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Happy Valentine's Day. I'm personally not the biggest fan of the holiday, as I've sadly never had anybody to share it with (c'mon, big sympathy sob now). But I rejoice this year, as every year, in my friends and family, who are easily as worthy of my love as any significant other could ever be. You can read my thoughts on Valentine's Day and how I've been adversely affected by the romantic comedy film genre here.
Two big news items this week. We'll start with the one closest to everybody's heart (though no doubt it's been "overplayed" by now, if you'll pardon the expression). In a fifty eight page ruling (written in completely incomprehensibel language), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit essentially states that music trading service Napster must be shut down. A cry of outrage has rung across the web. The service was threatened with deactivation earlier this summer, but managed to garner a reprieve. It seems now that its time is up, as this intrepid reporter has not been able to access the servers for a day or so now (though reports to the contrary continue to filter in). The history of the Napster debacle is long and detailed, and I'm almost one hundred percent certain that all of you out there have an opinion on it. If you'd like to share it with us and the other CXM readers, I invite you to the forums to discuss.
The other big news from yesterday is the release of the nominees for this year's Academy Awards. The full list is available at the offical Oscars page but we'll excerpt the biggies for you:
- Best Picture: Traffic, Erin Brokovich, Gladiator, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Chocolat
- Best Actor: Javier Bardem (Before Night Falls), Russell Crowe (Gladiator), Tom Hanks (Cast Away), Ed Harris (Pollock), Geoffrey Rush (Quills)
- Best Actress: Joan Allen (The Contender), Juliette Binoche (Chocolat), Ellen Burstyn (Requiem for a Dream), Laura Linney (You Can Count on Me), Julia Roberts (Erin Brokovich)
- Best Supporting Actor: Jeff Bridges (The Contender), Willem Dafoe (Shadow of the Vampire), Benicio del Toro (Traffic), Albert Finney (Erin Brokovich), Joaquin Phoenix (Gladiator)
- Best Supporting Actress: Judi Dench (Chocolat), Marcia Gay Harden (Pollock), Kate Hudson (Almost Famous), Frances McDormand (Almost Famous)
- Best Director: Stephen Daldry (Billy Elliot), Ang Lee (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), Steven Soderbergh (Erin Brokovich), Ridley Scott (Gladiator), Steven Soderbergh (Traffic)
Not too bad a bunch, though I must confess to having seen fewer of these films than I would have liked to (as is the case almost every year). Traffic is still in the theaters, so I hope to catch it at some point. If you want my current picks, I'm gonna go for Traffic for best picture (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon picks up Best Foreign Film no problem), Tom Hanks for best actor, Julia Roberts for best actress, Soderbergh for best director (okay, he has twice the chance that anyone else does, but probably for Traffic). The supportings are toss ups, I think. My guesses for supporting actor are either del Toro or Dafoe, it's hard to say. For supporting actresses, I think it's between Hudson and McDormand. Remember to check in on March 25th to see how close I am :). We'll be up late over in the U.K. watching, I guarantee!
Also, while we're talking film, check out the trailer for the third installment in the Crocodile Dundee series here.
See you on Friday; though free music may be gone, free comics live on!
Dan Moren would be honored just to be nominated.
Quote of the Day: "That's not a knife. This is a knife."
-Paul Hogan, Crocodile Dundee