Monday, February 02, 2009

Oscar Talk with MC RoboChrist

MC RoboChrist is a long time friend of mine and an embittered former sports reporter who sold his soul by becoming a PR hack. RoboChrist is also a bit of an obsessive movie geek and every year around this time he spends countless hours watching movies and writing about the Oscar race. His movie reviews and breakdown of the Oscar race are too funny and entertaining for me and the rest of our friends to keep all to ourselves. For the remainder of the "awards season" I'll be posting lightly edited versions of RoboChrist's various rants about the movies. When I say lightly edited, that means I'll be removing people's names and maybe adding a hyperlink or two when applicable. -HR

Taken from an e-mail by MC RoboChrist

The dance may be a tradition, but most Indian movies I've seen are comedies or musicals, so it fits. This time it was out of place. In a movie [Slumdog Millionaire, ed.] that contains scenes SPOILER ALERT in which a little boy's eyes are boiled out of his head with hot oil, numerous characters meet grisly ends, and a gorgeous woman is disfigured, the happy dance was as appropriate as making Schindler's List a musical.

This movie will win Best Pic, and a lot more Oscars. It is very good, but I don't think it is a classic. It's great for international cinema that a non-Hollywood/London film is going to win, but I think that's one of the reasons it will win (voters love to write the news story) -- along with the fact that the other four contenders aren't classics either. As I said, Slumdog comes close - it is very well-shot, well-acted and well-written - but it didn't grab me as much it has grabbed others.

Saw Milk last night. Three stars, mainly due to Sean Penn's chameleon act as doomed SF Supe/gay activist Harvey Milk. Penn may a tremendous asshole, but he continues to improve as an actor. It's really hard to name five actors as consistently good as him on the planet. Seymour Hoffman, Downey Jr., Clint, O'Toole ... that might be it. And unlike Clint and O'Toole, you always forget it's Sean Penn. That's how good he is. He might snatch the Oscar from Mickey Rourke, which would be fine by me b/c the weeks-long steroids/drug/alcohol rage that would elicit from Rourke would be better than any 'I've been to the edge' acceptance speech Rourke would give. Plus, Penn is bound to put the unnecessary Hollywood fuck-you coda on the Bush presidency in his speech, and I don't think the voters can resist that.

Others I've seen:

Changeling - *** - Okay, so I've got wood for Clint (director here) - long-established fact. But take my word, this is a good movie. It is not a classic along the lines of Mystic River, Unforgiven or Million-Dollar Baby. But it's very well done. Angelina Jolie plays the real-life mom facing the dual horror of a kidnapped child and a corrupt police force (LA) trying to pawn off ANOTHER kid to her as a replacement so they can close the case and get good PR. Like Mr. Penn, Jolie's a cunt in real life. But she can act - and Clint once again proves he can get the best out of cunts (Penn, Jolie, Robbins, Streep). And as is typical of late-model Clint films, it's well shot, the casting is perfect, it's a got a nice score, and it moves along well. No dead parts.

In Bruges - ***1/2 - This is my new favorite film of the year. It's a farce about low-end London thugs hiding out in a Belgian tourist trap that includes some of the best dialogue I've seen on film outside of a Coen Bros. movie in ages,and a script that is worth a second view. Watch the film VERY closely. British humor rules. And while Colin Farrell (who won a Golden Globe for this role) and Brendan Gleeson are great, Ralph Fiennes steals the movie in the last 30 minutes as their insane boss done wrong. His over-the-top Cockney accent reminds me of Ben Kingsley in Sexy Beast (another great performance -- and actually you can add Kingsley and Fiennes to that list of great actors who always deliver in diverse roles.) While billed as a comedy, it's got enough blood and gore to make Mr. Steaks fill his pants -- and a tender side that'll make your date fill a Kleenex or two. Add in midgets, coke and whores and I cannot understand how this film scored just a single nom (Screenplay).

The Reader - *** - Lots of nekkid Katie Dub, which I already said is worth a star on its own. They ugly her up for the movie - plus she ages over time - but it's still a visual feast. Still, the film's a tad long and plodding. Kinda tough to get into a Holocaust picture that doesn't actually take place DURING the Holocaust (but rather in a) post-War Germany and b) a courtroom). And the basic point of the script - that it is less embarrassing to admit you let a pack of Jews burn in a Church than to acknowledge you could not have committed the crime BECAUSE YOU ARE ILLITERATE! seems a bit hard to grasp. Ralph Fiennes shows up again , playing the aged version of Kate's post-War teen-age lover. It's a different and yet still perfectly acted role than the ones he played in In Bruges or The Duchess.

Doubt - **1/2 - There's a very interesting race for Best Actress shaping up between Kate W. and Meryl Streep, who is so fucking mean in this movie you want to jump into the screen and punch her in the crotch. In all of the other major award competitions, Winslet's role was listed as Supporting Actress (and she won everything). For whatever reason, the Academy nominated her for Best Actress. Not only did this DQ her performance in Revolutionary Road (by Academy rules you can only be nominated for one performance per category in the acting races), but it turns what was a slam-dunk win in the Supporting category into a horse race with the best actress ever. Someone's getting fucked here. At any rate, the acting in this movie was great, but the direction blew. It did not translate to the screen. It was just a filmed play. Great acting. Bad direction. Think I wrote about that already. Apparently this guy's only previous feature was Joe vs. the Volcano. Explains a lot. (BTW, with Winslet out of the Supporting category, two actresses in this film - Amy Adams and Viola Davis - could end us an beneficiaries, especially if voters picking Winslet for Best Actress are looking for a way to give Doubt an Oscar. Davis is in two scenes - both with Streep - and holds her own. That alone is worthy of an award. Adams, as the mousy nun/teacher whose vivid imagination sends Streep on a witch hunt, continues her run of great performances by an actress who could be (but isn't) a box-office star if she chose shittier roles.

The Wrestler - **1/2 - This movie hinges entirely on Rourke's so-called resurrection. He is in every scene, so if you don't like him, you won't like the movie. It's got a few other bonuses, including an oft-naked Marisa Tomei (looking GREAT at 44), but this is mostly about Rourke. The fact that he's playing a has-been adds to the life imitating art bullshit that has Hollywood jerking off over him. Rourke is VERY good. The movie is good - again, really nothing else going on besides Rourke's acting and a cool '80s hair metal soundtrack For rasslin' fans, there's plenty of good ol' fashioned blood bouts. Staple guns!

Still on my list:
Rev. Rd.
WALL-E (somehow I missed this despite having three kids)
Happy Go Lucky
Rachel's Getting Married
Frozen River
Gran Torino


Anonymous said...

This guy is a super prick, for calling women cunts. Get the point?

Hill Rat said...

Well masked commentator, did you also notice that he called men cunts too? I thought not, perhaps you were a little too busy wallowing in your petty and insignificant grievance.

IK said...

I have to agree with Anonymous. This is really offensive and upsetting. HillRat--the proud father--loans tacit approval to the fantasy of kicking women in the crotch? I don't think the first time your daughter gets called a cunt, you'll feel it's petty and insignificant.

We like your words. Leave this jerk's to himself.

Anonymous said...

why are you defending misogyny???

Hill Rat said...

Dear Anonymous,

I've known MC RoboChrist for over ten years, he has three daughters (actually four, one died before she made it to her first birthday) and I can state with a high degree of certainty that MCRC is not a misogynist.

I notice you didn't address the fact MCRC also called Sean Penn a cunt, what about that? Would it have been OK if he labeled all of those actors "pricks?"

MCRC (who is Jewish) also made jokes about making "Schindler's List" into a musical and said that he gets, " . . . wood for Clint . . ." Does that make him an anti-Semite or gay? No it doesn't, so why does a joke using the word cunt make him a misogynist?

Anonymous said...

It's a very nasty word word for women.Maybe if he called you the n word, you would understand.

Hill Rat said...


It's not that I don't understand what you're getting at here, the word "cunt" is bad, bad, bad. As far as MCRC calling me the dreaded "N" word, you would be quite surprised at the things my friends and I say to each other. Words like Wop, Mick, Darkie, Belgican, and Hook-Nosed Jew Bastard are often sprinkled liberally throughout our conversations.

But here's the thing, this is MY FUCKING BLOG and I thought MCRC's thoughts on those movies was funny, so I posted it. If you're offended I invite you to keep on moving 'cause I'm not gonna stop saying and posting whatever the fuck I feel like posting.

Regardless of what you decide, thanks for taking the time comment (No, I'm not being sarcastic). If you want to keep busting my balls in the comments, please feel free 'cause I'm not down for censorship.

Bring It On Jabroni,


Anonymous said...

the first comment who referred to the critic as a super prick for calling women cunts...what are you for calling a man a super prick? a cunt, maybe?

get it?

High School Essay said...

Great cover of pregnancy commentator, completed you also perceive that he called men cunts too? i possibility not, maybe you were a little excessively awful occupied wallowing in your trivial Also inconsequential grievance.

Finance Dissertation said...

This is by any means hostile What's more annoying. Rise Rat--the pleased father--loans implicit Regard of the dream of kicking ladies in the crotch? i don't imagine the to start with run through your little girl gets known as a cunt, you'll feel its trivial and inconsequential.