Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Nominations Are In! Oscar Edition

Some great surprises and some not-so-surprises this year, including a first nomination for Gary Oldman (finally!) as well as some deserving nominations for Kristen Wiig, Jonah Hill, George Clooney, Woody Allen, Terrence Malick, Alexander Payne, Nick Nolte and Rooney Mara. There will be a ton of time for analysis, predictions and snubs, but for now, the full list:

Best Picture

  • "The Artist" Thomas Langmann, Producer
  • "The Descendants" Jim Burke, Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor, Producers
  • "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close" Scott Rudin, Producer
  • "The Help" Brunson Green, Chris Columbus and Michael Barnathan, Producers
  • "Hugo" Graham King and Martin Scorsese, Producers
  • "Midnight in Paris" Letty Aronson and Stephen Tenenbaum, Producers
  • "Moneyball" Michael De Luca, Rachael Horovitz and Brad Pitt, Producers
  • "The Tree of Life" Nominees to be determined
  • "War Horse" Steven Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy, Producers

Actor in a Leading Role

  • Demián Bichir in "A Better Life"
  • George Clooney in "The Descendants"
  • Jean Dujardin in "The Artist"
  • Gary Oldman in "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy"
  • Brad Pitt in "Moneyball"

Actor in a Supporting Role

  • Kenneth Branagh in "My Week with Marilyn"
  • Jonah Hill in "Moneyball"
  • Nick Nolte in "Warrior"
  • Christopher Plummer in "Beginners"
  • Max von Sydow in "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close"

Actress in a Leading Role

  • Glenn Close in "Albert Nobbs"
  • Viola Davis in "The Help"
  • Rooney Mara in "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"
  • Meryl Streep in "The Iron Lady"
  • Michelle Williams in "My Week with Marilyn"

Actress in a Supporting Role

  • Bérénice Bejo in "The Artist"
  • Jessica Chastain in "The Help"
  • Melissa McCarthy in "Bridesmaids"
  • Janet McTeer in "Albert Nobbs"
  • Octavia Spencer in "The Help"


  • "The Artist" Guillaume Schiffman
  • "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" Jeff Cronenweth
  • "Hugo" Robert Richardson
  • "The Tree of Life" Emmanuel Lubezki
  • "War Horse" Janusz Kaminski


  • "The Artist" Michel Hazanavicius
  • "The Descendants" Alexander Payne
  • "Hugo" Martin Scorsese
  • "Midnight in Paris" Woody Allen
  • "The Tree of Life" Terrence Malick

Film Editing

  • "The Artist" Anne-Sophie Bion and Michel Hazanavicius
  • "The Descendants" Kevin Tent
  • "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall
  • "Hugo" Thelma Schoonmaker
  • "Moneyball" Christopher Tellefsen

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

  • "The Descendants" Screenplay by Alexander Payne and Nat Faxon & Jim Rash
  • "Hugo" Screenplay by John Logan
  • "The Ides of March" Screenplay by George Clooney & Grant Heslov and Beau Willimon
  • "Moneyball" Screenplay by Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin Story by Stan Chervin
  • "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" Screenplay by Bridget O'Connor & Peter Straughan

Writing (Original Screenplay)

  • "The Artist" Written by Michel Hazanavicius
  • "Bridesmaids" Written by Annie Mumolo & Kristen Wiig
  • "Margin Call" Written by J.C. Chandor
  • "Midnight in Paris" Written by Woody Allen
  • "A Separation" Written by Asghar Farhadi
See you on February 26, 2012.

Monday, January 23, 2012

OMFG The Giants Are In The Super Bowl: Party Like It's '07

Emotions running crazy, never giving up. The Giants are back in the Super Bowl for the second time in five years behind the brilliant play this season of our boy Eli Manning. Hard to explain, no need to explain.

From Don Banks on SI.com:

"Here's my favorite summation of this plucky Giants team, all wrapped up in one mind-boggling statistic: There have now been 92 Super Bowl teams in NFL history, and New York is the first one to have been outscored in the regular season (400 to 394). But somehow, I don't think the Giants care. Their story was never about how they started, it was about how they finished. And New York knows how to finish. Just ask the Jets, Cowboys, Falcons, Packers and 49ers, their past five opponents/victims."

"Manning's toughness and determination was on full display all night. San Francisco's tenacious defense sacked him six times, hit him some 20 times according to the FOX telecast, and limited him to just 5.4 yards per pass attempt. But they didn't beat him, and now he gets a rematch with New England's Tom Brady, meaning the Super Bowl will have a Manning in it for the fourth time in six years."

From ESPN New York:

"Eli Manning began the season telling everyone that he's an elite signal caller who should be considered on the same level as Tom Brady. Manning should add toughness to that list. Once again, the Giants' franchise quarterback proved not only how good he is, but how he may be the toughest player on Tom Coughlin's team. And now the best season of his life will end in the Super Bowl against Brady' Patriots."

From Peter King's MMQB on SI.com:

"How about this incredible Xerox of fate for the Giants.

In 2007, the Giants started the playoffs by beating an NFC South team. Then they beat the No. 1 seed on the road. Then they beat the No. 2 seed in the conference title game when the foe turned it over in overtime and gave the Giants a short field and the Giants won on a Lawrence Tynes overtime field goal. Then they moved on to face the Patriots in the Super Bowl."

In 2011, let's see ... NFC South team, No. 1 seed, No. 2 seed, overtime, turnover, Tynes, Patriots. Check.

One more thing:
2007: Giants lose to Washington 22-10 in Week 15.
2011: Giants lose to Washington 23-10 in Week 15.


More from Peter:

The Fine Fifteen:

1. New York Giants (12-7). There's something about getting hot at the right time. The Giants have played five straight elimination games and won them all, which sounds a lot like the last time they played the Patriots in the Super Bowl.

Defensive Players of the Week:

New York DL Justin Tuck.
As usual, you could name two or three guys from the Giants' defensive front to this august honor. Tuck's 1.5 sacks and three pressures helped keep the Niners out of scoring position for 11 of their last 13 drives.

Special Teams Player of the Week:

New York LB Jacquian Williams
. In overtime of the NFC title game, Williams stripped punt returner Kyle Williams at the Niners' 24-yard line. Devin Thomas recovered, and the Giants kicked the winning field goal five plays later.

Coach of the Week:

New York head coach Tom Coughlin. For a guy who's been fired at least 65 times in the last five years, Coughlin sure can organize, plan, motivate and game-day-coach exceedingly well. That showed with a poised team that understood the basics of how to win this game: Don't turn it over ... punting is fine ... you'll be in position to win at the end. And the Giants were.

Eli vs Brady rematch in the house that Peyton built. Let's do it boys.

Monday, January 16, 2012

NFL Playoffs: Attack the Pack

Giants take down the mighty Pack and set up a huge NFC Championship matchup with a team they may have been able to beat earlier in the year, the San Francisco 49ers.

From friend of the Breeze and all around g money all star Gary Hartman:

"I said after the last GB game that they were very beatable, just needed the right test and that I'd love to see them again. This being said, GIANTS FOOTBALL BABY. What a game! We dominated in every facet. Yeah they dropped passes but doesn't change the fact that we simply out played them. Playing unbelievably right now.Eli and Nicks truly are Gods. Defense is playing at a different level and everyone from coaching down is stepping up huge. PLAYING FOR THE SUPERBOWL BABY!!!! Bring on San Fran!!!"

From Peter King at SI.com:

Quote of the Week II:

"How the hell is that not a fumble?''
-- Giants play-by-play man Bob Papa, on the Giants Radio Network, after ref Bill Leavy did not overturn a first-quarter non-fumble call against the Packers. (SERIOUSLY..how???)

One of the Offensive Players of the Week: "New York Giants WR Hakeem Nicks. His second straight strong playoff game -- seven catches for 165 yards, with two touchdowns -- is reason enough to honor him. But the dagger he plunged into the Packers just before halftime was the play of the game. "Those Hail Marys work about twice a year,'' said Tom Coughlin. Nicks, with the help of a Packer defense that was far too passive near the goal line, caught the 37-yard fly ball from Manning cleanly, and the Giants went into halftime up by 10, not three. Huge factor.

One of the Defensive Players of the Week: "New York Giants DE Osi Umenyiora. After Umenyiora batted the ball out of Rodgers' right hand, FOX showed clearly how incredibly open Greg Jennings was down the left sideline. Umenyiora saved a touchdown, clearly. For the day, he had two sacks for 12 yards, and the forced fumble."

One of the Special Teams Players of the Week: "New York Giants S Derrick Martin. It's one thing to tell your front players on the kick-return team to stay alert for an onside kick. It's another thing for every guy on the line to wait until the ball is kicked. Martin and his mates did wait for Mason Crosby to kick it deep in the first half -- and when Crosby pooched an onside kick, it went right into the arms of the waiting Martin, who is a former Packer, by the way. Smart, smart play by Martin."

More King:

"I must be the only guy in America who didn't think his non-reversal on the Greg Jennings fumble or non-fumble was horrible. But his blow-to-Rodgers'-head call, extending a desperation fourth-quarter drive, was a fictitious call if I ever saw one. I wouldn't expect to see Leavy doing any games until next September."

Some stats and interesting nuggets:

-The Giants are Giant killers in the postseason. In terms of difference of wins during the regular season, the Giants have authored the 3 biggest wins in NFL postseason history. The Giants have defeated three teams that had won at least 5 more games than they did during the regular season. In fact, they own the two 6-win differential games with Sunday and back in Super Bowl XLII when they knocked off the unbeaten Patriots.

-Hakeem Nicks had 165 yards receiving in Saturday night's upset victory. That total is the second-most in a playoff game in Giants history.

-Eli Manning threw for 330 yards, the 3rd-most in a single postseason game in Giants history.

-Hakeem Nicks has two TD receptions of 66 or more yards this postseason. He's the 2nd player in NFL history with 2 TD receptions that long in a single postseason, joining Isaac Bruce of the 1999 Rams.

Let's go G-Men.

Monday, January 9, 2012

NFL Wild Card Weekend: Anything Can Happen

Hey why not us? Giants dominate the Falcons setting up a rematch with the Pack in Green Bay.

From Sports Illustrated:

"In winning their first playoff game since upending the unbeaten Patriots in Super Bowl XLII, the Giants finally showed themselves to be a complete team after relying on Manning's arm (he threw a career-high 4,933 yards) for most of 2011."

From the head Ball Coach Tommy Coughs:

"The two fourth-down stops were just outstanding. Those plays that our defense made really inspired everybody. If we continue to play defense like that, we can make ourselves heard in this tournament. "

From ESPN New York: Eli.....the athlete?

"The timing of the play," Tom Coughlin said of Manning's scramble, "was outstanding."

Atlanta was holding a 2-0 lead -- Greg Maddux had a one-hitter going -- when Manning faked a third-and-2 handoff to Jacobs, dropped back and looked downfield. Six minutes into the second quarter, the Giants had no successful third-down conversions to their name, and the MetLife crowd was already giving off that uneasy vibe felt in the old place in the squandered postseason openers of '05 and '08.

John Abraham was closing fast on Manning, and the quarterback felt the heat of his vile intentions, stepped up and took off through the gaping hole that had been the left side of the line, kicking free of the diving, flailing Abraham. As Eli "raced" Sean Weatherspoon to the sideline, he huffed and puffed and, finally, mercifully, hit the brakes and veered out of bounds.

From ESPN's Grantland:

"Twice yesterday, the New York Giants defense faced that moment, the primal of the primal, and twice they stopped the Atlanta Falcons. (The Giants also blew up the Falcons on a third-and-short situation.) And twice you saw the Atlanta offensive line suddenly find itself moving up and not forward, as though they were a wave and the New York offensive line were a seawall. Twice, the Giants hurled them back, and if you want to know why New York is going back to Green Bay next week to face the Packers in yet another playoff game, and if you want to know how an NFL playoff game ends up with a baroque score like 24-2, then look to those two moments. As a defensive end, Osi Umenyiora plays outside the main contact area where fourth-and-short explodes, but he knows what he hears."

"To be honest. Yes, I was a little insulted. I felt a little disrespected."

From friend of the Breeze Peter King:

"Excellent coverage by Corey Webster on Falcon wideout Roddy White, who had but two catches for eight yards in the first 37 minutes of the Atlanta loss."

Happy New year Giants fans, the team is clicking at the exact right time. Let's go!