Saturday, February 24, 2007

no clue movie review - fred's 2007 oscar picks

Well, I'm still watching some of the nominees (Babel, etc), but that won't stop me from trying to pick the winners. Again, this is a list of who I think WILL WIN. It's one of the tightest races in years that I can remember, so watch the awards tomorrow night. I will be watching.

Here's my picks:

Best Director: MARTIN SCORSESE (The Departed)
Best Actor: FOREST WHITAKER (The Last King of Scotland)
Best Actress: HELEN MIRREN (The Queen)
Best Supporting Actor: EDDIE MURPHY (Dreamgirls)
Best Supporting Actress: JENNIFER HUDSON (Dreamgirls)
Best Animated Feature: CARS
Best Art Direction: DREAMGIRLS
Best Cinematography: PAN'S LABYRINTH
Best Costume Design: THE QUEEN
Best Documentary Feature: AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH
Best Documentary Short: REHEARSING A DREAM
Best Film Editing: UNITED 93
Best Foreign Film: PAN'S LABYRINTH
Best Original Score: BABEL
Best Original Song: LISTEN (Dreamgirls)
Best Short Film - Animated: THE LITTLE MATCHGIRL
Best Short Film - Live Action: THE SAVIOUR
Best Adapted Screenplay: LITTLE CHILDREN
Best Original Screenplay: BABEL

There's my ballot. Print your own at

I'm off to watch more movies.

no clue movie review: Lots of Sunshine at the 2007 Independent Spririt Awards

I just finished watching the 2007 Independent Spirit Awards and Little Miss Sunshine was a big winner. The awards ceremony hosted by Sarah Silverman was carried Live on IFC. There will also be an edited version of the show on AMC later tonight.

You can see who the nominees were and who the winners were and much more at the spirit awards website. I'm going to use my blog to give some mini-reviews of the movies that I enjoyed watching the most during the voting process for this year's ISA. But first, here's who I voted for.

BEST FEATURE - Half Nelson
BEST FIRST FEATURE - Day Night Day Night
BEST DIRECTOR - Ryan Fleck (Half Nelson)
BEST SCREENPLAY - Jason Reitman (Thank You For Smoking)
BEST FIRST SCREENPLAY - Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck (Half Nelson)
BEST FEMALE LEAD - Catherine O'Hara (For Your Consideration)
BEST MALE LEAD - Ryan Gosling (Half Nelson)
BEST SUPPORTING FEMALE - Amber Tamblyn (Stephanie Daley)
BEST SUPPORTING MALE - Paul Dano (Little Miss Sunshine)
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY - Guillermo Navarro (Pan's Labyrinth)
BEST DOCUMENTARY - You're Gonna Miss Me

I must admit that I didn't get to watch all the movies that were nominated, but I did my best to watch as many as possible.

One film that was nominated I gave a full review to earlier in the year. Click here for the review for "Thank You for Smoking". It's got a great script and was very funny. Aaron Eckhardt is fantastic.

And now, the mini - reviews:

Little Miss Sunshine: Great movie about a crazy dysfunctional family going on a road trip to a beauty pageant for young beauty queen Olive. Reminded me of a little kid pageant that my parents took us to once. We were so not right for the thing, but it was a fun time. Not sure why we went, it was called Cutest Kids or something. This movie made me laugh so hard. It has an outstanding cast and a fantastic ensemble performance. It is a movie with sad characters each trying hard to cope with their life's dreams, failures, etc. But it's also a movie about family. And how a family pulls together and no one loves you like your family. Did I mention it was hilarious.

Half Nelson: An amazingly well done movie about a teacher who is struggling with watching one of his students possibly fall into a world of dealing drugs, a world he lives in as an addict. Ryan Gosling leads the film with a career defining performance. He's amazing. He is great in a lot of movies, but in this film he really gets to shine showing many different sides to this greatly flawed character. It's a great movie and deserves to be watched. Even though at times it's terribly difficult to do so.

Chalk: This is a very funny movie about teachers. It's shot in documentary style and looks very improvised, by a great number of very funny very talented writers/actors. It gives you the low-down on teacher politics, bickering in the teachers lounge and even one teacher's crusade to be named Teacher of the Year. This is a fantastic movie. It was also a welcome respite from some of the heavy handed films that I was watching for this year's voting process. It's not been released theatrically or on DVD that I know of, but join their mailing list and get the details on when it comes out.

For Your Consideration: What else do I need to say? A Christopher Guest Film about a film that gets early Oscar nomination buzz. Fantasticly Funny. It's out on DVD now.

Stephanie Daley: This wasn't a great movie. Overall. This was an interesting movie about teen pregnancy and its effects on this one individual girl. You see Stephanie Daley is the name of the character in the movie that is charged with killing her newborn child while on a high school ski trip. This is a heavy movie, but the performance of Amber Tamblyn is not to be missed. She's incredibly convincing in this role. It blew me away. She was just so good as this scared girl, not wanting to really admit to herself what was happening even as her body is going through these incredible changes. This movie is going to get some sort of theatrical release in the next few months and will come out on DVD after that. Seek it out just to see this incredible performance and make the judgement on the movie yourself.

You're Gonna Miss Me: The documentary category is usually filled with political films and statement pieces for the Sprirt Awards. But, this film took me by surprise. It's a documenatry about a fallen rock star into a state of mental breakdown due to drugs and quite possible family history. It makes no judgements, but tells a fantastic story about Roky Ericson. He's a member of a 1960's rock band 13th Floor Elevators. The movie is really interesting to watch and the music is utterly fantastic. A stand-out rock documentary.

Pan's Labyrinth: This movie was described to me as an adult fairytale. It's really a movie about war, family, struggle with good and evil and one girl's escape to a fantasty world. This movie is so well shot and has amazing images. It's really worth going to see. It has subtitles yes, but ignore those and just let the images tell you the story. It's a great experience.

I normally don't want to talk about movies that I hated, but I feel a need to tell you about a movie which I feel destroyed itself. It's called "Sorry, Haters". The movie stars Robyn Wright Penn as a woman who is hurt after 9/11 and is an emotional mess. The movie becomes a portrait of her as a tortured soul, but the movie ends amounting her to nothing more than a common psychopath. I feel this movie just killed itself and makes itself about nothing. I think the movie wastes an amazing performance by Robyn Wright Penn who is a fantastic actress. Watch it if you want, it's out on DVD, but I hated this movie with a passion that I can't fully explain.

On that note, that sums up my 2007 Independent Spirit Awards posting. I hope to have more movie reviews for you coming up soon. I'm definitely watching flicks, just don't always have times to write about them.

I'll post my oscar picks next.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Buffalo and Ottawa Brawl

Here's the video of the brawl complete with my play by play man Rick Jeanneret. This is old school hockey my friends and not something that the Sabres have been known for recently. But with the rash of injuries on this team, mostly due to other teams coming in to games and beating on them (while the Sabres try to use their Power Play to gain goals and momentum), I was glad to see them fight back and not take it. Good Luck Sabres and keep playing great hockey.

Sabres win in a shootout

The Buffalo Sabres after being down 2-0 against the always tough Ottawa Senators, fight back to win it in a shootout. These are some great highlights. There were also some fights with nearly the whole team. I can't seem to find a video of that yet, but I'll keep looking and post if I can. But this was a great game with lots of scoring.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Oilers@Sabres highlights from 02-15-07

Highlights from the Sabres win the other night. Enjoy!

Sabres win three in a row at home!

The Buffalo Sabres have won 3 games in a row at home and have 3 more home games in a row coming up. This is good news for fans like me since the Sabres are still at the top of the Eastern Conference in a comfortable position. The Sabres have been palying really well as of late, but there is some bad news.

The Sabres have lost some key players to injuries in the last few games. Paul Gaustad, a forward, is out for the rest of the season with a severed left ankle tendon. Jaroslav Spacek is out for at least a month with a broken left hand. Center Jiri Novotny re-injured his left ankle and is out for awhile. Perhaps most devastating is the loss of Maxim Afinogenov. He scored a goal to tie the game last night and that was after suffering a broken bone in his shooting wrist. He was on pace to score more goals and have more points than last season. He could be out for 6 weeks. Too bad for him and too bad for the Sabres. They will have to dig deep now and have some younger players step up. I really believe in this team this year and I have been really impressed when I've been able to watch them play. There's a game coming up on Versus that I get to watch. I'm pretty excited. I'm not panicking since they are at the top of the division and one of the NHL's big teams this year. I just really want my team to win the Stanley Cup. Good Luck Sabres! Keep up the good work!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

New North Tonawanda Video

Saw a video on You Tube which gives a little tour of North Tonawanda. Just having fun posting these videos on the blog. Later.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Pirates of the Great Salt Lake

I was surfing around on myspace killing time today and I stumbled onto this funny trailer. Check it out. I laughed. There are more clips on their myspace page too.

I have to get back to doing some work now.

Tons of snow!

And they say that Buffalo gets all the snow. Not that the Buffalo area hasn't had it's fair share, but here's a story about a little village that is getting pelted this year. You never know with Lake Effect.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Only in Hollywood!

Check out this article. I read it this morning in the LA Times. This is classic stuff.

A Chewbacca character that performs on Hollywood Boulevard was arrested for head butting someone. Only in Hollywood do you get news like this. Classic!