Keeping The Faith In Hollywood!

Keeping The Faith In Hollywood!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

2010 Academy Award and Oscar Week Events

February 18, 2010I just got my tickets to this years Academy Award Oscar-Nominated symposium events and I am very excited, to say the least. I will be attending the animation and make-up/hairstylist/special FX symposiums as I've done for 3 years straight. At each event, we see film clips from the nominated movie and the year's Oscar nominees discuss their work and take questions from the audience.

March 4, 2010
Academy Award Oscar-Nominated Animated Features Symposium:

The symposium featured 5 films;

3 that I had seen in theaters--
The Fantastic Mr. Fox (stop-gap animation) about a chicken stealing fox who can't go legit and be a family man. The Princess and the Frog(old fashion/classic Disney style 2-D hand drawn animation) based on the classic fairy tale but with a race twist and some New Orleans/bayou spice and Up (3-D CG/computer generated animation).

And 2 that I did not see--
Coraline (3-D CG)cautionary horror about a young girl who finds a creepy version of her parents(button eyes and all) after crawling through a door in her house and
The Secret of Kells (2D hand drawn film from Ireland) about a young boy monk in a small Irish village as the Vikings come to kill and pillage. It was a bit bloody and suspenseful (think Samurai Jack) but the tension is relieved when he meets a helpful faerie as he looks for ink in the woods(think fairies/power-puff girls). I think the ink was needed so that the older monks could finish translating copies of the Bible but I'm not sure. I can't wait to see Kells when it is released in the U.S., which the designer/writer/director, Tomm Moore, assured us will be soon. I love every thing animation and I had not even heard about The Secret of Kells before this event but, as it came from a small Irish studio, it's understandable.

Academy Award Oscar-Nominated Make-up/Hairstylist Symposium:

This event was great! The team who did the alien special FX for Star Trek had a full display booth. They even brought the 6'5" guy who played the "long-faced alien at the bar" (no kidding, that's how he's credited). The Italian team who did the movie, Il Divo, had some great insights on the business and the movie clips were awesome. Unfortunately, the make-up and hairstylist team for The Young Victoria was stuck at the airport clearing customs and missed the on stage panel discussion. They finally arrived for the buffet/meet and greet later and astounded us with their knowledge of hair, wigs and make-up of the Victorian era.

March 8, 2010 Oscar Update:
I decided to fore-go viewing this year so I stayed at church for both he 10 AM and 4 PM services and didn't watch the event. However, all my predictions were spot on!

Congrats to:
Kathryn Bigelow and The Hurt Locker,
Jeff Bridges
Sandra Bullock


Best Original Screenplay

Best Adapted Screenplay

The Blind Side:
I still haven't seen The Blind Side yet but it's showing at my favorite $2 theater so I'll get to it soon and post my review. Better late than never(lol).

Update: March 21, 2010
The Wrong Kind of Bombshell:
The news about Jesse James infidelity broke this week and I am saddened for Sandra Bullock. She thanked him so often during the award season for having her back then you see this mess. It appears that the real Mrs. Touhy has reached out to Sandra during this tough time and I will continue praying for her also.

Movie Reviews:
Good news! I finally got to see The Blind Side and it was excellent! Sandra is totally believable and a force to be reckoned with and I left the theater wanting to see more of Big Mike and the Touhy family. I liked it so much that I suggested it for our "Jesus And A Movie" series at church and hopefully we will show it in April.

The XXI Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada

Tragedy Hits The Olympics!
Thursday 2-11-10 - A luger from the republic of Georgia has been killed in a tragic accident one day before the Winter Olympics opening ceremony. He was ranked 44th in the world in the sport and his father was also an olympic luger.

Day 1 Friday
Missed the Opening Ceremonies but caught them on-line. Here's a quick summary-

A few malfunctions. Not as original as Salt Lake City but better than Helsinki's opening ceremony. The killer whale thing was nice also dedicating the olympics to the fallen luger was also very touching.

I confess that I will only watch the following winter sports:
Figure Skating(all), speed skating, snow boarding, skiing and hockey.

Day 2
I forgot to add speed ski shooting, which I watched today, to my lists of must sees.
Why is NBC tape delaying everything until prime-time? Now I have to duck the result reporting on the news or on-line. IMHO: NBC did a much better job of reporting the Tourino games.

The Canadians vow to "own the podium" and obsess over winning their first Winter Olympic gold on Canadian soil. Remember, "keep it classy", Canada.

Day 3
Short Track Speed Skating:
A bad pass by one of the 3 South Koreans lead to a spill that took out two of his team mates out and gave Apolo Ohno and J.R. Celsnik the silver and bronze, respectively. The South Koreans like to play team skating and so I was not a bit sorry for their mishap.

Watched the US women's hockey team demolish team China and I actually watched some curling today. I am convinced I can take any of the curling teams on and win.

Canada wins first gold in skiing. Hopefully they will now get over themselves. Who exactly said that they were our kind, polite neighbors up north?

Day 4:
Men's figure skating:
Evgeny Pleshenko is back with a quad jump in tow! His skating isn't as tight as in Tourino but he placed #1. Evan Lysaek's skating is on point tough as the American wowed as the legendary snow-bird ana a Japanese skater took 3rd place skating to a Jimmy Hendrix's song. Nerves got to the US Nationals champ and Canada's Patrick Chang as both fell and struggled with their routine.

Johnny Weir didn't wear fur due to death threaths instead he wore pink tassles and placed 7th overall. This guy needs to just skate and stop the drama off the ice!

Day 5:
Nothing but Drama!
The Olympic Committe is holding the olympic torch hostage!Or that's how it seems as tourists and olympic spectators view the torch from behind a large metal fence.

Equipment Failure:
No Zamboni for the ice rink delays speed skating. Japenese male skater has to stop program to repairbroken shoe laces.

Not enough snow for the down hill Alpine ski events or poor visibility.
2,500 tickets returned for viewing stands because of unstable soil beneath the viewing stands.

Day 6:
Jacobellis, notorius for show-boating her way out of a snow-boarding gold in Tourino, is out of the race.

Lindsey Vonn won down-hill skiing despite an injury. She has a chance to win more medals in combine but I hope she doesn't do anymore swim suit shots. It's too playboy-esque and she's above that. Keep it proper, girls!

Shawn White rocked in snow boarding and repeated his gold medal win, as did Shani Davis in 1500 meter speed skating(just in time for Black History month).

More Drama:
Ohno and Cselsnik make it to final in speed skating and will be up against the South Koreans again. Ho Kim is still talking smack so the final will be exciting. I am praying for a clean race and for the US team to prevail because they've been through a lot this year, especially J.R.

Olympic Wrap Up:
Men's Figure Skating:
Lysacek won despite Pleshenko's quad which lead to a big stink up in Russia and the Russian press. Johnny Weir and his fan's feel that he was robbed.

Tension Between Lyndsey Vonn and team Mate Mancuso:
Lyndsey got silver for her second race while Mancuso got 2 silver medals. Lyndsey broke a finger and DQ'd on her other races, one DQ may have caused Mancuso her race as she had to wait to take the slopes under less than optimal conditions.

The Women's Figure Skating:
The women's figure skating was a bit boring as everyone knew Kim Una would win. The Japanese women skaters were very strong and had a lot of supporters in the crowd. The American women were young teens, Rachel Flatt and Moria and they did verywell but the sentimental favorite was the Canadian skaterwhose mother died a few days ago.
Kim Una won gold, Moa Asadawon silver and the Canadian won bronze. Personally, I feel Moria was robbed of the bronze assheskated a wonderful long program and performed difficult jumps and did the most beautiful layback spin since Oskana Bayul.

Speed Skating:
Short Track:
Apolo Ohno is the Most Decorated Winter Olympian! Apollo is amazing but the Koreans and Canadians also skated well. So exciting! There was lots of pushing, shoving and even jumping as Ohno had to jump a fallen skater during a prelim. The skate officials DQ'd a few skaters even Ohno for pushing, which I think was wrong as the Canadian skater who won the race should have been DQ'd for pushing also.
Long Track:
Shani Davis repeats Gold!

Olympic Hockey:
Team USA played well bit lossed to Canada in the Gold medal match.

Team USA's win over Canada in the semi-finals caused many Canadians to lose bladder control. Then team USA rolled over Sweden and Canadian fans root for anyone but USA. The win leads to a USA VS Canada match up for the Gold medal final match. The game was the best hockey game since the young US team's "miracle on ice" win against the Russians in 1980. Team USA fell behing 2-1 but tied the game with less than 2 minutes to spare. The Canadians win in OT due to a rare miss by goalie, Miller, who was also an MVP.

The red, white and blue has nothing to be ashamed of as both teams did well.
To Team Canada: It's on next Olympics in Russia!

Closing Ceremonies:

Dancing inflatable beavers... what else can I say.

The Super Bowl and Best Super Bowl Commercials!

This post is a bit late but oh well.

I missed most of the first half and most of the commercials because L.A. is 3 hours behind the east coast and church lets out at close to 12 PM. I did catch the commercials on-line though.

IMHO: Worst commercials ever! Dull and unimaginative over-all.

Bright spots:
-The Snickers commercial with Betty White playing football. Betty White is just hilarious in general and she "steals the show" in everything she does.

-The Pro life commercial with Tebow(sp?)

Honorable Mention:
Leno, Letterman and Oprah was a nice try.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Oscars 2010: Nominations and Predictions

The Oscars nominations were announced today and I got an upfront look at the process when I was at the Sam Goldwyn building as they cleared the press and their credentials a day before the event. It was a big treat for me as, for a moment, I was mistaken to be part of the Hollywood press. This moment at the Oscars nomination credentialing felt very prophetic, as establishing myself as a Christian movie critic and entertainment industry journalist is one of the dreams that I have been praying very hard about.

Great To Be Nominated:
This will be an interesting Oscars to watch, as the Academy now has 10 nominee slots for each category. For those writers, actors, producers, editors and directors who were not nominated, I wish them better luck next time. I am also praying that I, too, will be a nominee for 'Best Original or Best Adapted Screenplay' and one day carry home an Oscar of my own.

See a full list of all those nominated at

My Thoughts On The Nominations:
All things being equal, Up should win for Best Picture of the Year hands down! This movie was awesome and not just visually (hint: Avatar) because the script was great too. This movie made me laugh and it had great action and suspense with or without the 3D effects. In fact, this movie was so touching that I was brought to tears a few times.

If you haven't seen this movie get it on DVD and watch it because you won't regret it. I told everyone I know to go and see Up just like I did after seeing WALL-E last year and Beauty and the Beast a decade or more before (both could have easily won best pic of their respective year). IMHO, animated films are blowing their live action counter-parts out of the water, point blank. I think the Academy has gotten over its bias against animated films as it did when Lord Of The Rings:LOTR(a fantasy/sci-fi) won best pic in 2004. Plus, most of the voting members are old or getting there and Up has to be their top pick, too(lol). So Up should win, all things being equal of course.

Should Have been Nominated:
Though the post-apocalyptic movie, The Road, was a bit too dark for some, Viggo Mortensen's performance was great as well as that of the child actor who played his son, Kodi McPhee. They definitely should have received best actor and best supporting actor nods. I was also riveted by Heath Leadger's performance in The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus (and the interesting way the other actors were substituted for him after his death) but I was disappointed about the film overall.

Shoo-ins to Win:
Jeff Bridges will win 'Best Actor' hands down and deserves it. Win or lose, I'm also glad to see that The Blindside(nearly $250 in box office) and Sandra Bullock were acknowledged and I can never hate on a Meryl Streep nomination... ever. I'm also rooting for Kathryn Bigelow to win Best Director over James Cameron, which would be a massive upset.

Ratings wise: THE ONLY reason I will be watching this year's Oscars is to see these women win as well as to see a Christian movie like The Blindside get a nod!