Oscar Picks 2015

My reaction to the Lego snub

My reaction to the Lego snub

As I do every year, I try to make my Oscar picks as soon as the nominations are out, so that I’m not biased by any campaigning. In recent years, that’s gotten more difficult as more and more awards shows have become televised, and clear-cut front runners become locks earlier and earlier. That said, here’s who I expect to win. Also, please note that the fact that “The Lego Movie” was snubbed from the Best Animated Feature category makes me question why I will even bother watching this award show. (For the record, I also think “Gone Girl” deserved many more nominations, including Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay, and I would have loved “Skeleton Twins” or “Obvious Child” to have gotten a screenplay nomination). Continue reading

The Winter of My Content

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Just over two months ago, I lamented the fact that 2014 was shaping up to be a poor year for movie quality. In fact, 2014 was churning out much stronger drama on television than at the movies. But, as Rustin Cohle noted, without time, nothing grows, nothing changes.

And time changed the entertainment landscape. Gone were “True Detective,” “Masters of Sex,” “The Leftovers,” and “Mad Men.” In their place? “Saved by the Bell: The Unauthorized Story” and a plethora of fall TV offerings that looked mediocre at best. And the best drama? Back to where we expected it: the big screen. Continue reading

The First Rule of Fight Club is….Make a Sequel?

It turns out the first rules of Fight Club were just trumped by the first rule of Hollywood: Make a buck.

Plans were just announced for a sequel to Fight Club (or, as you all know it, the best movie to come out while I was in high school). The sequel will be in comic book form. Now, as someone who loved the original book and original film wholeheartedly, I have to admit I’m a bit dubious about the sequel. Author Chuck Palahniuk stated that the sequel, a 10-issue comic book series, will explore the origins of Tyler Durden. Really, though, do we need that? Do we need to see the narrator and Marla together, and married? Fight Club (the film) packed such a definitive punch at the end, and Fight Club (the book), while using a different finale, also gave the reader full closure.

Of course, I’ll read every issue, and am beyond curious to see what Palahniuk has up his sleeve. That said, there’s a law of diminishing return in his work past the original Fight Club novel: Survivor had an interesting premise that ultimately went nowhere; Choke bothered me to no end (and tried to utilize a similar “twist” ending as Fight Club, but with minimal impact); Lullaby would have been better off being 100 pages shorter; and I couldn’t get more than 20 pages into Diary.

So why get excited about a Fight Club sequel, despite me logically knowing that it can only disappoint? Well, I guess I’m just an avid member of Project Mayhem after all. And I can guarantee at least one person wants more of the Fight Club story. His name is Robert Paulson.

Agree? Disagree? Feel like hitting something as hard as you can? Or talking about all the ways to make soap? Let me know in the comments.

Where is Abe Froman?

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On a very long subway ride home today, I began pondering one of life’s most important questions: Why didn’t Abe Froman show up for his noon reservation at Chez Quis? How were Ferris and Sloan and Cameron able to take his table? This seems like a well-run, fancy establishment – why make a reservation there and then not show up? This was obviously in the days before OpenTable – it’s not like Mr. Froman (the Sausage King of Chicago) simply tapped on an app; he would’ve had to call (or have an assistant or family member call). So, what was going on here?

When I got home, I went down the rabbit hole of some online research. It seems like there are a few theories floating around out there, the third of which I find most interesting. First, maybe Ferris made the reservation in advance, and just used a fake name. It’s possible, but then why would he check the reservation book for a party of three? Second, Ferris et. al just lucked out…which seems a bit too convenient. Ferris has luck throughout the movie, sure, but he’s a character who plans every angle – just look at how Sloan and Cameron act as his lackeys during this scene with the maitre d. In fact, isn’t this why his sister can’t stand him? Because he gets away with everything, that he himself is responsible for?

The third theory, though…that’s one that I really like (even if I don’t subscribe to it). It’s the “Fight Club/Tyler Durden”) theory of “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”: that Ferris himself never existed.

I love this theory for two reasons. First, Cameron obviously had some mental issues (including the scene when he’s catatonic at the pool), so it’s not that far a stretch to think he invented someone as perfect, daring, and, well, non-Cameron-ish as Ferris. Second, it also explains the (obvious) unrequited feelings Cameron has for Sloan. He knows that he’ll never be with her, so he invents a character in Ferris who is her ideal. It’s the equivalent of the Tyler Durden “I look how you want to look” speech, personified.

So, what do you think, dear reader? Did Abe Froman just run really late that day? Is Ferris Bueller a construction of Cameron’s imagination? A different theory? Let me know in the comments.

Just Because…SNL Wes Anderson Spoof

Been really busy these last few weeks, but I promise I have a few posts coming up soon (including after I visit the entertainment capital of the world, LA, this weekend). But for now, I’d like to share one of my favorite clips from this past season of SNL. I present….”The Midnight Coterie of Sinister Intruders.”