Posts Tagged ‘The Dark Knight’

Two Blondes Make Predictions: The Oscars

February 21, 2009

Two Blondes shake their glittery Magic 8 Ball and make some predictions about the Oscars:

ALISON SAYS:

pixar_walle1BEST PICTURE:
Who I think will win: Slumdog Millionaire
Who I want to win: WALL-E
I can’t describe how much I love WALL-E.  It’s one of the only films in my life to make me cry (my heart is normally protected by a hard stone cover).  I’ve never seen a character as loving, fragile and as wonderful as that goshdarn little robot.  I’m sure admitting this publicly will take away what little “street cred” I have (if any), but I can’t refrain from gushing over WALL-E.  Even my cell phone has a ring that involves that little robot yelling out “EVE-A.”

DIRECTING:
Who I think will win: Slumdog Millionaire
Who I want to win: The Wrestler, but Darren Aronofsky isn’t even nominated.
Dear Academy,
WTF?
Alison

frozen_river_melissa_leoACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE:
Who I think will win: Kate Winslet
Who I want to win: If you’d asked me five days ago, (before I received Frozen River on Netflix), I would have called it a tie between Meryl Streep and Kate Winslet.  But now after having watched Frozen River, I’ve gotta put the tie between Melissa Leo and Kate Winslet.  I’d also go so far as to call Melissa Leo’s performance almost as raw and gritty as Mickey Rourke’s (of course the films couldn’t be more different, but there’s something to both performances that struck a nerve with me and exhibited a lack of vanity).

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE:
Who I think will win: Marisa Tomei.  And I hope she says “See?!  It wasn’t a fluke.”
Who I want to win: Marisa Tomei, followed closely by Viola Davis.  Both women blew me away.

wrestler-aronofsky-promo-01ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE:
Who I think will win: Toss up between Frank Langella and Mickey Rourke.
Who I want to win: Mickey Rourke.  He’s fucking amazing in The Wrestler.
Mom, I’m sorry to swear, but it’s the truth.
I also wish there was a “Shout Out Best Actor” Oscar category that could be given to Ben Burtt for creating the voice and sounds for WALL-E.

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE:
Who I think will win: Heath Ledger
Who I want to win: Tie between Heath Ledger and Phillip Seymour Hoffman.
Both were stunning performances.  An honorable mention for funny must be given to Robert Downey Jr. for Tropic Thunder.  I can’t imagine any other actor pulling off what he did in that film.  I don’t think that means he should get an Oscar over the other nominees, but I’m sure glad he’s being recognized.

WRITING (ADAPTED SCREENPLAY):
Who I think will win: Slumdog Millionaire
Who I want to win: Doubt
I loved Slumdog Millionaire, but I think I loved it because it moves you while you’re watching it.  Afterwards, after the music and lights have faded, you wonder about some holes in the script and story, but it was still a film that made you sad and happy and in between throughout, so you forgive those flaws.  But in regards to Doubt, it performs on every level.  I can’t think of any weakness in it.  The script is pitch perfect.

walle_lgWRITING (ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY):
Who I think will win: Milk
Who I want to win: WALL-E.
Have I mentioned I love WALL-E?  Cause I do.  As I type this, I can look to my left and see a little WALL-E figurine sitting on my desk.  And every time I look at it, my heart swells.

ANIMATED FEATURE FILM:
Who I think will win: I’m really not sure, but Kung Fu Panda did sweep the Annie Awards.
Who I want to win: WALL-E.
You may have noticed a theme of me loving WALL-E.  On a sidenote, I do think Kung Fu Panda is wonderful and one of the best films DreamWorks has made.  I also find it really exciting how many animated films there are that are entertaining for audiences of all ages.

ART DIRECTION:
Who I think will win: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button or Changeling
Who I want to win: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button or Changeling

slum-dog-millionaireCINEMATOGRAPHY:
Who I think will win: Slumdog Millionaire
Who I want to win: Slumdog Millionaire
Every nominee should get a gold star in my humble but accurate opinion.  They’re all beautiful films.

COSTUME DESIGN:
Who I think will win: No idea.
Who I want to win: I’m not sure who I want to win, but I really want all of the dresses Kate Winslet wears in Revolutionary Road and all the hats Angelina Jolie wears in Changeling.  Can someone please arrange that for me?  I’d be your best friend forever!

FILM EDITING:
Who I think will win: Slumdog Millionaire
Who I want to win: The Dark Knight

MUSIC:
Who I think will win: Slumdog Millionaire
Who I want to win: WALL-E
While I loved the music in Slumdog Millionaire and have downloaded the album on iTunes, it’s the music in WALL-E that moved me and continues to move with every viewing in a way I’ve never experienced on any other film.  As I’ve said, I love that little robot.

SOUND EDITING:
Who I think will win: WALL-E
Who I want to win: WALL-E

SOUND MIXING:
Who I think will win: WALL-E
Who I want to win: WALL-E

benjamin_button_poster_lgVISUAL EFFECTS:
Who I think will win: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Who I want to win: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and WALL-E
No matter whether you’re a Benjamin Button lover or hater, you can’t deny what the visual effects department accomplished in the film.  Visually, the film is a masterpiece, as is WALL-E.

*You may have noticed that there were quite a few ties in my choices.  I obviously suffer from indecision and an intense love of good filmmaking.  Also, it’s really hard to decide when you’re aware of how much work, blood, sweat and tears went into every film.

Congratulations and best wishes to all the nominees!
XXOO Alison

JESSICA SAYS:

BEST ACTOR:
My pick, were I an Academy member, would be Mickey Rourke and I’ll be shocked if he doesn’t win.  I haven’t seen The Visitor or Milk yet, so I can’t speak to Sean Penn’s and Richard Jenkins’ performances.  Running a close second here is Frank Langella.  If anyone can step in front of Rourke, it’s Frank Langella as Richard Nixon.  He is fantastic and already has a Tony for this role.  However, I’m giving the upper hand to Rourke because, besides the fact that he gave an outstanding performance, there is nothing folks like more than an underdog.

heath_ledger_joker_9BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR:
OK, I recently changed my mind on this one.  I think Heath Ledger will win – it’s almost absolute at this point.  He was a great actor and it truly is a shame we won’t get to see any future work from him.  He was great in The Dark Knight.  However, I’ve decided my vote (if I got one) in this category would go to Philip Seymour Hoffman.  The more I have reflected on it, the more I really am astounded by his performance in Doubt. ( I haven’t seen Milk or Tropic Thunder.)

kate-winslet-the-reader-3BEST ACTRESS
Kate Winslet.  My reason is the same as everyone else’s (I presume).  She is great in The Reader, but I’m also picking her for all those times she hasn’t won yet.  Plus, she’s totally awesome and will give a killer acceptance speech.  I totally respect the fact that she makes no bones about wanting to win.  You should want to win. ( I haven’t seen Frozen River.)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS:
This is the category that is notoriously hard to pick, e.g. the last time Marisa Tomei won.  Personally, I would vote for Amy Adams in Doubt, although I loved Viola Davis and Marisa Tomei too.
BEST DIRECTOR:
Danny Boyle for Slumdog Millionaire.  It is rare that Best Picture and Best Director don’t go hand and hand, so…

slumdog_millionaireBEST PICTURE:
Slumdog Millionaire.  It will win, but Frost/Nixon is deserving as well.

OTHER CATEGORY PREDICTIONS:
Best Editing – Frost/Nixon
Best Foreign Language Film – Waltz with Bashir
Best Sound Editing – WALL-E (watch the DVD extras-they’re great)
Best Sound Mixing – The Dark Knight
Best Adapted Screenplay – Doubt
Best Original Screenplay – WALL-E

oscar_sallykirkland1

OTHER PREDICTIONS:
I predict Sally Kirkland and Faye Dunaway will inexplicably be in attendance.  They have both been at the previous two ceremonies and have served to only make me fear the ageing process that much more. I can only hope they reappear so I can read what Go Fug Yourself has to say about an ensemble like this:

I predict Renee Zellweger, if she attends, will usurp Jessica Simpson and Lindsay Lohan as the new most talked about weight issue.

Two Blondes Reflect on 2008: Year in Review

January 29, 2009

Two blondes review 2008 and ramble about themselves a lot:

JESSICA SAYS:

Best of TV

“Friday Night Lights” – Where do I start?  I already went on a little tirade about the lack of attention this show gets in our Emmy recap.  I grew up in a town where everyone went to the high school football games on Fridays.  If the team made the championships that year, it would most certainly be front page news for several days.  This show so completely and realistically captures at least the essence of small town life.  There is no other way to say it, it’s just really, really good entertainment.  Do not be discouraged if you don’t like or understand football.  I can attest that Alison has zero knowledge or interest in the game and I got her completely hooked on this show.  It is more the story of life in the high school of a small town in Texas than the stories about the technicalities of football games.  The key here is that this show is firmly rooted in reality.  These teenagers do not have a constant stream of witty retorts at the ready and are not clothed in $14,000 outfits.  The adults get equal time on screen and the relationship between the coach and his wife (the Taylors) is one of the most loving and real I’ve ever seen on TV.  There is not a single person I know who wouldn’t enjoy this show.  Seriously.  I’m not above begging you to watch it because I don’t want NBC to cancel this show–please, please give it a shot.  I promise you won’t regret it.  NOTE – this is my opinion on season two.  I haven’t yet seen season three.  For those of you out of the loop, FNL was picked up in a joint effort by NBC and DirectTV for season three.  DirectTV got to air it first.  Season three is on NBC now.

“30 Rock” – Please see the many previous posts we’ve made regarding our love for the best comedy on TV.

“Lost” – One of my all-time favorites got it’s groove back this year.  We true, diehard fans were rewarded for sticking it out through the Kate-and-Sawyer-in-Cages dark period with the Freighter folk, time travel, flash forwards, and Ben using some sort of weird donkey-at-a-mill thing in the season finale.  Awesome.  Signing a contract with an exact end date was so smart–good stories require good, planned out, endings.  I think the cast of this show doesn’t get enough credit becuase the writing gets all the attention.  If the scene where Sun (Sunjin Kim) watches the freighter explode with her husband, Jin (Daniel Dae Kim), on it doesn’t make you cry, then you must have no heart.  I’ll say it again, awesome.

“Battlestar Galactica” – This one is perhaps more of a DVD review from me because I just started watching this on DVD.  To be honest, I’m not someone who would immediately sign up for a show with such a name.  However, once I started watching it, I became a little odsessed.  When you run into another BG fan it’s hard to have you conversation blend in to those around you because you’re saying things like, “Well, I’m at the point where Starbuck is back on Caprica and Commander Adama is testing people to see who are Cyolns…”  That kind of talk will stand out to other folks in the office, I’ve found.  It’s really a military drama that just happens to be set in space.  That’s not so dorky, is it?  Oh well, it’s good.  That’s all I’m sayin’.

Best New TV Show

It’s a tie:

“Fringe” – I must confess that I love JJ Abrams.  Like if I met him I would probably resemble a teenager who ran in to Joe Jonas at Pinkberry–all giggles, screams, and repetitions of OhMyGod.  However, I did not love this show at first, but because it was JJ, I gave it some time and it really grew on me.  Mr. Abrams truely has a talent for working with strong leading ladies:  Keri Russell, Jennifer Garner, and now Anna Torv.

“Gossip Girl” – Deliciously trashy.  Do people and places like this really exist?  I doubt it, but it doesn’t matter.  You don’t watch this kind of show for reality.

Worst of TV

This is hard to judge because if it’s bad, I just don’t watch it.  I caught a few minutes of “Momma’s Boys,” the Ryan Seacrest-produced dating show.  There is just something so sad and uncomfortable about watching a 30 year-old man have his mother pick his clothes out for him.

Best of Music – Songs
“Single Ladies” – Beyonce.  This song is super catchy.  Plus you can waste hours on the Internet watching all the knock-off videos.

“I’m Yours” – Jason Mraz.  Sometimes his style of singrapping annoys the pants off of me, but not this time.  This is just a catchy, sweet love song

“Viva La Vida” – Coldplay.

Best of Music – Artists
Vampire Weekend – Yes, I know that all the cool kids have already fallen in love with this band and then broken up with them.  Heck, they maybe are even back in love with them by now, but I don’t care.  Their album makes me smile every time I listen and the geeky parts of my personality really get a kick out of lyrics like, “Who gives a f$%# about an Oxford comma.”

ADELE – I can enjoy Duffy, but if we’re going for young, English soul singers this year, I’ll go with ADELE.  She does a nice cover of Garth Brooks’ “To Make You Feel My Love.”

Worst of Music

Now, it pains me to say this, but Kelly Clarkson’s My December album was not good.  I’ve been a fan of hers since American Idol, so I preordered this album on iTunes.  Mistake.  The songs seem to have no structure (usually a bad thing in pop music), they’re depressing, and worst of all–boring.  I have high hopes for her new album, out March 17, though.

Best of Film

American Teen – I only saw one new documentary this year, but I really liked it.  Following Hannah, Colin, Megan, Mitch, et al. brought memories of the flood of emotions you go through as a senior in high school.  I’m still not sure how I feel about the animation sequences in this film, but I enjoyed the rest of it so much, that it doesn’t matter.

Bolt – I don’t want to bring about the end of my and Alison’s relationship by saying this, but my favorite animated film of 2008 was Bolt, not WALL-E.  I’m kind of obsessed with the hamster, with his bubbling super-fan excitement.  I was charmed by the pigeons’ New York accents too.

TIE: Slumdog Millionaire and Frost/Nixon – both are excellent and they have completely polar opposite tones, which makes it impossible to choose one over the other.  For my full Frost/Nixon review, see https://twoblondeswalkintoablog.wordpress.com/2008/12/28/two-blondes-go-to-a-movie-frostnixon/.  My Slumdog Millionaire review will follow shortly.

Worst of Film

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button – Apparently my opinion of this film is not the majority, as it just received 13 Oscar nominations.  I was just bored for most of it.  For the full review, see https://twoblondeswalkintoablog.wordpress.com/2009/01/09/two-blondes-go-to-a-movie-the-curious-case-of-benjamin-button/

ALISON SAYS:

What the fraggle happened in 2008?

Alison’s review:

Best of film:
WALL-E
It is the best film ever.  Period.

The Wrestler
See my past review.

Honorable mention goes to:
The Dark Knight – see my past review.

Worst of film:
Sex and the City
I know as someone with girly parts, I’m supposed to love this film.  I did watch the show on HBO and it was a big part of my life.  I remember meeting up with gal pals in NY and having drinks and watching “Sex and the City.”  The tradition continued once I moved to LA.  The movie, on the other hand, made me sympathize with disgruntled husbands and boyfriends all over the world who were dragged to see this film.  I was annoyed as I watched the women of Sex and the City scream and fawn over one another.  I wanted to yell at the screen: “Get over your issues and shoe obsession and stop wearing that tiny, weird hat!”

Indiana Jones
I didn’t see this, but I just know.

Best of television:“Lost” – Just watch it.

“30 Rock” – Read my many other posts on 30 Rock.

“Breaking Bad” – An amazing show.  You have never seen anything like this show on TV.

“Friday Night Lights” – No, really you can hate football and love this show.

Honorable mention goes to:
“Mad Men” – Just trust me and plug AMC into your TiVo.

Worst of television:

I wouldn’t know, because my TiVo is caring and knows what not to save.  But a safe bet would be any reality show produced by Ryan Seacrest.  Also from the five minutes I was able to stomach of “Knight Rider,” it looked pretty terrible.

Best in everything:

Tina Fey
How many Emmy’s did this woman win this year?  And how well did she portray Sarah Palin?  I can’t think of any other show that makes me as happy as “30 Rock” does.  Once again, I have to say it: “Werewolf Bar Mitzvah.”

Best online videos:“Where the hell is Matt?”
There’s always many funny, moving, interesting videos to be found on the worldwide web, but something that made my heart warm this year was watching Matt dance all over the world in the video, “Where the hell is Matt?” available here:
http://www.wherethehellismatt.com/videos.shtml?fbid=vpj970bQKUL

“I’m f-ing Matt Damon”
If you haven’t seen this, please look it up, unless you’re my mom, because she might get offended by the curse words.  Otherwise, you will find this hilarious.

Honorable mention goes to:

“Planet Unicorn” – I am too busy still laughing to explain it to you. http://www.planetunicorn.tv/

Cutest and most enthusiastic mom in 2008 (besides our own):

Michael Phelps’ mom.

Winner of Most Screaming Teenage Female Fans in 2008:
Robert Pattinson
I’m not sure if this is a good or bad thing for you, Robert.  Either way, good luck with that.

Best on-air slip-up:

Spaghetti Cat – If you don’t know what I’m talking about, look it up.  Reading is fundamental, even if it’s about a cat who’s eating spaghetti.

Best Abs of 2008 goes to:Helen Mirren
Did you see that picture of Helen Mirren in a red bikini?  Damn, girl!  I mean… damn, Ms. Award Winning Lady!

Honorable mention goes to:
Our new president, Barack Obama, for those pictures from his vacation in Hawaii.

Best in technology:
Wii Fit – It’s sooooooo much fun and can actually give you a good workout, even tennis elbow.  There are a bunch of ladies at my grandmother’s “independent living home” who are in a Wii bowling league.  Is there any better use for a video game than a group of fun-loving senior citizens getting some exercise while having a laugh with their friends?

Worst in technology:
New Facebook – I’m still grumpy about it.

Best Review of 2008:

“Pop Waffle Does 2008” located here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=18MMPhuHZIE

logo2-o

Two Blondes Go To A Movie: The Dark Knight

September 6, 2008

Two blondes review movies and ramble a lot about themselves.

JESSICA SAYS:

Warning:  This review is going to sound like Andy Rooney, but…

Has anyone else noticed that movies have gotten really, really loud in the last couple of years?  Alison and I went to a double feature yesterday, Pineapple Express and The Dark Knight.  I was fine in Pineapple Express, but man, The Dark Knight was literally painful.  I had to plug my ears during any action sequence (which is approx. 96% of the movie).  Even after plugging my ears, I left the theatre slightly shouting everything I said.  I had the same problem a couple of years ago at one of the Bourne movies.  Is it just me?

You know it’s bad when you walk into Forever 21 and think, “Yes, this music seems to be playing at a reasonable volume,” as I did after the movies.  On a related note, on the way into the movie I told Alison I had made my first purchase at Forever 21 just a couple days prior.  She asked why that was my first.  Me:  “Because that store gives me an aneurysm.  The music is too loud, it’s messy, and there are teenagers everywhere.”  Her:  “OK, grandma.”  So maybe it is just me.

I recommend seeing this movie in the theatre, but bring industrial-strength earplugs and don’t sit on the aisle under a speaker.

ALISON SAYS:

As someone who wanted to be a super hero, but was deterred by bad arches and a fear of heights, it was fun to live the life of one for 150 minutes. I saw The Dark Knight twice in the theater and both times thought it was awesome. During my second viewing, I felt bad for Jessica as she held her right ear and winced at the impressive surround sound provided by Pacific 15 at the Grove. But despite her discomfort, I loved the music, explosions, action and awesomeness.

However, in the land of two blondes, there is no perfect review. I was really distracted by Two Face. Rather than looking like a guy who’d been burned, he looks like half a zombie. Also, in any moments where I lost my suspension of disbelief, I was a little thrown by the way Batman talked. It was so guttural, almost to the point of being silly. I think this YouTube video sums it up perfectly: 

LA Viewers: This movie is worth paying full price at Arclight.
Translation for non-LA Natives: Go to the theater to see this movie, but if you’re concerned with hearing loss, don’t sit near the speakers.