Friday, September 3, 2010

Gordon B. Hinckley Reaction

This is a story I produced while in the Broadcast Journalism program at Brigham Young University.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

And the Nominees Are (the main ones, anyway)...

Best Picture:
The Blind Side
District 9
An Education
The Hurt Locker
Inglorious Basterds
A Serious Man
Up in the Air

Best Director:
James Cameron, Avatar
Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker
Quentin Tarantino, Inglorious Basterds
Lee Daniels, Precious
Jason Reitman, Up in the Air

Best Actor:
Jeff Bridges, Crazy Heart
George Clooney, Up in the Air
Colin Firth, A Single Man
Morgan Freeman, Invictus
Jeremy Renner, The Hurt Locker

Best Actress:
Sandra Bullock, The Blind Side
Helen Mirren, The Last Station
Carey Mulligan, An Education
Gabourey Sidibe, Precious
Meryll Streep, Julie and Julia

Best Supporting Actor:
Matt Damon, Invictus
Woody Harrelson, The Messenger
Christopher Plummer, The Last Station
Stanley Tucci, The Lovely Bones
Christoph Waltz, Inglorious Basterds

Best Supporting Actress:
Penelope Cruz, Nine
Vera Farmiga, Up in the Air
Maggie Gyllenhaal, Crazy Heart
Anna Kendrick, Up in the Air
Mo'Nique, Precious

Original Screenplay:
The Hurt Locker
Inglorious Basterds
The Messenger
A Serious Man

Adapted Screenplay:
District 9
An Education
In the Loop
Up in the Air

Best Animated Film:
Fantastic Mr. Fox
The Princess and the Frog
The Secret of Kells

I'll give my thoughts on these nominations in another blog.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Oscar Nominees Announced Tomorrow, Bright and Early. No Need to Get Up- I Will

At 5:30 tomorrow morning, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will announce the nominees. You needn't bother yourself with getting up to find out whose careers, and egos, will be boosted-I'll do it! Not that anyone else cares that much to wake up that early.

For the first time since the '20s, I believe, there will be 10 Best Picture nominees. The higher-ups in Hollywood would like us to believe it's because they want to give more mainstream movies a chance at winning, but don't let them fool you. There are 10 because more movie studios want to make more money. But more on that later.

I won't spend time here predicting who will be nominated. I'm really not expecting too many surprises. The only thing that would really bust my chops is if The Academy fails to recognize the year's BEST, most entertaining, most uplifting film-"Up"- with not only a Best Animated Feature nod (it'll take home the prize in that category), but also with a Best Picture nod. But I'll let you know who the nominees are tomorrow...

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Commercialization of...Martin Luther King, Jr. Day?!

We all know Christmas becomes more and more commercialized with each passing year, but would you believe that some businesses are even trying to take advantage of the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday?! Believe it or not I've actually seen ads for Martin Luther King Day sales. And although I haven't heard any radio spots for these sales, one can only imagine what they might sound like...

Click HERE to find out...

*Disclaimer: This audio clip is in no way meant to offend ANYONE. I submit it ONLY to illustrate how pathetic some businesses are...and maybe to get a few laughs.


Sunday, January 10, 2010

My New Site is NOT a Waste of Time

I'm sure each one of you reading this blog has, at one time or another, seen a movie, watched a television show, or read a book that ended up being a complete waste of your time. I'm sure many of you have also felt, after such a frustrating experience, that it was your job to warn everyone you know. I've felt that way too. I've called up friends and family on the phone; I've written e-mails. In one instance, I even drove to a movie theater to rescue a friend who was about to see a truly TERRIBLE film. This friend was thankful for the service I provided.

With this blog, I hope to provide that same service to all of you. I'm Jeff Simpson, and when it comes to movies, TV shows, and books (and many other things), I'll waste my you don't have to!

Since this blog is dedicated to saving your time (or providing you with some rants and raves that will hopefully be worth your time) the movies, TV shows, books, events I see/read/experience will be given one of three ratings that will sum up how I feel about them:

-A Waste of Time
-Time-Passer (something with which to pass the time)
-Worth Your Time

For those of you who don't care that much about movies, TV, or books- don't worry! In this blog I'll also include funny videos, stories, opinions, and experiences. So to all of you reading this, I invite you to FOLLOW this blog. I promise you it'll be well worth your time!

Your Friend,
Jeff Simpson

Saturday, January 9, 2010

'AVATAR'- James Cameron is STILL 'King of the World' (AVATAR MOVIE REVIEW)

Remember the 1998 Academy Awards? Of course you do. That's the year James Cameron's epic film 'Titanic' won 11 Oscars - which tied the record set by 'Ben Hur'. You know, the awards ceremony during which Cameron proclaimed himself the "King of the World". Well, after a twelve-year hiatus, the 'king' has marked his return with 'Avatar'. And what a return it is!

For those of you who haven't seen the film yet - there probably aren't many of you left - 'Avatar' tells the story of a team of humans sent to retrieve some valuable natural resources from the alien planet 'Pandora'. The 'team' consists of three groups of people: some suits who only seem to want to talk about money; some scientists (led by the awesome Sigourney Weaver) who want to gather samples and keep the peace; and some army guys who are less concerned about peace. There's only one problem- the treasure they seek is sitting right underneath the home of Pandora's inhabitants.

Enter hero Jake Sully, a wheel chair-ridden ex-marine. Jake's mission - which he chooses to accept - is to have his conciousness linked to an avatar, a body which will not only allow Jake to look and breathe like one of the natives, but that will also allow him to walk, run, jump off ridiculously high cliffs, etc. He is to mingle with them, learn their ways, and most importantly, gain their trust. Everything goes according to plan until Jake begins to sympathize with the natives, which causes him...oh who cares about the story?! This movie has floating mountains, breath-taking plant life, and creatures that make the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park look like animals in a petting zoo. This is much more thrilling, and a lot longer, than any ride I've ever been on.

It'll come as no surprise to anyone who's familar with Cameron's previous work that the special effects are the best to date. During the movie you forget that what you are seeing on screen is mostly computer-generated. You might not get lost in the characters or the acting, but you certainly get lost in this imaginative world Cameron's created.

It's no wonder then that 'Avatar' is doing so well at the box office. In fact, this film is starting to look like a promising contender for the title of "Highest-Grossing Movie of All Time". That title is currently held by 'Titanic'. Wait a minute! That's another James Cameron movie! Do you mean in twelve years no one has come close to dethroning the 'king'? I picture Cameron sitting on his throne, rather bored, asking himself this same question. I can just see him getting up from his comfortable chair and saying, "Well since nobody else is going to beat my record, I guess I will!"

My rating: Well WORTH your time!

*Random movie trivia: Can you guess which movie has won the most oscars per nominations received? Give up? It's 'The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King'. 11 nominations, 11 wins.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Janelle Stickin' it to the movie 'Man'

I LOVE going to the movies. It is a magical experience for me. I'm handed a special ticket that admits me to the hottest movie in town; on special occasions Janelle allows me to buy some delicious, golden, buttery popcorn- my favorite; every once in a while, thanks to my AMC Movie Watchers card, I get a gift like a free small drink, or even a free ticket to come back! But despite all of a movie theater's wonderful qualities, they do have some very silly rules.

For instance, I've never paid much attention to the "No outside food or drinks" rule that theaters have. In fact, I've even devised ways of getting larger-than-usual treats into the theater undetected (just picture Janelle concealing a tube of yard-long licorice down her pantleg).

Well, during our last movie outing, Janelle did something that brought down the whole system...something that made me so proud to be her husband. While I saved seats, Janelle went downstairs to the DQ to get a couple of blizzards (she got Banana Cream Pie, I got Butterfinger...but that's not important right now). According to Janelle, when she attempted to walk back into the theater with the blizzards, "this dorky 13 year-old kid" told her they didn't allow outside food. Her reply: "Okay" she walked right past him. The kid at the door called after her, "that means you have to eat it outside." My wonderful wife's response: "Well, my husband's in there, so I'm going to go give this to him." And she turned and walked away, leaving the teenager stunned and confused. YES! Yes, yes, yes! She rocked that teenager's world. After handing me my Butterfinger blizzard and relating the experience to me, Janelle sealed her act of rebellion by adding "What was he gonna do?"

I love this woman.