Its Oscar Time!

by brandt

(Obviously, we have no house news.  But I like to write.  So in lieu of house information, I give you information about life.)

As you may or may not have heard, the 2011 Oscar Nominations were released on Tuesday, and I may or may not have squeed in excitement that the tradition could start again this year.

My tradition originally began back in 2008.  Ashley and I had been married for about 6 months, and we were immersing ourselves in the poor-newlywed-college experience.  We would go on dates on Friday/Saturday nights to Wal-Mart or the local grocery store to get food.  We kept RedBox in business by grabbing DVD’s all the time.  But the greatest part of the small college  town in Southeast Idaho we lived in was the movie theater(s).  There were 3 of them: A first run movie theater, and 2 second-run movie theaters (or, as we fondly called them, the “cheap” theaters).  Friday and Saturday nights were $3.00 for each of us.  Tuesday nights, we could see a movie for $2.00.  Wednesdays were free popcorn days.  And the best part?  It was literally one and a half blocks from our apartment complex.

So we watched a lot of movies.  And I would get so frustrated when I would invest my hard-earned $3.00 (and a valuable 2 hours of my time) into bad movies.  I would come out of the movies feeling like I’d been ripped off, or that I’d made a horrible mistake (a feeling akin to taking the HUMONGOUS BURRITO CHALLENGE at some of the local Mexican restaurants).  And the biggest problem was there was no secret formula to a good movie.  Some movies that were really long were excruciating.  Some that were short left me wanting more.  Some PG-13 movies decided to throw a couple of choice words in there to bump the rating up that had nothing to do with the movie (Vantage Point?).  Some PG movies were fantastic (Hairspray), some were wretched (*Ahem* “Old Dogs” anyone?).

So we became snobs.  Movie snobs.  We would watch a movie, and one of three things happened.  We would discuss it until 2AM, mock it mercilessly, or walk away feeling nothing.  Obviously, the goal was to see movies we could discuss.  But there’s nothing wrong with walking away feeling nothing.  I mean, I’m a man.  I like explosions and car chases and guns.  Ashley’s a woman.  She likes her chick flicks, her rom-com’s, and her Brits (oh does she swoon over British men).

But we wanted to stay informed, so we tracked the hot movies leading up until the Academy Award nominations.  It’s one thing to track what critics are saying, but critics have opinions, and everyone knows what they say about opinions:  Opinions are like…erm…bellybuttons – Everybody’s got one.  And instead of someone like Roger Ebert telling me who should win best movie of the year, we decided that we should come up with our own opinions.  And once the nominations were released, there were a good amount of movies that we hadn’t seen yet.  And we came up with the wild idea of going on a movie blitz.

So here’s the tradition: Every year, we watch all the movies in the following categories:

  • Best Movie
  • Best Actor
  • Best Actress
  • Best Director

We then come up with who we think should be the winner of the Academy Award in each category, and compare our individual picks to each other and to the Academy.  I’m proud to say many times, I’m almost spot on, but there have been a couple that I totally disagreed with (for example, Mickey Rourke in “The Wrestler” losing Best Actor a couple of years ago to Sean Penn in “Milk.”).

So instead of watching movies and being selfish, I’ll watch a movie and write a review for it.  That way, I can put my thoughts on paper, and if ever you need a recommendation for a Netflix, RedBox, or traditional movie-theater movie, you can come here and read what a (somewhat) normal person thinks of the supposedly “best” movies of the year.

Here’s my question to kick of Oscar Season: Do the Academy Awards sway you at all in what movie you watch?  Have you ever watched a movie based on the fact that it was nominated/won an Academy Award?

PS – Another integral part of the tradition (that was started last year) has been watching the Academy Award Nominated Short Films.  The high-brow film theater down in Detroit does a film festival every year showing the nominated animated and live-action short films, and we had such a fun time at it last year that we’ve included it in the “tradition” as well.  Highly recommended if your local film houses are doing something like that in the area.

Pictures via FataCulture, Zazzle

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4 Comments to “Its Oscar Time!”

  1. I definitely watch movies – as we don’t have cable – but I haven’t been to the movie theater in ages. I take that back. I went and saw Harry Potter. We go to the movies about once a year, on average. I can’t watch violent movies (even fake violence) because I won’t sleep for weeks on end. So Mike and I have two separate Netflix queues that we get movies off of. 🙂

    I can’t say I look to the Academy Awards for much. But Mike likes to see the nominations and check out movies that made it. For example, just the other day he said “We should probably go see The Kings Speech.”

  2. Oscars definitely sway which movies we watch. Most of the time I’ve only heard of movies from the Oscar buzz. I dont necessarily watch the oscars, but I always read the nominations. Though we rarely go to the movies these days, it’s a lot of money to sit in an uncomfortable chair when I would rather be on my own couch. So we generally go the NetFlix route and we’ve been on a Friday night movie kick (Purposely to find entertainment outside of blogs, I felt my addiction was spiraling out of control!)

    • We’re the same way – I’d like to think I’m an independent thinker, but then again, the award nominations come out and I say “Well, I haven’t seen that one,” and the cycle continues. And with Netflix Streaming becoming such an easy thing to take advantage of, it’s very easy to catch up on everything.

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