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Archive for the ‘updates’ Category

Mondays:

CBS: How I Met Your Mother (8 pm EST), The Big Bang Theory (9:30 EST)

NBC: Heroes ( 8 pm EST), Chuck ( beginning in March 2010)

Fox: House ( 8 pm EST), Lie To Me ( 9 pm EST)

CW: Gossip Girl ( 9 pm EST)

ABC: Dancing With The Stars ( 8 pm EST), Castle ( 10 pm EST)

Mondays are again cluttered with good TV and fan faves. Expect Castle to see  ratings to increase as NBC replaces scripted TV with Jay Leno, Fox and CW go local,  and CBS airs the aging but still popular CSI: Miami.  Also, Big Bang will likely become the most watched scripted show on a Monday by May. Yes, it will surpass lead in Two and a Half Men. HIMYM  at 8 pm, as well as it’s 100th episode, may seal this sitcom’s fate. I predict that unless there is a serious ratings bump and it does a better anchoring job than in the past, this will be HIMYM final season. Heroesis in turmoil after two seasons of disappointing stories and uneven episodes, and the fans are leaving in droves. Only a section of diehards are here, and we’re holding out hope that Tim Kring turns it around. Introducing a new villain, as much as we all love Sylar, will help. CW still has the corner on the youth buzz market, but One Tree Hill  is past it’s prime, and Gossip Girl  needs less shock value, more actual story telling. All the whispers about the House  season six premiere being amazing leads me to believe House’s break down is going to revive the aging series and give Hugh Laurie something new to do.  Lead out Lie To Me still has two things going for it- an intriguing premise and Tim Roth. The biggest disappointments are the fact none of NBC’s one hour dramas, including Monday night entry Trauma, seem to be worthy of my time, and Chuck  won’t be back until March. Unless, of course, NBC’s entire fall sked falls apart. Which it will.

Tuesdays:

CBS:  NCIS ( 8 pm EST), NCIS: Los Angeles ( 9 pm EST), The Good Wife ( 10 pm EST)

NBC: forget it.

Fox: So You Think You Can Dance ( 8 pm EST), American Idol ( January 2010)

CW: destroying the happy memories of my youth.

ABC: V (November 2009), DWTS Results show ( 9 pm)

Frankly, I’m not a huge NCIS  fan, I refuse to watch the new CW revivals of early 90s Fox shows, so outside of Fox’s dance and singing programs and the very promising looking CBS drama The Good Wife, the only thing I’m waiting for is V. I’m a geek, yes.

Wednesdays:

CBS: Criminal Minds ( 9 pm EST)

NBC: Nope.

Fox: SYTYCD Results Show ( 8 pm EST), Glee ( 9 pm EST), Idol Results Show ( January 2010, well, more like February 2010)

CW: America’s Next Top Model ( 8 pm EST)

ABC: Modern Family ( 9 pm EST)

I have faith that Criminal Mindswill find its way back after an uneven season that has given us a couple of classic episodes and several clunkers, but I’m such a Gleek that for the first time I’m really compelled to watch something besides my favorite BAU gang. Fox has put so much money into the musical dramedy that picking up the back nine is a good bet. NBC has nothing new to offer, really, just SVU and the disappointing looking Mercy. Modern Family  is the most interesting looking sitcom not on NBC Thursdays.

Thursdays:

CBS: The Mentalist ( 10 pm EST)

NBC: Community ( October 2009), Parks and Recreation ( 8:30 pm EST), The Office (9:00 pm EST), 30 Rock ( 9:30 pm EST)

Fox: Bones ( 8 pm EST), Fringe ( 9 pm EST)

CW: neither show is on my radar.

ABC: I’ve stopped watching Grey’s Anatomy.  No George, no me.

It’s either indulge my Comedy geek or indulge my science geek. Right now, I’m leaning to the science geek, as rewatching Fringe over the summer has reminded me that this is a really good show and deserves my patronage. And I’m still a Bones  fan. But giving up NBC’s one solidly good night of TV is a tough one. This may be the night I’m grateful for reruns. At least there is no Sophie’s Choice at 10, where I can watch Simon Baker’s charming performance on The Mentalist  all I want. I’m not into vampire love triangles and I’ve never been an avid Supernatural fan, and ABC’s soapy line up leaves me cold.

Fridays:

CBS:  I don’t watch any of them.

NBC: Or them.

Fox: Dollhouse (9 pm EST)

CW: Never watched Smallville.

ABC: Ugly Betty ( 9 pm EST)

Push comes to shove, it’s Dollhouse. I would follow Joss Whedon to the grave and I refuse to give up on this interesting but not yet great show. If it proves to infuriating, I’ll let the Betty gang continue to crush my heart with it’s continued downward spiral.

Saturdays and Sundays:

CBS: The Amazing Race ( 8 pm EST), Three Rivers ( 9 pm EST) ( both on Sunday)

NBC:  nada

Fox: The Simpsons ( 8 pm EST), the Seth McFarlane 90 minute block ( 8:30 pm EST)

CW: literally nothing. CW has dropped weekend programming.

ABC: can someone tell me why these shows are all still on?

ABC’s very tired line up of warm-hearted sob stories and drippy soapy dramedies has gotten boring. CW has nothing on. NBC has football. There is literally NOTHING on Saturday nights, and only CBS and Fox have anything worth watching on Sundays. Fox’s two hour comedy block is solid entertainment, still amusing, even if The Simpsons, entering it’s trillionth season, is creaking a bit ( it can still knock an episode out of the park once a season though). I’m not the biggest fan of Seth McFarlane’s work, but I certainly don’t begrudge him his phenomenal success. When I do watch The Family Guy I do laugh quite a bit. And The Cleveland Show is rumored to have more heart in the mix. CBS has the always reliable 60 Minutes,  and I love The Amazing Race, but launching Three Riverson Sundays is a bit of a gutsy move. CBS has a lot of faith in this show. I’m an Alex O’Loughlin fan, but I’m a bit worried about it.

Other shows to watch over the season:

HBO: Real Time With Bill Maher ( Fridays), Curb Your Enthusiasm (fall 2009)

ABC: Lost ( presumably Wednesdays, January/February 2010)

AMC: Mad Men ( currently airing on Sundays, with reruns throughout the week), Breaking Bad ( 2010), The Prisoner ( 2009/2010)

FX: Damages, Rescue Me, It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia

TNT: The Closer

 NBC: The Olympics ( February 2010)

 

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On Emmy night ( September 20, 2009), I will be doing my Emmy commentary live through out the night. You’re all invited. Seriously.

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This is the place to discuss fashion, your picks, and how RyRy Seacrest still annoys the crap out of you.Just look in the comments for my blinding wit…

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Same as the Grammys, but with preshow goodness as well, which means two hours more than Seacrest than one should really have in a week, but whatever, because there are clothes and Manolos and Fred Leighton…

Sorry, the realy girly girl part of me came out. i usually supress my fashionista side as I can afford nothing not available at Zellers and Superstore.

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First the good. The winners list from the Independent Spirit Awards:

Best Feature
The Wrestler, Darren Aronofsky, Scott Franklin

Best Director

Tom McCarthy, The Visitor

Best First Feature

Synecdoche, New York, Charlie Kaufman

Best First Screenplay

Dustin Lance Black, Milk

Best Supporting Female

Penelope Cruz, Vicky Cristina Barcelona

Best Supporting Male

James Franco, Milk

Best Female Lead

Melissa Leo, Frozen River

Best Male Lead

Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler

Best Cinematography

Maryse Alberti, The Wrestler

Best Foreign Film

The Class, Laurent Cantet

Best Documentary

Man on Wire, James Marsh

And now the heinous. The “winners” list from the RazzieHIS.addEntry({ title: “Razzies 2009”, url: “http://www.altfg.com/bs (* for the ” winner):

Worst Picture
Disaster Movie
The Happening
The Hottie and the Nottie
In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale
* The Love Guru
Meet the Spartans

Worst Actor
Larry the Cable Guy, Witless Protection
Eddie Murphy, Meet Dave
* Mike Myers, The Love Guru
Al Pacino, 88 Minutes and Righteous Kill
Mark Wahlberg, The Happening and Max Payne

Worst Actress
Jessica Alba, The Eye and The Love Guru
The cast of The Women (Annette Bening, Eva Mendes, Debra Messing, Jada Pinkett-Smith and Meg Ryan)
Cameron Diaz, What Happens in Vegas
* Paris Hilton, The Hottie and the Nottie
Kate Hudson, Fool’s Gold and My Best Friend’s Girl

Worst Supporting Actor
Uwe Boll, Uwe Boll’s Postal
* Pierce Brosnan, Mamma Mia!
Ben Kingsley, The Love Guru and The Wackness
Burt Reynolds, Deal and In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale
Verne Troyer, The Love Guru and Uwe Boll’s Postal

Worst Supporting Actress
Carmen Electra, Disaster Movie and Meet the Spartans
* Paris Hilton, Repo: The Genetic Opera
Kim Kardashian, Disaster Movie
Jenny McCarthy, Witless Protection
Leelee Sobieski, 88 Minutes and In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale

Worst Screen Couple
Uwe Boll and Any Actor, Camera or Screenplay
Cameron Diaz and Ashton Kutcher, What Happens in Vegas
* Paris Hilton and either Christin Lakin or Joel David Moore, The Hottie and the Nottie
Larry the Cable Guy and Jenny McCarthy, Witless Protection
Eddie Murphy and Eddie Murphy, Meet Dave

Worst Prequel, Remake, Rip-Off or Sequel
“The Day the Earth Blowed Up Real Good” (The Day the Earth Stood Still)
Disaster Movie and Meet the Spartans
* Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Speed Racer
Star Wars: The Clone Wars

Worst Director
* Uwe Boll, 1968: Tunnel Rats, In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale and Uwe Boll’s Postal
Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer, Disaster Movie and Meet the Spartans
Tom Putnam, The Hottie and the Nottie
Marco Schnabel, The Love Guru
M. Night Shyamalan, The Happening

Worst Screenplay
Disaster Movie and Meet the Spartans
The Happening
The Hottie and the Nottie
In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale
* The Love Guru

Worst Career Achievement Razzie
Uwe Boll

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  • NBC rejects a PETA ad set to air during the Superbowl. Because vegans can’t possibly be football fans, you know.
  • The couple in Once had a fairy tale year last year. They fell in love, were in the best movie of 207, and won an Oscar for writing one of my favorite songs. Sadly, they have ended their two year relationship.
  • A woman has octuplets in California. And the eighth one was a surprise. I’m just thinking she’s nuts to attempt to try and breastfeed them all ( note- lactation supporters do not gang up on me- I breast fed my own kids, but seriously, all eight? No.)
  • Matt Damon states the obvious, Bill Kristol is an idiot, James Bond is a misogynist sociopath. Wait, say what on that last one?
  • Three arrested in the Bahamas for extortion after they try to scam $25 million from the Travoltas to prevent pictures of Jett’s lifeless body from making rounds. I am never going to the Bahamas.
  • Wikipedia contemplates rule changes after obits appear for Ted Kennedy and Robert Byrd.
  • Donny Osmond lets slip he’ll be on Dancing With The Stars. Expect a Foxtrot to ” One Bad Apple”, a waltz  to ” Puppy Love”, and a rhumba to ” Any Dream Will Do”.
  • Project Runway filming at Bryant Park despite having no airdate for season six.
  • Mike White ( writer, Chuck And Buck, actor, School Of Rock, famed apatow crowd reject) to appear on The Amazing Race with his gay activist dad. This will be interesting…
  • Natascha McElhone ( Californication, The Truman Show) lost her husband to a heart attack only a few months ago while pregnant with their third child. This weekend, she finally brought him out into public, and his name is Rex.
  • Government decides to postpone mandatory conversion to digital from analog till this summer, angering fans who have put off sweeps viewing till March, and PBS, who will lose $22 million dollars due to the delay.
  • Rick Warren’s magazine Purpose Driven Connection debuts with an interview with President Obama. I guess they both meant it when they talked about post-partisanism.
  • M.I.A. is thrilled with her Oscar nom, but the real question is- will she be able to perform? She’s due to give birth on February 8- Grammy night ( which will explain her absence), and the Oscars are only a mere two weeks later.
  • Geeks, rejoice! Red Dwarf is returning.
  • Daniel Radcliffe invites the Obama girls to visit Hogwarts with him.
  • ABC has approved pilots of V ( yes, based on the early 80s sci-fi mini series classic), Lost In The 80s ( The Wonder Years meets Fast times At Ridgemont High meets The Ice Storm– I so wanna see it now…)
  • Marvel is being sued for $750 million because they ain’t sharing the Spidey pie.

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Ah, yes, so it arrived with much fanfare, and some choices have left me puzzled, other delightfully surprised. More on that later. But first, the list.

BEST PICTURE
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Frost/Nixon
Milk
The Reader
Slumdog Millionaire

BEST DIRECTOR
Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire
David Fincher, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Ron Howard, Frost/Nixon
Stephen Daldry, The Reader
Gus Van Sant, Milk

BEST ACTOR
Richard Jenkins, The Visitor
Frank Langella, Frost/Nixon
Sean Penn, Milk
Brad Pitt, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler

BEST ACTRESS
Anne Hathaway, Rachel Getting Married
Angelina Jolie, Changeling
Melissa Leo, Frozen River
Meryl Streep, Doubt
Kate Winslet, The Reader

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Josh Brolin, Milk
Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight
Robert Downey Jr., Tropic Thunder
Philip Seymour Hoffman, Doubt
Michael Shannon, Revolutionary Road

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Amy Adams, Doubt
Penelope Cruz, Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Viola Davis, Doubt
Taraji P. Henson, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Marisa Tomei, The Wrestler

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Frozen River , Courtney Hunt
Happy-Go-Lucky, Mike Leigh
In Bruges, Martin McDonagh
Milk, Dustin Lance Black
WALL-E, Andrew Stanton, Jim Reardon, Pete Docter

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Eric Roth
Doubt, John Patrick Shanley
Frost/Nixon, Peter Morgan
The Reader, David Hare
Slumdog Millionaire, Simon Beaufoy

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
Bolt
Kung Fu Panda
WALL-E

BEST ART DIRECTION
Changeling
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
The Duchess
Revolutionary Road

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Changeling
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
The Reader
Slumdog Millionaire

BEST COSTUME DESIGN
Australia
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Duchess
Milk
Revolutionary Road

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
The Betrayal (Nerakhoon)
Encounters at the End of the World
The Garden
Man on Wire
Trouble the Water

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT
The Conscience of Nhem En
The Final Inch
Smile Pinki
The Witness — From the Balcony of Room 306

BEST EDITING
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
Frost/Nixon
Milk
Slumdog Millionaire

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
The Baader Meinhof Complex (Germany)
The Class (France)
Departures (Japan)
Revanche (Austria)
Waltz with Bashir (Israel)

BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT
Auf der Strecke (On the Line)
Manon on the Asphalt
New Boy
The Pig
Spielzeugland (Toyland)

BEST MAKEUP
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
Hellboy II: The Golden Army

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Alexandre Desplat
Defiance, James Newton Howard
Milk, Danny Elfman
Slumdog Millionaire, A.R. Rahman
WALL-E, Thomas Newman

BEST ORIGINAL SONG
”Down to Earth,” (WALL-E)
”Jai Ho,” (Slumdog Millionaire)
”O Saya,” (Slumdog Millionaire)

BEST SOUND EDITING
The Dark Knight
Iron Man
Slumdog Millionaire
WALL-E
Wanted

BEST SOUND MIXING
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
Slumdog Millionaire
WALL-E
Wanted

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
Iron Man

Notes on the nominees:

1) Pleasant surprises: Richard Jenkins and Melissa Leo’s nominations for two very small indie flicks that were much revered ( Frozen River was a Sundance 2008 fave and award winner). They were also early 2008 releases and i was afraid they’d both be lost to later, showier parts. Leo you may remember from Homicide: Life On the Street. Jenkins is one of those ” That guy” actors ( I remember him as the psychiatrist Ben Stiller talks to at the beginning of There’s Something About Mary).

2) Stunned- STUNNED- but overjoyed by Michael Shannon’s nomination for Revolutionary Road. He had little buzz due to the Heath Ledger noise. He also has no shot, nor do Robert Downey Jr., Phillip Seymour Hoffman, or Josh Brolin, although Brolin has an outside shot ( he has actually won some critics awards). But if he was noticed by the Academy, Shannon’s odds might be better than we realize.

3) Expect Wall-E to win Animated. The other two flicks don’t stand a chance.

4) Dance With Bashir will win the Foreign Language award, even though Italy’s Gommorra was by far the best foreign film of the year ( it wasn’t nominated. What up?)

5) Peter Gabriel will be an Oscar winner for best song.

6) Best Doc Feature is a toss up between the stunning and engrossing Man On Wire, which has dominated pre Oscar shows. But do not count out the moving Trouble The Water. It’s about Katrina and the aftermath.

7) Robert Downey Jr’s nomination is only his second. Seriously.

8) Kate Winslet was nominated for the wrong movie. Therefore she will lose to Anne Hathaway unless they give it to Meryl, who gave what is possibly my least favorite performance of these nominees, but it’s MERYL.

9) Expect Mickey Rourke, Penelope Cruz to win for their categories. Cruz is a supporting actress nominee in a Woody Allen film. It worked for Mira Sorvino and Dianne Weist ( twice).

10) Benjamin Button leads with thirteen, Slumdog has ten, Frost/Nixon five, Milk eight, The Reader five, Doubt five, The Dark Knight  eight ( mostly in lesser tech categories), and Wall-E five.

11) Movie that gets to call itself an Oscar nominee despite being crap- Hellboy II.

12) Viola Davis is onscreen in Doubt for about five minutes.

13) Apparently the Academy preferred the turgid, lumbering The Reader to the astonishingly acted, but cutting and depressing Revolutionary Road, which is clearly the superior film. Kate was resplendent in the latter, and as much as I love her, her performance in the former left me cold. RR picked up a few nods in lesser categories.

14) All the best directors have their pictures nominated as well. Remember, the Academy has a tendency to have a best picture nominee that apparently directed itself in the mix.

15) If Slumdog does indeed prevail, it will have done so without a single acting nomination. I can’t recall the last time that happened off the top of my head.

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I know I have not posted much on the Globes Sunday ( or much at all this week), but I must post from an undisclosed location until my Internet issues are all worked out. And American Idol has started, but those posts do not start till the real competition starts after Hollywood week. Although I must say this about Idol- they’re trying to kill me with sadness this year.

But back to what I’m really here to post about, and maybe a post script or two afterwards. It’s still Award season. Oscar noms come out in a few days and you know I’ll be all over that. The race got really interesting over GG weekend as Slumdog Millionairepulled into front runner position over Benjamin Button, and Kate Winslet’s stock rose 1000% with her double win- we knew she’d score one if not two noms, but she’s now on the inside track to win one, as Anne Hathaway’s stock drops and Sally Hawkins must convince Academy voters happy is just as difficult to play as middle class ennui. Kate is one of the most deserving actresses out there, and a double shot of Oscar love next week would top her out at seven nominations by the age of 32. Even Meryl didn’t do that. I’m still not convinced Kate will win one, though, as Penelope Cruz is tough competition. But seeing that both Cruz and Hawkins are in lighter films, maybe Kate the Great will sneak in and win one. She will definitely not win both. Look for Mickey Rourke to be the front runner as well, but don’t count out Sean Penn. Heath Ledger is the closest thing to a sure bet this year. Say what you will about Oscar- every once in a while, he gets some interesting material to work with.

PS- still loving Hugh Jackman as Oscar host, but I love the guy anyway ( WOLVERINE! Sorry…). And I’m actually in favor of keeping the names of presenters secret till show time. We know some will be there ( tradition states last years acting winners present the acting awards). But the rest- well, makes me wonder.

BAFTA noms were announced today, and are as follow ( my picks for winner in bold, naturally):

BEST FILM
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Frost/Nixon
Milk
The Reader
Slumdog Millionaire

DIRECTOR
Clint Eastwood (Changeling)
David Fincher (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button)
Ron Howard (Frost/Nixon)
Stephen Daldry (The Reader)
Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire)

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Burn After Reading— Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Changeling— J. Michael Straczynski
I’ve Loved You So Long— Philippe Claudel
In Bruges — Martin McDonagh
Milk — Dustin Lance Black

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button — Eric Roth
Frost/Nixon — Peter Morgan
The Reader — David Hare
Revolutionary Road— Justin Haythe
Slumdog MillionaireSimon Beaufoy

LEADING ACTOR
Frank Langella (Frost/Nixon)
Dev Patel (Slumdog Millionaire)
Sean Penn (Milk)
Brad Pitt (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button)
Mickey Rourke (The Wrestler)

LEADING ACTRESS
Angelina Jolie (Changeling)
Kristin Scott Thomas (I’ve Loved You So Long)
Meryl Streep (Doubt)
Kate Winslet (The Reader)
Kate Winslet (Revolutionary Road)

SUPPORTING ACTOR
Robert Downey Jr. (Tropic Thunder)
Brendan Gleeson (In Bruges)
Philip Seymour Hoffman (Doubt)
Heath Ledger (The Dark Knight)
Brad Pitt (Burn After Reading)

SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Amy Adams (Doubt)
Penelope Cruz (Vicky Cristina Barcelona)
Freida Pinto (Slumdog Millionaire)
Tilda Swinton (Burn After Reading)
Marisa Tomei (The Wrestler)

OUTSTANDING BRITISH FILM
Hunger
In Bruges
Mamma Mia!
Man on Wire
Slumdog Millionaire

FILM NOT IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE
The Baader Meinhof Complex
Gomorrah
I’ve Loved You So Long
Persepolis
Waltz With Bashir

ANIMATED FILM
Persepolis
Wall-E
Waltz With Bashir

Also on the horizon- the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony. Granted, this is not really an award show award show, but I still love it. This year, our inductees are Metallica ( well, okay, while their attitude about fan sharing pisses me off, they did define modern heavy metal, so yeah, they deserve it), RUN-DMC ( hellz yeah, they made hip hop mainstream, used rock riffs as samples, and btw, ” It’s Tricky” is on SingStar 80s, and it’s really difficult for this rock girl, who bombed), Jeff Beck ( duh! moment), Bobby Womack ( sure, why not?), and Little Anthony and the Imperials ( 50s era- nice throwback, more influential on soul than you might think). Nice list, a fair list, and people who bitch about hip hop being in the HOF need to shove it up their asses. Country and pop artists get inducted. In all honesty, while called the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, it’s always been more inclusionary and has come off as a music Hall of Fame. But no Heart and no Cheap Trick makes me cranky.

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First, how awesome that the cast of HIMYM are getting raises and an extension? They deserve it. Too think, this show was a bubble show. Now, where are the glory gifts for TBBT boys and Kaley?

Second, Slumdog Millionaire picked up five at the Critic’s Choice awards.

Third, Neil Patrick Harris is on SNL Saturday.

Fourth, the Golden Globes air Sunday.

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Michael Phelps, the 2008 Summer Olympics

Seriously, it’s an achievement that transcends nationality. Eight gold medals in the pool, and the guy becomes an instant celebrity.

Kristy Yamaguchi, Dancing With the Stars

The spring season was far superior to the recent fall one, despite the telegraphed ending. There was no way Kristy could lose outright, as she had the poise, elegance, and flexibility engineered into her figure skater’s soul. But the touching back story presented made me shed a tear, and her beautiful family made me smile. No one deserved it more. And her dancing? Phenomenal.

Heath  Ledger as the Joker, The Dark Knight


I finally saw it people. And it blew me away. Never big on Batman ( I prefer Batman, though, to Superman, but the X-Men rock my universe), But Ledger’s deliciously over the top, yet oddly restrained mad man just made me smile, then I remembered what we lost, and the sadness can be all consumming.

Jim Parsons as Dr. Sheldon Cooper, The Big Bang Theory

3

An astonishing comic performance from start to finish, a man blessed with impeccable timing and a fastidiousness that puts Niles Crane and Felix Unger to shame. But most crucially is despite Sheldon’s arrogant and haughty demeanor, we adore him, mostly because he really doesn’t give a rat’s ass about social mores and conventions, but also because he is actually surprisingly sweet in his own geektastic way, as the Saturnalia miracle hug he gave Penny indicated. It’s enough for this reviewer to admit that, yeah, I have a bit of a crush. I would not, however, give him a healthy ovum to grow his own Leonard Nimoy. That borders on supervillain-esque. And yet, I like how supervillain-esque Sheldon is. Jim Parsons is a comedic gem, and damn it, he deserves that Emmy slot currently taken up by Charlie Sheen ( I know I’m digressing, but the Emmys voted the wrong Chuck Lorre comedy into the awards- The Big Bang Theory is far superior).

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American Film Institutes Top Ten of 2008:

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
Frost/Nixon
Frozen River
Gran Torino
Iron Man
Milk
Wall-E
Wendy and Lucy
The Wrestler

The Boston Film Critics Circle ( runner-ups in brackets)

Film:WALL-E” and “Slumdog Millionaire” (“Milk”)
Director: Gus Van Sant “Milk” and “Paranoid Park” (Danny Boyle and Loveleen Tandan“Slumdog Millionaire”)
Foreign Language:Let the Right One In” (“Waltz with Bashir”)
Ensemble:Tropic Thunder” (“The Visitor”)
Actor: Mickey Rourke, “The Wrestler” and Sean Penn in “Milk” (Frank Langella in “Frost/Nixon” and Richard Jenkins in “The Visitor”)
Actress: Sally Hawkins in “Happy-Go-Lucky” (Anne Hathaway in “Rachel Getting Married”)
Supporting Actor: Heath Ledger, “The Dark Knight” (Robert Downey, “Tropic Thunder”)
Supporting Actress: Penélope Cruz in “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” (Viola Davis “Doubt”)
Screenplay: Dustin Lance Black, “Milk” (Mike Leigh “Happy Go Lucky”)
First Film: Martin McDonagh “In Bruges” (Courtney Hunt, “Frozen River”; Lance Hammer, “Ballast”)
Documentary:Man on Wire” (“Young@Heart”)
Cinematography: Christopher Doyle and Rain Kathy Li, “Paranoid Park” (Anthony Dod Mantle, “Slumdog Millionaire”)
Editing: Chris Dickens, “Slumdog Millionaire” (Gus Van Sant, “Paranoid Park”)
Animated Film: “WALL-E” (“Waltz with Bashir”)

Best Movie Series of 2008
The Complete Joseph Losey (HFA)
Minnelli’s Melodramas (HFA)
No Borders, No Limits: Nikkatsu Action & 60s Japan (Brattle)
Return to the Grindhouse (Brattle)
Unseen Noir (HFA)

Best Revival of 2008
Taking Off (The Films of Milos Forman, MFA)
Noon Wine (Sam Peckinpah, Blood Poet, HFA)
The Exiles (MFA)
Underworld (Somerville Theatre)
Lola Montes (Coolidge Corner)

Special Awards
The BSFC would like to commend Bo Smith on the occasion of his departure as film curator of the Museum of Fine Arts. In his more than two decades at the helm of the film program, Bo brought a remarkable collection of film series and film artists to Boston and had a strong hand in making it one of the leading cities in the country to view non-mainstream and especially foreign film.

Stefanie Lubkowski, who has recently left the Museum of Fine Arts film program after several years there, catered tirelessly to our needs as Film & Concerts Press Coordinator, and, as Friends of Film Coordinator, brought that program online by encouraging and disseminating feedback about their special sneak previews.

Kelly Teer, manager of the Museum of Fine Arts’ auditorium for film exhibition, put a welcoming human face on a cultural institution. Before relinquishing her post this past summer after an 8-year tenure, Ms. Teer never did less than make a difficult job look easy, always ensuring smooth operations, from the box-office straight on to your seat.

Joe Zina leaves the Boston film scene immensely richer than when he stepped into the post of Executive Director of the Coolidge Corner Theatre in 1998. With tireless energy and flair, he oversaw the theater’s physical upgrade, the launch of a $2.5 million capital campaign, the institution of the Coolidge Award, and the sustaining of the Coolidge as a beloved and necessary neighborhood cultural fixture.

To Paul Sherman, for researching, authoring, and self-distributing
an instantly indispensible, one-of-a-kind film history, “Big Screen Boston: From Mystery Street to the Departed and Beyond.” For the fascinating story of Boston filmmaking, from imported blockbusters to tiny, heartfelt independents, Sherman’s book is the place to look.

To the Harvard Film Archive’s Steve Livernash, the unofficial dean of Hub 35mm projectionists, for setting a sterling example of film projection as a serious, aesthetic calling, and for extending his job definition to include film preservation. Generations of filmmakers are indebted to Steve for taking time at work to patch and mend their prints, so that the films can be projected in the proper way.

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Robert Plant and Alison Krauss’ album and Radiohead’s album are both actually 2007 releases. I’ve decided to post my top ten list from 2007 as a reminder- as it’s written on Bitten By A Cougar ( Growlin’ To The Groove, y’all, since May 2008), so no yelling at me when they do not appear on the 2008 list. I never said which year end list they would appear on.

10. Patti Smith Twelve– a cover album from the queen of poetic punk, with tracks that are personal to her in one way or another, Patti Smith cemented her position as one of the great non- traditional singers ( which is a nice way of saying, crappy voice, but compelling). My version actually has thirteen song- as I have a bonus track of her singing ” Everybody Hurts” ( and WOW!), but included are covers from Hendrix through to Tears For Fears and Nirvana.

9. Radiohead In Rainbows– it’s not about the revolutionary album release that allowed fans to pay whatever they could or would. It’s not about the band’s reluctance to share Internet sales or the fact everyone also went out and bought it on CD as soon as it was available. It’s about ” Nude”, the longtime live favorite finally put on an album, or ” Jigsaw Falling Into Place”, or ” Bodysnatchers”, or ” House Of Cards”… the album is one of their best.

8. Tegan and Sara The Con– twin sisters from Calgary make pretty pop songs, with help from Matt Sharp, Jason McGerr, and Hunter Burgan. With jangly piano matched with dark lyrics about crumbling relationships, this album sounds like the most happy nervous breakdown in music since Brian Wilson.

7. Mika Life In Cartoon Motion– I think it may be clear I have a soft spot for dance pop i refuse to acknowledge. But from the moment I first heard the bass and piano lines that open ” Grace Kelly”, I was hooked on the classically inspired Mika’s new brand of clubland fun. This album is what I listen to when I’m doing housework or I just need to feel alive.

6. Amy Winehouse Back To Black– oh, the voice- perfect for neo jazz soul. But as we watch the train wreck that is Amy Winehouse on CNN, we might forget that underneath Mark Ronson and Salaam Remi’s exquisite production is a girl with an incredible voice. The sly ” You Know I’m No Good”, the mournful title track, and the horns and demons ” Rehab” all stick out, but then there is ” Tears Dry On Their Own”, with musical references to Tammi Terrell and Marvin Gaye, that remains my favorite song.

5. Alicia Keys As I Am– a child prodigy who skipped Columbia University for a record deal at J, she made a huge splash with her debut, only to keep the momentum up with her follow up. Nobody has strung three quality albums off a debut like that since… well, the Beatles. So as her third studio album hit the store, a lot of critics sharpened knives only to discover she just gets better ( at least, most of them. Some people just do not like her). First single ” No One” is still astonishing in it’s musical maturity, and ” Teenage Love Affair” is expert storytelling.

4. Foo Fighters Echos, Silence, Patience, and Grace– from the fierce guitars on opener ” The Pretender” and the more sunshine pop with death knell lyrics of ” Long Road To Ruin” ( which was teamed with one of the bands trademark hilarious videos), to the emo slamming ” Cheer Up Boys ( You’re Make Up Is Running)”, and the acoustic, mournful instrumental ” Ballad Of The Beaconsfield Miners”, the band is at top form. I love ” Home”, the album closer.

3. Robert Plant and Alison Krauss Raising Sand– seriously, this was not supposed to work. The Ultimate Cock Rock God mashed with the ultimate Bluegrass Queen? The gentle voice of a sweet girl mixing with the wild expense of the king of hard rock? But from the moment they start on ” Rich Woman” and nail songs from Sam Phillips, Gene Clark, The Everly Brothers ( huge hit ” Gone, Gone, Gone”), Townes Van Zandt, and Tom Waits, you realize that they are actually made for each other, and you enjoy the subtle mix of two music worlds.

2. The White Stripes Icky Thump– I am in awe of Jack White’s talent, and this album, stepped in British influence ( due to Jack’s marriage to model Karen Elson, who is from Northern England, where the album title hails from as a colloquialism), is amazing. It’s not the type I’ll listen to once a week ( I believe I’m in agreement with Robert Christgau on his assessment that it’s a grand monument, but I wouldn’t wan to settle there), but when I do pull it out and listen, I’m always amazed.

1. Arcade Fire Neon Bible– they wrote a song about Joe Simpson, named it ” ( Antichrist Television Blues)”. They threw into their hodge podge orchestra a hurdygurdy. They sing of cars, Americana, french fables, Haitian troubles, and escaping. They aim for grandiosity and achieve it. A magnificent album, one that has yet to leave my CD changer in eighteen months.

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What another craptastic year in music. That’s the point, I guess. But some happy things happened in the nominees this year. Yes, there is a token old timer, but that old timer is Robert ” I’m the lead singer of fucking Led Zeppelin” Plant with Alison Krauss, and that album is so freakin’ awesome. There’s a favored rapper, but it’s the twisted and gifted Lil Wayne.  There are the young chanteuses with golden voices, but they’re both British and one ( Adele) has barely made a dent on the charts.  And there are the giants- Radiohead and Coldplay. Overall, the list this year is better than most.

Now for the play by play…

Album of the Year
Coldplay, Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends
Lil Wayne, Tha Carter III
Ne-Yo, Year of the Gentleman
Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, Raising Sand
Radiohead, In Rainbows

All five of these are on my year end list ( guess where they are, you get a ” Lollipop”. Heh.) But despite it’s groundbreaking release, I think Radiohead is the underdog. They get nominated often, but the don’t win in the big one ( remember OK Computer?)  Lil Wayne- one of the best albums of the year, but seriously, do you see it winning with the panel form the Jurassic era running the show? Ne-Yo is a mere tot, and his album is the weakest of the five. It comes down to Coldplay and Plant and Krauss. I’m giving it to Plant and Krauss. Because they are freaking awesome! And T-Bone Burnett produced this gem of covers.

Best New Artist
Adele
Duffy
Jonas Brothers
Lady Antebellum
Jazmine Sullivan

Who will win? Don’t be surprised if the Jonas Brothers did, because despite myself, I give begrudging respect to fifteen year old Nick, who writes those songs, and his clear gift for melody. Who should win? Adele. That girl sings from her toes, and that voice is so freakin’ soulful, she makes Amy Winehouse sound like she’s the lead singer from Bread.

Record of the Year
Adele, “Chasing Pavements”
Coldplay, “Viva la Vida”
Leona Lewis, “Bleeding Love”
M.I.A., “Paper Planes”
Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, “Please Read the Letter”

When you see my year end lists, three of these songs are in my top twenty five. Clearly this one is one of them.

Song of the Year
Estelle (featuring Kanye West), “American Boy”
Adele, “Chasing Pavements”
Jason Mraz, “I’m Yours”
Sara Bareilles, “Love Song”
Coldplay, “Viva la Vida”

Yeah, I know. Mraz is more interesting, Adele’s  is the best of the lot, Bareilles’ was everywhere, and Estelle’s should break her here ( seriously, she’s another Brit beauty with a voice like a sodding angel). But Coldplay’s anthemic piano pop is what Grammy voters eat up. And they’re Coldplay- the biggest band on the planet when U2 is on vaycay.

Best Alternative Music Album
Beck, Modern Guilt
Death Cab for Cutie, Narrow Stairs
Gnarls Barkley, The Odd Couple
My Morning Jacket, Evil Urges
Radiohead, In Rainbows

Um… duh, yeah. Jeez. MMJ is a close second.

It’s a pretty safe bet that if they’re nominated in the big categories, they should win the subs- Coldplay in rock and pop, Lil Wayne in Rap, and so on.

Question- why is Beyonce nominated for ” Me Myself and I”? Wasn’t that on her first solo album back five years ago? Did I miss something?

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Confession time:

A) I bought all three episodes of Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog– Neil Patrick Harris, how I wish you were straight, but I’ll settle with you being my GBFF- but… I haven’t found time to watch them yet. I am a horrible, horrible person. Whedon fans, throw me out of the club. I deserve it.

B) Criminal Minds and House are airing opposite each other tonight. I’ll be watching CM. I am aware it’s on tomorrow, too, but damn, I love my show. But no recap review till after tomorrow. There are spoilers and there is giving away entire episodes.

C) I bought two Miley Cyrus songs on I Tunes, under the guise of buying them for my daughter ( Happy Birthday, Sweetie!) but they’re really for both of us. I’ll get my music geek card pulled for that.

D) Speaking of which, the most played song on my I Pod last week was the Jonas Brothers’ ” SOS”.

E) I have officially given up on Fringe. It breaks my heart, because I love Joshua Jackson and JJ Abrams, but I am not getting into it the way I got into Buffy or X-Files. I’m sad. Where is my slice of network sci-fi heaven?

F) Currently reading my screenplay, which I finished in first draft and am now editing. Stuff not mine?  Richard Brautigan. I bought a collection that includes In Watermelon Sugar and I’m going to tackle the Joycean labyrinth.

G) But I’m also reading a book called I Hate Myself And I Want to Die, which is about the most depressing songs of all time. And is hi-fucking-larious.

H) Yes, I am watching Dancing With the Stars, as I have no life.

I) I will be watching So You Think you Can Dance Canada on Wednesday because MARY’S ON!!!! WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

J) FAvorite song this week is – duh duhn DUUUUUUHHHHHN!!!!- tHe Isley Brother’s ” Shout Parts 1&2″. Awesomeness.

K) I am starting to prep various year end lists. I will also take suggestions for any type of list you’d like to see. I do the typical Song, Album, Movie, TV Show lists. I’d like to know if there is anything else you want me to talk about. Drop a line in comments or whatever.

L) Some eye candy:

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Do not forget that David Cook will appear on SNL this upcoming Saturday ( the 1st of November). Just a gentle reminder to all the gurls from BBAC land. Because I’m OCD that way.

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Roger Ebert is my hero.

If my massive collection of Italian neo realism wasn’t the first clue, or the fact that The Umbrellas Of Cherbourg is my favorite film the second clue, I am kind of almost a big a movie geek as my Dylan and Waits obsessed music collection will let me be. I watch way too many movies, a massive achievement when  you realize how much TV I watch in a week ( less surprising when you realize I sleep for four hours a night because I’m re-watching some Hitchcock film on TCM for the trillionth time- usually Strangers On A Train).  Ebert brought me to many films I never would have considered watching based on my first instinct, simply because as good as my instinct is, his is better. I have hated the movies he’s hated 99% of the time, and loved the ones he loves about 75% of the time ( the rest are mutually respectful WTF moments).

Ebert has won a Pulitzer for film criticism. I don’t know if film critics regularly win Pulitzers. I will never win a Pulitzer, and my writing doesn’t suck. Even if I were as great as Ebert with the turn of a phrase, I’d still be writing five line reviews for some cheap ass weekly somewhere. Why? Because I have an inability to keep my mouth shut about extraneous matters, and therefore, I ramble. Ebert doesn’t ramble. He’s precise. I love him because I envy that very thing.

Last week, Ebert deigned to post a review of a film called Tru Loved. The film automatically gets a point knocked off from my scale simply because I hate cutesy titles like that. So it currently sits at a A review, because I haven’t seen it.

Ebert saw it. Sorta.

He saw about eight minutes. Then he walked out.

He posted his review, which was pretty scathing. Then he dropped the news of his departure and apparently created a bit of a firestorm. The pro and anti Ebert factions came out in droves, but there were valid points mixed in between the arguments, Namely- if you are paid to review something, isn’t walking out poor taste and actually fraud?

Fraud may be taking it too far, but I see the point. If I’m paid to review a movie, I should sit through it or not write the review if I don’t make it, for whatever reason.

On the other hand, I’m against wasting my time. I’m against wasting other peoples time. If I think an album is so bad it should never be heard by the ears of humans, I’d say so, and I’d tell them exactly why, and where I stopped listening before I shoved the pencils in my ears. And I listen to the Butthole Surfers religiously, so you know it’d have to be heinous for me to refuse to even finish listening.

In the end, reading his review, I came to the conclusion that in fact, he was actually brave to do what he did. His trepidations and other thoughts can be found on his blog,

but I encourage to read the comments as well. He responds on ocassion, and they are so worth the read.

I’ve only once in my life refused to finish listening to an album. It was an album by The Clash, shockingly enough, and it was called Cut The Crap. I cried for an hour after the first track because I wanted to know what the hell happened to my favorite band.

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Checking my blog traffic today, I notice spikes every time I mention Criminal Minds, Matthew Gray Gubler, and David Cook. So, in order to keep you coming back, here are my gratuitous mentions of Criminal Minds, Matthew Gray Gubler, and David Cook. And for good measure, I’ll throw in Jason Segel, even though you really can’t have him, he’s mine.

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First…

To all Cougars, and you all know who you are.

Please, chill out about the news about DC and the Grammys. I agree with his people not submitting LO and TOML for consideration. TOML is not a song I want him associated with for longer than necessary, and LO would be lost in the eligibility shuffle ( cut off was September 30). Trust me when I say he is doing the right thing, please?

Thank you for not stroking out before I told you all this.

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Sorry- I’ve been exhausted and busy all week. But I will have at least one review up tonight, I swear. Swear swear…

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Upcoming…

This weekend, I’ll be posting some reviews and recaps I have yet to do due to time. I’m looking at House, HIMYM, last night’s CM, and a review of Jenny Lewis’ new album. I’ll try my best to get them all done.

***UPDATE***

I guess that was a wash…

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