Tuesday, February 28, 2012

See You Next Tuesday (The 2012 Oscars)

See You Next Tuesday is the Boomstick's regular column. On Tuesdays, I bring you the week's most laughable scumbags, idiots, and jerks for your reading and reviling pleasure.  If you don't get the name, visit your nearest middle school playground and ask the first kid you see.  You can read previous editions here. 

This week's winner is:

THE OSCARS

Even though this year's Oscars didn’t suffer from a lack of award-worthy films or performances, they still suffered from the inevitable inequity between movies beloved by the Academy and movies that people actually pay to see in theaters.  This is a problem the Oscars have wrestled with for years now, especially while, as the New York Times said, "the Academy’s membership process has produced an older group with more esoteric tastes."  This was the reason behind the return to ten (instead of five) Best Picture nominees (which I discussed last year with mixed emotions).  The Academy hoped balancing out the art-house favorites with popular choices would raise awards-night viewership.  But even with ten movies, and even though this year's ten movies were a fairly good cross-section of the popular and the pretentious, the actual Oscar night just felt like a drag.

Those are my special brownies!
Increasingly, the Oscars are like going to a rock concert organized by an old lady – all chamber music and cucumber sandwiches when it should be electric guitars and beer; the pace and momentum are not what you expect -- it’s too soft, too slow, and a total waste of all the juicy talent the awards bring together.  The show feels antiquated, and out of touch, and the star presenters seem to be going through the motions of some ancient ritual they don’t fully understand.  It’s tradition for the sake of tradition; it’s prestige for the sake of prestige.  And while I don’t think the value of the award itself (or the quality of work it celebrates) has diminished over time, the presentation of the awards has become increasingly stiff and insincere.

City Slippers II: The Legend of Curly's Botox


Take, for example, the unwise, reactionary decision to make Billy Crystal this year’s host.  Last year, the trying-so-hard-she-must’ve-pulled something Anne Hathaway and the trying-so-little-we’re-not-sure-he’s-still-breathing James Franco were disappointing and much-ridiculed hosts.   In a desperate reaction, the academy hired old-hat Billy Crystal to come back and host for his NINTH time.  The Academy clearly thought Crystal was a safe choice, but they overestimated Crystal’s current popularity.  He’s decades past his prime (he literally hasn't acted in a movie since 2002's flop sequel Analyze That), but even more than that, his entire approach to comedy is the stale, overdone stuff better suited to a Catskills audience. (I understand if you like Billy Crystal; I do, too.  But this was not his best forum.  As Ken Levine put it, he looked like "someone had replaced his face with a rubber mask of Jackie Mason" or, from the same source, "that his face now looks like it was carved out of an apple."  Face jokes aside, his performance fell flat.  Like he must've before the show.  Onto his face.)

Not that it's all Crystal's fault, of course.  His writers wrote standard, "blah" fare.  He had to follow a bizarre, inexplicable Cirque du Soleil performance.  And the actors presenting awards dragged the show down to a nearly lifeless pulse, which Crystal frantically (and increasingly sweatily) fought uselessly to revive.
Would've made more sense last year when Black Swan was nominated.
And that brings me to another point: I have never understood why these actors – ostensibly the best in the world – can't deliver lines off of a teleprompter to save their lives.  Every single presenter (with the exception of the ever-charming Emma Stone) stumbled over the words, struggled to read them, struggled to say them, struggled with timing, and pretty much flopped.   Why can’t actors read, guys?  And if you know, year after year after year, that actors can’t read: why not let them memorize their lines?  Maybe that's what you get when you hire a producer who thinks rehearsing is for fags.

So, Academy, better luck next year.  Maybe 2013 is the year to branch out and hire some young, funny writers and some young, funny comics (Aziz Ansari? Will Arnett, anyone?).  But more than that, maybe 2013 is the year to consider streamlining: replace the bland filler stuff, like the impressive but out of place Cirque du Soleil performance and the dozens of movie montages, with the actual AWARDS, and maybe more East-coasters won't already be asleep before Best Picture is even announced.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Flicky Friday (ft. Nawt You)

This has been a new and strange week for WTF Wednesdays, so I thought I'd round it out with a video tribute to a previous WTF Wednesday subject, Mark Wahlberg.  Also: a nice little six degrees of separation round-up if you just couldn't figure out how to attach Half Baked to West Side Story.  Happy Flicky Friday everyone:

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

WTF Wednesday: Sea Captain Date

Well, here's a first: I've never done a WTF Wednesday before that didn't follow a See You Next Tuesday.  But this week, I stumbled onto a wonderful WTF moment that didn't quite rise to the level of substantive analysis and journalistic integrity of a See You Next Tuesday.  So, today I bring you a very special WTF to make your Wednesday as weird as mine is.

Courtesy of my college roommate Andrea, I found Sea Captain Date, an unbelievably awesome addition to the world of online dating. The site is everything you'd expect if you'd ever given any thought to the below-deck urges of sea captains (see what I did there? SEA WHAT I DID THERE?).  From the website:
"Sea Captain Date is the only place for Sea Captains to connect with men and women who share a love of the ocean.
With thousands of Captains already online, SeaCaptainDate.com is the destination for romance on the seven seas!"

Here's a screen shot of just a few of the plethora of eligible sea captains I saw when I searched for a zip code near my harbor-side wedding!  Who still needs a plus one, guys?

Click to view FULL SIZE ladies!!!!!!

I haven't been that turned on by a sea captain since Voyage of the Mimi!

Now listen, for those of you who want to burst my bubble and tell me that this couldn't possibly be a real site, I don't want to hear it. That's what you said about Bonzai Kitten and ManBeef.com and Black People Love Us, and it just about broke my trusting internet heart.  If I can't find men like this on the internet, I don't even want to blog anymore:


Oh Seahawk, did a professional take that photo?  So eat your heart out, sea-captain lovers! You can enjoy both this great site AND the fact that, no matter how tempting it might have been, I refrained this entire post from making a pun about a poop deck.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Flicky Friday (ft. Ricky Gervais on The Daily Show)

I've been waiting to post this week's Flicky Friday since Tuesday because it is so insanely awesome that none of you want to continue living your life without seeing it. On Valentine's Day, Ricky Gervais went on "The Daily Show" to promote his upcoming HBO Show, "Life's Too Short."  But they never really got around to the show, because instead Gervais and Jon Stewart graphically discussed the subject of panda mating, including panda porn, panda masturbation, and inter-species sex (spoiler: the other species is a raccoon.)

Now, if you'll remember back a little while, I once talked about The Animal Review, a hilarious website-turned-coffee-table-book-turned-NPR-guest that ranks and grades various animals.  (It's hard to describe the Review in a way that does justice to how funny a subjective animal report card is, but it really works.)  The Animal Review's hilarious, scathing review of the panda awarded the animal a full "F" grade largely due to their inexplicable celibacy.  This is Gervais' complaint, too, that pandas aren't "meeting us halfway" in the fight against their own extinction.  But where Gervais goes with it, and where Stewart lets him go with it, and then where Stewart goes with it -- well, let's just say it includes the words "big wobbly spunk bomb."

God, I hope someone finds my blog today searching "spunk bomb."
 
The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Ricky Gervais
www.thedailyshow.com
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The internet is awash with mixed reactions to this interview.  Comedy Central Insider wrote that Gervais and Stewart "turned up the heat" and "don't be surprised if there's a sudden spike in the birthrate nine months from yesterday."  Entertainment blog Zap2it raved, "Nothing is funnier than comedians just riffing and trying to make each other laugh and one-up each other.  This segment made us laugh so hard we were crying. It's amazing."  NY Daily News said the interview may "cross the line even for Comedy Central," but was "hilarious."   But one thing's for sure: Rick Santorum, if he saw it, absolutely does not approve.


Monday, February 13, 2012

Who is Bonny Bear?

Last year, Arcade Fire's "The Suburbs" took home Album of the Year at the Grammy Awards and prompted an outpouring of uninformed Twitter-vomit asking "Who is Arcade Fire?"  This year, amid the shoe-ins and sweeps by Adele, Dave Grohl, and Kanye, awards for "Best Alternative Album" and "Best New Artist" went to a not-so-new artist named Bon Iver.  (Bon Iver's lead singer Justin Vernon was openly conflicted about the awards and his band's very presence at an awards show; the band refused to perform at the Grammys because it would require collaboration with more "compromised" artists.)



But, more important than Bon Iver's self-righteousness is the self-righteousness of all the frivolous, oblivious, mainstream music fans who decried "Bonny Bear's" award as unjustified.  (Would seven statutes for Adele have killed you, Grammys???)  As with Arcade Fire's indie win last year, 2012 Grammy fans were outraged that a band they'd never heard of could possibly win an award, and they spewed this outrage all over the internet without ever bothering to Google "Bon Iver" or, apparently, even read the words clearly written on the bottom of their television screen.  (One assumes these music fans were so blinded by rage upon hearing the announcement they couldn't be bothered to read and instead had to immediately and angrily update their Facebook statuses based only on the sounds of Tony Bennett's voice and keyboard-letter memory; or that they can't read at all and Siri dictated their foreign-sounding tweets as best she could.  Either way.)

Regardless, there is already a delightful, depressing Tumblr site devoted to the greater internet's ignorant wrath called "Who is Bon Iver?" that will make you laugh in that really sad, deeply disturbed way that Lamebook and Teen Mom and Kim Kardashisan posing as Elizabeth Taylor make you laugh.  And then cry.  And then laugh all over again.

Congratulations, Bonny Bear? You earned it?

Update: Brain explosion.  This is not even remotely funny:  Who is Paul McCartney?

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Tomorrowland*

I rarely post too much about my personal life on here, but I already told you about the time I got engaged (post-car wreck, featuring leotard).  And, it's probably a prerequisite that anyone who enjoys this blog also enjoys classic movies, or at least Mad Men's twisted tribute to them.  (I love Mad Men, y'all. Did everybody get that?)

Remember this?
So, it probably comes as no surprise that my engagement photos were gently Mad Men themed.  But it did come as a surprise that someone other than me thought that Mad Men-y engagement photos were a good idea, because our photos were just featured on a wedding blog that I really adore.  So, if you're interested, check them out here at Style Me Pretty's Little Black Book Blog, read my little description below, and enjoy literally hundreds of photos of my fiance and me aping the Drapers (say that ten times fast).

Sneak preview, y'all!
And don't worry, one wedding post does not a "wedding blog" make.  The Boomstick will be back to dinosaurs, zombies, and digital cable menu screens tomorrow.  And in the meantime, here are 25 Awkward Engagement Photos to keep you entertained.

*The title of this post is an inside joke for true Mad Men fans.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

A dark, compelling drama, with 50 Cent.

Every once in a while, you're sitting around on a Sunday night with your fiance, sipping some two-buck Chuck, scrolling through On Demand for some free movies to watch in the last remaining hours of your weekend, totally not expecting your entire world to be rocked.  Then, you say, innocently, in the last remaining moments of your innocence, something like, "what's Twelve?"  And then you see this:



"A dark, compelling drama, with 50 Cent."  WHAT?  Did the world end and I didn't know about it?  At first glance, this unbelievable line is what draws you in; it's what makes you stutter, mouth agape, clutching your two-buck Chuck as if it's the source of your only grip on reality, mumbling the words: "someone wrote that description with a straight face?"  Surely this is some elaborate joke?

And what about the rest of the description?  First, there's a character named "White Mike," played by "Gossip Girl's" Chase Crawford.  (Because if anyone has the underworld of drug dealing on lock down, it's Chase Crawford.  Also, parents, if your kid's nickname is White Mike," chances are he's going to drop out of his prep school and become a full time pot dealer. Drug dealers, if your nickname is "White Mike," everyone hates you, even white people. Especially white people.)  

Then, after you've read it a couple of times, you start to notice something else. You look up to vaguely hear the sounds of your fiance saying something like "you're drunk, and we've been watching this menu screen for 5 minutes, can we move on?"  But you know you can't, because there's more:  
"But when his cousin dies in a drug deal gone awry, everything changes for everyone."   
 I mean, where's the Pulitzer Prize committee when you need them?  "Everything changes for everyone." This is the most epic, sweeping film of all time!  How can we not watch this movie?  I want to see how things change for us!  

Reminding me of that time we accidentally paid money to see Apollo 18 because I refused to read the reviews beforehand, I pulled up some reviews.   Twelve was so bad that it earned (can I say "earned?") an extremely rare four percent critic approval on Rotten Tomatoes.  Look at this unbelievably all-negative sample screen shot from its page:


I mean, when a professional critic says her reaction to a film was that she wanted to punch the narrator in the face, that's a pretty strong denouncement.  (Plus, a little research reveals the narrator is Kiefer Sutherland himself,  so that's doubly awesome.)  Because Keifer Sutherland is not anywhere near the top of my list of people I'd like to punch in the face, (in fact, I don't even want to want to punch Kiefer Sutherland in the face), we would not watch Twelve.  Not now, maybe not ever. And nothing would change for anyone.

 But in searching for it I did find another movie called Twelve that's a "loose, Russian remake of Twelve Angry Men".  So, there's hope for next weekend.