Monday, February 28, 2011

Movies You Might Have Missed Monday

Last night, the 83rd presentation of the Academy Awards aired from California. I’m sure if you cared, you caught at least some of it. If you don’t care, that’s understandable. Even some of the most extreme movie lovers I know can’t stand the politics and favoritism that often times leaks into this glitzy Hollywood evening.

For the third year in a row (which is weird), I’m in complete agreement with the Best Picture winner, The King’s Speech – a movie I’ve been raving about since seeing it several weeks ago. Truly, one of the best I’ve seen ever, let alone recently. (To read my review of The King’s Speech from Jan. 19th, click HERE.)

However, today on Movies You Might Have Missed Monday, I want to point out three films I think the Academy missed in failing to reward them. Movies that, if I were you, I’d be sure not to miss.

#1 – How To Train Your Dragon – Though nominated for best animation and also for best musical score, this fabulous DreamWorks film lost in both categories. Sure, Toy Story 3 won best animation, and I get that because it too is a great film. But if Dragon had been in any other year, without a Pixar film to overshadow it with name recognition and Disney to back it, Dragon would be a shoe-in. It’s about a young Viking who wants to impress his chief/father and show him he can be a real Viking, but his puny physical stature and scientific personality are exact opposite of what it takes. When he captures the most feared dragon of them all, the night fury, he has a chance to catch his father’s eye. There’s only one problem. He can’t bring himself to kill it. And so begins a loyal, as well as taboo, friendship that changes everything. This movie makes me want a pet dragon more than anything else in the world.

#2 - Despicable Me – Also an animation, this unique adventure wasn’t even nominated. Since when do they not have space for a total of four best animated feature nominees? I like this movie better every time I see it as I catch more and more of the clever layers of humor and irony. Gru is a villain, but he’s not a bad guy. He and the other world villains are in a contest to see who can be the best villain – basically steal the biggest world monument. Through a set of circumstances, Gru believes that he can win this contest if he employs the help of three little orphan girls. He doesn’t expect them to steal, and change, his heart.

#3 – Inception – Okay, so the two animations are personal preferences, as far as the Academy goes. But Inception is the most genius original story to come down the pike in a long, long time. It was written well, acted well, shot well – a complete, masterful package. While it was nominated for several awards, including Best Picture, its writer and director, Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight), was left off the Best Director nominee list altogether. Absolutely criminal, if you ask me. The movie is an intellectual heist movie involving dreams and ideas and beliefs and perceptions. Yes, you have to pay attention to keep up with all the levels and twists and philosophy of this world Nolan’s created, but it’s such a rewarding experience. A masterpiece of storytelling.

All three of these missed movies are on DVD/BluRay, so easily available for you to check out! If you’re in the neighborhood, come to our house for movie night. J

Happy Monday, Dry Ground friends!

(photos by