Sunday, February 24, 2008


Sad that you didn't get to spend Oscar night at the Ol' Bait Shop? Well, thanks to the magical interconnected tubes of the Internet, you can enjoy the Academy Awards with me...VIRTUALLY!!!!!

Please note: since I'm watching via the magic of TiVo, the times listed herein will be approximate, as opposed to, y'know, when they actually happened. (P.S.: Blanca's desk? Long story.)

6:20-ish PM: Ryan Seacrest interviews a considerably more likeable Ryan, namely Amy, a.k.a. The Wire's "Beadie" Russel, a seemingly down-to-earth working actress who's clearly digging the whole glamorous Oscar experience in a totally unjaded, very charming way that makes her seem like some old friend from college who somehow wound up on the red carpet. She's working on some movie where Clint Eastwood taught her to throw a fake movie punch and Ryan asks her to demonstrate. Sadly, she doesn't ACTUALLY punch him. Meanwhile, Amy (my lovely Polish bride) and Dori, her lovely mother, weigh in on Ryan's outfit: thumbs down. I feel the brown-lapelled tux would look better with a fez and, possibly, a hookah.

6:35-ish: Kristen Chenoweth: one hot Republican.

6:42-ish: It's raining on the Oscars!

Flashback: Saturday afternoon, the Independent Spirit Awards. Rainn Wilson funny, but trying way too hard. Awkward moment: Angelina Jolie graciously accepting applause for her nomination in the saintly role of Daniel Pearl's saintly widow in A Mighty Heart, then finding herself reduced to a tight, brittle All About Eve smile as young whippersnapper Ellen Page wins for Juno.

6:51-ish: Ruby Dee! Damn!

6:59-ish: What, exactly, is the deal with John Travolta's hair? Amy notes that it seems painted on, as with a ventrioloquist's dummy.

7:03-ish: Amy is disappointed by the lack of train wreck fashion. But Tilda Swinton has yet to appear.

7:11-ish: Finally, a truly hideous dress appears on the wife of Daniel Day Lewis, but Amy says it doesn't count because non-famous movie star spouses get a free pass.

7:16-ish: Woo-hoo! Ask for train wreck and you shall receive: Gary Busey appears out of nowhere and accosts Ryan Seacrest, then kisses an extremely unnerved Laura Linney and tackles a downright frightened Jennifer Garner in a passionate bear hug. Security is, presumably, summoned.

7:23-ish: Ryan Seacrest praises Miley Cyrus for creating such a wonderful brand. Y'know, as opposed to music. Dori and Amy give four thumbs up to the ever-stylish Helen Mirren.

7:36-ish: Tilda Swinton does not disappoint.

7:40-ish: Marion Cotillard tells Ryan Seacrest she's having a eunuch time. Amy and Dori inform me "eunuch" is French for "unique".

7:52-ish: Nice hat, Spike.

7:53-ish: Zelwegger, picking at her hair self-consciously. Oh, Bridget Jones, will you never win? Meanwhile, Katherine Heigl is gorgeous, but looks like she got punched in the face.

7:58-ish: Cate Blanchett, purple gown, silver sparkles. I say: Sorcerer's Apprentice. Amy and Dori say: at least it's not red. (Actually, they like it a lot.)

8:01: Philbin!

8:18-ish: Regis Philbin interviews THE WORLD'S OLDEST RED CARPET BLEACHER FAN! "So what year did you first come here to watch the stars on the red carpet?" Regis asks. The WORLD'S OLDEST RED CARPET BLEACHER FAN says she's been attending the Oscars since...1986. Regis is visibly underwhelmed.

8:32-ish: CGI opening sequence. Amy's verdict: LAME!

8:33-ish: Scab Jon Stewart makes jokes about the Writer's Guild strike. No one seems to mind. All is apparently forgiven.

8:36-ish: First Javier Bardem hair joke.

8:37-ish: Funny joke about how Norbit sucked.

8:41-ish: Another black joke...quick, cut to Spike Lee!

8:44-ish: First award -- costume design. Elizabeth, The Golden Age wins. I'm already trailing in the Oscar pool. Amy & Dori agree the winning costume designer (Alexandra Byrne) really doesn't have the back for that backless dress.

8:46-ish: Mmmmm, Clooney. I'd tap that.

8:50-ish: First montage -- classic clips from old Oscar broadcasts. You know what? I loves me some Oscar montages.

8:54-ish: They show scenes from all the nominated animated movies instead of rushing through, as if everybody watching didn't really want to be watching and wanted to get through the show as quickly as possible! They even show scenes from the movies nominated for best make-up! Apparently, somebody finally told the Oscar producers people who watch the Oscars actually ENJOY watching the Oscars! Otherwise, y'know...we'd just read who won in the paper tomorrow. Well done, Oscar producers!

8:59-ish: Hey! Amy Adams is just STANDING there singing "Happy Working Song!" Where the hell are the animated cockroaches? Booooo, Oscar producers!

9:07-ish: Awww, the special effects guys from The Golden Compass are adorable. I'm glad they won, even though I'm sucking ass in my Oscar pool.

9:12-ish: Sure, Vanessa Paradis is beautiful and married to Johnny Depp...but she's still got make-up on her teeth. Hah-hah!!!!

9:18-ish: Holy shit! Who would've thought Javier Bardem would win Best Supporting Actor?!!?? Oh, right...everyone. Cute Spanish shout-out to his mother, plus Javier Bardem hair joke #2.

9:22-ish: Funny faux montages!!!

9:25-ish: Wait...a dozen black people at the Oscars? Oh...right. Gospel choir.

9:40-ish: Oh...uh...huh? Swinton? Okay, I can live with that. Excellent speech, terrible dress is the consensus here on Hooker Avenue.

9:46-ish: And this year, the geeks down at the Sunset Boulevard Denny's two weeks ago for the Scientific Technical Awards won...Jessica Alba!

9:51-ish: Funny accountants!

9:54-ish: Miley Cyrus...I LOVE that brand!

9:56-ish: I mentioned how I'm married, right? To a woman? In case, you know, you're an eligible gay bachelor wondering if I'm single. Because I am, in fact, taken and not, in fact, gay. I mention this to avoid any confusion before saying how much I just love, love, loved that production number from Enchanted!

10:00-ish: Totally digging the Seth Rogen/fat Suberbad guy routine. See? Straight.

10:15-ish: Marion Cotillard guarantees herself a spot in the next several decades of montages for her adorabley excited acceptance speech about how "there really are angels in this city!" Of course, it's L.A., so there aren't, but it's still a line you're going to hear about a hundred more times. And even though I didn't see La Vie En Rose, it seems like that poor actress went through hell playing Edith Piaf, so tres bien for her!

10:18-ish: Colin Farrell warns us about a slippery spot on the stage. Amy on Colin Farrell: "He looks like a pubic hair."

10:20-ish: The song they sing from "Once" is much better than the song from "Once" they sang on the Independent Spirit Awards.

10:28-ish: Roderick Jaynes is nominated for best editing, and they post a picture of what I can only assume is some 18th-century haberdasher. Heh-heh-heh.

10:41-ish: Dad calls. He thinks the fix was in on that whole Tilda Swinton thing. Maybe some kinda Vegas swindle: "Amy Ryan was robbed! Tilda Swinton...she just said words!" Aaah, Oscar controversy!

10:47-ish: Best Foreign Language film. As per tradition, Austria kicks Poland's ass.

10:50-ish: I don't know who this dude is singing the latest song from Enchanted, but I sure will be happy when he stops.

10:53-ish: John Travolta slips on that slippery spot on the stage Colin Farrell warned us about.

10:54-ish: The loveable buskers Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova win best song against all odds. Then, as Amy points out, Marketa is drowned out by an orchestral version of her own song, shooing her off the stage while she tries to say thanks. Ah, irony.

11:01-ish: BUT THEN!!!!! Jon Stewart brings Marketa back onstage after the break to say thank you, and she's adoreable. But she rambles a bit. Amy worries the orchestra will drown her out again. But still...awwwwwww!

11:08-ish: So...I guess Roy Scheider missed the cut, chronologically, but no Brad Renfro in the memorial montage? I mean, he didn't have Heath Ledger's career, but still...ouch.

11:14-ish: Servicemen in Iraq presenting the award for best documentary short: very cool.

11:26-ish: Diablo!

11:35-ish: Insert milkshake joke here.

11:50-ish: And...COENS!

Good! Very nice! We approve! Just about everything you want in an Academy Awards ceremony: funny jokes, pretty people, a variety of really good films honored, the uniting power of art, some thanks to mothers and fathers, plus it's not even midnight yet!

So, you know what? I'D like to thank the Academy, for another year of movies.

And now...sleep.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

NEARLY "LOST" ME by special guest blogger Amy Jeglinski-Osborne (with additional bitching by Andrew Osborne)

Yes, the fourth season of "Lost" is now being broadcast, and I for one, am a card-carrying Lostie. From the very inception of the series, premiering back in September of 2004, I have been intrigued by the plight of the Oceanic Flight 815 survivors: conflicted spinal surgeon Jack Shephard, spunky fugitive Kate Austen, tortured torturer, Sayid Jarah, wise-ass con man, James "Sawyer" Ford, cursed clown, Hugo "Hurley" Reyes, and my personal favorite, peculiar vigilante, John Locke, to name a few. The show really packed a wallop and stirred a large, loyal fan-base from the very beginning. Combining compelling characters, stirring story-lines, a touch of the paranormal, adventure, romance, humor, and a consistently kick-ass soundtrack, along with enough twists and turns in each individual episode to satisfy even the most circumspect philosophy freak and conspiracy buff...what's not to love?

Well, I guess any show that is so immensely ambitious and complicated, featuring an ever-growing (and perishing) roster of characters, all with their own intersecting storylines, told in the present, past and future (with flash-backs and now flash-forwards), is bound to be intriguing, but also occasionally annoying and puzzling.

So now, at the risk of upsetting the diehard Losties, here is my list of things about the show that almost "lost" me:

- Charlie Pace's insipid and unnecessary death. I know it was Desmond's 'prophecy' that Charlie drowns in order to be the sacrificial lamb and free the remaining survivors, but he easily could have communicated with Penelope in the sub-station and opened the door to flee with Desmond without buying it. Why kill off such a beloved character? I think all the Lord of the Rings sequels have concluded filming, right? Or did Dominic Monaghan get a recent DUI?

- The NUMBERS! What the hell happened to the freakin’ NUMBERS? They appeared to be so crucial in launching story lines in the first and second seasons...and now? Well, apparently we've moved on to Jacob's ghost shack and the the Boaties and Tall Ghost, according to some interview I vaguely remember hearing with series creators Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse, if you want to find out what the Numbers mean, you can go play the stupid internet game for 70 hours, ‘cuz, y’know, apparently completing the story they started on the actual show you were watching isn’t really their job.

- And speaking of the, uh, Desmond spends years entering the damn Numbers on the Radio Shack computer in the Hatch, then the Losties take over, allowing Desmond to run away and finally, FINALLY stop the maddening task of entering the Numbers every 108 minutes (I mean, really, how much would that suck?). Then Desmond comes back, and does still yet more Number entering. Then, finally, Locke decides NOT to enter the Numbers, and all hell breaks loose. Until Desmond turns the whole thing off with, uh, the key he’s had all, uh, he didn’t really have to stay in the Hatch and enter the Numbers all that time after all. But, on the other hand, he did get to enjoy all those cool Mama Cass albums.

- Why is Hurley getting fatter and everyone else, not so much? I know they had mayonnaise in the Dharma hatch but, come on! Constantly running from warthogs, smoke monsters, Others and now woebegone spirit Jacob has gotta burn a few calories! I think Jorge Garcia has actually gained weight from the beginning of the show. He needs to get in contact with Robert DeNiro or Christian Bales' trainer, pronto!

- What happened to the Others? Where the hell did they go? Have they given up trying to figure out what’s going on, too? Are they on the other side of the beach, competing against the Fans on Survivor: Wherever The Hell? And are the mysterious powers of the Island responsible for Nestor Carbonell’s magical eyeliner?

- The body hair issue. How do all the menfolk shave? I don't see any "Future Jack" beards on the fellas, especially smooth-as-a-baby’s-ass, Jin? And how does Locke keep his dome so shiny and moisturized? Also, the ladies of Lost would all have ape-like legs and tufts under their pits by now, for sure. Is the smoke monster actually a giant, sentient tube of Nair?

- And do they really have enough Dharma sunscreen to make all these people appear dewy and fresh? You'd think at least pasty Brit, Charlie, or pale blond Claire would get killer sunburn at some point.

- Claire, no baby-weight gain? Really? I think Hurley gained all the weight that she lost. And speaking of weight-gain, Sun should be getting Mommy boobs and her pregnancy chin by now.

- So, how DID "Tall Ghost Walt" age four years when the rest of the Losties have only been there for, what, a few months?

-And why does Ghost Charlie have no accent and brown hair in the afterlife?

- NO MORE JACK FLASHBACKS, PLEASE! I am so sick of hearing about this noble sap. I know, you have father issues, sorry to hear it, but join the friggin' club! Every damn person on this island has a father issue, that's what bonds them all together...well, that and their uncanny ability to not grow hair on their bodies or gain weight (Hurley excluded). Also, no more episodes involving Jack’s 'mysterious' tattoos and please, for the love of Christ, no more Bai Ling ever.

- I miss Libby. She had a pretty good storyline, and it was nice to see Hurley develop a love interest, but I guess since Cynthia Watros had a DUI, she has officially been axed from the show. I was hoping she would make a 'Brunette Ghost Libby' appearance soon...maybe getting her ass handed to her in a "Connect Four" game with Hurley?

- Why would Rose be so anxious to leave the island with Jack when her cancer disappeared on the island, a la Locke’s paralyzed legs? I know she thinks Locke is bat-shit crazy, but you'd think she'd bond with him a bit more. Plus, she digs old white guys, right?

- Does Ben speak French? How did he bag Rousseau? I'd like to see him get in a tizzy and say something smarmy and manipulative in his crazy-ass Ben Linus way with subtitles so nobody would understand. Trés amusant!

- The gargantuan big-toed statue? Will we ever revisit this? And does it hold any meaning whatsoever? Or has it been forgotten like “4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42”?

- Will Desmond's psychic abilities help them figure out how the hell they are going to get off the island and when? Or who the fuck Jacob is, or ANY ANSWERS WHATSOEVER? His psychic skills seem limited to dramatic obits only.

- And finally, will we EVER find out what happened to Roddy Macdowell, Ike Eisenmann and Jared Martin? (Suck on THAT obtuse reference, Losties!)

Anyway, regardless of my bitchin’, this really is my favorite dramatic series. I am forever looking forward to every episode and love that ragtag group of castaways and I am rooting for every last one of them to survive their journey in one piece.


(And for more of Amy's rants and reviews, please to check out her semi-regular columns over on Shuffleboil...and it's never too late to catch up with the weekly pulp fiction of Test Drive over there, neither!)