Monday, February 27, 2012

The 84th Annual Academy Awards

"Nothing can take the sting out of the world's economic situation like watching millionaires present themselves with golden statues," Billy Crystal said.  It is Crystal's ninth time hosting the Academy Awards and he did it again.  His jokes were funny and he had a few burns on some actors without being all Ricky Gervais.   Jonah Hill's recent weight loss was poked fun at when Crystal made a Hill reference and then joked, "Their serving cupcakes after the show."  Poor Jonah and Moneyball didn't even win one award.

 The first two awards went to Hugo for cinematography and Artistry, presented by Tom Hanks.  Octavia Spencer won Best Supporting Actress for her role in The Help.  Once she was finally able to crawl up on stage because of her awkward gown dimensions she gave her emotional speech and then said, "I'm freaking out," and left the stage the best she could.  Crystal gave tribute to the film addressing the problem of slavery in the south: "After watching The Help I wanted to hug the first black lady I saw, which from Beverly Hills is about a 45 minute drive."
Best Supporting Actor was Christopher Plummer in Beginners and Crystal couldn't hold back from commenting.  "The average age of the (Oscar) winners has now jumped to 67," Crystal said after Plummer gave his speech. 

In the middle of the biggest award ceremony "on the planet," as stated by Crystal, the Cirque Du Soleil gave an incredible performance.  Acrobats were swinging from the ceiling in every direction they even stood on chairs, on their hands of course, in the audience.  The back handed flips were done so gracefully and at the end of the grand performance everyone watching had their jaws dropped. 

Meryl Streep won her third Oscar after being nominated 17 times it was finally her time once again.  Perhaps it is the golden gown that brought her the good luck.  In 1982 when Streep won her first Oscar she also wore a similar golden gown. 

And Best Leading Actor goes to...Jean DuJardin (The Artist)?  For real Brad Pitt couldn't win an Oscar bummer, but there's always next year.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Descendants

Why is it that when someone is on their death bed or actually dead we then feel the need to make things right with our families and friends? 
Matt King, Scottie and Alexandra with friend Sid

 Life can happen in an instant.  One minute you are about to cross the street and then the next minute you are plowed down by a tractor trailer.  A little graphic, but it makes my point.  Our time on this earth is short even if we live to be a hundred, it all happens instantaneously.  Why not live as if our time on this earth was up.  No body is perfect, but we should at all costs cherish the moments that we have with our loved ones now and forgive as if our life depended on it.  You never know when you might say good-bye to someone for the last time.

The Descendants is a story about a husband and wife who lost each other somewhere down the road of life.  George Clooney (Matt King) became too busy to make time for his wife and two girls until his wife went into a coma from a tragic boating accident.  The family especially little Scottie (Amara Miller), Clooney's youngest daughter, waits in anticipation for their loved one to awake until they discover her dying wishes.  She does not want to be plugged into a machine just to be kept alive, but she wants to die. 

At this moment Clooney realizes his daughter who is away in an institution needs to come see her mom so she can say good-bye.  While Clooney tries to reunite with his daughters he finds out his wife was cheating on him before the accident.  As she lies dying in a white hospital bed Clooney goes and confronts the man who helped ruin his marriage. 

For me this was all too close to the crap that happens in real life.  I watch movies to be entertained and maybe laugh a little, but this movie was emotionally painful to watch.  When I go see a movie I like to forget about life's problems for just a little while not driven to depression.  Director Alexander Payne filmed The Descendants in a very unique way by showing each characters personal struggle with losing their wife, thier mom, their friend and their daughter.  But I'm not sure who really wants to go watch somone dying for 115 minutes.  I left the theatre feeling drained and hopeless I do not recommend this film to anyone unless you like to watch people suffering, that's your call.

Artistically depressing

Rated: R

115 minutes

Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Vow

It is impossible to know where life will take you.  Destiny is something we are often afraid of because we don't know what the future holds.  But life and destiny have a way of working themselves out; they bring you to the future you never imagined.

 It is in "moments of impact," as stated by Leo (Channing Tatum) that define who we will become.  The moments that leave you in tears or the moments you laugh so hard you cry and forget everything, for a moment. 

Love is powerful.  It changes everything.  People search forever just trying to find the one person who they were destined to be with.  The Vow is a story about two people who were destined for each other.  No matter what obstacles get in the way, their love for one another ultimately determines their future.

Paige (Rachel McAdams) has lost her memory after surviving severe brain injuries that has caused her to forget her husband or any memories of her present life.  She is searching for her identity, but she didn't know that in order to find herself she needs to let go of her past. 
This movie teaches an important lesson:  The future can be brighter than we ever dreamed of, but it comes at a cost, we must let go of the past.  An amazing true love story based on a real life event that leaves you inspired to keep believing for your dreams. 

A great movie to see for Valentine's Day! I think for a first date this movie may be a little heavy, but for those who have been together through good times and bad can appreciate the beauty of this love story. The Vow is romantic, but the brevity of Paige's struggle to regain her memory after a car accident is very depressing.  In the end this fairytale comes together and you are left captivated by Leo and Paige's story.

Tear Jerker

Rated: PG-13

104 minutes

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

One for the Money

Stephanie Plum (Katherine Heigel) is looking to start a new life.  Her lingerie managing days are over as well as her married life and her dream car has now been repossessed.  Only six months of procrastination and Plums ready to get a job.  The only job available where she can make a lot of money upfront is working for her cousin vinny as a bounty-hunter.

As Plum thumbs through the records of wanted people she comes across a report on Joe Marelli (Jason O'Mara) who's now worth $50,000 on wanted charges.  Of course Marelli is the same man that left Plum high and dry after a one time trist in high school.  She wants the $50,000 and she wants revenge on Marelli.  Only time will tell for these two, so the love story goes.

Katherine Heigel did an awesome job playing a tough as nails bounty-hunter yet mainting her femininity.  As a born- and- raised jersey girl I can personally tell you she played the part flawless.  To the accent, to the attitude and even the wardrobe she was 100% jersey.  If your a woman who loves a good romantic comedy you'll enjoy One for the Money.  It's cute and witty and Heigel's character is someone almost every girl can identify with you don't even have to be from jersey to understand, although it helps. 

I thought the movie could have been better with more background information to Plum's life before she was a bounty-hunter, but over all it was a good solid chick flick.  A movie both mom and daughter, friends, or sisters can go see and get a good laugh.

Cute & Witty

Rated: PG-13

90 minutes