Orlando's picture

    2009 Oscar Predictions: Best Actor

    The big night is just a week away, so it's time to get serious. The Best Picture nominees are covered here. For the rest of this week, I'm going to do my level best to post my predictions for the other major categories.

    For Best Actor, the nominees are:

    DF's picture

    Hank Crawford and Hip-Hop

    On January 29th, Bennie Ross "Hank" Crawford, Jr., passed away.  Though he left his mark on music in a very direct way, both through his own recordings and compositions and through working with legends like Ray Charles, Etta James, Lou Rawls and B.B. King, Crawford's musical legacy extends into the realm of hip-hop as well.

    Deadman's picture

    The ashes of the Phoenix ...

    I have really little to add here, but this may be one of the most uncomfortable celebrity interviews I've ever seen. This guy is clearly fruit loops.

    Orlando's picture

    Around the World in 80 Songs: Papua New Guinea

    It’s not surprising that few acts out of Papua New Guinea have found international recognition. The country is largely rural and connections are made difficult by the mountains and rainforests. Television is only readily available in the capital of Port Moresby and most of PNG is connected to the outside world only through government radio.

    Deadman's picture

    The Daily Buzz for 2/9/09: (Obama, Gaza, Octuplets, Grammies, Tiger)

    OK, I don't know how many people actually listened to my first attempt at the Daily Buzz, but two people commented they liked it (with reservations), and that's all the encouragement the vain Deadman needed to continue the process.

    Orlando's picture

    2009 Oscar Predictions: Best Picture

    The big night is almost here and everyone is wondering: Will they go ridiculously overboard in stimulating the economy or will the show be more circumspect in an acknowledgement that average America isn't buying up Harry Winston diamonds like we used to?

    I'll leave these important questions to others while I go out on a (short) limb and make some predictions, starting with Best Picture. I'll do my best to get to the other categories as well, but that leaves me with 8 movies to see in two weeks, so no promises.

    Deadman's picture

    The Daily Buzz (An Experiment in Multimedia)

    Ok, so I am totally going to risk extreme personal embarrassment by doing this, but I decided to experiment with a little video rundown of some of the day's top stories as indicated by Yahoo Buzz!, which is a Digg-like service at http://buzz.yahoo.com. I basically put on my Unabomber/Deadman outfit, recap the top articles that interested me, and throw in a little commentary for good measure.

    Orlando's picture

    Around the World in 80 Songs: Turkey

    Currently, sitting atop the Turkish Pop Chart is a singer called Murat Dalkilic, singing Kasaba.

    Orlando's picture

    Review: Rachel Getting Married

    In the film Rachel Getting Married, Anne Hathaway plays Kym, a young woman fresh from another stint in rehab who returns home just in time for her sister Rachel's wedding. Kym, accustomed to being the center of attention, struggles to integrate into her suddenly extended family of in-laws, bridal party, and old family friends.

    Orlando's picture

    Around the World in 80 Songs: Kenya


    I’m not quite ready to let the inauguration of President Barack Obama be in the past, so this week, I’ve been looking into the music of Kenya, home of Obama’s father.

    First up: Ken wa Maria, headliner of the Yatta Orchestra International Band, a popular Kamba act. wa Maria seems to be a bit larger than life, attracting as much attention for his controversial lyrics and his will-he-or-won’t-he-run political ambitions as for his music.

    Orlando's picture

    Around the World in 80 Songs: American Patriots Love Music Too


    In honor of the 44th President, this week I went looking for some songs about the good ole US of A. There’s actually a current ranking of patriotic songs, which I must admit seems a little bizarre. But people listen to the nose flute, so who am I to judge?

    Deadman's picture

    Questions: Bringing the Funny

    So earlier this week, we discovered that several daggers - perhaps even a majority - do not believe Curb Your Enthusiasm is funny. One of my co-bloggers was perhaps the most strident of the Curb-haters, calling the show 'an atrocity' and Larry David the 'least funny on-screen performer ever given a screen on which to perform.' This made Mortimus mad, and trust me, you won't like Mortimus when he's angry (I've put the big green guy on tilt at poker several times and barely survived to tell the tale).

    Orlando's picture

    Around the World in 80 Songs: Czech Republic

    Our resident Czech, Codegen86, tells me that I should spend several weeks sampling Czech music before reaching any sort of general conclusion, and I think he is probably right. But I just don't have that kind of time! I've at least been able to identify what I would consider three different broad categories of modern Czech music, though I'm sure I'm leaving many out.

    Prophet's picture

    Crazy Eye Donation

    It's good to see Krazee-Eyez Killa branching out.  Maybe you've seen his subway ads for the Eye Bank of New York.

    What's next Michael Chiklis for the Hair Club for Men?

    Deadman's picture

    MOFT: Episode 5 (Californication)

    I don't think 2008 was a very good year for pop culture.

    The Hollywood writers' strike seemed to have lingering effects, delaying the return of some of my favorite TV shows past the point of anticipation all the way to indifference. Probably can't blame the strike, but most of the year for movies was also generally a disaster, with the summer slate being a particular disappointment (I was even let down by The Dark Knight).

    Orlando's picture

    Around the World in 80 Songs: Brazil

    My New Year’s resolution for 2009 is to keep myself entertained. And, I ask you, what could be more entertaining than launching a worldwide exploration of music together? We’ll be starting our tour in South America—specifically Brazil, because I have a special place in my heart for all things Brazilian.

    Befitting such a large and geographically diverse country, the musical styles of Brazil run the gamut from Bossa Nova to Rap to Metal. But my favorite style, not just of Brazil, but of any music anywhere, is Samba.

    Michael Wolraich's picture

    Film Review: The Wrestler - Hulk Hogan in Shades of Blue

    In American cinematic tradition, The Aging Warrior, usually played by Sylvester Stallone, returns to the arena for one last heroic battle against The Arrogant Challenger, defying expectations and muscular degeneration to prove that he's The World Champion For Eternity. The Wrestler, a moving, melancholy character study about a fictional pro-wrestler of a certain age, is not one of those films. There is no epic battle between Aging Warrior and Arrogant Challenger. There is no Arrogant Challenger, period.

    Deadman's picture

    Questions: The Happening Edition

    Just got done watching The Happening, written, directed and produced by M. Night Shyamalan, and felt the need to do a question column on it. Yes, they are mostly rhetorical.

    1) The

    2) Absolute

    3) Worst

    4) Major

    5) Motion

    6) Picture

    7) In the

    8) History of

    9) American

    10) Filmmaking

    Orlando's picture

    Review: Doubt is Without Question the Best Movie I Saw in 2008


    It seems somewhat unnecessary to rave about a Meryl Streep performance. Ditto with Philip Seymour Hoffman. But in Doubt, they’ve both turned in flawless performances that left me with my jaw on the floor. The two screen giants are joined by Amy Adams. I’ve never seen Adams in a dramatic role before and I was impressed. In Doubt she more than holds her own.

    Prophet's picture

    Top Ten Albums of '08 - Numbers 3, 2 and 1

    Let's get right to it...  Before the new year (mercifully) rings in.

    (you'll have to click through for numero uno...)

    3.  Fleet Foxes: Fleet Foxes


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