Friday, February 26, 2010

My Oscar Allegiance


This is not a prediction post. It's simply some observations I have on this Oscar race that seems to get longer every year. I'm so weary of this year's telecast. Quoting Peter Knegt, the decision made by producers Adam Shankman and Bill Mechanic "all feels really desperate." There's entirely too much change and saying you want to make it feel more like "reality television" doesn't exactly give the Oscar audience the vote of confidence.

Sure, maybe it's the skeptic in me but hiring featuring 'So You Think You Can Dance' dancers while scrapping the opportunity to have both Jeff Bridges AND Marion Cotillard perform showstopping numbers? C'mon! You might as well announce you're getting Taylor Launter, Zac Efron and Kristen Stewart to present... oh wait. Yes, I have very low expectations for this year's kudosfest especially after last year's stellar Bill Condon-produced presentation. Unless Shankman and Mechanic has something truly inspiring up their sleeves, this could easily be the worst produced Oscars I'll ever witness.

On the awards front, the 11th hour "controversy" regarding 'The Hurt Locker' producer Nicholas Chartier sends a mass email out to Academy voters asking them to vote for his film and "not a $500M film." He later apologized for his violation, but of course, publicists across Hollywood for the other nine Oscar-nominated films are jumping on this like a fat kid on cheesecake. The course of this is still brewing despite the ridiculousness of it. Smear, smear, smear... It only solidifies my support for 'The Hurt Locker' taking the grand prize next Sunday even though I ranked 'An Education' higher on my list.

So here we are, getting down to who I'm routing for. It's different than my predictions even if it seems like it's not. I'll save those for when I get to Florida next weekend and am ready to pencil in my ballot next to the 2-liter of '7-Up' for 'Up'. But for now, it's just who I want to see win.

Best Picture: 'The Hurt Locker'
Best Director: Kathryn Bigelow, 'The Hurt Locker'
Best Actor: Jeremy Renner, 'The Hurt Locker', though a Colin Firth win would rock as well.
Best Actress: Carey Mulligan, my future wife.
Best Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz, 'Inglourious Basterds'
Best Supporting Actress: Mo'Nique, 'Precious'
Best Original Screenplay: Mark Boal, 'The Hurt Locker'
Best Adapted Screenplay: Nick Hornby, 'An Education'
Best Foreign Language Film: 'The White Ribbon'

And some, but not all technicals:
Best Cinematography: 'Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince'
Best Original Score: Michael Giacchino, 'Up'
Best Original Song: 'Almost There', 'The Princess and the Frog'
Best Costume Design: Anyone but 'The Young Victoria'

My Nintendo Wii

Not that it wasn't a total win before, but with the upcoming Netflix incorporation and the release of another installment of the greatest Wii videogame franchise, 'Super Mario Galaxy' (sorry MarioKart, the Wii was MADE for 'Galaxy'), there's not a better time to invest in the most popular video console in the world. With the recent snow days, I'm currently logging in some time with Super Mario Bros. Wii.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

My Current Mood


Reason #63 Why I'm Not Badass: I'm STILL jetlagged.

My Jeremy Renner Crush

If I was still doing "Celebrity Crush of The Month", Mr. Renner would take the cake for February. More on him and Oscar-y stuff in the upcoming days...

My Gay Plays


Count 'em, there's currently not one, not two, not three, but FOUR gay-themed plays on New York stages right now. New York Times highlighted this recent surge in a detailed article that also discuss the transition of gay theatre from being political-themed to a more relationship oriented-themed. I've already been anticipating the Off-Broadway transfer 'Next Fall' since... well, when it was Off-Broadway last year and sold out after three extensions. Also, I'm eager to see Hugh Dancy on stage again ('Journey's End' being the first time) and see how nice he can play with Ben Whishaw in 'The Pride'.

One thing does puzzle me. Reading the synopsis of all these plays, it sure sounds like they're all downers and got me thinking- why is it the critically acclaimed gay themed entertainment of late all involve some sort of depression and angst? Is it the concept of being oppressed that easily relatable? Or is the feeling of not being able to be with someone you love that universal? Or is just simply the current cultural divide on gay rights that evoke such an artistic surge?

I can't wait to see a dramatic film or stage production where one half of a gay duo isn't inflicted physical harm and still come out on top- enter 'I Love You, Philip Morris'. (NYT)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

My Ricky Gervais Show

Screen shot 2010-02-23 at 7.43.33 AM

Before my insanely long flight back from Hong Kong, I downloaded the premiere episode of the new HBO series, The Ricky Gervais Show, based on the podcasts Gervais does with his frequent collaborator Stephen Merchant and breakout star Karl Pilkington. It is entirely entertaining and hilarious that I was probably stared due to my attempt to suffocate my uncontrollable laughter. The monkey bit? OMG!

Sidenote: There's nothing that'll make you feel more pathetically single than sitting next to a couple during their honeymoon phase in business class during a 13-hour flight.

Friday, February 19, 2010

My Facebook Hilarity Part 3


These guys have my sense of humor.

My Ten Favorite Frames From Films of 2009

Inspired by In Contention, in no particular order:


Which ones are your favorites?

My Mickey D's Wasabi Burger


Just add wasabi flavor to the mayo of the fish-o-filet and you get an awesome burger.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

My Valentine's Day Analysis


If you're reading this thinking you're getting a glimpse of my love life (or at moment, there lack of), you've mistaken. This is purely about the ensemble romantic comedy 'Valentine's Day', a film I've been looking forward to since it got greenlit last spring after the moderate success of the disgustingly horrific 'He's Just Not That Into You' that stars half of Hollywood. So let's get right to it:

MVP (Most Valuable Player): Ashton Kutcher, I thought I'd never say it but he practically glued the film together. It's honestly the first time ever I was charmed by the Punk'd master.

LVP (Least Valuable Player): Kathy Bates, even I could tell she had one free day last spring and decided to be in this movie and shoot all her scenes that day.

Most Surprising Player: Emma Roberts, I've never seen 'Aquamarine' or 'Nancy Drew', but this girl has got all her aunt's charisma and more.

Most Disappointing Player: Queen Latifah, doing her best Miranda Priestley only proves Meryl Streep does it better.

Favorite "Love Story": I'm a sucker for kids, but young Bryce Robinson's search for his bouquet of flowers for his valentine has got to be sweetest thing ever.

Least Favorite "Love Story": Anne Hathaway as a phone sex operator trying to win over Topher Grace. I've never been embarrassed for the Princess before until she did her best Russian dominatrix accent.

Most Potential "Love Story": Eric Dane wants a family and all he got is a giant condo and an even bigger heartache, enter the love of his life at the end of V-Day. McSteamy finally knocks off that "holier than thou" attitude.

Blown Potential "Love Story": On paper, it should work but Taylors Launter and Swift had practically no chemistry as lovestruck teenagers- no wonder their real life romance ended just as fast.

So yes, in case you were wondering, I did enjoy the movie. It's no way the best thing ever but it served its purpose- inducing heartwarming fuzzies that make me go "Awwwww."

Saturday, February 13, 2010

My Hello Kitty Explosion

You know you've landed in an Asian city when you roam through the mall and you see this:


Friday, February 12, 2010

My Hong Kong Flight Photos

Ah, the luxury of having a sibling who can get you first class seats on an international flight....

Yes, LEG room!

Not even two hours into the flight, I was offered to booze up. Yes, they're all mine.

The pre-meal snack.

I scoffed down the soup and appetizer so I didn't
get the chance take that picture, but the main course... beef.

To cap it off, a nice little vanilla ice-cream dessert
with a chocolate swirly stick. All the above
was just the FIRST meal.

Dinner and a movie? I was ecstatic that Peterio Award
nominee for Best Picture "The September Issue" was showing.

I've never seen a plane flying under another one
ten hours into a flight. Object was definitely closer
than they appear in this picture.

The beautiful Alaskan landscape,
sans Levi Johnston or Sarah Palin.

I can definitely get use to this "lifestyle".

Thursday, February 11, 2010

My Neos Overshoes


With the recent snow blizzard that blanketed the Northeast, it's time for a little product endorsement. Neos Overshoes... best thing to happen to my feet during winter since Japanese foot massages. I don't have to worry about puddles, snow hills, dirty slush or any of that combination. It sure came in handy during that 2-hour shoveling session yesterday.

Monday, February 8, 2010

My Favorite Super Bowl Commercial

Warm fuzzies.

My Bad Album Cover


Tony Award winner John Lloyd Young's album cover for his Valentine's Day single "Love Believes" has got to be one of the worst cover art I've ever seen. It definitely rivals Adam Lambert's "For Your Entertainment". One thing's for sure, this definitely doesn't put those rumors of Young being difficult to work with to rest, what a far cry from Frankie Valli.

Friday, February 5, 2010

My Mickey Rourke Laugh


Mickey Rourke went on the record saying that Megan Fox is "the best young actress" he's ever worked with. Granted, I'm not that familiar with Miss Fox's work other than the Transformer series and last summer's dreadful 'Jennifer's Body', but c'mon... Rourke worked with Evan Rachel Wood. Even if Wood isn't the best actress (which she's not), from what I've seen, Wood can run circles around the Michael Bay hater when it comes to talent. Then again, what exactly does Rourke mean when he says "best"? (EW)

My Friday Night Lights Promo

Watch out. The season finale for this ridiculously amazing season is next week.

Love the Zach Gilford is back to wrap up his character.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

My Stylin' US Olympic Team


Kudos to Ralph Lauren for making our US Olympic Team look like a million bucks this winter. It's almost worth it to check out their Winter Olympics Collection of overpriced goodies.

My Weekend With A Gorilla

.... named Abe... in an elevator.


At least he didn't forget his lines.

My Gratitude Towards Kelli


This is purely a testament to the kindness of strangers. A couple of years ago, when the government did the stimulus plan and "awarded" individuals with $600, I didn't get mine. After a few attempts to contact the IRS, I gave up and never gave it another thought. But when I went back to my old apartment yesterday to get some mail, I noticed this letter from Kelli in El Cerrito, CA with a note saying the following:

"This was sent to me by mistake.
I thought it would get to you faster if I sent it myself
rather than wait for the IRS to figure it out. - Kelli"

Attached was the seal envelope from the IRS with my check. I'm going to snail mail this Kelli and thank her for her consideration and for me getting another bonus check during tax season. Some days, I just can't help but be proud to be a human being.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

My Oscar Shorts!


Since 2003, the Academy of Motion Picture of Arts and Sciences (The Oscars folks) have been screening their nominees for short film live action and short film animation during an one-day event. I was fortunate enough to get a hold a few tickets five years ago and still remember vividly meeting Andrea Arnold (director of 'Fish Tank') at the event right before she won her Oscar for the short film 'Wasp'.

This year, the tickets for the New York rendition of the event (LA also holds one) are on sale and I made sure I got my tickets so not only will I have a clue to what I'm watching during the Oscars when these short film categories arise but also meet future successful filmmakers. It's safe to spread the word now since I just printed my tickets, but hurry... it's an extremely small screening room and tickets will no doubt be sold out soon due to A) its popularity and B) it's ridiculously low price of $5. So go get your tickets now if you're in the NYC area on the 27th.

My Take It All

Leave it to the Weinsteins to release a "music video" of their Oscar-nominated song "Take It All" from 'Nine' the day the nominations are announced. The best part of the disappointing musical, Marion Cotillard literally and figuratively bares it all in this gut-wrenching number. Sure, it has little to no chance topping Ryan Bingham's "Weary Kind" for the trophy next month, but hey... at least we are treated to a Cotillard performance.

My Facebook Hilarity Part 2

More musings from Facebook fails, courtesy of





Love me some 3am humor.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

My Initial Oscar Nominations Reaction


- "The Hurt Locker" managed to tie "Avatar" for nomination total. A combination of some surprise nods for the former (Original Score) and some omissions for the latter (Original Screenplay) got the two frontrunners to tie in the tally.

- "Inglourious Basterds" is not too far behind with eight. Good for them, but the omission for Art Direction and Costume Design were a little puzzling.

- LOVED the Original Song nod for "Paris 36" and of course, the well-deserved Cinematography nod for "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince".

- "The Blind Side" got a Best Picture nod. Has this 10 Best Picture nominee experience backfire yet? Not sure, because worthy films that normally wouldn't get in due to lack of media buzz got the prestige of being titled a Best Picture nominee ("An Education" & "Up").

- Speaking of which, "Up" now gets the distinction for being the second animated feature ever to be in the Best Picture consideration. Another animated feature "The Secret of Kells" surprises everyone for showing up on the short list for Animated Feature.

Well, I'll digest this for the next month until I go to Tallaheehaw for Oscar Weekend '10! Those Best Picture themed appetizers sure get harder every year...

My Local Tragedy


Due to my busy weekend, I didn't find out about this until early yesterday morning. The deadliest fire in New York since 2007 occurred over the weekend in Bensonhurst, killing five and injuring 17, including firefighters and an infant whose skull was fractured after her parents were desperately trying to save her from their third floor apartment. This event is nothing short of tragic and to cap it off, it is believe there is foul play involved as the police department, along with investigators are calling this arson. My sincere condolences and sympathy for the victims's surviving families and I hope they find some comfort when this investigation furthers along to find that culprit(s) involved. (NYT)

My Circular Monopoly


'Monopoly', along with 'Scrabble' and 'Cranium', has always been one of my favorite boardgames. Hasbro unveiled an update to their ever popular game that teaches young kids to be shopaholics and greedy at an early age. They're literally cutting the corners on their design and made it more compact by getting rid of cash and replacing it with credit cards. Yeah... gotta teach 'em young that credit cards are evil. (Wired)