Thursday, December 16, 2010

Burlesque Leads Pack Of Oscar Original Song Contenders, 41 In All

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) reports that 41 songs have made the list of contenders for the "Original Song" category for the 83rd Academy Awards.

Of them, the musical Burlesque leads all movies with 3 songs in the hunt: Bound to You, Welcome to Burlesque, and You Haven’t Seen the Last of Me.

Following Burlesque in songs on the list are several films with two songs in the competition: Black Tulip, Despicable Me, and Country Strong. Below is the entire list provided by AMAPAS:

Alice from Alice in Wonderland
Forever One Love from Black Tulip
Freedom Song from Black Tulip
Bound to You from Burlesque
Welcome to Burlesque from Burlesque
You Haven’t Seen the Last of Me from Burlesque
There’s a Place for Us from The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
Coming Home from Country Strong
Me and Tennessee from Country Strong
Despicable Me from Despicable Me
Prettiest Girls from Despicable Me
Dear Laughing Doubters from Dinner for Schmucks
Better Days from Eat Pray Love
If You Run from Going the Distance
Darkness before the Dawn from Holy Rollers
Sticks & Stones from How to Train Your Dragon
Le Gris from Idiots and Angels
Chanson Illusionist from The Illusionist
Never Say Never from The Karate Kid
To the Sky from Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole
What If from Letters to Juliet
Life during Wartime from Life during Wartime
Made in Dagenham from Made in Dagenham
Little One from Mother and Child
Be the One from The Next Three Days
If I Rise from 127 Hours
When You See Forever from The Perfect Game
I Remain from Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
Dream Big from Pure Country 2: The Gift
How I Love You from Ramona and Beezus
Darling I Do from Shrek Forever After
Noka Oi from Six Days in Paradise
This Is a Low from Tamara Drewe
I See the Light from Tangled
Rise from 3 Billion and Counting
We Belong Together from Toy Story 3
Eclipse: All Yours from The Twilight Saga: Eclipse
Nothing from Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married Too
A Better Life from Unbeaten
Shine from Waiting for ‘Superman’
The Reasons Why from Wretches & Jabberers

The Academy's Teni Melidonian explains:

On Thursday, January 6, the Academy will screen clips featuring each song, in random order, for voting members of the Music Branch in Los Angeles. Following the screenings, members will determine the nominees by an averaged point system vote. If no song receives an average score of 8.25 or more, there will be no nominees in the category. If only one song achieves that score, it and the song receiving the next highest score shall be the two nominees. If two or more songs (up to five) achieve that score, they shall be the nominees. A DVD copy of the song clips will be made available to those branch members who are unable to attend the screening and who request it for home viewing. A mail-in ballot will be provided.

Under Academy rules, a maximum of two songs may be nominated from any one film. If more than two songs from a film are in contention, the two songs with the most votes will be the nominees.

To be eligible, a song must consist of words and music, both of which are original and written specifically for the film. A clearly audible, intelligible, substantive rendition of both lyric and melody must be used in the body of the film or as the first music cue in the end credits.

The Academy will announce the winning nominations on Tuesday, January 25th at 5:30 AM, in the in the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater. The 83rd Annual Academy Awards will be held Sunday, February 27th on the ABC Television Network.

Shelley Malil: 40 Year Old Virgin Actor Sentenced to Life For Attempted Murder

Shelley Malil was sentenced to life with the possibility of parole in 12 years for stabbing his ex-girlfriend, Kendra Beebe, over 20 times.  The actor broke down in the courtroom as he apologized for his actions.

The stabbing took place in Kendra Beebe's home in San Diego, California, when Malil came over unannounced and found her drinking wine with another man. Malil grabbed a steak knife from the kitchen and stabbed Beebe repeatedly.  Beebe had wounds on her back, arms, chest and neck, as well as two punctured lungs by the time the attack was over.  Malil fled the scene when neighbors heard Beebe's screams and was caught the next day at an Amtrak station in Oceanside.

Malil was convicted 3 months ago after only 4 hours of deliberation.  He may be eligible for parole in 9 years for time served and good behavior.  After the trial Beebe stated that “During the course of the trial it became clear he was an actor, but not a very good actor at that. His testimony was lie after lie after lie.”

John Bobst aka The Force of Nature

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Morgan Freeman: Hoax Tweet That Actor Died

The rumor that Morgan Freeman passed away today made it's way through the twitter universe. The tweet purportedly came from CNN's twitter account. The network has clarified this though saying that "CNN did not report Morgan Freeman death. Rumor is false. CNN will aggressively investigate this hoax."

The hoax fooled many people though as it was re-tweeted throughout the web. I've noticed that celebrity death's seem to happen pretty often on the internet. I remember awhile back there was a rumor that Zach Braff had passed away.

I'm not sure how these things spread so quickly, or why they get started in the first place. Maybe it's that thing we have inside of us that makes us want to be the first to tell our friends about something, that makes us jump to pass along news like this. You know the urge I'm talking about, the one that makes you send out Youtube links to people in hopes that you'll be the first to introduce them to some hilarious video. We always want to be one of the first to know, or tell, about something, and so things like this spread like wildfire through the interweb.

And I'm not really sure about the people who actually start these rumors. As far as their motivation is concerned I mean. We all know that one person who does things just to see what happens. Maybe this is the same mentality behind spreading around fake celebrity death reports. I remember in the case of Zach Braff the guy who started it was dubbed, "douchebag" of the day by Zach Braff himself, for making his mother cry.

I think in the end people just want to feel special and get attention. The person who started today's rumor is anonymous for now, but he's still getting attention. Attention by people like me who write about this stuff, and people like you who read about it.

The point is, don't believe everything you read on twitter and people are attention whores, and hopefully the guy who started today's rumor didn't make anyone in Morgan Freeman's family cry.

John Bobst aka The Force of Nature

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Grim Sleeper: LAPD Releases Photos of Potential Victims

The LAPD released photos today that were discovered on the property of Lonnie Franklin Jr.  A man who was arrested for the murder of 10 women in July of 2010.  The killings occurred between 1985 and 2007, with a 14 year break in between from 1988 to 2002.  This period of inactivity is what earned the serial killer the nickname "Grim Sleeper."

The police found over a thousand photographs of women in the serial killers trailer.  The photographs are sexually explicit in nature and in some cases the women appear to be dead or severely drugged.  There are 180 different women among the 1 thousand or so photos that were discovered.

The crimes that Lonnie Franklin are accused of were traced back to him through ballistics and DNA evidence found at the scene of these crimes.  But the police cannot be certain that these are the only murders he committed and released the photos in an attempt to possibly identify more victims of the serial killer.  The chief of police Charlie Beck said "We certainly do not believe that we are so lucky, or so good, as to know all of his victims,"We need the public's help."

The images have been made available through the media and online.  Due to the explicit nature of the photos the LAPD has cropped the images to only show the faces of the women.  The photos can be found on the LAPD's website at  

John Bobst aka The Force of Nature

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Facebook Glitch: Social Network Site Went Down

Facebook went down for 30 minutes on 12/16/10.  The site was taken down intentionally at 4:15 due to some glitches with an upgrade of new features.  Facebook issued this statement in regards to the temporary shutdown

"For a brief period of time, some internal prototypes were made public to a number of people externally.  As a result, we took the site down for a few minutes.  It’s back up, and we apologize for the inconvenience."

John Bobst aka The Force of Nature

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Steven Donziger Loses Chevron Ecuador Appeals Court Battle

Chevron Ecuador lawsuit boss and budding movie star Steven Donziger lost another important battle in the ongoing Chevron / Ecuador issue. Steven The Don, as this blogger will refer to Steven Donziger for his role as "The Godfather," even toward discussing a plan of intimidating an Ecuador judge, has failed, once again, to quash the Chevron subpoena granted by U.S. District Court Judge Lewis Kaplan.

According to the Courthouse News Service, on Wednesday, The 2nd Circuit Court agreed with Judge Kaplan's order in responding to Donziger's appeal of the order which has him in the position of having to be interviewed by Chevron lawyers and turn over 8,000 pages of documents related to the case.

The 2nd Circuit Court wrote:

After an independent review of the record, we conclude,substantially for the reasons stated by the District Court in its orders of November 10 andNovember 30, 2010, that the District Court did not abuse its discretion. We therefore affirm theOctober 20 and November 29, 2010, orders of the District Court and we remand the cause to theDistrict Court for further proceedings consistent with this order.

In other words, Steven The Don has to work under Judge Kaplan's order and with Chevron's subpoena.

What This Means

What this all means is an ultimate path toward proof that Steven the Don's claims that the American Oil Giant polluted the Ecuadorian Amazon until 1992 - but using false information and studies gathered well after Chevron left Ecuador, and during a time when Petroecuador, Ecuador's own oil company, was using the same oil wells and production facilities - is false and fraudulent.

Courthouse reports that Karen Hinton, the active spokesperson for Donziger, said the ruling has nothing to do with the merits of the lawsuit.

Not true.

The lawsuit Donziger has worked on covers up Petroecuador's own terrible environmental record as well as Ecuador's overall strategy of the nationalization of oil. Donziger's non-profit pitbulls at Amazon Watch have asserted that Ecuador's not a party to Steven The Don's lawsuit.    That's not true, as was discussed in this space several times before.

The silence of Amazon Watch is deafening, and for good reason.  Someone misled them.   Even now, they have to question the merits of this case.

Not All Bad Or Good

The overall point is that no one party is bad.  Chevron has been painted that way and with a frequency greater than one can imagine.  Yes, oil companies do pollute, and they help curb and prevent it too.  And the implication in this for some time is Steven The Don and his people are angels.  Not so. Indeed, Steven himself has met with Petroecuador execs - one can guess why he's not suing Ecuador's oil giant.  Moreover, they've been used by an Ecuador that seeks to keep oil revenues for itself, has kicked out American oil companies, and has done little, if anything, for its poor.

Stay tuned.

School Board Shooting, Clay Duke, Reveals Psychotics Among Us

The shocking video of an obviously deranged psychotic by the name of Clay Duke walking into a Panama City, Florida School Board meeting and opening fire on its board members, makes everyone, especially school board members, ask if that can happen to them.

The scary answer is "yes," if you consider how it seems we're at a place in our society where our very way of exchanging ideas seems psychotic. Or, as the definition goes "abnormal condition of the mind, and is a generic psychiatric term for a mental state often described as involving a "loss of contact with reality."

Think of how many times psychotic behavior is displayed each day. It could be someone expressing an unusually dramatic reaction to someone's throw-away comment. Or over-reaction to a person on an airplane who's wearing Muslim religious headdress.  The overall idea that "someone is out to get you" is coupled with people who make threats to the same people. And all for no reason. The Internet has become the great bullhorn for people who may, either temporarily or permanently have such problems.

The lousy economy, getting better for some though, doesn't help. Neither does the overall loss of civility in American society. Little by little, we seem to think it's OK to be mean to each other. And in the video game world, people trash talking while "blowing each other away" is common. Some of that, the trash talking part, has seeped into normal life.

On top of all that, schools don't teach people how to embrace diversity. So, in a tight economy, the idea that someone with or without skin color is doing better than the person who think's things are messed up, can reach psychotic levels.

Have doubts?

Take a look at the website forum Stormfront, where forum titles like "Affirmative Action, and how it screwed me!" and "BLACK GUY PROBLEM, help!!!" draw up to tens of thousands of "threads." And all on a site that's one of the ten largest in the World.

The problem is that we seems to have some people who insist on giving in to their desire to hate, rather than practicing the ability to empathize with the other person.

Consider our cable news, where Fox News is conservative and MSNBC is liberal and both are beating the ratings pants off CNN, which doesn't know what it wants to be. But why should CNN pick a side in a fight between extremes? Why fight at all?

With all of that, it's easy to think these are scary times, but there are good people out there. You just have to look for them, and practice being one of them.

Especially at Christmas!

Blake Edwards Life and Movies Immortalized On YouTube

Blake Edwards, the legendary director of The Pink Panther Series, Victor/Victoria, Breakfast at Tiffany's and Days of Wine and Roses, SOB, and 10, passed away from complications due to pneumonia Wednesday.

While the news of Edwards' passing is covered everywhere from to The San Francisco Chronicle (via the AP), not one includes this great video of Edwards being interviewed backstage at the 76th Annual Academy Awards, where after being given an honorary Oscar in 2004, he talks about his age, his love for his wife Julie Andrews, and the hypocrisy behind the reaction to Janet Jackson's breat bearing at Super Bowl XXXVIII.   The halftime event triggered an FCC investigation.

And here Edwards and Julie Andrews talks about how they met, and her bearing her breasts in SOB.

Edwards' wife Julie Andrews and his five children were by his bedside in Santa Monica, California.

There's more about the life and work of Edwards on YouTube.  Just go to and search for "Blake Edwards."