While the other lazy bloggers* on this site take a vacation this week, I had the distinct pleasure to see and write about all the awesome things that happened this week. What does that spell? FRIDAY FIVE!!!!
The first absolutely amazing thing to happen this week is release of The Hunger Games in theaters. I was eagerly anticipating its release since I read the books and I wasn’t disappointed. Sure some of the internal angst and paranoia of Katniss Everdeen were lost in translation when the filmmakers needed to externalize her thoughts, but the movie on its own is a powerhouse of entertainment and pleasure (which is really ironic since it’s about a bunch of teenagers made to kill each other). If you haven’t seen it, go right now. If you have seen it, go again. I plan to do just that.
After I recovered from Peeniss-mania, I was thrilled for the return of Mad Men. It came back with a bang and I have renewed my love for what is arguably the best television show of all time. The premiere wasn’t perfect or my favorite of in the shows cannon, but it raised a lot of really intriguing plot points that I am eagerly anticipating. Get on the bandwagon if you haven’t.
Speaking of Mad Men you might have heard that resident whackjob January Jones has been consuming her own placenta since giving birth. This is oddly night an isolated incident of self-cannibalism. It is some weird earthy trend. Ewww.
Now that you have vomited up your breakfast, I will treat you to a laugh. Have you ever wondered how all of your favorite internet porn memes would be if they got recreated by children? Well Romania has your answer. In a misguided campaign against child pornography, they have created just that. The results are amusing.
Rounding out our five is the achingly distant return of Doctor Who. The wunderkinds behind the show released a teaser trailer for the new season and it did exactly what it should have: make me go “huh?” and “OMG! I can’t wait.” So without further adieu…I give you Doctor Who.
That’s all folks. Just teenage bloodsport, Mad Men, placenta pills, crayon porn, and Doctor Who. What’s on your list? Please tell me it’s a petition to bring Adam and Michelle back. Please!
*I am fully aware of the fact that I am the laziest of the lazy involved with this blog. I just needed an attention grabbing opening line.
Now that you have all submitted your ballots for the 2nd Annual C&R Oscar Contest, you can read what I have to say about this year’s lineup of award-worthy (or not) films. “Why would you listen to me?” you might query. Well unbeknownst to you and pretty much everyone, I am the best film critic in the world. So prepare yourselves for the quickest, dirtiest, Oscar predictions ever.
We shall start with two categories that people don’t pay much attention to at all. And that is a real shame, because they are two very important indicators of whether a movie was actually good: the Writing Awards. In Adapted Screenplay, it is most likely a threeway race between Moneyball, Hugo and The Descendants. You can probably eliminate Moneyball, because Aaron Sorkin just won and the movie was well reviewed but didn’t really go anywhere at the box office. This leaves us with the final two. Who comes out on top? The Descendants. Why? Because the Academy loves Alexander Payne, they love awarding writer/directors and it just won the Writer’s Guild of America award for Adapted Screenplay (and as you may or may not know, Academy members vote based upon the craft that brought them to the Academy. This means that there is significant overlap between the WGA and the Academy voters on screenplays). But who should win? I would probably have to say Hugo, which I’m basing entirely on the fact that writing in the other pictures wasn’t that great and I haven’t seen Hugo yet.
Now that you have listened to me go on and on about the Adapted Screenplay, you will have to hear me go on and on about the Original Screenplay. Well actually, there isn’t much to say here other than the fact that Midnight in Paris is a sure thing AND it actually should win. Why? No one has actually seen Margin Call or A Separation (although I’m sure we all probably should), The Artist was cute but not a revelation in writing, and Bridesmaids got a nod because of how much money it made and since it was written by two women (which is drastically and stupidly rare in Hollywood). Midnight in Paris is one of Woody Allen’s best works and he deserves to take home another statue for it.
From the very high, we go to the very low. For possibly the first time since the introduction of the Animated Feature category, I am not excited about any of the nominees. This is undoubtedly connected to the fact that Disney/Pixar’s hit and statue machine wasted our brains with a sequel to that crappy Cars movie. Oh well…so I’m going to guess that Rango will rise above the dreck and take home an undeserved award. And in case you are wondering, I think that none of the nominated movies deserves the award.
In the Best Director Category, we have a lot of talent competing for one chance at glory. Every nominee has been nominated or won the statue before, except for The Artist‘s Michel Hazanavicius. But he will most likely be the only name you need to know. With Woody Allen almost assured of the writing prize, that leaves this as a three way race between Scorcese for Hugo, Payne for The Descendants, and Hazanavicius. Hazanavicius has the momentum, having nearly swept most of the previous awards, and the fact that everyone loves to get a big star to repeatedly say that long of a name. I’m pretty sure they will have to work on their elocution before reading the name in that envelope. As for who should win, I’m going to have to say that Woody Allen is the one who probably should be getting more attention than he is.
Now we are on to the categories that you most likely actually care about. Why? Because the people in them are famous and will probably be wearing something tragic. The Supporting Actor and Actress categories are pretty definitively going to Christopher Plummer for Beginners and Octavia Spencer for The Help. Mr. Plummer has a long and storied career in the business and his performance in Beginners was perfect. He deserves the award for putting in long years of service and NOT phoning in a role at his age. Ms. Spencer is likeable and you will most likely remember her from any number of roles she did on TV, but she does not deserve to walk away with this award. Her performance in The Help was great, but I would rather see the award go to Janet McTeer of Albert Nobbs. McTeer is a gifted and versatile actress who doesn’t get nearly enough attention (sort of like Tilda Swinton).
And finally we get to the big battles of this Oscar night: Best Actor and Best Actress. Over on the male side, everyone is talking about this being a fight between friends Brad Pitt and George Clooney, but they are overlooking the fact that Jean Dujardin has the momentum of The Artist and a Screen Actor’s Guild award. My money is on him stealing the award from the both of them. In the end, I think the award should actually go to Dujardin too. The Artist was not the deepest movie of the year, but its premise was risky and its success relies heavily on Dujardin’s earnest performance as silent era film star George Valentin. On the clitoral side of the rope, we have a big showdown between Meryl Streep in The Iron Lady and Viola Davis in The Help. Both actresses gave strong performances, but both have things working against them. Streep’s film went no where in the theatres and her status as perpetually nominated might hold her back; Davis has given much stronger performances in much stronger films and her role is actually a supporting one (because the WHITE people are really in charge here). So who will win and who should win? My gut is telling me that this is Meryl’s year to take the podium again, which she actually hasn’t done in almost 30 years, and I have a feeling she deserves it.
The last award is the most coveted of the night: Best Picture. There are 9 movies nominated this year for Best Picture, but only five of them really have a chance: The Artist, The Descendants, The Help, Hugo & Moneyball. The other four nominees aren’t really in the competition and, aside from Midnight in Paris, don’t even deserve to be nominated. Of the five movies in the running, the two with the best shot at taking home the prize are Hugo and The Artist, the two movies with movie making in their plot. That means the award will come down to momentum and exposure, which means that The Artist will be the first silent film since Wings to win the Oscar for Best Picture. In the end, I would have to say that the award for Best Picture should go to Midnight in Paris. In this pool of frankly mediocre nominees, Allen’s is the most elegant and memorable. This all pains me because I loathe Owen Wilson and I hated him in this movie, but I have to honestly say that I think this should be Mr. Allen’s year.
So I may be right and I may be wrong…but that’s all I have to say about this year’s Oscars. I will, of course, be live tweeting the telecast….so get your phones and or computers ready!
C&R’s last crowdsourced Friday Five was such a hit that I’ve decided to do it again. Here’s your Friday Five!
From Polt: What did I love about this week? Freshly laundered bedsheets, still warm from the dryer. Slapping these little slices of heaven right on the bed and then sliding between them, rolling onto your side, pulling the sheet up to your nose and making yourself a little cocoon of warm, comfy, lavender-scented awesomeness is one of life’s greatest pleasures! Next to a night with three Asians with hairthings spent on those sheets. Yeah, that would be better.
From Tam: My new favourite thing is PC Caramelized Red Onion Chutney. At our house we hate mustard and we hate mayonnaise, so sometimes sandwiches are a little dry, but since I discovered this product … *swoon*. The description: With a fusion of English-style malt vinegar and Italian balsamic vinegar of Modena, along with brown sugar, herbs, spices, and slow-cooked caramelized onions, our zesty chutney adds a dash of vibrancy to your dishes. Imported from United Kingdom. Doesn’t that sound yummy? I guess the imported thing explains the price, a bit steep, but worth every cent to liven up my sandwich. I see they use butter in it so it’s not vegan. Sorry Adam.
From Craig: M&Ms – Growing up in my parents house, Mom always kept bowls of red and green M&Ms scattered around the house around Christmas. (For our Canadian readers, M&Ms are like your Smarties but a million and a half times better.) I carried the tradition over to my new place for my first Christmas on my own and it was fantastic. Easy access to M&Ms at all times with no one but myself to eat them? Yes please! Even after the Christmas season ended, and all the red and green M&Ms had made their way through my toilet and into your drinking water, I’ve kept the tradition alive by keeping original M&Ms on my coffee table at all times. Not only are they extremely delicious, but they add a splash of color to my drab earth toney living room!
From Mikey: So there was this thing called the Super Bowl on Sunday. You might have heard of it. Well anyway, before the game aired NBC ran a commercial/promo wishing everyone a Happy Super Bowl. Sure this sounds like typical network TV fare for the most watched event of the year. What made this one amazing was the fact that someone (most likely Tina Fey) got a bunch of the stars of NBC’s shows together to sing and dance to “Brotherhood of Man” from How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. The result…magic. And GAY magic, which only happens during Madonna Super Bowls.
From Michelle M.: A federal appeals court ruled against California’s voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage (Prop 8) on Tuesday. Finally.
This week’s runners up: the state of Washington, The premier of Smash, slow cookers, painting bottles, Dance Moms (last weeks competition took place at East Islip High School!), Happy Endings, Archie Panjabi, The River, cat breading and hardcore gay pornography.
Oh my folks! The world is crazy. And I am not even talking about the current Republican candidates for President. That crap is batshit crazy, too. I am referring to the following three things: two movie trailers and a story out of the UK about a girl who has eaten little other than chicken nuggets since she was two years old.
Let’s start at conception. While working yesterday (read: online) I found ads for the movie What to Expect When You are Expecting. WTF!!!! Not only is this a movie based up on a self-help novel about the things a woman can expect to feel while with child, but the ad campaign is ridiculous. Can someone please give me a couple million dollars so I can show Hollywood that you can make a movie that doesn’t suck?
After you give birth to that load of crap, you must nurture it. One way to nurture your load of crap is to provide it with food. How can you screw that up? Allow them to eat nothing but chicken nuggets for 15 years. I can’t be the only person who thinks this chick’s parents should be in jail. WTF!!!!
After you have turned your load of crap into a fully grown human being, you must teach it how to do something useful. One way not to do that is to make a movie about people fishing for salmon in the Yemen. That’s right….an entire movie about salmon and WTF Yemen. Clearly they must be joking.
That’s all I’ve got kids….WTF do you have that’s better?
This week I decided to do something a little different with the Friday Five. I invited four of the C&Rmy to contribute their favorites of the week, and with our powers combined … I present Your Friday Five!
1. Laura Dern (submitted by Craig) Laura Dern winning a Golden Globe for Enlightened was about the only win I could muster up the energy to get remotely excited about last Sunday. The Descendants? The Artist? The Help? Jeez, what is with all the stupid movie titles starting with The? Boring! I’ve loved Laura Dern since 1993 when she starred in my favorite movie ever, Jurassic Park, and her new show Enlightened is pretty much the best thing ever. And it doesn’t start with The.
2. Channeling Morpheus (submitted by Tam) This week at my other blog Brief Encounters, we had vamp week where we profiled a series of short vampire stories called Channeling Morpheus by Jordan Castillo Price. This is one of the best vampire series I’ve ever read. It’s horror, it’s grungy dirty nasty sex (the best kind after hardcore gay porn), it’s vigilante justice, and Wild Bill (the vamp) describes Michael (his human love interest & anti-vampire vigilante) as his “homicidal eye-candy.” This is actually a 10 book series, but the first five have just been re-released. Jordan is an amazing writer, and these books are uber-creepy and hot and gruesome at the same time. (check out the reviews) Although we review “romance,” it’s not your traditional romance by a mile, and if anyone wants to try all five e-books (about 250 pages total), you can leave a comment on Jordan’s interview posts (Monday & Tuesday) before midnight today to win a set. I plan to reread the first five this weekend.
4.Being a Technical Master of Washing Machines (Adam wrote this crap) This week my mother bought a new washing machine. After the first load, we knew there was a problem. The clothes were ending the washing cycle completely soaked — there was either an issue with the spin cycle or the washer was not draining properly. What were we to do? My mother called for service, but I had another idea. 10 bucks, a trip to Lowes, a bit of plastic tubing, some tools and my innate manliness resulted in a fixed appliance! (The very tight drain tube wasn’t draining, and lengthening it a bit seems to have fixed the issue.) Clearly I am a technical master!
5. Dogs & Wedding Proposals (submitted by Mikey) Who needs any of the other four on this list? I sure as hell don’t. Why do you ask? Well let’s see I came home from work on Tuesday to find a surprise waiting for me at home: an amazingly adorable English Bulldog named Roscoe. His presence in my house was enough to make my heart soar. But then I took a closer look at the heart shaped tag he was wearing. It simply read “Will you marry me? Love, Ty” If you haven’t heard yet, I said yes. The result is me being unable to stop skipping on my way to work and breaking into song. Be happy you don’t work in my office.
And seriously, how the hell can anyone top that?
CONGRATULATIONS MIKEY & TY!
This week’s Friday Five featured award winners, awesome television, Hollywood stars, manic game shows, vampires, hardcore gay porn, books, contests, dogs, washing machines, technical wizardry, innate manliness, marriage proposals, dog tags, and probably a whole bunch more crap that I’ve already forgotten. What could be better than that? Maybe your week? Tell us your Friday Five in the comments!
I have become a television curmudgeon. I acknowledge it and accept it fully. There have been many times when I’ve posted on facebook about hating what they did to Glee or responded to someone’s blog post about American Horror Story with my reasons for why it already went downhill. I’m sure all think I just need to up my meds or something, but the truth is that LOST has ruined all dramatic television programs for me (except for Doctor Who, which is really pretty comedic anyway). I recently started rewatching the series and now realize that it has changed my brain chemistry to the degree that I can only like shows that are at least as good as it was. Sure the final season had some major ups and downs and the finale was a big resounding “meh,” but the key to LOST’s success (in my esteemed opinion) is that it tells great stories about flawed characters and it does so consistently. Remember the first three seasons, when each episode was constructed as a “present day” and a “flashback” about one of the main characters? Normally that sort of constant flashbacking turns people off, but here it worked. What the writers and producers of LOST did so well with these shifts was to reveal small bits of information about the character like they are peeling away at the skin of an onion. It is that sort of smart writing that makes us fall in love with a torturer, a con man, a struggling heroin addict and the rest of LOST‘s motley crew. Moral of story? Write something good and you won’t ever let me down. Change your characters on a weekly basis to fulfill whatever idea you came up with that week and I will give you my wrath. TV, you have been warned.