Saturday, August 1, 2009

The Year So Far...

So here's a very quick review of some of the big-name movies I've seen this year:

Very interesting and psychologically engaging. The action scenes were thrilling and the montage towards the begining was excellent. The soundtrack was phenominal, aside from an awful version of the brilliant song Hallelujah (it made for one of the most awkward sex scenes I've ever seen)...(I've just learned that the version in the movie is actually the original Leonard Cohen version...weird)

The story was fun and somewhat thought provoking and the visuals were absolutely beautiful. I would definitely recommend it, although I wish it had given a little more explanation on the world of the "other mother".

Star Trek
I'm a big Star Trek fan, and I think it's great that there's finally one with the amazing graphics that we're now capable of. The script was fun, and engaging, and....well, just see it, you won't regret it.

Best movie so far this year. Pixar at it's best. It is one of the most beautiful and heartwarming stories I've ever seen.

The Proposal
As far as chick-flicks go, it's not bad. It's very predictable towards the end, but that shouldn't come as a surprise. It is however, one of the funniest chick-flicks to come out in awhile and is truely touching at times. (the dance scene in the forest is just plaine weird though...)

Harry Potter 6
It captures the fun everyday life of Hogwarts very well I thought, and it's one of my favorites that I've seen of the movies (haven't seen five yet...and three is probably my favorite). However, the sixth book is my favorite in the series, and the movie cuts out the very thing that makes the book my favorite. In the book, you start to understand where Voldemort came from and how he became the powerful wizard he is through the memories that Dumbledore shares with Harry. In the movie, you only see two of those memories, and even they aren't that expository. You do however get to see what Ron would be like drunk and what Harry would be like if he smoked some pot...that was entertaining.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Academy Award Song Performances

Okay this is just a bit of venting I've been holding in for a month and a half. What the hell was wrong with the Academy Award producers this year when it came to the song performances. Based on the performances, it's no question why Jai Ho won, it was the only one of the three nominated that reached it's full performance potential that night.
The brilliance of O... Saya in my opinion is the combination of AR Rahman's Indian sounding wails with MIA's english rap. Unfortunately in the performance, the song was cut off right before MIA would have started singing. It would have been awesome to have seen the two of them perform that song live. MIA lived up to her name, probably because she'd given birth only three weeks before. But seriously, if she can perform at the Grammy's hours before giving birth, she can perform at the Oscars weeks after.
O... Saya was cut off by a performance of my personal pick Down to Earth (which currently holds the record for most played song on my itunes). They really had a good idea going here. I can just imagine it in the Academy Awards planning meeting.
"Well, it sounds kind of African, let's have an African chorus sing in the background"
It really was a good idea, until some jackass interupted the meeting and said, "Hey, I have an idea. Instead of Peter Gabriel, let's have some random dude that can't sing"
"Oh that would be wonderful." the commitee would chime in, " Totally unexpected and original".
Seriously, what the hell?
Oh, and don't even get me started about The Wrestler not even being nominated. I'm fine with it not winning...but them cutting down to three nominations when they could have included it in the usual five? What's that about? I suppose it's a good thing though, they probably would have got Britney Spears to sing it instead of the obvious Bruce Springstein.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Taylor Awards

Stupid title, I know. Basically The Taylor Awards are something I came up with a couple years ago to express my personal opinion of what the best movie that came out that year was. I decided to choose one for every year that I've been alive. This is a little difficult for the earlier years seeing as how I haven't seen as many really good ones from those years, so for now I only have them for years I feel I've seen enough from and I'll add more to the list gradually as I see more. So this is my list so far.

1990 -
1991 -
1992 -
1993 -
1994 - The Shawshank Redemption
1995 -
1996 - (tie) Fargo; The English Patient
1997 - Titanic
1998 -
1999 - American Beauty
2000 -
2001 - Amelie
2002 - Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
2003 - Lord of the Rings: Return of the King
2004 - (tie) Hotel Rwanda; Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
2005 - Brokeback Mountain
2006 - Little Children
2007 - Into the Wild
2008 - TBA

There's still a few more I need to see this year before I feel I can make an educated decision, but so far the main contenders are WALL-E, The Visitor, Frost/Nixon, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Burn After Reading and possibly The Reader (I wasn't sure how I fealt about The Reader when I first saw it, but the more I think about it, the more I like it...I'm going to have to see it again before I make my decision)

Of the ones I've seen, I'm pretty sure it's going to be WALL-E (seriously, I had know idea how brilliant that movie was going to be. It's definately my favorite Pixar...closely followed by Finding Nemo). I still need to see In Bruges; Synechdoche, New York; Frozen River; Happy-Go-Lucky; Gran Torino; Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day; Tell No One; and Rachel Getting Married (and the last 10 minutes of The Visitor) before I make my decision. Of those, the only one that I think really has a chance of taking first is Synechdoche, New York...but I want to be sure, cause I never thought WALL-E would get even close to my favorite...although I'm pretty sure Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day won't even make the top's just that it was one of the few movies that came out in the first few month of 2008 that I was actually interested in seeing (why I didn't see it then is beyond me)


This movie was brilliant. I figured I would like it, cause most Pixar films are spectacular (aside from Cars), but I never thought I'd like it as much as I did. It had so much to say and it said it so beautifully...I really am having a hard time articulating the feelings I have for this beautiful, beautiful film.
...there are some things I really have to do right now, so I'm going to leave it at that for now, but I just had to get it out there that this is one of my favorite movies ever!...

Sunday, February 1, 2009


I'm so pumped for Oscar night this year! I've already seen all the nominees for Best Picture and only have to see a few more before I've seen all of the nominees for the big 8 (Picture, Director, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, Original Screenplay, Adapted Screenplay).

I'm really torn as to what is going to win. I personally think the best was probably Benjamin Button or Frost/Nixon...but I kind of have a thing for The Reader, even though a few technical things really bugged me. I liked Slumdog Millionaire a lot, but I think that it's getting a lot of hype that may or may not carry through to Oscar votes. I do think it could easily win Best Director however. Milk was good, I really did like it, but I don't think it had Oscar the Best Picture category at least. I think that Sean Penn has a good chance of getting Best Actor (it's between him and Mickey Rourke...I haven't seen the Wrestler yet though). I'm a little pissed that Josh Brolin is up for Best Supporting Actor and Emile Hirsch isn't. Josh Brolin was good, but Emile Hirsche was excellent (I'm still a little disapointed that he wasn't recognized for Into the Wild...or that Into the Wild wasn't up for Best Picture...another bit of genius from Sean Penn). I suppose the Best Supporting Actor Category doesn't matter too much this year however...The New York Times called the nominations "The Four actors who are going to lose to Heath Ledger" and I'm pretty sure I agree. Michael Shannon in Revolutionary Road and Philip Seymour Hoffman in Doubt were both brilliant (haven't seen Robert Downey Jr. in Tropic Thunder yet), but Ledger's was one that would have been remembered as brilliant for years to come even if he hadn't passed away.

Ledger winning Best Supporting Actor is however one of the few awards that will be easy to predict. Almost all of the others are very close. I'm thinking that Best Actress should go to Kate Winslet (my favorite actress) but I haven't seen Rachel Getting Married yet, so I can't be sure. It should be a fun year, and I'm looking forward to putting together my predictions and seeing the outcome on the 22nd.

Just in case you don't follow them as religiously as I do, here are the big 8 nominations:

Best Picture
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Reader
Slumdog Millionaire

Best Director
David Fincher, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Ron Howard, Frost/Nixon
Gus Van Sant, Milk
Stephen Daldry, The Reader
Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire

Best Actor
Richard Jenkins, The Visitor
Frank Langella, Frost/Nixon
Sean Penn, Milk
Brad Pitt, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler

Best Actress
Anne Hathaway, Rachel Getting Married
Angelina Jolie, Changeling
Melissa Leo, Frozen River
Meryl Streep, Doubt
Kate Winslet, The Reader

Best Supporting Actor
Josh Brolin, Milk
Robert Downey Jr., Tropic Thunder
Philip Seymour Hoffman, Doubt
Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight
Michael Shannon, Revolutionary Road

Best Supporting Actress
Amy Adams, Doubt
Penelope Cruz, Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Viola Davis, Doubt
Taraji P. Henson, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Marisa Tomei, The Wrestler

Best Adapted Screenplay
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Eric Roth
Doubt, John Patrick Shanley
Frost/Nixon, Peter Morgan
The Reader, David Hare
Slumdog Millionaire, Simon Beaufoy

Best Original Screenplay
Frozen River, Courtney Hunt
Happy-Go-Lucky, Mike Leigh
In Bruges, Martin McDonagh
Milk, Dustin Lance Black
Wall-E, Andrew Stanton and Jim Reardon

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Reader

Overall I thought it was a really good movie and definitely worth seeing. The story is unique and compelling while not being too out there (not that being too out there is a bad thing).

This is one of the strongest performances I've seen by Kate Winslet (or any actress for that matter) and it proves her versitility as an actress. She herself admitted that there was nothing in her past life that she could draw from for the character Hannah Schmitz. She just couldn't figure out how to relate to her, but she had to understand her. Her difficulty to understand this character sometimes shows through, because as an audience, it is hard for us to understand her...but I actually think that this is a good thing. In most of our realms of experience, we cannot fathom why she would act the way she does, and that is part of what makes the film so intriguing
I think that Kate Winslet deserved the Golden Globe she got for this role and deserves to win the Oscar as well.

The film is very thought provoking and brings up such complex issues as affairs, vices, justice, literacy, and dealing with the past.

There was some confusion however when it came to the passage of time. It would cut between scenes and it would often be unclear if it was several months later or just a few moments, and I don't think it was intentional most of the time. It was usually pretty easy to figure out though after a minute or two at most. Overall it was a good movie.

my movie blog

I'm just going to get right down to the point. This blog is going to be about movies. Whether it be my personal movie reviews and recommendations, Academy Award Predictions, movies I'm looking forward too, or whatever, it will always be something (at least vaguely) relating to yeah...enjoy.