the award season kickoff

Sniff around. Go ahead, take a big whiff. Can you smell it in the air?

Awards season!

It gets underway in full tomorrow when the Golden Globe nominations are announced — we’ll have a full breakdown here by about 121 a.m. tomorrow — so here’s a good primer to get it started:

looking forward to watching it again over the holidays to see if it was as funny as i thought it was in the theaters.

looking forward to watching it again over the holidays to see if it was as funny as i thought it was in the theaters.

The AFI released its listof top 10 movies and top 10 TV shows of the year. They’re not in any kind of order. Since I’m way behind on my movie-watching and have only been to the movies, I believe, five times this year — wait, lemme think, Inglourious Basterds, Harry Potter, Whip It, Wolverine and The Hangover, yeah, five — and I’m kinda behind on my DVD list, I’ve only seen two of the movies on the top 10. Sugar is the other, and that will most likely end up in my top 10 of the year. So will Hangover.

It’s an interesting TV list, though I immediately scanned to make sure three shows — Mad Men, Friday Night Lights and Glee — were on there. They were the three best shows on TV this year and the only shows I’d be disappointed about if they didn’t make it. I like the nod to Party Down. I’ve only seen two episodes of the Starz comedy, but thought they were both hysterical and I’ll be renting the DVDs as soon as they’re out. The only thing I strongly disagree with is No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, I didn’t think that was very good at all and it’s taking up Rescue Me’s spot. Or Sons of Anarchy.

If you haven’t seen Sugar, you should. And if you’re a baseball fan, you shouldn’t be allowed to watch a game next year until you watch Sugar. I had my honeymoon in the Dominican Republic, and after seeing how people live there, and then flying back into Miami, my first thought was, “How does an 18-year-old kid from there not get immediate culture shock and run back home?” I had it, and I was gone for five days. Apparently other people thought the same thing, because that’s the basis for Sugar. You don’t know how many baseball careers were completely ruined by complete and utter culture shock.

the first of many snubs?

the first of many snubs?

The notable loss from the AFI movie list is Avatar— and let’s all hope that’s the start of the snubs. OK, maybe I’m the only one hoping that. But I’m getting more and more angry as Friday’s opening approaches. I still say you can’t make your own hype, it should be made without your consent or prodding. Avatar is brazenly flaunting that supposition. It’s like you can’t give yourself a nickname, someone has to give it to you. The worst crime is the recent TV trailers that claim “movies will never be the same.” It was bad enough when James Cameron was saying that all by himself, but now I have to hear it from a TV commercial? I’m running from this movie like Usain Bolt. Although the early reviews are telling me I possibly should reconsider that.

No such luck on getting an Avatar snub from the Critics’ Choice Movie Awards— it’s up for best picture. There is a bright side to that, as Inglourious Basterds — my current and very strong #1 — got a best pic nom.

If you’re looking to catch up on your movie watching, it’s about to get easier. Metacritic has started posting its list of critics top 10 lists, with the first addition to the list Time Magazine’s Richard Corliss, who routinely throws in a movie you’ve never heard of, seemingly on purpose just to make you feel inferior. That’s Of Time and City this year. On the bright side, he reminded me that Thirst is available on DVD, and it’s now at the top of my Blockbuster queue. Love me some Park Chan-wook. Peter Travers of Rolling Stone also put out his top 10 list, but since Rolling Stone continues to live up to its reputation as the worst Web site ever created, I can’t find his list. Precious was #1, I remember that.

From the more immediate movie news — Princess and the Frog took #1. But only $25 million? Disney is taking a hit this holiday season, A Christmas Carol will be very lucky to make it to $200 million, the movie’s production budget. And starting this Avatar Weekend, every one’s gross will be down. Has it come to that? We have to call it “Avatar Weekend”? Yeah, probably. I’m dying for it only to make $50 million, but $120 million is probably more like it.

Call me crazy, but I’m probably going to be watching more golf now that Tiger is taking a break. Golf fans can use a break from hims anyway, this is kinda like a Tiger enema. This will clean out the system. Now I just need to know one thing — is it safe to pick him anywhere for season fantasy golf pools like mine? I’m thinking of picking him in a repeat at Firestone in August. Figure by then he’ll be a safe bet.

just make another jay and silent bob movie, ok?

just make another jay and silent bob movie, ok?

Maybe Kevin Smith should just stop trying to make up funny, envelope-pushing titles. Zack and Miri Make a Porno had to be shortened to Zack and Miri, and now A Couple of Dicks, the Bruce Willis cop comedy, is being changed to Cop Out. Yeah, there’s no difference, but you just know that Smith is going to use this to rail against how pathetic it is in Hollywood, and how they won’t let artists work, and blah, blah, blah. That title didn’t stand a chance, and he knew it.

Thought I would nail this Nick Cage hairdo test, but only got seven out of 10. I feel validated though that I didn’t get Next.

As long as we’re talking about Nick Cage, I got sucked into Adaptation on Sundance last week. I don’t think it would be my #1 movie of the 2000s, but it deserves to be awfully, awfully close. And it is emblematic of the decade for one big reason that I’m finding when I’m doing my own best of the decade lists — it doesn’t have a genre. The movie is a riot. For the first 1:45, you can’t go more than five minutes without laughing out loud. It has one of my funniest lines of the decade — “My genre’s thriller, what’s yours?” But with all those laughs, there isn’t a person on the planet who would consider it a comedy. So when you talk about the best comedies of the decade, do you include it? The answer is no, and that’s the problem with The Aughts. It’s movies are largely unclassifiable. That’s actually a good thing because it means filmmakers are taking more chances, trying to make movies without constraints, but it means the general public has to rethink what they know about movies, and most people aren’t ready to do that. Even the trailer is still funny.

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