Donna S.'s blog

The Oscars: May the Best Picture Win

For us movie fans, this past Tuesday was a big day. The nominations for the 83rd Academy Awards were announced. There are many awards presented every year: the Golden Globes, the Screen Actors Guild, the Directors Guild, Producers Guild, and Writers Guild. Critics choose their favorites, too.  There are even “awards” for the worst movies of the year, the Razzies, which sometimes overlap the other awards. But nothing matches the Oscars for recognition and excitement.

It Don't Come Easy

Got to pay your dues if you wanna sing the blues, and you know it d

"All I Want for Christmas is..."

Every year I set aside time during the Christmas holidays to watch certain movies. There’s a wide variety, from comedies to dramas to musicals to animated films. And my favorites usually have a love story as the focus. After all, Christmas is about love, whether it’s romantic or between friends or among family.
 

 

I’ve divided this list into categories because I like finding the things that certain movies have in common. So if you’re looking a particular kind of holiday love story, maybe one of these will interest you.
 

The Adults of Harry Potter

It’s to Alan Rickman’s credit that I became a huge fan of Harry Potter. Really. Oh, I’d been mildly curious about the phenomenon of the books about the boy wizard. But it wasn’t until I read that Alan Rickman was going to be in the first movie that I actually picked up Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and read it.

Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Over the past couple of weeks, preview audiences for a new movie have been reacting strongly to the film. There have been reports of seizures and fainting. Even a few people in the movie industry, understanding special effects and tricks of the trade, have been caught off-guard by scenes in the new release.

Vampires

When I was a kid, I wasn’t allowed to watch scary movies. But elements of those films became well-known to me through friends and TV shows. So I knew what vampires were before I ever saw a horror movie on TV or at the theater. There were certain aspects that sounded funny. I recall laughing with friends about lines like “I want to drink your blood!” and the whole garlic keeping vampires away. When I did finally see the Bela Lugosi Dracula, I was surprised that it really was very creepy -- and a little scary. My mom was right in not letting her imaginative child see those movies at an early age.

Tony Curtis (1925-2010)

He was 85 years old. So his death wasn’t really a shock. But, for me, the passing of Tony Curtis truly signals an end to a particular era in movie history. Curtis was one of those actors who did something extremely rare in movies and TV today.

The Land Down Under

In my last entry, I said that I’d return to Australia. As I was compiling a list of movies from that country, I realized that I’d seen many of the films – mostly the comedies. For a look at the rich history and diversity of this amazing country, check out some of the following movies and TV series. I’ve divided them into categories and have even included some nonfiction films. You might end up like me – wishing you’d been lucky enough to be in Oprah’s audience the day she announced she’d be taking everyone on a long trip.


 

Before They Were American -- They Were Australian

The announcement this week that Oprah would be taking her studio audience on a trip to Australia reminded me of the influence that country has on entertainment in the U.S. From the early years of American movies and even today, some of the biggest box office stars have been from the Land Down Under. Errol Flynn, Russell Crowe, Cate Blanchett, Hugh Jackman, Heath Ledger, Nicole Kidman are just a few of the names that come to mind. Also Rod Taylor, Naomi Watts, Eric Bana, Peter Finch.

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