Happy Monday, everyone! I will jump right in because I have a lot to put in here. First of all, I weighed Saturday and I was down 2.8 pounds! I was very pleased with this and relieved because I knew I had done well. This means I have 12.4 pounds to go in my initial goal to lose 15.2 pounds and get back to my lowest weight. It may take several weeks to do that but there is no race; as long as I stay with it, I’m fine with whatever pace my body wants. I also started the workout program, Insanity on Saturday. I am normally not inclined to trust programs like this but I tried a boot camp a few months ago that I loved and my roommate said it was similar and very effective. I went ahead and decided to try it because I needed something new and I like the idea of not having to think about it. This program tells me what to do every day. It’s a 60 day program. I intend to complete the 60 days and then if I have had results, I’ll continue to do it but incorporate it with exercise that isn’t so hard on the joints. I like it a lot. It’s difficult but I felt great when I got done. I will say though that if you have not been working out for a significant amount of time, you should definitely NOT do Insanity. This program is for people who are in at least decent shape. I am sore but I like that because it means it’s working. He’s strict about form and safety which is also a plus. I took my weight and measurements so I could monitor my results. The recipe I shared above is for tomato soup. When I was little I thought I hate tomatoes and tomato soup. As I’ve gotten older, my tastes have developed. I now enjoy cooked, green and sun dried tomatoes. I thought I’d try tomato soup. This is a Hungry Girl recipe. It uses hot sauce which kicked the flavor notch up a bit. It was quite tasty and I paired it with toast that I slathered with Sun Dried Tomato Laughing Cow Cheese. It was a nice pairing. I’d make it again, for sure. I eat a lot of soup…it’s usually much lower in calories.
Since the last time I blogged, Alabama won its 15th national championship against Notre Dame. It is a wonderful time to be an Alabama fan. I know everyone in the country is tired of Bama but who cares, it feels great to be a winner!
Jordan and I have started our Operation Oscar for this year. We see all of the movies nominated for Oscars in the major categories and this year we got quite a head start before the nominations came out. I’ll give a brief little review of each one, in case you’re interested. We only have a few more to watch before we are done. The show is on February 24th and after the Golden Globes last night, I’m anxious to see how it turns out!
Argo is my second favorite movie so far. Its nominations include: Best Picture, Supporting Actor (Alan Arkin), Adapted Screenplay (Chris Terrio). This is an intense movie laced with funny moments about a real and serious situation that happened during the Iran hostage crisis. It takes history and makes it interesting. Ben Affleck was not only grossly snubbed for Director, he could have been nominated as an actor as well. I’m not biased. I love Ben Affleck but he hasn’t always been the best actor in the world. This movie is great and I’m glad the Golden Globes recognized him because the Academy was wrong on this. This movie also included John Goodman who was amazing and one of my all-time favorite actors.
Flight has two nominations: Actor (Denzel Washington) and Original Screenplay (John Gatins). I would say that these nominations could’ve gone either way. The movie was pretty good but when you compare Denzel Washington’s performance to some of the other men in the category, I don’t think he was as good. The movie has a really intense scene in the beginning with a plane situation that will make you think twice before stepping onto your next flight. Other than that, I’d say it was good, not great. It’s about a drunk who gets in trouble and I prefer Denzel Washington in his more bada** roles.
I could probably write a book on the commentary I have for Django Unchained but nobody has that kind of time. It is nominated for Best Picture, Supporting Actor (Christoph Waltz), Original Screenplay (Quentin Tarantino). In summary, it’s about a freed slave that is on a quest with a bounty hunter to find and rescue his wife from a heinous slave owner. This movie is like classic Quentin Tarantino on crack. It is by far the most gruesome, violent and uncomfortable Tarantino movie I’ve ever seen. If you don’t like him, his movies, blood and guts or gun violence, you should, under NO circumstances see this movie. My mother and Jordan despised this movie. Having said all of that, I did not hate it, I LOVED about 60% of it and wanted to crawl under my chair and hide the other 40%. I believe his movies are a commentary but I do know that the commentary he intends is lost on many audiences. It is not lost on me. It is violent and racist much like the actual act of slavery was and you are not supposed to feel comfy cozy while watching it. I can see both sides of the fence. I do think he was also robbed as director. I would say however that I don’t like his attitude about some things. He’s very quick to dismiss discussions on violence in movies and I think he should take a more diplomatic approach. I agree that violence in movies is not the reason people are crazy but I think they are a good starting place for dialogue and he always shuts down. In the end, I think he’s a disturbed and at times, quite rude genius. As a side note, I’m obsessed with Christoph Waltz and wish he was in every movie. Lastly, I always think Leo is robbed and this year is no exception. I am DEFINITELY biased about him though, we go way back.
Ahhh, Les Miserables, the movie I feel like I should be more attached to. It’s nominated for Best Picture, Actor (Hugh Jackman) and Supporting Actress (Anne Hathaway). This movie was all about “moments” to me. Anne Hathaway’s performance of “I Dreamed A Dream” was pretty stunning and brought tears to my eyes. Unfortunately, Russell Crowe’s voice also brought tears to my eyes…and not in a good way. The movie was WAY too long for me but that doesn’t say much, though because I think most movies are too long. I actually downloaded a lot of the songs and though the movie looked amazing but overall, I was pretty bored. Like I said, there were lots of great moments that I will probably look up on YouTube a few more times in life but I don’t see me watching it in its entirety ever again. I have respect for the show but it’s not my favorite. I have seen the play and there are parts of it that seem silly to me and it’s just not my favorite. I don’t want to take away from Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway though, they were good.
Life of Pi is this year’s Avatar minus the hype and James Cameron. It’s nominated for Best Picture, Director (Ang Lee) and Adapted Screenplay (David Magee). I compare it to Avatar only because, in my opinion, it’s greatest attribute is the beauty of the scenery. The special animated effects in this movie were gorgeous. The story is cool, too and I enjoyed the movie overall. I wasn’t blown away by the story but I liked it.
The Impossible holds only one nomination and that is for best actress (Naomi Watts). I’d say I made it about 10 minutes before I started a full on, heaving cry that I maintained throughout the entire movie. This is about the horrific tsunami that came from the Indian Ocean in 2004 and killed 230,000 people. It’s based on the true story of one family trying to survive and get back to each other. I have had recurring nightmares about deadly waves my entire adult life so I was anxious about the movie. The best way to describe it is gut-wrenching. The horror that these people had to face was something that none of us should ever take for granted. So many died, lost all their loved ones, their homes and they lived in pain and fear for weeks trying to figure out the details of what happened. The movie portrays this very well and I’m not sure it wasn’t slightly robbed of other nominations. I will never watch it again but it’s beautifully made.
I cannot say enough good things about Silver Linings Playbook. Its nominations include: Best Picture, Director (David O. Russell), Actor (Bradley Cooper), Actress (Jennifer Lawrence), Supporting Actor (Robert De Niro), Supporting Actress (Jacki Weaver), and Adapted Screenplay (David O. Russell). It’s funny, engaging and by far my favorite of the Oscar season. When I say favorite, I mean it’s the only one I would buy so I could watch whenever I want. It’s got Bradley Cooper who seriously could not be hotter and more adorable. I’m also a Hunger Games freak so I was happy to see Jennifer Lawrence. Robert De Niro was amazing as always and as a side note, Chris Tucker turns out to be a pleasant surprise in the movie. It’s about mental illness but not in a sappy way. Loved it.
Spielberg does it again with Lincoln. It’s loaded up with nominations: Best Picture, Director (Stephen Spielberg), Actor (Daniel Day-Lewis), Supporting Actor (Tommy Lee Jones), Supporting Actress (Sally Field), and Adapted Screenplay (Tony Kushner). I agree with all of these nominations. Lincoln, though in my opinion a bit long (surprise, surprise), was outstanding. It’s not the kind of movie I’d want to curl up to on a Saturday night as those are reserved for guilty pleasures but the movie is chock full of awesome actors, interesting and lesser known facts about the time period and gripping stories. The film came together wonderfully for me and in the end you feel triumphant and sad all at the same time. I liked it a lot…it has probably been my third favorite so far this season.
The Sessions was solid and good but overall underwhelming. Helen Hunt is nominated for Supporting Actress and that’s it. I think that’s about right. The story was certainly interesting. It’s about a man with polio who is paralyzed from the neck down and has to rely on a giant machine for him to breathe. He wants to experience sex and Helen Hunt’s job is to help him with that. She does a great job and the movie wasn’t too sentimental which I like but it didn’t blow me away. In fact, that’s all I have to say about it, I think.
Zero Dark Thirty was intense to say the least. It’s nominated for Best Picture, Actress (Jessica Chastain) and Original Screenplay (Mark Boal). I think the movie was good. It was a bit long, but it was still an “edge of your seat” kind of movie. Jessica Chastain is someone who I think will be around for a while. She’s versatile and I’ve never seen her do a bad job (she was even good in the disaster that was the Tree of Life). I don’t know what percentage of the movie was based in fact but it definitely brought you along for the ride on the hunt for Osama Bin Laden. I am not as mad about the directing snub on this as I am for Argo. I certainly think Kathryn Bigelow COULD have been nominated for best director, especially for the excruciating torture scenes but it’s not the biggest snub in history.
I know that was a lot but like I said, Jordan and I got a huge head start. I'll have a few more plus some preferences/predictions in the coming weeks.
I hope you all have a great week and if you made it to the end, thanks for sticking with me!
“And I am done with my graceless heart
So tonight I’m gonna cut it out and then restart
‘Cause I like to keep my issues drawn
It’s always darkest before the dawn
Shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, ooh whoa
Shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, ooh whoa
And it’s hard to dance with a devil on your back
So shake him off, oh whoa…” Shake It Out-Florence+the Machine