John Otteni

Oscars Fortnight Day 12: Million Dollar Baby

Million Dollar Baby (2004)

The 77th Academy Awards (2005)
Nominations: 7
Wins: 4

The 2000s was when I became an Oscar fan. Yeah, I know, the Oscars suck. Most of the time it’s just a bunch of Hollywood Elites patting themselves on the back and awarding the best run campaigns (not movies). But it’s also a celebration of movies. Those are like my favorite thing. So much so that in 2006 I watched every Best Picture Nominee. This is a tradition I have carried on every year since then. I still haven’t seen every nominee between 2000 and 2004 but I’m getting there. What’s odd is that it took me this long to watch Million Dollar Baby. The last Best Picture Winner of the 2000s I hadn’t seen.

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Oscars Fortnight Day 9: A Few Good Men

A Few Good Men (1992)

The 65th Academy Awards (1993)
Nominations: 4
Wins: 0

A Few Good Men is totally 90s. It stars Tom Cruise and Demi Moore. It’s Rob Reiner. It’s got the Castle Rock logo—Seinfeld vibes intensifying. This is an era where a courtroom drama could be a top ten grossing film of the year (it was number 7 for 1992). I mean, it’s got the line. You know? The one about the truth! He can’t handle it! How many times has that been spoofed on The Critic?

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Oscars Fortnight Day 6: Patton

Patton (1970)

The 43rd Academy Awards (1971)
Nominations: 10
Wins: 8

I have this weird memory about Patton. Well it’s either a memory or a dream. It was this time my dad took out a DVD copy of Patton, played Patton’s opening speech, and then turned off the movie. I don’t know why we didn’t watch the whole movie. Which is why I wonder if I’m misremembering this event. If not, it seems like the takeaway is my dad believed this opening scene was so well acted it was required viewing for a young film fan like myself. Even if it’s the only part of the movie I see.

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Oscars Fortnight Day 4: The Sound of Music

The Sound of Music (1965)

The 38th Academy Awards (1966)
Nominations: 10
Wins: 5

Like my first film I didn’t want to watch this one either. 174 minutes? Old timey people singing in Austria? Sounds like something I’d watch in school. Hmm, would that be for History class? Choir? In my Choir class we watched Drumline. It didn’t win any Oscars, though it did get two MTV Movie Award nominations (Breakthrough Male Performance and Best Kiss).

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Oscars Fortnight Day 2: Yankee Doodle Dandy

Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942)

The 15th Academy Awards (1943)
Nominations: 8
Wins: 3

My first pick in our Oscar countdown is a film I’ve been putting off for a long time. You know, cause it’s old. Honestly, I’ve never had much interest in seeing this movie. But it’s on the AFI Top 100 Films’s List and as a “film buff”—whatever that means in this day and age—it felt crazy to me that I’d never seen a James Cagney movie. I mean he’s a Hollywood legend! He was in a Looney Tunes toon. All the years I had to put up with boomers saying “You dirty rat!” to me. Now I finally get it. I get Cagney.

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John’s Top Ten Movies of 2020

Happy New President Day everybody! I know it’s too early tell how much of a difference that’ll make in our daily lives but come on, HUGE STEP UP from the last guy. Riding on those good vibes let me tell you about some of da movies I liked.

It was a rough year for da movies. It’s been almost a year since I’ve been in a theater and I had to spend $20+ to watch Tenet while raccoons loudly munched on cat food outside our sliding glass door. That being said every time a new release did come out it was special. My brother and I made a ritual out of Saturday nights. We would pop that corn, sit in a darkened living room, and put on whatever 2020 movie had limped its way to a streaming service. Not all of the films were great and it never quite matched the feeling of a movie theater, but I cherished that weekly experience. So thank you 2020 movies that did come out. You helped me get through one hell of a year. Hell in the bad way. We are in Hell.

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John’s Top Ten TV Shows of 2020

Once I realized I’d have to hunker down this year, I saw it as an opportunity to binge watch a bunch of old shows. For me that included watching every episode of Tim & Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!, the first season of Cheers, the first two seasons of Halt and Catch Fire and most of Viva La Bam for reasons unknown. Also, I caught up with HBO’s Watchmen. The problem is I forgot to watch new shows.

If I have the time, I’ll always pick a movie over a TV show. Which means a show has to really grab my attention to get me to watch it. Even more to finish it. Honestly, it was hard to come up with a top ten, but I’m happy with the results. Plus, now that I’m done with this list I can go back to watching Viva La Bam.

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