Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Let's Go Out to the Lobby... and Get Ourselves an Oscar. (Seriously, they are free when you upsize your popcorn purchase.)

In a tradition dating back to 2010, I have gone another year without seeing a single Oscar-nominated film. However, as a public service, I will still provide a brief synopsis of all ten (yes, 10!) films nominated for Best Picture this year.

The King's Speech - Perhaps a surprise entry in the Best Picture category. Perhaps a sentimental favorite. Perhaps something a little more sinister involving Ted Turner, the ghost of Sam Raimi, and Bounce, the furry and friendly roadkill chipmunk... But you do not wish to delve into that theory. Instead, enjoy this very intellectual film as it explains, in excruciating detail, how Larry King can speak to amphibians. Beginning with a theory that Larry King is part toad, the filmmakers begin a long and arduous journey behind the scenes at CNN's Larry King Live set and discover something that must be seen (and heard) to be believed. Linguistic specialists everywhere are proclaiming The King's Speech as the feel-good hit of the year! And frogs let out an excited croak at the news of its nomination. Be sure you are not the one that ribbits it! *This just in - Sam Raimi is still alive. Who knew?*

The Kids Are All Right - Copping a title from a song made famous by The Who, this film asks a different existential question. Namely, "Huh?" Have you ever wondered what would happen if Octomom and Kate Gosselin joined forces? A&E sure did, and this film from their studios shows the two celebrity multi-moms combining their skills of incubation in a way never before seen. Unfortunately, the Sith Lord (played with immense subtlety by Gary Coleman in his first post-mortem role) entices them to the dark side. A giant death star is built, but the rebel forces do not know that it is really a maternity ward while OctoGoss births an entire army. And what about their brood? Are they all destined to follow the dark side and make everyone watch The Hills vs. Gossip Girl cage match of death? Well, you read the title of the movie, didn't you? Everyone loves a happy ending.

Inception - I had a dream that I went to see Inception, but that I fell asleep in the movie theater. Okay, I can't take credit for that joke, but it is still funny enough to steal. Inception is a sci-fi thriller detailing the struggle of several of Leonardo DiCaprio's sperm to impregnate a starlet before Satan returns to claim his soul. These demon seed fight amongst themselves in a catacomb of desperation as many young actresses in Hollywood vie to claim them. In an effort to escape from the pack and inseminate Ellen Page, SpermGuy #14 catches old reruns of Growing Pains. His idea is to understand the earlier genetic Leo and form a bond with the younger egg in Miss Page, since everyone knows how fertile she is (see Juno). However, this tactic proves to be faulty as SpermGuy #14 turns gay due to overexposure to Alan Thicke (what a man!). As such, is Leonardo destined to have his bloodline die out? We will have to wait until Inception 2 - The Revenge of the Frozen Embryo!

The Fighter - In a decidedly un-PC move, the Academy nominated this film which tells the stereotypical story of an Irish lad who likes to fight. I bet he drinks Guinness too. And maybe he likes potatoes. You should be ashamed of yourself, Academy. And so should you for even reading this review.
Wait, I have just been handed a memo... It seems that this movie is not THAT movie. This movie is a story about Russell Crowe and his brushes with the law. What?! How stereotypical! An Australian that likes to fight?! I bet he drinks Fosters too. And maybe he likes Veggie-Mite. Is there no originality any more? For shame, Academy, for shame.

Black Swan - The most touching of this years' nominations, and the traditional period piece nomination, Black Swan is a live action retelling of the Ugly Duckling childhood story. This reboot takes place in the antebellum South where our heroine baby duck has to deal with an unfair world. How can a poor duck with little to no self-esteem survive and become a beautiful swan? Well, through dancing for prominently white audiences. Yep... no racist undertones there... Be ashamed of yourself, Academy, be very ashamed.

127 Hours - The title of this movie refers to the amount of time it takes the viewer to realize they are watching a movie about a man CUTTING OFF HIS OWN ARM! In a year crammed with claustrophobic movies, this movie seals the lid. Trapped literally between a rock and a hard place, you will have no where to turn when you realize you are looking right into the heart and soul of James Franco's nose. One saving grace for this film, however, is the dedication James Franco brought to his portrayal of the lead character. Not since Gary Sinise chopped off both his legs to portray Lt. Dan in Forrest Gump has an actor so embraced amputation.

The Social Network - This wacky off-beat teen sex-comedy takes place in a struggling Moscow television station. With ratings dwindling and Communism fading into a distant memory by their viewership, the station manager decides to liven things up. Deciding to do away with regular programming and the classic advertiser model, the station opens its doors to the Russian public to come in at any time of day and broadcast anything they want. The ultimate in open mic nights, this struggling station rediscovers its Marxist roots and begins to rule the Russian airwaves.

Toy Story 3 - The alternate title to this film was "The Revenge of Pong" but the creators scrapped it after it did not test well. So instead of a violent video game massacre, the people at Pixar decided to manipulate your emotions in a different way. This time around, the toys have to deal with Woody being infected with termites. And while Buzz and the gang try to make Woody comfortable and keep his spirits high, nobody seems to realize that Andy has left to go to college. In the end, Woody recovers and the toys come to understand that they don't need human interaction to be complete. But, if you wait until the credits are over, you will get one of the biggest downers in movie history, and the people from Pixar should burn in hell for it. *Spoiler Alert* After the credits roll, we open to a scene in a cemetery with all the toys in a box. An off-camera voice explains how Andy died of acute alcohol poisoning during a freshman mixer at college, ingesting copious amounts of grain alcohol in a Superman thermos. The scene ends as Andy's mother dumps the box of toys into the grave with Andy and dirt being thrown onto the scared and saddened faces of Buzz and Woody.

True Grit - This documentary took the world by storm as it exposed the world of bread-making. Michael Moore gets the "dirt" on how bread is made. Whole grains are not on the menu here as bread-makers reveal their secrets to how they get wheat bread to taste like the ground. (Hint - they add parts of the ground to the dough.) So next time you want a filling visit to the movies, be sure to chomp on some True Grit with peanut butter and jelly.

Winter's Bone - As I mentioned, I have seen exactly none of these movies, but even if I were so inclined, I would not go see this movie. The first movie with an NC-17 rating to get nominated for Best Picture, this movie is less film than it is smutty trash. Apparently, a very buxom nymphomaniac named Winter simply can not get enough sex. Yep, that's about it. There is some sort of story about her looking to find "The One" that will complete her, the one that will "fill her soul" or "fill her hole" (the sound editing was atrocious). The acting is horrible, the plot is weak, and the ending just leaves you feeling sticky. Will Winter ever find her elusive perfect bone? Will you ever be able to look at an egg beater the same way again? We will never know because this movie should be sent back to the dark alley peepshows from whence it came.

And there you have it... All ten movies nominated for Best Picture of 2010. Good luck to all. And to all a good golden statue of a man holding his junk.

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