Last of the Monster Kids

Last of the Monster Kids
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Sunday, March 2, 2014


8:29 - Hello and welcome to my annual Live-Blog of the Academy Awards ceremony! This is the fifth year in a row I've live-blogged the Oscars. Last year, I wasn't pleased with my work. I thought I mostly sat back and just threw catty comments at the screen. I suspect this was because, taking effort to watch all the Best Picture nominations, I had already thought of everything of note worth saying.

This year I'll be making more of an effort to say interesting things of note. Even if the award show is frequently tedious or obnoxious and, inevitably, there's some surprise that irritates me. I do enjoy it though. It's a accumulation of a whole year of film making and, as a lover of cinema, I can't enjoy it.

8:30 - As always, refresh your page frequently to see the newest updates.

And we're starting.

Nice cummerbund, Ellen.

8:31 - Ellen might not be the most inspired choice of host but, at the very least, we will avoid another Seth McFarlane fiasco. Though she seems slightly nervous but is, thus far, fairly on the ball.

8:32 - The guy from "Captain Philips" looked really confused by that joke.

8:33 - Holy crap, that's actually Elizza Minelli? Yee gads.

The random cutaways to the audience seem a little more strained then usual.

8:34 - I think I've already laugh more in these opening four minutes then I did all throughout last years ceremony.

8:37 - Though seriously, what is up with Jared Leto's hair?

8:38 - From Bruce Dern's facial expression, I get the impression that he knows all too well what sex at a rodeo is like.

8:39 - While Ellen is doing some relatively amusing schtick, I think I'll talk a little more about my plans for the evening. Whenever a category comes up, I'll let you know Who I'd Vote For. If I was an Academy member, who I would vote for in that specific category. Simple enough and a nice way to make the evening more interesting for me and, hopefully, you too.

8:40 - Best Supporting Actor: Who I'd Vote For: Probably Jared Leto. Out of the performances tonight, I think his was the most complete transformation.

8:42 - I was really hoping they'd pick the goldfish eating scene as Jonah Hill's Oscar clip.

8:43 - It's not surprising that Leto won and, given a relatively weak field this year, I think he was definitely the best.


8:44 - I was really hoping that speech about his mom would wander off into some weird tangent. Leto seems like a guy who would go off on a weird tangent.

8:46 - Love the introduction of Jim Carrey. That is a very blue, shiny jacket he has on.

8:48 - God, Edge The, take your hat off while you're at the Oscars.

Jim Carrey is acting a little bit like he's on something.

8:49 - Oh, boy, a montage. That is apparently mostly devoted to CGI characters.

8:50 - Oh, they are actually performing the song nominees this year. GOOD.

8:51 - I guess it was inevitable that Pharrell was going to wear that ridiculous hat. Though I'm not sure why the Sweater Brigade is dancing behind him.

8:52 - Boy, the Tracking Cam Operator is earning his keep tonight. I'm not exactly complaining though. It's a fairly easy way to energize the performance.

8:53 - Are people allowed to stand at the Oscars?

I'll admit, that was a fairly entertaining performance.

Shamefully, this year's ceremony is off to a surprising great start. I haven't had to drink any alcohol so far this evening. But, then again, the night is still young.

8:57 - For the record, I don't really have an investment in the Costume Design category.

8:58 - Boy, it sure is taking that lady a while to walk to the stage. I thought they put the nominees on the aisle seats for a reason?

9:00 - Are we on Make-Up already? This night is flying by.

I was sort of hoping Bad Grandpa would win Best Make-Up. Just because it would be pretty hilarious.

9:01 - Honestly, Academy, the make-up in "Dallas Buyers Club" was fine. But was it truly the greatest make-up of the year? Wasn't there some movie were people were turned into monsters or mushrooms or something?

9:02 - I was hoping Harrison Ford would just wander out and grumble sourly into the microphone. He sounds like he's about to pass out.

9:03 - Han Solo's eyes were doing some crazy eye looks there.

9:05 - Yeah, I bet young aspiring filmmakers really want to meet you, Channing Tatum.

9:09 - Needlessly Looking for Things to Complain About: We're a half-hour in and they've only given out three awards? At least the host hasn't told a face-palm worthy joke yet this evening.

9:10 - The banter between these two is awfully difficult.

9:12 - Best Short Animated Features?

9:13 - I'm pleasantly surprised that "Mr. Hublot" won Best Animated Short. It wasn't my favorite but it was perhaps the best of the lot. It seems like the voters in this category usually choose well. I was really expecting "Get A Horse!" to take it.

9:14 - I wish I had seen more of the nominated Animated Features. I'm looking forward to seeing "The Wind Rises" and "Ernest and Celestine."

9:15 - No surprises there

9:16 - My opinions on "Frozen" are probably well known by now: Pleasant enough, nice to look at but ultimately overrated.

9:17 - The only gaffs that people seem to be making tonight are misreading their ques. Yes, Sally, sometimes their films are made into stories.

9:18 - For a minute, I thought all the clips were only going to be from the last twenty years

9:20 - Is it bad or good that I immediately recognized Patrick Doyle's "Thor" score?

9:21 - How many people on the internet do you think started shouting "I'D SHIP IT" as soon as JGL and Emma Watson walked out hand in hand?

The first of what are sure to be many technical awards for "Gravity" tonight.

9:24 - You know, Zac Efron, you got one chance to be an Oscar Presenter and you had to flub your line. Fo' shame.

9:25 - For an award show so frequently characterized by bombast, that was an intimate, beautifully low-key performance. Sometimes a singer and a guitar are truly all you need. It perfectly matched a relaxed but emotionally honest song. I'm suddenly rooting for "The Moon Song' to win though I don't expect anything to stop the "Let It Go" juggernaut.

9:30 - Oh, boy, the Live-Action shorts. I'm rooting for "Do I Have to Take Care of Everything" but it probably won't win.

9:31 - I'm so glad "That Wasn't Me" didn't win. "Helium" was sappy but I'd be lying if it didn't have an emotional effect on me.

9:32 - The first Play-Off of the night! Finally, an excuse to drink some Scotch.

9:33 - Now that the nominees in the Live Action Shorts and Animated Shorts category are widely available to the public, perhaps they should include the Documentary Shorts in the same package? It would be nice to see them as well.

9:35 - "HERE, LET ME SHOUT OVER THE MUSIC!" Also, I'm taking a shot for that.

9:36 - I hate to say it a little but Ellen is doing an excellent job hosting this year. Funny without being needy or obnoxious. THIS IS HOW IT'S DONE, MCFARLANE!

9:37 - In a documentary year characterized by heavy politic docs, the movie about back-up singers win. That's surprising. I was really expecting "The Act of Killing" to win.

9:39 - Holy shit, Darlene Love should accept everyone's award.

9:40 - Oh boy, the Governor's Award segment. Or, in layman's terms, "Time to take a bathroom break" segment.

9:41 - It's a major shame that Steve Martin had to win some sort of honorary award. Surely at some point the Academy could have given him a real Oscar for something.

9:42 - Do you think Geoffrey Rush was born with a glass of some sort of alcohol in his hand?

9:43 - Going to go ahead and make fun of a serious situation. Why didn't Angelina Jolie make out with her humanitarian award when she received it?

9:48 - Once again, I didn't get to see any of the Foreign Language nominee this year. I really wanted to see "The Hunt." That sounded fascinating.

9:50 - I haven't seen "The Great Beauty" yet but I know it's already in the Criterion Collection so it's either brilliant or completely pretentious hogwash.

9:51 - I was really hoping Tyler Perry would present the Best Make-up award while in-character as Madea. Wait a minute, no, that would have been terrible.

9:52 - Say what you will about Tyler Perry but, shit, he knows how to read off a teleprompter.

9:53 - I'm actually surprisingly pleased with the way the Best Picture nominees are being presented this year. A sizzle reel from the movie followed by a cut to a title card. Oddly evocative and effective.

9:54 - How many shots do you think I can get through during the U2 performance? LET'S FIND OUT.

9:55 - Is Bono going through puberty?

9:57 - I think he's trying to fuck the audience with the squeakiness of his voice.

9:58 - All of the Best Song performances this year have been surprisingly stripped-down. Which has made the show a lot better? What's going on here, an Oscar ceremony that isn't completely defined by tedium and blind rage?

10:01 - After this live blog is over, I should go back and count how many questions I've asked tonight. Answer: Probably a lot.

10:02 - I'm really appreciating Ellen's style tonight, going out into the audience and interacting with the guests. It's funny and fresh. This bit, a mass twit-pic, is rather amusing.

10:04 - Did she just pronounce Kristen Bell's name as "Bee Elle?"

10:06 - Charlize Theron has got a nice dress on. Glamorous as ever. It's a shame she missed her queue. Yeah, a legitimate gaff!

10:07 - And another technical award for "Gravity." Should I turn that into a drinking game too? Sure.

10:09 - Two in a row. Any excuse for me to drink.

10:10 - I'm diggin' the nervous patter to this guy's acceptance speech.

10:11 - Of all the things I like this year at the show, the set design is kind of bizarre. What's with all the different Oscars of varying size?

10:12 - Who'd I Vote For: I thin June Squab probably gave my favorite of these five performers.

Did any body else's TV just cut to black suddenly?

10:13 - I really hope Jennifer Lawrence doesn't win. What an incredibly overrated performance.

10:14 - Lupita Nyong'o winning will hopefully mean "12 Years a Slave" will pick up a few other awards tonight. And it also means J-Law's exaggerated, ridiculous performance didn't win.

10:22 - Are those people really going to eat those pizza slices? Aw, Jared Leto gave his mom a slice of pizza.

I'm fairly certain Harvey doesn't believe in tipping servers.

10:25 - That is a hideous building. Is there a reason it's shaped like a Golden Globe?

10:26 - Ellen, Bill Murray has never had any trouble following anything. Bill Murray follows no one.

10:27 - It's a bit of a shame that Bill Murray is way too cool to host the Oscars. He'd bring such a unique energy to the proceedings.

And extra props for a shout-out to the late Harold Remmis.

10:28 - "Gravity" winning Best Cinematography isn't a huge surprise by any means but I wonder if there's going to be any backlash concerning this. This wasn't a film shot in a traditional fashion. The Dissolve recently suggests splitting the Cinematography category into two: One for best Digital Cinematography and another for Best Traditional Cinematography. I feel like this is a good idea since so many films have been and will continue to be defined by what the camera can do in a camera.

10:30 - I'm fully expecting "Gravity's" dominance of the technical award to extend in to Editing.

10:31 - Yep. I wonder if the Academy, piling some many techinical awards onto the film, will pass up Cuaron for Best Director. Then again, Steve McQueen winning would be incredible too.

10:32 - Don't worry, Alfonso, you'll probably get an opportunity later in the evening to make your speech.

10:33 - Whoopi's ruby slippers were a nice surprise. I'm not exactly sure why she's rambling about "The Wizard of Oz" right now. Oh, it's an anniversary.

10:35 - I'm not exactly sure why the Academy made time for Pink (Or does she still spell it P!nk?) to do a... Let's be kind... Non-traditional version of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow."

10:36 - She's doing a great job of stopping the momentum of a show that had, up to this point, been rolling along fairly well.

10:38 - Now let's never speak of this again.

10:40 - Holy shit, did any one else see that Snickers Godzilla commercial? That was fucking incredible.

10:42 - I guess we can forgive Ellen for trotting out a silly costume gag.

10:43 - Benedict Cumberbatch maybe has the most British name ever.

10:44 - If there's one technical award I don't expect "Gravity" to win, it's this one.

Yet I'm quite surprised that "The Great Gatsy" has been picking up as many awards as it has.

10:45 - What was with that camera angle there a second ago, focusing on the orange lights behind the winners?

10:46 - Man, Jaime Foxx looks bored as shit.

10:47 - I really don't think "The Karate Kid" remake has any place in a tribute to action heroes.

10:48 - And there was "Footloose" and "It's a Wonderful Life," two further baffling choices.

Overall, I think this year has been a little light on the clip shows. Which is good.

10:53 - I wonder who is going to be left out of the Taps montage this year.

10:54 - I'm glad Tom Laughlin was included.

10:57 - And I'm further pleased to see that Jim Kelly, Ray Harryhausen, Richard Matheson and Run Run Shaw weren't left out either. But no Ed Lauter or Jonathan Winters? Now that's shameful.

10:58 - The montage was respectful and well done. I'm even a fan of Bette Midler. But was this truly the best song choice to follow up with?

11:00 - Okay, my patience has officially run out for this song. Bette is off her game tonight. Get on with the show.

11:01 - "Complete In Memorium Gallery at" What the hell is this shit? You can't make room for a few more names because Pink needed to waddle out a rendition of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow?" Even when you're going better, Oscar, you disappoint me.

11:04 - "Holdie Gawn" sounds like a Pokemon.

11:06 - Let's not oversell it, guys. "Philomena" was cute but it was far from a masterpiece.

11:07 - That was a surprisingly up-beat end there, Holdie.

11:08 - I bet you do love the movie musical, John Travola.

Because you're gay.

I'm sorry. That was low.

11:09 - I heard the Demi Lovato version of "Let It Go" while at the mall this weekend and, holy cow, was it bad. Good on the Academy for having the original actress perform instead.

11:10 - Yeah, the song is overplayed by this point. But Idina fucking killed it. That's how you do it, ladies.

11:13 - Did Jaime do that on purpose or was the teleprompter just a little slow? Who the hell is Will? At least he's having a good time.

11:14 - I have no idea who's going to win Best Score.

11:15 - Did I predict that "Gravity" was going to win? I think I did. I can't even remember at this point.

11:16 - Is there any chance at all of "Let It Go" not winning?

11:17 - That's what I thought. So the "Avenue Q" people are in the EGOT club now?

11:18 - Best speech of the night? Well, not quite good as Darlene Love breaking into song. But still good.

11:22 - "You've got some money now, Lupita." That made me laugh.

11:23 - This is a very accurate description of what it's like inside of a writer's brain.

"12 Years a Slave" is probably going to win.

11:25 - I do believe I just called that. That was a good speech!

11:26 - I'm really rooting for "Her" to win Best Original Screenplay.

Fantastic! So far, I'm pleased "American Hustle" has been locked out.

11:27 - 47 seconds, Oscar? Spike Jonze directed the "Weapon of Choice" music video. He'll take as long as he wants.

11:30 - We're three hours into the show now and only the four major categories left. Will Blanchett take home the Oscar? So far, my predictions have been fairly spot-on yet "American Hustle" hasn't been doing well. Honestly, I'd prefer Amy Adams to win even if I didn't like the movie very much. Just because she should have one already.

11:32 - To quote my room mate: "Sidney Poitier is still alive?" Almost, from the looks of it.

11:34 - Okay, so this is a big category of the night. Alfonso Cuaron is the big favorite to win, since "Gravity" was a fairly impressive visual achievement. Yet "12 Years a Slave," the favorite to win Best Picture, might follow suit instead. Honestly, a filmmaker as non-mainstream and iconiclastic as Steve McQueen winning Best Director would be sort of impressive as well. Let's see who gets it.

11:35 - Well, there's always next year, Steve. I'm not complaining though. I mean, I did give Cuaron a Phantom Award for directing this year, so I'm actually in direct agreement.

Now the big question is: Will "Gravity" win Best Picture as well? It's certainly built up some incredible momentum tonight.

11:37 - Soooo... Spanish speaking audience members, what did he just say?

11:41 - Do you think the Internet will crash if McConaughey says "alright, alright, alright" during his acceptance speech?

11:42 - Who Would I Vote For: Amy Adams because Blanchett was overly broad, Sandra Bullock was nothing but an audience surrogate, and Judi Dench and Meryl Streep were just doing their regular thing.

11:44 - Okay, I was wrong on that one. Oscar really could have picked a better crop of actresses for this category this year.

11:45 - "Random!" At least Cate is self-aware.

11:46 - I guess the Oscars is the only place where mentioning Woody Allen would be greeted with applause and hurrahs instead of boos and awkward glances.

11:47 - By the way, I agree with her speech. Movie executives who say women-led films are profitable are on crack. Make a goddamn "Wonder Woman" movie, Hollywood.

11:48 - Only two categories left to go. Is the show actually going to end on time this year? Yeah, I doubt it.

11:49 - Who I Would Have Voted For: I'm rooting for Bruce Dern but I think Chewetel Eljifor gave the best performance of this lot.

11:50 - I suppose the hanging scene had no shot of becoming the Oscar Clip but that would have been... Well, "awesome" seems like the wrong word.

11:53 - "Dallas Buyers Club" was a good performance from McConaughey and I'm absolutely not surprise that he won, seeing as how the performance was just the right type of Big. However, I think I'd be happier for this if I just pretended that McConaughey went back in time, rewrote the nominations, and won for "Killer Joe" instead.

11:54 - The little note about his dad dancing in heaven was a very McConaughey thing to say.


11:56 - Who Would I Vote For If I Was an Academy Member: "Her," even though it has no chance at all of winning. It is genuinely my favorite of the nominees.

11:57 - So this is two years in a row that Best Picture also didn't win Best Director. I wonder if this is setting some sort of precedence. Either way, "12 Years a Slave" was certainly an achievement and I'm not upset that it won.

11:58 - I'm curious now what Steve McQueen's next film is going to be. He's an Academy Award winning filmmaker now but I can't imagine him making some audience friendly either.

12:04 - There you go, guys. The show ended almost on time. This was one of the best shows in years. Low on technical gaffes, most of the awards going to people who actually earned them. The pace moved along quickly. DeGeneres did a great job hosting, even better then last time. She was funny and amusing without getting in the way of the rest of the show. The pacing faltered a bit in the second half with the wholly unnecessary "Wizard of Oz" tribute. Yet it picked up seriously in the last third. As far as Academy Awards go, this was surprisingly painless.

12:05 - My score card this year was 15/24, which is probably better then average for me. While I can't say I had a "great" time tonight, I had a fairly good time. And I'm not even drunk yet!

12:07 - Award season has officially concluded. As I say every year, now that the Oscars are over, I can get back to watching horror movies. And I intend too. See you again soon. Thank you and good night, readers.

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