Archive | December, 2010

The Inevitable Christmas Movie Post

24 Dec

It honestly IS the most wonderful time of the year! Eggnog drinking, present wrapping, tree decorating, Christmas caroling, yuletide bringing, most wonderful time of the year!! And of course, there are the obligatory Christmas/holiday movies, which are so special and awesome because there’s such a short time of the year in which to watch these cinematic masterpieces!

Instead of doing a lame roundup on why I like each of these well-known movies, I’m going to offer them to you in favorite quote form. More fun than regular words, maybe less fun than videos of me and my friends acting scenes out for you (but I digress).

Without further ado, my favorite Christmas movies (in no particular order) are:

Love Actually: Because of the kickass speech Hugh Grant’s Prime Minister gives: “We may be a small country, but we’re a great one, too. The country of Shakespeare, Churchill, the Beatles, Sean Connery, Harry Potter. David Beckham’s right foot. David Beckham’s left foot, come to that. And a friend who bullies us is no longer a friend. And since bullies only respond to strength, from now onward I will be prepared to be much stronger. And the President should be prepared for that.”

Uhhh, What’s up Billy Bob Thorton?? Not quite my favorite presidential speech of all time (from Independence Day), but close!

Elf: Buddy the Elf has some of the best new classic lines known to the world, including:

  • Buddy the Elf, what’s your favorite color?
  • First we’ll make snow angels for a two hours, then we’ll go ice skating, then we’ll eat a whole roll of Tollhouse Cookiedough as fast as we can, and then we’ll snuggle.
  • The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.
  • I’m a cotton-headed ninny-muggins.

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation: Clark Griswold and family’s old fashioned Christmas goes wrong in so many ways. And the quote that personifies this is as follows “Where do you think you’re going? Nobody’s leaving. Nobody’s walking out on this fun, old-fashioned family Christmas. No, no. We’re all in this together. This is a full-blown, four-alarm holiday emergency here. We’re gonna press on, and we’re gonna have the hap, hap, happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny fucking Kaye. And when Santa squeezes his fat white ass down that chimney tonight, he’s gonna find the jolliest bunch of assholes this side of the nuthouse.”

True dat, Clark.

Home Alone: Let’s face it; every kid wished they were Kevin McAllister at some point in their life. Left alone to defend your home against crooks, while eating junk and watching rubbish? Yes please. Though there are MANY epic lines from Home Alone, my personal favorite has to be:

"Buzz, your girlfriend? Woof!"

Finally, there’s A Charlie Brown Christmas (though technically a made for television movie) also makes the list. Why? Because it spawned the Charlie Brown Christmas tree, which is always a sad tree that makes me want to cry, but never take it home because I only want a huge, awesome tree. But when Linus drops this bomb: “I never thought it was such a bad little tree. It’s not bad at all, really. Maybe it just needs a little love,” I always get the urge to maybe adopt a pathetic tree along with my awesome tree…maybe next year? Hmm, doubtful =)

What awesome Christmas movies/quotes have I left out? Leave your favs in the comments!

Merry Christmas, I hope you all have a safe and happy holiday!

2010: A Year in Movies

15 Dec

With just over 2 weeks left to go in 2010, this awesome montage of all the movies released this year is definitely worth a watch (yes, all 6+ minutes of it!)

Loaded question: what was your favorite movie of 2010? OK, you don’t have to pick JUST one, but throw a few of your personal faves down in the comments, I’d love to hear about them!

Also, as you may have seen, yesterday’s post was Freshly Pressed (and is still on the page for the moment), which was AWESOME (thanks WordPress!), so welcome to all new readers! Thanks for checking Oscartini out!

And the Nominees Are…

14 Dec

This has been a big week in movie award news! With the AFI releasing its top 10 movies of the year on Sunday and the Critic Choice Award nominations coming out yesterday, plus the announcements from the Boston, New York and Los Angeles film critics of their picks of the year (all which named The Social Network best picture), the road to the Oscars is becoming shorter and shorter—only 6 weeks until nominees are announced!

Today, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association announced the nominees for the Golden Globes, which honor outstanding achievement in film and television.  The Globes are unique, in that they break down the categories into drama and comedy or musical. So there is no singular best picture of the year, but one is chosen in each category. Typically, the dramatic picture is the more coveted award.

Each best picture category has 5 nominees. This year’s are as follows:

DRAMA:

  • BLACK SWAN
  • THE FIGHTER
  • INCEPTION
  • THE KING’S SPEECH
  • THE SOCIAL NETWORK

COMEDY or MUSICAL:

  • ALICE IN WONDERLAND
  • BURLESQUE
  • THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT
  • RED
  • THE TOURIST

You can see the full list of nominees here. Some initial thoughts:

  • Where the heck is Toy Story 3? Sure, it’s nominated for best animated feature, but I’m surprised it didn’t at least crack the overall award. Expect Toy Story 3 to get an Oscar nod come January 25th.
  • I think the 5 drama nominees are ALL shoe-ins for Oscar noms; each of them has generated significant buzz, and I think most of them will also receive acting and/or directing nominations too.
  • In the comedy/musical category, there are some surprises. Though I haven’t seen Burlesque, I feel it’s likely on this list to give at least one musical a shot here. The Tourist has been getting panned by critics, so this is another head scratcher.
  • When it comes down to it, how are films designated comedies or dramas? While The Kids Are All Right has its funny moments, I think this film is hard to classify. If it was between seeing it in this category, or not at all, I’ll definitely take this!
  • Despite having 2 different movie categories, there’s only 1 category for best director. Each director of the best picture, drama, nominees snagged the best director noms. Veryyy interesting…

A few other surprises in the acting categories:

  • Johnny Depp is nominated for best actor in a comedy or musical for both the Tourist and Alice and Wonderland.
  • The Kids Are All Right costars Annette Bening and Julianne Moore will both vie for best actress in a comedy or musical.
  • The Fighter picking up acting award nominations for best actor (Mark Whalberg), best supporting actress (for both Amy Adams and Melissa Leo) and best supporting actor (Christian Bale, who is the front runner for the Oscar, based on buzz).

The 68th Annual Golden Globe Awards will air LIVE on Sunday, January 16, 2011 on NBC, and Ricky Gervais will be hosting.  Will you be tuning in for the show?  Who do you think the best picture awards will go to?  Leave your predictions in the comments!

Top 10 Movies of the Year

13 Dec

…according to the America Film Institute, anyways!  Yesterday, the AFI presented its list of the top 10 movies of 2010, which are as follows (in alphabetical order):

  • Black Swan
  • The Fighter
  • Inception
  • The Kids are All Right
  • 127 Hours
  • The Social Network
  • The Town
  • Toy Story 3
  • True Grit
  • Winter’s Bone

The AFI also gave special awards to The King’s Speech (ineligible for the list because it’s a British film) and Waiting for Superman (ineligible as it’s a documentary).

According to Dave Karger from Entertainment Weekly, it’s very likely that the eventual Best Picture winner is on this list.  Looking at the past 5 years (2005-9), the AFI has had the eventual Best Picure winner on its top films list 3 out of the 5 times, in 2009 with The Hurt Locker, 2007 with No Country for Old Men and 2005 with Crash.  2008’s winner, Slumdog Millionaire and 2006’s winner, The Departed, weren’t included on the list in either respective year, although Slumdog wouldn’t have been eligible anyways as an Indian film.

So far, I have seen 5 of these 10 (and neither of the movies given special awards); what have you seen on this list?  Any early best picture predictions?

Also, be sure to check back here tomorrow for the Golden Globe nominees, which are often seen as another precursor to the Oscar nominees!

In Theater: Black Swan

12 Dec

This is one movie I had been really looking forward to seeing for a while. Billed as a psychological thriller starring Natalie Portman, Black Swan has come out of the gate a serious Oscar contender in several categories, especially best actress for Ms. Portman.

The movie revolves around an area that is both strange and familiar to most people: the world of professional ballet.  Strange, in the sense that the great majority (I’m confident in this assumption) of the movie going population are not professional ballerinas or dancers, but have likely been exposed to dance, either through movies and TV or taking lessons when they were younger.

The main character, Nina (Portman), is what I suppose is a typical dancer—very driven and ambitious in an uber-competetive universe. She’s also bulimic and batshit crazy, unfortunately. She has a psycho mother, played by the wonderful Barbara Hershey, of Beaches fame (for me, at least) who gave up her own ballet career to raise Nina and is sweet enough to project her own now-dead dreams onto her daughter; this is one reason Nina is batshit crazy. Also, Nina spends the WHOLE ENTIRE MOVIE looking like she’s on the verge of tears. Constantly. Even when she’s actively crying, she still looks like she’s going to graduate to more tears. It’s both annoying and telling of what a weakling she is…mostly annoying though, because seriously, who looks that pretty when they cry? Natalie Portman, that’s who.

Mila Kunis plays a rival ballerina, Lily…her role in this movie is less important to me than the fact that she’s been able to really thrive and find post That 70’s Show fame.  She’s great in this, and she was also one of the best parts about Saving Sarah Marshall.

Back to Black Swan.  I thought this movie was really good, and think the Oscar buzz is deserved.  I’ll be curious to see how this does in wide release; so far, it has been very well received by audiences and critics alike. It’s definitely different and certainly dark and twisted. I wouldn’t call it scary in a traditional sense, but it lives up to its billing as a psychological thriller.  I did find somewhat of a disconnect between the movie the trailer and commercials show and the actual movie I saw.  I don’t want to spill the beans, but I’ll let you decide for yourself after you see it!

Black Swan is currently in limited release in select theaters around the country; see its website for when it will be playing near you.

Is Black Swan on your must-see list?  If you’ve already seen it, what do you think about its chances at the Academy Awards? Personally, I think the best actress race will come down to either Natalie Portman or Annette Bening for The Kids Are All Right; what other actresses do you think are in the mix?

**Update** Today, Black Swan received 12 Critic’s Choice Award nominations, the most of any movie in the award’s 16 year history…is this a sign of things to come?

83 Days until the 83rd Academy Awards!

7 Dec

Today marks a special milestone in the Oscar countdown: we only have 83 days left until the 83rd annual Academy Award ceremony occurs on February 27th!  With 83 days to go, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has created a very cool countdown microsite: its honoring years 1-82 of the awards, one a day, until the 2011 show.  Today, the Academy invites us to experience the first Academy Awards, which took place in May of 1929, and honored films that were released from August 1927 through August 1928.

Along with details about each ceremony, there are also fun facts on the site.  Some of my favorites are:

  • The event was held a full three months after the winners had already been announced.
  • The first year, awards could be for a single achievement, for several achievements, or for the whole body of work during the year; for example, actress Janet Gaynor won Best Actress for her work in three films: “7th Heaven,” “Street Angel,” and “Sunrise.”
  • For the first and only time, the Academy gave awards for both dramatic direction (Frank Borzage for “7th Heaven”) and comedy direction (Lewis Milestone for “Two Arabian Knights”).

I won’t be chronicling every day of the countdown here, but you should definitely check it out for cool historical details of the awards!

(All material and facts are from the Academy’s countdown site, which will be updated every day until the awards: http://www.oscars.org/countdown/index.html.  You can also follow the Academy on Twitter here: @TheAcademy!)

Now, we only have to wait seven weeks from today to find out the nominees for the 83rd Annual Academy Awards! Who else is excited??

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