Monday, February 25, 2013

Ten People Who Would Make Better Oscar Hosts Than Seth MacFarlane (satire)

Seth MacFarlane was so exceptionally awful as an Oscars host that we thought we'd make a mock list of who would be better than him. Last night, MacFarlane crossed a clear line by making a reference to Jodie Foster in her Oscar-winning role in "The Accused," a film about a woman who has been raped, in a "We Saw Your Boobs" song.

Alas, our good friends at "The Onion" did something somehow even more dubious when they called Quvenzhane Wallis, the nine-year-old Oscar nominee for "Beasts of the Southern Wild," an unmentionable expletive on Twitter. "The Onion" took the tweet down and apologized.

Here is our list:

1) Paris Hilton (pictured, obviously)

2) Miley Cyrus

3) Kim Kardashian

4) Jimmy Kimmel

5) Toby Keith

6) Bob Costas

7) Howie Mandel

8) Alex Trebek

9) Kristen Stweart

10) Rush Limbaugh

Friday, February 22, 2013

Friday Night Tweets: Balance Beams and Ski Slopes

It was our hope to have at least one sports every week on this blog. Hmmmmm. In reality, there are perhaps too many distractions for that. But, since this is one of these "Applebees Fridays," you know one in which you had plans and for one reason or another none of them came to be (for those of you in Nepal: Applebees is an American chain restaurant. There are probably eight in Scranton, Pa.), we thought we'd post various tweets, many of which deal with collegiate or pro athletics.

One thing we found out, but not through Twitter, was that the host University of North Carolina Tar Heels women's gymnastics team edged out the North Carolina Wolfpack by a 195.050-194.875 score. For the visiting 'Pack,' junior Diahanna Ham posted a 9.9 on bars. We didn't see results on the Tar Heels gymnastics site, but we did learn that senior Elizabeth Durkac, from Yorktown, Va.,(pictured center) was named EAGL Conference Gymnast of the Week.

Here are the Friday Night Tweets; we have added some things for clarity:

1) Seattle Weekly @seatlleweekly: "Study: Young adults carry less debt, but it might not be a good thing."

2) Pittsburgh Penguins @penguins: "Things are getting chippy @ConsolEnergyCtr. Tomas Kopecky of the Panthers is in the box for slashing. #Pens now on the PowerPlay. (Spoiler Alert: The Penguins won their home game over the Florida Panthers 3-1; Kopecky is from Slovakia).

3) Auburn Gymnastics @Augymnastics: "Abbey Habitcht of Auburn up next with a small check on her leap series, an awesome series, and a small hop on her dismount." (Auburn was facing LSU in a home meet tonight; no report on which team won the meet).

4) Visit Colorado @Colorado:" Have you ever been lucky enough to ski in a tee shirt? Come to Colorado and you can!" (This is the reason we have an image of Jamaican aerial skier Errol Kerr, top image, even though he is not from Colorado).

5) WBTV-News @WBTV-News (WBTV is the CBS-affiliate in Charlotte, NC): "Tractor trailer crash shuts down North Bound I-77 for several hours."

6) University of Washington Gymnastics @UWGymnastics: "Loud roar in here during starting lineups for Arizona natives and UW freshmen Keirsten Graber and Sheridan Metcalf. And, we mean LOUD!" (UW was facing Arizona State in a road meet).

7) The Baltimore Sun @baltimoresun: "Oscar trivia: Nearly half of this year's acting nominees are previous Oscar winners."

8) BYU Lacrosse @BYULacrosse: "1 more hour until the big game! We want to hear some score predictions." (Brigham Young is facing Chapman, a school in Las Vegas, as we are posting this).

9) WSOC Weather @WSOCWeather (WSOC is the Charlotte, NC, affiliate for ABC): "Ever wonder what it is like to live in London or Seattle, step outside."

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Our Oscar Forecasts: Which Beard Will Win?

Oscars seem to be more about trends and how a film is promoted to members of the Academy more so than what films or actors are genuinely the best in their respective categories.

We came up with the 'which beard will win' line because many are forecasting that either "Argo" or "Lincoln" will win Best Picture.

With that said, we are making the following projections in the eight major categories for Oscar Sunday, and unlike most years, we are projecting several major upsets:

Best Original Screeenplay: Mark Boal "Zero Dark Thirty"

Best Adapted Screenplay: Chris Terrio "Argo"

Best Supporting Actor: Tommy Lee Jones "Lincoln"

Best Supporting Actress: Anne Hathaway "Les Misreables" (pictured)

Best Actor: Bradley Cooper "Silver Linings Playbook"

Best Actress: Jessica Chastain "Zero Dark Thirty"

Best Director: Steven Spielberg "Lincoln"

Best Film: "Argo"

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The 20 Worst Films to Win an Oscar (in our view)

Yesterday, we listed our 20 favorite Oscar-winning films in the Best Picture category. Today, we look at the worst. We want to acknowledge that "Film Comment" featured a 20 Worst Oscar-Winning Films, but these are own ideas. Although, admittedly, several of the listed below (no pun intended) were on that list as well:

1) "Titanic" (1997, first image)

2) "Forrest Gump" (1994)

3) "Going My Way" (1944)

4. "Rebecca" (1940, amazingly enough, one of Alfred Hitchcock's worst films is the only one which won a Best Picture Oscar)

5. "Around the World in 80 Days" (1957, second image)

6. "Crash" (2005)

7. "Shakespeare in Love" (1998)

8. "Driving Miss Daisy" (1989, third image)

9. "A Man for All Seasons" (1966)

10. "The Sound of Music" (1965)

11. "My Fair Lady" (1964)

12. "Terms of Endearment" (1983)

13. "Braveheart" (1995)

14. "The King's Speech" (2010)

15. "Out of Africa" (1985)

16. "In the Heat of the Night" (1967, this film beat out both "The Graduate" and "Bonnie and Clyde")

17. "How Green Was My Valley (1941)

18. "Rocky" (1976)

19. "Oliver!" (1968)

20. "The English Patient" (1996)

Monday, February 18, 2013

The 20 Best Films to Win Best Picture (in our view)

Here is our list of our 20 favorite films to ever win Best Picture Oscars. The Oscars will be televised on ABC tv here in America on Sunday night. So far, we have seen five of the nine nominated films, so it may be slightly premature to predict the future, but it seems ok to reflect on the past.

We should point out that we have not seen each film that has won Best Picture since "Wings" (one of the films we haven't seen) was named the best film of 1927, but we have seen every winner since 1960:

1. "The Godfather" (1972)

2. "All Quiet on the Western Front" (1932)

3. "The French Connection" (1971; reason for the first image of the French comic book character Obelix from the "Asterix" series)

4. "Midnight Cowboy" (1969)

5. "The Apartment" (1960; reason for the second image of an apartment complex in Chicago)

6. "On the Waterfront" (1954)

7. "One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest" (1975, reason for the third image of a German cuckoo clock)

8. "Annie Hall" (1977)

9. "Schindler's List" (1993)

10. "The Godfather, Part 2" (1974)

11. "Lawrence of Arabia" (1962)

12. "The Last Emperor" (1987)

13. "The Deer Hunter" (1978)

14. "West Side Story" (1961)

15. "Casablanca" (1943)

16, "Unforgiven" (1992)

17. "The Departed" (2006)

18. "From Here to Eternity" (1953)

19. "Silence of the Lambs" (1991)

20. "American Beauty" (1999)

Friday, February 15, 2013

The Best Films of 2012 (in my view)

Yes, it has been a long time since we last blogged, and we have broken many promises. But, Feb. 15th is the traditional date in which we list our 20 favorite films that were released in America from the previous year.

I should point out that this year I am going with films that were released in our market area as opposed to films that came to New York.

There are, as always, many films we have not seen, including the three Ls: "Lincoln," "Life of Pi" and "Les Misreables." 

This year, I am pleased to add that Bilge Ebiri, a fellow Turkish-American who is a New York-based film critic who voted in the "Film Comment" best films of the year survey, and I agree that the Turkish film "Once Upon a Time in Anatolia" from director Nuri Bilge Ceylan was the best film of the year. The "Film Comment" survey chose the French film "Holy Motors" as the best film of the year; "The Master" came in second and it was the highest-ranking American film on the list.

Speaking of lists, here is ours:

*-Films that were released after Jan. 1, 2012, in our market.

#-Films which have been nominated for Best Picture Oscar

%-Films ranked in the top 20 of the "Film Comment" survey

1. "Once Upon a Time in Anatolia" (Turkey, see second image) %

2. "We Need to Talk About Kevin"*

3. "Jiro:Dreams of Sushi" (documentary; third image)

4. "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" (first image)

5. "Silver Linings Playbook"#%

6. "Zero Dark Thirty"#%

7. "Argo" #

8. "A Separation" (Iran)*

9. "Django Unchained" #

10. "The Kid with a Bike" (France) %

11. Pina (documentary) *

12. "Beasts of the Southern Wild" #%

13. "The Dark Knight Returns"

14. "Damsels in Distress"

15. "Robot and Frank"

16. "Skyfall"

17. "Arbitrage"

18. "Moonrise Kingdom"%

19. "The Master" %

20. "Haywire"