February 27, 2011 § 2 Comments
Big news, people! Academy Awards are tomorrow evening on ABC at 8pm. As I’m sure you’re quite aware I could not be more excited. Anne Hathaway and James Franco are hosting so we certainly are all in for a great show.
Let’s talk about how they are calling the awards “Oscar”. Not a big fan. Let’s just keep it “The Oscars”, please. This is also the second year they doubled the amount of best picture nominations from. In my opinion, ten nominees is just way too many. How is anyone supposed to choose a single movie out of that entire list? It’s nice to have a wide selection of different movies, but when you have to narrow it down to a single film to represent the year’s “best” – a smaller list of choices would be better. In addition to the long list of nominees, the criteria for the winner should be more objective and consistent. Often times, films win due to the politics of the Hollywood world. The Hurtlocker winning because it wasn’t Avatar, in my opinion – maybe in a spiteful sense. (Not so hot now, James Cameron, huh? – your ex-wife just ripped two academy awards out of your hands). There needs to be a more objective criteria. Let’s take a look:
The components to a “Best Picture” winner:
1. The Story. Obviously you need a good storyline to produce a good movie. You can’t write about a geeky kid getting the hot girl and expect to get an academy award nomination. Make it real, relateable, moving, inspiring, controversial (and no, geeks with hot girls is not controversy).
2. The Acting. Sure you can have a stupendous story but if you’re hiring Nicholas Cage and Mariah Carey playing the protagonists in your epic movie you can kiss your Oscar goodbye – you know, you can go ahead and kiss your invitation to the Oscars goodbye as well.
3. The Writing. No CSI: Miami one-liners, please. Smooth, intelligent, relevant writing is incredibly important to a great movie – If what the characters is saying is dull and uninventive no one will want to listen. Hire Aaron Sorkin. Problem solved.
4. The Cinematography. Make your movie pretty!! Stop using straight on shots and panning sunsets; switch it up a little, be creative with the scenes you’ve got.
5. The Music. “To me, movies and music go hand in hand. When I’m writing a script, one of the first things I do is find the music I’m going to play for the opening sequence.” – Quentin Tarantino. If anyone knows the importance of music in movies it’s him. The kind of music used in a scene can make or break it. Something completely joyous can appear horrific or something absolutely frightening can look like the feel good movie of the year without the proper music.
To end today’s blog I’d like to post my predictions for tomorrow night’s winners. Yes, these “predictions” will be full of bias and hopes, but I will do my best to make this as unbiased as possible:
Best Picture: Black Swan, The Fighter, Inception, The Kids Are Alright, The Social Network, The King’s Speech, Toy Story 3, Winter’s Bone, True Grit, 127 Hours
Actor in Lead Role: Javier Bardem, Jeff Bridges, Jesse Eisenberg, Colin Ferth, James Franco
Actor in Supporting Role: Christian Bale, John Hawkes, Jeremy Renner, Mark Ruffalo, Geoffrey Rush
Actress in Lead Role: Annette Benning, Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Lawerence, Natalie Portman, Michelle Williams
Actress in Supporting Role: Amy Adams, Helena Bonham Carter, Melissa Leo, Hailee Steinfeld, Jacki Weaver
Animated Feature Film: The Illusionist, Toy Story 3, How to Train Your Dragon
Directing: Darren Aronofsky, David O. Russell, Tom Hooper, David Fincher, Joel and Ethan Cohen
We’ll keep it a short list today. Tune in tomorrow night to see how my winner’s compare with the academy’s.
February 24, 2011 § 1 Comment
Today – we’re getting personal.
I’m studying to be an athletic trainer – no not someone who trains athletes. We’re the people that fix the athletes that get hurt and then we get them back on the field. This semester I’m taking my first evaluation course – where we learn how to diagnose the injuries athlete’s get. Today was our first test; there’s a written portion and a practical portion. I did poorly on both. Today is not my day.
After finishing the written test I’m already feeling less confident than I was after the entire week of studying that occurred. I shake it off and get ready to kill on my practical test – because in practice, I was impeccable. I end up choosing one of the easiest injuries, get ahead of myself, forget to complete significant evaluations, but, thankfully, diagnose the injury correctly. I get a little scolding from my professor and she ends with a bit of encouragement – “You just need to build from here, you’re going to be fine.” I want nothing more than to be a great athletic trainer, and to screw up my very first evaluation exam was incredibly discouraging. Refusing to say anything, except “uh huh” “ok” “right”, because anything more than two syllables would release a cascade of tears, I sprint to the bus stop where I need to catch the bus to head to my last hour of work for the day. Holding back a complete emotional breakdown for an entire hour is certainly one of the most difficult things I’ve done. I don’t advise anything of the sort. I ran to my room after my shift ended and fell onto my bed – I haven’t cried that hard in the longest time.
I understand this single test does not define my reputation as an athletic trainer, I understand it’s one test and that it’s not the end of the world. This was simply the trigger to an entire week’s worth of pressure building up. For the first time in a very long time I felt the absolute desperation for the grace, love and comfort of Christ. Sobbing on my bed, I call out for Him to take the struggle from me, I can’t do it alone. I felt completely helpless trying to keep my life steady. It’s incredibly relieving when you know that at any moment in time you can call out to someone to rescue you from your misery and without any hesitation He will be there every time.
Matthew 11:28-30 says “Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest in your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” God is asking you to give him all of your troubles! How many people do you know actually ask that you give all of your issues to them – on a daily basis? (If you’ve seen 30 Rock, you know it doesn’t go well) I am consistently confounded by the faithfulness of God – always there for me, loves me no less each and every day. After crying out to Him at my absolute weakness He was there to rescue me and provide me with rest.
To those of you who will be in panic after reading about my emotional breakdown (yes, Mom, I’m referring to you) I can tell you I am doing fine – only by the grace and faithfulness of my Heavenly Father.
February 21, 2011 § Leave a comment
I was planning on reviewing a foreign film today that I recently saw, however I could not find the trailer with English subtitles. So I’ll do a quick write up before we chat about the feature flick.
If we’re friends on Facebook, you’ll know I’ve found an infatuation with foreign films. Seeing a movie from a different country intrigues me to no end. There’s something romantic about that I love. I need to thank my friend, Gilbert, for suggesting this movie to me that, I might add, I enjoyed greatly: Amelie is a light-hearted French film about a young girl who finds her true pleasure and passion in doing good deeds for others in secret. Returning an old treasure box lost 40 years ago, walking a blind man down the street and describing everything they pass or helping a woman and a man find their true love for each – Amelie helps all those around her. Audrey Tautou is exquisite and charming, the French language keeps the feel of the movie whimsical and fun. If you’re into foreign movies – go watch it (found on instant Netflix)
I haven’t watched this movie for awhile, but I was thinking of it today and just had review it for you all. Finding Forrester, starring Sean Connery and Rob Brown, released in 2000.
A story of passion and friendship, discipline and triumph. The story follows the mentorship between a young man and a one-hit wonder writer who has locked himself in his house for years. Sean Connery plays a witty, brilliant, hard ass of an author who wants nothing but for Rob Brown’s character, Jamal, to succeed in writing. The dynamic between the two main characters is endearing and comical. As a quiet man, Forrester doesn’t say much but rather leaves Jamal to his work and every once in awhile interjects with a small quip – “Punch the keys, for God’s sake!” Phenomenal performance from both actors – put it on the queue, kids.
February 20, 2011 § Leave a comment
I’d like to share with you something personal and very dear to my heart. After seeing the show “The Buried Life” premiere last year, I was overwhelmed with inspiration. Not long after seeing the first few episodes, I began constructing my own list. I am continuously adding to my list, for as I get older and change, the things that are important to me also change.
My moleskin – the documentation of crossing off the things I want to do before I die.
Inside – part of my list. each page is dedicated to a list item that I’ve crossed off, creatively displayed to embody the list item itself. Number 57: Smoke a cigar – I actually used the ash from the cigar to draw and write on the page.
I highly encourage you to start making a list. Think about the things you want to accomplish – dream as big and as small as you possibly you can. And once you have things written down – cross them off. Don’t just make an “I wish I could” list make an “I’m going to” list. Don’t become unmotivated because you don’t have the resources to accomplish it. Start now. Skydiving in June – I’ve been saving up since September. Drive cross country – my mom and I planning a post-grad trip as we speak. Think about what’s important to you, cross off list items with those that mean the most to you – it makes it that much more enjoyable.
February 13, 2011 § Leave a comment
Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day. Some of you reading this thrive on this day, others of you despise it with all of your being. As a single woman, I’m not the biggest fan of this “holiday” – I never really was. Couples kinda gross me out, and all the mushy love, candlelit dinners, bouquets of red roses, chocolates and cliche professions of love (“you’re the sunshine of my life”) kinda makes me gag. Alright, leave the chocolate but take everything else. Luckily, I can provide some insight to your evening whether you’re a disgustingly mushy couple or a proudly single individual (and everyone in between).
For those of you with a better half
If you’re going out to the theater with your significant other, the key is to pick a film you both will enjoy. Men, don’t play the martyr and pick a chick flick – this day is for you too (although, it’s a very a sweet gesture). Women, don’t guilt your men into a sobfest love story. Comedies are usually a happy medium: Just Go With It with Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston is a great funny movie for you both. Hot chicks for him, a little romance for her.
For the couples that prefer something a little more serious: The King’s Speech. Award winning movie, spectacular reviews, and an all around great film. Can’t go wrong with an inspiring, well-done film, with a star studded cast.
If you’re staying in and renting a movie, the possibilities are endless. It’s Sunday, so it’s a little late to be getting anything from Netflix. So, here are a few movies you can put on the instant queue. Since you are staying in, chances are your man made you dinner – which means he’ll probably watch a romance movie. Again, men – you don’t need to settle for tearjerkers. A few classic love stories on the instant queue include, Sleepless in Seattle, Jerry MaGuire, Notting Hill. Between the three of those you cover just about every single romance one-liner you’ve ever heard. When in Rome, Chaos Theory, and Zombieland could also do the trick. If you’re lucky enough to have a rental place near by – well you’re quite lucky and I honestly could not narrow it down to just a few. I’d advise you leave a comment about what kind of thing you’re in the mood for and we’ll go from there.
For those sulking in their singledom (or rejoicing in their independence)
You wanna pick one of two genres: sobfest romance or good looking men. There’s nothing better than an old film – black and white or color, movies from “the olden days” just do it better. Funny Girl or Roman Holiday will give you the tears, the love, and the independent women all in one package. An Affair to Remember is just beautiful and heartbreaking. If you’re looking for good looking men – anything with Matt Damon or George Clooney or own celebrity crush will do it. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is my personal favorite. The Ocean’s series gives you Matt Damon, George Clooney and Brad Pitt all one screen. Good Will Hunting has Matt Damon and Ben Affleck. 10 Things I Hate About You has Heath Ledger and Joseph Gordon-Levitt – old school, but very fun. I gotta suggest The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus – This movie is very weird. However, before you dismiss it you must know that Andrew Garfield, Heath Ledger, Johnny Depp, Jude Law, and Colin Ferrell are all included in the cast. If anything you should put it on and have it playing in the background just so you have something pretty to look at.
If I had more time to evaluate more movies I would be able to suggest a much better selection. If none of these motion pictures fit your fancy don’t hesitate to leave a comment and ask for something else!
February 3, 2011 § Leave a comment
Quentin Tarantino makes some of the most iconic movies in our culture. Recently he won the first ever Music + Film award for his brilliant combinations of music and picture. And not just in a music video way but in a cinematic way. There are certain songs that, if you’ve seen the movie, you think specifically of Quentin Tarantino. One song in particular, at least for me, is “Son of a Preacher Man” by Dusty Springfield. Take a look at how Tarantino uses it in Pulp Fiction.
A scene of complete seduction – Uma Thurman’s voice over the intercom, the slowly articulated “disco!” that she utters when John Travolta approaches the intercom – it’s unusual that Tarantino would choose this song. But how perfect is it? Completely adds to the entire feel of the scene in a way that no other song could.
Quentin Tarantino has paved a way for music’s place in cinema and has inspired many other directors’ song choices. I was watching the French film Heartbreakers yesterday (a great light hearted comedy, a few cheesy moments, but fun to watch a romantic comedy in another language). One of the opening scenes – a young, handsome man sitting in the pool lusting over the well tanned slim babe in a black bikini exit the pool in slow-mo. What song is in the background? That’s right – “Son of a Preacher Man” (in English of course). Fantastic to see Quentin Tarantino’s inspiration all over cinematic scene.