The rants and raves of a teenage cinephile who is just a little bit obsessed with Catherine O'Hara and Hayao Miyazaki.

Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year Banner Contest!

Well, it's that time again...for a eye-dentification Banner contest! I've had this current banner for far too long and it's almost time to switch it out, so you know what that means....you guys get to try to identify whose eyes are present!

AND, this time around, the prize is extra-special! Or anyway, it's kind of cool. If you win, I'll WRITE YOU A SONG! And record it, and give it to you in mp3 format! Yeah! I'll write it about whatever you want. If you want me to write a song based on your favorite movie, sure, or maybe a love song to you, or even if you want me to write you a song about like, flying ponies taking over Mars then that's cool too. It's allllll up to you.

Or, if you don't want a special song, then you can take the prize that I normally give out - a guest post on this blog! Or something else. The prize is negotiable. Heh heh.

Anyway. Let's review the rules.

1. Look at the banner at the top of my blog. You know, the one with all the eyes on it. Haha!

2. Send me an email at marioman60@gmail.com and write down the actor/actress and the film that the eyes are from. For animated films, just the name of the movie is fine.

3. Points are given for each correct part of the answer. So you get 1 point for the right actor, 1 point for the right movie.

4. Whoever gets the most points WINS!!!




All right so that's all there is to it. You've got two weeks to do it (the deadline for entries will be the 19th of January. GO!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

THE MOVIE I'M MOST ANTICIPATING IN 2011

Haha. Just kidding. Though, I'm not going to say that I'm NOT going to go see this movie. It could be worth a few laughs. Just the 3D preview itself was pretty hilarious.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Can we all just take a moment...

...to recognize the awesomeness that is Emma Stone?


Needless to say, I just finished watching "Easy A" and though this may just be that post-movie high, but allow me to just say how truly wonderful Emma was in the movie. Every little sarcastic eyebrow raise, every little snarky rhetorical remark, and every single faux-slutty strut that she took was so, so perfect and she injected so much into her character. As she began to go in too deep, we could see the subtlety of Olive's lies and how she was trying to be strong above it all.

Gosh, without Emma Stone "Easy A" would be nowhere near as good as it was. Though, that's not necessarily true because the supporting cast was quite good (the Tucci-Clarkson-Stone chemistry was irresistible) but let's be honest - Emma was just wonderful.

I know I'm always the last to the party but I just had to throw some confetti Emma's way nonetheless. ;)

Right now the movie is feeling about an 8, and a large part of that score is Stone. Loooooove

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Other Guys (2010)

I thought that I had heard some good things about this movie, so imagine my surprise when it turned out to be utter garbaaaaaage. Really, it was just a huge mess. Not only was the script slightly homophobic and treated its female characters like crap, but it was also horrendously paced and chock-full of unbearably clunky dialogue, and the jokes rarely took off. Even the editing was noticeably poor. On the other hand, considering the atrocity of the script, Wahlberg and Ferrell are able to muster up some laughs and chemistry that kept the movie from being entirely unwatchable. There were also a couple of visually interesting scenes (the paper-flying-around-shoot-out and the shot-by-shot bar scene) that were like small little tiny faux-diamonds in a trash can. Ugh. What a waste of an hour and forty minutes of my evening. Skip this one.

4/10

Thursday, December 16, 2010

I'm too nice.

I was just looking over at my sidebar of movies I've seen this year, and I was kind of (not really) surprised to see that for the most part, I've given pretty high scores. In fact, most are 8 or above, with a lot of sevens, and just a couple lower. Nothing lower than a five.

So that means I've not seen anything particularly stinky this year, but I was thinking - this year hasn't particularly EXCITED me filmwise. I'm surprised such a lukewarm year has merited such high scores from me. Like, even "Scott Pilgrim VS The World" and "Black Swan", a couple of my favorites this year so far, can't match the excitement I had for "Inglourious Basterds" and "500 Days of Summer" last year.

So the point is this. Am I too nice when I rate my movies? I'm thinking I need to revamp my system...or at least develop some criteria. Perhaps I should switch to the ever popular letter grade system?

My question to you fellow bloggers is this - do you use some sort of criteria while rating movies? Do you prefer numbers or letters? Am I overly generous? I just need some advice on this topic from bloggers more experienced than myself so if you would, please respond below! :)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

I am obligated to comment on this

Just a little sumpin' sumpin' I just came across today, to take our minds off awards season......


Well honestly, I have no idea what Ke$ha was going for here. I mean, with product placement more shameless than that in the "Telephone" video, religious imagery more unsuccessful than that of "Alejandro", and hairstyles worse than this, it seems like kind of a mess.

On the other hand, the song is fun, I have a guilty love for Ke$ha, and honestly I guess it fits the song pretty well. I can't say I'm disappointed! Plus, that part where she falls off the building...ooooonly Ke$ha. Only Ke$ha.

Ke$ha - love her, hate her, love to hate her, hate to love her, refuse to write her name with a dollar sign? Comment below!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Super Last Minute Globe Predictions!

Because I want to get in on the action! Muahahaha.

Motion Picture - Drama
127 Hours
Black Swan
The King's Speech
The Social Network
The Fighter

Oh no, no room for Inception? That's probably going to come back to haunt me.

Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical
Another Year
Burlesque
Easy A
The Kids Are All Right
Toy Story 3

I'm picking Burlesque because I feel like, no matter what, the Globes nominate musicals. ALWAYS. Is Date Night a threat at all here?

Director
Darren Aronofsky - Black Swan
David Fincher - The Social Network
Tom Hooper - The King's Speech
Christopher Nolan - Inception
Coen Bros. - True Grit

Actor - Drama
Jeff Bridges - True Grit
Jesse Eisenberg - The Social Network
Colin Firth - The King's Speech
James Franco - 127 Hours
Mark Wahlberg - The Fighter

Actress - Drama
Nicole Kidman - Rabbit Hole
Jennifer Lawrence - Winter's Bone
Natalie Portman - Black Swan
Hailee Steinfeld - True Grit
Naomi Watts - Fair Game

Strangely I struggled with that one. Watts seems Globesy and I want her momentum to continue. Steinfeld is a lead now! And I've only heard good things about her, so, it could happen. However, a surprise Noomi Rapace or Gwyneth Paltrow nod would be nice...

Actor - Comedy
Jim Carrey - I Love You Phillip Morris
Michael Cera - Scott Pilgrim VS The World
Johnny Depp - Alice in Wonderland
John C. Reilly - Cyrus
Ben Stiller - Greenberg

Uh, the Michael Cera thing will never happen, but a guy can dream, can't he? Plus it's not SO far fetched. :P I hope Ben Stiller makes it!

Actress - Comedy
Christina Aguilera - Burlesque
Annette Bening - The Kids Are All Right
Lesley Manville - Another Year
Julianne Moore - The Kids Are All Right
Emma Stone - Easy A

It was tough to leave off Rachel McAdams for Morning Glory but alas. Also, what about Anne Hathaway? Sigh. This is so tricky. If I got it completely right though, it'd be a very strange lineup. Yet, weirder things have happened before. I mean, Julia Roberts surprised us all last year, something like that could happen again! (I personally hope it does.)

Supporting Actor
Christian Bale - The Fighter
Jonah Hill - Cyrus
Mark Ruffalo - The Kids Are All Right
Geoffrey Rush - The King's Speech
Justin Timberlake - The Social Network

Timberlake and Hill are risky calls but the Globes sometimes like the superfamous people and the small comedic turns. We shall see...

Supporting Actress
Amy Adams - The Fighter
Helena Bonham-Carter - The King's Speech
Cher - Burlesque
Melissa Leo - The Fighter
Dianne Wiest - Rabbit Hole

Aw, no Jacki Weaver, but I can see her getting snubbed here but NOT by Oscar. Same with Barbara Hershey who I'm rooting for but probably won't make it. Tears! Anyway. Cher seems likely. The Globes like to have fun and just imagine the possibilities!



Well, there you have it...I wonder how well I'll do tomorrow! Haha. I can't believe it's already Golden Globes time. Sheesh! Where has the year gone!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Catherine O'Hara Filmography: A Mighty Wind (2003)


Ah, finally, we've come again to a Christopher Guest movie. Unlike most, Guest actually realizes how talented Catherine O'Hara is and utilizes her so well in every one of her movies. "A Mighty Wind" is a hilarious mockumentary about three different folk groups who are coming together to play a memorial concert in honor of the man that gave them all their start. The film follows each of the three groups as they reunite, rehearse and get ready for the big night.

Catherine O'Hara plays Mickey Crabbe, formerly of the sweetheart folk duo "Mitch and Mickey", along with her past lover Mitch Cohen (Eugene Levy). During their prime, the duo was famous for their song "A Kiss at the End of the Rainbow", which always ended with a kiss that left audiences swooning. However, Mickey is now married, after a horrible dispute that left their duo broken and Mitch an emotional trainwreck.

Overall, "A Mighty Wind" is a wonderful and endearing, not to mention hysterical little movie. I used to consider it one of Guest's lesser works, but after recently rewatching it with a friend (and my mom, who is awesome) I realized how truly funny and wonderful it actually is. As to be expected from Christopher Guest, there are some fantastic performances that make this film shine - for example, Jane Lynch and John Michael Higgins, who play the color-worshipping frontliners for the sugar coated folk group "The New Main Street Singers", are simply hilarious. I consider this to be easily Jane Lynch's greatest role.

BUT! We're here for Catherine O'Hara and, truthfully, this is probably one of her greatest roles as well. Unlike the other characters, Mickey is much more real, human, and disillusioned. O'Hara knows that Mickey is truly the emotional core of the film and she doesn't turn her into a caricature whatsoever (unlike Eugene Levy, who is funny but completely devoid of emotion). Instead, O'Hara truly becomes Mickey, and in her soft spoken words and the way she looks at the camera, we feel a truly pining individual who longs for the glory days but knows they can never be.

And then, there is the one running plot point that solidifies the brilliance of her performance - "The Kiss at the End of the Rainbow". During the final performance, the way that O'Hara shows the longing for that one kiss during the song is just a gorgeous display of true emotion. Not to mention, the fact that O'Hara sings the song beautifully. Her chemistry with Eugene Levy is quite convincing - even though Eugene is making it hard to believe that they'd ever love each other, O'Hara works past it and makes Mitch and Mickey one of the cutest screen couples of the decade.

I must mention one other admirable thing about this performance - for the majority of the film, O'Hara is by herself, talking in interview format. She rarely interacts with other characters besides Levy, and even when she does it's short in comparison to her interviews. I feel like this sort of solo work is so much harder to pull off, since she can't work off of anyone, and let's not forget that it's a lot of improv. Her ability to be so real and convey everything that she does all by herself is such an accomplishment.


Wow, so I really went crazy singing her praises but like I said this is easily one of O'Hara's best performances. Another snub for her at the Oscars! (Though she did get to sing "A Kiss at the End of the Rainbow" at them - yay!). Oh, and the movie has so much to recommend besides just her. Jane Lynch is amazing, the rest of the cast (especially Parker Posey's one tiny interview) is wonderful, and the music is great. It may not be Guest's funniest, but it is probably his most lovable.

The Movie: 8/10
Catherine: 10/10
Best in Show: Of course, Catherine, though this is also Jane Lynch's finest hour.


Monday, December 6, 2010

AFRICAN CATS.

So the other day I went to go see "Morning Glory" (which I really, really enjoyed) with one of my bestestest friends, and one of the trailers that played before the movie was this one, for Disney Nature's upcoming Earth Day epic...





So anyway, I was already in a giggly mood. But at the beginning of the trailer, when it showed a clip from "Oceans", I was like "Ooh, what is this going to be? Deserts? MOON? UNIVERSE?" and I was expecting it to be some super dramatic one word title.

And then the announcer guy said "African Cats" and I just started laughing hysterically. I could not contain myself throughout this entire trailer. I mean, you have to admit - it's pretty funny, right?

Anyway it looks pretty good nonetheless. But I mean, come on. "African Cats"? It's hard to take a title like that seriously. Hahaha

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Incoherent Ramblings Regarding "Black Swan"

Because I cannot even begin to wrap my head around it enough to write any kind of formal review, I decided to do this instead. It's like, a review, minus all that stuff you learned in English class about development and paragraphs and stuff! Bahaha.
  • After the movie ended, a very candid woman behind me loudly exclaimed: "What the HELL was that?!", which gave me a giggle. Speaking of giggle, during a scene that, at the time, I thought was particularly serious, a woman near the front of the packed theater began laughing hysterically. It was a little awkward though it did cause me to see the obvious humor that existed during that shot.

  • I know I'm totally the first one in the whole world saying this, but, Natalie Portman basically knocks it out of the park. In fact, hers is probably my favorite female performance this year. I never once saw her acting - I simply saw Nina Sayers onscreen, and I was totally immersed. Her descent into madness is perfectly timed and brilliantly executed. And how about that scene where she was on the phone with her mom in the bathroom stall? Oh my goodness. That was just so...so perfect.

  • The supporting cast is great too even though this is obviously about Nina, and nobody else. Mila Kunis (who was kind of awesome) is seductive and mysterious without being cliche, Hershey is scary and overbearing without being irritating, and Cassell is sultry and egotistical without being stupid.
  • But my personal favorite in the supporting cast was Winona Ryder. She gets her own whole bullet point! As I was thinking about it today, I think her total screentime was probably about 5 minutes (if even that) and in that time she probably only says about 3 lines, but even so I left the movie with her character having left the greatest impression on me. As Beth, the past her prime dancer, she evokes so much in just the way that she carries herself, the way that she speaks, the looks in her eyes. She was just so captivating to behold.

  • Um, technically, this movie is kind of perfect. The cinematography is absolutely gorgeous, and the score...ah, ah, ah the SCORE. Thank you Clint Mansell, for being freaking awesome once again. The way that the score seamlessly intertwines with Tchaikovsky and the way that it could stand alone as its own ballet music is just...so...wonderful. It heightens the emotion in every scene and is so perfectly orchestrated.

  • I was effin' scared during this movie. Like, the most scared I've been in a LONG time at the movies. Maybe even ever. Though I haven't seen a lot of scary movies. But I was seriously clammy the whole time. I also felt kind of sick for the rest of the day after watching it - though that's probably the fault that all I ate all day was a bagel and a sandwich from Starbucks. Not the most stomach-friendly choice. Hehe.


  • Personal Story: A couple hours after I saw this, I had one of the more rigorous piano lessons I've had in quite some time, and I just kept thinking about the movie, and how Thomas was like, intensely coaching Nina and how she was getting all stressed and I kind of related. Okay, I don't know if anyone can fully relate to this movie, but the theme of a relentless pursuit of success and how it can affect your persona really resonated with me.

  • I loved it.

9/10

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Tangled up.


That pun was just too obvious but I couldn't help myself.

Last year I fell just a little bit in love with Disney's back-to-roots princess animation story "The Princess and the Frog", which, though not one of my FAVORITE films of the year, was absolutely lovely. To be honest though, my love for that movie is kind of what made me worry about "Tangled". It seemed to me like Disney was going for a snarky Shrek kind of thing, and I was sort of upset - that sort of thing is better for Dreamworks, and after proving how well they could do it the old-fashioned way, why go back to the same old generic thing?

Thankfully, my reservations were proven to be somewhat incorrect, though after watching Disney's 50th Animated Film EVER I have an entirely new set of scruples.

"Tangled" is, as you all surely already know, a reinvention of the Rapunzel story. Rapunzel (Mandy Moore) is a girl whose hair has magical healing properties due to a flower that healed her mom during pregnancy. Her parents, the king and queen of a kingdom, lost Rapunzel when the evil Mother Goethel (Donna Murphy) stole her as a baby to keep her powers to herself. Of course, Rapunzel yearns to be free, and on her 18th birthday, she decides to sneak out of her tower, with the help of a bandit named Flynn Rider (Zachary Levi) who accidentally lands up there while escaping the king's guards.

This reinvention of the Rapunzel story is quite successful and works perfectly as the vehicle for the typical Disney romance. Duh, Flynn and Rapunzel fall in love and whatnot, but for some reason it doesn't feel corny or anything. A lot of this is due to the technical brilliance of the animation. The movie is so refreshingly colorful and carefully animated - though Rapunzel's hair may not be a consistent length, as my sister lamented, it is still captivating to watch. CGI is very rarely beautiful, and I'm pleased to say that this film achieves some rather aesthetically gorgeous moments.

And Mother Goethel is, simply, one of the best Disney villains in recent years. Where "Princess and the Frog" and even in some ways, "Enchanted" fell slightly short was the very one-dimensional nature of their villains. 'Tis not the case here! The maternal relationship that Rapunzel has with Goethel is rather compelling - we can't forget that she is basically the only mother that she's ever known - and seeing the affection, such as hugs and kind words, between them, makes the villainship so much more horrifying and perfect. Of course, Donna Murphy's brilliant voice work is much to credit for why Goethel is such a great character. She's over the top, she sings wonderfully, and she nails every line.

Sadly, such laurels cannot be awarded to Mandy Moore. Her Rapunzel is occasionally quite good, but too often she sounds whiny, or even worse - as though she's not getting into it enough, which leaves the viewer feeling super distanced from the character. This happens especially during the musical numbers. Her singing voice (at least in my opinion) is kind of annoying, with this weird airyness that is just not convincing.

This leads to another problem with the movie - it doesn't seem committed enough to being a musical! The songs are fine, if not somewhat unmemorable (I mean, it's hard to say anything bad about Alan Menken), but somehow in the context of the entire narrative, they don't feel natural or necessary enough. However, Mother Goethel's song "Mother Knows Best" is probably the best in the movie; it's funny, creepy, and its animation sequence is tight and clever. On the other hand, the movie's musical non-singing score is quite fitting and often transcendent.

Of course, that's not to say that I didn't like the movie. I very much did, and I guess I almost started crying at the end (I'm a leaky faucet though, so don't mind me...). I suppose I'm just trying to identify the reasons it didn't lodge itself into my heart like I would have expected. It's good in so many ways, and it did not fail in the ways I expected - it just didn't reach the level of quality that perhaps it could have. I'm honestly a bit conflicted about it, but I would recommend it even if only so you all will be able to discuss it with me and help me figure it out. Haha!

7/10

Monday, November 29, 2010

These things never get old.

Leo is very disappointed in you, Mr. Murphey

Teehee.

Anyway I am still alive, I promise you. I feel like the past five posts I've done have been me being all like "I'm not dead! I promise I'll post more! I swear!" So, I truly do apologize. But this cloud does have a silver lining - I turned in all my college apps today, so yay! We all have to go through it and I'm finally done. And I went to the movies a lot this past week so I've become inspired to do some writing. So hold on ya'll because I'm coming back with a vengeance.

Muahahaha!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Hey...it's my birthday!

Hahahaha! Not to be like, self advertising myself or anything. But, yeah! I'm the big 18 now. Officially an adult. So, yay! I unfortunately don't share a bday with any big movie-related people. Though evidently I do have the same birthday as Claude Monet (one of my favorite artists), Aaron Copland (one of my favorite composers) and...Condoleeza Rice! Very cool stuff. I think I shall celebrate by buying Scott Pilgrim Vs The World on DVD. :P


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Aw, Glee!

I just want to take a few moments to talk about how proud I am of Glee after last night's episode! I haven't blogged about this season at all yet, mainly because I've neither hated it enough to rant (like last season...hehe), nor have I loved it enough to rave. I've never loved Glee enough to rave, until today!


Yep, last night's episode was really, dare I say it, great! I've been kind of bored with Glee lately but after last night, I have hope for its future. It was just a really solid episode - the songs were flawlessly incorporated into the narrative, and all of the little subplots were balanced super well; both issues that former episodes have had. We even got a nice dose of Jane Lynch, and Chris Colfer, who's been a bit one-note as of late, really did some great things with his rather dynamic subplot.

So, props! The only bad thing was that I thought Gwyneth Paltrow was supposed to be on last night, so I kept waiting for her to show up and she never did. Then I found out that she's not on 'til next week. Alas! Just something more to look forward to.

So what did you all think of last night's episode? I'm really impressed. A golf clap for Glee. Hehe.

Can you believe that I'm not ranting...awww!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Song of the Day, featuring Carey Mulligan!

Have you guys heard Belle and Sebastian's new album, "Write About Love"? I've been listening to a few tracks from it constantly, and one of them is the uber catchy title song, which actually features the amazing Carey Mulligan...SINGING! Yeah!

So the song is just awesome. Belle and Sebastian are a fantastic band, and I mean, Carey Mulligan. Everybody loves Carey Mulligan. :) And she can sing! Don't you love it when you find out that your favorite actors can sing? She should be in a musical. Yes.

Awwwww! I mean seriously. Who can resist this adorableness!


Here's the song for your listening pleasure...




Enjoy!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

I'm Still Alive! Yay! (Randomness Ensues)

Hello everyone! I'm back. And still stressed, but mildly less so. Haha. My recital went very well, and thanks to all of you who looked at my website and left kind comments on my last post! It was so nice of youuu. :)



so I have a few items to discuss in this post, for which I will use the extremely organized bulletpoint format. Woohoo!

  • You should check out the Vegetarian/Vegan Movie Characters page if you haven't in a while - there are a lot of new additions since I keep thinking of/seeing more and more!
  • I saw "Please Give" and kind of loved it. Random. But yes. And now we're just two people holding shit in bags!
  • Besides that, I'm horribly behind in seeing movies that are coming out that I want to see. Oh the difficulties of being busy! Grrr. Have ya'll seen any good ones lately? Speak up below.
  • Ummm...Modern Family was awesome this past week? Funny, and grrrreat character development. Ty Burrell really was fantastic in particular.
  • Okay...guilty pleasure alert...14 DAYS TIL KE$HA'S NEW ALBUM. *Ahem* um, yikes, everyone's looking at me weird...uh...i like Beethoven? Yeah. Haha.
I think that's it. I feel like there was more I wanted to say...but...i'm sorry. I'm so incoherent. This doesn't even count as an excuse for a blog post. I promise I'll start actually making an effort soon. Please don't hate me! Eek!



Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe?


Hey everyone! You must forgive me for being a bit distant recently - I'm traveling to Atchison, Kansas next week to play a solo piano recital (hence the above song, sung wonderfully by Judy Garland from the movie "The Harvey Girls"), and I also have a music scholarship thing I have to mad practice for, and along with all that and schoolwork, I'm kind of swamped at the moment.

So, please, if I take a long time to post or reply to your comments, or comment on your blogs, believe me, it's not because I hate you, it's because I'm so busy! I promise I read all your comments and that I'll reply as soon as possible. After next week, posting should return to semi-normal...for a while. Teehee!

Incidentally, if I may take this moment to do a bit of shameless self promotion...I'm playing several solo recitals in the coming months so if you're at all interested in classical music or piano or my real-life-persona, you can see my schedule of events at this here link.

OKAY! Complaining and advertising over. Enjoy your day! :) Haha.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Some Oscar Predictions...

Okay, so I very much enjoy the Oscars, and I do like reading other people's predictions, but sometimes I feel like I don't really have the knowledge or do enough research to formulate my own. But! I'm going to try anyway, just for fun. And I think some of these pics are stupidly risky, but hey! I might be right. So, here we go...

Best Picture
127 Hours
Another Year
Black Swan
The Fighter
Inception
The Kids are All Right
The King's Speech
The Social Network
True Grit
Winter's Bone

Let me explain something. I did not include "Toy Story 3" because, though the general consensus is that it's going to get nominated...I just have this feeling about it. Like...neither of the other Toy Story movies were nominated for Best Picture before. And the only other "third movies" that have been nominated were "The Godfather Part III" and "LOTR: ROTK", and, Toy Story ain't one of those. But, hey. It'll probably happen and all of my denial will be for naught. Moving on...

Best Director
Danny Boyle, 127 Hours
David Fincher, The Social Network
Tom Hooper, The King's Speech
Mike Leigh, Another Year
Christopher Nolan, Inception

Pretty obvious here. Veterans, best-picture-frontrunners, the works.

Best Actress
Annette Bening, The Kids Are All Right
Lesley Manville, Another Year
Julianne Moore, The Kids Are All Right
Natalie Portman, Black Swan
Naomi Watts, Fair Game

Hm, I feel really good about the top four, but I struggled to pick the last...there are so many possibilities. I went with Watts because her part seems somewhat baity. Plus, her role is a bit different - Bening, Manville and Moore are in lighter, indie movies that I think will keep Anne Hathaway and Jennifer Lawrence out. So, Watts it is. Plus, we mustn't forget that Watts has had a good year, with a hilarious turn in "You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger" and giving an absolutely heartbreaking performance in "Mother and Child".

Also, I don't think that Diane Lane can be compared to Sandra Bullock any more. Sandra had WAY more unexpected buzz last year and "The Blind Side" unbelievably got some amazing reviews. "Secretariat" is kind of dead, at this point.

Best Actor
Jeff Bridges, True Grit
Jesse Eisenberg, The Social Network
Colin Firth, The King's Speech
James Franco, 127 Hours
Mark Wahlberg, The Fighter

Jesse Eisenberg is really wishful thinking, though I think he definitely has a shot. Firth and Franco, I think, are definitely in. Wahlberg and Bridges look good on paper, but it depends on the movies. So we'll just wait and see.

Best Supporting Actress
Amy Adams, The Fighter
Helena Bonham-Carter, The King's Speech
Macy Gray, For Colored Girls
Hailee Steinfeld, True Grit
Jackie Weaver, Animal Kingdom

Ha! This may seem way too weird to actually happen, but I think that the five I chose actually all have a pretty good shot. Amy Adams and the Academy get along well, and they'll surely like that she's playing "off-type" (unless Leo steals her thunder). I cannot WAIT for Helena, she will surely be nominated. I chose Macy Gray because she's getting some early good reviews, and this would be the perfect category for a singer-gone-actress to catch a surprise nom. I'm curious about Steinfeld, but it was between her and Barbara Hershey and I figured that they'll only choose one crazy matriarch (Jackie Weaver, who's got a great campaign).

Best Supporting Actor
Christian Bale, The Fighter
Vincent Cassell, Black Swan
Andrew Garfield, The Social Network
Mark Ruffalo, The Kids Are All Right
Geoffrey Rush, The King's Speech

These are just some weird guesses. I really want Garfield and Ruffalo to get in, so hopefully it happens. Rush is fo-sho. Cassell is interesting, and maybe they'll go for it, you know, to spice things up. And I'm not a big Bale fan but if he's good it's a baity role...

SO that's it from me for now. I might predict some of the smaller categories later if I get inspired. But what do you think? This is my first time making predix so advice and comments are appreciated as always! :)

Monday, October 18, 2010

A few thoughts on films I haven't yet reviewed

For some reason or another, there are a few movies from the year so far that I haven't quite been able to write a full fledged review about. So, here are just a few ramblings on said films. Enjoy!

Alice in Wonderland

It's soured in my mind since I saw it months ago. It had some interesting visual moments, but the 3D ruined it. Mia Wasikowska was a bit boring, but Helena Bonham-Carter kicks butt and steals the movie! (5/10)

Greenberg

I really like Noah Baumbach. "The Squid and the Whale" is one of my favorite movies (I wonder what that says about me...?). So, needless to say, I very much enjoyed this one. Many people have said that it's trying too hard to be "indie", and at times it definitely comes across that way, but ultimately it's really effective and charming. Greta Gerwig was stellar, Rhys Ifans was very, very good, and Ben Stiller was surprisingly fantastic. Anyway, quite good. (8/10)

The Kids Are All Right

This movie affected me on such an emotional level. It was so wonderfully genuine and though it's a bit quiet throughout, when it's over I realized how deeply I was touched by it. The ending is pitch perfect. Obviously, Julianne Moore and Annette Bening were BRILLIANCE. Just wonderful, and wonderful chemistry. Mark Ruffalo is as good as everybody says. Not exactly perfect, but it's very genuine. And a GREAT soundtrack. (8/10)

The Runaways

Okay, I really liked this one. I'm a big fan of musically-related movies, and I love the music of The Runaways, and the music/music culture aspect was handled perfectly. HOORAY FOR K-STEW! I'm not going to say she was brilliant or anything, but she was really good. And as you guys know, I care about her. Haha! On the other hand, Dakota...hm...not completely convinced. She was a little one note in my opinion. The supporting cast (and I'm not just talking about Michael Shannon, but also the rest of the Runaways) was quite fabulous as well. Stylish and fun, though nothing particularly deep or important. (7/10)

Well there you have it. Have you guys seen these films, and what did you think? As always, comments below! :)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Please excuse me while I go over here and hyperventilate.


OH my gosh everyone. So today the headphone jack on my stupid computer broke for some reason, and now I can't plug in headphones to the computer. And since the majority of my movie watching and music listening is done in the nighttime hours while the other members of my residence are asleep, this incident is obviously a big deal. So, until my computer gets fixed or I figure out some solution to this problem, I may be without movies for a bit. I will try to survive.

If anyone has any advice regarding what I should do in this situation, please let me know. I mean, like, literal, technical advice. If you've ever broken your headphone jack, please give me some tips on how to...remedy the problem.

And I surely sound like a whiny brat but this is quite a sad day for me nonetheless. And sometimes, you just have to go to the internet to vent all your sadness.

So anyway, thanks for listening to me whining. You may now continue with your regularly scheduled activities. ;)

Mother (2009)


Joon-ho Bong's "Mother" is a film that intrigued me ever since it became Korea's submission to the Oscars last year and its exciting trailer started circulating the blogosphere. Then, I watched (and heartily enjoyed) Bong's prior, more famous film "The Host". Enjoying that film so much made me extremely interested in seeing what he would do with such an interesting and actressy concept. Being matched up with it for the Film Community Potluck at Anomalous Material finally gave me the incentive to watch it and I was not disappointed.

Hye-ja Kim plays the titular character, an elderly woman who loves and lives alone with her son, Do-joon (Bin Won). She is completely devoted to Do-joon, and her entire world (which is pretty much solely based on her role as his mother) is completely torn apart when he is convicted of the murder of a young girl in their small village. Convinced of his innocence, she begins her own rogue investigation of the crime. But not everything is as it seems and soon the story grows more and more twisted.

"Mother" is really a masterfully written spin on the age old plot device that is being wrongly accused of a crime. As each layer of the story stacks up perfectly the audience is left in awe and suspense, all with beautifully rounded characters. Bong avoids the problems that I feel he encountered in "The Host" - "Mother" is much more focused (though it does admittedly drag a bit in the second act) and the humor is executed flawlessly, not awkwardly.

Speaking of execution, "Mother" is a stylistic masterwork. Bong's direction is sharp and tense, and with very little score he is able to make single shots excruciatingly suspenseful. The film is also beautifully shot - the cinematography is often breathtaking. The opening and closing shots in are particularly memorable in their beauty and motivic significance.

Of course, the most stunning achievement of this film is Hye-ja Kim's performance. She truly is a tour-de-force. Her love for her son is unbelievably strong, almost to an unhealthy level that Kim is absolutely not afraid to explore. One word that kept coming to mind in regards to her work is "operatic". The fearless, unhinged and raw emotion so often seen in opera is rarely found in film (simply due to the differences in the mediums), yet Kim's work is nothing short of operatic, and it's breathtaking to watch her.

Joon-ho bong has truly created a classic to be in the crime genre. Though it may not be a perfect film, it is crafted so skillfully that it is impossible to ignore. Hye-ja Kim's performance alone can simply not be praised enough - it is unique and brilliant. I absolutely recommend "Mother"...don't wait like I did, watch it ASAP!

9/10

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

I Finally Saw "The Social Network"!

I know, I know, I'm always behind everybody else. But, hey, I saw it a couple days ago, and I loved it! It lived up to the hype, and then some. It's intelligently written, witty and complex without being cold, it's thrilling and engrossing without losing the human spirit at its center. The ensemble acting is fabulous, Jesse Eisenberg gives his best performance since "The Squid and the Whale" and Andrew Garfield was just wonderful. So much heart. I also want to mention that Rashida Jones was lovely, in her teeny-tiny role. Besides that, I can't really say much more that hasn't already been said, except that I also found the score very, very notable. It was unique, interesting and modern - one of my favorites of the year so far. Anyway, if you haven't seen it yet, go now, because it lives up...and this is going to sound cliche, but seriously, you'll never look at Facebook the same way again! Muahahaha.

9/10

Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Healing Power of Weeds

For those of you who have gone or are going through senior year of high school, you know how freaking stressful it can be. There's SATs, college apps, school, and for me, intense piano practicing for conservatory auditions which is probably the most stressful thing of all.

And sometimes, you just can't do it all. So this past week, I had a bit of a mental breakdown, and instead of doing one of the productive things above, I sat down and watched the entire first season of Weeds on Netflix, thanks to the recommendation of a friend.

I'd never seen Weeds before, but I LOVED it (I mean, I did sit and watch it all the way through, after all). Mary-Louise Parker is simply fantastic, and it's very fun and well written. I'm hoping to start Season 2 - obviously I'm a little behind. What is it now, season 6? Yikes.

Anyway, after I watched it, I felt super reinvigorated and ready to go out and practice and do college stuff. So yea!

So have any of ya'll seen Weeds? What do you think? It's addictive! Muahahaha.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Catherine O'Hara Filmography: Speaking of Sex (2001)

All Melinda (Melora Walters) wants is to save her dissolving marriage with Dan (Jay Mohr) who, though he has trouble being intimate with his wife, had an affair with a waittress. So, the two visit Doctor Emily Paige (Lara Flynn Boyle), who is intrigued by the couple. She sends Melinda to a depression expert, Dr. Roger Klink (James Spader), who then has an affair with Melinda. Disgusted (and with an agenda of her own), Dr. Paige convinces Melinda to sue Dr. Klink, and from there things get crazy.

"Speaking of Sex" isn't a HORRIBLE movie, but it's really not very good, either. There are a few good things about it (especially the tantalizingly European-sounding score), but overall it's a big failure. It attempts to be some kind of classy, yet over-the-top farce but neither the director nor the actors know how to pull it off. Had it been made in Europe, maybe it would have worked, but alas. Which is truly sad because you can just feel the "good movie" hiding beneath the surface.
Text Color
The worst thing of all is really the acting. Mohr is occasionally adorable but more often intolerably one-note. Spader is neurotically annoying. And Melora Walters gives what has to be one of the most emotionless, unnatural, robotic and weird performances ever (even though this technique does work in maybe one or two scenes).

The three really big stars in this movie (Catherine O'Hara, Bill Murray, and Megan Mullally) each have upsettingly small roles, considering they're the best acted in the movie Murray plays Klink's lawyer, O'Hara plays Melinda's lawyer, and Mullally plays Klink's soon-to-be-ex-wife. Mullaly is especially great - she's got a couple of scenes (especially her last) where she just nails it, giving her character WAY more dimensions than necessary and being really funny.


Oh, but back to Catherine! She's just fine. As I mentioned before, this movie tries so hard to be over the top and goofy, which is something we all know O'Hara is brilliant at doing, but she actually acts really restrained and low-key, since her character is really more down to earth than the others. She has a couple of really funny lines, but otherwise, she doesn't get much to do and the way this movie can stifle talent sadly catches her in its clutches as well.

O'Hara's best scenes are when she is with Bill Murray. The two have great chemistry together and get a little romantic subplot that brightens the movie up. It's small, but they both make it work really well despite everything going against them. It's really fun to watch them work off of each other!

Anyway, it's a whatever movie. It's harmlessly bad, and there are enough good things to make it tolerable. Had the material been handled better it could have been something really special, but alas. At least they cast Catherine O'Hara! Haha.

The Movie: 5/10
Catherine: 6/10 (eek that's a low score...sorry Catherine!!!)
Best in Show: Really nobody...except Mullally. She was great.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Birthday Girl, Kate Winslet!

Well happy birthday to the lovely Kate Winslet! Her work in "Little Children" and "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" are a couple of my favorites of the decade and she's always wonderful in everything else. So...yeah! In case she ever reads my blog, she'll know that I wanted her to have a wonderful bday. Lawlz. Okay! As you were everyone.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger...


Poor Helena (Gemma Jones). Her husband, Alfie (Anthony Hopkins), has just left her to go pursue a more youthful existence. Psychologically unstable, she begins visiting a psychic, who gives her exactly what she wants to hear, much to the satisfaction of her daughter Sally (Naomi Watts), who is falling in love with her boss Greg (Antonio Banderas) as she deals with her own struggling marriage with failed author Roy (Josh Brolin), who believes that the lovely Dia (Frieda Pinto), who lives across the street, is his muse. Bring in Alfie's new actress/prostitute girlfriend Charmaine (Lucy Punch), and you've got one wonderfully kooky and messed up web of people!

There's a lot that goes right with Woody Allen's latest. The dialogue is witty and very sharp, and the screenplay weaves together all of the film's many subplots very well. On that note, each of the characters and their stories were very interesting, intriguing, and fleshed out, making it all very fun to watch. Oh, and the narration wasn't unbearable like it was LAST TIME! In fact, it was quite effective!

Oh, and the acting is very good as well. Gemma Jones is wonderful, giving her character the perfect amount of sincerity and parody, and Lucy Punch is hysterical (and surprisingly multi-dimensional) as the over-the-top hooker. Watts, Brolin and Hopkins are also very, very good, making their characters both very funny and very sympathetic. Pauline Collins hams it up in her small but crucial role as the psychic, delivering some of the film's best laughs.

So even though on paper, the film does everything right, there's still something so vital missing. It's hard to place exactly what's wrong with it, besides the fact that nothing quite feels new. Structurally, it ends up being really similar to Vicky Cristina Barcelona - for example, remember the recurring guitar tune that made Rebecca Hall swoon in VCB? Well, it exists this time too. Except, instead of Albeniz, it's Boccherini; and instead of Hall, it's Brolin.

And, really, the films are different enough that this might not have been a problem - what the film is truly missing is the spice and flair of some of Allen's past work (especially VCB). By the end of the film, even though everything in it was good (and by no means boring), you sort of forget about it simply because it was just so flavorless. It's very well made, very well acted and very enjoyable, but overall, really nothing outstanding.

7/10

Saturday, October 2, 2010

I'm a LAMB ya'll!

Guess what everyone, I'm finally a member of the LAMB! Hooray!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Wendy and Lucy (2008)

Not much can be said about this film besides the brilliance of Michelle Williams as Wendy. After all, the story is rather limited - in so many words, it's basically Wendy screaming for her dog the entire time - yet, somehow, thanks to Williams and the director, Kelly Reichardt, it works so well. Williams is SO effin' good in this movie! Add her to the growing list of horrible Oscar snubs in 2008, because she gives one of the best performances of that year, if not the entire decade. She inhabits so completely this character - even the way she walks is brilliant. It's really remarkable, how wonderful Williams is. Also, I think something should be said for all the bit-part actors. I feel like in these one-man-show indie films, the supporting players are usually not that good, but in this film, they were all quite impressive! So, despite being somewhat limited, it works so, so well and everything feels so real. What an achievement.

9/10


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

30 Sentence Story...(AKA I got taggedzors!)

Well everyone, it's meme time again! I've been tagged by the lovely Simon to do this meme, started by The Kid in the Front Row! So I have to continue this little story by writing a sentence of my own, and tag someone else to write the next sentence in the series. I tag...Andrew. Good luck. Haha!

1. Jane never expected to visit Belarus, but it was the only possibly solution after what had happened.

2. Her lonely planet guide had advised her that it was a great place for birdwatching- so she packed her binoculars- Todd would have been proud, had he not been lying in a coma.

3. Poor Todd; Jane remembered the incident so well: he had spotted a rare long-whiskered owlet, had ran out into the street to snap a photo, and had thusly been hit by an ice cream truck.

4. Except the ice cream truck was actually a roasted salmon!

5. Upon seeing this strange occurance, a Portuguese fisherman who happened to be standing on the other side of the street
(and who was also, coincidentally, the resident expert on salmon) ran to scene and called 911, prompting Todd's speedy - albeit smelly - rescue.


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30. The three of them left as quickly as they could and vowed never to return again, especially if Jane was in town.



Wednesday, September 22, 2010

OMGLEE

Well peeps, if you've been reading this blog for any length of time, you know how I have a love/hate relationship with Glee, emphasis on the hate. In fact, you can read all my thoughts on last season of Glee by clicking here. Anyway, so, watching the season premier today on Hulu, I was expecting it to be everything that I remember hating about Glee. You know, the convoluted storylines, horrendous acting from Matthew Morrison, and yeah, the good stuff too.

But...*gulp*...I was proven wrong.

The season premier was actually......

...ya'll are gonna laugh at me...

...GREAT.


I know, c'est shocking! But, yes, I loved it. From the beginning sequence that pretty much made fun of everything I hated about the show last season, to the very emotional "What I Did For Love" sung beautifully by Lea Michele, it was just great. It was so funny, the storylines were realistic and pleasantly structured, and Matthew Morrison didn't make me want to barf! Yea!

I really like the new characters as well -Coach Bieste was very well portrayed as both sympathetic and insecure. Very nice. Sunshine and that blonde kid are cool, and I like that Mike Chang finally is being recognized. He's got lines now! Yea him!

Perhaps Glee has finally settled into what it wants to be, and its more focused direction in this season premier gives me great hope that this season may actually be really, really wonderful. But, let me not speak too soon. Who knows what could happen in the next few episodes...we all know how ridiculous the show can get in a short period of time. ;)

The one problem I did have with the premier though - WHERE WAS JAYMA? :'(


Have you seen the premier yet? Are you all wallowing in my love for the premier? Sound off below!

Best Score Ranking: 2006

5. Babel - Gustavo Santaolalla



Even though I quite love this movie, that doesn't mean I can't hate on its score, which is really nothing more than glorified background music. And, as incidental muzak it's perfectly fine, in fact it's quite good, but it is nothing that belongs anywhere near an Oscar nomination (let alone a win). The best moment in the score (which I've sampled above) was the final scene, and Santaolalla didn't even write it! It's an old piece called "Bibo no Aozora", by other Oscar-winner Ryuichi Sakamoto. The Academy really should have done their research on this one...*sigh*



4. The Good German - Thomas Newman

Very good work from one of my favorite film scorers, Thomas Newman. It's really good, especially in that opening - however, something feels off about it. It's old-fashioned in the best sense of the word, but for some reason it still doesn't completely fit. Perhaps it was more the movie's fault than its own, because it's still pretty good. (Sorry, I couldn't find a clip of it on Youtube!)



3. The Queen - Alexandre Desplat



Alexandre's first Oscar nomination is one of my favorite of his scores. It can't be easy to write for small, intimate movies like "The Queen" but Desplat does it very well - the score is as refined as the film and its characters, and it has an element of whimsy to it that just works greatly. You almost forget it's there, but that's not at all a bad thing. Sometimes it's good to be subtle! (Take notes Hans Zimmer...)



2. Notes on a Scandal - Philip Glass



I looooove Philip Glass. Without this score, "Notes" would not have been half as intense as it was, and it's truly fabulous work. I suppose at times it can come off as being a bit overbearing, but it's not that big of a problem. Glass's minimal structures and powerful harmonies are perfect for this tense drama.



1. Pan's Labyrinth - Javier Navarette



The fact that this lost is just unbelievable. Navarette's score is so haunting - the lullaby theme is one of the most brilliant written in years. It's simple, brilliantly orchestrated, and beautiful. Listening to this score later after watching the movie, and you'll recall every feeling that it holds. Great, unique and sincere work that gives me goosebumps!



Should Have Been Nominated...

The Golden Globes totally disagreed with the Oscars this year, nominating "The Da Vinci Code" (Hans Zimmer), "Nomad" (Carlo Siliotto), "The Fountain" (Clint Mansell) and "The Painted Veil" (Alexandre Desplat, who won), the latter two often considered the biggest snubs of the year. They also nominated "Babel", continuing the nonsensical obsession with that movie's score. I'd like to personally mention "Little Miss Sunshine" (DeVotchKa, though it wasn't completely original so it wasn't eligible) and "Volver" (Alberto Iglesias) as being a couple of my personal favorites from that year.



So there you have it, what were your favorites from 2006? Do you agree with my disdain for Babel's nomination? Have I missed any snubs? Sound off with anything below!

Updated Ranking Here.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Some Invisible Ramblings on "Catfish"


Because I'm trying to support the hype, I'm writing the following in white! So only highlight it and read it if you've seen the movie or you don't really care about it being spoiled for you.

So here we go. This was a really engrossing movie, and it definitely lives up to the hype. Not knowing anything about it was truly part of the movie's success - watching the events unfold as they did was simply mesmerizing. Just when you think you know where the movie is going, it totally switches around on you and something completely new happens.

And perhaps the most stunning accomplishment of "Catfish" is its expansive emotional range. There are moments of genuine sadness, and moments that are simply hysterically funny. And when we finally meet Angela, and see the life she's living and the digital life that she's created for herself, we're confronted with so many gut reactions that we almost feel as though we ourselves spent 8 months in a relationship that probably did not really exist.

Of course, the film could have taken the easy way out and portrayed Angela as a freak, or a weirdo, but instead, even though her actions are seriously socially reprehensible, the film treats her with so much sympathy that we truly realize the kind of desperation that she feels and her actual motivation for doing what she did.

There's definitely the doubt as to whether or not it's real. But in my opinion, it would still be a great film either way. If it's real (which I do believe it is), then it's an extremely well-crafted, entertaining, thought provoking documentary that is truly timely. If it's fake, it's marvelously acted, intelligently written, and brilliantly marketed (and it still asks the important questions).

So maybe the film succeeds more on its story than its merits of filmmaking, but it was definitely worth all the hype and is the perfect documentary for our times. It's actually just mind-blowing and it'ss been stuck with me ever since I saw it.

Spoilers end!

8/10

Thursday, September 16, 2010

I hate to say it...but...

...I just saw a commercial for next week's season premier of Glee and...

I'M ACTUALLY EXTREMELY EXCITED.

And, Modern Family starts next week too! Hoorah for my television shows!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Catherine O'Hara Filmography: Game 6 (2005)

"Game 6", directed by Michael Hoffman (whose last film was, oddly enough, "The Last Station"), is a film that takes place in 1986, on the night of a real-life historic baseball game. Nicky Rogan (Michael Keaton) is a playwright who skips opening night for his newest play, to watch this game, but also in fear of the cutthroat review that he is sure that infamous reviewer Stephen Schwimmer (Robert Downey Jr.) is going to give the show. He also has to deal with family issues, involving his daughter Laurel (Ari Graynor) and wife Lillian (Catherine O'Hara).

Overall, "Game 6" is just a mess. Even though it has some interesting moments, it has absolutely no focus. It doesn't know if it's trying to be a character study, an indie comedy, a family drama, or a sports movie. The dialogue is really, really annoying and the film drowns in its self importance. The last thirty minutes are especially terrible. And honestly, New York City traffic is not that bad.

However, the film has two saving graces - Ari Graynor and Catherine O'Hara. As the cocky daughter, Graynor shines, giving her character both attitude and sensitivity that all feels so lived in and natural. She does so much more with her character than she needed to. A really interesting performance.

As for Catherine, she is, as usual, a shining light in this otherwise bleak film, even though she is in literally one scene. This is subtle O'Hara - she's totally subdued, none of her signature crazy in this role, but she pulls it off perfectly. In her short exchange with Keaton, we see everything that Lillian is going through - fear, sadness, hopelessness, anger. O'Hara succeeds in getting us totally under the skin of Lillian, all while injecting subtle touches that are just wonderful.

So anyway, there you have it. I really, strongly disliked "Game 6" but as usual, Catherine saves it. With the help of Ari Graynor! Get it gurls.

The Film: 4/10
Catherine: 8/10
Best in Show: Graynor and O'Hara

A continuation of my mission. What should I watch next?

"The Fighter" Trailer

ZOMG!!!


Thanks to InContention for the heads up!

So, okay, I can safely say that I'm pretty psyched for this. AMY ADAMS! Yeah, she's what I'm looking forward to the most, but I recently watched (and hearted) "I Heart Huckabees", another David O. and Mark W. collab, so, I have high hopes for this. Anyway...AMY ADAMSSSS. Yeah I'm excited.

I'm excited...are you?

Best Score Ranking: 2000

An interesting year, for sure. Relatively solid. By the way, I try to pick my personal favorite track as the sample for each score, in case you were wondering. Oh, and I did this year by request, so take it as a lesson everyone...if you ask me for a year, I'll probably go and do it! :)

5. Gladiator - Hans Zimmer



I know this is going to be controversial because people love this one, but...this score confused me. There were parts I quite liked, there were parts I quite disliked (they sounded meandering or useless), there were parts that sounded exactly like "Mars" by Gustav Holst, and there were parts that sounded just like "Pirates of the Caribbean". The main theme is great, but it's only really used WELL during the end credits. So, overall, it's a "meh" and a "wha?" from me.


4. The Patriot - John Williams



Well, another score from the John Williams Factory. No, that sounds condescending. It's really great, irresistibly Americana but it's by no means Williams's best work. It's not particularly "memorable" either, but it's still very beautiful. And do I hear some foreshadowing of "Harry Potter" in the flutes? Hm?



3. Malena - Ennio Morricone



Well, obviously, Morricone is a legend and this is a great score. I didn't love the movie, which doesn't help, and there is some weird instrumentation sometimes that I really don't like, but overall it's a great score with a lush theme and some truly gorgeous moments.



2. Chocolat - Rachel Portman


Like most of Rachel Portman's scores, this one is very tasteful and while it doesn't take any huge risks, it is really lovely work. I like how she makes it sound almost like a fantasy movie, which gives the movie a "fantastical" vibe that works greatly. And the spicy track at the top is just irresistible!



1. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon - Tan Dun



One of my favorite scores, for one of my favorite movies. There's SO much good stuff about this score. First of all you have the amazing Yo-Yo Ma cello solos (playing that gorgeous theme). Then you have Tan Dun's brilliant decision to score the battle scenes minimally, only using drum beats to exhilarating effect...mmm. Beautiful, brilliant, and a great winner.

Should Have Been Nominated...

There is one horrendous, huge, horrible ommission here, and that's Bjork's haunting score for Dancer in the Dark. I know that not everyone like's Bjork's music, and maybe there was too much singing or something, but the score for Dancer in the Dark is just...beautiful. Haunting, painful, gorgeous, innovative...GAHHH

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So what was your favorite score of 2000? Was Bjork truly snubbed? Do you like Gladiator more than me? Isn't Crouching Tiger awesome? Sound off belowww!

And see the updated ranking heeere