Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Pornographic Watergate Movie?

After watching Frost/Nixon earlier this month, I went on Netflix to look for other Watergate/Nixon related movies that would be interesting to watch after seeing the current one. I found several, including one that has actual clips of the Frost/Nixon interviews, another one about Nixon's re-election, and several others, many of which I put into my cue. Today the first one arrived, which I thought was about the recently revealed former FBI official who was the secret informant, Deep Throat. The name of the movie was logically "Inside Deep Throat" but when I put it in I wondered about the NC-17 rating at the beginning until I realized that this was a documentary about the 1970s porn movie of the same name. Ooops. Ironically, Nixon had a significant role in this movie too.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

2009 Oscar Picks

In anticipation of the announcement of the Oscar nominees this Thursday, I have listed the movies that I would pick. These are not predictions, but rather the five movies this year that I think are deserving of the nominations.

1. Milk. This 70's docu-drama was both informative and compelling. I later watched a documentary on the same subject (which won the Oscar for best documentary back in the '80s) which was not nearly as good. Currently this has my vote for the best movie of the year.
2. Frost-Nixon. This 70s docu-drama (see the common theme here?) was based on a play. This is a close runner up. Although the Nixon character does not look like Nixon, by the end of the movie it is hard to think of him as not being Nixon.
3. Doubt. The 1960s story of a priest who faced unfounded allegations from a crazy nun (Merly Streep) was very well acted, well written, and had a number of funny moments.
4. Gran Torino. Although I am not a huge Clint Eastwood fan, and hated that movie with the girl boxer who got paralyzed a few years ago, this movie is great. It is about a racist old man who lives in current day Detroit in the house he has lived in all his life, but in a neighborhood that has been taken over by Asians. He unexpectedly becomes friends with a neighbor family who has become victim to gang violence, and they come to replace his own family, who has rejected him.
5. This was the toughest one. There were so many Oscar hyped movies released in the last part of the year that I thought I was going to have a hard time deciding between them. Benjamin Button was the very long movie based on a short story (ironically, the short story, which can be found on the internet, gives a more complete and logical picture of the man's life) about a man who is born old, in some ways, and gets younger, in some ways (yet older in others) during the movie, but the inconsistencies and holes in the plot made this movie sub par. Revolutionary Road was a well acted movie set in the '50s that had the feel of a great movie, but seemed to drag on and was not pleasant to watch, especially towards the end. Slumdog Millionaire, about an uneducated kid from the slums of Bombay India who gets on India's version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire and, when he does well, is brutally tortured by the game show people who thought he was cheating, only to show how the events of his life resulted in the knowledge for the questions asked. Interesting concept, but very brutal violence and hard to follow in parts. Therefore, my fifth choice in the category of best movies goes to probably the most entertaining and creative movie of the year: Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanimo Bay. This is a sequel to the great Harold and Kumar go to White Castle. It makes fun of the post-911 homeland security policy of the government, and the scene with George Bush smoking pot with people who fell out of an airplane into the living room in his Texas ranch is priceless.