Oscars 2016 Recap: The Top 15 Best, Worst, and Most Interesting Moments

The 2016 Oscars will forever go down surrounded by the controversies about diversity and the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite, which caused various members of the film community to protest attending the Oscars. Host Chris Rock, came out right away and started the jokes about race, mentioning that black people in the 1960’s could have cared less about the Oscars back then because they had bigger problems on their hands. Then he went in on Jade Pinkett Smith and said, “Everyone went mad. Jada said she’s not coming, protesting. Isn’t she on a TV show? Jada boycotting the Oscars is like me boycotting Rihanna’s panties — I wasn’t invited.” Ohh that was a low blow for Jada.

From there it was a never ending barrage of jokes on why black people hate, don’t care, and want nothing to do with the Oscars. To be honest with you guys, I was so over it, after about 15 minutes it stopped being funny and it just became almost annoying. It made me think well if you are going to complain about the lack of black people in film, what about all the other races out there who are not represented in Hollywood? Regardless, Chris Rock did do a good job and I found the Oscars to be somewhat entertaining.

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Let’s talk about what went down and recap the best, worst, and most interesting moments of the night.

1.Chris Rock as host. I will call it a winning performance by a black comedian and he succeeded at making his predominately white audience feel uncomfortable. I don’t know if I should put this under best, worst, or interesting?

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2.Stacey Dash UGH. What the hell was that? She came out on stage for like 2 minutes and said something odd about happy Black History month. What was the last movie she was in? Clueless in 1997? Umm, get off the stage. BOO!

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3. Mad Max: Fury Road won 6 awards, all for technical categories and they were aptly deserved. Bravo!

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4. Chris Rock did his pizza moment like Ellen and made the audience buy Girl Scout cookies from his daughter’s troop. That was really cute and he had the star-studded audience taking out their one hundred dollar bills because honestly I doubt they had any one’s on them. He later revealed they raised $65,243 dollars and mentioned most of it was probably purchased by the tied up in a prison jumpsuit, Suge Knight (yes it was the actor from Straight Outta Compton).

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5. When Louis C.K. presented the award for Best Documentary Short film. His suit looked too big on him, like he bought it for an interview and didn’t have it tailored. He then joked that the people who make these films do it for the love of telling an important story, because let’s be honest they don’t make a cent off these films. He said, “This Oscar is going home in a Honda Civic. … It’s going to give them anxiety to keep it in their crappy apartment.” That was funny, but kind of sad considering they are in a room filled with millionaires.

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6. Chris Rock went into a Compton movie theater and asked people about Oscar nominated films. When asked if they had seen The Big Short, Spotlight and Bridge of Spies, people were confused and shocked and didn’t even think these films existed. But they did all have one thing in common they all saw Straight Outta Compton and loved it. I think this segment once again solidified the mood of the night, that the movies black people enjoy were omitted from the Oscars race. We get it.

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7. Ennio Morricone won for Best Original Score for The Hateful Eight. At 87, he finally won after being nominated various times in the past. He came on stage with his interpreter and gave a moving speech thanking Quentin Tarantino, his late wife, and gave praise to fellow nominee John Williams. He also said, “There isn’t a great soundtrack without a great movie that inspires it.” Well said, it was truly a sweet and moving moment and he deserved it.

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8. Brie Larson won for Best Actress. She looked so beautiful and it was a wonderful moment for an actress that always seems so humble.

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9. Jared Leto in his black Gucci suit with red piping and a floral pin. No one else can pull off this look. No one. Be forewarned, he has pulled off the man bun with ease, long flowing hair, and now this, normal men don’t try this at home.

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10. Mark Rylance won for Best Supporting Actor for his work in Bridge of Spies. I think no one was more surprised than him.

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11. Two words. Tom Hardy. Forget about everything else. I was sad that he didn’t win for Best Supporting Actor, honestly I was rooting for him, not just because he is gorgeous, but his performance was the most memorable to me. Oh well, he’s still super hot and he did not disappoint last night. Sigh.

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12. Alejandro González Iñárritu for the Best Director win! Bravo. I was happy to see him win for the second year in a row, what a feat! A win for diversity, but no one mentioned any of that.

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12. When BB-8 rolled on stage with his droid homies C-3PO and R2-D2. They paid tribute to Star Wars composer John Williams and gleefully admired the golden statue. That was seriously cute and a definite highlight.

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13. FINALLY Leonardo DiCaprio won his Oscar! He won Best Actor for his tremendous role in The Revenant. His speech was heartfelt and moving, he thanked his parents, Martin Scorsese, co-star Tom Hardy, and friends. He then discussed climate change and urged people to wake up and take notice of what is happening in the world. It didn’t come off as preachy at all and I think it worked with his speech. He ended by saying, “Let us not take this planet for granted. I do not take tonight for granted.”

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14. Spotlight took home the Best Picture Oscar and I think a lot of people had mixed feelings on this one. I think it had to win in a way considering the gravity of the film’s subject. I was rooting for The Revenant and I know some of my fellow movie buffs wanted Room and Mad Max: Fury Road to win, but I guess no one ever comes out of this category completely pleased with the results. Regardless of who your favorite was, the message behind Spotlight is a powerful one and producer Michael Sugar said “This film gave a voice to survivors and this Oscar amplifies that voice. We hope will become a choir that will resonate all the way to the Vatican. Pope Francis, it’s time to protect the children and restore the faith.”

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15. And finally the closing music. The song that played as the credits rolled was Public Enemy’s “Fight the Power” and it ended the night on the note Chris Rock began on, which was to use his position to take a stance on the lack of diversity and opportunities for black people in Hollywood. Again, I believe Chris Rock should have used this platform to talk about not just black people, but all other races.

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I know I missed a bunch of moments and things that happened, the thank you scroll, the Amy  documentary film win, Tracey Morgan doing the Danish Girl bit, Saoirse Ronan and her beautiful dress, Alicia Vikander’s win, etc, but then we’d be here forever. What did you guys think of the show? So much went down and I am curious to hear everyone’s thoughts.

And finally Brie Larson ended the night perfectly with a burger, chucks, and an Oscar.

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}}Melissa

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Quick Flick Reviews – The Rev, H8, SW, Crd

I want to introduce a new segment to my blog. My cousin and movie partner in crime, Andrew, is going to be helping me out by doing some quick reviews of movies he has seen recently. He sees a lot of movies that I just never end up watching, so it’s great to be able to post some different opinions on my site. He’s the person I sit and talk with about movies and TV shows and I love hearing his thoughts. Please welcome him into our movie world and throw him some comments and feedback. I am sure he will love it!

Here are his first set of quick flick reviews. Hope you guys enjoy them! Ensue courageous and copious clapping.

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The Revenant is a grueling, magical, cinematic masterpiece. Leonardo DiCaprio is excellent and Tom Hardy is possibly just as special, if not maybe even a slight step above, with his performance as a real sadistic “bad guy” in the film. Alejandro González Iñárritu may have struck gold once again with this enthralling film that sucks you in from the very first scene by making you realize that you are in for a wild ride that’s coupled alongside some magnificent cinematography. The movie runs close to two and a half hours; however I never became disengaged. The Revenant never felt dull or dry because we were continuously fed one great scene after another. Great movie, a must watch, and definitely has some Oscar potential. Quite possibly one of the best movies I have seen since 12 Years a Slave. A+

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The Hateful Eight was a very well made Quentin Tarantino movie. I make a point to say “Tarantino movie” because I feel that if you are a fan of his work, then you will like this one. However, if you are a casual fan of the movies and maybe are not too familiar with his previous flicks, than you might just come away feeling slightly disappointed. Samuel L Jackson, Kurt Russell, Michael Madsen, and Bruce Dern are unquestionably standouts in this film, while the rest of the supporting cast are not too shabby themselves. But with the extensive running time of 3 hours or so and the ultra-lengthy moments of dialogue, I think it could leave some movie-goers feeling slightly anxious for the end. Good movie, a lot of dialogue with a sprinkling of some very “Tarantino” R-rated scenes that push the envelope as only he would know how to do best. B

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens was just so much fun! You go in expecting to be thrown into the world of Star Wars with the anticipation of a thrill ride and this film surely delivers. I couldn’t help but think about the fact that so many kids and teenagers who maybe are not necessarily familiar with the original 6 films, will instantly become transformed into Star Wars junkies after watching this one. I sat there with my 3D glasses, my popcorn and soda, and was entertained from start to finish. The new characters Rey, Finn, Kylo Ren, Poe, and BB-8, bring an enthusiasm to the film that Episodes 1-3 lacked. J.J. Abrams did a magnificent job of giving us a high quality stepping stone into the future of the franchise. This new rendition pays homage to the former episodes all while remaining fresh and unique. I cannot wait for what is to come! Someone should let George Lucas know that his darling baby is in good hands. A

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CREED.  Allow me to begin by saying that Sylvester Stallone is pretty darn good in this spinoff of the Rocky franchise. Michael B. Jordan stars as the young up and coming aspiring boxer Adonis “Donnie” Johnson, his father was the infamous Apollo Creed. Donnie hooks up with his father’s old rival Rocky Balboa, now aging, but fully intact with his boxing capabilities. Jordan looks the part and some of the boxing fight scenes are as realistic as I have ever seen. I went in expecting a corny and predictable remake of Rocky, but Creed did and will stand on its own as one of the better (if not the best) films in the series. I am a diehard boxing fan, so this movie was right up my alley. If you like action movies with grit than you will enjoy it, and even if you want to just sit down and turn your brain off, than this movie will not disappoint. Let’s just say even my fiancée and sister enjoyed watching it (that says a lot). B

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}}Andrew

Movie Review: Star Wars (2015)

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)
Directed by J.J. Abrams
Written by J.J. Abrams, Lawrence Kasdan and Michael Arndt

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To say that the world has been patiently waiting for Star Wars: The Force Awakens to come to life is an understatement. Gladly enough the wait is over and the film is worth every year, minute, and second that fans have waited for because it delivers on all aspects. The film takes places 30 years after where Star Wars: Return of the Jedi left off. Director J.J. Abrams was only 17 years old when that film was released in 1983 and it is evident that he carried his teenage nostalgia and sentiment and brought it to life in the new one.

The film is centered on two unlikely heroes who meet for the first time in a dusty planet far, far away. This sounds so much like the originals, yet not one moment felt forced or contrite, instead it felt like every scene was paying homage to the original films without making the new one feel, what’s the word I am looking for, lame. To have walked out of the theater feeling duped and unsatisfied (cough, cough think Star Wars: Phantom Menace) would have been a travesty to all the fans, but this film did just the opposite. I left feeling giddy and happy like a little kid reliving the first time I saw the original films. My smile beaming from ear to ear, all I needed was a cherry lollipop and some Star Wars stickers to make me feel complete again.

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The story takes place years after Darth Vader’s death and the culmination of Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) realizing that he was related to Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) and subsequently her marriage to Han Solo (Harrison Ford). The First Order has risen to power led by both Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) and General Hux (Domnhall Gleeson) who are being commanded by Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis), a figure head that knows all and sees all and wants the Resistance to be destroyed.

The Resistance is led by Leia Organa who seeks to find her long lost brother Luke. She sends X-wing pilot Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) to the planet of Jakku to find a mysterious map that will uncover his whereabouts. Poe hides the map in his droid BB-8, a little ball-like robot that is loyal to a fault and what happens from here is the First Order’s chase to find both.

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Stormtroopers have always been known to be the hench men that carry out the bad guys’ evil orders, never retreating back or disobeying orders, but there is one FN-2187 who seems to have a conscious. Unable to shoot people anymore and carry out the First Order’s malicious plans he defects and ends up as Finn (John Boyega). He joins the Resistance, almost unknowingly and ends up meeting Rey (Daisy Ridley), a scavenger from Jakku who is handy with electronics and smart as a whip. The two form a friendship that will be remain as timeless in movie history as Leia and Luke (yet these two aren’t related, at least I don’t think so) and create legions of new Star Wars fans. Along their journey to keep BB-8 safe, they face bad guys like Kylo Ren and meet the legendary characters of Han Solo, Chewbacca, R2-D2 and C3-PO.

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One of my favorite aspects of the film was how it kept much of the editing and camera work similar to the originals. There were many wipe transitions, that classic editing style where one side of the frame is replaced by another, this was used in old Sci-Fi and 80’s flicks and one George Lucas commonly employed. Many of the camera shots were low angle, where the camera is angled to look up at the actor causing them to look bigger in the frame (think Darth Vader in the originals) this was used many times whenever General Hux or Kylo Ren entered the picture. Abrams was deliberate and smart for using these techniques because it helped to not make the movie look to overly modern and if one was to sit and watch all the movies in a row it wouldn’t feel so disjointed and odd.

I loved the addition and the highlighting of a strong female character in Rey. I always wanted Leia to have a little more oomph and Rey gives us just that and more. Ridley brought strength and warmness to the character and was able to play off of heavy-hitter Ford with no problem and only helped to further enhance his scenes. Boyega brought a lot of personality to his character and the film and interjected with some of my favorite lines. Together the two newcomers worked well off each other and brought a ton of chemistry and likeability to the film.

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Driver gave Kylo Ren that mixture of vulnerability and evilness and it worked just right, hats off to him for scoring the role of a lifetime. Another one of my favorites was Isaac, who in my eyes always delivers as an actor. He made Poe seem fun and exciting, yet heroic and loyal and I loved seeing him interact with Leia. Who wouldn’t want to join the resistance after meeting him? And who cannot forget BB-8, the little ball of fun that stole the show, I think he was my favorite aspect of the whole film.

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I encourage every lover of cinema to go see this movie; whether or not they are die-hard Star Wars geeks (I mean fans). Viewers need not go in to the film knowing every bit of Star Wars history to enjoy it, I know that can seem intimidating to some who are not that invested, so if that is you don’t let that stop you from seeing it. Star Wars: The Force Awakens was a fun, thrill-ride of a movie and not one minute of it is time wasted. Do yourself a favor, use the force and score yourself some popcorn and tickets and go see this movie.

}}Melissa

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Also posted on Pink Egg Media

New Trailers: Jurassic World, Star Wars, Pan, Game of Thrones Teaser

Hey guys! Hope everyone is enjoying some post-Thanksgiving leftovers and relaxing the day away. Or if you are not in the US or don’t care about Turkey day, then you are enjoying your Friday! Unfortunately, I have to work today, but I am trying to make the best of this slow day. Over the past couple of days, a handful of exciting trailers have come out. I thought I would share them with you guys if you haven’t already seen them. Check them out.

Jurassic World: I am so freaking excited about this one. As a kid, the original Jurassic Park was one of my favorite films and book. I probably saw it in the theaters like ten times, to this day my family makes fun of me for being obsessed with it. I cannot wait to see this new adaptation with Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard. Set for release on June 12, 2015.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens: I think every Star Wars fan out there woke up today thinking, “WTF, I have to see this right effing now!” Just hearing that old light saber noise is enough to get any fan excited. Ok or maybe that was just me, but I am very curious to see what J.J. Abrams does with the franchise and if he can lift us past the last series. Set for release on December 18, 2015

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Pan: The timeless Disney classic is finally getting a much needed revitalized version. The last cool Peter Pan movie that came out has to be Hook. I am excited about this film because for one we finally get to see Peter played by a little boy, not a 25 year old girl dressed as him and two, I am stoked that it is not an annoying musical version, like the one that is set to come out in a few days on NBC. This one looks like it will have everything that comes to mind with the Peter Pan, magic, fun, fantasy and a bit of danger lurking around every corner. Set for release on June 26, 2015.

Game of Thrones: Season 5: Ok this one is seriously not even a minute long teaser, but for all GOT fans out there this is enough to quench our thirst and get us super excited for what is to come next year. Here we see Arya grasping a sword, could this be needle? Where is she and what is she up to? Will she finally get close to avenging the perils that have struck her family? The waiting is horrible, but I know it will be worth it! Set for release on HBO sometime in April 2015.

What are you guys excited to see?

}}Melissa