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Monday
Jan232012

My Favorite Oscar Winners for Best Picture #movies #academyawards #amblogging

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It’s about that time for another dose of the Monday Movie Meme. Dale at Smurfin the Web is serving up some Oscar love for his turn to host this week, which I am grateful for because it makes the task of choosing movies to fit the current meme, pretty easy. The best part about the Smurfdok’s topic of choice is also that we get an opportunity to take a moment and think about those golden statue front runners from way back then, on up to now.

Dale asks “Which are your favourite winners of the Best Picture category at the Academy Awards?” so, my selections include but are not limited to the films that I have the pleasure of listing here.

Disclaimer: This post contains some vulgar language....I’m THAT amped about these films. Actually now that I think about it, I think I’m starting to understand what Craig Downing meant when he said that he would defend and get in a fight for any of the movies he programs at his film festival.

My Favorite Best Picture Oscar Winners5

Million Dollar Baby

I've said it once...a few times actually and I’ll say it again, "Million Dollar Baby" is one of the Best movies ever made. If any movie deserved the Academy Award for Best Picture, in 2005, it was and still is this film. I remember watching it in one of the local (formerly) independently owned theaters in Philadelphia at the time and being moved by the relationships between the characters, their own personal struggles and one woman’s determination to make her dreams a reality, even when faced with adversity on many different levels.

Hilary Swank played the hell out of what looks like a physically and emotionally demanding role and "Million Dollar Baby" was probably the first time in my life that I actually paid close attention to Clint Eastwood’s on-screen performances and his work as a director. I mean, I knew who he was. Who wouldn’t? He’s Clint Eastwood, after all. Still, I never really watched his movies. I was drawn to this particular film for many different reasons both personal and professional; it will always be dear to me.

My Favorite Best Picture Oscar Winners6

Oh, and do I even need to mention that killer ass dress that Hilary Swank wore to the Oscars? The dress would be forever remembered, as she accepted her golden statue for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role wearing this form fitting black-less gown that had even one of my older Aunts talking about the Oscars for days following the initial Academy Awards broadcast!

My Favorite Best Picture Oscar Winners4

No Country for Old Men

Up against “Juno” that year...are you kidding me? No contest. It’s No Country’ all the way! While it took me a few years to finally watch this movie (shout out to Netflix!), I now understand what all the fuss was about. “No Country for Old Men” is a badass movie! Enough said.

My Favorite Best Picture Oscar Winners3

Woody Harrelson’s appearance was a nice surprise; Winning the 2007 Academy Award for Best Picture was well deserved for “No Country for Old Men” because if for anything, it introduced me to Javier Bardem...and maybe he was in one of the movies that I saw before No Country' came out but if so, I surely didn’t notice him. Now, I want to see “Biutiful,” a movie that I would likely have no interest in had Bardem not been the star player. While watching “Eat, Pray, Love,” I said to myself “Oooh! Is that the dude from No Country’?”...all because of one film.

I do wish, however, that I didn’t used to call this movie “Old Country.” Now, that’s just plain silly.

My Favorite Best Picture Oscar Winners

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

Did you really even have to ask? I mean, really? LOTR all day, baby! This movie defines epic shit! That is why it won a whopping 11 Oscars in 2004, including the Academy Award for Best Picture, and no one should be surprised that it did.

In all of my praise for this movie, however, it is bittersweet because "Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" was up against Sean Penn’s “Mystic River” that year and I loved “Mystic River” too. Both films hold a special place among the titles in my DVD collection but only one can take home the gold, where the Oscars are concerned. How does it go?...One ring to rule them all and one statue to rub it in, I suppose!

My Favorite Best Picture Oscar Winners2

A Beautiful Mind

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this fucking movie! By the way, did I say I love this fucking movie?!! Yes, “A Beautiful Mind” feels like it has a running time that is long as hell when you are watching it but Russell Crowe gave a stellar performance as a mathematical genius battling schizophrenia. The film is touching, both in a sad way and in an inspiring way. It is hard to imagine being in the shoes of a human being who has a great gift and a huge impact on the economics of the world but at the same time, an illness causes this person to question reality.

“A Beautiful Mind” won the 2001 Academy Award for Best Picture and Crowe was nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role but he lost this Oscar to Denzel, who took home the golden statue for “Training Day.” As much as I love Crowe’s performance in “A Beautiful Mind,” and as an actor in general, it wouldn’t be far fetched to say that he had some pretty stiff competition in the Best Actor category that year....Sean Penn for “I Am Sam,” Will Smith for “Ali” and Tom Wilkinson for “In the Bedroom,” so it would have still been a tough call for voters to make, even if Denzel didn’t win.

That’s what happens when you’re in the company of great men who just happened to bring their A-game in the same year, I suppose, which isn’t a bad thing.

I could go on *ahem* “Titanic” and on *ahem* “The Deer Hunter” but that will take all day and I know you all have more blogs to visit, more posts to read and other stuff to do, so until next time....it’s been fun!

What are some of YOUR favorite Best Picture Oscar winners?

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Saturday
Jan212012

5 Harry Potter Cocktail Recipes for Ron Weasley Fans #movies #drinks #entertaining

5 Harry Potter Cocktails for Ron Weasley Fans4

Red is the new Black today, as we take a look at Harry Potter cocktails inspired by Ron Weasley. I found a few Weasley-based cocktail recipes that are suitable for both men and women, making your party plans, weekend getaway or evening wind-down routine a little more enjoyable.

The Weasley by Nerds Need Drinking Games Too
The Weasley cocktail has a lot of variation to it, allowing you to adjust the recipe to fit your juice preferences (cranberry, pomegranate, cherry, etc.) or favorite character (Ron, Ginny, Molly, Fred, George, etc.) in the Weasley family. For the sake of this post, however, I’m sharing the main recipe with you because it’s based on Ron -- the most important of the Weasleys, after all!

Ingredients for The Weasley:
Gin
Cranberry Juice
Ginger Ale

The Weasley Instructions:
Pour four shots of gin into a glass and then add eight shots of cranberry juice. Add four shots of ginger ale and then stir to complete this Harry Potter cocktail.

5 Harry Potter Cocktails for Ron Weasley Fans

The Ronald Weasley by Ashley Bryce and Liana Cole at The Little Pink Blog
Not to be confused with The Ron Weasley, which we’ll cover later in this post, The Ronald Weasley is a peach lemonade concoction that Bryce and Cole say is “best for this brave comrade who secretly hopes for his own glory.

Ingredients for The Ronald Weasley cocktail:
Vodka
Peach Schnapps
Dash of grenadine
Lemonade
Peach half
Lemon slice
Maraschino cherry

The Ronald Weasley instructions:
Fill a glass with ice and then add 1½ ounce of vodka, ½ ounce of peach schnapps and grenadine. Cut the peach into slices and add it to the drink mixture. Fill the remaining part of the glass with lemonade and then garnish with one slice each of a peach and lemon. Top it off with a cherry.

Harry Potter Party Ideas Inspired by Ron Weasley Scenes5

Weasley’s Wicked Brew by Donna Pilato
Can you say “Ginger snap”? I’m guessing that Pilato’s ‘Wicked Brew has a bit of a kick to it, so this may be one of those Harry Potter cocktails that Ron Weasley fans who like spicy drinks would enjoy. The sake base seems interesting.

Ingredients for Weasley’s Wicked Brew:
Sake
Ginger Ale
Fresh Ginger
Lemon Peel
Basil

Weasley’s Wicked Brew instructions:
Grate the fresh ginger into a cocktail shaker and then add two ounces of sake. Muddle the ginger and sake mixture together and then add four ounces of ginger ale and ice. Shake it up and then strain it into a tall glass. Garnish with basil, wrapped inside the lemon peel.

5 Harry Potter Cocktails for Ron Weasley Fans2

The Ron Weasley by Coryanne Ettiene
If you’ve read this far, you should know by now that while it may sound the same, this particular Harry Potter cocktail is a whole different ballgame from The Ronald Weasley mentioned earlier in this post. Ettiene’s drink looks good and easy to make, but I’m a little lost on the recipe. I mean, what is Campari? I never heard of it nor have I ever (I think) drank it. As the saying goes, we learn something new everyday!

Ingredients for The Ron Weasley cocktail:
Gin
Campari
Grapefruit Juice
Ice

The Ron Weasley instructions:
Add ice, two ounces of gin, 1½ ounces of Campari and three ounces of grapefruit juice to a tall glass. Stir and serve.*

*Madlab Sidebar: Is this one of the simplest Harry Potter cocktail recipes, or what?!!

Last but most certainly not least, I bring to you...

5 Harry Potter Cocktails for Ron Weasley Fans3

The Ron Weasley by The Backyard Bartender
Ok, so while it as the same name and a similar ingredient as Ettiene’s drink above, this Harry Potter cocktail recipe appears to be stronger. The style of The Ron Weasley is also very old-school, according to The Backyard Bartender, whose concoction reflects certain traits that she noticed in Ron -- “manly, a little bit rough - and a little bit bitter.” Therefore, it may not be suitable for lightweight drinkers.

To lessen the confusion between all of the Harry Potter cocktail recipes that I listed here, however, let’s refer to this one as “The Ron Weasley No. 2” -- fair enough?

Ingredients for The Ron Weasley (No. 2):
Rye whiskey
Cherry brandy
Campari
Sweet Vermouth
Fresh orange juice

The Ron Weasley (No. 2) Instructions:
Add 1½ ounce whiskey, ¾ ounces of cherry brandy, ½ ounce of campari, ½ ounce of sweet vermouth and 1 ounce of orange juice to a pint sized glass filled with ice. Stir for thirty seconds and then strain into a cocktail glass for your drinking pleasure.

So there you have it -- 5 Harry Potter Cocktail Recipes based on Ron Weasley, our January 2012 King Dong!

See you all tomorrow.

In the meantime, let me know what you’re drinking from this list. Cheers!

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Monday
Jan162012

Characters on the Movie Title Card #atthemovies #DVD #netflix #blockbuster

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After a little mini vacation during the Smurdok's home renovation that is currently still in progress and coming along pretty well, our Monday Movie Meme is back in action.

While checking out movie theater showtimes recently, I thought about "Martha Marcy May Marlene," a movie about a woman who tries to start a new life after growing up in a cult. It is one of several films that I wanted to see, back in December but didn't get around to watching any of them. I will, however, use the flick as inspiration for this week’s Monday Movie Meme topic (because it’s um, simple, and...I have a lot of other things to do today): Role Call!

Share on your blog movies where names of the main characters double as the title of the film.
Easy, right? Yeah, I thought so too!
Here are my selections for the Role Call movie meme.

Jimmy and Judy
Rebellious teens go on a destructive road trip slash runaway journey that involves drugs, vandalism, cults, jail time and murder....oh, and a wedding. Things weren’t so peachy in Jimmy’s home life nor in Judy’s social life before these two outcasts became lovers either. Jimmy had the pleasure of walking in on his parents in a compromising position while Judy was introduced to the joys of school bullying. So yes, their environment is sorta a recipe for disaster but the good news is they recorded it all from their own point of view so we all get a front row seat to their screwed up and misguided world.

Wanda
For those who haven’t heard of this movie, I wish I could give you a brief overview of what it’s all about but I tuned out from my TV screen after popping this thing in the DVD player. Yes, it’s THAT boring. All I remember from watching “Wanda” is that she is a financially broke drifter who trades sex for alcohol, after leaving her husband and children. As much as I wanted to like “Wanda” after reading about it, I do not care for this film. “Wanda” fits right in line with the movies listed on my snorefest post about the most boring movies on DVD.

Runners Up: Bruce Almighty and Forrest Gump.

What other movies with their character names in the title have caught YOUR attention over the years?

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