Sunday, February 25, 2007

Live blogging the Oscars

So I'm messing around with the Quick Edit feature here, and I thinks to myself, "Hey, why don't I live blog the Oscars?" So I might do that. Or I might just fall asleep on the couch.

8:10 So technically I'm not actually live blogging, since I rarely watch anything live anymore. Now that I have the DVR, I'm an incorrigible time-shifter, so I started about a half-hour later so I could skip commercials and other skippable things. So while you in the future have already seen awards presented, I have only seen the odd little Errol Morris montage of nominees and Ellen Degeneres come out dressed as an usher. This is part of the usual Oscar plan where the host from the year before, who I enjoyed, is not invited back because the powers that be decided he wasn't reverent enough or something. So no Letterman, no Jon Stewart, but fortunately no Whoopi or Billy Crystal either.

8:30 OK, I laughed at the Al Gore/American Idol joke. That's about it, though. Will Smith is laughing too much and Jack Nicholson is going with a scary bald look this evening. Presenter Nicole Kidman looks as if she's had her face pulled very tight, like, earlier this afternoon, and is having trouble speaking properly. Best Art Direction goes to Pan's Labyrinth, so I'm already 0 for 1. (I had Dreamgirls. I have only just recently learned from Entertainment Weekly that Dreamgirls is not as widely beloved in Hollywood as I figured.)

9:00 Will Ferrell and Jack Black sing a song about comedians getting no respect. Ferrell is apparently shooting The Art Garfunkle Story. Once again we learn that kids should never be allowed to present. They can't read! Best Makeup goes to Pan's Labyrinth, Animated Short is Danish Poet (I had Little Match Girl) and Live Action Short is West Bank Story, so I'm now 2 for 4.

shot of Clint Eastwood sipping water

A performance by the Sound Effects Choir. You might think they're a fun bunch to hang out with, but I have a feeling they're very serious about their craft.

Sound Editing goes to Letters From Iwo Jima and Sound Mixing goes to Dreamgirls. I had 'em both. Now it's the first major award, Best Supporting Actor. You gotta be happy for Jackie Earle Haley, right? Kelly Leak! Of course he's not gonna win...but there is a bit of an upset, I think, as Alan Arkin takes it. I had Eddie Murphy, so once again I have overestimated the Dreamgirls love. Arkin makes a classy speech, setting his Oscar on the floor, which I guess simply isn't done as we get a long, disapproving camera shot.

And now, dancers making penguin shapes.

9:20 Two song performances: first Randy Newman and James Taylor doing the annual bland Randy Newman song from a Pixar movie. We love ya, Randy, but stop hanging out with that guy. Then it's our second lesbian of the evening, Melissa Etheridge, singing about light rail and carbon emissions. Damn Hollywood liberals! With their earth-saving! And speaking of which, here's a portly Al Gore with Leonardo DiCaprio, talking more about the global warming.

shot of Jerry Seinfeld blowing a snot rocket

9:40 Bald Jack loves the Gilligan's Island jokes. Winner for Best Animated Feature: Happy Feet. I had that one, bringing my total to 5 out of 8, I think.

"Academy Award-winning screenwriter Ben Affleck." It's funny because it's true. The salute to writers montage is great, although shouldn't there have been something from The Player?

Helen Mirren reading the full title of Borat is the comedy highlight so far. And Best Adapted Screenplay is The Departed, so I'm up to 6 out of 9.

10:20 Costume Design goes to Marie Antoinette and is accepted by a small German woman who thanks "Stanley Kubrick, my great master." Don't need to know.

I fast-forwarded through the humanitarian award, because I am a bad person.

Best Cinematography is presented by Gwyneth Paltrow. Now that she too is married to an Englishman, she is developing that fake Madonna British accent. Pan's Labyrinth wins. Visual Effects goes to the Pirates sequel and Foreign Film goes to Germany for Lives of Others. Wha? I figured Pan's had this in the bag, what with all the other awards. No surprise in Supporting Actress, which goes to Jennifer Hudson, who thanks "God, I guess." That's the spirit.

10:40 I got both documentary awards right - short for The Blood of Yingzhou District and feature for An Inconvenient Truth. I think I'm now 11 out of 16. Al Gore and his excitable director save the planet a little more.

shot of Larry David thinking about his Prius

Ennio Morricone. Yes! Celine Dion. No! Ennio speaks Italian and Clint Eastwood pretends to translate.

11:00 Best Original Score. Hey, the Babel music is from Deadwood! And it wins! I demand an investigation. Original Screenplay goes to Little Miss Sunshine. I had Babel, so now I'm 12 for 17.

And the dancers form...a shoe, I guess.

11:30 And so, the ugly dark side of DVR. Even though I had the foresight to record the show after the Oscars, figuring it would run long, it ran so friggin' long that I missed the biggest awards! So as I write this, I still don't know what won for Picture and Director. I do know that Melissa Etheridge won for "Reduce Your CO2 Emissions" and that Michael Mann put together a really pointless "America" montage that ate up too much time. The Departed won for editing, and as expected, Helen Mirren and Forest Whitaker took home the top acting honors. But now I'll have to check the Internets to find out the rest.

11:40 Great. Scorsese finally wins and I missed it. Maybe it's up on YouTube.

Good night everybody!

Friday, February 23, 2007

The Astronaut Farmer

Monday, February 19, 2007

Ah, this medley of Sopranos whackings brings a tear to me eye. The end is nigh...

Friday, February 16, 2007

God Grew Tired of Us

The Italian

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Just in time for Valentino's Day, it's another shiny new issue of The High Hat! My contribution is a new Bottom Shelf column on arthouse sci-fi movies, but that's merely the tip of the icebox.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Hannibal Rising

The Sin Eater

Friday, February 02, 2007

The Piano Tuner of Earthquakes

And now, a moment of Moonshine Mountain silence for Molly Ivins. I was lucky enough to meet Ms. Ivins on several occasions and attend a couple of parties for commiserating Texas liberals at her house thanks to the auspices of my friend Genevieve. I even got to discuss hick flicks with her briefly, but surely the highlight was the night we overstayed our welcome and she threw us out her house - in a loving way, of course. A treasured memory always.

In happier news - yeah, yeah, it's the Super Bowl this weekend, but more importantly, it's a mere two weeks until pitchers and catchers report. And the new Red Sox ace is ready for battle: