WEB : 81st Oscar Nominations & Talking Points

BEST PICTURE:
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Frost/Nixon
Milk
The Reader
Slumdog Millionaire

DIRECTING:
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, David Fincher
Frost/Nixon, Ron Howard
Milk, Gus Van Sant
The Reader, Stephen Daldry
Slumdog Millionaire, Danny Boyle

ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE:
Richard Jenkins - The Visitor
Frank Langella - Frost/Nixon
Sean Penn - Milk
Brad Pitt - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Mickey Rourke - The Wrestler

ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE:
Anne Hathaway - Rachel Getting Married
Angelina Jolie - Changeling
Melissa Leo - Frozen River
Meryl Streep - Doubt
Kate Winslet - The Reader

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE:
Josh Brolin - Milk
Robert Downey Jr. - Tropic Thunder
Philip Seymour Hoffman - Doubt
Heath Ledger - The Dark Knight
Michael Shannon - Revolutionary Road

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE:
Amy Adams - Doubt
Penélope Cruz - Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Viola Davis - Doubt
Taraji P. Henson - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Marisa Tomei - The Wrestler

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY:
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Screenplay by Eric Roth, Screen story by Eric Roth and Robin Swicord
Doubt, Written by John Patrick Shanley
Frost/Nixon, Screenplay by Peter Morgan
The Reader, Screenplay by David Hare
Slumdog Millionaire, Screenplay by Simon Beaufoy

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY:
Frozen River, Written by Courtney Hunt
Happy-Go-Lucky, Written by Mike Leigh
In Bruges, Written by Martin McDonagh
Milk, Written by Dustin Lance Black
WALL•E, Screenplay by Andrew Stanton, Jim Reardon, Original story by Andrew Stanton, Pete Docter

ORIGINAL SCORE:
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Alexandre Desplat
Defiance, James Newton Howard
Milk, Danny Elfman
Slumdog Millionaire, A.R. Rahman
WALL•E, Thomas Newman

ORIGINAL SONG:
"Down to Earth" from WALL•E, Music by Peter Gabriel and Thomas Newman, Lyric by Peter Gabriel
"Jai Ho" from Slumdog Millionaire, Music by A.R. Rahman, Lyric by Gulzar
"O Saya" from Slumdog Millionaire, Music and Lyric by A.R. Rahman andMaya Arulpragasam

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Some talking points for this years list :
  • No The Dark Knight best picture nomination? Man, if The Dark Knight couldn't get itself a nomination, then you can't imagine any comic book movie ever reaching that height. I thought it would happen this year, but then again..
  • And no Chris Nolan too? Hmm..
  • Many people are discussing online about the nod Brad Pitt got for Benjamin Button. Did you know that Brad Pitt does not appear onscreen for the first 52 minutes of his performance? Even after that, it is enhanced with extensive makeup and special effects. The question could be asked - is this the very first digital performance nominated for an Oscar? If he can get nominated, why not Andy Serkis startling work as Gollum in The Lord Of The Rings back in 2002?
  • Meryl Streep received her 15th acting nomination. Fifteenth! That's a new record..
  • I thought the Academy loves Clint Eastwood. Where's Gran Torino? Complete shut-out.
  • No Kate Winslet in supporting actress category (and rightly so, because she was the lead in The Reader). Penelope Cruz and Marisa Tomei is smiling.. :)
  • No Springsteen for Best Original Song? The Boss fans won't be happy.
  • Although I haven't seen Happy-Go-Lucky, many angry people online are discussing about the snub for Sally Hawkins in Best Actress category. In fact she is the only actress not to be nominated for an Oscar after winning the 4 major non-Oscar awards (National Society of Film Critics, The Los Angeles Film Critics Association, The New York Film Critics Circle and the Golden Globes). Read more about it here.
  • Stephen Daldry has made only three films and he's been nominated for Best Director every time with Billy Elliott, The Hours and The Reader. How the Academy voters loved him..
  • Downey Jr nomination is a pleasant suprise. It's cool but I prefer Tom Cruise performance in Tropic Thunder.
So what do u guys think? Full list of nominees here.

WEB : VHS Tapes (1975-2008) R.I.P - Never Forget


Sad but true, readers. As of December 2008, VHS is no longer manufactured. Running from 1975-2008, VHS brought joy into our lives for 33 amazing years.

VHS is probably the perfect format for film fans of my generation. I can say that I have a quite large collection of VHS tapes. Many of my P. Ramlee films collection, award shows, obsolete TV shows, cartoons - most of them taped from TV; are in VHS format and still occupying the TV cabinet shelves and drawers in my home. Watching these VHS is like taking a trip back to my childhood; it brought back a lot of memories.

I assume many of you would probably remember those days of VHS rental. Even when laser discs was making quite a business, many of us would prefer renting VHS simply because they were more titles to choose and the size of VHS tape is much more compact.

I can still remember back in the days, video rental store catalogs were photo albums with photos of the VHS cover art. And in late 80's, early 90's when VHS were available for purchase, the pirate manufacturers were releasing VHS in fancy clamshells, complete with printed front and back sleeves.

In the early 90's, when grunge was at the highest level of popularity, my friends and I were avid collectors of concert + live performances, and those rare and hard to get VHSes. Every kid in my school probably owned a copy of VHS tape with concerts by Green Day, Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam and a must-have at that time, Nirvana's 'Live, Tonight, Sold Out'. I remember during school holidays, I would 'turun KL' to find all those rare concert tapes and bring it back to Alor Setar so that I could brag to my friends. And by the time the school starts, I was probably the most popular kid in class, because all of my friends wanted to borrow the tapes. Silly I know, but popularity comes with a price..

And speaking of school, I'm definitely sure most of you guys (and some girls) remember your first experience with pornography. If you're age is between 25 to 35 years old now, I can surely bet you saw it first on VHS tapes, probably with some friends at their house when their parents weren't home. And boy was it hard to swap tapes with your friends at school, at risk of being caught by your teacher.

After the sudden popularity of VCD and the digital format, VHS is no longer considered a viable medium for releasing new films (as well as old ones). DVD has taken over and rightly so, thanks to the higher definition picture and better quality sound, not to mention the extras. The Internet and it's download availability also contributed to the fall of VHS. And sadly, the digital age killed the video star...

So this is my tribute to VHS. Thanks for the great memories. You will never be forgotten. Rest in peace.. and in our shelves.

*Picture taken from Nakatomi Stuff with great articles on VHS. They're also selling cool t-shirts to commemorate the death of VHS.

WEB : Golden Globe 2009 Winners List

Golden Globe 2009 Winners : -


BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MOTION PICTURE
Kate Winslet, The Reader

BEST ORIGINAL SONG - MOTION PICTURE
‘Bruce Springstreen, ‘The Wrestler,’ The Wrestler

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SERIES - DRAMA
Gabriel Byrne, “In Treatment”

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION SERIES - DRAMA
Anna Paquin, “True Blood”

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
WALL-E

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE - MUSICAL OR COMEDY
Sally Hawkins, Happy-Go-Lucky

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MOTION PICTURE
Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Waltz With Bashir

BEST SCREENPLAY - MOTION PICTURE
Slumdog Millionaire

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SERIES - MUSICAL OR COMEDY
Alec Baldwin, “30 Rock”

BEST TELEVISION SERIES - COMEDY OR MUSICAL
“30 Rock”

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE - MOTION PICTURE
Slumdog Millionaire

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION SERIES - MUSICAL OR COMEDY
Tina Fey, “30 Rock”

BEST DIRECTOR - MOTION PICTURE
Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE - MUSICAL OR COMEDY
Colin Farrell, In Bruges

BEST MOTION PICTURE - MUSICAL OR COMEDY
Vicky Cristina Barcelona

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE - DRAMA
Kate Winslet, Revolutionary Road

BEST TELEVISION SERIES - DRAMA
“Mad Men”

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE - DRAMA
Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler

BEST MOTION PICTURE - DRAMA
Slumdog Millionaire

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  • Hooray for Slumdog Millionaire! Personally, I've been rooting for it.. and boy did they win! A clean sweep, winning every award it was nominated for.
  • Kate Winslet winning in both best actress categories, for The Reader and Revolutionary Road. Haven't watch both of it, but she's definitely a force to be reckon with.
  • Mickey Rourke baby! At last..
  • Heath Ledger! So glad he won..
  • As expected Mad Men & 30 Rock won, and surprisingly the gap-toothed cutie, Anna Paquin from True Blood. Well-deserved.
  • Colin Farrell for In Bruges is another delight. In Bruges should have won for Best Motion Picture-Musical Comedy too.
Overall, some good results. What do u think?

SPORTS : It's A Beautiful Day..



My wife said I was grinning in my sleep this morning.
It's the grin of.. satisfaction.

It's a beautiful day.

WEB : Japanese Watchmen Trailer

"Oh no, not another Watchmen trailer, Edd!"

Er.. yes, it's another Watchmen trailer.
In Japanese.. this time with Castro, Nixon and JFK.




How come the Japanese get the coolest Watchmen trailer?

FILM : The 2008 List

In tradition to this list and this list, I think a 2008 fave list would be a great start to a new year. Bear in mind, I haven't watch Milk, The Wrestler, Benjamin Button, etc - those critically acclaimed movies that was released in 2008. This list is purely based on the films that I watched last year (..and it ain't much).

I'll try to keep it short and sweet. Here's my top 11 favourite films of 2008.


11. Dunia Baru The Movie (Hitler Zami)
The only local film on the list. I enjoyed the series, and the film version is not bad either (read my review here). For local film appreciations go to Ajami's blog, who is busy giving out those AFA's chicken trophy..haha.

10. Tropic Thunder / Zack & Miri Make A Porno / Pineapple Express (Ben Affleck/ Kevin Smith/ David Gordon Green)
Three equally funny films, full of laugh-out-loud moments with great storytelling and wonderful acting. If you're not a fan of Tom Cruise (..like me), go watch Tropic Thunder and be surprised. Definitely the best comedic performance of 2008.

9. In Bruges (Martin McDonagh)
This black comedy is about hit men on vacation, featuring a career-best turn from Colin Farrell. The script was cleverly written and had a lot of heart.

8. Quantum of Solace (Marc Forster)
I know my review wasn't too positive, but I have a soft spot for Bond. Clearly the best action film of 2008.

7. Lust, Caution (Ang Lee)
The most underrated film of 07/08 is also the most erotic. I always admire the ability of Ang Lee superbly tackling every genre of films and this time he successfully recreated the setting of Japanese-overrun wartime Shanghai. I can sit and stare at Tang Wei for days.. she hits me deep, right in the heart.

6. Speed Racer (The Wachowski Brothers)
Critics hated it, but this digitally-assembled explosion of movement and light is probably the most avant-garde film in 2008. Read my review here.

5. Let the Right One In (Tomas Alfredson)
Swedish vampire movie anyone? It probably sounded like I was describing a B-grade gore, slasher flick. But you'll be surprised of this gorgeous coming-of-age tale of young love between a shy Swedish boy and the little girl vampire who moves in next door and agrees to be his girlfriend without either of them realizing the implications. Beautiful.

4. The Chaser (Na Hong-jin)
This little gem from South Korea won multiple awards at the 45th Daejong Film Festival (Korea’s equivalent to the Oscars). It's not your average serial-killer + antihero film. A bit horrifying, a bit provocative, a bit sad and surprisingly a bit funny but overall a wonderful, engaging film.

3. Slumdog Millionaire (Danny Boyle)
I managed to see this one on the last week of 2008. It's really such a beautiful film, just something very different from Boyle's previous work, mainly because of its Mumbai setting, its rags-to-riches underdog storyline and just a lot of really delightful and exciting sequences. The cast of young newcomers and some Bollywood veterans (Anil Kapoor as Jalaluddin Hassan anyone?) was simply delightful. My pick for this year Best Director.

2. Man on Wire (James Marsh)
This gorgeous documentary tells the unbelievable tale of the French tight-rope walker Philippe Petit who planned the elaborate wire walk between the Twin Towers in 1974, over 100 stories above imminent death. Watching it feels like watching an exciting bank-heist film, with a seamless melding of interviews, stills, re-enactments and archival footage. A celebration of athleticism, architecture, beauty and crazy ambition, this film definitely inspires me to go out and chase my dreams, because nothing is impossible.

1. The Dark Knight (Christopher Nolan)
Is there any doubt about my no 1 pick? A masterpiece. Read my review here.


Biggest dissapointments : Wong Kar Wai's My Blueberry Nights and Fernando Meirelles's Blindness. 2 amazing directors with serious duds. I'm sure these 2 great artist will come back strong on their next film.


Where's your list?

JURNAL : New Year, New Skin

eddvedder.blogspot.com dah bersalin kulit.
How do you like me now..?

Trying to find my writing mojo back.
Wish me luck.

Happy New Year.