Monday, November 29, 2010

Relaxing with a Scintilla of Disappointment

I had anticipated Thanksgiving to be not only a weekend chock-full of calories, but of movies as well.  I had hopes of seeing at least 4 or 5 films between Theatres, Netflix and Pay Per View, which would have allowed my "Movies Already Seen for the Challenge List" to get closer in length to the "Movies to Be Seen" list.  But my 3 year old son got sick and so the best I was able to do was to sneak out of the house with my 9 year old daughter during nap-time to see "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1" in the new DBox seats.

The silver lining to this being the only movie I could squeeze in was that the DBox seats are amazing!  In my opinion (if it matters) when you sit in them for the first time, you must see a movie you are passionate about.  I am passionate about Harry Potter (as opposed to "Tron" which will be the next DBox offeirng) and with every flight and every wand jolt I was sucked further into the story.  The tickets are expensive, but they were so worth the experience.

In other challenge activities, I did manage to finish reading Fair Game by Valerie Plame, and began reading The Long Walk Home on which the film "The Way Back" is based.  So the side-benefit to my sub-challenge is paying off...  I am reading works I never would have been exposed to if it weren't for films being adapted from them.

Also over the weekend I was able to update my Netflix queue to reflect the documentaries I need to see after the Academy announced its short-list of the 15 documentaries that are in the running for nomination.  (Thank the stars they narrowed it down from the 101 eligible).

Up next, I'm hoping to take in "The Kids Are All Right" on Pay Per View and sneak out to see "Love and Other Drugs" on $5 movie night at Regal.

My current scorecard will be posted soon, by category, of what tracking films I've seen thus far.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


As I do my never-ending research in an attempt to fulfill this personal challenge of mine (and keep my blog as updated as possible), I read a lot of opinions. There are many professional (and semi-professional) reviewers out there who feel that there are about eight film bloggers too many, and that EVERYONE fancies themselves critics. When I read those opinions, I had to crystallize for myself what my challenge, and by extension my blog, is really about.

My four year degree is not in film. It's not even in literature or writing, though I've always thought myself to be fairly decent at both. My four year degree is in Organizational Communications which basically means I can see where communication systems breakdown, but I can't always do anything about it. So I have never intended my offerings here to come off as professional or worthy of any type of devotion.

If you have had time to read any of my posts, you know that I attempt to steer clear of hyperbole like "this movie is a 'must see'" or "man this movie wasn't worth my time." In fact, I rarely walk away from a film feeling either of those emotions, anyway. When credits roll after a movie, my head is typically busily going over themes and metaphors and attempting to connect dots between real life and what was portrayed on celluloid. In essence, I try to find a little meaning in everything I see, whether I feel it was 'good' 'bad' or 'otherwise.' I definitely have favorites, and definitely have seen some I've not liked at all... but I don't intend with these posts to sway anyone with any opinion of mine.

When all is said and done, I've discovered that my blog has always really been about commitment, opportunity and access (isn't that life, be you rich or poor, in a nutshell?) I commit to a goal to see as many films as possible that are on track to be Oscar-Nominated. As with any commitment, it isn't always easy to see through. There are days I feel tired, days I don't feel like it, and moments when I feel selfish to be so singularly focused. As far as opportunities go, sometimes they present themselves- but more often than not, I have to create my own. Whether its staying up past my bedtime to watch something on Pay Per View, or going to the movies on a Monday night to catch something before it leaves the big screen, I have to come up with ways to get there and get it done. This challenge has also taught me a lot about the importance of access. In my area, we do not always get access to a deeper kind of film making. For instance, this past weekend at the megaplexes I had my choice of "Saw 3D" "Jackass 3D" or "Paranormal 2." I have very little hope of getting to see documentaries or independent films unless I travel quite a distance to see it and incur greater expense than the cost of a ticket.

I am very lucky to have friends and family who encourage me in this goal. Not surprisingly, it has allowed me to open myself up to many new experiences. I am also lucky to live near a small independent theatre who has societies and clubs and a staff who work tirelessly (translated: jump through distributors' hoops) to give access to and create opportunities for people like me who catch their breath each time the lights go down and the titles come up.

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Monday, November 1, 2010

Slow and Steady- or Not

I'm using all the resources at my disposal to make as much headway in my challenge as possible:  The library, Pay Per View, IMDB, Awards Daily, Fandango, VideoETA, small theatres, large theatres, local film societies and film clubs, and now- NetFlix.  From all my efforts, the following results:

Finished reading "Winter's Bone" and now have it on my DVR (through PPV) for late-night viewing.  Although, the book unsettled my soul enough I may have to consider making it a nap-time viewing.

I viewed "Solitary Man" (which is tracking because of the performance by Michael Douglas) on Pay Per View. Let me first say about the film, do not see it alone in a dark house on a Friday night. It was not scary, but the scenes in which the main character's isolation is highlighted are incredibly adept at making you sense the loneliness... and being alone just makes it feel that much stronger.

Went to a megaplex and saw "Secretariat," which is tracking because of Diane Lane's performance as Penny Chenery, a woman in a man's world who refuses to back down...  and understands (the way only a woman can) the need to let the horse just run.

Tonight, I am looking forward to taking in "Get Low" at our independent film house.  As much as I am looking forward to seeing Robert Duvall's performance, I'm really excited to see Sissy Spacek onscreen again.

I am really digging the "For Your Consideration" Ads this year, so will be featuring them in my blogs.  Where one isn't available, I'll try to use the film poster images like I did last year.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone