Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Don't *beep* with the baby-sitter!

Adventures in Baby-Sitting
Director: Chris Columbus
Cast: Elisabeth Shue, Anthony Rapp, Keith Coogan, Maia Brewton
Released: 7/01/87

Ah, yes, Adventures in Baby-Sitting. This has been a favorite of mine for years; I've seen it countless times, it was the movie of choice at slumber parties. I always get a kick out of watching it even though I can pretty much recite the entire thing verbatim and I know what's going to happen in each scene.

In case you're one of the few people who haven't seen this movie yet (shame on you!), here's a quick synopsis: Shue plays Chris, a senior in high school who is getting ready to go on a date with her boyfriend (played by Bradley Whitford, haha. I remember watching this after The West Wing aired and I was like, "OMG! It's Josh Lyman!"). He tells her he has to cancel because his sister is sick so instead she ends up baby-sitting for Sarah Anderson. Her older brother, Brad, has a crush on Chris, so he decides to stay home instead of going over to his friend Darryl Coopersmith's (played by Rapp) house. Meanwhile, Chris's BFF, Brenda has run away from home and is stuck at a bus station and calls Chris to help her because she has no money. So Chris ends up taking Sarah, Brad, and Darryl into Chicago to pick her up and of course one bad thing after another happens...

It's almost comical how '80s this film is. Exhibit A: when Brenda tells Chris how her stepmom is driving her crazy, she says she's going to "spike her Tab with Drano". It took me a few seconds to remember that Tab is a nasty Cola from the '80s. Exhibit B: Sarah's backpack has a picture of Gizmo on it and in her room in the background you can see a stuffed animal of a blue and purple monster with fangs. A quick search from Google told me it was called My Pet Monster. Exhibit C: When they get stranded on the expressway, Chris doesn't even have a cell phone to call for help (well, she did leave her purse at the house - what an idiot!) But I don't think teens in the '80s had cell phones, not like they do today anyway. While it's true that this film is dated (very dated!), I don't mind. It's like taking a nostalgic trip back to the '80s when I watch this.

I do my "impression" of the bad guy:

The scene that ALWAYS makes me cringe:

This movie is chock full of ridiculous scenes, but this is probably the most ridiculous:

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Send in the Basterds

Inglorious Basterds
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Brad Pitt, Christoph Waltz, Eli Roth, Diane Kruger, Melanie Laurent
Released: 8/21/09

Oscar nominations:
Best Picture
Best Director - Quentin Tarantino
Best Supporting Actor - Christoph Waltz
Best Original Screenplay - Quentin Tarantino
Best Cinematography
Best Editing
Best Sound
Best Sound Editing

It seems a lot of people had been raving about this film and since it got some Oscar nominations in major categories and because I liked Pulp Fiction and loved the Kill Bill movies, I decided I should check it out.

First of all, if you get really squeamish easily or you're a huge history buff and hate it when movies mess with history, then I would not recommend this movie to you as both factors are quite prevalent in the film. I'm actually quite surprised it had been getting Oscar buzz for Best Picture (and ended up getting a nomination). Not because it's a bad movie, but because it seems like Hollywood takes their Holocaust/Nazi movies so seriously that I thought they would have been offended by the obvious history changes Inglorious Basterds gives them.

Brad Pitt is the leader of the group which kills Nazis. (And really, who doesn't want to kill Nazis?) He's nothing more than a caricature (especially the minute you hear his accent; his Italian "accent" is even more hilarious), but it's the supporting cast who are more interesting than him.

Christoph Waltz has been receiving many awards for Best Supporting Actor as a Nazi with a penchant for dairy products and will most likely win the Oscar unless there's, like, some huge upset. (Which there won't be because the Oscars are boring and predictable like that, but I still love them!) I remember last year I didn't see Milk or Vicky Christina Barcelona until after the Oscars. I completely understood why Sean Penn won his Oscar, but with Penelop Cruz, it was like, eh, she was okay, not the most memorable performance, she was much better in Volver. I kinda feel the same way as Waltz as I did with Cruz. He's good and deserves the nomination, but I'm not blown away by it or anything. (I haven't seen the other nominated performances so I can't tell you who I would like to see win).

Actually, I'm a little sad Melanie Laurent didn't get a nomination for Best Supporting Actress as the French Jew who escapes being killed by the Nazis and gets her own revenge when she hosts a screening of a Nazi-glorified film at her theater in Paris by locking the theater and setting fire to it. Laurent's storyline was my favorite, and believe me, the payoff is pretty awesome. It's worth the two and a half hours just to see the last act.

The movie is a bit long and I felt some of the dialogue was unnecessary - like the scene with Diane Kruger playing the celebrity card game with the soldiers. None of it advanced the plot further in any way and it was like, okay, what's the point of this? But that's Tarantino for you.

While not my favorite movie nominated for Best Picture this year, it certainly is better than others that were nominated. :::coughTheBlindSidecough::::

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Oscar Nominations!

In this blog entry I posted my predictions for the Oscars nominations. Let's see how I did, shall we?

Best Picture:

"The Blind Side"
"District 9"
"An Education"
"The Hurt Locker"
"Inglourious Basterds"
"A Serious Man"
"Up in the Air"

I got 7/10. Not bad. I had Nine, The Hangover, and Invictus instead of District 9, A Serious Man, and The Blind Side. BTW, The Blind Side seemed to come out of nowhere. I certainly had a WTF!? reaction when I saw it listed. It was a decent movie, not Oscar-worthy though. It was more like a made for TV movie than anything. I've only seen half of the movies on here, but there really isn't one movie I'm rooting for like there was when I watched the 1998, 2000, 2004, 2006, and 2009 Oscars. Hopefully by the time I do my predictions I will have seen more movies to get a better feel of which one I like the best.

Best Supporting Actress:
Penelope Cruz, "Nine"
Vera Farmiga, "Up in the Air"
Maggie Gyllenhaal, "Crazy Heart"
Anna Kendrick, "Up in the Air"
Mo'Nique, "Precious"

My worst category; I only got 3/5. Gyllenhaal just came out of nowhere and I didn't think Nine would get any acting nods. I had Julianne Moore and Samantha Morton instead.

Best Supporting Actor:
Matt Damon, "Invictus"
Woody Harrelson, "The Messenger"
Christopher Plummer, "The Last Station"
Stanley Tucci, "The Lovely Bones"
Christoph Waltz, "Inglourious Basterds"

I got 4/5...instead of Plummer I had Alfred Molina.

Best Actress:
Sandra Bullock, "The Blind Side"
Helen Mirren, "The Last Station"
Carey Mulligan, "An Education"
Gabourey Sidibe, "Precious"
Meryl Streep, "Julie & Julia"

Whoohoo! 5/5!!!!! I am so good at this!

Best Actor:
Jeff Bridges, "Crazy Heart"
George Clooney, "Up in the Air"
Colin Firth, "A Single Man"
Morgan Freeman, "Invictus"
Jeremy Renner, "The Hurt Locker"

5/5 again! Of course, I think everybody had these five down for their predictions.

Best Director:
James Cameron, "Avatar"
Kathryn Bigelow, "The Hurt Locker"
Quentin Tarantino, "Inglourious Basterds"
Lee Daniels, "Precious"
Jason Reitman, "Up in the Air"

4/5...I had Clint Eastwood instead of Lee Daniels.