The 90th Academy Awards aired last night. I have to admit I wasn’t all that excited about it this year. No idea why. I’d actually seen more of the films this year than I usually have at this point and it's the one awards ceremony I usually love to sit through. I skipped all the pre-awards stuff but did turn the TV on for the actual show. As per usual, I clicked on Twitter to see what the people were saying about it. Usually, Twitter is a pretty fun place to hang out while watching the Oscars with plenty of hot takes, impassioned responses, and jokes. But this year it seemed to get nasty really quick. It was like a contest to see who could be the snarkiest. People were complaining it was too long before the first award was given out.
As it was the 90th anniversary of the awards, there were a lot of montages celebrating the films made within that period. People were complaining about that. Complaining that clips of movies were being shown during a celebration of movies. I don’t get it. Do the same people complain when a singer performs her song during the Grammys. Anyways. it was all just a bit too much for me and so an hour into it I turned it off and put on Well Go USA’s 4k transfer of the Takashi Miike splatter flick Ichi the Killer (full review to appear soon).
Personally, I really enjoyed the montages that I saw. They used a variety of clips of a lot of very different films but intercut them in really interesting ways making their own short films of sorts. It's the sort of thing that reminds me of why I love movies. It made me remember films I’d like to see again and added a few other films that I’ve never seen to my list.
Which brings me to this week's pick. There are quite a few interesting releases this week but two that were really contenders for my pick. Two very different films that lie on opposite ends of where we are in this cultural cinematic moment. Lady Bird is a small, independent film that tells an intimate story and is based upon writer/director Greta Gerwig’s real-life experiences growing up. Thor: Ragnarok is a Marvel blockbuster. Its budget for coffee was likely bigger than what it cost to make all of Lady Bird.
Both were contenders for this week's pick yet I ultimately went with Thor: Ragnarok because, well, frankly because it's the one I’ve seen. Lady Bird played at the independent cinema in Tulsa but I never made it out to catch it and so Thor wins out yet again simply because it was showing everywhere. It also happens to be a really fun movie. Director Taika Waititi amped up the comedic elements boosting the Thor franchise's humor and kicking its usual dour outlook to the curb. It was a near-perfect summer popcorn movie and I happily make it this week’s pick of the week. And Lady Bird, I promise to watch you soon, ok?
Also out this week that looks interesting:
Wonder Wheel: Woody Allen’s latest stars Kate Winslet, Juno Temple, and Justin Timberlake in a story set in the 1950s about a middle-aged carousel operator and his beleaguered wife.
The Breadwinner: Animated film about a headstrong girl in Afghanistan who disguises herself as a boy in order to provide for her family.
The Man Who Invented Christmas: Dan Stevens and Christopher Plummer star in this film about Charles Dickens as he is writing A Christmas Carol.
The Cat O’ Nine Tails: Arrow Video works their magic on this mid-level horror film from Dario Argento about a blind puzzle solver out to catch a killer.