And the Academy Award Goes To – Chris’ Oscar Picks

I love the movies. It’s as much a part of me as is technology.

As I told a friend the Academy Awards is like my Superbowl.  It’s the one event where you better not call or e-mail cause you’re not going to get a hold of me.

This year I managed to see 9 of the 10 movies nominated for Best Picture.
The only one I missed was 127 Hours. Unfortunately it was only playing at theaters a fair distance away from me and I don’t know any academy members.

However, having now seen the majority of them I’m gonna offer my opinion (like so many others) on who I think should win, and will likely win. Some of them will be absolutely wild guesses.

Feel free to use my picks in your Oscar party pools. If you win big as a result of this list, feel free to send a Starbucks gift card my way. You know, if you’re feeling generous. 🙂

Best Picture
Black Swan,”
“The Fighter” COULD WIN
“Inception,” SHOULD WIN
The Kids Are All Right,”
The King’s Speech,” WILL MOST LIKELY WIN (MUCH DESERVED)
“127 Hours,”
The Social Network,”
Toy Story 3
“True Grit”
Winter’s Bone

Actor in a Leading Role
Javier Bardem in “Biutiful”
Jeff Bridges in “True Grit”
Jesse Eisenberg in “The Social Network”
Colin Firth in “The King’s Speech” SHOULD  & WILL WIN
James Franco in “127 Hours”

Actor in a Supporting Role
Christian Bale in “The Fighter” SHOULD & WILL WIN
John Hawkes in “Winter’s Bone”
Jeremy Renner in “The Town”
Mark Ruffalo in “The Kids Are All Right”
Geoffrey Rush in “The King’s Speech”

Actress in a Leading Role
Annette Bening in “The Kids Are All Right”
Nicole Kidman in “Rabbit Hole”
Jennifer Lawrence in “Winter’s Bone”
Natalie Portman in “Black Swan” SHOULD & WILL WIN
Michelle Williams in “Blue Valentine”

Actress in a Supporting Role
Amy Adams in “The Fighter”
Helena Bonham Carter in “The King’s Speech”
Melissa Leo in “The Fighter” WILL WIN
Hailee Steinfeld in “True Grit” SHOULD WIN
Jacki Weaver in “Animal Kingdom”

Animated Feature Film
“How to Train Your Dragon” POSSIBLE UPSET WIN
“The Illusionist”
“Toy Story 3” SHOULD AND MOST LIKELY WILL WIN

Art Direction
“Alice in Wonderland”
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1
“Inception”
“The King’s Speech” WILL WIN
“True Grit”

Cinematography
“Black Swan,”
“Inception,” SHOULD WIN
“The King’s Speech,” WILL WIN
“The Social Network,”
“True Grit,”

Costume Design
“Alice in Wonderland,” SHOULD AND WILL WIN
“I Am Love,”
“The King’s Speech,”
“The Tempest,”
“True Grit”

Directing
“Black Swan,” Darren Aronofsky SHOULD WIN
“The Fighter,” David O. Russell
“The King’s Speech,” Tom Hooper WILL WIN
“The Social Network,” David Fincher
“True Grit,” Joel Coen and Ethan Coen

Documentary (Feature)
“Exit through the Gift Shop,” WILL WIN…WILD GUESS
“Gasland,”
“Inside Job,”
“Restrepo,”
“Waste Land,”

Documentary (Short Subject)
“Killing in the Name”
“Poster Girl”
“Strangers No More”
“Sun Come Up” WILL WIN – ANOTHER WILD GUESS
The Warriors of Qiugang

Film Editing
“Black Swan” SHOULD WIN
“The Fighter”
“The King’s Speech”
“127 Hours”
“The Social Network” WILL WIN

Foreign Language Film
“Biutiful,” Mexico WILL WIN
“Dogtooth,” Greece
“In a Better World,” Denmark
“Incendies,” Canada
“Outside the Law (Hors-la-loi),” Algeria

Makeup
“Barney’s Version,”
“The Way Back,”
“The Wolfman,”  SHOULD AND WILL WIN

Music (Original Score)
“How to Train Your Dragon,” John Powell
“Inception,” Hans Zimmer SHOULD AND WILL WIN
“The King’s Speech,” Alexandre Desplat
“127 Hours,” A.R. Rahman
“The Social Network,” Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross

Music (Original Song)
“Coming Home” from “Country Strong,”
“I See the Light” from “Tangled,” SHOULD WIN
“If I Rise” from “127 Hours,”
“We Belong Together” from “Toy Story 3,” WILL MOST LIKELY WIN

Short Film (Animated)
“Day & Night,”
“The Gruffalo,”
“Let’s Pollute,”
“The Lost Thing,”  WILL WIN – YET ANOTHER WILD GUESS
“Madagascar, carnet de voyage (Madagascar, a Journey Diary)”

Short Film (Live Action)
“The Confession,”
“The Crush,”
“God of Love,”  WILL WIN – ONE MORE WILD GUESS
“Na Wewe,”
“Wish 143,”

Sound Editing
“Inception,” SHOULD AND WILL WIN
“Toy Story 3,”
“Tron: Legacy,”
“True Grit,”
“Unstoppable,”

Sound Mixing
“Inception,” SHOULD AND WILL WIN
“The King’s Speech,”
“Salt,”
“The Social Network,”
“True Grit,”

Visual Effects
“Alice in Wonderland,”
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1,”
“Hereafter,”
“Inception,” SHOULD AND WILL WIN
“Iron Man 2,”

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
“127 Hours,”
“The Social Network,” SHOULD AND WILL WIN – PURE GENIUS WRITING
“Toy Story 3,”
“True Grit,”
“Winter’s Bone,”

Writing (Original Screenplay)
“Another Year,”
“The Fighter,”
“Inception,” SHOULD & WILL LIKELY WIN
“The Kids Are All Right,”
“The King’s Speech,” POSSIBLE WIN, STILL DESERVED

STS-133, Discovery’s Final Voyage

Many that know me, know of my love for the Space Shuttle program. It’s something that’s always had a special place in my heart and something that I am going to be sad to see end.

God willing, and weather permitting the Space Shuttle Discovery and the crew of STS-133 will launch today at 4:50pm EST/1:50pm PST. Its mission that was originally scheduled to launch back in December.

I was fortunate enough to see the Space Shuttle Challenger land on it’s maiden voyage, and managed to see a shuttle launch from afar in Orlando. I’m still trying to figure out a way to see the launch a little closer for the final mission in April CORRECTION – The final mission will be the Shuttle Atlantis in June. Still, crossing fingers.

No matter what though, today I’ll be glued to the computer watching the shuttle and its crew fly into history. While the Discovery rockets into space to take components to the International Space Station, it will as it always has also take the pride, hopes, dreams and inspirations of a little kid who continues to believe in the space program and our human desires to explore the beauties of space.

Good luck, and Godspeed Discovery.

Seriously? More Than Meets The Eye…

Get your full nerd/geek on in the theater with these Transformer 3-D glasses that you can use while you watch Transformers: Dark of the Moon this July.

Read more about these here at www.electronichouse.com.

While I am generally mocking them, there’s a good chance my 14 year old will be sitting next to me wearing one of these when we go to see the movie. Only way you’re getting these on me is for a large chunk of money.

Seriously??? They’re All Gonna Laugh At You!

I can read your mind...

This won’t help you with your stress…it’ll just increase it from everyone laughing at you with this on your head.

My Blackberry Is Not Working!

Love those Brits!

Many thanks to Betty Thomas for passing this one on to me!

Volkswagen:The Force – This Is So Me As A Little Kid…

When I was a kid our Star Wars costumes were these cheap plastic things that ripped so easily if you bent the wrong way. Had they had a costume like they have now, this would have been so me about 30 years ago.

Of course costume or not doesn’t stop me from trying to pull Jedi mind tricks on people.

:::WAVING HAND::: You will visit my blog again, and again, and again…

Seriously Mr. Jinx???

Mr. Jinx's new Side Business

Someone saw “Meet The Parents” one too many times!

Verizon iPhone, At Long Last…Now Let The Domination Begin!

Back during the whole iPhone 4 “antennagate” issue, Apple held a brief press conference to address the concerns about the iPhone 4’s antenna. During the Q&A Steve Jobs said something to the effect of them having an AT&T as well as a Verizon cell tower on the Apple campus. The immediate question that came to mind was “Why the heck would they have a Verizon cell tower on the Apple campus, unless the iPhone is Verizon bound?”.

Sure enough the iPhone is coming to Verizon at long last, and on February 10th Verizon users will rejoice in the joy that is the iPhone.

Rumors Finally Confirmed

So with the iPhone now finally being available to the millions of Verizon customers I am going to make the prediction that by the end of the year the iPhone will be the dominant smartphone in the market. Let me tell you why…

1. While the Android is a fine device, it’s establishment has come from a couple of different fields.
– The folks who wanted an iPhone but didn’t want AT&T service, so they settled for
what they could get.

– The folks who like to tweak, hack, customize and modify their smartphone OS
without having to worry about “jailbreaking”.

That first group is an incredibly LARGE group and now that they can get an iPhone on Verizon you’re going to have a lot of converts. Not just internally from Verizon but from T-Mobile and Sprint as well.

2. The iPhone just works, you don’t have to do anything special to it, you connect it, you synch it and voila it works!
– A lot of tech guys will say that you should be able to do whatever you want
with  your OS and hardware. While this is fine for those that understand
computers to their core, the majority of the computer using public just wants
things to work. They want to turn it on, make their calls, text their friends and play Angry Birds.

3. Apps..there’s MILLIONS of them on the iTunes app store.

With a choice of networks, a choice of data plans and the fact that AT&T and Verizon are THE DOMINANT cell carriers it just seems a no brainer.

Now before you say that I am an Android hater, RELAX. I believe the Android is a very good device and yes I have spent some time with it. It’s great if you like being able to tweak settings and making it do all kinds of fancy stuff. But based on how I’ve seen my non-computer savvy friends use it, it’s more than they want or will ever need. Even me as a long time computer user I find that it’s more than I feel like dealing with anymore.

As for the Blackberry. I actually used to be a Crackberry addict. RIM had their chance and failed miserably not just with the touch hardware but the OS and its ability to run apps. As always it’s great for making calls and sending e-mails, but that’s it and I suspect all it will ever be good for.

We’ll see how things are at the end of the year and if I’m wrong I’ll admit it. This though is one tech prediction that I think I’ll nail.

Seriously???

Every once-in-awhile I run across something that elicits the immediate response “SERIOUSLY?”.

So with that in mind I’ve decided to start a new post type quite simply titled “Seriously?”

These posts will feature all of the things I come across either on the web or during my day.

For the first post in this series I proudly present “The Brown Bear USB Hand Warmer

Seriously…

We’re All In This Together…

One of the sites I frequent is Ain’t It Cool News. It’s got all the wonderful movie and TV news that a film geek like me could ever want. I consider it my CNN for all things entertainment.

Today I came upon THIS POST at their site that talks about the tragic shooting in Tuscon. Now fair word of warning it’s got some language and thoughts that some might find offensive, so if you’re easily offended please don’t read that post.

My takeaway from the post though was a reminder that we are all on this incredible planet called Earth together. We’ve all got different viewpoints, different ideals, different ways of life, but we’re all together and we’ve got to figure out a way to work things out together.

This point was driven even further home by the following embedded video.

I love the portion of the video where the narrator says

“For all our failures. Despite our limitations and fallibilities.
We humans are capable of greatness.”

The heroes at the site of the tragedy and those at the hospital are shining examples of human greatness and they all have my utmost respect and admiration.

Every day I’m reminded by friends, family, co-workers and strangers that we are all capable of greatness. Greatness isn’t just large acts of generosity and helpfulness, it also doesn’t have to involve spending a single penny.

It can be as easy as letting that person in front of you in rush hour traffic.

– It can be as simple as putting a post-it-note on your employee’s desk telling them they’re doing a great job.

– It can be as loving as forgiving someone who did wrong or hurt you and moving on to brighter days.

– Greatness can be achieved by just taking that one step further.

I pray that we can all take some valuable lessons from the losses that occurred this past weekend and instead of dividing further can find a way to come closer together.

Let’s achieve the greatness WE ARE ALL CAPABLE of.

My heart goes out to everyone who was involved in or impacted by this tragedy in Tuscon.

My deepest condolences go out to those who lost loved ones.

My encouragement and support goes out to Representative Giffords who I think is going to wind up having, and showing us all an incredible moment of greatness.