Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A Pre-Oscar Film Fest at Fully Booked

I can't think of a better way to spend the weekend or a weeknight with friends or family than to catch a classic film in a movie theater. I haven't done this in a while. It seems so much easier to pop a DVD in the player, but in all honesty, nothing beats watching films in a movie theater. In fact, this is exactly what I plan to do on the last week of February 2011.

I'm no expert, but I do appreciate films with interesting plot twists, great acting, and exceptional cinematography, and I am especially interested in the films that were made before I was born. As my grandfather puts it when he sees most new films: "They just don't make actors like they used to." I know it sounds a little biased, considering how many gifted actors there are today, but I suppose living up to the legends that are Charlton Heston or Marlon Brando would faze anyone, regardless of talent. And there is no way I would tell my grandfather otherwise since I love him to pieces plus, he'll give me a lecture I won't forget. As I was saying before my grandfather interrupted, I'm in for a movie marathon to end all movie marathons this Feb 24-27, 2011. I plan to watch at least one awesome classic a day, and the good news is: so can you!

In anticipation for the 83rd Academy Awards, Fully Booked is holding a Pre-Oscar Film Fest in U-View, its 62-seater theater, located at the Basement level of the Bonifacio High Street branch on February 24-28, 2011. Four classic films, all past Oscar winners and nominees for one category or the other, will be shown beginning Thursday (February 24). The best part (besides the awesome lineup) is that its absolutely free of charge!

First up is 1959's Ben-Hur, which stars the great Charlton Heston as Judah Ben-Hur. This is a film adaptation of the book Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ by Lew Wallace. This film went on to win a grand total of 11 Academy Awards (a first in Oscar history), including Best Leading Actor and Best Supporting Actor (another first), Best Motion Picture, Best Cinematography (color). 

I was quite young when I watched this film. What I can remember clearly is the chariot race scene where Messala gets trampled by the horses (My dad tried to cover my eyes during this scene. He failed.). I'm definitely going to watch this again because I'm sure it will make more sense to me now that I'm older, and I'll be able to appreciate the many reasons this is considered the stuff of film legend. 

(Blogger's note: This movie is definitely NOT for kids (PG-13), unless you're with your parents. There's quite a lot of violence.) Check out the screening schedule below:

Next is Its a Wonderful Life, a wonderful movie directed by Frank Capra in 1946, starring James Stewart and Donna Reed. The film is based on the short story "The Greatest Gift," penned by Philip Van Doren Stern.

Though Its a Wonderful Life never won any awards, it was nominated and dubbed by the American Film Institute as the number one most inspirational American film of all time. Here is the trailer:

I've never seen this film, but my grandfather loves this movie. I've made up my mind to bring him along when I watch this. He says that this is probably the most moving film he has ever seen. I guess this is what started him on his fascination for angel films. He loved Powder (My grandfather and I are convinced to this day that Powder is an angel. I think it was the final scene that did it.)but thinks John Travolta played his most annoying role yet in Michael, which had a lot of American religious groups─and my grandfather─up in arms

Here is the screening schedule, and the film is rated PG:

Third on the list is On the Waterfront, a 1954 film directed by Elia Kazan starring the great Marlon Brando (one of my favorite actors). This film won a total of eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, and of course, Best Actor. 

I've always enjoyed mobster flicks. From Godfather I and II (I disliked III to be honest) to Goodfellas to The Untouchables and even Married to the Mob where Michelle Pfeiffer plays the widow of a mafioso with an FBI agent and a mafia boss both competing for her affections. I've never seen On the Waterfront, but I'd be a fool to pass up this opportunity to catch Marlon Brando not as the kingpin I'm accustomed to) but as an average bloke named Terry Malloy, who decides to stand up to the mob boss (played by Lee J. Cobb).

This film definitely calls for parental supervision due to pretty bloody scenes. Here is the screening schedule:

And last but certainly not least on the list is the original True Grit, a 1969 Western with John Wayne as the eye-patched U.S. Marshal Reuben Rooster J. Cogburn who helps young Mattie Ross avenge the murder of her father. In one of the scenes Mattie addresses Rooster Cogburn: "They tell me you're a man with true grit," and thus the title. Robert Duvall and Dennis Hopper have roles in the film as gang leader Ned Pepper and a horse thief named Moon, respectively. John Wayne won the Academy Award for Best Actor (and a Golden Globe).

The 2010 remake by the Coen brothers (Big Lebowski, Fargo, and No Country for Old Men) has been nominated for no less than 10 Academy Awards for the upcoming 83rd Oscars. Jeff Bridges (who plays the dude in Big Lebowski, go figure) plays Rooster J. Cogburn and Hailee Steinfeld plays Mattie Ross. (This role earned her a nomination for Best Supporting Actress) The film also features Matt Damon as Texas Ranger La Boeuf, who aids Mattie and Cogburn. Here is the 2010 trailer, featuring Johnny Cash's version of the traditional American folk anthem "God's Gonna Cut You Down":

This film is rated PG. See the screening times below:



  1. How can I get invites or is it first-come-first-serve?

  2. It is on a first-come-first-serve basis :)