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    Friday, February 29, 2008

    It's Been A Great News Week

    Remember how I said the story in the previous post would be tough to top? Well, that may still be the case, but it's not going to be because of a lack of trying. Thursday's PC brought us this gem:

    Police said officer Ryan Wood was writing a possession of alcohol under the legal age ticket for Michael Roy Schroeder outside of One-Eyed Jakes. While doing so, two friends of Schroeder ran up to the scene.

    Police say one of them, Michael Stanley Fabinski, 19, grabbed the ticket book from Wood, and the other man, identified as Michael Alexander Bakerdjis, 20, pushed the officer. Police say both men ran south on Clinton Street.

    Wood caught Fabinski after he fell at the corner of Clinton and Washington streets. As Wood tried to place him into custody, police say Bakerdjis grabbed the officer to try to get him off Fabinski. Police say Bakerdjis also tried to pull the ticket book away.

    Police say both men were then able to get away temporarily. According to police, Bakerdjis ran south on Clinton Street but Fabinski fell again while running across Clinton Street.

    Wood placed Fabinski into custody, and while he was filling out the paperwork, police say Bakerdjis walked by and was spotted by another officer. Bakerdjis attempted to hide behind some bushes but was arrested.

    Police say that while the officer was occupied with Fabinski and Bakerdjis, Schroeder fled the area. He was later found and arrested at Currier Hall, where he lives.


    Schroeder, who will be 20 next Thursday, was charged with PAULA, public intoxication and escape from custody, which is a serious misdemeanor. Kelsay said had Schroeder simply accepted the PAULA ticket and pleaded guilty to the charge, he would have only faced a $314 fine.


    Bakerdjis, of 302 S. Gilbert St., No. 1226, is charged with two counts of interference with official acts, assault on a peace officer, obstruct prosecution and second-degree robbery. Assault on a peace officer is a serious misdemeanor; obstruct prosecution is an aggravated misdemeanor; second-degree robbery is a class C felony.

    Fabinski, of 201 E. Burlington St., No. 1531, was charged with public intoxication, two counts of interference with official acts, obstruct prosecution and second-degree robbery. One of the interference with official acts charges is a serious misdemeanor.

    Tuesday, February 26, 2008

    Gives New Meaning To "Room Service"

    You don't expect to see the news story of the year in February, but it's going to be tough to top this:

    A judge has denied an Iowa man's claim that he shouldn't have been fired for repeatedly requesting help to procure a prostitute.

    Neil Jorgensen, 62, of Kalona, worked at Riverside Casino & Golf Resort and was given a gift certificate and free night's stay at the casino hotel to mark a year's employment.

    After eating and drinking at a casino restaurant, he returned to his hotel room about midnight and later called hotel managers about hiring a prostitute. When managers refused to help him, he made a call to the adjacent resort and made the same request.

    "The advertisement is that it's just like Las Vegas, so I thought I was in Las Vegas," Jorgensen testified at a hearing regarding his request for unemployment benefits.

    Hotel workers were sent to Jorgensen's room to ask him to stop demanding prostitutes. When they arrived at his room, Jorgensen answered the door in the nude, human resources director Tim Donovan said.

    Jorgensen was fired the next day.

    At the hearing, Jorgensen said his actions didn't hurt the casino, and he said he'd received strong performance reviews. He also blamed the restaurant for serving him too much alcohol.

    "I was absolutely plowed," he said.

    Administrative Law Judge Terence Nice turned down Jorgensen's claim for unemployment benefits.

    An Inspired Link

    Garfield without Garfield. Check it out.

    Monday, February 25, 2008

    So How'd I Do?

    Not too bad. I only missed one of the top 8 awards, though I missed it by a mile, saying, and I quote: "Cotillard won the Golden Globe, but that was the foreign press - she doesn't stand a chance here." Nice predicting, Dweeze!

    On the next tier, I missed Documentary Feature and Foreign Film, but got the other three categories - Animated Feature, Animated Short, and Documentary Short. That brings me to 10 of 15.

    I took a beating in the bottom tier, getting only Best Original Song and Best Art Direction. (Who knew Bourne Ultimatum would take home more Oscars than any film other than No Country? Well, I must have had an inkling, cause I did say with regards to Film Editing: "I wouldn't be surprised to see Bourne win this, though.") That's 2 of 10, bringing the over all total to 12 of 25.

    Anyway, on to next Oscar Season!

    Sunday, February 24, 2008

    Dweeze's Fearless Oscar Forecast: Put A Fork In It, We're Done

    Paul Thomas Anderson - There Will Be Blood
    Ethan Coen and Joel Coen - No Country for Old Men
    Tony Gilroy - Michael Clayton
    Jason Reitman - Juno
    Julian Schnabel - The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

    Without a best picture nomination for his movie, Schnabel doesn't stand a chance. Even with a best picture nomination, Reitman doesn't stand a chance. With two much better films out there, Gilroy doesn't stand a chance. Yes, once again, we come down to No Country vs. There Will. So let's hold off.

    Michael Clayton
    No Country for Old Men
    There Will Be Blood

    Let's sweep through these - I enjoyed all five of these films, which is the first time in a long time I can say that about all the Best Picture nominees. But it really is a two-horse race. Atonement didn't get a director nod, Juno is a comedy, and Michael Clayton had the unfortunate problem of being released in a year with two much-better pictures.

    Here's the thing about these two films. No Country is a great film. There Will is a very good film with a great performance. Take Daniel Day-Lewis out of There Will, and it doesn't climb anywhere near as high as it does. On the other hand, as good as Bardem is in No Country, he could be replaced without affecting the film. Yes the ending is unsettling, providing us with no sense of closure; it's supposed to be. Violence is unsettling. Real violence, not the make-believe kind we usually see on screen. The effects of real world violence often give us no sense of closure. The funny thing is, I don't think it's any less detached or unemotional than most Coen brothers films. It's just that, here those qualities work to add to the disquieting sense of the movie. It is a powerful, beautiful film that deserves to be the Best Picture of 2007.

    Should Win Director and Picture: No Country for Old Men
    Will Win Director and Picture: No Country for Old Men

    Saturday, February 23, 2008

    Dweeze's Fearless Oscar Forecast: Return of the Fearless Oscar Forecast

    Getting near the end, so let's just dig in.

    Best Actor:
    George Clooney - Michael Clayton
    Daniel Day-Lewis - There Will Be Blood
    Johnny Depp - Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
    Tommy Lee Jones - In The Valley of Elah
    Viggo Mortensen - Eastern Promises

    This might be the easiest category to call the whole night. In any other year Clooney would probably win, but Day-Lewis walks away with this one. It's impossible to imagine There Will Be Blood being anywhere near as good with anyone else, and equally tough to imagine any other actor who could have pulled off the part. Day-Lewis is onscreen for almost the entire film, and he holds the audience's attention from beginning to end.

    Should Win: Day-Lewis
    Will Win: Day-Lewis

    Best Actress:
    Cate Blanchett - Elizabeth: The Golden Age
    Julie Christie - Away From Her
    Marion Cotillard - La Vie en Rose
    Laura Linney - The Savages
    Ellen Page - Juno

    Blanchett already won for playing the character, so it'd be gaudy to give her a second statue. Linney racks up yet another nomination without a win. (Call me Laura!) Cotillard won the Golden Globe, but that was the foreign press - she doesn't stand a chance here. Which brings us to Christie and Page. Christie gets to play ill, which is usually an Oscar-shoe-in for a man, though not so much for a woman. Page is great, but young - voters might regard her as having many more chances for a win later in her career.

    Should Win: Page
    Will Win: Christine

    Friday, February 22, 2008

    Dweeze's Fearless Oscar Forecast: Episode Four A New Hope

    We all know the drill by now, right? Right? So let's get to it.

    Best Supporting Actor:
    Casey Affleck - The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
    Javier Bardem - No Country for Old Men
    Philip Seymour Hoffman - Charlie Wilson's War
    Hal Holbrook - Into The Wild
    Tom Wilkinson - Michael Clayton

    I've seen three of the five performances, and of the ones I've seen, Javier Bardem is the clear favorite. Indeed, it seems as though he's been the favorite since No Country came out. The only person who has a chance is Hal Holbrook. Two reasons why: First, it's the only major nomination for a film a lot of people loved. Second, as a lifetime acheivement award for Hal.

    Should Win: Bardem
    Will Win: Bardem

    Best Supporting Actress:
    Cate Blanchett - I'm Not There
    Ruby Dee - American Gangster
    Saorise Ronan - Atonement
    Amy Ryan - Gone Baby Gone
    Tilda Swinton - Michael Clayton

    Ruby Dee has the all the things in her favor that Hal Holbrook does in the previous category, but she's barely in the movie. I think Blanchett cancels herself out here and with Best Actress, plus she's already got a statue. Ronan, as good as she was, might as well not even be in the race. That leaves us with Ryan and Swinton. Both play unsympathetic characters. Ryan's character is an absolutely unapologetic druggie. Swinton's is a total mess pushed into horrific acts. Either would be a great choice. Swinton takes it though, solely because more people have seen the film and it's the best chance for an award for the film.

    Should Win: Ryan
    Will Win: Swinton

    Thursday, February 21, 2008


    Welcome to my 500th post. It's incredibly special, isn't it?

    You Tube Fun: The Gourds Gin and Juice

    A very nice mash-up of the original Snoop Dogg Gin and Juice video with the Gourds cover of the song. This may be the best cover version of a song in the entire history of cover versions.

    Return of the Prodigal Bloggers

    Both Greenman and Side Notes have returned to the blogosphere (and to my links), Side Notes with her quick comments and insightful analysis, Greenman with a very funny, very obscene You Tube clip. We all play to our strengths...

    Dweeze's Fearless Oscar Forecast Episode Three: Attack of the Oscar Forecast

    Change in format for the rest of the posts. I'll list all the nominees, with an attempt at commentary on most.

    Original Screenplay:
    Juno: Diablo Cody (An almost universally-loved film with almost no chance of winning any other award.)
    Lars and the Real Girl: Nancy Oliver (Welcome to the ranks of it's an honor just to be nominated.)
    Michael Clayton: Tony Gilroy (Same analysis as Juno - everyone loves the film, but it might get shut out the rest of the night.)
    Ratatouille: Brad Bird, story by Jim Capobianco and Jan Pinkava (A great film, but by this point it's already won all the awards it's going to get.)
    The Savages: Tamara Jenkins (Have a seat with Ms. Oliver.)

    Should Win: Diablo Cody
    Will Win: Diablo Cody

    Adapted Screenplay:
    Atonement: Christopher Hampton (Welcome to shutoutsville, Atonement!!)
    Away From Her: Sarah Polley (Welcome to Anhonortobenominatedville, Sarah Polley!)
    The Diving Bell and the Butterfly: Ronald Harwood (Have a seat over there by Ms. Polley, Mr. Harwood!)
    No Country for Old Men: Ethan Coen and Joel Coen
    There Will Be Blood: Paul Thomas Anderson

    Okay, the first big battle of the night between the two front-runners for Best Picture and Best Director. I'll leave my thoughts on the merits of the two films until later. If I can. I mean, if I have a clear opinion as to which of these two films is the better film, and I don't know if I can separate that opinion from my opinion on the screenplay.

    You know, I can't. I've made several attempts to do so, but can't seem to manage it. So let's just go with the prediction.

    Should Win: No Country for Old Men
    Will Win: No Country for Old Men

    Wednesday, February 20, 2008

    Tonight? Total Lunar Eclipse - Tomorrow?

    Give them the answer, won't you Bonnie?

    Dweeze's Fearless Oscar Predictions Part the Second

    Hi! It's me again, back with more Oscar predictions. Today we'll cover the awards too major to be considered minor, but too minor to be considered major. Once again, just the winners with light commentary.

    Documentary Feature:
    Sicko (Because it's Hollywood, and they're all liberals, dontcha know?)

    Documentary Short:
    Freeheld (Because I have no idea.)

    Animated Feature:
    Ratatouille (Although don't be surprised if Persepolis wins this solely because it wasn't nominated for Foreign Language Film.)

    Animated Short:
    Peter and the Wolf (Everyone loves Peter and the Wolf!)

    Foreign Language Film:
    12 (Again, no idea.)

    Okay, we've got the prelimaries out of the way. Tomorrow, the writing awards.

    Tuesday, February 19, 2008

    Dweeze's Fearless Oscar Forecast Part I

    Why is it a fearless Oscar forecast you ask? Because even if I miss every pick, nothing bad happens. I won't get mocked more by my friends; the good folks at Blogger won't yank my blog away from me. It's recriminations free predicting, baby!

    In this first installment, we'll get a bunch of the smaller categories out of the way. For these, I'm not going to list all the nominees, just the winners. I'm also going light on the witty commentary. (Curses to all of you who say I'm always light on the witty commentary.)

    Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (It's really this or Norbit, and you know that ain't happening.)

    Original Song:
    "Falling Slowly" Once (The three Enchanted songs cross each other out and no one liked August Rush. That leaves this song, from a film almost everyone loved.)

    Original Score:
    Ratatouille (Course, if No Country is going to dominate the evening, it will begin to happen here.)

    Sound Editing:

    Sound Mixing:
    Ratatouille (Everyone loved the film, but there are no awards to give it after Animated Feature - so it will sweep these.)

    Film Editing:
    Into The Wild (One of the few chances to give an award to a film a ton of people thought would be up for the major awards - I wouldn't be surprised to see Bourne win this, though.)

    Costume Design:
    Across the Universe (Because it's the best damned film of the year, and because it didn't get any other nominations, this is my sentimental pick, though we all know Sweeney Todd will take the statuette.)

    Art Direction:
    Sweeney Todd

    Visual Effects:
    Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End

    The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (I actually saw the three major contenders here, and the film with the awkward title should win this hands down.)

    That's it for now. Tune in tomorrow for more fearless predictions!

    Sunday, February 03, 2008

    Snow Madness

    In case my earlier post did not make it clear, this shoveling snow every other day thing? So uncool. SO UNCOOL!