Monday, January 20, 2014

Bad Shakespeare in LaLa Land!

Leonardo DiCaprio cries himself to sleep each night while gazing at this image.

It’s that magical time of year, faithful readers of this blog, and anyone who found it by Googling “Breaking Bad Spoilers” despite the fact that the show has been over for a good four months. (It ends by listing the names of everyone who worked on that episode.) It’s that magical time of year when parts of America are covered in cold, you long to be complaining about the heat of summer, and Hollywood dumps it’s most unlovable crap into movie theaters with the hopes of tricking you into seeing it. We’re going to be there for you, I, Frankenstein. I generally hoped you’d be better, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, despite the words “Kevin” and “Costner” appearing around you. And if you’re one of 20 found footage horror movies being released in January... oh, man. I feel bad for you. I’ll catch you on Netflix in a few weeks.

But while Hollywood is throwing the leftovers that were deemed “not as good as R.I.P.D” into the theaters with the hopes that you’ll be too cold to go, they also don’t care. Why? Because it’s awards season! That’s right, whether it’s a People’s Choice, a Golden Globe, or a Netflix Coca-Cola Award brought to you by Chipolte, it’s important to remember that some rich people are going to get up in fancy dresses that cost more than your car, some people who haven’t been famous in 20 years will critique those outfits, and the same 8 movies will get awarded something, and Leonardo DiCaprio will win everything except for what’s considered the highest award. Of which Nicolas Cage has two. 

Let that sink in for a few minutes.

The only one we care about here at Bad Shakespeare central are the Oscars. And the AMC 24 Hour Best Picture Showcase, this year coming to you in March! And once again, Bad Shakespeare will be there to cover the entire thing, in it’s entire 24 hour glory. 

If you remember back to the 2013 AMC BPS, it was quite the grab bag. From the sheer, “When will this be over” of Amour to the breathtaking “Dear God, make it stop!” of Beasts of the Southern Wild, we covered all the nominees with gusto, making jokes about Abe Lincoln, pigeons, and avoiding the easy ones about Leonardo DiCaprio despite the fact that he played against type and still couldn’t get one of those Golden wrapped Chocolate covered statues. (That’s what it’s made of, right?)

Well, let’s take a look at what we’ve got going on this year, and what we’ll be watching. Keep in mind, as of this writing the AMC Best Picture Showcase 2014 has been announced, but is not open for ticketing just yet, so I don’t know the order, just that it’s going to occur. the order I’m picking is the order that’s on it’s website so it could be random, alphabetical, or it could be the secret code to the Academy Voters that it’s time to mount the army and attack England. No one knows. It’s an enigma. 

-American Hustle. Now, I have to be honest, I’ve seen this one, and I have to say, it’s got some impressive actors with some impressive hair. I was going to make a joke about the whole thing being Batman and Lois lane squaring off against Mystique and the future voice of Rocket Raccoon for the soul of Hawkeye, but that’s all too confusing. let’s just focus on the well-coifed members of the team, and the fact that the one person not really forced to alter her hair too much was the ginger cast member, most likely because they were scared of her. I know I’d be. Between her and Christian Bale, that set was most likely a powder keg. Either way, I’m looking forward to watching this one again, this time with people who can appreciate me making fun of the four minutes that start this film that’s just Christian Bale combing his hair, and then us trying to take everything else seriously. 

-Captain Philips, a.k.a Johnny Depp lied to us. I’ve not seen this one, and I don’t know how much I’m looking forward to it, to be honest with you. I’ve seen based on harrowing life events in the past, and this one does look interesting. I mean, based on events as much as possible, as once it came out we got the obligatory twelve stories from Slate about how this bent the truth, then the article about how the other bent the truth, etc. It must have been nice, the writers from that site were able to take almost a full month off based on this. Regardless of what happens, the outcome is the same: Someone please, please, please just give Tom Hanks another Oscar. 

-Dallas Buyer’s Club. The first in our look at 2014 Academy Award movies featuring Matthew McConaughey is another semi-true picture that looks at the selling of AIDs drugs during the worst parts of the AIDs crisis. I don’t know I’m going to make too many jokes about this, other than the weight that McConaughey had to lose to get the part and the fact that it endangered his abs. Really, they’re a national treasure, people. 

-Gravity. I’m calling it now, this one is going to be our midnight, “ain’t we clever for putting this on at midnight?” movie. It’s 3-D and features mostly Sandra Bullock floating around after she’s abandoned by George Clooney. It’s a good look at an existential thought process that goes through people’s heads as they decide just what they’re going to have to do in order to survive. Also, fear. Worst fear. I’d rather face off against the alien from Alien than deal with drifting through space, slowly waiting for my oxygen to run out. Fortunately, most of the movie has been debunked by Neil DeGrasse Tyson, who pointed out clearly that the giant robots in Pacific Rim couldn’t exist. 

-Her. Finally the movie that Stanley Kubrick was trying to make when he had HAL  get rid of those pesky astronauts for not returning his love. We know this one, some dude falls in love with Scarlett Johansson just by voice because he’s lonely and hey, Scarlett Johansson. The only cruelty, of course, is casting Scarlett Johansson in a movie that doesn’t feature any images of Scarlett Johansson, making it the cruelest use of Scarlett Johansson since Michael Bay convinced us that there could be believable clones of Scarlett Johansson. Jerk. But yeah, cautionary tale of technology or something. 

-Nebraska. The Oscar voter’s token black and white movie after the uproar last year that all of the other black and white movies had been overlooked. They were shot in black and white for a reason, everyone: To get nominations! Fortunately, this was corrected this year without having to resort to finding an old Leonardo DiCaprio movie, putting it in black and white, and assuring him that he isn’t going to win again.

-Philomena. A wacky road trip adventure with Steve Coogan and former Vin Diesel co-star Dame Judi Dench set in Ireland where they try to find the child she gave up when she was younger. I should also point out that this is ANOTHER fact based story, which makes me wonder why other fact based stories, like the Croods, weren’t nominated this year. It’s just another example of the Oscar’s biases. I do have to point out after hearing all of the stories behind this one, I do really want to see it. It looks interesting, and I generally like Steve Coogan when he’s playing Steve Coogan. And hey, Dame Judi Dench. If she were in Amour, I’d probably be sadder by the end, and not rooting for that pigeon to steal her soul. (That’s what happened in the movie, right?)

-12 Years a Slave. I’m not even going to ATTEMPT to spell the main character’s name, just refer to him as the bad guy from Serenity, and hope that his newfound fame will allow him to come back in the inevitable Serenity sequel that he will personally fund. Looks like another tough movie, but one that will be interesting at least, and thanks to that overseas poster I know features Brad Pitt. Which is good, because I was getting scared by the lack of Brad Pitt on this year’s list, and was kind of hoping they’d replace Bradley Cooper with Brad Pitt digitally in American Hustle. Oh, don’t feel bad for Cooper, he’s going to have Rocket Raccoon money soon.

-The Wolf of Wall Street. Scorsese. DiCaprio. Hill. With powerhouse names like these, it’s no wonder that this film was nominated for an Oscar. However, Nicolas Cage has more Oscars than all these men. Combined. Just a reminder. In any event, I’m looking forward to this one, despite all the “controversies” surrounding it that allowed the writers of Slate to once again write about it, then take a month off. It looked hilarious, and I actually avoided this one because I believed it would be nominated. Good luck, this year, to all of you... wait... DiCaprio wasn’t even nominated? Ooof. That’s going to hit into my jokes this year. I’ll work around it. 

So there you have it... all 9 nominated films that I’ll be sitting through with my faithful group of co-writers, friends, and people who are bringing cookies. Seriously. I was promised cookies. And I’m looking forward to sharing the experience with all of you!

Also, to those who were just Googling Breaking Bad Spoilers: Walt dies after a fight with a Dragon voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch. 

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