Friday, February 29, 2008

Converse’s New Connectivity Advertising Campaign

Converse announced this week that it “will commemorate its centennial year as one of the world’s most coveted, iconic brands with the global launch of a new advertising campaign entitled Connectivity.” (link) The first image from this new Connectivity campaign also hit the web this week and I must say it’s a great start to this new marketing campaign. The idea behind Converse’s Connectivity ad campaign is to celebrate “100 years of disrupting the status quo and features legendary icons from the worlds of music, art, sports and fashion.” (link) The Blot does love the Chuck Taylor All Star look and this first Connectivity picture makes me love it even more. It’s just unfortunate how hard it is for me to find the classic canvas sneakers in my size.

Converse Connectivity - Hunter S. Thompson, Dwyane Wade, Sid Vicious, M.I.A., James Dean, Karen O, Common, Joan Jett and Billie Joe Armstrong
Wow, two sneaker posts in one week. But, I couldn't resist because I think the Connectivity campaign sounds a like pretty sweet idea. I’m actually excited to see what Converse and its parent company Nike have in store for us this year as they celebrate Converse’s 100th anniversary. Those Nike marketing guys never cease to amaze me with their creativity and vision.

According to the Business Wire article the global advertising campaign will feature:

the ultimate 20th Century rebel, James Dean; gonzo journalist, Hunter S. Thompson; and Sex Pistols bassist and original punk idol, Sid Vicious. These cultural heroes from the past are shown ‘connecting’ with today’s influencers including female rocker, Joan Jett; eclectic urban music star, M.I.A; Green Day’s infamous Grammy award winning front man, Billie Joe Armstrong; Grammy award winning hip hop star and actor, Common; basketball player and Converse athlete Dwyane Wade; and lead singer of the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s, Karen O. Additional regional icons include Ian Curtis (UK), Jefferson Hack (UK), Carlos Diez Diez (Spain), Jane Birkin (France), Nina Hagen (Germany), Kim, Jung Man (Korea), Cui Jian (China), Darren Cordeux (Australia), Jose Fernando Emilio (Mexico) and Sandro (Argentina). (link)

For a closer look at the above picture here it is again split into thirds and zoomed in:

Converse Connectivity - Hunter S. Thompson, Dwyane Wade and Sid Vicious
Converse Connectivity - M.I.A., James Dean and Karen O
Converse Connectivity - Common, Joan Jett and Billie Joe Armstrong
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Sex and the City: The Movie Full Theatrical Trailer

Well here it is, the official movie trailer for the upcoming Sex and the City movie. It actually shares some shocking details about the upcoming movie including Mr. Big’s full name, something the television show never revealed. Let women across the globe rejoice.

In case you aren't able to watch YouTube clips at work, you can watch or download the Sex and the City: The Movie Theatrical Trailer here.
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Scrubs Moving To ABC, Well Maybe

Scrubs LogoThe yearly rumor of NBC not renewing Scrubs and ABC Studios bringing it home to ABC has reared its ugly head again, only this time with a twist. Instead of the show not being picked up, NBC is refusing to order additional episodes so that Scrubs can have a proper send off into syndication. Have no fear though, as The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed that “ABC is in negotiations to pick up 18 episodes of the series from ABC Studios, which has produced the comedy for NBC since 2001.” (link) This would be an additional 18 episodes on top of the 5 episodes NBC already has completed from before the WGA strike. But, this could very well be a ploy by ABC to force NBC’s hand into agreeing to produce additional episodes this season so that Scrubs can have a full season of episodes and go out with a true series finale.

The Cast of Scrubs
While shows have been known to switch networks midstream it is a pretty rare occurrence (JAG, Buffy the Vampire Slayer), especially for a show most consider to be in its final season. While NBC originally ordered an 18 episode season, the strike cut the seasons short to 12 episodes and “the network has been reluctant to order additional episodes for the fall, citing the fact that it already has some remaining originals in the can.” (link) TV Guide’s Michael Ausiello has confirmed The Hollywood Reporter’s story, stating that “the move came after negotiations between NBC and ABC studios, which produces Scrubs, broke down.” (link)

Scrubs - Cast Photo
Incidentally, if ABC were to pick up the show for an additional 18 episodes it would mean that Scrubs would be on the air for one more full season. So as not to conflict with the actors upcoming schedules, “the episodes will be shot right away and will be ready to air in the fall.” (link) Ausiello also found out that if the ABC deal were to go through the entire cast would return including star Zach Braff.

Scrubs fans shouldn’t hold their breath for an additional season. While it is possible the deal is made, I think the odds are pretty slim. More than likely the threat of the deal will compel NBC to order additional episodes for this season, allowing Scrubs to end as planned and blocking ABC from stealing the show. More news to come as details emerge!

UPDATE: Variety is now reporting that NBC is saying there is no truth to the reports of Scrubs moving to ABC. (link) NBC Entertaiment/Unversal Media Studios co-chair Marc Graboff is quoted as saying that they have “a license agreement with ABC Studios, which includes a right of first negotiation and first refusal to extend the series term beyond this season.” (link) I interpret this to mean that any deal ABC is claiming to have made would be in violation with its agreement with NBC and NBC is willing to block ABC by coming to terms with ABC Studios “to resolve the seventh – and what was believed to be the final – season of Scrubs.” (link)

The Variety article also states that before NBC would commit to purchasing additional episodes and a series finale of Scrubs the network would need assurances from ABC Studios “that Scrubs wouldn’t wind up squeezing out another season on ABC.” (link) It seems as though this issue is far from being over with creator Bill Lawrence and the cast of Scrubs squarely in the middle of a tug-of-war between ABC and NBC.
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Thursday, February 28, 2008

New What Made Milwaukee Famous Music Video Starring Lance Armstrong

Lance Armstrong in What Made Milwaukee Famous' Sultan Music VideoStereogum brought to The Blot’s attention What Made Milwaukee Famous’ first music video off of their upcoming sophomore album What Doesn’t Kill Us and it has a very special cameo by none other than Mr. LiveStrong himself, Lance Armstrong. (link)

What Made Milwaukee Famous - What Doesn't Kill Us
What Made Milwaukee FamousI had a chance to see this great Austin band at the 2007 Lollapalooza music festival and they were so great. After that weekend I rushed out to my local indie music store and picked up their debut album Trying To Never Catch Up. It’s a real shame they never seem to make it to Houston, but I know one of these days I’ll be seeing this great Texas band again. For now you can check out their first single "Sultan" below, but on March 4th you can pick up their second album What Doesn’t Kill Us. The band is going out on tour starting tonight, so keep an eye out for WMMF in your town!

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Custom Obama for President Air Force One Sneakers

So last month after my first post on Barack Obama I had a long discussion with Sam, a faithful reader of The Blot Says…, on whether or not Barack Obama or anything political could be considered pop culture. My viewpoint on the subject is of course. Everything and anything can be pop culture, especially the leader of the free world. I think Saturday Night Live alone makes politics a part of pop culture week in and week out.

President John F. KennedyThe most classic examples of Presidents defining the pop culture of their time are John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan. Obviously Kennedy was way before my time, but just by listening to baby boomers talk about him today shows what a huge impact he’s had on a generation and its culture. As for Reagan I think it’s a chicken or the egg situation. Was it Reagan and his ideology that made the 80’s decade what it was or did the culture and ideals of the “Me era” just happen to find their perfect President?

President Ronald Regan
President Bill ClintonAn even better example is President Bill Clinton who completely changed how politicians would be viewed and elections would be fought. The minute he stepped onto the set of The Arsenio Hall Show in June of 1992 and played his saxophone there was no turning back. Combine that with Clinton’s 1994 appearance on MTV’s Rock the Vote where a sitting President was asked the infamous “Boxers vs. Briefs” question and it is easy to see that a new era of pop culture was born in the 90’s. It was the start of the internet and really a whole new world where anything goes and the age of “no information is too much information” was born.

Obama for PresidentI bring this up because every day I see Senator Obama becoming more and more ingrained in the pop culture of today. And really he’s doing it in a very unique way that many, if not most, elected officials would kill to be able to. It started with OBEY Giant’s campaign posters, but now his reach is expanding into new and uncharted pop culture territory. Sneaker Obsession brought to my attention last week these amazing custom Obama for President Air Force One Sneakers. I think once you start seeing your influence reach the sneaker community then you’ve really entrenched yourself into every possible avenue of American pop culture. (link)

Obama for President Sneakers
The shoes were designed by a Cincinnati, Ohio artist named Van who does some amazing work with shoes. These sneakers really incorporate all of the major symbols of Obama’s Presidential campaign including his catchphrases “Change” and “Yes We Can,” his campaign’s logo and two completely different picture perfect portraits of the Illinois Senator. You can check out more pictures of the Obama Air Force Ones and a ton of other crazy designs at Van’s MySpace page. I really can’t decide which kicks I like better, his 2Pac inspired sneakers or his 2 different styles of Spider-Man Air Force Ones.

Yes We Can - Custom Obama Air Force One Sneakers
Custom Obama Air Force Ones
Custom Barack Obama Sneakers
So now I want to hear from all of you, what do you think? Do Presidents, Elected Officials and Political Candidates fall under the realm of pop culture?

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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Lost Wednesdays

The Blot’s happy to report “Lost Wednesdays” will be a short one this week. If you’re into spoilers and want to find out some good background info on what’s coming up over the next few episodes and, in a broader sense, seasons to come, check out’s spoiler-riffic article Lost: Mind-Blowing Scoop From Its Producers by Doc Jensen.

If you’re someone who’s a spoiler-phobe let The Blot give you a quick reminder to stay away from this week’s issue of Entertainment Weekly. It includes some of the same tidbits from the aforementioned Lost article in its News + Notes section at the front of the magazine. Not only did they not put a spoiler warning in the beginning of the article “Lost Creators: Isle Be There For You,” they included a picture that pretty much is a spoiler in and of itself.

TV Guide's Michael Ausiello
And lastly, there’s been a recent update as to the scheduled airing dates of new episodes of Lost. According to TV Guide’s Michael Ausiello in his weekly segment Ask Ausiello (for the week of Wednesday, February 27, 2008), ABC has decided to go back to their original plan of ending “the current, pre-strike arc with Episode 8, not 7 as was the original plan.” (link)

Therefore, according to Ausiello the remaining 9 episodes of Lost Season 4 should air accordingly:

Episode 5 - February 28th
Episode 6 - March 6th
Episode 7 - March 13th
Episode 8 - March 20th
Episode 9 - April 24th
Episode 10 - May 1st
Episode 11 - May 8th
Episode 12 - May 15th
Episode 13 (Season Finale) - May 22nd

Oh yeah, The Blot’s heading out Thursday night to the Matchbox Twenty Exile In America concert with Alanis Morissette and Mute Math, so this week’s Sawyer-ism and Lost episode review might be a little late depending on when I get a chance to watch this week’s episode "The Constant." Look for either a concert review or an episode review this Friday.
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The Other Boleyn Girl Movie Poster

The Only Thing That Could Come Between These Sisters…
Is A Kingdom.

You know there is a lot of “talent” on The Other Boleyn Girl’s promotional poster but let’s be honest, no matter how great the cast is there is absolutely no chance The Blot will be seeing this movie. Evidently it’s based on a 2002 novel of the same name by British author Philippa Gregory. According to Wikipedia, The Other Boleyn Girl “is a romanticized account of the life of the 16th-century aristocrat, Mary Boleyn, who was the sister of Queen Anne Boleyn and one-time mistress of King Henry VIII of England.” (link) Sounds like a pretty big snoozer to me, but Eric Bana is a fine actor so you never know.

The Other Boleyn Girl movie poster
The movie also stars two other celebrities you might recognize on the poster, Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson. So maybe the movie will have a little more drawing power than I’m letting on. Besides, Natalie Portman doesn't make bad movies right? Well let's just ignore last year’s Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium. I guess only time will tell how this movie does in the theaters.

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Indiana Jones Mighty Muggs - Two New Figures Discovered

The Blot was sure back when I first reported about the upcoming Indiana Jones Mighty Muggs line that a Professor Henry Jones, Sr. Mighty Mugg would be included in the set, and I can now deliver a picture as proof! The Blot has also found confirmation that Indiana Jones Mighty Muggs Wave 1 will include not 4 but 5 figures, the fifth being Monkey Man who of course comes with his trusty Monkey. Check out the picture below to see what these new Mighty Muggs will look like, and if you’d like to see pictures of the previously announced Indiana Jones Mighty Muggs figures click here.

Monkey Man and Professor Henry Jones, Sr. - Indiana Jones Mighty Muggs
As a bonus I want all the potato-heads out there to know that Hasbro has decided to continue its line of movie themed Mr. Potato Head figures with an Indiana Jones Mr. Potato Head - Taters of the Lost Ark. This follows in a long line of Mr. Potato Head movie tie-ins including three Star Wars themed figures (Darth Tater, Spud Trooper, Artoo-Potatoo), a Spider-Spud figure and my all time favorite tie-in, a Transformers Mr. Potato Head - Optimash Prime.

Indiana Jones Mr. Potato Head - Taters of the Lost Ark
Star Wars Mr. Potato Heads - Darth Tater, Spud Trooper & Artoo-Potatoo
Spider-Man Mr. Potato Head - Spider-Spud
Transformers Mr. Potato Head - Optimash Prime
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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Uncle Jesse and Aunt Becky Reunited

How great is this picture!?! caught the Full House alums leaving a party together in Beverly Hills Thursday night. (link) While The Blot never needs much of an excuse to post about Uncle Jesse, I thought this mini-reunion photo was too good not to share. Now we just need to get John Stamos to hook Lori Laughlin up with a cameo on ER next season for a legit prime time Full House reunion!

John Stamos and Lori Loughlin
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New Three Versions of Iron Man Movie Poster

Convention goers at this past weekend’s comic book convention WonderCon got a first look at a brand new Iron Man promotional poster, which showcases the three Iron Man suits of armor appearing in the summer blockbuster.

Three Versions of Iron Man Promotional Poster
Ok, so Iron Man is scheduled to be released nationwide on May 2nd, 2008, which I guess means it will actually be a spring blockbuster. I think this is just a technicality though, since Hollywood is always trying to extend the summer movie season. I’m pretty sure Iron Man is now the official kick off of summer. But I don’t know how we’re going to know when summer starts in the future since there won’t be a new Iron Man movie premiering every May.
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Kubrick and Be@rbrick Lost Figures

Hot off the presses is the news that Medicom, the maker of Kubrick and Be@rbrick toys, has unveiled their newest line of licensed toys and they center around The Blot’s favorite television show Lost! (link)

The Entire Set of Kubrick Lost Figures
First up is a full line of Kubrick Lost Figures. The (hopefully) first wave includes figures of Jack, Kate, Sawyer, Sayid, Hurley, Locke and Charlie. Check out pictures of all of the upcoming figures, including accessories such as handcuffs for Kate and a book for Sawyer, below.

Kubrick Lost Figures Jack and Kate
Kubrick Lost Figures Sawyer and Sayid
Kubrick Lost Figures Hurley, Locke and Charlie
Also coming soon from Medicom is a Kubrick/Be@rbrick two pack with an exclusive Jack Shephard in his Suit Kubrick and a Lost Be@rbrick.

Lost Kubrick/Be@rbrick Two Pack - Exclusive Jack Shephard Kubrick and Lost Be@rbrick
And finally The Blot is excited to announce the first ever Dharma toy! Later in 2008 Be@rbrick will be releasing a 100% Lost Be@rbrick (similar to the Lost Be@rbrick coming in the Jack Shephard two pack) and a 400% all white Dharma Swan Station Be@rbrick. For those of you not familiar with what 100% and 400% means, it’s the way Be@rbrick does its sizing. 100% refers to a standard sized figure at 7 centimeters tall. 400% means the figure is 4 times as tall as a standard figure or 28 centimeters tall.

Be@rbrick Lost 100% and Dharma Swan Station 400% Figures
I’m not sure how many of these I’ll be picking up but Medicom usually produces some solid looking toys. I don’t know how I’ll be able to resist buying a mini-Sawyer and a mini-Sayid, they both have such good hair!
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Monday, February 25, 2008

Jack Johnson - Sleep Through The Static

Jack Johnson - Sleep Through The Static
Jack JohnsonEarlier this year The Blot was questioning whether Jack Johnson was a big enough star to be headlining two of the three biggest music festivals of the year, Bonnaroo and Coachella. I now take it all back after seeing the staggering numbers Johnson’s newest Album Sleep Through The Static has been achieving these past two weeks. The album was released on February 5th and sold a staggering 375,000 copies in its first week out. Just so you can compare, Sheryl Crow came in second that week with her new album Detours, which was also released that same week, and it sold only 92,000 albums. The other big new release that week was by Lenny Kravitz, and his latest album, It Is Time For A Love Revolution, only sold 73,000 units.

Jack Johnson on the cover of the March 6th Rolling StoneThat first week sales number was big enough, but Sleep Through The Static wasn’t done. While most albums have dramatic sales drops in their second week, Johnson sold another 180,000 albums the week of February 12th. Yes, the album dropped by more than 50% of its sales, but let me tell you 180,000 is a monster week in this day and age of digital singles and illegal internet downloading of music. Most artists would kill to move 180,000 units in a week, and this was a down second week of sales for Johnson. I love Jack Johnson’s music, but I had no idea he had become such a big star. For an artist who gets relatively low air play and definitely fits a niche market, this volume of sales is almost Kanye size numbers.

Jack Johnson PerformingWhat’s most impressive to me is that I don’t even necessarily love the album. It still has that classic Johnson sound, but I still prefer Johnson’s debut Brushfire Fairytales and his 2005 release In Between Dreams to Sleep Through The Static. I think I also prefer his 2006 release, the original soundtrack Curious George over his latest release. That isn’t to say it’s not a great album, it’s just a little darker and a little less pop-y than I would prefer. Check it out for yourself and let me know. Hopefully Jack Johnson will be announcing a U.S. tour shortly to coincide with his music festival dates so more people across the country can appreciate live his environmentally conscious music.
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Saturday Night Live Returns With Highest Ratings In Two Years

Saturday Night Live - Tina Fey returns to the Weekend Update desk
Congratulations to SNL, who debuted this past Saturday night with its best ratings since February 4th, 2006 with a 6.1 rating/15 share. (link) With former cast member Tina Fey (30 Rock)as host and Carrie Underwood as the musical guest the Saturday night staple officially announced the return of scripted television. This is a major coup for writers everywhere as the episode was actually funny! I don’t know what caused the change, but it seems like the layoff for SNL writers was a good thing. Gone were the usual cast of not funny characters and instead we had some fresh skits with actual endings. I think it also helps that Fey was the first host back because she already has instant chemistry with most of the cast. Plus, who doesn’t love great cameos by Steve Martin, Mike Huckabee and Obama Girl.

Saturday Night Live - Fred Armisen as Barack Obama and Amy Poehler as Hillary Clinton
My lone hope is that SNL and Executive Producer Lorne Michaels can work out a new contract for Maya Rudolph who was notably missing from last weekend’s episode. This show needs more female comics badly! It was nice to see SNL finally took my advice and brought in a new feature player though. I know the Upright Citizens Brigade’s Casey Wilson was only brought in to fill the gap left by Maya Rudolph’s absence, but the new blood was refreshing…even if she was only given a few minor parts. SNL has been sorely missing fresh faces for the past three years. Hopefully next week’s episode featuring Juno’s Ellen Page and musical guest Wilco will continue bringing the funny.
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Lost – Eggtown

Evangeline Lilly as KateIf you haven’t started watching Lost yet, what are you waiting for? This season is getting to the point of being as good or better than the first season. One reason for that is we have almost no appearances of the Smoke Monster and Jacob has been kept to a minimum. So the mystical aspect of the island has been turned down for real exploration of the mystery of why the Losties are trapped on the island. This Kate-centric episode with Flash Forwards was classic Lost, giving us huge bombshells that only seem to lead to more and more questions.

I feel like every segment of last week’s show had a huge question answered only to leave us wanting and needing more. This Flash Forward business may have been the creators’ best idea yet. As for the action on the island, I thought the cat and mouse conversation between Locke and Ben in the beginning was classic Ben, but is just another example that Locke is never really in control. Then Sawyer and Kate pull a fast one on Locke with a quick and easy con to get Kate into Ben’s cell without John even knowing Sawyer was involved. I feel so bad for Locke because even when he was given a second chance on the island the guy is just continually used and abused.

John Locke, Sawyer and Kate Austen
What I’d like to know, and if anyone has any guesses please share, is when do the Flash Forwards take place in relation to the Oceanic 6 getting off the island. There seems to be a much larger time jump than we assumed when at the end we see a grown up Aaron thinking he is Kate’s son. Since we are all assuming that the child at the end is Claire’s Aaron, then he has grown up a ton. Especially, if he’s old enough to talk, watch TV and understand what’s going on. More importantly Kate’s attorney was contemplating putting Aaron on the witness stand, so I’m assuming he’s at least 4 or 5 in the Flash Forward.

Evangeline Lilly as Kate AustenIf that’s true, then the how do the Oceanic 6 explain Kate having a child? Was Kate pregnant on the flight back to the US? If so don’t you think the U.S. Marshal who had taken her into custody would have mentioned that to his superiors? She couldn’t have given birth while shipwrecked because the story they all construed was that Kate took care and saved the lives of the other injured Oceanic 6. Plus, they couldn’t have been back from the island for that long since Kate is just now being tried for murder and a slew of other offenses. I don’t think the federal government would be giving her that much time before re-arresting her.

Emilie de Ravin as Claire LittletonThe other huge question brought up here is what does this final revelation of Aaron as Kate’s child mean for Claire? And what on Earth happened that Jack would give up the opportunity to be with Kate over not being able to see or be around Aaron? I’m assuming something happens to Claire at some point to have Kate raising her son. I worry for Claire as it seems her storyline has lost all hope of expanding with the death of Charlie. Her character is starting to bug me though because she’s shown almost no sign of loss this season with Charlie’s passing.

Charlie was portrayed for three seasons as her partner on the island and a surrogate father to Aaron and yet here we all four episodes in from his passing and I have yet to see her crying or sad since the initial shock of hearing the news from Hurley. In fact when she was sitting on the porch with Kate she almost seemed happy and was joking around with Kate and Sawyer. What gives? How could the writers have missed such a golden opportunity to explore what Claire is going through on the island while raising a child surrounded by constant craziness and death?

Locke and Ben Linus
Another thing that’s been bothering me is that if we’re to believe that 6 members of Oceanic flight 815 “survive” and return to America then there really aren’t that many core cast members of Lost still on the island, especially if something happens to Claire. If Lost keeps killing off members of its cast, we’re going to be left with no one to care about! There are already lots of rumors of more people dying and I just don’t get it. At this point we know Jack, Kate, Sayid and Hurley make it off the island, add another two cast members (assuming Ben is not counted as one of the Oceanic 6, which he very well could be) and you’re left with a relatively small number of 815’ers still on the island that have had speaking parts. By my count we’ve got Jin, Sun, Locke, Sawyer, Claire, Bernard and Rose still alive and on the island. Take two out of that list to round out the Oceanic 6 and you have 5. 4 if we consider Claire is in doubt to make it to the end of the series.

It just seems like Kate, Jack and the rest of the Oceanic 6 are going to a heck of a lot of trouble to protect the island and their friends when most of their friends are actually dead or off the island. Plus I can’t see Jack caring all that much to protect Locke anymore. I guess Ben and Sayid working together means that the Oceanic 6 are doing more than just protecting the Losties but also trying to protect the Others and the other passengers on flight 815 who had previously joined the Others. I can’t wait to find out what happens to make Jack and Sayid lie to the world to protect the Others. There's also the question of what impact this episode has on the Kate/Sawyer relationship from here on out. It seems over for now but as we've learned that only lasts about 2-3 episodes.

Kate and Sawyer
One final note, if anyone is averse to learning about some big casting spoilers coming up, I seriously recommend skipping this week’s issue of Entertainment Weekly with Will Ferrell on the cover. For some reason they have a huge article in the very beginning of the magazine talking about what to expect in the next few episodes of Lost. Why they wouldn’t give a warning of semi-spoilers being revealed and why the included a huge picture of a new cast member is beyond me. So read the issue at your own risk.
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Friday, February 22, 2008

The Blot’s 80th Annual Academy Awards Predictions

This Sunday, February 24th is the 80th Annual Academy Awards on ABC at 8/7 central. The Oscars are being hosted once again by the host of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Jon Stewart. This marks the second time Stewart has hosted the Academy Awards and hopefully will prove to be an entertaining event. Hosting the Oscars has proven to be a dicey role with many notable comedians cracking under the pressure. But, I’m sure Stewart will be just fine.

The 80th Annual Academy Awards
To commemorate The Blot’s favorite award show airing this weekend I’d like to submit my predications for this year’s winners. Feel free to submit your own predictions in the comments section!

Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
George Clooney in Michael Clayton
Daniel Day-Lewis in There Will Be Blood
Johnny Depp in Sweeney Todd The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Tommy Lee Jones in In the Valley of Elah
Viggo Mortensen in Eastern Promises

There are a couple of different directions I’d like to go with this award but it seems to be a moot point since no one will be voting for anyone but Mr. Day-Lewis.

Winner: Daniel Day-Lewis

Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role
Casey Affleck in The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
Javier Bardem in No Country for Old Men
Philip Seymour Hoffman in Charlie Wilson's War
Hal Holbrook in Into the Wild
Tom Wilkinson in Michael Clayton

I think there is a greater chance for an upset here than in the Actor in a Leading Role category because the Academy is known for giving acting awards for supporting roles to cherished older actors who have never won an Oscar before as a sort of life time achievement award. Because of that if it were any other year I’d say Hal Holbrook will be winning the award for Into the Wild. But, since I think this will be No Country for Old Men’s year, I’m going against my better judgment and picking Bardem for his amazing performance as Anton Chigurh

Winner: Javier Bardem

Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role
Cate Blanchett in Elizabeth: The Golden Age
Julie Christie in Away From Her
Marion Cotillard in La Vie en Rose
Laura Linney in The Savages
Ellen Page in Juno

I’d love to see Ellen Page win here for her realistic and charming performance as Juno, but I think this is a two person race between Cate Blanchett and Julie Christie. I want to say Marion Cotillard will win but I just don’t see enough Academy members getting behind her role as Edith Piaf, but if you’re bored this weekend go rent La Vie en Rose…even Blockbuster carries it! I’m going safe here and choosing former Oscar winner Julie Christie for her performance as a woman stricken with the horrible Alzheimer’s disease.

Winner: Julie Christie

Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role
Cate Blanchett in I'm Not There
Ruby Dee in American Gangster
Saoirse Ronan in Atonement
Amy Ryan in Gone Baby Gone
Tilda Swinton in Michael Clayton

I think this is the award of the night that’s going to be giving people fits when it comes to predictions. Both Cate Blanchett and Amy Ryan have been racking up awards for their performances this year and at one point it was just assumed Ryan was going to win the award. But now I think Ruby Dee might be sneaking in there after a win at the SAG awards. Ms. Dee is beloved by her fellow actors and I think this might be one of those life time achievement awards. Sorry to Ms. Ryan because she truly deserves one more statue for her mantel place and to Ms. Blanchett who was nominated in both acting categories in the same year.

Winner: Ruby Dee

Achievement in Directing
Julian Schnabel for The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Jason Reitman for Juno
Tony Gilroy for Michael Clayton
Joel Coen and Ethan Coen for No Country for Old Men
Paul Thomas Anderson for There Will Be Blood

Who’d have thought both PTA and the Coen Brothers would finally get nominated for Best Director and they’d have to go up against each other? Yes, I know Joel Coen’s been nominated for Best Director before but we’re talking Coen Brothers here. I think there’s an outside chance Julian Schnabel wins here, especially because the Academy, in all their stupidity, made the The Diving Bell and the Butterfly not eligible for the Foreign Language Oscar. Nevertheless I’m going with the brothers here.

Winner: The Coen Brothers

Best Motion Picture of the Year
Michael Clayton
No Country for Old Men
There Will Be Blood

I said it earlier but just to reiterate it, this is No Country for Old Men’s year. I’d love to see Juno win it but I don’t see another Crash-size update here.

Winner: No Country for Old Men
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X-Men Origins: Wolverine Cast and Characters Leaking Out

Hugh JackmanBefore The Blot starts compiling his thoughts and theories concerning this week’s Lost episode I just had to share the ever increasing leaks and rumors involving the upcoming Hugh Jackman potential franchise (or is it a franchise already with this being his fourth film staring as Wolverine) X-Men Origins: Wolverine. People have been wondering since the movie was announced just who would be popping up in this Wolverine prequel. According to comic book lore Wolverine has been alive an incredibly long time so there is a list of hundreds of X-Men favorites who could and should be popping up. Well finally this week Variety has the scoop and a low down of roles cast for the 2009 movie that is sure to be a summer blockbuster.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine Teaser Image
Taylor KitschMutant fans can rejoice in knowing one of Marvel’s all time favorite X-Men, the Cajun card wielding mutant Gambit, will finally be making his movie debut. Cast as the shady character is Taylor Kitsch from NBC’s Friday Night Lights. (link) It has also been reviled that Deadpool, the Merc with a Mouth, will also be showing up in Wolverine and be played by Ryan Reynolds (Blade: Trinity, Waiting). (link) Rounding out the latest bit of casting news is Lost’s Dominic Monaghan as Barnell Bohusk (Beak), Daniel Henney as Agent Zero (a.k.a. Maverick) and the Black Eyed Peas’ Will.I.Am as John Wraith. (link)

Ryan ReynoldsIt seems with the Will.I.Am joining the cast as Wraith we now have almost a full squad of Team X, a black ops squad for the mysterious Weapon X program. Included on that team are Agent Zero/Maverick, Live Schreiber’s Victor Creed/Sabretooth and Lynn Collins’ Silver Fox. The presumed main villain of the movie, along with Weapon X and Sabretooth, is Danny Huston as William Stryker. More details to come as they leak out onto the net!
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