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May. 7th, 2016


CAROL (2015)

OMG this is a lovely, lovely film.

This and THE DANISH GIRL are the two Oscar-nominated films I have seen from 2015 that struck me as stunning works of art.

Feb. 28th, 2016


Oscar picks!

Gotta record my picks! Thanks to Forbes.com for the conveniently pastable list of nominees, in presentation order. I'm skipping the foreign, documentary, and short film categories. These are the films I would choose, not the ones I expect the Academy to select.

Christian Bale, The Big Short
Tom Hardy, The Revenant
Mark Ruffalo, Spotlight
Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies
Sylvester Stallone, Creed

Read more...Collapse )

Best movie of 2015?

I'm sure I saw some 2015 movies that aren't nominated for Oscar--ANT MAN? AGE OF ULTON? SISTERS? But they aren't on my mind today; it's the Oscar nominiees. As of now, I have seen 20 of the 32 films nominated for at least one Oscar outside the foreign, documentary, and short film categories. That's 63% of the nominated films, accounting for 82% of the nominations (I keep a spreadsheet). The only film nominated for more than one Oscar that I haven't gotten to yet is CAROL. Sorry CAROL! You release to DVD on March 15. It's been a busy couple of weeks.

And it's a good crop of films. Of the 20, I can say that I didn't like two: SICARIO and JOY. Even JOY had good parts, although the film as a whole was not successful. There are a few that I would not rush to see again, like ROOM, YOUTH, and, I fear, THE REVENANT--but that's not the same as saying that they are bad films.

I have to be honest--my favorites are not among the eight films nominated for Best Picture. There are some gems in that bunch, to be sure (other than ROOM and THE REVENANT). THE BIG SHORT and SPOTLIGHT are both fairly wonderful, don't miss movies. I hope THE BIG SHORT wins the category (it probably won't). MAD MAX: FURY ROAD is a visual trip, although my pulse doesn't race for cars or heavy metal, and I could take or leave the story. BROOKLYN, BRIDGE OF SPIES, and especially THE MARTIAN are good, solid movies you would be proud to pick for either a date or an outing with your parents.

They aren't my favorite films of 2015.

Here are two movies I loved more than all those movies, which also aren't my favorite. EX MACHINA. Boom! Hard science fiction, an amazing performance by Oscar Isaac, and hello, Alicia Vikander! Where have you been all my movie-going life? There is a moment towards the end that I won't spoil, but it's very small and it just blew me away and still haunts me. I think the film outdoes HER (2014), and HER is fantastic. This is a great film to chew over, maybe an important one.

THE HATEFUL EIGHT is Quentin Tarantino's best film in years--best since KILL BILL (2003-2004). I saw it during the 70mm Roadshow. What a gift. I love Ennio Marricone's score (my wife doesn't--too much dissonance), I love the pace, and the locked room mystery setting. I love that Quentin is just saying "Fuck it--this is me. No one else could make this movie. Like it or go home." I'm proud to say I like THE HATEFUL EIGHT.

But these films aren't my favorite. My favorite is a tie.

STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS is the only 2015 film I saw three times (I've seen THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES as many times, but it was released in late 2014). I should really go again, while it's still playing in 3D. Lawrence Kasdan came back and he and J.J. Abrams crushed it, giving us just the right amount of nostalgia, as if to say "This is really Star Wars! It's back, for real!" But they don't just copy A NEW HOPE, they make adjustments so clever I still shake my head over them. And the artistry of the scenic designers, technicians, and special effects wizards is beyond compare. This is an immersive, fully developed fantasy experience, and while it is in the world, part of me is still 10 (my age when THE RETURN OF THE JEDI was released).

Just as good: THE DANISH GIRL. There were a lot of slick movies in 2015. See SPOTLIGHT and THE BIG SHORT. There weren't nearly as many stunning, breakthrough works of art. THE DANISH GIRL is like a panting that finds it way past your eyes straight to your chest and you never see it coming. Hello again, Alicia Vikander! Eddie Redmayne, we are not worthy (I speak for all humans). This is about gender, yes. It's also about love, and sadness, and a bravery so terrible even death has no dominion. Best film about the perils of being human.

Coming to think of it, I also like STEVE JOBS better than at least six of the Best Picture nominees. ANOMOLISA is good, too. Great year!

It's Oscar Day again!

It has been a busy 2016, and I did not put up my traditional post to reflect on the Academy Award nominations when they were announced on January 14th. No fear, I have still kept up my annual attempt to see all the nominated films I can, despite it being the busy season at work. In this case, I have seen all films this year with multiple nominations except two, one of which, ROOM, I will rent digitally on Amazon and watch this morning/afternoon. Here is a list of nominated films outside the foreign language, documentary, and short film categories (because life is too short), by number of nominations:

Read more...Collapse )

Feb. 22nd, 2015


Oscars tonight!

I just got off a plane from LA this morning with girljim and we're back just in time for the red carpet for the Oscars. I want to record some thoughts and predictions before the awards get handed out, so I've got to move fast.

I did O.K. in my annual frenzied catch up (during the most busy season of the year at work). Every year I make a list of all the nominations, excepting documentary, foreign, and short film categories (because life is too short; although if I get a chance to catch the short films, I always enjoy them). In the remaining 21 categories, I have seen 20 of the 36, or 56%, of the films with at least one nomination, including all eight films nominated for Best Picture. These films account for 73, or 75%, of the 97 nominations.

What were my favorites? Read more...Collapse )

Jan. 17th, 2015


Diversity and the Oscars

The big story in the press coming out of Thursday's nominations is the lack of diversity in the nominations. All 20 acting nominations went to white people for the first time since 1998. None of the eight best picture nominees is a film with a female protagonist, while only one, SELMA, has a nonwhite protagonist (although extra points may be assigned, since the protagonist is the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.). All of the directing nominees are male.

It seems to me that placing blame on the Academy is shortsighted. First, one should take a larger view that just one year's crop of nominations, and look at a sample of five to ten years before drawing conclusions. In that sample, persons of color are indeed represented among the nominees and winners of acting awards. Much less so among the cinematographers, executive producers, composers, editors, and directors. Who, exactly, should the Academy voters have nominated, but for their presumed bigotry? Most people point to the lead actor and director of SELMA.

The problem isn't that the same Academy voters who awarded the 2013 best picture award to 12 YEARS A SLAVE didn't swoon for SELMA (only nominating it for best picture, which it may yet win, and best original song). It's that the power in the film industry itself, which produces the options for nomination, skews hard towards male and white. And it's because the marketplace seemingly to reward this preoccupation, tending to relegate woman- and minority-centered pictures to niche films (although there may be a chicken or egg dilemma here).

I don't think the Academy is horrible: overall I think it is a group of sincere, working artists who are passionate about film, and eager to reward small movies and overlooked performances. If you don't like what you see in this year's slate of nominations, don't blame the Academy. It may be a good time, however, to reflect on society as a whole.


I have a barrel full of mixed feelings about THE IMITATION GAME. Bottom line: it's a very solid film, with a really interesting story, and a cast of very strong actors who I personally like, led by Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightly, and Mark Strong. Ben and Keira are both nominated for best actor/actress, and the film's eight Oscar nominations also include best picture, best director, and best adapted screenplay.

The trouble is not with all the obvious talent that was poured into the production. The problem is that all of these elements have been channeled and compressed into a screenplay that follows formulaic, familiar, manipulative patterns. The writers turn the story of Turing's efforts to break the Nazi's enigma codes during World War II (inventing the modern computer in the process) into an accessible heroes and villains story, where Turing's greatest achievement is not beating the code, but besting the sneering Commander Denniston. How serious is your movie when your hero's main opponent is basically playing the same role as the mayor from GHOSTBUSTERS (1984)? I even thought that it was the same actor (William Atherton), although it turns out that it's Charles Dance, a familiar character actor best known today for playing Tywin Lannister in GAME OF THRONES (2011-). He's terrific, by the way. Read more...Collapse )

Oscar nominations!

This post is late, I know--it's the busiest time of year at work. Oscar nominations came out Thursday morning, and it's an interesting crop. As an aside, I should probably rename this LJ the Oscar Blog, since that seems to be the only time I post about movies anymore.

There are eight Best Picture nominees this year--and they're quirky! It feels like a sea change that the two most-nominated films (tied at 9 nominations apiece) are THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL by Wed Anderson and BIRDMAN by Alexandro Iñárritu. The reputed favorite in the category is BOYHOOD by Richard Linklater, of all people! I love these directors' work, but these are not the kind of films that the Academy usually nominates at this level. In fact, it's the first Best Picture or Best Director nomination for Linklater and Anderson, who directed their first features in 1991 and 1996, respectively.

My first reaction to reading the slate of Best Actor nominees (Michael Keaton, Steve Carrell, Benedict Cumberbatch, Bradley Cooper, and Eddie Redmayne) was, "What year is this?" Keaton and Carrell are both comedians, and Cumberbatch and Cooper, at least, have great comic chops, so scratch that--my reaction should be "What dimension is this?" Cumberbatch and Cooper's nominations are not for their 2014 roles as Smaug the Dragon and Rocket Racoon, but for their portrayals of Alan Turing and sniper Chris Kyle.

As usual, I'm behind on my movie watching, but I will try to catch up before the Oscar ceremony on February 22. Neil Patrick Harris is hosting. Of the films on the nomination list, here are the ones I have seen:

The Grand Budapest Hotel - Fun, but I liked Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom (2012) better.
The Imitation Game - A solidly made piece of entertainment, about fascinating historical circumstances.
Gone Girl - Very powerful thriller! I was surprised to see it receive only one nomination; failure to recognize the screenplay seems like a particularly egregious oversight. Recommended, although it's a tough film.
Interstellar - Decent. I am surprised, but not overly disappointed, to see this film overlooked in the top categories. It still received five nominations.
Guardians of the Galaxy - Basically Looney Tunes on steroids in space, NTTAWWT.
The Lego Movie - Full of cleverness, but instantly forgettable.
How to Train Your Dragon 2 - This is a great franchise. The sequel doesn't equal the original, but doesn't disappoint either.
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies - Snubbed with only a single nomination for sound editing, this was my most-watched film of 2014.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes - This film didn't thrill me. I just wasn't drawn in by the characters or the story.

The films on the list I am most excited about seeing are Wild, Selma, Boyhood, Foxcatcher, Nightcrawler, Inherent Vice, The Boxtrolls, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and X-Men: Days of Future Past.

This complete list of nominees was filched from EW, and the nomination tallies below that from Vox:

Full list of nominees, and nomination talliesCollapse )

Apr. 12th, 2014


LOST IN SPACE (1998) -- double feature

The Robinson family blasts off for Alpha Prime, only to fall victim to the barely explicable efforts of saboteurs, and the machinations the inexplicably evil Doctor Smith. Disaster leaves them lost in space, having adventures with diabolical alien spider killing machines and time distortion bubbles.

Despite the great cast (Gary Oldman, William Hurt, Mimi Rogers, Heather Graham, Matt LeBlanc) it’s easy to say what’s wrong with this movie: tedious clichés, inert dialogue, absent chemistry, wooden acting. Only the male characters drive the plot, while the women play the roles of wife, reticent girlfriend, and useless brat. The special effects are good for 1998, but who cares if the filmmakers don’t take the world seriously.

What’s good? Gary Oldman, the voice of the robot, and the darkness of the time travel plot, which this film can’t quite bring itself to fully embrace. Sorry about choosing this one--I should have known better. Life is short; let’s choose films more carefully.

This review was originally posted on Friday Flix, a classic sci fi film community which I moderate on Google+. It was written to be a conversation starter, so join in!


I keep thinking I should cross post the reviews I've written for film discussion threads on Friday Flix here. Get ready for a long series on classic sci fi.

Capt. J.J. Adams leads an expedition through hyperspace in the 23rd century to the planet Altair IV. His orders are to conduct a rescue mission to search for survivors from the spaceship Bellerophon, not heard from for 20 years. On the surface of the planet, the crew finds only Dr. Morbius, his virginal daughter Alta, and Robby the Robot, his mechanical servant. Morbius does not want to be found, however, and warns them that their deaths will soon follow if they linger there. Meanwhile, he reveals to the Captain his hidden knowledge of the untold wonders left under the surface by the lost civilization of the Krell. Read more...Collapse )

Mar. 2nd, 2014


Oscar picks

I've got to run and gun here:

Best motion picture of the year
Out of the 9 films nominated, there are a lot of films I love in this category. The top two for me are 12 YEARS A SLAVE and HER. The former must have been far more expensive and labor intensive to shoot. Both feature amazing performances from the cast. 12 YEARS may be the better film--who knows?--but HER wins my heart.

Achievement in directing
Alfonso Cuarón, for making us believe we are in outer space? Scorsese for being Scorsese? Or Steve McQueen? Having watched 12 YEARS A SLAVE this morning, I am full of desire to see every other film Steve McQueen has ever made, so it's McQueen.Read more...Collapse )

Oscar day! Reflections on a year of film.

Have to get this posted before our Oscar party guests start arriving! If you read a lot of film criticism, it's commonplace to see people commenting what a great crop of movies there was this year. I agree with this. When you find very good films like NEBRASKA and PHILOMENA definitely ranking below average, that's a good year.

This year there are two hard science fiction movies nominated for best picture! GRAVITY is one of the most commercially successful hard sf films of all time (depending on how you classify films like AVATAR and ALIEN), and it was delightful--but imho, the scrappy, relatively inexpensive HER was a better film.

I make a spreadsheet every year Read more...Collapse )

Jan. 28th, 2014


Lessons From Bar Fight Litigation

This essay is fantastic. Probably even for non-lawyers.

Jan. 27th, 2014


Oh yes, EXACTLY!

Humor, Locked and Loaded
‘American Hustle’ and ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ as Brutal Comedies

There are some especially fine Oscar nominees this year--AMERICAN HUSTLE and THE WOLF OF WALL STREET are two of them. I think I like HER better than both. INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS is also pretty great. But what are these movies? How do you even describe them? They're savage comedies--exactly. Flamboyantly savage, in the case of AMERICAN HUSTLE and THE WOLF OF WALL STREET. Exactly.

I've been making good progress on my annual quest to see as many Oscar nominees as possible, but I haven't had time to post about it. Last Friday, I caught up at work for the first time since early December, so I hope to put up something more about Oscar season soon.

Jan. 16th, 2014



These comments about THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG (2013) were originally posted on Google plus.

I keep reading reviews like this ("It is no longer Tolkien's Middle-earth") about THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG (2013), and they bug me. This is a good one to pick on, because it's a well-written review by Emil Johansson from The LOTR Project, a totally fabulous Tolkien nerd whom I respect greatly.

The thing is, all the criticism along the lines of "it it no longer Tolkien's Middle-earth," "it was not an adaptation of the Hobbit... just something very loosely based on the Hobbit" and "it no longer feels like Tolkien's Middle-earth" could equally well have been said about The Lord of the Rings (1954-55), as a sequel to The Hobbit (1937). A very poor adaptation indeed, which messes wildly with the premises of the tale and doesn't honor the original tone of the story at all.

The biggest actual change Peter Jackson has made so far Read more...Collapse )

Oscar nomination day!

Yes, there is an Academy Award nomination for JACKASS PRESENTS: BAD GRANDPA (2013).

Oscar nomination day feels a little like Christmas to me, even though I'm mired right now at work in the 4th day of our state's legislative session, and besides that trying to adhere to a ambitious watch/review schedule for classic science fiction movies and original Star Trek episodes in the communities I moderate over on Google plus. Still--looks like a great crop of films which I am greatly excited to watch, even though according to tradition I am starting out significantly behind. In the main categories I've only seen GRAVITY and THE WOLF OF WALL STREET (both excellent) and in all the other categories, only THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG, BEFORE MIDNIGHT, THE GREAT GATSBY, IRON MAN 3, SAVING MR. BANKS, and STAR TREK: INTO DARKNESS (excellent, excellent, good, okay, meh, and black garbage).

Quick hits: Hayao Miyazaki beat out Pixar when THE WIND RISES was nominated for Best Animated Film but MONSTERS UNIVERSITY (which I have seen--it's at least as good as IRON MAN 3) was passed over. I've been dying to see AMERICAN HUSTLE, but I did not expect to see it tied for the leading number of nominations, 10, with GRAVITY. Is it a serious Best Picture contender? Go David O. Russell! If you don't want to pony up the dough for movie tickets, consider renting his seriously wacky philsophical drama/thriller I HEART HUCKABEES (2004) instead.

Passing over THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG in the Art Direction category is a travesty. Congratulations to Oscar winner Jonah Hill for his second nomination for THE WOLF OF WALL STREET--it's deserved. I'm not sure I understand why BEFORE MIDNIGHT qualifies as an adapted screenplay--are all sequels adapted screenplays? Because they use characters developed in previous works? Even when they present original stories?

I keep reading what a great crop of films there was this year, and the list seems to bear this out. Besides AMERICAN HUSTLE, I'm most excited about seeing HER, AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY, INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS, BLUE JASMINE, and THE WIND RISES. Also Sarah Polly's THE STORIES WE TELL, which was unexpectedly passed over in the Best Documentary Category. Besides those, I suspect I will have a great time with DALLAS BUYERS CLUB, NEBRASKA, JACKASS PRESENTS: BAD GRANDPA, and FROZEN. I will see 12 YEARS A SLAVE out of a sense of duty. At least there are no Afghanistan/Iraq War films this year, outside the Best Documentary category (I don't know what all the documentary films are about).[*]

THE BUTLER was surprisingly passed over for nominations in every category. Merits aside (I haven't seen it), shameless Oscar bait is not the sure thing that it used to be.

Sound Editing and Sound Mixing sure are weird categories. I get the sense that, apart from the actual achievements in sound, these categories are becoming "The tech person's Oscars"--the best picture nominees to recognize general overall technical achievement, which has risen to astounding levels, outside the single meager slot available in the Visual Effects category. The Visual Effects slot is still dominated by superhero/fantasy fare (NTTAWWT--I love superhero/fantasy fare when it's well done).

[*] Correction: LONE SURVIVOR, nominated for Sound Editing and Sound Mixing, is an Iraq War story.

Full list of nominees under the cutCollapse )

Oct. 21st, 2013


These Are the Voyages: TOS Season One review

For those wondering why I haven't been posting here more often, I've been writing episode reviews at the Star Trek rewatch community I started, here. As of this writing, we've covered 31 episodes (including the unaired pilot) and just launched into Season Two. In the process, I received a free review copy of These Are the Voyages: TOS Season One by Marc Cushman. I think that officially makes me a Star Trek journalist! Here is my review.

Blazing through the galaxy of Star Trek reference books comes the new gold standard. These Are the Voyages: TOS Season One by Marc Cushman is massive tome that looks like a textbook. Here it is by the numbers: 541 oversize pages of text, original interviews with 65 people important to the first season of Star Trek, including Gene Rodenberry, Robert Justman, Dorothy Fontana, James Doohan, and Grace Lee Whitney, an 11-page bibliography of books, newspaper & magazine articles, and a 15-page index of quotations. All this, and it only covers Season One!

All the secondary research is supplementary to the real heart of this book: Cushman gained access to the original series archives, safeguarded through the years by Justman and Roddenberry, and now in the custody of the UCLA Performing Arts Library. These include Read more...Collapse )

Jul. 9th, 2013


Oh look--

Andrew O'Hehir just wrote another smart and provocative article for Salon about filmmaking--this time about the gonzo economics of Hollywood that led us to the grand flop that is named THE LONE RANGER (2013).

"The Lone Ranger" failed because it wasted money."

I have only the faintest curiosity to see the actual film, depsite liking TLR quite a bit when I was young--but I have been looking at trailers for months and saying "That's obviously going to lose a lot of money."

Jul. 3rd, 2013


What's a Trekker to do?

Don't get mad, get even! I have begun a project to recapture what I love--or think I love--about Star Trek. I will be re-watching, and writing about, all 79 episodes of The Original Series (1967-1969), plus the unaired pilot "The Cage," in original broadcast order, with an online community. We've done eight episodes so far. I'm gratified that so many friends have joined in to write about their own reactions. It's great to have something to do together, even if the friends happen to be in Connecticut, Vermont, Alabama, or New York.

As it turns out, I actually learned most of my Trek reading James Blish's episode novelizations. There are quite a few original series episodes (more than half?) that I have either never seen, or it's been over 30 years, and they're new to me now. It's been a revelation, for someone who professes to love original Trek, to find out that there's so much new Trek to discover.

Five years ago, I probably would have sited this discussion group on LiveJournal, but instead it's taking place in a public community on Google Plus. My cheeky friends told me I should call it Star Trek: Relive the Majesty, and brand it with a very silly screen capture from episode 1.7, "What Are Little Girls Made Of?" that looks like Kirk holding a giant purple penis. (By coincidence, that is the same episode we have reached, as of this writing.) This isn't what I would have come up with by myself, but I'm glad for the reminder not to take things too seriously. If we keep up the current pace (two episodes per week, with breaks for holidays) we may finish in about nine months, or longer if we slide to three episodes every two weeks or some other arrangement. Hopefully, over time, an even broader group of people will begin to participate.

If you're interested in original Trek, please join us! There's still time to catch up, or just hitch your wagon to the train at the current spot. Episodes of Trek are available to watch free (with commercial interruptions) at multiple sites online, and through streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime, if you haven't bought the box sets.

Edit: The community website for the Star Trek re-watch was unavailable for most of the day on Thursday, 7/4, but it is back up now.


I don't have anything nice to say about STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS. The best description of why comes from the mouths of those responsible.

J.J. Abrams (director, producer), interviewed by Jon Stewart on The Daily Show:Read more...Collapse )

Jun. 2nd, 2013


CLUE (1985)

This was an impulse watch on a lazy Sunday. CLUE was an important movie in my life for a brief period of time. My sister was obsessed with the film (we were 12) and we had to run all over town watching it with the different theatrical endings. IMDB claims that the box office was disappointing--if so, it certainly wasn't our fault.

Watching it today, I remembered everything and nothing. In 1985, I didn't appreciate the homages to THE OLD DARK HOUSE (1932)--but in 2013 I quickly recalled the dog poop gag, various startlements, and the way half of the female cast appears to be in imminent danger of falling out of the tops of their dresses. I completely forgot the character of Mr. Boddy, however, and the unmemorable actor who portrayed him.

I enjoyed it quite a bit! They really don't make them like this any more. There is a low density of gags in the beginning as the filmmakers set up the film's tone and premise that would never be tolerated by studios today. They take advantage of the time to build up to amazingly sustained bursts of zany business and manic energy that you can't help but admire. Yet many of the jokes depend on subtle wordplay. I was not surprised to discover that the writer/director Jonathan Lynn is a Brit--his other credits include YES, MINISTER (1980-1984), YES, PRIME MINISTER (1986-1988), NUNS ON THE RUN (1990), and MY COUSIN VINNY (1992).

Tim Curry is simply marvelous as Wadsworth the butler. The rest of the principal roles, excepting Mr. Boddy, are well cast, with Eileen Brennan, Madeline Kahn, Christopher Lloyd, Michael McKean, Martin Mull, and Lesley Ann Warren. Apparently the signing telegram girl that gets shot was a member of the Go-Go's! Live and learn.

May. 15th, 2013


O'Hehir reviews Star Trek Into Darkness

“Star Trek Into Darkness”: Who made J.J. Abrams the sci-fi god?

I have linked to Andrew O'Hehir's film reviews before, and I'm sure I will again. I appreciate his take on the new Star Trek film. Well done, sir.

Edit: Now that I've actually seen the film, it's much worse than Andrew prepared me for.

Apr. 13th, 2013


STAR TREK (2009)

Note: I began writing this review in the summer of 2009, and decided to finally finish it this morning.

I have a contrarian opinion about the new STAR TREK movie--I hated it. I say contrarian, because the film's $156 million domestic take since May 8[1] has already warped past STAR TREK IV: THE VOYAGE HOME (1986)'s former position as the highest grossing Trek movie. It's rated 95% fresh at Rotten Tomatoes.[2] It's also deeply, deeply disappointing.

I'm a curmudgeon about Star Trek. Warning: I go on for quite a long time.Collapse )

Apr. 4th, 2013


Roger Ebert (1942-2013)

I have no words. Here are some of his.

Feb. 25th, 2013


2013 Oscars wrap up

This was a very diverse set of Academy Awards. Best picture, best director, and the four acting awards went to six different films. I wonder when was the last time that happened? The most winning film, LIFE OF PI, garnered four awards by dipping into the technical categories for its visual effects and cinematography, while ARGO won for best picture. No eleven-award sweep here. Eight of the nine best picture nominees took home at least one award, and for sheer charm on display, 9-year-old Quvenzhané Wallis (who represented the non-winning BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD) may end up as the biggest winner of the night.

The telecast did seem to go on and on, but I thought Seth McFarlane was funny. I cringed at the "We Saw Your Boobs" song, which might say more about me than about the song--but I give credit where it is due for consistently sharp jokes that didn't flag throughout the night. Extra points for use of William Shatner and the highlight song and dance number for the final credits which was both completely unnecessary and hilarious. Couldn't find a link on YouTube--they must be policing it.

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