Archive for January, 2007

Oscars Wild: Oscar nominations for 2006

Posted in Academy Awards, humor, movies, Oscars with tags , , , , on January 25, 2007 by Paxton

Oscars Wild!

Well, it’s mid-January and everyone should be girding their loins for two of my favorite beginning-of-the-year events. First is the SuperBowl on Feb 4. My boy Peyton Manning takes on the phenomenal defense of the Chicago Bears. Should be a good matchup. After the SuperBowl is the Academy Awards.

Being movie buffs, the wife and I love the Oscars. For several years we threw Oscars parties and everyone would contribute 5 bucks to the betting pool. We printed out ballots and had everyone select who they thought the winners were going to be and the one with the most points wins the whole she-bang. As a tie breaker you had to pick the running time of the show without going over. It’s a lot of fun and makes categories like Best Foreign Language Film or Documentary Feature a little more exciting. We didn’t throw the party last year but we are thinking about doing it this year.

Well, the Oscar nominations were announced on Tuesday. As usual, there are some oversights and a few, “They nominated wha?!”. Since I obviously know better than the Academy, I thought I’d take a stroll through some of the academy’s decisions this year. You may disagree with many or all of my comments, but these are only my opinions. We may very well have wildly differing tastes in movies. I just ask that you take this list in jest. Moving on to some nominees…..

Best Leading Actor:
Leonardo DiCaprio – Blood Diamond – This is nice, but I would have put his performance in The Departed here instead. He’s good in Blood Diamond, but better in The Departed.
Ryan Gosling – Half Nelson – The dude from Notebook was in another movie? Who knew?
Peter O’Toole – Venus – This is a fabulous choice by the Academy, as O’Toole is a fine actor. It’s too bad I’ve never even HEARD of the movie Venus. Is it about the planet, or the goddess of love? And why should I care?
Will Smith – Pursuit of Happyness – Does it bother anyone else that they misspelled Happiness in the movie title? Anyone?
Forest Whitaker – The Last King of Scotland – What’s with the wierd movie titles? Forest plays Idi Amin who, last I checked, was black and not from Scotland.

Best Leading Actress:
Penelope Cruz – Volver – Um. Okay. Did I go to bed and wake up in Spain? WTF?! Yahoo Movies says it’s a generational story of three women set in Spain. It might as well have said ‘Don’t Watch Me, I Suck’.
Judi Dench – Notes on a Scandal – I think Judi Dench puts in all of her contracts that she will be nominated for her performance. That’s just how she rolls.
Helen Mirren – The Queen – Excellent choice. Saw this last weekend. Phenomenal performance.
Meryl Streep – The Devil Wears Prada – The Devil Wears Prada is now an oscar nominated movie? I think Meryl Streep might also be on the must-nominate list. She could star in the auto-biography of Carrot-Top, playing Carrot-Top, and still be nominated.
Kate Winslet – Little Children – I love Kate Winslet. She’s gorgeous and a wonderful actress. However, despite being in roughly 20 movies since Titanic in 1997, off the top of my head I can remember only 2. Of those 2 I can remember, I’ve seen only 1. This isn’t either one of those.

Best Picture:
Babel – Even the trailers for this look bad. The plot description on Internet Movie Database begins ‘A poor Morrocan family acquires a rifle to protect their goats…’ Sounds like a winner, but I’ll be in Theater 2 watching Pirates of the Caribbean 3.
The Departed – This is what I’m talkin’ bout, Academy. More like this, please.
Letters from Iwo Jima – I can understand why this made it. I haven’t seen it, but I don’t like war movies, or war veteran movies, so I have no interest. You could also substitute United 93 or World Trade Center here. Same thing.
Little Miss Sunshine – I’m speechless that this little gem of a movie made it to Best Picture. Wonderful cast, funny dialogue, crazy situations. Something the Academy should recognize more. Nicely done.
The Queen – Another wonderfully acted movie. I’m happy that Mirren is recognized above, but I’m sad Michael Sheen who plays Tony Blair is not also recognized (as Supporting Actor, not Best Actress). He is just as good as Mirren.

Best Director:

Babel – Goat protecting gets a best director. Really?
The Departed – Scorsese. Represent, yo!
Letters from Iwo Jima – Sentimental. Patriotic. Yada yada.
The Queen – Good choice.
United 93 – Wha? So you are saying Little Miss Sunshine is a better movie but United 93 has a better director? Whatever, dude.

Some quick shots on other categories:

Mark Wahlberg in The Departed for Supporting Actor? Not that he was bad, but his character disappears halfway through the movie. A better choice would have been Jack Nicholson in The Departed. He was awesome (and I don’t really even like him). I’m a little sad that no other actor in The Departed is recognized for their performance. They were all spot on.

The movie An Inconvenient Truth got a nod for Best Original Song? It’s a documentary. About the weather. I guess Dreamgirls didn’t have a fourth song to nominate.

Borat got a nom for Best Adapted Screenplay? ADAPTED? From what? Is there a Borat novel out there I’m unaware of? Or a Broadway play, maybe?

I’m loving that American Idol alum Jennifer Hudson has a nomination for Best Supporting Actress and Beyonce “You Must Not Know ’bout Me” Knowles got nothing.

As usual the Academy nominated a bunch of stuff most of America will never get to see, so it keeps things interesting. Bottom line, like what you like, not what the Academy tells you to like. If Dreamgirls is your Best Picture, then so be it. If Borat was your Best Picture, then fine. No one can tell you what a better movie is. It’s all subjective.

Regardless, this year should be a good broadcast. Check it out on February 25, 2007 at 8pm EST.

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Jack. Is. Back.

Posted in 24, humor, Jack Bauer, reviews, TV, TV shows with tags , , on January 18, 2007 by Paxton

Well, for those in the know, 24 started on Sunday night with a 2 hour season premier extravaganza. It continued with another 2 hour free-for-all on Monday night. It’s official, Season 6 has begun, and I am hooked…AGAIN.

This year, Jack has already escaped from Chinese torture, been traded by our government to a terrorist in order to be killed, barely escaped a military air strike and watched a nuclear bomb detonate just outside Los Angeles. And that’s just in the first four hours. Sweet Jesus, what’s going to happen in the next 20 hours? Tune in Monday nights to find out, my friends.

Jack Bauer gets put in the worst situations. I have no idea how the guy is still sane, much less alive. He’s willingly become an enemy of the government, tortured and killed civilians and foreigners (guilty and innocent), and pretty much given up the possibility of a normal life outside his job all to serve his President (whoever that may be at any given time). Yet, despite all his sacrifices, key people in the government STILL do not trust or believe him. Jack could be sent by the government on a suicide mission to capture the head of a terrorist organization, somehow manages to gain the upper hand against 20 heavily armed men, kill only the people in the room that was necessary while maybe seriously injuring a few others, gain critical information from the terrorists (that will eventually save the government’s ass) yet when he presents this critical information to the higher-ups, he is believed by maybe 3 out of 10 people. THREE out of ten people. WTF?! BUT, to be fair, the 3 out of the 10 people that believe him, are the ones that matter. It’s those holy trinity of individuals who help Jack covertly carry out his job despite the ever looming possibility that those helpers will be fired, or worse, killed. The other seven of ten people are politicians with hidden agendas trying to keep Jack from yet again saving the world. That’s the wonderful bitter irony of this show. Jack Bauer will save the day, even if the politicians of this country don’t really want him to. What chance do pasty politicians have, Jack’s survived 2 nuclear bombs for chrissake. TWO. Ya betta recognize.

Steph asked me the other night who I would want with me trapped in the woods being hunted by terrorists, Jack Bauer or MacGuyver? Great, great question. I had to think about this one. Either way you are leaving those woods alive, the only difference is, with Jack Bauer, the terrorists won’t. MacGuyver would fashion a distracting bomb out of dirt and tree sap then figure a way to signal for help from a passing military plane. Jack, would ambush the terrorists, gut them like fish, then torture the leader until he told the location of the nuclear bomb, the terrorist hideout, his atm code and his favorite hat. The only problem is, when Jack returns to base, his bosses are going to laugh at the information he received as unreliable. Poor, pitiful bureaucrats.

For those that don’t know, 24 airs on Monday nights.

For some fun, random facts about Jack Bauer click here. Hit F5 after reading the fact to get a new one.

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Fun With Yahoo! Avatars

Posted in avatars, Elvis, humor, internet, random, technology, Yahoo with tags , , on January 10, 2007 by Paxton

Avatars are pretty cool. They are little graphical representations of yourself you can use in Internet chats, fantasy sports or any website that uses a profile. Some people use pictures of celebrities or random objects, but some sites let you create your own little icon.

Several years ago I stumbled upon the South Park Studio. This website lets you create cool images of yourself as a South Park character by letting you choose different aspects of your appearance (ie hair, clothes, body). I created a picture of myself as a character and when I began this blog I used it as my profile picture. I even created a santa suit version which I used just recently during the holiday season. There’s also a website called StorTroopers where you can create cartoon versions of yourself (seen here). Call me a narcissist, but creating little cartoons of myself is fun and fascinating.

Well, I was playing around on my Yahoo! account and noticed that you can create your own avatars for use with your Yahoo! profile. Needless to say, I was floored. I started playing around with it and you can create some pretty cool stuff. You can create your avatars as anything you want and it doesn’t even have to look like you. So, I created a few and saved them as my favorites. Let’s take a look, shall we?

This is my normal avatar. I created it earlier last year and I use it as my default. Pretty plain jane, but it looks like me and I like the clubbin’ background. This one can go with or without glasses.

Ahh, yes. Everyone, set your faces to ROCKED!!! This avatar is so unbelievably awesome that you can’t look directly at it for fear of burning out your retinas. Ladies, try not to lose control and start throwing your panties at the screen. While the gesture is appreciated…and understood…it could be embarrassing for you if you are at work…or your parent’s house. As you can see, this avatar is me in an Elvis jumpsuit next to the Las Vegas sign. This is now becoming my default avatar. This will seem familiar to those of you who have seen me in my totally kick ass Halloween costume.

This avatar shows “alternate universe Pax” where I grew up on the “wrong side of the tracks” (FYI…the left side) and I don’t “keep my hair clean”. Check out that gi-normous dragon tattoo on my arm. On anyone else, that tat would seem cliche, but it looks pretty BAD ASS on me. I might have to make that a reality. Oh, you may be wondering why I’m walking through a pretty, floral arbor…well, obviously, since this is “alternate universe Pax”, I’m attending a Sunday afternoon tea at someone’s house. Duh. Hope they have blueberry scones.

It seems Yahoo! avatars pretty much have any situation I can think of covered. What if I wanted to see me in an aerobics class wearing red long johns and a sombrero? Ooooooo, Yahoo!, you are good.

How about me in a turkey costume standing on the moon? Well, played, Yahoo!, well played.

It looks like you won this round, Yahoo! Avatar, but I’ll be back. I’ll. Be. Back.

……………..wearing lederhosen, standing next to a unicorn in front of a bunch of lightbulbs? DAMN YOU, YAHOO AVATAR!! DAMN YOU!!

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It’s 2007!

Posted in holiday, New Year's, personal with tags , on January 1, 2007 by Paxton

Well, it’s 2007. Where the hell did 2006 go? Last night Steph and I went with Dave and Marlene to St Augustine for dinner at a Spanish restaurant called Columbia. You picked from several things on the menu for a 5 course meal. Unbelievably good. I ate so much I wanted to cut open my stomach, let my dinner pour out, then eat some more. I could really have used my friend Steve’s “The Bucket” (some of you know what I’m talking about). After that we chilled at this cool upstairs piano/wine bar called Sangria’s. We rung in the New Year in the St Augustine town square sipping champagne by the giant Xmas tree. Marlene was a trooper for staying out that late because she was battling a cold yet still refused to call it a night. She gets 2007’s first Ironman trophy. Hope everyone else had as much fun as I did during New Year’s Eve. Right now I’m watching my Auburn Tigers try to squeak by Nebraska in the Cotton Bowl. GO TIGERS!!

I may not have a new blog article for another week. I gotta get back into the grind of work before I can start thinking of random crap to bore the hell out of you each week.

Have a good day and I hope your 2007 is the best it can be.