February 8, 2009

Some Detours

Since I've unfortunately been too busy in 2009 to devote much attention here lately (January featuring the fewest number of posts I've had in a given month since 2007), I'll nod in the direction of two other spots worth checking out. These are in addition, of course, to the many excellent blogs listed in my sidebar on the left, most of which are updated far more frequently than mine:

- The 3rd Annual Muriel Awards

Paul Clark once again heads up the Muriel Awards (named after his guinea pig), an impressive two week awards series celebrating the best in film from 2008, including all of the major Oscar categories as well as some great extras (Best Cinematic Moment, Best Breakthrough Performance, Best Body of Work, etc.). Also celebrated are Anniversary Films - the Best Films of 1958, 1983, and 1998 (50th, 25th, and 10th year anniversaries, respectively). Keep an eye on Silly Hats Only - one award is announced each day through February 22nd, when Muriel will proudly announce her choice for the Best Picture of the year. This marked my first year as a proud voting member of the "Muriel Academy".

- The 6th Annual "Great Performers" Feature

Each year the New York Times Magazine scores exclusive interviews and photo shoots with the Oscar nominees and actors/actresses that gave great performances in the year prior (I studied this more in-depth last year). Available on newsstands today and online everyday, the feature is essentially an issue of People Magazine disguised as something much more artsy and intellectual. So if you don't have any shame fawning over actors and actresses
(I do have shame, for the record, but I'm making an exception...I think), check it out.

I hope to get back on track here this week but I'm so far behind I don't even know where to start (should I review Notorious, The Wrestler, Che, Wendy and Lucy, Coraline and Waltz with Bashir? Impossible!). I'm already a week behind for January's Underrated Movie the Month, so that will either have to be backdated or skipped altogether. And there are other features and posts that have been sitting in draft form waiting for me for weeks, plus some writeups I have due for other sites/blogs due in the next week or two. February's too short!


  1. I'd like to hear what you thought of Notorious. I think I missed it in theaters which pisses me off. To think, I watched The Reader instead. Mistakes one can't take back are the worst mistakes one can make. Haha, I just came up with that.

  2. Hehe, so true. Maybe I'll throw something together on Notorious even though it's a few weeks stale in my head. Boy that really came and went, didn't it? Pretty bad publicity, and right in the dumping grounds of mid-January. I don't think it even made a ripple at the box office.

  3. I'm waiting for your review of The Wrestler. How many times can Rourke reinvent himself? I've been hearing for years how Rourke was back in film trying to reinvent himself. (Sin City anyone?) Or is this role in line with those earlier iterations of a Rourke character?

  4. Thanks for your detour/direction to the Muriel Awards! I was indeed interested to see the "Anniversary" awards section:

    Fanboy that I am, I still very much agree with the 1983 supreme pick of The King of Comedy over Return of the Jedi; and I find it hilarious yet perfectly fitting that Local Hero, which I own on DVD and enjoy watching, edged out Scarface, which I don't own but have nevertheless had to watch and re-watch umpteen times with stupid college roommates, on TV, etc.; blech -- definitely one of DePalma's lesser works in my opinion.

    Also, for the 1998 awards, having seen 16 of the 20 listed there in the theater (# 8 with you of course), there is no way that Rushmore even cracks into the group for me (and don't even get me started on Rush Hour). Malick's The Thin Red Line was simply the most stunning experience I remember from cinema that year, and Out of Sight was my personal favorite because it was unexpectedly refreshing and smart in both acting and directing.

  5. I do have shame, for the record, but I'm making an exception...

    I have shame as well, but I live with it. Let the fawning begin!

  6. Noted, DEO..., and thanks for visiting and commenting. I assume you haven't seen The Wrestler yet? I highly recommend it, if not. I haven't seen enough of Rourke's earlier work to make an educated comparison, but even somebody seeing him for the first time here would see that he completely inhabits the character. It's a little eerie, actually.

    So in one way I guess he hasn't reinvented himself so much as he's "realized" himself, and the real Rourke is fully on screen here.

    Hmm, Josh, well I always have a soft spot for Return of the Jedi. Not as the best of the three originals, but still as a great one. I think I had it as #2 or 3. My other votes for '83 included El Norte, National Lampoon's Vacation, Trading Places and...yikes, I can't remember. I'm pretty sure Local Hero.

    '98 was a tough one. Mine went like this, though I'm fuzzy about the order of #'s 3-5.

    1. A Simple Plan
    2. Rushmore
    3. Ronin
    4. The Siege
    5. Run Lola Run

    Really hard to exclude Out of Sight. In hindsight I probably shouldn't have. And The Thin Red Line I saw on video a few years ago. It didn't really stick. Actually it's a funny joke with my high school friends - I told them it was going to be amazing and then I didn't go to the theater for some reason. They all eventually walked out of the theater and ridicule me to this day.

    But now, vindication! Maybe not from me since I didn't vote for it, but it's incredibly high ranking here makes me think I should watch it again. People really love Malick, which I guess I didn't pick up on until recently.

    Haha, Rick. You're a more honest man than me.

  7. Don't worry, we'll just sit here and wait around for you...

    But seriously, I am awaiting your Wrestler review...and Jan.'s UMOTM.

  8. Me, too, Fletch. I'm waiting for myself to do them. And the UMOTM is going to be really backdated at this point...


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