Sunday, January 31, 2010

Dinner and a Movie-XD Style

Come movie award season, Meg and I try our best to see all the nominated films. To do this, we have to get creative with our time. The girls typically spend the night with Meg's parents about once a month, and in Dec/Jan/Feb, we use that time to get in as many of the films as possible. We used to do two movies in a night: a 5:00 show, dinner, and then a late show. This year we came up with a new strategy. For Meg's birthday, we had dinner first, went to the 7:00 showing of Up in the Air, finishing the night at home, mindlessly watching cable. We slept in until 8:00 and then went to a 9:00 am showing of It's Complicated. We both found this new strategy rather brilliant-clearly we were made for each other.

The girls spent Saturday night with their grandparents, so Meg and I put our new plan into action for the second time. We saw Avatar Saturday night and Crazy Heart this morning. The big movie/small movie combo wasn't intentional, but in some strange way, they complimented each other perfectly.

I wouldn't say I'm a big James Cameron fan, but I do think Aliens is an all-time classic. While I thoroughly enjoyed Avatar, I'm not sold on the 3D. The colors in this movie are so vibrant, but those glasses mute them too much for me. I know 3D is all the rage these days, but it's a gimmick I can do without. The plot is pretty basic, arguably uninspired, but the special effects and action sequences are so brilliant, they easily make this a must-see. Meg isn't a big action fan, and she did fall asleep once, but even she had to admit the visuals are stunning. This is definitely worthy of a best picture nod, even if there were only going to be the standard 5 films. The audacity of the thing just can't be denied.

Crazy Heart is a small, character-driven film, powered by a spot-on performance from Jeff Bridges. Many will say this is the best work of his career, and while his portrayal of Bad Blake is indeed stellar, nothing will ever top the Dude in my eyes. It feels like a foregone conclusion that Bridges will win an Oscar for this role, and that recognition is certainly long overdue. I'm not a big country fan, but the music is great, kudos to T-Bone Burnett. This is ultimately a movie about redemption. It's never easy and there's no age limit; watching Bad figure this out is compelling stuff. Just goes to show, sometimes you need tons of money to make your vision happen, and sometimes you just need a good story and a great actor.

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