My 2012 Academy Awards predictions

Oscars Academy Awards 2012

I’ve previously come out with my Oscar predictions, and selected my winners from the entire list, but it was too long and boring (kind of like the show – am I right?) so I’ve just narrowed it down to the big six.

I feel like I did well this year seeing a good chunk of the nominees, but in a couple cases I’m going on limited selection. Below my choice you’ll see the other movies in the category that I’ve seen, just so you know where I’m coming from.

Have a look and let me know what your picks are!

Best Supporting Actor: Christopher Plummer (Beginners)

(I’ve seen: Jonah Hill (Moneyball))

Christopher Plummer - Beginners

Best Supporting Actress: Octavia Spencer (The Help)

(I’ve seen: Bérénice Bejo (The Artist), Jessica Chastain (The Help), Melissa McCarthy (Bridesmaids))

Octavia Spencer - The Help

Best Lead Actor: George Clooney (The Descendants)

(I’ve seen: Jean Dujardin (The Artist), Gary Oldman (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy), Brad Pitt (Moneyball))

George Clooney - The Descendants

Best Lead Actress: Viola Davis (The Help)

Haven’t seen the other nominees’ films.

Viola Davis - The Help

Best Director: Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist)

(I’ve seen: Alexander Payne (The Descendants), Woody Allen (Midnight In Paris), Terrence Malick (The Tree of Life))

Best Director - Michel Hazanavicius - The Artist

Best Picture: The Help

(I’ve seen: The Artist, The Descendants, Midnight In Paris, Moneyball, The Tree of Life)

The Help

Netflix is my new entertainment fix

Netflix

Late on Monday night I decided to take the plunge and sign up for a Netflix Canada account, which is free for the first month, then $7.99/month after that. I had been contemplating joining since it came to Canada in September, but I had never bothered to take the plunge.

Content

I have to say, I’m impressed. Since signing up I’ve five movies (four documentaries, one comedy standup) and there is so much more content that I haven’t even sifted through yet. I’ve seen some criticism that there isn’t enough content, but considering the many licensing issues I’m sure they have to deal with, Netflix isn’t doing too bad.

Yesterday’s post by Ryan Lawler over at GigaOM shows just how popular the online movie streaming site has become; clearly people like it:

According to Sandvine’s latest Global Internet Phenomena Report, the subscription streaming service now accounts for 29.7 percent of all peak downstream traffic in North America. That’s up 44 percent from the previous figure released in Sandvine’s Fall Study just six months ago.

Also according to the article, since the September launch in Canada, the number of subscribers has already surpassed 800,000, which is a good chunk of the country’s Internet user base.

Usability

I’m impressed with the usability and reliability of the site, so far. Watching a movie is as simple as scrolling through the genre you’re interested in, or performing a simple search, and you’re there. All you have to do after that is click play. The quality is dependent on what your watching – though that can be attributed to the movie itself, not the service.

Another bonus is the fact that I can watch movies/shows on my iPhone from anywhere. This option is great for those on the go, or if you find yourself in a not-so-entertaining event; just open up the app and you’re good to go.

Conclusion

I know this post seems like it was paid for, but in my limited time with the service I honestly don’t have much to complain about. The one downside for me, is that I don’t have a Sony PS3, Microsoft Xbox 360 or Nintento Wii, so I’m stuck watching shows on my laptop/iPhone instead of my TV.

Have you signed up for the service? If so, what do you like/dislike about it? If not, how come?

Leafs and Skills? Yes indeed!

A couple Sundays ago (Nov. 14.2010), the girlfriend and I went down to the Air Canada Centre to watch the Leafs Skills Competition. I received a couple snarky comments on Facebook and Twitter when I mentioned “Leafs” and “Skills” in the same sentence, but I have to say it was definitely skill-filled, and entertaining. Of course the main point of the whole day was to raise money for charity, and they ended up raising $90,000 that will benefit the MLSE Team Up Foundation and the NHLPA Goals And Dreams Fund.

Sitting in the lower bowl, which is a rarity for me at the ACC, we got to watch eight skill testing events + other entertainment, which included crazy guys dressed up in old school goalie outfits skating around the rink, body-checking each other to victory; a kids hockey match which was exciting and hilarious to watch as they couldn’t stay on their feet; and the best of all was the human bowling event, featuring the blue crew (aka hockey cheerleaders) – check out the video (shot on my iPhone 4):

In terms of the actual competition, a couple highlights were Kris Versteeg’s goal in the freestyle shootout challenge. He lifted the puck, hit it up twice, then reversed his stick and batted it in the net, past the goalie (a minor hockey goalie); I wish I caught that one on video! My other favourite highlight was from the hardest shot challenge where (I believe) Nik Kulemin’s shot registered about 139 km/h, which if possible, would’ve rocketed him into first place all time for any competition.

I can’t wait for next year! Did you go? If so, let me know what you thought of the event and do you plan on going again? If didn’t go, here are a few of the random pictures I took:

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