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May or may not be spoilers ahead

In preparation for tomorrow night's Academy awards, I watched two of the nominated films today on DVD. Then I took a nap and woke up thinking the red carpets were on which, of course, it was only Saturday. (I also thought when I woke up that Big Daddy had cleaned the kitchen while I slept but, alas, that too was only a dream.)

I had avoided watching "The Departed" because I don't really do violence. Turns out it wasn't all that bad (except for, you know, all the people that got shot in the head). I was really impressed by this movie and I think there's a conspiracy if Marty doesn't win an Oscar for it. I recently watched "Raging Bull" on the classic film network and that man is seriously long overdue. Not just that, but he's earned it this time. This film (IMHO) is better than Aviator and Gangs of NY and I like it a whole lot better than Goodfellas (now there's some violence for you).

The acting in that movie was superb too. I guess it started with my crush on good ole' Will Hunting, but I think a tough guy with a Boston southie accent is just hot. There were an awful lot of people getting back to their Irish roots in that film, but I think Marky Mark and Leo were the real standouts. Jack, I mean really? Does he ever play anyone but Jack? The man has absolutely no range. Alec Baldwin I never used to like when he was married to that tramp Kim Bassinger, but I'm liking him more & more the more I see him. Maybe I'll start watching that 30 Rock or whatever Tina Fey's show is called.

I also watched "Babel," which is one I've been anxious to see. I was 20 minutes into the movie before I realized that the DVD defaults to no subtitles but that there are in fact subtitles if you want to turn them on and just because the movie is called "Babel" doesn't mean you're not supposed to understand three quarters of it.

I'm not sure what this movie hoped to inspire in its viewers but for me, it brought out the mama lion. It was impossibly hard to see children innocently start an international incident, left behind in a Mexican border desert, and starved for human affection.

And poor Richard Jones. First his wife gets shot by a stray bullet in the desert of Morocco while they're there trying to get over the SIDS death of their third child, then Immigration calls from San Diego because his illegal housekeeper has taken his two children to Mexico and they all nearly die in the desert trying to get back into California. The man is not having a good week. Plus the nanny was deported so on top of everything else he has to find new domestic help when he gets back in the states.

I picked "Babel" to "pull a 'Crash'" at the Globes and I'm sticking with it for tomorrow night as well. It was an excellent film, strong and thought-provoking. And there were no rats in it, so it gets bonus points right there from me for that.