My God, It's Full of Stars

5 Star Movies
How to Train Your Dragon
Star Trek
Burn After Reading
Batman Begins
Pirates of the Caribbean

4 Star Movies
Wreck-It Ralph
The Muppets
Jackass 3D
In Bruges
War of the Worlds

3 Star Movies
Sucker Punch
The Last Exorcism
Tropic Thunder
Charlie Wilson's War
Night at the Museum
Harry Potter & The Goblet of Fire
National Treasure

2 Star Movies
Source Code
Cop Out
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Ghost Rider
The Da Vinci Code
Corpse Bride
Garden State
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

1 Star Movies
Dark Shadows
Tower Heist
Jonah Hex
The Soloist
Harold & Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay
Smokin' Aces
Red Eye
The Stepford Wives


85th Academy Awards Predictions

Best Short (animated and live-action):

I consider myself a Simpsons fan, but for the life of me, I have no idea how 'Maggie Simpson in: 'The Longest Daycare'' earned a nomination. It wasn't funny, it's story was weak, and it wasn't particularly well-animated. I think Fox just cashed in a few favors.

The safe bet here is on 'Paperman.' It's overflowing with classic Disney charm, and I cannot forsee any circumstances in which it doesn't win.

On the live-action side of things, it was an entirely different story. All five contenders were truly strong and deserving of their nominations. It could go any direction, and I would be content with that. However, I know the Academy tends to favor short films that feature a lighthearted approach to serious issues, and the one film that fits that requirement is 'Curfew.' It's where I'm placing my bets, but again, don't be surprised if you have to buy the donuts Monday morning.

Best Documentary Short and Feature:

Again, another year where I know nothing about anything, and am forced to read film blog after film blog to ascertain any answers. Just like you, amirite?

Despite the unavailability of non-fiction film, all movie experts say it comes down to two options: 'Searching For Sugar Man' or 'How to Survive a Plague.' Normally, I recommend remembering Oscar's history of favoring the most controversial and topical of content, and 'How to Survive a Plague' would get my vote in that regard, but based on 'Searching For Sugar Man's' stack of wins at other events and festivals, I say go in that direction.

For the shorts.... erm... 'Mondays at Racine.'

Visual Effects:

While I'd love to see 'The Avengers' walk away with the prize, the critical darling 'Life of Pi' is poised to be the winner. On the plus side, I can look forward to a political cartoon the following week simply reading "Hulk Mad! Hulk Smash!"

Sound Mixing and Sound Editing:

Just a reminder, Sound Editing is foley, sound mixing is soundtrack, vocals, score and foley. Now, 'Skyfall' has a chance of taking home both awards, but it's up against some stiff competitors. I have no basis for this slanderous opinion, but I think the Academy is prejudice against the Bond franchise. Ergo, I believe Sound Editing will go to 'Zero Dark Thirty,' which has a precedent of going towards war films, and Sound Mixing will go to 'Les Miserables,' which has a precedent of going towards musicals.

Production Design:

The Production Design Oscar is the new name for the Art Direction Oscar for reasons I don't understand, and for reasons nobody cares to explain. Five good competitors this year, and while my personal vote goes to 'Lincoln' and it's vivacious recreation of 1860s America, I think cinephiles will instead flock to Les Miserables, not only for it's depiction of early 19th-century France, but for a wholeheartedly enthusiastic and devoted portrayal to the Broadway show.

Original Song and Score:

I love when a novelty song gets the Best Original Song nomination, even if it stands no chance of winning. I also love how it was written and performed by the man hosting the Oscars ceremony. We're gonna get a bunch of jokes out of that. The award is going to Adele because it's 2013, and she's Adele.

For Original Score, I champion Lincoln. It has that Ken-Burnsy civil war documentary motif throughout, but also stands alone as its own entity. Also, it's the only one of the nominees I can actually distinctly remember.

Makeup & Hairstyling:

Hitchcock and terrible makeup & hair. Alfred Hitchcock has one of the most iconic faces in film history, and at no point during the film was I convinced I was watching the master of suspense. It was just Hannibal Lecter in a really big fat suit.

You may feel compelled vote for The Hobbit. Well just remember, last year the award went not to Harry Potter and the Millions of Creatures Covered in Wigs and Latex Masks, but instead went to the man who made a lady who already looked like Margaret Thatcher look slightly more like Margaret Thatcher. I say, go with Les Mis.

Foreign Language Film:

As much as I love the story of the 'Kon-Tiki,' the safe money is 'Amour.' It won the Palme D'Or, it garnered a Best Picture nomination, and it's a weeper.

Animated Feature:

If 'Brave' wins, and you happen to hear someone outside yelling 'Fix!,' that's me. Hands off, Pixar. No coasting on legacy.

'Wreck-It Ralph' seems like the favorable choice. I love their ability to turn an 8-bit sprite into a 3D figure, have them walk alongside a Master Chief-clone, and yet still both look like classic Disney characters. It would be the first win for Walt Disney Animation Studios, and if 'Paperman' wins the Best Animated Short, it'd be a double-whammy for Disney.

Film Editing:

No idea. But when in doubt, go with whoever's taking home Best Picture. Spoiler, that's 'Argo.'

Costume Design:

Both Snow White films? Really? One of them I can understand, but both? 'Mirror Mirror' looks like somebody plagiarized Mattel, and 'Snow White & The Huntsman' looks like a Renaissance fair.

I know the rule is "Whichever has the most petticoats," and that would be 'Anna Karenina.' I hate that rule. However, I really can't argue with this year, so 'Anna Karenina' it is.


Five very worthy entrants this year. The unconventional camerawork of Anna Karenina. The slow, long-takes of Lincoln. The new-wave hyperstyle of Life of Pi. The always whimsical Tarantino style of Django Unchained. Skyfall and a near-perfect action style that uses Shakycam in an appropriate, and controlled manner, which all you assholes in Hollywood should be paying attention to, ahem ahem.

I'm very shocked The Master didn't get any attention here. It seemed the whole movie was designed with the intention of getting an award here. Oh well, better luck next time, Paul Thomas Anderson. I'm going to place my bets on Life of Pi.

Supporting Actress:

Les Miserables is, without hyperbole, the most revered musical in Broadway history. The decision to use actors not classically trained in theater (with the exception of Hugh Jackman) to play the iconic roles was questionable and controversial. Director Tom Hooper quelled these fears by putting Anne Hathaway, singing, front and center in the film's trailer. And suddenly, everybody shut up.

Anne Hathaway, no competition.

Best Supporting Actor:

It puzzles me how Alan Arkin got a nomination, but not John Goodman. Arkin was there, but Goodman had all the personality, all the good lines, all the memorable scenes and expressions. Oh well, keep trying John. The Coen brothers will get you a statue eventually.

Christoph Waltz is my choice, but I offer my advice with trepidation. If you'll recall, he last won the award for his role in Tarantino's 'Inglourious Basterds.' The similarity of the roles may not sit right with the voters, motivating them to send their votes elsewhere. But I guarantee you, whoever wins, nobody will happy.

Best Leading Actress:

Congratulations to Academy voters for rewriting all movie-trivia works by simultaneously giving nominations to the oldest actress (Emmanuelle Riva, 84) and youngest (Quvenzhane Wallis, 9) in Oscar history.

Jennifer Lawrence is the heavy favorite here, and for good reason. She's become Hollywood royalty in a very short time, and she shows no signs of slowing down.

Best Leading Actor:

Daniel-Day Lewis. If you need any explanation, you shouldn't be involved in Oscar pools.

Best Screenplay, Original and Adapted:

'Zero Dark Thirty' is nominated for best Original Screenplay, while Lincoln is in the Best Adapted category. Clearly, the qualifications need to be redefined.

As evidenced above, I'm expecting Argo to get it's clock cleaned in most categories. As such, it'll pick up an easy win for best adapted screenplay. However, I would like to go on record touting my love for Silver Linings Playbook. Tackling serious issues with a smile is a difficult task, and they deserve mention for doing it so well.

For Original Screenplay, I feel strongly towards Django Unchained. Tarantino hasn't earned a statue since Pulp Fiction in 1994, and his general attitude and vitriolic opinions towards the institution would explain why. But his nomination for Inglourious Basterds in 2009 proves the Academy is warming up to him again. I feel this is his year.

Best Director:

I could not believe the nominations this year. I was 1/5. Bigelow wasn't nominated. Affleck wasn't nominated. Tarantino wasn't nominated. Paul Thomas Anderson wasn't nominated. Spielberg was nominated, but that was the one I felt I would be wrong about.

Since the Academy doesn't allow write-in candidates, the obvious choice of Ben Affleck is wrong. Instead, I'm favoring Lincoln. Because I basically have to.

Best Picture:

Argo Dark Thirty.
Arjgo Unchained.
Beasts of the Southern Argo.
Life of 'Go.
Silver Argo Playbook.
Les Miserargos.
Lincoln, but with Argo in it's name.

To recap:
Best Animated Short: Paperman
Best Live-Action Short: Curfew
Documentary Short: Mondays at Racine
Documentary Feature: Searching for Sugar Man
Visual Effects: Life of Pi
Sound Mixing: Les Miserables
Sound Editing: Zero Dark Thirty
Production Design: Les Miserables
Original Score: Lincoln
Original Song: "Skyfall" from Skyfall by Adele
Makeup and Hair: Les Miserables
Costume Design: Anna Karenina
Foreign Language Film: Amour
Animated Feature: Wreck-It Ralph
Film Editing: Argo
Cinematography: Life of Pi
Best Supporting Actress: Anne Hathaway in Les Miserables
Best Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz in Django Unchained
Best Leading Actress: Jennifer Lawrence in Silver Linings Playbook
Best Leading Actor: Daniel-Day Lewis in Lincoln
Best Adapted Screenplay: Argo
Best Original Screenplay: Django Unchained
Best Directing: Steven Spielberg for Lincoln
Best Picture: Argo

EDIT: 19/24. My best year yet.


It's a Cartooooooon!

A partial list of live action films that spawned animated TV series:

  • Ace Ventura: Pet Detective
  • The Addams Family
  • Attack of the Killer Tomatoes
  • Back to the Future
  • Beetlejuice
  • Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure
  • Clerks
  • Dumb & Dumber
  • First Blood
  • Friday
  • Ghostbusters
  • Godzilla
  • Highlander
  • Jumanji
  • King Kong
  • Little Shop of Horrors
  • The Mask
  • Men in Black
  • The Mummy
  • Police Academy
  • Robocop
  • Spaceballs
  • Starship Troopers
  • Teen Wolf
  • The Toxic Avenger


Pay or Play Contracts

A partial list of individuals bothered by the Warner Brothers (and the Warner Sister) from Animaniacs:

  • Albert Einstein
  • Hercules
  • Pablo Picasso
  • Ferdinand Magellan
  • Ludwig Von Beethoven
  • Abraham Lincoln
  • Attila the Hun
  • Michelangelo Buonarroti
  • King Arthur 
  • Maria Von Trapp
  • Ernest Hemingway 
  • Howard Stern 
  • William Shatner
  • Captain Kirk
  • Captain Ahab
  • Count Dracula
  • Al Gore 
  • Sam Donaldson
  • Queen Elizabeth II
  • Snow White
  • Sherlock Holmes
  • James Bond
  • Vito Corleone 
  • Grigori Rasputin
  • Saddam Hussein
  • The Devil
  • The Tasmanian Devil
  • Fat Albert
  • The cast of Friends
  • Barney the Dinosaur
And, apparently, they were present at the birth of Jesus Chris, but were very polite.