Thursday, 19 February 2009

My Week in Film - Last Push Before Oscar Night


I'm in the last dash attempt to catch up with Oscar nominated films before the big day on Sunday. Breaking with tradition and posting midweek as I want to get my thoughts out there before the awards on Sunday. Enjoy the update!

For films available on DVD I caught up with Kung Fu Panda and Tropic Thunder. I really enjoyed Kung Fu Panda, in part it was so beautiful on my new TV I almost wanted to cry but also the story was much sweeter and inspiring than I had expected. I thought it would be all jokes and silliness, which there was lots of and it was fun, but it had a lot of heart. Tropic Thunder had, not so much heart unless you consider of the blowing up variety. I'm still surprized I watched it at all because it held no interest to me but it certainly had entertaining meta commentary of the film industry. I also have to admit, that Robert Downey Jr. was phenomenal. There, I've admitted it. That makes 2 more films for the vault. Big thank you to my sister Jamie & her honey for lending them to me!

I also trekked out to the theatre on the new 'Family Day' holiday for a triple bill! I saw two of the biggie Oscar nominations: Milk and Frost/Nixon. It's interesting that there are both historical, Americana, issue-focused and set in the 1970's. I enjoyed both of them but have to say that Frost/Nixon showed too much of the good stuff in the previews. Milk definitely touched the crowd and I was very impressed with the performance by Sean Penn. It was great to see pretty substantial houses for both the films, people are getting out there! Yay!

I can't say so much for the other film in the triple bill: Friday the 13th (2009). Oh my. I don't know why I went or what I was expecting but it was ... well to be fair it was a slasher film. I expected more, who knows why! It was a really quiet house, about 10 folks in there at the noon-ish screening and 2 of them walked out.

Other non-Oscar films that fit my screen were Johnnie To's Sparrow (now struck off my owned but unseen list!) which was very sweet. It's the first Johnnie To film I've seen and I'd hazard a guess that sweet & quirky isn't his usual style but it worked very well. Nothing like a group of misfit pickpockets to brighten the day. Last but not least, only because Friday the 13th takes that cake, was Never Back Down. As I expected this teen fight-clubesque film is a testosterone in training version of a dance movie. If I had more time I would to a side-by-side comparison to Never Back Down and Step Up 2: The Streets because they are so similar.

I am planning on seeing The Curious Case of Benjamin Button before the Oscar ceremony on Sunday night to round out seeing all the Best Picture nominees. How are you doing on Oscar nominations seen?

I'll be live tweeting through the Oscars and will also drop by the chat over at Row Three. Feel free to join the fun!


Suzie Ridler said...

I loved Kung Fu Panda! It had heart, you're so right. The spirituality in particular was wonderful. My guy loved it of course.

I saw Tropical Thunder in the movie theatre, needed something non-emotional to watch and agree. RD Jr. was great, I just love him.

I was the journalist who actually interviewed Nixon and he made me want to watch that movie, I'll definitely be renting that one in the future.

I saw The International which was OK. I don't get why people love Clive Owen so much, again, he was OK. I really want to see Coraline next!

Trista DeVries said...

I'm not doing so hot on the Best Pic front I think. I saw all but two and those are the two that I just won't see. Although.... I'm being tempted by the Button if for no other reason than Fincher fans (the die hards) hated it and there seems to be a great deal of buzz that it's going to take best pic (which would be a tragedy). Milk deserves it, but Slumdog should get it.

Shannon the Movie Moxie said...

I'm glad I saw Tropic Thunder not around the hype, I think I may have totally dismissed it at the time.

I want to see The International - not so much for Clive Owen but for Ulrich Thompsen, who I saw in Fear Me Not and is astoning. I like Clive Owen though too although it seems like may not necessarily be hitting the mark with some roles in terms of 'type'. He is good actor, I hope we see some good fits in the future.

I'm not surprized Fincher fans don't like Ben. Button - he usually goes wayyyyyy darker than this which is one reason I'm curious to see it. I don't think I have it as a pick for anything but some tech awards in my predicitons. I think Gus Van Sant will take Director and Sean Penn will take actor but film, writer, music will go to Slumdog.

Only 2 days until we find out!

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