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.


Avatar vs The Rankatron

Col. Quaritch: You are not in Kansas anymore, you are on Pandora, ladies and gentlemen, respect that fact every second of every day.

If Star Wars met Dune plus Smurfs

To start this off, I want to paraphrase a quote from another movie I reviewed earlier in this Rankatron thing I started called Independence Day…it’s a quote by Lieutenant Commander Data…er I mean Dr. Okun (Brent Spiner): once you get by their technology, they’re really quite fragile…but the problem is getting by the technology.

Sorry, I know that’s not really the quote and out of all the world of Infotron I’m not found the actual quote…and I’m too lazy to fast forward through a movie until I find it.

So Avatar. This again proves the rule that if you’re enjoying it on a 3D IMAX HD sound system theatre with comfy reclining seats and a bucket of popcorn that costs 15 cents to make but you pay $6 to enjoy…you can get caught up in the spectacle. It’s why the Captain EO 3D show at  Disney World didn’t translate well once you got it out of the big white Epcot orb from the future. Avatar doesn’t translate well when it’s moved to a reasonable sized tv, a non-existent sound system, a relatively alright couch and a bowl of popcorn that actually only cost me about 15 cents to make.

Take away the technology and you’re left with a rather frail rendering of Pandora. It’s a story about the battle of old ways of thinking (human technology) and new ways to see the world (the Na’vi spiritual connection). Both are flawed in their respective ways but humans come across in this movie as a rather tired and old race. Kinda like their portrayal as fat blobs in WALL-E (the best animated movie I’ve ever seen):

The theme isn’t original in itself. It’s been done many times before…Ferngully, 12 Monkeys, The Matrix…humans brought this all upon themselves and are too primitive to figure it out. I have a little more faith in humanity than that. The fact that there are movies out there like this where people are thinking about it means that there’s a shift happening. It’s a good thing.

The story is about as unique as any Star Wars movie. It’s an adventure bringing you to worlds and environments that can only be recreated in your imagination, a sound stage or a talented team of CGI Masters. I’m not knocking this. The original Star Wars movie was full of great memorable characters and moments.

Avatar has it’s share like “I see you”, the Tree of Souls, and Jake Sully’s rallying cry for the final battle (Due to copyright infringement…all those scenes have been taken down from online, so feel free to click on the closest approximation of each):

The bright spot of this is Zoe Seldana (as the girl Na’vi, Naytiri). Through her Na’vi computer generated makeup (see how they did it!), she portrays such nuanced emotion and purity that she could convince anyone that her way of life is the true way. Sigourney Weaver as Dr. Grace Augustine allowed her to relive what a slightly older and wisened version of Ripley from Aliens would be like. Sam Worthington did a great job playing our eyes and ears as he (and in turn ‘we’) were introduced to the world of Pandora. Heck, I even enjoyed the performance of Lost’s Ana Lucia.

Maybe I’m trying to convince myself again. The more I let it mull over in my brain the more I like it. Darn you Avatar! Making blue sexy again!

An added bonus is that this movie proves that the Smurfs might actually be pulled off in the theatres…didn’t hear about that one? Here’s a little Smurf action for ya:

(Before you pass judgement, please know that the pics of Hank Azaria as Gargamel are epic!)

I’m getting way off topic.

Avatar still entertains on the small screen but not nearly as much on the silver screen. So if you get a big screen or a 3D screen, the fight scenes made by green screen will make you scream. On a side note, wonder what level of SPF the Na’vi need to wear for sun screen? Huh.

7.9 temptations to use “I’m blue” jokes in this review avoided out of 10


Avatar as Braveheart