Category Archives: Movies

The Oscars: 2015

Tonight is the 2015 Academy Awards. I’m sure I’ve said this before, but Drew is crazy for the Oscars. He can usually predict pretty closely which movie is going to win which category. Like, ALL the categories.

I, unfortunately, have kind of bad taste in movies. I like romantic comedies. I like to rewatch favorites from when I was a teenager. So it’s nice to have this milestone every year where people who know good movies make a list of the “best” movies, and then I can check them off a list as I watch them.

There are eight Best Picture nominees this year, and while I wished that Gone Girl would be on the list, it wasn’t. (Also, we watched Foxcatcher before the noms came out, assuming it would be one of them, and it wasn’t, so I would like that 129 minutes of my life back please.) But this weekend we finally watched the last of the eight movies – just in time.

And so, here is my (completely definitive) ranking of the 2015 Best Picture nominees:

  1. Boyhood
  2. Whiplash  
  3. Birdman
  4. The Grand Budapest Hotel
  5. The Imitation Game
  6. American Sniper
  7. Selma
  8. The Theory of Everything
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Disney Project 2014: A Look Back

disney retrospective

Well, once again, I have neglected to complete most of my new year’s resolutions for 2014. But that’s okay! Because one of the few we DID accomplish was Disney Project 2014.

A year is a long time. You can see in the pictures how much B has grown. And while I would say that 15-27 months old is maybe a little young to try this project (if you were thinking about tackling it yourself), there were movies he enjoyed. It’s all about familiarity, I think. This weekend, we had no “to-watch” Disney movie, so we watched Monsters University, because he’s semi-familiar with the characters. It was more fun than I remember watching Snow White was (a whole year ago).

My favorites remain (in chronological order):

Sleeping Beauty
Lady and the Tramp
The Little Mermaid
Beauty and the Beast
Frozen (I would never have said this 6 months ago. But it’s a part of me now.)

Least favorites from this year:

Saludos Amigos/The Three Caballeros
Dinosaur
Chicken Little
Bolt
Winnie the Pooh (2011)

Surprise! I actually like this:

Melody Time
Home on the Range
Meet the Robinsons

I’ve been trying to figure out what I learned from this experience. I could hold up the Disney protagonist values: honesty, loyalty, dedication, goodness. I could also point out that I think there is merit in the early Disney films, even if some of the things in them have since become politically incorrect, and I think we should not always judge things made in the 1940s under 2014 standards. Or maybe I could talk about the state of Disney princesses…from Snow White to Anna, a lot has changed about these women and their behavior and the roles they play in their own stories. (For that matter, a lot has changed about Disney princes, and their behavior, and their roles.)

I am so grateful to have the shared Disney childhood experience with Drew (even if we remember some movies with differing levels of fondness). I am also grateful to be passing on these movies and experiences to B. I can’t wait until he’s a little older and can point out plot holes we’ve missed and make jokes with us.

Thank you, Disney! Cheers, 2014! Now what to watch next?

 

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Disney Project 2014: Frozen!!!

MOVIE: FROZEN

RELEASE YEAR: 2013

I HAVE TO WRITE IN ALL CAPS BECAUSE I AM SO EXCITED – I CANNOT BELIEVE – WE FINISHED OUR DISNEY PROJECT!

Ok that’s enough.

Although we watched Frozen about 60 times this year, we watched it one more special time on Christmas morning to finish out Disney Project 2014. It was just as good as always! I will always have a special place in my heart for Frozen and Elsa and Anna and Sven and Kristoff and Olaf and the trolls (not really the trolls) and For the First Time in Forever and Let It Go and the ending scene where Elsa says “You sacrificed yourself for me?” and Anna says “I love you” awwwwwww. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and Celebrate Frozen and YAY FOR ACCOMPLISHING YEAR-LONG OBJECTIVES!

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Disney Project 2014: Wreck-It Ralph

Movie: Wreck-It Ralph

Release year: 2012

Neither Drew nor I had seen this one yet, but as we find (most) Disney movies delightful, and this one has a charming cast, I was excited to see it finally. And I wasn’t disappointed! It’s a clever story with lots of interesting details, about all the characters in arcade video games, and their lives outside the games. They all flow into and out of the “Game Central Station,” a surge protector that they’re all plugged into. There are some homeless game characters there, like Q*bert. Wreck-It Ralph is a “villain” character (but a totally nice guy), voiced by John C. Reilly, who sets out to become a hero, so that people will like him and want to hang out with him.

It’s full of little twists and turns that we both really enjoyed, and I thought the ending was good without being too cheesy. I’m officially a Wreck-It Ralph fan. =)

Alas, this is the best picture I could get, as B was especially active for this one.

IMG_8530Also, don’t stare too long at that duck, or it’ll freak you out.

 

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Disney Project 2014: Winnie the Pooh

Movie: Winnie the Pooh

Release year: 2011

That’s right. They did another one of these movies, because we need more Winnie the Pooh than just the “Many Adventures of” from 1977.

No we don’t! This one doesn’t have the same voices, and so everyone sounds a little off. The storyline is fine – Eeyore loses his tail, so they have a contest to see who can find a replacement – but then you find out at the end that OWL had the tail the whole time and was using it as a pull for his doorbell! What even is that?? That’s brutal and disgusting! Owl also tried to divert the blame from himself early on, by inventing a terrible monster called the Backson that comes and messes with you. Jeez, Owl. What’s your problem?!

At least it’s only an hour long? Sorry if you like Winnie and the gang – they’ve just never been my favorites. And this Winnie revamp is just unnecessary…

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Tigger here, Tigger there…

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10 Years of Movies on Christmas Day

It’s been our tradition, every year since Drew and I got together, to go see a movie on Christmas Day. For a while it was big movie musicals – then we went through a weird period of kind of depressing movies. Theoretically this year we would have brought it back around with Into the Woods, but then we ended up seeing it earlier in December.

But in honor of our 10th Christmas together, let’s just call Into the Woods our Christmas movie this year (although the plan is still, ever-optimistically, to watch something at home tonight after B goes to bed. Haha).

Here’s our list of movies we have enjoyed for the past 9 December 25ths.

  • 2005 – The Producers (Daly City, CA)
  • 2006 – Dreamgirls (Queens)
  • 2007 – Sweeney Todd (Queens)
  • 2008 – The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (42nd St)
  • 2009 – Sherlock Holmes (Lakeport)
  • 2010 – 127 Hours (San Francisco)
  • 2011 – War Horse (San Bruno)
  • 2012 – Les Miserables (San Bruno)
  • 2013 – Saving Mr. Banks (Lakeport)
  • 2014 – Into the Woods (San Francisco)

Merry Christmas to you and yours, and may you be able to go see a movie if you want! (Into the Woods is great, fyi.)

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Disney Project 2014: Tangled

Movie: Tangled

Release year: 2010

From what I’ve heard, this movie was originally titled Rapunzel – but they changed it to Tangled and made Flynn Rider more prominent, so as to not scare away boys. (BTW, I recently took a “Which Disney prince is your true love?” quiz, and I got Flynn Rider, so. You know.)

Tangled gives us the story of Rapunzel, but with a more elaborate backstory, and a more empowered title character (played by Mandy Moore!), a more conflicted love interest, plus some magic. Mother Gothel (pictured below) is a great villain with a couple great songs. Actually, all of the music is pretty good.

I’m guessing most of us have seen this one, so I won’t take up more of your time. If you haven’t seen it, it’s great! Even B liked it!

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