Some thoughts on tonight’s nominees. I really hope The Artist doesn’t sweep the awards (which it might, based on all of the other awards buzz). I don’t think I could get into a silent film / musical but I do wish I’d watched it just to avoid some of the disclaimers below.
Best Picture / Directing
Very solid line-up of movies this year, with some box office favorites (Moneyball, The Help) sharing the spotlight with the typical “Oscar” nominees.
- Rooting for: Hugo
- Likely winner: The Artist
- Disclaimer: Haven’t seen The Artist, Incredibly Loud & Incredibly Close (wanna see), The Tree of Life or War Horse
Happy to see Demián Bichir get a nomination (for A Better Life) but this is Clooney’s all the way, even with all of the buzz around The Artist.
- Rooting for: George Clooney
- Likely winner: Call me crazy, but I think Clooney wins
- Disclaimer: Haven’t seen The Artist, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Viola Davis has this one. I thought Michelle Williams and Meryl Streep both did a great job but I enjoyed The Help much more as a movie (which benefited greatly from Davis’ performance), while My Week with Marilyn and Iron Lady were almost squarely focused on their performances.
- Rooting for: Viola Davis
- Likely winner: See above
- Disclaimer: Haven’t seen Albert Nobbs
Best Supporting Actor
Beginners, about a man who comes out as a gay man in his 70s, caught me by surprise, led by Chris Plummer’s fantastic performance. A lock.
- Rooting for: Christopher Plummer
- Likely winner: See above
- Disclaimer: Haven’t seen Warrior (wanna see), Incredibly Loud
Best Supporting Actress
Always funny when two actresses/actors are nominated from the same movie, but I think Octavia Spencer wins this one, for the same reason I’m rooting for Davis.
- Rooting for: Octavia Spencer
- Likely winner: Hard to say for this one.. I would be okay if Melissa McCarthy ends up taking this home
- Disclaimer: Haven’t seen The Artist, Albert Nobbs
TV Log: Sept 28 - Oct 4
Caution, spoilers below.
Pretty solid Monday. House was good, as usual. Interesting to see how Foreman took over House’s role and how the rest of the team responded to it. Being the man in charge isn’t as easy as it looks. Looks like we’ll see House back in the office soon. Heroes needs to do something, quickly. The episode showed some promise (re-introduction of Sylar, etc) but it definitely isn’t living up to its potential. The universe just has a ton of potential
Gossip Girl was pretty great. Good to see the show back to its fun-loving, not taking things too seriously self. The combination of likeable characters and a fun plot with what The CW does pretty well (see below) is a solid combination. The season premiere of Lie to Me was great. Always lives up to the premise, especially since this episode was quite a bit out there, even for the series.
Tuesday wasn’t quite as good. The only real reason to watch 90210 and Melrose’s Place is because The CW does a pretty good job of taking awesome scenery shots (that look amazing in HD) and mixing those up with good looking people and a Top 40 soundtrack. The 90210’s plots have been decent but the Asian med student turning call girl is the only thing keeping me watching Melrose’s Place, which is almost countered by Ashlee Simpson’s horrible acting.
The Good Wife was great-an extremely well done show. I wish there was less legal drama and more personal drama but it looks like the show is balancing both pretty well. Likeable characters and solid acting, too.
Wednesday is turning into another comedy night. Modern Family was just as hilarious as last week. I’m really loving the characters on the show and how they play off each other. Cougartown showed definite improvement over last week. It was actually pretty funny the whole way through this time around. I was pleasantly surprised with the series premiere of The Middle. Not quite laugh-out-loud funny but definitely worth watching with a solid cast of characters. Looking forward to seeing more.
Last week’s Glee was a bit more of a musical than I like but it’s too hard to complain with a show as genuinely made as this one. It’s clear that the writers really care about the characters and everything comes across very well. A bit disappointed with Eastwick though largely because the series premiere was so good. I missed the comedy and overall silly fun of last week’s episode, although some of the actual drama could be good.
Thursday night comedies were excellent. Really enjoying the office drama between Michael and Jim on The Office although I’m wondering how long they can keep that going for. Community was good but largely because the guest-star teacher, which was the same as last week. Wondering if the core cast can make a funny episode on their own. Parks and Recreation pleasantly surprised me. The decision to focus more on small-town living than a parks department is really paying off. Probably the first laugh-out-loud episode.
Flashforward is moving along well. I like the pace that the characters are developing and new tidbits are being introduced. Not quite hooked yet but intrigued. Guilty pleasure Vampire Diaries is becoming a decent show in its own right. I especially liked the dig at Twilight: “Why don’t you sparkle? Because real vampires burn in the sun.”
On Friday, I’m interested to see where Dollhouse's new direction takes it. Last season was more about individual roles/personalities Echo was thrown into while this one is more about the overall, big picture message. It could work as long as every episode isn't a hardcore big picture episode.
Today, I was blown away by Californication. When that show is good, it is really, really good. Hank (the guy, haven’t seen the show yet) delivered on all fronts, though his parenting skills are questionable. Gossip Girl’s Ed Westwick (Chuck) made an awesome cameo, as a gay, vampire fiction writing student. Mad Men was solid this week. The show hasn’t been mindblowing this season yet but it’s always very well done. Betty wasn’t annoying in this one, which is a huge plus.
Pretty happy with the season finale of Entourage. Some plot twists, a pretty funny cameo from Matt Damon (with more after the credits!), and gorgeous scenery. The Ari / Lloyd final scene was pretty amazing and it’s always good to see Ari get screen time. I’m not too sure that the E / Sloan proposal could have reasonably happened in real life but eh. The show could have been more interesting without their plot line going in that direction, imo.
And yes, I realize that I watch a ton of television.
Fall 2009 TV Schedule and Preliminary Thoughts
I wonder how I can keep up with this aggressive TV schedule…
Sunday (2 Hours)
- Californication: Totally forgot that this was premiering tonight but definitely excited. This show is always a good time.
- Entourage: Probably the weakest season of the show but still a Very Good one. The last fourth has been amazing though. I could watch Ari and Lloyd go at it for 30 minutes
- Mad Men: Definitely not as engaging as the first season (probably on par with the second) but still has amazing acting and they manage to get all of the small details right
Monday (4 Hours)
- Heroes: Started out okay, introduced some new characters but nothing mindblowing. Claire’s new friend should add some interesting storylines
- House: Really well-done premiere. Different than what’s expected, in a good way. Tomorrow’s episode, where House supposedly quits, looks awesome
- Lie to Me: Stoked for this to premiere tomorrow
- Gossip Girl: Handling the characters moving to college surprisingly well. Not amazingly captivating anymore, but solid TV
Tuesday (3 Hours)
- 90210: The show caught its stride in the second half of last season. More of the same this time around but still enjoying the Top 40 soundtrack and shots of LA
- Melrose’s Place: Not a must-watch by any means but great to watch without having to pay careful attention. Also has Top 40 and looks great in HD
- The Good Wife: Last week’s premiere was pretty solid. I was hoping they invested more time in the personal and less in the legal but I’ll give it a shot
Wednesday (4 Hours)
- Hank: I’ll give this a shot because of the Wall Street theme but don’t expect it to last more than a couple of weeks
- The Middle: I’ll give the premiere a shot
- Glee: Probably my favorite new show of the season. Doing HS in a semi-believable manner, and some of the dance skits are amazing
- Modern Family: The premiere showed a lot of promise. Interesting characters and some genuinely laugh-out-loud moments
- Cougartown: This one doesn’t show nearly as much promise. I’ll give it another couple of episodes to hook me
- Eastwick: Probably the second favorite. Interesting premise and much funnier than I was expecting
Thursday (3.5 Hours)
- Flashforward (The series premiere showed a lot of promise. Really interesting storylines came out of the flashforward and looks to have a solid amount of action)
- Vampire Diaries: Good to see that The CW have a solid hit on their hands. A guilty pleasure for sure but much better executed than I would have imagined
- Parks and Recreation: The season premiere was pretty damn funny, last week not so much. Seems to be improving from last season but far from great
- The Office: The season premiere here was one of the funniest episodes of the entire series. Simply amazing. Last week wasn’t quite as good but still great
- Community: Shows a lot of promise. The series premiere was hilarious and I really enjoyed last week’s Ken Jeong (as the Spanish teacher) performance
Friday (2 Hours)
- Dollhouse: Introduced some solid new storylines and good overall but I hope Whedon doesn’t turn the show into a super sci-fi show like last season’s last episode
- Southland: Stoked for this to come back
Videogame Hardware Sales YTD 2009
Google, the new Microsoft?
Obama sleeping on the couch when he gets back?
Thoughts on Bruno: Why it’s no Borat but still (mostly) hilarious
Note: I don’t think I cover anything not mentioned in reviews but I’d recommend not reading it (or reviews in general) to avoid surprises.
I haven’t seen Borat since it aired in theaters, but I remember leaving the theater thinking it was extremely hilarious and succeeded at highlighting some of America’s prejudice (especially in the South).
Bruno had a number of truly hilarious scenes (involving the tarot reader, Ron Paul, Paula Abdul, and the Maury-like TV show) but some of it fell flat (the Middle East scenes come to mind). But it also relied a lot on really unnecessary shots of penises, Cohen’s ass, and the other dude’s ass. Relied a lot. I’m surprised the movie skated by with an R rating.
Unlike Borat, where some of the outrageousness fit in with the overall plot here it seemed like Cohen was just trying to get past the 70-minute mark. Borat also succeed in making the movie less about Cohen’s antics than people’s responses to it. There is some awesome scene involving child actors’ parents, though.
In any case, this is just a roundabout way of saying that Bruno in no way mocks homophobes or celeb-worshipping or attention-craving (like Peter Travers says). I never really bought that Borat was doing the same for racism, gun-loving, etc but I could see how it was possible. I don’t even see the possibility here.
Nonetheless, when Bruno is funny, it is truly hilarious. Those scenes make the movie well worth the price of admission as long as you don’t mind watching the penises and male asses. Overall, I’d say I really liked it and would give it four stars.