Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Oscars 2013

Well well well, here we are again. This post needs no introduction, as I have done an Oscars post every year sine I have started watching movies like it's my  job. So here goes nothing.

-Hosting was terrible awful horrible and evil. Seth McFarlene needs to be banished from the face of the planet.
-However, I was okay with everything else. In fact, I was more than okay with the musical tribute during the show. It was really cool to see the Les Miserables cast on stage again, and Jennifer Hudson and the cast from Chicago killed it too. Also, shout out to Aaron Tviet for having the best entrance ever. Side note: red pocket square. You can take the boy out of the barricade, but you can't take the barricade out of the boy, I suppose.

-I AM SO HAPPY FOR ANNE! Her dedication to the role of Fantine (cutting off her hair, losing weight, and being very honest about her role) really paid off and I don't think there had been a time that I've listened to her rendition of I Dreamed A Dream and haven't at least wanted to cry. She's a great person and a great actress and her winning was so cool to me.

-Adele completely blew the roof off with Skyfall. That was a really great performance, and her Oscar is also well deserved. Sidenote: Skyfall is the first Oscar-winning James Bond movie! (that wasn't for original song)

-A little bit disappointed that Alan Arkin didn't win for Argo, as he was easily one of my favorite characters in the film, but Christoph is cool too. And I'll assume his performance was excellent, because really, have you ever seen Christoph Waltz do badly at something?

-You do not know how disappointed I am that Anna Karenina did not win best soundtrack. Or Skyfall for that matter. What's really cool about Anna though is that an Italian composed that score, but it doesn't sounds Italian at all. It sounds like some lifelong Russian from the time period composed it, it's perfect in every way. And Skyfall's soundtrack went way further than simply using the original Bond theme and Adele's song and created some wonderfully tension filled music for a tension filled movie. And we give it to Life of Pi because we gave little else to Life of Pi. Think on your sins, Academy.

-THE CUT OFF MUSIC WAS JAWS. That was a really welcome touch that I loved.

-Quentin Tarantino cutting off the cut off music was also really funny. That man is a favorite personality of mine.

-ARGO WON BEST PICTURE THIS PLEASES ME.  I mean really, that movie is, as my brother put it, an excellent example of heroism in the modern day and age that gave me a lot of hope when I was just about ready to give up. Four for you Argo. You deserve it.

-KATNISS EVERDEEN WON AN OSCAR YOU GUYS! I'm so happy for Jennifer and Silver Linings Playbook was such a brilliant movie. Also, how adorable was it when she fell and Bradley Cooper and Hugh Jackman came to help her up?

-JGL and Daniel Radcliffe singing and dancing was awesome.

-I wish Wreck it Ralph had won  Best Picture. Brave was okay, but I think Pixar has done better. Wreck it Ralph had a better concept to me.

-I'm a big fan of the lovely Quevenzhane Wallis and am so happy that she was there. I mean seriously, this girl has mad skillz with the acting. Keep watching her, 'cause she's gonna keep doing big things.

What did you guys think?


Friday, February 22, 2013

More Songs That Help You Get Stuff Done

I'm baaaack. The more I thought about it, the more I needed to share these with you guys.

Anna Karenina Suite from Anna Karenina by Dario Marinelli
This movie was pretty cool, definitely favoring a stylistic rather than story approach, but the soundtrack compliments everything so perfectly. Ugh. Beautiful.

Where is My Mind by The Vitamin String Quartet (Original Pixies song was used in Fight Club)
I looooove Vitamin String Quartet, they do really well with classics from films and top of the charts pop songs. This is song has been used in a lot of movies, Fight Club being the first and foremost.

The Thieving Magpie by Rossini, used in BBC Sherlock (and A Clockwork Orange).
Okay, so I found out about this song from Sherlock, so pardon to link to the Clockwork Orange score video. This song brings out your inner evil mad genius perfectly. And Andrew Scott is an excellent dancer.

The Avengers (Main Theme) by Alan Silvestri, from Marve's The Avengers
Did you really think I WASN'T going to post this? No explanation needed.

Just a few more. This is probably going to be a periodic thing.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Songs That Make You Get Stuff Done

I made a playlist post like forever ago for improving your self confidence, but since I'm currenly sitting in the lecture hall of my school waiting for my free period to be over, let's get some stuff done. Here are a couple of movie soundtrack tunes that have helped me clean kitchens, windows, cars, get homework done, and some other stuff that involves bring productive.

Briony, from Atonement by Dario Marinelli
Atonement was a love it or hate it movie for most viewers, but the soundtrack was pretty much universally acknowledged as amazing. This track is cool because it features the type writer as a sort of percussion instrument. Now that's innovative.

In Motion, from The Social Nework, by Trent Reznor and Atticuss Ross
Add Jesse Eisenberg's soliloquy/hacking spiel if you wish.

The Entire Skyfall soundtrack by Thomas Newman
Look, ain't nothing better than pretending to have your own quartermaster and going on super awesome top secret classified stranger than fiction missions. That's why the entire Skyfall soundtrack goes on the list. Helpful if you also don't feel like skipping songs you don't want to listen to 'cause this whole thing is brilliant.

Dream is Collapsing by Hans Zimmer from Inception
If you want some sci-fi with your James Bond, here ya go.

Immigrant Song, from The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross feat. Karen O
Okay, so I haven't seen TGWTDT but seriously, this is how you re-work a Zeppelin song. Short, sweet, dark, and one to listen to when trying to get the homeworks done. Might inspire some pretty sweet doodles on the margins too. Also, this is one of the only songs with vocals that I can listen to while studying.

Helpful? I'll probably do some more in the near future. Soundtrack is great for studying bceause A) it makes you feel pretty cool, B) It's interesting to listen to, and C) most of it doesn't have vocals so as to distract you. If I put on Florence and the Machine whilst trying to study, I'll be dancing around my room like a drunk woodland pixie by track 5. These help me get stuff done. Cool? Cool.


In Which I Delve Into Fan Fiction (Or, The Post I Am Never Going To Talk About Again)

The more I think about posting this the more I think I shouldn't. But then again, I'm kind of proud of the fact that I, Randi Eversole, back-of-the-book critiquer and costume help for Huntsville High's production of Wizard of Oz, have.....

Written nothing other than James Bond (More specifically Skyfall)/Sherlock crossover fanfic.

Fanfic was the one area of fandom I said I was never ever going to go into ever.  But then Tumblr persuaded me to give it a shot after reading some original stuff I'd done. So the result was this totally embarrassing fabfic that has the following Awesome Things going on:

-Q is the third Holmes brother!
-John and James totally knew each other in the military because that's definitely probably according to canon!
-Moriarty and Silva have taken over 221B!
-Mycroft owes M a date!
-Some awesome Holmes brothers angst!
-John being sassy!
-Some other awesome stuff your inner geek is psyched about!

So without further ado, here is a link: http://www.fanfiction.net/s/8928704/1/From-221B-With-Love

What have I gotten myself into?


Monday, February 18, 2013

Parce que je suis un hipster ce poste sera en grench.
La plupart du temps de toute facon. Pas depromesses sur la qualite' de cette traduction sera.
Donc, je vais parler de facon dont les films etrangers ne vont pas gagner des recompenses aux Oscars.
Je suis deja epuise  la traduction ce message. Donc il ya un film en langue' trangere en nomination. Haneke's Amour.
Je suppose qu'on peut compter Les Mis en tant etrangere, meme si elle a ete dirigee par les Britanniques. Life of Pi etait aussi etrangere techniquement. Mais il ya beaucoup de films americains tres grands pacquet cette annee. Zero Dark Thirty, Argo, Lincoln, et meme Beasts of the Southern Wild sont sacrement americain.
Et parce que deux films estrangers ont remporte consecutivement les deux dernieres annees, je predis quecette annee l'Oscar ira a un film americain. Il sera tres' probablement Argo a mon avis. Je na'ai pas de probeleme aven ca. C'etait  un tres' bon film. Mais helas, l'Academie doit avoir un moyen de se faire sentir patiortique en cette annee historique pour l'Amerique (?).
Ainsi, toutes les predictions intelligentes Oscars aura lieu le Spielberg's Lincoln, Affleck's Argo, or Bigelow's Zero Dark Thirty.
Ca vous plait?


Monday, February 11, 2013

This Blog Is On Hiatus

Due to ongoing problems, this blog is probably not going to be active for at least a couple of months, if not ever again. I'm sorry. I just don't think I can do this and try to please everyone else too. Bye everybody.

Monday, February 4, 2013

The Blockbuster Oscars

It's no secret that the Academy favors art-house, complex, artsy with a capitol A films to nominate. But this year, there were a lot of really good mainstream blockbusters So here's me giving some awards to some cool movies that the Academy thought too mainstream to nominate.

Best Supporting Actors
Tom Hardy as Bane (The Dark Knight Rises)
Tom Hiddleston as Loki (The Avengers)
Javier Bardem as Silva (Skyfall)
Woody Harrelson as Haymitch Abernanthy (The Hunger Games)
Chris Tucker for Silver Linings Playbook

And the winner would probably be Javier Bardem, because he is half of the reason Skyfall succeeds in my opinion. Or at least a quarter. If I had to pick a second choice it'd be either Hardy or Hiddleston.  I'm also aware that Silver Linings is an indie movie that is nominated for a lot of Oscars but Chris Tucker was too good in that movie and ignored by everybody else, so yeah, he gets a nod from me for being downright hilarious. Seriously, Silver Linings wouldn't have been nearly as funny without him.

Best Supporting Actress
Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle/Catwoman (The Dark Knight Rises)
Judi Dench as M (Skfall)
Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow (The Avengers)
Elizabeth Banks as Effie Trinket (The Hunger Games)
Rebel Wilson (Pitch Perfect)

As odd as it is to say, I think Anne Hathaway would get this one from me too. Her Catwoman was actually really fantastic. If not Hathaway, the Scarlett. She brought a really cool character to life in Avengers, improving leaps and bounds over her portrayal in Iron Man 2. Or Rebel Wilson, who was hilarious and also one of the main reasons Pitch Perfect worked.

Best Actor
Daniel Craig for as James Bond (Skyfall)
Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins (The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey)
Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker/Spiderman (The Amazing Spiderman)
Tony Stark as  Robert Downy Jr. (The Avengers) (yeah, I know, I did that on purpose, because think about it: they're the same person)

Martin Freeman gets this one from me.I thought he was really under appreciated.

Best Actress
Anna Kendrick for Pitch Perfect
Marion Cotillard for Dark Knight Rises
Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen (The Hunger Games)
Emma Watson as Sam (The Perks of Being A Wallflower)

Jennifer Lawrence is my first pick. Her portrayal of Katniss is accurate to the book and still just a bit different to keep it interesting. I've said this a lot, but she is the reason this movie succeeds.
 After that Emma Watson, for taking my favorite character in Perks and playing her perfectly.

Best Direction
Joss Whedon (The Avengers)
 Gary Ross (The Hunger Games
Sam Mendes (Skyfall
Marc Webb (The Amazing Spiderman)

Joss Whedon wins. He did something unprecedented in Avengers, taking six main characters, a villain, three secondary characters, and getting them to form a coherent plot line that wasn't just coherent, but amazing. Props Joss. Honorary mention for Sam Mendes in directing Skyfall, ad reviving a fifty year old film franchise. That takes mad skillz.

Thoughts? Comments? Brilliant Insights? Rebuttals?

Friday, February 1, 2013

In Which I Review Silver Linings Playbook

If you can't tell, I'm trying to watch all the films nominated for Best Picture this year, a task that is proving to be easier than I thought. And at that, I'm really enjoying all of the films this year. I have a couple other movies in the review queue today, so there will be more of this.

Silver Linings Playbook sort of hit the world out of nowhere. I had heard of it only because every Hunger Games fansite I like to check in with every once in a while posted a lot of coverage for it, seeing as Jennifer Lawrence, who plays Katniss, has a major role in the film.

This film centers around a guy, called Pat, who has just been released from a mental hospital. He has had undiagnosed bipolar up until this point, just diagnosed as the film begins. Anyway, the world is not as it once was for Pat. His wife has put a restraining order on him, due to the fact that he beat up her lover when he found them in the shower. Pat still believes he and his wife might get back together one day, even though it's painfully obvious how delusional this belief is, to his parents, to his friends, and to the audience. Then, at a dinner with old friends, he meets Tiffany. Tiffany is recently widowed, brash, and crazy. And somehow, these two can't seem to leave each other alone. Tiffany says she can help get a letter to his wife, in return for helping her out in a dance competition. The rest? Watch the movie, it'll tell it much better than I ever could.

If that story sounds a little weird, the movie makes it work. The characters feel very real, despite their oddities, and in the end, you do like most of them. I also enjoyed how even the characters without an official diagnosis aren't portrayed as "normal people". They have their problems and idiosyncrasies too. There is no textbook normal person in the movie. That's nice to see too. There is no voice of reason who's only purpose is to be the voice of reason. Everyone is shown in all of their flaws.

This is a very well put together movie that tell it's story effectively. The portrayal of bipolar disorder is startlingly accurate and not glamorized, something that is very rare in modern Hollywood. Silver Linings doesn't glamorize a mental disorder. It tells it like it is, something I'm sure a lot of people are appluading, myself included.

In terms of actors,  this is quite a treat. As I mentioned before, Jennifer Lawrence is sort of the show stealer here. Tiffany is brilliant character, the only one who doesn't try to tread softly around Pat, and speaks her mind no matter how vulgar or strange it might be considered. Bradley Cooper in the role of Pat is also wonderful. Like I said, he plays bipolar accurately and without sugar coating anything. Deniro and Jacki Weaver are good as well. Seriously, there's not a bad performance in the bunch, I'm running out of adjectives.

Silver Linings Playbook made me laugh, cry, and empathize, as any good movie should. Highly recommended.

10 Ways Catching Fire Could Be Better Than The Hunger Games

Oooh a list! Haven't done one of these in a while.
Alrighty here, I know I initially said I really liked the adaptation of The Hunger Games to the big screen, but the more I've really scrutinized the film, the more I'm less enraptured with it. So here are some ways the next installment could make some improvements.

10. Lose the shaky cam. I cannot tell you how much this bothered me. I waited months and months for this movie, and when I get there, I get a shaky view of the action. Also, it made a lot of people feel sick or get a headache not from the cruel injustice of the Captiol, but because shaky cam messes up your equilibrium.

9. Better dialog. One thing that is largely absent from The Hunger Games film is the snarky dialog of Katniss, Haymitch's bleakly comic brutality, and Peeta's sweetness. I mean, there isn't even a whole lot of dialog on the character's parts in Hunger Games either, so that might be helpful. I mean, maybe I think that because the book was narrated by Katniss, so we get her inner monologue. But I felt the dialog present in the movie didn't capture the inner workings of these characters correctly, although it was a lot better than say, the Potter films.

8. Speaking of Katniss' narration, could we maybe have some of that? Just in different places or for short amounts of time, because I usually cannot stand full time narration (there are exceptions, i.e. The Princess Bride), but I really like Katniss as a character, and I feel like she's the most interesting version of herself in terms in of narration in Catching Fire. Quote a passage from the book every now and then, that would make a lot of fans happy.

7. More time in the arena. As much as I don't like blood and guts, we didn't get to the actual Hunger Games part of The Hunger Games until about the one hour point in the movie. There isn't a whole lot of fascinating stuff at the beginning of Catching Fire, save for the District 11 and Capitol stops on the Victory Tour. This would be an excellent to employ a nicely cut montage with some of the excellent music I know must be in store for Catching Fire.

6. Aforementioned excellent music. I liked the score for The Hunger Games, but felt it borrowed too much from other things. For example, the track that plays over (SPOILERS) Seneca Crane's death scene and the other last few bits of the movie is a track from an action movie called Hanna, composed by the Chemical Brothers. While that score is one of my favorite movie scores of all time, and the track is used nicely, the rest of the score felt like almost too minimalist for me. I like all the music in the District 12 scenes, but otherwise, it felt very lacking, although Rue's Farewell and the train scene were well done too. I don't know. I'm just iffy on the score. And you could do so much for a movie like Hunger Games in terms of score.

5. Character development. Let's look at Peeta. If you try and graph out the character development for Hunger Games, a la my English class, you'll see Peeta, and most of the characters really, don't develop like they did in the book. And this is in part because Katniss' narration is missing, but there are so many ways they could have done this. But as I mentioned in my original review of the film, there wasn't a whole lot of time for that, and they did the best they could with what they had. However, I felt Peeta especially was veeeeery underdeveloped. He's more than just a sweet little blond kid.

4. I NEED MORE HAYMITCH. I felt like Woody Harrelson's excellent portrayal was vastly underplayed. Haymitch is easily one of the most interesting characters in the whole series, and I really can't wait to see them delve into his character, as I hope they will. It would make my year to see this happen. The same could be said for Cinna as well, but SPOILER SPOILER he doesn't last very long SPOILER SPOILER.

3.Alright. I haven't mentioned Finnick. I'll mention Finnick. And this is something that has worried me ever since they released the promo pics for Finnick. I really hope they know when to make Finnick a real person and not a sex symbol like in the book. I just really hope they develop him like they should, or otherwise, that character will be nothing.

2. Make me care more about the tributes. It seemed like every tribute besides Cato and Clove were downplayed, even Rue and Thresh.