Cracker by Damian Christie

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Cracker: In Which Damian Grouches about the Oscars

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  • Craig Ranapia,

    The problem with Dreamgirls (and I am a show queen, get over it) is that none of the music is "acceptable Supremish Motown-lite". (FFS, I know there's the whole Big Chill soundtrack cringe factor is in play, but Motown at it's best was pretty sophisticated pop.) But I agree with you that no amount of tit-in-a-wringer emoting from Jennifer Hudson can obscure the utter musical and lyrical banality of the material. the oppositie happened with Chicago - despite the fact Richard Gere and that Bridget Jones bint couldn't really sing or dance or act, the show itself is so good it's hack proof.

    Still, nice to see Pan's Labyrinth get a well-deserved nomination for best foreign language film. It won't win, of course, because it's about as sentimentally life-affirming as a kick in the crotch.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Elliott,

    Dreamgirls would have been fine if they had restricted the singing to the on-stage scenes.

    The actual 'musical' scenes were few and far between.. but wow they were lonnnnnnggggggggggggg and really bad.

    The film was definitely 30 minutes too long.

    The US entertainment press stories that mention racism in regards to the film getting all those nominations EXCEPT best film obviously haven't seen it.

    Individual elements of it are good but overall its really really average to bad.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 7 posts Report Reply

  • David Slack,

    Children of Men is bleak, alright, but I think Babel is bleaker yet.

    Devonport • Since Nov 2006 • 599 posts Report Reply

  • the E,

    we have an oscar ballot @ home but only got around to seeing the queen. so working blind with no hope of catching up @ this stage.

    it's a copy from a winner, who is sharing them around (with most of the southern burbs, no doubt) for collective results.

    i expected the queen to be absolutely dire, but was impressed. thanks for the heads up about dreamgirls though - phew that was a narrow escape.

    whaddaya recommend we check the boxes for then??

    wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 42 posts Report Reply

  • David Slack,

    whaddaya recommend we check the boxes for then??

    Lest my comment about bleakness put you off, I recommend both Children of Men and Babel.

    I'd also tick The Departed and The Good Shepherd

    Devonport • Since Nov 2006 • 599 posts Report Reply

  • Damian Christie,

    Yes, the Southern Suburbs seem to be profiting quite nicely in the Oscar stakes. Thants Lord of the Rings. Thants

    Without wanting to pre-empt my next post, and thus make me even more redundant than normal, I have to disagree about the Queen. It was watchable yes, but Oscar material? Hardly.

    On which more later.

    And yes, I would HIGHLY recommend Little Miss Sunshine.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1164 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    If I'm reading these comments correctly, you seem to think the idea is to view all the nominated movies & performances & vote for the best in each category.

    That's not how it works & you all know it.

    BTW - in Simon Morris's absence on Natrad last night, they had the BBC film show & someone talking to Sylvester Stallone about Rocky Balboa (which sounds like it is the best one since the first!.)

    Now there's a case in point. 1976, Best Actor should have been Stallone (I jest not), but Peter Finch made the masterstroke of his career by dying.

    Mind you, Rocky did win Best Picture (deservedly) & so Sly didn't go home empty handed

    Since Nov 2006 • 2075 posts Report Reply

  • the E,

    I was simply impressed by "The Queen", as opposed to comparative dire expectations.

    It made me hard pushed to think of any outstanding Brit films in the last few years.

    Anyone?

    This ballot form has all the categories, & all the nominees in each category, so yes I did believe the system must be

    to view all the nominated movies & performances & vote for the best in each category.

    What else? Apart to ask you all for tips, of course. Did you mean nepotism?

    wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 42 posts Report Reply

  • TroyHoward,

    just managed to catch Children of Men down at the "Oamaru Movieland 3" .. nice surprise as I had missed it here in Chch.. Have to say this is a great movie!
    It deserves an oscar at least for the sets.

    BTW the way I have to plug for my fave review site www.metacritic.com which I don't think can be beat!

    Plus I mean..who takes the oscars seriously anyway?

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 78 posts Report Reply

  • samuel walker,

    damien,

    Children of men. bleak? i guess....but smooth eh?

    and those long shots, through the building at the end? fark!!!!

    and the most exciting yet slow chase scene ever! (down the hill).

    Since Nov 2006 • 203 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    I like a good, gay musical - I've lost count of the number of times I saw Evita and Chicago - so I was looking forward to Dreamgirls,... but I was really disappointed by it!

    There was only one good song ("And I am teeeeeling yew"). Everything else was just frou-frouing about with wigs and frocks.

    I'm so disappointed with how displeasing it was. I think I might have to watch that High School Musical thing to get my musical fix.

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1946 posts Report Reply

  • Jen Ferguson,

    Personally, I'm still living in hope that one day someone will explain Little Miss Sunshine to me, cos I just don't get it. Surely one of the corniest, most stomach-turningly saccharine films of the last decade? The Northern Bastard and I laughed precisely twice, as I recall, while fighting each other for the sick bag.

    (And do you need to know an Oscar winner to review these films or could you have just gone down the road to the local moviehouse and watched them there? ;)
    xx

    Peckham Rye, London • Since Jan 2007 • 26 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    I think I might have to watch that High School Musical thing to get my musical fix.

    Yes, the redemptive power of baking... set to music. Don't do it, you'll get diabetes.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2075 posts Report Reply

  • the E,

    i think Damian's emphasis was "for free"...

    watching them all @ the local moviehouse would cost @ least $500. & the schedules might not work around yours. & you can't press the stop button to go to the lav. plus you have to deal with queues of punters.

    so, others, what's so great about "little miss sunshine"? from the promo stuff it appears to be about a precocious brat... wrong?

    wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 42 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    It made me hard pushed to think of any outstanding Brit films in the last few years.

    How about A Cock and Bull Story?

    All class and perfect casting.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1645 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    what's so great about "little miss sunshine"? from the promo stuff it appears to be about a precocious brat...

    nah, the premise is "dysfunctional family are forced into a small space and learn to get along".

    it's heartwarming if not ever-so-slightly cheesy.

    the heroin-sniffing grandfather teaching the wee girl her performance for the beauty pagent is funny, and a great comment on what those pagents are actually all about.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2042 posts Report Reply

  • Jen Ferguson,

    You're quite right, The E, it's early in the morning and my brain isn't working apart from in rant mode... Free movies = all good.

    For the record, I share similar 'emperor's new clothes' concerns about Thank You For Smoking - did anyone else really not notice it was feelgood, moralistic dross masquerading under the guise of (poorly-executed, American-style) 'irony'?

    Peckham Rye, London • Since Jan 2007 • 26 posts Report Reply

  • the E,

    How about A Cock and Bull Story?

    thanks for the tip; i'll check it out. i like winterbottom (except "9 songs"). & i like steve coogan, despite him being the dog who was married to my cousin (poor lass!).

    a great comment on what those pagents are actually all about.

    hmmm... you mean kiddies beauty pageants have some ulterior raison d'etre?!

    wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 42 posts Report Reply

  • Sue,

    But have you seen films that havn't been on at the movies yet?

    and for, just me although i want all the world to agree weith me unless I'm enjoying some huuge big home theatre set up nothing beats actually going to The Movies.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 527 posts Report Reply

  • Zach Bagnall,

    My 2^H5^H10c..

    Children Of Men: very cool, wide-ranging setting and the long shot, saving-private-ryan scenes are impressive but couldn't escape the feeling that they were trying to cram too much story into the time allowed. Was not surprised to find out afterwards that it was based on a pulp sci-fi novel. Definitely worth seeing but I wouldn't call it the "best film in years" or relate to people who literally cried through the last part.

    Little Miss Sunshine: genuinely funny comedies don't come along every day (or even every year) so I loved this. Saw it twice and it was even better the second time. The theatre was in tears of laughter at several points.

    Babel: The Japanese story could have made a movie all on it's own (and it probably would have been better than Babel). Frequently compared to 2004's Crash, but in Crash the interaction between the different stories was kind of the whole point. In Babel, the 3-4 different stories are only tenuously linked and the connection between them doesn't add anything to the movie.

    Blood Diamond: Leonardo Dicaprio actually does South African pretty well. Leo's character keeps it from turning completely into a straight hollywood actioner.

    Departed: Meh. Found it very hard to take this one seriously with such diverse casting. Ending doesn't quite make up for the stale two hours preceding it.

    The Prestige: Superb. Complex enough to draw real interest but not to the point of losing most of the audience. The hook is very dark indeed. Interesting theorising about Tesla in the IMDb threads.

    Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada: I think we got this so late it was in the previous Oscar cycle.

    United 93: Seriously, how the f*** do you CHAT LOUDLY through the final climatic seconds of this movie?! Some people need a tasering. (Note: NOT Flight 93).

    Colorado • Since Nov 2006 • 121 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Darlington,

    I've enjoyed - and memorised all the lyrics to - a few musicals in my time. Grease. The Sound of Music. Labyrinth. All good films.

    Labyrinth was horrible. It had Muppets in FFS.

    Nelson • Since Nov 2006 • 949 posts Report Reply

  • Joanna,

    Labyrinth was horrible. It had Muppets in FFS.

    Oh Peter, you're stepping into dangerous territory there. Be prepared to be torn to pieces by the many many girls who grew up with David Bowie's bulge.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 746 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    My peeps love Labyrinth, now I know why...

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • the E,

    interesting appraisals zach, thanks!

    it wasn't david bowie's bulge that made me adore labyrinth, it was more to do with *shock, horror* a girl in the leading role.

    the skexies were like muppets, yes, but with leprosy. i can still remember 25 years later the collective "ohm" hummed by the mystics to alter the planet's vibration. awesome!

    wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 42 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Darlington,

    Be prepared to be torn to pieces by the many many girls who grew up with David Bowie's bulge.

    Heh, Bowie was ok, but the Kermit factor was way too high.

    Nelson • Since Nov 2006 • 949 posts Report Reply

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