Oscar Bait

"Oscar bait" is a term used in the film community for movies that appear to have been produced for the sole purpose of earning nominations for Academy Awards or "Oscars", as they are commonly known.  

That's the definition I found on Wikipedia, and it honestly disappoints me. While there is truth to the fact that there are films created in the idea that they could win an Academy Award, it still doesn't change the fact that the "winners" do tend to actually be good movies for the most part. Shouldn't that be the ideal goal when creating a film? To make it really good and worth watching? That's not how a lot of people see "Oscar bait" films however, and lean more towards the idea that they shouldn't be supported because of the ulterior reasoning in their creation. 

Some people also think that Oscar bait movies are also generally manipulatively pretentious. Drama for the sake of drama. Preachy for their important social topics. Boring for being educational and informational. Come on, let's not dismiss films that try to reach beyond just being disposable entertainment. Some of those "awards season" films can admittedly crash and burn from the weight of their own lofty ambitions to receive a prize, and I myself have called out some of them. Of course I also greatly recognize that a lot of them also do succeed spectacularly.

Also imagine this fact... those Oscar bait movies as people call them, can actually be entertaining AND good for you. If you are just watching movies for superficial reasons; for those loud noises and pretty visuals, then feel free to stay clear of these "prestigious" films. Those of us who just want to watch a solidly good film however, will give Oscar bait movies a chance. 

For the 90th Academy Awards, here are some likely contenders; those Oscar Bait movies, that are likely hoping for at least a nomination. If you notice, a lot of these are released during the last few months of the year; also known as "Oscar season." Check some of them out if you get a chance... 

Those are more out there, especially the ones that are just hoping for an acting nod, foreign film category, or some technical awards. Feel free to leave suggestions in the comments. 

The $0.66 Movie Ticket

For those unaware, for several years now, I've been a subscriber to "Moviepass;" which is essentially the "Netflix of movie theaters." All those years that I've been a subscriber to that service, it's always had it's caveats. The cost it chargers per Month, and the rule sets to how and when I can watch movies with it. I pretty much accepted the conditions it set up, because it still felt worthwhile to my movie going habits.

Most recently though; as discussed in episode 145 of The Stuff & Junk Show, the Moviepass service changed for the better. For just one low monthly fee of $9.95, I get to watch one movie a day, for as long as I have a subscription. I don't know how long the company can sustain that, but that's an unbelievable deal!!! You know what that means right? The more movies I watch; while taking advantage of Moviepass, means that the price of admission to see one single film has become ridiculously affordable. 

September 2017 was the first Month I got to take the "new" Moviepass service for a spin. I ended up seeing 15 movies that month. 13 of those movies were seen via the Moviepass service. 2 of them were seen via the points that I easily accumulated with the combination of the AMC Stubs loyalty card and with Moviepass. This means that instead of paying a total of $170.58, I only spent $9.95 to watch those 15 movies, which essentially means that each movie only cost me $0.66 a ticket. 

Let me repeat.... It's not $5 a ticket. It's not $2 a ticket. It's not even $1 a ticket. 
Who doesn't need to rely on going to budget theaters, or taking advantage of movie ticket discounts, or weekend or matinee pricing specials? THIS GUY! 
Talk about a low barrier of entry to go see a movie. Thank you Moviepass! Please try and stay in business. 

The list below are the movies I saw in September, how much each ticket actually cost without a Moviepass subscription, whether it was purchased using a loyalty card, and where I saw it. 

  1. Gook. $13.59 AMC
  2. Patti Cake$. $10.80. Regal
  3. A Taxi Driver. $10.45. Regal
  4. It. $14.19. AMC
  5. Marjorie Prime. $10.00. Laemmle
  6. The Trip To Spain. $8.00. Regency
  7. I Do Until I Don't. $10.55. Regal
  8. Mother! $13.05. Regal
  9. American Assassin. $12.49. AMC
  10. Kingsman: The Golden Circle. $13.99. AMC Stubs card
  11. The Tiger Hunter. $6.29. AMC Stubs card
  12. Friend Request. $11.09. AMC
  13. Stronger. $12.49. AMC
  14. Brad's Status. $10.55. Regal
  15. American Made. $13.05. Regal

Final Update - Summer Movie Draft 2017

Alright, it's Labor Day here in the States, and it's time to finalize the 2017 Summer Movie Draft for whowhatwhereswhy. It seemed like right from the beginning, the winner of this friendly contest was already predetermined. Sure enough, it was! Congrats to Jiaming for winning it all primarily because he had a winning draft pick that included Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 and Wonder Woman. So now, how did the rest of them do? 

1) Snatched : $60,498,103  
2) Baywatch : $177,703,947  
3) Transformers: The Last Knight : $604,051,265  
4) Despicable Me 3 : $994,943,180  
5) Atomic Blonde : $90,007,945  
6) Annabelle Creation$255,380,598

1) King Arthur: Legend of the Sword : $146,175,066  
2) Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul : $39,945,832  
3) Captain Underpants : $102,904,291  
4) Spider-Man: Homecoming : $747,216,546  
5) The Emoji Movie : $160,426,714  
6) The Hitman's Bodyguard$58,069,214

1) Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 : $863,101,971  
2) Alien: Covenant : $233,056,304  
3) Wonder Woman : $813,199,021  
4) War for the Planet of the Apes : $366,688,829   
5) Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets : $172,842,890   
6) The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature$29,599,173

1) Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales : $792,033,026  
2) The Mummy (2017) : $407,778,013  
3) All Eyez on Me : $44,922,302  
4) Cars 3 : $343,884,869  
5) Dunkirk : $460,254,545  
6) The Dark Tower$101,406,894

Final rankings... 

  1. Jiaming : $2,478,488,188  

  2. Edward : $2,182,585,038  
  3. Albert : $2,150,279,649  
  4. Louis : $1,254,737,663 

Well look at that! Edward managed to move right pass Albert for 2nd place, by only $32,305,389. It was due to the strength on the legs of Despicable Me 3, as well as the popularity of The Conjuring cinematic universe with Annabelle: Creation's excellent first month in release. Albert made good strides with Dunkirk's impressive performance at the box office, but with The Dark Tower not doing that great (but better than we all expected), his draft picks wasn't enough to prevent Edward from taking his place on the rankings at the finish line. Besides Louis being the distant underdog in the race, he at least did hit the 1 Billion mark, thanks to Spiderman: Homecoming, and oddly enough The Emoji Movie. 

Just from this list, no movie passed $1 Billion in the World Wide Box Office. The closest to that was Despicable Me 3, which was only about $5 Million short of that goal. Who knows, it might meet that goal by Sept 5. 

Along with Despicable Me 3, only five other movies made it past the $500 Million mark. Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol 2, Wonder Woman, Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, Spiderman: Homecoming, and Transformers: The Last Knight; in that order. 

There were at least twelve other movies; besides the previously mentioned six, that made it past the $100 Million mark. Probably to some people's surprise, that includes... The Mummy, Alien: Covenant, Baywatch, Valerian & The City Of A Thousand Planets, King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword, The Emoji Movie, Captain Underpants, and The Dark Tower. Besides Captain Underpants and Alien: Covenant, all those other movies mentioned had a rotten tomatometer score at RottenTomatoes.com  

Well there you go folks. Until next year, when we do the Summer Movie Draft for 2018! 

still reacting to Charlottesville

Consider this an expansion to the Charlottesville episode on The Stuff & Junk Show. 

...Most people just want Trump to completely denounce the KKK, the neo-nazi, and the white supremacists. That’s what people are waiting for. It’s that simple. Seems pretty easy to me to denounce groups that are openly racist. Why won’t he do it? It only makes him look like he is afraid to offend those racist groups because he doesn’t want to alienate a voting party. Just another political tactic, made by a man who originally claimed he wasn’t going to be a politician. 

On the 8/14 presser, Trump denounced racism and violence, which is something we all can agree on. He should have stopped talking there. We would all have been happy. However, like I pointed out on the podcast, by saying the word “including…,” he was clever enough to protect himself from completely denouncing the KKK, neo-nazi, and white supremacists (proven on Tuesday). So he was apparently just denouncing the racist and violent ones? Yeah, so were we all. The KKK, neo-nazi, and the white-supremacists represents racism already, so isn’t that enough to denounce them? They were on their way to rot in the fringes. They should have continued to be ridiculed straight into the history books. Suddenly though, here they are on the rise again, all because they took Trump’s saying MAGA as meaning that he is going to Make America WHITE Again. They were inadvertently given legitimacy by the leader of a nation.

If Trump doesn’t denounce those racist groups, it only encourages them to do more of these rallies. It’s true that they can legally get permits to do so; heck Satan worshippers can get permits for rallies if they wanted to, but the Unite-The-Right movement shouldn’t go into their rallies chanting Nazi slogans like “Jews will not replace us” or “Blood and Soil” and have a small armed militia to watch over them. Are they there to protect a statue, or to show Nazi pride? Freedom of speech and all sure, but that’s like yelling FIRE in a movie theater. They want to make a stand for what they believe in, but they also want to intimidate and antagonize the opposite side. They want to be martyrs for their cause. They welcome and expect violence.

On that note, the AntiFascists are getting out of control as well, as I said on the podcast. They have decided that the peace and diplomacy that MLK has preached is not really working, as racism and prejudice is still disappointingly prevalent, and are only being passed on to a younger generation. They were also probably egged on by an older generation of people who criticized Millennials for not being proactive and are too comfortable in life to get their hands dirty. I guess they are showing us now aren’t they? “Sticks and Stones can break our bones, but words will never hurt us.” That should be updated, as words can really hurt. To be fair, although the current batch of AntiFa looks like they are mostly Millennials, the group has been around since the 1920s.

So basically the white supremacists are tired that they are being told that racism is wrong, and the AntiFascists are tired that those racists are still around and no one seems to be able to stop them from spreading. The way the narrative is playing out, it’s almost like World War II. There were two sides on the European front, the side that had Nazi fascism, and the side that was fighting against them.

As for the confederacy statues. They are not being targeted specifically just because of slavery. It’s not that simple. You can read about why here...
So no, the monuments of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, and Mount Rushmore don’t have much to worry about.

Just denounce everybody Trump! The AntiFa. The BLM. The KKK. The neo-Nazi. The White Supremacists. Just denounce them all, and not just the violence ones! That’s the easiest thing for him to do. How's that for not taking sides? 

BTW, “The Alt-Left” movement is not a real thing. It was made up by the Alt-Right Movement to try and discredit their opposition. Just because there’s an Alt-Right, doesn’t mean there’s an Alt-Left. What’s the opposite of the Alt-Right ideology of white nationalism? Those who don’t believe in white nationalism? If that’s the case, then the so called Alt-Left is basically everybody else in the USA.

Another thing too. The term “Mainstream Media.” Why is that being used like a derogatory term? All popular news outlet, whether it be on TV, on a newspaper, or on the internet, are the mainstream media. That includes all news media that are biased towards their respective side of the political spectrum. Why the term mainstream media is only associated with one political party has boggled me ever since that phrase was first uttered in the campaigns. 

Also noticed that on this blog post, I don’t really use the terms Democrats, Republicans, Liberals, Conservatives, the Left, or the Right. We need to stop using those terms as a form of name-calling. Too many times those words are being used as a way of dividing all of us Americans. Call out specific names or organizations if needed, but lumping everybody into a broad label doesn’t do anybody any favors. After all, both sides have had their fair share of blame since the beginning of the USA (I just remembered the movie “Lincoln” by Spielberg).
We are Americans.
We are humans.

To reiterate what I said on the podcast, I’m definitely not siding with racists.

3rd Update - Summer Movie Draft 2017

As this is written, there is still one day left in July, but the box office numbers are more or less good to go for a Summer Movie Draft update. How much did the rankings change since the last update? Remember, numbers are based on the world wide box office, and Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol 2 is still champ there, with Despicable Me 3 right behind it... 

1) Snatched : $59,133,218  
2) Baywatch : $173,660,186  
3) Transformers: The Last Knight : $568,899,479  
4) Despicable Me 3 : $819,225,800  
5) Atomic Blonde$24,497,677  
6) August movie : 

1) King Arthur: Legend of the Sword : $140,775,066  
2) Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul : $37,391,140  
3) Captain Underpants : $87,082,031  
4) Spider-Man: Homecoming$633,756,805  
5) The Emoji Movie$25,650,000  
6) August movie : 

1) Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 : $860,634,272  
2) Alien: Covenant : $232,461,184  
3) Wonder Woman : $786,043,706  
4) War for the Planet of the Apes : $224,592,468   
5) Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets : $30,626,147   
6) August movie : 

1) Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales : $776,009,161  
2) The Mummy (2017) : $396,929,695  
3) All Eyez on Me : $44,887,387  
4) Cars 3 : $268,742,093  
5) Dunkirk : $234,136,220  
6) August movie : 

Current rankings... 

  1. Jiaming : $2,134,357,777  

  2. Albert : $1,720,704,556  
  3. Edward : $1,645,416,360  
  4. Louis : $924,655,042  

So, not much has really changed in the rankings, but it looks like Jiaming is definitely going to win this competition, and there's no way Louis is going to get out of last place. Spider-Man wasn't enough to get Louis out of that position, and Jiaming is still riding high on the strengths of Guardians and Wonder Woman; although it should be mentioned that the Apes movie was a solid addition to his draft picks. 

The interesting match here is between Albert and Edward for second place, as they are only about $75 Million apart from each other. Transformers and Despicable Me gave Edward a nice bump from his previous box office numbers, and Dunkirk turned out to be a solid pick for Albert. There are only a handful of big movies in August, so could one of them tip the scale between the two? The next and final update will determine who gets second place. 

the Stuff & Junk show Episode 125 - Summer Movie Draft 2017  
- 1st Update - Summer Movie Draft 2017  
- 2nd Update - Summer Movie Draft 2017  

Comic-Con Withdrawals

San Diego Comic-Con International 2017 has come and passed. No different than all the other years, it's hard for me to not have withdrawals of just wishing I was still living the event. As it goes those, there will always be the memories to think fondly of. With that said, I have a Google Photos link here, to share with you all those SDCC memories that I captured on a photo or video. If you've been following my Instagram Stories, you've seen a good chunk of them already, but not all of them. If you were also at the event, feel free to share with us your experience! On that note, I also present to you my top ten favorite moments from San Diego Comic-Con International 2017!!! 

- check out my Photos + Videos from SDCC 

Albert's Top Ten Favorite Moments from San Diego Comic-Con International 2017... 

10) Along with seeing the cast of The Defenders on stage, I was able to see the exclusive first screening of the first episode of the show. It was a nice surprise and another "Hall H moment" to add to the list.  

09) An annual tradition of mine is to go to The Walking Dead booth at the show floor, for the photo ops of the particular year (it's different every year). Only took 30 minutes of my time, which is faster than it's been before. 

08) A panel that I thought was pretty awesome and informative was the "How To Tell Stories For A Microphone" panel. It was a voice over class that covered stuff from audio books to promos. I myself didn't get to go on the mic, but it was overall an entertaining experience. 

07) A new annual tradition of mine is the Sunday interview that I have with David Glanzer; the Chief Communication and Strategy Officer for Comic-Con International. David himself considers it an annual thing as well, so I appreciate him letting me do this every year so far since 2015. You can listen to the interview on Episode 141 of The Stuff & Junk Show

06) Getting into Hall H itself can be quite an event for Comic-Con attendees, but getting in and witnessing Halle Berry drink a tall glass of whiskey in one shot is yet another "Hall-H moment" for the books! The panel and the multiple video footage for Kingsman: The Golden Circle was also great. They pretty much showed about 15-20 minutes of the movie to us. We got a free shirt and a fidget spinner too! 

05) I was in a gyroscope for the first time ever; which is part of the promotion for the upcoming TV show "The Orville." I learned that after 20 seconds of being twirled around, it starts to become somewhat relaxing. 

04) Another interactive thing that I got to do, is to go Super Saiyan at the booth promoting Dragonball Z Super. It was I suppose an embarrassing thing to do, but it was also silly fun. 

03) A new restaurant called "Monkey King" was where I ate lunch at on Thursday. As it goes with most restaurants and bars during Comic-Con weekend, they usually have their drinks or entrees "themed" for the event. I myself got a drink called the "web slinger," but the best drink has to go to my friend's choice of ordering the "mandarin take-out" which actually comes in a Chinese take-out box. Just relaxing and taking in the Comic-Con atmosphere at the San Diego Gaslamp District is always a favorite thing to do during the event. 

02) Being part of the crew for the Unnecessary Debates panel with The Grand Geek Gathering!!! I'm not sure if I count this as actually having a panel at Comic-Con, but it's the closest thing to that so far. You can watch the panel through their website...  


01) The Kingsman experience at the Hard Rock Hotel! It happened during the first day, and it set the standard for the rest of the event. One free generous sized hamburger and chips, plus three free drinks of whiskey!!! It was the epitome of what I've grown to love about Comic-Con. Just hanging out with fellow geeks, in a themed bar set to a genre film that's based on a comic book. That's the San Diego Comic-Con for you. 


Until we do this again on July 19-22, 2018, Thank You For The Memories Comic-Con!!! 

Make sure to check out the coverage done on the Stuff & Junk Show podcast! 
- episode 140 : One Comic-Con Day 
- episode 141 : Comic-Con 2017 recap