Posts By Jonathan Durbin

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Oscars 2008: An Evening Of Stars, Statues & Surprises (Sort Of)

At the 80th annual Academy Awards last night, there were a few upsets: Marion Cotillard (La Vie En Rose) was named Best Actress, taking the honor from the heavily favored Julie Christie (Away From Her); similarly, Tilda Swinton (Michael Clayton) took home Best Supporting Actress, despite conventional wisdom holding that the award belonged to Amy Ryan (Gone Baby Gone). Kudos to Swinton, it must be said, for managing to reference George Clooney’s hugely embarrassing, be-nippled turn as Batman in her acceptance speech.

Elsewhere, as expected, the Coen brothers took home Best Picture, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay for No Country For Old Men. Daniel Day-Lewis won Best Actor for his portrayal of Daniel Plainview in There Will Be Blood. Javier Bardem took Best Supporting Actor for his role as Anton Chigurh in No Country For Old Men. Overnight success-story Diablo Cody won Best Original Screenplay for Juno. And Daily Show host Jon Stewart kept the evening’s proceedings running smoothly, gently cracking wise at the audience’s expense.

There were very few stand-out moments, but our favorite had to be Stewart’s dissection of Democratic Party presidential candidate Barack Hussein Obama’s name (Hussein recalling Saddam Hussein; Obama recalling Osama). When he referenced the ill-fated 1944 presidential campaign of Gaydolph Titler, we laughed. A lot.

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Oscars Parodies: No Country For Old Men Keeps On Winning

In case you’ve somehow forgotten about Sunday night’s Academy Awards broadcast, we’re here to remind you that practically everyone with a computer has been offering their predictions online. That includes George Clooney: Mr. Suave sat down with Time magazine to tell them who he thinks will win. (His guesses seem pretty accurate.) In the midst of all this, however, you might have also forgotten about that other art-form generated by all this Oscar-buzz: the parody. Our tireless reporters here scoured the Interweb to find funny versions of the films nominated for Best Picture. Laugh a little — it’s Friday.

No Country For Old Men is good . . . but is it this good?

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Human Giant Returns, Rob Huebel Cuts Off Genitals to Celebrate

MTV’s popular sketch comedy series Human Giant returns for a second season on March 11, and we’re waiting with baited breath. Those guys are funny. In the meantime, the boys have released this clip, in which Rob Huebel cuts off his penis with garden shears. It’s safe for work, if also slightly nauseating. Enjoy, comedy lovers!

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Paris Hilton Banned From Oscars

paris_oscar_150×225.jpg That’s right: According to DListed, America’s poor little rich girl isn’t going to the Academy Awards on Sunday because she’s not allowed. Sources report: “She cried hot, salty tears when she was banned from the Oscars. She’s desperate to be taken seriously as an actress and hoped she would be able to network with film executives.” Given Hilton’s track record at the box office, we’re amazed at her chutzpah.

Let’s take a walk down memory lane, shall we? Let’s start with 2002′s Nine Lives, a thriller about a group of friends stranded in a Scottish mansion who awaken an ancient spirit . . . and wind up dying one by one. In that straight-to-DVD number, Paris played Paris. She was killed first, if memory serves, which was a blessing — her non-acting was too much to take. Then there was 2005′s House of Wax, another slasher, in which Paris also died, this time impaled through the forehead by a steel pole. While almost certainly a better film than Nine Lives, House of Wax was still so terrible that it earned a rating of 26% on Rotten Tomatoes. Impressive. And, most recently, there was The Hottie and the Nottie, a film that was so excruciatingly bad it only made $28,000 on its opening weekend. (Besides the Hilton family and the fanatics at Best Week Ever, who else went? ‘Fess up!)

When will Paris figure out that a career in film isn’t meant for her? To be fair, there are others in the same boat: Madonna, for instance, someone who actually is an entertainer, still thinks she can be an actress. Those of us who suffered through Swept Away would like to inform her otherwise. Perhaps Paris is bristling at her hostile reception by Hollywood’s power players? We can’t possibly imagine what she’s done that would make anyone think ill of her. Oh, wait. We forgot about the DUI, the jail drama, the sex tape, the shameless apology, the crocodile tears, the fragrance, The Simple Life and Nicole Richie. Maybe that’s what the Oscars are balking at — for some reason the Academy Awards still want to be taken seriously. Imagine that.

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Perez and Pink Talk Dirty

Perez Hilton, the self-proclaimed Queen of All Media, is a diva-lover (and yes, he’s something of a diva himself, too). On his upcoming VH1 special, What Perez Says About Divas, the celebrity blogger gets down to the roots of diva behavior, interviewing household names like Tori Amos, Stevie Nicks and Elton John, who’s really a divo, but let’s not split hairs. The show doesn’t premiere until Tuesday, but in the meantime we can show you this clip, in which Perez sits down to talk turkey with Pink and Dolly Parton. Pink is a motorcycle-punk kind of diva — actually, as we find out here, Pink owns a motorcycle and likes to ride it naked. On the other hand, Dolly Parton is a “nice” diva, at least until Perez begs her to whip him. She does, with only the sort of charm that Dolly Parton can muster. If you can’t get enough, tune in Tuesday, February 19 at 10 p.m. (EST). In the meantime, allow the video above to quell your jones.

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American Idol Contestants Party

The new crop of American Idol kids hit the red carpet at a party in L.A. last night. The top 24 took the stress off by partying at a club called the Day After. Just a thought: If you were about to embark on a grueling singing competition, would you really want to party at a place called the Day After? Seems a little ominous, somehow, no?

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Japanese Fat Cat Needs To Lose Weight

For no other reason than sheer hilarious cuteness, we present you this video of an extremely fat cat from Japan. This cat is so fat that he can’t scratch his own ear. According to the rough translation of the audio at Daily Motion, the cat’s name is Papi Chan. He’s as heavy as a two-year-old baby. He’s so lazy that he relaxes when his owner gives him a shower — even though cats hate water. His owner is worried about the cat’s weight and health, and so decides to force him to exercise. As the mangled translation reads:

“Papi chan wont ever move, even when there is a ‘neko jarashii’ (a cat toy) he will only look at it.. He will really not move! if he will stay like this, it is worrysome.. DIET STRATEGY! First is the Pet running machine, this way it can be done easily, let’s try it! It looks not like running machine, but now a pet conveyer! Wow! He Moved! Oh.. He runs away.. Billy’s Boot Camp! Papi chan’s reaction.. wow, he’s watching, he’s watching! Then, his neck begin to move.. Good job! Then with just moving the neck.. he falls asleep.”

Seriously, watch until the cat is on the treadmill. You will not be sorry.

More Japanese fat cats after the jump.

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Oscars Flashback: South Park In Drag

The writers’ strike is over and the Academy Awards are on. To prep for the broadcast, VH1 assembled a show of Oscar’s top moments — the remarkable, heart-warming and totally bizarre show-stealing-scenes from Awards past. See the clip above, for instance, wherein fashion-conscious South Park co-creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker dressed in drag for the 2000 Oscars. They were mocking Gwyneth Paltrow and Jennifer Lopez respectively, poking fun at the Academy’s self-serious mien, and they actually achieved a laugh-out-loud moment. Others on the list include Cuba Gooding Jr.’s over-the-top acceptance speech for Jerry Maguire, Angelina Jolie making out with her brother and the streaker in 1974 who bared all to billions around the globe. The show airs tomorrow night at 9 p.m., but in the meantime, check out this gallery of moments past. And get prepped: It’s almost Oscar-time.

VH1′s 20 Greatest Oscars Moments premieres tomorrow night at 9 p.m. (EST).

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Ellen Page Is Going to Hell

ellenpage.jpgHow do you follow up your starring role in 2007′s surprise indie hit? Apparently if you’re Ellen Page, you announce plans to work with Spider-Man director Sam Raimi on a horror film called Drag Me to Hell. The film is about an unsuspecting person dealing with a supernatural curse, or so says IMDB. Raimi’s previous films include Evil Dead, Evil Dead 2 and Army of Darkness (aka Evil Dead 3), so the news, at least on his end, isn’t that extraordinary. No, what’s remarkable here is that Page, the sharp-witted Canadian press darling who brought Juno such widespread acclaim is going to . . . uh, scream for her supper. We hadn’t pegged her as the sort to trade in her credibility that quickly, so either there’s something seriously twisted going on with Raimi’s film, or Page is aiming to make herself into the next Jessica Alba. In the meantime, however, she’s nominated for Best Actress at this year’s Academy Awards. If she takes home the honor, she’ll pretty much be able to write her own ticket, at least temporarily. We wonder if she sees a lot of horror in her future. Weird.

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Fashion Week Frenzy: Monique Lhuillier’s Oscar Gowns

lhuillier.jpgFashion Week is all about finery in one form or another. There are high-end designers and then there are super-high-end designers, not to mention couture designers, reality-TV designers, designers who support other designers, and, of course, design students. Into this fray stepped Monique Lhuillier, whose collection managed to be flashy without sacrificing elegance. (And if you think that’s easy, you try to sew a bodice out of peacock feathers — and make it look cool.) Avid fans of America’s Most Smartest Model will probably remember Lhuillier from her guest-judging position on that show’s finale, in which V.J. triumphed over Andre. Her show this season defined class with the sort of eveningwear that’s really only meant for red carpets. Lucky for Lhuillier, the Academy Awards (and the Grammys, sure) are coming up later this month. In attendance were Sophia Bush, Lipstick Jungle‘s Kim Raver, Joy Bryant, and our own Mary Alice Stephenson. More after the jump.

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