ICYMI: January 31, 2014

Beyonce and Jay-Z at the Grammys: Winning at marriage since forever.

Last day of January, everyone! Now we get to move right along to February, which is also freezing, snowy and miserable, but with more candy hearts and a big football game I don’t care about. Cool! Let’s do this.

-At this point, we are all aware that tiny Canadian pop nugget Justin Bieber got arrested for a DUI and drag racing in Miami last week. Well, now he’s been arrested for assaulting a limo driver. Adorable! On the bright side, the petition to deport him from the United States has gotten so many signatures that the White House is actually required to address it. Don’t we just live in the greatest age of mankind, you guys? (Related news: I went to a pub quiz the other night and someone’s team name was “Deport Justin Bieber, Import His Monkey.” So good.)

-In way cooler celebrity news, Aaron Paul and Bill Murray totally hung out at an NYC Kings of Leon concert last night, and everyone else in the world felt jealous and fussy that they didn’t get to hang out with Aaron Paul and Bill Murray too. Non-Veronica Mars Rob Thomas was also there. (Remember Matchbox 20? Good times.) Also, I could have sworn Kings of Leon broke up a while ago, but they’re still playing and uniting awesome famous people, I guess.

-Dax Shepard, man partner to Kristen Bell and new father to little girl Lincoln, wrote a very funny and very excellent HuffPost editorial about paparazzi shots of celebrity children – namely, how wrong it is. He used the column to respond to some of the Twitter attacks he and Bell have received since they called for a boycott of tabloids that print pictures of celebrity children. He makes some excellent points about how stalking children isn’t and never will be okay (even though that seems like it should be obvious to all humans) and shares some sad facts, like that there’s been a car outside of their house since their baby was born in hopes of getting a picture, and how their baby’s name and birth details were printed by a tabloid before their extended family was even informed. He comes off like a caring father and a smart, funny guy – definitely worth a read, and worth thinking about if you’re a tabloid reader.

Tina Fey appeared on Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, Jerry Seinfeld’s webseries thing, and I admittedly haven’t watched it yet but I’m guessing it’s pretty amazing.

-During his State of the Union address the other night, President Obama threw in a Mad Men reference re: inequality towards women. Don Draper would be appalled, but it’s nice to be reminded that a) President Obama loves the ladies and b) he has good taste in television dramas.

Miley Cyrus was on Unplugged and brought a full country-style backing band and Madonna. Despite all the trimmings, it… just wasn’t very good, especially the “Don’t Tell Me / We Can’t Stop” mashup she performed with Madonna, which was alternately flat and shrieky. She did wear a denim bikini top, though.

New Game of Thrones season four production pictures have been released!! Scowling! Smirking! Khaleesi! No one has bathed! So exciting!! Is it April yet?!

-Two Anna Kendrick news items for the price of one: she did a hilarious non-Superbowl non-ad for Newcastle Brown Ale wherein she describes herself as not “beer commercial hot,” but “the hottest girl in your improv class hot;” and Pitch Perfect 2 will be released on May 15, 2015 and will be directed by Elizabeth Banks – although that doesn’t strictly count as Anna Kendrick news since she hasn’t officially joined the project yet.

-That weird evangelical song, “Alone Yet Not Alone,” that was nominated for a Best Original Song Oscar, has has had its nomination pulled, in a rare and nearly unprecedented move, amidst allegations that the composer abused his position in the Academy to score a nomination. I wonder if Harvey Weinstein would get away with exactly the same thing. (Probably.)

-Finally, David O. Russell wants to get his girl J-Law her second (possibly third, depending on how the extremely tight Supporting Actress race turns out this year) Oscar by writing her the lead role in a biopic about single mother slash inventor Joy Mangano, who apparently invented the Miracle Mop. I mean, that sounds pretty awesome. I’m game.

Throughout the week and weekend, we’ll be putting up more Best Picture Profiles and predictions. Get out there and see some movies! And watch that dumb football game, if you feel so inclined.

In Case You Missed It: 1/25/14


It’s already February next week? Jeez, alright then, here’s what you might have missed in these last legs of January…

-Popular comedian and actor Donald Glover appeared in his final episode of Community this week. It was a funny and touching episode, and his character Troy Barnes will be missed by all. Bon Troyage, Mr. Glover!

-I guess the big story this week is that Justin Bieber was arrested for drunk driving and drag racing and really guys? Who is surprised that this happened? Who is shocked by this? This is not news. Just watch this and look how awful it is that this is considered shocking and breaking news-worthy.

Shia LaBeouf is a big fan of plagiarism. The tail-end of the whole “stealing material from Daniel Clowes for his own short film” saga has LaBeouf saying this was all a piece of “performance art,” a notion that he stole from publications like the A.V. Club. Even in his “manifesto” he released, he steals from other performance artists. LaBeouf is a mystery if there ever was one.

-Usually the Producers Guild Awards are a good indicator of who will win the Best Picture Oscar. However, for the first time in history, the PGA was a tie! The winners were Gravity and 12 Years a Slave, so the race is heating up between those two, with American Hustle as the dark horse after winning the SAG Award for Best Ensemble.

-For people who watch Grey’s Anatomy, the actors who are on that show will still be on that show for a while! In other news, Grey’s Anatomy is still on television!

-After Seth Meyers leaves to take over Late Night, SNL head-writer Colin Jost will become the new anchor on Weekend Update! I’m sure he’ll do a great job because he has to!

-Adam Scott has been making “The Greatest Event in Television History” for the past few years. The fourth and final installment aired Thursday, and it’s the best of the bunch.

-And finally, this exists. And it’s wonderful. That’s all I got.

More Oscar Profiles, Predictions, and other such things coming your way soon!

Best Picture Profile: Captain Phillips

Tom Hanks

As we come closer to the Academy Awards on March 2nd, we’ll be posting short profiles of each Best Picture nominee, attempting, in our own ways, to not only sum up what the movie is about, but why we believe it scored one of the nine coveted nominations, and why it could possibly take home the big prize come Oscar night. Enjoy!

We’re a society focused on celebrating heroes. And stories about heroes. That’s usually what the general movie-going public enjoys too; stories where we follow a lead protagonist who saves the day. That’s pretty much what most summer blockbusters are. And At the Oscars, the Best Picture is usually given to the story of a hero. And fittingly, this year, the Academy Awards have announced that the theme of this year’s ceremony will be a celebration of heroes in movies. And with the nine films they’ve assembled for Best Picture, we’ve certainly got a wide array of stories to choose from.

Continue reading

Oscar Predictions: Tech Awards



The Academy Awards aren’t until March 2nd, so we have plenty of time to make our predictions over here at (Pop) Culturally Informed! And we’re not going to just predict the main categories; we’re going to do our best to help all of you with your ballots and pools on Oscar Night by going through each category (yes, even Best Documentary Short) and letting you know who we think will be taking home that lucky award that evening.

Continue reading

ICYMI: January 17, 2014

This is going to be my vacation face. Thanks, JLD.

I know we fully already covered these, but the Golden Globes this year were just so goddamn GIF-able. I’m gonna be abusing those for a few weeks. Let’s get started with a super-size ICYMI because I wrote a full and pretty great post last Friday and completely forgot to ever actually put it up! Great!

-In WORST NEWS EVER, Kristen Stewart is starring in some demented, straight-out-of-hell adaptation of the film version of 1984 which is obviously based on the book (one article I read went to great pains to specify this is an adaptation of the FILM, not novel, which is weird) but this one is ROMANTIC, SOMEHOW. Are they going to bang while rats eat their caged faces?! I COULD NOT UNDERSTAND ANY OF THIS ANY LESS. Goddammit.

-Well, in case you haven’t noticed, Frozen is a complete juggernaut. Not only has it grossed over $500 million at the box office, but it’s been nominated for two Oscars and is being adapted into a Broadway musical. Shit, Pixar. You better step it up.

Taylor Swift fans are mad at Tina Fey and Amy Poehler once again because they referenced her dig at them during the Golden Globes, with Tina telling Amy, “there’s a special place in hell for you.” In related news, Taylor Swift fans should probably just fuck off.

-Speaking of Tina and Amy, though, the Golden Globes should probably lock that shit down, because this telecast was the most watched in YEARS. Once again, suck it, Taylor Swift fans. Those ladies are straight up amazeballs. Or, as Jean-Ralphio might say, “that snizz is straight up deloysious.” (That quote doesn’t totally work here. I just wanted to include it.)

-Vulture tracked down some bloggers who did some investigative work to figure out what in the hell that mystery song is that beat out Lana del Rey for a Best Original Song nomination, and it seems like it’s some weird, creepy evangelical conspiracy with an inside man in the Academy. This has been a pretty strange week in pop culture and this actually somehow wins Weirdest Story in a landslide.

-Remember Kate Gosselin? No? Kind of? Eight kids, bad haircut? Well, since her ex-husband Jon Gosselin had a rather unflattering profile written about him in PhillyMag (he lives in a cabin and works at a restaurant in Bucks County, PA), I guess she figured it’s time to put herself back out there for some more fame-whoring, and she dragged her oldest twins and her bad hair extensions onto the Today show for the most awkward interview EVER. The girls are awkwardly silent while she desperately tries to prove how normal they are. It’s actually hilarious.

-Also regarding people who are tabloid fodder, Kim Kardashian went on Ellen and actually showed some really cute pictures of Baby North and Kanye. I mean, of course she’s cute, she’s a baby, and it’s really not her fault her parents are full-blown lunatics. Also, how does one go about DVR-ing Keeping Up with the Kardashians premiere this Sunday without her boyfriend making fun of her for it? Asking for a friend.

-Stephen Soderbergh will be making his directorial debut on the Broadway stage, and it will star the always lovely Chloe Grace Moretz . I think it’s fair to say we can have decently high hopes about that.

-The Critic’s Choice Awards were last night and 12 Years a Slave emerged victorious, with a Best Picture win AND, more importantly, a trophy for the splendid Lupita Nyong’o. The Supporting Actress race tightens once more.

-This was a big part of last week’s ICYMI that I wrote and forgot to post (SORRY) but HBO has finalized a whole bunch of premiere dates for the foreseeable future. Girls has been picked up for a fourth season; Boardwalk Empire‘s fifth and final season will air this year; (from the same article) Game of Thrones and Veep will return April 6; Vice, March 4; and two miniseries/movie projects will premiere in the spring and summer – Ryan Murphy’s The Normal Heart in May and the Damon Lindelof-helmed Tom Perrotta adaptation The Leftovers will arrive sometime in summer 2015. Whew.

I’ll be on vacation for a week (goodbye, cold and dreary East Coast, and hello, beach front in Barbados!!!) so Ben will be taking over the major blog duties this coming week, which means you can expect more well-thought out writing and less rambling about Kim Kardashian. Peace out, bitches!

Oscar Nominations Announced: The Expected and Unexpected

The nominations for the 86th Annual Academy Awards were announced this morning by the Academy’s president and Thor, and sure, a lot of it was par for the course. As always, though, there were egregious snubs and big surprises, especially in a season where SO many actors and movies were hurriedly declared a “lock” or a “sure thing” well before their time. Here, we’ll talk about what we saw coming, what we didn’t, and those who were shut out. For reference, here is the full list of nominees.

Continue reading