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Top 5 Most Overrated “Best Picture” Winners

07/25/2011 Leave a comment

Top 5 Most Overrated “Best Picture” Winners

We all know the Oscars are simply a popularity contest and whichever studio has the best marketing campaign is usually going to win regardless of the film’s achievements. So the Movie Monkey has compiled a list of the Top 5 Most Overrated “Best Picture” Winners that after careful scrutiny, should NOT have won the award and whose merits were blown way out of proportion. I also suggest what my choice for Best Picture would have been among the other nominees.

Topping the list at Number 5:

#5 Driving Miss Daisy (1989)

What were they thinking when they awarded the Oscar to this grossly offensive and utterly racist film the Best Picture statue? I have seen this film twice since it’s release and I cringe during every gut wrenching second. This film was truly awful. The amazing Morgan Freeman was cast as the lovable African-American servant with the heart of gold opposite the unbearable Jessica Tandy in what is surely one of the biggest cinematic mistakes ever to gain widespread acclaim.

Movie Monkey Shoot’s 1989 choice: My Left Foot

#4 The King’s Speech (2010)

Now don’t get me wrong, this was a good film. I enjoyed the playful banter and speech lessons between Geoffrey Rush and Colin Firth and of course the always amazing Helena Bonham Carter but seriously, Best Picture?!?! In a year that saw such amazing films such as The Fighter, The Social Network, Inception, True Grit, Black Swan and even the surprisingly superior Pixar comedy Toy Story 3 as fellow nominees, why did this film win the Oscar? This film was sluggish, took absolutely no risks and was your typical play it safe film with none of the outstanding qualities of the other nominees. The marketing department at The Weinstein Company is truly a force to be reckoned with.

Movie Monkey Shoot’s 2010 choice: The Fighter


#3 The Last Emperor (1987)

OH MY GOD this has got to be the most mind numbing and boring film in the history of mind numbing films. I have seen this film twice, once in 1990 and again in 2010 to give the film a fair reassessment and both times I have literally had to sit on my hands to prevent myself from poking out my eyes from sheer boredom and frustration. This movie is the king of boring movies and should be avoided unless you are having trouble falling asleep, then this film works beautifully.

Movie Monkey Shoot’s 1987 choice: Fatal Attraction

#2 The English Patient (1996)

Have you ever seen that old episode of Seinfeld coincidentally called “The English Patient”? The episode where Elaine Benes is incessantly bothered to watch this excruciatingly painful film by her air head friends. They insist that this movie was outstanding when she knows that this movie is utter garbage. That pretty much sums up about 95% of the people who were forced to watch this turkey by their friends. This movie is just 155 minutes of pain. The Movie Monkey has recently heard from a few of his army buddies serving in Iraq that when they capture prisoners of war and they want to extract classified information in their “enhanced interrogation” methods, one of the most common and successful methods is to lock them up in an empty room with a copy of The English Patient on constant repeat. By the 3rd time this horrendously boring film is played, the POW’s have gone insane and have reached the breaking point where they will divulge anything for fear of having to watch the ludicrous sex scene again. This movie is an exercise in self-restraint.

Movie Monkey Shoot’s 1996 choice: Fargo

#1 Most OVERRATED Best Picture Winner of the last 30 Years:

BRAVEHEART (1995)

OK I know that most of you might think this is blasphemous (or maybe not) and if Eric Cartman were a real person he would more than likely have my head on a stick for this jab at Mel Gibson’s 1995 epic war film.

When this film first came out in 1995, it was way ahead of its time and had some spectacular action sets. Braveheart solidified Mel Gibson as one of the top action heroes of the 1990’s.

Unfortunately for Mel, more than 15 years and several drunken anti-Semitic remarks later, (not to mention producing that 2004 snuff film The Passion) Mel Gibson has degenerated to one of Hollywood’s most notorious real life villains completely tarnishing his prior reputation as an action film god.

Now I am not saying that Braveheart is a bad film. It is an excellent war film and the motivating speech he gives his men wearing the blue war paint still brings tears to my eyes. But knowing the history behind the man completely ruins the legacy that was once Braveheart.

Nothing short of the touch of god will ever bring him back to his glory days. No Lethal Weapon 5, The Beaver 2 or even a sequel to Mad Max will ever help to reestablish Mel Gibson again.

What a sad state of affairs.

 

Movie Monkey Shoot’s 1995 choice:  Apollo 13

“Houston we have a problem!”

The Fighter (2010) ***** Did Christian Bale really just jump out of that window again?

07/21/2011 Leave a comment

The Fighter *****

Method actors are truly the 8th wonder of the world. While watching The Fighter, one of the best movies of 2010, I couldn’t help but wonder if the incredible Christian Bale really was smoking crack and jumping out of windows during his preparation for his role as former boxer and trainer Dicky Ecklund. This man is no longer just an actor. He is a force to be reckoned with.  I don’t think I have ever witnessed an actor immerse themselves and completely lose themselves in a role since the great Robert De Niro in Raging Bull.

I know what your thinking, the great Robert De Niro is an oxymoron, but believe me Movie Monkeys, at one point in his career before he was getting poked in the dick with a needle by Ben Stiller, De Niro was an amazing method actor.

Christian Bale in his quest to become the most committed and talented Method Actor of this generation and next, summons the courage and dedication of a young Marlon Brando. This man is truly amazing. His Best Supporting Actor Oscar was definitely well earned.

The Fighter tells the incredible true story of former welterweight WBU boxing champ Mickey Ward and his struggles inside and out of the ring with his eccentric Lowell, Massachusetts family including the aforementioned drug addict and half-brother Dicky Ecklund.

With any other mediocre Hollywood actors this would have been just another underdog sports film, but what these actors do with this excellent script is truly sublime. Each actor brings an intensity to their performance rarely seen in modern cinema anymore.  Mark Wahlberg has reached a new level of acting with his humble and honest portrayal of the torn Mickey Ward. His dysfunctional but loving family is the only thing keeping him from achieving true greatness but yet he can’t bring himself to leave them until he finds his one true love that gives him the motivation to actually want to make something of his fading career. This struggle forms the basis of one of modern cinemas truly great dramas. Amy Adams plays Mickey Ward’s tough talking but extremely supportive Boston girlfriend to perfection while the amazing Melissa Leo (another very deserving Oscar winner) portrays the overbearing and misguided mother who is in completely denial over her son’s shortcomings, to a whole new level of acting.  They could not have picked better actor’s for this film. While watching this film the viewer is witness to a superb acting clinic before your very eyes.

As in most Boxing movies (the good ones no less) the actual boxing aspect of the story takes a backseat to the tragedy and triumphs of these characters lives outside of the ring. The direction by the extremely talented and short tempered David O. Russel is superb. He knows how to elicit a remarkable performance from his actors. The set design, cinematography, even the music are all top notch. The fact that the film-makers could convince the notoriously protective Led Zeppelin to allow them to use “Good Times, Bad Times” during one of the films most important scenes speaks volumes to the quality of this film. If you have not already seen this amazing film SEE IT NOW! You will not be disappointed.

The Fighter (2010)

115 Minutes

Drama, Biography, Sports

Directed by David O. Russell

Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Melissa Leo