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The Biggest (Boring) Night In Hollywood – Oscars 2015

Last year’s Oscars celebration was a memorable one.  Ellen Degeneres was the host and she did a fantastic job with working the crowd, while throwing in some pretty crazy surprises along the way.  12 Years A Slave was the big winner of the night, taking home the big award for Best Picture.  Overall, it was a strong night for the Academy.

What about the 87th Annual Academy Awards you ask?  Well, let me just say this.  There were a lot of locks for the award categories.  No one broke the internet.  The host was average at best.  Plus, the show seemed to feel even longer than last year, running past the 12:00 mark.  Does this give you a good idea of how the night went?

via Billboard
via Billboard

The Oscars, held at the famous Dolby Theatre as usual, were hosted by the charismatic Neil Patrick Harris, who has done a fair share of hosting gigs himself; probably best known for his Tony Awards performance.  He started in the same fashion with an exciting musical number chronicling the history of the “moving picture.”  The talented Anna Kendrick even joined him on stage halfway through and Jack Black, by surprise, crashed the number in classic Jack Black fashion.  If the musical number was any indication, the night was only going to get better.  However, this wasn’t so much the case.

Neil was an alright host.  He got the job done.  He had some big shoes to fill though after what Ellen did last year with the hosting job.  Most of his jokes did a fair share of bashing and roasting of the crowd, but most of them seemed to fall flat.  He would just sit there with a charming smile, waiting for people to pity laugh at his jokes.  There was a running bit during the show about a locked briefcase that supposedly was holding his predictions for the show.  There was such a buildup to the final moment, but the joke fell drastically flat when the contents of the box were revealed.  It just contained a slightly comedic summary of the nights happenings.  About halfway through the show, Neil delivered probably his most talked about moment, where he walked out on stage in nothing but his tiny underwear.  However by that point, it just seemed like a desperate attempt to keep people paying attention to a show that just dragged on and on.

via Sueddeutsche.de
via Sueddeutsche.de

There were also a lot of performances, paying tribute to some of the best soundtracks of the year.  Out of the sampling of songs, there were only about three performances that really stuck out.  The first was the thrilling and crazy performance of “Everything is Awesome”, the theme song for the snubbed Lego Movie.  Tegan and Sara, as well as The Lonely Island, wowed the crowed with the energetic performance, probably leaving most confused.  They even handed out Lego Oscars to the crowd, producing some great reactions.   More specifically Oprah who probably had the reaction of the night.

Then there was the powerful and uplifting performance of “Glory” by John Legend and Common from the movie Selma, which was presented the Oscar for Best Original Song.  Set against the backdrop of the Edmund Pettus Bridge and accompanied by a full choir, John Legend and Common managed to make the crowd emotional, with not a dry eye in the house. Lastly, Lady Gaga performed a tribute to the Sound of Music and Julie Andrews.  It was surprisingly pretty good and she nailed all of the songs with graceful bliss.  It was made even better when Julie Andrews herself came out on stage afterwards to present the Oscar for Best Original Score, which ended up going to The Grand Budapest Hotel.

via ABC News
via ABC News

As for the actual awards themselves, there wasn’t too much drama this year.  The big award for Best Picture was pretty much decided to be between Boyhood and Birdman.  Birdman, to my surprise, ended up taking the award.  Birdman was one of the big winners of the night.  Birdman and Emmanuel Lubezki won for Achievement in Cinemetography and Best Original Screenplay was also awarded to Birdman.  The movie’s director, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, also won for Best Director.

via Indie Wire
via Indie Wire

The other big winner of the night was The Grand Budapest Hotel, which pretty much cleaned up in the technical categories.  The movie took home the awards for Achievement in Costume Design, Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling, Best Production Design, and Best Original Score.  It was good to see the film gain some recognition, considering it was not projected to win any of the big awards of the night.

The first award of the night was given to J.K. Simmons for Best Supporting Actor for his role as the instructor in the 3rd biggest winner of the night, Whiplash.  The most impact speech award was probably given to Patricia Arquette, who won Best Supporting Actress.  She used the time on stage to promote wage equality for women and men everywhere.  She got a big crowd applause.  It’s also worth mentioning that Graham Moore also had a memorable speech, for Best Adapted Screenplay for The Imitation Game, when he talked about his attempted suicide, and how he wanted all of us to “Stay Weird” and “Stay Different.”

oscars 2015 graham moore

Best Actor went to Eddie Redmayne for his performance as Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything.  An emotional Eddie went up there and professed the honor that was bestowed upon him for portraying the famous figure.  On the other side, Julianne Moore won the award for Best Actress, for her role as Alice in Still Alice.  This was one of the least surprising announcements, considering the amount of buzz that was surrounding the award.

It has already been revealed this morning that the ratings for the telecast were down when compared to past years, but this wasn’t too much of a surprise.  The drama just didn’t seem to be there since a majority of the categories were already considered to be predicted to a T.  There also wasn’t a plethora of moments for us to rave about in the morning, with Neil Patrick Harris bringing a dose of average to the gig.  The show needs to revise it’s structure if it wants to move forward with success.  It was a well produced program, but it just didn’t seem to work too well in the current climate.  Does this mean a radical change in format?  Maybe not.  Does this mean no show at all?  Definitely not.  With that being said, something needs to change because the best word I can use to sum up last night’s production was: boring.

via The Guardian
via The Guardian

Here’s the full list of the winners that took  home the golden man last night…

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

J.K. Simmons for Whiplash

ACHIEVEMENT IN COSTUME DESIGN

The Grand Budapest Hotel – Milena Canonero

ACHIEVEMENT IN MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING

The Grand Budapest Hotel – Frances Hannon & Mark Coulier

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

Ida – Pawel Pawlikowski

BEST LIVE-ACTION SHORT FILM

The Phone Call – Mat Kirkby & James Lucas

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT

Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1 – Ellen Goosenberg Kent & Dana Perry

ACHIEVEMENT IN SOUND MIXING

Whiplash – Craig Mann, Ben Wilkins & Thomas Curley

ACHIEVEMENT IN SOUND EDITING

American Sniper – Alan Robert Murray & Bub Asman

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Patricia Arquette for Boyhood

ACHIEVEMENT IN VISUAL EFFECTS

Interstellar – Paul J Franklin, Andrew Lockley, Ian Hunter & Scott R Fisher

BEST ANIMATED SHORT FILM

Feast – Patrick Osborne & Kristina Reed

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM

Big Hero 6

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

The Grand Budapest Hotel – Adam Stockhausen & Anna Pinnock

ACHIEVEMENT IN CINEMATOGRAPHY

Birdman – Emmanuel Lubezki

ACHIEVEMENT IN FILM EDITING

Whiplash – Tom Cross

via The Guardian
via The Guardian

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

Citizenfour – Laura Poitras, Mathilde Bonnefoy & Dirk Wilutzky

BEST ORIGINAL SONG

“Glory” from Selma – Lonnie Lynn (Common) & John Stephens (John Legend)

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

Alexandre Desplat – The Grand Budapest Hotel

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Nicolas Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris & Armando Bo – Birdman

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

Graham Moore – The Imitation Game

BEST DIRECTOR

Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu – Birdman

via joe.ie
via joe.ie

BEST ACTOR

Eddie Redmayne for The Theory of Everything

BEST ACTRESS

Julianne Moore for Still Alice

BEST PICTURE

Birdman

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The Grammys 2015: Wrap-Up

grammysIf you watched the Grammys last night, you probably heard the phrase “Grammy Moment” over and over again.  It was the main theme of the night.  “So and so is going to make a Grammy moment.”  “Don’t miss the Grammy moment, coming up next!”  The 57th Annual Grammy Awards took place last night, and there were indeed a lot of moments…some more memorable then others.

Right off the bat, the award for Best New Artist, which was presented by Taylor Swift, was given to Sam Smith.  This surprised me a lot, considering the fact that Iggy Azalea was in the category as well.  (Although I really wouldn’t call her “new”)  This was the start of two new trends for the night.  Iggy, who was nominated for four awards, took home a big zero.  On the other hand, Sam Smith cleaned house with a grand total of four Grammy’s, including Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best Pop Vocal Album, in addition to his New Artist award.  This was a big night for the emotional Sam Smith, who accepted the awards with a lot of gratitude.

grammys sam smith

Other notable award winners included Beck for Album of the Year for Morning Phase.  This was by far my biggest surprise.  Beck had a pretty successful and critically acclaimed album, but I didn’t think there was that much buzz around his album, especially compared to the other nominees in the category.  Kanye West must have thought the same thing, as he almost performed “I ’ma Let You Finish” Part 2.  Luckily, he refrained from interrupting Beck, but it was still one of my favorite moments from the night.  Others didn’t find it funny, calling Kanye a jerk.  This is true in a sense, but I don’t think Kanye did anything wrong last night…besides his later comments about Beck and his win.  Anyway…

Other award winners include Pharrell Williams for Best Pop Solo Performance for his song “Happy” and Beyonce for Best R&B Performance for her song “Drunk In Love” with her hubby Jay Z.  One surprising omission from the show was the absence of the Hip-Hop and Rap awards being presented live.  All of the awards for these categories were announced before the live show…for reasons I can’t really explain.  Either way, Eminem won Best Rap Album for The Marshal Mathers LP2 and Kendrick Lamar won Best Rap Performance for “I”.  There were a lot more awards that were left out of the picture during the live show, with only nine awards being given out at the big show.  The awards were three hours long and only nine were actually given out?  That only means one thing…performances.

grammys beck

So how were the performances?

Well, there were so much that host LL Cool J had to skip his normal comedic (that term used lightly) monologue in order to make room for the plethora of artists that made the stage.  This year there were twenty three performances, kicked off by the rock legends AC/DC with “Rock or Bust” and “Highway to Hell.”  It was a strong start to the show, and it probably had a lot of people confused as to why they were even up there.  Then things started to go downhill…

grammys acdc

We got some love songs from Ariana Grande and the duo of Jessie J and Tom Jones.  The two performances were alright, but they were nothing special.  We then got a rather forgettable performance from Miranda Lambert who sung “Little Red Wagon.”  Surprising to most, Kanye West picked things up a bit with his minimalist act of “Only One.”  It was then Madonna who gave a weird and often times uncomfortable performance of “Living for Love.”

There was then a long string of unmemorable performances that just didn’t make an impression on me.  Pharrell Williams however, gave a cinematic and epic performance of “Happy”, debuting a new elevator boy hat.  I hope the tradition continues every year.  Katy Perry, after a talk about domestic violence, gave a somber, yet dazzling performance of “By the Grace of God”, which was one of the standouts of the night.  One of the other standouts was the much anticipated performance of “FourFiveSeconds” by the trio of Sir Paul McCartney, Rihanna, and Kanye West.  It was an upbeat live showing of a song that just doesn’t get old.  They three had fun with it.

grammys four five seconds

The show closed with two final performances from Beyonce and John Legend, featuring rapper Common.  Beyonce performed an angelic version of “Precious Lord, Take My Hand.”  It was a powerful performance that further cemented Beyonce’s status of dominance in music.  As an encore of sorts, John Legend and Common performed the Oscar nominated “Glory” from the Oscar recognized Selma.  It was another epic performance, complete with instrumentals and a full choir.  The Grammys started strong and ended strong…but had a ton of rough patches in between held up by the occasional memorable performance.

The Grammys weren’t what I thought they were going to be this year.  They were kind of a let down.  Yes, some very talented musicians took home there well deserved awards, but I kind of wished there were more awards, instead of the performances that were just thrown in there to fatten up the runtime.  Half of the performances could have been cut out, leaving room for more awards and what ever else they could have come up with.  It was a big night for music, no doubt…but it could have been bigger.

grammys beyonce


Here were some of the winners from the night…

Record of the Year

Sam Smith – “Stay With Me”

Song of the Year

Sam Smith – “Stay With Me” [Darkchild Version]

Album of the Year

Beck – “Morning Phase”

Best New Artist

Sam Smith

Best Pop Solo Performance

Pharrell Williams – “Happy”

Best Pop Vocal Album

Sam Smith – “In The Lonely Hour”

Best Rock Album

Beck – “Morning Phase”

Best Rap Album

Eminem – “The Marshal Mathers LP2”

Best Country Album

Miranda Lambert – “Platinum”

Best R&B Performance

Beyonce ft. Jay Z – “Drunk In Love”

grammys happy


Now, what about my predictions?  Well…here’s how I did…

Record of the Year

I predicted… “Shake If Off” by Taylor Swift

Actual winner: “Stay With Me” by Sam Smith

Album of the Year

I predicted… In The Lonely Hour by Sam Smith

Actual winner: Morning Phase by Beck

Song of the Year

I predicted… “Shake It Off” by Taylor Swift

Actual winner: “Stay With Me” [Darkchild Version] by Sam Smith

Best New Artist

I predicted… Iggy Azalea

Actual winner: Sam Smith

Best Pop Vocal Album

I predicted… Prism by Katy Perry

Actual winner: In The Lonely Hour by Sam Smith

Best Dance/Electronic Album

I predicted… While (1>2) by Deadmau5

Actual winner: Syro by Aphex Twin

Best R&B Performance

I predicted… “Drunk In Love” by Beyonce feat. Jay Z

Actual winner: “Drunk In Love” by Beyonce feat. Jay Z

Best Urban Contemporary Album

I predicted… Beyonce by Beyonce

Actual winner: Beyonce by Beyonce

Best Rap Song

I predicted… “I” by Kendrick Lamar

Actual winner: “I” by Kendrick Lamar

Best Rap Album

I predicted… The Marshal Mathers LP2 by Eminem

Actual winner: The Marshal Mathers LP2 by Eminem

grammys taylor swift

Basically, I didn’t do so well.  I knew Sam Smith was going to win some awards, but I wasn’t expecting him to take the show.  I also expected Taylor Swift to take his place with the top song categories.  Obviously that didn’t pan out.  As for the Rap categories, I did alright.  I also did a good job with predicting Beyonce to win big as well.  I could have done better, but I went with the popular route.  I should have known better…

2015 Grammy Awards Predictions

The lists are out and the nominees have been announced!  There looks to be a lot of tough races in some of the categories.  It’s going to be interesting once it all goes down on February 8th.  Now, it’s time for me to make my semi-educational guesses as to who will take home the big awards…

RECORD OF THE YEARgrammy 2014 1

-“Fancy” by Iggy Azalea feat. Charlie XCX

-“Chandelier” by Sia

-“Stay With Me” (Darkchild Version) by Sam Smith

-“Shake It Off” by Taylor Swift (WINNER)

-“All About That Bass” by Meghan Trainor

This was one of the tougher categories to choose.  The favorites are probably “Fancy”, “Shake It Off”, and “All About That Bass”.  However, I think Taylor Swift will be the lucky lady that takes home the award.

ALBUM OF THE YEARgrammy 2014 2

Morning Phase by Beck

Beyonce by Beyonce

by Ed Sheeran

In The Lonely Hour by Sam Smith  (WINNER)

Girl by Pharrell Williams

This was probably the toughest category for me to choose.  All of the albums that were nominated have an extremely likely chance of getting the award, however I thought that Sam Smith had a hell of a year and his album might sit well with the board of judges.   I guess we will have to wait and see.

SONG OF THE YEAR

-“All About That Bass” by Meghan Trainor

-“Chandelier” by Sia

-“Shake It Off” by Taylor Swift  (WINNER)

-“Stay With Me” (Darkchild Version) by Sam Smith

-“Take Me To Church” by Hozier

“Shake It Off” was the song that got in your head every time you listened to it, no matter if you liked Taylor Swift or not.  It’s a catchy tune that served as one of the standout tracks on her album 1989.  I am going to go ahead and say that the award will be in Taylor Swift’s hands by the end of the night.

BEST NEW ARTISTgrammy 2014 3

-Iggy Azalea  (WINNER)

-Bastille

-Brandy Clark

-Haim

-Sam Smith

Iggy Azalea has had a busy year.  She’s been on many hit singles and she has put out a hit album as well.  She also has come under a ton of fire from some of her hip-hop superiors.  Don’t forget about her night at the American Music Awards as well, where she took home all the awards for the hip-hop category.  She has handled herself really well through all of this, and that is why I think she is the best new artist of the year.  However, Sam Smith would make a good choice as well.

And now for some of the other categories that interest me…

BEST POP VOCAL ALBUMgrammy 2014 4

Ghost Stories by Coldplay

Bangerz by Miley Cyrus

My Everything by Ariana Grande

Prism by Katy Perry  (WINNER)

by Ed Sheeran

In The Lonely Hour by Sam Smith

BEST DANCE/ELECTRONIC ALBUMgrammy 2014 5

Syro by Aphex Twin

While (1>2) by Deadmau5  (WINNER)

Nabuma Rubberband by Little Dragon

Do It Again by Royksopp & Robyn

Damage Control by Mat Zo

BEST R&B PERFORMANCEgrammy 2014 6

-“Drunk In Love” by Beyonce feat. Jay Z  (WINNER)

-“New Flame” by Chris Brown feat. Usher & Rick Ross

-“It’s Your World” by Jennifer Hudson feat. R. Kelly

-“Like This” by Ledisi

-“Good Kisser” by Usher

BEST URBAN CONTEMPORARY ALBUMgrammy 2014 7

Sail Out by Jhene Aiko

Beyonce by Beyonce  (WINNER)

X by Chris Brown

Mali Is… by Mali Music

Girl by Pharrell Williams

BEST RAP SONGgrammy 2014 8

-“Anaconda” by Nicki Minaj

-“Bound 2” by Kanye West

-“I” by Kendrick Lamar  (WINNER)

-“We Dem Boyz” by Wiz Khalifa

-“0 to 100/The Catch Up” by Drake

BEST RAP ALBUM??????????????????????????????????

The New Classic by Iggy Azalea

Because The Internet by Childish Gambino

-Nobody’s Smiling by Common

The Marshall Mathers LP2 by Eminem  (WINNER)

Oxymoron by Schoolboy Q

Blacc Hollywood by Wiz Khalifa

*Side Note: This category should be interesting given all of the controversy and words that have been exchanged between Iggy and Eminem.

With that, my predictions have been made for the big categories as well as the categories that interest me the most.  Now we will have to wait till February 8th to see whether or not I was right about these choices, or a complete idiot.  Probably the latter, but I like to think that I am better than that.