Screen Junkies » Oscar’s http://www.screenjunkies.com Movie Reviews & TV Show Reviews Wed, 26 Nov 2014 19:27:26 +0000 en hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.3.1 Neil Patrick Harris Was The Fourth Choice To Host The Oscars. Here Were The First Three. http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-news/neil-patrick-harris-was-the-fourth-choice-to-host-the-oscars-here-were-the-first-three/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-news/neil-patrick-harris-was-the-fourth-choice-to-host-the-oscars-here-were-the-first-three/#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 23:25:17 +0000 Penn Collins http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=266463 Number four on the list, number one in our hearts.

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While Neil Patrick Harris seems like he as born to host the Oscars, and has garnered high hopes since his announcement two weeks ago, he was not the first choice of this year’s producers. Who also happen to be last year’s producers. No, he was not the first choice, he was not the second choice, and he wasn’t the third choice. Those honors go to Ellen DeGeneres, Chris Rock, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus, respectively.

I really can’t imagine Chris Rock or Julia Louis-Dreyfus buying into the annual Hollywood circle-jerk (though Rock did host once before), so they passed, and DeGeneres just didn’t want to do it again. That brings us to Doogie.

It’s a pretty thankless gig, and the producers should be happy they were able to score NPH for hosting duties. Hopefully, his introduction will include many, many, many clips from Gone Girl to get the crowd fired up!

(THR)

 

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Neil Patrick Harris To (Finally) Host The Oscars http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/neil-patrick-harris-to-finally-host-the-oscars/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/neil-patrick-harris-to-finally-host-the-oscars/#comments Wed, 15 Oct 2014 13:35:43 +0000 Penn Collins http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=266241 I DARE you to argue with this choice.

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Word has come from those fat cats in Hollywood that Neil Patrick Harris, the homosexual that all of America can agree on, will be hosting the next Oscar ceremony on Sunday, February 22nd, 2015. As usual, the ceremony will take place at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood.

NPH has developed into a strong candidate the past few years, having taken winning stabs at hosting the Emmys twice, and the Tonys four times.

The news came from Academy Awards producer Neil Meron, who Tweeted out the announcement (like some sort of teenager):

You don’t capitalize “thrilled” unless you’re really thrilled about some news. Also, you don’t need to put the same hashtag twice in a Tweet. People will pick it up on a search with just one. But whatever. This isn’t about Oscar producer Neil Meron’s struggles with technology. This is about Neil Patrick Harris singing and dancing his way to the most difficult, thankless job in Hollywood.

(Deadline)

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Oscar Nominees Will Be Getting Weed Vaporizers In Their Gift Bags http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/oscar-nominees-will-be-getting-weed-vaporizers-in-their-gift-bags/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/oscar-nominees-will-be-getting-weed-vaporizers-in-their-gift-bags/#comments Mon, 18 Aug 2014 14:51:05 +0000 Penn Collins http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=264250 "It's an honor just to be nominated. Also, I can now get stoned as f*ck."

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As if getting an Oscar nod wasn’t a big enough deal already, now they’re loading up those famous gift bags with something that actually has some practical value. In addition to a $3,000 watches, expensive face creams made from orphan tears, and exotic car access, the nominees at the Oscars will be treated to getting marijuana vaporizers in their gift bag.

Even for those who don’t smoke pot, given the relaxed climate of use, and the fact that you now have that vaporizer sitting on your kitchen table, it may spur an actor or two to light up and sample the wares.

However, there are some actors that are just so un-fun and self serious that they’ll probably trash it. Yup. I was thinking about Sean Penn and Jared Leto. Lighten up, guys. Smoke some pot.

(NY Post)

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Is There A Feud Between The ’12 Years A Slave’ Writer And Director http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/is-there-a-feud-between-the-12-years-a-slave-writer-and-director/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/is-there-a-feud-between-the-12-years-a-slave-writer-and-director/#comments Tue, 04 Mar 2014 19:21:43 +0000 Penn Collins http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=259861 It appears so, yes. Please, keep reading...

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It really diminishes the gravity of the message crafted by 12 Years a Slave writer John Ridley and director Steve McQueen when, following their tale of human suffering and inequality, they can’t put their differences aside for the Oscars. Many saw the cold shoulders flying back and forth with Ridley not thanking McQueen, and McQueen offering up a sarcastic seal clap (the most insincere type of clap there is) upon Ridley’s Academy Award presentation.

So what’s the source of this consternation? By all accounts, it tracks back to dispute over a screenwriting credit. Huh. That’s pretty dumb. McQueen had requested a screenwriting credit for his work, and Ridley said no. This upset McQueen, who forbade people from speaking to Ridley and demanded seating apart from him at earlier awards shows.

Brad Pitt, a producer, eventually got involved and told McQueen to cool it during the awards season, lest the feud torpedo the film’s chances. It apparently didn’t, but the fact that we’re talking about this silly thing now, and not the film may speak to the legacy of these two bickering men.

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Stephen Colbert Offers An Oscars Wrap-Up http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/stephen-colbert-offers-an-oscars-wrap-up/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/stephen-colbert-offers-an-oscars-wrap-up/#comments Tue, 04 Mar 2014 16:42:35 +0000 Penn Collins http://www.screenjunkies.com/?post_type=video&p=259853 Why didn't he host the ceremony?

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If you ever need a little help putting a silly pop culture phenomenon in perspective, I recommend visiting Mr. Stephen Colbert. In this clip, he breaks down not only why the Oscars are so great, but also why we’re now even for the whole slavery thing.

So I guess the Oscars did what the civil rights movement and Civil War couldn’t. To be fair, though, those other two things didn’t have Jared Leto with eyeshadow and ombre hair.

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Oscars 2014 Review: Academy Award Awards http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/oscars-2014-review-academy-award-awards/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/oscars-2014-review-academy-award-awards/#comments Mon, 03 Mar 2014 19:02:12 +0000 Lyndsey Saul http://www.screenjunkies.com/?post_type=video&p=259840 Who were the REAL winners on Oscar night? Find out on the 2nd Annual GROUCHIES!!

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Well, the Academy Awards happened…but who won the REALLY important awards? Find out on the 2nd Annual GROUCHIES!!

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ReenSnackments – 2014 Academy Awards (Oscar Snacks) http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/reensnackments-2014-academy-awards-oscar-snacks/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/reensnackments-2014-academy-awards-oscar-snacks/#comments Thu, 27 Feb 2014 22:44:23 +0000 Lyndsey Saul http://www.screenjunkies.com/?post_type=video&p=259737 American Bushel. Of Corn.

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If you thought the sex scene in Her was a little uh, mushy, wait until you see bananHER. “I’m browning so hard right now.”

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Here’s A List Of All The 2014 Oscars Presenters http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-news/heres-a-list-of-all-the-2014-oscars-presenters/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-news/heres-a-list-of-all-the-2014-oscars-presenters/#comments Mon, 24 Feb 2014 16:28:11 +0000 Penn Collins http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=259597 Yup. It's just about every relevant person in Hollywood. And Whoopi Goldberg.

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In case you didn’t just assume that these people were going to be involved somehow, we’ve got the release of the full roster of Oscar presenters. No Billy Crystal, but yes Whoopi Goldberg. Other than that, there are no real surprises. No Johnny Knoxvilles or James Francos here.

So, review the list, then let it remind you that you’re a few months late on your picks for the 2014 celebrity death pool. Better get moving on that. The year’s 1/6th over already.

Amy Adams
Kristen Bell
Jessica Biel
Jim Carrey
Glenn Close
Bradley Cooper
Penélope Cruz
Benedict Cumberbatch
Viola Davis
Daniel Day-Lewis
Robert De Niro
Zac Efron
Sally Field
Harrison Ford
Jamie Foxx
Andrew Garfield
Jennifer Garner
Whoopi Goldberg
Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Anne Hathaway
Goldie Hawn
Chris Hemsworth
Kate Hudson
Samuel L. Jackson
Angelina Jolie
Michael B. Jordan
Anna Kendrick
Jennifer Lawrence
Matthew McConaughey
Ewan McGregor
Bill Murray
Kim Novak
Tyler Perry
Brad Pitt
Sidney Poitier
Gabourey Sidibe
Will Smith
Kevin Spacey
Jason Sudeikis
Channing Tatum
Charlize Theron
John Travolta
Christoph Waltz
Kerry Washington
Emma Watson
Naomi Watts

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SJ Show: Oscar Snubs And Flubs! http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/sj-show-oscar-snubs-and-flubs/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/sj-show-oscar-snubs-and-flubs/#comments Fri, 17 Jan 2014 02:08:43 +0000 Penn Collins http://www.screenjunkies.com/?post_type=video&p=258769 Come for the snubs, stay for the flubs.

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OSCAR TIME!!!!!!!!111111111111!!!!!

The nominations came out this morning, and none of us could wait to call out the people and works that were overlooked, but all of us were totally cool taking our sweet time in congratulating the winners. That’s the way we are, I guess.

Anyway, it’s only been about 12 hours since the news of the nominees broke, but we already feel like we’re WAY behind schedule in being critical of the films, the actors, and the entire nomination process. No more talking. Just watch this!

 

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Someone’s Trying To Sabotage Lana Del Rey’s Oscar Chances http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-news/someones-trying-to-sabotage-lana-del-reys-oscar-chances/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-news/someones-trying-to-sabotage-lana-del-reys-oscar-chances/#comments Fri, 20 Dec 2013 17:08:14 +0000 Penn Collins http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=258460 This mystery person is doing God's work.

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I’m a proponent of fair competition, but I hate Lana del Rey more than most other things. I should get introspective later and figure out on which side of this I fall.

An anonymous letter went to all voting Academy members saying that Lana Del Rey’s song from The Great Gatsby, “Young and Beautiful” (UGH), has been disqualified, and is no longer up for consideration.

And that’s a lie. It still very much qualifies. And while the efforts of this saboteur (“j’accuse!”) are admirable, they’re probably in vain, as she’s one of 75 entrants who made the initial cut. Still, I like this anonymous person’s moxie.

(For the sake of this effort, and the holiday season, I’ll pretend that this whole thing isn’t some elaborate PR scheme to get attention to Lana Del Rey, though, as I type this, it feels pretty obvious that’s EXACTLY what this sounds like.)

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We’ve Got A Trailer For Ellen’s Oscar-Hosting http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/weve-got-a-trailer-for-ellens-oscar-hosting/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/weve-got-a-trailer-for-ellens-oscar-hosting/#comments Fri, 20 Dec 2013 16:22:55 +0000 Penn Collins http://www.screenjunkies.com/?post_type=video&p=258455 It looks like she's coming out for a boxing match.

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It’s HOT, so check it out. Ellen DeGeneres has signed on for two years of MC’ing the Academy Awards, and she seems pretty excited about it, judging by this video.

There’s no big hook or gag here; it’s just Ellen dancing to a song with hundreds of dancers for 60 seconds. The end move is woefully anticlimactic, and I guess the cool part of this is that it’s done in one take, but it’s still a little sloppy, and if you’re not a fan of dancing…then run, don’t walk away from the 2014 Oscars.

There will be dancing.

(But also probably Jennifer Lawrence.)

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Ellen Degeneres To Host 2014 Oscars, Hathaway/Franco Snubbed For Third Consecutive Year http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-news/ellen-degeneres-to-host-2014-oscars-hathawayfranco-snubbed-for-third-consecutive-year/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-news/ellen-degeneres-to-host-2014-oscars-hathawayfranco-snubbed-for-third-consecutive-year/#comments Fri, 02 Aug 2013 17:56:09 +0000 Penn Collins http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=256253 She's literally the only person left in the world who's willing to host the Oscars.

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The more we see very accomplished entertainers get critically skewered for their Oscar-hosting duties, the more we see it’s a pretty thankless gig. The edgier hosts get chastised for being offensive, and the bland hosts get chastised for being bland. Lose-lose across the board.

However, if there’s an entertainer that can balance mass appeal with talent, humor, and grace, it’s Ellen Degeneres. Or NPH, but he didn’t get picked, so let’s not dwell on hypotheticals. This will be Ellen’s second turn hosting the Oscars, so she’s clearly immune to the criticisms that can be levied on hosts, having decided to come back for more.

However, there will be hell to pay if our grandmothers tune in and Ellen doesn’t do that dancing bit. Grandmothers loving Dancing Ellen.

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Seth MacFarlane Suggests Joaquin Phoenix Host The Oscars http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/seth-macfarlane-suggests-joaquin-phoenix-host-the-oscars/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/seth-macfarlane-suggests-joaquin-phoenix-host-the-oscars/#comments Mon, 20 May 2013 19:16:20 +0000 Penn Collins http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=254923 Maybe Crispin Glover could co-host.

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Seth MacFarlane reiterated that he will not be hosting the Oscars this year, with the official excuse being scheduling problems, but the actual excuse more likely lying in the realm of “Hosting the Oscars sucks. Leave me alone.”

However, it’s not like Seth is going to step down without suggesting a replacement to returning producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron. His suggestion? Joaquin Phoenix.

Although Joaquin Phoenix would be a very bizarre choice out of context, in light of the past two years of hosts, the beardy weirdo would seem like the logical move. Instead of speeches and comedy bits, Phoenix could stare at the crowd and intermittently sip from the water bottle.

Can’t no one get offended by that!

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Tina Fey Doesn’t Want To Host The Oscars Because A) It’s Hard For Women, And B) Hosting The Oscars Sucks http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/tina-fey-doesnt-want-to-host-the-oscars-because-a-its-hard-for-women-and-b-hosting-the-oscars-sucks/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/tina-fey-doesnt-want-to-host-the-oscars-because-a-its-hard-for-women-and-b-hosting-the-oscars-sucks/#comments Wed, 27 Feb 2013 19:34:07 +0000 Penn Collins http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=253788 My vote is still for "John Goodman on a Treadmill" to host.

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Tina Fey, who knocked it out of the park with her Golden Globes-hosting alongside Amy Poehler, has responded to general inquiries as to whether she would host the Oscars.

“No way.”

It’s so funny. Seth MacFarlane said the same thing when people asked him if he would come back next year.

In the Huffington Post, Fey offered her take on the “opportunity”: “But I just feel like that gig is so hard. Especially for, like, a woman — the amount of months that would be spent trying on dresses alone … no way.”

So there you have it. Tina Fey, who seems to be among the most gracious and game people in Hollywood thinks the hosting gig is for the birds. It’s only a matter of time before Neil Patrick Harris gets the call, lest Billy Crystal be thawed out, blasted with pancake makeup, and amble lifelessly towards the stage to make fun of Jack Nicholson in Heartburn or something.

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Seth MacFarlane Not Interested In Hosting The Oscars Again Because Who The F*ck Would Want That Job? http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/seth-macfarlane-not-interested-in-hosting-the-oscars-again-because-who-the-fck-would-want-that-job/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/seth-macfarlane-not-interested-in-hosting-the-oscars-again-because-who-the-fck-would-want-that-job/#comments Tue, 26 Feb 2013 23:42:44 +0000 Penn Collins http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=253774 He made a mockery out of a mockery!

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When asked if he would host the Oscars again next year, or any other time, Seth MacFarlane took to Twitter to say, “No way. Lotta fun to have done it, though.”

I’m sure what he meant was “FUCK EVERYONE. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?” but was a little too polite to post that on Twitter. This leaves the masses wondering who the next lamb to the slaughter is. I would be tempted to say Billy Crystal, but only if we took the metaphor a step further and actually slaughtered Billy Crystal onstage, with co-host Kristen Stewart, bruises and all, plunging a serpentine dagger into his stomach then ripping it across his abdomen in one deft move, allowing him to live long enough to stagger around the stage, mouth agape, as his entrails fell to the floor. And should he prove too resilient to die within 45 seconds, the orchestra would “play him off,” letting Javier Bardem know it was time to step up from his first-row seat and break his neck while whispering three unknown words into Crystal’s ear.

But yearh, Seth MacFarlane won’t be hosting next year.

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9 Instances Of James Cameron Just Being Ridiculous http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-lists/9-instances-of-james-cameron-just-being-ridiculous/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-lists/9-instances-of-james-cameron-just-being-ridiculous/#comments Tue, 27 Mar 2012 21:28:35 +0000 Penn Collins http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=247726 Who Else Would Want To Tweet From The Ocean's Deepest Point?

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James Cameron, perhaps the most lauded and well-known director in the world, has a reputation for being a bit…ridiculous. He’s allegedly demanding and can have a temper, but that’s pretty much for the course, so I wouldn’t call him a jerk in that capacity. He’s just got a bit of an ego that manifests itself in strange ways, like silly acceptance speeches, goofy pictures, and lots and lots of divorces from wives.

While that may not make him particularly desirable to live or work with, it makes him plenty fun to write about. Peep this.

He Tweeted From The Ocean’s Deepest Point

The impetus for this inventory of silly Cameron behavior is his recent submersion to the deepest point of the ocean, then his tweet from there, making him (probably) the person that holds the record for the deepest tweet in history. Sounds dirty, but really it’s just absurd.

I’m hoping that we’re only a few years away from Cameron getting another divorce so that he can marry the sea in a civil ceremony in Vermont.

He’s Been Married Five Times

He’s like the Liz Taylor of men! First married in 1978 to Sharon Williams, Cameron’s revolving door of nuptials and pledges included Gale Ann Hurd, Hurt Locker director Kathryn Bigelow, Terminators 1 and 2 star Linda Hamilton, and Suzy Amis, to whom he has been married since 2000. Whoa! 12 years. We may have found a keeper.

Judging by many of the accounts of actors and crew members on his sets, coexisting with James is no walk in the park for three months, so I can’t imagine that living with him and his peccadilloes day in and day out would be a walk in the park.

His Golden Globes Acceptance Speech Contained A Line In Na’vi

Yup, he tossed in a line from a fictional language he created upon receipt of a Golden Globe. Not an Oscar, mind you, but a Golden Globe.

He offered up this little pearl to the drunk guests in attendance and the woefully sober audiences at home:

“I just want to say,” the shaggy-haired director said, “Bonati komaei mismoka mismokay — which means, I see you, my brothers and sisters.”

He sees us? That’s terrific news! We see you, too, James. And you’re a big, glorious vision of a man. Shine on, you crazy diamond! Why can he quote his own language in a moment of glory, but when I won that beer pong tourney and offered thanks in a mumbled drunken language I made up, it was a minor tragedy? Doesn’t seem fair to me at all.

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Hooray For Hollywood: Los Angeles Jailbird Collects $30,000 In Unemployment While In Prison http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/hooray-for-hollywood-los-angeles-jailbird-collects-30000-in-unemployment-while-in-prison/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/hooray-for-hollywood-los-angeles-jailbird-collects-30000-in-unemployment-while-in-prison/#comments Mon, 05 Mar 2012 23:03:29 +0000 Penn Collins http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=246752 We're gonna have to admit soon that crime pays pretty damn well.

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It’s funny because it exposes fundamental flaws in our civil services!

An inmate in L.A. County jail, Anthony “Chopper” Garcia, is in slightly more trouble now that he’s been found to have fraudulently collect more than $30,000′s worth of unemployment benefits while serving a sentence for murder.

Normally, this infraction would be considered a rounding error of the original crime of murder, but we’re only two weeks removed from the Oscars, and news is still pretty slow, so let’s discuss this further.

While incarcerated, Garcia had his father and two (!) girlfriends cash the checks, then deposit them in his inmate account. This set of the circumstances begs the question of “Why the shit do inmates need cash accounts?” But we’re not Mother Jones or The New Republic, so we’ll let the fat cats in Washington sort that out while we berate teenagers on XBox live.

Now is as good a time as any to add that Anthony Garcia has a tattoo on his chest which depicts the crime he committed, and that tattoo was used as evidence against him. That’s awesome. Shortsighted, but awesome.

The media has a way of perpetuating the notion that all news stories in and around Hollywood have to do with the glamorous entertainment industry. We at Screen Junkies would like to give our readers the entire story, and that means offering some Los Angeles-based news that might not make it into ‘USWeekly’ or Entertainment Tonight.

Read more Hooray for Hollywood!

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7 Sorta High Points From Last Night’s Oscars http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-lists/seven-sorta-high-points-from-last-nights-oscars/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-lists/seven-sorta-high-points-from-last-nights-oscars/#comments Mon, 27 Feb 2012 19:01:45 +0000 Penn Collins http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=246262 Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

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Last night’s Oscars ceremony was hardly a triumphant affair. It consisted of a Catskills comedian emceeing a show made to celebrate largely unpopular films. There were very few moments of interest throughout the program, but since we’re done bitching about the show (we got that out of our system last night), let’s scrounge for the high points in the telecast. Considering how flat the show was, they shouldn’t be too hard to spot.

The Wizard of Oz Focus Group

This bit was a welcome oasis in a desert of Crystaline humor. When they offered the heavy-handed introduction to the skit, I let out a slow audible groan, which was quickly silenced when it became apparent that the troupe tasked with the short were the Christopher Guest players. I’m guessing Parker Posey was in the hospital or something.

Though the skit wasn’t actually that funny by CGP standards, the novelty of seeing these guys gave it a big leg up over the things that came before and after it. Plus, seeing Fred Willard harp on monkeys like some sort of speed freak was almost worth the price of admission all by itself.

Nick Nolte’s Transformation into Rooster Cogburn

One of the best features of Oscar night is your ability to check back in with stars that often manage to stay out of the public eye during their normal lives. For example, Chris Rock. I saw Chris Rock and was surprised by how different he looks. I didn’t see the Ike Turner look coming, so that was a pleasant surprise.

However, Chris Rocks appearance paled in comparison to Nick Nolte’s, who looks like he killed three men on the way to his seat. Also, the slitty little eyes add an element of mystery to a guy who is known to take GHB and just be generally crazy. Crystal’s “mind reading” gimmick fell flat, save for his insight into Nolte’s psyche, which only revealed, “Uhhhhhhhhhhhh.” I was half expecting to see Nolte recreationally gnawing on a dead, intact rabbit, but I guess the camera never caught that part.

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Screw It, Here Are Our 2013 Oscar Predictions http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-lists/screw-it-here-are-our-2013-oscar-predictions/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-lists/screw-it-here-are-our-2013-oscar-predictions/#comments Mon, 27 Feb 2012 15:00:25 +0000 Penn Collins http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=246080 Are there any movies I'm missing? Yeah. Probably tons.

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We’re over this year’s Oscars, and have been for quite some time. I felt that 2011’s field was uncharacteristically weak, and having harped on it for the past few weeks, I’m ready to move on to 2012’s candidates.

Granted, I haven’t “seen” any of these films. And there are undoubtedly dozens of solid films that are still under my radar. And those films will probably feature strong turns by both actors and directors. But whatever, that won’t keep me from examining some of the strongest, most notable candidates for an award, going on experience and some educated guesses.

So this may not be the most subversive or even “accurate” Oscar prediction, and you’re not going to find any under-the-radar films and actors here. But you will find more than a few safe bets from known projects. Judging by the slate for 2012, we could see a lot more “Hollywood” films fill the ballots in the 2013 ceremonies, which always proves to be more satisfying, provided the popular films are the good ones.

Best Picture

The Dark Knight Rises
Lincoln
Life of Pi
Django Unchained
The Great Gatsby

The one thing these films have in common is each one is helmed by a great director, with Nolan, Spielberg, Lee, Tarantino, and Luhrmann all showing up in widely anticipated and rather big-budget movies. My early call is that Lincoln, with the reputations of Steven Spielberg and Daniel Day-Lewis behind it, will take the cake, with Life of Pi given a courtesy nod in this category. Nolan’s Dark Knight Rises could make a lot of noise if people lavish praise on the film for the scope of the production, but in the end, the heavier biopic will prevail.

Best Director

Wes AndersonMoonrise Kingdom
Christopher Nolan – The Dark Knight Rises
Marc WebbThe Amazing Spider-Man
Steven Spielberg – Lincoln
Ang LeeLife of Pi

It seems a little odd to have two comic book films represented here, but going off of the early sizzle reel I’ve seen from Spider-Man, Marc Webb is masterful at bouncing from bombastic action sequences to touching moments between Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone. Wes Anderson is back in our lives and hearts after the lukewarm reception of The Fantastic Mr. Fox, and I think he could get a lot of legacy goodwill in this category. Spielberg’s Lincoln is no-brainer given the man and the subject matter, and I think he’ll be the one to walk away with the bald gold guy.

Best Actor

Bill MurrayHyde Park on Hudson
Daniel Day-Lewis – Lincoln
Leonardo DiCaprioGreat Gatsby
Sean PennGangster Squad
Robert De Niro – Being Flynn

Everyone on this list but Murray and DiCaprio already have won their Oscars, and in the interest of appearing progressive (and not simply handing the award over to Daniel Day-Lewis, even though he’ll probably deserve it), they’ll bestow it upon Bill Murray, who’s distinguished career will come to a head with the most Oscar bait-y role he’s played so far. I think voters will be looking for an excuse to give it to him, but in this field, it’s a very tough call.

I’m hoping De Niro’s turn as a distant, homeless father in Being Flynn gets him out of the doghouse that he’s built for himself over the past decade. Sean Penn because, hey, Sean Penn, Leo because he’s just so damn handsome.

Best Actress

Blake LivelySavages
Jennifer LawrenceThe Silver Linings Playbook
Sally Field – Lincoln
Toni Collette – Jesus Henry Christ
Maggie GyllenhaalHysteria

Again, it’s hard to get too adventurous with these pics before the films have even been finished, so based on resume alone, I think we have a pretty strong group here. I think Field will be able to chew some serious scenery as Mary Todd Lincoln, and if she doesn’t get too terribly outclassed by her hubby, Mr. Day-Lewis, I think she’s the smart money here.

I think Hollywood wants to REALLY love Jennifer Lawrence, but seeing as how The Hunger Games is a little too mainstream for the snobs, she’ll get it in the David O. Russell film instead.

I’m also looking forward to Blake Lively in Oliver Stone’s The Savages, if only because she mastered a seedy role in The Town, and I’m eager to see her do it again as a beachy stoner. Toni Colette and Maggie Gyllenhaal because it wouldn’t be the Academy Awards without them, so why not both?

As you can tell, this has been a very scientific process, so let’s hear your thoughts in the comments if you’re feeling like yelling at us.

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Here Are Your 2012 Academy Award Winners http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/here-are-your-2012-academy-award-winners/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/here-are-your-2012-academy-award-winners/#comments Mon, 27 Feb 2012 14:00:55 +0000 Joseph Gibson http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=246211 Ah...the sweet smell of universal agreement.

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The 2012 Academy Awards have come and gone, and judging by my Twitter feed, it was a hilarious show that everyone loved, Billy Crystal is the funniest man in the world, and everyone agreed with all the winners 100%. Bask in the unanimous consensus by checking out the list of the big winners below.

Best Art Direction: Hugo

Best Costume Design: The Artist

Best Film Editing: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Best Makeup: The Iron Lady

Best Sound Editing: Hugo

Best Sound Mixing: Hugo

Best Visual Effects: Hugo

Best Documentary (Feature): Undefeated

Best Documentary (Short Subject): Saving Face

Best Short Film (Animated): The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

Best Short Film (Live Action): The Shore

Best Music (Original Score): The Artist – Ludovic Bource

Best Music (Original Song): “Man or Muppet,” The MuppetsBret McKenzie

Best Foreign Language Film: A SeparationIran

Best Animated Feature Film of the Year: Rango

Best Cinematography: Hugo

Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published: The Descendants

Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen: Midnight in Paris

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role: Octavia Spencer – The Help

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role: Christopher PlummerBeginners

Best Achievement in Directing: Michel Hazanavicius – The Artist

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role: Jean DujardinThe Artist

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role: Meryl StreepThe Iron Lady

Best Motion Picture of the Year: The Artist

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‘The Artist’ Wins Best Picture http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/the-artist-wins-best-picture/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/the-artist-wins-best-picture/#comments Mon, 27 Feb 2012 04:50:58 +0000 Jame Gumb http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=246210 A movie with no dialogue is preferable to a movie with dialogue written by Woody Allen.

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Proving that a movie with no dialogue is preferable to a movie with dialogue written by Woody Allen, the 2012 Academy Award for Best Picture has been given to The Artist. The award capped off a stunning night for the film, which took home a total of five Oscars, including Best Director (Michel Hazanavicius) and Best Actor (Jean Dujardin).

As I publish, Uggie the Dog is no doubt snorting coke off of Salma Hayek‘s rack. Good for him. He earned it.

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Sacha Baron Cohen’s Dictator Responds To Being Banned From Oscars http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/sacha-baron-cohens-dictator-responds-to-being-banned-from-oscars/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/sacha-baron-cohens-dictator-responds-to-being-banned-from-oscars/#comments Fri, 24 Feb 2012 19:55:17 +0000 Penn Collins http://www.screenjunkies.com/?post_type=video&p=246097 Ugh, it's so hard to care.

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After being banned from the Academy Awards a few days ago, Cohen has scrambled to issue this video rebuttal, claiming that their would be dire consequences for the Academy if they didn’t give him back his tickets. While the premise is funny, he comes across as a little trigger happy with the puns, which is rarely the hallmark of high comedy.

Based on the trailer for The Dictator, it was a fear that Sacha Baron Cohen was going for something a little less-cerebral than he did with Borat and Bruno. It seemed as though the film was relying a little too hard on caemos and pop-culture references to compete with Cohen’s earlier faux-docs.

It’s still pretty funny, but not what we know to be “Sacha Baron Cohen” funny. Take a look.

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‘Best Original Song’: The Other Way To Win An Oscar http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-lists/%e2%80%98best-original-song%e2%80%99-the-other-way-to-win-an-oscar/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-lists/%e2%80%98best-original-song%e2%80%99-the-other-way-to-win-an-oscar/#comments Thu, 23 Feb 2012 23:23:39 +0000 Penn Collins http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=246027 What do Berlin, Three 6 Mafia, Madonna, Isaac Hayes, Eminem, and Phil Collins have in common? Not much at all.

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While there are many Oscar controversies regarding who deserved what award or nomination, these conversations normally exist at least in the context of filmmaking. This is not usually the case with the Best Original Song recipients. Sure, sometimes the discussion will veer towards the song’s role in a scene or film, but for the most part, the award seems almost entirely divorced from the film itself, which is fine, because the song performances at the ceremony are my favorite part of the show. What’s that? They don’t do those any more?

I hate the Oscars so much.

8 Mile – “Lose Yourself”

One of the best singles of the 2000’s was certainly deserving of all the acclaim it got, which I can also say about its film, 8 Mile, only because 8 Mile got virtually no acclaim. What served as a fictionalized Eminem biopic fell flat with both audiences and critics alike, but the song was able to transcend, well, everything and get stuck in our heads for the next year or so.

“If you had one shot…one opportunity…”

Top Gun – “Take My Breath Away”

I wish there was an Oscars Jr. ceremony for films that people love but they know are no good. Top Gun would have been like Silence of the Lambs at that ceremony. Here, we get a cheeseball anthem to a cheeseball film taking home a Best Original Song Oscar, which is funny, because it’s hard to imagine this song winning Best Anything. The band that wrote and sang it was Berlin, and the reason you haven’t heard anything else from them is that they’re not very good. But the siren call of Tom Cruise and Kelly McGillis making silhouetted love to this jam was too good for the voters to pass up. And who can blame them? They’re only human.

Hustle and Flow – “It’s Hard Out There For A Pimp”


Ladies and gentlemen, it’s my honor to present to you…Academy Award winners Three 6 Mafia.

I’m glad that a year after they won this award, Martin Scorsese was able to catch up with them by winning an Oscar of his own. Now, much to his relief, people will mention Scorsese and Three 6 Mafia in the same breath.

Three 6 Mafia almost certainly will go down in history as the least likely Oscar winners of all time. Serisously, click above and enjoy their awesome Oscar performance.

Dick Tracy – “Sooner or Later, I Always Get My Man”

Strangely enough, this comic-book film (that actually did look like a comic book) boasted an all-star cast and was nominated for seven awards, taking home three, including best song for “Sooner or Later, I Always Get My Man,” which was written by Stephen Sondheim and performed by Madonna (who also starred in the film as Breathless Mahoney). The film itself was pretty lackluster, as most films that star Madonna are, and the song wasn’t much better, but it was Madonna performing a song in the context of the film, so the law said it had to be nominated and chosen. And there you go.

Tarzan – “You’ll Be In My Heart”

Tarzan and Phil Collins. A match made in the darkest depths of my hell. Adding to the travesty of this selection is that “Blame Canada” from South Park was nominated, which would have been the pick of the decade, and there’s no end to my ire.

I mean, I like 1980’s Phil Collins. I do not like 1990’s Phil Collins, who came in with Genesis’ “We Can’t Dance” and ended the decade with a song called “You’ll Be In My Heart” from the damn Tarzan soundtrack.

Shaft – “The Theme from Shaft”

This song is awesome, but it’s just hilarious that this borderline blaxploitation film got Academy recognition. It was written by Isaac Hayes, who barks out “Shut yo mouth!” and informs us that John Shaft does, in fact, deliver ten times out of ten. So let’s put that issue to rest right now, okay?

The song walks a line between funk and a porn score in such a delightful way that I’m shocked the Academy members allowed themselves to like it to such an extent that they would allow the word “shaft” to be spoken on their hallowed stage. The 1971 Academy gets props from me, but the 1972 Academy squandered that goodwill by awarding Best Song to some crappy ditty from The Poseidon Adventure.

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7 Undeserving Movies That Managed To Score Oscars http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-lists/7-undeserving-movies-that-managed-to-score-oscars/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-lists/7-undeserving-movies-that-managed-to-score-oscars/#comments Thu, 23 Feb 2012 19:14:22 +0000 Penn Collins http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=246006 Decent performances, terrible films.

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Despite taking place on the world’s biggest stage, the Oscars aren’t immune to strange anomalies that cause very bad films to win Academy Awards, thus cementing their status as an “Oscar-winning film.” I’m very aware that bad films can showcase great performances, or be based on great scripts, but running through this list still causes much head-scratching as you wonder at what point the Academy will just say, “Denzel is great, but we can’t in good conscience give Training Day an Academy award.”

Take a gander.

My Cousin Vinny – Best Supporting Actress

My Cousin Vinny, despite being marginally entertaining, is not a good movie. It stars Ralph Macchio\, for God’s sake. The performances in the film are largely wallflower-y or simply over-the-top. “Hey! I’m-a I-talian!”

I never really understood the praise for Marissa Tomei’s performance here, but it seemed universal enough that, as a dumb 13 year-old kid, I said, “huh,” and went on with my life. I was never the type of child that allowed Oscar nominations to ruin my week.

What Dreams May Come – Best Visual Effects

This movie ominously let us know what was to come from Robin Williams in the coming years. This movie served as a bombastic visual representation of what happens when a man and woman are reunited in the afterlife. It was perhaps the sappiest, sad-for-the-sake-of-sad film out there (until I saw The Gray), and didn’t really offer anything up in the way of a compelling narrative. The visual effects are striking, but so heavy-handed that it’s almost comical.

Williams should have stuck with the Mrs. Doubtfire and Good Morning Vietnam fare.

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Sacha Baron Cohen And 6 Other Oscar “Controversies” http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-lists/sacha-baron-cohen-and-6-other-oscar-controversies/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-lists/sacha-baron-cohen-and-6-other-oscar-controversies/#comments Thu, 23 Feb 2012 15:15:32 +0000 Penn Collins http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=245961 This is a controversy in the same way a "too-soon" Whitney Houston Facebook post is a controversy.

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Word in Tinseltown today is that Sacha Baron Cohen has had his Oscar invitation rescinded until he can convince the powers that be that he won’t disrupt the red carpet or the ceremony.

While this may sound like a pretty stupid thing to occur, let alone for us to read and learn about, this “controversy” is just one of a handful of “controversies” that have taken place during the Academy Awards. I keep putting quotes around “controversy” because something controversial that takes place during a damn awards ceremony isn’t really a controversy. In fact, it isn’t really anything.

But because I suckle on the botox-ed, turgid tit of the entertainment industry, I give you six other Oscar controversies that really don’t amount to a hill of beans to anyone but a select group of silly people.

Jane Fonda Throws Up A Black Panther Salute

In 1970, Jane Fonda received her first Oscar nod for They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?, a film that follows one woman as she ascertains whether horses are being shot (That’s almost certainly untrue). Getting out of her limo, making her way to the red carpet, she threw up a Black Panther salute, much to the chagrin of most every non-Black Panther in attendance.

She made up for it by having her acceptance speech translated into sign language when she won ten years later. Which is nice, so long as the signing is real. See below to understand that enigmatic half-riddle.

The Streaker

Robert Opel was able to score a Wikipedia entry for himself by running across the 1974 Academy Awards stage naked, or “streaking” as the kids my father’s age called it. The act was done while David Niven was introducing Elizabeth Taylor. Unfazed, Niven offered, “Well, ladies and gentlemen, that was almost bound to happen… But isn’t it fascinating to think that probably the only laugh that man will ever get in his life is by stripping off and showing his shortcomings?”

Simpler times, people. Simpler, wiener-filled times.

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Oscars Ban Sacha Baron Cohen Because They Hate Fun http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/academy-pulls-sacha-baron-cohens-oscar-tickets-because-they-hate-fun/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/academy-pulls-sacha-baron-cohens-oscar-tickets-because-they-hate-fun/#comments Thu, 23 Feb 2012 00:15:48 +0000 Penn Collins http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=245934 The Academy must be trying to set some sort of record for how terrible and self-important an organization can be.

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It sounds like an Onion headline, but I’m not clever enough to write for them, so that means it’s just a sad, true story. Deadline is exclusively reporting that the Academy of Motion Picture Blah Blah Blah has pulled Sacha Baron Cohen‘s Oscar tickets unless he can assure them that “nothing is going to happen on the red carpet.” Yeah. Like anything of note has ever happened on the red carpet. It’s the most boring parade of self-congratulation that exists in the world. God forbid Sacha Baron Cohen mess that up.

It’s been rumored that Cohen was going to appear at the Oscars in full Dictator garb to promote his upcoming movie. Or just to be funny. Well, the Academy is having none of it. This ceremony, which lost its first director and host because someone called someone else a fag, will not suffer any indignities.

This night will not be mired in Muppets, humor, or irreverence. If the audience wants to have fun, they can clap for pictures of dead people, like they always do.

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The Independent Spirit Awards (AKA The Hipster Oscars) Explained http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-lists/the-independent-spirit-awards-aka-the-hipster-oscars-explained/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-lists/the-independent-spirit-awards-aka-the-hipster-oscars-explained/#comments Tue, 21 Feb 2012 19:44:18 +0000 Penn Collins http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=245712 If Billy Crystal found his way to this awards show, they would shoot him on sight.

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Since slamming the Oscars for being a self-congratulatory, bloated mess is now more fashionable than actually discussing the awards, many film purists are looking for an avenue that champions the films themselves rather than the industry and studios that make them.

Since 1984, the Spirit Awards have existed to reward actors and filmmakers that existed outside the world of big-budget Hollywood productions. 28 years ago, when the awards were first introduced, the rift between independent cinema and Hollywood fare was much larger than it was today, so the likelihood of any overlap between the Oscars and the Spirit Awards was almost unthinkable.

Today, a gap still exists, albeit a narrower one, thanks to increased access to independent films and the general mainstreaming and adoration of all things indie. So the night before the Oscars, the other Hollywood gets dolled up in their pixie dresses and blazers and sneakers to bestow some recognition on the filmmakers that are just too damn cool for the Oscars.

Yeah, they got Franco.

To give you an idea of how the Spirit Awards have gradually become more mainstreamed, this year’s host is Seth Rogen, a huge Hollywood star with enough of that slacker credibility to reassure everyone that, yes, they’re all very cool for being in attendance.

The Awards

The recognition given out by the Spirit Awards closely mirrors the Oscars in its prestige categories (Best Director, Best Feature, Supporting and Lead awards for Males and Females, etc). However, instilled with the spirit of independent cinema, the awards also showcase first-time directors, first-time screenwriters, as well as an award for the best feature made for under $500,000.

Of course, the Spirit Awards don’t have the huge backing or TV contract that the Academy Awards do, so despite being all “indie,” they bear names such as the Audi Someone to Watch Award, the Nokia Truer Than Fiction Award, and the Jameson Find Your Audience Award.

It's not an awards show unless you have a pregnant Natalie Portman in attendance, which is why the Oscars pay someone to knock her up every year.

One reason the sponsors are necessary is that, in addition to bragging rights, the aforementioned awards all come with grants that allow the filmmakers to keep doing their thing. So while having sponsors for independent cinema awards may seem a little counterintuitive, it’s done so that the recipients can keep staying independent and away from those godforsaken Hollywood studios.

 The Nominees

Again, you might see a little overlap here with the Oscars, as the Academy Awards are allowed to pick from all films, regardless of how they were produced or distributed, while the Spirit Awards stick with films made outside of major studios.

BEST FEATURE
50/50
Beginners
Drive
Take Shelter
The Artist
The Descendants

BEST DIRECTOR
Mike Mills, Beginners
Nicolas Winding Refn, Drive
Jeff Nichols, Take Shelter
Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
Alexander PayneThe Descendants

BEST FIRST FEATURE (Award given to the director and producer)
Another Earth
In the Family
Margin Call
Martha Marcy May Marlene
Natural Selection

JOHN CASSAVETES AWARD (Given to the best feature made for under $500,000)
Bellflower
Circumstance
Hello Lonesome
Pariah
The Dynamiter

BEST SCREENPLAY
Joseph Cedar, Footnote
Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
Tom McCarthy, Win Win
Mike Mills, Beginners
Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, and Jim Rash, The Descendants

BEST FIRST SCREENPLAY
Mike Cahill and Brit Marling, Another Earth
J.C. Chandor, Margin Call
Patrick DeWitt, Terri
Phil Johnston, Cedar Rapids
Will Reiser, 50/50

BEST FEMALE LEAD
Lauren Ambrose, Think of Me
Rachel Harris, Natural Selection
Adepero Oduye, Pariah
Elizabeth Olsen, Martha Marcy May Marlene
Michelle WilliamsMy Week With Marilyn

BEST MALE LEAD
Demian Bichir, A Better Life
Jean Dujardin, The Artist
Ryan Gosling, Drive
Woody HarrelsonRampart
Michael Shannon, Take Shelter

BEST SUPPORTING FEMALE
Jessica ChastainTake Shelter
Anjelica Huston, 50/50
Janet McTeer, Albert Nobbs
Harmony Santana, Gun Hill Road
Shailene Woodley, The Descendants

BEST SUPPORTING MALE
Albert BrooksDrive
John Hawkes, Martha Marcy May Marlene
Christopher Plummer, Beginners
John C. ReillyCedar Rapids
Corey Stoll, Midnight in Paris

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Joel Hodge, Bellflower
Benjamin Kuh-Sulk, The Off Hours
Darius Kond-Jee, Midnight in Paris
Gui-omme Shiffman, The Artist
Jeffrey Waldron, The Dynamiter

BEST DOCUMENTARY
An African Election
Bill Cunningham New York
The Interrupters
The Redemption of General Butt Naked
We Were Here

BEST FOREIGN FILM
A Separation
Melancholia
Shame
The Kid With a Bike
Tyrannosaur

ROBERT ALTMAN AWARD (Given to one film’s director, casting director and its ensemble cast)
Margin Call

PIAGET PRODUCERS AWARD
Chad Burris, Mosquita y Mari
Sophia Lin, Take Shelter
Josh Mond, Martha Marcy May Marlene

ACURA SOMEONE TO WATCH AWARD
Simon Arthur, Silver Tongues
Mark Jackson, Without
Nicholas Ozek, Mamitas

AVEENO TRUER THAN FICTION AWARD
Heather Courtney, Where Soldiers Came From
Danfung Dennis, Hell and Back Again
Alma Har’El, Bombay Beach

The Broadcast

The awards aren’t too indie to be aired on TV, and the ceremony, usually held in Santa Monica, though for some reason held in a tent downtown last year) can be found live on IFC (duh).

Oh. The Spirit Awards often have figure skater Johnny Weir in attendance. Advantage: Spirit Awards

Like the Golden Globes, liquor is served during this show, giving it a peppier, more spontaneous feel. Futher, the Spirit Awards are a banquet-style ceremony, giving the affair a more casual feel than a seated theater awards show would have. Given the shoestring budget inherent with an indie awards show, the ceremony cuts out the superfluous sketches and prdocutions, just leaving hosts and awards. While this might sound a little dry, what it does is allow the people on stage (who are really the ones being celebrated) to spend a little more time entertaining the crowd, rather than moving through forced unfunny skits. Also, it caps the ceremony at two-and-a-half hours, which is about ninety minutes less than the Oscars.

So, if you just LOVE awards shows, but think the Oscars have become a self-important overblown mess (because it has), give the Spirit Awards a whirl. You may have a hard time getting your friend to fill out a Spirit Awards pool, but you’ll be able to sit through the event without getting bedsores, and you might even learn a little bit about film, which is something the Academy gave up on a long time ago.

The post The Independent Spirit Awards (AKA The Hipster Oscars) Explained appeared first on Screen Junkies.

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http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-lists/the-independent-spirit-awards-aka-the-hipster-oscars-explained/feed/ 0 james franco Yeah, they got Franco. Independent Spirit Awards Show It's not an awards show unless you have a pregnant Natalie Portman in attendance, which is why the Oscars pays someone to knock her up every year. johnny weir Oh. The Spirit Awards often have figure skater Johnny Weir in attendance. Advantage: Spirit Awards
Instead Of Hiring Cirque De Soleil, Turn The Oscars Into The ‘Hollywood Hunger Games’ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/instead-of-hiring-cirque-de-soleil-turn-the-oscars-into-the-hollywood-hunger-games/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/instead-of-hiring-cirque-de-soleil-turn-the-oscars-into-the-hollywood-hunger-games/#comments Fri, 17 Feb 2012 21:30:02 +0000 Penn Collins http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=245599 "Let the 1st Annual Hollywood Hunger Games begin!"

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It was announced late last year that, in the interest of time, the Academy Awards will not be showcasing the Best Song nominees’ live performances. The reasons for doing so seem pretty self-evident. Though the live music performances are the only aspect of the Oscars that could be considered “interesting” or “engaging” they do nothing to allow self-congratulation in the film industry, which is just, just unacceptable. I mean, it’s not really a circle jerk if one of the people is facing outside the circle, now is it?

However, it has been deemed that what DOES keep the circle jerk circle intact is Cirque de Soleil. Why? Because the Academy is going to make this night of in-jokes and self-congratulation whimsical and beloved as shit.

My first thought was, couldn’t they do that with an appearance by The Muppets?

And to an extent, they are, as Miss Piggy and Kermit will be presenting an award on next Sunday’s telecast, but at the end of the day, they’re puppets, and puppets don’t convey the classiness of the Oscars the way a mute bunch of Frenchmen in unitards do.

In context, the selection of Cirque de Soleil is in pretty good keeping with theme with this year’s ceremony which appears to be, “Eh. Sure.” I mean, when you’ve got Billy Crystal hosting something, the logical move is to pepper that something with clichéd performances by a group like Cirque de Soleil. Like Crystal, Cirque de Soleil manages to capture everyone’s attention while entertaining no one.

The only promise of Cirque de Soleil performing anywhere, is that, over time, the probability that something very terrible will happen keeps increasing. I don’t wish any of the members harm, but the ethereal being that is “Cirque de Soleil”; I wish that a lot of harm. I hope Cirque de Soleil gets bludgeoned by Hugh Jackman’s cane during one of his inevitable song and dance numbers.

My problem with Cirque de Soleil mirrors my problems with the Academy telecast, so it’s very fitting that the Academy really milks this announcement for all it’s worth today. The fact is, Cirque de Soleil is a pretty impressive mesh of choreography, on-stage talent, music, and production, exactly like the Oscars. It’s natural to respect such a spectacle. But extremely hard to enjoy.

The Academy raises the bar so high for spectacle and esteem, that its awards show neglects the entertainment value of the evening. People are supposed to have fun during the Oscars, both on stage and off, and that hasn’t happened for a long time. Sure, with The Muppets presenting, audiences will get a nostalgic chuckle, and perhaps a whiff of fun, but the Oscars use these instances far too sparingly, instead taking themselves far too seriously for a show about movie awards.

A few things I would rather see than Cirque de Soleil performing a competent, or even impressive routine:

  • Christopher Walken doing almost anything.
  • An extended shot of Samuel L. Jackson laughing uproariously in a Kangol hat, unable to believe that the producers “went there.”
  • Kid Rock performing all the Best Song nominees while a memorial montage of Joe C. plays in the background. He would have been 38 this year, folks.
  • A live advertisement that takes place on stage. I’m in love with this idea because it would inevitably cause a rift between the Academy, which would pocket the money directly, and ABC, which wouldn’t see a dime.
  • A five-minute tribute by the Radio City Music Hall Rockettes to Jeremy Lin.

But mostly, more than I have ever wanted anything in the world, I would like Billy Crystal to take the stage to introduce Cirque de Soleil, only to announce that they would not be performing. A loud “thunk” would indicate that the Kodak Theater’s doors had been locked shut. All lights would dim, save for one spotlight illuminating a void on the stage, until Academy President Tom Sherak stepped briskly into the illuminated circle. He would clear his throat, then declare to the crowd:

Ladies and Gentlemen, members of the Academy, and fans of cinema alike, thank you for joining us on Hollywood’s most important evening. For 84 years now, the Oscars have commemorated not only the winners of the evening, but have also served as a snapshot of the state of film in particular, and, to a lesser extent, the state of the world in general.

However, in recent years, Hollywood has lost its way. Unchecked hubris and studios beholden to money above art have led to complacency among filmmakers. Sure, films like The Artist and Tree of Life serve as testaments to the medium, but it’s a sad state of affairs when films appear to be made for the sole purpose of getting an Oscar. The system has been manipulated. The rift between art and entertainment has grown too wide. The system must be overhauled, and I, as Academy President, have taken it upon myself to reinvent the system. Tasked with this reinvention, I cannot be burdened by insubordination of Academy members or, God forbid, “celebrities.”

The 84th Annual Oscars are over. The rest of the awards will be placed in an incinerator. It is my complete pleasure to inform you that you are all now attendants of the 1st Annual Hollywood Hunger Games. I’m sure you’re all familiar with the book. At least, I hope you are, as there will be no explanation given. Your time begins now.

Good luck to you all.

At that point, the house lights would come on while “Ride of the Valkyrie” comes blaring out of the orchestra pit. A puzzled, horrified look would appear on the face of every person in attendance until someone (probably Clint Eastwood or Tyler Perry) would just commence beating the ever-living shit out of the person next to them, serving as a catalyst for the orgy of violence that was to take place.

Bruce Vilanch would cackle shrilly, then announce to the crowd, “Let the games begin!” as he shot flaming arrows into the curtains of the Kodak theater in a clever homage to Inglourious Basterds.

And that’s when things would get interesting…

Chapter 2 to follow…

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Why Do We (Or Don’t We) Care About The BAFTAs? http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-lists/why-do-we-or-don%e2%80%99t-we-care-about-the-baftas/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-lists/why-do-we-or-don%e2%80%99t-we-care-about-the-baftas/#comments Fri, 10 Feb 2012 20:29:24 +0000 Penn Collins http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=245067 Everything you wanted to know about the BAFTAs but were too smart to ask.

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It’s Hollywood’s hallowed awards season. And aside from the Oscars and maybe the Golden Globes, the distinctions between the awards offered can be murky at best. You may or may not know that BAFTA stands for “British Academy of Film and Television Arts.” So it’s British, but that’s about all the layperson would know. So, why should they care?

The awards are often considered a decent prognistication of the Oscar outcomes, but honestly, what award ISN’T considered an indicator of Oscar buzz? Let’s take a closer look at the BAFTAs so that you can determine if they’re worth your time and energy.

(Spoiler alert: Unless you’re nominated or a film critic, a walk around the neighborhood might serve you better than tuning into this guy’s ceremony)

What are the BAFTAs?:

The BAFTAs are the annual awards given out by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts. While the academy represents both film and television, as the name states, the award ceremonies are delineated so that fans of cinema the world over aren’t subjected to watching a sweep by whatever national program Brits were watching before Downton Abbey.

The Academy has 6,000 or so professionals in the industries of film, television, and, recently, video games. This is important because, unlike the Oscars, which are voted on by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Scientists, the BAFTAs are voted on by video game and television professionals as well, which makes them a little less “insder-y” if you want to be diplomatic, and a little less “up their own butt” if you don’t.

They take place at Royal Albert Hall in London in mid-February, always before the Oscars and always after the Golden Globes.

How They’re Judged:

Lucky for you, this is where it gets kind of complicated. What’s that? You didn’t want to spend your weekend studying how the BAFTA Award winners are determined? Tough shit. This is happening.

Around 250 films get entered in all for the various categories. Every Academy member can vote up to 12 times (!) in every category. From there, the 15 with the highest vote totals form the shortlist for each category. Then, each Academy member can vote 5 times for the nominees, creating a shorter shortlist of 5 films per category. From THERE, all Academy members can only vote in the following categories:

Best Film
Leading Actress
Leading Actor
Supporting Actress
Supporting Actor
Film Not in the English Language
Outstanding British Film
Documentary

All of the other categories, like editing and sound, are voted on only by members specific to that field. Of course, to complicate matters, this flow chart (taken from BAFTA’s website) states that there are only 6 universal categories (with the actor and actress categories having two awards each for lead and supporting performances) on which everyone can vote.

Ok. This means that you don’t have some 80 year-old woman who was a child star in the 1940’s voting on Best Sound and Best Visual Effects. That seems to be an edge the BAFTAs have over the Oscars in terms of “accuracy.” However, considering the Oscars are still the alpha dog come awards season, how much does being the rightful winner if someone else gets the biggest award? Probably not much.

What Do They Matter?:

That said, since the BAFTA nominations and awards both precede the Oscars, it’s thought that, more and more, the BAFTAs are influencing Oscar voters, namely by suggesting British films for Oscar nomination that otherwise would have gone unnoticed. So, thanks for that, BAFTAs. They have served as a decent predictor since they moved in between the Golden Globes and Oscars in 2001. Of course, some of the correlation could just be due to the fact that the two academies share some members, who ostensibly vote for the same films for each award.

So, if you find your Sunday night lacking, and wouldn’t mind taking a gander at one of the myriad “Oscars Jr.” ceremonies, tune in to BBC1 at 9 PM British time to watch the Oscars’ last dress rehearsal!

Here is a list of the nominees. Do with it what you will.

Best Film

The Artist
The Descendants
Drive
The Help
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Film Not in the English Language
Incendies
Pina
Potiche
A Separation
The Skin I Live In

Outstanding British Film
My Week with Marilyn
Senna
Shame
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
We Need to Talk About Kevin

Director
The Artist – Michel Hazanavicius
Drive – Nicolas Winding Refn
Hugo – Martin Scorsese
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy – Tomas Alfredson
We Need to Talk About Kevin – Lynne Ramsay

Original Screenplay
The Artist
Bridesmaids
The Guard
The Iron Lady
Midnight in Paris

Adapted Screenplay
The Descendants
The Help
The Ides of March
Moneyball
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Cinematography
The Artist
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Hugo
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
War Horse

Editing
The Artist
Drive
Hugo
Senna
Tinker Tailor Solider Spy

Production Design
The Artist
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2
Hugo
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
War Horse

Make Up & Hair
The Artist
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2
Hugo
The Iron Lady
My Week with Marilyn

Costume Design
The Artist
Hugo
Jane Eyre
My Week with Marilyn
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Special Visual Effects
The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2
Hugo
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
War Horse

Documentary
George Harrison: Living in the Material World
Project Nim
Senna

Sound
The Artist
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2
Hugo
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
War Horse

Original Music
The Artist
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Hugo
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Animated Film
The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn
Arthur Christmas
Rango

Leading Actor
Brad Pitt (Billy Beane) – Moneyball
Gary Oldman (George Smiley) – Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
George Clooney (Matt King) – The Descendants
Jean Dujardin (George Valentin) – The Artist
Michael Fassbender (Brandon) – Shame

Leading Actress
Bérénice Bejo (Peppy Miller) – The Artist
Meryl Streep (Margaret Thatcher) – The Iron Lady
Michelle Williams (Marilyn Monroe) – My Week with Marilyn
Tilda Swinton (Eva) – We Need to Talk About Kevin
Viola Davis (Aibileen Clark) – The Help

Supporting Actor
Christopher Plummer (Hal) – Beginners
Jim Broadbent (Denis Thatcher) – The Iron Lady
Jonah Hill (Peter Brand) – Moneyball
Kenneth Branagh (Sir Laurence Olivier) – My Week with Marilyn
Philip Seymour Hoffman (Paul Zara) – The Ides of March

Supporting Actress
Carey Mulligan (Irene) – Drive
Jessica Chastain (Celia Foote) – The Help
Judi Dench (Dame Sybil Thorndike) – My Week with Marilyn
Melissa McCarthy (Megan) – Bridesmaids
Octavia Spencer (Minny Jackson) – The Help

 

OH! And if you’ve made it this far, you deserve a little Easter egg. Miss Piggy is the BAFTAs red carpet host. Which is pretty neat.

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http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-lists/why-do-we-or-don%e2%80%99t-we-care-about-the-baftas/feed/ 0 Screen shot 2012-02-10 at 11.08.50 AM
Uggie (The Dog From ‘The Artist’) Is Sick!!! http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/uggie-the-dog-from-the-artist-is-sick/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/uggie-the-dog-from-the-artist-is-sick/#comments Mon, 06 Feb 2012 17:59:30 +0000 Penn Collins http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=244620 He just wants to retire into a normal doggie life. Why won't we let him?

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Uggie, the wonderdog from this year’s Best Picture nominee The Artist, is reportedly suffering from a “mystery shaking syndrome.” This explains why after a doggie-career-defining performance in The Artist, he and his trainer threw in the towel, retiring from showbiz. However, unable to resist the siren call of Tinseltown, Uggie anted up for one last score at the Oscars, where he is rumored to be performing with Billy Crystal.

After Thousands spent on vet bills by his trainer, Omar Von Miller, has determined that Uggie’s condition is neurological, leading me to believe that this dog simply doesn’t want to perform with Billy Crystal. I suffered from a similar neurological shaking disorder when I saw City Slickers 2: The Legend of Curly’s Gold, and also when I saw a preview for Forget Paris. Knowing that you’re going to have to actually perform his schtick in person, with him, live, must be even more horrifying.

We wish Uggie a fast and safe recovery. Hang in there, Uggs! Vulture

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