Thursday, February 28, 2008

American Idol Week 2 Who Went Home (Season 7)

So it was a surprising night for the most part, here's who went home---

Jason Yaeger
Alexandrea Lushington
Alaina Whitaker
Robbie Carrico

Who Should Have Gone Home:
Jason Yaeger
Amanda Overmyer
Kristy Lee Cook
Danny Noriega

As you can see, I disagreed.

The Moment of Stupidity

I was thinking about this new show on FOX, "Moment of Truth", and just how ridiculous some of these people are for going on this show. I have only watched the show a few times, and I don't even think that I have watched an episode from start to finish. The premise of the show is a contestant is asked a series of questions in the presence of family and loved ones. As he/ she answers questions, he/ she wins money upon answering the question truthfully (because contestants are hooked up to a lie detector).
My question is, even if you do want to win money, why would you go on a show like this if you have skeletons in your closet?
Some people embarass themselves a little bit, but other people leave a lot of dirt on the stage.
For example, one happily married man named David admits in front of his wife, kids, and parents that he has at one time or another watched porn on the internet. He also admits that he believes his mom resents his wife. But David goes home with $100,000 and with his family intact.
Then there is the other side of the coin, a woman named Lauren (works at a beauty salon goes on) in the presence on her husband (a NYC Police Officer) and her parents, and admits to a whole bunch of things that are just wrong to admit to on national television. It starts out small with her admitting that she has stolen stuff from a former workplace. She admits that she does not believe her parents are proud of her. Then she starts admitting that she has had sexual relations with people other than her husband while she was married to him.
The point where even the host, Mark Whalberg (no relation to the actor), becomes uncomfortable is when Lauren's ex boyfriend comes out to ask questions. He asks if I wanted to get back together with you, would you leave your husband for me? She says yes.
Honestly, what kind of person admits this on national television for money? I understand if she doesn't care about torturing herself on national television, but what about her poor husband? Has he not suffered enough? He admits that she told him she was over her ex boyfriend, apparently not.
The absolute worst part of the show was when the host asked her if she thinks she is a good person. She says yes. The lie detector says that is a lie. So not only has she lost the money, her husband, the respect of her parents, but she does not even think she is a good person.
While I was watching this, I must admit that I started to feel uncomfortable, and I didn't think it was funny. Where are we as a society when people are entertained by this? In some ways, I feel part of society is uncivilized, not only because some are entertained by this, but because there are people who would actually participate in it knowing what they know about themselves. I am not saying people should be ashamed of who they are, but rather re-examining how they live life.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Check this out........

So I am convinced that this guy Ferras is going to hit it big regardless, but it does help that his single "Hollywood is not America" is the goodbye song for American Idol Season 7. Here is the YouTube link to his video. As a side note, I heard that he has been writing songs since he was five years old. ------

American Idol Season 7: The Top 10 Girls Provide a Mixed Bag

Some girls were good, and some were not so good..... here's how I thought they fared.

01 Carly Smithson sang "Crazy on You" made famous by Heart. I agree with Simon, Carly still has not picked a song that showcases just how talented she is vocally, and until she does that, she is going to measure up short compared to the other girls.
Score: 3.8

02 Syesha Mercado sang "Me & Mrs. (Mr.) Jones" made famous by Billy Paul. Syesha's strength is really belting out a song, and songs with lots of power behind them. She could have chosen a better song though because it did not fit her as well as it could have. The verses sounded quiet because she is not used to singing low.
Score: 4

03 Brooke White sang "You're So Vain" made famous by Carly Simon. Brooke White totally surprised me this week. The song suited her stylistically and personality wise. Simon loved her and said it was one of the first times a contestant chose a song that fit them so well.
Score: 5

04 Ramiele Malubay sang "Don't Leave Me this Way" made famous by Thelma Houston. Ramiele is such a pro, her vocals are right on every single time. My problem with the performance was her song choice; the song didn't go anywhere, there were no highs in the song. That being said, Ramiele is still, despite that, one of the strongest vocalists in the competition right now.
Score: 4.75

05 Kristy Lee Cook sang "You're No Good" made famous by Linda Ronstadt. I completely disagree with the judges; I didn't like the sing choice, and I kept waiting to be impressed, and the honest truth is that I wasn't impressed. Kristy should consider going the country route as Simon suggested, or she is going to be going home soon.
Score: 3

06 Amanda Overmyer sang "Carry on my Wayward Son" made famous by Kansas. I agree with Simon, I could NOT wait for it to be over. Paula was also right in the sense that Amanda is better than the song was. If she really wants to get votes though and stay on the show she needs to go back to what she is good at and keep it simple. This week, I did not get it, and she may not get another chance to prove her worth.
Score: 2

07 Alaina Whitaker sang "Hopelessly Devoted to You" made famous by Olivia Newton John. Wow, this is amazing, I am agreeing with Simon again. Alaina is a dark horse in this competition, but I think she has some figuring out to do. She needs to figure out who she wants to be as an artist because she has lots of options and lots of potential. Performance was good, song was an ok choice, nothing special.
Score: 3.9

08 Alexandrea Lushington sang "If You Leave Me Now" made famous by Chicago. The song was totally not right for her, it was boring, out of tune; she seemed uncomfortable, like it did not fit her at all. The song is one of those songs that never moves beyond its time. Alexandrea is definitely talented, but this did not show it.
Score: 3

09 Kady Malloy sang "Magic Man" made famous by Heart. I love Kady Malloy and I want her to do well, and I keep waiting for her to have that breakout performance that I know she is capable of delivering, but tonight was not it by a long shot. It is obvious that she is still struggling with something. I hope she will be around next week to prove herself and her relevance in this competition.
Score: 3

10 Asia'h Epperson sang "All by Myself" made famous by Eric Carmen and Celine Dion. Ok Asia'h does get points for a few reasons--- she is sick, that was clear, and she chose a song with a very high degree of difficulty. The song was a little too big for her, but she is a strong vocalist, and I would be shocked if she was not back next week.
Score: 4

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Top Ten Guys Perform and Show Improvements from Last Week

The Top Ten Guys performed 70's songs tonight, and it appears that they took the judges criticisms and made improvements. Song choices were better overall, but not everyone impressed, the ones that did not impress surprised me. I expected more consistency, and that isn't happening with many contestants thus far.

01 Michael Johns sang "Go Your Own Way" made famous by Fleetwood Mac. Simon said that it was a weak choice of song, and I have to say that I agree. There was no "moment" in the song; I kept waiting for something great to happen, and it never did, unfortunately. It wasn't a bad performance, but it wasn't terribly good either. I still consider Michael consistent, and this won't get him voted off.
Score: 3.9

02 Jason Castro sang "I Just Want to Be Your Everything" made famous by The Bee Gees. I like how Jason has this very bohemian style about him, and I thought it was cool how he played the guitar and sang. His vocals were weak, and he needs to get rid of the guitar next week, and prove his worth as a vocalist.
Score: 3.5

03 Luke Menard sang "Killer Queen" made famous by Queen. This was leaps and bounds better than last week. I disagreed with Simon when he said that Luke has no charisma and personality. The truth is, it is always difficult to sing Queen, and Luke did a good job, it wasn't great, but it was good, and he should get points for degree of difficulty. I think he should stay around another week.
Score: 3.75

04 Robbie Carrico sang "Hot Blooded" made famous by Foreigner. This was another ok performance. I was so impressed with Robbie last week, and this week fell flat. I kept expecting more, and it didn't happen. The vocals were good, and he needs to come back nect week with something fierce.
Score: 3.8

05 Danny Noreiga sang "Superstar" made famous by the Carpenters and Luther Vandross. Danny tried too hard with this performance, and therefore it came across as forced. He should listen to Ruben Studdard from Season 2 singing this---- . I remember hearing him sing this, and all I could think was about how effortless the vocals were.
Score: 3

06 David Hernandez sang "Papa was a Rolling Stone" made famous by the Temptations. David continues to remind me of a soulful Marc Anthony. The vocals were solid from beginning to end, and David took harsh criticism from last week, and turned it around.
Score: 4.5

07 Jason Yaeger sang "Long Train Runnin'" made famous by the Doobie Brothers. Simon said Jason was like a drunk guy at a party, and I would not take it that far; in fact, the performance wasn't that bad. However, it did remind me of a Las Vegas hotel lounge act.
Score: 2.5

08 Chickezie Eze sang "I Believe (to my soul)" made famous by Donny Hathaway. Chikezie is another person who improved tremendously from last week. It was a brilliant choice of song, and vocally it was solid.
Score: 4

09 David Cook sang "All Right Now" made famous by Free. David sounded authentic; he is a rocker through and thorugh. He made a smart choice, and stayed true to who he is as an artist and vocalist. I disagree with Simon saying he has no personality.
Score: 4.5

10 David Archuleta sang "Imagine" made famous by John Lennon. This kid does not ever fail to surprise me. Every week he shows poise and maturity beyond his years. David is a born singer, and this is probably one of the best performances to ever grace an American Idol stage. Simon called David the one to beat, and there are 19 miserable contestants after that performance. It was a risky song choice, and to have it turn out that well means David is truly a talent.
Score: 5

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Who Went Home on Idol: Week 1

Here are the 4 contestants who were voted off American Idol Week 1:

Amy Davis
Garrett Haley
Joanne Borgella
Colton Berry

Who Should Have Gone Home:

Amy Davis
Danny Noriega
Amanda Overmyer
Garrett Haley

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Glorious Revelations and Beautiful Letdowns as Top 12 Ladies Perform on Idol Season 7

So after the fifth lady performed I was about to call it a night, and write on my blog that a guy should win Idol season 7, and then a woman named Brooke White, who has never seen an "R" rated movie, performed and made me believe that a woman could win the competition again. Ok, well she didn't make me believe that, it was actuallyAsia'h Epperson who's father died a few months back, and three or four other ladies. However, I do want to say that Brooke White did make me smile, and don't you all think she looks like the actress Britney Snow (she played Meg on American Dreams)?

So without further ado, here is what I thought.............

01 Kristy Lee Cook sang "Rescue Me" by Fontella Bass. Kristy can definitely sing, but I have to say that I have only heard her sing the song "Amazing Grace" well. No one can make it though this competition, and only know how to sing one song well; it just isn't going to happen. Ryan Seacrest did bring up a good point; Kristy and many of the other ladies were sick. How do we judge then? On what we heard during Hollywood week, or on their performance that night? For Kristy's sake, she better hope for Hollywood week. She also did not choose a song suited for her vocal stylings at all.
Score: 2.9

02 Joanne Borgella sang "Say a Little Prayer for You" by Aretha Franklin. Joanne did lack some confidence, especially considering that she is a model. I think her song choice was right for her, and she does have a very engaging voice. I could not help but think about Diana King's version of the song, which was recorded in the 90's for the movie "My Best Friend's Wedding"; Joanne should have displayed that confidence because it would have made her performance so much better.
Score: 3.75

03 Alaina Whitaker sang "I Love You More Today Than Yesterday" by Spiral Staircase. Chikezie sang this yesterday, and the young lady wins this duel. Alaina really surprised me; I didn't think she would have the performance ability, and not only did she have that but she had great vocals to go along with it. The 16 year old should sail through the first round.
Score: 5

04 Amanda Overmyer sang "Baby Please Don't Go" by Them (Van Morrison). Amanda does have personality, and she is true to who she is. Her authenticity as an artist is admirable, but I didn't understand her performance. Simon called it, a bit all over the place at times, and I have to say I agree with him.
Score: 2

05 Amy Davis sang "Where the Boys Are" by Connie Francis. This is a great song, but unfortunately Amy butchered it, she scooped into all the notes. Rather than hitting the notes right on, Amy slid into the notes. The performance was not good; Randy's assessment was right. Kimberley Locke actually sang this in Season 2, and if I find a video of the performance I will post it.
Score: 2.5

06 Brooke White sang "So Happy Together" by the Turtles. David Cook sang this last night, and both performances were very good. Simon said this performance reminded him of a commercial for "washing up liquid"............... sunny, happy, and everyone looks like Brooke. Now what is wrong with that?
Score: 4

07 Alexandrea Lushington sang "Spinning Wheel" by Blood, Sweat, & Tears. I liked this whole performance; I thought it was confident, vocals were strong. Alexandrea's interpretation was all her own all the way through, well thought out and again very professional for someone so young.
This actually made me think of Bo Bice when he sang this same song on season 4, check it out--- .
Score: 4.5

08 Kady Malloy sang "A Groovy Kind of Love" by Diane & Annita. Simon was right again, Kady needs to loosen up, lighten up, and be herself. She is so likeable and her Britney Spear's impression showed that. I hope she receives another chance to prove herself because this was a let down.
Score: 3

09 Asia'h Epperson sang "Take Another Little Piece of My Heart" by Janis Joplin. It definitely took guts on Asia'h's part to sing this song; not easy at all. She nailed it though; it was the perfect mix of soul, rock, and heart. Asia'h has a voice that gives that song a fresh sound which is what the judges mentioned to the guys over and over again on Tuesday. Nikki McKibbin sang this in Season 1 and Carrie Underwood sang it in Season 4. Here is Nikki's version for you all to check out--- .
Score: 4.9

10 Ramiele Malubay sang "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me" by Dusty Springfield. This was one of the best and most controlled vocals of the night. H-O-T; Simon called her the most consistent female singer in the competition and said she outsang everyone by a mile. I think it was a lovely surprise that that voice came out of a little lady like Ramiele, the vocal was gentle, yet strong. Nadia Turner tackled this song flawlessly in Season 4 and Stephanie Edwards tried her luck in Season 6 ( -- Nadia and -- Stephanie) Compare the three and see what you think. Soon I will give the link for Ramiele's interpretation of the song.
Score: 5

11 Syesha Mercado sang "Tobacco Road" by The Nashville Teens. I was waiting all night for this lady to perform and she did let me down by longshot. Syesha has a big voice, and she proved that tonight she is a force to be reckoned with in this competition. I remembered that I had heard this song before, and I discovered that Phil Stacey sang this in Season 6, totally different interpretation of course ( Simon called Syesha the "whole package" and I could not agree more with that statement of fact.
Score: 5

12 Carly Smithson sang "The Shadow of Your Smile" by you name it --- Tony Bennett, Barbara Streisand, Frank Sinatra, Shirley Bassey, Perry Como, and Connie Francis. I was also waiting to hear Carly sing, there has been so much hype surrounding her, and this was a beautiful letdown. I could not have disagreed more with Randy who called it the best vocal of the Top 24. And surprisingly, I couldn't have agreed more with Simon who said it was disappointing and he expected more. Frankly so did I.
Score 3.9

Enough said!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Red Hot Night for Top 12 Guys on Idol Season 7

Tonight the top 12 guys performed 60's songs on American Idol and wow, I just finished watching, and I cannot wait to go back and watch all the great performances; there were probably a handful of them. The judges disagreed with one another and had varying opinions all night. Simon was a bit too cruel at times, and Paula was too vague at times, and Randy said a lot but said nothing at all at some points over the course of the night.

I have to say I did think the 60's theme was a bit silly. I mean if these guys are "fighting for their lives" on the show, they should be able to sing whatever song best showcases their talent. For example, Chikezie Eze who I think is a great singer had to sing a 60's song and then was called old fashioned by the judges. I couldn't help but laugh.

Here is my take of the performances and I have graded them on a scale of 1-5 (1 being get off the stage, and 5 being great).

01 David Hernandez sang "Wait til the Midnight Hour" by Wilson Pickett. My first thought on this was bad song choice, but then when the song adopted a gospel feel, I thought it was pretty good. I think David has a very good voice, stylistically he is like Marc Anthony. Simon gave some good advice when he told David to loosen up a little bit, and be more confident.
Score: 3.6

02 Chikezie Eze sang "More Today than Yesterday" by Spiral Starecase. I thought Chikezie's performance was solid; the vocals were strong. Paula called it a throwback to great R&B.
Score: 3.75

03 David Cook sang "So Happy Together" by the Turtles. David was definitely original with his performance; he reinvented the song and made it his own. Simon said he almost believed it.
Score: 4

04 Jason Yaeger sang "Moon River" by Frank Sinatra. Jason is a kind soul and that really comes across in his singing. I have to say that I remember Anwar Robinson singing this in season 4, and Anwar has one of those big voices and he has so much emotion too. Jason didn't top that for me; I wanted him to impress me, and he didn't. Simon called it a cruise ship performace and he was probably right. Look at Anwar's performance:
Score: 3

05 Robbie Carrico sang "One" by Three Dog Night. I really like Robbie a lot because he gave the first authentic performance of the night. It was believeable, and I don't want to jinx Robbie but I think he is a better version of what Bo Bice wanted to be. I like that he has personality, and his own sense of style as a person and a singer.
Score: 5

06 David Archuleta sang "Shop Around" by the Miracles. Young David proved why at such a young age he is a force to be reckoned with in this competition. David was a junior champion on the new star search and nothing has changed, he has only become better. The song was handled with a maturity and poise far beyond his years. Simon called it the "best performance of the night by a mile".
Score: 5

07 Danny Noriega sang "Jailhouse Rock" by Elvis Presley. Randy called the performance, "kind hot" and Simon said is was "verging on grotesque". I have to say I agree more with Simon on this; Danny seemed a little too out of place singing Elvis. I can think of so many songs that would have been a better fit for him. The only thing this performance did was prove that Danny can get up on a stage and perform, but at this stage of the competition that isn't as important as singing your butt off.
Score: 2

08 Luke Menard sang what I believe was a Glen Campbell song I will have to do some research and update this. Luke has a great voice, expecially a solid falsetto. Simon called the performance "forgettable" and I could NOT disagree more. Simon will go back and regret saying this.
Score: 3.75

09 Colton Berry sang "Caught in a Trap" by Elvis Presley. Elvis had a tough night because this sounded good, but unfortunately, very karaoke. Colton is very sweet, and I do like him but this wasn't great at all.
Score: 2.5

10 Garrett Haley sang "Breaking Up is Hard to Do" by Neil Sedaka. Garrett is talented and does have a nice voice. Simon was overly harsh with him making remarks about him "being too pale, and needing fresh air" and something about him being locked in his bedroom for too long. Simon, this kid is 17, stop being so harsh! I think Garrett did a fine job and will be back next week.
Score: 3.6

11 Jason Castro sang "What a Day for a Daydream" by the Lovin' Spoonful. Jason was the only performer of the night to play an instrument (guitar), and it did pay off. I had never heard Jason before tonight, and I do like this guy. He has a lot of originality, the song was sung effortlessly, and it was current.
Score: 5

12 Michael Johns sang "Come on Baby Light My Fire" by the Doors. Michael is, as Simon said, the most consistent performer. What really impresses me about him is his authenticity, he is very true to who he is. His vocal control is amazing, and he is definitely the one to watch in this competition.
Score: 5

I cannot wait til the results show.

Monday, February 18, 2008

My Oscar Predictions

Animated Film of the Year

Persepolis (Sony Pictures Classics)
Ratatouille (Walt Disney)
Surf’s Up (Sony Pictures Releasing)

Ratatouille is cooking the competition, and that’s all I need to say.

Will Win: Ratatouille
Should Win: Ratatouille

Director of the Year

Julian Schnabel “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly” (Miramax/ Pathe Renn)
Jason Reitman “Juno” (A Mandate Pictures/ Mr. Mudd Production)
Tony Gilroy “Michael Clayton” (Warner Bros.)
Joel Coen and Ethan Coen “No Country for Old Men” (Miramax and Paramount Vantage)
Paul Thomas Anderson “There Will Be Blood” (Paramount Vantage and Miramax)
The Coen brothers have the most impressive filmography of all the nominees, this year might be the year that their body of work is acknowledged. Tony Gilroy is talented, I remember him most for writing the “Bourne” movies, and critics say “Michael Clayton” was a masterpiece. Jason Reitman is creative and his “Juno” is the “little movie that could” of the year, but voters may feel that he is young and will have plenty more chances to be rewarded.

Will Win: The Coen Brothers
May Win: Paul Thomas Anderson
Should Win: The Coen Brothers
Missing from the Category: Ridley Scott

Best Picture

“Michael Clayton”
“No Country for Old Men”
“There Will Be Blood”

This category makes me think about the year that “Saving Private Ryan”, “The Thin Red Line”, and “Shakespeare in Love” were among the nominees; it was 1998. All three were wonderful movies, and “Shakespeare in Love” was advertising around Oscar time on movie posters and writing, “make love, not war”. The Oscar voters love a good “love” movie, and “Atonement” is no exception to the rule.

Will Win: “Atonement”
May Win: “Michael Clayton”
Should Win: “Atonement”
Missing from the Category: “American Gangster”

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Breaking American Idol News for Season 7!

The Top 24 was revealed tonight, and I could not be more excited; this is a very talented and eclectic group of contestants.

The Top 12 Guys:

David Archuleta
Colton Berry
Robbie Carrico
Jason Castro
David Cook
Chikezie Eze
Garrett Haley
David Hernandez
Michael Johns
Luke Menard
Danny Noriega
Jason Yeager

The Top 12 Guys will perform on Tuesday February 19 at 8 p.m. eastern on Fox.

The Top 12 Girls:

Joanne Borgella
Kristy Lee Cook
Amy Davis
Asia'h Epperson
Alexandrea Lushington
Kady Malloy
Ramiele Malubay
Syesha Mercada
Amanda Overmyer
Carly Smithson
Alaina Whitaker
Brooke White

The Top 12 Girls will perform Wednesday February 20 at 8 p.m. eastern on Fox.

My Oscar Predictions

Best Actor

George Clooney in “Michael Clayton” (Warner Bros.)
Daniel Day Lewis in “There Will Be Blood” (Paramount Vantage and Miramax)
Johnny Depp in “Sweeney Todd The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” (Dreamworks and Warner Bros.)
Tommy Lee Jones in “In the Valley of Elah” (Warner Independent)
Viggo Mortensen in “Eastern Promises” (Focus Features)

The Best Actor category definitely will be the closest race, each actor in each role was played very well. I do believe that Denzel Washington (“American Gangster”) and James McAvoy (“Atonement”). I think the voting will be close and not just between two nominees, but all five. Ultimately, Daniel Day Lewis will come away with the award because he has been the frontrunner in this competition. His character, Daniel Plainview is played with grit and I feel the definite anger that this man possesses; Day Lewis is very good at communicating with eyes and he does that very well in this film.

Will Win: Daniel Day Lewis
May Win: Any actor in the category
Should Win: Any actor in the category

Best Actress

Cate Blanchett in “Elizabeth: The Golden Age” (Universal)
Julie Christie in “Away From Her” (Lionsgate)
Marion Cotillard in “La Vie en Rose” (Picturehouse)
Laura Linney in “The Savages” (Fox Searchlight)
Ellen Page in “Juno” (A Mandate Pictures/ Mr. Mudd Production)

This is a two woman race between Julie Christie and Ellen Page. Two actresses were definitely robbed and should have been included in this category, and had they been nominated, they would have had a chance at winning. Angelina Jolie should have been nominated for her role as Mariane Pearl, the wife of Wall Street Journal Reporter Daniel Pearl who was captured by Al Qaeda and brutally murdered in “A Mighty Heart”. Keira Knightley should have been nominated for her role as Cecilia Tallis, a young star crossed lover in “Atonement”. Anyway, I have heard that Julie Christie is wonderful as Alzheimer’s patient Fiona, and Ellen Page (who is almost 21) is on the brink of superstardom thanks to her role as Juno, a 16 year old who faces an unplanned pregnancy after sleeping with her best friend one time.

Will Win: Ellen Page
May Win: Julie Christie
Should Win: Ellen Page or Angelina Jolie or Keira Knightley

Best Supporting Actor

Casey Affleck in “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford” (Warner Bros.)
Javier Bardem in “No Country for Old Men” (Miramax and Paramount Vantage)
Philip Seymour Hoffman in “Charlie Wilson’s War” (Universal)
Hal Holbrook in “Into the Wild” (Paramount Vantage and River Road Entertainment)
Tom Wilkinson in “Michael Clayton” (Warner Bros.)

I am 95% sure that Javier Bardem has this locked up. He plays Anton a ruthless killer with no compassion for human life. Hal Holbrook is the only nominee who stands a chance of stealing this award out from under Bardem. As a side note, Casey Affleck should have been nominated for his role in "Gone Baby Gone", a diamond in the rough as a movie that did not receive the credit it deserved.

Will Win: Javier Bardem
May Win: Hal Holbrook
Should Win: ?

Best Supporting Actress

Cate Blanchett in “I’m Not There” (The Weinstein Company)
Ruby Dee in “American Gangster” (Universal)
Saoirse Ronan in “Atonement” (Focus Features)
Amy Ryan in “Gone Baby Gone” (Miramax)
Tilda Swinton in “Michael Clayton” (Warner Bros.)

Amy Ryan is amazing in this movie, the role of Helene was a real stretch for her. She absolutely had everything down packed in her role, right down to the Southie accent. There is really no one else who deserves the award more than her. She is tough, raw, and resilient in her role as a drug addicted mother whose four year old daughter is kidnapped; so believeable, I was thinking of going to visit her in Dorchester.

Will Win: Amy Ryan
May Win: no one else
Should Win: Amy Ryan

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Good, The Bad, and maybe the Ugly at this Year's Grammys

Grammy Hits and Misses

The Hits:
Rihanna’s non stop performances of “Umbrella” and “Don’t Stop the Music” were incredible; my dad wasn’t interested, but just about everyone else that I know was. She confidently confirmed that she is on top of the music scene right now.

The tribute to the Beatles was great; it’s too bad Sir Paul McCartney couldn’t be there. Love really is all we need and the Beatles proved that a long time ago when they were just four young men from Liverpool.

Kanye West defined grace on Grammy night; his hard hitting passion driven performance of “Stronger” with French group Daft Punk proved there was no more deserving winner for “Rap Album of the Year”. His performance of “Mama” which was a tribute to his mom, Donda was touching, and brought tears to my eyes. Kanye, for once, was at his most unpredictable. Watch his performance on you tube and see for yourself:

Fergie and John Legend surprised me, and proved that they are both consistently emerging talents full of versatility. I had no idea Fergie could sing like that, I knew Legend could play like that, and together they were a duo to be reckoned with. I cannot wait til they “duet” for real. “Finally” was a beautiful contribution to the night----

Seeing past Grammy winners made me happy: Alicia Keys, Prince, Jimmy Jam, Cyndi Lauper, Cher, Tina Turner, Carole King, Stevie Wonder, Ringo Starr, Juanes, Tony Bennett, Natalie Cole, John Fogerty, Usher, and Quincy Jones.

I heard a lot of critics say that they felt Tina Turner upstaged Beyonce at the Grammy Awards; I couldn’t disagree more. Beyonce held her own and was full of soul, her dancing was on point, and her voice was better than I have ever heard it. Ms. Turner came out of retirement to prove that she still is “simply the best” and she proved it. Both ladies were equally entertaining.

Alicia Keys’ performance of “No One” proved why she is a Grammy darling, enough said.

Rihanna’s acceptance speech was endearing and Jay Z was funny, who knew.

Andrea Bocelli and Josh Groban’s show stopping tribute to the late tenor Luciano Pavarotti would have made the man proud. “The Prayer” brought the crowd to its feet and tears to my eyes as well as to all of those in the audience at the Staples Center and TV Land.

Herbie Hancock winning the album of the year was a total surprise; I think he was more surprised than any of us.

The Misses:

Carrie Underwood’s odd rendition of “Before He Cheats” reminded some critics of some bad Duran Duran, and listening to the performance again, I couldn’t agree more.

The Foo Fighters and “My Grammy Moment” was a ginormous disaster; the performance was a mess, yet the group did win “Rock Album of the Year” later on in the show. Maybe Daughtry would have been a better choice for both the performance and the award. Imagine “Home” with Ann Marie Calhoun playing the violin.

Kid Rock forgetting the words to his song while on stage; at least he sounded good though.

The Grammy’s made a mistake by not announcing the winner for “Song Written for a Movie” on their telecast. The winner was “Love You I Do” from “Dreamgirls” and Jennifer Hudson should have been there to perform.

I love Brad Paisley, but couldn’t he have picked another song to sing for Grammy night; his song about ticks made me itchy.

Amy Winehouse deserved every single one of her five, count them, five Grammy’s but her performances of “You Know I’m No Good” and “Rehab” were shaky at best. Let’s hope that she is getting the help she needs. Maybe now, Britney Spears will be on board too.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Why is my job like the "Dilbert" comics?

So here I go again, work has actually been ok lately, but it still doesn't stop me from remembering what has happened before.

In this "Dilbert" comic that I read, Dilbert and his boss are having a meeting. His boss tells him that he cannot give him a raise because he asks too many questions, asking questions, says his boss, means that you do not know how to do your job.
Dilbert says he "anticipated" his boss's "misperception and prepared for it".
Dilbert says, "I saved all of my emails and matched them to your policies and procedures," "For example, this is your email saying we need your permission to buy software." "Here's my email asking if I can buy some sortware." "Should I run through the other seven hundred documented examples?"
Dilbert's boss ends by saying, "there you go asking another question".

This comic represents, to me, at my workplace, higher managements inability to unhold policies. I have a great example that just happened to me at work yesterday.

Our policy in the department that I work in is that any bed linens that are over $100 suggested retail price and in departments 90, 91, and 606 must be soft senso-ed. Soft senso's are those white stickers that protect against shoplifters or at least attempt to, but that's another story.

Yesterday, I took this ridiculous return, thank goodness I did not sell it, but it was about $8,000 of merchandise. All the merchandise was from departments 91 and 606; I know that policy when you take this type of return is to re-senso before putting the merchandise back onto the sale's floor. It's important because if we are audited (for following company policies) we can get in trouble for not following those policies.

I looked around everywhere for the stickers to resenso and I could not find any anywhere, I checked registers, the stockroom, the receiving area, and then I asked my boss.

He told me that they would be back in the receiving area, I explained that I already looked there, and he didn't seem to care much so he continued on with his day.

I then found an employee who works back in the receiving area and asked him if he knew where I could find some of the stickers that I was looking for. He helped me to look but was also unsuccessful, and said he would ask his boss. Instead of his female boss having the title of receiving manager, she has the title of distribution manager. Basically, this title makes it more acceptable for her not to do any of the physical labor involved in the job. But that whole thing is another story for another day (or another post).

He apparently asked her (his boss) when one of the senior managers was around. The senior manager wondered why I hadn't asked my boss. How did she know that I didn't? If she would have asked me, she would have known that I did ask my boss and that he didn't know and was of no help to me.

The whole time, all I was trying to do was follow company policies, and management was giving me a hard time when all I was doing was doing the right thing. Imagine, they were giving me a hard time for upholding a policy that they created. I guess at this point, all I am is confused.