Category Archives: Movies

What have you done, Joe?

joeI was wrong. After every horrible thing I’ve said about him for over two decades, I’ve been put in my place. All that merciless bashing of his on-screen abilities just to have it thrown back into my face. Thinking his only positive contribution to the silver screen was going to be Raising Arizona and now I have to eat crow. I just finished watching Joe and I was wrong. Nicolas Cage is a good actor. Clearly, this is one of the best movies I’ve seen so far this year and, doubtlessly, the strongest performance as well.

Please Mr. Cage, don’t do another Ghost Rider movie or go losing your shit again. It’s now acutely obvious that you’re better than that.

My Own Damn Movie Awards for 2013

Another great year of movies? Let’s find out.

10 Best Pictures of 2013

  1. Her (Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay)Her Movie Poster
  2. Inside Llewyn Davis
  3. Lone Survivor (Best Visuals, Best Sound)
  4. Short Term 12
  5. Rush
  6. The Wolf of Wall Street
  7. Star Trek: Into Darkness
  8. Don Jon
  9. Mud
  10. 12 Years A Slave

Notable others include American Hustle, Blue Jasmine, Captain Phillips, The Great Gatsby, The Iceman, Iron Man 3, Nebraska, Only God Forgives, The Spectacular Now, Texas Buyers Club, and This Is The End.

Best Actress

  1. Brie Larson – Short Term 12Brie Larson
  2. Jennifer Lawrence – American Hustle
  3. Cate Blanchett – Blue Jasmine
  4. June Squibb – Nebraska
  5. Lupita Nyong’o – 12 Years a Slave
  6. Julianne Moore – Don Jon

Best Actor

  1. Oscar Isaac – Inside Llewyn DavisOscar Isaac
  2. Joaquin Phoenix – Her
  3. Leonardo DiCaprio – The Wolf of Wall Street
  4. Jared Leto – Dallas Buyers Club
  5. Daniel Bruhl – Rush
  6. Chiwetel Ejiofor – 12 Years a Slave
  7. Matthew McConaughey – Mud
  8. Bruce Dern – Nebraska

This was difficult. Another year of great movies and all strong for different reasons. There’s the wonderful surprise of Short Term 12 with a subtilely heartbreaking performance from Brie Larson. Who doesn’t love a good war movie because we were lucky enough to be treated to Lone Survivor, one of the best I’ve seen in a while. Inside Llewyn Davis which, with help from the thoughtful performance of Oscar Isaac, shows the Coen bothers have filmmaking down to a science. Then there’s movies so unique and considerate that they deserve to stand alone.

Read this: “A lonely writer develops an unlikely relationship with his newly purchased operating system that’s designed to meet his every need.” Now try and tell me what you just read isn’t utterly laughable. It just goes to show how much acknowledgment everyone involved in conceiving Her really deserves because what they created was the best movie of 2013. Pushing the boundaries of innovation and originality, this flick continuously takes risks in an entirely realized and believable world. It’s modernly romantic and possesses some of the sweetest performance I’ve seen in years. Above all, Her is an extraordinarily powerful glimpse into our avidity for connection and it’s executed to an impactful perfection.

My Own Damn Movie Awards for 2012

Note: It’s been quite a long time since I’ve posted and this particular post has been sitting in my draft box for over a year. Original post date was suppose to be sometime in January 2013, so just keep that in mind if you’re reading. Figure I’d finish it off and send it out since I’ll be pushing a 2013 list out soon.

It’s another year of to give out My Own Damn Movie Awards. Let’s see where it all landed for me this year.

10 Best Pictures of 2012

  1. Beasts of the Southern Wild (Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Visuals, Best Sound)
  2. Silver Linings Playbook
  3. Zero Dark Thirty
  4. Rust and Bone
  5. Django Unchained
  6. Argo
  7. Looper
  8. The Cabin in the Woods
  9. Sleepwalk With Me
  10. Safety Not Guaranteed

Notable others include The Avengers, Killing Them Softly, The Master, Promised Land, The Raid: Redemption, and Seven Psychopaths.

Best Actress

  1. Quvenzhané Wallis – Beasts of the Southern Wild
  2. Jennifer Lawrence – Silver Linings Playbook
  3. Marion Cotillard – Rust and Bone
  4. Aubrey Plaza – Safety Not Guaranteed
  5. Jessica Chastain – Zero Dark Thirty

Best Actor

  1. Christoph Waltz – Django Unchained
  2. Dwight Henry – Beasts of the Southern Wild
  3. Bradley Cooper – Silver Linings Playbook
  4. Daniel Day-Lewis – Lincoln
  5. Leonardo DiCaprio – Django Unchained

Cabin in the Woods was just a stellar meta-horror satire. Argo was practically flawless. Silver Linings Playbook was a welcomed surprise in every way. 2012 was just a great year for movies, which makes this year’s best speak absolute volumes.

Beasts of the Southern Wild is a rare flick that’s so immediately engaging and incredibly original from start to finish. This is one where you got to walk away from it thankful you were allowed to follow Hushpuppy’s experience. It greets you with open arms and makes you want to revisit it time and time again. Welcome to the bathtub.

Silver Linings Playbook

Yesterday, I treated myself to an early Christmas present and saw Silver Linings Playbook. I was hoping it would be the renewal of faith I needed with several key aspects and it definitely didn’t disappoint. Its portrayal of mental health issues within a family and volatile relationships with everyone in it made it easy for me to connect to immediately. Just the right amount of punches were pulled for it to be enjoyable, but still make a point. My biggest jolt in faiths came from the actors themselves, though.

Jennifer Lawrence is an amazing actress who has done absolute horse shit roles ever since one of my favorite movies of 2010, Winter’s Bone. She’s at a point where she could easily be typecast into more shitty roles, but Silver Linings Playbook is proof Jennifer can continue to be something very special.

De Niro doesn’t have to prove a damn thing to anyone at this point. Still, you have to go back quite a few years to understand why he’s so iconic. I’m happy to see him take on the father who wants to do well, but struggles identifying what that means. I’m sure a lot of people identify with this and he did the role justice here.

I like Bradley Cooper. I like him a lot. He’s been enjoyable in the shallow roles and I’ve been dying to see what he does when you give him a thoughtful script and more depth. You get that here. His character knows what’s right and what’s wrong. He has a genuine want to be a better person, but he struggles with an illness that makes it difficult not to continually sabotage himself. I think he might always be an actor with some limit to his range, but Silver Linings Playbook really played to his strengths and weaknesses perfectly.

So what am I saying with all of this? Well, I suppose I’m saying the script and performances deserve many accolades. I suppose I’m saying you’d be doing yourself an injustice by not rushing out to see it. I suppose I’m saying this is absolutely one of my favorite flicks of the year.

My Own Damn Movie Awards for 2009

Apparently I didn’t do this for the previous year, so here are my own damn movie awards for 2009. FYI, Avatar was a terrible movie in every single respect and that’s why you aren’t going to see it here at all.

Best Picture: Away We Go – There were flicks that looked better, sounded better, and were acted better, but nothing came close to moving me the way this one did. Away We Go will always be one of my favorite movies of all time. Notable other include Up, District 9, A Serious Man, (500) Days of Summer, Precious, Inglourious Basterds, and The Hurt Locker.

Best Actress: Mo’Nique – This wasn’t just the best female performance of the year. This was one of the best performances I’ve ever seen on screen. Notable others include Anna Kendrick and Gabourey Sidibe.

Best Actor: Christoph Waltz – His character scared the bejesus out of me while making me giggle. How in the hell did he do that? By giving the best performance of the year. Notable others include Jeremy Renner, John Krasinski, Michael Stuhlbarg, and George Clooney.

Best Director: Quentin Tarantino – The guy took a good old movie, remade it, and completely made it feel like his own movie. Every performance in Inglourious Basterds was great as well and that’s almost entirely because of Tarantino’s direction. Notable others include Sam Mendes and Kathryn Bigelow.

Best Visuals: District 9 – When you have a movie directed by a very proven visual effects guy, you’re gonna get a good looking movie, but District 9 hit it way out of the ballpark. Notable others include Star Trek.

Best Sound: The Hurt Locker – This is a flick that begs to be turned up on a good surround sound system. Notable others include Up, Star Trek, and District 9.

Best Screenplay: Away We Go – The reason Away We Go was my pick for best picture was purely because of the screenplay. It was so good, it overcame any little hiccups that could be found in any other aspects of the film. Notable other include Up, District 9, (500) Days of Summer, and The Hurt Locker.

My Own Damn Movie Awards for 2010

I seem to do this every other year or so and it looks like it’s time again. Here are my own damn movie awards for 2010.

Best Picture: Inception – Movies are suppose to be entertaining before anything else and I can’t think of another movie in the last decade that has entertained me more than Christopher Nolan’s masterpiece. Like any other form of art, it should be thought provoking and Inception definitely hit those notes as well. Notable others include Toy Story 3, Winter’s Bone, The Social Network, Black Swan, and The Ghost Writer.

Best Actress: Natalie Portman – I was absolutely sure I wasn’t going to see a better female performance than Mo’Nique in Precious, but I was so dead wrong. If you read and watch all of the things Natalie Portman did to prepare for her role in Black Swan, you can’t help but in in awe when you watch her performance in Black Swan. Notable others include Jennifer Lawrence in Winter’s Bone and Hailee Steinfeld in True Grit.

Best Actor: Christian Bale – Mr. Bale reminds me so much of Gary Oldman in that he is a full on chameleon. A real actor. He wasn’t Christian Bale playing a role in the fighter. He was everybody who’s had problems with substance abuse and absolutely no hold on reality. Pretty damn incredible. Notable others include John Hawkes in Winter’s Bone, Jesse Eisenberg in The Social Network, and Jeremy Renner in The Town.

Best Director: Christopher Nolan – If you read about the incredible journey this guy took to have this movie made entirely the way he wanted it to, it would blow your mind. The idea was bouncing around in his mind for so long, but there was no way it would have been created with all of his influence. No, he waited to get a couple of critical and commercial successes under his belt first to prove to the studios he could be trusted with something as complex as Inception. It’s Christopher Nolan’s Blade Runner and that kind of fortitude deserves to be rewarded.

Best Visuals: Inception – It relies on it’s visual effects and cinematography just as much as it’s actors, script, and sound to tell a story. Considering how big this flick is, nothing ever looks out of place or overdone. Notable others include The Social Network and Black Swan.

Best Sound: The Social Network – Subtlety is the key for the sound in this movie and it can be found from Reznor and Ross’ haunting score to the editing and design. Notable others include Inception, True Grit, and Tron: Legacy.

Best Screenplay: Inception – It’s a highly intelligent screenplay that be translated as a simple heist flick or something much deeper. Take this story and its concept and write it down on a piece of paper so that other people can understand it clearly. The simple fact is that you can not do this. You and I are not intellectually capable of taking something as complex as Inception and making so understood and accepted to such a wide range of viewers as Christopher Noland has. Notable others include Winter’s Bone, Toy Story 3, and Black Swan.

Blogging the 83th Annual Academy Awards

Alright, I’ll blog this thing and see how it goes.

5:32pm: Seriously, does it get any better than Anne Hathaway? She’s my number one for so many reason. The girl is beautiful, smart, and one hell of an actress. I’m not going to mind watching her all night.

5:37pm: How can you not get excited when you hear the theme song from Back to the Future?

5:44pm: Of all the movies to win art direction, it’s the one I didn’t see and have no want to see.

5:47pm: Heck yeah! Score one for Inception! It deserved it.

5:52pm: I love Kirk Douglas but why are his earlobes so damn long?

5:57pm: Hailee Steinfeld should have won it, but whatever.

6:02pm: Alright, I’ll say it. I have a huge man crush for Justin Timberlake. Mila Kunis ain’t so bad either.

6:06pm: Oh heck yeah! Toy Story 3, totally the best animated movie I’ve seen in about the last half decade!

6:10pm: Gotta start the BBQ.

6:18pm: Oh complete bullshit! Really? The King’s Speech was a better screenplay than Inception? Why in the hell is there so much Inception hate going on?!

6:32pm: Christian Bale’s portrayal of Dicky Eklund in The Fighter reminded me so much of my friend Rob. Yeah, he really is that fucked up. It was uncanny. I’m giggling thinking about how many people are freaking out that they never knew Christian Bale had an accent.

6:35pm: Super 8 is going to be awesome!

6:40pm: Time to check on the BBQ and crack open the beer.

6:42pm: Star Wars!!! John Williams rocks!

6:43pm: Trent Reznor won an Oscar?! Well the guy is brilliant so he definitely deserves it.

6:47pm: Sound Mixing and Sound Editing to Inception! What movie really deserved it more? I hope this isn’t going to turn out all of the technical achievements to Inception, but nothing else.

6:54pm: Marisa Tomei… still so hot.

7:04pm: Randy Newman has officially lost it. Pixar, it’s completely time to find someone else to contribute songs to your movies.

7:12pm: Amy Adams is not attractive. She always looks like she’s about to cry.

7:33pm: Best Visual Effects for Inception. Score!

7:37pm: Eating hot dogs. Can’t talk now!

8:03pm: I am publicly protesting the best director category. How dare they leave out Christopher Nolan!

8:14pm: If Jennifer Lawrence doesn’t win, I’m gonna freak out! Although if Natalie Portman wins, then that will be ok.

8:16pm: I’m ok with this, but just barely. Oh Natalie, why did you have to go and get fat?

8:32pm: Anne Hathaway, you look the hottest you’ve looked all night!

8:35pm: The King’s Speech? This is total crap!

My Own Damn Movie Awards for 2004

So the Oscars are over. I threw together what I think was the best actress, actor, and movie with 9 more notable favorites. Thoughts?

  • Best Actress: Kate Winslet – Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind
    i>Notable favorites:
    Dakota Fanning – Man On Fire
    Hilary Swank – Million Dollar Baby
    Kate Winslet – Finding Neverland
    Laura Dern – We Don’t Live Here Anymore
    Naomi Watts – We Don’t Live Here Anymore
    Natalie Portman – Closer
    Natalie Portman – Garden State
    Uma Thurman – Kill Bill Vol. 2
    Virginia Madsen – Sideways
  • Best Actor: Clive Owen – Closer
    i>Notable favorites:
    Denzel Washington – Man On Fire
    Jamie Foxx – Collateral
    Jamie Foxx – Ray
    Jim Carrey – Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind
    Mark Ruffalo – We Don’t Live Here Anymore
    Paul Giamatti – Sideways
    Thomas Haden Church – Sideways
    Tom Cruise – Collateral
    Zach Braff – Garden State
  • Best Movie: Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind
    i>Notable favorites:
    Friday Night Lights
    Garden State
    The Incredibles
    Man On Fire
    Spider-Man 2
    We Don’t Live Here Anymore