Category Archives: Extra Butter
LOS ANGELES — For the first time in the last 3 years, I am not at the Academy Awards (#StraightUpBrag), so I figured I’d roll over to Berger’s place and bust out a running diary for this year’s show. Ellen DeGeneres is the host, a much safer choice compared to last year when apparently Seth MacFarlane offended everyone, but we’ll see who ends up stealing the show. I’m not expecting many surprises in terms of who the actual winners are, but you never know. OK, let’s get to it!
5:29pm PST – Since I wasn’t at the Red Carpet this year for The Eisen Podcast, figured I’d do a running diary since I can actually watch the show. Berger cares about this stuff as much as I do so hopefully we’ll have some good commentary throughout. We’re a minute away. I’m guessing it’s gonna be another long ass show. Berger thinks 3 hours and 24 minutes. I’m definitely taking the over.
5:30 – Ellen walks out and immediately goes in with a “raining in LA joke… Thank you for your prayers.” Predictable, and everyone laughed. UGH, that’s the problem with Ellen, she’s so safe and everyone loves her. But seriously, it was touch-and-go with the rain here, people. She’s not wrong about that.
5:32 – The June Squibb being old and can’t understand anything bit was funny. And is Ellen wearing velvet? Berger immediately breaks out into Seinfeld velvet lines. This is why we’re friends.
5:33 – Ellen should just quit now after that Liza Minelli male impersonator joke. That was hilarious.
5:35 – “Did Julia Roberts always have that many teeth?” Valid question by Berger. … Julia is loving this Ellen monologue. Jesus stop laughing, this is not that funny. “She’s hammered!” That’s the only explanation I’m accepting.
5:37 – Jennifer Lawrence is mostly perfect, right down to stumbling while getting out of her car. But I wouldn’t have cut my hair if I was her.
5:39 – How does Jonah Hill have a better seat than Marty Scorsese? And everyone brings their mom to this show, huh? Not gonna lie, I would bring BrockmanMary, too.
5:40 – OK, time for some awards. Anne Hathaway is out to present Best Supporting Actor. We can all agree she’s the worst, right? And it’s gotta be Jared Leto, yes? It’s the rule. Dress up like a woman/man, get the statue. They don’t break rules in Hollywood.
5:42 – Leto wins it. And Tyler Perry with the great seats next to Jennifer Garner. “The only reason I’m watching this show is for this speech.” Leto tells Ellen he loves her first. Upset of the night.
5:44 – Neck tattoo guy turns out to be Leto’s brother. “To all the dreamers out there!” Hooray for dreamers! Nice of him to mention those who’ve lost battle to AIDS. Very well done speech. Hard to top that one tonight.
5:47 – Jim Carrey out for the next awards and wow, that’s a blue suit. Lotta blue suits tonight. Lot going on with Jim’s hair, too… and he’s breaking out the weird faces. Sweet. He’s never changed… LSD joke and director cuts to U2. Was that on purpose?
5:51 – Kerry Washington comes out and damn, she’s huge! That little Nnamdi inside her is ready for the Draft. She’s here to introduce Pharrell singing some song titled “Happy.” Wait, so Jim Carrey didn’t even give out an award? What was that for then? I’m so confused. This is an awards show still, right?
5:53 – “Is there any big event that Pharrell hasn’t performed at in the last two years? When did he bcome Quincy Jones?” It’s a good point. Where’s he showing up to next? 5:1 he’s at the NFL Draft.
5:55 – Berger has these peanut butter filled pretzel bites which are basically heaven in your mouth. I just crushed 6 like it was nothing. I might eat the whole container in the next 3 hours.
5:57 – Sam Jackson walks out sans Kangol hat (also a huge upset) with Naomi Watts. “Shes in my top 5 tonight, look at her. She looks Incredible.” And Berger’s DirecTV DVR alert comes up that 2 things are abut to record at once. True Dectective and Wicked Tuna. Yeah, the tuna’s getting canceled. Oh, and they’re handing out costume design which goes to “Great Gatsby,” and Catherine Martin, which is the third win for this woman apparently and she’s also nominated in another category tonight. That seems selfish.
6:00 – HOW DID BAD GRANDPA NOT WIN FOR BEST MAKEUP?!?!??!!!!?? “Is that the same woman from the Kimmel bit before the show?” Dallas Buyers Club won, by the way. Making Jared Leto look like a hot chick takes a lot of makeup.
6:02 – Harrison Ford comes out and immediately quotes Marlon Brando. That’s the best moment of the night so far. Harry introduced as “Oscar nominated” so we look it up and it’s true, he’s never won an Oscar OR Golden Globe. He wasn’t even nominated for The Fugitive?! That’s incredible. What a joke. And he’s teasing “American Hustle,” “Dallas Buyers Club” and “Wolf of Wall Street,” the first 3 of the 9 Best Picture noms.
6:05 – Channing Tatum out next. If you painted him gold he’d look like the Oscar statue. Not for nothing, but the best part of last year’s show was post-Oscars when Tatum and Jamie Foxx were on Jimmy Kimmel playing on the piano. That was downright hilarious.
6:07 – Something funny to do during big events is seeing what ELSE is on TV. Right now we have the Fab Five 30 for 30, the Bassmasters Classic and the “Rockford Files” leading the clubhouse at the moment. Clearly I’m not mentioning “True Detective,” which I’ll be watching later tonight. Life is a flat circle of time.
6:09 – Spike has “Return of the Jedi” on, “Anchorman” too, and “The Skulls.” Some great counter programming right now, people.
6:11 – Who is this old broad with bad plastic surgery on stage with Matthew McConaughey?! Man, he’s really handsome. And why is he rubbing her back? That’s creepy. Apparently, it’s Kim Novak who was in “Vertigo.” They’re presenting animated short. We could’ve got MMc a better category.
6:17 – Sally Field walks out… “She looks unfucking believable. She has to be like 70!?” She’s 67, but I’m feeling you, Berger. And “Frozen” won for best animated feature in the least surprising victory of the night.
6:19 – Not sure I understand the point of this montage. Is it supposed to be about heroes or something? “42” was not a good movie by any stretch and it’s mixed in with all these iconic, Academy Award-winning performances. Strange.
6:21 – “Emma Watson! Holy shitballs!” Yeah, she’s out with Joseph Gordan-Levitt to present visual effects… “Emma Watson gets an achievement in visual effects!” Wait, so you’re telling me Johnny Depp wasn’t really walking across a moving train in “The Lone Ranger?!” I feel so cheated, but only because I paid $12 to see that piece of garbage. “Gravity” wins. No shock. Best visual experience in a theater I’ve had in a long time.
6:24 – “Gravity” has made $700 million worldwide. “So have I.” That’s amazing. And not sure what this song is that Zac Efron just introduced. Why is he even there? Do people still think he’s a movie star? His face looks fat, too. Yes, I am just jealous.
6:30 – Good job by Kate Hudson for not getting outrageous-looking breast implants. They’re classy and probably didn’t cost as much. And Jason Sudeikis is a handsome man, but I definitely would’ve hated that guy in college. Without question.
6:32 – They’re presenting Live Action Short Film… and “Helium” wins. “When I inhale helium it usually turns into a live action short film, too.” Well played, sir.
6:36 – Ellen walking down the aisle and mentions ordering pizza and if anyone would want any. Yeah, that’s what these people wearing ridiculously expensive gowns and tuxedos want, greasy-ass pizza. Wait, preggo Kerry Washington gives a fist pump. She’s excited at the thought of pie. But pregnant people don’t think rationally. Someone help her out.
6:37 – What’s going on with Bradley Cooper’s hair? And every woman just said, “I just want him to speak french to me. Who cares what his hair looks like?” “20 Feet From Stardom” wins for best doc feature. Very cool idea. Definitely going to check that out… and Tina Turner’s Hollywood Blvd. lookalike just started singing and is now getting a standing ovation. That was bizarre.
6:40 – Frank Underwood just strolled out and addressed the crowd. That was awesome. Kevin Spacey is a boss… WHOA. Angela Lansbury is 88? “Ya, I’ve been watching a fair amount of ‘Murder She Wrote’ recently.” It’s too bad Kevin Spacey is such an amazing actor, he’d would’ve been an amazing late night talk show host or stand up comic. I’d watch him do impressions all night. He should actually host the Oscars.
6:48 – Jeez, where the hell has Ewan McGregor been? He’s looking like an extra from “Dallas Buyers Club.” Also, the side balcony squads are 3-for-3 in Oscars tonight after “The Great Beauty” just took home Foreign Language Film… and I think this Italian director just thanked Diego Maradona and Mike Napoli. That was weird.
6:51- Why is Tyler Perry there?! “He is the richest person at the Oscars.” Well OK then. He’s out to showcase the next 3 Best Picture noms: “Nebraska,” “Her” and “Gravity.”
6:55 – Brad Pitt, looking like he’s about to film the Macklemore biopic, comes out to introduce U2 singing “Ordinary Love,” which is my new favorite song. It’s incredible, even though I cant stand Bono. Even though I want to be The Edge. I’m nearly convinced he’s the coolest guy alive right now. It’s a constant conundrum of mine.
6:57 – “Why is he on the ground?” I stopped trying to explain Bono a long, long time ago.
7:03 – Ellen is now in the aisle next to Meryl Streep talking about tweeting about a picture of the two of them. She wants to make it the most RT’d photo in Twitter’s history. OK, wait, Brad Pitt is walking over. Now Julia Roberts wants in. Jesus, everyone is getting in on this now. Jennifer Lawrence just said she wanted to grab a boob if the picture wants to get retweeted that many times. Wow, this is incredible. Who is that guy in the flat top?! “I’ve never tweeted before!” -Meryl Streep. Jesus, what a mess. Bradley Cooper actually ends up taking the photo. Can’t wait to see how this turns out. And no way am I giving this an RT.
7:06 – Holy shit, I would absolutely watch a sex tape with Chris Hemsworth and Charlize Theron. Great Caesar’s Ghost they are two perfect humans.
7:09 – Ellen broke Twitter. This picture stunt has taken it down. That’s unbelievable. Wonder how many RTs that photo is gonna get. I’ll admit it was a pretty cool 2014 moment but I’m just curious with all these stunts how people would react if it was Seth doing them.
7:11 – Two-time Best Supporting Actor and Quentin Tarantino mouthpiece Christoph Waltz out to present Supporting Actress… real categories! Should be a good one.
7:14 – “12 Years A Slave” actress Lupita Y’ongo wins, as she should. Absolutely amazing performance by her. “Lupita and Liza, the hug of the night.” … her and her date have matching flat tops. No big deal. I ask Berger if he thinks Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence have had sex: “yes.” And that’s that.
7:21 – Ellen is really taking this pizza bit to the next level as some dude just walked on stage with three pies… Julia Roberts and Spacey immediately raise their hands that they want some… is this a real guy? I’m so confused. Brad Pitt is handing out plates. What the hell is going on? Isn’t this supposed to be a dignified awards show? This should be a Golden Globes bit. Leo’s no dummy, he’s not eating the pie. Don’t wanna get grease on that navy tux.
7:24 – What the hell was that spaceship thing that lady was talking about? Are they making a sequel to “Flight of the Navigator?”
7:26 – “Are they going to give out any awards on this awards show? It’s like that scene from ‘Jurassic Park,’ ‘you plan on actually having dinosaurs in your dinosaur park, yes?” … and we just made an “A Few Good Men” joke. We are on fire… classy of Bill Murray to just shout out to Harold Ramis during the cinematography category.
7:29 – Anna Kendrick comes out and I think I see a nipple. Either way, shout out to her for being from Portland, Maine. Represent… and yes, “Gravity” just won another technical award, this time for Editing. “We get it, ‘Gravity’ was cool looking.” It really was.
7:32 – That Ellen photo is at 433,000 RTs right now and going up infinitely every second. “Let’s call a spade a spade, it’s a pretty amazing photo.” Yes, it really is… and I think Whoopi Goldberg, wearing the wicked witch socks from “Wizard of Oz,” just said Pink’s real name in an effort to tell America she hangs out with Pink. Really strange. Has anyone ever won an Oscar and then gotten really weird like she has? Nic Cage, I guess.
7:38 – Pink just absolutely destroyed “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” in the Oz tribute wearing an amazing ruby red dress. That was fantastic. Director cuts to John Travolta and Kelly Preston. “Kelly Preston, I can’t say it enough.” Berger is a fan.
7:42 – Ellen comes out wearing a fairy costume. Right, because of the Oz thing. This is not funny.
7:43 – Jennifer Garner is incredibly stunning tonight and is joined by Benedict Cumberbatch, who is an absolute boss. He has to be the next James Bond right? “He should come out with a line of candy, Cumberbatch Kids” … and Catherine Martin wins her second Oscar of the night for production design. She’s got 5 now, if you’re scoring at home. So greedy.
7:47 – Another semi-pointless montage. Not sure what this one was for, but it was kind of awesome. I think it was for movie badasses. Also, that Ellen pic now up to 736,000 RTs. Americans are morons.
7:52 – Glenn Close out to introduce the In Memoriam piece. Who’s the hammer? We vote Shirley Temple… kicks off with James Gandolfini… wow, that was tough… goosebumps during this thing…
7:58 – Ends with Philip Seymour Hoffman, fitting, he was an Academy Award winner… and Bette Midler comes out to sing … “WIND BENEATH MY WINGS?!??!” Definitely didn’t see that coming.
8:05 – Whoa, Goldie Hahn needs to cut back on the plastic surgery. Who wins in a Plastic Surgery Off: Goldie or Kim Novak? She’s introducing the last three Best Picture noms: “Philomena,” “Captain Phillips” and “12 Years A Slave,” which is my pick to win the whole thing.
8:08 – Ellen’s photo is now at 1.2 million RTs, which is officially the most RT’d tweet of all-time… and how come no one ever calls out John Travolta on all his wigs? We’re just gonna let that slide, along with Harry Ford’s earring? Guess so.
8:09 – What did Travolta just say?! There’s no chance that’s her real name… Apparently it’s Idina Menzel. Wow, that was a butcher job… people are going nuts on Twitter.
8:11 – I’m pretty sure Jamie Foxx is doing a beatbox of Chariots of Fire right now during this award for costume design or something. You think that was in the prompter?
8:14 – Holy smokes, Robert Lopez just completed the EGOT, made famous by Tracy Morgan on “30 Rock” for winning for best song in “Frozen.” This guy has to get the necklace now, right? Or at least walk around with an F U shirt. I probably would.
8:23 – Ellen is now passing around one of Pharrell’s hats for a tip for the pizza guy. This bit has officially jumped the shark. Do you think these stars actually carry cash? … Robert DeNiro and Penelope Cruz out for Best Adapted Screenplay… John Ridley has to win for “12 Years a Slave,” right?
8:25 – Indeed he did. Whoa, purple dress on his Asian gf/wife/side piece? Wasn’t ready for that… Man, some good speeches tonight. Really liked his. Well done… OK, off to Original Screen play … this one is tough.. “American Hustle,” “Her,” “Blue Jasmine,” “Nebraska,” “Dallas Buyers Club”…
8:27 – Going to say “Her” wins because of how unique it was, and I really enjoyed that film … booyah! Spike Jonze everyone. Wow, you could tell me any age for him and I’d believe you. Amazing that he used to direct Beastie Boys videos and now he’s won an Academy Award. Shows you anything is truly possible.
8:32 – Best Director already! Has this show flown by or not? I can’t tell. It’s been 3 hours so probably not. Ok, here we go… and it’s Alfonso Cuaron for “Gravity”… how many statues is that for Gravity now? “They’ve won all the dumb ones.” Well. So there.
8:42 – Daniel Day-Lewis out to present Best Actress. I forgot it’s been a whole year since he transformed into Abraham Lincoln. Funny tweet just now saying DDL prepared four years for this introduction… So it’s been Cate Blanchett leading this category since the summer, let’s see if she can go wire-to-wire.
8:43 – Yeah she did. I like Cate’s dress… and good use of exacerbates.
8:48 – Jennifer Lawrence out to present Best Actor… all she’s thinking right now is, “don’t trip, don’t trip, don’t trip.” And all I really want her to do is trip… whoa, she just scolded someone for laughing… what was that? She realizes this isn’t about her, right? I think in the course of a few hours I’m losing interest…
8:50 – OK, who ya got? Leo was really awesome in “Wolf of Wall Street” but for some reason you get the feeling like he’s never gonna win one of these, though I often think about what type of acceptance speech he would give. Speaking of, I know everyone wants Matthew McConaughey to win and believe me, no one loves MMC like I do, but I just think Chiwetel Ejiofor was so fantstic in “12 Years A Slave” and deserves it. We’ll see…”it’s either AIDS or slavery, so some oppressed people will be really happy.”
8:52 – Effin’A’, McConaughey for the win. Fantastic tux. Gave us the “all right, all right, all right,” too … he nailed it. Wow. That was awesome… and he’s his own hero. Just wow.
8:55 – Final award of the night. Best Picture, and who else but Will Smith out to present… wearing… whatever that is… and we’ve hit the 3:25 mark, the over wins… Like I said, I’m predicting “12 Years A Slave”…
8:57 – WINNER. Seriously, if you haven’t seen it, just a fantastic (yet disturbing) film. Really well done.
OK, that’s gonna do it for me and Berger. Thanks for reading. Hope you were entertained. My next running diary will most likely be the 1st Round of the 2014 NFL Draft. So you have some time to prepare yourselves. Oh, and the final RT count on the Ellen photo as we go off the air is 1.73 million. Simply amazing.
LOS ANGELES — I am fortunate to live at the epicenter of film, and for the second consecutive year, will be attending the Academy Awards Red Carpet gala. I added the “gala” part because last year, as I witnessed first hand, it’s really something spectacular. Watching at home on E! all those years with my mom as Ryan Seacrest did his thing, you could never really get a feel of how extravagant being on the Red Carpet really is. I capitalize it because of all the events worldwide, this is the one. This is the Super Bowl of cinema. And I’ll be there. With Rob Gronkowski.
That’s right. Hollywood is about to get Gronk’d.
Scratch that. I wrote the above paragraph a couple days ago. That’s when we had Rob Gronkowski as a correspondent for The Eisen Podcast. Now we don’t. Seems like he had “other” “plans” come up which resulted in him canceling all appearances in the immediate future. Including the Oscars Red Carpet. Oh well. His loss.
Sometimes, though, Hail Mary’s are caught and ours came in the form of Ed Reed, the future Ravens Hall of Famer and Super Bowl champion. He’ll be joining me Sunday in front of the Dolby Theater for what should be an epic afternoon hobnobbing with the biggest names in Hollywood. Last year, we had Hines Ward, the Steelers great. This year, a Raven.
As always, I try and see all the big movies up for the major awards and end up with around a 50% success rate. That was also the case this time around. (Note to self: get on a screeners list next year.) So here’s my expert opinion on who’ll be Sunday’s big winners.
Best Picture: “Argo” — Thought this was extremely well done from top to bottom, and even though I knew the end result, I were still on the edge of my seat the entire time. Just gripping cinema. It’s a damn shame Ben Affleck got snubbed in directing.
Best Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis — Honestly, the only performance in this film that I saw was Bradley Cooper’s, and while it would be great to see him win, DDL is the best actor alive right now. He could play in the Dumb and Dumber sequel and make it an Oscar-winning performance.
Best Actress: Jessica Chastain — My favorite part of “Zero Dark Thirty” is when they’ve found the compound and everyone in the CIA is the boardroom and Gandolfini walks in and asks who’s the girl sitting in the back, and Chastain sits up and says, “I’m the motherfuc*er who found this place.” I may have did a little fist pump in the theater at that point. She was spectacular.
Best Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz — I would watch any movie where this guy plays a snarky, semi-bourgeois, wise ass with a bone to pick who then leaves a slew of bodies in his wake. Yeah, sign me up for more of that and less of that Elephants movie BS he did.
Best Supporting Actress: Sally Field — While Anne Hathaway has won every award show in this category this year, I’m refusing to give her any recognition here. Why? Well think about it like this: Field played Mary Todd Lincoln!! Her husband, oh you know, Abraham Lincoln, freed the slaves and then got shot watching a play. As if she wasn’t suffering enough watching the damn play, her husband gets iced by some nutjob! Throw the woman a bone.
Best Director: Ben Affleck — What? Ben Affleck isn’t nominated for an Academy Award for Best Director of the movie that’s going to win Best Picture? Whaddya mean? That can’t be right. Go back and check again. He’s really not? Are people aware of this? Oh, they are? Screw it. He still did the best job.
Best Original Screenplay: Mark Boal — I’m gonna go out on a limb and say “Zero Dark Thirty” gets it here, the reason being, at least for me, is that “Django Unchained” was far too long and went in a few different directions, which I know is what Quentin Tarantino does, but still. That movie should’ve ended a few times before it did. And ZDT had that “Argo” feel to it where you knew how it was going to end and it was still tense and thrilling and awesome. Oh, and Boal already has a statue at this house for “Hurt Locker,” which means he knows how to write modern war flicks.
Best Adapted Screenplay: David O. Russell — Loved “Silver Linings Playbook” from beginning to end. If it wasn’t for “Argo” it’d be the best film of the year. It pulled on your heart strings, made you laugh, make you wanna give your parents a big hug and take up balllroom dancing all at the same time.
Best Animated Film: Wreck-It Ralph — Admittedly, I didn’t see any of the films nominated here but I remember really wanting to see this and hearing it was awesome. Plus, it’s about video games. And once upon a time, I liked them.
Best Foreign Language Film: Amour — Reason leads me to believe if a film is good enough to be nominated for Best Picture, which is everything, then it’s probably going to win its sub-category. Right?
Best Cinematography: Skyfall — This iwas a pretty badass movie and the cinematography had a lot to do with it.
Best Editing: William Goldenberg — So this is a pick based on math, since Goldenberg is nominated twice for “Argo” and “Zero Dark Thirty.” I mean, 40% chance, that’s pretty freakin’ good.
Best Production Design: Les Miserables — This is one of those categories that always seems to go to a film based in the 19th century, since those are the hardest to replicate. “Project X” ain’t getting nominated for this, that’s for sure.
Best Costume Design: Anna Karenina — Is it possible for no one to win this category? So we have two films about Snow White, two more where everything is dank and ashy and literally miserable and the last where people play dress up. Guess I’m going with that one.
Best Makeup: The Hobbit — Do you know how hard it is to make regular people look like midgets? Do you?!
Best Original Score: John Williams — This guy seems to win everything … (checking his IMDB) … yup, he’s won 5 Oscars. Again, math wins here.
Best Original Song: Walter Murphy/Seth MacFarlane — Keep in mind, past winners in this category include Eminem and the Three-Six Mafia, so why can’t the freakin’ host of the show win for a song he wrote for an talking, crude, sex and drug-crazed teddy bear? By the way, a song from “Les Miserables” is nominated; isn’t this a remake of a film AND a play? How can you have something original in there?!
Best Sound Mixing: Skyfall — This was my favorite film on the list of nominees. That’s all the reasoning I need.
Best Sound Editing: Zero Dark Thirty — Now here’s what I want to know, how does a film get nominated for Sound Editing but not Sound Mixing? Either way, in 2010, Kathryn Bigelow’s film “Hurt Locker” took both these categories and you’d have to go back to 2009 when the same film didn’t sweep.
Best Visual Effects: Life of Pi– My roommate works in visual effects on some pretty big films, so I figured I’d just ask him and he said, “I haven’t seen ‘Life of Pi’ but it’s getting a lot of buzz to win… the other real contender is ‘The Avengers’.” Works for me.
Best Documentary Feature: Searching for Sugar Man — This film makes life worth living. Check it out if you haven’t.
Best Documentary Short: Open Heart — I once went to Jane Seymour’s house and in the gift bag was one of her open heart collection tie pins.
Best Animated Short Film: Paperman — Dude just wanted to meet a girl.
Best Live Action Short Film: Curfew — Because who doesn’t enjoy their afternoons ruined by children?
LOS ANGELES — Obviously, I was sickened by the tragedy in Aurora, Colo. I’ll admit, it really shook me. So much, that when Parker asked if I wanted to go to a Saturday night showing of “The Dark Knight Rises” opening weekend, I hesitated. But we did go and I greatly enjoyed the 164-minute finale of Christopher Nolan’s trilogy. It was the conclusion of an epic and triumphant superhero series by a very talented film maker. I could rave on and on, but I’m not going to. Just know it was really, really good and if you haven’t seen it by now, shame on you.
HOWEVER, there were some things that made me go Hmmmmm … And since it’s been out over a week now, here’s some that caught my eye, perhaps you saw the same.
**SPOILER ALERT** (you’ve been warned)
1.) In probably the biggest WTF in the entire film, and one that everyone keeps talking about: How in Michael Caine’s incoherent drivel did Bruce Wayne get from the back to Gotham after escaping the cave prison? Wasn’t that prison halfway around the world? Wouldn’t there have been some Bane henchman at the top waiting for him on the .00001% chance Wayne made it out? Also, we’re led to believe that a little girl could make that Super Mario Bros. leap and not a grown ass man because she didn’t fear it? AND, how did a broken back heal in 3 months with just that rope swing contraption and some pushups? That’s some Dr. Nick kind of medicine right there. Then, to top it all off, how did he get back IN to Gotham? The whole plot point centered around no one being able to LEAVE, yet he as Batman got back IN? Does he have Willie Beamen’s invisible juice on that utility belt?
2.) OK, so once Batman is back in Gotham, he just appears on the ice after Commissioner Gordon and the others are exiled to the ice: How are they able to walk in the ice!!?! Everyone exiled has fallen through the ice. Every. Single. One. And Gordon and like 5 other dudes walk out on the ice, right next to each other, I might add, and no one falls through! Then, Batman shows up on the ice and is strutting like Denzel and HE doesn’t fall through either! Speaking of Gordon, how did he survive like 5 gunshots and a log flume ride through the sewers?! I want some of whatever’s in the water in Gotham.
3.) So, I’ve had facial hair for a long time, and I know the rate at which it grows. Generally, I shave every 2-3 days depending what I have going on. If I’m going somewhere, or have to be seen, I’ll clean it up. If not, then I’ll wait an extra day or two. No big deal. Now, when a thousand cops are trapped underground for 3 months, there’s going to be a) some funky smells, b) some stupid arguments and c) some serious facial hair. Now, what do you think happened when they were finally freed? Yup, all clean shaven, just like when they were trapped. I know it’s a little thing, but c’mon. You’re supposed to be the greatest current film maker, can’t leave out something like that.
4.) OK, you’re Batman. You whoop everyone’s ass but you haven’t done anything for eight years and you’re limping. You’re hobbling worse than Joe Namath. You have a cane. Why not go to the doc and get your leg checked out at some point? No, you’ll wait a while til some caterer robs you. OK, then all of a sudden this doc gives you a knee brace and you’re able to kick through walls? Umm, where can I get one of those? And shouldn’t you have this brace on all the time? And wouldn’t you limp without it. No limp. No brace.
5.) So Bane is an absolute badass. We get it. He basically played Major League Baseball in the early 2000s with that body. But he wasn’t without flaws, same with his scenes. Obviously, his speech was hard to comprehend. I would’ve been OK with subtitles, I think. And that mask, was it electronic? If so, wouldn’t Batman’s ENP had shut that thing down during their epic fight that leads to Bane putting Batman in the prison? Prior to, Bane essentially robs the stock exchange when it opens, then a chase ensues and it’s night time. That was really confusing, or they were hacking the computer system with AOL dial up, then the morning to night made perfect sense.
6.) And that brings me to Bane’s death. Yeah, no kidding, a rocket from from Batman’s two-wheeled cruiser would take out anyone. What makes it problematic for me, is that Catwoman was behind the trigger. Look, it’s cool she got some big moment since we know Batman didn’t like to kill anyone (just knock everyone out with one punch), but didn’t you want to see him end Bane himself? And it just happens too nonchalantly is the epitome of anticlimaticism (definitely just made that word up, but you all get me.) It’s like in “Raiders of the Lost Ark” when Indiana Jones is about to sword fight the guy and then remembers he’s strapped and shoots him instead, only not cool or funny like that was, and I’m pretty sure Christian Bale didn’t have the flu that day on set like Harry Ford.
7.) Back to Commish Gordon for a second; is he dumbest police commissioner of all time? Seriously, like everyone in Gotham knows that Bruce Wayne is Batman except him. He’s supposed to be the crafty-est of the crafty, supposed to know all the tricks of the trade, supposed to read into the mind of the demented and criminal, yet he can’t figure out who the masked vigiliante is? Um, hello, it takes a really rich dude to have a car that flys. By the end of the film, I was shocked he could remember helping a young Bruce Wayne the night his parents were killed. One too many trips through the sewers, I guess.
8.) Speaking of Wayne, isn’t he still broke? Bane dying didn’t erase the fact that the muscled up villain bankrupt him, did it? So how’d he get to Italy? Presuming Selina Kyle (Catwoman) is on the FBI Most Wanted list or whatever for being an internationally known thief, how would either of them make it through customs, TSA or any airport security post? Private plane? But still, it’s not like they’re wearing disguises. The ending would’ve been better off with a shot of Alfred just nodding. Leave it open who he’s nodding to, like “Inception.”
Brockman Stamp of Approval: 4.5/5 fingerprints.
LOS ANGELES — Yes, “Prometheus” is a futuristic sci-fi film about a group of scientists who search for life’s creators on a far-away planet with the help of an android. They encounter much more than they bargained for in their quest for answers, fight some aliens and save earth. However, I almost feel as if this was a piece of art questioning whether or not we should be looking in the first place.
Look, we know why anyone does anything; because they can, and in this world, the owner and crew of the Prometheus can. But it doesn’t always make it the appropriate line of thinking. I could go take a bath in the pond at The Grove, have someone film it and end up a YouTube hit but it wouldn’t be worth it (maybe). It’s sometimes better to let sleeping dogs lie, or shower at the gym. Doc Brown built a time machine out of a DeLorean but even that screwed just about everything up.
I’ll admit, the idea of having an android to help me get through life is pretty sweet. Yes, it would help make my life easier, I’d win a boatload of cash on Jepoardy or yet-to-be-invented game show, but would I actually learn anything on my own, or improve as a man? Probably not. I could just take him to parties, or get stinking rich because I’d be the only with a life-like robot.
All things being even, I’d probably do it, but it doesn’t mean I should. Like looking for the creators of man.
OK, back to my original lede for this review.
Since winning the Academy Award for her role in “Monster” in 2003, Charlize Theron hasn’t done anything truly memorable – aside from throwing around a drunk Will Smith in “Hancock” (2008) – until last year’s “Young Adult,” a very well done film in which she plays a successful writer who goes back to her hometown to win back her high school sweetheart. However, Theron is a huge movie star, and thusly, very recognizable. So when I saw her in the trailer for Ridley Scott’s latest sci-fi blockbuster “Prometheus” I was not only confused but figured her inclusion would be quite distracting from what surely was a very deep and interesting film by a very successful and thought-provoking film maker.
I was slightly wrong. Only slightly because after learning she passed on playing the lead, Elizabeth Shaw, because of a scheduling conflict, she later accepted a lesser role as Meredith Vickers, the Prometheus’ guardian, when the film fit her calendar. Theron in this lesser role is much better than as the lead and therefore not AS distracting as it could’ve been. So it’s a win by default. Michael Fassbender (“X-Men: Origins”), not nearly as big a star though getting there, was perfect is his role as the droid David, who assists the crew of the Prometheus in their hunt for the so-called Engineers, the makers of life, on a far away planet.
“Prometheus” was originally dubbed as an “Alien” prequel but it’s hardly that; completely separate story line, and there’s only a hint at anything Alien at all, so don’t feel like you need to have seen those films to know what’s going on here, as you don’t. Scott’s special effects on this new planet, a planet which takes two years to get to, are incredible, and I enjoyed the acting, especially by the two knuckleheads, Fifield (Sean Harris) and Millburn (Rafe Spall). Initially, I wasn’t that excited about “Prometheus,” but it’s well worth the 124-minute run time. Just don’t spend the entire duration thinking about if the ship is bigger than Spaceball 1. It’s not. And doesn’t have a cool bumper sticker either.
Oh, and Noomi Rapace is awesome as Shaw. But the film, in my opinion, is all about the performance of Fassebender, who in 7 months, should get some award noms.
Brockman Stamp of Approval: 3.5/5 Stomach Staples.
SAFETY NOT GUARANTEED
Working on a talk show has some cool perks. OK, really just one: you get to meet celebrities (there are a few jokes here, but I’ll refrain some saying them because, well, we’d like more to come on the show). Usually, these aesthetically-blessed individuals are plugging their latest project, which they’ve been trained to tell everyone who’ll ask and listen that it’s the greatest thing since “Citizen Kane.” Admittedly, as these trained memorizers have described their films, I’ve gotten sucked in to thinking they’re right and that I should fork over the cash to go see what their hocking.
Now, when they leave, I exit the vortex of their propaganda and realize what they’re peddling is piece of crap and save my money for more important things like Subway footlongs and dental floss. However, when recent guest Jake Johnson (“New Girl” & “Get Him To The Greek”) stopped by to talk Chicago Bears and his new indie film “Safety Not Guaranteed” I was intrigued more than normal.
A few days later, I checked out the trailer online and decided it’d be work my time. About a group of writers for Seattle magazine who set off on a journey to find out about this kook who put a classified ad for a trip back in time, ‘Guaranteed,’ which also stars Mark Duplass of “The League” and Aubrey Plaza of “The Office,” is a story of hope, belief and letting go of what’s comfortable and easy for something that could be so much more.
A film that entertains you and makes you think. I’m in.
Johnson plays the dick-ish writer who takes the story with the agenda of meeting up with an old flame in the area; Plaza is the inquisitive, boring intern who draws the assignment of getting close to Duplass, only to eventually grow to like him and buy into his plan to actually travel back in time; and there’s an Indian intern whom they both make fun of. It’s an amusing dynamic and a fun 90 minutes.
I was legit surprised by the ending, too. You’ll enjoy it.
Brockman Stamp of Approval: 3.75/5 Cans of Soup