Sunday, February 13, 2011

Another Social Rabbit Town

I’m really enjoying making nonsense blog titles from movie titles for these posts...is it annoying? Because it's fun for me! Of course a nonsense post title means that it’s time for another Mission: Oscar Snob 2011 update! I only have 14 days left until the big show on Feb 27th and I have made a little more progress on EW’s Top 25 Movie List. Here are some of my thoughts and ratings on the movies I’ve watched over the past few weeks. You can find the official list of 2011 Oscar nominees here!

The other day I rented The Town from Netflix. The premise? Crime group/mostly family who rob armory trucks and banks. Of course there is a “nicer” bad guy who doesn’t want to hurt people. Upon checking in on a prior hostage (who doesn’t know who he is)…he falls in love. Of couse…the “nicer” guy wants to leave the group now and get away with the girl…but that proves complicated. This movie was pretty good…but it had its shortfalls. I liked the premise and the plot. It was shot well and it had me on the edge of my seat but not in a gory way. I think some explanations in the movie were a bit rushed while at the same time there were some parts of the movie that seemed to drag a bit. What winds up happening to the girl who was a hostage isn’t something I really anticipated and was interesting…but at one point they sort of dropped that part of the story a bit while the last long big heist was going on and that was sort of odd to me. All in all though this is another movie I was surprised to enjoy. Not my favorite…but I thought it was good! (Truth: I wish there was a way to give it 3.5 stars with these graphics…but its gonna get 3 because its not really my favorite type of movie).
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I got lucky this past week and found out that Rabbit Hole was still playing at a small theater in NW DC and ran out to catch one of the last showings! And I was so glad I did. I thought this movie was really good. It’s not a movie for everyone, its not like there is a huge plot or much comedic relief or a happy ending. But I found it to be a really interesting portrait of a couple dealing with a tragedy. The interesting thing for me was that they don’t start the movie with the tragedy…but months after it has already occurred. And you also find out the details about what occurred pretty slowly. I thought that was a really good idea because you weren’t necessarily allowed to have your own reaction or attachment to the event…but really appreciate their story in dealing with it…as individuals and as a couple. Like I said…there isn’t necessarily a “yay happy” ending but I left the theater being really moved by the film. If your in the right mood…I really recommend seeing this film. This was really close to getting 5 stars from me…and I may change my mind later, but I’ll stick with 4 for now.
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Netflix madeThe Social Network available on Feb 8th and its status on my queue immediately became “very long wait”…but to my surprise…I was one of the lucky ones to get the movie right away! I watched it this week. I was pleasantly surprised by this movie. I was convinced that it would paint a picture of Mark Z. as a bad guy and I don’t think it really did that. I thought it was really interesting and a story worth telling. It seems a bit odd to me because it wasn’t THAT long ago that Facebook was created. I remember the day…Oct 24, 2004…Loyola MD students were “allowed” to join Facebook back when it was all “exclusive” and it was really interesting to see the thought process going into the school networks. Facebook is so different now…only a few years later…and its crazy to have lived through the college expansion of it first hand. I sort of wish this movie was made a few years later….it seems so recent to already be a movie. But I really thought it was an interesting story and a movie worth making. The music was great. I think the way the story was told was good…sometimes a bit confusing (for the first few switches to past/present and between legal suits I wasn’t sure what we were flipping between) but in the long run it worked well. Overall it was interesting and I would definitely recommend this movie…especially if you use Facebook. This is one of the films nominated for Best Picture…I think I’m still rooting for King’s Speech to take home the Oscar for that one. But this movie is definitely worthy of being nominated.
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Today I found a theater that is playing a few lesser known Oscar nominated films and I decided to check out the British film Another Year. Its hard for me to explain how I felt about this film. Well firstly I really liked it. Tom and Gerri are a couple toward the end of their careers (pre-retirement but probably not super far from it). They are happy and worldly and have a son who makes them very proud. You watch as a year goes by in their lives…but I sort of think you are watching “another year” go by for the people around them…maybe some more than others. It had a good amount of comedic relief but I have to admit a few scenes really made me tear up. I think it’s a movie that depending on your life you could relate to in different ways. My only critique might be toward some of the plot at the end of the movie. It moved a bit slower and I’m not sure if some of it was a significant addition to the film. But other than that I think it was a really good movie and if your looking for something different to watch this might be a good choice. And I’d be interested to hear what aspects you connected with…if any (because I’m sure none is also a realistic option).
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Like I said when I started this mission, I don’t think I’ll be able to see every movie on the list. Some movies I simply don’t have access to (not available on DVD but not in theaters). But there's only 2 weeks left and I’m not quite sure I’ll have time to get to the movies. Some of my unseen movies were passed up in the nominations. I have noted in the list which films didn’t receive any nominations…and because of that, they will now be lower priority in my mission. I also must confess that I don’t have a HUGE desire to see 127 Hours because 1) I know pretty much the whole story having seen the TV special on the true story about a year after it really happened. 2) Because I know the story, I know how it will end so I feel like that ruins it for me. So 127 Hours isn’t exactly a top priority….but because it is a “Best Picture” nominee I will see if I can get myself to it.

However…definitely coming soon...Winter’s Bone & Blue Valentine. Stay tuned!!

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