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What. No First Class? I thought that was streets ahead of Captain America. (You knew this one was coming).

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Mark Temporis said on January 24th, 2012 at 12:21 am

There was a remake of Fright Night? Why?
Just saw Captain America; great film, I kinda liked First Class better too (Magneto Was Right!)

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Fright Night? Really? I request an explanation, MGK. While I haven’t seen The artist, I’ve heard good things, so I am also curious about your disdain for it.

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[…] be my last chance to make some predictions for what’s going to get Academy Award nominations. I’ll just use mgk’s template. I’m posting this at the last possible minute, so most people who read it are going to find […]

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If someone were to take the Artist and record terrible, schlocky dialogue over top the whole movie for the characters, would that improve it?

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Doctor Horatio Horsefeather said on January 24th, 2012 at 2:08 am

My personal favorite movie this year was Take Shelter – and I have to say, it’s going to be an absolute travesty when Michael Shannon doesn’t get a nomination for Best Actor. His performance in that is INCREDIBLE – he’s simply magnetic, restrained, intense, subtle, powerful. Just a marvelous performance.

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Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy…Martha Marcy May Marlene
There’s a joke here, but I’m too tired to think of it.

ATTENTION CRITICS: Armond White fucking loved stupid old War Horse. This should have been a big old hint.
I was curious about this, so I Googled the review. It is entitled “Tintin and War Horse: Spielberg’s game-changers” and the one sentence that jumped out at me was, “This may to [sic] be key to why many critics under-appreciate Spielberg…”

I can’t even… just go read it. Seriously.

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I feel gypped on Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.

It’s an amazing goddamn movie and, as near as I can tell (and I was paying attention, because I have a number of british friends and they were all ‘You must see this. How can we convince you to see it? Do you want us to lie about how big a role Benedict Cumberbatch has? We’re prepared to do that!’) its wide release was cancelled at the last minute so theaters could squeeze in more showings of such STELLAR December releases as Chipwrecked. It played for a couple weeks in New York and LA and that was it. None of the local art houses had it, even.

I sometimes feel bad for pirating things. I pirated TTSS and do not feel bad about it and will not look back.

Gary Oldman, by the way, deserves an Oscar for no other reason than that the movie was basically the platonic example of how to give a tense, understated performance. He won’t get one. But he deserves one.

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My favorite performance of the year is Michael Parks in Red State, personally.

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…A lot of your ‘should have’ nominations are awfully generic films.

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The Muppets still is not released in the UK until mid-February. This makes me sad.

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Captain America deserves a price , it was friggin excellent ! First class is horrenduously overrated ( so is Magneto & his (not quite yet) bald headed boyfriend !)

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I would never believe Drive would get a Best Picture nomination, but that is a fantastic movie. I would heartily recommend everyone go see it at least once, though I would not blame you at all if you decided you didn’t want to see it again, because some of the violence gets REALLY hard to watch. It’s intentional, but still.

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As for MGK’s disdain for the Artist, obviously I can’t speak for him (especially on his own blog), but I thought it was an enjoyable movie that was just good. Not great, not amazing, just good. Which easily curdles into rage when you realize that better movies will have their nominations stolen because Hollywood loves, loves, LOVES anything that makes movies seem magical and amazing and life changing, and the Artist shoots for all 3 of those, since the plot boils down to “Talkies ruin this film star’s life, but this sweet young woman becomes a huge star, and she loves him, and that’s the redeeming power of cinema!” Or as a smarter man than me put it on Twitter (I’m afraid I can’t remember who it is off the top of my head), “The Artist is Bizarro Sunset Boulevard.”

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malakim2099 said on January 24th, 2012 at 9:45 am

You, MGK, are a specie-ist. No mention of Rise of the Planet of the Apes? For shame! :)

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Fright Night? Really? I request an explanation, MGK.

It’s a horror film that is A) actually pretty scary and B) is completely entertaining in all ways. It succeeds in its genre the way a lot of Oscar-nominated films never, ever do. Fright Night would have made my top 10 list for 2011, had I made one.

No mention of Rise of the Planet of the Apes? For shame!

I totally forgot that (along with Crazy Stupid Love, which was wonderful). Added.

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“all nominations of this sort should from now on be referred to as Ghost. As in ‘I can’t believe they nominated the shitty 9/11 movie for Best Picture, that’s so Ghost.'”

We already have a word for that. Three, in fact. “Dances With Wolves.”

I had no idea that Jean Dujardin and Berenice Bejo of “OSS 117” fame were in “The Artist,” but you just sold a couple extra tickets.

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Fright Night has David Tennant in eyeliner, so all arguments against it are invalid.

And I agree about Captain America— what made the film for me was all the retro-futuristic 1940s art direction stuff. It’s clear that the designers had enormous amounts of fun with this, and so I did too. Plus there was a production number with a kick line of chorus girls.

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I was all set to write a post complaining about things in X-Men: First Class, but then I realized it was stuff that film critics wouldn’t care about. I’d ask, “Why would Moira bother trying to shoot Magneto instead of, say, clubbing him with a stick?” Hey, people don’t think clearly in the heat of battle, and besides it led to the really great tragic twist of Xavier getting shot. “How does Darwin, of all people, die to Havok’s power?” It doesn’t matter exactly how all this crazy powers stuff works. “Xavier said in X-Men that he met Magneto when he was 17 and they made Cerebro together, what about that?” But this version is more realistic. And anyways, the original movie was 10 years ago, it’s a completely new cast, the new director should be allowed to have their own version of that sort of thing. “Why is Emma Frost an adult here but a teen in Wolverine’s movie?” Again, continuity like that wouldn’t matter to critics.

The movie was stuck in this weird niche where it screwed up continuity enough to annoy comics fans, but was still full of too much weird geeky stuff to be treated as “serious”.

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MonkeyWithTypewriter said on January 24th, 2012 at 10:40 am

Also, Fright Night had a kick-ass ending song.

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I agree mostly with Tales to Enrage’s thoughts on The Artist, but I’m very curious why MGK wishes it would die in a fire.

And it’s nice to see there are other people who love Fright Night, Muppets, and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.

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Dilettante said on January 24th, 2012 at 12:00 pm

Hm, I also very much liked the Artist. De gustibus non est disputandum, I guess. But it’s aimed squarely at a lot of the things I like. I watch lots of silent movies anyway; I studied early cinema in college; I enjoyed all the homages; the direction and set and acting were all pitch-perfect playful recreations; and the movie had a nice sense of fun about it. YMMV.

It’s actually really easy to see the OSS:117 similarities: movies that lovingly capture a particular ethos and poke some fun at it (although the OSS movies were sillier). Tricky to do, for a black & white silent, since it requires a mastery of different cinematographic techniques than are now used, different lighting, etc. (Easy to screw this up, so that’s another vote for the director).

I view the film’s lightness as a plus, not a problem. Maybe that’s it: I’m happy with a well-executed fun movie that believes in its own material. I’ll generally take that over a poorly-executed movie that heavy-handedly aims at more deep, dark, serious themes. This was clearly made by someone who’s really into early cinema. Still, I can see that someone who’s less into silent films might find The Artist less rewarding.

And really, MGK, mocking it for being easier on mass audiences because there are no subtitles? It’s a silent movie, for God’s sakes. That’s not exactly conventional multiplex-bait.

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Cookie McCool said on January 24th, 2012 at 12:22 pm

Dilettante, that argument could be used to say that the remake of Psycho was a technically accurate remake of Psycho. I don’t know if competent copying is something movie-goers are supposed to give credit for.

Is there an Oscar category for Best Brendan Gleeson? There should be.

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This was a year when most of the great films were very “indie” (and I haven’t seen a lot of them). Only War Horse seems like a crossover hit. The “mainstream” movies that got nominated are mostly pabulum, and even the entertaining big-budget Hollywood movies this year were a bit of a shrug (not that I didn’t enjoy Captain America, Mission Impossible, Muppets, and Tintin, but none of them made me bounce out of the theater on a cloud. This coming year looks a LOT better in that regard.

Kind of weird that the big crossover winner is likely to be a silent film, and that there’s another serious contender that’s also about silent films.

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“Martin Scorcese for Hugo, so he can do what he typically does: not win.”

Actually, he very well might win in honor of all the times he didn’t win (e.g. Al Pacino, Scent of a Woman).

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Did I miss the blog post where MGK explained why he hates The Artist? :\

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Mary Warner said on January 24th, 2012 at 2:20 pm

Unfortunately, I barely got to see any movies this pat year. Of the few I did see, Harry Potter and Captain America were definitely the best.

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For everyone wondering why MGK hates the Artist…you people are fans of sequential storytelling, right? I mean, that’s why we come here….

He starts off just commenting about how he’s heard how great it is…then he mentions how he’s heard it’s the greatest movie evah!..then he’s heard that it is the miracle of miraculous miracles….and then he’s heard so much about how Thomas Edison invented movies so that The Artist could be made that his mind has snapped and he now wishes to kill a pretty French girl.

It’s the story of one man’s descent into madness…he should get an Oscar for it!

(and At least Muppets got a nom.)

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We already have a word for that. Three, in fact. “Dances With Wolves.”

Dances With Wolves is a good movie. It just didn’t deserve to beat Goodfellas. But the nomination was perfectly acceptable.

Also, Ghost was a year earlier and therefore first.

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Mark Temporis said on January 24th, 2012 at 4:57 pm

A silent film? Are they going to nominate a series of Egyptian Heiroglyphs or something next year?

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Honestly EL&IC is the weirdest nominee I’ve ever seen. Even Crash got some good reviews.

The biggest travesty, though- well, Drive got snubbed so there’s that, but the BIG one is that the brilliant “Star Spangled Man” number from Captain America didn’t get a Best Song nomination, because the Best Song category is so terminally fucked. Granted, “Man or a Muppet” is arguably better, but read about how they nominate songs sometime. It’s absurd.

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highlyverbal said on January 24th, 2012 at 7:26 pm

@ Murc: “I feel gypped on Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.”

The internets has declared a moratorium on that word.

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Yes, yes, but what about the Best Animated Feature category? It’s a year where the Pixar film not only isn’t a lock to win, it’s not even nominated! Madness!

(And deservedly so. Cars 2 was a less-good sequel to what was Pixar’s worst movie prior to that sequel.)

But, seriously: Puss in Boots, Academy Award Nominee(TM)? Sigh.

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ladypeyton said on January 24th, 2012 at 11:21 pm

Feh, regardless of whether or not racism is bad (and it is) Octavia Spencer deserved that nomination and the win as well. She was awesome.

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If “man or muppet” does not win, there will be hell to pay.

If Man or Muppet is not performed live at the Oscars… I cna’t be responsible for my actions.

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Muppets was a good movie but the completely unnecessary human love story taking up half the movie keeps it from having any chance of being a great one. Also, I can live with the voices being off (though I really wish Frank Oz had stayed) but the songs weren’t very good.

Captain America is a movie that I appreciate more in hindsight. I think I went into it expecting too much after being caught off guard by Thor and First Class.

Speaking of First Class, it was easily to best comic movie I’ve seen since the last Batman movie.

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“Honestly EL&IC is the weirdest nominee I’ve ever seen. Even Crash got some good reviews.”

EL&IC got some strong reviews. James Berardinelli put it on his Top 10 list for 2011.

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1. It’s interesting that The Artist arrives ten years after Amelie, the last French film with a similar sort of vibe.

2. I suppose The Artist is punching above its weight because it’s black and white and silent. How many ‘just good’ films would still be as good black and white and silent?

3. I’m glad that Madonna’s song from W.E., which won a Golden Globe, wasn’t nominated, but songs from the Muppets and Rio *did*.

Apparently, Madonna’s song wasn’t eligible because it appears too late in the closing credits. Still. I like that she’s going to be beaten by a cartoon bird or felt.

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Just based on the movies I actually saw, it must have a worse year for film than I realized.

Take Fright Night, for example. David Tennant is great and Colin Farrell is interesting as a vampire who acts like a fairly average guy most of the time, but when I finally got around to renting the remake, it mostly just made me wish I could turn it off and watch the old one with Roddy McDowall and William Ragsdale again instead.

I guess this is where taste being subjective kicks in.

I had mixed feelings about Crazy Stupid Love. There were some really funny parts, but I didn’t enjoy the parts about teaching Steve Carrell how to pick up women as much as I thought I would.

If those were two of the best movies of 2011, maybe it’s okay that I didn’t see that many new movies last year.

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Mitchell Hundred said on January 29th, 2012 at 1:38 pm

I would personally bump a couple of films off of your ‘Best of 2011’ List (only the ones I have actually seen, though).

‘Captain America: The First Avenger’ in favour of ‘Margin Call’, because the latter a) works better as its own story and b) explains the 2008 financial crisis better than any documentary ever could.

‘Young Adult’ in favour of ‘Hanna’, because if you need to nominate a movie with an unsettling protagonist, it should at least be one who realizes their flaws and improves their character by the end.

And ‘Moneyball’ in favour of ‘The Tree of Life’, because in my opinion a film which explores the nature of life and makes its point with minimal speech deserves more respect than a film which is essentially about statistics (although I’m admittedly not a big sports fan, so it’s possible that the romance is lost on me).

And having seen ‘The Artist’ just last night, I will say that while it is overhyped and not without flaws, it is not nearly as bad as you claim. If nothing else, it deserves respect for the performers, who convey an impressive emotional range with minimal dialogue.

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The Unstoppable Gravy Express said on January 30th, 2012 at 12:53 pm

TWO original song nominees and neither one is “Star Spangled Man”?!?? That is the biggest BS of this whole Oscar slate IMHO.

Also ATTACK THE BLOCK!! Easily my favourite film of 2011. Were you tempted at all to include “Source Code” in your preferred list?

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[…] I tried this last year, and with the Academy Award nominations coming out on Thursday, it’s time to give it another go. Once again, I’m using mgk’s template. […]

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