Posts posted by njskaguy33
NJ clearly comes out the loser in this trade but it's more of a loss leader than anything else. Pulling this would sink any chance of the Devs sneaking into a playoff spot but would save a little cash as well as dump an underproducing contract in Clarkson. This is also under the assumption that Greene is going to get a "big pay day" in free agency, which I'm not sold that he will. Very interesting proposal and the sort of deal I expect the Devs to make come the trade deadline.
I missed OFWGKTA in NYC. If you haven't heard of them they are a group of rappers out of Cali that are killing it. Their stuff is really dark and I'd call it punk rap. Sorta wu-tang ish too. They were on Jimmy Fallon last night and gave one of the best Late Night I've ever seen.
Wow...I'm a fan. Love the intensity and raw emotion of it all! Definately reminicent of old Wu Tang. Thanks for the link!
Thanks Blown and SS for checking out the show! Hopefully iTunes approves the show and we can get you guys the subscription link any day now. Thanks again!
Old and slightly psychotic! Thanks to both of you for giving us a shot!
Its useless to bring up Club seats in this discussion. Those aren't for "normal" Joes.
The Ottawa game a few weeks ago, we met a guy in Brick City who gave us Club seats for free. The weather was sh!tty and two of his clients (key word) couldnt make it and he wanted to give the tickets to a "fan" which was awesome needless to say as I had not gotten to sit there before. Super nice guy needless to say. Anyway, we started talking about season tickets, and he tells me that the Club section is 99.9% corporate (as his are, as he owns a company) and they can all write them off come tax time. The majority of people in clubs are out-of-towners who pay the premium to sit there or casual fans. I heard so many people saying "Ive never been to a hockey game before" or "Im a Rangers fan but these were free from work". Stuff like that whilst chowing down on the free food. The write up cost wise is amazingly disgusting too outside of that area.
Thanks for bringing this side of the seasons up as it's very true. Sat down in the clubs last week for the Carolina game and it's amazing that a) 90% of the people who sit there don't wear anything red, nevermind a jersey and b) how 60% of them don't even stand for the goals. You can tell that the majority are people who got them from corporate accounts and the like. It's also fairly easy to see who has seats there and who the real fans are who just got a good deal. The sad thing is that these corporations are the big spenders, getting the most attention from the team yet they usually are the least passionate fans. Yes, there are exceptions, but that's the sad fact.
Just wanted to start spreading the word on the first of what I hope is many brand new episodes of my newest podcast, DevsCast. While a number of Devils related shows have started up this season, I hope that DevsCast breaks the mold of what people expect from a hockey related podcast. The first show is definitely a little rough around the edges, but please give it a chance!
While the show isn't on iTunes just yet as we are awaiting approval from Apple, here is a sneak peak at our first episode:
Also, if you enjoyed the show, please like us on Facebook. This way, you can get the latest episodes, get exclusive DevsCast content and be a pal as we need 25 people to Like us in order to get a fancy "facebook.com" address. Just do a search in Facebook for "DevsCast" and we come right up.
Thanks in advance for checking out the show and we hope you enjoy it!
I'm a bit on the fence with this one. While I get that Colin is losing money when he's getting undercut by the $6 sellers, he isn't taking the non monetary perks of being a STH into account either. I forget who but somebody posted a very detailed list of the perks, including gifts, exclusive events, etc. While that doesn't help you get your money back when selling tickets, it does factor into the overall value of the ticket. But, like Colin said, his sole gripe is his reselling, so let's focus on that.
Also, I think Colin is really feeling this reselling problem because he's trying to move more than half of his tickets this year. Personally, I don't think you should get seasons or a plan for that matter unless you intend on attending at least 80% of the games you have. When you actually go to the game, it's like the airline example somebody else brought up where nobody is concerned with that the guy next to them paid. Now, I know Colin has a special situation, school I think, that is forcing him to sell, but his is a special situation, one that you can't expect the team to legislate with tiered ticket pricing. If you end up going to most of the games, the money you loose is greatly reduced and if you need to make that up, just sell a high demand ticket to make up the difference. While it may mean missing out on a Rangers game, you'll make up what you lost on the ticket. Still, if you need to sell every game for the rest of the season, yeah, you're going to take a bath on that. There's nothing the team really can or should do about that.
As for tiered pricing, that would make buying tickets all the more difficult for the average fan. Imagine having 4 different pricing structures based on the date of the game. For example, "So I can sit in the orange section for $37 a ticket if it's a weekend against Carolina, or we could sit in the same section for $17 if it's a Tuesday against Nashville. Hmm, but I really want to go to the Philly game on Saturday. Let me pull out the premium game chart...dang, that ticket is $60". Just way to much for the average fan to go through. Besides, if the league did that, your seasons would undoubtedly go up, meaning you would pay more for ticket thus reducing your profit when selling. PLus, you would still have a hard time moving tickets because now, why would I pay you $16 a ticket when I can just get them via the Box Office for the same price.
Oh, and one last thing. People like promotions. It gives them the illusion that you are getting more for less and it helps fill the arena. Promotions are half marketing and loss leaders anyway, so if your tiered ticketing plan reduces the number of promotions, it's in turn going to reduce the number of people going to the game. I have a number of non hockey friends who send me the tickets promotions saying, "Wow, this looks like a great deal, let's go to a game sometime". Without those deals, they wouldn't have been interested to begin with.
Good topic, Colin and I do feel your selling ticket pain. I had seasons a few years ago and had to sell a good chunk due to a job that required extensive travel, so I know the bath you're taking.
Brodeur's greatest achievement wasn't being the best puck stopper of all time or the best playoff performer or even the best regular season goalie. To me, Brodeur belongs in the conversation of greatness due to his amazing consistency. Now, many of his detractors will point to all the great teams he has been on and how so many of his shutouts were of the "under 20 shot" variety. However, anybody who has played the position will tell you that it's sometimes harder to get a 15 save shut out then it is when you face 40. When you're getting bombarded, you get into a rhythm, your body is all warmed up and you start working on pure instinct and adrenaline. On the contrary, when you're sitting there uncontested for 10 minutes and all of a sudden it's, "Whoa! Time to make a save!", it's easier to let that one in because you're so out of the game. Brodeur was the most focused, unflappable goalie of all time and that lead to his amazing consistency. While that has fallen off in the last couple of seasons, it doesn't erase the 15 years of consistency that came before.
Oh, back on topic, no, he hasn't been short changed as a whole in his career. Yes, he's gotten award jipped a few times, but, like DiG said, his trophy case isn't hurting.
Just caught the latest video from The Nostalgia Critic and if anybody is unsure why the Spiderman franchise needed a reboot, this is a nice little crash course to help you figure it out! Good stuff!
Now that I've seen the movie, I can go back and read the review.
First of all, great writing. Very nice analogy with the Reese's.
I agree with a whole hell of a lot here. The only difference for me, and I may be alone in thinking this, is that it felt like a movie about crack addiction and a dysfunctional family where the main character just happens to be a boxer. I guess that case could be made for just about any boxing movie (i.e. Cinderella Man is about the Great Depression and the main character just happens to be a boxer), but the crack addiction aspect in particular really kept this movie fresh for me instead of feeling like yet another installment from a stale yet enjoyable genre. It was almost as if the filmmakers pulled some misdirection on us, leading us to believe we were watching something about boxing when it was really about drugs. It's a stretch, but if so, it'd be an interesting parallel with what the family originally thought of the HBO doc and what it ended up being.
Anyway, aside from that, I agree with pretty much everything. Wahlberg is pretty by-the-numbers, Leo and Adams were great, Bale absolutely crushed it. It was very enjoyable to watch, doing a good job of pulling on the right emotional strings the right amount at the right times.
Maybe my favorite part is that this movie gave me an excuse to watch Round 9 of the first Gatti v Ward fight about a million times on the YouTubes.
Thanks for the props!
To your point, while I alluded on the family aspect at the beginning of the review, I'm glad you expanded on it as that really is what makes The Fighter unique. The movie reminds me alot of Animal Kingdom where the emphasis isn't on the crimes of a criminal family but the interworkings of the family itself. This focus allows us to connect deeper to the characters than we would if they were just boxing archtypes. My only critque would be that the filmmakers almost abandoned that theme towards the end in favor of a more concentional ending. While the theme is still there, it gets watered down in the final twenty minutes. Still, The Fighter did a great job of putting the family dynamic to the forefront, especially since it did so with such humor.
Oh yeah, that damn YouTube video is freaking addicting
I really liked Exit Through The Gift Shop but I'm in the "not a doc" crowd. I'm definitely getting an Andy Kaufman feel from it.
Yeah, the more I see it, the more I'm in the not a doc crowd. Again, that doesn't take away from how great the film is but all that convtroversy may keep it from winning the Oscar.
Watched The Social Network tonight, On Demand. Thought it was a great movie. Am wondering how much of it was true and how much was made up -- specifically Mark Zuckerberg's character.
From what I've read, alot of the screenplay is petty fictionalized and Zuckerberg has come out and said that while the events are techinally true, alot of the minutia was taken out for the sake of the drama of the movie. Still, it's the best written movie of the year and should win Best Adapted Screenplay.
Finally saw The Fighter. Great movie. Bale was insanely good.
As you may know by now, I was never the biggest Bale fan but he knocked it out of the park with his performance. If he doesn't win Best Supporting, I'll be shocked, even though my vote still goes to Geofrey Rush. Either one would be fine with me, but Bale really should get it.
While I still think Rolston's "resurgance" is more of a statistical outlier than anything else, I agree with DiG in that he's finally being utilized properly. I've always felt Rolston needed to utilized like Shanahan was used with the Rangers. Not comparing the two talent wise, but IIRC, Shanny always played with strong puck movers who allowed him to litterally stand there and shoot. Rolston is being used in a similar fashion: let Zubie and Patty set up the play, have Rolston float around in the slot and let him just fire away. While I don't think his success is sustainable, I do think this gives him the best chance at being productive.
Maybe I'm equally wussy, but the whole DiPietro injury saga is really sad and unfortunate. The guy came up as one of the best American goaltending prospects in quite a while only to have his health completely fall apart on him. Sure, the contract he was given is laughable in hindsight, but if he had stayed heatlhy, 4 mil isn't too terrible for an elite talent goalie. Just a sad story all the way around.
Opening This Week – Nationwide
The Roommate – Being billed as a psychological thriller, this nondescript flick featuring no name actors opens this week. Evidently, somebody gets a new roommate in college who is so nice, so sweet and so demented, so much so, that she wants to become her newest “best-ie”. Looks like standard slasher / thriller fare, odd considering it looks to have little thrills and even less slashes, considering its PG-13 rating. This film has not been pre screened for critics, so no word on it but I doubt it’s going to be any good.
Sanctum – Also in 3D and IMAX 3D – Repeat after me, people: this movie was Executive Produced by James Cameron. That’s right, not directed, not written, not even “showed up to the set to provide emotional support”-ed. This tale of a group of cave divers trying to survive an underwater flood is actually directed by first timer Alister Grierson, whose previous effort was a film about Australian soliders running from the Japanese in the 1940’s. While that film, Kokoda, was fairly well received, it got some demerits for bland characterization, a critique that is following to this latest effort. While critics are agreeing that it’s beautiful to look at, the cookie cutter characters and lame story make it a flick worth skipping.
Opening This Week – Limited
Waiting for Forever – Getting a few exceedingly scathing reviews, this indie romantic charmer mills the mine of quirky independent clichés and gets nowhere in doing so. Sounding a bit like The Science of Sleep, boy tries to woo his long time lady friend by enchanting her with a number of sideshows tricks learned entertaining her as kids. Critics have been pretty brutal about it saying that it’s seeped in so much hipster quirkiness that any soul or life in the characters drown in the kitsch. There are better movies of this ilk so I would stay a stay at home date would be more appropriate. Showing at AMC Empire 25
What Women Want – Wait…didn’t that crazy person who stared in the Patriot make this movie like ten years ago? Yes, he did and this is an exact remake of that flick, only this one comes from China and is in Chinese with Chinese actors. Hopefully this is a statement saying, “We will not support that anti-semite, so let’s make our own” but most likely it’s just a simple remake. Showing in select theatres
Home – Initially released last year as part of World Environment Day, this flick is just like that BBC Plant Earth series that almost every Blue Ray owner has to show off their system. Adding this because it’s getting a one weekend only showing in NYC and it could be a pretty spectacular experience. Showing at City Cinemas Village East
Opening This Week – Indie, Art House and Small Screenings
Cold Weather – Well reviewed independently produced whodunit about a young ice factory worker who searches out his suddenly missing ex girlfriend. From the same director of Quiet City and Dance Party USA, Cold Weather has been largely favorable reviews from critics. Screening at the IFC Center
Dressed – Documentary about the career of fashion auteur Nary Manivong and his rise from a broken home to the height of the New York fashion scene. Showing at the Clearview Chelsea
The Other Woman – Natalie Portman and Lisa Kudrow star in this sad drama about infidelity, love triangles and their inevitable consequences. While Portman’s work has been praised, as usual, the film itself reportedly suffers from pacing issues, a bland screenplay and a boring story. Also showing at the IFC Center
Into Eternity – Documentary about a Finish underground nuclear waste repository that sounds almost like science fiction rather than fact, which makes the subject matter all the more scary. Getting great reviews from critics, this might be a good one to toss on the Netflix list. Screening at the Film Forum
The Troubadours – Another documentary examining the singer/songwriter scene of the 60’s. Focusing on James Taylor and Carole King, this doc gets deep inside the music and its motivations. Reviews have been fairly positive but with subject matter this universally awesome, how could they not. Showing at the IFC Center
Other Movie Notes
Frankie and Alice, the flick that was supposed to launch Halle Berry to another Oscar nomination, has finally been given a wider release. The flick has been getting pretty terrible reviews thus far, so I would label it as a skip.
My Few To See – Oscar Prep
Since the Oscars are just a few weeks away, here is a mini checklist of films to see before the big show, ordered from must see to you can miss it. Remember, this is a list that will make the Oscars actually interesting and let you be a little more conversational if you’re seeing it with friends…what, I’m the only one who does that?? Also, keep in mind that this is not a list of the best movies of the year. Check out my Top 11 a few posts up for that!
The King’s Speech – Nominated for 12 Oscars, including Best Picture, not only was this my favorite flick, it’s the most lauded, so if you haven’t seen it, you really should. My only fear is that all this buzz is going to ruin the experience. Taken as it is, it’s pretty fantastic but it doesn’t have the WOW factor or some of the other nominees and all this buzz may hurt the experience for people who have yet to see it. Still, if you just started doing your Oscar prep, this is a good place to start.
The Social Network – Sure to win a few of the 8 awards it’s nominated for, as well as come close to Best Picture, David Fincher’s latest flick is required pre Oscar viewing, especially since you can get it on DVD and On Demand now.
Black Swan – Only nominated for 5 awards this year but boy, they are some biggies including Best Picture, Best Actress and Best Director. Considering Portman should win Best Actress and it really should win Best Cinematography, Black Swan is a crucial piece to getting your Oscar 2011 PhD!
True Grit – While this appeared fairly low on my Top 11, True Grit is in second place in nominations race with 10 nods. Nominated performances by Hailee Steinfeld and Jeff Bridges as well as wide release make this an easy see.
The Fighter – Nominated for a whopping 7 awards, including Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress, The Fighter has made a name for itself in Oscar land. Also, by seeing this movie you knock off both Melissa Leo and Amy Adams for Best Supporting Actress, so it’s definitely worth seeing for “Oscar completeness”
Confused by the colors? Here’s the guide!
Green means that reviews are great, the trailer looks great, so this is definitely worth seeing!
Orange means reviews have been mixed but there’s enough here for me to say, “See It For Yourself”.
Red means this film should be avoided at all costs! Run, Devil fans, run!!
If it were the guys in the blue shirts who pester you at the games, I think the name of the company is "Sun" something, yeah, I've gotten those too. For me, it was at least 9 years ago and it was the same shpeil. Bascially, if you sign up for the free drawing and you match whatever criteria they are looking for, they give you a free vacation. All you have to do is pay fees and sit through a sales pitch. Honestly, not a bad deal, but don't expect anything spectacular. I never ended up going but mine was supposed to be a vacation in Mexico and I couldn't afford the fees, so I never went. In fact, when I got there and told how much I made, which was nothing as I was working part time through college, they apologized and said, "Oh, you're only entitled to this if you make more than $25,000" but they gave me the vacation anyway. Never took it due to school but it was an experience nonetheless.
I think there was a whole epic thread on this about a year or so ago here. It was amazing. Somebody had started a thread complaining of solicitors at The Rock, everybody chimed in with their own experiences, somebody from the company in question created an account on here just to refute the claims. Pretty awesome! Need to find that thread now...
i've wanted to check le poisson rouge out for awhile. just waited for the right show. agalloch happens to be my favorite band on the planet right now, so that worked out rather nicely.
also going to see godspeed you black emperor at terminal 5. wish i got tickets to see them at the brooklyn masonic temple, but oh well.
Now that would be a great show...if only the weren't playing at Terminal 5. As for Le Poisson Rouge, I almost saw Kate Miller-Hedike there about six months ago but found out about the show too late. As for recent shows, I went to see The Decemberists at the Beacon last Wednesday. Excellent show and I'm really liking the newer, more country feel of the new album, even if alot of it sounds like old REM. Definately woth braving the blowing snow to get back to my place. As for upcoming, I'm considering seeing Fleet Foxes at the United Palace in middle March.
Heavy Rain is one of the coolest game playing experiences I've ever witnessed. Amazing how much drama can be attained by waggling the right control stick and doing God of War type timed button presses.
/end random thought of the day
This turned into a fun little topic!
Me, I've been playing street hockey since I was about 10, always goalie. Since I really didn't have ice hockey in high school or college, I never made the jump but I always kept up in dek leauges and pick up games. Recently, however, I finally took lessons to learn how to skate for goalie. Started with the generic group learning sessions at the Ice House and then moved on to private lessons with a goalie coach at Chelsea Piers, my thinking being that I might as well learn goalie skating as it's entirely different than regular skating. Not a bad move, but I quickly realized that I needed to get great on skates before even attempting the goalie position, so after three months or so, I stopped the lessons. So, I suppose the end result is I can skate pretty well but not well enough to play goal...yet.
As for dek hockey, I currently play in a very organized dek leauge in NYC called BTSH. They have twenty teams, four divsions, playoffs, standings, a whole "media" who does team previews, game previews, etc...pretty legit! They play during the summer at Tompkins Square Park down in the East Village. If you ever find yourself in NYC during the summer and swing by Tompkins on Sunday between 1 and 5, you'll see us there playing. It's not pickup and you need to be on a team to play, but it's damn good fun. Plus, the focus is really more on the after game drinking than the game itself, so it's a great environment.
Back on task, I feel that hockey, more than any other sport, requires you play it to get it. Especially in Jersey, where you have so many other things competing for your attention, I think a fair amount of hockey fans have played the sport at least a pick up level, even if they've never skated. Being so far out of our national exposure, hockey is one of those things you have to experience to get, either by playing or being introduced to it.
Bulletproof’s Top 11 Movies of 2010…and more!
Well, 2010 is officially in the books and it’s been an uneven year for movies. With a very lackluster summer season buoyed by a number of good Oscar contenders, 2010 can be best described as a mixed bag. So, here are my Top 11 flicks of the year! Please note that I’m only listing movies I’ve seen and were originally released stateside this year. There is at least one foreign film on this list that got released in 2009 yet didn’t see an American release until 2010. Oh, and why Top 11? As the Nostalgia Critic likes to say, I like to go one step beyond…
The following films either just missed the cut and man, was it hard to exclude them! These films are listed in order of just missed, so, I’ll just give them numbers like the main Top 11 have. Also, each flick has my Rotten Tomatoes rating, if applicable
20) Catfish – Issues involving questions about the movie’s documentarian integrity aside, Catfish is a startling cautionary tale about putting your life online. More about social networking than The Social Network, Catfish may not be 100% true but it’s definitely 100% fascinating and fun. – 80%
19) Splice – While critics were divided on this sci-fi thriller starring Adrien Brody and Sarah Polley, I felt that the film did a nice job of combining a startling creature feature with a relationship drama. Sure, the third act starts to fall apart a bit and the whole alien / Brody relationship is, well, creepy, Splice was still much smarter and more daring than anything else in theaters this past summer. - 80%
18) I Love You Phillip Morris – One of the few movies I saw but didn’t get around to reviewing, I Love You Phillip Morris is an irreverently hilarious tale about a con man who falls in love with a fellow inmate and devotes his life to his happiness. Starring Jim Carrey in one of his finest roles to date and Ewan MacGregor as the object of Carry’s affections, Phillip Morris has some wonderful acting and an ending that will leave you shocked and shaken. Some minor pacing issues and gaps in storytelling keep it from top honors, but this is a definite must see.
17) Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Elliot Spitzer – The third best documentary I saw year, this piercing look into the scandal surrounding former New York governor Elliot Spitzer is sharp, entertaining and very non partisan. The best thing about this doc, wonderfully directed by documentarian Alex Gibney, is how it doesn’t focus on the smut, rather, focuses on the Wall Street enemies Spitzer made in his rise to power and how they had a hand in making his tryst a big hairy deal to begin with.
16) The Fighter – Another Oscar nominee that missed my Top 10 by a wide margin, The Fighter features some fantastic performances by its entire cast, especially Oscar front runner Christian Bale. The only thing holding it back is its all too familiar story, by the numbers direction and a lackluster performance by Mark Wahlburg. Still, The Fighter pushes all the right buttons and is a fine time at the theaters, regardless of the clichés inherent in the story. - 80%
15) Inception – Many of you may be shocked to see this so low, but I had it in the Top 10 when I first started the list. Sadly, I thought of fourteen movies I enjoyed more than this Christopher Nolan effort. Despite its many flaws, Inception is still a brilliant idea and a very competent summer thriller. If the execution had been better, this would have been a Top 10 for sure. - 80%
14) Machete – The only action flick to come out this year that lived up to its promise of ultra violent campiness, the latest film from director Robert Rodriguez delivered fine performances, plenty of throwback cheese and more blood than an abattoir. Some of the most fun I had all year at the movies. - 90%
13) A Prophet – While this and number 12 really could be 12a and 12b, A Prophet was the first truly excellent film I saw in 2010 and deserves a spot on the list. A thrilling prison drama involving a 16 year old inmate, his eventual climbing of the prison social strata and his loss of innocence is beautifully shot, well acted and perfectly directed. The only thin line separating this movie from number 12 is that A Prophet has some very odd music choices in it. That aside, if you’re a fan of crime drama, do not let A Prophet go unwatched. - 90%
12) Animal Kingdom – One my big surprises of 2010, this Australian film about a crime family on the brink of self destruction is a fine first effort by director David Michod. Featuring some fine performances, including an Oscar nominated turn by Jackie Weaver as the evil matriarch of the crew, Animal Kingdom is much more poignant and interesting than it is thrilling, focusing on the family dynamic more than the violence that created it. Excellent flick. - 90%
The Cream of the Crop
11) True Grit – While I was on the fence on whether or not to include this in the Top 11, the latest film by the Cohen Brothers is a very fine remake of the 1960’s John Wayne classic. Featuring updated pacing, some excellent acting, especially by newcomer and Oscar nominee Hailee Steinfeld and the Cohen usual beautiful cinematography, True Grit is fun, adventurous and very well made. While I must admit I prefer John Wayne’s Rooster Cogburn to the sometimes mush mouthed Jeff Bridges take, True Grit is still a fine film and worth seeing while it’s still in theaters.
10) Exit Through The Gift Shop – The documentary that made me redefine what a documentary can be, Exit is a whirling dervish of a film. Centering around a group of street artists and the obsessive filmmaker who follows them around, Exit is one part art doc, one part thriller and one part mediation of the essence of artistic endeavor itself. While many critics have wondered if this film is really a documentary at all, the overall impact and flow of the feature is worth viewing anyway. - 90%
9) Restrepo – While I picked Exit for Best Documentary this year, this edges it out ever so slightly thanks to the danger involved in making it and the pure emotional weight it carries. Dropping two filmmakers into the most dangerous section of Afghanistan to film a platoon of US troops for a year, Restrepo does a better job of documenting the horrors and dangers of war than anything Hollywood has cobbled together in the last twenty years. Short, sweet and powerful, Restrepo is an emotionally stirring bit of filmmaking that will most likely win Best Doc come February. - 100%
8) The Secret In Their Eyes – Odd that an almost two year old film makes it on my Best Of list, but this Argentine crime thriller is packed with wondrous acting, a well crafted tale and perfectly paced direction. Also, this film features one of my favorite scenes from the last year, the now somewhat famous soccer stadium sequence. Couple that with a final twist that not only surprises but makes perfect sense, and you have a great flick that may have flown under the radar for many American viewers. - 90%
7) Blue Valentine – This year’s winner for most snubbed Oscar contender, Blue Valentine is a finely acted story about the origins, trials and heartbreak of a weather-beaten love. While it can be taken as a straight loss of love story, the movie elevates its inherent melodrama by providing the reasons for the rift and showing that there are no winners or losers in the game called adult relationships. Superbly acted by both Ryan Gosling and Oscar nominee Michelle Williams, Blue Valentine is an unflinching look into a modern day couple and should have gotten a lot more respect from the academy than it did. – 90%
6) Black Swan – Destined for most critics Top 10 list this year, Black Swan screamed out of the gates and never looked back. Furiously paced, superbly acted and featuring a final thirty minutes unrivaled by any movie released this year, Black Swan is, quite simply, the finest film Darren Aronofsky has ever produced. Sure to be in close running for a number of Oscars, including and most deservedly Best Actress for Natalie Portman, Swan is a emotional thrill ride that keeps you on the edge of your seat.- 90%
5) The Kids Are All Right – My vote for Best Original Screenplay, The Kids Are All Right was a sure surprise when it came out the beginning of July. While many viewers dismissed the trailers on the fear that it would be a standard rom-com, Kids surpassed those expectations as a well crafted and wonderfully acted take on a non conventional family. Featuring award nominated performances by both Julliane Moore and Annette Beining, Kids is a captivating and oft hilarious film that should be checked out immediately - 100%
4) 127 Hours – While this movie started out lower on the list, I had to keep creeping it up based on how wowed I was when walking out of the theater. Even if you know the story of doomed hiker Aaron Rogers, you haven’t seen it like this in all of it’s unapologetically visceral glory. Much like he did with 2008’s Slumdog Millionaire, Danny Boyle knows how to create emotionally exhilarating movies and 127 is no exception. While you would think 95 minutes of a guy stuck in a hole would be stretching one’s viewing tolerance, Boyle goes inside the survivors mentality, giving us a vivid inside view to what it takes to make it through the harshest of conditions. Powerfully told, and wonderfully acted by James Franco, 127 Hours may not be for those of weak stomach but it’s most certainly worth seeing for everybody else. - 100%
3) The Social Network – This might be a bit of a surprise for some of you as this movie also started towards the back end of my list but the more I watch it, the more I appreciate how damn good this movie is. The movie literally has everything in it: a perfectly put together cast, a great director and the best screenplay written this year. Jeez, even the soundtrack is fantastic. What really strikes me about the film is how it really isn’t about Facebook at all, rather, about the drive to create something that combines everybody. Mark Zuckerburg is an almost Randian character and that zeal for excellence rooted in what inspired him to create an empire is where The Social Network shines the brightest. Should be on the short list of Best Picture for the Oscars and should be your short list to see if you haven’t already. - 100%
2) Toy Story 3 – The final film in the groundbreaking animation franchise is near cinematic perfection. Not to rehash what I wrote in my full review, Toy Story 3 contains everything we love about movies: colorful characters, emotional situations, well timed humor and the willingness to transport its viewers to another world. This world of toys and their drive to stay relevant in the wake of Andy’s departure is timely, sad and in the end, quite uplifting. We all knew that Andy would one day grow up and lock up the toy chest. Funny thing is, we never wanted to actually believe it. Pixar tackles this eventuality head long in a final stanza that keeps the spirit of the franchise we have all come to love. Toy Story 3 is probably the best animated film I’ve ever seen and is an easy pick for my number two slot. - 100%
1) The Kings Speech – Thinking back on my selection of The Kings Speech for number one, I’m confronted with a number of doubts. As I look back on what I’ve written for 20 through 2, I’m seeing films with better editing, better direction and better screenplays. So why am I picking this film as my number one? Simply because, whenever people ask me what my favorite movie of the year is, I answer The Kings Speech immediately and without hesitation. The King Speech was the most supremely satisfying filmgoing experiencing I witnessed this year and damn if I can figure out why. Sure, it has Oscar worthy acting performances and yeah, it has a perfect blend of humor, pathos and emotional arc, but best movie? The only way I can figure it is that the film is a wonderful sum of its parts, a true breath of fresh air in the land of stale biopics and is the only movie I’d gladly pay to see again in theaters. To me, that’s more than enough to award this movie my top prize and it should get the top prize at the Oscars this year. - 100%
Speaking of the Coens, I watched The Man Who Wasn't There the other day. Good movie.
Also watched Exit Through The Gift Shop. Mr. Brainwash is made up, right? As soon as he started to try his hand at art, it started to seem very Borat-ish. Fake or not, that was a very interesting watch.
Well, my take on Exit is that Mr. Brainwash is actaully just a product of Bansky and the entire flick is actually one big piece of street art. There are still Mr. Brainwash shows in majpor cities, after all. Even the title of the movie seems to suggest it might all be a gag. Like a commenter on my RT review mentioned, it's almost as if Banksy is saying, "You paid your money, you rode the ride I gave you in the world I created, now Exit Through the f'ing Gift Shop". While nobody has come out and said one way or the other, if the movie really is a "fictionalized documentary" and it wins the Oscar for Best Doc, it might be the greatest prank ever pulled on the filmgoing community. None of this, however, lessens the fact that it's an excellent movie, fictionalized or not.
For your price range, I would recommend Weehawken Heights. While its not a seperate town, it's the section of Weehawken south of 495 bordering Jersey City and Union City. Bascially, you have the Boulevard East section of Weehaken, which is the section everyone has in mind when they think Weehawken, and then the Heights section, which is by the resevouir. As far a prices, I'm sure you can find a very nice 1 bedroom in that section for around $1000. May take awhile, but it's doable. PLus, the area is very clean and nice, despite being bordered by iffy areas.
As far as transportation goes, I think there is a light rail in Weehaken, but no train station. That being said, there are a ton of buses going to either Hoboken or to NYC via the Lincoln Tunnel, and of course can catch the PATH via Hoboken. Also, there are two Ferry stations that go to NYC as well, along the waterfront. Just realize that living in NJ requires a car and Weehawken is no exception, so factor that into your move.
As for NYC, you probably know this, but I highly doubt you can get a place in a nicer section than the Bronx for $1000. Maaaaybe Harlem as I have a friend who pays I think $900 for a tiny studio in Harlem but, depending on the block, you might as well stay in the Bronx. If you're thinking Manhattan, which is where I am, you'ld have to look 110th and up to find something in that price range.
2010 Oscar Preview and Nominations
Well, the biggest night in movies is finally upon us and while the nominations have been very by the book this year, there are a few surprises and a few glaring omissions. Here’s a look at the categories, the nominees and who I think Will Win and Should Win.
Best Visual Effects
'Alice in Wonderland'
'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1'
'Iron Man 2'
My Take : While you could make an argument for any of the films on here, Inception both should and will win this award. Breathtaking in almost aspect visually, Inception was a technically ground breaking movie. The only omission would be Tron as I’ve heard that movie is stunning to look at as well.
Best Sound Mixing
'The King's Speech'
'The Social Network'
My Take : Meh, throw them in the air and see what lands first, but my vote would go to Inception for this as well.
Best Sound Editing
'Toy Story 3'
My Take : Will probably be between TRON and Inception, but I’m going to give Inception the nod one more time as I feel it has a chance to sweep the technicals.
'The Way Back'
My Take : I’m going out on a limb and choose Barney’s Version as the Academy always will go for aging an actor above scary costumes.
Best Film Editing
'The Kings Speech'
'The Social Network'
My Take : You could make an argument for any these films, but my pick would be The Social Network. To me, this award should go to the movie that really depends on the editing to move the storytelling. Given this criteria, The Fighter and The Kings Speech drop right off and while the remaining three are excellent, The Social Network’s cuts and time jumps were extremely important in telling the story. Something tells me the Academy will vote the same way.
'Exit Through the Gift Shop'
My Take : While a touch controversial, now that Exit Through The Gift Shop has been nominated for best documentary, I have to give it my vote. Easily one of the best movies I had seen all year and a lock for my top 10 of 2010, Exit is a thrilling and fascinating look into the world of street art. That being said, I think the Academy is going to hand the award to the excellent war doc Restrepo, especially given the controversy surrounding Exit. Also, Restrepo is timely and has more emotional weight than Exit, so I think that will push it over the edge for the Academy.
Best Original Score
'How to Train Your Dragon' John Powell
'Inception' Hans Zimmer
'The King's Speech' Alexandre Desplat
'127 Hours' A.R. Rahman
'The Social Network' Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross
My Take : While my vote goes to Trent Reznor for The Social Network, I can’t see the Academy handing an Oscar for the front man of Nine Inch Nails. Or will they…
Best Costume Design
'Alice in Wonderland'
'I Am Love'
'The King's Speech'
My Take : When in doubt for this category, always go period piece which eliminates Alice and I Am Love. Since I can’t see True Grit winning it and The Tempest got such terrible reviews, that leaves The King’s Speech as the victor.
Best Art Direction
'Alice in Wonderland'
'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I'
'The King's Speech'
My Take : Always a tricky one as the idea of “art direction” is very subjective, my vote is going to go to The King’s Speech as I think it’s going to run away with a good portion of the evening.
Best Adapted Screenplay
'The Social Network'
'Toy Story 3'
My Take : Now to the exciting ones! My pick is also what I think will be the eventual winner as it already won a Golden Globe for the same category. Alan Sorkin’s wonderfully written The Social Network should and will win out over the other nominees and it really shouldn’t be close.
Best Original Screenplay
'The Kids Are All Right'
'The King's Speech'
My Take : Here, the Academy and I are going to differ. While my pick is the wonderfully written The Kids Are All Right. I have a feeling The King’s Speech is going to just beat it out. To me, while fantastic, Kings relies on fantastic performances to buoy a great yet unremarkable screenplay, where Kids was such a breath of infectious fresh air, it’s hard for me not to vote for it. Still, I think the Academy chooses The King Speech.
Best Foreign Film
Mexico - 'Biutiful'
Greece - 'Dogtooth'
Denmark - 'In a Better World'
Canada - 'Incendies'
Algeria - 'Outside the law'
My Take : Another tough pick but given Bardim’s surprise Best Actor nomination, I think the edge has to be given to Biutiful, despite luke warm reviews. Sadly, I haven’t seen any of these films so I can’t do a pick!
Best Animated Feature Film
'How to Train Your Dragon'
'Toy Story 3'
My Take : Easiest pick of the night, Toy Story 3 for the win!
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'
My Take : Easily the most difficult of all the categories to pick this year, a case could be made for any of the actresses nominated. While my pick would be Jacki Weaver for her wonderful turn in Animal Kingdom, something tells me the Academy will not agree. As for the other nominees, I can’t see Carter get enough votes for The Kings Speech, so she’s out too. Now conventional wisdom would think Amy Adams and Melissa Leo would split the vote for The Fighter, leaving newcomer Hailee Steinfeld as the winner, and if that’s case, good for her as she was quite good in True Grit. However, both Adams and Leo were splitting the vote at the Globes and that didn’t stop Leo from winning so my inclination is that Melissa Leo will win out come Oscar night.
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'
My Take : This basically boils down to a two horse race between Bale for The Fighter and Rush for The Kings Speech. Now, while my pick goes to the excellent work of Rush as Firth’s unorthodox doctor, I think Christian Bale will win out for the Oscar. While either performance is worthy, my gut tells me that Bale will win out, especially after winning the Golden Globe.
Annette Bening, 'The Kids Are All Right'
Nicole Kidman, 'Rabbit Hole'
Jennifer Lawrence, 'Winter's Bone'
Natalie Portman, 'Black Swan'
Michelle Williams, 'Blue Valentine'
My Take : While every actress is deserving of the award, my pick and eventual winner has to be Natalie Portman for her excellent work in Black Swan. Playing almost three different parts, each with its own nuances and emotional baggage, Portman was exceptional in the role and has been on an award’s tear ever since. Michelle Williams would be my runner up in the under-nominated Blue Valentine.
Javier Bardem, 'Biutiful'
Jeff Bridges, 'True Grit'
Jesse Eisenberg, 'The Social Network'
Colin Firth, 'The King's Speech'
James Franco, '127 Hours'
My Take : While the inclusion of Javier Bardem is a bit of a surprise, everybody else is more than deserving. To me, this is a three horse race between Eisenberg, Firth and Franco, but it’s not going to be close. Both my pick and should be the Academy’s, Colin Firth’s brilliant portrayal of the Duke of York should garner him a much deserved Oscar.
Darren Aronofsky, 'Black Swan'
David O. Russell, 'The Fighter'
Tom Hooper, 'The King's Speech'
David Fincher, 'The Social Network'
Joel and Ethan Coen, 'True Grit'
My Take : While I’m surprised that Danny Boyle didn’t get a nomination for 127 Hours, this should be a two dog race between Aronofsky and Fincher. While I truly feel each director was excellent, my pick has to go to David Fincher for The Social Network. That being said, if Aronofsky does win out, not only would I be ecstatic, I wouldn’t be surprised.
'The Kids Are All Right'
'The King’s Speech'
'The Social Network'
'Toy Story 3'
My Take : And now, finally, the big one! Yes, we all hate the whole ten nominee thing as there really a few that are being seriously considered, Black Swan, The Social Network and The Kings Speech. While you may see either Swan or Network sneak out an upset, the clear cut winner to me is The King’s Speech. What else can I say other than it’s the best movie I had seen all year, featuring a perfect blend of comedy, pathos and character arc. Also, shame on the Academy for overlooking Blue Valentine for this award and a few others.
By Black Swan you actually mean Blue Valentine?
The Academy Awards nominations have just been announced. Nothing for Blue Valentine except Best Actress for Michelle Williams. Quite disappointing.
I am surprised by the many nominations for True Grit, including Best Movie, Best Leading Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Directing. Seems like another homerun for the Coens. Can't wait to see it next week.
The 10 movie nominations make no sense. Ignore the movies that don't have a Best Director nominations and you are left with the only 5 true contenders.
Despite The Social Network winning at the Golden Globes, my money is on The King's Speech.
Yep, I meant Blue Valentine...thanks for the catch!
I'm working on my Oscar Preview now, so I'll have my thoughts up here this afternoon, but I totally agree that the 10 Best Picture nominations are annoying. My feeling is they do it to get more viewers. If they kept it to five, most people wouldn't have seen the nominees, so the more they nominate, the more they can get fans checking out the show.
I was also annoyed that Blue Valentine didn't get more nominations, especially in the bloated Best Picture category.
Stay tuned for my preview!
Do The iPod Shuffle!!!
Shuffle it up!!
1) Makaha Sons - the Pidgin English Hula
2) Jack Johnson - Banana Pancakes (Live @ AOL Sessions)
3) Nekromantix - Who Killed The Cheerleader
4) Fear Factory - New Breed (Revolutionary Designed Mix)
5) The Toasters - Mr. Trouble
6) Weezer - The Spider
7) Big Bad Voodoo Daddy - The Maddest Kind of Love
8) Ditch Bank Okies - Ghostowne
9) DJ Caffine - Blade Remix
10) My Chemical Romance - This Is How I Disappear
11) U2 - Shadows And Tall Trees
12) Flogging Molly - Drunken Lullabies (Live)
13) The Big - The Fear (Part 1)
14) Mustard Plug - You
15) Stone Temple Pilots - No Memory
16) Radiohead - Weird Fishes / Arpeggi
17) Mr T. Experience - Swiss Army Girlfriend
18) Daft Punk - Crescendolls
19) Catch 22 - Arm To Arm
20) Justin Young - The Call