Okay, I, no more no less, am ready to hear GaGa’s new masterpiece “Born This Way” (it drops February 13th, if you haven’t RSPV’ed yet GaGa’s official site) and I want to HEAR it rather than read the lyrics.  However, I have to give GaGa props for promoting her single this way; scattering lyrics to different media sources, then today, the whole song was mapped out, complete with producer/songwriter info.  And it’s no mystery the song is being lauded as the next big “gay anthem”, yep, the lyrics totally spell it out.  I will respect those media outlets who are printing the lyrics, but with one exception, the main refrain is “Don’t be a drag, be a queen!”  Oh yeah!  I just think the better marketing would have been to release fragments of the song, plus the lyrics; it would drive the little monsters nuts!  That is all.

There Will Be Blood?

Oh, I love Oscar nomination day, although I forgot about it until 10 this morning (Central Time).  Yes, that’s last year’s Best Supporting Actress winner, Monique, helping out with the nomination announcements.  Her ass is blocking Inception, The Fighter, and Black Swan in the Best Picture category and you can see the rest.  The only films in this category I haven’t seen are Winter’s Bone (starring Best Actress nominee and Louisville native, Jennifer Lawrence), 127 Hours, and The King’s Speech which has racked up the most nominations at 12.  True Grit is next in line with 10, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor/Jeff Bridges, Best Supporting Actress/Hailee Steinfeld, and Best Adapted Screenplay; the film was totally snubbed at the Golden Globes.  Today’s biggest omission appears to be Christopher Nolan being left out for Best Director for his mind-boggler, Inception, but really, I don’t know who I would knock off that list, maybe The Fighter director, David O. Russell.  Speaking of The Fighter, Christian Bale should have no problem capturing Best Suppporting Actor and neither should Melissa Leo for Best Supporting Actress; co-star Amy Adams also suprisingly scored a Best Supporting nod, but she’ll be canceled out by Leo. 
I’m happy to say The Kids Are All Right is up for several major awards; Best Actress is Annette Bening’s to lose, Best Picture seems like a bit of a surprise, it also scores Best Original Screenplay nods for director Lisa Cholodenko and Stuart Blumberg.  Julianne Moore was snubbed, but I’m also predicting maybe a writing win.  Black Swan is up for the major awards, Best Picture (Er?), Best Director-Darren Aronofsky, Best Actress-Natalie Portman; the not-so-major for Editing and Cinematography, which the film is beautifully shot.  Alas, Diane Warren did NOT score a Best Original Song nod for “You Haven’t Seen the Last of Me” from Burlesque. Ho-hum….at least she won the Golden Globe. 
Happy filling out your ballots!…The Oscars are on ABC February 27th.

Black Swan Takes a Dive…

Okay, there’s no doubt that Black Swan is a beautifully made film.  However, that’s where it ends for me.  I love director Darren Aronofsky’s work; The Wrestler revived Mickey Rouke’s career, although he lost the Oscar to Sean Penn, and where do I even begin to describe the briliance of Requiem for a Dream.  Buzz on this film has been building for over a year, the only reason I knew about it was because it was to include a “lesbian sex scene” between stars Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis.  I never thought in a billion years it would become one of the most talked about films leading up to the announcement of Oscar nominations on January 25th.  And what do people usually do when they hear about a buzzworthy film?  They see it and Black Swan‘s box office numbers are not bad thus far as it has surged past the $50 million mark.  So the stage is set, but the stage looks very familiar.
The dying-to-be-perfect ballerina Nina, played by a type cast Portman is a painfully predictable character.  It’s true no other actress could’ve tackled the part, but I feel a little let down.  Two of the better performances in the film come from Nina’s mother, played by Barbara Hershey (who has had some major face work!) and the retiring star of the ballet, Beth, played by Winona Ryder.  It’s too bad you won’t see their names nominated, yet you might see, Portman’s rival, Lily (Mina Kunis) nominated for a supporting role.  And I would give a supporting nod to Vincent Cassel, who plays the sleazy choreographer, Thomas (pronounced “Tomah”) again, his character is very predictable.  Oddly enough, Aronofsky will get many directing nods, including at this Sunday’s Golden Globes and he deserves them. 
I saw this film with a friend and we found ourselves cringing and laughing at parts.  Cringing, because Nina has these mysterious hang nails that pop up and, well, she takes care of them…UGH!  Laughing, because some of the film is just ridiculous.  I have to give props to Aronofsky for creating a lot of scream-worthy moments, which I didn’t expect; more so than a run-of-the-mill horror film.  Not big screams, but some gotcha kind of moments.  If Natalie Portman wins any acting awards for Black Swan, they will be based solely on her dedication to becoming a tortured ballerina.  Hell, she’s pregnant by her ballet instructor on the film, Benjamin Millepied, now that’s method acting!  They plan to marry. 
In short, if you see it, be prepared to be tickled and horrified at the same time; if nothing Black Swan is extremely entertaining.

Garbage…Where Art Thou?

Picture it, Nashville, the summer of 2002 and I’m attempting to see one of my favorite bands Garbage, even if it’s only for five minutes.  I really wish Nashville would bring back River Stages; it was awesome and they landed all kinds of top acts and quirky acts.  Alas, I could see Scottish flame and lead singer, Shirley Manson in all her glory.  She had just adopted a bleach blond shaved-head mohawk look, which you’ll see below.  So hot!  My little group attending the festival had split up and a friend and I decided we wanted a closer look at Garbage.  So we made our way toward the stage; I can’t even remember what songs they performed.  Here’s what I do remember.  At one point, a concert goer had unwisely chucked a water bottle at Manson.  Oh boy!  Well, she stopped the show and she was calling out her assailant by saying something to the effect of, “…these Navy Seals will fuck up your ass!…”  I think I fell in love with Shirley Manson just a little deeper that sultry day. 
So, what happened to Garbage?  They burst on the scene in 1995 and they continued to occupy their own corner on MTV, VH1, alternative, and pop radio for the next five or so years, and Shirley did some acting in that Terminator: Sarah Conner Chronicles show, I never saw it.  I love how this band looks.  Three ugly guys and a hot chick.  Not to discredit super producer Butch Vig, Duke Erikson, and Steve Marker, but did anyone really pay attention to them?  I hate to say this, but their debut album is probably my least favorite.  It wasn’t until I heard Version 2.0 and Beautiful Garbage, that I really started to dig the band.  Beautiful Garbage is my favorite.  Bleed Like Me, I own it, but I bet I only played it once.  And yes, they have a greatest hits collection, Absolute Garbage, but what about something new?  According to Wikipedia, Garbage began work on their fifth album last year, and they hope to get it released sometime this year, oh, and they will tour with the new album.  It makes me happy!  And so does this song and video, and Shirley: