Monthly Archives: March 2014

I’m back: The 2014 Oscars

I have to open with some humble apologies because it’s been two years since my last Oscars post.  During that time I was unfortunately with someone who doesn’t like movies. Oh, who am I kidding? That was said so gently it doesn’t really give the proper gravitas to the situation. No, I must speak the truth: I was with someone who HATES movies. 

Dear Lord, I think my friend Squee just shot her soda pop all over her screen as she went,

“WHAT!”

Sorry Squee!

But yes, that is the unfortunate truth. When you are around someone who hates movies, merely watching the Oscars, God forbid tweeting or even thinking about writing a word about them becomes impossible. Say the word “actor” around that person and all that hisses from their lips is “thesssssssspian,” like a poisonous viper, spewing and filling the atmosphere around them with their venom, purposely ruining the magic of the movies for the entire theater-going and movie-loving crowd for at least 10 miles around them.  Yeech!

Yes, I was dating Lord Voldemort…with Nagini in tow…

And while you’re laughing…

 

Cue music!

 While the music is playing…keep reading!!!

 

I can love movies all I want again!  Hooray!

That’s right ladies and gentlemen, it’s one of my favorite nights of the year, the one where I’m grateful I’m not an actor but ultimately grateful for all of the hardworking men and women that create the magic of the movies I love watching so much. Everyone but everyone who knows me knows how much I love movies.

From buttery popcorn to the concession stand napkins used to dry my eyes, movies inspire, fuel and ignite my imagination in a way nothing else in the universe can.

Think about it, without the magic of the movies, I wouldn’t be able to do what I do for a living. If it weren’t for pioneers in special effects, I would have never known what it was like to be inside the digital world of Tron. So I guess you could say that I owe a lot to Hollywood and it’s that time of year to show my gratitude to everyone that participates in the film industry, from film students to riggers to high-paid directors.

But let’s get the details covered:

Preparing for the Broadcast

This morning when I woke up, I could feel the buzz in the air as I realized it was Oscar Sunday. As I went outside for my morning ritual of news and fresh air, I realized that I was LONG overdue for an Oscar-fueled extravaganza. After all, this is the very first Oscars post on the new site, so why not bring the thunder with one heck of an adventure!?!?

After that, it was to the showers because I realized that there are a few things I have always done for Oscar Night: have incredible food, comfy surroundings and with phone in hand, report it all to my Twitter feed.

The behind-the-scenes was the fun part this year. Between whole wheat angel hair pasta in meat sauce accompanied by fresh french bread and a salad drizzled with my mother’s homemade balsamic dressing (OMG, better than any dressing you can buy at the store), we watched the majority of the Red Carpet coverage from the dinner table.  As the Red Carpet wound down, I was done baking my world-famous Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies (which I have aptly nicknamed “C4’s”) that explode with gooey chocolaty goodness over the tastebuds and are just as decadent as the fashions walking across the screen.

From this:

Ingredients all laid out
Ingredients all laid out

To this:

 

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies
Onto the sheet

To these:

 

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies ready to be eaten!
Cookies ready to eat!

Like I said on my Facebook feed earlier in the day:

Chocolate and Gold just goes.

With one bite into a C4, my mom went “Oh, these are rich.” Well, they’re supposed to be! It’s only Hollywood’s most glamorous night, so you better believe I’m going to have something that’s at least rich-tasting! (And if Hollywood got one taste of my C4’s, oh man, I’d be up to my armpits in orders for next year’s show! They are THAT good! The cookie dough smells like a Hershey bar before they’re baked. Even the most ravenous of chocoholics are sated with a single bite. No kidding.)

After the C4’s were carefully placed on the cooling racks, I was already onto Phase 2 of my Oscar-fueled nom-fest: The Brie plates. Filled with apples, red seedless grapes, crackers and small tub of spreadable brie, I brought the richness of the evening up another level. Like I said, I might not have all the money in the world, but my experiences are always worth more than a dime.

So, for your drooling pleasure, I present The Brie Plate:

Tell me your stomach isn't rumbling...

LOL! I just felt like Jerry Orbach’s “Lumiere” in Beauty and the Beast.

Now, let’s get on to the reason we’re all here:

The Broadcast

This morning, as I read the news, I happened upon an article in The Telegraph about how much pressure Ellen was under to deliver as host of the Oscars. The article even relived that eye-bleach needing, ‘please-don’t-make-me-watch-it’ feeling, “Styrofoam Man” debacle of James Franco’s, who with Anne Hathaway made a shambles of the Oscar telecast with their “young and edgy” thing. That banana peel of a broadcast made room for Billy Crystal to come back and host for a record ninth time (which I must admit…however much I love Billy…um, it didn’t go so well).

I’ll be the first to tell you that I’m not the biggest Ellen fan in the world, but I will tell you in a heartbeat that she hit that “just right” mark dead on. Academy, you’ve got a winner. For chrissakes, SHE CRASHED TWITTER with a selfie from the audience!

If that doesn’t spell W-I-N-N-E-R to you, we need to talk.

That’s right everyone, I’m one of the two million plus who’s retweet-madness helped crash Twitter with Ellen’s Epic Selfie, probably one of the most unforgettable Oscar moments of all time.  I know this because why? Because my tweets wouldn’t send, my phone crashed and it was just a mess, but at least I can say it was a good mess. 

Speaking of Twitter: to catch up on all of my Tweets during the broadcast, check out my Twitter feed at…

Wait.
Wait…

Oh my sweet Lord, Twitter’s still jammed up!  I tried to log on to get you the right address for my tweets and the sucker took forever to launch…gee, thanks Ellen. I know a couple of network engineers that are really thanking you in their prayers tonight!

After taking forever to load, here’s where you want to go to check out my Twitter feed: https://twitter.com/etrnl_sophomore

But let’s get back to that epic selfie. Do you know, thus far, that photo has been retweeted over 2 million times?

Yup.

And if you’ve not seen the selfie, here it is:

ellen_epic_selfie2

 Click on the pic to go to Ellen’s feed, the photo has reached almost 2.4 million re-tweets as of this writing.

Ironically, I just finished reading Malcolm Gladwell’s Tipping Point. I think this could be the moment where Twitter really tips and goes from 22 percent of any target audience to well over 50-60 percent. (Just my trendspotter gene rearing its’ ugly head of course, but I’m guessing you will want to check those numbers in a few months… but it’s just a hunch. If you want to check the accuracy of my hunches, ask my friends Amanda and Dan…they’ll tell you. *wink wink*)

But, notice how much I’ve focused on Ellen? That’s because she made the whole thing work. Instead of uncomfortable silences, we actually sat waiting for what she was going to do next.  I don’t know about you, but to me, that’s a very good thing.

I loved how she ordered pizza and REALLY passed it around, prompting me to look at the Brie Plate I had created and subsequently tweeted:

I’m not sure, and maybe it’s just me, but among the pizza and other high jinx,  I even think she addressed the horrific reboot/remake trend sweeping Hollywood. It might just be me, but when she showed up on stage dressed as Glenda the Good Witch from the Wizard of Oz, she looked ridiculous, but it also made me remember when Whoopi Goldberg hosted the Oscars and came out dressed as Queen Elizabeth. Remember?

 

Compare the two…

 

 

See? Even if she did it unwittingly, she still poked fun at the movie industry with a sharp barb. The message is the same: Enough already. Don’t reboot something that really doesn’t need it.

Please Hollywood, I wrote about this how many years ago??? Stop trying to resuscitate a dead horse. The damn thing is friggin’ dead! Stop touching it! Let it alone!

Speaking of reboot and remake mad equine corpse-humpers…HEY!  Hey YOU! Yeah you, J.J. Abrams, I see you over there skulking in the shadows trying to sneak past without getting caught…get your G.D. hands off of Star Wars.  You already touched Star Trek,  so drop the camera, walk away and leave well enough alone. It’s bad enough George Lucas came through with a weed whacker and cut Darth Vader’s balls off in the three poorly acted prequels to the classic (read: “should have been left alone”) trilogy, but then YOU come along and give us a Mr. Spock that runs like a girl! Shame on you. I mean, did someone order the castration of our most iconic characters and not tell everyone?  (Don’t get me wrong, I adore Zachary Quinto, but that run needs some serious work; and when the bangs parted down the middle in the last Trek  outing…I went on a Melissa Leo-esque F-bomb tirade that lasted for an hour. Man up Zach, for no other reason than to preserve Leonard’s legacy. Spock is a man’s man, even on Vulcan. That is all.)

J.J., you have shaken and lens flared us enough…and casting Benedict Cumberbatch (oh I would have loved to be in the room when they came up with that poor bugger’s stage name…Zenglebert Slaptyback…) as the new Khan???  Sweet Lord, Ricardo
Montalbán is going to come back from the grave and pimp slap you both.

(And now there goes my best pal Barry shooting his soda all over the screen…sorry man, but I knew the weed whacker thing would get you…I know you are laughing right now, my brother…better yet, you gotta admit I’m RIGHT.)

SECURITY! Grab that J.J. fella by the scruff of his neck and escort him from the lot!!!  J.J. Abrams is persona non grata in my house because he’s double-dipping into (and arguably damaging) two great, time-honored franchises. I mean, it’s bad enough the actors are doing it…(Harrison Ford as Han Solo AND Indiana Jones…Chris Evans as The Human Torch (in The Fantastic Four) AND Captain America…Not to mention Ben Affleck getting into the act by being Daredevil along with gaining the distinction of being the next poor bastard who tries to be Batman…) Did anyone see Michael Keaton change franchises?  NO! .. Sweet Lord, what is wrong with you people? Ever heard of giving someone new a chance? Hell, what about the words of Edna Mode?  Will those get through?

NO CAPES!

 

How do we cure this madness!?!?

Ellen’s ‘Glenda’ costume said it all…”STOP WITH THE *BLEEP*ING REBOOTS AND REMAKES!” Not everyone deserves to double-dip in the franchise and character well and get away with it.

Meanwhile, back in the real world…

I know that tonight’s Oscar theme was “Heroes”, but did anyone else beside me get that the theme of the night really wasn’t “Heroes” but “Social Justice”? Notice what won in the really high-profile categories:

Jared Leto wins Best Supporting Actor for his work in Dallas Buyers Club.

Lupita Nyong’o wins Best Supporting Actress for her work in Twelve Years a Slave.

Cate Blanchett wins Best Actress for her work in Blue Jasmine.

Matthew McConaughey wins Best Actor for his work in Dallas Buyers Club. (#AllRightAllRightAllRight)

Notice first, not one single remake or reboot in the lot. Second, look at the topics of the films…AIDS, slavery, mental illness, gender issues…these are all very, very much social justice topics…AND THEY ARE GETTING AWARDS for bringing awareness of these extremely real people into our collective consciousness!

Okay, if you want to have all the depth of a shot glass, you can say that they were just really good performances. Those of us with a little more depth are going to realize that the ultimate privilege that those four actors have is little thing called awareness. Awareness of social justice issues that Jared Leto talked about so brilliantly in his acceptance speech. “The Unshackled Minds” that Kim Novak eluded to when she helped present the awards for Animation…

 

You get it, I know you do.

When Matthew McConaughey won for best actor, the whole living room went up in cheers. Well, he is from Uvalde (for you non-Texans, it’s pronounced “You-val-dee” – emphasis on the You), how do I know that?  Let’s check the map…

Need I say more?

Oh there is one more little photo I just loved…especially since I live to be Chasing Tron:

 

That’s a quote I can definitely agree with.

All Right.
All Right.
All Right.

And for song of the day, one that hails the Sophomore back to the days of old when one of my old pals found me crying and asked me if I was going to be okay…

I looked them dead in the face and said, “I’m not okay right now, but I’m going to be.”

I’ve once again rescued myself, and I can promise you, no man, and no one, will ever be reaching down to push me further down while they claim to be trying to rescue me. I can do it myself, thank you very much. Tonight’s post proves it.

I’m back. Permanently.