Monday, February 28, 2011

MMM: Rise Like Yeast

Once again thanks to everyone who visited last week for my 2010 Confesssions. I now return you to Reel Whore's regularly scheduled programming.

If you're like me, you were glued to the Oscars until the the last note of the PS 22 Choir's Somewhere Over the Rainbow was sang. As usual, my knack for predicting the winners, but what can you do?

I'm not going to analyze my winner selection suckitude or the highs and lows of the evening. I'm more preoccupied by how, despite how tired I was, I continued to buzz around the house until nearly 2am. I was folding and putting away clothes, cleaning the kitchen, making my weekly todo list, paying bills, reading, etc. Maybe the grocery bag of buttered popcorn and half-gallon of soda I downed at the Oscar party had me buzzing, but this delayed sleeptime has happened for more than a few evenings. It could be that it topped 80 degrees yesterday, lovely weather for February right? I'm not complaining, but it the change could be screwing with my beauty rest.

Point is, I'm all hepped up on goofballs. As I lay in bed this morning pondering whether to kill the alarm and try to get more rest or just get up a trudge through the day, one my all-time favorite songs popped in my head. The song's fifteen years old now, but I remember catching the video on MuchMusic way back when. After all this time, it's still my jam and it's thumping groove was able to propel me into motion. Enjoy!

Faithless - Insomnia

Well, I'm off to tackle the day. Hopefully, this perpetual lack of sleep won't catch up with me until I'm nestled into the ass groove of my couch tonight.

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Friday, February 25, 2011

Confessions 2010: Reel Whore vs. the Movies- Day 7

Welcome back to the grand finale...

I've got a lot of awards left to dish out, so let's hop to it!

Award #11: 2010 Dirty Undies Award
Those who frequent the Reel Whore know that I enjoy any film that gives me something dirty to talk about. I try to acknowledge any appreciable measure of violence, gore, sex, nudity and general foulness in a film, though it's getting harder with all the kid-friendly, nauseating 3D, PG-13, over-the-pants-hand-job films being released. Even so, every year a few films pop up that still flaunt their grittiness. This award commends those films steeped in Dirty Undies.

The Sloppy Seconds:

Kick-Ass; Hot Tub Time Machine; The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo; Love & Other Drugs; The Girl Who Played With Fire; Machete

And the winner of the 2010 Dirtiest Undies Award is:



Spring Break by a lake filled with a school of prehistoric, flesh-eating fish. That combination yields scene after scene of gratuitous nudity, excessive substance abuse, and more gruesome maiming and death than you can shake your shaker of salt at. Half the nudity was provided by pornstars while Jerry O'Connell's Derrick provided all the debauchery, drugs, and foul-mouthed douchebaggery. Overall, Piranha didn't wow me as I hoped it would, but if you're looking for some old-fashioned filthiness, it doesn't get much better than this.

Every year, I like to point out the movies that I feel were misjudged. A handful of films seem to never leave the theater, making beaucoup dollars despite being mediocre. Conversely, there are far more deserving films that get their screens limited and advertising cut in order to make room for more conventional fare. Here's my tip of the hat to those Severely Underrated and a wag of my finger at the Most Overrated films of 2010.

Severely Underrated
Alice in Wonderland
Never Let Me Go
The Ghost Writer
Grown Ups
Paper Man

With that recognition done, only one order of business remains.

Drumroll please!

It's taken seven days but I now present to you...

Award #12: 2010's Best and Worst By Genre:

Back on Day 1, I listed all the movies in contention by genre. The time has come to announce the best in genre for the year, the two also-rans, and finally, the single worst film that robbed precious moments from my life.

Best: Red

Sloppy Seconds: Unstoppable
Sloppy Thirds: Machete

Worst Attempt: Bitch Slap
Red features one of the best ensemble casts of 2010, and I'm not just saying this because I'm a Bruce Willis fan. I was skeptical as to how Mary-Louise Parker would fit into the premise, but she quickly made herself at home among the carnage and chases. Unstoppable is a tense action flick and Denzel always delivers. Machete, while it was pretty awesome, had the difficult task of overcoming its own hype. Machete is still a must-see, unlike Bitch Slap whose camp factor turned me off more than its cast of hotties could turn me on.

Best: The Other Guys

Sloppy Seconds: Date Night
Sloppy Thirds: Hot Tub Time Machine

Worst Attempt: Sex and the City 2
There weren't that many outstanding comedies this year, but when they were on point, they kept the laughs coming. The unlikely combo of Ferrell and Wahlberg narrowly defeated the comedic chops of Fey and Carell, though both are great, silly rides. Trailing closely behind is Hot Tub Time Machine, which had it not been for Rob Corddry may have sunk into the dregs of 2010. If any of you saw Sex and the City 2, I'm so very sorry. It was so bad it made other lame 2010 comedies Oscar-worthy.

Best: The King's Speech

Sloppy Seconds: The Social Network
Sloppy Thirds: The Fighter

Worst Attempt: Why Did I Get Married Too?
Looks like the "The's" have it! The Oscars are going to prove to be a tough decision because I was splitting hairs to pick any one of these three as the best of the best. King's Speech edged out the others if for no other reason than Geoffrey Rush never lets me down. That said, Eisenberg is quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with, especially when armed with Sorkin's words. But no one wants to go in unarmed against Mark Wahlberg and his guns. Of all the ensemble pieces this year, Tyler Perry still manages to accomplish the least, no matter how much talent he assembles on screen.

Best: Predators

Sloppy Seconds: Splice
Sloppy Thirds: Daybreakers

Worst Attempt: 30 Days of Night: Dark Days
Horror selections were thin in 2010, especially when you avoid most because you're sick of sequels and remakes of far superior films. That said, Predators took top honors despite a few missteps. It delivers what it promises and manages to make Adrien Brody respectable. His respect slips a bit in Splice. There's something undeniable about the premise of Splice, even if it does go way into left field in the third act. To a lesser extent the same is true of Daybreakers. A promising story gives way to a shoot-'em-up ending, but Dafoe's scenery-chewing can't be missed. I wanted so much more from Dark Days, but sadly, it never quite lived up to the danger in 30 Days of Night; the movie and the comic.


Best: Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

Sloppy Seconds: Easy A
Sloppy Thirds: Love & Other Drugs

Worst Attempt: Valentine's Day
Sure, it may be more of a guy's romance, but defeating evil exes is much more romantic than sending a girl flowers and candy. In Easy A, Emma Stone brought a humorous YouTube- documented spin on love and looked great doing it. Meanwhile, Jake and Anne just looked great doing it a lot in Love & Other Drugs. Oh yeah, there may have been a few heartfelt moments in between the sex, I'm sure of it. If you were writing a thesis about how not to make a romantic movie, look no further than Valentine's Day. Too many stories drowned in shallow, superficial tales of sentiment and heartache made a nauseatingly dull experience.

Best: Toy Story 3

Sloppy Seconds: How to Train Your Dragon
Sloppy Thirds: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I

Worst Attempt: The Last Airbender
When Woody and the gang enter the frame, all others might as well bow out gracefully. If not, Pixar will grab your heart by its strings and yank them until you bawl. Dragon places a distant second, but it didn't have the built-in emotional ties like our other two. Potter has a built-in audience, but more attention was paid to the book, which made this installment the most tolerable since Azkaban. Choosing to largely ignore history and anger countless fans by filming the most lifeless Airbender imaginable, M. Night Shyamalan once again makes everyone wonder how he's still allowed to be in Hollywood.

Best: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Sloppy Seconds: Black Swan
Sloppy Thirds: True Grit

Worst Attempt: ***
Damn, this had to be my toughest decision of the year! I really wanted to show Aronofsky and Portman much love, but when it comes to a nail-biting thriller, few could top the first installment of The Girl trilogy. Black Swan and True Grit are still dueling it out for the also-ran positions. Any of the three I would watch over and over again. In fact, 2010's thrillers were the best I've seen in a long time. So much so, not a single one was worthy of ridicule. It wouldn't be a bad thing for you to see every one of the thrillers from my list. 


That's all I wrote, folks. I'm going to ice my hands now. Thank you all for stopping by to enjoy my Confessions. Although 2010 was far from being a great year overall, there were more than a few gems worth remembering. We can only hope that 2011 offers us as many, if not more, outstanding films.

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Confessions 2010: Reel Whore vs. the Movies- Day 6

Whew, my fingers are going numb and not for the reason you're thinking! No time for complaining, let's jump on into...

Yesterday I awarded 2010's Sexiest Awards. If you somehow missed that post, you really should take a moment and soak it in. See, wasn't that worth it?

One of the most important contributions to the cinematic experience are those characters always in the supporting shadow. I am, of course, referring to the animals. This year I discovered the American Humane Association  has been keeping track of the efforts of these talented thespians. Unfortunately, they are more concerned with adequate treatment than gifted performances. In an effort to rectify this gross exclusion from the award community, I'd like to present the next award:  

Award #9: Most Memorable Animals: Solo or Ensemble Performance of 2010

The Sloppy Seconds:

Cockatoo (Iron Man 2)- Apparently, Mickey Rourke requested that his personal cockatoo join him for the second half of the movie. Obviously, Rourke knows talent when he sees it.

Dog (Greenberg)- Numerous animal thespians have had to play second fiddle to Ben Stiller over the years. As the ailing Mahler, Sam the German shepherd was able to draw the most humanizing performance to date from him. 

Cat (Wild Target)- Victor Maynard was a cold, calculating assassin from a long line of assassins, but get him home to his Snookems and he melted like butter. This fluffy feline even had to dye its hair pink for the sake of a laugh. That's dedication.

Squirrel (Hot Tub Time Machine)- This squirrel's work on the set of Hot Tub Time Machine included some rather adept maneuvering on a green screen. This furry-tailed rodent is now so popular you can become a fan of him on Facebook!

Dog (Due Date)- Sunny the French bulldog played Ethan's companion 'Sonny' in this surprisingly funny road trip film.He was such a joy to work with that costar Robert Downey Jr. tried to pull a Mickey Rourke and adopt Sunny as his own.

Goat (Our Family Wedding)-Looks like the GAG's (Goat Actors Guild) cinematic influence slipped some in 2010. This poor creature was reduced to performing Panamanian-wanna-hump-hump humor to earn his keep. Still, it was a Stooges-worthy comedic performance.

And the award for Most Memorable Animal: Solo or Ensemble Performance of 2010 goes to:

Little Blackie a.k.a Cimarron
(True Grit)

In True Grit, Cimarron was called upon to play Mattie Ross's steed, Little Blackie. River-crossing stunts, prancing and playing dead were all necessary to show Little Blackie had as much true grit as his owner. If the Oscars were being handed out for a moving animal performance, Cimarron would win by a mile.

Award #10: 2010 Paula Jai Parker Award for Most Memorable Line

The Paula Jai Parker Award recognizes the most memorable line delivered in a movie. It honors the combined wittiness of well-written dialogue with unforgettable delivery by an actor.

Many of you may be wondering, who is Paula Jai Parker? She's an under-appreciated actress who's been on the big screen for well over a decade. In the context of this award, she nabbed it not once, but twice in a row. In honor of her efforts, I renamed it in 2006 in her honor. I only wish she'd get more work; I know she has more golden words to grace us with.

Looking back, 2010 seemed to be a thin year for great lines. There were some great moments, but few were rich enough to make the final cut. Here are 2010's nominees.

The Sloppy Seconds:

Easy A - Principal Gibbons 
(Malcolm McDowell)
"This is public school. If I can keep the girls off the pole and the boys off the pipe, I get a bonus."

Winter's Bone - Teardrop 
(John Hawkes)

"I said 'shut up' once already, with my mouth."
City Island - Michael Malakov
(Alan Arkin)
"All of a sudden, Brando comes along and everyone says, 'Oh my God he's a genius, did you see him thinking?!' Anyone here see 'The Fugitive Kind?' Somebody asked Brando what his name is. He's gotta think about it. Why?! Why does he have to think about that. It takes him a half hour to get back to the guy! It's not acting ... it's not thinking ... it's just ... well, it's just bullshit!"

You Again - Grandma Bunny
(Betty White)

"I'm so sorry I couldn't attend your funeral last year."

The Fighter - Micky Ward 
(Mark Wahlberg)
"That guy did not just get off the fuckin' couch. If he did, I'm gonna get a couch like that."

Machete - Machete
(Danny Trejo)
"Machete don't text."

And the winner of the 2010 Paula Jai Parker Award is:

MacGruber - MacGruber
(Will Forte)
"Look, I will suck your dick. I will suck your fucking dick. I will do it, just join my team. I'll suck your dick. You can fuck me or get fucked by me. You can watch me fuck something. Just point at something, and I'll fuck it for you. Just tell me what you want me to fuck!"

Surprised by the winner? MacGruber may have been a box-office failure, but I had to watch it to see just how bad of a train wreck it was. Turns out it wasn't terrible; it did give me the funniest line of the year. Forte delivered it so earnestly, it had to be recognized. That said, unlike the other memorable line contenders, I wouldn't recommend you rush to see MacGruber.

I abstained from commenting on the other great lines. They speak for themselves (pun intended.) If you've never heard or don't remember these lines, my advice is to rent or buy these flicks immediately (except MacGruber) and be entertained.

That's all for now. Only one more day left. You've hung in for this long; be sure not to miss tomorrow's big finale! 

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Confessions 2010: Reel Whore vs. the Movies- Day 5

Back for more, eh? Today is an excellent day to be joining my...

Usually Wednesdays are reserved for my recurring feature, The Hump; if you've seen it, it's self-explanatory. Since my confessions have taken the majority of my time, I have opted to award my two hottest recognitions in place of The Hump. I'm certain this will be more than sufficient.

During this time of year, all those award shows recognize men and women for exceptional character portrayals, but audiences sometimes venture to theaters solely for the eye candy. In the case of leading and supporting men, it's those sparkling eyes, firm pecs and all-around sexiness that appeal to us. Without further adieu I present...

Award #7: Sexiest Actor of 2010

The Sloppy Seconds

Ewan McGregor- We lucky fans were gifted a double dose of that killer smile in 2010. In Ghost Writer, he wasn't the sharpest knife in the drawer, but he still sacked the PM's wife. In a total 180, he was little more than a boy-toy to Jim Carrey in I Love You, Phillip Morris; an adorable, irresistible boy toy. 

 Joseph Gordon-Levitt
In Inception, JGL had to play it clever to snatch a kiss from Ellen Page. That was bad writing on Nolan's behalf. Why would JGL have to steal a kiss from anyone, especially when he's looking so dapper in his tailored suit?
 Mark Ruffalo-
The Kids Are All Right proved Ruffalo's scruffalo vibe is a woman's Kryptonite be they straight or homosexual. Hot young waitresses, a daughter's best friend, and even dyed-in-the-wool lesbians somehow swooned in the presence of his hipster ways and furry chest.

James Franco-
The hardest working actor in Hollywood wooed us with a brief appearance as the thuggishly handsome Taste in Date Night. But it was his affectionate, yoga-steeped David in Eat, Pray, Love that had all of us, and not just Julia, blushing.

Penn Badgley-
If you're asking yourself, "who?" he's Lobster Todd from Easy A! While he may not have had the most screen time or be the dreamiest, he was steeped in chivalry. Lobster Todd loved Olive for who she was and wasn't afraid to use every '80s cliche to prove it.

Jake Gyllenhaal- Making the also-rans for the second year in a row, Jake floored us, and Anne Hathaway on several occasions, as the charming drug rep Jamie Randall. Keep dishing out those steamy love scenes and, one day Jake, you'll make my #1.  

And the award for Sexiest Actor of 2010 goes to:

Mark Wahlberg
 Date Night, The Fighter

When Mark Wahlberg has not one, but two films in a single year where he spends most of his screentime shirtless, he's pretty much a shoe-in for the Sexiest Actor award. What makes it that much better is that both characters, Holbrooke Grant and Micky Ward were both really great guys. Be they family or his ex-real estate agent, he went the extra mile to do right by them. Stay classy, Marky Mark.

Now it's time to give equal treatment to the fairer sex. This is my most difficult category because as we all know, I do love the ladies. At least I get the pleasure of sifting through all the mental images left behind by the contenders.

Award #8: Sexiest Actress of 2010

The Sloppy Seconds:

Alice Eve- In 2010, audiences had their choice of Alice Eve the bra-less lesbian nanny (Sex & the City 2) or Alice Eve the successful party planner who has a penchant for sweet losers with no ambition. Two too-good-to-be-true dream girls, but don't wake me yet.
Anne Hathaway- Ass, titties, ass 'n titties, ass, ass, titties, titties. Anne Hathaway gave us so much of both in Love & Other Drugs along with some very suggestive scenes. Though she really outdid herself with that role, playing a phone sex operator in Valentine's Day was the cherry on top of the sexy sundae.

Amy Adams- Nothing is sexier than a woman who stands by her man, even if that means knocking a couple more teeth out of her boyfriend's seven dog-faced sisters. Seeing her tough-as-nails attitude in the Fighter made me wonder what it'd be like to tussle a few rounds with her.
Noomi Rapace- Another tantalizing, tough cookie was Noomi Rapace as Lisbeth Salander in The Girl films. Underneath all the leather, piercings, and tattoos you knew there was a woman that made your dick scared...and that's all kinds of sexy. 

Michelle Rodriguez- Continuing the badass chick theme is the smokin' M-Rod. In Machete, she played Luz, a sexy symbol of freedom. Her body's so bangin' you don't even notice the eye patch at first, but once you do, she totally rocks it.

Scarlett Johansson- Always a sloppy second, never the sexiest. Hard to imagine considering how damn well she wore that skintight cat suit in Iron Man 2. We all wish we could have an assistant with such valuables assets.
And the award for Sexiest Actress of 2010 goes to:

  Julianne Moore
Chloe, The Kids Are Alright
Let me put this into perspective; in Chloe Julianne plays a married woman who steps out on her husband with a younger woman. In The Kids Are All Right she is a loving partner to her wife, but she has a fling with her son's sperm donor. See? Julianne Moore is so hot she had a believable lesbian fling with a sexy twenty-something blond while being married to a hunky professor AND THEN had a loving lesbian relationship with a side of organic beefcake. That's one friggin' fiery redhead no matter which way she's swinging.

Wow. I'm sure that smoldering recap of 2010 more than made up for the lack of The Hump! I need to take a moment. I'll see you back here tomorrow for Day 6. 

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Confessions 2010: Reel Whore vs. the Movies- Day 4

Welcome back! If you're just joining us, be sure to start back at the beginning. Otherwise, jump on into...

Today's focus are those hard-to-forget movie moments. I'm talking about that singular moment in the great films, or even those barely tolerable flicks, that make you want to sit down and watch them all over again. 

Award #5: Most Memorable Movie Moments of 2010
Every year this category gets more difficult. I guess I've seen so many films over the years that it takes something pretty amazing to captivate my attention.

The following award recognizes the brightest seven moments of 2010 I cannot stop thinking about.

The Sloppy Seconds:

Is There Anything JGL Can't Do?
Everyone who's seen Inception can't forget the sheer awesomenicity of the battle in the spinning hallway. Honestly, have you seen it? Kinda speaks for itself.
That's Just What We Call Pillow Talk, Baby (Terribly Happy)
Robert hasn't found much to do in South Jutland although Ingerlise, wife of the town bully, has plenty of ideas for him. But when he tries to "put a lid" on his indiscretions, he winds up deeper in the muck than he thought imaginable.    

I Love You So Much It Hurts
(The Killer Inside Me)
Casey Affleck's Lou Ford is one twisted Texas sheriff. While I'm not necessarily a fan of Jessica Alba, the ass-whooping he lays on her is one I wouldn't wish on anyone.

Oh, I'm Sorry. Did I Break Your Concentration?
(The Social Network)

For a film about typing and talking, Fincher gives us one of the best scenes of the year when Mark explains, in no uncertain terms, how worthy the deposition is of his time and energy.
Your BF's About to Get Eff'd in the B!
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World)
Maybe I'm just partial to seeing Bland, I mean Ann, I mean Mae Whitman, play Roxy Richter, but hers was the best of all the evil-ex battles. It's not just because it has the most girl-on-girl action, but it helps audiences, and Scott, discover both Ramona's sexy phase and scrappy ways.

Hold Still, or It'll Get Messy.
(The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo)
Lisbeth Salander has taken a lot of shit from a lot of people throughout her life, including being man-handled by her guardian. Watching her take back a little piece of herself while taking away a large chunk of Bjurman's manhood is grimly satisfying.

And the Most Memorable Movie Moment of 2010 goes to:

Ugh, Did You Have Pineapple Today?!
(Hot Tub Time Machine)
What was a harmless bet goes horribly wrong for Lou and Nick. It's such a simple and crass scene, but Rob Corddry and Craig Robinson nail it perfectly.

The Que Ridiculo! Award, named in honor of The Big Lebowski, is given to those moments that are just too preposterous to believe. While I understand some films are a plethora of insane moments, even those can cross the line into WTF! territory. 2010 didn't have as many outrageous moments as previous years, but it had more than its share of movies that strove to set a record for ridiculousness.

Award #6: 2010 Que Ridiculo! Award

The Sloppy Seconds: 

The Losers 
How in all holy hell does twenty-five pound Zoe Saldana sidearm a rocket launcher?! Firing the weapon would have been enough to knock her scrawny ass into next week!  

Grown Ups
There were so many stupid things in this movie, but were I to pick one, I've got to go with the zipline over the pool. What respectable business would dare install a zipline that stretched across a pool full of people? Okay, the Facebook guys tried it and we all saw how that worked out for them.

The A-Team
This is a personal peeve. Action movies love to one-up themselves from one action scene to another, but sometimes they overreach. For The A-Team, even steering the falling tank was wholly plausible to me. Watching the team battle the baddies amidst a shower of containers falling from a cargo ship was asinine. Not even a supercomputer could calculate the a plan that would come together that well.

This award is usually given to a scene, but I have to make an exception. Topher Grace's character Edwin; where do I fucking begin?  The Predators choose a weaselly serial killer for a survival outing? One who'd kill his teammate rather than escape? Lamest side character ever.  

The Crazies 
I hate it when films forget to follow their own rules. The crazies are people who've lost the ability to reason and just go around attacking others. I'll buy that. I won't buy that they choose to tie up the Sheriff's wife instead of killing her, apparently, to lure the Sheriff into a trap. Seriously? 

Sex & the City 2
This movie didn't know where to quit when it came to ridiculous moments. Of all the inane dialogue they spoke and all the stupid, insipid adventures the creators set these women off on, having them meet their Abu Dhabi counterparts was the greatest effrontery. It's bad enough Samantha has to flaunt her Western ideals, but why show how much every non-American woman yearns to be like these shallow, selfish bitches?

And the winner of the 2010 Que Ridiculo! Award is: 

Why Did I Get Married Too?
Tyler Perry isn't exactly known for his realistic storytelling, but watching Janet Jackson's Patricia confront Malik Yoba's Gavin at his office made my fucking jaw drop. Poor Janet rolls in like she's about to break out into an updated version of Alright as she calls Malik less than a man to all his coworkers. She does this by having a gay man leap from a cake. I half expected the spirit of Cab Calloway to erupt from the cake, striking them all dead. It was such a horrible scene Malik Yoba left the set and drove into oncoming traffic. I nearly did the same. 

Today marks the pinnacle of my Confessions. Have no fear, this doesn't mean it's all downhill from here. The best is yet to come!

Large Association of Movie Blogs