I have two truly awesome pieces of news to share. First off, She & Him's new CD, Volume 2 is out today! Second, the dynamic duo is coming to the Phoenix on June 9 - and I gots myself some tickets this afternoon! Can you say study hall hula hoop party time?
"I'll be with you - till your heart stops beating!" - Jacob Black
The trailer for the third - and my favourite - installment in the Twilight saga, Eclipse, is finally up for your fangirly viewing pleasure. I don't know about you, but I'm digging the trailer (I can't wait to see more of Dakota as Jane!)- except for the parts with new Victoria, Bryce Dallas Howard.
She's only in the clip for a second or two, but her awkward off-red wig is just too much for me. Also, her facial expession looks more sweet than scary. Maybe this is just a bad clip and she's actually super-badass in the movie - but I'm not feeling it. The movie hasn't even come out and I'm missing Rachelle already.
I would write a long-winded blog about my predictions for tonight's big show - but to be honest, I'm too busy prepping my picks for my family's official Oscar pool. Also, I'm still tired from my writing that mega-blog about the Best Pic nominees
If you want to hear my thoughts about the world's greatest award show - look me up on Twitter http://twitter.com/emilygagne) as I will most likely be updating my account all night (or until Twitter forces me to stop). Just brace yourself for hyperbolic comments about super-glamourous frocks, major love for awkwardly long acceptance speeches (calling Christoph Waltz!), major hate for everything and anything Avatar, inappropriate fangirly comments about Quentin Tarantino and Eli Roth (please, Oscar gods, sit them next to each other!), inappropriate fangirly comments about Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin, explicit descriptions of my family's Best Pic-themed food (sample: we're having ice cream cones like Carl and Russell did at the end of Up!), loving dedications to the Academy's mediocre montages and shameless salutes to Colin Firth's super-sexiness.
One of my favourite bands, She & Him (otherwise known as the dynamic duo that is M. Ward and the divine Miss Deschanel), is releasing a new album (Volume 2) at the end of this month and I, for one, can't wait. I loved their first CD and am seriously digging their first single off their new record, "In the Sun". Their songs are very 60s and soulful - pretty much the musical equivilant of a perfectly-fitting vintage cocktail dress. I don't know about you, but I love me a good retro-chic frock (especially on Zooey - she's been my girl-crush for years!).
Last week, the duo released a second song from their new album called "Thieves". It is actually gorgeous. I think it may even be better than "In the Sun". Listen and love.
Every year, I tell myself (and pretty much everyone that will listen) that I am going to watch five Best Picture nominees before Oscar night. And every year, the same thing happens. I come up short a flick. So when they announced that they were going to have 10 nominees this year, my head spun in 1000 directions. If I couldn't get through 5 movies, how was I possibly going to work my way through 10?
With all this mind-mixing madness frying my movie-lovin' brain, I started to lose sight of my lifelong dream. Suddenly, I started to doubt my movie-marathoning abilities. I started to see mediocre movies. I even started to hate on the Academy. But after watching the mindless mess that was Did You Hear About The Morgans?, I made like Christian Bale and admitted the truth: I was acting like a punk.
Suddenly, I realized the new regulation was not something to be afraid of - but something to embrace. In the heat of the epiphany, I made it my personal mission to see every single movie that made it on the golden guy's hit-list. And guess what? I did it!
In honour of this awesome achievement, I have compiled a short review of each of the movies for your reading pleasure (don't worry - no major spoilers ahead!). I've also ranked them according to my personal preference. I'm sure things will go down differently when the big show starts Sunday, but I don't care. I'm not an Academy member. I'm just a movie lover. And I can't control what I love - or what I abhor completely (cough, Avatar, cough).
I have been wanting to love Quentin Tarantino for years. In fact, I thought we'd be a match made in heaven - what with our weird and wacked out taste for carefully sculpted bad-taste. But for some inexplicable reason, we never really seemed to click.
I couldn't get into Pulp Fiction. I tried to love Kill Bill but I couldn't quite get passed the long-ass second-half. I kinda loved Death Proof - but I'm not sure if that was because I actually enjoyed it or, because anything seemed better than Quentin's penis melting scene from Planet Terror at that point. This ridiculously cool cinematic joint (I feel like that's how QT's right-hand man, Samuel L.,would describe it) however, had me singing a much different tune. It went something like this: "Quentin, babe, let's run away together. We'll be awkward BFFs - forever!"
Inglorious Basterds had me at it's masterly mispelled monicker (I don't know if I'll ever be able to spell either word right again - so much for becoming a foul-mouthed journalist). But our love affair got straight up torrid after I saw Aldo Raine and his gang of Nazi- killing machines blow up the big screen last August.
Basterds is everything you could want in a movie: hilarious, suspenseful, action-packed, serious, foreign (honestly, is there a non-English language not featured in this movie?) and historically incorrect (Is that a David Bowie song I hear rockin' the movie house in Nazi-occupied France?). I would give it the golden guy just for the opening scene - which makes milk seem utterly (you don't know how much it took for me not to write udderly) terrifying. Future Supporting Actor winner, Christoph Waltz (yeah, he's that good), kills - literally and figuratively - in that scene. Hell, he rocks every scene he's in - the dude's dynamite.
I'll admit - Basterds can be a bit over-done at times (see: the Mike Myers cameo)- but that's the point. It's endlessly entertaining and it never loses it's focus (bringing justice to the Jews!) - or it's kickassness - throughout. And in my books -that's a Best Picture bingo!
P.S. - I just want to add - the Bear Jew can swing his big bat my way anytime. I mean...
I put Basterds ahead of this Jason Reitman flick because quite honestly, I enjoyed it more. But if I was actually choosing who should win the Oscar, it would beatTarantino's masterwork to a bloody pulp. It's not that Up in the Air particularly ground-breaking in terms of shooting, acting or editing (although, it's pretty damn good). It's because of all the movies that hit the megaplexes this year, it most represents where we're at as a culture. Take away the talent - George, Jason and the truly awesome Anna Kendrick (please watch her in Camp right now) - and what you have is an emotionally charged look at the recession and what it has taken out of people. Fasten your seat belts friendlies - this is one for the ages.
This sci-fi flick was way better than I expected. The visuals alone are worth the rental. I won't say anymore than that though, because I really think you should to go into it blind. That's what I did and I was pretty much glued to the screen.
(This gem is a diamond in the ridiculously rough.)
This movie is far from precious. In fact, it's horrifying. But it's emotional and raw - and damn hard to look away from. It also gets props for giving my homegirl, Mariah Carey, the respect she deserves. (Yeah, I saw Glitter - AND LOVED IT).
6. THE HURT LOCKER
(Jeremy Renner fights the war on slow storytelling.)
Not nearly as good as I wanted it to be, Sure, the acting and cinematography were incredible - but the story didn't grab me like it should have. My parents - both war-movie lovers - left halfway in, complaining of boredom. I wouldn't say it's boring - but it's not remarkably engaging (save for one scene involving a suicide bomber). It's kind of like Jarhead - minus the naked Jake Gyllenhaal.
I'm sorry, but I found this whole movie incredibly creepy - not to mention annoyingly predictable. Even Nick Hornby's semi-witty script couldn't suck me in. The only redeeming part is Carey Mulligan - but she won't win. So, meh.
From the minute I saw the preview for this movie, I wanted to hate it. And I did. People keep saying it's a visual triumph. I don't buy it. The background may be awesome but the Na'vi actually look like Second Life avatars. Oh, and the writing sucks. I'm trying to forget James Cameron slaved over this for more than a decade. In my mind, he's still the king of the world - just trapped forever in 1998.
And that's it for my Best Pic picks. I know the list is a little lopsided, but after writing a novella about Basterds, I decided to give you a break and get to the point. Plus, to be honest, most of these movies wouldn't make my top 10 of 2009. But that's a whole other post altogether...
What did movies you love - and love to loathe - this year?