Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Often times comedians forget that they don't have to insert curse words after every other joke in order to be funny, many stand up comics are all about the shock factor and the poking fun on everyone and everything as dirty as possible, which we find to be very unfortunate. There is one light among the darkness though, one comic that stands above others, that does not rely on curse words or vulgarities in order to be funny but relies on wit and delivers material that we all love, this person is no other then Ellen DeGeneres.
There is something about Ellen, something different that allows her to stand apart from everyone else while succeeding and being loved by everyone, it's unfathomable how even people that do not watch her show know of her and think she is awesome, that is no easy feat to accomplish. Be it within a movie, a tv show, and for the last few years hosting her own talk show, men and women come together to watch Ellen, loving everything that she is about and all that she does.
In fact even among the "tough guy" act where anything you do is considered girly, watching Ellen is an accepted thing, this is not a general rule but something we have come to find out as of late that surprised us. Ellen's brilliance and swagger demand our attention and respect, she is not only super talented but is incredibly nice. The nice thing here is important, here is a woman who could by all means be a little mean, but decided to just be awesome 24/7, that is something to be commended.
Her stand up is a work of art, if you have not seen any of her work you should definitely drop your plans for tonight and go watch it, it'll be sure to make you cry of laughter. It's astounding how she doesn't need to rely on the shock factor, or vulgar jokes in order to be funny, we know we've said that a few times but think about every stand up comedian's bit as of late, now think about all the latest funniest movies, do any of them not contain vulgarity and cursing? The answer is simple, they all do, all of them, thus when Ellen comes around and gives us something funny that can be appreciated by everyone, it truly is a feat that should be recognized and praised by all.
Another huge deal with Ellen is her continued strive to better the world, we're talking a fight against racism, bullying, prejudice, cancer, and equal rights for all. Ellen has been a voice behind many movements, some of those would not exist without her backing, and some would not have been noticed without her support, this is a woman deserving of our respect. She is constantly trying to make the world a better place for all, and this is something that she does for the world and not for fame, many celebrities do all these things for fame, but Ellen would do them even if she was not famous and thus deserves our love.
Ellen has recently released a book last year that many loved, if fact there are many people that don't read at all that picked up that book, read it from cover to cover, and loved every second of it. It was pure wit, a book consisting of musings, random thoughts and experiments, "Seriously...I'm Kidding" was a solid comedic read and one we would recommend to all. If you drive and love audio books the book is available in audio format as well and read by Ellen herself, which can make any bad drive a good one.
Recently JCP had this brilliant idea to have Ellen do some commercials for them, what a brilliant idea that was, a masterful move by JCP. The commercials all have Ellen observing something about the present and wondering "has it always been this way?" and traveling backwards through time to poke fun at stores that do not have all the benefits JCP does, though it is done tastefully and witty, allowing the commercial to not be a knock on the competition as much as it is raising awareness of how awesome JCP can be to the public, a rather brilliant move.
There is much more we could say about Ellen, we could go on and on, but alas this post must come to an end. We recommend you check out her show and her book, both are funny and tasteful, something hard to find these days.
We hope this week has been going well for you, and may it finish gloriously,
Love from your humble blogger,
Monday, February 27, 2012
This year's Academy Awards were filled with memorable moments, from Billy Crystal outdoing himself once again showing us how brilliant he is, to the red carpet wowing us all this year, to Cirque Du Soleil impressing us all with a fantastic performance, this year housed many great performances and for the most part very tasteful jokes, there were a few people that went overboard, but in the end this year looked like a family gathering, that is the best way to put it, it really looked like everyone cared about one another, seeing old friends, remembering old friends lost, and honoring the greatest performances of last year, overall a job well done by the Academy.
The Red Carpet
There were so many good dresses this year, it was quite astounding how all the celebrities this year kept the affair elegant. Every year there are always a few people that want to out-do someone else, there is always an outfit that looks ridiculous and makes us all wonder why anyone would ever wear it but this year there were none, there was no one dress that stood out to us that made us go "what is she thinking?" and that is a blessing. A battle took place here as we tried to establish who our top four picks of the night were but here they are, in order: Jessica Chastain, Octavia Spencer, Ellie Kemper, and Michelle Williams. There were a ton of great dresses, but these four stood out to us the most, in some cases it wasn't so much how gorgeous the dresses were but it was how much the dresses fit each celebrities' personality that tipped our votes to these four. We're just glad that this year there were no swan dresses, that is always a relief.
Billy Crystal did it again, he showed the Academy that not only is he a great choice but that he is always a safe choice. Safe is important here, for it takes a certain talent to be able to joke with celebrities and not get them angry or bitter towards you and the Academy, here Billy shines, there is something about the guy, a swagger about him that allows him to say things and do things ordinary people would not be able to do, the guy convinced Clooney to kiss him on a video montage, Billy Crystal is good. Hiss jokes throughout the night were all kept tasteful, though in some cases they were a little too 'in the know' for most, for many didn't get half the jokes, some of us had to pause every few minutes or so to explain the jokes along the way, besides that the performance was flawless, it was everything one would expect from an Oscar and more, a job well done.
It came to no surprise to us that Woody Allen won for best original screenplay, but we were pleasantly surprised by the amount of awards "Hugo" won, Martin deserved to win all those awards, the movie was truly deserving of being up there with the other nominees. "The Artist" won for best picture, deserving so, and to our dismay the majority of people watching had never heard of it, not watched it, or plan on watching it, this depressed us a little for it was a fantastic movie deserving of everyone's attention. Some of the more emotional awards were Jean Dujardin winning for best actor making him the first French man to win the award, Meryl Streep winning for her fantastic performance in "The Iron Lady", and of course how could we not talk about Octavia Spencer winning for best supporting female actress for her brilliant performance in "The Help".
Cirque Du Soleil again showed the world why they are the best, their performance was mere flawless, it was tasteful and not over the top, just a good quick demonstration of everything they can do while keeping us thirsting for more, we felt this was a great addition to the show. We also really enjoyed the incorporation of the cast of "Bridesmaids" within the show, from the sketch with Billy, to their presentation of awards we felt the Academy was wise here in playing alongside the line but not crossing it, a hard thing to pull off. We need to talk about Octavia here, her emotional reaction while receiving the award stole all of our hearts, we already loved her, but now we adore her, she showed us what these awards are all about, it was deeply moving. The only thing we were disappointed about was that there was no music number done by "The Muppets", it's tradition for the winner to perform the song, or for all the contestants to play their songs, but this year we didn't get that, and this year would have been the year to do it, can you imagine Jason Segel up there with Kermit and the crew singing and dancing, that would have been magical, a truly surprising absence.
There was so much that happened in this year's Academy but these are the most memorable aspects to us, there were a few things that shocked us a little, like the tool move by the "Emperor" of dumping sand on Ryan Seacrest's jacket was tasteless, though it was funny, it was still tasteless, one cannot help but wonder what was going through Ryan's mind as he was going through all that. Another thing that surprised us was the number of Spoilers that "The Descendants" had, it was almost like they were doing it on purpose, maybe the thought was "no one came to see it, maybe if we insert some spoilers it'll spark some interest", it wasn't a good move overall, Spoilers are always bad, period. But if you take the whole thing into consideration these are miniscule things, out of everything that could have gone wrong these two things are nothing, thus overall this was one of the most successful awards as of late, we praise the Academy for a job well done.
We hope that your week might be a good one, and pray that you have a fantastic Monday,
Love from your humble blogger,
Friday, February 24, 2012
A strange revelation has been made known to us recently, the fact that not only the number of people that know about the Academy Awards has gone down but the amount of people that watch all the movies selected has gone down as well, which means that we are going to have an award show for movies that many people have not seen. This concept puzzled us for a few minutes but in light of last year the answer was simple, there weren't many good movies that came out last year, the Academy worthy talent of last year is minimum at best, which explains why the Academy had to chose some of these movies to compete this year. This is not a reflection on all the movies selected thus we decided to be honest about our perspective on who was picked this year. We understand that opinions may vary, and that you might disagree with us completely on our opinions about these movies, but that is the beauty of of mutual respect, the ability to disagree with one another and still retain friendship between two people, with that said here we go.
Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close
No doubt this was a tear jerker, this movie told of a story about a boy searching for family and changing the lives of various different type of people along the way, it was a sweet story and a job well done. Now does this movie deserve to be in the Academy, no, it does not. This movie's plot is so simple that if you watch the preview for it you will have seen the whole movie, this is not a bad movie, it just isn't up to par when it comes to best picture. We can think of ten different movies that carry this same style of plot, have better acting and didn't run for best picture, rightly so might we add, movies like "Simon Birch", or "August Rush". We do love these type of movies but we cannot stand behind this choice, it was a last minute addition and one that should not have been made.
This was a great movie, it wasn't your main stream hit, not many people have seen this movie which is unfortunate, for it is a good one. This was a correct selection for this years Academy Awards, here is a movie trying to do something different, trying to introduce something from the past with something from the present, it was a good watch. This was not our favorite movie but we cannot deny that this movie deserves to be nominated and even win. It is difficult talking about a movie without giving too much away, specially with these type of movies, just know that the movie centers around an actor who is coming off being in silent movies and is facing the very real concern and challenge of doing talking pictures, think a more serious non musical "Singing In The Rain" concept, and it is done well.
Let us start this off by saying that we love Clooney, we think he is a fantastic actor deserving of respect, having been in many great movies in the past Clooney has stolen our hearts over the years, but though he has been in many great movies this is not one of them. Don't misunderstand us here, this was a good movie, but it is not good enough to run for best picture, that is the issue here. This movie follows a father trying to reconnect with his two daughters after his wife suffers an accident, it is a good story, it was well written and it is a movie worth watching for sure, but it still does not have that extra magic that we find in movies deserving to be running for best picture, again it is a good movie, but not a great movie thus again the Academy disappointed us here.
We have said this before and we will say it again, "The Help" was a fantastic movie, this movie deserves to win as many awards as possible this year. It was tough choosing between Woody Allen's movie or "The Help" for best movie, for this movie stole our hearts. "The Help" tells of the racist past that existed in America, and how unity and courage can bring people together to fight injustice. Anyone that has seen this movie can attest to how you end up hating the housewives and loving the maids, this movie depicts a very real picture of how things used to be, and it rocked our world. Here is a movie deserving of being considered the best movie of last year, this was an obvious choice for sure and one that is deserving of victory.
The Tree Of Life
This movie was bad, we can't back this at all, there was big hype about this movie from everyone until everyone saw the movie and the hype died a slow and painful death. This movie had the potential to be great, it had a good cast, a good concept but every time the movie was about to get good the director made sure that it did not. We are biased against this movie, true, maybe it was the hype, or maybe it was the fact that it just wasn't that good of a movie, either way it should not be running for best picture. We know this is a harsh critique of this movie, but it just so happens that this was one of those movies that we just didn't like, it happens, if you loved this movie props to you, but we feel that we all can agree on one thing at least, this movie does not deserve to be considered the best movie of last year. How could this movie be nominated and "Drive" not be, it just makes no sense.
Martin Scorsese is brilliant so when we heard he was releasing a new movie we knew that it was going to be a great one. This was Martin's attempt at creating a movie that his young daughter could see, while retaining a deep story line and fantastic acting. "Hugo" gives us everything you could want from a movie, it is "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close" done right, though both movies have different plots, the main theme is very similar, with "Hugo" obviously standing out as the victor between the two. This is a great movie, one you should watch with your whole family, Martin outdid himself, we don't know if we would consider it the best movie of the year, but it was definitely part of our top ten movies of last year.
This movie follows the story of a horse and a boy who loves said horse, the boy has to sell the horse and throughout the movie he is trying to get the horse back, that's about it when it comes to plot. The movie does depict a very interesting picture of the war, it shows us the perspective from both sides and the journey the horse goes through, from him making and losing friends to trying to find the boy who loves him, which in turn makes it a good movie but not a great one. This movie does not deserve to be in the list for best picture, it was good movie, but again it does not have what it takes to stand up to the other great movies that came out this year, it was a poor choice by the Academy.
Midnight In Paris
We've said so much about this movie already, this is our clear choice for this year's Academy Award. We've been vague about what happens in the movie for good reason, for it is one of those movies that the least you know about it the better it is, for it gives us pleasant surprises throughout it. It came to no surprise to us that this movie stole our hearts, Woody Allen rarely does a mediocre film, thus when we heard he was releasing this one we couldn't wait to go see it. We were also very curious as to his choice for main actor, though we like Owen Wilson we have never thought of him as a great actor, but here Woody makes Wilson glow, Wilson does a fantastic job, one that made us look forward to the future of his career.
Jonah Hill deserves to win for best supporting actor, that is a fact, and Brad Pitt always delivers a great performance that is another simple fact, but this movie as a whole does not deserve to run for best picture, that is a simple conclusive truth. "Moneyball" was a great movie, with a horrible ending, not the fact that the ending wasn't 'nice' but that the way it was filmed was poorly done. The story builds up brilliantly, the middle holds our attention but the end just drops off out of nowhere, it was poor story telling and for this reason it does not deserve to be part of the list of best movies, though Jonah does deserve the award, that fact remains true for sure.
And there you have it, this concludes our opinions on all the movies running for best picture this year, you might disagree with us, you might agree with us, you might be undecided, and that is the beauty of opinion. When thinking about what movies deserve to run for best movie, and what are the qualifying characteristics of what a good movie looks like, the best way to go about it is to look at past choices for best movie, here are few that might help shed some light into this quandary, "Patch Adams", "The Godfather", "Dead Poets Society", "Pulp Fiction", "Shawshank Redemption", "American Beauty", "Silence Of The Lambs", "Forrest Gump", "Milk" and so forth. When thinking about what movies should be selected for best picture think how it compares to some of these titles and then make your choice of discerning what movies deserve to be on this list and what movies should not.
We hope you have had a great week, and may this weekend be a glorious one,
Love from your humble blogger,
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
We live in a world where more people know who Michael Bay is than who Woody Allen is and have seen more brash movies from Bay than intelligent movies from Allen, we find this to be unfortunate. With the Academy Awards just a few days away we felt that doing a story on Woody would only be fitting being that to us the movie that deserves to win this year happens to be a Woody Allen film, so sit back and read on, Woody is someone you should get to know, he is a brilliant writer and director, and deserves our attention.
If we were to list all the movies Woody Allen has either written, directed, or been part in, this post would take up countless pages for Woody has had a long career with many great successes. One of his first movies that became an instant classic was "Sleeper" which he wrote, directed and stared in, it was released in 1973 and depicts what the future might look like, it was very imaginative and won our hearts. We could talk about a lot of other movies here, but we've decided to focus on a few recent ones you might have heard of and if not should check out. Before we do though, here are some movies you should take a look at as well: "Annie Hall" (1977), "Manhattan" (1979), "The Purple Rose of Cairo" (1985), "Hannah And Her Sisters"(1986), "Mighty Aphrodite" (1995), "Everyone Says I Love you" (1996), "Small Time Crooks" (2000), "The Curse of Jade Scorpion" (2001), and "Anything Else" (2003), we could put all his movies within this list, but alas this is our selection.
Woody Allen has always had this motto of pushing the audience to see the world in a different light, to embrace someone else's perspective on life, and of course he also gives a cultural critique within most of his movies. One could argue that all of his movies offer social critiques about life, love, the meaning of living, the purpose of work and the delight of creativity, which are all great topics rarely discussed by others and thus is addressed by our friend Woody. This is what sets him apart from other writers and directors, Woody will have a very real philosophical theme throughout the movie that will be expertly sown in within the story, so that the story in itself will be engaging but the philosophy and questions that the story sprouts forth will catch you by surprise and thus Woody's brilliance is seen.
A few of his latest movies that show this phenomenon are "Match Point" (2005), "Scoop" (2006), "Cassandra's Dream" (2007), "Vicky Christina Barcelona" (2008), "Whatever Works" (2009), and "You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger" (2010), all of which are brilliant and should be watched. Not all of these movies will win your heart, that's a simple fact, to us the best three up there are "Match Point", "Vicky Christina Barcelona" and "Whatever Works". The cast within all these movies are amazing, and are sporting big names here like, Jonathan Ryes Meyers, Emily Mortimer, Scarlet Johansson (she's been in a lot of his movies as of late), Hugh Jackman, Ewan McGregor, Collin Farrel, Penelope Cruz, Javier Bardem, Larry David, Evan Rachel Wood, Antonio Banderas, Anthony Hopkins, Josh Brolin, and Naomi Watts, this does not even begin to cover the amount of good actors that have worked for him, but here are a few so that a picture of Woody's awesomeness begins to take focus.
It is said to be a high honor to be within a Woody Allen film, very few actors have turned down an invite to be within one of his pictures, being able to be in one of his films is a career making choice and all those that have been a part of the magic have never regretted it. One thing to note if you haven't already is that Woody has released a movie per year since 1982, meaning not only does this guy write and direct his own movies, he also does it once a year and does it well. He has done this so well in fact that he has been nominated to various awards throughout his life, to the point of being nominated by the Academy around 23 times, here is a man that deserves your attention.
This Academy Awards has put Woody's latest movie "Midnight In Paris" on the race for best movie, art direction, directing, and writing (original screenplay), all of which he could win. The movie takes place in Paris just in case you didn't get that from the title, and shows a story about a man who is about to get married and thinks that he is happy, a man who cannot see beyond what he has always known, but is taken up and his eyes opened, to the beauty that life possesses. A story about a struggling writer played by Owen Wilson, his fiance played by Rachel McAdams, and an incredible cast consisting of many fantastic actors including Kathy Bates, Adrien Brody, Carla Bruni, Michael Sheen, Tom Hiddleston, and Corey Stoll. This is a movie that everyone should see, a great movie about thinking outside the box, loving life and recognizing the beauty around you.
If you get a chance to watch some of Woody's work we recommend that you do, and if nothing else do take a look at "Midnight In Paris", it is a delightful movie with something for everyone in it.
We hope this week has been going well for you, and pray that it might finish even better,
Love from your humble blogger,
Monday, February 20, 2012
After we posted our Friday article on the incoming Academy Awards this Sunday on February 26th we have been getting a few questions being asked about the event, though this is the trending question right now and it took us by surprise. When you think about it it shouldn't surprise us that so many people have no idea who Billy Crystal is, the last big movie he was in, was "Monster's Inc" in 2001, where though he does a fantastic job we never get to see his face, so even those that saw him there don't have that familiarity with the actor. 2001, that's 11 years since we have seen a performance by Billy, which means that there is a generation out there that has never heard of the guy or seen anything he has done, the average age of those who don't know who he is goes from new born kids all the way up to 16 years of age which means that it should come to no surprise that so many people don't know who he is. Thus we decided to take the time this week to run a crash course of people that will be there on Sunday that you should know, starting with our boy Billy.
Billy Crystal has been involved in many good movies that you should definitely check out, but one big break in the beginning of his career was being in the TV show Soap in 1977-1981 where those that had not heard of him yet were made aware of his presence. Soon after, Billy finally found the genre he fits in perfectly comedies and romantic comedies where he was a hit in movies like "This Is Spinal Tap" (1984), "Princess Bride" (1987) and "Throw Momma From The Train"(1987). This is the period in his career where many began to love Billy Crystal and find him hilarious, it was a good starter for his next big move, the movie that truly set him apart and probably the one role he has been in that will be remembered for years to come.
There are many romance movies out there but one of the most watched romance movies of all time is "When Harry Met Sally" released in 1989. This was his break, his big contribution and the movie that set him up to forever be remembered. We would be willing to bet that for the majority of those within this generation, where Billy was absent, that know who he is, do so because of this movie. From here on out Billy took a different route, he was now loved by everyone, so in short he could have been in any role he choose, but instead he decided to lay low for a little while, and do what he loved most, stand up comedy.
Throughout his career Billy had been doing stand up shows and really this was the reason for his success. Even before "When Harry Met Sally" Billy had had a huge presence within the stand up world. He had been part of Saturday Night Live, he had released various comedic videos, he even had his own TV show for a while. Though his comedic career made him known by many, it was only after "When Harry Met Sally" where he became known by the whole world, and thus him being chosen to host the Academy Awards in 1990 came as no surprise to anyone. Not only did he do a fantastic job hosting it but he did so well that he was invited back 9 times, that is truly impressive and something that looks very good within a person's resume.
He then sought to go the comedic route and put the movie business on the side, he wasn't part of many great movies for a while until 1998 where he came out in "My Giant", the classic "Analyze This" in 1999 with Robert De Niro, and "America's Sweethearts" in 2001 where he was brilliant in. From then we have him doing voice work on "Monsters Inc" in 2001 and now the long awaited and soon to be released "Monsters University" that should be coming out on 2013. Thus Billy Crystal has been on a lot of good movies that you should check out, give the guy a chance he's kind of a legend.
So now when the Academy Awards happens this coming Sunday and one of your friends asks the question "who is Billy Crystal" you'll be be able to answer them and educate them on a very talented performer who deserves to be remembered in the ages to come, if nothing else you'll be able to answer "he's the 'When Harry Met Sally' guy", which works.
We hope you all have a fantastic Monday and may this week be a great one for you,
Love from your humble blogger,
Friday, February 17, 2012
There is something really special about the Oscars, may it be all the actors coming together, being able to see your favorite movies win awards, or even just to get that laugh from the host, which begins to humanize the celebrities and make them into real people again, people we love to watch. Controversy does surround the Academy, some people are very skeptical about the grading process and speculate to the biases of the Academy, we don't have an opinion on the subject, all we know is that the Oscars is always a fun time and in the end that is what matters most. As promised we will be placing our top choices here today, but before we do, let's talk about the host, and how awesome it is that he is hosting again.
We wish we could express how great it is that Billy Crystal is going to be hosting the Academy Awards again, Billy has hosted about eight shows now and all of them have been clever, funny and a great time, in fact it is said that all hosts that came after him attempt to put some "Billy Crystal" magic within their performance for it surely will spice up a bad performance. Parodies have been happening for a long time, but the going within a movie and making fun of it was popularized by Billy Crystal himself, thus the man changes the game, its just what he does. If this is your first Oscars with Billy be sure to check it out, we assure you that you will like the performance, we hope at least, who can say for sure when it comes to these things. So grab some popcorn, make your choices, sit back and enjoy the show.
To us this was no contest, "Midnight In Paris" is not only well written and directed, but it plays on our emotions and intellect, it challenges us to think outside the box and encounter the world in a different way. "Midnight In Paris" is something that all can enjoy, though we would wager that those that are well read and know their literature will love this movie, in fact there is no way for one to be well read and not love this movie, or at least come to appreciate the fun depiction of older writers. The list of movies in this category pays no challenge really to this movie, our runner ups though are "The Help" in second place and "The Artist" in third.
Animated Feature Film: Rango
Cinematography: The Artist
Art Direction: Midnight In Paris
Actor In A Leading Role
Here we are divided, not by movie choice but by actor loyalty, what we would like the most would be for Gary Oldman to win and get the Oscar he has been deserving for his many roles he has been in since the beginning of his career. With that said it is Jean Dujardin from "The Artist" that deserves to win the award this year. Not only is Jean part of a great project but he does everything perfectly giving us a fantastic performance, one that should be recognized, thus though we would prefer Gary because of our loyalty to him, we can't help but submit that Jean should take home the Oscar.
Costume Design: Hugo
Documentary Feature: Hell And Back Again
Documentary Short: Saving Face
Actress In A Leading Role
Without a doubt Viola Davis from "The Help" should take this award, again we might be partial here for we want "The Help" to win a lot of awards for it was a movie deserving everyone's attention and love. Viola is no push over though, she comes into the scene and does her thing well, we don't have a lot of big names within the cast of "The Help" but the cast behaved like they were. The movie is beautifully casted and directed, props are deserved for the director, he took what he had and with everyone giving a hundred percent he accomplished something incredible. Viola Davis stole our hearts during this movie, here is a woman deserving the Oscar, there is no other more deserving among this line up then her.
Film Editing: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
Foreign Language Film: Canada "Monsieur Lazhar"
Make Up: Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 2
Writing (Original Screenplay): Midnight In Paris
Actor And Actress In A Supporting Role
We never thought we would ever utter these words but Jonah Hill should be taking the award home this year, his performance in "Moneyball" was not only inspiring but a breakthrough within Jonah's own career, here for the first time we got to see how great of an actor Jonah really is, thus due to his performance and his growth we believe that he deserves the award. Obviously when it comes to the actresses we are in a bind, here we have two supporting actresses from "The Help", both of which we feel deserve the Oscar, but though we feel that they deserve it, we cannot negate that Berenice Bejo from "The Artist" in the one that should be taking the award home. If you haven't seen "The Artist" yet then do yourself a favor and go watch it, you will surely agree with our assessment after having seen the movie, Bejo is fabulous and steals the award outright.
Music (Original Score): War Horse
Music (Original Song): "Man or Muppet" from The Muppets
Short Film (Animated): The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr Morris Lessmore
Visual Effects: Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 2
It is no simple feat to write beautiful movies and to direct them to perfection, thus Woody Allen deserves this award over all others. In "Midnight In Paris" Woody Allen is not only seeking to get Wilson to perform his best, but also attempting to depict great heroes in literature, renown icons and not butcher it, thus with the performance being as amazing as it was we cannot take any other stand but to say that Woody Allen has outdone himself this year and deserves the Academy's respect, undoubtedly Woody Allen deserves this award over any other person within the list. We would be surprised and disappointed with the Academy if Woody does not get this award, there is no one more deserving then he.
Short Film (Live Action): Time Freak
Sound Editing: Drive
Sound Mixing: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
Writing (Adapter Screenplay): The Ides of March
And there you have it, all of our choices for this year's Academy Awards. Though we are not the authority when it comes to movies, we feel as though good movies are known to all, there is always a special something that happens when a good movie comes out, where everyone understands that that movie deserves to be the winner. This year we hope to see many awards going to "Midnight In Paris" and "The Help", though we know that "The Artist" will steal the stage at time, as it should.
We hope you have have a fantastic week, and may this weekend be a glorious one,
Love from your humble blogger,
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
This year has just started and a lot of awesome things have been getting made, new products are being announced and overall this year is panning out to be a great one. There's so much to be exited about that sometimes its tough to choose what to be excited over. There is an indisputable feeling of re-freshness when one realizes how great a year is going to be, thus we decided to compile a few reviews of cool things that recently came out in order to share the joy and hope that this will be an awesome year, there is a little something for everyone here, there is so much going on already we can't help but look forward to all else this year will bring.
The Most Watched Valentine's Day Movie
The Vow had everything in it to make it a great movie, it had a good cast, a good story based off of a real story which always works well, and the preview of the movie caused many to go into tears mode, one would imagine that this movie would have been great, but there was a forgotten element, an important element, that this movie missed, one that should never be overlooked, the script. The movie in itself was not a wretched movie, it was a fun movie to watch and it was a tear jerker, but it did not have good dialogue to go with it, this is kind of a big flaw. A requirement within romance movies is that those that love chick flicks will go and cry and enjoy themselves while those that don't are at least presented with a good script, some laughs, and an overall ok experience. The problem with "The Vow" is that because of the poor script many could not find enjoyment within this movie, many who love chick flicks have also admitted to the fact of poor scripting, it's unfortunate really. In the end this movie was a 2/5 at best, with good company it might go to 2.5/5.
Star Wars Episode I 3D
So some of us got the chance to go watch Star Wars Episode I 3D this weekend and we assure you that it was just as corny as it has always and that Jar Jar was as terrible as he has always been. Let's be honest here Episode I is just not that good, the acting is lacking, the script is poor, Jar Jar is in it, and we have the George Lucas' "every scene must have 10 things going on in the background" syndrome. So did the 3D help it at all? Kind of, the 3D effects weren't used often so at times you could take off your glasses and see the movie normally which is to no surprise being that it wasn't filmed in 3D to begin with, some still were disappointed though for the rumors of 3D and the re-release screamed tons of changes and there were only a few so that was disappointing to some. We are on the team that says the least amount of changes Lucas ever does to a movie the better we are, they are rarely good changes to begin with so we're better off without them. The movie is still part of the Star Wars series so loyalty alone carries fans on. The interesting thing about this movie is that the new generation of watchers love it, while the older generation hates it, which happened for good reason, Lucas made this movie with the new generation in mind, so if you go see it do so with this in mind. Overall this movie was a 2.5/5, with good company and comedic commentary it can raise to a 3.5/5 (it's a lot of fun to make fun of this movie).
Mass Effect 3 Demo
For the gamers out there the Mass Effect 3 demo came out yesterday and it blew our minds. In the demo you go through the introduction and one of your first missions in which you get to test controls, fighting mechanics, you get to see how much they have improved the environment and graphics in general, and overall get a little taste of how awesome this game is going to be. ME3 is the most looked forward to game of this year, so lucky to all other games that its coming out next month, thank god that it is. For those new to the game this is the third installment of the series and its conclusion, the big deal with this series is that its a real time role playing shooter that engages you in your decision making and every choice you made on the previous games change the way the story flows within this game. What this means is that the replay value for this game is out of bounds the most developed anyone has ever attempted before. No game has ever incorporated your choices from a previous game into its sequel, not only that but being able to import your own character is awesome as well. Overall ME3 is promising a ton, even a multiplayer mode which IGN just recently praised, and after playing through this demo we can only summarize that Bioware are actually going to be able to deliver all the awesome they promised. Here is a game worth looking forward to, be it on your PS3 or your Xbox 360, or even your PC, this game will be available to all. Look for it March 6th.
If you are a long time reader you know we love Phillip D Franco and everything he does on YouTube, well Phil and his team have recently started a new channel called Source Fed where we get everything we loved from Phil's channel taken to the next level and basically we get everything that mattered throughout the day in 2 min segments they call "20 minutes or less". This channel not only keeps you up to date on everything that is going on in the world but it does so with good humor, good writing, and a great cast, they also have a blog with more relevant news to quench your thirst if you want more. Phil or sxephil will continue to produce his own videos that we love and will take part in some of the Source Fed stuff. This is a good way to stay on top of things that are going on around you, new movie reviews, random social critiques and so forth, it is always a good idea to stay informed on what is going on around you. Be warned that Phil has been known to curse and have more mature content so if you are offended don't see his videos but Source Fed is family friendly, at least so far we have not seen any material or dialogue that was risque. So in the end Source Fed is a good YouTube channel to be filled in on everything that is going on around the world, they update whenever anything of relevance is happening, so almost every day, and house some of the most talented people within YouTube, be sure to give them a look.
There are a lot of other updates to be made of games coming out, movies to see, Angry Birds is now on Facebook (What?! Yeah!!), and with the Academy Awards coming up there is a lot happening, we hope you enjoyed today's blog and that there was something in here for all of you. Be sure to come back on Friday where we will be discussing the Academy Awards and putting our two cents on who deserves the Oscars this year.
We hope you are having a good week and we pray that you will finish strong and have a glorious weekend,
Love from your humble blogger,
Monday, February 13, 2012
Valentine's Day is tomorrow, the time of year some of us love and some of us hate, generally having to do with whether you are single or not. It's a time of giving and love, about putting your significant other first and placing your needs aside, it can bring people together, re-unite couples, spark up your relationship even more, and by making the person you love happy you will be able to share in that happiness thus causing a spread of happiness, which is a beautiful thing. There are a few things that should be remembered though, some Valentine's Day tips that get forgotten, so listen up, this is must know stuff:
People get caught up on buying extravagant gifts every Valentine's Day that comes around, this is not necessarily a bad thing but sometimes this cause some troubles for you later on. The first thing to remember is that 9 out of 10 times the small things matter more than the big things, so keeping it simple rather than extravagant can not only work in your advantage but also make a better gift than being absurd with gifts. A simple step that gets overlooked a lot is budgeting, you should always take your budget into consideration and make sure to purchase something you can afford. There are countless stories of love-struck people going out and getting themselves in debt because of Valentine's Day, so please be responsible with your money and remember that sometimes less is more, and that the small things matter more in the long run than the big things.
Not About You
It's interesting how Valentine's Day has become something so singular at times, every year we hear stories of boyfriends or girlfriends doing all the work and the other partner not doing anything for they feel like this day is only about them, this is a common fallacy among the world. Valentine's Day is about your partner, its about the people you love and appreciate, its a day where you put your needs aside and take your partner's wants and needs into consideration, not a day to be selfish. Of course this works in moderation here, you can dote on your partner and then allow for them to dote on you, that's logical of course, the issue comes in when a person doesn't understand that this day goes both ways, and that by being selfless this day takes on a new meaning in itself, a greater meaning.
Not A Competition
Valentine's Day is not a competition in fact by making it a competition some of the magic about the day is lost, competitions can occur in various forms, and all can ruin a perfectly good day. The most common and deadly form is the "couple competition", a couple trying to one up each other every year on most caring, or most gifts given, and so on, in the end of the day there is a winner and a loser, meaning there isn't equality and the whole point of being selfless goes out the window, by making it a competition you are no longer doing anything as a selfless act but doing everything for the selfish reason of winning the day and getting the Valentine's Day trophy, which defeats the purpose of the day.
The One Up Myth
This is something passed down to all couples starting in middle school and getting more and more ingrained in your head by the time you are in college, the myth that every year you have to "one up" yourself from the year before, this is simply not the case. Every year that goes by while in a relationship you will experience countless sweet and loving moments, these are the moments you should hang on to and remember or recreate at Valentine's Day. Dinners and gifts are nice, but its the celebration of loving moments within your own relationship that will make the day that much more magical. You can recreate your first date, your first kiss, or even a sweet moment that happened the previous year, there is no need to "one up" yourself in gifts or dinners, its not about how extravagant your gifts are, its about the concept behind it, remember that your most valuable Valentine's Day helper are your memories.
Tomorrow remember what Valentine's Day is all about, place your needs aside and love on the person you are with, remember that sometimes less is more and that its not a competition either with your partner or with yourself. Be sure to place Valentine's Day within your budget and plan realistic events, so that you may not put yourself in a bad place with money. Remember that its not about the price of the gift or the dinner that matters but the significance behind the gift or dinner that matters, these are simple truths.
We hope you have a fantastic week, and a glorious Valentine's Day,
Love from your humble blogger,
Friday, February 10, 2012
You know that feeling at the pit of your stomach that you had as you read the title to this blog, this is the feeling you will soon be experiencing in the near future. With the rise of 3D movies and movie companies wanting to make more money on previously released movies be it through remakes, reboots, sequels, prequels or just re-releasing, it would come as no surprise if they actually decided to show "The Godfather" in 3D in theaters, for the record they aren't, Godfather 3D is not in production, you can breath now.
There is an appeal to 3D movies, some movies are greatly enhanced by the experience, the scary thing right now though is that for some reason there is a permeating thought around Hollywood that 3D can be applied to everything, not only that but that 3D will overtake 2D. This is even the case among television companies who have for the better part of two years been trying to work on releasing 3D TVs all across the world. The question that needs to be answered though is "when is 3D an appropriate medium for watching a film?", we believe that it is a fair question, one we intend to answer here.
The obvious first answer is that 3D works for cartoons and animated movies, this could also apply to the genres of sci-fi/fantasy, and b-horror movies. Watching a movie like the new "Alice In Wonderland" in 3D brought the movie from ok to awesome very quickly which is a phenomenon that has occurred to other movies among that genre as well. Though there are some movies within that genre that do not depend upon the 3D factor, take any Pixar movie, one could watch any of those movies without the use of 3D and the movies will still be as awesome as with 3D, though the movie might be more 'fun' with 3D the point here is that the movie in itself can exist outside of the 3D realm.
The problem begins when people start applying 3D to everything that is being made, which in turn actually damages the movie instead of helping it. This is the case for romance, suspense and most if not all drama movies. There is an element of 'fun' that is associated with the 3D scheme, which would detract from the seriousness found in many movies, imagine "Shawshank Redemption" in 3D, it doesn't even sound right, making it three dimensional would detract from the seriousness of the movie and the movie would not have the impact that it could have, had it been shown in its original form.
The best application of 3D is to animated movies, also though, 3D is a good find for discovery channel's shows and movies, this is one thing we can't disagree with television companies in. Some shows would be greatly enhanced, like watching the discovery channel's "Planet Earth" in 3D, that sounds like a fun experience, while at the same time watching "Mad Men" in 3D would destroy the show, so there needs to be a balance, an understanding made between viewer and producer that 3D does not compliment everything, in fact in many cases it destroys the emotional impact of a movie or show, thus there needs to be some sort of accountability dealing with which movies or shows can be 3D and which should never be made 3D.
The other major issue here is the fact that most movie companies are releasing their movies in 3D only because the tickets for the 3D movies are almost double the price than regular movies, meaning the movie companies make double the profit. This is annoying, for some movies aren't meant to be 3D and are only being shown in 3D because the producers want more money; one can only imagine what a director who is against such an action would think as he saw his masterpiece become cheap entertainment and a ploy to make more money. This is an issue which we hope will not be a case in the future, it can't be hard to come up with better technology so that the prices can be cut down again, this is a need that needs to be met, technology gurus get to work.
How could we talk about 3D without mentioning the re-release of Star Wars Episode I 3D this weekend, there are a few points to be made here, the first is to recognize that if this first release of the series does not do well then the others will not be released, meaning Lucas Arts decided to torture us by forcing us to watch the first three episodes in 3D and only if they do well can we have episodes IV, V and VI be released, well played guys, well played. As much as it will kill some fans to go and watch Jar Jar in 3D *shudders* fans around the world will still go and support the movie only because of the promise of the original trilogy, even though Lucas included Darth Vader's "Nooooooooooo" in there. Secondly we should realize that if this movie does well that other movie companies might start thinking about doing this as well, which could mean more re-releases to come, and one of those could be an abomination like "The Godfather" in 3D.
We hope you have had a great week and pray that you may have a glorious weekend,
Love from your humble blogger,
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
About a few weeks or so back Apple announced that the Ipad 3 will be coming out sometime soon shocking all of us for there has never been such a short gap between releases, and though they have been criticized for this move one can't help but appreciate the updates they will be bringing with it, there are a few, but none as game changing as their announcement about school books. Say what you wish about Apple, about how many "updates" they release a year and so on, without fail they change the game every few years, and this will be the next big game changer, one that might bring about many positive repercussions, while possibly causing some negative backlash in the process.
Here is the point, apparently Apple has announced that they are striking a deal with Junior/Senior High Schools which includes all of the books a student might need for class to be available for purchase on the Ipad and for all those books to be less than $50. The price range is still in negotiation, but the bottom line is the same, books will be available cheap for students. There are a few awesome things that will be available as well like teachers will be able to send full class notes to everyone in the class via the Ipad, which means that if you miss class your professor will be able to forward you all the information you missed thus you won't be as harmed by missing class as you would now.
It is rumored that the book software on it is greatly improved as well, the feature that really caught our eye was that as you highlight terms on your book the Ipad records those terms and will make flash cards for you to be able to study those terms later, which is a huge time waster when you do it be hand, for anyone out there that knows what it is to study for a test with 300 vocab words this is good news for you. Apple has not been able to hit the college market yet for it is a mess, but surely in the coming years we will see the Ipad and other notebooks make their way into all college classrooms, not only cutting the price of books but also lowering the load in your backpack.
The advantages to the ebook versus regular books is endless and easy to see, right now a regular college student spends about 200-300 on books, if you're going for any medical field it comes close to 500-700, which is absurd, book pricing within schools has become an absurdity, and thus explains why students cheered when they heard about this possible aid to their wallets. Apple has not been the only company trying to make headway into this direction but sometimes it feels like Apple is always the first company that actually makes it happen, soon we will see various companies follow suit making Ipads and other notebooks the way of the future.
How could this ever have bad repercussions? Well, this would cause regular books to become less desired, thus less people would buy books and more people would opt for the electronic copy of a book versus the printed copy. This would occur for good reason, the printed copy is always more expensive than the electronic copy due to use of paper, binding and so on. The first people to feel this effect would be the small book sellers, the small stores would close first, libraries would become less and less traveled, though their book stock would grow due to people getting rid of their books, then soon the publishers would feel the damage and many binders would go out of business as well. This is a possible negative outcome.
It would be unfortunate if that outcome came to pass but we do not believe that it will, yes some impact will be felt within the market, but we cannot make any claim about what is going to happen without analyzing the best example we have in front of us, music. When music went electronic we all thought that CD stores would go out of business, that the music industry would plummet and that lowering CD cost to $9.99 on Itunes was entertainment suicide, but look at us now, we still have music stores, we still have CDs for sale and on of top that Vinyl is actually making a come back, so do we feel that regular books will disappear?, by all means no, this will that not occur, short of a world wide book burning.
Books being available cheaper for students is something we all need, for education, for our economy, and even for health and efficiency, it will change the way we do school for the better, it will not destroy the existence of books in print, there will always be a market for books in print, there are plenty of people out there that love the feel of a book, the smell of a new book, the ability to turn the pages yourself and so on. For those of us that grew up reading printed books going electronic will be difficult, though for some topics going electronic won't be hard at all. Besides school books, think cooking books, think aerobic books, research books, dictionaries, reference books, sports books and so on, the change to ebooks is not only more practical but it will be cheaper, more organized and won't occupy a ton of space in your home, which are all great things.
We are looking forward to the future, for it looks more and more like it will be a good one. We hope you have had a good week so far, and that you will finish this week strong.
Love from your humble blogger,