Friday, December 31, 2010

And Now For an Off Topic Subject (The Golden Globes)

            So the nominees for the Golden Globes (the inbred child of the Oscars and Emmys) have been revealed and oh dear God I need drink.  Never has there been so many choices that are misplaced that it makes you wonder if the voters were either schizophrenic or blowing the competitors. In all seriousness, the nominations are a great example of what if the voters did not see all the eligible films on time, or worse vote based on popularity than quality. Anyway here are:

Top 3 Golden Globes Nominees That Should Lose

3. Dexter for Best TV Series-Drama

            As a fan, I have to admit that the 5th season of Dexter was unbelievably weak.  On the bright side Michael C. Hall is fantastic as usual as our friendly neighborhood serial killer, Dexter Morgan.  The problem is that the entire story arc was unfocused.  It started great with a simple cat-and-mouse plot when Quinn believes Dexter killed his own wife, Rita.  Then, the show adds a story about Dexter saving a victim of one his routine "victims" who is part of torture club that is secretly run by the most popular motivational speaker in Florida. There is so much lay out required through every episode that the main villain doesn’t do anything except pretend to be Tom Cruise in the film Magnolia. It does not help that there were more unnecessary subplots in this season than half a season of Glee, most of which are forgotten by episode six and then they are spontaneously resolved on the finale.  In the end, Dexter is a good show that experimented with a bad idea, like a fish thrashing in the jaws that is AMC, the home of Mad Men, Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead (I was not paid by AMC).

2.  Glee for Best TV Series-Comedy or Musical
            Send in the hate mail but let’s be honest here, the quality of the show has faltered ever since “The Power of Madonna”.  The continuity of the story is absolutely broken, like Memento if it was a musical, brighter and twice as pretentious.  The student body could have high appraisal for New Directions in one episode and be despised by everyone to the point even the teachers would throw shoes at them in another episode. Why? Well, because the script says so. Ryan Murphy realized that as soon as everyone likes New Directions then any sense of conflict is lost, too bad he thought that the only way to fix this is to mind-wipe the entire school and hope that the audience only pay attention to the songs.
            What makes a musical so great is that they can tell a story through acting, singing and dancing. Is there a more exhilarating way for characters to tell a story or express their feelings than to just burst into song for no reason and dance to an orchestra for that doesn’t really exist? No. Were they kitschy? Yes but they were always done with such grace, athleticism and bliss that the audience wished they lived in that kind of world, it is escapism its purest.  Glee had that escapist touch for those first eight episodes and then became aware of it’s own potential, as a product for iTunes.

1.  The Tourist for Best Actor, Actress and Motion Picture- Comedy or Musical

            This movie asks a lot questions like, what the #$@^ planet Earth? No seriously what the *$&# is an espionage thriller doing in the comedy/musical category? Was The Tourist so bad that the voters thought it was parody of Hitchcock movies? But most of all, why?  It’s not like there was not any good comedies this year like Get Him to the Greek, Toy Story 3, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World and Kick-Ass (even Date Night had better reviews than The Tourist). The Tourist will and should lose this award, because if this is a comedy then Eclipse is the funniest film since Animal House. To add the brown icing on this $%!#-cake, both Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie earned a nomination for their roles in The Tourist, in the Comedy or Musical category… again there is nothing funny about The Tourist.
            In reality there only one reason why The Tourist was nominated, Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie are in it; these two are essentially the modern day incarnations Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn (Depp being Hepburn and Jolie being Grant). The Golden Globes are known for trying to create a good show without have hiring an entertaining host or keep the show from exceeding the ¥ hour mark by nominating the most popular (sexiest) stars on the lot.  This happens every year with various results (Tom Cruise made a career out of these) but never has an award show seemed so desperate that the voters had to break their own rules for the sake of pandering to stars.  Hopefully Depp and Jolie will see through this scheme and stay home otherwise they will just be like the rest: only in it for the money.

So there you have it, a psycho thriller that became self indulgent, a musical-comedy series filled with recently lost potential and a thriller nominated in the wrong category for the sake of having star power at the ceremony… Happy Holidays.

Fasten your seat-belts, it's going to be a bumpy night - Bette Davis

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Pop Quiz Answers

1.  True. From his 1928 film Steamboat Bill Jr. here is the gag:

The front of that house weighs about 3 tons and if Buster Keaton was off by 2 inches… well you’ve stepped on a bug before.  Half of the crew stayed home on the day of shooting making it the first and probably last strike that film employees had an understandable cause. Actually, Buster Keaton would find out in the 1930’s, during a routine physical, that he had broken his neck in 1924 without realizing it; so in hindsight he would’ve been fine because he is $#@!ING INVINCIBLE.

2.  True. A word of warning, you may need to perform an exorcism on your T.V after watching Guinness Book of World Records holder for the Most Profane Animated Film of All-Time.

3. True. James Dean played a lead role in only three movies before he died in a car crash. He got an Oscar nomination for only East of Eden and Giant. No love for Rebel Without Cause is blasphemy but 2 outta 3 isn’t bad.

4.  True. There are two different box office records: Domestic, which is how much money a film has technically made, and Adjusted to Inflation, where the profits are based on the idea of how much money the film would have made if the ticket prices were same price as the current average ($8.00). While Avatar holds the Domestic record, it is in 14th place in the Adjusted to Inflation record ($773,179,400), number 11 is 101 Dalmations ($794,342,100). So basically if 101 Dalmatians sold the same number of tickets as it did in 1961 at same price as a ticket is in 2010 it would have made more than Avatar. Don't believe me? Check out this link to Box Office

5.  False. This is really depressing. Bruce Lee died in Jan. 20 1973, 6 days before Enter the Dragon was released in Hong Kong. Even more depressing is that the Chinese studio Golden Harvest decided that Bruce could finish his contract by using stock footage (including footage of his funeral) and body doubles for Game of Death 1 and 2.

6.  True/False. Mel Gibson is technically a psychotic douche bag.

7.  True. Funny story: In the old days, film had to have a copyright indictor under the title card.  On the week Night of the Flesh Eaters was going to premiere the distributer, the Walter Reade Organization, wanted to change the name to Night of the Living Dead. So they did, but they forgot to replace the copyright indicator before the premiere. In the end, anyone who noticed that the copyright was missing claimed ownership and George A. Romero did not get a penny of the profit.

8.  False. Hattie McDaniel won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in the film Gone With the Wind in 1939. Still, Halle Berry is still the first African American to win Best Lead Actress in 2001 for Monsters Ball.

9.  False. Midnight Cowboy was rated X for adult content, adult language and strong sexual content but in 1969 it won Best Picture. But around the time the X rating became NC-17, the MPAA reviewed Midnight Cowboy again and it rebranded with an R rating.

10.  True… and its gonna suck. 

Drink game: Take a shot if anything in this trailer reminds you of the Twilight Saga