January 14, 2016

Just out: the Oscar nominees.

A full list here.

I don't care anymore. I haven't seen anything. And I've been on winter break in Wisconsin when the temperature much of the time has been too cold to go out and there hasn't been much snow for skiing. I still didn't go to the movies. Considered it and rejected it as not an interesting enough way to spend my time — even with a lot of extra time and all the constraints on things that could be done.

ADDED: If I had to see all the best picture nominees.... You'd have to pay me. For some of them, you'd have to pay me a lot. I'd put them in order. "The Revenant" — I would see this if I were paid $20. "The Big Short" — I'll see it for $30. "The Martian" — $35. "Spotlight" — $50. "Bridge of Spies" — $100. "Brooklyn" — $500. "Mad Max" — $600. "Room" — $2,000.

76 comments:

Ignorance is Bliss said...

I'd like to see The Martian. But not enough to pay for it. I look forward to when it is on TV, or maybe as a borrowed DVD.

I have not interest in any of the others.

Fen said...

Fuck Hollywood. Fuck the Oscars.

If ISIS nuked them tomorrow, I would have a hard time being sympathetic.

mccullough said...

Did you go to the movies more when your kids were growing up?

sydney said...

Regarding Mad Max- so awful I made myself fall asleep in the theater just to escape it. (I was with my family who enjoyed it, so I couldn't walk out.)

mccullough said...

I saw the Big Short, Spotlight, and the Martian. They were all decent movies but nothing I'd watch 20 years from now.

Ann Althouse said...

"Did you go to the movies more when your kids were growing up?"

I went to a lot of movies when I was in college and in my 20s, before I had kids. Saw a lot of movies as my kids were able to go to the theater and both of my sons were very interested in movies and got it from me. My younger son majored in film studies in college. I used to see virtually every movie that got great reviews. I have a huge collection of DVDs. Movies changed in the last 15 years, and TV has become much better.

chickelit said...

I saw "The Martian" on Netflix over the holidays. It actually cost our family $6 or so (I was a captive audience member not involved with the details).

I did enjoy the movie. It's feel-good science fiction. The only downside seemed to be a heavy-handed role played by the Chinese government. It's as if the paymasters insisted on a cameo and insisted on looking good.

Ann Althouse said...

"and got it from me" ... I mean some of my interest was contagious. I'm sure they'd have been interested in movies without me too!

MayBee said...

The Martian was really enjoyable. I think you've priced yourself too high on that.
I want to see The Revenant.
I don't get the love for Mad Max.

Whirred Whacks said...

Ann: you're fortunate that the "Hateful Eight" wasn't nominated. How much would you have to be paid to see it?

Brando said...

Oscars should be nominated and awarded at least five years after the film's release. This way, there's some time and perspective to see if a film "aged" well and to make sure nothing is awarded simply due to a fleeting sentiment. If we today were to award the films of 1994, would we really give it to "Forrest Gump"? Would we really give 1990 to "Dances with Wolves"?

It wouldn't make the system perfect, as judges still have to make subjective choices (it's not like there's some objective criteria by which "Titanic" or "Austin Powers" could be judged the better film). But sometimes it's interesting to look back at the great films that didn't win, and the forgettable ones that beat them out.

MisterBuddwing said...

Professor: Sorry you feel that way about Brooklyn, which I thought was a lovely little period piece with a knockout performance by Saoirse Ronan.

The Martian was enjoyable, especially in 3D, although a moment which seemed to rip off Gravity made me groan.

I haven't seen any of the others, and in most cases, don't expect to.

Original Mike said...

I haven't seen any either, but I am looking forward to The Martian (I think I will be able to see it on my flight to Australia). It's hard to imagine, however, that it will compare favorably with the book, which I've read twice. The joy of the book is the problem-solving Watney performs in order to survive. It's quite detailed and quite a lot of fun.

LarsPorsena said...

I want to see 'The Revenant'. I've heard a lot about Leo being raped by a bear.
Hollywood is so edgy.

mccullough said...

I agree TV's better and movies are worse in the last 15 years. I thought maybe it was just me getting older.

I go to the movies more since my kids have gotten older but we also watch a lot of older movies on DVD as well. They say a lot of the action movies are geared toward an international audience but I don't understand why the regular movies seem so much worse as well.

Mid-Life Lawyer said...

I've seen all but The Revenant and Room. Brooklyn is a sweet, mature movie. A fifties NYC and Ireland period piece. The Big Short and Spotlight are similar movies and both well done with a lot of strong perfromances. Mad Max is a lot of fun on the big screen, in parts, but not on TV (I watched it with others on TV). The Martian was entertaining enough. Smart. I'll have to wait until I see The Revenant and Room but my favorite of what I have seen, so far, is Brooklyn.

mikeski said...

@Brando -

If we today were to award the films of 1994, would we really give it to "Forrest Gump"? Would we really give 1990 to "Dances with Wolves"?

No and no. 1994 would be either Shawshank or Pulp Fiction; 1990 would be Goodfellas.

Bob Ellison said...

I saw The Martian. Dumbest movie in years. This review captures it well.

I haven't seen any of the other movies.

PB said...

I thought the Revenant was unwatchable. I left after 20 minutes.

Curious George said...

"LarsPorsena said...
I want to see 'The Revenant'. I've heard a lot about Leo being raped by a bear."

Reminds me of the joke whose punchline is "You didn't come here to hunt, did you."

chickelit said...

Original Mike said...The joy of the book is the problem-solving Watney performs in order to survive. It's quite detailed and quite a lot of fun.

There's a fair amount of that preserved in the screenplay. Matt Damon talks to himself out loud a lot.

madAsHell said...

TV has become much better

I watch football, and my wife watches an endless progression of "Property Brothers", "Flip or Flop", and whatever else on HGTV.

I see adverts for dramatic shows during football time-outs. Most of it focuses on guns, and violence....and I keep guns, and like to shoot, but none of the shows appeal to me. I'm thinking I am in the wrong demographic. Although, I notice my kids don't watch much TV either.

jr565 said...

The one I would demand payment to see is Trumbo. In this day and age why is hollywood still venerating Stalinists?
I'm SURE they whitewash how he was calling Europe the villain while hitler ravaged Europe. He basically said we should expend not one drop of blood to help them.
But then Hitler violated the Hitler Stalin pact. And he then became pro war. Fuck that stalinist cunt.

William said...

The problem with bestiality is that there's too much of a power imbalance between sheep or dogs and humans. Even with large animals like horses, the human has too much of an advantage for it to be considered a consensual relationship. When you have sex with a bear that power dynamic is reversed, but other problems come to the forefront. The Revenant dramatizes the problems with intra-species sex. This is a kink with many kinks that need to be worked out before we can reach a successful resolution.

Original Mike said...

"There's a fair amount of that preserved in the screenplay. Matt Damon talks to himself out loud a lot."

Makes sense. In the book, Watney's experience is told through his logs.

jr565 said...

Trumbo also supported Stalin through all of his regime. And then supported North Korea to boot.

But he's someone Hollywood wants to promote in 2015?

Ann Althouse said...

"Ann: you're fortunate that the "Hateful Eight" wasn't nominated. How much would you have to be paid to see it?"

Maybe between "Spotlight" — $50 — and "Bridge of Spies" — $100.

Ann Althouse said...

"Brooklyn is a sweet, mature movie. A fifties NYC and Ireland period piece."

I'm off sweets. And I'm mature enough without some movie nudging me along in the aging process.

EMD said...

This thread is way too curmudgeony for me.


Meade said...

I'd pay you $20 to play ping pong with me.

Ann Althouse said...

"Professor: Sorry you feel that way about Brooklyn, which I thought was a lovely little period piece with a knockout performance by Saoirse Ronan."

I am no longer interested in seeing a movie for the purpose of witnessing great acting. Everything in the movies feels so hopelessly slow (or chaotically, meaninglessly fast). I don't want to watch a closeup of an actress aping suffering and saying the words with big spaces between them.

Ann Althouse said...

Must go play ping pong with Meade...

Bob Ellison said...

The temporal and story similarities of The Martian and Gravity reminds me of an autobiography I read by Kirk Douglas (can't remember or find the title). The whole book is fascinating-- he slept his way to fame in his youth, for example.

Anyway, he writes about how the movie Spartacus was in play, and several studios wanted to make it, and somehow he got it done soonest. Trumbo wrote the screenplay.

In Douglas's telling, it was a story everyone knew had to be made a movie-- a hot property that despite having been around forever, suddenly everyone in Hollywood wanted a piece of that action.

This happens more often than the viewing public is aware. Sometimes it's not the story, but a new piece of movie-making technology, like the Steadycam or a 3D animation, that gets the movie-makers fighting to be first.

Sometimes they stumble, and you wind up with A Bug's Life and Ants coming out at about the same time.

William said...

I have read that George Miller consulted Eve Ensler about the script and plot of Mad Max: Fury Road. Eve Ensler wrote The Vagina Monologues. This is blasphemy. There should be no overlap between Mad Max and The Vagina Monologues........I have seen the movie. It's one long car chase. It's pretty good with even better stunts Han The Fast And The Furious. Still I don't want to watch my car chases told from a feminist prospective.

Bob Ellison said...

Gravity was a pretty good movie. It signaled that it wasn't to be taken quite seriously (like with the Clooney cameo), so it was fun. I didn't care how improbable it was.

The Martian, by contrast, comes across like a Neil deGrasse Tyson daydream.

CJinPA said...

$2,000 to watch "Room"?

I'll give you a $10 bottle of wine to watch "The Room."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yCj8sPCWfUw

Ann Althouse said...

Ping pong'd.

CJinPA said...

Gravity was a pretty good movie.

I thought so too. Especially good to see in a theater.

I don't go to movies much, so I was surprised at how fast they got to the action. No chit chat. If this was a 70s movie it would have taken 45 minutes for space debris to arrive.

I notice this with the On Demand movies my wife watches. Every plot line is telegraphed in the first five minutes ("I know that you are recently divorced, as am I. But there's just no way we could get together given our clashing personalities...")

holdfast said...

This isn't the worst year for nominating obscure films that no real people would watch. I'd happily watch the Martian and I want to see the The Big Short. I'll probably catch The Revenant on cable at some point.

Freeman Hunt said...

"'Ann: you're fortunate that the "Hateful Eight" wasn't nominated. How much would you have to be paid to see it?'

Maybe between "Spotlight" — $50 — and "Bridge of Spies" — $100."

Have you watched Tarantino lately? The Tarantino of now is not the Tarantino of Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown, or Kill Bill. I think you might decide that $50 to $100 is too low. (Alternatively, you could price watching the first half at $50 and price watching the second half, which is supposed to be far worse, at $500+.)

Original Mike said...

From what I read, the science in Gravity was ridiculous. OTOH, The Martian is the science. At least the book was.

Gahrie said...

I went and saw the new Star Wars in a theater last week. It is the first time I've been in a movie theater since Ironman I.

Usually I'd rather be reading a book.

buwaya puti said...

Martian-the book is good, if that's your thing I'd say get it.

We don't go out to the movies since the kids grew up.
I haven't seen any of these either.

Freeman Hunt said...

I thought I would not like "Bridge of Spies," but I did.

mikee said...

I've enjoyed so many movies where Leonardo de Caprio dies, especially the parts where he dies, that seeing one where he - almost - dies is likely to be good, too.

I'm waiting for the romantic comedy, Deadpool, on February 14.

Meade said...

"Ping pong'd."

Here you go.

There's another 20 if you'll play naked ping pong.

Ann Althouse said...

I really don't trust venetian blinds that much. Not on the first floor.

Ann Althouse said...

"Have you watched Tarantino lately? The Tarantino of now is not the Tarantino of Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown, or Kill Bill. I think you might decide that $50 to $100 is too low. (Alternatively, you could price watching the first half at $50 and price watching the second half, which is supposed to be far worse, at $500+.)"

I saw "Inglorious Basterds" (and all the ones you've named. I did not go see "Django Unchained." Whatever that was... I got the feeling I didn't want to sit through that kind of ugliness. But I am curious about the art aspects of the movie. That would interest me.

Meade said...

"I really don't trust venetian blinds that much."

Trust, and satisfy.

I think Ronald Reagan said that.

Or maybe it was Bill Clinton.

Freeman Hunt said...

"Inglorious Basterds" had some wonderful moments. There's a great dinner scene in "Django Unchained." My understanding is that "The Hateful Eight" has some great moments, but the ugliness is so overwhelming that it ruins the movie. Tarantino has embraced the idea that if a character/person is flawed in certain ways, inflicting any kind of evil on him is justified, even humorous and enjoyable. He started on that line many movies ago, and "The Hateful Eight" takes it to a new extreme.

richlb said...

That list of actors is soooooooo white.

Roughcoat said...

Just wanted to give a shout-out for the film that I thought was the year's best, "Beasts of No Nation."

Three of its actors merit Oscar nominations: Abraham Attah, Idris Elba, and Emmanuel Nii Adom Quaye.

Did anyone else see it? What did you think?

Titus said...

I don't go to movies and rarely watch them. I don't watch television either.

My British/Indy hubby is nuts about movies. One wall in his loft is a huge screen/he has the blue ray shit and everything. BTW we are going to NYC this weekend so I might not be able to post much but I will miss all of you very much.

I am all about podcasts and Netflix.

tits and muscles

Roughcoat said...

"Beasts of No Nation," btw, is available on Netflix.


I can't stomach Tarantino movies. His movies are sick and sometimes evil. Had to say that.

Fernandinande said...

Original Mike said...
From what I read, the science in Gravity was ridiculous. OTOH, The Martian is the science. At least the book was.


Apparently the movie's wind-storm couldn't happen (not enough atmosphere), but the landscape was plausible. I doubt if he could've propelled himself in space by cutting a hole in his suit if the suit was pressurized to something close to Earth's air pressure; about 15 PSI...so a 1" hole would only have 15 pounds of thrust, and the suit's air would be gone almost immediately.

"The Revenant" was a great adventure movie. It had that kid with the weird eyebrows.

Stan Smith said...

"'Ann: you're fortunate that the "Hateful Eight" wasn't nominated. How much would you have to be paid to see it?"

$1.5 Billion.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

Many, very many, movies these days are cartoons - a class which includes computer generated graphics, no matter how classy. Just ain't the same as real actors.

A great many other movies, with actual persons acting, are heavy with green-screen scenes on computer generated backgrounds. They are short on dialog, woefully short on meaningful dialog.

They are rich with short snippets - often a half second or less - of a close-up face on dark or blurry background. Dialog, if any, will be such as "Ughhhhh. Aaaaaaaaaaaaagh." or "You've fucked me over too many times on this, Manny, and now it's your turn to get fucked. So are you ready to get fucked and take it?"

Movies? Why bother?

prairie wind said...

Gravity? As much as I usually enjoy Sandra Bullock, paying money to hear her go "ugh ugh ugh" was a bad idea.

William said...

Sean Penn is starring as Mohammed in a big budget biopic of that noted religious leader's life. The same people who made Trumbo are producing it........I just I'd put that out there to see how it develops.

Jim Sweeney said...

I agree that the AA are a bore. Went once, long ago, and decided never to do it again. Movies today are even more boring, noisy, violent, sexual but not sensual so I never go except with my young son once in a great while. I dislike standing for tickets to be put on sale and then waiting for the next showing. The old, continuous playing was better in my view. Too, the movieplexes are always in busy places so parking is another pain plus cost. Too bad but...

Sam L. said...

I liked The Martian, but saw it 2nd run. The others? Not interested, I am.

Birches said...

Ha Ha Ha. I love the exponential growth of the payment amounts. I'll probably see The Martian eventually, probably won't see anything else, though Spouse really wants to watch The Revenant. He has always been a big fan of Hugh Glass.

Birches said...

Gravity was fantastic. As was Interstellar. I did not expect to like either and was pleasantly surprised.

Static Ping said...

Blogger CJinPA said...
$2,000 to watch "Room"?

I'll give you a $10 bottle of wine to watch "The Room."


DON'T DO IT!!!

You will need at least 3 $10 bottles of wine, or perhaps boxes of wine, so you pass out right after the opening ends. That's the only semi-competent part of the movie.

If you do watch it, you need to watch it with the RiffTrax guys making fun of it. They are doing a replay of their live show on January 28. Should be available in a theater near you!

Haven't seen any of the nominated movies, though there are a couple that I find interesting. It seems these days the only movies I get to watch are classic old films or really bad movies being lampooned. That and Star Wars.

Birches said...

Movies I saw in the theater this year: Star Wars, Age of Ultron, Mission Impossible, Inside Out. All were worth the price of admission.

Clyde said...

Of the six films up for Best Picture, I saw two: The Martian and Brooklyn, both of which I enjoyed. No desire to see any of the other four.

Fred Drinkwater said...

Saw "The Martian" first-run. Worth it, with only a few technical bloopers, but then I'm a big geek when it comes to accuracy in "science" movies. Sure it won't appeal to everyone, but how can you not like a movie with a scene like the one where the NASA manager says "I get to be Glorfindel"? "Gravity" was a laugh-fest by comparison.
"Mad Max" had a good idea or two, and some interesting acting, but was ludicrously plotted and a complete waste of celluloid.
"Room" I have no desire to see for much the same reason I completely stopped watching Game of Thrones during the scene where Mance is burned alive - I sat there reflecting that I had seen much the same video from real life just a few days earlier (the Jordanian pilot in the tender hands of ISIS). At my age I do not need fiction to remind me of the horrors of reality.
To make amends for my downer attitude above, I'll end by strongly recommending the YouTube series "Every Frame A Painting" by Tony Zhou. Insightful, clear, beautiful. Anyone with an amateur interest in the art of moviemaking should watch them. Even the one on Michael "Bayhem".

The Godfather said...

@Althouse: If you are "no longer interested in seeing a movie for the purpose of witnessing great acting", then I assume that you don't like live dramatic theater either, is that correct?

sane_voter said...

Interstellar was a disappointment after they went into the wormhole. totally fell apart and became a farce. Gravity was ok after the great initial scene. Age of Ultron, gack. Only went due to the family wanting to see it and it didn't disappoint in disappointing me. I guess the Hulk is now totally indestructible. Wouldn't be surprised if in the next Avengers movie he will get hit with a Hydrogen bomb and emerge unscathed.

Ann Althouse said...

"@Althouse: If you are "no longer interested in seeing a movie for the purpose of witnessing great acting", then I assume that you don't like live dramatic theater either, is that correct?"

Wrong. We go to live theater. Not just because a performance is good though. We go to great plays with excellent actors, mostly at APT.

Original Mike said...

"Interstellar was a disappointment after they went into the wormhole. totally fell apart and became a farce."

Yeah, I liked it until it, as you aptly say, totally fell apart.

The Godfather said...

@Althouse. I don't know what APT is; I assume a local theater company. I'm glad to hear that they put on "great plays with excellent actors". So do some movies, sometimes. "Brooklyn" does, as does "The Danish Girl". I'm not sure there are any others from 2015 that I'd put in that category (we don't see a lot of movies, but I'm glad we didn't miss those two).

Smilin' Jack said...

Gravity? As much as I usually enjoy Sandra Bullock, paying money to hear her go "ugh ugh ugh" was a bad idea.

Like children, Sandra Bullock was made to be looked at, not listened to.

Smilin' Jack said...

"@Althouse: If you are "no longer interested in seeing a movie for the purpose of witnessing great acting", then I assume that you don't like live dramatic theater either, is that correct?"

Wrong. We go to live theater. Not just because a performance is good though. We go to great plays with excellent actors, mostly at APT.


Yeah! It's like seeing Hamlet with Lawrence Olivier, only without Lawrence Olivier, and with mosquitoes.

Sammy Finkelman said...

Someone has noted that the new Star Wars movie was not nominated for Best Picture - but 2 of the 10 possible nominations were omitted. (only 8 movies were nomnated)

Ben Jarrell said...

I saw and enjoyed Mad Max in the theater, but the notion that it deserves any kind of nod as best picture is insane to me. It's a car chase movie.

The Martian was pretty good.

I don't think I saw any of the others,