Watch And/Or Listen to This: Shangela’s Spirit Award Best Feature Drag Medley

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CREDIT: Film Independent/YouTube

If you’re not watching the Spirit Awards, this is what you’re missing.

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91st Oscar Predictions/Preferences

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CREDIT: Carlos Somonte/Netflix

Here’s my final rundown of who I will think will be taking home the little gold men on Sunday, February 24, 2019, and whom I would vote for if I had a ballot.

Best Picture

Prediction: Roma is tied for the most nominations, and it’s won the most noteworthy precursor awards.
Preference: BlacKkKlansman is absolutely electric, a quality that is all too rare in Best Picture winners.

Best Director

Prediction: Expect Alfonso Cuarón to continue the recent Mexican dominance in this category.
Preference: A win for Spike Lee would have lifetime achievement oomph, and it would also be deserved in particular for BlacKkKlansman.

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Kevin Hart Doesn’t Know How the Internet Works

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After watching Kevin Hart’s appearance on Ellen on Friday, I’m not sure if he should host the Oscars, but I am sure about one thing: for someone who uses social media as prolifically as he does, he really doesn’t know how the Internet works. He is astounded by how much effort someone put in to dig up something he tweeted eight years ago. But if you know what tweet you’re looking for, it takes about five seconds to locate it. Hart seems to think it’s like finding a needle in a haystack, but when you can ask your favorite digital assistant to find that needle for you, it’s not as difficult as it’s historically been.

I’ll be generous and give Kevin Hart the benefit of the doubt and believe that he really has changed and that he is sincerely sorry for his past homophobic remarks. His apologies have perhaps left something to be desired, but maybe he is having trouble expressing himself (otherwise-decent people often do when asked to atone for their mistakes). The trouble is that he is misunderstanding the context. He has framed himself the victim, thinking that trolls are out to ruin his career. But most of the coverage I’ve seen in response to him being offered the Oscar hosting gig has been LGBTQ people and their allies expressing concern, not vindictiveness. Hart may be frustrated that he is being asked to apologize for something he’s already apologized for, but there are probably people who never heard his original apology in the first place (or found it lacking).

Hart is encouraging people to move on, which is a good idea, so long as the correct lessons have been learned. It looks likely that Hart has decided for good not to host.He is worried that his presence will be a distraction, but there could’ve been (and still could be!) an opportunity for him to change the narrative. Don’t ignore the controversy: address it, and then move into a more celebratory, more inclusive direction. If Hart somehow changes his mind again, he could spend part of his opening monologue spotlighting notable queer films of the past year, invite up-and-coming queer filmmakers to be presenters, and donate part of the money he makes from the gig to LGBTQ-focused charities. Marginalized people could always use more allies and cheerleaders.

Every VMA Video of the Year Winner Ranked

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CREDIT: Missy Elliott/YouTube

The 2018 VMA’s were just a couple of weeks, which means I’ve had a hankering to rank every Video of the Year winner from most not-the-best to the very best. And so, here is that ranking?

35. Green Day – “Boulevard of Broken Dreams”
34. Katy Perry – “Firework”
33. Britney Spears – “Piece of Me”
32. Eminem – “Without Me”
31. Aerosmith – “Cryin'”
30. Eminem – “The Real Slim Shady”
29. The Smashing Pumpkins – “Tonight, Tonight”
28. Taylor Swift ft. Kendrick Lamar – “Bad Blood”
27. Christina Aguilera, Lil’ Kim, Mya, and P!nk ft. Missy Elliott – “Lady Marmalade”
26. Miley Cyrus – “Wrecking Ball”
25. Rihanna ft. Calvin Harris – “We Found Love”
24. Madonna – “Ray of Light”
23. Justin Timberlake – “Mirrors”
22. R.E.M. – “Losing My Religion”
21. Don Henley – “The Boys of Summer”
20. OutKast – “Hey Ya!”
19. Lauryn Hill – “Doo Wop (That Thing)”
18. Panic! at the Disco – “I Write Sins Not Tragedies”
17. The Cars – “You Might Think”
16. Camila Cabello ft. Young Thug – “Havana”
15. Beyonce – “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)”
14. Kendrick Lamar – “HUMBLE.”
13. Lady Gaga – “Bad Romance”
12. Neil Young – “This Note’s for You”
11. van Halen – “Right Now”
10. Beyonce – “Formation”
9. Rihanna ft. Jay-Z – “Umbrella”
8. TLC – “Waterfalls”
7. INXS – “Need You Tonight/Mediate”
6. Jamiroquai – “Virtual Insanity”
5. Sinead O’Connor – “Nothing Compares 2 U”
4. Dire Straits – “Money for Nothing”
3. Pearl Jam – “Jeremy”
2. Missy Elliott – “Work It”
1. Peter Gabriel – “Sledgehammer”

Agree? Disagree? Confused? Let me know!

2016 Emmy Nominations Predictions and Wishlist

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Emmys2016Poster

The 2016 Emmy nominations will be announced this Thursday, June 14. My predictions and wish lists for most of the major categories are on Moviepilot this year, and I covered Outstanding Animated Program for Bubbleblabber. Links to individual categories are below:

Comedy Series
Lead Actor in a Comedy
Lead Actress in a Comedy
Supporting Actor in a Comedy
Supporting Actress in a Comedy
Drama Series
Lead Actor in a Drama
Lead Actress in a Drama
Supporting Actor in a Drama
Supporting Actress in a Drama
Variety Talk Series
Variety Sketch Series
Animated Program

Folks from the preceding categories who did not quite make my wish lists: Will Forte (The Man on Earth), Fred Savage (The Grinder), Billy Eichner (Difficult People), Chris Geere (You’re the Worst), Maria Bamford (Lady Dynamite), Rashida Jones (Angie Tribeca), Michael Ian Black (Another Period), Fred Melamed (Lady Dynamite), Yael Grobglas (Jane the Virgin), Claudia O’Doherty (Love), Louis C.K. (Horace and Pete), Steve Buscemi (Horace and Pete), Ruth Wilson (The Affair), Craig Bierko (UnREAL), Alan Alda (Horace and Pete), Joshua Jackson (The Affair).

And here is my wish list for a selection of the remaining categories:

Limited Series
The People v. OJ Simpson
Fargo
The Spoils Before Dying

TV Movie
A Deadly Adoption
7 Days in Hell

Lead Actor, Limited Series or TV Movie
Courtney B. Vance, The People v. OJ Simpson
Patrick Wilson, Fargo
Cuba Gooding, Jr., The People v. OJ Simpson

Lead Actress, Limited Series or TV Movie
Sarah Paulson, The People v. OJ Simpson
Kirsten Dunst, Fargo

Supporting Actor, Limited Series or TV Movie
John Travolta, The People v. OJ Simpson
Sterling K. Brown, The People v. OJ Simpson
David Schwimmer, The People v. OJ Simpson
Bokeem Woodbine, Fargo
Will Ferrell, The Spoils Before Dying

Supporting Actress, Limited Series or TV Movie
Jean Smart, Fargo

Guest Actor
Larry David, Saturday Night Live

Guest Actress, Comedy
Lennon Parham, Review

Guest Actor, Drama
BD Wong, Mr. Robot

Guest Actress, Drama
Carrie Preston, The Good Wife

Directing, Comedy
Jonathan Krisel, “Picnic,” Baskets

Host – Reality/Reality Competition
RuPaul Charles, RuPaul’s Drag Race

Main Title Design
W/ Bob & David
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
Marvel’s Jessica Jones

Oscar Surprises: How Surprising Were They?

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ExMachinaVFXTeam(The Ex Machina VFX team accepts their award.)

I was 17/24 in my Oscar predictions. Here are the 7 categories I got wrong, ranked from least to most surprising:

1. Film Editing
I Predicted: The Big Short
What Won: Mad Max: Fury Road
This was always a tight two-way fight; the surprise would have been if anything else had won.

2. Documentary Short
I Predicted: Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah
What Won: A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness
In Doc Short, I look for what can be construed as “important.” Trouble is, that descriptor could fit every nominee.

3. Animated Short
I Predicted: World of Tomorrow
What Won: Bear Story
I need to stop using the logic of “It’s so good – no way the Academy won’t vote for it!” World of Tomorrow just does not fit the charming and/or goofy mold of most Animated Short winners; Bear Story does (though it was obscured a bit by the more high-profile Sanjay’s Super Team).

4. Best Picture
I Predicted: The Big Short
What Won: Spotlight
As I suspected, it came down to the preferential ballot; unfortunately for us prognosticators, that worked in two films’ favor.

5. Supporting Actor
I Predicted: Sylvester Stallone
What Won: Mark Rylance
This race was always wide-open, even though Stallone was really the only one with any precursor indicators.

6. Original Song
I Predicted: “Til It Happens to You”
What Won: “Writing’s on the Wall”
I guess Sam Smith was second-most likely, but it sure looked like GaGa was way out in front.

7. Visual Effects
I Predicted: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
What Won: Ex Machina
A film with a budget as modest as Ex Machina‘s winning Visual Effects is simply unprecedented. And with such tough competition, I would have never predicted it happening this year. (It is totally worthy, though!)

Oscar Nominations Reactions

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-Sad to see no “See You Again” in Best Song, but at least the correct song from 50 Shades of Grey was picked.
-This is the most spread out I can ever remember the field being, as expected. Carol, Star Wars, and Straight Outta Compton had to be pretty close to Best Picture noms. Also Sicario, amazingly. And Ex Machina, too.
Room got more overall support than I was expecting. Lenny Abrahamson is your iconoclastic Director pick this year.
-Most of what I’m happy to see was expected or close to it, i.e., plenty of love for The Big Short, Stallone for Supporting, Mad Max for Costume.
-Denmark’s been doing well in Foreign Language Film this decade.
-Glad to see The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out Of The Window And Disappeared for Makeup and Hair. I haven’t seen it, but it’s probably the best title of the year.

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