No Nepotism, I Swear!

March 4, 2012

Even Fang is mortified that he won the Oscar pool again this year – I swear on my life we don’t cheat, and I don’t help him; we don’t even like the same movies most of the time! He sez again that he might recuse himself next year (of course, he said that LAST year) – or maybe I’ll just have to start recruiting earlier, to assemble a larger contestant pool for the pool. And it was very close this year: going into the MJB Exclusive categories, Fang was actually in second place. Gypsy Scarlett  got the greatest number of correct answers in the conventional categories (16/24), but opted not to vote in the Exclusives; Fang got 15/24, but picked up 3 points on the Exclusives – he knew that Tree of Life was the correct answer to “Most Prestigious Film that Nobody Has Seen.” Take Shelter was a very reasonable answer, but as I weighed the possibilities, it occurred to me that at least it’s possible to understand what the latter was about, whereas Malick’s film appears to derive its prestige from the fact that it is impossible to explain. Too much work por moi, thank you very much.He also knew – not b/c he’s married to me but because anyone who’s ever met me knows this – that Madonna is the correct answer to any question beginning with “Most Annoying …” even though Rosie came close, again, by voting for Jonah HIll, who is indeed very annoying, and who did not deserve the nomination for Best Supporting Actor, especially when Corey Stahl (Hemingway in Midnight in Paris) and Alex Shaffer (Kyle in Win Win) went unrecognized. Stahl and Shaffer tied for “Most Overlooked Performance,”  – either answer would have scored the voter a point – but only Fang got either one of them, choosing C. Stahl and thereby pulling his overall score up to 18.

Rosie and TAFKTA tied at 14/24 in the conventionals, and both raised their scores with the MJBExclusives: Rosie scored an additional point in a technically complex move, choosing Gwyneth Paltrow in Country Strong. Ms. Rosie also got an half point for having the integrity to point out that Gwyneth’s film, although realeased early in 2011, just missed the deadline for this year’s Oscars. Since Gwyneth hasn’t done any other award-worthy performance since Shakespeare in Love, I allowed it, bringing Rosie’s score up to 15.5.

TAFTKA acquitted himself nicely as well, scoring 14 conventional points and also scoring a half point for integrity, for his gracious yet candid response to “Most Annoying Celebrity”:  ‘I’ll only call an actor/actress annoying if I’ve worked with him/her and want to kill him/her! I’m passing this year.” BTW, dear – I saew Moneyball in its entirely and Jonah HIll didn’t do anything more than not embarrass himself. Brad Pitt did do a great job, however – so good that it would have qualified as a Most Overlooked Performance except that he’s BRAD damned PITT – nothing he does is overlooked!!! TAFTKA’s total score: a respectable 14.5/24

TAFTKA’s companion, whom we call The Planner b/c he’s never chosen a flashier screen handle, plus he is a very organized kinda guy, scored 12 conventionals, plus 1 MJBEx point for Tree of Life – see above.

DD Syrdal is getting better and better – she scored 9 conventional points, which serioously is even better than it sounds b/c this year one of the biggest diffs between the highest and lowest scores was deciding whether to pick The Artist or Hugo in most of the major categories. A few in either direction, and any one of you could have won or come close. DD also gets an extra integrity point for being one of the few people alove whom I would allow to resubmit her ballot AFTER the ceremony was televised, b/c the original document didn’t transmit properly. Seriously, there are not too many folks I’d trust to do that, and you’re all reading this right now. DD also gets and extra point for being my Technical Advisor in 2012 and every previous year – she’s the one who set up the immensely enjoyable Tweetchat – for a total score of 11/24.

Overall, you all did so well, and made it so much fun, that I am offering each and every one of yuz the same prize I’m giving Fang, if you can get to the Milltown Diner in order to collect it any time before next year’s Oscar telecast: a plate of Santiago’s Tropical Waffles – trust me, this is an award-winning breakfast.  Hope to see you there!!!!



February 27, 2012

I know that usually when one film sweeps a big bunch of awards, there’s complaints, there’s backlash, there bitching and moaning. But geez, who didn’t love The Artist ?!  Jean Dujardin and Michel Hazanavicius gave such gracious, modest speeches (those cute accents!) it just made me love them more.  And although I was rooting for my girl Rooney Mara to pull off some kind of dark-horse surprise, really, how can you argue with Meryl Streep. BTW, was I the only one who thought she’d won about a dozen Oscars by now, instead of just 3?  This is what happens when the woman gets nominated every time she leaves the house.

Anyway you all know I’m working hard tabulating the final pool scores and will announce the winner later in the week. In the meanwhile, here’s a list of the Academy’s winners so you can see where you stand so far:

Best Cinematography: Robert Richardson, “Hugo”

Best Art Direction: Dante Ferretti and Francesca Lo Schavo, “Hugo”

Best Costume Design: Mark Bridges, “The Artist”

Best Makeup: Mark Coulier and J. Roy Helland, “The Iron Lady”

Best Foreign Language Film: “A Separation”

Best Supporting Actress: Octavia Spencer, “The Help”

Best Editing: Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall, “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”

Best Sound Editing: Phillip Stockton and Eugene Gearty, “Hugo”

Best Sound Mixing: Tom Fleischman and John Midgley, “Hugo”

Best Documentary: “Undefeated”

Best Animated Feature: “Rango”

Best Visual Effects: “Hugo”

Best Supporting Actor: Christopher Plummer, “Beginners”

Best Original Score: Ludovic Bource, “The Artist”

Best Original Song: Bret McKenzie, “Man or Muppet”

Best Adapted Screenplay: Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, “The Descendants”

Best Original Screenplay: Woody Allen, “Midnight in Paris”

Best Live Action Short: “The Shore”

Best Documentary Short: “Saving Face”

Best Animated Short: “The Fantastic Flying Books Of Mr. Morris Lessmore”

Best Director: Michel Hazanavicius, “The Artist”

Best Actor: Jean Dujardin, “The Artist”

Best Actress: Meryl Streep, “The Iron Lady”

Best Picture: “The Artist”

It’s time for the MJOscars!!

January 24, 2012

I’m not going to be a hypocrite and pretend that I’m back with a vengeance, ready to put up a new post every day, but hell, the Oscar nominations came out today, and some conventions just must be observed. As you diehard loyals (and I DO appreciate that, Rosie, DD,  TAFKATA) know, we’ve been batting around whether to do an actual ballot, as in previous years, or just to horse around on Twitter the night of the show, but  I have fun making up the MJB exclusive categories, and I love reading everybody’s comments, so for now I’m going to post an old-school ballot, and later this week I’m going to horse around on Tweetchat with my esteemed Technical Advisor (that’s Digital Dame/DD Syrdal) to see if maybe we can combine some new technology with the old on Oscar night. The rules, therefore, are the same as they ever were:

1. Copy the ballot, and erase all nominees except your choice. Send it to my email address no later than 5:00 p.m. EST on February 26. You are all welcome to invite any friends or loved ones you can vouch for, as long as they understand there’s no real prize up for grabs here. I figure by only including those of you who have my email address and/or those whose answers you are willing to forward, we can prevent weird surfers from crashing our party.  We have a acquired a couple of Twitter friends this year who appear to be very legit, so if they are interested I might create an email address just for them. If any of you regulars want to invite anybody like that, just let me know and I’ll set up a place for them to send their ballots.

2. Each correct vote counts as one point – in other words, “Best Sound Mixing” is as heavily weighted as “Best Direction.” The tech people work hard, too.

3. No pestering me for results – I’ll do my best to tabulate the answers by the end of that week.

4. In the event of a tie, well – there’ll be a tie. Both winners will receive bragging rights until we all get tired of hearing about it, along with my choice of whatever I may have lying around the next time I see you.

But of course, speaking of ballots, you’re going to need your list of 2012 Academy Award nominees:

Best Picture

“The Artist” Thomas Langmann, Producer

“The Descendants” Jim Burke, Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor, Producers

“Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close” Scott Rudin, Producer

“The Help” Brunson Green, Chris Columbus and Michael Barnathan, Producers

“Hugo” Graham King and Martin Scorsese, Producers

“Midnight in Paris” Letty Aronson and Stephen Tenenbaum, Producers

“Moneyball” Michael De Luca, Rachael Horovitz and Brad Pitt, Producers

“The Tree of Life” Nominees to be determined

“War Horse” Steven Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy, Producers

Actor in a Leading Role

Demián Bichir in “A Better Life”

George Clooney in “The Descendants”

Jean Dujardin in “The Artist”

Gary Oldman in “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”

Brad Pitt in “Moneyball”

Actor in a Supporting Role

Kenneth Branagh in “My Week with Marilyn”

Jonah Hill in “Moneyball”

Nick Nolte in “Warrior”

Christopher Plummer in “Beginners”

Max von Sydow in “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close”

Actress in a Leading Role

Glenn Close in “Albert Nobbs”

Viola Davis in “The Help”

Rooney Mara in “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”

Meryl Streep in “The Iron Lady”

Michelle Williams in “My Week with Marilyn”

Actress in a Supporting Role

Bérénice Bejo in “The Artist”

Jessica Chastain in “The Help”

Melissa McCarthy in “Bridesmaids”

Janet McTeer in “Albert Nobbs”

Octavia Spencer in “The Help”

Animated Feature Film

“A Cat in Paris” Alain Gagnol and Jean-Loup Felicioli

“Chico & Rita” Fernando Trueba and Javier Mariscal

“Kung Fu Panda 2” Jennifer Yuh Nelson

“Puss in Boots” Chris Miller

“Rango” Gore Verbinski

Art Direction

“The Artist” Production Design: Laurence Bennett; Set Decoration: Robert Gould

“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2” Production Design: Stuart Craig; Set Decoration: Stephenie McMillan

“Hugo” Production Design: Dante Ferretti; Set Decoration: Francesca Lo Schiavo

“Midnight in Paris” Production Design: Anne Seibel; Set Decoration: Hélène Dubreuil

“War Horse” Production Design: Rick Carter; Set Decoration: Lee Sandales


“The Artist” Guillaume Schiffman

“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” Jeff Cronenweth

“Hugo” Robert Richardson

“The Tree of Life” Emmanuel Lubezki

“War Horse” Janusz Kaminski

Costume Design

“Anonymous” Lisy Christl

“The Artist” Mark Bridges

“Hugo” Sandy Powell

“Jane Eyre” Michael O’Connor

“W.E.” Arianne Phillips


“The Artist” Michel Hazanavicius

“The Descendants” Alexander Payne

“Hugo” Martin Scorsese

“Midnight in Paris” Woody Allen

“The Tree of Life” Terrence Malick

Documentary (Feature)

“Hell and Back Again” Danfung Dennis and Mike Lerner

“If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front” Marshall Curry and Sam Cullman

“Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory” Charles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs

“Pina” Wim Wenders and Gian-Piero Ringel

“Undefeated” TJ Martin, Dan Lindsay and Richard Middlemas

Documentary (Short Subject)

“The Barber of Birmingham: Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement” Robin Fryday and Gail Dolgin

“God Is the Bigger Elvis” Rebecca Cammisa and Julie Anderson

“Incident in New Baghdad”James Spione

“Saving Face” Daniel Junge and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy

“The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom” Lucy Walker and Kira Carstensen

Film Editing

“The Artist” Anne-Sophie Bion and Michel Hazanavicius

“The Descendants” Kevin Tent

“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall

“Hugo” Thelma Schoonmaker

“Moneyball” Christopher Tellefsen

Foreign Language Film

“Bullhead” Belgium


“In Darkness” Poland

“Monsieur Lazhar” Canada

“A Separation” Iran


“Albert Nobbs” Martial Corneville, Lynn Johnston and Matthew W. Mungle

“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2” Edouard F. Henriques, Gregory Funk and Yolanda Toussieng

“The Iron Lady” Mark Coulier and J. Roy Helland

Music (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

Music (Original Song)

“Man or Muppet” from “The Muppets” Music and Lyric by Bret McKenzie

“Real in Rio” from “Rio” Music by Sergio Mendes and Carlinhos Brown Lyric by Siedah Garrett

Short Film (Animated)

“Dimanche/Sunday” Patrick Doyon

“The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore” William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg

“La Luna” Enrico Casarosa

“A Morning Stroll” Grant Orchard and Sue Goffe

“Wild Life” Amanda Forbis and Wendy Tilby

Short Film (Live Action)

“Pentecost” Peter McDonald and Eimear O’Kane

“Raju” Max Zähle and Stefan Gieren

“The Shore” Terry George and Oorlagh George

“Time Freak” Andrew Bowler and Gigi Causey

“Tuba Atlantic” Hallvar Witzø

Sound Editing

“Drive” Lon Bender and Victor Ray Ennis

“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” Ren Klyce

“Hugo” Philip Stockton and Eugene Gearty

“Transformers: Dark of the Moon” Ethan Van der Ryn and Erik Aadahl

“War Horse” Richard Hymns and Gary Rydstrom

Sound Mixing

“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” David Parker, Michael Semanick, Ren Klyce and Bo Persson

“Hugo” Tom Fleischman and John Midgley

“Moneyball” Deb Adair, Ron Bochar, Dave Giammarco and Ed Novick

“Transformers: Dark of the Moon” Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers, Jeffrey J. Haboush and Peter J. Devlin

“War Horse” Gary Rydstrom, Andy Nelson, Tom Johnson and Stuart Wilson

Visual Effects

“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2” Tim Burke, David Vickery, Greg Butler and John Richardson

“Hugo” Rob Legato, Joss Williams, Ben Grossman and Alex Henning

“Real Steel” Erik Nash, John Rosengrant, Dan Taylor and Swen Gillberg

“Rise of the Planet of the Apes” Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, R. Christopher White and Daniel Barrett

“Transformers: Dark of the Moon” Scott Farrar, Scott Benza, Matthew Butler and John Frazier

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

“The Descendants” Screenplay by Alexander Payne and Nat Faxon & Jim Rash

“Hugo” Screenplay by John Logan

“The Ides of March” Screenplay by George Clooney & Grant Heslov and Beau Willimon

“Moneyball” Screenplay by Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin. Story by Stan Chervin

“Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” Screenplay by Bridget O’Connor & Peter Straughan

Writing (Original Screenplay)

“The Artist” Written by Michel Hazanavicius

“Bridesmaids” Written by Annie Mumolo & Kristen Wiig

“Margin Call” Written by J.C. Chandor

“Midnight in Paris” Written by Woody Allen

“A Separation” Written by Asghar Farhadi

and of course, don’t forget to vote for this year’s MJB Exclusive Categories – these “extra credit” points can really help boost your score, and besides, they’re fun!  You can increase your chances of winning in these categories by provding an entertaining answer – as always, your bloghostess is the final arbiter of what answers are the most entertaining, i.e. most “correct”

Most Prestigious Film that Nobody Has Seen – every year, I invite a couple of people who are hesitant to participate b/c they haven’t seen any of the films – if that’s you, jump on into the pool – your honesty has already qualified you as an honored guest around here, and besides, you’re not picking the best in every category: you’re picking the person or film you think the Academy will choose. And THOSE people are full of crap – I’m convinced that half of them have already nominated films they have not seen, just to boost their cred as “artistes.” So go on, call them out!

Most Unlikely/Surprising Nomination – this could be a film, a performance, or if you’re feeling particularly geeky, and technical achievement. It can be something you’re slapping your forhead over, the way I still haven’t gotten over Julia Roberts’ even being NOMINATED for Best Actress, or a happy surprise, like the year Marissa Tomei got the nomination and the award for My Cousin Vinny

Most Annoying Celebrity  – This can be any actor, director, producer, involved with a film released this year. Go ahead, bare your claws and explain your answer: I can’t wait!

Most Overlooked Performance in a Film Released This Year – This is where we get to show our love for the actors who were not nominated but should have been. Every blogster is permitted to choose one male and one female performance.

Oddest Casting in a Film Released This Year – For example, I’m pretty sure that in 2013 the right answer in this category will be Michael Douglass as Liberace .  Sometimes these performances work (anybody remember Cate Blanchett as “Bob Dylan”  in I’m Not There ?) ;  sometimes, not so much – think of Anthony Hopkins, who ought to be the right choice for pretty much ANY character in ANY film – except, of course, as an African American college professor passing for white in the terribly disappointing film adaptation of The Human Stain – but they make it interesting for us, and isn’t that the whole point?

I might come up with some post-telecast awards, also, but there’s plenty of time for that. This should be plenty enough to get us started, no?

Armand Hammer, where are you??!!

November 3, 2011

Yeah, the blog’s dormant. I’m OK, just a little overextended. Checking in a lot at Digital Dame’s and Rosie’s blogs.

Where u been?

The {Unspecified Prize} goes to …

March 5, 2011

Remember, back were you were in school, the kid who never seemed like he studied anything? The one who sat in the back of the room, doodling pictures of spaceships, made up bullshit answers when the teacher called on him, and then would announce, grandiously, on the day before the exam, that he was going to ace it? That is how Fang won the Oscar Pool this year.

As of late afternoon on Sunday the 28th, the most he had done by way of the Oscar ballot was to browse the Times‘ “Carpetbagger” column, demand arrogantly to know what his prize would be if he won, and then go to the A&P for snacks to eat during the telecast. I honestly thought it was just going to be Didge, Rosie, TAFKATA and The Planner this year, and then just before dinner, my husband went online, did some kind of mysterious research, the sources of which are known only to him, and came downstairs with the winning ballot. Even before I tallied up the MJB Exclusive categories, he nailed 18 out of the 24 conventional categories, plus extra points for correctly identifying Michelle Williams as Best Celebrity, Female. She is a tidy little actress and I’m sure she did solid work in Blue Valentine, but aren’t we all just a little tired of the REAL reason she has stayed famous: that Grieving Widow routine she’s been perfecting ever since poor Heath Ledger died, even though they were never married, and she had in fact dumped him shortly before he OD’d. He got one more point for choosing James Franco in Marilyn drag as one of the two correct answers to Most Extraneous Joke, Anecdote or Production Number.  (The other correct answer, as identified by TAFKATA, was Anne Hathaway singing “On My Own,” because, as TAFTKA put it “Well done, but WHY??????”)

It was a tight competition, though, and everyone did respectably. TAFKATA was solidly in second place with 12 correct conventional picks and 3 MJB Exclusives (see how they can raise your score? Plus they are the real reason I continue to host the pool: the combination of your delightful submissions, and the power rush I get from declaring the right answers singlehandedly is too much to pass up.)  Rosie, The Planner and Digital Dame tied at 14 – Rosie got 13 conventional picks, plus a point for choosing Justin Timberlake as Best Male Celebrity – Rosie understood that although Justin’s acting in The Social Network was suprisingly good, the reason we are talking about him is because, as she put it, “Boy can sing and bring sexy nerds back. Wears clothes well and dodged the Britney Spears bullet… nuff said.” (There are so many things to love about Justin – for example the way he kept making fun of the name of film director Banksy. I mean really, did Banksy’s mother name him that?!) My girl also gets props for her appraisal of The Black Swan – although incorrectly identifying it as Most Overrated Film (that honor went to The Social Network. Your Hostess, TAFKATA, and The Planner all agreed that Justin T was the only truly compelling thing about it,) her reasoning was nearly irresistable: “The Wrestler in a tutu…throw in some girl-on-girl action to get the boyfriends to stay awake in the theater.”

TAFKATA and The Planner, like true partners, tied at 12 conventionals, but TAFTKATA squeaked ahead, raising his score to 15, not just for identifying Cate Blanchett’s weirdly constructed dress as Most Ridiculous Outfit, for  getting one of 2 correct answers (Anne Hathaway) to Hottest Celebrity in a Tuxedo (the other was Kirk Douglass. How charming was he, flirting with Melissa Leo? More charming than Melissa, really – more of a pro, disability notwithstanding,) BUT, best of all, for having the stones to admit to a truly strange Guilty Pleasure:

“I didn’t see this …  but I wanted to sneak off some afternoon and see ‘MacGruber’.  I can’t really explain why.  Maybe it’s because I was strangely fascinated by Will Forte’s turn as Jane Krakowski’s  cross-dressing lover on ’30 Rock’. ”  Next year, if you win, dear, your prize is going to be a DVD of MacGruber.

A special prize for Most Improved goes to Digital Dame, who scored a completely respectable 13 this year: 11 correct conventionals, plus an extra two points for her impressively comprehensive review of nearly all the crappy films that got greenlit in the past year:

 “Oh dear god, there’s too many to choose from. I’m gonna have to go with the J-Lo travesty, “The Backup Plan” because I hate her so much. Steve Carrell’s “Date Night” and “Despicable Me” “Dinner for Schmucks” deserve honorable mentions here, as well. I hate that guy. A couple of Jennifer Aniston movies are close behind: “Bounty Hunter” or something, and “The Switch”. She really needs to move on from the fluffy cutesy airhead rom-coms.”

Didge also gets kind of an Honorable Mention for her cheerfully ruthless summation of 127 Hours:

“Seriously?? Dipshit goes off on irresponsible trek in desert, gets in trouble and does one more dumbshit move to save himself, and it gets an Oscar nod? PUH-LEEEZE.”  G’wan, baby, tell us how you really feel 😉

OK, it’s March now, so the Academy Awards are wrapped up and over for another year. Counting down, as always, to The Tonys!

And the Oscars go to…

February 28, 2011

OK, here’s the info, if you want to check back on how you did. I’ll tally up the scores sometime this week;
in the meantime you all have until noon today to submit your answers in the post-show, extra-credit MJB Exclusive categories, which are, in case you’ve forgotten:

Hottest Actor in a Tuxedo, Male or Female (BTW, where was G.Clooney?)

Most Ridiculous Outfit, Male or Female: “outfit” can mean accessories – headgear, weird bling, idiotic neckwear – OR the whole ensemble (the all time Gold Standards for this category are Bjork’s Swan Dress and pretty much anything Cher wore in the entire 20th century.)

Most Extraneous Joke, Anecdote, or Production Number: Explain your answer. Seriously, I’m dying to read it.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Live, in Progress!

February 27, 2011

OK everybody, we’re here at the red carpet –

well, not really. I’m parked on the sofa, having plowed thru a whole pile of student essays so I can enjoy the awards in comfort, without guilt or distraction. I’d love to crack open a beer but I have 3 classes tomorrow and I’ll never make it in time if I start drinking AND try to stay up for Best Picture. Fang/Walter Monheit is tightening up his last-minute picks as we speak, and I have ballots from Rosie, Digital Dame, The Artist Formerly Known as The Actor,  and The Planner ( an old friend but a newcomer to the Oscarblogfest). There are still a few minutes to deadline, if anybody wants to join the pool. McCaustic – are you pissed that I still haven’t sent you a prize for last year, or did you just get a better invite? Rosie – is the Baby Genius still interested? Gypsy Scarlett – are you out there?  Everybody get ready!


I just heard Justin Timberlake say that he does not participate on Facebook, so I’m more impressed w/him than ever. Justin, if you’re out there, you can join the MJB family whenever you want – we’re the sensible alternative to FB!

Don’t Forget the Puppy Bowl!

February 6, 2011

It’s a fabulous alternative, I tell you. I’ll admit that Fang and I are actually going to a Superbowl Party, b/c our delightful next door neighbors take it as an opportunity to invite friends over and feed us delicious cajun food (they’re both from Louisiana, and this fest originated last year, to celebrate the Saints’ participation.) But there’s no question that I’m going for the food (we’re donating a wheel of brie cheese baked in phyllo dough) and the good company; my heart will be over at the Animal Planet Channel, where they’ll be televising Puppy Bowl VII in a continuous loop (it’s 3 hours long, but I could watch it all damn day) from 3 p.m. this afternoon till 3 a.m. tomorrow. Check it out: it’s nothing but adorable puppies frolicking around on a miniature football field, with “chicken cheerleaders” walking around, pecking the sidlines, and the ever-popular Kitty Halftime Show (they turn down the lights, drop streamers and stuff from the ceiling, and let a bunch of kittens run around.) I honestly think if there were more entertainment like this, people would be more relaxed and nicer to one another.

Grasping at Hope

February 2, 2011


Above: perennial icon Staten Island Chuck, apparently feelling the love despite the bitter, sleety February weather. Chuck failed to see his shadow, thereby predicting an early spring (he didn’t bite anyone, either:  maybe the chocolate put him in a good mood?)  I’m clinging, like faithful acolytes everywhere, to the possibility that Chuck might be correct. Just remember, everybody – only 46 days til spring!

Oscar Update and MJB exclusive categories

January 30, 2011

Here’s an easily transmitted ballot from a reputable source:


write in your own answers. Winners are determined solely upon the discretion of the Blogmistress:

Most Unlikely Nomination  of a Major Motion Picture
Let’s face it, ten nominated films is way too many. Which one(s) would YOU have eliminated?

Best “Celebrity, ” Female:

Let me explain: almost every year, some performers get nominated, not b/c their acting is that great, but because they are too famous to overlook (IMO this explains how Sandra Bullock won last year.) I think this problem could be solved by creating new categories for Best Celebs, thereby creating room for the excellent performances given by less famous, less glamorous, or less youthful performers, which so often go overlooked. Any actress nominated for anything this year is eligible.

Best “Celebrity, ” Male: see above – any actor nominated for anything this year is eligible.

Most Overlooked Performance that failed to receve a nomination, in any film released this year:

Most Overrated Film, nominated or not:  returning voters know that you score points by explaining why you think it was overrated.

Best Guilty Pleasure:   Go on, it was crap, but you enjoyed it.  Go ahead and tell us about it: we’re among friends here.  Any film released this year is eligible.

“Who Greenlighted THIS Piece o’ Crap??!” do I need to explain? Any film released this year.  In this category you are welcomed – I daresay encouraged – to nominate films for which you only saw the trailer, or some interminably repeated TV commerical, or films so lousy you walked out/turned them off partway thru.  I mean really, do you need to sit through an entire Rob Schneider movie to know it’s bad?

and finally:

The schoolteacher in me is inspired to offer extra-credit this year – everyone has the option of voting for these categories until 6 a.m. EST, on Monday February 28. Each correct answer counts as one point, same as the others:

Hottest Actor in a Tuxedo, Male or Female

Most Ridiculous Outfit, Male or Female: “outfit” can mean accessories – headgear, weird bling, idiotic neckwear – OR the whole ensemble (the all time Gold Standards for this category are Bjork’s Swan Dress and pretty much anything Cher wore in the entire 20th century.)

Most Extraneous Joke, Anecdote, or Production Number: Explain your answer. Seriously, I’m dying to read it.

The rules are the same as last time:

1. Copy the ballot, and erase all nominees except your choice. Send it to my email address no later than 5:00 p.m. EST on February 28. You are all welcome to invite any friends or loved ones you can vouch for, as long as they understand there’s no real prize up for grabs here. I figure by only including those of you who have my email address and/or those whose answers you are willing to forward, we can prevent weird surfers from crashing our party.

2. Each correct vote counts as one point – in other words, “Best Sound Mixing” is as heavily weighted as “Best Direction.” The tech people work hard, too.

3. No pestering me for results – I’ll do my best to tabulate the answers by the end of that week.

4. In the event of a tie, well – there’ll be a tie. Both winners will receive bragging rights until we all get tired of hearing about it, along with my choice of whatever I may have lying around the next time I see you.

The ABC oscar.go site also has a clever version that allows you to click on your vote, but you have to join them as a member, choose a password,  and link the whole megillah to some social networking site that does not include WordPress or maryjblog, and none of this effort makes OUR pool any easier. So enjoy the new technology if you like, but here we are rocking it somewhat old school.