Oscar Winners Watch Party: Vol. 1

Or, Not About BooksThat Time I Decided To Watch Apparently Good Movies

Although I do love my movies (particularly of the trashy genre), I have a tragic blind spot where award-winning movies are concerned. I’ve watched some of the newest award winners, but have missed even recent classics. And so, I decided to address that the best way I know: making an Excel spreadsheet. In a very methodical way, I noted down all the Academy Award for Best Picture winners (excluding ones I’ve seen, like Titanic, or ones I have no interest in seeing, like LOTR: Return of the King. SORRY NOT SORRY but LOTR is dull). I then tracked where I can find these movies online before I have to resort to renting them: Amazon Prime, Netflix, etc.

And so, I dive into my Oscar Winners Watch Party: Vol. 1! FYI, these are the movies I found on Amazon Prime.

Movie Reviews in 30 Seconds

American Beauty: Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. 

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No Country for Old Men: Blah Country for Bland Men. Too many dead dogs.

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Silence of the Lambs: Too scary for me to watch. Did not watch.

I also got too scared looking at the gifs to post one.

Terms of EndearmentShirley MacLaine is dope, Debra Winger reminds me of Emma Stone, their characters are basically a cross between Lorelai/Emily and Lorelai/Rory, and the ending should have been more sad but was mostly weird to me.

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Next up: Oscar winners on Netflix! (Maybe.)

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The Best of October

I’ll be honest: I can be kind of a grinch when it comes to October (actually, I’m kind of a grinch about everything – I was complaining my butt off about how the summer was too hot, and look at me getting ready to moan about October!). Don’t get me wrong – I love me some fall cliches, the cooler weather, and finally taking out my sweaters and boots again. But there is one thing about October I don’t love… Halloween.

I KNOW, I KNOW. I’m a monster (every day of the year). But in honor of all the things I do love about October, allow me a non-bookish blog post with a detailed ranking.

Behold! The best things about October:

Reason 47,896: Halloween

I admit it: I don’t love Halloween. Coming up with a costume is stressful and often expensive, it’s usually too cold to wear for the end of October, and I tend to dislike any holidays that mainly revolve around drinking (see: New Year’s Eve, Mardi Gras) and prefer holidays that revolve around presents (see: Christmas, birthdays, also the fact that I am obviously spoiled). So, I sometimes celebrate Halloween – the gentleman is a big fan of clever couple’s costumes, which is stressful in and of itself – but I do it with a slight scowl.

Moving on to happier things!

Reason 5: Mini candy

DUH, October is cool because of the explosion of mini candy bars in the store. Perfect K10 snacking size.

Reason 4: The smells and the cuddles

At my heart, I’m an 85-year-old woman, so nothing delights me more than to finally have a reason to sit on my couch, lit a nice-smelling candle, and cuddle up with a book, Netflix, or a person (sometimes).

Reason 3: Earlier sunsets

OOOH, I’m a maverick! I secretly get stressed out in summer when the sun sets super late, feeling guilty for being inside when it’s *sO gLoRiOuS* outside. An earlier sunset gives me the perfect excuse to stay firmly inside.

Reason 2: The Return of Fall TV

Finally, after a long, dry summer of television, my stories are back.

Reason 1: The *EXCELLENT* Halloween media I always have to consume this time of year

Tradition is tradition, folks. Starting when I was a baby freshman in college, I watched a few Halloween classics with my friends annually: namely, Hocus Pocus (obviously) and “And Then There Was Shawn” on Boy Meets World.

Everyone’s seen Hocus Pocus – OR SHOULD HAVE – but I implore you, go back and watch that episode of BMW. It is genuinely one of my favorite things and brings me a chuckle every time. “We’ll always remember he was this tall.” “You put on weight since the last time you were scared?” It’s just the best, people.

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Since then I’ve added in some other good media selections – Return of the Living Dead (which is just pure absurdity), the Parks and Rec Halloween episodes, and – of course – the Community Halloween episodes, especially the one where they all turn into zombies. Stop what you are doing and watch that RIGHT NOW.

WHO KEEPS THROWING CATS?!

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Note: not from that episode referenced, but also an amazing ep.

In related news, I just realized Sabrina, the Teenage Witch is streaming on Hulu, so excuse me while I do that forever.

 

Woody Allen Marathon

One of the ways in which I define myself is as a lover of movies and identifier of obscure movie quotes. Despite my massive, 100+ DVD collection, I carry a secret shame about my movie-watching habits: I haven’t seen that many classics. The “modern classics” I have on lockdown: Forrest Gump, Titanic (don’t hate: it’s in the AFI Top 100!). If it has Gene Kelly in it, I’ve most likely seen it and gushed about it to you already. There was also that nebulous period in high school after the AP US History test where my teacher, Mr. Meissel (the greatest teacher to ever grace this earth  – he deserves a post of his own) just showed us some film noir classics like The Big Sleep and The Maltese Falcon. But in scanning the list of Top 100 Movies, I realize that most of them are all meshed together in my head: I know I’ve seen movies like Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and North by Northwest, and God knows I have read the Internet enough to understand cultural references, but I haven’t really seen enough.

Nowhere is this more true than with Woody Allen movies. That man has produced approximately 1,692 movies per year for the last 100 years, and I’ve only seen a couple. No more do I want to just smile vaguely and nod sagely when people talk about Annie Hall, damnit! I want to be able to say something smart about it!

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With that in mind, I embarked on an epic quest of a WOODY ALLEN MARATHON with one of my favorite people, who just so happens to be temporarily living in New Hampshire (which works out for both of us so we are about equally as friendless and can easily cling to each other).

The most interesting part of this experiment is discovering how passionate people are about Woody Allen movies – mostly by disliking them. For example, my mother:

“I just don’t like Woody Allen on principle.”

I paused and stared at her for a moment as she laughed. I prodded, “Umm… more explanation, please?”

She immediately responded, “Well, after that movie where he was a sperm, I just couldn’t take it anymore.”

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Fair enough.

Given Woody’s 1,692 movies, this mighhhht take a while. But my friend and I kicked it off with some not-so-classic classics: Crimes and Misdemeanors and The Purple Rose of Cairo. We both agreed we are not nearly clever enough to fully comprehend C&M, although reading Ebert’s review after the fact definitely made up appreciate it more. We also decided that Sean would be a crummy reviewer because he would be terrified of making the actors anger with a poor review. His entire review would read: “I really enjoyed this movie. This actor wasn’t perfect, but you could see where he was going. Actually, I really liked him. DON’T BE MAD AT ME.” Sign him up, papes!

(Also, you should watch the Purple Rose of Cairo because it was magnificent. Plus it has the actor who plays Richard Gilmore except he’s 30+ years younger and it’s really amusing.)

Any favorite Woody movies I shouldn’t give a miss? Right now, the only one off the table is that sperm one. A lady has her limits.