Archive | August, 2010

Tuesday Movie Musings: From the headlines

31 Aug

Lots of movie news from the last few days that I’m excited about and want to share:

    Blockbuster tells Hollywood studios it’s preparing for mid-September bankruptcy—from the LA Times.  As I wrote about in July, the end is near for this once thriving video rental behemoth.  According to Blockbuster, if it successfully exits bankruptcy, the company will focus on developing new business models…like renting movies via kiosks and via online streaming.  Good thing no one has thought of those ways to distribute movies yet…

    Netflix Adds IPhone, IPod Touch Application to Stream TV Programs, Movies—from Bloomerg.  I’m pretty stoked about this one: now, you can download this free app to your iPhone or iPod touch and stream Netflix movies right to your device.  Only caveats: you must have an account with Netflix already (kind of a no-brainer) and you can only stream the movies that are available for instant streaming already, which limits you to mostly older movies and some TV shows.  BUT, the first 5 seasons of LOST are available to be streamed, so I’m a happy camper!

    Disney’s Toy Story 3 becomes highest grossing animated movie ever—from the International Business Times.  Toy Story 3 was expected to cross the $1 BILLION mark yesterday, making it the highest grossing animated movie of all time. The previous holder of that title was Shrek 2.

    Summer Movie Box-Office Attendance Falls to Lowest Since 1997—from Bloomberg.  Despite my trying to single handedly bring up the box office numbers this summer, movie attendance is at a 13 year low.  However, revenue is expected to rise to a record level from the summer, as higher ticket prices (including tickets for 3D movies) have more than made up for the decline in ticket sales.

    Finally, did anyone watch the 2010 Emmy awards (NY Daily News) this past Sunday?  I did—along with 13.5 million others; compared to the 41.62 million who tuned in for the 82nd Academy awards this past February, this seems like a small number for an early season award show…I wonder if that’s the nature of holding the Emmy’s in the summer, or we just like our movie awards more than those for TV?  Any other ideas?

    2nd Chance to See Avatar in 3D

    24 Aug

    In case you haven’t seen, Avatar, the highest grossing film of all time which just ended its runin theaters this past March, will be returning to theaters this Friday, August 27th.  Avatar: Special Edition be entirely in 3D, and include 9 minutes of new footage.

    This winner of 3 academy awards is being re-released in 3D to allow movie goers who didn’t see it in 3D the chance to, as Avatar was pushed out of 3D theaters last summer to make way for new 3D releases.

    According to Sandy Cohen of the Associated Press, director James Cameron is already planning sequels to Avatar, but it will be a few years before anything is concrete.

    Will you be forking over another $15 to see Avatar’s extra 9 minutes?  Or did you not see it the first time around?  I did see it in 3D, and it was pretty awesome; I don’t know if an extra 9 minutes will persuade me to head into the theater, but you never know!

    See the official announcement here and click the image for show times via Fandango.

    Short and Sweet: Eclipse and Toy Story 3

    23 Aug

    So far, out of the 5 must see summer movies I posted at the beginning of July, I’ve seen 3. Inception got its own post, but Eclipse and Toy Story slipped through the cracks. A TRAVESTY!

    Not exactly…but I thought I’d put up a short and sweet recap of these two!

    Eclipse: What can I say, the Twilight movies just keep getting better…, which, if you saw the first one, shouldn’t come as surprise, as it was TERRIBLE.  As the franchise continues to rake in the dollars, the quality of the movies increases.  No coincidence there, I think. Regardless of this, I was still psyched to see it, for three reasons: 1) I’m a huge Twilight dork and Eclipse is my favorite of the books, 2) I saw Eclipse at the Lux Level, which is my favorite/the only way to see a movie and 3) I was lucky enough to see it with two of my besties, Ashley and Annemarie.

    Me, Annemarie and Ashley living it up in the Lux Level!

    Toy Story 3: Was amazing. Straight up, awesome. Definitely a lock for Best Animated Picture and a sue thing to be nominated for best picture. If you haven’t see this yet, SEE IT BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE, you won’t regret it.  It’s been asolid 10 years since I’ve seen Toy Story 1 or 2, but I had a nice nostalgia wave going on watching Woody and Buzz and the gang. Not only was it heartfelt and genuine, but I was really funny too.  Not in a Shrek, only adults will get it way, but in a legitimately funny for all way that was refreshing for an animated movie.

    If I had to give one of these movies a win over the other, Toy Story 3 absolutely gets the upper hand (even though Robert Pattinson is much hotter than any of the toys.

    Next up on my summer movie must sees: Eat Pray Love (which I’m going to see next Wednesday with the lovely Erica) and Going the Distance (looks like a boyfriend friendly movie!)

    What movies are you looking forward to seeing that are coming out soon (ish)? Check out Oscatini’s Coming Soon page if you need inspiration, those are my picks over the next few months!

    The Godfather (Winner, 1972/45th Annual Academy Awards)

    17 Aug

    So I’m mildly ashamed to write this: this was the first time I’ve ever seen The Godfather. But I’m a girl, so I guess it’s not THAT embarrassing. Seriously though, I’ve seen bits and pieces, and knew some basic references, which are now engrained in pop culture.  I already knew about the horse head, but this is where I learned everything  else I knew about The Godfather:

    Ok, maybe that is a little embarrassing, come to think of it. But, good news? I am now of the camp that this is the most badass movie ever. Yes, ever. Without crazy special effects and a billion dollar budget, The Godfather still manages to own all movies, and has for almost 40 years. With a perfect 100% rating from Rotten Tomatoes and appearances on countless other lists (best movie of all time, most influential movie, blah, blah).

    The movie is the original gangster movie; set during 10 years between 1945 and 1955, The Godfather follow the rise of the Corleone crime family.  Led by the Don (Marlo Brando, in an iconic role for which he won best actor), the movie is based on the Mario Puzo novel of the same name. Interesting fact: though Puzo wrote two sequels to The Godfather, neither are the inspiration for the second 2 movies in the series.  However, Puzo did serve as a screenwriter for all three movies.

    Me with "the don"...

    ...and Alyssa. She's his fave!

    So back to the movie; the Don has his good son Michael, who stayed out of the family business, and his “family” son, Sonny, who’s lined up to be the next Don.  Of course, the best laid plans are never meant to be, and nothing turns out as planned.  With rival Mafia families, assassination attempts and a (gorgeous) side story filmed in Italy, The Godfather is proof that a gangster movie can be done right.  Personally, I found that this movie has a very human element; with the focus on family and doing right by your loved ones, you almost forget that you’re watching warring Mafioso factions—no small feat.

    One thing that surprised me: there are a TON of famous people in this movie! Besides Brando, you also have Al Pacino (who was surprisingly hot as a young guy!), James Caan (who I ID’d as Buddy the Elf’s dad from Elf), Robert Duvall and Diane Keaton. I literally had no idea all these actors were in this movie. I think I was vaguely aware of Brando and Pacino, but surely not the others.

    Next up: waiting for The Godfather part II and III (via Netflix, obv). ALL THREE in the series were nominated for best picture, with both part I and II taking home the statue.  I’ve heard that part II is even better than part I, but I’ll save the official Oscartini verdict until I’ve actually seen them both =)

    Now, confession time: since I’ve professed serious ignorance about all the Godfather, can I get some affirmation from anyone else that “You’ve Got Mail” was how you were familiar with The Godfather? “Take it to the mattresses”?  It would make be feel better about my (former) lack of Godfather education!

    Fun facts (courtesy of IMDB and Wikipedia)

    • There are approximately 61 scenes in the film that feature people eating/drinking, or just food.
    • The line “I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse” was selected by the American Film Institute on it’s list as one of the top 100 movie quotes.
    • Although it is now recognized as one of the most acclaimed and beloved films of all time, The Godfather only received three Academy Awards (best picture, actor and adapted screenplay)
    • Budget: $6.5 Million, gross revenue: $133 million+

    Happy Birthday, Wizard of Oz!

    12 Aug

    Seen today’s Google doodle? It’s pretty awesome:

    Courtesy of

    It’s a homage to The Wizard of Oz, as today is the 71st anniversity of the movies theatrical release.  Though not a best picture winner (it was nominated, but lost in 1939 to Gone with the Wind), this is still one of the greatest movies of all time, and one I personally can watch over and over again!

    In honor of the day and Google doodle, The Guardian pulled together an awesome list of 71 facts for the film’s birthday.  You can see the full list here, but some of my favorites were:

    • The film won two Oscars for best original score and best original song, and was nominated for best art direction, best cinematography and best effects.
    • The musical Wicked is based on the Witches of Oz. It’s essentially a back story to The Wizard of Oz, and shows the Wicked Witch of the West is a positive light.
    • The tornado was a 35-foot-long muslin stocking, spun around among miniatures of a Kansas farm and fields in a dusty atmosphere.
    • Baum thought up the name for Oz when looking at his filing cabinets, organised A-N and O-Z.
    • Jell-O crystals were stuck over all the horses in the Emerald City palace to lend them their colour. The scenes were shot speedily, before the horses began to lick them off.

    Happy Thursday!

    Remembering John Hughes

    9 Aug

    So it’s been just over a year since John Hughes passed away from a heart attack. To remember this fine filmmaker, I spent this past Friday watching some old John Hughes classics.  In order of favorites, from least to most, here’s how I remembered John Hughes:

    Sixteen Candles—OK, so Sixteen Candles isn’t exactly my cup of tea. The underlying premise of the movie creeps me out a smidge: senior heartthrob Jake Ryan wants a piece of Sam because he found a creepy survey thingie in which she said she’s most like to “do it” with him, thus putting him on a quest to see what her deal is. Also, her parents forget her birthday, which is terrible. Anthony Michael Hall’s adorable self, the sister’s muscle relaxer-filled wedding and foreign exchange student Long Duk Dong are what really keeps the movie going for me.

    Pretty in Pink—while not topping the list, Pretty in Pink leaves no doubt why Molly Ringwald was America’s sweetheart in the 80’s. As a girl from (literally) the wrong side of the tracks trying to make it with her “Richie” boyfriend, Andie has you rooting for her the whole way. Even though John Hughes wanted her to end up with the nerdy, yet sweet best friend Duckie, test audiences got their way, and Andie went with Blaine (which, coincidentally, is the richest name in the world. Look it up.)

    Ferris Bueller’s Day Off—Ferris comes in second by a hair. What I love most about this movie is it’s the stuff of pure fantasy; but with Ferris at the helm, it totally feels like it could happen to you. With Ferris, Cam and Sloan running a muck around Chicago on the best hooky day EVER, one scene stands out as being among the most memorable:

    The Breakfast Club—What else could be the winner? This is by far my favorite John Hughes’/Brat Pack movie EVER. Although I largely find Claire to be Molly Ringwald’s most unlikeable character (especially compared to Andie and Sam!), I still love her to death, with all her snooty rich girl-ness.  With Judd Nelson’s bad boy Bender, Emilio Estevez’s athletic Andrew, Ally Sheedy’s weirdo Allison and Anthony Michael Hall’s nerd Brian, this cast melds together so well, and the result is a classic film that’s above both reproach, and remake (I hope!)

    Check out last year’s very sweet tribute from last year’s Oscar’s:

    What’s your favorite Brat Pack/John Hughes movie? Do you agree with my ranking of these 4, or am I way off with my Sixteen Candles verdict?

    Breaking News: Breaking Dawn

    3 Aug

    This just in: everyone’s favorite werewolf/vampire/awkward human love triangle (obviously Breaking Dawn part 2) will be released on 11/16/2010, just over a year after the first installment, which makes its way to theaters on 11/11/11.

    With the most recent third movie in the Twilight franchise Eclipse having grossed over $600 million worldwide since its release in June, I think these movies will do just fine, if even they are a year and 2 away. I will likely go and see both (though I can safely predict neither will be as Oscar reviews!)

    What about you?  Will your Twilight interest still be going strong when Breaking Dawn 1 and 2 finally come out?