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The Biggest Winners at the Oscars

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Even a global pandemic can’t dim the glitz and glamor of the entertainment industry, as proven in the 93rd annual Academy Awards on April 25. If you’ve missed the Oscars telecast, here’s the lowdown on the best highlights of the night.

First off, let’s take a look at the Oscars winners this year.

Best Supporting Actor

Daniel Kaluuya won Best Supporting Actor for his acting in Judas and the Black Messiah. His co-star in the same film, Lakeith Stanfield, also got a nod for this award, along with Sacha Baron Cohen, Leslie Odom, Jr., and Paul Raci.

Best Supporting Actress

Minari’s Yuh-Jung Youn took home the Best Supporting Actress award. She bested other actresses who got a nod for the award, namely Maria Bakalova, Glenn Close, Olivia Colman, and Amanda Seyfried.

Best Picture

Nomadland snagged Best Picture this year. It won over The Father, Judas and the Black Messiah, Mank, Minari, Promising Young Woman, Sound of Metal, and The Trial of the Chicago 7.

Best Director 

Perhaps one of the most trending wins this year is Chloé Zhao, who took home Best Director for her work in Nomadland. Zhao is the first woman of color to win the award and the second woman to get the Oscars Best Director trophy. 

It was also the first time that two women got a nod for best director – Emerald Fennell also got a nod for her work on Promising Young Woman. Also nominated were Thomas Vinterberg, David Fincher, and Lee Isaac Chung. 

Best Writing (Original Screenplay)

Though she didn’t win Best Director, Emerald Fennell nabbed the Best Writing award for an original screenplay for her work on Promising Young Woman. 

Best Actress

This year’s Oscars Best Actress is Frances McDormand for her impeccable performance in Nomadland. Viola Davis, Andra Day, Vanessa Kirby, and Carey Mulligan also got a nod for the award.

Best Actor

Anthony Hopkins took home the Best Actor trophy for his role in The Father, much to the dismay of Chadwick Boseman fans. The late actor got a nod for his performance in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom but wasn’t given a posthumous award (more on this below). 

Oscar Upsets

Without a doubt, the biggest Oscars upset was Anthony Hopkins winning over the late Chadwick Boseman for the best actor. Though Hopkins gave a stunning portrayal in The Father, Boseman won posthumous best actor awards at the Golden Globes, Critics Choice, and Screen Actors Guild. 

In fact, many Boseman fans took to social media with their angry reactions over the turnout. After all, the Oscars producers switched the order of the awards this year to end with the best acting awards instead of the best picture. And many assumed that this move was a way to close the show with an award slash tribute for Boseman. Despite the upset, the Academy honored Boseman during the in memoriam segment. 

On the other hand, Hopkins did not attend the ceremony to accept the award, and the show abruptly ended after calling his name. The incident triggered a fire of tweets comparing the show to botched show finales, such as Game Of Thrones.

A Win for Streaming Services

With streaming services being the reigning channel amid movie house closures, Netflix shone in the Academy Awards. In fact, the company got a whopping 36 nods this year. Two of the best picture nominees, The Trial of the Chicago 7 and Mank, are under the streaming giant.

Despite not earning a best picture Oscar statue, Netflix snagged seven awards. These included two trophies for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and Best Documentary Feature for My Octopus Teacher. In the same vein, the company also got the live-action short film award for Two Distant Strangers and the Best-Animated Short-Film for If Anything Happens I Love You.

This success takes us back to when Netflix first got the Best Picture nod in 2019 for Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma. Back then, film observers thought insiders might have snubbed the film intentionally. Why? Probably due to anxiety that the streaming service is holding influence in Hollywood. However, this year’s nods and wins show that that anxiety may have vanished into thin air.

Aside from Netflix, streaming companies Amazon studios and Disney Plus got two wins each.

Oscars Amid the Pandemic

Holding the awards night amid a global pandemic brought restrictions due to health protocols. For instance, attendees had to rotate in and out of Union Station to limit the number of guests present. 

Despite the Union Station being the main venue, the producers spread the show across various locations due to travel restrictions. Program segments were also done in the Dolby Theatre and the Highland Center in Hollywood.

Face Masks On

Everyone at the venue needed to sport face masks. But just as with the rule in movie sets, people could only take off masks when they’re on camera. And when they’re not rolling, it was mask back on for all. 

On-stage banter between presenters and even winners was very much a part of the Oscars before. But those moments were lacking this year for obvious reasons. 

Glenn Close’s “Da Butt” Moves

The most viral moment of the night was probably Glenn Close’s “Da Butt” jiggle. The actress showed her bootylicious moves as she danced to Experience Unlimited’s song

But that aside, the show mainly focused on giving out the awards. The program also showed only a few sketches and pre-recorded the performances of best song nominees. It was a pretty tame show and understandably so, given the health situation. 

Red Carpet Head-Turners

Despite pandemic restrictions, stars gave fans a sense of awards night normalcy. How? Simple – they hit the red carpet with their usual pizzazz. 

Best Actress nominee Carey Mulligan stole the show with a gold ball gown.

On the other hand, Viola Davis, nominated for Best Actress for “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” radiated in a white frock.

Best Supporting Actress nominee Maria Bakalova also dazzled in a luxe white gown.

While Best Supporting Actress nominee Amanda Seyfried looked amazing in a red number reminiscent of Old Hollywood style.

Kayla Matthews is a tech journalist and writer whose work has been featured on The Week, VICE and MakeUseOf. Read more posts by Kayla on productivitybytes.com.

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The All-Time Greatest Video Game Movies

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Most video game enthusiasts would agree on one thing. Video games should stay on consoles and not as TV or movie adaptations. Given Hollywood’s track record of adapting video games, it’s difficult to capture the essence of a beloved video game and make a two-hour movie about it. Let’s be real here, not all video game movies suck. You would have to look past some plot holes or bad characterizations to realize it wasn’t a bad movie after all. But which ones are worth watching? Here’s a list of the best video game movies of all time.

Warning: Potential spoilers ahead

1. Mortal Kombat (1995)

Any movie critic or gamer agrees that the 1995 Mortal Kombat movie is one of the best video game movies ever.

The story follows Liu Kang (Robin Shou) as he tries to defend the earth from being invaded by the Outerworld. Not only that, he seeks to avenge his brother after being killed by Shang Tsung (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa).

As you watch the movie, it looks like a video game because the audience will see fight scenes from different “arenas.” And if we’re to look at this in the video game context, there are “cutscenes” for the audience to understand the story better. If we look past the cheesy dialogue and the visuals (okay, fine, it was released in the ‘90s), it’s a good movie based on the plot. Plus, it stays true to the video game’s story. Even non-players of the game will see how the story goes.

While the scenes with Liu Kang vs. his enemies are considered the best, we have to give Johnny Cage (Linden Ashby) credit for fighting Goro, a Shokan. It proves that he’s a real martial artist, but it doesn’t discount him being “the funny guy” in the movie since he kicks Shokan in the nuts in this fight scene.

Here’s a clip of Johnny vs. Goro in Mortal Kombat 1995.

The 1995 movie did have a sequel, but it had negative reviews from critics and the audience. There is a new Mortal Kombat movie, available for streaming on HBO Max. Mortal Kombat (2021) does have some significant changes and much better special effects. But, the original adaptation remains a fan favorite.

2. Resident Evil

Okay, there are six movies in this series, but the entire Resident Evil movie franchise delivers in action and horror as a whole.

The movie franchise’s main protagonist, Alice (Milla Jovovich), teams up with beloved characters from the game, such as the Redfield siblings (Claire and Chris), Jill Valentine, and Leon S. Kennedy. They’re up against countless zombies and the well-known video game villain, Albert Wesker.

Among the six movies in the franchise, the first movie takes the cake as the best Resident Evil movie of all time. If you plan on starting the franchise, get hyped by watching the trailer of the first movie:

3. Sonic The Hedgehog

Before its release, Sonic the Hedgehog was met with backlash over Sonic’s original design. 

Sonic’s original design and Twitter reactions:

But the designers changed it and made it look like the game’s version, earning praise from the general public. Without the change, it would not have been the hit it was at the box office and the audience.

The movie follows the speedy hedgehog, Sonic (voiced by Ben Schwartz), as he loses rings and evades Robotnik (Jim Carrey) from eventual capture. He also gets Tom’s (James Mardsen) help to retrieve the rings and forges a close friendship with the human.

It’s a hilarious movie with excellent visual effects that will keep your eyes glued to the screen. It even imitates Quicksilver’s speed-up/slow-mo scenes, allowing us to witness Sonic’s super-speed in action. Plus, it also incorporates other pop culture references that will make you chuckle.

See Sonic in full speed and power in this clip:

4. The Angry Birds Movie

Who would’ve thought that the viral mobile game app, Angry Birds, would get a movie adaptation? Of course, your first thought could be, how on earth would birds getting thrown at green pigs become a movie?

The writers were able to flesh out a plot with birds dealing with anger management issues, and greedy pigs aim to steal and eat their eggs. But the main trio, Red, Chuck, and Bomb, are determined to stop these hungry pigs from eating their hatchlings and recover them to their parents.

It’s not until the end you’ll see how the gameplay was incorporated on the big screen. It was a nice take on how they wanted to defeat the evil pigs for stealing their eggs.

The voice cast includes Jason Sudeikis as Red, Josh Gad as Chuck, and Danny McBride as Bomb.

The sequel, Angry Birds Movie 2, was much more well-received than its predecessor. That’s a rarity in Hollywood. It’s one (well, two) of the best video game movies you’ll ever watch, even if you haven’t played the game.

Check out the trailer for The first Angry Birds Movie here:

5. Detective Pikachu

Even if you didn’t play Detective Pikachu on the Nintendo DS, you will still appreciate the storyline and characters in the movie adaptation.

It’s a whole new story, as it deals with Tim (Justice Smith) trying to uncover the mystery of his father’s disappearance. He’s joined by Detective Pikachu (voiced by Ryan Reynolds), who is Tim’s father’s Pokemon.

Even if Pokemon wasn’t a part of your childhood, the movie does a great job introducing characters and their powers. Aside from that, it has stunning visual effects that will leave you breathless. Not only that, you’ll laugh or chuckle because of Ryan Reynolds’ one-liners and shed a tear because of some heartwarming or sad moments. That’s why it’s one of the best video game movies of all time.

It isn’t easy to pinpoint a good scene in the movie, but here’s one that will make you laugh:

6. Tomb Raider (2018)

Angelina Jolie’s Tomb Raider movies weren’t up to par as a video game movie adaptation. But Alicia Vikander’s take on the English archaeologist had a much better reception.

It’s an action-packed movie that highlights Lara Croft’s strengths. Some scenes will put you at the edge of your seat and will leave you wondering how Lara could survive this trial. It’s an enjoyable and fun adventure movie that has some levels of predictability. Nevertheless, it leaves you wanting more and gets you excited about what’s to come.

Watch Lara Croft solve a puzzle as they get closer to knowing the mystery behind a historical figure:

7. Warcraft

The PC-based strategy game had its video game movie adaptation in 2016. 

It tells the story of humans and orcs fighting against one another. The humans are defending their land, while orcs aim to invade and colonize their world. But behind all the fighting, the characters are left wondering if war should be their only way to solve their problems.

The game’s lore is integrated into the movie and gives its audience a reason to explore it. Plus, despite some narrative concerns, the acting of the main characters is superb.

The cast includes Travis Fimmel, Paula Patton, Toby Kebbell, and Dominic Cooper.

Explore the World of Warcraft (pun intended) here with an official compilation clip of all the Orc Battles:

8. Rampage

If you’ve heard about the arcade game Rampage, you would know that you play as the monsters as you try to avoid getting killed by the military. But the movie adaption puts a human element with the monsters.

When three animals are exposed to manipulated pathogens, Davis Okoye (Dwayne Johnson) is enlisted by Dr. Kate Caldwell (Naomi Harris) to prevent something catastrophic from happening. However, Okoye has a close bond with one of the three animals (a gorilla). So, it’s up to them to help stop the other animals from wreaking havoc.

You might have to watch it mindlessly to enjoy it. Even so, it makes you want to root for Davis Okoye and his gorilla, hoping that they can stop the other animals from destroying their city. While the dialogue could have been refined, it is still a video game movie worth checking out in your spare time.

Check out this clip to get a preview of the movie:

9. Silent Hill

Get the heebie-jeebies by watching the Silent Hill movie adaptation. The story revolves around Rose, a mother desperate to help her adopted daughter be healed. In pursuit of healing, Rose (Radha Mitchell) ends up in a car accident with a police officer, and they get stuck in Silent Hill, where they aim to find Sharon (Jodelle Ferland). There, they discover some mysterious and disturbing occurrences.

Story-wise it doesn’t capture the depth that video games have. However, it makes up for the creepy vibe and gore and includes characters in the games. Plus, the visual effects aren’t that bad considering that it was released in the late ‘00s. Overall, many Silent Hill gamers think this is one of the best video game movies. However, even without the gaming experience, horror fans may still find this worth watching.

Watch the trailer for the psychological horror movie here:

10. Monster Hunter

Here we have another Milla Jovovich and Paul W.S. Anderson team-up of another popular video game. Although it may not follow the gameplay of the Monster Hunter games, it’s still a video game movie that you could consider watching.

The story follows Lt. Artemis (Jovovich) and her band of soldiers. They get transported to another land where monsters reign. Their attempts to fight the new enemy seem futile with their weapons, but they encounter a Hunter (Tony Jaa) that could help them defeat these monsters.

Overall, the movie doesn’t break the stereotypes about video game movies. However, this isn’t a bad adaptation if you’re looking for a fun film to stream. Unfortunately, you may have to overlook some elements in the story. But in the end, it also delivers in the special effects and casting department. 

If you’re interested in watching Monster Hunter, here’s a nine-minute preview provided by Entertainment Access:

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The Official Rules to Binge-Watching with Your Significant Other

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It’s happened to all of us. You started binge-watching a show with your significant other, and then somebody does the unthinkable: They watch an episode without you. Or the last episode you watched ended on a crazy cliffhanger, and you can’t wait to see what happens next, but your partner is dragging their feet to watch again. This is unacceptable.

But it’s not their fault. It’s not like there are official rules to binging TV with your partner. We’ve all just been navigating this crazy, crazy world on our own. Well, I’ve changed all that. After time and thoughtful consideration, I have prepared a list of rules to clear up any discrepancies and settle all disputes. So read below and share with your partner. I present to you, once and for all, the Official Rules to Binge-Watching with Your Significant Other.

1.    The Pilot Episode Principal

You and your significant other cannot officially commit to binge-watching a show until after you have both assessed the first episode. Maybe you and your significant other set out to watch that epic fantasy show with all the violence and nudity that ended a few years ago. Or maybe you want to catch up on the superhero show so you can watch the finale at the end of the week in real-time. Either way, you need a taste of the show before you join in on this adventure.

Watch the first episode together and talk about it before committing.

What did you think?

How did you both feel about it? Did the show grab you? Do you both like the genre? Was it too confusing? Did you like the humor? These are the questions to ask each other before watching the next episode. You might not be completely sold on the show. One might like it more than the other, and that’s fine. More on that later. Just get a gauge for your partner’s interest. Maybe she laughed harder than you did. Maybe he’s more into than you.

2.    Thou Shalt Not Cheat

Here it is in writing: No watching the show without your significant other. This cannot be stated enough. Watching the show by yourself is a HIGH CRIME. This is akin to infidelity. Once the trust is broken, it is difficult to regain.

The Sleeping Amendment

It’s 3 am, and you’re 6 episodes into your binge. Your favorite character walks in on his best friend in bed with his wife. Before the best friend can say anything, your character reaches in the dresser, pulls out a revolver, and shoots them both dead! Your jaw drops. You can’t believe it. You look at your girlfriend to see her reaction… and she’s snoring. Credits roll, and Netflix asks:

That question is for both of you. Translation: your binge-watching is over for the night. You cannot continue to the next episode while your significant other is sleeping. You may, however, finish any episode that you started together. It doesn’t matter if they fell asleep with ten minutes left or if they fell asleep during the opening credits. So, it is written.

3.    It’s Called Binge-Watching. Not Snacking.

You’ve both agreed to binge? Great, now get on with it. But remember, they call it binge-watching for a reason. The term binging refers to indulging in an activity to excess. Binge drinking does not mean a glass of wine with dinner. No one binge eats a salad. Similarly, you don’t binge-watch a show one episode at a time.

Netflix, Hulu, Amazon: they all conveniently have an automatic ‘Play Next’ feature. It’s there for a reason. You might not get to watch a whole season in a sitting. Maybe one evening, you only have time for a single episode. And that’s okay. But burning through the show as quickly as possible is the goal.

4.    The Mercy Rule

If you have committed to binge-watching a show with your significant other, but over time you realize that you’re just not feeling it as much as they are, cut it loose. I know you value the quality time with your partner as much as the show itself, but sometimes it’s okay to let it go. Tapping out of a binge is the respectable and dignified course of action. In doing so, you give your significant other permission to go on without you and watch the show in their spare time.

In doing so, three provisions come forward:

  1. You, henceforth known as the Quitter, may request a recap of what you missed should you decide to jump back in.
  2. The Quitter may watch the show on their own time should they wish to catch up, but their significant other is NOT REQUIRED to rewatch with them.
  3. The Quitter is not expected to watch the show during quality time. They gave up on the show; it is no longer their cross to bear.

5.    The Statute of Limitations

Sometimes life gets in the way of what’s really important. Maybe you picked up an extra shift, or you need to help your sister and her boyfriend move because he’s a scrawny loser who doesn’t have any friends to help. These things happen. But binging with your partner should take some priority. If your partner is consistently waiting for you to make time to watch your show together, resentment builds. Agree on a maximum acceptable time between viewings. This is different for every couple. Whether it’s two days or a week, set a cap for time off. If the said time has elapsed, either party is free to ignore the Cheater Rule.

6.    After Binge-Watching, Never Fall Behind Again

If you and your partner binge-watch to catch up on a show that is on air, you have not graduated to the status of a ‘regular viewer.’ This is an elite status that is not as common as it was 20 years ago. Some people prefer to wait for a show to end before they binge the whole thing from start to finish. But for those who enjoy a regular viewer status get to talk about the show with other viewers in real-time. You can talk about the latest episode at work, and you no longer have to run from spoilers. That’s why it is important to stay caught up on the show.

Should you and your partner miss the show when it airs (or when you agree to watch it), you have until the airing of the next episode to watch the show together. If you still haven’t watched the last episode before the day of the new episode, both parties can catch up on their own. If you couldn’t spare an hour all week, that’s on you.

By Reading This You Have Officially Agreed to These Rules for Binge-Watching

There you have it. No longer will you be able to hide behind your ignorance. These rules have been made clear. Now that you and your partner have read these rules, the slate is officially wiped clean. Any grudges or punishments for past injustices are no longer valid. But from now onward, both parties are expected to binge by the rules.

Be sure to check back with us for our upcoming article on Amendments, Exceptions, and Acceptable Punishments.

Looking for a comprehensive list on all the streaming services and their prices? Check out this article.

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Elon Musk SNL Episode Gets Mixed Reviews

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Everyone has been riveted in their seats waiting for the SNL May 8 show, with billionaire host Elon Musk. But has Musk saved the show’s plummeting ratings? Well, we know for sure one thing that plummeted after the May 8 show — Dogecoin — and the cryptocurrency has Musk to blame for.

Although the show garnered mixed reactions from viewers, I’d probably want to get my hour back. An hour of watching Musk spew all those awkward and boring jokes about his eccentricity. But let’s admit, the guy’s a good sport. And with Miley Cyrus’ incredible Dolly Parton opening, Pete Davidson’s exploding head scene, Kate McKinnon’s Frances McDormand impersonation, and Kyle Mooney’s Baby Yoda skit, I’d probably stick around if I have to watch it all over again.

Elon Musk’s Monologue

The special Mother’s Day show started emotionally with cast members and their mothers expressing their love for one another. And then came Elon Musk’s monologue. He greeted the show with, “It’s an honor to be hosting Saturday Night Live. I mean that. Sometimes after I say something I have to say ‘I mean that’.” 

The billionaire was referring to his unnerving tweets. Musk even admitted that he offended some people, and that’s just how his brain works. But don’t get all fired up about that. The billionaire made sure to apologize (or eerrr…justify how his brain works). 

He said, “To anyone I’ve offended, I just want to say, I reinvented electric cars, and I’m sending people to Mars on a rocket ship. Did you think I was also going to be a chill, normal dude?” Of course not, Elon, we can smell your eccentric personality from a mile away!

The host also claimed he was the first person with Asperger’s to host SNL. WRONG! Dan Aykroyd, one of SNL’s original members, also hosted the show in 2003, and guess what? He was open about his Asperger’s diagnosis. I guess Elon Musk failed to fact-check this one. Way to go for blurting that out in the opening monologue!

Dogecoin Plummets Over Musk’s “Hustle” Comment

In all fairness, the show had fun skits that people enjoyed. Post-quarantine boring conversations, a Mare of Easttown parody, a cowboy standoff, the Ooli Show, and the Wario courtroom skit. 

However, the Weekend Update, which featured Lloyd Ostertag, a cryptocurrency expert played by Musk, was the reason behind Dogecoin’s plunge to nearly 30 percent. This was after its surge before Elon Musk hosted the show on May 8, according to a cryptocurrency analyst. 

When asked a couple of times what Dogecoin is, he answered, “It’s a hustle.” Then Musk capped the satirical news show shouting, “To the moon,” a popular doge enthusiasts’ catchphrase.

Twitter Pops In Mixed Tweets

After the show, the social network Twitter popped in a couple of negative and positive tweets about Musk’s hosting skill.

One fan, Cosmic Adam lauded Musk for killing it. 

While another user said, “Whoever talked @elonmusk into doing @nbcsnl was genius.” 

Joshua Willette also said, “That guy killed it like Oj.”

But a stream of negative tweets also bombarded the social media channel. 

Pan-Pizza jokingly said, “There goes all my Doge coin,” while referring to a skit from SNL’s satirical news show Weekend Update. 

Here’s also what another user Marlow Stern had to say:

Doctor Abdul El-Sayed also wasn’t so thrilled about the May 8 show’s host.

Overall, the May 8 show was not too bad, nor was it memorable. Let’s see if the self-proclaimed Dogefather will bounce back from this faux pas. To the moon, doge aficionados!

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