The Rankatron Ranks The Oscars

Bow ties make anything look better.


It’s officially here!

Oscars Eve!

Did I finish ALL of the 10 movies? Technically, yes. Is there an actual review for all of them? No. There’s one glaring exception: Inception.

Let’s be honest with Inception. This was the Matrix for a new generation. A movie that holds up better in theatres with massive screens the size of Jupiter’s Moon, Io, and digital sound systems that you make Stevie Wonder sit up and say “what was that?” than on the small screen. I still intend on doing a review of Inception but I’ve reserved the right to mull it over and watch it a second time. Hence the delay in the review. But I will give you the Inception review next week. It really doesn’t matter…it’s not going to win tomorrow night. Sorry DiCaprio.

So how does this work? Now that I’ve taken an equivalent of nearly 2 days of my life to watch these…excluding the time it took to write the review, find cool pics and vids, and draw some admittedly silly cartoons (to me)…I’m going to do something that the Oscars can’t do. Keep it short and to the point.

I will now rank the Ten movies in order of pure AWESOME-TUDE! These will not necessarily be what the Academy picks tomorrow night…but these will be in gauged based on the most entertainment value, story depth and universality of the subject (y’know…so everyone can watch).

Before I get right into it, let me just say that for the first time in YEARS, every single movie on this list is truth-to-power-above fun to watch…but in different and unique ways. I remember one glaring Best Picture movie years ago that was so boring to watch, I had to split it between three viewings to get through it. I won’t share with you the title just to protect the anonymity of those talented individual involved but I will say that it rhymes with “There Will Be Blood”.

The Rankatron Oscars List (2011 Edition): – And it’s in reverse, MOFOS!!!! Just to mess ya up!

(Clicky on the titles to read the original review.)

10.  127 Hours

9. Winter’s Bone

8. Inception

7. The Kids Are Alright

6. The Social Network

5. Black Swan

4. The Fighter

3. Toy Story 3

2. True Grit

And the number one movie this year….drumroll please!!!!…what? No? What are you talking about it’s a boring choice? But what if it’s right? No. It is right! Get the drumroll! No…you’re right. Check that.

Cue Oscar winner Jamie Foxx featuring living legend Justin Timberlake with “Winner”. (And sorry…there’s no official vid.)

The Winner is….

1. The King’s Speech

If you’ve never scene it thinking that it would be just another stuffy royalty movie like The Queen, put that back in your “Stereotype Stereo” and give it a try. This movie is smart, entertaining, funny in the most unexpected way, and littered with brilliant performances that should earn Colin Firth a Best Actor win.

So am I done for this year with the Oscars?

Is Bob Saget as squeaky clean as his Danny Tanner character?


Tomorrow, I’ll be embarking on the most ambitious sacrifice anyone can do for the Oscars: sit through an ENTIRE broadcast beginning to end.

I will be…for the first time ever…using The Rankatron Twitter feed.

Click here to join and follow.

It shall begin 9pm AST (8pm EST) Sunday February 27, 2011. Together we can count how many drug references and hand references James Franco makes…and how many times Anne Hathaway looks hot.

Or not.

After I’m done, I’ll post the entire transcript on this website for you to enjoy…kinda.

So for now, I bid you all adieu and goodnight.


OscaRank: Black Swan/bulC thgiF

Before I get into the review, play this in the back ground to get you in the mood. Just click play and read on .

(PS. It won’t allow you to listen to it on my site directly…so open when you click play, just click on the “Watch on YouTube Link…it’ll open in a separate window.)

So in the throes of Snowmaggedon, or the Snowpacalypse or Battlesnow Earth or whatever you want to call it, consider this your comfort reading while you cozy up to a fire…if you have power and viable access to the net. I know most of you are probably out shoveling right now. And to those our Southern Hemisphere brothers and sisters in Australia riding out/rode out Cyclone Yasi, I wish you well. This will still be here when you get back on your feet.

Black Swan, to put it succinctly, is truly a mindf*ck of Fight Club proportions. Anyone who hasn’t yet seen Fight Club but has already seen Black Swan, go and watch it. Those who’ve seen Fight Club but not Black Swan, do the same. If Fight Club has a younger cuter sister who was just as messed up as the main character of that Chuck Palahniuk movie, it would be Black Swan.

Natalie Portman plays the psychologically distressed Nina Meyers who’s self-imposed need for perfection drives her into insanity as she not only earns the lead role of the famous ballet piece, Swan Lake, but is fully engulfed within it. This mental degradation provides memorable and disturbing imagery as she experiences a world that may or may not be real. Her life parallels closely to the title character of Swan Lake in a subtle yet intriguing way. Listen carefully to the ballet director’s words when he gives directions to young Nina as she takes on the challenging role of the Swan Queen.

Natalie captures Nina’s youthful fragility as she slowly breaks apart with such delicacy that I finally understand why she’s been nominated for Best Actress this year. Natalie also devoted six months before filming to tone and strengthen her body for this role. All ballet scenes with the exception of a few long shot are herself which is amazing considering the technical expertise needed to pull off some of the moves of Swan Lake.

Mila Kunis stands out as the quasi-villain, Lily (that may or may not be a villian…yes, this movie makes you question everything) who unintentionally leads poor Nina down a path of destruction by introducing her into a darker version of Nina’s childlike world. Her performance is loose, seductive and honest.

Nina’s troubles are real to a lot of women and girls trying to make strive to be “perfect”. Too many women succumb to the insinuated (often blatant) expectations of beauty which leads to warped perceptions of oneself and one’s world. This is the real message of this powerful movie. Perfection can only be found in your flaws.

Nina’s technical perfection is mirrored by Lily’s truthfulness to herself. Lily accepts her weaknesses and tries to help Nina wrap her mind around that in an indirect way. Anything less than perfection is unimaginable to Nina and ultimately leads to her falling apart…but I’m oversimplifying this movie that really could take chapters to decipher. There’s so much in Black Swan that even as I write this more and more is coming to me.

So I’ll leave my impressions of female sexual self-expression, of bulimia, of mother-daughter relationships, of professional jealousy, and of single parenthood for another time perhaps. I’ll let Black Swan speak and dance for itself.

The beginning of Black Swan can by slow, predictable, and trying at points but the reward of the second half is worth the first. When it begins to pick up, you’ll not know which way it’s going to go even up to the final curtain call. Much like the last scene in Fight Club (sorry folks, I won’t spoil that for you if you haven’t seen the movie…and even if I did, you wouldn’t understand it without watching it), Black Swan takes unexpected turns. And remember I didn’t say it WAS Fight Club, I said it was LIKE Fight Club.

I feel that as time goes by, this movie will have a following very similar to Fight Club as appreciation grows.

And to those guys who fear losing their “Man Card” if they watch this, consider this scene: Clicky-clicky. Also, you can bring your Significant Others with you and win points for going to a really brilliant movie disguised as a chick flick. I’m only here to help…

Black Swan will have you wanting more after the closing credits and make you dwell on scenes long after you get home.

And if you haven’t paid attention to the song I told you to click at the beginning, go back and listen to the words.

You’re welcome.

9.2 bloody fingernails out of 10

So she's the one that drank the last of my milk...

Enter…the Oscars.

O.S.C.A.R. - Only Some Can Always Reap

It’s that time of year folks.

A time where celebrities who worked so hard during the year can get some critical gratification from their peers. Sometimes this translates as great viewing for the average viewer…sometimes not.

It’s the 2011 Oscar Nominations.

Now, I’m not going to go down category by category and explain WHY my opinion matters on this. Nuh-uh. If you want this, go check out a billion other websites. But I may release my Oscar pool at a later time for you to peruse without comment…or you can comment. This is a free Blogiverse.

I will focus on what I do best: movies.

Here’s how it works. In years past, I’ve waited for the Best Picture nominations to come out and then proceed to watch every single movie on that list before the Oscars broadcast to see how wrong the Academy has gotten it. That would give me about a month to watch. In the pre-2009 days, this would be only 5 movies. Completely doable. But since they introduced 10 in ’10, I had to do some pre-research (presearch?) to anticipate who should be on this list so I can knock some of them off before hand.

Thankfully, this year I’ve seen 6 of the 10 nominees. I will be releasing blogs on my usual days with my reviews (Wednesdays and Saturdays) until all 10 have been seen. Then…I’ll make my pick in a final blog the Saturday before the Oscars broadcast.

This entry will stay at the top of my Home Page until after the Oscars as a means to reference the reviews. To find the reviews, just click on the “REVIEW” link beside the movie name and the magic of the Rankatron will bring you right there. If there’s nothing there, you can click on the name to see the trailer.

Now that you know the rules of Dis Game, here’s the list of Nominees for the Oscars 2011 and my preliminary impressions:

So there you have it…oh there’s a hand in the back…what was that? Yes. I’ll still be doing newer reviews of things in between all of this. I realize not everyone loves the Oscars.

All other questions will need to be reserved until the end of the proceedings after the Oscars.



The Rankatron shows Oscar who's got really got the bigger "Awards".