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Following AM’s advise on better blogging, I thought it’d be cool to follow through with my post on “What I Like about Japanese Cinema” which I wrote for the J-Film blog-a-thon last year.

So now I’m going to be talking about Hollywood movies! And by “Hollywood” I mean American films. Since I’m more familiar with commercial Hollywood stuff, while I’ve only begun catching indie flicks online (or when I was in Canada) for the past few years.

My current Facebook Flixster movie count says that I’ve rated 2431 films. Of course, that’s only counting the films that I’ve been able to find in their database (american, foreign, commercial, or indie), and I’m far too lazy to send them stuff now. My MUBI account states I’ve rated 1450, so that should give you a proper average… I think.

So what do I like about Hollywood Movies?

1. Ah… the Hollywood Golden Era.
I’m familiar enough with Garbo and Crawford to know that I loved their films. And it’s fact, LOL, Hollywood created movie stars, and actors went to Hollywood to become movie stars… and I love movie stars. I always complain now that they don’t make them like that anymore.

Sure, sure… people who aren’t into “old films” keep telling me that films in the era didn’t look as great as they do now, or that acting was weird, and that subject matter in films have improved since then. To them I tell them… well, 1986 is not that old. Try a film from 1929. ;P

2. No matter how Indie they are, they still look sharp and clear.
There’s something my mom always tells me when we, for some odd reason, end up catching a clip of any local – hint: non-American – film, “Why do films here look like they’re stuck in the 70s?”. It isn’t that the local cinema shows the great quality of films in the 70s, here they just look like they’re stuck with the technology.

It happens in American film, but not as often… and if it does, it’s because they’re really REALLY low-budget. But even really-low-budget filmmakers manage to bring a great DP on board. I mean, have you seen some of the stuff posted online? It’s amazing what people are doing with “I shot this with my Canon” LOL

3. You guys have mastered the art of pseudo-indie.
Right? I mean, you have also begun to call these films Hipster… in a mocking kinda way, but alright – I admit it, I tend to like them because well, to me, these films can only be American. I cannot imagine an Asian hipster film, I cannot imagine a European hipster film. Little Miss Sunshine, Juno – people say Juno reminded them of me, LOL – they can only be American.

But you guys have also mastered the art of making big budget films, and call them independent. I mean how on earth do you call Inglourious Basterds an independent film but spend $70M USD in making it. To me, that’s a big Hollywood movie – and I like it. LOL

4. Don Bluth, Disney, and Pixar
I grew up with Don Bluth’s and Disney animation. Now, I’m growing old with Pixar (oh, gawd… I’m growing old). I mean, anyone my generation who hasn’t grown up with Disney animation and Don Bluth’s work, they might not have had a childhood – unless, of course you’ve grown up with Studio Ghibli… in which case, hate you.

5. I love when you support World Premiere… even if it’s for sucky huge blockbuster films.
I’m an impatient gal, if I want to watch a new film over the weekend, it needs to open locally over the weekend, otherwise my enthusiasm for the film will wane, and I’ll just end up catching it on dvd – or worse, on cable.

Most major studios have offices in most major cities in countries, so now it’s easier to get a film to open on the same weekend as in the States. It just happened with that new Drew Barrymore rom-com, which opened one week after the US, and I’m pretty sure we’re getting Narnia and Harry Potter (not that HP is American, but it’s being distributed by Warner so…) the same day, or one day ahead. Now, if that could also happen with flicks like Black Swan, and other Award season flicks, I’d be a happy gal.

So… how about you guys? What do you guys like about Hollywood Movies/American Cinema? Or why do you hate it? I know some of you hate anything American with a passion. Such a tiring task. LOL

Entertainment Weekly has finally put up their list of Greatest Characters online.

Excuse me as I What? – Bernie Mac over The Bride from Kill Bill, or Lisbeth Salander from Millennium Trilogy? Will Smith’s Hancock over Whilhelmina from Ugly Betty? With no traces of Wolverine? Seriously? Hancock over Wolverine? And don’t tell me it’s because Wolverine is an old character, because Tony Stark (Iron Man) made it to the list… and he’s not what we would exactly call from the “last 20 years” either.

The list is questionable… not only for the inclusions and omissions, also for placing. tsk tsk.

As much as I love Sue Sylvester (and Jane Lynch), I think she should be lower than characters like House or Dexter. Also… Rachel Green on the Top10? Over guys like Jack Bauer from 24? And Edward Cullen from Twilight over freaking Don Draper from Mad Men???? Really? Or even Miranda Priestly from Devils Wears Prada?

But gotta give it to you for at least including some of the names. You know like Starbuck. Or Stewie from Family Guy… Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean, and Edward Scissorhands — if you didn’t count, that’s TWO Johnny Depps right there~~~ Then there’s Hannibal Lecter, The Joker, and Buffy.

But… Continue Reading…

Talk about Oscar History in the making.

It is amazing that has taken over 80 years to even consider a female director a serious contender for the Best Director category… let alone to actually see her win.

*edit*

“I hope I’m the first of many,” Bigelow said. “I’d love to just think of myself as a filmmaker, and I long for the day when a modifier can be a moot point. But I’m ever grateful if I can inspire some young, intrepid, tenacious male or female filmmakers and have them feel that the impossible is possible.”

*end of edit*

Of course I have dreamed of being the first female director when I was 14 [I wore a pink dress in my dream, very unlike Amy… or was that a nightmare?], though I have detoured from that dream somewhat, it is still amazing to see Bigelow picking up such an honor. I can only imagine what this means for so many other little girls who dream to make films… like I once did, to see a woman being named Best Director.

What it means to them seeing the photo of Bigelow holding that Oscar with such fierceness. It’s just every Girl Power [another shameless Spice Girls mention here] supporter’s dream. It tells you it is possible. It is awesome. Even though I was personally supporting Inglourious Basterds and Tarantino, it is still incredible to think that Kathryn Bigelow was the favorite during the race. A female director was THE favorite to win.

Even that’s a first.

In an industry where many of the stars are women, but so many of them are exploited as just “that pretty actress to look at”, an industry where women turn 35 and are already considered “too old” or where sex appeal is a must. Luckily things seem to be changing… even if it’s in small degrees. With a wonderful Meryl Streep, vibrant at 60 years old, critical acclaim and mass-appeal. Moreover, add to that the many female screenwriters from the last 2 or 3 or 5 years like Terri Tatchell (from VFS!) who co-adapted District 9, or Nancy Oliver who wrote Lars and the Real Girl, or Diablo Cody (I know some of you hate her) for Juno, or Tamara Jenkins who wrote and directed The Savages… and don’t forget Miranda July who wrote and directed Me and You and Everyone We Know.

It is indeed looking pretty good for women in Hollywood.

Now, let’s only hope it is a change in the way they make films and not just a trend that will fade away in… let’s say 5 years, and that we don’t have to wait eight decades for another female director to be seriously considered for Best Director ever again.

Also, hello!? Male directors and their muses~ I love you guys. Without you, there will be no strong female characters on the big screen.

… though a couple have been demoted half a star. LOL’

Let’s see~~ From nearly 2000 rated films on my Flixster on Facebook application, this are at the top by rating… in no particular order…

Continue Reading…

Grammy Nominees 2009!

December 4, 2008 — 3 Comments

Did you know that they changed the way they announce the nominees? I didn’t. Just found out tonight they were doing presentations and stuff, instead of just naming them… didn’t watch, did you? Anyway, I’m not really impressed with the music… Coldplay with Viva la Vida, REALLY? I thought the album was pretty rubbish…

Viva la Vida got 7 nods, including Record, Song and Album of the Year. Really? Lil Wayne apparently has 8 nods, but I can only count 6… so whatever.

Other nominees include… Sara Bareilles with Love Song in the Song of the Year category – it baffles me how she can get a nod, when Regina Spektor has NONE. Jason Mraz is also nominated in this category with I’m Yours, while Duffy and The Jonas Brothers are nominated in the Best New Artist category.

And I’m too lazy to go category by category, so here’s a not-so-tidy list of some of the names in the list…

Pink, Leona Lewis, Katy Perry, Kid Rock, Alison Krauss, John Mayer, Paul McCartney, Eagles, Maroon5, Alicia Keys, Madonna, Justin Timberlake, Sheryl Crow, Rihanna, Daft Punk, Kylie Minogue, Moby, Robyn, Natalie Cole, Josh Groban, Rufus Wainwright, Metallica, Radiohead, LeAnn Rimes, Brad Paisley, Rascal Flatts, Juanes, Ximena Sariñana, DLG… etc etc.

Including nominations for the films American Gangster, August Rush, Juno, Mamma Mia!, and Sweeney Todd for Best Compilation Soundtrack. The Dark Knight, Indiana Jones, Iron Man, There Will Be Blood, and Wall-E for Best Score Soundtrack… AND, Wall-E, The Bucket List, Walk Hard the Dewey Cox Story, and a double nomination for Enchanted for Best Song Written for a Motion Picture.

For the long boring list of nominees… lol – you can go here.

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