Friday, February 20, 2009


i am heartbroken, and i can barely stand it. yes, it sounds And feels awfully melodramatic. i'll be brief:

i worked for more than 10hrs, easily, on my oscar breakdown & predictions--had it finished and polished, even--and now the text is forever lost. all of it. irretrievable.
it was almost certainly my best academy award piece ever, undoubtedly my most extensive.
i will not be writing another one for sunday's ceremony. it just takes too much time, and i have lost my drive.
i will list my forecast here, below. although there will be no big surprises this year (ah, but isn't this very attitude what enables a true surprise...?), i expect you'll do very well in your office pool if you copy my picks. if you want to Win your office pool, you May want to switch a select few. i will even suggest which ones might be smartest to switch (read: if i Don't mention it, don't switch). if you have a weighted scoring system and/or if you're interested in further breakdown, have Any questions/comments, etc., you are welcome to contact me directly. i Luv talking about this silliness.

not-so-subtle reminder lessons: copy & paste material periodically In Addition to auto save procedure; more importantly, enjoy this life of easy unattachment.
hope you have a Great oscar night. more soon (when i get my drive back)....

in order (hopefully):

supporting actress--penelope cruz

supporting actor--heath ledger (absolute #1 lock of the year)

animated feature--wall-e (high value certainty for weighted system)

costume design--the duchess (also high)

film editing--slumdog millionaire (darkhorse--i.e., Could win--the dark knight)

makeup--benjamin button (bank on it)

sound editing--the dark knight (darkhorse = wall-e)

sound mixing--the dark knight (ditto)

documentary feature--man on wire (longshot--i.e., only if there's no justice in the world--trouble the water)

foreign language film--waltz with bashir (darkhorse = the class)

original score--slumdog millionaire (high)

original song--"jai ho" from slumdog

visual effects--benjamin button (high)

art direction--benjamin button (darkhorse = dark knight; [paints an appropriate picture, eh?])


original screenplay--milk (longshot = wall-e)

adapted screenplay--slumdog (longshot = ben button)

live action short film--spielzeugland (toyland), (low); Should Win = auf der Strecke (longshot = new boy)

animated short film--presto (darkhorse = this way up)

documentary short--didn't see Any of them. pundits claim the witness = Will Win. my educated guess says Should Win = the conscience of nhem en

actress--kate winslet (contender = meryl streep), (low)

actor--sean penn (darkhorse = mickey rourke), (low)

director--danny boyle

picture--slumdog millionaire (longshot = ben button)

feels less melodramatic now that i've done That. and i obviously had to have Some drive to crank even That out. humph.

Monday, February 16, 2009

what you see is what you get

nobody does international action thriller like producer luc besson. this one's as tidy as they come, no fluff, and thankfully not begging--like most within the genre--to be cool. clocks in at 93min and feels even quicker. star liam neeson's smarts, size, and composure make him easy sell as retired CIA badass. he's jason bourne 25 years down the line. maggie grace does a perfectly bouncy 17 as well. a pair of truly indelible scenes more than make up for a couple that take the easy way out.
tidy: B+

another animated gem from stop-motion wizard, director henry selick (the nightmare before christmas, james and the giant peach). another dark, magical realm, somewhere very far from land of shiny happy kiddie flicks. really must be seen in 3-D to be fully appreciated, as nuances of the painstaking handicraft don't fully translate to flat bigscreen medium. not the wild-ride, involved Adventure i hoped for, yet wondrous and full of imagination just the same.
imagination: B

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

see all the nominees!

oscar nominated short films--
good news: these standout works, in years past only publicly available in l.a. & nyc for the one week preceding the big ceremony, have opened Early and are now also (allegedly) available via itunes. i haven't been able to find them online, but maybe You can. here, a brief rundown on the two options available (as separate admission tickets) at theaters:

considerably more commercial crop than last year's, and better for it. extraordinarily deep competition warrants inclusion of highly commended (just shy of nomination) bonus few. familiar powerhouse names, like pixar, shine again.
deep: A-

live action
not one within this dour quintet excites. quality filmmaking, to be sure, yet it feels more like governing board is out to represent international flavor than to showcase true elite. and why so short on Fun, y'all? we want Fun!
dour: C

and WOW! check This out: best picture showcase!

feb 21, day before the oscars, amc theatres will offer all five best picture nominees on select screens nationwide for only $30 (only $25 for moviewatcher members)--large bucket of popcorn included w/ free refills all day! plus you can come & go as you please. for all pertinent details go to:

Friday, February 6, 2009

noble undertaking

the class--
feels as much like a documentary as any fiction you'll see. story is, in fact, written by a teacher, who stars alongside many of his actual colleagues and former students. scenes are, in effect, recreations of situations familiar to them all. notably unfamiliar to all of us, however (unless you're an instructor of teens in city as massive & multinational as paris), is just how monstrous are the challenges--and how few and bittersweet the rewards--within such a setting. winner of top prize at cannes festival 2008, and worthy nominee for best foreign language film at this month's oscars.
bittersweet: B+

Monday, February 2, 2009

site move in time for oscars

you may (or may not) have noticed that i've offered up very little writing here in the new year. naturally, there are not many new releases out in pre-awards season that float my boat--very few, at least, that i've not already seen.
also playing a significant factor is my impending move to another blog site--one that filters through a privatized domain. official announcement soon to come; do be on the lookout.
and in the meantime, get your ass out to see all of the nominated films (oscars, independent spirit awards, razzies). you've got less than three weeks.