Zero Dark 8:30

You like me, you REALLY like me.

You like me, you REALLY like me.

Yesterday, I practiced my annual tradition of waking up at the crack of dawn to go and watch the live announcement of the Academy Award nominations. This year, I was in Connecticut with a friend for her birthday celebration. Happy Birthday Brianna! I considered, briefly, that this behavior might have to be altered while I was at someone else’s house. But, with everyone who lived there out at work or appointments I was able to watch the press conference and freak out like any other year.

"Silver Linings Playbook" racked up eight nominations including one in every acting category including a Best Actor nod for Bradley Cooper.

“Silver Linings Playbook” racked up eight nominations including one in every acting category including a Best Actor nod for Bradley Cooper.

 

A few days before the announcement I was telling someone that if the Academy only allowed five films to be nominated for Best Picture I had seen four of the five I felt were locks for nominations. “Les Miserables”, “Zero Dark Thirty”, “Lincoln” and “Silver Linings Playbook” were all checked off of my list before Award Season even started. I think this year we had a really good crop of films and unlike years past a lot of the films have commercial and not just critical appeal. Alongside those four films the Academy also nominated “Argo” which was the lock I hadn’t seen, “Amour”, Life of Pi”, “Django: Unchained” and “Beasts of the Southern Wild” are on my yet to be seen list. I try to make it my business to see a lot of the nominees but I think that “Lincoln” is the safe bet with “Pi” on it’s heels. “Zero Dark Thirty” is my dark horse, no one saw “Hurt Locker” coming in 2009 and ZD30 is a powerhouse. Tense and gritty I spent three hours on the edge of my seat.

Jessica Chastain racked up her second annual Oscar nod. This time for Best Actress,

Jessica Chastain racked up her second annual Oscar nod. This time for Best Actress.

In the acting categories Daniel Day Lewis leads the Actor race, far ahead of Bradley Cooper, Hugh Jackman, Joaquin Phoenix and Denzel Washington. I really am rooting for Cooper, because he was so amazing in “Silver Linings Playbook” and just between us friends with his proclivity to sign up for “Hangover” sequels that amazing performance came as a surprise to me. Best Actress isn’t as obvious a race. Quvenzhane Wallis and Emmanuelle Riva break records as the youngest and oldest nominees in history. While Jessica Chastain and Jennifer Lawrence battle it out for front runner. I am rooting for Jessica, no offense Katniss. The fifth nominee I almost forgot is Naomi Watts. Sorry girl, at least it’s an honor to be nominated. In supporting Anne Hathaway and Tommy Lee Jones lead their races. Best supporting actor is the win/win category this year since EVERY nominee has won previously.

I know nominations were just announced yesterday morning but Oscar Sunday will be here before you know it. I am planning on holding my annual Oscar party, and rooting for my favorites. If yesterday’s announcement alongside Emma Stone was any indication we have a great show to look forward to with host Seth McFarland. And, as I previously said I think we got a good crop of nominees and a very attractive set of films to watch in the mean time. My one gripe is the overcrowded director category. No love for Affleck who has experienced not a career comeback, but a resurrection of sorts with “Argo”. A similar fate for Katheryn Bigelow. But, at least they can cry their eyes out about their snubs clutching their previous Oscars.

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To Bey or Not to Bey

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I feel like New Years Resolutions can be hit or miss. A few years ago, I vowed to take a photo of myself everyday for a year and hit it out of the park. It was easy, dare I say really fun to take 365 different photos. So much so, I did it for two years back to back. So imagine my surprise when in 2012 I vowed to complete a to-do list of 25 things and roughly accomplished three of them. Womp womp. So with the dawn of 2013 upon us it has come time to make another New Years Resolution. And with my past experiences in mind, plus being all too aware of cliches like “get healthy”, “be more productive” and the like I have come up with the best Resolution of all time.

My 2013 New Years Resolution is to be Beyoncé.

Like. Not actually. I mean I’m not going to Freaky Friday her. But, wouldn’t that be awesome? After enjoying a bottle of Champagne together at a club, Beyoncé wakes up in my bed in Queens and I wake up in some posh penthouse apartment and find my maid, Ciara dusting my 16 Grammy’s. However, that seems unlikely so instead what I mean is that I hope to emulate Beyoncé. When Bey does something, she doesn’t do it half assed. She releases an album it wins 6 Grammys. She acts in a film? She gets Oscar buzz. She releases a video? It’s one of the greatest videos of all time. Plus she helps people less fortunate than her, always looks fierce, is in great shape… long story short she is flawless.

When 2011 drew to a close I was a star player at my last job, on the Dean’s List at school with a 4.0 and had interviewed Oprah on television. By comparison, 2012 was a year of very little personal progress or success – in my opinion. And, while things weren’t quite as bleak for Beyoncé her 2011 was low-key. Of course, she gave birth to Blue Ivy but in terms of career success she was MIA after the underperforming album “4″. But, with a new Pepsi deal, her gig as the Super Bowl Half Time performer, an HBO documentary and new music in the works it seems Beyoncé is poised to make 2013 her best year ever. And, I hope to do the same. Now let’s clarify, I am not going to start a clothing line with my mom or put out an album or star in a movie loosely based on the life of Diana Ross. That’s Bey’s thing. Rather, I will try to become the Beyoncé of my world. When I am putting my name on something, doing work, going out, planning something, wearing an outfit to a club I will think WWBD? And, like my friend Sara pointed out this is a situation where I am shooting for the moon. And even if I miss I will land among the stars. There is no way this could go wrong, because let’s be real no one hates Beyoncé and we could all afford to be more like her.

Wish my luck. 2013, to infinity and Beyoncé.

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Dead Dawn

They say all good things come to an end, well next Friday “the Twilight Saga” will prove that all bad things do as well. It’s strange to think that just a few years ago, back in 2008 that this “phenomenon” didn’t even exist. And, yet in five years the franchise has exploded and made household names out of Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart and pretty much everyone else involved. I knew that the franchise had a polarizing power when after seeing the first movie, my friend Dana ran out to buy the book series. I myself am an avid reader, and had given the books a shot. But, I had never seen Dana read a book, never mind four. Before long she was obsessed and became a full-fledged Twihard. In the years since Dana was first bitten, I have been to five of Robert’s “Today” appearances, three midnight screenings, weathered two casting dramas and one Robsten break up. While I have made no secret of the fact that I am not a fan of the series, being along for the ride with Dana and my other friends has been fun. But, this past week as the cast and the fans geared up for the final stretch before the film’s release I was surprised to see how calm the ride was.

My “Twilight” week started Wednesday morning, as Dana and I walked up to the “Today Show” plaza. Kristen Stewart was slated to make an appearance and I was prepared for the anarchy I have come to expect. Camping out, barricades being tested, chasing cars – it’s all fair game in this fandom. So when Dana and I walked down W48th street I was shocked to see 18 people lined up for Bella Swan herself. Now, last year I waited overnight to get Dana a spot so she could see Rob. And similar measures had to be taken in years before, not by me, but by others. So to show up at 6 AM and find less than 20 people on line was shocking. As things worked out, we didn’t get to meet Kristen Stewart. She was brought over to us and told us yes to our various requests. However, these girls could not get their camera sorted out and cost us facetime with KStew. We fared better with Nikki Reed who was also on the show that morning. She is sweet, gracious and so beautiful. I will never understand why she is not seen in a more favorable light by the fans. The next morning, Rob Pattinson was the star on the plaza and just over 25 people showed up to see him. Now, you’ll say “Brian, it had snowed.” And yes that’s true it had. But, his fans did chase him all around the five boroughs while he filmed “Remember Me” in sweltering summer heat. I thought his fans were weather proof. I will admit, the plaza did fill up slightly more after showtime. But, still we are talking about a fanbase that camps in the street for weeks before movie premieres. This kind of turn out was unheard of. It worked to our advantage because we did get to meet Robert. He was incredible, he came outside in the freezing cold and took photos with pretty much everyone. That is amazingly kind of him and I thank him.

Kirsten Stewart, so close but so far away.

We did get to meet the wonderful Nikki Reed.

Rob works a noticeably smaller crowd on the “Today” plaza.

Now while I have come to expect anarchy and chaos wherever Kristen and Rob go. I have come to expect the opposite where Taylor Lautner goes. In the film he plays proverbial third wheel Jacob Black. And just like Jacob is a better fit for Bella, Taylor is a better fit for the fans. He is nicer and much more patient and comfortable with his fame. In years past, the crowd he has drawn has been significantly smaller than his co-stars. This year? The line was over 50 people when we arrived and doubled to 100 before we were let in. It was so crowded in fact, that Taylor didn’t have time to get to everyone and we left empty handed. We of course had some back-up plans in place and got to meet Taylor later but still it was surprising. Now, all of this begs the bigger question. Where are the Twihards? How is it that a movie franchise that has made over a billion dollars and has created a level of fame that hinders Pattinson’s ability to leave his house is not drawing a bigger crowd as it draws to a close. I mean over the course of the eight Harry Potter films there were times the films were not huge in terms of press and attention. But, when the eighth and final film was released it was a firestorm.

Robert and I at the Today Show.

Taylor and I after his appearance on “Live! with Kelly and Michael”.

When we walked out of the theater last November, I turned to my friends and said one more and we’re done. As I said that I imagined the media blitz Summit was planning. A primetime special about the film’s success, a look-back with former cast members and the inescapable presence of the film’s three stars with a massive crowd of people following their every move. Instead the film seems poised to go out with a whimper, not a bang. The three stars of the film are pretty much done with their television invasion. Robert’s on-screen siblings Kellan Lutz and Ashley Greene have a few things coming up but nothing like the cast’s omnipresence of years past. Even Dana’s annual midnight release is drawing less people with many of our friends choosing to see it down the line. A peak at the box office receipts for the series shows they have been on a decline since “New Moon” so I wonder how this last go will fare. I guess I knew that regardless of what Edward told Bella, nothing could last forever. However, I did think that things could at least last until they ended.

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The Company of Teen Wolves

Tyler Posey and writer/creator Jeff Davis at their NYCC Panel.

Earlier today I detailed how an eleventh hour attempt to salvage New York Comic Con worked out wonderfully. And, while I was very excited by all of my encounters and experiences there is no denying that the one I was most excited about was “Teen Wolf” star Tyler Posey. While I will admit Posey’s character Scott McCall has never been my favorite – he and his girl friend Allison played by Crystal Reed are usually tied for fifth place in my heart. I do admit, his actions in the season finale with the mountain ash were pretty awesome. Anyway, when I heard the news that Tyler was going to be at NYCC I was very excited. Essentially, I went to meet him and Jeff Davis, and everyone else was an added bonus. After the departures of the people I mentioned in the earlier post, It had been very quiet and a long time since anyone had left when we finally spotted Tyler. Around 7 he walked out with a small entourage. In that entourage was a woman who was taking photos of him, which he effortlessly posed for. I wonder if JLo taught him to pose in between takes on the “Maid in Manhattan” set.

Tyler Posey and I… I should have had his photographer take it, because the person who did took it blurry. But, I think we still look rather dashing.

June and I called Tyler over and he literally came running, with a big smile on his face. He gave me a high five and June a big hug and told us “I’m glad you called me, I was just about to leave.” Normally this is where I would detail all of the news or gossip I got out of him. About the direction of the third season of “Teen Wolf” or some tidbit about his trip to Vegas with newly 21 friend Dylan O’Brien. But I don’t know if it was because I was so cold or just struck by Posey’s energy but I literally sputtered nothing more than “I love the show”. I think I asked if he enjoyed NYCC and he was said “yeah, it was a total blast.” But, my conversational skills were dead. I would probably have written the whole thing off as a less than great encounter if not for one thing. When Tyler and I went to take our photo, we put our arms around each other as people do in photos. And, before he looked at the camera, he looked at me. So I looked back and we made eye contact for a few seconds while he asked “how are you man?” I know it sounds so stupid, and kind of Taylor Swift like for me to say this. But, I felt like we had a moment. It made me feel like we had really met, he saw me, I saw him. It was awesome. After taking photos he walked back over to his car, saying good bye and thanking us for watching the show. June and I are unsure if Jeff Davis was with Tyler or not, but I am sad I didn’t get to see him. I wanted to tell him that I have the utmost faith he will handle the departure of Colton Haynes wonderfully and how much I enjoy the show. But, hopefully he and I will meet sometime in the future.

Tyler and I tweeted each other about our meeting on Monday morning. Watch out Stiles, Scott McCall has a new best bro.

A few months ago, my friend Sara and I discussed Tyler and his role on “Teen Wolf”. Mostly how the show runners must have really loved him to cast him despite the huge tattoo on his torso. After meeting him I totally get it. Tyler has a warmth and a charm that doesn’t always come through in his role as Scott. While I don’t know if this encounter will change my disposition towards Scott, I can say that it has made me a huge fan of Tyler.

Teen Wolf Panel Part One
Here is MTV’s Coverage of the “Teen Wolf” panel at NYCC. I was very excited about what they discussed, I love the idea of Allison’s redemption story and the blooming bromance between Issac and Scott. However, the internet has not had the meltdown I was anticipating at the mention that Derek Hale aka Tyler Hoechlin has yet to sign a contract. I am very upset about the loss of Colton, but I seriously cannot fathom Beacon Hills without it’s Sourwolf Alpha. There’s no Sterek without Derek, y’all.

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The Big Con

New York may be the epicenter of many things – fashion, cuisine, culture. However, there are a few things that New York doesn’t have the lock on and one of those things is geekdom. San Diego’s annual Comic Con has the New York offshoot beat, and there’s no way to deny that. This year after the San Diego extravaganza wrapped up I looked into getting passes for the New York event. However, nothing had been announced and then when the schedule was finally released, the event was almost totally sold out. In recent years NYCC has been gaining traction and catching up with SDCC. And, this year was no different. Over the weekend, they debuted the trailer for the “Carrie” remake and announced Marvel’s “Avengers” universe set television series “S.H.I.E.L.D.” This was on top of panels for “Carrie”, “666 Park Avenue”, “The Walking Dead” and “Arrow”. I actually passed up the chance to attend the “Arrow” panel even though passes were available. Because $40 is a lot to spend on a one hour event, even if it does involve Stephen Amell. But, when a week before showtime MTV and NYCC added a “Teen Wolf” panel I knew I had to devise a plan.

Day 1 was full of excitement with Jane Levy, Paul Scheer and Chloe Grace Moretz.

MTV had announced show creator Jeff Davis and the titular teen wolf himself Tyler Posey would be there to unveil some DVD features, chat season three and give a full briefing on Colton-gate. I knew that someone would of course videotape the panel and upload it for me to see. But, I was sad I wasn’t going to be there to ask my own questions or see Jeff and Tyler in person. So I decided to take a shot and look around the convention center for any signs of the “Teen Wolf” duo. My first lap was completely fruitless, but on my second lap I thought I had figured out the situation. And a few minutes later, Julianne Moore and Chloe Grace Moretz confirmed my suspicions when they walked out together from their “Carrie” panel. While Julianne Moore was in a rush, I got to speak to Chloe Grace. And, we chatted about the new “Carrie”, how much she enjoyed NYCC and her amazing outfit. Aside from being insanely talented at the age of 15, she is also amazingly stylish.

Day 2 didn’t bring what I expected, but I did get to see some of the cast of ABC’s “666 Park Avenue”.

Together June and I spotted several people departing the convention. Agent Coulson himself Clark Gregg, Carrie Fischer, and Christopher Lloyd all left within minutes of each other. We then spotted Jane Levy from “Suburgatory” who was there to discuss her new horror epic “the Evil Dead”. As a big fan of her show, I spilled how excited I was about the show’s return and raved about the amazing comedic dynamic between her and Jeremy Sisto. I also got to meet Paul Scheer, who I know from many projects. Most recently, his role as Avi on my new favorite show “Happy Endings”. All of this excitement inspired me to take a return trip on Sunday. I hoped to see Stephen Amell and the cast of “Arrow”. However, that didn’t work out as planned. Luckily, the cast of “666 Park Avenue” acted as a consolation prize. I’ve been enjoying ABC’s supernatural drama and made sure to let Terry O’Quinn, Dave Annable and Robert Buckley know that.

I have to say. considering this was an eleventh hour act of desperation I think my NYCC experience was pretty great. That being said, I think next year I will probably just buy passes when they go on sale and hope that next year is even better and we gain on San Diego even more. I mean, this is New York and just like our Fashion Week has come to rival Paris and Milan. Our Comic Con will come to be the best in the land. Sorry San Diego, you’ll still have In N Out burger which we’ll probably never get. Oh… and in case you’re wondering… I did get to meet Tyler Posey. Which will be detailed in a later post.

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Leaving Beacon Hills

The cast of MTV’s “Teen Wolf” announcing their third season at Comic Con in June.

I woke up this morning to some really terrible news. The day was off to a great start, until I woke up. You see, I had just gotten 14 hours of sleep and felt great. But, as I skimmed through Twitter reading all of the VP debate coverage I slept through, I found some actual serious news. My friend Kathy tweeted last night that “Teen Wolf” star Colton Haynes is reportedly leaving the show. As all of you stalkers know, “Teen Wolf” is a current obsession of mine, so needless to say I was devastated. Especially since the end of the season two finale made such a big deal out of Colton’s character Jackson Whitmore surviving his transformation. Adding insult to injury, show runner Jeff Davis had teased that season three would heavily feature Jackson’s redemption.

Colton’s tweet which could be about anything, is the most damning evidence so far.

For those of you who don’t know, “Teen Wolf” premiered in 2011, and was a moderate ratings hit. During the show’s second season the audience exploded and the show became a mini phenomenon. MTV took note, and renewed the series for a super-sized third season. Which was shocking, since MTV has never given a non-animated scripted series more than two seasons. During their announcement, MTV also said they would be moving the production from Atlanta to LA. After the announcement at San Diego’s Comic Con, actor Tyler Posey said this move would allow the cast to tackle more projects and was for the best. That brings us to today. For the record, MTV has denied the claims that Colton is departing the show. Their statement says they look forward to seeing him and the entire cast in the upcoming third season. However Us Weekly has a different take, writing in an article that Colton was leaving the show according to a show insider. Jeff Davis tweeted he was as confused and sad as we were about the prospect of Haynes’ departure. But, worst of all Colton Haynes tweeted “These past few yrs have been the best of my life. I’m sad that this chapter has ended, but excited for a new one to begin.” While some are quick to point out that Colton’s last few tweets have been about moving, I think that tweet is too ominous to be about moving.

Colton and I last month during NYFW. He may play a jerk on “Teen Wolf”, but he is one of the nicest guys and he has all my support.

Now, the US Weekly fueled rumor mill has buzzed that Haynes has booked a new pilot. And when he found out that he would only be needed for 12 out of the 24 season three episodes he expected he could do both. However, he was told that would not be the case and that is where the friction is stemming from. While I do think that Colton should be able to do other things, I think Farrah Fawcett, Chord Overstreet and Shelly Long can back me up when I say leaving your successful show to cash in on your new found fame doesn’t always work out. Also Haynes’ track record is not exactly iron clad. Aside from “Teen Wolf”, he has appeared in the series “Melrose Place”, “The Gates” and “The Nine Lives of Chloe King”. The only thing those shows have in common other than Haynes’ involvement is their cancellation after one season. To me this looks like a negotiation ploy on the part of Haynes and his people. Show-runner Jeff Davis has said MTV is very tightfisted with the show’s budget and I think making it look like Haynes is ready to walk is a good way to get MTV to offer him more money and more freedom. Usually I would say this move is too risky, but with Haynes’ character Jackson Whitmore being literally in the center of the current storyline it seems like a smart move. I hope that MTV hears me and all of the other “Teen Wolf” fans out there and understands that we consider Colton to be an important and vital part of the “Teen Wolf” cast and the show would not be the same without him. Also, I want to send my support to Colton, whom I know firsthand is a really nice guy. One who loves his co-stars, the show and it’s fans. Season three of “Teen Wolf” is rumored to premiere in June of 2013, let’s hope everything has been worked out by then.

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Rad Max

With Halloween just a mere few weeks away, and my annual costume party coming up fast I have been busy at work preparing. I recently undertook a little DIY job, painting my living room to make sure it is in perfect shape for entertaining. However, as much work as there is to be done. When I had the opportunity to see one of my favorite stars I stepped off the step ladder and made it happen. My major crush on Max Greenfield was chronicled here a few months back. I actually have started watching “New Girl” after several people insisted. Even after a few episodes, my dislike of Zoey still stands. Even if you’ve never seen an episode of ” New Girl”, if you’ve seen Max in anything you know he is super charismatic and charming. Plus, he wrote one of the best issues of GOOP Blog ever. When I saw Max, after his appearance on “The Late Show with David Letterman”, I was eager to chat GOOP.

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After his issue was published, both he and Gwyneth expressed their mutual adoration for each other. But, went on to reveal they’ve actually never met. How tragic. When I told Max that I loved his issue and it was one of my favorites, he laughed as if I might be mocking him. To express my dire seriousness about his contribution to what I consider to be the third testament of the Bible I went into detail. I explained how I found his claims that life was not about turkey ragu and high neck Rag and Bone sweaters to be troubling. But, the sentiment that life is actually about sharing what you love with those you care about and how that’s what GOOP does, was perfectly put. I guess this must have impressed Max, because with a big smile flashed across his face he said “I’m actually trying to do another one.” I for one would love to see what else Max has to share with us GOOP subscribers. I then had to ask if Max had ever gotten the chance to meet GP. (I actually referred to Gwyneth as GP to Max Greenfield which Lauren the Professional Fangirl pointed out to me.) Max informed he has not, even though they have been in the same place at events like “Stand Up to Cancer”. I like the idea of Max and Gwyneth becoming friends, because it gives me hope that I too could become friends with her. I mean her previous besties like Madonna and Wynonna Ryder are so A list it left me little hope. But, I could totes see Max, Gwynnie and I sitting around eating turkey ragu in matching Rag and Bone high neck sweaters, writing an issue of GOOP together.

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