I’ve been super busy with Grad School and it might be awhile till I get back to “Drinking Thru the Oscars”, continuing on with Best Actor and Best Actress. But in the meantime- I’m gonna give some attention to some Top 10 Disney Lists.
My Top 10 Disney Single Parents: (I’m basing this, not on who I personally love, but who seems to be doing the best job while facing the challenges they have doing it all alone)
1. Mrs. Jumbo-My heart just goes out to her. She’s been abandoned by the most famous elephant of the day, Jumbo from P.T. Barnum’s circus. I know she calls herself “Mrs.”, but I’m not seeing a ring on that hoof. Just sayin’. And the other elephants don’t talk to her, probably cause she’s a whore- and they’re jealous cause Jumbo was one hot stud. She has to watch her baby get brutally bullied by everyone and sent to jail defending him and helplessly sit there, not knowing what’s happening to him.
2. Geppetto- He travels the world looking for his missing son, who in only had for about 2 or 3 waking hours before he went A-wall.
3. Sarah- We get such a real look into this family, seeing Jim’s dad abandoning thhttp://www.tumblr.com/new/texte family years ago for a life at sea. Ah, sailors! Yet she pulls it together, runs a business and has the hottest teenage son ever going wild.
4. Maurice- He gets pneumonia trying to make it back to Belle to save her. Thank God he recovered so quickly.
5. Chief Powhatan- What a strong, good man he is. He gets a little stuck in his ways, like Triton and the Sultan, wanting to dominate who she marries, but at least he recognizes it pretty quickly and when the stakes are super high.
6. Nani- She is way to young to be raising such a young girl and balancing everything. She’s not really doing a very good job, but she is definitely trying as hard as she can.
7. Dutchess- It’s a lot easier to be a good mom when you’ve got money. Just sayin’.
8. Kanga- She’s a bit 50s housewife for me, but she clearly loves Roo. So curious where the baby daddy is.
9. King Triton- Anger issues! But my god, it’s him in a house with 7 daughters. I’d be starting tsunamis everyday.
10. Eudora & Big Daddy- Neither of them do a whole lot, so I lumped them together. He likes to eat and give Charlotte money. She’s sweet, but doesn’t really do much for Tiana either. “Gee, mom, a pot. Thanks.”
Didn’t make the list:
King Hubert- He’s fun, but he never really does anything good. In the last seconds, he’s still objecting. He’ll shut up for a second when a 16 year old kisses him, um, again, not a redeeming trait, old man.
Sultan- Way too obsessed with himself. And give your daughter a pet that’s not going to eat her.
Great Prince & Bami’s mom: Bambi’s mom is clearly amazing, but she wasn’t really a single parent, though she might as well have been. Clearly, their relationship was complicated. The Great Prince takes over as single dad, but an “I love you, Bambi” sure would go a long way.
I ran a poll on Facebook. And the winners on there?
2. Geppetto, Mrs. Jumbo, Nani
This is it, folk. With this, I’m am done with my Drinking Thru the Oscars project and watched every best picture winner. Next- Best Actresses. And my least favorite Oscar Best Picture…
85. Gigi, 1958 What is the point of this crap? It’s pretty. And the acting and singing was good, I guess. But there is almost no plot- certainly nothing of any depth at least. If it were a comedy, it would be okay, but it’s not funny either. It’s just dribble.
And the songs!! “The Night They Invented Campaign” is far from a classic. And Maurice Chevalier is cool as he is, but having a 70 year old dude sing “Thank god for Pretty Girls” to 12 year old girls in a park is creepy! And it beat “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof!” Tragedy!
Drinking Game: 1) Someone says the name “Gigi!” 2) A horse rides through a bar 3) Someone is wearing a feather in a color birds don’t come in. (If you watch this trailer, drink every time they call it “gay”- cause they ain’t lying)
84. Cavalcade, 1933 In these early movies, they really enjoyed spanning a spectrum of a generation, from just married to almost dead. In that time, we got to see how this rich family endured petty white people problems. I mean, I know there was war and stuff, but the matriarch, Jane Marryot, (played by Diana Wynyard) is just sitting there having pity party after pity party for herself. God, she sucked. But I can’t tell who sucked more, Jane the character or Diana the actress- it’s a toss-up.
They really covered a lot of time, Titanic, stock market crash… that was kind of fun. And you got to watch their servants a little and how their class changed over the same time. They should have spent more time on that.
Drinking Game: 1) Whenever Jane gives a monologue to some imaginary friend in the room 2) When one of the upper-class drinks and it’s respected or a lower-class drinks and they are depicted as scum 3) When blind guys make baskets
83. Grand Hotel, 1932 Oh, the grandeur. Oh, the shiny dresses. Oh, but I just don’t get the point? What happened? There’s a ballerina (Garbo) who can’t go on; wants to, but just can’t do it tonight. “I want to be left alone.” A secretary (Crawford) who wants to be an actress, but more than that, she wants to be a whore. You got a real rich guy (a Barrymore) and a poor guy (another Barrymore) who say to hell with the world, let’s spend money like we’re going to die tomorrow.
And they’re all staying in a really beautiful hotel evidently made of gold. And then I just kind of got mesmerized in the pretty sets and watching rich people be rich and stopped caring that there wasn’t much plot. Garbo is really fun to watch. And it feels so grand and fancy (which had to have been even more amazing in the middle of the Depression- and I would think kind of shitty too) There are a couple single-camera shots that are really beautiful.
Drinking Game: 1) It looks like it’s made of gold 2) Clearly, they have wondered outside of their social class 3) Every time you don’t have a clue what Greta Garbo just said.
82. Wings, 1927-28 When I was in high school, I worked at Paramount’s King’s Island outside of Cincinnati at a BBQ Ribs restaurant themed around the movie “Wings” (I still don’t have a clue what they had in common. If we’d have served buffalo wings, I’d get it, but we didn’t.) I watched a half hour of the flight footage on loop all summer long and wondered what the rest of the flick was. Well, turns out I’d been watching the best part.
The flight footage really is amazing by today’s standards. The planes are so cool and I have no idea how they filmed it so well. And all the actors did some of their own flying. Really cool. But the plot and silent-film style of acting don’t hold up today (as some do- Buster Keaton flicks rock, and of course Chaplin, and wait ‘til I get to praising Janet Gaynor when you read my “Best Actress” list forthcoming). It’s a basic story of 2 dudes and there are a couple girls, but they all like the wrong ones. Dudes go to war. Dudes have sex, maybe, and drink way too much, as dudes do. One dude is shot down, survives, steals an enemy plane and gets shot down by his dude buddy. Real melodramatic, past enjoyment, but cool planes.
Drinking Game: 1) Nudity!! (boobs and butts, but got to watch close, like I did) 2) 2 dudes kissing!! Really! (80 years before Brokeback Mountain) 3) Every time you have to read something
81. Tom Jones, 1963 I feel bad I didn’t like this flick more. It’s fun, quirky, so different. It’s like an expensive episode of Benny Hill. I appreciate the bawdiness. It felt like we were laughing at it the same way an audience would have reacted to the book or a stage adaptation of it a couple hundred years ago. Acting is fun- Albert Finney (who was probably drunk during shooting) is fun, Susannah York is always solid, and Albert Finney is sufficiently hot.
But I just didn’t find it funny. I felt like I needed to be watching it on the big screen, with a bunch of people, drunk, at midnight, dressed in scandalous costumes. It needs a cult following like “Rocky Horror”. But lots of fun cleavage. It’s the dude-comedy of ’63.
Drinking Game: As I said, you need to be really, really drunk to get into it, so every time you see cleavage or hear a sexual innuendo, drink and you should be just fine (if you really want to play save, take a shot when a harpsichord starts playing)
80. The Broadway Melody, 1928-29 “Broadway Melody” of ’29: They Talk! And sing a lot, and dance some, and… did I mention, they talk! It’s a silly little plot of two girls rising to stardom, but as a time capsule of the period; the clothes, the music, the culture- it’s really pretty awesome! As cheesy as the plot is, there’s something about the vibe that seems so real. When they get to jiving, they really jive. It feels like a precursor to beatniks and hippies in some fabulous kind of way.
There’s also a lot of great songs by George M. Cohan, especially the title song (watch the girls spanking the air behind the main guy singing- awesome) It’s just not much of a film by today’s standards. It was one of the first sound musicals, which was why it probably was considered so cool then as to win the second Oscar for best picture. And 1929 is considered one of the weakest years in film due to the chaos of studios trying to convert to sound and figure out what to do with it. Well, here’s one of the first attempts.
Drinking Game: 1) Is she wearing a turban? 2) Time to break out in song 3) Time to break out in dance (take a shot if their elbows stay permanently bent as they dance) 4) When a roaring-20’s female gets sassy.
79. Around the World in 80 Days, 1956 Thank god Mike Todd died before he was allowed to make another flick (Although maybe Debbie Reynolds might have been happier a bit longer.) I’m not sure what audiences of the day saw in this movie, except for the cameos. I believe Todd invented the term “cameo” for this film.
Every scene, in all 36 hours of it, has a handful of stars in bit parts, which is really fun. I’d love to see a movie do that today. But the actual film is just dumb. There is nothing at stake!! Ever! Shirley MacLaine is an Eastern Indian princess? Seriously? David Niven is fine, but nothing special. Standout performance is Mario Marino “Cantiflas”, changing the part from a French butler, as it is in the book, to Spanish so he could play the role; he’s well picked. His physical humor and subtle timing are great. “The King and I” totally should have won instead, or any of the others that year- “The Ten Commandments”, “Friendly Persuasion” or “Giant”. This movie sucks.
Drinking Game: 1) Where the hell we going to next? (new place) 2) Why the hell we go there? (transition makes no sense) 3) How the hell we getting there? (new mode of transportation) 4) Who the hell they supposed to be? (Caucasian plays another ethnicity)
78. The Best Years of Our Lives, 1946 This one is rough for me to pin-point what I didn’t like. And it’s an unpopular opinion. It is still considered one of the top 100 films of all time, but I just don’t think it holds up. And the fact that it won over “It’s a Wonderful Life”, one of the absolute greatest films of all time, is just a bitter pill for me to take. I get why it would have been popular in 1946.
We are coming off of a tremendous ‘win’ and patriotic history for America, but families were dealing with the harsh realities of the difficulties of men coming home. It was one of the first to really examine the issue. It works well in that we’ve got three men’s stories, so we get a nice ensemble and a variety of issues: disability, lack of work, family roles, not connecting with the same people anymore, depression… And the actors are good, especially Myrna Loy, Dana Andrews, and Cathy O’Donnell. But for dealing with such heavy issues, by today’s standards, they seem to barely skim the surface. Everyone seems to be acting rather than expressing any kind of emotional vulnerability. And their characters are defined mostly by their situation rather than being fleshed-out, real people.
Drinking Game: Whenever someone’s smile turns to a frown when no one is looking.
77. Rocky, 1976 It’s not a good movie. It really isn’t. “Taxi Driver” and “Network”, those are good movies (both of which it beat out for the Oscar). I know, you remember it from years ago, maybe as a kid, as giving you the feeling that you, too can conquer the world, but much like the after-school specials about not taking LSD or you’ll jump out of a school window like 15 year old Helen Hunt, this movie is a decent 1976 made-for-TV film at best. It’s got a great soundtrack, I give you that. But come on, can’t we all just laugh at Stallone by this point?
Drinking Game: 1)Rocky starts shadow boxing 2) Stallone tries being romantic 3) Someone says “Italian Stallion”