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Celeb ID #14: Guess Who?


Gerard Butler

The first person to identify this warped celebrity at SPL!NG on Facebook
wins a DVD!
Trivia: This  former lead singer holds a law degree, owns a pug and can't quit smoking.

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82nd Annual Academy Award Winners 2010

The 82nd Academy Awards Ceremony was hosted by an okay tag team in Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin, stars of It's Complicated. The new format made things run more efficiently with long-winded thank you speeches saved for a special backstage Thank You Cam. The big match up of the night was between James Cameron's 'Avatar' and Kathryn Bigelow's 'The Hurt Locker', resulting in a 4-5 win for 'The Hurt Locker' taking Best Picture and Best Director.

Some highlights of the night included: a first female Best Director award for Kathryn Bigelow, Ben Stiller presenting Best Makeup as a Na'vi tribesman, a horror tribute reel, animated feature Up in the Best Picture category, a tearful acceptance speech from Sandra Bullock and special acknowledgment for Roger Corman. Out of leftfield came a bizarre hip-hop dance routine to Oscar-nominated soundtrack overtures from the spunky, energetic and out-of-place Legion of Extraordinary Dancers, George Clooney taking the piss with repeat close-ups and an in memoriam spot for Hollywood's Michael Jackson?

On a more controversial note, there was a 'Kanye moment' when Williams and Burkett, two film-makers behind Music by Prudence shared an awkward microphone show down (after creative differences and legal proceedings over the film), The Cove's Ric O'Barry produced an SMS Dolphin Text Hot line number scroll on-stage, Mo'Nique declared that the Oscars were placing performance over politics in her acceptance speech and Oscar night legend, Jack Nicholson was nowhere to be seen.

Multiple nominees Up in the Air, District 9, Nine and The Last Station, were unfortunate enough to go home empty-handed. Overall, a well-rounded awards ceremony with one or two "upsets". Academy award winners list below...


Actor in a Leading Role
* Jeff Bridges in “Crazy Heart”

Actor in a Supporting Role
* Christoph Waltz in “Inglourious Basterds”

Actress in a Leading Role
* Sandra Bullock in “The Blind Side”

Actress in a Supporting Role 
* Mo’Nique in “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire”

Animated Feature Film
* “Up” Pete Docter

Art Direction
“Avatar” Art Direction: Rick Carter and Robert Stromberg; Set Decoration: Kim Sinclair 

* “Avatar” Mauro Fiore

* “The Hurt Locker” Kathryn Bigelow

Documentary (Feature)
* “The Cove” Louie Psihoyos and Fisher Stevens

Documentary (Short Subject)
* “Music by Prudence” Roger Ross Williams and Elinor Burkett

Film Editing
* “Avatar” Stephen Rivkin, John Refoua and James Cameron

Foreign Language Film
* “El Secreto de Sus Ojos” Argentina

* “Star Trek” Barney Burman, Mindy Hall and Joel Harlow

Music (Original Score)
* “Up” Michael Giacchino

Music (Original Song)
* “The Weary Kind (Theme from Crazy Heart)” from “Crazy Heart” Music and Lyric by Ryan Bingham and T Bone Burnett

Best Picture
* “The Hurt Locker” Kathryn Bigelow, Mark Boal, Nicolas Chartier and Greg Shapiro

Short Film (Animated)
* “Logorama” Nicolas Schmerkin

Short Film (Live Action)
* “The New Tenants” Joachim Back and Tivi Magnusson

Sound Editing
* “The Hurt Locker” Paul N.J. Ottosson

Sound Mixing
* “The Hurt Locker” Paul N.J. Ottosson and Ray Beckett

Visual Effects
* “Avatar” Joe Letteri, Stephen Rosenbaum, Richard Baneham and Andrew R. Jones

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
* “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” Screenplay by Geoffrey Fletcher

Writing (Original Screenplay)
* “The Hurt Locker” Written by Mark Boal

View Acceptance Speeches and Thank You Cam Videos

Precious Movie Review: Hard-Knock Life 101

Precious Movie Poster

Precious is the story of an overweight, illiterate 16-year-old girl who, pregnant with her second child enrolls at an alternate school to point her life in a new direction. The title character, Precious, played by Gabourey "Gabby" Sidibe in her debut role, leads a troubled life as a teen shackled by sexual, physical and verbal abuse. Her size, teen pregnancy and abusive mother, played to perfection by Mo'Nique, hold her back from reaching her dreams. However, she pushes on... fighting for a better life.

Precious is directed by Lee Daniels, whose directorial debut starred Mo'Nique as a character also called Precious amongst a host of other Hollywood names: Cuba Gooding Jr., Helen Mirren, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Stephen Dorff and Macy Gray. Shadowboxer had a more commercial edge than this little indie drama, however Daniels has managed to extract solid performances in both films with his direction more refined in Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire.

This indie film is bolstered by knock-out character performances from Gabourey Sidibe, Mo'Nique and Paula Patton. It's more Half Nelson than Dangeous Minds when it comes to shock value as director, Lee Daniels introduces us to Precious and her Harlem existence. It's harrowing at times and doesn't try to paint out the kitchen sink when it comes to the hard-hitting reality, in which Precious finds herself. There's no Hollywood filter to beautify or cover-up the ugliness surrounding Precious and Mo'Nique's all-or-nothing performance is always complex, frightening and...continued.

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Alice in Wonderland Movie Review: A Magical Magpie

Alice In Wonderland

Lewis Carroll wrote what some conspiracy theorists believe was a tale about the effects of hallucinogenic drugs. Perhaps the whole who ha started with Go Ask Alice about a teenage girl’s spiral into drugs in the ’60s, coupled with a song called White Rabbit. Whatever… Disney adapted it and they do Alice in Wonderland plays in churches, must be okay.

Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland seems more concerned with Alice’s chastity and transition into womanhood at the age of 19, as she escapes an arranged marriage “proposal” ceremony to return to Neverland Wonderland. Burton revamped Charlie & The Chocolate Factory with his trademark twisted fairy tale flair and Johnny Depp taking cues from Michael Jackson. He does something similar in Alice in Wonderland… which for all intents and purposes is a 3D sequel to the beloved Disney 2D classic.

So in case you’ve never heard about rabbit holes, magic mushrooms and white rabbits, you can either watch The Matrix, read the leather-bound Alice in Wonderland book… or get the nutshell edition here: a young blonde falls down a rabbit hole, has a psychedelic “dream” about cards, cats, caterpillars, hatters, queens, rodents and two fat kids only to emerge with a deeper understanding of her real-life predicament. Burton’s history with Disney, experience in CGI-intensive features and his creepy fairy tale style made him the perfect choice to direct Alice in Wonderland and he shows his true mettle in at least the first hour of this...continued.

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