Happy New Year! Two days from now the People’s Choice Awards will hit Los Angeles and they’ll be broadcast live to about a zillion people on CBS. Did you vote yet for your favorite new TV series? You still can(why shouldn’t Hollywood listen to you?) Yours truly will be there, using the latest wifi-enabled technology to bring you instant updates from backstage, all the while trying not to a) gawk or b) spill anything on the latest wifi-enabled technology. The show’s going to be huge this year, and a cursory glance to a press release tells me we can expect: Kristen Stewart, Taylor Lautner, Katy Perry, Taylor Swift, Emma Roberts, Natalie Portman, Leighton Meester, Zac Efron…is that enough to whet your whistle? But it gets better, because that’s from the published press release – as we all know from years past there are any number of surprise guests and that’s definitely something worth waiting for, if you ask me. So I’m pretty psyched about going to work on Wednesday.
Now let’s step off the grid for a second to talk about something else. A very famous pundit (not trying to be mysterious here; can’t remember which one) once said that when it comes to serious political issues and modes of behavior, the way to know whether they’re cool or not is to look twenty or a hundred years into the future and see if they’ll still be considered okay. There are any number of things societies practiced years ago, that today would be considered unthinkable. I hope that within this century we will come to see boxing as a pretty ridiculous, dangerous and perhaps even barbaric sport. Still we persist, and even though I don’t see much point in paying money to watch people punch each other in the face, I know others do. That said, this weekend I did catch a very, very good boxing movie that bears mentioning. The Fighter is absolutely one of the year’s best films, and I’m guessing that my opinion will also be borne out by critics and award-givers far more important than me. It’s based on a true story and it boasts some amazing performances from Christian Bale and Melissa Leo (not to mention Mark Wahlberg, although he tends to get a lot less of the spotlight because it’s not the flashy role. It also seems like exactly a role Marky Mark would play, unlike Bale or Leo). The point is, the movie is awesome and kind of breathtaking and you’re entirely riveted throughout. Yes, it’s about boxing – but it’s about family and it’s a love story and it’s about rivalry (sibling & otherwise) and you just won’t be disappointed. Bale and Leo will most assuredly get Oscar nominations, and the film’s director David O. Russell may get some love too because it’s a great story told smartly and honestly and there is zero schmaltz (which is not always the case in these kinds of films). If you’re on the fence, or you’ve just started dating someone new so you’re resistant to Blue Valentine, and you’ve seen the others, definitely watch The Fighter because it’s a fantastic new movie. That’s all for now. Don’t forget to vote. Wednesday’s show is going to be tremendous.
1) The Dark Knight
2) The Fighter
3) The Prestige
4) Terminator Salvation