Posts Tagged ‘Precious’

Favorite Movies of 2010

This will look almost identical to my “Favorite Albums of 2010” since I don’t know which one you may look at first.  Yes, I copied and pasted and changed a few words to fit the occasion.

I haven’t been hitting the spiked egg nog (yet).  At the end of 2010, I posted my favorite movies and albums of the year on my Facebook page, but I’m posting this in my blog as I prepare my list of favorite of 2013.

So, take a little flashback in time and let me know how many of these movies you’ve seen and how many you didn’t know about.

#10 MOVIE

Winter's Bone

9 CD

The Hurt Locker

#8 MOVIE

Piranha 3D

#7 CD

The Lovely Bones

#6 CD

His Secret Life

#5 MOVIE

Patrik 1.5

#4 MOVIE

Precious

green 3

BURLESQUE

#2 CD

Prayers For Bobby

#1 MOVIE

The Kids Are All Right

Anthony

Some Wrongs You Can’t Right

While I’ll continue to fight for equality, I’m going to talk less about politics in 2013.  I’m saying that because no matter what politicians say, chances are they will lie or promise more than they can deliver.  Another wrong that we can’t right is “Crash” winning the Academy Award for Best Picture for 2005 over “Brokeback Mountain”.  While Ang Lee won for Best Director for “Brokeback” and the movie won “Best Adapted Screenplay”, it was a shock to many that “Crash” won for “Best Picture”.

Brokeback Mountain

Another wrong that we can’t right is the box office disappointment of the 2012 Disney movie, “John Carter”.  While the budget for the science fiction adventure film was $250 million, it only grossed $282.8 million thanks to a very strong box office outside the United States.  Domestically, the movie only made $73 million.

“John Carter” is definitely a wrong that you can make right by renting it on DVD.  We did that this past weekend and I’m so glad we took a chance on it.

The problem with the movie is definitely not with sexy Taylor Kitsch as John Carter or beautiful Lynn Collins as Princess Dejah Thoris of Helium.

Taylor Kitsch as John Carter

The problem with “John Carter” at the box office was in marketing.  I don’t think Disney knew how to sell the movie.  I was expecting the action flick to be some far-fetched science fiction movie set in some future time.

While the movie predominately took place on Mars, known in the movie as “Barsoom”, it opened with a death scene set in New York in the late 19th century and then flashed back to the Wild West!  At first, I was confused as to how this movie was going to move from a western setting to another planet.

I’ll go ahead and give away a spoiler from the opening scenes.  John Carter, a former Civil War Army Captain, dies suddenly and everything is left to his nephew.  Carter is buried in a tomb that can only be opened from the inside before his nephew arrives.

As his nephew reads a locked diary that John Carter left him, we flash back to the Arizona Territory where Carter is arrested and jailed.  He escapes and after an altercation in a cave where Carter is searching for gold, something happens and for much of the 2 hours, 12 minute movie, we’re on the neighboring planet of Mars, aka Barsoom.  There, John Carter realizes that he has developed a special power that comes in handy since a war is taking place on the planet.

I thoroughly enjoyed “John Carter” and it had little to do with the hotness of the two lead characters, John Carter and the princess.  The movie also featured an army of Green Martians, the good guys in the war, and a very loyal Martian “dog”.

The American box office and the trailer does not do “John Carter” justice.

GRADE:  A-

‘THE PAPERBOY”

Nicole Kidman is one of the best living actresses out there.  I absolutely love her.  I found her mesmerizing in “To Die For” and “Moulin Rouge!” and there are still many of her other movies I still want to see.

In “The Paperboy”, she plays seductive and trashy Charlotte Bless, who falls in love with a series of prison convicts.  Her latest crush is Hillary Van Wetter, played with intense creepiness by John Cusack.

thepaperboy_nicolekidman_web

Kidman was nominated for a Golden Globe award and a Screen Actors Guild award for this role.  And, boy does she chew the scenery whether she is teasing Cusack into a frenzy during a prison visit or  urinating on Zac Efron (I won’t say why, but it’s not what you think).

The movie is the followup to director Lee Daniels’ Oscar winning “Precious”.

“The Paperboy” also stars the aforementioned Zac Efron as Jack Jansen, who falls in love with Kidman’s Charlotte.

Matthew McConaughey plays Efron’s older brother, Ward Jansen, who is investigating the case that put Cusack’s Van Wetter in prison.  This was McConaughey’s third highly acclaimed role in 2012 following his star turn in “Magic Mike” to his frightening and under appreciated role in “Killer Joe” to this one.  Ward is harboring his own secrets that could cost him his life in the racially-divided 1960s South.

After seeing “The Paperboy”, you’ll likely be very thankful for the life you have and you’ll probably want to take a shower!

GRADE:  B

Anthony

My Wandering Mind — Here’s What I’m Thinking About

Every once in a while, I like to blog about all of the things that have crossed my mind or crossed my path during my time on the internet and Facebook.  It may be nothing more than a picture or something that I read in a magazine or online, but I don’t want to write an entire blog about it and today is one of those days.  Here are the things that made me smile or got me to thinking.  As if I need to think more?

“DEXTER”

Season six of my favorite television show, “Dexter”, will be released on DVD one week from today.  I’m very excited to see it because everyone that I’ve talked to says that it was a great season.  Religion plays a big role in the twelve episodes and I just love the promotional material with the angel’s wings made from blood.  That’s so Dexter Morgan.

I’ve also learned that we’re down to the last two seasons of “Dexter” since it will end at season eight and that the executive producer already knows how it will end!

If you don’t watch it first run on Showtime and you’re waiting for the DVD like I am, here’s the trailer for season six.

In addition to “Dexter” season six arriving on DVD next week, Gretel is more excited about “Glee” season three on the same day.  Later this month, “The Walking Dead” season two arrives and in early September, it’s “Fringe” season four.  I will be watching a lot of television this fall!

SIMPLE ISN’T IT?

 

WE REALLY FORGET VETERANS WHEN THEY RETURN HOME

While I registered with the draft in 1982, which was required by law, I was lucky that I never got called to war.  Some choose the military as careers and for some, the military chooses them.  Our brave men and women of all walks of life go to foreign lands and fight for our freedom.  Some may only go once and some are called to serve multiple duties and they see things that we only see in movies.

And, when they return, they may get a parade or a hometown welcome and then once the last of the confetti falls, what happens in their lives then?

Recently, I came across the story of  Matthew Magdzas, a National Guardsman, who killed his family (a pregnant wife and daughter), their dogs, and then himself in Superior, Wisconsin, in August 2010.

While tragic, what’s even scarier are these stats that “Time” magazine reported at the time:  In 2010, 113 National Guard members committed suicide;  the Guard’s suicide rate is up 82% from 2009 and 450% from 2004 and now exceeds that of active-duty soldiers;  they lack jobs, support and camaraderie found on military bases when they return from war; and 42% of Guard troops come back from war with mental illness compared to 20% for active-duty counterparts that have more thorough training and are more prepared for longer periods at war.

With the wars that we’re engaged in across the world, we really need to make it where the National Guard is more prepared for what it will face away from home and what to expect when they return.  Many of the duties of the Guard changed from helping at state levels after 9/11.  Guardmen/women now account for about 20% of the combat troops at war instead of helping with state floods, weather disasters, and forest fires.

FALL IS GETTING CLOSER

I’m ready for fall to get here to break the incredible heat that we’ve experienced with the drought this summer.  It also means that our vacation season kicks off next month with Houston, Las Vegas, and then our pre-Christmas cruise.  On a much smaller scale, we’re heading to Fort Dodge, Iowa, this weekend for Ray’s 30th high school reunion.

This fall, I’m awaiting confirmation on the title of the new Osama bin Laden movie, which follows the special operation forces as they try to capture or kill the Afghan terrorist.  It’s the follow-up movie from Oscar winner Kathryn Bigelow of “The Hurt Locker”.  The rumored title of the movie is “Zero Dark Thirty” and it stars Jessica Chastain “(The Help”), Joel Edgerton (“Warrior”) and Kyle Chandler (“Super 8”).  The movie comes out Christmas week.

ARTPOP

The follow-up to “Born This Way” is on the way.  We no longer have to wait for the title of Lady Gaga’s new album coming out late in 2012 (more likely in early 2013 when she should be touring America on “The Born This Wall Ball” tour).  The album is called “ARTPOP”.

Gaga tweeted, “make sure when writing about my new album/project ARTPOP that you CAPITALIZE the title, *its all in the details* good morning twitter!”

“PRECIOUS” FOLLOW-UP LOOKS AMAZING

Director Lee Daniels’ follow-up to the incredible Oscar nominated film, “Precious”, arrives in theaters this October.  (Mo’nique won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for “Precious”.)

It’s called “The Paperboy” and it looks amazing.  I haven’t been following the race to the Oscars in 2013, but I can guarantee that one of my favorites, Nicole Kidman, will be one of the Best Actress nominees based on this trailer.  And, you get a bonus!  Zac Efron in “tighty whities”!

The movie also stars Matthew McConaughy, John Cusack, David Oyelono, Macy Gray, and Scott Glenn.

LEBANON

The best movie that I saw recently was the award-winning  2009 Israeli movie, “Lebanon”, which followed a lone tank and paratroopers that were dispatched to a hostile town during the First Lebanon War in 1982.  It was gripping, suspenseful, and claustrophobic.

“The New York Times” called it “an astonishing piece of cinema” and “Variety said it is “the boldest and best” of recent Israeli films based upon the Lebanon wars.  Meanwhile, the British newspaper “The Guardian” called it “anti-war”.

GRADE:  A

 

GREAT FOOD & REFRESHING DRINKS MAKE LIFE MORE ENJOYABLE

While I would probably never have the patience to make this colorful cake (maybe before next June’s pride, I will), it looks fun and delightful.

However, I am planning on making this strawberry-basil sangria.  I found the recipe on treehugger.com.

Strawberry-Basil Sangria

  • ½ lb of fresh strawberries
  • 1 apple
  • 1 ounce of fresh whole basil leaves
  • 1 bottle of Cline Cellar’s Cool Climate Chardonnay
  • ½ cup organic sugar
  • 1 cup of club soda
  • 1 cup of white grape juice

1. Trim and thinly slice the strawberries.
2. Slice and dice the apple into very small bits.
3. Score the basil leaves with a fork. I did this instead of cutting the leaves into strips as I did not want my guests choking on basil while trying to enjoy this drink. Simply just rub the basil leaves gently with a fork in order to release their flavor in the sangria.
4. Layer the fruit, sugar and basil in a large pitcher and let sit for about 10 minutes. This is just to let the sugar absorb the juices from the basil and the fruit. You’ll see it turn a bit red.
5. Add the club soda first and then the remaining liquids. Stir well and serve.

MUSIC I’M EXCITED ABOUT

Of course, I’m excited that Madonna is at #8 on the Billboard Dance Chart with “Turn Up The Radio”, the third single from “MDNA”.  The new remix by Far East Movement (“Like a G6”) is out of this world.  It’s one time when I agree that adding rap to a pop song makes it even better.  The rap in Maroon 5’s “Payphone”, not so much!

My other favorite songs right now are “Timebomb” by Kylie Minogue, “Let’s Have a Kiki” by the Scissor Sisters, “Postcards From Paris” by The Band Perry, and these two.

I’ve never been a fan of Demi Lovato, but I knew who she was by having an 11-year-old daughter.  She’s had it rough over the past couple of years with “physical and emotional issues”, but it seems she’s got her act together now and I just love her new top ten song, “Give Your Heart a Break”.

Also, at the top of my list of favorites now is Chris Wallace’s “Remember When (Push Rewind)”, which I featured a month or so ago. It’s now about to crack the top 40!

I saw him at Market Days a couple of years ago when he was the lead singer of The White Tie Affair, which had a modest hit with “Candle (Sick and Tired)”.  I can’t wait for the debut album!

I’ve let my mind wander enough.  There was one more thing I wanted to talk about today, but this is enough for now.  Have a great day and thanks for checking out my random thoughts.

Peace,

Peeps