The Heartthrob Oscars Snubs

The Academy Awards is a political vehicle that believes that attractiveness does not equal good acting-if you’re a man. Time and time again heart throbs have been nominated but never earned the golden statue. Here’s a look at the biggest and most recent Heart Throb Snubs.

Bradley Cooper

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I have loved Cooper since Kitchen Confidential. I saw a lot more than a hot guy. He has charms and had lots of acting potential. When Limitless came out I was so excited; his own starring role. Entertainment Weekly was surprised he could pull it off; but I wasn’t. I knew he could handle comedy with perfect timing but give depth and emotion to serious scenes. In Silver Lining Playbook he managed to incorporate the two. The humor did not take away from the drama, and Cooper nailed the manic life of someone with bi-polar disorder. This was such a frank and earnest portrayal, he deserved the award. Though Jennifer Lawrence was good, she had nothing on Cooper who totally transforms himself in this role. This was a once in a lifetime role and should have been rewarded.

Jeremy Renner

arts-locker-584-summitentThe Hurt Locker took Best Picture, Director, and Screenplay (among others) and Renner was nominated for Best Actor. The Academy went with the older, we’ll respected actor instead of the soon to be heartthrob. He lost out to Jeff Bridges in Crazy Heart. Renner was relatively unknown before The Hurt Locker and gave such a powerful performance that he gained the Academy’s attention. For a week, Renner trained at Fort Irwin to play Sergeant First Class William James.  To go from nobody to somebody overnight? Now that’s a feat!

Johnny Depp

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Possibly one of the most snubbed actors in Oscar history. He was nominated three times and did not win a once. In 2003, he was nominated for his portrayal of Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean Curse of the Black Pearl. Depp became the character and made you love a scoundrel you could have hatred. The next year he was nominated for Finding Neverland, both a biopic and a sure win. But lightening seems to strike twice, and Depp was forever ignored. In 2007, he was nominated for musical performance in Sweeny Todd. He sadly lost that one as well. But this rip off was nothing compared to the earlier snub for Pirates. Depp seems not to mind but I do.

Heath Ledger

heath_ledgerSince his American debut in 10 Things I Hate About You, Ledger has been making women swoon over his Australian accent and long locks. Ledger, not wanting to be stuck in teen pop, branched out doing a variety of projects. Ledger adapted well into dramas and complex characters. It was his turn as a homosexual cowboy in Brokeback Mountain that garnered him critical and academy acclaim. He was nominated for Best Actor in a very fierce year; three of the candidates had been in biopics, Academy Gold. He, in fact, lost to Philip Seymour Hoffman’s amazing portrayal of Capote. But in a twist of fate, Ledger won Best Supporting Actor in 2009 beating out Hoffman. If not for his tragic death, I doubt he would have won. This almost makes up for the Best Actor snub-almost.

Warming up the Zombie Genre

In a world where film companies are looking for the next Twilight or harry Potter, screen writers have forged through the young adult novels to fuel film fire. We have seen the Hunger Games, Beautiful Creatures, and Mortal Instruments come to life and Hush Hush is coming soon. Some of the aforementioned films can stand alone, but many fail to entertain those who not have read the books. But Warm Bodies translates well as an entertaining and comprehensive film.

This love story centers on a zombie and a girl who tries to kill him. After eating her boyfriend’s brains, he falls in love with her and takes her back to his hideout in the airport to keep her safe. He finds that as his feeling evolve for her, he himself is evolving. He is becoming less zombie like. He must convenience Julie that that he can change and that her father should not kill the zombies-they can change too.

From the beginning of the movie you bond with R, the romantic anti-hero. As he walks through the zombie world, we see this post-apocalyptic world as an allegory for our own as we seclude ourselves from each other with technology. R sees himself and those around with frank, truthful humor. His realization of being a monster makes him all the more real.

warm_bodies_HeartIt is also novel in the fact that zombies can be cured. Not only is a cure found, but it is very existential cure. No tubes or medicines. Zombies can only be cured through love and emotion. Hate transforms us into monster, and loves makes us human. Who thought that material from a YA book would get this thought provoking?

The make-up for the movie is probably some of the best. Sure there is monster movie make-up, but the amount and kind changes over time. As R is “healed” his makeup changes. His face gets warmer, his lips become less blue, and his eyes become clearer. These are all subtle shifts that slowly make R more human. The technical staff handles this brilliantly.

Nicholas Holt nails the changes in his character. He expertly morphs his walk, pattern of behaviors and speech. These shifts are slow and even; you almost don’t realize they are happening. These subtle shifts allow the audience to grow with R and cheer for him on his quest. Had another actor played R, this transition may not have been so graceful.

Over all the movie is no too creepy or gory proving that zombies don’t have to be disgusting. This romanticizing of the zombies is akin to Anne Rice’s transformation of the vampire. Zombies are clearly mainstream, and Warm Bodies becomes a great date movie for men and women alike. Love story her, zombies for him.

The Jane Doe Awards~ Movie Edition

Being tired of all the awards shows and their lack of enjoying good entertainment,   I decided to create my own awards. The Jane Doe Awards are the opinion of an average Jane just like you. So here are some of my favorite movies of the year.

The Zeitgeist Awards

Magic Mike

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The movie world finally decided to cater to over half its movie going audience. Channing Tatum steps away from sappy romances to give women some hot action. He and a gorgeous band of sidekicks take off their clothes to entertain and prove that women to like sex appeal. This made way for other outlets including the extremely hot and lady friendly Chicago Fire. While the plot tried too hard, it was fun entertainment that reminded the world that women are sexual beings. Long live the women’s movement!

The Never Ending Story Award

John Carter

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John Carter suffered from horrible advertising. No one had any idea what it was about or that it was based on short stories written by Edgar Rice Burroughs. I rented it from Netflix because I had heard good things. What no one told me was that it is The Never Ending Story of this generation. Faraway places, princesses in peril, and an unsuspecting hero. The CG is well done and the world of Mars comes to life. Taylor Kitsch is a fabulous actor and handles all aspects of Carter genuinely. Thomas Haden Church, Willem Dafoe, and an appearance by James Purefoy add depth to the overall casting. The world of John Carter is magical and children will want to revisit it again and again. This adult does.

The Women’s Rights Award

Hysteria

hysteria_i01Hysteria is a well done, humorous, but not vulgar telling of how the vibrator was created. Originally made to relieve women’s illness, the vibrator has become the most popular sex toy. The movie puts the women’s rights movement front and center. Maggie Gyllenhaal’s Charlotte is the ultimate feminist trying to break out of the box her father has put her in. Hugh Dancy is serious as the doctor who invents the vibrator because a debilitating injury (carpal tunnel from manual “curing” women). It also gives a frank look at a time that saw all women’s problems as being attached to their uterus. It’s enjoyable, the right amount of funny and serious at the same time. It’s worth a watch even if the content is “scandalous.”

 

Best Superhero Movie

The Dark Knight Rises

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The Avengers may have made the most money this year but it traded quality for spectacle. The Dark Knight Rises, on the other hand, was well thought out and executed. Christopher Nolan did well, ending his trilogy. The film weaves aspects from the first two installments into the finishing story. The story was more than just imploding stadium and barbaric fights. The film touches on themes superhero stories do not touch. This movie was an allegory for your world rife with terrorism and need for heroes. Our hero is conflicted and multi-sided instead of a stereotype and viewers are invested in his ending. And we are quite pleased.

 

The Movie That Should Have Sucked But Didn’t

Promised Land

webpromised-land-movie-damonThis movie about a small town, an environmentalist, and a natural gas company should have sucked. It could have been a puff piece about being green; instead it was smart and emotional. Though viewers could see a twist coming, they would not see what it actually was. Blending humor with real world issues, Matt Damon and John Krasinski proved to be deft screen writers and actors. If anyone else had tried to do this movie, it would have become a sappy mess. Viewers will think critically about the world and their jobs. As a limited engagement, many may have missed it. Put it on the top of Redbox list!

 

The Technical Wonder

The Hunger Games

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The adaptation of the young adult novels does not join this list for the quality acting or the thought provoking screen play (both of which it has), but because the film’s creators took the time to put real thought into each aspect of the movie. For example, the filming is brilliantly plotted. Katniss is followed by handicam in District 12 and in the Hunger Games giving a very documentary feel to the games and its contestant. It’s only in the Capital that the camera is steady and perfect. For many more examples, read my review. Everything from the costumes to the sets oozes the themes and ideals of the screen play. No other movie had so much thought invested.

The Award Winner

Silver Linings Playbook

11LAWRENCE1_SPAN-articleLargeI hate award shows; they always pick movies I hate or haven’t seen. Usually, I really like one of them, and this year it is Silver Linings Playbook. This tale of two emotional damaged people is brilliantly written and gives a very realistic view of mental illness. Bradley Cooper is pitch perfect as Pat who suffers from Bi-Polar Disorder. It’s a shame that Jennifer Lawrence wins when Cooper doesn’t. Lawrence is fabulous in her role but Cooper is amazing and becomes the character; he deserves the accolades more. Never the less, this movie is funny, touching and very real. You should not miss this one.

 

The Kids & Adults Can Watch Award

Wreck It Ralph

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It has finally become popular to make animated or children geared movie with adults in mind. So not only will adults take their children to see these movies, some adults will go without kids. Wreck It Ralph is the best one of the year. It tackles ideas that children and adults can learn from. The film also waxes nostalgia for games past. As a gamer, I enjoyed being able to name so many of the references. The movie has witty jokes but at the same makes childish humor. “Heroes’ Doody” still makes me laugh even though I should be older than such jokes.  For every childish line from Sarah Silverman, John C. Reilly lays down a witty line. But that is what is marvelous about Ralph; there’s something funny for everyone.

Don’t Call Schwarzenegger an Old Fogey

In the era of aged action stars, it is often hard to take a movie seriously when the hero is clearly passed his prime and looks like has might pass out at any minute. Stallone, Ford, and have all suffered. (It seems Liam Neeson is the only except to this rule.) Arnold Schwarzenegger seems to understand this and does what he does best- mix action with humor.

The Last Stand MovieIn his prime Schwarzenegger was kicking ass and taking names. He was chosen as best villain and best hero for playing the same character. He worked with Cameron, stared in the fabulous movie adaptation of Stephen King’s The Running Man, and showed Colin Ferrell what a science fiction movie should really be like. He has never had trouble making fun of himself (see Around the World in 80 Days for example). In fact, my favorite Schwarzenegger film, True Lies, combines great action with dry, witty humor.

As a child, I grew up watching Schwarzenegger, I was so excited about his return to film. But at the same time I was apprehensive; I had seen Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. So it was with trepidation that I went to see The Last Stand.

The Last Stand is the story of Sherriff Owens (Schwarzenegger) who moves from L.A. to a small town on the Arizona border to get away from the bloodshed. When the majority of the town leaves for a football game, Owens and his deputies settle in for an easy weekend. These plans are promptly destroyed when a cartel leader breaks out of custody and heads to their sleepy little town. With the FBI one step behind, it’s up to the Sherriff and his deputies to save the town.

The Last Stand supplies plenty of action with gun fights and car chases. Like every other action movie before it, it includes beyond reality stunts that get viewers fired up. But it balances the over-the-topness with humor. The film knows that it’s got a humorous side and doesn’t take itself too seriously. Owens even cracks jokes about being too old for this. But Schwarzenegger proves he still has it.

The cast includes Johnny Knoxville and Luis Guzmán adding to the humor. I hate to say it, but Knoxville is hilarious as the eccentric weapons collector that has everything down to Conan’s sword. the-last-stand-whysoblu-8The deputy team is also peppered with young attractive guys and girls to balance out the “old fogey” feeling.

Despite large pot holes, The Last Stand is an entertaining romp that gives the same hometown love you get from watching Red Dawn. No one is going to come into our home and destroy it. Viewers easily cheer on the deputies as they go against the cartel boss and outsmart the FBI.

While not a great movie, The Last Stand is fun and contains lots of action. It’s better than most of the “old fogey” movies release lately.