Sunday, February 26, 2012

My 2012 Oscar Predictions

This is my prediction list for The Oscars, a game I've done the last two years with the movie podcast, Movie BS.

This is how it works:
1) you decide who you think is going to win in each category
2) you put them in order of how confident you are of your picks in each category.
There are 24 categories, so for example, if I get my first one right (or the one I feel most confident I will get right-) I get 24 points for that one. For the second on my list, I would get 23 points and so on. If you get them all right, it will add up to exactly 300 points.
I did this last year and it made watching The Oscars so fun, so I was definitely interested in doing it again.  (I did terrible, getting 133 points).  All I can hope for is beating myself this year.

Try it! ( and report back to me your score)

Light green: the ones I got right (check out my top ten!)
Dark green: the ones I got wrong

1. BEST PICTURE - The Artist (24)
2. BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR - Christopher Plummer (23)
3. BEST DIRECTOR- Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist (22)
4. ORIGINAL SONG - Man or Muppet (21)
5. BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS -Octavia Spencer (20)
6. BEST ACTOR - Jean Dujardin (19)
7. ADAPTED SCREENPLAY - Moneyball (18)
9. BEST ACTRESS - Meryl Streep (16)
10. ART DIRECTION - Hugo (15)
11. ORIGINAL SCORE - John Williams, War Horse (14)
12. SOUND EDITING - War Horse (13)
13. CINEMATOGRAPHY - The Tree of Life (12)
14. FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM - A Separation (11)
15. MAKE UP - Albert Nobbs (for successfully transforming Glen Close into Conan O'Brien) (10)
16. ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY - Midnight in Paris (9)
17. SOUND MIXING - Moneyball (8)
18. VISUAL EFFECTS - Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (7)
19. FILM EDITING - Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (6)
20. COSTUME DESIGN - Jane Eyre (5)
21. DOCUMENTARY FEATURE - Undefeated (4)
22. DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT - The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom (3)
24. LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM - Time Freak (1)

(I'm calling it now: that is the best I'll ever do)

Friday, February 17, 2012

The Secret Life of Elinor

The other night, I left Elles sitting on my bed while I handled Scout's bedtime routine including reading her a story.  When I got back, I found this little scene.....

She had managed to reach my ipod, turn it on, turn it up, and have the earbuds next to her head.  She was listening to Frank Black with a huge grin on her face.

She was very proud of herself.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

What Emily's Been Watching- January Edition

I warned you last month that I was watching a lot of movies in January, and what do you know- I was right.  I was inspired by all the end of the year top ten lists.  Next month I going to try to hit up a few more Oscar nom movies.  I even found time to start Emily's Wall of Shame.  (What better time to finally start that then January?)  If you are new to this, or have forgotten, my wall of shame is watching a movie that is super well known/famous that I have just not happened to see or missed it, etc.  You know those movies:  ones that are on AFI's 100 best, or come up in Trivial Pursuit a lot. Yeah- those. Oh, and as always, the titles link to their page on IMDB if you want more info on the movie.  Ok, here we go...........

THE WILD AND WONDERFUL WHITES OF WEST VIRGINIA  (2009) [R]  documentary.  This was a documentary recommended by my sister Sue.  It was a strange mix of interesting, disturbing, entertaining, shocking and depressing.  I like anything that pulls you into a different world, to see a slice of life that is normal to someone else and utterly alien to you.  This movie does that.  Apparently, The White family is pretty famous/infamous in the mountain culture of West Virginia.  It started with a grandpa that tap danced and now there is a huge family tree comprised of drug infested, self entitled, dishonest, foul mouthed, ignorant people.  There is definitely not a lot of heart warming pay off here, or lessons learned, but it is fascinating to get a glimpse into the lives of this family and what constitutes as normal to them.  .Also some really funny moments.  And don't forget: Sue Bob is the sexy one.  Emily only recommends this documentary to people that like the slice of life story telling and have a fascination with the Appalachian Mountain culture like I do (you also must not mind drug use and language).

Here is a funny scene that I found more entertaining then the trailer.

ATTACK THE BLOCK (2011) [R]  comedy/sci-fi.  This movie was so much fun for me.  I just loved it.  It was made in the UK and centers around some sort of ghetto in London.  I texted it as a recommendation to my brother and described it as "Super 8 meets Boyz in the Hood- in London" and that does about cover it.  Basically, these little alien things start falling from the sky while these kids are holding up a lady.  They take action and then find themselves having to defend their block by themselves cause the cops aren't their friends of course.  It's really funny, has some intense scary alien scenes, and isn't afraid to kill the main characters.  I loved the London, inner city, ghetto vibe it had- the accents and idioms were quite entertaining.  It was just well made and well written and the kids were quite likeable for meeting them while ganging up on and holding up a unarmed woman at night while walking home.  Cool aliens, especially for a low budget picture.  Emily totally recommends this movie for the alien adventure lovers out there (I wouldn't call myself one of those, but I do enjoy a well done alien movie once in a while).  It brings something new to the table.  It was my first English alien picture (I think).

ANOTHER EARTH (2011) [PG-13]  drama/sci-fi. Another Earth.  What a polorizing film this has been this  past year!  It won an award at Sundance, then got picked up.   It has appeared on critics top 10 best lists and others worst of the year.  I've heard critic partners discuss it together on total opposite ends of the spectrum.  Where do I fall?  It totally worked for me.  Here is what gets some people:  It is drummed up as a very very interesting idea- a sister planet suddenly appears by earth with apparently the exact same structural make up as earth, it later reveals that EVERYTHING is the same, including cities and people having the exact same experiences as you.  Essentially, there is another you doing the exact same thing on another planet.  So, with that premise, people expect to dive into all that entails and they want to visit that world during the movie and find out all the answers.  This movie doesn't do that though and that disappoints some.  It also doesn't depict all the havoc that planet would have on our earth such as gravity problems and the tides- that stuff isn't touched on.  Instead, this is a character drama that kind of revolves around the question of what if you met the other you?  What if you could change the past and right the mistakes you have made? 
It was written by two friends (a man and a woman) and first time movie makers.  Then, he directed it and she starred in it.  They filmed it with very little money, saving money by staying at one of their parent's houses and eating their food, etc.  I listened to two interviews by this team (one was a Q & A after a screening) and I just was even more impressed.  I loved hearing the process of how they made this and the stories behind it.  Fact:  they did try to add some of the elements of what would happen to the earth if we had another one so close but they told us that we are very glad they cut it all out, it looked terrible with the budget they had.  I totally respect that and am glad they left it out.  I don't think they needed it.  The story wrapped me totally up right away and I felt so heavily for the main character, Rhoda.  I knew the main stuff going in about the other earth stuff I explained, I also knew that a car accident was involved.  That is all I knew going in and didn't happen to see the trailer.  There is stuff I didn't see coming at all (which I think is rare- most know).  It was a great way to watch the film I thought.  I was just so wrapped up in the emotions of the main characters- it was quite the ride.  One thing didn't work very well for me, but it was a minor side plot, so it didn't ruin anything.  I recommended this one to Matt too and this one he and his wife really hated (he enjoyed Attack the Block very much).  Guess it is polarizing.  Emily has decided to not recommend this movie.  I will leave it to you to decide if you want to see it or not.  By the way, I couldn't get this movie out of my mind for most of the next day and I have spent quite a bit of time coming up with different versions of the ending (it was left sort of ambiguous- about that:  the directer/writer said in his interview that they know very specifically what actually happened, but want to keep it under wraps to allow the audience to do what I have been doing and interpret it their own way.  Stinkers.  I have had a great time coming up with my own, but I am dying to know the real ending.  If you've seen the film and am interested in hearing the interviews I spoke of (and I really recommend them) you can find them here and here.  Pretty clean PG 13- no language, but there is a pretty intense car accident scene.

HUGO 3D (2011) [PG]  family/drama/adventure.  I suddenly had an urge to see this one while it was still in theater in 3D (I'd heard things about it), so I reached out to my Utah family to see who would be interested (I was going to just go down the street after the kids went to bed and watch it by myself if no one was interested- I'm cool with that).  My cousin Dan was able to go, so the two of us went and we really enjoyed it!  The 3D really was amazing.  I am not a big 3D person, in fact the only other I saw was when one of the Harry Potter movies had a few scenes in 3D (6th?-  yep).  I just find it pretty unnecessary.  That is also how I felt during the 3D previews they showed before Hugo.  BUT Hugo was impressive.  It really was worth seeing that way.  The movie was really enjoyable too.  I liked the story and liked learning a little about the history of film, mostly about Georges Méliès. Most of it takes place in a Paris train station and features lots of clock work (which is really cool to watch in 3D).   The auto-matron totally blew my mind.  I couldn't get over the work involved in programing one of those things.  CRAZY.  It may seem like a kid's movie to you, but it isn't.  I don't mean that it isn't appropriate, it just would be totally boring to a child if you want my opinion.  I think it is more a magical movie for adults.  That sounds lame, but it really was excellent. It had a great story to it and fosters a love of cinema- especially old cinema- which is cool I think.  Emily recommends this movie very much for anyone (except those under about 11 I'd say- unless they were unusually mature).  I figure it is probably too late to see it in 3D but if not- it is totally worth the effort and extra money to check it out that way- and that may be the only time I ever say that.  3D is stupid.


CLOVERFIELD (2008) [PG-13]  horror/sci-fi.  Cloverfield came out a few years ago and is still brought up all the time when anyone discusses a monster movie.  It is one of those "found footage movies" I am a big fan of, but somehow, even with all that, I never saw this film.  It hung out on my Netflix queue for a very long time and I finally decided it was time.  Wow-- it was fantastic.  I really liked it.  It is essentially an American godzilla movie.  The very beginning of the movie (very first thing, so I'm not spoiling anything) says that this tape was found in some number area (I forget) which used to be known as "Central Park".  It is pretty cool that the whole story is just shown with the point of view of the guy with the camera, so you don't know any more then they do.  The footage begins at a party for some guy that is leaving for a job in Japan and the lights go out, there is some mayhem, and then they evacuate and the guy still has the camera.  They are in downtown Manhattan and there are explosions and shouting from far away and suddenly the Statue of Liberty's head comes flying down the street.  That's all I'm going to say about that.  Emily was a big fan, lots of fun.  Check it out if you haven't yet (I'm probably the last person on earth that hadn't seen it though).  It's not to be missed if you like the found footage movies, and in that genre- it's a classic.

MIDNIGHT IN PARIS (2011) [PG-13]  romcom/fantasy.  I had been waiting to see this one for a long time, and snatched it up at Redbox the week it was available.  What a fun little flick.  You get to combine the Woody Allen film style with history and classic painters and authors AND Paris.  You get to vicariously meet people like F. Scott Fitzgerald, Hemingway and Picasso.  You get to walk the streets of Paris with Owen Wilson and hear love of the city gush out of his and everyone's lips almost continually.  I love it and I think I would really love Paris if I ever went there.  But mostly it was fun to see the 1920's Paris set interact and hang out together.  Also- I love Woody Allen.  I am not even as harsh about his stuff from the last 10 years as everyone else is.  I've enjoyed them all at least a little and on some level.  This one is a no brainer- check it out.  Good times.  Might be a pretty good introduction to Woody Allen.  It's kind of "Woody Allen light", definitely has the feel and dialogue of his movies, but isn't too heavy handed.

MOON (2009) [R]  drama/sci-fi.  This is a movie I have heard about for a long time, I think my sister Sue has mentioned it once or twice and I have finally gotten around to watching it.  Here is what you can know about this movie:  Sam Rockwell lives in a space station and has for 3 years.  He lives alone with a robot companion voiced by Kevin Spacy.  The robot is really interesting, it's face is just a classic yellow smiley face that changes it's expression when appropriate.  It has a very HAL like vibe to it.  One day, Sam (I forgot his character's name) goes out to investigate something (on the moon which if you couldn't tell by the title, is where he is stationed) and finds a crash victim and it looks exactly like himself, so he takes it back to his space station.  This movie was really good and interesting, and if anyone can be pretty much the only person in every scene- it's Sam Rockwell.  He is a really great actor, whom I always enjoy.  Kevin Spacy (even though it is only his voice) is also AWESOME.  He gave a very memorable performance.  Good surprises peppered throughout and a good twist ending.  Emily recommends this one too if you can possibly handle another sci-fi movie.  It's R for some language.

TABLOID (2011)  [R]  documentary.  I have been interested in seeing this movie since I heard of it's existence early last year.  It's the story of this lady that back in the 70's fell in love with this guy in Provo, said they were planning to get married, but "the Mormons got him" and he went on a mission instead.  So, she did what any sane person would do (seriously- in her eyes she did), and follows him to England, kidnaps him, and ties him up in this little cottage and has sex with him.  He escapes and she becomes a tabloid super star in England.  This film was made by the legendary documentarian Errol Morris. This was my first of his and I just loved the style.  He pretty much just filmed her telling the story.  He is well known for doing reenactments of crime scenes and stuff and according to him, was sick of people talking about it, so this time he showed clips of old 50's movies in their place.  I loved that effect, it added a whimsy I just loved.  He also would randomly speak, with a short question or shout of incredulity once in a while that was just funny.  It was fairly jarring and something that if you think about, you never see during a documentary and it always tickled me when he'd do it.
About the story:  She obviously has some sort of vast mental problems.  She is kind of freaky, but very very entertaining to listen to and watch.   It is more like she lives in her own little universe that has it's own truth and actual facts don't matter-what's in her head is what is true.  A fascinating thing to watch and listen to.  Weird.  She is VERY angry at the Mormon church and blames it for everything that is wrong with her life- even though all it did to her as far as I can tell is be the religion the man she became obsessed with belonged to.  She paints missionaries as these brainwashed men that are held against their will by power hungry leaders.  Too bad the movie's mission was not to go into discrediting that lovely and crazily skewed view she has, but I dare say that her obvious craziness discredits it to the smart viewer.  It gets a little too close to sacred things I wish it wouldn't (cause it's sacred) once, but otherwise it doesn't get into much doctrine.  I will tell you one thing though, and this isn't just this movie-- if I hear the term "magic underwear" used one more time- my brain is going to explode into a million pieces.  I can't express how much I hate that.  A great review of this movie (done by a  film reviewer that happens to be LDS can be read here)  I thought he reviewed it really well and think it's worth reading. Anyway, VERY interesting movie, and an interesting story.  Too bad the man in question would have nothing to do with being interviewed.  It would have thrown an interesting twist into the mix.  But the spectacle that is Joyce McKinney is the spot light- she really is a trip.  The last 15 minutes or so she tells about her dog she had cloned in Korea (cause she is nuts) and man I laughed so many times, it was SO FUNNY.  Emily recommends this movie- it's a very interesting story told in a very unique and interesting way.  Watch out for a fair amount of nude photographs during this one part and she gets fairly explicit on describing their "consensual sex" that even out of her mouth does not sound consensual.  Us Mormons were not conveyed in the best light, but I have heard us depicted far worse for sure, and that is not the center of the story.

THE ARTIST (2011)  [PG] romcom/drama.  I can describe this movie with two words:  utterly charming.  I, along with the rest of the world, just loved this movie.  I also love the idea that a movie that is  silent, French, and black and white can be so mainstream.  That is pretty cool.  It is also fun to see a movie like this, one you don't see everyday- that reminds you that you don't need a lot of dialogue to tell a great story.  Saw this with my Utah movie peeps crowd and we were all charmed.  I loved the lead characters- Jean Dujardin pulled off a mustache in the spirit of Clark Gable (a rare gift indeed), he also, even in depths of despair- was able to break out in a smile that would light up his face and the whole room (also very Rhett like).  Bèrènice Bejo could not have been cuter.  She was funny and channeled some sort of Carol Bernette vibe at times, or she could just be simply stunning. Would I see this movie again the next chance I got?:  with pleasure.  Go, run out and see this film.  See it in the theater, so you can sit back and relax without distractions.  You'll love it.

THE THIN BLUE LINE  (1988)  [NR]  documentary.  So with Tabloid I discovered Errol Morris.  Which made me naturally seek out his most famous documentary.  This movie came from a 3 year investigation he did on an old case in Texas involving a routine police stop, where the officer was shot and killed when he approached the vehicle.  Morris upon investigating the story, came to believe that an innocent man was on death row.  So, he made a documentary about it.  What made this so famous, is that Morris got a confession from the actual killer on tape, which lead to the innocent man getting exonerated days before he was scheduled to be put to death!  Isn't that crazy?  What may be more crazy is the man that was set free, after getting out of prison- ended up suing Morris for sole rights to his story.  I would have thought a thank you might be in order.........  But anyway, this movie plays a lot like a true crime investigation like 48 hours (but better of course).  But how many times during 48 hours have you wanted there to be a satisfying end and answer to who really committed the crime?  Not often does that happen, they just raise speculation and uncertainty.  This documentary actually solves the crime during it's filming.  Awesome.  Emily recommends this movie to anyone that likes true crime shows- it's a fun and satisfying time for that set.  Also, David Chen of the /filmcast interviewed Errol Morris last month for over an hour.  It was really interesting and he talks extensively about Tabloid and The Thin Blue Line.  You can find it here if you're interested.

It doesn't look like a trailer exists for this film, but I found this- which is a bunch of people talking about the film and showing it some love.

Emily's wall of shame

APOCALYPSE NOW  (1979) [R] drama/war.  Wow.  I don't quite know what to say except wow.  This movie was so nuts.   I will tell you one thing: this movie deserved all the hype and mentions that it has gotten over the years.  Watching this was truly an unforgettable experience.  I've seen my share of Vietnam movies in my time, and they have all been amazing and horrible in their own ways.  This one took war horror to a new and interesting realm though.  Amazing film.  Creepy and disturbing, but amazing.  Martin Sheen is a secret op agent of sorts in the military, and is sent on a mission down the river into Cambodia to terminate with "extreme prejudice" a rouge and insane general (Marlon Brando) that has made himself into a god for a group of followers and soldiers.  One question:  what was up with the napalm in the morning, surfing general?  Did it have a reason beyond showing callousness of war?  The surfing just seemed weird.  Just wondering.  This one isn't for the faint of heart.  It's war and it's crazy.  If you can handle it- this is totally one to see.  I mean- it's Coppola.  The man can do intense and he is a brilliant director.

Buffy watch:  I have seen little Buffy this month, but have seen the first handful of episodes of the 4th season and I hope it gets better.

Still watching Fraiser in my down time.  Almost done.  Next up: The Wonder Years.

That is all for my honorable mention lists. 


Related Posts with Thumbnails