Thursday, December 03, 2009

National Board of Review Awards - Up In The Air, Best Film; Precious snubbed

The first awards show of the Oscar season brings a surprise. The National Board of Review selected Up In The Air, the romantic travel story featuring George Clooney, as Best Film, but snubbed the controversial domestic violence story that is Precious.

Precious by Lionsgate Films

And as the Academy Awards will have 10 Best Picture nominees, the NBOR's provides a glimpse of what might happen in March with this Top Ten Film List:

An Education, 500 Days Of Summer, The Hurt Locker, Inglorious Basterds, Invicus, The Messenger, A Serious Man, Star Trek, Up, Where The Wild Things Are.

The surprise here is that Precious did not make the Top Ten list, but Star Trek did.
Star Trek was projected as a film that would be marketed as an Oscar contender and this awards outcome is the first proof that Paramount's tenpole movie of 2009 may also have that Oscar luster.

But that written, the films to watch for have multiple awards: Up In The Air with Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress, and Best Adapted Screenplay awards; Clint Eastwoods' Invictus, a film of sports and freedom in South Africa, won Best Director, Top Ten, and the NBOR's Freedom of Expression award; The Messenger earned Best Supporting Actor for Woody Harrelson and made the Top Ten list, and a Spotlight Award for Best Directorial Debut for Oren Moverman; An Education also made the Top Ten list and Carey Mulligan took home Best Actress award.

But what happened to Precious and why is it not in the Top Ten List?

I think it has a lot to do with the New York City film community, the very same that snubbed Precious during the Gotham Awards in October.

Opray Winfrey's support aside, I thought good pictures were supposed to shake you up and make you think and "be real" and Precious did all that. I'm beginning to believe that, at least in New York City, that film community was not ready for a hard core story about African American domestic violence in America.  But given the range of views I've gathered about Precious, it may be a hard film for anyone to take regardless of race or region; still, it's one of the top nominees in The Independent Sprit Awards, so one storyline during awards season will be if Precious can weather its storm of controversy and emerge with at least an Oscar... or any award. 

Precious aside, a pattern of front runners is slowly emerging as we head toward the 82nd Academy Awards with the top award winners being Up In The Air, Invictus, An Education and The Messenger.

Here's the full list of NBOR winners:

Best Film: Up In The Air

Best Director: Clint Eastwood, Invictus

Best Actor: Morgan Freeman, Invictus and George Clooney, Up In The Air (tie)

Best Actress: Carey Mulligan, An Education

Best Supporting Actor: Woody Harrelson, The Messenger

Best Supporting Actress: Anna Kendrick, Up In The Air

Best Foreign Film: A Prophet

Best Documentary: The Cove

Best Animated Feature: Up

Best Ensemble Cast: It’s Complicated

Breakthrough Performance by an Actor: Jeremy Renner, The Hurt Locker

Breakthrough Performance by an Actress: Gabourey Sidibe, Precious

Spotlight Award for Best Directorial Debut: Duncan Jones, Moon, Oren Moverman, The Messenger and Marc Webb, 500 Days of Summer (tie)

Best Original Screenplay: Joel & Ethan Coen, A Serious Man

Best Adapted Screenplay: Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner, Up In The Air

Special Filmmaking Achievement Award: Wes Anderson, The Fantastic Mr. Fox

William K. Everson Film History Award: Jean Picker Firstenberg

Top Ten Independent Films (In alphabetical order):
District 9
Goodbye Solo
In The Loop
Me And Orson Welles
Two Lovers

NBR Freedom of Expression: Burma Vj: Reporting From A Closed Country, Invictus, The Most Dangerous Man In America: Daniel Ellseberg And The Pentagon Papers

Top Six Foreign Films (In alphabetical order):
The Maid
A Prophet
Song Of Sparrows
Three Monkeys
The White Ribbon

Top Six Documentary Films (In alphabetical order):
Burma Vj: Reporting From A Closed Country
The Cove
Food, Inc.
Good Hair
The Most Dangerous Man In America: Daniel Ellsberg And The Pentagon Papers

Tiger Woods scandal - Tiger Woods Voicemail Remix a new song

The Tiger Woods Scandal has sparked an online creative streak with content producers making jokes and photoshopped pictures. But this new song takes the cake. It's called Tiger Woods Voicemail Slow Jam Remix.

Tiger Woods Voicemail Slow Jam Remix is based on the voicemail allegedly left by Tiger Woods for Jaimie Grubbs asking her to take her name off her phone before his wife called her. Produced by HalfDayToday, it was distributed via Twitter and YouTube and blogs and now has gone viral.

MSNBCs David Shuster picked it up on Twitter as has The Huffington Post, BoingBoing, and now my blogs! The video, created by Trevor Cushman with the video by Al LeVine, has this description:

Tiger Woods knows how to treat a lady right. Here’s a sexy song to prove it.

It's a creative mix of the voicemail, sultry music, and added voices. A combinations of the Tiger Woods sound with a little El Debarge thrown in.


Half Day Today is an LA-based New Media Organization specializing in comedy and viral videos. What I'm impressed with is the speed with which they turned out this remix, just about 24 hours from the release of the voicemail. Well done.


by TJ Rosenthal for Football Reporters Online to

The NY Jets saved their season last Sunday against Carolina with a 17-6 win.
That win will mean nothing if Gang Green can't continue a much needed win streak 
that includes  tough AFC East battle with the Buffalo Bills in Toronto tonight. It's Thursday night football. A short week to prepare followed by either a happy long layoff before week 14, or the realization that postseason dreams will be all but

For the Jets , RB Thomas Jones will be a key factor tonight. The Newark Star Ledger reported this week that Jones is second only to the Chargers LaDanian Tomlinson in yardage gained since 2005. An impressive stat for a humble guy. 
For the Jets to go to 6-6, he'll need to add to that tonight against Buffalo, a team that owns the league worst  32nd ranked rushing defense. Can QB Mark Sanchez's color coded bracelet minimize the interceptions for a second straight week? It better. Sanchez threw five interceptions in the Jets previous meeting with the Bills.
A sickening  week six OT loss that also saw NG run killer Kris Jenkins injure his knee and thus become lost for the season.

The 4-7 Bills are a different team since the last time the Jets faced them. Head coach Dick Jauron is gone, fired weeks ago in favor of interim Perry Fewell. Fewell got his first NFL coaching win last week at home against Miami. This thanks to the resurgence of WR Terrell Owens, who credits his recent hot play to the new starter QB Ryan Fitzpatrick. Owens said this week that the relationship between himself and former starter Trent Edwards simply was not there. RBFred Jackson has supplanted Marshawn Lynch as the starter as well. Lynch who started the year serving a three game league suspension, has yet to find a rythym in 2009.

With Tampa Bay on the schedule next before a tough finish against Atlanta, undefeated Indy, and the first place Bengals, the Jets are in position to make the stretch drive interesting. This is as big of a game as a 5-6 team can have. Let's call
it a playoff game because in essence it is. Win, or go home.

Three keys to the Buffalo Game:

Darrelle Revis vs Terrell Owens:  Owens is on fire the past two weeks. Revis has shut down top wideout all year starting on opening day in Houston against Andre Johnson. Randy Moss twice. you get the idea. Tonight must be the same.

Thomas Jones vs Bill Run defense: Jones has to go for close to 100 Yds. and a TD against the 32nd ranked D. If not, that would mean the onus would've been on Sanchez. Bracelet or not, the Sanchise is being asked to manage things and keep the chains moving, not take 2009 into his own hands. 

Can we get an unsung hero tonight?: moments like these call for the unsung hero. The guy who wasn't a threat on paper, in game films. Let's look for a Brad Smith, Danny Woodhead, or perhaps a Jet interior defender like Sione Pouha tonight. The Jets need a big contribution from one perimeter guy tonight to help push things over the edge. If the QB isn't allowed to, or can't light it up, it will take, oh god am I actually saying this? 52 flashlights. This of course to quote ex Jet head coach and now ex UVA head coach Al Groh who used this reference in 2000 after the Jets beat Tampa with former Jet Keyshawn Johnson who mocked WR Wayne Chrebet that week before the game.

Follow TJ Rosenthal on twitter@ thejetreport

Tiger Woods scandal - Rachel Uchitel press conf cancelled, deal?

The latest news in the Tiger Woods scandal is that nightclub executive Rachel Uchitel called off a press conference scheduled for 11:30 AM PST. reports that the reason is connected to an alleged phone conversation between Rachel Uchitel and Tiger woods and his management staff last night.

Rachel Uchitel

TMZ implies that the result was a deal to stop talking in exchange for money but that's not been confirmed as of this writing. Still, the simple suggestion of a payoff for silence will sully the already damaged image of The World's Best Golfer. But I believe his call may have had to do with the concern of sponsors like Nike and Cadillac, who are seeing the image of their brands harmed by the Tiger Woods scandal.

Rachel Uchitel is the first women connected to Tiger Woods affair rumors. After denying them, she was about to do what I predicted she was thinking of doing: talking.

Now Tiger wants the chatter to stop. I can't say I blame him but he has little control over this now that it's part of pop-culture.

Stay tuned.

Parnevik, who introduced Tiger Woods to Elin Nordegren, expresses regret

According to Bob Harig at ESPN, Swedish golfer Jesper Parnevik, who introduced Tiger Woods to Elin Nordegren, is not happy with Tiger Woods in light of the affair scandal. And while you may say "no kidding", it gets better.

Nordegren started working as a nanny for Parnevik in 2000. She was introduced to Woods in 2001 at the British Open, and then married him in 2004.

Jesper Parnevik

Now, what Parnevik said to Harig at ESPN is damning:

I would be especially sad about it since I'm kind of -- I really feel sorry for Elin -- since me and my wife were at fault for hooking her up with him. We probably thought he was a better guy than he is. I would probably need to apologize to her and hope she uses a driver next time instead of the 3-iron. It's a private thing of course," he said. "But when you are the guy he is, the world's best athlete, you should think more before you do stuff ... And maybe not just do it, like Nike says."

Ouch! Why he had to get off the Nike blast is beyond me, but I wonder what the 'swoosh' people will think about the Tiger Woods affair now.

Stay tuned.

CNN down 60 percent in ratings; John Klein should use iReport

I don't find this surprising at all, but CNN's down a dramatic 60 percent in viewers, while Fox News rules the ratings for November. As I've written before, and will continue to blog until the cows come home, CNN's failure to match its 2008 ratings performance, when it was number one, is due to a failure to change.

Or to recognize the similarities in aspects of change and react.

What was true in 2008 is true today: people are more than ever interested in what other people do. That rule of mine covers why the Tiger Woods story is so hot and why Sarah Palin continues to get press as well as why there's a new interest in politics.

The Internet has changed our expectations and made it easier to get information on celebrities. Now bloggers like PerezHilton make a decent living off the information trade about stars and the World's industrial culture thirsts for more and more information. It should come as no surprise that we expect this from television; it's why Headline News, or HLN, is doing much better than CNN. It's also why Fox News remains on top.

News is a story of people, not events. CNN forgets that. Traditional news organizations don't seem to understand that. How CNN can regain status is via the one underused resource it has and CNN President John Klein seems reluctant to develop: the iReport.

John Klein of CNN

People want to see people and the use of the iReport allows that. But CNN has cut back on its employment of the vlogging system and even downgraded its visibility on the CNN website. That's a huge error on John Klein's part.

I've said it to CNN and I've blogged it here: iReport's the answer for CNN.

Tiger Woods scandal - Woods in intense marriage counseling

UPDATE: Jesper Parnevik, who introduced Woods and Nordegren, blasts Woods

Tiger Woods is in intense marriage counseling. This comes as reports fly around regarding what his wife Elin Nordegren would get if she filed for divorce.

For example, if the Tiger Woods scandal (which continues with Rachel Uchitel's press conference today) ends with a divorce between Woods and his wife Elin Nordegren, the Herald Sun reports she would realize a settlement payout of $300 million.

But that $300 million figure has been floating around unsubstantiated, so I'm not going to use it as anything more than a jumping-off point for blogging.

The matter of a divorce payout is more complicated than the Herald Sun presents and Nordegren's already receiving a "stay home" gift. According to Chicago Sun Times Columnist Bill Zwecker, his sources claim that the couple is currently involved in intense marriage counseling and Nordegren already has a "hefty seven-figure amount (that was) immediately transfered into an account she alone controls".

For those of you math challenged that's at least $1 million.

Moreover, Zwecker writes that Woods original prenup required Nordegren to remain married to Woods for over 10 years, and then she would receive $20 million. But after the Tiger Woods scandal, she demanded and got a shorter term at a high amount. Zwecker does not report what that is as of this writing.

Tiger Woods with even more women? C'mon claims even more women are expected to come forward to claim their moment in the spotlight, er, say that they had sex with Tiger Woods. But now this is, to borrow a term now-President Obama used during the 2008 Democratic Primary, "Silly Season" because we will have to continue to sort through the garbage to determine which story is real. Oh brother.

I've got news for any woman who's part of the "I slept with Tiger" set. If you expect to receive the same level of media attention enjoyed by Rachel Uchitel, Jaimee Grubbs, and Kalika Moquin, forget it and for a very technical reason: the novelty factor is wearing off.

What we're seeing now is the public adjusting to a new image of Tiger Woods because of the scandal, but once that sets in, and it's happening fast because of New Media, the public's collective ear will not perk up as high the next time a woman says "I slept with Tiger Woods." The collective response will be a yawn and a snarky "So what" which will translate into no payouts for news, unlike the $150,000 US Weekly is rumored to have paid to Jaimie Grubbs for her affair story.

Stay tuned.

Tiger woods update - Rachel Uchitel‎ to admit affair Thursday

For now Tiger Woods' morning statement admitting his "transgressions" seems to have cooled the search activity, but there's still a lot out there. First, the Tiger Woods voicemail was released today and played all over including the CBS Evening News, which even took my Mom by surprise. She said "I can't believe that's on there!"

While the Jaimie Grubbs voicemail recording was spread all over , the Florida Highway Patrol released 100 new accident photos which you can see here.

But what's equally interesting is how nightclub executive Rachel Uchitel's name has sprouted up in searches again, and because information surfaced that Woods allegedly purchased her tickets for a trip to Australia. The National Enquirer linked the two in Australia at the same time but she said it was just coincidence.

Rachel Uchitel

According to the Kansas City Star, Rachel Uchitel's expected to admit that she had an affair with Tiger Woods on Thursday. According to, Uchitel said she "lied for him."

TMZ reports:

Sources say less than an hour before Tiger's accident, Rachel and Tiger were texting each other. Elin confronted Tiger and asked whom he was texting. She grabbed the phone and we're told she called Rachel to confront her. According to sources, Tiger and Elin began arguing and the phone broke in the process.

And that happened just before Tiger left to get into his SUV and drive off, which points to the ever increasing possibility that his wife Elin Nordegren did indeed hit his Cadillac SUV with two golf clubs.

Uchitel's lawyer Gloria Allred will make a statement at 11:30 AM PST Thursday.

If you're keeping count, that's officially three women - Jaimie Grubbs, Rachel Uchitel, and Kalika Moquin - who've had affairs with Tiger Woods.

Stay tuned.