Sunday, February 27, 2011

My Oscar recap...

I was tempted to update my facebook status through the Oscars, but that's annoying. So I saved all my snarky comments for my blog. I'm a little bummed that Anne Hathway and James Franco are lame hosts, but I'm glad some of my faves won. Here's my recap...

- Melissa Leo, just because Russell Brand is presenting, this is not the MTV VMAs. Please don't curse at the Oscars!
- Kirk Douglas should make a film with Betty White.
- There was a really sappy commercial for cat food. A guy built a room for a cat and proposed to girl. I need to meet someone who would build a room for Penny.
- I thought Night & Day would win Best Animated Short, because it was before Toy Story. I like Jake Gyllenhall's comments: See short films and increase your Oscar pool chances!
- Yay Christian Bale! So weird to hear him speak in his own accent. He definitely doesn't sounds like Batman.
- Why did Anne Hathaway need to sing that ode to Hugh Jackman? At least James Franco looked funny in a dress.
- When I think of Social Network, it's not for the score. Trent Reznor winning an Oscar -> weird.
- Zack Levi from Chuck is singing with Mandy Moore. Songs from cartoons always look out of place on the stage. (Except for Randy Newman's songs)
- All these lines sound like someone on FB wrote them. "Congrats nerds." "That's gross."
- Randy Newman and the King's Speech writers gave my favorite speeches.
- I like the auto tune clip better than the song performances.
- The death reel made me cry because I can't stand Celine Dion!
- Too bad they didn't bring back Billy Crystal and Bob Hope to host for real.
- Glad to see Inception winning technical awards. I loved that movie.
- Best director goes to the King's Speech director Tom Hooper.... I thought Fincher had it in the bag for Social Network. I didn't pay attention to the speech because I was playing bejeweled d'oh!
- I always like the Thalberg award presentation - too bad that got cut out.
- Sooooooo glad they got rid of the 5 actors presenting the other actors. I want to see clips! I guess it's not so bad having Jeff Bridges making these comments.
- I did not recognize Michelle Williams. Nice hair cut.
- Congrats Natalie Portman! That dress is lovely!
- Maybe Sandra Bullock should host the Oscars? She's funny.
- And the Oscar goes to Colin Firth!!!!! Yay! Good night for two of my favorite British actors!
- I wonder how my times Anne Hathaway "whooo"-ed during the show?
- I like this best picture montage. I've seen all these movies!
- And the King's Speech beats the Facebook movie!!! And it's only 11:36.
- These kids singing Somewhere Over the Rainbow are kinda cute. Nice to see all the winners on stage. And there's one last whooo from Anne.

I'm done talking about movies for now! Even if you didn't watch the Oscar or don't care about them, I'll leave you with one of my favorite stories from the awards season. It's about a former actress who became a nun, but is still a member of the Academy. It's got a great headline: Mother Dolores Hart: The Nun Who Kissed Elvis

Make that 10!

Netflix came through for me and sent the Social Network. So I'm even more excited about the Oscars tomorrow. I will say I think the Facebook movie was a lot better than I expected it to be. Jesse Eisenberg was great and so was Justin Timberlake - they were both kind of douchey. But I think my Facebook feed has more drama. It was a lot sitting around at computers or in depositions. I did like the writing and how the story unfolded, but I don't think it was my favorite movie of the ten. My money's still on the King's Speech.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

From my bookshelf

My friend Tania recently blogged about what she's reading, so I thought I'd share what's on my nightstand/iPod these days.

The Girl With Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest: I finally finished the last book in the Millennium series by Stieg Larrson., which wraps up the adventures of Lisbeth Salander. She’s probably one of the most interesting, bizarre female characters in literature. While these books are page turners with great action and twists, the writing is kind of awkward. I wonder if something got lost in the translation. There’s a lot of techno babble and a few things that are hard to believe, but I think Lisbeth makes it worth the read.

A Game of Thrones: This is one I’ve been working on for awhile. I love myths and fantasty, so I love this story already set in an eerie kingdom, warring families, magic, backstabbing , legends and all that good stuff. It’s told from the points of view of multiple narrators, so the chapters are short and it’s been easy to read a bit at a time. But I do want to get it done before the HBO series based on it starts.

The Titan’s Curse: I am hooked on the Percy Jackson series. They are quick reads and I think the writing is pretty witty, mixing lots of references to Greek mythology and pop culture.

Middlemarch: I’ve always wanted to read this book, so I downloaded the audiobook version. I love how it had all the romance and quirky characters of a Jane Austen novel. But George Elliot tells a lot more about the politics of society of the time. I loved the characters – and there are a lot of them who live in and around Middlemarch – and all that gossiping. It’s a bit long, and some of the politics can get a little dull, but I love how it all ties together in a way that 19th century English novels always seem to do.

Vanity Fair: After Middlemarch, I wanted to listen to another long British novel and I picked this one since I liked the movie version with Reese Witherspoon. And I love this one already. I love the narrator’s tone and the subtitle “A Novel without a Hero.” So while this has the same mix of social and history as Middlemarch, there’s revelry in the characters who would have been villains in Austen or Elliot. And that makes this book a whole lot more fun!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Looking for the bright side

Hola, my friends. I'm home early tonight because I'm working midshifts this week. We have been busy, busy, busy. We've got to convert all of our typefaces to a corporate-wide standard and design pages for a quarterly magazine, on top of the usual daily calamity.

But we're also kind of sad because one of our co-workers passed away. He had been sick with cancer for awhile now and in and out of work for the past few months. But he was one of the few people who could make everyone left and kept our spirits up, no matter what we were all up against or what he was going through . I'm going to miss him.

In spite of all this, I'm trying really hard not to be such a grouch lately. Even my scrapping is grumpy ...

Think happy thoughts. That's what I keep telling myself!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Nine out of ten ain't bad

You probably know I love movies. I go as often as I can and I always seem to be catching up on Netflix. I love the awards season the way a football fanatic loves the playoffs. I love reading up on the predictions and odds before the Academy Awards.

This year, I’ve seen nine out of ten of the nominees for Best Picture, which is a new record for me. If Netflix can get me the Social Network in the next week, maybe I’ll get to see them all before Oscar night.

Here’s what I thought of the other nine…

Black Swan. Really great performance by Natalie Portman, and also by Mila Kunis, Winona Rider and Barbara Hershey. But it was all so disturbing and I’m not sure I got the ending. Hershey was the creepiest mother I’ve ever seen. I really appreciated all the work that went into the ballet scenes, which were really lovely. My sister and I joked about how the classical music from Swan Lake reminded us of all the cartoons we watched as kids.

The Fighter. I loved Christian Bale so much I didn’t care that much about the rest of the characters. Except for all those sisters – they were such a hoot. The girl fight was probably my favorite bout in the boxing movie. Melissa Leo gets second place for creepiest mom in a movie this year (third goes to Mother Gothel in Tangled!).

Inception. This movie blew my mind. I really loved the crazy dream with in a dream stuff, even if I didn’t understand how it all worked. Leo, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard and Tom Hardy were awesome in it. And the turning hallway scene is really cool, Christopher Nolan is really just brilliant.

The Kids Are All Right. Everyone’s been raving about Annette Benning in this movie, but I really loved Julianne Moore’s character. I loved the family dynamic and how it all comes undone. And how can you not adore Mark Ruffallo. I thought it was all just sweet and funny, with a nice touch of awkwardness and dysfunction.

The King’s Speech. I’d put my money on this one for best picture. Everything about it was spectacular. Colin Firth is amazing. I love his bad temper, how sweet he is with his daughters, how torn he is about his brother. And he’s just funny on top of all that. The scenes where he’s working with Geoffrey Rush are hilarious as are his cursing rants. Plus it’s all posh and proper and British and I love that stuff!

127 Hours. There were a few points in this movie where I really thought I was going to puke. There were also a lot of parts where I wish I had a fast forward button. But that doesn’t mean it was bad or anything. It takes a strong stomach to sit through a movie about a guy who was stuck in a hole for hours and had to cut off his own arm. Luckily, that guy is played with James Franco who is charming and funny even in a horrible crisis.

Toy Story 3. I admit, I still have a few toys that I’ve had since I was a baby. I cried a few times during this one. I loved all the new characters and the adventures Woody, Buzz and the others face. And I was even really worried several times. It just goes to show how great Pixar is at creating characters and telling a story. I bought this movie on DVD, but I haven’t watched it again yet. I don’t want to cry again!

True Grit: Another really great one. I loved the cast. I was very impressed by Hailee Steinfeld, and of course, Jeff Bridges makes a great reluctant hero. Matt Damon was a big goof ball. I loved the Coen brothers’ usual touches, from the witty lines to quirky characters.

Winter’s Bone: This was a really dark movie that I just saw on DVD. I’m glad it wasn’t long because the story of a girl trying to keep her family together was pretty heartbreaking. The family lives in a backwoods town and they are about to lose everything if they can’t find their meth dealer father. She goes on a search through even trashier parts of town. This movie probably gets the creepiest family award because all these people seem to be related. And I’ll just say they are all pretty horrible. Hard to watch, but there are some really good performances.

So what are you favorite movies and who do you think will win best picture? Did you get to see any of them? I want to know!