Sunday, February 15, 2009

If I had a vote at the Oscars, This is who I would vote for.

Best Motion Picture of the Year
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008): Ceán Chaffin, Kathleen Kennedy, Frank Marshall
Frost/Nixon (2008): Brian Grazer, Ron Howard, Eric Fellner
Milk (2008/I): Bruce Cohen, Dan Jinks
The Reader (2008): Anthony Minghella, Sydney Pollack, Donna Gigliotti, Redmond Morris
Slumdog Millionaire (2008): Christian Colson

This was a hard choice, all of these are good films. Its' sad to say, but in this category, there is not a great one. I would vote for "Slumdog". To me it was the better film of this lot. I still can not believe that "The Dark Knight" nor "Gran Torino" were nominated in this category.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
Richard Jenkins for The Visitor (2007/I)
Frank Langella for Frost/Nixon (2008)
Sean Penn for Milk (2008/I)
Brad Pitt for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)
Mickey Rourke for The Wrestler (2008)

In A minor upset, I would have voted for Mickey Rourke, for his role as a once famous wrestler. I saw the film and I actually believed that he was once the man, who is now living on former glory.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role
Anne Hathaway for Rachel Getting Married (2008)
Angelina Jolie for Changeling (2008)
Melissa Leo for Frozen River (2008)
Meryl Streep for Doubt (2008/I)
Kate Winslet for The Reader (2008)

I would have voted for Meryl Streep. Her role as a nun who accuses a priest of the most horrible crime was another great role in her acting career.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role
Josh Brolin for Milk (2008/I)
Robert Downey Jr. for Tropic Thunder (2008)
Philip Seymour Hoffman for Doubt (2008/I)
Heath Ledger for The Dark Knight (2008)
Michael Shannon for Revolutionary Road (2008)

Can we just give the award to the estate of Heath Ledger and be done with this one? I really do not see any other actor winning this award this season. Heath made "The Joker" into what I always hoped that the movies would capture.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role
Amy Adams for Doubt (2008/I)
Penélope Cruz for Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008)
Viola Davis for Doubt (2008/I)
Taraji P. Henson for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)
Marisa Tomei for The Wrestler (2008)

I would have voted for Marisa Tomei for her role as the wannabe girl friend of "The Wrestler". It was a nice role as a lady who had finally found love with a man who has a death wish.

Best Achievement in Directing
Danny Boyle for Slumdog Millionaire (2008)
Stephen Daldry for The Reader (2008)
David Fincher for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)
Ron Howard for Frost/Nixon (2008)
Gus Van Sant for Milk (2008/I)

I would have voted for Boyle for the film that he made. Once again everyone on this list did a good job, but no one on this list did the one great job.

Best Animated Feature Film of the Year
Bolt (2008): Chris Williams, Byron Howard
Kung Fu Panda (2008): John Stevenson, Mark Osborne
WALL·E (2008): Andrew Stanton

I absolutely loved "The Panda" and absolutely hated "Wall-E". I still can not understand why people loved the robot and hated the Panda. My vote is for "The Panda." I stil could not believe that "Vals Im Bashir" was not nominated in this category.

Best Foreign Language Film of the Year
Der Baader Meinhof Komplex (2008)(Germany)
Entre les murs (2008)(France)
Revanche (2008)(Austria)
Okuribito (2008)(Japan)
Vals Im Bashir (2008)(Israel)

I really liked the film "Vals Im Bashir". It took a look at war and showed the insanity of it from all sides.

Best Documentary, Features
The Betrayal - Nerakhoon (2008): Ellen Kuras, Thavisouk Phrasavath
Encounters at the End of the World (2007): Werner Herzog, Henry Kaiser
The Garden (2008/I): Scott Hamilton Kennedy
Man on Wire (2008): James Marsh, Simon Chinn
Trouble the Water (2008): Tia Lessin, Carl Deal

I could not believe that "A Letter to Zachary" was not nominated and other crap films were in this category. My vote is for, "Man on Wire". It was a look at basically kids deciding to try and cross the World Trade Centers' "Twin Towers"

Once again, these are my votes, If I would have had a vote in this years oscars.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Well I am now on vacation and slowly getting the body back into wack with the 15 hour time change.

It was an interesting trip from Daejeon To Denison. Here are a few of the highlights.

1. The airport check in time.

the paper that I downloaded said that I had to be checked in 3 hours before the flight left. Mt plain was to take the 620 KTX to Seoul and then the bus to Incheon Airport. That would have left me short of 3 hours. So I took the 220 am train to Seoul and arrived their at 420 am. the bus to the airport left at 520 so I went to mcd and had a small meal and then waited. I took the bus at 520 and arrived at 620am at the airport.

I then arrived at the gate and saw that the check in time started at 0945. Classic. Oh well At least I was at the airport.

Check in was great and the flight to Japan was uneventful. I spent most of it talking to a Korean Student, who was going to Columbia University for college.

I had a 3 hour layover at the airport and I went on my next mission.

2. Find my Niece, Hello Kitty Items from Japan.

No I have no idea why girls like this cat, My female Korean, Japanese and Chinese students and friends all seem to like this cat. I made sure that my Niece had a lot of materials from Korea with this cat and I went to the airport to find her some items from Japan. i found her some gum a gift box and another small items for her. I had a small dinner and waited to board the plane.

I had finally taken a sleeping pill, because, I can not sleep on airplanes and it worked great. I slept from about the International dateline to Idaho. I could not believe that I slept that much.

3. Landing in DFW.

Once we got close to DFW, I could not believe how much I was recognizing. The landing was ok and I went to check-in in with immigration and got my luggage and met my family at the airport.
My Brother had stated that we could eat at my favorite tex-mex place (Panchos) and we ate at the one in Denton. Yes I had 14 cheese enchiladas. I was feeling great. now my niece had no idea who I was and she kept eyeballing me the entire time during dinner. I also did not know that my nephew had had a g/f for the last 2 years, so I met her also. A day full of surprises.

We all met back in Denison and I proceeded to pass out the late xmas gift. My niece went into overdrive with all of the Hello Kitty items that she got from me. Lucky for me I always pack extra souvenirs from Korea, so my nephews g.f. also got a gift from me. I think she liked it.

4. I am an uncle, once again.

I had told a few of my friends that I had no idea what I would be walking into when I went to see my brother James. Well I went to the house and I learned that he is now on wife #4 and that she has 2 kids. They could not believe how tall I was and that I was now their Step-Uncle. Hopefully I will be able to spend more time with them.

For the last few days, I have not done much, just sitting here in Denison and getting the body used to the 15 hour time change. It has taken a few days but I am finally OK with the change. I will try and get out today and see my Hometown and take a lot of photos.

I hope that everyone in Korea or on Vacation, has a great time.