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The 7th Annual Academy Award Movie Challenge (1/24 - 2/24)

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The 7th Annual Academy Award Movie Challenge (1/24 - 2/24)

Old 01-24-13, 01:43 AM
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Re: The 7th Annual Academy Award Movie Challenge (1/24 - 2/24)

As usual I probably won't be participating very much in this one, but I'll do what I can
Old 01-24-13, 02:03 AM
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Re: The 7th Annual Academy Award Movie Challenge (1/24 - 2/24)

I've been putting together a list of films included free with the Amazon Prime membership, and there are a LOT. Which is great! Should make things a little easier for me to see some great films I've missed out on so far.

That said, I thought I'd start with one I have already seen - and, rather handily, it occurred to me that it also does fit into the TV Challenge!

So... #1: South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut. Nominated for Best Song in the 72nd Awards.

I cannot believe they got away with making this film. And to then also get nominated for an Oscar?! Hysterical. And packed with brilliant one-liners, scenes, songs... everything. And reasonably accurate in its depiction of children's reactions, too - case in point: <everyone is wearing a T&P T-shirt> "Anyone in a Terrance & Phillip Shirt will be sent home." <pause> "Yay!"


Huh. I thought I recognised Eric Idle's voice, and the IMDb agrees, but... I did not realise that Brent Spiner, Minnie Driver and George Clooney also provided voice work! I'm sure I must have read it at the time, but... weird!

Last edited by ntnon; 01-24-13 at 02:27 AM.
Old 01-24-13, 02:06 AM
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Re: The 7th Annual Academy Award Movie Challenge (1/24 - 2/24)

To be clear, that list - an excellent, helpful, resource - is JUST winners. Anything that was nominated but didn't win anything is not listed - no Harry Potter, for example.
Old 01-24-13, 03:30 PM
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Re: The 7th Annual Academy Award Movie Challenge (1/24 - 2/24)

Just watched my first movie for the challenge, which was also a first time view as well, Philadelphia. I am surprised it wasn't nominated for a Best Picture as well as Best Actor Award.
Old 01-24-13, 07:54 PM
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Re: The 7th Annual Academy Award Movie Challenge (1/24 - 2/24)

Watched Dances with Wolves for the first time today. It was really long and kinda boring IMHO. I rented the DVD from my local library and without even knowing it, the movie was pan-and-scan! I've been so caught up with blu-ray that I completely forgot that early DVDs weren't always in their OAR.
Old 01-24-13, 08:05 PM
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Re: The 7th Annual Academy Award Movie Challenge (1/24 - 2/24)

I wanted to start off the challenge by watching last year's Best Picture winner but I recently watched The Artist. Instead, I watched some shorts at work during lunch. Tonight I will finally watch Winter's Bone.
Old 01-24-13, 10:11 PM
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Re: The 7th Annual Academy Award Movie Challenge (1/24 - 2/24)

I'm currently watching Indiana Jones & the Last Crusade. It's been a while, but I love this movie. My favorite of the four films. Total random watching, I had no plans to watch anything for this challenge tonight, but changed my mind.
Old 01-25-13, 01:36 AM
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Re: The 7th Annual Academy Award Movie Challenge (1/24 - 2/24)

Watched Brave and Tangled (for the severalth time) with family, today. I was surprised to find out that Tangled wasn't nominated for Best Animation, just best song.

They're both amusing, but I was reminded again that Brave is also slightly terrifying. Additionally, watching it outside of a cinema, it was very dark - not merely in subject (which is countered by the lighter moments), but actually in fact: several parts were barely visible. I imagine if I'd blacked out the room it would have been better, but I didn't think I'd need to. The best line is made even better by the inflection:
"A witch turned Mum into a bear!" <pause> "It's not my fault!"

Tangled is a good take on Rapunzel, and does a very good job of not drifting too far into the darker areas. One review I read suggested that it would be very confusing to small children who would be befuddled by Rapunzel's Stockholm syndrome towards her "mother"; I found it rather well-done that while the word (mother) was bandied about, the relationship was always kept at a remove by means of sarcasm and disdain. Similarly, the key moments of death and violence were well child-friendlied - no shot of the stabbing; no blood on the knife; no body in the cloak - without seeming over-sanitised.
"Frying pans! Who knew, right?!"
Old 01-25-13, 01:42 AM
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Re: The 7th Annual Academy Award Movie Challenge (1/24 - 2/24)

Also thought it was high time I watched The Sting again. I watched the homage in the BBC show Hustle before watching the film, but the twists and skill were not dampened by essentially knowing the rough plot beforehand when watching it for the first time - and even now, having seen the specifics, it is still great. Well plotted, acted and - as recognised by the Academy - scored.

The potentially-slightly-smug title cards explaining the different sections of the con were a very nice touch, broke up the action nicely and helped the plot stay coherent. And the ragtime piano music really helped set the tone.
Old 01-25-13, 02:27 AM
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Re: The 7th Annual Academy Award Movie Challenge (1/24 - 2/24)

Got off to a good start with ParaNorman which reminded me quite a bit of Monster House. I really liked the dark aspects of the film, and the animation and style was wonderful. I love that the creators crafted such great minor characters. I would love a movie that followed the drama teacher or the mismatched cops or even the brainy friend with her unibrow and walls of accolades.

I also watched Thunderball which I love despite the sluggish plot and inclusion of more underwater footage than an Esther Williams flick. My favorite moments are the gratuitous pool of sharks and the chase through the parade. Also, you gotta love the rocket pack.

Finished with March of the Penguins. I had never seen it in its entirety, and I loved ever minute of it. The Morgan Freeman narration was great, but I hated it when he stoically talked about the unfortunate penguins who would not be making the return voyage. Heartbreaking.
Old 01-25-13, 08:17 AM
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Re: The 7th Annual Academy Award Movie Challenge (1/24 - 2/24)

Originally Posted by mrcellophane
Finished with March of the Penguins. I had never seen it in its entirety, and I loved ever minute of it. The Morgan Freeman narration was great, but I hated it when he stoically talked about the unfortunate penguins who would not be making the return voyage. Heartbreaking.

I own March of the Penguins and will probably be watching it at some point during the Challenge. I know exaclty what you mean about how heartless and emotionless he seems sometimes.
Old 01-25-13, 11:16 AM
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Re: The 7th Annual Academy Award Movie Challenge (1/24 - 2/24)

My first newly-seen movie of the challenge... and it was underwhelming. I noticed a link above to Crackle, and thought I'd check out what they had, and on a cursory check could only find two qualifying movies: District 9 and 1941. Having heard that the Spielberg film was undeserving of it's reputation as a terrible flop, I thought I'd give it a look.

I suspect that the Crackling experience - constant breaks for the same advert/trailer (I now have even less interest in seeing Hansel & Gretel...) - affected my opinion mildly, but... 1941 is not very good. For starters, it just wasn't very funny. To be charitable, I don't think I 'get' John Belushi and why he is such a relatively-revered figure in American comedy, but his role here was just odd. Not amusing, just odd. The thin plot strands were neither particularly amusing in setup (the Japanese are really, really stupid! This man can barely fly a plane! This lady really likes planes! This family gets custodianship of a giant machine gun! This army chap wants to rape some other guys girlfriend!) nor in execution.

The big dance/fight scene was well choreographed, and the ferris wheel decoupling was well done, but otherwise... I wasn't too keen on it.
Old 01-25-13, 11:21 AM
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Re: The 7th Annual Academy Award Movie Challenge (1/24 - 2/24)

Oh, I also saw An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge yesterday. Apparently it won a short film Oscar for the French and was then bought by Rod Serling to use as an episode of The Twilight Zone. It's almost silent, but I wonder whether the few words spoken were originally in French, and re-dubbed for American TV...? Wikipedia and other easy-to-check sources seems to suggest there was some editing done, but were not clear on what. So I don't know how much changed between it's Oscar win and the version I saw. Hopefully not much.

It was quite good. The stunt work in particular was impressive - I actually wonder if its win wasn't (in part) a reaction to the apparent danger involved in all the water scenes! It looked like the poor actor was actually in serious trouble a couple of times, which was... disconcerting! I felt the twist, however, was not particularly unexpected. And with that in mind, the whole thing could seem rather pointless - and yet the stunts and cinematography did actually quite make up for it!
Old 01-25-13, 03:35 PM
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Re: The 7th Annual Academy Award Movie Challenge (1/24 - 2/24)

I like how Drive started out but then it got towards the end and sort of petered out.
Old 01-25-13, 07:52 PM
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Re: The 7th Annual Academy Award Movie Challenge (1/24 - 2/24)

Today was human rights activists day for my Oscar Challenge. Invictus isn't really about Nelson Mandela which is very disappointing but overall it's an OK film. It was really interesting to watch this film after watching Street Smart yesterday. Morgan Freeman played a suave, psychotic pimp yesterday and played Nelson Mandela today - what range. I hope Freeman can get a film that's actually about Mandela made.

Cry Freedom wasn't about Steve Biko but the first half of the film was still interesting. Ebert was correct in his review, the last half of the film sort of degenerated into a typical cloak and dagger film. I kinda wish the film had gone directly from Biko's death to the student uprising and then ended. It would have been a more powerful.

I am rounding out the day with Malcolm X which thankfully is actually about Malcolm X. I think Al Pacino is a terrific actor but no one is going to convince me that his performance in Scent of a Woman was better than Washington's performance. The film has flaws but Washington was top notch.
Old 01-26-13, 01:55 AM
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Re: The 7th Annual Academy Award Movie Challenge (1/24 - 2/24)

Had a window of opportunity to watch something with the kid, and I saw The Usual Suspects on my watchlist with only five days left in Amazon Prime. It was a bit disappointing to not get TV credit until I realized I could get Oscar credit! It's been years since I saw this and remembered it was confusing, but not how much of a slow burn it is until they first mention Keyser Soze. Wife fell asleep and kid started doing homework but was paying enough attention (at my urging toward the end) to figure out what was going on and be annoyed at the
Spoiler:
Primal Fear-
Spoiler:
like reveal at the end (another movie we watched not too long ago)
.
Old 01-26-13, 02:58 AM
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Re: The 7th Annual Academy Award Movie Challenge (1/24 - 2/24)

I watched The French Connection today. I watched it years ago on a VHS tape. Second time around was much better. I love the grittiness of this film. I love the way that New York City is a character in this film. Some of the sequences are quite good. I think I enjoyed the chase scene in the subway as much as the famous car chase scene.
Old 01-26-13, 06:59 AM
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Re: The 7th Annual Academy Award Movie Challenge (1/24 - 2/24)

Originally Posted by sleepyhead55
I watched The French Connection today. I watched it years ago on a VHS tape. Second time around was much better. I love the grittiness of this film. I love the way that New York City is a character in this film. Some of the sequences are quite good. I think I enjoyed the chase scene in the subway as much as the famous car chase scene.
I saw it a few times when it came out. That and DIRTY HARRY really gave a shot in the arm to the crime genre in the 1970s and we had a whole slew of above-average crime movies thereafter, although FC and DH remain two of the best from that era. It was no surprise when FC won Best Picture and Gene Hackman took Best Actor. As a New Yorker, it was great seeing familiar locations used so creatively, esp. the Grand Central end of the shuttle where Popeye and the Frog have their final lap of the cat-and-mouse subway pursuit. I used to get hot dogs and sodas at that same stand where Popeye buys the candied apple.
Old 01-26-13, 09:45 AM
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Re: The 7th Annual Academy Award Movie Challenge (1/24 - 2/24)

If anyone doesn't check the bargain forums, The Godfather BD Collection is 17.99 as the Gold Box DOTD.
Old 01-26-13, 11:56 AM
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Re: The 7th Annual Academy Award Movie Challenge (1/24 - 2/24)

Originally Posted by davidh777
If anyone doesn't check the bargain forums, The Godfather BD Collection is 17.99 as the Gold Box DOTD.
Nice, I'll have to get it as soon as I get paid.
Old 01-27-13, 01:41 AM
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Re: The 7th Annual Academy Award Movie Challenge (1/24 - 2/24)

Yesterday, I decided to watch two newer BDs: A Star Is Born and Mutiny on the Bounty. Both looked amazing, and I was reminded of how much I love both films.

I just got done watching The Invisible War, and it was an emotional experience. Over dinner, a group of friends and I were talking about women in combat situations, and the issue of rape in the military was never brought up. Every time I watch a documentary, I realize just how much I do not know or consider. I suggest everyone watch this but know going into it that it is a difficult film to watch.
Old 01-27-13, 06:03 AM
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Re: The 7th Annual Academy Award Movie Challenge (1/24 - 2/24)

Originally Posted by mrcellophane
Yesterday, I decided to watch two newer BDs: A Star Is Born and Mutiny on the Bounty. Both looked amazing, and I was reminded of how much I love both films.
Which version of STAR IS BORN: 1937, 1954 or 1976? Which version of MUTINY: 1935 or 1962?
Old 01-27-13, 09:27 AM
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Re: The 7th Annual Academy Award Movie Challenge (1/24 - 2/24)

Originally Posted by Ash Ketchum
Which version of STAR IS BORN: 1937, 1954 or 1976? Which version of MUTINY: 1935 or 1962?
1954 version of A Star Is Born and 1935 version of Mutiny on the Bounty. I'll probably watch the 1962 version of Mutiny at some point this challenge. It's been a long time since I've seen it.
Old 01-27-13, 05:21 PM
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Re: The 7th Annual Academy Award Movie Challenge (1/24 - 2/24)

Had a couple of first-time viewings today. I did not enjoy Spellbound which is weird. I typically love Hitchcock but I just couldn't get past the sexism in the film. Hugo was pretty to look out but the story wasn't compelling and it was about 30 minutes too long. After two disappointments I went to some old reliables: T2, Speed, and Butch & Sundance.

I think I'll do animation tomorrow.
Old 01-27-13, 05:30 PM
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Re: The 7th Annual Academy Award Movie Challenge (1/24 - 2/24)

Originally Posted by mrcellophane
1954 version of A Star Is Born and 1935 version of Mutiny on the Bounty.
Man, I've been meaning to open both of those BDs for quite some time, and I've never seen Bounty. Thanks for the reminder.

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