The musings of a feminist pop culture fanatic

Archive for February, 2011

THE OSCARS!!!!!

7:27 And the inane Red Carpet stuff is finally ending. Let’s bring on the awards!

7:30 Love this opening montage. Such a great group of nominees this year.

7:34 Okay, so this is far from the best host montage ever, but I really love Anne Hathaway and James Franco, so I think it’s hilarious.

7:38 I can’t decide if Anne Hathaway’s dress is gorgeous or not. Love the acknowledgement that Hathaway and Franco are basically a shameless ratings ploy.

7:40 I love them pointing out their moms and grandmas in the audience.

7:41 If we’re going to go all the way back through time and look at all the amazing movies since 1939, I might not make it to my opening shift tomorrow.

7:42 Tom Hanks! Will he make this as quick as he did last year when he gave out the Best Picture award? Apparently not.

7:43 I wonder if My Heart Will Go On sends Celine Dion in stress-induced flashbacks. I imagine she’s far more sick of that song than the rest of us are. And I know I’m pretty sick of it.

7:44 I picked The King’s Speech for Art Direction, but I’m secretly pulling for Harry Potter.

7:45 Damnit. Now I actually have to watch Alice in Wonderland. I was hoping to avoid it.

7:46 Aw, he totally came prepared with that hat for his Oscar. Too cute.

7:47 I’ve got Inception for Cinematography. I’m hoping for Black Swan, though.

7:48 Awesome. 1 for 2 so far.

7:49 Wally, your glasses just look awkward like that. You could have handed them to someone before you came up on stage.

7:51 Damn, Kirk Douglas is old. He’s so adorable, though. It’s so hard to understand him and so sad.

7:53 I honestly think Hailee Steinfeld is going to pull an upset in Best Supporting Actress. I’m really pulling for her.

7:55 Oh, Kirk. Please just give out the award. I don’t understand what is going on right now.

7:57 I was really pulling for Hailee, but Melissa Leo is adorable, so I’m not upset.

7:58 This is the most adorably awkward interaction ever. I was half afraid Kirk Douglas was going to pull an Adrien Brody and try to make out with Melissa Leo.

7:59 And Melissa Leo shows us why we’re on a five-second delay. This just makes me love her even more.

8:01 Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake. Two people that have come such a long way since their days on That ’70s Show and in N’Sync. How cool would it be if Justin Timberlake were Banksy, though? That’d be hilarious.

8:03 Yeah, I didn’t even try to predict the shorts categories this year. I’m not letting them bring down my average. The other categories are doing a great job of that on their own. The Lost Thing wins Best Animated Short. I’ll probably never see it…

8:04 I can’t tell if this one guy is really short or this other guy is a giant.

8:05 Best Animated Feature, a.k.a. Toy Story 3 and two other random movies that had to be nominated to fill out the category.

8:06 TOY STORY 3!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

8:07 So far, the banter between hosts and presenters has been incredibly awkward. I can’t tell whether or not I should laugh at times.

8:08 Thank you, Bryan Busby, for only giving us weather updates during commercial breaks. I don’t want to have to be forced to cut you if you interrupt the ceremony.

8:13 Javier Bardem and Josh Brolin look like waiters. Super classy waiters, but still.

8:14 Best Adapted Screenplay, a.k.a. Aaron Sorkin and four other people who don’t stand a chance.

8:15 AARON SORKIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So incredibly excited for him. I love him so incredibly much.

8:16 Really? You’re about to play off Aaron Sorkin? Knock it off and let the genius speak. “Roxie Sorkin, your father just won an Academy Award. I’ve going to have to insist on some respect from your guinea pig.” Just when I think I can’t love him anymore.

8:17 This is embarrassing. The captions at the bottom of the screen during Best Original Screenplay don’t fully match the dialogue.

8:18 And The King’s Speech wins Best Original Screenplay, surprising absolutely no one. I’m up to 4 for 6 now.

8:19 I like this writer. He’s very witty. “The Melissa Leo f-word.” That’s just what we’re going to call it now.

8:25 Don’t worry, Hugh. That’s kind of my sentiment exactly.

8:26 I love the gender fuck that is going on right now. James Franco can definitely pull off that dress.

8:27 I love Russell Brand and Helen Mirren. They’re the best pairing so far tonight.

8:28 Pretty sure it’s going to be Biutiful, but I honestly have no idea.

8:28 In a Better World wins Best Foreign Language Film. It’s Denmark, so yay!

8:29 Best Supporting Actor time. Just give it to Christian Bale. Don’t even bother reading the other nominees. He’s a shoo-in.

8:32 And the winner is Christian Bale for The Fighter. Completely deserved.

8:33 Bale says he’s not going to drop the f-bomb, but the speech isn’t over yet.

8:34 Nice product placement within that speech for dickecklund.com. Definitely thought Bale forgot his wife’s name for a moment. Apparently, he was just choked up.

8:39 Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman! Two gorgeous Aussies, even if Kidman’s dress is super weird.

8:42 I’m predicting The King’s Speech for Best Original Score, though I’d love for it to go to 127 Hours. AR Rahman can do no wrong in my eyes. The Social Network’s music was excellent as well. As long as it’s not Inception. Hated everything about that movie.

8:43 And the winner is The Social Network! I’m actually happy to be wrong in this category.

8:45 Seriously, whoever is writing the intros for things should not be asked back next year. Please. Can we get Aaron Sorkin to write next year?

8:46 Take a shot every time Scarlett and Matthew just said sound. You’ll be on the floor. Dear lord.

8:47 I’ve got Inception for Sound Mixing, but I don’t actually know. Oh hey, I was actually right. Sweet deal.

8:48 I’ve also got Inception for Sound Editing. Once again, I don’t fully know.

8:49 Right again. On a side note, the presenters should really decide if they’re going to say the movie title or the winner’s name first before they get on stage. That could help cut down on some of the awkwardness, but curing it is pretty much a lost cause for the night.

8:51 7 for 11 so far!

8:55 Oh hey, a nerds joke about the Science and Technical Awards. How creative.

8:56 I’ve got The Wolfman for Best Makeup. I have absolutely no idea, though.

8:57 Got it right. I just always pick the supernatural ones. Damnit. Just realized I’m going to have to watch The Wolfman now. Netflix predicts I will give it 1 out of 5 stars. Well, that seems promising.

8:58 Best Costume Design. I predict Alice in Wonderland. And the winner is Alice in Wonderland! Woohoo! Haven’t actually seen it. I’m just glad this is helping boost my track record for the night.

9:00 It definitely looked like someone was walking behind this woman with torches. Nothing will surprise me anymore tonight.

9:02 Excellent choice for Best Movie Song, Obama. Love As Time Goes By. Much better than It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp, like those random people on the street. Also, does Kevin Spacey think this a karaoke bar?

9:04 I really love Randy Newman, but my favorite Toy Story song will always be You’ve Got a Friend in Me.

9:05 Chuck and Mandy Moore singing! Zachary Levi is just so incredibly gorgeous. This song is so sweet, but it doesn’t have a chance in hell of winning.

9:08 Just bought the soundtracks to The Social Network and 127 Hours. Super excited to listen to them on the way back to CoMO tonight.

9:12 And now for the shorts. Jake Gyllenhaal is completely right about the shorts screwing up everyone’s at-home Oscar ballot. That’s why I don’t count them toward my overall score. Call it cheating if you want. I call it strategy.

9:13 Strangers No More wins Best Documentary Short. If it’s on YouTube, maybe I’ll be able to watch it.

9:15 Based on just these clips, I’m hoping for The Crush for Best Live Action Short. It looks adorable. No such luck. It’s God of Love.

9:16 Is this guy like 17? He looks ridiculously young. And he’s so enthusiastic. I love him and his crazy hair. “My mom did craft services for the film.” I’m just picturing his mom coming downstairs with a tray of sandwiches or something.

9:17 I fully approve of this Autotuning for Harry Potter. Cheesiest scene in the movie. This is awesome.

9:19 I’m okay with that Twilight reference. Also, not going to lie. I would do the same thing if I were wearing a dress with that much fringe on it. I love when celebrities act like they’re 12.

9:20 Man, they’re having Oprah present Best Documentary. Wasn’t she a massive supporter of Waiting for Superman? That’s just cold.

9:21 I predict Exit Through the Gift Shop. Apparently, the Academy doesn’t love Banksy that much. Inside Job does look really interesting, though.

9:22 Love this guy for pointing out that these financial execs should go to jail. I’m okay with political speeches, especially for the Best Documentary people.

9:27 “We’re running a little long, so here are the nominees for Best Picture.” Maybe it wouldn’t be long if we weren’t doing unnecessary flashbacks to previous Oscars. It’s the 83rd. Save it for the 85th or an actual milestone year.

9:31 Pretty sure reading people’s Tweets are more entertaining than the majority of this telecast. But can Robert Downey, Jr. host next year? He’s so much better than James Franco.

9:32 I predict Inception for Best Visual Effects. But so help me, if Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 does not win next year, there will be hell to pay.

9:33 Oh hey, Inception won. No one is surprised.

9:35 I’m predicting The King’s Speech for Best Film Editing. Huh, The Social Network wins. I’m okay with that.

9:41 Time to finish up the Best Original Song nominees. So excited for Florence and AR Rahman. Love this song.

9:43 They’re only 5 categories away from finishing. Apparently, they want this trainwreck to end as quickly as the rest of us.

9:44 Gwyneth Paltrow is country music’s newest star? Does country music know this?

9:45 We’ve already heard the nominees. Do you really have to tell us again? Just give the award to AR Rahman and Dido, please.

9:46 I never should have guessed against Randy Newman. I will never be upset with a win for a Toy Story film, though.

9:52 And now for the In Memoriam montage. I always feel so bad when people applaud during this segment. So far, no one has. Let’s keep it that way, people.

9:55 That was one of the classier In Memoriam segments. Though apparently Lena Horne wins the category since she’s the only one to get a speech about her.

9:56 I get that Lena Horne is a huge trailblazer and she’s super important, but this is just confusing.

10:01 Hilary Swank. Best Director time. Yay Kathryn Bigelow! Too bad there’s not another woman nominated this year. I would love to see Darren Aronofsky win for Black Swan, but I’m about 90% sure it’s going to be David Fincher for Social Network.

10:02 Oops. Tom Hooper for The King’s Speech. Also an excellent directing job. Not gonna complain.

10:05 Tom Hooper tells us all to listen to our mothers. Excellent advice.

10:06 Lifetime Achievement Award time. Not going to lie, I definitely appreciate that they have a separate ceremony for these awards.

10:11 Don’t lie, Anne Hathaway. I’m pretty sure James Franco knows he’s doing horribly.

10:12 Best Actress time. So glad they got rid of the format where they’d have people come out and talk about how awesome the nominees are. That was just so over the top.

10:14 If it weren’t for Natalie Portman, I’m pretty sure Jennifer Lawrence would have a pretty good shot. Lawrence is going to have an incredibly bright future ahead of her. So excited to see it.

10:16 NATALIE PORTMAN!!!!!!!!!! So incredibly deserved! Black Swan was definitely my favorite of the nominees. Such an incredible performance.

10:18 Much better reference to Benjamin Millepied knocking her up. Much classier than her Golden Globes speech when she was talking about how he obviously wanted to sleep with her.

10:24 This clip from 127 Hours reminds us that James Franco does have a personality. Just not when he’s acting as himself.

10:25 And Colin Firth wins for The King’s Speech!

10:26 Why must you be so adorable, Colin Firth?

10:31 Just about time for the last award. Then this awkward trainwreck will be over. And what the hell are you wearing, Anne Hathaway? Should have kept the fringe dress. Just like James Franco should have stayed in drag.

10:32 I’m glad Steven Spielberg acknowledged that there are plenty of amazing films that lost the Best Picture Award.

10:34 Can we get a montage of all the arm amputation scenes in this year’s nominees? It happened in four out of the ten films.

10:35 And the winner is The King’s Speech. Somewhere Nick Gass is throwing a fit.

10:36 Final score: 12 out of 20 correct. Not my strongest year.

10:39 Not even adorable children can save this. I’m sorry.

10:40 So ends one of the most awkward trainwrecks of an Oscars ceremony. Next year, let’s get good writers and hire a stand-up comedian for a host, please.

Teen Mom 2 (1/14)

EW Description: “Prepare yourself for more tears, joy, and heartache as the girls from season 2 of 16 and Pregnant graduate to uneasy motherhood, coping with newborns, jobs, boyfriends, and complicated relationships with their own parents. Teen Mom 2 delivers hard life lessons in a compelling package.”

A couple months ago, I posted something about 16 & Pregnant. About how wonderful I think that show is and what a great service MTV does by showing it. Basically, read that post, take the opposite of everything I say, and that’s how I feel about the Teen Mom franchise.

My friends have tried to tell me there is no difference between the two, but they’re oh so wrong. Here’s the thing. 16 and Pregnant does a great job at showing the difficulties of being a pregnant teenager. The audience sees the young mothers’ struggles as they try to finish school and navigate life as a parent. It doesn’t sugarcoat anything. The audience sees the difficulties of the last months of pregnancy and we see how these young women’s lives are changing more than they realized.

Teen Mom 2 dramatizes everything. Yes, I realize 16 & Pregnant is also very dramatized, but it comes across as more realistic than the Teen Mom franchise. Teen Mom reminds me of Jersey Shore or Laguna Beach or some other similar crap. The women of Teen Mom are the ones that end up on the covers of tabloids and have their every movement followed by the public. They are the ones that are set up, in many ways, to fail from the outset. The last thing these women need is a camera crew following them around.

Yes, I realize a camera crew follows them around on 16 & Pregnant and this seems like a hypocritical argument to make. Here is the major difference, though. Eventually, the cameras from 16 & Pregnant leave. Once the baby is a couple months old, the mother’s story ends for the show. With Teen Mom, it keeps going. So, they have to keep making it dramatic in order to get people to continue watching. That is where all the bad stuff happens.

For the people who argue that 16 & Pregnant glamorizes teen pregnancy, they’re wrong. It shows a lot of the realities of how much life sucks for these young women. The real problem lies with the Teen Mom franchise.

Super Bowl XLV (2/4, 2/11)

EW Description: “The one television event that everyone will be watching as the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers face off. Come for the game, stay for the lavish commercials and the Black Eyed Peas’ halftime show.”

If you’re coming here for sports coverage, you’re going to be sorely disappointed. Yes, I’m beyond happy that the Packers won. I’m half Wisconite afterall. Can I tell you anything about the plays or the calls or anything? Hell no.

Here’s what I can tell you about the Super Bowl: The Packers won. The Black Eyed Peas sucked hard core. The ads were fairly disappointing, though there were a couple I enjoyed (Darth Vader Volkswagen is the first one that comes to mind) and many more that I loathed (the misogynistic GoDaddy commercials, anything involving that creepy ETrade baby). Most importantly, though, a new episode of Glee aired right after the game. Well, right after the presentation of the Lombardi trophy and some post-game analysis, but it was the next non-football related programming.

I have been ready to write off Glee for some time now. In my opinion, it’s never quite lived up to the magic of the first 13 episodes. It’s lost a lot of its edge. Rather than crafting a story and figuring out what songs will best complement that, I feel like the writers go into the episode with a list of songs they want to use and figure out how they can tie them together.

The characters have become caricatures and many of them are extremely unlikable now. I wasn’t sure if I was even going to continue watching Glee anymore. Then a lovely person named Darren Criss joined the show. I know he doesn’t have a huge part, but he’s an amazing singer and fucking gorgeous. As long as he’s on the show, I will continue to watch it. I’m even invested in a storyline related to Kurt, which I haven’t been for quite some time.

So, tonight’s episode had the potential to be awful. The McKinley football players are forced to join the Glee Club in order to teach them a message about bullying and make for a more unified team going into the big championship game. In a subplot, the Cheerios are forced to pick between Glee Club and Sue’s cult. Once the Cheerios realized Sue was perfectly okay with Brittany dying from being shot out of a human cannon in order to help her win a championship, Santana, Brittany and Quinn said bye-bye to Sue.

Surprisingly, though, this was a really good episode. There was a lot of humor in it, which I feel the show has been sorely lacking for quite some time. The story was actually cohesive and made sense. It set things up for future episodes. I feel like the writers have kind of forgotten they’re doing a TV series and not 22 stand-alone episodes, so it was a nice change of pace.

Now for the musical numbers:

California Gurls – This was very clearly a ploy to get the men watching the game to keep from changing the channel. It wasn’t an actual Glee Club number. Instead, it was a cheerleading routine with bike tricks and firework-shooting bras. Overall, it wasn’t terribly memorable.

Need You Now – It’s not a Glee episode without Lea Michele singing a ballad. Her and Puck have really great chemistry. I prefer Rachel/Puck to Rachel/Finn, so I was happy with this number. It was well done and I’m all for Mark Salling playing the guitar. It’s just plain sexy.

random Zombies song – I don’t even know what this was called. It was okay. Nothing too memorable.

Bills, Bills, Bills – I absolutely loved this song, solely because Darren Criss was singing lead on it. However, I do feel like this was an example of the writers wanting to have a musical performance with the Warblers and not being able to come up with a reason for it. It’s like they want to remind us Kurt is at Dalton now, but this song felt like it was shoehorned into the plot and it didn’t need to be. I’m not that upset by it, because it was a really great number. It just didn’t further the plot, except to remind us that the Warblers are going to be at Regionals. This episode didn’t need that, since that was the only mention of Regionals.

Thriller/Heads Will Roll – Holy hell. I think that might have been my favorite number that Glee has done thus far. Seriously, if you haven’t seen it, YouTube it immediately. The make-up and choreography is absolutely phenomenal. Plus, this was a mash-up of two songs that worked really well together. Glee has a tendency to take two songs and put them together without it really making sense, but this was amazing. I can’t even describe it. Just watch it.

Overall, this renewed my faith in the show. This was one of the first episodes in a long time that I wasn’t checking the time to figure out how close the show was to ending. When it went to credits, I actually yelled at the TV because I wasn’t ready to say good-bye to it yet. Fortunately, there’s less than 48 hours to another new episode. Welcome back, Glee. Please don’t disappoint me anymore.