Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Derek's Thoughts on The 81st Annual Academy Awards

The Oscars are my Superbowl!!! I've been watching the Oscars religiously since 1995 when Forrest Gump won for best picture of 1994. I HAD to watch it because a movie I saw in the theater(Forrest Gump) was up for best picture. I felt like I was in the know, in the "in crowd" because I had seen it in the Theater and people thought it was one of the best. Before then i would only watch them casually when my parents had them on. I remember parts of watching the Schindler's List and Silence of the Lambs years and remember vividly the Dances with Wolves year. Anyway, I've been watching for a huge chunk of my life and have a set way of how the Oscars should look. I’m the type of guy who has to ease his way slowly into change. What does that mean? Well, when the show started, right off the bat I didn’t like how dark the place looked. I’m use to a red and gold Oscar night not a dark, congested, black and blue Oscar night. Speaking of congested, that was another thing that bothered me with the party, and still does. I understand that they were going for that old nightclub feel that the show use to have back in the day. But packing in all the nominees up front with no view of the people behind them made it look like the stars weren’t out. Who Knows maybe Jack wasn't there. I know it sounds ludicrous to say but I didn’t feel the star power I use to feel. Usually when they cut to the crowd you see rows and rows of famous people. I didn’t get that from this years Oscars.

Hugh Jackman. The man ruled his opening number. Being able to poke fun at our falling economy with sets “built in his garage” out of cardboard to replace the usual opening montage was absolutely brilliant. Using a triple threat who can act sing and dance to carry the night comfortably was a great decision on the producers part. I have to say Hugh Jackman did a fantastic job. So did Will Smith for that matter. The guy was up there presenting long enough to be considered co-host. I’m thinking that if they don’t ask Wolverine back, get The Fresh Prince!

I know this is nitpicking but, I didn’t like the way they did the In Memoriam. In fact, I hated it! It gave me a headache. No Joke. I’m trying to honor and reflect on all these great people involved in film and I’m getting a headache. I found moving the camera back and forth between multiple screens extremely off putting.

Now lets get to the change in the way awards were presented to actors. Even as a man who takes some time getting use to change, when I first saw five former winners walk out I had a great rush of historical nostalgia course through my body. I was extremely impressed with this new way of handing out Oscars. Then they started to give their little personalized speeches to each nominee. That’s when I became bored out of my mind. We're use to seeing short clips of the actors performance. I thought each actor icon was going to present a clip of the nominees work. Not the case. However, after the best supporting actress category this process including the speeches grew on me and I now hope this is something they continue to do in the future. It was the perfect way of inducting the winners into an honor that so few have ever or will ever get.

My thoughts on some of the Winners-

Best Supporting Actress Winner: Penelope Cruz, “Vicky Cristina Barcelona”
Personally I didn’t like Vicky Cristina Barcelona very much. However, I have to say that Cruz was pretty good in it. I would have voted for Amy Adams, but only because I want to marry her. In the end I think Marisa Tomei might have deserved it most. I’ve been really back and forth between everyone in this category. A lot of great supporting actress performances here.

Best Supporting Actor Winner: Heath Ledger, “The Dark Knight”
Obvious. I totally agree with this. I wouldn’t have voted for anyone else.

Best Actress Winner: Kate Winslet, “The Reader”
Personally I feel like they were paying Kate her dues rather than picking the best actress. I love Kate don’t get me wrong. She made a pretty standard film extremely watchable. If she deserved it for anything this year it was Revolutionary Road. I would have voted for Meryl Streep for Doubt.

Best Actor: Sean Penn, “Milk”
Tough call right? Everyone nominated was completely deserving of their nomination except for Brad Pitt. He walked through his roll. I would replace him with either Josh Brolin for W or Michael Sheen for Frost/Nixon. I was definitely pulling for Mickey Rourke for sure. But as I said, with so many great nominees this year, I can’t say I’m upset with Penn’s win. Plus he included Rourke in his speech, so that’s pretty awesome.

Best Picture: Slumdog Millionaire
Frost/Nixon was my favorite nominee, but I think Slumdog Millionaire deserves the award and I totally would have voted for it too. Favorite does NOT always mean best. My favorite movie of all time is Hook, has been since it came out. Do I think it’s the best movie ever made? No.

Thoughts on Other Wins:
I think Slumdog Millionaire received way to many tech awards than it deserved. Wall-E, IronMan, Curious Case, and The Dark Knight should have walked away with those. I think Hellboy II deserved Makeup. They were spot on with The Duchess for best Costume Design. I really didn’t care for any of the original songs up this year. For me it was a toss up between Slumdog’s Jai Ho and Wall-E’s Down to Earth.

Ending Thoughts
I have to say that overall I had a great time watching the Oscars. The changes took some getting use to but I appreciate them in the end. I can’t wait to see what they have up their sleeve next year.
Posted by Derek Clem at 1:55 PM | 0 comments  
Monday, February 23, 2009

Trailer for Funny People

The trailer for Judd Apatow's next film Funny People has made its way online. I must say that it looks like another huge hit for the Apatow crew and it is quite refreshing to see Sandler take on another good role. The film seems to be balancing a fine mixture of comedy and heart and hopefully it will be able to keep that balance through the whole movie. I've got my eyes set on this one.

Posted by SX0T at 2:13 PM | 0 comments  

Oscar Results and Thoughts

So here are the results of last night's Academy Awards show and some of my thoughts on the show and it's new format. List courtesy of The Movie Blog via InContention.com)

Best Picture: “Slumdog Millionaire”
Best Director: Danny Boyle, “Slumdog Millionaire”
Best Actor: Sean Penn, “Milk”
Best Actress: Kate Winslet, “The Reader”
Best Supporting Actor: Heath Ledger, “The Dark Knight”
Best Supporting Actress: Penelope Cruz, “Vicky Cristina Barcelona”
Best Adapted Screenplay: “Slumdog Millionaire”
Best Original Screenplay: “Milk”
Best Art Direction: “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”
Best Cinematography: “Slumdog Millionaire”
Best Costume Design: “The Duchess”
Best Film Editing: “Slumdog Millionaire”
Best Makeup: “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”
Best Music (Original Score): “Slumdog Millionaire”
Best Music (Original Song): “Jai Ho” from “Slumdog Millionaire”
Best Sound Editing: “The Dark Knight”
Best Sound Mixing: “Slumdog Millionaire”
Best Visual Effects: “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”
Best Animated Feature Film: “WALL-E”
Best Foreign Language Film: “Departures”
Best Documentary Feature: “Man on Wire”
Best Documentary Short: “Smile Pinki”
Best Short Film (Animated): “La Maison en Petits Cubes”
Best Short Film (Live Action): “Toyland”


Thoughts

I thought the show was EXCELLENT. This change in format was VERY refreshing. I thought Hugh Jackman knocked it out of the park. Especially with his opening number and I wouldn't doubt that he may be asked back again next year. We'll have to just wait and see. At first I really didn't like the way in which they were presenting the awards with 5 former winners coming out, but by the end of the show I really appreciated it and thought it was a very nice/at times emotional way to induct the new winner into the "inner circle". Overall, not many surprises on the Winner front. Not everything that I WANTED to win, won. But almost everything I predicted to win, won. (I do agree with Slumdog winning just FYI). I was a bit surprised that Mickey Rourke didn't win. I predicted Sean Penn, but ultimately I think Rourke's performance was just slightly better (could be that I was so pumped about seeing his return to being a great actor). The set design was completely awesome - although as Derek mentioned to me and I agree with - a bit dark. It looked gorgeous and I like that they frequently changed some of the decor that was present on the set. Overall I think it was a great Academy Awards with some great winners taking place throughout the evening. I should also point out that I didn't want Kate Winslet to win because I didn't like The Reader (I thought Revolutionary Road was FAR superior), however I did predict that she would get her dues this time around, and I'm pleased that she has finally been recognized for her ability - I just wish it was for a better film - kind of like Scorcese and The Departed.

All in all - great show - maybe we will hear some comments from Derek in the near future on his thoughts.
Posted by SX0T at 2:04 PM | 0 comments  
Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Full Angels and Demons trailer

There is a full Angels and Demons (sequel to The DaVinci Code) that has made its way online recently. It is pretty much just a combination of the other 2 teasers...but a bit more info is presented here.



I must say that the film is looking to shape up quite nicely and seems to have a bit more action to it than DaVinci Code. I like what I see.
Posted by SX0T at 9:16 PM | 0 comments  

They Weren't Lying. Inglourious Basterds Trailer Now Online!

They weren't lying when with the previous days teaser that the actual trailer would shortly follow. And now it is here. Enjoy!




As I said, in general, I'm a pretty big Tarantino fan. He isn't the most perfect filmmaker. In fact, at times he can be quite arrogant. But what I do love is his passion - and it comes across in almost everything of his, good and bad. After seeing this, I am certain I will be there when it opens. And I'm really glad Brad Pitt decided to have a little fun in his life. It seems that over time he has stuck to the more serious roles, and it is good to see him play something that you know won't win him any awards and was probably just a fun experience.
Posted by SX0T at 4:47 PM | 0 comments  
Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Wanna Hear Something Crazy?




There are rumors floating around right now that, now that DC is back to considering some of their other franchises - there is a crazy rumor that Neil Patrick Harris' name has been floating around with the term The Flash.

According to screenrant, Now comes possible “insider” news that Neil Patrick Harris and possibly Scott Porter (according to ThinkMcFlyThink.com) are being looked at to play the Scarlet Speedster. Scott played the young Rex Racer in Speed Racer and has a recurring role on Friday Night Lights.

?!?!??!#?@$@??!@?

That is about all I have to say. I agree with Rodney over on TheMovieBlog.com where he says that this runs the potential risk of becoming an NPH movie using The Flash rather than a Flash movie starring NPH. He is just SOOOOO huge right now in the celebrity world that it seems almost impossible for people to not think - "hey, I'm watching NPH" when he is on screen. Now don't get me wrong. I would LOVE to see him totally destroy this role - but part of me just doesn't think it is so right.

And with Ryan Reynolds out of the question due to his role as Deadpool in the new Wolverine movie - who remains?

On a side note - just thought of this while typing. NPH as Spiderman? I think he offers up the perfect amount of sass - and could feasibly play a nerdy fellow as well. Not that he would be a "better" choice than Tobey - but if Tobey had to go, would you consider NPH?

Thoughts? - NPH as The Flash - Go.
Posted by SX0T at 10:02 AM | 0 comments  

First Glimpse of Inglourious Basterds (yes, that is how they are spelling it)

Today, courtesy of firstshowing, we get our first glimpse of the teaser for Quentin Tarantino's upcoming WWII Nazi Flick - Inglourious Basterds. It is only a teaser, but according to rumors which seem to be true,

"Entertainment Tonight is showing the first full trailer for Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds tomorrow night."

So keep your eyes peeled.



I'm a little bit skeptical at this point - but to be honest - I'm rarely let down by Tarantino. I was even a fan of Grindhouse which many weren't. It was PURE fun, and I love that Tarantino is not ashamed to show us what he loved and grew up on. So even with my bit of skepticism, I'm sure I'll enjoy the flick.
Posted by SX0T at 9:56 AM | 0 comments  
Sunday, February 1, 2009

3 New Trailers Courtesy of The Superbowl

I am not a huge football fan, or even a huge sports fan for that matter. But one good thing has come out of this whole Superbowl phenomenon, and that is movie trailers.

Leaked online, before the Superbowl even happens, we have spots for G.I. Joe, Transformers 2, and Star Trek. I'm going to post them, but be warned, they probably will not last long.



Overall, a decent trailer, but definitely not G.I. Joe. Interesting.



A pretty excellent trailer. I think this one will blow the first one out of the water in sheer awesomeness. Plus look at the Destructicon at the end!!!! HE IS HUGE and that is only ONE PART of Devastator!!!!



This movie is going to whoop old Star Trek's ass. I might be one of the few to say it, but I am beyond pumped that Star Trek might actually be good for once.
Posted by SX0T at 4:38 PM | 0 comments  
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