23 February, 2009

2008 Oscar Academy Award Results

It's the 81st Oscar Academy Awards night, and the red carpet is filled to the fiber with the pretty and prestigious. As for Hugh Jackman's performance as an Oscar host? Well, wouldn't it be better to hire an actual host to host a huge event, rather than hire an actor who will act like a host? Don't get me wrong, Hugh Jackman was deliciously good looking and charming, he sang, he danced, he smiled, he wooed the audience with his Australian accent, and he cracked a few jokes that the audience pity-laughed at since he was so deliciously good looking and charming. But I would have had more fun with Ellen Degeneres or Jon Stewart taking up the mantle of the Oscar host. Hell, Sarah Silverman would have been more entertaining. Sure, her quips would have had every single person watching uncomfortably shifting in their seats, but what with the uber-long duration of sitting on your ass, that would have been a good thing.

Once again some awards were spot on, and some were terribly wrong. Fortunately, it's not as bad as the previous years. But I am a little more than peeved that The Curious Case of Benjamin Button won over the action movies, The Dark Knight and Iron Man, in the visual effects category. Was distorting Brad Pitt's face harder than creating a man zooming around the sky in an iron suit?

Anyway, compared to the previous years, the 2008 Oscar Academy Awards was...kinda boring.

By the way, I'm ashamed but compelled to admit, that when the camera panned to close up on Mickey Rourke, my eyes were totally glued to Robert Pattinson over his right shoulder. Yo Mr. Pattinson, I love your haircut on you.

Slumdog Millionaire owned all the awards this year. And it effin' deserves to.

Best Motion Picture of the Year
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Reader

Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
Sean Penn - MILK
Richard Jenkins - The Visitor
Brad Pitt - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Frank Langella - Frost/Nixon
Mickey Rourke - The Wrestler

Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role
Kate Winslet – The Reader
Anne Hathaway - Rachel Getting Married
Angelina Jolie - Changeling
Melissa Leo - Frozen River
Meryl Streep - Doubt

Achievement in Directing
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Reader

Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role
Amy Adams - Doubt
Viola Davis - Doubt
Taraji P. Henson - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Marisa Tomei - The Wrestler

Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role
Heath Ledger - THE DARK KNIGHT
Josh Brolin - Milk
Robert Downey Jr. - Tropic Thunder
Philip Seymour Hoffman - Doubt
Michael Shannon - Revolutionary Road

Best Foreign Language Film of the Year

Best Animated Short Film
La Maison en Petits Cubes

Best Animated Feature Film of the Year

Adapted Screenplay

Original Screenplay

Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures (Original Song)

Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures (Original Score)

Achievement in Film Editing

Achievement in Sound Mixing

Achievement in Sound Editing

Achievement in Visual Effects

Best Documentary Short Subject

Best Documentary Feature

Best Live Action Short Film

Achievement in Cinematography

Achievement in Makeup

Achievement in Costume Design

Achievement in Art Direction

19 February, 2009

Lara Croft

Growing up, there weren't too many female superheroes that us girls could count on. Aside from the scarce remnants of Wonder Woman, who was from another (older) era, we didn't really have too many heroines.

Until of course, came the lady who could make Indiana Jones drool, Lara Croft.

She was tough, cool, and British.

She became my hero, even if I never really completed any of her numerous games. Imagine my delight when in 2001, a Tomb Raider movie was announced. When I found out that Lara Croft was going to be played by Angelina Jolie, I was apathetic, I didn't really care who was going to be Lara Croft, as long as a female adventurer got up the big screen and kicked ass.

I loved the movie.

And despite the mass consensus, I loved the second one, Cradle of Life, too.

Now, they've just announce that a third Tomb Raider film is in the pre-works. However, it seems that many are voting for a story reboot. A reboot is nice, and admittedly welcomed, but I just really hope that they find an actress worthy of succeeding the mantle. Angelina Jolie owned the Lara Croft character, and someone similar to her should succeed the character.

Someone with sizable acting chops, awesome action abilities, and of course, the requisite sex appeal. Someone more than Megan Fox. Not to be judgmental, but Megan Fox has proved that she cannot insert emotion during action scenes, as evidenced in the mindless mega blockbuster hit Transformers.

This picture says it all.
Shia Labeouf - Emoting. Confused. Scared. Constipated.
Megan Fox - Squint eyes. Pout. Show cleavage. Look pretty.

Lara Croft may be created for the male audience and gamers, but I will always be grateful to my first hero. After all, other than cutesy characters made from sugar, spice, and everything stupid (yes, I'm referring to you Powerpuff Girls), there still aren't too many popular female heroes.

You could do worse than idolizing a hard-as-nails-genius-ass-kicker-British-unemotional-sexpot.

That new Tomb Raider movie better be good.

14 February, 2009

I want the Dollhouse

For those people who are fortunate enough to be able to watch the Dollhouse tv show every Friday at 9:00pm on FOX, you better effin' watch and support it!

It's not enough to discuss the brilliance and awesomeness of Dollhouse in the net, in person, in your own head.

You have to actually watch Dollhouse, on the actual time, on the actual television.
Otherwise, stupid suits (i.e. FOX), might cancel the brilliance and awesomeness of your favorite tv show, because of the fact that no one supposedly watches it according to those ratings.

Watch the Dollhouse!


Fridays, 9pm, FOX

10 February, 2009

The February Trail

New movie trailers! Mostly big blockbuster effects type films that cater more to thrill impact rather than substance, but we the audience love them anyway.

I have no idea what this is about. But it reminds me V for Vendetta, albeit an extra prettier version. Btw, I love V for Vendetta.
Release: February 20, 2009

Terminator Salvation
In this film we finally get a glimpse of the oh-so infamous after effects of judgment day. Plus, we'll all see the rebel leader fighting(/training?) the rookie who will be his future father in past who died while saving his mother after he knocked her up with him. Haha, just had to type that out.
Release: May 22, 2009

Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen
Bigger robots, bigger action, bigger film? Definitely. Better? Eh. Remains to be seen.
Release: June 26, 2009

G.I Joe: Rise of the Cobra
Definitely looks cool, but I'm a little worried about the over the top computer graphics, too much CGI does not make a nice eye candy. Speaking of eye candies, Channing Tatum anyone?
Release: August 7, 2009

And for a different kind of treat, we have a tv promo! There has been a huge hype about this upcoming tv show, Dollhouse, and I have to say that I'm quite excited myself. It premieres this February 13, 2009 on the US television network, FOX. I just hope FOX won't cancel this like they did Joss Whedon's other awesome show, Firefly. The show stars Eliza Dushku, Olivia Williams, Tahmoh Penikett, Harry J. Lennix, Fran Kraz, Dichen Lachman, and Amy Acker.


And remember folks, don't judge a movie by its trailer!

05 February, 2009

"Taken" Film Review

When my friends told me about Taken, I thought I was going to see a broken father out on a desperate search for his precious daughter and in the end we’ll find a heartwarming, tearjerker reunion. Well, this movie isn’t quite what I expected.

Taken is an action-thriller film directed by Pierre Morel in 2008. The film stars Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace, Famke Janssen, and Katie Cassidy.

Liam Neeson plays Bryan Mills, an ex-spy who retires from his dangerous job to be closer to his daughter Kim, played by Maggie Grace. Ever the adventure-seeking teenager, Kim goes to Europe for a vacation with her friend Amanda, played by Katie Cassidy. After arriving, the girls are immediately abducted by a dangerous gang known for drugging female tourists to traffic them as prostitutes. Bryan Mills then uses all his ex-spy skills to look for his daughter amongst the vapid throes of an Albanian gangster.

Taken is by no means a drama, it is a frenetic action thriller that sucks you in its frantic pace and brutality. I found Liam Neeson’s portrayal of a loving father hard to swallow after seeing his character stoically shoot an innocent woman to compel her husband to talk. A woman who even cooked him dinner. I honestly didn’t appreciate the blatant split personality of Neeson’s character. One minute ever the desperately broken father, the next a pseudo-James Bond who is older and harsher, who had no qualms whatsoever about torture and murder. Having said that, I can’t imagine any other actor playing the character. Liam Neeson has a face made for stoicism, and Taken is full of it. In every sense.

I didn’t realize that it was Maggie Grace who played Kim until I saw her name in the credits, for one thing, I thought Grace was a little too old to be playing a 17 year old character, so I assumed that it was only an uncanny resemblance to the actress who induced a million eye rolls in The Fog. But alas, it really was her. As someone on her last year of teenagedom, I was offended that someone would portray a 17 year old like a wince-inducing petulant 12 year old.

I was admittedly very impressed with Taken’s bone-crunching fist fights and takedowns, as would any other action junkie. The film delivers thrill factor easily, and the audience may certainly appreciate being thrust into a heart-pounding ride. It even induces a few goosebumps and body tensing moments. But the whole Taken film has a shameless air that people who actually care about what they’re watching may not care for. Confused? So am I, a little. The point is that after watching this film, it leaves you somewhat breathless, and partly wondering on whether or not you just wasted 87 minutes of your life on a brutal show which pretends to have a story.

Bryan: "I don't know who you are. I don't know what you want. If you are looking for ransom, I can tell you I don't have money. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills; skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you let my daughter go now, that'll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don't, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you."
Marko: [after a long pause] "Good luck."

01 February, 2009

"The Alphabet Killer" Film Review

Within the drama of The Alphabet Killer lies a true story, and you cannot help but feel a churning in your stomach when you realize that those brutalities actually happened to some young girls in the real world.

The Alphabet Killer is a thriller movie directed by Rob Schmidt in 2008. It is based on the true stories of the murders in Rochester, New York during the late 1970’s. It stars Eliza Dushku, Cary Elwes, Michael Ironside, Bill Moseley, and Timothy Hutton.

(Contains Slight Spoilers.)

The movie immediately opens with a foray into an abduction of a young girl. It’s haunting enough, and certainly disturbing. Most of the film’s atmosphere is constantly grim, which is admittedly apt since raping and murdering several girls is obviously not a light subject. The Alphabet Killer is an effective movie, as in it is satisfactory in its cinematography, sounds, lighting, special effects, and the characters do have the ability to intrigue the audience. The shaky camera, gloomy air, and eerie music does add a lot to the feel, it resembles the film Zodiac, but modern and bluer, if that makes sense. Eliza Dushku as Megan Paige, the protagonist, fits into her role like it was made just for her. She plays the damaged, earnest detective more than well, and she gives a hauntingly sympathetic performance as we follow her character’s roller coaster ride into an absolute hysteria and mental breakdown. Mucho kudos to her. However, I wasn’t particularly impressed with Cary Elwes, who plays Kenneth Shine. I’ve never even been to New York, and I can tell how horrendous his accent was with his British slant shining through occasionally. The other cast members also give their fair share of brief, yet exceptional performances.

The Alphabet Killer may come off as a supernatural horror flick when you judge it by its promos, posters, and trailers. And although it does spook its audience once in a while, the “spirits” that we see are actually an insight into the mind of a schizophrenic. Those ghostly apparitions seemed to only serve to douse the film with some actual horror and thrill factor. Still, it was impressive how those apparitions blurred the lines between realism and supernaturalism so that the audience can go with either way. Like I said, I think The Alphabet Killer is an effective movie. It delivers a good amount of thrill and realism that audiences may engage themselves in, and it has a story that is truly worth knowing about. However, the film has its share of errors in being an affective movie. A story about a serial killer raping and murdering several young girls can certainly affect a person, but with Megan Paige’s distracting schizophrenic delusions, the main theme of the film somewhat gets deluded as well. It’s a struggle to pinpoint exactly what those hallucinations are supposed to tell us, if it’s supposed to tell us anything.

Overall, the Alphabet Killer is a satisfactory film. It was like a two hour cop tv show episode (and I happen to really like cop tv shows), only a bit more intense, a bit more interesting, a bit more creepy, and just a bit more everything. Extra kudos again to the actors, specifically Eliza Dushku. The only thing that I prominently disliked about the Alphabet Killer was the ending, and no, it’s not just because of the fact that I’m a sucker for happy endings. But the last few scenes of the film had the potential to be an ultimately heart pounding conclusion, instead, it was a total cop out that harshly teased its audiences to wait for a sequel. Which begs the question, is the sequel worth watching? Sure, we want to see how our tortured heroine would finally fight her persistently creepy demons, and we definitely want to see the bad guy die a horrible, horrible, horrible death, but my spite for the cop out ending might just convince me not to watch the second film at all. Yeah, I was that pissed.

Oh, who am I kidding?

I want to see the bad guy die a horrible, horrible, horrible death.

Megan is trying to calm a gun-wielding man down.
Megan: You know what they're calling this out there? Hostage situation.
Glen: Those Fucking bastards!
Megan: You know what I see? An argument. Does that make sense?
Glen: (quietly) Yes
Megan: And what do you think Elizabeth?
Elizabeth: (indignant) He tried to rape me!
Megan stares at her.
Elizabeth: Which, I guess, led to an argument.

Back To Business

Audientication is now fully active! The next post will be up in a few hours, I just need to exist in real life for a little while longer.

Next up:

"The Alphabet Killer" Film Review

Be right back!