XIPHOS VS THE BEST MOVIE NOMINATIONS OF 2010
Or as I am subtitling this hit piece “Why I like movies less each year”. I like the title I’m using but I haven’t actually seen all the movies up for the best picture nomination so don’t expect to see anything about The King’s Speech, Toy Story 3, 127 Hours or The Kids Are All Right.
Also from out of the generosity of my bottomless giving heart there is a bonus mini-review at the end. I’m pretty sure the mini-review will generate the more discussion then the main topic and it will make Jarv call me all sorts of vile names.
After watching a lot of the nominated movies the last few weeks I’ve come to the conclusion that most of the movies on the Oscar list, and really most movies made nowadays, are all, at best, minimally competent and made with an eye towards middle of the road blandness, except for 2 which exceed the standard of minimally competent. Get use to hearing the words minimally competent a lot in this piece.
That is, in my opinion, one of the main problems with Hollywood today. Most films play it safe and don’t take any real chances and the list of Best Movies is proof of that. Even as recently as a decade ago almost none of these flicks would have been nominated yet in today’s watery shit market these mostly conventional paint by the numbers movies are being lauded as special when mostly they aren’t. As I said in the first sentence, this middle of the road, focus group tested, playing it safe mode is why each year I care less about movies than the previous year. I just can’t work up the desire to go to the movies like I use to. Hardly ever is there anything out there that grabs me by the throat and taps the back of my favorite head against the bar room wall anymore since everything just seems so blah. Anyway, mini-statement over. Let’s look at the mostly mayonnaise-on-white-bread Best Picture nominees for 2010.
BLACK SWAN: This movie is for all intents and purposes a Skinamax lesbo scene filmed by a director perpetually fellated by Hollywood nerds as being a genius. Theoretically, Black Swan is the study of one woman’s decent into madness set in the world of professional ballet. The movie was directed by Darren Aronofsky, Hollywood wunderkind and a man who is continually given a hand job by movie “insiders”. Black Swan will probably win a nude bald man and that’s a shame, the movie is bland, safe, Oscar bait. It exists solely to get two young hot starlets to do a faux rug munching scene and for Aronofsky to get a gold plated statue. Black Swan is middle of the road ordinary.
THE FIGHTER: This is one of the two movies I think should win so it probably won’t. It’s also one of the two movies I think rises above the level of minimally competent. Everybody creamed their jeans over Grammaton Cleric John Preston’s portrayal of the junkie brother and it he was good in a scenery chewing sort of way but the real strength of the movies was the honest portrayal of the load a pro fighter has to carry because of family and how family always wants a piece of your soul not to mention your wallet. The Fighter is a bio-pic about the fall and rise of Boston area welterweight boxer “Irish” Micky Ward. I thought David O. Russel made a watchable entertaining movie out of material we’ve all seen before. coughcoughROCKY1and6,On the Water Front,Raging Bullcoughcough
INCEPTION: Not going to spend a lot of time on this because me and Nolan aren’t compatible. Inception is a watchable film…….once. It’s competently made but saddled with a truck load of problems story wise and Nolan bores me visually. Big yawn from me.
THE SOCIAL NETWORK: This movie is a paean to the power of being a high functioning dude with Aspergers syndrome. No, not Zuckerberg, but that fucking douchetard from Zombieland. I can’t stand Michael Cera 2.0 and his whiny punk ass works my last nerve hard. The Social Network is barely competent and Sorkin and Fincher can kiss my ass. Those two are hacks. Since The Social Network stars a black hole of talent, about a dude I wouldn’t cross the street to piss on if he was on fire, about I subject I don’t care about, it’s no wonder I kept looking the clock to see if time actually stopped. All I can say is I hope this movie has multiple systemic failures at the Oscars. You know what this Cleveland steamer reminded of? That shitty Toothia Roberts bio pic with her in a push up bra that won Extra Teeth an Oscar. Both of these movies share a ’70’s TV movie of the week quality and a bad one at that.
WINTER’S BONE: Nice flick that didn’t try to overachieve. Winter’s Bone is a solid movie that I wouldn’t mind winning just to it rub it in the face of all those overblown, overpriced, under performing “big” flicks. Winter’s Bone has zero chance in hell of winning but hey, dreaming is free and Winter’s Bone managed to crawl above minimally competent by several levels. The story is about an Ozark girl whose family has been destroyed by meth. She has to find her father since he used the house for bail and got in the wind. His running would throw her, her invalid mother and her younger siblings to the tender mercy of the state or worse, the less than tender mercies of her outlaw clan. Excellent acting, writing and directing all the way round.
So here is my prediction, after seeing some of the Best Picture nominations for 2010, of which movie will win a best picture Oscar. The winner is, I don’t really care. The Oscars mean jack shit and the ones I would like to see win don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of getting a nude gold dude. If you forced me to predict, I would say probably The King’s Speech or Black Swan will win. They are both bland predictable swill the Academy likes to give statues to. And no, I have not seen The King’s speech but the commercials and trailers make it look like bland predictable swill.
MINI REVIEW LET ME IN
I fully expect Jarv will hurl all sorts of thundering invective my way over this and I am fully prepared to withstand the withering barrage of insults over my stance on this movie. BRING. IT. ON.
Let Me In is the 2010 English language remake of the Tomas Alfredson’s 2008 Swedish film version of John Ajvide Lindqvist’s 2004 book of the same name. Before I begin I will state for the record that I have not seen the original. On 19 February I started the book and I’m about 60 or so pages in as of the first draft of this post. Let Me In is a damn good movie, one of the better I’ve seen as of late. Begin the hurling of calumny. I will suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.
The movie, set in 1981, is a vampire story wherein the word vampire is used exactly one time. The movie has top notch acting by everybody involved but especially Chloe Moretz as the perpetually 12 year old Abby and by the even more feminine looking Kodi Smit-McPhee as Abby’s potential friend/victim/love interest/caretaker Owen. These kids absolutely rocked it in their parts and this movie had some heavy weight actors in it like Elias Koteas and Richard Jenkins and those two outshone everybody. Chloe Moretz’s performance was particularly outstanding to me because directly before I watched Let Me In I watched Kick ASS,which was awful and her and to a much lesser extent the Wig, were the best part actors in the movie. In Let Me In, Moretz’s character of Abby couldn’t have been father in tone and execution from Hit Girl and Moretz excelled in both roles.
The cinematography is dark and brooding and relocating the story from Sweden to Los Alamos, New Mexico didn’t change the oppressive winter feel from the original movie and book. If anything, setting the story in that particular town, which developed nuclear weapons, added an extra dimension to the film’s sense of the inevitability of destruction and death. Especially since the movie is set in 1981 during the height of the Cold War paranoia over the threat of nuclear attack by the Soviets.
The movie, like the book, explores the themes of bullying, loneliness, alienation, isolation, puberty, murder, and child molestation. Deep subjects all and the movie covers them all with more than the usual lack of depth to a Hollywood movie. I gladly tip my cap to writer director Matt Reeves. You did excellent work with Let Me In. It’s amazing that Reeves turned in such a well crafted movie since his previous directorial work was Cloverfield and an except for one episode of Homicide Life on the Streets, a bunch of crappy TV shows.
I recommend Let Me In without reservation and if you can get over yourself long enough to let go the fact that this isn’t the original, I think you might like it.
MINI-MINI REVIEW THE LAST EXORCISM
This was a frustrating as hell movie. Interesting set up, engaging lead, neat premise and a shitty as all hell ending. Way to fuck the dog on this one.
About Xiphos0311Sporadic genius but mostly IDGAF.
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