Showing posts with label oscars. Show all posts
Showing posts with label oscars. Show all posts

Sunday, March 23, 2008

The price of living far from the city

That's what I felt like doing to the car of the person who schedules the Oscar movies in Singapore. But I wouldn't know who that person is, or even know where to begin to find his car. Furthermore, I don't plan on going to jail for it, so I'll have to be contented with Walter doing the deed on my behalf.

If you're not following, then you must have missed my earlier posts about the near-impossible task of watching the Oscar-nominated movies especially if you're car-less and live and work at least 25 minutes away from the city. The movies are rarely ever shown outside the city, and often scheduled during working hours or very near to closing time, leaving not much time for travelling. Late shows are out of the question because the buses and MRT stop services right before a late show ends.

I had no choice but to attend surcharged weekend shows. This was how the cinemas f***ed this stranger in the ass:

Minimum weekday ticket cost = $6 ($30 for 5 movies)
Minimum weekend ticket cost = $8.50 ($42.50 for 5 movies)

The price of living far from the city = $12.50 or 42% above weekday prices, suckers!

Also, last Monday's Evangelion 1.0 : You Are (Not) Alone ticket fare = $8.50! Why?
One, the cinema that's showing it increased their fares recently.
Two, the movie is exclusive to this cinema.
Three, therefore every single Evangelion fan in Singapore will be bottlenecked to the only two cinemas showing it, thus guaranteeing that seats will be unavailable. Price for booking a seat in advance = add. $1.

To see the complete BMF Budget, click here.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

My boring Oscar review

The annual Academy Awards, probably the most revered event in Hollywood even if some people like to pretend it isn't important, was held for the 80th year last Sunday (Monday in Singapore time.) While ratings for the broadcast were at it lowest, there were as much defenders for the show as well as naysayers. But just try answering this question: have you or would you ever whole-heartedly recommend this three-to-five-hour show to any of your friends or relatives?

Host Jon Stewart has some good lines in there, but it wasn't quite the laughfest like during Billy Crystal's time, and not a big enough reason alone to watch the Oscars. You want to feel more touched by the acceptance speeches, if only you've seen some of the movies, which you can't because they're always relegated to schoolchildren-friendly weekday daytime slots, working-people-unfriendly slightly-after-five or way-after-eight weekday evening slots, or unfriendly-to-all expensive weekend slots.

The big winners of the night were the guys behind No Country for Old Men and, surprisingly, The Bourne Ultimatum who won mostly technical awards. Coincidentally, No Country was the only Best Picture nominee I managed to see, and it won the biggest prize of the night. Frankly, I would prefer Eastern Promises or Zodiac if I have to pick a thriller.

Anyway, the point of the Oscars' is to acknowledge and reward talents in the industry, not design a show with pointless song and dance routines to keep viewers from dozing off. Maybe they should start doing it behind closed doors for industry people only, and announce the winners via press conference after the event. Frankly, it's irrelevant to the general public.

For those who want to know, here are the rest of the Oscar results.

Monday, February 25, 2008

There will be delay

The 2008 Academy Awards ceremony will start soon, and I still haven't seen all of the Best Picture nominees! I would love to blame that solely on the cinemas, who for example showed Michael Clayton at 12.20pm on Saturday (I was at work) and 8.50pm on Sunday (too late and too far away), but at the end of the day it's really me. I wasn't completely deprived of opportunities to see them, but I guess I'm just not all that enthusiastic about these movies. I have a gut feeling that these'll be those types of acclaimed movies that'll all be well forgotten in the coming years, while movies like Raiders of the Lost Ark and The Matrix will still be the highlights during conversations or blogs about our "best movie experiences ever."

I'll try to catch There Will Be Blood this weekend, because it's showing only at 5.45pm and 9.00pm on weekday evenings in the city, which are impossible timings for me. Inevitably, there will be a delay in crowning the best freakin' movie ever for the year, originally due this Friday. I want to know for sure if Blood is like the awesome Once upon a Time in the West-cum-Citizen Kane hybrid I've been imagining in my head all this time, which may still dethrone Eastern Promises as my currently reigning best movie of 2007.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Missing out on the "Oscar" movies, part 2!

Original posting here.

The Oscar nominations were announced on 21 January (22 January here), and their selections for the Best Picture categories are Atonement, Juno, Michael Clayton, No Country for Old Men and There Will Be Blood. Total number of Best Pic nominess - five. Total number of Best Pic nominees that I've seen - zero.

Michael Clayton has been reduced to one show a day, at 9.30pm, so too bad, I can't possibly watch that anymore unless I'm willing to pay $2.50 extra and let it eat up my weekend. Not so looking forward to Atonement, and it isn't looking forward to me either, since it has placed itself in the weekday evening 6.30pm slot (impossible for me to make it). Both No Country For Old Men and Juno debut on Valentine's Day, while there are no news about There Will Be Blood's release date.

For the other Oscar nominees: I managed to catch Eastern Promises and American Gangster, and they didn't disappoint. The Assassination of Jesse James is showing only in the city and at odd times on weekday evenings; 5.35pm and 8.55pm, so I guess I'll have to pass. There's still a window of opportunity for 3:10 to Yuma, which has 6.50pm shows in the following week, provided my wife allows me to watch this and Rambo 4 on the same week. Elizabeth: The Golden Age has stopped screening (at GV, at least).

Ben Affleck's directorial debut, Gone Baby Gone was a critical favourite, and debuts on 31 January. I hope it lasts till after the Lunar New Year celebrations, during which The Big Movie Freak site and blog will be on a one-and-a-half-week hiatus. (I'll catch it as soon as I'm back.) I'll probably try to watch CJ7 in Malaysia during that time, and hope that it's not a censored version. The E.T. vibe of Stephen Chow's latest looks censor-friendly enough.

Maybe I should start taking my moniker more literally and watch only the blockbuster movies. Following up on these critically acclaimed movies has proven to be quite a chore! I mean, aren't movies supposed to be leisurely entertainment?

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Missing out on the "Oscar" movies

With all honesty, I wasn't really very motivated to watch all of the so-called "Oscar-baiting" movies of 2006, thus giving the Oscars 2007 a miss after many years of not missing the live telecast of the Academy Awards. But being a self-proclaimed Big Movie Freak, I guess I'm a little obligated to at least check them out, see what the fuss is about (what could be more entertaining than Shoot 'Em Up?) and perhaps recommend or warn you about what to expect (e.g. will they bore the hell out of you, etc.?).

Unfortunately, at this point I've missed at least half a dozen of 2007's movies vying for 2008's Oscars, but it's not entirely my fault. The problem with these "artistic" movies is that most people (likely you) are not always interested in watching them, thus the shows are relegated to just a handful of cinemas, and they're often always the ones around central Singapore. That's not a problem if you're working in the city, but guess what? The Big Movie Freak doesn't work in the city! Making matters worse, they always, always slot these movies into the 6.30pm schedules on weekdays, giving me less than an hour to get there after work (5.30pm) from my workplace at the other end of the island. It takes 15 minutes to get to the MRT, and then another 45 minutes to the nearest cinema showing these movies; you do the math. Would it hurt so much to just schedule it just 15 or 30 minutes later?

Sure, there are weekend movies, though that gives me three problems: 1) price - weekday shows cost me $6 per ticket (I get discounts on my HSBC credit card), weekends cost me $8.50 (remember, the Big Movie Freak is on a budget), 2) Saturday is my quality time with the wife and sometimes with my pals; I do my creative shit on Sundays, and 3) I still need to haul my ass down 45 minutes worth of train ride to watch something that's potentially boring for all I know, even though there's a freakin' cinema right in front of my freakin' apartment already!

So, to the people responsible for Michael Clayton, Eastern Promises, Elizabeth: The Golden Age, and Lust, Caution (R, not NC16), my apologies for not catching your movies; blame the loss of my $6 ticket on your distributors. American Gangster and 3:10 to Yuma, hold on, I may still be able to catch you guys. The Darjeeling Limited; well, Wes, I've seen The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, but man, wtf? I don't feel so stoked about you, The Savages and Atonement. No Country For Old Men, not even Singapore? And will there be blood here?

On second thought, there's a strike going on in Hollywood, which has affected the awards shows, to the point that the Golden Globes had to be reduced from a three-hour glitzy event to a one-hour press conference. The Oscars might end up in a similar predicament, who knows? Then perhaps I won't feel so guilty not watching them now, hehe.