The 83rd Oscars Nominations: An Opinion on the Opinions

Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film

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The 83rd Academy Award Nominations have been announced.  The internet is ablaze with debate about the deserving, undeserving, the snubbed and the surprises.

Unfortunately, I didn’t see most of these films, as a few of  the releases were delayed to my country of residence, South Africa, or I just missed the film house release and am waiting for the DVD. Either way, I am in a bad place to judge any of these films. I haven’t seen many and can’t go by hearsay in judging Oscar-worth films.

Much of the debate so far is how the Oscars is just confirming films that were well received by critics. This, of course, is at ends with the 80th Academy Awards (2008), which was coined “The Year of The Underdog”. The Academy was trashed by many critics as snubbing  mainstream filmhouses and films, instead focusing on Indie films, or having chosen the underdogs, the low-cost, low-earning films.

Now, the same critics flame a debate about how mainstream the Oscars have become. Blink, and the waters change, eh?

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Kick-Ass Will Kick a Spartan's Ass

Kick-Ass won’t be an amazing film. It won’t break ground, and change peoples minds about comic book movies. Everyone who is going to see this movie wanted to see this type of movie. I mean all this in all the good ways. This will be the new 300. Technically, is shouldn’t be great, but it will be, and it will make millions of dollars, it will trend on twitter, and will become a meme in and of its own. But not amazing, in the classical sense.

Just like 300.
This will be good Cinema, like you would say good TV. You put your mind on snooze, looked at the pretty colours, laughed at all the ironic and droll humour, you enjoyed the movie for what it was. It does have some social commentary, but it won’t be forced down your thought. Popcorn will be, as this is a popcorn movie, not trying to be more. Which is nice. Think of it in the same vein as Transformers. By no stretch of the imagination will it be the new way of doing things, but it made its money, that’s really what they wanted.

Have a Heart for the Death Of Valentines Day

    The various media always surprise me at Valentines day (Not really). Everyone is thinking love, everyone is speaking love, faking love and most of all, spending money on cheap and tacky things that, in some magic way, prove undieing love.
   
    It happens with the press as well. Mass-sensationalism about love. This one killed for love, this one died because of love, that one was murdered for the cheap tacky things and the contents of his wallet. Isn’t it lovely that this couple has been married for 67 years? Should they die the next day, no news article will mention it. Once reported, no need for a follow-up.
    It happens with music, to a degree. While love songs are always being produced, and we are all partial to the occasional ballad, there is a sudden influx of love songs across the radio waves. I like music, but I also like variety. 25 love songs, back-to-back, do not appeal. But then, if they keep dong it, it must mean someone still listens.
   
    It happens with movies. Mostly them. Of any media, movies are the most exploitative. I understand why, they are expensive, take a long time to make and most of all, only ever have attractive people in them. I think that is the only reason why people (read = woman) go to see these movies. Oh! It has McDreamy in it? Or that other guy, Steroid-Beast, And that other one, you know, Sleazy-but-still-cute-in-a-skater/surfer-way.
    These people dominate the February film line up. I am fine with chick-flicks(but not a fan), but movies made to exploit the Valentines hype, now those I really don’t like. I’d love to see a Rom-Com with ugly people. Think of it. Ugly people that truly love each other, and have to deal some heavy issues, whatever they may be, but they LOVE EACH OTHER!
    Or maybe two ugly people meet, that’s where the movie starts, and as the movie progresses, the relationship develops and the people become more ‘pretty’. Not a huge makeover, but enough to convoy a message of Love is Beautiful. Not R50 a ticket, R25 a kilogramme, R30 an hour.
   
    I don’t know. Should I be angry at the world’s media, that is just another type of business, trying to make a profit off whatever sells, or should I be angry at the people you buy into it. If those people didn’t buy, there would be not comparing of Valentine’s Gifts, because that’s what they are. Commodities to be compared and valued, and they are called Valentine’s gifts. Because that’s all they’ll ever be.
    Show your love during the year, not on a special day that has had all the special meaning behind it stripped, replaced with special prices
  

Sequel Kills Bill

    After watching Inglorious Basterds, I’m sure most of the world rediscovered their thirst for Quentin Tarantino. If you haven’t seen it, you should have seen something by him. If not, then film maybe just isn’t your thing.
    I have enjoyed all his movies, Reservoir Dogs placed next to DeathProof as my favourites. Dogs is the heist movie where you never see the heist, DeathProof the slasher/car love movie. Dogs had the twists and turns, DeathProof had muscle cars and Kurt Russell reliving his early acting career. Ever seen Escape from New York and Big Trouble in Little China? Total camp ’80s movies. Total gold as well…
   
    Kill Bill is one of QT’s REALLY stylized movies. It had cool leaking from the joints, style glued to its skin, and dialogue as only QT does. It showed its love to Martial Arts, Hong Kong crime dramas, and a manga(Japanese comics) plot-line. So really, he just made a movie he would have loved to have seen as a kid. He split the saga into 2 so he wouldn’t have to compromise on action vs drama.
    A quick plot review, for those who haven’t watched and those who forget. Both do themselves a disservice. Anyway. Uma Thurman, The Bride, wakes from a coma. The only thing on her mind is to find the team that betrayed her and tried to kill her. The team she was once part of. And as we all know, revenge is best served cold. The Bride is a master chef.
    That’s Kill Bill: Vol 1’s basic plot. Kill everyone on the way to find Bill. However, it’s full of style, pop culture and amazing dialogue. Oh, and lots and lots of swords, dismemberment, blood and such and such. If blood puts you off, just bite your lip, it’s a great movie.
    Kill Bill: Vol 2 covers The Bride continuing her quest against her ex-boss, Bill, and his remaining associates. It also deals with why this is such a personal journey, why she is so ruthless, and her training. Again, a great movie, with a heavier focus on the drama, rather than the action. It suffers in a way, but not too much.
   
    Now the amazing thing with Kill Bill was that it ended. The ending was fairly definite. The duo seemed closed.
    Quentin, that sly basterd (see what I did there?), has now announced Kill Bill: Vol 3. Cough, cough. Normally I would drag my sturdy soapbox out, and start cursing life and people, like Wobbly-Headed Bob, about cash cows and corporate interference and just plain selling out, but I admire Quentin as a filmmaker. If I made movies, I would make his movies. I feel I must defend him now.
    Quentin has never done a sequel. To my knowledge, he has never written one. He rarely directs/writes for TV. Quentin, likes to finish what he starts. So the news of a pending, dare I say it, sequel? is news. As yet, no details have been released about the plot. Only that Uma Thurman stars, and it will release in 2014. Quite a way off. I can’t actually wait.
    So, that Quentin is doing a third movie must mean that he never considered the saga closed. It was not quite finished yet. The were some loose ends that were purposely left dangling, but it was far from bait. It allowed the mind to wander back to it and wonder what happened in the end. We will now know.

    If Quentin does this right, which I think he will in leaps and bounds, it may set a standard for sequels/prequels. Do it because you planned it, really want the story told and feel it will not tarnish the originals idea. Don’t keep milking until you draw blood. And always stop once the cow is dead. I’m looking at you Rocky….

Milk the Cash Cow, Sell Your Soul

    While browsing the net this morning, I discovered a few articles discussing the future of the Watchmen brand. For those who don’t know, Watchmen was originally a graphic novel written by Alan Moore. Now be assured, Watchmen is so much more than a comic book
    Watchmen is one of the few (well, there are 99 others) books listed in TIME magazines Best 100 Novels. Yes, it’s up there with Moby Dick, Pride and Prejudice and Gone with The Wind. If you haven’t read it, do so. And the others, if you have time.

    The really important thing about Watchmen, is that it is a single issue. By that, I mean there aren’t twelve different books to collect, and 5 coming out next year, blah blah. It’s a single book. Read it, and you know the Watchmen universe. You got the whole world in your hands.
    There is a movie by Zack Snyder, a good one actually. He made it for the fans, and I am glad he did. Making it for the uninitiated would have been a complete flop. Not bad for a guy who made the remake of Dawn of The Dead (awesome zombie flick) and then 300 (you know, THIS IS SPARRTTTTAAAA!!!). However, the movie lends nothing other than visual splendour to the novel. Which was the only thing that should/could have been done.

    The issue at hand however, is that DC Comics, the holders of Watchmen, Batman, Superman licenses, has had a major shift in the corporate ladder. The previous head, Paul Levitz, put any sort of Watchmen sequel/prequel down. He didn’t think Alan Moore would like his baby being milked like some mutant cash cow. So Levitz halted any addition the Watchmen name, other than a faithful movie, and a minimal game. He’s gone. Been replaced with a Dan DiDio.
    Now apparently Dan DiDio is looking at expanding. Spin-off’s, prequel mini-series, possible another movie if all goes well. This, understandably, has fans in an uproar. The Watchmen universe starts at page one, and ends… at another page quite far away, I forget the number,  but the point is that Watchmen developed the characters, made us care about their past and future, made us see where their future is headed, and the finished. It really is a complete journey. There is nothing else to cover.

    Anything more is like being given a single grape just before you leave a hotel. I had fun there, but what the hell is up with the grape? Did they really have do that? Now I can only remember the grape.
    My personal problem is, I probably will go see this movie and buy the comic. ‘Cuz, you know, once its made, well, you gotta know what’s inside. Have to see how badly the strayed from it all.

Proudly South African? Not us!

   That title is not aimed at me. It's the Media of South Africa. They are very picky when it comes to what they will report on, and if it's supporting our country, no, we can't have that. BLAME ZUMA!! YEAH!! OR APARTHEID!! Sorry, gotta stop blaming that.

    With news of Mr. Niell Blomkamp's film, District 9, being nominated in 4 catagories for the Oscars, I got quite pissed off. Not because I don't like the movie, but because I loved it.
    I am South African, and the movie is directed, edited, written, just about everything, by South Africans. If Peter Jackson didn't produce it, it would be a South African production. The reason why I am so pissed off, is that good ol' South Africa refused to even touch this movie until it made $37 million in 2 days. After that, the media couldn't get enough of it.
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