Tag Archives: Oscar

Dustin’s Three to See: January

Don’t get out to the movies as often as, say, a single 29-year-old manchild with an escapism complex? Well don’t fret, I’ve taken all of Hollywood’s shoddy offerings and narrowed them down to the three that won’t make your $20 movie ticket feel like a total waste. I call it Dustin’s Three to See because I am as creative as a kindergartner. As always I keep things as spoiler free as possible.

As any even casual observer of movie culture can tell you, January is a bad month for movies. Generally considered the graveyard of the release calendar, January is where bad movies go to die. After the holidays people usually have less in the budget for activities like moviegoing or tipping their bartender, and as a result, movies that are deemed not as good as movies like Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Witness Protection end up here. Whether it’s rewrites, poor focus group results, or just an overall bad film…if you think of a movie as a toddler, January is the timeout-chair its sent to when it’s misbehaved.

That said, there were still a couple diamonds to be found in the rough of this January, and if you got an AMC giftcard for Christmas like I did, here are the January releases that are worth your while.

Movie 1) — Gangster Squad
Remember a second ago when I said how January is full of mediocre movies? Gangster Squad is not a good movie. However, it’s not a terrible movie, either. And against the rest of the January slate, that makes it…watchable. The awful tragedy in Aurora, Colorado last summer meant that Gangster Squad’s much-publicized scene where the gangsters shoot through a movie theater screen and into the audience instantly became extremely inappropriate, meaning that the newly-infamous scene and the ending of the movie both needed to be rewritten and reshot before the film could be released. Whether it was those drastic post-wrap changes or something else that made Gangster Squad only okay, we’ll never know. But if you like Ryan Gosling (and just a cursory glance at any social media suggests that you do…a lot), flapper-style Emma Stone, and some cool period-accurate visuals, Gangster Squad is worth a go…if only to whet your whistle for when The Great Gatsby comes out.

Hey girl, sorry you couldn't be in Drive.

Hey girl, sorry you couldn’t be in Drive.

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The Most Oscarful Time of the Year

For someone who has literally nothing to do the vast majority of the time, I sure do seem to stay crazy busy. It feels like this is the first moment I’ve had to breathe in half a year. That said, let’s make some Oscar picks, shall we?

Note: Categories are presented in no particular order, and picks are being made regardless of whether or not I’ve see all the films in a given category.

Best Actor:
Right away I’m torn for several reasons.
—George Clooney probably gave the best performance in Up in the Air, but he’s won so much already that it’s almost boring to see him get it.
—I like Jeff Bridges, but I think Crazy Heart is overhyped and not that great of a movie.
—Morgan Freeman seems like the go-to guy since you know he did a good job, and likely has the fewest years of eligibility (aka life) left in him.
—I don’t like Colin Firth, and furthermore can’t in good conscience select someone whose resume includes Love Actually, What a Girl Wants and the Bridget Jones series.
—Jeremy Renner did an ok job in Hurt Locker, but it’s just not the kind of character I like to see win.

Pick: Morgan Freeman. Eh, why not? Besides, he might smite us if we don’t give it to him.

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