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Posts Tagged ‘Oscars’

OSCARS 2011 LIVEBLOG!

Posted by Cantankerous Panda on February 27, 2011

I know, it’s amazing that I’m posting again, but nothing can keep me away from Oscar madness! (OK, I’m sure SOME things can keep me away… but let’s not dwell on such things!)

I do hope to return with awesome new reviews for you fine folks, and I think a possible solution is to write them up in Word or something first before trying to do my whole thang here with the pics. I’ll see how that goes, kittens.

Anyway, let’s get this show on the road! Come in for the awards, and stay for the snark!

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Inception

Posted by Cantankerous Panda on September 26, 2010

INCEPTION (2010)

At last, my long-awaited review for Inception is here. Who DOESN’T want to talk about this movie? Now, I’m going to attempt to write about this in a way that allows people who have yet to see it to skip over the spoilery parts, but if you’re super-strict about such things you might just want to come back here after you’ve seen it. And yes, you should see it. I am breaking my pattern here and telling you upfront that this is a film to watch. I saw The Prestige and I did not enjoy it, but I really liked this film (and yes, I understood The Prestige far too well, which is part of the reason why I didn’t like it–but I’ll get into that when I write that film up). So, for those of you who are terribly behind on your cinema exposure, go see Inception and then get back to me. Read the rest of this entry »

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Oscars Results 2010

Posted by Cantankerous Panda on March 7, 2010

Here we are again, folks. Seems like forever ago that I blogged the Oscars for the first time, but it’s only been a year. Crazy. I’ll do my best to keep this as “live” as possible, with retardedly frequent updates. I’m watching some of the pre-show right now because I watch a lot of Project Runway and, therefore, read a whole lot of Project Rungay (which is such a fabulous blog, even if you don’t like fashion– those boys are a fucking RIOT). This means I have started to care a lot more about fashion… that is, I like to LOOK at fashion and then go “Is she out of her mind?! WHY WOULD SHE WEAR THAT?!” So that’s why I’m torturing myself right now.

Don’t forget to check back here throughout the night for awards and reactions if you’re not into watching the whole ceremony!

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Inglourious Basterds

Posted by Cantankerous Panda on January 9, 2010

INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS (2009)

In honour of the film’s recent release on DVD, and the fact that I just re-watched it, I figured this would be a good time for a review! I hope you’re all excited.

The film is a work of alternate-reality fiction. That’s one thing that needs to be established. My father didn’t seem to get that until the coup de grace of the film. By the way, I made the mistake of trying to watch this film on DVD with my father, which made the 3 hour film last for about 6. Not only that, but from the moment I started watching with him, which was after I heard the music for the opening credits stop, he started barraging me with questions about what was going to happen. Why bother watching the movie? But, I digress…

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Public Enemies

Posted by Cantankerous Panda on August 23, 2009

PUBLIC ENEMIES (2009)

Crucials

Director: Michael Mann

Written by: Ronan Bennett, Michael Mann, Ann Biderman; book “Public Enemies: America’s Greatest Crime Wave and the Birth of the FBI, 1933-34” by Bryan Burrough

Starring: Johnny Depp, Christian Bale, Marion Cotillard, Billy Crudup, Stephen Dorff, Jason Clarke, Stephen Graham, Emilie de Ravin, Giovanni Ribisi

Recommended? Yes, but with a disclaimer.

Disclaimer being: IT IS LONG. It is a long movie that sort of hops back and forth between short bursts of action and “near misses” with the FBI.

This film is based on the true story of John Dillinger, the famous and beloved bank robber. The people simply adored him, and because of this, he was able to hide in their midst. J. Edgar Hoover HATED Dillinger and became so obsessed with catching him that, legend has it, he had a whole “shrine” of Dillinger items that he kept after Dillinger’s death, basically as trophies. There’s your background info.

As for how the film progressed, I will admit one thing: it’s not fast-paced. At all. The action is really wonderfully realistic (I say this as if I’ve seen real gunfights before) and it’s fun, but the entire film less action and more build-up to the inevitable fate of Dillinger, or even just build-up to each individual robbery/predicament in which Dillinger finds himself. It’s enjoyable to watch, certainly, but it’s not the greatest film of the year.

What carries the film is the performances, but only one of the two leads is compelling. Johnny Depp can do no wrong, it seems, and his portrayal of Dillinger is no exception. He’s every bit the cocky (and cocksure) public enemy, and you cannot help but love the man. Depp is the perfect actor to cast in a bad guy role where the audience has to want the bad guy to win. As for Christian Bale, well, I could have done without him. Maybe I’m missing something about Bale, but I haven’t really enjoyed a performance from him since American Psycho. There was nothing particularly interesting about his character, which may be because the real-life FBI Agent Purvis was lacking, the script was lacking, or Bale was simply lacking. I didn’t quite buy his Americaness in this film, either, which bugged me since he is playing a decent role in a chunk of American history. I found his entire performance to be fairly bland, and I didn’t even care when he stood up to Hoover. Speaking of Hoover, Billy Crudup was nearly unrecognizable with his clothes on and without the blue skintone. I don’t believe that he looked a lot like Hoover, but he definitely had the creepy, dodgy, man with too much power act down to a tee, and I bought the role. For the duration of the film, Crudup absolutely WAS J. Edgar Hoover, and I didn’t like him one bit (which, of course, is the point).

As for the female roles, Marion Cotillard was terribly likeable and adorable as Dillinger’s girlfriend Billie. She had a very classic look to her, as well, which made me quite happy. She reminded me very much of the actresses of the golden era of Hollywood, and that fit very nicely into the timeframe of the film. She was equally sweet and sexy, innocent and resourceful, susceptible and strong. I thought she was rather delightful. Emilie de Ravin played Anna, better known as “The Lady in Red”, and I didn’t really find her performance to be particularly noteworthy. That might be due the fact that her role wasn’t really major. She wasn’t bad, but I just don’t think there’s much to say about her. I mention her because she’s the second female lead, which doesn’t say much in a movie that revolves around men and their guns.

Overall, it’s a movie you can enjoy if you don’t mind the pace, but don’t expect it to be the most amazing gangster movie you’ve ever seen. It’s also a fun film for Johnny Depp fans of all sorts, and his performance is awesome, as per usual. I recommend this film to serious film-goers who can handle a bit of a slow-paced film mixed with some enjoyable shoot-outs.

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Oscars Results

Posted by Cantankerous Panda on February 23, 2009

(If you’d like to skim through, I’m bolding all the categories and winners. Hopefully it’s clear enough.)

The opening performance was cute with the “cheap sets” and “Craigslist dancers”, but I wished for more. I appreciate what Hugh Jackman did, but I still wanted more. Hugh WAS adorable, though, and very funny. He broke a few times during his performance, but that’s OK; it was adorable breaking.

I picked Marisa Tomei for Best Supporting Actress, but I didn’t think she would win. I did think Penelope Cruz would win, and she just won. I have to say, I am loving the fact that they aren’t using montages and are saying some beautiful things about the performances by the nominees. I was touched from the moment Eva Marie Saint was introduced. Having just watched On The Waterfront, I can say I really, really appreciate her. That was so lovely to watch.

As for Penelope Cruz’s speech, I cried. She was so adorable. I forgot about how much I liked her. She was amazing in Volver. Incredibly full of emotion, passion, and everything that character needed to be. I didn’t see Vicky Christina Barcelona, but I had a feeling she would win it. And I’m not upset about it at all. Her speech was so heartwarming and touching. I am almost speechless.

Milk just won for Best Original Screenplay. I liked how Steve Martin and Tina Fey introduced each screenplay. This is much more interesting than the normal format. I wonder if it’s just because of monetary restraints.

Steve Martin and Tina Fey NEED to work together. They are too hilarious. Best Adapted Screenplay is up. SLUMDOG WON! And I am so happy.

Annnnnd the montages are back. a 2008 movie yearbook, Jack Black tells us. And I just squeeled at the sight of Wall-E. This is going to be a long night. HURRAY FOR WALL-E WINNING BEST ANIMATED FILM! Not a surprise, but I am so happy about it. And I am pretty satisfied that Pixar didn’t win for animated short film, as well.

Art Direction is up, and Sarah Jessica Parker is presenting with Daniel Craig. That is a strange, strange pairing. I don’t quite get it. I don’t quite get either of them, alone, either. Oscar for Benjamin Button. I am mehing. It would have been nice for Dark Knight to win. Pet peeve, though: I hate it when a team wins and one person hogs all the time. The poor other person is left trying to fit, “Thank you everyone. I love you, mom and dad,” into the program before the music and the pushy Oscar lady forces them offstage.

Costume design goes to The Duchess. It always seems to go to those period pieces, and usually for the same kind of style. Or maybe I just can’t remember that many films that win for Costume Design. Also, just in case you didn’t know this, Keira Knightley is “one classy lady”. I really wish that Sarah Jessica Parker and David Craig were not presenting all of the Oscars for the artsy stuff. I want them to go away.

Benjamin Button won for Makeup. I feel like making someone look old or fat somehow wins Oscars. Oh, or ugly. I want to say I preferred The Dark Knight, but I don’t know if I think Heath Ledger’s makeup was enough for the Oscar.

EW, the kid from Twilight is presenting Romance films of 2008. Fucking hell, why does he get to present anything?! That is disgusting. Ugh. Twilight is clipped into this montage as a romance film. Gags galore. And High School Musical. Way to try and reach out to the younger audience, Academy, except these movies/people don’t DESERVE it. Good lord. What are you doing to me?

I don’t know if I get the whole “Hugh Jackman walks us through how a movie is made” thing, either. So he set us up for Cinematography. And here’s Natalie Portman and Ben Stiller, sporting a grizzly beard and some shades, a la Joaquin Phoenix. AND chewing gum. She called him out on it and he stuck it on the podium. He’s being pretty brilliant about it. I love it. Natalie Portman didn’t bring anything to this performance, though. This is all Ben Stiller. And it’s brilliant. Oh, Slumdog Millionaire wins for Cinematography! How awesome.

I forgot about Jessica Biel hosting the mini-Oscars (The Scientific and Techincal Awards part of The Oscars that are done at an earlier time). I really could have done without her presence, and without her weird upscale baglady dress.

Judd Apatow’s short film is taking place in Pineapple Express land. It has a bunch of films that didn’t get nominated… but some films that were, for some reason. I love Seth Rogan and James Franco. HAHA. They are watching the scene from Milk where James Franco kisses Sean Penn, and Franco’s face right now is awesome. Also, the cinematographer from Saving Private Ryan joined them on the stoner couch with his Oscars. He’s being adorable, too. I think we’re on Live Action Short Film now. Wow. The most complicated names just won (Spielzeugland), and James Franco just fucked it up. That was hilarious.

I keep forgetting that Hugh Jackman is the host. He’s not really being used for much.

Oh, there he is. And it’s time for another musical number, which is why I assumed he was chosen. Way to get it going again. And here’s a classier musical number. That was just ruined by Beyonce. Who looks really unattractive in her getup which is supposed to make her sexy. She’s also moving like she has epilepsy. They are going over a bunch of movie musical numbers. Fun stuff sure, but sadly it’s Beyonce. And they just started Lady Marmalede, so I thought Christina Aguilera would be there. But no, Beyonce is singing the part, and I’m WISHING for Christina because she would be CLASSIER. Wow, Zac Efron and the hussy from High School Musical. And then the young couple from Mamma Mia. That was cute I guess. Except I don’t really care for anyone up there except Hugh Jackman. And no Sweeney Todd references. I’ll consider that an official snub. Also, the point of this was that since Mamma Mia sold more tickets than Titanic in the UK, the musical is officially back. Back from what? From Chicago dominating in 2003? Hairspray’s great reception? Sorry, Hugh, the musical hasn’t REALLY been missing so much. Oh, Baz Luhrmann, your arrangement of that piece was cute, but sadly it was ruined by some of the performers. I could barely keep my eyes ON the screen. Sigh. Such potential.

Supporting Actor award is up with CHRIS WALKEN as one of the presenters. That is pure happy. I wonder who will describe Heath Ledger. I might cry again. Cuba Gooding, Jr. is talking about Robert Downey, Jr. That is hilarious. “Are you out of your mind?!” he said. Kevin Kline spoke about Heath Ledger, and I am tearing up. Heath just won. His family is accepting for him. I am going to sob.

And so I did. Lots of teary faces in the audience shots, too.

WERNER HERZOG CLIP! Awesome. I guess this the montage for Documentary Film. Oh ha, the guys who made the Documentary montage also did Grey Gardens, a really disturbing documentary about Jackie O’s aunt and cousin, both completely deranged individuals. Bill Maher just used his position as presenter to spout off about his religious documentary that wasn’t nominated. Boo hoo, Bill. Perhaps your documentary sucked. At least the acceptance speech was fun. One of the three winners for Man On Wire balanced his Oscar upside-down on his chin. I like it. And now Smile Pinki won for Short Documentary, about a cleft lip child, it seems. That’s sweet. Good for her.

Action montage. Sweet. Will Smith. Silly. I guess this is for Visual Effects. Ah, indeed. Wow, Benjamin Button won for backwards aging? Really? I’m surprised. I thought it would be Iron Man, for sure. Those effects were pretty stellar. I’m a bit disappointed. Let’s see if we get something happier for Sound Effects. Ah, Dark Knight. Fair enough. OK, Sound Mixing next. Benjamin Button is nominated for this. If it wins, I will be unhappy. Oooo Slumdog Millionaire. Huzzah! Will Smith is rocking out the post-production categories, now with Film Editing. He made jokes about Hugh Jackman napping. I don’t doubt him. I particularly enjoyed the editing for Slumdog Millionaire. And it looks like the Academy did, as well. Another win for Slumdog with Editing.

Eddie Murphy?? He’s still alive? Shit. He’s giving the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award to Jerry Lewis. Stupid Nutty Professor connection, I guess. So this is the honorary Oscar tonight. I like Jerry Lewis. I saw him on Broadway in Damn Yankees. Good times. Wow, Jerry looks great for his age.

Oh hey, it’s Hugh Jackman! Is he presenting an award? Oh, no, he’s introducing the segment where the orchestra plays bits from each nominated film score. And… wait, Zac Efron again? With Alicia Keys? What is going on, here? Maybe they’ll let me present something next year. It seems like they are almost despera–whoa, wait. What the hell? Danny Elfman did the musical score for Milk and was nominated? I’m… in shock. Man, I should have been rooting for him. I’m sad that Slumdog won for Film Score. Oh, the nominated song from Slumdog is being performed. I really like it. *Stops typing and stares at TV* And now it’s another good song… I am thinking it’s for Wall-E, but I don’t know for sure. Annnnnd back to Slumdog?? Hm, I forgot they were nominated for two. Also a good song. Well, Slumdog has 2/3 songs nominated… so I’m guessing that it’s another win. The last song did it. The performer is stunned. And Danny Boyle is stunned. Aw, the winner said he had to choose between hate and love all his life, and he chose love. Now I love him.

How come Hugh Jackman just isn’t in this? I’m so confused. Oh hey, the pretty girl from Slumdog Millionaire is presenting with Liam Neeson for Foreign Language film. We’re getting close to the big ones. Which is good, because I really need to buckle down and write about The Maltese Falcon and then get to bed early. Japan won for Departures. Well, not ALL of Japan made the film, but that’s the nationality. You get what I’m saying.

I love Queen Latifah. I love her forever. She is just pure joy. And she’s singing. Oh thank you, Academy. THANK YOU. She’s singing for the tribute to those who are no longer with us. Oh, Bernie Mac. That was so sad. And Michael Crichton. And Roy Scheider! Aw. This is so upsetting (duh). Isaac Hayes, too. OK, they need to stay focused on letting me see these people in a larger picture. I’m not watching on a huge screen. I don’t need to see how they are showing this reel to the audience on a large screen in the Kodak Theatre, too. Oh, there’s James Whitmore and Charleton Heston. AWWW SYDNEY POLLACK AND PAUL NEWMAN. And now I am crying AGAIN.

Sid Gannis is stepping down as President of the Academy ALREADY? What the hell? Oh hey, Reese Witherspoon is wearing something sparkly. I’m distracted. She’s kinda bugging me with her Director spiel. I am nervous. YES!!!! DANNY BOYLE! Oh my God, I am excited! He just jumped up and down on stage, fulfilling his promise to his kids when they were young that he’d act like Tigger if this miracle ever happened. OH man, Danny Boyle is ADORABLE. OK, I am extremely excited now.

Oh God, are they going to bring Julia Roberts out for Best Actress? I hope not. Ooooo Sophia Loren! That is amazing. Shirley MacLaine is making Anne Hathaway completely desintigrate into a puddle of ooze. Kate Winslet looks almost pained from Marion Cotillard’s words. Halle Berry is someone I don’t particularly care for. And wow, she is barely existing, it looks like. SOPHIA LOREN TALKING ABOUT MERYL STREEP. That is awesome. Sophia looks like she wants to devour her. Nicole Kidman and Angelina Jolie make a nice onscreen pair. And Kate Winslet won. Not surprised, but I was hoping for Meryl. Ha! Kate Winslet asked her dad to whistle so she’d know where he was, and IMMEDIATELY this loud whistle rang out. That was pretty great.

Best Actor time! Please no Tom Hanks. PLEASE NO TOM HANKS. YAYS Anothony Hopkins, Robert DeNiro, Michael Douglas, and Ben Kingsley! Oh, and Adrien Brody. Meh. But I love the rest of the men up there. I so prefer this format than the usual “last year’s opposite sex winner for the comparable role presents” thing. This is lovely. DeNiro is being awesome and all about Sean Penn, but I don’t like Sean Penn anymore, so I want this to stop. He will probably win this one, too. But I want it to go to Mickey Rourke or Frank Langella. Awww or Richard Jenkins. I don’t know if he’ll be back here. He’s wonderful. Anthony Hopkins for Brad Pitt! Meet Joe Black callback. Brad looks so sweet. So does Angelina Jolie. I do love them both. I know, I’m a simpleton. Ugh, I knew it. Sean Penn. God, Mickey Rourke finally got back in the game. I think this is because Hollywood feels bad for not being able to stop Proposition 8. I hope that doesn’t carry through for Best Picture. Ah, and here we go. Sean Penn brought Prop 8 onto the table. I rest my case. Thank you. The rambling bit at the end for Mickey Rourke was sweet, except he lost me halfway through.

Best Picture now, thankfully. Wow, Spielberg for this? Really? Pulling out some big guns tonight. Slumdog is my top choice, followed by Frost/Nixon. That was actually really good.  Oh hey, this is interesting. They are mixing in clips from these nominations with clips that have similar themes from past movies. That’s… quite an interesting take. I think it’s OK. But hard to do for Slumdog. First clips about “poor people”, basically, and then clips about “destiny”. Winner is: SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE! Holy shit! Was that an entire sweep?? It might have been. If not, it was damn near close. I have to admit, it was a fantastic film. OK, that takes away some of the burn of Sean Penn.

If you’ve read ANY of this, thanks for reading. I know it’s long and probably not very interesting, but I felt the need to purge all of my thoughts and reactions out here for all of you (the two people who might be reading) to enjoy. This Oscar experience was interesting. The format was incredibly different, which was really good in some situations, but I was disappointed about our absentee host. Seriously, why was Hugh Jackman even hosting? We didn’t need him. I love him, but he played such a minor role tonight. It was pretty sad.

Anyway, keep a look out for my Maltese Falcon post! Hopefully I have enough energy left to pound that one out. And oooo they are showing slips from upcoming films of the year. Sherlock Holmes looks like fun.  And Public Enemies. Oh! Julia and Julia! The Soloist! Up! Funny People! Fame! Terminator Salvation! 500 Days of Summer! INGLORIOUS BASTERDS!! Monsters vs. Aliens! Angels & Demons (Mmm Ewan McGregor)! The Boat That Rocked! State of Play! Oh man, I am looking forward to 2009.

Slumdog Millionaire won 8/9 Oscars. Almost totally cleaned up.

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Oscars 2009

Posted by Cantankerous Panda on February 23, 2009

I have some serious issues with The Oscars. I often find myself wanting to throw things at the screen and shriek at the idiots for their decisions. However, I am addicted to watching. I hope that Hugh Jackman is fun and does some awesome musical numbers this year. I will miss Jon Stewart, though. OK, let’s talk Oscar picks:

Best movie: Slumdog Millionaire

Best Actor: Mickey Rourke

Best Actress: Meryl Streep

Best Supporting Actor: Heath Ledger

Best Supporting Actress: Marissa Tomei

Best Director: Danny Boyle

Those are my big top 6 choices. My “Wish List”. And also, Wall-E for best animated film, because that film is so cute I can barely stand it. I feel like I’m on the verge of exploding with pure joy when I am watching it. That film is DANGEROUS, I tell you.

I will be back with post-Oscar reactions (possibly even mid-Oscar reactions) and, as promised, my take on The Maltese Falcon.

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