Sunday, December 25, 2011

Winter Movie Round-up

Greetings from (Wh)Oregon.

Due to the fact that I am currently isolated from normal humanity in southeastern Oregon, I am much more prolific on the old blog. I've also been much better about catching Oscar bait films. So, I have a bounty of mini reviews for you to help you make the most of what's out there. Or just read this and make up your own mind about what you want to see. It's up to you.

I'm going to do "Ten word reviews." Let's see how this goes.

The Artist

Very charming. Rips Vertigo score. I loved it. Dog Oscar?

War Horse

Emotionally manipulative, but I cried. So I liked. Horse Oscar?

My Week with Marilyn

Sort of blah. Williams was great. No Redmayne nudity. Sigh.

The Descendants

People find it blah. I loved. I must be old.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Didn't know story before. Was quite excellent. Brace for rape.




Depressing, but beautiful. Not just talking about the Dunst titties.

Midnight in Paris

Cotillard is goddess. Super charming. Maybe my favorite Woody Allen?

Mission Impossible 4

Lots of fun. Paula Patton rules. Wanting a sequel. Penis.

That's all for now, folks! If I had to rank the list (to help you out), it would look like this:

1. Hugo
2. The Artist
3. Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
4. Melancholia
5. The Descendants
6. Mission Impossible 4
7. War Horse
8. Midnight in Paris
9. My Week with Marilyn.

That's my two cents, yo. PS only part of this review was written in Whoregon. The rest was in Boston. Transparency. What up.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Top 10 Albums of 2011

Hey Everyone!

This post comes to you from OUTER SPACE. Well…not really. I’m writing this on an airplane, so I’m closer to outer space than normal, but not quite there yet.

INTERJECTION: This fucking geezer in the seat in front of me just leaned his seat back. I don’t know if you know this about me, but I am super duper tall. This is unacceptable. I want to cut the cord on his oxygen tank.

Ok, he doesn’t have an oxygen tank. But oh, if he did…

Anyway, back to my space fantasy/list. Here are my top 10 (technically top 11, yes I cheated) albums of the year. Although it starts on a super poppy note, I think you will be surprised to see how adventurous this list is. And by adventurous, I mean still super poppy with like four other albums thrown in. That’s about as far out of the mainstream as I’ll ever get. UGH CAN HE PLEASE LEAN FORWARD. If he dies on this flight, I’m going to be mad. I have a tight layover

10 (tie). Femme Fatale by Britney Spears/Born This Way by Lady Gaga

A good year for pop, overall. Brit turned in one of her strongest showings, and Gags released an album that didn’t infuriate me (like I thought it would beforehand). Kudos ladies. Before I cheated, I couldn’t decide which I wanted to put in the list. Brit’s showing is very solid across the board--a tight album with no real lags (well, except Big Fat Bass, but I’ll let that slide). Gags’ album is a lot longer and feels more uneven, but seems to be more ambitious that Brit. Some of the things that she tries for are pretty clever. So I decided to cop out and call a tie.

9. Heaven by Rebecca Ferguson

Just go out and listen to her CD. Short and sweet, like a great CD should be. Not that there aren't great CDs out there that are also long. I don't really know what kind of point I'm trying to make. Anyway, this is retro-soul magic. Most reviews are calling this the greatest album to come from an X Factor winner, which is incredibly faint praise...BUT TRUE.

8. 21 by ADELE

CLICHED OBVIOUS CHOICE ALERT. But yes, this album is the tits. I hope her throat heals.

7. City of Refuge by Abigail Washburn

Since this album is like the perfect folk disc, I thought a Google image search of "folk music" would be an appropriate tribute. I shit you not this was one of the first things to pop up:

It's also her album in a nutshell.

6. Wounded Rhymes by Lykki Li

Lykke Li is one weird ass chick, but I love her music. She was the only non-mainstream (assuming you include UK mainstream) artist to make my singles list. Also, this CD makes me more nostalgic for Amy Winehouse than most other obvious choices. Not sure how to explain that one.

5. On a Mission by Katy B

I'm not going to lie. If you played a random song from this CD there's like a two percent chance I could name it. But this CD is gdamn seamless. Each song just perfectly flows into the next. Also, it's super sassy Eurodance music. So bonus points for that. Short sentences reversion. Stylistic writing, yo.

4. Helplessness Blues by Fleet Foxes

MORE FOLK! MORE PELICANS WITH A GUITAR! I actually dove a little deeper into the Google image search for "folk music" (aka I looked at the first 15 pictures that came up) and decided to post this picto-review for Fleet Foxes:

This CD is "old man with milk" good!!

3. Hell on Heels by Pistol Annies

Please. Like you think I'd go a year without honoring Miranda Lambert as much as possible? Although her solo album this year was a little disappointing, luckily she provided this slice of heaven (with the help of two other randos I can't remember right now). Accolades!

2. 4 by Beyonce

This is her, "GIVE ME A BABY, JAY-Z" album. He must have gotten the message. But even though nobody liked any of the singles, this whole CD is fire. Her best, by far. Well, I do like B'Day a No. This one. Yes. Ask me in a week, I'll probably change my mind. BUT FOR NOW!

1. El Camino by The Black Keys

They make me want to have sex. More than any other artist ever. Jesus. I don't know what it is, but they WORK FOR ME. UGH. This album is fantastic and I'm excited to see what comes next. Note--their music gets me hot and bothered. Not the actual physical appearance of the artists. Just want to make that clear.

OK! Happy 2011 comma music category!! I thought I would look for one last image, based on a search for "2011 music." So naturally, this came up immediately:

Monday, December 12, 2011

Top 10 Singles of 2011

Hello world.

2011 is coming to an end, which is super exciting since I get to write about my favorite things from the year without feeling super narcissistic. If real critics and legit bloggers can do it, why can't I?

However, unlike those people, I don't get paid to sit and listen to tons of songs/albums or watch tv/movies. I do it on my own g-damn dime and, as evidenced by the lack of frequency with which I've blogged recently, I don't have as much time as I want. Sigh. My life is so hard. Melodrama.

Anyway, that's a long-winded way of saying this post should more accurately be called, "Riha's top 10 songs that come from the 15 artists he likes that actually released music this year." Only with proper capitalization rules for a title. Imagine that happening as well.

And we're off.

10. You and I, Lady Gaga

There were two strong Gaga songs, two crap Gaga songs, and one solid Gaga song released this year as singles. You can guess which is which, but in my mind You and I takes the cake. Yes, it's been floating around for years now and yes, there's some weird German sideways colon that I'm supposed to write over the letter "u" in the title of the song. Those things are unrelated both to each other and to the quality of the song. Yet I find them relevant.

Anyway, good showing from Gagzilla.

9. The One That Got Away, Katy Perry

I think that this song was actually one of my top 10 songs of 2010 since that's when her album was released, but it's a single now. And since I set up arbitrary eligibility rules for my lists, it's counting now. The video is worth watching, mainly for seeing Katy in age makeup and discovering that in the future coffee is served out of a bridge. Anywho, this song makes me sad. Not "nobody tried to play out their Nicole Scherzinger death threats" sad, but sad nonetheless. And I'm a sucker for a good sad song. And a sucker for started sentences with the word "and."

8. How to Love, Lil Wayne

Sir Lil Wayne is the only gentleman to appear on the list. Love the song. I haven't actually watched the video. From what I understand, there's something about hospital/birth and generally anything related to placenta makes me run in the opposite direction. So for now, the song is more than enough.

7. With Ur Love, Cher Lloyd

I forgive her for the "ur" in the title (who the fuck does she think she is, Prince?) because the song is so damn catchy. She's a Brit, btw. Just look her up on Youtube because the 14 people that actually read this blog probably don't know the song. However, don't watch the video too closely--just listen. The video is blah to the blah.

6. Hell On Heels, Pistol Annies

I'm taking a break from promiscuously honoring Miranda Lambert at every chance I get and instead am honoring her Pistol Annies side project this year. LOOK HOW DIVERSE MY TASTE ARE, PEOPLE!

5. We Found Love, Rihanna

I think my feelings for the song are best embodied in this image:

I love it so much I barf happy ribbons. I'm sure I'll read the previous sentence weeks later and think it's mega stupid, but I like it now (1:06AM on a Wednesday).

4. Sadness is a Blessing, Lykke Li

OMG I'M SO EMO, Y'ALL. Much like Cher Lloyd, just look this one up. However, I will encourage you to pay attention to this video. It's pretty much a direct reenactment of every date I ever go on.

3. Till the World Ends, Britney Spears

WHY THE FUCK IS IT SPELLED, "TILL"? Shouldn't it be "Til' the World Ends"? "Till", to me, implies that Britney is at the edge of the world, tilling the soil. Regardless, the song is fire and one of her best yet. Get it, girl.

2. Someone Like You, Adele

Sure, Rolling in the Deep is super mega popular and awesome, but I like this single better. Again, falling into the sad song motif. Much like this:

Don't worry, I'm not going all internet cat lady on you.

1. Super Bass, Nicki Minaj

Sure, it's not the most critically acclaimed choice. Sure, it's not the most inventive subject matter. And sure, I know a few of you out there are thinking that I could have gone with a whiter song. Well, too bad. I love this song. I know all the damn words, which was special before that selfish toddler bitch went on Youtube/Ellen and ruined it for me. Now it's not fun when I do it. What a whore.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

TV Review: Top Model All Stars

Once and a while, baby Jesus gives you a gift so precious and wonderful that you almost can't believe it's happening. The All Star Cycle of Top Model is such a gift.

I can summarize this cycle in one picture:

The above actually happened this cycle. Tonight is the finale, so hopefully something epic happens. If my favorite doesn't win, expect a tantrum post about the show.

OH! There's an episode where they write their own songs and do music videos. If you need more incentive to check out this cycle, watch this.

Rating: 5/5. For sheer entertainment value.

Friday, December 2, 2011

TV Review: X Factor

I pretty much start every post with an apology about a delay in posting. At this point it's just sad to think that :

1. I'll ever be able to post as much as I did when I worked for my university.
2. I'm deluding myself into thinking I feel bad about this. Ok, maybe a little bad. Wait, no. That was the delusion again.

So anyway, given my affinity for reality television, washed up has-beens making a comeback, talentless assholes being given more credit than they deserve, and chair dancing, I decided to watch the X Factor. And I knew I was going to get what I want just from the judging panel. PS if it weren't clear, Nicole is the asshole. More on that waste of human garbage in a second.

The premise of the show is simple. American Idol+Performance Production Value+Judge Mentorship-Hosting Ability-Age restrictions=X Factor. Contestants perform each week with guidance from one of the judges, the public votes, and then the bottom two sing for their lives and the judges decide who goes home. The decision regarding who to send home is usually based on wildly inconsistent criteria. Frequently vocal talent isn't part of the criteria.

Let's recap who the judges are:


Brit extraordinaire. Known for harsh judgments, v-neck shirts, and man boobs. He's on the far left I think.


Music mogel, famous for chair dancing and harshness. A black, more qualified (has actually put famous people on the map like Mariah Carey, TLC, Rihanna, etc) Simon Cowell. LA is in this picture somewhere.


Here's a picture of Paula and her fiance.


Nicole is actually such a non-star I don't really know what she looks like. I decided to post one of those "time lapsed" pictures. This is what Nicole will look like 20 months from now.

So anyway, this show is all about spectacle. People perform songs with somewhere from four to eight back up dancers, while a laser light show takes place and giant images of nonsensical items (houses, gates, clouds, butterflies) appear in the background. Then the host, Steve Jones, says something really fucking awkward. But you forgive it because he's hot. So so awkward. But so fine.

So yes, it's another reality show. Normally I would rank the remaining contestants, but I don't care anymore so I won't.

Rating: Depends on mood. Ranges from 4/5 stars to negative 7 out of 5 stars.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

TV Review: 2 Broke Girls

Heyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy world,

So it's been a little while since I posted has gotten pretty hectic at work, more than I ever could have imagined. Since my new roommate has had some issues with weirdos stalking her blog and bringing it up to her in real life, I won't use this as an opportunity to vent about the ONE thing that is making work incredibly miserable. But I can pinpoint it. Believe me. I can.

Anywho, before this turns "ahhhhh my feelings" on you, faithful reader (singular), I'm going to jump into a quick review of a new tv show (and I'm going to work my way through the other new shows I watch, slowly but surely).

2 Broke Girls stars someone who I thought (at first) played Janis Ian from Mean Girls (but didn't) and some preppy chick I've never seen before. They play waitresses forced to live together by circumstance who come from different worlds. Yes, that last sentence was probably the first sentence of the pitch to CBS, nbd. It's littered with sex humor, which is surprising given that the average CBS viewer lived through the Great Depression. Anyway, these two characters are a classic odd couple, with Janis being the sarcastic one that hates the world, and whats-her-name is the more positive, spoiled counterpoint. They're trying to raise money for a bakery. That plotline comes up infrequently.

As of right now, they are really the only two characters. The show also features some pretty racially stereotypical portrayals of an Asian guy and black guy, which is surprisingly backwards of the show. Is it backward or backwards? I dunno. Grammar. But yeah, it's kinda racist. Not enough to offend me though, because I am an average-to-just-plain-bad person. I've made peace with it.

Nevertheless, the two stars are endearing and even though the show seems to be trying too hard for a punchline every 30 seconds, the chemistry between the lead ladies holds it together.

Worth watching. At least for a few episodes. Did I mention that there's a horse? Because there is. This may seem random and tangental to this blog post, but the horse is random and tangental to the show. So it works.

Rating: 3/5 stars.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Album Review: 4

First of all, I heard this at a friend's place. I didn't illegally download it. This is just based on that listen. Cough.

In honor of the title of Beyonce's new album, I will share the four main observations I have about this disc:

1. I like 1+1 as a song, but I sincerely hope she's recovering from the mini-stroke that convinced her to release it as a single. Even if it was just for a hot second before she realized her mistake.

2. It should come as no surprise to people that Love on Top is my favorite song. This is largely due to the song's FOUR key changes. Seriously, this song probably has more key changes than The World's Greatest or the Free Willy song. Pause for me to confirm this fact...YEP! I mean I skimmed through the Free Willy song, but I think that one only had three key changes. So yes. Four. Amazing.

3. Sure, it's not as dance-friendly as her previous efforts, but there's something I really like about this CD. I can't really put my finger on it. Which is what makes me such an awesome reviewer. Just trust me on this one.

4. Current single, Best I Never Had, is currently being called Irreplaceable part 2. I guess that song is replaceable after all OH PUN. But no. It isn't. There can only be one. Although this B+ substitute is pretty solid. Short sentences. Yes.

So, fittingly, i would say:

Rating: 4/5 stars. SEE WHY THAT RATING IS FITTING?!?

Single Review: Today is Your Day

Shania Twain is back with a new single, y'all! Yee haw!

Or is it? Anyway, this latest effort, albeit autobiographical/inspirational/blah blah etc, is a bit...repetitive. And if you listen to it, tell me if you can resist breaking into the chorus of Bubbly, by Colbie Callat. Surely this effort isn't preceding an album of Come On Over-esque greatness (seriously, that album is timeless), but I anticipate a decent CD. And if there's a track called "Fuggo Bitch Stole My Husband" then even better.

Rating: 3/5 stars.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

TV Review: Parks and Recreation

"You're" being Parks and Recreation. High praise. This dude was pretty accomplished.

Rating: 5/5 stars.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Album Review: Born This Way

I'll be the first to admit I wanted to use Born This Way to take a dump on GaGa for constantly overstating her musical importance. She might not realize this, but her music isn't the greatest thing to happen in the history of time.

Yet, I can't help but feel consistently entertained by her new album. It would be sort of a bitch move to knock the album for GaGa's 'tude, especially since there aren't any actual tracks on the disc entitled, "THE GREATEST SONG IN HISTORY," or something similar.

So, here are my quick thoughts:

1. Judas is probably the 10th best song on the 14 song set, so I have no idea why the eff she choose it as a single.
2. As much as this CD is full of weird dance pop and references to unicorns (no joke), my favorite track is probably the mid-tempo power ballad, You and I.
3. If asked to summarize the album in four words, I would say: Springsteen. Disco. 80s. Crazy.
4. I hope her next album is a spin-off of Government Hooker. Specifically, the operatic introduction.
5. Her music videos for this set have been comparatively disappointing. I'm still waiting to find out what happened to Beyonce and GaGa after they drove off at the end of the Telephone video. Aside from some generous scissoring (I hope).
6. I am really hungry right now. Chinese food time.

Alright, that's all folks.

Rating: 4/5 stars. Yep, bet you didn't think I'd be that generous.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

TV Review: American Idol Season 10

A few observations:

1. Randy Jackson is not Simon Cowell. I know he thinks he is, but he isn't. For example, Simon can get away with wearing tight t-shirts. Also, Simon infrequently says ridiculous things. "In it to win it" isn't feedback. It could almost be substituted with, "you auditioned for American Idol!" Ugh he's such an asshat. He should be the new spokesperson for Subway Sandwiches.

2. JLO fucking sucks. Not only does she suck for some of her stupid outfits (Chilean miner's wife was a personal favorite), but she says dumb things. Also, of all of the judges, she seems to have the biggest biases.

3. Steven Tyler is alright. Maddeningly positive, but alright. He gets a pass.

4. There's a lot of raw talent this season, but apparently those contestants have no idea how to use it without seeming crazy. See: Jacob Lusk, Casey Abrahms, Haley Reinhart pre-Elton John night, Naima Adedapo, etc

5. Remember all of the drama when Pia got eliminated? Yeah, I can't either. Because I don't think a single person cares about her now that Haley emerged as the season's alpha female.

6. Remember that time that Haley's top 3 elimination turned out to be the most upsetting, even though she made it much further than both Pia and Casey? I do. Boy, I do.

7. Does anybody actually have a strong emotional investment in either of the top 2? I don't care if either of them win.

8. I'm ok with The X Factor and The Voice being my singing shows for the upcoming TV season.

Rating: 2/5 stars, with 1.5 of those stars coming solely from Haley Reinhart.

Movie Review: Bridesmaids

So per my previous post, here's a quick take on Bridesmaids.

1. Everytime I spell the title, I'm somehow shocked the letter "s" appears twice.
2. The movie is fucking hilarious.
3. (spoiler) Someone poops in the street, so I was bound to like this movie no matter what.
4. Cheri Oteri had fewer scenes than I would have liked. Aka zero scenes.
5. Jon Hamm is a skeezeball in the movie. My group left divided on whether or not we would still hit him as that character. I would still hit that.
6. Because of the movie, I've spent a solid 6-8 hours listening to Wilson Phillips on repeat.
7. Related to my earlier point about spelling, spell check doesn't like "everytime." Um, why don't you ask Britney Spears about that word, stupid computer dictionary!

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars. Minus 0.5 for lack of Cheri Oteri.

Riha Reviews Update

Hey friends,

So I know I'm really terrible about updating this. I think I'm going to make an attempt to post more often, but my reviews will be much shorter...sort of like a "quick bite" sort of thing. I feel like I've used the "quick bite" terminology before. I'm inventive.

ANYWAY! Let me know what you think of this!!


Sunday, March 6, 2011

Bests (and Worsts) of 2010: Movies

Heyyyyyyyy everyone!

In keeping with this trend of actually blogging, I'm blogging. I don't know if I'll go blog crazy like I did before switching jobs, but I'm gonna blog whenever possible. Blog. Also, I've forgotten how to write. Slash blog. Blog again. Blog. Ok, I'll stop now.

Anyhizzle, I never did 2010 justice with any "best of" lists, so I'm going to try and do that here. I'll also throw in some "worsts" just for comedic value. Let's do this.

Best Movies of 2010

Before I get cracking, I'm going to say that a few of you might have seen an earlier version of this list. However, since I am indecisive, you'll note that this list is different. Consider this the final version.

10. Easy A

Sure, some of the running jokes get a little tired. But Emma Stone is a pocketful of sunshine here (if you've seen the movie, what I wrote is really clever. Like Aaron Sorkin clever) and I was entertained. I'll take a B+ attempt at Clueless/Mean Girls glory over a pretentious arthouse flick any day of the week.

9. The Ghost Writer

Roman Polanski is a creep-ball. But this movie is good enough that I'd pardon him for his crime. Well, maybe not for statutory rape, but I'd pardon him for like arson or something.

8. True Grit

Hailee Steinfeld is a pistol in this movie and holds her own against Jeff Bridges and Matt Damon. I guess if Jeff Bridges weren't a factor, that previous statement wouldn't be much of a compliment.

7. Toy Story 3

As you'll see, this isn't my favorite animated movie for the year (and yes, I saw more than one animated picture this year, don't hate), but it's still damn good. The last 15 minutes make me a blubbering wreck everytime. Well, I only saw the film once so I'm sort of speculating about the "everytime" part of that last sentence. But I'd guess it's true.

6. Inception

Love this movie, and not just because I've turned its title into a verb about getting drunk off of margaritas (inquire within for details).

5. The Social Network

Is it weird that my favorite aspects of this film are the score and editing? It may not have won Best Picture at the Oscars...and it isn't really winning Best Picture here, but I'm sure it'll be known in 100 years as "the movie that Jesse Eisenberg, the star of the culturally significant Zombieland, made later in order to act like himself for two hours."

4. How to Train Your Dragon

This is my favorite animated movie of the year. Sure, it's not as well-animated as Toy Story 3, the story isn't as well-written, and the voice acting is a little off...but somehow this story manages to transcend all of these setbacks to create something magical. Watch it and try not to cry a whole bunch.

3. 127 Hours

Make sure you're armed (HA) with fortitude before you see this film. But it's totally worth it. You'll probably like it even more if you have a fetish for drinking pee. But seriously, see it.

2. Winter's Bone

Aside from the "teehee" factor associated with the title, this movie is damn good. Plus the title.

1. Black Swan

Aside from loving this film like whoa, it's given me license to run around my office yelling, "GET IN TOUCH WITH YOUR BLACK SWAN," and "IT'S MY TURN." You'd be surprised how versatile those quotes are.

Worst movie of the year:

Sex and the City 2. Just read my full review. Jesus.

Country Strong. How can I like the music so much and think the film is so bad? I don't get it.

I wish I had more examples...but I actually liked The Other Guys, Burlesque was entertaining even though it was ridiculous, and I can't legitimately list the King's Speech here because it's objectively a solid film. Luckily, Sex and the City 2 is so awful that it makes up for all of these flaws. Country Strong isn't nearly as awful, but it still sucks dog turds.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

All About the Oscars

Well, it's that time of year again. Oscars! Most of you probably know how batshit obsessed I am with this awards ceremony, despite its triviality, so naturally this event marks my overdue return to blogging. Without further ado, I would like to offer my predictions in several major categories, along with my personal preference for the win. Well, ok, I guess here's a quick "ado" (whatever that means) before I get going: I have very strong, irrational feelings about some of the nominees this year. So if I come down too hard on one of your favorites, don't's me, not you. This year has some of the strongest nominees I've seen in a long while and I just want to compliment AMPAS on a job well done. Perhaps my personal ire this year comes from the fact that the nominees are SO GOOD and some of the winners might be SO COMPARATIVELY UNDESERVING. Blerghzilla. Anyway, let me direct my rant in some more specific ways...


Will Win: Christian Bale. I know there are some rumblings that Geoffrey Rush will win as a part of a King's Speech sweep, but having seen all of the nominated performances, save Renner, I cannot imagine a world where Bale walks away empty handed. Not only was his work a tour-de-force (that's a technical acting term for over-the-top), but he lost a bunch of weight, changed his hair, and put on an accent. Oscar loves that shit, so I expect Bale to triumph on Sunday,
pending any on-set meltdowns.

My Pick: John Hawkes. Don't get me wrong, I think Bale is great. I think there's a difference between overacting and having a very loud character. Bale was the latter, and managed to accomplish a great deal in The Fighter. I will feel very good about his likely victory. However, Hawkes' meth head in Winter's Bone is infinitely more real (another technical acting term thrown around a lot) and in my mind, that's the better performance. For the other nominees, I haven't seen Renner and I agree with my friend who says that, "RUSH IS JUST BEING HIMSELF IN KING'S SPEECH, UGH I HATE THAT." However, I would also extend that statement to Mark Ruffalo in The Kids are All Right.


Will Win: Hailee Steinfeld. Admittedly, this prediction is a risk. Steinfeld hasn't won any major awards, and Melissa Leo has been cleaning house ever since the Globes in January, with a small upset at the BAFTAS where Helena Bonham Carter prevailed. Conventional wisdom would say Leo will win, with Carter as the most likely upset. However, I can't shake a gut feeling that Steinfeld is a threat here. Best Supporting Actress is historically the most unpredictable category, plus it's the category most likely to recognize a young performer. Furthermore, Steinfeld is incredible in True Grit and I think the fact that True Grit received 10 nominations shows strong support for the film. Finally, Melissa Leo helped fund some Oscar campaign ads...for herself, which is weird and makes me like her less than I do now. Check this out:

The only thing this picture makes me want to consider is jumping into a live volcano. Still, I think the safe money is to bet on Leo, but my gut is saying Steinfeld.

My Pick: Steinfeld. 'Nuff said. The only objection is that her performance isn't a supporting performance. However, that seems like an issue with those that did the nominating. The fact that she's here means I evaluate her against everyone else, and I think she's the best. Leo and Adams would be fine winners (poor Amy, always a bridesmaid) and I haven't seen Weaver. The only performance that shouldn't win is Carter, but being that it's in the King's Speech, she could be a part of their sweep. If the Oscars had a category for "Best One-Note Background Character," Carter would win in a landslide.


Will Win: Colin Firth. Anyone who thinks anything else is just plain dumb.

My Pick: James Franco. I think this is a very competitive category, and if there's one area where I think The King's Speech deserves an award, it's here. But I give the edge to Franco, who basically was the only person on camera for the duration of 127 Hours and he MADE. THAT. MOVIE. WORK, YO. I can't really decide if Eisenberg is acting brilliantly or just being morose, I haven't seen Bardem, and Bridges is just happy to be here. I liked him in True Grit, but he just doesn't show the range that Firth and Franco do. Finally, I would like to say that if Ryan Gosling had been nominated, he would CLEARLY be my personal choice here. Probably the performance of the year, right there.


Will Win: Natalie Portman. Let me start by saying this is a very tight category, loaded with strong performances. Also, let me clarify that my use of the word "tight" is by no means a reference to the fact that two of the actresses here had their boxes munched in their movies. Anyway, I think that an upset in this category wouldn't be hugely surprising, but Natalie definitely has the edge. She's won all of the precursors and she obviously put a lot of effort into her part. There's rumbling of an Annette spoiler, because she's overdue, but I think that seems unlikely.

My Pick: Oh man, I go back and forth here. Honestly, I would probably vote for Natalie even though I think that both Jennifer and Nicole gave performances I admired more. Natalie is just so crucial to the success of Black Swan and clearly she had the most demanding role of the bunch. It's hard to decide if you should reward the person that aces the easy test or celebrate the person that passes the challenging test. So, in my opinion, Natalie deserves this award the most, even though she probably isn't the most gifted actress in the bunch.


Will Win: This is tough. I say the Social Network, but I'm not supremely confident. I can see both Inception and The King's Speech taking this away. The King's Speech is poised to sweep, which includes this category, and Desplat (the composer) is long overdue for an Oscar. Inception has perhaps the most memorable score of the bunch, which I think suggests potential Oscar glory. However, I can't deny the fact that Trent Reznor's score is the most daring of the category and was so crucial to the effectiveness of The Social Network. I think it has the edge.

My Pick: How to Train Your Dragon. Ok, maybe I'm a sucker. I think if push came to shove, I would vote for The Social Network because its score is the most original. I definitely think Reznor captured something special here and it deserves to be rewarded. However, Dragon's score evokes so many dramatic emotions for me. Sure, it's the most purely traditional score in the category, but there isn't one that I just plain like more. It's a shame Black Swan and True Grit were deemed ineligible. Both were great. If all had been nominated, I could see myself voting for Grit.


Will Win: The Social Network. Probably one of the two biggest locks of the night.

My Pick: The Social Network. Come on. What else even comes close?


Will Win: The King's Speech. Apparently the dude who wrote it is this super charming geezer. Plus this is the movie to beat, with 12 nominations.

My Pick: Inception. I could see a case for several of the movies here, mainly Inception, The Kids are All Right, and Another Year. Since I haven't seen Another Year (I know it's worthy because of the internet, the most reliable source for everything), my pick comes down to Inception versus Kids. Although the dialogue in Kids is superior, the screenplay for Inception had contain all of the details of that film's universe. Mind-boggling. And yes, I chose that term because it works on two levels. So deep.


Will Win: Toy Story 3. This is the other huge lock of the night.

My Pick: How to Train Your Dragon. I SAID IT. IT'S OUT THERE. IT CAN'T BE UNSAID.

OK enough with this, let's get to the two big ones. If you care about my thoughts on cinematography/editing/live action short/other categories that are sort of fillers, hit up the comments. Yes, I know that original score is probably one of those technical categories and it's odd that I singled it out in this post...well, I like music. And this is my blog. I do what I want.


Will Win: David Fincher. UGH this is a tough one. Like "Sophie had it easy" tough. So, conventional wisdom would suggest Tom Hooper for The King's Speech. He won the DGA, his film has the most nominations, and a bunch of old cogies are gonna pop some viagra so they can later pop a boner for this film. I don't know if what I just wrote makes sense, but basically the King's Speech is popular with old people. Anyway, Hooper has the wind behind he sails. BUT Fincher is the more recognized name, is way overdue, and let's be real--The Social Network is supremely well-directed. So I officially predict a Fincher upset, but Hooper is the safe choice.

My Pick: David Fincher. I mean, say what you will about the Social Network. That movie was well-made. Damn. The technical polish. If I were going for daring, maybe Aronofsky would get my vote for Black Swan.

Before I get to the final category, I would like to point out that I'm watching Brokeback Mountain as I write. You know, that incredibly well-made, moving, Best Picture nominee that lost out to Crash. I've seen a few lists online of the most undeserving Oscar wins throughout history, and Crash usually tops those lists. Well, I won't say more, but I thought this framework was fitting going into the final category. Also, you may note that I talked about a rant at the beginning of this post and, largely, this has been a tame outing thus far. Well, I think my freak flag is about to fly. Get ready.


Will Win: King's Speech. It almost hurts to say more.


Perhaps I should elaborate. I think Slant Magazine said what I want to say much more eloquently,

"The ascendance of the stuttering king and Oscar's perceived instantaneous regression into the mottled pastures of White Elephant Cinema (how quickly we forget The Reader) has rendered some of our most reliable barometers speechless. Suddenly, the movie no one wanted to pay attention to became the movie all your friends and relatives who see two movies a year have seen and just know is the best picture of the year."

WELL. FUCKING. SAID. Let's forget the whole Social Network vs. King's Speech. Network isn't my favorite film of the year, but I prefer it to King's Speech. I think, looking at those two, I would entertain arguments for one film over the other. NEVER.THE.LESS. I have yet to talk to anyone who's seen all ten nominated pictures and thinks King's Speech is the best. Literally nobody. One of my friends was like, "WTF why not King's Speech?" Yet, when asked to rank his favorite movies of the year, not even he ranked King's Speech number one. I know as I write this, likely someone will stumble across this post and declare that the King's Speech is his or her (or doesn't necessarily ascribe to a gender binary, whatever, everyone is welcome) favorite film. That brings me to my next point.

I can admit that there's a lot to admire about the King's Speech. It's well acted, the script is nice, the sets are fancy (even though Rush's office used to be a gay porn set), the score is ever so dainty, etc. In fact, the whole Social vs King acting as a parallel to Brokeback vs Crash is incredibly blown out of proportion. BUT CONSWARNIT, I DON'T WANT KING'S SPEECH TO WIN. Here's why: I think it's boring. Yeah. It's out there. I watched it, thought it was boring, and then I watched it AGAIN because I felt crazy for disliking it. Guess what, I fell asleep the second time I went. Just to be clear, here's an artistic rendering of me during my first viewing of The King's Speech:

And here I am during the second viewing:

funny pictures-SLEEP MODE:  ON.

I just can't support a picture so incredibly boring winning so many Oscars. Sure, give it to Firth, he earned it. Even some of the artistic, categories. Why not. But the overall, best movie? No.

But it's going to. So, I might as well just accept that my personal opinion is in the minority and brace for a royal coronation tonight. HEY, THAT WAS A PUN.

So there it is, my take on the Oscars. We'll see what happens tonight!