by West Coast Craig
KODAK THEATER, HOLLYWOOD â€“ Only three weeks left in the NFL season, not even that many left in 2009â€¦itâ€™s time to stop thinking about the Christmas shopping and start thinking about whoâ€™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 Iâ€™m always looking to save a little time, I thought Iâ€™d combine the two and offer up my own obvious front runners:
Hurt Locker/Cincinnati â€“ Never getting a wide release, not many people have seen the Bengals play this year, but the defense is the real dealâ€¦not to mention that the tension is also mounting about when the whole thing will explode in somebodyâ€™s face (like yesterday).
Up In The Air/Saints â€“ Drew Brees giving his best performance in a feel good movie thatâ€™s become a critics’ darlingâ€¦but which also may be peaking too soon and could be in for some backlash.
Inglorious Bastards/Colts â€“ Perhaps the least convincing 13-0 team going, theyâ€™re a team full of long-winded but witty dialogue building to over-the-top action moments.
Up/Giants â€“ 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 â€“ Starring Rickey Williams in an existential search for the truth, the playoffs, and a better cleanse formula.
Precious/Chargers â€“ A festival favorite with some big names behind it, but is it really any good?
Charger Girls take stage at NFL Awards
Avatar/Packers â€“ 3-D mechanical soldiers fighting elf-like aliensâ€¦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 â€“ It has a beloved old man with a solid track record at the helm, and looks like a winner on paperâ€¦but you have a feeling itâ€™ll get predictable in the end.
Nine/Eagles â€“ 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 â€“ 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 â€“ 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 â€“ Not as critically acclaimed as expected, based on a book thatâ€™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