The Oscars

This was the first time in four years that Alli and I have not hosted an Oscar party at our house. With the job change and everything going on, we needed to take a break this year and just enjoy the show on our own. HOWEVER…

Why is it impossible for them to stay on schedule? My DVR cut off and I missed the final 4 awards (read: THE MOST IMPORTANT ONES). Fortunately, the Internet came to my rescue and I was able to see the acceptance speeches from Jeff Bridges, Sandra Bullock, Kathryn Bigelow and…Kathryn Bigelow.

I have to be honest. Last night’s awards were somewhat of a disappointment to me. Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin weren’t funny (nor really were both of them necessary…why two hosts?) and the outcomes — well, I just can’t get on board with The Hurt Locker. Look, I appreciate the significance of Bigelow’s win. It’s ludicrous that a woman has not already won a directing Oscar. But I think that Peter Sciretta from /film said it best in his tweet:

What I liked:

  • Pete Doctor wearing the bottlecap pin on his tux to commemorate Up.
  • The way that the Best Original Score nominees were presented by the League of Extraordinary Dancers.
  • Ben Stiller dressed up as a Na’vi from Avatar, which was hilarious.
  • John Hughes tribute. The man was responsible for some of the funniest movies of the 80’s and 90’s.
  • Christoph Waltz finally getting his acceptance speech right. Everything else he had said in acceptance speeches had been an incoherent mess.
  • Up winning for Best Score (seriously, I was probably happier about this than anything else during the evening). Giacchino is amazing.
  • Doug Benson’s (host of the I Love Movies podcast) live tweets during the show. Hilarious.

The big surprises:

  • Precious winning the Best Adapted Screenplay award. Really was certain it was going to Up in the Air.
  • The Hurt Locker winning Best Original Screenplay (although once you saw how much the night was swinging towards Bigelow’s movie, it wasn’t as surprising). I thought this would be Tarantino’s for Inglorious Basterds.
  • Farrah Fawcett being left out of the In Memoriam montage, but not Michael Jackson.
  • Mo’Nique didn’t get played off the stage. I was sure that when she won that she would ramble on for 5 minutes.

What I didn’t like:

  • Baldwin and Martin. Just not very funny.
  • Really shocked about Up in the Air getting shut out. After seeing all 10 Best Picture nominees, I truly believe this was in the top 3. Fortunately, Jason Reitman is young. He’s doing great work and will continue to do so.
  • The pre-show hosted by Kathy Ireland was just PAINFUL to watch.

So, what did you think? Did you watch the whole telecast?

Top 5 Movies of 2009

So I’ve been thinking about this post for the past week. I’ve been doing my best to hold off on writing this until I saw a couple more movies, particularly Up in the Air, which I saw today as part of a double-feature with my parents (the other movie was NINE). I’ve yet to see The Hurt Locker or Where the Wild Things Are, and frankly, the only other movie that felt really came close was State of Play. Here are the movies that I enjoyed the most this year:

Up

Pixar is easily one of the best studios on the planet. The worst movie that they’ve ever made (in my opinion) was Cars, and even that was considered a success by many. But this year, they really outdid themselves with this amazingly charming and heartfelt story of Carl Fredericksen, a boy named Russell and a dog named Dug: Up.

Avatar

One of the most visually stunning films of the last decade. I want to see it like three more times. Such a huge accomplishment for James Cameron. Fascinating on so many levels.

The Hangover

Call it overrated or crude. I don’t agree, nor do I care. I thought that Zach Galifianakis’ performance as Alan in The Hangover was one of the most entertaining of the year. Galifianakis and The Office‘s Ed Helms totally steal the majority of the scenes in this debauchery-filled romp through Las Vegas. I haven’t laughed this hard in a very long time.

Away We Go and (500) Days of Summer

Independent movies have really come into their own over the past few years. Juno and other films have set the bar extremely high, but there were two independents that came out this year that I really loved: Away We Go, starring John “Big Tuna” Krasinski and Maya Rudolph, (which I reviewed already) and (500) Days of Summer, starring Joseph-Gordon Levitt and Zooey Deschanel (which I also reviewed). Away We Go is just a lovely movie with some amazing chemistry between Krasinski and Rudolph. And (500) Days of Summer really did some amazing work redefining the romantic comedy genre. Both movies had great performances and completely phenomenal soundtracks (which always is helpful).

Star Trek

There was a lot of speculation as to whether J.J. Abrams (Alias, LOST, Cloverfield) could pull off a reboot of one of Hollywood’s most storied franchises. He did so and he did it amazingly. Essentially, he took the traditional Star Trek story with a new cast of characters and made it into an exciting action movie that just happened to be set in space. Star Trek was everything that you could ask for a summer blockbuster to be: it was exciting and funny and (most importantly for the summer blockbuster) it set the stage for many more sequels.

So my list is probably a lot different than most, but this is what I thought was great in 2009. I’m looking forward to 2010 (especially Iron Man 2).

What did you love in 2009? What are you looking forward to seeing in 2010?