Monday, March 8, 2010

New Media Watchdogs

New Media Watchdogs from Kimberly Butler on Vimeo.

5 Reasons The Oscars Matter Even Less Than You Thought

I didn't write this, but this guy hits it on the head (about 90% of the time).
I disagree heavily on Spike Lee films. GOD, how I hate Spike Lee films!
And this year's Oscars only rated, in my view, a diet Coke and air popped popcorn void of salt and butter.
(And was it me, or was the Steve Martin - Alec Baldwin duo idea as lame an idea as Keaneu Reeves is as good an actor?)

5 Reasons The Oscars Matter Even Less Than You Thought
By Bobby Roberts Mar 06, 2010

The Academy Awards are like Hollywood's Super Bowl (what with the betting pools, the bean dip, the coma-inducing length) but with one important difference: Super Bowl rings are actually awarded on merit.

You can't say the same about the Oscars. In an effort to shade the pageantry with a modicum of perspective, we'll be taking a look at the Academy's playbook of fuck-uppery. This is a gentle reminder to you, the discerning reader, that if you treat the Oscars as some sort of authority on what makes a film great, you're doing it wrong.

The Circle of Ineptitude: Best Actor (1974, 1992, 2001)

In 1974, Al Pacino and Jack Nicholson were in their prime, and turned in two of the most iconic performances in the history of American cinema--Nicholson as J.J. Gittes in Chinatown, Pacino as Michael Corleone in The Godfather Part II. That year's Best Actor Academy Award was the acting equivalent of Magic versus Bird in the '84 NBA Finals.

But your prime isn't necessarily a good place to be in the eyes of the Academy. No matter what it says on the statue, most Oscars are at least partially lifetime achievement awards that factor in things like how "due" you are, and how likely you are to die before ever getting nominated again.

Of course, anyone who's gambled on little league baseball or participated in a record breaking gang bang can tell you, trying to give everyone a turn only penalizes the people with talent. The Academy proved this point by giving Best Actor to Art Carney for playing an old fart on a cross country trip with his cat in a movie called Harry and Tonto. This is the acting equivalent of the NBA giving the'84 MVP to Kurt Rambis.

To be fair to the Academy, De Niro edged out the cat for best Supporting Actor.

Now we wouldn't begrudge an old man his moment of recognition if the Academy didn't operate in something we'll call "The Circle of Ineptitude."

See, skipping Pacino in 1974 meant that come 1992, he was "due." So 18 years after the initial screw up, the Academy gave Pacino the Oscar for doing a Yosemite Sam impression in Scent of a Woman. This, in turn screwed over Denzel Washington for Malcolm X, who then had to be given a make-up Oscar in 2001 for his role in Training Day that's mostly memorable for the Chappelle Show sketch it inspired.

This raises the important question: Who gives a shit? Why should we feel sorry for Al Pacino? The problem is that as little as they should matter, the actors, writers and directors who make our movies live and die with each Academy decision. It's why Pacino has shouted every line of dialog since 1992 in an inexplicable Cajun accent.

Genre Snobbery: Best Picture 1981, Best Actress 1986

Everyone remembers the slick bit of larceny that opens Raiders of the Lost Arkwhere Indy leaves a bag of sand on a podium and yoinks a golden statue. That year at the Academy Awards, Chariots of Fire pulled the same trick, snaking the statue out from under Spielberg. This is a good example of the genre snobbery that makes phrases like "Oscar Bait" even possible. All anyone really remembers from Chariots of Fire is the scene where a bunch of dudes in John Stockton shorts sprint along the edge of a beach. If that's all it takes to win an Oscar, where's the Best Picture for Rocky III? If it can't even legitimately win the Oscar in the category "Best Homoerotic Coastal Track Meet," how the hell does it end up winning Best Picture over what is arguably the finest example of pure cinema Spielberg ever created?

"The Academy. I hate these guys."

A little bit more of that genre snobbery, mixed with some patronizing grandstanding to look "understanding": Marlee Matlin turned in a good performance as a feisty deaf janitor who gets boned by William Hurt in Children of a Lesser God, but what Sigourney Weaver did with James Cameron's ALIENS is nothing short of a miracle. Think about what Ripley was on the page after Cameron was done with her: A strange riff on Rambo (which he'd just rewritten) as a repentant mother looking to redeem herself as a parent. He stuck this characterization into the middle of a movie about drooling, fanged penis monsters that shit eggs with face-raping catchers mitts inside of them. And Weaver made it one of the single most influential performances in the last 25 years, obliterating the restrictions on what a woman can do in a movie, and paving the way for characters like Sarah Connor, Buffy Summers and Beatrix Kiddo.

And more!

Anti-Balls Bias: Best Picture (1981, 1990, 1994, 1998) Best Actress (2000)

There seems to be an unwritten rule in the Academy: "The statue we're giving out doesn't have any balls; neither should the movie we give it to." Since the most interesting filmmakers of the past 30 years have mostly been interested in America's obsession with violence, this made for some pretty unforgivable bullshit.

In 1990, the Academy rewarded a boring love letter to the Noble Savage fallacy, Dances With Wolves, snubbing Goodfellas. Consider the legacy of those two films: Name a director worth a crap in the past 20 years, and they'll cite Goodfellas as a major influence. It's arguably the finest mob movie ever filmed. The only time Wolves is mentioned these days is to point out where Cameron ripped off the story for Avatar.

Nothing you can do will stop it!

If Goodfellas isn't the most influential film of the past 25 years, it's a close second behind Pulp Fiction. Tarantino didn't just deconstruct the way people thought about filmmaking, he obliterated it in a coke-fueled fury, stabbing convention in the chest with a giant needle, rebuilding the noir as a candy coated cyanide pill cut with cayenne pepper, attached to a ball-gag and fitted to your unsuspecting head.

"My movies will rape your soul!"

Of course, Pulp Fiction came out the same year as Shawshank Redemption, regarded by iMBD users and whoever programs TNT as the greatest film ever made. Pretty good year for movies, yet neither won Best Picture in 2004--that went to Bob Zemeckis's Forrest Gump. We suppose Gump was edgy in its own right, seeing as it was a revisionist history in which a retarded descendent of the Ku Klux Klan is given credit for everything good that happened in the 20th century. Gump was a pretty enjoyable film at the time, and hasn't aged quite as badly as Wolves. But Pulp Fiction changed the way people made movies for an entire decade. Forrest Gump changed the way people said the name Jenny for a couple of years.

By the year 2000, Julia Roberts made a lot of people a lot of money in Hollywood, without ever winning Best Actress, most likely because she's not that fucking good. The film she was in, Erin Brockovich was like cutting the crusts off Silkwood, shoving it in an Easy-Bake Oven and setting the dial to "feel-good." Her main competition, Ellen Burstyn, already won her statue back in the 70's for Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore, so it was safe to snub her portrayal of Sara Golfarb in Requiem for a Dream. Didn't matter that Burstyn turned in the performance of her fucking life: Not only was Roberts "due," but Requiem was about ugly people, doing gross things, not pretty people in halter-tops smiling like someone shoved a carrot up Mr. Ed's ass.

The Academy Hates Political Relevance: Best Picture (1989, 2005)

Accusing the Academy of making decisions for political reasons isn't necessarily a critique. Movies are cultural events. If the zeitgeist makes an "issue movie" more relevant, there's no reason that shouldn't be factored into the equation. The problem is how bad the Academy tends to fuck up the math.

Do The Right Thing is generally considered one of the most potent American films about race. It's one of only five movies ever to be selected by the United States Library of Congress for preservation in the National Film Registry during its first year of eligibility.

And these guys really dug it.

The film's climactic race riot came three years before the entire city of Los Angeles followed suit. At the time of its release, Spike Lee's film was a wakeup call. Sure, racism still existed in 80s movies, but only as a setup for snappy one liners from the darker half of a buddy cop duo.

The Academy's choice for Best Picture in 1989 was Driving Miss Daisy, an ode to the quiet dignity of a black servant (Morgan Freeman) who spends the majority of his life eating the shit talked by a wrinkled sack of racism in a sundress. Daisy was 48 Hours for the art house set-which meant the film has less pulse than a bowl of oatmeal. Daisy got the award for being a palatable examination of race, an issue that was on people's minds that year. It just happened to be on people's minds because Do The Right Thing, which wasn't even nominated, had sounded the alarm.

Morgan Freeman is 170-years old

Proving that the Circle of Ineptitude can extend to issues as well as actors, in 2005 the Academy's Best Picture winner Crash was a ridiculous fairy tale about race relations in Los Angeles that most people had already forgotten by the time the Oscars rolled around. Two far better and more politically relevant movies, Brokeback Mountain and Capote, were both overlooked, presumably for splitting the pro-homo vote.

The Academy Loves Irrelevant Studio Politics: Best Picture (1998, 1942)

With their track record of fuck-uppery, you'd think Hollywood would take the Oscars with a grain of salt. When the barometer for artistic success in your industry doesn't even really care if you're all that good at what you do, then why should you? If you took such an innocent attitude into an Oscar race against the Weinsteins, you'd wake up the morning of the Oscars wearing a necklace made from the teeth of the Chinese dignitary whose murder they'd framed you for.

Throughout the 90s, Miramax's entire business plan was built around creating films specifically tailored to the Academy's delicate sensibilities, banking on the added exposure a win would bring. This plan was put to the test in 1998, when Miramax's Shakespeare in Love was nominated alongside Saving Private Ryan, which spent the summer making every war film that had ever won an Oscar look like a high school play. It was a foregone conclusion Saving Private Ryan would win. And then the campaign started.

The month leading up to the Academy Awards are like an especially petty high school election, if high school students had access to the money cannon that made Transformers 2 possible. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, "Miramax spent an estimated $16 million (about $2,700 for each academy member) on its Shakespeare (in Love) campaign." Miramax also leaned on journalists to criticize Private Ryan for being historically inaccurate, a ballsy maneuver when you consider that Ryan's storming of Normandy made veterans of that battle shit their theater seats, and Miramax's film turned Shakespeare's creative process into a gender bending romantic comedy.

Didn't matter. On the night of the Awards, Shakespeare in Love shocked everyone by winning Best Picture award out from under the Citizen Kane of modern war films.

Which brings us to the Citizen Kane of all films: Citizen Kane. Anyone who cares a little too much about movies swears Orson Wells's 1942 film is the best thing ever projected onto a silver screen. And it's not like people didn't realize it at the time: It was nominated for nine Academy Awards, and was widely expected to win most if not all of them. Then William Randolph Hearst, the publishing giant whose life Kane is loosely based on, started a smear campaign that focused on director Orson Wells's contempt for Hollywood. On the night of the Awards, the audience of Academy members actually booed every time Wells's name was mentioned. The most influential film of all time lost Best Picture to How Green Was My Valley, a film that archeological records indicate nobody gave a shit about even then.

That'll show him to question Hollywood's integrity.

The passage of time reveals a movie's true quality, not the number of gold statues it won. Citizen Kane didn't win the Best Picture, neither did Raging Bull, or Dr. Strangelove, or Rear Window or Star Wars. Keep that in mind while you're watching the circus, and you'll have a better time all around.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Crazy Heart

Well, most of you know where I stand on religion. Right on top of its head.

Actually, I just don't believe in a Big Bad God watching over everything. If you can prove it to me - and I mean scientifically prove it to me - I haven't got much of a reason to believe it.

I've been asked what I think happens after I die? I don't know.
Is there a heaven? I highly doubt it. But if there is, I hope there's soft serve ice cream.
Is there a hell? You're lookin' at it, baby!

To be more succinct, I belong to the church of I Don't Know.
Who the fuck knows?

Was there a Jesus?
Hell if I know. Could be. But the book goes from baby to 30 years-old in just a few pages. Maybe during all that time he was getting his apprenticeship done so he could join the Carpenter's Union Local 1.

I'm not even going to go into all the contradictory shit that's in there. Just make sure you don't eat that shrimp cocktail.

Then there's the argument of 'What if I'm right and you're wrong?'
What if I am? Is God going to throw me into a pit of fire because I didn't believe, but I was proven wrong?
I've got math problems wrong, but nobody snuffed out their cigarettes on my arm.

Besides, if you're right and believe you're going to heaven and I'm going to hell goes against a couple of tenants, doesn't it? "I'm better than you are!" And if you're doing it to make sure you're not going to hell is a bit disingenuous and selfish, don'cha think?

An even better question is, what if I'm right and you're wrong?

My psalm: Don't kick the shit out of each other. (And no aiming for the balls.)

I'd also like for us to all learn from the Book of Job:

Crazy Heart

Synopsis: Four-time Academy Award® nominee JEFF BRIDGES stars as the richly comic, semi-tragic romantic anti-hero Bad Blake in the debut feature film CRAZY HEART from writer-director Scott Cooper. Bad Blake is a broken-down, hard-living country music singer who's had way too many marriages, far too many years on the road and one too many drinks way too many times. And yet, Bad can’t help but reach for salvation with the help of Jean (Golden Globe® nominee MAGGIE GYLLENHAAL), a journalist who discovers the real man behind the musician. As he struggles down the road of redemption, Bad learns the hard way just how tough life can be on one man’s crazy heart. --© Fox Searchlight

I read that this movie takes a story that we've seen and takes a twist to make it an exceptional film.


This is a movie that takes a story we had seen before and...makes a movie that we've seen before.

Broken down, alcoholic, once famous country singer who sleeps with every woman at the bowling alley music lounge, finds love and then ruins it by his drinking, but then... Blah, blah, blah...

Not that it's a bad film. It's just not exceptional. Especially to be considered for an Oscar.

People keep praising Jeff Bridges role in the film, and I'll admit that he is good - BUT - to me it looks like he's doing a cross pollination of Kris Kristofferson and "The Dude" from Big Loebowsky. Good, but unexceptional.

You have to thank god that it does have that hybrid, though. If it was played more in a Kris Kistofferson way I'd've shot myself in the head about thirty minutes in. The lighter moments hold The Dude aspect in it to save himself from agonizingly self indulgent, boredom. And at times, in spite if the lighter moments, it walks awfully close to the cliff. Too close for my taste.

I just kept watching Maggie Gyllenhaal and thinking that she was cute. Would you like me to expound? Okay, I will. Okay, finished.

So there you have it.

The popcorn was well buttered, and there was less educated brother of the doctor, Mr. Pibb.

My rating:
Matinee - I guess so...
Evening - Too expensive (especially if you add in the price of the 'corn and collee pop)
Drive In - Y'know, it might actually work

Shutter Island

I was reading an article in The Huffington Post the other day. They said something that I've been thinking for a long time regarding the President's fight for health care. "No. Maybe he can't."

I don't know if it's maybe he can't. I don't know if it's maybe he won't. I just don't know. That's it. Period. Full stop.

It's like Obama said,

"And it may be that ... if Congress decides we're not going to do it, even after all the facts are laid out, all the options are clear, then the American people can make a judgment as to whether this Congress has done the right thing for them or not," the president said. "And that's how democracy works. There will be elections coming up, and they'll be able to make a determination and register their concerns."

I just don't know how much longer I can't put the blame on Congress. Or if by this point I can even point a finger at Congress.

"'The next step is what I announced at the State of the Union, which is to call on our Republican friends to present their ideas. What I'd like to do is have a meeting whereby I'm sitting with the Republicans, sitting with the Democrats, sitting with health care experts, and let's just go through these bills. ... And then I think that we've got to go ahead and move forward on a vote. Obama said Thursday shortly after a White House meeting with Democratic congressional leaders that produced no apparent progress on health care.

"I think we should be very deliberate, take our time. We're going to be moving a jobs package forward over the next several weeks; that's the thing that's most urgent right now in the minds of Americans all across the country.

"Here's the key, is to not let the moment slip away."

But you did, Mr. President. You did.

From the first moment he gave us a vague outline of what he wanted and then simply passed it off to Congress and said, 'You do it,' it almost seemed to be a novice move. Congress has no guts to act unless pushed into a corner. And the President seems to know how to speak softly, but he simply doesn't carry that big stick.

Many pieces of major legislation that passed in our country over the years seems to have been passed by Presidential strong-arming to some extent.

LBJ didn't get Voting Rights Act and Medicare passed by shifting it over to Congress with a 'Here's what I'd like to see - please make it so,' attitude. He got in the face of every congressman (sometimes quite literally so) who was on the fence and pulled them over to his side.

Truman didn't ask for the okay of the military and Congress to integrate the military. He picked up a pen and signed Executive Order 9981. The last time we dealt with gays in the military, we passed it off to Congress. and the military. We got 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell.'

And as for President Franklin Roosevelt,

"For nearly four years you have had an Administration which instead of twirling its thumbs has rolled up its sleeves. We will keep our sleeves rolled up.

We had to struggle with the old enemies of peace, business and financial monopoly, speculation, reckless banking, class antagonism, sectionalism, war profiteering.

They had begun to consider the Government of the United States as a mere appendage to their own affairs. We know now that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob.

Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today. They are unanimous in their hate for me and I welcome their hatred."

(Got the hint?)

The President wanted a bill by last August, and when last August came the bill still looked a long way off. Why did he let them go off on August recess after saying that he wanted the bill by August? There was some ridiculous call for bipartisanship at all times. At all times it was the same talking point. In my ears I just kept hearing, "Please sir, may I have some more?" But, damn it, there are times that you grab the ladle and serve it up for yourself. Or, for that matter, taking the whole kettle and serving everybody who truly does need it more.

"Rank-and-file Democrats are eager for their leaders to settle on a strategy by the end of next week, after which lawmakers will return to their states for a weeklong recess during which they're sure to face questions from constituents. The health legislation has become unpopular with voters and a political drag in a midterm election year."

It's a drag because, as it says, "Rank-and-file Democrats are eager for their leaders to settle on a strategy...." We all are. The strategy is there. We all know it. We've all heard about it. But, Congress doesn't seem to have the fortitude and there really doesn't seem to be much push from the inside.

"Ralph Neas of the liberal National Coalition on Health Care issued a stern warning to the White House after learning of Obama's remarks.

'The time has come for more forceful presidential leadership,' Neas said. Obama must explain more clearly how his health care provisions would help average Americans and must give clearer guidance to Congress, he said."

"I am not the first President to take up this cause, but I am determined to be the last." Remember when he said that?

My great fear is that this might turn out to be an ironically dark statement.

Yet, I digress...

Shutter Island

"Shutter Island" is the story of two U.S. marshals, Teddy Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Chuck Aule (Mark Ruffalo), who are summoned to a remote and barren island off the coast of Massachusetts to investigate the mysterious disappearance of a murderess from the island’s fortress-like hospital for the criminally insane. --© Paramount

I love Scorsese. I really do. I think I've seen only one or two films that were somewhat iffy on his part. But even his iffy films are better than your average films out there. I guess it just because I'm ranking it along with his other films. I mean, hell, how can you deny the power of a Goodfellas, or - dare I say (Dare! Dare!) - Taxi Driver?

In terms of this film in comparison to the others, it's good. Not great. Not bad. But good.

I went to see it mostly for Scorsese. It has one of the actors that I consider nails on the chalkboard of life: Leonardo DiCaprio. This guy, besides being a mediocre actor, can't pull off an accent to save his life. I wasn't quite sure if he was from Bastin, or Noo Yoahk. That bugged me throughout the movie. Or maybe it was just because I don't like him that I'm pressing the point - but even so...

I was deeply interested in seeing the film because I was confused by the trailer. The preview makes it look like this is going to be a "BOO!" film. Y'know, the kind of film where half of the time things jump out at you, and that's the whole selling point. See, I was confused because Scosese has never done a "BOO!" film and was wondering how he was going to pull this one off.

Well, thank gawd, it wasn't like that at all. That was all the studio promotion people's idea. What a bunch of idiots! I can't stand it when they can't use their brains to figure out how to actually sell the movie for what it is - a strange suspense film.

Okay, about the film itself...

As you watch, you're never quite sure what the film is about. And that's the point of the film.

Are they looking for the woman who disappeared? What is her real importance? Is he looking for the firebug who killed his wife? Was the guy actually double-crossed and sent to the institution by accident or on purpose? What about the doctors?

That's the whole film. It is a giant mind-fuck. Who is telling the truth? Who is evil? Who is crazy?

It all rolls around and around. Even at the very end you've got it. Or do you?

That's the beauty of this film. That's the Scorsese I love.

The popcorn was good, but a little too light on the butter. But they had Mr. Pibb to make up for the difference.

If you've forgotten, this is how I rate my films:
Is it worth paying for to see it as a matinee?
Is it worth paying the extra ump-teen bucks to see it as at night?
What about at the drive-in?

(The drive-in?!? Yes, the drive-in. Because there are movies that are iffy at matinees, iffy to no way at the evening showing, but they're woth seeing at the drive-in. Think about it. The film "XXX" with Vin Diesel... It's hardly worth seeing at the matinee. Not even close to be worth seeing at night. But at the drive-in, with a box of stale popcorn, a coke, maybe even a scary burger... Sound coming through your radio, and being able to talk in a normal voice... Getting some of the night air... It can make some bad movies seem decent, and a decent movie look good.)

I'd rank this film:

Matinee - Yes
Evening - Sure, why not.
Drive In - You bet your ass!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire

We played a show the other night and it went really well. Well, kind of...

We played at a place called Tula's in Belltown. I guess a few months ago some band had a show there and they basically packed the place out. The bar, which is actually a jazz bar, decided to do late night punk rock shows from then on. (Two bands - midnight to 1:30a)

Besides, how many people are going to stay in a jazz bar after 11, anyway? Why not do a punk show and try to get a few more people in?

Well... I... Uh...

The unfortunate thing is it's in Belltown - the hub of CFM pumps and push-up bras. (Not that I've got anything against that, mind you. Especially if the girl is cute, Asian, and shit-faced.) And the promotion for the shows are almost nil. Not even a sign out front saying, "Punk Rock Here TONITE!"

Not to really bitch about that. It's always good to have a live practice in front of the other band (who are basically your friends), and the staff - who liked you enough to give you thirty-five bucks for playing to no one and drinking their beer for free.

But the funny part was actually before the show.

Me and Zack went to park the car and couldn't find a place so we called a "fuck it" and went to the lot. As we pulled in and started to back into a spot this girl came running up to the car and said, "Wait! Are you guys gonna park? We're leaving early and this is good until 7a, you can use it." That was totally cool - and she was hot! And she was Asian! Oh be still my heart!

I stepped out and had Zack park the car into the tight spot 'cause he's good at those things. But as we we're readying some asshole in one of those first-generation minivans was laying on his horn like he needed to get home before he lost his erection and wouldn't have anymore of a chance to yankee his wanky.

He had plenty of room to go in the other direction, but he was insistent on doing it his way. Fine...

So we moved, and we waited. His engine revved. He stuck it in gear and WHAM! Right into the car in front of him! I started to laugh my ass off. The I heard his engine rev harder and harder. I was thinking, hoping, that he had locked bumpers with the guy. I almost pissed my pants, laughing as I was sprawled over the hood of the car in the next stall.

Then I heard the click of the gear changing - finally he figured how to put his car into reverse, and he pulled out faster than a (add sexual innuendo here).

Unfortunately he left barely a mark. Oh! And I had his license plate and everything!

Yet, I digress...

Lee Daniels’s PRECIOUS: BASED ON THE NOVEL “PUSH” BY SAPPHIRE is a vibrant, honest and resoundingly hopeful film about the human capacity to grow and overcome.

Set in Harlem in 1987, it is the story of Claireece “Precious” Jones (Gabourey Sidibe), a sixteen-year-old African-American girl born into a life no one would want. She’s pregnant for the second time by her absent father; at home, she must wait hand and foot on her mother (Mo’Nique), a poisonously angry woman who abuses her emotionally and physically.

School is a place of chaos, and Precious has reached the ninth grade with good marks and an awful secret: she can neither read nor write. Precious may sometimes be down, but she is never out.

Beneath her impassive expression is a watchful, curious young woman with an inchoate but unshakeable sense that other possibilities exist for her. Threatened with expulsion, Precious is offered the chance to transfer to an alternative school, Each One/Teach One. Precious doesn’t know the meaning of “alternative,” but her instincts tell her this is the chance she has been waiting for. In the literacy workshop taught by the patient yet firm Ms. Rain (Paula Patton), Precious begins a journey that will lead her from darkness, pain and powerlessness to light, love and self-determination. --© Lionsgate

THIS is a film that should win the Academy Award - hands down.

Admittedly, I haven't seen all of the films up for best movie, but of those I have seen they don't even come close comparing to this.

The casting director pulled people out from where you'd never think to put them. As you watch it you end up coming to the realization that, "Hey - isn't that Mo'Nique? Isn't that Mariah Carey? Fuck me! That's Lenny Kravitz?!?" But they all pull the movie along without you hanging on the fact that they are that person. It really is the character that holds the film.

And they pulled out an unknown in Gabourey "Gabby" Sidibe to take the roll of Precious. They couldn't have found anyone better. I say that because if they pulled in someone we all knew we'd be watching the actor as that actor. Will they, can they pull it off? As an unknown she can push it all out there without us being stuck on the celebrity. (Just as how they brought Mo'Nique, Mariah Carey, and Lenny Kravitz out of their regular known region to put them in a new light.)

And it's the first time a movie made me bawl like a baby in a long time.

As the end credits rolled I unfortunately saw that it was produced by Oprah. YEESH! It's a good thing that they didn't stick that in the preview 'cause that would have been a deal breaker for me. Fuck Oprah! But who knows... The director was the producer for Monster's Ball - one of my favorite movies. (And not just 'cause Halle Berry gets nekkid....)

I'm going to find the people who vote on the films and kick their asses for even putting a film like Avatar even on the list. Cocksuckers!

This film gets an A-plus! Especially because the popcorn was perfectly buttered and they had Dr. Pepper's little brother Mr. Pibb.