Friday, February 29, 2008

I talk about "The Phone" attack ad

Running Commentary #30

I talk about Hillary's attack ad and Barack's response, the Mini Clubman, and A Stupid Movie for Jerks.

iNader, Teflon Barack, and the beautiful people

Running Commentary #29

I talk about Nader and technology, Barack's invulnerability to bad vibes, and I take up the plight of the beautiful people.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

PRESIDENT Ralph Nader, a foolproof strategy

Running Commentary #28

I tell Ralph Nader how he can win the presidency.

Obama's branding - Ben Smith's Blog -

Interesting blog entry about the graphic design involved in Obama's campaign. So if you're making an Obama related sign or something, make sure you use the Gotham font.

Obama's branding - Ben Smith's Blog -

CO-ED Magazine � Hot for Teacher: 18 Sexiest Sex Offenders


The name "Cameo Patch" doesn't sound real. And Angela Comer is too funny.

CO-ED Magazine � Hot for Teacher: 18 Sexiest Sex Offenders

The Look of Love

Okay, Valentine's Day was almost two weeks ago, but here's a little something my friends Elric Kane, Adam Gould, and Eric Watkins put together down in Savannah.

My competition - Perry Logan

A friend of mine from Savannah, Q Manning, found this guy from Austin. I DEFY you to watch this thing in its entirety.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Barack vs. Hillary XX, Make 'em or Break 'em

Running Commentary #27

I talk about the MSNBC debate from Ohio as Barack Obama and Hillary continue to duke it out. I talk about how Huma Abedin is really hot. And I talk about the North Dakota Marijuana Bonanza.

Too Pretty to Fly

Looks discrimination. I want to hear our presidential candidates talk about this vitally important issue.

Too Pretty to Fly

Apologies to Marion, "Dressed" Barack, and a WWII hero

Running Commentary #26

I correct my assertion of Marion Cotillard being an Oscar longshot. I discuss the "dressed" Barack picture flap. And I talk about meeting a genuine WWII hero.

Monday, February 25, 2008

The Big 2008 Oscar Special

Running Commentary #25

My recap of the 2008 Oscars.

Sunday, February 24, 2008


Were just about at 11:30 and there are still four major categories left to present.

Harrison Ford is out to present the Original Screenplay award and gives the most lifeless reading I've ever seen. Somebody should have told him "Faster. More Intense." Ah yes. Diablo Cody cements her industry darling status with the win here. She gives a sweet speech, thankfully devoid of any pop culture references.

Here's Helen Mirren to present Best Actor. Danny Day Lewis is wearing a pair of hoop earrings. Are they making another sequel to Pirates? Daniel Day Lewis wins, and the universe continues to make sense. P.T. Anderson looks a lot different from the Magnolia-Fiona Apple days, when he looked like a computer geek. Daniel looks like a pop star, it's so weird that he's the guy that played Bill the Butcher and Daniel Plainview.

Best Director montage, and what am I thinking? "LORD, Sofia Loren was hot." I love that Scorsese was presented the award by Coppola, Spielberg, and Lucas. And here's Marty to present Best Director. The Coens win! Good job, fellas. These guys are so awkward. I love it.

Denzel is here for Best Picture sporting a shaved head and a goatee, making him look like Avery Brooks. "No Country" wins! Can't argue. It was even money with "There Will Be Blood."

And we're out, at 11:49.

A bit of class

YAY! They bring the Czech girl back out to give her thank yous. That's classy.

I think Jon's doing good.

Time check: 11:03. 27 minutes.

Cameron Diaz comes out and has more trouble with English than Marion Cotillard. She's presenting Best Cinematography. They should have let her present Best Picture, that's only three syllables. Robert Elswitt wins for "There Will Be Blood." I feel bad for Roger Deakins.

Hillary Swank) is out to do the tribute. It ends with Heath Ledger. Roy Scheider would be in next year's.

Here's Amy Adams again. I don't think that was her in the dance number. Maybe it was Isla Fisher. She's presenting Best Score. "Atonement" wins. No complaints here. He seems to go a little long without being played off. I think Conti is looking out for his musical brethren.

Tom Hanks presents some soldiers in Baghdad to present Short Documentary. That's cool. I can't say anything about these films because I know absolutely nothing about them. Okay, the winner is more overcome than Marion Cotillard.

Tom presents the awards for Best Doc. It would have been HUGELY ironic if the soldiers presented these with three anti-war films. "Taxi to the Dark Side" wins. Michael Moore gets no camera time. The winner gives a charged speech, but doesn't name names. Surprisingly tame evening thus far.

Versatile and handsome

Penelope Cruz is out to present the Foreign Language Film. Four of them are war films. Interesting. "The Counterfeiters" wins. You know how this won? The voters said "Well, there's Nazis in it, it must be good."

"The versatile and handsome" Patrick Dempsey presents another "Enchanted" song. "Versatile and handsome?" Did scabs write up the intros? "Enchanted" had better win with one of these, or there's going to be no joy in Mudville.

Is that Isla Fisher... I mean Amy Adams dancing with the prince guy? Man, they're getting mileage out of her tonight. I can't tell if it's her.

John Travolta waltzes his way on stage with one of the dancers from the last number, nice segue. Then he nearly trips at the podium. THAT'S what Colin Farrell was bitching about. Travolta presents Best Song and "Once" wins. There is no joy in Mudville. The Irish guy makes a nice speech about how amazed he is to be there. Then Conti steps all over the Polish girl.

Jon makes a funny quip about the guy being arrogant. Then does a bit about Travolta leaving the lights on his jet, prompting Travolta to run back out. Speaking of unconscionable carbon footprints, no references to the environment. It's been a mercifully unpolitical evening on the whole. Of course, if "Sicko" wins, that's all out the window.

To Robert Boyle: Congratulations, kid

They come back from break with Jon and the 11 year old from earlier playing Wii Tennis. And the crowd's into it. Cute.

Here's Colin Farrell to present a song from that Irish movie that everyone likes so well, the name of which completely escapes me for the moment.

You know what I haven't seen yet? They haven't done a single video montage for any of the Best Pic nominees. I wonder if they dropped that.

Here's Jack, all hail! Holy crap, he actually had a change of shades. He presents a self gratifying recap of EVERY BEST PICTURE WINNER FOR THE PAST 80 YEARS. What's the biggest injustice here? I can only comment on the ones in my lifetime and that's "Titanic" for me. But there's personal baggage involved there, I confess.

I should be timing this... We're an hour out from the scheduled finish. Are they going to make it?

"Saving Private Ryan" was robbed. As was "L.A. Confidential" the year before. That was a double kick to the balls.

"Bourne Ultimatum" wins for Editing. Bourne's doing well tonight. Albeit in technical awards. Not that it isn't a good movie.

Jon makes a joke about someone getting ahead in their Oscar pool on a guess about the editing award. That's borderline offensive to all the technical people, but it's true. And funny.

Nicole Kidman has a chandelier around her neck. Red dresses and maternity. Those are the trends tonight. She's presenting the Honorary Oscar for Robert Boyle, production designer. Wow, he's 98 years old. Why didn't the Academy wait a little longer on this one? They cut to Hal Holbrook in the audience, who's a kid by comparison. Robert proceeds to tell his life story. All 98 years of it. 45 minutes until the scheduled end of the show and it's BURNING UP. He wraps it up. I thought he'd turn 100 before his speech finished. All kidding aside, good for Robert. He damn well earned it. And his speech was actually beautiful.

Rice Piaf

Jessica Alba presented the Technical awards earlier in a cafeteria. I guess that's the consolation to the tech folks for not being on the big show "Hey, at least Jessica Alba's presenting."

A writing award! Best Adpated Screenplay. I love that everyone pays homage to Jack. He's the Godfather. Uh oh, chalk up another one for "No Country." Something's brewing... The Coens acceptance speech was charmingly awkward.

An explanation of the selection and voting process. HA! I laugh, because I know that nobody's watching everything they're supposed to.

Superdelegate joke. That kind of counts as an HRC/Obama reference.

Here's Miley Cyrus. Huh? She's not really a movie person. Not yet, anyway. Red is the color du jour for dresses. And SHE is the mystery woman I couldn't identify during the red carpet portion. She looks growns up in her gown.

Another "Enchanted" song.

Jon makes a joke about the pregnant ladies: Jessica Alba, Cate Blanchett, and Nicole Kidman. He already made one before, and now they're putting them on the big screen. I'm sure this is just as enjoyable for them as every stranger in Kodak Theater coming up and rubbing their bellies.

Seth Rogen and Jonah Hill! They do a bit and present Sound Editing. The winners get the orchestra treatment.

Now Sound Mixing. I had no clue editing and mixing were two separate categories. It's a "Bourne" sweep. That means the poor bastard who was nominated for "Transformers" continues his record winless streak. THESE guys get the music, too.

BEST ACTRESS. Forest Whitaker presents and quotes Brando. Well, I guess the writers quote Brando. Cate looks scared by her own clip. The Euro-love continues as Marion Cotillard gets it. She's really overcome. It's a Roberto Benigni moment, as the emotions and lack of English cause her to babble charmingly unintelligible phrases.

Score one for the White Witch

Javier kisses his mom on the lips. Shades of Angelina Jolie!

The advertising during the breaks is definitely female-centric.

"The star of August Rush, Kerri Russell." Too bad Jon couldn't have said a good movie, like "Waitress."

The 11 year old has got a set of pipes.

Here's Owen Wilson for Live Action Short. I love that he translated "Le Mozart de Pickpockets" into English: "The Mozart of Pickpockets." I never would have guessed. And it wins. A lot of love for the Europeans tonight.

Here's Seinfeld presenting as an animated bee. Who's the more famous animated bee? Seinfeld or Antonio Banderas? Ah, he's presenting Best Animated Short. "Peter and the Wolf" wins, I know nothing about this film, but it does my heart good to see a stop-motion film do well.

Here's some trivia, on Roseanne, both her mother and grandmother were Oscar winners, Estelle Parsons and Shelly Winters.

Best Supporting Actress time.

The "Atonement" girl reminds me so much of somebody, but I can't think of who. It could be a man, though.

Tilda Swinton wins. That's a mild surprise. Well, I didn't really have a pick there, but I can't say her performance jumped out at me. Not that it wasn't good. In fact, she was a rather sympathetic villain. She jokes about George Clooney being on set in his nippled Batman costume. Nice.

Anton Chigurh pwns you

The Rock is presenting Best Visual Effects. Hey... Rock kind of looks like a super buff Obama, hmmm... "Golden Compass" wins. Let's see if these guys get to finish their speech. They give the poor technical guys like 2 seconds.

They made it! Each guy got shorter and shorter. It's like the last guy was practically doing semaphore.

"Sweeney Todd" gets Art Direction. Well deserved. Man, Cate Blanchett seems to be pregnant whenever she's not making a movie. And then practically every movie when she's not Bob Dylan.

Musical hook #3.

Okay, first acting award, Best Supporting Actor. Which of course, gives us masturbatory video #2. Holy crap, it's been 11 years since Cuba won? At least he got to play Nicky Barnes in "American Gangster." It was depressing to watch him playing second banana to Michael Jordan in underwear commercials.

If Javier doesn't get this one, I may leave the building. No disrespect to anyone else in the category. I'd love if Casey Affleck won just because then he'd have an acting award and Ben wouldn't.

Javier wins, and the universe still makes sense. He's either with his mom or into much older chicks. Okay, it's his mom. He busts out the Spanish to thank her and dedicate the award to EspaƱa.

Let's see if this is the start of something for "No Country."

Best Animated Flick

They just ran the same Yukon Hybrid commercial with the animated Sisyphus-like guy pushing the rock up the hill. They're really appealing to the intellectual, green audience with that.

The Cloonster is having a bit of trouble getting started with his presentation, here. It happens to middle age men.

Oh yeah, I forgot to give an over/under on masturbatory videos. Well, regardless, here's the first. I think it was the 75th when they brought out all the living winners from the past 75 years. God, that took forever. I'd love to see Ernie Borgnine here tonight, though.

I just figured out how this could be more grating, play "My Heart Will Go On."

Anne Hathaway looks like she's made out of porcelain. Stay out of the sun, sweetheart.

"Persepolis" sounded like "For Syphilis." And incidentally, I think it sucks that "Persepolis" didn't get a Best Foreign Language nomination and has to go up against "Ratatouille."

Funny acceptance speech by Brad Bird... and he gets the hook. Cue the orchestra! #1

Katherine Heigl looks VERY Marilyn Monroe tonight. She's nervous as hell. That's cute. She just offered the envelope to the winner and said "Do you want this?" That's cute.

"Get the f*ck off the stage" #2, take it away Conti.

Isla Fisher... Sorry, Amy Adams is singing a song from "Enchanted." She does really well.

There's a piece with Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta Jones talking about their respective Oscar wins. I still hate Michael Douglas for stealing Catherine from me.

Alright, the right eye commercial is the first to rock my socks. It's for Mastercard.

Best Costume Design!

Here we go.

Opening film is a big CG composite of famous films through out history. It's a lot like what they do for the NBA Finals... also on ABC, incidentally. Peter Jackson's King Kong punching Roland and Emmerich's Godzilla was pretty cool.

And here's Jonny with writers' strike reference #1.

Danny Day Lewis has a big hoop earing. That's interesting.

Jon's doing pretty good so far, but Billy's songs were always great.

Jon just made a joke about Anton Chigurh to Javier. Tommy Lee Jones' face looked like it was made out of granite.

HRC reference #1.

They show the girl from Atonement who's up for Best Supporting. I don't think she's that young, I think her hair's pulled back so tight it makes her look like she's 11.

Does an Olympia Dukakis joke count as political?

Iraq War reference #1.

HRC 2, Obama 1.

Wesley Snipes is out of jail and sitting next to Spike.

Obama 2.

No offense to Jon, but I miss the song. It would have been hell trying to get a light musical number out of this year's Best Pic nominees, though.

First award, Costume Design. It goes to Elizabeth. Didn't see it, can't really comment. Although, Elizabeth was largely regarded as a stinker, but at least they can slap "Academy Award Winner" on the Blu-Ray packaging.

Does Barbara Streisand reminiscing count as a political?

Running Commentary's running commentary on the Oscars

Well, I'll be sitting in front of my computer for the whole show, so I may as well post up to the minute rants.

I was only half watching the red carpet pre-show, but George Clooney was with a beautiful woman, who looked considerably younger than him. Attaboy, George.

Here are some Running Commentary over/unders for you:

Times Bill Conti and the orchestra start playing over an acceptance speech: 5
Number of shots at Bush/Iraq war in an acceptance speech: 4
Obama references: 6
HRC references: 8
How long past 11:30pm EST the show runs: 30 minutes
Writer's Strike references: 25
Number of cutaways of Michael Moore when W is mentioned: 106

Regis just called Javier Bardem "Xavier." Javier just about went Aton Chigurh on his ass.

May you see Marisa Tomei's breasts for 30 minutes

Running Commentary #24

I review Before the Devil Knows You're Dead, starring naked Marisa Tomei.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Between Barack and a Hard Place

Running Commentary #23

I talk about Hillary Clinton's Xerox remark and how Barack Obama is pretty much bulletproof.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

My afternoon with the former Director of the CIA

Running Commentary #21

I talk about teleprompting for Jim Woolsey and the real life Frank Lucas and Richie Roberts.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

American Gangster review, Steve Coogan goodness, Peep Show 4

Running Commentary #20

I review "American Gangster," talk about the Steve Coogan shows "Knowing Me, Knowing You" and "I'm Alan Partridge," and further extol the virtues of "Peep Show."

Monday, February 18, 2008

James Bond meets Vesper Lynd

Running Commentary #19

I analyze the James Bond meets Vesper Lynd scene from Casino Royale

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Not Another Movie Movie

Running Commentary #18

I talk about "Superhero Movie" as well as the superb comedy of Ricky Gervais and David Mitchell and Robert Webb.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Three Days of the Dogstar

Running Commentary #17

Okay, it's cheating, but I've got stuff that I'd like people to see. This was a documentary I made about the making of our NFC 2004 film, Dogstar.

Boxing Day Diary #1

I talk about why this movie will cost $1,000 and where that money's going.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Into the Wild

Running Commentary #16

I review Into the Wild *spoilers*

Christopher McCandless - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Just watched Into the Wild, which I'll vlog about later. It prompted me to look it up on Wikipedia. It's amazing to me that Chris McCandless grew up just a few miles from where I live.

Christopher McCandless - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Mao offered U.S. 10 million women -

As if any additional evidence was needed that Mao was a little of his rocker. And maybe gay, too. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Mao offered U.S. 10 million women -

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Lucky 13

In this installment I, Francis Abbey
-clarify my feelings on Juno
-talk about what the Academy looks for in a Best Picture nominee

Maryland: A state worth watching - Martin Frost -

I've become a Politico junkie, at least for the Primary season. This is an interesting article about my home state.

Maryland: A state worth watching - Martin Frost -

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Running Commentary #11

I, Francis Abbey, talk about:
-The Obama sweep
-Hillary's campaign shake-up
-Plugs o'plenty
-Basketball: Marion on the Heat
-More There Will Be Blood

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Superbowl and Mumblecore

My thoughts on Superbowl XLII and The Puffy Chair. PLUS, I throw down the gauntlet on making a feature for less than $1,000.

And my favorite Superbowl commercials were the heart Careerbuilder spot and the mouse trap Doritos.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Steve Wiebe is my hero

I showered praise on this film when I first saw it at Slamdance. It just came out on DVD this week and I shower praise on it yet again:

Friday, February 1, 2008