Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Fear Imbalance: A Montage (time to get back on the meds)

With Obama in office, you'd think our wingnut friends would have found a nice hole in the sand in which to bury their heads by now, but nah, they've turned to their trusty standby...WILLFUL IGNORANCE. Enjoy this salute:

Since values are hobbies how can we exploit this?

Well, with the the latest fear-mongering campaign in the U.S.; one devoted to scaring Americans into believing that they will be slaughtered if Guantanamo is closed and terrorism suspects are brought into the U.S. for real trials of course. (Glenn Greenwald)

"Both before and after 9/11, the U.S. has repeatedly and successfully tried alleged high-level Al Qaeda operatives and other accused Islamic Terrorists in our normal federal courts -- in fact, the record is far more successful than the series of debacles that has taken place in the military commissions system at Guantanamo. Moreover, those convicted Terrorists have been housed in U.S. prisons, inside the U.S., for years without a hint of a problem. Here is but a partial list of the accused Muslim Terrorists who have been successfully tried and convicted in U.S. civilians courts and who remain imprisoned inside the U.S." (Click to Read)

And yet the United States, under George W. Bush, actually sought to have these dangerous people extradited to the United States, exposing our citizens to danger! Not only that, we succeeded! OMG!! Americans are at risk!!! What shall we do???

With Gitmo on the loose and Obama preaching a consistent set of ethics what shall we do? What shall we do?! Well, what any good-natured, god-fearing conservative would do: encourage people to knock-off Democratic senators....oh yes.

"Conservapedia, the home of conservative pedophiles “The Trustworthy Encyclopedia.” For example, say your home-schooled-in-Christ kid needs to do a report on which states would benefit from Dem senators who, tragically, “were unable to complete their terms and were replaced by qualified Republicans by their Republican governors.” Where to go? That homosexual devil box “Wikipedia” surely would be of no assistance, to Patriots!" (Wonkette)

Here is the actual entry, “Senate Democrats from States with Republican Governors”:
Kill 'em all.

After all this insanity I think a high-five is well in order:

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Friday, January 23, 2009

'Oscar' the Grouch, why so serious?

So here was my LIST. Below is what the Academy came up with along with my picks out of their choices. Despite some obvious beef, I have to say, the Academy more often than not recognizes quality over numbers unlike their musical counterpart which remains a de facto marketing arm of the labels.

Best Picture (My Pick: Technical nods (AKA 'the guilded ghetto') aside, "The Dark Knight" was snubbed. Period. They'll regret it later and make up for it by nominating years later some categorically similar flick that's half as good and no longer timely as they've done time and time again. "Frost/Nixon" deserves to be in contention for Best Actor for Frank Langella but not Best Picture. From their list though, I have to go with "The Reader" (which was NOT an "obligatory Holocaust entry" as some have called it) but if not "Slumdog" they'll probably pick "Milk" to make up for letting overly mediocre "Crash" beat out "Brokeback Mountain" and "Capote" in 2005.

* The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
* Frost/Nixon
* Milk
* The Reader (My Pick)
* Slumdog Millionaire

Best Director (My Pick: Again, I would have gone with Nolan for "Dark Knight" but I'll say Daldry for "The Reader")

* Danny Boyle – Slumdog Millionaire
* Stephen Daldry – The Reader (My Pick)
* David Fincher – The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
* Ron Howard – Frost/Nixon
* Gus Van Sant – Milk

Best Actor (My Pick: DiCaprio actually deserved to be nominated this time for "Revolutionary Road" but I'm going to go with Rourke since "Rev" didn't get much love.)

* Richard Jenkins – The Visitor
* Frank Langella – Frost/Nixon
* Sean Penn – Milk
* Brad Pitt – The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
* Mickey Rourke – The Wrestler (My Pick)

Best Actress (My Pick: This is Winslet's year b/t "Reader" and "Revolutionary" she deserves it. Although the irony is not lost after her role on "Extras")

* Anne Hathaway – Rachel Getting Married
* Angelina Jolie – Changeling
* Melissa Leo – Frozen River
* Meryl Streep – Doubt
* Kate Winslet – The Reader (My Pick)

Best Supporting Actor (My Pick: Hoffman any other day of the week but there is no denying Ledger. Do so and be damned. Also, Hirsch over Downey please. )

* Josh Brolin – Milk
* Robert Downey Jr. – Tropic Thunder
* Philip Seymour Hoffman – Doubt
* Heath Ledger – The Dark Knight (posthumous) (My Pick)
* Michael Shannon – Revolutionary Road

Best Supporting Actress (My Pick: I love Adams but in her short time Davis stole the show.)

* Amy Adams – Doubt
* Penelope Cruz – Vicky Cristina Barcelona
* Viola Davis – Doubt (My Pick)
* Taraji P. Henson – The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
* Marisa Tomei – The Wrestler

Best Original Screenplay (My Pick: "In Bruges" was all around underrated. Just hope someone else noticed.)

* WALL-E - Andrew Stanton, Jim Reardon and Pete Docter
* Happy-Go-Lucky - Mike Leigh
* Frozen River - Courtney Hunt
* In Bruges - Martin McDonagh (My Pick)
* Milk - Dustin Lance Black

Best Adapted Screenplay (My Pick: It's an art to make a great play also a great film, so I'm going with "Doubt" but I bet they choose "Millionaire")

* The Curious Case of Benjamin Button - Eric Roth and Robin Swicord
* Frost/Nixon - Peter Morgan
* The Reader - David Hare
* Slumdog Millionaire - Simon Beaufoy
* Doubt - John Patrick Shanley (My Pick)

Best Animated Feature (My Pick: Seriously?)

* Bolt – Chris Williams and Byron Howard
* Kung Fu Panda – Mark Osborne and John Stevenson
* WALL-E – Andrew Stanton (My Pick)

Best Foreign Language Film (My Pick: They missed a lot of the best foreign films in their list in my opinion, but I didn't see 3 of their choices, so it's hard to say.)

* Revanche (Austria) in German
* The Class (France) in French
* The Baader Meinhof Complex (Germany) in German
* Departures (Japan) in Japanese
* Waltz with Bashir (Israel) in Hebrew (My Pick)

Best Documentary Feature (My Pick: This is a tough choice between "Encounters" & "Wire", but I have to go with Herzog.)

* Nerakhoon
* Encounters at the End of the World (My Pick)
* The Garden
* Man on Wire
* Trouble the Water

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Friday, January 16, 2009

Victor and I have been productive.

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Sunday, January 11, 2009

Best of 2008

I'm not doing a music list this year for two reasons: 1. I didn't digest enough & 2. I didn't find enough compelling. In other words if I did a Top 20 like usual, it wouldn't be the "top" but rather the only 20 records of which I actually really listened. Sorry.

Here's some other people's lists though:
1. NPR Listeners Pick The Year's Best Music
2. PASTE Magazine: Signs of Life 2008: Best Music

Movies on the other hand didn't disappoint, or maybe I was just a visual learner this year. It was a good year for film with the best movies telling stories of complex and unique characters not wholly good or bad, new worlds and mood strong landscapes (even an animated film unafraid of silence). Though there was a desert season mid-year, with Oscar season near Christmas was full of a gluttony of gifts. This was the year of the director auteur. "And. here. we. go..."

Best Overall Films of 2008:
1. The Dark Knight - dir. Nolan
2. The Reader - Daldry
3. Revolutionary Road - Mendes
4. Doubt - Shanley
5. Milk - Van Sant
6. Wall-E - Stanton
7. In Bruges - McDonagh
8. Synecdoche, New York - Kaufman
9. Slumdog Millionaire - Boyle
10. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button - Fincher

Honorable Mentions:
Frost/Nixon - Howard
Gran Torino - Eastwood
Paranoid Park - Van Sant
Burn After Reading - Coen Bros.
Australia - Luhrmann

Best Documentaries:
Man on Wire - Marsh
Encounters at the End of the World - Herzog
American Teen - Burstein
Flow - Salina
Standard Operating Procedure - Morris

Best Foreign Films:
Waltz with Bashir - Folman (Israel)
TimeCrimes - Vigalondo (Spain)
Let the Right One In - Alfredson (Sweden)
Son of Rambow - Jennings (UK)
A Christmas Tale (France)

Best Action Movies:
The Dark Knight - Nolan
Iron Man - Favreau
Quantum of Solace - Forster
Hellboy II: The Golden Army - del Toro

Best Comedies:
Be Kind Rewind - Gondry
Burn After Reading - Cohen Bros.
Son of Rambow - Jennings
Hamlet 2 - Fleming
Pineapple Express - Apatow

Most Disappointing that should/could have been good:
W - Stone
Changeling - Eastwood
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull - Spielberg

Movies I wanted to see but didn't (yet):
Rachel Getting Married - Demme
Firaaq - Das (India)
Ballast - Hammer
The Wrestler - Aronofsky

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