Trailer for ‘On The Road’

I read On the Road first when I was 21 and again when I was almost 30. I didn’t get it the first time. I sure as heck understood it the second time around.

The trailer gets extra props for using my favorite quote from the book:

But then they danced down the streets like dingledodies, and I shambled after as I’ve been doing all my life after people who interest me, because the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, made to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes “Awww!”

Looks like a really interesting cast. Garrett Hedlund really impressed me in Country Strong and in my opinion, Kristen Stewart keeps getting better.

Source: AMC Movie News Tumblr:

My Favorite Movies of 2010

THE GOLDEN GLOBES WERE ON THIS WEEKEND. THE GOLDEN GLOBES WERE ON THIS WEEKEND!!!

It’s awards season once again…my favorite time of year. Snow on the ground and statues are being handed out left and right of metal naked dudes.

One of the great benefits of working where I work is free movies. So Alli and I have seen a lot this year and without bias, I wanted to present my favorite movies of the year. Now these might not necessarily be Oscar- or Golden Globe-worthy, but they were my humble favorites. First the list, then write-up below.

  1. The Social Network
  2. The King’s Speech
  3. The Fighter
  4. Inception
  5. True Grit
  6. Toy Story 3
  7. The Town
  8. Cyrus
  9. Tangled
  10. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

DISCLAIMER: I work for AMC Theatres so I saw nearly all of these movies in the theatre for free as a part of my benefits. However, the opinions expressed in this post are solely my own.

The Social Network

This movie was just everything. Extremely timely story. Great acting. Incredible script. Best movie score…maybe in the last decade. I saw the movie three times in the theatre. Loved it every time. | Buy at Amazon.com

The King’s Speech

Gorgeously filmed and acted. Colin Firth is perfect and is complemented so well by the brilliant Geoffrey Rush. I was actually surprised that the Hollywood Foreign Press did not crown this as best picture at the Golden Globes since they tend to favor movies made outside of the U.S. | Find showtimes

The Fighter

I’m not a huge Mark Wahlberg fan, but the man can put a project together. He was committed to this movie for 3 years, so he stayed in boxing shape until it finally came together. Christian Bale gave probably the best performance by an actor in any role as Dickie and Melissa Leo transformed into the unrecognizable controlling mother Alice. | Find showtimes

Inception

It’s a shame that Christopher Nolan’s dream thriller came out so early in the year. With a year as back-end heavy as this 2010, it got lost in the shuffle a bit, which is a shame. It’s a wonderful story, amazingly directed in seven different countries and Nolan’s story was one of the most original of the year. In a world of sequels and remakes, original stories are tough to come by. | Buy at Amazon.com

Toy Story 3

I am a sucker for Pixar. I never thought the third movie about talking toys would move me to tears. But Lee Unkrich’s amazing film blasted it out of the park. Who knew that some of the best filmmakers in the world would work at an animation studio? | Buy at Amazon.com

True Grit

I don’t really like the Coen Brothers, but this movie was just fabulous. Such an entertaining movie that is carried by its young star, Hailee Steinfeld. Jeff Bridges is a great Rooster Cogburn. Better than John Wayne. YEAH, I SAID IT. It immediately became my favorite Coen Brothers movie. And Hailee Steinfeld won’t win the Best Supporting Actress Oscar (Melissa Leo made sure of that as Alice in The Fighter), but man, she was great. | Find showtimes

The Town

Ben Affleck made a crime movie that was on par with Scorsese’s The Departed. Not only did he star in it and help write it, but he directed a well-made, tight crime thriller. Jon Hamm, Jeremy Renner, Rebecca Hall and the late Pete Postlethwaite all turn in terrific supporting performances. Entertaining and exciting. | Buy on Amazon.com

Cyrus

Such an underrated film. I don’t know how many people saw it, but Alli and I caught a late Sunday night showing and I was so glad that we did. Marisa Tomei, John C. Reilly and Jonah Hill really deliver in this small movie about a mother’s relationship with her grown son and new boyfriend. It’s really a lot of fun. | Buy on Amazon.com

Tangled

A Rapunzel story? Another animated movie? YES. Tangled was sweet, funny, creative and it was fun for both kids and adults. | Find showtimes

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

Edgar Wright’s movie based on the graphic novel of the same name was one of the most creative, visually stunning movies of the year. Michael Cera is great as…Michael Cera…errrr…the title character and while much of what makes this movie great is the source material, it wouldn’t work without Edgar Wright’s vision. A lot of fun. | Buy on Amazon.com

Honorable Mentions

Kick-Ass was the more hilariously violent than The Expendables and more enjoyable. It’s Kind of a Funny Story was completely overlooked in the indie circuit.

So what were your favorite movies of the year?

We Will Make You Whole Again

We Will Make You Whole Again

One of the main reasons I was able to get my awesome new job at AMC was my connection with their social media manager extraordinaire, Justin Gardner. Justin and I have become friends over the past couple years and we have now been working together for almost 2 months.

I was so thrilled to be able to watch as he and Trevor Hawkins of MAMMOTH MEDIA worked to premiere their short film, We Will Make You Whole Again on Tuesday night at AMC Mainstreet. The trailer:

For these guys, this has been a labor of love, a film that they’ve been working on for the past two years. Completely shot in Kansas City (with KC actors and an amazing score by KC’s Olympic Size) on a Nikon DSLR camera (a pretty cool feat unto itself).

The movie is really great. They’ve did a terrific job telling a compelling story about 6 strangers that feel disconnected from the world and each other because of things like age, race, sexuality, gender, language and culture, while revealing the common, everyday actions and emotions that unite them all. I was really proud of my friend Justin and his film. For someone to get out there and create something…that’s something to admire. (Not surprising for someone married to an artist who is constantly creating work that requires her whole self.)

Give the trailer a look and become a fan of the film on Facebook. Justin and Trevor are currently prepping the movie to be available for purchase via digital download and are scheduling other screenings in Kansas City. The Facebook page is the best place to find information.

Whether you do it this way or in your own way, art is such an important of education and communities. Please support art in Kansas City or your own community.

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?

Best Picture Showcase – Weekend 1

Since the Academy upped the number of Best Picture nominees for this year’s Oscars from 5 to 10, the Best Picture Showcase format at AMC had to change. While 5 select cities (New York, Chicago, LA, Washington D.C. and Toronto) will have 24-hour marathons, Kansas City hosted two venues, including my home theatre, Studio 30, which sold more Best Picture Showcase tickets than any other city in America.

The lineup for the first weekend was:

Since Alli’s been sick (and we’ve seen it twice), we decided to cut out on seeing Avatar again and showed up about 15 minutes prior to Up in the Air. We settled into our seats (which we purchased ourselves…I went as a fan, not as a Community Manager) and enjoyed the day.

Mostly.

The experience of the Best Picture Showcase is a blast for movie lovers like us, but one thing you can never avoid is the gut-wrenchingly uncomfortable movie. This year, that movie was Precious: Based on the Novel PUSH by Sapphire.

Brutal. Just utterly brutal. Stereotype-filled to the brim. Good performances from Mo’Nique and Gabourey Sidibe, but they are certainly a type. Their performances reminded me of something I heard Matt Damon say once that it’s easy to win an Oscar, you just have to pick the right role (I think it was Damon…I can’t find a link to the quote, but I’m pretty sure it was Damon when he was on Inside the Actor’s Studio).

As far as the other movies go…

The Blind Side was a nice movie. I’m not convinced that Sandra Bullock would win Best Actress any other year but this one. It’s certainly her best performance since Crash, but is it Oscar-worthy? I don’t know. I can certainly see why people love that movie. It’s inspirational. It’s about our national past-time, football. But The Blind Side is definitely one of the movies that benefited from the expansion to 10 Best Picture nominees. That being said, the kid that plays SJ is hilarious.

Inglorious Basterds was what I expected. Tarantino certainly has a style that can be appealing to some. But the typography nerd in me was annoyed by the opening credits where he managed to stuff at least four different typefaces in, which is a big design no-no. Christoph Waltz was absolutely brilliant as Hans Landa and deserves every single bit of acclaim that he’s received. The story itself…*shrug*. There were people who’ve said that Inglorious Basterds is Tarantino’s best work so far. I respectfully disagree…and not just because of the typography.

On second viewing, Up in the Air was my favorite film we saw. Jason Reitman, like Tarantino, also has a very specific directorial style. But where Tarantino’s style has seemingly remained the same, Reitman’s is evolving into something fantastic. The shots he captures of Ryan Bingham’s America are really beautiful and the performances from leads — Clooney, Kendrick and Farmiga — are all terrific, with Anna Kendrick (who we’ve really only known as Jessica from the Twilight movies before now) really doing an amazing job as Clooney’s young understudy Natalie.

Just a quick comment on the Best Picture Showcase itself. Now that I work for AMC as a Community Manager, it was an interesting experience. I didn’t attend as an employee, but a fan of the movies, just like most everyone else in the theatre. And for people who love the movies, the Best Picture Showcase is an amazing time. I’m looking forward to finishing it up next weekend, with:

I’m most looking forward to seeing An Education and The Hurt Locker. An Education was written by one of my favorite authors, Nick Hornby, while The Hurt Locker…well, I’m anxious to see what all the hype is about.