The Problem With The Oscars

selmaThe 87th Academy Awards are in just a few hours. Boyhood will win Best Picture but that doesn’t matter.

As always, the Oscars telecast will be one of television’s great spectacles. Too much attention will given to what actresses are wearing, to how Jennifer Aniston will be breathing the same air as Brangelina, and to whether or not Neil Patrick Harris lives up to the absurd expectations we set for emcees. (No NPH, you can’t top Ellen’s selfie. Don’t even try.)

What we won’t discuss – at least not for any longer than we need to – is the incredibly flawed system (and Academy) that determines the so-called best movies, performances of a given year.

Every year the Oscars nominations incite people and this year that has anger resonated more than anyone could have predicted. The lack of recognition for Selma, its director Ava DuVernay and star David Oyelowo is deeply wrong, damaging and glaringly political. Equally disheartening are the overwhelming number of nominations for white men for the movies they made about white men, their lives and their problems.

Welcome to Hollywood.

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A Guide To The Perfect Galentine’s Day Party

Happy Galentine’s Day! I celebrated the greatest day of the year this past weekend by hosting a craft party for all of my favorite ladies to enjoy. Although I hate sharing DIY tips (that’s why I’ll never make it as a lifestyle blogger), I have made an exception for Galentine’s Day. Here are some ways you can celebrate the best ladies in your life.

1. Spend an unnatural amount of time at Michaels.

That escalator leads to my happy place/personal hell.

That escalator leads to my happy place/personal hell.

Surprisingly it only took three relatively painless trips to my local Michaels to pick out a craft project, find appropriately tacky decorations and not go completely overboard. Hah. Who am I kidding? At this point, I’m basically Abbi at Bed, Bath, and Beyond.

2. Send out questionnaires.

How can you provide beautiful gifts for your favorite ladies if you do not know every detail about their lives? My highly analytical survey (who’s your feminist icon? Favorite female politician? Favorite Book? Girly cocktail?) resulted in some custom party favors. Throw in some random questions (What’s the last book you read? Favorite color?) just for fun.

3. Pre-craft 

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Feminist icon cupcake toppers are must for any Galentine’s Day party.

 

Pre-crafting is just like pre-gaming. You eat, you drink, you knit, you cut and you glue furiously until 3AM. You should always pre-craft so much that you need to take Alleve the following morning.

4. Create unique gift bags.

I’m not Leslie Knope. I actually sleep. I do not have a binder creator on retainer. I’m not skilled at making mosaics out of your favorite diet sodas. But I can search every store for the perfect gift bags swag.

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What I came up with: Pinwheels; I Think You’re Sharp Pencils; Bubbles; Lip Gloss; Knitted Heart Puff stuffed with dried lavender; Chocolates in Handmade Heart-Shaped Gift Boxes; Conversation Hearts; Condoms.

5. Kick it breakfast style

Ideally your Galentine’s Day celebration takes place during brunch. Ideally you only serve waffles. If you know anything about Galentine’s Day, you don’t need me to tell you this.

6. Craft!

Galentine’s Day Craft Parties are not Paint Nite. (I hope. Please never let it become Paint Nite.) The key to successful craft party is to find something everyone can make and will actually want to use or gift to someone else. And allow your guests to do whatever the hell they want.

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DIY Chalkboards are relatively simple to make. Hot glue some magnets on the back and you’re in craft business.

 

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Notorious RBG not included

 

If you follow these steps, Galentine’s Days parties are a fantastic way to cut loose in February and enjoy the greatest holiday that really should be a national holiday.

What I Learned From 2014

This is not a “Best of 2014” list. This is an obituary for a blog.

“On December 31 2014 , the final post of For Cinephiles by a Cinefille miraculously appeared on the Internet. It had terrible SEO and even worse grammar. Thanks to a grand total of seven blog posts all year and after a nearly five month absence, no one bothered to read it.”

Just kidding. This blog isn’t going anywhere.

It isn’t necessary for you to read this post. It is more necessary for me to just write something, anything, on the final day of 2014, to force myself to get back to blogging. Continue reading

About That Fifty Shades of Grey Trailer

Leave it to Fifty Shades of Grey to pull me out of my self-imposed blogging exile. I’ve watched the trailer a few times now and I… I just… I have some thoughts. For starters:

This is Zoe Kazan.

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This is a white guy.

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He wears suits.

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He has a helicopter.

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She has… well I’m sure she has hobbies and friends and something exciting going on in her life that is equally as exciting as that helicopter. Perhaps she enjoys scarves as evidenced by the one time she is seen wearing a scarf.

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There is also an elevator.

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But this is not Grey’s Anatomy.

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Oh.

So.

Well, Beyonce is on board with this movie so I guess it’s fine.

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The end.

 

What The Expendables Are Thinking (And Who Invited Kelsey Grammer?)

Everybody Dance Now

A new Expendables movie is like Christmas morning when you open your presents and wonder: “How the hell did you come up with this?” That’s basically what I thought as I watched the trailer for The Expendables 3: This Time With Young People Who Understand TechnologyThe Expendables is a who’s who from every action film and the trailer is, fittingly, a roll call. The familiar faces plus some new additions to the Expendables crew will bring more of the same absurd goodness to the big screen.

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Everything I Thought During 300: Rise of an Empire

It has been well over a year since I did one of these pointless lists. (I’ll never forget you, Hansel and Gretel.) But 300: Rise of An Empire is a movie worthy of this great honor. If you enjoyed it’s kind-of, sort of but not really 300 (and I did), you’ll probably get a kick out of this movie. If only because Artemisia (Eva Green) makes you question why Themistocles (Sullivan Stapleton) is even there.

1. These trailers are boring. It must be March.
2. 300: With Less Abs and More Facial Hair
3. Fassbender was not in 300 as much as he is in 300: Rise of an Empire.
4. Themistocles is a buzzkill.
5. So. Much. Blood.
6. Artemisia is a fancy Kristen Stewart.
7. Hell hath no fury like an Ancient Greek woman scorned.

 

Werk it, girl.

Werk it, girl.

8. Xerxes is missing some gold. He should borrow some from Smaug.
9. “You traveled a long way to stroke your cock while watching real men train.” What?!
10. There are absolutely no stereotypes about Persians in this movie whatsoever.
11. Where did the Persians find the space store all Artemisia’s outfits?
12. Now I don’t think any of that happened.
13. Is it really necessary to whip the slaves? They’re already doomed.
14. ROCKS
15. Artemisia: Greece :: Captain Ahab: Moby Dick.
16. That sex scene was already in Dark Shadows.

The angriest sex in the history of angry sex.

The angriest sex in the history of angry sex.

17. How did the Athenians get their spears back in between battles?
18. Spartans. Amirite?
19. Seriously? Where did that horse come from?
20. I don’t remember Cook looking anything like that.
21. Lena Headey, guys. Lena Headey.
22. This entire movie is just one extended sex scene.
23. So… I guess there won’t be an Artemisia-Themistocles TV spin-off.
24. Eight years later and I still don’t know how the Persians transported those elephants to Greece.
25. And there are no words for this. xerxes 300

5 Things About The 2014 Oscars

Jordan Catalano got an Oscar before Angela Chase. None of us saw that coming. Except maybe Rayenne.

Jordan Catalano got an Oscar before Angela Chase. None of us saw that coming. Except maybe Rayanne.

The 86th Annual Academy Awards have come and gone. While I might not have loved 2013 cinema, there is nothing I love more than the Oscars telecast. It’s a gloriously absurd evening and every year gives us something to talk about. Except not this year. It was just a solid, non-controversial show, which is something the Academy needed. Let’s get into five points of interest.

1. Ellen Degeneres Does It Again

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Ellen Degeneres’ hosting style doesn’t satisfy everyone.  There was no musical number. No “Boobs” song. Just jokes. But after three year’s of duds, it was great to see a host skip a musical number, not sing about boobs and just have fun. The audience gag’s kept the show from getting too boring and that pizza gag gave us the greatest picture of Brad Pitt ever. Thank you, Ellen.

2. LUPITA IS EVERYTHING

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From her fashion choices to her articulate acceptance speeches, Lupita Nyong’o owned awards season. She even made that irritating Pharrell song bearable.The Oscars were her night and it was refreshing to see someone so overjoyed and gracious win.

3. Bill Murray’s Impromptu Tribute

Bill Murray is a national treasure. He cemented that with his tribute to Harold Ramis. It was perfect.

4. The Oscar Themes Need To Go

Why, why, why do the Academy Awards need a theme? It just doesn’t work. Look, I love a good montage (I really do) but all these montages do is reduce the greatest movies into snippets only film snobs appreciate. So either figure out how to execute a theme with some originality or don’t bother at all. It drags down an otherwise okay show.

I do like the idea of celebrating one great classic movie, like The Wizard of Oz, during the Oscars telecast. But when Liza Minnelli and Lorna Luft become glorified seat fillers, that’s a waste. Here’s an idea: bring back the honorary Oscars, in some way, to primetime telecast. It is the single best way to celebrate classic Hollywood without boring everyone. Because when Stanley Donen tap dances, we all win.

5. Lupita Nyong’o’s brother deserves an Oscar

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Remember when Jimmy Kimmel tried to make everyone tweet during the Emmys? Yeah, that didn’t work at all. Ellen Degeneres, however, made it work with this instant classic bit. And that guy who’s blocking Angie who you don’t recognize…. it’s Lupita Nyongo’s brother Peter. Well-done, sir. Well-done.

This is what I took away from the Oscars. What are your thoughts on the 86th Annual Academy Awards? Sound off below.