The primaries have passed, the special interest dollars have been distributed, the debates have become academic: it’s election night – for Hollywood. Once every year, the brightest stars of cinema, and Sean Penn, assemble to crown the performances of the year. And, depending on how verbose the hosts Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin feel, they do it in a swift 3-4 hours.
Much like the political elections they so often mirror, the Academy Award winners are sometimes determined more on popularity than on substance. A film collects buzz, grows into a critical behemoth, sweeps the awards, and no one bothers to ask if it’s actually a viable movie (looking at you, Titanic). Will that hold true this year?
Multiple nominee Avatar has made more money internationally than the GDP of Suriname. On the other end of the financial spectrum, The Hurt Locker has been lauded as the first truly relevant film made about the war in Iraq, but it only cleared 18 million dollars worldwide. Can best picture voters ignore their industry’s cash cow, patchy in plot though it was, for an indie that most of America hasn’t seen? How many negative Glenn Beck references will be made? Will male members of the Academy fail to vote for Up simply because they don’t like cartoons making them cry? Does Jerry Seinfeld realize he didn’t have to make the Marriage Ref? How many consecutive questions can I ask before you, the reader, tune me out?These stories and more on tonight’s 240 minutes. Continue Reading…
Sarah Palin addressed the throngs of the Tea Party Saturday Evening in Nashville. Her address was sweet music to the audience. Barack Obama was skewered thoroughly. Come, Share the Experience with us, moment by moment…
8:04 pm – She steps to the podium, like a Queen treading before her troops.
There are 2 massive blocks of ice-esque substance behind her… An Alaska theme? A Narnia theme?!
8:05 – The hair is down tonight. I miss the up-do.
*wishes happy birthday to Ronaldus Magnus*
“America is ready for another revolution!”
8:06 - Her first usage of the phrase ‘common sense conservative’
1st Scott Brown reference! I wonder if the GOP had actually just put the infamous Brown Truck on the ballot if it could have defeated Coakley all by itself. Would have been GM’s first win in some time…
8:07 – She’s very energetic this evening. She makes me feel so old – and I’m 24.
8:09 – Speaking of Brown over Coakley – ‘If there’s hope in Massachusettes, there’s hope everywhere.’
‘Common Sense Conservative’ usage countdown – 2
8:10 – ‘Contested primaries aren’t civil wars’
You know what WAS a civil war? The Civil War!
8:11 – ‘Don’t allow any one leader to define you…’
This becomes an interesting theme. The prognosticators are all saying this speech IS her effort at becoming said leader. Later she juxtaposes the subject of her future with a restatement that the movement shouldn’t have a leader.
8:12 – ‘You Teapartiers are bigger than Obama and his teleprompter.
Urban areas stink!’
‘Common Sense Conservative’ usage count – 3 (she switched the 2 adjectives around that time)
8:14 – ‘Obama is afraid to call war, ‘war’, suicide bombings become ‘manmade disasters’.
8:17 – Here’s the best line of the evening – “We need a commander in chief – not a professor of law, standing at the lectern”
8:18 – Obama is writing letters to dangerous dictators. Machmoud, someone’s talking to you…
8:19 – Obama hates Japan!
*accidentally says ‘Alaska’ when she meant ‘America’*
8:20 – She loses her place momentarily… Think the ‘Alaska, America’ reference got her rattled…
Ok… she’s got it back now… found her place…
8:21 – *makes a talking face with her left hand, Barack Obama’s Washington is Sarah Palin’s hand…* This is truly human drama…
8:22 – ‘Obama should man up and stop picking on George Bush…’
Quotes Barry Goldwater! She’s been compared to Barry!
8:23 – ‘The government is taking over.’
She keeps quoting people. She includes more quotes in her addresses than any political figure I’ve ever heard of…
8:24 – Populism! Wall Street wants to eat you alive!
8:26 – Making fun of Joe Biden’s tough guy image and inability to oversee things!
“How’s that hopey, changey stuff working out for you?!”
Is this wise syntax considering… everything…
8:29 – Obama gave a Democrat party man a government contract to somehow stimulate some portion of the economy.
“Is that hope? Nope.”
8:30 – ‘Washington thinks we are all stupid!’
8:32 – ‘We are freedom lovers, and we are ticked off!’
On dealing with multiple governmental challenges at once – “If you can’t ride 2 horses at once, you shouldn’t be in the circus.”
8:33 – ‘I threw oil barons in jail!’
You know who else should be in jail… the guy in the audience who showed up to this speech in a blue baseball cap…
8:34 – Hillary Clinton’s foreign policy reset button, bequeathed to Vladimir Putin, should be used on B Obama’s health care bill.
8:36 – ‘We need to seize the oil from the sod, and stop giving money to sheiks.’
Also, from John Thune of SoDak – ‘If you’re ever the victim of a shotgun shooting, band-aids are not going to help.’
8:38 – ‘John McCain is an American hero.’
Common Sense Conservative’ Count – 4
8:40 – I anticipate we’re ramping up for a conclusion here. It’s coming rapid fire now…
You are all patriots!
You are all kind!
You are all good!
Shining city on a hill!
Our best days our yet to come!
8:45 – God bless the tea party & God bless America!
In the past few days, Republicans have been feeling an extra ounce of chutzpa with a surprise election victory in liberalisms’ heartland of Massachusetts. In the wake of this shocker, the prospects of Obama-care’s success have receded like so much tide when pulled by the moon (that’s how that works, yes?). Anyway, President Obama has decided to respond in the most serious and potent way he knows. And so, tonight, he is giving a speech to congress. Come join me as we learn how things really is (yes, that was on purpose)…
8:02 PM – Michelle Obama is cloaked all in purple. I’m reminded of Dwight Schrutes’ beet farm.
8:06 – “Madam Speaker, the President of the United States.”
Here he comes – striding & glad-handing like the days of yore.
8:07 – Harry Reid lurking behind the President. I imagine he’s treasuring every moment he has in the capitol these days… come November he’s expected to receive the boot from Nevadans. Call it ‘receiving the Daschle’ if you will.
8:10 – *Prez begins his ‘thank you’s*
8:12 – ‘Times are tough.’
8:13 – ‘George Bush handed me a harrowing, ugly & bludgeoned economy.
I have mostly fixed it.’
8:14 – ‘I have done so many things!’
8:15 – ‘Children write me letters asking me why they have to move…
They need change.
They are angry.
Wall Street stinks.’
8:16 – ‘Let me tell you about these letters…’
8:17 – *Reprising FDR*
‘Government should be decent. Let me teach you how to be decent people.’
8:18 – ‘ Boy, those banks are sure ripping everyone off.
8:19 – ‘Man, I hated that bank bailout… we needed it, but I sure hated it…
Did you remember that it was George Bush’s idea???!
Let me tell you – I have invented a new fee for those banks!
*first split screen shot showing partying Dems doing standing O while Republicans sit and stare at Pelosi’s blingy necklace*
8:20 – ‘I have cut taxes. For parents. For children. For college students. For cartoon characters. For cougars!…’
Obama – “I thought I’d get some applause on that one.”
8:22 – ‘We have created / saved / pulled from the clutches of greed 2 million jobs.’
‘The stimulus bill was awesome and everyone loved it.
Economists all say so. It would have been a disaster without it.’
*Break for extended story time*
8:24 – ‘I have saved the economy. Now we need to pass a new jobs bill.’
8:25 – *The Republicans just gave their first faux cheer after Obama explained that businesses drive the economy. He looked as though he was hoping people would be impressed he’d come to that conclusion.*
8:26 – ‘Let us take from the rich and give to the poor.’
Wall Street is King John? He IS Robin Hood!
8:27 – ‘WE NEED FASTER TRAINS! I have decided to build really, fast, trains.’
8:28 – ‘We will pay people for being green (pilgrim).
This will help us save. See?’
8:30 – ‘George Bush destroyed an entire decade!’
8:31 – I am not a part of Washington. Washington is out to get you. I am for the people. I am just the President. I am not part of Washington…
We need to be more like China.
We are better than China.’
8:34 – ‘Let me tell you about some other things I’ve done… I invested in some sort of solar power that will probably cure cancer…
I have invested in newfangled batteries…’
8:35 – *He wants to drill for oil offshore!!! Wow. Where is this coming from?!*
‘My cap and trade bill will do great things!’
*Ohhh no… we’re back to that again?!…*
‘I know no one likes it.
People who disagree with ’overwhelming evidence’ for climate change obviously didn’t go to Harvard like I did.’
*GOP lawmakers start giggling*
*Obama snarls in their general direction*
8:37 – ‘I will double our exports in 5 years!’
Are you going to knit hats and sell them at a swap meet in Brussels?!?
8:39 – ‘I have given children the ability to read.’
*camera shows Secretary of Education… I’ve never seen that guy!*
8:41 – ‘Time to take college loans out of the private sector and give the responsibility to those who really know what they’re doing – the government.’
This is not socialism. This is the government giving you everything you need. There’s a difference. Really.
8:42 – He’s cleaving to his health insurance reform bill!
‘I know no one like my health care bill. Let me tell you a story from a letter I got…’
8:46 – ‘The more I spend, the more the deficit goes down… see?
I went to Harvard.’
8:49 – ‘Remember when Bill Clinton filled the land with wealth, prosperity, and pride?.
Remember when George Bush destroyed everything and made kind, tender grandmothers who bake cookies cry?!’
8:51 – *Prez proposes spending government freeze for next 3 years.*
8:55 – Super awkward moment: Obama tells Dems not to worry, spending freeze won’t take effect until next year…
Republicans burst out laughing…
Obama, clearly miffed… raises his finger like a bespectacled schoolmarm and lectures to them:
“That’s how budgeting works”
This makes Republicans laugh even harder.
8:57 – ‘I don’t work with lobyists.’
*Republicans laugh yet again*
8:58 – Obama lectures Supreme Court, sitting write smack in front of him, for striking down John McCain’s campaign finance reform bill as unconstitutional.
Supreme Court looks ticked and somewhat spooked. Sorta felt like Obama was pulling a Vito Corleone for a moment and the Supremes might want to worry about sleeping with the fishes sometime soon…
8:59 – “I’m not naive”
9:00 – “We can’t wage a perpetual campaign”
9:01 – Everyone else is motivated by politics. I am the embodiment of the will of people.
9:03 – “I’m not interested in litigating the past”
You certainly can sir. Choosing a dog is a difficult, difficult decision…
9:20 ‘We don’t quit, I don’t quit.’
AND SO IT ENDS!
Not only did President Obama not turn to the center as many had prophesied he would do… had to do tonight. Instead, he rooted his feet squarely into his idealogical ground and told us all (Massachusetts especially) that we were wrong and he was right. After a year of so, very, many, words and Blame It On Bush… methinks the veneer is beginning to wear mighty thin.
After a bewildering attempt at understanding pubescent psyche during the Teen Choice Awards back in August, I decided to move down the ladder to writing about inebriated adults. So what better place to start than Hollywood’s own kegger, the Golden Globes! I’ll be going moment-by-moment, trying my best to figure out what makes Tinseltown tick.
That is, until Goose removes me for a more popular Alex Whitworth post; have to reach the over-60 crowd.
6:30 p.m. – It’s raining on the red carpet. Kathy Griffin just melted.
6:32 – This news is a few days old now, but several Weight Watchers members fell through a floor in Sweden while waiting for weigh-in. Seeing the cast of Precious reminded me of this.
6:47 – Quentin Tarantino is wearing a black duster on the red carpet. Is it too soon for a Columbine joke?
6:52 – They just came back from commercial too soon, so there was 30 seconds of dead air. Or as I like to call it, a Jay Leno promo. (By the way, if you can’t tell already, this is a Team Conan entry. Be prepared for the onslaught – it will make things easier on all of us).
7:00 – And away we go. Ricky Gervais is hosting tonight, reinforcing stereotypes about British dentistry, British dieting, and British humor, which is tasteless and hilarious. I’m betting he makes at least two Haiti-related jokes, one of which I laugh at against my will.
7:02 – Gervais, creator of The Office and Extras, usually makes for edgy TV, but even he seems blase after NBC broadcast someone getting screwed all week.
7:07 – In the first presentation of the night, best supporting actress in a motion picture goes to Monique for Precious. This movie could be a big winner tonight; it’s about a girl who is impregnated by her father. A real upper.
7:10 – Stop the presses: Tina Fey just lost an award. Toni Collette ends up taking home the Globe for best actress in a TV series. Now how will 30 Rock be honored for belittling Middle America?
7:16 – Ooh, there was a Lindsay Lohan sighting in the crowd. She came dressed as a waitress.
7:18 – John Lithgow can’t find his way to the stage to accept the award for best supporting actor in a TV series. I feel like COPS should do an episode full of stars stumbling out of awards shows and having to walk the line.
7:21 – Sir Paul McCartney: “Animation is not just for kids, it’s also for adults… who take drugs.” It’s easier to get knighted than it used to be.
7:22 – Up wins for best animated motion picture. Well deserved.
7:24 – The camera pans across the audience: I couldn’t tell if it was the Golden Globes or a DNC national fundraiser! But seriously, folks, moving back to 11:35 is going to be great…
7:28 – I went to grab a snack, so I could only hear this part. The presenter has been drinking heavily, evidently. Or the teleprompter went dead. So it’s either Billy Joel or Barack Obama.
7:32 – Jane Krakowski and Neal Patrick Harris are presenting an award. Did I switch to the GLAAD Awards?
7:35 – Julianna Margulies just wished her son a happy birthday during her acceptance speech. He was at home. You watching this, Child Services?
7:42 – Harrison Ford is presenting best picture nominee Up In The Air. I went to watch it earlier this year, but accidentally ended up seeing a movie called The Mile High Club. Not the same film, but George Clooney was in both.
7:42 – Harrison’s talking like his mouth is still frozen in carbonite.
7:44 – Gervais insults McCartney, then goes for his first Haiti joke.
7:44 – I laughed.
7:45 – Christina Aguilera and Cher announce the winner for best original song in a motion picture. Judging by its mother, Chaz Bono didn’t need surgery, he/she just needed to wait for time to take its course.
7:52 – Amy Adams and Josh Brolin announce the nominees for best mini-series. The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien has to be the front-runner.
8:00 – Big surprise. Meryl Streep just won best actress in a motion picture for Julie and Julia. How many rooms in her home are devoted to holding trophies? She puts things in perspective, describing how she’s conflicted about accepting an award while there is suffering in Haiti.
8:05 – Does Microsoft staff their commercials exclusively from the Jewish Polo League?
8:10 – The Globe for best actor in a mini-series is announced by an actor and actress from Avatar, the movie that made us believe liberalism doesn’t have to just be 2-D.
8:14 – Drew Barrymore is rambling, and she might have a sea urchine on her shoulder.
8:14 – Oh, shoot, it’s wrapped around her back now. She might be a coral reef by the end of the night.
8:17 – I’m not going to say that NBC doesn’t want Conan mentioned tonight, but they just escorted Teri Hatcher out of the building for wearing orange.
8:23 – Gervais is dying up there, a condemnation of the audience more than the speaker.
8:26 – Though he didn’t win for best actor in a comedy series (Alec Baldwin did), Steve Carell is still my favorite. Although the more I see of Michael Scott on The Office, the more I’m convinced Carell’s just playing a white Michael Steele.
8:29 – It’s getting a little ridiculous with the Alec Baldwin love, by the way. I mean, he’s good as Jack Donaghy, but he’s no Stephen.
8:32 – Samuel L. Jackson introduces Inglorious Bas****s for best picture. He’s so much cooler than I could ever hope to be. To be fair, though, I’m white.
8:38 – The best TV series drama goes to Mad Men. Jon Hamm is bursting with joy. Christina Hendricks is just bursting.
8:45 – Wow, first major upset of the night. Chloe Sevigny of Big Love beats Jane Lynch of Glee for best supporting actress in a TV series. I don’t understand the decision: Lynch was hilarious all season in Glee. Not that I watch Glee.
8:45 – I mean, my girlfriend makes me watch Glee. But I’m comfortable about it.
8:50 – Christoph Waltz (Inglorious Bas****s) deserves the win he just got for best supporting actor in a motion picture. I haven’t seen a German this talented since, uh, Johannes Guttenberg? Johann Sebastian Bach?
8:50 – Were all German men in the Middle Ages required to start their names with Johan? Does this make Johan Santana German? I’m confused.
8:52 – If you think any of these lines are cheesy, just check out Waltz’ speech. You’ll never believe this, but he said his globe was now golden. I think you’re supposed to call your doctor if that happens.
8:55 – Generally, I’m on the computer while she watches Glee. It’s just background noise.
8:57 – Martin Scorsese represented Italian culture in the 1970s and ’80s in the same way Jersey Shore does now.
9:05 – In his lifetime achievement award acceptance speech, Scorsese just quoted Faulkner, “The past is not dead. It is not even past.” These are the people telling us who to vote for in elections.
9:14 – Gervais just spouted the best Mel Gibson joke I have ever heard. In terms of Jewish revenge, it was the Inglorious Bas****s of jokes. Mel seems to take it well as he announces the winner for best director, James Cameron.
9:16 – The presenters aren’t the only thing breaking seals tonight. Cameron says he’s keeping his acceptance speech short because “he has to pee something fierce.” Well then.
9:19 – Glee wins for best comedy!
9:20 – I love pickup trucks, grilled steaks and watching sports.
9:25 – The cast of The Hangover is announcing the preview for The Hangover – BUT ZACH GALIFIANAKIS ISN’T UP THERE. That’s like setting the dinner table and not eating.
9:27 – The Hangover wins for best comedy in a motion picture! Now I can justify seeing it five times. It’s art.
9:33 – The Governator says the only way to make more money than “Ahvadar” is to “be hired by NBC, or fired by NBC!” That joke came in under budget!
9:36 – In a surprise, Sandra Bullock wins best actress in a motion picture drama for The Blind Side. Coincidentally, Mickey Rourke boxed under that name.
9:36 – At some point, I think the plastic surgeons are going to switch Mickey Rourke and Nancy Pelosi’s faces and see if anyone notices.
9:40 – Awkward moment as Robert Downey Jr. tries to freebase the Globe (That joke was in memory of the year 2000, a great year for jokes and celebrities screwing up in ways we may never see again).
9:47 – The Dude just won a Golden Globe. Jeff Bridges takes home the win for best actor in a motion picture drama. It really tied the ceremony together.
9:51 – Julia Roberts, who has looked sloshed for three hours now, is about to present the award for best drama. The anticipation is thick here in Fargo.
9:57 – Roberts was a slurry letdown, and Avatar wins for best drama.
And so it ends. I’d give the show a blood alcohol content of .006, tipsy but not legally drunk. There were some self-congratulatory moments, some stepping over the line, some drama, some tears and one great British comic. Your move, Academy Awards.
It’s 7 bells after the noontide apex of the shining orb which lights our world (Central). Welcome to an evening of oratory with President Obama on Capitol Hill! Come, and let us together sit down and learn how we shall be healed of our goiters and our greed.
7:03 – The Cabinet’s headed into the chamber. Hillary Clinton! Remember when she was going to be president? Man.
7:04 – Watching on Fox like the right winger I am… Brit Hume has a similar voice to that which I imagine God might use if he wanted to comment on politics.
Fox’s Front Page After Obama’s Address7:12 – President introduced by sergeant at arms and assorted other dudes.
The President is flanked by Dingy Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell. That is one sour looking man!
With our country at a financial and medical crossroads, what better barometer than an award show that features surfboards as prizes? With that in mind, I sat down with chicken, rice and a giant bottle of Dr. Pepper to document the goings-on of America’s future at the 2009 Teen Choice Awards.
Jonas Brothers Concert7:00 PM – TCA Hosts Jonas Brothers “interview” President Barack Obama at a press conference. The producers are using Obama to open a show pointed toward teens. But don’t worry, he’s not a celebrity.
7:01 – The announcer boasts TCA as the “hottest party of the summer.” Well, we knew it wasn’t the GOP.
7:03 – A Youtube sensation named Fred is introduced. I didn’t think you could do the one-name moniker unless you’re a Brazilian soccer star. 7:04 – JoBros open the festivities by performing their latest song – not cool.
7:02Central Daylight Time – The President of the United States strides up to the podium. His tie reminds me of a hearty wild berry pie… framed around someone’s neck. And look at the lighting mechanisms to either side of him! It’s like an angelic corona.
The beginning announcement – The President has pulled our economy back from the brink! From the brink of 8% unemployment to the brink of 10% employment! This man went to Harvard!
7:03 – Aha – he just explained what he meant by improving the economy. We have taken funds from people who have been too successful. How dare those buzzards. 7:04 – His eyes look very moist. I wonder if Joe Biden said something emotionally taxing.
7:06 – “I’ve also pledged that health insurance reform will not add to our deficit.”