The 2007 Hiphop Awards

08-Jan-08 4:58 PM by
Filed under Films; Comments Off on The 2007 Hiphop Awards

Golden Globes cancelled? Oscars to be cancelled next? Never fear! It is time for Hiphopguy23 to reveal his personal choices for 2007's best in cinema.

Disclaimer: Hiphopguy23 has not seen every movie released in 2007. In fact, of the 500 or so movies released, Hiphopguy23 has only seen about 20.

Disclaimer 2: Hiphopguy23 plans on seeing more 2007 releases, but the movies he most wants to see are currently in that unavoidable limbo between theaters and DVD. Therefore, these awards are subject to change.

With that, away we go!

BEST MOVIE: 300. This is the type of movie that revolutionizes film making, like The Matrix or The Sixth Sense. Expect a horde of rip-offs in the near future.

BEST ACTOR: Gerard Butler. Hiphopguy23 can't decide if this award is for 300 or P.S. I Love You. He plays drastically different characters in both movies, equally effectively.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: James Marsden (Enchanted). If you remember him as the ultra-cool Cyclops in X-Men or the fiance of Lois Lane in Superman Returns, you will be astonished to see him as a cartoonish doofus in Enchanted.

BEST ACTRESS: Keri Russell (Waitress). For someone used to seeing her as Felicity, it is remarkable how effortlessly she becomes an abused piemaker from the South.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Hiphopguy23 is torn here. He liked Cheryl Hines and Adrienne Shelley in Waitress and Gina Gershon and Kathy Bates in P.S. I Love You. He might even give consideration to Lena Headey in 300. Hiphopguy23 is going to put this award on hold and hopes he sees a stand-out supporting actress in the movies he has yet to see.

BEST DOCUMENTARY: SiCKO. SiCKO narrowly edges Maxed Out just because it was more memorable. Michael Moore sailing to Cuba to get health care? Hysterical! At the other extreme, if there were an award for Worst Documentary, then the Ralph Nader documentary, An Unreasonable Man, would win. What a bunch of meaningless information that could be found on Wikipedia.

BEST SCORE: Music and Lyrics. This movie narrowly edges out Enchanted just because, nearly a year later, Hiphopguy23 is still singing "I've been sleeping with a clown above my bed."

WORST MOVIE: The Last Mimzy and The Water Horse (tie). Both of these movies were billed as the next E.T. but they should have been billed as the next T.P. because Hiphopguy23 could wipe his [Censored! -Ed]

ONE-TIME BONUS AWARD!

MOST OVERRATED MOVIE: Once. Boy, whenever a movie does well at Sundance, the critics rave about it like it's the next Casablanca. If you really want to listen to two hours of sub-par Irish rock, Hiphopguy23 suggests putting your Sinéad O'Connor CD on repeat.

Well, that's it. Let Hiphopguy23 know which 2007 movies should have won, and maybe he'll actually go out and see them. Ta-ta for now.

See also: Update to the 2007 Hiphop Awards

American Elseworlds

07-Oct-07 11:20 AM by
Filed under Reviews; 2 comments.

Ever since Michael Moore arrived on the scene, the cinematic landscape has been rife with political agendas. I find film such a meaningful and accessible medium that I consider it important to keep an open mind about these expressions — which is why I'm disturbed by the two camps of reactions I've encountered concerning Death of a President, a mockumentary looking back at the Oct 19, 2007 assassination of President George W. Bush.

Without having seen the film, some potential viewers may attack it as violent and unnecessarily advocative. Yet though I disclaim to these people, "The film doesn't encourage the action it documents," I am more disturbed when I must offer such defense to the opposite camp: those for whom describing the movie's premise results in their eyes lighting up with a fearsome glee. Living in a blue state, I've witnessed this reaction more often than I care to count, and I'm appalled at the number of people who think the solution to an administration that's gone too far to the right is to gun down the leader of the free world.

If either group were to watch the film, though, I think they would find little antagonism beyond its concept. Death of a President relates the events leading up to the President being shot, using actual footage of events and speeches President Bush attended. Original scenes include exterior footage of motorcades as well as interviews with personnel close to the President, including his speechwriter and Secret Service agent. The integration between actual and manufactured footage and stills is seamless, easily pulling the audience into its false accounts. This first half-hour is both tense and powerful, as its players know when and how the assassination is going to happen — yet all the audience can do is hold their breath and wait. Viewers who were present for our last presidential assassination may find this one evoking some painful memories.

It is after the bullet hits that Death of a President begins to lose its impact. I was hoping the film would take a global perspective in its examination of the impact of our president's assassination on the international theater. And though this topic is touched upon, the film's character becomes that of a murder mystery or political thriller. Suspects and forensic analysts are interviewed as investigators try to determine whodunnit. Clues and red herrings are scattered about, and the conclusion is not what anyone expected — or even desired.

Perhaps if the film had taken a longer view of the killing's repercussions, it might have taken a greater scale. Death of a President is set in 2008, only a year after its fictitious subject, when all that it has engendered is the swearing in of President Cheney and the passing of Patriot Act III, giving the FBI and other departments unprecedented powers to prevent future acts of terrorism. The consequences of these transitions are not well-documented, though, as little time has been given for such consequences to occur.

This documentary starts off with great potential yet ultimately gets swallowed up in details. It has a fascinating concept and may still be worth watching, but ultimately, I was hoping it would go beyond the titular death into looking at the lives of those left behind.