"Dreams feel real while we're in them. It's only when we wake up that we realize something was actually strange." -Inception

Thursday, November 24, 2011

What I'm Thankful for this year: Movies Edition

So last year, when I first started my blog, I wrote about what I was thankful for in movies that released that year.  This year, I'd like to continue the tradition; here are a few of the things I'm thankful for this cinematic year!

1) Harry Potter series ending: You'd think I'd be sad about this and while it's true, I am.  I am also thankful that the series saw it through to completion.  There have been many series that didn't see it through to completion (i.e. The Golden Compass) and still others that almost didn't see the end (the Narnia series).  Hats off to Warner Bros. who saw through the series through a whole decade while keeping most of its cast and crew intact.  It is hard to imagine anyone else in the same shoes that the very talented cast of Harry Potter inhabited and even harder to retain the same child cast and watch them grow into adulthood.  Most satisfying though was having JK Rowling's wondrous world and her amazing story of Harry Potter brought to life and being a part of those magical adventures.  It was one goodbye that was hard to say.

2) Christian Bale finally winning an Oscar: If you've read my blog before, you'd know I love the Oscars, the show, the tradition, everything.  What do I like more than anything else is seeing the actors I admire and like winning those same Oscars.  However, it does happen that many of the finest actors haven't yet won Oscar gold.  One such actor overlooked has been Christian Bale.  He has been acting since he was a child, in his debut film, he gave a fearless performance in The Empire of the Sun as young boy left behind in war torn Japan.  This was only the beginning.  Roles such as Patrick Bateman in American Psycho and Bruce Wayne in the Batman series directed by Christopher Nolan have shown us his range.  His extreme weight loss for The Machinist contrasted with the buffed up body for John Connor in Terminator Salvation proves the dedication to any role he is assigned to.  Finally, it was his complete transformation into the character Dicky Eklund in The Fighter was hard to ignore, finally gaining Bale the elusive statuette.  Long overdue, but richly deserved.

3) The Hunger Games trilogy being made into films: As one series ends this year, another one looms over the horizon.  The next big book-to-screen adaptation after Harry Potter and Twilight is The Hunger Games.  It's not as well known in the media as yet but I think that will change once the movie hits theaters next March.  The series is gripping, set in a dystopian world where children fight to the death in a reality show seen by everyone.  The series is off to a great start by picking a good director in Gary Ross (Pleasantville, Seabiscuit) and very talented and appealing young cast featuring Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson.  I became a fan of the series just last year and the books were definitely hard to put down to.  Having watched the first trailer, I'm thankful that the books are being made into films.  I have no doubt they will be amazing.

4) Steven Spielberg still making and inspiring great films: Martin Scorsese may be the greatest living American director but Steven Spielberg is not far behind.  He continues to produce, direct and in the case of Super 8, inspire great cinema with a touch that is uniquely his.  Super 8 is like an open fan letter to the Spielberg films of the 80s which have all been a part of a childhoods and nostalgia.  After a long gap in movies, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was in 2008, he comes out this year with two films, The Adventures of Tintin and War Horse.  Two more including the Lincoln biopic are on the way.  I love how like fine wine, these group of directors, Scorsese, Spielberg and Clint Eastwood are just getting better with age.  We cannot wait.

5) Funny ladies of Bridesmaids: Kirsten Wiig, Maya Rudolph and Melissa McCarthy showed us this year that women can bring the funny.  Yes, women can be funny even while poking fun at their own expense.  The group of women from Bridesmaids put bare to the audience their feelings and insecurities all to comic effect.  I can't remember another film where there were so many laugh out moments.  One good thing that has emerged out of the success of the film has been the promise of more comedy gold from these women.  Maya Rudolph is my favorite character on the new show Up All Night while Kirsten Wiig and Melissa McCarthy have lined up more movie roles that will showcase their talent.  So finally this year, I'm thankful to see a comedy, a supposedly chick flick because it has all women in the lead roles, that appealed to both women and men as funny.

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