Tuesday, February 28, 2012

POPWATCH: At the Oscars

This year, I attended a very swanky Oscar event at Universal Studios.  It was very very exclusive but as long as you could afford $200 and a suit or a dress (whichever was appropriate), then you were exclusive enough.  

The money raised went towards MEND which helps people get out of poverty in Los Angeles so you didn't have to feel too guilty about spending an evening oogling stars who are much better looking than yourself.  

I had a great time and I would do it again.  

So here's my rundown of my random observations about the event and the movies that surrounded it.  It was a depressing year for movies, wasn't it?  Except for Bridesmaids.  I'm sooooo looking forward to some good ol' popcorn movies.  Anyone going to see The Hunger Games?  

Anyhoo, here we go ...

*Have you seen The Artist?  I think most people are saying that it’s a good but not a great movie.  Is it Best Picture material?  Well, if you compare it to The Descendants, then you’re comparing Godiva chocolate to shit-on-a-stick. 

*Yes, I will admit it that Angelina’s posturing was a little strange but in my books, she can do no wrong.  She is talented, beautiful and a great humanitarian and she can stick out any body part she wants wherever she wants.  And as someone else said, maybe she was just trying to air something out. 

*Meryl Streep had the funniest line of the night with her “whatever” acceptance speech.  She obviously has a great sense of humor even if “Iron Lady” didn’t. 

*Billy Crystal is a great host.  Everyone knows that.  He is far better than Ricky Gervass who is a mean-spirited fat British unfunny dwarf.    (You can dish it out Ricky but can you take it?)  I think Billy should host every year but occasionally let NPH do it for variety’s sake. 

*For the first time ever, I watched the shorts.  Most of them were good but I can’t understand why something like “Time Freak” made it onto the list.  It looked like something a bunch of drunk college students put together which, I suppose, is not necessarily a bad thing.  My choice for the Live Action Short was Tube Atlantic about a dying guy shooting up seagulls.  No, it definitely wasn’t PETA friendly but it was very bizarrely amusing. 

*Hugo is a little overrated.  I know I’m being picky when I say that it didn’t make any sense that NO ONE in this PARISIAN movie spoke French.  They all had British accents and sometimes very bad ones.  And Hugo didn’t know whose story it was telling.  Was it about the old man?  Or was it about the little kid?  It wasn’t a family movie.  If I were eight, I would have fallen asleep after the first ten minutes or peed in my pants so I got to go home.  In fact, at my age, I nearly did the latter but I didn’t want to clean up the mess. 

*Okay, I’m going back at The Descendants.  Not sure what the point of this movie was except give me the desire to stick needles into my eyes.  And if they wanted to make it more depressing, they really couldn’t have.  They even threw in a confused old Iady who thought she was off to visit Queen Elizabeth instead of her daughter who was in a coma.   I did like the stoner surfer dude.  He made the movie watchable. 

*Mara Rooney should have won for Best Actress.  This was a very complex violent role and she pulled it off perfectly.  And she wasn’t afraid to really bare it all (literally).  The movie was good too but I have a hard time believing that you can put on a wig and sunglasses and waltz into a bank and withdraw several billion dollars no matter how tech savvy you are. 

*Bridesmaids.  Yep, it was a good one and actually ENTERTAINING which a lot of the Best Picture nominees failed at.  Potty humor is really undervalued in our society.  We should have more films where women do disgusting things.  And I think Kristin Wiig is pretty damn amazing.  I was first introduced to her in Knocked Up and she had the funniest five minutes even with very few words.

*They really should have had the dog from The Artist up on stage at the Oscars.  Hollywood people are suckers for animals and in my profession, that’s a good thing. 

*Why does Jennifer Lopez always think she is attending the Miami Beach Hot Body contest?  As much as I admire the heavy lifting that her dresses do, I still don’t think it’s appropriate to pull that kinda shit at the Oscars.  Cover up a little bit, there J.Lo.  We know you have the boobies but you’re distracting us from what comes out of your mouth.  (Is that the point?) 

*The older kid from The Tree of Life should have won something.  I don’t care what they needed to call it.  Young Actor’s Award or something?  I don’t know how old he was but he did a remGarkable job in a very haunting movie that everyone seemed to love or hate.  I loved it but I think I could have done without the dinosaurs and the cosmos and other ridiculous imagery that only made the movie feel pretentious. 

*I don’t think anyone got “played off” by music at the Oscars this year.  I wonder what the Academy told the winners so that they kept within their allotted time.  They must have threatened them with winged monkeys or something.  I was impressed that they kept the show running right on schedule. 

*Doesn’t it suck when you defy million to one odds and receive a nomination for Best Supporting Actress and then you show up on the red carpet wearing something that looks like a billowing tent?  Melissa, you really needed to talk to Joan Rivers before you made that choice.  That plastic old bitch would have told you like it is. 

*How many times did the cameras cut to George Clooney during the telecast?  Yes, he is good looking but so are the hundreds of other people in that room.  

*My favorite for Best Picture was the quirky Midnight In Paris.  It had a quiet charm and I thought it was far more magical than the heavy handed Hugo.  I didn’t entirely trust the set-up; there is no way that the main characters would have ever gotten engaged in the first place (he was a dreamer and she was a raging bitch) but I was carried away about the romance and Woody Allen did for Paris what he has done for New York in his previous pictures. 

*Whatever happened to the musical numbers?   Sometimes it’s good to have something really disastrously bad so that people have something to talk about the next day other than the women who tried too hard on the red carpet. 

*I like Emma Stone.  I really really like her.  She looks like she is enjoying her time in the spotlight and she isn’t afraid to act her age.  The Help was just a so-so movie but perhaps the fact that I watched it on an 8 inch screen while flying over the Pacific had something to do with my attitude.    

And last but not least, I didn’t do very well with my voting ballot.  Trying to think like an old white guy is actually very difficult.    

Can't wait till next year.  

Until then, we should all make love in the firmament.  

Ciao baby!  

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The incredible street art of San Francisco

On a recent trip to the city by the bay, I did a couple of walking tours and snapped a couple of pictures along the way.

I can't really remember where I walked.  I think I was down in the Mission District and the Haight-Ashbury area.  I do remember how painful my feet were at the end of the day.  Six hours of straight walking in lousy athletic shoes takes its toll.

So here's my portfolio.  

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The opening of the Savong Student Center!

I'm very pleased to announce that the students are finally moving in!

The Savong Student Center (or Centre if you're English, Canadian or Cambodian or pretty much anything else besides American) will be a home for ten older students who are attending the local high school or university.  These are great kids and they are blessed to have such an opportunity.

Only five out of the ten students have sponsors to cover their living expenses so we are still looking for generous donors.  $40/month will cover the basic expenses such as food.  If you are willing to donate more, then we are always looking for sponsors willing to cover the cost of education which is about $360/year for a high school student and about $400/year for a university student.  The university students are also given a laptop which costs about $600.

But I assure you, even the smallest donation will be put to good use.

The best way to donate is through the Razoo page:


Here is a video which was taken of the center while it was still under construction in November 2011. 

Thank you everyone.  The Savong Foundation is very pleased to be a part of these students' lives!  

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

In San Francisco

For a couple of days, I'm up at the city by the bay.

Today I walked three billion miles. No exaggeration. My feet are tingling and my knee hurts like hell. Where is the Advil damnit.

I'm not sure why homeless people enjoy talking to me. Maybe it's because I stop and listen when they call out. Even though I don't give them money, they wish me a good day and sometimes I get a "God bless" which is really funny coming from them.

I saw a homeless person dragging a suitcase. I thought that was much more tasteful than a shopping cart. And it's probably easier to organize all that homeless stuff. How did I know she was homeless? No one that dirty is gonna be taking a trip. And even if she had a ticket, there would be no way that Southwest Airlines would let her on a plane.

I made it to the Haight-Ashbury district. This place has really seen its day. Tourists and wasted looking poseurs with dreds. Get a freakin' job. The hippie life didn't work. And no, I don't want a bud.

I did like the Red Victorian though. The universal center of peace love and happiness. Maybe one day I'll stay there and listen to "me and Bobby McGee". Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose.

Overall I like San Francisco. I don't like the fact that the museum of modern art is closed on wednesdays but that's because I tried to go there on a Wednesday.

The gift shop was open. You can browse books and buy artistic egg holders. And I learned about Banksy.

Exit through the gift shop.

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