2011 Oscar Predictions


WILL WIN are in bold

DID WIN are  big

MY SCORE: 18/24

despite anne hathaway's efforts and enthusiasm, the 2011 academy awards will go down as one of the worst i have ever seen. not because of who won or lost, but i'm talking the show itself.

besides the funny put-the-hosts-in-the-movies opening, there was barely a laugh or moment of excitement to be found (except when i won the pool i was in of course). the remixed songs was fun and the bob hope part was nice (although, seeing billy crystal out there to introduce it just made it more obvious what a great host he was and how anne and james just couldn't match up). but other than that the show was pretty dull.

as for my predictions: i did ok this year. 18/24 isn't bad and i did get 2/3 in the shorts categories which is where many pools are often won or lost. however, there were a few categories that, looking back, i'm not sure what i was thinking. i think i got a little too into the idea that The King's Speech wave would sweep up other categories that i missed, the now-obvious, Alice In Wonderland in art direction and costume design. and those of you who listened to the prediction episode of the podcast know how close i was to going with the winners in editing, documentary feature and foreign film (but, alas i didn't). so 18/24 it is. one better than last year and my second best showing since i started doing the podcast. how did you all do?


The King's Speech
127 Hours
Black Swan
The Social Network
Toy Story 3
True Grit
Winter's Bone
The Kids Are All Right
The Fighter


Darren Aronofsky, Black Swan
David Fincher, The Social Network
Tom Hooper, The King's Speech
David O. Russell, The Fighter
Joel and Ethan Coen, True Grit

Amy Adams , The Fighter
Helena Bonham Carter, The King's Speech
Melissa Leo, The Fighter
Hailee Steinfeld, True Grit
Jacki Weaver, Animal Kingdom

John Hawkes, Winter's Bone
Christian Bale , The Fighter
Jeremy Renner, The Town
Mark Ruffalo , The Kids Are All Right
Geoffrey Rush, The King's Speech

Natalie Portman , Black Swan
Annette Bening, The Kids Are All Right
Jennifer Lawrence, Winter's Bone
Nicole Kidman , Rabbit Hole
Michelle Williams , Blue Valentine

Javier Bardem , Biutiful
Jeff Bridges , True Grit
Jesse Eisenberg, The Social Network
Colin Firth , The King's Speech
James Franco , 127 Hours

Another Year , Mike Leigh
The Fighter , Scott Silver, Paul Tamasy, Eric Johnson, and Keith Dorrington
Inception , Christopher Nolan
The Kids Are All Right , Lisa Cholodenko and Stuart Blumberg
The King's Speech , David Seidler

127 Hours , Danny Boyle and Simon Beaufoy
The Social Network , Aaron Sorkin
Toy Story 3 , Michael Arndt, John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton, and Lee Unkrich
True Grit , Joel and Ethan Coen
Winter's Bone , Debra Granik and Anne Rossellini

In a Better World
Outside the Law

How to Train Your Dragon
The Illusionist
Toy Story 3

Alice in Wonderland
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1
The King's Speech
True Grit

Black Swan
The King’s Speech
The Social Network
True Grit

Alice in Wonderland
I Am Love
The King's Speech
The Tempest
True Grit

Exit Through the Gift Shop
Inside Job
Waste Land

Killing in the Name
Poster Girl
Strangers No More
Sun Come Up
The Warriors of Qiugang

Andrew Weisblum, Black Swan
Pamela Martin, The Fighter
Tariq Anwar, The King's Speech
Jon Harris, 127 Hours
Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter, The Social Network

Adrien Morot, Barney's Version
Edouard F. Henriques, Gregory Funk and Yolanda Toussieng, The Way Back
Rick Baker and Dave Elsey, The Wolfman

John Powell, How to Train Your Dragon
Hans Zimmer, Inception
Alexandre Desplat, The King's Speech
A.R. Rahman, 127 Hours
Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, The Social Network

“Coming Home” from Country Strong, Music and Lyric by Tom Douglas, Troy Verges and Hillary Lindsey
“I See the Light” from Tangled, Music by Alan Menken Lyric by Glenn Slater
“If I Rise” from 127 Hours, Music by A.R. Rahman Lyric by Dido and Rollo Armstrong
“We Belong Together” from Toy Story 3, Music and Lyric by Randy Newman

Day & Night
The Gruffalo
Let's Pollute
The Lost Thing
Madagascar, carnet de voyage (Madagascar, a Journey Diary)

The Confession
The Crush
God of Love
Na Wewe
Wish 143

Toy Story 3
Tron: Legacy
True Grit

The King’s Speech
The Social Network
True Grit

Alice in Wonderland
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1
Iron Man 2

2010 Oscar Predictions

WILL WIN are in bold 

SHOULD WIN (where i have an opinion) is underlined 

 Did Win are BIG 




MY SCORE: 17/24

well, the oscars have come and gone and i had an average go with my predictions this year. it wasn't my most impressive performance, but it wasn't awful either. where i messed up this year was with the shorts (animation, live action, documentary). normally i get at least one of those right and this time nothing. and then, missing both screenplay winners is just awful. but, i went  17/19 for the rest of the awards and a perfect on the top 6 categories which isn't bad.... so, how did you all do?

Best motion picture of the year
  • Avatar
  • The Blind Side
  • District 9
  • An Education
  • The Hurt Locker
  • Inglourious Basterds
  • Precious
  • A Serious Man
  • Up
  • Up In the Air
Performance by an actress in a leading role
  • Sandra Bullock (The Blind Side)
  • Helen Mirren (The Last Station)
  • Carey Mulligan (An Education)
  • Gabourey Sidibe (Precious)
  • Meryl Streep (Julie and Julia)
Performance by an actor in a leading role
  • Jeff Bridges (Crazy Heart)
  • George Clooney (Up In the Air)
  • Colin Firth (A Single Man)
  • Morgan Freeman (Invictus)
  • Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker)
Performance by an actor in a supporting role
  • Matt Damon (Invictus)
  • Woody Harrellson (The Messenger)
  • Christopher Plummer (The Last Station)
  • Stanley Tucci (The Lovely Bones)
  • Christoph Waltz (Inglourious Basterds)
Performance by an actress in a supporting role
  • Penelope Cruz (Nine)
  • Vera Farmiga (Up In the Air)
  • Maggie Gyllenhaal (Crazy Heart)
  • Anna Kendrick (Up In the Air)
  • Mo'Nique (Precious)
Best animated feature film of the year
  • Coraline
  • Fantastic Mr. Fox
  • The Princess and the Frog
  • The Secret of Kells
  • Up
Best Documentary Short Subject
  • China's Unnatural Disaster: The Tears of Sichuan Province
  • The Last Campaign of Governor Booth Gardner
  • The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant”
  • Music by Prudence
  • Rabbit à la Berlin
Best Short Film (Animated)
  • French Roast
  • Granny O’Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty
  • The Lady and the Reaper (La Dama y la Muerte)
  • Logorama
  • A Matter of Loaf and Death
Best Short Film (Live Action)
  • The Door
  • Instead of Abracadabra
  • Kavi
  • Miracle Fish
  • The New Tenants
Achievement in art direction
  • Avatar
  • The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
  • Nine
  • Sherlock Holmes
  • The Young Victoria
Achievement in cinematography
  • Avatar, Mauro Fiore
  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Bruno Delbonnel
  • The Hurt Locker, Barry Ackroyd
  • Inglourious Basterds, Robert Richardson
  • The White Ribbon, Christian Berger
Achievement in costume design
  • Bright Star, Janet Patterson
  • Coco before Chanel, Catherine Leterrier
  • The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, Monique Prudhomme
  • Nine, Colleen Atwood
  • The Young Victoria, Sandy Powell
Achievement in directing
  • James Cameron (Avatar)
  • Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker)
  • Quentin Tarantino (Inglourious Basterds)
  • Lee Daniels (Precious)
  • Jason Reitman (Up In the Air)
Best documentary feature
  • Burma VJ
  • The Cove
  • Food, Inc.
  • The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers
  • Which Way Home
  • Il Divo, Aldo Signoretti and Vittorio Sodano
  • Star Trek, Barney Burman, Mindy Hall and Joel Harlow
  • The Young Victoria, Jon Henry Gordon and Jenny Shircore
Achievement in film editing
  • Avatar, Stephen Rivkin, John Refoua and James Cameron
  • District 9, Julian Clarke
  • The Hurt Locker, Bob Murawski and Chris Innis
  • Inglourious Basterds, Sally Menke
  • Precious, Joe Klotz
Best foreign language film of the year
  • Ajami
  • El Secreto De Sus Ojos
  • The Milk of Sorrow
  • A Prophet
  • The White Ribbon
Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original score)
  • Avatar, James Horner
  • Fantastic Mr. Fox, Alexandre Desplat
  • The Hurt Locker, Marco Beltrami and Buck Sanders
  • Sherlock Holmes, Hans Zimmer
  • Up, Michael Giacchino
Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original song)
  • "Almost There" from The Princess and the Frog Music and Lyric by Randy Newman
  • "Down in New Orleans" from The Princess and the Frog Music and Lyric by Randy Newman
  • "Loin de Paname" from Paris 36 Music by Reinhardt Wagner Lyric by Frank Thomas
  • "Take It All" from Nine Music and Lyric by Maury Yeston
  • "The Weary Kind (Theme from Crazy Heart)" from Crazy Heart Music and Lyric by Ryan Bingham and T Bone Burnett
Achievement in sound editing
  • Avatar, Christopher Boyes and Gwendolyn Yates Whittle
  • The Hurt Locker, Paul N.J. Ottosson
  • Inglourious Basterds, Wylie Stateman
  • Star Trek, Mark Stoeckinger and Alan Rankin
  • Up, Michael Silvers and Tom Myers
Achievement in sound mixing
  • Avatar, Christopher Boyes, Gary Summers, Andy Nelson and Tony Johnson
  • The Hurt Locker, Paul N.J. Ottosson and Ray Beckett
  • Inglourious Basterds, Michael Minkler, Tony Lamberti and Mark Ulano
  • Star Trek, Anna Behlmer, Andy Nelson and Peter J. Devlin
  • Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers and Geoffrey Patterson
Achievement in visual effects
  • Avatar, Joe Letteri, Stephen Rosenbaum, Richard Baneham and Andrew R. Jones
  • District 9, Dan Kaufman, Peter Muyzers, Robert Habros and Matt Aitken
  • Star Trek, Roger Guyett, Russell Earl, Paul Kavanagh and Burt Dalton
Adapted screenplay
  • Neill Blomkamp and Terri Tatchell (District 9)
  • Nick Hornby (An Education)
  • Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell, Armando Iannucci, Tony Roche (In the Loop)
  • Geoffrey Fletcher (Precious)
  • Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner (Up In the Air)
Original screenplay
  • Mark Boal (The Hurt Locker)
  • Quentin Tarantino (Inglourious Basterds)
  • Alessandro Camon and Oren Moverman (The Messenger)
  • Joel and Ethan Coen (A Serious Man)
  • Screenplay by Bob Peterson, Pete Docter, Story by Pete Docter, Bob Peterson, Tom McCarthy (Up)

Best And Worst Of 2009

looking back, 2009 was a good year overall. however, that overall positive average comes from a rather okay to disappointing big blockbusters and general cinema-near-you fair, to a good to great smaller film and surprise blockbuster year...

the summer blockbuster season was generally a disappointment with films like Watchmen, Terminatore and Transformers all ending up on the "worst of" list. and how can we forget Avatar (i know it wasn't a summer release). sure, it was a huge sucess money-wise and with many critics, but it wasn't a good movie... there were some successesthough, like Star Trek, Inglourious Basterds and District 9 - but even then, you look at the budget for District 9 at $30 million and that is almost independent film budget level.

on the other hand, many of the smaller/foreign/independent/less-publicized films that grabbed my interest ended up living up to expectations - which is often not the case (with the exception of the painfully disappointing The Limits Of Control of course).

like i always say: i can't see everything. so, now is time to list some of the films that have been making the rounds on other list, and garnering awards nominations, that i hadn't seen when i put mine together. they include:

Crazy Heart, Up In The Air, State Of Play, Bright Star, A Single Man, Moon, Anvil: The Story Of Anvil, The Cove, Public Enemies, Me And The Orson Wells, Food Inc....

with all that being said, let the listing begin......


1.  Inglourious Basterds
2A Serious Man
5500 Days Of Summer
6.  In The Loop
7.  Distric 9 & I'm Not Your Friend
8.  Fantastic Mr. Fox
9World's Greatest Dad

don't forget (honorable mention): Up, Where The Wild Things Are, Away We Go, Precious, Star Trek, I Love You Man, Tyson, Adventurland, The White Ribbon, FAQ About Time Travel



if you want to read some short discussions on these crappy films, you can see a write-up on some of them at www.notgoodmovies.com 

1.   Terminator Salvation
2.   Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen
3.   Surrogates
4.   The Limits Of Control
5.   G.I. Joe: The Rise Of Cobra
6.   Watchmen
7.   Angels And Demons
8.   The Invention Of Lying
9.   Gamer
10. Avatar

2009 Oscar Predictions

 here i go again...

Will Win: Bold

Did Win: Big




MY SCORE: 19/24


"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"
"The Reader"
"Slumdog Millionaire"


Gus Van Sant ("Milk")
Ron Howard ("Frost/Nixon")
David Fincher ('Benjamin Button')
Danny Boyle ("Slumdog Millionaire")
Stephen Daldry ("The Reader")

Kate Winslet ("The Reader")
Angelina Jolie ("Changeling")
Melissa Leo "(Frozen River")
Anne Hathaway ("Rachel Getting Married"
Meryl Streep ("Doubt")

Mickey Rourke ("The Wrestler")
Brad Pitt ("The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button")
Sean Penn ("Milk")
Frank Langella ("Frost/Nixon")
Richard Jenkins ("The Visitor")

Amy Adams ("Doubt")
Penelope Cruz ("Vicky Cristina Barcelona")
Viola Davis ("Doubt")
Marisa Tomei ("The Wrestler")
Taraji P Henson ('Benjamin Button')

Phillip Seymour Hoffman ("Doubt")
Michael Shannon ("Revolutionary Road"
Robert Downey Jr. ("Tropic Thunder")
Josh Brolin ("Milk")
Heath Ledger "(The Dark Knight")

"Waltz With Bashir" (Israel)
"Revanche" (Austria)
"The Class" (France)
"Der Baader Meinhof Komplex" (Germany)
"Departures" (Japan)

“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (Paramount and Warner Bros.), Screenplay by Eric Roth, Screen story by Eric Roth and Robin Swicord
“Doubt” (Miramax), Written by John Patrick Shanley
“Frost/Nixon” (Universal), Screenplay by Peter Morgan
“The Reader” (The Weinstein Company), Screenplay by David Hare
Slumdog Millionaire” (Fox Searchlight), Screenplay by Simon Beaufoy

“Frozen River” (Sony Pictures Classics), Written by Courtney Hunt
“Happy-Go-Lucky” (Miramax), Written by Mike Leigh
“In Bruges” (Focus Features), Written by Martin McDonagh
“Milk” (Focus Features), Written by Dustin Lance Black
“WALL-E” (Walt Disney), Screenplay by Andrew Stanton, Jim Reardon, Original story by Andrew Stanton, Pete Docter

“Changeling” (Universal), Tom Stern
“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (Paramount and Warner Bros.), Claudio Miranda
“The Dark Knight” (Warner Bros.), Wally Pfister
“The Reader” (The Weinstein Company), Chris Menges and Roger Deakins
“Slumdog Millionaire” (Fox Searchlight), Anthony Dod Mantle

“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (Paramount and Warner Bros.), Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall
“The Dark Knight” (Warner Bros.), Lee Smith
“Frost/Nixon” (Universal), Mike Hill and Dan Hanley
“Milk” (Focus Features), Elliot Graham
“Slumdog Millionaire” (Fox Searchlight), Chris Dickens

“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (Paramount and Warner Bros.),Alexandre Desplat
“Defiance” (Paramount Vantage), James Newton Howard
“Milk” (Focus Features), Danny Elfman
“Slumdog Millionaire” (Fox Searchlight), A.R. Rahman
“WALL-E” (Walt Disney), Thomas Newman 

"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"
"The Duchess"
"Revolutionary Road"
"The Dark Knight"

“Australia” (20th Century Fox), Catherine Martin
“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (Paramount and Warner Bros.), Jacqueline West
“The Duchess” (Paramount Vantage, Pathé and BBC Films), Michael O’Connor
“Milk” (Focus Features), Danny Glicker
“Revolutionary Road”

“Down to Earth” from “WALL-E” (Walt Disney), Music by Peter Gabriel and Thomas Newman, Lyric by Peter Gabriel
“Jai Ho” from “Slumdog Millionaire” (Fox Searchlight), Music by A.R. Rahman, Lyric by Gulzar
“O Saya” from “Slumdog Millionaire” (Fox Searchlight), Music and Lyric by A.R. Rahman andMaya Arulpragasam

"Kung Fu Panda"

“The Betrayal (Nerakhoon)” (Cinema Guild), A Pandinlao Films Production, Ellen Kuras and Thavisouk Phrasavath
“Encounters at the End of the World” (THINKFilm and Image Entertainment), A Creative Differences Production, Werner Herzog and Henry Kaiser
“The Garden” A Black Valley Films Production, Scott Hamilton Kennedy
“Man on Wire” (Magnolia Pictures), A Wall to Wall Production, James Marsh and Simon Chinn
“Trouble the Water” (Zeitgeist Films), An Elsewhere Films Production, Tia Lessin and Carl

"The Conscience of Nhem En"
      A Farallon Films Production    Steven Okazaki
"The Final Inch"
      A Vermilion Films Production    Irene Taylor Brodsky and Tom Grant
"Smile Pinki"
      A Principe Production    Megan Mylan

"The Witness - From the Balcony of Room 306"
      A Rock Paper Scissors Production    Adam Pertofsky and Margaret Hyde

“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (Paramount and Warner Bros.), Greg Cannom
“The Dark Knight” (Warner Bros.), John Caglione, Jr. and Conor O’Sullivan
“Hellboy II: The Golden Army” (Universal), Mike Elizalde and Thom Floutz

“La Maison en Petits Cubes” A Robot Communications Production, Kunio Kato
“Lavatory - Lovestory” A Melnitsa Animation Studio and CTB Film Company Production, Konstantin Bronzit
“Oktapodi” (Talantis Films) A Gobelins, L’école de l’image Production, Emud Mokhberi and Thierry Marchand

“Presto” (Walt Disney) A Pixar Animation Studios Production, Doug Sweetland

“This Way Up”, A Nexus Production, Alan Smith and Adam Foulkes

“Auf der Strecke (On the Line)” (Hamburg Shortfilmagency), An Academy of Media Arts Cologne Production, Reto Caffi
“Manon on the Asphalt” (La Luna Productions), A La Luna Production, Elizabeth Marre and Olivier Pont
“New Boy” (Network Ireland Television), A Zanzibar Films Production, Steph Green and Tamara Anghie
“The Pig” An M & M Production, Tivi Magnusson and Dorte Høgh

“Spielzeugland (Toyland)” A Mephisto Film Production, Jochen Alexander Freydank


“The Dark Knight” (Warner Bros.), Richard King
“Iron Man” (Paramount and Marvel Entertainment), Frank Eulner and Christopher Boyes
“Slumdog Millionaire” (Fox Searchlight), Tom Sayers
“WALL-E” (Walt Disney), Ben Burtt and Matthew Wood
“Wanted” (Universal),Wylie Stateman


“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (Paramount and Warner Bros.), David Parker, Michael Semanick, Ren Klyce and Mark Weingarten
“The Dark Knight” (Warner Bros.), Lora Hirschberg, Gary Rizzo and Ed Novick

“Slumdog Millionaire” (Fox Searchlight), Ian Tapp, Richard Pryke and Resul Pookutty
“WALL-E” (Walt Disney),Tom Myers, Michael Semanick and Ben Burtt
“Wanted” (Universal), Chris Jenkins, Frank A. Montaño and Petr Forejt

“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (Paramount and Warner Bros.), Eric Barba, Steve Preeg, Burt Dalton and Craig Barron
“The Dark Knight” (Warner Bros.), Nick Davis, Chris Corbould, Tim Webber and Paul Franklin
“Iron Man” (Paramount and Marvel Entertainment), John Nelson, Ben Snow, Dan Sudick and Shane Mahan

FBNF Awards 2008

Fbnf awards with the academy awards in about three weeks it will be the official end to the 2008 awards season, but we all know it wouldn't be complete without this year's FBNF awards, so let us hand those out right now... (you can check out the 2007 FBNF awards right here)

best film:
- Slumdog Millionaire

best end credit dance (tie):
- tom cruise (Tropic Thunder)
    - this was great. i thought his character was hysterical throughout the film and this just put a great topper on a really good time at the movies. cruise can be great in these supporting roles where he really just lets himself go (think Magnolia also)  

- the cast of Slumdog Millionaire
    - i loved this film and the bollywood dancing at the end was so joyful and carried my smile from the end of the film through the closing credits.

worst sequel:
- Quantum Of Solace
    - it was a bad sequel, a bad james bond movie and just a bad film in general

best movie song (tie)
- bruce springsteen (The Wrestler) & jack white and alicia keyes (Quantum Of Solace)
    - both songs are good songs in their own right and worked really well in their respective films (pretty much one of the only good things about Quantum Of Solace)... oh ya, don't forget Rock Me Sexy Jesus from Hamlet 2

best male performance:
- mickey rourke
    - his performance in The Wrestler is so true and heartbreaking and uplifting.  from the hair to the hearing aide to the way he talks and carries himself differently in and outside the ring, rourke stands out from the crowd this year with that performance.

best sequel:
- The Dark Knight
    - this one was easy. not only was it far and away the best sequel of the year, it was the best comic book movie since tim burton's Batman in 1989 and one of the best films of the year - sequel or not.

best film i saw all year:
- Keane
    - released in 2004 this small lodge kerrigan film is one i am still thinking and talking about to anyone that will listen.  read my full discussion of the film here.

welcome back:
- woody allen
    - one of my favorite directors of all time allen could pretty much do know wrong for me until about 10 years ago.  these last 10 years have been up and down, with more downs then ups and the ups not being that high.  that was until Vicky Cristina Barcelona.  this wonderful film is the best thing he has done in a long time and although one film isn't maybe enough to say 'he's back", i so enjoyed the movie that i'm going to say it anyway... "he's back!"

best actor:
- ben kingsley
    - The Wackness and Elegy

best bad special effects:
- Be Kind Rewind

film that most frustratingly didn't live up to its potential:
- Righteous Kill
    - unlike last years winner of this award I Am Legend - which was actually a really good film for the first half of it, Righteous Kill wasn't very good from pretty early on.  however, given that two of the greatest actors of all time - robert deniro and al pacino - were the stars, and were going to be in a film and on screen together for most of it, for the first time ever, the potential for greatness was there.

best performance by young actors:
- all the kids in The Class (Entre Les Murs)

worst performances by young actors:
- the young actors in Gran Tornio

best two acting greats in one movie:
- merryl streep and phillip seymor hoffman in Doubt
    - dicaprio and winslet were good in Revolutionary road and this awards should have really gone to deniro and pacino (but, while they were fine in the awful Righteous Kill, they weren't great)... but streep and hoffman in doubt were excellent and the big climactic scene in which the two of them go head to head had me completely riveted.

most disappointingly historically inaccurate:
- parts of Frost/Nixon
    - i really liked the film, and its fine that they took some dramatic license with certain things and emphasized others that might not have been so 'dramatic' at the time, but to literally change actual dialogue from the frost/nixon interviews is just wrong. i mean, we have the actual footage and transcripts from the interviews, so use them at least for the interview scenes... also, creating that huge, climactic phone call scene - that never happened - that turns the film around and leads to the big 'get' in the interview is also wrong,

biggest oscar gyp:
- The Wrestler
    - yes it got an acting nod for both mickey rourke and marissa tomei (both completely deserving), but what about a best picture nomination?  or if that's too much to ask at least a screenplay nod?  and even if those two are to much for the academy, what about a best song nomination for bruce springsteen?  the song won a golden globe and it isn't even nominated for an academy award - in a category that only has three nominees (so its not like there is no room for it)... the only thing i can think is that there is some kind of technicality reason and it can't be nominated, but if that isn't the case then what the hell!?!?

well done oscar:
- heath ledger and robert downy jr. nominations
    - comedy and action rarely get much love from the academy so to have ledger (for The Dark Knight) and even more so, downey (for Tropic Thunder) nominated for supporting actor awards is great to see - and they are both very deserving.

best failed blockbuster:
- Body Of Lies
    - with ridely scott directing this spy thriller starring russell crowe and leonardo dicaprio Body Of Lies had blockbuster hopes, but instead it only ended up grossing just over half of its estimated $70 million budget.  not only that, but the reviews were split on it as well (it got 51% at rotten tomatoes)... but this one is more than just a good summer spy thriller. 

hey oscar, were there really no other good supporting female performances?:
- viola davis in Doubt
    - now i'm not saying davis was bad in the film, not at all... however, she is really only in the film for one 5-15 minute long scene, and her performance isn't so outstanding that it deserves a nomination for such a small role... who would i replace her with you ask?  well, how about rebecca hall from Vicky Christina Barcelona?  

the most unbelievably simple story:
- Wendy And Lucy
    - a girl and her dog are driving through a small town on their way to alaska.  the car breaks down and she loses her dog. she spends the next day or two looking for her dog while her car is getting fixed... there you go, that is Wendy And Lucy - and it is a really good film.

best film with lots of problems:
- Gran Torino
    - eastwood isn't bad (not best actor worthy as the national board of review thought), but playing a racist old man that just wants to be left alone but befriends the korean kid/family next door is anything but an original idea... also, the acting by the kids in the film is poor and the story is pretty predictable... and yet i enjoyed the film.. hmmmmmm, go figure.

worst film that was not the sum of its parts:
- Burn After Reading
    - with Burn After Reading i found the story original, i liked the characters, i thought it was funny at times, i liked the tone of the film, i was interested in what was going to happen, the performances were good - albeit a little over the top for some (but that fit the tone the coen brothers created)... and yet i was quite disappointed and confused in the end.

best film title:
- Quantum Of Solace and Young People Fucking
    - Quantun Of Solace sounds a little pretentious, but very cool and intriguing... Young People Fucking sounds like it is trying to shock people, but the film is so good it works.

Best And Worst Of 2008

i kind of feel bad for 2008.  i mean, having to follow 2007 is like being an amateur comic at a comedy club and having chris rock pop in to do a set just before you go on - no matter how good your material is, it just isn't going to be as good...

2007 was one of the best years for movies in a long long time.  not only did you have two films, No Country For Old Men and There Will Be Blood, that i would not hesitate to call masterpieces, but then there was Juno, Eastern Promises, The Diving Bell And The Butterfly and Once which were all excellent films that all could have easily been 'best films of the year' almost any other year (check out the best and worst of 2007 lists)...

2008 however, turned out to be a good year all around, although up until the last couple months of the year, except for a few standouts, it wasn't looking like that was the case.  but, these last couple months have brought with them some quality films, and in the end i actually had a little bit of a hard time narrowing down my list.

and finally, i will mention, as i always do, the films that i haven't seen, as i put my lists together, that seem to be making other top lists: Seven Pounds, The Reader, Revolutionary Road, Australia, Ballast, The Class, Rachel Getting Married, Happy Go Lucky, Waltz With Bashir, W., The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button, Doubt, Paranoid Park, Baghead and My Winnipeg.

click the links for the written discussions and listen to the podcast to hear discussions about all the films on the lists, the ones that just missed, and more - with all that being said, let the listing begin...


1.  Slumdog Millionaire
2.   The Fall & The Class (Entre Les Murs)
3.   Vicky Cristina Barcelona
4.   The Dark Knight
5.   The Wrestler
6.   Milk
7.   Young People Fucking
8.   Man On Wire
9.   Tropic Thunder
10. Tell No One & Wendy And Lucy

don't forget (honorable mention): Teeth, The Wackness, Elegy, Frost/Nixon, Wall-E, Be Kind Rewind, Body Of Lies, Roman Polanski: Wanted And Desired, Synecdoche New York,



if you want to read some short discussions on these crappy films, you can see a write-up on most of them at www.notgoodmovies.com 

1.   Righteous Kill
2.  Quantum Of Solace
3.   Jumper
4.   Vantage Point
5.   21
6.   Wanted
7.   The Day The Earth Stood Still
8.   The Incredible Hulk
9.   Untraceable
10. Burn After Reading

FBNF Awards

well, awards season is winding down.  the lists have all been made and most of the awards have been given out.  however, an official year of movies is not complete until the FBNF Awards have been handed out, so here they are, the 2007 FBNFs...


best film:
- No Country For Old Men
      - i have said plenty about this masterpiece already

best male performance:
- daniel day-lewis
      - his performance in There Will Be Blood was brilliant.  a towering, powerful performance for the ages.

best female performance:
- ellen page
     - on the surface it might seem like a simple thing to play a sarcastic teen, but the way she gave us this character who young but thrust (no pun intended) in to such an adult situation was really something great.

film that most frustratingly didn't live up to its potential:
- I Am Legend

      - i think i've said and written enough about how i feel about this one

best soundtrack:
- Once
      - great songs that work beautifully in the movie and on their own

worst movie title:
- The Diving Bell And The Butterfly
      - i know it's the name of the book, but the title is so artsy that i'm sure it probably alienated some people from seeing this great movie (not that those it alienated would have appreciated it anyways, but you never know)

best movie title:
- I Want Someone To Eat Cheese With
      - come on, that's a great title.  and the fact that it also breaks down the truth and simplicity of what we really are all looking for in a mate (someone that we just get and gets us and someone that we would be completely happy just sitting and 'eating cheese' with) makes it even better.

best director (tie):
- the coen brothers & p.t. anderson
    - more then just good films, No country For Old Men and There Will Be Blood are masterpieces that go beyond what we expect, take chances and buck conventions with an incredibly sure hand.

best actor who played the same character in two different movies:
- michael cera
      - they had different names, but his character in Juno and Superbad were pretty identical. he played them really well though.

best special effects:
- The Transformers
    - nope, i didn't like the movie, but those special effects were something spectacular and seamless.

most overlooked actor:
- irfan khan
     - he was excellent in both The Namesake and A Mighty Heart (he got an independent spirit nomination, but he deserved much more)... followed a close second by josh brolin: javier bardem is getting all the attention (and he deserves it all), but brolin was great as well in a less 'flashy' but just as important role.

most overlooked actress:
- Tabu
     - she is the heart and soul of The Namesake.

most overpraised film of the year:
- Micheal Clayton
     -sure, it was pretty good, but not best-director-and-best-film good.  that's just taking up places that could have gone to much better movies

biggest drop-off by a director based on his previous film:
- joe carnahan
     -his film this year:Smoking Aces (kind of fun for a bit, but not even a good mindless shoot 'em up) - his previous film: Narc (this is a great movie)

movie that made me laugh more then it probably should have:
- Reno 911: Miami!
     - the tv show makes me laugh and so did the movie, like the award says, probably more then it should have

- biggest oscar gyp (tie):
- The Diving Bell And The Butterfly not getting a best picture nod
      -personally i also think Micheal Clayton should be off the list and replaced with Easter Promises, but the fact that Diving Bell got a best director nod but was replaced in the best picture category by Atonement is just ridiculous.  i know every year there is one best film nomination that doesn't coennside with the best director nominations, and that is fine. however, if you are going to keep Diving Bell off the list then at least replace it with a better film then Atonement (it had a very good first half. however, it didn't provide any kind of background or justification for the huge emotions felt by the two main characters, and therefor i felt no real draw to their plight or desire for them to get back together, which is what the film relies on).

- Eastern Promises getting almost nothing

          - at least viggo got an acting nod, but come on people, the film itself deserved a lot more recognition then it got.  like i mentioned above, get rid of Micheal Clayton on both the 'best director' and 'best film' nomination list and you got room for cronenberg and Eastern Promises.

- There Will Be Blood score not nominated
         -  how did this modern, different and evocative score get left of the nomination list? i think i just answered my own question.

worst sequel:
- Spiderman 3
       - the first two were great, but this one wasn't even that much fun.  too many villains and a dark spiderman story line that wasn't developed to its full potential. (i didn't see Pirates Of The Caribbean 3 by the way)

Best Sequel:
- The Bourne Ultimatum
       - not only was it a really good action movie on its own, but the way it worked within the context of the trilogy it was a great finale to the series. (Harry Potter 5 and 28 Weeks Later are close behind)

most surprising remake:
- I Think I Love My Wife
       - the chris rock film which he directed, starred in and co-wrote is a 'remake/based on' the film Chloe In The Afternoon by eric rohmer


Good Things From Not So Good Movies

well, it's list time again ladies and gentlemen.  and for this one i was thinking about how even films i don't like can sometimes have something about them that i do like, whether it be something big like a performance or something small like a line of dialogue.

so, on that note, i have put together a list that i am calling, Filmed But Not Forgotten Things From Filmed But Could Be Forgotten Movies: or how i learned to stop worrying and list some good things from some not so good movies (i gotta work on that title)...

while this is a list, i didn't put these in any numerical order.  i'm also sure there are some that i have forgotten or haven't thought about, so what are yours?

Casino Royal: the incredible foot chase near the beginning of the movie
    - this one is first because i'm not sure if it should be here.  this is a movie that, although i didn't really like it when i saw it in the theater, i want to watch again before making final judgments.  so, although the foot chase is an unbelievably good thing, i'm on the fence about whether the film is not so good or not.

The Transformers: the great special effects
    - the movie was too long, the script was poor and i was pretty bored by the end, but, like i have said before, these were great special effects.  there was not one moment where i noticed the cgi or models, etc... it was fluid and really well done.

The Jackal: the opening credits
    - this movie sucked donkeys, but i have always like the opening credit sequence with the graphics and the music.

The Avengers: those big bear costumes
    - this movie was all style over substance, but the one thing i do remember are those big bear costumes that all the bad guys wear so that they won't know who the other bad guys are.  seeing all of them sitting around that huge conference table and then some of them running around was, you got to admit, original and a good visual.

Elizabethtown: susan sarandon doing the stand-up at the funeral
    - this movie was just inconsistent.  there were some good moments, but orlando bloom is just not that good an actor and it shows in a film like this that he has to carry without the help of special effects (ala Lord Of The Rings and Pirates OF The Caribbean).  anyway, one of those good moments was at the funeral when sarandon does this stand-up routine and tap dances i think.  actually that whole scene with the band playing free bird after is also good.  it was moving and funny and smart (i mean crowe does know how to write).

Entrapment: we all know where i'm going with this one.  zeta-jones going under the laser of course
    - really crappy movie with that one great moment

Swordfish: the opening scene
    - another disappointing film that started off well.  that opening scene with travolta talking about realism in movies and pacino in Dog Day Afternoon and then with the explosion and the camera spining around the scene kind of frozen in mid explosion.  that was cool and i remember thinking that i was in for a good ride with this movie.  but i wasn't.

French Connection 2: gene hackman's performance
    - the first one is excellent, but number 2 is kind of a number 2 itself.  however, hackman's performance is great (as always) as he gets force fed drugs while being held by the bad guys.

Eraser: "you're luggage"
    - a pretty average schwarzenegger movie.  however, when he shoots the alligator and then delivers the line "you're luggage"....  come on people, that's gold!!!

Babel: the japanese girls story
    - my least favorite of innaratu's films, i found Babel to be acting like it was saying more then it really was.  the pretention was a bit much and it just wasn't as smart or as interesting as it thought it was.  however, of the three story lines i really liked the one dealing with the deaf japanese girl and it stood out in a film that left me pretty underwhelmed when i left the theater.

Next: the ending
    - Next is a film is another film with an interesting premise (a guy can see 2-minutes into the future) that is only interesting for about 20 minutes.  after that the film turns into a typical not that exciting chase movie, blah, blah, blah.  however, the ending is an interesting thing because: if the film had been good then the ending (i won't give it away) would have, for me, been interesting, unpredictable, frustrating and a gutsy move.  but, since i was pretty bored by the end the ending was just a big groaner (which is the noise that half the audience let out in my showing of the film).

Amistad: djimon hounsou
    - we have seen his power on screen more recently in films like In America and Blood Diamonds, but some people may not remember that djimon got his start in Amistad.  and while the film is definitely not one of spielberg's best, the moments with hundsu are powerful and moving.


filmed but not forgotten score/music

i have heard it said that you shouldn't notice a film's score.  i disagree completely and am a big fan of movie music.  sure you can notice a bad score, but you can also notice a great one.  this brings us to this weeks list: fbnf score/music

there were only two rules i had for this list:
1) it wasn't nominated for an oscar
2) it is original music composed for the film (therefor if a soundtrack of songs is on the list then they had to have been written for the movie and not just be a collection of good songs like in say, Almost Famous or Forrest Gump or The Commitments. etc...) 

let the listing begin.....

11) She's The One - tom petty and the heartbreakers
10) Who Framed Roger Rabbit - alan silvestri
9) Truman Show - burkhard dallwitz/phillip glass
8) Rushmore - mark motherersbaugh
7) James Bond - monty norman/john barry
6) Team America: world police - harry gregson-williams/marc shaiman/trey parker

5) Batman - danny elfman
4) Psycho - bernard herrmann
3) The Last Temptation Of Christ  - peter gabriel
2) Crimson Tide - hans zimmer
1) The Good, The Bad and The Ugly - ennio morricone


filmed but not forgotten performances (male)

the academy awards marks the end of the awards season and it got me to thinking about actors and performances that didn't get nominated let alone win many, if any, awards.  which brings us here and  my list of the top 15 male performances that went under appreciated. 

my main criteria was that they not be nominated for an academy award and not have won a golden globe (see the honorable mentions for some of those).  if they weren't even nominated for a golden globe or many other awards, that was also taken into consideration. now, of course there are many performances that could be considered, but i also tried to have comedy and action performances (2 categories that are usually dismissed by the academy), as well as films that were highly praised but had actors performances that were somehow overlooked.

1) nicholas cage & john travolta - Face/Off
2) jason shwartzman & bill murray - Rushmore
3) mike meyers - Austin Powers 2
4) martin sheen - Apocalypse Now
5) al pacino & johnny depp - Donnie Brasco
6) vince vaughn - Swingers
7) entire cast of Glengarry Glen Ross
8) mark whalberg & john c. reilly -Boogie Nights
9) matt damon - The Talented Mr. Ripley
10) alan alda - Crimes And Misdemeanors
11) joseph gorden levitt - Brick
12) malcolm mcdowell - A Clockwork Orange
13) campbell scott - Rodger Dodger
14) ewan mcgreggor - Trainspotting
15) harrison ford & sean connery - Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade

honorable mention: john travolta - Get Shorty, jim carrey - Man In The Moon, sacha baron cohen - Borat, sylvester stalone - Rocky Balboa, ben affleck & jason lee - Chasing Amy