Academy Awards

2013 Oscar Predictions

Posted by Matthew on February 24, 2013
Editorial / Comments Off on 2013 Oscar Predictions

85th Academy Awards

The Oscars are later tonight and Simon and I will be live blogging them. Just for fun, I’m going to lock myself into a few predictions.

Sundry Categories

Without going into too much detail on these ones here are how I’d like to see a few of the categories with less fanfare to play out.

  • “Skyfall” to win Best Original Score.

It’s the only memorable one of the nominees.

  • “Skyfall” to win Best Original Song.

Best Bond Song in years and just a great song. Outside chance for Everybody Needs a Best Friend from Ted, but doubtful.

  • Roger Deakins to win Best Cinematography for “Skyfall”.

There’s lots of reasons to love Roger Deakins, but more to the point he’s never won the awards despite some brilliant work and Skyfall is a gorgeous film.

  • “Prometheus” for Best Visual Effects.

Prometheus is not a good film, but it’s a gorgeous film and the effects are seamless.

  • Animated Movies

I haven’t seen all the nominees for best Animated Feature, so I have no idea who will win. I have hoever seen all the nominees for Best Animated Short and I really hope that Paperman wins.

And now, on to the big ones.

Best Adapted Screenplay

  • “Argo” – Chris Terrio
  • “Beasts of the Southern Wild” – Lucy Alibar & Benh Zeitlin
  • “Life of Pi” – David Magee
  • “Lincoln” – Tony Kushner
  • “Silver Linings Playbook” – David O. Russell

I want to say Argo, but it will probably be Lincoln. In the battle between American heroism and America’s most beloved president, I think it’ll go to the president.

Best Original Screenplay

  • “Amour” – Michael Haneke
  • “Django Unchained” – Quentin Tarantino
  • “Flight” – John Gatins
  • “Moonrise Kingdom” – Wes Anderson & Roman Coppola
  • “Zero Dark Thirty” – Mark Boal

Quentin Tarantino has to win this one. Django is almost entirely overlooked in the nominations, but there’s no denying the screenplay is the best this year. Tarantino’s dialogue is amazing as always. You can question his directorial choices but you can’t question how he writes.

Actress in a Supporting Role

  • Amy Adams – “The Master”
  • Sally Field – “Lincoln”
  • Anne Hathaway – “Les Miserables”
  • Helen Hunt – “The Sessions”
  • Jackie Weaver – “Silver Linings Playbook”

Are you kidding me? Anne Hathaway. Everyone here is great, I wish that Amy Adams will win because she is as amazing as everyone else in The Master, and also because I’d really like to see the Academy slightly embarrassed by having all the actors win while their movie nor director is nominated, but Anne Hathaway plays a hooker with a heart of gold, doing everything for her kid, with a debilitating disease, in an adaptation of a beloved stage musical.

Yeah, it’s Anne Hathaway’s year.

Actor in a Supporting Role

  • Alan Arkin – “Argo”
  • Robert De Niro – “Silver Linings Playbook”
  • Philip Seymour Hoffman – “The Master”
  • Tommy Lee Jones – “Lincoln”
  • Christoph Waltz – “Django Unchained”

No clear winner here. Everyone is amazing and everyone has won before. I don’t see Christoph Waltz winning since he did just a couple years back for a very similar role, I don’t see Robert De Niro winning because unlike Jennifer Lawrence (whose performance is elevated above the movie she is in) he’s good but not great.

Alan Arkin was great but also was how Alan Arkin always is.

So that leaves Tommy Lee Jones and Philip Seymour Hoffman. I’d love to see Philip Seymour Hoffman win because he and Joaquin Phoenix are both spectacular in The Master, but Tommy Lee Jones I think might win for Lincoln because Daniel Day-Lewis isn’t going to win his trophy.

Actress in a Leading Role

  • Jessica Chastain – “Zero Dark Thirty”
  • Jennifer Lawrence – “Silver Linings Playbook”
  • Emmanuelle Riva – “Amour”
  • Quvenzhané Wallis – “Beasts of Southern Wild”
  • Naomi Watts – “The Impossible”

Do we even have to talk about this? I’m pretty sure this is Jennifer Lawrence’s award to lose as of this moment. Silver Linings Playbook may not be a great film however Jennifer Lawrence is great in it. She’s already been robbed once (have you seen winter’s Bone? She’s amazing) too so that pretty much locks it down.

So here’s hoping that Jessica Chastain wins next year, because Jennifer Lawrence is going to win this year.

Actor in a Leading Role

  • Bradley Cooper – “Silver Linings Playbook”
  • Daniel Day-Lewis – “Lincoln”
  • Hugh Jackman – “Les Miserables”
  • Joaquin Phoenix – “The Master”
  • Denzel Washington – “Flight”

As with the Best Supporting Actor category there doesn’t seem to be a clear front runner here. Everyone did great. I was particularly surprised by Bradley Cooper who is getting better and better. However, I think it’s going to go to Hugh Jackman because say what you will about Les Mis, he acted the shit out of it.

It’s too bad too, because Joaquin Phoenix was amazing in The Master.

Best Director

  • “Amour” – Michael Haneke
  • “Beasts of the Southern Wild” – Benh Zeitlin
  • “Life of Pi” – Ang Lee
  • “Lincoln” – Steven Spielberg
  • “Silver Linings Playbook” – David O. Russell

Steven Spielberg. Honestly, of all the directors eligible to be nominated this year he’s the only one on this list that would also be on mine. Paul Thomas Anderson, Ben Affleck, Kathryn Bigelow, and Quentin Tarantino are all missing for the record.

Best Picture

  • “Argo”
  • “Django Unchained”
  • “Les Miserables”
  • “Life of Pi”
  • “Amour”
  • “Lincoln”
  • “Silver Linings Playbook”
  • “Zero Dark Thirty”
  • “Beasts of the Southern Wild”

Argo has already won almost every major award there is in this category, including the Golden Globe, Producers Guild, Directors Guild, and SAG awards. You know why? Because it’s a great film and it deserves to win.

It’s also the safest bet because unlike Zero Dark Thirty, which I think is a better movie, it’s a story about one man’s heroism and the Academy eats that up.

Outside chance for Les Miserables, but for all the fanfare at its release no one is talking about it anymore.

So, Argo it is.

Later tonight we’ll be live blogging the show so you can watch in real time to see how I did with my predictions then! In the mean time, do you guy have any predictions or movies you are pulling for to win?

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Screen Actors Guild Award Winners and Reactions

Posted by Matthew on January 29, 2013
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Screen Actors Guild Awards

The 19th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards were this past weekend. I know I’m a few days late but here’s a quick roundup of the winners for movies and some thoughts to go with them.

Note: I’m not going to talk about the TV awards, but the coles notes version is this: Hooray for Kevin Costner, Bryan Cranston and Alec Baldwin.

Winners shown in bold a the top of each list.
You can read the full list of winners here.

Screen Actors Guild 49th Annual Life Achievement Award

  • Dick Van Dyke

I grew up watching Dick Van Dyke movies my parents had recorded off the television so this makes me smile.

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role

  • Daniel Day-Lewis – Lincoln as Abraham Lincoln
  • Bradley Cooper – Silver Linings Playbook as Pat Solitano
  • John Hawkes – The Sessions as Mark O’Brien
  • Hugh Jackman – Les Misérables as Jean Valjean
  • Denzel Washington – Flight as Whip Whitaker

This isn’t a surprise to me in the slightest. Say what you will about Lincoln but Daniel Day-Lewis was amazing playing the man. At this point I’d be surprised if he doesn’t win the Oscar.

It’s nice to see John Hawkes get the nod for The Sessions as well.

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role

  • Jennifer Lawrence – Silver Linings Playbook as Tiffany Maxwell
  • Jessica Chastain – Zero Dark Thirty as Maya
  • Marion Cotillard – Rust and Bone as Stéphanie
  • Helen Mirren – Hitchcock as Alma Reville
  • Naomi Watts – The Impossible as Maria Bennett

At this point Jennifer Lawrence has won the Golden Globe and the SAG award for playing Tiffany Maxwell. The Oscar is now hers to lose if it wasn’t already and I think that’s how it’s going to go. I’d love to see Jessica Chastain win because I preferred Zero Dark Thirty to Silver Linings Playbook and I think that Maya was a far more complex character to play, but Tiffany is exactly the kind of quirky, loveable, bird with a broken wing but still independent and strong, feel good, cliche character that people love.

That’s not to say Lawrence isn’t an amazing actress or that she wasn’t amazing in the film, because she was and this is one of those parts designed to win Oscars.

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role

  • Tommy Lee Jones – Lincoln as Thaddeus Stevens
  • Alan Arkin – Argo as Lester Siegel
  • Javier Bardem – Skyfall as Raoul Silva
  • Robert De Niro – Silver Linings Playbook as Pat Solitano Sr.
  • Philip Seymour Hoffman – The Master as Lancaster Dodd

Nice to see Tommy Lee Jones take home the trophy. Also cool to see Javier Bardem get the nod for his roll in Skyfall. He was brilliant as Silva and thats not the type of roll that usually gets recognized.

This is going to make the Oscar race in this category a little more interesting. Alan Arkin already took home the Golden Globe and everyone who’s nominated (swap out Javier Bardem for Christoph Waltz and its the same list) had already won to this one is anyone’s game.

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role

  • Anne Hathaway – Les Misérables as Fantine
  • Sally Field – Lincoln as Mary Todd Lincoln
  • Helen Hunt – The Sessions as Cheryl Cohen-Greene
  • Nicole Kidman – The Paperboy as Charlotte Bless
  • Maggie Smith – The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel as Muriel Donnelly

No surprises here. Anne Hathaway has already taken home all the awards for this role. If she doesn’t win all the awards that are left I will be incredibly surprised.

Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture

  • Argo – Ben Affleck, Alan Arkin, Kerry Bishé, Kyle Chandler, Rory Cochrane, Bryan Cranston, Christopher Denham, Tate Donovan, Clea DuVall, Victor Garber, John Goodman, Scoot McNairy, and Chris Messina
  • The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel – Judi Dench, Celia Imrie, Bill Nighy, Dev Patel, Ronald Pickup, Maggie Smith, Tom Wilkinson, and Penelope Wilton
  • Les Misérables – Isabelle Allen, Samantha Barks, Sacha Baron Cohen, Helena Bonham Carter, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Daniel Huttlestone, Hugh Jackman, Eddie Redmayne, Amanda Seyfried, Aaron Tveit, Colm Wilkinson
  • Lincoln – Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Hal Holbrook, Tommy Lee Jones, James Spader, David Strathairn
  • Silver Linings Playbook – Bradley Cooper, Robert De Niro, Anupam Kher, Jennifer Lawrence, Chris Tucker, Jacki Weaver

In a year where Lincoln, a timely political story about America’s most beloved president came out I didn’t see this happening but Argo has now won the Golden Globe and the SAG Award for best picture.

It’s well deserved. It’s a brilliantly crafted film from start to finish and I’m glad to see it getting all the recognition it deserves.

It’ll be interesting next month to see if it takes home the Oscar as well, since Ben Affleck isn’t nominated for best director. That might end up being this years big “wtf” moment.

Conclusions

Awards Season this year has been interesting so far. The films I thought would be a lock haven’t been winning and the ones I thought were entirely deserving but would get passed over have. The ladies categories are pretty much locked in for the Oscars at this point I assume, but the gentlemen’s categories as well as the best picture and director categories are up in the air as far as I can tell.

I like the SAG awards as well because you get films like Skyfall, which is a great film and completely overlooked by the Oscars and the Golden Globes, getting recognition from their peers. Make no mistake Skyfall was one of last years must-see movies but it’s no surprise that it’s only up for technical Oscars.

Make all the jokes you want about millionaires giving each other statues, but I enjoy watching great films win accolades (and Simon and I will be live blogging The Oscars on 24th Feb. while they air).

What are your guys thoughts on the matter? Do you agree with the wins here? How do you think the Oscars are going to play out?

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Quick Thoughts on Les Misérables, Argo and Silver Linings Playbook

Posted by Matthew on January 18, 2013
Film Review / Comments Off on Quick Thoughts on Les Misérables, Argo and Silver Linings Playbook

I was meant to have seen a new movie this week but I’m on vacation and things got out of hand so I did not (yet).

Because I’m on vacation though I have seen a boat load of movies and thought I’d briefly talk about some of the ones I have seen, specifically the three I watched which are nominated for best picture at this years Oscars.

Les Misérables

Les Misérables

I can see why Les Misérables is nominated for all the awards. It’s a big budget production of one of the most beloved musicals of all time. Hugh Jackman is great and Anne Hathaway is amazing as Fantine and they are both deserving of their actings nominations. The entire cast is pretty great in point of fact, with the debatable exception of Russell Crowe who while he isn’t bad does appear a bit uncomfortable throughout. Maybe that makes sense for Javert but it didn’t sit right with me.

Where the film fails for me is the directing. Sure, the film looks pretty amazing and to be honest I really like the live singing aspect –if you hadn’t heard already, everyone sang their parts live on set rather than lip syncing pre-recorded performances– as it means they had more leeway to actually act out their performances rather than match what they did before. However, a great deal of the film is shot in closeup on the performers face.

I dreamed a dream, in particular, a song that would do well by some staging/movement, is filmed with Anne Hathaway just sitting there belting it out with the camera pointed at her face. Valjean’s Soliloquy is a little better in that he gets the move around but the camera is locked on his face and he’s looking right at the camera the entire time so you don’t really get to see any of what’s going on other than his lips moving.

I think I get what director Tom Hooper was going for, trying to make it intimate, however in the end it’s weird to think that a musical with such grandiose songs is filmed in such a small way and to be honest I don’t think it really works.

Conclusion: See it. It’s worth seeing just for the singing. Oscar is Anne Hathaway’s to lose at this point, and while I respect it’s nomination for best picture I don’t think it should win. Tom Hooper isn’t nominated for best director and I am fine with that.

Argo

Argo

I like stories about heroism, but what I love about Argo is that it’s such a quiet story about heroism. No epic gun fights, no explosions, no car chases, just the constant threat of being caught.

Ben Affleck directs and stars as Tony Mendez, the man who orchestrated the rescue of 6 diplomatic officers in hiding in 1979 revolutionary Iran. The idea is to get them out by claiming they are a film crew scouting exotic locations for a Star Wars rip off called Argo.

The story is brilliant from start to finish. It mixes just the right amount of humour into the dramatic script, mostly supplied by Alan Arkin as the hollywood producer recruited to help sell the idea of the fake movie to the public.

Arkin is gold here, it’s the type of role he excels at playing. He’s nominated for an Oscar and it’s well deserved.

Affleck himself is good too, playing Mendez very reservedly, reflecting a man under stress from being responsible for these peoples lives but also going through a separation and trying to maintain a relationship with his kid.

I happen to think that Affleck is a great director as well. Yes, he’s made a lot of better acting choices lately but this is his their feature film and the third time he’s hit it out of the park.

I love spy films, but in particular a spy film that’s executed in such a way to be entirely believable with real stress and peril for the characters (even when you know how it ends) is a difficult thing to pull off.

Conclusion: Must see. Irksome that Affleck, who already won a Golden Globe for directing this, isn’t nominated for the Oscar. Make no mistake, this is a much better film that the one I’m about to talk about.

Silver Linings Playbook

Silver Linings Playbook

Silver Linings Playbook is a good movie. Maybe even a great one, and i can see why so many people are connecting with it. It’s a fantasy story, that’s why.

This is a movie that for 2 whole acts shows us characters with real problems and then in the third act everyone lives happily ever after and everything s fine and all the problems seem to be gone.

Jennifer Lawrence is an amazing actress and I’m going to say right now that she deserves the Golden Golden Globe she won and the Oscar I think she will win, but this is a role tailor made to win Oscars, the slightly crazy receiving sex addict “bird with a broken wing who is just quirky enough to counteract the male leads crazy” character. Hell, it might be more tailor made than the “prostitute with a heart of gold struggling to support her child in a situation that grows ever more dire with each frame that passes” that Anne Hathaway gets to play as Fantine.

Well, maybe not, but she’s still amazing and Bradley Cooper and Robert de Niro both stand out as well. Make no mistake, they all acted the shit out of this.

It’s just that the third act is both entirely predictable and doesn’t really jive with the rest of the movie for me. It devolves from something interesting into a series of movie cliches. There is literally a point in this movie where I could have turned it off because I knew everything else that was going to happen.

I can see why people connect with this movie, but I don’t see why it’s nominated for best picture of the year.

Conclusion: Definitely see it. Worth it for Jennifer Lawrence alone even if her character is unbelievable. Just maybe don’t expect it to be as good as everyone told you it is.

Wrapping up

I’ve seen almost all the best picture nominees now and am starting to have a better idea what I think should win. More on that closer to the date in question. In the mean time, what did you guys think of these three films? Are they worthy of the nomination? Did any performances stand out? Comment below!

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2013 Oscar Nominees, Reactions, and a Few Predictions

Posted by Matthew on January 12, 2013
Editorial / Comments Off on 2013 Oscar Nominees, Reactions, and a Few Predictions

It’s that time of year again: Awards Season. The Golden Globes are on this weekend and this week the nominations for the 85th Annual Academy Awards were announced.

My reactions to the nominations are varied, but as per usual I’m more surprised by what’s not on the list than what is.

I’m going to be up front about this too: I still haven’t seen all the films that are nominated, so my opinons here are a little skewed, so I’ll stick to talking about the ones I know (where I can).

The 2013 Oscar Nominations and my commentary thereon:

Best Picture

  • “Argo”
  • “Django Unchained”
  • “Les Miserables”
  • “Life of Pi”
  • “Amour”
  • “Lincoln”
  • “Silver Linings Playbook”
  • “Zero Dark Thirty”
  • “Beasts of the Southern Wild”

My initial reaction here is that they can have as many as ten nominations, they’ve nominated nine films and The Master isn’t on the list. I mean, love it or hate it, The Master is the type of film the academy usually goes all in on.

Also, and while I personally didn’t care for it, I’m a little surprised that The Dark Knight Rises isn’t on here in recognition of the trilogy that Christopher Nolan put together. I mean, they did it for Peter Jackson, why not Nolan?

I honestly don’t know what I’d pick from this list, I still haven’t seen Les Miserables, Django Unchained is amazing but Silver Linings Playbook is pretty much exactly the type of “quirky people” movie that actors love playing and love voting for, so we’ll see.

Actor in a Leading Role

  • Bradley Cooper – “Silver Linings Playbook”
  • Daniel Day-Lewis – “Lincoln”
  • Hugh Jackman – “Les Miserables”
  • Joaquin Phoenix – “The Master”
  • Denzel Washington – “Flight”

I’m kind of shocked to see Bradley Cooper on this list, but then again as I mentioned before Silver Linings Playbook is pretty much the type of film the Academy goes in for. Denzel is a bit of a wild card to me, he was great in Flight but I didn’t expect to see him here.

Daniel Day-Lewis and Hugh Jackman are completely not surprising: They’re both great actors and they’re both in great films.

I have a feeling that Day-Lewis or Jackman will take this category but I actually hope for Joaquin Phoenix. The man is completely transformed for his role in The Master. His slight slur, his ability to go from calm to explosively violent in a heartbeat, and even his hunched posture, the man disappeared into Freddie Quell.

And of course the lingering question: where the hell is Jamie Foxx’s name?? Or John Hawkes? Geez!

Actress in a Leading Role

  • Jessica Chastain – “Zero Dark Thirty”
  • Jennifer Lawrence – “Silver Linings Playbook”
  • Emmanuelle Riva – “Amour”
  • Quvenzhané Wallis – “Beasts of Southern Wild”
  • Naomi Watts – “The Impossible”

To be fair, I haven’t seen Amour, Beasts of a Southern Wild or The Impossible yet so I have no idea who is going to take this. I do, however, love the idea that either Jessica Chastain or Jennifer Lawrence might win since I honestly think they were both robbed in the past (Chastain in The Help and Lawrence in Winter’s Bone).

Actor in a Supporting Role

  • Alan Arkin – “Argo”
  • Robert De Niro – “Silver Linings Playbook”
  • Philip Seymour Hoffman – “The Master”
  • Tommy Lee Jones – “Lincoln”
  • Christoph Waltz – “Django Unchained”

Interesting fact: All five nominees here are Oscar winners already. Interesting Fact: Leonardo diCaprio has not won an Oscar before, was the scene stealing standout of the show in Django Unchained, and isn’t on this list.

Now, i don’t mean to demean any of these guys work but at the same time I do mean tot point out that Leonardo has been fucking robbed this year.

As to who will win? I’m pulling for Phillip Seymour Hoffman. His work in The Master is stellar and he deserves to go home with his second trophy for it.

I’m going to say something that will make me sound like a fanboy now: I think Bruce Willis should be on this list for Looper. If you don’t believe me just go watch it again and pay close attention when he goes after his first target.

Actress in a Supporting Role

  • Amy Adams – “The Master”
  • Sally Field – “Lincoln”
  • Anne Hathaway – “Les Miserables”
  • Helen Hunt – “The Sessions”
  • Jackie Weaver – “Silver Linings Playbook”

Here’s a category where I think the younger actresses are going to battle it out. Amy Adams is phenomenal in The Master and Anne Hathaway sang “I Dreamed A Dream” on screen, live. Completely different roles to be sure, both both are great.

Not to sound like I have Django on the brain, but Kerri Washington could likely have done with a nod here. Hell, so could Emily Blunt for Looper.

Best Animated Feature

  • “Brave”
  • “Frankenweenie”
  • “ParaNorman”
  • “The Pirates! Band of Misfits”
  • “Wreck-It Ralph”

Pixar has a nomination and usually that’s enough to secure themselves a win, but Brave –while great by normal standards– was just ok by Pixars usual standards.

I’d really like to see this go to Wreck-it Ralph.

Best Director

  • “Amour” – Michael Haneke
  • “Beasts of the Southern Wild” – Benh Zeitlin
  • “Life of Pi” – Ang Lee
  • “Lincoln” – Steven Spielberg
  • “Silver Linings Playbook” – David O. Russell

I haven’t seen enough of these to comment. Lincoln was incredibly directed but I’m not so sure about Silver Linings Playbook. Maybe David O. Russell is nominated because he probably should have won for The Fighter.

No Tarantino? No Rian Johnson? No Ben Affleck? No Kathryn Bigelow? What the hell? And what about Paul Thomas Anderson? You’re telling me that the three main actors from his film had oscar calibre performances and he had nothing to do with that? Riiiight.

And again, a little surprised to not see Christopher Nolan on this list for the same reasons I mentioned above.

Best Original Screenplay

  • “Amour” – Michael Haneke
  • “Django Unchained” – Quentin Tarantino
  • “Flight” – John Gatins
  • “Moonrise Kingdom” – Wes Anderson & Roman Coppola
  • “Zero Dark Thirty” – Mark Boal

This is the one that Tarantino will win. I can’t see how he wouldn’t given that he was snubbed on the Best Director list. But where is Rian Johnson on this list? She should be here for the same reason Tarantino is.

Best Adapted Screenplay

  • “Argo” – Chris Terrio
  • “Beasts of the Southern Wild” – Lucy Alibar & Benh Zeitlin
  • “Life of Pi” – David Magee
  • “Lincoln” – Tony Kushner
  • “Silver Linings Playbook” – David O. Russell

I’ve only read the source material for one of these and I haven’t seen the movie version of it yet so I’m gonna keep my trap shut.

I’m going to wager a guess that either Silver Linings Playbook or Argo takes it.

The Rest and Closing Thoughts

That’s really it for the major categories, the rest are mostly technical. It’s nice to see that Skyfall picked up a nomination in the original song category, I loved the song and I hope either it or Everybody Needs A Best Friend from Ted takes it home.

It’s more than a little strange to see The Master left off the cinematography list, it’s being snubbed for best picture is one thing, it was easily the most stunningly shot film I saw in 2012.

I’m a bit sad to see that Looper was passed over entirely. It’s incredibly well written and it’s cast are are great. I know that the academy doesn’t usually go in for genre film but still. Great films deserve recognition. At least give him the screenplay nod!!

Last year I live blogged the ceremony and, barring any unforeseen circumstances I’ll be doing the same thing year, so check back here on 24th of February!

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Episode Seventeen: Avengers, SSX and Oscar Reactions

Posted by Matthew on March 02, 2012
Podcast Episodes / Comments Off on Episode Seventeen: Avengers, SSX and Oscar Reactions

We’re nearly legal with our seventeenth episode! This week we talk about the new Avengers trailer, the newly released SSX, discuss whether Simon is cheating on The Year of Living Gamelessly, and our reactions to the Oscar winners, non-winners, and the show itself.

Subscribe to Awesome Friday! in iTunes

Notes:

  1. Avengers Trailer
  2. Assassin’s Creed Box Art
  3. Awesome Friday Oscars Liveblog

Like what you hear? Don’t like what you hear? Tell us! email at comments at awesomefriday.ca, leave comments below, and you can also follow us on twitter: @ManBitesWonders is Simon and @posterboy81 is Matt

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Oscars 2012 Live Blog

Posted by Matthew on February 26, 2012
Live Blog / 2 Comments

Oscar night and I’m going to live blog the show. I was having trouble deciding where to start writing for the site and this seems like a golden opportunity really, just up and said “hey write about me!” So that is what I am doing. I will of course time stamp my thoughts as I have them, and hopefully provide you with enough context that you can read them without needing the show to be on in the background for you to understand what the hell I am talking about.

17:22: just getting set up with a place to write and record. Red carpet stuff is almost over, show about to start! Is a good thing we’re doing this without a screaming baby around. Oh wait….

17:30: Aaaaaaaand show starting. Morgan Freeman on stage. He’s welcoming us to the show, and also Billy Crystals parody montage.

17:35: Montage over. “Say ‘I’m Batman, it’ll help me!'” was hilarious, but all the jokes are pretty …. Uh…. Safe. I have a feeling this will be indicative of the rest of the show as well.

17:37: “Nothing takes your mind off these economic times like watching millionaires give each other golden statues.”. Awesome, if a little obvious. Now the singing. Oh the singing. If only Billy Crystal could sing.

17:41: I should probably point out how cynical I am about the Oscars this year, in case it hasn’t come through yet. I have a bad feeling there’ll be no risks taken tonight, and the jokes aren’t that funny so far.

17:43: First award is cinematography. Hugo wins. Second up is art direction. Hugo wins again. I haven’t seen this yet, but from what I have seen the film is gorgeous so this makes sense. I have no strong opinions about this either way really.

17:47: WTF is the band doing up in the box seats? Going back to Billy Crystal for a second my question is this: why the hell don’t they just get Hugh Jackman back again? Seriously; his song was way better and unlike Billy Crystal he can actually sing.

17:52: And now a montage of iconic moments in film. Brett from Flight of the Conchords is in the audience and I blew Simons mind by telling him that Brett is nominated for the songs in The Muppets.

17:55: The Artist wins Best Costume Design. Not surprised. Everyone looked great in it. The Iron Lady wins for Makeup. They did do a. Good job of turning Meryl Streep into Mrs. Thatcher and then aging the crap out of her.

18:03: Montage of actors talking about their first movie going experience. Mostly boring except that Brad Pitt dropped “War of the Gargantuas” which is kind of amazing. This is a movie which you need to see if you haven’t.

18:05: Sandra Bullock takes the stage. She’s about to speak Chinese. In German.

18:07: A Separation wins best foreign film. Iranian Film meant to be gorgeous. We wonder if it’s a political decision at all, but it is meant to be an amazing film. Is that too cynical? I can’t tell anymore.

18:09: Christian Bale on stage to give away the Best Supporting Actress trophy. Still hoping for Jessica Chastain. Simon and Wife taking the piss out of Christian Bale’s accent. Funny, most Brits I know do this, take the piss out of every other Brits accent.

18:12: Octavia Spencer wins for The Help. Everyone on their feet. Kind of brilliant. She was amazing after all. I maintain that the Octavia Spencer/Jessica Chastain storyline in The Help was the best part of the movie.

18:17: So far Sandra Bullock speaking Chinese in German, Iranian Director giving a political speech for his acceptance, and Octavia Spencer winning are the best moments of the show.

18:18: Ooooh Billy Crystal makes a joke that’s actually funny. “45 minute drive indeed.”

18:20: Christopher Guest and co doing what appears to be ad lib focus group for Wizard of Oz. Kind of right up my alley. “I didn’t like it until the flying monkeys.” Fred Willard FTW.

18:25: Girl With The Dragon Tattoo picks one up for best editing. Hugo for Sound Editing and Sound mixing. I realllly wanted Drive to win for sound editing, if only so that it could have an Oscar. Kind of wish that Transformers won for sound editing just to see everyone’s reaction and also the DVD cover a Transormers film that reads “Oscar Winner.”

18:32: Can we have more Fred Willard please?

18:34: Muppets on camera. It’s a good thing.

18:35: Cirque du Soleil interpreting “going to the movies” in dance. This could actually be pretty interesting.

18:39: I wish that at some point in my life I could be half as athletic as someone from Cirque. Seriously.

18:41: Robert Downey Jr and Gwyneth Paltrow presenting for documentaries. Not being very funny. Fuck I didn’t see any documentaries this year at all. Undefeated wins. Yay?

18:44: Huh, first instance of someone being played off. Even cut off the mic on the guys who won best documentary. Not really fair consider there were six of them.

18:46: Best animated film is Rango. Fucking amazing since its clearly the best animated film from 2011 and Gore Verbinski is overdue. Maybe a bit surprising that the film that was the best was chosen.

18:50: Any voice actors in the audience? I’d like to hear what you have to say abut Chris Rock’s little description of your job. I’d be willing to bet that you’re maybe wanting to go all Hulk SMAHSH right now?

18:54: Emma Stone is amazing. That is all.

18:55: Lots of good choices for visual effects but Hugo wins. Seems like Hugo is going to win all the technical awards. I wonder how that bodes for the beat picture/director awards… No I don’t, it bodes poorly.

18:59: Best Supporting Actor award. Christopher Plummer wins! Yes! About time. He’s generally speaking always great.

19:10: You know, I think they should just let the hosts of these shows run wild. When these jokes are so blatantly scripted they aren’t funny. If they’d just let them ad lib and make fun of the audience it might actually be good. So far Billy Crystals best jokes have all been off the cuff remarks, like the one to the president of the academy, “mister excitement.”

19:13: The Artist is totally going to win best score.

19:14: The Artist won best score. I mean, how could it not? The film is all music. On top of that the score is really good, too. Also John Williams had two nominations for the same score. YEAH I SAID IT.

19:18: Will Ferrell and Zach Galifiniakais presenting for best song. Muppets to win, right?

19:19: Bret Harrison of Flight of the Conchords is now an Oscar winning musician. Fuck Yes. Muppets FTW.

19:25: is it just me or is Angelina Jolie not looking super healthy? She looks like a stick figure. Either way, The Descendants just won best adapted screenplay. I’m sure it’s great but I was really pulling for Moneyball.

19:29: I really hope Woody Allen wins for best original.

19:30: Woody Allen wins. Fucking A. I’d really like to see him win best picture as well but don’t see it happening.

19:37: You know, the technical awards should get more than just a 2 minute recap. But maybe I’m a huge nerd.

19:39: Maya Rudolph and Kristin Wiig making innuendo about short vs long film should be cliche but somehow is just funny.

19:42: Are all the best documentary nominees seated in the nose bleeds? Do they get to give their speech after the next awards when they finally get to the stage?

19:45: That’s a capitol hat the guy who won for best animated short is wearing. Jaunty angle as well.

19:50: Michael Douglas is clone of Kirk Douglas right? Time for the best director. Thinking that The Artist will likely win. If something I don’t want to win is going to win though, let it be Hugo. If something I want to win wins let it be Midnight in Paris.

19:53: aaaand The Artist wins for best director. Le sigh.

19:57: Governors awards. Again, wish they weren’t given such a brief recap. Just make it part of the show. Or, better yet, replace the red carpet BS with them.

20:00: Only best actor, actress, and film are left. Not hopeful for anyone involved in films that don’t rhyme with “de smartest.”

20:03: Time for the in memoriam. Usually this is when we get to hear how famous people were by how loud the crowd claps, but no one is clapping. Fucking finally.

20:13: ok the show is starting to feel dragged out. But at least Natalie Portman is on stage to give ay the best actor award. I’m sure Rene Dujardin will win, but we’ll see. Nice little unspoken exchange between her and Gary Oldman as she talked about his performance in Tinker Tailor.

20:18: Jean Dujardin wins. Not surprised in the slightest. Don’t get me wrong, while I didn’t think the movie was worth all the awards it’s winning or even like his character? He did a brilliant job. That said, GARY OLDMAN WAS NOMINATED.

20:24: Here’s Colin Firth to give the best actress award. No idea who it will be. Meryl Streep won the BAFTA but that’s British isn’t it. Viola Davis needs to win, Rooney Mara I want to win, but I have a feeling it’ll be Bernice Bejo.

20:29: Oh wait Bernice Bejo wasn’t nominated. Fuck. I had kind of assumed that she was. Either way, Meryl just won and it’s about fucking time. Even if Viola Davis should have. But seriously, about time. 13 nominations between wins?? Too many.

20:32: Tom Cruise to present best picture. With a montage. It’ll be The Artist, but I really want it to be … Well, they’re all good, but Midnight in Paris. Or Moneyball.

20:36: And The Artist wins. Quel surprise. Between Hugo cleaning up the technical awards and The Artist cleaning up everything else it doesn’t seem like anything else won much of anything.

You know, this ceremony wasn’t very exciting. I hope next year there’s some risks, some more varied choices, and that the theme is a little more specific than “we like movies.”. I’m going to sleep on it and recap in a day or two with more feelings on who won and who didn’t but long story short: boring, Emma Stone hot, Angelina Jolie not hot, and very few surprises.

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Episode Fourteen: Marvel Movie Madness, The Artist, The Help, Easy A, Attack The Block, And the Death of Star Wars

Posted by Matthew on February 10, 2012
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It’s movies movies movies in this our fourteenth week of the show. We cover the shiny new trailers for The Amazing Spider-Man and the Avengers, the films The Artist, The Help, Easy A and Attack The Block, briefly touch on Soul Calibur V and Mike Mignola’s newest work The Amazing Screw On Head, and then a fairly in depth discussion of the final nails in the the coffin of our dearly departed Star Wars. So get comfy folks and enjoy the show!

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Episode Twelve: The Oscar Nominations Special or “Where the hell is Drive on this list?”

Posted by Matthew on January 27, 2012
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Our dozenth week without fail! The Oscar nominations are out and we spend the whole episode talking about the ones we’ve seen, the ones we haven’t, and way the hell weren’t our favorites nominated?

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