• Category Archives Movies and Film
  • 5 Overlooked Movies of the 2010 Oscars.

    It is Oscar season once more; in just over a week, the anticipation will be over. Later this week, I’ll release my own picks. But before I start talking about best supporting actress best director, I want to pay head to those movies released this year that seem to have been left out of the Oscar party; movies that did so well in conveying their message through direction, writing, acting, and effects. So, without further adieu, I give you the five most overlooked movies of the 2010 Oscars:

    Watchmen: I won’t say that Watchmen deserves a nomination for best picture, or even best adaptive screenplay, but to deny this film of any nominations in technical categories shows a lack of respect to those who worked so hard to make this film look and sound amazing. The special effects alone were amazing, and well worth the price of admission. The film editing did leave a little to be desired, yes, but the sound effects and mixing were among the best I have seen all year.

    Where the Wild Things Are: My two favorite contenders for best picture (An Education, Up in the Air) are also up for best adaptive screenplay. As much as I love both movies, I would gladly see one of the two give up their spot for adaptive screenplay if it meant giving “Where the Wild Things Are” a shot at this Oscar. The movie takes a ten sentence book and turns it into a full 101 minute script with complex characters that appeal to both children and adults. In addition to best adaptive screenplay, Where the Wild Things Are should also be up for Music (original song). Karen O is a gifted songwriter, and talented vocalist. The song “All is Love” is beautiful and hopeful. The very fact that “All is Love” was not nominated, while the latest Disney movie had two songs nominated, makes me wonder about some bias on the nomination committee’s part.

    The Invention of Lying: The critics hated this film, but I don’t think they gave it a fair shot. This film is pretty ambitious and strived to answer so many questions. Questions about God, religion, what is right, what is wrong (by the standards of those who consider themselves religious and those who do not): all tackled by this script. The scriptwriters knew what they were doing; at the very least, the film should have a nomination for best original screenplay.

    Adventureland: Another film that deserves a nomination for best original screenplay (maybe best picture), Adventureland is smart, funny, and interesting. The characters are real people that you both love and hate, depending on the situation and the character. In addition, the characters themselves are a mixture of rich, and poor – jock and geek. Adventureland is a great tale of teenagers entering real life, and learning all they used to know in high school does not apply in the real world.

    Sunshine Cleaning: A third movie that deserves a nomination for best original screenplay. Even aside from the writing, Sunshine Cleaning should at least have a nomination for best supporting actress. Emily Blunt was a show stealer and gave one of the best performances of ANY actress this year. I seriously do not know if I would have liked this movie as much as I did if it were not for Emily Blunt’s acting ability.

  • Top 5 soundtracks of the ohs!

    I was not going to do this list, but its pretty much writing itself in my head anyways. Besides, there were so many great soundtracks this decade, I almost HAD to write this list. So without further Adieu, I give you the top five soundtracks of the ohs!

    5. Team America: World Police (Film – 2004) : OK. This film is rude, crude, and at the very least, NSFW. But it is also funny as heck. And the soundtrack was done so well! Who could forget classics like “Freedom isn’t Free” and “Montage?” Not to mention the anthem of patriotism that is the song, “America! —- Yeah!” But as funny as the soundtrack is, what made this soundtrack great was the fact that when it (and the movie) was made, we were (and are still) in the midst of a war that doesn’t seem to have an end. It was a time of extreme patriotism at the expense of those of us who dared question why. Team America: World Police dared lampoon these political zealots, as well as those who stood blindly to oppose them (ie the Film Actor’s Guild). This soundtrack and movie was an expression in free speech. I dare say the creators have indeed, with the making of this great piece of art, put in their buck oh five (cause freedom costs a buck oh five).

    4. Spamalot (Stage – 2004): As I type this, I have the song “Run away!” going through my head. Spamalot was based on the classic movie, Monty Python and the Holy Grail.  I dare say, the producers found the one thing missing from the film: MUSIC!  “The Song that Goes Like This” lampoons the cheesy hit song that is inevitably in every serious Broadway production. “Find Your Grail,” while comedic in nature, has a good point – one should indeed search for their “Grail.” And who could forget (ahem – sings in my best voice),  all for one, two for all, four for some, and three for all. So bring out your dead and always look on the bright side of life! Even if you’re not yet dead – or wed.

    3. Avenue Q (Stage – 2003): One of these days I might actually get to see this show live (as opposed to the crappy video floating around on youtube), but for now, I have this marvelous soundtrack. And what a soundtrack! I’ve often asked myself  “What Do you do with a BA in English?” I’ve often wished I could go back to college, and I find myself singing “It Sucks to be Me” on a regular basis.  I’m pretty impressed the writers of Avenue Q throw political correctness out the window with “Every One’s a Little Bit Racist.” And “Schadenfreude?” Well, that just makes me laugh.  The Avenue Q soundtrack is not safe for work by any means, but I find myself playing it at work on a regular basis anyways.  Avenue Q may not be the best for those who are offended easily, but it has more than its fair share of valid points.  One has to wonder what the Avenue Q soundtrack would have been like if it had been a television series – somehow I don’t think it would be the same.

    2. Dr Horrible’s Sing-a-long Blog (Internet / DVD – 2008): If you haven’t seen this yet, go to Hulu right now and watch it. OK? Watch it? Good. Wasn’t that amazing? And what about the music? A high point on the album (and the video itself), is the song “A Man’s gotta do,” which outlines a pivotal scene in song. The scatting in the second chorus between Penny, Dr Horrible, and Captain Hammer is probably my favorite part of the entire video (the remote control is in my hands! Balls!).  That’s what makes this soundtrack so great – the music is not there for the music’s sake – the music is part of the plot. If you took the music out of the production, there would be no storyline.  If this is what happens when writer’s go on strike, maybe writers should go on strike more often!

    1.  A Mighty Wind (Film – 2003): The soundtrack for “A Mighty Wind” did something different than any other soundtrack mentioned on this list: A Mighty Wind’s soundtrack included songs not in the movie. One notable instance is the Folksmen covering “Start Me Up” by the Rolling Stones.  They take a traditional sex, drugs, and rock and roll song, and make it a folk song. Quite intriguing actually. And while the soundtrack features other instances of songs not mentioned in the movie, one can also judge between the “toothpaste commercial” New Main Street Singers version of “Never Did No Wandering,” or the Folksmen version which is musically truer to the lyrics. On a side note, if you have not seen this film, you should! The soundtrack is the best of the Ohs, but the movie itself is the best mocumentary of the ohs. I could think of far worst things to do with an hour and a half.

  • The Dark Night Joker…

    With all due respect to the late Heath ledger, I was not all that impressed with the Joker in “The Dark Night.” Why? Well, let me say this…why so serious Joker?
    Ok, let’s look at the Joker in TDK. He was real. He was very real. He could be the escape convict that lives down the street. So, why is this a bad timing? I mean, isn’t the Joker supposed to be real? The answer is simple: Yes and No. The Joker is supposed to be very real, yet surreal at the same time. While the Joker in TDK did a great job of the former, they forgot the latter. To be honest, if they could somehow mesh the Joker from Batman: The Animated Series with the Joker from TDK, then perhaps we would have a great Joker.
    Oh, but this Batman franchise is supposed to be based on the late 80’s batman! The one that shot Barbara Gordon in the spine (not even knowing she’s batgirl) just to drive Commissioner Gordon Crazy! Well, yes, but there’s two major flaws there. One, what is up with the scars firstly. It was clearly stated in The Killing Joke that The Joker fell into a vat of chemicals, and that is why he looks the way he does. This joker is not discolored, he uses clown make up and he has those scars which the Joker in the late 80’s did not have. Furthermore, can you possibly see this Joker as the UN ambassador for Iran?

    Maybe they’ll get it right next time. Then again, at least it wasn’t that Ronald McDonald wannabe from the live action series in the 1960s.