My Top Ten Charlize Theron Movies

Happy Birthday To Charlize Theron, who turns 43 today.

I like Theron but that’s only really happened in the last few years or so. I think Fury Road probably helped. She kicks ass in that!

So here are My Top Ten Charlize Theron Movies, counting down to my favorite (and including everything I’ve seen). As always, these are ranked by how much I like the movie, not her performance:

The Rest That I’ve Seen:

14. The Astronaut’s Wife
13. Reindeer Games (aka Deception)
12. Mighty Joe (I don’t actually remember much of this)
11. A Million Ways To Die In The West

Top Ten:

10. Hancock (I don’t actually remember this very well either…)

9. The Italian Job

8. Snow White And The Huntsman

7. Atomic Blonde

6. Prometheus

5. The Devil’s Advocate

4. Young Adult

3. Tully

2. Kubo And The Two Strings

1. Mad Max: Fury Road

Saw But Don’t Remember At All:
2 Days In The Valley, That Thing You Do!, 15 Minutes

Some I’ve Not Seen:
Celebrity, The Cider House Rules, Men Of Honour, The Legend Of Bagger Vance, Sweet November, Monster, The Life And Death Of Peter Sellers, North Country, Aeon Flux, In The Valley Of Elah, The Road, Dark Places, The Huntsman: Winter’s War, Fast & Furious 8, Gringo

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My Oscar Picks For The 88th Annual Academy Awards

Well, I guess it’s time to pick who I think will win Oscars this year! I don’t take this too seriously as I don’t know anyone who is into having an “Oscar Party” or anything like that. But this is a movie blog so I figure I better at least do this on here. 🙂

To make it more fun, I’ll also choose what I want to win each category (which is quite often different from what I think will win). Here’s a quick list of the nominees that I’ve seen & links to my reviews:

Room – 9/10
Mad Max: Fury Road – 9/10
The Martian – 7.5/10
The Revenant – 7.5/10
Spotlight – 7/10
The Big Short – 5.5/10
Steve Jobs – 7/10
Inside Out – 8.5/10
Ex Machina – 8/10
Star Wars: The Force Awakens – 9/10
Cinderella – 7/10

Okay, for each category I’ll put WANT for the ones I want to win & WILL for the ones that I think really will win. Here we go!

2016 Oscar Nominees

Best Picture
“The Big Short”
“Bridge of Spies”
“Brooklyn”
WANT – “Mad Max: Fury Road”
“The Martian”
WILL – “The Revenant”
ALSO WANT – “Room”
“Spotlight”

Best Director
Adam McKay, “The Big Short”
George Miller, “Mad Max: Fury Road”
WILL – Alejandro González Iñárritu, “The Revenant”
WANT – Lenny Abrahamson, “Room”
Tom McCarthy, “Spotlight”

Best Actor
Bryan Cranston, “Trumbo”
Matt Damon, “The Martian”
WANT & WILL – Leonardo DiCaprio, “The Revenant”
Michael Fassbender, “Steve Jobs”
Eddie Redmayne, “The Danish Girl”

Best Actress
Cate Blanchett, “Carol”
WANT & WILL – Brie Larson, “Room”
Jennifer Lawrence, “Joy”
Charlotte Rampling, “45 Years”
Saoirse Ronan, “Brooklyn”

Best Supporting Actor
Christian Bale, “The Big Short”
WANT – Tom Hardy, “The Revenant”
Mark Ruffalo, “Spotlight”
Mark Rylance, “Bridge of Spies”
WILL – Sylvester Stallone, “Creed”

Best Supporting Actress
WANT – Jennifer Jason Leigh, “The Hateful Eight”
Rooney Mara, “Carol”
Rachel McAdams, “Spotlight”
Alicia Vikander, “The Danish Girl”
WILL – Kate Winslet, “Steve Jobs”

Best Original Screenplay
“Bridge of Spies”
“Ex Machina”
WANT – “Inside Out”
WILL – “Spotlight”
“Straight Outta Compton”

Best Adapted Screenplay
WILL – “The Big Short”
“Brooklyn”
“Carol”
“The Martian”
WANT – “Room”

Best Foreign Film (I have zero knowledge of these so am just choosing the name I like the most) 😉
WANT & WILL – “Embrace of the Serpent”
“Mustang”
“Son of Saul”
“Theeb”
“A War”

Best Documentary Feature (again… I know nothing!)
“Amy”
“Cartel Land”
“The Look of Silence”
“What Happened, Miss Simone?”
WANT & WILL – “Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom”

Best Animated Feature
“Anomalisa”
“Boy and the World”
WANT & WILL – “Inside Out”
“Shaun the Sheep Movie”
“When Marnie Was There”

Best Film Editing
“The Big Short”
“Mad Max: Fury Road”
WILL – “The Revenant”
“Spotlight”
WANT – “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”

Best Song
“Fifty Shades of Grey”
“Racing Extinction”
“Spectre” (ugh)
WILL – “The Hunting Ground”
WANT? – (I know none of these songs but the Bond one sucks) “Youth”

Best Original Score
“Bridge of Spies”
“Carol”
WANT & WILL – “The Hateful Eight”
“Sicario”
“Star Wars: The Force Awakens”

Best Digital Effects
“Ex Machina”
“The Martian”
“The Revenant”
WANT & WILL – “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”

Best Cinematography
“Carol”
“The Hateful Eight”
WANT – “Mad Max: Fury Road”
WILL – “The Revenant”
“Sicario”

Best Costume Design
“Carol”
“Cinderella”
“The Danish Girl”
WANT & WILL – “Mad Max: Fury Road”
“The Revenant”

Best Makeup and Hairstyling
WANT & WILL – “Mad Max: Fury Road”
“The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared”
“The Revenant”

Best Production Design
“Bridge of Spies”
“The Danish Girl”
WANT & WILL – “Mad Max: Fury Road”
“The Martian”
“The Revenant”

Best Sound Editing
“Mad Max: Fury Road”
“The Martian”
WILL – “The Revenant”
“Sicario”
WANT – “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”

Best Sound Mixing
“Bridge of Spies”
“Mad Max: Fury Road”
“The Martian”
WILL – “The Revenant”
WANT – “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”

Best Short Film, Live Action (choosing the title I like!)
“Ave Maria”
“Day One”
“Everything Will Be Okay”
“Shok”
WANT & WILL – “Stutterer”

Best Short Film, Animated (choosing the title again!)
“Bear Story”
“Prologue”
“Sanjay’s Super Team”
WANT – “We Can’t Live Without Cosmos”
WILL – “World of Tomorrow”

Best Documentary Short Subject (choosing the title… again!) 😉
“Body Team 12”
“Chau, Beyond the Lines”
“Claude Lanzmann”
WANT & WILL – “A Girl in the River”
“Last Day of Freedom”

Gimme An ‘F’ (1984) Review

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Gimme An ‘F’ (1984)
aka T & A Academy 2
aka Cheerballs

Directed by Paul Justman

Starring: Stephen Shellen, Mark Keyloun, Jennifer Cooke, Lisa Wilcox, Beth Miller, Daphne Ashbrook, John Karlen

Plot Synopsis: (via IMDB)
Can a squad of misfit cheerleaders with an over-age trainer possibly win the big cheerleading competition? Looked down upon by the other teams, it will be difficult. Their lack of skill and talent make it even harder.

My Opinion:

This cheesy 80’s cheerleading sex comedy is my dirty little 13-year-old secret. I watched this so damn much at that age and for years I’ve been desperate to own it in some way but it was quite obscure & I was never able to find a copy. Well, this being 2015 and not 1984, it’s made its way to YouTube so I watched it for the first time in years a few months ago. Hilarious!!! It’s so damn bad. I love it.

Here’s the story: When I was 13 (actually, I was possibly only 12), I got a regular job babysitting a boy of about eight. This was back in small-town American Eighties when that was common – the thought of leaving my kid at home alone with some idiot 12-year-old nowadays seems freaking insane! Anyway, I was lucky as the kid was a real sweetheart. We’d usually have some supper & watch a kids’ movie together then he’d go straight to bed with zero fuss. That kid was awesome. What was even more awesome, though, was the collection of slightly dirty movies that his parents had & that I would then spend all night watching until they came home drunk at about 2:00 in the morning & paid me way too much because they were all drunk & happy. They had a collection of videotapes full of stuff they’d obviously recorded off the one & only movie channel we could get in our town (Showtime, if I remember correctly. We didn’t have it. I wanted it).

One movie they had that I watched a few times was the Brian De Palma film Body Double, which I remember nothing about now – I should track that one down too! Gimme An ‘F’ was the one for me, though. Actually, I think it was on the same tape as Body Double – I’m surprised I didn’t wear that tape out. So I’d sit there with my shoebox full of bracelet-making supplies and make friendship bracelets all night while watching a bunch of horny cheerleaders. Oh, I’d also bring a few teen magazines with me, too – usually Sassy or BOP.


Ahh, the good old days! Sorry – I suppose I should stop reminiscing & just talk about Gimme An ‘F’ (also apparently called T & A Academy 2 or Cheerballs. Seriously? Cheerballs?!?!). Anyway, this Oscar-worthy screenplay involves a group of sweet, innocent, virginal cheerleaders called the Moline Ducks and they totally suck (at cheerleading). They go to a cheerleading camp in a place called Beaver View (haha – very funny) where they are trained by twentysomething professional cheerleaders (one being a hot male cheerleader). We have several squads but the important ones are: The Falcons, who are the best & whose captain is an ice-cold bitch…

The Demons, who are a squad of skanky sluts… 

And, of course, the sweet little Moline Ducks, who don’t have a hope in hell of winning the competition at the end…

The Ducks embarrass themselves when the squads all do a cheer to determine which professional will train them. Luckily, hunky male cheerleader is there to cheer up our main Duck after her appalling performance.

She soon falls for hot, older cheerleading dude and blah blah blah virgin and blah blah blah sexual tension followed by blah blah blah sexual awakening. I’m not here to tell anyone to watch this. Don’t! It’s so damn cheesy & soooooo 1984 and watching it now, as an adult, I’m not sure what I saw in it.

Okay, screw it – I’m lying. I know exactly what I saw in it. Roscoe! Yeah, that guy in the above picture. I’ve never been the type of girl to go for the usual type of boy. Maybe this movie is to blame for that?! Anyway, the handsome cheerleader did nothing for me. No thanks! I had a massive crush on the wild & wacky Roscoe, who was another one of the trainers. Roscoe has a big boner for the ice-queen captain of the evil Falcons squad & does all he can to win her heart (well, I don’t think it’s her heart that he wants…). Anyway, his final effort is to put on that weird ass Mad Max type outfit up there and to spit out some (fake?) blood as the girl goes past. Honestly, that scene was hot. This finally turns her on & she licks it off his face.

Then they go behind the bushes & you see their clothes go flying in the air while she goes “Gimme an F! Gimme a U!” and I was always like “U? That’s not how you start to spell Falcons…“. Lol. Unfortunately, no guy ever put on Mad Max gear & spit out fake blood for me. (It totally would have worked) 😉

The filthiest this movie got was when one of the professional cheerleaders had sex with the owner of the Beaver View camp (the dude who was Lacey’s husband in Cagney & Lacey). Anyway, this is the closest we get to seeing boobs. Check out those patriotic nipples!

For reasons too boring to explain, handsome male cheerleader bets Lacey’s husband that he can train The Ducks to beat The Falcons in the competition. And (SPOILER, not that it matters…), The Ducks do well after sexing it up & doing a dirty routine thanks to our main sweet blonde girl’s sexual awakening.

Well, you get the idea. I have to say the images make the movie look dirtier than it is. Handsome cheerleader decided to not take advantage of the innocent Ducks girl. But he did do a sexy underwear dance in the steamy shower room for her. It’s absolutely hilarious. Watch it! I BEG YOU. That shit is funny. I’ll put the clip at the end. GOD I love the Eighties!

I’ll shut up now. I suppose I have to give this a rating but how do I rate a movie that I know is awful yet I have really fond memories of it? Yes, I’ve watched this once again while writing this & I do still like it. I was really upset when I lost that babysitting job because the family moved away to another town, removing my ability to ever watch Gimme An ‘F’ again (until now). I had to make do with my friend’s stash of saucy movies that she recorded late at night when her parents were asleep. But all she had was About Last Night… & Bolero – they were never as special to me as Gimme An ‘F’.

My Rating: 7/10

THE UNDERWEAR DANCE. Please watch this. Please! I laughed my ass off watching this again as an adult.

And here’s the saucy routine The Ducks do at the end of the movie. It’s so tame!

Okay, if those have whet your appetite, you can watch the full movie HERE.

Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) Review

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***SPOILER FREE REVIEW***

Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

Directed by George Miller

Starring:
Tom Hardy
Charlize Theron
Nicholas Hoult
Hugh Keays-Byrne
Rosie Huntington-Whiteley
Riley Keough
Zoë Kravitz
Abbey Lee
Courtney Eaton

Running time: 120 minutes

Plot Synopsis: (via IMDB)
In a stark desert landscape where humanity is broken, two rebels just might be able to restore order: Max, a man of action and of few words, and Furiosa, a woman of action who is looking to make it back to her childhood homeland.

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My Opinion:

YES! This is what movies are meant to be like! I’ve been moaning for years that they can’t make a decent action blockbuster anymore. It’s all CGI bullshit now with shitty scripts and crappy characters. Oh how I’ve longed for the days of The Terminator & Alien/Aliens. Well, I’m happy to say that Mad Max: Fury Road is a return to the good old days of action-packed blockbusters. And, as a HUGE added bonus, we have ourselves another Ellen Ripley with Charlize Theron’s kick-ass Imperator Furiosa. That’s right, ladies! This is a totally bonkers, violent, non-stop adrenaline-fueled extravaganza that has its female audience in mind just as much as its male audience! YES!!!! The female characters don’t take a backseat in Fury Road – they’re driving this bastard!

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I’m now kind of regretting my post from two days ago (HERE) in which I re-rated several movies I thought I’d given either too high or too low of a rating. I said that I think I sometimes rate new releases too highly due partly to hype & partly to my enjoyment of the experience of going to a movie in the cinema. So now I’ve gone to the best movie I’ve seen in a very long time & I’m still on a high as I’m writing this just after seeing it and I know I’m going to just rave about it like an idiot and end up giving it a really high rating. Well, you can trust me on this – Fury Road is not a movie that will need re-rating because I’ve rated it too highly in my excitement. In fact, I’m afraid I won’t do it justice & may rate it slightly too low as I want to be more cautious with my ratings now. Damn. We’ll see… I still don’t know at this point what rating I’ll give it.

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I always try to stay as spoiler free as possible in my reviews and I want to be especially careful with this one as I think knowing as little as possible before seeing Fury Road may add to your enjoyment (I know it did for me as I didn’t know quite what to expect beyond the one trailer I’d seen). So, I’m not going to get very specific about things that happen in the movie as I’m not sure what is common knowledge & what isn’t. I think people will like this one whether they’ve seen the Mel Gibson films or not. My experience is this: I saw the first two but I admit that, although I did really like them at the time, I only watched them once sooo many years ago that I don’t remember them as well as I’d like. Sorry Mad Max fans – I’d wanted to re-watch them before seeing Fury Road but haven’t had the time. I’ll definitely make time for them again at some point now but Fury Road works just fine as a film on its own.

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What I loved about Fury Road (besides the kick-ass female characters that I just can’t rave about enough) was, well… Everything. I loved the look & feel of the post-apocalyptic world and its insane inhabitants. I loved the action that never ever let up – the stunts they pulled off were amazing! My eyes couldn’t actually keep up with the amount of action going on – it was nuts! But in a good way – I want to watch this again as I know I missed things. The writing was very good – we got decent character development (for an action movie) as well as sympathetic characters we cared about and who cared about each other (so many action movies barely bother with this!). The baddies are over the top and outrageous in the most awesome way possible. Hell, the whole movie is over the top and outrageous but it’s so much damn FUN. George Miller really went to town with Fury Road & it all works perfectly. It reminds me in a way of how Tarantino makes his films – you can tell there’s a real love of what he does. It feels like he really put his heart into making this film. I wish every director would do the same.

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Summary:

Mad Max: Fury Road is totally bonkers. Its fast pace may have you leaving the cinema wondering what the hell just hit you but, hey – that’s what action movies should be like. Fury Road gives us Imperator Furiosa, a new badass female who deserves a place among the likes of Ellen Ripley and The Bride. As a female who is often frustrated by the sexism and misogyny in movies, I couldn’t be more happy about that (and the movie sure as shit passes the Bechdel test!). I think those who aren’t fans of the other Mad Max films should like this just as much as those who are but those who are may be a little disappointed that this movie should almost be titled Furiosa & Mad Max: Fury Road. That title sounds damn good to me, though – maybe we can get the female character’s name in the title of the next one.

My Rating: 9/10

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