Friday, January 31, 2014

The New Face of Lex Luthor

Is is bad that I am excited to hear that Jesse Eisenberg has been confirmed to play Lex Luthor in Zack Snyder's Batman/Superman sequel?  What an unexpected choice!  

I thought Bryan Cranston had already locked down this role (or at lease become a fan favorite), but I was obviously mistaken.  It seems that Snyder has gone in an entirely new direction, and one would think this casting choice would take at least some of the heat off of Ben Affleck.  At least that fuckery has calmed down.  Maybe this is the calm before the storm?  I can see it now..."MARK ZUKERBURG CAN'T BE LEX LUTHOR!!!"  

Luthor has been played by a few actors over the years.  He was most famously played by Gene Hackman in three of the Superman films, and Kevin Spacey took on the role in Superman Returns when Bryan Singer rebotted the series in 2006.  Eisenberg has mostly played nerdy, sarcastic characters, so I am anxious to see how this will turn out.  I know nothing about the comics, so I am not the guy to talk to about it.  But if he can be a total douchebag in The Social Network, I am on board.  

Maybe if he exchanges his pajama pants for a shaved head people will see it better? 

Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Cheese Stands 'Alone': Original Song Pulled from Oscar Contention

Drama, drama, drama!

It was announced yesterday evening that "Alone Yet Not Alone," the song that no one heard of that was nominated for Best Original Song, has been pulled from contention at this year's Academy Awards race.  Even though films are pushed by publicists during the voting period, song co-writer Bruce Broughton emailed colleagues urging them to consider "Alone."  Apparently, some raised eyebrows, because Broughton is a current executive committee member.  The song will be pulled, and no other song will be submitted.  

I don't like the song necessarily.  It's a slow hymn that reassures us that God will always be with us.  Perhaps I don't connect with it, because I am a giant heathen?  Joni Eareckson Tada, the singer of the song, has been a quadriplegic since 1967, and I thought her story might gain more attention after the nominations came out.  

Nominations have been revoked in other categories.  Entertainment Weekly posted the list here

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

'Fault' Trailer Drops--Happy Crying Inevitable

For someone who hasn't read The Fault in Our Stars, the trailer might be lost on them.  It would appear to be yet another young love story that would not interest people of a certain age.  Those crazy kids!  For those who have read John Green's young adult sensation, the trailer will do one thing and one thing only: make you cry for days out of sheer love of this story.

I'm not going to really go into details of the plot, because I just want to get to the trailer.  I did, however, want to bring up just a few little things.

I cannot wait to watch Hazel Grace meet Augustus Waters.  You know you are excited too.

Laura Dern, as Hazel's mother, in small doses is better than no Laura Dern at all.  I'm constantly kicking myself for not stalking her while she was here in Pittsburgh.  I will take that shame to the grave.  

Too long to waaaaaait!!!


Shailene Woodley is acting more in this one single shot than she is in the entire trailer for Divergent, AKA her other young adult adaptation co-starring Ansel Elgort.  Annnnd speaking of Ansel Elgort...


How effing cute is he?!  All doubts I ever had about him playing Waters has vanished.  Just watch.

Is 'Noah' a Revenge Thriller Now?

There I was.  Messing around online, because I had nothing better to do late last night.  Then I saw this poster for Darren Aronofsky's Noah.  Am I wrong in thinking that this looks kind of dark?  If RuPaul taught me anything (yup, I'm pulling that gay ass reference out!), the sky is darkest before the dawn, and maybe that's what this poster is going for.  

Russell Crowe, as our ark-building title character/hero, stands in torrential rain, wielding an ax as a beam of light shimmers behind him.  This looks like a poster for a remake of The Hitcher not an inspiring tale of faith.  If that's even what Aronofsky is going for.  Am I the only one who thinks this looks like a horror movie poster?  Maybe he is going to go after every single person who bashed his Les Miserables performance?  

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Effie Trinkett is Directing a Movie?! Yay!!!

I am so jazzed to hear about this!

It was announced yesterday that Elizabeth Banks will be directing the sequel to 2012's sleeper aca-awesome hit, Pitch Perfect.  Some people know that I am not the biggest Banks fan.  There is something about her that seems overly rehearsed to me.  Whenever I see her acting in something (moreso comedies than dramas) I feel like I can see her lines printed on the page, and I can see her actress-y notes written in the margins.  I like her though.  Avery Jessup on 30 Rock is probably my favorite guest arc on the entire show.  I don't want anyone to think that I don't like her, or I don't support this career movie.  I do!  

This will mean that Pitch Perfect 2 will be directed and written by women.  The first was directed by Jason Moore and written by Kay Cannon (writer of the first), and it will mark Banks' feature directorial debut.  She directed the segment "Middleschool Date" in Movie 43 (shudder), and her short was probably one of the best.  Do NOT see that movie!  Just take my word for it.  Or you can watch it here!

Does this mean more of the original cast will return?  I thought Anna Kendrick would pull a Kirsten Dunst and not appear in the sequel, but with Banks behind the helm, maybe she will come back?  If not, the sequel could focus on Rebel Wilson's Fat Amy.  I know she has television's Super Fun Night, but give her a movie!

You Won't Find 'The Babadook' at Barnes & Noble

Scary movies have ruined a lot of things for me: showers (Psycho), walking in the woods (Blair Witch), making Jiffy Pop (Scream), popping in a VHS (The Ring) Now I feel like I can't ever read a book to my kids.  Yes, I know I don't have any kids yet, but it looks like The Babadook will make me want to stick to Dr. Seuss.

Essie Davis plays Amelia, a woman still struggling to get over the death of her husband.  Amelia finds it difficult to discipline her son Samuel, a boy who is constantly out of control.  Samuel begins to have rather violent dreams, and a mysterious storybook appears on his bookshelf.  He is convinced that the monster in the book is coming to murder him and his mother.  I do not like it, Sam I am!!!  

The images in the book itself frighten me.  It's all black and white, and the starkness of it gives me goosebumps.  It seems as the trailer goes on, the color drains out of the scenes.  Maybe as the movie progresses, it does this too?  It just be how the trailer is cut.  

I am all about a horror thriller concerning a woman trying to prove she's not insane.  Davis seems to give an intense performance, so I am so there.  Creepy children, however, freak me out, so I might be a little wary of the little boy who plays Samuel.  The sound probably freaks me out the most (especially towards the end of the trailer), so fingers crossed for more scared-because-you-can't-see-anything thrills.  Check out the trailer!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Hello Again, Can I Be a Friend of a Friend?

I was snowed in all weekend and I resigned myself to watching movies on my couch in a hoodie while my two cats kept me company.  Yesterday afternoon I popped in Scott Pilgrim vs the World, Edgar Wright's love letter to video games and the lovelorn dopes who play them.  As I watched the opening credits, I noticed Brie Larson's name mentioned alongside Michael Cera and Mary Elizabeth Winstead.  I had no idea she was in this video game paradise!  

Larson plays Envy Adams, the lead singer of hot band The Clash at Demonhead and former flame of Scott Pilgrim (Cera).  Envy was always one of my favorite characters, because she slinks in, enveloped in a white coat with a dramatic collar, and simultaneously curls Scott's toes and breaks his heart all over again.  Larson was obviously having fun with this part.  She's a purring mirage in a wall-to-wall geekfest.  

The movie is filled with music, but my favorite song is when The Clash at Demonhead take the stage in a surprise show to sing "Black Sheep."  Before the lights come up, Envy is growling and moaning much to Scott's chagrin.  The light hits her the second she starts singing, and she is singing directly to Scott.  

"Black Sheep" is an album only track on the soundtrack, and I was always too low on funds to buy the entire album.  I was super surprised to discover that Larson sings her own stuff on song.  After some obsessive online digging, I found out that she actually released an album titled Finally Out of P. E. back in 2005.  What the what?!  Larson had only been on my radar since she co-starred in 21 Jump Street with Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill.  I fell in love with her when I saw her in last year's Short Term 12.  I've been in love with Envy since 2011!  I obviously need to download her album the minute I get home.  Right?  

Check out Larson as Envy in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and try not to find her fabulous.  

Fuuuuuck. This is Actually Happening.

Entertainment Weekly dropped the first poster for the highly anticipated Fifty Shades of Grey adaptation on Friday.  I imagine the avid readers of the trilogy (are we included, Megan?) are salivating over this first image.  

Charlie Hunnam Jamie Dornan, as Christian Grey, gazes over the Seattle skyline in the stark poster.  I think it's wise to focus on Grey instead of trying to make Ana Steele relatable to all the people who haven't read the books.  Is that actually Dornan?  If it is, he definitely fits a suit least from behind.  I think I still would have preferred Hunnam in the role.  Or maybe I would rather see Hunnam naked?  Yes, that's it right there.  Hunnam would have been able to fill out a suit better.  

Thanks to MNPP for these.  Phew...

So does the poster work for you?  The black and white is pretty classy for a smutty movie, but at least they are giving the ladies what they want, right?

Friday, January 24, 2014

Give This 'Woman' a New Title!

I am all about a women getting revenge on a man situation.  Give me some First Wives Club, and I am set for the night.  Granted, I would rather the women wouldn't spend two hours talking about men, but then, of course, the movie wouldn't get made.  That's another discussion for another day.

In The Other Woman, Cameron Diaz plays a woman who learns that her new beau also has a wife, played by Leslie Mann.  Instead of continuing the affair behind Mann's back, the two women become friends (and apparently drinking buddies).  As these two ladies continue their friendship, they discover Kate Upton is also sleeping with their shared husband/boyfriend/unhealthy relationship.  

Instead of, you know, confronting him directly and leaving with an ounce of self-respect, the three conspire to take him down.  Instead of Diaz, Mann, and Upton, I think they should just have Bette Midler, Diane Keaton, and Goldie Hawn play these women.  No disrespect to this trio, but a neon sign in my head kept blinking, FIRST WIVES, FIRST WIVES, FIRST WIVES!!!

The only reason I bring up this movie is the title.  I want someone to change everything to it's now titled, The Other Women instead of the singular Woman.  First off, it should be changed because of obvious numerical reasons.  Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (drool) is sleeping with three (maybe more) mistresses.  Secondly, it's cleverer, and doesn't sound too generic.  Thirdly, it wouldn't remind me of that Natalie Portman movie The Other Woman that came out a few years back.  

"We've never met.  I came out in 2009 in very limited release."

Maybe Diaz is the first mistress, so it's her story blah blah blah.  Whatever.  Check out the trailer below, and then try to argue with my brilliant title change theory!!!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Just Going to Leave This 'Mockingjay' Poster Here...

Let the freak outs begin, right?

The first teaser poster for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay--Part I (fuck, that title annoys me) debuted yesterday.  I immediately appreciated that this series at least has a consistent look when it comes to teaser posters--they'd probably make a killer collection when the series is all over.  

The series is chugging along rather nicely.  Last year's Catching Fire topping 2013's box office is pretty spiffy as well.

What do you think of the teaser poster?  Fiery enough for you?  Too plain?

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Teen Comedy 'G. B. F.' is Just as Good as 'Easy A'

Easy A was a movie that I immediately fell in love with mainly because of the presence of Emma Stone.  With her throaty charm and her obvious comic timing, Stone proved that she could carry a movie all by herself.  The problem is that Easy A probably would have failed without that irresistible ginger guiding the ship.  G. B. F., the latest high school skewing clique comedy, reminded me a lot of Easy A.  Both movies feature characters that must cope with the gossip machine at their high schools.  The main difference, however, is that G. B. F. has a gay protagonist. 

Michael J. Willet stars as Tanner, a quiet, closeted high school senior who is more than happy to have his best friend Brent (Paul Iacono) come out of the closet in a big, grand fashion.  Brent is larger than life, and his mother (an adorable Megan Mullally) is more than ready for her son to sashay out of the closet and be her best friend.  Brent accidentally outs Tanner after a mixup involving a misplaced cell phone and one of those pesky gay hook up apps.  Since their high school features no out gay student, Tanner becomes the talk of the high school.

Not only is he out, but Tanner has now become the target of affection from the three reigning bitchy high school queens.  All three, Fawcett, 'Shley, and Caprice want the prom queen crown, and they think having a gay best friend (or G. B. F.) will push their votes over the top.  'Shley (Andrea Bowen) is a strict Mormon with a no-so-straight boyfriend.  Caprice (Xosha Roqumore) is always the lead in the high school musical while Fawcett (Sasha Pieterse) is your glamorous Plastic-y bitch in heels.  If I were Tanner, I would pick Caprice mainly because she played Joann in Precious, and she was my absolute favorite.  

To be honest, I thought this movie was going to be campier.  Perhaps something along the lines of the Another Gay Movie movies.  That's not a criticism.  It surprised me with its wicked humor and its heart.  G. B. F. is genuine and sweet while maintaining a fabulous sense of humor and bitchy attitude.  There aren't teen movies targeted towards gay youth that aren't dripping with bad jokes and stereotypes.  Willet and Iacono have an adorable, friendly chemistry that will remind you of your bestie from high school.  Writer George Northy allows his characters to be real and not caricatures.  There is a really nice scene between Tanner and Fawcett when Tanner realizes that Fawcett isn't just a pretty face. 

The movie dives into some topical issues, but it's not harpy about it (tales of acceptance never go out of style).  It's a small, sweet tale of friendship and realizing the friends you have will always have your back.  The cast is really great (especially gay cinema "regular" Natasha Lyonne, Mullally and Harry Potter alum Evanna Lynch) and its heart is truly in the right place.  Easy A is great, but G. B. F. is no one man show. 

Monday, January 20, 2014

Can It Be?! An Exciting Oscar Race?!

A strange thing is happening this Oscar season--three way race is upon us in the Best Picture race.  The Screen Actors Guild and the Producers Guild announced their winners this weekend, and it's making everything as confusing as ever.  

Going into the Golden Globes last weekend, I knew American Hustle would walk away with Best Picture Comedy, but I thought Gravity would get Drama.  12 Years a Slave surprised in the end.  It needed that prize to stay in the conversation, because it wasn't winning any major prizes (Critics' Choice for Best Picture definitely helped too).  The Screen Actors were probably going for either Hustle or Slave, and, on Saturday night, they awarded the 70's con caper the top prize.  

Then a curve ball came.  While it seems that the acting races are really solidifying, Best Picture is the tightest its been in years.  The Producers Guild Awards (announced late Sunday night) threw a wrench in the plans by awarding Gravity and Slave with the top prize.  Yes, dear friends, we had a tie!  

There hasn't been a tie at the PGA for Best Motion Picture since they started handing out awards in 1989.  The PGA is the closest thing to the Academy's voting process since they both feature a preferential ballot.  Does this mean that our Best Picture winner is either Gravity of 12 Years a Slave?  Could the actors rally behind American Hustle and it could gain enough votes from the largest voting body in the Academy?  For the past six years, the PGA has also become the Best Picture winner at the Oscars.  The most recent movies that go against the Oscar match up are from 2004 to 2006 when The Aviator, Brokeback Mountain, and Little Miss Sunshine all won the PGA but didn't win at the Academy Awards.  

This is insane.  The DGA comes out on Saturday, and that can only make things more confusing.  If Alfonso Cuaron take it, does it mean that Gravity is the one to beat?  I am predicting him at the moment, but if McQueen wins, it might indicate that 12 Years is stronger than expected.  

'Devil's Due' Message? Always Walk Back to Your Hotel Room

I am sure we all remember that crazy publicity stunt from last week involving a possessed baby screaming and spewing up in the carriage that was wheeling itself around New York City?  The rogue carriage would roll up to unsuspecting New Yorkers, and a baby most foul would pop out, scaring the living shit out of whoever thought they were doing the right thing.  This was a very real advertisement for the latest shaky cam, found footage entry, Devil's Due.  As I said in my review for The Marked Ones, I love these movies.  I have to admit, though, that the publicity stunt was the scariest thing about this movie.  

Samantha and Zach are a new happily married couple.  Zach is that tool that films everything, claiming, "It's my thing."  Yeah, of course it's your thing, because, if not, there wouldn't be a movie.  They honeymoon in the Dominican Republic, and they get spooked when a fortune teller tells Samantha, "They've been waiting for you."  A cab driver picks them up, and he insists on taking them somewhere fun for their last night.  They reluctantly agree.  Somewhere between drinks, Zach's camera gets put down and we see someone filming some sort of ritual.  Samantha is placed in a large circle, and then loud noises and fire end the sequence.  

Immediately after returning home, Samantha becomes pregnant.  It feels like they unzipped their carry on, and she peed on a First Response.  Zach is overjoyed, because he's an idiot.  At this point, you'd think there would be a build up of suspense, because you know something isn't right.  Not much happens, to be perfectly honest.  Usually, there is a build up and a huge climax, but it just sort of lays there on the screen.  There are a few weird instances, but nothing seems to go together.  The only creepy thing I can point to is when people break into Sam and Zach's house to install a million camera all over their house.  Clearly, the writers weren't all that convinced by "Zach's thing."

At one point in the movie, we see a door get blown off its hinges by an angry Samantha.  The first thing that I thought of was that the movie had a bigger budget than I originally expected.  When your movie is about the anti-Christ and devil worshippers, I shouldn't be thinking of how much money was spent on the destroyed set pieces.  

Friday, January 17, 2014

Is Jack Ryan the Only Male that Gets Younger in Hollywood?

I've seen the trailer for Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit more times than I want to remember.  It seems that I can't go to any movie this time of year and not see Chris Pine running around with a gun and exchanging cool bits of dialogue with Kenneth Branaugh.  On s side note, every time I see Keira Knightley in the trailer, I exclaim, "KEIRA KNIGHTLEY?!?!" because I always forget she's in it.  

Megan and I were discussing how Pine's iconic character, Jack Ryan, seems to keep getting younger and younger.  Is there any other recurring male character in Hollywood whose age is shrinking?  James Bond is different, because it seems 007 stays roughly the same age.  Pine just looks like a baby to me compared to, say, Harrison Ford.  Or maybe I just think of Ford as he is now.  Pine's piercing blue eyes make him seem more Tiger Beat that Jack Ryan.  

Let's look at Jack Ryan, shall we?

Ryan first showed up on the big screen in The Hunt for Red October, and he was played by Alec Baldwin.  Can we take a moment and relish the good looks of Mr. Baldwin?  Ok, I'm good.

Hunt came out in 1990, and Baldwin was 32 when he played Ryan alongside Sean Connery and Sam Neill.  Ryan must stop a USSR submarine captain from blowing the United States sky high with nukes.  


The movie takes place in 1984, and I remember my dad really loving it.  

Harrison Ford took over the role of Jack Ryan with two films, Clear and Present Danger and Patriot Games.  

Ford was 52 and 54 when these two movies came out in the mid-90's.  All right, then.  They are maturing Jack pretty well, right?  Both of Ford's ventures were well received, but Patriot was disowned upon its release by writer Tom Clancy.  Clancy didn't like how much they changed his novel.  

Back in 1999, Ford announced that the next Ryan movie would be Clancy's The Sum of All Fears.  Akiva Goldsmith worked on several drafts of the script, but, ultimately, Ford and director Phillip Noyce (who directed Patriot and Clear) dropped out of the project.  Holy crap.  What to do?  Don't worry, we'll focus on an earlier stage of Jack Ryan's life!  

Enter Ben Affleck!  Affleck portrayed Ryan only once when he was 30.  The 2000 release of Sum of All Fears wasn't very well received, and Affleck was mentioned in a few reviews as a primary problem.  You have to admit, Harrison Ford is a tough act to follow.  Focusing on an earlier story allowed the filmmakers to cast a much younger lead.  After Sum, Jack Ryan all but faded from the movies...

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (yuck, that's a horrible title) hits theaters today, and Chris Pine is its handsome star.  All right, all right, Pine is 34, so he's just around the same age as when Affleck played him fourteen years ago.  He seems really young, right?  I have no idea what this one is about.  Pine rides along on a motorcycle and talks with Hamlet.  Part of me just wants Harrison Ford to be the lead all over again, but I get why they would want to reboot the series.  Adult audiences in America love CIA thrillers with hot men in pea coats running around in winter, I guess. 

Thursday, January 16, 2014

My Oscar Reaction: The Nominations and Five Observations

A lot of people asked me what my thoughts were on the Oscar nominations.  For some reason, I needed to take a step back from it all, because I immersed myself so much in the noise of some of the blogs and websites.  My shitty work day really got the best of me, and I couldn't really write anything until now.  I tried predicting every single category this year, and I got a score of 92/122, which is 75%.  Not that bad.  There were some surprises, as always, so let's dive right in.  A full list of nominees is listed here, so look no further.

Sally Sally Sally
Sally Hawkins getting nominated for Blue Jasmine was my Oscar wish, and it came true!  I thought she was a long shot, because she hasn't been up for that many awards (except for the Golden Globe).  When her name was announced first, I let out a squeal/yell/noise that was so loud that I am sure strangers at work thought about having me committed.  It's so great to see both her and Cate Blanchett nominated together.  Congratulations, Sally!

The Snubs
Let's just the major snubs out of the way.  Tom Hanks was ignored for both his performances in Saving Mr. Banks and Captain Phillips.  I thought Saving would fall by the wayside, but his work in Phillips is some of the best of his career.  The last ten minutes are astonishing.  I also thought Paul Greengrass was in for directing.  

Hanks' Saving co-star, Emma Thompson, was not as safe as everyone thought.  Amy Adams got in for American Hustle, and we learned that we should never bet against Meryl Streep.  Sorry, my queen, never again.  Even if people didn't like Thompson in the movie, I thought they might want to have the chance of getting her behind a mic.  Thompson is so funny and charming when she speaks publicly.  Saving got the shaft everywhere.  The only nomination it received was for Best Original Score.  

Can someone please tell me how 12 Years a Slave got snubbed for Cinematography and Score?  Surely, I am not the only one who thought that it was set in these categories?  

And Christian Bale?  Really?  I don't even think I am mad that he got in for his performance--he's really good.  I think that the idea of him getting in without any previous traction annoys me.  And I know that's the dumbest thing in the world.  It's the shittiest/dumbest logic, but I couldn't help but feel that way.  But more on American Hustle later.  

Dallas Buyers Club
I wasn't expecting Dallas to be such a presence in this year's Oscars.  I thought it would be a Best Picture contender and do well in the acting categories, but I never expected it to also pick up Makeup & Hairstyling, Editing and Screenplay.  How close was it to Director?  

It's such a good movie, so I am glad that it received so many nominations.

No One Will EVER Be Able to Predict Best Original Song.  Period.
This is a statement that everyone needs to become comfortable with.  Remember last year when everyone thought they had it nailed down, and "Before My Time" from Chasing Ice was the first song announced?  Every year, the Best Original Song shortlist isn't very short, so it's not like I am knocking anyone per se.  This year had 75 songs on it, and the music branch is fickle as all get out.  Very unpredictable.

I thought The Great Gatsby's "Young and Beautiful" was a lock, and I am still shocked it didn't get in.  I've never heard of Alone Yet Not Alone, and it sounded like the audience attending the nomination announcement did either.  I saw the trailer for it...yikes.  

Kudos to Pharrell Williams (nominated for "Happy" from Despicable Me 2) who continues his fantastic 2013 into the awards season.  

Get Used to American Hustle
When I first saw Hustle, I liked it, but there was something about it that I didn't like.  A lot of scenes felt like first drafts to me, and it really bugged me.  If you asked me who I thought would win Best Picture, I would say American Hustle.  It got four fucking acting nominations, and that's two years in a row that director David O. Russell managed that.  When it happened last year with Silver Linings Playbook, it was the first time since 1981.  

If it takes the Screen Actors Guild, it will win.  It's tied with the most nominations, and it's going to win some.  The movie feels like warily making a friend in high school and then having that person turn around and win all the senior superlatives.  It's really bugging me for some reason.  On a side note, how did this not get nominated for Best Makeup and Hairstyling?  What the what?!

Watch the nomination announcement below.  Sweet Jesus--Christ Hemsworth voice is seeeexy...

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

You Want Oscar Nomination Predictions? I'll Give You Some Oscar Nomination Predictions!

Oscar nomination day is almost upon us!!!  It's kind of like Christmas morning, because you get up super early and wish that you get the things you've been thinking about all year long.  I am pretty notorious for throwing too much caution to the wind when it comes to predicting the nominations themselves, so I might be hanging my head on Thursday morning.  I am going to try and predict the nominations for every single category (yes, even those pesky small ones that no one knows about).  Here we go.  

Best Animated Short
Get a Horse!
The Missing Scarf
Mr. Hublot
Room on a Broom

A lot of audiences know Horse! from seeing Frozen already.  I tried looking up the different kind of animation that were used in each of the finalists.  I like Broom, because it's about a witch and her orange tabby cat.  Look out Ulysses!  There's another feline in town.

Best Live Action Short
Tiger Boy
The Voorman Problem

They usually pick shorts in this category with nice production value.  I may have picked selections that were too light, though.  I always feel super depressed after seeing these.  Helium looks gorgeous (check out the trailer) and Voorman features Martin Freeman and Tom Hollander.

Best Documentary Short
Facing Fear
The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life
Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall

I might be running a risk having too many Nazi themed shorts.  Fear is about how a former neo-Nazi and his gay victim meet after 25 years have passed since they last saw each other.  Lady follows Alice Herz Sommer, the world's oldest Holocaust survivor and details her recipe for living a happier life.  The doc shorts tend to tug your heartstrings.  

Best Animated Feature
The Croods
Ernest & Celestine
Monsters University
The Wind Rises

Frozen is in.  I won't bet against Pixar just yet, so I am including Monsters.  I almost went with Despicable Me 2 instead of Ernest, but I always pick something most people haven't heard of in this category.  Sorry, minions.  Maybe when The Minions Movie comes out?

Best Documentary Feature
The Act of Killing
The Squre
Stories We Tell
20 Feet from Stardom

While I would love to see Blackfish take this, it's between 20 Feet and Stories.

Best Foreign Language Film
The Broken Circle Breakdown, Belgium
The Missing Picture, Cambodia
The Hunt, Denmark
The Grandmaster, Hong Kong
The Great Beauty, Italy

I actually haven't seen...any...of these.  I just missed them when they came to Pittsburgh, so it's really all my fault.  I think the costumes and cinematography could propel Grandmaster in, and I've heard Broken Circle is absolutely devastating.  I wish Blue is the Warmest Color was eligible to give it some sexiness/controversy.  

Best Sound Editing
All is Lost
Captain Phillips
Iron Man 3
Lone Survivor

Best Sound Mixing
All is Lost
Captain Phillips
Inside Llewyn Davis
Lone Survivor

I SUCK at predicting the sound categories.  I usually pick the loudest or the one with the most gunfire, and then slightly differ the categories.  Inside should get into Mixing for its music, and Gravity should dominate the technical categories.  I will get these mostly wrong, and I'm fine with it.  

Best Visual Effects
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Iron Man 3
Pacific Rim

I was surprised that certain movies were excluded from the Academy's shortlist for this category.  Man of Steel would have been included, but The Lone Ranger and World War Z were included in its place.  They should really call this category Runners-Up to Gravity.  Like, seriously.  I figured Elysium would be included since it bears a striking resemblance to District 9.

Best Original Score
All is Lost
The Book Thief
Saving Mr. Banks
12 Years a Slave

Normally, I am very on top of this category.  I try to sample as much music as I can from the year's films.  I love Steven Price's Gravity, and Hans Zimmer's work on 12 Years reminds me so much of the movie.  Everyone keeps insisting John Williams will be up for The Book Thief, but I can't figure out why.  Alex Ebert won the Golden Globe last week for Lost, so I am throwing him in there.  Maybe his hair will be even more insane.  

Best Original Son
"Let It Go" from Frozen
"Young and Beautiful" from The Great Gatsby
"The Moon Song" from Her
"Ordinary Love" from Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
"So You Know What It's Like" from Short Term 12

This category is always messed up, so we shall see.  There is always something completely random nominated, so I am bound to be wrong.  I think the songs from Frozen and Gatsy are locked in.  Karen O's "Moon" fits nicely into the movie, and the Academy usually wants the song somewhere in the movie.  "So You Know" is a great moment from the Short Term 12, and it is sadly going to be the movie's best chance at any sort of nomination.  

Best Production Design
The Great Gatsby
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
12 Years a Slave

There is no way you can discount two things in this category: Catherine Martin and those damn hobbits.  Martin, who always collaborates with husband Baz Luhrmann, has been nominated for her production design work in three other Luhrmann films.  She won twice (also costume design) for Moulin Rouge! back in 2001.  Plus, the design of Gatsby is sick.  Gatsby's mansion...those parties...thoooose parties made me want to abuse alcohol and then puke all over the marble floors.  Peter Jackson's Middle Earth films have received nominations in this category every single time whether they are chasing a ring or following Bilbo.  The line between art direction and visual effects is very fine, and Avatar won in this category in 2009, so I am including Gravity.  My riskiest choice is Her.  Throwing caution to the wind there when I could have picked Saving Mr. Banks or Inside Llewyn Davis.  No guts, no glory, right?

Best Makeup and Hairstyling
American Hustle
Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa
The Long Ranger

I was wondering when they re-titled this category (added the hairstyling to it) when the hair would become a noticeable player and not just the makeup.  Hustle is Hair: The Motion Picture.  The first time you see Christian Bale, he's construction an elaborate toupee, and Jennifer Lawrence, Amy Adams and Bradley Cooper all have fun with hair pieces.  I won't even acknowledge the second movie listed, just don't say I didn't warn you/call it.

Best Film Editing
American Hustle
Captain Phillips
12 Years a Slave
The Wolf of Wall Street

Editing is a key factor in the Best Picture game.  

Best Costume Design
American Hustle
The Great Gatsby
The Invisible Woman
Saving Mr. Banks
12 Years a Slave

Or the most costumes of the year?  Invisible, although invisible to audience's consciousnesses, should get in here, because of this big costumes.  They love huge designs for costumes (see The Young Victoria, Memoirs of a Geisha, Marie Antoinette, the list goes on and on), and they generally overlook anything remotely modern.  I'm still not over Black Swan's omission a few years back.  Could Her get in for Joaquin Phoenix's colorful shirts or the waistpants that are begging to be sold at Urban Outfitters?

Best Cinematography
Inside Llewyn Davis
12 Years a Slave

I'll be honest.  I don't know much about cinematography, and I generally pick the prettiest looking movies.  I think a lot of voters might actually do the same thing.  

Don't mess with Roger Deakins.  I hope he will get in for his moody, dark, rainy Prisoners.  Inside almost feels black and white because of the palette, and the Ulysses the cat is a bright burst of orange color.  They will also blow a big one over the black and white photography in Nebraska.  A lot of the shots of 12 Years are absolutely haunting.  The way Steve McQueen lets the camera sit there and watch is stunning.  

Best Adapted Screenplay
Before Midnight
Captain Phillips
The Wolf of Wall Street
12 Years a Slave

Best Original Screenplay
American Hustle
Blue Jasmine
Inside Llewyn Davis

There are so many great scripts this year.  I think in a weaker year, the field would be a lot wider open.  Maybe Fruitvale Station or Enough Said break into the Original race?  Perhaps August: Osage County sneaks into Adapted?  But what would they knock out?  I think they are pretty solid.

All right!  Here we are--the top six categories.  Also known as the six categories you suffered to get to.

Best Supporting Actress
Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle
Lupita Nyong'o, 12 Years a Slave
Julia Roberts, August: Osage County
June Squibb, Nebraska
Oprah Winfrey, Lee Daniels' The Butler

Lawrence's a runaway sensation.  She shines in a loud, truly supporting role.  Roberts provides some incredible work in August.  I think Oprah stays in, because the movie was nominated in three categories at the Screen Actors Guild.  She's Oprah.  I don't really need another argument.  Everyone was in that movie and everyone loves her.  Will someone overshadow her since the movie came out so long ago?  Maybe, but I doubt it.  If someone in waiting in the wings, it's Sally Hawkins for Blue Jasmine, and, if that happens, I will scream like crazy, little girl.  

Best Supporting Actor
Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips
Bradley Cooper, American Hustle
Michael Fassbender, 12 Years a Slave
James Gandolfini, Enough Said
Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club

I couldn't figure out who I wanted to put here.  Leto is picking up everything, so he's a lock.  Daniel Bruhl received Golden Globe and SAG nominations for Rush, but I swapped him out for Gandolfini.  Yes, I know posthumous nominations don't happen often, but I want it to so badly.  I think they are going to go for Hustle in a big way, so I threw Cooper in as well.  I am sweating over this one.  

Best Actress
Amy Adams, American Hustle
Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
Sandra Bullock, Gravity
Judi Dench, Philomena
Emma Thompson, Saving Mr. Banks

THIS CATEGORY IS GIVING ME A HEADACHE!!!  For months, it was Blanchett, Bullock, Dench, Thompson and Meryl Streep.  And then along came American effing Hustle, and it threw everything out of whack because of Adams.  I want Meryl Streep in there, because it will be a line up of women over 45 that have already won before.  It would fucking fantastic.  Buuuuut if Cooper gets in Supporting, then I think Amy get in Lead.  I don't know how you take out Meryl Streep from this category, because she's awesome in August: Osage County, but I guess screaming on a toilet gets you there.  

Best Actor
Bruce Dern, Nebraska
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street
Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave
Tom Hanks, Captain Phillips
Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club

I forgot how tight this race was.  Robert Redford was in here for a while for his one man show, All is Lost, but I think he's going to get knocked out by Leo's fearless performance in Wall Street (I wonder what Leo's Oscar clip would be...snorting coke out of a hooker's ass perhaps?).  This is one of the most competitive Best Actor race in years, and I feel like everyone has a really awesome shot at winning.  

Best Director
Alfonso Cuaron, Gravity
Paul Greengrass, Captain Phillips
Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave
Alexander Payne, Nebraska
David O. Russell, American Hustle

I usually go with the DGA nominations for Best Director, but I wasn't sure.  For a while I had Spike Jonze for Her up there (and that could still happen), and Martin Scorsese was there (DGA nominated).  How do I pass up Marty?  I don't know!  Maybe the reaction to Wall Street will only get it so far?  Too polarizing?  That limb I'm sitting on is getting miiiighty heavy...

Best Picture
American Hustle
Blue Jasmine
Dallas Buyers Club
Lee Daniels' The Butler
Saving Mr. Banks
12 Years a Slave
The Wolf of Wall Street

I always predict ten nominees even though I know it's difficult for that to happen with the voting system.  I put Blue Jasmine in there as a passion plea.  It was nominated by the Producers Guild, so it's not totally out there.  The Butler is in there, because I figured either that or August would get in with their big ensemble casts (both nominated for SAG).  Maybe Philomena gets in.  Or Inside Llewyn Davis.  Or August: Osage County.  It's been a pretty solid year for movies, and this is a pretty solid roster, if you ask me.  

So, there you have it!!!  What do you think?  Am I totally nuts?  The nominations are announced at 8:30 tomorrow morning, so we shall see how batshit I really am.