Archive for the Rant Category

My Problem with Movie Trailers

Posted in Rant with tags on December 17, 2010 by judsonw

When I was a kid (and probably up until college), I would rush to the theater before a film began to catch the trailers played before. I could barely contain my excitement as I sat there in the dark, clutching my arm rest, waiting for what the next big movie would be to see in the future. Trailers can be an awesome thing when edited right with great music added in. They’re the perfect way to get people pumped for a movie. So why have I decided to never willingly watch one again?

I have made a vow with myself to stop watch trailers simply because I believe they ruin the movie going experience. Terrence Malik’s new film, The Tree of Life, just released a new trailer a couple of days ago, and while it pains me not to see what I’m sure is a gorgeous sight, I just won’t watch it. It’s Terrence Malik’s next film, starring Brad Pitt and Sean Penn, and seems to be incredibly ambitious. That’s all I need to know. Going into a film fresh is a privelege many of us don’t get to have in our media saturated times.

While I had already been wary of watching trailers for a few years, Funny People is what really crossed the line for me. In this travesty of a preview, not only are all the best jokes given away, but it’s also revealed that our main character (Adam Sandler) realizes he has cancer, tries to turn his life around, realizes he doesn’t have cancer, and then deals with those repurcussions. That’s the entire film summed up in 3 minutes! Because of this trailer, my enjoyment of Funny People, which is actually a pretty good movie, was defused.

Imagine going into a movie theater, only knowing the name of the film and perhaps the director and/or actors. Never seeing any of the ground breaking visuals before Avatar or the twisty turning plot points of Inception. It’s an experience that very few experience today, what with advertising acting at full tilt. Still, it’s something I’m determined to do with each movie that comes out, no matter how difficult. When the lights go down, I want to be transported into another world. One I’ve never seen before.

Golden Globe nominations: Solid, minus one category

Posted in Film Industry, Rant on December 14, 2010 by judsonw

When it comes to movie awards shows, I could care less. It’s such a political process today when actors, directors, and writers have to actually “campaign” for their rightful chance to hold the trophy at the podium. Money goes into “For Your Consideration” marketing and the winner often ends up going to the most popular guy in the room or the movie of the moment.

Despite my distaste for these events, I still force myself to tune into the Academy Awards. Why? Because they mean so much. Even if the best film doesn’t win (which is often the case), the impact the Best Picture decision has on the film industry is enormous.

Though I put up with the Oscars and all its vapid “look at who I’m wearing!” star gazing, I draw the line with the Golden Globes. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, responsible for the nominations and winners, are simply a joke. It seems that year after year the nominations are simply a way to get pretty famous faces on live television, loosened up by that glass of scotch from the bar.

Sure, the Golden Globes can be a fun watch. But in no way should they be taken seriously.

Here are the nominations (from slashfilm.com): red represents WTF-ness

BEST PICTURE: DRAMA
Black Swan
The Fighter
Inception
The King’s Speech
The Social Network

BEST PICTURE: COMEDY OR MUSICAL
Alice in Wonderland
Burlesque
The Kids Are All Right
Red
The Tourist

BEST DIRECTOR
Darren Aronosfsky, Black Swan
David Fincher, The Social Network
Tom Hooper, The King’s Speech
Christopher Nolan, Inception
David O. Russell, The Fighter

BEST ACTOR: DRAMA
Jesse Eisenberg, The Social Network
Colin Firth, The King’s Speech
James Franco, 127 Hours
Ryan Gosling, Blue Valentine
Mark Wahlberg, The Fighter

BEST ACTRESS: DRAMA
Halle Berry, Frankie and Alice
Nicole Kidman, Rabbit Hole
Jennifer Lawrence, Winter’s Bone
Natalie Portman, Black Swan
Michelle Williams, Blue Valentine

BEST ACTRESS: COMEDY OR MUSICAL
Anette Bening, The Kids Are All Right
Anne Hathaway, Love and Other Drugs
Angelina Jolie, The Tourist
Julianne Moore, The Kids Are All Right
Emma Stone, Easy A

BEST ACTOR: COMEDY OR MUSICAL
Johnny Depp, Alice in Wonderland
Johnny Depp, The Tourist
Paul Giamatti, Barney’s Version
Jake Gyllenhaal, Love and Other Drugs
Kevin Spacey, Casino Jack

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Amy Adams, The Fighter
Helena Bonham Carter, The King’s Speech
Mila Kunis, Black Swan
Melissa Leo, The Fighter
Jackie Weaver, Animal Kingdom

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Christian Bale, The Fighter
Michael Douglas, Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps
Andrew Garfield, The Social Network
Jeremy Renner, The Town
Geoffrey Rush, The King’s Speech

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Biutiful
The Concert
The Edge
I Am Love
In a Better World

BEST SCREENPLAY
Danny Boyle and Simon Beaufoy, 127 Hours
Lisa Cholodenko and Stuart Blumberg, The Kids Are All Right
Christopher Nolan, Inception
David Seidler, The King’s Speech
Aaron Sorkin, The Social Network

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
Alexandre Desplat, The King’s Speech
Danny Elfman, Alice in Wonderland
A.R. Rahman, 127 Hours
Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, The Social Network
Hans Zimmer, Inception

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
Despicable Me
How to Train Your Dragon
The Illusionist
Tangled
Toy Story 3

BEST ORIGINAL SONG
“Bound To You” (Burlesque)
“Coming Home” (Country Strong)
“I See The Light” (Tangled)
“There’s a Place For Us” (The Chronicles of Narnia)
“You Haven’t Seen The Last of Me”  (Burlesque)

Overall, pretty solid. It seems that everything that’s worthy (that I’ve seen) has gotten their due as well as all the films that seem to have the potential (if word of mouth proves to be true) to be great. I’m a little surprised to see True Grit shut out in every single category. These are the Coen Brothers we’re talking about here! Jeff Bridges! Matt Damon! Josh Brolin! A Western! How is this not an Oscar lock??

I can’t help but laugh at the “Best Picture: Comedy or Musical” section. Alice in Wonderland, The Tourist, BURLESQUE??? I understand that comedies aren’t really “award material,” but fucking BURLESQUE? Apparantley no other musicals existed this year so Cher and Aguilera had to represent. What about Scott Pilgrim vs. the World? That movie possesses more energy and heart (save Kids) than every movie in that category combined.

Sometimes the nominations seem to be handed out by people who haven’t even seen the film they’re recognizing. How else can you explain both Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp getting nominations for The Tourist? This was a film that was expected to be an enjoyable romp, with 2 top notch performances, acutely directed by the man behind The Lives of Others. If the HFPA had actually seen the film, they would know that it’s none of these things.

Oh well, Depp + Jolie = ratings! And that’s all that really matters at these things anyways, right?