Friday, February 22, 2013

Oscar Predictions

Getting this done a little early since I work all weekend (boo!)

Best Picture:  Argo
Best Director:  Ang Lee, Life of Pi
Best Actress:  Emmanuelle Riva, Amour
Best Actor:  Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
Best Supporting Actress:  Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables
Best Supporting Actor:  Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln
Original Screenplay:  Zero Dark Thirty
Adapted Screenplay:  Lincoln
Cinematography:  Skyfall
Costume Design:  Anna Karina
Production Design:  Lincoln
Film Editing:  Argo
Visual Effects:  Life of Pi
Makeup and Hair:  Les Miserables
Foreign Film:  Amour - Austria
Original Song:  "Skyfall" by Adele
Original Score:  Argo
Sound Editing: Zero Dark Thirty
Sound Mixing:  Skyfall
Animated Film:  ParaNorman
Documentary Feature:  How to Survive a Plague
Documentary Short:  Kings Point
Life Action Short:  Curfew
Animated Short:  Paperman

Probably should have given more than 3 wins to Argo, but I think this is going to be a rare year where the wealth is spread.  I have Lincoln with the most wins at 4, and that's assuming an upset in Best Director, so don't bet on these unless you like to live dangerously.

Monday, February 18, 2013

RuPaul's Drag Race: S5, E2: Transgend-her

Let's do this.

The Drama:
The two big pieces of drama this week were Monica's Confession and Everyone Hates Serena.

Turns out that Monica is in the process of transitioning to a woman.  I really don't understand why she was worried (this is a group of drag queens, I don't think they would judge) - maybe the rules prohibit those that are in the actual process of transitioning?  I know Carmen Carrera and Sonique have both transitioned, but this is a grey area as far as the rules are concerned.  The other queens didn't seem to mind, but I can't help but wonder if maybe other queens aren't quite as okay with it.  Maybe they look at is as not being a real drag queen?  I wish we had gotten more whichever it was.

My favorite storyline, however, was the second.

Everyone Hates Serena!

I love how openly Detox told Serena that she would have preferred Penny stay.  Now, given Serena's self-delusion, this didn't have much of an effect, but it was nice to see nonetheless.

There was also the forming of a super group - Rolaskatox (Roxxxy, Alaska, and Detox).  I didn't get a screenshot of it, but I did get something better.

I think we should all appreciate how cute Ivy looks out of drag with his bowtie.

I know, Ivy, I'm incorrigible.

Mini Challenge:
So.... the mini challenge.

Lipsyncing through a hole.....

With the winner getting RuPaul's lollipop.

I love this show.

Don't worry, I haven't forgotten about you, Ivy.  You're still my favorite thing about the show this season.

So the girls sang from behind the RuPaul not-a-glory-hole-at-all.

(Man Lineysha has really 'assumed the position' in this one, didn't she?)

And the winners (and team leaders) were Serena ChaCha (ugh), Detox (2 Mini Challenges in a row), and Ivy Winters (who I want to follow me around so I may pick up bleedover-fabulousness).

The Main Challenge:
Which led us to the main challenge:  Lipsyncing to famous Untucked moments from Seasons 2, 3, and 4 in viral videos.  The following are how I'd rank the lipsyncs.

Alaska as Phi Phi O'Hara and Detox as Sharon Needles
As far as the 'viral video' aspect, this is the hands-down winner.  While the lip-sync wasn't as strong on Alaska's part, the ending makeout session is what, to me, pushed this to the front of the pack.  However, it was the only one that really took the 'viral' half into account, and the team was prevented from winning by the albatross hanging around their collective neck in the form of Monica Beverly Hillz.

Honey Mahogany as Mystique Summers Madison and Ivy Winters as Morgan McMichaels
Nailed every last bit of the lip-sync.  Easily the tightest of all of the scenes (which is funny in that it features Morgan McMichaels) and both queens really brought it.  However, Lineysha was the worst type of irritating during the filming of it.

Vivienne Pinay as Tatianna and Lineysha Sparx as Tyra Sanchez
But she really brought it to her scene.  Vivienne had the tighter lip-sync (and really hit the Tatianna-isms) but Lineysha really performed as Tyra.  The lip-sync wasn't as tight, but damn did I feel like I was watching the actual Tyra in action.

Alyssa Edwards as Shangela, Jinkx Monsoon as Mimi Imfurst, and Roxxxy Andrews as Mariah
DAMN if Alyssa didn't nail the Shangelisms.  I realize that, as Shangela's Drag Mother, Alyssa had an edge, but she really proved her talent this challenge.  Jinkx was alright as Mimi (although a bit of a whiner during the filming) and Roxxxy kinda faded into the background as Mariah.

Monica Beverly Hillz as Jiggly Caliente and Coco Montrese as LaShauwn Beyond
Coco didn't really nail the mannerisms, but she brought the energy in a major way while also nailing the actual lip-sync.  Too bad Monica was a complete non-entity as Jiggly.  Coco probably would have been the winner had they ended up with a better performer.

Serena ChaCha as Raja and Jade Jolie as Delta Work
This was painful.  The second Serena started talking about how she viewed drag as an art (which is a perfectly valid belief, I should note) I knew this was going to be weird and terrible.  Talk about being up your own ass.  Serena's Raja was awful, and Jade didn't even try to save it with her Delta.  And I hated the lazy 'fat people eat' aspect that she used to portray Delta (Honey and Monica were also guilty of this).

The Runway:
So, then the runway happened.  I'll rank them by team, and within the team I will rank the individuals.

So, top team was easily Team Ivy, as they didn't have a Serena or Monica dragging them down.  RuPaul shared my opinion of the top team, if not the top individual.

Ivy Winters
Clear winner.  Between the tight lip-sync and the sheer showmanship of the stilts (not to mention a pretty fantastic look even without the stilts), I don't see how this went to anyone else.

 Lineysha Sparx (winner)
Really, Lineysha rocked the lip-sync challenge, but this was a boring look.  Just a swimsuit with a flow-y robe.  However, she was easily the second-best of the group as far as looks go though, so I can stomach this win.  But Ivy was way better.

Vivienne Pinay
Vivienne, I like you so far, but your looks haven't been that great.  Subtle doesn't win in drag, so you need to step that shit up.  You have talent, but you need to stand out more.

Honey Mahogany
Still, Vivienne is way better than Honey as far as runway goes.  At least the mess from the last episode stood out (albeit in a bad way).  This is boring.

I would follow Team Ivy with Team Detox.

Coco Montrese
My opinion of Coco has not improved, but I have to give credit to her for this look.  It is pretty awesome and stands out from the others on her team.  Easily would have been the winner had Team Detox come out ahead.  But I still don't like her.

Love the look, but it is kind of standard as far as drag goes.  Would prefer something a little more creative.  Still, it was a pretty good look (although I don't know where Kristen Johnston got the overconfident criticism from).

A nice effort, but like Detox's, it doesn't really stand out that much.  She looks good, but I expect something with a bit more of her wit about it.

Monica Beverly Hillz
This is a pretty nice look, actually.  If not for her putrid performance in the lip-sync video, I would easily put her above Alaska and Detox.  But the video was there, so she deservedly ended up having to lip-sync for her life.

Bringing in the rear is Team Serena.

Jade Jolie
While she would easily have been bottom 3 based off her lip-sync performance, she turned out the best look amongst her team for the runway.  And a bit unexpected to, giving her Lisa Frank outlook on life.  But Juliette Lewis was totally on point when she said that you shouldn't being out a whip if you can't crack it.

Alyssa Edwards
This was a great look, which coupled with her lip-sync performance should have put her at the top for her team, but her exceptionally weird runway walk is a real hindrance in giving her the win.  But I still love the face.

Jinkx Monsoon
Like Detox and Alaska, this wasn't a bad look, but not terribly interesting.  The nose does look weird though.

Roxxxy Andrews
Like Jinkx, the nose looks off in some way.  And I hate the outfit (although it was nice to see Kristen tell Santino to shut up).  That said, she wasn't in any danger this week, even if she didn't have immunity.

Serena ChaCha
This actually wasn't a bad look, in a Miss Universe sort of way.  The flag was kind of stupid, but the look had a bit of wit about it.  Too bad when she walked away you saw this:
Given what happens in the Lip Sync For Your Life, I am going to call these the Granny Panties of Doom.  Seriously, Serena, what the fuck?

On the runway, Monica tearfully reveals her transgender status, but it doesn't save her from lip-syncing against Serena.  However - that was one HELL of a performance on Monica's part.

The song was Rihanna's "Only Girl (in the World)" and Monica gave quite possibly one of the best lip-sync performances ever on this show.  While Serena's was almost exactly the same as last week's, Monica channeled the song and freaking rocked it.

So Serena sashay'd away (thank God).

Seeing as how Ru didn't really do a top/bottom group, I will just give my picks.

My Top 3:  Ivy Winters, Coco Montrese, Lineysha Sparx
My Bottom 3:  Jade Jolie, Serena ChaCha, Monica Beverly Hillz

Rankings of the Remaining Girls:
1)  Detox - Has two Mini Challenge wins at this point, plus you know Ru took note of her performance in the video.
2)  Coco Montrese - Still infuriatingly competent.  In a way, Monica's terribly performance in the lip-sync challenge made her look that much better.
3)  Ivy Winters - She's been in the top for both Main Challenges so far, plus she has a Mini Challenge win to her credit.  If she can keep up the visually stunning looks, she'll go far.
4)  Lineysha Sparx - Won the Main Challenge after almost winning the last one - might we get our first Latin queen in the finals?
5)  Alaska - She has quite a bit of wit, but she still needs to step up the look and the performance if she wants to make the top 3.
6)  Roxxxy Andrews - She didn't really drop so much as others passed her.  She is obviously a contender, but it would be best not to sit back and wait for the lesser queens to eliminate themselves.  Far too many talented queens are already working it too hard.
7)  Alyssa Edwards - She convinced me that she could perform with the best of them, but can she do it consistently enough to knock off the six currently ahead of her?
8)  Jinkx Monsoon - She's already showing signs of strain.  She seems more capable of knocking out one of the top girls than Alyssa, but if she's already stressed, that doesn't bode well for her longevity.
9)  Vivienne Pinay - In certain other seasons, she would easily have been a contender.  But this season is bursting with talent, so girl needs to step it up.
10)  Jade Jolie - Like Vivienne, she needs to step it up.
11)  Honey Mahogany - She did great in the challenge, but her runway is going to be her downfall.
12)  Monica Beverly Hillz - Now that her main storyline has reached its conclusion, she seems to be on borrowed time.  Unless Ru decides to take care of Honey first.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

RuPaul's Drag Race: S5, E1: I want to go to RuPollywood!

So, I've decided to try and do recaps of RuPaul's Drag Race.  While I doubt I will ever be quite as good as Tom and Lorenzo, I'd still like to give it a college try.

I'll break down the episodes by going over the Drama, the Mini-Challenge, the Main Challenge, the Runway, and Untucked (which technically, is a separate entity from the actual episode, but I don't feel like doing a separate recap.  So there).  The orders of these may vary as the episode calls for it.

Pictures will mostly be screenshots that I take, with the exception of runway looks, which I will probably take from Tom and Lorenzo since they tend to grab better ones that I can.


The Drama:
We get to meet the contestants!  Since their outfits are featured in the Mini-Challenge, I will show them out of drag for this part.

Detox Icunt
I was mildly familiar with Detox from the Season 3 casting special, plus Willam Belli's "Chow Down at Chick-fil-a" and "Boy is a Bottom" videos, so she was an initial favorite.  One of the other queens commented that it looked like Detox had work done, and it appears that she did after a motorcycle accident.  So, bad shade throwing there.  She comes across as very confidant and smart.

Roxxxy Andrews
Very cute.  Apparently is considered plus size (although the only one I would consider to be truly plus size is Penny).  She throws some good shade, isn't in her head about her weight, and appears just as confidant and smart as Detox.  I would place her amongst the contenders.

Jade Jolie
FISHY!  She seems sweet (although she does throw some nice shade/bitchery in Untucked), but maybe not quite at the taste level that Ru prefers for her girls.  I see her being either a Dida Ritz that gets her shit together and goes fairly far or being like The Princess who just couldn't get into competition mode.  The laugh can go away though.

Serena ChaCha
Girl, you are not as talented as you think you are.  Spewing attitude is not a way to make friends or get fans.  The more experienced queens will eat her alive.

Alyssa Edwards
I'm honestly curious as to where the feud with Coco is going to go (they were both infuriatingly vague about it), but I think I am initially Team Alyssa just because Coco seems to be deliberately provoking Alyssa.  She doesn't feel like someone who is going to go far.  Maybe lower-middle-of-the-pack.  She seems a bit high strung which will not work in her favor as the competition goes on.

Jinkx Monsoon
I like her!  Interesting to see how narcolepsy is going to affect her in the competition, but she appears to have the talent to go fairly far.  The only reason I'm not putting her as a contender is because she is a comedy/camp queen, and they never win.

Penny Tration
Another pre-favorite just based off the name alone.  The lone 'plus size' queen (since I don't consider Roxxxy to be one), she was voted in by the fans of the show.  As you will see later on in the recap, I feel that this doomed her to an early exit.  Unfairly, I might add.

Vivienne Pinay
Another cute one.  Didn't get very much screen time, so withholding final judgement, but currently I see her at about the same level as Alyssa.

Alaska Thunderfvck
Another pre-favorite, mostly for being the boyfriend of last season's winner.  Hard to live up to that, and the comparisons start early.  I would hesitantly put her in the contenders (because of her Mini Challenge failure) just because she seems to know her stuff.  However, I think a fourth or fifth place finish is more likely.

Honey Mahogany
Cannon fodder.  Didn't stand out at all.

Ivy Winters
The fourth and final of my pre-favorites.  Also, I believe that this will be my Season Boyfriend (joining an illustrious group:  Pandora Boxx, Carmen Carrera, and Willam Belli held the title in prior seasons).  Low key, amazingly talented with her looks, and I LOVE that she used to be a clown.  She belongs in the Contender category.

Monica Beverly Hillz
I do not understand how this one avoided being in the bottom.  She is definitely one that is going home early.

Lineysha Sparx
Another Contender.  She's this season's Puerto Rican queen, and like the others, she has language issues.  Can they not find a PR queen that is comfortable with English?  Was Alexis Mateo the only one?  Would hate to her go home early for not understanding a challenge.  While Lineysha isn't amongst my favorites, I think she is fairly talented and one to watch.

Coco Montrese
I like that she throws shade, I think she is definitely a Contender, and I cannot stand her.  I am more than curious about her past with Alyssa, and she comes across to me as the more talented of the two, but she seems like the instigator in all the workroom drama.

The Mini Challenge:
Will show the pictures in order of how I rate them.  Pictures are taken from Tom and Lorenzo.

Detox (winner)
Had one of the better intro-looks, and one that worked well visually with the challenge.  Completely agree with this win.

Serena ChaCha
I may have hated her, but this was a great shot.  Too bad it was all Mike Ruiz.  She just lucked into a good picture - and the intro-look wasn't that good.

Jade Jolie
Interesting pose, although the bubbles kind of hide her face.  Love her intro-outfit

Vivienne Pinay
Beautiful shot.  Kind of low-key as far as intro-looks go, but given the challenge, it worked in her favor.

Roxxxy Andrews
Solid, but not outstanding - for the picture and the look.

Coco Montrese
Great pose, but the look wasn't all that strong.

Penny Tration
Another strong pose with a weaker outfit.

Alyssa Edwards
Great look, but horrible face in the shot.

Jinkx Monsoon
Good, in a campy sort of way, but I think it was unintentional.  Nice that she had a swimsuit on.

Ivy Winters
Great outfit that just didn't work for the challenge.  The pose is okay, but doesn't really work with what she is wearing.

Monica Beverly Hillz
The outfit wasn't anything great, and the photo is kind of unintentionally funny, but Monica obviously lucked into that.

Lineysha Sparx
Not a terribly impressive outfit, and the pose is fairly lacking also.  Good face though.

Honey Mahogany
Detox called her a 'RuPaul without the polish' and I feel that was a bit generous on her part.  Terrible outfit, with a terrible pose.  She's lucky Alaska fucked it up, or she would have easily been the worst.

Your computer didn't mess up:  There isn't a photo for Alaska.  After trying to get on the show every season, I would have expected her to try a little harder.  I can only assume that she panicked in the water (it happens), but I was disappointed nonetheless.

The Main Challenge/Runway:
The queens had to dumpster dive for materials to make a dress out of.  Fun challenge, although I heartily disagreed with who was in the bottom.  Pictures are placed in order of my preference.  Screenshots taken from Tom and Lorenzo because the Logo website kept screwing up on me *shakes fist angrily*

Lineysha Sparx
Beautiful, especially considering it was made out of wallpaper.  While I wasn't bothered by who got the win, this was the top look in my opinion.

Coco Montrese
Why do the ones I don't like have to be so infuriatingly competent?  She went with a movie theme and dialed it to 11.  Love it for the sheer nerve.  Very close second.

Roxxxy Andrews (winner)
For those that can't tell:  those are her actual hips poking through.  While I feel that my top 4 could be ranked in any order (they was a substantial drop between my fourth and fifth choice), this was a deserving winner.  Loved it.

Ivy Winters
A tad more low key than the previous ones, I appreciated the natural beauty of it.  She's got serious sewing skills.

Nice effort, but it seemed a bit ill-fitting.  Wish she had jazzed it up a bit also.

Alyssa Edwards
Wish she hadn't had her mouth open so much (not giving good face, with that), but man, I want her to be Joan Collins if she makes it to Snatch Game.  The outfit is nice, but I don't like the cloth tumor she has on her leg.

I like that she embraced the trash theme, but this doesn't look red carpet couture to me.  In fact, it feels a little underdone and I feel the judges graded her on a bit of a curve.

Jinkx Monsoon
It looked like a cheaper version of Ivy's look.  Solid, but very much a middle-of-the-pack dress.

Jade Jolie
I thought the judges were a little too harsh on this, but Ru probably wanted to give the 'edit' critique early (which is fair).  I loved the look and thought it had just enough business to it without going overboard.

Penny Tration
I thought they were way to hard on this look also.  It obviously isn't a contender for the win, but it didn't have any of the problems that the ones I have below it did.  Just lower-middle-of-the-pack in execution.

Vivienne Pinay
This and Penny's are both solid and uninteresting, but hardly worth ripping.  But somehow Vivienne got a pass while Penny landed in the bottom 2.

Honey Mahogany
What a mess.  She has an eye for color and the face is good, but the dress is all over the place and poorly made.  How this escaped critique is a mystery.

Monica Beverly Hillz
Kind of the opposite of Honey:  The face is harsh, the colors are all over the place, but the outfit is well made for the most part.  But I have no idea what she was going for - this isn't anywhere close to red carpet.

Serena ChaCha
Easily the worst on the runway.  The top part makes any chance of female illusion a no go, and the wig prevents it from being a bit of genderfuck drag.  The makeup is terrible also.  She was in serious denial/delusion if she wasn't worried about this look.

Too many girls for there really to be much of anything (although I do kinda love that the safe ones assumed Alaska was on the bottom only to be terribly wrong).  Jade's read of Serena was nice, and I am fairly disappointed we didn't get to see the lipsync battle between them.

My Top 4:  Lineysha, Coco, Roxxxy, Ivy
Ru's Top 4: Roxxxy, Lineysha, Alaska, Ivy
My Bottom 3:  Honey, Monica, Serena
Ru's Bottom 3:  Jade, Penny, Serena
Lipsync Song:  "Party in the U.S.A." by Miley Cyrus
Result:  Penny Tration sashays away after one of the worst LSFYL ever.  The only one that comes to mind as worse is the Shangela vs. Venus from Season 3.  The edited the other queens commentary to make it seem like Serena handily won it, but I thought they were about on equal footing as far as performance went.  However, I think Penny was doomed by virtue of being the fan pick.  RuPaul has eliminated every queen brought back into the competition (Carmen Carrera, Kenya Michaels) and eliminated the top 2 vote getters for the All-Star season right off the bat (Pandora Boxx and Mimi Imfurst).  I won't go so far as to say that RuPaul purposely eliminated Penny, but I think that Penny wasn't who she wanted out of those competing for the fan vote, so if Penny didn't get top 3, she was out.  And, unfortunately, Penny didn't get top 3.

How'd I rank the remaining queens:
1)  Detox - Strong first impression, and a professionalism/intelligence that will help her navigate the challenges.
2)  Roxxxy Andrews - Winning the first challenge tends to mean good things (unless you are Morgan McMichaels), so I think she will be around awhile.
3)  Lineysha Sparx - Nice sense of style, but hopefully the language barrier won't hurt her later.
4)  Coco Montrese - Because I don't like her, she will prove to be one of the better queens.  Dammit.
5)  Ivy Winters - She has a strong sense of style and great makeup/sewing skills, but she may end up being too low-key.
6)  Alaska - I think it bodes well that Ru put her in the top 4 for the main challenge, but I'm not quite sold yet.
7)  Jinkx Monsoon - Camp/comedy queens never win.  But she could go far.
8)  Vivienne Pinay - Perhaps a little too low-key (like Ivy), but her looks have been strong so far.
9)  Jade Jolie - That 'edit' critique was given early, and I bet she runs with it.
10)  Alyssa Edwards - I don't see her in it for the long haul.  But she could surprise:  You don't win Miss Gay America without having some skills.
11)  Honey Mahogany - Sometimes the middle people step it up as the competition goes on.  I don't think that will happen with this one.
12)  Monica Beverly Hillz - I just don't see her lasting long.
13)  Serena ChaCha - Tick-tock, honey.