Archive | February, 2011

Oscar Night and AMC’s Best Picture Showcase

28 Feb

For the third consecutive year, I attended AMC’s Best Picture Showcase at their theater in Woodinville, WA. This is an indulgent movie marathon that I look forward to attending each year. For $60, I get to see all 10 Best Picture nominees (spread over two Saturdays), and you receive posters, gift cards for concessions (this year – 2 $10 gift cards – one for each Saturday), and a really great movie-going experience.

As with every year, there were films I didn’t care for and ones I love. Here are some brief comments on this year’s nominees.

Toy Story 3: This was the second time I saw this film, and it didn’t hold up as well. Spanish-mode Buzz is still wonderfully hilarious, but the last scene felt really emotionally manipulative. It didn’t seem as impactful as the music and slow motion made it out to be. I enjoyed “How to Train Your Dragon” so much more.

127 Hours: This wasn’t nearly as hard to watch as expected. It was also a lot more dull than expected. Just kinda “meh” all-around for me. Now, I think the actual events are very extraordinary and compelling, but the film seemed slow and not as focused as I would have expected from Danny Boyle.

The Kids Are All Right: I enjoyed this one, but didn’t think it was really Best Picture material. What I loved was the portrayal of marriage. I felt it was optimistic, benevolent, but not so much that it glossed over some of the harder aspects of being with the same person for so long. I felt happy at the end, and that always makes me…well…happy!

True Grit: After last year’s “A Serious Man”, I was happy to see the Coens go back to something a little closer to their earlier style. I enjoy their tongue-in-cheek dialogue, and am learning that I enjoy the general Western feel – southern testosterone can be fun. I felt Hailee did a good job in her role, but didn’t think it was a hugely difficult one. Enjoyable, but not particularly extraordinary.

The Fighter: This was my favorite film of Day 1. My first reaction was actually more negative, but then I thought a little more about the themes and really liked the emphasis on the main character asserting his independence and breaking out from being a follower in this sea of strong personalities. Christian Bale did an excellent job with a role that required a lot of change and nuance – but I’ve been in love with him since I was 9, so I’m a little biased.

Winter’s Bone: What a HORRIBLE way to start a Saturday morning – thank you AMC programmers! Thinking back on the movie, the story was good and some of the performances were excellent. However, I can’t stand the reverence for tribal communities where family and hierarchy rule all – even to the detriment of the group. Also, the characters are located in the US. We have numerous social programs that exist solely to help in these types of situations and I have little sympathy for people to proud or to bound by seemingly random tribal laws or traditions to help themselves. Meh.

Black Swan: BAD. ASS. Visually stunning. Quite the rollercoaster. Enjoyed every second.

Inception: I enjoy this movie, and prefer to think he is not dreaming. I also highly recommend the Rifftrax. This felt like a “throw the popular movie into the nominee list”, but I especially thought the sound and sets were amazing.

The Social Network: This was a major disappointment. I had expected not to like the sneering theme, but I was unprepared for how bad the film actually was – and I mean just technically bad. Most characters were horribly two-dimensional, the portrayal of women was just awful, and the whole world seemed implausible and unrealistic. Classic Hollywood-ization of college life ran rampant. The movie seems to think the only motivations any human male can have are sex, money, or revenge. everyone was reactionary, which would make for some crappy entrepreneurs if that were actually the case. the whole film just seems to completely not understand people whatsoever. Blech.

The King’s Speech: This was my favorite film by far. I would put Black Swan at second and The Fighter, a close third. The story of this man working to overcome his stammer, and discovering what greatness lies within him in the process was very powerful. there was a lot in this movie that resonated with me on a personal level, and I found it inspiring and very uplifting.

The Oscars were kinda “meh” this year. Fashion was good, for the most part. Winners were predictable, but that was ok. I was thrilled for Christian Bale, Alice in Wonderland, Colin Firth, and The King’s Speech’s wins.

I went to a great Oscar party and got to get dolled up in red carpet style as well as making some adorable Popcorn Bag Cake Pops. MMmmm…

cakepop cakepops

And now, I’m pooped. G’night Tinseltown!


My Crafts Round Up

11 Feb

Contoller Ornaments

7 Feb

Ahh! So adorable – do want for our geeky tree next year!

Found via CraftGawker.