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by Jac Kern 02.24.2015 4 days ago
Posted In: TV/Celebrity, Movies, Fashion at 10:16 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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I Just Can't Get Enough…Oscars

Recapping the 87th Academy Awards

Neil Patrick Harris hosted the 87th Oscars Sunday night. Let’s talk about it!

Having hosted multiple Emmy and Tony award shows in the past, quadruple-threat NPH (he sings, dances, acts and does magic) was well suited — cue Barney Stinson high-five — to the task. He did in fact sing, dance, act and do magic all while poking fun at the nominees, recreating significant movie moments and ad-libbing on the fly. Great job, NPH!

As far as the night’s trends, there were a few:

Using the acceptance speech as a bigger platform

While some folks stick to the traditional “Thank God, the Academy and my manager” speech, others used the time in the spotlight to address other issues. This is nothing new — Marlon Brando famously boycotted the 1973 Academy Awards for Hollywood’s treatment of Native Americans, arranging for Sacheen Littlefeather to attend in his behalf and decline the Best Actor award (for The Godfather).

This year’s acceptance speech shout-outs ranged from appreciating parents (J.K. Simmons) and supporting ecological sanitation and women’s rights (Patricia Arquette) to empowering the LGBTQ community (Graham Moore) and discussing immigration (Alejandro González Iñarritu).

Play someone with a disease, win awards

Again, this trend is far from new. The Academy — and audiences — love to see an actor transform, and portraying someone with a mental or physical condition can certainly do the trick. It’s not a surefire way to win an Oscar — just ask poor Leonardo DiCaprio (What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, The Aviator) — but the Oscars have looked favorably on roles like this in the past. And present: Eddie Redmayne won Best Actor for his portrayal of Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything; Julianne Moore was awarded Best Actress for her role as a woman with early-onset Alzheimer’s in Still Alice.

Ladies in White

Whiteness wasn’t just the hilarious subject of NPH’s first joke in the monologue (see below), it was also a prominent dress color for many attendees, nominees and performers. Patricia Arquette, Reese Witherspoon, Carmen Ejogo, Marion Cotillard, Lupita Nyong’o, Julianne Moore, Lady Gaga, Kerry Washington, Nicole Kidman and others all rocked white, channeling the snow that many of those not in L.A. were knee-deep in.



Now for a play-by-play recap of the event.

Neil Patrick Harris opened the show with a theatrical song, but not before making a joke about celebrating the “best and the whitest” – err, brightest film stars.


I like how the Oscars always start with the supporting actor award to get people excited, only to spend the following hour busting out all the technical awards and best picture nominee previews.

Best Supporting Actor
Ethan Hawke, Boyhood
Edward Norton, Birdman
J.K. Simmons, Whiplash
Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher
Robert Duvall, The Judge

Yay! Simmons has been in the acting game a long time and killed it in Whiplash. Totally deserved.He used the time to thoughtfully and thoroughly thank his wife, kids and parents and urged viewers to do the same. “Call your mom. Call your dad.”

Adam Levine continues to take over the world/every television program. He performed a song from a movie he was in (???).

Costume Design
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Inherent Vice
Into the Woods
Maleficent
Mr. Turner

Makeup and Hairstyling
Foxcatcher
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Guardians of the Galaxy

Makeup, hair and costume design awards went to the visually delightful The Grand Budapest Hotel. Costume designers always wear the best stuff, obviously Exhibit A: Milena Canonero’s sequined pants.

Oscar lobby boys officially became weird when they held Channing Tatum's hand down the stairs.

Best Foreign Film
Ida
Tangerines
Leviathan
Timbuktu
Wild Tales

I love director Pawel Pawlikowski’s style — he just talked though the Oscars’ STFU Music Cue until it finally stopped playing! All bets are off now that we know the truth: Just. Keep. Talking.

The (not nominated) Lego Movie had its moment in the sun with an over-the-top performance of “Everything is Awesome.”


Best Live Action Short
Aya
Boogaloo and Graham
Butter Lamp (La Lamp au Beurre de Yak)
Parvaneh
The Phone Call

Best Documentary Short
Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1

Joanna
Our Curse
The Reaper (La Parka)
White Earth

Sound Mixing
American Sniper
Birdman
Interstellar
Unbroken
Whiplash

NPH recreated Birdman undies scene:


Sound Editing
American Sniper
Birdman
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
Interstellar
Unbroken

Jared Leto showed up in Dumb and Dumber cosplay to present Best Supporting Actress; he also had a heavenly moment.



Best Supporting Actress
Patricia Arquette, Boyhood
Emma Stone, Birdman
Meryl Streep, Into the Woods
Keira Knightley, The Imitation Game
Laura Dern, Wild

Yay again! The Boyhood actress had this one in the bag. During her speech, Arquette promoted the organization GiveLove and gave a call to action to all the country’s mothers.


Visual Effects
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Guardians of the Galaxy

Interstellar

X-men: Days of Future Past

Best Animated Short
The Bigger Picture
The Dam Keeper
Feast
Me and My Moulton
A Single Life

Feast director Patrick Osborne is a Cincinnati native and gave us a little shout-out.

Best Animated Feature
How to Train Your Dragon 2
Big Hero 6
The Boxtrolls
Song of the Sea
The Tale of the Princess Kaguya

Star T.J. Miller (Silicon Valley) was literally in the last row of the theater, but still managed to get the camera's attention as he celebrated in the nosebleed seats.

Production Design
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
Interstellar
Into the Woods
Mr. Turner

Best Cinematography
Birdman
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Ida
Mr. Turner
Unbroken

Film Editing
American Sniper
Boyhood
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
Whiplash

Idina Menzel finally got her revenge on Glom Gazingo John Travolta.

Yet he still managed to act like a fucking weirdo.

Best Documentary Feature
Citizenfour
Finding Vivian Maier
Last Days in Vietnam
The Salt of the Earth
Virunga

Best Original Song
“Glory” (Selma)
“Everything Is Awesome” (The Lego Movie)
“Grateful” (Beyond the Lights)
“I’m Not Gonna Miss You” (Glen Campbell … I’ll Be Me)
“Lost Stars” (Begin Again)

John Legend and Common won this right after giving a powerful performance of the song.

Best Original Score
Alexandre Desplat, The Imitation Game
Alexandre Desplat, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Jóhann Jóhannsson, The Theory of Everything
Hans Zimmer, Interstellar
Gary Yershon, Mr. Turner

Lady Gaga gave the most “normal” — for lack of a better word — performance of her career with a tribute to The Sound of Music, proving that beyond the meat dresses and famous fiancés and 9-inch heelless platform monstrosities, Gaga is a talented entertainer.

Best Original Screenplay
Birdman
Boyhood
Foxcatcher
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Nightcrawler

Best Adapted Screenplay
American Sniper
The Imitation Game
Inherent Vice
The Theory of Everything
Whiplash

In his acceptance speech, director Graham Moore revealed he tried to kill himself as a teen because he felt different. “Stay weird. Stay different,” he encouraged.

Best Director
Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Richard Linklater, Boyhood
Alejandro González Iñarritu, Birdman
Bennet Miller, Foxcatcher
Morten Tyldum, The Imitation Game

Best Actor
Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game
Michael Keaton, Birdman
Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything
Steve Carell, Foxcatcher
Bradley Cooper, American Sniper

Best Actress
Reese Witherspoon, Wild
Julianne Moore, Still Alice
Felicity Jones, The Theory of Everything
Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl
Marion Cotillard, Two Days, One Night

Best Picture
American Sniper
Birdman
Boyhood
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
Selma
The Theory of Everything
Whiplash

Iñarritu dedicated the award to, among others, Mexicans and immigrants.

While I was rooting for Boyhood (a movie I will probably never stop talking about and encouraging people to see), I’d be remiss not to say Birdman deserved all the accolades it received. Overall, many of the year’s best films got some deserved recognition on a night that was entertaining for movie makers and lovers alike. Also, did this year's show break the record for tighty whitie references?

 
 
by Jac Kern 02.12.2015 15 days ago
Posted In: TV/Celebrity, Music, Movies at 03:40 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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I Just Can't Get Enough

Jac's roundup of pop culture news and Internet findings

Comedy Central’s nightly “news” lineup is amidst a total overhaul with the recent end of The Colbert Report and the addition of The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore. Stephen Colbert stepped down in December, and now The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart is following suit. The comedian shocked audiences at a Daily Show taping this week with the announcement that he’d be retiring from the show sometime later this year. While Colbert left to replace David Letterman as Late Show host (Letterman will step down in May; Colbert will take over in September), it’s unclear whether Stewart has another gig lined up, but it does sound like the show will continue with a new host. (The show originally featured Craig Kilborn before Stewart took over in 1996.)

Amy Schumer stars in a new Judd Apatow movie and, predictably, it looks hilarious.

Some previously unreleased Spice Girls songs hit the webz Wednesday, only to disappear from SoundCloud soon after. Could this be assign of another girl powa’ reunion?!

Speaking of leaks, House of Cards’ third season — which does not premiere until Feb. 27 — was available on Netflix for about 30 minutes yesterday. No, Frank Underwood was not pulling a Beyoncé by releasing a full season unannounced. It was a “mistake.”

A leak? More like the best House of Cards ad ever. Anyone who had momentarily forgotten about the upcoming season is now ready to binge the moment it premieres.

It’s been a great week in fashion for models who don’t look like hungry baby aliens, which is rare. The Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue featured two plus-size models; “World’s Oldest Supermodel,” 83-year-old Carmen Dell’Orefice appeared on the cover of New You magazine; and Jamie Brewer, who many of us know from American Horror Story, walked in a New York Fashion Week show today, becoming the first person with Down syndrome to do so. Yay beauty diversity!

And then there was The Grammys.

The night’s program kind of reminded me of the Super Bowl half-time shows of the early 2000s, where the desperate attempt to appeal to as many people as possible resulted in a mashup of lineups that simultaneously featured Nelly, Britney Spears and Aerosmith. Between Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett and Jessie J and Tom Jones, there were lots of slow songs sung by duos of old and young people, which made it very easy to watch the 603 other shows on Sunday nights (Hey, Better Call Saul!)

Sam Smith was the big winner of the night: Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Best New Artist and Best Pop Vocal Album all went to the magical songbird. Beck won Album of the Year and Best Rock Album (“Beck is still making music?” – everyone. Yes, he is. Morning Phase came out a full year ago). All those categories sound the damn same!

Of course, since Beyoncé was also nominated for Album of the Year — and a bunch of other categories she didn’t win #salty — Kanye just had to, well, Kanye Beck’s acceptance speech, and Bey and Jay Z were definitely surprised

I love Beyoncé’s subtle “No, Kanye, don’t...Someone stop him…” — which is basically the equivalent of “Somebody get a sponge!” — and Jay’s legit look of terror.

Also of course, if anyone thought Kanye was taking a jab at himself by recreating Taylorgate, he wanted to remind them of what a real asshole he is by running his mouth some more after the show. And then other people responded to Kanye’s response and now I’m writing about it. Circle of life, folks.

Highlights:

Sia’s “Chandelier” performance with Kristen Wiig and Maddie Ziegler totally takes the cake as my favorite performance (and you know this is a serious claim when Queen Bey is in the picture). Kristen Wiig gave a soulful choreographed performance with the Dance Moms star — who would have guessed?

GOOSEBUMPS.

Beyoncé recreated her sister’s recent wedding with her performance of “Take My Hand, Precious Lord” It was Sunday, after all. Amen!

Speaking of taking us to church, Hozier and Annie Lennox was my favorite collab of the night, performing the former’s breakout hit and “I Put a Spell on You.” Intoxicating!


Pharrell traded his Arby’s hat for an old-timey child bellhop uniform and presenting a heavy performance of “Happy”

And then it looks like Taylor Swift begged Jay Z to go to brunch with her. Awkward, especially when he finds out “brunch” is Taylor’s word for playing tea party with her cats while in pajamas. But judge for yourself.

"Brunch." "Brunch!" "BRUNCH."

See all the winners here.

 
 
by Amanda Gratsch 02.12.2015 16 days ago
 
 
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Valentine's Day: Things to Do for Love

Events, dinner deals and flower pop-ups to make this weekend a romantic one

Whether you’re a full-blown romance-seeker or single and proud of it, here's a list of Valentine’s Day tastings, dinner deals and events that will have you embracing the holiday no matter who you’re bringing. From soothing dinners to musicals to wild celebrations, take your pick from a range of fun atmospheres each wrapped up in its own festive charm with plenty to go around. 

DINNER DEALS FOR DATE NIGHT
BB Riverboats Valentine's Cruise — A romantic cruise with buffet dinner and live music. 7-9:30 p.m. Feb. 13 and Feb. 14. $48 adults. 101 Riverboat Row, Newport, Ky., bbriverboats.com

Bistro Grace — Valentine's surf-and-turf special all weekend, with herb-buttered steak and pan-seared scallops. Dinner service starts at 4 p.m. $29.95 per person. 4034 Hamilton Ave., Northside, bistrograce.com

Boca — The Boca Restaurant Group (Boca, Nada, Sotto) is teaming up with collaborative art group Chase Public for a unique take on date night. From 6-10 p.m., the alley between Boca (114 E. Sixth St.) and Nada will turn into a heated poetry lounge. Wander in to chat with Chase poets about your love story and receive a customized poem. 

Jimmy G's — Guests receive a complimentary glass of champagne with purchase of entree, and couples receive a complimentary dessert to share with a purchase of two entrees. 5-11 p.m. Feb. 14. 435 Elm St., Downtown, jimmy-gs.com

La Petite France — Surprise that special someone with an elegant three-course gourmet meal featuring a range of appetizers, entrees and desserts to choose from. From grilled filet mignon with a brandy morel sauce to Grand Marnier crème brulee, your taste buds will be sure to feel some love, too. An extensive wine list and full bar is available. Reservations recommended. 5 p.m. Feb 14. $59.95. 3177 Glendale Milford Road, Evendale, lapetitefrance.biz

The Mercer OTR — A multi-course meal. Mains include wild mushroom risotto, scallops, beef tenderloin, berkshire pork chop and halibut. Chocolate and strawberries for dessert. 4 p.m. Feb. 14. 1324 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine, themercerotr.com.