JarJar in 3D! Noooooooooo!

As everyone knows by now, Lucas has gone and tinkered with his creations yet again, this time putting our favourite doofus, JarJar into 3D (no matter how many dimensions you add, he'll still only be one dimensional.) If I can see it on a cheap movie night, I may check it out, otherwise I don't think I'll bother. The only good thing to come out of this is that there'll be a new wave of merchandising for me to waste my money on.

Case in point, Pepsi NEX has a dozen new Pansonworks characters for sale. I am an R2D2 shy of a second set, but here they are in all their glory. Ya know, even the JarJar is pretty adorable. (Check out the link: I gotta figure out how to get those "Big Size" characters!)

For your enjoyment, here's a little SF for you from across the pond:

The Two Ronnies do Star Wars:

And Star Trek:

I don't ever recall hearing these lines on Star Trek and I've seen every episode at least a dozen times.

Now, for some things you might not hear in an SF film.

Lest we forget...

This just in: Dance with Princess Leia!


Getting Nailed!

The results have been tallied and shall we see how well I did? Similar to previous years, I'll give myself 2 points for my desired movie, 1 point for the predicted Academy movie and 3 points for doubly nailing it.

Best Picture:
"The Artist"
Way off on this one. Neither Hugo nor The Help came through. I should have wimped out and joined Bafta, Golden Globes, etc.

Best Director:
Michel Hazanavicius, "The Artist"
I missed out on Hugo, but guessed right for the Academy. Semi-nailed it: 1 point.

Best Actor:
Jean Dujardin, "The Artist"
I didn't see this one coming. Neither my Gary Oldman nor their Brad Pitt (wishful thinking) came close.

Best Actress:
Meryl Streep, "The Iron Lady"
Doubly nailed it! 3 points!

Best Supporting Actor:
Christopher Plummer, "Beginners"
Doubly nailed it! 3 points!

Best Supporting Actress:
Octavia Spencer, "The Help"
My pipe dream of Melissa McCarthy was not to be but I get 1 point for the Academic pick.

Best Original Screenplay:
"Midnight in Paris" - Woody Allen
Missed out on the Academy's Separation, but I nailed it: 2 points!

Best Adapted Screenplay:
"The Descendants" – Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, and Jim Rash
Never even heard of this one.

Best Animated Feature:
Slam dunk! 3 points!

Best Foreign Language FIlm:
"A Separation" (Iran)
No Canadian content here. I did get the Academy pick: Foul shot, 1 point.

Best Documentary Feature:
Not even near the basket.

Best Cinematography:
"Hugo" – Robert Richardson
I get 2 points for my pick, looks like War Horse is still in the barn.
It opens next week. I hope to see it then...

Best Film Editing:
"The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" – Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter
Woohoo! I missed Hugo but landed a point by the Academy.

Best Art Direction:
"Hugo" – Dante Ferretti and Francesca Lo Schiavo
I dunked a two pointer but it looks like War Horse has fallen off the saddle.

Best Costume Design:
"The Artist" - Mark Bridges
Hey, I get two points on a lucky bounce, nada for Jane Eyre.

Best Original Score:
"The Artist" – Ludovic Bource
My Williams was washed aShore. No points.

Best Original Song:
"Man or Muppet" from The Muppets – Bret McKenzie
Surprisingly, they went with the suckier option! No points.

Best Sound Editing:
"Hugo" – Philip Stockton and Eugene Gearty
My Drive stalled and the War Horse broke its leg. Nada.

Best Sound Mixing:
"Hugo"– Tom Fleischman and John Midgley
No Canadian content yet again for Moneyball and the War Horse is off to the glue factory.

Best Visual Effects:
"Hugo" – Rob Legato, Joss Williams, Ben Grossmann, and Alex Henning
Big disappointment for Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Maybe the title was too long for the envelope. Hugo was just the right length: 1 point.

Best Makeup:
"The Iron Lady" – Mark Coulier and J. Roy Helland
Just hoping Harry Potter and some fantasy makeup would get the nod but nope it goes to Thatchering up Meryl. Good for a point though!

Best Animated Short:
"The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore"
Neither Canadian movie (Dimanche nor Wild Life) came through. Never heard of the winner, no points.

Best Live Action Short:
"The Shore"
I went for Time Freak but got a lucky tip off from the Academy. 1 point.

Best Documentary Short:
"Saving Face"
My biggest letdown is that Tsunami and the Cherry Blossoms missed the net. Yeah, acid in the face is important but so are the thousands of tsunami victims!

What's my tally? 24/74 (74=22X3+9-1, plus nine for best pictures minus one for only two songs) which based on my wacky scoring method, means I got just one more point than last year. If I just go by how many movies where I got at least a point, I correctly chose 13/23. Not too shabby.

Now I can't wait for the Golden Raspberries!

Cherry Blossom Picking!

It's time once again for me to make my Oscar predictions based on no foreknowledge other that an uncanny knack at guessing wrongly. Click the label at the bottom of this entry entitled "Oscar" or "Academy Awards" to see any of my past entries, such as last year's.

You can pick your own nominees here. This is really the first time that I've looked at the list of nominees and a few things really stand out: (1)I have seen fewer nominated movies this year than in any of my previous Oscar Picks! (2)Only two songs this year! (3)Huh? Both Harry Potter: 7.5 and Transformers: Pink Floyd & the Dark Side of the Moon got 3 nominations and neither Thor nor Captain America received any! (And based on the undoubtedly fixed choices at that link, Transformers will win two of them!) (4)No Disney/Pixar nominations! (5)Billy Crystal is back as host! That is good news but how will he compare to this guy?

Since I have seen a total of 4 of the above (3 of those in the Visual FX category), I have my doubts whether I'll be very accurate this time round.

Ya know, I don't really care who wins what provided that
The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom wins for Best Documentary – Short Subject!

As per previous years, my rules are as follows: I will put my desired win in bold and what I think will win in italics or both if they overlap.
Starting at the bottom of the Wiki page, we have:
Best Visual Effects
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 –
Real Steel
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Transformers: Dark of the Moon
Since this is the only category in which I have actually seen some of the entries, I can state with absolute certainty that my choice would be RotPotA. "Real Steel" was cute and "Harry Potter" was gripping at times (I hadn't seen any of the "HPs" between 4 & 7) but Apes was amazing! The segue between live action/cgi was seamless. When is Andy Serkis going to recognized for his outstanding work?
But the nod will probably go to Hugo. If it goes to Transformers, I will just barf!

Best Film Editing
The Artist
The Descendants
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
I haven't seen any of these (that'll be a common theme today) so I will forego the sarcasm for the majority of categories and just skip to the choices. No idea so...I want Hugo; maybe Dragon Tattoo will win.

Best Costume Design
The Artist
Jane Eyre
My biggest who cares category!

Best Makeup
Albert Nobbs
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 –
The Iron Lady
Remember when Makeup used to go to creatures and now it just goes to someone made up to look older or like another extant person?

Best Cinematography
The Artist – Guillaume Schiffman
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo – Jeff Cronenweth
Hugo – Robert Richardson
The Tree of Life – Emmanuel Lubezki
War Horse – Janusz Kamiński
I hope to see both Hugo and War Horse this week so then I can judge better, but on a hunch, I'll vote Hugo and they'll vote War Horse.

Best Art Direction
The Artist – Laurence Bennett and Robert Gould
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 – Stuart Craig and Stephanie McMillan
Hugo – Dante Ferretti and Francesca Lo Schiavo
Midnight in Paris – Anne Seibel and Hélène Dubreuil
War Horse – Rick Carter and Lee Sandales
See above!

Best Sound Mixing
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Transformers: Dark of the Moon
War Horse
Who knows? Since a fellow Canadian, David Giammarco for “Moneyball” is nominated, I suppose he gets my vote.

Best Sound Editing
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Transformers: Dark of the Moon
War Horse
Since David Giammarco didn't get nominated twice and all the other movies did, I want to make a soundbite for "Drive" because I really like its Director, Albert Brooks and I'd like to see it win something.

Best Original Song
"Man or Muppet" from The Muppets
"Real in Rio" from Rio
These two songs both suck royally. On general principle I was going to vote for "Muppets" but it sucks more than Rio! If these are the songs that made the cut, I can only imagine how horrible the others must be!

Best Original Score
The Adventures of Tintin – John Williams
The Artist – Ludovic Bource
Hugo – Howard Shore
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy – Alberto Iglesias
War Horse – John Williams
The only other movie of all those nominated that I've seen is "Tintin" and I felt that it was the best Score that Williams has done in ages, therefore it has to get my nod. On the other hand, Howard Shore is Canadian, so I wouldn't mind if the Academy gives an Oscar to him.

Best Animated Short Film
The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore
La Luna
A Morning Stroll
Wild Life
Both Dimanche and Wild Life are Canadian so I simply must vote for one of them. But the guys who penned Wild Life are from Calgary, a city I don't like, therefore Dimanche! Judge for yourself:

Best Documentary – Short Subject
The Barber of Birmingham: Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement
God Is the Bigger Elvis
Incident in New Baghdad
Saving Face
The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom – Lucy Walker and Kira Carstensen
You already know my opinion on this one, I only hope that the Academy agrees with me.

Best Documentary – Feature
Hell and Back Again
If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front
Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory – Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky
Even though I didn't see the previous two Paradise Lost movies, I'll vote for the third in the trilogy. As for the Academy...? Pina has Wim Winders, and he's the only person I've heard of.

Best Live Action Short Film
The Shore
Time Freak
Tuba Atlantic
Who knows? Time Freak has a freaky title, so that's for me!

Best Foreign Language Film
Bullhead (Belgium) in Dutch and French
Footnote (Israel) in Hebrew
In Darkness (Poland) in Polish – Agnieszka Holland
Monsieur Lazhar (Canada) in French
A Separation (Iran) in Farsi – Asghar Farhadi
I did a lesson today about all the Canadian nominees so I could go for "Monsieur Lazhar" but since In Darkness is a co-Canadian production, I'd rather vote for it. Cool stuff about living in the sewers during WWII. The Twittering voices are all atwitter about "A Separation", so who am I to deny the masses?

Best Animated Feature
A Cat in Paris
Chico and Rita
Kung Fu Panda 2
Puss in Boots
I really wanted to see "Rango" but it was only shown here in Japanese. Of course since "Tintin" isn't really animation due to some bizarre rule, it doesn't qualify. My choice therefore is コクリコ坂から,予告編. What it isn't nominated! Okay, back to Rango.

Okay, now we're getting to the good stuff, none of which I have any insight but speculation...

Best Writing – Adapted Screenplay
The Descendants – Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, and Jim Rash from The Descendants by Kaui Hart Hemmings
Hugo – John Logan from The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
The Ides of March – George Clooney, Grant Heslov, and Beau Willimon from Farragut North by Beau Willimon
Moneyball – Screenplay by Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin; Story by Stan Chervin from Moneyball by Michael Lewis
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy – Bridget O'Connor and Peter Straughan from Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John le Carré
In Grade 8, I was the Soothsayer in "Julius Caesar" and I uttered the line "Beware The Ides of March" therefore that gets my vote. Or Hugo, either one is okay by me.

Best Writing – Original Screenplay
The Artist – Michel Hazanavicius
Bridesmaids – Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo
Margin Call – J.C. Chandor
Midnight in Paris – Woody Allen
A Separation – Asghar Farhadi
I hear that Woody was back in good form with this one, though I do wish he'd return to New York and become funny again. A Separation will win because it's Farsical.

Best Supporting Actress
Bérénice Bejo – The Artist as Peppy Miller
Jessica Chastain – The Help as Celia Foote
Melissa McCarthy – Bridesmaids as Megan Price
Janet McTeer – Albert Nobbs as Hubert Page
Octavia Spencer – The Help as Minny Jackson
I liked Melissa in that sitcom she did with Christina Applegate. The Academy is all Help crazy, so it's Octavia all the way.

Best Supporting Actor
Kenneth Branagh – My Week with Marilyn as Laurence Olivier
Jonah Hill – Moneyball as Peter Brand
Nick Nolte – Warrior as Paddy Conlon
Christopher Plummer – Beginners as Hal Fields
Max von Sydow – Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close as The Renter
Christopher Plummer all the way!

Best Actress
Glenn Close – Albert Nobbs as Albert Nobbs
Viola Davis – The Help as Aibileen Clark
Rooney Mara – The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo as Lisbeth Salander
Meryl Streep – The Iron Lady as Margaret Thatcher
Michelle Williams – My Week with Marilyn as Marilyn Monroe
Meryl as Maggie, say no more.

Best Actor
Demián Bichir – A Better Life as Carlos Galindo
George Clooney – The Descendants as Matt King
Jean Dujardin – The Artist as George Valentin
Gary Oldman – Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy as George Smiley
Brad Pitt – Moneyball as Billy Beane
I gotta go with Gary, it's about time he won something (since he won't be nominated as Commissioner Gordon.) I'm not sure who the popular vote would be but lets go on a limb with Brad!

Best Director
Woody Allen – Midnight in Paris
Michel Hazanavicius – The Artist
Terrence Malick – The Tree of Life
Alexander Payne – The Descendants
Martin Scorsese – Hugo
Another shoulder shrug so I'll go Hugo, they'll go The Artist.

Best Picture
The Artist – Thomas Langmann
The Descendants – Jim Burke, Jim Taylor, and Alexander Payne
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close – Scott Rudin
The Help – Brunson Green, Chris Columbus, and Michael Barnathan
Hugo – Graham King and Martin Scorsese
Midnight in Paris – Letty Aronson and Stephen Tenenbaum
Moneyball – Michael De Luca, Rachael Horovitz, and Brad Pitt
The Tree of Life – Dede Gardner, Sarah Green, Grant Hill, and Bill Pohlad
War Horse – Steven Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy
Once more on a limb with Hugo but I really think that the Academy is going to go for The Help.

Let's see how I fared tomorrow!


The Seven Faces of Dr. Lao Ernie!

Tonight is the anniversary of Ernie's trip through the birth canal. To celebrate, he donned many hats to suit his multiple personalities. We have Warholian Ernie, Scottish Ernie in a tam, Canadian Ernie in a touque, Flapper Ernie in his zoot suit, Droog Ernie in his bowler hat, Russian Ernie in a ushanka & Dapper Ernie in his tophat.

Of course a shindig at Ernies would not be complete until he gets a hug from me and I get a hug from a random lovely!

If you hurry to Ernie's, the party is still ongoing...


Bloggers Back in Town.

Finally I'm able to blog again! I don't know what happened, everytime I tried to post, all I got was this swirly upload arrow that never stopped!
Unfortunately, I don't have much time to do anything right now, so here's a JibJab photo I created for my friend...Mark's Burstday!

The tagline I used was, "In space, no one can hear you scream for ice cream!" (Unfortunately, the thumbnail doesn't get bigger...just squint!)



Ya know, I barely heard of this before and I just stumbled across it now. It looks pretty cool. Here's Part 1 of Episode 1 of FREEDOM. You can click around for more episodes of the Freedom Project by creator, 大友 克洋 Katsuhiro Otomo.

I can't find Part 2, so how about some Cup Noodle ads instead?
Mmmm. Cup Noodles!

For some previous "Cup Noodle" ads, go no further than here, a post I am rather proud of. I just added a "Cup Noodle" label since I seem to have several posts on the subject. Feel free to click away...
See? Dragons!

Without photographing anything new (and I have tons of catching up to do), I don't have much to show off tonight.

These are some leftovers from my Tokyo trip. While hunting for new goodies, I found a Capsule machine that sold 竜の落とし子 or Seahorses. I was really hoping for a SeaDragon but only got a couple of lame Horsies. I didn't even get the keychain ones. Oh well. If I can find my Aquaman figure, he now has a steed!

On the plus side of my Capsule-quest, I came across some 怪物くん (Kaibutsu-kun) figures and I got the best one on my first try, so I gave up. It's the villainous ドクターノオ Doctor No! I really think James Bond would have been defeated by this guy!

I saw this set behind glass but alas it was not for sale! Someday...


Black Light Fix.

It's been quite a while since I mingled with the Sendai Indie scene, so I took up my former Tokiwagi student on her invite to Neo BrotherZ. The lineup included:
The Black Light Junkys VIOLETS (Tokyo) The HAVENOTS (Yokohama)

I missed either RIOT BECKEY or THE V.I.P. KILLERS, and the one I did catch, I didn't catch the name.

The next band was pretty good, kind of a Clash-Clone called エレキソックス (Elekisocks?)

Fortunately Neo has a back room area so you can hide from the caterwaul that was Jett3. Noisy punks and neither of those words are positive appraisals.

The Suuzys were my favourite act of the night. Their signature tune is a jumbled version of "Wake Up Little Suzie", though I preferred their rendition of "Tequila" and "For Your Love".

My former student An & her drummer.

I didn't get any good pics of her in action but her tiny bassist has the biggest, scariest voice I've ever heard!

I also reacquainted myself with the dude from "The Ponytails" who have now permanently retired and I met Akari for the first time this year!

There's another gig at the end of March, maybe I'll check it out...


Sweets For The Sweet.

I'm going to need some Clearfile Clearasil to battle all my potential Zits from all the sweets I've been getting. The latest batch were some lovely cookies & chocolates in a splendid Rirakuma tin generously donated by my class of elderly ladies. During my patented St. Valentine's Day lesson, I gave them some Maple Cream Cookies which went over well.

Speaking of Rirakuma, I acquired a clearfile a while back, which is definitely rather sweet.

In a similar sweet vein, I grabbed this one this morning that features Pocky art that you can make and presumably eat afterwards.

I got these quite a long time ago and never did feature them, so here are some sweet young things. I assume they are AKB48ers but I honestly don't have a clue.

The final files are courtesy of Lawson's Doraemon promo where it appears our sweet robotic pussy visits 奇跡の島 (Kiseki no Shima or Miraculous Island) and encounters what appears to be some refugees from 10,000 BC.

Yesterday I purchased one of those 500¥ chance tickets just to get a cool piece of Dragonquest memorabilia and lo & behold, I snagged the "B" Prize, a cushion! Su-weet!

Not everything in the Conbinis is all good, not only do they have promo for Star Wars, the Phantom Menace in 3D but there is a huge tobacco display featuring Kamen Rider-esque toys to suck in the new smokers. Booo, not Sweet!

On the plus side, Jar-Jar is slightly less annoying in Japanese!


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