Archive for February, 2011
Hi readers! Right out of the gate I want to let you know that in the coming weeks I will begin making some upgrades to this blog. Most changes will be minor (formatting, etc.) but the biggest change is that I will be trying to post more frequently, which means I will write more concise bi/tri-weekly posts instead of having one gigantic post every two and a half weeks. I am very excited about this, so please, if you have an RSS feed or a Google Reader account, add me to your list!
Ok–on with the show!
Like most of America, I was very disappointed by last night’s Oscar ceremony. Overall I found it dull, tedious, unbelievably unfunny, uncomfortable at times, and anti-climactic. But I tried to live blog/tweet through it all. So here it is–I present to you my live OSCAR BLOG!
7:27- Source Code = Groundhog day + more explosions
Picks in advance: Best Picture- King’s Speech
Best Actor- Firth
Best Actress- Portman
Best Supporting Actor- Bale
Best Supporting Actress- Leo
7:32- Opening video reminds me of MTV Movie Awards. Bringing in Alec Baldwin is clutch, but why bring in last year’s lesser funny Oscar host?
Pretty lazy opening overall. This sucks.
What does Back to the Future have to do with anything? Why not.
7:36- I don’t think I laughed once during this whole opening. Does not bode well for the future
7:38- Very pithy banter. Really stupid jokes. REALLY STUPID JOKES. I wonder what jokes they threw out?
7:40- Is James Franco going to murmur every line?
7:40 – Have we decided that comedians need to host the Oscars again?
7:42- Tom Hanks hasn’t won an Oscar in 16 years. Like Meryl Streep, he’s due.
7:44- I predict Alice In Wonderland for art direction—I WIN!
7:45- Tim Burton not nearly as happy that his movie won. He looks like a Basset Hound
7:46- Now he’s a happy Burton. Dating Tim Burton was the best thing that ever happened to Helena Bonham Carter’s career.
7:55- Kirk Douglas is going off script! STOP GOING OFF SCRIPT! THIS IS SO UNCOMFORTABLE!
7:56- You know who feels the worst about Kirk Douglas? Catherine Zeta Jones. That’s what she has to look forward to in 20 years.
7:57- Melissa Leo wins! Nice surprised face. But you’re taking way too much time! You had so much time to practice this speech why are you so obnoxiously gracious? Way too over the top for me. Why are you using his cane to walk off stage? What is all this nonsense!
8:00- Timberlake and Mila Kunilingus’ banter is so awful. Hey! At least he improvised a joke- You know! I think he should host next year.
8:07- John Lasseter is one of the richest people in the world and I bet he spends all of his money on toys. Toys and Hawaiian shirts.
8:13- Penelope Cruz had big boobs before. But now she has “I just had a baby boobs.” Who’s hotter: her or Sofia Vergara? I can’t decide!!!!!!
8:14 Did Brolin and Bardem plan to wear the same tux?
8:19- David Seidler better have a great fucking speech. Really peaked late as a writer. His last movie was 2009’s TV Movie Kung Fu Killer starring David Carradine. Also wrote Warner Bros animated non-classic Quest for Camelot.
8:27 I want to know what sketch they decided to take out so we could hear Anne Hathaway sing a 30 second bitch slap to Hugh Jackman? Is she auditioning for her high school musical? What’s going on here!
8:47- Way to ruin the ending of True Grit oscars!
8:50- That guy must have worked hard to make the choo choo sounds in Unstoppable!
8:58- Rick Baker has a GORGEOUS mane. Reminds me of Lucius Malfoy’s. Love that The Wolfman won an oscar while True Grit and The Kids are Alright wont.
9:03- Fun fact Randy Newman is 1/19 in Oscars wins.
9:11 Laziest comedy writing ever. Made out with Anne Hathaway….in a MOVIE! HAHAHAHAHA! Franco is so ironic. What happened to Bruce Vilanch!
9:16- Oscar autotune was most creative thing they’ve done so far.
9:29- “Please come back!”- The Audience to Billy Crystal
10:04- Biggest mistake of the night. David Fincher totally deserved that. Hollywood must really hate him because there’s really nothing special about the way The King’s Speech was directed.
10:06- Way too much Celine Dion tonight. No one likes her. The Oscars really jumped the shark.
10:20: Finally! Presenters with charisma! Bullock and Bridges were great.
THAT’S AS FAR AS I GOT. I was really bored and had nothing more to say. But hey! There’s always next year!
Day 63- James Franco wrote this post. He will be adapting it to a screenplay for a film he will be directing and assistant directing. He also will be the gaffer.13
There are a few movies which, when on TV, I feel like I must watch. Until the end. No matter what time of day it is, no matter what else I should be doing. These are not just movies which I can turn on, watch happily for a half an hour, and then turn off. These movies are ones whose dialogue is so engaging, whose characters’ journeys are so satisfying, and whose stories are so compelling that would keep me watching, despite the fact that I already know the ending. In no particular order, here are a few of these must-watch movies for me.
1) The Dark Knight. Much has been said about how great this film is, but I will reiterate that Heath Ledger’s performance glues my eyes to the television every moment he’s onscreen. You can’t turn that movie off.
2) The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Movie. This movie is never on television. But when it is, I won’t be able to turn it off. Every second away from the screen you are missing a high kick, a punch to the face, a kiya!, a morph, a pun about ooze, and Kimberly’s tits. Jk. But seriously, it’s a great movie.
3) A Few Good Men. Somehow Sorkin finds away to make boring things (research, computers) seem like Game 7 of the NBA Finals. Obviously court room scenes are filled with drama already, but watching that movie you simply cannot turn it off until you see Lt. Kaffee NAIL Col. Jessup and get his “YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH!”
4) R.V. Just kidding.
5) Jerry Maguire. This is the subject of my post today. I turned this film on TNT at 1:30 AM a few nights ago, and did not turn it off until the film ended at 3 AM. I was exhausted and had seen the film many times before, but I still found it supremely entertaining. Jerry Maguire came out in 1996 to much acclaim, including a best supporting actor Oscar win for Cuba Gooding Jr. (otherwise known as the guy from Snow Dogs). It lost Best Picture to The English Patient (which also beat out Fargo, Shine and Secrets And Lies). If a movie should win based on its durability, The English Patient clearly loses, because I can’t think of a single moment in the past 10 years (other than that Seinfeld episode) when anyone made a reference to The English Patient. Not a single person in my life has ever told me to see The English Patient. I’m not saying The English Patient is a bad movie. I’m sure it’s great, and it has a great cast and great director (the late Anthony Mingella.) I just don’t think it’s one of those movies that you tell your kids someday to rent. Unlike Fargo or Jerry Maguire. Fargo (by the Coen Bros.) won best screenplay that year, and it is a great original screenplay, but looking back at Jerry Maguire, it’s insane how many catch phrases from that film have remained in our collective lexicon today:
“Show me the money!”
“Help me…help you. Help me, help you!”
“You had me at hello.”
“You complete me.”
And other priceless gems such as:
“That’s not a dress, that’s an Audrey Hepburn movie.”
“All right. I shoplifted the pootie.”
“You’re my ambassador of quawn, man.”
Jerry Maguire has become a classic film that, like Betty White, has only gotten better with age. With more corruption in sports, more slimeballs (Hey Scott Boras!), it’s still refreshing to see Jerry and Dorothy take a chance and try to live with principles. It’s also refreshing to see a love story so unpredictable, but so truthful and heartwarming without being (in my opinion) overly sappy. Let’s just say sappy enough. It forces you to get emotional, but without manipulating you (much like The Blind Side does). Let’s go over the love story–guy and girl meet and fall in love (and although Jerry remains unsure of what his love means, he is a good man with the best intentions). Still not completely in tune with his emotions, Jerry proposes, he and Dorothy get married (perhaps a bit soon, but again, with the best intentions), wrestles with what their love/marriage means, and then ultimately opens his heart, realizes his love, does the right thing, stands up as a man and saves his marriage. What an unconventional love story. Cameron Crowe takes a page out of his idol Billy Wilder’s screenplay textbook and lets the heightened circumstances unfold truthfully. This movie also wins the rare achievement of making Renee Zellweger appear desirable, and making the classic narcissistic, egomaniacal athlete three-dimensional. How does Crowe do this? By giving him a loving wife, a strong marriage, and making his cartoonish qualities endearing rather than annoying. And could Jonathan Lipnicki be ANY cuter? He rarely speaks, but when he does you can’t help but smile. I wish he and Mary-Kate Olsen (Fuck Ashley) would stay 9 years old forever. By the way, did I mention that the whole movie revolves around sports! How awesome is that!
Tom Cruise is also just superb in this film. He nails every scene with just the right amount of Cruisan intensity, heart, humor and charm. Jerry Maguire is a real, conflicted, layered character and Tom Cruise brings him to life. Which brings me to my next point.
It’s fairly easy to shit on Tom Cruise. His behavior the past few years has lent many to question his sanity. But let us remember that for many years Tom Cruise made great freaking movies. From 1986 to 1996 he was on a ten year winning streak making one solid film after the next–Top Gun (1986), The Color Of Money (1986), Cocktail (1988)–ok that one’s a little silly, Rainman (1988), Born On The Fourth Of July (1989), Days Of Thunder (1990), Far And Away (1990), A Few Good Men (1992), The Firm (1993), Interview With A Vampire (1994), Mission Impossible (1995), Jerry Maguire (1996).
That’s 12 great movies. Each one a pretty big hit. Then from 1996 to 2006 he also had a pretty nice streak going: Magnolia, Mission Impossible II, Minority Report, The Last Samurai, Collateral, War Of The Worlds, Mission Impossible III. In those 10 years his only real misses were Eyes Wide Shut and Vanilla Sky. So let’s say then that from 1986 to 2006—20 YEARS!—Tom Cruise made only 2 subpar movies. And by subpar I mean both critically and commercially. That’s crazy. Practically every single other movie he did was both a critical and commercial hit! Simultaneously! Compare that to the other biggest stars of the past 20 years—Tom Hanks, Denzel Washington, and Brad Pitt—and they don’t even compare. All 3 of them have had multiple missteps and at least 4 bombs. Tom Cruise really only has 2. SO PLEASE! Let’s give the man some credit.
If we talk about 2006-2010, the man only made 4 movies—Lions for Lambs, Tropic Thunder, Valkyrie, and Knight and Day. Tropic Thunder was phenomenal (and he stole the movie) and the other 3 were just ok. But none of them were paycheck movies and none of them is half as bad as a shitty Denzel thriller (Out of Time, Déjà Vu etc.). So yes, the man seems a bit crazy, and yes he is a Scientologist, and yes, there are many rumors surrounding his sexuality. But who gives a shit! If you like movies, you must like Tom Cruise. Just look at his credits and you’ll see that the man is a damn good actor who works with great directors and picks his projects well. (He even consults Will Smith–who has been absent from the movie screen since 2008. Weird right? Is he that focused on his kids’ careers? I know he’s filming Men In Black 3 now. But we’ll see that on screen in like 2 years. So isn’t it strange for the biggest star on the planet to disappear from screens during his prime?)
Where was I? Oh Yeah. Stop shitting all over Tom Cruise. Give one of the biggest movie stars of all time a break and celebrate him for 20 years worth of great films as a leading man. Thank you.