it's oscar week y'all:) i am as everyone knows entirely underwhelmed, but i am at least excited/hopeful that after this week i will no longer have to hear about gay cowboys eating pudding
. (i don't care what anyone else says, it is a movie about gay cowboys
.) i know that all the campaigners are trying to present it as a movie for the masses, but i am confident that it will fade away into oblivion like chicago
, a beautiful mind
, shakespeare in love
and other mediocre oscar winners.
but for some reason, even though i shouldn't care what some random academy people think, i admit that i do, so i have made it a point to see almost everything that is nominated. i still have to watch mrs. henderson presents
, hustle and flow
and pride and prejudice
this week, but i will be writing more about who will win and who should win sunday after i see them. and i will try to not bitch too much about stupid gay cowbois, because frankly i really don't care.
in the meantime, if anyone else is interested in reading some critical reviews of oscar nominated performances and stuff, one blog i read a lot is called The Oscar Igloo
info about saw's 'swirly cheeks'
so when i was writing about the saw movies earlier this week, i realized that despite how much i really love the movies' star swirly cheeks, i didn't know hardly anything about him. i was wondering if he was a clown, because i didn't want to include a picture of a clown in my blog, because some people have an inordinate fear of clowns.
well i spent the afternoon doing some research about swirly and found out that he is definitely not a clown. if you want to learn more about him i found his myspace profile here: http://www.myspace.com/swirlycheeks
i think you all will find it as interesting as i did. what a cool guy!
saw and saw ii
so anyways, valentine's day was nice. john surprised me with a really pretty bouquet of purple tulips. and we had a really romantic night. what did we do you ask? we brought saw ii
on dvd and watched it at home.
alright so maybe you are thinking that saw ii
doesn't sound like a great date movie. well you would be wrong. there are a lot of valentine's day-related elements. there are hearts (even though they are disemboweled), a plush novelty toy (even though he is a psychotic monster), jewelry (if a death mask can be considered jewelry) and even a lovely romance (between a serial killing cancer patient and his drug addicted victim). all in all i would say that it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
actually, come to think of it, john and i spent our halloween watching saw ii
also, so maybe we should just plan on watching it for every holiday. YES!!! i finally have ash wednesday plans.
if you haven't seen the saw movies, they are both out on dvd now so what are you waiting for? john and i actually just discovered them in october. i had never heard of saw before but i saw a trailer for the sequel and so i went out and rented it. i was really surprised at how good it was. i mean it wasn't just gory either; it was actually kind of clever.
the first movie takes place almost entirely in a dungeon where two guys have been locked up by an anonymous serial killer. the shtick is that he chooses victims who he feels do not understand the value of their own lives and then makes them sacrifice in order to keep on living. and i am not talking sacrifice like give up reeses peanut butter cups for lent. it is more like 'if you want to live enough to cut out your own eyes i will not kill you.' FUN!
the second movie is slightly less clever, but still really good. the killer is back and has chosen a cop played by donnie wahlberg to be his victim. he locks his son up in a dungeon with a bunch of convicts and they only have two hours to live before they die from some nerve gas he is exposing them to.
and the scary plush monster? (we call him 'swirly cheeks') he is just comic relief. . . well for us anyway, but we are effing twisted.
i really like b horror movies, but since they are kind of the 'in' thing right now, i guess it is hard to pick out the good ones. i think the saw movies are the most clever horror movies done since urban legend
. they are really sick though, so if you aren't into horror movies you would probably spend most of your time with a pillow in front of your face. (there is one scene in the sequel i actually have to leave the room when it comes on).
so if you are looking for a romantic-snuggle-up-with-your-boyfriend-and-a-puppy-make-some-slice-and-bakes-and-drink-some-merlot-kind-of-movie, saw is definitely the way to go. but, again, you should note that this applies mainly to me and i am effing twisted:)
crash and its cohort
it really wasn't a surprise to me that crash was so blatantly anti-american, as this has been pretty par for the course with the movies of 2005. (incidentally it also wasn't really a surprise that it was made by paul haggis, a canadian). There was some an interview a few weeks ago with steven spielberg where he said that he thinks filmmakers are being "braver" in bush's second term to attack the u.s. i totally agree with this. you can read the article here:http://www.imdb.com/news/wenn/2006-02-01/
although i rarely think that film industry people like george clooney, jane fonda or susan sarandon really have any idea what is going on in this country as they sit in their ivory tower on the malibu coast, they certainly think they do, and they have decided that this was the year that they were going to tell the world what was best for them. almost without exception this has made me want to vomit glass out of my eyes. here is a compilation of some of the films i have seen this year and why they all argue that the u.s. sucks.crash
. . . this is maybe the one exception to the rule stated above, since i really agreed with the message. i guess, in a nutshell, haggis' argument is that racism is so prevalent in los angeles today that nobody even notices that they are engaged in it. it parallels, among other things post-911 news stories about anti-islamic paranoia.syriana
. . . the granddaddy of anti-u.s. propaganda this year. the message is so convoluted that i don't even think i know what it was. stephen gaghan definitely thinks that the bush administration is so corrupt and so in bed with arab oil interests that the only way to get free from it is to a) impeach the entire republican party and b) secede from texas. it parallels the relationship between bush, cheney and saudi royalty.good night and good luck
. . . this one should be subtitled "george clooney is a total prick." in this moral tale, george clooney tells us he knows what is best thing for us because he learned it from edward r. murrow who also told us what the best thing was for us in the 50s. their message: only use the media to educate the populace about the evils of conservativism (and never for entertainment). well, there are other messages but this is the main one that pissed me off the most. it parallels media censorship in the bush administration.munich
. . . steven spielberg made a point that he is using his art in order to argue his own political ideals, and at least i respect the fact that he is willing to admit to that. otherwise, i would have been totally irritated by his pro-israel love fest. his message is that palestinianian arabs are terrorists and israeli jews are assassins. the ironic thing is that the film really made me feel a lot more deeply for palestine, whereas i was sort of appalled by his depiction of israel. that was definitely not his intention though. it parallels modern attacks on israel.memoirs of a geisha
. . . at least half of this movie is a world war ii movie, but it definitely isn't one of those wwii movies ala saving private ryan where the u.s. americans come and save the day. in this movie, the soldiers arrive in kyoto and totally destroyed the japanese culture. it was sort of powerful for me, because i thought it really paralleled the soldiers in iraq destroying museums and other cultural institutions.north country
. . . this was a completely entirely essentially unnecessary critique of u.s. american masculinity. it was unnecessary because it was untrue. the lifetime-esque message so effectively brought to the screen by charlize theron (blech) is that male workers in the u.s. unanimously teamed up against female workers in the 1970s until the women rose up against them as a single entity. give me a break. like there was never a good man in all of minnesota? this movie is so ridiculous that it couldn't possibly parallel anything real that is happening in the world.brokeback mountain
. . . there have been a lot of filmic representations of the problems faced by gay men living in the u.s. and i thought this one was really ineffective, probably because it was written by two people who are not gay men and it was directed by a person who is not a gay man and none of the actors were gay men. this is problematic!!! the message is simple: it's hard to be a gay cowboy in the 1960s. (well effing duh, haha). on one hand i think that any media effort to show that how the u.s. treats gay men is important. on the other hand, i found this untrue. it parallels gwen araujo, matthew shephard, brandon teena, etc.palindromes.
. . this one isn't nominated for any awards or anything but i throw it in anyway because it is fuckin brilliant. todd solondz is definitely one of my all time favorite filmmakers. his message in this anti-american gem is that people fighting on both sides of the abortion debate are selfishly supporting their own interests rather than what they argue is the popular good. it uniquely parallels other abortion fables in that solondz refuses to take sides.capote
, grizzly man
, the constant gardener
, walk the line
, and cinderella man
all have some degree of anti-u.s. sentiment as well, but it is less central. in any case, this has definitely been a common element to almost all of the movies nominated for oscars this year. you would think i would have liked going to the movies more than i did, but i guess i just don't like being told what to think either way.
okay so i should have posted this last week when john and i were blogging about showgirls but the other day i was reading other people's posts about the joe eszterhas magnum opus and i came across a blog written from the perspective of nomi malone. this is definitely the most hilarious thing i have read all week. i think i read all the posts. Here is an excerpt:
"My back is killing me. I fucked Zach in his pool last night. (OHMYGOD he has these dolphins in the pool that spray water...well we got into a fight because I thought they were real."
HAHA. anyways, it might just be something that appeals only to john and i's uniquely cynical sense of humor, but I DON'T THINK SO.
here is the link:http://showgirlsthebestmovieeverm.blogspot.com
i will have john put it on our links list too. bon apetit.
okay so you know that part at the end of titanic
when kate winslet emerges on the deck of the ship in new york harbor and instead of returning to her evil fiance she takes jack's name and embarks on her own life and then the camera goes back to gloria stuart on the deck of the ship and she is holding on to the heart of the ocean and it is like her last tie to her privileged past and she throws it into the ocean and you want to like stand up and cheer because this character is like evidence that there is something good and decent in humanity and people can survive in this world simply by following their hearts and being good people and you leave the theater feeling really good about the world.
well that is exactly the feeling that you will NOT have after watching crash
leaves you with a feeling that the world is going to hell and anything decent that MIGHT still exist is mired in something equally diabolical so you might as well gorge yourself on kettle corn and take up a hobby like bulimia or cutting. that being said, it is sort of one of those movies that even though depressing is really important and everyone should watch it.
besides the fact that is an effing brilliant piece of work, written differently than anything you have ever seen, played by amazing actors and it has a sort of message that pierced me. i really feel like i came out of watching this movie as a more educated person, not because the movie is necessarily educational, but because it makes you think about racism (and other isms) in a way that you never have before. it was definitely my favorite movie of the past year.crash
isn't easily summarized so i won't even try rather than to say that it is sort of the cinematic equivalent of a collage or quilt. there are several different stories, all which take place in l.a. you might sort of expect them to come together neatly in the end, like in a todd solondz movie, but that isn't what happens. it makes it even more interesting to me that these stories become only tangentially related to one another, but they are intimately connected by theme. the theme of course is racism.
i was not really excited by this movie. i had never heard of the director, paul haggis (even though he also wrote million dollar baby
) and none of the actors really interested me, especially brendan fraser who i think is maybe the worst actor in the entire industry (he sucks in crash
too, but at least his role is very very small). plus the title just sounds really boring. but i finally decided to rent it since i try to watch everything nominated and i was so surprised by how good it was and, more importantly, not boring at all.
i think my favorite part of the movie was a scene when thandie newton's character and her husband played by terrence howard are pulled over by two white policemen played by matt dillon and ryan philippe. the acting in this scene is really amazing as dillon sexually assaults newton. i was like shaking it was so upsetting. and the way it is filmed you just want to jump into the screen and do something about it. it is very effective.
anyways, i hope everyone will go rent this when you are in the mood to watch something really serious that will make you think a lot. it is probably best that you watch it with someone else, cuz you will want to discuss it i promise. i could totally write 20 pages about this movie without flinching so i will force myself to stop. . . now.
from the onion
this made me laugh:
"Mark Paul Gosselaar obviously authored own IMDb Trivia
LOS ANGELES—Observers speculate that former Saved By The Bell star Mark-Paul Gosselaar ("Zack") wrote his own Internet Movie Database entry. "The large amount of trivia available on Gosselaar is telling," celebrity-syntax analyst Will Purdy said. "But the comprehensive details of his Dutch heritage, the meticulous account of his daily routine on the Saved By The Bell set, and the multiple pages dedicated to his struggle with a Net-surfing addiction leave little doubt." Purdy noted that further evidence can be found on Gosselaar's 17-page Wikipedia entry."http://www.theonion.com/content/node/45124
academy award noms
so the oscar noms came out this week as i am sure everyone is aware. not too many surprises. awards seem to be pretty evenly divided between the famous and the gay as encyclopedia hanasiana has so aptly illustrated:http://www.hanasiana.com/archives/001123.html
i guess i was sort of disappointed by a couple things. first of all i was hoping gong li was going to be nominated as the deliciously evil hatsumomo in memoirs of a geisha. sure the movie wasn't great or anything, but as i have previously mentioned i thought she rivaled gina gershon (or maybe tiffani amber thiessen from 90210) as a stellar bitch. fabulous.
i can't really believe munich got nominated for best picture. it was just an entirely mediocre pro-israel spielberg film and there was a ton of better stuff that deserved the nomination. especially, the constant gardener. i didn't think munich was bad necessarily but gardener was better. even walk the line deserved the nom over munich i thought.
everyone who knows me knows of my intense antipathy towards charlize theron. i think she is one of the worst actresses making movies today. and north country was one of the worst movies of the year, so what the hell is the deal with her nom for best actress? not to mention francis mcdormand (who i love) but whose nom was for a role i though particularly poorly written. this movie was terrible and it makes no sense to me.
of course i don't really get the attention that is being thrown at bareback. it is one more in a string of mediocre movies that have come out this year that i really don't care about. it is so miserably boring, and if you haven't seen it yet don't bother. it's so not worth your time or the 5.50 matinee fee. i will say that michelle williams is a bright spot, but this movie should really be subtitled "why straight people shouldn't make movies about gay people."
the singular shining moment in this year's movie line up is paul haggis' crash. i think it is not a coincidence that paul haggis (a canadian) was able to make one of the best movies about the reality of racism in the u.s. i have ever seen. if you haven't seen it you must go to wherever video tapes are sold or rented and buy or rent it right now.
i was kind of disappointed that the only actor nominated from crash was matt dillon. because it has an ensemble cast it could only be nominated in the supporting actor categories (like closer last year). but i especially though that thandie newton was really excellent and maybe don cheadle or even ryan phillippe or terrence howard could have been nominated.
there are still a couple movies i haven't seen (mrs. henderson presents, hustle & flow, a history of violence, pride & prejudice, the squid and the whale) so after i see these i will write about what i really feel should win, which i am sure the academy will completely ignore them all:) feel free to disagree with me about whatever, even though you all will be wrong.
New Discussion Film - Crash
This week, we will be talking about "Crash," a film which has been sweeping the awards (and it's actually good, unlike so many other award films of 2005).