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Friday, February 28, 2014

Handicapping the Best Picture Nominies, Disclaimer: I have not watched any of these movies

     You may be asking yourself, how can a guy who has not watched a single minute of one movie nominated for best picture and has no intention seeing them until they're on TBS in five years, accurately set the odds?  My answer, combine my deep analysis of the films' promotional posters, what I've heard the movie is about and combine them with what I've learned about the predictability of Hollywood assholes. 

     When the most privileged people on Earth gather, dressed in attire worth more than the yearly salary of the average viewer, for their yearly circle jerk known as the Academy Awards our "betters" will spend three hours kissing each others ass, promoting their pet causes (get that Sudan thing straightened out yet Clooney?) and rubbing our faces in the fact that we don't know shit about movies or films or what ever these pretentious, self-important, smacked asses want us to call them you'll want to know each films chances of winning.  Predicting what will make the Academy's collective crotch tickle is as easy as figuring out what picture they think will piss off Main Stream America the most, teach the best lesson about how we suck or some combination of the two. So without out further adieu, your nominees;

     From what I gather this movie is about some middle age woman repairing a space station and predictably everything goes wrong.  A very plausible plot considering most middle age women can't change the batteries in a smoke detector if it requires a screw driver.  But I digress.  Seems from the poster, Gravity is some half-assed character drama/thriller set against the backdrop and the emptiness of outer space.  Presumably, the message is about never giving up base on the "don't let go" thing on the poster.  May even be watchable from what I hear.  Odds of winning- 12:1

This is exactly the kind of shit I'm talking about.  This blog has more views than this movie and it's nominated for an Oscar. So ask yourself. Why? Answer, this is precisely the type of movie Hollywood nominates to prove they're smarter than you. Additionally, critics love Spike Jonze and Joaquin Phoenix giving Her cache .  From what I heard the picture's plot centers around an effeminate hipster who falls in love with his computer and the poster gives me no hope that there's any more to it than that.  I mean who casts Scarlett Johansson and does not even put her in the movie? A diabolical bastard, that's who.  Odds of winning-30:1.  Odds of seeing Scarlett Johansson 0:0.

                                                         I'm going to give this film great odds.  Dallas Buyers Club has a lot working for it, Hollywood A-listers suffering for their craft (losing weight), transvestites and AIDS.  Bear in mind, I have no idea how any of this works into the Plot.  However, the homosexual/transvestite angle has the potential to offend mainstream Americans, Hollywood gets to promote two pet causes (alternative lifestyles, AIDS awareness) and it all takes place in the most conservative State in the Union to boot.  The poster offers little help as to what Dallas Buyers Club is actually about. Although it screams "look how much weight I lost for this shit, give me a fucking Oscar!"  Here's my guess, a bunch of transvestite/homosexual used car dealers form a secret club in order to hide they're alternative lifestyles and smack addictions from their families.  Then they all get AIDS and die because they having shitty health care coverage or something.  Odds of winning: 6:1
      Here's a movie that is nominated for the sole purpose of kicking Hollywood's favorite whipping boy, the Catholic Church, square in the jibbers.  Apparently, in 1960's Ireland getting knocked up without being married was not socially acceptable. Who knew? Based on my limited knowledge of the plot, the heroine gets pregnant after her boyfriend forgets to pull out. Pulling out being the only form of birth control at the time. When her presumably drunken Irish father finds out he sends her away to live in a nunnery. The Little Sisters of Auschwitz proceed to work her like a Guatemalan landscaper, then forcibly put her son up for adoption.  Judging by the poster by the time she catches up with him, he is middle-aged and doubtlessly miserable. While Philomena surely makes the Catholic Church look nastier than the 70's Oakland Raiders, you're going to have to do better than that to sway the Academy, that dogs been kicked too many times to hunt.  Odds of winning 35:1  

     One of the few movies nominated this year that looks viewable, The Wolf of Wall Street has a few elements sure to make it palatable to the Academy and make it a real contender for best picture.  First, I'm certain it makes Wall Streeters look like a bunch of sniveling trolls, feeding on kittens and drinking the blood of the homeless.  Second,  I'm told the sight of Jonah Hill beating off made the head of a Kansas housewife implode.  Finally, Wolf of Wall Street was directed by perennial Oscar Contender Marty Scorsese. The poster really tells the story here.  Wallstreet is the shit, marching bands, half naked chicks, midgets, the only thing missing is Sherpa doing blow off a corpse .  Odds of Winning- 8:1

     Here's the odds on favorite folks. Just try to hold 12 Years a Slave back.  This thing is chock o' block full elements adored by Hollywood elites; foreign director, large talented minority cast with names no one can pronounce, portraying America as the hate filled racist cesspool it always was and unquestionably still is. I've heard it said, some Academy members couldn't even view it with their pants on.  The poster shows you all you need to know.  Slavery sucks and you should run away from it with a perplexed look on your face as fast as possible.  Like the election of President Obama, it's motherfucking time!  Act accordingly Academy.  Odds of winning-1:1, even money here people.
     Now the only things I know about this film is it was shot in black and white, the cast is old and it's set in Nebraska.   Critics love it so I'm going to go assume that's why it was nominated and also that it blows.  The poster only confirms my theory that the story centers around some old farts that don't give a shit what there hair looks like anymore. It happens, I've seen this very phenomena in Target quite a few times. Seems like a movie pompous blowhards would try to convince you is good after you tell them you thought it sucked.  Going to take a shot here, old people coming to terms with how abhorrent living in Nebraska is.  Anyway, don't see it. Odd of winning - No fucking chance in hell :1 

     Hot, young cast - check, hot director - check, portraying politicians as corrupt, semi-retarded mouth breathers - check,  set in the 70's... O yea. Need I say more?  The poster is visually pleasing for all.  Featuring the stunning Jennifer Lawrence for the fellas, Bradley Cooper for the ladies and gay dudes, it also includes a fat Christian Bale and ordinary looking (for Hollywood) Amy Adams giving regular folks the false impression they may have a shot with them. You would think this movie would have great odds and you'd be wrong.  The only movie critics I actually listen to, my buddies (mostly roofers, deadbeats and cops), tell me American Hustle isn't really that good.  Although they all added, "Jennifer Lawrence was awesome in it."  From which I extrapolated, her rack looked spectacular.  And there my friends, is why the Academy nominated this picture. They wanted the young Hollywood eye candy out promoting the Academy Awards broadcast, assuming superficial scumbags like me and my buddies would watch long enough to see if any wardrobe malfunctions occur.  Good calculation Academy.  Odds of winning- 9:1
     That brings us to Captain Phillips.  Nominated to prove the Academy is not to pompous to nominate an action type film the unwashed masses enjoy. However, containing just enough drama and social justice undertones to make it palatable to the windbags at the Academy.  The poster tells a deeper story than some psychotic jerk-offs commandeering a commercial ship. O' yes.  The contrast of good vs. evil, black vs. white, right vs. wrong, poverty vs. privilege, victim vs. oppressor, all separated by an ocean. But which one is which?  The bottom line is this film has an uphill climb to claim Oscar gold.  What makes the odds so high for a seemingly solid movie?  From what I gather the U.S. military saves the day without looking like a bunch of blood thirsty, imperialist dude-bros. This is tantamount to hemlock for the Hollywood gentry. Odds of winning- 17:1  
     Finally, my predictions. Phillip Seymour Hoffman will be Sainted,  Ellen will dance like your drunk Aunt at a wedding, Pink will swing around the stage like a deranged circus monkey in a vain attempted to make us forget her music sucks and I'll be asleep 45 minutes in to this shit show.  Enjoy folks.
I'll be live tweeting during the part of the Awards I'm conscious for.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Damn Hipsters

We can't touch our trust funds until we're 30

        Every now and then a guy in his mid-thirties like myself will take a look at the world around him and notice that some of his tried and tested knowledge and assumptions have become bullshit.  Growing up in Philly, after you knew were someone was from and what they looked like, you knew all you needed to know. That is sadly no longer the case and for people like myself that would much rather judge a book by its' cover than actually talk to them, it's a pain in the ass.  The main culprit in this tragic crime, the North American hipster.

     It used to be the case, not so long ago, that heavily tattooed people fell into a few categories; bikers, ex-cons, badasses and people that just didn't give a shit.  Now every handjob at a Decemberist concert is sleeved up like they just got out of Chino. At one point tattoos represented a desire to be left alone or a long night of drinking across the street from a tattoo shop. Not to the hipster, however.  To the hipster a tattoo has to represent much, much more.  Could be a life long struggle with lactose intolerance or some obscure social cause, like the plight of the Maori tribesman.  Either way asking them about their tattoos, which is exactly what they want, is a big mistake.  Unless you have a half hour to listen to a story about how a picture of an ostrich on their forearm represents the weekend they spent with their dead aunt Florence at SeaWorld.

When having sailor tattoos meant you were a sailor and a badass

      Excessive and elaborate facial hair was once reserved for only a chosen few.   That was until about eight years ago when the hipster commandeered our greatest face d├ęcor. Old timey boxers, jihadis, outdoorsmen and Civil War vets have historically worn the most hardcore facial hair.  These days every poli-sci graduate student that fills my beer at Johnny Brenda's (hipster hangout in Philly) looks like fucking Rolly Fingers. This puts guys like me with no upper lip or chin in a real bind.  We can either go facial hairless and look like a lesbian or grow some fantastic face fuzz and risk being lumped in with this asshole.

      Philly used to have some of the great blue collar working class neighborhoods on the East Coast.  Port Richmond and Fishtown were two of the best.  You could literally get your asked kicked for winning a C.Y.O. basketball game at St. Anne's on Lehigh Ave.  I know because it would have happened to me had my grandma not snuck my team out the back door of the gym after a sweet victory in the early 90s.  The guys you once saw strutting around there looked like the cast of The Town  and were every bit as tough.  Those formerly gritty areas have become hipster havens complete with swanky coffee shops, bicycle repair stops and other types of nonsense businesses that would have been bankrupt in two weeks before the neighborhoods was castrated.  Perhaps the worst casualties are the bars.  The shot and beer joints that opened at 6:00 a.m. so the roofers could get lubed up before work and stayed open long enough for the same roofers to get in a fight over some toothless scamp at 2 a.m. when they closed it down, have all been replaced.  The new hipster watering holes only serve "session ales" to clowns in skinny jeans that would have got their shit pushed in, in that same bar ten years earlier, ironically enjoying (the only way a hipster can enjoy anything) the shittiest music on Earth. 

     I think my real issue is I may be accidental hipster.  The hipster frequently dons my preferred uniform of jeans, a tee shirt, work boots and a Jeff cap,  I 'm fairly heavily tattooed and damn it, I enjoy IPAs!