Monthly Archives: February 2008

LOSTWATCH!! – “Why does he think it’s 1996?”

We catch up with Desmond and Sayid tonight, who have been flying around the Pacific for two weeks looking for the boaties’ freighter. On their way, a wicked storm brews up. With lightning flashing all around them, Captain Ron figures the safe thing to do is to “ride the snake, man” all the way to the boat. He’s wrong though. There’s a flash of lightning, and Desmond quantum leaps eight years in the past, during his stint with the Royal Scots. When he leaps back, he’s lost all memory of where and who he is. Although he still remembers who he is. Captain Ron is barely able to wrestle the helicopter back onto the freighter’s helipad. They’re met by the guy from Smokin’ Aces, who gets Desmond to stop screaming long enough to convince him that he needs to be locked in the sickbay. During all this, Desmond keeps leaping back to his army days. His bush-league behavior is really pissing off the sarge, who asks Desmond what his major malfunction is.

On the island, Jack and Juliette pay a visit to Daniel and Charlotte. Jack, out of breath, demands to know why they haven’t heard from Sayid and Desmond, who’ve been gone, like, forever. Daniel and Charlotte exchange awkward glances. Daniel kicks some sand around, then alludes cryptically to some… thing, that may or may not be coming to kill them all. Charlotte is all, like, “Shhhh!” and Daniel tells her not to boss him. He tells Jack that the way people experience time on the island may not be the way people experience time off the island. He says that if Cap’n Ron didn’t follow the exact bearing out that they flew in on, the people on the helicopter could suffer “horrible side effects,” but that he shouldn’t worry about all the secrets they’re keeping. I mean, look at this island. Beautiful, right? Why worry about anything? Jack and Juliette agree, then go off and enjoy each other’s company somewhere.

Sayid and Desmond, on the other hand, aren’t happy to take all this sitting down. Sayid gets Captain Ron to lend him his iPhone under penalty of torture and calls Faraday on the island. After Desmond explains his time jumps, Daniel tells him to travel to Oxford University and find his younger self, who will be able to help somehow. Desmond instead travels to Hogwarts, but finds Daniel anyway. He introduces himself as a visitor from the World of Tomorrow! Daniel doesn’t believe a word of it and storms off, telling Desmond, “Beat it kid. I’m working here.” Desmond expected as much, and so tells past-Daniel a personal story future-Daniel said to use if his past-self didn’t believe him. Daniel was hanging a clock over his toilet. He slipped, hit his head on the sink, and when he woke up drew the first plans for the flux capacitor, which is what makes time travel possible. Daniel is stunned, and quickly agrees to help Desmond get his parents back together at the Enchantment Under the Sea Dance.

Faraday takes Desmond to his office and shows him a time machine he’s built out of an industrial blow-dryer. He says that he hasn’t actually sent anything back through time yet, but that PETA is bringing him up on ethics charges. Although his time machine doesn’t really work, he had a feeling that if it did, there’s a teensy possibility that Desmond could die if he travels back and forth too much. To prevent spontaneous death, Desmond needs a “constant”, something familiar in the past and the future that will anchor him down, whatever that means. It’s Lost, and even though it doesn’t always make sense we love it and will follow it straight into the gaping jaws of Hell, so we’ll forgive it it’s flaws.

Desmond realizes the only thing familiar to him in both the past and the future is Penny. In the past, Penny is still hurting from their break-up and Desmond has to go into stalker-mode trying to track her down. He finds her father at an auction, bidding on the diary from one of the officers of the Black Pearl Rock. He gives Desmond Penny’s new address and doesn’t even act like a dick or anything. No one’s paying attention to any of this because we’re all talking about the Black Rock. When Desmond finally finds Penny, she ain’t having none of that and almost slams the door in his face. Desmond begs her for her phone number, saying that he’ll call her in exactly eight years. Penny finally gives it to him, but the emotion is just too much for her.

Back on the freighter, Bobcat Goldthwait, the ship’s communications officer and another leaper, has also been trapped in sickbay. He convinces Desmond and Sayid to untie him before they make their escape. They’ll find the captain, steal his hat, and whomp him good! Sayid says he’d rather go the communications room. Bobcat says it’s all good in the hood, as long as he’s untied. They make it to the communications room just in time for Bobcat to die. Sayid can’t be bothered with any of that though. The ship’s radio system is all busted to Hell and he’s busy jerry-rigging a phone from tin cans and coconuts. It all works somehow and Desmond is able to call Penny, exactly eight years later. Penny tells Desmond that his phone call truly is a Christmas miracle. They tell each other that they’ll never ever let anything separate them, ever. Right before the coconut phone dies, Desmond remembers that he’s stuck on Mystery Island in the fifth dimension and if his chronic time-traveling doesn’t kill him, some other crazy-ass thing probably will. S**t.

On the island, Faraday is looking through an old journal. He flips to an entry that reads, “Find the jade monkey before the next full moon.” Then he flips to another one that says, “If anything go wrong, Desmond Hume will be my constant.” It’s possible that this is some veiled homosexual reference. It’s all a rich tapestry, and we’ll be on the edge of our seats until next week’s episode, and next week’s LOSTWATCH!!.

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I’m f**king Ben Affleck: Best. Video. Ever.

It’s hard to express in words how funny this video is.

And the Oscar goes to…

I got took in the office Oscar pool, but it’s okay. I’m only out two thousand dollars. Tonight was all about Javier Bardem and Daniel Day-Lewis, so I’m going to bed a happy man. Here are this year’s winners…

BEST PICTURE
“Atonement” (Focus Features)
A Working Title Production
Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner and Paul Webster, Producers
“Juno” (Fox Searchlight)
A Dancing Elk Pictures, LLC Production
Lianne Halfon, Mason Novick and Russell Smith, Producers
“Michael Clayton” (Warner Bros.)
A Clayton Productions, LLC Production
Sydney Pollack, Jennifer Fox and Kerry Orent, Producers
WINNER: “No Country for Old Men” (Miramax and Paramount Vantage)
A Scott Rudin/Mike Zoss Production
Scott Rudin, Ethan Coen and Joel Coen, Producers

“There Will Be Blood” (Paramount Vantage and Miramax)
A JoAnne Sellar/Ghoulardi Film Company Production
JoAnne Sellar, Paul Thomas Anderson and Daniel Lupi, Producers

DIRECTOR
Paul Thomas Anderson – “There Will Be Blood”
WINNER: Ethan Coen & Joel Coen – “No Country For Old Men”
Tony Gilroy – “Michael Clayton”
Jason Reitman – “Juno”
Julian Schnabel – “The Diving Bell And The Butterfly”

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
George Clooney in “Michael Clayton” (Warner Bros.)
WINNER: Daniel Day-Lewis in “There Will Be Blood” (Paramount Vantage and Miramax)
Johnny Depp in “Sweeney Todd The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” (DreamWorks and Warner Bros.,
Distributed by DreamWorks/Paramount)
Tommy Lee Jones in “In the Valley of Elah” (Warner Independent)
Viggo Mortensen in “Eastern Promises” (Focus Features)

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE
Cate Blanchett in “Elizabeth: The Golden Age” (Universal)
Julie Christie in “Away from Her” (Lionsgate)
WINNER: Marion Cotillard in “La Vie en Rose” (Picturehouse)
Laura Linney in “The Savages” (Fox Searchlight)
Ellen Page in “Juno” (Fox Searchlight)

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Cate Blanchett in “I’m Not There” (The Weinstein Company)
Ruby Dee in “American Gangster” (Universal)
Saoirse Ronan in “Atonement” (Focus Features)
Amy Ryan in “Gone Baby Gone” (Miramax)
WINNER: Tilda Swinton in “Michael Clayton” (Warner Bros.)

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Casey Affleck in “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford” (Warner Bros.)
WINNER: Javier Bardem in “No Country for Old Men” (Miramax and Paramount Vantage)
Hal Holbrook in “Into the Wild” (Paramount Vantage and River Road Entertainment)
Philip Seymour Hoffman in “Charlie Wilson’s War” (Universal)
Tom Wilkinson in “Michael Clayton” (Warner Bros.)

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Brad Bird – “Ratatouille”
WINNER: Diablo Cody – “Juno”
Tony Gilroy – “Michael Clayton”
Tamara Jenkins – “The Savages”
Nancy Oliver – “Lars and the Real Girl”

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Paul Thomas Anderson – “There Will Be Blood”
WINNER: Ethan & Joel Coen – “No Country for Old Men”
Christopher Hampton – “Atonement”
Ronald Harwood – “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly”
Sarah Polley – “Away from Her”

COSTUME DESIGN
“Across the Universe” (Sony Pictures Releasing) Albert Wolsky
“Atonement” (Focus Features) Jacqueline Durran
WINNER: “Elizabeth: The Golden Age” (Universal) Alexandra Byrne
“La Vie en Rose” (Picturehouse) Marit Allen
“Sweeney Todd The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” (DreamWorks and Warner Bros., Distributed by DreamWorks/Paramount)

ANIMATED FEATURE
“Persepolis” – (Sony Pictures Classics) Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud
WINNER: “Ratatouille” – (Pixar; Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Distribution) Brad Bird
“Surf’s Up” – (Sony Pictures Releasing) Ash Brannon and Chris Buck

MAKEUP
WINNER: “La Vie en Rose” (Picturehouse) Didier Lavergne and Jan Archibald
“Norbit” (DreamWorks, Distributed by Paramount) Rick Baker and Kazuhiro Tsuji
“Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” (Walt Disney) Ve Neill and Martin Samuel

VISUAL EFFECTS
WINNER:”The Golden Compass” (New Line in association with Ingenious Film Partners) Michael Fink, Bill Westenhofer, Ben Morris and Trevor Wood
“Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” (Walt Disney) John Knoll, Hal Hickel, Charles Gibson and John Frazier
“Transformers” (DreamWorks and Paramount in association with Hasbro) Scott Farrar, Scott Benza, Russell Earl and John Frazier

ART DIRECTION
“American Gangster” (Universal) Art Direction: Arthur Max; Set Decoration: Beth A. Rubino
“Atonement” (Focus Features) Art Direction: Sarah Greenwood; Set Decoration: Katie Spencer
“The Golden Compass” (New Line in association with Ingenious Film Partners) Art Direction: Dennis Gassner; Set Decoration: Anna Pinnock
WINNER:”Sweeney Todd The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” (DreamWorks and Warner Bros., Distributed by DreamWorks/Paramount) Art Direction: Dante Ferretti; Set Decoration: Francesca Lo Schiavo
“There Will Be Blood” (Paramount Vantage and Miramax) Art Direction: Jack Fisk; Set Decoration: Jim Erickson

LIVE-ACTION SHORT FILM
“At Night” A Zentropa Entertainments 10 Production; Christian E. Christiansen and Louise Vesth
“Il Supplente (The Substitute)” (Sky Cinema Italia) A Frame by Frame Italia Production; Andrea Jublin
WINNER:”Le Mozart des Pickpockets (The Mozart of Pickpockets)” (Premium Films) A Karé Production; Philippe Pollet-Villard
“Tanghi Argentini” (Premium Films) An Another Dimension of an Idea Production; Guido Thys and Anja Daelemans
“The Tonto Woman” A Knucklehead, Little Mo and Rose Hackney Barber Production; Daniel Barber and Matthew Brown

ANIMATED SHORT FILM
“I Met the Walrus” A Kids & Explosions Production; Josh Raskin
“Madame Tutli-Putli” (National Film Board of Canada) A National Film Board of Canada Production; Chris Lavis and Maciek Szczerbowski
“Même Les Pigeons Vont au Paradis (Even Pigeons Go to Heaven)” (Premium Films) A BUF Compagnie Production; Samuel Tourneux and Simon Vanesse
“My Love (Moya Lyubov)” (Channel One Russia) A Dago-Film Studio, Channel One Russia and Dentsu Tec Production; Alexander Petrov
WINNER:”Peter & the Wolf” (BreakThru Films) A BreakThru Films/Se-ma-for Studios Production

SOUND EDITING
WINNER: “The Bourne Ultimatum” (Universal) Karen Baker Landers and Per Hallberg
“No Country for Old Men” (Miramax and Paramount Vantage) Skip Lievsay
“Ratatouille” (Walt Disney) Randy Thom and Michael Silvers
“There Will Be Blood” (Paramount Vantage and Miramax) Matthew Wood
“Transformers” (DreamWorks and Paramount in association with Hasbro) Ethan Van der Ryn and Mike Hopkins

SOUND MIXING
WINNER: “The Bourne Ultimatum” (Universal) Scott Millan, David Parker and Kirk Francis
“No Country for Old Men” (Miramax and Paramount Vantage) Skip Lievsay, Craig Berkey, Greg Orloff and Peter Kurland
“Ratatouille” (Walt Disney) Randy Thom, Michael Semanick and Doc Kane
“3:10 to Yuma” (Lionsgate) Paul Massey, David Giammarco and Jim Stuebe
“Transformers” (DreamWorks and Paramount in association with Hasbro) Kevin O’Connell, Greg P. Russell and Peter J. Devlin

FILM EDITING
WINNER: “The Bourne Ultimatum” (Universal) Christopher Rouse
“The Diving Bell and the Butterfly” (Miramax/Pathé Renn) Juliette Welfling
“Into the Wild” (Paramount Vantage and River Road Entertainment) Jay Cassidy
“No Country for Old Men” (Miramax and Paramount Vantage) Roderick Jaynes
“There Will Be Blood” (Paramount Vantage and Miramax) Dylan Tichenor

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
“Beaufort” – Israel
WINNER: “The Counterfeiters” – Austria
“Katyn,” – Poland
“Mongol” – Kazakhstan
“12” – Russia

ORIGINAL SONG
WINNER: “Falling Slowly” from “Once” (Fox Searchlight) Music and Lyric by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova
“Happy Working Song” from “Enchanted” (Walt Disney) Music by Alan Menken; Lyric by Stephen Schwartz
“Raise It Up” from “August Rush” (Warner Bros.) Nominees to be determined
“So Close” from “Enchanted” (Walt Disney) Music by Alan Menken; Lyric by Stephen Schwartz
“That’s How You Know” from “Enchanted” (Walt Disney) Music by Alan Menken; Lyric by Stephen Schwartz

CINEMATOGRAPHY
“The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford” (Warner Bros.) Roger Deakins
“Atonement” (Focus Features) Seamus McGarvey
“The Diving Bell and the Butterfly” (Miramax/Pathé Renn) Janusz Kaminski
“No Country for Old Men” (Miramax and Paramount Vantage) Roger Deakins
WINNER:”There Will Be Blood” (Paramount Vantage and Miramax) Robert Elswit

ORIGINAL SCORE
WINNER: “Atonement” (Focus Features) Dario Marianelli
“The Kite Runner” (DreamWorks, Sidney Kimmel Entertainment and Participant Productions, Distributed by Paramount Classics) Alberto Iglesias
“Michael Clayton” (Warner Bros.) James Newton Howard
“Ratatouille” (Walt Disney) Michael Giacchino
“3:10 to Yuma” (Lionsgate) Marco Beltrami

DOCUMENTARY SHORT
WINNER: “Freeheld” A Lieutenant Films Production; Cynthia Wade and Vanessa Roth
“La Corona (The Crown)” A Runaway Films and Vega Films Production; Amanda Micheli and Isabel Vega
“Salim Baba” A Ropa Vieja Films and Paradox Smoke Production; Tim Sternberg and Francisco Bello
“Sari’s Mother” (Cinema Guild) A Daylight Factory Production; James Longley

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
“No End in Sight” (Magnolia Pictures) A Representational Pictures Production; Charles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs
“Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience” (The Documentary Group) A Documentary Group Production; Richard E. Robbins
“Sicko” (Lionsgate and The Weinstein Company) A Dog Eat Dog Films Production; Michael Moore and Meghan O’Hara
WINNER: “Taxi to the Dark Side” (THINKFilm) An X-Ray Production; Alex Gibney and Eva Orner
“War/Dance” (THINKFilm) A Shine Global and Fine Films Production

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LOSTWATCH!! – “Only eight of us survived.”

Tonight’s episode starts off in New Otherton. Locke has thrown in the towel with all his mystical Jacob’s cabin mumbo jumbo and opened up a bed and breakfast. Satisfied with this new direction his life has taken, he makes Ben an omelet. Ben, on the other hand, is none too pleased. He throws John’s omelet against the wall and tells him he wants a ham sammich. John has a few questions about the island, which Ben refuses to answer. Surprisingly, not all of the island’s secrets were revealed tonight.

Later, Kate comes to Locke and asks to see Miles, who Locke has “locke”d up in a chicken coop. Locke tells her that it’s the dawning of a new age and declares himself High Chancellor of New Otherton. But hope is not lost. Kate is able to trick Hurley into revealing where Miles is hidden. Hurley tells Kate that she “Scooby-Doo’ed” him. Not exactly sure what that means, but it sounds sexual.

In tonight’s flash-forward, we see that Kate has finally been called to account for all that stuff she did before the crash. This is where the story gets crazy. In a surprising twist, Kate tells her lawyer that she doesn’t want her son in the courtroom. This begs the question, just who is Kate’s lawyer? Fret not though, because the surprise her lawyer has up his sleeve is better than ten Super Bowls! In a surprising twist, he calls future-Jack to the stand as a character witness. Jack goes on to recount what happened that fateful day in September 2004. Oceanic flight 815 crashed in the ocean? Only eight of them survived? Kate rescued Jack and nursed him back to health? Jack doesn’t love Kate? What is this? All will be explained later, in a surprising twist.

Kate talks to Miles, who says he’ll answer all of her questions if she’ll get him a minute of face time with Ben. Kate agrees, and gets Sawyer to distract Locke with a game Dance Dance Revolution. Miles tells Ben that the people he works for really want to find him. Like, they really REALLY want to find him. Miles is willing to tell them that one Benjamin Linus died if he will agree to give him a million-bajillion dollars. Ben squints through the one eye that isn’t swollen and is like, “Dude, WTF?” but ultimately agrees. Once Locke finds out what Kate has done, he votes her off the island, using his inherit powers as High Chancellor.

Back on the beach, Daniel and Charlotte are playing Three-card Monte. Daniel can’t remember the cards Charlotte has laid down, and this is distressing for some reason. Jack and Juliette come up, and after Jack catches his breath, he asks why he can’t get in touch with anyone on their boat. Charlotte calls an emergency number to ask about Sayid and Desmond. Regina (their confederate on the boat) says they never showed up! Will the craziness ever stop? The show has to end sometime, I guess.

Miles, safely tied back up, is paid a visit by Locke. He’s pretty pissed that there are all these people walking around not answering any of his questions. He shoves a grenade in Miles’ mouth, says “C’est la vie, beetches,” and takes off. Miles mumbles incoherently.

In the future, Kate’s lawyer is able to strike a deal and get her off with only a slap on the wrist, showing the inherent flaws in the US legal system. On her way out of the courthouse she’s met by Jack. He tells her that he loves her, that he’s always loved her, and that she makes him a complete person. Kate’s only interested if Jack can settle down and be a good baby’s daddy. Jack, in typical make fashion, tells Kate that he has this thing he has to go to, but he has her e-mail address, and that he’ll shoot her a line sometime this weekend. Kate gets in a cab and takes off.

On the island, things are getting awesome. Before heading back to the beach, Kate pays a visit to a bare-chested Sawyer, who’s just chillin’, reading a copy of the Kama Sutra he “found lying around”. The rest of the episode? Porno porno porno! It took three years, but it was better than we ever could have imagined. In a deleted scene, Hurley (also shirtless) comes out of the bathroom and says, “Alright let’s do this,” then proceeds to Scooby-Doo them both.

NOW, the kicker. In the future, Kate goes home to her son (who was alluded to earlier). Our first glimpse of him reveals blond hair! Sawyer’s the father! But wait, the baby’s really cute! Jack’s the father! “Hi mommy,” he says, to which Kate replies, “Aaron, you so crazy.”

Bwaah? What happens to Clair?(!) Her impending doom lends credence to the theory that all attractive women on the island die in some way. Or it’s entirely possible she’ll show up in the next episode and tell Kate that she’s sorry her pilates class ran so long. Of course, for answers to our questions, we’ll have to wait another week. I give tonight’s episode an A++. Compelling, and rich.

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cereal

While cereal fifty years ago had such recognizable benefits as “keeping the brain warm” or “staving off the croup”, today’s cereals seem only to be concerned with providing mindless entertainment to a generation of increasingly stupid and increasingly ugly children. We’re all used to seeing games on the back of kids cereal boxes. These got their start during World War 2, when the British government printed pieces of Nazi and Japanese code on jars of Marmite, then challenged patriotic children all over the country to “crack the code!”. Of course, if it weren’t for these programs we’d all be living under the crushing heel of national socialism. The war went away, but the games stayed, slowly transforming over the years into the puzzles and word-jumbles we know today. Take “Sun Fun”, from a box of cereal I recently bought from a Winn-Dixie in Yazoo. Why not? Let’s show kids how much “fun” the “Sun” can be. There’s an exploding thermometer, to remind kids that the Sun is, like, HOT. Like HOT hot. And then a turkey(?)… riding a UFO(?)… into the sun(?)? I understand that on some level it makes sense. Turkeys need to be cooked, so let’s do it inside a star that burns at 27 million degrees. If you’re going to do it, do it up phat. But the turkey is already cooked. And dressed. So why is it riding back into the sun? Fifty years ago, our greatest generation broke the Enigma Code. Kids today know that the sun weighs 300,000 times as much as the Earth, but if it were a clerk in a butcher shop, it would weigh… meat. It sure would.

Let this be a warning, to you.

Blu-Ray swings with a right. What a beautiful swing…

And the punch knocks HD-DVD, clear out of the ring.

It done, and it’s official. This from Toshiba:

TOKYO–Toshiba Corporation today announced that it has undertaken a thorough review of its overall strategy for HD DVD and has decided it will no longer develop, manufacture and market HD DVD players and recorders. This decision has been made following recent major changes in the market. Toshiba will continue, however, to provide full product support and after-sales service for all owners of Toshiba HD DVD products.

HD DVD was developed to offer consumers access at an affordable price to high-quality, high definition content and prepare them for the digital convergence of tomorrow where the fusion of consumer electronics and IT will continue to progress.

“We carefully assessed the long-term impact of continuing the so-called ‘next-generation format war’ and concluded that a swift decision will best help the market develop,” said Atsutoshi Nishida, President and CEO of Toshiba Corporation. “While we are disappointed for the company and more importantly, for the consumer, the real mass market opportunity for high definition content remains untapped and Toshiba is both able and determined to use our talent, technology and intellectual property to make digital convergence a reality.”

Toshiba will continue to lead innovation, in a wide range of technologies that will drive mass market access to high definition content. These include high capacity NAND flash memory, small form factor hard disk drives, next generation CPUs, visual processing, and wireless and encryption technologies. The company expects to make forthcoming announcements around strategic progress in these convergence technologies.

Toshiba will begin to reduce shipments of HD DVD players and recorders to retail channels, aiming for cessation of these businesses by the end of March 2008. Toshiba also plans to end volume production of HD DVD disk drives for such applications as PCs and games in the same timeframe, yet will continue to make efforts to meet customer requirements. The company will continue to assess the position of notebook PCs with integrated HD DVD drives within the overall PC business relative to future market demand.

This decision will not impact on Toshiba’s commitment to standard DVD, and the company will continue to market conventional DVD players and recorders. Toshiba intends to continue to contribute to the development of the DVD industry, as a member of the DVD Forum, an international organization with some 200 member companies, committed to the discussion and defining of optimum optical disc formats for the consumer and the related industries.

Toshiba also intends to maintain collaborative relations with the companies who joined with Toshiba in working to build up the HD DVD market, including Universal Studios, Paramount Pictures, and DreamWorks Animation and major Japanese and European content providers on the entertainment side, as well as leaders in the IT industry, including Microsoft, Intel, and HP. Toshiba will study possible collaboration with these companies for future business opportunities, utilizing the many assets generated through the development of HD DVD.

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