Oscars Countdown: Movies You Have to See and Movies to Skip

Friday, February 26, 2010

Oscar statue Academy Award (prayitno/flickr)

A little over a week remains until Oscar night. With ten best picture nominees this year, not to mention a full roster of five animated features (on top of all the other categories), there's not a lot of time to see what's on the ballot. Newsday critic and Takeaway film contributor Rafer Guzman fills us in on which movies are must-sees and which are okay to avoid.

Read a blog post by Takeaway producer Kristen Meinzer and film critic Rafer Guzman about which Oscar movies to watch and which movies to skip.

Hosted by:

Lynn Sherr

Produced by:

Kristen Meinzer

Contributors:

Rafer Guzman

Comments [3]

Ellen from Atlanta

OK, so this was supposed to be an informative “film review”? Guzman was just flat un-informative, and wrong. He sounds like a paid promoter for Avatar, and his review was way off mark. It would be helpful to have insightful reviews about all the films, not his smarmy snipe that Avatar was the “Water Cooler Movie of the Year”? Huh, is that a new Award? If it was – sorry, but Avatar lost that too. Your listeners deserve better than childish insinuations that gossip at a water cooler is a measure of film importance or quality. Avatar does not push cinema, and it’s not a richer experience. Yes, it’s brilliant application of existing digital technology to “enhance” the film. But Sonny’s right: Avatar is not original, the story’s been done, the script is predictable, and so it’s a remake! But sure - with all those pretty lights, digital enhancements, and rubber suits on blue boards - It was soooo Kewl! Lastly, it’s notable that the guys at my office who saw Hurt Locker each acknowledged how much the film changed their views, and their perceptions, for the harsh realities we ask of our neighbors in uniform. Now, that’s a richer experience.

Mar. 10 2010 01:49 PM
K.C. from San Francisco

Sonny lighten up there big fella. It's a movie and yeah it might win an Oscar and yeah perhaps Hurt Locker is overall a better acted movie, but it's a movie. We all know that Oscars aren't really the best judge of cinema. Just look at the sweathearts that end up winning best actress Gweneth Paltrow? I mean come on. However Avatar was a great movie if you can suspend disbelief and get swept up in the cinematic magic that will open up a whole new era of richer experiences. IMHO it gets big props for pushing cinema to a new level and yes better pictures will emerge but they all will be influenced by what is now capable because of Avatar.

Feb. 27 2010 03:05 AM
Sonny from Seattle

Thanks for your report on must see movies. However, I must object to comments by Rafer Guzman, and his marginal reviews. I simply do not believe he brings cutting insight to film analysis. And I am very disappointed that he, like so many, have a predictable and pedestrian review of "Avatar". The story line has been done many times before; the character sentiments are story book; the plot presents nothing new or novel; and any such transformational elements are droll and predictable. Oh yes, it's a technical achievement for sure. But get real - digital genuis doth not a great movie make!! And the only reason Hurt Locker is slow at the box office - is that Americans go to movies for fantasy and escape, sadly not for good old school, sweaty, heart breaking "acting". It is a keen fact that the Oscar will go to Avatar only for political appeasement - not because it's a superb film based on the key factors of genuine acting, directing, filming, development, and themtic unification. And oh boy, we all get to hear James Camerson again talking about haveing to take a pee!! Yowza, real genius indeed....

Feb. 26 2010 05:24 PM

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