Monday, February 27, 2012
Sunday, February 26, 2012
Hello all - time again for my only annual post. I love having people ask me if I'm going to post this year, and I love sharing my views on all the movies with y'all. I'm super pumped for tonight's show - actually, I'm more excited about all of the dresses and all the judging I get to do, but I'm sure you knew that. Before I head off to my Oscar party to enjoy a glass of wine and mocking Ryan Seacrest, below are my reviews of the 9 nominees for Best Picture this year.
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close: I knew this one would be a tear jerker, but I was so not expecting to be full on ugly sobbing in the middle of theater, basically incapable of regaining strength in my legs to leave once it was over. If you need a good cry, go see this movie. Otherwise, skip it. I think it will always be too soon for a movie about 9/11. Obviously it's going to be super sad, and you don't think there could be something to be angry about in a movie about 9/11 except terrorists, but wow - that kid was such a jerk. If you think that makes me sound terrible for saying that about a child, then I dare you to go see the movie. You will want to ring his neck, too.
Hugo: This was definitely an enjoyable film, but I think we can all agree that the only reason it is getting all of this hype is because of the name Scorcese. It's a kids movie after all. Not that I think kids movies can't be nominated, but there was nothing over the top amazing about this to get it a Best Picture nod. Two major things annoyed me about this movie... 1) Was Chloe Moretz supposed to be a love interest for that 8 year old? Because she was like 7 years older than him, and I'm pretty sure this isn't Cougar Town. 2) Maybe I'm just a little bitter that I had to pay $18 to see it because it was only available in 3D. 3D! Why was 3D necessary for this movie at all? So I can see the snow a little bit better? That's the only 3D I noticed, and quite frankly, I'd like to keep my extra 5 bucks. 3D is just not necessary at all, and it's been forced upon us by James Cameron because he made every theater invest in the capability for Avatar. Thanks James, but no one gives a crap about seeing Titanic in 3D.
The Help: Let me be the first to say that there is absolutely no reason for this to be nominated for Best Picture. I'm awaiting the torches and pitchforks to come knocking down my door now, because I seem to be the only person in America that feels this way. It was an excellent book and an ok movie, but I honestly think the only reason it was nominated is because of the topic. Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer both had phenomenal performances, but the story was not developed well in the film like it was in the book. They skipped a lot of the events that occurred to make Skeeter want to write the book, and just began with an image of the corpse from Tales from the Crypt, I mean... Cicely Tyson comforting Emma Stone and she magically decides to write a book on maids in the South. I think it was a poor adaptation of the book, and miraculously, for once I can say I read a book prior to seeing the movie. Enjoyable, yes. Best Picture worthy, no.
War Horse: This was a really heartfelt epic war story about a horse's journey after being sold into the war and his owner's desperate search to find him. I was quite surprised that I really enjoyed it. This one actually deserves the nomination despite being attached to a huge industry legend like Spielberg, unlike Hugo. This is one of the few nominees out of the 9 that I actually support being nominated. I miss the good ole' days of 5 worthy nominees. Now with such a large number of nominees, it makes room for any worthless film to get a nod, like Tree of Life...
Tree of Life: IMDb describes this as an "impressionistic story of a Texas family in the 1950s. The film follows the life journey of eldest son, Jack, through the innocence of childhood to his disillusioned adult years as finds himself a lost soul in the modern world." Oh... I did NOT get that at all. What's supposed to be a story about a southern family somehow magically turns into that video your science teacher made you watch on the Big Bang. The only thing that can explain this is that someone made a mashup of some footage of Brad Pitt yelling, Jessica Chastain's scenes from The Help, an educational film of the galaxy, a home video of a drunken Sean Penn running around on a beach, and A Land Before Time - and the Academy found it hilarious to play a huge trick on us by nominating it and making us believe this is supposed to be an inspiring film. I was straight up dumbfounded after watching this. One second I'm watching Brad Pitt in an acting performance that I can only describe as his channeling Billy Bob Thorton in Sling Blade, and the next I'm watching two dinosaurs meet next to a stream. Makes total sense, right? And here I thought Winter's Bone was the worst movie I had ever seen - I'd take Jennifer Lawrence walking through a field for 2 hours anytime over this piece of crap.
Midnight in Paris: This is the kind of pretentious movie that the Academy loves. It's a pretty dumb premise, a man being transported back to 1920's Paris every night and hobknobbing with the literary greats. Who is going to believe that Owen Wilson is smart enough to carry on a conversation with Ernest Hemingway? Did Woody Allen not see Shanghai Knights before deciding to cast him?
Moneyball: Apparently the Academy is obsessed with Brad Pitt this year. Given the fact that I have limited (read: no) sports knowledge, I still found the concept of using statistics to bring together a winning baseball team to be quite interesting. It was a good story, not one that I would rave about, but at least a decent rental for a Friday night. This is probably the first role Brad has played in years that people can relate to and not something he has chosen just for art's sake. Maybe he was just so exhausted from avoiding dinosaurs in 1950's Mississippi that he didn't realize he had signed on to play a likable person for the first time in 10 years.
The Artist: This was way more enjoyable than I expected. You think silent movie and you're like, ugh, I thought we invented talkies for a reason. The Artist has all the elements that make a winner - well, except sound... It has a hot lead actor, an unrequited love that finally becomes a happily ever after, and a really cute dog. You really do feel as if you are transported back to the 1920's (take notes, Woody Allen). You can truly feel the characters' emotions and get engrossed in the story, even while being distracted by your neighbor's loud popcorn crunching that's normally drowned out by the sounds of a movie. While I really enjoyed it, it's not my top pick. All signs point to it taking home the final award tonight - it's swept all the other award shows and it hasn't given any other movies a chance.
The Descendants: And finally, we've arrived at my favorite movie of the Best Picture nominees. If you are like me, then you loved this movie. If you are like my mom, then the high number of "f-bombs", as she put it, ruined your chance at enjoying it. I thought it was hilarious - that little girl was such a spitfire and so funny. Move over jerk kid from Extremely Loud & Incredibly Long Title, there's an actually charming adolescent in town. George Clooney was absolutely fabulous in this movie. His transformation begins with a boring man who gets walked all over by his family, and you actually walk through every emotion he has about his wife's impending death and newly discovered adultery. You feel terrible for this man, but you are finally glad when he gets angry and just lets it all out - and George is able to convey every emotion flawlessly. This is my pick for Best Picture - I loved this dark comedy and if you aren't horribly offended by "f-bombs" like my mom, I highly recommend you see this.
Enjoy the show!!!
Posted by Pop Guru at 3:13 PM
Sunday, February 27, 2011
Well, that was the most predictable Oscars ceremony ever. We already knew all the winners going into the show, so the ceremony was a little boring. Many thanks to Melissa Leo for dropping an F bomb and keeping things interesting. I was surprised that James Franco was kind of flat, but I thought Anne Hathaway did a great job. And who can resist a dirty old man like Kirk Douglas?
One thing that always guarantees surprises is the fashion! Oy vey, were there some bad ones this year! So let's get on with the annual fashion review.
And my ultimate worst dressed award goes to........
Photos: Getty Images
Ah, the grandest night of the year is upon us - Oscar Night! I'm pumped and ready to digest 8 hours of fashion reviews, hoping Ryan Seacrest will fall off the box he stands on live on camera, and watch James Franco add Oscar host to his never ending resume. So I thought I'd bring back the Oscar review as I successfully completed my 6th annual Oscar Challenge. That's right - I saw all 10 movies nominated for Best Picture tonight. My wallet is much emptier, but I saw some great movies and some really not so great ones. Beware if you haven't seen the movies, I didn't censor myself.
The Kids Are All Right - I was so excited about this movie for months before I saw it. I was pumped and ready for an awesome movie, but this movie only left me with a lingering feeling of disappoinment. I mean, I get it - Mark Ruffalo is delicious and who wouldn't want to be with him? But a lesbian cheating on her partner with their sperm donor and tearing her family apart - I don't buy it. Mark Ruffalo could turn anyone straight, but I was not a fan of this storyline.
Winter's Bone - More like throw me a bone so I can gouge my eyes out so I'm released from the hell of watching this godawful film. The first hour of the movie is just Jennifer Lawrence walking through the fields of Ozark land. Seriously, just a girl and some flannel walking through endless fields. She encounters various rednecks along the way, and this was the only time I felt any interest at all because it reminded me of my home, sweet home in the south. These days, I have to watch Teen Mom 2 to see men dipping and spitting in a cup, so the only thing this movie did for me was remind me of our field parties in high school. So thanks for that, but I don't recommend anyone attempting to watch this movie ever. Unless you need a nap, because I took three in my many attempts to get through this movie.
Toy Story 3 - I had never seen Toy Story or Toy Story 2, so I was a little worried I had missed some important story lines and wouldn't be able to keep up but somehow I managed to get by. This was actually a really cute movie, though I have no idea how it snuck it's way into the nominations. I guess when Winter's Bone can get nominated, anything can happen.
The Fighter - Oh, Mark Wahlberg, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways. Six - as in his unbelievable six pack. This man and his six pack never seem to age. He looks just as good as he did in his Calvins back in the day. While I don't think this is best picture by any means, it is a great sports movie and it included drug addiction which, ironically, is like crack for me. I just can't resist a good drug addiction story. Christian Bale really did an awesome job and I hope he wins Best Supporting Actor, but I could barely look at his skinny face the whole time because it brought back the horrific memories of watching his emaciated body in The Machinist. Vom. Never watch that movie, and if you do, I guarantee that you will be hitting up McDonald's afterwards for fear of looking like Christian Bale in that movie. Anywho, I really liked this movie and there were some great performances. However, Amy Adams delivers pretty much the same surface performance in every movie and still manages to get nominated for just phoning it in. This fact will aggravate me until the end of time.
Inception - My favorite part about this movie is that it didn't allow an opportunity for Joseph Gordon Levitt to show off his singing abilities. Enough is enough - please spare me from ever having to hear the musical stylings of JGL again. I always hated the phrase "water cooler gossip", but this movie literally had me and my coworkers standing at the water cooler discussing this movie for an hour. I'll take any excuse to skip out on work, and this movie had so many interpretations to discuss. Do you think Leonardo ended up in reality or dream world? I think he ended up in reality because the spinning top was acting like it might topple over, and it never did that in dream world. Many other people thought the opposite. It's one of those movies that I want to watch multiple times so I can see the things I missed the first time. This was truly a great film, but it doesn't get my pick for the winner.
127 Hours - I want to give a shout out to all the people that told me that you don't see any of the blood and guts when James Franco is cutting his arm off. "Oh, it's hard to listen to that, but you don't see anything." Really? REALLY? Because I'm pretty sure I saw the bloody interior of his discarded arm squished in by that boulder. Sick!!! I was not prepared for that. It's actually a good diet plan for the squeamish because I could not eat for a long time after that. Besides the gore, I was actually pleasantly surprised by this movie. I had no idea how they were going to make a guy stuck in a ravine for 5 days interesting. But somehow they managed to make just a guy, a boulder and a video camera quite entertaining. Although lesson learned, I will not be going hiking alone anytime soon. Not that I ever would have done that anyway, but I will use this movie as an excuse to get out of any hiking invitations.
True Grit - This movie starts out a little slow, but I thoroughly enjoyed it - much like any Coen brother movie I've ever seen. I mean hey, their first film Blood Simple is slow at first, but I was so engrossed in the terror during the final scenes that I could hardly breathe. I've enjoyed every one of their films, with the only one wavering on my list being Burn After Reading. True Grit is very good and both Jeff bridges and Hailee Stenfield were excellent. Matt Damon could use a little work on his southern accent, but besides that distraction, I highly recommend this one.
The Social Network - I spent most of this movie tense and stressed out, and not because of the uncomfortable feeling everyone gets watching Mark Zuckerberg. I was supremely distracted during this movie because I had dropped my iPhone in a huge nasty brown New York City rain puddle walking into the theater, and my bank account was not prepared to purchase a fifth iPhone. A tupperware full of rice later, my phone survived and I could breathe again. It was very interesting to me though to see this story unfold, much of which I already knew. Everyone can feel connected to this movie because (most) everyone has Facebook. UGA was one of the first non-Ivy League schools to get Facebook, and I am eternally grateful that it didn't debut until well into my senior year so my college antics weren't displayed for all to see. Best Picture? No. Most relevant? Yes.
Black Swan - I was left baffled by this movie for weeks after seeing it. I talked to everyone who had seen it to get their opinion. I had so many questions, including what was the deal with the weird waffle print on Natalie Portman's skin? Gross. Everyone said it was because she was turning into the swan, but I would have preferred some feather action to make that more logical. They touted this movie as a sexual psychological thriller, and sexual it was. It was so sexual it knocked up Natalie Portman. I did really like the film though, mainly because I'm a Lost nerd and I like anything that leaves me asking questions well after I've left the theater. Natalie Portman definitely gave everything she had for this film, and she totally deserves the Best Actress award.
The King's Speech - Note to self: if you attempt the 4pm showing of a historical film, you will be the only person under the age of 60 in the movie theater. Nonetheless, I thoroughly enjoyed this movie and was wowed by the performances from both Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush. You actually feel the pain of this man as he is panic stricken when behind a microphone. Dude, I get it. I almost vomited on the microphone during my Maid of Honor speech at a recent wedding. So maybe I had a personal connection to this guy's angst, but I really think people of any age would enjoy this movie. This one has a little bit of everything: drama, comedy, romance, history, the signature royal corgi dogs. I am fairly certain the Academy will choose this for the top award, and I have made this my pick for Best Picture as well. Now if only we could get Helena Bonham Carter to dress as well as she did in this movie, all will be right with the world.
Monday, March 8, 2010
Last night's Oscars were unpredictable, but nothing was as unpredictable as the dresses that came down the red carpet. One by one, the stars waltzed down the red carpet and with each dress that passed by the camera, a little part of me died inside. Welcome to the year of the neutral! Almost everyone was wearing some shade of nude/metallic/gold. Um, hello - a little pop of color is not going to kill you! Regardless of the pathetic display that was the red carpet last night, you still deserve my annual review. Without further ado, please to enjoy...Pop Guru's Annual Oscar Fashion Review!
Disclaimer: I realize most of you will disagree with my choices, but please know that there wasn't much to choose from. These picks were as big of a stretch as one of Nicole Kidman's face lifts.
I have no idea why Cheryl Hines was at the Oscars, but girl looked great!
You know I am REALLY struggling if I have to choose Queen Latifah as Best Dressed. I blame Charlize for this. Shame on you, Charlize.
Paula Patton is pregnant, for goodness sakes, and she was still able to pick a fabulous dress! She's about to give birth on the red carpet yet she's capable of standing up straight. Take notes, Miley.
This one pains me most of all. I loathe Cameron Diaz and her aggressive need for attention (not that I know anything about that), but alas, she looked good last night. Hopefully, I'll never have to go against my morals like this again. Damn you for this, Charlize.
In honor of the Academy honoring ten nominees for Best Picture this year, Pop Guru has decided to follow suit and nominate ten people for Worst Dressed. Simply because there were just too many to narrow it down to only five. This could have been your chance to get on my good side, Miley. Better luck next year.
You take four hundred coffee filters, dye them red, and get a Japanese origami artist to configure them into a dress - viola! Vera Farmiga now has the perfect dress to wear for the only Oscar nod she is ever going to get.
Mama always told me to stand up straight, but I never listened. Forgive me, Mother, for I have sinned. I should have listened to you so I wouldn't look like a train wreck like Miley Cyrus.
Woman! What are you doing to me?! Faith Hill is one of the few Southern celebrities that I like, and then she turns up in one of Lisa Marie Presley's hand me downs? Absolute disgrace.
I get it that you are obsessed with Chanel, Diane Kruger, but this is taking it too far. If you paid me $10,000 to shred my goose down comforter and glue it into a dress, that is the only way I would be ok with this look.
This dress almost blends into Demi Moore's skin color. You know nude is too nude when I think you are actually naked until I see the mass of ruffles around your ass.
Is Charlize Theron updating Madonna's 80s cone bra look? Making a play on Princess Leia? Or is she just craving Cinnabon? Is this multiple choice or can I select all of the above?
If Patricia Fields took a shit on a sheet and called it fashion, Sarah Jessica Parker would still wear it and call it fabulous. And that's exactly what happened here, ladies and gentlemen. I present to you the sheet, and SJP just shat all over the red carpet.
Saddam Hussein was allowed out for the big event and Elvira was nice enough to go as his date.
Sunday, March 7, 2010
The Olympics may happen once every four years and most people get excited for the events, but I couldn't care less about that. I only look forward to one day every year (my birthday lasts a whole week so that doesn't count), and that night is finally upon us. It's time for the Academy Awards Ceremony!! I've got the champagne chilling and I'm ready to judge every dress that walks down the red carpet. Looks like I only post once a year now, but I didn't want to disappoint for The Oscars.
This year's Oscars presented a huge problem for me. For four years now I have completed my Annual Oscar Challenge, in which I have to watch all five nominees for Best Picture. For my fifth year, Oscar decided to up the ante and nominate TEN films for Best Picture. Not only dId this mean I had to watch ten movies in the one month I have after the nominees are announced, but this meant I'd have to pay $125 to achieve this due to outrageous NYC theater prices AND this amount of time could cut into my heavy drinking/social schedule. Alas, I rose to the challenge, found an actor friend in SAG with a bunch of nominees on DVD, and managed to watch all ten best picture nominees before tonight's ceremony. Five years running... This calls for a glass of champ!
Here are my thoughts on this year's Best Picture nominees:
Up - I really liked this flick. It's actually a bit depressing and hard for a childrens movie, but many animated movies these days are actually tailored to adults rather than children. I thought it was a really good film, but I feel it's going to be a long time before an animated film takes home the top prize.
Up in the Air - While I thought this was good and didn't mind staring at George Clooney for two hours, I don't get what all the hype was about. George sort of breezes through each role these days, and they are all some sort of variation of Danny Ocean - this just happened to be corporate drone Danny Ocean. I wasn't wowed by this like the rest of America and definitely don't think it should win. I get it - Jason Reitman is the offspring of Hollywood Royalty, but that plus a Hollywood Hottie in the starring role shouldn't be the reason a film gets a lot of attention.
District 9 - This movie completely surprised me. I was not excited about having to watch a sci-fi alien movie and dreaded putting this in the DVD player. The beginning was slow and did nothing for me, but then a human started to turn into an alien and things started to pick up. I got sucked in and found myself really loving it. I don't undrstand how they made this film on such a small budget. It was extremely entertaining for me and I definitely recommend this, but I don't think it should take home the gold. However, I do like that this film was recognized overall.
An Education - This movie probably made me angrier than most. This young girl gives up her education to be with some tool older guy who steals for a living. Really, girl? Good life choice. Her parents, who should be pushing her to complete her schooling, actually encourage her to drop out of school now that she's found a man. And then when it all blows up in her face, she is still capable of completing her education and gets into Oxford - no consequences for her actions. But regardless of the fact that I wanted to strangle everyone on the screen, I feel like this could happen to anyone - wrapped up in some man promising you the world then shattering it right before your eyes. It was a magnificent way to tell an age old story, and Carey Mulligan did a phenomenal job playing the doe-eyed innocent.
A Serious Man - I'm a huge Coen Brothers fan and have seen every film they've made. They're quirky, they're violent, they're ironic - what's not to like? But dude, what the fuck was up with this movie? I don't know, maybe it's because I'm not Jewish so I wasn't in on the inside joke, if there even was one. What was that opening scene about the is-he-or-isn't-he-dead Jewish man? And how did that correlate to the rest of the movie in any way? Why didn't the main character ever stand up for himself? Why did he keep seeking advice from idiots? And what did the tornado at the end have anything to do with the rest of the movie? This left me horribly bored and utterly confused. I don't recommend anyone ever watching this. Seriously, ever. Unless maybe you are Jewish and could give me some insight.
The Blind Side - While I'm not a fan of commercial movies taking home Best Picture, I loved this movie. Sandra Bullock is always a favorite and absolutely the best pick to play this role. It was such a funny and inspirational flick, it was just something fun to watch. I definitely don't think it should win, but I rather enjoyed it and give it props for surprising me.
Avatar - Despite the two fire alarms that hindered my viewing, I rather enjoyed Avatar. James Cameron is a tool and a half, but that man sure knows how to make a bang for his buck. He forced hundreds of theaters across America to buy 3D equipment just for this film, and it has already surpassed his record for Titanic making this the highest grossing film in history. This movie is fun to watch and I was shocked that even my mom enjoyed it - forget the Oscar, this fact alone should be award enough for James Cameron. The effects were amazing, storyline familiar but a nice refresher, and who am I to complain about watching Sam Worthington? Should it win? I'm not so sure, but even if it doesn't, this definitely takes home the award for being the biggest film of the last year.
Precious - Talk about slit your wrists depressing. Geez, what else could happen to this poor girl? Sexual and domestic abuse, 2 kids at the age of 16, HIV - I was half expecting her to get hit by a bus at the end, just as icing on the cake to her troubles. While Gabourey Sidibe did a good job as Precious, Mo'nique absolutely stole the show. Years of watching her in Queens of Comedy and The Parkers (and yes, you better believe I watched The Parkers, BET on Sundays, baby) were washed away watching her as the evil mom of Precious. The last scene alone should secure her win as Best Supporting Actress - that scene was the only thing in any of these movies that absolutely blew me away. I will never revisit this movie ever so as to ensure I keep my sanity and don't jump off of a bridge, but I will always applaud Mo'nique for one of the finest performances I have ever seen.
Inglorious Basterds - I typically like anything Quentin Tarantino does, and this movie was no exception. I don't really know if it's possible or even right to have a "fresh take" or "reimagining" of any part of WWII, but if there was ever going to be a way, Tarantino was of course the only man to find it. Inglorious Basterds used a lot of Tarantino's usual techniques AKA stories through chapters. I really like this film, despite the bad Tennessee accent on Brad Pitt. Definitely not the top winner, but entertaining nonetheless. Keep 'em coming, Tarantino.
The Hurt Locker - I didn't know what to expect of this film, but I had heard nothing but good things about it. It was one of the last films I watched out of the 10, and probably the best. It was terrifingly nerve-wracking to watch these men walk to their inevitable death, torn with emotions over lost friends yet getting up every day and doing it all over again. This may have been the best because it's so real and the reality of these men's situations now - yet something I'm thankful I never have to deal with or think about. They go through sheer terror every day for a year, get a short time at home, then start it all over again, never knowing which bomb is going to be the one to finally do them in. And is it so terrible that all this made me love Jeremy Renner? This one is my pick for Best Picture, but honestly this is the first year I have no idea who is going to take home the gold. It will most likely go to Hurt Locker or Avatar, but we'll have to wait and see what happens.
I will be watching and judging right along with y'all tonight. Of course, I'm most excited about those dresses! Enjoy the show!
Posted by Pop Guru at 5:38 PM
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
I know I'm not the only one who thought it was cold hearted that they showed Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie during Jennifer Aniston's moment on stage. It was expected but I thought The Oscars might be better than that - boy, was I wrong! That was just so tacky. I absolutely loved Jennifer's hair, although it was "Hills" hair and I'll just have to come to terms with my support of that. Oh, who am I kidding?! I sport a ginormous Lauren Conrad Mark by Avon ring!
Aside from looking like a rock opera costume gone wrong, Marion Cotillard's dress can't seem to decide if it wants to be short or long. It cuts off mid-thigh, then decides to vomit out a mountain of tulle.
Be careful, Zac Efron. We've watched a young hunk stop washing his hair and lose his charming good looks once before. It can be a gradual decent into the pits of Bonaduce, but it can happen to you...