Friday, February 15, 2013

Boy vs Man

One is nominated for an Oscar, where the other, to put it nicely, tanked at Cannes.

One is getting acclaim and buzz based on a tender story, and the other has gotten notoriety all because of a little urine.

They both have paper in their title, but nothing else will ever tie these two films together. Well, except for the paragraph that is unfolding in front of you...

Maybe I shouldn't even think of phrasing them together, but both were seen by these eyes in the same week, the idea sparked, so here we go!


Any Pixar fanatic knows their tradition of showing a short piece before the feature film - some even being  better than the main show.

Disney, who just happens to own Pixar, are apparently branching out the idea of playing a short before their other films, as audiences who checked out Wreck It Ralph back in November were treated to the endearing short, Paperman.

Its superb blend of classic animation and computer graphics, with an imaginative story and jubilant score,  will make you feel like you are watching your old favorite Disney tale and something unique all in the same instant. The "Paperman" also has quite the resemblance to John Krasinski, which even in cartoon land, is always a good thing.

Currently it is up for Best Animated Short Film at this years Academy Awards, and with any luck, a win will only continue to solidify Disney as being the greatest source of tugging at heartstrings.

Thanks to the internet, the full length version is currently available to watch for free on Hulu. See it Here!

The Paperboy

Lee Daniels' follow-up to Precious (based on the novel Push by Sapphire. How I have missed saying that!) was built around high expectations.

A star packed cast filming a controversial movie from an acclaimed director all screamed Oscar bait. The result (minus Kidman's several award nominations) is quite the opposite.

Coming out of Cannes, it was the movie where Nicole Kidman pee'd on Zach Efron. It's definitely not a good sign if that is all people are talking about.

While the movie is a mess in every sense of the word, it is also quite brilliant, shocking, horrifying, and enjoyable. All these mixed emotions in one film has left many critics to proclaim that,  "it's so bad, it's good", or even notch it up as a camp classic.

Where the script gets really off kilter and when the direction gets extra strange, the excellent casting saves the film. Two actors specifically are perfectly put to work reminding the world that they are versatile and can now forever escape from bad rom-com hell.

One is John Cusack, who is truly frightening (and awesome) as an inmate charged with murder. The other is Matthew McConaughey, who, in one unusual movie after the next, is having one of the best couple years of his entire career.

To top it off Nicole Kidman, who hasn't played this nut-so since 1995's To Die For, steals almost every scene in her daring role as a trashy, aging, southern belle, and Zach Efron goes beyond eye-candy (though, it has to be said that he should always play characters who live in warm climates...) to show some true acting depth. He may have a career outside of that singing and dancing afterall.

When actors are truly great at what they do, they can play anyone, and if they can turn a movie that might be un-watchable into something interesting, I say that alone deserves some sort of award.

As much that can be said, The Paperboy has to be seen to be believed.

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