The ONLY Oscar Blogger, who lives in walking distance to the Kodak Theater!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Minor Update on 31 Days

I have been working on a film set all day today (13 hours) and probably all day tomorrow. I'll post the first moustache post late tomorrow night.

I have some minor updates on the Oscar front to wrap up the season, but I need to get some sleep. Those updates will probably happen late tomorrow and early next week.

Friday, February 27, 2009

What Future Nominees Can Learn from Mickey

It's been a little less than a week and a lot people still are surprised that Mickey Rourke lost on Sunday. I never bought the Rourke hype. I found him to be a serious threat, but I always remained confident that Sean Penn's name would be said on Sunday night. Why? Here's some reasons why Rourke possibly cost himself the little gold man.

Please take note, next year's Oscar nominees.

1. Burning Bridges
Hollywood can be ruthless. Trust me. I have first hand experience. It can also be very unforgiving. Again, trust me. Millions of dollars are on the line and if you fuck up, you'll pay.

Mickey Rourke fucked up for a long time. He made bad decisions. The Academy and SAG (both awards that Penn won) being filled with people in Hollywood were probably much less forgiving than the Hollywood Foreign Press or British Academy (both not part of the Hollywood film industry). People failed to overlook this before the Oscars.

2. Acceptance Speeches
Some people don't realize this, but acceptance speeches at the Globes, SAG, and BAFTAs actually matter. Especially, the Globes and SAG, which is before the majority of Academy members vote. These early acceptance speeches are test runs for the Oscars.

People like to be inspired when you take the stage. They don't want to be bored. They want you to be articulate and gracious. Most importantly, they want you to be have class.

While Rourke was both inspiring and gracious on the stage for his wins at the Globes and BAFTA, his speeches were a little too edgy for their own good. Especially his inarticulate use of the "f bomb". Also, talking about Marisa Tomei's looks in a sexual way and Darren Aronofsky's balls is also not a good idea. It's funny, but it all comes off classless. Sadly for Mickey, the Academy cares more about class.

3. Appearance
Look at this above picture. I've worn some crazy outfits in the past, but how can you not wear a tux? Rourke didn't make any attempt to hide his bad boy image. The Academy doesn't want to admit it to themselves, but it's conservative. If they tell me they're liberal, then I would laugh in their face. This may change in 20 years, but right now it's conservative.

With that said, if someone is wearing chains and is showing a silver tooth, I don't think that's the best idea. I thought Mickey had a publicist? Couldn't she convince him to at least try to look a little better. I'm not even suggesting cutting his hair, but he could at least put on a nice suit for a couple months.

4. Affiliation
I'm a wrestling fan, but why would Rourke start an angle with the WWE on the red carpet? He said he was going to kick Chris Jericho's ass at the SAG awards. Why would he then make an appearance on Larry King Live to start a feud with Chis Jericho? Why would he want the WWE to talk about his role every week to promote the film. All this is fine unless you're a serious threat to win an Oscar!

Rourke should have not done anything with the WWE until after the Oscars. Instead, he had his possible involvement at WrestleMania XXV all over the news. Then, he awkwardly backed out of a match (for now) in an attempt to save face.

This was just a bad decision and again I blame Rourke's team. Unless Mickey went against his agent and publicist's advice, I don't get why he would have done this. It was a complete bonehead move.


Mickey isn't the first person to possibly cost himself an Oscar. Remember Russell Crowe in 2001 for A Beauitful Mind? He had that race wrapped up before he snapped after the BAFTAs. His performance was much better than Denzel's. Or how can we forget about Eddie Murphy in 2006 for Dreamgirls. He won practically everything leading up to the Oscars. Then, for some reason he had Norbit released right in time for when the Academy members received their ballots. This even created a term called the "Norbit Effect".

Let me finish by writing that these four reasons don't cost you the Oscar. I just believe they are important factors that COULD attribute to someone's loss. The Academy Awards is about prestige and respect. It's an elite club and Rourke didn't fit that mold at the end of the day. Then again, I personally think Sean Penn was better anyway, so who knows if any of this mattered anyway.

Brady Marries Bundchen

You know what the Oscar red carpet lacked this year? Tomele. Yes, Tom Bray and Gisele Bundchen. The nickname isn't as sexy as Brangelina, but this may be more of a power couple. Apparently, the two married on Thursday after months of denying an engagement. Look at this couple though. The most successful football player in the world and the most successful supermodel in the world. Simply amazing.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Slumdog's Bold Statement Gone Wrong

I just saw a commercial about Slumdog that said the following about the film:

"The Most celebrated... Most joyful... Most loved film of the decade."

The decade? What? The year I wouldn't argue with, but the decade? I'm sorry, but I completely disagree. It's statements like this that make people like this film even less. I really have a problem with them saying "the decade". Maybe, this is a mistake and this ad was never supposed to air. It did and it doesn't come off right.  Please tell me I'm not the only person who thinks this.

Fox Searchlight and Slumdog should be a little more gracious and humble.  You won the most Oscars since Return of the King and had the best awards run in history.  Congratulations, but you sound like a bunch of pretentious assholes.

Does Real Person Equal Oscar?

After Sean Penn's win the other night, it got me thinking how much does the Academy favor actors portraying real people? I found this list to be surprising. It's actually somewhat even for the leads in the last twenty years. As for supporting, it's not very common at all for actors portraying real people. I think this more has to do with the fact that many biopics have strong leads that get most of the awards heat. I didn't include nominations, but fictional characters still have the edge by a fairly large margin.

It is much more lopsided this decade towards real people. Why? Don't really have the answer, but 6/9 for Best Actress and 5/9 for Best Actor. I wrote this a week or so ago, but I don't really think that one is easier to portray than the other. Both real and fictional characters have their respective challenges. Part of me wishes I took an acting class when I was in film school, so I could add more to this argument. For now, here's the list I compiled.

Best Actor - 8/20
2008 - Sean Penn, Milk (Harvey Milk)
2006 - Forest Whitaker, The Last King of Scotland (Idi Amin)
2005 - Philip Seymour Hoffman, Capote (Truman Capote)
2004 - Jamie Foxx, Ray (Ray Charles)
2002 - Adrien Brody, The Pianist (Wladyslaw Szpilman)
1996 - Geoffrey Rush, Shine (David Helfgott)
1990 - Jeremy Irons, Reversal of Fortune (Claus von Bulow)
1989 - Daniel Day-Lewis, My Left Foot (Christy Brown)

Best Actress - 8/20
2007 - Marion Cotillard, La Vie en Rose (Edith Piaf)
2006 - Helen Mirren, The Queen (Queen Elizabeth II)
2005 - Reese Witherspoon, Walk the Line (June Carter)
2003 - Charlize Theron, Monster (Aileen Wuornos)
2002 - Nicole Kidman, The Hours (Virginia Woolf)
2000 - Julia Roberts, Erin Brockovich (Erin Brockovich)
1999 - Hilary Swank, Boys Don't Cry (Brandon Teena)
1995 - Susan Sarandon, Dead Man Walking (Sister Helen Prejean)

Best Supporting Actor - 3/20
2002 - Chris Cooper, Adaptation (John Laroche)
2001 - Jim Broadbent, Iris (John Bayley)
1994 - Martin Landau, Ed Wood (Bela Lugosi)

Best Supporting Actress - 4/20
2004 - Cate Blanchett, The Aviator (Katharine Hepburn)
2000 - Marcia Gay Harden, Pollock (Lee Krasner)
1998 - Judi Dench, Shakespeare in Love (Queen Elizabeth)
1989 - Brenda Fricker, My Left Foot (Mrs. Brown)

Five Years of Oscar Stats

This past Oscars was my fifth year really predicting the show. At least it was my fifth year with records of what I picked. I thought it would be fun to take a quick look back at the last five years. Highlight both the good and the bad.

I'm actually in the process of creating an Oscar Archive with picks and analysis I've done over the years. I hope to have it done in the next couple months. I'm not rushing it as my goal is to simply have it done by the start of the next awards season, which is really in the fall.

In the meantime, here's some lists of my proudest and dumbest picks.

Top 5 Proudest Picks
1. It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp (2005 - Best Original Song)
Everyone said Bird York's song in Crash would take it. I took a huge gamble and it's still my proudest Oscar pick. It actually may never be topped. I still can't believe the Academy voted for it.

2. Departures (2008 - Best Foreign Language Film)
Waltz with Bashir or The Class? No, it was Departures. I went with my gut on this after really looking at the nominees. Another huge gamble that paid off for my record setting night.

3. I Need to Wake Up (2006 - Best Original Song)
What Dreamgirls song will win? None. I was confident in the Dreamgirls split and was proven right.

4. La Maison En Petits Cubes (2008 - Best Animated Short)
These shorts are always tough, but everyone was convinced it would be Presto. Thank God I watched Presto before the Oscars and realized that it wouldn't win.

5. Alan Arkin (2006 - Best Supporting Actor)
Eddie Murphy won everything leading up to the Oscars. Then, Norbit came out. I don't know if Norbit was the main reason for this loss, but Murphy tripped up regardless. I scored a big win with Arkin.

Top 5 Dumbest Picks
1. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007 - Best Cinematography)
I picked Blood for almost the whole season and decided to change to this. Blood won and I'm an idiot.

2. Babel (2006 - Best Picture)
The big question of 2006 was will it be Babel or The Departed? I chose Babel and paid for it. I really don't know why either. I think Babel is a mediocre film. I was just nervous that Departed was too dark. I was wrong.

3. Babel (2006 - Best Editing)
Please see above.

4. Ruby Dee (2007 - Best Supporting Actress)
This was a tough race. Dee did win the SAG, but I had little confidence in here. I simply didn't buy Swinton not winning any major precursors and taking this. Again, I was wrong as Swinton won.

5. Cars (2006 - Best Animated Feature)
I actually liked Happy Feet in this race, but I figured Pixar would win. They almost always do. Well, this is one of the few times Pixar lost.

Top 5 Surprising Picks I Got Wrong
1. Brokeback Mountain (2005 - Best Picture)
Do I even need to explain?

2. Children of Men (2006 - Best Cinematography)
This film was easily the best shot of the year. Those long track shots were stunning. I'm still not sure why it lost.  Was it too good that people voted against it just to spite Lubezki?

3. Pan's Labyrinth (2006 - Best Foreign Language Film)
In hindsight it makes a little sense that it lost to Lives of Others, but very few people actually saw it coming.

4. There Will Be Blood (2007 - Best Art Direction)
It seemed like Blood was going to take a couple Oscars home. I thought Jack Fisk was going to pull it off, but the Academy chose a more conventional art direction in Sweeney Todd.

5. No End in Sight (2007 - Best Documentary)
Everyone had this film winning and it lost to Taxi on the Dark Side. I think the Academy may have been getting sick of the political docs.

2008 22-2*
2007 15-9
2006 18-6
2005 21-3
2004 18-6
* Record

Best Director 5-0
Best Actor 5-0
Best Supporting Actor 5-0
Best Original Screenplay 5-0
Best Adapted Screenplay 5-0
Best Original Score 5-0
Best Short - Live Action 5-0

Best Actress 4-1
Best Supporting Actress 4-1
Best Animated Feature 4-1
Best Art Direction 4-1
Best Costume Design 4-1
Best Film Editing 4-1
Best Foreign Language Film 4-1
Best Makeup 4-1
Best Original Song 4-1
Best Short - Animated 4-1
Best Visual Effects 4-1

Best Picture 3-2
Best Documentary - Feature 3-2
Best Sound Editing 3-2

Best Cinematography 2-3
Best Documentary - Short Subject 2-3
Best Sound Mixing 2-3

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

31 Days of Moustache is Coming!

Yes, you read that right. After a year delay, I will be doing 31 days of Moustache during the the entire month of March. So, we're actually going to take a complete break from the award season the entire month. I think we're all a little burnt out, so I'm going to take a quick vacation talking about Oscars.

I have pre-selected 30 of my favorite moustaches throughout history. I have reserved the last spot for someone special. Who? You'll just have to wait (don't worry it's not me). These 30 other people will have their order randomly drawn in the next day or two. I didn't want to play any favorites. I have no idea who is going first or last.

All I know is that 31 Days of Moustache is going to be a lot of fun. Stay tuned.

2009 Oscar Contenders

I have put all the Oscar contenders in a column on the right. I have probably missed a couple films. If you feel like I should add something, please let me know and I'll put it there.

The plan will be to add and delete films as the season changes through the year. At this point, who really knows what is for real and what isn't.

Oscar Rating Does Improve

This is somewhat old news, but I didn't get a chance to write about it the last two days. The Oscars did improve their rating on Sunday. Considering that last year was abysmal, I guess that wasn't that hard. It still only managed 34.26 million viewers. That's a 6% increase from last year's 31.76 million.

Some people say that telecast was a failure, but as the old saying goes, "Rome wasn't built in a day." I don't think anyone expected the ratings to sky rocket on Sunday. If anything they waned to lay the groundwork on improving the ratings in the long term. Word of mouth will spread and I expect next year's rating to improve again.

Really, the Academy needs to nominate a huge film again. That was why many people hoped for The Dark Knight, which would have made people want to watch the show. Over 57 million people watched Titanic win 11 Oscars in 1998. And, in 2004 43.56 million watched Return of the King sweep 11 Oscars. Big movies equal big ratings.

I don't think the Oscars will ever be watched by Super Bowl numbers anyway. Most guys could care less about the Oscars. The only reason all my friends watch it is because we all went to film school and/or work in the film industry. I live in this bubble of film lovers in Los Angeles.

Hell, I watch the Oscars for roughly 12 hours the day of (pre-show, show, post-show). I guess I'm in the minority though. Haha.

Gay and Lesbian Censored

Apparently, STAR, a TV network in 53 Asian nations that reaches more than 300 million viewers edited out any references of gay or lesbian during the Oscar telecast on Sunday. That means that both Dustin Lance Black and Sean Penn's acceptance speeches were edited. I don't know all the details and I haven't seen any actual video of these edited speeches, but what shame.

It's ridiculous that people get offended by the mere words of homosexuality. When are we all going to grow up and realize that homosexuals do exist? Or are we all going to hide behind our bibles and insist that God only loves straight people?

Oscar Contest Champ Speaks

I heard back from the Oscar Contest champion earlier today. I have to say I'm even more impressed by the fact that Soundplui is from Serbia. It makes me happy to know that I have international readers. Soundplui won't get the Crash dvd, but the trophy will be displayed on the blog. You can view it on the right side column. Here is an excerpt of the email:
Oh, my God, I'm the number one!!! :)))

It's a great blog! Just keep doing it!

I will be in touch with the second place finisher shortly.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

2nd Annual Oscar Contest Results

My apologies for the delay. We had 65 people enter the 2nd Annual Spaghetti Sauce and Sweet Peas Oscar Contest. I had hoped to get 50 people and we did much better than that. Last year we only had 37. It took me longer than anticipated to add up the ballots.

This year's show was a little more predictable than last year's, so the scores were also much higher. Last year's winner won with 15. This year the winner had 21.

I'm still proud to say that yours truly set a new personal record on Sunday night with an astonishing 22 wins. I lost Sound Mixing and Best Documentary - Short Subject. This record performance resulted in Oscar Contest wins at Web-Goddess, LAMB, In Contention, The Envelope's Ultimate Academy Awards Contest, SRMedia's Can You Beat the Crowd, the Academy Awards Predictions Game, and BuzzSugar (still waiting confirmation on victory). I placed second in Awards Daily and Predict the Oscars.

I should have won eFilm Critic's Contest, but screwed up by not going all or nothing on multiple categories. They use a weighted point system where you assign points to the nominees. Here's some words for advice for everyone, bet everything if you really want to win. I got too conservative and lost by 65 points (bet 50 on Rourke and 20 on Davis). I only cost myself 50 dvds, but I'm not bitter. Haha.

Anyway, enough about me. As for this contest, here's some quick facts:

63/65 picked Heath Ledger to win Best Supporting Actor
63/65 picked WALL-E to win Best Animated Short
54/65 picked Slumdog Millionaire to win Best Picture
26/65 picked Sean Penn to win Best Actor
11/65 picked La Maison en Petits Cubes to win Animated Short
8/65 picked Slumdog to win Sound Mixing
5/65 picked Departures to win Foreign Language Film

In a couple intriguing boyfriend/girlfriend battles, Trisha Tamashiro dominated Julian Gray (it's going to be okay, Julian). Kyle Dickinson edged out Allison Keeler and Dres Fischer-Centeno handily defeated Stacia Stolzenberg. Don't worry ladies, there's always next year.

As for the scores, here are all 65 of them...

Soundplui, 21
Jimmy Orsag, 20
Paul Jarnagin, 19
Nick Bragg, 19
Scott Grannan, 19
Megan Kavanaugh, 19
Brian Bedard, 18
Dres, 18
Nick, 18
Chris Miller, 18
Dion Blackler, 18
Andrew Smith, 18
Kevin Forman, 18
Danny Porcaro, 18
Rhianon, 17
Alan Steele, 17
James Syta, 17
Kyle Dickinson, 16
Caleb, 16
Ron Conlin, 16
Allison Kucera, 16
Kari Granlund, 16
Dean Treadway, 16
Jim Brooks, 15
Dylan Fields, 15
Alex Lotz, 15
Jason Stevens, 14
Jon Washington, 14
Ross Bonaime, 14
Lisa Pestidge, 14
Scott, 14
Trisha Tamashiro, 13
Anne Sarnowski, 13
Brian Alan Sandoval, 13
Sean Richardson, 13
Adam, 12
Allison Keeler, 12
Alex Oppenheimer, 12
Molly Green, 11
Ronald Apple, 11
Anders, 11
Nicool, 11
Stacia Stolzenberg, 11
Dave Bartlett, 10
Brian Flynn, 10
Joey Bonander, 10
Eric Stockman, 10
Chris Roderick, 10
Michael Shefcheck, 10
David Bradley, 10
Nathan Whitcomb, 9
Sadrac Alfaro, 9
Luis Rojas, 9
Jessica, 9
Beth Hartnett, 9
Sara Mouser, 9
Rob Lee, 9
Keith, 8
Alexis Broske, 8
Sam Leroy, 8
Nolan Wang, 7
Melissa Pierce, 7
Jens Takle, 7
Julian Gray, 6
Lori Cersosimo, 4 (Still love you, sister. Haha)

As you can see there are massive ties and it's going to take me a while to break these ties (I have to do everything by hand). Only the winner gets a prize, so give me a couple weeks (Haha, it's too tedious to do it any quicker) and I'll let you know your exact rank.

If you think they may have been a mistake, I will happily look over your ballot again. I did do everything by hand, but I'm very confident that the top scores are accurate. Please contact me within the next three days if you think there is a problem. After that, all scores are final.

If the winner refuses the Crash dvd or fails to respond, then I will contact the next person. I wrote this last week, but I'm setting a cutoff with the prize. If it is NOT CLAIMED by the last person with 18 wins, then it will be up for grabs next year. In the event it gets down to the people with 19 or 18 wins, then the tiebreakers will be enforced. Click HERE for tiebreaker rules.

I hope some people checked out the site during the Oscar season. I lived down the street from the Kodak and tried to give my readers a unique perspective of the whole event. I hope to build off this for next year. I would love to hear any suggestions that could make this site better. I'm coming into my own as an Oscar pundit and want people to take my predictions seriously.

I do want to let everyone know that I'm looking for some help next year. It's not that I can't do this by myself, but I want to get other opinions on the award season. If this is something that may interest you, then please let me know. We'll talk details in the near future.

I'm also thinking of creating a buzz meter similar to one done by The Envelope and other Oscar sites. This would consist of a group of people who really follow the races. They rank the nominees according to who they think is the strongest to win. It's a good resource for the average reader to help them fill out their ballot. Could possibly be a collaboration with LAMB. Not sure, I got to talk to some people.

I do have a lot of good ideas and I have high hopes that this site can be a success. I feel like I'm really getting a handle on this whole Oscar process. This contest is just one small part in an effort to make this site more legit and attractive.

Thanks everyone for participating. I'll see you next year for the 3rd Annual Spaghetti Sauce and Sweet Peas Oscar Contest

Looking Ahead to the 2009 Oscars

Well, we are now officially in the 2009 year of film. It's crazy to think that this decade is almost over. Let's hope 2009 ends the decade with a bang. Below I compiled a list of some of the bigger films coming out this year. I'm sure that I missed a couple.

I have even listed my top 5 anticipated films of the year and my first Best Picture predictions. I'm going to hold off predicting other categories for a little. It's too much of a crapshoot and I have to do a little more research on some of the films.

Top 5 I'm Looking Forward to the Most
1. Taking Woodstock
Ang Lee's newest film is about the Woodstock festival set in 1969. This film will actually be released on roughly the 40th anniversary of the legendary concert (arguably the greatest of all time). I actually have a copy of this script and it should be a great film. The Oscar potential should also be interesting to watch. For now I don't see it getting serious consideration, but at this point in the game who the hell knows. I can't release too much details because I don't want to get in trouble, but watch out for an acid trip scene with a well known actor. People will barely recognize him. I know this from my previous employment at a management company.

2. Avatar
This is James Cameron's first film in 12 years (yes, Titanic was his last). This script and project have been highly protected. It was going around town as Project 88. I can't wait to see it partially because I have some history with it. When I was an intern three years ago I saw the cover to this script. The company I was at was possibly getting involved in the project. The script was shredded and very few people actually saw it. Oddly enough, I bumped into Cameron in the elevator the same day. Anyway, this film should do well with some technical awards for sure. Not sure where it stands on Best Picture, but it's something to look out for. Finally, watch out for Sam Worthington (also in Terminator: Salvation), who I got to know a little when I was at the management company. You heard it here first, he's going to be a huge star by the end of 2009.

3. Public Enemies
Michael Mann's newest film comes out this summer and it strikes me as being a huge hit this year. Johnny Depp, Christian Bale, and Marion Cotillard lead an all star cast. I have faith tha this film is going to be awesome and should do well at the Oscars (I think). Honestly, what guy doesn't love gangster movies?

4. Nine
Rob Marshall's newest film is another musical (he directed Chicago) starring Daniel Day-Lewis. I can't believe DDL is doing another film so quickly. I also can't believe he's going to sing. This is another huge cast with Cotillard, Cruz, Kidman, Hudson, Dench, and Loren all joining DDL. That a hell of a cast of females. I'm not a huge fan of musicals, but this is one that I'm actually dying to see.

5. Shutter Island
Scorsese is back and he's back doing another film in Boston. This is actually based on a book by Dennis Lehane (wrote Mystic River). Am I the only one who thinks it's funny that Marty is doing all these films in Boston? I don't have a problem with it, I just think it's kinda funny. Leo is back with Marty again. Also, another film with a strong cast (Ruffalo, Kingsley, Mortimer, Williams, Haley) and it's hard not to think this is a film that could be a serious Oscar contender.

Best Picture Predictions
1. Public Enemies
2. The Human Factor
3. Shutter Island
4. Nine
5. The Lovely Bones

I'm giving the top spot to Michael Mann's film, but I also picked Revolutionary Road last year (Haha). Nobody really knows anything at this point. It's all speculation. The Human Factor seems like it going to be in the hunt. Anytime Clint directs a film, you have to take him serious. This time he's doing a Nelson Mandela biopic that could win Morgan Freeman his second Oscar of the decade.

I also look to Scorsese and Marshall's two films, Shutter Island and Nine. Both have had recent Oscar success with Best Pictures (The Departed and Chicago). I love the casts for both films and you also have to like their chances to make some noise in the acting categories.

I'm going with The Lovely Bones in the final spot. Peter Jackson is back and this is a film based off a very popular book. That could be either good or bad. I mean look at the Da Vinci Code. Part of me just has faith in Jackson. He's one of the best around.

Other films I think could be here are (in alphabetical order) Amelia, Avatar, Cheri, Sherlock Holmes, and Taking Woodstock.

Below I have posted a list most of the major films coming out this year. Please let me know if I missed something. I will add it to the list. I have a special feature (non Oscar related) going on in March (details coming soon), but in April I'm going to actually predict the top six categories (Picture, Director, Acting) just for fun. We'll see how I do predicting roughly nine months from nominations.

In alphabetical order:

Alfred Hitchcock & the Making of Psycho
Amelia
Avatar
Away We Go
Biutiful
The Boat That Rocked
Broken Embraces
Brothers
Cheri
An Education
Green Zone
The Human Factor
The Hurt Locker
The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus
The Informant
Inglorious Basterds
Julie and Julia
Killing Pablo
The Lovely Bones
Love Ranch
Nine
Nottingham
Public Enemies
The Road
A Serious Man
Sherlock Holmes
Shutter Island
The Soloist
Taking Woodstock
The Tempest
Terminator: Salvation
Toussaint
Tree of Life
Up
Up in the Air
Whatever Works

A Look at History

I wanted to take a quick look at history to compare Slumdog's run to the other Best Picture since 1993. I also included Brokeback since it was actually the most awarded film next to Schindler's List and Slumdog. Other years (i.e. 1995 and 2004) where Braveheart and Million Dollar didn't win much was very spread out, so I declined to add another film for that year.

I only included major awards from the critics and guilds. Then, I also put in the Golden Globe, BAFTA, and Oscar. If I were to include multiple critics groups and the lesser known guilds, then Slumdog's line would be much longer than everyone else's.

Let's take a look.

AWARDS:
LAFCA - Los Angeles Film Critics Assocation
NYCC - New York Film Critics Circle
BFCA - Broadcast Film Critics Assocation
Golden Globe
BAFTA
DGA
PGA
SAG
WGA
Oscar

Note 1: SAG award first given for 1994 year in film, but ensemble award not first awarded until 1995 year in film.
Note 2: BFCA award first given for 1995 year in film.

Schindler's List (1993)
LAFCA, NYFCC, Golden Globe, DGA, PGA, WGA, BAFTA, Oscar

Forrest Gump (1994)
Golden Globe, DGA, PGA, WGA, Oscar

Braveheart (1995)
WGA, Oscar

The English Patient (1996)
Golden Globe, DGA, PGA, BAFTA, Oscar

Titanic (1997)
Golden Globe, DGA, PGA, WGA, Oscar

Shakespeare in Love (1998)
Golden Globe, SAG, WGA, BAFTA, Oscar

American Beauty (1999)
BFCA, Golden Globe, DGA, PGA, SAG, WGA, BAFTA, Oscar

Gladiator (2000)
BFCA, Golden Globe, PGA, BAFTA, Oscar

A Beautiful Mind (2001)
BFCA, Golden Globe, DGA, WGA, Oscar

Chicago (2002)
BFCA, Golden Globe, DGA, PGA, SAG, Oscar

Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (2003)
NYFCC, BFCA, Golden Globe, DGA, PGA, SAG, BAFTA, Oscar

Million Dollar Baby (2004)
DGA, Oscar

Brokeback Mountain (2005) - Lost Best Picture Oscar
LAFCA, NYFCC, BFCA, Golden Globe, DGA, PGA, WGA, BAFTA

Crash (2005)
SAG, WGA, Oscar

The Departed (2006)
DGA, WGA, Oscar

No Country for Old Men (2007)
NYFCC, BFCA, DGA, PGA, SAG, WGA, Oscar

Slumdog Millionaire (2008)
BFCA, Golden Globe, DGA, PGA, SAG, WGA, BAFTA, Oscar

How Will We Remember 2008?

Oh, 2008, how we'll miss you. Or maybe not. Last year it was really hard to say goodbye to 2007. It was truly a remarkable year in filmmaking. There Will Be Blood. No Country for Old Men. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. No film in 2008 even came close to being as good as those three. For that reason, it's difficult to really compare the two years back to back. It's actually unfair to 2008.

Does that mean that 2008 was a bad year? I wouldn't say that. It was a forgettable for the most part. When looking at this year, the most remembered film will probably be The Dark Knight. A film that is currently the second highest grossing film of all time. It surpassed every expectation and is not just a great comic book movie, but just a great film in general. It's a classic.

Like Crash before it, I feel that Slumdog's reputation will suffer in the coming years. People will probably ask us all what we were thinking? Slumdog Millionaire is the most honored film of all time? What? A film that won more Oscars than The Godfather: Part II (6 wins) and Lawrence of Arabia (7 wins). It won the same amount of Oscars (8 wins) as On The Waterfront and From Here to Eternity. It's not to say the film was horrible, but don't you think we overreacted just a little?

Some people say poor competition, but there were some quality films this year. I start with Milk, which was one of the best biopics of the decade. It even won Sean Penn his second Oscar in five years. It would have been my vote for Best Picture. Harvey Milk's story is a fascinating one that is comparable to Martin Luther KIng Jr. and Barack Obama. He gave a certain group of people hope. I find it to be an emotional and inspiring film.

Even Benjamin Button was not that bad of a film. If people over-appreciated Slumdog, then they under-appreciated this film. People used a poor excuse of saying this film was too much like Forrest Gump. While the similarities are there, it's an unfair statement. How stupid do you really think Fincher, Roth, and co. are? Believe it or not, a lot of films are similar. It was like people came into the film expecting it to be so much like Gump that it took away from their appreciation of the film. Button is a technical marvel. It did lack heart at times, but I still left the theatre satisfied.

Two actors really caught the imagination of the public this year: Heath Ledger and Mickey Rourke. Ledger's run to Oscar glory is a story that will never be forgotten. Possibly never duplicated again. It's a true testament to his talent. More importantly, it all makes his premature death hurt even more. At times I forgot he died 13 months ago these last two weeks. Now, with the Oscars over, he'll really be gone. His awards run kept him alive long after he died. And, his roles of Ennis Del Mar and The Joker will reassure that his legacy is kept intact for many, many years.

Mickey really came back this year and he became one of the great stories of film. He even managed to give Sean Penn a run for his money and almost win the Oscar. Even with the loss, Mickey is a great lesson for any struggling actor. It's not easy, but the film industry can be forgiving. Though, the more important lesson is just not to fuck up in the first place. Also, don't forget about Robert Downey Jr. who also made one hell of a comeback this year, too. Let's hope both of them work off this year and not waste their talent any longer.

On a personal note, this year has reminded me how important film is in my life. I'm not 100% sure what the future holds, but I continue to have hopes and aspirations. Covering the awards this second year was truly special. I called this the best Oscars ever and I truly mean that. Forget about the record of 22-2 (oddly enough the Oscars were held on 2/22) even. Being so close the Kodak gave me this greater appreciation to the whole spectacle. Due to my financial situation, I will probably leave this area of Los Angeles in the short term and won't be here next year, but I'm determined to come back at some point.

As for the historical context of this year, it's always hard to do this soon. I see it as being an average year with good, but not great films. A couple amazing performances from the likes of Sean Penn, Mickey Rourke, and Heath Ledger. An astonishing run to glory from a film that almost went straight to dvd. And, an even more astonishing run of half a billion dollars from a film with a man in a bat suit. Here's to 2008. And, here's hoping that 2009 will amaze us even more.

Top Oscar Pundit Scores

Mikey Filmmaker - 22
Tom O'Neil (Gold Derby, The Envelope) - 21
Kris Tapley (In Contention) - 21
Pete Hammond (Notes on a Season, The Envelope) - 20
Dave Karger (Entertainment Weekly) - 20
Nathaniel Rogers (Film Experience) - 20
Tariq Khan (Fox News and Envelope forums) - 19
Scott Feinberg (Feinberg Files, The Envelope) - 18
David Carr (Carpetbagger, New York Times) - 16 or 17

I have only one thing to say...

"That's what I'm talking about!"

Monday, February 23, 2009

Oscar Night, 2009

This was written by my friend, Kyle, over at The Unlimited Freedom Castle. I told him I would post this. I actually plan to do more of these guest posts next year to be able to provide other perspectives on the state of key races. Enjoy!


Even though I didn’t go 24/24 in the second annual Spaghetti Sauce and Sweet Peas Oscar contest, the night turned out to be a rousing success. I don’t care what anyone else says, it was a fun night, and I wasn’t necessarily predicting that. Looking at the ballot I was really unimpressed with my choices, and going into the night I wasn’t particularly invested in any of the major awards. Last year I was rooting hard for both There Will Be Blood and No Country for Old Men, but this year my favorite films just weren’t nominated for much.

The volcano of hope known as Slumdog Millionaire was exploding its charade of being the fantastically great best movie of all-time all the way up until the big day, and there was an undeniable lack of excitement surrounding Best Picture and Best Director. Something must really be going over my head about that film, because to this day I cannot put my finger on what makes it stand out to practically everyone that saw it. I get the hope aspect, and I get the exotic location and cinematography, but the rest is beyond me. I’m most likely a hypocrite, but give me Wall-E, Man on Wire, or Milk if I’m looking for some real hope and passion. In the end I’m fine with the outcomes: the three films above were represented, and its not like Slumdog is a bad film or anything – just not the best.

Oh well, enough of my Slumdog hate. The following are a few notes about the night:

- I was REALLY fucking impressed with the opening musical piece. At one point I said outloud, “Hugh Jackman is a fucking talented bastard”. The guy can sing, he’s a dancing fool, and whoever penned the lyrics were clever bastards. The bit about The Dark Knight making a billion dollars and not being sophisticated, as well as having not seen “The Reader” were my favorites. Oh, and the end with him saying something about being Wolverine. Fantastic. Side note: The trailer for Wolverine looks underwhelming. And then he jumps onto the helicopter from his motorcyle. After that it turns to awful.

- Steve Martin always impresses me at these kind of events. Why can’t he do that with his current film career? It’s like he has a bar of soap in his hands, and when it slips out it ends up being a movie that falls flat on the shower floor, but when he makes a public appearance he’s got ahold of it and is washing himself clean. That’s a fucking terrible metaphor, but yeah, I like Steve Martin, and I really hope someone has the good mind to stop making Pink Panther movies.

- Dustin Lance Black gave a great acceptance speech. He looks like he’s about 25 years old, but has a bit of aged wisdom in his words. Side note: He’s actually 34? Holy shit.

- Domo arigato, Mister Roboto. Hilarious. That was about the only thing the Short Animation award recipient could have said to make the moment less awkward. He succeeded, and the academy is instituting a new rule for foreign award recipients: “If you can’t speak a lick of English you have to say a well-known American song lyric featuring your native language. Ex: “Psycho Killer quest que ces” if you are French, or “Livin’ La vida loca” if you are Spanish.

- I don’t think Ben Stiller is funny. If we all just ignore Joaquin Phoenix, maybe he will just go away.

- Are Seymour Philip Hoffman and Xavier Bardem related?

- James Franco and Seth Rogen were hilarious. Especially the Milk moment. Fucking genius. I read on some Oscar blog that this was one of the worst moments of the night. BULLSHIT. There is definitely an age gap when it comes to having a decent sense of humor, and I'm sure that was written by a really old person.

- Does a memorial segment need so many god damn camera moves? I. COULDN’T. READ. SHIT. You do not need to be artsy about this stuff. Side note: Paul Newman was the man. I would chisel his face on a Mount Rushmore of Awesome.

- Danny Boyle looks like a leprechaun, or as I read somewhere, “like Morrissey’s geeky accountant brother”. However, I proclaim him worthy of winning Best Director. He was legitimately excited for EVERY Slumdog award of the night, and seemed truly humbled by the whole experience. He’s made some good movies over the course of his career, and while Slumdog might not be his best, he is certainly Oscar worthy. Here’s hoping that he continues to make a wide range of films for the remainder of his career.

- Politics aside, Sean Penn kinda sounded like a smug bastard. He was a deserving winner, but yeah, I can get why a lot of people don’t like him. Side note: Out of the nominees, I thought Milk should have won Best Picture.

- So, the night was a success, but I still have one bone to pick: Why wasn't Christopher Nolan at least nominated for Directing? I am still just fucking FURIOUS for this oversight. I get that people don't want a "comic book" movie nominated for Best Picture, but are you going to tell me that Stephen Daldry had more on his plate and executed it to a greater degree than Chris Nolan? It's really a shame that he wasn't recognized on such a hallowed night, especially for a movie that will be remembered far longer than most of its peers.

- If you made it to the bottom of this you get a secret surprise: My Top 9 Favorite Films of 2008. Yes, I'm going with 9 instead of 10. And yes, I saw more than 9 films in 2008, but these 9 were the only ones to impact me from the moment I left the theater or turned off the DVD player. At the bottom is the list of films I missed, but desperately want to see.

9. American Teen
8. Son of Rambow
7. Revolutionary Road
6. Man on Wire
5. In Bruges
4. Vicky Cristina Barcelona
3. Milk
2. Wall-E
1. The Dark Knight

Films to see: Doubt, Gran Torino, Rachel Getting Married, Synechdoche, NY, Let the Right One In, Che, Happy-Go-Lucky, Tropic Thunder, Frozen River, Surfwise

Thoughts on Greatest Oscars Ever

INITIAL THOUGHTS
Let me start this post off with one simple phrase: "The Best Oscars Ever!" I'm only 23, but for me I don't think last night will ever be topped. I'm not even talking about just the show. I'm also talking about the opportunity I had to cover these awards. I really don't know if I'll ever get the chance live so close to the Kodak again. My goal was to give my readers a unique prospective and I hope I succeeded.

I feel like I came into my own this year. I'm still not on the same level as Tom O'Neil, Pete Hammond, Sasha Stone, and Kris Tapley (to name a few). They are my go to Oscar pundits. Simply the best. I actually want to thank them for another great year of coverage. I hope to one day get close enough to their level where I am at least mildly respected.

THE ACTUAL SHOW
A lot of people were skeptical, but they really came through last night. Hugh Jackman I thought was fantastic. He may have been the best Oscar host I've seen (I was too young for the Billy Crystal years). That opening number was hilarious. I seriously didn't know Hugh Jackman could sing. It was nice to see a musical number start the show rather than a monologue, which is usually hit or miss.  It really set the tone early.

I also thought the presentation of the awards was refreshing. I actually like when last year's Best Actor presents Best Actress, but I forgot all about it as soon as Best Supporting Actress was presented. Having five previous winners in the category was not only different, but added this extra prestige to the presentation. It was like, "Welcome to our exclusive club."

The show also felt super fast.  The decision to present multiple awards with the same presenters was a smart one.  It makes sense to just present both Sound Mixing and Editing together.  Or present Song and Score together.

The set was also amazing. I loved the look they went with this year. They really made an effort to re-invent this show and they succeeded. I really approve and hope they can work off this to continue to make the show better for many years.

I know the ratings were still low (apparently third lowest ever), but I feel like word will spread how good this show was and it will end up helping the Oscars improve their ratings in the long run.  I don't know if it will get back to the rating the year Titanic won.  Only time will tell.

THE (TWO) LOSSES
The sound awards actually split this year. I'm still surprised that Slumdog won this since Mixing has usually gone to the loudest film. I'm also shocked since CAS actually foreshadowed the winner. They have a horrible track record. I have to say that I still wouldn't have changed my pick if I was given the chance. Knight was the logical choice and I was just not comfortable going with Slumdog here.

Best Documentary - Short Subject always screws me up. Back in 2005 when I went 21/24, I picked God Sleeps in Rwanda, which everyone was picking. It lost to A Note of Triumph. I have said this before and I'll say it again, this is the hardest category to predict. It is notorious for curveballs. Very few people picked Smile Pinki. I had a feeling that Witness was going to lose, but I was hoping it was going to be against The Conscience of Nhem En. Like the above Sound Mixing category, I don't think I would have changed my pick to Smile Pinki.

THE "CLOSE" WINS
Best Actor was clearly the race of the night. No one really had a good idea who was going to win this, but I thought Sean Penn was still the favorite going into last night. Yet, many people said Rourke was. He was on fire of late, but Rourke still lacked the SAG win and the Academy "image". He burned a lot of bridges too and I have a feel he may be resented within the Academy.  Even look at him on Sunday.  He was like the first guy to not wear a tie at the Oscars since Sly Stallone.  He also would have been only the second Best Actor winner for a long haired role. I do think these little factors hurt him. I also think his short involvement with wrestling also hurt him. Still look on the bright side, Mickey lost last night, but he's back for now. Well, at least let's hope so.  I'm already looking forward to his next role.

Best Supporting Actress was a great way to open up the show. I'd be curious to see how close this race really was. I was a little nervous since Vicky Cristina Barcelona was not well received by the Academy. Cruz already being a former nominee and a respected actress was enough to get her across the finish line. Woody Allen just has a great track record for Best Supporting Actresses. Viola Davis was the popular alternative this year, but her lack of screen time was probably her biggest enemy (that arguably hurt Ruby Dee last year). The nomination of Amy Adams also hurt as she probably took votes away from her co-star.

Foreign Language Film was one of the big upsets last night. Waltz had too much going against it. It was an animation, documentary, and from Israel (no Oscar wins). It was too unconventional. The Envelope also tipped off that Departures was popular among some of the voters. They also reported that The Class (presumed spoiler) was not well received. Then, In Contention also wrote about a possible upset. Departures was gaining steam towards the end, but most people were too scared to pick it (part of me doesn't blame them). I took this all into consideration and changed my pick. It was definitely a risk, but it paid off big time.

Best Animated Short was another big upset. I wrote this the other day, but I watched Presto on Friday night. I just had this gut feeling it would lose on Sunday. It didn't really impress me that much. It was definitely funny, but it just didn't strike me as an Oscar winner. Pixar actually hasn't won this award since 2001 (surprising I know). I also think the subject matter in Cubes was something that voters could relate to. It dealt with an old man whose house is getting flooded. I have still yet to see it, but from what I've heard it's a heartfelt short. That was the reason for my pick.

THE CONTESTS
Let me start off with the bad news first. I SHOULD have won the 9th Annual eFilm Critic Oscar contest. They use a point system rather than outright winner. Every category has an assigned point value and you assign the points accordingly. This can usually be done to your advantage in tight races. Also, you don't have to be able to predict outright winners.  Sadly, it is not to your advantage when you predicted 22 categories correct. I'm not trying to sound cocky, but I got too conservative and was afraid to give some of the nominees 100% of the points in a category. So basically I screwed myself.

I was 65 points from first place. Well, I put 50 points (out of 100) on Mickey Rourke. I put 20 (out of 100) on Viola Davis. I put 15 (out of 30) on Waltz with Bashir. I put 10 (out of 20) on WALL-E for Sound Editing. That's 95 points.  These are categories I all got right and it would have made me the winner. I only am so disappointed I didn't win this since this is one of the best Oscar contests for prizes. They give away tons of dvds and other cool prizes. I learned my lesson and next year I'm probably going to go all or nothing on every category.

I also lost the Predict The Oscars! contest by one point, but at least there were no prizes there. I actually lost this contest since I wasn't able to modify my ballot with the last minute Sound Editing change.  If I did, then I would have won that by two points.  Oh well...

I finished second place in the Awards Daily contest.  Someone over there got 23/24, which I simply tip my hat to.  That's incredible.

Now, look at the wins. I'm still waiting on confirmation on a couple, but what a year! I even won a couple great prizes (some unknown at the moment). As cool as prizes are, I actually am just excited to win some of the biggest Oscar contests around. I know I won the following: Web-Goddess (LOOK at these sock monkeys I won! Haha.), SRMedia's Can you beat the Crowd? (over 500 players), In Contention (one of the best Oscar blogs around today), and the Academy Awards Predictions Game (roughly 200 players).

I'll post some more info on these contests later. I would rather do one big post when I have more details from every contest.

ON SLUMDOG WINNING BEST PICTURE
Look I'm not a huge fan of this film, but I was happy for it. I was. I think it's nice that a film like this won. Maybe it will send a message to studios to stop trying to make "Best Picture" winners and just focus on making great films.

Slumdog really broke new ground last night. It dominated. And, it dominated big pictures like Benjamin Button and money making machine of The Dark Knight. It even took out Harvey Weinstein. Something like this may never be done again. You to respect that. It was an awards run for the ages.

MILK'S MOMENT
I want to say something quick about Milk. I was very happy that the Academy chose to recognize Dustin Lance Black and Sean Penn. Not only were both deserving, but I felt like it was important for them both to make emotionally charged speeches on equal rights for everyone and acknowledging the shame in the passing of Proposition 8. I can tell you that I live in Los Angeles and I'm ready to overturn it whether it be in the next election or sooner.

FINAL THOUGHTS
I'm going to remember these Oscars for a long time. They will definitely hold a special place in my heart. I lived down the street from the Kodak and I went 22/24 (personal record) en route to numerous Oscar Contest wins.

I'll post my 2008 in film reflection article and a look around to 2009 tomorrow.

Before and After

BEFORE

AFTER
The Academy doesn't waste anytime letting everyone know who won Best Picture. I figured it would take a couple days for them to add this. I was actually surprised to see it there when I walked to the Kodak earlier today.

Kodak Theatre: The Day After



Above are two quick pictures I took earlier today. It's amazing to think how much different this area looked 24 hours ago. It's like the Oscars were never even held there.

Oscar Contest Results Coming Soon

I still need to add up the scores. I'll try to do this by the end of the day. Stay tuned.

The Day After

It's the day after the Oscars and I need to really sit down and collect some thoughts. Not only was it a big night for films, but also a big night for this blog. I know right now that I won at least three Oscar contests. I have been contacted. Later I'll post some reaction to winning these. I was able to switch my Sound Editing pick earlier in the day to Knight on many of these contests and proved the difference. If I didn't make the change, I still got 21/24, but my official score was 22/24 (a new record). It's amazing too since that a couple of these contests were entered by at least couple hundred people.

After last night I also realized that I need to get more serious with this blog. Sadly, I'm retiring my drinking wine from live blogging. I actually feel fine today, but I looked at some of the live blog earlier today and it was not what I wanted it to be. I honestly think that was the best blog post I've ever done, but I still wish I ended it with more of a bang.

I'll be back later today with some more thoughtful analysis of what happened last night.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

NEW Oscar Record!

Folks, I'm a little tipsy and need to sober up. I will have the results of my Oscar contest tomorrow. I do want to say that I have set a new world record for Mikey Filmmaker. I have gone 22/24. Check back tomorrow.

Live Blogging: The Oscars!


Welcome ladies and gentlemen to the 2nd Annual Oscar live blog! Yes, we are here again. E! is now live and I'm going live with them. Tonight is a big night. It's where heroes become legends. It's when dreams become realities. It's always a special day for movie lovers.



If you remember my live blog from last year, it was a little crazy. I'm going to be writing about all kinds of exciting stuff. I may leave for a little to check out the Kodak again. I also know I will be leaving to pick up a pizza down the street from Stefano's. I want to thank Cafe Audrey down the street for a cappuccino that has given me enough caffeine that I'm ready to go for a long time.

I'm also wearing my official Academy Awards t-shirt that I got the other day. I consider it my lucky charm this year. Let's see if it works.

Oh, and I finally want to warn everyone that I will be drinking some wine throughout the day, so if my writing skills diminish I apologize.

Here we go...

*KEEP REFRESHING FOR LATEST UPDATES*

8:59 p.m. Just an incredible night where I probably drank a little too much wine.  Not complaining though.  This one was for the ages.  I'm out for the night.  Thanks for reading.

8:57 p.m. Slumdog wins Best Picture. 22/24. Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Spaghetti Sauce and Sweet Peas have set a new record! 22/24!

8:47 p.m. Here comes Best Actor... Come on Sean... That was a great speech.  21/23!  I have matched my previous record.  I actually hope Slumdog wins now because I want the record.  Don't want to get screwed over by a Best Picture upset the second time in four years.

8:40 p.m. Here comes Best Actress... Kate should win this... Ms. Winslet finally has her Oscar!

8:24 p.m. Danny Boyle deserves Best Director... What the hell is up with him jumping up and down? Haha.

8:20 p.m. Best Foreign Language is next... Departures! I picked that!

8:17 p.m. In Memoriam...

8:03 p.m. Slumdog has won Best Song for Jai Ho!

7:56 p.m. Slumdog should also win Best Song.

7:55 p.m. Slumdog has won Best Score!

7:42 p.m. Here comes Jerry Lewis's Oscar.  Eddie Murphy is presenting.  That's appropriate.

7:34 p.m. Well, Knight has won Sound Editing, but lost Sound Mixing. Here's loss number two. This is the first time that Sound Mixing and Sound Ediitng have split when both have both nominated for both categories. This is surprising considering that Slumdog would win Sound Mixing, but lose Sound Editing.

7:30 p.m. Here comes Sound Mixing.  Come on Dark Knight!

7:29 p.m. Sound are key awards tonight. Let's see who wins... The Dark Knight has won Sound Mixing!

7:24 p.m. Visual Effects is next.  Button should win... That's what I'm talking about!

7:18 p.m. Well, Smile Pinki is a true upset tonight. Few people have predicted that to win.  We are now 12/13.  Few people picked Smile Pinki.  No reason to get upset.  We are still having a great night.

7:17 p.m. What a night! Let's hope for Conscience!

7:16 p.m. Man on Wire has won. 12/12 for Spaghetti Sauce and Sweet Peas!

7:14 p.m. Best Documentary is next. Bill Maher is presenting.

7:11 p.m. Heath Ledger has won. He has defied the odds to become only the second posthumous major Oscar winner (joining Peter Finch for Best Actor in Network).  I'm sorry, but that was one of the most emotional moments I've ever witness at the Oscars.

7:05 p.m. I love how they are presenting these acting Oscars.

7:02 p.m. I'm going to cry when Ledger wins...

6:59 p.m. Ledger may be up next. This is going to be emotional.

6:54 p.m. Jackman is on fire right now. I may be a little drunk, but seriously this is a great Oscar show!

6:48 p.m. Dare I say 10/10? Yes, I do. I'm the fucking man right now!

6:46 p.m. Live Action Short is next. Come on Toyland!

6:44 p.m. After watching this Pineapple Express clip I kind of want to get stoned.

6:40 p.m. I want to send a shout out to Julian and Trish. Both are avid Spaghetti Sauce and Sweet Peas readers. Looks like they are going over Sci Tech Awards.

6:35 p.m. 9/9 I'm freaking out! What a show!

6:32 p.m. I really like how they are presenting these Oscars. This is really a great show! Ben Stiller is unbelievable. Cinematography is next. Slumdog should win.

6:27 p.m. My Aunt just called me. My cousin is freaking out with Robert Pattison.

6:24 p.m. 8/8! That's all!

6:23 p.m. Here comes Make-up. Come on Button!

6:21 p.m. I may not break my record, but I'm just on fire right now. 7/7 folks!

6:20 p.m. Here comes Best Costume Design. They are really moving through these awards.

6:19 p.m. Nice shout out to Fincher. He deserves it. At least Button won't be shut out!

6:18 p.m. I'll I'm going to say is 6/6!

6:17 p.m. We're now at Art Direction. This is all about Button.

6:12 p.m. Folks this is what I like to call "On Fire". This is my year to re-establish myself as a legitimate Oscar pundit. We're 5/5!

6:10 p.m. I'm literally freaking out over here. These videos are going to be hilarious tomorrow!

6:09 p.m. Here's come Best Animated Short. Can Presto pull it off? Here's for Cubes...

6:07 p.m. WALL-E! Wins Best Animated Feature! No surprise there. 4/4 Spaghetti Sauce and Sweet Peas!

6:03 p.m. Spaghetti Sauce and Sweet Peas is now 3/3!

6:01 p.m. Slumdog wins its first Oscar!

6:00 p.m. It's Best Adapted Screenplay. Slumdog should take this.

5:58 p.m. That was emotional. What a great speech by Dustin Lance Black. I'm shedding tears right now.

5:57 p.m. Yes! Yes! Yes! This is for Harvey!

5:53 p.m. Next Original Screenplay is next. Come on Milk!

5:51 p.m. I have just screamed about five times. I'm fucking intense right now. I'm going for the gold.

5:48 p.m. Yes! Yes! Yes! 1/1 is Spaghetti Sauce and Sweet Peas! That's what I'm talking about. I am recording my reactions to some of these key races. I'll post them together.

5:46 p.m. Holy shit! Second standing ovation!... They are really pulling out all the stops when presenting these awards. Five previous winners for Best Supporting Actress. One of the best races of the night will open this show.

5:40 p.m. Hugh Jackman is on fire right now.

5:38 p.m. What a fucking opening number! That was hilarious! Hugh Jackaman has just knocked it out of the park. I'm speechless.

5:30 p.m. It's amazing to see those stairs leading to the Kodak. We're here it's the Oscars!

5:27 p.m. This is it folks. This is when heroes becomes legends. We're minutes away from the 81st Annual Academy Awards!

5:25 p.m. Holy shit! Five minutes away.

5:21 p.m. PriceWaterhouse Corps. have arrived. I wish someone would beat them up and find out who won the races. Seriously, it's too bad that actual Oscar vote tallies are not public.

5:18 p.m. We're about ten minutes away. Wow! This is really the final stretch folks.


5:17 p.m. I just opened my second bottle of wine. If I don't update this blog during the Oscar ceremony it's probably because I passed out. If that happens, then I ask whoever is reading this blog to please call me to wake me up. This message is specifically for Kyle or Dres.

5:09 p.m. I just finished a bottle of wine. I think I'm heading to no man's land ladies and gentlemen. This is what I like to call "No Holds Barred Live Blogging". It's very simple. I write what's on my mind, which is both good and bad.

5:06 p.m. Brangelina are interviewed for like two seconds. What's their deal? Seriously.

5:03 p.m. Josh Brolin and Diane Lane are one of Hollywood's true power couples... Amy Adams is on TV again. Seriously, she looks amazing.

5:01 p.m. E! is now gone. ABC is picking up coverage for the next 30 minutes. I'm sorry about ABC's coverage on the red carpet just sucks.

4:58 p.m. Did Seacrest just get dissed by Brad Pitt again for another interview?

4:56 p.m. This is the point in the live blog where I admit I'm chain smoking since I'm so nervous.

4:52 p.m. Seacrest is interviewing Winslet. Kate looks so tense. She should win tonight.

4:46 p.m. Giuliana just said how the women look gorgeous. They really do. They are just stunning tonight.

4:43 p.m. How hot is Penelope Cruz? I would say very. The most important question is will she win an Oscar? Only time will tell... What is up with Philip Seymour Hoffman? He's wearing a beanie. Not really approriate... Kate has arrived. She looks really good.

4:39 p.m. Hollywood's power couple (Brad and Angelina have arrived). They look great... The red carpet is absolutely packed. 3300 is the capacity of the Kodak. It's a full house.

4:37 p.m. Wow Marion Cotillard is looking damn good... Evan Rachel Wood is one of my dream girls. She's kinky and hot. What else could a guy want?

4:35 p.m. Arrested Development! That movie needs to be made like right now... Peter Gabriel! That guy is the fucking man. Haha!

4:33 p.m. Evan Rachel Wood is also looking fine tonight.

4:30 p.m. Josh Brolin won't win tonight, but I hope he gets an Oscar in the near future.

4:28 p.m. Mickey Rourke looks like one bad ass mother fucker. Sorry for the language, but there's no other way to describe him.

4:27 p.m. This is an awkward interview with Marisa Tomei.

4:21 p.m. Wow again! Anne Hathaway is wearing this silver dress that is practically see through.

4:20 p.m. Wow! Natalie Portman looks stunning.

4:16 p.m. OMG! Robert Pattison! OMG! My cousin, Jacleen, is probably freaking out right now (she thinks he is her boyfriend).

4:14 p.m. Amy Adams is less pure their her character (a nun). Haha. That's great to know. Seacrest asks some dumb questions sometimes.

4:11 p.m. Mickey Rourke is in the house. He's going with white and no tie (that's risky). He's even smoking a cigarette. What a fucking rebel!

4:05 p.m. I still want to know how Seal married Heidi Klum. I will say that that marriage gives someone like myself hope that I have a change with a supermodel.

4:04 p.m. Holy shit, Amy Adams! They just showed her dress. I'm going to go to the bathroom to relieve myself now...

4:03 p.m. Taraji Henson is really attractive. After watching Button you forget how good looking she is... Michael Shannon is now talking to Seacrest. He is not going to win tonight, but I love his performance in Road.

3:56 p.m. Seacrest is not horrible, but I still miss Joan Rivers. She was one of a kind... Danny Boyle is getting interviewed. Should be a big night for him.

3:54 p.m. Dev Patel and Freida Pinto a couple? They're denying it, but I have a feeling they are keeping it under wraps. Especially after that reaction.

3:52 p.m. I'm actually started to get use to the endless sound of a helicopter over my head. It's added an unexpected ambience to this live blog... Seacrest is interview Deve Patel and Freida Pinto. It will be really interesting to see what these two do after tonight. Will we ever hear from them again? Pinto is very attractive, but looks only take you so far.

3:49 p.m. Living by the Kodak, I literally can't believe how they have transformed Hollywood and Highland. No one would ever know that the majority of time it is infested with people dressing up as characters and filled with endless tourists. It's really a great place to host the Oscars though. It's a must see place for any movie lover.

3:46 p.m. Seacrest interviewing the Slumdog young cast may be the funniest thing I've ever seen on the red carpet.

3:37 p.m. Kevin Kline and Phoebe Cates are on the red carpet. She may be getting up there, but if I had to chance to have sex with her, I would would.


3:34 p.m. Above are some more pictures. I also wanted to post my final predictions once again.

Best Picture: Slumdog Millionaire
Best Director: Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire
Best Actor: Sean Penn, Milk
Best Actress: Kate Winslet, The Reader
Best Supporting Actor: Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight
Best Supporting Actress: Penelope Cruz, Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Best Original Screenplay: Milk
Best Adapted Screenplay: Slumdog Millionaire
Best Animated Feature: WALL-E
Best Art Direction: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Best Cinematography: Slumdog Millionaire
Best Costume Design: The Duchess
Best Documentary - Feature: Man on Wire
Best Documentary - Short Subject: The Conscience of Nhem En
Best Film Editing: Slumdog Millionaire
Best Foreign Language Film: Departures
Best Makeup: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Best Original Score: Slumdog Millionaire
Best Original Song: "Jai Ho", Slumdog Millionaire
Best Short - Animated: La Maison en Petits Cubes
Best Short - Live Action: Spielzeugland (Toyland)
Best Sound Editing: The Dark Knight
Best Sound Mixing:The Dark Knight
Best Visual Effects: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

3:32 p.m. OMG! It's Zac Efron! It's Vanessa Hudgens! OMG! Haha!

3:23 p.m. Can I be honest? I'm high on life right now. It's starting to sink in for me how special it has been to cover the Oscars this year... I'm probably in for the rest of the night. I'm not going to get any other cool pictures and I want to just enjoy the show and red carpet.

3:19 p.m. I'm back. Damn, it's fucking mobbed down there. People are coming in like crazy. Some are driving "normal" cars while I've seen a couple nice black limos. I got a couple pictures to capture the moment. Will post real soon. Here's Hugh Jackman. Imagine the pressure on him right now? It's got to be incredible.

3:04 p.m. Miley Cyrus and Emile Hirsch are here. The big stars are coming. I'm out and I'll be back real soon.

3:03 p.m. E! is live on the red carpet. Seacrest and Giuliana is here. Let's see how he does. I'm going down there real soon... I just want to make a quick comment about the unofficial show order. I think it's brilliant that they are starting with some heavy awards. Then, they are ending with Best Actor second to last (usually reserved for Director). I really like what I see here. I REALLY think this is going to be one hell of a show.

2:53 p.m. Speaking of Tom, Gold Derby has just listed an unofficial rundown of the show. His source was Cinemascopian.com Here it is:

5:38: Hugh’s opening performance

5:45:AWARD #1
ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

5:51: AWARD #2:
ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

5:55: AWARD #3
ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

6:03: AWARD #4
ANIMATED FEATURE FILM

6:05: AWARD #5
ANIMATED SHORT FILM

6:14: AWARD #6
ART DIRECTION

6:18: AWARD #7
COSTUME DESIGN

6:20: AWARD #8
MAKEUP

6:30: AWARD #9
CINEMATOGRAPHY

6:36: SCI-TECH AWARDS RECAP

6:41: AWARD #10
LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM

7:03: AWARD #11
ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

7:08: AWARD #12
DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

7:10: AWARD #13
DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT

7:20: AWARD #14
VISUAL EFFECTS

7:22: AWARD #15
SOUND EDITING

7:26: AWARD #16
SOUND MIXING

7:29: AWARD #17
FILM EDITING

7:37: JEAN HERSHOLT AWARD
TO JERRY LEWIS

7:48: AWARD #18
ORIGINAL SCORE

7:55: AWARD #19
ORIGINAL SONG

8:01: AWARD #20
FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

8:10 In Memoriam

8:14: AWARD #21
DIRECTING

8:23: AWARD #22
ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE

8:31: AWARD #23
ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE

8:38: AWARD #24
BEST MOTION PICTURE

2:52 p.m. Okay, we're almost at the red carpet. I'm going back down there real soon. I was just thinking to myself that as annoying as Joan Rivers is. I actually miss when she did the red carpet show on E! The first day I ever watched the Oscars all day (way back in 2004 when I was still in Massachusetts) she was commanding the show with Melissa Rivers and Tom O'Neil. It was after watching O'Neil analyze the Oscars that I realized I too wanted to do it one day. Well, here I am five years later down the street from the Kodak. As I just said to Kyle a little while ago, I don't think I ever would have imagined that to be a possibility.

2:44 p.m. Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams are E!'s hottest movie couple. That's hard to argue. I'll admit I've seen The Notebook and it's a solid romantic film.

2:42 p.m. My apologies, I was on the phone with a good friend of mine. No, not Sid Ganis. It was Kyle from The Unlimited Freedom Castle... So, we're about 20 minutes from the red carpet. I can honestly say that I'm very excited and nervous right now... Oh damn, I saw just my apartment on E! Granted it was a bird's eye view, but I was on television. Yes!


2:06 p.m. We're about an hour before the red carpet starts up. I was just down there again. It's getting more packed. I feel like I need to go back out there again around 3:00 or 3:30 p.m. I'll let you know. Above are pictures I just took (I'm well aware that some of them are similar to the ones I already took). Enjoy!

1:24 p.m. I may go back outside for a little. Want to see if anything exciting is going on.

1:05 p.m. John Cena is on E! with Ben Lyons. Wrestlers are just eating this publicity up. It's amazing.

12:55 p.m. I was just thinking that I think E! made a right decision this year by starting at 11 rather than 9. How much fashion can one man watch? Maybe women enjoy this, but it loses the appeal to me.

12:43 p.m. I seriously hate the Kardashians. Keeping Up With the Kardashians is honestly the worst reality show I've ever seen.


12:35 p.m. Here's a couple quick pictures I took. It's getting really pack out there.

12:10 p.m. I'm back folks. It's just unbelievable down there. I have some more pictures that I will be posting here very soon. First, I'm going to eat some pizza. Be patient.

11:37 a.m. Okay, I'm leaving to pick up a pizza and may take some more pictures if I can get something new and exciting. Be back in 30 minutes or so.

11:35 a.m. Ouch E! is taking a shot at Button for being too similar to Gump.

11:33 a.m. Yes! The sixth hottest couple is Noami Watts and Laura Harring from Mulholland Dr. They even showed the kiss. Who would have known you could get a boner watching E!?

11:28 a.m. E! is having dogs in the studio. Fun, fun. They are also doing a feature on eye shadow. Keira Knightley may be skinny as hell, but eye shadow is hot if done right.

11:19 a.m. Oh dam, John Cena is doing a wrestling segment. Haha.

11:17 a.m. I realize that things will be really slow for a couple hours. I do this to simply get excited for the actual Oscar telecast. Not going to lie, I'm curious who E! will name as their hottest movie couple since Titanic.

11:07 a.m. I have a confession. I have had a crush on Bobbie Thomas for like five years. She's always hot on these red carpet shows.

11:01 a.m. It looks just fantastic out there. Watching everything come together has given me a greater appreciation for this whole event. Great Kim Kardashian is back. I think I might quit now.