by West Coast Craig

KODAK THEATER, HOLLYWOOD – Only three weeks left in the NFL season, not even that many left in 2009…it’s time to stop thinking about the Christmas shopping and start thinking about who’s in the running for the playoffs in both football and the movies. So many things have to go right to reach this point, for both things: You need a combination of critical acclaim and box office appeal, a pedigree in previous winners and new blood, a mix of big market/studio productions and smaller, independent festival surprises. So, as I’m always looking to save a little time, I thought I’d combine the two and offer up my own obvious front runners:

Hurt Locker/Cincinnati – Never getting a wide release, not many people have seen the Bengals play this year, but the defense is the real deal…not to mention that the tension is also mounting about when the whole thing will explode in somebody’s face (like yesterday).

Up In The Air/Saints – Drew Brees giving his best performance in a feel good movie that’s become a critics’ darling…but which also may be peaking too soon and could be in for some backlash.

Inglorious Bastards/Colts – Perhaps the least convincing 13-0 team going, they’re a team full of long-winded but witty dialogue building to over-the-top action moments.


Up/Giants – Animated films are generally biased against, so the prospects may look a little bleak at the moment…but with ten nominations this year (and Dallas unable to win another game), a film about a cantankerous old coach, a lot of tear-jerking moments, and playoff hopes being suspended by balloons should find its way in there.

A Serious Man/Dolphins – Starring Rickey Williams in an existential search for the truth, the playoffs, and a better cleanse formula.

Precious/Chargers – A festival favorite with some big names behind it, but is it really any good?

Charger Girls take stage at NFL Awards

Avatar/Packers – 3-D mechanical soldiers fighting elf-like aliens…not much of a correlation, but could there be any higher anticipation for a possible playoff game against the Vikings? Get your tickets now.

Invictus/Vikings – It has a beloved old man with a solid track record at the helm, and looks like a winner on paper…but you have a feeling it’ll get predictable in the end.

Nine/Eagles – It was just a few years ago that musicals seemed to be a requisite in the finals, but does anybody really want to see them?

Where the Wild Things Are/Broncos – Critics and audiences were both a little mixed, but if you like it then you probably love it, and who better represents the idea of being a little boy who wants to run away but then learns a lesson than Brandon Marshall?

Star Trek/Cardinals – Is it possible for a fun, flighty, effects laden sci-fi action flick to get in there? It is when it comes out of the NFC West.

The Road/New England – Not as critically acclaimed as expected, based on a book that’s a few years old, and it would be very depressing in the end if they won.

    NFL/Hollywood photos added by MTM Edit Staff
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About West Coast Craig 226 Articles
West Coast Craig reports from Hollywood with an endearingly laid back style. A happily married father of two little boys, WCC has an avocado tree in his yard, plays the hot corner in a "Valley" hardball league and always manages to take cool sports-related mini road-trips, often with his immediate clan. He hails from Oneonta, NY but has been "So very L.A." for twenty years, so his sports teams are the Yankees AND the Dodgers, the Pittsburgh Steelers, the L.A. Lakers and the Colorado Avalanche/Quebec Nordiques. WCC loves bacon-wrapped hotdogs and can touch his heel and his ear... with his hand.