The Academy Awards will be handed out Sunday night, and it seems a lot of folks are betting on The Hurt Locker to win. That could very well be. I really have no opinion, because I've only seen on of the nominated pictures (and it wasn't even Avatar).Â But I can tell you which were the three worst pictures to win that coveted Best Picture Oscar trophy.
At least in my opinion.
#3: The English Patient (1996). I tried watching this movie on DVD, and while it has some beautiful cinematography, it is BORING. In case you missed this movie, it stars Juliette Binoche as a nurse taking care of a critically burned man in an abandoned monastery. As I recall it had a bunch of soap opera type stuff about affairs...and..what am I saying? I fast forwarded through a bunch of it and then followed what the little sticker said, "be kind, rewind."
#2 Out of Africa (1985)This is another scenery plus boring dialog soap opera movie. I went to this in the theatre and could not wait to leave. It tells the story of author Isak Dineson. And while I have nothing against authors, I have a lot against this movie. It did star two great actors--Meryl Streep and Robert Redford, but even they could not help this thing. I also remember that Redford got paid $6 million dollars for this movie and he was hardly even in it, and Streep got $1 million and was in every scene and had to do an accent. I guess I can hate this movie on the grounds of equal rights for women (even overpaid actors).
#1 Chariots of Fire (1981). This is my all time most hated Best Oscar Winning Movie of All Time. I hate hate hate this movie. First of all, there are no chariots. There is also no fire. FALSE ADVERTISING!Â The big excitement is a bunch of guys running on a beach with that Vangelis song playing in the background. Then there's a bunch of talking in English accents. I went to this movie with my friend Karla, and she also hated it. (So if that's not evidence I don't know what is!)
All you ever have to see of Chariots of Fire:
CONCLUSION: When a movie is all about pretty scenery and stunning cinematography, it is not a movie. It is a window. If you like that you should travel and experience it...maybe send some postcards to your friends (or better yet, SLIDES!). If you want to make a movie, please have a story in mind first. Thank you.
One of the funniest books I everÂ read is CD Payne's " Youth in Revolt". Â It tells the story of a 14 year old, his dysfunctional family, a car in the living room,Â a burned out trailerÂ andÂ unrequited love. But that statementÂ does NOT give justice to this hysterical story.
Â I used to loan copies of the book to people saying, if they weren't laughing out loud by the end of the first page, they have no sense of humor.Â So imagine how excited I was to learn they were making a movie of the book. It's been years since I first read about a movie, and the wait is almost over. Youth in Revolt opens this weekend. Here's the trailer:
I CAN'T WAIT!!!!!
Running Time: 2Â hours 23 minutes
3 stars out of 4
This movie literally draws you in right away.Â There are no opening credits or scene setters.Â John Dillinger's adventures begin immediately.Â I found myself sucked into the story, but in the end I realized there was probably a lot more story to tell.Â It may seem hard to believe considering the movie is 2 and a half hours long.
Johnny Depp does a wonderful job of playing a bank robber who thinks he's invincible and Chritsian Bale is quite convincing as Melvin Purvis, the man who won't rest until Dillinger is behind bars.Â However, even with all the bank robberies and chases I still felt like I only saw a small portion of Dillinger's life.Â A perfect example of this was the love story between Dillinger and Billie Frechette (played by Marion Cotillard).Â Their love story was reduced to just a few encounters which made it seem unrealistic that he would put his life on the line to get back to her.
This is still worth seeing, but if you're going just to see the scenes shot in Wisconsin you'll be disappointed.Â You'll be able to recognize our Capitol, but that's about it.
Click here for showtimes at Star Cinema.
My mother was born the same year as Shirley Temple, and since she loved theater and had a beautiful singing voice, she totally identified with Shirley.
One of my favorite books growing up was a collection of stories from Shirley Temple movies likie Heidi, The Little Colonel , Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm and The Little Princess. Â The book had a lot of photos from all the films and it was a lovely book to read and savor.
So of course, I have seen all these movies, including the riches to rags and back to riches story of the Little Princess.
This one from 1939:
But last night, I saw a version I had never seen, made in 1995, which took the story and set it in NYC. I was totally captivated once again by this story . You remember, the little girl, adored by her father is sent to boarding school while her father fights WWI. She is very popular at school and everything is rosey until they get word that her father had been killed in the war and she becomes a servant at the scbool... yadda yadda yadda... happy ending.
It reminded me ofÂ my mother and it made me smile. I guess that was my day after Mother's Day gift sent from above.
The Academy Awards are Sunday night, and once again I have not seen any of the nominated movies. I just looked at a list of Best Picture winners and nominees..and the last one that I've seen was Good Night..and Good Luck, in 2005. I had to see that one because it was about Edward R. Murrow, and he and I have so much in common, in particular our journalistic integrity.
Through 1995, I saw most of the Best Picture winners...but I guess everything changed when I started dating a guitar player and assumed my new rock and roll lifestyle.
The first Best Picture winner I saw in the theatre was the musical Oliver! in 1968, followed by The Sting in 1973 (which is still one of my all-time favorite movies).
I also really enjoyed 1979's Kramer vs. Kramer..I saw that one three times in the theatre, including once at the drive-in. Here's one of my favorite scenes from the movie. I never had kids, but I'm thinking if I did, the parenting dynamic would have gone something like this.
Running Time: 1 hour 27 minutes
3 out of 4 stars
I expected this to be another typical horror movie with some freaky special effects.Â That's not the case at all!
When I was watching the movie I was wondering why David Strathairn and Elizabeth Banks would be in a simple horror movie?Â The reason?Â This is not a simple horror movie.Â This movie is a lot more like The Sixth Sense.
Without giving too much away, this is the story of a girl who returns home after spending time in a mental institution.Â She is sent there after her already sick mother dies in an accidental house fire.Â This movie had me completely fooled all the way until the end.
You can see this movie at
Running Time: 1 hour 33 minutes
3 stars out of 4
Liam Neeson takes us through a kick-butt hour and half adventure as he attempts to save his daughter who has been kidnapped in Europe.Â When I first saw the previews I thought this movie had the potential to be quite annoying.Â I thought Neeson's character would keep almost finding his daughter.Â It's just the opposite.Â As soon as he's on the case, I enjoyed watching him do everything in his power to track her down.
There's lots of kills in this movie, but somehow it's still not that violent.Â If you're a fan of movies like TheÂ Bourne Identity or even the television show 24, you'll love this movie.
See this movie at
Here are The Movie Guys with their take on Taken:
Last Chance Harvey
Running Time: 1 hour 32 minutes
3 stars out of 4
Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson give two great performances in this picture about two people who haven't had much luck in love.Â Hoffman plays Harvey Shine and American who is in London because his daughter is getting married there.Â Hoffman does a fanastic job of playing a divorced guy who's had a lot more downs then ups recently in his life.
Emma Thompson plays Kate Walker who is just an average English woman who can't seem to get it rightÂ when it comes to finding a man.Â I found myself feeling sad for both characters for different reasons.Â Hoffman has to watch his ex-wife's new and better life without him and Thompson has to accept she's not going to get much more out of her life then a few good friends and a very worried mother.Â Watching the two of them trying to create a romance is very sweet.
This is a quick movie and doesn't tie itself up at the end in a neat little bow, which I think makes it even better.
You can see this movie at
Running Time: 1 hour 36 minutes
2.75 stars out of 4
Always a sucker for cartoons and talking dogs, I liked this movie a lot.Â Bolt is the story of a dog who worksÂ in telelvision, but doesn't know it.Â He thinks he has superpowers and is really saving his "owner" each and every day.
Bolt accidentally escapes from the television set and is out in the real world trying to save his owner.Â John Travolta is the voice of Bolt and Miley Cyrus plays the roll of his master.Â If you ever watch Larry David's show "Curb Your Enthusiam" you'll recoginzeÂ the voice of the cat Bolt meets out in the real world.Â She's played by the wife of Larry David's agent in the HBOÂ television show.Â Sussie Essman does a great job, but would sound even better if she was allowed to swear.Â Of course, she doesn't because this is a movie for kids.
There are not a lot of pop culture references or jokes for adults, but this is a breezy piece of animation good for the little ones.
Brought to you by Star Cinema
The Day the Earth Stood Still
Running Time: 1hour 43 minutes
2.5 stars out of 4
It's got all the bells and whistles of sci-fi movies these days.Â There are some cool special effects and some loop holes in the story.Â This is a remake of a classic from the 1950's, which I have never seen but I think the message is the same.Â Humans should take better care of the earth.
Keanu Reeves plays an alien who comes to planet earth to take care of business.Â Jennifer Connelly is a scientist who makes a connection with Reeves and does her best to save us all.Â I wasn't bored in this movie, but I wasn't blown away either.Â I really didn't feel like I was on the edge of my seat wondering if we were all doomed.Â Maybe it's because I'm so used to special effects or maybe because the movie wasn't that special.
There's plenty to see during the holidays, but if you want some good special effects which are made even better on the IMAX go check this one out.
Brought to you by Star Cinema
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