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February 16, 2009

Statistician Nate Silver predicts the Oscars

Nate Silver Predicts the Winners of the 2009 Oscars -- New York Magazine

First Baseball then Politics and now the Oscars? Is nothing sacred Silver?

His picks are:

Supporting actor: Heath Ledger
Supporting actress: Taraji P. Henson
Lead actor: Mickey Rourke
Lead actress: Kate Winslet
Best director: Danny Boyle
Best film: Slumdog Millionaire

Nate explains the statistical reasoning behind each choice in the article.

fter spending most of 2008 predicting the success of political actors—also called politicians—it’s only natural that Nate Silver (FiveThirtyEight.com) would turn his attention to the genuine article: the nominees in the major categories for the 81st Annual Academy Awards (Feb. 22 at 8 p.m. on ABC). Formally speaking, this required the use of statistical software and a process called logistic regression. Informally, it involved building a huge database of the past 30 years of Oscar history. Categories included genre, MPAA classification, the release date, opening-weekend box office (adjusted for inflation), and whether the film won any other awards. We also looked at whether being nominated in one category predicts success in another. For example, is someone more likely to win Best Actress if her film has also been nominated for Best Picture? (Yes!) But the greatest predictor (80 percent of what you need to know) is other awards earned that year, particularly from peers (the Directors Guild Awards, for instance, reliably foretells Best Picture). Genre matters a lot (the Academy has an aversion to comedy); MPAA and release date don’t at all. A film’s average user rating on IMDb (the Internet Movie Database) is sometimes a predictor of success; box grosses rarely are. And, as in Washington, politics matter, in ways foreseeable and not.

February 11, 2009

The AVclub interviews america's greatest living actor

Bruce Campbell | Film | A.V. Club

AVC: In your opinion, is Ash worthy of more movies?

BC: No. I think there should be an end to everything. I mean, did anyone really want Indiana Jones 4? The answer is no. I’ve taken a poll in about seven theaters now. Of 300 people, three hands go up. You are bound to disappoint. I would rather disappoint with a brand new original movie. People worship Army Of Darkness,and God bless them for it. It’s a beautiful thing. The movie bombed when it came out, and not many people are aware of that. Twenty years later, the thing has picked up speed, and it’s on American Movie Classics now. That was a long time ago, and whatever we do next will always be compared to Army Of Darkness, and I don’t see how we can win. You make that movie, and I can tell you the quote right now, “Oh, it’s not quite as good as Army Of Darkness.” Then we would have gone through immense physical pain and anguish to bring something out that ultimately disappointed. That’s really not what I’m into these days.

February 10, 2009

"Dawn of the Dead" -- the whole perfect amazing movie

Dawn of the Dead (1978)

February 05, 2009

I wish I had a chance to know *that* Jean-Luc Picard

Star Trek TNG:That Jean-Luc Picard

February 02, 2009

Star Trek - The Last Voyage of the Starship Enterprise

Star Trek - The Last Voyage of the Starship Enterprise Note for young 'uns: Promise was a brand of margarine hawked by Shatner post-Trek and pre-Hooker.

January 30, 2009

Why didn't anybody tell me Burn Notice was on Hulu?

Hulu - Burn Notice: Hot Spot - Watch the full episode now.

Burn Notice is one of my guilty pleasures of TV. It's a story of an American spy who for unknown reasons gets "burned." This means he gets exiled to Miami to stew while the government figures out what to do with him. The FBI bribes his best friend (played by Bruce fucking Campbell) to watch him while the spy bumps into his ex. The three of them form an ersatz Ops group to help the helpless in Miami.

The actors are surprisingly good and the intrigue is fun. The show is peppered with Clancy-esque technical details and tips on how to be a better spy, which is irresistible.

January 27, 2009

Brutally honest movie posters

If Movie Posters Were Honest | www.holytaco.com

January 23, 2009

Target Women: Ann Curry

Target Women: Ann Curry // Current

Seriously, Sarah Haskins needs to be on TV every single day. Obama, make it so!

January 22, 2009

If you see only one version of Forrest Gump this year, make it "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"

Forrest Gump vs. Benjamin Button | TV | A.V. Club

Lost, season 5 episode 1

MEGAVIDEO - I'm watching it

News Special: Dr. Manhattan, the greatest american hero

Blog@Newsarama -- New Frontiersman reveals Dr. Manhattan footage