29 December 2010

'Tis the Season

Currently pushing: Rex Sorgatz of Fimoculous.com always does a year end List of Lists. 2010's version is huger than ever. It's hard to scan through any list of lists for longer than five minutes but this one caught my eye: Cryptomundo's Top 10 Cryptozoology Stories. Rex also does a 30 Best Blogs of each year, and here's last year's list.

It's Oscar time! Well actually it's not but close enough. Over the winter break I've been trying to watch a lot of movies, mostly to no avail, because my friends can't really sit long enough to movie hop and I refuse to pay full price just to watch a Tron: Legacy or a How Do You Know. I've been trying to watch Black Swan but haven't been able to yet. Instead I've carved out time during the few brief hours I've been awake over the past two weeks to watch a trio of movies that will surely provide lots of Academy Award nominations: The Fighter, The King's Speech, and True Grit.

Best (Supporting) Actor/Actress: Colin Firth is being hyped as the man to beat for his turn as a stammering King George VI. While I did enjoy his performance, it's not better or worse than his other roles. Firth is consistently good to great and it seems like he's getting the attention now because we have a weak crop of best actors this year. His co-star, Geoffrey Rush, is being pushed into the Supporting Actor race, to give them both chances to win. Award marketing and strategery will probably work for at least one of them.

One person who won't be getting an Oscar nomination is Mark Wahlberg, who is the weak link in The Fighter. Wahlberg isn't bad but next to Christian Bale and Amy Adams he's sort of just the meat that drives the story along. Adams has been on my list of favorite actresses for awhile and I bet Nicole Kidman is kind of jealous of Adams' acting skills and fun career. Here's hoping she gets the critical cred necessary to make Enchanted 2. Christian Bale's transformation into a cracked out Dicky Enklund is amazing and reiterates how great Bale is. His severe weight loss and body tics alone should win Bale a few awards.

Similar to Firth, Helena Bonham Carter is getting Oscar buzz for her role in The King's Speech. Everyone already loves Bonham Carter so giving her this award would put action to words but it seems lame that she'd win here versus for anything else she's done -- she was nominated for an Oscar a long time ago. Basically it seems like you gain Oscar momentum/pity once you've been around for awhile and then do a movie that goes a little against type -- or in Bonham-Carter's case, return to an earlier type.

Hailee Steinfeld, who plays the fourteen year old Mattie Ross in True Grit, is being hailed as an acting revelation. Her overly precocious character is the focus of the movie but I don't think Steinfeld was necessarily better than say, Keisha Castle-Hughes in Whale Rider. Natalie Portman is gonna sweep both Bonham Carter and Steinfeld out of here unless they go to Best Supporting Actress. Fun fact: Hailee's uncle is the Body by Jake guy.

Actually, who cares about the Oscars, they always select the worst movies and stuff anyway. I basically pay attention at this point for future trivia usage.

Overall, these three movies were all disappointing in some major way. Totally weak if any of them wins Best Picture -- which means one of them will. The Fighter was the most entertaining, True Grit the least surprising, and The King's Speech the most interesting because afterward you want to go scouring Wikipedia for the history involved. My word for all three movies would be "competent" but I'd have a hard time recommending them for more than rentals.

I'm trying to cram in a post about all the movies I've seen in 2010 but I want to wait until I've seen Black Swan -- regardless of whether it's great or terrible, it needs to be seen.

For people who've seen The Fighter: Here's the clip of Dicky Enklund "knocking down" Sugar Ray Leonard. Clearly a trip. I don't really watch much boxing but I also spent some time watching Micky Ward because well, you kind of get curious after watching the movie right?