Monday, January 04, 2010

Coming Soon to A Theater Near Me (Hopefully)

Oscar season is upon us, which is good news for people who like good movies.  It's also bad news for people who like good movies but often confuse pretentious with profound.  That said, the Academy has been on a tear of quality with Slumdog Millionaire (2008), No Country for Old Men (2007), and The Departed (2006).  The links are to reviews I wrote on this blog.  I have no shame in self-aggrandizement.  None.

So Paul, how have the flicks been this year?  Well, this year has mostly seen me watch a lot of popcorn fare, like Watchmen, and Star Trek.  Several films I saw this summer, though, are well worthy of accolade in their own right.  Pixar's Up and indie-Iraq war thriller The Hurt Locker were deeply moving films, while Inglourious Basterds beautiful and thought-provoking in Tarentino's own way.  Yes, that's another of my own reviews.

So, I thought I'd share with you what I'm planning to see over the next few weeks.  Two weeks ago, I celebrated the opening of Oscar season with Wes Anderson's The Fantastic Mr. Fox.  When I say it was fantastic, I'm not being cute.  When I think about it vs. Up vs. Ponyo (which I still haven't seen but everything that Japanese auteur Hiyao Miyazaki touches is solid gold) for Best Animated Feature (or is that Outstanding Achievement in Feature Animation?  Okay that's not a review I wrote.  Seriously, click the link and take a good long laugh courtesy of Christian Lander. Back to the sentence...), wow that's quite the throw-down.  I want to watch these films because they look beautiful, thought-provoking, bitter-sweet, or just plain sweet.

Invictus seems to have all the factors: Clint Eastwood, Morgan Freeman, & Matt Damon.  Throw in rugby, Nelson Mandela, and an inspiring sports story that's based in real life?  It's almost too much.

Crazy Heart features a star ensemble cast in what looks like a charmingly made film about the rise and fall of stardom, and the wounds life leaves.

I haven't decided if I'm going to watch this or not.  I know that it's going to be ultra-intense, but, I think it depicts a reality that is more real than many of us know first-hand.  Precious tells the story of hope and fear in the midst horrific abuse.

Although I love the Fern Gully/Dances with Smurfs jokes, I hear that Avatar is truly mind blowingly beautiful.  I'd pay $8 to see beauty any day.

That's just a few examples.  What movies are you excited about?


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