Friday, February 26, 2016

Final Oscar Predictions: Jackson Pollock Would Throw Up His Hands in Despair, or: Wait, Seriously, What?

In honor of the anarchic, footloose and fancy-free spirit the Oscars have been so sassily slipping into our drinks this season, I'm just going to spin in mad circles around my room for a few minutes instead of typing up predictions. It'll be like that scene from The Fall, except in this version everyone ends up on the floor crying.

I was lying. I'm not going to do that. I'm so sorry. The point, however, is this--this awards season has plunged forward like a well-intentioned but woefully under-qualified golden retriever trying to pilot a nuclear submarine. It's fun in theory, but in reality is going to destroy the lives of so, so many people. So instead of trying to plot where Karl Barx (the captain of said nuclear submarine) is going to end up, we're going to just sort of ramble for a few pages. Fun for the whole family!

(Once more, without snark--I honestly have no idea what I'm doing here. Dat Academy be wack.)

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Best of 2015, part 5: My Dream Oscar Ballot

And here's the *actual* end of lists for the year--not for posts (still one more doozy careening down the pike), but for tossing superlatives at movies like confetti out of a malfunctioning cannon. So here's the deal--just for posterity, I'll list my nominees in each category in alphabetical order, sans commentary, with the winners in bold. For extra amusement and education, I'll put an asterisk next to the movies that the Academy also nominated. As always, there's not too much overlap: the most similar categories were Visual Effects, Cinematography, and Sound Editing (both 4/5), and neither Supporting Actor nor Original Song had any nominees in common.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Best of 2015, part 4: Craft Categories

And as quickly as we found each other, now we have to let go. I know. It's hard. I'm going to cry in a train station, David Lean style, as soon as I'm done writing this, and I only hope you're going to stare moodily out your window and listen to John Grant crooning at you. (Those were Brief Encounter and Weekend jokes, by the way.) (Because they're both about people who--. You know what? Just go watch those movies. Seriously. Do that right now. I'll wait right here.) This is my last big list post until I slither back into the shadows until February 2017. Wackiness. Today, I'm going to tackle all of the most fun categories, aka the categories no casual movie goer enjoys! Oh happy day! So before I whisper something into your ear and then get in a taxi, leaving you to wander Tokyo (Lost in Translation. Keep up.), let's spend a few more happy moments together while I try and come up with exciting new ways to describe sound editing.

(I've included definitions for a few categories, in case you're not too positive to which craft each is referring.)

Monday, February 22, 2016

Best of 2015, part 3: Directing/Screenplays

Here's the deal, fellow humans: I understand that by asking you read this I am tacitly agreeing to being generally funny and entertaining, and I want to try very hard to do that, but it's been a long, long, long day. So I will do my best to be funny, but I might end up breaking down halfway through and just burying my sleepy little eyes in cupcakes instead. I probably ought to just write this tomorrow when my eyes aren't literally falling out of my head, but this list series is like a shark; it keeps moving forward or else Henry Winkler sneaks up and jumps it with a jet-ski. (That was a Happy Days joke, because nothing is more topical than talking about the Fonz.)

So we beat on, boats against the current, born back ceaselessly into lists of movies I liked. (That was Gatsby. I think for my next trick I'll make a Gilgamesh joke.) Today I'm just going to deal with three categories (see above, re: eyes, falling out of head), the three which I am contractually obligated to say are the ones I've always dreamed about failing at: directing and screenplays!

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Best of 2015, part 2: Acting Categories

Actors are weird. Funny, I just had this conversation today, and it's worth re-hashing--actors are weird. They flounce around and toss breakaway glass at fake walls and sometimes they pretend to bugs into their ears or something. And then we all gather around and watch and say catty things about how you can totally see the pregnancy she's hiding, the filthy trollop. And then I have to come here and write things about pretty people, and life is so hard you guys. So let's do our best to write about pretty people. It's a rough job, but someone's gotta do it. Y'know, instead of doing my *actual* job today. I too make sacrifices for my art. Which means I should probably win an Oscar next weekend (I am so sick of The Revenant's Oscar campaign. If Elizabeth Taylor could see this she'd never stop throwing up.)

Anyhow, I will attempt to wax effusive about a gaggle of interesting pretty people who made funny faces in a movie once, and we'll all be better for it. I'll link to Youtube videos when possible so as to prove that the movies I'm talking about aren't ones I made up.

Check it all out after the jump!

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Best of 2015, Part 1: Top 20, Zen Awards

I have a rule about tattoos. I'd love to get one, but I'm always terrified that the idea I have in the moment is never one I'll want to have on my body in 10 years. And as such, I stick to the following standard--if I come up with a tattoo idea I love, I'll allow myself to get it if I still think it's a great idea in five years' time. And as of yet I remain tattoo-less.

Well perhaps I ought to be tattooing a numbers and titles and silly awards onto my forehead, because this season marks the 10th anniversary of tossing Oscar predictions and best of the year lists out into the gaping internet abyss. Which is kind of astounding, really--I'm not sure there's anything else in my entire life I've been able to manage to do consistently for a decade. There's something wonderfully cathartic about taking all of my favorite (and not so favorite) movie memories from the past year, hashing them out in an hours-long frenzy of tenuous metaphors and breathtaking abuse of adverbs, and then placing them all carefully in my past. It's a lovely little thing to do, and I love that I get to do it. And I'm also perplexed that you all click on these links to slog through the giant wall of text I'm about to inflict on you. So thanks for that. I'm not going to try and improve on my rant from last year in which I extolled the various virtues of watching slasher movies with strangers (here it is in case you're curious), but I stand by the sentiment--to bastardize a Truffaut quote, I'm interested in either the joy or the agony of loving the movies; there's no in-between. And I hope that I'm still writing these silly little lists 10 years into the future, because for better or worse, this combination of movie love and neurosis is probably my personality's defining element. So hooray!

Now let me tell you about my favorite butts in the movies this year. (You think I'm joking? Stay tuned. The suspense will figuratively kill you.)

So here's the tried and true format: I'll kick things off with a joe (Joe?)-average top 20 list, followed by the annual Zen awards (themselves followed by my annual 'oh God I desperately need a new title for my Awards' awards). So if you can stay hearty and slog through 20 blurbs about movies you may or may not have seen, I will reward you the movie-blogging equivalent of flips, cartwheels, and throwing fruit at passers-by. Oh happy day! See it in glorious 70 mm after the jump.