Saturday, February 23, 2013

The 2013 Omie Award Winners

I am sure that twenty of you are eagerly anticipating the winners of the 2013 Omie Awards. Without further ado, here are the winners:

The Omie Award for Most Deserving Picture goes to…

for creating a story about innocent love between two boys,

"North Sea Texas." Producers: Luc Roggen and Yves Verbraeken

The Omie Award for Most Deserving Director goes to…

for bringing the coming of age story to the screen,

Bavo Defurne, "North Sea Texas"

The Omie Award for Most Deserving Actor goes to…

for portraying a police detective that moonlights as a contract killer, Killer Joe Cooper,

Matthew McConaughey, "Killer Joe"

The Omie Award for Most Deserving Actress goes to…

for portraying the titular Tolstoy heroine torn between wifely duty and forbidden love, Anna Karenina,

Keira Knightley, "Anna Karenina"

The Omie Award for Most Deserving Supporting Actor goes to…

for portraying a dastardly slave owner that wants to keep his "property", Calvin Candie,

Leonardo DiCaprio, "Django Unchained"

The Omie Award for Most Deserving Supporting Actress goes to…

for portraying a girl that professes her love to a boy that doesn't reciprocate, Éponine,
Samantha Barks, "Les Misérables"

The Omie Award for Most Deserving Original Song goes to…

for making a song about lost love into a song to find another love,

"The Big Machine" from "Safety Not Guaranteed"

The Omie Award for Most Deserving Foreign Language Film goes to…

a film about the epic clash between mobsters and the policemen trying to stop them, 

"The Raid: Redemption". Director: Gareth Evans.

The Omie Award for Most Deserving Animated Feature goes to…

a animated retelling of classic fables into an action hero team,

"Rise of the Guardians". Director:  Peter Ramsey

The Omie Award for Most Deserving Original Screenplay goes to…

a film that poses fun of typical horror movie tropes with a twist,

"The Cabin in the Woods." Written by Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard

The Omie Award for Most Deserving Adapted Screenplay goes to…

winning their third Omie Award,

"North Sea Texas." Written by Bavo Defurne and Yves Verbraeken. Based on the novel,
"Nooit gaat dit over" by André Sollie

The Omie Award for Most Deserving Documentary goes to…

(another four way tie)

for showing the blunt reality of millions of students lives every day,

"Bully". Producers: Lee Hirsch and Cynthia Lowen

for shedding light on a young Frenchman preying on a grieving Texas family,

"The Imposter". Producer: Dimitri Doganis

for showing the precision skill of sushi master, Jiro Ono,

"Jiro Dreams of Sushi". Producer: Kevin Iwashina and Tom Pelligrini

for bringing the life of AIDS activist, Vito Russo to the masses,

 "Vito". Producer: Jeffrey Schwarz

And for the granddaddy of them all, The Suck-It! Award goes to…

for a boring movie about a guy on the lam for stealing fucking bread,

"Les Misérables" nominated for Best Picture

And there you have it folks. I want to thank everyone for voting, especially for Bernardo from The Movie Rat for the nomination of North Sea Texas that it could dominate the awards. Until next year...

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Top Ten Films of 2012

Now that I flushed cinematic shit out of my system, I want to praise some movies that tugged at my heartstrings and made me want to tell everyone I know to see them. Here are my top ten films of 2012:


Seven Psychopaths

Going into this movie, I wasn't surprised that there was going to a philosophical message in it. It was like that with Colin Farell's first collaboration with Martin McDonagh in In Bruges. What surprised me the most in the meta aspect of the film. The movie could have been like McDonagh's version of Adaptation. The movie was funny and thought provoking with stand alone performances by Sam Rockwell and Chris Walken.



People have some hate for this movie. People say that it's overrated. This movie hearkens back to Casino Royale and makes us forget about Quantum of Solace. Sure the movie is fan service for the 50th anniversary of the Bond franchise, but I loved every minute of it. Great action, performances and the Home Alone aspect made it kitchy.


Killer Joe

I have never had so much fun with an NC-17 film ever. Usually, those films have brutal dramatic scenes. This had those, but the movie shows a change in Matthew McConaughey. He is not doing the usual bland romantic comedies. With this movie and his performance in Magic Mike, I'm actually excited to see what he has coming up next.


Django Unchained 

With all of the controversy and the "did I just see Jaime Foxx's nutsack" the movie got, I had fun with the over the top bloody goodness. Quentin Tarantino is the only director that could take inspirations for other movies and make something that is fresh and new. Sam Jackson was fucking hilarious as Uncle Ruckus --er, Tom --um Stephen, that's his name. Leonardo DiCpario was intense as Candie. Awesome movie.


Silver Linings Playbook 

It took me a while to get this movie. When the Oscar nominations, it was motivation enough to it. I don't know dick about football, but I get why this family are so consumed with the sport and how it relates to their lives. Here is a career defining performance from Bradley Cooper as the emotionally damage Pat. Jen Lawrence was fantastic as an equally damaged young widow. Robert De Niro came back in a big way as Pat Sr.  A non-traditional romance for the people who dislike sappy romantic comdies.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Bottom Ten Films of 2012

I know. I know that I am late to the party, but I follow the same rules as the Academy. Most movies nominated don't come out or go into wide release until January into February. I wanted to see all the films to make my final judgments. Trying to avoid to the awful didn't mean that I didn't see the eventual shitacular assaults to my eyeballs. Here are my bottom ten films of 2012:


The Grey

When I heard the Film Junk tauting this movie as one of the best movies of the year back in June, I wanted to see what the fuss was about. About five minutes into the movie, I knew what was going to happen and the big revelation at the end. There were some fucking annoying characters that I wanted glad became wolf food. I enjoyed their misery the characters went through to make up for mine watching this dreck.


Les Misérables

Words cannot describe how much I fucking hated this movie. Not all of the movie, but most of it. Excluding, Anne Hathaway and Samantha Barks, the movie was garbage. I cannot believe that a story about a man doing hard labor for stealing a fucking loaf of bread would be turned into a 2 1/2 hours musical with bland musical numbers Russell Crowe's guttural voice and the mediocre plot. My gay card might be revoked. I don't care.


The Bourne Legacy

Call me Miss Cleo, because I was telling Dan from Dan the Man's Movie Reviews that I thought this movie was going to suck elephant balls. I was right. Holy shit! Who wants to see a movie that was a rehash of The Bourne Ultanium but with generic version of Jason Bourne with whatever the fuck his name is. It was dull. So dull that I wanted to rip my fingernails off one by one with rusty pliers.


Red Tails

After taking the whole 2011 year off from watching movie, I started off 2012 with watching this bad Hallmark movie that somehow made it to the big screen. Don't get me wrong. I am proud of what the Tuskegee Airmen did in WWII and black pilots in general. It seems that the movie was dripping in so much syrup that you would into diabetic shock. 


The Dark Knight Rises

Going into the movie, I did not have the highest of expectations. In this nearly three hour miasma, I was pissed off that people were giving this movie praise. Are you kidding me? Are you high? The plot did not make sense. Christopher Nolan ending the Batman franchise is a good thing so we don't have to sit through another godawful Bruce Wayne flick. Back to the drawing board, Nolan. 

Saturday, February 16, 2013

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012)

Directed by Stephen Chbosky

Screenplay by  Stephen Chbosky

Based on his book

Currently #214 of the Top 250 Films of All Time on IMDb (as of this posting)

Stars: Logan Lerman, Emma Watson, Ezra Miller, Johnny Simmons, Nina Dobrev, Adam Hagenbuch, Mae Whitman, Erin Wilhelmi, Kate Walsh, Dylan McDermott, Paul Rudd, Melanie Lynskey and Joan Cusack

The first time hearing about The Perks of Being a Wallflower was an advertisement for the book on Mtv. It was during my senior year in high school and I wanted to read the book, but I never got the chance. The movie adaptation of the book was highly anticipated for me, but the movie was in limited release and never opened wide. Being bummed about that, waiting for the movie to come out on DVD was the only option. This movie could be the Generation XY version of The Breakfast Club.

Taking place in Pittsburgh circa 1991, Charlie (Lerman) is about to enter his freshman year of high school. It is a scary time for any teenager, but Charlie is a special case. He is the wallflower in the title, but he has skeletons in his closet about the tragic death of his aunt, Helen (Lynskey) years prior. He is haunted by that. Charlie realizes that the people that he knew from middle school would ignore him.

As his teacher, Mr. Anderson tells him, "if you a friend on the first day, you're okay." His luck is about to change when he meets a couple of seniors, Patrick and Sam (Miller, Watson) at a football game. Patrick is an openly gay student that is teased mercilessly for being himself. He didn't let that stop. Patrick step-sister, Sam is the object of Charlie's affections, but he is too shy to tell her his feelings. She is damaged herself with unsavory things happened to her. The trio become like the band of misfits. They are comfortable not conforming to social norms of high school life.

This movie made me revisit my high school expierences. Most were not pleasant, but it made me focus on the friends that I had when I was going through my inner demons. If it was not for those people that were misfits, outcasts like myself, I would not be here. They taught me that I am unqiue. Embrace and love myself. That I was special. Lifesavers all of them. Through all the times that I was constantly questioned about my sexuality, being called Brenda, being bullied, I went through some dark times especially my freshmen year like Charlie.

Every kid should see this movie that let them know that they are not freaks. The people messing with you are the freaks, because they cannot appreciated that you are being yourself and not being an high school archetype. This movie made me feel the same way like I did when I saw Dazed and Confused. It brings back those carefree days being young and having people that will stick by you through thick and thin.

You can probably tell by now that I love this movie. The actors were sensational in there roles. I might say that I confused about when the setting took place, because I thought it was modern day. When I realized it was taking place 1991/1992, the movie made more sense.

My Rating

Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Sessions

The Sessions (2012)

Directed by Ben Lewin

Screenplay by Ben Lewin

Based on the article, "On Seeing a Sex Surrogate" by Mark O'Brien

Stars: John Hawkes, Helen Hunt, William H. Macy, Moon Bloodgood, Rhea Perlman, Adam Arkin, Annika Marks, W. Earl Brown and Robin Weiger

The first mention of this movie was tied to my seeing Killer Joe at the Landmark Theater when a trailer of it came out. Then, that was it. No mention about when it was coming out. Nothing was said until award season came around with John Hawkes and Helen Hunt getting some love. It was kismet that I am reviewing this movie on Single's Awareness Day. It is a touching story that I didn't want to end.

This is not the first time that Mark O'Brien's story was tossed about during award season. Back in 1996, Jessica Yu made the documentary, Breathing Lessons: The Life and Work of Mark O'Brien that went on to win the Oscar for Best Documentary Short Subject the next year. It was surprised that another aspect of Mark's life went into the national consciousnesses

The Sessions is based on the article that Mark O'Brien wrote when he was questioning if he could feel any connection with another human being. Mark portrayed by John Hawkes is stricken with polio and is confined to an iron lung for most of his waking hours. He comtemplates what God has in store for him. Due to his Catholic umbrining he has a traditional way of looking at sex. He turns to the new priest of the church he goes to, Father Brendan (Macy) about God's take on him losing his virginity. After giving his blessing, Mark gets in touch with a sex surrogate named Cheryl played by Oscar nominee Helen Hunt that will help him lower his guard to devirginize him over a period of six sessions.

The Sessions flew under the radar for me so long that I didn't know that it was coming out on DVD until last Tuesday. Wow. Watching the trailer I thought the movie would be a comedy. The movie turns out to be a very heartfelt dramedy. It's a simple about a man that wanted to feel that connection with another human being. That's what all humans want connection.

Mark O'Brien is a human being that wanted to be treated like anybody else even though he had condition that left him in an iron lung. A fasicinating person to know, even in a ficitionalized matter. I believe that it was John Hawkes subtle performance that made me fall in love with Mark, and want to get to know him more.  Helen Hunt was nuanced in her portyral in this movie. I have never heard of a sex surrogate before watching this movie. All the questions I had about her line of work were answered for me. She is not a prositute. She helps physically disabled men fulfill a basic human need.

My Rating


Saturday, February 9, 2013

The Invisible War

The Invisible War (2012)

Directed by Kirby Dick

Written by Kirby Dick, Amy Ziering and Douglas Blush

Stars: Kirby Dick, Amy Ziering, Kori Cioca, Trina McDonald, Lieutenant Ariana Klay, Lieutenant Elle Helmer, Michael Matthews, Jessica Hinves, Hannah Sewell and Sergeant Myla Haider

Usually it is very hard to see a documentary in a theater unless you are Morgan Spurlock or Michael Moore. By the time that the Academy Awards come around, the only time you can see the documentaries on either on DVD or on Hulu. Thankfully most of the nominees for Best Documentary including this one are available on DVD. People say that the movie is groundbreaking, but it has been an open secret for years.

After viewing Kirby Dick's last documentary, Outrage, he has a real sense of rising the alarm on subjects that are swept under the rug like closeted politicians embroiled in sex scandals. The subject of The Invisible War sheds light on the rampant cases of sexual assaults in the United States military. The documetaritarians follows the stories of service men and women that were victims of sexual assaults. At least, twenty-fives individuals talked about their horrific experiences of being raped, be investigated by supervisors for submitting a false report and having their cases thrown out on flimsy technicalities.

Over the years, reports of sexual assaults did get national attention when a soldier press charges on their assailants and nothing is done about it. While watching the movie, I remember an incident that happened when I was in separations. Their was a male sailor visiting separations for a little bit and I heard that the next day that him and another male sailor has some sort of sexual contact happened after taps. Nothing was said about the incident after that.

Nobody can imagine how these women and men can move live on with that the thought their assilant can violtae them and get a slap on the wrist. Stated eariler, the subject on sexual assaults on miliutary is nothing new. Kirby Dick got more in depth about how the lives the victims have changed when they were raped and the aftermath.

It seems that something is lost in translation between what happens in the civilian world towards rape and what happens in a military base when a rape occurs. It boggles the mind the chain of command can be flippant about not investigation claims of rape that would disrupt morale of their units, because they don't want to feel like they are a bad commander. Either way, not doing anything about it would perpetuate more this behavior if the assailant know that they could get away from it. Somebody needs to held accountable for the actions of the people that are under your command.

Kudos to the brave men and women who let their voices be heard and try to make a change to system that clearly favors the assailant rather than victim. The Department of Defense needs to opens their to see that their thousands upon thousand of our military personnel that are attacked every year. Something needs to be done to bring justice to the victims that will ever physical and mental scars of their ordeal for the rest of their lives.

My Rating

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


Lincoln (2012)

Directed by Steven Spielberg

Screenplay by Tony Kushner

Based on the book, "Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln" by Doris Kearns Goodwin

Stars: Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, David Strathairn, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, James Spader, Hal Holbrook, Tommy Lee Jones, John Hawkes, Jackie Earl Haley, Tim Blake Nelson, Lee Pace and Joseph Cross

There was trepidation in watching Steven Spielberg's latest movie. Another year, another biopic for gimmee gimmee lotsa Oscars. It is played out and stale. The movie was nomianted for 12 Oscars, which is eight too much in my opinion. You can possibly tell there was not love out for this movie.

It seems that Spielberg and company wanted to take an atypical biopic like Capote (hated it) or Milk (meh). Make it a one word title, specifically the last name and try to focus on one specific time in the insert historical person here's life and spit it out to the American public. Here, the film focuses on the last four months of Lincoln's (Day-Lewis) life as he tireously tries to get the thirteenth amendment passed and signed into law. That's it. That the whole movie in a nutshell.

The movie is like watching long drawn out version of The West Wing with a bunch of filler to over-stuff it. The boring back and forth about a piece of legislation. The movie did not focus on Lincoln that much. It was all about the damn amendment. It should have been called The Thirteenth Amendment. This is no way downgrading what the piece of legislation has done to my ancestors and many others, but nobody wants to hear a bunch of stuffy men talk about legislation for over two hours. It grows tiresome after ten minutes.

A movie having a 86 Metacrtic would have been at least enjoyable. There was some dozing moments on my end. Everybody is touting that DDL will be the first actor ever to win three Best Actor Oscars. What's so special about this performance? It was laid flat. No nuisance. No gravitas. It was a dead fish. His performance in There Will Be Blood was leaps and bounds better than his Lincoln lite he put on.

The only person worth mention is the brilliant performance of Tommy Lee Jones as Thaddeus Stevens, the Pennsylvanian Representative that fought for most of his life to get slavery abolished in the country. Whenever he was onscreen, nobody was in the room. He has an intensity that few could master. Bravo, TLJ.

Sally Field on the other hand was cartoonish in her portrayal of Mary Todd Lincoln. It felt like she was in a different movie. Like she was in a soap opera the way she was speaking. It was reminiscent of Soapdish (which she was in) and not in a good way.

My expectations were very low of this movie and it did not exceed them in the slight bit. There is something that bothered me, when the credit were rolling, did anybody catch the obvious lens flare? Really, Mr. Spielberg? you wanted to do this movie for the last decade when Liam Neeson was attached to play Lincoln. This is what you came up with. Back to drawing board, sir.

My Rating

Friday, February 1, 2013

The 2013 Omie Award Nominees

I want to take this time to thank the people have submitted their nominees for the Omies. Your choices helped me have a good batch of nominees. Let's set up some ground rules. You are allowed one vote in each categories. This year, I will not have written in votes in the major categories. You can only write a vote for The Suck-It Award. Without any further ado, here the nominees:

Thank you for voting. The winners will be announced on February 23rd.

Life of Pi

Life of Pi (2012)

Directed by Ang Lee

Screenplay by David Magee

Based on the novel by Yann Martel

Currently #182 of the Top 250 Films of All Time on IMDb as of this posting.

Stars: Suraj Sharma, Iffran Khan, Adil Hussain, Tabu, Rafe Spall and Gérard Depardieu

When I heard that Life of Pi was coming out, I was excited. I was goign to see it when it opened Thanksgiving weekend, but then I put it off until I heard some rumbling about the themes of the movie. It really made me stay away from the movie. Seeing as the movie was nominated for eleven Academy Awards, I had to see the movie. It is a beautiful but the message was lost in translation.

As the trailers of the movie suggests that Pi (Khan) lived through his ordeal to tell the tale. A writer (Spall) comes into his home to ask Pi about his harrowing journey being lost at sea and that he would convince him that God exists with his story. Pi recounts his days in India that his family ran a zoo for many years until they could not afford to keep it up. Pi's father (Hussain) decides to ship the family and the animals on a Japanese ship to Canada. On the way to Canada, the ship sinks only leaving Pi as the sole human survivor with a zebra, an orangutan, a hyena and a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker to survive in the middle of Pacific Ocean.

People keep saying that the movie was making you believe that God exists and all that. Do I believe in the Holy Trinity? Yes, I do. I am not into organized religion. Pi is looking for God in Hinduism, Christianity and Muslim religions. I am person that is very spiritual in my beliefs. I think that religion is constricting and hyporcitcal. I will not fault people that have a strong religious belief. Good on you.

In the beginning of the movie, it felt like the movie was cramming God down my throat. It was hammering in the message of God in every conversation that was taking place between Pi and the priest, Pi and his father and Pi to himself. We get it already.

The movie was wanted to tell this harrowing story of survival beyond insurmountable odds, but I felt the movie lost that emotional core. Everyone knew that Pi was going to survive. There was no tension or danger that Pi's life will be threatened. The movie failed in that aspect. The ending of the movie was a headscratcher. I cannot spoil it, but it left me confused.

I did not see this movie in 3D, but I have to say the visual effects and the cinematography were truly spectacular. It was visual feast for the eyes. Like some movies I saw in 2012, it was all style and no substance.

My Rating