Thursday, January 22, 2009

Zzzzzzzzz...


[Jonathan makes loud snorting sound, wakes self up]. Huh, what? Oh hey everybody, I was just watching the Oscar nominations. So for Best Picture it's The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Frost/Nixon, Milk, The Reader, and Slumdog Millionaire. Well there you have...... Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Snort, zzxxkzxz., hagl; ;ahljk apo. hUH, what/? Oh sorry, I fell asleep at the keyboard typing that last part. I haven't seen a lot of movies this year (maybe 12 or so) but I do know this: Sally Hawkins and Eddie Marsan gave two of the best performances of the year (Happy Go Lucky). I know this because unless it turns out that this year produced an abnormally abundant slate of great performances I can't imagine many actors outdoing either of them.

I also know this: Boring biopics still rule the day with the Academy. Having not seen all of the nominees I am putting my trust in Rick Olson, Fox, Pat Piper, Dennis Cozzalio and many other bloggers who have reviewed most of these and found at least the first three fairly lacking.

I'm not too surprised The Dark Knight didn't get nominated. After all the hype I figured the Academy might give in but no, they didn't. So, anyone else think there will be some kind of fan generated protest at the ceremony? Anyone else think maybe the Academy members are all counting on that? Not that they actually conspire or collectively think anything through, I mean simply now that it's happened, I bet they're happy, and hoping. The Dark Knight never stood a chance anyway. Let's face it, I was no big fan of the movie but that came from me not liking story, editing and directing choices. The Academy didn't like it because it's a comic book movie. They have always ignored horror, sci-fi and adventure. A few have gotten nominations for the top award (Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Exorcist, Star Wars) but most, including 2001: A Space Odyssey and the original Superman were given the pass. After all, how could a movie about a broadly drawn adventure/sci-fi character be better than a movie about Forrest Gump aging backwards? Ugh.

My biggest disappointment is Happy Go Lucky but obviously it will be different for everyone. All I know is, this is one of the most boring list of noms I've seen in a long time. The Oscars? Try, Dog and Pony Show instead.

105 comments:

bill r. said...

Unbelievably dull. Man, last year was a great one for movies, wasn't it?

Arboghost! said...

Once again, I don't care.

Fox said...

I don't know why I hold out hope every year for the Oscars, but I do. It's the same reason I think my Astros have a shot at winning the World Series on opening day every year.

Anyways... I absolutely share your thoughts on Hawkins & Marsan. I half-expected Marsan to get shut out simply the Globes ignored him, and the movie itself isn't riding as high commercially or buzz-wise as some of the others, but WTF on Hawkins getting snubbed?!? HUH?

I'm also surprised that Gran Torino didn't sneak in and steal the Best Picture slot from The Reader. It seems to me that The Reader has received a pretty lukewarm response (commercially AND critically), while Gran Torino is currently riding a strong wave of both. Also - and personally, I don't think he deserved it, but - I'm a bit surprised Eastwood didn't get a Best Actor nom.

OK, I need to go look at the list more clearly now that I have SOME of my no-Hawkins-nomination rage out of my body.

More soon...

Fox said...

Once again, I don't care.

Whatevs, Arboghost. You know you love youreself some Frost/Nixon!

Jonathan Lapper said...

Bill, last year seems like one for the ages doesn't it? At least in comparison. And I think we have an answer now on comic book movies: They will never get nominated for Best Picture; ever! I can't imagine a comic book movie receiving more laudits from critics anytime soon than The Dark Knight did and it still wasn't enough. I know, I know, I didn't even like it. But it's a principal thing at this point. I'm so sick of movies like Benjamin Button being considered profound and biopics considered noble because they use "real live" characters from history!

Jonathan Lapper said...

Arbo - Duly noted. One other thing to be noted about the Oscars: It's a way of discussing movies. See how those kinds of things sneak up on you.

bill r. said...

You're probably right about comic book movies. Unless Watchmen...oh, never mind.

Jonathan Lapper said...

Fox, I share your rage! What an insult! I hate when the Academy members seem to purposely go against the critic award recipients. I'll say something else that always gets me into trouble with fellow actors (and when I was younger, oh boy the riot inciting I would do with it) but honestly, I've worked with hundreds and spent many an hour discussing film and theater with them and quite frankly, most actors - and I know this is going to sound strange - don't know shit about acting. They know HOW to act, but they don't have any idea how to judge it or discern differences in subtlety levels from one performance to another.

Through my community theatre, professional theatre and college theatre days I found that 90 percent of actors favor BIG performances over slyly subtle ones. Hawkins is subtle. Marsan gets big at the end but the rest is a slow burn leading up to that big explosion.

Critics and directors are usually better judges of acting. They should let the directing branch nominate the actors.

Fox said...

Bill-

Are you excited for Watchmen? I know near to nothing about it (outside of people saying it's "the greatest graphic novel ever!"... do you agree?).

I kinda find that Zack Snyder guy interesting even thought I haven't liked a film of his yet.

Jonathan Lapper said...

I read The Watchmen when it came out. I'm actually really curious about the movie. I read V for Vendetta too but didn't care about ever seeing the movie, which I still haven't. But The Watchmen, that seems like it has a lot more cinematic potential.

Fox said...

Jonathan-

I think that's a good distinction that you make between BIG and subtle, and, to be honest, it's kind of why I was surprised Eastwood didn't get a nom b/c his performance is a BIG one.

Critics and directors are usually better judges of acting. They should let the directing branch nominate the actors.

Is it ONLY members of SAG that vote for this category? I knew directors voted for directors, screenwriters for screenwriters etc., but I thought the Academy also had other people voting as well. I guess I don't really know who makes up the Academy outside of SAG, DGA, WGA, and former winners.

bill r. said...

I think Watchmen is a fantastic comic, and deserves all the praise it gets (although, for my money, Alan Moore -- the writer of Watchmen -- and Eddie Campbell's From Hell is the actual greatest comic of all time), and so yes, I am excited for the film. But I'm cautiosly excited. I knew full well it could be a catastrophe, but I will definitely be there opening weekend.

As for Snyder, I really liked his Dawn of the Dead remake, and thought 300 was entertaining enough, but also very, very stupid.

Jonathan Lapper said...

You what I couldn't stand about 300? You weren't allowed to watch even two seconds of battle without the camera slowing down, then speeding up, then going normal speed, then speeding up, then slowing down, etc., etc., etc. Boy did that get boring. It means nothing, it says nothing. It's a technique purely for the sake of showing a technique. It's empty. The quick "speed up" shot was developed by commercial and video directors (like Zack himself) as a way of showing a maximum amount of footage in minimum amount of time, usually a minute or less. This obviously isn't a problem with a feature film which tells me that directors like Zack don't get that, think it "looks cool" and use it simply for the sake of using. It's empty stylization. Something to make Snyder and others think they're being artistic when they really aren't. What a hack.

Jonathan Lapper said...

And you know what saved 300 in my opinion. Gerard Butler's performance and the hokey narration.

bill r. said...

I don't think he's a hack, necessarily. His Dawn remake didn't have anything like that that I can remember, and had some extremely effective sequences.

But I didn't like that slow-down/speed-up business either, and it looks like it's going to be present, to one degree or another, in Watchmen as well. Alas.

bill r. said...

Butler was good. I thought that guy was going to take off after 300 came out. Where did he go?

Marilyn said...

I thought V for Vendetta was pretty good.

Fox said...

300 was entertaining enough, but also very, very stupid.

I think that's pretty much exactly how I feel about it.

It means nothing, it says nothing. It's a technique purely for the sake of showing a technique.

I totally agree with that Jonathan, but the one thing I will give it is that it allowed me to see an action scene from a wider angle/view as opposed to the close-up 1000 edits a second action sequences of Paul Greengrass, Bryan Singer, et al. that just drive me crazy.

Jonathan Lapper said...

If you look at his IMDB page it looks like a bunch of mediocre films. In the biz, that's called bad management. Your agent recognizes the success of 300 and works you up the ladder. Butler's agent must suck.

Jonathan Lapper said...

That last comment was to Bill about Gerard Butler.

Jonathan Lapper said...

Fox, you know what, you're right. I hate the Greenglass style much more so I can be grateful I suppose that Snyder is doing The Watchmen.

Fox said...

I wanna throw in my like for Gerard Butler as well. I think he has something, the question is where to put it.

Butler was good. I thought that guy was going to take off after 300 came out. Where did he go?

He was recently in P.S. I Love You and Rocknrolla (both bombed, I think...). He has another rom-com on the way this spring.

Jonathan Lapper said...

Marilyn, I heard it was pretty good but I never built up any desire to see it. But maybe I should. I wasn't too wild about the comic, I think that's part of it.

Flickhead said...

Mickey Rourke has been nominated for Best Actor.

I've been following this guy since Body Heat... I've seen Johnny Handsome at least ten times, Barfly more than that... I'd go to the theatre to see all his movies, up to and including White Sands. (After that, most of the stuff went straight to video.) He was a fascinating presence in Spun. (Imagine him boinking Brittany Murphy!) His tale of the drowning puppies grabbed me by the throat.

Never did I think I'd ever see him up for Best Actor. It's amazing.

bill r. said...

I didn't much care for the comic V for Vendetta either, and I think the film is much worse. Sorry, Marilyn.

Rourke has it in him to be a great actor, and that's why of all the movie from last year that I haven't seen, The Wrestler is the one I most want to check out.

Fox said...

He was a fascinating presence in Spun. (Imagine him boinking Brittany Murphy!)

HAHA! I would, though I think she's kind of heinous.

Flickhead-

I'm glad you reminded me of Johnny Handsome b/c I really wanna see it. There is a Walter Hill section at a local video store, and they have it on VHS, but I've been holding out for DVD (is there one?), but I don't think I will wait much longer.

Jonathan Lapper said...

Flickhead, I would've nominated him for his tiny role in Body Heat ("and you ain't no genius") for Supporting Actor.

But here's the thing and I don't know if I'm alone on this: The bizarre, freakish, Halloween mask plastic surgery. That totally turned me off to this guy. Rourke always seemed like the kind of actor who didn't care about his appearance. It's one of the things that was appealing about him. He seemed outside the Hollywood vanity factory. Now he just seems like one of the crowd. Just another star. Still love his acting though.

Anyone else agree? Or find it odd that no one brings up the weird plastic surgery, like we're all too embarrassed or something.

Marilyn said...

Flickhead - You forgot my personal favorite - Angel Heart.

I watched V for Vendetta because Natalie Portman was in it - we were going through an N.P. phase. I guess I had no expectations, so it was better than I thought it would be. It was entertaining. I also had this to say about it:

"But I do think a lesson can be learned from this movie. Terrorists, insurgents, rebels, freedom fighters, whatever you want to call them, are made in the forge of state cruelty. V was made in a government prison, and he made Evey the same way, ending her conversion with a baptism in the rain. It is important to remember that governments make terrorists who work for them every bit as much as they make terrorists who work against them—they are called soldiers. Good cop/bad cop. If you think force is sometimes necessary, make sure you know what you're fighting against and why—because cruelty started by a state never really ends. It just grows a few more Vs."

Jonathan Lapper said...

Look at all the film discussion Arbo misses. Geez, when is he going to figure out that an Oscar post is just another way to spark discussion on new cinema.

Oh Arbo [Jonathan shakes head in a disappointed gesture].

Fox said...

Jonathan-

On the plastic surgery...

I think it's b/c Rourke became extremely disfigured after he started boxing with the sole purpose of taking physical punishment.

I think he suffered a severe loss in his life, hated himself, and literally wanted to take a beating. I could be wrong on some of this, but I thought that was some of the backstory... (I will try to verify this).

All of that also explains why he has so many dogs as his friends now. I don't think he feels much like a person anymore.

Jonathan Lapper said...

Fox, he quit boxing in 1995. I saw him in The Rainmaker a couple of years after that. He looked fine. Look at him here in 2005. He looks like Mickey Rourke still and that's ten years after quitting boxing. And I've read interviews and seen them (and seen very recent ones in the wake of The Wrestler) and that sob story you relate doesn't ring true. Not your fault, I'm just saying I don't buy it. Here he is last year. Now he looks in league with these freaks.

Anyway, it's no big deal, it's just that I thought Rourke was the kind of guy who wouldn't do that. Wouldn't turn out to be a phony. I still think he's a really good actor though, but people who get cosmetic vanity surgery, as opposed to skin grafts after burns or facial deformations, just seem like phonies to me.

And also, how can he not see how freakish and awful he looks?

Fox said...

Yeah. I didn't know much about it. Just chatter I overheard from someone who worked with him on Sin City. But I do love his dog thing. I think it's cute.

But that current mustache of his really bugs me. It's so obviously pasted on.

Jonathan Lapper said...

His whole face is pasted on!

bill r. said...

I remember reading an interview with Rourke years ago, I think in Premiere, where he talked about hating the work he was doing, and the only thing he wanted to do was go home and be with his dogs. The guy's probably an asshole, but I decided I liked him right there.

Jonathan Lapper said...

Is there any way he can get the surgery reversed and go back to his normal face. The dogs probably still wonder whatever happened to their former owner.

Flickhead said...

Fox, Johnny Handsome was released on DVD, but in fullscreen. Other than Mickey -- whose facial reconstruction may be a product of low self esteem rather than Hollywood ego -- Johnny Handsome has a great supporting cast: Forrest Whitaker, Elizabeth McGovern, Morgan Freeman, Scott Wilson... and a totally trashed-out Ellen Barkin as 'Sunny,' Lance Henriksen's gun moll. Ellen's showdown in the graveyard -- screaming "OK, freak, let's see what ya got!" over a hale of bullets -- may be the best thing she's ever done. And Lance is no slouch, either.

It's b-material all the way, but it gets the adrenaline pumped.

Casting Rourke as the sleaziest lawyer in town in The Rainmaker was brilliant.

About 15 years ago, Rourke lost most of his fortune, if not his mind. He's an interesting guy, both on screen and -- from what I can tell -- off. I've always been, and will always be, one of his biggest fans and supporters.

Spun, in the meantime, is one fucked-up masterpiece.

Fox said...

Is there any way he can get the surgery reversed and go back to his normal face. The dogs probably still wonder whatever happened to their former owner.

OUCH!!!

Brian Doan said...

Hey Comrade Lapper,
First of all, love your description of the dopey 300.

Second, I see we both managed to work sleeping "z"s into our post titles, but i swear I wrote mine first and then came over, man! (: Just wanted to clarify. But I do think it says something about the nominations that we were both moved to snores, doesn't it?

Jonathan Lapper said...

Casting Rourke as the sleaziest lawyer in town in The Rainmaker was brilliant.

You know I only saw it once, when it came out, and he's still the only thing I remember from it. It was terrific casting. I totally believed him as the sleazo lawyer.

Jonathan Lapper said...

Comrade Brian - I am on my way to check it out.

And it's no surprise. What a snorefest those Academy dolts came up with.

PIPER said...

Zzzzzz, hUh What The F$#@$% I just hit my head on the end table getting out of bed.

Did Lapper just link to me asking for my opinion?

Sorry I'm late to this, I've been beating up on Lapper over at Tractor Facts.

Okay, here it is.

Slumdog is the new Crash. It will win in every and all categories because the Hollywood elite loves a good story about a poor Indian boy who picks himself up by his bootstraps and wins a million dollars. And in the process, it is exposing the slums of Mumbai and because of this movie, Mumbai will miraculously change overnight. In wars and in Hollywood, America will expose all the ugly parts of the rest of the world.

I was surprised to see Doubt and Frost/Nixon on the list. Both are great ideas executed poorly due to average directors.

Momentum has swung for Rourke. He's going to get that statue, stick his hands down his pants and cry like a little baby. And then get into a fistfight with Penn in the parking lot causing him to go into hiding again for a decade.

All in all, it's an appropriate representation of the lackluster year we had.

And one last thing. Please, include films like Waltz With Bashir in the Animated category or do away with it. Wall-E is understandable, but what the hell with Panda and Bolt? Bolt was funny, but an Oscar? Plus every year it's obvious what film will win in this category. And please no animated characters in the audience or presenting the award.

Today, you got grumpy old man Piper. And remember kids, GET OFF MY LAWN.

bill r. said...

I liked Kung Fu Panda...

PIPER said...

It was fun. But I don't think it should be up for an Oscar.

Brian Doan said...

I'm still angry that BARNYARD was snubbed for that Oscar a year or two ago. I'm sorry, but if scatalogical cow jokes can't win awards, what the hell good is the Academy, anyway?

bill r. said...

I'm more comfortable with Kung Fu Panda being nominated than I am with any iteration of Shrek winning.

PIPER said...

I hear ya Brian.

Barnyard and Goodfellas.

Bill,

I agree with you, but I don't know that that makes Panda worthy.

Jonathan Lapper said...

And please no animated characters in the audience or presenting the award.

Boy, that shit cheapens Oscar more every time. I hate that stuff. In fact, I hate most of the award ceremony but I like to have it on while making banners, writing a piece, working on a movie, etc. just out of curiosity as to who wins. But the show itself? What tactless affair it all is.

Fox said...

Since nobody else wants to come out and say it, why didn't Jonathan P. Lapper's Killing Me Wetly get nominated for Best Short Documentary?!?

Jonathan Lapper said...

I haven't seen Kung Fu Panda but from what I gather, it couldn't wipe Waltz with Bashir's ass.

And I've never been a big fan of Shrek (but then I pretty much hate all that shit) but I can take the first one. I think it's enjoyable enough, and was roughly the first CGI to go all snarky so it can be forgiven a bit. It's the next two that I really can't stand. 2 and 3 are a wasteland of loosely strung together pop references.

PIPER said...

Fox,

Killing Me Wetly took top honors at Babeland, the Oscars of Porn.

Marilyn said...

Are there any other animated films academy members know about? I mean, there is Peur(s) du Noir and Sita Sings the Blues (which probably isn't eligible because it didn't run commercially. But why choose something new and different when we can just throw a couple of token nominees in there so it doesn't look like a total cakewake for WALL-E. AMPAS is full of myopic people who can't see past the Hollywood Hills.

bill r. said...

Waltz with Bashir was nominated for Best Foreign Film, so unclench, for Pete's sake.

Jonathan Lapper said...

why didn't Jonathan P. Lapper's Killing Me Wetly get nominated for Best Short Documentary?!?

My middle initial is "P"? I didn't even know that. And Killing me Wetly pisses me off. Boy, I work hard perfecting Frames of Reference and putting together a haunting piece on Lugosi, Karloff and Lanchester at Universal (Beautiful Monsters) and then my montage of 13 drowning scenes set to Atlantis racks up more views than those other two combined. There's no justice in this world.

Jonathan Lapper said...

Bill, as with Z and Life is Beautiful a film is eligible for Best Picture or another top Picture award even if it receives nomination in Animated, Foreign or Documentary. In other words, the Foreign Film nominating committee recognized it but the Animated nominating committee did not. And that just seems kind of sad.

PIPER said...

Bill,

This is true. Ultimately, I would just like to see better competition in the Animated category, or just get rid of the thing. Or possibly have an empty category this year due to lack of competition. It just appears that they're grasping in this case.

bill r. said...

Oh yeah, well it was funny in Kung Fu Panda that one time when the panda fell down.

bill r. said...

Also, Piper and John, it seems to me that this year the animation category is weaker than the norm. There was Persopolis last year, Miyazaki frequently gets in there. But sure, it's generally pretty myopic. I just don't care that much, I guess.

bill r. said...

"John"?

PIPER said...

Yeah Bill,

And then there was that time that Panda tried to hit something and he didn't and that thing fell and Panda farted. That was great.

Jonathan Lapper said...

Oh, I'm John! I get it now. Actually my dad's name is John, and my brother and I used to jokingly call him Jonathan which is why I came up with it for that story I wrote years ago and then for my pseudonym here, so it feels okay. Or you could call me by my real name. But I guess we'll have to wait for Facebook for that one.

Fox said...

Marilyn-

I think you're right. I think the animated category is just another case of Academy laziness. (I bet all of us collectively saw more of a variety of films this year than THEY did).

A good friend of mine is at USC Grad School for animation, and she mentions to me exactly what you just said about "the other" animated films getting the shaft. Supposedly there are quite a few worthy, challenging, animated films out there that get ignored b/c they never see the light of day commercially. Which, I guess, as you said, exempts them from an Oscar nom, but it seems that the world of animation often gets short-shrifted.

I'm not a real fan of animated films myself, and havne't seen any of the noms besides Bolt (which I fell asleep in), but, I still think the Academy could try a little harder.

bill r. said...

Did the Panda ever fart? I don't remember that actually happening, which I considered a plus. Maybe I missed it.

Honestly, though, I thought it was pretty funny, for what it was.

Fox said...

John-

I love Frames of Reference too (and more than KMW), but I thought perhaps that was 2007. Man, my mind calendar is all screwed up.

Do you really not like Killing Me Wetly all that much?

PIPER said...

I go by Piper. But there are some who call me... Tim.

Fox said...

Did the Panda ever fart? I don't remember that actually happening, which I considered a plus. Maybe I missed it.

That's got me cracking up right now.

Remember when Theodore pooped a little turd in Alvin & The Chipmunks? I bet the kids loved that. Kids love farts. I love farts too.

PIPER said...

Honestly I don't remember, but I see a lot of kids movies and there always seems to be a fart joke somewhere.

bill r. said...

Someone needs to investigate this whole "farting" controversy.

Jonathan Lapper said...

Mark, I don't hate KMW, I just felt it was a throwaway, you know? I mean, all the clips are the same length, there's no real mixing them up with the rhythm of the music and the clips used arent very visually interesting. It was the best I could do given all the clips had to be drowning scenes. But it's the title, Killing me Wetly, which sounds vaguely pornish, that's responsible for it's views, nothing else.

Jonathan Lapper said...

By the way, I once indirectly revealed my name at Tractor Facts and have on more than one occasion secretly, but prominently, displayed my photo on my blog. I like being sneaky.

Fox said...

"John", "Mark", ... does this mean we can openly start calling Bill "Genevieve" now?

Jonathan Lapper said...

I thought his name was Trudy?

Fox said...

...and have on more than one occasion secretly, but prominently, displayed my photo on my blog. I like being sneaky.


This is true, everybody!
See the top row - sixth from the left!

Jonathan Lapper said...

Fox, it really is true. It's not that picture but guess what? I have put myself in group pictures before! Ha ha ha!!! I feel evil for some reason. But not that pic.

And I really did make reference to my name on your blog once but no one picked up on it.

Jonathan Lapper said...

I mean, you guys are aware of my photoshopping skills right? Believe me, I pop up from time to time on this blog.

Fox said...

great... now I'm gonna go stir crazy trying to find you like some Where's Waldo in a see of scan uploads!!!

bill r. said...

Holy crap, Jonathan is William Frawley!

Jonathan Lapper said...

I prefer to be called "The Frawlster!"

Pat said...

Hi - I'm posting quickly, haven't had time to read all the preceding comments, so will have to peruse the entire thread tonight.

But I wanted to echo your disappointment, Jonathan, at the exclusion of "Happy Go Lucky" and its stars from any awards consideration. It brought me to much the same reaction as yours - these are the Oscar nominations? Who cares?

I'm also diappointed by nearly complete overlook of "Revolutionary Road" which I saw this weekend but haven't yet reviewed. I approached it with great trepidation, since I love the novel so much, but I found it a faithful and worhty adaptation, and thought Leonardo DeCaprio was outstanding.

Kimberly said...

I'm happy for Rourke's nom as well. Like Flickhead, I've been enjoying his work forever since first seeing him in The Dinner (great movie!). My favorite Rourke performance can be found in Rumble Fish, which is a another great Rourke film no one has mentioned yet. But the last moments of Angel Heart are amazing. Rourke is a great, great actor who should have been nominated and won a long, long time ago. I haven't seen The Wrestler yet, but I really want to.

The plastic surgery does bother me a lot though. He was great looking guy, but I don't know all the details about how/why he had it done. I assumed it was due to the boxing scars he had.

What I can't understand is why no one mentions how strange so many academy award winning actresses such as Nicole Kidman look now? Generally speaking, actors who have had major work done give me the creeps.

As for the best pic nominees, I haven't seen any of them yet, but I hope to catch Slumdog soon. I'm terribly happy for Danny Boyle who has been ignored by the Academy for years. I've been a fan of the director since seeing his brilliant film Shallow Grave in '95 and I personally think he's made some of the best films of the last two decades. I was utterly shocked by the way critics dismissed his sci-fi epic Sunshine last year since it was easily one of the best films of 2007 and so much better than half the stuff that was over-praised. So um yeah... I'm happy about Slumdog. Not sure if I'll like Slumdog as much as I like many of his other films like Shallow Grave, Trainspotting, 28 Days Later and the vastly under appreciated Sunshine, but I'm looking forward to seeing it.

Jonathan Lapper said...

Pat, I haven't heard a lot yet about Revolutionary Road so I look forward to your review.

And Happy Go Lucky being shut out in the acting department. I'm stunned.

Jonathan Lapper said...

Kimberly, Sunshine has been in my queue for a year now and I've got to bump it up. I like all of his other films too and I have high hopes for Slumdog.

And what's up with the plastic surgery in Hollywood. If you look at that link I provided some of them, well, a lot of them, look so awful now. The weird scrunched up lip thing, the thinned out nose, the cat eyes. Look at Rourke in that 2005 pic I linked to - he looks fine. Now he looks scarred ironically enough.

And Rourke has always been such a cool, underplaying type of actor. I'd be happy if he won this year.

Kimberly said...

That links going to give me nightmares, Jonathan.

There's some talented people there who were naturally beautiful and they destroyed their faces. Looking at Fay Dunaway now (just one example of many) makes me so sad.. and scared!

Fox said...

Kimberly-

I can't even look at Kidman anymore without feeling... weird? It's just bizarre. And then she tries to deny it?

I think we talked about this before, but I wish Hollywood actresses would let their faces age naturally like European actresses do : Charlotte Rampling, Isabelle Huppert, Helen Mirren, Catherine Deneuve etc. All beautiful women.

Also, since Pat mentioned Revolutionary Road, I wanted to say I was happy to see Michael Shannon get a nomination.

I haven't see Revolutionary Road yet, but I love that guy. I thought he was fantastic in Bug, Shotgun Stories, briefly in World Trade Center, and even in the awful (AWFUL!) Let's Go To Prison he was a shining light.

Flickhead said...

Mickey Rourke talking priorities — click here.

Kimberly said...

I also forgot to mention that I'm happy about Robert Downey Jr. getting nominated for Tropic Thunder, which was the funniest movie I watched last year. I liked it more than Iron Man.

Considering how many critics seemed to hate Tropic Thunder, I was surprised to see it get a nomination.

Jonathan Lapper said...

Flickhead - I love Mickey's voice in that. I've never seen Spun but Mickey looks like he's great in it.

Jonathan Lapper said...

Kimberly, Tropic Thunder did really well critically as far as I can tell. Mostly good reviews, 83% Rotten Tomatoes score. And I'm happy that Downey finally got nominated again for the first time since Chaplin. His performance was great in Thunder but I gotta admit, Jack Black had me laughing the hardest.

Alpa, if you untie me, I will literally suck your dick, right now. I'll cradle the balls, stroke the shaft, work the pipe, and swallow the gravy. Get it over here, buddy. Let's do this.

or after taking the boy and heading for the heroin:

Don't judge me!

Kimberly said...

That 83% Rotten Tomatoes rating of Tropic Thunder must have appeared after the DVD release. When the movie was first released in theaters all I read were negative reviews. The New York Times, Village Voice, Slant, etc. and the local Bay Area weeklies all hated it. Even Ebert was lukewarm to it if I remember right. It was in and out of theaters really quick. Funny what a few months and a DVD release can do.

I thought the whole cast of Tropic Thunder was funny, but Jack Black's drug addicted funny man made for some of the movies best laughs.

Jonathan Lapper said...

Well, 83% on Rotten Tomatoes could also mean 83% of critics thought it was enough above average to recommend it but not really wild over it. But I'm with you, I thought it was funny as hell. I also loved Cruise and his "Playa" dance/speech to Matthew McConaughey.

PIPER said...

I liked about the first 10 minutes of Tropic Thunder. Then the director blew up and it went to hell.

You want to see a good scene of a desperate man begging for his life (like what Jack Black did in Thunder)? I give you Gene Wilder in Young Frankenstein.

"Let me out. Let me out of here. Get me the hell out of here. What's the matter with you people? I was joking! Don't you know a joke when you hear one? HA-HA-HA-HA. Jesus Christ, get me out of here! Open this goddamn door or I'll kick your rotten heads in! Mommy!"

Of course there's not working of any pipe, which means Lapper didn't like it.

Jonathan Lapper said...

Well Young Frankenstein is certainly a classic comedy and I'm not going to start comparing every new comedy that makes me laugh with Young Frankenstein but Tropic Thunder actually got funnier as it went on. I think Bill, Fox and I mentioned that on Fox's top ten post a week or so ago before that post became a venom filled hate-fest directed at Fox by some guy who really enjoyed hating Fox. Anyway, I thought before the director gets blown up was the weakest part of the movie. After that Downey and Black especially, really hit their strides.

Peter Nellhaus said...

Regarding Slumdog Millionaire, I'm glad to see Anthony Dod Mantle get nominated for cinematography, his work is always worth seeing. Also two songs.

I haven't seen it yet, but it was good to see Ellen Kuras get nominated for documentary, for what was a decade long labor of love.

Fox said...

Jonathon & Kimberly have just tempted me into wanting to run off all of my favorite Tropic Thunder lines!!... but out of respect for Jonathan's blog, I'll hold back.

I'll just say that I LOVED it when Robert Downey Jr. said that his urine kinda smelled like balogna!

OK... I have to do at least ONE quote for Arboghost's sake:

Simple Jack: "Mama, I'll see you again tonight in my head movies. But this head movies makes my eyes rain!

Jonathan Lapper said...

Peter, I still haven't seen Slumdog or The Betrayal as well as most of the other nominees but The Betrayal is higher on my list of "to sees" because of its subject matter and the fact that it's a doc. Right now at the bottom of my "to sees" list are Button, Frost/Nixon and Milk. I want to discuss them with others or at least be able to understand the criticisms of them but it's going to take some time before I work up any real resolve to see them.

Jonathan Lapper said...

Fox, it's a throwaway moment but I love when the Sandusky character is going on about VHS and DVD and the new technology, etc. and Lazarus turns around and says, "Who you talking to? You been talking to me this whole time?" with honest surprise in that damn voice he uses for the character. Like I said, nothing that will ever make the "memorable quotes" of IMDB but I loved that little moment.

bill r. said...

These head movies make my eyes rain...

God, that's brilliant. And Jonathan, I also loved that HD conversation and Downey's reaction. Great throwaway moment.

I also really loved Jack Black's character voice -- you know, the guy he's supposed to be playing in the Vietnam movie. You don't hear much of it, but it's hilarious. It's like a cartoon Brooklyn voice.

One of my favorite moments is when they infiltrate the village and go to untie Cody and Tayback, and as soon as the gags come off, Cody says, "He has hands!" and Tayback says, "He killed Damien!"

Jonathan Lapper said...

Yeah, Jack Black was really good in that. So much attention went to Downey that Black got overlooked but he's hilarious. I'm going to listen for the Jack Black soldier voice now.

PIPER said...

Fox,

You writing that line from Tropic Thunder is funnier than Stiller delivering it.

Ben Stiller in There's Something About Mary = Funny

Jack Black in High Fidelity = Funny

bill r. said...

There's Something About Mary is extremely overrated.

Jonathan Lapper said...

Piper, what's the problem with Tropic Thunder? I mean, it's a funny movie. Really, we're not just imagining that. Something About Mary is funny too (but I agree with Bill it's overrated. It's about as funny as your average rom/com in my opinion, and Matt Dillon steals the show).

bill r. said...

Matt Dillon is good in that film, and I don't hate it or anything. My favorite part is when Stiller is being interrogated because the police think he murdered a hitchhiker, and he thinks he's been arrested for pick up a hitchhiker. At one point, one of the cops says something like, "Didn't you ever think that what you were doing was wrong?" and Stiller says, "Well, he did tell me it was illegal." That always made me laugh.

PIPER said...

Tropic Thunder is okay in my eyes. It's not great and it certainly doesn't belong in the halls of great comedy. In my opinion.

Here's why I believe that.

What a great ensemble cast. Stiller, Downey and Black. And yet, I didn't find them that funny. I hate Stiller in his over-the-top Zoolander type-ish role and much prefer him in his everyday joe kind of guy a la Meet The Parents or Along Came Polly. There he seems real. There he is the kind of guy you can relate to. To me that's much funnier.

And Jack Black was fantastic in High Fidelity and is wonderful as the strong half of Tenacious D, but has not reached that again. Instead, he has been pushed over the top. His crazy was controlled in High Fidelity, but now it's all at 11 for Black and it's disappointing to me.

And Downey. I love Downey, but didn't seem to love him as much as everyone else has. But oh well.

Let's just say that Tropic Thunder is to me what DePalma is to Lapper.

Jonathan Lapper said...

Hey! I happen to think Suzie DePalma is a lovely lady!

You were talking about Suzie right? The lady who lived in my neighborhood for about three years?

bill r. said...

I hate Suzie DePalma.

Jonathan Lapper said...

She could get annoying at times but overall, a nice lady.