oscars

Celebrity Halloween – 2015 Academy Awards

NOTE: Click pics to embiggen.

Keira Knightley as…

CHKeiraKnightley

…your binder in the 90’s, where the lyrics of Sixpence None The Richer’s “Kiss Me” intertwined with doodles, hastily figured math problems, and a single drop of spilled Boone’s Farm from a sleepover at Becky’s.

Meryl Streep as…

CHMerylStreep

…that moment right after Mom has downed her fourth glass of Moscato, when she loudly proclaims that she’s going to start dressing classy again, like she did in the 70’s, when it was still shocking in certain circles to wear a pantsuit, but goddammit… sorry, don’t tell your father she swore, but GODDAMMIT… she looked GOOD in a pantsuit. Mr. Brodecker in Accounts Receivable certainly noticed. He’s passed away now, god bless him. There’s more wine right? Ah, we’re having fun…. it’s good to have you kids in the house again…

Channing Tatum as…

CHChanningTatum

…the inevitable path from prep schools, to a decent Midwestern university with a healthy fraternity scene, to a job at Dad’s investment banking concern, to twenty years later, when you find yourself on the boards of museums and hospitals, forced to attend gala functions, and wishing you had gotten serious about starting that Dave Matthews cover band, because, who knows, that really could have lead to something BIG.

Naomi Watts as…

CHNaomiWatts

…a Pilates instructor whose idea of dressing for a night on the town is to literally dress LIKE the town, specifically the recently-refurbished cobblestone streets in the arts district.

Chrissy Teigen as…

CHChrissyTeigen

…the star of the USA Up All Night classic, Undercover Boner Cops.

Jared Leto as…

CHJaredLeto

…the guy you took to prom during your “reading and not really understanding a lot of philosophy books” phase, who you learned years later died in a fire at a head shop.

Dakota Johnson as…

CHDakotaJohnson

…a young actress who just wanted to be in the movies like Mom and Dad, but is now in waaaay over her head and is thinking very seriously about moving out to the desert or something where it’s less likely that people will ask her direct questions about spankings and ball gags.

Ansel Elgort as…

CHAnselElgort

…the main audience for the USA Up All Night classic, Undercover Boner Cops.

Marion Cotillard as…

CHMarionCotillard

…one of those really nice pasta strainers from IKEA that you really can’t afford, but… you know… it’s just so European and neat looking!

Will.i.am as…

CHWilliam

…a forgotten character from Thomas the Tank Engine who was cut due to the lack of opportunities wherein the concepts of scientific hip hop could be worked into the adventures of assorted anthropomorphic trains.

Uninformed Oscar Picks

Golden Statuette

Up front, I will tell you that I have not seen any of the movies that are nominated for the Academy Awards this year. Well… I did see ONE, but… eh. It counts, but it doesn’t count. More on that later.

Now… this begs the question… why am I writing a post about the Oscars if I haven’t seen any of the movies, and am essentially flying blind with my picks? The simple answer is this: The Oscars are silly, and matter very little in the grand scheme of things, so… really… who cares?

On to my picks! 100% Accuracy guaranteed, in the sense that all of the names of movies and people are all spelled correctly.

Best Supporting Actress
Patricia Arquette, Boyhood
Laura Dern, Wild
Keira Knightley, The Imitation Game
Emma Stone, Birdman
Meryl Streep, Into The Woods

I was originally going to say “you couldn’t pay me to see Into The Woods,” but that’s really not true. I’d see that for money. Not for like $20 or anything… probably not even for $50. But if you gave me a crisp, $100 bill… yeah, okay… I would sit through a bunch of celebrities pretending to be singing fairy tale jerks. Or whatever. But seriously though, Hollywood… I think we’ve done all we can do with big budget musicals. Les Miserables was kind of the top of that mountain. We all saw it, we all dreamed a collective dream… mostly involving Anne Hathaway’s whole, sad face chewing up emotions and spitting them out as songs… and it was fine. But we’re good now. Actually, personally, I would have been good if we stopped making musical movies after Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, but that’s me. Dolly Parton… if you’re reading this… you are my light… you are my life.

Anyway, my pick is… Emma Stone, maybe? People seem to like her. Let’s go with that.

Best Supporting Actor
Robert Duvall, The Judge
Ethan Hawke, Boyhood
Edward Norton, Birdman
Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher
J.K. Simmons, Whiplash

I guess I need to get on that Whiplash tip, huh? The previews gave me a real Finding Forrester vibe, but apparently that’s not even close to being the case. Apparently it’s fantastic. I even read one article that said it was the best horror movie of the year, purely in terms of psychological torture. WHA HUH? So… I’m interested. Plus, I like J.K. Simmons anyway from the several thousand character roles he’s had over the years. He’s definitely due some sweet, sweet awards lovin’.

So I’ll say Simmons is going to win. Or Ed Norton. Maybe neither? Maybe there will be a surprise Best Supporting Actor coup. Insurgents will storm the stage, wrestling the trophy from the hands of the presenters, and they will lay it at the feet of Donatello from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. To be fair, he WAS the best teenage, mutant, ninja turtle on the big screen this year. So green and youthful and kicky.

YES, I know he’s technically not real. Neither is Mark Ruffalo. You thought The Hulk was the CGI part of his performance in The Avengers? Don’t be naive. Ruffalo is just ones and zeros. We’re through the looking glass, people.

Best Actress
Marion Cotillard, Two Days, One Night
Felicity Jones, The Theory Of Everything
Julianne Moore, Still Alice
Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl
Reese Witherspoon, Wild

Man… two of these ladies, I can’t even picture their faces in my head when I read their names. That’s not a great sign. Rosamund Pike, who are you? And you… Felicity Jones… what’s your deal? I guess they’re both good at acting. Are they the BEST at acting from this year? To be determined.

My money’s on Reese Witherspoon, though. She’s spunky. Remember that movie Freeway? That movie was fucking crazy. Also, she was in Cruel Intentions, which I maintain is the best movie that 1999 had to offer. What won best picture that year? American Beauty? Yeah, ok, good movie, but what would you really rather watch in the long term…? Kevin Spacey getting boners over Mena Suvari, of all people (remember when she was like a thing… weird), or the sexy love triangle of Reese Witherspoon, Ryan Phillipe, and Sarah Michelle Geller?

Not even a contest. So… in conclusion… Cruel Intentions is going to win Best Picture at the Oscars!

Wait, that’s not right…

Best Actor
Steve Carell, Foxcatcher
Bradley Cooper, American Sniper
Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game
Michael Keaton, Birdman
Eddie Redmayne, The Theory Of Everything

I would first like to state, for the record, that I do not care about Benedict Cumberbatch. At all. Haven’t seen Sherlock. Haven’t seen anything else he’s been in. I think he has a weird face. Very squinty. Kind of looks like he’s a third of the way through a wasting disease at all times. I just don’t see the appeal. But again, I’ve never actually seen him act. So I’m going on some pretty specious, shallow info here. Still though. He looks like an uptight peeled banana.

Moving on… It’s weird to see Steve Carell being serious. I mean, I assume it would be. Like I mentioned, I haven’t seen any of these movies. What am I even doing here??? Hahaha, I could be donating this time to charity. But I’m not going to because I don’t care about anyone or anything. I’m a monster, basically. A monster with a computer. #america

Anyway, my pick for Best Actor is the guy who was Sidney Bristow’s lame reporter friend on Alias, but is now somehow really famous.

Best Director
Alexandro G. Iñárritu, Birdman
Richard Linklater, Boyhood
Bennett Miller, Foxcatcher
Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Morten Tyldum, The Imitation Game

Here’s a thing you probably don’t know about me: For about six months in 2000-2001, I worked as an intern for Richard Linklater’s production company, Detour Filmproduction. Specifically, I worked in the casting office. Doing… stuff. I think I was mostly tasked with going through head shots and making phone calls and… you know… stuff. I was overseen by two people… a man and woman… both of whose names I’ve forgotten… but they were both extremely nice to me, despite the fact that I was pretty terrible at being an intern. Like, I couldn’t even remember to get a receipt when I went on coffee runs. EVER. Not once did I remember to get a receipt. And they were SO cool about it.

I did get to meet Linklater a couple of times. Both times, he smelled the most like weed of any person I had up until that point smelled. Again, very nice. But really dank. And remember… this is in AUSTIN. To be the most weed-smelly person in Austin is a fucking accomplishment.

After about six months, I was told… in a Baskin-Robbins, if my memory serves me correctly… that my services would no longer be needed, and that my internship had come to an end. I kind of shrugged and went back to my full-time job of secretly consuming all of the alcohol that existed and, multitasking, also stockpiling breath mints so my friends wouldn’t know that I was constantly drunk. Ah, to be a man on the cusp of his 20’s! SO ALIVE. SO MUCH WASTED POTENTIAL. WASTED, SO MUCH.

Oh, and Linklater should definitely win Best Director. He has a good handshake. Also, he filmed Boyhood for over a decade. That’s pretty amazing commitment for a guy who’s brain is most assuredly 50% bong resin.

Best Picture
American Sniper
Birdman
Boyhood
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
Selma
The Theory Of Everything
Whiplash

The one nominee… for anything… that I saw this year was The Grand Budapest Hotel. It was cute. Very precious. I mean, I liked it, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to defend it or anything. I definitely feel like there were other movies out there that were of a higher quality. Personally, I thought Guardians of the Galaxy was better. Or at least it was more FUN. But that’s not nominated, so it’s really kind of a moot point. So I guess me having seen The Grand Budapest Hotel counts, but it also doesn’t count because I really could care less if it wins, doesn’t win, has all its available prints put in a rocket and blasted at the moon. Whatever.

I guess let’s go with Boyhood. It’s got the nifty gimmick, plus it’s really “emotional” and “moving,” which are things that people look for in movies. It’s no Cruel Intentions, but hey, they can’t all be golden examples of cinematic perfection.

Celebrity Halloween – 2014 Academy Awards

Jeremy Renner as…

86th Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals

…the hair gel & body spray concierge at the Hotel de Venereal Disease.

Lady Gaga as…

86th Annual Academy Awards - People Magazine Arrivals

…the art deco bride from a wedding cake topper that became empowered and married itself.

Jared Leto as…

jared-leto

…that time when Jesus took a break from being the Messiah and just waited tables at an event hall in New Jersey for like a year or so…. just him, Peter, and Judas… enough money in their pockets for brewskis, hoagies, and some gas to get them to the shore… not a care in the world… no commandments to preach… those were the days, man… those were the days…

Ryan Seacrest as…

86th Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals

…a cheerful marionette that got turned into a real boy, and, with the help of his magical talking cricket friend, weaseled his way into a production deal with the E! Network.

Lupita Nyong’o as…

lupita nyongo

…your girlfriend’s new fashion icon, which is a losing battle, as your girlfriend looks like literally the exact opposite of Lupita Nyong’o, which is to say a pasty Midwesterner who could pass for Alton Brown in a sundress.

Glenn Close as…

glen-close

…the floor mat from a 1978 Dodge Charger.

Anne Hathaway as…

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…a fierce elfin warrior deemed too insufferable for the new season of Game of Thrones.

Johnny Weir as…

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…K.D. Lang’s ill-fated experimentation with glam rock.

Pharrell as…

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…hip-hop’s Little Lord Fauntleroy out for a night on the town with his androgynous butler and several tubes of shin cream.

Liza Minnelli as…

liza-minnelli

…a Blue Meanie from Yellow Submarine that had its face pulled taught in an industrial accident.

The Worst/Best Winners At The Academy Awards: A Retrospective

The Academy Awards are this Sunday, finally giving our nation’s famous millionaires an opportunity to win something on TV. In celebration of these fine people achieving everything they’ve ever wanted as they enjoy success beyond their wildest dreams (unlike yourself, who had a fistful of gummi worms for breakfast), here’s a breakdown of the LEAST DESERVING winner in each major Academy Awards category.

NOTE: We’re only going as far back as 1980, here, because, as far as I’m concerned, nothing that happened before I was born matters.

The Least Deserving Winners in Oscar History (1980 to Last Year)

Best Original Screenplay: Ghost (1990)

Ghost was a massive hit, mainly because it provided a visual for our nation’s number one collective fantasy: being wrapped up in Patrick Swayze’s arms while making pottery. The screenplay itself was nothing more than a collection of goopy soap opera beats loosely tied together by a bunch of silly, ghost-related business. Plus, no dance scene for Patrick Swayze??? I don’t CARE if it wouldn’t have made sense for the character. GIVE THE PEOPLE WHAT THEY WANT.

Best Adapted Screenplay: Out of Africa (1985)

Have you ever actually WATCHED that movie? It’s 17 hours long and it literally accelerates the aging process in your body as you watch it. It LITERALLY does that. If you’re 25 when you start watching Out of Africa, you will be well into your 50’s by the time it’s over. Nothing that boring should ever be presented with an award of any kind, unless it’s an award for being the Best Nap-Maker. Which is not an actual award. I checked.

Best Documentary: He Makes Me Feel Like Dancin’ (1983)

This is the actual poster for an Academy Award-winning film. I have no further comment.

Best Supporting Actress: Judi Dench, Shakespeare in Love (1998)

Judi Dench was on-screen in Shakespeare in Love for less than 8 minutes. To give you a little perspective here, the thank-you speech she gave when she won the Oscar for that -8 minutes of screen time was in the ballpark of 4 minutes. When I become the President of Movies (should happen in the next decade or so, provided I get off my duff and finish the essay portion of my application), I will make it HOLLYWOOD LAW that you can’t win an award for a movie if you’ve been in it less than a solid half-hour. No exceptions allowed, even for knighted British fancypantses.

Best Supporting Actor: Benicio del Toro, Traffic (2000)

I’ve seen Traffic a couple of times, and… though I generally have no problem with Benicio del Toro… I simply do not understand how or why he won an Academy Award for this role. The only thing I can figure is that there was a misprint on the ballots that were sent out that year, incorrectly identifying the “Best Supporting Actor” category as “Best at Mumbling.”

Best Actress: Julia Roberts, Erin Brockovich (2000)

It’s not that Julia Roberts was BAD in Erin Brockovich… she was, you know, fine. Sassy, and whatnot. It’s just bad luck on her part that she won the same year that one of the truly great, most flawless lead performances ever given by an actress was ALSO nominated. That would be Ellen Burstyn in Requiem for a Dream. Who wins Award X at the Oscars is very often not about the actual performance (or screenplay, or ability to edit film, or whatever) itself… there’s always politics and “who’s overdue” and a million other factors. Roberts winning over Burstyn will go down in Oscar history as the most egregious example of TINSELTOWN SHENANIGANS.

Best Actor: Russel Crowe, Gladiator (2000)

Man… 2000 was a big whiff for the Oscars. This is a different version of the previously mentioned TINSELTOWN SHENANIGANS. “You really should have won last year, so… um… here’s your Oscar for that role, for THIS role! Love ya, xoxo!” Crowe was brilliant in 1999’s The Insider, but was beat out by Kevin Spacey’s deadpan suburban reawakening in American Beauty. It happens. The following year was a pretty weak one for the Best Actor category (Geoffrey Rush, for example, was also nominated for his turn in Quills; an extremely campy performance in an extremely so-so movie). And, when you factor in that people seemed to like Gladiator… C’MON UP HERE, RUSS!!!

Best Picture: Crash (2005)

Originally titled Racism is Bad: The Movie, Crash will go down in history as one of the biggest mistakes the Academy Awards ever made. Just a thoroughly terrible movie; it’s pandering, mawkish, and obvious to the point of insult. Crash winning the award for Best Picture is proof that, in 2005, the Academy voters were taken over by space aliens who really enjoy movies from the Lifetime Network, but with a higher casting budget.