Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Laura Loves {February 2012}

Happy Leap Year!! For various reasons (a TV show and work conversations included) I have found myself wondering lately how I would feel if my birthday was on February 29th. I can’t decide if I would be bummed that my actual date is rarely on the calendar, or just weirded out by it (when should I celebrate?)…or if I would think it was really unique and cool? Not sure…

I feel like I should do something special with this extra day though right? Actually I can’t make special plans…I’ll be in ceramics class tonight…oh well there’s always next leap year…

Anyway February 29th means it’s time for Laura Loves! And despite my obsessive movie watching I did find some other things (besides movies) to love this month!

Beautiful Day at the Dog Park
I love this dogs eye view of the dog part in this video by Kelsey Wynns…especially some of the great dog expressions captured in slow motion! You can find the original page for this video {here}.



POTUS
Ya know what? I really am loving President Obama lately. I may or may not mean that politically (ohhhh mysterious….although most people who know me know where I stand on him politically)…but lately he has been really laid back and relaxed (in a good way) compared to past Presidents. For example:

He loves to sing…


I mean…really loves to sing…

And he can enjoy a good marshmellow gun…


I love it! Things like this make me smile!

Reese’s Minis

Hershey’s recently came out with a new candy in my personal favorite Reese’s brand called Reese’s Minis which are unwrapped mini peanut butter cups! I was lucky enough to get a package of these from my sisters for Valentine’s Day! I have to say I LOVED them! Sometimes when Hershey’s changes the size of the peanut butter cup, the peanut butter to chocolate ratio changes and so does the flavoring. But I must say that I thought the ratio was PERFECT in these mini cups! And I also have to admit that the serving size of 11 pieces is a pretty realistic one. Even though you might be tempted to eat the whole bag of them…once you have about 10 or so…I found it starts becoming too rich of a snack and I want to put them down! I loved them! If you are a Reese’s fan I highly suggest you try them!

They would also be awesome for topping ice cream, or making cookies….oh man I’m going to have to get myself another bag!

ZocDoc
 I tend to be a procrastinator…but something that consistently falls through the cracks with me is finding doctors. Living in DC is the first time since I left for college that I’ve lived in a place where that doesn’t feel “temporary” and it is dawning on me that I need to get on top of finding some regular doctors. Don’t worry I’m not sick…but that is exactly why I never remember to do it…I rarely feel the need to go. Seriously…power house immune system right here…I’ve used less than 3 days of sick leave at work since I started 2.5 years ago.

For me the story goes….”Oh I should find a <insert specialty> doctor…let me look up a few on my insurance website…eh I don’t want to make that call in the cube farm where everyone can hear”…or “I can’t step away from my desk to do it right now”…or “How do I even know if this doctor is good? I don’t have enough information at the moment”…or “Shoot it’s now 7pm and their office isn’t open to make an appointment.” Annnnnnd then I forget.

Well this problem is no more because this past weekend my friend Danielle showed me the iPhone/Android app and website ZocDoc! This thing is AWESOME. You can search for doctors in any specialty that take your insurance and are located in your area. Of course you can do that on your insurance website too but here is where it gets better…You can also see pictures and reviews for all the doctors right there when you search…AND you can also see all available appointment times and schedule your appointment through the website or on your smartphone! No more excuses. If I can’t call at my desk I can just look up an available appointment time on ZocDoc and claim it! Oh and did I mention that the app is FREE?

I love it….it gets rid of ALL my procrastination excuses with doctor hunting…it couldn’t be easier…I highly recommend giving it a try!

Girl Scout Cookies
 My annual Girl Scout cookie order was delivered this month! I love Girl Scout cookies…they are a bit expensive but I think it goes to a great cause. I like supporting the Girl Scouts because I was one myself. My favorite cookies are Thin Mints, Tagalongs (aka Peanut Butter Patties), and Samoas (aka Carmel Delights). It is taking a lot of will power to enjoy them in moderation!

Signs of Spring
It may only be February but the sun is staying up later, the air is getting (a bit) warmer, and we are all set to spring the clocks forward in only 2 weeks! We are almost out of the dark days people! And the trees around my apartment complex agree!

2012-02-25 16.46.18

That’s all I have for Laura Loves this month! (Full disclosure: I actually had even more stuff to share but six “things” was already more than usual so I’m done hogging all of your attention!) Check back at the end of March for more!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Final Oscar Predictions!

Today is the day!!! The Academy Awards are on TONIGHT! So that means it’s time for my official Oscar Predictions! Last year I did a pretty good job with my predictions. But this year, even though I saw more movies than last year, I think I’m a little less confident. If you recall, I already made a few predictions on the short film categories over {here}. In today’s post I will move on to the other major categories. But before I get into it I wanted to listen to some last minute advice from other film experts:

Very insightful! And with that, here are my official thoughts and predictions for the 84th Annual Academy Awards. You can see all the nominees {here}.

Best Actor

  • Demián Bichir in "A Better Life"
  • George Clooney in "The Descendants"
  • Jean Dujardin in "The Artist"
  • Gary Oldman in "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy"
  • Brad Pitt in "Moneyball"

While two of these movies were not on the EW list, I added them as “personal additions” and snuck them in at the last minute meaning I was able to see all of these films. There are some great performances in this category. I think Demián Bichir was really great in A Better Life and I think I’m leaning toward personally rooting for him. But I think the frontrunner is Jean Dujardin. I think I would agree for the fact that he did a great job communicating his emotions and the story non-verbally to the audience. But I could also see George or Brad getting it this year…even though I think Bichir’s performance was better than thiers...but yea I’m going to officially say Jean Dujardin will get the win.

Best Actress

  • Glenn Close in "Albert Nobbs"
  • Viola Davis in "The Help"
  • Rooney Mara in "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"
  • Meryl Streep in "The Iron Lady"
  • Michelle Williams in "My Week with Marilyn"

I was also able to see each of these flims and this category is full of some awesome performances. I saw The Help first and thought Viola was really great, but when I saw Michelle as Marilyn I thought I would be rooting for her take home the Oscar. She was so convincing and you could tell she really prepared for the role. After that I saw Rooney play the kick butt Lizbeth Salander and started to change my mind. I thought my mind changed again. But when I watched Meryl play Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady, I knew I was looking at the winner. I think this year it will be another Oscar for Meryl Streep.

Best Supporting Actor

  • Kenneth Branagh in "My Week with Marilyn"
  • Jonah Hill in "Moneyball"
  • Nick Nolte in "Warrior"
  • Christopher Plummer in "Beginners"
  • Max von Sydow in "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close"

Once again saw each of these films thanks to some last minute additions. I’m not as convinced about a lot of these performances but I think the top two performances for me were Max von Sydow for his performance in Extremely Loud and Nick Nolte in Warrior. Sydow was another one that was able to communicate emotions and move the plot silently. But I found Nolte’s performance the most moving out of all of these. I’m going ahead and picking Nolte for the win.

Best Supporting Actress

  • Bérénice Bejo in "The Artist"
  • Jessica Chastain in "The Help"
  • Melissa McCarthy in "Bridesmaids"
  • Janet McTeer in "Albert Nobbs"
  • Octavia Spencer in "The Help"

Although the makeup department could have made her LOOK a bit more like a man…I think Janet McTeer gave a great performance in Albert Nobbs. However I think the Oscar is going to Octavia Spencer for The Help.

Best Director

  • "The Artist" Michel Hazanavicius
  • "The Descendants" Alexander Payne
  • "Hugo" Martin Scorsese
  • "Midnight in Paris" Woody Allen
  • "The Tree of Life" Terrence Malick

To be honest I am kind of just hoping the Hugo nor Tree of Life win here. I could see Michel Hazanavicius winning for The Artist or Woody Allen winning for Midnight in Paris. But I’m going to officially predict Hazanavicius will take home the gold statue in this category.

Best Animated Film

  • "A Cat in Paris" Alain Gagnol and Jean-Loup Felicioli
  • "Chico & Rita" Fernando Trueba and Javier Mariscal
  • "Kung Fu Panda 2" Jennifer Yuh Nelson
  • "Puss in Boots" Chris Miller
  • "Rango" Gore Verbinski

Unfortunately I didn’t see all of these films but I did see Rango and Kung Fu Panda 2. I wasn’t overly impressed with either so I’m wondering if Puss in Boots has a shot at this one. Out of the two I saw I think Kung Fu Panda 2 was better although the actual animation in Rango was very good. This category is a bit of a shot in the dark for me. I guess because I actually liked this one better out of the two I saw, and it was named on EW’s list, I will go with an official prediction of Kung Fu Panda 2 for the win.

Writing (Original)

  • "The Artist" Written by Michel Hazanavicius
  • "Bridesmaids" Written by Annie Mumolo & Kristen Wiig
  • "Margin Call" Written by J.C. Chandor
  • "Midnight in Paris" Written by Woody Allen
  • "A Separation" Written by Asghar Farhadi

I did not get to see A Separation or Margin Call, but I think The Artist is another frontrunner here being a silent film. I could see Bridesmaids winning this one if the Academy wants to throw an award its way. Even though there were some silly scenes for my taste I actually really liked the story in Bridesmaids and I think this would be a great candidate for the win. I’m going to go out on a limb and make it official. I'm going to pick a bit of an underdog, Bridesmaids, for the win here.

Writing (Adapted)

  • "The Descendants" Screenplay by Alexander Payne and Nat Faxon & Jim Rash
  • "Hugo" Screenplay by John Logan
  • "The Ides of March" Screenplay by George Clooney & Grant Heslov and Beau Willimon
  • "Moneyball" Screenplay by Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin; Story by Stan Chervin
  • "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" Screenplay by Bridget O'Connor & Peter Straughan

I don’t think it’s going to win but my personal favorite here would be The Ides of March. I don’t want Hugo to get this one because I have a feeling the book (from what I hear from others) is amazing and I don’t think I got “amazing” from the writing of Hugo. I think the top two most likely to win here are Moneyball and The Descendants. But I think I’m going to predict Moneyball for this one.

Best Picture

  • "The Artist" Thomas Langmann, Producer
  • "The Descendants" Jim Burke, Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor, Producers
  • "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close" Scott Rudin, Producer
  • "The Help" Brunson Green, Chris Columbus and Michael Barnathan, Producers
  • "Hugo" Graham King and Martin Scorsese, Producers
  • "Midnight in Paris" Letty Aronson and Stephen Tenenbaum, Producers
  • "Moneyball" Michael De Luca, Rachael Horovitz and Brad Pitt, Producers
  • "The Tree of Life" Sarah Green, Bill Pohlad, Dede Gardner and Grant Hill, Producers
  • "War Horse" Steven Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy, Producers

I personally would like to see The Help win the big prize this year. I think it was my favorite movie that I watched over the mission. However I think The Artist will be Best Picture of the year…which I would be fine with. It was a different, cute, fun and moving. It would definitely be one of my top choices for the win. Anyway…I’m personally rooting for The Help, but I officially predict The Artist will win.

And there you have it! I’ll be watching the big show tonight and most likely tweeting about it if you follow me on Twitter! Do you agree with my predictions or thoughts? Let me know in the comments!

PS – I think one of my favorite YouTubers DailyGrace probably should have been following my blog!

Rango Soldier Warrior & A Better Beginners

The movie watching part of Mission Oscar Snob came to an end last night. I was able to sneak a few last minute movies in this weekend thanks to one last trip to the movies, Blockbuster Express, and a movie night with a fellow movie lover. Later this afternoon I will also be posting my official Oscar predictions. There is a lot to post today so let’s get to it!

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy Poster
{IMDB}

On Friday night I went to the theaters to see Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. The movie takes place during the Cold War. It is discovered that there is a mole in the top of British intelligence. After being let go, George Smiley (Gary Oldman) is asked to investigate to figure out. The movie is a good spy thriller puzzle for those who like the genre. For me, there were a lot of names and twists to keep track of and it wasn’t the easiest movie to follow. Gary Oldman did a fantastic job. He was quiet at first but I really enjoyed his performance more and more as the movie went on. For me this movie just wasn’t my taste, but I understand how people who enjoy this genre would like it. For me personally it gets 2 stars...but not that it doesn’t deserve more. I would recommend this movie if you enjoy historical/political/spy drama. StarStar

Rango Poster
{IMDB}

I managed to get Rango last minute from Blockbuster Express. The movie is about a lizard who finds himself lost in the desert and comes across the (animal) town of Dirt where there is a severe drought. As a bit of a thespian, Rango gets by pretending to be tough to fit in and finds himself the new Sherriff of Dirt…and tries to help them during the water shortage. I wasn’t all that impressed with the movie Rango. I think the animation was excellent actually, but I don’t know that I connected with the character and the story. The character was a bit goofy for me. The plot was a bit odd and I’m not sure I could see kids really understanding the story. I’m not sure this animated film was my cup of tea but like I said I think the animation was really good, the characters features and movements were impressive to me. But in terms of plot and character development, it wasn’t my favorite animated film. StarStar

A Better Life Poster
{IMDB}

Last night my friend Avi and I had a movie night that started off with A Better Life. The movie is about an illegal immigrant who works as a landscaper and is trying to create a better life for his American born son. When his boss is getting ready to head back to Mexico, he offers to sell him the landscaping truck…ie the business. Owning the truck could mean a lot of great things for his family, but it comes with its own risks as well. We follow him trying to make the best decisions to give his son a better life. I thought this movie was really good at showing issues surrounding those who are here illegally; especially those with children who have grown up in the US. Demián Bichir was really very good and I think his nomination for Best Actor is well deserved. I thought the film was really moving and I’d recommend it. StarStarStarStar

Warrior Poster
{IMDB}

We followed A Better Life up with the movie Warrior which is about two estranged brothers who are both on their own path to get back into Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). They have common issues with their alcoholic father (Nick Nolte)…although their past choices in dealing with it has put them at odds. They manage to get into the same MMA competition with a hefty prize…which they both need for their own good reasons. Similar to The Fighter from last year I wasn’t sure I would like this movie. I’m not usually into watching any sort of boxing or wrestling or mixed martial arts. But I have to say I really enjoyed this film. Nick Nolte (the one nominee in this film) was excellent. I really felt for him, although you know he made the mistakes to get him to this place in his life. You can definitely feel for each brother’s situation. The fighting is not the most pleasant to watch (for me) but I think it was realistic (although I’ve never really watched MMA…). It was a good film and if you liked The Fighter last year you will definitely like this film. StarStarStarStar

UPDATE:

Beginners Poster
{IMDB}

Avi happened to have Beginners to watch as well…and while I didn’t exactly love Beginners when I first watched it, I sort of had the feeling that I needed to see it again to be confident in my opinion. I was right that I needed to see it again…but I felt differently about the movie this time. I think it helped that I knew more of what to expect. My feeling doesn’t change that the movie feels a little monotone to me (although Avi disagrees so it could just be me). I liked the story a lot more the second time. I decided I should write an update for Beginners since my opinion changed a bit…and note that sometimes a movie can grow on you! My official rating…3 stars. Not my absolute favorite movie but I definitely like it now…and I like it a lot more than I did the first time I watched it. StarStarStar

Well that is the end of the movie watching part of Mission Oscar Snob 2012!!! Check back later today for my official Oscar predictions!!

Final Results!

Movies Watched:    23 full length + 10 short films
EW List Watched:  20 of 25 films
Best Picture Nominated Films Watched:  9 out of 9 nominations

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Day of Ten Movies…

The other week, a friend kindly pointed out that a local theater was showcasing all of the short films nominated for Academy Awards this year. Now, EW doesn’t put short films on “the list,” but I thought going to this showcase would be perfect for my mission! Watching two entire categories of films is sure to increase the “Oscar Snob” status.

So I decided to go to both the Animated and Live Action showcases in one day and absolutely loved them both! There was only one problem when I came home to write about them…

Two of the best things about short films is that they get right to the point, and often have a surprise or punch line. Not always, but often. This caused a bit of writers block when it came to wanting to discuss the films because it would be so easy to spoil them. I finally decided that instead of really going into reviews of the plot I would simply list the nominees, include the link to the trailer (or more info), and then give some personal superlative awards along with my personal favorites and Oscar predictions!

Best Short Film: Animated
Dimanche/Sunday – Follows a young boy during a typical boring Sunday.

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore – Follows a man who discovers a house of books that come alive and interact with him after his home is destroyed in a storm. He stays in the house and takes care of the books until he grows old and passes on the responsibility to a newbie.

La Luna – It’s a young boy’s first night with his dad and grandpa at their unusual job.

A Morning Stroll – A look at changing times as we look at a similar morning walk at the same time of day on the same street in the past, present, and future.

Wild Life – Follows an Englishman who decides to move to the Canadian frontier in the early 20th century.

Most Adult Themed
Wild Life
Most Kid Friendly (TIE)
Flying Books / La Luna
Funniest
A Morning Stroll
Cutest
La Luna
Most Abstract
Wild Life
Best Animation
La Luna
My Favorite (TIE)
A Morning Stroll / La Luna
Oscar Prediction
Wild Life
Best Short Film: Live Action
Pentecost – A local alter boy who made a critical mistake at a recent mass is given a chance to redeem himself.

Raju – A German couple goes to India to pick up their newly adopted son Raju. But when Raju gets lost at the local market, their short stay in India becomes more nerve wracking than they expected.

The Shore – Old childhood friends are reunited after a misunderstanding that caused them to be out of touch for 25 years.

Time Freak – The inventor of a time machine gets sidetracked from his dreams of exploring ancient times when he decides to go back and fix a few of his interactions with people that day.

Tuba Atlantic – Oskar is given 6 days to live. Before he dies he is determined to make contact with his estranged brother on the other side of the Atlantic.

Most Serious
Raju
Most Kid Friendly
Pentecost
Funniest (TIE)
Pentecost / Time Freak
Cutest
Pentecost
Driest Humor
Tuba Atlantic
My Favorite*
The Shore
Oscar Prediction
Tuba Atlantic
*Not sure why but I think I liked this one the best as a whole.

To be honest it is almost impossible to pick my favorites from each of these showcases. I really enjoyed all of them for different reasons. And honestly I’m not sure at all what the Academy will pick because these races aren’t followed as much by the press. So this year’s predictions are a bit of a shot in the dark. I’m going with my gut but I think I will get better predicting these categories after I see what they pick this year.

I highly recommend going to see the short films if you get the opportunity. I am definitely going to be making this an permanent part of my Oscar Mission. I wish I could say more about each film but with how short they are it’s hard to not give too much away! I will say that as a whole I thought I would like the Animated films more because I assumed they would be more light hearted, but this year I think I liked the Live Action as a entire collection the best. I did speak to a woman in the theater who didn’t enjoy the Live Action shorts at all in one of the recent past years but liked them a lot this year. So perhaps it’s always different.

Have you seen any of the shorts this year? Do you have a favorite? Let me know in the comments! Only 3 more days until the big show…and I still have more movies to write about!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Tree of Iron Kung Fu Nobbs Beginners 3: Purgatory

I have been on a bit of an unplanned blogging hiatus…I feel way busier in these first two months of the year than usual. But just because I haven’t been writing doesn’t mean I haven’t been working on Mission Oscar Snob…which means I have a LOT of movies to write about so lets get right to it!

Beginners Poster{Source}

I recently rented the movie Beginners from Netflix. I thought it would be an interesting movie. A guy who is a bit of an introvert is dealing with losing his father who, at the end of his life, had come out as a gay man. Meanwhile, he meets a young actress who he really connects with and they try to figure out how to have a successful relationship as he is dealing with the question of the relationship of his parents. I thought this sounded really interesting, but to be honest the movie bored me. It didn’t really live up to my expectations. The movie didn’t seem like it needed to be as long as it was. It was sort of over dramatic for me and it was a quiet film where it seems like everyone is whispering all the time…not enough excitement for me I guess. I was able to connect with certain emotions from the characters, but overall I was a bit bored. And I think that disappointed me because the plot description sounded good to me. StarStar

The Tree of Life Poster{Source}

I have to be honest, I feel like a bit of a failure with The Tree of Life. I rented it from Netflix the other day. Netflix thought I would give it 1.5 stars…it over estimated. My friend Avi and I decided to try to watch this one together…and neither of us could last past the first half hour…and I think we were being generous. The movie is basically a series of short scenes of a family. You can kind of piece together in the beginning that one of the kids has passed away…but its not really clear because the plot (if there is really a plot at all) is out of order. Sean Penn is supposed to be one of the siblings in the future. He is walking around office buildings…looking around…not really sure what his role is other than to show us that he thinks of his dad and brother. There is about 20 minutes where the movie just shows different Earthly images…no characters or dialog. Once the people came back it was just short scenes with little dialog that lasted less than a minute each. The scenes also didn’t really go together, its just all supposed to form a picture…a two hour long picture made up of tons of less than a minute scenes and images. The movie was really very abstract…hard to follow but perhaps there wasn’t much to actually follow. After the first half hour we decided to watch it on fast forward…we would stop every once in a while to listen to the scenes…but really there wasn’t much to pay attention to. I felt like it is the type of movie that takes A LOT of effort to watch. I understand how people see it as artsy…but it was too much work…not enjoyable or entertaining for me. I am glad I didn’t have to watch it in theaters. Star

The Iron Lady Poster{Source}

Last weekend I went to see The Iron Lady. I was a bit apprehensive about this film, I’m not a history buff and I’m not the biggest fan of political dramas. Also, having seen the performances of some of the other best actress nominee’s already, I was sort of thinking that Meryl Streep was nominated for her resume and the mere fact that she was playing a historic figure this year…but then I saw the film. I have to admit that Meryl was amazing. And the story was really interesting. It sort of centered around present day Margaret Thatcher remembering her life. I’m not sure how much about the current Thatcher is true in terms of how she is aging, but I found the film informative and touching. It seems to have a lot to do with her morning her late husband. While a lot of the heavy political parts of the movie seemed a bit rushed, it was necessary to get it all into the film. I liked the film more than I thought I would…but it isn’t my favorite film of the year. But I really did think Meryl Streep was wonderful in the role.StarStarStar

Albert Nobbs Poster{Source}

Another person in contention for Best Actress is Glenn Close in Albert Nobbs. I went to see this film this past Friday and I have to admit I still have mixed feelings about it (which is probably why this review will be so short). It was an interesting story, but I didn’t really expect some of the plot (and I don’t want to give things away). The story itself was kind of sad, and I wasn’t as impressed with the character of Albert as I thought I was hoping to be. I think I was hoping she would be a bit stronger. Glenn Close did a great job as Albert, but I think Janet McTeer was better in her supporting role. Although I’m not sure she looked as much like a man as she could have. The movie was a little odd…a little sad…but interesting. I’d suggest waiting for it on DVD. StarStarStar

Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory Poster{Source}

I wasn’t sure I’d be able to see Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory back when I first posted the list due to my HBO status, but a pal with access DVRed it for me! My other concern about seeing this documentary was the fact that it is the third in a series of documentaries. If you share that concern, not to worry, this third installment does a pretty good job recapping the first two films. The story is actually really interesting. Three boys were killed in the woods near their home in West Memphis, Arkansas in 1993 and the original documentary followed the trial of the 3 teens accused of the murder who became known as the West Memphis 3. The trial of the teens seems to have had some major flaws as did the evidence against them. On top of that, there have been some big changes in forensic science since the first trial. Because of these things there was actually a pretty big movement to get them a new trial after 18 years. This third film is following their last appeal for a new trial. I found the movie to be pretty convincing in its message both about the flaws of the trial but also flaws in our judicial system. After reading a bit about the opposing side I’m not sure I’ve formed a solid opinion about this case in particular…but I found the movie really interesting. I’d highly recommend watching it…but be warned there are some graphic images. StarStarStarStar

Kung Fu Panda 2 Poster

Ending on a light note, this evening I watched the first of two nominated animated feature films on the list; Kung Fu Panda 2. The movie was really cute, and I think it had a great message about finding inner peace with what has happened in the past and appreciating the life you are living now. But I have to say I don’t think it is as impressive as other animated films I’ve seen in years past. Last year’s How to Train Your Dragon was better in my personal opinion. The jokes in this film were a bit too slap stick for me, although I could see them really entertaining kids. Kids would also probably appreciate the fun action scenes. And luckily, it also wasn’t necessary to see the first film to understand or appreciate this film. I liked the movie, but it wasn’t anything spectacular in my opinion. StarStarStar

I have a few more movies to watch and only 6 days left until Oscar night!!! So far I have watched 19 of the 25 movies so I officially beat my number from last year! And I have also seen all of this year’s Best Picture films!! But the mission is not over yet!

Have you seen any of these films? Let me know what you thought of them in the comments! Have you become an “Oscar Snob” yet?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Milo’s Valentine {Wordless Wednesday}

Milo & I got a Valentine’s Day card today and yummy treats from my awesome sisters!!

image3

Thanks Leslie & Linda!!!

Milo & I love the snacks and the card and of course you guys too!!!

image

Happy Belated Valentine’s Day!

Monday, February 6, 2012

The Girl with a Horse Descendant in Paris

I was busy busy busy watching movies this weekend! So let’s get right to it…

War Horse Poster
{Source}

The other night I went to a late showing of War Horse and up until the last minute I thought I might have caught myself a private screening! But just before the theater went dark a couple came in and sat in the back. Ohhhh well…

I thought War Horse was a good movie. Ya know, I used to watch movies about war and feel so bad for the horses that had to go into battle…barely any control over their fate. Well I guess I wasn’t the only one that felt that way because they finally made a movie about it. As expected there were there were sad parts, there were war scenes that were hard to watch, but there were some funny and happy moments as well. There were actually more plot twists than I expected which made for a good story. However I have to say that it was a bit long. There were a few moments where I was convinced the movie was about to end and then something else would happen. I think a few things could have been dropped. I also think there were a few small moments in the film where the story crossed the line of anthropomorphism for me. In general I think they did a good job of not making the horse too human-like…but there were a few scenes where it went just a tiny bit too far for my taste. In general though it was a good movie…but if you aren’t one for long movies I’d wait for it on DVD.StarStarStar

(PS – I spelt anthropomorphism right on the first try…with how bad my spelling is normally…I’m quite proud of that……ya know…sometimes it’s the small things)

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Poster
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Although I haven’t read the book, if you recall the Swedish version of this film was on the list from last year, so I knew a lot of what to expect. I thought it was a bit overwhelming to watch with subtitles last year, but to be honest even in English there are a lot of details to follow in this film. It is like you can tell there are a lot of details in the book they are trying to fit into the film. But it isn’t impossible to follow…and they wind up summing things up at important moments. They mystery is a good one. Be warned there are a few really graphic or and a bit disturbing scenes in the movie but it isn’t a scary film. Rooney Mara definitely deserves her nomination for best actress. I feel like she really lost herself in the character of Lisbeth Salander…who by the way is a pretty kick butt character. You feel for her situation, but you also love the way she gets back at those who have wronged her. The music is also really good…written by the same folks who wrote the music for The Social Network (Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross). I’m actually really surprised that they didn’t get nominated for original score again. I really liked this movie and would recommend it…as long as you can handle a few graphic scenes. StarStarStarStar

The Descendants Poster
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The next day I went to go see what appears to be this year’s frontrunner, The Descendants. This film was a pretty interesting look at loss. As a man figures out how to handle the loss of his wife to a terrible boating accident…he also is forced to deal with the loss of his marriage in a different way than just from death. Meanwhile, he also has to deal with everyone else’s emotions about the loss at the same time…not to mention the fact that the entire state of Hawaii is watching his family as they are about to sell the last bit of land owned by native Hawaiians. In the meantime things are gained…like a closer relationship with his daughters. I think the movie is interesting and George Clooney is good in it. I’m not totally sure what the overwhelming hype is though. Not that I found major problems with it but I didn’t walk away thinking “wow that movie was the best of the year!” I also sort of wondered what the point of the character Sid was. I mean, I understood a little more with the one scene where the main character connected more with him…but I still felt like he was a bit unnecessary. But overall it was a good film…and interesting story at that. It gets a solid 3 stars from me. StarStarStar

Midnight in Paris Poster
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Midnight in Paris was my latest Netflix rental. In the comedy an engaged writer who is in love with 1920s Paris manages to find a way to travel back in time at midnight each night to his favorite decade to meet some of his idols while on a Paris vacation. On his journey he slowly realizes that he and his fiancé may not be right for each other…but at the same time he also learns the importance of not living in the past. I thought this movie was really cute and different. It is definitely worthy of its screenwriting nomination. I enjoyed the movie and the themes. I think Owen Wilson was a tiny bit goofy for my taste but that might just be me. I think they could have made the deterioration of his relationship slightly more subtle…by the end it makes you kind of wonder how the two of them had even gotten together in the first place. But overall I enjoyed the film and think it’s a good one to go see. Full disclosure…I sort of want to give it 3.5 stars...but technically that rounds up to 4 I suppose.StarStarStarStar

Did you see any of the above films yet this year? What was your opinion? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

I’ve got my eye on The Iron Lady and Albert Nobbs coming up…as well as Beginners and Tree of Life…I’ll keep you posted! (And I’ll try to write a post about something other than movies soon too! Winking smile)