Here Come the Swans

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Friday, February 27, 2009

Random Thoughts with Karim Amir

I'm feeling random today.

Oh, yeah, the Oscars...
So, I won the Oscar pool at the party we attended. The prize for my prognostication skills? 10 free passes at the local arthouse theater. Awesome!

Random Oscar Thoughts:
  • Can't believe Danny Boyle is an Oscar-winning director.
  • The Independent Spirit Awards Joaquin Phoenix skit > Oscars Joaquin Phoenix skit
(ISA wins by also including Steve Coogan as Christian Bale. Much funnier than Natalie Portman. Here's the YouTube clip from the Indie Spirits: Warning: Not Safe for Work.)

  • I like Hugh Jackman much more as a song and dance guy.
  • Michael Shannon is kind of hot in a sinister sort of way.

Cool Website Random Thought:
"Greg Rutter's Definitive List of The 99 Things You Should Have Already Experienced On The Internet Unless You're a Loser or Old or Something."

I have no idea who Greg Rutter is, but he's assembled quite the list of Internet memes. Of course, there's Spaghetti Cat (yay!), Rick Roll, Leave Britney Alone, the chipmunk, Numa Numa, etc. My other half was spastic with laughter after watching #66. Oh, for the love of God, don't click on the NSFW links at the bottom of the page.

Random Songs I've Listened to Recently:

Bourgeois Tagg, "Mutual Surrender"

A late 80's mixtape selection, I distinctly remember this song on an episode of "21 Jump Street."

Big Audio Dynamite, "The Bottom Line" (embedding disabled by request, yada yada...)

Oh, yes, another installment of "I saw this first on Night Flight." I am posting this today for these lyrics that ring true almost 25 years later:
"Dance to the tune of economic decline
Is when you do the Bottom Line
Nagging questions always remain
'Why did it happen?' and 'Who was to blame?'"
Mick Jones, you're clairvoyant.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Ranking the Oscar nominees

If I were to rank the Oscar nominees and choose the winners:

Best Picture
1. The Reader
2. Slumdog Millionaire
3. Milk
4. Frost/Nixon
5. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

1-4 are all great, but Ben Button was teh suck (zzzzzzzz). If the precursors are any indication, BP will go to Slumdog, and I'll be happy for Boyle and company.

Best Director
1. Danny Boyle
2. Stephen Daldry
3. Gus Van Sant
4. Ron Howard
5. David Fincher

Coin toss between Boyle and Daldry here, and I'll admit to being swayed by Boyle's body of work. Shallow Grave and Trainspotting are two of my all-time favorites.

Best Actor
1. Richard Jenkins
2. Mickey Rourke
3. Sean Penn
4. Frank Langella
5. Brad Pitt

Jenkins is my sentimental pick, but doesn't have a chance in hell. Rourke and Penn were both fantastic. (My prediction for the win on Sunday is Penn.)
What the **** is Brad Pitt doing in this category? Can you say "stick out like a sore thumb"?

Best Actress
1. Kate Winslet
2. Meryl Streep

Wow, I'm really underprepared in this category. Frozen River is sitting on our living room table, and will be watched before Sunday. Melissa Leo has the Richard Jenkins glad-to-be-nominated nod in this category, and as an obsessive fan of Homicide: Life on the Street, I'm really glad to see her recognized for her work.

Best Supporting Actor
1. Robert Downey, Jr.
2. Josh Brolin
3. Philip Seymour Hoffman

Still haven't seen the Batman movie, and I have little desire to see Revolutionary Road, but Michael Shannon won me over with his performance in this small indie called Shotgun Stories that I recently viewed on Sundance.

Best Supporting Actress
1. Marisa Tomei
2. Penelope Cruz
3. Amy Adams
4. Viola Davis
5. Taraji P. Henson

Cruz will probably win, but I'm rooting for Tomei.
If Davis had a larger role, she'd be rated higher, but really, her role is a cameo, and cameo nominees bug me.
For what it's worth, Taraji P. Henson was the best thing about Ben Button.

Best Original Screenplay
2. Milk
3. In Bruges

Three great screenplays! Glad to see In Bruges here.

Best Adapted Screenplay
1. The Reader
2. Slumdog Millionaire
3. Frost/Nixon
4. Doubt
5. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Another great category, except for that freaking Button movie.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

RIP, Lux Interior

I've talked about Urgh! A Music War ad nauseum on this site and others, but I can still never express fully express in words what it meant to me growing up. So you can imagine that I was very sad to just hear about the news of the death of Lux Interior. The Cramps' performance of "Tear It Up" was definitely a highlight of the proceedings. The image of the energetic Lux wearing leather pants that barely covered up his privates while deep throating the microphone left an indelible mark on my memory.

I may have posted this YouTube clip before, but it deserves a reprise.