Last of the Monster Kids

Last of the Monster Kids
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Sunday, February 28, 2016


8:22 - Welcome to Film Thoughts' seventh annual Academy Award live-blog!

8:24 - What am I looking forward to at the show tonight? I have no idea. I barely remember Chris Rock's last gig hosting and recall finding his style an awkward fit for the ceremony. With all the diversity controversy during Oscar season this year, I bet it's going to be even more awkward.

8:25 - Is there time for some last minute predictions? My thoughts haven't changed much since my wildly inaccurate predictions back in January. "The Revenant" is still the favorite to win Best Actor, Best Director, and Best Picture. "The Big Short" might sneak in on the latter category but I'm not expecting it.

8:27 - Brie Larson is still the fave win Best Actress, Alicia Vikaner will probably still win Best Supporting Actress, Stallone is still the favorite to win Best Supporting Actor, "Fury Road" will still sweep the technical categories.

8:28 - If you're wondering why I reviewed all the major Oscar nominees EXCEPT for "Creed," it's because I'm planning a second Sylvester Semester in August where I'll discuss Sly's biggest franchises. WATCH FOR IT!

8:29 - And, yes, I've already had something to drink. A white wine is pairing well thus far with my antipathy towards the evening. I'm sure I'll need something heavier before the night is up.

8:30 - Let's get started with some symbolic CGI animation.

8:31 - Here's some clips from some movies that aren't nominated tonight.

8:32 - Seriously, like a third of these movies are nominated. What was the logic behind picking these clips?

8:33 - Chris' tux is as white as the nominees.

8:34 - I was going to take a shot every time a racial diversity joke is cracked but I already realize I'll be wrecked too quickly that way.

8:36 -  Wait, why was there a random close-up of Chris Rock's pocket? Also, all these lynching jokes are going over great.

8:37 - If the rest of the evening is as long as this opening monologue, we'll be here until two in the morning.

8:41 - Yes, Chris, thank you for trying out this one joke.

8:44 - Granted, George Clooney wearing a lime green tux and an anal swan WOULD be an event.

8:45 - Pause so the writers can applaud.

8:46 - Oh cool, they've brought the "Show footage from the movie with the screenplay overlaid it." I'm a big fan of that feature.

Who will win Best Original Screenplay?: Spotlight. Who should win?: Inside Out or Ex Machina.

8:47 - Called it!

8:48 - In hopes of keeping the acceptance speeches from being a long list of "Thank yous!," the Academy has introduced a new feature where the "thank yous" are rolled in a tinker at the bottom of the screen. Clearly, this is working out so far.

And that was first time tonight somehow is played off the stage. That's a shot.

8:50 -  I can't tell if Crowe's exasperation is acting or real.

Who will win Best Adapted Screenplay?:  The Big Short. Who should win?: The Martian. Most of these scripts are pretty great but that was the one with the sharpest writing, in my opinion.

8:52 - Damn, two in a row! I'm off to quite the night.

8:53 - Unsurprisingly, that speech got political. I don't think Adam McKay will be voting for Donald Trump.

8:57 - Did you enjoy that commercial break? Because I did.

8:58 - Oh yes, this sketch is a good use of the broadcast time.This was definitely worth doing instead of including all the Best Song performances.

9:00 - The LGBT community is going to love that bit about Tracy Morgan in a dress.

9:01 - Yes, Sarah Silverman, it was a good idea to bring your usual "I had sex!" comedy to the Oscars.

9:03 - That bit about Bond not being "street enough" was funny and got zero laughs. Yea, there's the Bond theme nobody liked!

9:04 - Those are some sick dance moves you've got there, Sam. Slowly swaying back and forth like a nervous kindergartener on the first day of school was a bold move.

9:06 -  So is anybody going to be comfortable on stage tonight? Everyone seems incredibly uncomfortable.

That George Michael joke went over great, Rock.

9:07 - I approve of the use of Bowie in "The Martian" clip.

9:09 - So they just ditched that "Nominees in the order of film production" after the first bit? Also, the cameraman can't stop jittering back and forth. HOLD STILL.

9:10 - Who will win Best Supporting Actress?: Alicia Vikander for "The Danish Girl." Who should win? Rooney Mara for "Carol."

That scene in "Spotlight" where the old priest casually admits to molesting kids was a hard-hitting moment.

9:11 - Kate Winslet's Polish accent should definitely get some sort of award.

9:12 - And that's three for three for me so far.

9:13 - Thus far the ceremony has been a mixture of snore worthy acceptance speeches and some hugely uncomfortable jokes from Chris Rock, all of which have hit with a shallow thud. It's going to be a long night.

9:18 - The orchestral remixes of famous soundtrack songs have been pretty good tonight.

9:19 - Chris Rock's girl-on-girl joke didn't get a single laugh and rightfully so. Cate Blanchette looks pretty tonight.

I don't really know whose going to win Best Costume Design.

9:20 - "Mad Max: Fury Road" winning Best Costume Design will surely be the first of many technical awards that film takes home tonight.

9:21 - We don't care about your opinions on the atmosphere, lady! PLAY HER OFF!

That was a pretty bitchin' jacket she had on, though.

9:22 - Tina Fey is hilarious every year she presents. How much money do they need to pay her just to get her to host the whole damn show? Also, "Fury Road" isn't steampunk.

9:24 - With all these Oscars, the production staff of "Fury Road" will ride, shiny and chrome, into Valhalla.

I liked that speech because it was short.

9:25 - In order to prepare for his role as an award presenter, Jared Leto gave away random awards to homeless people on the street. Something something dead pig something.

9:27 - Thus far, I am pleased by "The Revenant" being totally locked out of the technical categories - what with it being MEDIOCRE! and all that - but these aren't the categories it was destined to win in anyway.

9:28 - Benicio del Toro definitely seems like a "Let's Go Fly a Kite" kind of guy.

9:29 - The guy in the bear suit... Well, I'm not going to say it's a "nice" touch but it made me laugh.

9:34 - This is a genuinely nice gesture: Pointing out the real people some of the films are based on. And it finishes with that lousy gag about Suge Knight.

9:36 - I really hope "The Hateful Eight" wins for Best Cinematography but there are so many good looking films on display tonight. "Carol" was also incredibly beautiful. Hard to pick just one.

9:38 - Was "The Revenant" really that nice looking a film? It was very blue and muddy.

9:39 - Who will win Best Editing? "The Big Short." Who should win Best Editing? "Mad Max: Fury Road."

9:40 - Okay, I was wrong but I'm still chalking that one up as a win for me.

9:41 - Okay, that was the first decent acceptance speech of the night - mixing "Thank yous" with genuine heart - and they fucking played her off. Ugh, Academy. UGH.

9:42 - "Shark Tale:" Oscar-nominated movie. NEVER FORGET.

9:43 - What does the Academy Awards and my Facebook feed have in common? The Minions are there and I desperately do not want them to be there.

9:47 - What are the odds that we'll get through this presentation without a Black Panther joke?

Also, maybe they should have a feature explaining the difference between Sound Editing and Sound Mixing, since apparently nobody knows what these categories are.

9:49 - Do you think they yelled at the audience just to wake us up?

9:50 - Timing the words on-screen with the bullets from "Bridge of Spies" was pretty clever.

9:53 - "Fury Road' winning most of the technical awards it's up for is cool. However, will it actually win in any of the big categories? That remains to be seen.

9:55 - Here comes Andy Serkis to fuck your shit up, Academy Awards!

"Fury Road' probably deserves to win Best Visual Effects but I'm rooting for "Ex Machina."

9:56 - Well, I'm glad I'm not the only person who thought so.

9:58 - Shit, that guy didn't even get in a word before they played him off the stage.

9:59 - Olivia Munn's deadpan delivery was highly amusing.



10:01 - That skit definitely needed more BB-8. THERE'S NO SUCH THING AS TOO MUCH BB-8!

10:05 - I just looked at John Williams' IMDb page and the robots were right. He's been nominated a bunch of times.

10:06 - Chris Rock's daughters selling Girl Scout cookies is not as good as Ellen ordering pizza for everyone. But, hey, Lou Gossit Jr.!

10:07 - Oh Christ, it's the Minions. BURN IT! BURN IT WITH FIRE!

This is awful. Please, sweet booze, end this torture.

10:08 - "World of Tomorrow" will probably win but I'm rooting for "We Can't Live Without Cosmos."

There's a total upset. Nobody in my Facebook film group voted for "Bear Story" and yet it won Best Animated Short. Complete surprise.

10:10 - The Oscar announcer shouted "Woody!" with a little too much enthusiasm for my taste.

10:11 - Christ, even the cartoons are awkward at the Academy Awards.

10:12 - "Inside Out" winning Best Animated Feature was entirely expected. Don't get me wrong, it's a fantastic film and I loved it. But I was rooting for "When Marnie Was There" to win, just cause I liked it so much.

10:13 - As always, Pete Doctor gives the best speech of the night.

10:14 - No, Kevin Hart, I will not make some noise for Chris Rock.

10:15 - Is the Weekend going to randomly pepper this performance with shouts of "Shit!" I'd be disappointed if he didn't.

Oh wow, that hair. And that S&M aerial silks mummy hanging above him. Wow. Just wow, you guys.

10:17 - This is like "Alien vs. Predator." I'm not a fan of the song but the Weekend just brutalized Sam Smith. No matter who wins, we loose.

10:22 - I had no idea Reese Witherspoon was so tiny and dainty. Winslet could crush her between her thumbs.

10:24 - Was that a split second of cellphone Youtube video handheld vision there?

10:27 - "Superfly" wasn't nominated for an Oscar either.

It's not like "Bridge of Spies" was some obscure shit. It got a wide release.

10:28 - Seriously, why the fuck does the camera not stand still during the Supporting announcements? Who made that decision?

10:29 - Also, we're minutes away from Sylvester Stallone winning an Academy Award and I am pumped about it.

The sooner we can forget about Tom Hardy's "Revenant" accent, the better.

10:31 - Okay, never mind.

I know several people were rooting for Rylance and he gave a fine performance. However, the idea of Sylvester Stallone - a punch line for so many years because of his acting - winning an Oscar was irresistible. I am disappointed.

10:33 - That was a good speech. And, holy cow, that's the "Casino Royale" theme song they're playing right now!

10:37 - Oh boy, the Best Documentary Short, the one category I never see anything from because the films are never included in the nominated shorts package.

10:38 - I know he would never do it but Louis C.K. should host next year. This presentation is like a shot of Expresso during an all-nighter.

10:40 - Damn, Louie is killing it.

10:41 - Gee, the winner gets political and they immediately start to play her off the stage. You're shameless, Oscar.

10:42 - I'll be honest. "Cartel Land" was the only Documentary nominee I saw. I wanted to see more but time just ran out. I'll do better next year, I swear.

10:43 - "Amy" was the favorite to win right from the beginning but I know many people believe "The Look of Silence" to be the better film. I haven't seen either so I don't have a dog in this fight.

10:44 - Oh yeah, during a year when race is the hottest topic of the night, let's make a "Chinese people are good at math!" joke. Stay classy, Mr. Rock.

10:49 - That groan in the audience just now was totally worth it.

10:50 - Yes, that Suge Knight joke was definitely worth revisiting.

10:51 - Yeah, that honorary Oscar will placate Spike. Sure it will, Oscar. Go with that.

10:54 - This year's ceremony should have been subtitled "We're really sorry about not nominating any black people."


What are the odds that Roddy Piper, Angus Scrimm, and Gunnar Hensen will appear during the In Memorium montage?

10:56 - Nah, that Christopher Lee clip didn't make me tear up a little. I'M NOT CRYING! YOU'RE CRYING!

10:59 - Well, Piper, Scrimm, and Hensen got the shaft - as expected - but David Bowie and Leonard Nimoy were treated with respect. At least one thing was well done this evening.

11:03 - So is it hard to read a teleprompter? Seems like there's been an unusual number of slip-ups this year.

11:04 - Aww, these kids don't know how close they should stand to the microphone. Adorable.

"Everything Will Be Okay" is my pick for Best Live Action Short.

11:05 - "Stutterer" was cute too. The balance between seriousness and drippiness in this category is very hard to calculate.

11:06 - Damn, Byung-Hun Lee and Sofia Vergara would make pretty babies.

11:07 - Not proud to admit that I haven't seen any of the foreign film nominations. I really wanted to see "Mustang" and "A War."

11:09 - Everybody, shut the fuck up! IT'S DIAMOND JOE BIDEN!

11:10 - Joe Biden, taking the controversial stance on being against rape.

11:13 - Stop starring at me, Gaga.

I'm sorry. It's just so overwrought and ridiculous. Not that I'd expect subtly from someone like Lady Gaga, even if its a serious subject that obviously deserves a gentle approach.


Boy, Liza with a Z sure is touched.

11:20 - Quincy Jones looks like he's having fun.

While the Best Song field is extremely weak this year, the score field is fantastic. I don't know who I want to win more, "Carol" or "The Hateful Eight." Both phenomenal works of music.


Pretty good for a score that was made of leftovers from "The Thing."

11:24 - When they gave Ennio his Honorary Oscar, they didn't even bother to bring along a translator. This time, he has a translator but not a big enough microphone.

11:25 - "Simple Song" and "Manta Ray" were the best of the Best Song nominees and they didn't get performed so Oscar had more time for Chris Rock's stupid man-on-the-street and Girl Scout Cookies gags.

11:27 - Shit, can I just pretend that the rejected Radiohead "Spectre" theme won instead?

11:28 - Well, his speech had more confidence than his performance anyway.

11:29 - Oh fuck, it's Ali G.

That equal mixture of laughs and groans in the audience shows that Cohen is doing it right. "Idris Elbow." Snort.

11:30 - As amusing as Cohen's bit was, him awkwardly standing there while "Brooklyn's" nominee is presented is equally hilarious.

11:32 - Saoirse Ronan is so strikingly beautiful that it makes me kind of angry.

11:35 - Oh thank god, there's only a half-hour left.

11:36 - J. J. Abrams knows a lot about staying true to other people's visions.

Whether or not George Miller wins Best Director will predict the rest of the night.


In retrospect, it was naive for any of us to think that George Miller had a shot at winning Best Director.

11:39 - Fuck you, Birdguy! You've already had your Best Director speech! "FLIGHT OF THE VALKYRIES!" UNTIL YOU SHUT UP!

11:40 - I am definitely not drunk enough to see Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu win another Best Picture award.

11:43 - All right, we're in the final stretch, guys.

11:44 - I hope you get laid, Harold.

11:45 - Best Actress is the hardest field this year. Everyone - I mean, even Jennifer Lawrence - gave fantastic performances.

11:46 - I fully expect Larson to win and she was great but Saoirse won my heart. Christ, that accent, you guys! Ugh, so damn pretty.

11:47 - Well, seems like I predicted all the major categories. Not that it was hard to do so.

11:48 - Brie Larson is going to be cast as Captain Marvel now, right?

11:49 - I'm kind of doubting that my favorite film will take home the Oscar, Anonymous Announcer Lady.

11:52 - Leo's inner monologue: "I ate a bison liver, goddamn it! GIMME GIMME GIMME!"

11:53 - As strong as the Actress field is, the Actor field is weak in comparison. I guess Fassbender gave my favorite of these performances? None of them stand out much.

11:55 - Leo will deeply kiss his Oscar tonight, on the lips, and whisper about how he doesn't ever have to crawl inside a dead horse again. It's all coasting from here on out, baby!

11:56 - Okay, Leo, we get it, you liked this movie you were in. "Transcendent" is a bit much.

11:57 - And NEVER FORGET that Leo's first movie was "Critters 3!"

Leonardo referencing climate change was a panel on Oscar Bingo, right?

11:58 - You know things are serious when Morgan Freeman are intoning deep from above high.

11:59 - "This is the voice of God speaking. Give the Oscar to that bear movie."

Damn it, had to dash my Oscar ballot at the last minute, didn't you?

12:00 - It's not "Mad Max" taking the top prize but at least "Spotlight" was actually a good movie and not a self important mediocrity like "The Revenant." That counts for something.

12:02 - Oh thank god, it's over.

So how was the ceremony? Leaning so hard on Chris Rock's shtick in the early going was definitely a mistake. As usual, the show picked up in the second half just because we knew it was half-way over.

12:03 - Most of the comedy bits were hard to swallow. Only Louis C.K., Tina Fey, and Ali G made me laugh. With the exception of the In Memorium segment, the musical productions were all overdone and I'm still annoyed that they cut out the two actually good song nominees. At least they cut down on self-congratulatory montages this year.

12:05 - As for the winners and losers, they're were many expected reveals and a few surprises, not all of them pleasant. "Fury Road" sweeping the technical categories but George Miller going home empty handed seems like a slap in the face. "Spotlight" going home with Best Picture seems somewhat random but I'll take it over "The Revenant" winning.

12:07 - And the Wookie takes us out. Thank you for reading and watching along with me. I'm so glad Oscar Season is over. I'll be back tomorrow with a new podcast episode and a new Memories article. Until then, I'm going to drink a little more. Thank you and good night.

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