Category Archives: movies

deaf, dumb, and blindsided

Well, the honor of receiving a Best Picture nomination is now officially meaningless.

Thank God for Oscar nominations to break me out of my blogging hibernation. The Academy Awards are my favorite television event of the year, an obsession dating back to 1997/1998 and the domination of Titanic at both the box office and the Oscars. (Gimme a break, I was twelve. And oh my, was Leo DiCaprio dreamy.)

As luck would have it, my baser instincts eventually blossomed into a general love of all things movie-related (and okay, maybe glamourous, too), and this appreciation for cinema honed my burgeoning critical eye. As I got older, I started buying in to Oscar Hype, eagerly gobbling up Entertainment Weekly‘s predictions and handicapping every awards season, weighing their opinions against my own.

My years-long devotion to these awards is why today’s nominations are so shocking — or rather, one nomination in particular. With the Best Picture field open to ten films this year in lieu of the traditional five, there were bound to be some surprises. But while the Academy is known for an odd choice here and there (and being a wee bit out of touch), The Blind Side‘s selection as one of the year’s best is truly baffling.

Full disclosure: I haven’t seen the film. But that’s because it looked awful. And critics I respect thought it was pure, unrefined, dumbed-down sap. So yes, I find it difficult to believe that The Blind Side deserves this nomination. And while I know it doesn’t have a chance in hell of winning (as Roger Ebert observed, there are only five real nominees), shouldn’t someone over at the Academy — along with its 6,000-plus members — be embarrassed? I know I am.

Although maybe I’m just upset because (500) Days of Summer was completely snubbed. Hard to tell.

(And as always, Videogum puts it all into perspective.)

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a tale of two say anythings, pt. 2: the lloyd dobler effect

I’m not old. I’m not. So why is the 20th anniversary of Say Anything… making me feel so overwhelmingly nostalgic? Yes, it’s a movie I love, but I was only a few years old when it came out, and I haven’t watched it in years. I only remembered certain plot details after perusing the film’s IMDB page.

And yet. There’s something timeless about the movie, which young writer-director Cameron Crowe knocked out of the park back in April of 1989. The dialogue is magnificent, and some of main character Lloyd Dobler’s lines are so heart-wrenching, I actually ache for him.

Sure, there’s Lloyd’s famous summation, “I gave her my heart, and she gave me a pen.” But what really got me as I browsed the movie’s quotes page — which is fantastic, by the way; damn, Crowe is good — was this:

“And one more thing — about the letter. Nuke it. Flame it. Destroy it. It hurts me to know it’s out there.”

How can you not feel for the guy?

Of course, the film is remembered best for and defined by The Scene, the one where John Cusack hoists a boombox over his head, plays Peter Gabriel, and wins back Ione Skye’s heart. And rightly so. Maybe it’s cheesy, but it’s also completely wonderful. And as one EW editor described in this great narrative, it actually works.

To commemorate the movie’s 20th anniversary edition DVD and Blu-ray release Tuesday, a “Mobler” of Lloyd clones, complete with boomboxes, descended upon New York’s Times Square, culminating in an acoustic performance of “In Your Eyes” by none other than rockers the Lloyd Dobler Effect.

mobler-mob

the mobler takes to the streets.

While some said this publicity stunt smacked ever so slightly of desperation, it was actually the perfect way to promote the film’s latest re-release. Lloyd, too, was desperate when he stood outside Diane’s window. And the ensuing wave of nostalgia that surely washed over any female who witnessed the event is almost certain to create a rush for this package. I know that I’m itching to own the movie now.

The Lloyd Dobler Effect. Couldn’t have said it better myself.

Tell me, dear readers: what’s your favorite part of Say Anything…? Would Lloyd’s boombox trick work on you? Would you ever date a guy that wears a trenchcoat, anyway? And is 1989 John Cusack not the most adorable, fresh-faced thing you’ve ever seen? Answer these questions — or just say anything — in the comments.

you make my dreams

Well, I spoke too soon. Instead of enjoying what’s left of Upstate New York’s pleasant fall weather before a hellish winter descends on us all, I spent yesterday sick as a dog. I won’t go into specifics, but suffice it to say, I really did need to “take it easy,” a.k.a., do exactly what I’ve been doing these last few months of unemployment: nothing.

Though I’ve got a lingering cough and runny nose, my spirits have been sufficiently lifted, thanks in part to this clip from (500) Days of Summer:

The entire soundtrack — and movie, for that part — is great, but none of the tunes brings a smile to my face quite like “You Make My Dreams.” As I said in a recent Facebook status, I think Hall and Oates are one of the most underrated bands of our time. After having these sentiments echoed by friends — save for two, including my own boyfriend; oh, the shame — and then discovering that this delightful duo isn’t even in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, I’m convinced that I’m right.

There’s no denying the awesomeness of “Rich Girl” and “Maneater,” and you know you cheered when “I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do)” popped up in Ed‘s lucid dream episode (or maybe that was just me?) Tom Cavanagh clearly shares my affection for these two, since he also found a way to sneak them on to Scrubs.

Sure, they’re the very definition of late ’70s/early ’80s cheese. The “Private Eyes” video alone makes that case, what with its trenchcoats, claps, and gratuitous shots of Oates’ Jew ‘fro and J-Stache. But as one YouTube user dubbed them, they’re “the tall Germanic/Anglo-Saxon/Nordic blond and the medium mustachioed Mediterraean dynamic duo.”

And sometimes, I really can go for that.

grammar-grousing girl

If you were one of the dozen or so people who ended up reading Quirk, the magazine prototype — and labor of love/hate — I worked on this spring, then you might remember my feature about grammar bloggers. I interviewed the creators of The “Blog” of “Unnecessary” Quotation Marks, Apostrophe Abuse, and The Perplexikon, who all had thought-provoking and witty things to say about language, humor, and the bitchy nature of the blogosphere.

Bethany Keeley, proprietor of The “Blog”, had especially entertaining tales of the aforementioned bitchiness, including anecdotes about commenters arguing over the acceptibility of the word “till” and a woman who created a website solely to call out Keeley and others for wasting their time talking about such frivolous topics. (Ah, irony.)

Keeping that in mind, gentle readers, please don’t be angry with me for what I have to get off my chest: I hate it when people don’t hyphenate correctly.

Oh sure, there are other mistakes that drive me absolutely batty (see the above sites for examples — especially the apostrophes. Sweet lord.), but the hyphen thing is especially relevant today. Why, you ask? Because this weekend brings us the terror that is known as:

image from wildaboutmovies.com

image from wildaboutmovies.com

Yes, Law Abiding Citizen. Not Law-Abiding Citizen. Law Abiding Citizen. Ugh. Just typing that makes my whole body convulse in disgust. I don’t pretend to be a language expert, and I certainly wouldn’t classify myself as a snob. I don’t know my participle from my preposition, and that’s fine by me. But there’s a right way to write, and a wrong way to write. And this, my friends, is all kinds of wrong.

As G.O.B. Bluth would say: Come on!

Annie Barrett, my blogger in arms over at EW and the person responsible for alerting me to this grammar tragedy, set off quite a firestorm in the comments (ah, there’s the trademark bitchiness!), and unearthed a few interesting nuggets of information along the way.

First, there’s a theory that the hyphenation was left out intentionally as some sort of message about the movie’s meaning. (But that still doesn’t mean seeing the title won’t make my skin crawl). Second, there are more movies out there missing their punctuation, namely Two Weeks Notice. (Though according to this ridiculously in-depth debate, that might not necessarily be true. And here’s where my brain starts to cave in and the caring ceases.)

Feel free to share your own punctuation woes — as well as other movies in this dubious category — in the comments.