Tag Archives: Oscarpalooza

taH pagh taHbe’

Congratulations to Christopher Plummer on his Oscar. As good as you were in The Beginners, to me, you will always be General Chang.

Oscarpalooza – Hugo

Hugo was the last of the nine Best Picture films I had to see. It focuses on a young boy who spent his early years learning the skills of his father’s trade as a clock maker. After his father’s death, his uncle takes him to work with him in a train station, maintaining the clocks. After his uncle’s disappearance, the young man continues maintaining the clocks to avoid the slapstick Clouseau-esque Station Inspector. It’s there a relationship of antagonism and respect is built between the young Hugo and Georges Méliès.

For those unfamiliar, Georges Méliès is an early film director who was a pioneer in narrative film and his most famous work is what is most likely the first science fiction film, Le Voyage dans la lune. As a huge nerd, I have, of course, seen the film, but I didn’t know so much about Méliès’ work or personal life. After watching the film, I did a quick run to Wikipedia and was surprised to find out how much of the film is true to Méliès’ life. It’s an intriguing telling of the life of a forgotten artist from the point of view of a stranger. Hugo along with Méliès’ god-daughter uncovered facet upon facet of Méliès’ life.

Of the nine films nominated for Best Picture, it’s without a doubt my favourite. The Artist is a second, but even that doesn’t have the appeal of Hugo, which I found surprising as I’m not generally a fan of Martin Scorsese’s work, or more accurately, his latest work. That isn’t to say the film is not without fault. I think that this being the best picture shows how mediocrity is reigning this year. THe film was shot in 3D for 3D, and I honestly hate 3D. It’s a marketing ploy, and will fade away in a few years, like it did in the ’50s. It causes headaches, and looks like shit. Even watching the film in 2D, it’s easy to see the cliché shots of 3D that just annoy me. OMG! SOMETHING IS COMING TOWARDS THE SCREEN! Oh, shut up. It’s a visually interesting and fun film, and doesn’t need hokey gimmicks.

Also of note is that Hugo is from the same school of thought as Star Trek The Next Generation, in which all French people speak exclusively English with a British accent. Americans have the strangest thoughts of France. At least on Star Trek, we had the suspension of disbelief that there’s a universal translator. When the Inspector got his slapstick on, and was caught attached to a train as it moved out of the station, he was yelling “STOP! STOP!” All I could think was the dolt should be yelling, “ARRÊT! ARRÊT!”

Overall, great film, watch it.

Oscarpalooza – A Better Life

The tale of American immigrants who are trying to make a life for themselves in Los Angeles.

I really enjoyed this film, and think it’s better than half the Best Picture nominees, yet this is only nominated for Best Actor. Stupid Oscars.

Oscarpalooza – Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

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Yesterday I considered watching this film, and referred to it as Extremely Quiet and Incredibly Loud. You know you’re old when you can’t get the names of films right.

This film is about an extremely annoying and incredibly neurotic1 child whose daddy died. He goes on a mission to keep him connected to his father.

The narrative is from the point of view of the child, who’s neuroses are not easy to watch. His voiceovers rarely help the story, and honestly detract from the film. What was most interesting I found was the relationship between the mother and son, which briefly touched on.

  1. See what I did there? []

Oscarpalooza – The Iron Lady

Loneliness and depression. A great film to watch on Valentine’s Day. The Iron Lady is about a woman in her 80s who lost her husband. She cannot let go of his influence in her life, and regrets the inattention she paid him and her children while she was too busy working.

Did I mention that she’s Margaret Thatcher, the only woman Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland?

The film’s narrative is seen from the perspective of the aged former-Prime Minister who keeps seeing, and talking to her dead husband. Through that dialogue, she’s taken into her past, recalls her time as a young adult watching her father as a politician, running for Parliament, and even taking over leadership of the Conservative party. All these memories lead her to loneliness.

Her memories paint her in isolation, no comfort in family, no adoring public, no aides or colleagues on her side. Maggie must face Britain and herself alone.

Oscarpalooza – Tree of Life

I knew nothing about this film going in. howeve,r it lost me in the first frames, when a “Jesus quote1” faded in. Then there was some prayer and other Godly bullshit which truly dropped my attention.

Then suddenly they were in modern day and Sean Penn was Brad Pitt’s son. I didn’t quite understand why, and I understand less now that I’ve seen the whole film and he was in it for only a few minutes… why bother?

The most impressive part of the film was an hour long montage which was the creation of the universe, Earth and life. All of this was, of course, set to operatic music. OBVIOUSLY. At times it felt like it was a shitty film that a university student would make, but a few moments reminded me of Star Trek: The Motion Picture. What reminded me of Star Trek? Well, obviously the giant space vaginas.

The film got better as it went along, but honestly wasn’t that great, too pretentious, but it at least humoured me on Twitter.

  1. Jesus quote is what I like to call a bible quote. []

Oscarpalooza – Albert Nobb

Point came for you to be Glenn Close to me. – Sloan

So there’s this chick, working at a hotel, pretending to be bloke. She meets another chick, pretending to be a bloke. She gets jealous of the other chick, as she has a wife. She pursues romance without reveal her gender.

It’s okay. Glenn Close doesn’t make a convincing dude, but the other lady is worse at that.

I’d rather just watch Andrew In Drag.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VHqMvojZKSw&w=480&h=274]

Oscarpalooza – If A Tree Falls

Apparently there’s a thing called “eco-terrorism.” Apparently in the early 2000s, a bunch of hippies in the pacific northwest, thought it would be awesome to burn shit.

This documentary is about a bunch of these assholes who think the way to affect change is to burn shit. They’re morons.

A group of them were arrested years later, and this documentary covers them. The main terrorist is not remorseful of what he’s done, and doesn’t seem to see the gravity of his crimes.

Perhaps the liberal use of “terrorist” by the US Government is overkill, but my god, these people really have no idea of the impact of what they did, and they seem proud.

Oscarpalooza – Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory

Apparently in 1993, in the United States, three young boys were murdered. Shortly afterward, three teenagers were arrested, tried, and convicted of these murders. One of whom was sentenced to lethal injection1.

Back then, apparently an HBO documentary was made, and questioned the trial, and the guilt of the teenagers. It got a lot of attention. Then they made a follow up. I didn’t see either of these films, but since the third one was nominated for an Oscar, here we go…

17 years later, they’re still in prison. They’ve been appealing and appealing to no end. The same judge is still overseeing, and he won’t reopen the case. It goes on and on.

It’s an interesting documentary. I’d imagine that anyone who’s seen the first two would be bored to tears, as I don’t imagine that there’s too much new material in this. They do update the viewer, and we watch as they finally go free.

Worth seeing? Probably not. Interesting? Somewhat.

  1. What the hell, America?!?! []

Oscarpalooza – Hell And Back Again

Ugh. This is a documentary about American soldiers in Afghanistan. I’ve heard some stories that don’t leave me with a high impression of US soldiers, and this documentary did little to help that.

This soldier was shot a few days before his tour of duty ended. The film documents his time in Afghanistan and his time recovering at home with his wife.

He’s a psychopath.

He proudly proclaims that the reason he joined the US Marines was that he wanted to kill people. He also claims that the recruiters told him that was the best reason.

Personally if I were a recruiting officer for my country’s forces, I would have my alarms go off with a statement like that. You do not give someone a gun because they want to kill people.

He spends much of his time at home wielding his gun, proudly proclaims that he keeps a gun ready with a bullet in the chamber stuffed between his mattress and box spring at night.

The condescending nature with which he treats Afghani people is horrid, and it just makes me sorry to see the US as the world police.