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Oscar Nominees 2010

I know I am totally behind on my analysis of this year’s Oscar Nominations — my friend James calls me the king of day old new lately — but Greta is about midway through her first winter cold, and, wow, what an all-consuming adventure that has been. Seriously, I’ve never seen so much snot…

And, ironically enough, that kinda describes how I feel about this year’s crop of nominees. I mean, there were a few cool surprises (Maggie Gyllenhaal earning her first nod for “Crazy Heart” and the always-deserving Jeremy Renner pulling an upset Best Actor nod for “The Hurt Locker”) but overall, most of the big award-magnet movies this year left me pretty cold.

“Up in the Air” was a total snooze, I really dug the ladies in that movie — both of whom scored well-deserved Supporting Actress nods — but I kinda hated George Clooney’s character and the too-cool glibness of the script sealed my hatred of the film. Same thing with “Precious”. Mo’Nique and Gabourey Sidibe were fantastic and deserve every award that comes their way, but the movie itself was a glorified (if R-rated) after-school special. Snooze…

The Coen Brother’s latest outing “A Serious Man” was another one of their crazy, impenetrable disappointments. Seriously, does anyone know what the hell that movie is about? I sure don’t, and I’ve watched parts of it twice! The fact that this shiny turd of a movie scored a Best Screenplay nod and a Best Picture nomination makes me think the Academy sees the brother’s names on the ballot every year and just checks them off out of habit. I mean, come on, guys, you don’t  have to nominate EVERY movie they make! Urgh…

Now, with my least favorite nominess out of the way, let me get to the movies I did love. “Inglorious Basterds” was freaking amazing. Not only did it look great, but the cast rocked — the insanely-good Christoph Waltz is a lock to win Best Supporting Actor and he totally deserves it! — and the script was incredible. Tense, dramatic and funny as hell, “Basterds” is probably Tarantino’s best movie so far, and being a QT fan from way back, that is really saying something.

Also loved Sandra Bullock in “The Blind Side” and was thrilled to see the movie recognized in the Best Picture category as well. I told Christine after we saw it that if there was any justice in the world, “The Blind Side” would be nominated for Best Picture, and, well, I guess justice ruled supreme on Tuesday. I kid you not, amigos, this is one the best Hollywood movies in years, so, congrats to everyone involved.

Also very glad to see Jeff Bridges in the race again for “Crazy Heart”. Bridges has served his time, and unless Renner pulls a major Adrien Brody-style upset, he is totally gonna win Best Actor this year. Bridges didn’t just play that character, he WAS that character. Awesome, awesome work!

Scoring her 16th nomination this year, Meryl Streep positively soared as Julia Child in “Julie & Julia”, and is probably the only genuine competition Sandra Bullock has in the Best Actress race. I’m hoping for another tie, but, barring that…it’s gonna be a squeaker.

Glad to see the Academy finally giving sci-fi some respect this year as well. I haven’t seen “District 9” yet, but the fact that a little indie geekfest like that scored so many nods — including those for Best Picture and Screenplay! — is very exciting for a sci-fi geek like me! Go, aliens!

And speaking of sci-fi, I gotta hand it to nutty old James Cameron, man, “Avatar” was incredible. Unlike the rest of the world, I hadn’t seen the movie until last night, and I was completely blown away.

I was so prepared to hate those freaky, blue bastards, but, wow, was I wrong. “Avatar” has more heart and soul in it’s weakest parts than several of the other nominees combined. And the effects? Gorgeous! Trust me, you have never seen anything like this movie before, and though it will face some stiff competition from “The Hurt Locker” in most of the major categories, I have a feeling “Avatar” will break the sci-fi curse by winning Best Picture. Yep, it’s that good.

Ooo…also very excited to see Stanley Tucci finally joining the Oscar Nominee club with his creepy turn as a murderous pedophile in “The Lovely Bones”. I really loved the movie and even though it was pretty much shut out everywhere else, was very glad to hear Tucci’s named called on Tuesday morning. Same thing with Tucci’s fellow first-time nominee, Christopher Plummer.

Yes, you read that correctly…Captain Von Trapp himself has never been nominated for an Oscar. Shocking, huh? And, even though I hear “The Last Station” is a total snoozefest, I gotta say, rock on Mr. Edelweiss!

And finally, though I have yet to see it, I was very pleased to see “An Education” score not only a Best Picture nomination, but also a Screenplay nod for Nick Hornby! Hornby is one of my favorite novelist, so, I’m guessing the script rocks. But either way, kudos to you, Señor Hornby!

To see the complete printable list of this year’s Oscar Nominees, click here. And, as always, dying to hear what you guys think of the nominated movies and such, so, fire away!

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Ben & Jerry’s newest flavor: Imagine Whirled Peace

Christine has always favored Ben & Jerry’s over all other ice creams, and even though I must admit to being much more of a Baskin Robbins man myself, I do love me some sweet, socially-conscious Ben & Jerry’s sometimes too.

Their Chunky Monkey kind of slays me…it’s amazing. And Christine actually fought a woman to the death for the last pint of Cherry Garcia at Vons one time. Yeah, um…we don’t talk about that much…

The thing I dig most about Ben & Jerry’s is that they make great gourmet ice cream for a cause, several of them in fact, and yet despite the often serious nature of the causes they morph into flavors, the company maintains a cool, cheeky sense of humor. Who else but those crazy hippies from Vermont could take a cause as noble as ONE.org’s campaign to “make poverty history” and make it into ONE Cheesecake Brownie?

Haven’t tried that one yet, but man, that is just hilarious. So when we heard that Ben & Jerry’s were creating a new flavor to honor John Lennon’s lifelong commitment to the peace movement, we were all over that shit!

Launched in Times Square on May 27th, Imagine Whirled Peace is caramel and sweet cream ice cream swirled with fudge peace signs and toffee cookie pieces. And, man alive, is it delicious!

Even cooler than the ice cream is the way it was introduced to the world. Staging a recreation of Lennon and Yoko Ono’s famous “bed-ins for Peace” with super cool actress Maggie Gyllenhaal, B&J’s co-founder Jerry Greenfield and Jeremy Gilley, founder of Peace One Day, Imagine Whirled Peace was literally launched from bed. How cool is that?

As always, a portion of the profits go towards the Peace One Day foundation, which was started by Gilley to keep the peace movement alive in today’s crazy world. Peace One Day events are celebrated annually on September 21st.

And while she wasn’t there in person to launch the flavor, Lennon’s widow, Yoko Ono did provide a statement for the event that supposedly brought down the house…er, bedroom. “Make peace — a dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality.” Wow, almost me wanna run out and buy more some ice cream…nicely put Yoko!

And while I gotta admit that I was not initially turned on by the actual ingredients in the flavor, one bite of that toffee cookie dough goodness changed my mind immediately. Imagine Whirled Peace is straight-up fantastic! And though I usually find large chunks of chocolate in ice cream to be too hard, those tasty little peace signs literally melt in your mouth. Must be the fudge factor.

So even if you don’t eat it in bed, I urge you to check out the links above, help make a difference and most of all, as Lennon famously encouraged us to do with peace, give this flavor a change, baby. You’ll love it!

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