Monday, May 30, 2011

Living at Home in Your Late Twenties Part Six: Playing the Single Friend in Movies

As I sit and wake up this morning I realize, and not in a sad way (well I hope not).  I have been living in a house with people in relationships lately.  There is my mom and dad of course, and then there is my sister who has been dating her new boyfriend for the last six months.  They are a cute new couple falling asleep on the living room floor and couch cuddling together. But, when you are surrounded by couples all the time and you are a single I can't help but wonder how to fit into things.  They all do things together, it kinda is a real bummer.

Moving back home has been different.  Different because I am used to being surrounded by friends for the last two years who I could call up and they were literally minutes away and could do things with me.  Most of my friends in Albany are gone.  I have enjoyed doing this writing because it has helped me express myself.

While I was thinking about being the single one in the house this morning, I thought about the two different  roles the single person plays in movies: one is the spinster, and well I am not old enough to be that nor will I ever embrace that lifestyle, and the second is the sassy person who always give the great advice and and is full of with.  These are all female best friends, the equivalent to a male best friend is nothing I ever related to in movies.  I will put out a disclaimer, I do not play the role of the gay best friend everyone want (in a typical way) I am my own person.




If I were to pick one person who plays the best friend well in movies I would want to be Judy Greer.  You may not know who Judy Greer is on name alone, but she is one of the funniest women working today who always takes on the role of the best friend in Hollywood films; she of course played other roles but she traps lightening in a bottle when she helps giving that sassy advice.  Judy's filmography includes 27 Dresses, The Wedding Planner, 13 Going on 30 and such a long laundry list I could keep going; she plays these roles so well.

Sometimes in life you feel like a supporting player, that what you do only is there because of other people, but you have take control of your own life and be lead.  I am going to borrow the words of the character Arthur Abbott in the film The Holiday (2006), and yes this is super corny, but he stated "Iris, in the movies we have leading ladies and we have the best friend. You, I can tell, are a leading lady, but for some reason you are behaving like the best friend."  Time to act like the leading lady in my life (queue laughter). 

Another reason for my melancholia could be that I have been watching Ally McBeal too much lately and it is time to turn off my Netflix and go outside and sit by my pool.  I think I will head out there now, and enjoy the sunshine.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Time to Reach For the Tissue: Movies that Make Me Cry

I have to admit a lot of my most recent posts come to me while I am just sitting around.  Today was a great day and I was going to write about something that connected films with memorial day, but something else came to my attention.  I sat by my pool the whole day and relaxed with my family, then had a great meal (surf and turf-yummy) but my real inspiration came after dinner when Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince was on and Dumbldore had fall from the tower and I started to shed a few tears.  There are many movies that make me cry, but they are divided into several categories.  This first category in today's edition is about my go to cry movies.  Please beware there are spoilers below!



Big Fish (2003) Something about the nature of this father and son relationship and the way it unfolds at the end has me in tears.  The film deals with the relationship between a father and son and reconciling how to come to terms with a father wanting his son to be proud of him.  Billy Crudup (Will Bloom)  and Albert Finney (Edward Bloom) work so well together with their conflict.  Edward is dying, and has cancer.  The end scene when Will carries his father down to the lake in the fashion of one of his tale tales is a moment that any son would admit he could cry to.  Understanding you father, and where he has been is an important thing.

Philadelphia (1993) Tom Hanks plays Andrew Beckett a lawyer who is fired from his firm because he has AIDS.  Throughout the film we watch Andrew struggle with his court case, his disease, and balancing his relationship with his partner and family.  Tom Hanks is brilliant in this role and there are several different times I cry throughout this film: when he testifies on the stand, but also at the end after he has passed away, and they are at his funeral and you see the images of him as a child in picture and video.  The music of Bruce Springsteen also adds to the mood.  The scene below is another real tear jerker!


I think everyone (both men and women) have their go to cry sports movie sand mine is Remember the Titans (2000) at the end when Gerry Bertier dies in in the car accident without fail I lose it.  This movie about camaraderie is so inspiring.

Remember the TitansI cry in Big Fish not because of the cancer, but because of the relationship between the father and son.  The Bucket List (2007-although not a great movie) is my go to movie to cry when it comes to the big C, caner.  The whole last 30 minutes  is like one big sob fest.

Everyone also has their go to tragic love story that makes them cry, and mine is Brokeback Mountain (2005).  Watching Ennis clutch Jacks jacket at the end with his flannel shirt from their first time on Brokeback Mountain is one of the most heart wrenching scenes ever!

The first two are my official go to movies for crying, and the next two depend on my mood.  I watch Remember the Titans, if i want it to be a manly cry.  I watch the Bucket List if I want to be a real masochist, and I watched Brokeback Mountain if I am longing for love.  At the end of the day there are certain things that tug at our hearts and make us emotional, whether that be Dumbledore falling to his death in Harry Potter or something else, take the time to think about what gets you, and cherish the movies that have made you emotionally connect with a character.

Sequels, Can they Measure up?: When the Success Started

The-Godfather-Part-II.jpg
Well, I just started reading "The Girl who Played with Fire" the sequel to the Steig Larsson book "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo."  As I was in Barnes and Noble the other day deciding which book to pick out, I had the sequel debate in my head.  Will this book be as good as the first?  Can this book bring something new to the table?  I am about 60 pages in, and I must go on a book rant before I talk about movie sequels.  Mr. Larsson, and current authors if you ever read this (which I doubt you will) stop with the exposition from your first book!!  The author is who has done this most is Stephanie Meyer (yes I read the Twilight books); she explained who Bella, Edward, and Jacob were and their qualities too many times in each of her novels.  If a person is stupid enough not to read the first book first or not remember the details, then they need to take notes in the margin!  In the beginning of The Girl Who Played with Fire, Larsson briefly is guilty of this and reminisces about things that happened in his first book.  I hope the whole first part of this book is not retread from the first, otherwise I will be angry.





With movie sequels, there is often a gamble as to how creative they will get or how often they will go into details that make them different from their first film.  The best sequel ever, is probably The Godfather Part II.  Coppola knows the material well, and creates a continuation of the first part of his story, that makes us enjoy the first film.  The Godfather Part II (1974) is the start of the possibility for sequels to surpass their predecessor.  Now that American Film Institute has ranked The Godfather higher on their list, but I think this is a mistake because while The Godfather is great, the second film is much tighter and puts the story into perspective.

Then within the Stars Trilogy (the original trilogy) everyone was awestruck by the visual effects, but
empirevaderbeckonslpq5.jpgthey fail to remember that Empire Strikes (1980) back is the best film in that trilogy.  The second film has Luke understanding the Jedi ways with Yoda, the revelation of Darth Vader as his father, Billy D. Williams, and Hans Solo frozen in carbonate.   Like with the The Godfather II, Empire Strikes back tightens up the story, and does a job of creating more for the characters than any of the other films ever did.  I could sit and watch Empire Strikes back over and over again.  There may be some debate about this film being the best, but i know many of the people I know state that this film not only surpasses the original, but also does a good job adding to the original.

Here comes the debate in my mind, I want to go the Hangover 2 (2011) but I have heard mixed things from people.  Some people have told me it hilarious, some people have told the jokes are the same.  My friend Lauren told me that the story was exactly the same, but it was still hilarious.  Should i go pay ten dollars to see the same movie I own?  Does this film add the story of one of my favorite film trios?  Today's discussion about sequels is about   posing that eternal question, is it worth it?

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Don't Go There!: Movies that Should Never have been Remade (The Horror Edition)

I was sitting in my living room at 2 in the morning last night a the remake of the film Psycho (Original-
Psycho 1960 POSTER 11960, Remake-1998) was on HBO.  As I sat and watched (for the first time) I noticed something that I had been told, this is a shot for remake of the original film.  That fact was one of the reasons I have always avoided seeing it, but why make that remake?  The director Gus Van Sant is well regarded independent film maker and this is a huge blemish on his resume.  This film (well what i could watch) was a pointless foray because Van Sant created nothing new and tarnished the bran of a classic (one of the worst crimes a director can commit).  This is a classic film that should have just been left alone.

After this I thought about that scene in Scream 4 where Kirby Reed (Hayden Panettiere) had to list of all the horror remakes as she was trying to save her life.  Here is a list of all the films that were Horror Film Remakes (Amityville Horror-Original-1979, Remake-2005, A Nightmare on Elm Street-Original-1984, Remake-2010, Friday the 13th-Original-1980, Remake-2009, Texas Chainsaw Massacre-1974, Remake-2003, Prom Night-1980, Remake-2008, Halloween, Original-1978, Remake-2007, The Hills Have Eyes, Original-1977, Remake-2006, My Bloody Valentine, Original 1981, Remake-2009, House of Wax, Original-1953, Remake-2005, When a Stranger Calls, Original-1979, Remake-2006).  to be fair i made sure I went on imdb.com to look at their quote section to catch all of the films Kirby lists.  I have seen mostly all of the originals, and avoided most of the remakes (with good reason).


 I know some of you will argue with me that Rob Zombie's take on the Halloween films is an original reboot and it gives the viewers more back story on Michael Myers, but I don't need that back story.  The lack of knowing makes things scarier, don't over explain things.  The original Halloween is a classic.  Jaime Lee Curtis is the scream queen, and you can't mess with her movies.

Prom Night is another classic, and the remake was probably one of the worst movies I have ever seen.  One of my biggest pet peeves with remake was that I thought the killer was sexy.  Now don't laugh at me, but look at pictures of him in that movie, if I were that film part of me would question whether I should run toward or away from him.  Sorry, Brittany Snow you just can't hack it the way Ms. Lee Curtis did.

The reason the original films work is because they are iconic in a genre that used to value substance over casting.  In the older movies they casted people who were looking to start their careers (and they still do this) but the newer versions tend to steal from modeling world or people who have no business being in a film.  Paris Hilton starring in the remake of House of Wax is an insult; she is a talentless hack who doesn't have enough of loyal fan base to pull in major box office numbers.

After watching some of each of these remakes and comparing them to their originals I quickly changed the channel, not because i was scarred (although) but because these original horror films created great scary storytelling, and their reboot has ruined something classic.  Each of these films has violated the sacred elements of the horror film genre, and actually dislike this genre, but when I think about the older versions of the films they were solid films (not in the Academy Award winning vein, but they were well made).  Today the horror genre is such a mess and someone needs to go into the studios that turn out the schlock that they should take the time to actually invest in creating something worthwhile.  Stop remaking all these classics and come up with new things!    Another note the new doesn't need to involve the torture, keep scary simple.  The Saw series has cast a dark cloud on horror.  I think Paranormal Activity 1 and 2 has taken this genre in a great direction.  These movies are cheap to make, I get it but put a little more time into them and come up with something new!!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Living at Home in Your Late Twenties Part Five: Time to Dive into Swimming Pool

Yesterday my dad started to open our swimming pool, as we pulled off the cover an unearthed the leaves
 and gunk, that clogged the filter and were floating on the surface it reminded me of the best part of summers at home, sitting by my pool.  Today I sat out on our deck reading and finishing The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (onto The Girl who Played with Fire).  Today was a great relaxing day and as the summer heat takes over, I will continue to enjoy nice days sitting by my pool.


Every time I see a pool being opened it reminds me of the film Swimming Pool (2003) this independent film is directed by Francois Ozon who works with primarily french speaking films.  This film stars Charlotte Rampling as Sarah Morton who writes mystery novels in the vein of Agatha Christie; she has a detective series and her publisher wants her to write another one, but she wants to try something else.  In her attempt to become inspired her publisher gives her his summer home.  While there Sarah meets her publishers illegitimate daughter Julie.  Julie is the opposite of Sarah she is not refined at all, and they have an odd relationship.  There are several twists and my one suggestion is that you go and see this film.  the pacing is slow but the pay off at the end is worth it!

Today felt like my first day of summer, and as our swimming pool was opened, it reminded me of the the scene in that film when their pool slowly is unveiled.  As the hazy days of of summer set in, and blockbusters own the movie theaters, take a look at your local video store, or look at you Netflix turn on your air conditioning, and sit back, relax and dive into the well written thriller Swimming Pool.

In Memoriam: Jeff Conaway

Jeff Conaway who played Kenickie in Grease (1978) has passed away due to complications from pneumonia.  Jeff had been in a coma for two weeks; he was sixty years old.

Most of Jeff's work had been on television but was part of iconic and highest grossing musical film of all time.  Jeff had great one liners and made such a huge mark on that film.

In recent years the star had been plagued with constant drug addiction issues, but in my mind I always remember him as a lovable hilarious actor who brought smiles to peoples faces.

Jeff Conaway

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Rooney Mara: From Elm Street to being the Girl with Dragon Tattoo

"Dare" - 2009 Sundance Portrait Session

I am currently in the middle of reading the book The Girl with Dragon Tattoo.  It has taken me a while to get into, the book but I am just at the point where the main characters meet up for the first time.  As this meeting occurred I could tell the book was going to pick up.  While reading this book, I thought about the different adaptations that were happening.  This book was first adapted as a foreign language film (which I will be watching as soon as I finish the book).  The next adaptation is being released this December and it stars Rooney Mara as the main character.

Rooney Mara is a star on the rise.  There is not much to write about this young lady; she took a small role in the film Youth in Revolt (2009); she also had lead role in the updated edition of A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010).  Neither of these films were a good launch pad for her career, her role was just a blip in Youth in Revolt, and well Elm Street like all horror reboots was atrocious.

Mara happened to land a role in the film that should have won Best Picture in this past year The Social Network (2010).  Mara plays the girlfriend and quickly ex-girlfriend of Mark Zuckerberg.  Mara may be only the screen for 8 minutes of this two hour film, but she does a great job conveying innocence and pain as she deals with this  boy genius.   The director David Fincher must have seen something in this young actress because she was cast as Lisbeth Salander in the upcoming (second) adaptation of the book The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.  The character in the book is so deep and unique and I think this will help launch her into stardom.  Having this role is the opportunity of a lifetime because the book is so beloved it will be seen by many; she will also have a lot of pressure on her, but I think she is up to the challenge.


Living at Home in Your Late Twenties Part Four: Ding! Ding! Everyone to your corners its time for The Fighter

Last night made me laugh because it reminded of my teenage years, with my family.  During that time 
everyone in the family would be in the respective rooms doing their own thing.  My mom and dad flip flopped where they would be, my mom would either be in the kitchen cleaning and my dad in their bedroom, or my dad would be in the living room and my mom would be in their bedroom.  My sister would always be in her room, while I would be in my room.  We like our space, but when I looked at it last night it felt as though we all went to our separate corners in a boxing ring.  I could have thought this because we watched NBCs reality series The Voice, but I think I also thought this because another thing I learned as I came home, is that everyone has their routine.

People have a routine they follow in their daily lives, I had one while I lived in Bowling Green, my sister had one while she was away at school, and without my sister and i living at home my parents created their own new routine.  With all four of us living at home for a longer period of time, there is inevitably going to be some tension because we all do things different.  With everyone back in their specific rooms it felt as though there was some tension and everyone was going to their specific corner like in a boxing ring.

Now our family is nowhere near as dysfunctional the the family in The Fighter (2010) this film highlighted some great family drama at it's best.  After thinking about how crazy and manipulative the family in that is, I almost have to get down on my knees and thank whoever is out there for giving my family.  Mark Wahlberg whole Micky Ward wants to succeed and become a great boxer but it always seems like his family is holding him back.  His brother Dicky and his mother Alice have such strong opinions that any outsider is seen as someone who is out to get their family.  My family is supportive but smothering.  The Fighter does a good job of showing how even though family can drive you crazy, in the end they are there for you and care about you. That is the end of my soap box.

My family is nothing like this family, but every family has their moments where they get into arguments or intense debates.  Families have their hot button issues, whether that be the value of the family, religion, politics, respect etc.  I think I have to go back and re-watch this movie because I am finding a greater appreciation for what it represents as I write this.

I would like to dedicate this to Alice Ward the mother of Dicky and Micky 
and seven other daughters who past away this year on April 27th.
She worked to be the best mother, may she rest in peace.  Below is video of the actual Alice Ward.





Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Academy Award Snubs: The Best Pictures of the 2000s

New Joker Poster - Heath Ledger - The Dark KnightAs I sit here on my brand new Mac Book Pro I will start by writing about the films Oscar forgot in the
 Best Picture category.  The Academy Awards do a decent job of picking five great films in a year.  There are some years where they did better than most, and some year where the nominees were trash.  In 2008 they snubbed The Dark Knight and the next year they had ten nominees.  The Dark Knight was never cited as the reason for ten nominees in the Best Picture race, but it was a contributing factor.  Here are five (well 8) films that deserved a nomination their year and some honorable mentions.

1-The Dark Knight (2008)-The film that "started" the thought process behind ten Best Picture
nominations.  The Dark Knight was a the highest grossing film of the year, and surprisingly was one of the best films of the year as well.  Christopher Nolan's direction was genius.  What would it have replaced: The Reader starring Kate Winslet was another movie about Nazism in World War II and probably the worst to earn a Best Picture nomination.


2-Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) I could have used my own bias to place this at the number one spot, but the The Dark Knight's snub was the biggest middle finger I have ever seen (until Nolan was snubbed for directing Inception).  This is possibly one of the most original films ever, and it earned some big nominations like Best Actress Kate Winslet and best original screenplay (which it won) but when a film this original comes along it should not be ignored.  What would it have replaced:  The paint by number bio-pic Ray.  This was a decent movie but I have seen before, and the Academy loves to honor films they have seen before.

Mulholland Drive: Original Motion Picture Score

3-Mullholland Dr (2001).  This dark and twisted tale constructed by David Lynch is something you have to watch several times in order to get the full effect.  The plot is well-out there, but this is one of the best films of the decade.  This is not a movie for everyone, but everyone should give it a shot, because it makes you think, and has something to say about the inner workings of Hollywood.  What would it have replaced: Gosford Park-This is a great film and Altman's direction is brilliant, but Mullholland Dr. surpasses this by miles.

4-Pan's Labyrinth (2006)-The best foreign film of the last decade deserved a nomination in this category.  This film did great in the technical categories, but failed get a nomination in Best Picture.  Unlike animated features foreign films were sometimes nominated in this category, and this is one of the worst snubs ever!  What would it have replaced: Tough call, I would say Babel.  Babel was a great acting showcase, but as a film lacked something.

5-The Incredibles/Finding Nemo/Wall-E-Pixar has a three-peat of snubbed animated feature films.  The Incredibles, Finding Nemo, and Wall-E all deserved a Best Picture nomination, and the creation of the Best Animated feature category ruined this from happening.  There were films in each of their year they could have replaced each of them are some of the best films I have ever seen.

This video below highlights the beauty of Pixar and the joy it brings to all of our worlds.


Honorable Mentions:
Memento (2001)
Children of Men (2006)
Requiem for a Dream (2000)
Kill Bill Volume 1 (2003)
Far from Heaven (2002)

Living at Home in Your Late Twenties Part Three: Reality Television Abound in the Truman Show

Living home has been fun because it has inspired me to write in this blog much more, I had a bit of writers block for a bit, but there is so much material in living at home.  I could write 25 different chapters (but I won't be).  Last night I sat in front of television screen with my family, and is astounded me, and I had always known this, but the fact is they watch SO much reality television.  From 8 pm to 11 pm I watched The Biggest Loser, American Idol, Dancing with the Stars, and The Voice.  The only time I ever watch reality television is when I am at home (although I occasionally watch some cooking shows on Food Network and The Real Housewives.) 

Reality television has just never been for me full time, I can't watch a show where there is no character development, everyone seems fake and so happy with their experience, and even their scripted dialogue is bad.  I had to take a break at 9 pm and watch the season finale of Glee which was also disappointing, and felt just ho hum.  Watching all of these reality television made me think of a movie that discusses what it means to watch someones life from birth, The Truman Show.

The Truman Show (1998)  is directed by Peter Weir (Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, Dead Poet's Society) and starred Jim Carrey as Truman Burbank the star a reality television series that chronicles his life from birth up until well the time in which this movie takes place.  This alternate reality takes place in giant dome free from the outside world where the shows permanent director Christof (Ed Harris) controls not only the actors movements in Truman's life, but the the weather, the product placement etc.  The dangers of extreme reality television are portrayed in this film when Truman's girlfriend is kidnapped and Christof selects an actress named Hannah to play his future wife Meryl (Laura Linney).  Truman starts to realize his life is being controlled by producers and directors and wants out of his fake world, and into a real one that he can control where he can be with the woman he loves.

In our world where reality television monitors families and their "daily" lives I can't help but think that as viewers we need to stop indulging in this crap.  I admit I am guilty of watching these shows too, I have watched the guidos fist pump on the Jersey Shore, I have seen tables flipped on the Real Housewives, and I have seen people sing with bad pitch on American Idol.  Landing on television or in front of a camera is the dream for so many people, but there are some who would rather escape it.  I say accept your fifteen minutes and walk away then read a book!  I will end this blog with a youtube clip of Jim Carrey signing off.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Stop! Don't Do it!!! You are Wasting your money on that!! Summer Movies You Should Avoid!

As I looked at the slate of movies that have been released or will be released within the next couple of months I noticed a couple of things 1) I will be wearing a lot of 3-D glasses 2) there will be lots of explosions in the movies and 3) there will be some pretty terrible writing (my prediction).  Now the "summer" movie season has begun earlier and earlier each year.  This year started with the unnecessary (but number one film at the box office for the year so far) Fast Five.  Then came Thor and that sleeper comedy Bridesmaids, and this past Friday saw the release of the latest Pirates of the Caribbean film, On Strange Tides.  Now I would go see Fast Five if I had a free pass, but it would not be a top choice, and I have not seen 2 Fast 2 Furious or The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift or even the stupidly titled Fast and Furious so I guess I miss out.  The first film this year that I will NOT and I repeat NOT go to see is:

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (Out in theatres now)- Even Johnny Depp who has made some questionable choices lately (Alice in Wonderland) has said we need to do a wait and see for this film.  I thought the last two films were terrible.  Johnny Depp was great, in the first film and deserved his Oscar nomination, but the fact that these films keep getting worse and worse just makes me want to jump ship.
What you should see instead: Anything, Thor, Fast Five Bridesmaids-Pirates is waste of your money!!

Kung Fu Panda 2 (Released May 26th)- I find Jack Black annoying even in panda form.  My reasons can be said as simply as this, I disliked the first film I will surely not be around for a sequel.
What you should see instead: The Hangover 2- Drag your child to see this so they can sit through one of your films, for once!

Cars 2 (Released June 24)-Another animated film makes this list.  I didn't like the first one and I think this is the one Pixar movie I disliked.  I think it is hilarious that they picked to make a sequel to this film, but my guess is because it is the most generic of all of their films and easiest to produce a sequel to.  I hope the young children enjoy this film very much!
What You should see instead: Bad Teacher-Even Though I am not a huge fan of Cameron Diaz, this look hilarious

Transformers: Dark of the Moon (Release date July 1st)-The first two films are terrible.  The first one had great visual effects save the day to make the film watchable, but the visual effects were lousy in the second film.  I do not care if Shia goes on Ellen and says the underwear model can act (she can't-easy prediction) or that he "approves" of this script.  They told him they would write him out like they did Megan Fox if he didn't say that and in a film series where character development and actors are expendable,  I would probably say that too.
What you should see instead:  I may eat my words on this, but Larry Crowne with Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts looks adorable and family friendly-If that matters.

The Smurfs and Cowboys and Aliens (Released on July 29th)  With Cowboys and Aliens.  This may prove me wrong also but it just doesn't look that great and the graphic novel is not the best.  I am also tired of adaptations of my favorite cartoons from when I was a child-Garfield was bad, and so was Alvin and the Chipmunks, stop ruining my childhood.
What you should see instead:  Crazy Stupid Love looks great with an amazing cast that includes Steve Carrell, Julianne Moore, Morissa Tomei, Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone.

I am going to leave August alone for now, but I hope this helps you find some good movies to see, and the ones to avoid!!

*Blogger's note-Maybe you should skip The Hangover 2-but those who want to see it won't

Living at Home in Your Late Twenties Part Two: Groundhog Day Edition

In my last blog post I talked about how I have learned a few different lessons about living at home in my late twenties.  The first thing I learned or felt was that as you change you may not feel like your home is still the same place, because you create a separate identity from the people who live there.  Tied into that first lesson is the fact that things never seem to change.  My house feels as though the same things happen over and over again.  Last night my sister and I got into a fight, probably for the thousandth or millionth time.  We will probably fight again.  My mom is cleaning, my dad is outside doing yard work, and my sister is trying to find a place to do what she needs to do (i.e. talk on the phone).  I feel like I have woken in Groundhog Day (1993) like Bill Murray and my days have blurred together.

The great thing about the movie Groundhog Day is first it stars Bill Murray in one of his funniest roles ever as weatherman Phil who goes to this small town to report on Groundhog Day; Phil ends up re-living the same day over and over again.  As Phil gets tired of the monotonous events in his life he starts to do crazy things, eating whatever he wants, killing himself to make the day go quicker, assuming that he is some type of God or as he would say in the film "I'm not thee God."

The movie focuses Phil getting things right and being the best he can be for everyone ( a lofty goal that can only exist in film) but this has a darker Capra-esque quality to this film.  Similar to It's a Wonderful Life in this film Phil figures out that his life has meaning and even in this small town he can make his valuable relationships special.  There is a love story as well which involves Andy McDowell, and it is cute, but the heart of this story centers around doing right by everyone, and not always being so cynical about life.

So as my dad is mowing the lawn, or as my mom is cleaning the house, and things seem to stay the same day in and day out.  I should make the most of my time at home and try and be the best son and brother I can be, because these moments are fleeting. I hope I never wake up at 6:00 am while home....

Monday, May 23, 2011

Living at Home in Your Late Twenties Part One: I'm in a Garden State of Mind

So I am done with my graduate degree, what an accomplishment.  In between getting a job and graduating
Gardenstatewith a masters, I somehow ended up living at home for a short amount of time.  I love my family, they are great and would do anything for me.  With that said, my mom actually just walked into my room and asked me if I could clean up my room; she has also asked if I brushed my teeth and sent me a text message last night asking me where I am.  My sister has a new boyfriend, and I got to spend time with him this weekend, and she is becoming an actual adult.  Going home has taught me a couple of lessons, and I think that I have learned in films that these messages ring true. 

1) Home isn't about the actual place or people it's about the feeling you get while your there. The first message about home I learned comes from the films Garden State (2004) and it involves my favorite quote from a film ever.  Zack Braff's character Andrew and Natalie Portman's character Sam talk about home and the ineraction goes like this:

"Andrew Largeman: You know that point in your life when you realize the house you grew up in isn't really your home anymore? All of a sudden even though you have some place where you put your shit, that idea of home is gone.
Sam: I still feel at home in my house.
Andrew Largeman: You'll see one day when you move out it just sort of happens one day and it's gone. You feel like you can never get it back. It's like you feel homesick for a place that doesn't even exist. Maybe it's like this rite of passage, you know. You won't ever have this feeling again until you create a new idea of home for yourself, you know, for your kids, for the family you start, it's like a cycle or something. I don't know, but I miss the idea of it, you know. Maybe that's all family really is. A group of people that miss the same imaginary place."

The sentiment is sometimes maudlin, but do we long for our childhood when we go home?  Is there something missing when we enter this place?  The phrase home is where the heart is, is cliche for a reason, but does it ring true?  I often think about my home and where my family are and how living in this shell of a place is different from what it used to feel like.  I know that things never feel the same, but when people go back they act as though nothing has changed.  Yet everything has changed.  I am lived outside of this house on my own for the last almost ten years.  I have created an identity separate from my family so how do I reconcile the different pieces of myself.

The movie Garden State is poignant for me because it has made me think about what going back to your hometown means as you grow and change.  People grow, and move on without you there.  Yet there are also things that don't change and Andrew finds himself at party with old friends doing familiar things.  This film is genius because it highlights all the elements of the struggle to find what home and family mean.  The soundtrack to this film, is my favorite soundtrack of all time.  The music highlights every element of the film perfectly.  My favorite song in the film is from the band Frou Frou entitled "Let Go.  The music defines this movie, and frames Braff's character so well.  Garden State defines the melancholia of a generation and what home means.


As I sign off this blog entry my mother just came into my from and complained about my room not being clean.  Tomorrow's blog post will highlight the second lesson I have learned.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Rose Byrne: Burn her Name into your Memory

Rose Byrne

After seeing the film Bridesmaids for a second time this past Friday I realized that one of its stars is truly on the rise.  Yes, Kristin Wiig is on her way up, but actress Rose Byrne has become a huge presence on both television and in film.  My first true understanding of her talent was not in film, but in the television show Damages.  Damages was on F/X for three seasons and was recently picked up for a fourth season by Direct-TV.  The premise for the first season of this television show had to do with a young up and coming lawyer who was seen running out of an apartment with blood all over her.  We get to see her journey and relationship with manipulative boss Patty (Glen Close).  Byrne's dramatic prowess is impressive; she has garnered several Emmy nominations for her performance, and has been able to go toe to toe with Glen Close a tough challenge for any actor.

This woman has such a range on her and her film career if proof of this; she has done great work in period pieces like I Capture the Castle (2003) to an over sexed Rocker in Get Him to the Greek (2010).  Byrne has been  heartbreaking in dramas like Adam (2009) where she plays Beth the love interest of a young man with Aspergers.  This woman has range and her turn in Bridesmaids shows us she can truly be funny as well as a good dramatic actress.  In the next couple of weeks Byrne will play Moira McTaggert in X-Men: First Class and will get even more exposure.  I hope that producers in Hollywood take notice of her serious talent and cast her more, and help her to garner more attention.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

A Tribute to Working Girl: Getting a Job!



So I may or may not have accepted a new job today.  The first thing that came to my mind was whew, what a relief, the and then for some reason I thought of the movie Working Girl (1988).  This great film directed by Mike Nichols and starring Melanie Griffith, Harrison Ford, Sigourney Weave, and Joan Cusack is all about Melanie Griffiths character Tess is about her taking on a job that belongs to her boss.

There is no parallel between Tess's struggle and my own search for her job, but this movie to me represents that eternal struggle to keep fighting and pursuing a job until you know it is the right fit.  At this moment in my life I think I am making the right decision and working towards my own eternal happiness.  There is so much I want from life, and like Tess I just have to put myself out their and work my not "boney ass."

In this film Tess deals with and ungrateful boss, Catherine (Weaver), and colleague she sleeps with (Ford) and a best friend Cyn (Cusack) who plays a secretary who doesn't have the career aspirations that Tess has.  When you think about these different roles in the film, they represent the struggle that we all face in our working environment.  How do we deal with a superior we don't agree with, should we mix business and pleasure and what consequences do we face with that?  How does friendship affect the positions we have and can building friendships prevent us from our true potential. This film has a lot to do with upward mobility and I hope my next job helps me to learn what I need to be the best professional. In my next job that I have that may or not be starting soon (possibly in Boston)  I hope to be able to work through and with my colleagues.

Watching movies are my escape from the work world and Working Girl has been one of my favorite movies for years, partially because I just relate to the characters, but also because hell maybe I am the eternal working girl!  So as Carly Simon sings at the opening and closing credits to this film, Let the River Run!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Bridesmaids is No Bridesmaid to Laughter

Bridesmaids (3 1/2 out of 5 Stars)
Director: Paul Feig (TV's The Office, Arrested Development and Freaks and Geeks)
Written: Kristin Wiig and Annie Mumolo
Starring: Kristin Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Melissa McCarthy, and Rose Byrne

http://www.browzz.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/bridesmaids.jpg

This film takes the funniest people who have been working in television in the last 10 years and make a great film.  The film follows Annie (Wiig) who is a failed business woman; she owned a bakery and it went under in the economy.  The beginning of the film opens with her catching up with her best friend since childhood Lillian (Rudolph).  Soon after this interaction Lillian calls Annie with the news that she is engaged and asks her to be her maid of honor.  To give away any plot details or the jokes from the film would a be disservice, but suffice to say this film is hilarious.

Paul Feig directs this great ensemble with great ease.  Most of his work has been in television and it is often difficult to transcend the different mediums.  There have been many people who have attempted to direct in both film and television and they have not been able to take their directorial style to film, especially with comedies. Feig did great work with Freaks and Geeks and has also been an acclaimed director of the US version of The Office.

I think the strength is also in the writing Wiig and Mumolo craft a very funny witty script that highlight great funny moments about what being single, friendship, and the stress of weddings.  Not only does Wiig do a great job as the screenwriter, but she also is the star of the film and her comic timing and acting great; she is one of the comedians from Saturday Night Live who can do so much more than just sketch comedy.  My favorite other member of the ensemble is Melissa McCarthy (Gilmore Girls, Mike & Molly) she is is one of the funniest people and just makes you laugh with every line she delivers.

The film does have moments where it feels splintered, and not always cohesive, and there are moments that are too random.  The film will be compared to The Hangover, but the female version.  This film is similar but also different.   Friendship a key element to The Hangover, but this film is about how women view friendship,  I know many men have said this is a chick flick, and there are elements that create that aspect but this film is a riot, and everyone will be able to stand up and cheer and laugh at this film.  I hope that word of mouth helps to make this another successful small film that could.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

I Paaked yaah caah in Haavaad yaad-Movies that Highlight the City of Boston

So it has been a while since I have posted.  I am in the middle of moving back home to Albany, NY  after my graduation.  I am prepping for a long 10 hour drive from Bowling Green, OH (hopefully I get to do some fun things on my journey back).  I also had a job interview at college in Boston, and was there with limited computer access for 3 days.  I love Boston it has such a wonderful historical component, and is just one of those classic cities that feels as though there are so many different stories to tell.  Being in Boston made me think about all of the great films and one not so great film (but I had to include it, well because you will understand in a few paragraphs).  Now also before you give me any grief I know Harvard is in Cambridge, but I just has to use that title!

Picking my favorite film that is set in Boston is a tough call, but I think I am going to have to go with The Departed (2006) directed by Martin Scorsese (his only Academy Award win) and starring an all star cast with Leondardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Alec Baldwin, Mark Wahlberg, Martin Sheen, and Vera Farmiga.  This film captures the element of the the culture of a changing Boston throughout the decades and the evolution of the mafia and the way business is conducted.  The film uses the beauty of Boston so well, and the entire back drop of the film is escaping the where you born.  DiCaprio's character is born in South End and he is referred to as a "Southie" several time in the film.  The Departed also takes an interesting look at the Irish mob and how this intertwines within the cities culture.  This is hands down one of my favorite mafia movies, and when I think about Boston this movie is prevalent on my mind.

The next film I think about also involves Matt Damon and that is the film Good Will Hunting (1997).  Gus Van Sant directs the film about a janitor at Harvard from the South End of Boston who is smarter than most of the people at the school.  Damon's character Will has never had the opportunity to rise above where he was born and become something more.  One day Will solves an impossible math problem on chalkboard and the professor of the class wants to harness his potential.  With this Will meets Sean Maguire (Robin Williams) and he works out his own personal issues.  Will also meets a girl named Skylar (Minnie Driver) and he starts to want to change because to be with her he has to be something more. The screenplay for this film was written by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck and who knows Boston better than these two men.  They grew up in this city and weave a fairytale story about the place they were born, and do so with a lasting impression.

Ben Affleck Ben Affleck is seen filming 'The Town' in Harvard Square in Cambridge, MA. He was showing his Red Sox pride while directing the scenes behind the camera.Speaking of Ben Affleck, this man's directorial prowess has impressed me; has undertaken two films (both set in Boston) Gone Baby Gone (2007) and The Town (2010) and done a great job using his own understand of this city to unravel stories about Boston.  Gone Baby Gone focuses on  Patrick Kenzie (Casey Affelck-yes Ben's brother) a cop in Boston trying to find a missing girl.  The film is based the Dennis Lehane book, and Affleck uses the material of Lehane well and captures the interaction between the different elements of Boston well.  The Town is Affleck's best work to date and his homage to the city of Boston (forget that the city was pist your filming there shut down a lot of the city) in the end the film speaks for itself and Affleck knows and understand how to use this city to make a quality film.  The Town focuses on the intersection of crime in Boston and taking down people who give the city a bad name.  I have to praise Affleck because he knows his stuff, and the fact that he knows this city so well plays to his strengths as a director.

Another adaptation from a Dennis Lehane book is Mystic River (2003).  This film also centers around a missing girl who is found dead, but it also centers around three friends who grew up in Boston and all ended up in different places and their lives were changed because of one event.  Clint Eastwood is another brilliant director who filmed in Boston and used the city to help set the stage for this film.  Boston is not the star of this film, but it acts as wonderful setting that helps espouse terrific storytelling, and great acting surrounding the culmination of all the events that take place.
So after looking at all of these films set in Boston, it made me think-wow is this city all about crime, the mafia, and tragedy?  I then asked myself one question, what do the people of Boston love most, and the answer was simple-the Red Sox!  The not-so-great film Fever Pitch (2005) highlights one of Boston's favorite things.  The ending had to actually be re shot because the Red Sox won the World Series that year.  The details of the film are not important, but the one character Jimmy Fallon plays loves the Red Sox so much it almost interferes with a new relationship.  This is by no means a classic, but to the people of Boston it is a love letter to their team that struggled so much to triumph in the face of their struggle to win a World Series, and that is what Boston is all about. 



 

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Thor Earns a Thunderous Applause

Thor (3 1/2 out of 5 stars)
Directed by: Keneth Branagh (Hamlet, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Gilderoy Lockheart)
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Anthony Hopkins, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston

"thor movie poster"

Marvel has another comic book hit on their hand.  This film has done a much better job than I expected when the project was announced.  As a comic book fan I was worried how they would make a successful film out of this comic book character.  The film starts by explaining the myth the behind how Thor came to be a hero.  Thor's father Odin (Hopkins) tells his two sons Thor (Hemsworth) and Loki (Hiddleston) about how they came to posses a mythical object from an enemy.  When Thor's arrogance gets the best of his arrogance gets him banished to Earth where he meets scientist Jane Foster (Portman) and Thor begins to learn a few lessons from the earthlings.
The film earns my thunderous applause.  Thor is expertly directed by the Shakespearean director Kenneth Branagh.  The script is not the strongest, but it does weave action and humor well.  The film is visually marvelous weaving the world of Asgard and New Mexico.  While on Earth the film lost its spark, but the Asgardian action was just well done, and I could have spent my whole time in there.  This was also one of the first film in a while where I wore the 3-D glasses and I was not distracted by them, and got lost in the film.  With a sequel I hope the the sharpen the screenplay.
Hemsworth is a newcomer and owns this role.  There are no other actors that could command in the screen; his charisma in terms of both looks and energy are awe inspiring.  it feels like he was born to play this role, and they did a good job getting him to involved with this and The Avengers.  Hemsworth and Portman are magnetic and have amazing chemistry, and I buy their quick relationship.  Hiddleston who is also a newcomer does a great job playing the mischievous Loki is great and one of the best jobs they have not only with casting a villain but getting the character spot on.

As Marvel works to continue to build up to The Avengers I am getting more and more excited about the build and the potential to create a great story.    The rumors I have heard range from Loki controlling the Hulk like in the original Avengers comic to using the Skrull.  I am pleased that comic book films get the attention they do and I hope Thor gets a sequel that continues this quality.

Friday, May 6, 2011

A Tribute to The Graduate: I am Actually Graduating from Graduate School

Today is a great day in my life I am graduating with masters.  This moment reminds me of the film The Graduate (1967) starring Anne Bancroft and Dustin Hoffman.  Unlike Hoffman's character Benjamin I am already in and graduating with my masters; his character had just finished his undergraduate degree and felt his future was uncertain. There are parallels in my own life, my future is still uncertain I do not have a job at this point, but I have options out there.

This film had a huge impact on me growing up, it made me think about my own life, and what I wanted to do with my future.  Like Benjamin my family hope I would become a lawyer, and become rich and successful.  After my graduation no one came up to me and said Kevin I have one word for you "Plastics."  This films message still rings loud and true with my current generation, parents and relatives work hard to make sure that their children are successful and stable, but often push them towards a career they either do not want or have no interest in.  My masters is in college student personnel, not a glamorous degree, nor does it make a lot of money, but I used my passions to work towards something I enjoyed.  At the end of the day I am not done with my life, and my pursuit of different dreams and goals.  This masters is not the end.  This film made me think about my life and what I want from it in a different way.

Until, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind was released this was my favorite film.  I like the dark humor, and the ending that seems happy but isn't.  Hoffman was almost passed over for this role, but I couldn't imagine this film with anyone else.  Bancroft was also supposed to be much older than him, and she wasn't in real life. Bancroft is so sultry and manipulative and just does a great job. The director Mike Nichols is a genius and has been one of my favorite directors for years; he directed Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Closer, Angels in America The Birdcage.  The man has range and won the Best Director Oscar for this film.  This film is one of the best shot films ever, and I love the artistry behind and in front of the camera.

This film introduced me to the music of Simon and Garfunkel.  The song Mrs. Robinson was not submitted to be nominated for best original song, none of the tracks from the film were, which is unfortunate because this film has some of the best music. As I graduate at 7 pm tonight I will be thinking not only about my friends and family, but will be humming Mrs. Robinson  to myself, and smile.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Academy Award Snubs: The Actors in the 2000s

Well Daniel Radcliffe was not nominated for Tony yesterday, and although I have not seen the show I have seen and heard things online, and across the board people agreed that he deserved to be nominated for the role that has won Tony Awards for other actors.  This made me think about films, actors, directors, screenplays etc that have been left out of the Academy Awards.  In each decade I could up with a list of ten items within each category.  Since the snub that occurred yesterday was an acting snub I am going to focus on the actors who should have been nominated for great performances in the 2000s but were not.


1-Paul Giamatti-American Splendor (2003) and Sideways (2004) Its funny Paull Giamatti plays two, well losers in each of these films (and ironic his first nomination came with a boxing coach-a winner).  The Academy Awards are not a fan of the schmo, the hapless loser type.  Giamatti is brilliant in both of these films, neither of them glamorous roles, but he just is so natural and makes you route for him.

2-Naomi Watts-Mullholland Dr. (2001)-What can I say about this performance, except it took my breath away.  It is hard to describe without giving away major plot points in the film, and if you have not seen this movie (which many people still have probably not) you need to go in fresh.  All I can say is this is probably one of the biggest snubs of all time!  She is sweet innocent raw and powerful-the best performance she has ever given!

3-Uma Thurman-Kill Bill Volume 1 and 2 (2003 and 2004) Thurman is the ultimate kick ass woman in these films.  As she goes to take down each of her enemies one by one for attempting to kill her at her own wedding, her journey is captivating.  Thurman does her best work in both of these films and we get to see her character develop and mature throughout her quest for revenge.  There is also heart and love behind her.  Thurman deserved a Lead Actress nomination for both films!

4-Jim Carrey-Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)-Many people haven't appreciated Carrey's work, but his acting in this film magnificent; he plays against type well.  He is sullen morose and awkward.  Carrey brings so much depth to this role, and has amazing chemistry with Kate Winslet.  There is no doubt Carrey should have a two nominations for Lead Actor and this was one of the,.

5-Leonardo DiCaprio-Catch me if you can (2002) and The Departed (2006) In his post Titanic days DiCaprio has grown into probably one of the best working actors.  The sad thing is that his role as Frank Abignale in Catch me if you can was so layered with humor and pain.  In my mind many people were not taking him as seriously as they should have this year.  Now DiCaprio was nominated in 2006 but for The Blood Diamond, really?  You gave The Departed Best Picture and thought DiCaprio was better in Blood Diamond.  DiCaprio deserved Best Actor nominations for both his roles in these films

6-Sally Hawkins-Happy-Go-Lucky (2008) No pulls off a genuinely happy person quite like Sally Hawkins did in her film.  What could be seen as annoying and childish in the hands of a lesser performer is handled with such wit and grace.  When she is on screen you can't help but smile, and realize that you are watching one of the best performances of the decade.  Hawkins won the Golden Globe but failed to garner a nomination for Best Actress.

7-Guy Pierce-Memento (2001) Pierce attempts to piece his memory together by using mementos from his interactions with others.  As a man with short term memory loss Pierce is utterly heartbreaking in his role, and as you realize his story.  He captures the pain and suffering he goes through as time after time you realize he can't live a normal life in the situation he is in.  Pierce should have been a lead actor nominee that year.

8-Michael Sheen-The Queen (2006) Playing a real life character and capturing their spirit while they are still alive and well is a difficult task.  Sheen did a brilliant job with playing former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.  Going toe to toe with Mirren as Queen Elizabeth II is no easy task and he handled it adeptly.  This man was robbed of a Best Supporting Actor nomination.

9-Melanie Laurent-Inglorious Basterds (2009) Laurent plays Shosanna Dreyfuss/Emmanuelle Mimieux  the woman hell bent on getting revenge on the Nazi who killed her family when she was a young girl.  As Laurent is invited to dinner with Colonel Hans. Landa he knows who she is and she knows who he is but neither knows the other knows (sounds complicated) but as she realizes he he knows she is the look on her face says enough.  Laurent deserved a supporting actress nomination.

10-Emile Hircsh-Into the Wild (2007)- Emile Hirsch plays the real life person Chris McCandless  who burns up his social security card and driver's license and leaves himself behind to go "into the wild."  Hirsch's portrayal is one of true grit and honesty, sure he is selfish, and it is this that leads to his demise, but he plays the character with honesty.  This performance earned him a lot of buzz and he deserved a nomination.


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

MTV Movie Awards Balance Trash with Excellence

It is that time of the year again, when MTV announces their movie award nominations.  When the film with with the most nominations is The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, I already am laughing at you.  Yes I get this award show is about appealing to the tweens, so I get these nominations, but some of them are about just getting thirteen year old girls to watch.  Here are the list of nominations with some commentary on each category:
Best Movie
Black Swan
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
Inception
The Social Network
The Twilight Saga: Eclipse

Wow, I am shocked Black Swan made it in, younger viewers made it a phenomenon.  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows makes sense, it has a strong fan base.  Inception was the quality blockbuster last year.  The Social Network also had youth appeal.  Eclipse is no means shocking, but it is terrible.

Should Win: Inception or The Social Network
Will Win: Eclipse (barf)

Best Female Performance
Emma Stone, Easy A
Emma Watson, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
Jennifer Aniston, Just Go With It
Kristen Stewart, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse
Natalie Portman, Black Swan

I hope Portman or Watson win this award, but odds are people are going to go gaga again for the most pathetic excuse of a girl trying to pretend she cares Kristen Stewart.  Anniston being here is an even bigger joke, but they always reward one winter film.  Watson is great as Hermione and has grown into her acting.

Should Win: Portman or Stone
Will Win: Stewart

Best Male Performance
Daniel Radcliffe, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
Jesse Eisenberg, The Social Network
Robert Pattinson, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse
Taylor Lautner, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse
Zac Efron, Charlie St. Cloud

Ok I love Zac Effron he is hot, but that movie was bad and no one saw it.  Pattinson and Lautner are there for cute factor too.  The other two men are actually talented.  I think this is the youngest group of nominees I have seen in this category.

Should Win: Eisenberg
Will Win: Pattinson or Radcliffe

Best Breakout Star
Andrew Garfield, The Social Network
Chloë Grace Moretz, Kick-Ass
Hailee Steinfeld, True Grit
Jay Chou, The Green Hornet
Olivia Wilde, TRON: Legacy
Xavier Samuel, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse

This category to me is more about finding a breakout role, and all of these people are great breakout stars for their roles (except Xavier Samuel).

Should Win: Steinfeld, Moretz, Garfield
Will Win: Eclipse could pull this in for a sweep, but I say Garfield

Best Comedic Performance
Adam Sandler, Just Go With It
Ashton Kutcher, No Strings Attached
Emma Stone, Easy A
Russell Brand, Get Him to the Greek
Zach Galifianakis, Due Date

Kutcher isn't funny in No Strings Attached, and Sandler isn't funny anymore.  They always have a girl and Stone deserves to be here, as does Russel Brand.

Should Win: Stone or Brand
Will Win: Stone or Brand

Best Line From A Movie (New Category)
Alexys Nycole Sanchez, Grown Ups: "I want to get chocolate wasted."
Amanda Bynes and Emma Stone, Easy A: Amanda Bynes: "There is a higher power that will judge you for your indecency." Emma Stone: "Tom Cruise?"
Jesse Eisenberg, The Social Network: "If you guys were the inventors of Facebook, you'd have invented Facebook."
Justin Timberlake and Andrew Garfield, The Social Network: Justin Timberlake: "… A million dollars isn't cool. You know what's cool?" Andrew Garfield: "A billion dollars. And that shut everybody up."
Tom Hardy, Inception: "You mustn't be afraid to dream a little bigger darling."

Stupid new category, but good lines-Easy A or Grown Ups will win

Best Villain
Christoph Waltz, The Green Hornet
Leighton Meester, The Roommate
Mickey Rourke, Iron Man 2
Ned Beatty, Toy Story 3
Tom Felton, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1

Felton is barely in Harry Potter, why don't they nominate Fiennes?  Meister for that terrible movie really?  Felton may win again, won last year.

Best Fight
Amy Adams vs. The Sisters, The Fighter
Chloë Grace Moretz vs. Mark Strong, Kick-Ass
Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint vs. Death Eaters, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
Joseph Gordon-Levitt vs. Hallway Attacker, Inception
Robert Pattinson vs. Bryce Dallas Howard and Xavier Samuel, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse

Part of me wants the Amy Adams fight to win, but I will say Inception deserves that honor.

Best Kiss
Ellen Page and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Inception
Emma Watson and Daniel Radcliffe, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse
Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse
Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis, Black Swan

The young kids do like their girl on girl kissing, but I think they will honor what they wanted to see all along Radcliffe and Watson lock lips.

Here are the rest of the nominations:

Best Jaw-Dropping Moment
James Franco, 127 Hours, Cuts Off His Arm
Justin Bieber, " Justin Bieber: Never Say Never, Performance Spectacular
Leonardo DiCaprio and Ellen Page, Inception, Paris Café Scene
Natalie Portman, Black Swan, Mutilation: Pulls the Skin off Her Finger
Steve-O, Jackass 3D, Port-A-Potty Bungee Stunt

Best Scared-As-Sh– Performance
Ashley Bell, The Last Exorcism
Ellen Page, Inception
Jessica Szohr, Piranha 3D
Minka Kelly, The Roommate
Ryan Reynolds, Buried

Biggest Badass Star
Alex Pettyfer, I Am Number Four
Chloë Grace Moretz, Kick-Ass
Jaden Smith, The Karate Kid
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Inception
Robert Downey Jr., Iron Man 2

I get it! The MTV Movie Awards are more about fun, and sometimes fun is rewarding movies that everyone gets to see, or that people enjoy because they actually enjoy them, but I just can't get behind the Twilight films, and the obsession girls have with them.  The acting is terrible, and Robert Pattinson can't seem to draw in a crowd for any other film.  I know it seems like I am biased against Eclipse, but this is just not great film making.  Even with better directors the material just speaks for itself.