True Romance (1993)

23 12 2010

Written by Quentin Tarantino and directed by Tony Scott, True Romance is an oldy but goody.  No, more than that.  It’s absolutely great.  It’s one of those movies that makes you sit back, sigh and say to yourself as the credits are rolling: “They just don’t make ’em like that any more.”

Made up of one part sweet dialogue, one part badass-ness, and one part fairy tale, True Romance unfolds at a dizzying pace revealing an awesome narrative that is made better by its star-studded and aptly chosen cast.  Christian Slater and Patricia Arquette act as the leading couple, and the question quickly becomes: can their quirky love and charm together withstand the strain of their murder of a pimp, accidental theft of a big time amount of cocaine, and the drama that ensues from there?

If you haven’t seen it yet, you’re in for a treat!  Just check out this cast list: Dennis Hopper, Brad Pitt, Christopher Walken, Samuel L. Jackson, James Gandolfini, and Val Kilmer… as Elvis??  Not to mention Gary Oldman as the excellently rendered pimp that gets the axe to start the tale!

My rating: 9/10

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Oscar predictions

3 03 2010

The Oscars are only a few days away, so here we go.  Read ’em and weep:

Picture:  The Hurt Locker

Director:  Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker)

Actor:  Jeff Bridges (Crazy Heart)

Actress:  Sandra Bullock (The Blind Side

Note:  I SO hope I am wrong and Meryl Streep is able to win this.  A Carey Mulligan upset would be wonderful too. 

Supporting Actor:  Christoph Waltz (Inglourious Basterds)

Supporting Actress:  Mo’Nique (Precious)

Original Screenplay:  Quentin Tarantino (Inglourious Basterds)

Adapted Screenplay:  Jason Reitman (Up in the Air)

Foreign Film:  The White Ribbon

Documentary:  The Cove

Animated feature:  Up

Cinematography:  Avatar

Score:  Up

Special Effects:  Avatar

Song:  “The Weary Kind” (Crazy Heart)

Editing:  The Hurt Locker

Sound Editing:  The Hurt Locker

Sound Mixing:  The Hurt Locker

Costume Design:  The Young Victoria

Makeup:  Star Trek (District 9 was robbed of a nomination)

Art Direction:  Avatar





Thoughts on the Oscar nominations

3 02 2010

First the good: 

Up gets the honor of being the first ever animated film to be nominated for best picture.  Sure it took the expansion to 10 nominees, but it’s still quite an accomplishment and I couldn’t think of a more deserving film. 

Hurt Locker and Avatar lead with 9 nominations each.  I’m happy to see two great films lead the field.

-Always nice to see veteran actors like Jeff Bridges and Meryl Streep get nominations.  Hopefully they both win this year.

-Vera Farmiga and Maggie Gyllenhaal get their first nominations.  They’re both wonderful and it’s great to see them get some recognition.

-Kathryn Bigelow gets a best director nomination.  The film industry is still male dominated, so it’s always nice to see female directors get nominated.

-The Academy embraces sci-fi.  Avatar, District 9, and Star Trek all get a good amount of nominations.  Banner year for sci-fi.  Now if only Sam Rockwell had managed to get a best actor nomination for Moon

-No major nominations for Nine, Lovely Bones, or Invictus, proving that not all Academy members are sheep.

In the Loop, Harry Potter, and A Serious Man all get  nominations.  All deserving surprises.

And now the bad:

The Blind Side.  Seriously, I feel like I’m going crazy.  This getting a nomination sure doesn’t make the expansion to 10 nominees look like a good idea.

-Sandra Bullock.  She could possibly win a Razzie and an Oscar, and to think that she might beat Meryl Streep.  Not cool, Academy.

-No nomination for Ponyo.  It wasn’t expected to squeeze in a nomination, but I still feel it was much more deserving than some of the other animated nominees.

-No nomination for Julianne Moore.  Admittedly I have not seen the film, but she’s long overdue and I was hoping she’d get some recognition this year, oh well.

-No best score nomination for The Informant!

No best makeup nomination for District 9.

Here’s the full list of nominees:

Best Picture
“Avatar”
“The Blind Side”
“District 9”
“An Education”
“The Hurt Locker”
“Inglourious Basterds”
“Precious”
“A Serious Man”
“Up”
“Up in the Air”

Best Director
James Cameron, “Avatar”
Kathryn Bigelow, “The Hurt Locker”
“Quentin Tarantino, “Inglourious Basterds”
“Lee Daniels, “Precious”
Jason Reitman, “Up in the Air”

Best Actor
Jeff Bridges, “Crazy Heart”
George Clooney, “Up in the Air”
Colin Firth, “A Single Man”
Morgan Freeman, “Invictus”
Jeremy Renner, “The Hurt Locker”

Best Actress
Sandra Bullock, “The Blind Side”
Helen Mirren, “The Last Station”
Carey Mulligan, “An Education”
Gabourey Sidibe, “Precious”
Meryl Streep, “Julie & Julia”

Best Supporting Actor
Matt Damon, “Invictus”
Woody Harrelon, “The Messenger”
Christopher Plummer, “The Last Station”
Stanley Tucci, “The Lovely Bones”
Christoph Waltz, “Inglourious Basterds”

Best Supporting Actress
Penelope Cruz, “Nine”
Vera Farmiga, “Up in the Air”
Maggie Gyllenhaal, “Crazy Heart”
Anna Kendrick, “Up in the Air”
Mo’Nique, “Precious”

Best Adapted Screenplay
“District 9”
“An Education”
“In the Loop”
“Precious”
“Up in the Air”

Best Original Screenplay
“The Hurt Locker”
“Inglourious Basterds”
“The Messenger”
“A Serious Man”
“Up”

Best Animated Feature Film
“Coraline”
“Fantastic Mr. Fox”
“The Princess and the Frog”
“The Secret of Kells”
“Up”

Best Foreign Language Film
“Ajami” (Israel)
“The Milk of Sorrow” (Peru)
“A Prophet” (France)
“The Secret in Their Eyes” (Argentina)
“The White Ribbon” (Germany)

Best Art Direction
“Avatar”
“The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus”
“Nine”
“Sherlock Holmes”
“The Young Victoria”

Best Cinematography
“Avatar”
“Inglourious Basterds”
“Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince”
“The Hurt Locker”
“The White Ribbon”

Best Costume Design
“Bright Star”
“Coco Before Chanel”
“The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus”
“Nine”
“The Young Victoria”

Best Film Editing
“Avatar”
“District 9”
“The Hurt Locker”
“Inglourious Basterds”
“Precious”

Best Makeup
“Il Divo”
“Star Trek”
“The Young Victoria”

Best Music (Original Score)
“Avatar”
“Fantastic Mr. Fox”
“The Hurt Locker”
“Sherlock Holmes”
“Up”

Best Music (Original Song)
“Almost There” from “The Princess and the Frog”
“Down in New Orleans” from “The Princess and the Frog”
“Loin de Paname” from “Paris 36″
“Take it All” from “Nine”
“The Weary Kind” from “Crazy Heart”

Best Sound Editing
“Avatar”
“The Hurt Locker”
“Inglourious Basterds”
“Star Trek”
“Up”

Best Sound Mixing
“Avatar”
“The Hurt Locker”
“Inglourious Basterds”
“Star Trek”
“Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen”

Best Visual Effects
“Avatar”
“District 9”
“Star Trek”

Best Documentary Feature
“Burma VJ: Reporting from a Closed Country”
“The Cove”
“Food, Inc.”
“The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers”
“Which Way Home”

Best Documentary Short
“China’s Unnatural Disaster: The Tears of Sichuan Province”
“The Last Campaign of Booth Gardener”
“The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant”
“Music by Prudence”
“Rabbit a la Berlin”

Best Short Film (Animated)
“French Roast”
“Granny O’Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty”
“The Lady and the Reaper”
“Logorama”
“A Matter of Loaf and Death”

Best Short Film (Live Action)
“The Door”
“Instead of Abracadabra”
“Kavi”
“Miracle Fish”
“The New Tenants”

-Overall a pretty good list. Feel free to give your own thoughts below!





Kill Bill Vol. 3?

5 10 2009

TARANTINO

Tarantino announced that he’s (again) planning on making a third Kill Bill film sometime around 2014 (about ten years after volumes 1 and 2).  As for the plot, there’s been talk about Vernita Green’s daughter coming back to take revenge on Beatrix Kiddo for killing her mother, which fits in with the whole 10 year wait, as the character would then be all grown up.  Personally, I think this is a great idea, especially since…

…Tarantino plans to shoot at least one more film before Kill Bill 3, which he says will either be a western or a ’30’s gangster flick.  Sounds good to me.  ALSO, he mentions that he’s got plenty of material for possible Inglourious Basterds sequels.  However, this isn’t the first time Tarantino’s announced tons of upcoming projects, and last time most of them never materialized.  At one point he was to remake Faster, Pussycat, Kill! Kill! and there was also the Pulp Fiction/Reservoir Dogs spinoff The Vega Brothers, among others.  But even if some of these don’t happen, It doesn’t look like we’ll have a shortage of Tarantino films anytime soon, which is awesome.  Obviously.