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Mike Reyes, aka Mr. Controversy, has considered himself a writer ever since he was a child. He wrote for various school publications from about 1995 until 2006, and currently runs both The Bookish Kind and Mr. Controversy, which is an offshoot of the regular column he wrote in High School. He's also authored several short stories such as "The Devil's Comedian", "The Devil v. George W. Bush", and most recently "Wait Until Tomorrow". He resides in New Jersey. Any inquiries for reprinting, writing services, or general contact, should be forwarded to: michaelreyes72@hotmail.com

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Monday, February 22, 2010

The Monday GAAAH! - 2/22/10

Monday's here and the time is right for another bulletin board's worth of frustrations. The weekend was relaxing, but now we take arms yet again and fight off another week of gaaah. The week begins here...

- Taylor Lautner shouldn't be allowed to be taken seriously. He managed to take two awesome animals (sharks and wolves) and has almost made them lame beyond all hope of recovery. Sharks and wolves should have a summit (probably on some beach or something) and make a pact to split Taylor Lautner as a meal in order to atone for this crime.

- I saw a commercial for American Idiot: The Musical and all I could muster was "You're shititng me right"? Since when did we become nostalgic for the times when the President was an idiot and it was so widely known that it overtook pop culture and media for a good eight year span? Not to mention American Idiot became the most overplayed album of 2004-2005. Morbidly curious but want to save yourself some money? Click here. I give it until July to close.

- Shutter Island topped the box office this week. It's nice to see a product of quality top the charts again, though here's hoping this weekend's Cop Out isn't a bust. (Also, the Best Picture Showcase starts this weekend, kids! Get your tickets while you can.) This weekend's Futile Box Office Predictions:

1. Shutter Island
(Why not? It'll be much talked about, and everyone loves a good twist ending.)
2. Cop Out
(I think this has the capacity to become Kevin Smith's biggest film yet.)
3. Avatar
(Because James Cameron is still working his dark magic.)

Lovable Loser of the Week: The Crazies
(It looks good but blue people, dick jokes, and Scorsese sell better than a film from the director of Sahara, who also happens to be a director from the loins of the worst Disney studio head ever.)

- For those of you who love my Customer Service rants, watch out for Blockbuster Can Go to Hell (Pt. 2). It's a fun little story of phone debates, free movies, and the Saw series. Needless to say, I've only grown to love Netflix even more.

- SPOILERS: BTW, Saw VI is a clear sign that Saw VII needs to be the end of the franchise. It's getting really ridiculous, so much that it's topped the heights of ridiculousness the series created a benchmark for. (And why would you bring back Agent Perez only to kill her ass dead for good? And the whole "Amanda being involved in Jill's accidental miscarriage" aspect? Completely unnessicary.) Watching Saw VI was akin to watching a sequel to a film you loved as a kid and realizing, "This franchise has gotten over the hill fast." Most toddlers would sympathize seeing as there's 15 Land Before Time's.

- Albatross.

- Joseph Stack is not a hero, he's a terrorist. When someone bitches about paying taxes and holds peaceful protests, or tries to educate others on tax law while articulating their distaste of the tax system...that's being heroic and intellectual. Flying a plane into a Government building, killing an innocent bystander (who probably hated the tax code as much as he did) and leaving a nice little manifesto on your blog that corresponds to your radical action...that's being a terrorist, a coward, and just plane stupid. May your shame mark your daughter for even considering you a hero.

- Doctor Who needs to come back to TV soon. I miss watching it already. What's more, American movie theaters should wise up and bring the 3D trailer for Series 5 to the states. Why should England get to have all the fun?

- If anyone at the BBC wants to offer me a writing position, I'd be mighty glad. I'm not too expensive, I'm rather funny, and I think I'd be able to produce 6 episodes a year of quality television/radio. Just offering is all.

- So say we all.

And now, to bring the week in on a high note, here's a trailer for something I desperately hope makes it to America. If you love Monty Python, you'll agree.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Happy Friday Video - 2/19/10

Back in Freshman year of college, I studied German as an effort to understand my relatives better. I made some great friends in that class, as well as some really fun memories. One such memory involves a video of the German acapella group Wise Guys singing a Britney Spears charttopper. It's fun, it's funny, and it's your Happy Friday Video of the week.

Naturally, this triggers even more memories of high school when the Britney Spears original was released. Back in 1998 I was a Freshman, and I remember randomly seeing the music video on MTV. Now, normally I would have made fun of it, seeing as it was only shown in small clips on Total Request Live. Remember, these were early days and her video hadn't even made it on the countdown yet, it was still in the "so close we decided to show clips" phase. I eventually caught the whole video by mistake and was enthralled. I had my first major celebrity crush, and it felt...interesting. Love her or hate her, you have to admit it was a catchy tune. Here's your bonus Happy Friday Video.

And now, for shits and giggles...

Shutter Island - The G Rated Version

Shutter Island opens today, and I'm excited as ever. What looks like a taut psychological mindfrak is sure to be an excellent Scorsese/DiCaprio picture as well. Unfortunately, it's rated R, which means that if you have kids you're either going to have to get a babysitter or wait until DVD to watch the film. Well I say balls to that! That's why I've rewritten Shutter Island as a four panel film! Using screencaps of the Google Video ads for the film, which capture the most important and intense emotional and thematic moments of the film, I will rewrite the film in a kid friendly manner. All unpleasantness and foul language will be substituted by a story suitable for both child and parent alike. And yes, the twist ending is in tact, so spoilers kiddies!

"I'm U.S. Marshall Teddy Daniels. I've taken a trip to Shutter Island with my good pal Chuck Aule to visit 'Dr. Cawley's House of Pie'. Right now, we're just sitting down to a nice slice of cherry pie. I love pie. Chuck loves pie. Chuck loves cherry pie. Oh no! They've run out of cherry pie! That's Chuck's favorite. I hope he does not know."


"Whoa...relax there, Chucky boy. There's plenty of pie, cherry and otherwise, in my special room over here. Why don't you and Teddy step inside and join me for a slice? There's some ice cold milk in here too. Mmm, you like milk, don't you? That's right boys, into the restraints you go. I'm not gonna hurt you, it's for your own safety. This pie tastes so good, you won't be able to sit for weeks!"

"As it turns out, there was no pie factory. It was actually 'Dr. Cawley's House of Anal Rape and Pancakes'. Chuck didn't survive the first gangbang, and I'm being expected back in for a second. The horror. The goddamned horror. There was never any pie. I guess that's life in a nutshell: someone promises you pie, and the next minute you're taking it up the ass from some nutjob with a hockey stick and a pancake hat. I fucking hate pancakes."


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Ad Nausate: The 5 Best/Worst Spots of the Super Bowl

Ah, the Super Bowl. The sporting event that pretends it's all about football, when really it's all about the advertising. Football fan or not, everyone can agree the ads are awesome. Sadly, what used to be a showcase for creative ad pitches and the first teases towards the big movie releases of the summer, has now started to become just "meh".

There was no gigantic spectacle, like last year's 3D commercial for Sobe LifeWater and Monsters Vs. Aliens. There were no angry foreign car bosses yelling about Hyundais. More importantly (and this might be a good thing), there were no koalas getting punched in the face. If anything, some of the ads were more annoying than usual this year! Here are my picks for the five best and the five worst ads of Super Bowl XLIV.

The Worst

5. Vizio - Bringing the annoyance of Internet Celebrities to your television!

Want to relive your favorite flash in the pan moments of Internet stardom? Tired of sitting in front of your computer to do just that? Well normally I'd say "Too bad! Now get up off of your ass and head to your computer", but thanks to Vizio you'll be able to watch Chocolate Rain from the comfort of your own couch of failure. If you're still watching Chocolate Rain...or even still remember what it is. If anything the unintended lesson here is technology, much like Internet fame, is fickle, flexible, and always searching for something new to flaunt before either copying it to death or discarding it in failure.

4. Taco Bell - Verbal Diarrhea to compliment your Actual Diarrhea!

I'm amazed Dr. Seuss hasn't risen from his grave and stricken whoever wrote this shitty excuse for a commercial. C'mon Charles Barkley, you were in Space Jam for God's sake! Why couldn't you leave that as your most embarrassing project ever?! Worse yet, this was one of the ads that had a "teaser" ad before its premiere, which means people were actually EXCITED to see this shit. The shit cherry on the jizz iced cake? It sounds like they're close to sampling that "I Love You" song I fucking hate so much!

3. CBS - The Number 1 Network?

We have a three way tie for failure here, and it's all thanks to our friends over at CBS. Their awesome NPH ad for How I Met Your Mother withstanding, I think they've really screwed the pooch this year. First up is the "5D ad", which frankly had me thinking of five other D's that could describe CBS, should this ad's quality be questioned: Dumb, Dreadful, Dry, Deceptive, and Derivative.

The second ad is the "NCIS" ad, which gives all those fans the crossover they've been waiting for...since last season on NCIS. What's more is they waste this opportunity on a stupid one liner, just so they can say "NCIS is a big hit". You could have done the same with Mark Harmon taking out a Simon Cowell look-a-like with a Sniper rifle. (Too much?)

Finally, we have a commercial for Criminal Minds that tries to get all creative on us. Unfortunately, the lighting looks just weird instead of creepy and the writing on the cast member's faces looks like bad prison tattoo work. I was half curious about checking this show out...but if Joe Mantegna (who is normally a great actor) delivers like that on a weekly basis, I think I'll just stick to 24.

2. Google -...wants you to have its baby?!

We're down to the last two ads, which contain two of the things I'm most annoyed with. The first being an obvious ploy to appeal to the "Valentine's Day is a Week Away, Isn't This So Fucking Romantic?" crowd. If you ask me, these Google Search relationships move too fast. In the course of minutes, Google goes from trying to google some French girl's naughty bits to actually building a crib. I'm sorry, but Google trying to have a baby with some random woman reminds me of that scary freakshow of a Sci Fi film know as Demon Seed. You know...the one where the computer wants to be reborn as a baby? Yeah, let that sit in your head while watching this ad.

1. E-Trade - Seriously, fuck you.

And surely if that plan were allowed to come into fruition, you could bet your digitized ass that the babies produced from such a Hellish union would provide us with a whole new generation of E-Trade babies! That's right, the little fuckers are back, and more annoyingly grown up than ever. My offer still stands E-Trade...I'll gladly sell you the writes to the Baby In a Blender commercial I wrote last year. How this shit became YouTube's number 2 favorite from the Super Bowl is beyond me. For the last time: NOT EVERYTHING DEALING WITH BABIES IS FUCKING CUTE!

The Best

5. Snickers - Betty White Knows Your Girl's Moves

Betty White is at her funniest when she sasses back. Sure, she was always hysterical as the naive Rose on the Golden Girls, but I prefer her performances in Lake Placid and Boston Legal any day of the week. Also, Betty White is one tough old bitch. She plays Football, handles firearms, and kills people with iron skillets. Which begs the question: was she a Nazi killin' spy much like fellow "old lady who kicked ass" Julia Childs?

4. Doritos - The Snack Samurai

Part of the "Crash the Super Bowl" fan ad contest, this finalist is one of those slow burn ads. Simple, innocuous beginnings lead to the ending which is so batshit insane that I can't help but laugh at its existence. Also, it helps that a suit of Samurai armor made of Doritos is one of those concepts that's actually funny without looking stupid in practicality.

3. Kia Motors - When Toys Play

Take a bunch of generic toys, throw them into an Ocean's Eleven-esque music video, and watch the fun. If Toyota had an ad this fun for the Super Bowl, everyone would have forgotten that their cars can't stop on command. For the record, I think the Teddy Bear is the most awesome one of the bunch.

2. EA Games - A Hell of an Opener

A classy looking ad with an awesome music selection that actually sells the game for what it is. You don't see this with many movies these days, much less video games; but if anyone were to attempt to top the awesome Modern Warfare 2 launch trailer from last year, it'd be EA with their trailer for Dante's Inferno. (I'm hoping this sparks a new trend, so we'll get the long dreamt of RPG based off of Animal Farm.)

1. Dodge - Dexter FTW!

There's just something about Michael C. Hall's voice in this ad that works. Perhaps it's the fact that he's Dexter, and as Dexter he's always narrating about the daily ins and outs of life...and how much they suck. But like Dexter, us guys wear our mask in front of the ladies, and if that sweet car is the reward for watching crappy Vampire movies, that mask is one we're willing to wear. (Speaking of which, if that's the reward for dealing with the whole Twilight thing, I'm long overdue for one. Someone get me Dodge's legal department on the line!)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Book Review: "The Magicians" by Lev Grossman

We come now to the first library read in the book review segment of the site. I am a huge advocate of libraries, library preservation and expansion, and of course reading in general. It may sound cliched, but I urge everyone to go to their public library often. You'd be surprised what they have for there for free.

After finishing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, an era had ended. The story that captivated the eyes and hearts of readers like myself for a decade had come to an end, and all we had to look forward to was a couple more films that may or may not live up to the awesome standard the books before them had laid out. Some moved on to the Percy Jackson series...I can honestly say I was not one of them. Jackson lacked the charm or the empathy that Potter reveled in, and seemed like nothing more than an Americanized Harry Potter with Greek Mythology as its canvas. So imagine my surprise when I stumbled upon a review on Pajiba for The Magicians, which basically seems like a darker, more thematically adult version of Harry Potter.

The Magicians tells the story of Quentin Coldwater, a brainiac from Brooklyn who one day finds the world of magic by mistake. Sure he loves magic, as is demonstrated in his love for both sleight of hand and the fictional Fillory sequence of books (which is a thinly veiled Narnia parody), but never in his wildest dreams did he imagine that the magical world was real. After a college interview gone horribly wrong, he winds up at Brakebills College, a college for magical study located in its own enchanted (and hidden) corner of Upstate New York. The seasons lag behind a couple months, the fountains are gateways to parts unknown, and Welters takes the place of Quidditch as the magical sport of choice. After a rough examination process, Quentin is accepted among the fold of other burgeoning witches and wizards that are trying to be the best of the best, in hopes of...well, just graduating. But Quentin and his friends discover that the fictional world of their literary childhood memories turns out to be an actual place, which is when things start to become dangerous for a change.

The book is divided into four "books", which is very convenient to the story's format. Indeed, every chapter ends on a cliffhanger and every book ends on a bigger cliffhanger, which makes for a read that very easily seems like a episodic television show. With this book, Lev Grossman is the J.J. Abrams of the literary world, with a dash of J.K. Rowling. His prose is addicting and intelligent, which helps make this book a cut above the Potter books in the respect of language, as well as thematically grown up matters. Our hero Quentin isn't as heroic or stoic as Harry was. He falls in love with the drink, he experiments with drugs, and he cheats on his girlfriend by accident. As a result of his hedonistic actions, we get a hero that's conflicted and imperfect, but ultimately regretful and insecure of his actions. Indeed, the entire Brakebills crowd seem to be the naughty American counterparts of the Hogwarts gang, but they're all the more interesting for it.

When they crossover to Fillory, they are reborn as they slog their way through a perilous quest, and this is where the only thing holding this book back from a Five Star "Must Own" label occurs. The rest of the book seems to zoom by so fast, due to the fact that it tries to do a series worth of adventuring and moral exploration in one book. Though it does mostly succeed in this admirable task, by the end of the book I'd still wanted more. The story hit the notes it needed to, and the quest was quite epic, but I just feel that it might have benefited from at the very least a longer page count. Also, a minor subplot seemed a little underdeveloped involving Quentin and his hometown crush Julia, but that's neither here or there. Major points are scored back with an ending that leaves the franchise open but feels naturally rewarding, but I still maintain that there could have been more questing in Fillory and there could have been a whole other book on their lives in New York after graduation. Ultimately, I still loved this book and highly recommend it to anyone who's feeling the Potter Itch, but doesn't want to merely read the books over again.

I'm Currently Reading: Indiana Jones and the Spear of Destiny by Elaine Lee/Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The (Tuesday) GAAAH! - 2/16/10

It's the Tuesday after a Monday off, which means the GAAAH bomb for the week is dropped today. So grab your cowboy hat, and let's ride the remains of the weekend into the ground.

- Expect a review of The Magicians today. Next up is a Comic Break with Indiana Jones and the Spear of Destiny, followed by Dennis Lehane's Shutter Island.

- It's time once again for AMC's Best Picture Showcase. This year's gripe: AMC's enforcing their "No Outside Food or Drink Policy". So if you're like me (that is to say, a human with a digestive tract that needs to be fed every 4 hours) you're fucked, because Popcorn does nothing, and if you're going to a location that doesn't have too many dining options, you're stuck with shitty theater food. That said, you can go purchase tickets online here. (Note: In order to get the MovieWatchers Club rate of $40 for the Two Day Pass, you need to go to the box office and purchase a ticket in person. They DO NOT have the MovieWatchers rate online.)

- Dear Kardashian Family,

No one really cares about your triumphs, drama, and struggles. We're all just in it for the laughs. Stop taking yourselves seriously, you'll end up just like Pinocchio when he discovered his strings.

Sincerely, Mr. Controversy

- Rent Adventureland. It's funny, it's heartfelt, and it's probably the best thing Kristen Stewart has done so far that's been released to the general public. (The Runaways hasn't been released yet, and Welcome to the Rileys hasn't made it past the festival scene just yet; so those don't count.)

- Senator Evan Bayh...you're a whiny bitch. If things aren't getting done in your organization, you fight harder. That is a Sarah Palin move, buddy; and I'm not the only one that thinks it. You don't retire and leave your party open to the enemy, where even less will get done! As an act of atrition, you should sit out the rest of your term and give your seat to James Carville. (Yes, I know he's not from Indiana, but you know he wouldn't be a little bitch.) The Senate doesn't love you back, ass.

- The Natalie Portman Rap is much funnier uncensored. Proof that bleeping doesn't always make for funnier comedy.

- Happy Mardi Gras everyone! Get some beads, eat a King Cake, and find another excuse to put Drew Brees on the goddamn news again. (Seriously, the Super Bowl's been over for a good week and a half now. Let it go, kids.)

- Snow...still pretty. A bitch to walk/drive in, but still pretty.

- James Cameron...yeah, still want your job.

- I'm thinking of changing the site's tagline. Not sure if I will, but it's one of the new ideas I'm toying with in an effort to improve the site.

- Valentine's Day set a President's Day record at the box office. I guess the shrill harpies out numbered the lil' fuckers this weekend. Though, I was right in thining The Wolfman would be a third place finisher. Here's this weekend's Futile Box Office predictions:

1. Shutter Island
(Criminal insanity and mindfucks make for box office dough if you hire the right actors.)

2. Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief
(Because Chris Columbus isn't all that good at any other type of movie, folks. Just give him some wise beyond their years kids with powers of observation or magic, and watch the dump trucks back in. I still won't watch it though, seeing as I couldn't give a shit that the kid's mom dies in the first 100 pages.)

3. Valentine's Day
(Because I still have some hope for intelligence in this world, and having this rise above third place would be too damaging to that hope.)

Loveable Loser: From Paris With Love
(Apparently, people can't separate Cool Travolta from Revolting Travolta. I'll probably catch this on DVD, seeing as Shutter Island is priority one.)

- I've recently switched to Netflix. Blockbuster can go to Hell now.

- Panama. (guitar riff) Pa-na-ma-ha.

To kick this week off, here's Jack Bauer. (Cue up this video, and skip to 00:27)

Friday, February 12, 2010

Happy Friday Video - 2/12/10

00:48 is probably the highlight of this video. When you can get your enemies to feel like this when you're in a room with them, you know you've got power. Here's a Happy Friday tribute to Jamie MacDonald.

Monday, February 8, 2010

The Monday GAAAH! (2/8/10)

Well, the Super Bowl is over, bringing another year of Football to a close. The ads were kinda weak this year, so I have to say that The Who’s halftime performance was the best part of last night’s festivities for me.

- Sarah Palin is resurging in the news as a hopeful in 2012’s Presidential Race. One could only hope that she forms a new Teabaggers Party, so the Conservative/Stupid Nut Job vote is split in two. And hearing her parrot the infamous, “How’s that Hopey, Changey thing working out for ya?” line makes me want to smack her on the mouth. (Note: Sarah Palin is the second woman to be added to the “Women I Want to Smack on the Mouth” list. The first being Katy Perry.)

- Dear John bested Avatar this weekend. So we go from a war torn love story with a Sci Fi emphasis and derivative source material to a war torn love story with a low budget and crappy source material? Why don’t they just funnel the money back to Avatar, seeing as they’re the ones that did it first this season. My Futile Box Office Predictions are as follows:

1. Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief
Because if there’s a bigger demographic than “women who like crappy romantic films” it’s “kids who like crappy fantasy films.

2. Valentine’s Day
Which would have been shooting fish in a barrel this weekend, if it weren’t for the numerous spawn produced by said holiday.

3. The Wolfman
Which would have probably made a killing had it been released last Fall as originally intended.

Lovable Loser: Me
Because it is yet another weekend without Shutter Island in theaters.

- I’d also like to note that next month we have yet another Nicholas Sparks movie to deal with…Miley Cyrus’s The Last Song. I’d come up with a combined insult to take the both of them down with, but the fact that they’ve joined forces together to make a film is enough of an insult to civilization.

- I was listening to a sermon on a Christian radio station today, and all I have to say is nothing annoys me more than the classic “holier than thou” spiel they play at. Honestly, have you ever noticed how when some preachers pass the word of God down to the unwashed masses, they sound like they’re trying to pass themselves off as God? Not to mention this guy was trying to be funny, and it just came off as uberlame.

- AMC's Best Picture Showcase is coming back soon. 10 films, 2 days, $40. (If you're a MovieWatcher's Club member.)

- Look for a report on the Super Bowl Ads tomorrow. Overall, the ads were weak tea this year, but there were a couple that stood out really well.
- Michael C. Hall has a voice that could sell you anything...because it sounds like he's going to kill you if you don't buy it.

- Why can't ABC and CBS do a crossover between 24 and The Bachelor? We'd get to see Jack torture Jake and then all the Bachelorettes would proceed to give Jack the most satisfying 24 hours of his life. Also, explosions.

- CSI: Miami is doing an episode where they investigate a murder involving Space Travel. What the writers of the show DIDN'T tell you is that the reason they wrote the story line is because Space is the one of the last places David Caruso hasn't acted like a douchebag with shades. Next season: the CSI Miami crew investigates a murder in Atlantis!

- I hate that Blogger's Spellcheck doesn't recognize "Weren't", "Bachelorettes", and "Douchebag" as words.

- (Click here and cue video to 0:07 seconds. Click play RIGHT AFTER reading this last bit.)
My ex is getting engaged on her birthday weekend. I hope the ring's made of out lead, because it looks like I've dodged a bullet.

And now, we're ready to begin the week. (That whole first part of the day thing was all warm up, anyway.) Here's The Who, circa 197X, to play us in...

Friday, February 5, 2010

Happy Friday Video - 2/5/10

This could be the happiest Happy Friday Video EVER. I'm not kidding, it's going to be hard to top this one. Going through my email this morning, I saw that my father had sent me a video of The Rat Pack. Automatically, he's shot a fish in the barrel with that right there. THEN, I look at the description of the video and it goes on to say how this is the only video featuring the legendary Johnny Carson singing in public. That was the Smart Bomb that took out all the other fish. For 3:23 of pure bliss, I give you all "Birth of the Blues". Happy Friday everyone. This'll keep you through the snow.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Oscar the Slouch

This year’s Oscar nominations came up, and as usual it’s a mix of front runners, surprise guests, and films that probably shouldn’t even be nominated. Before we get started, let me just say that if Anne Hathaway were the voice of my alarm clock, I don’t think I’d ever have a problem staying in bed all day. Without delay, here are the nominees and my picks for the Oscars.

The Blind Side
District 9
An Education
The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
A Serious Man
Up in the Air

Wow…Best Picture is including films people have actually seen this year! Way to go Academy! [/sarcasm] I still haven’t seen some of these films, and will still never see some of them (Fuck off, The Blind Side and Precious. If I want a Hallmark movie or if I want to be depressed, I can do both much better on my own.) I hate the 10 picture system, because we all know that if this were the standard five it’d be Avatar, The Hurt Locker, Precious, Up in the Air, and A Serious Man. Why toy with us and throw District 9 in there?! Not cool, Academy. Not cool.

What I Want: Either Inglourious Basterds or District 9. Probably District 9 since it’s the first time in a long while that Sci Fi has been awards season caliber, and it made the genre feels like it had a socially relevant story to tell.
What They Want: Avatar. It’s James Cameron with a healthy slice of liberal guilt, plus the Academy will want to make up for The Dark Knight cock-up in which they didn’t “listen to the public”.

James Cameron -- Avatar
Kathryn Bigelow -- The Hurt Locker
Quentin Tarantino -- Inglourious Basterds
Lee Daniels -- Precious
Jason Reitman -- Up in the Air

I’m not surprised for a second that James Cameron is up here. He did what he did well with Avatar, and for that I cannot begrudge him. (I’d only begrudge him if he was nominated for Best Original Screenplay, because it was anything but.) What’s interesting is that he’s fighting for the honor, in part, against his ex-wife Kathryn Bigelow.

What I Want: I would LOVE to see Quentin Tarantino or Kathryn Bigelow win the Best Director Oscar. They made the “War Movie” work again without making it look like a shameless awards grab. (*cough*The Reader*cough*) Basterds is plain fun Jewsploitation, and The Hurt Locker is an action movie with a brain as well as a pulse. I’d have to side with QT though…it’s his time.
What They Want: James Cameron. He’s a technological innovator, he’s a sure fire box office draw, and he’s a geek. The man’s won before; the man’s probably going to win again.

Jeff Bridges - Crazy Heart
George Clooney – Up in the Air
Colin Firth – A Single Man
Morgan Freeman - Invictus
Jeremy Renner - The Hurt Locker

The first crowded field of 2010. There are some really good choices here, judging by the caliber of the actors nominated, and would you please welcome Jeremy Renner into the A-List. One could only hope he keeps the good work up.

What I Want: I haven’t seen Crazy Heart or Up In The Air, but I can’t help but feel that if Bridges or Clooney walked off with the trophy, it’d be an award well spent. These two should make a film together.
What They Want: Jeff Bridges in Crazy Heart. He’s multifaceted, and he’s making a comeback. The Academy LOVES both.

Sandra Bullock – The Blind Side
Helen Mirren – The Last Station
Carey Muligan – An Education
Gaborey Sibide – Precious
Meryl Streep – Julie and Julia

I always feel like I’m rubbish when it comes to deciding who the best actress is. I think it’s due to the fact that sometimes I can never tell when a woman is acting and when she’s being serious. [rimshot] All kidding aside, it’s an evenly mixed field and there’s no clear favorite.

What I Want: Meryl Streep or Helen Mirren, simply because I just want to give them a huge hug for being so talented. Though it’s nice to see upstarts Gaborey Sibide and Carey Muligan getting some notice too.
What They Want: Sandra Bullock. Hollywood loves its smarm, and Sandra Bullock is the reigning queen of smarm and predictability.

Matt Damon - Invictus
Woody Harrelson – The Messengers
Christopher Plummer – The Last Station
Stanley Tucci – The Lovely Bones
Christoph Waltz – Inglourious Basterds

Christoph Waltz has been a lock since last summer, and the only honest surprise here is Woody Harrelson. Which is a very pleasant surprise, considering the man’s built himself a pretty damn good resume brick by brick. Woody’s like Matthew Mcconaughey: he seems very easy going and carefree with his career, but he pays MUCH better attention to his choices.

Who I Want: Christoph Waltz KILLED IT with Col. Hans Landa in Inglourious, so naturally I’m going to side with him being the favorite. However, I’d like to put it out there that though I haven’t seen his performance, I wouldn’t mind Woody Harrelson walking away with a trophy for The Messengers. He’s pretty talented, and up until now most haven’t noted it.
Who They Want: Christoph Waltz. The man stayed away from the American film scene back in the 60’s because he didn’t want to be typecast as a Nazi. He speaks several languages, can menace or befriend in all, and is just generally a top notch actor. Besides, if he lost the award the Academy would be wary next time they go to a screening of Tarantino’s next film, “Revenge of the Giant Face”. (It’s a musical!)

Penelope Cruz - Nine
Vera Farmiga -- Up in the Air
Maggie Gyllenhaal – Crazy Heart
Anna Kendrick – Up In The Air
Mo'Nique – Precious

The first thought that came to mind hearing these names was, “Maybe Anna Kendrick won’t have to be in those god-awful Twilight films anymore.” Indeed, she’s been so buzzed about this year that I think she could seriously break away from them, provided she doesn’t have a contract. (And even if she did, those things are broken pretty easily. Especially if you use a Peacock.)

What I Want: Haven’t seen any of these films, sadly, but I’d love to see Anna Kendrick win it. I like seeing the cute underdog win her due.
What They Want: Maggie Gyllenhaal will probably walk away with this one. Again, I have no clue seeing as I haven’t seen any of these films.

The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
The Messengers
A Serious Man

Pixar always seems to make their way into this category, and they always seem to lose it. Something tells me though that Up has the best chance out of any Pixar creation of winning Best Original Screenplay.

What I Want: Inglourious Basterds or Up. The legend of the Bear Jew makes for good reading, but when you make the word “Squirrel” one of the year’s funniest punch lines…you’ve got some talent.
What They Want: The Hurt Locker, seeing as it’s probably the only major award it’ll win.

District 9
An Education
In the Loop
Up in the Air

I don’t give a shit if the story faltered; I’m pleased as a pig that In The Loop has been nominated. If anything, I’d enjoy seeing it win just so I can have the pleasure of seeing a film with creative profanity take home the trophy. Also ecstatic that District 9 has resonated with Oscar voters. It’s highly unlikely either will win though.

What I Want: District 9 would be my clear favorite. As I’d said earlier when you make Sci Fi socially relevant again, you’re good in my book.
What They Want: Probably Up in The Air, once again seeing as it’s probably the only major award it’ll win.

Fantastic Mr. Fox
The Princess and The Frog
The Secret of Kells

Wow, for the first time ever the list for Best Animated Feature reads as well as Best Picture! Not one Shrek or Jimmy Neutron or Madagascar in the lot! This year also marks Disney’s triumphant return to hand drawn animation.

What I Want: Up. Pixar’s winning streak should not be interrupted by any means.
What They Want: Probably Fantastic Mr. Fox. Up wasn’t Pixar’s strongest, and Mr. Fox has been gaining steam. I’ll admit, if it has to lose I’ll be glad if it loses to this. (Unless I hate the film when I see it. Then they can go to Hell.)

Oh, and just a note to the Academy...don't go sighing a breath of relief just yet. I've still got a rant on the 10 picture nomination system brewing, and you've got a telecast to wow me with. Don't fuck it up like last year.

Monday, February 1, 2010

The Monday GAAAH! (2/1/10)

Such is the inequity of man that another Monday has fallen upon us. Nevertheless, let us solider on and make our way through The Day of Bauer with as much grace and civility as we can muster, for by the end of this evening someone will get Bauer'd and rightfully so. (A side note: In German, this would be known as "Montag Der GAAAH!". Just thought that was a neat little fact.)

- The Grammys were on last night. Yeah, I didn't give a shit either. However, congratulations must go to Michael Buble and Michael Giacchino for both winning some Grammy gold last night. The show is still shite, but it's a little less shite with awards going to people who deserve them.

- However, Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It) winning Song of the Year was unacceptable. It's songwriting at its most minimal, and at best it should win an award for "Most Annoying Earwig of the Year". Best Song my ass.

- Andrew Young got his ass grilled on Good Morning America this morning. George Stephanopoulos should be renamed George Foreman, it was that bad. If Malcolm Tucker or Jamie McDonald truly existed, it'd be a shouting match to see who got to throttle him, who got to fire him, and which order to do it in. (By the way, if you pull up the first half of the interview, 03:25 is the worst piece of floundering EVER. I wouldn't be surprised if Fox News jumped all over this.)

- Avatar will break the Domestic Box Office Record held by Titanic between Today and Wednesday. Judging by Box Office Mojo's tracking numbers, that's how long it needs to maintain its daily $3 mil + numbers for Weekday Box Office. I also predict that Shutter Island will be the movie to knock it off of its Number 1 perch. (At least, I hope it is. I'd rather see that than the insipid Valentine's Day manage to do it.) Mr. Cameron, you're on in 5. This week's Futile Box Office Projections:

1. Avatar

2. From Paris With Love

3. Dear John

Lovable Loser of the Week: Shutter Island, for not being released until February 19th.

- The Academy Awards will be announcing their nominations tomorrow morning. I really don't see this 10 picture system working, but I guess we'll see what happens. (Also, I wonder if AMC will be running their Best Picture Showcase this year, thanks to said system change?)

- Spoiler alert for Dear John :it follows the patented Nicholas Sparks formula. Boy meets girl, girl falls for boy, likewise with the boy, they make time and eventually split when someone up and dies to spoil their fun. Cue professions of eternal love and violins. Guys, you may now fall asleep during the film; or if by some sick perversion you stay awake, you'll be able to pretend as if you actually paid attention to the plot and not the gorgeous Amanda Seyfried. (By the way, that link up their is a summary for the book. The film may differ, but if you nitpick it enough, the ladies will be impressed.)

- A slight piece of advice: don't go on a drinking binge the night before you have to go to the gym. If you do, at the very least pop some aspirin and drink a fair amount of water before going to bed. It really helps.

- Squirrel.

- Jersey Shore is heading into a second season, and it looks like the housemates are going to another location so the show can be filmed for broadcast this summer. My suggestion: ship these numbskulls out to California. They can never get enough crazy out there.

- I fistpumped for the first time this weekend. Can't say I'm proud of it, but at least I understand it better now, much like a priest after his first encounter with black magic.

- Guinness...what a great beer.

- I wish I was on vacation right now. It'd be nice to be out of the state and enjoying no responsibilities and no rules. Provided I wasn't staying where the Jersey Shore fucktards will be spending their next season. Then I'd be on a full out action fueled rampage.

- Spellcheck doesn't recognize fucktards. That makes me sad.

- Li'l Wayne's voice annoys the fuck out of me. I always want to blow something up when I hear him singing.

- Yeah...squirrel.