Archive | February, 2010

Shutter Island: even Scorsese has his off days (an off day for him is still a B-)

26 Feb

Okay, so I actually read the book Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane (Mystic River, Gone, Baby, Gone), so watching this was much different for me than for the person who was trying to ‘figure it out’ the whole time. I was able to simply relax and not be confused at any point, so my opinion of the film is much different than someone who came in cold. That being said, I think the first half of the movie was overly long and if it wasn’t for the ending, this movie would have been very disappointing.

You know things aren’t getting off to a great start when within the first two minutes you lean over to your friend and say, “This music is annoying.” 

Click play on that song and then imagine Leonardo DiCaprio and Mark Ruffalo…imagine they are…wait for it…DRIVING IN A CAR. That is all they are doing to this music. Driving in a car.  “This car ride is so tense and horrifying that this song is perfect.” –Martin Scorsese.

I can’t believe some of the stuff in here came from Scorsese. It’s like he thought there was certain way to make a ‘horror’ movie (this movie was not scary by the way, not at all, especially considering the way they were marketing it) which includes cheesy overblown music, loud sounds that make you jump and ‘disturbing’ visuals. A lot of the dream sequences or the flashbacks involving the Nazis had this artifcial quality to them that really threw me off. It was like you could see how someone would be like, “Let’s have her covered in a lot of blood, but be really calm and sort of rational. That’ll really give ’em the creeps!” I felt like I was being shown all these images that should have been creepy, but it was like you could tell they were trying SO HARD. Are you still listening to that song? TRYING WAY TOO HARD.

Also, they REALLY played up the Nazi/WW II angle which was only briefly mentioned in the book. I think this was a misstep because it ate up time they could have used to show Teddy investigating more people (because there should have been more of that) and getting more clues out of the orderlies and other patients. Or, it could have just been cut completely so this movie wasn’t two and a half hours (including previews, which were for all my most anticipated movies of 2010, such as Death at a Funeral and The Scorcer’s Apprentice and She’s Out of My League and Clash of the Titans (when I say ‘most anticipated’ I mean ‘least anticipated’)).

Despite the problems I had with this movie, the ending basically makes up for it. The quality of the acting was also commendable; Leo was good as always, and Jackie Earl Haley was also good in his small role.

Grade: B-

Hangin' with Leo!!

26 Feb

In this day and age everyone knows Leonardo DiCaprio as the ‘doohly apphointed fedahral mawshal’ from Shutter Island, but do you remember when Leo was just a rambunctious youngster, pulling his hair back with headbands and doing karate kicks in parking garages? Now you do:

Leonardo Retardo was such a ladies’ man! If I wasn’t 6 at the time I’d be all over that!

Gabe & Max deserve all the Oscars

24 Feb

Via Videogum.

Picture of the day 02.23.10 (LOST edition)

23 Feb

Via Fanpop!.

Jonsi's solo album–in English!

22 Feb

Oh man, I cannot wait for this. I like me some Sigur Ros, but you can only listen to that for so long before you start to imagine you are some kind of special glitter fairy in magic unicorn land. This sounds basically the same, but a little less ambient, I think. It’s just strange to hear Jonsi singing in English. I’m so used to him singing in his made-up language of ‘Hopelandic’ and Icelandic. I guess being able to understand what he is saying (sometimes) will mitigate the daydream coma you go into after listening to Takk

Go is out April 6th on XI Recordings.

Oregon Shakespeare Festival!

22 Feb

This weekend I spent my time in Ashland, Oregon, for the preview of the 2010 season. I know, I am so special. Anyway, the funny bit is that it’s called the Shakespeare festival and we didn’t even see a Shakespeare play. The only one that opened over the weekend was Hamlet, and both me and my mom were like PASS (we both prefer the comedies). Besides, when we got into town I overheard some lady telling some other lady that there was RAPPING in SHAKESPEARE’S HAMLET. In that moment I knew we made the right decision.

On Saturday we saw Tennessee William’s Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and I thought it was really good. I am a Williams fan though; A Streetcar Named Desire is one of my favorite plays/movies ever (if you haven’t seen the 1951 film version you should watch it right now because MARLON BRANDO TAKES HIS SHIRT OFF IN IT and it is amazing). The acting in Cat overall was really good, except I didn’t really care for the way the Stephanie Beatriz portrayed Maggie. It was a little too highschool girly when the part should have been played with a more mature feminine fury.

But to make up for that, Big Daddy was played by Michael Winters, aka Taylor from Gilmore Girls:

And Big Mama was played by Catherine E. Coulson, otherwise known as The Log Lady from Twin Peaks!!!!!!!!

"My log has a secret to tell you."

Seeing The Log Lady is probably the coolest thing that has ever happened to me.

On Sunday we saw a stage adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, which wasn’t so great, though it does have a lot to live up to. The novel just didn’t translate very well onto the stage since there are so many locations and characters. I felt like there was too much shuffling about. Not to mention Darcy was very disappointing. Again, big shoes to fill, but he just didn’t even seem like an actor. It was like he was saying words he had memorized, but without understanding what the words meant. Oh well, the squealing teens behind me enjoyed it, so I guess job well done?

If anyone lives near Oregon they should definitely check out the festival because it is always great and the town of Ashland is adorable. Also, if you go during the summer you can see plays in the outside theatre which looks very Shakespearean:

OSF website

The BAFTAs got it right

22 Feb

Last night I watched the BAFTAs on BBC America. For those of you who don’t know what a BAFTA is, it’s basically the Brititsh equivalent of the Oscars. I believe BAFTA stands for British Academy of (mainly American) Film and (a few British) Actors. Or I could be making that up. Either way, even though it is a British award, there were a lot of American winners, because let’s face it, we make the best movies.

I only saw the last hour, or as I like to call it, the part where the most important awards are given out. The Hurt Locker took home best original screenplay (Mark Boal), director (Kathryn Bigelow) and picture. BECAUSE IT DESERVED IT. Avatar won technical awards, as it should, but nothing else (Oscars, take note).

Oh, and this made me happy:

Here’s the complete BAFTA awards 2010 winners list:

Best Film: The Hurt Locker
Leading Actor: Colin Firth, A Single Man
Leading Actress: Carey Mulligan, An Education
Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz, Inglourious Basterds
Supporting Actress: Mo’Nique, Precious
Director: Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker
Original Screenplay: Mark Boal, The Hurt Locker
Adapted Screenplay: Jason Reitman & Sheldon Turner, Up In the Air
Film Not in the English Language: A Prophet (France)
Animated Film: Up
Outstanding British Film: Fish Tank
Outstanding Debut By a British Writer, Director or Producer: Duncan Jones, Moon (director)
Music: Michael Giacchino, Up
Cinematography: The Hurt Locker
Editing: The Hurt Locker
Production Design: Avatar
Costume Design: The Young Victoria
Sound: The Hurt Locker
Special Visual Effects: Avatar
Makeup & Hair: The Young Victoria
Short Animation: Mother of Many
The Orange Rising Star Award: Kristen Stewart
Academy Fellowship: Vanessa Redgrave