Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Oscar Buzz: Jeremy Renner in The Town

Michael here...

The more I think about it, the more I think that Ben Affleck isn't a horrible actor. I never really like him very much in what I see him in, but now I think that it's just that there are two or three other actors in his movies that I like more, the same was true of The Town. Jeremy Renner played Affleck's childhood friend, and stole every scene he was in. Many may remember Renner from his lead in The Hurt Locker. He doesn't disappoint in this role. Loyal, edgy, scary, but ultimately sympathetic, Renner filled his character perfectly, and gave a pretty good movie depth and connection, making it in my estimation a really good movie. I don't think Renner will be close to winning the award for Best Supporting Actor (should be a race between Christian Bale and Geoffrey Rush), but deserved to be nominated. The Town is worth seeing for Renner, and what ended up being a good story.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The King's Speech

Michael here...

Tony and I hope to blog on a lot of the Oscar worthy movies before the awards come around. He tackled True Grit (which was amazing), I'm gonna review The King's Speech. The King's Speech takes on the true story of King George VI, who took his place on the throne due to his older brother's irresponsibility. King George (played by Colin Firth) was a good man, but struggled with self doubt and most notably a severe stuttering problem. After all attempts to get help seem to have failed, he reaches out to a unconventional practicioner ably played by Geoffrey Rush. The story was a bit slow, but well told. If this movie lands awards, however it will be for Firth and Rush. It's hard to imagine anyone giving Firth a run for Best Actor, but stranger things have happened, and although I don't think he will win, Rush should recieve a nomination in the Best Supporting Actor category. This movie is dramatic and humorous in turns, and leaves you with a contented feeling of hope. Be prepared for the pace, but I recommend this movie whole heartedly as movie with a good story and excellent acting.

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Art of Taking Away

Michael here...

OK, we are only two blogs in to the new year and both have mentioned nude photos in some way, I am putting a stop to this madness! No more talk of nude least until the summer...

A new year means a fresh start and for many of us it also means a time of reflection, organization, and planning for the future. For me that tends to mean adding things. Adding new disciplines, hobbies, family and career goals, but the adding doesn't really work, until I've taken something away. Perhaps one of the most beneficial disciplines of all is the art of taking away. What things exist in me right now that clutter my mind and my soul? Where am I doing too much just for the sake of doing? Where am I buying too much just for the sake of owning? Are there places where I am pursuing too many shallow relationships to avoid seeking depth in other relationships?

I need space open in my life for GOD to pour whatever He will in. It's so hard not to try to fill that space myself though, with things that I think will fit.  May GOD grant us ever increasing grace as we seek to take away in good and holy ways.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

2011, nude pictures of me and True Grit

Tony here:

Like Michael, I am looking forward to a new year of thoughtful commentary on those things that make life more interesting. My faith comments have been sparse this past year so I plan to dedicate myself to a little more time on the subject.

However, let’s start with a very serious topic. Michael claims that he will not post any nude pictures of me because this is a family friendly blog. I understand that logic. What I don’t understand is why he asked me to send him several nude pictures last week. Oh well…

…as for the comments requesting a picture of me and Michael, let’s just say I have a face that is best left to your vivid imagination and keep it at that.

Now for the first movie review of the year. True Grit. The Coen Brothers (who I typically love for their quirky inventiveness) have crafted a western that has brought the genre full circle. This time they leave their distinctive eccentricities behind and create a more conservative movie that harkens back to the days of John Ford westerns like Stage Coach. Those early films were replete with archetypical western characters, thrown together by fate for a short while and tasked with resolving a good versus evil dilemma. At its heart, True Grit is that type of rootin-tootin western movie. Forget the 1969 John Wayne version when you see this one. The Coen Brothers have based their work more on the original Charles Portis novel. The dialogue, or more accurately, prose, of the characters is like music or poetry. You grasp to comprehend each word because they convey something rich and meaningful.  Hailee Steinfeld, as the strong-willed Mattie Ross, is simply terrific. Add to that, great performances by Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon (in a nice constrained piece of acting that could have easily been over the top), Josh Brolin and the underappreciated Barry Pepper. Include this movie with The Searchers, Once Upon a Time in the West and Unforgiven as westerns that must be seen.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Off And Running in 2011

Been a slow blogging start to 2011, but we are looking to get cranked up again now. Many thanks to everyone who have been following the blog and who have recommended it to others. We love the feedback, and interaction. One important thing to note: for the hundreds of you who keep asking for a picture of Tony in the nude, we keep saying "no", and will not back down on that. This is a family friendly blog after all.....