Ok — so the Oscars are this weekend, so this seems appropriate:
1. The group I haven’t seen:
'Avatar'—I still haven’t been able to overcome my dislike of the “Cameron hype machine” to go see this despite all the positive feedback from people I know.
'The Blind Side' – I’ve had a long-time crush on Sandra Bullock, but I’m happy to let this movie slide onto the Netflix queue.*
'An Education' – I am very curious about this movie and look forward to seeing it.
'The Hurt Locker' – I really don’t like realistic war movies and so have no desire to see people get blown up in Iraq. Or anywhere else for that matter.
'Precious' – Like the above, I watch movies for escapist entertainment usually, so I have about zero interest in this film.
'Up in the Air' – this is one movie that both the Beloved and I really want to see but just haven’t gotten around to it, yet.
The group I have seen:
2. 'District 9' – this is a movie for true science fiction fans – not special effects laden space-opera (I’m looking at you “Star Trek”**). Gritty and plausible, I thought this was the best science fiction film since “Contact”.
3. 'Up' – I’m a sucker for the Pixar movies but I have to admit that I scratched my head at the premise of “Up” – Old guy, kids and house becoming airborne via balloons? Of course, the movie had me after the introductory sequence and Kevin The Bird might be my favorite character in any movie this year.
4. 'A Serious Man' – The Beloved and I often agree on movies, but we really differed on this Coen Bros. film. I loved it, she thought there wasn’t much to it. This story of a physics professor with a host of issue (from his wife cheating on him to a student blackmailing him for grades) looks for answers as to why his life is careening out of control. And you know what? There aren’t any. Not from his self-absorbed family, not from his platitude-delivering rabbis, not from his doper sexpot neighbor, not from science. And naturally, when he thinks he’s navigated this particular minefield, we are reminded that life’s not fair. Of this whole set, this is the movie I keep thinking about.
5. 'Inglourious Basterds' – I enjoyed this Tarentino yarn of intrigue and kicking Nazi-butt, though I could have done without the gratuitous blood sprays and head bashing. Great screenplay. I’m not a huge Brad Pitt fan, but I really did enjoy him in this.
The other night when the Beloved was out of town I watched the movie "Paranormal Activity" which was apparently made for like 20 bucks. It was essentially “The Blair Witch Project” but instead of goth douchbags you have a nice childless couple that lives in suburban San Diego. Really. Apparently, the house is like a mile and a half from The Aerie. It's the story of the couple as they try to document and deal with their poltergeisty happenings — and there are some genuinely creepy moments. I didn't stay up late with the lights on or anything on purpose afterwards — I was "reading". Got that?
*I believe that Netflix is responsible for teaching a generation of Americans to correctly spell the word “queue” without having to look it up or have a little red squiggly line appear. All for the low price of $4.95 a month. Nice job.
** I actually really enjoyed “Star Trek” as an excellent example of special effects laden space opera. Don’t get me wrong, it has its place, it’s just not great science fiction.