2/24/08

The 80th Academy Awards Telecast Liveblog

11:50: At about 20 minutes over, that's it.

11:46: And the Oscar goes to: No Country for Old Men! It's a Coen Brothers sweep! 

11:45: Denzel Washington is finally on stage to present the 80th best picture in Oscar history.

11:44: And the Oscar goes to: Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, for No Country for Old Men

11:43: Martin Scorcese, best director of 2007, presents the award for best director. 

11:37: 12. Best director, and best picture coming up.




11:34: And the Oscar goes to: Daniel Day-Lewis. 

11:31: Best Actor montage. Helen Mirren is on the stage to present the best actor nominees. 

11:27: Number 11. 

11:26: And the Oscar goes to: Diablo Cody, for Juno. Standing ovation. 

11:23: Hey it's Indiana Jones! Harrison Ford, is presenting the award for best screenplay.

11:20: Could it be another commercial. Please tell me we're almost there! Looks like there could be 2 more segments. This is the tenth commercial. 

11:18: And the Oscar goes to: Taxi to the Dark Side

11:16: Tom Hanks presents the nominees for long subject documentary. 

11:13: And the Oscar goes to: Freeheld

11:12: Tom Hanks, from The Simpsons Movie, is on the stage to present the U.S. Army's presentation of the documentary short subject nominees, from Baghdad. Really cool. 

11:10: And the Oscar goes to: Atonement, composed by Dario Marianelli.

11:08: Amy Adams comes on the stage to present the nominees for: best original score.

11:05: Commercial break 9

11:05: Heath Ledger, Deborah Kerr, Peter Zinner make up many of the losses the film industry had. 

11:01: The "In Memoriam"segment.  They save it for when everyone's asleep. 

11:00: It's past my bed time. And the Oscar goes to: Robert Elswit, There Will Be Blood

10:58: Cameron Diaz is presenting an award tonight. This time for cinematography. 

10:57: Yay, they Irgova do her thank yous! Very classy, and Jon was nice enough to bring her out. 

10:53: Commercials for the eighth time. 

10:52: Stewart goes, "Man, that guy is arrogant!" Unfortunately, Marketa Irgova got cut off as the music began blaring. All to go to Jon to do a little bit about a Boeing 707...

10:51: "Make Art!"


10:49: John Travolta, presenting the award for original song. And the Oscar goes to: ONCE!!!!!!!!!! WOOOH!!!!!

10:45: Enchanted song. I really hope Once wins. 

10:42: A small technical glitch will require them to restart the show, according to Jon. Penelope Cruz takes the stage to present the foreign film nominees. And the Oscar goes to: The Counterfeiters

10:38: Commercial break 7

10:31: Next presenter is, Nicole Kidman. She is presenting the Honorary Oscar to Robert Boyle, to production design. 

10:30: And the Oscar goes to: Bourne Ultimatum, 3rd award of the night for that movie. 

10:29: Film Editing, presented by Renee Zelweger 

10:24: Jack Nicholson is introducing a best picture montage... 





10:18: Nintendo Wii, being played by Jon.  Collin Ferrel is presenting the next musical performance. Once performance! "Falling Slowly." 

10:14: "There are some angels in this city!"


10:13: And the Oscar goes to: not Ellen Page!

10:10: The best actress award is next, presented by Forrest Whitaker. 

10:06: Sound mixing is next. And the Oscar goes to: Bourne Ultimatum

10:04: Seth Rogen and Jonah Hill get in a fight. The Sound editing Oscar goes to: The Bourne Ultimatum

9:57: Commercial break number 5. 

9:53: Miley Cyrus introduces yet another Enchanted performance; this time with Kristen Chenoweth... 

9:52: "I guess it is secret!" wah-wah-wah.

9:50: It seems like every year they talk about the difficult process of selecting a winner... yawn.... followed by a montage of how it's done. 


9:49: And the Oscar goes to: No Country for Old Men. The Coen brothers are also looking to sweep the awards. 

9:47: Josh Brolen, James McEvoy,dancing around on stage, best screenplay based on other published stuff.... 

9:45: Technical awards winners, presented by Jessica Alba. 

9:40: Can we get more montages? Thanks. Commercial 4. 

9:38: The best supporting actress montage. Followed by Alan Arkin. The best supporting actress Oscar goes to: Tilda Swinton, Michael Clayton. Here it comes, the MC sweep... 

9:32: Jerry Seinfeld as the Bee from that bee movie is introducing best animated short film. And the Oscar goes to: Peter and the Wolf

9:31: And the Oscar goes to: Le Mozart de Pickpockets.

9:29: Owen Wilson is presenting an award for short film. Very serious. 

9:24: Musical performance number 2, this one from August Rush. I'm waiting for the Once performance. 

9:22: Javier spoke in Spanish during his speech. Jon translated for us. Javier told his mother where the library is. Montages after montages that they would have had to pad the show with had the strike not ended. "Bad Dreams: an Oscar salute." 

9:20: Commercial Break number 3. 


9:19: And the Oscar goes to: Javier Bardem, No Country for Old Men. "This is pretty amazing," he says. 

9:16: Jennifer Hudson is presenting the award for best supporting actor. 

9:14: "I Jon Stewart, am being played by Cate Blanchett."

9:12: And the Oscar goes to: Sweeny Todd

9:10: Cate Blanchett is presenting the award for Art Direction. 

9:09: In showing the nominees, they show the transformation from pre-vis to actual movie. Great job. And the Oscar goes to: The Golden Compass

9:07: The Rock is presenting award for visual effects. 

9:02: Commercial break 2. 

9:00: Enchanted performance by Jon Stewart... and then the real performance. 

8:56: Best Make up, presented by Katherine Heigel. And the Oscar goes to: La Vie en Rose

8:55: Brad Bird thanks his school counselor for preparing him for the movie business. Thanks Steve Jobs. Subtle Apple reference. 

8:54: And the Oscar goes to: Ratatouille, Brad Bird. 

8:53: Best Animated Feature.

8:53: Carrell just swore. FCC is going to come down hard.

8:52: Ann Hathaway and Steve Carrell. Carrell is hilarious. 

8:51: iPhone product placement. 

8:50: Montages are boring. 

8:48: 80 years of Oscar. 

8:47: And we're back! Clooney is taking the stage. 

8:44: Commercial break numero uno. 

8:43: And the Oscar goes to: Alexandra Byrne, Elizabeth The Golden Age. Quick acceptance speech.

8:41: First presenter: Jennifer Garner. Costume design.




8:40: "Normally when you see a black man or a woman president, an asteroid is about to hit the statue of liberty."

8:39: "Withdrawing the Iraq movies, would only embolden the audience." 

8:38: Talks about Diablo Cody. "Hope you're enjoying the paycut." 

8:37: "Too often, the Academy ignore movies that aren't good," about Norbit. Nominated for an award.

8:36: First political slam of the night from Jon, targets Hillary Clinton. 

8:35: "Does this town need a hug," referencing the horror movies. "Thank God for teen pregnancy... cheered everyone up."

8:33: "Welcome to the make-up sex!"


8:33: Jon Stewart!

8:30: Fun little CGI beginning. 'Turn right to go left.' Bunch of film references. Enjoyable music. 

8:28: Regis talking to the celebs in the Kodak

8:25: Enchanted is nominated in the song category 3 times. They are slated to preform tonight as well. August Rush and Once are the other songs nominated in that category.

8:22: Ellen Page, talks about being 21 and having a few drinks. Mentions Juno's phenomenon.

8:18: Regis is making kids who won tickets to the Red Carpet scream. 10 Minutes until the awards.

8:16: Cameron Diaz talks about Daniel Day Lewis, and his routines into getting in the roles of the characters he preforms. 

8:06: This couldn't be more unorganized. Interviewers ask a few questions... then they move on. Clearly pretaped, as well. 

8:03: Philbin loves Notre Dame. Jokes with Clooney. 

8:00: It should be noted that the production company working on this show is probably the best. Best picture quality ever. The broadcast begins with the Red Carpet Special. Regis Philbin opens. I snooze. 

7:57: going live shortly!

6:51 PM: It's not the Emmys! Kristen Chenoweth, of my favorite new show of the season Pushing Daisies, is on the red carpet. Apparently she's preforming tonight as part of a broadway act.

6:46 PM: Producer Gil Gates thinks if everything goes well, he should be able to relax. 

6:32 PM: I should mention, that the show is scheduled to end at the beginning of next year's ceremonies. 

6:25 PM E.S.T. : The show starts at 8:00 PM EST, that's when Jon Stewart takes the stage. 

As a caveat, I really... haven't seen any of these movies. Though I should say Once should be nominated for more than just best song in a movie. I may be partial because I just saw that movie yesterday. 

My pick for best picture is No Country for Old Men. I intend to see it when it comes out on DVD. Not having a movie theater a walk away from UHa upsets me. I will not spend money on top of the ticket prices that are already outrageous. 


2/19/08

The "Defeat" Of HD-DVD

There is no parallel to the Format War.

Today in Japan, Toshiba announced it would no longer create the hardware that plays HD-DVD... effectively ending the “format war” that has engulfed the video market.

(Official: HD DVD dead and buried, format war is over)

Along those lines, the HD-DVD publishers (which have now dwindled down to two major studios, both Universal and Paramount) have jumped ship to Blu-Ray Disc as well. See here. So who started this Perfect Storm to destroy HD-DVD?





Yep. Those four cartoon characters, and the company to which those characters belong to: Warner Brothers. Initially, they were for both camps, releasing titles like 300... and... The Last Samurai, with Tom Cruise on both HD-DVD and Blu Ray formats. Then, like any well-intentioned company does, they saw the money they were losing in the HD format, and saw the gold mine in Sony's format.

Before that though, Paramount, which with the release of Transformers on the HD-DVD format, jumped from being on both sides of the Blu Ray HD-DVD fence, released Transformers exclusively on Blu Ray.

Then came the news that Warner was jumping ship. This had Shia LeBouf more or less worried:


All that negativity.

Soon after Warner announced its intentions, everyone's favorite envelope maker (except for, well, the USPS), Netflix said it wasn't going to rent out anymore new HD-DVD titles.

The wheel kept on turning, and now, the HD-DVD format is dead.

So what if a consumer has a lot of HD-DVDs and its player?

Here's a top 10 list of what to do with those pesky discs and hardware:

10. Store them with your Betamax Players and movies (interestingly, Betamax, on the losing side of the format war of the 80's was a Sony endeavor, like Blu Ray)
9. Keep 'em. Serenity is on HD-DVD, and it may be a while before it's out on Blu Ray.
8. An HD-DVD bonfire.
7. The HD-DVD firesale is probably a few weeks away... keep those players, and buy all those movies originally priced at $35 cheap.
6. Ebay
5. When Netflix sends you the last of the last of their stock of HD-DVD movies, keep them, and report them as "lost." They'd be happy to forget about the last of their stock.
4. Invest in Blu Ray.
3.Get a Playstation 3. Get Uncharted: Drakes Fortune, the greatest game ever. And it's a decent Blu Ray Player.
2. Get an Apple TV. They do HD movie rentals now. Link
1. Read a book. Buck the trend.


So, the format war is over. Thank God. Mission Accomplished.

A war that lasted 3 years: a simple contest of Red versus Blue.

A format... war.

Luckily, Blu Ray got that much needed studio exclusivity surge. The insurgency of Paramount was not enough to save the optical format facists. Many blogs said at the beginning, this war could be short: in fact, the HD-DVD format had the support of the pornography studios: a big reason why VHS won in the first format war.

Soon after, those analysts were wrong: no, consumers were in a format quagmire. It could take a thousand years for it to finally have a clear winner. The global technology crowd was divided. Partisanship was destroying the world. And finally, Bugs Bunny stepped up to the plate and smashed home a winner: Blu Ray.

The conflict of the 21st century is over. Now, supporters of either format can finally begin to pay off their war debts, reach across the aisle, shake hands, and say "it's been fun." Too many dollars had been spent on the fallen format, the quagmire, and now the country can unite around one common candidate: Blu Ray.

A clean, and peaceful solution to a war. Toshiba held a press conference to raise the white flag. People can now rebuild their future, their collection of movies, and hope for price reductions on the hardware.

All those War Debts.