Tuesday, May 22, 2012

432 Days Later

A few of you may have noticed that I haven't updated my blog in awhile.

432 days in fact.

What have I been up to? Quite a bit actually.

New Job

In September 2011, I got a new job at Stevens Henager College in the Online Division as an Academic Advisor. It's a pretty good job. I like the people I work with, it was a nice bump in pay, benefits, etc. Thanks to Alan Hansen for telling me about it and I'm sure putting him on my resume certainly helped out. Although, my interview for the job was probably the best interview I've given. Interviewed by 5 women and had them all laughing by the end. Score.

Moved to Salt Lake City

Subsequently, I moved to Salt Lake City for the job. It was only 40 minutes north of where I was living. I moved into my own apartment. That didn't work out (never trust what they say) and $2500 out of my pocket later, I now rent a room in a condo.

Love Life

There was a girl I wanted to date last summer (we'll call her "Ohio Girl", since she's a girl and from Ohio...duh) but she ended up choosing to go after a guy(Stupid Jerkface) that had strung her along for almost a year. When I moved to Salt Lake, I ended up dating someone (new job, new place, new girlfriend...triple whammy!) and about that same time Ohio Girl gave Stupid Jerkface an ultimatum. Stupid Jerkface was a...stupid jerkface and turned her down. So communication started back up again between us.

Fast forward to January, and I ask my girlfriend what she thinks about marriage(just her opinion, no proposal or anything like that). She tells me that she never wants to get married and we break up. She is now engaged to the guy she started dating after me.

Things with Ohio Girl tanked and now I'm not sure if she wants to go out with me again when she comes back this summer.

I recently decided that I would be ok if I never got married. Dating is not one of my strong suits and the more I like someone, the dumber I seem to get.

Movies


As most of you know I started a movie website last year and it's doing ok. I project that it's going to get 150% more traffic than it did last year which should put it somewhere around 45,000 unique visits this year. Not too shabby but that's the kind of traffic I want a month. We'll get there one day.

I am going to Comic Con for the first time this year. I'm really looking forward to it (except I've heard there is a "smell". What do you expect when 140,000 people come out of their parent's basement?) and think it will be a great time. Plus I've always wanted to go to San Diego.

Friends

I stay in touch with most of the friends I've had for a long time. Some more than others. Although I can't help but feel a widening gulf between my married friends and me. As our lives go in different directions, I feel we have less in common. Such is life though.

So there you have it. A quick overview of my last 432 days. I'll try to update more often.



Thursday, March 17, 2011

My 2011 NCAA Tournament Bracket

Here’s my bracket for the 2011 NCAA Tournament. Last year I didn’t do so hot and I really don’t expect to this year either. But I hope we get some great games and some Cinderella teams to make it interesting.

My NCAA Bracket

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Oscar Predictions 2011

Here’s my Oscar predictions for the 83rd annual Academy Awards. Last year was a little bit of a letdown for me as I went 16 for 24 after having my best year (20 for 24) the year before. We will see how things play out this year.

Best Picture

The-Kings-Speech-Picture

The big story this year was how the The Social Network won an unprecedented amount of critic’s awards and then in one week lost it’s frontrunner status to The King’s Speech. The Director’s Guild, Screen Actor’s Guild, and Producer’s Guild all went to The King’s Speech and was the turning point in the awards season. The Producer’s Guild is the only award body that uses a preferential ballot system like the Oscars and the results will be the same on Oscar night. The Academy Awards won’t end until the fat lady sings or maybe more appropriately, until the king speaks.

Will Win: The King’s Speech

Could Win: The Social Network

Should Win: The Social Network

Should Have Been Here: Shutter Island

 

Best Director

Tim_Hooper_The_Kings_Speech_image

A lot of people are predicting a split between Best Picture and Director but the safe bet here is to go with the DGA winner Tom Hooper. The DGA winner has lost the Oscar only 6 times in almost 80 years.

Will Win: Tom Hooper, The King’s Speech

Could Win: David Fincher, The Social Network

Should Win: David Fincher, The Social Network

Should Have Been Here: Christopher Nolan, Inception

 

Best Actor

colin firth the kings speech

Colin Firth has won almost every precursor in this year’s award season and is pretty much a lock to win Best Actor. Anyone else winning would be a huge upset.

Will Win: Colin Firth, The King’s Speech

Could Win: James Franco, 127 Hours

Should Win: Javier Bardem, Biutiful

Should Have Been Here: Ryan Gosling, Blue Valentine

 

Best Actress

Black-Swan-Natalie-Portman-in-Double-Trouble1

The Best Actress race has been dominated by Natalie Portman this year for her turn in Black Swan. There are some that think Annette Bening could pull an upset but Portman is the safe choice and most likely the Best Actress winner.

Will Win: Natalie Portman, Black Swan

Could Win: Annette Bening, The Kids Are All Right

Should Win: Natalie Portman, Black Swan

Should Have Been Here: Lesley Manville, Another Year

 

Best Supporting Actor

The Fighter

Christian Bale should win his first Academy Award for his role in The Fighter. Geoffrey Rush could pull an upset but he already has 2 Oscars and it really feels like this is Bale’s year.

Will Win: Christian Bale, The Fighter

Could Win: Geoffrey Rush, The King’s Speech

Should Win: Christian Bale, The Fighter

Should Have Been Here: Andrew Garfield, The Social Network

 

Best Supporting Actress

melissa-leo-the-fighter

If we see any surprises on Oscar night, it will be in Best Supporting Actress. Melissa Leo is the frontrunner after winning the Globes and the SAG but then she ran ads for herself which is a big no-no. We will see if it affected her chances of winning. If she did damage her chances expect Helena Bonham Carter to ride The King’s Speech wave to her first ever Oscar.

Will Win: Melissa Leo, The Fighter

Could Win: Helena Bonham Carter, The King’s Speech

Should Win: Melissa Leo, The Fighter

Should Have Been Here: Barbara Hershey, Black Swan

 

Best Adapted Screenplay

The Social Network

Aaron Sorkin’s script for The Social Network is a lock here. In my opinion, it’s the best screenplay of 2010. If there is an upset, watch out for The Kids Are All Right or Toy Story 3. But I’m about 99.9% sure this is a lock for Sorkin.

Will Win: The Social Network

Could Win: Toy Story 3

Should Win: The Social Network

Should Have Been Here: How To Train Your Dragon

 

Best Original Screenplay

kings-speech2

The King’s Speech will take home Original Screenplay. The story behind him writing it is quite remarkable.

Will Win: The King’s Speech

Could Win: Inception

Should Win: The King’s Speech

Should Have Been Here: Black Swan

 

Best Animated Feature

Toy Story 3

Toy Story 3 is a lock here. It scored a Best Picture nomination and Pixar continues to dominate this category again this year.

Will Win: Toy Story 3

Could Win: The Illusionist

Should Win: Toy Story 3

Should Have Been Here: Tangled

 

Best Original Song

Toy Story 3 Final Scene

This was a tough category for me. I think it’s really between Toy Story 3 and 127 Hours. I have a feeling that 127 Hours will win but I’m going with the safe choice of “We Belong Together” by Randy Newman.

Will Win: “We Belong Together” Toy Story 3

Could Win: “If I Rise” 127 Hours

Should Win: “I See the Light” Tangled

Should Have Been Here: “Shine” Waiting for Superman

 

Best Original Score

2010_the_kings_speech_006

The King’s Speech will pick up this category as it goes on to win Best Picture. Personally, it’s my least favorite of the nominees and I wouldn’t have it ranked in my top five. But that’s the Oscars for ya.

Will Win: The King’s Speech

Could Win: The Social Network

Should Win: How To Train Your Dragon

Should Have Been Here: Tron Legacy

 

Best Cinematography

True Grit

Sweeping vistas and postcard framing are what the Academy goes for and True Grit fits the bill. Also, Roger Deakins has now been nominated 9 times without winning but he should take home his first Oscar for True Grit. If there is a spoiler here watch out for Wally Pfister’s work on Inception being recognized.

Will Win: True Grit

Could Win: Black Swan

Should Win: Inception

Should Have Been Here: Shutter Island

 

Best Film Editing

20101230_social_network_tilt_shift_scene

Usually Best Editing goes to the Best Picture winner but this year it will go to The Social Network. The layers of the story are all woven together coherently and intelligently. I do have to say though that Lee Smith’s work on Inception is the best of the year and it’s a travesty that he was even nominated.

Will Win: The Social Network

Could Win: The King’s Speech

Should Win: The Social Network

Should Have Been Here: Inception

 

Best Art Direction

kings_speech art direction

Best Art Direction is a three way race between The King’s Speech, Alice in Wonderland, and Inception. Any of the three could win but I’m going with the Best Picture frontrunner. It is important to note though that a Tim Burton film has never lost when it was nominated.

Will Win: The King’s Speech

Could Win: Alice in Wonderland

Should Win: Inception

Should Have Been Here: Black Swan

 

Best Costume Design

alice in wonderland

This is another category where I’m not sure. It’s between The King’s Speech and Alice in Wonderland. The former being the Best Picture frontfunner and the latter being the showier of the two. I wouldn’t be surprised if Art Direction and Costume went to the same movie but I’m predicting a split with Alice taking home Costume.

Will Win: Alice in Wonderland

Could Win: The King’s Speech

Should Win: Alice in Wonderland

Should Have Been Here: Burlesque

 

Best Makeup

watch-the-wolfman-online

Best Makeup will go to The Wolfman. It’s the showiest of the nominees and Rick Baker is an Oscar favorite, having won 6 previous Oscars for his work in makeup. He won his first Oscar for An American Werewolf in London.

Will Win: The Wolfman

Could Win: Barney’s Version

Should Win: Barney’s Version

Should Have Been Here: Alice in Wonderland

 

Best Visual Effects

Inception

Inception should take this rather easily. It’s the only Best Picture nominee among the VE nominees.

Will Win: Inception

Could Win: Alice in Wonderland

Should Win: Inception

Should Have Been Here: Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

 

Best Sound Mixing

inception01

Of the two sound categories, this is the one that could go a number of ways. Inception will most likely win but watch out for True Grit and The King’s Speech. Best Picture winners have a history of winning this category.

Will Win: Inception

Could Win: True Grit or The King’s Speech

Should Win: Inception

Should Have Been Here: Tron Legacy

 

Best Sound Editing

Inception_still2323

Being the well respected blockbuster will pay off for Inception in Sound Editing as well as Sound Mixing. It should be the third Oscar it takes home.

Will Win: Inception

Could Win: True Grit

Should Win: Inception

Should Have Been Here: The Social Network

 

Best Foreign Language Film

in a better world

The Golden Globe winning In A Better World will most likely add to it’s mantle with an Oscar for Foreign Language Film. Although it has tough competition from Incendies and Biutiful.

Will Win: In A Better World

Could Win: Biutiful

Should Win: In A Better World

Should Have Been Here: Of Gods and Men

 

Best Documentary Film

insidejob

Documentary has one of the best set of nominees in any category this year. So much so in fact, that presumed frontrunner Waiting for Superman didn’t even get nominated. Inside Job will most likely win but watch for Exit Through the Gift Shop, my personal favorite and in my opinion, the best documentary of 2010.

Will Win: Inside Job

Could Win: Exit Through the Gift Shop

Should Win: Exit Through the Gift Shop

Should Have Been Here: Waiting for Superman

 

Best Documentary Short Film

PosterGirl-Poster-sized-crop-630x483

The short films are always the toughest categories to predict. I’m going with Poster Girl while most people are predicting Strangers No More. But really, your guess is as good as mine when it comes to the shorts.

Will Win: Poster Girl

Could Win: Strangers No More

Should Win: Sun Come Up

 

Best Animated Short Film

madagascar

Day & Night will be most people’s choice in this category because they saw it in front of Toy Story 3. Pixar has never won Animated Short and Animated Feature in the same year. I think that will continue this year. The Gruffalo is another popular choice but I think it’s between Madagascar, Carnet de Voyage and The Lost Thing. The former because it has the most unique animation technique and the latter because it gets the most emotion out of you.

Will Win: Madagascar, Carnet de Voyage

Could Win: The Lost Thing

Should Win: The Lost Thing

 

Best Live Action Short Film

godoflove2_606

I’m going with God of Love for Live Action Short Film. Wish 143 was also very good and it’s about a young cancer patient and his last wish. Na Wewe could also win if they want to vote for something more serious.

Will Win: God of Love

Could Win: Wish 143

Should Win: Na Wewe

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Stratosphere SkyJump

Here's a video I took of someone doing the Stratosphere SkyJump. We were driving down the Strip and I happened to be watching. It looks pretty fun and if you're ever in Vegas with an extra $100, you can give it a try.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

83rd Annual Academy Award Nominations

 The nominees for the 83rd annual Academy Award nominations were announced this morning. Here are the list of the nominees:

Best Picture
“Black Swan”
“The Fighter”
“Inception”
“The Kids Are All Right”
“The King’s Speech”
“127 Hours”
“The Social Network”
“Toy Story 3″
“True Grit”
“Winter’s Bone”

Best Director
Darren Aronofsky, “Black Swan”
David O. Russell, “The Fighter”
Tom Hooper, “The King’s Speech”
David Fincher, “The Social Network”
Ethan Coen, Joel Coen, “True Grit”

Best Actor
Javier Bardem, “Biutiful”
Jeff Bridges, “True Grit”
Jesse Eisenberg, “The Social Network”
Colin Firth, “The King’s Speech”
James Franco, “127 Hours”

Best Actress
Annette Bening, “The Kids Are All Right”
Nicole Kidman, “Rabbit Hole”
Jennifer Lawrence, “Winter’s Bone”
Natalie POrtman, “Black Swan”
Michelle Williams, “Blue Valentine”

Best Supporting Actor
Christian Bale, “The Fighter”
John Hawkes, “Winter’s Bone”
Jeremy Renner, “The Town”
Mark Ruffalo, “The Kids Are All Right”
Geoffrey Rush, “The King’s Speech”

Best Supporting Actress
Amy Adams, “The Fighter”
Helena Bonham Carter, “The King’s Speech”
Melissa Leo, “The Fighter”
Hailee Steinfeld, “True Grit”
Jacki Weaver, “Animal Kingdom”

Best Adapted Screenplay
“127 Hours”
“The Social Network”
“Toy Story 3″
“True Grit”
“Winter’s Bone”

Best Original Screenplay
“Another Year”
“The Fighter”
“Inception”
“The Kids Are All Right”
“The King’s Speech”

Best Art Direction
“Alice in Wonderland”
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I”
“Inception”
“The King’s Speech”
“True Grit”

Best Cinematography
“Black Swan”
“Inception”
“The King’s Speech”
“The Social Network”
“True Grit”

Best Costume Design
“Alice in Wonderland”
“I Am Love”
“The King’s Speech”
“The Tempest”
“True Grit”

Best Film Editing
“Black Swan”
“The Fighter”
“The King’s SPeech”
“127 Hours”
“The Social Network”

Best Makeup
“Barney’s Version”
“The Way Back”
“The Wolfman”

Best Music (Original Score)
“How to Train Your Dragon”
“Inception”
“The King’s Speech”
“127 Hours”
“The Social Network”

Best Music (Original Song)
“Coming Home” from “Country Strong”
“If I Rise” from “127 Hours”
“I See the Light” from “Tangled”
“We Belong Together” from “Toy Story 3″

Best Sound Editing
“Inception”
“Toy Story 3″
“TRON Legacy”
“True Grit”
“Unstoppable”

Best Sound Mixing
“Inception”
“The King’s Speech”
“Salt”
“The Social Network”
“True Grit”

Best Visual Effects
“Alice in Wonderland”
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I”
“Herafter”
“Inception”
“Iron Man 2″

Best Animated Feature Film
“How to Train Your Dragon”
“The Illusionist”
“Toy Story 3″

Best Foreign Language Film
“Biutiful” (Mexico)
“Dogtooth” (Greece)
“In a Better World” (Denmark)
“Incendies” (Canada)
“Outside the Law” (Algeria)

Best Documentary Feature
“Exit Through the Gift Shop”
“Gasland”
“Inside Job”
“Restrepo”
“Waste Land”

Best Documentary Short
“Killing in the Name”
“Poster Girl”
“Strangers No More”
“Sun Comes Up”
“The Warriors of Qiugang”

Best Short Film (Animated)
“Day & Night”
“The Gruffalo”
“Let’s Pollute”
“The Lost Thing”
“Madagascar, a Journey Diary”

Best Short Film (Live Action
“The Confession”
“The Crush”
“God of Love”
“Na Wewe”
“Wish 143″

Friday, January 14, 2011

2011 Golden Globe Predictions

Golden Globe Awards 2011
These are my predictions for the 2011 Golden Globe Awards. They will air live on Sunday, January 16th, 2011 on NBC at 8PM EST. Ricky Gervais is hosting.
“The Social Network” has been winning pretty much everything to this point but if there are some surprises, it will definitely be at the Golden Globes. Last year, “The Hurt Locker” was winning everything and they went with “Avatar”. Many pundits are thinking that “The King’s Speech” could be the spoiler here. I’m sticking with “The Social Network” though. A lot of people are predicting Johnny Depp to win Best Actor in a Comedy or Musical for “Alice in Wonderland”. He’s a double nominee, also nominated for “The Tourist”, and I just can’t see him winning. I liked him in the film but I don’t think it’s an award worthy performance. I’m taking a Paul Giamatti surprise win for his performance in “Barney’s Version”. The other categories I am not totally confident about are Foreign Film, Score, and Song. I’m picking “Biutiful” for Foreign but I wouldn’t be surprised to see “I Am Love” take it. For Score, I think it’s between “Inception” and “The Social Network”. I picked “Inception”. For Song, I’m taking “Tangled”. I’m hoping the two songs from “Burlesque” cancel each other out although the song “You Haven’t Seen the Last of Me” could walk away winner.
Last year I got 10 out of 14 right. We will see if I can beat that this year. My predictions are in red.

BEST MOTION PICTURE, DRAMA
Black Swan
The Fighter
Inception
The King's Speech
The Social Network


BEST MOTION PICTURE, MUSICAL OR COMEDY
Alice in Wonderland
Burlesque
The Kids Are All Right
Red
The Tourist

 
BEST DIRECTOR
Darren Aronofsky, Black Swan
David Fincher, The Social Network
Tom Hooper, The King's Speech
Christopher Nolan, Inception
David O. Russell, The Fighter
 
BEST ACTOR, DRAMA
Jesse Eisenberg, The Social Network
Colin Firth, The King's Speech
James Franco, 127 Hours
Ryan Gosling, Blue Valentine
Mark Wahlberg, The Fighter
 
BEST ACTRESS, DRAMA
Halle Berry, Frankie & Alice
Nicole Kidman, Rabbit Hole
Jennifer Lawrence, Winter's Bone
Natalie Portman, Black Swan
Michelle Williams, Blue Valentine
 
BEST ACTOR, COMEDY OR MUSICAL
Johnny Depp, Alice in Wonderland
Johnny Depp, The Tourist
Paul Giamatti, Barney's Version
Jake Gyllenhaal, Love & Other Drugs
Kevin Spacey, Casino Jack
 
BEST ACTRESS, COMEDY OR MUSICAL
Annette Bening, The Kids Are All Right
Anne Hathaway, Love & Other Drugs
Angelina Jolie, The Tourist
Julianne Moore, The Kids Are All Right
Emma Stone, Easy A
 
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Christian Bale, The Fighter
Michael Douglas, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps
Andrew Garfield, The Social Network
Jeremy Renner, The Town
Geoffrey Rush, The King's Speech
 
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Amy Adams, The Fighter
Helena Bonham Carter, The King's Speech
Mila Kunis, Black Swan
Melissa Leo, The Fighter
Jacki Weaver, Animal Kingdom
 
BEST ANIMATED FILM
Despicable Me
How to Train Your Dragon
The Illusionist
Tangled
Toy Story 3

 
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE PICTURE
Biutiful
The Concert
The Edge
I Am Love
In a Better World

 
BEST SCREENPLAY
127 Hours

The Kids Are All Right
Inception
The King's Speech
The Social Network
 
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
Alexandre Desplat, The King's Speech
Danny Elfman, Alice in Wonderland
A.R. Rahman, 127 Hours
Trent Reznor, The Social Network
Hans Zimmer, Inception
 
BEST SONG
"Bound to You," Burlesque
"Coming Home," Country Strong
"I See the Light," Tangled
"There's a Place For Us," The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
"You Haven't Seen the Last of Me," Burlesque

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Top 15 Scenes of 2010

As I reflect on the past year in film, my mind always goes to those moments that made an impact on me. Those moments where a film dared to be different, when they left you in awe, or tugged at your heart.

2010 had many moments like those. Great films usually have many such moments but I only included one per movie.

These are what I consider the 15 top scenes of 2010.

Tron: Legacy light cycle

#15

“Light Cycle Battle” from Tron Legacy

One of the most visually fascinating scenes of 2010 was the light cycle battle from Tron Legacy. It was the highlight of the film. I can’t forget to mention Daft Punk’s score either, it fits perfectly with the visuals. Oh, and if you were a kid in the 80s, it probably brought back some memories from the original Tron.

 

Iron Man 2 Whiplash

#14

“Enter Whiplash” from Iron Man 2

The scene builds in intensity as Whiplash cuts Tony Stark’s car in half and then proceeds to crack his whips against the ground while moving towards him. Tony Stark then gets what is by far the most useful suitcase ever and the fight is on. Easily the highlight of this summer blockbuster.

 

Despicable Me fluffy

#13

“Theme Park” from Despicable Me

I love this scene for a number of reasons. One, it’s the turning point in the film for the main character Gru. He plans on dumping the girls(who would want to get rid of someone so cute?) here after getting what he’s used them for. He watches them play this game where they are ripped off and stands up for them. We get to see that Gru does in fact have a heart. The other reason: “It’s so fluffy!”

 

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

#12

“Evil Ex #1” from Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

Highly original and inventive, this fight really set the tone for Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. It has it all…a musical number, gravity defying action, a love triangle, and arcade coins. A great scene from one of the year’s most underrated movies.

 

True Grit

#11

“Negotiations” from True Grit

Towards the start of True Grit we get introduced to Mattie Ross, perfectly played by Hailee Steinfeld, while she is negotiating to get a trader to buy back the horses he sold her father. It’s a very funny scene and it show’s you that this young girl can act with the best of them. Welcome to Hollywood, Hailee.

 

Tangled

#10

“Lanterns” from Tangled

This is a beautifully animated scene featuring the song “I See The Light” by Mandy Moore and Zachary Levi. It’s a really touching scene as well as it’s Rapunzel’s dream to see the lanterns and in the process of doing so, she makes some new dreams.

 

Let Me In car crash

#9

“Car Crash” from Let Me In

This was one of the most intense scenes of the year. It builds and builds in intensity and ends in a stunning continual POV shot from the backseat as the car gets sideswiped and rolls in a ditch. You feel like you are in the car as it’s crashing. A fantastic technical feat.

 

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows animation

#8

“Tale of the Three Brothers” from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

This stylized and beautifully rendered animated sequence was pretty unexpected for a Harry Potter movie but it fit perfectly with the film. It was done so well that I’m pretty sure it helped the director of the sequence land a couple of films himself.

 

Black Swan

#7

“Transformation” from Black Swan

This scene was visually arresting and was a metaphor for Nina, the main character. She finally succumbs to what has been chasing her the entire movie and we see that transformation in her last dance, literally and figuratively.

 

127 Hours amputation

#6

“Amputation” from 127 Hours

This scene probably caused more people passing out than any other in 2010 and inspired this shirt. The entire movie you’re expecting this scene and when it finally does come, you’re rooting for him to do it. It shows the strength of the human spirit to overcome any obstacle and that we will do whatever it takes to survive.

 

Kick Ass Hit Girl

#5

“Hit Girl Intro” from Kick Ass

You may remember hearing about Hit Girl, the foul mouthed 11 year old girl from Kick Ass back in April when the character caused a bit of a controversy. She stole every scene she was in and was really the heart of the film.

 

How To Train Your Dragon

#4

“Connection” from How To Train Your Dragon

A lot of people love the flying scenes from HTTYD, which are really fantastic, but where this movie really soared for me is the scene where Hiccup and Toothless bond. Hiccup is drawing in the dirt and then Toothless starts doing the same. Hiccup dances his way through Toothless’ drawings until they are right next to each other. Hiccup puts out his arm and Toothless leans in. A connection is formed. It’s such a beautiful scene and is made even more so by John Powell’s unforgettable score.

 

The Social Network

#3

“Opening” from The Social Network

This rapid fire conversation between Mark Zuckerberg and his soon-to-be-ex-girlfriend opens The Social Network. Mark may know computer code but he has no idea about “human code” and is one aspect of why The Social Network is so fascinating.

Toy Story 3 incinerator

#2

“Incinerator” from Toy Story 3

If there ever was a scene filled with equal parts horror and beauty, it would be the “Incinerator” scene from Toy Story 3. Horror because as I watched this scene, I felt the characters that we’ve grown to love were really in danger. “Are you really going to do this Pixar?” thoughts crossed my mind. Beauty because the movie is about letting go and moving on and we see that in action. Woody and the gang accept their fate, take each other’s hands, and face it together. I can only think of one word to describe it: “masterful”.

Inception spinning top

#1

“Spinning Top” from Inception

You all know the scene. It’s the one that made you see the movie twice or three times to see if you could figure it out. It’s the one had with every one of your friends about after they saw it. It’s my top scene of the year because not only did it wow us but it got us talking about film probably more than any other scene this year. 

Please feel free to leave comments on what you think the best scenes are or if you feel I forgot a scene. I should have my top 10 films of 2010 list up very soon.



Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Giving Thanks 2010

As Thanksgiving approaches I thought it would be proper to post what I am thankful for. I did a post like this back in 2007 and unfortunately haven't done one since. So here is what I am most grateful and appreciative for this year:

Family. 

I'm thankful for my family for allowing me to become the person I am and for encouraging me to be better than I am. I'm grateful for the good men who married my sisters and who have helped raise some wonderful nieces and nephews. I'm grateful for my sisters and brother who I can be myself around and we can always have a good time together. I'm grateful for my dad who taught me how to work and provide. I'm thankful for my mom who is the rock of our family and the person who taught me the greatest lesson I've ever learned: how to love. Someone once said, "I don't care how poor a man is; if he has family, he's rich." I'm grateful for being so wealthy.

Friends.

I'm grateful for friends, new and old. I'm grateful for the good times we've had and for the ones to come. I'm grateful for their support and for the time they take for me. I'm grateful that we can pick up where we left off even after not seeing each other for long periods of time. I'm grateful for the laughs and the late nights. I'm grateful for their ability to forgive when I've wronged them. I'm grateful for the strength they give me. I'm especially grateful for the Ferree and Hansen family who have been some of mine and my family's closest friends. I'm grateful for Mark, Ryan, Blake, Dave, Derek, Jordan, Rob, and many more. Thank you for your continued friendship and I look forward to watching it grow over the years.



A Job.

I'm grateful for having a job. I'm grateful for a smart and honest owner who puts time in seeing that his business and his employees are successful. I'm grateful that the owner has run his business honestly when a lot of others in the industry do not. I'm grateful for working at a smaller business and for the chance to get to know the people I work with. I'm grateful that I get to do some things that I like at work. The way the economy is, I feel lucky to have a job.



The Gospel.

I'm grateful for my Father in Heaven and for my Savior Jesus Christ. I'm grateful for the teachings of Christ and for His example. I'm grateful for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I'm grateful for modern day apostles and prophets who are inspired by God to lead His Church. I'm grateful for the strength, knowledge, and motivation that the Gospel gives me. I'm grateful for faith and repentance, love and redemption. I'm grateful for the fact that God is always seeking us out even we are not seeking Him. I'm grateful for the opportunity that the Gospel provides me to become a better person.

The Readers.

These are just a few things I'm grateful for. I'm also grateful to those that take the time to read my blog. Thank you.

Happy Thanksgiving!



Monday, November 8, 2010

Oscar Season 2010-2011

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It’s that time of year where the studios start releasing their Oscar bait. Here’s a list of movies that I think have a pretty good shot at having 2 or more Academy Award nominations. The ones in bold are the ones that I think are in the mix for Best Picture:
Inception
The King’s Speech
The Social Network
Toy Story 3
True Grit
The Kids Are All Right 
127 Hours

The Way Back
The Town
The Fighter
Winter’s Bone
Black Swan
Another Year
Rabbit Hole 
Made In Dagenham 
Shutter Island
How To Train Your Dragon

Blue Valentine
Get Low

Conviction
Iron Man 2
Tron Legacy
Tangled
Waiting For Superman
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1
Hereafter 
How Do You Know 
Love & Other Drugs
Secretariat
Biutiful
Alice in Wonderland
The Tempest
Never Let Me Go
Robin Hood
Fair Game

Here are important dates to watch for:
Dec. 2nd, 2010—National Board of Review winners
Dec. 14th, 2010—Golden Globe nominations announced
Dec. 16th, 2010—Screen Actors Guild Awards nominations announced
Jan. 4th, 2011—Writer’s Guild Awards nominations announced, Producer’s Guild of America nominations announced
Jan. 5th, 2011—Art Director’s Guild nominations announced
Jan. 6th, 2011—Cinema Audio Society nominations announced
Jan. 10th, 2011—Visual Effects Society nominations announced, Director’s Guild of America nominations announced
Jan. 16th, 2011—68th Annual Golden Globe Awards
Jan. 21th, 2011—Cinema Audio Society nominations announced, Costume Designer’s Guild nominations announced
Jan. 22th, 2011—Producer’s Guild of America Awards
Jan. 25th, 2011—Academy Award nominations announced
Jan. 28th, 2011—Visual Effects Society Awards
Jan. 29th, 2011—Director’s Guild of America Awards
Jan. 30th, 2011—17th Annual Screen Actor’s Guild Awards
Feb. 5th, 2011—Writer’s Guild Awards, Art Director’s Guild Awards
Feb. 13th, 2011—BAFTA Awards, American Society of Cinematographers Awards
Feb. 19th, 2011—ACE Eddie Awards, Cinema Audio Society Awards
Feb. 22nd, 2011—Costume Designers Guild Awards
Feb. 27th, 2011—83rd Annual Academy Awards

Monday, October 4, 2010

Haunted Houses

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One of my favorite things about fall, especially October, is haunted houses. Utah has a bunch of them. I thought I would share the links for all the ones I could find. Personally, I think Nightmare on 13th and the Haunted Forest are the two best I’ve been to. I also thought the Haunted Village was pretty fun. If you ever wondered what the movie “The Village” would be like in real life, check that one out. Anywhos, here are the links to their websites:

Nightmare on 13th (Salt Lake City)

Castle of Chaos (Salt Lake City)

Haunted Village (Salt Lake City)

Nightmare Mansion (Taylorsville)

Asylum 49 (Tooele)

Haunted Hollow (Ogden)

Lazarus Maze (Ogden)

Sleepy Millcreek Hollow (Marriott-Slaterville)

Fright by Night (Lehi)

Haunted Forest (American Fork)

Goatman Flats (Orem)

Haunted Canyon (Provo)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Give and Take

In relationships, there needs to be a healthy balance of “give and take”. There can’t be one person giving and the other person taking. It needs to be balanced between both people for a relationship to work.

I was just in a relationship where there was an imbalance.

Suffice to say, it didn’t work out.

The girl I was dating was the taker. A few things I learned about those kind of people are:

1. They expect you to change but don’t change anything about themselves.

2. They do not apologize for their mistakes and get angry when you make one.

3. They can’t take criticism. If they make a mistake and you point it out (even in a nice, helpful way) it ends in an argument.

4. Their mistakes get turned into your mistakes.

5. Commitment isn’t an option. They will push it off further and further.

If you find yourself in a situation like this, do yourself a favor and get out. The person isn’t going to change for you. They will change when after they have several failed relationships, finally look honestly at themselves, and realize that they were the one that needed to change all along.

You deserve someone who understands that a great relationship will have a healthy balance of “give and take”.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Summer Movie Preview: August 2010

Usually, the end of the summer offers us one last big hit and then ends on a wimper as the fall season starts. This year is no different. The biggest movies will most likely open in the first two weeks: The Other Guys, Eat, Pray, Love, and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World.

 

August 6th

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The Other Guys

Will Ferrell teams up with director Adam McKay again for The Other Guys. Some of Will Ferrell’s biggest hits (Anchorman, Talladega Nights, Step Brothers) have come when he teams up with McKay. Expect  The Other Guys to be one of Ferrell’s better movies with a great supporting cast. It should probably be another $100 million hit for Ferrell.

 

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Step Up 3D

The Step Up movies were part of the big dance movie craze a few years back. It will be interesting to see how Step Up 3D does since that craze has pretty much died out. The dancing from the trailer looks incredible and I’m sure it will only look better in 3D.

Also opening Aug. 6th: Cairo Time (limited), The Disappearance of Alice Creed (limited), Flipped (limited), Lebanon (limited), Middle Men (limited), The Oxford Murders (limited), Twelve (limited)

 

August 13th

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Eat, Pray, Love

Julie Roberts stars as Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of Eat, Pray, Love who took a journey around the world and discovered herself. This will be the first movie geared directly towards women since Eclipse and should draw in the female crowd in droves. This reminds me of last summer with Julie & Julia, and I think will have similiar box office results. I expect Eat, Pray, Love to do well and show that Julia Roberts can still carry a movie.

 

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Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

Michael Cera plays Scott Pilgrim, a 23 year old living an average life that falls in love with Ramona Flowers…who has seven evil exes that Scott must defeat. By the trailers, it looks like director Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz) has a lot of fun with the highly stylized cartoonish violence. I’ve heard that the film has a fast pace which I think is perfect for this type of film. It does look original which I think will only help it. I expect it to get a very good critical reception but I’m not sure if it will translate to a big box office.

 

 

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The Expendables

I wouldn’t be surprised if somewhere along the way the title of this was Testosterone: The Movie. With a cast of pretty much every action star ever, this should be a fun movie. Stallone’s movies have been hit and miss lately, and I think this will be another miss.

 Also opening Aug. 13th: Animal Kingdom (limited), The People I’ve Slept With (limited), Tales from Earthsea (limited)

 

Aug. 18th (Wednesday)

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Vampires Suck

Spoof movies usually don’t do well critically but there have been some that do well at the box office like Scary Movie. Lately though, spoof movies have done pretty poorly at the box office and I think Vampires Suck will continue that trend. But if you’re a passionate hater of the Twilight films, you may enjoy this.

 

 

Aug. 20th

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Piranha 3D

A remake of Joe Dante’s 1978 cult classic that adds a third dimension and has been shuffled around the schedule by the Weinstein Company most likely equals a flop. The trailer looks cheesy (what’s with piranhas being able to scream underwater?). If it embraces that cheesiness, this might actually be a fun movie. But I’m guessing not.

 

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The Switch

Jason Bateman plays a guy that is in love with his best female friend, Jennifer Aniston, but is stuck in the friend zone. At her party for her artificial insemination, he gets drunk and switches the goods with his own. Seven years later they meet up and you have The Switch. It has an interesting premise, one that I don’t think I’ve ever seen before, and could be good if there is chemistry between Bateman and Aniston.

 

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Lottery Ticket

Bow Wow plays Kevin, a regular guy who discovers that he has won a $350 million dollar lottery and must survive a holiday weekend to claim his prize. It has a cast that includes Keith David, Terry Crews, Ice Cube, Bill Bellamy, and Mike Epps. It’s been a while since the last Tyler Perry movie, so I expect this to draw in the African-American crowd. I don’t think it will hit the jackpot with critics though.

 

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Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang

This is the second Nanny McPhee movie and history shows us that family movies like this usually take a bit of a dive with the sequel. With a smaller budget, I think the studio is expecting that. I expect it to have a small opening weekend and not a very long theatrical run.

 Also opening Aug. 20th: Down Terrace (limited), Hiding Divya (limited), Mao’s Last Dancer (limited), Soul Kitchen (limited), The Tillman Story (limited), What If… (limited)

 

Aug. 27th

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Going the Distance

To end the summer, we have a romantic comedy, a horror movie, and a bank heist movie. The rom-com is Going the Distance, starring Drew Barrymore and Justin Long. One can tell by the trailer that it will most likely follow the same plot arc that every rom-com follows, but that’s part of the genre.

 

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Takers

Takers is a bank heist movie about a group of bank robbers that runs into a group of detectives in a multimillion dollar heist. It has a cast of familiar faces (Matt Dillion, Chris Brown, T.I., Idris Elba). It really is too bad that this follows so closely to another heist (Inception) movie that is leagues above what Takers will be. I don’t think it will do well critically or at the box office.

 

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The Last Exorcism

The Last Exorcism is a mockumentary about a priest who allows a documentary crew to shoot his final exorcism. While the trailer looks creepy, I don’t expect it to be the next The Blair Witch Project but it should do decent business for being an indie horror flick. I think it will most likely get negative to mixed reviews. If you like horror though, you’ll most likely have a good time at The Last Exorcism.

Also opening Aug. 27th: Centurion (limited), Change of Plans (limited), Daniel & Ana (limited)