Posts Tagged ‘ralph fiennes’

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Since the 84th Annual Academy Awards takes place this weekend (Sunday, 02/26/12) I decided to choose some Oscar winning films that you can enjoy right now on Netflix Streaming.


If you are more of a watcher than a reader and/or just want to watch me fangirl out over some of these flicks you can watch me also explaining this post above, or you can just skip that and read through.

Brokeback Mountain (1995) (Available Until 12/16/14)

Ang Lee, Heath Ledger & Jake Gyllenhaal on the set of Brokeback Mountain


(Best Director-Ang Lee, Best Adapted Screenplay-Larry McMurtry & Diana Ossana, Best Original Score-Gustavo Santaolalla)

Brokeback Mountain is the story of two cowboys who fall in love but can’t be together except during a brief time when they are working alone on a mountain. The film stars the late Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Williams, Anne Hathaway and Randy Quaid.

What Dreams May Come (1998) (Available Until 01/01/14)

Robin Williams in What Dreams May Come


(Best Visual Effects-Joel Hynek, Nicholas Brooks, Stuart Robertson & Kevin Scott Mack )

Robin Williams and Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Annabella Sciorra star in a movie about a man who tries to find his wife in the afterlife after he dies. The problem is that while he was meant to reside in heaven she is damned to hell.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961) (Available Until 10/01/13)

Breakfast at Tiffany's

Breakfast at Tiffany's


(Best Original Song-Moon River by Henry Mancini & Johnny Mercer, Best Score-Henry Mancini)

Audrey Hepburn and George Peppard star in this movie that was loosely based on the book by Truman Capote. Hepburn is a wannabe socialite who meets a writer when he moves into her apartment building.

The Graduate (1967) (Available Until 03/01/13)

Dustin Hoffman & Mike Nichols on the set of The Graduate


(Best Director-Mike Nichols)

I finally watched all of The Graduate last year when I was able to see it as part of a classic film series on the big screen. It’s quite disconcerting. Dustin Hoffman is a guy who’s right out of college and drifting. So he spends his summer drinking and sexing up Mrs. Robinson (Anne Bancroft). Then he decides that he’s in love with her daughter. In homages to the movie Hoffman is usually portrayed as a sympathetic character but he actually seems totally sociopathic.

Good Will Hunting (1997) (Available Until 01/01/13)

Robin Williams & Matt Damon in Good Will Hunting


(Best Actor in a Supporting Role-Robin Williams, Best Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen-Matt Damon & Ben Affleck)


Matt Damon and Ben Affleck made their splash into hollywood when they wrote and starred in this Gus Van Sant flick. Affleck is a janitor at a college who is actually a genius. When he starts attending the college himself he butts heads with the yuppies. Robin Williams, Minnie Driver and Stellan Skarsgard costar.

Girl, Interrupted (1999) (Available Until 11/01/12)

Angelina Jolie in Girl, Interrupted


(Best Actress in a Supporting Role-Angelina Jolie)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yKpibWkTBGg

This is the fantastic adaptation of the Susanna Kaysen novel (which I also recommend) about a depressed young woman. She ends up in a mental hospital during the interim between high school and college. The film stars Winona Ryder, Angelina Jolie, Brittany Murphy and Jared Leto. There’s no doubt that Jolie is great in this but I always felt like it must have sucked that the press on her performance overshadowed Ryder’s leading role. Ryder’s character is basically just misunderstood and being treated in a sexist manner (though she’s officially diagnosed with borderline personality disorder) while Jolie’s character is completely out there.

Boys Don’t Cry (1999) (Available Until 08/01/12)

Hilary Swank & Chloe Sevigny in Boys Don't Cry


(Best Actress-Hilary Swank, Best Actress in a Supporting Role-Chloe Sevigny)

Boys Don’t Cry is based on the true story of Brandon Teena (Hilary Swank) who was a trans man (a person who is born female but gender identifies as a man) who falls in love with the pretty Lana (Chloe Sevigny) and the hate crime that follows. Peter Sarsgaard and Brendan Sexton costar.

Mrs. Doubtfire (1993) (Available Until 07/01/12)

Robin Williams in Mrs. Doubtfire


(Best Makeup-Greg Cannom, Ve Neill & Yolanda Toussieng)

I do believe that Mrs. Doubtfire was the first video tape that I ever begged for (and received!) as a birthday gift. Robin Williams (how is he in this post so much anyway?) is a man whose wife (Sally Field) is divorcing him. He’s a struggling actor who is desperate for both a steady job and a way to see his children more often. Of course the best idea is to dress as an elderly woman and become their maid, duh! I rewatched this again not long ago and it’s still great. Pierce Brosnan and Harvey Fierstein costar.

Dirty Dancing (1987) (Available Until 07/01/12)

Jennifer Grey & Patrick Swayze in Dirty Dancing

Franke Previte


(Best Original Song-(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life-Franke Previte, John DeNicola & Donald Markowitz)

I wish that I could be nonchalant and say that I don’t even like Dirty Dancing but alas, no, not true at all, I have one of the special edition DVDs and eveything. The late Patrick Swayze stars as the older dance instructor that teen Jennifer Grey falls for, while developing her dirty dancing skills.

The Fly (1986) (Available Until 06/01/12)

Chris Walas


(Best Makeup-Chris Walas & Stephan Dupuis)

This David Cronenberg horror film stars ex-married duo Jeff Goldblum and Geena Davis. It’s about a scientist who accidentally merges his body with a fly.

Misery (1990) (Available Until 05/01/12)

Kathy Bates in Misery


(Best Actress-Kathy Bates)

Kathy Bates stars in this horror movie based on a Stephen King book. She’s an obsessive fan who snaps when her favorite author (James Caan) has stopped writing his huge hit book series that she loves. So she kidnaps and cripples him to force him to write a new book in the series. Lauren Bacall costars as his literary agent.

All About Eve (1950) (Available Until 04/01/12)

Anne Baxter in All About Eve


(Best Picture, Best Actress in a Leading Role-Anne Baxter, Best Actor in a Supporting Role-George Sanders, Best Director-Joseph L. Mankiewicz, Best Costume Design-Edith Head, Charles Le Maire, Best Screenplay, Best Sound Recording)

This drama stars Bette Davis, Anne Baxter, George Sanders, Celeste Holm and Marilyn Monroe. It’s about an aging actress and a young actress who usurps her popularity.

The Age of Innocence (1993) (Available Until 04/01/12)

Michelle Pfeiffer in The Age of Innocence

Gabriella Pescucci


(Best Costume Design-Gabriella Pescucci)

This is a such a good costume drama. Michelle Pfeiffer is fantastic as woman who is considered to be scandalous because she’s left her husband. Daniel Day Lewis starts seeing her on the side despite being engaged to the adorable young Winona Ryder.

Death Becomes Her (1992) (Not Currently Available)

Meryl Streep in Death Becomes Her

Ken Ralston, Doug Chiang, Douglas Smythe & Tom Woodruff Jr.


(Best Visual Effects-Ken Ralston, Doug Chiang, Douglas Smythe & Tom Woodruff Jr.)

Death Becomes Her is definitely a favorite of mine. The stunning Goldie Hawn and Meryl Streep star as vanity obsessed women who fight over Bruce Willis. They will do anything to stay young looking, even take a magical potion from Isabella Rossellini. It’s awesome that this movie won for visual effects because they still stand up today.

Beetlejuice (1988) (Not Currently Available)

Alec Baldwin in Beetlejuice

Michael Keaton & Steve LaPorte on the set of Beetlejuice



(Best Makeup-Ve Neill, Steve LaPorte & Robert Short)

Yes, Beetlejuice! A married couple (Geena Davis and an adorabley young/faux nerdy Alec Baldwin) die and discover that they are still trapped in their home. When some annoying yuppies (Jeffrey Jones and Catherine O’Hara) and their gothy teen daughter (Winona Ryder) move in they hire a bio-exorcist to scare them away. They don’t realize that this guy, Betelgeuse, (Michael Keaton) is worse. You don’t know how cool I was when I played a copy of this PG masterpiece at my 6th birthday party.

Toy Story 3 (2010) (Not Currently Available)

Tom Hanks & Lee Unkrich


(Best Animated Feature Film of the Year-Lee Unkrich, Best Original Song-We Belong Together by Randy Newman)

Toy Story 3 is cry worthy even for adults. When Andy grows up his favorite toys, Woody and Buzz, end up accidentally being thrown out. They arrive at a daycare center with some scary, stern toys and then must escape.

The English Patient (1996) (Not Currently Available)

Ralph Fiennes & Kristin Scott Thomas in The English Patient

(Best Picture-Saul Zaentz, Best Director-Anthony Minghella, Best Actor-Ralph Fiennes, Best Actress-Kristin Scott Thomas, Best Actress in a Supporting Role-Juliette Binoche, Best Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published-Anthony Minghella, Best Art Direction-Set Decoration-Stuart Craig & Stephenie McMillan, Best Cinematography-John Seale, Best Costume Design-Ann Roth, Best Film Editing-Walter Murch, Best Original Dramatic Score-Gabriel Yared, Best Sound-Walter Murch, Mark Berger, David Parker & Christopher Newman)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dr_xAhg_qV4

I haven’t watched this in forever, despite it starring the delicious Ralph Fiennes, because it’s depressing. You’re going to want to check it out at least once though. Plot: “At the close of WWII, a young nurse tends to a badly-burned plane crash victim. His past is shown in flashbacks, revealing an involvement in a fateful love affair.” (via IMDB.com) The film also stars Kristin Scott Thomas, Juliette Binoche, Willem Dafoe and Colin Firth.

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Since today was the first day of the end of the world (rolls eyes), let’s do this shit. I feel like I would be remiss if I didn’t address actual end of the world theories so those are at the end.

Click the title of the film to go purchase it on Amazon (or another store) or just check out the widget at the end of this post. Clicking on the date will take you to the IMDB to read more on the film.

Last Night (1998)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GWHuKhQjzPI
“I don’t give a damn. People are always saying ‘The children. Pity the children’. I’m tired of the children. They haven’t lived, given birth, watch their friends die. I have invested 80 years in this life. The children don’t know what they’re missing. “

My favorite doomsday film is not a special effects laden film. In fact, there are none in it. This is a little known independent film that focuses on a group of characters and what they would each be doing on their last day on Earth. This is your type of film if you are a “life is about the journey, not the destination” person. We never learn why the world is ending. That isn’t the point. It’s about what, as an individual person, you would be doing. Some just want to see their family, some want to do something that they have never done before, etc. The film was written, directed by and stars Don McKellar. The film also stars Sandra Oh, Sarah Polley, David Cronenberg, Callum Keith Rennie, Tracy Wright and Geneviève Bujold. It’s fantastic!

A Thief in the Night (1972)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ly4CPRE_Ke0
“That’s right, Jenny, in a way it is free, what I mean is it doesn’t cost anything but your life.” “That sounds pretty expensive.”

This was a Christian propaganda rapture film. Apparently it’s the first in a 4 part series (yeah, I don’t get that either). Plot: “The film deals with Patty, a young woman who knows and has heard the Christian gospel but dismisses it due to her satisfaction with secular life. One morning she wakes up to discover that her husband, a Christian, and millions of others have disappeared. Gradually, Patty realizes that the Rapture, mentioned in the Bible, has happened and she is living in the last days of the Antichrist. A government system called UNITE is set up and those who do not receive the mark identifying them with UNITE will be arrested.” (from Wikipedia). I haven’t seen this film since I was 13 but I did just watch some clips on YouTube and it’s still creepy as fuck. When I was in junior high and attending a local church they had movie nights on the weekend sometimes (ostensibly to keep us off the streets and from getting into trouble, etc.). Because it was a church they usually only played stuff like Charlie Chaplin shorts or other really old schtick whilst lamenting that they could only play that type of thing because it was for families. My friends and I would alternately watch this stuff while passing notes and joking, etc. Basically this was a good way to talk to boys that we only had the chance to see at church. So the night that they decided to play this freaky ass end of the world film was definitely unexpected (and probably would have made younger kids piss their pants). The film stars Patty Dunning, Mike Niday, Collen Niday, Maryann Rachford, Thom Rachford, Duane Coller, Russell S. Doughten Jr. and Clarence Balmer.

The War of the Worlds (1938) (Note: MP3 of audio recording)


In 1938 the now celebrated Orson Welles narrated a radio drama of H.G. Wells’ novel The War of the Worlds about about an alien invasion. They sneakily played it as news bulletins to freak people out. However it aired on Halloween so many people actually knew it was all in good fun. Adolf Hitler cited the panic as “evidence of the decadence and corrupt condition of democracy.” I am from a small town with our own AM radio station (woot!, we don’t need uh anything created past 1906) which used to air this on Halloween. I have no idea if they still do. When I was young and first heard it I had to ask my father about it and it blew my mind. Yes, I have seen the Tom Cruise film adaptation and although many hate it I would say that it’s decent.

Knowing (2009)

“Stay with me. I know how this sounds, but I’ve mapped these numbers to the dates of every major global disaster from the last 50 years in perfect sequence. Earthquakes, fires, tsunamis. The next number on the chain predicts that tomorrow, somewhere on the planet, 81 people are going to die, in some kind of tragedy. “

Knowing is a film starring Nic Cage as a professor who by discovering that a series of numbers has predicted the world’s past tragedies is able to predict the end of the world. Knowing was panned by many people. My guess is that is because people often do not like to watch more intelligent people than them on film. Personally I am no math whiz but highly enjoyed this film. Rose Byrne costars. I should also mention that this film does show catastrophes happening on screen (as the previous films do not).

Omega Man (1971)


“Are you God?” “Let’s find out if he’s even a doctor before we go promoting him, okay?”

Plot: “Robert Neville (played by the late Charlton Heston), a doctor, due to an experimental vaccine, is the only survivor of an apocalyptic war waged with biological weapons. The plague caused by the war has killed everyone else except for a few hundred deformed, nocturnal people calling themselves The Family”. (from IMDB.com). So Omega Man is technically post-apocalyptic but I had to include it. The film has been spoofed (awesomely I might add) by The Simpsons. Will Smith also made a film version based on the original book called I Am Legend which has been universally panned and made fun of on Cracked.com many times. I’ve never been interested in watching it. I also really don’t care for how Will Smith rips things off all of the time without acknowledging it.

Little Nicky (2000)

“To the defilement of Earth and the corruption of its people. “

Adam Sandler’s hilarious comedy Little Nicky is more of a fish out of water story about the devil’s son but the reason Nicky comes to Earth is that Nicky’s brothers are trying to bring Hell to Earth. If you too love the late Mr. Beefy, go here. The film costars Patricia Arquette, Harvey Keitel, Rhys Ifans, Tiny Lister, Rodney Dangerfield, Allen Covert, Peter Dante, Jonathan Loughran, Robert Smigel, Reese Witherspoon, Dana Carvey, Jon Lovitz, Kevin Nealon, Michael McKean, Quentin Tarantino and Ozzy Osbourne.

Honorable Mentions: The Thing and The Faculty are about the end of one group of people (not the entire world) but that could spread to the whole world. Strange Days (1995) was set on the last day of 1999 (which was another time in the past that people predicted the world would end). Although there are people in the film celebrating or fearing “the end of days” and the film kicks off with Ralph Fiennes listening to a call in radio show with the voice of Winona Ryder as a devout Christian who believes that this is the end, none of the main characters believe in/are addressing this fear.

This list is short (for one of my lists) but I feel no need to pad it because these are my personal favorites and what I consider to be the best. Go here for a huge list of apocalyptic films.

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On End of the World Theories
As a guide I’ve been answering the question the question “When is the end of the world?” for years. Today’s (May 21, 2011) prediction comes from Harold Camping of Family Radio Worldwide who goes around predicting the end of the world every once in a while to sell you something. The big date that has been circulating for years is December 21, 2012 which some will tell you that Nostradamus or alternately the Mayans predicted. After answering that question for months I felt a compulsion to research it a bit myself. Though I am now an educated (i.e. I studied many religions before coming to the decision) atheist and former non-denominational Christian (used to attend a Baptist church and prior to that a Lutheran, but leaning towards Catholic, church) I had to know if Nostradamus predicted this.

If you’ve watched any of those History Channel Nostradamus programs you may also think that the guy was pretty fascinating and possibly onto something, as some of his predictions seem to have come true. I don’t have a link for this as I looked it up years ago, but Nostradamus being linked to this date was inferred by another guy who linked it up via puzzle pieces so I wouldn’t put much stock in it.

Christians will tell you that the exact date of their rapture isn’t written down yet, you just have to be ready. Scientists will tell you that the sun will eventually burn up Earth and all of the other planets billions of years from now, so you don’t need to worry.

Check It OutThe Yuppie Survivalists at Details.com-my favorite apocalypse article ever!

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