Current Cinema

2017 Oscar Movie Week

I think it’s a fun challenge to be able to see all of the films nominated for the Best Picture Oscar every year–and I also think it helps me with my Oscar night predictions, which I really love to fill out in a knowledgeable way. I bought an “Oscar Movie Week” pass from my local Cinemark this year in preparation for the 2017 Academy Awards. The pass provided access to see all nine feature films nominated for Best Picture this year along with a screening of the nominated short films in the Best Live Action Short Film and Best Animated Short Film categories–all for $35.00 plus tax. Cinemark scheduled all nine films and the short compilation to show at least twice during the week of February 20-26. Since there were five of the nominated films I still hadn’t seen, the pass seemed like a good deal and I decided to go for it.

The experience was fun and, frankly, a bit exhausting (as ridiculous as that sounds), still I persevered with the hope that knowledge would be power when it came to my Oscar picks. Since I prefer to watch films on the big screen, it really was great to see some of these films that either came to our market late or films that I missed during their first theatrical run, even if they were films that I didn’t really want to see. (And thank goodness for the spendy but helpful Coca-Cola Freestyle machines at the refreshment stand to help keep me awake…)

The shorts categories always kill my Oscar picks. For years, I’ve been wanting to go to one of these Oscar-nominated short compilations that different theaters run, so I was glad to finally take advantage of that as part of my Oscar Movie Week pass. I was thinking that all of the shorts would be 10 minutes or less, but was I wrong. The running time to show the 10 shorts (five in each category) was four hours–no lie (with a three-minute break two-thirds of the way through). Four of the shorts clocked in at over 30 minutes each (when is a “short film” 30+ minutes?). So, while it was a fun idea, I think I will just try to catch the shorts on YouTube or in some other way next year rather than sitting through another marathon compilation. 

And after all of that film going and stewing over my Oscar picks, my picks still sucked (I only got 14 out of 24 correct…bleh). Not that I made any really bad choices; but it is just so difficult to predict what other people (in this case, The Academy) are going to do.

So, memo to me–don’t worry about any of this trying to outsmart my Oscar picks next year. Just enjoy going to the movies and take in the art and artistry that makes you love film in the first place.

Classic Cinema

“Wayne’s World” Turns 25

(© Paramount Pictures)

The comedy film Wayne’s World (Paramount, 1992) turns 25 this month. No way! (Way!) Hard to believe, but true. It was big fun to see it again on the big screen at a special 25th anniversary screening at my local Cinemark this week.

The film still brings the smiles and the laughs, just like the recurring sketch on Saturday Night Live did back in the day. I was transported back to the early 90s when I was, well, 25 years younger; yet, it was great to see it with a different perspective (being now 25 years older). Penelope Spheeris’ direction is top notch, as are the brilliant comedic performances of Mike Myers, Dana Carvey, and the entire cast. 

From the “Suck Kut” opening credits, to the “Bohemian Rhapsody” car scene, to the Alice Cooper concert, to the Scooby-Doo ending, and everything in between, I did laugh/cry/hurl (well, maybe not the last two, but I did laugh a lot). Thanks to Paramount Pictures and all involved for an excellent evening at the movies and a happy reminder of the enduring quality of great comedy. 

(© Paramount Pictures)