Monday Morning Hangover: Oscars edition

    What if, every Monday morning, whether you were spending the weekend living it up or partying down, you could have all of your pop culture news in one place? What if there was more to your weekend than bright nights and hazy mornings? What if you could be caught up on your television, film, and music news all at once, with a little Northwestern thrown in for good measure? This is the Monday Morning Hangover.

    When I was a kid, my father used to always let me stay up to watch the Academy Awards. Coming from a family where being up late and sleeping in the next morning was frowned upon, I knew this was a big deal. I have always loved movies, and thus, the fanfare of the Oscars has always been something particularly exciting to me. So I hope you understand that this week, we trim some fat from the other pop culture categories in order to bring you a big, fat, juicy, all-you-can-eat, running-out-of-adjectives Oscars section. Here is a special edition of what we are reeling from this weekend.


    Did anyone else know about this whole Oscar goodie-bag thing? For one, they are valued at $80,000 a pop, but what is even better is what comes inside. These people are receiving mace guns, herbal tea lollipops, gourmet bottles of maple syrup, a trip to Hawaii, an “O-Shot” procedure (use your imagination), a water filtration system (does that even fit in the bag?), and the grand-daddy of them all: a $15,000 walking tour of Japan. Business Insider has the full list.

    Something else that my buddy and I came up with during this edition of the awards: Every year, you have to watch out for the Pacino Effect. Check this out: back in the 70s and 80s, Al Pacino was putting together one of the finest acting careers we had ever seen in film — The Godfather, The Godfather Part II, Serpico, Dog Day Afternoon and Scarface. Incredible! You would think that would be enough to wrap up one, maybe two Oscars, but nope. Pacino ran into some steep competition and failed to take home any hardware. In fact, all he brought home for any of those movies was one stinking Golden Globe for his turn in Serpico (and let’s be honest, does anyone take the Golden Globes seriously anymore? Crappy speeches, drunk celebrities, no single big award — no one asks you the following day who won at the Golden Globes). It was not until 1992 that his role in Scent of a Woman brought him in the big one. After that? Things tank. Seriously, his best role since that flick has to be Heat in 1995, and even there he over-acts and hams it up. His Oscar was 22 years ago, and you know what? Not even a nomination since! This is the Pacino Effect.

    Since that ill-fated day in ’92, we have seen some quality names fall victim to the Pacino Effect. Cuba Gooding Jr. scored his Oscar for his supporting role in Jerry Maguire back in 1996, and since then? No nominations and even three Razzie nominations from 2003-2007. Halle Berry, too, won her Academy Award for Monster’s Ball back in 2001, and has brought in jack squat since.

    Enter Matthew McConaughey. The man has been on a massive career-climb as of late. Mud, True Detective, Dallas Buyers Club—the man we all thought was destined to be a boy-toy abruptly became an A-list actor. Now, he just won that foreboding first Oscar. Are we doomed to see McConaughey spiral out of control now? Are we going to see a relapse? Will he be another victim of the Pacino Effect? I hate this phenomenon. Why did I bring this up again?

    A few last things I loved about the Oscars this year:

    • Ellen. Bring her back next year. She was spontaneous, engaging, self-aware, and consistently hysterical. She made you want to keep watching an awards show that is always plagued by monotone speakers, unprepared presenters, and just-alright musical performances. Her best asset was her ability to undermine all of the things the audience (both at home and in-person) hates about the Oscars. Case in point: the pizza. Great move.
    • Lupita Nyong’o over Jennifer Lawrence for Best Supporting Actress. It was the right choice. Nyong’o (12 Years A Slave) drove home one of the most emotionally-wracking movies so far this decade. Jennifer Lawrence, while great in American Hustle, was little more than a dramatically-infused bit of comic relief. Mad props to the voters for holding firm on this one.
    • Harrison Ford not only wore an earring, but he made an especially aggressive move toward the pizza Ellen had waiting backstage delivered. The man knows what he wants.
    • Kevin Spacey’s various antics.
    • McConaughey’s acceptance speech for Best Actor. It was deep, honest, and thought-provoking. I even wrote down key quotes in my phone ... you probably did not need to know that.
    • 12 Years A Slave as Best Picture—hey, guess what?! The Academy is not racist! Woohoo!


    If I told you that Justin Timberlake, Daft Punk, Miley Cyrus, Hans Zimmer, Alicia Keys, JoJo and Timbaland were all coming together on one project, the hype would be pretty real. Luckily for you, this has already happened. Indeed, Pharrell Williams’ G I R L brought all of these huge names together, and so far, reviews of the week’s biggest music release have been largely positive. Check it out Tuesday.

    Oh hey, and all three of you who heard Lorde’s ‘Royals’ and thought, “Hey, you know who should cover this? Bruce Springsteen!” – you have your wish.


    Want to see a shot of Jessica Alba in the new Sin City flick? Of course you do! Wow, can anyone else spy a comeback? I sure can, I can spy a whole slate of reasons for her to come back.

    Other non-Oscar things I want to point out: the trailer of the week is absolutely the new red band teaser for Jake Gyllenhaal’s Enemy. Check this out (NSFW). I still cannot stop thinking about the final quick-cut sequence at the end.

    Finally, there will be a Yeezus movie. I will refrain from comment, because people like Kanye and I like my job.


    Pokémon showed up in a big way this weekend (something you haven’t heard since 2002), with Twitch Plays Pokémon conquering Victory Road and crushing the Pokémon League in sporadic, hectic fashion. Now, they are playing Crystal Version, and the shenanigans just keep on coming. After we salute the final party, we can always go back to Netflix, because (believe it!) they have all the old Pokémon episodes and movies as of March 1.

    And hey! The Flash is going to have a television show, and we were treated to the first shot of the costume this week.


    So as you might have figured out by now thanks to a certain selfie, James Franco was here, and North by Northwestern has the scoop! (Don’t you love shameless plugs?)

    If you could not grab tickets to Dave Franco’s older brother, there was a slew of student theater this weekend. From the Panini Players' old-school improvised comedy show A Civil Union in Sochi to the Jewish Theatre Ensemble’s Diary of Anne Frank, there was something to fit all moods and interests. Plus, the Purple Crayon Players put on The Transition of Doodle Pequeño, featuring a trilingual goat. So there you are.

    Next weekend, we look ahead to Dance Marathon. Stay hydrated. I just want to tell each dancer, good luck, we’re all counting on you.


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