Out of 10 Best Picture nominees, I caught 7. Not bad, right? Here are my rankings (1 being the highest) based on my response and enjoyment for the movie.
1. The Kids Are All Right
- Superbly acted, every moment was earned. It was funny and heartbreaking at the same time.
2. Black Swan
- Although somebody at NPR said that this was a big bag of beautiful nonsense (heh), I thought Aronofsky's visuals were arresting. It was campy but not too much.
3. 127 Hours
- I know that many people looked forward to James Franco cutting off his arm, but that isn't the only thing you have to watch out for. You really have to applaud Danny Boyle for making this movie not tedious. The soundtrack was really smart. Movie was interestingly stylized.
4. The Social Network
- I had a lukewarm response about this movie at first but turned around when the guys of Pop Culture Happy Hour pointed out that maybe if the movie didn't lean towards the "this is a movie about our generation", you'd find out that this is a well-made, well-acted movie about a business venture and it's repercussions on people. Plus, I really like David Fincher's style. It was just a little weak on the screenplay (thanks to Aaron Sorkin).
- It's an ambitious concept which Christopher Nolan tried to put on screen. Maybe my biggest beef about this movie was that it didn't really depict dreams like I wanted it to? "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" was on spot in that regard. However, kudos on the visuals and action scenes. Great acting, with Leo, Marion, and JGL.
6. The Fighter
- I really liked Amy Adams and I like Christian Bale but am not a big fan of boxing movies.
7 . Toy Story 3
- I had to put something in the last spot but this franchise has never really disappointed me. Although everybody has been saying that "How To Train Your Dragon" was loads better.20
The holidays aren't over yet! So if anyone out there (doubtful) is still thinking of giving me a Christmas/Three Kings/New Years gift, the abovementioned book will do just nicely. :) I posted a YouTube video of the amazing, amazing author, Ms. Katherine Chloe Cahoon a few weeks back which features her frolicking about Germany's Oktoberfest in her tad too-small sundress doing ladyposes. Naturally, I had to search Amazon if they are really selling the book and it IS a real book, as I have found out. Consequently, I also read glorious reviews of this mind-blowing book which makes me want to hold a sort of poetry-reading-like soiree JUST SO I can read these reviews out loud with the fervor worthy of the lunacy of a desperate, deranged woman. Hee.
Behold, the Amazon Reviews
Miss Cahoon, we thank you for ending centuries of needless struggles. The modern woman can finally, like the modern man before her, benefit from the wisdom of the Enlightenment to improve every day life. "The Single Girl's Guide to Meeting European Men" is a triumph of heart, soul and the kind of modern consciousness that can only come from a generation that was raised on the Information Superhighway. That's right; the Internet goes by names other than Web 2.0. From MsRink:
Within these precious pages lie dormant a sleeping beast that, once released, promises to ravage the doldrums of a woman's happenstance existence, revealing the goddess beneath every girl. Miss Cahoon explains the truth behind this and others of the world's most ancient mysteries by starting at the reader's level and carefully spoon feeding them her helpful secrets that, if taken in larger quantities, would surely result in nothing less than a massive hemorrhaging of the medulla oblongata. Miss Cahoon is kind to her ignorant reader like a Swedish hostel manager might be kind to a single American girl who thinks Sweden is a rustic province of Wales and can't for the life of her remember if she thought to tell her family she'd be abroad for a few weeks. Kind like an Italian man who, before just now, has never seen an aloof, trusting American girl with skinny jeans and no sense of time or direction. Miss Cahoon knows that the modern, career-driven, liberated Superwoman can't afford to lose the great battle against loneliness or settling for an American lover, and gracefully forgives her reader for suggesting that there is a difference between equality and doing something "empowered" like wandering into Amsterdam alone past midnight hoping to catch a ride to the nearest free hotel because you left your Hello Kitty wallet on the train from Salzburg.
The narrative style of this challenging and provoking foray into modern feminism is reminiscent of a hot tub with a broken temperature control. As you ease into the warm water, you grow comfortable with the heat and barely notice as the tub spirals to temperatures upwards of 130 degrees fahrenheit. Likewise, this book gingerly shakes the very foundations of the modern reader's assumptions about the work of Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton before the reader even realizes they are doing anything more than relaxing by the fire with a comfortable, friendly and often humorous romp and an equally comfortable Frenchman whose mother is sleeping in a bedroom three doors down.
For those ladies that feel lost in Europe's dating scene as a single, defenseless American female with absolutely zero working knowledge of any language but English, take solace in this book's allegorical sensibilities. Much like the lost lady in Europe, the reader may find themselves wandering through the rustic countryside that is "The Single Girl's Guide to Meeting European Men" without a clue as to what is being said around them. This has less to do with the book's baffling structure and lack of meaningful advice and more to do with its approach to relating with its reader. Miss Cahoon knows that the liberated woman of the Google era doesn't need a handy list of safety tips for traveling abroad without a companion, but rather is looking for someone that knows what it's like to be alone. By alienating the reader from start to finish, this book allegorizes the very experience of reading it, and in doing so gives the reader first-hand experience in feeling alone in a foreign land. Such experience is invaluable for all women who wish to travel alone to Belfast and make it with a confused and angry IRA foot soldier. This metafictional approach to the groundless advice genre is sure to revolutionize the way we learn in the contemporary world of the World Wide Web.
Hands down, this book is a must-read for men and women alike. Don't miss an opportunity to read a book that in just a few short hours can do more for the women's liberation movement than the last hundred years combined.
Okay, you're probably feeling skeptical about the promises set out by Miss Cahoon but I'm hear to tell you it's true - the secret to happiness is finding a European man. From Roberta:
For years I've struggled with the aching depression of a lonely woman. My life as a PhD in a Children's Hospital puts me in contact with men all the time - the exact wrong kind of man apparently. Despite their education, dedication, and motivation, they all lacked that certain something, that exotic flavor that denotes a man of substance. Too many evenings I spent aboard a yacht or lounging on a chaise in a Manhattan apartment listening to men speak about the future, or their feelings, while their words rang hollow in my ears.
Katherine has revealed a whole new world for me, and all it took was to open my mind to a magical place of mystery beyond the sea. In just a few short weeks I've met boat loads of amazing men, who have captivated and charmed my heart. There's Alfonso, the Pest Control Specialist from Spain who kept my rapt attention for 3 hours discussing his football team. Or how about Wolfgang, the noble Germanic gentleman who sells used books outside the park; I could listen to him spin tales of his WoW campaigns for hours.
My absolute favorite must be Sven, the Swedish stallion who assembles furniture at my local Ikea. I don't actually speak his beautiful language, but hearing his joyous expressions while he cooks for me is like listening to a choir of angels. I might not know what "Aweenda shmure da froog's legs - börk, börk, börk!" means but I melt when he says it.
So ladies, take my advice - read this book and discover how much better life is with a Euro man. Don't settle for some boring executive from Silicone Valley, or god-forbid, some Euro-poseur from Canada. I know now that they don't grow them here like they do in Lichtenstein.
Thanks Katherine, you've opened my eyes to a place I never knew existed, but I'm sure I'll never want to leave.
Since I bought this book I have been a on literal blitzkrieg throughout Europe moving from charming Brits to muscular Italians. If it weren't for this book I'd still be with my deadbeat husband in Des Moines but now me and the kids jet set around Europe on the dime of men who actually understand class! Men that would never pawn their wedding ring and leave there wife at home with the kids for a week so they could see the god dang Allman Brothers, Hank! Anyways, I particularly liked the part where she gave proven conversation starters like, "Wow, this Cloud Mir Vodka is making me think fuzzy" or "I used to be a gymnast." The response I got was amazing! If this book worked for me, it can work for you!From Cookie18:
After reading this book, my life was forever altered in a positive way. My entire outlook on dating and humanity as a whole has been improved. I have made a dozen new friends this week, begun to work out and care more about my appearance, and even lost 10 pounds! Furthermore, since reading the book, I have begun to develop superhuman powers... I can now jump really high, I can lift twice my bodyweight, and I can even read minds! I recommend this book as highly as one possibly can: if you read this book, your life will suck less.
As Linda Holmes of NPR puts it, "How could anyone have thought you needed this book, but then you think -- I NEEDED THIS BOOK!"
I pray that there are no FB douchetards out there who will misinterpret this entry as a sort of cry for help for my singledom 'cause I also posted this entry there.
The following quotes are from Vienna Teng's live album titled, "The Moment Always Vanishing". These are quotes from her conversations with the audience. I love her, she is so witty and astute. I know somebody said this of her, she's probably this generation's modern day bard. It's one of my dreams to see her live.
"I normally write most songs by myself which is a very slow, painstaking, bashing-your-head-against-the-wall, kind of process."
"This next song (Homecoming) was a song that I wrote while still working as a software engineer in Cisco. It was actually a great place to work, really cool people, and it was a great company and I was not cut out to be a software engineer for more than 6 months, I discovered. And after awhile, I started to imagine all sorts of things other than commuting to a cubicle. And one of the things that I thought that would be interesting to imagine would be driving for a living. Like pulling 12-hour shifts across some of the bigger states in the Western part of the United States. And so, that's where this song is set from the point of view who does a hell of a lot of driving and it's called, 'Homecoming.'"
"It's a lot easier to write sad, pensive, moody songs than it is to write happy songs. At least for me, I would maintain that it's hard for anybody because when you're happy, you're busy being happy, you're not busy picking it apart, writing about it and obsessing in your diary over this thing."
"This is a song (Grandmother Song) written from the point of view of my paternal grandmother who is a very opinionated and strong woman, who has lived through a lot, has seen a lot, and has very specific ideas of what a young woman ought to be doing with a life full of opportunities when she gets in America. And pursuing a music career is not really in there, anywhere. And being single over 30 is not really in there. So we've had some talks over the years, and I've finally gotten to an age where I realize how much love and how much concern, and how much life experience comes into what she is saying to me and I wanted to write a song about it."
The trip was so short! 10 days and 3 nights in 3 European countries?? And can I just get this out of the way? My dad is a lounge MANIAC. He constantly wants to go to those free lounges he has because of his Diners Club card no matter how far away said lounge is. And he takes pictures of us in the lounge which, NO, if you're in transit between Dubai and Manila. Especially if one is wearing a lavender shirt and is looking like Barney because she's bloated. Expect a frown when you take a picture of me in that situation.