Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Survivor Carmoan Ep. 3 Recap: Being Incredibly Good Looking Doesn't Win Challenges

Survivor Caramoan has provided a healthy dose of backstabbing and swerves, which has made for a unpredictable season.  The crazy personalities have just added to the great drama of what is shaping up to be a classic.  I recap all the fun in my latest article for BuddyTV.

Pop Culture Hits That Will Be Remembered in a 100 Years

There are several films, books, and songs that were massive hits in the '70s that only the hardcore fans still remember now.  Despite it being a bit of a kick between the legs, it isn't hard to believe that the majority of our pop culture will be forgotten in a hundred years.  Sure we think it is the greatest thing ever now, but it won't even be trendy in 10 years.  But I do think there will be some current pop culture hits that will still have a following in a 100 years.  In today's Collective Publishing pop culture column, I predict the current pop culture artifacts that will survive a 100 years.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Memorable Moments of the 85th Oscars

As you many of you know (since it was my highest viewed post of the year so far), I did a live blogging of the 85th Academy Awards.  I offered up many of my thoughts on what was going on during the awards show.  But that doesn't mean I was able to deliver everything I thought about what happened on the most prestigious awards show of the seasons.  Oh no, I have a few more.  Here are some of the significant moments of the 85th Oscars that I have some thoughts to serve up on. 

Argo pulls off most predictable shocker in history.   A film that did not have its director nominated for Best Directors hasn't won Best Picture since the 1989 picture Driving Miss Daisy won.  Only two other films with this distinction have won prior, Grand Hotel (1931) and Wings (1927).  When predicting the Oscar winner, you typically save time by discounting all films that don't have a Best Director nomination, because history is on your side.  This logic would make you think Argo was out the game, except most film critics realized this was a strong nomination field where the normal rules didn't apply.  This was one of the few times where every film had a possible chance (though, Amour, Life of Pi, and Les Miserables were huge outside chances).  But there was also another reason why we needed to ignore the old "Best Picture needs a Best Director nomination to win" rule, which was Argo won every single "Best Picture" equivalent at all the awards shows leading up to the Oscars.  It really was the heavy favourite, though the Academy is known for sometimes going against the other awards shows.  Even though it was the Apollo Creed entering into the night, there was that pesky statistic that made even the most confident gambler wary of Argo coming out on top.  But it did.  Everyone claimed "I knew it would win" after the fact, but deep down they were just a little bit surprised.

Ben Affleck shines during his crowning moment.  Affleck was also a producer on Argo, so he actually got to accept the Best Picture win.  His speech was eerily similar to a Best Director speech, and I think some perceive this win as a little bit like a make good on the nomination snub.  This victory is also the final wipe away of the past were Ben Affleck was the butt of the joke and considered one of the more overrated talents in Hollywood.  To be fair, that perception was killed years ago when he proved he was a hell of a director.  I've personally always found his work entertaining, though I've never seen Gigli.  This was the public acknowledgement that he is a mega force in Hollywood and one of the legitimate superstars of our time.  His credibility has been strong among film critics and buffs for a little while, but this was the moment his crowning became mainstream and universally accepted.  Affleck obviously was aware of that based off the type of speech he gave where he acknowledged how he was perceived in his past and also announced it was his time to move forward.  It was a classy speech, but also one where he got a delicious moment of knocking down his critics.  I became an even bigger fan after his words, and I'm going to continue to back him for years.  I think he has the great film mind and creativity to avoid slipping into the Kevin Costner career path (who to be fair, may be on the comeback trail as well).

The victors actually seem to be elated.  Ben Affleck wasn't the only star who was moved by his win.  Now, I'm pretty sure the technical people and writers and all the hard working but less famous are always touched and proud to win an award.  There are times that some of the more famous appear to be mildly perturbed they're expected to get out of their seat to make a speech.  If someone doesn't appreciate they've just been declared the best of the year then it is really hard for the audience to care about that win.  It is also a bummer to the nominee that would have loved the acknowledgement.  I thought it was incredibly cool that everyone seems really moved and touched that they were chosen as the winner this year.  Everyone actually seemed to be humbled that they were picked.  This is even more impressive when heavy favourites like Jennifer Lawrence, Anne Hathaway, and Daniel Day-Lewis took their trophy with humility but also seemed ecstatic to be chosen as the elite of the pack.  It made me think that some of the top stars in Hollywood are pretty cool, and I've got faith in the future of filmmaking at this point.

Seth MacFarlane channels Family Guy and some people actually are shocked.  I wasn't really shocked by anything that MacFarlane did at the Oscars.  I was surprised by how many people were surprised that the host did some controversial material.  Um, he is the creator of Family Guy and the writer/director of the R-rated raunchy comedy Ted.  If he pulled a Billy Crystal then I would have been floored.  I just assumed he was going to drag out tons of dated pop culture references and serve up jokes that could be interpreted as racy or even sexist.  You only need to watch 5 minutes of anything he has produced to figure out his style.  "We Saw Your Boobs" was juvenile and only appealing to a specific demographic, but I also have to admit I chuckled and I'm still humming it while I work.  MacFarlane did effectively use a lot of his typical humour and I got a kick out of the Sound of Music gag.  He even threw out a few asides that showed his wit, such as the "Too soon" comment when people groaned over the Lincoln assassination joke.  But there were times he felt a little uncomfortable and I'm not sure if this type of show is best suited for him.  He definitely had jokes that landed like bricks.  I'd still say it turned out better than I expected, but as for the "controversy", it was the most unsurprising thing of the night.

The real greatness of the Jennifer Lawrence trip.  The big meme coming out of the Academy Awards was Jennifer Lawrence tripping on her ginormous gown when going up to accept her Oscar.  It appears some sites totally missed the beauty of what came out of the fall.  I think some perceived it as, "ha ha pretty big shot actress took a tumble".  But that isn't what made it so great.  That isn't even reality to be honest.  What made the trip so great was the grace and humility Lawrence showed.  She takes her small tumble, and instead of hiding it, she stays there for a few seconds on the stairs.  She soaks up the moment of her win.  Then when she gets her trophy, she actually makes a joke about her fall, essentially making sure everyone knows what happened.  She then continues to do her speech with passion and humility, and she seemed touched by her victory even though she is the next big star of Hollywood.  She doesn't act like the next hot thing.  I don't think a trip could ever make someone more lovable and endearing.  Jennifer Lawrence is a huge box office draw right now and one hell of a great actor, but she also proved she is an award winning human being.  This is what made the moment so special.

Jaws Revenge: Academy Awards edition.  It appears the great white shark is still bitter at failing to win Best Picture of 1975.  Every time a sound and tech winner dared to talk a little longer than the Academy deemed appropriate, the shark threatened to make an appearance based off his entrance music.  There were at least two times that I remember the music being played, and both times it was fired up when a relative unknown was accepting their award.  I'm pretty sure those speeches were actually shorter than a few of the actors' and they were definitely shorter than the Best Picture speech.  In one case, it was pretty clear the guy was very close to wrapping up and was just thanking people very important to him.  This is the only night that the background people in Hollywood get acknowledged for their huge contributions.  They'll never get fame.  This is their moment in the spotlight.  It is pretty classless to ruin that moment with the music from Jaws.  I'm sure someone thought it was cool and edgy, but it was stupid.  It is unfair that people who never get recognized can't just get an extra minute in front of millions of people, especially when they'll never have it again.  Affleck, Ang Lee, and all the hot actors will get countless interviews and chances to speak.  This is the tech peoples' one really big chance.  I realize this show is incredibly long, and that everyone begs for it to be shorter.  Those two speeches weren't what dragged out the night.  Maybe they should work on cutting down the lame comedy that is often attempted by the presenters, who usually are up there longer than the winner.  Or maybe we can live without one contrived show tune?  Anyway, it is a pity that the often ignored can't even get the proper appreciation during their supposed shining moment.

Will Quentin Tarantino's greatest destiny be his Best Original Screenplay victories?  Tarantino repeats as a Best Original Screenplay winner, and I'd say this would be considered a mild upset.  I am ecstatic that it won, because I stand by my belief Django Unchained was one of the best films of 2012 and the entire past decade or more.  The heavy favourite seemed to Zero Dark Thirty, and it felt like the Academy wanted to award that film something.  Django was the better script and one of the deeper and more nuanced stories in a long time.  I was proud Tarantino got his biggest recognition from the Academy since his Best Original Screenplay win for Pulp Fiction.  As Tarantino held his trophy high, I was left wondering if this was his legacy.  If the screenplay wins would be the best Tarantino could ever obtain.  I get a sense that he'll be nominated for more Best Pictures and Best Directors, but he'll never win the trophy.  I think he deserves to win.  I would love for him to win.  I get a sense his work is just too controversial and deemed too violent and profane to get the highest of film prizes.  In 50 years, there will be some writer who will look back and feel Tarantino was robbed and assume the screenplay awards were his consolation prize.  I could be wrong.  I think the Academy would need a huge shift in who votes before that can happen.

Onion fails at being even close to funny in tasteless Quvenzhane Wallis tweet.  This wasn't at the Academy Awards, but it did happen over in the world of Twitter during the show.  It caused a great deal of stir, and it should have.  Onion at its best is hilarious, and has done some really smart satire.  It has moments when it totally bombs, and offers up something completely unfunny.  Other times it does something borderline tasteless, but at least, it usually is saved by having a big dose of humour.  During the Academy Awards it posted a joke on Twitter that was outright tasteless and absolutely unfunny.  Wallis is a sweetheart and an acting prodigy.  Onion thought it would be funny to then call her one of the most derogatory things you could ever label a woman.  It is even worse when you realize she is a 9 year old girl.  Even though she is a celebrity, she is probably far too young to understand the joke and would take it personally.  Hell, I am still too young to understand how the tweet was a joke when aimed at a little kid.  Comedy is a shaky area, and many comedians have crossed the line in the past.  This was one of those times that somebody should have got a clue before sending it out to the public.  Someone should have taken a moment to think, "Is this even funny?"  Did anyone laugh at a sweet little girl being called a female lady part? Anyone?  I always was under the belief that comedy should make you laugh, especially if it is going to be offensive.  Giant fail, Onion.

What are some of the major memorable moment from the Oscars for you?  If you can't think of any, then feel free to tell me how wrong I am about my picks.  No matter what your thoughts were of the show, I think most can agree that 2012 was a great year for cinema.  Hopefully, 2013 can wake up and try to start working towards following in its footsteps.

Breakdown of Dark Skies Podcast and Rants Against the Decline of Horror

Last week, Scott and I presented a four part podcast series on the 85th Academy Awards.  In order to prepare, we were treated to some of the most magnificent films of the past year and many movies that will be known as the best over the past decade.  How did we decide to follow up on such a podcast?

We've done it by reviewing a low budget horror film from the same producers that have shoved the Paranormal Activity franchise down our throat known as Dark Skies.  A film that no one would ever mistake for any kind of challenge to an Oscars award.

This film is relevant because it is being produced by the CEO of Blumhouse Productions, Jason Blum.  A company that not only has brought forth Paranormal Activity, but several other successful haunted house pictures like Sinister and Insidious.  These films have all followed a predictable formula, and lack some of the key components of good stories like engaging characters.

Despite this obvious flaw and their habit of producing almost the exact same film each time, Blum has been able to make close to 100 million on each film on budgets no more than 3 million.  These films have been gold mines.  But they've also been defining the modern horror genre and have inspired countless other haunted house or demon possession films over the past several years.

This is why Dark Skies is important.  We want to see if this film will follow the exact same formula, even though it is supposed to be about invading aliens.  But we also want to analyze what makes these films work, and if Dark Skies will continue in the legacy of these films.

We break down several elements of this film.  We also look at the entire genre, and look at the strengths and flaws of Blum's other films.  It is one of the most in-depth Breakdowns ever.  Our feelings on these types of films cause for some pretty lively discussion.

Please check out the Breakdown of Dark Skies, and if you enjoy it, please share it with other.  As always, we love any feedback and comments you may have.

Please enjoy.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Live Blog Coverage of the 85th Academy Awards

The 85th Academy Awards are ready to kick off.  I'll be here giving my thoughts and ready to enjoy several hours of celebrating film.

How this will work is I'll keep updating content throughout the night on this post, and you'll just have to hit refresh to get the new insight.

Alright, let's rock this thing.

8:30:  Tommy Lee Jones laughed.  Seth McFarlane has already made history.                                    

8:31:  Seth hits two worthwhile and funny points.  Oscars seem unaware Affleck was the director and Jean Dujardin's career apparently wasn't made by winning a "career making" Best Actor trophy.

8:32:  Gibson and Foster jokes are kind of easy, but he still isn't any Ricky Gervais.

8:33:  I was going to say Seth was funny without resorting to Family Guy humour, and then old pop culture reference of 3 decades ago comes down from the heavens in Captain Kirk to destroy my point.

8:35: "I saw your boobs" is a very unBilly Crystal number and juvenile humour, but I'll probably still be humming it by Thursday.

8:39:  Sock Puppets reenactment wasn't Family Guy rip off humour because it wasn't animated or about a film in 1984.

8:41:  McFarlane's "Denzel Washington has a sense of humour because he was in those Nutty Professor films," worth a laugh too.  MacFarlane is officially better than James Franco as a host.

8:41:  Though, being awake makes him better than Franco.

8:46:  The Flying Nun gag seemed to be typical, "I really like old stuff so I will mention it" MacFarlane stuff I expected.

8:47:  But I really like old stuff too, so he is still good.

8:48:  "Be Our Guest" is once again. . . okay, okay, I know, we get the point.  Seth likes stuff from other decades.  I won't mention it anymore.

8:48:  Listing the Supporting Actor nominees.  I'm sticking to my Tommy Lee Jones pick, because he had so much energy and emotion.  But everyone was amazing in this category, and I deep down would love a "We still remember when you were awesome and you seemed to too" award to Robert De Niro.

8:51:  Christoph Waltz is a great win, because he is such a likable guy.  He shows his awesomeness with a top notch speech.  He seems quite touched.  

8:53:  Waltz was incredible as Dr. King Schultz, and he definitely deserves this win.  Even if he makes me 0 for 1.

8:54:  It shows the Academy is willing to give out Awards to the same people who won a few years ago, since Waltz won in 2009.  It also gives Django Unchained momentum.  But also shows Academy is following wins from more recent awards shows.  It gives lots of hope for an Argo win too.

8:58:  I saw Paperman right before Wreck-It Ralph.  It was beautiful and sweet.  Well deserved.

8:59:  McCarthy and Rudd weren't hilarious, but still want to see them do a film together.

9:00:  I'm thinking Brave won due to it being Pixar and Pixar must always win.  It wasn't the best animated picture of the year.  Sorry. 

9:04:  The recap of Beasts of the Southern Wild almost made me cry again.

9:05:  Wife asked "Was this the movie that made you cry?"  Well, the truth is that it was one of them.

9:06:  The Les Mis recap and Life of Pi recap also reminded me how great a year it was in cinema.

9:08:  Life of Pi deserved cinematography because it was a moving piece of art and visually stunning.  It was awesome how much it touched the guy to be the winner. 

9:11:  Looks like Life of Pi is taking all the technical awards tonight.  Visual effects win, and once again, no movie even came close to being as visually stunning.  Some of the greatest effects ever and best use of 3D ever.

9:14:  Sadly, Jaws ate up the team's acceptance speech.  Stay classy, Academy.

9:15:  The behind the scene workers in film have one chance to ever get recognition, and it is when they win awards.  It sucks that they can't even just get a bit of extra time to revel in the moment.

9:16:  But there is time for 2 minutes of lame humour between famous presenters.

9:18:  If you want to win an award then film a Victorian dress up party.  This is another lesson learned at the Academy.

9:19:  Academy loves giving awards for properly capturing century old time periods, because they like to reminisce of their childhood.

9:22  Halle Berry makes James Bond proud with the ultimate double entendre with her Pussy Galore reference.  Well played.

9:23 It is cool Oscars actually recognized James Bond 50th film anniversary with a fitting video package.  I have feeling Twilight won't get the same in 5 decades. 

9:24: Or Paranormal Activity.

9:25:  Or Weekend at Bernie's.

9:25:  I just pulled a McFarlane with that last one.

9:27:  Also really cool to perform one of the more classic Bond anthems rather than something super current.

9:28:  This tribute package is Academy's "Sorry, we never even considered you for Best Picture, even if people begged for us to pick Skyfall" consolation prize.  Which may not be a great paperweight, but at least you don't need to worry about a speech that will get interrupted after you talk for 10 seconds.

9:32:  I must sadly admit my short film watching is horribly. . . . well, short.  I don't know any of these films.

9:33:  Short fiction as a whole is an underappreciated but great form of storytelling.  I need to try to watch many more, just like reading many more short stories.

9:36:  Documentaries are something I need to watch a lot more too.

9:37:  Love the point about standing up for the arts.  I also think you need to stand up for making sure I make lots of money from creating art.

9:38:  Zero Dark Thirty lets us "ease drop" is the best way to describe that film.

9:39:  Argo video package gets me pumped to watch that movie all over again.  Awesome.

9:40:  Lincoln package reminds me that I cried at too many films this year.  Another great film.

9:41:  In the podcast, Scott and I criticized Zero Dark Thirty a lot, but it was a masterfully constructed film.

9:41:  The "too soon" comment about Wilkes Booth was funnier than the joke. 

9:42:  I just saw a clip of why Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom will always be Spielberg's favourite film.  Awesome to see in Hollywood a marriage can last that long, and even better Kate Capshaw has no reason to act anymore.

9:46:  I haven't seen Searching for Sugar Man, but had heard rave reviews.  I now definitely need to catch that documentary.  Like I said, it is something I need to watch a lot more this year.  A great and underrated art form that can compel true change.

9:49:  Time to find out if my Amour theory has any strength.

9:51:  Doesn't mean I am right about Best Picture, but Amour winning here makes me think this is its big award.

9:53:  I still haven't seen Best Picture winner, Chicago.

9:55:  Travolta says one thing I agree with from this decade, which is that musical's success is about suspending disbelief that actors will spontaneously sing.  When you let it happen, it is magical and wonderful.

9:57:  Dreamgirls clip reminds me that Eddie Murphy is another actor who got robbed his year from a deserved win.

9:58:  This is supposed to be a celebration of musicals from the past decade, but they could only come up with three films?

10:01:  Les Miserables wasn't one of the films that made me cry in 2012.  I saw it in 2013.    

10:02:  Samantha Barks made Les Miserables, and makes me giddy to see her again.  She will be back, I am sure of it.

10:05:  That sort of felt like an ad for a film that has been out for several months.  But it was still really impressive that they all came together in harmony at the end.

10:09:  Now time for a video of all the awards we didn't want to waste time on tonight.

10:10:  Seth McFarlane might be bashing his film, but that is easy to do when it was one of the highest earning films of the year.  He can cry in one of his 5 mansions.

10:12:  There was absolutely no way that a film that mixed in live singing could not win the Best Sound Mixing.  Les Miserables is a distinguished picture due to this masterful work.

10:14:  We are now in the awards that recognize talented people, but most of us go look for chips in the cupboard. 

10:15  James Bond gets a video package and an award.  Though he had to share his award.  Plus he is a fictional character so he didn't really win it either.  I also learned sound editors don't cut their hair.

10:19:  Seth McFarlane is such a old pop culture geek, but that Sound of Music joke was pretty awesome.

10:20:  I really hope Christopher Plummer does have 30 more films.

10:21:  The first category Scott and I disagreed on the winner.  I think we both did awesome picks, but I am obviously winning.

10:22:  I actually think all the woman were awesome in Best Supporting Actress.  I still think Field was spectacular, even she is definitely not winning.  She was the real best in my opinion.

10:22:  And I'm 1 for 2.  Hathaway cashes in on her favourite status and gets the well deserved win.

10:24:  I didn't pick Hathaway because I thought she was the best, but her performance was unforgettable.  It was a major part of making it a memorable film.  Plus thank you Anne for now putting me ahead of Scott.

10:32:  I am a writer,  Best Editing is one of the awards I just trust the Academy on and don't protest.

10:34:  Is the Argo haul now beginning?

10:35:  Jennifer Lawrence is apparently getting married after the show.

10:36:  Remember when they sang all the Academy nominated songs?  Was that a decade ago?  Am I proving I am a geezer?

10:37:  I never admitted to being an Adele fan, but this song is pretty awesome.  There, I said it.  It is perfect James Bond.

10:43:  Tarantino is looking bummed that Nicole Kidman was picked to describe his movie.

10:45:  The movie recap remind me how much this past year rocked.  I want to watch Silver Linings Playbook again, right now.  And Django, actually.  I'll watch them at the same time if I have to.

10:46:  And now, the one Best Picture I did not see or can even pronounce.

10:47:  Kristen Stewart may have just woke up before presenting.

10:48:  Lincoln starts getting some awards love.  No film is running away with anything yet.

10:49:  I think this was a "Academy loves old" win, because I'd have totally thought this was another Life of Pi victory.

10:50:  I want to rail on Seth's jokes, but I am just jealous because it is the same stuff I'd have tried on this blog.

10:52:  Now, a video of "Aren't we all great" awards.  Though I really am not trying to downplay their achievements.  I am just trying to cover the fact I blanked out when they mentioned what these life time achievements awards were for.

10:52:  I was too busy daydreaming about Selma Hayek.

10:57:  It is way past my bed time and we have tons of awards left.  This show really doesn't like words "brief", "concise" or "getting a good night's sleep."

10:57:  My favourite part of the Oscars every year, remembering those who passed away.

11:00 Fighting to not cry.  So many legends were lost this year.  This is always a classy and wonderful piece.

11:00  I miss Ray Bradbury, and touched they decided to honour him.  So many of his great work turned to film.

11:02  Fitting a legend of the past follows up with a tribute.  Barbara Streisand is class.

11:03 Or at least she is when she isn't starring beside Seth Rogen.

11:03 I succeeded in not crying this year during the tribute.  I almost lost it with Bradbury though, because I'm a wimp.  I admit it.

11:04:  Because I am shameless, I actually want to mention that I wrote tributes to a few of the artists we lost this year.

11:06:  I did fail to write a tribute to Nora Ephron, which was a failure on my part.  She was a wonderful writer and inspired some of the most beloved romantic comedies that had smart writing like When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle, and Julie and Julia.

11:09:  Richard Gere does not seem to be aware where he is.  Though I usually never do either, and he makes millions more than me, so he wins again.

11:09: John Williams should win Best Original Score, because he always should win.

11:10:  Nope, Life of Pi wins instead.  I am okay with it.  Music was phenomenal in this film too.  It helped enhance the amazing visuals.

11:11:  I never heard of Chasing Ice.  My film geek card has been revoked.

11:14:  It was a documentary.  Thus proving I really need to pay more attention to that medium.

11:16:  Though 2 hours about glaciers may not be the introduction I need.

11:17: I totally called the Adele win.  Which I can't prove because I told no one.  But I was planning to.  Honest.

11:18:  Do we only have 3 more awards to go?  Will this thing end before a new day begins?  Academy is always about being so cutting edge. 

11:19:  Just like me who came up with the concept of live blogging coverage of the Academy Awards just like every other pop culture writer alive today.

11:21:  Actually, there has to be at least 4 more awards left.  Four awards which will take my record to 5-1, because I am a genius.  Even though I'm pretty sure Argo will ruin another prediction.

11:22:  Oh yeah, awards for writing.  Okay, we've got million more awards to go.

11:23  Come on Beasts of the Southern Wild!

11:24:  Okay, I think Argo is winning Best Picture, and thus I was wrong on my podcast pick.  Not that a screenplay win makes a solid Best Picture win.

11:25:  Sweet and heartfelt speech by Chris Terrio, and a damn good script that Affleck turned into magic.

11:27:  I adore Django Unchained and think it is Tarantino's greatest picture.  Even though he didn't get a director nomination, he got his recognition with the Best Original Screenplay.

11:29:  Deep down, Tarantino prides himself as a writer and he crafts all his tales, so this award probably means more to him than Best Director.

11:32:  Does Django now have more awards than the favourites?

11:33:  I wonder if Tarantino can ever win Best Picture or will always be thrown a bone with best screenplay instead.  I admit I didn't think he would win Best Screenplay this year, even though I wanted him to.

11:34:  Wow, I didn't see Ang Lee winning.  Good for him.  He created the unfilmable novel into a magnificent movie.

11:45 Even thought I didn't predict it at all, and I didn't like Life of Pi as much as many other critics, I realize what he did was revolutionary.

11:36: You got to love Ang Lee.  He loves us.  A real class act.  Life of Pi is a visual masterpiece, and really did make 3D an important part of the story.

11:38:  Ang Lee is a worthy win, even though I bet many will disagree.  It was that visual challenge that proves his skill and the fact this film was so ambitious that really earned him this win.  Even if I don't think Life of Pi is Best Picture.

11:38:  I am now sporting a 1-2 record, but Scott is skunked at the moment.

11:40:  And now the Oscars are trying to rush things through, before it becomes Monday.

11:41:  I try to stay awake.

11:41:  Chastain made Zero Dark Thirty and made all the thrills and emotions in that film.  But I still think Lawrence wins, and it was a stand out showing as well.

11:42:  But I cry and party if Wallis wins this thing.  Oh how awesome that would be.

11:43:  Oscar doesn't go with the age stories, but with who they want to be the next huge star.

11:42:  And I'm now 2-2.  And Scott is still a skunk.

11:44:  Jennifer Lawrence will be here again.  She is a real talent, and a blockbuster star.

11:45:  It was a joke, but a truth.  Meryl Streep doesn't need any introduction.  The legend of acting.

11:46:  The acting this year was phenomenal.  Every guy in this would have won this thing almost every other year.  Cooper stood out as a real talent, and Lewis reminded us why he is the male Streep.

11:48:  In the foregone conclusion, Daniel Day-Lewis wins it.  He deserved it,  I predicted it.  But damn, Washington and Cooper were amazing this year too.  I wish it could have been a three way tie.

11:49:  Day-Lewis seems honoured and touched, but also delivers the funniest speech of the night.  He is the awesome.

11:50:  I would love to see Streep as Lincoln and as a musical.  I'm down with that.  Make it happen Hollywood.

11:51:  Time for the main event.

11:52:  I am currently 3-2 now.  Scott gets on the board.

11:53:  Michelle Obama is a known film buff.  It is cool to see her get to list the nominations.

11:54:  I'm honestly not sure who will win this thing.  There hasn't been anyone who has dominated.  Life of Pi has the most awards going in, I think.

11:55:  Django and Argo have the screenplay wins.

11:55:  I was wrong on the podcast, but right tonight.  I'm glad Affleck gets his win as a producer and that Argo wins it.  An incredible picture.

11:57:  My favourite film of the year that didn't have a fountain of blood.  I'll rewatch Argo for years.  A true Best Picture.

11:58:  Ben Affleck makes thought provoking and entertaining films.  Key word: entertaining.  He finally gets his acknowledgment.  It is an incredible piece of filmmaking. 

11:59:  Ben Affleck proves he deserved to make a speech.  Almost as good as his film too.  He is touched.  But he was inspirational too.

12:00: Almost ended before Monday arrived.

12:01: Kristin Chenoweth is kind of adorable.  She is also almost orange, but a charming orange.

12:03:  This loser song may have been one of those "it was awesome on paper, after downing 20 beers at 3am" ideas.

And the credits are rolled and the show is being moved to the party.  The 85th Academy Awards show is over.

This means I am now done.

Thank you so much for sticking with me tonight.  It was a lot of fun.  I hope you enjoyed it too.

Have a good night, everybody.

Let me know what you thought of the show in the comments.

Reminder: Live Blog Coverage of the 85th Academy Awards Tonight

The 85th Academy Awards are tonight.  You can't all have me lounging on your couch, eating all your chips, and lifting your fine silverware.  But you may still be wishing you could hear my comments on what is going down during the biggest awards show of the year.  Or maybe you'll be stuck at work but need a distraction from all those papers that need to be stamped.  I've got your back, because tonight I'm doing live coverage on this blog.

I've never done this before.  I really don't have any plan other than to constantly jot down thoughts while watching the awards.  It could end up being a paramount disaster.  And no, I'm not talking about Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull that is the Paramount Pictures Disaster.  It could be a mess tonight or I could stumble upon some blogging magic, but hopefully, it ends up being fun.  For someone.  In some way.

I'd love for you to join me tonight. The show officially begins at 8:30, and I have no interest in watching or covering the long and agonizing fashion show that is the red carpet preshow before that time.  I'll kick things off when the actual awards show begins, and we'll all party Oscar style together.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Here is the Entire "Breakdown of the 85th Academy Awards" Podcast Series for your Convenience

During the build to the 85th Academy Awards, Scott and I have been doing a podcast series that has been looking at the past year in cinema and analyzing all the major category nominees.  If you haven't had a chance to listen to the four part series, you should really check it out before the Academy Awards on Sunday.

Just because I love to help out whenever I can, I'm going to offer links to the four podcasts here.

Part 1, looks at the year 2012 in cinema and we analyze some of the major moments of the year.

Part 2, we look at the nominees for Best Supporting Actress and Actor, and we offer up our predictions on the winners.

Part 3, we list the Best Actress, Actor, and Director nominations, and talk about their relevance to the cinematic landscape while also offering up our predictions.

Part 4, is our massive finale where we look at the big one, the Best Picture nominations, and we talk about how we felt each film stood up in 2012 and then reveal our prediction.

Each podcast is close to an hour, and the finale is an hour and half.  You're getting a lot of great content and discussion about one of the most anticipated awards shows of the year.

I really hope you enjoyed the series, and if you did, please share it with others.  We would also love to hear your feedback and thoughts.

Friday, February 22, 2013

The Breakdown of the 85th Academy Awards Podcast Part 4

The Breakdown of the 85th Academy Awards podcast series wraps up today.  Scott and I have been running down all the major nominees and offering up our predictions of the winners.  If you haven't checked out the previous podcasts in this series, then definitely give them a listen first.

In part 1, we look at the year 2012 in cinema and pick out some significant moments.

In part 2, we run down the Best Supporting Actress and Actor nominations along with our thoughts on their significance on film history and our predictions on the winners.

In part 3, we list the Best Actress, Actor, and Director nominations along with our thoughts on how they will stand up over time along with our predictions of the winners.

Now, we finish up the series with an in depth look at all the Best Picture nominees, and like the rest, we look at their significance and offer up our predictions.

We hope you enjoyed the series and love this big finale.  I think the podcast series turned out really great.  If you enjoyed it then please share it with others.  As always, we'd love your feedback and comments.


Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Breakdown of the 85th Academy Awards Podcast Part 3

Scott and I continue our look at the 85th Academy Awards shows, and give our thoughts on one of the most competitive and unpredictable fields in a long time.

In part 1, we looked at the year of 2012 and discussed some of the major moments of cinema.

In part 2, we ran down the Supporting Actress and Actor nominees, where we talked about the significance of their performances and offered up our predictions on the winners.

This now leads us to part 3.  It is a doozy, as we will look at the Best Director, Actress, and Actor nominees.  Just like the previous podcast, we will talk about their relevance to the entire cinema landscape, and also offer up our predictions.

It is a fun podcast, and a great one for film buffs.  Please check it out, and if your enjoy it then share it with others.  As always, we welcome your feedback and thoughts.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Survivor Caramoan Recap: Beware of the Bulge

A pocket is not the best hiding place for a bulky object.  This is an important life lesson, and one we learned on tonight's Survivor Caramoan.  Do you want more lessons from Survivor I offer up all the highlight in my latest recap for BuddyTV. 

The Biggest Best Picture Nomination Snubs in History

Over at Collective Publishing, I mentioned a few shocking moments when the underdog took the Oscar statuette.  Even though it is rather surprising when a universally regarded movie doesn't get top prize, it is much more shocking when a film declared the best of the year doesn't even get an Oscar nomination.  It has happened on several occasions, and it becomes even more head scratching when you add a decade or more of perspective on the snubbed films.  It has occurred way more than the Academy would probably like to admit and so you could probably compile your own list that had several films that I neglected to mention, but here are a few major stand outs.

King Kong (1933)Yes, I'm talking about the movie with the giant ape.  I admit the picture may not be a visual spectacle by today's standards, but it was revolutionary back in 1933.  This film inspired massive blockbuster action genres like natural disasters and monster pictures, and would have paved the way for films like Towering Inferno and Jaws (both films that did get Best Picture nominations).  There are several big blockbuster special effects spectacles that have won Best Picture, and this may be the true granddaddy of those types of films.  Plus it has an engaging story that was fairly original for its time and has been constantly duplicated.  King Kong may be the most well-known misunderstood creature besides Frankenstein's monster, and considering there were 8 nominees back in 1933, it is shocking this film got the shaft.

Vertigo (1958):  Several respected critics and film rankings have this as the greatest film of all time, or at least, it bounces back and forth with Citizen Kane.  I mentioned before how it was shocking that Citizen Kane didn't win best picture, but Alfred Hitchcock's greatest film didn't even get nominated.  The idea of shock or twist endings is often believed to be a phenomena popularized in the '90s, but this has one of the best and memorable that inspired that entire style of filmmaking.  James Stewart is an iconic actor, but this was his greatest performance, though he got snubbed from a nomination as well.  In an even more shocking bit of news, Hitchcock actually never won Best Director, and several of his other amazing works never got nominated despite how highly they're viewed today such as North by Northwest, Rear Window and Psycho.  It is this film that is his greatest masterpiece that proves his legendary skills as a filmmaker, and it is a huge blight on the Academy that it was never recognized in its year.

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968):  This is probably one of the more divided films in history.  Most film buffs praise this as a visual spectacle and a powerfully thought provoking filmThere are people who believe it is a confusing mess and find it boring.  But I think everyone can at least agree that it is a masterfully crafted film and contains some of the most memorable scenes in cinema history.  Stanley Kubrick is another director who was robbed from ever winning the Best Director, but it is ludicrous that a movie held in such high esteem was ignored by the Academy.  This film has inspired countless works of science fiction, and has a style that is still used in many modern classics. I should also note that Kubrick has had other classic works that went ignored by the Academy like The Shining and Full Metal Jacket.

Easy Rider (1969):  Along with Bonnie and Clyde (1967), this film ushered in a new era of cinema with antiheroes, ultra violence, a counterculture message, and representing the disillusionment with the government.  The film is the ultimate road movie but also contains the style and feel that would influence many of the classic films from the '70s.  The Academy has the disadvantage of not realizing how the next decade would turn out, and be able to recognize this film captures the feelings and frustrations of the time.  It is one of the films that changes how films were made, and also was the first break out performance of Jack Nicholson.  It created the template of future Dennis Hopper characters, but also put Peter Fonda in a role that most weren't used to, and really proved why he is one of the all-time greats.  I don't know if the new era of cinema would have taken off it wasn't for this revolutionary piece of filmmaking.

Sophie's Choice (1982):  I had to recheck the list of Best Picture nominees about five times to make sure I wasn't just missing this film.  Apparently, the Academy didn't feel one of the most powerful and emotional motion pictures of all time should be nominated.  This is the film that put Meryl Streep into a starring role to optimize her great talents and allowed her to grace the world with her magic.  Yes, she rightfully won Best Actress, but there is more to this movie than just her performance.  It is one of the most provocative and thought provoking film dealing with the Holocaust.  It will make you cry and rip up your insides, but it doesn't do it in an overly sentimental way.  It is a beautiful piece of filmmaking that balances darkness with heart, and presents a situation that the viewer gets truly challenged.  It is a classic and unforgettable picture, and it is unbelievable it wasn't recognized as one of the best five movies of 1982.

Do the Right Thing (1989):  There were two major films about race relations in 1989.  Driving Miss Daisy was the safe and sentimental film with a classic Hollywood happy ending. Spike Lee's film was a challenging and thought provoking masterpiece that ends with a massive cannonball to the gut.  It reveals that racial tension still exists and showcases a hatred brewing that Hollywood almost always ignored.  It has a powerful message, but it also a well-constructed and engaging film.  It is on almost every critic's best films of the '80s list, but somehow the Academy completely ignored it.  The even greater travesty is that Spike Lee didn't get a Best Director nomination, and he has actually been ignored his entire career despite his amazing talents.  Can you believe he has never even received a Best Director nomination?  He also has several other powerful films that were snubbed such as Malcolm X and Jungle Fever.

Toy Story (1995): It was a huge deal in 1991 when Beauty and the Beast was the first animated feature to be nominated for Best Picture.  But some perspective shows that the Academy should have waited four more years and they would have got a truly Oscar worthy animated film Best Picture nomination.  Speaking of perspective, does anyone still think this wonderful and magical film should have been usurped by a talking pig?  It was a decent year for cinema, but Toy Story has been one of the more enduring pictures from that decade let alone year.  It had a heartwarming message about friendship and looking past differences, and is also one of really great coming of age tales.  It is a fun film for all ages, and one of the first real animated films that adults didn't need to borrow a child to justify going to see at the theatre.  Plus it was a revolutionary film technically and changed how animation was done, and essentially birthed the Pixar empire.  It definitely did a whole lot more for the industry than Babe.

These are my picks for biggest Best Picture nomination snubs, and I realize I also snubbed some incredible film.  Please help with the list and let me know which films you feel were robbed of a nomination.

The Biggest Upsets in Academy Awards History

To fit in with my Academy Awards week theme, my Collective Publishing column is catching the fever as well.  Almost every film writer is trying to come up with their big predictions for this Sunday.  Even when we think a nominee is a sure thing, there is a chance that a win will come out of nowhere.  In today's column, I'm looking at the biggest upsets in Academy Awards history.

The Breakdown of the 85th Academy Awards Podcast Part 2

Yesterday Scott and I ran down the highlights of 2012 in cinema, and talked about the significance of some of the films from the year.  We also gave a quick rundown of the Best Picture nominations.  If you haven't checked out part one of the podcast, then you really need to give it a listen.

If you're all caught up, then you're ready for the second edition of our Academy Awards podcast.  Today we look at the Best Supporting Actress and Best Supporting Actor nominees.  We talk about the relevance of their performances on the cinematic landscape and as well as how they may be remembered.  We also offer up our predictions of who we think will win the golden statuette.

Please check it out, and feel free to comment and leave feedback.  If you enjoy it, we'd love for you to share the podcast with others.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

7 Things That Made 2012 a Great Year for Cinema

The 85th Academy Awards takes place this Sunday, and since it is a celebration of the past year of film, it has me reflecting upon motion pictures in 2012.  This was the first year that I've been paid to keep track of the film industry and to write film reviews.  I paid much closer attention to the happenings in the world of filmmaking than past years.  I admit that there is potential that I'd just been oblivious to the wonders in other years from this past decade, but from what I saw, I'd reckon 2012 was one of the best years of cinema in the past 10 or so years.  It is a year that gives me hope that there will be several more spectacular movies in the coming years and that one of the greatest forms of storytelling will remain healthy.

Here are seven specific things that helped make 2012 stand out.

1.  The re-emergence of smartly written, fun blockbusters.  The last few years the summer time has been clogged with films like Transformers and G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra that had dazzling special effects and wall to wall action, but also risked killing a few brain cells with the asinine dialogue and nonsensical plot.  If you wanted a high quality blockbuster then you usually had to turn to grittier and darker fare like Dark Knight, which was an incredible film but sometimes you want some bright, cheery fun with your popcorn munching.  I was missing the '80s and early '90s when you had incredibly fun special effects adventures like Indiana Jones (okay, he returned, but I'm ignoring that), Back to Future or Jurassic Park.  The primary focus was still the extravagant effects and the fast paced action, but it also contained compelling characters and an engaging plot.  2012 brought forth fun action films like The Avengers, Hunger Games, and The Amazing Spider-man, which offered up a lot of bang but also contained a fun and compelling story.  It also proved that the king of the geeks, Joss Whedon, could direct a fantastic blockbuster that attracts the masses, but still contained the witty writing that we expect from him.  It gives me hope that going forward we'll at least have a few light and fun but still well written special effect spectacles to entertain us each summer.

2.  Adult drama films did well in the box office.  At one time, films like On Golden Pond, All the President's Men, and Rain Man would regularly get wide releases.  I realize for my entire lifetime that the big special effect blockbusters have been the main focus of Hollywood and it is what makes the studios the big money.  Ever since the international market has become important, it feels like the major studios have shied away from producing too many serious adult dramas that don't contain car chases and big explosions.  These films still have been made but usually get limited release and will rarely show up in a small city movie cinema.  The excuse has been that these movies just don't make money anymore, and the focus needs to be on making loud and explosive films that appeal to the teens and young adults.  There is no time to make people think or produce something that appeals to an older audience.  2012 kicked that theory hard in the nuts.  Sure, the big budget extravaganzas and franchise flicks still dominated the top ten box office ranking, but there were several adult dramas that did quite well on wide release.  Since the older demographic doesn't rush out to the theatre on opening weekend, these films also proved to have a steadier and longer life in the cinemas.  Wonderful pictures like Argo and Flight found a large audience that proved if you produce well written and brilliantly performed dramas then they can be major successes.  My hope is that this opened up the eyes of major film studios and more of these kinds of films get a wide release to prove cinema just isn't for the 17 year olds.

3.  Looper proves there is a demand for thought provoking science fiction.  Science fiction is at its best when it offers a commentary on society and social issues while also intricately exploring human characters.  Yes, I want my action and thrills, and it is always fun to have some spaceships, aliens and robots, but the truly great science fiction makes you think while also entertaining you.  Films like Blade Runner and Minority Report were exciting futuristic epic adventures, but they also contained messages for the present times and opened up discussion about various topics.  We've had some decent science fiction over the past decade (like the previously mentioned Minority Report), but the truly exciting and discussion inducing films are far apart.  Looper offered up everything you could possible desire from a sci-fi film, with a compelling futuristic setting, fantastic special effects, load of thrilling actions, an engaging story, and several messages that are relevant to current society.  The best part is that Looper was a success in the box office, which proved that smart sci-fi can attract an audience and that it doesn't need to be based off a comic book or cartoon/toy line.  There is still a place for original science fiction stories that give the brain a work out.  It looks like the success of Looper has encouraged some future science fiction pictures that are worth getting excited about like Oblivion.

4.  The rise of some hot new stars.  The last ten years have felt like Hollywood desperately trying to find replacements for current crop of aging motion picture superstars.  For the most part, the new crop hasn't been able to handle the pressure or be able to even get into the same universe as the previous generation of performers.  In 2012, there were some new actors that not only had some star making performances, but also did fairly well in the box office.  It may finally be time for the torch passing to occur.  Joseph Gordon-Levitt pulled off great supporting performances in major films such as Dark Knight Rises and Lincoln.  He also proved to be an excellent leading man in Looper, and was able to grab his own audience.  Jennifer Lawrence became box office gold with the mega hit Hunger Games, but also proved her acting talents are pure gold in the Oscar nominated Silver Linings Playbook (one of the best romantic comedies ever).  Speaking of Silver Linings Playbook, Bradley Cooper proved he could be one of the next great heavyweights with a startling great performance.  There also some great upcoming action stars like Chris Hemsworth and amazing comedic talents in Melissa McCarthy.  The future looks to be in great hands.

5.  The 3D fad slowed down.  It felt like every other movie was done in 3D in 2011.  It got to the point where I was expecting a 3D spectacle of Michael Bay blowing his nose.  2012 had quite a few 3D blockbusters too, but there were also several high quality big budget films that weren't done in 3D.  Big box office hits like Skyfall, Dark Knight Rises, Snow White and the Huntsman, Looper, Taken 2, and Bourne Legacy avoided 3D, and proved studios can still make bundles of money without it.  As much as I dislike 3D, I also have to admit 2012 proved that 3D can sometimes be a good thing when the innovative Life of Pi effectively used the technology to enhance its story.  Hopefully, this is the start of the fading of 3D films, and that it only gets used when it adds to the storytelling effectively.

6.  Creativity is still alive and healthy.   There were several films that could be called genre films or part of a franchise, but brought some unique twists and originality.  Cabin in the Woods started out by following the formula of young adults trapped out in the woods, but then went in a very fresh and innovative direction that showed horror can still bring something new.  Django Unchained was a spaghetti western, but also a very serious and thought provoking look at America's worst tragedy.  Skyfall was classic James Bond, but with a grit and realism that has never been effectively explored before.  Premium Rush wasn't able to find an audience, but the film still was a different kind of thriller will fresh action sequences.  I've already mentioned films like Looper, Silver Linings Playbook, and Argo but they also deserve recognition for showing how to properly do a fresh and engaging film in their specific genre.

7.  That's My Boy bombs at the box office.  Adam Sandler needs to eat, and I wish no harm upon him.  I also admit that I've liked several of his previous movies.  But he has been serving up stinkers for a few years now.  I'm glad that he finally presented something that nobody wanted any part of.  Hopefully, it shows him that he needs to stop producing the same generic tripe, and try to make a more challenging comedy like Punch Drunk Love again.  Sandler is talented and I know he can make a great movie, but he needs to be forced into that position rather than just making lazily slapped together money grabs.

What were your favourite things in cinema from 2012?

The Breakdown of the 85th Academy Awards Podcast Part 1

The 85th Academy Awards is almost here, and all the film buffs are eager to offer up their predictions.  So, Scott and I will be joining in on the fun by offering up our own predictions and thoughts of the Oscar nominations.  We will be looking over all the major categories and nominations by predicting who we think will win but also judging the relevance these films will have in history and the current landscape.

As you know, we can be long winded folks and there is a lot to talk about with the current nominations.  So, we'll be dividing the podcast into 4 parts.  Our first podcast will be looking at the year 2012, and the significant moments of cinema during the year, and what impact there will be on the coming years.

Check out part one of our Academy Awards podcast series.  We always welcome your thought and comments, and if you love our stuff, then please pass the word and share our podcast.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Welcome to Academy Awards Week

The 85th Academy Awards are this weekend, and it is always a fun time for film buffs.  Sure, they usually like to complain and whine over the winner, and declare how a bunch of classic film got ignored.  But that is part of the joy of being a film lover, I guess.  This year around, there are actually a lot of deserving nominees.  I've got several thoughts on them, which I plan to share throughout the week as we countdown to Sunday.

The blog will be providing articles that celebrate cinema, look at the history of the awards, and analyze different aspects of film.  I've also got a four part podcast lined up where Scott and I analyze all the major categories and offer up our predictions.  They're really fun shows, and will deliver some insight that other sites have ignored.

Then on Academy Awards night, I'm going to try something different.  I'll be live blogging on this site while the Academy Awards are taking place.  I'll be recapping all the major happenings, but also deliver my usual brand of wit and snark.  It'll be like you're just sitting on the couch with me, except I won't be eating all your chips when you leave the room.  It should be a lot of fun, and I hope you join me.

It should be a fun week celebrating the biggest and most prestigious awards show of them all, and also a great time enjoying one of the most magnificent forms of storytelling, motion pictures. 

The Walking Dead "Home" Review: A Zombie Van is a Horrible House Warming Gift

The Walking Dead is a show that has some true moments of greatness.  It is also a show that struggles when it tries to deviate from its formula.  It can serve up great action and tension, but it becomes dull when it relies heavily on dialogue.  Tonight's episode had a long dull stretch, but it ended with one of the hotter closing moments.  I serve up my thoughts in my latest review for BuddyTV.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Survivor Caramoan Premiere Recap: The Secret Agent Returns

I am a huge Phillip fan.  So, even though I don't think this season really brought a lot of actual favourites to this edition of Fans vs. Favourites, it does have one character I love.  The first episode turned out to be a real doozy, and promises a great upcoming season.  I've got a recap of all the action in Surivor: Caramoan over at BuddyTV.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Identity Thief Review: Melissa McCarthy Steals the Show

The reviews are out on Identity Thief, and the critics aren't in love with it.  The problem is that it is following the formula of other classic road trip comedies like Midnight Run and Planes, Trains, and Automobiles.  But the big difference in this film is that the buddies are mixed gender, Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy.  This also happens to be the first starring role of the hilarious McCarthy.  Can her first opportunity to take centre stage be enough to make this a worthwhile film to see?  Find out in my film review for Collective Publishing.

Monday, February 11, 2013

The Spoiler Room: Warm Bodies

You may have already read my review of Warm Bodies, and know my opinion of the film.  You also may have heard me and Scott Martin break down the film.  But we all know that there was much more to discuss.  What were the significant and memorable scenes in the film?  What did we really like about it?  Where do we think it will rank among current culture and what will be its impact?  Of course, what are some of the big plot holes?

These are all things you need to know.  And you will.  Once you check out the latest edition of the Spoiler Room.  And yes, there are obviously tons of spoilers.

The Walking Dead Episode 9 Review: Welcome to Crazy Town

The Walking Dead is finally back, and we can see the fall out after Rick's stampede through Woodbury.  You knew things would get crazy, but did you predict so many people would go crazy?  You can read about all the details in my latest review for BuddyTV.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Warm Bodies Review: A Zombie Film with Heart

Warm Bodies is a zombie film.  Let's make that clear right off the bat.  Yes, it is a romantic comedy, but it contains all the necessary elements to make this fit into the zombie genre as well.  Now, a romantic comedy with zombies isn't a new concept, but this film does go somewhere new by introducing us to a zombie that can fall in love.  It is a fresh idea that could reinvigorate two stale genres.  But is it enough to make a great movie?  You can find out in my latest Collective Publishing film review.

My Final "Dad's Eye View"

One of my goals back in 2011 was to land a regular column.  Once I learned I was going to be a dad, I had hopes of becoming a parenting columnist.  I thought it would be a pretty sweet gig to get paid to write about my daily adventures with my newborn.

It was a real thrill when I negotiated a deal with Pregnancy & Newborn in December 2011 to become the newest "Dad's Eye View" columnist.  At the time, I had no idea what to expect as a parent, and wasn't sure if my column would just be 500 word weekly rants about how much a stinky diaper sucks.

Well, parenting ended up being pretty awesome.  I had a lot to say about my adventures with Everett.  It ended up being a lot of fun writing about my life as a new dad.

The really amazing thing is that there were actual real life people who wanted to read about my life as a dad.  I'm humbled by the amount of regular readers I had this past year.  I am really thankful for everyone who took this little journey with me.  So, thank you so much for reading my "Dad's Eye View" column these past 13 months.  It has been a lot of fun, and I hope you enjoyed them.

Well, today is the final "Dad's Eye View".  Please check out the column and join me in closing this chapter of my writing career.

Monday, February 04, 2013

The Breakdown of Warm Bodies Podcast

Scott and I have jumped into the world of podcasting once again.  This time we're looking at the teen zombie romance film, Warm Bodies.  A movie that plays in several genres that includes romantic comedies, paranormal romance, and zombies.  But does it do any them effectively?  Well, that is exactly what we try to find out as we break down the movie.

I hope you enjoy it, and please let me know what you think (and pass the podcast along if you enjoyed it).