- Tonight was the finale of most likely the best season of my favorite TV show. Spoiler, blah, blah, blah, but they crowned their first two-time winner and a conversation came up in the reunion show about whether or not that person, Sandra, is the greatest contestant ever. No way. She deserved it this time and was the best remaining contestant back in her first go-round (Survivor: Pearl Islands), but no way. The second- and third-place finishers this year, Russell and Parvati have to be tied as the best. Maybe you give Parvati the nod for having won once, but Russell played two seasons back-to-back, dominated both years, and is easily the most popular contestant ever, having won the fan vote. I'm biased towards him, but it's not Sandra, either way.
- I watched the Ice Cube 30 for 30 documentary, Straight Outta L.A., today. Really good stuff with Cube, Snoop, and other rappers talking about how the Raiders played into gang life in L.A. and vice-versa. Cube was more balanced about the violence than I thought he would be. The decision to put Al Davis in HD? A lot? I kept waiting for him to say that the Silver and Black had a "Commitment to Axe-ellence."
- I had Precious (it's based on the novel Push by Sapphire, if you didn't know) sitting in the family room for over a month before I finally watched it Friday night. I felt like I needed to be in the right mood to watch something so depressing. It's not as depressing as I thought. Really good movie. All of the acting is pretty good, especially Mo'Nique, who is as good in that film as Christoph Waltz was in Inglourious Basterds. She is good. So now I've seen all ten of last year's Best Picture nominees. Here's how I'd rank them (any disagreements?):
10. The Blind Side -- It's not a bad movie by any means, but it's not historically accurate and it's sort of cheesy and condescending. If they wanted to give a nod to a box office hit, I'd have been happier with Star Trek here.
9. District 9 -- Loved it and I think it should go down as a classic sci-fi film.
8. Up -- The first twenty minutes or so are among the best twenty minutes of film in years. It gets more Disney towards the end than WALL-E did.
7. A Serious Man -- Very, very inside for Jews, funnier than No Country for Old Men, not as funny as Fargo. It's ballsy to start a movie with a piece in Yiddish with subtitles, but the Coen Brothers have earned the right to be ballsy.
6. Precious -- I don't think I would have enjoyed Gabby Sidibe's performance as much if I hadn't seen her on red carpet stuff or The Soup. Knowing how she is in real life makes her acting job that much more impressive.
5. An Education -- Great writing, weak ending (but only the very, very, very end). If you're looking for something on DVD, don't write this off as just some British romance piece. It's written by Nick Hornby and you can't help but smile pretty much the whole time.
4. Up In The Air -- #4 and #3 are pretty close and this might suffer from the fact that I saw it the less recently of the two. It's pretty much your perfect movie. Everything hits exactly the right tone. Unfortunately, it was in the same year as three all-timers.
3. Avatar -- Written about ad nauseum. An experience.
2. Inglourious Basterds -- I think it is my favorite Tarantino film because it's deeper than his others.
1. The Hurt Locker -- Basterds may very well crack my top 100 list, but that's for favorite movies. It's not as good as this one. I still don't think I can describe this one too well without either shivering or being at a loss for words.