DVD Review: Easy A

Skank. Floosy. Trollop. Tramp

Olive (Emma Stone, who got nominated for a Golden Globe for the role) makes up a little white lie as an excuse for why she didn't go camping with her friend. She casually says she lost her virginity to a college boy. Queue the rumor mill, suddenly Olive finds herself the talk of the school. At first she doesn't mind the extra attention, and uses it to help a gay friend who's being tormented at school. They pretend to hook up, and that leads to Olive playing up her new reputation. Conveniently they are studying The Scarlett Letter in school, so she switches out her casual wardrobe for tight corsets and sky high heels, all with a red "A" embroidered to her shirt. What starts out as a joke suddenly goes too far.

The best word to describe this cast is "Charming." Emma Stone, Stanley Tucci, Patricia Clarkson, Thomas Hayden Church and Aly Milchalka are charming in their roles. Tucci and Clarkson as probably the coolest parents in recent movie history. Church is an equally cool teacher. Milchalka, playing Olive's self absorbed best friend has plenty of amusing lines throughout. (see: Lady-balls) 

The movie pokes fun at a lot of 80's romantic comedies. Olive states throughout the film that she wants John Cusak outside her window and a musical number for "no reason." It never once feels like a dumb romantic comedy, it feels smart and fresh.

Recommended: Yes

Grade: B

Memorable Quote: "Perhaps you should get a wardrobe, you abominable twat." - Olive (Emma Stone)

Indie Gems: The Machinist

A must see for any fan of Bale's.

Trevor Reznik (Christian Bale) is an industrial worker who hasn't slept for months. His rail thin frame shows it. Trevor begins to question his own sanity after an accident at work. He sees a man named Ivan, (John Sharian) but no one else can. "No one ever died from insomnia" Trevor remarks at one point, but can you go crazy from it?

Christian Bale reportedly dropped down to about 125 lbs to star in this film. (Then he bulked up quickly to play Batman no less) His body is terrifying, he looks so unhealthy and he did it all for this roll. Trevor isn't a simple character, and Bale gave everything for this performance. The film's dark twists and turns keep you on the edge of your seat throughout. The film was shot in Barcelona, Spain but was made to look like Las Angeles, CA. I thought the film makers did a really good job of making the mostly grey scenery look convincing and fit in with the gloomy tone of the film.

Recommended: Yes

Grade: A

Memorable Quote: "If you were any thinner you wouldn't exist." - Stevie (Jennifer Jason Leigh)

DVD Review: Holy Rollers

In 1998, 1 million ecstasy pills were smuggled into the USA by a group of Hasidic Jews.


Sam Gold (Jesse Eisenberg) is a young Jewish man who wants to be a Rabbi and is about to be arranged in marriage. His edgy neighbor Yousef (Justin Bartha) eventually talks him into transporting "medicine" internationally. It doesn't take long for Sam to realize that medicine is actually ecstasy, and once he gets the hang of his new craft, he sees no point in stopping.

Eisenberg truly is the heart and soul of this film. Sam starts off a shy, vulnerable, maybe even slightly naive man who wants nothing more than to work for his father, be arranged in marriage and have children. He refers to these topics as if they are required. (Which perhaps, if he were becoming a Rabbi they would be?) Eisenberg slowly, but never fully brings Sam out of his shell. He could've gone nuts and turned into an addict, but everything he did was so subtle and so innocent. While we as the audience could've easily turned our backs on Sam's behaviors, we hang in there for him and hope that something good will happen.

This is apparently based on a true story, with the end credits explaining what happens to some of our leads. While the script underwhelms in parts, it's over-all interesting and well acted by Eisenberg and Bartha. Although I still haven't come to the conclusion on whether the accents in the film are authentic or slightly over the top.

Recommended: Yes

Grade: B-

Memorable Quote: "Do you want to run away with me?" - Rachel (Ari Graynor)

DVD Review: Scott Pilgrim vs The World

1-Up!


Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera) still hasn't gotten over his ex, he starts dating a high school girl as a rebound and tries to make it big with his band. Then he meets Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) things change. He becomes determined to date Ramona, but first he has to defeat her seven evil exes.

This is definitely a film for people with a certain taste. If you're not a gamer or a comic book reader, you might not enjoy it as much as others. I dug Scoot Pilgrim, I loved how over the top it was. The Nintendo and Zelda music at the beginning was a nice treat, the special effects were awesome. The ensemble cast was wonderful. Kieren Culkin has some of the best lines in the film as Scott's room mate. Alison Pill was great as the moody drummer. There were plenty of fun cameos throughout. However in spite of all these wonderful things, there was one annoyance I just couldn't get over: Michael Cera.

When Arrested Devlopment was on, I enjoyed Michael Cera, when Superbad came out, I loved it too. Sure the parts were similar, but they were both so funny that it didn't matter. Now Cera plays the same character over, and over, and over again. I hated watching him in Scott Pilgrim. I'm sick of the "hipster, awkward nerd who either can't get a girl (Year One, Youth in Revolt, Superbad) or is rebounding from one." (Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, Juno to an extent) It got old, fast. I couldn't help but wish someone else played Scott. Sure the part seemed like it was perfect for Cera, but since he plays a variation of this character all the time it didn't feel special at all. Michael Cera is not a bad actor, he just needs a new gig!

Recommended: Yes (if you like video games, comic books, or over the top special effects..or want to see Chris Evans' best Batman voice)

Grade: B

Memorable Quote: "Scott, if your life had a face I'd punch it." - Kim Pine (Alison Pill)

Review: The Fighter

Please give Christian Bale that Oscar he deserved for The Machinist..now.

The Fighter follows the early years of "Irish" Micky Ward. (Mark Wahlberg) He's being trained by his older brother, Dicky (Christian Bale) a former boxing legend turned junkie and managed by his perfectionist mother, Alice. (Melissa Leo) Micky's family is holding him back, they want him to relive Dicky's glory and don't see what is best for him. Micky's girlfriend, Charlene (Amy Adams) tries to help him realize this.

Micky Ward is a true underdog story, and this film is an intense, character driven drama that really brings that story to life on the big screen. Watching Micky's constant struggle to make his own way, prove himself as a father, brother, boyfriend, and to finally come out on top is inspiring. The cast is perfect. Wahlberg does great with Micky, but the bright star is definitely Bale as Dicky. He literally looks like a junkie, he lost a considerable amount of weight for the part. He goes from quirky to serious with ease, he provides a lot of the humor, and also some of the most touching parts. Leo is fantastic as their domineering mother and Adams' tough bartender balances out Micky's crazy family.

The Fighter is shot to feel like you're actually watching a boxing match on TV in the 80's. The soundtrack fits perfectly, but it's the cast that's going to be the most memorable part.

Recommended: Yes

Grade: A

Memorable Quote: "You're my mother too!" - Micky Ward (Mark Wahlberg)

The Screen Actors Guild Nominations.

The SAG awards, arguably the 2nd most prestigious award in the acting world. These nominations looks vastly different from the Golden Globes. Here's a list of nominations. As always, my quick thoughts are in green.

 

Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture

Nominees:

Black Swan (2010)
The Social Network (2010)

I'm really, really surprised Inception isn't in here. The cast doesn't get any better than that. I'm sure The Social Network will take home the prize, but I would love it if The Kids Are All Right did. I'm glad to see Black Swan in there too, Vincet Cassel love! Yeah!

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role

Nominees:

James Franco for 127 Hours (2010)

Somewhere the Coen Brothers are laughing. I haven't seen True Grit yet, but just the trailer makes me believe that Bridges deserves to be in there. I'm glad to see Robert Duvall in there for Get Low, but surprised Leonardo DiCaprio isn't in there for Inception. I predict Franco for the win, I'd be happy with Eisenberg as well.

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role

Nominees:

Hilary Swank for Conviction (2010/II)

Hilary Swank for Conviction? Wow. That's surprising. I'm upset it's not Michelle Williams for Blue Valentine. I hope Bening takes the prize, but I'm sure Portman will. That is fine too. Lawrence was great in Winter's Bone, but I found that movie to be so horribly boring.

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role

Nominees:

Geoffrey Rush for The King's Speech (2010)

Christian Bale! He's my predicted winner. I would've liked to have seen Andrew Garfield in here for The Social Network. I'm really surprised with all the Jeremy Renner love for The Town. He was good, but I didn't expect this. Good for him. It's nice to see Ruffalo in there too.

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role

Nominees:

Hailee Steinfeld for True Grit (2010)

That's pretty cool that Hailee Steinfeld got in there! I (mostly) love it when young actors and actresses get nominated. This one is really hard to predict, any of them could take it. Perhaps Carter will for The King's Speech.

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series

Nominees:

"30 Rock" (2006)
"Glee" (2009)
"The Office" (2005)

Dang, No Big Bang Theory. I think 30 Rock deserves it, but I see Modern Family winning. I don't watch the show, but the parts of it I have seen have been hilarious. I've never heard of Hot in Cleveland.

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series

Nominees:

"Dexter" (2006)
"Mad Men" (2007)

No Breaking Bad? Oh well. Mad Men is winning. Good for Boardwalk Empire to get in there, that's a good show. I'm surprised Lost got shut out, I thought everyone loved that show?

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series

Nominees:

Chris Colfer for "Glee" (2009)
Ed O'Neill for "Modern Family" (2009)

This is tricky, Alec Baldwin has won multiple times over the years. I believe this is Steve Carell's last year in The Office. Everyone loves Modern Family. I'm really disappointed Jim Parsons isn't in there for The Big Bang Theory. Even if you hate the show, you can't deny he's fantastic as Sheldon Cooper.

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series

Nominees:

Tina Fey for "30 Rock" (2006)
Jane Lynch for "Glee" (2009)
Betty White for "Hot in Cleveland" (2010)

I love you Tina Fey, I want you to win! Lynch and Vergara are a surprise because they are supporting roles. No Toni Collete for The United States of Tara? Is anyone else over Betty White like I am?

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series

Nominees:

Jon Hamm for "Mad Men" (2007)
Hugh Laurie for "House M.D." (2004)

I'm going for Bryan Cranston taking home the actor, and he deserves it. All of these men are worthy, good for them!

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series

Nominees:

Kyra Sedgwick for "The Closer" (2005)

Tough choice. I see Close winning for Damages, but I wouldn't be surprised if Moss won for Mad Men either.

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries

Nominees:

Patrick Stewart for Macbeth (2010) (TV)

Here's that category I suck at predicting every year! Al Pacino, FTW?

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries


And here's the other one! Claire Danes, FTW?

Golden Globe Nominations

Remember how I said that the HFPA is known for nominating more star power than deserving performances? This year's nominees are a prime example of that. While there were a few surprises, I'll have to say this is one of the most disappointing Golden Globes list ever. My thoughts will be in green. I really should just copy and paste my twitter feed, some of the reactions on there were hilarious.

Best Motion Picture - Drama

Nominees:

Black Swan (2010)
Inception (2010)
The Social Network (2010)

I'm surprised by the omission of 127 Hours, but other than that this category is pretty accurate. I'm sure all of these films will be Best Picture noms at the Oscars

Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy

Nominees:

Burlesque (2010/I)
Red (2010/I)
The Tourist (2010)

This category is the biggest joke of them all! The only worthy nomination is The Kids Are All Right. I thought Easy A and The Other Guys (easily the funniest movie this year) would've made it in. If Kids doesn't take this one, there is no hope for the HFPA

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama

Nominees:

Mark Wahlberg for The Fighter (2010)

Mark Wahlberg was the surprise here. The rest were predicted.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama

Nominees:

Michelle Williams for Blue Valentine (2010)

Halle Berry is the big surprise here. I haven't seen Frankie and Alice, but good for her.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy

Nominees:
Kevin Spacey for Casino Jack (2010)

TWO nominations for Depp? Wow. I love him, but this is merely for publicity. I predicted Gyllenhaal correctly.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy

Nominees:

Emma Stone for Easy A (2010)

Called Emma Stone! I never saw Easy A, but I plan too. She's charming. Great to see both Bening and Moore getting recognized.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture

Nominees:

Geoffrey Rush for The King's Speech (2010)

Michael Douglas? Are you kidding me? On a brighter note it's about time Christian Bale got nominated for something. I was surprised to see Jeremy Renner in there as well, although I think Bill Murray deserved a nom for Get Low.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture

Nominees:

Jacki Weaver for Animal Kingdom (2010)

This was pretty Status Quo. I didn't think Kunis would get it, but I'm sure she's great in it.

Best Director - Motion Picture

Best Screenplay - Motion Picture

Nominees:

The Social Network (2010): Aaron Sorkin

When I guessed this category I subbed Black Swan for The King's Speech. I have yet to see either.

Best Original Song - Motion Picture

Nominees:

Burlesque (2010/I): Diane Warren("You Haven't Seen The Last of Me")
Country Strong (2010): Bob DiPiero, Tom Douglas, Hillary Lindsey, Troy Verges("Coming Home")
Tangled (2010): Alan Menken, Glenn Slater("I See the Light")

Country Strong is in theaters?

Best Original Score - Motion Picture

Nominees:

The Social Network (2010): Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross

The Social Network is deserving of a lot of nominations, but not this one. The score was erratic and didn't fit. I would've liked to see Never Let Me Go in here.

Best Animated Film

Nominees:

Tangled (2010)
Toy Story 3 (2010)

How To Train Your Dragon, FTW!

Best Foreign Language Film

Nominees:

Biutiful (2010)(Mexico/Spain)
The Concert (2009)(France)
The Edge (2010)(Russia)
I Am Love (2009)(Italy)
In a Better World (2010)(Denmark)

No Dragon Tattoo? Wow.

Best Television Series - Drama

Nominees:

"Dexter" (2006)
"Mad Men" (2007)
"The Walking Dead" (2010)

No Breaking Bad?! No Rescue Me (ok, I wasn't expecting them to actually get nominated) I'm surprised The Walking Dead got in there, good for them! I think Mad Men wins.

Best Television Series - Musical or Comedy

Nominees:

"Glee" (2009)
"30 Rock" (2006)

Glad to see The Big Bang Theory got in there.

Best Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television

Nominees:

"Carlos" (2010)
Temple Grandin (2010) (TV)
You Don't Know Jack (2010) (TV)

I never really have a big opinion in this category.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Mini-Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television

Nominees:

Idris Elba for "Luther" (2010)
Édgar Ramírez for "Carlos" (2010)

Ditto, Pacino won the Emmy.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Mini-Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television

Nominees:

Romola Garai for "Emma" (2009)
Jennifer Love Hewitt for The Client List (2010) (TV)

Ditto. Danes won the Emmy.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series - Musical or Comedy

Nominees:

Thomas Jane for "Hung" (2009)
Jim Parsons for "The Big Bang Theory" (2007)

GO JIM PARSONS!!!

Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Musical or Comedy

Nominees:

Tina Fey for "30 Rock" (2006)
Lea Michele for "Glee" (2009)

I forgot about The Big C, I've never seen it, but I love Laura Linney so much that I'm happy for her nomination.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series - Drama

Nominees:

Jon Hamm for "Mad Men" (2007)
Hugh Laurie for "House M.D." (2004)

Congratulations Bryan, Cranston. I'm saying it in advance.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Drama

Nominees:

Kyra Sedgwick for "The Closer" (2005)

Piper Perabo for Covert Affairs? You've got to be kidding me. Anna Paquin deserved to be in there.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television

Nominees:

Chris Colfer for "Glee" (2009)
David Strathairn for Temple Grandin (2010) (TV)

Where the f**k is Aaron Paul?

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television

Nominees:

Jane Lynch for "Glee" (2009)
Sofía Vergara for "Modern Family" (2009)

I'm glad Kelly Macdonald got in there for Boardwalk Empire.


DVD Review: The Killer Inside Me

Aka: Casey Affleck having sex with women, then beating them to death.

Casey Affleck is better than this movie, and it shows.

Lou Ford (Affleck) is a small town sheriff with some shady tendencies. He's told to bust a local prostitute, Joyce (Jessica Alba) and instead starts an affair with her. We soon see his true colors as he viciously beats up both Joyce and his girlfriend Amy. (Kate "I've only been good in one movie" Hudson)

Affleck's performance is great, but the rest of the movie is a mess. Aside from Ford, none of the characters have any devolpment whatsoever. When they are mentioned in passing, you forget who exactly they are talking about because they are that boring. The ending should've been symbolic but ended up being over the top and completely out of place with the pacing of the rest of the film. The Killer Inside Me had some serious potential, but is hampered by a lazy script.

Recommended: No

Grade: C-

Memorable Quote: "People think that just because you're from a small town that they know you." - Lou Ford (Casey Affleck)

Random Ramblings: Guess the Golden Globes.

With the Hollywood Foreign Press Association's annual Golden Globe nominations coming out tomorrow, I've decided to take a stab at the nominations and see how I do. The HFPA is known for substituting star power in for actual talent, so let's see how this goes. The comedy categories are going to be hard to guess in a year filled with great dramas. I'm not going to do all the categories, just the main ones.

Best Motion Picture Drama:
1) Inception
2) 127 Hours
3) Black Swan
4 The Social Network
5) The King's Speech

Best Motion Picture Musical or Comedy:
1) The Kids Are All Right
2) Easy A
3) Cyrus (even though I think it's more of a drama..)
4) The Other Guys
5) Love and Other  (Maybe they'll throw that in comedy?)

Best Actor in a Motion Picture Drama:
1) James Franco: 127 Hours
2) Jesse Eisenberg: The Social Network
3) Leonardo DiCaprio: Inception
4) Ryan Gosling: Blue Valentine
5) Jeff Bridges: True Grit

Best Actor in a Motion Picture Musical or Comedy:
1) John C. Reilly: Cyrus
2) Mark Wahlberg: The Other Guys
3) Will Ferrell: The Other Guys
4) Jim Carrey: I Love You Phillip Morris
5) Jake Gyllenhaal: Love and Other Drugs (again, if that's a comedy)

Best Actress in a Motion Picture Drama
1) Natalie Portman: Black Swan
2) Jennifer Lawrence: Winter's Bone
3) Michelle Williams: Blue Valentine
4) Noomi Rapace: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
5) Nicole Kidman: Rabbit Hole

Best Actress in a Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
1) Annette Bening: The Kids Are All Right
2) Julianne Moore: The Kids Are All Right
3) Emma Stone: Easy A
4) Anne Hathaway: Love and Other Drugs
5) Julia Roberts: Eat, Prey, Love (you know they'll go there)

Best Supporting Actor:
1) Christian Bale: The Fighter
2) Andrew Garfield: The Social Network
3) Mark Ruffalo: The Kids Are All Right
4) Vincent Cassell: Black Swan
5) Bill Murray: Get Low

Best Supporting Actress:
1) Amy Adams: The Fighter
2) Melissa Leo: The Fighter
3) Helena Bonham-Carter: The King's Speech
4) Barbera Hershey: Black Swan
5) Mila Kunis: Black Swan

Best Director:
1) Christopher Nolan: Inception
2) Darren Aronofsky: Black Swan
3) Danny Boyle: 127 Hours
4) David Fincher: The Social Network
5) Lisa Cholodenko: The Kids Are All Right

Best Screenplay:
1) Inception
2) Black Swan
3) The Social Network
4) 127 Hours
5) The Kids Are All Right

Best Animated Feature:
1) Toy Story 3
2) How To Train Your Dragon
3) Tangled
4) Despicible Me
5) Megamind

Best Drama Series:
1) Breaking Bad
2) Mad Men
3) True Blood
4) Dexter
5) Rescue Me (please)

Best Comedy Series:
1) Modern Family
2) 30 Rock
3) The Office
4) Glee
5) The Big Bang Theory

Best Actor in a Drama Series:
1) Bryan Cranston: Breaking Bad
2) Michael C. Hall: Dexter
3) Jon Hamm: Mad Men
4) Denis Leary: Rescue Me (shut up, wishful thinking)
5) Hugh Laurie: House

Best Actor in a Comedy Series:
1) Alec Baldwin: 30 Rock
2) Jim Parsons: The Big Bang Theory
3) Steve Carrell: The Office
4) Glee: Matthew Morrison (HFPA are Gleeks)
5) Californication: David Duchovny

Best Actress in a Drama Series:
1) Anna Paquin: True Blood
2) January Jones: Mad Men
3) Kyra Sedgwick: The Closer
4) Glenn Close: Damages
5) Law & Order: Special Victim's Unit: Mariska Hargitay

Best Actress in a Comedy Series:
1) Tina Fey: 30 Rock
2) Toni Collette: The United States of Tara
3) Glee: Lea Michele
4) Edie Falco: Nurse Jackie
5) Amy Phoehler: Parks and Recreation

Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Miniseries or Motion Picture Television:
1) Neil Patrick Harris: How I Met Your Mother
2) Jeremy Piven: Entourage
3) Aaron Paul: Breaking Bad
4) Eric Stonestreet: Modern Family
5) Jesse Tyler Ferguson: Modern Family

Best Supporting Actress in a Series, Miniseries or Motion Picture Television
1) Christina Hendricks: Mad Men
2) Jane Lynch: Glee
3) Rose Byrne: Damages
4) Sofia Vergara: Modern Family
5) Elisabeth Moss: Mad Men

Review: The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader

Someone at Disney is laughing


The last time we saw the Pevensie children, the two eldest were told they have out grown the magical land of Narnia. Now the younger siblings, Edmond, (Skandar Keynes) Lucy (Georgie Henley) and their obnoxious cousin Eustice (Will Poulter) are pulled back into Narnia through a painting with the now King Caspian (Ben Barnes, who apparently didn't like the accent he used in the previous installment) and company as they sail aboard the Dawn Treader. Edmond is still trying to be treated like an adult (much like Peter in Prince Caspian) and is sick of being in his older brother's shadow. Lucy is now nervous about being as beautiful as her sister when she grows up, which I found a little weird because she already technically grew up once. Didn't she remember what she looked like?

Dawn Treader is a particularly hard book to adapt in the first place because there really isn't a villain. They are forced to make up one (green mist) and jump about the book. I can't imagine hardcore Narnia fans would be pleased with the fact that the movie doesn't follow the same order as the book and has characters that don't belong. The film has inconsistent CGI effects and wooden performances from the entire cast. The best part of the movie is the touching ending. Oh yeah, and Liam Neeson's voice is awesome. While it's a good film for families, I felt like it dragged. I expected much, much more.

Recommended: No for Narnia fans, yes if you are just looking for a family-friendly movie for the kids.

Grade: C

Memorable Quote: "I licked ALL of them!" - Edmond (Skandar Keynes)

Oscar Predictions: Best Visual Effects

Yesterday the Academy revealed it's short list for the best visual effects Oscar. They are:

1) Alice in Wonderland
2) The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader
3) Clash of the Titans
4) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I
5) Hereafter
6) Inception
7) Iron Man 2
8) The Last Airbender
9) Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Theif
10) Prince of Persia
11) Scott Pilgram vs The World
12) Shutter Island
13) The Sorcerer's Apprentice
14) Tron: Legacy
15) Unstoppable

These are the five I predict will make the final cut.

1) Inception
2) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I
3) Alice in Wonderland
4) Iron Man 2
5) Shutter Island.

Granted Tron: Legacy could replace Alice if the movie does well next weekend. Inception ans Harry Potter are sure fire bets in my opinion. The critics loved Shutter Island (and deservingly so) and movies like Iron Man seem to thrive in the visual and sound categories.

I doubt the highly panned Airbender will get in, or the lackluster Percy Jackson and Sorcerer's Apprentice. Hereafter and Unstoppable seem like long shots as well. Scott Pilgram also seems a little too abstract for the Academy.

What do you think?

DVD Review: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

Regret brought us this..


After watching the film, I did a little research on author Stieg Larsson. Apparently he witnessed a gang rape as a young man and never intervened. He was full of regret and penned this trilogy, naming his heroine Lisbeth, the same as the victim.

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo follows a disgraced journalist Mikasel Blomkvist (Michael Nyqvist) who's facing jail time. He's offered an interesting assignment by a man named Henrik Vanger (Sven Bertil-Taube). Vanger wants him to find out what happened to his neice Harriet over 40 years ago. He thinks she was murdered, and that someone in his long list of dysfunctional family members is responsible. At the same time he's being followed by  hacker and all around bad-ass Lisbeth Salander (Noomi Rapace) Blomkvist eventually finds out Salander is following him, and persuades her to assist him.

I watched this movie based off of hype. I've never read the books, I never read a detailed synopsis of the film before watching it. I knew it would be gory, but I didn't expect it to be so hard to watch. There are some really, really graphic scenes that surprised and disturbed me. I actually muted my computer during a particular scene, if you've seen it you can probably guess which one I'm referring to. Underneath all that, it was a very good story that kept me interested until the very end. Even though it was hard to take, it was a great movie and the cast was excellent. Why Noomi Rapace isn't on more Oscar shortlists is beyond me. Unless she doesn't qualify? That could be the case.

Do you think David Fincher's remake will be as graphic? After viewing this, It's going to take a lot for it to hit the same emotional note as the original.

Recommended: Yes, but don't be like me and not read anything about it prior!

Grade: B

Memorable Quote: "You know everything about me, I don't know anything about you!" - Blomkvist

Independent Spirit Award Nominees.

Here's a list of the 2011 Spirit Awards, my comments & predictions will be in blue. I haven't seen a lot of these films yet, so this is more of a preliminary predictions list. I'll update it once we get closer to the broadcast and compare.

BEST FILM
"127 Hours"
"Black Swan"
"Greenberg"
"The Kids Are All Right"
"Winter’s Bone"

I'm a little surprised Greenberg is in there, reviews seemed so mixed. I haven't caught Black Swan or 127 Hours yet, but I absolutely loved The Kids Are All Right. It's been one of my favorite films all year. I'm going with them for the win at this point.

BEST DIRECTOR
Darren Aronofsky, "Black Swan"
Danny Boyle, "127 Hours"
Lisa Cholodenko, "The Kids Are All Right"
Debra Granik, "Winter’s Bone"
John Cameron Mitchell, "Rabbit Hole"
Cholodenko did a fantastic job, but I'm going to go with Danny Boyle taking the win, just because I love that guy so much.


BEST SCREENPLAY
Stuart Blumberg, Lisa Cholodenko, "The Kids Are All Right"
Debra Granik, Anne Rosellini, "Winter’s Bone"
Nicole Holofcener, "Please Give"
David Lindsay-Abaire, "Rabbit Hole"
Todd Solondz, "Life During Wartime"

I've only seen Kids and Winter's Bone, and I definitely think the former is the better film. At this point, I'm going for Kids.

BEST FIRST FEATURE (Award given to the director and producer)
"Everything Strange and New"
Director: Frazer Bradshaw
Producers: A.D. Liano, Laura Techera Francia
"Get Low"
Director: Aaron Schneider
Producers: David Gundlach, Dean Zanuck
"Night Catches Us"
Director: Tanya Hamilton
Producers: Sean Costello, Jason Orans, Ronald Simons
"The Last Exorcism"
Director: Daniel Stamm
Producers: Marc Abraham, Tom Bliss, Eric Newman, Eli Roth
"Tiny Furniture"
Director: Lena Dunham
Producers: Kyle Martin, Alicia Van Couvering

I enjoyed Get Low, but I'm really digging The Last Exorcism nominations. They feel like the underdog, but I'm all for the underdog winning. You could tell by the way they promoted this film that they were passionate about it.

JOHN CASSAVETES AWARD - Given to the best feature made for under $500,000.  Award given to the writer, director, and producer.  Executive Producers are not listed.
"Daddy Longlegs"
Writer/Directors: Benny Safdie, Josh Safdie
Producers: Casey Neistat, Tom Scott
"Lbs."
Director: Matthew Bonifacio
Writer/Producers: Matthew Bonifacio, Carmine Famiglietti
"Lovers of Hate"
Writer/Director: Bryan Poyser
Producer: Megan Gilbride
"Obselidia"
Writer/Director: Diane Bell
Producers: Chris Byrne, Mathew Medlin
"The Exploding Girl"
Writer/Director: Bradley Rust Gray
Producers: Karin Chien, Ben Howe, So Yong Kim
Again, I haven't caught any of these. Based on reviews I'll go with Daddy Long Legs for now.

BEST FEMALE LEAD Annette Bening, "The Kids Are All Right"
Greta Gerwig, "Greenberg"
Nicole Kidman, "Rabbit Hole"
Jennifer Lawrence, "Winter’s Bone"
Natalie Portman, "Black Swan"
Michelle Williams, "Blue Valentine"
Glad to see Michelle Williams in here! Overturn that damn rating. Bening was great. Even if I didn't like Winter's Bone Jennifer Lawrence still owned her performance. I'm going to go out on a limb and say Natalie Portman takes home the award.

BEST MALE LEADRonald Bronstein "Daddy Longlegs"
Aaron Eckhart, "Rabbit Hole"
James Franco, "127 Hours"
John C. Reilly, "Cyrus"
Ben Stiller, "Greenberg"
Glad to see John C. Reilly in there, I enjoyed Cyrus. Even though it was marketed completely wrong. I've got go to with the wonderful James Franco though.


BEST SUPPORTING FEMALE
Ashley Bell, "The Last Exorcism"
Dale Dickey, "Winter’s Bone"
Allison Janney, "Life During Wartime"
Daphne Rubin-Vega, "Jack Goes Boating"
Naomi Watts, "Mother and Child"
I love Naomi Watts, but I'm sticking with my Last Exorcism love. Ashley Bell did a great job!


John Hawkes "Winter’s Bone"
Samuel L. Jackson, "Mother and Child"
Bill Murray, "Get Low"
John Ortiz, "Jack Goes Boating"
Mark Ruffalo, "The Kids Are All Right"

The Kids Are All Right is the first movie I've ever liked Mark Ruffalo in, but Bill Murray killed Get Low. I see him winning here.


Adam Kimmel, "Never Let Me Go"
Matthew Libatique, "Black Swan"
Jody Lee Lipes "Tiny Furniture"
Michael McDonough, "Winter’s Bone"
Harris Savides, "Greenberg"
Never Let Me Go was such a beautiful movie. It deserves all the cinematography props it can get.

BEST DOCUMENTARY (Award given
 to the director)
"Exit Through the Gift Shop," Director: Banksy
"Marwencol," Director: Jeff Malmberg
"Restrepo," Directors: Tim Hetherington, Sebastian Junger
"Sweetgrass," Directors: Ilisa Barbash, Lucien Castaing-Taylor
"Thunder Soul," Director: Mark Landsman

I'm not much of a documentary person, so I'd feel bad even trying to guess here.


BEST FOREIGN FILM (Award given to the director)
"Kisses
"(Ireland)
Director: Lance Daly

"Mademoiselle Chambo"(France)
Director: Stéphane Brizé
"Of Gods and Men" 
(Morocco)
Director: Xavier Beauvois
"The King’s Speech"
(United Kingdom)
Director: Tom Hooper
"Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives
" (Thailand)
Director: Apichatpong Weerasethakul
I've been hearing wonderful things about The King's Speech. So I'll go with that for now.

ACURA SOMEONE TO WATCH AWARD – The 17th annual Acura Someone to Watch Award recognizes a talented filmmaker of singular vision who has not yet received appropriate recognition.  The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant funded by Acura.
Hossein Keshavarz
Dog Sweat
Laurel Nakadate
The Wolf Knife
Mike Ott
Littlerock

PIAGET PRODUCERS AWARD – The 14th annual Piaget Producers Award honors emerging producers who, despite highly limited resources demonstrate the creativity, tenacity, and vision required to produce quality, independent films.  The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant funded by Piaget.
In-Ah Lee
Au Revoir Taipei
Adele Romanski
The Myth of the American Sleepover
Anish Savjani
Meek’s Cutoff

AVEENO® TRUER THAN FICTION AWARD – The 16th annual AVEENO® Truer Than Fiction Award is presented to an emerging director of non-fiction features who has not yet received significant recognition.  The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant funded by AVEENO®.
Ilisa Barbash, Lucien Castaing-Taylor, "Sweetgrass"
Jeff Malmberg, "Marwencol"
Lynn True, Nelson Walker, "Summer Pasture"

ROBERT ALTMAN AWARD - (Given to one film’s director, casting director, and its ensemble cast)
"Please Give"
Director: Nicole Holofcener
 
Casting Director: Jeanne McCarthy

Ensemble Cast: Ann Guilbert, Rebecca Hall, Catherine Keener, Amanda Peet, Oliver Platt, Lois Smith, Sarah Steele


BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
BEST SUPPORTING MALE
BEST FIRST SCREENPLAY
Diane Bell, "Obselidia"
Lena Dunham, "Tiny Furniture"
Nik Fackler, "Lovely, Still"
Bob Glaudini, "Jack Goes Boating"
Dana Adam
Shapiro, Evan M. Wiener, "Monogamy"