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Unpredictable Oscar Race Heats Up by Chloe Dewberry

The competition for the 86th Annual Academy Awards is proving to be just as close as Amy Adams was to a nip-slip during her Academy Award-nominated film “American Hustle.” 2013 proved to be an epic year in the world of cinema with a variety of films making the Academy Awards cut. This past awards season featured critically-acclaimed cinematic experiences and star-making performances. Thanks to the wide range of groundbreaking achievements from filmmakers this past year, cinephiles were able to visit residents of the Midwest in director Alexander Payne’s “Nebraska” and experience love with a computer operating system in Spike Jonze’s “Her.” Late releases, such as “The Wolf of Wall Street,” are anticipated to give early season critic’s favorites, such as “Captain Phillips,” a run for their money. For the third year in a row, nine films earned enough first-place votes from Academy members to receive Best Picture nominations. Director David O. Russell’s 70s con artist dramedy “American Hustle” and Alfonso Cuarón’s National Geographic-worthy space epic “Gravity” led the awards categories with a total of ten nominations each. Director Steve McQueen’s “12 Years a Slave”, a heartbreaking portrayal of slavery that had critics and audiences weeping in their seats, follows the competition with a total of nine nominations. That’s not to say that

each category won’t be a close-run for the win. With unexpected wins during the preceding Screen Actors Guild Awards and Golden Globes, no nominee is necessarily guaranteed a win despite critic’s predic-

could forget DiCaprio’s role in “Wolf of Wall Street” as a quaalude-popping stockbroker? Ejiofor’s powerful performance as a free man who is sold into slavery in “12 Years a Slave” is also one that Academy members will surely not forget.

performance in “Gravity” as Bullock managed to hold the audiences’ attention with scene-stealer George Clooney and the entire galaxy as her co-stars. The Best Actor in a Supporting Role category is less uncertain with critics and audiences favoring Jared Leto’s turn as a transgender woman in “Dallas Buyers Club.” Audience favorites Jennifer Lawrence (who won her first Academy Award last year for her role in “Silver Linings Playbook”) and Lupita Nyong’o are critic’s top predictions for the Best Actress in a Supporting Role category. Lawrence received a Golden Globe for her riveting performance as a sexually frustrated phone-taping, scene-stealing housewife-hottie hungry for attention in “American Hustle,” but Lupita’s acting debut as a slave who is subject to her master’s abuse and affections in “12 Years a Slave” wowed critics and solidified her place in Hollywood. It will surely be a dramatic fight to the finish for all acting categories.

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tions. The winner of the award for Best Actor may be the most unpredictable with nominees Matthew McConaughey, Christian Bale, Leonardo DiCaprio, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Bruce Dern all in the running. McConaughey gave the performance of his career as a drug-smuggling cowboy in “Dallas Buyers Club,” but who

The Best Actress category is equally harrowing. Amy Adams is going for gold with her uncharacteristic performance as a sultry con artist in “American Hustle” as is Cate Blanchett for her understated role in “Blue Jasmine.” Sandra Bullock should also be commended for her physically and emotionally demanding

The Olympics are entertaining, but the real competition heats up on March 2 when the 86th Annual Academy Awards premiere on ABC. Tune in to see if your film favorites beat out the stiff competition.

Tasteless Television Continues With “Sex Sent Me to the ER” by Chloe Dewberry

day television could get any more tasteless. Enter TLC Network.

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In an age where “Bad Girls Club” rules the Oxygen network ratings and pop star Ke$ha can drink her own urine on MTV specials, one might doubt that modern

From the network that brought viewers gems such as “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” and “Extreme Cheapskates” comes a new form of, dare I say it, entertainment: “Sex Sent Me to the ER.” The show features interviews with real-life couples as they discuss their own accounts of sexual exploration gone wrong while hired actors reenact each gruesome and embarrassing sexual injury. The series is produced by the same production company that introduced television viewers to “Untold Stories of the ER,” so viewers should

know what they’re getting themselves into. If plot-lines that feature a re-enactment of a woman with a stiletto heel jammed into her cheek on “Untold Stories of the ER” doesn’t tickle your fancy, maybe some of the episodes from “Sex Sent Me to the ER” will. “Sex Sent Me to the ER” features such unpleasant sexual encounters that viewers will wonder if they’re even real. Did you feel that your “first time” was a little awkward? One episode features a 400-pound 24-year-old virgin who sent his girlfriend to the hospital with a concussion thanks to his weight. Awkward.

Another episode focuses on a woman who went to the hospital thanks to a three hour orgasm that wouldn’t end. Whatever happened to the days when Snooki was the most sexually explicit reality character on television? “Sex Sent Me to the ER” certainly has its share of entertaining stories and laughable moments as the couples retell their tales, but the degrading reenactments and cringe-worthy sexual injuries will make viewers wonder if they want to give up bad television, or sex in general.

February 2014: The Sex Issue  
February 2014: The Sex Issue