Hello everyone, I'm back. After taking some time off to deal with some outside things, I'm back to writing about television on this site.
To get everything going again, I thought I would start out with the return of the Oscar live blog for the 2012 Oscars. Things are going to look a little different for my second go around, as I won't be using the Cover It Live system. Basically, I will be updating this post with all my thoughts on the ceremony throughout the night.
My thoughts are after the jump!
8:22: I'm seated, my TV is on, and I'm ready for the Oscars to begin. Before they begin, I have a few pre-show thoughts. I haven't seen a Billy Crystal Oscars before, so this should be interesting. Also, I have seen six of the nine best picture nominees, along with a select number of other nominated films, which is more than usual.
My favorite film of the year: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2. Nothing can beat it in my mind, and I have seen some excellent films this year.
Since I don't care about the red carpet, this is it for me until the beginning of the show. Thanks for joining me for my live blog!
8:26: I give ABC credit for trying, but this coverage is not making me excited for the show.
8:36: Morgan Freeman? That's a good way to start out. Talking about movie magic.
Looks like Billy Crystal is inserting himself into the nominated films. First, the Artist. Then the Descendants to great results. Moneyball, to middling results. Now, he takes the Midnight ride with Justin Bieber, to get the young demo. Calls Billy by the wrong name. Meh. Now, he eats shit pie from the Help. He enters the sick scene from Bridesmaids for a great little scene. Tom Cruise, for a Hugo/Mission Impossible mash up! Nice! Now, he's in Tintin. Potter!!!! He sees lots of clips from a lot of great movies.
8:41: It was a safe cold open, but it was still fun.
Now, the monologue. With lots of puns for the movies and jokes about Hollywood.
And now, he sings. About the nominated films. Nice little moment with Jonah Hill. Scorsese gets his own song. OK, you're losing me Billy.
Meh. He seems like he's having fun but he dragged that song on for too long.
8:47: First award time! Tom Hanks and his beard are out to present Cinematography and Art Direction. He points out a seat filler. Or maybe not. Forgettable.
Cinematography goes to Hugo in a surprise win. I thought this would go to the Tree of Life. I guess Hugo was well shot, but the cinematography made Tree of Life a special film. Richardson keeps it short and sweet.
Art Direction goes to Hugo. I was secretly hoping that Potter would win, but I have no problem with Hugo winning the award. The film was beautifully shot and the design was beautiful. They thank Scorsese and the show moves to commercial.
8:50: Expect a lot of GCB commercials, because ABC hates us.
8:53: Second joke tonight about the lack of name on the theater (FKA Kodak theater). That'll be OK unless the kill the joke.
8:59: Now, talking about the old movie palaces and the wonder of movies. Now, clips from movies and Twilight. EWWWWWWW! Some great movies featured here, and Twilight. Why are we spending time with this when we could be seeing the Muppets performing? Hey, Star Wars! ET! (I need to watch that movie again.)
Now, Cameron Diaz and J-Lo. What the heck is J-Lo wearing? They're here to present Costume Design. The winner is Mark Bridges for The Artist. The first of what should be many wins for the movie tonight.
They also presented Makeup. I'm hoping for a Potter win, but I'm predicting the Iron Lady. The winner is The Iron Lady. Boo. Also, what were the presenters doing with the turnaround? It didn't work.
9:00: Now, stars talking about the movies. I couldn't care less. Again, why are we spending time on this?
9:04: Do yourself a favor and don't see Newsies. Not worth it.
9:09: Sandra Bullock is here to present foreign film. She decides to speak in Mandarin Chinese. Works well enough. The winner is A Separation-Iran. I keep hearing good things about the film, but I have yet to see it. The director takes out a speech. And it's good.
9:14: Billy Crystal makes a good Republican joke. And introduces Christian Bale. He's here to present Best Supporting Actress. Let's go Octavia Spencer! But, I"d be OK with any of these five women winning. All of them are very talented. The crowd loves the McCarthy clips. The Winner is Octavia Spencer-The Help. This is a well deserved win. I just watched The Help this afternoon, and she's fantastic in it. A great performance. And, she gets a standing ovation! She is on the verge of tears. And she cries. A very moving speech.
9:15: Again, cutting to the band in the boxes. Very cool.
9:18: This may be the first time I'm seeing Missing promoted on ABC. Doesn't look too good, I'm afraid.
9:21: Billy is not talking about focus groups. About to see some focus group clips. Fred Willard! It's the Polish maid from 2 Broke Girls. Some good jokes here, but it fails as a whole.
9:25: Now, Tina Fey and Bradley Cooper! Two funny people! Nice little banter. They're here to present Film Editing. This should go to The Artist. And, the winner is Girl with the Dragon Tattoo in a surprise win. I haven't seen the movie so I can't comment on it. Baxter and Wall seem genuinely surprised. They're too surprised to give a real speech.
9:27: Now, it's Sound Editing. I have Hugo for both the sound categories, although War Horse could win. The winner is Hugo. There was some excellent sound work in this film. After some bad Hugo puns, the winners thank a lot of people, some they don't name.
9:30: Now, it's Sound Mixing. Don't ask me to tell you the difference between the sound awards. Expect another Hugo win. And the winner is Hugo. They thank people and the show goes to commercial.
9:31: I'm still perplexed by the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo win. I guess there was some Academy love for that film after all. That's a huge upset.
9:32: These JC Penny commercials with Ellen are actually terrible.
9:33: Whereas, this ABC comedy promo is fantastic! A great showcase for some great comedy. This is the best comedy block on television, folks.
9:39: Kermit and Miss Piggy!!!! They work very well together. and they introduce Cirque Du Soleil as they interpet what it's like to go to the movies. This should be the Muppets performing. As cool as this dance is, it's not as good as the Muppets. To be honest, that was a waste of a few minutes.
9:40: Billy makes some more cheesy, but funny jokes about the performance. Now, he's making jokes about the old people. And Flomax. Meh.
9:43: Now, Gwyneth Paltrow and Robert Downey Jr. are here to present. The banter between them was great. Very funny. Now, they present best Documentary Feature. I have no idea what any of these films are about, so I don't care who wins. The winner is Undefeated. OK. Sure. Good win. We also see a winner being cut off for the first time tonight.
9:48: Chris Rock is here to present Best Animated Feature. He makes some good animation joke. This is some of the best material of the night. Very funny stuff about how easy it is to do animation. This is the first year where I don't have an investment in the category. It's also one of the few years without a Pixar film. The winner is Rango. Good for them. Now, I need to watch the Blu Ray that my sister has on the shelf. Gore Verbinski thanks osme people and gives a decent speech.
9:51: Hey, a Brave commercial! That looks like it will be a great film and a return to form for Pixar.
9:52: These promos for Apartment 23 are doing the show no favors.
9:53: Hey, it's Melissa McCarthy! Doing a great bit with Crystal! Apparently she's very flexible.
9:57: Now, Emma Stone and Ben Stiller are here to present Best Visual Effects. Emma Stone seems to be eating it up, with her first time presenting. She seems to be having a lot of fun. Looks like Jonah Hill isn't into dancing. Good banter. Stone was great. I'm hoping for Potter but the award will go to Planet of the Apes. The Winner is Hugo. I didn't think that this film had a chance in this category. The effects were fine, but I think that Potter should have won.
9:58: Now, it's official. The Harry Potter franchise will never win an Oscar. That makes me incredibly sad. And now we get a Harry Potter tribute from Billy.
10:04: Melissa Leo is here. She's here to present Best Supporting Actor. This award should continue Christopher Plummer's victory lap. Actually, I don't think I've seen any of the nominated actors in this category. Huh. The winner is Christopher Plummer-Beginners. He gets a standing ovation. And he gives a great speech.
10:05: More of the band in the box!
10:06: That was a very cool Revenge Promo, after a very good Titanic promo.
10:10: Billy now does some "mind reading." This is actually great. A very funny bit. And Uggie! I believe this is the first sighting of him tonight.
10:12: The Academy president does his speech. It's boring but mandatory. And Billy gets to make a joke about it. A decent joke.
10:14: Wait, what's going on? Is that a piece of music rising from the floor? And Billy says "meh" to middling results.
10:16: Now, Penelope Cruz and Owen Wilson are here to present Best Original Score. I hope that Howard Shore wins for his brilliant Hugo score, but the Artist will win here. And the winner is Ludovic Bource-The Artist. I haven't heard anything from this score, but I hear good things. He gives a very good speech.
10:20: Now, Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis walk out with cymbals. Pretending to be musicians. They make a joke about "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp." They're here to present Best Original Song. It's Muppets or bust here. And the Winner is Man or Muppet by Bret McKenzie!! Go Muppets! A well deserved win, even if there weren't enough nominations.
10:21: Who are those women walking in the audience?
10:24: This is also the first Scandal promo I have seen. Another show that doesn't look good.
10:28: Billy Crystal does some mediocre jokes and introduces Angelina Jolie. She's here to present Best Adapted Screenplay, which should go to the Descendants. And the winner is Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, and Jim Rash-The Descendants. Besides one small scene, this was a well deserved award. Payne gave a good speech.
10:30: Now, Best Original Screenplay. This award will go to Midnight in Paris, but it should go to Bridesmaids. The winner is Woody Allen-Midnight in Paris. He's not here to accept. Honestly, the film wasn't that memorable. It was alright, but it wasn't special. I was underwhelmed by it.
10:31: Now, more stars talking about how film is awesome. More time wasting. I don't get the point of this.
10:35: I'm actually enjoying Once Upon a Time, so that promo was welcome.
10:37: Now, we get to hear about the Tech Oscars. I couldn't care less but apparently these people deserve recognition. But, now that I watch it, these people did some very cool things for film.
10:46: It's the cast of Bridesmaids! Hopefully they can be funny. And they make short jokes about...films. They present Best Live Action Short Film. The Winner is The Shore. OK. Sure. Now, Best Short Documentary. Bringing back the Scorsese drinking game from the SAG awards! Nice! The Winner is Saving Face. OK. Sure. Now, Best Animated Short Film. The winner is The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore. OK. Sure. Whatever. Now, can we move on to awards that matter?
10:50: GCB looks terrible. Enough said.
10:55: Michael Douglas is here to present Best Director. He telles a cute little story about a director. This award will go to Hazanavicius the Artist but it should go to Scorsese for Hugo. Although, Malick's Tree of Life is clearly his vision. And the winner is Michel Hazanvicius-The Artist. He gives a good speech, including thanking Uggie. I need to see The Artist.
10:58: Billy introduces Meryl Streep. He does a fine job with that. Meryl introduces the Governors Awards. Mhmm. I don't necessarily care about this, but these people did good work. And James Earl Jones! He's awesome! And Oprah. She's less awesome.
11:02: Can we do 3 awards and an In Memoriam segment in 28 minutes? Probably not, but I can hope!
11:07: Now Billy talks about two Oscar producers who died this year. It's a sincere moment. The In Memoriam segment features Louie Armstrong's "What a Wonderful World." There's not much I can say here besides that was a beautiful tribute. 2 awesome things: Steve Jobs and "As You Wish."
11:12: More celebrities talking about film. Again, I couldn't care less.
11:20: Natalie Portman is here to present Best Actor. She gives very nice tributes to each actor. These are five great actors but I hope that Clooney wins. However, the award will go to Dujardin. And the Winner is Jean Dujardin-The Artist. He seems fine, but I haven't seen the Artist yet. He gave a very good speech.
11:32: Colin Firth is here to present Best Actress. Again, the tributes to each of the actresses are nice. The only one of these performances that I have seen is Viola Davis in the Help, so I'm predicting that she will win. The winner is Meryl Streep-The Iron Lady. This may be the only time that I'm not happy that Streep won. Davis gave a fantastic performance that should have won her an Oscar. As fantastic as I her Streep is, she didn't deserve to win this year. She gets a standing ovation and gives a fantastic and greatful speech.
11:38: Tom Cruise is here to present Best Picture. Huh. I didn't think it would be him. Hopefully he mentions his alma mater, GRHS. For this category, The Artist will win and Hugo should win. Although, I very much enjoyed the Help, the Descendants, and War Horse. This is a very nice tribute to the nominated films. Great scenes from each of the films. And the winner is The Artist. Again, reminding me that I need to see this film. The winner gave a great speech with the entire cast standing on the stage.
11:39: Billy Crystal says good night and the credits roll.
Now that the ceremony is over, I have a few more random thoughts to share. Viola Davis should have won Best Actress. Billy Crystal made for a better host than James Franco and Anne Hathaway, but he wasn't perfect. About 2/3 of his jokes landed for me. However, he and some of the presenters made the telecast tolerable. At the moment, Emma Stone, Chris Rock, and the cast of Bridesmaids stand out in my mind.
That's a wrap for my live blog. Thank you all very much for reading!