Tag Archives: Amy Adams

A predictable, but pretty entertaining, night at the Oscars

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Remember 10 years ago or so, when every Oscars telecast dragged on forever, and you tried hard not to fall asleep?

Yeah, that’s how Sunday night was sometimes. After years of the Academy Awards getting crisper and more time-conscious, Sunday’s Oscars were long. Really, really long.
Like, they made “Wolf of Wall Street” seem like a quick documentary short.

Still, they were much better than last year’s, I thought. Some scattered thoughts from my brain, which Sunday night was buried under a giant wig of Greg Brady Johnny Bravo hair (we went to an Oscars theme party, where we all had to dress up in 1970s garb. My first time in bell bottoms was fun!)

Please read to the end, since my much-funnier and savvier friend Diana D’abruzzo, who did my Oscars blog last year, checks in with her thoughts;

—  Ellen DeGeneres was pretty solid as host. The monologue was fairly tame and really safe, which is OK, and some of her bits were really funny. I thought the pizza delivery thing was hilarious, though the Meryl Streep selfie Twitter thing felt forced and silly. Best joke, I thought, was when she said “there are 2 options tonight: Either “12 Years a Slave wins Best Picture,” or you’re all racists.”

—  The big awards were predictable, but that’s not always a bad thing. Thrilled to see Jared Leto win, his speech was terrific. Happy for Matthew McConaughey, who was excellent in “Dallas Buyers Club” but his speech was pompous, self-important, and remarkably free of any mention of Ron Woodruff, the real-life character and AIDS activist hero who he played.

— With all the awards “Gravity” was winning, I was really fearing it would win “Best Picture.” But happily, “12 Years a Slave,” the most important and best film I saw last year, grabbed the win. That film should be showed in schools all over America as part of history class.

— LOVED Lupita Nyong’o’s speech, so beautiful and touching. Newcomers always have the most emotional speeches, it seems.

— Here’s how to cut a half-hour out of the show: Too many montages about things that have nothing to do with that night’s show. Heroes? Who cares! Although it was good that no one’s speech really got cut off too badly.

— “American Hustle” deserved better than getting shut out. And Amy Adams, five times a nominee, never a winner: Your day will come. You are way too talented to never win an Oscar.

— Hey John Travolta, her name is Idina Menzel. She’s pretty famous.  And has an awesome voice. Learn to pronounce it.

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— Lot of sparkly dresses this year, more than usual. It was also, according to a female guest at the party I was at, “the year of the side-boob.” Which was fine with me.
I thought Charlize Theron and Kate Hudson looked particularly stunning.

— I always feel bad when two people win and one of them does all the talking, and the other one only gets five seconds of mic time at the end.

— So pleasantly surprised to see Spike Jonze win for his screenplay for “Her,” and for “20 Feet From Stardom” to win for best doc. If you don’t know much about the film, I reviewed it after seeing it here.

–The death montage was, as usual, terrific, but no Dennis Farina mention? He was Jimmy Serrano in “Midnight Run” for God’s sakes! Big omission there.

— Cate Blanchett’s speech just kept going and going and going. Notice how mentioning Woody Allen’s name brought tepid applause.

— Anne Hathaway’s dress blinded at least half the audience. Seriously, there just may be a thing as TOO sparkly.

— I hope the trend of celebrities bringing their Moms to the Oscars continues. Jared Leto’s mother beamed while her son talked about her influence. Very, very cool.

And now, some thoughts from my friend Diana on the show; she kept a “running diary” of sorts:

— Not sure if Amy Adams was in on that “you went to college, right?” joke, but if she wasn’t, damn. And if she was, I really wish we could make these moments spontaneous and not planned! Of course, spontaneous and Hollywood probably don’t go together well.
–The only thing better than Pharrell dancing with Lupita was Pharrell dancing with Meryl.
— Oh what a cute couple: Joseph Gordon Levitt and Emma Watson! (Postscript: From what I’ve heard, Twitter was abuzz with folks wanting them to be a real couple.)
— Was Sandra Bullock crying for the visual effects award?
— Why is Zac Efron there? (A friend on Facebook answered: Good question. Guess he’s got to be somewhere!)

— I’ve always been “meh” about Brad Pitt. But I am so grateful for him getting “12 Years a Slave” made.

— OK, so pink is a BIG color tonight, but I don’t love many of the dresses. But Penelope Cruz — hers is great. That hint of black in the belt makes it perfect.

“American Hustle” gives you your money’s worth at the movies. The Cowboys continue to creatively lose. And Jon Stewart, brilliant again

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**FYI: I feel an epic “Homeland” rant coming on for Tuesday or Wednesday, whenever I have time to properly vent about the season finale Sunday night…

One of the many great things about living in New York City is that movies often open in a few theaters here a week or two before they land everywhere else in America.

So it was that I got to see “American Hustle” in a packed house in Manhattan Saturday, and I can happily report that it met almost all my expectations.

It’s a wild, unpredictable, sometimes hilarious, sometimes tragic film, that leaves you no doubt it’s a capital M Movie. You know how sometimes you spend 12 bucks to see a film in a theater and you’re like “Really, that’s all I got for my money?”
“American Hustle” is not at all like that. It’s got beautiful people, like Amy Adams (who should get an Oscar nom she was so good), Bradley Cooper, Christian Bale and Jennifer Lawrence. It has action scenes, a cracklingly-good script, great performances from all, and enough plot twists to surprise.

The first 45 minutes were fantastic, as we learn how small-time hustler Irving (Bale) and his faux-English girlfriend Sydney (Adams) get wrapped up in a plot by an FBI agent named Richie (Cooper) to take down bad guys much higher on the food chain than Irving and Sydney.

Lawrence is Irving’s wife, and Jeremy Renner shows up one of the con men, and for a while the movie all gives them time to shine.
About halfway through, though, it sort of stalled, for about a half-hour, and that’s why I don’t think it’s a four-star, amazing movie. It gets back going thanks to a super-famous cameo and a crazy ending plot, but it sort of meanders for a while.

Still, this movie is beautifully shot, and the 1970s clothes, hair and attitude are brilliant and hilarious. (Quick aside: Has Amy Adams ever not been great in a movie?).

Go see it, whether you lived through the ’70s or not. You will definitely get your money’s worth.

**And now, Jon Stewart at his eviscerating best, taking down Megyn Kelly and the Fox News Blondes for their ridiculous complaining about Santa Claus, Christmas, and a bunch of other crap they were complaining about.

Stewart really is a national treasure, isn’t he?

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**You know it’s been a delightful Jets season when they lose by 10 and you’re happy they kept it close.
That’s kind of how I felt Sunday; even when my boys showed life against the mighty Carolina Panthers down in Charlotte, cutting their deficit to 16-13 in the third quarter, I knew something was bound to go wrong soon.
And it did, in the form of a blocked punt that quickly got turned into a TD. Geno Smith did some good things, but did many bad things, and I still think they need another QB in 2014.

Two more losses and I expect the Rex Ryan era, which started with such promise, to mercifully come to an end.

Around the NFL with some quick-hit thoughts…

— Ah, the Cowboys. Entertainment from them is more guaranteed than death and taxes. Somehow they blew a huge fourth-quarter lead at home to Matt Flynn (Matt Flynn!!!) and the Packers Sunday, and Tony Romo threw two INT’s in the final minutes, like he’s legally required to do. And here they saw Philly lay an egg earlier in the day and figured to gain control of the NFL Least. Don’t ever change, Cowboys.

— The Giants haven’t looked this bad on offense since Ray Handley was their coach (look him up, younger readers).

— Can’t decide which team was more pathetic Sunday: The Bengals, getting blown out early in Pittsburgh, or the Raiders, giving up 56 to Kansas City. Will Oakland ever be good again?

— Always nice to see Tom Brady so pissed in a post-game press conference that he curses on live TV.

— Jamaal Charles (above), I love ya, but scoring 5 TDs after my fantasy team with you on it already failed to make the playoffs doesn’t do squat for me.

— Keep forgetting to link this, but Peter King on themmqb.com did a great 3-part series on the life of NFL officials, going deeply behind-the-scenes with them for a week. I came away with a whole new sense of respect for their job, their lives, and their skill at making split-second decisions. Check it out when you can.

A thoroughly entertaining “Muppets” movie. The Jets almost kill me again. In a win. And a heartbreaking story about homeless kids

I had every expectation that I would the love new “Muppets” movie. Loved The Muppets as a kid, and had heard nothing but great things about this resurrection of the franchise.
I am so happy to report that “The Muppets” was fantastic. Brilliant. Filled with heart, humor and plenty of interesting story plot points to keep the kids and the adults laughing (in the theatre I was in, it was split about 50/50 kids to adults).
Jason Segel, who basically persuaded Disney to do another “Muppets” movie, is terrific. Amy Adams is great, and the new Muppet, Walter, is a great addition. I got misty-eyed when Kermit sang “The Rainbow Connection,” it’s the truth. Miss Piggy was as charming as ever.
There were also a few ingenious winks at the grown-ups in the crowd (Amy Adams had the best one of these, which I won’t spoil), and a genuine sense that this was a labor of love.

Can’t recommend the movie highly enough. Watching this film was like watching a family you loved getting back together.

**Another week, another Jets game that had me pulling my last remaining hairs out.  This time my boys in green and white did almost everything possible to lose (fumbling punts, throwing interceptions, forgetting to cover receivers) but pulled one out of their rears anyway, 28-24 over Buffalo.

Some quick-hit thoughts from the Jets’ roller-coaster win:
— Say this about Mark Sanchez: Every throw he makes is exciting for someone. Sometimes he throws it to the wrong team, but on just about every strike he hits somebody in the hands.  Sanchez again made some awful decisions Sunday, threw a terrible interception that led to a TD and easily could’ve had two or three more passes picked off. But the kid made two fantastic plays at the end (helped by a great catch by Plaxico) to help the Jets win. As my fellow die-hard friend David texted me after the win, that’s what makes Sanchez so infuriating. He clearly has the talent to be great, but I don’t know if he’ll ever put it together.
— Can anyone on the Jets catch a punt and not fumble? Anyone?
— Jets aren’t going to the playoffs. They’re just not very good. Sunday confirmed all that in spades.
— Forget about his ridiculous and classless and not all that funny end zone dance imitating Plaxico Burress. The reason Buffalo’s Stevie Johnson should be infamous today is because he dropped a wide-open possible TD pass on his team’s final drive. Brutal.

–Speaking of which, my man Bob Costas brilliantly called out these moron NFL celebration artists on “Sunday Night Football” in this scathing two-minute essay. Costas is 100 percent right.
A few more scattered NFL thoughts:
— Boy the Tim Tebow haters have to really be mad today. Another win for Denver’s wonderboy QB.
— Here’s something you don’t see every day: Chargers kicker Nick Novak, a short time before his missed FG at the end of the game that would’ve won it, decided to take a leak on the sideline.
He took a leak, then pissed away his team’s chances (Ba bum bump. I’m here all week. Try the veal.)

**Eight months ago, “60 Minutes” did a wonderful but heartbreaking story about homeless families in Central Florida, and what the true impact of this economic recession has been. Sunday night they caught up with the kids they were following. Things have gotten worse. Watch this and see what this recession has wrought: So many homeless children, with no end in sight.