Tuesday, April 5, 2011

My Five Films You Don't Want To See After a Break-Up

Just to clarify- no, I didn't break up with anyone recently nor did anyone break up with me. I'd have to be in something healthy enough to be called a relationship in the first place in order for the "breaking up" to occur. This is simply a list of films I feel would be the worse to check out alone at home while cuddling a blanket after a separation unless you want that knife to the heart to drive in a little deeper. Of course, spoilers alert! In alphabetical order, the depression-inducing works of art are:

The Break-Up (2006)

The first one's a freebie. While billed and marketed as comedy, it got real- real fast. The reason why this is a heartbreaker is because you simply didn't expect it to get that emotional wrenching. It almost felt like a personal attack when Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn verbally abused each other for a good 10 minutes after a light affair from the film. It was so "hard to watch" (thanks, Tracy Jordan), I can't help but swarm in my seat while reliving my arguments with my exes and compare.

Cast Away (2000)

This one's not as obvious. Solitude is not an easy thing, especially when you're closest pal is some volleyball. The gut wrenching portion of this one is not that he spend the entire time alone, but the one thing that's kept him sane is his wife back home is no longer there for him. Obviously, Chuck Noland is a stronger man than I simply because he somehow moves on gracefully. I, on the other hand, would have probably crawled into the fetal position and sob uncontrollably while cursing the world.

Closer (2004)

Pretty darn brutal. The truth sure hurts. Four very honest, no-holds-bar characters lays down the truth to their so-called significant others in this 2-hour entertaining punching bag adapted from the Tony-nominated play with the same name. After the infidelity of two of the characters, each word out of the everyone's mouths is a like venom- quick, sharp and stings like a mofo. Of course, that only means me thinking to myself "Damn, wished I should've said that."

High Fidelity (2000)

Self evaluation after a relationship is never easy. A lot of "Should I have done this", "Should I have done that" sets in when it all goes up in flames. Leave it to Rob Gordon, our hero, to brave the task of asking his former girlfriends what the hell went wrong. While emotionally touching with an relatively positive conclusion, it's the journey of Rob visiting his exes that triggers the inevitable self doubt and confidence. If there's anything to learned here is that you better surround yourself with a stinkin' good support system- even if they're weirdos.

A Single Man (2009)

The first lines of this film says it best: "For the past eight months waking up actually hurts. The cold realization that I am still here slowly sets in". Truer words cannot be spoken by a man filled with grief and heartbreak- though very different from a break up, the termination of a relationship is still there. Watching George Falconer's supposed last day of living could not feel more alone even when he's surrounded by people is beautiful, but no doubt depressing and reflective.

Of course, there are plenty of others film that would be appropriate for this list, these are simply the five I could think of off the top of my head. I'm curious to read what other films folks would consider. So fair warning, watch at your own risk. Just have a bottle of wine and a box of chocolates nearby.

Monday, March 14, 2011

My Cinematic Fantasy

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I'm just saying, if something like this happens to me while I'm over there- I wouldn't complain.

Monday, February 28, 2011

My Oscar Texts

Here's a ceremony long text conversation between myself and Kyle. We were at different Oscar gatherings. Me being in New York, and him being in Florida, but with the constant back and forth, it felt like we were watching it together like we used to. Here's a few snippet from our so-called "Oscar commentary":

Kyle: Sorry you couldn't be here, but you will be watching with us.


Peter: Wow. Sooooo creepy. Hahaha.
Kyle: Yes. This will be the creepy Oscars.
Peter: Ummm... okay.

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Peter: That was like some MTV opening montage. Younger Oscars!

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Peter: Starting off with a very awkward acceptance speech for Art Direction.... nice. Sigh. Academy Award winner 'Alice In Wonderland'. 2 semi upsets so far... and we're off!
Kyle: Wow. Awesome. But does this bode well for 'The Social Network'?
Peter: I think so. I should've switched over. Regrets are starting. We'll know whenever film editing arrives.
Kyle: So glad for 'Inception' upset with cinematography. Willing to lose Oscar pool if 'Inception' continues to surprise.
Peter: But it's kinda sad Roger Deakins is still Oscarless, no?

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Peter: I almost feel sad for Kirk Douglas. Maybe that's the point? A win for Leo!
Kyle: That's more like it. Douglas was awkward but memorable awkward. Like stories you tell about your kooky grandpa.
Peter: Uh...
Kyle: Love Franco's line to Melissa Leo. Felt like she was trying to make a moment. I think the F bomb was planned.
Peter: Yeah? Just judging from Leo's past speeches, maybe she's just that way. She her Spirit Award speech for 'Frozen River' a few years back.

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Peter: And we're back on schedule in terms of winners with 'The King's Speech' winning only one so far.
Kyle: Umm... you think Seidler wrote that speech?

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Peter: Props to Anne for throwing it all out there for a crappy, crappy number.

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Peter: A ".com" shot out? A little low brow, no? That site is about to explode with traffic volume.
Kyle: On surface low brow, but really shows his admiration and dedication to the real life person.

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Kyle: Wow. 'The King's Speech' weak again.
Peter: I sooo should have switched over for Best Picture. That montage clip for original score just made me more mad that Andrew Garfield was not nominated.

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Kyle: Was Scarlett taking a nap in the back?
Peter: I think so.
Kyle: And next to McConaughey's tanning bed?

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Kyle: Ugh. Burton reign of terror on the Oscars.
Peter: Also, 'Alice' has 2 Oscars. Someone here is asking why 'Lord of The Rings' is in the background after the winner's announced. I told them it's call bad producing.

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Peter: This confirms it. All of Newman's songs sound the same.
Kyle: I think he wrote them all 12 years ago and just uses them as movies come up.
Peter: That Chuck guy and Mandy Moore are sounding (and looking) good.

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Kyle: Best speech of the night.
Peter: I will gladly sit through another decade of crappy auto-tune for another one of those song montages.

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Kyle: Franco seems high but I love his distant attitude though.
Peter: Me too. Took awhile for me to get used to. It kind of works with this "younger" Oscars.
Kyle: "You're all getting an Oscar!!!"

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Peter: I will always love the way Jennifer Hudson mispronounces the word 'nominees'. NUM-MEN-NEESE!
Kyle: Is Kathie Griffin singing?
Peter: I don't think so. It's supposedly "country sensation" Gwyneth Paltrow. I don't get it. She did awesome at the Grammys. What happened!?!!

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Peter: Did Randy Newman just complain about having 2 Oscars? He won for his worst 2 songs!
Kyle: Is he doing a Sean Penn/ 'I Am Sam' impression?
Peter: Oh. Low! I think he sounds the same rather he's singing or not.

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Peter: Oh, Ms. Bigelow. What are you wearing!?!?! Wow. Hooper in it to win it.
Kyle: Wow. Can go to bed now. It's over.
Peter: Maybe 'The King's Speech' can squeak this out after all.
Kyle: C'mon, Inception!
Peter: Uh...
Kyle: Oh I know. Just wishin'.

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Peter: The clip for Annette was more for Julianne than the actual nominee.
Kyle: Tinkerbell is nominated? (re: Williams)
Peter: Kudos to Natalie for naming crew! I so thought she was going to name my friend Tony, the script supervisor for 'Black Swan'.

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Peter: Dance, Colin, Dance!
Kyle: What a very British speech.
Peter: Yeah. I said poise. Someone here said boring. LoL

Screen shot 2011-02-28 at 10.59.57 PM

Peter: There you go. 'The King's Speech' pulls it out. How about that?
Kyle: Not the sweep I expected, but it still got it. Okay, have to work at 4am. Have a good night!
Peter: Was fun and had fun!
Kyle: Good show.
Peter: Umm... sure. Night.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

My Oscar Snacks & Predictions

For as long as I can remember, my friends Kyle and Julie have been watching the Oscars together even though we live hundreds of miles apart. This would be the first year in awhile we won't be able to- I blame many things, but mostly my busy work schedule. But we're definitely keeping another one of our mini-traditions going, getting snacks themed after the Best Picture nominees. Who can forget the goodness that was Frosty Flakes cereal ('Frost/Nixon') with Milk ('Milk') or the shrimp cocktail ('District 9') with some Taco Bell ('The Blind Side')?

So we've distributed our nominees to year and I've been assigned 'Black Swan', 'The Fighter' and 'Winter's Bone'. Here's what I came up with:

Black and white cookies for our black and white swan.

A shot of Irish Monkey for our Irish Mickey.

A pile of wither chicken bones for our Winter's Bone. A huge stretch.

As for my Oscar predictions. I'm confident in all these except for Best Picture. I'm going with 'The King's Speech' for now but I'm feeling less and less secure about that with every moment. There could be a last minute switch to 'The Social Network' on my part:

Best Picture: The King's Speech
Best Director: David Fincher, The Social Network
Best Lead Actor: Colin Firth, The King's Speech
Best Lead Actress: Natalie Portman, Black Swan
Best Supporting Actor: Christian Bale, The Fighter
Best Supporting Actress: Melissa Leo, The Fighter
Best Adapted Screenplay: The Social Network
Best Original Screenplay: The King's Speech
Best Cinematography: True Grit
Best Film Editing: The Social Network
Best Animated Feature: Toy Story 3
Best Foreign Language Film: Denmark
Best Documentary Feature: Inside Job
Best Art Direction: The King's Speech
Best Costume Design: The King's Speech
Best Make-Up Design: The Wolfman
Best Visual Effects: Inception
Best Sound Mixing: Inception
Best Sound Editing: Inception
Best Original Score: The Social Network
Best Original Song: 127 Hours
Best Short Live Action Film: Na Wewe
Best Short Animated Film: Madagascar, A Journey Diary
Best Short Documentary: Strangers No More

Happy Feasting!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

My Top Ten 2010 Film Performances Not Nominated For An Oscar

Wordy title, but pretty self explanatory. These are the gems not recognized by the group known as "The Academy"- they're sounding more and more like a higher force everyday, no? You might notice a shortage of female performances on this list. Don't fret, it's probably because most of my favorites were nominated close to a month ago (Leo, Kidman, Adams, Portman...). So in alphabetical order by film, they are:

Ryan Gosling- Blue Valentine

Richard Jenkins- Eat Pray Love

Olivia Williams- The Ghost Writer

James Franco- Howl

Xavier Dolan- I Killed My Mother

Ewan McGregor- I Love You, Phillip Morris

Julianne Moore- The Kids Are All Right

Andrew Garfield- Never Let Me Go

Leonardo DiCaprio- Shutter Island

Andrew Garfield- The Social Network

Sorry for the double dosing of Mr. Garfield... or am I? The guy had a stellar one-two punch that landed him the role of Peter Parker/Spiderman (still an odd choice, IMO). While I'm glad Michelle Williams and Annette Bening got recognized for their work, their onscreen partners's performances were nothing to sneeze at either. I'm just going to blame early and/or limited release for the snubbings of Olivia Williams, Leonardo DiCaprio, Ewan McGregor and Xavier Dolan- with the latter having to deal with being a teenager and a foreign-language performance. James Franco got in for his broader, more popular work but his portrayal as Allen Ginsberg had more of an emotional punch. And lastly, poor Richard Jenkins just got stuck being in a crappy movie about Julia Robert spending 2 hours proving she doesn't need a man only to sail off (literally) with one.