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Hostless Oscars Lead to Mostly Uneventful Show: Review

2019 Oscars Recap and Review 
As I said in my Oscars preview, the biggest question of the night would be how the show would fare without a host for the first time in thirty years. Twitter seemed to think it fared very well, with many commenting on how smoothly the show went and some even hailing it as the best Oscar ceremony in years. However, I found it to be a little boring. Without a host, it lacked a certain energy. It just went from award to performance to award without much room to breathe. There weren't any big laughs or any cathartic moments. There were no montages or appearances that paid tribute to Hollywood history. Sure, it moved along at an efficient pace, but it felt business-like in a way. It's the Oscars, give us some pageantry!
The show kicked off with a performance by Queen and Adam Lambert, because Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody was up for several awards. That was a terrible idea. I understand that some people think Queen's music is good, but even they mu…
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Oscars 2019: Who Will Win?

2019 Oscar Preview and Predictions
The conversation around this year's Oscars has been more focused on the show itself rather than who the winners will be. After the outcry from the film community over changes that the Academy planned to make the ceremony last only three hours, the Academy has capitulated on most of those issues. All 24 categories will be shown live on TV, last year's acting winners will return as presenters, and all nominated songs will be performed. But somehow the show will still be only three hours. [Side note: Why are the producers obsessed with getting the show to be three hours? Do they think it being long is contributing to declining ratings? Well, the ceremony hasn't clocked in at under three hours since 1972. The show's been long for a lot longer than ratings have been going down. So let the Oscars be long. They should be long - there's a lot to do!]
Another aspect of this show that has been generating more buzz than the actual nominees …

The Ten Best TV Shows of 2018

Top Ten Television Shows of 2018
10. Escape at Dannemora (Showtime)I wasn't planning on watching Escape at Dannemora, but I'm glad I did. We already knew that Ben Stiller was talented at directing more than just comedy (yes, I'm standing up for The Secret Life of Walter Mitty) and he certainly delivers with this 7+ hour miniseries about a 2015 prison break. The pace is deliberate, slow, and it's exactly what this kind of material needs. It features great performances by Benicio del Toro and Paul Dano as the inmates who escape and an unrecognizable Patricia Arquette as the woman who helps them.  9. Love Island (ITV2 in the UK, Hulu in the US)Reality shows rarely make my top ten list, but when one becomes as much of an international sensation as Love Island, my interest is piqued. The fourth series of the British dating competition show managed to do just that by being an utterly insane exaggeration of every dating trope there is. Trash TV at its finest! 8. The Kids Are Alr…

The Ten Best films of 2018

Top Ten Films of 2018
10. Mission: Impossible - FalloutAction movies aren't really my thing. But I do like the Mission: Impossible franchise, and despite the fourth and fifth installment's veer toward the generic, the sixth one has emerged as a serious contender for the best M:I movie yet. The action sequences are genuinely, the script is smart, and the direction feels alive. Tom Cruise, of course, anchors the film, but it also has good moments for Ving Rhames, Rebecca Ferguson, Henry Cavill, Angela Basset, and soon-to-be-major-movie-star Vanessa Kirby.  9. TullyThe first of two Mary Poppins stories featured on this list, Tully has direction by Jason Reitman, a script by Diablo Cody, and a star in Charlize Theron (the three of whom proved to be excellent collaborators with 2011's Young Adult). A sober examination of motherhood, Tully is both charming and a little mean. But really it's a revealing fable about the passage of time.  8. The MuleClint Eastwood directed two mov…