Monday, February 28, 2011

And the Oscar Goes To... Part 4

Today was the Oscars, and the winners were announced. Today, that infamous line was said and awards were given. Tonight, someone is climbing into bed and falling asleep with an Oscar statute in their arm. It has to be awesome for tonight's winners.

Now that the Oscar Death Race is over, it's time to look at the awards and discuss.  Here are my first thoughts.

And the Oscar for Best Actor goes to:
Mrs. B: Colin Firth, King George VI/"Bertie", The King's Speech
The Academy: Javier Bardem, Uxbal, Biutiful

The Winner: Colin Firth, King George VI/"Bertie", The King's Speech
I was wrong on this prediction (which was a trend...I didn't do too good on my predictions...) and this time, it turned out pretty well. I really enjoyed Colin Firth's performance in The King's Speech and am glad to see it win.


And the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor goes to:
Mrs. B: John Hawkes, Teardrop, Winter's Bone
The Academy: Mark Ruffalo, Paul, The Kids are All Right

The Winner: Christian Bale, The Fighter
I was wrong, and I'm OK with that. For me, this category didn't have any real standouts, so if there would have been a 5 sided coin I would have just flipped it...


And the Oscar for Best Actress goes to:
Mrs. B: Natalie Portman, Nina Sayers, Black Swan
The Academy: Annette Bening, Nic, The Kids are All Right

The Winner: Natalie Portman, Nina Sayers, Black Swan
I was wrong again, and again it was better for me to be wrong. I won't complain about Natalie Portman winning this award, she did a fantastic job, plus, who doesn't want to watch her give that speech with her cute preggo belly. Yep, no complaints here on watching this acceptance speech!


And the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress goes to:
Mrs. B: Jacki Weaver, Smurf, Animal Kingdom
The Academy: Melissa Leo, Alice Ward, The Fighter

The Winner: Melissa Leo, Alice Ward, The Fighter
I was right!! Melissa Leo was my second choice, and I considered her highly for first choice. So, overall, no complaints with the Academy on this selection!




And the Oscar for Best Picture goes to:
Mrs. B: Black Swan
The Academy: Black Swan

The Winner: The King's Speech
So, I was obviously wrong on this. I still think Black Swan was a better picture, but the Academy has a different opinion. When I was deciding what I thought that the Academy would choose for Best Picture, I considered this as a possibility. While I would have liked to seen Black Swan win, I'm not disappointed the The King's Speech won.

 
And the Oscar for Best Director goes to:
Mrs. B: Black Swan
The Academy: Black Swan

The Winner: The King's Speech
Wrong again. Yep, I was not very successful with my predictions...I was really hoping to see Black Swan win this award. It was an amazing movie and I think the directing was much better for Black Swan. I'm not complaining about the winner though, The King's Speech was a very good movie.



And the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film goes to:
Mrs. B: Biutiful
The Academy: Biutiful

The Winner: In A Better World
I'm going to admit it here and now - I didn't see all of the Foreign Language films...this was purely a guess on the only one I saw. I picked Biutiful without seeing the others only because Javier Bardem was picked for Best Leading Actor and thought that might put Biutiful in the running for Best Foreign Language film.




And the Oscar for Best Animated Film goes to:
Mrs. B: Toy Story 3
The Academy: Toy Story 3

The Winner: Toy Story 3
No surprise here. They had to have 2 other nominations so that they could give Toy Story 3 the award it deserved.




And the Oscar for Best Art Direction goes to:
Mrs. B: Black Swan
The Academy: Black Swan

The Winner: Alice in Wonderland
I must have been looking at the wrong part of my sheet on this one...it wasn't even nominated for this category...I was in a rush on my post and was prone to error. I also didn't comment on Cinematography..I don't know what was wrong with me...but, I have now gone on a tangent...I probably would have picked Harry Potter but, I'm not unhappy that Alice in Wonderland won.




And the Oscar for Best Costume Design goes to:
Mrs. B: Alice in Wonderland
The Academy: The Tempest

The Winner: Alice in Wonderland
Well, this is another instance of me wanting one thing to win, but misjudging the Academy. Generally, it is very difficult for anything to compete with period English pieces on costumes, so Alice in Wonderland winning over the period English piece surprises me. In a good way. I'll sleep well at night knowing that Alice in Wonderland won.




And the Oscar for Best Film Editing goes to:
Mrs. B: Black Swan
The Academy: Black Swan

The Winner: The Social Network
I was wrong. I really expected the Academy to give more to Black Swan. Oh well. It's not the end of the world. I enjoyed The Social Network. It was well done and it was a great story. But, the complexity of the story line in Black Swan was largely possible because of the film editing. For me, that makes the film editing in Black Swan better.




And the Oscar for Best Make-Up goes to:
Mrs. B: The Way Back
The Academy: The Way Back

The Winner: The Wolfman
I was wrong on this, and I'm disappointed with the Academy's decision on this category. I'm sorry, for me there is less to be said for creating something that doesn't exist than there is for realistically recreating something that is familar to people. The Way Back recreates what exists. The Wolfman creates something that is imagined...who would have known if it was wrong?




And the Oscar for Best Music - Original Score - goes to:
Mrs. B: Inception
The Academy: The Social Network

The Winner: The Social Network
I was right here...I guess I'm just disappointed that I was right. I enjoyed The Social Network but for me, it just wasn't Oscar material...and it won...<insert disappointment here>




And the Oscar for Best Music - Original Song - goes to:
Mrs. B: "I See the Light" from Tangled
The Academy: "I See the Light" from Tangled

The Winner: "We Belong Together" from Toy Story 3
Yep, wrong here too. I know you are shocked by my inability to predict the Oscar winners at this point. I liked this song, I just liked "I See the Light More".




And the Oscar for Best Film - Animated Short - goes to:
Mrs. B: The Gruffalo
The Academy: Madagascar, carnet de voyage

The Winner: The Lost Thing
Well, I was surprised that The Lost Thing won. It was good, but for me, only about forth best...better than Madagascar, carnet de voyage, but that's about it.




And the Oscar for Best Film - Live Action - goes to:
Mrs. B: God of Love
The Academy: Na Wewe

The Winner: God of Love
I was wrong on this and I couldn't be happier about it!! I WANTED God of Love to win SO badly but, I figured that the politics of Na Wewe was going to cause it to win. When they said God of Love I almost jumped out of my seat at the Oscar viewing party I attended. I told Mr. B, that I didn't care about the rest of the Oscars at that point, God of Love winning made my night!




And the Oscar for Best Sound Editing goes to:
Mrs. B: Tron: Legacy
The Academy: Inception

The Winner: Inception
I was right! I would like to have seen Tron: Legacy win, I was really impressed with what they came up with, but I'm not going to cry any tears over Inception winning. It was really impressive too. Plus, I just overall like Inception a BUNCH.




And the Oscar for Best Sound Mixing goes to:
Mrs. B: Inception
The Academy: Inception

The Winner: Inception
I was right! Again! And, what's there to say, MY pick and the Academy's were aligned...what's there to complain about!




And the Oscar for Best Visual Effects goes to:
Mrs. B: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1
The Academy: Inception

The Winner: Inception
I was RIGHT on this one. I made HP my pick BUT, I was torn between HP and Inception. I'm glad that Inception won and really, I don't have more to say about that.




And the Oscar for Best Writing -Adapted Screenplay - goes to:
Mrs. B: Toy Story 3
The Academy: The Social Network

The Winner: The Social Network
I'll accept this. Again, The Social Network just did NOT impress me...not that I thought that any of these really had a strong lead...even my pick, Toy Story 3, didn't really outshine all of the others. The whole category was weak. To me, The Social Network was the weakest in a weak category.




And the Oscar for Best Writing - Original Screenplay - goes to:
Mrs. B: Inception
The Academy: The Kids Are All Right

The Winner: The King's Speech
I'm happy that this is what won. I really enjoyed the movie, it was complex and complete. And, I really didn't want to see The Kids Are All Right win because I think it would have won on a political vote and not because it was the best. I just want an honest winner. (Kathryn Bigelow, I'm looking at you.)



Here's my end of the road analysis.

1) Those of us who compete in the Oscar Death Race are particularly poorly prepared to pick winners. Fact of the matter is, we get emotionally attached to movies and become biased to them. Even though I tried to be unbiased, my bias showed up frequently...

2) A note to film makers. If you make a film and it's getting a nomination for the Oscars, get it out there BEFORE the Oscars air. This is particularly true for foreign films, documentaries, and documentary shorts. I promise you, if it wasn't out by February 27, I didn't see it, and I won't see it. I just don't watch these films "for fun" so to speak. Even if I have to buy it off of iTunes, I will. Just get it there for me! You missed a large audience of people by not doing it!

3) If you were keeping tally, I got 7 right and 13 wrong in the categories I ranked...It's a little sad, I know. And no, I didn't join my office pool on the winners - I know better!







Sunday, February 27, 2011

And the Oscar Goes To...Part 3

So, like the post before said, today is The 83rd Academy Awards. We've come as close to seeing all of the movies as we're going to get and so, now, its time to just sit back and enjoy the rest of the ride. (AKA - The Awards.) So, today, just as a why not type of venture, I'm going to tell you two things. First, what I would like to see win the awards and what I think the Academy is going to pick. This is to do two things. One, remind you of what's most important on It Takes Two, and that's my opinion. The other is so I can avoid the common mistake those that participate in the Death Race do. Most of us get so emotionally attached to movie, we can't think outside our box, and that's what I'm trying to avoid! So, without further ado, The Oscar Goes to...

And the Oscar for Best Actor goes to:
Mrs. B: Colin Firth, King George VI/"Bertie", The King's Speech
The Academy: Javier Bardem, Uxbal, Biutiful

And the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor goes to:
Mrs. B: John Hawkes, Teardrop, Winter's Bone
The Academy: Mark Ruffalo, Paul, The Kids are All Right

And the Oscar for Best Actress goes to:
Mrs. B: Natalie Portman, Nina Sayers, Black Swan
The Academy: Annette Bening, Nic, The Kids are All Right

And the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress goes to:
Mrs. B: Jacki Weaver, Smurf, Animal Kingdom
The Academy: Melissa Leo, Alice Ward, The Fighter


And the Oscar for Best Picture goes to:
Mrs. B: Black Swan
The Academy: Black Swan


And the Oscar for Best Director goes to:
Mrs. B: Black Swan
The Academy: Black Swan


And the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film goes to:
Mrs. B: Biutiful
The Academy: Biutiful


And the Oscar for Best Animated Film goes to:
Mrs. B: Toy Story 3
The Academy: Toy Story 3


And the Oscar for Best Art Direction goes to:
Mrs. B: Black Swan
The Academy: Black Swan


And the Oscar for Best Costume Design goes to:
Mrs. B: Alice in Wonderland
The Academy: The Tempest


And the Oscar for Best Film Editing goes to:
Mrs. B: Black Swan
The Academy: Black Swan


And the Oscar for Best Make-Up goes to:
Mrs. B: The Way Back
The Academy: The Way Back


And the Oscar for Best Music - Original Score - goes to:
Mrs. B: Inception
The Academy: The Social Network


And the Oscar for Best Music - Original Song - goes to:
Mrs. B: "I See the Light" from Tangled
The Academy: "I See the Light" from Tangled


And the Oscar for Best Film - Animated Short - goes to:
Mrs. B: The Gruffalo
The Academy: Madagascar, carnet de voyage


And the Oscar for Best Film - Live Action - goes to:
Mrs. B: God of Love
The Academy: Na Wewe


And the Oscar for Best Sound Editing goes to:
Mrs. B: Tron: Legacy
The Academy: Inception

And the Oscar for Best Sound Mixing goes to:
Mrs. B: Inception
The Academy: Inception


And the Oscar for Best Visual Effects goes to:
Mrs. B: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1
The Academy: Inception


And the Oscar for Best Writing -Adapted Screenplay - goes to:
Mrs. B: Toy Story 3
The Academy: The Social Network


And the Oscar for Best Writing - Original Screenplay - goes to:
Mrs. B: Inception
The Academy: The Kids Are All Right




Again, here's what I WANT to win and what I THINK the Academy is going to pick! Now, I'm off to go watch all of the red carpet showing!!


And the Oscar Goes To... Part 2

Back in January I posted And the Oscar Goes To... as an introduction to what I have now named "February Fury" (it's a play off of March Madness...hehe, I know, I'm funny!) We have seen all but 14 movies, which are as follows:

Best Foreign Film:
Dogtooth
In a Better World
Incendies
Outside the Law (Hors-la-loi)

Best Costume Design:
The Tempest

Best Documentary:
Gasland
Waste Land
Restrepo


Best Visual Effects:
Hereafter


Best Documentary Short:
Killing in the Name
Poster Girl
Strangers No More
Sun Come Up
The Warriors of Qiugang

Here's the story on what we missed. Of the Foreign Films, there were several we weren't going to be able to see because they were not on DVD, or available for streaming from Netflix, so those weren't available for us to see. Because of that, it was a low priority for us to see this category. The Tempest, Waste Land, and Hereafter suffer the same fate as most of the foreign films. Let's see, Documentary Shorts, well, those we couldn't find ANYWHERE! We checked iTunes, and other places. No one around us showed them. It was sad to miss them. There was on Foreign Film (Dogtooth) that we could have seen, but it was made low priority, and two documentaries (Gasland, Restrepo) We could have seen but didn't have time for. So, all in all, I'm pretty happy with how we finished up.

We saw all of the movies in 18 categories. We saw all of the available movies in 2 categories. 3 categories we  we unable to finish watching the movies. So, 5 categories is what we couldn't finish. It's kind of sad to get this close, but not finish. But, fact of the matter is, I'm happy with our accomplishment. 5 movies there was NO WAY for us to see (Documentary Shorts), 4 movies we chose not to try and watch (Foreign Films besides Biutiful) and 3 we weren't able to get our hands on after the nominations were announced and 2 we just didn't have time to see.

So, after having said all of this, I'm happy with how February Fury/Oscar Death Race has gone this year. It's our third year doing it and we were more successful this year than last. Time is a teacher, and this race, like any race, takes training to do well, and we're getting better. So, here's to seeing 'em all in 2012.










Up Next: My Predictions

PS: Yes, I have missed MANY movie reviews but, in consideration that the Oscars are tonight, I have these several posts I want to get put up first. I will review all of the movies we have seen eventually.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Movie Review: Animal Kingdom

Nominations:
Actress in a Supporting Role - Jacki Weaver
 
Definitions:
According to the Academy: "A performance by an actor or actress in any role shall be eligible for nomination either for the leading role or supporting role categories. If, however, all the dialog has been dubbed by another actor, the performance shall not be eligible for award consideration. Singing that is dubbed will not affect the performer's eligibility unless it constitutes the entire performance. The dermination as to whether a role is a leading or supporting role shall be made individually by members of the branch at the time of balloting."
 
Movie Review:
Animal Kingdom follow J, a 17 year old boy. His mother has just died from a drug overdose and he is taken in by his grandmother (Played by Jacki Weaver.). After he moves in with his family he learns that they are part of the Australia mob. We follow J as he become a protected witness in a muder case of his family's. We watch his struggle between the law and his family and his ultimate decision. I give the movie a B. This lacked the action of The Town, which could have helped keep my interest just a bit more in the movie.
 
Actress in a Supporting Role Review:
Jacki Weaver plays J's grandmother and the matriarch of this family of criminals. Her character, Smurf, is a doting mother and grandmother who's kisses to her sons and grandson on the lips linger just a little too long for comfort. She heads up this family from her home and you're never quite sure if she approves of J or not. During the whole movie, you never doubt her affection and protection of her four sons. Weaver plays Smurf with just the right amount of hardened criminal with a nice layer of suburban mother/grandmother to ice the cake. I give Weaver's performance an A. I always felt that I was seeing her character through J's eyes and in the end, I left feeling toward her character as J did, and I find that to be a very successful performance.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
And again, another picture from http://www.imdb.com/.

Movie Review: Biutiful

Nominations:
Actor in a Leading Role - Javier Bardem

Definitions:
According to the Academy: "A performance by an actor or actress in any role shall be eligible for nomination either for the leading role or supporting role categories. If, however, all the dialog has been dubbed by another actor, the performance shall not be eligible for award consideration. Singing that is dubbed will not affect the performer's eligibility unless it constitutes the entire performance. The dermination as to whether a role is a leading or supporting role shall be made individually by members of the branch at the time of balloting."

Movie Review:
First, this movie is a Spanish (as in Spain) submission. Majority of the movie is in Spanish and is subtitled. LIke usual, I find that this makes it difficult for me to follow the film. So many things are lost when you aren't familiar with tones of voice, can't hear accents and other subtlties that occur in language. That being said, having grown up in Texas and therefore hearing a lot of Spanish and taking Spanish in school, I am more familiar with what I was hearing and that went a long way in me following this movie better. (I caught much more than I did in I Am Love. Biutiful follows Uxbal, a father of 2, who can communicate with the dead, and he is a professional criminal dealing drugs and illegal workers. He is raising his kids because his wife is unstable and an alcoholic. He is trying to raise his children well. He learns he has a serious illness and won't be living more than a short time and we watch him try to start putting his affairs in order. He is an interesting character while he deals with people who work in sweatshop conditions, he still tries to treat them humanely despite what others around him try to do. I give the story a B+. I think it would have been better if I was fluent in Spanish.

Actor in a Leading Role Review:
Javier Bardem plays Uxbal. Uxbal is a character who juxtaposes himself. While he cares about humanely treating people, he still works them in sweatshops and trades in their misery. He deals drugs but at the same time has two kids who he is affectionate too who he is trying to raise. He cares, but at the same time, he does things that aren't caring. To play Uxbal,, Javier Bardem had to play someone who was torn within himself. Someone who was his own ying and his own yang. I don't remember what I thought of Javier Bardem's perfomance when I left the Theaters at Canal Place over a week ago. I've seen too many movies since then and I was slightly exhausted when I left (we had seen the shorts - animated and live action - immediately preceding this and after work.) But, looking back, Bardem did a great job. Even now, with so much between my viewing of the movie and this review I can remember how torn the character was as he went through the end of his life. I give his performance an A. To make an impression like that, I figure he did a pretty good job.











Like usual, this photo is from http://www.imdb.com/.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Movie Review: Wish 143

Nominations:
Short Film (Live Action)

Definition:
According to the Academy, "a short film is defined as an original motion picture that has a running time of 40 minutes or less, including all credits. This excludes from consideration such works as: 1) previews and advertising films, 2) sequences from feature-length films such as credit sequences, 3) unaired episodes of established TV series, 4) unsold TV series pilots." The Academy further defines a Live Action Short Film as using "live action techniques as the basic medium of entertainment. Documentary short subjects will not be accepted in the live action category."
 
Movie Review:
This short follows David, a teenage boy with Cancer. This is the 3rd of the UK movies nominated in this category, and while kids are killing people in this one, it's still a little crazy. David is approached by the UK Make a Wish foundation (He is recepient #143.) When asked what he wants he informs the foundation his wish is to lose his virginity. We follow him while he attempts to do this after the foundation tells him to pick another wish. Ultimately the chaplain helps him and he meets Maggie, "a working girl" as http://www.imdb.com/ refers to her.  The story is a little odd, but funny at times. I give the movie an A-.
 
Short Film (Live Action) Review:
This was pretty well done. The story had some complexity that I enjoyed. The filming was of a good quality and the acting was pretty good. By the end of the film I felt that I had experienced a range of emotions that this character would have actually experienced. I give this an A-.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Movie Review: Na Wewe

Nomination:
Short Film (Live Action)

Definition:
According to the Academy, "a short film is defined as an original motion picture that has a running time of 40 minutes or less, including all credits. This excludes from consideration such works as: 1) previews and advertising films, 2) sequences from feature-length films such as credit sequences, 3) unaired episodes of established TV series, 4) unsold TV series pilots." The Academy further defines a Live Action Short Film as using "live action techniques as the basic medium of entertainment. Documentary short subjects will not be accepted in the live action category."

Movie Review:
Na Wewe is set in Africa and revolves around the genocide occurring between the Hutus and Tutsis. We watch as a minivan full of people are interrogated whether they are Hutu or Tutsi and the freedom that ultimately comes. The story was very well told and the emotions were well shared. Although told in French with English subtitles, I still found myself able to follow the storyline and understand the events that were occurring.

Short Film (Live Action) Review:
I found this to be well done and did a good job of imparting the relationship between the Hutus and Tutsis. While this was not my favorite Short Film, I did find it well done and served as a good reminder that genocide did not end with the Holocaust. I give this film an A.


 
 
 
 
 
 

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Movie Review: God of Love

Nomination:
Short Film (Live Action)

Definition:
According to the Academy, "a short film is defined as an original motion picture that has a running time of 40 minutes or less, including all credits. This excludes from consideration such works as: 1) previews and advertising films, 2) sequences from feature-length films such as credit sequences, 3) unaired episodes of established TV series, 4) unsold TV series pilots." The Academy further defines a Live Action Short Film as using "live action techniques as the basic medium of entertainment. Documentary short subjects will not be accepted in the live action category."

Movie Review:
I'm going to say it - I LOVED this short film. It was great!! It follows the story of a lounge singer who is impressive with darts. He likes a girl in his band, but she likes his best friend, so he prays every day for her to fall in love with him. After a year of praying, he gets a box of darts that help people fall in love. After trying to get a girl to fall in love with him, and helping countless other couples fall in love, he gets upgraded to arrows. (Yes, think cupid here.) He hits the road, off to help more people fall in love. It was HILARIOUS in all the right ways! I give this an A+.

Short Film (Live Action) Review:
This was very well done. It was entertaining and it was funny. I couldn't have asked for a better short film than this one. Yes, the others were good, there really wasn't a bad one in the bunch, but this one was my favorite. The topic, the way it was told, it felt like a classic. There's nothing more I could have asked from this film. It was awesome. I give it an A+.









Photo Courtesy of http://www.imdb.com/

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Movie Review: The Crush

Nomination:
Short Film (Live Action)

Definition:
According to the Academy, "a short film is defined as an original motion picture that has a running time of 40 minutes or less, including all credits. This excludes from consideration such works as: 1) previews and advertising films, 2) sequences from feature-length films such as credit sequences, 3) unaired episodes of established TV series, 4) unsold TV series pilots." The Academy further defines a Live Action Short Film as using "live action techniques as the basic medium of entertainment. Documentary short subjects will not be accepted in the live action category."

Movie Review:
I'll start by saying this is another UK submission featuring a psychopathic child. This was the fourth of the films we saw, the third UK submission and the third UK submission with kids doing crazy things...I turned to Mr. B during the film and said, "I'm sick and tired of psychopathic English kids." That being said, this story was well told, and this kid only ended up minorly psychopathic. The synopsis is this, the kid has a crush on his teacher (he's about 7 or 8) and she gets engaged. The kid doesn't like the boyfriend and sets out to prove this to his teacher. It started out REALLY cute - who wouldn't love a story about a kid with a crush on his teacher. So many kids have been there and it's fun to relate to. But, it took a really crazy turn when the event to prove the boyfriend/fiance doesn't really like her. The twist they used was good, but again - 2nd crazy English kid in the past hour was too much. I give this film a B+. It was well thought out and well produced, but I've had enough of the crazy English kids!!

Short Film (Live Action) Review:
This short was well done. The story telling was good, the production quality was good. There was nothing (aside from the story itself) to distract me. The acting was good, and I ALMOST enjoyed it. But for the pesky "psycho English kid" aspect. If they would have done it just slightly differently, A+, but they did it how they did it, and it gets a B. I don't want all my shorts to feature psycho English kids!










PS.- I realized the other night I haven't been doing to great a job giving credit on photos. Yeah, I ditzed out...so, this pic I got from IMDB.com.  There you go.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Movie Review: The Confession

*Post Playlist - Confession Part II by Usher, because of similar titles not similar topics...*

Nomination:
Short Film (Live Action)

Definition:
According to the Academy, "a short film is defined as an original motion picture that has a running time of 40 minutes or less, including all credits. This excludes from consideration such works as: 1) previews and advertising films, 2) sequences from feature-length films such as credit sequences, 3) unaired episodes of established TV series, 4) unsold TV series pilots." The Academy further defines a Live Action Short Film as using "live action techniques as the basic medium of entertainment. Documentary short subjects will not be accepted in the live action category."

Movie Review: (SPOILER ALERT)
The Confession follows two boys who are about to have their first confession. You see them receive their robes and a pamphlet that gives them examples of things they may need to confess in their first confession. The examples are things like talking back, poor attitude, being mean to brothers or sisters but these two boys just don't find that those are sufficient for Sam, and they go off to get a better confession and end up with 4 deaths occurring. The story is fascinating to watch, but ultimately, creepy as hell. Really the kids are psychopaths is all I can think by end of the movie. (Really 7 year olds thinking up ideas that kill people? Only psychopaths.) I give the movie a B+.

Short Film (Live Action) Review:
I definitely give the movie props for doing a good job at it's story telling. By the end of the 25 or so minutes that this ran, I felt that I had watched a full length feature. It was really well done. It was so well done, I didn't like it. I can give props for something being well done. So, I give this an A-.




Sunday, February 20, 2011

Movie Review: Madagascar, carnet de voyage

AKA: Madagascar, a Journey Diary

Nomination:
Short Film (Animated)

Definition:

According to the Academy, "a short film is defined as an original motion picture that has a running time of 40 minutes or less, including all credits. This excludes from consideration such works as: 1)previews and advertising films, 2) sequences from feature-length fils such as credit sequences, 3) un aired episodes of established TV series, 4) unsold TV series pilots." The Academy further defines an Animated Short film as being "created by using a frame-by-fram technique, and usually falls into one of the two general fields of animation: character or abstract...Documentary short subjects that are animated may be submitted in either the animated short film category or the documentary short subject category, but not in both."

Movie Review:
I guess it's important to know that this is a French submission and the narration is French and subtitled. The movie is a visual journal of one man's trip to Madagascar. The story was simple, although a little difficult to follow at times because of the constant change in the the types of animation. I'm cool with changes when it supports the telling of the story. (You'll see a review soon where I LIKED the changes made in film styles.) but, in this instance, the changes were distracting. I felt that I was constantly playing catch up in trying to understand the film. I give this a  D because I just really didn't enjoy it.

Short Film (Animated) Review:
I was underwhelmed with this film. Like I said, it was difficult to follow and the constant changes in types of animation only made it more confusing. I was left wondering what I had seen. Because the story was not well conveyed and the animation distracting, I give this an F.



Movie Review: The Lost Thing

Nominations:
Short Film (Animated)

Definitions:
According to the Academy, "a short film is defined as an original motion picture that has a running time of 40 minutes or less, including all credits. This excludes from consideration such works as: 1)previews and advertising films, 2) sequences from feature-length fils such as credit sequences, 3) un aired episodes of established TV series, 4) unsold TV series pilots." The Academy further defines an Animated Short film as being "created by using a frame-by-fram technique, and usually falls into one of the two general fields of animation: character or abstract...Documentary short subjects that are animated may be submitted in either the animated short film category or the documentary short subject category, but not in both."

Movie Review:
This short, like so many animated shorts, is a bit strange. Good, but strange. The movie follows a little boy who finds a strange contraption at the beach. Much like a child who finds a baby bird, a lost dog or another small animal, he wants to take the contraption home and keep it. His mom and dad quickly tell him that is not an option. So, he goes in search of a place for the thing. The first place he tries he decides against and finally finds a home for the thing with a little help. It was a nice little story, but nothing to write home about. I give this movie a C.

Short Story (Animated) Review:
I just wasn't impressed with this movie. I really enjoyed a couple of the others so much it just highlighted how average this was. It was fully developed, the animation was good, it just didn't wow me. Day & Night and The Gruffalo wowed me. This didn't. I give it a C.





Friday, February 18, 2011

Movie Review: Let's Pollute

Nomination:
Short Film (Animated)
 
Definition:
According to the Academy, "a short film is defined as an original motion picture that has a running time of 40 minutes or less, including all credits. This excludes from consideration such works as: 1)previews and advertising films, 2) sequences from feature-length fils such as credit sequences, 3) un aired episodes of established TV series, 4) unsold TV series pilots." The Academy further defines an Animated Short film as being "created by using a frame-by-fram technique, and usually falls into one of the two general fields of animation: character or abstract...Documentary short subjects that are animated may be submitted in either the animated short film category or the documentary short subject category, but not in both."

Movie Review:
Let's Pollute is a satirical piece to its core. Set as a public service announcement, it shows why pollution is bad in a humorous, lighthearted way. Watching the movie, the purpose (Oh, I love getting to use that word!) is to teach people how to become better polluters. Yes, there are even instructions to become better polluters.  It was quite a film to watch. Even if you don't agree with the premise of the movie (we need to be more eco-friendly) it should be admitted that the movie itself was well made and it's point well made. I give the Short Film an A-.

Short Film (Animated) Review:
I really enjoyed the animation in this movie. (I didn't like the animation in a couple of the shorts we saw, so that is actually saying something.) It was a different animation from both Day & Night and The Gruffalo and I have enjoyed all three of the animations. While this one was good, I can't help but think that this made it where it did because of it's subject matter. I thought that it was good, but it didn't leave me impressed like both Day & Night  and The Gruffalo did. (Although, it was better than the remaining two films in this category.) So, I give it a B. It was definitely better than average, it just wasn't impressive enough to earn an "A."



Movie Review: The Gruffalo

Nomination:
Short Film (Animated)
 
Definition:
According to the Academy, "a short film is defined as an original motion picture that has a running time of 40 minutes or less, including all credits. This excludes from consideration such works as: 1)previews and advertising films, 2) sequences from feature-length fils such as credit sequences, 3) un aired episodes of established TV series, 4) unsold TV series pilots." The Academy further defines an Animated Short film as being "created by using a frame-by-fram technique, and usually falls into one of the two general fields of animation: character or abstract...Documentary short subjects that are animated may be submitted in either the animated short film category or the documentary short subject category, but not in both."
 
Movie Review:
This was extremely cute. The story line was nice, well developed, and just the right mix of everything. The story follows a little mouse that's trying to get some lunch and while on his way to the desired tree he meets a fox, an owl, a snake and finally a gruffalo, all of which think he looks pretty taste. We see him talk his way out of becoming lunch with a few laughs a long the way. I really enjoyed it and hope to find a way to maybe see it again. Yep. That good. I give this an A+.
 
Short Film (Animated) Review:
I REALLY enjoyed this. the animation was great. The story, again, was well developed. And, at 26 minutes, it felt like a short movie. I enjoyed watching it and it was memorable, in a good way. This one definitely deserves its nomination!
 
 
 

Movie Review: Day & Night

Alrighty y'all, we're getting back into the swing of things with a triple dose of Movie Reviews! Mr. B and I ended up taking quite a hiatus from movie watching somehow and we are coming back strong! Today we'll be looking at the Short Films (Animated & Live Action) as well as Biutiful. We won't break much as Mr. B and I are looking to watch at least one film tonight at home, and then Saturday we have Best Picture Showcase (5 of the 10 best pictures will be viewed). Expect Movie Review Domination on the blog for the next 10 days or so. (The 83rd Academy Awards will air February 27th.)

I've been doing a lot of thinking about how to blog about the Short Films. When you see the shorts, they play them consecutively and you pay just once to see all 5. It's really a pretty sweet deal. So, when I think about them, to an extent they are a single movie in my mind. But, they are all very different and seperate from each other outside of the fact that they are shorts. So, after much consideration, I'm going to blog each one seperately like they were their own full length video. They deserve the respect from this blog...so, bear with the 10 posts that are about to occur so quickly...(but hey, it's my blog and I can blog my review the way I want to. Hehe.)

So, here's the first Review, Day & Night.

Nomination:
Short Film (Animated)

Definition:
According to the Academy, "a short film is defined as an original motion picture that has a running time of 40 minutes or less, including all credits. This excludes from consideration such works as: 1)previews and advertising films, 2) sequences from feature-length fils such as credit sequences, 3) un aired episodes of established TV series, 4) unsold TV series pilots." The Academy further defines an Animated Short film as being "created by using a frame-by-fram technique, and usually falls into one of the two general fields of animation: character or abstract...Documentary short subjects that are animated may be submitted in either the animated short film category or the documentary short subject category, but not in both."

Movie Review:
I really enjoyed this Short Film. It follows the personification of daytime and nighttime. You see them meet each other, they are unsure of the other and start fighting, and then they start seeing the good in each other. Finally you see them like each other for what they both have to offer. The friendship that you watch grow between daytime and nighttime is very well told.

Short Film (Animated) Review:
This was really well done. After 6 minutes, you have a complete story and you don't feel that anything has been missed. It's funny, has a good lesson behind it, and the animation is superb (but what else do you expect from a Pixar movie?) I enjoyed it tremendously and hope that it's played before Toy Story 3 at Best Picture Showcase this weekend because it was just that good!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Mamaw & Grandaddy

Growing up, my life was shaped tremendously by my Grandparents. (We call them Mamaw and Grandaddy.) They are my dad's Mom and Step-Dad, although I've never really considered the fact that he is my grandfather through marriage. From the time I was born, he was Grandaddy and I've always loved him like we were blood related. I've always been close to him. He bought me my first car, the Little Tikes Cozy Coupe, and when I out grew that, he let me drive the Lincoln Town car and when that just didn't suffice, he (and definitely with Mamaw's approval this time!) bought me my first real car. And let me tell you, I've loved each of those cars!
 
Grandaddy and I also, have two other special traditions together. The first is Sentimental Journey. My high school has put on a dinner-dance for many years now. The Jazz Band hosts it and they play swing music for the night. They put up tables and mark off a dance floor and you get to go dance the jitterbug. It's a LOT of fun, and every year, I put on my dancing shoes and dance the night away with Grandaddy. I've only missed on year since we've started going, and look forward to it every spring.
 
The other special tradition I have with Grandaddy is going to football games. It started out we went to high school games as a family, my parents, grandparents, sister, and occasionally my aunt and uncle would go. And then, we just started going to games for schools other than my high school. He enjoyed the games, and I enjoyed spending time with him. It was always special to just go watch the game with him.
 
Enough about Grandaddy now, though, because Mamaw is needs a few paragraphs of her own! Mamaw is special for totally different reasons. I can tell you, since I was a kid, I've always enjoyed just spending time with her. And, I've always felt I could most be myself with her. I trust her more than most of the people in my life and have always felt that overall she respects me for who I am, and for the strength I have that she has not always had. We just seem to understand each other.
 
Mamaw and I can stay up all night giggling like school girls, even now. We usually have to make ourselves go to bed, but only with the the thought of knowing we have the next day together. I have cried many tears on her shoulder, laughed many laughs with her, and traveled just as many roads with her as Grandaddy.
 
She's always championed me. When I wanted to wait to see Old Faithful erupt, she told Grandaddy just how much it meant to me. When Mr. B and I got married, she told me to have the wedding dress of my dreams. And I know, when ever we have kids, she'll be ready to help me with all of the experience of 2 kids and 8 grandkids behind her. She's just that awesome. I have more respect for her than I do for many people, she is my hero.
 
So, knowing how close I am to my grandparents, you can imagine how exciting it was to spend this past weekend with them. They are definitely two of my most favorite people and I enjoyed their visit tremendously!! I was sad to see them go on Tuesday, but enjoyed all of the things we got to do together! I'll post about that soon!
 
Have a lovely evening, and prepare yourself. Tonight Mr. B and I are going to see the Oscar nominated Live-Action Shorts, the Oscar nominated Animated Shorts and if we can handle it, Biutiful. You'll be reading many reviews come tomorrow! (And Saturday is Day 1 of 2 for the Best Picture Showcase, so you can bet your bottom dollar, there will be lots of posting from me!)






Grateful For:

Alright, I'm going to admit it, I've been stuck in a rut. Emotionally, I feel pretty drained. I'm finding myself not a pleasant person to be around (especially for poor Mr. B...he's a SAINT to be putting up with me as wonderfully as he has been the past couple of weeks. And so, this post is for me more than anything else. Just to remind me how good life is! So, onto the gratefulness!!

~(one)~
Mr. B.  He is AWESOME!!! Like I said, a true SAINT!! He's been putting up with my crankiness and manages to keep on thinking I'm lovely.  Lovely. That's his word, and I LOVE it. Who doesn't love being called Lovely. I do, and that's just one of the many things that makes Mr. B wonderful!!!

~(two)~
Upgraded cable. I've lived with limited basic cable for so long it's not funny. It was nice to be able to legitimately say "nothing's on" but, it's also really nice to have a hundred channels, on demand options and a DVR full of shows and say "nothing's on." Oh, I am enjoying more cable channels!

~(three)~
Family. I've got an awesome family. Both my family and Mr. B's family's are awesome. I just got to spend time with my family and that was nice. And, we've been spending time with Mr. B's family a lot recently, and they're awesome. So, yep, I'm pretty grateful for these people who care about us SO much!!

~(four)~
Two Jobs. Yep, two. On September 1, 2010, Job A laid off half of our office. It really caught everyone off guard. Now, we were lucky as they gave us six months notice before our layoff date and I have my job with them until April 1. (Yep, great thing for April Fool's Day...the irony...) And I've been so blessed to have already found a replacement job. But I have been even further been blessed by the chance to work at both jobs at the same time. Mr. B & I are really enjoying the extra money!

~(five)~
Matching Dishes. Mr. B & I got dishes with matching serving pieces and all for wedding gifts. They are fabulous and we both really like them. And we both agree, it gives us a unique sense of pleasure/joy/happiness to open up the kitchen cupboards and see our wonderful matching plates. So yep, I'm thankful for the dishes and even more thankful for the people who showered us with the dishes!

~(six)~
Great friends. I saw a good friend a couple of weeks ago and talking to her just really made me feel good! She's a fabulous friend and I always look forward to seeing her. I told her that day, and it remains true now, even in my funky-est of moods, she's one of the few people I can always handle seeing. She just doesn't stress me out! R.A.M. - You are AWESOME!!!

~(seven)~
Quiet days at home. I love spending time at home not doing anything but enjoying my recliner, It Takes Two, and Mr. B. I really enjoyed this past weekend with my Grandparents, but what it really did was highlight how much I enjoy a quiet evening at home with Mr. B. I'm glad to have life back to normal!!

I could write more, much more. I could write about the details, but that would get to be a lot for everyone involved! Really, this has been a great exercise for me. Just reminding me to be happy where I am in life with what's going on. My funk is already starting to feel better!! So, here's to another wonderful night sleeping next to the man I love. Really, life doesn't get any better than this!



Saturday, February 12, 2011

Mr. & Mrs. B - Month 1

Mr. B & I - Our First Dance
I realized the other day, that because Mr. B and I got married right before the always hectic Christmas season, that I haven't done a very good job of documenting what's happened in our marriage, so this is kind of a recap to get us caught up - hopefully before Monday, when Mr. B and I will have been married for 3 MONTHS!

The first month of our marriage was CRAZY busy. We got married, took the next day off to rest some and went back to work on Tuesday. Yep. We worked that week and then took the whole week of Thanksgiving off. Which was FABULOUS!!! We just spent that week relaxing, doing some cleaning, and starting the seemingly never ending process of moving Mr. B into my apartment (affectionately called the A.P.T.). We bought our first Christmas tree as a married couple. (You can read about that adventure here.) And, enjoyed our FIRST married Thanksgiving with Mr. B's family. (A little about that is here.)

But, the big events weren't slowing down in our family! L&L were now 7 months pregnant and it was time for Baby Shower #1. (You can read all about my side of it here and you can see Lindsay's side here.) As if that wasn't more than enough for one weekend, the next day we had our registry completion event annd we got to spend a lot of the gift cards we got from my shower and our wedding gifts! It was a great time and we even won an All-Clad skillet as a door prize. My FIRST All-Clad...I'm in skillet-love!!

After all of that, we didn't really get a chance to slow down! We had to get everything cleaned up because my grandparents were coming in town the next weekend and we had to be ready to host them! So, I quickly got all of the new things put away and got the house cleaned! We enjoyed spending a weekend with them, and this is where my blogging fell behind! We spent a great weekend with them and you will be able to read about that soon in one of the So 2000 and Late posts. As soon as I post the appropriate one, I'll update this post!!

We then rounded out the first month of our marriage by visiting some acquaintences to try and get our TV fixed...yep, that's right, our TV broke in Month 1 of our marriage...how sad!

So, that's month one of our marriage. It was great getting settled into living together and unwrapping wedding gifts. Not to mention the shopping spree that occurred!! I'm going to let you know more when I post about month 2 next.  But, I've got to get back to my calendar at work so that I can know what all we did!!! 

<3 Mrs. B

So 2000 and Late - Part 1

Yes, I'm a little late on getting to some of my posting, and I went back and forth on if it even matter to blog on:

Thanksgiving 2010.

or:

Christmas 2010.


And then I decided, better late than never. I want to write about our first Thanksgiving and Christmas together as a married couple, and I'm going to do it. If you're done with the holidays until they come around again, just skip any of my posts entitled So 2000 and Late. They'll get part numbers and what not, so enjoy.

This first post, is a picture post of our apartment all decked out for the holiday season!! I was so happy with it and was quite sad to take it down. We traveled for almost 2 weeks at the end of the year so I didn't get to spend 2 whole weeks in our decorated home, so I rebelled and left the decorations up 2 weeks later than I usually would. I felt like a kid sticking my tongue out at societal norms. Ah, it was wonderful. So, without any further ado, our A.P.T. decorated for Chrissymus!!!




When I was growing up, my Mom always put pine garland up like you see in my pictures. (The only difference is she used red bows instead of ornaments.) For me, this is a BIG part of what makes it feel like Christmas to me, and this year I finally bought pine garland to put up and it was TOTALLY worth it. It just felt more like Christmas to me. I was really sad to take everything down I was just SO happy with how the A.P.T. turned out this year!!

And finally, here is our Christmas Tree. I have decorated a tree for the past couple of years and it was just me, so I have VERY girly christmas oranaments. Things like purses, shoes and Barbie's.  This year I realized that I didn't have anything manly for Mr. B to hang on the tree. So, I went out and bought him an ornament just so that there would be something for him!! We're going to have to work on getting a better selection of Christmas ornaments for next year!!! So, here's the tree!!


So, that's a bit of our place for Christmas. I was pretty happy with it, and I can't wait until next Christmas when we get to decorate again! Keep your eyes open, and you might get some more Christmas in February!

<3 Mrs. B
 
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