Have you ever seen a film, disliked it for one reason or another, then saw it again sometime later and totally flipped your opinion? I know it’s happened to me on multiple occasions, which is why I’m always willing to see a film I disliked more than once. Two of the biggest examples of this for me were Memento & Blade Runner, and another I never saw coming.
Sometimes reasons for not liking a film are tangible; something was off with the story, the acting or direction and you can pinpoint right away what put you off. But occasionally the reasons are intangible and can result from subconscious feelings or moods that you may not be able to articulate for even yourself, let alone a friend you may have been with. It’s possible you walked into a theatre pissed off at the popcorn guy for skimping you on your butter or you got into a fight with a significant other. Maybe it took you a half hour to find a parking spot and angrily strolled into the theatre during the trailers and couldn’t find a good seat. Maybe you’re watching at home and you’ve got other distractions all around you pulling your focus away from the screen. There’s a million ways outside influences can spill over into an experience of seeing any film for the first time, and for this reason exactly, you should never be afraid to see anything twice.
I’ve watched a bunch of different stuff the past couple weeks, and this edition of “Quickfire reviews” is long overdue and includes several Oscar nominees and 11 flicks in all. A new decision on my part: the order of reviews will begin with the bad and end on the good. I’ll save the best for last.
Big Fan. (Overall 2/10)
The Oscar nominations have arrived. In years past, I’ve been very bitter about certain snubs and certain inclusions. Last year, The Dark Knight and WALL-E were my biggest snubs for Best Picture and felt it was a complete failure on the Academy to have left them out. The system is very flawed, but that’s a much longer conversation. Last year was relevant though because it forced the hand of the Academy to expand the Best Picture nominees from 5 to 10 due to the exclusion of The Dark Knight. The last time we had more than 5 nominated films was 1943, when Casablanca took home the prize in a field of 10. Anyway, I have my reservations about what this means, but again, that’s a longer conversation. Here are the nominees and who I think will win in bold. I’ll offer up my nominations and what I think should win to follow in Part 2 next week in the major categories, as I can’t speak to some of what’s below because they are inaccessible (e.g. Live Action & Animated Short Films).
Last weekend I was searching for a movie to go see in theatres. I had seen The Princess and the Frog on Friday, and wanted to check out a matinee on Sunday. I couldn’t justify spending money to see Sherlock Holmes. I just can’t find any interest there. Why is Sherlock Holmes a borderline superhero engaging in bare-fist fighting? I just don’t get it. It has Netflix Watch Instantly written all over it.
The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus? Ehhh…honestly, I think the trailer is cool as hell, but Terry Gilliam is too weird, and I’ve disliked too many of his films to believe that this will be any different. My main motivation is really just to see Heath Ledger’s final performance. I still want to see it, but I think I’ll wait for Netflix.
Anyway, here’s what I have seen the past two weeks, whether in theatres or at home, but still 2009 releases…
Here’s the final 73 that round out my top 100 of the decade. In compiling the overall list I went through the weekly release schedule for every year since 2000 and picked out the best. Then, from the best of each year, I picked out the cream of the crop and went from there. It’s hard to imagine if I really missed anything, and if I did, it’s likely the case that I haven’t seen it. Either way, if you feel I’ve neglected anything, let me know in the comments section and voice your own opinion for why you feel a certain film has been ignored.
James Cameron has done what I thought to be unachievable. Never did I think it was possible, nor had I even entertained the thought of it happening. But he’s done it. James Cameron has created a likable Michelle Rodriguez character. Bravo, Mr. Cameron. BRAVO.
Ok, seriously. (Although I was being serious about Michelle Rodriguez. I have never liked her before in anything she’s been in, she was capable of borderline ruining a film for me.) I was lucky enough to snag tickets to a 3D IMAX preview of Avatar on “Avatar Day” (August 21st). I was extremely pumped as anyone else would be who has been following the progress of the movie for quite some time and hearing the rumors of the technology and 3D immersion. It was just under 20 minutes long, and it was a few different sequences cut together, completely out of context. I had not watched the released trailer yet, because I felt it would spoil the IMAX experience. I was also seeing District 9 right afterwards and was able to go from seeing the IMAX 3D preview of the Avatar trailer to the regular 2D trailer running prior to District 9. I knew right away that anyone comparing the two, or knocking the 2D trailer for it’s realism or “wow” factor were vastly uninformed. There’s no comparison to seeing it in 3D. This is not opinion, it’s fact.
I’m a big fan of Clint Eastwood. The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, The Outlaw Josey Whales, Dirty Harry. Clint is a badass. We all know this. The guy was born 11 pounds, 6 ounces. The average baby weighs 5 pounds, 6 ounces and, on average, doesn’t reach 10 pounds until 2 months. He’s more than twice the man the rest of us mere mortals are and the past decade he’s established his prowess as one of the best directors working today. From 2000 to 2009 Clint has directed 9 films, starred in 4 and composed the soundtracks for 5. He was nominated for 7 Oscars total and won 2, for Best Director and Best Picture on Million Dollar Baby, and nearly a 3rd for Best Actor if not for Jamie Foxx in Ray that same year. Keep in mind, this “man” turns 80 this May. As a result of this success I guess I’ve become conditioned to expect nothing but greatness from Clint. And when I saw the trailer for Invictus, I thought I was in for another gem.