Saturday, March 1, 2014

The time I watched all the movies Oscar Nominated for Best Picture and then gave my reviews on them. (Part 3)

Three more to go!

Cast: Judi Dench, Steve Coogan
Brief Plot Description: A reporter helps a woman find her son she hasn't seen in almost 50 years.
My Thoughts: This was the other movie on the list that I surprisingly and thoroughly enjoyed. The story seemed so simple at first but there were details that came along the way that completely took you for a loop. Not only that, but the chemistry between the main characters was so charming and endearing you couldn't help but to adore both of them in their quirkiness. I laughed (a lot) and cried in this movie and when it was over I wanted to tell people all about it. This movie is wonderful and its one you should definitely watch. I don't think it will snag any of the awards tomorrow but it absolutely deserved to be nominated.

Cast: Bruce Dern, Will Forte, June Squibb
Brief Plot Description: An old man, who is slowly losing his mind, wants to go from Montana to Nebraska to claim the million dollar sweepstakes he has supposedly won. His son takes him.
My Thoughts: First of all... I DON'T GET WHY THIS MOVIE WAS IN BLACK AND WHITE??? Was it supposed to take away the colors so you see that characters more? Because it didn't work? Was it supposed to make it seem darker? Because it didn't? If anything I found that fact that it was in black and white really annoying. I kept watching scenes thinking that it would have had so much more detail and character that you could relate to if it was in color and it distracted me from the story a few times. Anyways... besides that I thought this movie was just okay. Will Forte played a type of character that we have never seen him in before. It was a little strange to see someone who is normally so funny and outgoing play someone very dry and muted. Bruce Dern and June Squibb weren't anything superb in my opinion. I didn't hate this movie but I wasn't overwhelmingly excited either. If this movie wins any of the awards tomorrow I will be quite surprised.

The Wolf of Wall Street
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie
Brief Plot Description: A lot of drugs, sex and corruption while scamming the stock market in the 80's.
My Thoughts: Hands down... BEST MOVIE!! Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill were AMAZING in their roles. Leo absolutely played his best role (and that says a lot coming from me, a HUGE fan of him in Romeo & Juliet and Titanic), you can tell he put every ounce of his energy and creativity into playing this part. His charisma jumps right through the screen and grabs you from the beginning. Its almost three hours long but doesn't even seem like it because you are completely enthralled by this movie the entire time you watch it. This movie also supposedly had over 500 f-bombs in it, neither my boyfriend or I noticed them at all. We were so impressed with this movie that we are planning to go see it for a second time in the theatre. GO SEE THIS MOVIE! Just be prepared for watching a lot of (entertaining) drug use.

Final Recap
It was a lot of fun to watch all of these movies. These are my predictions for the big wins tomorrow:

Best Picture Nominees:
     American Hustle
     Captain Phillips
     Dallas Buyers Club
     12 Years a Slave
     The Wolf of Wall Street

My Pick to Win:
     The Wolf of Wall Street

Best Actor in a Leading Role:
     Christian Bale (American Hustle)
     Bruce Dern (Nebraska)
     Leonardo DiCarprio (The Wolf of Wall Street)
     Chewitel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave)
     Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club)

My Pick to Win:
     Leonardo DiCaprio (but if Matthew McConaughey wins I won't be mad)

Best Actress in a Leading Role:
     Amy Adams (American Hustle)
     Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine)
     Sandra Bullock (Gravity)
     Judi Dench (Philomena)
     Meryl Streep (August: Osage County)

My Pick to Win:
     This isn't really fair for me to vote on because I haven't seen Blue Jasmine or August: Osage County yet so if I had to pick it based on the movies i've seen I would say Judi Dench but chances are Meryl is gonna steal it because... hello... its Meryl!

Best Actor in a Supporting Role:
     Barkhad Abdi (Captain Phillips)
     Bradley Cooper (American Hustle)
     Michael Fassbender (12 Years a Slave)
     Jonah Hill (The Wolf of Wall Street)
     Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club)

My Pick to Win:
     This is a really tough one... I'm seriously torn between Jonah Hill and Jared Leto. Both are equally deserving of the award. Can we just give it to both of them? Just this once?

Best Actress in a Supporting Role:
     Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine)
     Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle)
     Lupita Nyong'o (12 Years a Slave)
     Julia Roberts (August: Osage County)
     June Squibb (Nebraska)

My Pick to Win:
     Again, I haven't seen Blue Jasmine or August: Osage County so I cant vote on those nominees but based on the movies I saw, I would give this one to Jennfer Lawrence, although I think that Lupita Nyong'o will win it because the media/hollywood is totally loving her right now.

There you have it! All my thoughts and opinions on the big movies at the Oscars tomorrow. Will you be watching too? Live tweet with me! (@whoismich) Let me know your thoughts! Either on the movies, the dresses or what I've had to say.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The time I watched all the movies Oscar Nominated for Best Picture and then gave my reviews on them. (Part 2)

Let's continue, shall we?

American Hustle 
Cast: Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Amy Adams, Jennifer Lawrence, Jeremy Renner
Brief Plot Description: This group eventually comes together to con people and steal their money.
My Thoughts: What... a... disappointment. Maybe I expected too much from this movie because of the cast (I mean, hello... Jennifer Lawrence is totally my girl crush right now! And Bradley Cooper, he stole my heart in Silver Linings Playbook last year) but this just didn't work. There were good elements of this movie like the fashion (holy plunging necklines batman) and Jennifer Lawrence (she can do no wrong) and the scene with Christian Bale's combover, but the rest was lacking. I was actually so bored in this movie that I wasn't even paying attention anymore and instead played Candy Crush on my phone. For a movie that has SUCH a great cast... it should have kept me pulled in more than it did. Its not the WORST on the list but its absolutely in the bottom few.

Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Scarlett Johansson
Brief Plot Description: A lame ass loser falls in love with his phones operating system.
My Thoughts: When I saw previews for this movie I thought it was the most ridiculous and stupid concept I had ever heard. I tried to have an open mind when I watched it, and I hoped I would connect with the story and understand his infatuation but my prediction was dead on. This WAS the most ridiculous and stupid concept ever. I couldn't comprehend the fact that this guy was seriously having a relationship with his Siri. I had to turn it off. I got about 45 minutes in and I couldn't take it anymore. Absolutely the WORST on the list. I don't know why its nominated for any awards at all. Don't even bother.

Dallas Buyers Club
Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Jared Leto, Jennifer Garner
Brief Plot Description: In the 80's, a man is diagnosed with AIDS and eventually finds ways of bringing unapproved medications (that actually help) to fellow patients.
My Thoughts: This was the first of two AWESOME surprises this year. I didn't know what this movie was about going into it and boy was I pleasantly surprised. Matthew McConaughey was fan-tas-tic. He took this role and put every bit of his energy into it. And then there was Jared Leto who, when you were watching him, you completely saw a different person than the face we all know in hollywood. I laughed in this movie, I cried, I felt angry and upset and happy and all of the emotions that they want you to feel. These two were superb and 100% deserve all nominations as well as the nomination for Best Picture. I don't think it will win the actual award for Best Picture but if it does win, I wont be disappointed at all. Go watch this movie and thank me later.

Reviews coming up in the next (and last) post on this topic:
Wolf of Wall Street
(and a recap of who I believe should win)

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The time I watched all the movies Oscar Nominated for Best Picture and then gave my reviews on them. (Part 1)

I love watching the Oscars. All of the wonderfully talented actors and actresses. All of the best. In one room. Dressed to the nines. Its magical.

On my 30 Before 30 list I had a goal to watch all movies that have won for Best Picture.
All of them... ever!
Let me tell you... that's a lot of movies! It was at 84 when I started. I didn't get through the entire list (yet) but I did make a big dent in it. Completing this list has allowed me to be able watch some awesome movies. Some classics that I had heard were great but I hadn't seen them before (Gone with the Wind, Rain Man, Kramer vs. Kramer), and then there were movies that were surprisingly good that I didn't expect much from (The Apartment, Out of Africa, The Life of Emile Zola) and of course... there were movies that I just DIDNT like (Braveheart, West Side Story, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest).

This entire process has sparked a passion for GREAT movies. Last year I tried to watch all of the nominees for Best Picture. I saw almost all of them. When I watched the Oscars I felt like i knew more about what was going on. I felt passionate about the nominees. The actors, the directors, the scripts, all of it. So this year... I decided to do the same!

There are A LOT of movies nominated for best picture this year. Nine in total. I think thats the most ever.

So without further adieu, I present to you my reviews on the nominees! (Part 1)

Cast: Sandra Bullock, George Clooney
Brief Plot Description: Sandra Bullock gets lost in space.
My thoughts: I was quite apprehensive to watch this movie. Not because I didn't think it would be any good but because the thought of being lost in space gives me anxiety. We've all seen the previews... of Sandra flying away, rolling and rolling, with nothing to stop her. No. Thank. You.
This movie was pretty good though. The images of earth were stunning. The effects didn't make me dizzy like I had expected (I usually get dizzy/nauseous during 3D or major action movies, too much movement and action to focus on anything). And the story, although very basic (...she gets lost in space) had great characters that you really connected with and were rooting for the entire time. I enjoyed the film but I don't necessarily think its belongs on the Best Picture Nominee list. A movie on this list should be epic and amazing in SOME way. And although I enjoyed it, I wasn't amazed at all.

12 Years a Slave 
Cast: Chiwitel Ejiofor, Lupita Nyong'o, Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt
Brief Plot Description: A free black man is abducted and sold into slavery.
My thoughts: Movies like this are always so emotionally hard to watch. One of my favorite movies is The Color Purple. In movies like that one you really get to know the characters and connect with the suffering that they are put in. I felt like that part was missing from this movie. The "abduction" happened very quickly at the beginning of the movie and you didn't really get to know the main character much before. Don't get me wrong... the dude was sold into slavery... I felt for him, but if we would have known more of his wife/job/kids/friends/ and life in general before he was sold I think we would have felt more for him even more. That being said, what happened to him after he was sold and the characters he met along the way made for quite a story, even if Brad Pitt was only in it for like 35 seconds...
This movie was good. It wasn't amazing. It wasn't horrible. Its was a bit better than mediocre.

Captain Phillips
Cast: Tom Hanks, Barkhad Abdi
Brief Plot Descrition: A cargo ship (captained by Tom Hanks) is hijacked in Somalian waters.
My Thoughts: This was one of the first Oscar movies I watched this year and compared to the other movies I had seen so far (Gravity & 12 Years a Slave) it was definitely in the running to be my favorite. This movie had me in suspense pretty much the entire time. The fact that the cargo crew spoke only English and the pirates spoke only in Somalian added to the frightfulness of the situation. I really think this was one of Tom Hanks' best roles but when its compared to the other actors nominated, I don't think he stands a chance.
This was a great movie. I would definitely recommend for anyone to watch it. I don't think it will win for best picture but it wont disappoint for the entertainment factor.

Reviews coming up in the next post:
American Hustle
Dallas Buyers Club

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


A few days ago I was lying in bed and couldn't fall asleep. Words were spinning and twisting around in in my head and wouldn't let my mind rest until I wrote them down. So i just wrote...  

In Darkness 

Once, I was afraid of the dark. 
It seemed to me only those who were weak entered there. 
Only those who had no choice. 
No power. 

But the darkness, I've learned,
... is quiet. 
Its calm. Oh, so very calm. 
Well... besides the guilt... 
and regret... 
and constant voices... 
other than that, its remarkably calm. 

There are no flaws in the dark. 
... I guess technically they are still there, 
But in the dark, no one else can see them 
And that makes it seem like they don't even exist anymore. 

The darkness is peaceful. 
There is no one around to tell you what to do, 
Or what not to do... 
No one else around...
No one... 

I guess the dark isn't so scary. 
Its actually quite comforting. 
Like an invisible down comforter surrounding you. 
A cozy blanket thats slowly suffocating you. 
Bit by bit... 
Cutting off your air. 

You don't really notice it at first, 
Because its just so warm. 
But that first time you take a deep breath...
Thats when you realize. 
There's not much air left. 

Its hard to say, 
How long one can survive, 
Under the suffocating blanket. 
An hour? 
A week? 
A year? 
Its too hard to determine. 

But its just so cozy, here in the dark. 
So lets just give it a while longer... 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Alberta Floods 2013 - My beautiful Calgary... under water.

If you haven't heard, our province was hit with devastating floods the past few days. I have lived in Calgary my entire life (almost 30 years) and have never seen anything of this magnitude before. The boyfriend and I are lucky enough to live way up high on a hill and a bit away from the river so we were not effected. 
The city of High River on Thursday afternoon. Via Twitter.

I did however have to go and rescue my sister on Thursday night who lives in an area close to the river and doesn't have a vehicle. I left my home immediately when they announced the evacuation of her area and was there within ten minutes. If I would have left even five minutes later I would have been driving though water to get her. It was creeping up just a few feet from my car and starting to flood homes as I was driving by. As we turned the corner around her house and passed over the bridge by Bowness Park... it was devastating to see an area that should be an ice rink in the winter and then park and picnic areas which are normally spread out and far from the river now completely submerged. Water so high that it was half way up the trees in the highest elevation areas. 

Old Man dam being opened on Thursday night. via Twitter. 

These photos below were taken very close to my home. This is normally the area I walk through to get home after work. Those trees should not be under water...

This video (found via twitter) was taken in this exact area.

Water flooding all areas near the river. 

Calgary is supposed to have the Stampede (the biggest outdoor show on earth) in less than two weeks. TWO WEEKS! But this is what the Stampede grounds look like right now.

It would be a complete miracle to pull it off this year. But crews (and all citizens) are determined. It may not be the Stampede we normally see but it will happen and I will be there full of pride.

These are photos I have taken myself (unless noted differently) and they don't even show the beginning of the damage and devastation all across the province. Thousands of people have completely lost their homes, many washed away in the river.

This truly has been devastating and as far as we know there have been three fatalities in the extremely hard hit areas outside of Calgary. The damage will be insurmountable when the water finally all recedes.

Although this has been completely unbelievable to live through, I have honestly never been more proud to be an Albertan. Approximately 75,000 people were evacuated from their homes and only about 1500 had to go to the evacuation center's. Everyone else was taken in by friends, family and some even by strangers who are in safe areas. That is remarkable.

The entire province (and actually all across the country) have extended a helping hand and are willing to help out anyway they can.

Food trucks offered their services and took post at the evacuation center's. Restaurants have opened their doors (and menu's) for anyone who had to leave their home.

Anyone and everyone has lent a helping hand and this is just the beginning. The clean up will be a long and daunting process and we will all be there for each other as a community.

The biggest thank you's have to go out to our Mayor Nahid Nenshi and the entire city counsel as well as all City of Calgary crews, Calgary Police, all fire crews, all military crews (including my boyfriend's brother) and all media for keeping the entire city well informed and most importantly, safe and dry. Your efforts and hard work is truly amazing and does not go unnoticed. We as a community cannot thank you enough.

My thoughts go out to everyone effected by the flooding.