AMC Best Picture Showcase

I love the movies. When Al and I started dating, my mom pulled me aside one night after finding out we were going to the movies and said, “Now, not everyone likes movies as much as you do.” She continued, “Make sure you are doing things he wants to do, too.” Little did she know, I married my match. Al and I spent $40 a person to get tickets for a mega two-night event: the AMC theater’s Best Picture Showcase. This is the fourth year of the showcase, our first, in which AMC selects two Saturdays to run the ten Oscar-nominated movies for best picture. On Saturday, we got the closest parking spot to the door at 10am when the mall opened. We escalated up to the third floor and presented our tickets at AMC. We each received a pass to wear around our neck which showed we were there for the showcase and reminded us when the movies are. We also received 3D glasses to keep (the fancy kind that are prewrapped) and a paper bag. The paper bag was for our FREE POPCORN ALL DAY LONG! At this point, I kissed Al on the cheek, deescalated to the second floor and began my 3-hour shop while he watched Avatar for the 3rd or 4th time. I just couldn’t do it any more. Please read my Avatar review. Avatar

I joined Alex at 1:45 to see Up In The Air. Up In The Air He informed me that he did not notice anything new about Avatar, so that’s a relief. He had a large drink in the cup holder and I commented, “Oh, so that’s the catch: free popcorn, but you get so thirsty, you pay $7 for a drink!” He responded that the drink cost only $4.75 and you got free refills all day. Wow! I had yet to fill up my popcorn, so I just mooched off of his. The lights went down and the movie started. Up In The Air was great! No big, new, exciting camera angles that have never been done; no crazy cinematography; this movie was good because it was real. Real people doing things we’ve all done. It is a feel good movie until the end. It did not end the way I wanted it to (you know I’m a sucker for happy endings), but that did not bring me down. It ended the way it would have in real life. George Clooney did well, not Oscar-worthy. The new little girl, Anna Kendrick, she was cute – not Oscar-worthy, even though she did have a cry scene. The movie was whimsical, but overall, nothing new, so I believe Avatar will beat this one.

At 4:30, Al took a shopping break while I stayed to watch Precious. Precious. I wished I hadn’t.

*SPOILERS AHEAD*

I got physically sick while watching this movie. I wanted to leave and go find solace in Al, but I realized I needed to stay for closure… that never came! This is a true story about a teenage girl who is in a physically and sexually abusive home. It shows everything from her father raping her (she had two kids by him already) to her mother asking her to “finish her off” after she had been masturbating, and finally, her mother tries to kill her and her baby by throwing the TV set on top of them from several flights up. Her situation just gets worse and worse. I won’t reveal anymore in case you actually want to see it. I wanted to see it because there is so much talk about it, I figured it has to be about a girl who goes through so much turmoil and comes out of it a stronger person. It is about a girl that goes through so much turmoil and comes out of it a weaker person.

*END OF SPOILERS*
In Oscar talk, Precious did have way cool cinematography as well as some things that have never been done before, like when her father is raping her, the film changes to her in a sparkly dress singing in front of an audience, kind of a depersonalization issue there. The actress, Gabourney Sidibe, was actually pretty good. She conveyed the pain she was going through very well. It drove me crazy that she would not open her mouth to speak. She mumbled through the ENTIRE movie, so most of her dialog I missed, but I’m assuming that’s to demonstrate that she is uneducated. Monique is getting rave reviews. She plays the welfare-loving, child-hating mother. I couldn’t stand her. For someone to believably play a role like that, I don’t see how your demeanor can be far from it. Mariah Carey! Way to go! She plays a social worker that is deceived my Precious’s mother. Mariah wore no make up and did not do her hair. I commend the diva for playing such a not-her role. Then there’s the random nurse character, played by Lenny Kravitz. So random. I doubt he’s in the book. He’s this amazingly good looking nurse who is actually interested in Precious, a morbidly obese teenager who has had two children by her father by the time she is 17. Doubtful. I actually do think this movie is in the running against Avatar, though I hate to say it. I strongly recommend no one see it. I feel like I was so naive about what goes on in the projects and now I feel dirty and helpless because I do know. Don’t put yourself through that. It is disgusting.

On a happier note, we saw The Blindside at 6:45. The Blindside This feel-good movie sure made me feel good. A wonderful story about rags to riches. A story that shows we really can help people if we try. After seeing Precious the scenes showing what kind of a background Michael went through was hardly rough. I mean, I’m sure it was, I had just seen the epitome of a bad home life. This kid was in foster care, at least. Anyway, Sandra Bullock is up for best actress. Not gonna win. She did a good job. But, let’s face it, how many Julia Roberts and Susan Sarandons can talk in a southern accent. I just didn’t see any scenes where I thought, “Wow, what a great actress.” Definitely see this movie, if you hadn’t, because you will leave the theater happy. Unfortunatly, not a contender against Avatar and Precious.

The last movie was Inglourious Basterds at 9:30. We did not stay. We had seen it multiple times, especially since it is out on video already. Inglourious Basterds You can read my review here. I do think this movie is Oscar-worthy. Quentin Tarantino is always doing new things. This movie is very different, which you can read about.

Because Avatar was SO different, it will win. A close second will be Inglorious, followed by Precious. For this week, anyway. This coming Saturday, we will return to the theater to watch the final five: District 9, An Education, The Hurt Locker, A Serious Man, and Up.

$4 per movie with free popcorn sounds like a good deal to me!

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2 thoughts on “AMC Best Picture Showcase

    • I have seen Up and LOVED IT! The other four I have not and am looking forward to see the remaining 4. Go see Precious if you can stomach it, but I came out of it feeling like I lost a few years of my life for some reason.

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