You know what? 2016 has been such a crazy year that I hadn’t even noticed that it was December and the Academy still hadn’t announced who would be hosting next year’s Oscar telecast!
Well, they finally announced their pick earlier today. With the exception of that time that Eddie Murphy accepted the job and then withdrew, has the Academy ever waited this long to name a host? I have no idea and, to be honest, I really don’t care enough to look it up.
Anyway, your host will be…
Personally, I’m happy. I like Jimmy Kimmel and I was kind of worried that the Academy would pick someone like the painfully overrated Stephen Colbert.
That said, I’ve always thought that Jon Stewart did a petty good job when he hosted the show and I wouldn’t have minded him returning, on the condition that he shave off that hideous beard.
Speaking of hideous beards, let’s hope that it’s a clean-shaven Jimmy who shows up for the telecast next February!
I have to admit that, when I first looked at the just-released Phoenix Film Critics Nominations for 2014, I got really excited. I saw The LEGO Movie listed among the nominees for best picture and I thought to myself, “Oh my God! Could The LEGO Movie be set to be the fourth animated film to score a best picture nomination from the Academy!?”
Seriously, my inner movie trivia lover was so excited!
Then, of course, I remembered that critical recognition doesn’t necessarily translate into Oscar nominations. And I was forced to admit that The LEGO Movie probably will not be nominated for best picture, though it definitely remains a front runner for best animated feature.
But, for a few moments there, I was truly an excited Oscar watcher.
Anyway, here are the Phoenix Film Critics Nominations!
Have you ever wanted to see Jon Stewart get stabbed in the eye with a hypodermic needle?
If you answered yes, then 1998’s The Faculty might be the film for you!
The Faculty takes a look at what happens when a new alien species happens to turn up outside of a painfully normal high school in Ohio. By painfully normal, I mean that Herrington High School is just as messed up as you would expect a suburban high school to be. The teachers are all underpaid and resentful of their principal (Bebe Neuwrith). Prof. Furlong (Jon Stewart) is the overqualified science teacher who will perhaps be a little too excited about the chance to examine a new alien species. Coach Willis (Robert Patrick) is the emotionally shut off coach of the school’s losing football team. Mrs. Olson (Piper Laurie) is the drama teacher who struggles to promote creativity in a school that’s more interested in blind conformity. Miss Burke (Famke Janssen) is the teacher who cares too much. And, finally, there’s Nurse Harper (Salma Hayek), who looks a lot like Salma Hayek.
And, as typical as the teachers may be, the students are even more so. We get to know a few and they all neatly fit into the expected stereotypes. Casey (Elijah Wood) is the nerdy outcast who is regularly picked on by … well, by everyone. Deliliah (Jordana Brewster) is the status-obsessed head cheerleader who has just broken up with her boyfriend, Stan (Shawn Hatosy), because he quit the football team. Zeke (Josh Hartnett) is the school rebel, the kid who is repeating his senior year and who sells synthetic drugs out of the trunk of his car. Stokes (Clea DuVall) is an intentional outcast who pretends to be a lesbian and has a crush on Stan. And finally, there’s Marybeth (Laura Harris), a new transfer student who speaks with a Southern accent.
These students would seem to have nothing in common but they’re going to have to work together because the entire faculty of Herrington High has been taken over by aliens! Fortunately, the aliens are vulnerable to Zeke’s drugs, which is something that is learned after Jon Stewart takes a hypodermic to the eye…
When one looks over the top Texas filmmakers (director like Terrence Malick, Richard Linklater, Mike Judge, and David Gorden Green), Robert Rodriguez often comes across as being both the most likable and the least interesting. Like his frequent collaborator Quentin Tarantino, Rodriguez fills his movies with references and homages to other films but, unlike Tarantino, there rarely seems to be much going on behind all of those references. However, Rodriguez’s referential style works well in The Faculty because, along with acting as an homage to both Invasion of the Body Snatchers and John Carpenter’s The Thing, The Faculty also manages to tap into a universal truth.
Teachers are weird!
Or, at least, they seem weird when you’re a student. Now that I’m out of high school, I can look back and see that my teachers were actually pretty normal. They were people who did their jobs and, as much as I like to think that I was everyone’s all-time favorite, I’m sure that there have been other brilliant, asthmatic, redheaded, aspiring ballerinas who have sat in their class. My teachers spent a lot of time talking about things that I may not have been interested in but that wasn’t because they were obsessed with talking to me about algebra or chemistry or anything like that. They were just doing their job, just like everyone else does.
But, seriously, when you’re a student, it’s easy to believe that your teachers have been possessed by an alien life form.
Probably the best thing about The Faculty is the fact that the aliens cause the teachers to act in ways that are the exact opposite of their usual personalities. For most of the teachers, this means that they turn into homicidal lunatics. But, in the case of Coach Willis, this actually leads to him not only becoming a happy, well-adjusted human being but it also turns him into a good coach. Suddenly, Willis is getting emotional about the games, his team loves him, and he even gets a win!
While I was off celebrating my birthday yesterday and my fellow editors were putting together Lisa Day here on the Shattered Lens (and I have to say — thank you and I love you all!), some really silly and stupid things were going on as far as next year’s Oscar ceremony is concerned. Basically, to recap, notoriously bad director Brett Ratner was hired to produce the upcoming Oscar telecast because — well, I’m not sure why. I mean, doesn’t Brett Ratner kinda represent everything about the film industry that the Academy usually tried to pretend doesn’t exist? Anyway, Ratner convinced Eddie Murphy to host the show. Ratner then apparently commented that “rehearsing is for fags.” Naturally, this led to a lot of people getting upset, even though none of them were apparently upset by all the sexist and homophobic comments Ratner made before he was hired to produce the ceremony. Ratner then stepped down as producer, which was expected. What wasn’t expected was that Eddie Murphy would follow by stepping down as host.
So, now, Brian Grazer (who is probably about as Hollywood establishment as you can get) is producing the show and looking for a new host. Now, there’s been some speculation that the job might go to Billy Crystal or maybe even Robin Williams (and all I can say to that is “Please God — no!”). Myself, I’m hoping that they surprise us by going with someone totally unexpected — like maybe Joel McHale or the nosy kittens waiting to be fed. Or maybe even me!
So, with all that in mind, who do you think would make the perfect Oscar host? Vote once, vote often.
Don’t get me wrong, I love them both. James Franco was great in 127 Hours and Anne Hathaway starred in the story of my life, Rachel Getting Married. But what exactly about either one of them screams “Oscar host?”
To be honest, Oscar Host has always seemed like a thankless job. Jon Stewart did a pretty good job a few years ago (and it was really cool how he brought Marketa Irglova back out on stage so she could give her speech after winning the award for best original song) but otherwise, is it really a job that anyone wants?
(And, even if Stewart was a great Oscar host, he’s been getting progressively more and more smug, annoying, and self-important ever since.)
Remember when Hugh Jackman hosted and he sang that song that just went on and on and then we all realized that we didn’t really like Hugh Jackman that much in the first place?
And I guess last year it was Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin and … yeah, that was really memorable.
Ellen DeGeneres hosted the Oscars and suddenly, she was a judge on American Idol and did that do anyone any good?
Actually, I think the ideal host would be someone like Jeff Probst, someone who would just smirk after the winner’s announced and ask the other nominees what it felt like to be losers.
Seriously, I’m worried for Franco and Hathaway. I think that perhaps in the future, the role of Oscar host should be reserved for people who are already generally acknowledged as being annoying. That way, at least, nobody will shed any tears when the Oscar Host Curse kicks in.
If you follow me on twitter then you can probably guess what I consider to be “the best freakin’ commercial ever.” It premiered (in its full form) during the last Super Bowl and it made me smile whenever I saw it on come on TV. It was a commercial that I loved so much that it took me a few times to realize it was actually selling something (a car, in this instance). Up until then, I just thought the commercial was a showcase for Sockmonkey and his friend, the freaky little red thing.
I’m speaking, of course, of the Kia Sorrento “How You Like Me Now” ad campaign.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying you should buy a Kia and this commercial left me with absolutely no desire to trade in my beloved Chrysler Sebring convertible but it did inspire me to order sockmonkeys for myself, my older sister Erin, and my niece Shannon.
As great as the song (How You Like Me Now, performed by Heavy) is and as much charisma as that little red monster thingee displays, Sockmonkey really is the star of the commercial. Seriously, I might actually watch the Daily Show if they fired smug, aging badly, oddly devoted to Stephen Colbert, old Jon Stewart and replaced him with tattooed, fast-driving, water-skiing, mad dancing, fast driving Sockmonkey.
(Yes, I said fast driving twice! Because that monkey really drives fast! And, uhmm, not because — as some people claim — I have a five-second attention span…)
The last time I saw this commercial, my friend Jeff commented, “I bet that monkey gets a lot of tail.”
“Silly!” I replied, “He’s already got a tail!”
Later, I realized I may have misunderstood his meaning.