Monday, February 27, 2012

The Oscars are a Joke

It's official, the biggest movie franchise of all time goes 0 for 12 at the Academy Awards. Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Part 2 lost all three categories, two of which were to Hugo. While Hugo is a good film, let's be real, the only reason it got so many wins and nominations is because Martin Scorsese directed it. Visual Effects was the biggest snub...I don't understand how anything in Hugo was deemed better than Harry Potter. The dragon alone looks so realistic soaring over London.

Also, Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Part 2 was the best reviewed film of 2011, and won no Academy Awards. Last year's best reviewed film, Toy Story 3, won Best Song and Best Animated Film as well as picking up a well deserved nomination for Best Picture. I really believed after Toy Story 3 got some love that they were going to open things up to more films. Who knows, maybe they will eventually.

The Harry Potter film series has pumped so much cash into Hollywood and given so many jobs. Without Harry Potter, movie attendance would have been even more disastrous in 2011. You would think the Academy would respect it enough to at least show some kind of tribute to a beloved decade long franchise. But, they are still too boring. Even if The Dark Knight Rises lives up to the hype, it might get nominated, but its safe to say it won't win.

However, at the end of the day it's just a statue, Harry Potter gets the last laugh. The series will live on for generations and continue making an enormous amount of money, while people will eventually forget many of the nominated films. I don't remember what movies won Best Picture in 2007, 2008 or 2009 without looking it up. Do you? Case closed.

The film did win at some other awards shows though. It won a SAG Award for Stunt Ensemble, Visual Effects Award at the BAFTA's (who also honored the entire series with a Lifetime Achievement award - take note Academy) and People's Choice for Favorite Movie among others. The Deathly Hallows Part 2 was also honored as the National Board of Reviews best film of 2011. That is the most prestigious, with recent films honored being The Social Network, Up in the Air, Slumdog Millionaire, No Country for Old Men, and Letters From Iwo Jima...except all those were nominated for Best Picture. Harry Potter is the only winner to not be honored with at least a Best Picture nomination at the Oscars. Suck my wand, Academy.

And randomly, Jennifer Lopez was one tiny sea-breeze away from a nip slip wardrobe malfunction.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

2012 Academy Awards

So the Academy Awards are tonight...but I just have to say YAWN. This years event seems to be following in line of the same-old, same-old show that they've done in recent years with the typical Oscar bait. At least last year you had Toy Story 3 nominated for Best Picture. It was a long shot to win, but having a movie that's animated and a big budget blockbuster and a sequel was a rare sight. This year that is few and far between. Melissa McCarthy is nominated for best supporting actress for Bridesmaids (also nominated for Best Original Screenplay). Comedy rarely gets love at the Oscars, so that is nice. But that's about the only surprise there is.

It's sad to see the best reviewed film of the year (Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Part 2) get snubbed because of the fantasy genre and blockbuster nature of it. At the very least Alan Rickman deserved a nomination as Snape. Harry Potter fans can look at technical categories though. It's nominated in 3 of those - Best Visual Effects, Best Makeup and Art Direction. It should win at least one, hopefully two, to at least get some recognition.

For the main categories, I think  these will win: Best Picture - The Artist. Best Actress - Viola Davis (The Help). Best Actor - Jean Dujardin (The Artist). If not those two, I would expect Meryl Streep or George Clooney. Supporting Actor should be between Christopher Plummer and Kenneth Branagh. Supporting Actress should be between Octavia Spencer and Berenice Bejo.

Enjoy it if you watch. I'll be watching The Walking Dead & Celebrity Apprentice. I'll tune in here and there to see if Harry Potter gets any technical awards.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Simpsons Reach 500 Episodes

Tonight at 8pm on FOX, The Simpsons will celebrate their 500th episode, titled "At Long Last Leave." The family realizes the rest of Springfield wants them gone, so they move away into the wilderness. Similar to The Simpsons Movie, but this episode will recall the entire history of the show that premiered in December 1989.

Even after all these years and criticisms that the show is not as good as it was in the 90s, it still delivers laughs and occasionally outstanding episodes capable of standing with those 90s episodes. Especially during the last few seasons, it seems like they have given us the best material we've seen in years. Early reviews say this episode is solid as well, especially the opening couch gag. This episode is a can't miss for fans of The Simpsons, including ones who haven't watched it in years. My favorite episodes from the past 5 years:
2007: "24 Minutes"
2008: "MyPods and Broomsticks"
2009: "Waverly Hills 9-0-2-1-D'oh"
2010: "Boy Meets Curl" & "The Squirt and the Whale". Both are amazing episodes, hard to pick just one.
2011: "Holidays of Future Passed"

Also, The Celebrity Apprentice returns for a new season tonight at 9pm on NBC. Donald Trump brings in a new cast capable of bringing the drama and high tempers. Teresa Giudice and Victoria Gotti, anyone? They reportedly did not get along too well. Sure to bring the laughs are Howard Stern Show favorites and Comedy Central roasters, comedienne Lisa Lampanelli and Star Trek alum George Takei.

Monday, February 13, 2012

2012 Grammy Awards Thoughts

The 2012 Grammy Awards are in the books, and here are the Best Performances (By the way, the awards now take a backseat to the performances, it's basically a long concert now):

Adele - Recovering from throat surgery, she gave an amazing performance of "Rolling in the Deep." She swept the night, and deserved it for saving the music industry. 2011 was the first time since 2004 that sales increased, and she was the reason. Without her album, they would have decreased again. And she may have spurred people into actually buying other albums as well. 21 has currently sold 6.5 Million Copies (the biggest sales total since 2004), and is on its way to 7 million, and possibly even 8 million before 2013.

Bruno Mars - It was like a mix between Elvis with his moves and Prince with his sound, and I was surprised how good it was. I didn't know much about him before the show, besides "Grenade", but I may have to download "Runaway Baby."

Paul McCartney - He ended the night with an outstanding performance of the "Golden Slumbers Medley" (joined by Bruce Springsteen & Dave Grohl) from the epic 16 minute Abbey Road Medley, which is the ending to The Beatles' 1969 album Abbey Road. Music lovers should own Abbey Road already, if you don't, well what are you waiting for?

Jennifer Hudson - Performed Whitney Houston's classic "I Will Always Love You." She really did the song justice, one of the few who can, and it was a fitting tribute to Whitney and all the musicians lost in the past year. Alicia Keys and Bonnie Raitt also did a wonderful job performing a tribute to Etta James. And none of them needed auto-tune or lip syncing, which brings me to the worst...

Worst performance of the night: Chris Brown. I just don't get him. After beating Rihanna he did another thing that irked me, allegedly, when he performed a tribute to Michael Jackson in 2009 and its rumored someone saw him use eye drops to make tears. Trying to use a death to your advantage? Not the way to go. Jennifer Hudson showed how it is done.

WTF? - Nicki Minaj. She performed that seemed based on 1975 horror classic The Exorcist. It was strange even for Lady GaGa. And the song was weak. She would have been better off performing "Super Bass" and bringing Sophia Grace and Rosie on stage. It would have been a feel good moment that still had people talking.

The Foo Fighters also gave two killer performances, and The Beach Boys reunited. The Beach Boys don't sound quite as good, but it was still nice to hear some classic songs. They forgot to call Uncle Jesse aka John Stamos.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Whitney Houston Dead at 48

RIP to another music legend, Whitney Houston has died at the age of 48. She was found dead in her hotel room around 3:30pm in Los Angeles. Currently no cause is known, but in recent years she struggled with drug addiction along with ex-husband Bobby Brown, who many blame for introducing her to drugs. I'm assuming she never kicked the habit. Whether it's street drugs or prescription drugs, its just not worth it. Its a shame when talented people can't kick their bad habits, such as Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Michael Jackson, Amy Winehouse & Kurt Cobain. They all succumbed to their addictions. She had such a powerful voice, and was a natural talent who didn't need any auto-tune. One of her better songs was 1985's "How Will I Know."
You could really get a feel for her powerful voice when she performed The Star Spangled Banner at Super Bowl XXV on January 27, 1991 in the midst of the Gulf War. The rendition reached #20 on the Billboard Hot 100 and ten years later reached #6 after September 11th: 

Her last album, I Look To You, was released in 2009 and was certified Platinum. While not a massive success like her previous albums, it still did well in a climate where albums don't sell as well as they used to. She recently completed filming of a movie titled Sparkle, which is supposed to come out in August 2012 and it is rumored she was contacted to become a judge on The X Factor alongside Simon Cowell and LA Reid. I'm sure it would have led to a career comeback, so you must wonder if and why she went back to drugs when her future seemed so bright. Anyone out there battling drug and/or alcohol addiction needs to seek help.

This news comes just one day before the 2012 Grammy Awards. I am sure they will be scrambling to conduct a fitting tribute in some way.

Lindsay Lohan better take note and get herself healthy or she will end up going down the same path.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

One Million Moms: Get A LIFE

So there is this group called "One Million Moms", who made some news for trying to get JCPenney to fire Ellen DeGeneres, simply because she is a lesbian. First of all, they aren't "One Million"...they have 800 twitter followers. Even I have more! Pathetic. They need to get a life and stop being hateful bored housewives with nothing better to do. Ellen does more to help people than these stupid twits will ever do. You close-minded bigots can Suck It, simply put. 

Howard Stern came out in support of Ellen and lashed out at this hate group in his own colorful way. They also attacked him recently by asking people to boycott NBC and America's Got Talent, which he begins in the summer. Be sure to watch!

Even Bill O'Reilly came out and defended Ellen, lashing out at the head woman of "One Million Moms." No matter what you think of him, he is smart enough to know that these hateful groups give others a bad name. 

Make sure you support the new and improved JCPenney! They really have great deals. And it will piss off a bunch of hateful assholes in the process. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Iran Bans The Simpsons

Iran has banned dolls of The Simpsons. They say it will "morally corrupt" the young people in the country. Censorship at its finest folks! They really need to kick that dictator out of there, depriving people of The Simpsons must be the last straw. Eat My Shorts, Ahmadinejad.

The Simpsons have been around since 1989 on FOX (actually even before that, when they were a short on The Tracy Ullman Show in 1987) and they still cause controversy. Life without The Simpsons would suck ,that's for sure, so thank you for continuing strong!

Speaking of The Simpsons, the episodes the past few seasons have been going strong. People say the episodes have not reached the quality of the first ten seasons in the 90s, but lately they have been getting better. People that haven't seen the show in years may want to check out some of the new episodes. You can also now download The Simpsons Arcade game from 1991 on Xbox Live and PSN. I remember dropping a bunch of quarters on that game, and you can still find it in some arcades that are still around.

The landmark 500th episode of The Simpsons airs February 19th on FOX. I'm sure they have something special planned. The founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, is actually guest starring on the episode. Here is the official episode synopsis: "The Simpson family discovers that everyone in Springfield has grown tired of them and are secretly planning to have them thrown out of the city. The family moves out of Springfield to a rugged place where Julian Assange becomes their new neighbor."

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Super Bowl Aftermath

First, the Halftime show. All in all, Madonna did a good job. Not great, but good. Most songs were lip-synced, though I'm pretty sure "Like A Prayer" was performed live, and clearly the best song of the set. The visuals were outstanding though.

MIA flipped her middle finger during the "Give Me All Your Love" performance. I don't think it's a big deal, but I think people will overreact, just like with Nipplegate. And most probably didn't even notice at first. I don't get the point of giving the middle finger, except for press. Actually, maybe this was a genius move on her part. Watch it below.

The game was solid and the New York Giants pulled it out in the end like I predicted. As a side note, the Patriots won all three of their Super Bowls during the Spygate time, when they were using cameras to spy on opponents. All three were wins by just a Field Goal. You have to wonder if the Patriots would have won all 3 had they not had those trusty and illegal cameras. But they won't talk about that on ESPN.

Oh, and The Voice is better than American Idol. They allow different people an opportunity, and the show is somewhat entertaining even though I don't like singing competition shows very much.

Super Bowl and Madonna

MDNA cover, out in March
Madonna will become the first solo female Super Bowl halftime performer since Janet Jackson in 2004. That was of course the infamous Nipplegate show thanks to Justin Timberlake.

The rumored set-list is: "Vogue", "Give Me All Your Love", "Music" and "Like a Prayer". "Holiday" and "Ray of Light" were previously rumored. Nicki Minaj and M.I.A will join her for her new single, and some other rumored guests are Cee Lo Green, LMFAO and Foo Fighters. I doubt it will be all of them, so hopefully LMFAO will not be there. Cee Lo makes sense since The Voice premieres after the game. Foo Fighters would kick some ass, so if they don't join her, maybe they will get their own halftime show next year? (My money is on Bon Jovi, I assume they will get a performance in the next few years.)

As for the game, I pick the Giants to win. I don't like the Patriots 31st ranked defense. They were lucky that Ravens receiver Lee Evans dropped a touchdown pass and Billy Cundiff missed a chip shot Field Goal, or they wouldn't even be in the Super Bowl.

You can download Madonna's greatest hits album, Celebration, for just 3.99 on Amazon for a limited time only as the daily deal: