Friday, February 25, 2011

The 2011 Oscars are 2 days away!!!!

I can't tell you how jazzed I am about the upcoming Academy Awards ceremony on February 27, 2011. Even though a lot of the winners are foregone conclusions (congrats Portman, Firth, and Bale!), the fact that two of the most winsome and fresh-faced entertainers on Earth are hosting can't be bad right? Have you seen any of the promotional ads for the ceremony that ABC's been running this month? So funny.

And supposedly Hathaway and Franco are going to be doing various skits where they recreate scenes from famous movies from the past like Gone With The Wind. Is this why Franco posted behind-the-scenes footage of an homage the two do to Grease? Hey, no complaints here.

For those wondering about the results of my attempt to complete the Oscar Death Race this year, I am currently 8 movies away from the finish line, and although I'll be seeing two more before Sunday, I'm still going to fall short. But hey! I will have seen FIFTY of the 56 movies nominated for this year's ceremony, so I am pretty damn proud and pleased with myself. Sarah Bunting, who started this competition, wrote about her progress/results on yesterday. I can't believe she made it so close. Damn Shakespearean movies. And foreign ones from Canada and Denmark! I'm sure that I could probably find at least some of these on an illegal Torrent site, but that's CHEATING so I'm not even going to try.
I'd tell myself "better luck next year" except that I think I was incredibly lucky that I happened to see so many of the nominated films at the 2010 SIFF, and I can't imagine getting that lucky again.

Come Sunday you will find me hanging out with some dear friends, cocktail in hand, snarking on people's outfits, talking about how dreamy James Franco is, and competing to see who can guess the most correct winners of the Oscar's 24 categories. Hope you have a similarly enjoyable experience!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Oscar Death Race 2011 - One week left

As mentioned previously, I'm participating in an Oscar Death Race to see if I can watch all 56 Academy Award nominated films for 2011.
I started out with a good base of 21 of the 56 movies under my belt, and I've slowly made my way to my current tally of 42 movies. I never expected to complete all 56, and even though I expect to knock out a few more in the coming days, I know I won't make it, but it's been really fun getting this close to the goal.
127 Hours*

Alice in Wonderland
Animal Kingdom
Another Year
Barney's Version
Black Swan*
Blue Valentine
The Confession
Country Strong
The Crush
Day & Night
Exit Through the Gift Shop
The Fighter*
God of Love
The Gruffalo
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows I
How To Train Your Dragon
I Am Love
The Illusionist
In A Better World
Inside Job
Iron Man 2
The Kids Are All Right*
Killing In The Name
The King's Speech*
Let's Pollute
The Lost Thing
Madagascar, a Journey Diary
Na Wewe
Outside The Law
Poster Girl
Rabbit Hole
The Social Network*
Strangers No More
Sun Come Up
The Tempest
The Town
Toy Story 3*
TRON Legacy
True Grit*
The Warriors of Qiugang
Waste Land
The Way Back
Winter's Bone*
Wish 143

Monday, February 14, 2011

Television in Review - 2011 Grammy Awards

It's been years since I've actually watched the live Grammy telecast all the way through. But last night, hopped up on cold medicine and in a sated food coma from a delicious roast chicken meal prepared by my friend John, I was in just the right mood and position to watch the show. All 3 and a half hours of it! And here are some of the random thoughts that I came away with.

  • Almost 85 minutes in and they had only given one award out for best Pop Album. It was disconcerting, but gave the message loud and clear that the night's telecast would be about the performances and not about the awards (most of which ended up being given out earlier in the day).
  • Suprises of the night:
Arcade Fire winning Album of the Year and denying Lady Antebellum the top 3 sweep

Esperanza Spalding winning Best New Artist and denying the Bieber dominance. I love her and didn't even know she was nominated in this category. When her name was announced, the shock on everyone's faces was awesome!
  • It's official. Katy Perry has won. I kind of love her now. Damn it.
  • I still don't really get the Bruno Mars thing. But after last night's incredible performance with Janelle Monae and B.O.B., I'm starting to see the appeal.
  • As much as I loathe Bob Dylan "singing" live, I enjoyed the hell out of the performance he did with Mumford and Sons and The Avett Brothers. Mostly because it contained more Sons and Brothers than Dylan.

  • Cee Lo Green dressed like a 1975 Elton John and singing Muppets (and Gwyneth Paltrow in a cat suit and killer pumps) makes anything better.

  • Lady Gaga is a fawking nut but she sure can write a catchy song. And knows her audience. But seriously I don't get the continuing comparison to Madonna or understand why people think this new song copies her?


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

RIP John Barry

I've already tweeted about my heavy heart in hearing Sunday evening that one of my favorite movie music composers, John Barry, had died of a heart attack at the age of 77. Barry composed many of my all-time favorite film scores. He, along with Ennio Morricone, was much loved by my mother, who appreciated movie scores, and what the music actually did for and to the film more than anyone I've ever known.
She passed this appreciation on to me at a fairly early age; so I was the dorky kid who was buying the Somewhere In Time soundtrack album in the Classical section of the Tower Records store, while all of my friends were buying the latest Duran Duran and Cure albums. Don't get me wrong, I was just as much into the new wave music, but when I wanted to daydream in my room or when I was writing my little short stories and living in my own fantasy world in my head, I would always turn on the John Barry music.

My favorite of the Barry scores may be the music he wrote for the cheesetastic film Somewhere In Time. The main theme evokes such emotion; love, loss, memory, longing, joy. It's so beautiful.
The most well-known John Barry music is probably all of the James Bond movie themes he composed in the 1960s and early 70s. And of course his Oscar and Grammy winning top ten hit "Born Free".
One of his Oscar score wins was for another favorite of mine, the music from Out of Africa. Barry's score and Meryl Streep are the only good things about that bloated film.

If you're interested in listening to some of John Barry's movie scores, I recommend downloading the album "Moviola". Rest in peace dear sir. I hope my mother gets to meet you up in heaven.