Oscar Nominations

Here are the big winners in order of nominations recieved:

Dreamgirls (8)
Babel (7)
The Queen (6)
Pan's Labyrinth (6)
The Blood Diamond (5)
The Departed (5)
Letters From Iwo Jima (4)
Notes On A Scandal (4)
Little Miss Sunshine (4)
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (4)
Little Children (3)
Apocalypto (3)
Children of Men (3)
United 93 (2)
The Devil Wears Prada (2)
Flags of Our Fathers (2)
The Prestige (2)
Cars (2)

To see the complete list, go here.

There were some obvious surprises regarding the results announced today. But what about the subtle ones? Pan's Labyrinth got as many nominations as The Queen? Mel Gibson's Apocalypto snagged three nods along with Children of Men, and how about Little Miss Sunshine for best picture? That old bus may have a few more miles left in it after all.
I'm going to have to hurry up and see Babel, and The Queen. While I am at it, I'll have to check out Letters From Iwo Jima too; today's nominations just made me want to see it even more (I think it might the favorite for best picture now). At some point I'll make my predictions on here. I can't wait for February 25, should be a fun night.


Best Movies of 2006

Here is a list of all the 2006 releases I've seen, starting with my favorite movies of the year (NOTE: I didn't get to see half the films I wanted to in 2006).

Runners Up
A Scanner Darkly
Over the Hedge
The Devil Wears Prada
Night Watch (Nochnoi Dozor)
Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby
United 93
The Illusionist
The Black Dahlia
Monster House
Thank You For Smoking
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
16 Blocks

Films That Disappointed Me
The Break-Up
The Da Vinci Code
Mission: Impossible III
X-Men: The Last Stand
Superman Returns
Marie Antoinette

Films I Did Not Choose To See
The Holiday
Eight Below
Ice Age 2: The Meltdown
Charlotte's Web
Employee of the Month
Take the Lead
Scary Movie 4

And in case you're interested, here is the list of 2006 films I wanted to see but didn't get around to (Blockbuster will be getting all of my money over the next few months). Some of these are still in theaters if you missed them as well.

The Proposition
Lady Vengeance
Art School Confidential
Hard Candy
Lonesome Jim
Winter Passing
Nacho Libre
Lady In the Water
Miami Vice
The Descent
World Trade Center
Half Nelson
Snakes On a Plane
The Last Kiss
Jet Li's Fearless
The Science of Sleep
The Last King of Scotland
The Queen
Little Children
Flags of Our Fathers
Letters From Iwo Jima
Death of a President
Stranger Than Fiction
Casino Royale
For Your Consideration
10 Items Or Less
Blood Diamond
Rocky Balboa
The Good Shepherd
The Curse of the Golden Flower
An Inconvenient Truth
The War Tapes
Dave Chappelle's Block Party
Jesus Camp
The U.S. vs. John Lennon
This Film is Not Yet Rated
Shut Up and Sing

Also, here is Wikipedia's 2006 in Film page, it's fun to look back.

By the way, The Oscar nominations will be announced tomorrow morning; I'll try to post my thoughts on the selections quickly so check back here periodically.


Film links

If George Lucas updated Singin in the Rain.

Funny preview of who could be playing James Bond next.

Another trailer mash-up, funniest idea for one that I have seen yet.

Wikipedia page explaining the re-cut trailer phenomenon.

Some clips from the film Jesus Camp, see some of it before it comes out of dvd.

An article about Charlie Kaufman and how he changed Hollywood screenwriting.

The 100 scariest scenes in the movies.

A web-game in honor of the Little Miss Sunshine DVD release.

Jim Emerson's tips on film criticism, a good read, he writes well.

Cinematical's seven best westerns you should be watching.

Article about movie heroes from the 80s coming back in new films, in honor of the news that a new Indiana Jones movie is officially starting production this summer.

Awesome site where you can download Mystery Science Theater-esque commentaries to play while watching your favorite films.

An article about how gays struggle to get decent work in Hollywood.

Article about Robert DeNiro and directing The Good Shepherd.

That's all I have today, enjoy!


Genre: The Romantic Comedy

After I made my post about The Fountain and Sci/Fi films I decided to discuss another genre, one that until recently, I cringed at the mention of: The Romantic Comedy. I've come to appreciate a good Rom/Com ever since my wife and I began dating two years ago. In that time there has been a few great examples of the genre but along the way there has been a lot of stinkers as well. Then I read this post about the current lack of good Romantic Comedies. These guys make an interesting point that the genre has evolved into many sub-genres. Obviously this transformation didn't happen overnight; over the last decade there have been some major shifts in direction for these types of films.
I think that there are a select few really good films in this genre. Then there are those many well-made attempts. Finally, there a whole bunch that all feel the same and end up being a waste of time watching because, essentially, you've seen it before (of course this thinking applies to every genre). Here's a list I found of some great Rom-Coms.
I just wanted to state that I'm more willing to watch these films now that I am married, even though I don't have a lot of interest in most of them. The good ones make it worth it. Oh, and the whole spending-time-and-watching-a-movie-with-my-wife thing helps too.


DVD Review: Clerks II

What can I say that would properly sum up Clerks 2?... it's a fitting conclusion. The whiny, obnoxious and crude duo of Dante and Randal (Brian O'Halloran and Jeff Anderson) are well-loved characters among film nerds. Clerks is the model by which all aspiring filmmakers base their first attempts, either on purpose or unconsciously. The release of Clerks put director Kevin Smith on the map and since 1994 he has had, for the most part, a successful career making movies about boys who won't grow up and the women who inexplicably fall for them.
The Kevin Smith microcosm is made up of Clerks, Mallrats, Chasing Amy, Dogma, Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back, and Clerks 2. Smith's "View Askewniverse", named for his production company, contains a wide variety of characters; some make multiple appearances (Jay and Silent Bob appear in all of his films), while others seem to exist only within one of Smith's intertwined plots. There are even passing references to characters or events from past Smith films in his later ones to help interconnect the world he has created.
But the trials and tribulations of Dante and Randal are what got this whole mess started. Clerks 2 allows us to catch up with our favorite counter-jockeys and we learn that not a whole lot has changed; in fact the only thing that has changed is that Dante and Randal are now working at Mooby's, and that's only because the Quick-Stop burned down. Neither seem to know what to do with their lives yet, even though they are both rapidly approaching 30. The basic plot is Dante is about to be married and will soon move to Florida with the new wife (played by Smith's real wife) but Dante doesn't exactly seem excited about these new changes in his life, Randal is upset about this but doesn't make his feelings widely known, Dante however may be secretly in love with Mooby's manager Becky (Rosario Dawson). Randal takes out his frustration over losing his best friend on Elias (Trevor Fehrman), a hopeless, Jesus-loving nerd (these are some of the funniest moments in the film).
What I'm trying to say is: go rent it, it's frickin' hilarious. And the story is good too.