Rave: Academy Awards 2013

How did everyone enjoy the Tony Awards last night? Juuuust kidding. As if M’Obama would ever get all dressed up to present Best Musical. There was a whole lot of singing last night though, so you can understand our confusion. We’ll get to that in a minute. Big ups to the FLOTUS for using this opportunity to chat about the importance of the arts.  


So, the Academy Awards. They were long, but what else is new. Host Seth MacFarlane tried his best but it all felt quite lacklustre and a teeny bit misogynistic? Whatever, that is a debate best left for Vice Magazine; we’re here to talk about celebrities. Let’s get to it. 


The Dresses!

There was a whole lotta strapless happening on the red carpet last night. We suppose the Oscars aren’t the place to take a sartorial risk, but this year seemed a lot tamer than in the past. Where was Bjork when you needed her? That being said, there were a few stand-outs. 




Best Actress nominee Naomi Watts went with a bit of a riskier choice with her sparkly Armani Prive gown. The colour and cut-out were just a little bit futuristic (in the best way).  




Charlize Theron slayed us in her Christian Dior Haute Couture dress. The tailoring, coupled with her short hair, was a strapless dress we could really get behind. Plus, it was white and didn’t remind us of a wedding dress (ahem, Jennifer Lawrence). Success!

We were into Amanda Seyfried’s Alexander McQueen gown, particularly the subtle colour and pattern, along with a high neck. Her hair could’ve been a bit better, but all in all, it was a good showing. 




America’s Sweetheart looked damn fine in Elie Saab last night. It was sheer and sexy, but in a classy, Oscar-appropriate way. Way to go, Sandra Bullock. As usual.




We absolutely adored Sally Field’s red Valentino gown. The colour was great, the detailing around the chest was flattering… all of it, was a delight. We almost forgot about her making out with Seth MacFarlane. 



Now, this was a contentious dress. Anne Hathaway seemed to be following the Gwyneth Paltrow Oscar check-list (Pale pink? Check. Satin? Check. Diamonds? Check.) but her Prada had chest darting that could take an eye out. The dress’s real appeal was the back and the double-whammy of decoration — a sash and necklace. 


The Musical is Back! 




From start to finish, this year’s show was jam-packed with musical numbers. Some missed the mark (sorry, boob song), but we loved Channing Tatum and Charlize Theron’s Ginger & Fred dance number. It would’ve been better if they’d done a little Ginuwine at the end, but whatever. 




We aren’t really sure why Chicago is supposed to still be relevant. A song AND the cast presents? That’s a bit much. Catherine Zeta-Jones looked killer, and her dance moves brought us right back to 2002, but next time… maybe a bit more rehearsal time? If you’re going to lip-synch at the Oscars, at least do it well. 


Kudos to the cast of Les Miserables for giving us goosebumps. Actually, make that kudos to Samantha Barks for just blowing it out of the water last night. Is this what people sound like on stage in the West End? Because, buy us a ticket to London, stat. 




Best memoriam of all time? YEP! Barbara Streisand sings “The Way We Were” and we can die happy now, thanks. Also, anyone else notice the publicist who was included this year? Mad props.


The Winners!

“Is Ben Affleck having a stroke?” – text we received after Argo won Best Picture. He certainly seemed a little shaken when Grant Hezlov was speaking. We can’t say we were surprised by this win (in fact, we totally called it), but Affleck seemed genuinely in shock. We’ll attribute his weird wife-thanking to that. 


Speaking of shaken, how freaking adorable was Jennifer Lawrence? The girl looked like she was about to barf with happiness. But can we talk about Hugh Jackman running to help her up after she tripped for a second? THE BEST. Here’s a gif, in case you missed it. 

After last night, we think it’s safe to say that Adele (at only 24 years old) is on track to win an EGOT and we can’t think of anyone more deserving of this honour. What a delightful human she is. Can you believe that she and Taylor Swift are the same age? Anyways, Adele is awesome and makes us feel very unaccomplished, but we don’t even care.




And finally, KStew & JLaw! Just a couple of besties hanging out on the red carpet. SWOON. (Ed. note: the swoon is also contentious on the fourth floor).


All photos are courtesy of Just Jared

Rave: Oscar Predictions

Hollywood’s big night is just days away – the 85th Academy Awards take place this Sunday, February 24. As the entire awards season leads up to this, anticipation is high. If you give a hoot about these awards, then you’ve likely got an Oscar pool you’re participating in (we highly recommend entering Lainey’s annual pool for some kickass prizes). While we aren’t going to reveal all our picks today – because duh, we want to win, too – we will share our insight into the nominees and the evening, in general. 


The BFF Connection


Wonder if Matt is jealous of George?



If anything has become evident this awards season, it’s that Best Picture is Ben Affleck’s to lose. Argo has been riding a massive wave of dominance, which is partly attributed to Affleck’s Best Director snub, partly because of the “perfect family” show he and wife Jennifer Garner have been putting on the past few months, and a lot due to his bestie and co-producer George Clooney. Clooney knows how to play the game and he’s been pressing a lot of flesh on behalf of Argo. Who could resist the Clooney charm? Not us, that’s for sure. The only real question left to ask is, will Clooney bring girlfriend Stacy Keibler with him to the Kodak? That would be two trips in a row, a new record. 

Tightest Races


Classic moments from JLaw & Bette.

There are a few categories that are way too close to call, among them Best Director and Best Actress. Also, Best Actor. We know, you’re all thinking “oh hey, who can challenge Daniel Day-Lewis? Nobody.” and yes, you’re right. But maybe, just maybe… Hugh Jackman can rip the bald statue out of DDL’s hands? That would be an upset. For Best Actress, we’re saying it’s between Jennifer Lawrence and Emmanuelle Riva. We love JLaw, but this won’t be her last time at the Kodak. Can’t say the same for Riva (sorry!). Finally, the most contentious category: Best Director. After the high-profile snubs of Affleck and Kathryn Bigelow, we weren’t sure what to think. Still don’t, to be honest. The power of Harvey Weinstein has us leaning towards David O. Russell, but Steven Spielberg and Ang Lee are also strong candidates. 

Locked Down


Shaved head + singing cry face = OSCAR!



We’ve already called Argo for the Best Picture win, but we’re sure you’re wondering what other categories are a lock. While there’s always a chance Academy voters will go rogue and have a change of heart, calling Anne Hathaway for the Best Supporting Actress win is about as close to a sure thing as you can get. Considering Amour was nominated in both the Best Picture and Best Foreign Language Film categories, we’re also pretty sure that Amour will take the non-English category. 


Lowered Expectations


Stewie! 

After the excitement of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler hosting the Golden Globes, we just can’t muster up much enthusiasm for the Oscar’s host, Seth MacFarlane. Don’t get us wrong, we love Family Guy and were thrilled to hear some of the show’s writers were contributing to the Oscars. And while MacFarlane is a talented vocal actor, we always want a little bit of Broadway (i.e. singing and dancing) in our telecast and don’t know if he can deliver. Not to mention, he’s already claimed that this is a “one-time thing” for him. Doesn’t really engender the most confidence. 


Magic Oscar


Please God, let this happen on Sunday. 



This year’s show has an impressive list of presenters and special guests, including the cast of The Avengers (Robert Downey Junior, Mark Ruffalo, Jeremy Renner, Chris Evans and Samuel L. Jackson), Barbara Streisand, Adele, Nicole Kidman, Paul Rudd, Jennifer Aniston, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Channing Tatum. There’s so many things we want to know! Is Babs going to sing? Will Aniston bring fiance Justin Theroux with her? How does Clooney feel about Theroux?  Are Kidman and Naomi Watts still besties? And, most importantly, is Channing Tatum going to take off his shirt? 

Rave: The Dark Knight Rises

Who doesn’t love Batman? Whether you’re an Adam West aficionado, a fan of the classic DC comic books or secretly think Clooney was awesome (but then… who are you?), there seems to be a Batman for everyone. 


We were lucky, lucky, lucky to get a few passes to check out the advance screening last week. Instead of telling you straight up that we loved it, we thought it would be fun to bring back the ‘he said/she said’ style of film review. This time, Matt and Debra share their thoughts about the film. Enjoy! 



On Christian Bale:

She said: Sometimes I have a hard time getting over the whole
viral incident where you were a
complete nut job, but I think all is forgiven, Mr. Bale. You are my favourite
as Batman and I want you to win over the bad guys sooooo badly that I silently
cheered in my seat numerous times. I’d add a little warmth to your home, but
you’re a hot superhero and I like all your toys.

He said: Christian Bale and Christopher Nolan certainly work well together and definitely have figured each other out since making Batman Begins and The Prestige.
I’m not sure whose fault it is for the “bat voice”, but I hope that’s not what people condemn Bale or Nolan or this film (please note, I am referring to this as a film and not a movie. There’s a difference) for once they made that (mistake) in the first film it would be weird for him to drop it.
Bale is great as Wayne and as Batman, but I really feel more people will come away talking about Joseph Gordon-Levitt who really “bat” his role out of the park.


On Anne Hathaway:
She said: Babe. Babe. Babe. Anne Hathaway = Catwoman. Who
knew? You are so incredibly sexy and strong and you look so good doing it in
every, single, frame. The fact that you did your own stunts made me your
biggest fan, even if I really didn’t enjoy you hosting the Oscars. And your red
lipstick was perfect.

He said: When I heard that Anne Hathaway would be playing Selina Kyle (note – she’s never actually called Catwoman) I got really excited. I’ve always been a fan of her as an actor and an admirer of her beauty and both didn’t disappoint. She actually was purrfect. (don’t worry, I’m rolling my eyes at myself).


Special effects:
She said: I was blown away by the opening scene and then I
just kept being blown away again and again. Seeing this film in Imax is a must.

He said: This really did feel like a dramatic film (there’s that word again) with action thrown into it, instead of the other way around. When I read that back it may sound like it might be light on the gadgets and brawling, and it most definitely is not. It’s hard to really get into the SFX without spoiling the film, but let me just say that my mouth was agape for the whole film, especially the opening and closing sequences.


Romance:
She said: I’m told that the romance(s) are from the original
story – not quite sticking to the bible, but if you’re a comic book fan, no
surprises here.
  Nothing super sexy, but
it’s not what I came for.

He said: As with all good dramas, there definitely are some birds trying to hang with the Bat in this flick. But you know what they say about two birds….


Story & Script:
She said: I am not a comic book fan, so I just enjoy the
story for what it is. There were twists and turns and incredible acting. The
cast is crazy good: Marion Cotillard, Tom Hardy, Michael Caine, Joseph Gordon-Levitt… And all of those folks are from Inception, as well. Interesting,
n’est pas?
I found the villain, Bain (Tom Hardy), to be
absolutely terrifying and the anarchy that entails in Gotham to be equally
scary. I couldn’t understand Bain all the time, and he sounded a bit like a
muffled Sean Connery to me, but other than that, I couldn’t take my eyes off
him.  The design of that mask is so, so
creepy.
I got lost in the story for three hours (almost – 2
hours and 47 minutes, I believe) and could have watched more. And let me
qualify this by saying that I don’t sit still for three hours very often and I
don’t like having to commit to anything for that long.

He said: Nolan and his bros really handled the gravitas of making such a large film, as well as knowing it will be the last (for this creative team at least). The Burton and Shumacher era movies, were just that…big movies. Their stories were entertaining but they both achieved something comic book-ish. This felt as real as a story could be about a man who saw his parents killed, who was trained in an extreme discipline of martial arts, who decided to don a Kevlar suit shaped like a bat in order to fight for his city. As much as this is a story about Batman, it is also a very human story about trust, fear, friendship and life.

Does it live up to the hype/trailers?
She said: Yes.

He said: The only thing the trailers did for me was excite me that this was coming out, period. I would have to say that it surpassed the feeling any of the trailers hoped to achieve. I will be seeing this again.


Will Batman fans love this?
She said: I think the comic book Batman fans will have some
small issues with the storyline (again, so I’m told), but for those film lovers
who just love a good escape – yes – it is undeniable that you will love this.

He said: Fans of this trilogy will love this. Fans of great action/suspense films will love this. Pure Batman fans are going to have all sorts of issues that I overlooked only because the film is so good otherwise. 
You have to sorta forget what you already know if you know the book(s) and if you don’t know anything you’ll be way better off (though it will be handy to watch with someone who knows something about the other films, at least).

Final thoughts?
She said: My fave in the trilogy, so far. If you like Batman, RUN to
the theatre this weekend.

He said: I was worried about my bladder with the running time being almost 3 hours. But the only reason I came close to peeing my pants at several times throughout the film was because I couldn’t believe I was watching something that attacked me on such an awesome visceral level. 
I will actually get angry at people who tell me they don’t like it.

I am such a nerd.


Go see this film and tell us what you think with the hashtag #batweek: @rockitpromo, @debgee and
@mattyaustin.



All images courtesy of Warner Bros. 

Fave 5: Media in the movies

Movies offer a great escape from the every day and we love how they allow us to peek into other people’s lives – or at least their lives as envisioned by Hollywood. Our Media, Darling series gives us an idea of what goes on at a media outlet, but we’d like to imagine that these movies complete the rest of the puzzle.


Network



This film by Sidney Lumet is a satirical look at a fictional television network and won four Academy Awards. Network follows Howard Beale (Peter Finch), a longtime evening news anchor as his show struggles with declining ratings. Faye Dunaway, William Holden and Robert Duvall also star. This classic film was included among AFI’s “100 Greatest American Films” list, and we can’t think of a higher recommendation than that.


The Devil Wears Prada



“A million girls would kill for this job.” Well, we don’t know about that but we’d certainly commit some petty crimes to get our hands on Anne Hathaway’s wardrobe in this fashion flick. Hathaway’s Andrea Sachs lands a highly-coveted gig as the personal assistant to Miranda Priestley (Meryl Streep), the editor-in-chief of Runway. Legend has it that Priestley was not-so-subtly based on Anna Wintour, so consider this a behind-the-scenes look at life at Vogue.


Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy



This hilarious film is about a top San Diego newsman, Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell) coping with the arrival of a new, female co-host (Christina Applegate). We crack up every time we watch this film (which trust us, is often). Ferrell and Applegate are supported by an all-star comedy cast, including Steve Carrell, Paul Rudd, Fred Armisen and Seth Rogen. The street brawl scene against a rival news station is one of many highlights.


Wag the Dog



Politicians and spin doctors go hand-in-hand, but this 1997 movie takes it to the next level. When a scandal emerges days before re-election, the American President’s advisor (Robert DeNiro) partners with a Hollywood producer (Dustin Hoffman) to manufacture a war in Albania through mass media. Both amusing and provocative, Wag the Dog forces you to take a second and think about what is presented as “fact” in the media.


The Bang Bang Club



A sobering look at war correspondents, The Bang Bang Club is the true story about four combat photographers capturing the final days of apartheid in South Africa. The friends and colleagues put themselves directly into the line of fire in order to get “the shot”. It’s not all doom and gloom though. Canadian heartthrob Taylor Kitsch (a.k.a. Tim Riggins forever!) stars as one of the more troubled photographers, which in that group is certainly saying something.