Tag Archives: award shows

Leonard Nimoy (1931-2015)

Most people knew him as Mr. Spock, but I'll remember Leonard Nimoy best as the host of the spooky-ass TV show In Search Of. Man, I can't even begin to tell you how many sleepless nights my brother and I spent watching that show. The creepy theme music and archival footage was scary enough, but it was Nimoy's voice that really killed us. Whew, that show scared the shit out of us, especially when we watched it on my Mom's old B&W TV. Terrifying!

The Bigfoot and various UFO episodes were probably the most memorable, but, it was the Bermuda Triangle episode that seriously haunted my dreams. I actually lived in mortal fear of being sucked into the Bermuda Triangle for years. In fact, I still get creeped out every time I fly over water. But, hey, don't take my word for it. Check out the clip and see for yourself! So scary!

I actually met Nimoy a couple of years back at the 36th Annual Saturn Awards. I think he was there for some sort of Lifetime Acheivement award or something. Anyway I took a picture with him afterwards and he was one of the sweetest, most gracious celebrities I've ever met. Which was kind of shocking considering that he spent most of his life no doubt hounded by crazy Trekkies and film geeks like me. Not only was he friendly, cool and totally down-to-earth, but Nimoy was genuinely nice to boot. I met a lot of cool folks that night, but he was my favorite.

Thanks for all the memories, Mr. Nimoy. You will be missed…

 

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Oscar Ads (2015)

Forget the Super Bowl, man. This year’s Academy Awards telecast had three of the coolest, funniest and most heartfelt commercials I’ve seen all year. And best of all they came in one big beautiful clump up near the front of the show, you know, when people were still watching the Oscars! Here are my three favorite Oscar ads just in case you missed them. Enjoy!

 

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Oscar Party Food (2015)

This year we had our smallest Oscar party ever with just three partygoers in attendance. Actually, if you count the Barbie and Monster High dolls Greta plopped down in chairs near the TV there were actually seven. Either way, it was probably my favorite Oscar party ever.

We had Oscar nominee crafts for Greta, loads of fun Oscar nominee-themed candy (my favorite were the Nerds Rope for The Theory of Everything and The Imitation Game and the Whoppers for all the historical innaccuracies in the Best Picture nominees!) and a big bowl of taco salad to support all of the Mexican and Latino nominees this year.

That said, I must admit that we both loathed Best Picture winner Birdman with a passion. Oy, talk qbout art with a capital “A”…so annoying. And that score, my God, it was such a struggle sitting through that crap. And we watched it at home too! I can't even fathom seeing Birdman in an actual theatre. Yikes…

The worst thing is that if what Birdman director Alejandro G. Iñárritu said about good luck charms actually working is true, I fear that our taco salad may have had a hand in bringing that lunatic three Oscars last night. Guess we should have followed our first instinct and gone with all kid-themed food for Boyhood. Oh well…there's always next year.

Oh, and by the way, Nerds Rope are ahmazing! So yummy! And they seemed to work a little magic last night for the nerd movies too, so, hooray for Nerds!

 

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Beck: “Morning Phase”

Alright, at first I thought this whole Kayne West vs. Beck at the Grammys thing was kind of funny and just further proof of what a total fucking idiot Mr. West really is. But after spending just about every waking minute since Sunday night listening and re-listening to Morning Phase — which I got for Christmas and is already right up there with Mutations and Sea Change as one of my favorite Beck albums of all time — I’m done thinking it’s funny. And actually, I’m kinda pissed.

Morning Phase is a gorgeous, shimmering piece of folksy pop/rock perfection. Seriously, I want to just close my eyes and dive into some of those songs, this is Beck on overdrive and this album is freaking glorious on every level. And for anyone, anywhere to even remotely suggest that this lush, sensual album for the ages is in any way not Grammy-worthy is just fucking crazy. Yeah, I know, I dropped two F-bombs in one blog post, sue me.

The other thing that really irks me is that Beyoncé (who, by the way, is totally blameless here. It’s not her fault Kayne is an asshat!) already has a staggering 20 Grammys to her name. In fact, she is the most nominated female artist in Grammy history and the second most honored female artist at the Grammys like, ever. Trust me, Sasha Fierce don’t need no more Grammys.

By comparison, Beck has won six career Grammys. Six! When Star Wars: Episode VII opens this May there will be more Star Wars movies than Grammys with the name Beck on them in the world. And as much as I love me some Star Wars, that is just plain crazy.

So, even though this will cost me another quarter in the swear jar at home, I gotta say it: go fuck yourself, Kanye! Whew, I feel so much better. Thanks. Now, if you haven’t already checked out 2014’s Album of the Year, get stepping. It’s amazing!

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Oscar Nominees 2015

OK, let’s just start with the biggest upset of the morning, no LEGO Movie Oscar nomination for Best Animated Feature? What the hell?! To steal a line that has been tweeting around the internet all morning: everything is NOT awesome. Seriously, even the Best Original Song nomination for the film’s crazy-addictive “Everything is Awesome” can’t numb the pain of losing out on what many considered to be sure bet for Best Animated Feature. Wow…still totally shocked.

Also very disappointed to see Nightcrawler’s Jake Gyllenhaal and Rene Russo overlooked in the acting categories. They both deserved serious consideration for their stellar work in the film, but, I am thrilled to see it score a Best Original Screenplay nod for writer/director Dan Gilroy. Nightcrawler was one of my favorite films last year and I’m definitely rooting for Gilroy to take home the gold, so, rock on, dude!

If I had one major gripe — aside from the two mentioned above — it’s that the Academy showered so much love and so many nominations on movies that, in my mind, were just OK. I mean, seriously, Whiplash and Foxcatcher for Best Picture? Yikes…

And while I’m delighted to see J.K. Simmons finally getting some Oscar love for his kick-ass turn in Whiplash, I gotta say, the rest of the movie is completely overrated. A total “actors movie” with a lot of showy stuff going on but not much else. Same thing with Foxcatcher. Again, very happy to see Steve Carrell finally snare a richly-deserved Best Actor nod, but, beyond the acting the movie was a mess and the fact that it scored Best Adapted Screenplay and Director nods is completely flabbergasting. Wow…

On the plus side, I actually yelped out loud (OK, more like screamed) when Laura Dern’s name was read in the Best Supporting Actress category. She gave an absolutely transcendent performance in Wild and if you ask me, this is her time to shine. She was the heart and soul of the film and literally lit up the screen with her powerful, soulful work. I think she was my favorite nomination this morning. Very excited for her!

I’m also totally stoked to see Boyhood continuing it’s climb to the top in a very chaotic award season. This movie has haunted me more than any other this year and I’m hoping it wins everything it’s nominated for. And yes, I know that means Patricia Arquette would beat Laura Dern in the Best Supporting Actress race, but, hey, there’s room for more than badass mother performance, so, I’m hoping for a tie!

Another cool surprise was the Best Original Song nomination for “Lost Stars” from another one of my favorite films last year, Begin Again. That movie was amazing and even if they didn’t get nominated for their performances in the film, I’m gonna pretend that Kiera Knightley and Mark Ruffalo’s Oscar nominations this morning — for The Imitation Game and Foxcatcher, respectively — were for that movie instead. Either way, glad the stodgy old Academy remembered this lovely film.

And speaking of memory (I know, nice transition here, sorry) I am so excited to see Julianne Moore in the Best Actress race for her career-best work in Still Alice. That movie devastated me and her performance is definitely the stuff Oscar gold is made of. And if you ask me, it’s about freaking time Moore takes home an Academy Award. No one even came close to her this year…she’s probably the one sure bet this season and she deserves everything she gets. Rock on, red!

And even though Guardians of the Galaxy missed out on a Best Picture nomination, it did score a Writers Guild of America nomination last week and picked up two Oscar nods this morning as well. One for Best Visual Effects, (go, Groot!) and one for Best Make-up and Hairstyling (go, Gamora!) so, I’m not complaining. On a related note, it was very cool to see something other than stuffy English period films in the Best Costume Design category with Maleficent and Inherent Vice picking up surprise and totally deserving nominations. Rock on, crazy Maleficent horns!

Speaking of Inherent Vice, even though I only liked the first hour of the film (which is perfect!) and it descended into total madness in the second half, I have to admit I am glad to see writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson nominated in the Best Adapted Screenplay category. Knowing Oscar voters, who have a rich history of rewarding people for the wrong movies, Anderson, who should have won for Boogie Nights, Magnolia and There Will Be Blood, will finally win an Oscar for his work here.

The bad news is that two really deserving writers got totally shut out in Anderson’s Adapted Screenplay category. Novelist Nick Hornby’s script for Wild was incredible and deeply moving. And though I haven’t seen it yet, Gilian Flynn’s adaptation of her novel Gone Girl is supposed to be pretty badass too. Sadly, their slots got taken by the likes of total groaners like Foxcatcher and Whiplash instead. Oy…makes me want to groan again.

And finally, even though Bradley Cooper knocked Jake Gyllenhaal out of the Best Actor race, Cooper gave one of the best male performances of the year in American Sniper and I was really glad to see the film pick up so many nods this year. It’s a really great flick with a, pardon my French, fucking doozy of an ending. Amazing!

OK, that’s all for now. You can find a complete list of this year’s nominees here. And, as always, I’m dying to hear what you guys think of this year’s crop of nominees, so, comment away!

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Oscar Night Breakdown

Sorry for not writing about our Oscar party earlier, but, have spent most of this week recovering from what was a very busy weekend. Went to see a friend in a play on Saturday night and then spent Sunday cleaning the house for our annual Oscar party. Then we had the party, which was great — the Frankenweenie pigs in a blanket, French cheeses and bread for Les Miserables, and the blood-spattered Lincoln cake seemed to be the crowd favorites! — and then spent the rest of the night re-cleaning the house. Good times.

Actually, it really was. An old friend of ours was at the party and I haven’t watched the Oscars with her since Marisa Tomei won back in the day, so, we had a lot of fun. And despite the fact that she was probably desperately over-tired from the events of the weekend, Greta was a dream child through the entire show. And then, just as Michelle Obama was about to announce the Best Picture winner (by the way, what the hell was that all about? I love me some FLOTUS, but, that shit was just awkward…yikes!) Greta suddenly flipped out and DEMANDED attention. It was the weirdest thing.

Lincoln Oscar Party cake (2013)

And though I tried my best to shuffle her off to her bedroom to silence the demon (seriously, she was shrieking!), even with the door closed, I knew everyone at that party was getting an earful. What really killed me was that if she’d just held on, like three minutes longer, the show would have ended and I could have showered her with attention. As it was, I ended up watching the tail end of the show later and comforting Greta instead. A small price to pay when my favorite movie won. Go, Argo!

Of course, once all the singletons and childless guests left — the type you hope will not fixate on the ten minutes your kid was bad and focus instead on the three-plus hours when she was a party host’s dream! — Greta was back to her old charming self. Guess she just needed to let off some steam. Oh, and speaking of, Greta also inherited a gigantic foot locker full of Thomas the Train trains and enough wooden tracks to cover our living room floor in, well, wooden tracks. So, that was great too. And it kept her super busy during the show, so, thank you upstairs neighbor, Ed. You rock!

As for the show itself, I was very pleased with all the winners. I hate when one movie dominates the night (yeah, I’m talking to you, The Artist) so, it was fun to see the wealth so evenly distributed throughout the show. And though he’s getting slammed in the press, I actually thought Seth MacFarlane was an awesome host. He was hip, funny, and despite a few off color moments — the Boobs song bothered me much less than the frat-boyish jabs at women never letting things go — he was never boring, which is the greatest sin an Oscar host can commit! So, if you ask me, moving forward the Academy needs to decide what they really want in an Oscar host: someone edgy, out-there and possibly offensive? Or someone who’s stately, traditional and totally boring. Because, as the past few years have proved, you can’t have it all, baby.

Anyway, love to hear what you guys thought of the show, so, comment away…

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2013 Golden Globe Nominees

Seeing as I was already up working, I figured I’d stay up a few minutes more to hear this year’s list of Golden Globe Nominees. Despite some really great movies in contention this year, I haven’t been exactly thrilled (or, more accurately, surprised) by any of the movies being nominated by critics groups and such so far.

The Screen Actor’s Guild (SAG) announced their nominations yesterday and it was a total snooze, nothing new on the TV front (Glee for Best Comedy Ensemble?! Have you watched that show lately? Yikes!) and nothing too totally unexpected on the movie front either. Although, it was nice to see Naomi Watts score a SAG Lead Actress nomination for her superb work in The Impossible, even if they left poor Ewan McGregor off their list (again!). I swear to God, if McGregor goes totally empty-handed again this award season after his career-best (which is saying a lot!) work in The Impossible, I’m gonna be really pissed. He has been overlooked for too long, man, give the Jedi his due!

Ooo…hot damn! Someone’s ears must have been burning. Megan Fox (!) just announced that Ewan McGregor snagged a Golden Globe nomination, not for The Impossible, but, for Salmon Fishing In The Yemen. Haven’t seen it yet, but, hey, I’ll take it. Good on you, Ewan! Also congrats to Emily Blunt for her nomination for the same film. I love her in anything, so, even if the movie sucks, glad to see her getting some award season love!

Also happy to see Argo score a bunch of major nods (although I wish there was room for both Alan Arkin and John Goodman on the Best Supporting Actor list) but was a little surprised that they completely snubbed The Hobbit and that Matthew McConaughey was overlooked for his sleazy perfection in Magic Mike. That dude made the movie and he seemed like a lock for some Hollywood Foreign Press love, but, hey, there’s always the Oscars!

Anyway, the entertainment reporter on NBC just called Kathryn Bigelow “Karen” like, three times and the L.A. Times website misprinted Rachel Weisz’s name as “Richard Weisz”. So, either I’m really sleepy or these people are all total morons. Either way, I need some sleep.

To see the complete list of this year’s Golden Globe Nominees, click here.

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