Bob and Justin's Mad Movie Blog

My name is Bob. My friend Justin and I are aspiring filmmakers and we have pretty similar tastes in movies. This will include our take on what's going on in film and television today as well as updating you on the status of our own work.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Bob Awards

A few weeks ago I announced the nominations for my favorite films of 2008 and now the winners of the Awards with No Trophies or Importance. I hope you enjoy them.

Art Direction
Slumdog Millionaire – Mark Digby and Michelle Day provided an exceptional backdrop to this tale by bringing the ever-changing city of Mumbai to life.

The Dark Knight – Wally Pfister was the first Director of Photography ever tasked to shoot a feature film with IMAX cameras. The result was the kind of jaw-dropping movie going experience that a home theater can never duplicate.

Costume Design
Be Kind Rewind – The costumes by Rahel Afiley and Kishu Chand were imaginative, zany, and full of heart, just like this film’s characters.

Film Editing
The Dark Knight – Lee Smith’s pacing and sense of dramatic tension went a long way in making this the film that it was.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button – The work done here, particularly on Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett, was not only outstanding, it served as a canvas for their terrific performances.

Original Score
The Dark Knight – Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard. The music specifically written for the Joker alone would have made this a deserving winner.

Original Song
Forgetting Sarah Marshall – “Dracula’s Lament” by Jason Segel was not only the funniest song in a movie last year, it also managed to be the perfect window into Peter Bretter’s (Segel) soul.

Wall-E – Ben Burtt not only voiced Wall-E, he also created the sounds of the little robot’s whole world. In a film so sparse on dialogue, Burtt had a big task. He did amazing work here.

Visual Effects
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button – Visual effects that we don’t think about while we’re seeing them are rare these days, making the achievement here all the more impressive.

Animated Film
Wall-E – This should really just be called the Pixar Award.

Supporting Actor
Heath Ledger – The Dark Knight – What more can be said about Ledger’s phenomenal work as the Joker? It’s anything but a sympathy vote. This was the best supporting performance by an actor since Kevin Kline in “A Fish Called Wanda.”

Supporting Actress
Amy Adams – Doubt – Arguably the best of the current crop of young actresses, Adams’s Sister James is the heart of John Patrick Shanley’s excellent film.

Mickey Rourke – The Wrestler – With clearly a lot to draw off of, Rourke simply is Randy “The Ram” Robinson.

Cate Blanchett – The Curious Case of Benjamin Button – As Daisy, Blanchett is quietly effecting as the love of Benjamin’s life.

Monty Python Award For Best Ensemble Cast
Doubt – Meryl Streep, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams, and Viola Davis are an incredible ensemble. Every performance is exceptional, right down to the kids who only have a single line.

Adapted Screenplay
Doubt – John Patrick Shanley – The story, characters, and dialogue absorb us and keep us fully engaged for every single frame.

Original Screenplay
In Bruges – Martin McDonagh – Dark and funny, McDonagh’s characters are all fully formed and his dialogue is as sharp as can be.

Christopher Nolan – The Dark Knight – Delivering the most staggering filmmaking achievement of the year, Nolan is an easy choice.

Best Picture
The Dark Knight – It’s not often that the highest grossing film of the year – a sequel, no less - is also the best. But that’s what we got in 2008. This was the most entertaining dark hearted film since “The Empire Strikes Back.”

And now, the fun stuff…

Funniest Movie: In Bruges

Funniest Performance (tie): Robert Downey, Jr. – “Tropic Thunder”; James Franco – “Pineapple Express”

Most Entertaining Movie: The Dark Knight

Funniest Scene: Apartment Fight – “Pineapple Express”

Best Action Sequence: Semi-chase through Chicago, er, Gotham – “The Dark Knight”

Favorite Quote: “It's almost a shame to smoke it. It's like killing a unicorn... with, like, a bomb.” – “Pineapple Express”

“XXX” Award For Best Over the Top Action Movie – Rambo

“Withnail and I” Award For Best On-screen Friends (tie): Seth Rogen and James Franco – “Pineapple Express”; Ed Harris and Viggo Mortensen – “Appaloosa”

Best Villain: Heath Ledger – “The Dark Knight”

Best Family Film: Wall-E

Best Couple: Scoot McNairy and Sara Simmonds – “In Search of a Midnight Kiss”

Best Movie You Didn’t See: “In Search of a Midnight Kiss,” which has been colorized for DVD in an incredibly idiotic move. Who was this designed to appeal to? The kind of people who will love this movie are the kind of people who love that it was shot in black and white. Hopefully this will be corrected.

“Unforgiven” Award for Most Badass Movie: “The Dark Knight”

Clint Eastwood Award for Most Badass Performance: Clint Eastwood – “Gran Torino”

Best Looking Movie with No Heart: Australia

Best Foreign Language Film: Let the Right One In

Best Local Film: My Effortless Brilliance

Best Sequel: The Dark Knight

Performer of the Year: Robert Downey, Jr. – “Iron Man,” “Tropic Thunder”

Best Ending: Slumdog Millionaire

Thursday, February 12, 2009

"Inglorious Basterds" Trailer!

I'm not expecting a heck of a lot of historical accuracy here, but there are plenty of movies for that. WWII, Tarantino style.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


I just realized the last time I wrote a real review was over a month ago. So back into the saddle I climb to review the long delayed ode to "Star Wars" fandom, Kyle Newman's "Fanboys."
Five childhood friends were raised on "Star Wars," but only Eric (Sam Huntington) really grew up. Hutch (Dan Fogler), Windows ("Undeclared's" Jay Baruchel), and Zoe (Kristen "Veronica Mars" Bell) work at a comic book store. Eric barely sees them anymore and he's had a falling out with fifth friend, Linus (Chris Marquette, "Just Friends").
It's the fall of 1998 and Linus has once again brought up a plan they have discussed for more than ten years. Driving from Ohio to Lucas Ranch in California to steal a print of the upcoming "Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace." This was during that magical time when "Episode I" was going to be the greatest movie in the history of the world. Before we knew better.
Eric wants nothing to do with this plan until Hutch and Windows explain that Linus is dying of cancer and won't live to see the May release of the film. This will be his only chance to see the movie he's waited his whole short life for. The four guys get into Hutch's van for the trip of a lifetime. Zoe isn't invited because they've decided it should be men only, but they'll need her to come to the rescue before this thing is all over.
Written by Ernest Cline and Adam F. Goldberg, "Fanboys" has likable characters and a good storyline but the comedy just does not come off. The actors give it their all (Marquette faring best as the young man aware of his fate), but the jokes either fall flat or they just feel old. The "Star Wars" vs. "Star Trek" debate was tired long ago. We've known now for a long time that it's actually okay to like both.
Kyle Newman's direction doesn't really take the film anywhere either. "Fanboys" clocks in at about a solid 90 minutes but it feels considerably longer. The whole thing comes off as a disappointment in the end with the audience and actors all deserving better. But you know, it's still kind of better than "Episode I." 4/10.

A few weeks ago I saw a movie I liked a heck of a lot more. If you can still find it, I recommend "Last Chance Harvey," starring Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson. It's a Bob Award nominee for the original screenplay by Joel Hopkins (the little seen but wonderful "Jump Tomorrow").