Oscar Live-Blog 2016

7:49: Welcome to the 2016 Oscars live blog, everyone! It’s an annual tradition on par with other things that I only do once a year due to abject laziness, such as cleaning my apartment.

Perusing last year’s post — which is available to re-read directly below this one because I only blog once a year — I am pleased to report that my risotto wound scar has healed; my exercise ball has been used like 6 times since I last blogged; I have continued my self-imposed ban on red carpet shows featuring Giuliana Rancic (sweet freedom); and I still hate Birdman.

Seguing to this year’s award nominees: I have seen and loved Spotlight, Room and The Martian; I have seen and been awed by Mad Max: Fury Road (more admiration than love, but lots of the former); I have not seen but expect to like Brooklyn, The Big Short and Bridge of Spies; and I cannot remember a film I have had less desire to see than The Revenant. I don’t care if it wins Best Picture, and I don’t care what raw liver thing Leonardo DiCaprio ate.

Anywho, back at 8:30 for more thoughts. Join me, won’t you?

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Oscars Live Blog

7:10: I wasn’t going to live-blog the Oscars this year. I’m rusty at blogging, my computer enjoys stalling at crucial moments just to toy with my sanity, and I have a cold and have just come off of a week of intense party planning. So maybe I’ll just lay low and watch from home this year, with Nyquil, leftover birthday cake and beer. (In no particular order.)

Oh hey, did you hear that the Oscars are doing a salute to movie musicals this year, which only happens to be my favorite genre? And there will be real live performances of some of the best movie musical numbers of all time?

Okay, fine. FINE. Damn you, Academy, consider your bait taken.

Back at 8:30 with cake, beer and a quasi-functional laptop. Enjoy the red carpet, b-rollers.

8:30: Ladies and gentlemen, Seth MacFarlane! He makes Tommy Lee Jones laugh on the first attempt! TLJ clearly took his Xanax this evening.

8:31: Annndddd we leap right in to the jokes. Apparently we have to sprint through a monologue to get immediately to the musical numbers.

8:32: A Jean Dujardin joke! It’s a little mean, thank God he barely speaks English.

8:33: Is there a laugh track? The Coppola joke was kinda lame, and yet garnered a huge laugh. I call shenanigans. (Or maybe they installed a laugh track after the Franco/Hathaway debacle.)

8:35: I was expecting a lot of star cameos. I did not see Shatner getting the primo spot. I mean, I’ve seen Shatner recently on ads for local law firms.

8:36: “Why can’t Tina and Amy host everything?” Amen, Shatner. Amen.

8:38: If Channing Tatum doesn’t turn this into a striptease, I WILL BURN THIS PLACE DOWN.

8:40: But damn, I can’t deny a good fox trot.

8:41: I’m ashamed of how much I enjoy sock puppets.

8:42: I would watch Joseph Gordon-Levitt in anything. Which I kinda did in 2012, since he was in every damn movie.

8:46: Maybe not so much with the Joaquin Phoenix cutaways, Oscar director. He’s the only guy who could out-grumpy Tommy Lee.

8:49: Best Supporting Actor goes to Christoph Waltz. I have yet to see Django Unchained, but have the general feeling that this performance was Inglourious Basterds’ Colonel Landa 2.0. Am I wrong, b-rollers?

8:51: Jack Nicholson is wearing his own sunglasses and Pee Wee Herman’s tie. So that is happening. (more…)

Emmy Live Blog!

Hello folks! (I know, my last post was on the Olympics. Let’s just accept that I suck at this “blogging consistently” thing.) However, I simply can’t miss the opportunity to live blog an awards show, so let’s watch (and judge) the Emmys together, shall we? Excellent! Check back at 7:45ish and we’ll get this party started. Feel free to share predictions in the comments.

7:43: Welcome, b-rollers! A few highlights from the red carpet, which I’ve been watching haphazardly for the last two hours:

  • Hey, did you know that Giuliana Rancic had a baby? (I know, she’s really kept that under wraps.) Well, God help any celebrities who wish to discuss their Emmy nominations; “the joy of new parenthood” is the only topic available for discussion this evening.
  • Giuliana asked Jena Malone if it’s difficult keeping the plot of the second Hunger Games movie under wraps. Considering it’s based on a best-selling novel read by millions worldwide, I think that ship may have sailed, G.
  • The E! ticker at the bottom of the screen is presenting information such as “Amy Poehler thinks that ‘Climax’ by Usher is the best makeout song” without any further context, and I’d really like to know more about this, please. (The conversation between my roommate and I: “Who’s she making out with, anyway?” “Clearly not Will Arnett.“)
  • I contemplated ordering takeout, then remembered the live blog debacle of yesteryear in which my food arrived during a Neil Patrick Harris medley. Related: Campbell’s Italian wedding soup and Cheez Its is a much tastier combo than you’d think. Is Top Chef accepting applications?
  • Congratulations to E! for creating the “ManiCam,” in which talented actors and actresses stick their hands inside a shoebox  with a webcam and are reduced to Thing from The Addams Family. I totally tuned in so that I could see a close-up of Jane Krakowski’s fingernails. Well done, E!
  • Themes of the red carpet (besides Giuliana’s new baby): Gray, seafoam, plunging necklines and soft gauze overlay. I’m banking this information for my next Old Navy visit.

Who’s your best-dressed so far, b-rollers?

8:04: Anyone else feel like that concept lost steam at the 90 second mark? I think Mrs. Coach made it watchable. Humble opinion.

8:05: First Philo T. Farnsworth reference! Drink! (Kidding.) But seriously, first Honey Boo Boo reference. Drink!

8:07: For the record, I’m already wearing my fat pants.

8:08: That was an awfully lackadaisical monologue, no? Does Jimmy Kimmel have an early call time tomorrow or something?

8:11: No nominee clips this year? I realize that will shorten the show, but it will also make it about 15% less interesting.

8:12: And Eric Stonestreet wins Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy for Modern Family. What are the odds he Ving Rhames this thing and gives it to Ed O’Neill?

8:16: I’d rate the first 15 minutes of this show as “underwhelming.” (As is the live blog so far, I’m a little rusty. But in my defense, Jimmy Kimmel clearly is too.) (more…)

Talk Amongst Yourselves

Remember that long-promised Oscar post, about which films deserved to win the Best Picture prize and which were snubbed? Well, I have been researching the crap out of it, b-rollers. For you. And I have come to the following four conclusions:

  1. Opinions about movies are subjective and intensely personal. Remember this old chestnut of logic and emotional maturity? It’s worth revisiting. Different people like different movies to a different degree, and at times, you will say, “Wait, THAT won? Really?!” Yes, really. We’re allowed to disagree.
  2. Speaking of, there have always been “egregious” oversights. DEAL WITH IT.
    To those who hollered “For SHAME!” over The Social Network‘s loss to The King’s Speech or The Artist’s win over The Descendents (et al): This has always happened. You know what else lost? Apocalypse Now to Kramer vs. Kramer. E.T. to freaking Ghandi. Know what wasn’t even nominated? Singin’ in the Rain, The Seven Samurai and Some Like It Hot. Know what WAS nominated? Babe, Four Weddings and a Funeral (which I like, for the record, but honestly?), and Master and Commander: The Far Side of the Universe. Of the Top 20 films on IMDb’s Top 250 (as rated by users), a third were Best Picture winners (6), a third were nominated but didn’t win (7), and a third weren’t even nominated (7). The good ones will thrive anyway. This is not a national tragedy.
  3. That reminds me: if you want a Best Picture nomination, make a tragic film; if you can’t, make an epic film. If you can make an epic laced with tragedy, book a limo and tux. Did you ever see that episode of Extras when Kate Winslet made a Holocaust film because that was the one sure way to win an Oscar? Them’s the facts.
  4. In a related story, it’s not (just) that Oscar voters lack a sense of humor. More than anything, they lack a sense of adventure. Sure, there’s an astounding lack of recognition of comedic films and performances; that’s well-documented. But it’s amazing to see all of the innovative (and sometimes, admittedly bizarre) work that was passed over in favor of traditional, Oscar-bait dramas. In 2000, neither The Matrix nor Fight Club was nominated for Best Picture – but thank God The Cider House Rules locked down a spot.

So, now that we’re primed with some examples, let’s dive in! I’ve based these on years that I feel comfortable judging, having seen most or all of the nominated films; as always, these opinions are mine and mine alone. Feel free to disagree, and I thoroughly look forward to hearing your reactions, b-rollers. Onward! (more…)

Best in Show: 2012 Oscars Edition

Happy Monday, folks! I hope that you’re less sleep-deprived than I am today. Let’s do a quick Oscar recap, as I’m hoping to get a nap in before The Voice airs tonight, which only reinforces how squarely I’m in the Oscars’ demographic.

Now, first things first: I went 14 for 24 in my Oscar picks, losing in most of the tech/short film categories. I did not anticipate Hugo sweeping ALL of the tech awards, and most of my short film picks were blind guesses. I won’t get too upset. (How’d you do?)

And now a few other thoughts:

  • Host: I’ve read some backlash against Billy Crystal this morning, and frankly, I’m surprised. Folks, what did you expect? He sang a medley, he put himself into each Oscar movie, he cracked some jokes about baseball and George Clooney, and he generally worked the room like a comedian. Which is, you know, what he is, and how he’s hosted the past eight times. But he was consistently funny; maybe not gut-busting, but I laughed several times, and I’m not expecting my Oscar hosts to completely alter the face of entertainment. That’s pretty much all I need. Some laughs.
  • Upsets: Not so many, really; when Meryl Streep is considered an “upset,” it’s not exactly a year of surprises. I almost picked Woody Allen’s screenplay for Midnight in Paris – remember, it was my “Should Win”? – but I chickened out. That’s on me. Apparently the editing award going to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was a shock to those who really know these things, but at that point, we’re splitting the hairs awfully fine for the rest of us.
  • Best and Worst Dressed: Jessica Chastain’s dress grew on me as the night wore on; it was really quite stunning, and I’m sure that gold thread was amazing in person. As for the worst, well, it’s never a good idea to wear a shirt-dress to the Oscars, even – nay, particularly – when it’s covered in two-toned sequins. Sorry, Melissa Leo.
  • Thank you, Internet: Okay, two things: First of all, Angelina Jolie’s right leg now has its own Twitter feed. Also, this happened. Maybe I’m just overly tired, but I think these are wonderful developments. Secondly, if you were waiting for a bat-you-know-what story to emerge from the Oscar festivities, I bring you “Sean Young arrested after Oscars, faces misdemeanor battery charges after citizen’s arrest at Governor’s Ball.” Do with it what you will.

What were your thoughts, b-rollers?

It’s the Oscars! Live Blog

8:30: Here we go! Morgan Freeman comes out first, which is a much classier intro than I was expecting.

8:31: George Clooney kissing Billy Crystal?! Oh, so beautifully played. Also, way more interesting than The Descendents.

8:32: “I’m here to get you the 18-24 demographic.” That’s the only time it’s acceptable to integrate Justin Bieber.

8:35: “Showtime.” Welcome back, Billy.

8:36: After last year’s debacle, I’m surprised the audience isn’t leaping out of their chairs and charging the stage. Especially since they keep showing the older audience members, who look, let’s just say, appreciative.

8:37:”The Chapter 11 Theatre.” An inside baseball joke that totally made me laugh.

8:38: I could watch Jean Dujardin smile broadly for hours. Of course, I saw The Artist, so I kinda did.

8:39: Martin Scorsese’s tween daughter looks underwhelmed by Billy Crystal’s medley. She’s probably the only person who misses James Franco and Anne Hathaway.

8:41: Tom Hanks comes on to present our first awards! Moving right along, eleven minutes into the show.

8:43: First up: Cinematography. Way to start with the sexy awards, producers. Robert Richardson wins for Hugo, which I totally called! (Here are all of my picks, for your easy perusal.)

8:44: And we move on to Art Direction. Again, we couldn’t have started with something more interesting? Not knocking the art directors, but we’d all like to know what Christopher Plummer and Octavia Spencer have to say. (more…)

Oscar Red Carpet Live Blog

5:30: Welcome to the E! Red Carpet, b-rollers! We have three hours of this, then a three and a half hour Oscar show. Oh my holy God, what have I gotten myself into. Well, let’s dig in, shall we? Seacrest, IN.

5:31: Ryan Seacrest breaks the news that Bradley Cooper and Zoe Saldana may appear tonight for the first time as a couple. Neither of them is nominated for anything, but thank God we have this information.

5:33: Giuliana is wearing a dress that is a little Bjork’s swan-ish for my taste, but she still looks lovely. And I am hungry just looking at her.

5:34: It’s not possible that the guy sharing Kelly Osbourne’s red carpet position is Armie Hammer’s slightly less-handsome and probably gay twin, is it?

5:35: Giuliana is on a platform interviewing the eleven year old who played George Clooney’s other daughter in The Descendents. So, for the record: No, no one has arrived at the Oscar red carpet yet. Carry on with your normal lives, people. I’ll keep you posted.

5:37: Ross Matthews is strategically posted next to a pool somewhere, so he ought to get the really good interviews. Ah, his job tonight is to monitor social media, which can also be done by ourselves on a home computer or smartphone. The fine folks at E! really question the intelligence of their home audience.

5:39: At the first commercial break, we get an ad for the 3D re-release of Titanic. Lots of folks who remember me breathlessly seeing it four times (and sobbing copiously) in the winter of ’97-98 have asked me if I’ll be seeing it again this year. Uh, no. I was 15 then. I now know it’s not that great. But thank you for asking.

5:41: As I informed my roommate that the other girl from The Descendents was being interviewed, she said, “What was her character’s name? Scout? Scooter?” It was Scottie, but I would’ve liked that movie 28% more if her name had been Scooter.

5:42: Kermit and Miss Piggy are there! And Ryan admits that he is as tall as the Muppets. I KNEW IT!

5:44: Penelope Ann Miller is a smart cookie; she shows up at 5:40 and gets five solid minutes of interview time with Seacrest. I look forward to Jean Dujardin getting nudged aside for Brangelina after twelve seconds at 8:15.

5:45: Brian Grazer is giving us a tour of the Oscar backstage. I wish I had more interesting information for you than “really big film reels onstage,” but this is significantly less interesting than it ought to be.

5:47: Armie Hammer’s little brother is apparently an Oscar expert named Ben. I would like to know more, please. Could we maybe get a graphic with his name and credentials? Thanks so much.

5:49: A John Carter commercial! Yes, I will mention every single one, because I heart Tim Riggins. I actually tried to convince a friend to see the movie with me by saying, “I cannot stress enough how little shirt he’s wearing.” (more…)