Tag Archives: award-worthy movies

Oscar Party Food (2015)

This year we had our smallest Oscar party ever with just three partygoers in attendance. Actually, if you count the Barbie and Monster High dolls Greta plopped down in chairs near the TV there were actually seven. Either way, it was probably my favorite Oscar party ever.

We had Oscar nominee crafts for Greta, loads of fun Oscar nominee-themed candy (my favorite were the Nerds Rope for The Theory of Everything and The Imitation Game and the Whoppers for all the historical innaccuracies in the Best Picture nominees!) and a big bowl of taco salad to support all of the Mexican and Latino nominees this year.

That said, I must admit that we both loathed Best Picture winner Birdman with a passion. Oy, talk qbout art with a capital “A”…so annoying. And that score, my God, it was such a struggle sitting through that crap. And we watched it at home too! I can't even fathom seeing Birdman in an actual theatre. Yikes…

The worst thing is that if what Birdman director Alejandro G. Iñárritu said about good luck charms actually working is true, I fear that our taco salad may have had a hand in bringing that lunatic three Oscars last night. Guess we should have followed our first instinct and gone with all kid-themed food for Boyhood. Oh well…there's always next year.

Oh, and by the way, Nerds Rope are ahmazing! So yummy! And they seemed to work a little magic last night for the nerd movies too, so, hooray for Nerds!

 

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Date Night Movie: “Into the Woods”

Usually when I write about date night movies I'm taking about stuff that Mrs. Yeti and I see without Greta, but, tonight's “date night” was even more special. Greta and I saw a screening of Into the Woods on the Disney lot tonight and it was magical.

The movie was fantastic, the weather was wet and shimmery but not cold and the studio backlot was decorated to the hilt for tomorrow's annual tree lighting ceremony. Daddy/Daughter “date night” perfection! Seriously, we could have strolled around that gorgeous, candy-colored backlot all night…in fact, we kinda did. Enjoy the pics!

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AFI’s 10 Best Movies & TV Shows (2013)

I was already feeling woefully behind in my award season movie watching when the American Film Institute released their ten best list this week and totally sealed the deal. Sadly, I have seen only one of the movies on this list. Yikes…

And though AFI’s annual list is hardly an accurate predictor of future Oscar glory, it definitely puts a spotlight on films with award season momentum. And with films like Her, 12 Years A Slave and American Hustle already doing very well with the National Board of Review and various film critics groups around the country, a nod from the AFI never hurt anyone.

So, while I try to scramble to find a babysitter so I can actually try and see some of these movies, please enjoy this year’s pick of AFI honorees.

AFI's top ten movies & TV shows (2013)

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Oscar Nominees 2013

Wow, what a difference a year makes! Last year at this time, The Artist was winning pretty much everything it was nominated for, but, this year the Oscar race is wide open. Which, in my mind is always much more exciting. Equally exciting was the nomination telecast itself, which was hosted by the dreamy Emma Stone and this year’s Oscar telecast host, Seth McFarlane.

Yes, you heard me right, the reading of names from a prompter was actually very exciting this morning! Funny too! I laughed out loud several times, but, my favorite moment was when Stone announced the Best Supporting Actor nominees. After every name she said: “Nominated Before.” And they were! The category is full of previous winners. Crazy! And hilarious to make fun of it too. Honestly, I was a bit worried about Seth McFarlane hosting the show this year, but, if he’s as funny and original as he was this morning, then, bring that shit on, baby. He was on fire! And, he even scored a Best Song Oscar nomination for his movie Ted.

"ARGO" Poster/header (2012)

"SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK" poster

Anyway, most of the major nominees are names we’ve been hearing all season, Lincoln, Zero Dark Thirty, Life of Pi, Argo and Les Miserables all did really well in several categories, but, the biggest coup in my mind was all the Oscar love for Amour, which scooped up nominations for Best Foreign Film, Best Director, Best Actress, Best Screenplay, and Best Picture! Wow! I can’t remember the last time a foreign film did that well. Good on, you guys!

Also very excited to see Naomi Watts score a Best Actress nomination for her fine work in The Impossible, even if poor Ewan McGregor got overlooked…again! Grrr! Also totally overlooked was John Goodman, who shone in at least three major movies I can think of and would have made a perfect rookie addition to the Best Supporting Actor category. Also totally robbed was John Hawkes for his superb work in The Sessions. He was awesome (as was his co-star Helen Hunt, who did score a nomination this morning for the same movie). If you ask me, I’d say Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman) stole more than a loaf of bread this time around, he also stole John Hawkes Best Actor nomination. Sorry, Hugh, you were great, but, I’m just saying…

I was also stoked to see David O. Russell back in the Best Director race after losing out on a DGA nomination early this week. In fact, the only holdovers from the DGA’s nominations are Ang Lee and Steven Spielberg. I can’t even remember the last time the lists were that different. And though I’m sorry Ben Affleck didn’t score a nomination for directing Argo, I was excited to see Russell back in the running as well as the Beasts of the Southern Wild dude and Michael Haneke for Amour. Neither of which I’ve seen yet, so, I’d better get busy!

Anyway, in the end, I think I’m rooting for Silver Linings Playbook the most. The movie is fantastic and has really crept up on me over the past few weeks since I saw it. Like a lot of my favorite movies, it really sticks with you and that’s always good. Also, it scored nominations in every acting category, as well as nods for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay, which is a good sign. Especially in year with no clear frontrunner. So, go, Silver Linings Playbook!

Dying to hear what movies you loved or hated this year and, more importantly, what you thought was overlooked. So, feel free to comment away. And to see a full list of this year’s nominees, click here.

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Date Night Movie: “The Impossible”

As I’ve mentioned a few times, Mrs. Yeti and I don’t get out much these days, but, when we do, we see movies. And this past weekend, we saw an amazing one. The Impossible is the true story of one family’s struggle to survive the devastating tsunami that swept through Southeast Asia back in 2004. Ewan McGregor and Naomi Watts turn in truly Oscar-caliber performances (there is one scene with Ewan on a cell phone that will literally rip your heart out!) but the boy who plays their eldest son, Tom Holland, is also incredibly good in a star-making turn.

That said, The Impossible is extremely graphic and very disturbing and is most definitely not for kids. Three people at our screening actually left the theatre in the first half hour, and these are supposedly jaded Hollywood types. Ha, losers! What’d they think they were coming to see? Wreck It Ralph?

Anyway, the movie is beautifully written by Sergio G. Sánchez and is directed by Juan Antonia Bayona, the same mad Spanish geniuses who teamed up to scare the hell out of us a few years back with The Orphanage. And just as he did in that movie, Bayona uses sound like no one else in the business. Seriously, sometimes the sounds are more harrowing and horrific than anything you’re seeing onscreen in this film. It’s pretty amazing. And the visuals are just as stunning, despite the gruesome events they’re often focusing on.

I won’t kid you and say this is an easy movie to sit through, Mrs. Yeti said she loved it, but that it was so real and troubling for her to watch, especially as a mother to a young child, that she could never watch it again. But, she said the exact same thing about Tinkerbell and the Great Fairy Rescue and we watch that all the time, so, you never know.

So, if you’re on the market for a truly inspiring, deeply-moving film this holiday season, then this is the date night movie for you. But, bring lots of Kleenex. Like, a whole box. Trust me, you’ll need it.

The Impossible opens in limited release on December 21st.

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Date Night Movie: “Cloud Atlas”

The other day I realized that Hollywood award season is almost the only time of year that my wife and I see movies outside of the house. And when we see movies, we see a lot of them. Like, a whole year’s worth in two or three months. Then we’re burnt out and don’t see anything on a big screen again until summer. Thank God for Redbox!

So, I decided to highlight some of the movies we’ve been seeing lately in a new, hopefully regular, series I call “Date Night Movies”. Here I will blog about movies that I think are not only worth seeing on the big screen but, also worth dressing up and hiring a babysitter for. Now, before I get to the main event, let me touch on something we saw last month…

A few weeks back, Mrs. Yeti and I went to a screening of Argo and it was incredible. The acting, writing and directing was all first-rate and not only was the whole movie edge-of-your-seat thrilling, but it was also funny as hell, even if you don’t get all the insider Hollywood jokes. So, it’s definitely worth checking out, especially if you like to see all the possible Oscar nominees — judging by the reaction so far, Argo is sure to snare a Best Picture nod — before they get nominated.

That said, the movie I want to talk about today is Cloud Atlas. My brother and I went to a screening of Atlas the other night and, despite a few flaws, we loved it. Actually, I think the flaws made me like it even more because they highlighted the colossal effort it took to make something this bold. I don’t want to go into too much detail about the plot, but, as you’ve no doubt seen from the trailer, the movie is as big and epic as Hollywood movies get these days.

The acting is great, the writing and cinematography is gorgeous but the real star of the movie is the theme. Much of the pre-release chatter about Atlas has focused on the fact that Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent, Hugh Grant and the rest of the cast play multiple parts in multiple time periods, which is cool, but, the message at the heart of the movie is much more interesting. The movie theorizes that everything is connected, love, hate, good, evil, life, death, every single thing we do in our lifetimes touches someone else’s life in ways we could never imagine.

I know what you’re thinking: great, an essay about life from the creators of The Matrix Trilogy and the guy who directed Run Lola Run. Well, in a way that’s kinda true. The movie is an essay, or, a love letter if you will, about the eternal, transcendent power of love. I know that sounds corny and mildly student-film-ish and maybe it is a little of both. I mean, honestly, there is a lot going on in this movie, and it does require a bit of patience on the part of the viewer. Hell, up until the half-hour mark, my brother and I were so confused and annoyed that we were ready to bolt. But then something happened — it was a different scene for both of us — that changed everything and from then on, we were caught up in the whole crazy-beautiful, time-tripping swirl of it all.

I don’t want to ruin the experience for you guys, so, I’ll stop gushing about it for now, but, if you’re on the market for a deep, heartfelt, truly original movie about ideas and emotions and the power of human connection, then this is the date night movie for you. As I said before, it might not be for everyone, as it is a little weird and challenging in spots, but, man, if you’re up for a little three-hour, mind-bending adventure, Cloud Atlas will rock your world!

Oh, and make sure you budget in some post-movie chat time afterwards because this is definitely a movie you’ll want to discuss. My brother and I have been dissecting it for two weeks now and our heads are still swimming!

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