Tag Archives: Awards

Oscar Nominations: Can Cameron Be Dethroned?

Well, Oscar nominations were announced a few days ago and I am still mulling over the choices.  I liked most of the nominations, but still can’t believe the power James Cameron seems to hold over Hollywood?  Avatar was definitely a technological wonder, on par with how Star Wars, Jurassic Park, and Lord of the Rings changed movies during their time with effects.  The story, while decent, was flimsy when compared to the other nominees.

But I am getting ahead of myself….

For each category, I will give my thoughts and picks (yes, I am committing them a month early).  I will save the big categories for last – that’s right, I am a mean writer….

The categories I know nothing about

The two Documentary categories and the Foreign Languages category will have to do without my witty thoughts.  I know nothing about the nominees, therefore it would be wrong of me to speculate.  The same is true for the two Short Film categories and the Costume Design Category.


More than likely Avatar will win this one, but Inglorious Basterds did a great job in capturing the look and feel of Nazi Germany without resorting to fancy tricks.  Harry Potter has the same old feel and The Hurt Locker looks like any other modern Middle-Eastern war flick.

Most Likely:  Avatar

Who I Want: Inglorious Basterds

Art Direction

Again, Avatar is the strong favorite.  I liked the look of Sherlock Holmes, but it was nothing extraordinary.  Nine has to overcome a high bar because it is a musical, so everyone expects a spectacle.  I could see an upset here with Doctor Parnassus sneaking in.

Most Likely : The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus


Star Trek will walk away with this one.

Visual Effects

Only three films nominated and all are sci-fi/fantasy.  Any other year and Star Trek takes this one.  But once again we have the buzzsaw of Avatar.

Most Likely:  Avatar

Who I Want:  Star Trek

Sound Editing

All 5 movies are strong candidates.  I do like the inclusion of an animated feature.  This is one that Avatar will have difficulty in winning, which is fine.  It can lose some of these races.

Most Likely:  The Hurt Locker

Who I Want: Up, but it is close with Star Trek

Sound Mixing

Again, all strong nominees – well, maybe all except Transformers, which was as bad on the ears as it was on the other 4 senses.  Again Avatar walks away empty-handed.

Most Likely:  Inglorious Basterds

Who I Want: Star Trek, but IB is not a bad choice

Original Score

This is a very tough category.  For me, it comes down to the two animated features.  Fantastic Mr. Fox had a quirky whimsy to it, but Up is more timeless.  If Avatar wins this one, then Cameron has sold his complete soul.

Most Likely: Up

Original Song

Disney has been missing from this category over the past few years, but I am not sure that even Randy Newman can help them grab the gold.  That said, Disney is about the only thing that could derail Crazy Heart.

Most Likely:  Crazy Heart

Screenplay Adapted

This is really a 2-dog race between Precious and Up In The Air.  The gold will go to Up In The Air as consolation for not winning anything else.

Most Likely: Up In The Air

Poised to Make an Upset: Precious

Screenplay Original

I see a dark horse rising with The Messenger or A Serious Man.

Most Likely:  The Messenger

Who I Want: Up

Supporting Actress

Mo’Nique is the heavy favorite and also satisfies Oscar’s desire to recognize someone not usually nominated.

Will Walk Away:  Mo’Nique

Supporting Actor

Christoph Waltz is the safe bet, but I see a dark horse.  Woody Harrelson has gotten  a lot of good press for The Messenger, but suffers from visibility.

Most Likely:  Christoph Waltz

For the Steal:  Woody Harrelson

Leading Actress

Sandra Bullock is riding a wave that is almost unstoppable.  Even if it is Meryl Streep that wins, this will be a huge upset if Bullock’s name is not read.

Will Walk Away:  Sandra Bullock

Leading Actor

Jeff Bridges finally gets rewarded for his career.  Tough break for all of the other candidates.

Will Walk Away:  Jeff Bridges


This is where the ex gets revenge.  One can only hope that James Cameron has no blackmail material on the voters.

Most Likely:  The Hurt Locker

Proof of No Backbone in Oscar: Avatar

Animated Feature

While I love Up, its spot should have gone to Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs.  Then Mr. Fox would have won this category.  But there is no way Oscar goes home with anyone in this category except Pixar.

Most Likely: Up

Best Picture

Thankfully, this is not a lock for Avatar.  The Hurt Locker is building momentum.  However, both should watch out for a Crash-like outcome from Precious.  Of course, I would love to see either of the Up movies win.

Most Likely:  Avatar (arrrrrgh)

Most Likely Upset: The Hurt Locker

Who I Want: Up or Up In The Air

So there you have it – my picks, as determined while sitting in an airport.  Cameron could have a Titanic-like night in one of two ways.  Way one is realistically with winning Oscar gold.  The figurative way is to walk away with only technical ones, thus “sinking” his dreams.  While many experts are putting stock in the fact that Avatar has no acting or writing nominations, one should be careful.  After all, Titanic had 11 nominations and only 3 wins, none coming from acting or writing.  Oscar would do itself a disservice to rehonor a film we saw in the early 90’s when it was called Dances With Wolves.

But, then again, look how long it took Martin Scorsese to earn Oscar Gold….

SAG Awards

If you televised an awards show and nobody watched, would movie studios strike outside?

The Screen Actors Guild (SAG) had their annual awards dinner to honor actors and casts for movies and television.  TNT and TBS aired the show simultaneously, with TNT reairing it 2 hours later.  I wish I could say it was fun to watch, but it was somewhat boring.  Here were the highlights:

  • Betty White – Much like Scorsese at the Golden Globes, Betty White showed us how to make a speech.  You could see her passion and love for her craft.  As she said, she is 88 years old; it will be a sad day when she passes away.
  • Alec Baldwin – This has nothing to do with his speech or award.  During the time he was on stage, I kept flashing on the scene in Team America where they had Baldwin addressing FAG (Film Actors Guild).

Golden Globes

Well, I just finished watching the Golden Globes on DVR.  While it had moments, it didn’t seem to have all of the zaniness of past years.  Ricky Gervais did a decent job of hosting, but I kept expecting more from him.  He had some good lines and setups to introduce the presenters.  I was disappointed to see the Globes play it safe and pick Avatar for Best Picture.  Just from the clips shown, all of the other nominees were more deserving.

For me, the highlight was the honoring of Martin Scorsese.  Here is a man whose films I have enjoyed time and again, while marveling at what he brings to light on the screen.  Yet, to hear him talk passionately about the movies made me wonder if he had a bug planted at my table at the Ale House last night when I was saying very similar things to a friend of mine about how I felt about movies.  That entire 15-20 minute tribute/acceptance section made the show for me.

Here’s hoping Oscar realizes that there were many movies out there that were better than Avatar….

2007 MTV Movie Awards

The start of summer brings many things: some good and some bad.  One event that can never decide which it will be is the annual movies awards show put on by MTV.  One of the annoying things to me is that it has always been aired pre-taped.  I mean, really, can it being live be any worse than the live steaming piles they have graced us with over the years from some of the Video Awards shows they have aired?

Be careful of what you wish for — Karma is always listening…

For 2007, MTV decided to air it live — GREAT!!!!

For 2007, MTV got Sarah Silverman to host — AWWWWW, CRAP!!!!

My good pal, Spaldy, and I have never  understood the fascination that people seem to have for Sarah Silverman (SS for the rest of this review).  She is hardly ever funny and probably owes a good bit of her career to the fact that she has been sleeping with Jimmy Kimmel.

Of course, for the first live movie awards show, I do what many others did: DVR’ed it.

See, I was at a convention all week and would not see it.  “But, Matt, just watch one of the 10,000 repeats that MTV will air until September…”  I would, except MTV sometimes edits the live broadcasts after they air, so I always go for the first showing.

The show opens with an odd filmed piece of SS’s dog turning into a jet fighter and her flying beside Johnny Knoxville to do a penile joke.  Then cut to the stage andher live jokes are even wors.  At one point, she told the audience to Google the reference to then get her joke.  UGH…

First Award is for Best Villain and it went to Jack Nicholson for “The Departed”.  Great movie and great choice, but I think Jack may have started celebrating early.  After rambling some, he leaves and we move on…

At this point, SS introduces a naked fat guy (who makes me look anorexic) that will chase off those who speak too long.  Brilliant part of the show:  The fat guy then chases SS off of the stage — Good fat guy — go eat more pizza….

Bruce Willis and Mac Guy show up to give out Best Fight scene, which goes to Gerard Butler for 300.  300 was a good movie built totally on fights — as much as I would have loved to see Will and Jon win for Blades of Glory, 300 was the right choice.

Can the overall suckitude of this show get any greater? Karma says ask and I shall deliver.  Cut to Dane Cook who will be introducing the movie spoofs of the night.  First up is “Quentin Tarantino’s Little Miss Squirtgun” — very entertaining.

Posh Spice and Chris Tucker show up to intro the first musical guest: Rianna and Jay-Z.  Time to hit triple fast-forward on the DVR.

For Best Kiss, why not bring up the people who will probably win next year: the cast of “I Now Pronounce You Chuck And Larry”?  MTV does and they call out Will Ferrell and Sacha Baron Cohen as the winners for Talladega Nights.  The kiss is then recreated for 5 minutes, even rolling on the ground.

Dane Cook shows up again (Why does he have a career?) to introduce spoof #2: “Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Rehab” — not good at all, much like if Dane and SS made a movie together.

The Breakthrough award goes to Jaden Smith, Will Smith’s son.  Video acceptance was “ehh” and overdone by Will…

Dane again!  WHY?!?!? What did I do this week to deserve this? He intros the final spoof: “United 300″  Entertaining…

The Orbit Gum girl shows up to give the Dirtiest Mouth award to Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith for Clerks II.  Was this really news to anyone who has seen a View Askew movie?

Robin Williams, Mandy Moore, and John Krasinski come out to present the Best Comedic Performance.  Proving again that the world of comedy is very broad, it goes to Sacha Baron Cohen for Borat, a character I can not stand.  Oh well, MTV once thought Pauly Shore was funny….

To follow that award with the PSA about Boratits was the highlight of the show for me — well played, MTV, well played…

Cameron Diaz then walks out fresh from bed, based on her (lack of) dress — Lord knows I woke up at this point.  She is out presenting the Generations award to Mike Myers.  This is tough because he does good characters for a movie or two and then kills them by going one movie too far.  It was nice seeing clips form “So I Married An Axe Murderer”.

For Best Spoof, Samuel L. Jackson comes out and tells the winner that he/she better cast him in a movie.  Gotta love Sam.  The award goes to  “United 300″ — not a bad choice.

Bruce Willis comes back out to intro the other musical guest: Amy Whinehouse.  After 30 seconds, I hit triple fast-forward again.

Eva Mendes and Seth Rogen come out to give the Best Summer Movie That Hasn’t Been Seen Yet — out of the choices, are we surprised to hear “Transformers”?  Particularly after all of the subliminal stuff MTV has been doing all night?

The Transformers cast stays out to award the Best Performance to Johnny Depp for Pirates 2: Electric Boogaloo.

Finally, we reach the end of the show with one award left: Best Movie — the cast from Hairspray gives it to Pirates 2.  Not a bad choice, but not my first choice.

So, the show ends and I am left wondering if, like the Video Awards, the Movie Awards have become irrelevant in today’s MTV market?  Neither show can shock us anymore and both are showing their ages.  Or maybe it is simply another sign that I have long outgrown MTV…