Inside Pulse » Oscars http://insidepulse.com A pop culture mega-site with Movies, TV, Music, Sports, Comics, Video Games coverage for diehards, including news, reviews, live event coverage, audio podcasts, exclusive interviews and commentary. Thu, 24 Jul 2014 03:50:33 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.1 A pop culture mega-site with Movies, TV, Music, Sports, Comics, Video Games coverage for diehards, including news, reviews, live event coverage, audio podcasts, exclusive interviews and commentary. Inside Pulse no A pop culture mega-site with Movies, TV, Music, Sports, Comics, Video Games coverage for diehards, including news, reviews, live event coverage, audio podcasts, exclusive interviews and commentary. Inside Pulse » Oscars http://insidepulse.com/wp-content/plugins/powerpress/rss_default.jpg http://insidepulse.com Highlights From The 2014 Academy Awards http://insidepulse.com/2014/03/04/highlights-from-the-2014-academy-awards/ http://insidepulse.com/2014/03/04/highlights-from-the-2014-academy-awards/#comments Tue, 04 Mar 2014 17:26:22 +0000 http://insidepulse.com/?p=351044
  • I watched bits and pieces of the red carpet, and I thought it was pretty blah this year. These were my favorites.
  • collageLupita Nyong’o was my favorite, even though I don’t love the plunging neckline. But the color, skirt, belt and hair/makeup are all perfect. I think she’s really getting the award here for “Best Overall Awards Season” because she has nailed it every time.

    I love Jennifer Lawrence and Anne Hathaway’s sleek dresses. And I included Cate Blanchett because she wore a pretty dress, but I wished it had been more creative. She usually looks so unique, and this was quite typical. I feel like we’ve seen it on every young starlet. But I just can’t hate on Cate, she always looks like a goddess.

    • Jared Leto’s speech made me tear up. Moms, guys. They really get me. (The transition to Ukraine and Venezuela was awkward and let’s pretend it never happened. It came back around when he spoke about AIDS.)
    • I adored Pharrell’s performance – especially when he danced with Lupita Nyong’o in the audience (and Amy Adams and Meryl Streep). The Oscars are so stuffy, it was nice to see something fun and “happy”.
    • Darlene Love, amiright?
    • I thought the little clip we saw of Angelina Jolie speaking about her mother when accepting an award for humanitarianism was lovely. And I liked that she brought her son to that event. Also, I love Angela Lansbury. I wish we’d seen more of those speeches, and less movie montages.
    • I’m thrilled that Lupita Nyong’o won. That movie, and that role – wow. She deserved it, and her speech was lovely. Also, can we talk about that Liza Minnelli hug? That sure came out of nowhere.
    • There were so many times during the show that I thought “Why is this happening? How is this relevant? Is this really necessary?” The tribute to The Wizard of Oz was one of those times, yet I’m never unhappy to see Pink.
    • John Travolta’s epic mispronunciation of “Idina Menzel” is STILL making me laugh.

    Though Ellen had some funny bits, overall I’m not a fan of her as an Oscars host. Her go-to schtick is this repetitive, stalling rambling – something that doesn’t go over great when the show is running over and people’s speeches are getting cut short.

    What did you guys think?


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    Highlights from the 2013 Oscars and Red Carpet Review http://insidepulse.com/2013/02/25/highlights-from-the-2013-oscars-and-red-carpet-review/ http://insidepulse.com/2013/02/25/highlights-from-the-2013-oscars-and-red-carpet-review/#comments Mon, 25 Feb 2013 21:58:47 +0000 http://insidepulse.com/?p=326330 I usually get to excited about the Academy Awards – I organize pools, host or attend parties, see all the movies. But this year, I just haven’t been into it. I’ve only seen four of the movies nominated for Best Picture – Argo, Silver Linings Playbook, Beasts of the Southern Wild and Les Miserables. I liked them all, actually. But I wasn’t motivated to see the rest, and ended up not having much interest in the awards show this year. It didn’t help that I’m not a fan of the host, Seth MacFarlane.

    The Fashion

    The red carpet was equally underwhelming. I barely saw any dresses I liked, and I didn’t see any that really excited me. My favorites were Kerry Washington, Sandra Bullock and Stacy Kiebler.

    nice

    I’m a huge Jennifer Lawrence fan, but I didn’t love this weird parachute dress.

    jennifer lawrenceA bigger tragedy, though, was Sally Field’s dress.

    sally fieldsIt fit weird, the sleeves were wrinkly, the ruffles were awful, her hair was messy. Just awful.

    The Host

    Seth MacFarlane started out strong, with a good crack about trying to make Tommy Lee Jones laugh. But it was all downhill from there. His jokes weren’t rude, they were just bad. William Shatner? That was stupid. The opening was saved by other celebrities – a dance by Channing Tatum and Charlize Theron, and a song and dance number featuring Joseph Gordon Levitt and Daniel Radcliffe. Those people are too delightful to dislike.

    The theme of the night was “Music of the movies”, which was a nice change up from the heavy-handed “To the movies!” theme of last (and every) year. That said, nothing could really save this boring show.

    Indeed, the musical performances were my favorite moments. I’m a fan of Catherine Zeta Jones and really root for her, so it was lovely to see her knock “All That Jazz” out of the park as though she’d only been in the movie yesterday. Jennifer Hudson, no surprise here, killed her Dreamgirls performance.

    The Awards

    Awards wise, none of the acting wins surprised me but were all, you know, fine. Deserving. I’m happy for Anne Hathaway because I adored that performance. (I didn’t see Django Unchained or Lincoln, but knew Watlz and Lewis would win.) I love Jennifer Lawrence and I’m happy she won – and if anyone could handle falling up the stairs with such adorable, nerdy charm it’s her.

    Screen Shot 2013-02-25 at 9.27.35 AMI’m a fan of Argo, so everything about Best Picture made me happy. Michelle Obama announced it! And her dress was amazing! (That’s who the best dressed of the night was.) I fully believe Ben Affleck should have won (and been nominated for to begin with) Best Directing, but I’m happy his movie won. His teary eyes and Jennifer Garner trying to hold back her tears made me so happy, you guys!

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    Oscars: Inside Pulse Movies Final Predictions For The 2013 Academy Awards http://insidepulse.com/2013/02/21/oscars-inside-pulse-movies-final-predictions-for-the-2013-academy-awards/ http://insidepulse.com/2013/02/21/oscars-inside-pulse-movies-final-predictions-for-the-2013-academy-awards/#comments Fri, 22 Feb 2013 01:00:24 +0000 http://insidepulse.com/?p=326119
    OscarsLogoABC

    With voting for the 85th Academy Awards officially closed, and with Scott Sawitz already throwing down the challenge in his Monday Morning Critic column on what should win vs. what will win, I feel that now was a good time to unveil my final Oscar predictions. These are the same predictions I made to a crowd of onlookers Tuesday night as part of an Oscars discussion.

    It has been an interesting award season to say the least, and my opinions have twisted and turned due to oversights, omissions and momentum in the months counting down. Now it’s crunch time.

    On Oscar night we could be looking at Ben Affleck’s Argo going on to collect numerous awards. Or we could very well have The Weinstein Company getting its third consecutive Best Picture winner with Silver Linings Playbook. Steven Spielberg may finally get his third statuette for directing Lincoln while his star, Daniel Day-Lewis, would make Oscar history by becoming the only actor to have won three Best Actor awards. Life of Pi looks to be a shoe-in for visual effects, but don’t underestimate Ang Lee’s chances in the directing category.

    However, I’m of the opinion that the Academy of Motion Picture, Arts and Sciences will be looking to spread the wealth on Sunday night; we’re likely to see a few of the Best Picture nominees pick up at least two awards. Though, if I’m wrong, it wouldn’t be the first time.

    Rather than rundown all 24 categories, since I’m not familiar with some of the short films nominated, I’ll highlight the “Big 5″ (acting awards and picture) along with some of the technical categories. Note: my picks will appear in bold.

    Oscars

    Best Animated Short
    Paperman
    Adam And Dog
    Head Over Heels
    Fresh Guacamole
    The Longest Daycare

    Here’s one of the few times I’ve seen a majority of the nominees. It helps that two of the five preceded films that had a theatrical release. Disney’s “Paperman” played in front of Wreck-It Ralph, while “The Longest Daycare” is a The Simpsons short featuring Maggie Simpson. Plus, “Fresh Guacamole” has been featured on Showtime. Of the five, I think “Paperman” is the strongest, plus its use of traditional hand-drawn animation with computer-generated animation is a benefit. But it is also one of the most romantic features, long or short, that I’ve seen in quite a while.

    Oscars

    Best Sound Editing
    Skyfall
    Life Of Pi
    Argo
    Zero Dark Thirty
    Django Unchained

    As much as I would like the honor to go to Zero Dark Thirty (the sounds during the interrogations to the siege on the OBL compound have quite the punch), but I’m going with Skyfall. The biggest Bond film yet had great set pieces including its opening sequence and Javier Bardem’s thrilling escape involving a train crashing into the building where he’s being held. And who could forget the finale involving a Straw Dogs (some would call it Home Alone) pastiche.

    Oscars

    Best Sound Mixing
    Les Miserables
    Skyfall
    Argo
    Life Of Pi
    Lincoln

    The men behind the sounds of Les Miserables can thank Universal’s campaign for this category by producing an EPK-style featurette that attempts to raise awareness about the film’s technique of having the actors perform their songs live on set instead of in a music studio and lip-syncing.

    Oscars

    Best Visual Effects
    Life Of Pi
    Marvel’s The Avengers
    The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
    Promethus
    Snow White and the Hunstman

    Definitely one of the few locks at this year’s Oscars. This award will go Life of Pi. Of the five nominees it has the most impressive visuals, but it also has the added benefit of being the only Best Picture nominee in the bunch.

    Oscars

    Best Original Song

    “Skyfall” from Skyfall – Adele Adkins and Paul Epworth
    “Suddenly” from Les Miserables – Claude-Michel Schonberg, Herbert Kretzmer and Alain Boubil
    “Before My Time” from Chasing Ice – J. Ralph
    “Everybody Needs A Best Friend” from Ted – Walter Murphy and Seth MacFarlane
    “Pi’s Lullaby” from Life of Pi – Mychael Danna and Bombay Jayashri

    While I was secretly hoping that “Thunder Buddies” from Ted would be in the final five, I guess I’ll go with Adele’s Skyfall. It’s easily the best Bond theme since probably Duran Duran’s “A View to a Kill” and of all the nominees it’s the only one you’re likely to hear on Top 40 radio. That should count for something. Besides, the song and music branches seem to be the most progressive of the entire AMPAS. That would explain why you can put “Oscar winner” next to such acts as Trent Reznor, Eminem and Three 6 Mafia.

    Oscars

    Best Film Editing

    Argo – William Goldenberg
    Zero Dark Thirty – Dylan Tichenor and William Goldenberg
    Life Of Pi – Tim Squyres
    Lincoln – Michael Kahn
    Silver Linings Playbook – Jay Cassidy and Crispin Struthers

    Realistically, the award should go to Cloud Atlas, but since it was ignored by the Academy in favor of five Best Picture nominees it looks like the best bet is Argo. Traditionally, the film that wins Best Film Editing goes on to win Best Picture. Though if it isn’t Argo look for Zero Dark Thirty with a surprise win. Either way, William Goldenberg has a 40% chance of getting an Oscar.

    Oscars

    Best Cinematography

    Life Of Pi – Claudio Miranda
    Skyfall – Roger Deakins
    Anna Karenina – Seamus McGarvey
    Lincoln – Janusz Kaminski
    Django Unchained – Robert Richardson

    In a perfect world, Roger Deakins would finally get rewarded for his contributions to cinematography. The man has been nominated ten times, winning zero. Skyfall is great on a number of levels including the way Deakins handles the lighting in certain sequences. Who could forget that one on one confrontation done with silhouettes and shadows, and the scene in Hong Kong has a smorgasbord of strong visuals (not to mention Komodo Dragons). But much like the year Avatar got a cinematography award despite the film being mostly CGI, I could see that breathtaking visuals of Life of Pi will once again see Deakins remain winless at the Oscars.

    Oscars

    Best Animated Feature

    Brave
    Frankenweenie
    Wreck-It Ralph
    ParaNorman
    The Pirates! Band Of Misfits

    It looks like this is the year where a Pixar film isn’t the odds on favorite to win. A similar situation happened when it was Monsters Inc. up again DreamWorks’ Shrek. However, comparatively speaking, Monsters Inc. was better received than Brave. But Pixar could be awarded on account that it goes against convention when it comes to traditional “Disney Princess” movies. However, I see I losing out to Wreck-It Ralph mainly on account that stop-motion films like Frankenweenie and ParaNorman are likely to cancel each other out. Sure, it may be a simple tale that plays heavily off of ’80s arcade and video-gaming nostalgia, but it was one of Disney’s better, non-Pixar efforts in quite some time.

    Oscars

    Best Documentary – Feature
    Searching For Sugar Man
    The Gatekeepers
    How To Survive A Plague
    5 Broken Cameras
    The Invisible War

    While there are varying kinds of documentaries, most either fall into the category of either being about someone or something, or championing a cause. In terms of the latter that would be The Invisible War and Kirby Dick’s introspective look at a lingering problem within the U.S. military (namely rape and sexual assault). While Searching for Sugar Man may not be “championing a cause” it is a feel-good documentary about a folk singer who went unnoticed in America only to become an international sensation in the country of South Africa during apartheid.

    Oscars

    Best Foreign Language Film

    Kon-Tiki
    Amour
    A Royal Affair
    No
    War Witch

    If Michael Haneke’s Amour wins this award it guarantees that it won’t win Best Picture. It is the frontrunner in this category for stranger things have happened. Remember the year where The Lives of Others beat out Guillermo Del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth?

    Oscars

    Best Writing – Adapted Screenplay

    Argo – Chris Terrio
    Silver Linings Playbook – David O. Russell
    Lincoln – Tony Kushner
    Life Of Pi – David Magee
    Beasts of the Southern Wild – Lucy Alibar & Benh Zeitlin

    Of the five nominees, three are from books, one is from a play, and another is based on an actual CIA document and agent. One would think David Magee would be the favorite for taking a piece of literature that many thought to be “unfilmable” and make it work. But it is Ang Lee who has been given the lion’s share of kudos for the success of Life of Pi. The top three picks are definitely Argo, Lincoln and Silver Linings Playbook, and you can put them in any order. All three were box office hits, but it seems like Chris Terrio has the inside edge. No offense to Tony Kushner’s screenplay, probably the strongest aspect of Lincoln, but his source material was three pages from the novel “Team of Rivals” by Doris Kearns Goodwin. But because David O. Russell isn’t the odds on favorite in the directing category (again, comedies seem to get a bad rap in general by the Academy) he could very well in this category.

    Oscars

    Best Writing – Original Screenplay

    Zero Dark Thirty – Mark Boal
    Django Unchained – Quentin Tarantino
    Amour – Michael Haneke
    Moonrise Kingdom – Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola
    Flight – John Gatins

    This is an interesting category that sees a couple of former winners up against some talented competition. Mark Boal’s Zero Dark Thirty recently won at the WGAs, but I’m not sure what makes Zero Dark Thirty an original screenplay versus Chris Terrio’s Argo. Is it a loophole because of anonymous sources in the case of ZDT? Realistically, the winner should be Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola’s Moonrise Kingdom because it is such a good story about teenage love. Going out on a limb I’m picking Quentin Tarantino, mainly on account that the man is due for an Academy Award he can claim himself (he shared screenwriting honors with Roger Avary back in 1994 for Pulp Fiction).

    Oscars

    Best Supporting Actor
    Robert De Niro – Silver Linings Playbook
    Christoph Waltz – Django Unchained
    Tommy Lee Jones – Lincoln
    Philip Seymour Hoffman – The Master
    Alan Arkin – Argo

    In a rare occurrence all the nominees in this category are previous winners. So the question remains is who is the most deserving? Eh, you could probably put the names on a Post-It note and put it on a dartboard and pick a winner that way. Personally, I think the winner should be Philip Seymour Hoffman, but The Master was such a polarizing film that most of the voting body probably forgot about it, if they ever saw it. So with that in mind I’m going with Robert De Niro who gives his best performance in quite a long time. People seem to forget that De Niro had a career before the Focker movies. Here he proves his weight as a legendary thespian doing a role that isn’t as showy as Alan Arkin in Argo or as scene-chewingly good as Christoph Waltz in Django Unchained. As for Tommy Lee Jones, if he wins he won’t be on account of his toupee.

    Oscars

    Best Supporting Actress

    Anne Hathaway – Les Miserables
    Sally Field – Lincoln
    Amy Adams – The Master
    Helen Hunt – The Sessions
    Jacki Weaver – Silver Linings Playbook

    Okay, here’s another lock for this year’s Oscars. The award is going to Anne Hathaway. All the other actresses have all but conceded at this point. If Jennifer Hudson can win it for belting out a soulful rendition of “And I’m Telling You I’m Not Going”, then Hathaway can get it for singing “I Dreamed a Dream.” Besides, I figure the voters owe it to her for having to work with James Franco at last year’s ceremony. Any other year the award probably should go to Helen Hunt. Her performance was the most daring in terms of vulnerability playing a character that doesn’t glamorize sex but shows it in a natural setting (in this case as a sex therapist helping a man with polio).

    Oscars

    Best Actor

    Daniel Day-Lewis – Lincoln
    Joaquin Phoenix – The Master
    Hugh Jackman – Les Miserables
    Bradley Cooper – Silver Linings Playbook
    Denzel Washington – Flight

    Never would I think I would see one of The Hangover‘s Wolf Pack with an Oscar nomination, at least this early in his career. Bradley Cooper is good in Silver Linings but he’s no Daniel Day-Lewis or Denzel Washington. For DDL it may be his best performance, and that includes his wins for My Left Foot and There Will Be Blood. But he makes playing Abraham Lincoln look easy. A much harder role is that of Denzel Washington’s in Flight. The nuances he gives his alcoholic character are strong, but it’s the kind of performance that is more introverted. Flight is far from a good movie, but Washington’s performance is great. Sadly, it will be just like the year he was overlooked for his performance in The Hurricane in favor of Kevin Spacey in American Beauty. I don’t think there will be any serious upset in this category, so if your office is doing a pool, Daniel Day-Lewis is the best pick.

    Oscars

    Best Actress

    Emmanuelle Riva – Amour
    Jennifer Lawrence – Silver Linings Playbook
    Jessica Chastain – Zero Dark Thirty
    Naomi Watts – The Impossible
    Quvenzhane Wallis – Beasts of the Southern Wild

    Of these five Jessica Chastain gave the best performance. And to me it was the best performance I saw by any actor or actress in 2012. She is my pick to win even though it looks like the political fallout of Zero Dark Thirty makes her seem like an also-ran at this point. Outside of her winning, the award will be contested between Jennifer Lawrence and Emmanuelle Riva. Riva turns 86 on Sunday, and an Academy Award would make quite the birthday gift. Plus we’ll be seeing Chastain and Lawrence in this category in the years to come.

    Oscars

    Best Director

    Ang Lee – Life Of Pi
    Steven Spielberg – Lincoln
    Michael Haneke – Amour
    David O Russell – Silver Linings Playbook
    Benh Zeitlin – Beasts of the Southern Wild

    Oh, the Best Director category. When picking nominations I have three surefire picks. I had Steven Spielberg, Kathryn Bigelow and Ben Affleck. Only one of the three got nominated. But the omission of Affleck is a most egregious error on behalf of the director’s branch. Boy do they have egg on their face. And it is because of that why Argo is likely going to get the benefit of the doubt in a number of categories it wouldn’t be favored to win. Like it wouldn’t surprise me if it got a Sound award of some kind. With Affleck out of the picture, the director’s race looks to be a two horse affair between Ang Lee and Steven Spielberg. Between the two, Life of Pi is the only “director’s movie” so to speak. That gives an edge to Lee, for sure. However my gut tells me that the Academy will want to award Spielberg his third directing award, much like the Academy felt compelled to give Meryl Streep her Oscar last year despite her performance in The Iron Lady being far from her best work. It’s a close category, that’s for sure.

    Oscars

    Best Picture

    Argo
    Silver Linings Playbook
    Life Of Pi
    Lincoln
    Zero Dark Thirty
    Amour
    Les Miserables
    Django Unchained
    Beasts of the Southern Wild

    Three of these nine appeared on my Top 10 List of 2012 with Zero Dark Thirty occupying the #1 spot. I don’t seriously dislike any of the nine nominees, but Amour and Life of Pi would probably be near the bottom. Look for Argo to pull a Driving Miss Daisy and be the first film in more than twenty years to win Best Picture without receiving a Best Director nomination. If not Argo, then we might see a comedy win the Best Picture award since 1998′s Shakespeare in Love.

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    Just Seen It: Public Television National Episode FIVE Preview – Feb. 14- Feb. 17, 2013 [Video] http://insidepulse.com/2013/02/17/just-seen-it-public-television-national-episode-five-preview-feb-14-feb-17-2013-video/ http://insidepulse.com/2013/02/17/just-seen-it-public-television-national-episode-five-preview-feb-14-feb-17-2013-video/#comments Sun, 17 Feb 2013 19:03:56 +0000 http://insidepulse.com/?p=325943 What's coming up on our next episode of JUST SEEN IT that will be airing starting Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013. CHECK YOUR LOCAL PBS LISTING FOR DAY AND TIME!



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    Just Seen It: OSCAR 2013 Best Picture Predictions [Video] http://insidepulse.com/2013/02/16/just-seen-it-oscar-2013-best-picture-predictions-video/ http://insidepulse.com/2013/02/16/just-seen-it-oscar-2013-best-picture-predictions-video/#comments Sat, 16 Feb 2013 22:11:25 +0000 http://insidepulse.com/?p=325606 Sean, Liz and Aaron discuss their picks and predictions for Best Picture for the 2013 Academy Awards and pick who SHOULD win and predict who WILL win. BEST PICTURE Amour Beasts of the Southern Wild Life of Pi Django Unchained Les Miserables Zero Dark Thirty Silver Linings Playbook Lincoln Starring Sean Wright, Liz Manashil and Aaron Fink. Directed by Amy Taylor Edited by Stephen Krystek. Sound Design by Aaron Fink and Nick Isaacs. Produced by David Freedman(@ShowRunnerDave), Cooper Griggs, Aaron Fink(@AaronEvanFink) and Pedro Raposo.



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    Just Seen It: OSCARS 2013 Best Director Picks and Predictions [Video] http://insidepulse.com/2013/02/16/just-seen-it-oscars-2013-best-director-picks-and-predictions-video/ http://insidepulse.com/2013/02/16/just-seen-it-oscars-2013-best-director-picks-and-predictions-video/#comments Sat, 16 Feb 2013 22:11:24 +0000 http://insidepulse.com/?p=325605 Leah, Kevin and Brenna discuss their picks and predictions for Best Director for the 2013 Academy Awards and pick who SHOULD win and predict who WILL win. BEST DIRECTOR Michael Haneke: Amour Benh Zeitlin: Beasts of the Southern Wild Ang Lee: Life of Pi David O. Russell: Silver Linings Playbook Steven Spielberg: Lincoln Starring Leah Aldridge, Kevin Taft, Brenna Smith. Directed by Liz Manashil. Edited by Brian Giovanni. Sound Design by Aaron Fink and Nick Isaacs. Produced by David Freedman(@ShowRunnerDave), Cooper Griggs, Aaron Fink(@AaronEvanFink) and Pedro Raposo.



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    2012 Oscars Review – Thoughts On The Winners & Losers http://insidepulse.com/2012/02/27/2012-oscars-review-thoughts-on-the-winners-losers/ http://insidepulse.com/2012/02/27/2012-oscars-review-thoughts-on-the-winners-losers/#comments Mon, 27 Feb 2012 21:20:05 +0000 http://insidepulse.com/?p=291428 Last night I went to a local party hosted by fellow Halifax bloggers Fashionable People, Questionable Things to watch the Oscars. Normally we’d all be snarking about the fashions (check out my best and worst dressed lists) and the shows from the comforts of our homes, via Twitter and live blog, but instead we sat side by side, eating cupcakes and drinking boxed wine, still communicating via Twitter and live blog.

    I was one of the few there who was actually happy Billy Crystal was hosting the Oscars. I just enjoy him, his video montages, and his cheesy songs. And even though there were definitely some awkward moments in last night’s telecast (don’t make fun of Christopher Plummer being old, OK, because he’s Captain Von Trapp and he will kick your ass, Billy Crystal!) overall I thought he did a decent job. Unfortunately, the show itself was still kind of a snooze.

    Had I been playing “Drink every time we celebrate the movie industry”, I would not have made it home last night. Look, I know the Oscars are a tribute to the movies. I know that it is a night where people who make movies get together and celebrate one another. I know this. But could their celebrations be, you know, a little more focused? Every single thing they did was just an homage To The Movies! It became tiresome.

    Of course, this is fitting since the two frontrunners for Best Picture – The Artist and Hugo – were both about how great movies are, and the golden age of cinema, and how wonderful the film industry is. And I liked both movies, it can just become a bit much, you know?

    Now, as for the awards, most of them came out as expected but there were some surprises. Here’s a full list of the nominees and winners. For my own predictions (which I put together on the fly on Saturday evening thanks to having seen seven of the nine movies nominated for Best Picture and some quick Internet research) I got 17 of 24 categories correct. Of the main categories (Best picture, acting, directing, writing) I only got one wrong – I predicted a win for Viola Davis, but it went to Meryl Streep instead. That was one of the few categories all night that could have gone more than one way. All in all, The Artist won big.

    I’m happy with that result, because I really liked The Artist. This year, there weren’t a lot of nominated movies I loved. I really liked George Clooney in The Ides of March, but I wasn’t a huge fan of The Descendants. I thought Moneyball was OK, but nothing special. I thought The Help was a very well acted Lifetime TV Movie. I HATED War Horse. I can’t tell you how much I hated it. And as for The Tree of Life and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close well, the odds are that I’ll never see them.

    What did you guys think of the telecast? The winners?

    More stray thoughts on the Oscars:

    • I liked most of the classic “Put Billy Crystal into all the nominated movies” montage, but did anyone else think it kind of got lazy near the end? He just floated around on a film reel, looking at all the other films.
    • Robert Downey Jr., for the first time ever, did not win me over with his presenting gag.
    • Emma Stone mocking Anne Hathaway’s over-enthusiasm last year was absolutely hilarious.
    • Had the orchestra tried to play off Christopher Plummer, who gave a beautiful speech (I can’t believe that was his first Oscar!) I would have boycotted the show for the rest of my life.
    • Why was Angelina Jolie posing like the lovechild of Lea Michele and Posh Spice?
    • Dean Pelton won an Oscar! Seeing Jim Rash win for Best Adapted Screenplay (The Descendants) was a kick for anyone who watched Community. I also LOVED that he mocked Angelina and her leg.
    • There wasn’t time for The Muppets to sing, but there was time for a lame Cirque du Soleil performance? I call foul, Oscars!
    • Billy Crystal’s joke about Christan Bale was funnier than anything Ricky Gervais said at the Golden Globes. 




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    2012 Oscars: Red Carpet Fashion Favorites – The Best Oscar Dresses http://insidepulse.com/2012/02/27/2012-oscars-red-carpet-fashion-favorites-the-best-oscar-dresses/ http://insidepulse.com/2012/02/27/2012-oscars-red-carpet-fashion-favorites-the-best-oscar-dresses/#comments Mon, 27 Feb 2012 20:45:38 +0000 http://insidepulse.com/?p=291427 If you missed it before, make sure you check out my choices for the worst dresses from last night’s Oscars red carpet. I wasn’t that impressed with what I saw on the red carpet last night, so it was hard to scrape together my favorite ten dresses of the evening.

    10. Judy Greer: I love that Judy Greer, who has played every snarky BFF in every romcom in history, got to go to the Oscars. She was good in The Descendants and she wasn’t even being sarcastic in it. And even though the neckline bothers me a little, I think this dress was a win.

    9. Sarah Hyland: I don’t know why Haley from Modern Family was at the Oscars, other than she dresses really well on the red carpet and she was funny making fun of how Lea Michele poses that one time on Fashion Police. But whatever – good for her! On TV I thought this dress was grey and I wad mad at her, but once I realized it’s lilac (or mauve, or violet, or, you know, purple) I quite liked it.

    8. Stacy Keibler: Last night I was sure I didn’t like this dress, but when I saw it again in a photo I reconsidered my stance. I still don’t love the swooshing fabric around her hip, but she does look damn good. Stacy rocked this awards season so hard that perhaps George will consider extending her contract and keeping her around as arm candy for the next awards season as well.

    7. Sandra Bullock: Not everyone on The Interwebs liked this gown, but I really love it. Yes, the top looks a tad baggy now that I see it in a photo. But I thought she looked divine on the red carpet.

    6. Milla Jovovich: I don’t really know why she was there, but she looked stunning. Like an ice queen.

    5. Octavia Spencer: I’m having trouble remembering what else Octavia has worn for her awards sweep this season, but I’m pretty sure this is the best she’s looked. If only she’d worn lipstick.

    4. Natalie Portman: Polka dots! She wore polka dots to the Academy Awards! I love her for that.

    3. Maya Rudolph: I’ve been moaning about how the women of comedy (coughKristenAmyTinacough) have been dressing poorly all season long, but when it mattered Maya came through. I thought she looked beautiful.

    2. Penelope Cruz: I’m not usually a Penelope fan, because she often wears giant princess skirts on the red carpet and that’s not my thing. But this was just princessy enough without making me want to gag, and in a gorgeous color. Just stunning.

    1. Emma Stone: This was a polarizing dress at the party I watched the Oscars at, but I loved it. LOVED IT. I know, some people did not like the bow at the neck. But I like it! The color is stunning, she looks so tall and statuesque, I love the flow of the skirt. I just think it was a major fashion win on a very stylish young star – and she absolutely nailed her gig as presenter later that night. Good job, Emma Stone!

    Now it’s your turn! Who were your favorites?




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    2012 Oscars: Red Carpet Fashion Fails – The Worst Oscar Dresses http://insidepulse.com/2012/02/27/2012-oscars-red-carpet-fashion-fails-the-worst-oscar-dresses/ http://insidepulse.com/2012/02/27/2012-oscars-red-carpet-fashion-fails-the-worst-oscar-dresses/#comments Mon, 27 Feb 2012 20:40:38 +0000 http://insidepulse.com/?p=291426 Last night’s Oscars red carpet was disappointing, don’t you think? I had high hopes since a lot of my favorite actresses really brought their A-games for the Golden Globes, but there weren’t very many gowns on the red carpet last night that really blew me away. (There were a few though, so go check out my post on the best dresses from last night as well!)

    Of course, there are always going to be mishaps and mistakes on the red carpet. So let’s talk about those!

    Cameron Diaz: I’m glad Cameron Diaz is back to short hair because I think it really suits her, but this nude, tight, strapless gown just didn’t stand out to me at all. Yawn.
    Berenice Bejo: I love Berenice, and she’s French a.k.a. stylish, so I expected good things. And this dress is nice. Helen Mirren would have looked lovely in it. But for her? Too old.
    Glenn Close: The jacket. The big problem is the jacket. (Didn’t she know about Jennifer Hudson?)
    Ellie Kemper: I love Ellie Kemper and I wanted to like this dress, but it was the same color as her hair. And that really bothered me.

    Jessica Chastain: I wanted to like this dress, but it really didn’t do Jessica’s figure any favors, did it?
    Meryl Streep: Another awards show, another fancy bathrobe…
    Michelle Williams: This was *almost* cute, but I just hate tiered skirts.
    Angelina Jolie: Boring. I expect better. And she was overposing to show off the big slit.

    Shailene Woodley: I know some people liked this, but it reminded me of a science fiction movie costume or something.
    Tina Fey: Guess what? Wearing a dress with a built-in apron that covers your midsection is not slimming. It’s just uncomfortable.
    Viola Davis: Oh man, this was SO close to making my five worst dresses list. I don’t mind the short hair, although I do wish it had been styled more. (See: Any photo of Halle Berry.) But the dress? What is going on with her boobs? Why are they pushed around like that? Ow!
    Kristen Wiig: Is Kristen Wiig allergic to color? Has she ever seen a rainbow? Does she have a stylist with stock in beige dresses that look like dishrags? What is going on???

    And now, the Worst Five:

    5. Gwyneth Paltrow: Only Ms. Goop herself would show up in a damn cape. Without the cape it was an OK dress, but I refuse to forget that she WORE A FREAKING CAPE TO THE OSCARS.

    4. Melissa McCarthy: I was really hoping Melissa would rock it, but this dress was just bad news. In particular, the bodice. It was just a bad decision.

    3. Rooney Mara: I don’t think this photo does the dress justice – how much I disliked it, anyway. It was too stiff, too structured, too hard. Drop the Lisbeth Salandar act, Rooney, and relax a little.

    2. Jennifer Lopez: At the party I was at, the ladies were all in agreement that this dress was a bad move. Too tight, too revealing, too dated – honestly, at first I thought I was looking at footage of J-Lo from 2002. She hasn’t aged, but unfortunately her style hasn’t either.

    1. Melissa Leo: It almost seems unfair to put Melissa on this list, because she so often looks like a trainwreck on the red carpet. It’s like she’s wearing glittery pyjamas. She should lend them to Meryl Streep for next year’s Golden Globes.

    OK, head to the comments, y’all! Who was your choice for worst dressed?




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    Blu-ray Review: The Apartment http://insidepulse.com/2012/02/26/blu-ray-review-the-apartment/ http://insidepulse.com/2012/02/26/blu-ray-review-the-apartment/#comments Sun, 26 Feb 2012 23:00:15 +0000 http://insidepulse.com/?p=290904 One of the greatest joys of cinemaphiles is that there is always something new to discover, whether it be a recent or an older release. The joy of watching an older, beloved movie for the first time as an adult is a feeling quite like no other. You sit back and watch a movie that you know is award winning, loved, cherished, and treated as nothing less than a work of art. You know that it MUST be true, since everyone thinks so. Your hopes are high, but you never let your guard down for fear that time hasn’t been so kind to the film. Watching The Apartment was not only my first time watching the film, but also my very first experience with a film by Billy Wilder.

    Jack Lemmon plays C.C. Baxter, a working class man trying to advance in his company. In order to make a name for himself with the upper management, he begins letting them use his apartment as a meeting place for these men and their mistresses. This precarious living arrangement proves to be a challenge when C.C. falls for the elevator operator at work, a feisty woman named Fran Kubelik. Fran also happens to be in love with, and the mistress of, one of the members of management Jeff Sheldrake (Fred MacMurray).

    The story is very simple, but deals with lots of emotion. In the “man’s world” mentality of 1960, surprisingly it’s Fran who takes center stage. Her job at the company may not be the most important, or the most rewarding, but Billy Wilder spends the time necessary to develop Fran as a strong yet fragile woman. She is deeply emotionally invested in her relationship with Mr. Sheldrake, more so than she would care to admit, even to herself. She has a connection with Mr. Baxter, but is still holding out for Mr. Sheldrake and his promises to leave his wife for her. Fran also has the best, most hard-hitting dialog in the film. When C.C. borrows her hand mirror, he notices it has a crack in it and makes a comment about it. Her response, “Yes, I like it that way. Makes me look the way I feel.” As she is crying over her relationship with Jeff, she so wisely says, “When you’re in love with a married man, you shouldn’t wear mascara.” Shirley MacLaine’s Oscar nominated performance is incredibly real, and she carries the emotional weight of the film.

    Jack Lemmon was also rightfully nominated for an Oscar for his performance as C. C. Baxter. He plays the wide-eyed and earnest character with such boyish charm, we forget that he’s essentially allowing affairs to take place in his own home for his own personal gain. He provides most of the film’s comedic relief, as contrast to MacLaine. One notable scene in the film has him using a tennis racket as a strainer for spaghetti, as he’s humming cheerfully in the kitchen.

    The Apartment plays out as a delicate mix of comedy and drama. In today’s age where there are enough independent drama/comedies to warrant the creation of the term “dramedy”, making this sort of film at the time was very daring. The subject matter – affairs, a suicide attempt – was bold in conservative 1960 America as well. Filmed completely in black and white, the film felt more like a noir drama than a Some Like It Hot type comedy, and when people saw Billy Wilder’s name next to Jack Lemmon’s, that was immediately what they thought of. Instead they got The Apartment, a bold look into the life of a working man, that wasn’t afraid to go to some of the darkest places.

    Even though the film was considered risqué at the time by many people (even critics), that didn’t stop The Apartment from winning five of the ten Academy Awards it was nominated for, including Best Picture. As a film now 52 years old, it holds up incredibly well. The dialog is sharper, and more witty than many movies released this year, the score is great, the acting is amazing all around, and the direction by Billy Wilder is nothing short of perfection. This time of year when everyone is scrambling to watch every film nominated for the Oscars, it’s sometimes even more fun to discover winners from previous years. If you haven’t seen The Apartment yet, there is no better time than now.


    The new Blu-ray release looks amazing. The black & white is very crisp, and the sound quality is excellent. Extras include a commentary track with film historian Bruce Block, a making of featurette called “Inside The Apartment” that is fascinating, and a featurette called “Magic Time: The Art of Jack Lemmon” which features his co-stars and his son talking about how wonderful the actor was. The Theatrical Trailer included is hilarious, just for the differences between the way trailers are made now and the way they were made back then. The only complaint about the Blu-ray is the menu. There isn’t one. The movie itself will play over and over again if you don’t hit the ‘pop-up menu’ button on your remote to access the extras.


    This is the kind of movie that people are talking about when they say “they just don’t make ‘em like they used to”. If you’re at all turned off by older movies, or black and white movies, you owe it to yourself to step out of your comfort zone and watch The Apartment.

    MGM presents The Apartment. Directed by: Billy Wilder. Starring: Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine, Fred MacMurray. Written by: Billy Wilder, I.A.L. Diamond. Running time: 125 minutes. Rating: NR. Released on DVD: January 24, 2012. Available at Amazon.com.
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