Sunday February 27th marks the 83rd Academy Awards, people! Are you excited?! Really? Are you really? You’re not just saying that are you? Ok good, me too!
Yeah that’s right, I’m actually looking forward to the Oscars this year. Shocking considering that I’m not the biggest fan of these award shows and I think that they’re generally full of crap and give out awards to the films that have the highest paying producers. But meh. This year I’ve actually seen the majority of films in the best motion picture category! (6 out of ten ain’t bad right?) And the best part? I liked em! Sure there were some that I felt were weaker than others (more on that in a second) but all in all it should make for an exciting awards ceremony.
So in case you live under a rock or something and don’t know the nominees this year, here’s the big five for ya:
Best Motion Picture:
- 127 Hours
- Black Swan
- The Fighter
- The Kids Are All Right
- The King’s Speech
- The Social Network
- Toy Story 3
- True Grit
- Winter’s Bone
- Javier Bardem for Biutiful
- Jeff Bridges for True Grit
- Jesse Eisenberg for The Social Network
- Colin Firth for The King’s Speech
- James Franco for 127 Hours
- Annette Bening for The Kids Are All Right
- Nicole Kidman for Rabbit Hole
- Jennifer Lawrence for Winter’s Bone
- Natalie Portman for Black Swan
- Michelle Williams for Blue Valentine
Best Supporting Actor:
- Christian Bale for The Fighter
- John Hawkes for Winter’s Bone
- Jeremy Renner for The Town
- Mark Ruffalo for The Kids Are All Right
- Geoffrey Rush for The King’s Speech
Best Supporting Actress:
- Amy Adams for The Fighter
- Helena Bonham Carter for The King’s Speech
- Melissa Leo for The Fighter
- Hailee Steinfeld for True Grit
- Jacki Weaver for Animal Kingdom
Now what would be a list of nominees without my winner predictions? Personally I think it’s gonna go a little something like: The Social Network, Colin Firth, Natalie Portman, Christian Bale, and Melissa Leo. These aren’t necessarily what I want to see win (with the exception of Natalie Portman of course) but rather just my predictions based off of the Golden Globes and SAG awards that recently happened. As I said above, while all the films in the best picture category were great, there are some that I thought were weaker than others, The Social Network being one of them. Yeah that’s right, I’m one of those people who didn’t really think it was as great as everyone was making it out to be. But considering that it friggin’ swept the Golden Globes, I wouldn’t be surprised if something similar happened Oscar night.
I will be updating during the Oscars to see how well I did with my predictions, and if you have any differences feel free to comment below.
Directed by Ed Wood Jr. Starring Bela Lugosi, Vampira, Gregory Walcott, Dudley Manlove, and John Breckinridge
A lot of people ask me what my favorite movie is (not actually true) and after a long, drawn out, awkward silence where I stare into space, desperately raking my brain searching for the movie that stands out above them all, only to come up with images of Gary Oldman or Anchorman, I answer I don’t know. It’s impossible for me to pin down one movie as “the best ever” so I’m going to do something nigh impossible for someone as important lazy as I am and create a list of the best. The best of the best. The bestest. Yeah, there we go. And what better way to kick off my “bestest” list than with what is widely considered the worst science fiction film to ever, Ed Wood Jr.’s Plan 9 from Outer Space!
“Wait, wait, wait, you’re putting what is arguably the worst B movie ever made on your ‘best of’ list?” Yes I am strange voice inside my head. Yes I am. But don’t get me wrong here, I’m not saying that Plan 9 isn’t bad, that thing is God awful. I could go on for hours about the hub-cap flying saucers on visible wires, scenes unexplainably switching between night and day, the countless plot holes, hammy acting, the posthumous performance of Bela Lugosi, and the oh so ridiculous dialogue. Hell, the movie’s opening lines are “we think most about the future because that is where we’re going to spend the rest of our lives.” Suck on that prose Shakespeare.
But none of that matters, Plan 9 is so damn awful that it transcends criticism, you can’t help but smile and laugh when you watch the movie, immediately forgiving its countless flaws and instead taking in its creativity and wackiness. What is so fantastic about this movie isn’t so much the final product (although it certainly is something special in its own right) but rather the passion and determination that it represents. Plan 9 was nothing more than a brainchild of a man who loved movies and who would stop at nothing to make them. Absolutely nothing.
Ed Wood is often criticized for this highly exploitative filmography, which technically is an accurate accusation since the guy did go on to make X rated movies in his final years (Plan 69 from Outer Space was not of his creation sadly). However he did take pride in his work and held a serious passion for cinema. While his films were cheesy, over-acted, and poorly produced, he put in his full heart and soul to each one, oftentimes holding multiple positions for each film such as director, writer, producer and sometimes even acting in them (much like his idol Orson Welles.)
Not even the untimely death of his good friend and film star Bela Lugosi would stop the production of Plan 9 as the ever crafty Ed Wood incorporated clips of an unfinished film starring Lugosi and had his chiropractor serve as a body double for the remainder of the scenes. Ingenuity at its finest. Let’s not forget too that Ed Wood’s ardor and spirit were the inspiration for Tim Burton’s 1994 film Ed Wood a “biopic” of the filmmaker’s life. A critically acclaimed film revolving entirely around someone considered one of the worst filmmakers of all time. That’s gotta be some kinda irony right?
Plan 9 from Outer Space is like the macaroni picture frame your kid brings home from arts and crafts. Yeah it looks like crap, but you hang it up anyway because it is full of creativity, hard work and love. The film is great for a laugh as well as a source of inspiration (if Ed Wood can make a film I can too!) So here you go Ed, I’m puttin it up on my fridge.
Determining what is and isn’t a good movie is a slippery slope. Tastes vary from person to person and when it comes time to hand over an award to the “best” actor or film, there’s bound to be some people left disappointed. This week both the Golden Globes and the Screen Actors Guild nominations came out, and while I didn’t find too much of it surprising, I decided I should share the information anyways.
The Golden Globes are the second biggest industry of awards right behind the Oscars and, while they do sometimes give an idea of what you might expect to see come Oscar night, they generally reflect the constant bribing studios and network execs put out towards the HFPA (Hollywood Foreign Press Association) which leads to all sorts of snubs and surprises. This year’s awards were pretty well dominated by The King’s Speech and Glee (go figure), but I’ve gots a list of some of the more interesting nods:
Johnny Depp nominated for The Tourist. I can’t really talk much about this one as I haven’t seen the film itself, but the critics and reviewers out there have basically panned Depp’s performance in it. But he still snagged a nomination. Hmm.
Mila Kunis nominated for supporting actress in Black Swan. This isn’t a bad surprise, just interesting considering that she wasn’t talked about or expected to be nominated for anything. I think Mila is a fine actress (very, very fine) and hopefully this role will help her snag some more dramatic parts later on.
True Grit left OUT. Yeah, yeah so I haven’t seen the movie yet but come on. The Coen Brothers. Jeff Bridges. Hell, Matt Damon! This movie has been talked up as one of the best of the year, and yet it’s been left out of all the main categories. Even more surprising considering the Coen Brothers are usually a hit come award season.
These are just a few of the snubs and surprises that came with the Globes this year and you can feel free to check out the complete list from the Golden Globe website, I have at the bottom of this post a list of the main categories and their nominations for just a quick look.
The most recent on the award nomination lists is the Screen Actor Guild awards which came in today. SAG members vote for the nominations which leads to an interesting result, as it reflects what actors considered were the best performances. There really isn’t much of a surprise to the SAGs, the one I found most shocking would be Leonardo DiCaprio getting snubbed after his performances in Shutter Island and Inception (both of which are being pushed for nominations come Oscar time). I think Leo was outstanding in both of these films and it’s pretty surprising that he didn’t get any recognition for either.
If you want to check out the full list of SAG nominees, check it out at the Screen Actors Guild website or take a little look see at the quick list I have at the bottom of the post.
So yeah, not too much of an uproar with nominations this year, I’m just waiting for Oscar season when the awards are actually interesting.
Golden Globe Nominations – Best Picture, Actor and Actress
- BEST MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA
- BLACK SWANProtozoa Pictures & Cross Creek Pictures & Phoenix; Fox Searchlight Pictures
- THE FIGHTERParamount Pictures and Relativity Media; Paramount Pictures and Relativity Media
- INCEPTIONWarner Bros. Pictures UK LTD.; Warner Bros. Pictures
- THE KING’S SPEECHSee-Saw Films and Bedlam Productions; The Weinstein Company
- THE SOCIAL NETWORKColumbia Pictures; Sony Pictures Releasing
- BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA
HALLE BERRY FRANKIE AND ALICE
NICOLE KIDMAN RABBIT HOLE
JENNIFER LAWRENCE WINTER’S BONE
NATALIE PORTMAN BLACK SWAN
MICHELLE WILLIAMS BLUE VALENTINE
- BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA
JESSE EISENBERG THE SOCIAL NETWORK
COLIN FIRTH THE KING’S SPEECH
JAMES FRANCO 127 HOURS
RYAN GOSLING BLUE VALENTINE
MARK WAHLBERG THE FIGHTER
- BEST MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY OR MUSICAL
- ALICE IN WONDERLANDWalt Disney Pictures; Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
- BURLESQUEScreen Gems; Sony Pictures Releasing
- THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHTAntidote Films, Mandalay Vision, Gilbert Films; Focus Features
- REDdi Bonaventura Pictures; Summit Entertainment
- THE TOURISTGK Films; Sony Pictures Releasing
- BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY OR MUSICAL
ANNETTE BENING THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT
ANNE HATHAWAY LOVE AND OTHER DRUGS
ANGELINA JOLIE THE TOURIST
JULIANNE MOORE THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT
EMMA STONE EASY A
- BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY OR MUSICAL
JOHNNY DEPP ALICE IN WONDERLAND
JOHNNY DEPP THE TOURIST
PAUL GIAMATTI BARNEY’S VERSION
JAKE GYLLENHAAL LOVE AND OTHER DRUGS
KEVIN SPACEY CASINO JACK
SAG Nominations – Best Picture, Actor and Actress
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
JEFF BRIDGES / Rooster Cogburn – “TRUE GRIT” (Paramount Pictures)
ROBERT DUVALL / Felix Bush – “GET LOW” (Sony Pictures Classics)
JESSE EISENBERG / Mark Zuckerberg – “THE SOCIAL NETWORK” (Columbia Pictures)
COLIN FIRTH / King George VI – “THE KING’S SPEECH” (The Weinstein Company)
JAMES FRANCO / Aron Ralston – “127 HOURS” (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role
ANNETTE BENING / Nic – “THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT” (Focus Features)
NICOLE KIDMAN / Becca – “RABBIT HOLE” (Lionsgate)
JENNIFER LAWRENCE / Ree Dolly – “WINTER’S BONE” (Roadside Attractions)
NATALIE PORTMAN / Nina Sayers – “BLACK SWAN” (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
HILARY SWANK / Betty Anne Waters – “CONVICTION” (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
CHRISTIAN BALE / Dicky Eklund – “THE FIGHTER” (Paramount Pictures)
JOHN HAWKES / Teardrop – “WINTER’S BONE” (Roadside Attractions)
JEREMY RENNER / James Coughlin – “THE TOWN” (Warner Bros. Pictures)
MARK RUFFALO / Paul – “THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT” (Focus Features)
GEOFFREY RUSH / Lionel Logue – “THE KING’S SPEECH” (The Weinstein Company)
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
AMY ADAMS / Charlene Fleming – “THE FIGHTER” (Paramount Pictures)
HELENA BONHAM CARTER / Queen Elizabeth – “THE KING’S SPEECH” (The Weinstein Company)
MILA KUNIS / Lily – “BLACK SWAN” (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
MELISSA LEO / Alice Ward – “THE FIGHTER” (Paramount Pictures)
HAILEE STEINFELD / Mattie Ross – “TRUE GRIT” (Paramount Pictures)
So, I haven’t written about Emma Stone up here in quite some time, and while I’m in the midst of writing all sorts of other stuff I feel that this takes a little more precedence over all of that.
She had to have her hair dyed for her new role as Gwen Stacy in the upcoming Spider-Man re-boot. I must say I miss the red hair, but she’s gotta do what she’s gotta do….I guess.
Canadian-born actor and star of such comedy classics as Airplane! and The Naked Gun series, Leslie Nielsen, died today, Sunday November 28 at the age of 84. He passed away at a hospital near his home in Fort Lauderdale, FL due to complications from pneumonia.
Leslie Nielsen started out his acting career in dramatic television during the 1950s and got his big break with the 1956 film, Forbidden Planet, which became a huge success landing Nielsen a line of other MGM films. However, despite his dramatic background, Nielsen was most widely known for his comedies, particularly his role as Frank Drebin in The Naked Gun series.
Nielsen was the absolute master of deadpan comedy. His calm, matter-of-fact delivery paired with the absurdity surrounding him made such simple lines like, “I am serious. And don’t call me Shirley.” all the more hilarious. That line of course comes from the 1980s satire, Airplane! in which Nielsen plays a doctor on board an airplane where people are falling sick from food poisoning. It’s ranked on AFI’s top 100 comedies of all time and is the host of one of my favorite lines in comedy history:
“A hospital? What is it?” the flight attendant asks, referring to the illness
“It’s a big building with patients, but that’s not important right now.” replies Nielsen in perfect deadpan.
It’s difficult to see a tremendous talent pass, especially when it is held by someone as good-hearted as Leslie Nielsen. And so in our own special way, Bitchy Queens is going to honor his talent and impact on the film world by Chris and I each watching our favorite Nielsen comedy and posting up our ramblings about it as a sort of thank you and final good-bye to a comedy legend.
R.I.P. Mr. Nielsen.
Thursday night I went to go and see the midnight premiere of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I (review coming later) and amidst the crazy of the super-fans all dressed up as Hermione, Bellatrix or Snape, there were the previews. I generally enjoy previews, except for when they last an hour long and are all about some ancient Knight that has to rise up and become King or a quirky couple that hate each other and (against all odds) fall in love. All in all though, previews are a great way to see what’s coming up and ultimately judge a movie’s quality. I decided to make this little segment all about previews for movies that I’m excited about, movies that look crappy, or just cool lookin’ trailers, and for purposes of this first post I’m going to talk briefly about the line-up of trailers that were at the HP premiere starting first with:
Directed by Kevin Macdonald, starring Channing Tatum, Jamie Bell and Donald Sutherland
I’d like to preface my thoughts about this movie by letting you all know that I have a deep-seated hatred for Channing Tatum. I’m not sure where or when it started, but G.I.Joe sure as hell didn’t help it, and the fact that the’s starring in this movie will skew my opinion on it no matter how good it is. Having said that, he doesn’t look that God awful in it and it does have Jamie Bell and Donald Sutherland so that may be able to balance it out. Maybe. This movie falls under the “epic journey” category and while it may have a slightly different plot than most Knight movies, it doesn’t seem to have any sort of different feel making it, well, boring.
Which brings me into the next movie:
Directed by Dominic Sena, starring Nicolas Cage, Ron Perlman and Claire Foy
The theater I was in played this and The Eagle‘s trailer back to back and it honestly took me a moment to realize that they were two different movies. Now I understand that the time periods are generally the same, but everything down to the colors and tone were practically identical. What makes this one stand out is it’s plot, you know the whole dealing with a witch thing. I think that element looks pretty interesting, but all of the slow motion Knight battles set to heavy metal fused with Gregorian chants makes it seem like another generic battle movie. But hey it’s got Nic Cage, so that’s a plus.
Directed by Catherine Hardwicke, starring Amanda Seyfield, Lukas Haas and Gary Oldman
Of all the trailers I saw that night, this is the one that stuck with me the longest. As bizarre as the concept may seem this film looks interesting. I wasn’t sure how I’d buy into the whole making little red riding hood “edgier” but it sure is different. I’m not the biggest fan of Catherine Hardwicke’s stuff but this trailer has gotten my attention, oh and Gary Oldman! Im just glad that I’m not the only one who pictured little red riding hood gettin it on with the woodcutter.
Directed by Michael Gondry, starring Seth Rogen, Jay Chou and Christoph Waltz
This is just an add on to the trailers that have been circling around for quite a bit now, although it gives us a little bit more of Christoph Waltz’s villain as well as some more Rogen one-liners. I’m liking what I see from this movie so far, and I’m very excited for it’s release in 2011.
Directed by Jon Favreau, starring Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford and Olivia Wilde. Adapted from the graphic novel of the same name by Scott Mitchell Rosenburg
This is the most ridiculous thing I have ever seen and I absolutely love it. First off it’s directed by Favreau (Ironman) and it’s about freaking cowboys fighting aliens. It’s got everything a good story needs: cowboys, aliens, conflict and Olivia Wilde. Harrison Ford sure is looking old in this one though, but I mean who doesn’t love the guy? This trailer made me cry with laughter, which is even funnier considering this isn’t supposed to be a comedy. Nonetheless, I can’t wait for this one to come out.
Directed by Martin Campbell, starring Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively and Peter Sarsgaard
Unfortunately I was least impressed by this one. I’m a pretty big comic book fan and I’ve been looking forward to this film for quite a long time now, but this trailer really just turned me off. I don’t know if it was entirely down to the crappy looking CGI or the whole Fantastic Four vibe I got from it, but I just hope that the finished product is significantly better than this trailer was. I do have to say that I enjoy Ryan Reynolds though, and from what they showed it seems like he does a good job, everything else though…eeks…
Two-time Academy Award winner Daniel Day-Lewis has been cast as honest Abe in Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln set to release in 2012. DDL beat out contender Liam Neeson for this role, and while I personally think that Neeson looks a bit more like the Prez, Lewis is one of the most versatile actors in the business today so I’m sure he’ll pull off the role brilliantly. I like him in case you couldn’t tell. Here’s a little more information about the movie:
Based on the best-selling book, Team of Rivals, by Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, the screenplay has been written by the Pulitzer Prize winner, Tony Award winner, and Academy Award nominated writer Tony Kushner. It will be produced by Kathleen Kennedy and Steven Spielberg.
It is anticipated that the film will focus on the political collision of Lincoln and the powerful men of his cabinet on the road to abolition and the end of the Civil War.
Let’s just hope his Lincoln is as crazy as Bill the Butcher