Tag Archives: Tom Hanks

Quick Thoughts on Last Night’s Golden Globe Awards

Last night was the 71st Golden Globes. They’re a little behind the Academy Awards who are on their 86th taking place in about a month. Anyhow, I usually like watching these awards shows, especially if I’ve seen some of the movies that are in contention. This year, I had the chance to see a few of the movies that had garnered a number of nominations: American Hustle, Her, 12 Years a Slave, Captain Phillips, Gravity, and Dallas Buyers Club.

I really liked American Hustle, but after watching Dallas Buyers Club and 12 Years a Slave, I was torn between who I thought deserved the awards in some categories. I thought that Jennifer Lawrence had a great performance in American Hustle, but I also thought that Lupita Nyong’o had an excellent performance in 12 Years a Slave. I think they’re both talented and terrific actresses, but with the underrepresentation…

… I’m torn.

I wish that this weren’t an issue in our society. I wish we could judge/award movies/performances on their merits and not worry about whether we’ve been fair in accounting for diversity. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely know and understand that because of our history, white people have a decided advantage when it comes to events like this (and life, in general), but I wish I could just be happy for Jennifer Lawrence and not wonder about Lupita Nyong’o. Unfortunately…

I was also torn when it came to the Best Actor in a Drama category. I’d seen three of the films for which actors were nominated in that category and in my opinion, it would be a toss up between Chiwetel Ejiofor (Choo-it-tell Edge–ee-o-for) and Matthew McConaughey. I thought they both gave excellent — excellent — performances. When Jessica Chastain announced Matthew McConaughey, I was happy, but as was the case for Jennifer Lawrence, I was a bit sad that Ejiofor didn’t win (or, for that matter Idris Elba, who I’ve read gave a great performance in Mandela).

~

I don’t have a solution to this dissonance I feel, but I wanted to express my desire for a time when feelings like these needn’t be had. Maybe it will come in 10 years, maybe it will come in 100 years. When it does, I will welcome it with open arms.

Love it or Hate it: Cloud Atlas is Worth Seeing

Cloud AtlasA little while ago, I mentioned that I’d seen a bunch of movies recently. One of those movies: Cloud Atlas. I rather liked the movie and think that you should most definitely consider seeing it. I tend to like the kinds of movies that Tom Hanks is in and I thoroughly enjoyed The Matrix trilogy. Yes, Tom Hanks was not in the The Matrix, but two of the directors (there were three) and producers  (there were five), also directed/produced The Matrix.

I really like movies that make you think and The Matrix certainly did that. In fact, from Wikipedia:

The Matrix makes numerous references to recent films and literature, and to historical myths and philosophy including BuddhismVedantaAdvaita Hinduism, Christianity, Messianism, Judaism, GnosticismExistentialismNihilism. The film’s premise resembles Plato’s Allegory of the caveRené Descartes‘s evil demonKant‘s reflections on the Phenomenon versus theDing an sichZhuangzi‘s “Zhuangzi dreamed he was a butterfly“, Marx’s social theory and thebrain in a vat thought experiment. Many references to Jean Baudrillard‘s Simulacra and Simulation appear in the film, although Baudrillard himself considered this a misrepresentation.

A movie that invokes that much has to make you think. In fact, if you get the chance, I’d read the interview between one of the directors of the Matrix (Larry Wachowski) and Ken Wilber, who has done a great deal to forwarding the integral movement.

Anyway, back to Cloud Atlas. The movie weaves together a bunch of different stories and some of the actors overlap between the stories (paying homage to the idea of reincarnation). Some of the stories are quite powerful and address issues that society has struggled with or is still struggling with. There are two quotes that I came across from one of the directors (Lana Wachowski) that I think are worth keeping in mind when reading reviews of this film (or The Matrix, for that matter). Here’s the first:

As soon as they encounter a piece of art they don’t fully understand the first time going through it, they think it’s the fault of the movie or the work of art. They think, [dramatic voice] “It’s a mess.”

“This doesn’t make any sense.” And they reject it, just out of an almost knee-jerk response to some ambiguity or some gulf between what they expect they should be able to understand, and what they understand.

And the second:

There’s really complex ideas in the [Matrix] trilogy. [Laughs.] We think in some ways, it’s the most experimental, complicated trilogy ever made. And it’s frustrating to see people try to will that to not be true. But we know it’s true. And in the same way, people will try to will Cloud Atlas to be rejected. They will call it messy, or complicated, or undecided whether it’s trying to say something New Agey-profound or not. And we’re wrestling with the same things that Dickens and Hugo and David Mitchell and Herman Melville were wrestling with. We’re wrestling with those same ideas, and we’re just trying to do it in a more exciting context than conventionally you are allowed to.

Why I Like Twitter: The Great Equalizer

Twitter is one of my most used tags (as you can see from the Tag Cloud on the right-hand side). Part of this is because I started that series of people I follow on Twitter, (which is way out of date). In fact, I probably don’t follow a lot of the people who are in those posts, but when I wrote those posts, I did. Anyway, I’ve been using Twitter for almost a year and a half now and I felt compelled to share why I like Twitter.

One of the main reasons I use/like Twitter is for the ability to curate things I may like to read. Some folks would say that this is the same function that RSS served when it first came out — yes, this is true. When RSS came out, I wasn’t as active on the Internet as am I now. But of course, this isn’t the only reason I like/use Twitter. You can also have conversations with people (plural!). For instance, just last week, after watching The Conspirator, I took to Twitter to say some things about capital punishment. In my series of tweets about capital punishment, I had some questions. Thanks to Twitter, someone responded to my question — and even included a source!

Perhaps the thing I like the most about Twitter — everyone’s on an equal (arguably) playing field. Yes, some have more followers than others and yes, there are promoted tweets, but more or less, the people on Twitter are tweeting for themselves. That is, when Lady Gaga tweets something, it’s probably her talking. Similarly, when tweet, it’s me tweeting. There are famous athletes like LeBron James, famous actors like Tom Hanks, famous chefs like Guy Fieri, and — of course — famous politicians like Barack Obama. Though, not every tweet from President Obama’s Twitter account is something from him (personally).