Monday, February 28, 2011

Oscar Recap!

Well I wasn't too far off with my predictions.  "The King's Speech" took home most of the honors including Best Director, Actor, Screenplay and Picture.  This was not surprising. 

A big snub was the "The Social Network", which I thought would win for Best Director.

Natalie Portman won a well deserved award for "Black Swan".  Although I thought Annette Bening would win for being the sentimental favorite, Portman held out and won for the better role. 

All in all I would say that this year's Oscars were pretty damn boring and predicatble.  To improve the Oscars, I say let there be more upsets and crazy goings-on during the broadcast!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

2011 Razzie Award Picks!

Although making a good movie is a feat in of itself, I personally believe that making a bad movie is even more of an achievement considering the odds are in your favor to make at least a mediocre movie.  Thank God the Razzies exist to celebrate the dubious "achievements" of bad movies of the past year.  I actually find the ceremony to be more entertaining and interesting than the Oscars, plus it has less back room politics than the Oscars has.  Anyway, Crazy Movie Guy A GoGo has all your 2011 Razzie Picks!

Worst Eye Gouging Misuse of 3-D: The Last Airbender
M. Night Shyamalan's infamous film leads the pack with 9 nominations along with Twilight: Eclipse.  Basically its a showdown between these two films.  Expect Last Airbender to take this prize considering the 3-D did nothing to enhance the story.

Worst Screenplay: M. Night Shyamalan- The Last Airbender
This is not surprising, considering I think that Shyamalan has it coming to him for taking himself too seriously.

Worst Director: David Slade- Twilight: Eclipse
Though Shyamalan gets worst Screenplay, Twilight strikes its first win of the night getting Worst Director for Slade.

Worst Prequel, Rip-Off or Sequel: Twilight: Eclipse
This is a consolation prize for Twilight, I don't think its going to win Worst Picture, so they get this just well-deserved award.

Worst Screen Couple: The Entire Cast of Sex and The City 2
The other film I believe that can beat Last Airbender and Twilight is this god awful piece of shit, Sex and The City 2.  The worst screen couple award is a fitting award for this film.

Worst Supporting Actress: Jessica Alba for Machete, The Killer Inside Me, Little Fockers and Valentine's Day
Jessica Alba has the most films for nomination in this category and I fully expect her to bring home the Razzie.  Seriously beside Dark Angel has Alba been in anything relatively decent? The answer: no.

Worst Supporting Actor: Billy Ray Cyrus- The Spy Next Door
Expect Billy Ray to get a second straight win for Worst Supporting Actor for The Spy Next Door; considering the controversy surronding his personal life, the win will be even more bittersweet.

Worst Actress: Miley Cyrus- The Last Song
Although Kristen Stewart may win for Twilight and don't count out Jennifer Aniston to win for The Switch and The Bounty Hunter, I fully expect Miley Cyrus to upset the others in the category to win the coveted Razzie for Worst Actress.  Plus (call me a sentimental guy) I'd love to see her win along with her Dad.

Worst Actor: Jack Black- Gulliver's Travels
A Film that was a travesty to Jonathan Swift's classic satire, Black completely deserves this award.  Its also amazing to see how much his career has fallen.  Although a Twilight win for Robert Pattinson or Taylor Lautner is possible, I feel that next year will be the year for all things Twilight at the Razzies when we'll see a Twilight sweep!

Worst Picture: The Last Airbender
This really comes as no surprise, this putrid mess of a movie will be "fondly" remembered for years to come.  Therefore expect The Last Airbender to win Worst Picture and enter its way into Razzie immortality!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Oscar Picks 2011!

Hello Movie Folks!

Crazy Movie Guy A-GoGo has all your Oscar picks for 2011 along with the reasoning behind them.  Please note, I'm limiting this to just a few categories.  Anyway, here are the picks:

Best Documentary: Exit Through The Gift Shop
Banksy's documentary challenges what a documentary should be, all the while making it extremely interesting and innovative. 

Best Foreign Film: Biutiful
This is probably the one with the best name recognition and considering the academy has gone with more obscure foreign films in the past few years, I expect they'll go with the film with a known director and actor.

Best Animated Feature: Toy Story 3
Not surprising, and Pixar continues its dominance.

Best Adapted Screenplay: Aaron Sorkin- The Social Network
Once again, not surprising.  Sorkin's Script has won major awards in the pre-oscar race, and don't be surprised if he takes home the statue again tonight.

Best Original Screenplay: Christopher Nolan- Inception
This is a consolation prize for Nolan, considering that Nolan wasn't nominated for Best Director.  This way the Academy can give him a prize without giving him Best Director.

Best Supporting Actress: Hailee Stenfield- True Grit
The big shocker of the night comes in this category.  Steinfeld and the film have been gaining steam, so if she comes home with the Oscar I wouldn't be surprised.

Best Supporting Actor: Christian Bale- The Fighter
This category is wide open with no clear front runner, although Geoffrey Rush may be a strong contender, he has already won the Oscar in the past; although John Hawkes has been gathering steam for his performance, I feel that he is too much of an unknown to win.  Expect Bale to take home the Oscar for his performance as Irish Mickey Ward's drug addicted brother. 

Best Actress: Annette Bening- The Kids Are All Right
Although Portman deserves and should win for "Black Swan", Bening is the sentimental favorite to win.  Plus she has alot of clout considering she is married to Mr. Warren Beatty.

Best Actor: Colin Firth- The King's Speech
Really no surprises.  Firth is going to win Best Actor.  End of story.

Best Director: David Fincher- The Social Network
This is not surprising either, Fincher has won the major pre-oscar awards and will probably win again.

Best Picture: The King's Speech
Although "The Social Network" may take it, The King's Speech is more of an Oscar Choice, and a damn good movie.  That is all for the picks!

Name Change!

Dear Folks,

Since I've bascially posted only about movies, and since I like writing about movies more than music or books, I've refocused this blog to make about just about films, with the occasional sports/music/food reference thrown in for good measure.  Also, I'm going to start posting at least twice a month.  Anyway, keep on reading!


Crazy Movie Guy A-GoGo!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Oscar Nominee Picks for 2011!

Hello Folks,

Sorry I haven't been keeping up with the blog posts as much as I would like to.  Basically when you're trying to find a job, apply to Grad School, work at an internship, and have no internet access, its gets tough to keep a blog.  However, since the Oscars are down the road, I thought I would do the service of who I think will be nominated for the award ceremony and who I would like to see nominated, although some of these are mere pipe dreams.  Please note I didn't use every single category or have seen every single film.  These predictions are based on the films and performances I have seen and from what I've read and heard.  Also, this is just a Nominating prediction, not the actual winner prediction.

Best Supporting Actress:
Mila Kunis- Black Swan
Helena Bonham Carter- The King's Speech
Melissa Leo- The Fighter
Julianne Moore- The Kids are All Right
Hailee Steinfeld- True Grit

All of these choices make sense; considering the buzz each of these performances are getting.  Steinfeld is probably the dark horse to get nominated, but her performance has earned great reviews, and the Academy loves nominating kids (i.e. Tatum O'Neil, Saiorise Ronan, etc.)

Best Supporting Actor:
Christian Bale- The Fighter
Andrew Garfield- The Social Network
Geoffrey Rush- The King's Speech
Mark Ruffalo- The Kids Are All Right
Vincent Cassell- Black Swan

This is where it gets interesting.  The academy loves guys who are villains, so don't be surprised if Cassell gets nominated for Black Swan, considering his dark and creepy turn as the director of the Ballet Company.

Best Actress:
Natalie Portman- Black Swan
Annentte Benning- The Kids Are All Right
Anne Hathaway- Love and Other Drugs
Jennifer Lawrence- Winter's Bone
Michelle Williams- Blue Valentine

Is it any coincidence that Hathaway gets nominated the same year she is co-hosting the Oscars with James Franco?  The answer: I don't think so!  The Academy to tune in, so getting a young "dynamic" (aka sexy) host and having that host get nominated for an Oscar, makes this drama in and of itself.  Plus it will probably equal better ratings for the telecast.

Best Actor:
Colin Firth- The King's Speech
Jeff Bridges- True Grit
Jesse Eisenburg- The Social Network
Edgar Ramirez- Carlos (dark horse)
James Franco- 127 Hours

Now this will be interesting.  Although I don't think Edgar Ramirez has a snowball's chance in hell of getting nominated (which is a damn shame), his role as Carlos the Jackal was by far the best performance I have seen all year.  Talk about a guy who had to do everything for the role (changing physical appearance, speaking in five different languages, being in every scene) Ramirez did it all and more.  Anyway, since the whole status of Carlos is weird (it was a french mini-series that was released at the Cannes Film Festival and later released theatrically in the US along with it being aired on American TV), I think Ramirez will unfortunately be locked out.  Expect Mark Wahlberg from "The Fighter" to take Ramirez' place or Javier Bardem for "Biutiful."  Plus Franco hosting the Oscars + being nominated= Higher Ratings.

Best Director:
Christopher Nolan- Inception
David Fincher- The Social Network
David O. Russell- The Fighter
The Coen Brothers- True Grit
Oliver Assayas- Carlos

This is once again wishful thinking on my part, but I would love to see Assayas be recognized for his excellent work on "Carlos."  See the above posting on why I don't think he will be nominated, but Assayas deserves at least some recognition for making a film that has 7 different languages and is set in nearly a dozen countries, spanning three continents.  Anyway, substitute Assayas for Danny Boyle (127 Hours) or Tom  Hooper (The King's Speech) and you got your nominations.

Best Picture:
Toy Story 3
The King's Speech
The Fighter
The Social Network
True Grit
The Town
Black Swan
The Kids Are All Right
127 Hours

Really, these nominations aren't at all that surprising.  Almost everyone has known that these ten films will be nominated.  Also, I really wish that the Academy would do away with the ten nominees, it makes the selection crowded and also includes mediocre movies that should not be included.  Anyway that is the Oscar nomination list.  Come back in a few weeks to see how my picks stacked up to the actual nominations.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

the Top 10 worst Christmas/Holiday Songs

Ah, Christmas.  The Holly and the Ivy, Christmas Trees, Wassail, stockings, your favorite specials on TV, all those things make Christmas and the holiday season great.  However, in recent years it has become more and more popular to play Christmas music starting immediatly after Halloween all the way to January 6th (the official Twelfth Night or Twelfth Day of Christmas if you will.)  Although some Christmas songs are established classics in their own right and should always be heard in the holiday season, others are just god damned obnoxious because they are relentlessy overplayed or are just bad to begin with.  This list concerns these Christmas and Holiday songs that are just so horrible that they could turn any Santa into a Scrooge.

10. "Do They Know It's Christmas?" (1984) by Band Aid: 

Basically this song is a huge guilty pleasure of mine.  Although this song is great to sing when you are completely blasted out of your mind on wassail or holiday cheer, if you took a close look at the lyrics, you realize that they are extremely paternalistc and almost condescending.  Tthink about it, the starving Ethiopians probably don't give a shit about Christmas, they care about food!  Plus, your damn right, there will be no snow in Africa, because it is a sub-tropical continent.  Another weird addition are the people who they picked to sing the song.  Although some notable artists like Sting, David Bowie, and Bono make sense for their contributions to music, other artists that sang on the record have had less considerable staying power or have become a punch line for late time talk show hosts.  Some of these artists include Boy George, George Michael, Bananarama, and Big Country.  Plus the song made Bob Geldof one of the biggest douches of all time.

9. "I Want A Hippopotamus for Christmas" (1953) by Gayla Peevey:

This song, a suggestion from my friend Jen, is cute the first time you hear it, but gets annoying to down right wanting to kill yourself with each subsequent listen.  If you haven't heard this song, even though I am sure you have, the song basically concerns how a little girl wants a Hippopotamus for Christmas.  From the bassoons that seem out of place, to Peevy's nails on chalk board voice, this song is a good one to skip over during any holiday season.  Plus why would you want a Hippo for Christmas?  They're really big, aggressive and smell bad.

8. Rocking Around The Christmas Tree (1958) by Brenda Lee:

The first of our Christmas songs on this list to feature the new fangled music the kids are listening to called Rock and Roll, "Rocking Around The Christmas Tree" falls under the same category that "I Want A Hippo" falls under, in that the music doesn't fit the structure of the song, and the voice of Brenda Lee is down right annoying.  Basically the song is about Rocking Around The Christmas Tree as it were, even though I don't really the know how that would be possible considering that you probably would knock over said Christmas tree.  The music has a stupid guitar solo that sounds like they just put it in there to capitalize on rock and roll so the teenagers would buy the record, and Lee sounds terribly bored and annoying singing the song.  Urban Legend says it that Lee's disdain for the song was so great that she tried inserting f-bombs into the recording.  Plus, an even worse cornier version was made by LeAnn Rimes.

7. Last Christmas (1984)- by Wham!:

Wham!'s 1984 single Last Christmas has much in common with other Christmas songs from the 1980s in that almost all of them were synth-based bubblegum pop that while extremely catchy, became instantly overplayed and annoying.  This begs the question: what made us so fond of the song to begin with. The song is basically about how George Michael has given his penis...errr I mean "heart" another person.  The lyrics basically repeat the entire chorus over and over again and the stupid synth-based music gets into your damn head and it doesn't want to get out.  Plus that single cover is horrible.

6. Winter Wonderland by Various Artists:

It appears that almost every single singer or band in the entire world has covered "Winter Wonderland" and why not?  The song lends itself well because it is about Winter, thereby making it secular and therefore more PC than other christmas songs.  But that doesn't mean that it sucks any less!  Basically "Winter Wonderland" has an extremely terrible melody with equally excrutiating lyrics that talk about dressing up a snow man like a traveling parson and talking about how beautiful winter is, which I disagree with.  Beside the first couple of days after the first snow fall, the beauty and joy of winter turns into dread due to the fact that you have to shovel said snow, stay inside, and have to deal with the freezing cold on a daily basis.  Versions of this song have also been increasingly bizzarre with covers being done by Frank Sinatra, The Eurthymics, and perhaps the most bizarre interpretation of all: Jessica Simpson and Ozzy Osbourne.  Seriously, youtube it, it's nuts.

5. O Holy Night (1998) by Celine Dion:

Let's not forget the real reason Christmas is celebrated, the birth of Jesus.  But somehow this message gets lost in the crass commercialism that is the holiday season.  Thankfully, there are carols and songs to remind us of the importance of the holiness of the day.  Unfortunatly, "O Holy Night" by Celine Dion isn't one of them.  This has to be one of the schmaltziest Christmas songs ever, which is saying quite alot.  The song is  full of sticky sentimentality and overblown production that make the song horrendous.  It certainly doesn't help matters that Dion sings it in that extremely pompous voice of hers, as though she is the only one capable of telling the story of Jesus.  On a personal note, I was subjected to this song so many times during the holiday season by my sister that one year it nearly ruined christmas for me.

4. It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year (1963) by Andy Williams:

I think the problem with this song that I have is that not only is it over played to the hilt, but its been used in a fashion to promote all the things that are wrong with Christmas, such as the extreme crass commercialism.  This song has been used in almost every single coroporate commercial to promote products for Christmas and has also been used out of season for such other holiday sales like "Christmas in July", Memorial Day and even school supply shopping.  Williams is completely hamming up his performance as the singer and the lyrics are especially corny. 

3. Santa Baby by Eartha Kitt and Various Artists

Oh man, I really hate this song.  When I was first compiling the list for Christmas songs, everybody told me that I had to include "Santa Baby", which of course has to be one of the worst Christmas songs ever.  Basically the song is about how a girl is being slutty for Santa and basically wants to hump his brains out.  While this would be every Santa's dream, the fact of the matter of is the song is quite disturbing.  Think about it, would you really have sexual relations with an overweight married man who comes down your chimney every Christmas Eve?  I didn't think so.  What makes the song truly terrible is the way that singers sing this song, trying to make it sound sexy, but instead sounding like an annoying 13 year old (which adds to the overall creepiness of the song.)  Versions include the original Earth Kitt version and the even creepier Madonna version.

2. Do You Hear What I Hear by Bing Crosby and Various Artists

The second song that has to do with Jesus on our list, "Do You Hear What I Hear" is one of the most overplayed holiday songs of all time.  It doesn't add anything to the Christmas song canon and its constant bombardment on radio and tv make it excruciatingly horrible for the holiday season.  For those who haven't heard it, the song is bascially about how a person hears, sees, knows, feels and tastes the birth of our Savior.  The fact that this is one of the few Christmas songs about Jesus to have been covered by everyone also shows how a person cannot escape from this song.  You would have to go to the remote wilds of Tibet or the Islamic Republic of Iran to fully escape from the carnage that is "Do You Hear What I Hear."  However, I can't say that about the number one song on this list.

1. Jingle Bell Rock by Bobby Helms and Various Artists:

Finally, we have reached number 1, and I must say that this has to be not only of the worst Christmas songs, but one of the very worst songs of all time.  There's a great line in the movie "Mean Girls" about how everyone in the Western World has heard "Jingle Bell Rock" at one time or another, and this is most certainly the case.  What they also forgot to mention is that they're probably is no other Christmas song that has been as loathed and hated as Jingle Bell Rock.  Seriously, the hatred that this song inspires from not only myself, but from other people borders on semi-psychotic.  The song is so stupid and simple, that I'm kind of amazed that it has lasted this long as a holiday staple.  If I had three wishes, one of them would be to destroy every copy of "Jingle Bell Rock" that has ever been pressed, recorded or covered by any artist.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Movie Review: Carlos

Oliver Assayas' sprawling 5 hour epic Carlos deals with the life of infamous terrorist Carlos the Jackal, the famous 1970s terrorist that organized the OPEC Hostage Crisis.  As said earlier, the film is sprawling in the truest sense: set in 16 different countries and featuring many languages, the film does a very good job of keeping its details straight with regards to the countries that Carlos lived in and how he interacted with various people.  This brings up question:  How does a filmmaker go about making a film about terrorist in this day age of the so-called "War on Terror"?

For Assayas, he decides to go the route of treating his terrorist as a rock star in the first half of the film.  At the beginning of the film, Carlos is a young revolutionary who believes he can do no wrong and stares at himself in the mirror while he is naked.  He is dynamic compared to the rest of his comrades and even considers himself to be a celebrity in the mold of Che Guevara or Mick Jagger.  As the film progresses, Carlos' excesses end up catching up with him: he becomes fat, loses the support of his allies, and ends up with testicular problems.  The latter being no doubt a symbol for Carlos' last days on the run.  This character arc is the strongest point of the film.  Its rare these days for a film to have completely fleshed out characters and it is fortunate that Assayas to make Carlos a clear ambiguous character, one that you end up rooting for and rooting against.  Hollywood should take notice of this character arc and realize that audiences prefer characters that are completely fleshed out instead of composites of typical arcs.

Another worthy point of consideration is Edgar Ramirez' amazing transformation as Carlos.  As stated before, Carlos undergoes a huge transformation from rock star terrorist to fat slob and back again in the space of five hours, and amazingly Ramirez goes along with the character.  He is able to turn Carlos into a real human being with all of its flaws.  It also probably helps that like the real Carlos, Ramirez is Venezuelan, which helps bring a certain believability to the character.

The only criticism of Carlos has to be the slow part at the end of Part 2.  Although the film does a good job of pacing, considering that it is a five hour long movie, I personally felt that the film dragged a bit toward the end of part 2 and could have used some cutting up or trimming.  Other than that, Carlos is an effective character study of one of the most interesting enigmas of the 20th century and features tight action and great performances.