Wednesday, February 24, 2010

John Grisham novels

This post isn't as much for the regular readers as it is for the people that come via Google searches. Does anyone know the reason as to why John Grisham's novels are being reprinted with another cover (anf for $9.99 no less!)

If you have the answer, I am interested.

John Krasinski testing for Marvel's Captain America

According to Nikki Finke, John Krasinski, better known as Jim Halpert on NBC's The Office, is up for the role Captain America, to be seen in the 2011 film, The First Avenger: Captain America.
I've learned that Marvel Studios and director Joe Johnston are testing candidates for The First Avenger: Captain America which Paramount will distribute on July 22, 2011. I’ve scooped their wish list: most but by no means all of the contenders are young hunks who come from both movies and television -- Chace Crawford (CW's Gossip Girl), John Krasinski (NBC's The Office), Scott Porter (NBC's Friday Night Lights), Mike Vogel (Cloverfield), Michael Cassidy (CW's Privileged), Patrick Flueger (Brothers). They also wanted Garrett Hedlund (Tron Legacy), but he so far hasn’t made a test deal. The studio yesterday tested several candidates from this list. It's not surprising that the roster contains so many little known actors: Marvel after all cast a complete unknown as Thor, Chris Hemsworth. The role is enticing, but Marvel is known for driving hard bargains on its superhero deals. There's a salary scale, but if you're not a known quantity like Crawford or Krasinski, the offer is around $300,000 for the first film. And whoever gets the role will have to sign for another nine options for future films that include sequels, Avengers movies, or anything else Marvel decides.
In related entertainment news, Matt Damon has been selected to play the late Senator Robert Francis Kennedy in yet another Kennedy related movie.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Miracle on Ice: The 30th Anniversary

In honor of the 30th anniversary of the Miracle on Ice, here are some YouTube videos:

Sunday, February 21, 2010

In the news....

Colin Firth will be portraying a leader of the Jewish underground in an upcoming movie.
Academy Award-nominated actor Colin Firth will play Jewish underground leader Avraham Stern in a new movie.

"The Promised Land," a political crime thriller set in British Mandate Palestine, takes place during the years leading up to the formation of the modern state of Israel.

Directed by Michael Winterbottom, it is set to start filming this summer.

The Stern Gang, also known as Lehi, fought against the British Mandate in Palestine in the 1930s and 1940s.

Matthew Macfadyen and Jim Sturgess will play British police officers trying to quash the Stern Gang.
Jewish athletes in Vancouver are bringing their passion to the Winter Olympics.

David Frum makes an argument that is fairly reasonable.
But these interesting theoretical potentialities exist mainly on the blackboard. In real life, it becomes very difficult to separate hatred of the Jewish state from hatred of the Jews who live in that state.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

WGA Awards

Up in the Air gained momentum today during the WGA Award ceremonies with a win in the category of Best Adapted Screenplay.

Mark Boal was handed the Writers Guild of America award for best original screenplay Saturday night for his explosive drama script, "The Hurt Locker." The journalist-turned-movie-scribe spun his harrowing time embedded with the Explosive Ordnance Disposal team in Baghdad in 2004 into a taut action thriller directed by DGA award winner Kathryn Bigelow.

Adding to their cache of frequent-awards miles, "Up in the Air" writers Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner flew off with the WGA's adapted screenplay honor. The pair has already taken home the Golden Globe for best screenplay and several critics' honors. Reitman was nommed by the WGA once before, in 2007, for his adaptation of Christopher Buckley's novel "Thank You for Smoking."

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Evan Bayh announces Senate retirement

Speaking at IUPUI, Indiana Senator Evan Bayh announced he would not seek a third term in the United States Senate, citing the striden partisanship.
Thank you all for coming today. I know how busy you are, and I appreciate you taking the time to be with us. I would like to begin by acknowledging some people to whom I owe a great debt of gratitude.

First, my wife Susan, who for 25 years has stood by my side and without whose love and support so much I have been privileged to do would never have been possible. As my father told me the day we were married: “Son, you definitely married up.”

Second, my wonderful children, Beau and Nick, who I love so much and of whom I am so proud. Being their father is the most important job I will ever have.

Next, my staff members—past and present—who have worked so hard and sacrificed so much for the people of our state. There is not one that couldn’t have made more money and worked fewer hours doing something else. They have always managed to make me look much better than I deserve.

Most importantly, the people of Indiana, who for almost a quarter century have placed their trust and welfare in my hands. No one could ask for a better boss or a greater honor.

I was raised in a family that believes public service is the highest calling in the church, that what matters is not what you take from life, but what you give back. I believe that still.

For almost all of my adult life, I have been privileged to serve the people of Indiana in elective office.

As Secretary of State, I worked to reform our election laws to ensure that every vote counts. I cast the deciding vote in the closest congressional race in the nation for a member of the other political party, because I believed he had legitimately won the election.

As Governor, I worked with an outstanding team to balance the budget, cut taxes, leave the largest surplus in state history, create the most new jobs in any eight-year period, increase funding for schools every year, make college more affordable, and reform welfare to empha work. We raised water quality standards, created more new state parks than any time since the 1930s, and raised the penalties for violent crime.

In the Senate, I have continued to fight for the best interests of our state. I have worked with Hoosier workers and businesses, large and small, in the defense sector, the life sciences, the medical device industry, autos, steel, recreational vehicle manufacturing, and many, many more, to save and create jobs.

Since 9/11, I have fought to make our nation safe with a national security approach that is both tough and smart. I have championed the cause of our soldiers to make sure they have the equipment they need in battle and the health care they deserve when they get home.

I have often been a lonely voice for balancing the budget and restraining spending. I have worked with Democrats, Republicans, and Independents alike to do the nation’s business in a way that is civil and constructive.

I am fortunate to have good friends on both sides of the aisle, something that is much too rare in Washington today.

After all these years, my passion for service to my fellow citizens is undiminished, but my desire to do so by serving in Congress has waned. For some time, I have had a growing conviction that Congress is not operating as it should. There is too much partisanship and not enough progress -- too much narrow ideology and not enough practical problem-solving. Even at a time of enormous challenge, the peoples’ business is not being done.

Examples of this are legion, but two recent ones will suffice.

Two weeks ago, the Senate voted down a bipartisan commission to deal with one of the greatest threats facing our nation: our exploding deficits and debt. The measure would have passed, but seven members who had endorsed the idea instead voted “no” for short-term political reasons.

Just last week, a major piece of legislation to create jobs -- the public’s top priority -- fell apart amid complaints from both the left and right.

All of this and much more has led me to believe that there are better ways to serve my fellow citizens, my beloved state, and our nation than continued service in Congress.

To put it in words most people can understand: I love working for the people of Indiana, I love helping our citizens make the most of their lives, but I do not love Congress. I will not, therefore, be a candidate for election to the Senate this November.

My decision should not be interpreted for more than it is: a very difficult, deeply personal one. I am an executive at heart. I value my independence. I am not motivated by strident partisanship or ideology. These traits may be useful in many walks of life, but they are not highly valued in Congress.

My decision should not reflect adversely upon my colleagues who continue to serve in the Senate. While the institution is in need of significant reform, there are many wonderful people there. The public would be surprised and pleased to know that those who serve them in the Senate, despite their policy and political differences, are unfailingly hard-working and devoted to the public good as they see it. I will miss them.

I particularly value my relationship with Senator Dick Lugar and have often felt that if all Senators could have the cooperative relationship we enjoy, the institution would be a better place.

My decision should not reflect adversely upon the President. I look forward to working with him during the next 11 months to get our deficit under control, get the economy moving again, regulate Wall Street to avoid future financial crises, and reform education so that all children can fulfill their God-given potential. This is the right agenda for America.

My decision was not motivated by political concern. Even in the current challenging environment, I am confident in my prospects for re-election. Five times over the last 24 years, I have been honored by the people of Indiana with electoral success. But running for the sake of winning an election, just to remain in public office, is not good enough. And it has never been what motivates me.

At this time, I simply believe I can best contribute to society in another way: creating jobs by helping grow a business, helping guide an institution of higher learning, or helping run a worthy charitable endeavor.

In closing, let me say this: Words cannot convey nor can I adequately express my gratitude to the great people of Indiana.

I will never forget those I have been privileged to serve and those who have so kindly supported me. I have always tried to remember that my job is to work for Hoosiers, not the other way around.

I am constantly reminded that if Washington, D.C., could be more like Indiana, Washington would be a better place.

Lastly, let me reiterate my deep and abiding love for our nation and my optimism for our future. These are difficult times for America. But we have seen difficult days before, and we will see better days again. With all our faults, we are an exceptional people.

I look forward to continuing to do my part to meet the challenges we face as a private citizen, to work for solutions not slogans, progress not politics, so that our generation can do what Americans have always done: convey to our children, and our children’s children, an America that is stronger, more prosperous, more decent, and more just.

Thank you again. May God bless you all.

Wolfman, DDS

This is the new promo for the NYC Purim Sketch Show, "The Shushan Channel," to be held on February 27th, 2010 at 92Y Tribeca (shows at 8 and 10, tickets at

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Patick Kennedy to retire from Congress

Shocking news. Congressman Patrick Kennedy (D-Rhode Island) is announcing his retirement from Congress. It comes less than a year after his father, Senator Edward Moore "Ted" Kennedy died.
Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-RI) has decided not to seek re-election, the AP reports.

The source is a Democratic official who spoke only on the condition that his name not be used because he was not authorized to speak ahead of the official announcement.
Here's the AP report:
A Democratic official says Rep. Patrick Kennedy has decided not to seek re-election for his seat representing Rhode Island in the U.S. Congress.

The official spoke to The Associated Press only on the condition that his name not be used because he was not authorized to speak ahead of the official announcement.

The decision by the eight-term congressman comes less than a month after a stunning Republican upset in the race for the Massachusetts Senate seat his late father, Edward Kennedy, held for almost half a century.

Patrick Kennedy has been in and out of treatment for substance abuse since crashing his car outside the U.S Capitol in 2006. Still, he has been comfortably re-elected twice since then, after making mental health care his signature issue in Washington.
When was the last time a member of the Kennedy family was not in the House or Senate.

Saudi Prince owns 7% stake in Newscorp

I found out about this from writer-director Adam McKay.
Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal owns a 7 percent stake in News Corp — the parent company of Fox News — making him the largest shareholder outside the family of News Corp CEO Rupert Murdoch. Alwaleed has grown close with the Murdoch enterprise, recently endorsing James Murdoch to succeed his father and creating a content-sharing agreement with Fox News for his own media conglomerate, Rotana.

Last weekend, at the right-wing Constitutional Coalition’s annual conference in St. Louis, Joseph Farah, publisher of the far right WorldNetDaily, blasted Fox News for its relationship with Alwaleed. Farah noted correctly that Alwaleed had boasted in the past about forcing Fox News to change its content relating to its coverage of riots in Paris, and warned that such foreign ownership of American media is “really dangerous.” ThinkProgress was at the speech and observed attendees of the conference murmuring and shaking their heads in disapproval:
FARAH: There’s a flaw, a real compromise in Fox that you need to understand. And if you care about national security, you especially need to be attentive to it. And that is that Fox News parent company is News Corp has a significant ownership by a Saudi prince that many of you will be familiar with because right after 9/11 this prince very famously offered Rudolph Giuliani a big multi-million dollar check to rebuild and Giuliani told him to stick the check where the sun don’t shine because this guy was basically blaming America for what happened on 9/11. Well this guy owns a very significant percentage of the News Corp and has let the world know that he can get things taken off Fox News when he finds them objectionable and has in the past. And I really believe this is really dangerous for America.
I don't know about you but if I were a Republican, I'd be upset with FOX News right now.

President Bill Clinton hospitalized

Former president Bill Clinton has been hospitalized.
"Today President Bill Clinton was admitted to the Columbia Campus of New York Presbyterian Hospital after feeling discomfort in his chest," adviser Doug Band said in a statement. "Following a visit to his cardiologist, he underwent a procedure to place two stents in one of his coronary arteries."

"President Clinton is in good spirits, and will continue to focus on the work of his Foundation and Haiti's relief and long-term recovery efforts," said Band.

A stent is small mesh tube that is used to treat narrowed or weakened arteries.

A hospital source said that Clinton called the head of cardiology at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital two days ago, saying that he was not feeling well. Clinton was originally scheduled to come in to the hospital Wednesday but postponed the appointment until Thursday.

A State Department official confirmed to NBC that former first lady and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton "is now headed to New York City."

Aides to Clinton said Thursday she left the capital shortly after meeting President Barack Obama at the White House ahead of a planned trip to the Persian Gulf that was to begin on Friday. The aides said it was not yet clear if her travel to Qatar or Saudi Arabia would be affected by her husband's hospitalization.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

JCPS to decide Wednesday morning

Jefferson County Public Schools will make a decision early morning tomorrow as to whether or not classes will be held on Wednesday.
“Right now, it looks very iffy,” said Mike Mulheirn, executive director of facilities and transportation for the district. “Our main concern is that we are looking at another inch of snow and that the temperatures are supposed to drop significantly.”

Mulheirn said the city streets and highways “look good” but the back roads and subdivisions were still “troublesome” as of 2 p.m. Tuesday.

“We would really like to make the call on whether to have school on Wednesday today, but it might be early Wednesday morning,” he said. “We will know more later this evening.”
As for today, they made the right decision but I would have made the decision to cancel last night based on the forecast at the time.

In Louisville, city officials are awaiting the freezing roads that come with the overnight drop in temperatures and another round of accumulation.
“This is not snowmeggedon,” Abramson said at a press conference. “We’ve made it through the morning, but now the concern is what happens when the temperature drops.”

Temperatures could drop 10 to 12 degrees in the matter of a couple of hours beginning around 4 p.m., which is a significant drop in a short time, said Erin Snavely, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

“Slush on the roadways could refreeze,” she said.

Snavely said the Louisville area has received between 6 and 7 inches since the snow began to fall late Monday night.

Crews have treated 3,500 miles of two-lane highways since they began salting and plowing late Monday night and there is still an abundance of salt at the city’s disposal, Abramson said.

Snowfall overnight and Tuesday morning left roads and highways covered, but there have been no reports of major injury accidents because of road conditions, according to local emergency dispatches.

Abramson said during the heaviest snowfall Tuesday morning that most of the calls to police were about stranded motorists and vehicles that slid off roadways.

MetroSafe reported that between 11 p.m. Monday and 10 a.m. Tuesday there were 38 calls about stranded motorists and 18 injury accidents out of a total of more than 315 calls to police.

As of 11 a.m., Louisville metro officials were reporting that major thoroughfares and side streets were still “snow-covered” and “slushy.”

Jefferson County public and Catholic schools are closed for the day, as are many other school districts across the region.

Louisville Public Works crews have been plowing and treating roads since 11 p.m. Monday, said Lindsay English, a spokeswoman for the mayor. “We’re making as many passes on routes as we can,” she said, but the continued snowfall is making it difficult for crews to keep roads clear.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Letterman unveils new SI Cover Girl: Brooklyn Decker

Brooklyn Decker is the new Sports Illustrated (SI) Swimsuit Cover Girl. Congrats!

The cover was unveiled during tonight's Late Show with David Letterman.

"David Williams is a dictator"

Recently elected Kentucky State Senator Robin Webb spoke these comments on the floor of the State Senate of the General Assembly. Unfortunately, the Republicans in the senate think the word dictator is an expletive. I didn't think of it as foul language.

But she's right.

David Williams is a dictator. He's holding Kentucky from being able to progress.

He's killing the thoroughbred industry by refusing to allow the state to vote on expanded gaming.

Money that will help keep horses in the state. Money that will help education funding.

Unfortunately, that's David Williams and he's the living definition of a schmuck.

RIP: Congressman John Murtha

Congressman John Murtha (D-PA) suddenly passed away from complications during a routine gall bladder surgery.

From his congressional website:
Congressman John P. Murtha (PA-12) passed away peacefully this afternoon at 1:18 p.m. at Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington, VA. At his bedside was his family.

Murtha, 77, was Chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense.

First elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in February of 1974, Murtha dedicated his life to serving his country both in the military and in the halls of Congress. A former Marine, he became the first Vietnam War combat Veteran elected to the U.S. Congress.

This past Saturday, February 6, 2010, Murtha became Pennsylvania’s longest serving Member of Congress.
My condolences to his Pennsylvanian constituents.

Stay safe....

Another batch of snow is hitting Kentucky tonight and will last until midday on Tuesday.

If you must drive, please drive safely.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Jon Stewart on The O'Reilly Factor

Jon Stewart appeared last night as a guest of Bill O'Reilly on his FOX News show, The O'Reilly Factor. Here's the transcript.

Some things of interest:
BILL O'REILLY: How is President Obama doing so far?

STEWART: You know, I'm torn. There — for me, I feel like I can't tell if he's a Jedi master playing chess on a three-level board way ahead of us, or if this is kicking his ass, so…

O'REILLY: You really don't know?

STEWART: For one thing, those types of broad analysis, you know, how's he doing? It doesn't lend itself to a very easy answer. I think there are certain areas that he seems to have made progress or stabilized certain areas. I'm appreciative of the fact that he has tried to reengage the regulatory mechanism of the government.

O'REILLY: Wow, the regulatory mechanism.

STEWART: Regulatory mechanism.

O'REILLY: That's way over my head.

STEWART: The mechanism.

O'REILLY: What is that?

STEWART: And you're 6'5".

O'REILLY: Yeah, and I have no idea what you just said.

STEWART: So that's like I was throwing a Marques Colston.


STEWART: I mean, that was like jumping out there.

O'REILLY: So, what is that?

STEWART: The idea that we would have people there checking if there was lead in our toys, that kind of stuff.

O'REILLY: OK, so protecting the folks using the federal government's power, he's made strides in doing that? You know, that's a pretty smart analysis. You know, a lot of people don't think you're smart.

STEWART: Thank you very much.

O'REILLY: Did your writers come up with that or did you?

STEWART: No. They're in my pocket.

O'REILLY: All right, so you think he's doing OK in some areas?

STEWART: Certain jobs.

O'REILLY: And not OK in others. Give me a not OK.

STEWART: I think he has decided that Congress is an equal branch of government. Huge mistake. You can't just walk in there as the next guy and say, let's go back to…

O'REILLY: Power sharing.

STEWART: …three equal branches.

O'REILLY: No good.


O'REILLY: Right.

STEWART: You got to go in there, my friends. Oh, you want to pass a law I don't like? Signing statement. Here's how we're going to do health care, boom, boom, boom. You don't like it? You get in line.

O'REILLY: So he's too much of a team player.

STEWART: It allows too much room for different narratives to take hold. For instance, a narrative that might emanate from, you know…

O'REILLY: The No Spin Zone, from here…

STEWART: From a news organization.

O'REILLY: You know, that's actually another astute point. And you've shocked me twice now with the regulatory thing...

STEWART: By the way, did you notice I used the word ilk?

O'REILLY: I did, I but I ignored it. But anyway, so you say that President Obama…


O'REILLY: ...instead of driving home a few pieces of legislation so that everybody can understand what he's doing...

STEWART: That's right. Using the bully pulpit (INAUDIBLE).

O'REILLY: …gathers too many people under the tent. And there's too much discussion.

STEWART: That's right.

O'REILLY: Thereby leading to too much sniping and you don't get anything done.

STEWART: If you allow too much nitpicking on the edges of legislation, it will be necessarily turned into a type of lobbyist gruel.

O'REILLY: Lobbyist gruel.

STEWART: Lobbyist gruel. That's the porridge that the lobbyists would eat.

O'REILLY: Excellent.

STEWART: Without making a strong case to the public, you have no leverage because the real power takes place behind…

Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom to close...

Breaking news developing.

Per 84 WHAS' Lachlan MacLean:
Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom is closing because the State Fair Board won't renegotiate an unworkable lease. SFKK is the #1 paid tourist attraction in the state and employs thousands of kids during the summer.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Star Wars in 3D

With Avatar's success at the box office, Star Wars creator George Lucas is looking at the reality of bringing all six Star Wars movies back to movie theaters in 3D.

Access Hollywood has more on the story.
George Lucas has yet to work in the new 3-D technology that is sweeping Hollywood, but the director told Access Hollywood that the success and achievements of “Avatar” could help bring “Star Wars” into the third dimension.

“I liked it. I make movies like that, [so], I can appreciate what [James Cameron] went through to do it,” George Lucas told Access Hollywood at the HBO Golden Globes party on Sunday.

”[I’m] happy it’s so successful, and worked very well in 3-D,” he continued. “Haven’t been a big fan of 3-D, but that movie definitely improves in (the field of) 3-D.”

George was so impressed with the movie’s technology – which took home the trophy for Best Motion Picture – Drama at the 2010 Globes – that he thinks it could help pave the way for creating 3-D versions of his “Star Wars” movies.

“We’ve been looking for years and years and years of trying to take ‘Star Wars’ and put it in 3-D,” George explained to Access. “But, [the] technology hasn’t been there. We’ve been struggling with it, but I think this will be a new impetus to make that happen.”
Man, I can't wait to see the six movies on the big screen.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

82nd Annual Academy Award (Oscar) Nominations

Performance by an actor in a leading role
Jeff Bridges in "Crazy Heart" (Fox Searchlight)
George Clooney in "Up in the Air" (Paramount in association with Cold Spring Pictures and DW Studios)
Colin Firth in "A Single Man" (The Weinstein Company)
Morgan Freeman in "Invictus" (Warner Bros.)
Jeremy Renner in "The Hurt Locker" (Summit Entertainment)

Performance by an actor in a supporting role
Matt Damon in "Invictus" (Warner Bros.)
Woody Harrelson in "The Messenger" (Oscilloscope Laboratories)
Christopher Plummer in "The Last Station" (Sony Pictures Classics)
Stanley Tucci in "The Lovely Bones" (DreamWorks in association with Film4, Distributed by Paramount)
Christoph Waltz in "Inglourious Basterds" (The Weinstein Company)

Performance by an actress in a leading role
Sandra Bullock in "The Blind Side" (Warner Bros.)
Helen Mirren in "The Last Station" (Sony Pictures Classics)
Carey Mulligan in "An Education" (Sony Pictures Classics)
Gabourey Sidibe in "Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire" (Lionsgate)
Meryl Streep in "Julie & Julia" (Sony Pictures Releasing)

Performance by an actress in a supporting role
Penélope Cruz in "Nine" (The Weinstein Company)
Vera Farmiga in "Up in the Air" (Paramount in association with Cold Spring Pictures and DW Studios)
Maggie Gyllenhaal in "Crazy Heart" (Fox Searchlight)
Anna Kendrick in "Up in the Air" (Paramount in association with Cold Spring Pictures and DW Studios)
Mo'Nique in "Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire" (Lionsgate)

Best animated feature film of the year
"Coraline" (Focus Features) Henry Selick
"Fantastic Mr. Fox" (20th Century Fox) Wes Anderson
"The Princess and the Frog" (Walt Disney) John Musker and Ron Clements
"The Secret of Kells" (GKIDS) Tomm Moore
"Up" (Walt Disney) Pete Docter

Achievement in art direction
"Avatar" (20th Century Fox) Art Direction: Rick Carter and Robert Stromberg; Set Decoration: Kim Sinclair
"The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus" (Sony Pictures Classics) Art Direction: Dave Warren and Anastasia Masaro; Set Decoration: Caroline Smith
"Nine" (The Weinstein Company) Art Direction: John Myhre; Set Decoration: Gordon Sim
"Sherlock Holmes" (Warner Bros.) Art Direction: Sarah Greenwood; Set Decoration: Katie Spencer
"The Young Victoria" (Apparition) Art Direction: Patrice Vermette; Set Decoration: Maggie Gray

Achievement in cinematography
"Avatar" (20th Century Fox) Mauro Fiore
"Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" (Warner Bros.) Bruno Delbonnel
"The Hurt Locker" (Summit Entertainment) Barry Ackroyd
"Inglourious Basterds" (The Weinstein Company) Robert Richardson
"The White Ribbon" (Sony Pictures Classics) Christian Berger

Achievement in costume design
"Bright Star" (Apparition) Janet Patterson
"Coco before Chanel" (Sony Pictures Classics) Catherine Leterrier
"The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus" (Sony Pictures Classics) Monique Prudhomme
"Nine" (The Weinstein Company) Colleen Atwood
"The Young Victoria" (Apparition) Sandy Powell

Achievement in directing
"Avatar" (20th Century Fox) James Cameron
"The Hurt Locker" (Summit Entertainment) Kathryn Bigelow
"Inglourious Basterds" (The Weinstein Company) Quentin Tarantino
"Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire" (Lionsgate) Lee Daniels
"Up in the Air" (Paramount in association with Cold Spring Pictures and DW Studios) Jason Reitman

Best documentary feature
"Burma VJ" (Oscilloscope Laboratories) A Magic Hour Films Production Anders Østergaard and Lise Lense-Møller
"The Cove" (Roadside Attractions) An Oceanic Preservation Society Production Nominees to be determined
"Food, Inc." (Magnolia Pictures) A Robert Kenner Films Production Robert Kenner and Elise Pearlstein
"The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers" A Kovno Communications Production Judith Ehrlich and Rick Goldsmith
"Which Way Home" A Mr. Mudd Production Rebecca Cammisa

Best documentary short subject
"China's Unnatural Disaster: The Tears of Sichuan Province" A Downtown Community Television Center Production Jon Alpert and Matthew O'Neill
"The Last Campaign of Governor Booth Gardner" A Just Media Production Daniel Junge and Henry Ansbacher
"The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant" A Community Media Production Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert
"Music by Prudence" An iThemba Production Roger Ross Williams and Elinor Burkett
"Rabbit à la Berlin" (Deckert Distribution) An MS Films Production Bartek Konopka and Anna Wydra

Achievement in film editing
"Avatar" (20th Century Fox) Stephen Rivkin, John Refoua and James Cameron
"District 9" (Sony Pictures Releasing) Julian Clarke
"The Hurt Locker" (Summit Entertainment) Bob Murawski and Chris Innis
"Inglourious Basterds" (The Weinstein Company) Sally Menke
"Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire" (Lionsgate) Joe Klotz

Best foreign language film of the year
"Ajami"(Kino International) An Inosan Production Israel
"El Secreto de Sus Ojos" (Sony Pictures Classics) A Haddock Films Production Argentina
"The Milk of Sorrow" A Wanda Visión/Oberon Cinematogràfica/Vela Production Peru
"Un Prophète" (Sony Pictures Classics) A Why Not/Page 114/Chic Films Production France
"The White Ribbon" (Sony Pictures Classics) An X Filme Creative Pool/Wega Film/Les Films du Losange/Lucky Red Production Germany

Achievement in makeup
"Il Divo" (MPI Media Group through Music Box) Aldo Signoretti and Vittorio Sodano
"Star Trek" (Paramount and Spyglass Entertainment) Barney Burman, Mindy Hall and Joel Harlow
"The Young Victoria" (Apparition) Jon Henry Gordon and Jenny Shircore

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original score)
"Avatar" (20th Century Fox) James Horner
"Fantastic Mr. Fox" (20th Century Fox) Alexandre Desplat
"The Hurt Locker" (Summit Entertainment) Marco Beltrami and Buck Sanders
"Sherlock Holmes" (Warner Bros.) Hans Zimmer
"Up" (Walt Disney) Michael Giacchino

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original song)
"Almost There" from "The Princess and the Frog" (Walt Disney) Music and Lyric by Randy Newman
"Down in New Orleans" from "The Princess and the Frog" (Walt Disney) Music and Lyric by Randy Newman
"Loin de Paname" from "Paris 36" (Sony Pictures Classics) Music by Reinhardt Wagner
Lyric by Frank Thomas
"Take It All" from "Nine" (The Weinstein Company) Music and Lyric by Maury Yeston
"The Weary Kind (Theme from Crazy Heart)" from "Crazy Heart" (Fox Searchlight) Music and Lyric by Ryan Bingham and T Bone Burnett

Best motion picture of the year
"Avatar" (20th Century Fox)
A Lightstorm Entertainment Production James Cameron and Jon Landau, Producers
"The Blind Side" (Warner Bros.)
An Alcon Entertainment Production Nominees to be determined
"District 9" (Sony Pictures Releasing)
A Block/Hanson Production Peter Jackson and Carolynne Cunningham, Producers
"An Education" (Sony Pictures Classics)
A Finola Dwyer/Wildgaze Films Production Finola Dwyer and Amanda Posey, Producers
"The Hurt Locker" (Summit Entertainment)
A Voltage Pictures Production Nominees to be determined
"Inglourious Basterds" (The Weinstein Company)
A Weinstein Company/Universal Pictures/A Band Apart/Zehnte Babelsberg Production Lawrence Bender, Producer
"Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire" (Lionsgate)
A Lee Daniels Entertainment/Smokewood Entertainment Production Lee Daniels, Sarah Siegel-Magness and Gary Magness, Producers
"A Serious Man" (Focus Features)
A Working Title Films Production Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, Producers
"Up" (Walt Disney)
A Pixar Production Jonas Rivera, Producer
"Up in the Air" (Paramount in association with Cold Spring Pictures and DW Studios)
A Montecito Picture Company Production Daniel Dubiecki, Ivan Reitman and Jason Reitman, Producers

Best animated short film
"French Roast"
A Pumpkin Factory/Bibo Films Production Fabrice O. Joubert
"Granny O'Grimm's Sleeping Beauty" (Brown Bag Films)
A Brown Bag Films Production Nicky Phelan and Darragh O'Connell
"The Lady and the Reaper (La Dama y la Muerte)"
A Kandor Graphics and Green Moon Production Javier Recio Gracia
"Logorama" (Autour de Minuit)
An Autour de Minuit Production Nicolas Schmerkin
"A Matter of Loaf and Death" (Aardman Animations)
An Aardman Animations Production Nick Park

Best live action short film
"The Door" (Network Ireland Television); An Octagon Films Production Juanita Wilson and James Flynn
"Instead of Abracadabra" (The Swedish Film Institute); A Directörn & Fabrikörn Production Patrik Eklund and Mathias Fjellström
"Kavi;" A Gregg Helvey Production Gregg Helvey
"Miracle Fish" (Premium Films); A Druid Films Production Luke Doolan and Drew Bailey
"The New Tenants;" A Park Pictures and M & M Production Joachim Back and Tivi Magnusson

Achievement in sound editing
"Avatar" (20th Century Fox) Christopher Boyes and Gwendolyn Yates Whittle
"The Hurt Locker" (Summit Entertainment) Paul N.J. Ottosson
"Inglourious Basterds" (The Weinstein Company) Wylie Stateman
"Star Trek" (Paramount and Spyglass Entertainment) Mark Stoeckinger and Alan Rankin
"Up" (Walt Disney) Michael Silvers and Tom Myers

Achievement in sound mixing
"Avatar" (20th Century Fox) Christopher Boyes, Gary Summers, Andy Nelson and Tony Johnson
"The Hurt Locker" (Summit Entertainment) Paul N.J. Ottosson and Ray Beckett
"Inglourious Basterds" (The Weinstein Company) Michael Minkler, Tony Lamberti and Mark Ulano
"Star Trek" (Paramount and Spyglass Entertainment) Anna Behlmer, Andy Nelson and Peter J. Devlin
"Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" (DreamWorks and Paramount in association with Hasbro, Distributed by Paramount) Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers and Geoffrey Patterson

Achievement in visual effects
"Avatar" (20th Century Fox) Joe Letteri, Stephen Rosenbaum, Richard Baneham and Andrew R. Jones
"District 9" (Sony Pictures Releasing) Dan Kaufman, Peter Muyzers, Robert Habros and Matt Aitken
"Star Trek" (Paramount and Spyglass Entertainment) Roger Guyett, Russell Earl, Paul Kavanagh and Burt Dalton

Adapted screenplay
"District 9" (Sony Pictures Releasing) Written by Neill Blomkamp and Terri Tatchell
"An Education" (Sony Pictures Classics) Screenplay by Nick Hornby
"In the Loop" (IFC Films) Screenplay by Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell, Armando Iannucci, Tony Roche
"Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire" (Lionsgate) Screenplay by Geoffrey Fletcher
"Up in the Air" (Paramount in association with Cold Spring Pictures and DW Studios) Screenplay by Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner

Original screenplay
"The Hurt Locker" (Summit Entertainment) Written by Mark Boal
"Inglourious Basterds" (The Weinstein Company) Written by Quentin Tarantino
"The Messenger" (Oscilloscope Laboratories) Written by Alessandro Camon & Oren Moverman
"A Serious Man" (Focus Features) Written by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
"Up" (Walt Disney) Screenplay by Bob Peterson, Pete Docter; Story by Pete Docter, Bob Peterson, Tom McCarthy

Monday, February 01, 2010

What Up with That?

Pardon the interruption for everyone searching for the recurring Saturday Night Live (SNL) sketch with Kenan Thompson called "What Up with That?" but this is one of those kind of "What Up with That?" situation. I can hear Kenan singing as I type.

At the University of Louisville, off-campus students are currently forced to pay $175 for a meal plan that they don't necessarily use. What up with that? Lawmakers are taking action to stop these sort of fees.
State lawmakers from Louisville have filed a bill that would prohibit public universities and colleges from implementing mandatory athletic and meal plan fees for commuter students.

The legislation, filed by three Louisville lawmakers, is in reaction a controversial plan that was implemented this fall by U of L. The university now requires all undergraduate students to have a meal plan, including commuters students who must pay $175 a semester.

“I think families and students can plan on paying for what their academic costs are, and that’s what they should be responsible for,” said state Rep. Joni Jenkins, a Democrat and the bill’s lead sponsor. “If students want to do anything above that, they can, but for kids who are planning and scrimping it’s bad enough that tuition keeps going up and up.”

State Reps. Mary Lou Marzian and Tim Firkins, both Democrats, also have signed on to the bill.

U of L students are expected to hold a press conference in support of the bill Monday.

The legislation would allow public universities and colleges to set fees that would help cover instructional and operations costs, including application, tuition, library, and residential housing and technology fees. However, it would prevent schools from collecting fees for athletics or meals from commuter students unless students voluntarily requested to participate in those programs.

Sana Abhari, a U of L senior majoring in political science, said students are hoping the bill will result in the repeal of the mandatory meal plan.

“I know of a big group of students who come to class and go home and never spend more than $10 a semester” on food and drinks, she said.

Abhari said students are already dealing with the high cost of education in the form of tuition, books and other living costs. She also said that the prices for on-campus food are inflated compared with what students can buy at local off-campus businesses. The university also did not seek enough student input on the proposed fee, she said. “Students are not very happy,” Abhari said.
Currently, Louisville is the only college in the state that forces such a fee on off-campus students.

Here is the status of the bill in the General Assembly.