Monday, March 22, 2010

My Facebook Account. To Delete or Not Delete?

So,I've had a Facebook account for about a year and a half. It's great, I get to hit some of my close friends with some not-so-kind sarcastic jabs. I also get to post some impromptu movie reviews and talk about the books that I'm reading, which is more than likely boring to everyone on my friends list.

However, there are a couple things about Facebook that I find unsettling, which is making me question whether or not I should even have an account:

I'm sick. Sick I tell you. Of everyone clasping hands and singing Kumbayaa to each other on Facebook. 'You're kids are so beautiful.' 'I'm sending you a hug.' What happened to good old fashioned smart-ass sarcasm? I haven't seen it on Facebook. Even some of my friends, who are the biggest sarcastic assholes in the world, are as nice and mellow as little kittens. Frankly, this fakeness is beginning to wear on me.

It's been nice getting in touch with my childhood friends and seeing what they look like and what they've been up to. But, I'm a little uncomfortable sharing every single thing that I'm doing on the face of the planet with a guy (or girl) that I hung out with in first grade. People change. Ideas change. Stuff changes. Life changes. That first grader that I used to play Godzilla with could have turned into some sort of serial killer and, worse yet, a pedophile. Who knows!! I'm not Ashton Kutcher, I'm not trying to get a million friends so I can brag to the world. In fact, I'd prefer less friends. I tend to enjoy more discreet fireside chats compared to a megaphone on the steps of the State house.

Look I know you love your kids. I'm sure they're fantastic and great. But what is the necissity of tossing their picture up on your Facebook profile page. Sort of defeats the purpose doesn't it? It's your page, not your kids. Let's just stop the nonsense.

Look I'm a fan of showing off your kids. I think my kids are the cat's meow. But I'm rather hesitant tossing their photos up for the whole world to see (i.e. note the pedophile example above). I'm not saying that I'm famous, but I would hope to give my kids some sort of discretion prior to their teenage years. And, I'm not free of sin. Yes, I post photos of my children to my FLICKR account, but I'm now in the process of going back and protecting their images so just anybody can view them. My opinion is that these kids will have plenty of times to embarass themselves in grade school and high school. I'm going to try to avoid people 'finding' photos of my daughter in the bathtub for all the world to see. I dunno, that's just me.

This is simple. I don't care how many cows, chickens or cobs of corn you won in Farmville. Don't care. Don't want to know. Next.

Not sure, but it seems like Facebook is a place for everyone to one-up each other in the 'look what I'm doing now' department. Wow, you're at Yellowstone! You're in New York City sniffing coke in a bathroom? Cool! You're on a gay cruise with Rosi O'Donnell. Sweet! To be brutally honest, save my close circle of friends, I really don't care what everyone is doing. And, frankly, I don't feel like being jealous of all your exploits. This is probably one of the biggest reasons I'm thinking about deleting my account. Truth be told, I don't want people to know where I am and what I'm doing, save for about 20 of my closest friends.

Well, there you have it. My buddy at work made a New Year's resolution to delete his Facebook account on January 1, 2010. He waited a couple weeks. But he finally did it. I may follow suit. There's only so many hours during the day. And I prefer long writing in this blog more so than quick snippets of what movie's I've watched, what books I've read and what bar I'm currently drinking a 32 oz. Coors Light draft in. (BW3 in case you really care).

Truth be told. Facebook just isn't doing it for me. And, down the line, I think other people will slowly come to this realization as well.

So, if you want to get to know good old Brad, stop by this blog, or if I'm truly interested I may even send you an email. I'm 100% sure, you're going to get a lot more here than my Facebook account.

Monday, March 1, 2010

My 2010 Academy Award Picks.

Well,it's that time of the year again. Which is exciting because, in addition to March Madness and MLB Opening Day, the upcoming Academy Awards signals the upcoming melting of the snow and (drum roll), Daylight Savings Time, which this year falls on March 14, 2010. Less than 2 weeks!

Every year, since I've started this blog, I thought I'd toss out my winning picks. And, every year, since I've started this blog, I've done terrible. So, when you're filling out your ballots, take my choices with a grain of salt. Or could this be the year, I sweep them all?

Check out the list below to see if you agree:

Actor in a Leading Role
Jeremy Renner in “The Hurt Locker”
You know what, I was going to pick Jeff Bridges in ‘Crazy Heart’, but then I got to thinking. I’m going with Jeremy Renner. I thought he was phenomenal in The Hurt Locker. I haven’t seen ‘Crazy Heart’, but 'Fuck It' I’m going with Renner.

Actor in a Supporting Role
Christoph Waltz in “Inglourious Basterds”
Seems to me that Damon was nominated for the wrong film (should have been nominated for Best Actor for his role in The Informant). I’m excited that Woody was nominated as well. I haven’t seen The Messenger, but I loved him in Zombieland. However, I was mezmerized by Christoph Waltz in Basterds. Next

Actress in a Leading Role
Carey Mulligan in “An Education”
This is a tough one for me. Something’s telling me to pick Sandra Bullock, even though her role seems so milquetoast. However, this could be an ‘achievement’ type thing and the Academy may hand it to her just because she’s Sandra Bullock. However, I love underdogs and I’m going with Carey Mulligan in ‘An Education’. Again, I haven’t seen the flick, but I’m going with my gut on this one.

Actress in a Supporting Role
Mo’Nique in “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire”
I’ve been following Mo-Nique since Showtime at the Apollo. No, seriously. Me and my buddy Pete would watch it and laugh and laugh and laugh, at all the white dudes trying to sing, dance or tell jokes. The crowd was brutal. In any event, I’m going with the angry, abusive momma, over all the other roles. Seems like a juicy pick to me.

Animated Feature Film
“Up” Pete Docter
I loved Coraline. I thought Henry Selick nailed Neil Gaiman's creepy world. And it proved that he didn’t need Tim Burton to pull off his kick-ass animation. However, I’m going with UP on this one. It was just too good. I can watch this movie over, and over, and over again and never get bored. I love the bird Kevin. What a great character. It’s movies like this that make me very jealous.

Art Direction
“Avatar” Art Direction: Rick Carter and Robert Stromberg; Set Decoration: Kim Sinclair
Avatar should win this one. But, if the Academy wants to give more posthumous honors to the late, great Heath Ledger, then so be it. But you would have to be very, very naive not to pick Avatar here. The film was pretty remarkable. And the Art Direction is half the film.

“The Hurt Locker” Barry Ackroyd
Animation isn’t cinematography. So I’m going with ‘The Hurt Locker’. I loved the grainy film style. It made the movie for me. However, watch out for The White Ribbon as a sleeper.

Costume Design
“The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus” Monique Prudhomme
Okay, I’m going with Monique Prudhomme here for The Imaginarium. It’s much too classy of a costume flick to pass this up. Plus, I think all the Academy fans who are Broadway fans, will like this tip of the hat to a traveling acting show. Next on my list would be Nora Ephron’s ‘Bright Star’ as the sleeper.

“The Hurt Locker” Kathryn Bigelow
Wouldn’t it be great if Quentin won? However, that’s not going to be the case. It’s going to be Bigelow. Hands down. And she deserves it. And actor directs people. Humans. James Cameron directed a half-animated feature.

Documentary (Feature)
“The Cove” Louie Psihoyos and Fisher Stevens
100% - Stone Cold Lock - The Cove. Done. Although Food Inc. Is my next favorite. But what happened to The September Issue and More Than A Game for Best Documentary Oscars? Odd indeed.

Documentary (Short Subject)
“The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant” Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert
I saw The Last Truck on HBO last year and was moved. Also, I haven't seen any of the other films. An added bonus for me, it takes place in Ohio and is directed by Ohioans from Wright State (which houses one of only two film programs in the state of Ohio).

Film Editing
“Avatar” Stephen Rivkin, John Refoua and James Cameron
Let me just say that ever since I’ve been involved in these Academy picks, I’ve never lost editing. So, after some soul-searching, I’m going with Avatar, with The Hurt Locker a close second. They say, the best edited movies are the ones that you don’t really notice. That’s why I’m picking Avatar. The editing was flawless. However, let’s contemplate District 9 pulling an upset. That would be cool.

Foreign Language Film
“The White Ribbon (Das Weisse Band)” Germany
It’s going to be The White Ribbon. Michael Haneke will get an Academy Award. After reading his bio in The New Yorker, I tossed all of his movies into my Netflix queue. I’m also curious what he’s going to say.

“Star Trek” Barney Burman, Mindy Hall and Joel Harlow
Only three for best make-up? Odd. However, I’m going with my sci-fi gut and picking Star Trek.

Music (Original Score)
“Up” Michael Giacchino
I’m going with Up. I loved the original score in this animated film. When I hear Giacchino’s score, I think of the movie. Doesn’t that mean the music works?

Music (Original Song)
“The Weary Kind (Theme from Crazy Heart)” from “Crazy Heart” Music and Lyric by Ryan Bingham and T Bone Burnett
Both nominated Princess and The Frog songs will knock them both out of contention. Screw Paris 36 and Nine. I’m going with “The Weary Kind’ from Bingham and T Bone.

Best Picture
“The Hurt Locker” Kathryn Bigelow, Mark Boal, Nicolas Chartier and Greg Shapiro, Producers
I loved Avatar, and Basterds but for some reason I enjoyed The Hurt Locker even more. The cool thing is that all of these 10 movies deserve Best Picture, save The Blind Side. But I’m going with Locker.

Short Film (Animated)
“A Matter of Loaf and Death” Nick Park
Has Nick Park ever lost an Oscar? I don’t think so. I’m going with this Wallace and Gromit romp.

Short Film (Live Action)
“The Door” Juanita Wilson and James Flynn
I’m not sure on this one. So, I’m going with ‘The Door’ , with ‘Instead of Abracadabra’ next. No clue.

Sound Editing
“Avatar” Christopher Boyes and Gwendolyn Yates Whittle
Got to give it to Avatar.

Sound Mixing
“Avatar” Christopher Boyes, Gary Summers, Andy Nelson and Tony Johnson
Again, Avatar. The machine gun cracks and the dragon howls are still rattling my brain.

Visual Effects
“Avatar” Joe Letteri, Stephen Rosenbaum, Richard Baneham and Andrew R. Jones
C’mon. Really? Although I really, really enjoyed District 9’s special effects, this category is another lock.

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
“Up in the Air” Screenplay by Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner
Reitman is an extremly likable guy and a great director who, in my opinion, hasn’t made a bad film yet (Thanking Your For Smoking, Juno, Up In The Air).

Writing (Original Screenplay)
“Inglourious Basterds” Written by Quentin Tarantino
I love Quentin’s writing. And, it was that writing that immediately pulled me into the film. From the beginning scene at Pierre LaPadite’s humble cottage, to the barroom Basterds scene to Shosanna Dreyfus second meeting with Col. Hans Landa all the way through to the end, the writing was top notch. It’s pure Quentin, with a touch of Kubrick. It’s dialogue genius.

Well, there you have it. Let’s see if I’m right. And, you’re wrong.

I’ll provide a re-cap next Monday (or Tuesday). Couple other things, what in the world happened to Where The Wild Things Are and The Road, which was a potential shoe-in for a Best Picture nod last year, at least by Mac and myself? I thought both of those flicks would be up for some awards. Weird.

In any event, good luck with your Oscar picks. Should be a fun time Sunday night.