Trailer Fix: Taking Woodstock

Taking Woodstock, directed by Ang Lee, is a comedy-drama about the Woodstock Festival of 1969. It is based on the true story of Elliot Tiber who was instrumental in getting the festival to be held in Bethel, New York. It stars Demetri Martin, Emile Hirsch, and Liev Schrieber.

This is a movie I am definitely interested in seeing. My family has a house outside of Woodstock (which is the county next to Bethel) and I’ve been going to the Catskills every summer my entire life. Taking Woodstock will be released on August 16.

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My 2006 Academy Awards Recap


The Oscars were really good this year (definitely much better than last year’s show.) Where to begin?

The opening montage of every classic moment/actor digitally animated… wow. For a classic film freak like me, it was fun trying to see how many movies I could name. Then the comedy bits started. I loved it when Jon Stewart woke up in bed with George Clooney. “Is this a dream?” “No.” Great way to start the show.

Stewart’s first few jokes completely bombed but after that he picked up steam. Then he lost it again. That’s okay. Nothing can stop me from loving Jon Stewart. I loved the tribute to Westerns and the innuendos. “The gayest genre” according to Stewart if you watched Oprah today.

Best Supporting Actor goes to… George Clooney, as predicted. He gave a great speech. “All right, so I’m not winning director.” Then he added, “I’m proud to be out of touch”.

March of the Penguins won best documentary, although it should’ve gone to Enron. Still a great movie nonetheless and I loved how the director (I forget his name) dedicated the award to all the children who saw the film and how hopefully it could influence then when they’re making the important decisions (with environmental issues and such) by 2041.

Rachel Weisz winning was awesome and she looked gorgeous for being 7 months pregnant. In her speech she thanked those who do the humanitarian work like her character did in The Constant Gardener.

I guess the old fart’s don’t run Hollywood afterall. I mean, 36 Mafia won for best song. By far the most excited (and more shocked than the cast of Crash) to win.

Robert Altman, director of M*A*S*H and Nashville, received the honorary oscar. Well-deserved. He’s been denied too long. His next feature is A Prarie Home Companion. Meryl Streep and Lindsay Lohan star in a great ensemble cast.

Philip Seymour Hoffman won Best Actor for his role as Truman Capote in Capote. And he dressed for the occasion.

Another shocker. Reese Witherspoon won.

Love Ang Lee. Great director. He deserved it for Brokeback Mountain.

But the best moment of the evening had to be when Crash pulled the biggest upset in recent year’s. Yes, I was expecting that it could happen and as the night went on, it was becoming a little more clear to me that it could, but stilll I was shocked. My jaw literally hit the floor. And then I was pissed. Why? The acceptance speech was cut off. Come on now. They make this big deal during the show to promote great Oscar moments and the producer ruin one by turning off the mic.

I’ll respond to the controversy surrounding this win tomorrow.

The Crash posse

Other great moments:

  • The mock political campaigns fro Best Actress. “Keira Knightley, acting while pretty.”
  • Lauren Bacall. Need I say enough.
  • The montage tributes to epics, film noir, and biopics.
  • Itzhak Perlman, playing selections from each nominated score.
  • Stewart, ” “‘Good night and good luck’ — the line that Mr. Clooney ends all of his dates with.” The look on Clooney’s face… priceless.

Overall a great night at the Oscars. Can’t wait until next year. I’m thinking Scorcese could finally win.

Review: Brokeback Mountain (2005)

Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal in Brokeback Mountain

To say that Ang Lee’s Brokeback Mountain is just a gay cowboy movie would be giving it the short end of the stick. It is captivating, touching and an amazingly excellent picture and those reasons alone should silence the childish snickering.

Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal star as Ennis Del Mar and Jack Twist respectively. The men meet in the summer of 1963 when they are hired to be sheepherders on Brokeback Mountain in Wyoming. They spend two weeks on the trail and instantly develop a connection then a sexual relationship. They then separate for fours years and move on with their lives. They both marry and have children; Del Mar to Alma (Michelle Williams) and Twist to Lureen (Anne Hathaway). But even after their initial separation neither man can forget the time they spent on Brokeback Mountain. The remainder of the film follows the men as their lives and relationship continue to evolve.

This is a film that will remain with you long after it is over. The performances in this film are completely mesmerizing. Heath Ledger delivers beyond the most powerful screen performance of recent memory. But what got me the most was story. Whether you agree with it or not, Brokeback Mountain is a love story. It is a bittersweet story of an impossible and unacceptable yearning that ends much too soon. No matter your opinion, see it. Brokeback Mountain will affect you.

Updated October 9, 2010