It’s gonna be tough to skip away from Awards Season at this point, especially with Golden Globes nominations on Thursday, (I’ll be blogging that morning with reactions, btw). I’ll make every effort to do it, sorry in advance if this blog gets too bogged down in silly awards that consider themselves a precursor to Oscar success, but in reality they’re just blips on the radar that won’t mean much.
My head’s gonna start spinning any day now thinking about all the movies I want/need to see over the next two months to competently put together a decent top 20 movie list. Right now, it stinks. Even the superhero movies that I usually consider top 20 fringe-worthy aren’t making the cut this year since they weren’t very good. Anyway, my favorite place of the year to find a guide for watching movies I need to see before the Oscars is now online, a compilation of every major critics’ top 10 list of the year. In the top 15 Tuesday morning, there are only four movies that haven’t been released yet around here (The Artist; A Separation; Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and War Horse). Everything else is available in one way or another right now. Six already are on DVD or OnDemand (Margin Call). So it’s a pretty good year to find available DVD titles.
Metacritic also has a pretty good compilation set up of every major critics group award that’s been given out so far. These are the ones that will drive you nuts if you’re trying to keep up with what you want to see because a new one comes out every week. One of these years I’m going to start a Pocono Film Critics Association just so once a year, our group could get the headlines on every site when we release our awards. That would rule. If someone steals my idea, just please include me in this group.
Looks like that top 15 is going to change pretty soon with the hipsters at AV Club releasing their top 15 lists of the year. Yes, you’re going to have to Google a couple of these movies to know what they are. A couple of these were already on my must-see list (Drive, The Future, Martha Marcy May Marlene, Meek’s Cutoff), but I hadn’t heard of about four of them. And that’s why they’re hipsters.
One hit my top 20 took last night was Tree of Life, which I don’t think I’ll be comfortable putting in my top 20 since I 1. didn’t understand all the metaphors and symbolism 2. didn’t care for the ones I did understand and 3. fought the urge to fall asleep 67 times over two nights of two hours and 12 minutes of movie time. Basically, it’s an auteur version of The Great Santini. If I get the Blu-ray, I’m wondering if there is a deleted scene with Brad Pitt chucking a basketball at Sean Penn’s head. Terrence Malick has always been difficult for me to get through. No doubt the guy is an artist with a camera, no one is debating that. But If I go to an art gallery, the beauty of most of the exhibits is lost on me. That’s kinda how I feel about Malick. He’s an artist, but his vision is lost on me. Tree of Life is particularly frustrating because it left two of my three biggest questions unanswered: How did the family finally get rich, and how did one of the three sons die? At least they told us which of the kids died. If they didn’t, I would have been talking with Blockbuster customer service and checking the “movie was never delivered” box so they wouldn’t charge me after I threw the disc in the garbage.
Nothing in Hollywood is ever an accident. Repeat: nothing. Lindsay Lohan posing for Playboy wasn’t an accident, it was a calculated move to convert people back to thinking “Wow, she’s hot!” instead of “Wow, she’s a train wreck of a crazy person!” Her cover photo leak wasn’t really a leak, it was her PR team trying to get the jump on Playboy, and turning one week of Lohan hysteria into two weeks. When the leak of the cover photo wasn’t generating the necessary heat, Team Lohan gave Playboy the finger and just leaked all the pics online, pretty much guaranteeing that Lohan will never get another photo spread in any magazine higher than Cat Fancy. We won’t know whether all these “leaks” accomplished anything for a couple months here, but if the next Lohan announcement you hear is “Lohan to star in local theater production of Freaky Friday,” then you can safely assume the photo spread did nothing.
You know what else isn’t an accident? Beating the dead horse’s carcas of a franchise into the ground. That means you, Mike Myers and Austin Powers. Is this really how it’s going to go for the next couple years? To drain every red cent from a franchise, Broadway producers are going to start putting on adaptive plays? Since Turn Off the Dark went so well, sure, why not? And are Hollywood writers, with the success of Book of Mormon, start turning to Broadway when they can’t get their sequel off the ground? It’s all just very, very .. yucky. Broadway snobs must be going out of their minds over Hollywood’s invasion.
For those of you like me that are upgrading to Blu-ray this Christmas season, here’s a list of supposedly essential Blu-ray sets. Other than Pulp Fiction and Memento, it doesn’t seem very essential. Don’t be fooled by stuff like this. I have “essential” DVD sets of Die Hard, X-Men and Indiana Jones that replaced my essential VHS sets and are now eventually going to be replaced with Blu-ray sets. And that sucks rocks. How much money do movie studios think we have? So I’m no longer replacing anything that’s in my collection at the time or an upgrade. I’m pretty sure I replaced about 20 VHS movies for DVDs, but I’m not replacing any DVDs for Blu-ray. I can’t afford it, and since Blu-rays play regular DVDs, I’m fine with that. OK, that’s not completely true, I’m already on track to replace Pulp Fiction from DVD to Blu-ray. But that’s it, I swear. In about five years, there will be 3-D DVD players, and five years after that there will be hologram players … it’s not going to stop. So I’m only getting new releases on Blu-ray, or movies I’ve always meant to get on DVD (Superbad, Something About Mary, The Wrestler and Inglorious Basterds come immediately to mind).