Do’s and Don’t of the Oscars: 2012 Edition

You won’t find a list of winners here. Just check ever other entertainment blog on the face of the earth. Here we just have the Do’s and Don’ts of the Oscars: 2012 Edition.

Do’s and Don’ts: 2012

  1. Do check your sound. My television couldn’t been the only one with weird audio feedback and sound.
  2. Do let Billy Crystal host every year. Maybe he can switch it on and off with Hugh. Billy does it simple, classic. It might seem boring or safe, but overall he carried the show well. The audience seemed to agree.
  3. Don’t do fun facts before commercial breaks. I don’t care. I don’t like it when you do it during the Emmys so I’m definitely not going to like it during the Oscars.
  4. Do let Emma Stone come on stage more often. She will be my best friend. She was so funny and charming. Not in an obnoxious way either. I thought she and Ben Stiller played very nicely.
  5. Don’t let RDJ do that documentary thing again. I love him, but it was very awkward. Let me say it again, I love him, but don’t let him do that again.
  6. Do switch up your presentation such as Cameron Diaz. She does present like every year. Let her have a little fun. Same for Sandra Bullock. She was Ms. Congeniality, let her speak that German Chinese! Find the right balance. Yes to the ladies. Just let RDJ stand there and be handsome.
  7. Don’t do little jokes that aren’t that funny. Do a test audience on the test audience skit. You can save time. Speaking about time… look to the next one.
  8. Don’t say you’ll end at 11:30. Be honest with yourselves… you always end at 11:40.
  9. Do allow Colin Firth to present all awards. You can’t say no to that face or that voice.
  10. Don’t let there only be two Best Song nominees. Also Do let them perform. It’s more entertaining.
  1. Do play a side game on tumblr or twitter with other fans of an actor.  Benedict Cumberwatch ’12 on tumblr. It was highly entertaining for myself since I’ve just become a fan.
  2. Do make a twitter for Angelina Jolie’s leg. Pretty funny when going through your feed and you see that.



“Beginners”: When do you really begin your life?

How to begin my thoughts about “Beginners?” Well, First… I love Ewan McGregor so I knew I was going to see this film eventually. Second, I love how Mike Mills, director and writer of the film, did this film. Third, who knew Jack Russell terriers added to yet another movie?

“Beginners” made me think of the title of this blog post, when does your life really begin? Oliver Fields played by Ewan McGregor finds out his father played by Christopher Plummer is gay at 75 years old. His mother died five years ago. The father, Hal Fields lived a quiet emotionless life working at a museum. He knew he was gay since 13, but his wife still wanted to marry him because she was going to fix him.

After she dies, Hal comes out and finds there is so much more to his life he never knew. He gets a boyfriend, joins gay buddy groups and seems happier. Oliver, his son is still having trouble coming to grips with it. Oliver is also having issues dealing with his father’s medical condition, cancer.

I said in previous posts how much I hate when films flip back and forth between the past and present, but in this movie, I didn’t mind so much. I actually enjoyed it because then you go to see more of Christopher Plummer and Ewan McGregor’s relationship. You get to see why Oliver is so depressed or has to take Arthur, the jack russell everywhere. Arthur was his father’s dog. Side note: Arthur also likes to talk in subtitles.

The movie is quirky in its own ways. I love when Oliver would describe something like “this is what the sky looked like in 1971” and Mike Mills would throw up a picture of the sky. I think that made it quirkier if that’s possible and unique in its own way. I thought it made a good connection to what Oliver was trying to do… making a picture book of how sadness started.

“Beginners” is about Hal learning to begin his life in such s short time and Oliver is learning to begin his life after his father dies. Oliver lives in the same house, keeps Arthur and tries to have a relationship with Anna, an actress played by  Melanie Laurent.

Christopher Plummer is a nominated for his role and I find him endearing. He is willing to experiment, give it his all. He is also not going to let cancer get him down. However, this could be his greatest fault when he doesn’t tell his much younger boyfriend that he is dying. Andy, the boyfriend played by Goran Visnijc (who I just realized is from E.R.) is afraid that Oliver has not told him because he was gay.

It should come as a no brainer by now, but I love soundtracks and I loved this one. Dave Palmer, Roger Neill and Brian Reitzell did some lovely piano tracks. You can hear one in the trailer with the piano having it’s own personality as Oliver explains his situation.

Oscar Nominations:

  1. Best Actor in a Supporting Role: Christopher Plummer

RDJ + Holmes: awesomeness

After seeing Robert Downey’s Jr’s (RDJ) comeback in Iron Man and Tropic Thunder, it comes as no surprise that Sherlock Holmes did well in the theaters. Besides his good bad boy looks and the way he’s so direct, RDJ plays his characters well. But isn’t that why they pay actors? To play good parts in movies.

Sherlock Holmes, directed by Guy Ritchie, is a film that transports the audience back to the Victorian Times where Sherlock Holmes is the man the police love to hate. Before I begin discussing this film, I must say I have never read any of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s books so I just took it as it was, a movie. If you ask my sister, an avid reader of the Holmes books, she will probably say Ritchie didn’t do a bad job.

The plot is a fun mystery that the auience can see how Holmes works as an eccentric scientist/professor/musician along side with his best friend and almost brother, John Watson played by Jude Law. I likened the plot to the movies “The Illusionist” and “The Prestige” The mystery does get solved by Holmes stating it matter of factly. Richie does a lot of flashbacks of previous events to link it together with Holmes words.

The connection between Watson and Holmes has been likened by RDJ himself as homoerotic. I believe he got in trouble for trying to promote that message, but that’s why we love him.  During the film, I likened it to a Bromance. They are just very good friends who have each others backs. The squabbles between the two of them helped make the film what is was. Ex: “Get that out of my face.” “It’s not in your face, it’s in my hand.”  Holmes and Watson are very protective of one another, for instance when Holmes protects Watson’s reputation as a doctor and vice versa. They just make a good team and RDJ and Law have done their jobs as actors very well.

Now the lovely Rachel McAdams also did her job of becoming the girl that the audience loves to hate, hates to love. She looked fabulous in her wardrobe and was probably the only one who had a hint of color in her outfits. She was the lover that Holmes couldn’t keep away from, but she was also the best in her business, a hired killer. Their relationship kinda reminded me of “Mr. and Mrs. Smith.”  The chemistry between the two I thought was quite fantastic. She liked to trick him, but he liked to trick back. Deep down they cared for each other too much to rat one another out.

One of my favorite moments in the movie was RDJ sitting in the chair in front of a wall, trying to figure out the mystery, that had words written all of them. Maybe it was the stark contrast between the white of the wall and the black writing. Whatever it was, I was a fan of it. My other favorite scene was the fire explosion. I won’t got into details so I don’t spoil anything, but I thought the sound design was fantastic. The sound slowed down and was even muted at one point and then sped up, when Holmes caught his breath. Really catching to the eyes and ears.

The color choices in costume, scenery, art direction,etc had a good theme going. No bright colors. Very dreary greys, browns and whites. It expressed the time period very nicely. Even McAdams’ costumes were in color, but were in dark shades so as not to stand out that much.

The one thing that did bother me was the newspapers. I don’t know why, but it looked like computer paper it was printed on. C’mon Guy Ritchie get some worn looking papers to look old fashion newspapery to me.

Out of the two Oscar nominations it has received, I was very happy to see that one of them was for musical score composed by Hans Zimmer. Now Hans Zimmer’s recent projects have included composing Pirates of the Caribbean 2 & 3, It’s Complicated and the Holiday. If you have listened to the POTC 2 & 3, you might have heard a familiar sound like in “Jack Sparrow”. Other than that the music became it’s own. Zimmer seem to use to his advantage that the Holmes played violin and used a majority of strings in his score. No complaints as I was a former violinist.  The whole sound being very Irishy was also wonderful sounding. It was just a good score. Well done Zimmer.

Overall, Sherlock Holmes brought the adventure, the RDJ, and just good time fun.

Oscar Nominations:

1. Best Achievement in Art Direction: Sarah Greenwood and Katie Spencer

2. Best Achievement in Music: Hans Zimmer

A harsh, but “Precious” truth

Okay so I knew I was coming to the harder movies that wouldn’t be all fun and games. Let’s face it most Oscar movies aren’t full of sunshine and rainbows, it’s hard stuff to watch. So I buckled down to watch Lee Daniel’s film, Precious: based on the Novel Push by Sapphire and let me just say, it makes me realize how happy I am for what I have.

Gabourey Sidibe went to this audition on a whim because her friend told her she had to go. In this movie, I couldn’t tell that this was her first acting job. I thought she was fantastic. I felt for her and I just wanted to watch her kids for her. I was pulled into her tragic world and realized that there are so many families out there just like Precious.

On the other hand, I wanted to hurt the mother character, Mary, that Mo’Nique played. When I watched all the award shows and I saw her winning them, I couldn’t understand why, but after watching Precious, I can totally see why. She had to transform herself into a mother who physically and verbally abused her daughter. She hates her because her boyfriend would rape (Gross and wrong, I know) Precious instead of making love to her. In the end, we found out that her boyfriend started it when Precious was 3. EWWWW!

It’s nice to hear when I read an article that Mo’Nique and Gabourey would laugh in between takes and tried to break the scary tension between the mother and daughter characters.

I wish the teacher, Ms. Blue Rain by Paula Patton, had gotten some kind of nod.  Patton did a phenomenal job of being a teacher and expressing her concern for one of her students. I thought she was fabulous, but  I guess the Oscar nominated committee likes to nominate those actors who undergo a more dramatic change.

Also good to know:  Mariah Carey was the social worker Mr. Weiss, You probably didn’t notice because Lee Daniels tried to make her as natural and harsh looking as possible. Pretty much, no make-up and harsh lighting. Best line from Precious was when she asked Ms. Weiss, “What color are you? Are you Italian or really light skinned black?”  Also Nurse John was played by Lenny Kravitz. I kinda loved him.

In the movie, I loved when Precious would go into her dream world to escape everything. She would be an actress. She would be a singer. She would be a model. She would be anything she wanted to be. There was no mother to bring her down telling her she was dumb or stupid.  There were no issues on juggling school work and worrying about her two kids. She was just being herself. She was precious.

Side note: 19 movies to go!

Oscar Nominations:

1. Best Female Actor: Gabourey Sidibe

2. Best Supporting Female Actor: Mo’Nique

3. Best Director: Lee Daniels

4. Best Picture

5. Best Achievement in Editing:  Joe Klotz

6. Best Screenplay:  Geoffrey Fletcher

Oscar Goal

So here’s the deal. The Oscars are in 26 days. If you know that, then keep reading. If you don’t, keep reading. It’ll be an interesting experience.

Oscars are not some over rated award show, well at least not to me. This time I’m taking it very seriously and by serious I mean watching every movie that is nominated. Not just for best pictures, but even the ones nominated for sound editing and supporting male actor. Say what? Keep reading, here’s the list.

1. Julie and Julia

2. Avatar

3. The Blind Side

4. District Nine

5. An Education

6. The Hurt Locker

7. Inglorious Basterds

8. Precious

9. A Serious Man

10. Up

11. Up in the Air

12. Crazy Heart

13. Invictus

14. The Messenger

15. The Lovely Bones

16. The Last Station

17. Nine

18. Coraline

19. Fantastic Mr. Fox

20. The Princess and the Frog

21. The Secret of Kells

22. Imaginarium of  Dr. Parnassus

23. Sherlock Holmes

24. Young Victoria

25. White Ribbon

26. Harry Potter and the Halfblood Prince

27. Bright Star

28. Coco Before Chanel

29. Star Trek

30. II Divo

Side notes:

– slashes mean I’ve seen it.

– I didn’t include the Foreign films because I think they will be too hard to get my hands on.

– Movies left to see: 12/30

– Movies that I see will be reviewed.

Good luck me!