Well hello! And welcome to the second installment of The AE Movie Club, the best-looking gathering of film geeks since Timothy Olyphant squared off against Sarah Michelle Gellar in Scream 2.
First off, I’m SO EXCITED by the response to last week’s premiere column – it was wonderful to hear everyone’s thoughts, opinions and tips on movies new and old. If you chimed in with a comment, keep your peepers peeled this week because I’m giving a few shout-outs along the way.
This week’s big movie news was of course the Oscar nominations, so we’ll start off with some Reviewlets of the nominated films. I’ll direct you to some fun fan poster art, serve up some reheated beefcake courtesy of Jason Beghe (with an assist by Stanley Tucci), and ask you to join me once again in the Movie Confessional for another round of cinematic shame. There’s a We Need to Talk About Kevin Limerick Review, the week’s best new poster and trailer, and lots more.
So, without further ado, 5 … 4 … 3 … 2 … 1 …START!
NOM NOM NOM
Okay, so the big news of the week is that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (with the help of Katniss Everdeen herself, Jennifer Lawrence) announced the nominees for the 84th Academy Awards on Tuesday morning. The Academy ended up going with a round nine contenders (?) for Best Picture, and other than the “Well in’t that nice!” surprise nods to Melissa McCarthy (Bridesmaids) for Best Supporting Actress, Gary Oldman (Tinker, Tailor, Solider, Gay Spy) and Demian Bichir (A Better Life) for Best Actor, and Nick Nolte (Warrior) and Jonah Hill (Monkeyballs Moneyball) for Best Supporting Actor, it was pretty much a shrugfest all around.
We’ve already made predictions about the noms and winners and kvetched about the great performances and films that were snubbed, so this week I thought I’d dedicate this week’s Oscar segment to posting videos of The Artist Best Actor nominee (and Golden Globe champ) Jean Dujardin dancing funny.
Sure, by now we all know he can do this:
But did you know he can also do THIS?
Courtesy of our pals at BestWeekEver
Apparently the above clip is from a TV show called Un Gars, Une Fille. I don’t speak French, but from what I can tell the show was an extended commercial for low-fat yogurt that still tastes every bit as delicious as your favorite desserts. If ever a foreign show needed a US remake, this would be it.
Since a lot has been said about the major Oscar categories, I thought I’d focus this week’s Reviewlets on my favorite contenders in the Screenplay categories.
Margin Call – Best Original Screenplay
I’m beyond jazzed that this sharp, tight, and smart little movie got recognized for its screenplay, which somehow managed to accuse both no one and everyone for the mortgage hissyfit of 2008. By humanizing the men and women that made the awful decisions that led to the sell-off of our economy, Call managed to avoid becoming just another puffed-up financial thriller about old guys in ugly, overpriced suits delivering monologs about their money. The movie itself was wonderfully tidy and economical, but everything in it was messy, confused and ambiguous – just like it probably was for the people who eventually pulled the trigger. I loved it, and I hope it wins.
The Descendants – Best Adapted Screenplay
Gotta be honest – I really liked this movie. It was bleak and beautiful, and walked the line between tragic and ridiculous beautifully (and I’m not just talking about the casting of Matthew Lillard). Do I think that it deserves to win Best Picture? No. But I wouldn’t have a problem with it taking the Adapted Screenplay prize, if only because it would mean that we would get to see this guy take the stage:
Best Adapted Screenplay Nominee Jim Rash (seen here on Community)
Trailer Park: Chronicle
By now you’ve likely seen at least one of the 2,392 different brief TV spots for the upcoming Cloverfield sequel found-footage superhero thriller Chronicle. But lots of us haven’t seen the full trailer. Here you go:
So it’s about a kid that touches a meteor and all of a sudden he looks like a young Leonardo DiCaprio? Cool, I’m in.
It Came from Instant Queue: Burn Witch Burn (1962)
This wonderfully wicked witchcraft-in-the-suburbs mystery is one of those films that likely would have vanished completely were it not for services like Instant Queue, which is basically the streaming equivalent of a mom-and-pop video store in Cincinnati that also sells homemade jerky and roofing tile. Thank heaven, because this clever and proudly weird supernatural drama (aka Night of the Eagle) is a heck of a lot of fun.
Starring Peter Wyngarde as a professor in a snooty University town and Janet Blair as his devoted wife who secretly falls back into old conjuring habits in order to protect them from the cutthroat academic society, Burn is loaded with fun scare scenes, voodoo dolls, double-crosses, creepy phone calls, and the highest waistlines I’ve ever seen on a man:
Peter Wyngarde and Janet Blair
And did I mention that Blair’s character’s name is Tansy Taylor? ‘Nuf said.