I’m not a big movie person! There, I said it and I feel no ways about it.
It’s not that I don’t like movies, because I do, but a movie is a mini-relationship and hence an investment of time and like all relationships, once you get burned a few times, you can start to become a little gun shy. A bad movie ranks high on my lists of minor bad experiences and are in the same class as:
Standing in the Meatpacking District and getting half-mooned by a string of yellow cabs in the freezing cold, while trying to get home to Brooklyn; that’s a bad experience.
Attending a dinner party with a recent romantic interest, only to find a hardline, “no-shoes” house rule, that totally exposes the hole in your sock and a pinky toenail that resembles a fighter cock’s toughened talon; that’s a bad experience.
Having a three-bean burrito brunch come home to roost, during a walk through a bathroom-less stretch of Prospect Park is a bad experience, which can actually be upgraded to horrible if you’re wearing a pair of white jeans.
One thing I’ve never been shy about is walking out of a movie, because I try not to be a slave to what I purchase. Biggie had a penchant for doing much “funner” things when a movie is wack, but unfortunately, I’ve got a little Howie Mandel going so the stickiness of cinema seats can gross me out; especially when receiving intimate favors.
So every year around this time, I realize that for all the hoopla of the Oscars, I have rarely watched any of the Oscar nominated films or even the films that actors/actresses have been nominated for. The press likes to refer to the Oscars as the “Superbowl for women” and although I didn’t have a dog in the fight for the last Superbowl and quite frankly, I won’t until Dallas ditches Romo, I definitely don’t have any favorite movies or roles for the 2014 Academy Awards.
With that in mind, even though I haven’t seen any of the movies other than American Hustle, I still have perceptions and notions of what the nominated movies and roles are about:
12 YEARS A SLAVE
Another frickin’ slavery movie! I like seeing black people on the big screen but I don’t need to see black people being humiliated, degraded, physically and mentally abused and denied their humanity on the big screen, because I have numerous Youtube videos of out of control police officers filling that void.
I also don’t like that the actor is running in print advertising for the movie, like he’s training for the New York Marathon.
I don’t think people were just running for freedom like that. Not by simply taking off like a pitbull was nipping at the heels, because the slave owners had horses, who are far faster than humans. I’m not sure if it’s a triumphant movie, where he gets his freedom back in the end, but I do wonder if Chiwetel Ejiofor is an actual runner because he’s really giving good running form in that poster.
I have thought about going to see this movie, just because the most beautiful woman in Hollywood, Lupita Nyong’o, is in it, but I don’t want my first film starring Ms Nyong’o to be of her playing a slave.
This is the only movie, that’s nominated in any capacity, that I’ve actually watched, so for that reason alone, I’m pretty much filling out my brackets with every nomination connected to this flick about con artists and federal agents in the 1970s New York City.
I think the movie was riveting and I really liked that regardless of how impressed I was with Jennifer Lawrence’s acting and depth of character, I was still equally impressed by her bosom and sexiness. That’s called a win-win in my book.
The only reason I’ve seen this movie is because someone I know had a screener DVD and I was able to watch the movie in the comfort of home, knowing full well that if the movie was wack, I was in position to simply cook some food, turn on ESPN or perhaps receive some intimate favors.
Bradley Cooper was really good as well, exhibiting the same drive for success and fame that’s exhibited by the criminals that he pursues and Amy Adam did a tour-deforce of the other woman who actually becomes the primary woman. Perhaps avid fans of Being Mary Jane and/or Scandal got a chance to see what it looks like when a side piece changes to a main course.
THE WOLF OF WALL STREET
Americans really love movies of rogue Wall Street investors and the crazy life they lived while making a ton of illegal money. In fact, Americans love those types of movies in general, where rogue dudes make a ton of illegal money and spend it in a lavish and ridiculous manner. Americans also love Leo DiCaprio, who’s like the Derek Jeter of acting; guys want to be him and girls want to be with him, so as long as he doesn’t poop himself on screen or star in a movie with Lou Diamond Phillips, he can always be nominated.
It’s very sad how Bernie Madoff ruined lives with his investment scam, but people’s desire for entertainment is stronger than sympathy and empathy and because most folks don’t go to the symphony. I don’t know what that even means, but it sounds provocative, like making movies that glorifies drug dealers when, uh, drugs are KILLING people. Anyways, I DJ’d a party in a strip club last weekend and imagined a fictitious scene from The Wolf Of Wall Street that involved me and two dancers. I imagined it in a hyper-cool, Oscar nominated way as well, so cheers to that film and Mr. Scorsese!
It seems like this movie is a one-woman show because the advertisements I saw for the movie were usually Sandra Bullock floating in space or in the capsule of the ship or just being all nervous and scared to death. I don’t need to see movies about astronauts being scared to death. Why?
Because they signed up to be astronauts and travel to space, the great unknown. It’s not like getting the ferry to Ikea and a sea monster starts to eat the ship as it docks in Red Hook; nobody would expect that, but space travel is inherently dangerous.
Space travel is laced with the type of danger that man can’t even fathom, but at the same time, if you make it home alive, it’s all gucci from there. You’re celebrated by everyone, meet the president, get on the Wheaties box and probably have the library or a science building at your alma mater named in your honor.
Big risks gets big rewards, so if you take on a space mission I do appreciate the effort, but I can’t get worked up too much about the astronaut being in danger. Besides, any advances that come from space exploration probably won’t benefit me. A generation or two after, yes, but not for me. So perhaps infants can get into this movie and deal with all the closeups of Sandra Bullocks face, but I can do without it.
I have to admit, this movie looks really interesting. The idea of somebody falling in love with some sort of computer operating system is so outlandish, but it straddles the very edge of what could presently be considered possible. Mr. Phoenix looks like a cornball, dressed up like a nerd, who get’s ostracized by geeks and was routinely extorted for his lunch money by the music students in high school, who has since moved to Williamsburg and fell in romantic love with code. How perfecto!
If that’s not enough, Scarlet Johansson is so blazing, that when I heard her voice in the movie commercials, I just pictured her Maxim Magazine photo shoot. I have a funny story about Ms Johansson and the time we had brunch together, with about eight other people, in Williamsburg, but that’s for another piece.
This movie is also good for burgeoning music video directors to look at and see that Feature movies can be in their future, Hype Williams not withstanding. I could actually see this movie in the theaters and not get bored, boycott or think about burning a blunt in the back.
DESPICABLE ME 2
I’v actually seen bits and pieces of Despicable Me and I thought it was entertaining enough, even though I couldn’t really figure out the premise of the movie. It obviously did well enough and the box office receipts were big enough to not only make a sequel but to also to pay for Pharrell’s giant hat.
In all honesty, what I really know about this movie is Pharrell’s song “Happy”, which is as infectious as a coughing six year old on a city bus. I go days where all I really sing is this song and do the Carlton dance from Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
Some of the best movies are the animated flicks and I’m sure Despicable Me 2 is an enjoyable time and actually one of the nominated films that I wouldn’t mind seeing at the cinema because it’s animated and doesn’t take itself too seriously and neither would I. I could totally walk out on this movie and probably convince whomever I was with to do the same, especially since they would probably be a child which would make me the boss.
ALL THE OTHER MOVIES
I don’t know much about the other movies. I know that Nebraska looked really sad and depressing and when I saw the weight that Matthew McConaughey lost to play the role, I knew both he and the movie were going to get nominated for an Oscar. I realized, about five minutes ago, that the movie McConaughey was nominated for is not Nebraska but it’s Dallas Buyer’s Club, which also looks depressing.
Depressing movies are often nominated, because, I’m assuming, the academy feels actors and actresses have to show more range in those roles as opposed to a comedy, action movie or the dreaded rom-com.
So without further adieu, here’s my Oscar picks:
Best Picture: American Hustle
Best Actor: Christian Bale, American Hustle
Best Actress: Amy Adams, American Hustle
Best Supporting Actor: Bradley Cooper, American Hustle
Best Supporting Actress: Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle
Best Director: David O. Russell, American Hustle
Best Animated Feature: Despicable Me 2
Best Screenplay: Spike Jonze, Her
For your viewing pleasure, I will be having a Birthday Celebration + Oscar Viewing Party this Sunday at Bed Vyne Brew, 7pm-Midnight. If you’re up to see the Oscars in HD, on an 84 inch screen, then you know where to find it and me! Contests for picking the Oscar Winners during the night with winners getting bottles of wine/growlers of beer…. and also, glam up a bit, it’s the Frickin’ Oscars already.
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