Duh: Laura Dern

I have decide to call this (potential) series “Duh” because in it I will chronicle people who I was surprised are related despite it being fairly apparent. Now, in my defense, when I hear the disclaimer “no relation” I typically never had assumed as much. In some ways I chalk it up to common last names. In other ways I chalk it up to my being a little less into biographies in this point in life than I once was.

Regardless of the reason for these brainfarts I figure why not highlight them such that someone else may avoid a similar mistake.

It was Oscar season when Bruce Dern was making the rounds for Nebraska that I discovered that Laura Dern is his daughter. And in confirming this I discovered that Diane Ladd is her mother.

This will definitely not be the last of these posts, but we’ll see how many of these “duh” moments come up.

86th Annual Academy Awards

As has become tradition I will drop here my off-the-cuff thoughts on the ceremonies and the winners as they proceed. Enjoy.

Red Carpet

I intended to cover more of the red carpet this year because I haven’t seen an awful lot of the nominated films, but I tuned in about 23 minutes later than I intended to.

As for the films, I typically get caught up in January and February, but have been focused on more new releases. As always, I have come to terms with the Oscars being more of a great show than about who wins for me, but I do still have some people I am rooting for.

With this year’s host not really being a controversial decision I anticipate I will discuss the “material” (such as it is) less.

I’m am extraordinarily bad at realizing people are related. Today’s example: Laura and Bruce Dern.

Amy Adams doing her hair as an homage to Vertigo is a decision I support.

Jennifer Lawrence is “winning” so far. Once Christian Dior was mentioned I realized it made sense. Amazing look.

Some good little segments in this pre-show like the Blue Jasmine costuming and My First Oscars.

Only 12 minute to the pointless thirty-minute pre-show that only delays the festivities!

The countdown clock is up. Everyone is pretty much there. You’re just being tortured at this point.

The good thing about the pre-show is that the nominees start to take over because it seems they just want to get things started.

I haven’t minded the selfie and pizza bits, but if the show is running even later than normal, then maybe, just a little.
A Fresh Prince cameraman is working the Oscars. One of the better tidbits we’ll learn.

The clock makes things go so much slower.

The Ceremony

It started. Nick Hoult is in the audience, the start is a good one.

New oldest nominees, which I was unaware of.

I like the stage and the fact that Captain Phillips and Philomena Lee are there.

That was the joke to end a monologue on. Amazing!

The Oscar clip is the main reason I don’t get Hanks being snubbed.

Jared Leto’s clip was the most convincing advertisement of Dallas Buyers Club yet.

The first political moment of the night didn’t take long, truthfully more important things are going on. Peace on earth all.

Random video segment of the night one: celebrates animation. It’s not like it’s under-appreciated.

“Happy” was the Despicable Me 2 song closest to earning a BAM nomination but missed the cut. It’s a tough category to crack.

Notable acknowledgement of the inclusion of hairstyling in the makeup category. It undeniably changed the process.

Three best picture nominees profiled at a time. Oh boy.

What is a “warm Kodak Theater welcome” exactly?

My take on the short films as a whole, and where to find them, can be seen here. I am glad Mr. Hublot got it, because Disney is a safe bet for the Feature category.

FROZEN! Called it.

Frozen (2013, Disney)

Picking Gravity for Visual Effects is so easy I did it.

Zac Efron, your intro is a musical chord from Hairspray please do more musicals.

So far the most exciting moments of the night have been around the short films. So, so, so, so happy that Helium won. What a gorgeous film that made me cry in its 20 minute run time.

At least The Great Beauty winning supplants Life is Beautiful as Italy’s most recent win.

Not many comments recently because, as per usual, almost nothing is a surprise.

The obligatory joke about the President of the Academy always gets me.

Bill Murray’s impromptu tribute to Harold Ramis wins tonight.

Lubezki won long ago in my book.

“Cuaron wrote, directed and edited the movie, let’s play music on him” The Oscars.

Pink is guaranteed to bring the house down at any award show she sings at. Always a good idea.

The only thing that can get Gravity is … The Great Gatsby of all things, in art categories.

Missed the intro for the 2nd random video tribute. This third one is heroes. OK.

Lost momentum towards the end, but there was little else to report really. Love McConaughey’s speech it was great. Blanchett’s was also a statement of a different kind.

The ceremony was saved from being a complete and utter bore because Gravity didn’t win Best Picture after nabbing most everything else. However, maybe that was foretold by the fact that it didn’t have a writing nomination.

Glad, Cuaron got to speak his entire piece when his turn came again.

Not the most memorable broadcast, but maybe more exposure to the crop will make it stand out. Dallas Buyers Club rose big time in my estimation.

2013 Holiday Viewing Log

The end of the year for any movie watcher typically puts you in scramble mode. Regardless of what kind of movies your trying to watch: new releases, classic cinema or Holiday-themed films.

Therefore, rather than have both the Year-End Dash run overly-long, I figured it’d be good to siphon off the holiday-themed offerings. If any films are new and holiday they will link from the other posts to text here.

For a reference to what my ratings mean, go here.

The Christmas Ornament (2013)

TheChristmasOrnament_0001U

The first thing that needs to be said is that the initial offerings are all Hallmark originals for the holidays. On the rare occasion these can surprise. Those found in these reviews here are not the case. Furthermore, what’s not included here was one that I could not finish watching due to how insipid, and in the end, predictable it was.

All these three have their moments, but ultimately fall short. What’s pleasant in this tale are some of the performances and that some of the obvious realizations are not held off for too long. Certain factors that I thought would only come in to play late are out fairly early here. Other than that nothing special.

5/10

Pete’s Christmas (2013)

petes-christmas-hallmark-channel

This film does feature a Groundhog Day like tale that is unusually, in a good way, heavy in montage and features a good cast Bruce Dern, Zachary Gordon, Bailee Madison and Peter DaCunha. However, given its trappings it doesn’t do anything to special with the formula and does, sadly, meander a bit through the second act taking too long to figure out what its ultimate path was aside from trying to improve how setpieces and tropes are handled.

5/10

Christmas Star (2013)

Catch-A-Christmas-Star-Hallmark-16-550x494

This may not have been the straw that broke the camel’s back in regards to my tolerance for Hallmark’s formula, but it was the low ebb prior to having to call one quits early. Essentially what you have in this film is an unrealistic and highly predictable scenario, inadequate performances save by one given by the youngest cast member (Kyle Harrison Breitkopf), uncomfortable staging and glacial plot movement and add to that, for the most part, really grating country music stylings. It just fails in nearly all aspects.

2/10