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