Monday, November 24, 2008


There is already a massive amount of hype leading into this coming years Academy Awards. It's been fun listening to what people think about the various movies that they've seen. So I've decided to let you know what I think about the 6 main categories. I'm only putting up people and movies that I've actually seen. They are, for the most part, in the order I think they have a chance of winning.

Best Supporting Actress
- Penelope Cruz (Vicky Christina Barcelona)
- Evan Rachel Wood (The Wrestler)

Best Supporting Actor
- Heath Ledger (The Dark Knight)
- Frank Langella (Frost/Nixon)
- Haaz Sleiman (The Visitor)
- Barry Pepper (Seven Pounds)
- Robert Downey Jr. (Charlie Bartlett)

Best Actress
- Kate Winslett (Revolutionary Road)
- Marissa Tomei (The Wrestler)
- Cate Blanchett (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button)
- Rebecca Hall (Vicky Christina Barcelona)
- Rosario Dawson (Seven Pounds)

Best Actor
- Sean Penn (Milk)
- Mickey Rourke (The Wrestler)
- Leonardo DeCaprio (Revolutionary Road)
- Michael Sheen (Frost/Nixon)
- Richard Jenkins (The Visitor)

Best Director
- Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight)
- Ron Howard (Frost/Nixon)
- Darren Aronofsky (The Wrestler)
- Clint Eastwood (Gran Torino)
- Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire)

Best Film
- Frost/Nixon
- The Wrestler
- Gran Torino
- Milk
- The Dark Knight

The hardest part about this is choosing where I think the roles of people put them in terms of categories. Michael Sheen and Frank Langella both are the stars of Frost/Nixon, so where to put them in terms of Actor/Supporting Actor? That becomes the true question.

Here's some posters for you.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Gone Baby Gone

I have decided of late that this is my new favorite movie. I'm going to list the reasons here but let me preface that this will contain spoilers about the movie. SO, if you haven't seen it.....go see it now. It is phenomenal.

My previous favorite movies have included Independence Day, Armageddon, Finding Neverland, Big Fish, The Dark Knight, Men of Honor, Gladiator, etc. The list could go on. While all is amazing in its own right, each of them lack a single factor. That is the connection to today. The first few all deal with fictional characters in fictional places. Men of Honor and Gladiator have no real relevance to what is going on in the world today. While we still face the lasting effects of racism in the US, it is no where near the point it was at 40 years ago when the movie took place. Obviously Gladiator takes place back in the time of Caeser and really no relation to today.

Gone Baby Gone has the same great acting, story, and plot twists as the afore mentioned movies and deals with something poignent to today. The idea of having a child stolen from you is beyond imagination. For most of us who do not have a child of our own, we pass the notion off as something that others have to deal with that is really sad. We feel bad for them and try our best to be sympathetic. What, now, if the child was stolen from a crack laden mother, who's focus in life is not the well being of her child, but money, greed, and drugs? Do we deal with that situation any differently? This movie deals with that very point. Casey Affleck plays a private investigator who is faced with that very question.

As the movie plays out, he learns more and more about the family of the child and even the people involved with the case. Ed Harris plays a member of a special forces group that deals with drug runners and others. Morgan Freeman plays the head of a special group that deals directly with child abductions, being the father of an abducted and murdered child himself. Michelle Monaghan plays the wife of Casey Affleck. Each has their role to play in this honestly conveluted film.

We first learn about the family of the child. Mother is a drug addict, doesn't really care about anything else. Uncle and Aunt both are the real care providers for the daughter. Then they introduce Morgan Freeman, who lost his child to kidnapping and murder. Ed Harris is introduced as the guy who will do anything for a child. Scene is set.

Without getting into all the details, assuming that you have seen this movie, the film plays out and we learn that the Uncle and Ed Harris kidnapped the child to gain some money but when the who idea gets too far out of hand, they turn to Morgan Freeman, the childless father. He agrees to take the child in and play out as though the child were dead. Mother moves on, sad, but moves on. Ed Harris dies, revealing the plan. And Casey is left with the quest of dealing with the ultimate question on the table. What do you do? Do you return the child to the mother that seems to have no real interest in being a mother? Or do you leave the child with the father of a slain child, who has the world to offer?

I have seen this movie several times now and can honestly say that I cannot decide which side I agree with more. Both have their arguments and both sides argue them well. While the child may go home to squaller with her mother, ITS HER MOTHER! Plain and simple, the connection with a childs mother, however strained is something that is stronger than anyone can sever. There is also the notion of law. Morgan Freeman (et al) are breaking the law. No matter which way you spin it, there is no way around that fact. However, the opportunities offered by Morgan Freemans character far surpass anything the mother could offer in a lifetime of effort. And in that the opportunity to have a normal life. Here inlies the question again. What do you do?

So.....What do you do? I'd love feed back on this one. What would you do if faced with the question? Do you turn in Morgan Freeman? Or do you let things slide, move on to the next case?

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Into The Wild

I can't even begin to describe this movie. I felt most every emotion known to man through the two and a half hour movie. But I can honestly say that nothing that has ever been presented on screen has moved me in the way that this movie did. The lost nature of Chris, as he vies to escape the tyranny that he believes surrounds him at home, didn't strike a chord in the way one might imagine. I don't feel about my family, the way that he felt about his, but at the same time I can appreciate the feeling of uneasiness at life askew. Again, I can't really describe in all the details how this movie made me feel, so I'll leave you with this.

"When you forgive, you love. And when you love, God's light shines down upon you."

G'Night all. God Bless

--Another Lost Boy

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Funny Games

Okay, so I went to go see this movie tonight called Funny Games. This was one of the most sadistic, psycho, and warped movies that I have ever seen. However, I rather enjoyed it. Here's why.

The overall movie premise is simple. Family goes on vacation, family is introduced to two boys, said two boys mess with and kill family. While that storyline in itself is nothing to gawk at, the way that this film plays out is. The realistic nature of what happens is scary at times. All of the actors did an amazing job depicting real fear and real lack of compassion that each of them would feel. The way that things pan out, like Naomi Watts hiding behind a tree at the sight of a car, was exactly what I would have done in that situation. Also, the movie is self aware in a way. The main character Peter talks to the audience several times and makes reference to the fact that we, as the audience, want to see a plausible outcome, good plot and such. There is also a conversation near the end of the movie where they are actually discussing whether or not the fact that we just sat and watched the movie makes what happened on the screen real. Very bizarre film.

The fact that this sort of thing could actually happen in real life was the thing that messed me up the most about this movie. I read a few reviews of Funny Games before going and seeing it and something I saw in several was that they were concerned about people that would copy what they saw. I somewhat agree with that fear. While the relative ease with which they pull off this heinous act is not so plausible in the real world, the lack of compassion for any life is sadly real. There are people out there who could do exactly what this film is showing and feel casual about doing so.

Overall throughout the movie I did feel a bit queasy and angry, but I also laughed. Honestly it isn't called "Funny" Games without cause. The banter between Paul and Peter is humorous at times. The games part refers to the bet that they make with the family at the beginning... "We bet that you won't be alive in twelve hours and you bet that you will." And I agree that it is not a funny game.

If you go into this movie knowing what is generally going to happen, and expect that to happen, this is a decent film. If you have ever walked out of a film, any film, don't see this. I can't tell you how many reviews I read where the person said that they walked out of the movie because of the sadistic nature of what they saw. Actually there were only two, but then again I only read about ten reviews. I wouldn't consciously recommend this film to anyone unless they have a real appreciation for direction and cinematography and can stomach watching what is basically torture for about an hour or so. In my opinion this was an great film that was led by excellent direction and played out by superb acting.