This was not going to be my first blog post, but I decided I would throw it out there and see how it scored in various demographics. So, for your pleasure, and to help you avoid sitting through countless hours of needless drivel, here are my brief reviews of the films nominated for Best Picture by the Oscars this year. (Please note that I have seen every one of these films in my tryptophan-induced dreams. The popcorn is better.)
AvatarA reboot of Peyo's magnificent creation, Avatar retells the Smurf story in stunning 3-D! After being betrayed by Brainy Smurf and losing the election for Greatest Smurf of All-Time, Papa Smurf turns to the dark side! Seeking assistance from Gargamel to reclaim what he feels rightfully belongs to him, the evil wizard creates a being who looks just like the Smurfs and introduces them into their midst. This "Smurfette" as she is called unfortunately falls for Handy Smurf and becomes torn between her creator and the Smurf population. The ensuing special effects showcase has enough battles to fill every World War II epic from now until Dick Clark is dismantled. And in a special twist, director James Cameron invites two friends to help for the conclusion - M. Night Shyamalan and George Lucas! We won't give away any spoilers here, but expect to have Azrael be unveiled as the Thor, Germanic god of thunder, and some insipid storyline about taxes and governmental oversight. Without a doubt, you will leave the theater feeling smurfed!
The Blind SideIn a quest to obtain backstage passes to Wrestlemania for his daughter, Pauly Shore (played by Carrot Top) will do whatever it takes in this quirky comedy from Vince McMahon Productions. Unfortunately, the only person he knows who has backstage passes is his neighbor, former wrestling great King Kong Bundy. A long standing feud over the two neighbors' shared fence makes asking for them even more difficult. In an attempt to make amends, Pauly sneaks into Bundy's yard during the night to paint his side of the fence (the blind side). Hi-jinks ensue. Especially notable are the special guest appearances by Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Hillbilly Jim, Sgt. Slaughter, The Ultimate Warrior, Rowdy Roddy Piper, and the mummified corpse of Hulk Hogan during a hot tub scene you will never forget!
District 9This is a gritty drama about the stupidity of making a musical about the Fellini movie 8 1/2. The highlight of this film is the special effects, which includes an extended CGI sequence where George Carlin rises from the dead and mows down the Rockettes with a rusty chainsaw.
An EducationDisguised? as a 1950s 16mm instructional film, this movie aims to show the youth of today a better use of their leisure time. With a father bringing home the bacon and a mother cleaning and cooking in the finest dresses of the day, this film teaches us that a child should be seen and not heard. (Rumors are rampant in Hollywood that this film actually is a 1950s instructional film only with Jabba the Hut inserted via CGI into the original story.)
The Hurt LockerA disturbing story of a high school freshman who gets picked on by bullies (like being stuffed in his locker) until one day he tries out for the rugby team and discovers a truth about himself - that he enjoys hurting other people. Rated R for huRt!!!
Inglorious BasterdsThe true? story of an illiterate man who suffers from Tourette's Syndrome and the challenges he faces in his job as admissions director to UVA.
PreciousA dark retelling of The Lord of the Rings from the perspective of that annoying wrinkled dude, yet holding a surprising sensitive recollection of the forbidden love between Frodo and Sam.
A Serious ManThis is a drama-documentary about Bob Hope. It stars Jay Leno, but in a trick of digital editing, Leno's nose is morphed to be Hope's nose. Nicole Kidman takes on one of the least challenging roles of her career (and possible Oscar contender) as she plays a piece of wood. The entire movie was shot originally on Super 8 film, then transferred to videotape, before being digitized and fed into the mainframe of a Roomba. Unfortunately, the resulting print had too many dust bunnies and lint imprints that the running time of the movie was shortened to 28 seconds. It is the shortest movie in the history of Oscar nominations.
UpUp is one of the most disturbing, visually graphic, intellectually challenging, and daring movies you will ever see. Clocking in at over 5 hours long, it takes you on a journey through Dante's Inferno, stopping at each level of Hell and meeting such A-list actors along the way, including Matt Damon, Glenn Close, Ben Kingsley, Vincent D'Onofrio, Kevin Bacon, Kevin Spacey, Meryl Streep, Daniel Day-Lewis, Johnny Depp, Natasha Richardson (in her final role), Gary Sinise, Gary Coleman, and Edgar the Wonder Rabbit. As Virgil leads you through the depths of Dante's hell, you will feel a surprising sense of hope springing from your very being. The reason? In a bold move, in his directorial debut, William Shatner has made the artistic decision to only allow the movie to be shown upsidedown! Your decent into hell has never been more "UP!"
Up in the Air
This is the most recent convoluted story by Robert Altman detailing the intertwining lives of hot air balloon enthusiasts. It stars Jennifer Aniston, Tom Cruise, Michael J Fox, Elmer Fudd, Roseanne Barr, Tom Arnold, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Britney Spears, Tom Hanks, Peter Scolari, Tom Newhart, Betty White, The Situation, and Busta Rhymes as The President of HABETTS (Hot Air Balloon Entusiasts Take The Skies).
And here are some additional movies with hopes for Oscar praise:
Crazy Heart is a romantic comedy starring Meg Ryan and Adam Sandler about what happens when a wife's husband dies and his heart is transplanted into an aspiring kickboxer / gardener. The Goo Goo Dolls will perform the main theme song, which will be a soft ballad, thus continuing their decline from rockers to pussyboys.
Invictus is the one movie most reviewers considered to be the most blatantly "Oscar-hoping" of the bunch. It is a biography of Victor Hugo, played by Mickey Rourke in his younger years and George C. Scott in his older years. Surprisingly, the movie does not focus on Hugo's creation of Les Miserables or The Hunchback of Notre Dame, but instead mistakenly claims that he wrote The Story of O. A graphically detailed erotic life story, inVICtus probably saved itself from changing its original working title of "Yes, it's HUGO and it's fabulous"
Nine is the story of a group of aliens from Pluto who come to earth hoping to fulfill their dreams of performing on Broadway. However, once they are kicked out of their fancy New York school for performing arts, the Plutonians hold a rally in Central Park to raise money so they can put on their own show. Unfortunately, the people of earth mistake this rally for a revival of the show "Friends" and throw coffee on the aliens. Nine of the aliens die due to their allergic reaction to caffeine, but not before teaching the people of earth about bad puns in even worse television shows.
Enjoy the Oscars!