2011 Spirit Awards Nominees Announced

In: Movies, Patrick

The nominations for the 2011 Independent Spirit Awards have been announced, giving us a sneak peak at what The Oscars may look like. First off, the co-host of The Oscars, James Franco may be in for an interesting evening, if he gets nominated for a Best Actor Academy Award like he did Best Male Lead in 127 Hours for the Spirit Awards. Anne Hathaway, his co-host, wasn’t nominated for Best Female Lead for Love & Other Drugs, to my surprise – but then again, I haven’t seen the rest of the movies to be able to compare her performance against the other leading ladies.

There are some pretty tough categories comprised of some high caliber talent. Winter’s Bone is apparently in season, coming out on top of the nominations, with seven in total, while other plural nominations were given to 127 Hours, Black Swan and The Kids Are All Right. The Independent Spirit Awards take place on February 26th and air live on IFC. The Academy Award nominations are announced on January 25th. Until then, we best get to watching all of these movies!

Check out the nominees for each of the main categories after the jump…

On the way up to Grouse Mountain this weekend, my cousin Shauna told me about an event that she would be co-hosting called Pacifica Beat, a fund-raising concert for the Pacifica Treatment Centre here in Vancouver. The event is being put on to not only promote hope and recovery but bring light to the disease of addiction.

I had to chance to talk with Kerry Dennehy, CEO of Pacifica Treatment Centre today to learn more about what Pacifica Treatment Centre is all about and what he hopes will come from this event.

“Pacifica Treatment Centre is the oldest co-ed treatment centre for addictions in the lower mainland and not a lot of people realize that. My goal as CEO is to raise the profile of addictions and destigmitize it so that more people will come forward and get treatment.”

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As reported earlier, Alicia Keys has convinced a few of her celebrity pals to play dead for a campaign to benefit her AIDS charity, Keep a Child Alive. The celebrities including Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake, Usher and a slew of other names have agreed to sign off all social media platforms starting today in honor of World Aids Day. They have collectively vowed to keep their online personas “dead” until people “buy” their lives back and raise $1,000,000 for Key’s charity.

As part of the campaign, some of the celebrities posed for pictures depicting themselves dead in white silk/satin-lined coffins. Others filmed a last “tweet and testament” video clip posted on YouTube. I wonder how fast the charity will raise the funds. For the celebrities’ sake, I hope sooner rather than later. I think a few of them will be going through some major tech withdrawals. Lady Gaga alone, has more than 7.2 million Twitter followers and 24 million fans on Facebook and probably could raise that amount in a day. Check out a few of the death portraits below.

view other celebrities dying for the cause after the jump

The other day, I added the Pendleton Roll-Up Blanket to our 2010 Holiday Gift Guide. Keeping in line with the in case of emergency theme, I bring you another awesome gift idea for the man in your life. Energizer’s “All-In-One Charger” is a versatile three-in-one tool to help you out in those unexpected emergency stops. Why not give the gift of peace of mind for your loved ones this season. This is the ultimate choice.

There’s nothing worse than getting stuck in the middle of nowhere with a flat tire or dead battery. With Energizer’s new product, that can be solved with the greatest of ease. The “All-In-One Charger” features an air compressor to inflate tires, a jumpstarter, and an inverter so you can power devices via its AC and DC outlets. Can we say amazing? With it’s compact and ergonomic design, you can simply store this in your car or cabin until it’s required. Heck you can even proudly put it on display- it’s that pretty.

view product features after the jump

Well, that was a bit of a letdown. After last week’s UH-MAZING episode, Glee’s ninth episode of Season 2 felt disjointed and contrived. Even when you compare it to last year’s phenomenal “Sectionals” episode, it falls extremely flat. Titled “Special Eduction“, the show was definitely “special” but not in a good way.

The episode began with Emma using some silly metaphor about the kids being stars and shining brightly, blah, blah, blah. Whether Will felt Emma’s advice was sage, or it was his lame attempt to suck up to her, he followed it. With just a few days to go to the ever-important Sectionals, he switches the line-up. WTF??? While it was nice to see some of the secondary characters receive the spotlight for a change, their numbers lacked that oomph that made you stand up and take notice like last year’s set.

Tonight saw the debut of Kurt at Dalton Academy. Hands up if you’re already bored with this story. I just hope the writers expedite Kurt’s eventual return to McKinley High with Blaine in tow, sooner rather than later. Kurt may not be bullied there, but he’s severely stifled creatively at Dalton, which is worse.

In Glee couples news, Emma out of nowhere married John Stamos (I would to) in an impromptu quickie wedding. Meanwhile, New Directions’ power couple, Rachel and Finn had serious relationship drama. Santana let her the cat out of the bag (literally) regarding her devirginizing Finn. As you would expect, Rachel took it badly and had a revenge make-out session with Puck (you go girl). In the end, it looks like Rachel and Finn are headed to splitsville. With Mercedes being the only single girl in Glee, could a Finn/Mercedes hookup be in the works? Or maybe new Glee’r Lauren (love her) will fill in Rachel’s spot.

watch this week’s performances after the jump

TV TalkBack: Caprica Series Finale

In: Patrick, TV Shows

Well, tonight wrapped up the science fiction prequel Caprica, which told the story of what the world was like prior to Battlestar Galactica and how the evolution of machine humanity there. The story took place 58 years prior to when Battlestar Galactica begins. Unfortunately, Caprica didn’t get picked up by Sci-Fy and the story got cut way too short for my liking. On October 27, 2010, Syfy canceled the show due to low ratings it pulled the remaining five episodes of the series. That being said, the remaining episodes are going to be released on DVD in December 2010 and will also air in a marathon from 6:00pm Eastern/5:00pm Central to 11:00 pm Eastern/10:00 pm Central on January 4, 2011. I’ll definitely be tuning in for that. If anything, it’s now made me eager to rewatch the entire series of Battlestar Galactica – and I never rewatch entire series.

In this wrap up episode, Daniel Greystone and his wife do whatever they can to prevent Clarice with the follow through of her plans. They succeed, but little do they know of the evolution of the machine that they’ve created and what lies ahead. We get a preview of what’s to come with their daughter Zoe having a “rebirth” and coming aback to life as a human looking …cylon.

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Book Review: Catching Fire

In: Dan, Random Reads, The Arts

I recently read and posted a review for Suzanne Collins’ novel, The Hunger Games, and if you have a scan through that post you’ll come to realize that the original book in the series has been one of my most favourite books in the last few months. The Hunger Games is a three-part series, including the focal point of this review, Catching Fire, and the second book in the trilogy.

To say that I have been completely swept up by Collins’ words would be an understatement. The plotline of this series had me within the first few pages of the Hunger Games and I have been longing to find out what the next two books have in store for the protagonist, Katniss Everdeen. For the sake of my loyal readers, I have often tried to mix up the books in my to-read list, as I want to ensure that I don’t get caught up in a series and have nothing new to get you all excited about. Unfortunately with this series you’ll simply have to bear with me as I have now finished the second book and I intend to pick up exactly where I left off with the third (and final) book in the series.

Catching fire jumps immediately back into the AMAZING storyline of Katniss Everdeen who has recently won The Hunger Games and in an extraordinary twist of fate, her fellow district competitor, Peeta, has also been crowned victor. This seemingly simple twist of fate was made possible through impeccable dexterity and willingness to outsmart those individuals in charge of The Hunger Games. I apologize now, if you haven’t read the original book than that minute description will make no sense. My recommendation is that you start with the first book and catch up quickly. Katniss has just returned back to her home district, district 12, to her mother and sister, and the love of her life (yet she won’t admit it even to herself), Gale (yes, a man named Gale).

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First Listen: The Black Eyed Peas “The Beginning”

In: Music, Tyrell

Today, The Black Eyed Peas released their 6th studio album (4th album with Fergie) entitled The Beginning. The lead off single from the album is The Time (Dirty Bit) which peaked at #12 on Billboard’s Hot 100 but has since fallen one spot down to #13. In Canada however, the song is #1 after 4 weeks on the Canadian Hot 100. In lieu of their album release comes the opportunity to perform at this year’s SuperBowl Halftime Show which will air on February 6th. With all of the talks about their upcoming tour, I can only imagine what limits this group will push to make the show memorable for football fans everywhere.

I snagged the album on iTunes this morning to give it a listen. I have to admit that The Time isn’t one of my favorite songs right now. I enjoy the little sample of a Dirty Dancing classic, but it leaves a little something to be desired for me. I will say that with their performance at the AMA’s, the song grew on me. I think its going to have be one of those songs I only enjoy in the club and not anywhere else.

Preview the album after the jump…

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