Wednesday, August 31, 2011

OLDIE GOLDIES: Cat On A Hot Tin Roof (1958)

This week's pick for "Oldie Goldies" is "Cat On A Hot Tin Roof", based on a Tennessee Williams play. The film features sensational performances all around and a great script. As a result, the film was nominated for 6 Oscars - Best Picture, Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Actor and Best Actress.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Best of 2005

Here's another year's best list for ya. This was the year before I got Netflix and my tastes have changed a bit since then. Might be completely different list if I watched these movies today. I recently re-watched "Crash" and it wasn't as impressive as I remembered it. I already put it in my top 10 for my "Best of the Decade" list, so for the sake of consistency I have kept it in the #1 spot for 2005. Here are my top 20 films of 20, in order of #1 (Crash) to #20 (Monster-in-Law)

Pride and Prejudice
V for Vendetta
Diary of a Mad Black Woman
The 40 Year Old Virgin
Wedding Crashers
Batman Begins
Sometimes in April
As It Is In Heaven

Monday, August 29, 2011

MOVIE OF THE WEEK: The Man From Nowhere

"The Man From Nowhere" is a hidden gem from South Korea that is gripping from start to finish. Like typical South Korean cinema, it is a brutal, violent revenge tale, featuring a stellar performance by Bin Won as the title character. This guy is a true movie star with charisma to spare (see also his performance in “Mother”). I really hope he continues to get good roles and gets noticed in this side of the world.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

OLDIE GOLDIES: Bringing Up Baby (1938)

On this week's "Oldie Goldies" we take a look at a film featuring 2 icons of cinema - Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn. "Bringing Up Baby" is a film that in restrospect, seemed to be "ahead of its time" as it was not well-received upon its inital release. Nowadays, it's viewed as a classic. It's truly a fun riot from start to finish.

Monday, August 22, 2011

OSCAR WATCH: Midnight In Paris

I finally caught up with "Midnight In Paris" and I am glad to see that Woody is back to his usual witty self (after the atrocity that was "You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger"). The film was very charming and definitely possessed that extra Woody Allen quirkiness to it. The film was well-cast, with Owen Wilson fitting well into the lead role. I also thought Rachel McAdams did a good job and I loved seeing Adrien Brody hamming it up as Salvador Dali. In terms of its Oscar chances, I can really only foresee a nomination for Best Original Screenplay. The Academy loves Woody and this film really showcases his excellent writing skills. He really is one of the best scripters of romantic comedies. The film is doing well with audiences and critics alike, but I personally felt it was a bit too light to merit a Best Picture nomination. I think it would have been a virtual lock under the old 10-nominee system, but I can't see it getting those 1st place votes required by the new rules. I'm no expert though, as I was way off the mark with "Winter's Bone" last year (it ended up with 4 nominations!).

MOVIE OF THE WEEK: Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes

"Rise of the Planet of the Apes" (aka the worst film title of the year) is an incredibly fascinating film by director Rupert Wyatt. The script is lean and well organized, as the sequence of the events build up to each other perfectly without any unnecessary plot details. The visual effects work really was exceptional, as we were able to really get into the soul of Cesar and the other apes. As a result, the film was deeply unnerving at times, as the apes were so human-like, but with the frightening beastly power of apes. I really appreciated that the filmmakers choice to be so conservative with the ape attacks (there were no bloody human back-breaking scenes for example) as it really allows you to remain sympathetic with the liberation element of the story.

Saturday, August 20, 2011


Hmm, after watching "Blue" (the first in the "Three Colours" trilogy) I was left a bit disappointed. I appreciated its artistic merits, but I just couldn't get into the story.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

OLDIE GOLDIES: Ben-Hur (1959)

Charlton Heston with his Best Actor Oscar

This week's pick for "Oldie Goldies" is 1959's Ben-Hur. The production is an epic in every sense of the word - the music, the showy acting, the long runtime, the costumes etc. As a result, the film was nominated for 12 Oscars (Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, Best Director, Best Visual Effects, Best Editing, Best Original Score, Best Sound and Best Adapted Screenplay), winning 11 of them (everything but Adapted Screenplay).

Monday, August 15, 2011

Sabrina remake!

The LAMB (Large Association of Movie Blogs) is doing a re-casting of 1954's "Sabrina". One of the proposed casts is my submission. Check them out here and vote!

Click here for the poll


Yes, I am embarrassed to admit this. I had never seen "E.T." until this year(if I did, it was when I was very young). Nobody makes a summer blockbuster like Spielberg. This movie was awesome, there’s nothing much else to say. By the time the kids flew above their pursuers on their bikes, I was clapping and hollering. Absolutely loved it. BTW, how freakin adorable is Drew Barrymore in this movie?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

OLDIE GOLDIES: Pinocchio (1940)

This week on "Oldie Goldies", I decided to look at one of Disney's earliest animated films - "Pinocchio". The film just has so much heart and is a great moral lesson for kids. At the Academy Awards, the film took home the prizes for Best Original Score and Best Original Song, for the now-famous Disney theme "When You Wish Upon A Star".

Monday, August 8, 2011

MOVIE OF THE WEEK: Captain America

"Captain America: The First Avenger" is yet another successful production by the Marvel team. The film was everything you could want from a summer film. A bit campy at times, but I guess it was period-appropriate. The visual effects work on the “skinny” Chris Evans was cool, even though it seemed gimmicky at times. The film actually worked best outside of the action scenes, fueled by a brilliant supporting cast (Stanley Tucci, Tommy Lee Jones, Dominic Cooper, Hayley Atwell and Hugo Weaving).

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

OLDIE GOLDIES: 12 Angry Men (1957)

On this week's edition of "Oldie Goldies", I decided to look at the Sidney Lumet classic courtroom drama "12 Angry Men". The film is a fascinating look at what goes in a jury room. One of the things I really loved is that it addresses the issue of prejudice based on socio-economic, rather than racial factors. The film was nominated for 3 Oscars - Best Picture, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay.

Monday, August 1, 2011


Wow, Alejandro González Iñárritu really doesn’t know how to portray happiness, does he? This is yet another solemn film from this great director. I think this is his darkest one yet! This film was really bleak. I kept waiting for a glimmer of hope or joy, but the film just wouldn’t let up. I really respect that about Innaritu, as he decides the tone of the film and has the balls to carry it all the way through (unlike uneven films such as “Love And Other Drugs”). I must say, Javier Bardem’s performance was definitely Oscar worthy. He brought me to tears. The gritty cinematography also added greatly to the dark tone. The film is a great character study (and not just for the lead character) and I think it would be even more rewarding after a second look. I don’t think I can put myself through that depression again though. Don’t watch this film if you are going through a rough patch in your life. It will probably make you feel worse.