27 Feb 2011

Oscar Predictions

Here's my Oscar list, with who I WANT to win and who I think WILL win in the major categories. This list is based purely on who has been nominated, rather that who I would REALLY want to win (otherwise I would put The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo as the film I WANT to win Best Picture). Also, forgive the lack of visually-stimulating text...am writing this from my phone as it's been 8 days since we moved into the new house and I still have no fucking internet for another four days.

Best Picture
Want: Toy Story 3
Will: The King's Speech

Best Director
Want: Tom Hooper (The King's Speech)
Will: David Fincher (The Social Network)

Best Actress
Want: Natalie Portman (Black Swan)
Will: Natalie Portman (Black Swan)

Best Actor
Want: James Franco (127 Hours) or Colin Firth (The King's Speech) - can't make up my mind...
Will: Colin Firth (The King's Speech)

Best Supporting Actress
Want: Melissa Leo (The Fighter)
Will: Melissa Leo (The Fighter)

Best Supporting Actor
Want: Geoffrey Rush (The King's Speech)
Will: Christian Bale (The Fighter)

Best Animated Feature
Want: Toy Story 3
Will: Toy Story 3

Best Adapted Screenplay
Want: The Social Network
Will: The Social Network

Best Original Screenplay
Want: Inception
Will: The King's Speech
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12 Feb 2011

The Best Of Everything (Tech Edition)

A blog post by my good friend Cam in which he mentioned some of his favorite tech, er, things,  inspired me to write what I consider to be the best of everything techie...

Best Phone: HTC Desire HD. See my original post here

Best Phone Operating System: Google's Android. Again here

Best Non-Game App: FaceTime (iPhone 4). Full Skype-like capability on your phone. Even though it's limited at the moment (you can only FaceTime with other iPhone 4 users), it's still a game changer in the world of apps

Best Game App: Angry Birds. The best, most fun and most addictive game out there...so much so, that PS3/360 versions are in the works. Sorry, Blackberry and Windows Phone 7 users, you're not at the party!

Best Video Games System: Nintendo Wii. Love the Sony PS3 and the Microsoft XBOX 360 is also very good (but will ALWAYS lose to the PS3 due to lack of built-in Blu-Ray), but for sheer all-round fun that appeals to ALL ages, nothing can yet beat the Wii

Best Video Game: Guitar Hero/Rock Band series. Probably most responsible 
(okay, okay, along with Wii Sports) for the transformation of the Video Games System from kid/nerd-centric time waster to dinner-party-replacing social entertainment must-have for grown ups

Best Laptop: Apple MacBook Air. I don't personally own one and have a VAIO (that is awesome, btw) myself. However, I've used one and for portability (which is what laptops were invented for), aesthetics, ease of use, hardware and software, this can't be beaten

Best Computer Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7. Though it's catching up, in terms of pure functionality, MAC OS X Snow Leopard still doesn't compare to Windows' best. W7 takes the best features of Vista (which, for my money, were ample) and leaves the worst (which were also ample)

Best Media Player: VLC (VideoLAN). If you download movies from places other than "official" channels such as iTunes (which I, of course, would NEVER do), then there is simply no substitute. Able to play literally ANY video or music file, this beats the piss out of both Windows' and Quicktime's Media Players

Best Web Browser: Google Chrome. Mozilla's Firefox was once cutting-edge (such as the ground-breaking tabbed browsing). Now everything it offers is bettered by both Microsoft Internet Explorer 8 (never mind 9!) and Chrome

Best Tablet: iPad...for now. By the end of this year I'm sure I'll be able to properly answer this

Best MP3 Player: None. Seriously, with smartphones now able to do everything the best iPod/Zune can do, who the fuck even HAS an MP3 player anymore?

Best TV: Sony Bravia LEDs. Though I just bought a brand-new 42" LG LCD (which, with it's 200Hz refresh rate, built-in Internet and multitude of connections is the best TV I've ever owned), even I know that nobody makes TVs with the quality, lastability and functionality of Sony...I just couldn't afford one with the specs I wanted! Note: I don't include 3D here, as I believe it's silly

Best Way to Watch Movies/TV: HDD/Internet TV. Seriously, if you still watch DVDs or Blu-Ray Discs, you lose. If your TV doesn't have built-in Internet or USB inputs for direct hard-drive connectivity (shit, at least hook your laptop/PC up to it, via HDMI, of course), well, you're just letting the best in life pass you by...

4 Feb 2011

The Greatest Example of Album Cover Art. Ever

There is no better album cover than this:

...and, as a special bonus, the Absolut Vodka homage (can you see the bottle?):

I Forgot Two

*So I forgot about these two shows when I posted my "(Current) TV Shows You Should Be Watching. Right. Now." yesterday...oops!

19. Sherlock - perhaps the finest iteration of this oft-adapted literary character. Benedict Cumberbatch (really?) excels as the titular sleuth, while Martin Freeman (Tim!) brings unexpected depth to the Iraq-war-vet Dr. Watson.

20. The Walking Dead - zombies, but taken seriously. What with this, Shaun of the Dead, The Crazies, 28 Weeks Later (better than "Days", for me), the Dawn of the Dead remake, etc., the zombie genre has literally never had it so good.

3 Feb 2011

(Current) TV Shows You Should Be Watching. Right. Now.

*Most of these shows are available on TV channels on both sides of the Atlantic. For the ones that aren't, though, it's called "the internet", people. I mean, c'mon, now.

1. Mad Men - The best show currently on television and possibly (it's only real challenger being The Wire) the best TV show ever made. It's a work of art...a true work of art.

2. Breaking Bad - it makes no sense that, despite the intriguing story (boring chemistry teacher gets cancer, starts to cook crystal meth, gets involved with Mexican mafia in New Mexico), this show is so fucking excellent.

3. Real Time with Bill Maher - no pretense at being balanced here. If you're a Democrat, left-leaning and/or a liberal, you'll love it. If you're not, you suck.

4. The Apprentice (UK version) - as reality competition shows go, this is the best. Lord Alan Sugar is so much more entertaining and smart than Donald Dumbfuck could ever be. And because we're grown-ups in Europe, we allow full-on swearing, etc. on regular TV channels after 2100, so it has more edge.

5. Survivor - another consistently good reality competition show. Despite the repetitiveness of the conceit, strangely never gets boring. And Russell rules.

6. Modern Family - easily the funniest network-TV U.S. sitcom. Owes a huge debt to The Office (UK).

7. Curb Your Enthusiasm - easily the funniest sitcom. Period. Owes a huge debt to The Office (UK)...which owes a huge debt to Larry David. Chicken and egg, see?

8. Justified - modern-day Western based on an Elmore Leonard (Jackie Brown, Out of Sight, Get Shorty) short story. Timothy Olyphant = most badass chracter on TV.

9. True Blood - just simply trashy fun. Vampirey, bloody, sexy, nudie, violent-y, funny, scary fun.

10. Glee - the musical numbers alone are the reason this makes the list...'cause it ain't anything else about it.

11. Archer - easily the funniest cable-TV sitcom. Owes a huge debt to, well, I don't know, actually. Animated spy hijinks. Adults only.

12. Friday Night Lights - ostensibly about high-school (American) football, but oh, it's so much more than that. Some of the best acting on TV.

13. America's Next Top Model - I have no real reason WHY you should be watching this except for "TYRA MAIL!" and "Two beautiful girls stand before me, but I only have one photo and this photo represents the girl who's still in the running toward becoming America's Next Top Model."

14. The Trip - Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon. Two comedic geniuses. Consistently brilliant.

15. The Office (US version) - though it's kind of fashionable to hate on this right now and proclaim it to be not as good as it once was, it's still hilarious and the haters can suck it.

16. 10 O'Clock Live - a kind of British "The Daily Show" and "Real Time with Bill Maher" in one, with the awesome Charlie Brooker and the slightly less awesome David Mitchell, Lauren Laverne and Jimmy Carr.

17. The Rachel Maddow Show - though you may not agree with her politics, you can't say she isn't completely fair (unlike Olbermann, Maher, etc.). Possibly the smartest person on TV.

18. The Daily Show - though it's been said before, it's still pretty amazing to think that in order to get "un-spun" news, you have to watch Comedy Central.