Man On The Moon

Welcome to the blog about a day in the life of a film student!

"And That's The Truth, Ruth!"

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

My Favorite Movies of 2008

Since I have taken a lot of flak for my comments against Slumdog Millionaire I thought I should share with everyone my favorite movies of 2008 and what I had in mind when comparing "Slumdog". Now undoubtedly my two favorite movies of 2008 were Zack and Miri Make a Porno and Burn After Reading. These aren't really Academy favorites so I will list my top 5 "Academy" contenders:

5. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

When this movie first came out it had a ton of buzz but then it sort of died down. It failed to pick up any major awards during awards season which was a pretty big hint to it not picking up Best Picture at the Oscars. I still think it was a pretty good movie. A lot of criticisim had it saying it was too "Hollywood" and very similar to another film by "Benjamin Button's" screenwriter...Forrst Gump. However, the visual effects were outstanding and they were recognized with that at the Oscars picking up the awards for best Art Direction and Best Makeup. I really did enjoy this story even though it might have been the most "original" I enjoy Brad Pitt better in his smaller, more quirky roles (see Burn After Reading or Snatch) but he is still capable of being a leading man. Even though it was 3 hours long, it was still very enjoyable and deserving of any praise it gets.

4. Slumdog Millionaire

Yup, it only appears 4th on my list. I've said it before, this movie is visually stunning. Editing, cineamatography, directing, everything technical about this movie was very well done. It was an interesting story and it gave us a look at something outside the world we usually see. However, the reason why it does not rank higher on my list is because it is weak in the categories I really like in movies, such as writing and acting. Mind you this was an adapted story from the book "Q & A" but I didn't feel there was anything special about the dioulouge. There were some interesting characters for sure and it was very unique but it wasn't the greatest movie of the year for me. Again, very technically sound but I felt there could have been a lot more to it.

3. Milk

This movie really caught me off guard. I heard a lot of buzz about Sean Penn's acting but other than that I didn't hear too much about it. I saw it and really enjoyed it. It is an extremley well written film and every single character in it has great development. It was totally deserving of the best screenplay and the best acting Oscars it won. I wasn't familiar with the story of Harvey Milk until I saw this movie but it is a really powerful story and is really brought to life by director Gus Van Sant. There is a lot of great imagery and the movie brings a lot of my favorite themes to the forefront of this movie (politics, counter culture, social activism, etc...) A lot of people are only giving this movie credit for it's great acting but it deserves a lot more as it is a great all around movie.

2. Frost/Nixon

A lot of people probably wouldn't put this movie this high on their list, but I personally think this movie deserved a lot more. It failed to pick up any major award but it was a fantastic political movie released at the right time. Frank Langella did an amazing job as Richard Nixon and the movie as a whole did a great job of showcasing the Frost/Nixon interviews of 1977. Especially as a Media Studies student, this film kept me interested the entire time because a major theme was how the media can affect an entire nation's government. These sets of interviews changed the way Nixon was perceived and was a big victory for millions of Americans who wan't to see Nixon admit his guilt. Perhaps it wasn't as facinating to people who don't have much interest in the media or politics, but anyone interested in pursuing a career in either would really dig this flick. I was pulling for it in the Best Picture category at the Oscars but knew it didn't stand much of a chance.

1. The Wrestler

The indie favorite of the year was also my favorite. This is an extreemley human movie which showcases a ton of emotion from it's cast. "The Wrestler" picked up a ton of independent awards and deserved every one of them. The only oscars it was up for was Marisa Tomei for Best Supporting Actress and Mickey Rourke for Best Lead Actor. It didn't win either one but both put on great preformances. On top of this incredibly emotional picture, the soundtrack attatched was fantastic. I don't know how Bruce Springsteen's "The Wrestler" didn't get nominated for Best Original Song but it was a perfect song to fit the ending of the movie. I really enjoyed this movie for the human quality displayed through it's characters. Rourke's character was really well developed and relatable even though I have never been in any of the circumstances he has been in. It is one of the best movies I've seen in a while and my favorite movie of 2008.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Oscar Recap and why "Slumdog" is overrated

Last night at the 81st Academy Awards saw the movie Slumdog Millionaire pick up the award for best picture among numerous other awards. This movie has been gaining a lot of buzz and momentum all year long and everyone seems to be in awe over this film. Now, I don't mean to be a snobby film student here but I do think this movie was overrated. I think that the hype kept getting built up and it is at such a high that when people watch it they feel like it is a great movie just because of the reputation that preceded it. For most people this is one of the few movies they have seen that have been produced outside of Hollywood and by talking about how they saw it and loved it makes them appear cultured and educated. However, "Slumdog" was a very good film, I just don't feel it was best picture worthy. I think it's win was a product of hype and buzz. It deserved the technical awards it won such as sound and cinematography, it was a very beautifuly shot film. I just don't think it was the best overall film of the year. Later this week I will post my top movies of 2008. But for now, thoughts on the Oscars?

Friday, February 20, 2009

Some Great Movie Quotes

Here are some great quotes from some movies I love:

1."The only true currency in this bankrupt world... is what you share with someone else when you're uncool"
-Almost Famous

2. "Yeah, but your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn't stop to think if they should"
-Jurassic Park

3. "Marvin, you gotta play. See that's where they kiss for the first time on the dance floor. And if there's no music, they can't dance. If they can't dance, they can't kiss. If they can't kiss they can't fall in love, and I'm history"
-Back to the Future

4. "I said that I would see you because I had heard that you were a serious man. A man to be treated with respect but I must say no to you and I will give you my reasons. It's true, I have a lot of friends in politics. But they wouldn't be so friendly if they knew my business was drugs instead of gambling which they consider a harmless vice but drugs, that's a dirty business"
The Godfather

5. "There are many things my father taught me here in this room. He taught me: keep your friends close, but your enemies closer"
-The Godfather II

6. "Look, I'm not stupid. It's the Big Man's wife. I'm gonna sit across from her, chew my food with my mouth closed, laugh at her fucking jokes, and that's it. "
-Pulp Fiction

7. "What are ya thinkin' about? Ya keep lookin'. Where the fuck you going? You're dead! You're married! You're a married man, it's all over. Leave the young girls for me"
Raging Bull

8. "Some people say weird shit during sex. I once called this chick "mom" "

9. "There's an old joke - um... two elderly women are at a Catskill mountain resort, and one of 'em says, "Boy, the food at this place is really terrible." The other one says, "Yeah, I know; and such small portions." Well, that's essentially how I feel about life - full of loneliness, and misery, and suffering, and unhappiness, and it's all over much too quickly."
-Annie Hall

10. "Come on. Why don't you take a look around. You know what's about to happen, what they're up against. They could use a good pilot like you, you're turning your back on them." -Star Wars

11. "Anything? Well, uh I guess I, deep down, am feeling a little confused. I mean, suddenly, you get married, and you're supposed to be this entirely different guy. I don't feel different. I mean, take yesterday for example. We were out at the Olive Garden for dinner, which was lovely. And uh, I happen to look over at a certain point during the meal and see a waitress taking an order, and I found myself wondering what color her underpants might be. Her panties. Uh, odds are they are probably basic white, cotton, underpants. But I sort of think well maybe they're silk panties, maybe it's a thong. Maybe it's something really cool that I don't even know about. You know, and uh, and I started feeling... what? what I thought we were in the trust tree in the nest, were we not? "
-Old School

12. "Who the fuck cares? I'll dig the fuckin' hole. I don't give a fuck. What is it, the first hole I dug? Not the first time I dug a hole. I'll fuckin' dig a hole. Where are the shovels?"

13. "Maybe I'm spending too much of my time starting up clubs and putting on plays. I should probably be trying harder to score chicks. "

14. "If I hear so much as a mouse fart in here the rest of the night I swear by God and sonny Jesus you will all visit the infirmary. Every last motherfucker in here"
-The Shawshank Redemption

15. "You know it's funny what a young man recollects? 'Cause I don't remember bein' born. I don't recall what I got for my first Christmas and I don't know when I went on my first outdoor picnic. But I do remember the first time I heard the sweetest voice in the wide world"
-Forrest Gump

16. "Stern, if this factory ever produces a shell that can actually be fired, I'll be very unhappy"
-Schindler's List

17. "You should never underestimate the predictability of stupidity"

18. "Every day I come by your house and I pick you up. And we go out. We have a few drinks, and a few laughs, and it's great. But you know what the best part of my day is? For about ten seconds, from when I pull up to the curb and when I get to your door, 'cause I think, maybe I'll get up there and I'll knock on the door and you won't be there. No goodbye. No see you later. No nothing. You just left. I don't know much, but I know that."
-Good Will Hunting

19. "You're way too conservative for that girl. She's been around and seen things we've only read about in a book"
-Chasing Amy

20. "We're gonna need a bigger boat"

21. "It was one of those days when it's a minute away from snowing and there's this electricity in the air, you can almost hear it. And this bag was, like, dancing with me. Like a little kid begging me to play with it. For fifteen minutes. And that's the day I knew there was this entire life behind things, and... this incredibly benevolent force, that wanted me to know there was no reason to be afraid, ever. Video's a poor excuse, I know. But it helps me remember... and I need to remember... Sometimes there's so much beauty in the world I feel like I can't take it, like my heart's going to cave in. "
-American Beauty

22. "Am I supposed to be a man, am I supposed to say, it's OK, I don't mind. I don't mind. Well I mind! I mind big time? And you know what the worst part is? I NEVER LEARNED TO READ"
- Wayne's World

23. "Listen kid, I'm not gonna bullshit you, all right? I don't give a good fuck what you know, or don't know, but I'm gonna torture you anyway, regardless. Not to get information. It's amusing, to me, to torture a cop. You can say anything you want cause I've heard it all before. All you can do is pray for a quick death, which you ain't gonna get."
-Reservoir Dogs

24. "He better be worth it. He better go home and cure a disease, or invent a longer-lasting light bulb"
- Saving Private Ryan

25. "I think we make a real sharp couple of coconuts - I'm dumb, you're shy, whaddaya think, huh?"
- Rocky

26. "Whoa. Y'all take a chill. You got to cool that shit off. And that's the double-truth, Ruth. "
- Do The Right Thing

27. "Well you figure, you sleep one-third of your life, that knocks out eight years of marriage right there. So you're, y'know, down to 16 in change. You know you're just a teenager, at marriage, you can drive it but there's still the occasional accident"
- Lost in Translation

28. "the truck drivers come in to eat greasy burgers and they kid you and you kid them back, but they're stupid and dumb, boys with big tattoos all over 'em, and you don't like it... And they ask you for dates and sometimes you go... but you mostly don't, and all they ever try is to get into your pants whether you want to or not... and you go home and sit in your room and think, when and how will I ever get away from this?... And now you know."
Bonnie & Clyde

29. "I guess you think you're... you know, like an authority figure, with that stupid fuckin' uniform, huh buddy? King clip-on-tie there, big fuckin' man, huh? You know these are the limits of your life, man. The rule of your little fuckin' gate here. Here's your four dollars, you pathetic piece of shit. "
- Fargo

30. "I am a star. I'm a star, I'm a star, I'm a star. I am a big, bright, shining star. That's right"
- Boogie Nights

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

He's Just Not That Into You

The chick flick that everyone's been talking about is finally out. He's Just Not That Into You features an all star cast and a story of multiple women dealing with rejection, loneliness, and their desperation for a man's approval. Although this movie is targeted towards women, it isn't as sappy as The Notebook and is a fairly bearable chick flick. There are some funny moments which even a male audience can appreciate but for the most part it is meant to warm the hearts of women everywhere. It was cheap Tuesday AND I had a giftcard so when a few (female) friends wanted to see it I tagged along with them. So, if your special lady friend is wanting to see it, I suggest taking her as it really isn't a horrible couple of hours spent. Here is the trailer:

Private Eye Films

This year I've been taking a course entitled "Film Genres". Basically the entire year was split up into four units:

1. Silent Comedy
2. Screwball Comedy
3. Private Eye
4. Woody Allen

The reason I took this class is because last year one of the units was gangster films. This is my most favorite genre ever. On the first day when we got the syllabus and gangster film was not on there I nearly dropped the course. But, the Woody Allen unit caught my eye and I felt it would be worth it to suck it up with the other units and enjoy the Woody Allen unit. This was a big mistake. We currently just finished the "Private Eye" unit and we need to write an essay on three films from this genre. There is a problem with this. All those movies are boring as hell!!! My goal during reading week was to finish this essay to get it over with, but I can't even get through 20 minuts of one movie let alone three! Ahhh!!!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Shine A Light

For my documentary film class I am writing a paper comparing two documentaries about The Rolling Stones: Gimme Shelter (1970) and Shine a Light (2008). Now you've heard me go on and on about Martin Scorsese, but Scorsese (director of Shine a Light) does an amazing job with this documentary. It is just so nicely put together. It has some great archival footage as well as some fun backstage stuff. For anyone that is a fan of the band I suggest you check this documentary out!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Shift of Focus

So lately I have had a hard time coming up with movie topics without sounding like just a reporter. So I've decided that there will be a slight shift of focus on my blog. Instead of it just being about movies, it will be more "A day in the life of a film student" type thing. Of course the main theme will still be movies but there will be more of an insight into my personal life instead of me just reporting movie news! Hopefully this will help me be able to post more often and post more interesting things. Any advice on particular topics or ideas you'd like to see discussed??

Saturday, February 7, 2009

My Favorite Filmmakers

Being a film student and in the middle of essay crunch time, two separate essays I'm currently working on are both focused on my favorite filmmaker of all time, Martin Scorsese. All of my recent research and writing has reaffirmed my love for this man and everything he creates and made me think of the people responsible for my love of film. In three years taking film classes this is the first time I've had a chance to study Scorsese so even though it sucks to have to write essays, the usual stress isn't on since I love learning about him and his movies. So other than Scorsese, here are my five favorite filmmakers:

5. Francis Ford Coppola

Favorite Movies by Coppola:

The Godfather
The Godfather II (1974)
Apocalypse Now (1979)

4. Steven Spielberg

Favorite Movies by Spielberg:

Jaws (1975)
Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
Jurassic Park (1993)

3. Wes Anderson

Favorite Movies by Anderson:

Rushmore (1998)
The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)
The Life Aquatic (2004)

2. Kevin Smith

Favorite Movies by Smith:

Clerks (1994)
Chasing Amy (1997)
Dogma (1999)

1. Martin Scorsese

Favorite Movies by Scorsese:

Raging Bull (1980)
Goodfellas (1990)
The Departed (2006)

So there it is. Anyone else have a particular filmmaker they will be sure to see anything and everything made by them?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Web 2.0 Revoloution

This article describing the direction the “blogosphere” is heading is an incredibly interesting read. It discusses the dynamic growth blogs are experiencing and what factors contribute to it’s growth. The article cites that 1.4 new blogs are made every second. This is an astounding number and something I never really thought of before seeing this article. It is especially interesting to see the different parts of the world that have incorporated blogs as an important piece of their every day life. In the article there is a mention of the amount of blogs that are written in particular languages. What was really surprising was that Japanese was the #1 blogging language coming in at 37% of all blogs – followed by English at 33%. The whole Web 2.0 movement and the idea that the online world is becoming a place of community for collaboration and creativity is a very humbling one. To know that I am a part of this massive but yet close community is pretty mind blowing. Above just the written blogs, the idea of tags and tagging really brings everything closer together. Instead of having to type out your thoughts, you click on pictures, words, links, and more “tags” are presented to you. This really connects everything in an extremely fast and efficient way. To think that the computer learns all of my thoughts and interests to much, it knows which new ideas and interests to present to me. The Internet is expanding so rapidly every day, but because of all of these Web 2.0 technologies it is really bringing everything closer to home.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Vicky Christina Barcelona

If you haven't seen this movie (or even heard of it) now is the time to check it out. I had a couple of hours to spare today so I checked out Woddy Allen's latest and it really didn't fail to amuse. The movie stars Scarlett Johansson, Penelope Cruz, and Javier Bardem (Oscar winner last year for No Country for Old Men) and is a great little flick. Some great acting and a very interesting story accompanied with a typically quricky Woody Allen screenplay makes this a very enjoyable watch. It shows how two friends (Johansson and Rebecca Hall) spend a summer in Spain looking to change their lives and the end we realize that some things never really change. It is a really cleaver look at coming of age and different people's perspective on life. Cruz is up for a best supporting actress award at the Oscars for her performance in the movie. Check it out if you're looking for a light but really worthwhile film!

Goodfellas Wins Out

In my American Cinema course, each term we have to choose a film to focus our writings and research on. Throughout the term we have to write a couple of essays on a particular film and the time period surrounding it. In the first term we had to choose a film that was made between 1920-1959 and in the second term pick a film from 1960-1990. In first term I did Rebel Without a Cause and over the last couple of weeks had to choose a film to study for this term. Since Martin Scorsese is one of my favorite filmmakers and I haven't had a chance to study his work yet, it was a natural decision to choose one of his films. But which one!! There were a few options but in the end went with Goodfellas because the gangster genre is my favorite one and figured I probably won't get a chance to focus on that genre ever again. So tonight I spent the night watching Goodfellas and really can't get over how amazing this movie is. From the beginning until end it had me captured and every time I see this movie I learn new things and pick up on things I haven't seen before. This was probably my fifth time seeing it and it still blows me away. What a great story.


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