Sunday, February 22, 2009

Best Picture

Yesterday, I spent all day at the movie Theater. The Empire Theater at Times Square had a marathon screening of all 5 Best Picture Nominees. Every year I say, that I am going to see all the nominated movies but never do it so when I found out that I was going to have the day off I had to go. I left my apartment at 9am (I had to stop by the bank first) and didn't get home until almost 1am. Yeah it was a long day. I forgot that they are working on the N line on the weekends so it was running Local instead of Express so it took longer to get there then I had planned. When I got to the Theater the schedule board said the showcase was sold out. Bummer. I was upset because I was really looking forward to it and I tried to buy tickets online but they were not available on line and I decided against going into the city Friday after work because I was tired from working all day so I didn't. Well, I figured that since I came all this way, I might as well see a movie. The line was long to buy tickets at the counter so I went to one of the free standing self service kiosks. Well, it turns out you could still buy tickets for the showcase! Yippee. So, up I went to the third floor. Picked up my badge and free popcorn and settle for a long day. Between movies, they asked trivia questions and I won a free tshirt and soda and re admittance pass for a later day! Yeah! So, after my free Soda, I upgraded to a Large and had free refills on Soda and Popcorn all day! What a deal! I'm not sure I will do this again because sitting in a theater all day is really tiring and not to mention it really makes your eyes tired. By the fifth movie, I was having trouble focusing but it was worth it and I had a lot of fun.

Now, here's my short reviews.

Milk I thought this was really well down. It was paced very well and had good acting from everyone. I was really impressed with Emile Hirsch (who I previously thought was overrated) and Josh Brolin. Sean Penn was excellent as always and it was nice to see him play a role where he had to smile a lot. I wasn't sure he was even capable of that.

The Reader I read this book for a class and college so I knew the story. I remembered when I first heard it was being made into a movie and Nicole Kidman and cringed. So I was very happy to hear that Kate Winslet took over the roll. For the most part the movie was as I remembered the book, except for the Ralph Fiennes as the adult Michael Berg. I don't remember that story line being in the book. I understand why it was added (if it was added) to the movie but it didn't seem to mesh with the story. I kind of felt it broke up the movie. The book was about reconciling with the past. The Germans facing their role in World War II and the Nazis and Michael Berg coming to terms with his relationship with Hanna Schmitz and what he did and didn't do. The emotional payoff at the end didn't quite come off as it did in the book. It was very powerful and well done though. As for Kate Winslet, she was marvelous and after seeing this and Revolutionary Road last week, I understand why the Academy nominated her for this role and not for April Wheeler.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button I saw this movie on Christmas and I wasn't sure if I wanted to see it again (It's 3 hours long!) but I had a good seat, which I knew I would lose if I left and came back and I wanted to see how it would stack against the rest. Of all the nominees it is the weakest of the films. It's an interesting idea for a story but it is a little Forrest Gump like. The make-up and technology used to age Brad Pitt was pretty fantastic but beyond that there really isn't anything special about this film.

Slumdog Millionaire Definitely the theaters favorite. Of all the films it was the most fun to watch. There is just a spirit about the movie that you can't just help but not love. It's not the flashiest or have the biggest stars but it has a lot of heart. It is a good story, full with great moments and will with a doubt win.

Frost/Nixon I really liked this movie. I wasn't sure I wanted to see it but I'm glad that I did. It was a lot funnier then I thought it was. Who knew that Nixon had a sense of humor? The movie is based on a play that both Frank Langella and Michael Sheen won Tony's when it was on Broadway. I think it would be amazing to see it on the stage. Not the knock the movie because the movie was great but there were some scenes that I don't think quite translated on to the screen. The final interview with Frost and Nixon was pretty intense but if you saw it on the stage, I'm sure you would have felt the tension in the room. The tension got lost when the audience was separated from the actors. Other then that, it was great. I do think that Kevin Bacon is an underrated actor. He gave a great performance as Nixon's Chief of Staff and most loyal friend. I thought it did an amazing job.

So the Oscars are tonight. I don't think I am going out on a limb and say that Slumdog Millionaire is going to the big winner tonight. It's a shoo-in for Best Picture. I think Benjamin Button will probably win for Make-up and maybe a few other minor categories but nothing else. I think Sean Penn is going to win over Mickey Rourke for Best Actor and Kate Winslet for Best Actress. Heath Ledger is going to win Best Supporting Actor in what will be the most emotional moment of the night and Penelope Cruz for Best Supporting Actress. When she was on the screen in Vicky Christina Barcelona you couldn't keep your eyes off of her and I'm not her biggest fan so that says something. Wall-E better win for Best Animated Movie. It's a small consolation for not being nominated for Best Picture even though it was the best reviewed movie on the year (and my personal favorite movie on the year).

So that's my predictions for tonight. Have Fun watching tonight!

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