Open Thread for February 5, 2010

The Overthinkers discuss Oscar predictions, Super Bowl possibilities and their astonishing Facebook popularity.

Is it cold in here, or is it just the bitter windchill cutting across the American Northeast? Or did I just answer my own question? Maybe I should shut the window and OPEN up a THREAD, perhaps?

Two items of note this week: first, the 2010 Oscar Nominations were announced on Tuesday. Avatar and The Hurt Locker both have 9 nominations, ranging from Best Sound Mixing to Best Picture and Best Director. James Cameron and Kathryn Bigelow going head to head – talk about drama. Fortunately, they’re at least on speaking terms; Will Ferrell and Mo’nique have yet to reconcile.

Question: A movie about a Hollywood couple who divorces, then goes on to direct two movies both of which are nominated for Oscars, gets nominated for an Oscar: too meta, or not meta enough?


Oh, Jimmy; it's so funny when you pretend you can hurl lightning.

Second, a big game of American (that is to say, “padded”) football will be played this Sunday: the AFC/NFC conference championships, colloquially known as the Super Bowl. The Super Bowl ads, typically some of the most expensive commercials sold throughout the year, continue to draw controversy, with Tim Tebow’s anti-abortion ad, as well as ads from CareerBuilder and GoDaddy, already making headlines. Even more shocking? The two teams with the best regular season records are playing in the Super Bowl! You know how rarely that happens?

Question: Do you know how rarely that happens? Without consulting Wikipedia?


You think they'll let me star in commercials if I win this Super Bowl, Peyton?

In a postscript, can someone explain what’s going on with Overthinking It’s Facebook page? We’ve gained 800 fans in the last week and it’s just not slowing down. We don’t want it to stop, but we’re sort of scared of where it’s leading us. Anyhow, if you want to say that you were a Facebook fan of Overthinking It “back when it was still cool,” join soon. At this rate, we’ll have 35,000 fans by the end of 2010 and then it’s just going to be a mess.

Do you have answers regarding Facebook? Perhaps you can share some Oscar predictions? Care to lay a wager on the Super Bowl? Or have we once again missed that important news that you crave so much? Sound off in the comments, for this is your … Open Thread.

11 Comments on “Open Thread for February 5, 2010”

  1. perich OTI Staff #

    I’m going to shock the masses and participate in an open thread. Here are my Oscar Predictions

    Best Actor, Leading
    Who Should Win: Jeremy Renner (Hurt Locker)
    Who Will Win: Colin Firth (A Single Man)
    Certainty: 40%. I’ve seen none of these films except Hurt Locker. But I’ve heard the most good things about Firth’s performance. Clooney and Freeman are considerations, but I suspect the Academy feels it’s honored them enough.

    Best Actor, Supporting
    Who Should Win: Christoph Waltz (Inglourious Basterds)
    Who Will Win: Christoph Waltz (Inglourious Basterds)
    Certainty: 85%. All the buzz points here.

    Best Actress, Leading
    Who Should Win: Meryl Streep (Julie & Julia)
    Who Will Win: Sandra Bullock (The Blind Side)
    Certainty: 75%. This is Bullock’s year, as we’ve discussed on the podcast.

    Best Actress, Supporting
    Who Should Win: Mo’nique (Precious)
    Who Will Win: Mo’nique (Precious)
    Certainty: 90%.

    Best Animated Feature
    Who Should Win: Up
    Who Will Win: Up
    Certainty: 70%. I think people who liked Up a lot will vote it for this, rather than for Best Picture. But there remains a decent chance that being nominated in two categories will spoil its chances.

    Best Director
    Who Should Win: Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker)
    Who Will Win: Quentin Tarantino (Inglourious Basterds)
    Certainty: 65%. I suspect many people feel Tarantino is “due” an Oscar, and Basterds is a good enough film to merit it.

    Best Motion Picture
    Who Should Win: The Hurt Locker
    Who Will Win: Inglourious Basterds
    Certainty: 33%. Ten nominees? Ten nominees? Who can tell? While nominations are done by preferential ranking (the Condorcet method, if you’re curious), voting for the Best is done by the same “first-past-the-post” method we all know from presidential elections. It’s not only possible, but plausible, that the Best Picture will have fewer than 1,000 votes out of the 6000-strong Academy. People will be left scratching their heads.


  2. Sylvia #

    I’m really happy All Quiet On the Western Front won Best Picture back in the day. That movie is so good.


  3. Jem Riffster #

    Regarding the Academy Awards:

    Personally, I was thrilled that Cameron was not nominated for either of the screenplay Oscars. As for Best Director, I’m leaning toward Bigelow. Granted, I haven’t seen most of the movies nominated, but she did win the Director’s Guild of America award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures. All but six times,the winner of that went on to win the Best Director Oscar. Also, there is the fact that she would be the first woman to win Best Director. Personally, and this is complete speculation, I think that the fact that she is nominated for a war movie, which is stereotypically a male genre, would probably add to the uniqueness to her winning. I hope that doesn’t come off as being sexist on my part…

    Regarding the Super Bowl:

    I don’t follow much football, but I am nominally a Colts fan (mostly because it annoys everyone around me in Maryland) and it looks like I’m going to miss them playing in the Super Bowl again, like I did four years ago. Stupid orchestra rehearsal…


  4. Ed #

    I love the term “padded football”, but didn’t the AFC/NFC Conference Championships happen last week? Is Super Bowl really the “colloquial” name, or is it the actual name of the event? After all its the World Series (named for a defunct newspaper), not the AL-NL Championship.

    Not a big football or superbowl fan, but I feel compelled to watch this year because it actually should be a good game this time.


  5. bob #

    @ Lee – I agree with everything in the Razzie’s but G.I. Joe. I feel that they purposly made a cheesy movie (At least with the tongue a lot more in cheek then the rest of the movies) and hence should not be nominated for making a cheesy movie. Its the equivalant of performing a pratt fall and then later someone not noticing you take the keys and cell phone out of your pocket a clutz.

    @ Perich – Agree with all of your assitation other than I think Avatar will win the Oscar. I don’t think it should, but I think it will.

    @ Ed – The Conference Championship did happen technically happen last week but it was two games ago (The Pro-Bowl – NFL’s All-Star Game – was Sunday, January 31st techincally this week and the Conference Championship was Sunday, January 24th techincally last week. The Super Bowl being in two days is technically next week.) How’s that for overthinking it. The first two ‘Super Bowls’ were called simply the ‘AFC/NFC Championship’ but someone, I think an owner, called it the ‘Super Bowl’ after watching his kids play with a Super Ball after the college ‘Bowl’ season. The Super Bowl is the actual name of the event now, so much so that unless someone is an official sponser of the NFL, they refer to the game as ‘The big game’ as the NFL owns the right to ‘The Super Bowl’. (Sidebar – The only Simpsons episodes that refers to the Super Bowl is the episodes that came out the same year Fox have the Super Bowl. I remember ‘Lisa the Greek’ and ‘Sunday, Cruddy Sunday’ but I think there was one other episode, but I refuse to look it up. Other than Fox Super Bowl Years, they don’t use the name Superbowl). I’m not just a Star Wars Geek!

    @ Tim Tebow – I’m just glad that after day two of the draft, we will never hear of him again.


  6. Chris Morgan #

    Despite the fact there are 10 Best Picture nominees, the adage that most are adhering to is that the only real contenders are the films that also got a Best Director nomination. I really see Best Picture coming down to The Hurt Locker and Avatar, and I’d learn toward Hurt Locker. I’m really hoping that Streep pulls out Best Actress over Bullock, and I think Best Actor is nearly a lock to go to Jeff Bridges, and if not him George Clooney. If Tarantino gets anything, it’ll be Best Original Screenplay.

    As for the Super Bowl, I gots to pull for the Saints, since they are the better story and because the Colts gave up on the chance to go undefeated, and I don’t want to see that “rewarded” for the lack of a better term.

    And we’ll keep hearing about Tim Tebow. He’ll get a shot as an H-Back and a Wildcat QB. Eric Crouch got coverage when he was trying to make it in the NFL, and he wasn’t half the public figure Tebow is.


  7. Trevor #

    @Sylvia – Too bad Eric Maria Remarque didn’t write about a futuristic society of Smurfs that is overrun by James Cameron (posthumous Oscars are so rare.

    @bob – Hate to spoil it for you, but ESPN will soon be rebranding itself TTN (Tim Tebow Network) – All Tebow, all the time. Look for podcasts by Bill Simmons about how money Tebow is considering his resemblence to Favereau pre-weight loss, Rick Reilly hosting Tebow in Jacksonville for his “Hometown” series, Stuart Scott and Swami taking turns hyping up “Top Ten Tebow Plays of the Week,” and Bob Ley slowing cocking back the revolver’s hammer when he realizes that he has to do yet another “Outside the Lines” about Tebow’s humanitarian work to make more people aware of what he, Tim Tebow, believes. Brett Favre is modest by comparison. It should be a solid Tebow year for Tebow Nation (the new name of the ESPN2 show “Sports Nation”) and SportsTebowCenter.


  8. Matthew Belinkie OTI Staff #

    Completely unrelated to anything, The Mist is a big dose of awesome. It’s got some truly unsettling creature moments. But the best stuff is right out of the Twilight Zone: when things go bad, friends and neighbors can be more dangerous than the monsters.


  9. bob #

    @ Trevor – LOVE IT!

    @ Belinkie – Never saw the Mist but know the AWESOME twist at the end. Want to see it just for that and since you recommend it, Netflix here I come!


  10. stabbim #

    I remember The Mist kicking me in the soul so hard that I immmediately drove across town to catch a theraputic screening of Ratatouille. Haven’t been able to watch it a second time.

    Awesome, yes, but….gah.


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