Nerdy Heartbeat

Movies, Reviews, News, Insanity

2010 MTV Movie Awards Review June 7, 2010

Sigh. As many of you know the MTV Movie Awards just ended this year and well… yeah. It’s odd how I can remember when films like Se7en, Pulp Fiction and Scream won and now it’s pretty much favored towards teenage girl-tainment. Sure there were a few good winners but overall it was just just awful. But instead of continuing to rant, I’m going to review every winner with my favorite form of internet based communication:

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Biggest Badass Star: Rain from Ninja Assassin

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Best Scared as S*** Performace: Amanda Seyfried in Jennifer’s Body (Beating District 9, Zombieland, Paranormal Activity and Drag Me to Hell)

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Best WTF! Moment: Naked Trunk Surprise from The Hangover

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Best Fight: Ali Larter and Beyonce from Obsessed

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Best Kiss: Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson from New Moon

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Best Comedic Performance: Zack Galafanakis from The Hangover

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Best Villain: Tom Felton from Harry Potter

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Breakthrough Performance: Anna Kendrick from Up in the Air

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Best Female Performance: Kristen Stewart from New Moon

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Best Male Performance:Robert Pattinson from New Moon

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MTV Generation Award:Sandra Bullock


Global Superstar: Robert Pattinson

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Best Movie: New Moon

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Interpret any of these as you will but ultimately, with the exception of a select few, this isn’t even a mediocre representation of the “best of” 2009 American movies even ones catered to our youth. If I would this Movie Awards a full review it would be this (ironically from one of the best films of 09):

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Nerdy Heartbeat 2009 Recap: The Best Movies of 2009 January 2, 2010

Holy crap 2009. It’s over and for the most part it was a pretty chaotic and insane year (not in a good way). Between the economy continuing plummeting down, Auto-tune plummeting up and Fox News hypocritically and ironically going jihad on Obama after 8 years of whining how bashing a president is anti-American, it was hard to escape from the real world. Good thing movies are still one of the best forms of escapism that doesn’t involve dying of overdose. 2009 was an amazing year for movies both of quality and from a commercial standpoint. The yearly gross is at the highest its ever been (so far at 10.5 BILLION) and with Avatar invading the box office it will only get even higher. The ticket sales were high too at about 1460 million tickets sold this year, the highest its been since 2004. It’s clear that the recession isn’t hurting the film industry at all, in fact it’s helping it. Also as far as quality movies were fantastic with a variety of different genres for something for everyone, not to mention a vast array of original films which is rare in a world of remakes and adaptations. It was a hard list to make; there were so many great films this year, the top 5 itself are easily some of my favorite films this decade.

10. Adventureland


Greg Molotta’s first film since Superbad may not be the Apatow-esque sex-romp everyone expected. In fact, it’s better. Adventureland deals with the post-college troubles that come when one has to deal with the real world in a truly powerful coming-of-age story. A perfect portrayal of all the ups and downs of growing up; not to mention proves to America that Kristen Stewart can acutally act.

9. The Princess and the Frog


The Disney films that we all grew up with are considered classics. Why? Because they kept them simple: renowned folklore reinvented as animated musicals for Western audiences. But after Mulan and experimenting with science fiction (resulting in a few decent but commercially disappointing efforts), Disney plummeted into mediocrity. For the entire decade, Disney had to hold on to Pixar and live-action hits to dear life to stay afloat. But in 2009, Disney decided to go back to their roots with The Princess and the Frog. At the core, it has the same premise of your average Disney Princess movie but beneath that is a great world and story they weave around the simple premise. It’s propelled even further with entertaining characters and jaw-dropping yet nostalgic 2D animation. The music is no Alan Menken but it’s still catchy and fun. It also reminds us how accessible Disney movies are; the film has plenty of humor, visual flare, charm and nods to 1920s New Orleans culture that even a group of full grown adults can enjoy it just as much kids. The Disney magic is back.

8. Zombieland

A 90 minute commercial for Twinkies? Probably but this is one of the most entertaining movies of the year and one of 2009’s best comedies and easily 2009’s best horror film. This year was great to horror with fantastic original horror films left and right, (Drag Me to Hell, Orphan, Paranormal Activity) it was really good that companies aren’t just using horror to cash in on mediocre remakes. Zombieland takes the traditional zombie apocalypse and turns its trademarks on its head with a hilariously engrossing story, dialog and characters. The last 10 or so minutes where the gang fight their way through an amusement park is one of the best fight scenes in a horror movie in a very long time. Sony should stick with this idea; it has strong potential of being a horror classic and can help revive the zombie movie in America.

7. Fantastic Mr. Fox


One of my favorite stories as a kid comes to life with witty Wes Anderson flair. Gorgeous visuals, sharp writing and great voice acting from an impressive ensemble cast make this shine above the rest of the animated films this year in what is ultimately, Ocean’s 11 meets The Royal Tenenbaums with animals. It’s a phenomenal work but a damn shame that this didn’t do as well as many hoped while G-Force and Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakuel were enormously popular. Guess America prefers rodents making fart jokes and singing pop songs. That being said if you’re a fan of animation (particularly anything unconventional outside of the typical CGI affair) or just a huge fan of Wes Anderson’s work, you absolutely need to see this.

6. A Single Man

Visually and aesthetically, this is easily the year’s most phenomenal. Unconventional editing mashed with experimentations with color schemes and brilliant fashion design makes this an artistic gold mine. But underneath all the visual flair is a tragic tale of a man recovering from a lost love and dealing with depression. It is simply a cinematic marvel. That and I’m a sucker for Julianne Moore and Ginnifer Goodwin.

5. The Road

After the masterpiece that was Children of Men, I wasn’t sure if the post-apocalyptic thriller could get any better. Then when I scoffed through films like Babylon A.D., I was convinced that the genre was dead. When I first of The Road, I didn’t know what to think expect that it was just another fall thriller. Then after watching the first 10 or so minutes I knew this was going to be anything but run-of-the-mill. Viggo Mortensen has always been a cinematic badass but this film solidified him as a brilliant actor. The supporting cast, including Robert Duvall and Charlize Theron are pretty fantastic as well. The cinematography is visually staggering and the overall feel of the film is as intense as an post-apocalyptic world can be. Unlike other films this year like 2012 or Zombieland, there’s no over-the-top explosions, hard boiled action, humor or hope. This is the real deal. It’s gritty, bleak and simply tragic. However, the film still makes you feel for these characters despite the fact that hope is slim. It’s an aggressively marvelous tale about the struggle and tenacity of the human spirit and proves that movies about the end of the world can still send shivers down your spine.

4. Up in the Air

George Clooney is cool as f–k. You probably don’t want to admit it but even if you hate him (for whatever reason) you can’t help but realize that you desperately want to be him. Up in the Air proves that as Clooney plays as suave but severely flawed man who gets paid by firing people, lives in airports, believes marriage is a joke and emotionally distances himself from everyone. You don’t want to like him but alas you can’t help but root for the smug bastard. Add this with a fantastic script, brilliant supporting roles from Vera Farminga and Anna Kendrick (aka the “other girl” in the Twilight movies) and a twist that will make M. Night green with envy and you have something that’s very very special. Easily one of the year’s best offerings.

3. Up


Pixar, much like a famed balloon house in their summer hit Up, is flying high as one of the most prolific film companies right now. After the magnificent visual feast that was Wall-E, some (including me) believed Pixar couldn’t get any better. Boy were we wrong. The first 10 minutes of Up were more oscar-worthy than any of the scenes currently nominated for the Golden Globe for best picture and the rest of the movie has dozen of scenes that will either make burst into laughter, bring tears to your eye or give you chills. It’s a storytelling marvel, plain and simple. Arguably one of the best animated films this past decade.

2. District 9


We live in a world where a blockbuster must be based on a comic book/toy line/TV show/book. Then District 9 came along and proved that as long as the world and story is convincing enough and if you’ve got a great marketing campaign, a film can succeed despite of all of the things going against it (unknown cast, heavy R rating, film technique that’s hit/miss with audience, TriStar not releasing a hit since the late 90s). But the fact that it’s an original work or the genius marketing or how it was able to live up to all the hype is why this is so high on the list. Very few sci-films (at least in this day and age) were able to juxtapose sci-fi based mythology with real world social problems so flawlessly without preaching to the audience. The way to narrative unraveled underneath a magnificent yet terrifying setting was masterful. Combine this with visual effects that rival films with a $100+ budget, fantastic acting, an engrossing documentary style and brutally intense action and you have one of the best popcorn flicks in a long time. Not bad for a first-time director. Let’s just hope that with this movie, (as well as Avatar) film companies learned that you don’t need to remake/adapt a previous work to guarantee a hit.

1. (500) Days of Summer


The romantic comedy genre got its share of beatings over the past decade. Sure it got a few bones thrown to it in the shape of Love Actually, Eternal Sunshine and Garden State, but for the most part, romantic comedies were mediocre cliched romps. Especially this year where the romantic comedy went from mediocre (The Proposal) to bad (The Ugly Truth) to horrible (Bride Wars) to All About Steve. It seemed like the genre had its final nail in the coffin. Until this movie came along. However, while it’s a romantic boy meets girl story the film said it right in the beginning: “This is not a love story”. It’s a tale about fate and destiny; how it can shatter and rise again when you least expect it. It’s a story about how what one wants and what one gets can collide like a brutal car crash. It’s about how love, like everything else, is a cycle that grows, blossoms, withers, dies and becomes born again. All of these themes and the way the film presents them is what truly makes it a stand-out film. That and how often do you see a rom-com from a guys point of view? And how often are said guys not the stereotypical womanizer archetype? (500) Days truly is a relatable, realistic love story that feels real which ironically is rare in the genre. Which begs the question: between this, Slumdog, Wrestler, Juno, Little Miss Sunshine and Garden State, does Fox Searchlight EVER release something that isn’t brilliant?

Honorable Mentions:

Avatar

Paper Heart

Funny People

Whatever Works

Star Trek

The Hangover

Watchmen

Where the Wild Things Are

Orphan

 

Best Films of 2009 (so far and from what I’ve seen) August 21, 2009

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Box Office: Robots With Genitals Got the Number 1 Spot Two Weeks in A Row July 6, 2009

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1. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (42.3 Mil) – People want to see stuff blow up on 4th of July. Michael Bay can arrange that.

2. Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (41.6 Mil) – Wait… there was an Ice Age 2?

3. Public Enemies (25.2 Mil) – Johnny Depp may bring in the dough… but giant robots blowing stuff up and cartoon animals bring in more.

4. The Proposal (12.8 Mil) – Cause your girlfriend dragged you to see it a second time. Hey, cheer up. It’s one of the better rom-coms you’ll see this year.

5. The Hangover (11.2 Mil) – Just passed the 200 Mil mark making it the only comedy to make that achievement besides Wedding Crashers. And this is a comedy that deserves it… well this and maybe Funny People.

 

Box Office: Rom Com Leads Last Weekend Before “Robots Blowing Stuff Up” Will Dominate June 21, 2009

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1. The Proposal (34.1 Mil) – At first I didn’t think this was gonna do well at all, until I realized it was the only romcom/chick flick in theaters right now. The female 15-30 age group ate this up and with nothing like this until mid July with The Ugly “Truth”, it will probably continue to stay in the top 5 for a while.

2. The Hangover (26.8 Mil) – This honestly has potential of topping Wedding Crashers as the most successful R-rated Comedy ever. And who knew the biggest comedy of our generation would star 3 B/C-List Comedians rather than the “big names”. Suck on that Eddie Murphy.

3. Up (21.3 Mil) – As of now it’s doing almost as well as Finding Nemo (highest grossing Pixar flick) did back in 2003. And boy does it deserve every penny. Seriously, this is Pixar’s best, even better than Wall-e which I thought was impossible. Plus, it’s to die for in 3-D.

4. Year One (20.2 Mil) – Ouch. Not as good as people were expecting. Surprising that you have Apatow producing and Ramis directing, and you have not only critics trashing it but audiences not seeing it. Guess people are sick of Black and Cera playing the same roles.

5. The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 (11.3 Mil) – Who doesn’t want to see John Travolta take a train hostage?

 

Box Office Weekend June 5-7: Up Gets Number 1 Spot Two Weeks In A Row June 7, 2009

3426149236_49ea57b5c21. Up (44.2 Mil) – Second week in a row at number 1. Not really surprising since any movie associated with Pixar is destined to make lots and lots of money. That and it has a lot going for it: mature storyline akin to last year’s Wall-E, rave reviews, talking dogs. This definitely has potential of being one of the highest grossing films of the summer.

2. The Hangover (43.2 Mil) – Not gonna lie, I’m kind of surprised this did this well. I mean there’s not exactly an A-List star in this and there wasn’t a huge amount of advertising. Nonetheless, it did extremely well being only 1 million below the number one movie.

3. Land of the Lost (19.5 Mil) – Kind of a disappointment, especially when compared to the success of the opposing new comedy this weekend. Who knows, maybe Americans are tired of Will Ferrell’s typical antics. Or maybe less people were fans of the TV show than Universal expected.

4. Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (14.6 Mil) – Starting to lose its steam, despite doing exceptionally well on Memorial Day weekend. Probably because American families realized that there is a much much MUCH better family film in theaters right now. Think about it: Pixar film or sequel with Ben Stiller doing more physical comedy in another museum. Which would you chose?

5. Star Trek (8.4 Mil) – Jesus. Five weeks later and its still in the top 5. As of now its made 222 Million being the highest grossing film of the year. And it really does deserve every dollar it makes. All this being said, the success of Star Trek will probably soon be overshadowed by an upcoming sequel with the robots blowing stuff up.