In the South we call it a "country good-bye," that long, drawn out, lingering at the door, endlessly recapping conversation that happens when people need to hit the road, but would really rather stay and keep visiting.
We'll spare you the Gold Rush version of this co-dependent social interaction.
The blog, started 16 months ago, is going on hiatus after nearly 1,000 posts and coverage of events big and small. It bowled right through Emmy, Oscar, Grammy, MTV Movie Awards, Bravo's A-list, every Spike sci-fi and video game kudofest, country music lovefest and BET thank-God-fest.
Wasn't that fun? And wasn't it awesome that the best picture really did win the Academy Award this year?
Never mind that it pretty clearly says, "Year-Round Awards Blog" right up there on the masthead. The times they are a-changin' -- and that logo will have to change with them.
A number of awards blogs are seasonal, and THR is joining those ranks, planning to bring Gold Rush back in the fall in time for the launch of multimillion-dollar awards campaigns for, oh who knows, Quentin Tarantino's Nazi hunt, "Inglourious Basterds," Martin Scorsese's adaptation of Dennis Lehane's "Shutter Island," Johnny Depp's mobster drama, "Public Enemies," or Peter Jackson's much-anticipated version of "The Lovely Bones."
Plenty of movies to look forward to this year -- the next "Twilight!" "Monsters vs. Aliens!" -- and the boxoffice is already off to an amazing start (we're referring to this as the "Paul Blart" Effect). Oscar season 2010 should be packed, packed, with worthy choices and, if we're lucky, at least a few contenders, a la "The Reader," for us to hate on.
Until then, you can always read our voluminous archives. Just kidding. May we suggest a daily dose of Risky Business for your movie fix and The Live Feed for all-things-television. And, keeping it in the Nielsen family, we'll be spouting on BrandFreak, where you can keep up on quirky, weird, effective and lousy tactics that corporate America uses to get you to buy stuff you don't need. Unless, of course, it's entertainment. We all need that right now, maybe more than ever.
LiLo cleaned up at last year's Razzie Awards, winning worst screen couple and worst actress (twice!) for the parts she played in "I Know Who Killed Me." She was a good girl and her evil twin, and they both sucked.
By Razzie standards, she was so successful in her first foray into genre work that the movie swept nearly every category of the annual dishonors. It was named worst film, worst remake or rip-off, worst director, worst screenplay and worst excuse for a horror flick. "Norbit" gave it a little run for its money, but not really.
So casting Lindsay Lohan in the remake of the '80s classic, "Nightmare on Elm Street"? Perfection!
The Michael Bay/Platinum Dunes flick just signed a director, music vid and commercial veteran Samuel Bayer, and word leaked from one of the producers today that LiLo had been cast.
Alas, it's not to be.
Hat tip to Defamer for catching the story, and to Just Jared for redacting the whole thing yet leaving it readable, complete with quotes from the producer. Somebody made it all up? Somebody spoke out of school? Everybody changed their minds? Who knows, but it's a juicy bit of entertainment for a rainy Friday afternoon. Enjoy!
Take the subject line of an e-mail we got recently with this plaintive phrase: "Has it come to this?"
Our young and idealistic commenter, who's worked in the indie film business for a few years, had watched a series of videos with your resident Gold Rusher and other awards journalists yammering about who's likely to win Little Gold Men on Feb. 22.
The hot air talk often circled back to the campaigning that happens on the way to the Oscars, and that's what really bothered the aspiring movie maker and entertainment buff.
To wit: "I was struck by how the conversation regarding what actor or film would win in their respective category focused mainly on factors outside of said performance in itself. I had a general understanding of 'the politics' that are involved in Oscar wins, and I'm aware of past wins that seemed to be a clear reflection of something aside from an individual performance (Nicole Kidman and Morgan Freeman come to mind in their 'wins' which seemed based on their respective careers vs. what they did in the films they were nominated for).
"So suffice to say I'm not entirely naive when it comes to why people win an Oscar for a film. But it was borderline depressing listening to your panel as you all discussed why an actor or film would or would not win. Have the Oscars always operated this way or has politics become a stronger influence in the passing years?"
It might be easy to dismiss our new friend, Carlo, for being a little sheltered when it comes to the bare-knuckled full-contact sport that is The Awards Hunt. Or to just blame Oscar tsunami Harvey Weinstein for everything and move on.
But we feel like Carlo has a point, and he's probably indicative of a lot of people out there who love entertainment but are grossed out when they get a peek into how the Oscar sausage is made (and we're not talking the Governor's Ball/Wolfgang Puck variety).
That last-minute surprise best picture nod for "The Reader?" See above: Weinstein. The surge of Viola Davis in the supporting actress race? Along with a brief but memorable performance, she's been tirelessly and charmingly working the circuit, gathering steam along the way. Same goes double for Mickey Rourke, who's nipping at Sean Penn's heels for best actor.
It's warfare, complete with battle plans and tactical executions that even awards veteran Meryl Streep finds distasteful. With this being the new reality, why do any of us wonder why average fans don't follow the awards race and won't bother to tune in to the broadcast?
The folks who populate TV shows and the series themselves will have more of a chance to get nominated for Emmys, according to a rejiggered rule at the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. There will now be six actors and six shows in the top categories, instead of five, for the first time since the awards started in 1949.
So, that's the good news.
The bad news, say some longtime Emmy pundits, is that the lists will be the same-old, same-old. The nominees will be the behemoths of TV, the most popular shows and performers, with little chance for the underdogs.
Nods for such actors, which turned into wins this past fall, as Bryan Cranston, the center of the decidedly off-center "Breaking Bad," and Zjelko Ivanek, the defense attorney whose ethics got the better of him in "Damages," aren't likely to happen.
That's because of another rule change. It disbands what might sound like a layer of bureaucracy in the form of blue ribbon panels. In fact, though, those groups existed to try to give a leg up to the ratings challenged, the daring, the fresh and the new.
The reason for this change? Money, says the Academy. Lack of backbone, says GoldDerby's Tom O'Neil.
We say that any tinkering with the nomination process that will shut out risk-taking programs and little seen but excellent performances is the wrong way to go.
The head honcho at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said today that there are "many, many risks" involved in retooling the Oscar telecast, as its new producers have promised to do.
Ganis shared his apparent nail-biting at the annual Oscar nominee luncheon (hat tip to the Carpetbagger's blog for noting it), where producer tag-team Larry Mark and Bill Condon didn't make any further pronouncements about their tear-down and rebuild of the three-hour live show.
Is that still happening?
Or will we be stuck with the same bloated, montage-heavy, foot-dragging stiff and canned spectacle we've had forever, the type that sank to a record-low 32 million viewers a year ago?
If the Academy cares anything about ratings -- and it does -- it will take a cue from the recent presidential election. How about some change we can believe in, Sid?
The lone cheerleader for "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" as the best picture Oscar winner surrounded by a pack of rabid "Slumdog" fans -- such was the scene today for your resident Gold Rusher on an Oscar roundtable at the L.A. Times, sticking up for the technologically amazing, weepy wonder that is "Button" while a bunch of awards bloggers/film critics -- OK, there were just four -- extolled the virtues of the Mumbai orphan-makes-good love story.
Truth is, we completely agree that it's a thrilling, gorgeous, fresh, unforgettable movie. It's just not Oscar.
Important caveat: If and when "Slumdog" cleans up at the various guild awards this weekend, we'll have to be prepared to rethink our decision. So much for the courage of our convictions but, hey, there is a batting average to consider here.
The purpose of the panel, organized by TheEnvelope.com's Tom O'Neil, was to discuss what will win, not what each participant hopes will win or thinks should win. To that end, The Envelope's Buzzmeter prognosticators O'Neil, Scott Feinberg (Feinberg Files), Pete Hammond (Notes on a Season) and Greg Ellwood (Hitfix) said it doesn't matter that the Academy voters weren't hip enough to give "The Dark Knight" an invitation to The Big Show. They'll go for the $14 million Hindi-laced drama that nearly went straight to DVD.
We, on the obstinate hand, still see them leaning toward the super "Gump"-y epic based on the work of a quintessential American writer, however loosely "Button" adheres to F. Scott Fitzgerald's short story. And, we get it that there's a brewing "Button" backlash -- people have called it maudlin and sappy. (Full disclosure: We cried at "Bolt" so maybe we're not the best judge of movie manipulation. Resistance, for us, can be futile).
Even Stephen Colbert got in a back-handed compliment during his intro last night, congratulating "Button" on its 13 nominations by saying, "See? Americans do support torture."
Come back later for a link to the roundtable, where most everyone agreed that Robert Downey Jr. can't win, that Kate Winslet can't lose and that "Gran Torino" should've opened a week earlier (and cast some real actors).
Who can get enough of the Pivs and his mercury poisoning story? Not us, and not the National Fisheries Institute, which couldn't sit idly by and let triple-Emmy-owner and former sushi addict Jeremy Piven's claims on "Good Morning, America" go unanswered.
The original video clip of the Pivs and Diane Sawyer, which has already been widely posted and sniggered at, now contains "MST3K"-style counterpoints from the NFI, a trade group that aims to educate folks about fish and seafood and operates a Web site where we just picked up a lovely scallops thermador recipe.
Just so happens there's other Piv news today. The producers of "Speed-the-Plow," the play that Piven left two months early because of his debilitating fish diet, have filed a grievance against him with the Broadway union, Actors' Equity. The mad. The real mad.
And lastly, in a stroke of marketing genius centered around another of Piven's passions, a company called EzText has offered the "Entourage" star a cool $1 million to be their spokesman. Why? Because he's a poster boy for sending out mass texts.
Says the company:
"Last week, Jeremy Piven proved that text messaging is a pop culture staple by sending a mass late-night 'booty call' to a group of attractive females, offering a hot date to the first respondent. With the click of a (send) button, Piven established mass texting as the easiest and most effective way to communicate, giving celebs access to hoards of adoring fans."
Apparently it worked, says the New York Daily News.
No word from Piven's camp if he'll become their new shill.
Let's skip right to the bottom, shall we, because is there any need, really, to tell everybody that critics at Rotten Tomatoes loved (loved!) "WALL-E," "The Dark Knight," "Iron Man," "Kung Fu Panda" and "Tropic Thunder?"
Much more fun to see in cold-hard-number detail what they hated in 2008.
Those flicks have been pelted by Moldy Tomatoes by the go-to review aggregator, as opposed to the 10th Annual Golden Tomato Awards that "WALL-E" and its ilk have won. Too-bad-to-be-good movies include four that ranked 0% on the famous Tomatometer, but only one could be deemed the worst of the worst. That's "One Missed Call" (pictured above), causing Larry the Cable guy and his "Witless Protection" (at No. 4) to no doubt cry foul. (There's still chance for a Razzie! Keep hope alive, dude!)
The cellar-dweller 10 contains -- shock! -- the video game-based medieval mess and Razzie party favor, "In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale," saying it featured "mostly wooden performances, laughable dialogue and shoddy production values" and, for the final kick in the solar plexus, "it fulfills all expectations of an Uwe Boll film." (And for those of you, like us, who may want to throw his name around in vain, it's pronounced oo-vay).
The well-trafficked Rotten Tomatoes has a number of categories for its year-end tallies, including wide release, drama, family, sci-fi/fantasy and romance that could serve as a guide for the next trip to the video store or the VOD channels.
At the top of the limited release category sits "Man on Wire," a spellbinding documentary about the wacky Frenchman Phillippe Petit and his highly illegal 1974 tightrope walk between the Twin Towers. It scored 100%, and it's on a major awards roll right now. Oscar, here it comes!
On the other hand, the Golden Tomato picks put the spotlight on films that may not be Serious Awards Contenders or even boxoffice hits. A largely overlooked doc, "Bigger, Stronger, Faster," made the best-of list (with a 97% favorable Tomato rating), and we can only hope such an endorsement will spur movie fans to seek out the pointed and poignant tale of steroids set against one family's doping experiences.
It's six weeks until the Oscars and veteran blogger David Poland over at Movie City News is bored. Bored stiff!
Why? Because there weren't that many good movies in '08, to start with, and even a "surprise" nomination for Clint Eastwood and/or his good-neighbor drama "Gran Torino" would fail to get Poland's blood circulating.
Expected nods for Anne Hathaway, Danny Boyle, Christopher Nolan, even newcomer Viola Davis -- no shockers among that crew, Poland says. "WALL-E" in the best picture category, Richard Jenkins for best actor and Michael Shannon for best supporting -- now that's something to get excited about.
Since we have both Gold Rush Q&A victims Jenkins and Shannon among our Oscar nominees -- looking at this race, as we do, from as much a fan perspective as an "official" prognosticator -- we agree with Poland on that score. But not on his overall, overwhelming sense of ennui.
We think there's still plenty of juice left in this derby.
Just seeing "The Dark Knight" get a best picture nod, even though it's seeming more and more like a foregone conclusion, will be a thrill for a number of reasons. (Topline: Comic book flicks and Major Awards don't usually mix). Watching just-christened Golden Globe winner Sally Hawkins go toe-to-toe with a veteran A-lister like Meryl Streep, which we honestly think could happen, will be a highlight of the season.
"Slumdog" vs. "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button?" David vs. Goliath? Come on, there's heat there.
A win by "Slumdog" director Boyle -- he of "Trainspotting," "Millions" and "28 Days Later" -- will reaffirm our faith that innovative work on beautiful "little" films that could've easily been lost in the shuffle can prevail. (Yes, he seems a lock, but for our money, that's no less a testament to what he accomplished).
And now that Mickey Rourke, fresh off his Globe win Sunday night, might have just ingratiated himself anew to Hollywood and, more important, Academy voters, there's a lot of potential for unfiltered moments of truthiness and emotion. (For an insightful rumination of Rourke, his tendency to color outside the lines, and his current better boy phase, check out this post from the Carpetbagger).
Call us pie-eyed, but we're still in. How about the rest of you?
Who knew that Emmy-winning actor Tony Shalhoub was so much like his OCD detective on "Monk" in real life?
Apparently he's so germophobic that he doesn't like to touch menus in restaurants, he said today on our formerly favorite lunchtime chat fest, "The Bonnie Hunt Show." And then Shalhoub demonstrated his brother Dan's invention that makes curbing your dog a little less, well, vile.
It's "The Sha-Poopie!" No bending, touching or wiping required! (The folks over at "American Inventor" weren't too keen on it, so bro could use the plug on national TV).
And boy did we need a palate cleanser after that, and it was provided in the form of late-night talker and eight-time Emmy-nominated writer Spike Feresten, who guided us to this Web site for a compendium of Men Who Look Like Old Lesbians. He's on there, too! (So's Bruce Jenner and Minnesota's Senator-elect Al Franken!)
So "The Dark Knight" didn't make it into the final five after all, never mind that critical and popular support. Let's just call the comic-inspired mega-hit "The Biggest Snubee."
Here are the best picture contenders in a race that, two weeks away from the Oscars, seems to be a foregone conclusion ("Slumdog") unless there's a come-from-behind possibility ("The Reader" anyone?)
"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," with Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett; the politically timely "Milk;" rags-to-riches fairy tale, "Slumdog Millionaire," Holocaust best-seller-based drama "The Reader," and Watergate-era biopic "Frost/Nixon."
Could "Button" and "Slumdog" split the vote, allowing another film to take the prize? Doesn't seem likely. After having clung to "Button" for months as what we thought would be the Academy voters' top vhoice, our money's now on "Slumdog." Momentum can't be ignored.
Watch this blog for updates, ephemera and all manner of postulating.
Mmmmm, chocolate Oscar. Not every star will walk away from the 81st annual Academy Awards with a trophy, but if they hit the high-profile Governor's Ball they can have pastry chef Sherry Yard's gold-dusted candy version. Also on the menu from celeb chef Wolfgang Puck is tuna tartare in sesame miso cones, chopped Chino Farms vegetable salad with ginger soy vinaigrette, Maine lobster and caviar. Serve it up! (Getty Images)