Thursday, February 26, 2009

I'm making a list, checking it twice!

Howdy. I feel sufficiently over the rage (that's right, actual rage) that overtook me when Mickey Rourke was denied an oscar to blog again.
While browsing one of my favourite sites,, I came across a list they had made of the best films to win best picture at the oscars.

I've recently gotten really interested in films and the whole process of how they're conceived and made.Everything about them fascinates me. I don't care if it's black and white, has subtitles or involves Tim Curry in fishnets ( might I add...hubba hubba?Can't me only me?). It doesn't matter what the film, I'm all over it.

To foster this new enthusiasm (or obsession, take your pick) I've been watching a lot of old movies. The masterclass. It is a pleasure to see how films used to be made and just how fantastic some of them are. Films like "Taxi Driver" (admittedly not that old), "Some like it hot", "Rebel without a cause", "Breakfast at Tiffany's", "The Seven Year Itch", "An American in Paris" and others have completely blown me away. Despite being made a long time ago, most have a timeless humour and they are beautiful to look at.

It saddens me to see how diluted and basically un-funny films in general are nowadays. (See "You don't mess with the Zohan" for evidence). Obviously there are still absolutely brilliant films being made (The Wrestler, la Haine, Slumdog millionaire and the Usual Suspects to name a few) but the sheer quantity of films being made means that less time and care is being spent on them and the vast majority of them are pretty sub-par. Very rarely do I leave the cinema having really enjoyed a film. A lot of the time, you find yourself saying something to the effect of "well, it was alright. Nice way to waste away and hour".

To rectify this wrong, I decided to make a list. With the help of rottentomatoes, I found some films that are universally touted as "to see before you die". As I get through them I will let you know what I think and I would love any suggestions you have to bulk up my list with.
Here are the first few that I plan to watch soon.
P.S. Don't be mad at me for never having seen the Big Lebowski", I apologise!

The list:
  • The Godfather (Part I and II)
  • Rear window
  • Citizen Kane
  • Casablanca
  • All about Eve
  • On the waterfront
  • Annie Hall
  • It happened one night
  • In the heat of the night
  • Gone with the wind
  • Amadeus
  • The Big Lebowski
Let me know if you've seen any on the list or if you have any more you think I should get my film education with!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

My Oscar predictions 2009

Best picture: Slumdog Millionaire. Will and should win, I think. The ommission of "The Wrestler and "Wall-E" in this category have upset some however.

Best Actor: Mickey Rourke. Couldn't deserve it more but I have a niggling feeling that Sean Penn could sneak in there and take it from him.

Best Actress: Kate Winslet. Meryl could steal it from her, as could Anne Hathaway but I think this is Kate's year.

Best supporting Actor: Heath Ledger. No-brainer, and well deserved.

Best supporting Actress: Penelope Cruz. I would really like Marisa Tomei to win this one and think she is a definite dark horse. *fingers crossed that it doesn't go to Cruz*

Best Director: Danny Boyle. I'm fairly confident about this one and am happy with it.

Best animated film: Wall-E. Another winner in this category would cause uproar.

They're my main predictions for this year, I would love to hear yours!

Monday, February 16, 2009

New facebook Terms of Service (TOS)

Many of you will have heard about the recent changes made to the Facebook Terms of service. The new terms, which grant Facebook rights of ownership to content published on its site were obviously received cautiously.

The outcry against what many people consider an invasion of privacy kicked off

on the 16th of February.
Mark Zuckerburg from Facebook was quick to reply in the facebook blog but glossed over the most contentious issue, the intellectual rights to photos and videos you may upload to the site.
I, for one, am deleting all photos (of which there were only a few anyway), changing my privacy settings and deleting original videos I uploaded to protect my claim on them.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Review of Darren Aronofsky's "The Wrestler".

I just had to write a quick post about the Aronofsky film, “The Wrestler”. It went pretty much under my radar and I didn’t intend to see it, not thinking I would enjoy it. Boredom prompted me to watch it online. Without a doubt it’s one of the best decisions I’ve made in a while. It turns out all the hype about Mickey Rourke’s performance is more than justified.
Not having been around for Rourke’s heyday or subsequent fall, I didn’t focus on finding parallels between Rourke and his character’s status as a “has-been” amongst the public and his peers. Instead, I surprised myself by feeling more for this scarred, perma-tanned wrestler than I did for any other film character this year. Having an interest in the awards season, I’ve also seen films like “Slumdog Millionaire” and “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”. Neither had as much of an impact on me as this performance.
It’s absolutely heart-breaking to watch at times (and also rather bloody, not for the faint-hearted). Rourke gives a very quiet, dignified performance. Simple scenes like when he waits outside the hospital only to realise that no-one is coming to collect him pack more of an emotional punch and will stay with me longer than any special effects could ever do. The terrifying lonlieness that he experiences and deals with by trying to reconcile his relationship with his estranged daughter is incredibly real. You find yourself worring about this man, really investing in him.
Refreshingly, Aronofsky does not paint Randy “The Ram” as a perfect character. The beauty of the film is that both the audience and Rourke’s character are very aware that he is flawed. He is a screwup and he knows it.One of the highlights of the film is Rourke’s interaction with Evan Rachel Wood, who plays his daughter. Wood turns in a fine performance and I think if there had been a bit more room in the Best Supporting actress category this season, she would have stood a good chance.
I really can't recommend this film highly enough. It is definitely worth a look, if only to witness Rourke's magnificent return to form.

So...I've given in to vanity.

Blogging. Surely an obvious sign of vanity. Why would anyone feel the need to broadcast their thoughts and ideas, to share their experiences with the world?

This was my opinion until I started a more active presence on the internet, using social networking sites. Suddenly I came around to the idea that maybe people would be interested in what I have to say? If only to thank God their life is the polar opposite.

So here goes! As I tend to get bored doing the same thing, this blog will inevitably be an odd mix of random thoughts, film reviews, rants about politics and the absurdities of life.

I would love it if you hung around for the ride.