Inside Pulse » The Social Network 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. Mon, 20 Oct 2014 22:00:58 +0000 en-US hourly 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 » The Social Network Justin Timberlake Engaged To Jessica Biel Mon, 09 Jan 2012 18:37:59 +0000 The on-again off-again saga of Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel has landed on the “on-again” side.  Justin popped the question while they were vacationing in Wyoming in late December.   Justin is promising a return to making music…sometime.×120.jpg

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Justin Timberlake Still Wants To Make Music Wed, 02 Nov 2011 21:29:48 +0000 Justin Timberlake has been in almost every movie this year, but says that he hasn’t forgotten about making music.

He says: I don’t really put anything on the back burner. I go from project to project and if something comes up that’s inspiring and feels like it makes sense and is authentic to me, then… I’m just trying to continue to be inspired.

As of right now, Justin is linked to the newest Coen Brothers project Inside Llewyn Davis.×120.jpg

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Armie Hammer in Talks To Join Johnny Depp in The Lone Ranger Thu, 28 Apr 2011 03:30:25 +0000 Gore Verbinski’s adaptation of The Lone Ranger may have landed its leading man. Johnny Depp has been attached as Tonto for some time but the search for someone to don the mask has taken some time. Armie Hammer of The Social Network is in talks now for the role, per Deadline Hollywood, though no contract has been signed at the moment.

Verbinski’s version of Ranger, based on Revolutionary Road scribe Justin Haythe’s script, features a different take on the iconic hero.

“The only version of ‘The Lone Ranger’ I’m interested in doing is ‘Don Quixote’ told from Sancho Panza’s point of view…” Verbinski has said in the past. “And hence I was honest early on with Johnny that Tonto is the part. We’re not going to do it [straight], everyone knows that story. I don’t want to tell that story.”

What does this mean? It’s certainly an interesting choice for the role as Hammer seems to be the new flavor of the month. After a strong performance(s) in The Social Network he seems to be finding himself attached to plenty of high profile projects. If Verbinski is going through with his sort of ‘Don Quixote’ version of The Lone Ranger Hammer is an excellent pick opposite Depp because of his leading man look. By playing the buffoon as more of a straight man, and letting Depp bring the sort of inspired silliness that Captain Jack Sparrow has to Tonto, it could make for quite the interesting film.

What do you think? Is Hammer the right pick? Or is he just a flavor of the month, with someone else a better fit for the project?×120.jpg

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Social Network’s Josh Pence Lands Role In The Dark Knight Rises Sat, 09 Apr 2011 18:57:27 +0000 Hollywood Reporter’s Heat Vision Blog has reported that Josh Pence of The Social Network has landed a role in The Dark Knight Rises as a young Ra’s Al Ghul.

Pence, who was the stand in for Arnie Hammer and the digital double upon which they put his face, will appear in scenes that take place 30 years prior to the present story according to sources.

What Does It Mean? This is really intriguing as Pence kind of looks like a younger Liam Neeson, which allows for the character to come back after dying in Batman Begins. With the film apparently bringing everything full circle it would bring everything full circle in that regard.×120.jpg

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Kevin Spacey and David Fincher Team to Build a House Of Cards Fri, 04 Mar 2011 06:10:10 +0000

Ian Richardson as Francis Urquhart in House of Cards, 1993.

It seems more and more film stars are finding homes on the small screen these days.

Kevin Spacey has decided to take his stab at TV with House Of Cards.

As well as starring in the series, Spacey will also executive produce. Fresh off the success of The Social Network, David Fincher is on board to direct the pilot.

Cards will be an hour-long drama based on the novel by Michael Dodds and the early ’90s British miniseries of the same name. The story follows Francis Urquhart (note his initials), a Conservative Chief Whip, who is extremely amoral and manipulative and is scheming to become leader of the governing party and eventually Prime Minister.

Beau Willimon (The Ides of March) wrote the pilot and will also serve as an executive producer.

No network is currently attached.

Personally, I don’t really know anything about the original BBC show or the book, but with talent like Spacey and Fincher attached, it has already piqued my interests.×120.jpg

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Monday Morning Critic – 2.28.2011 – The King’s Speech, Oscars, Charlie Sheen and The Social Network Mon, 28 Feb 2011 10:00:09 +0000 The King's Speech and a DVD review of The Social Network]]> Every Monday morning, InsidePulse Movies Czar Scott “Kubryk” Sawitz brings an irreverent and oftentimes hilarious look at pop culture, politics, sports and whatever else comes to mind. And sometimes he writes about movies.

The big story in television this week has been Charlie Sheen’s self-destruction and apparently trying to take Two and a Half Men with him. From some anti-Semitism, a tell all book he’s allegedly writing to an HBO show in the works, as well as an amusing interview that airs Tuesday, leaves Charlie Sheen in an odd place career wise. While we’ve seen stars self-destruct this quickly and publicly fairly regularly now, to the point where it’s now a TMZ staple, Sheen’s just the latest celebrity to implode in this news cycle as opposed to a cautionary tale. Heck I think this might be his third implosion of the last year so it’s not exactly new hat. But this one appears to be serious, or at least more serious than his prior coke-fueled binges and domestic abuse have been before, which leaves Sheen in an interesting place career wise.

Two and a Half Men is now on hiatus and done filming for the season, as four episode of the backorder have been cancelled, and it’s future is legitimately up in the air. While it would be one thing to speculate on where that show would go (which is far less interesting), what I’m more curious about is where he is going to go. Why? Because that’s a lot more random and bizarre, which means it could be interesting to see where a guy who’s been a star for three decades will go.

Sheen is one of those rare actors that have somehow managed to remain a fairly big star since the 1980s despite being a train wreck of a human being. Look at his resume as an actor: Platoon, Wall Street, Lucas, Major League, Red Dawn and Eight Men Out are all classics and he has a lot of good (but not great) films on his resume. Throw in a great turn that saved Spin City, his work on Two and a Half Men coupled with an awesome cameo that nearly steals the film in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and you have an actor who has a creative legacy that is rather remarkable. He is a punch line to jokes about hookers, Russian roulette and cocaine jokes nowadays but he does have a fairly good acting resume.

In other words, Charlie manages to be such a phenomenal screw-up that it almost eclipses the fact that he’s been in some of the best films of their time.

This is why where Charlie goes from here kind of fascinates me in the same way that Alec Baldwin or Kevin Costner fascinates me, oddly enough. They’ve done just enough great in the past that the sheer volume of suck that comprises their resume kind of gets washed away in the tide. You can laugh at most of Costner’s films but he also did Bull Durham, Field of Dreams and Dances with Wolves. That’s a triple threat of awesome that cancels out Open Range, The Postman and the like in the same way Alec Baldwin can crush it in The Departed. Everyone will forget several decades of stink because of that film, or on 30 Rock, and I think that’s where Sheen’s heading career wise. So what’s the next step for him? He has a number out there:

Two and a Half Men gets back into production
This is his best path as he makes the most and it is a massively successful show. Has he Chappelle’d his way out? Not quite yet, as Chappelle left his show midway through taping and this was just a back order. It hasn’t been cancelled, yet, and CBS does know they could probably replace him with another charismatic actor ala Bewitched without harming the show that much (and would end up being cheaper).

Major League 4
This is in the pre-production phase and Sheen still has some good will left in the character. It’s been 22 years since Major League and this could be an epic comeback vehicle. Ricky Vaughn was young Sheen and this could be a great way to come back, as Vaughn has grown and matured. It could be a great moment where life meets art and gives Sheen that one shining moment again as a film star.

Reality television
Who wouldn’t want to see a day in the life of Charlie Sheen? While it may become the point where it’s more pathetic, like when ex-wife Denise Richards went from untalented actress with a great set of funbags to a crazy woman with a great set of funbags via Denise Richards: It’s Complicated, so maybe the sheer lunacy of Charlie Sheen: Cocaine is a Helluva Drug could be interesting viewing.

What else? I don’t know. But it certainly will be interesting.

Random Thoughts of the Week

In the aftermath of the Oscars, The King’s Speech has something rather interesting happen to it: it’s being released as a more family centered film as opposed to a harder drama. How so? Because it’s getting a PG-13 release with a pivotal scene containing profanities being toned down so that the MPAA could give it a PG-13 rating as opposed to the current R it holds. Considering it just won an Oscar for Best Picture, as well as a handful of them across the board including Colin Firth in Best Actor in a Leading Role, there’s been some talk about whether it’s good or bad. And the common thread seems to be that this is a bad thing and the wrong thing to do, that it’s the MPAA who needs to change their standards. And where I do think the latter is needed, or at least some common sense that gave Slumdog Millionaire the same rating as Saw V, I do think Harvey Weinstein’s decision to scale back the rating with some selective censorship (if you can call it that) is really smart.

Listen to me now and believe me later.

Part of releasing any film is getting a PG-13 rating. It’s usually a box office killer for any film with it looking to make a huge return at the box office; R-rated films are tougher to sell at the box office. The King’s Speech has already hit the $114 million domestically and another $130 overseas, thus making it a massive hit based off the film’s $15 million budget already. So it’s not as if getting a profit off this is the issue; the Weinsteins have already made back everything and from here on out is pure profit. If anything they could pull the film from theatres now for DVD release and make further pad that bottom line. But here’s the rub, or more accurately, the bottom line: a PG-13 release will get more people out than an R-rated one after last night.

Why? Because more theatre chains will book screenings of a PG-13 film than a R-rated one because PG-13 films by and large sell more tickets. It’s no coincidence that Avatar, the highest grossing film of all time, and The Dark Knight (which is #3) both sought that rating because it meant more people watching the finished product. Despite dark, adult themes that could get an R without profanity, the PG-13 probably boosted their box office returns substantially. And a film like Slumdog Millionaire probably missed out on a ton of box office revenue because it had an R-rating. That $140 million in the U.S could’ve been double with a PG-13 rating, I think.

This may be purely calculated for profit but I think it’s a great move. You can book more theatres and get more screens with a PG-13 rating. Plus you have the added ability to release it in two different formats on DVD, one with the profanity intact and one with it toned down to the PG-13 level, thus giving you that allure to teenagers in the same way the Parental Advisory sticker on music albums in the 80s and 90s made it look cool and dangerous to buy.

In reality it’s some foul language in relatively small doses, nothing that isn’t all that bad, but the real problem is the MPAA and their ridiculous standards for rating a film. Really this should’ve been a PG-13 film to start, regardless of the language, but that’s a different discussion for a different time. This is a film that needs to be seen and should be on more screens than it currently is. If some slight modifications from the Weinstein Company are used to get this I don’t see the big deal in the long run. Films are cut for content all the time, with “uncut,” “unrated” or “director’s cut” versions coming out on DVD en masse to bulk up the DVD sales stream to make up the difference. That’s something you can count on for The King’s Speech in that both versions come out on DVD, one with the uncensored cut and one for those who would rather not hear all the profanity. They do exist, after all, and going after that market isn’t a horrible idea.

The real problem is with the MPAA and their rating standards, as this shouldn’t have happened in the first place, but if this one slight change to a film means that the Weinsteins can bring more and better films to theatres I’m all for it.

A Movie A Week – The Challenge

This Week’s DVD – The Social Network

The big loser from last night was The Social Network, a film I didn’t enjoy significantly in theatres for a lot of reasons actually. But it was good enough to sneak into to kill a couple hours a month into its theatrical run and I ended up picking it up on DVD because Best Buy had an insanely good deal on it. I’m a sucker for a deal on a film like this; I won’t pay full price but I will pick it up for half off. Plus my parents hadn’t seen it and we rarely are able to see films together nowadays, thus I got to kill two birds with three stones or something. That and my father has a massive television with a great sound system that is almost as good as being in a theatre. Not quite as good, but watching sports on it makes it so worth it.

Billed as the origin story of Face Book, based off the book “The Accidental Billionaires,” it follows Harvard undergrad Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) as a drunk taunt to an ex-girlfriend via his personal blog turns into a website dedicated to comparing Harvard women. From there he creates The Facebook, a website dedicated to bringing the college experience (and eventually the whole “life” experience) into one dedicated page. What follows is the too crazy to be true tale as he screws pretty much everyone in his life in his quest.

This isn’t really a film about the Facebook origin in complete truth; large chunks of it are given poetic and dramatic license by Aaron Sorkin. If you want to really know the origin of the Facebook, there are better stories and books to find it from. If you want a tale of the price of success, this is a good place to start.

While my opinion didn’t change radically, I do think this is a film like No Country for Old Men was in that it takes a couple viewings to really work through the material as opposed to being able to get everything in one gulp. Is it a good film? Yes. Is it eminently watchable with some great lines? Yes. Is it the most brilliant, generation-defining masterpiece of masterpieces ever? No. Was it robbed of an Oscar? No. There were better films on the docket, including the winner, but not winning an Oscar isn’t the end of the world for a film. Steven Spielberg rightfully pointed out when announcing the Best Picture that plenty of films we consider the best films of all-time never got close to sniffing Oscar gold, much less winning it, so an Oscar “snub” isn’t the end of the world. Great films aren’t about winners and losers when it comes to awards. If that was the case then Martin Scorsese wouldn’t be one of the handful of directors you can call the greatest to have lived.

Film lives on; in a year from now we’ll probably have forgotten The King’s Speech in the same way we’ve forgotten Crash, Slumdog Millionaire, Ordinary People and others. Will we remember The Social Network? Maybe. We’ll probably be wondering how on Earth Inception didn’t win, though, at least that’s what I think.

The Social Network is a good film, though, and definitely worth watching. Mild recommendation.

What Looks Good This Weekend, and I Don’t Mean the $2 Pints of Bass Ale and community college co-eds with low standards at the Alumni Club

The Adjustment Bureau – Matt Damon loves Emily Blunt. But the powers that keep the world turning don’t want that.

See It – With the exception of Next, adaptations of Philip K. Dick have usually been in my top 10 of the year. I’ll give Matt Damon the benefit of the doubt, especially considering he has my new favorite actress that isn’t Anne Hathaway with him.

Beastly – Alex Pettyfer gets another film in a three week period, this time in a quirky retelling of Beauty and the Beast. Neil Patrick Harris shows up too as a blind guy.

Skip ItBeauty and the Beast has been done to death so often that the Grim Reaper is tired of collecting the corpses.

Rango – Johnny Depp is a chameleon who becomes sheriff in a whacky adventure in the desert.

See It – Gore Verbinski is a director definitely gets me interested when he goes to animation.

Take Me Home Tonight – Dan Fogler and Topher Grace are back in the ‘80s as recent college graduates looking for their path.

See It – It is an R-rated comedy in the ‘80s. At a minimum it’s another Hot Tub Time Machine, which was enjoyable but not brilliant. I could see this film hitting that benchmark, especially considering it’s been in post-production hell for four years.

Do you have questions about movies, life, love, or Branigan’s Law? Shoot me an e-mail at and you could be featured in the next “Monday Morning Critic.” Include your name and hometown to improve your odds.

Scott “Kubryk” Sawitz brings his trademarked irreverence and offensive hilarity to Twitter in 140 characters or less. Follow him @MMCritic_Kubryk.×120.jpg

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10 Thoughts on the 2011 Academy Awards Mon, 28 Feb 2011 08:26:31 +0000 For tons of movie reviews, including mini reviews of EVERY Oscar nominated movie, head on over to My Blog and stick around for a while. In the meantime, here are 10 Thoughts about the 2011 Academy Awards.

1. My buddy Nik and I hosted our high school talent show senior year, and since I was a big fan of Billy Crystal and the Oscars, I suggested doing an opening video and putting ourselves in a movie. We chose “Back to the Future.” About a year ago, our friend Jeff Richardson worked with James Franco on a project at NYU. Therefore we assume Jeff told Franco about our video, because it was totally our idea first! Anyway, I thought the opening video was pretty clever.
2. I was really rooting for David Fincher and “The Social Network,” and after it took Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Original Score, and Best Film Editing, its chances looked good.
3. But then the King’s Speech took over and won Best Director, Best Actor, and Best Picture in succession to go home the big winner. I liked this movie a lot but “Social Network” is such a current film. Also, while Tom Hooper did a fine job directing, other directors could have done an equally good job, while Fincher’s film was entirely his own. Speaking of Tom Hooper, does he look like a young James Cameron or what?
4. Kirk Douglas is the new master of creating suspense, whether he’s aware of it or not.
5. Melissa Leo – Worst Acceptance Speech Ever. She seemed so fake and into herself, and dropping the unnecessary F Bomb was just in poor taste. She is a talented actor and deserved to win that award, but her speech was incredibly off-putting.
6. Randy Newman improved his percentage this year and is now 2/20. The song he won for is lame but he had a fun speech. Other highlight speeches – Christian Bale, David Seidler, and Aaron Sorkin.
7. When did Jennifer Lawrence become the hottest woman on the planet? That’s the future Mrs. Jake Ziegler right there.
8. “Alice in Wonderland” won more Oscars than Best Picture nominees “127 Hours,” “True Grit,” “Black Swan,” “Winter’s Bone,” and “The Kids Are All Right” combined. I truly believe “Alice” is one of the worst films to ever win an Academy Award in any category.
9. James Franco looked positively stoned all night long, which led to some hilarious moments like “Congratulations nerds!” Also his take on “Winter’s Bone,” “Rabbit Hole,” and “How to Train Your Dragon” cracked me up.
10. In fact, almost everyone looked stoned or otherwise “not there.” It was an extremely awkward and difficult show to sit through. Whoever directed this thing needs to not be invited back next year.×120.jpg

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83rd Academy Awards Running Diary (Oscars 2011) Sun, 27 Feb 2011 22:56:49 +0000 Welcome to InsidePulse’s running Oscar diary. As the show goes on, me (Pulse Glazer), my girlfriend Maria, and our friends, Yessie, Alex and Mike will give you our thoughts on the show, the awards, the clothing and, of course, the celebrities. All you have to do is sit back, enjoy the show, grab a drink and hit refresh on your browser as we’ll be updating right here with winners and commentary. Our little party is being sponsored by X-Rated Fusion Liqueur:

“The 83rd Academy Awards presentation will be held on Sunday, February 27th and celebrating Hollywood’s biggest night with the perfect mix of cocktails can be just as important when entertaining guests as the dress Natalie Portman will show up in. X-Rated Fusion Liqueur is one of Hollywood’s favorite go-to mixable liqueurs and we have three special Oscar-inspired cocktails for your Academy Awards at home viewing party. The Black Swan dancing was a bit much for the guys, but the girls dug it.

X-Rated Fusion Liqueur’s sensuous blend of ultra-premium French vodka and blood oranges, mingled with mango and passion fruit from South America, is unapologetically pink, delectable, and easy to mix. Spoil you and your guests with these Oscar winning cocktails such as the Red Carpet Xperience and The Queens Speech. And for your male attendees, serve up the palate-teasing True Grit Punch. X-Rated Fusion Liqueur makes for a terrific gift for someone who can appreciate a flavorful drink that’s low in calories.”

Before the show begins, if you’d like to freshen up on what’s nominated, check out the Oscar Roundtable and Insider Jake Ziegler’s Final Predictions! As we get ready for the Red Carpet, we’ll be sipping on the Red Carpet Xperience (1 oz X-Rated Fusion Liqueur, 1 oz Grapefruit Juice, Top with Champagne, serve in a flute). Without further ado…

8:02 PM – I know we’re late, but, it’s the Oscars, gotta make an entrance. No, we’re just having a few internet problems. A pregnant Natalie Portman, the favorite for Best Actress is on screen, as my friend Alex laments her pregnancy. Can you guess he’s our resident Star Wars geek? It’s fine, his wife’s in Florida…

Some earlier thoughts: Scarlett Johansson looked like she just woke up- hot, but like she just woke up. Could she really be the next Courtney Love? And who told Anne Hathaway it would be a good idea to do an interview with Dracula? Is that why she’s so pale?

8:09 PM – As some critic breaks down the likelihood of either King’s Speech or The Social Network winning Best Picture as if it were the NFC Championship Game and we’re all major gamblers in a hole.

After the stress of getting the internet machine working, I need more than Red Carpet Xperience‘s booze. I’m onto True Grit Punch (16 ½ oz X-Rated Fusion Liqueur, 25oz SKYY Vodka, 16 ½ oz Orange Juice, 16 ½ oz Pineapple Juice, 8oz Grenadine) with a good bit more vodka than recommended. Good decision.

8:14 PM has Gwenneth Paltrow in a nice dress looking like she needs to eat wanting to sing a duet with Jay-Z because she thinks he has a bigger cock than the Coldplay lead singer Chris Martin to whom she is married. What, you have a better reason she’d choose Jigga over her hubby?

8:28 PM – We finish up the pre-show with Tom Hanks reminding us being in great movies doesn’t have anything to say and Halle Berry reminding us all that although she’s gorgeous she’s still consistently awkward with a live mic. Time to get to the 83rd Academy Awards.

Show Time!

OH MY GOD IT’S TIME! THIS IS SO… pretentious. We get our usual montage with the hosts, James Franco and Anne Hathaway in various spots of Inception. It’s hard to be all serious when you’re stealing your opening from the MTV Movie Awards. They do The Social Network, The Fighter, and so on. Franco has great delivery, at least. Morgan Freeman and his “soothing voice” should just run the whole show.

I know this is all about the fashion, but all the dude’s look the same in their tuxes, no? Opening monologue time. Mike says Anne could have played Joker, not just Selina Kyle, and I’m somehow inclined to agree… there’s something inherently like the Joker about her…

So, they chose these two to appear to the youth demographic, then they followed that with the safest, most old-folks friendly opening I’ve ever seen, right down to guest spots from Hathaway’s mother and Franco’s grandmother. Awww, they’re young but they’re safe. This isn’t on CBS?

8:49 PM – We pay tribute gone with the wind and then Tom Hanks comes on to suck up to it. Somehow we transition from that to Titanic because they were nominated for three awards. Moooving on… Best Art Direction is won by Alice in Wonderland. That got a lot of hate, but I really enjoyed it.

And straight to Achievement in Cinematography. Alex is going to spend the night railing against The Social Network because his wife won’t let him use Facebook. Ah, the perils of being whipped. Anywhoo… Inception wins. Didn’t dig it, but can’t argue.

Wow, Kirk Douglas is out and he’s so old he has ears on his ears. Yessie: What famous movie was he in? Mike: Spartacus. Alex: What famous movie wasn’t he in? … the answer Casablanca! Boom!

8:58 PMBest Supporting Actress is up and … Hugh Jackman is laughing. Dude, Kirk, you sound hilarious. I’m with Wolverine. He still has great timing, at least. Melissa Lio from The Fighter won. 14-year-old Hailee Steinfeld of True Grit got robbed. I bet she’d have had more poise than Rio, too, who almost hyperventilated then started cursing. At least that was memorable.

You ever wonder why everyone thanks God and no one thanks Jesus? Just remember, Hollywood is run by the Jews.

Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake are out next. Best Animated Short for the two who are known for teen culture. They plug the I-Phone’s “App for that” so I get to plug X-Rated Fusion Liquor again. Hey, they have great drinks, don’t you judge me! The Lost Thing won.

Next up, same presenters, Best Animated Feature. Gee, might the one up for Best Picture win? Toy Story 3 wins, whatever, How to Train Your Dragon is better. I missed the acceptance speech because Alex pointed out an older lady with double cleavage. Three times… Damn you Tivo.

Josh Brolin and Javier Bardem next. We show Penelope Cruz. They’re wearing white suites together. If they were Monica Lewinsky’s white dress… Best Adapted Screenplay… Mike (the teacher): If I told my kids they were adapted, they’d ask “what, they don’t have parents?” Alex is now cheering for MySpace as Aaron Sorkin wins for the Social Network. His wife wouldn’t let him use that either, if she realized anyone still used it at all… well, besides pornstars and terrible unsigned musicians. They play Sorkin off, but he utterly ignores it. Aarons rule.

Best Original Screenplay is up and I am SO happy they’re going two at a time. The King’s Speech wins. Pretty cool that the two Best Picture favorites just won screenplay. At David Sideler mike screams “someone get that man a neck” because he has no soul… dude had a stroke! Or Bells Pallsy. Whichever. Horribly debilitating sickness or not, he has to stop quickly thanks to Sorkin refusing to shut up. No pity from the Aarons tonight.

Anne Hathaway serenades Hugh Jackman and James Franco comes out in her dress as Yessie wonders what happened to Madonna. Ouch, that should not have made so much sense. They kick Charlie Sheen while he’s down and …

Russel Brand and Helen Mirrem are out for Best Foreign Language Film and I’d really like to hate Russel Brand, but he’s unfortunately hilarious. In a Better World wins and a woman with a huge nose whose name they didn’t feel important enough to write on screen accepts in broken English while crying. Well, she kept it short and simple- way to be.

Reese Witherspoon is up for Best Supporting Actor as Topical Mike wonders if Christina Aguilera wonders if she’d forget a nominee. Ah, back to CBS approved comedy. Batman Christian Bale wins for BatmanThe Fighter. He is the night!

Yessie: Is Christian Bale American? Alex: No! Yessie: Where’s he from? Alex: Some other place. Unamerica! – Damn right, just like everywhere between New York, Miami, Chicago and LA is hillbilly country. Don’t be mad Middle America. Accept your fate as superstate Hillbilly-land and go drink your moonshine and gum your food. I’m sticking with the The Queen’s Speech (1 oz X-Rated Fusion Liqueur, 1 oz SKYY Infusions Citrus, Splash of Fresh Lemonade, Top with Champagne, serve in martini glass with lemon twist). Shit, did that make me sound gay?

Well, ABC promotes some show, but I’m drunk and reporting on Not the Oscars ain’t in my contract.

Here’s Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman pushing Charlie Chaplan. Groucho Marx > Chaplin. We’re now running through the start of sound and get the THX sound and John Williams doing the Star Wars theme, then Raiders of the Lost Ark then ET then … Shazam it because no-one here knows. Next time stay iconic. Geriatric Mike wants a Danny Elfman vs. John Williams duel, but the Simpsons theme already won that. Best Original Score. So, what odds in 1994 could you have gotten on Trent “Nine Inch Nails” Reznor being up for an Academy Award. Holy shit, he won. I wana f you like an animal. Stay classy, Oscars.

Scarlett Johansson and Matthew McConaughy do Best Adapted Score. Scarlett is glassy eyed. Waiter! I want what she’s having. Well, it officially isn’t CBS. The Inception DJ kissed a woman on her way to the stage.

Best Sound Editing and we’re back to Inception. At least it’s a different person so they didn’t have that lady sit just to come back again.

And in a commercial Celine Dion sings for cancer. I don’t even have a joke. The girls love this. Really. No joke.

Marissa Tomei who won an Oscar for talking about tires, then almost won another for showing her tits, is out to not only show the Oscars as a beacon of class, but to honor technology. Tires and tits, folks.

Cate Blanchett is dressed far too conservatively, in fact like something Mike’s Italian grandmother uses for curtains, to talk about geek culture like Lord of the Rings, and then she presents Best Makeup to The Wolfman which is officially the first good thing I’ve ever heard about this movie. Did this guy just thank Hennessy? Alex: His Wife. Mike: His gay lover. Me: Clearly, did you see that ponytail? That one’s for you, Shawn.

Best Costume Design is Colleen Atwood for Alice in Wonderland. Well, if no one but me liked it, at least we all agree it was pretty.

A montage of ugly people’s favorite movie songs. Alex is singing all of these. Have I mentioned his wife? Mike would totally do Angela Lansberry, or Bea Arthur, but who’s counting. Obama earns street cred by choosing “As Time Goes By” from my favorite movie and we move to…

Kevin Spacey who is here just to prove actors can actually have personalities that don’t make us want to punch or sleep with them. Errr, it is politically correct to call actresses actors now, right?

Randy Newman sings a song from Toy Story 3. I know the Grammies sucked, but would it have killed them to get Gaga? Whatever, he’s still more coherent than Eminem these days.

Mandy Moore and Zachary Eli sing a song from Tangled as Alex runs back into the room. He isn’t whipped. I was wrong. The wife and kid are a beard.

Apparently writing this is like being InsideFights editor Shawn Smith, but that implies more, according to the man himself, “crying and laughing a lot.” And, yes Shawn, you’re InsideFights now. What’s a BrokenDial? (This entire section has been for Widro and Daniels. Maybe Michaels. Move along, the rest of ya).

Amy Adams is with the dude from Brokeback Mountain who isn’t dead. They present Best Documentary to Strangers no More because Maria says “It’s about kids baby! Don’t be an ass!” Which one of us is whipped again? Shit.

Short Live Action Film is next and despite God of Love and the dude with the phenomenal afro who just needs a red nose and floppy shoes accepting, we all decide we must see The Confession because they put a body in the road to get run over. We’re as class a crowd as the tits and tires Oscars, folks. The far too serious Travis Leamons wonders “Why’s Jesse Eisenberg wearing a wig?” Break the walls down, Travis.

We have some weird autotune music videos to a bunch of movies. As awesome as Jay-Z’s “Death to Autotune” is, this is the best moment of the show that didn’t involve a guy pushing 100. Moment of Silence.

Oprah is out with her triple cleavage. Mike: She’s giving out free Oscars! Under everyone’s seat! – OMG! SHE’S SO GENEROUS! Best Documentary goes to Inside Job.

Jake Ziegler, movie buff, texts “Everyone appears to be high. This has been an awkward, bizarre show.” Shit, I thought that was just Anne Hathaway.

Anne Hathaway announces one of the great Oscar hosts ever. I bet Alex it’s Billy Crystal. He says Steve Martin. Too soon?

Jude Law and Robert Downey Jr are out. Seriously, Robert Downey Jr’s entire delivery has become Tony Stark. At least he never had a semester abroad. Baddum ching. Couldn’t resist. Let’s keep this paragraph going so you forget that joke. Visual Effects goes to Inception. A city folded into itself in that. Achievement in Film Editing goes to The Social Network and Alex just died a bit inside.

From my very Jewish friend: “So Im noticing that milkie porcelain skin is now ‘in’ ? bout freakin time!!” Just you and Anne Hathaway, Cyn!

The Knicks just beat the Heat. If I might steal from the Sports Guy (more than by doing a live running diary that is), the lesson, as always, I’m a moron.

Jennifer Hudson is out and David Otunga must be thrilled; she lost a ton of weight. Even so, her dress is too small for her breasts and she’s getting a bit of pancake chest. Now, a song. It’s intense, but guaranteed was better with whatever scene it was meant to go with. Gweneth Paltrow is out next to sing a country song as America wonders, has there ever been a woman less country than Gweneth Paltrow? Ah well, she’s better than J-Lo, so long as it isn’t in HD.

Randy Newman wins Best Original Song for Toy Story 3. He sounds like Rodney Dangerfield meets the Godfather. “I tell ya, I get no respect at all. So I broke his legs! Make funna my singing willya.”

Why is Celine Dion singing again? We pay tribute to dead folks while everyone in Aemerica makes the same “her songs make me wish I was dead” joke. Canadians are too busy beating off.

Geriatric Mike knows everyone and is enraged we don’t: What the eff is wrong with you? Alex: What the eff is wrong with you! Geriatric Mike, everybody.

Halle Berry gives special shoutouts to Lena Horne. I have like 2-3 jokes I’m not allowed to make right now. I’ve had all the Oscar drinks, and they’re excellent, no homo, not that there’s anything wrong with that, but the Dragonfruit Vodka, a generous amount of X-Rated Fusion Liqueur and OJ? That’s just killer.

Anne Hathaway is in a blue dress that makes her torso look like she belongs in Avatar and she passes it off to Hilary Swank. She introduces Katherine “Bam Bam” “Deuce” Bigelow. This woman is huge. Bam Bam is more accurate. Rob Schnieder is a tiny, little man. Best Director goes to Tom Hooper for “The King’s Speech” which gets to spend the next hour as favorite for Best Picture. Toucan Sam is up to accept and promotes Fruit Loops rather than accepting the award as near as I can tell. I think I’ve had too much vodka.

Still… I rise.

Best Actress is up. Natalie Portman wins. She also wins my most awkward moment as I saw this with the girl and our parents… the day they met. Shudder. Also, Alex broke a table when she kissed her boyfriend. Seriously, don’t mess with a Star Wars fan; they have that freaky “special” strength. That table was marble. Well, the pieces of it still are…

Anne Hathaway looks like a fruit roll-up. We have reached a consensus. Sandra Bullock is out for Best Actor. Colin Firth wins for King’s Speech. No joke, that’s a fantastic movie and performance. Damn Brits taking our awards. Oh well, we saved their ass in WWII. But they saved ours in WW III (serious brownie points to anyone but Wheeler who gets the reference).

Steven Speilberg is out for Best Picture. He lists some of the best old nominees, ignoring crap like Forest Gump beating The Shawshank Redemption. My Money’s on The King’s Speech. That they’re setting the nominees to the speech sure seems like foreshadowing. Called it.

The King’s Speech is, deservedly, best picture. Well played. I’d like to thank X-Rated Fusion Liqueur for sponsoring our little tet-a-tet and helping make it such a success. The 83rd Academy Awards certainly wasn’t without it’s absurdities, but the right films mostly won, so bravo. Thanks for joining us at and we hope you’ll stick around for the best pop culture coverage on the internet. Goodnight!×120.png

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2011 Oscar Roundtable Sat, 26 Feb 2011 19:00:39 +0000 One of the things we as a staff always like to do is speculate on who will and will not win the almighty Oscar.  As such, we’ve all decided to get together and tabulate our picks.  Enjoy!

Best Picture

The Nominees – 127 Hours, Black Swan, The Fighter, Inception, The Kids Are All Right, The King’s Speech, The Social Network, Toy Story 3, True Grit , Winter’s Bone

Scott “Kubryk” Sawitz - This is fairly cut and dry based on the pre-Oscar build up. The King’s Speech has been sweeping nearly everything it touches, has the right amount of nominations and is the sort of film the Academy likes to honor. So it seems that it would be the favorite and seemingly untouchable in riding the wave of hype to a win. But there’s a problem; there are plenty of films who had that same wave and ended up losing. When the nominations were announced, the biggest shock to me was that the Coens got nominated for True Grit in the directing category over what seemed more likely in Christopher Nolan. That looms large as usually winners for Best Picture have their director nominated as well. If Speech doesn’t take the Oscar, look for True Grit.

Travis Leamons: For someone to say that the nominees for Best Picture of the Year are underwhelming would not be an understatement. It’s not that any of the ten nominees are particularly bad; it’s just that having ten nominees seems to only cater to those who enjoy lists (like a Top 10, for example). By having ten nominees it only dilutes the chances of dark horse picks. Which is why The King’s Speech is the clear-cut favorite to win. The Social Network may have won handily in the different critics organizations, but it is Speech that has grown to be this unstoppable force, getting lots of acclaim from the different guilds – particularly the Producers Guild. Remember, the best picture is awarded to the producers after all.

Jenny Rushing Alme - 127 Hours – It’s unfortunate that Danny Boyle’s 127 Hours is unlikely to take home the gold statue on Oscar night. This film is my personal favorite of the 10 films nominated, and I feel it’s the most deserving. It’s an excruciating story of survival, the ultimate battle of man vs. nature. 127 Hours is the true story of Aron Ralston (played by James Franco), an outdoor enthusiast who finds himself literally stuck between a rock and a hard place. The majority of the action takes place while Ralston is stuck in one place, and yet the film is riveting, unrelenting, and not for the squeamish. Emphasized by a soaring score by A.R. Rahman (Slumdog Millionaire), 127 Hours is a perfect film from start to finish.

Brendan Campbell: A majority of the film critics in North America have chosen The Social Network as the best picture of 2010, and if I had to predict if it will win at the Oscars (and I do) I’d have to say, yes, it will. Do I agree with that decision? No. I’d definitely place The Social Network in my top ten list of last year; however, I still feel that fellow nominees Black Swan and Inception are superior films. Of course, with the Academy snubbing Christopher Nolan in the directing category, I strongly believe that Inception wouldn’t have even made the cut in this category had it been only five nominees. That being said, out of the possible contenders that still have a chance, who do I want to win? Black Swan. Who will win? The Social Network.

Robert Saucedo: As much as I’d like to see The Social Network take home the award on Sunday, it seems like a forgone conclusion at the point that The King’s Speech will walk away with the award. While there’s no denying that The King’s Speech is a great film and a definite crowd pleaser, it’s a shame that The Social Network — a film that will be seen as much more important to the world of cinema as time progresses — is being stampeded by the momentum of The King’s Speech. A crazy scenario that’s not too far out of the realm of possibilities would be votes being split between The King’s Speech and The Social Network — leaving True Grit giving the Coen Brothers their second Oscar. I wouldn’t put any money on that scenario, though. The King’s Speech will win on Sunday.

Joe Corey: True Grit. I’m going for the wide open upset. The King’s Speech is about the man who got Rupert Murdoch’s dad to speak better and thus insure us of some of the worst reality TV shows of our lifetime. Social Network bored me. A bunch of [Joe Coreys] fighting over a website? Blah. I’m thinking Academy Members are going to want to pay tribute to the Western.

Mike Noyes: Having seen 8 of the 10 nominees my choice goes hands down to Inception. This was my absolute favorite film of the year. Nolan managed to make an intelligent, thought provoking blockbuster. Again, I think I’d be happy to see anyone win here, accept The Social Network. I don’t think it was bad film, it just wasn’t all that great.

Best Director

The Nominees – Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan), Ethan Coen and Joel Coen (True Grit), David Fincher (The Social Network), Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech), David O. Russell (The Fighter)

Sawitz: This is where it gets interesting. In most normal years Tom Hooper would be the favorite to win because of how overwhelming the hype for The King’s Speech is. And he does have this year’s Director’s Guild award to show for it and usually it matches up with the Oscar winner. But not always, as Ang Lee won in the DGA for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Soderbergh for Traffic in the last time the DGA and Academy split. My guess is that the Academy awards Fincher the Best Director as consolation for not getting Best Picture, but the vote could split and let in someone like Aronofsky for the win.

Leamons: This year’s Best Director race may be the most loaded one since 2001. That was the year that had Robert Altman, Peter Jackson, David Lynch, Ridley Scott, and Ron Howard vying for Oscar. This race also bears a striking similarity to 2008 when comparing the nominees. You see four of the five names listed and you know that they belong there. It’s the fifth name that makes you wonder. Not surprisingly, both 2008 and 2010 were years where Christopher Nolan was passed over by the Academy. But I won’t cry over spilt milk. While my gut wants me to go with Darren Aronofsky, who expertly directed Black Swan (or as he calls it a “were-swan movie”), this race will again be decided by The King’s Speech and The Social Network. In the past decade Best Picture and Best Director have split and that could be the case this year. But some in the Academy might take offense to Fincher’s multiple-take directing style and favor Tom Hopper and his more traditional directing style. So while Fincher may have been given kudos from the Director’s Guild, I’m going with Tom Hopper.

Alme: Darren Aronofsky – This is probably a pipe dream of mine, but I would love to see Darren Aronofsky onstage accepting an Oscar. This Oscar could easily go to any of the directors nominated; they’re all very deserving this year. This is the first nomination for David O. Russell, Tom Hooper, and Darren Aronofsky. David Fincher is underappreciated by the Academy as well, his only nomination was for the silly The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. The Coen Brothers have had many days in the Oscar spotlight, but True Grit is a very good film. I would be happy with either of these directors getting the Oscar, Aronofsky is just my personal favorite to win.

Campbell: While the Academy would like to be seen as a group that has taken strides forward in recent years to recognize more mainstream films that aren’t just box-office blockbusters, but also great films in general, that’s just not the case. The lack of Nolan being recognized in this category just proves that they’re really just giving the impression that they’re making any changes in their views, just as they did in 2009 when they failed to nominate The Dark Knight. Sure they’ve since raised the number of Best Picture nominees to ten, but that’s only so they can toss in a few of the hits to say, “See, we recognized them, now let’s focus on our real contenders.” Regardless, the directors that were chosen are obviously fantastic at what they do, and their work was worthy of recognition, with that being said, I’d say that my choice for who should win the award would be Darren Aronofsky. His work on Black Swan was beautiful, mesmerizing and really helped catapult the film, and Portman, to the levels they’ve both achieved. Who will win? David Fincher.

Saucedo: Once again, momentum gained by The King’s Speech in recent weeks will mean this is another category that will be wrongfully stampeded. Tom Hooper will win an Academy Award for his work on The King’s Speech — despite the fact that out of the five directors nominated, Hooper may be one of the least deserving. He made a fine film but, when seen in the same light as the other movies being recognized this year, The King’s Speech just seems too vanilla. This is a category I’d love to be proven wrong in.

Corey: David O Russell The Fighter – Everyone keeps praising David Fincher for restraining himself and just letting actors spew out the dialogue. He should reject the award if he wins. Russell gets the underdog victory.

Noyes: Finally, a category in which I’ve seen all the films! This is one of the best selections of directors I’ve seen at the Oscars in a long time. Yet they still somehow found a way to once again rob Christopher Nolan of a nomination. As Nolan can’t be my pick I’ll go with Darren Aronofsky, however I’d be happy if just about anyone one. Well, anyone but The Social Network.

Best Actor

The Nominees – Javier Bardem ( Biutiful), Jeff Bridges ( True Grit), Jesse Eisenberg ( The Social Network), Colin Firth ( The King’s Speech), James Franco (127 Hours)

Sawitz: Firth is the overwhelming favorite here and I don’t see anyone else winning. However things are funny in that sometimes the overwhelming favorite loses out ala Eddie Murphy in Dreamgirls not so long ago. Firth was extraordinary in this film and seems to have the right role in the right film at the right time, especially coming off a couple nominations over the past couple years. The stars seemingly have aligned for him as the sentimental pick (Bridges) won last year and only twice has an actor won Oscars in two successive years. Bardem is a winner, as well, and there are two newcomers flanking them. It just feels right that Firth would win but crazier things have happened. If it’s not Firth it’ll end up being Eisenberg due to the success of The Social Network, I think, but it’s hard to imagine Firth not walking away with an Oscar here. The Pick: Colin Firth (The King’s Speech)

Leamons: Though I think Javier Bardem and James Franco did more with their performances without having the least amount of assistance from a supporting cast, it is clear that Colin Firth will win this award. For one, he got nominated last year for A Single Man, so already he’s in the running for the “Russell Crowe Academy Makeup Award” (as some will recall, Crowe was nominated for Michael Mann’s The Insider, but won the following year for Gladiator). But Firth is totally deserving of Best Actor. His performance as stuttering King George VI hits all the right notes. He plays a man of nobility who has a disability. Oscar voters love a performance where the character has to overcome some kind of disability. And because he doesn’t go “full retard” in his performance he is a venerable lock.

Alme: James Franco – There are only three actors nominated for this award that I think are deserving. Javier Bardem’s performance in Biutiful is the glue that holds that film together. Colin Firth nailed his stutter to play King George VI, making what could be a potentially boring film into a great one. But James Franco’s performance in 127 Hours is the one that stands out for me. In those hours that he spends trapped in a canyon by himself, dehydrated, starving, and in enormous physical pain, we also learn everything we need to know about his life. He confesses his sins, his regrets, and his dreams to his digital camera. He carries the film on his shoulders.

Campbell: In all honesty, I’ve yet to see The King’s Speech, or 127 Hours. I do, however, recognize the great variety of actors chosen in this category, and believe that whoever wins will be worthy of the award. James Franco is supposedly great in the film; however, I just don’t see him taking this award. If I had to place a bet, I’d put my money on Colin Firth for The King’s Speech. I have no doubt once I finish seeing all these films in the next month or so, that I’ll appreciate each nominee, and their work, it’s just that Firth has the same kind of momentum going into this year that Jeff Bridges and had last year. Then again, look at the momentum Mickey Rourke had going in 2009, and Sean Penn took home that award. Still, I’ll stick with my gut on this one, and when asked who will win? I’ll say, Colin Firth.

Saucedo: New verse, same as the first. Colin Firth will this category for his work as Prince Albert in The King’s Speech. The only difference is, I have no problem with Firth winning this category. His work was top-notch and the biggest heavy lifting seen by the actors nominated this year. Firth’s work deserves to be recognized and I’m more than happy to forecast his win this year.

Corey: James Franco 127 Hours – as a tribute to Dick Clark’s “If you host the show, you get hardware” rule.

Noyes: I’d really like to see Colin Firth land this one. He’s an amazing actor and this is easily the best performance of his career. Jeff Bridges was amazing and Eisneberg was pretty good too, but both pale in comparison to Firth. Sadly I haven’t seen Biutiful or 127 Hours yet so I can’t weigh in on those.

Best Actress

The Nominees -Annette Bening (The Kids Are All Right), Nicole Kidman (Rabbit Hole), Jennifer Lawrence (Winter’s Bone), Natalie Portman (Black Swan), Michelle Williams (Blue Valentine)

Sawitz: This is a stacked category but this is Portman’s to lose. Benning would be the next candidate, I imagine, because she is nominated and … well … Hilary Swank isn’t. That would be more sentiment for Benning than performance, which might leave someone like Jennifer Lawrence walking away if the vote splits.

Leamons: From the moment I saw Natalie Portman in Black Swan, I knew she was the odds on favorite to not only be nominated for Best Actress but to also win. Mentally breaking down as the film progresses and also performing ballet makes for a commanding performance. But if Nicole Kidman were somehow able to surprise everyone and win for Rabbit Hole it wouldn’t surprise me in the least. Her performance is so nuanced in the way we’ve seen grief depicted on screen. The scene where she questions God’s need to take a life to create another angel is a showcase scene for her and could see her win gold again.

Alme: Natalie Portman – While I’m glad that Jennifer Lawrence was recognized for Winter’s Bone, and that Michelle Williams was recognized for Blue Valentine, I would be surprised if either of the two actresses won the Oscar. This race is between Annette Bening and Natalie Portman. The Kids Are All Right is more of an ensemble piece though and Annette Bening and Julianne Moore had the same amount of screen time. This award belongs to Portman for her shocking, stunning turn as a tortured ballerina in Black Swan.

Campbell: This is without a doubt the easiest choice of any award at the show, and that’s including Best Animated Film category. Natalie Portman has this award in the bag, and I wonder if that makes it easier for her fellow nominees, in that they don’t have to be strung out all night wondering if they’re going to win (well, at least for ten minutes, since the award is presented so early in the evening.) Her performance in Black Swan was so fantastic, it may be the performance of her entire career, both past and future. Regardless, this young woman will be seen a lot more in 2011, with multiple films on the horizon, and once she returns from her leave of absence due to pregnancy, her stock will be so high that Hollywood will be her oyster. Yes, this is one Best Actress winner who will not fade into oblivion after winning, like various past winners, as she’s just hitting her stride now, and definitely has much more to offer, which means only good things for moviegoers. Who will win? Natalie Portman.

Saucedo: Natalie Portman seems to have this category locked. As with Firth, Portman’s role had the heaviest lifting when it came to emotional baggage. Her transformation — both physical and mental — was flashy enough for voters to take notice, overshadowing the rest of the nominees in this category.

Corey: Annette Bening The Kids Are All Right – they’ve been wanting to get her an Oscar to go with hubby’s golden men. Natalie Portman will lose since she’s make a bunch of dumb films in a row. Do you really want “Thor” sold with Oscar cred?

Noyes: Having only seen two films in this category I don’t feel puts me at a disadvantage. Natalie Portman was so amazing in Black Swan that I don’t see how this could go to anyone else. Bening was good, but not great.

Best Supporting Actor

The Nominees -Christian Bale (The Fighter), John Hawkes (Winter’s Bone), Jeremy Renner (The Town), Mark Ruffalo (The Kids Are All Right), Geoffrey Rush (The King’s Speech)

Sawitz: Bet the mortgage on Christian Bale and don’t look back.

Leamons: The year I first started taking a serious interest in the Supporting Actor category was in 1995 when Kevin Spacey won for The Usual Suspects. And in the years since then there’s been no shortage of great supporting performances, some of which that are even superior to the main leads themselves. Like the previous three years, this category has been easy to predict, what with standout performances by the likes of Javier Bardem (No Country For Old Men), Heath Ledger (The Dark Knight), and Christoph Waltz (Inglourious Basterds). I really like all the nominees, but Christian Bale’s performance as Dicky Eklund in The Fighter is something to behold. The actor has gone through so many physical transformations over the last ten years it’s scary. From rock-hard abs in American Psycho to The Machinist – where he dropped from 182 lbs. to 120 lbs. for the role – he has shown a commitment to his craft. Though I think many make a big deal about his weight loss and overlook the performance. Essentially, his character is a screw-up that has the best intentions for his younger brother Micky. Don’t we all.

Alme: Christian Bale – For me, the competition for the Best Supporting Actor award is between Christian Bale and Geoffrey Rush. Both of them brought so much to their films, but I think that Christian Bale will walk away with the golden statue on Oscar night. He’s known for transforming himself for his roles. Just like with The Machinist, he is nearly unrecognizable in The Fighter. His performance is outstanding and worthy of the Oscar.

Campbell: Reading my above statement, you’ll know that I have yet to see The Fighter, or The King’s Speech, and while I’ll catch up on these films in March, I will go above and say that Christian Bale will take home this award. While certain categories don’t always reflect previous award shows, this is one that usually has its eye on someone, and rides them to the finish line. Luckily for Bale, he’s that horse. As an actor who has played all types of roles, most to perfection, it’s amazing that he hasn’t won an Oscar as of yet. While his competition are all worthy, Bale will take this one home, and as his star continues to rise (just as The Dark Knight will in 2012!) this may just be the first of what should be a very crowded display case by the time he hangs up his acting cowl. Who will win? Christian Bale.

Saucedo: I can’t imagine Christian Bale didn’t feel some level of jealousy when his Dark Knight co-star Heath Ledger got all the attention and took home an Oscar a few years ago. He shouldn’t feel too bad, though — he’s likely to take home his very own statue for his work in The Fighter. As Dicky Eklund, Bale completely transformed himself to play a drugged-out, washed-up ex-boxer. The hard work will pay off when he’s clutching gold on Sunday.

Corey: Christian Bale The Fighter – cause he’s Batman. Also actors respect a man willing to tear McG and his punk cameraman a new one for running the mood.

Noyes: I haven’t seen Winter’s Bone or The Town, but of the other ones, this goes to Christian Bale, no contest. For an actor known for completely losing himself in a roll, he somehow managed to top himself. Rush did what he does best and was fun to watch and Ruffalo was at the top of his game as well, but neither comes close to what Bale achieved.

Best Supporting Actress

The Nominees – Amy Adams (The Fighter) Helena Bonham Carter (The King’s Speech ), Melissa Leo (The Fighter), Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit), Jacki Weaver (Animal Kingdom)

Sawitz: Any time you have two people in the same category for the same people odds are they’ll cancel each other out. I’d be genuinely shocked if Adams or Leo walked away with an Oscar. Not many people saw Weaver’s brilliance, leaving it to Steinfeld or Carter. Speech has more momentum going in and that should be able to garner her a trophy. Steinfeld wouldn’t be all that shocking, though.

Leamons: The Supporting Actress category is one that can go any number of ways. There are three leading candidates for this year: Helena Bonham Carter in The King’s Speech, Melissa Leo in The Fighter and Hailee Steinfeld in True Grit. All are worthy of winning; it’s just a shame that there can be only one victor. In the case of The Fighter, the film was dominated by the supporting work, specifically Leo and Bale. The King’s Speech covers all acting accolades except for Best Actress. But in the case of Haille Steinfeld, studio politics have prevented her from being in the category she belongs in, the Best Actress race. At the tender age of fourteen she shows tenacity in her depiction of Mattie Ross, a teenage girl looking to avenge the death of her father. Whether she’s word sparring with a shopkeeper or with Texas Ranger LaBoeuf (as played by Matt Damon), Steinfeld is able to hold her own. If she does win, which I think she will, she’ll be in select company as the third youngest supporting actress to win the award (Anna Paquin was eleven when she won for The Piano and Tatum O’Neal was ten when she won for Paper Moon).

Alme: Melissa Leo – There was much debate about Hailee Steinfeld and if her performance should be recognized as Best Actress or Best Supporting. While she was amazing in True Grit, I think that being nominated for Best Supporting Actress hurts her chances even more. Especially when put up against the one two punch (it’s a pun!) of Amy Adams and Melissa Leo in The Fighter. Melissa Leo’s turn as Mark Wahlberg’s mother, the overbearing matriarch of the Ward family from Lowell, Massachusetts, is jaw-droppingly amazing. Personally, I’m always fascinated by the performances by villains in films. If an actor can get me to loathe them, I’ll love them. Leo did that.

Campbell: I’m not sure how it happened, but I somehow missed a couple of the films that I meant to see, and just never found the time to do so. Of course, these few films I missed just happen to have the majority of the nominees for these categories in them, which makes my job here that much harder. One film I missed that has two nominees in this category was The Fighter, which is shocking, as I’m a big fan of Christian Bale, and who doesn’t like a good boxing movie? Needless to say, when plans are constantly swapped around, eventually, other things take priority and you end up missing the movies entirely. I did, however, see True Grit, and I honestly have a hard time believing that any woman in this category put out a better performance than Hailee Steinfeld in the Coen Brother’s western tale. It was the type of role that could make or break a film, as if the young woman was annoying in her delivery, audiences wouldn’t accept her, and the film would fall flat; however, if done to correctly, audiences would not only fall in love with her, but also eagerly await to hear what she had to say next. Any scene she wasn’t in, while still strong and enjoyable, had you waiting for her to return and speak her proper English to the seemingly less educated characters played by Jeff Bridges and Matt Damon. She deserves recognition for her role, and I believe it will come on this night. Who will win? Hailee Steinfeld.

Saucedo: Although Hailee Steinfeld was wrongfully nominated for Supporting Actress despite being the star of True Grit (blame studio politics), she seems to have the push to take home her first gold statue Sunday night. Don’t be surprised when the young actress is tearing up on stage — she deserves it.

Corey: Melissa Leo The Fighter – even her little own PR stunt won’t kill her chances. She wanted to prove she didn’t always have to look haggard for a camera.

Noyes: I’m torn on this one. I’d like to see either Melissa Leo or Hailee Steinfeld win this one. Both performances blew me away. Amy Adams was good and Helena Bonham Carter was better than usual, but it’s rare I’m as impressed by a performance as I was by Leo and Steinfeld.×120.png

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The King’s Speech Takes Top Prize at Screen Actors Guild Awards Mon, 31 Jan 2011 15:20:52 +0000 The Fighter wins a pair of acting trophies. ]]>

The King’s Speech continues to strike gold. Within the past week it has been honored by the Producers Guild of America and the Directors Guild of America. Last night at the 2011 Screen Actors Guild Awards, which aired live on both TBS & TNT, Tom Hooper’s film walked away with two more awards. For the SAG Awards each performance is decided by their fellow acting peers, and is no doubt a bigger accomplishment than winning a Golden Globe, which is decided by foreign press members.

You can find the winners of 17th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards below highlighted in bold (for Television honors, check out Deadline).

Jeff Bridges – True Grit
Robert Duvall – Get Low
Jesse Eisenberg – The Social Network
Colin Firth – The King’s Speech
James Franco – 127 Hours

Annette Bening – The Kids Are All Right
Nicole Kidman – Rabbit Hole
Jennifer Lawrence – Winter’s Bone
Natalie Portman – Black Swan
Hilary Swank – Conviction

Christian Bale – The Fighter
John Hawkes – Winter’s Bone
Jeremy Renner – The Town
Mark Ruffalo – The Kids Are All Right
Geoffrey Rush – The King’s Speech

Amy Adams – The Fighter
Helena Bonham Carter – The King’s Speech
Mila Kunis – Black Swan
Melissa Leo – The Fighter
Hailee Steinfeld – True Grit

Black Swan – Vincent Cassel, Barbara Hershey, Mila Kunis, Natalie Portman, Winona Ryder

The Fighter – Amy Adams, Christian Bale, Melissa Leo, Jack McGee, Mark Wahlberg

The Kids Are All Right – Annette Bening, Josh Hutcherson, Julianne Moore, Mark Ruffalo, Mia Wasikowska

The King’s Speech – Anthony Andrews, Helena Bonham Carter, Jennifer Ehle, Colin Firth, Michael Gambon, Derek Jacobi, Guy Pearce, Geoffrey Rush, Timothy Spall

The Social Network – Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Armie Hammer, Max Minghella, Josh Pence, Justin Timberlake

Green Zone
Robin Hood

Ernest Borgnine

Now that The King’s Speech has been honored by the PGA, DGA, and SAG it looks like is now the odds on favorite to win Best Picture. Though a win for ensemble cast at the SAG Awards does not guarantee a best picture win. Since 2000, only five films that won Best Ensemble Cast went on to win the Oscar for Best Picture.

I can’t say that I’m surprised with the winners of last night’s SAG Awards. Colin Firth’s performance as the stuttering King George is deserving as is Natalie Portman’s masterful turn in Black Swan. Christian Bale and Melissa Leo may have only been supporting stars, but they were the standout performances of The Fighter.×120.jpg

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