair, that reflects her vivacious personality, Kate Winslet glows as the eccentric Clementine, and it is an absolute horror (yes--horror!) that she received no official recognition for her brilliant portrayal. Then again, is the Academy ever completely fair?

Little Children - This is probably known as the movie where Kate Winslet looks utterly plain and even unattractive. (I happen to disagree, for I think she looks gorgeous in any shade.) Because of this, her performance in this film is completely unadulterated, meaning that there is no evident beauty to distract you from the rawness of the performance. (I said performance twice in that sentence, didn't I?) She portrays the unsatisfied housewife and mother, hopelessly searching for more in her excruciatingly domestic life, finding it in the form of another lost soul who happens to be married, also. As Sarah Pierce, Kate Winslet mirrors the character of Madame Bovery (at least I assume she does since that book club discussion was clearly a metaphor for something) as she stumbles into a torrid affair with an equally unsatisfied man named Brad Adamson (played by Patrick Wilson) who's known as "the Prom King" for his good looks and unattainability (not a word, but you understand) I'm supposing. The couple's affair, of course, has no future, as the life-sucking routine of domesticity repels them from one another, causing them to realize their foolishness in the end. This tragic realization impacts Sarah more poignantly, as she, really, is significantly more unhappy than Brad, who is basically just an immature husband unwilling to make a career for himself. For this reason, he decided to start an affair with Sarah, to distract himself from burdensome duties and his commitments to his pushing wife (played by Jennifer Connolly, I might mention). That thought just came to mind, figured I should share my startling insight--were you affected by such intellect? While Kate Winslet was, naturally, great in the film, the foremost exemplary display of acting was provided by Jackie Earle Harley as the disturbing child sex offender. After years in prison for molesting a child, the return of the prodigal pervert (thought I could make a play on words there) summons a widespread aura of fear and revolt from the families in suburbia. His performance, the first I've seen of the actor, was so stirring and genuine that I shiver--in reverence to his brilliant performance as opposed to disgust--whenever I see him in other films. That, my dearies, is the proof of sheer excellence in the field of acting. Please take the time to experience this profound portrait of suburban life because it is a captivating film that will place you in such a serious--in terms of emotion--trance.

Revolutionary Road - Yet another fine film that portrays Kate Winslet's undeniable skill in the industry. Taking place in the idyllic era of the 1950s, Revolutionary Road follows the rapidly decaying relationship between the title characters, April and Frank Wheeler, played by Kate Winslet and (how meant to be) Leonardo DiCaprio, respectively. Think of this as a possible scenario between Jack and Rose, if Jack hadn't frozen to a tragic demise in the Atlantic--I had to mention Titanic somehow. Personally, I deem this as one of the greatest films concerning the difficult-to-pass complexities of married life, and this may be because of the exceptional performances of each fine actor, as well as their striking compatibility on-screen. Why are they not in more films together? It's simply preposterous. The downfall of April and Frank's marriage is vividly theatrical, in a perfectly balanced way as opposed to over-exaggerated. Naturally, such a glorious film was recognized, though distinctively amiss of Oscar accolades. Despite Kate Winslet's Golden Globe victory, this marital drama is considerably overlooked. Leonardo DiCaprio, for instance, was nominated for Best Actor in a Drama and lost to that slurred, slimy creature named Mickey Rourke for that mutually slimy film called The Wrestler. Indignation, if that's the word for it. Coincidentally--if it is, indeed, a coincidence--the film in which Kate Winslet received her first and only Oscar, thus far, was the same year. And another interesting fact: Kate Winslet won Best Actress in a Drama (a leading role) for Revolutionary Road and Best Supporting Actress for The Reader, a film which she would take home the title of Best Actress come Oscar night.

The Reader - Wasn't that neat how I transitioned to this film? Yes, well anyway, The Reader was a very adequate film about a supposedly zealous love affair between an older woman and a younger man. Think of it as a foreign, less passionate and alluring version of The Graduate. Or not, your preference. Kate Winslet portrays Hanna Schmidt, a former Nazi who would later be put to trial for her actions in the concentration camp. Those scenes, I must admit, were poignant enough for her to achieve Oscar glory, as her unfortunate illiteracy and innocence made her conviction all the more heartrending. However, despite the adequacy of the performance, it was absolutely nothing special. The Academy is well-known for granting esteem to worthy actors for films that do not display the actor's full potential and talent; they simply gave her an Oscar because she needed one. What a shame. The affair in the film, really, was awkward to watch, as Hanna did not seem all that interested in the boy, who was unattractive himself. That is, until he grew up into Ralph Fiennes. I actually read the book this film was based off of, and I must say that it was much better. Evidently, the director did not serve the novel justice, which is a common misfortune in the film industry when adapting books on the silver screen. Once again, I must emphasize this, the overdue accomplishment of obtaining an Oscar for Kate Winslet was not only overdue but, it seems, too late. I am not suggesting that she does not have the ability to give another phenomenal performance as she had in the past with Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Titanic, but she just should have been honored that time. Then again, she was the Best Actress of that year. Wait--now wait just a minute--Angelina Jolie was utterly magnificent in Changeling as a mother who lost her son! Oh, why those Academy bastards. What's done is done, I suppose, plus Kate Winslet is more deserving of an Oscar, generally speaking, than Angelina Jolie. It's the honest truth.

That was impressively longer than I anticipated, and I say "impressive" because I am proud of myself for writing rather than sleeping. I had a long week, folks. And for those who have just finished reading this from the beginning, I applaud your endurance. I can be quite eccentric when writing, and it is awe-inspiring that you have trudged passed that somewhat tiresome quality of mine. To share her plans of the future, Kate Winslet will be starring in an intriguing ensemble comedy, alongside the likes of Jason Sudeikis and Emma Stone, as well as a Jason Reitman drama about a woman, her son, and a dangerous escaped convict and a World War II period piece directed by Kenneth Branagh. Very curious and highly anticipated, in my opinion. Well, for the time being, Happy Birthday Kate Winslet!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

A Completely Unexpected Treat

I hesitate in placing an explanation point in the title, yet, alas, I don't do that. You know my punctuation rule. But do not diminish the excitement of the upcoming announcement, for this is an utter sensation. From the moment I was enlightened of this, I was beaming uncontrollably, to the mocking judgement of others. When I finally declare what I intend to declare, it won't exactly be "breaking news" or even shocking if you've come to terms with it. Here it is: Seth MacFarlane, creator of Family Guy, has been announced as this year's host of the 85th Annual Academy Awards. If you are not already aware, this is fantastic information. For me, at least. It has been a few days since this announcement has been made, and already people are making being negative about it. The Parents Television Council, naturally, is advocating against Seth MacFarlane as the Oscar host, for reasons they have stated before speaking against his phenomenal television shows. According to this loathsome organization, Seth MacFarlane has produced obscene content in many of his shows, and should not be allowed to follow in the footsteps of the likes of Johnny Carson and Bob Hope. Not to disrespect these relics of pop culture (I am not familiar with their work, honestly), but this is a vastly different era of entertainment. Surely, the likes of Chris Rock and Jon Stewart do not meet up with the revered expectations of the two late greats (again, I cannot capitalize "greats" because I am not intimate with their work). Furthermore, Seth MacFarlane is not the vile, inappropriate scoundrel that this self-righteous Council claims him to be. While his jokes on Family Guy are a bit over-the-edge (and that is an understatement), they are funny comments on society nonetheless. He should not be punished for creating a hilarious comedy. Not to sound annoyingly patriotic, but what happened to the first amendment? I guess freedom of speech has its limits, is that right? Freedom is not even the issue here, it's the fact that Seth MacFarlane is being criticized for how he represents humor in the show. Basically what I am "preaching" is that Seth MacFarlane is a funny guy who knows his limits, and admirably goes beyond those limits purposely to point out the many flaws in our society. (I do not question whether I am making sense now. Even that sentence is up for speculation as to what it means. Same for that one.) Apparently, the Academy finds his humor, as well as the way he presents himself in public, as tolerably satisfying; he would not have been chosen if he were the indecent miscreant that many high-and-mighty associations deem him to be. I'd like to include a comment made by Seth MacFarlene himself, in regard of the animadversion against him: "They're [the Parents Television Council] literally terrible human beings. I've read their newsletter, I've visited their website, and they're just rotten to the core. For an organization that prides itself on Christian values--I mean, I'm an atheist, so what do I know?--they spend their entire day hating people." Excellently put, Mr. MacFarlane. (Source: Inside TV, Entertainment Weekly website.)

Disregarding the controversy against him, the news of Seth MacFarlane hosting next year's Academy Awards is one of absolute joy. And I do admit that he is an odd choice for such a prestigious role in the film industry's most valued evening of the year, especially for someone who has never even presented an award at this very occasion. Nevertheless, I am exuberantly thrilled for the Academy's decision. This is a choice that is sure to attract a massive audience come Oscar night, a goal the Academy has been striving for ever since that flop of an evening with James Franco and Anne Hathaway. What better way to attain millions of viewers than to have a host many of the younger demographic (I, alone, am an example) will be pleased to see? Also, for the older groups, they will definitely be curious in how Seth MacFarlane handles such a respected honor, and whether he will make shocking comments throughout the show. And, of course, people, including myself, are eager to see him voice the beloved tones of Stewie Griffin. Admit it, you are one of them. With all this said, I sincerely hope there will not be yet another reason to release An Aggravated Gasp concerning a change in Oscar hosts, as there was last year. Hopefully, because of the intense adversity given by the Parents Television Council, Seth MacFarlane will do whatever he can to remain the host of film's biggest night. Cheers.