Aaron Rahsaan Thomas and Malik Aziz share an unique, common background. Both young men are natives of Kansas City, Kansas, graduates of the University of Kansas and went to grad school at the University of Southern California. They both grew up in the ‘golden age of hip hop’ and share a passion for films.
For the past several years, they’ve also posted predictions about the Academy Awards. Technology has evolved where last year for the first time they were able to post their unique commentary during the show.
This is Round 2…
Thomas: tee minus three minutes sucka!
Malik: It’s time for this year’s Oscars. For those wondering, I’m wearing a tux from Oscar de la Renta…
Thomas: And I’m wearing a hoodie from champs sports…
Thomas: So, I’d say this was a hit and miss opening sequence. Anne Hathaway and James Franco seem game. The Black Swan bit was a little painful, though.
Malik: yeah hit and miss was right..
Thomas: Funny joke from Hathaway about appealing to a younger demo.
Thomas: That’s exactly what ABC is going for by having them host instead of a baby boomer.
Malik: yeah we’ll see how the ratings do tomorrow
Thomas: Hey, is that Lou Gosset Jr. sitting in front of James Franco’s grandma?
Malik: yeah LOL
Thomas: “There’s only two things that come out of the Oscars. That steers and queers and I don’t see no horns on James Franco.”
Thomas: Officer and A Gentleman, thanks very much.
Malik: idiot, LOL
Malik: this feels slow but I’m digging the set design
Thomas: Hey, Lou Gossett won an oscar when black people were only winning once every ten years.
Thomas: Set design is cool, but the pace is very slow so far.
Thomas: What constitutes set design and/or computer generated backgrounds?
Malik: All I know is I’m 1 for 1 in my Oscar pool brotha…
Thomas: Alice In Wonderland looked great and had great sets, but I’d be curious to know how much of the sets were created by actual set designers and not special effects guys.
Malik: good question, but it’s the direction we’re going in I’m afraid
Thomas: That category os blurring fast.
Malik: an Oscar for Nolan’s cinematographer, nice!!!!
Thomas: Well deserved win, here. Wally Pfister shot a beautiful film with Inception.
Malik: ‘his master?’
Thomas: Mark that on the list of things a brotha will never say.
Malik: i got $100 if you win an Oscar and refer to ANYONE as your master…
Thomas: If I heard any black man say that, I might bumrush the stage even if I don’t know him.
Thomas: Much respect to Kirk Douglas.
Malik: yeah I don’t want to make a joke here.
Thomas: But, in fairness, the demo just switched the channel for a few minutes….
Malik: too bad, this is a major category
Thomas: Who wins here?
Malik: i picked Leo
Thomas: Good performances all around.
Malik: yeah this is a strong category
Thomas: This lady in Animal Kingdom freaks me out for some reason.
Thomas: Leo angered some people for lobbying for herself this oscar campaign.
Malik: yeah I’m offended, people get paid to do that…
Thomas: She took out a few ads in magazines asking people to consider her.
Thomas: But, if she really wants to win, she wants to win.
Thomas: Who’s the guy with the job of holding Kirk Douglas’ cane?
Malik: yeah I appreciate the honesty
Malik: this has to be the most agonizing moment in these five women’s lives…
Thomas: Not just for them.
Thomas: Leo’s life just changed.
Thomas: Leo fought for this award. She got it.
Malik: now you got me going, can’t you see some kid saying ‘Man Michael Douglas aged pretty bad didn’t he?”
Thomas: That’s the thing. There might be kids who don’t know who Michael Douglas is, either.
Thomas: Leo’s a ham on stage, but we already knew she was.
Thomas: Good job in The Fighter. But, don’t be taking Kirk Douglas’ cane!
Thomas: Anne Hatahway is kind of funny. “The Young and Hip Oscars” lol
Malik: yeah good comeback
Thomas: Did you check out this short animated film?
Malik: i heard about it but no
Thomas: Looks interesting. But, I always wonder who generally gets a chance to watch these, other than festivals and voters.
Thomas: Maybe that’s it.
Malik: yeah i researched this, you have to be in a certain part of the Academy to vote on certain awards
Thomas: Toy Story 3. Nice.
Malik: probably the best overall movie this year if we’re being honest
Thomas: For anyone who loved their toys, this film was a tear jerker.
Thomas: Nice way to round out the Toy Story trilogy.
Malik: yeah we grew up with that trilogy in a way
Malik: hey it’s your category brotha!
Thomas: The white tux twins?
Malik: yeah a little hard on the HDTV…
Thomas: The is Sorkin all the way
Thomas: The only question is what kind of speech will he give.
Malik: we’re about to find out…
Thomas: Even the other nominees were like, “I ain’t winning this…”
Thomas: Nice acknowledgment of the book the screenplay is based on and the author who wrote it.
Malik: yeah this is a good speech
Malik: Wrap It Up Son!
Thomas: He’s kind of a blowhard, but has a great memory of names. Overall, classy speech.
Malik: Whoa, that was my pick but I’m still surprised it won
Thomas: No surprise here.
Thomas: Seidler is in his 70s.
Thomas: Waited decades to write this story and did it well. As he said, he’s the oldest writer to win this thing.
Thomas: Seidler is also giving a classy and funny speech.
Malik: another good acceptance speech
Thomas: Writers representing with the speeches!
Thomas: Not bad singing Anne Hathaway.
Malik: (blank stare at Franco…)
Thomas: Text message from Charlie Sheen is funny.
Malik: OK Russell Brand, that was a good line…
Thomas: This is funny.
Thomas: And, I’m not even a Russell Brand fan.
Malik: me either, but I have to say the new Arthur is a good idea (on paper)
Malik: only OGs remember Dudley Moore at this point
Thomas: True, but it is a revered comedy. Hopefully they did it right.
Thomas: In HDTV, that gold envelope looks like a work of art itself.
Malik: yeah that’s pimp!
Thomas: Here comes your girl, Reece.
Thomas: So, does Bale win and will Hathaway reference Batman?
Malik: yes and yes
Malik: as will I
Thomas: Will Bale give a crazy speech?
Malik: IN THE ALL BLACK SUIT!!!!
Thomas: Batman says “Bloody hell”?
Malik: yes so what?
Malik: learning your American accent is something we only do to make ourselves more accessible to you Yanks
Thomas: Just saying. Batman sounds kind of British up in this piece.
Thomas: At least Superman is still played by an American. Wait…
Malik: did he get a little emotional at the end?!?
Thomas: Either that, or he had a brain fart, forgot his wife’s name and played it off.
Thomas: I like to think it was emotion, though.
Malik: it better be, couldn’t pull that with no sista…
Thomas: She’d be staying daggers at him. “Negro please…”
Malik: great intro for the sound/music categories
Thomas: One of my biggest loves – film scores.
Malik: i almost got up and started swinging my lightsaber around – no homo
Thomas: No comment.
Thomas: But, The King’s Speech score was well done. And used very well in the film.
Thomas: Social Network has a good one, too. Though it was a little monotonous.
Thomas: I would have picked Kings Speech, personally, but I get it.
Malik: yeah I thought Inception might have had a chance there as well
Malik: the sound was a big part of that film as well
Thomas: Scarlett Johanson. Hot?
Malik: Yeah I dig her, I’m always surprised when I hear some guys say they don’t get her appeal.
Malik: You one of them?
Thomas: She’s nice. But, there are times when she’s much better than others.
Thomas: Inception deserves this win. Great sound.
Malik: yeah tonight is not one of her better nights
Malik: and yeah there’s the Inception win
Thomas: black with bow tie.
Thomas: Don’t see that often.
Thomas: Man, they start the “get off the stage music for non actors RIGHT AWAY.
Malik: I blame Kirk Douglas still. There I said it.
Thomas: Inception taking no prisoners with sound and effects…
Thomas: But Nolan got no love for directing.
Thomas: I heard the Academy might see him as a “comic book guy” even though The Dark Knight was well respected. Think they’ll award him for the next Batman or will it take a non comic/special effects film?
Malik: good question…
Malik: depends on how good the next Batman is, people have a short memory.
Thomas: Cate Blachett. Much respect for her skills.
Malik: yeah she’s like an even more mainstream version of Streep
Thomas: This is another category which blends the practical work with special effects.
Thomas: How much of the Wolfman look was practical and how much was computer generated?
Malik: don’t know but i have a side question for you…
Malik: what would you do if you won an Oscar and the music never stopped?
Malik: they play you on to the stage and just keep playing…
Thomas: Go up on stage and stare down the orchestra. Don’t say a word, just stare at them the entire time they play.
Malik: that would be the greatest moment ever!
Malik: God forbid I’d be in the crowd, the camera would catch me looking like I had no home training…
Thomas: Got the first black people on the show.
Thomas: Of course, they’re rapping.
Malik: (shaking my head…)
Thomas: How much could they pay you to sing the Beauty and The Beast song with an English accent?
Malik: Not enough. Next question…
Thomas: Randy Newman songs just make people feel good.
Malik: God bless Randy Newman, but Family Guy nailed him in one of their first seasons.
Thomas: lol. Just watched the Family Guy clip of Randy Newman!!!
Malik: Told You!!!
Thomas: How did Waiting For Superman not even get nominated for a documentary oscar, though?
Malik: Man, I don’t know
Malik: i’m not sleeping on the teacher’s union though…
Malik: our first awkward looking Oscar winner…
Thomas: This guy is a film student. Nuff said.
Thomas: But, he’s living the dream if that’s the case.
Malik: very true, I’m not hating…
Thomas: Figured Auto tune was coming.
Malik: i’m trying not to laugh…
Thomas: They could have picked a better film to do it with, though. Winter’s Bone. Some movie that’s the opposite of musical.
Malik: “He Doesn’t Own a Shirt” – that’s a winner
Thomas: yeah, funny
Thomas: That’s what the demo wants!
Malik: i was going to say that’s her best look tonight I think
Thomas: Oprah sighting.
Malik: the Queen has arrived
Thomas: I wish I could watch more documentaries.
Malik: I thought Restrepo was good, haven’t seen the winner yet though
Thomas: The level of quality has really been amazing in this category.
Malik: I’m sure more fictional filmmakers are naturally gravitating towards docs these days
Thomas: Can always depend on the documentary people to make a political statement or two.
Malik: Yep, now get off the stage!
Malik: Billy Crystal getting a well deserved ovation.
Thomas: Yes. Still the best Oscar host ever.
Thomas: For our generation at least.
Thomas: Bob Hope was known as pretty good himself.
Malik: yeah Hope is iconic
Thomas: That passover joke is iconic itself.
Thomas: I wonder who did “new Bob Hope’s” voice.
Malik: yeah that was awkward.
Thomas: Inception has to win this, right?
Thomas: Alice In Wonderland was really good for effects, but the turning room itself probably won this for Inception.
Thomas: Social Network is cleaning up. Some in their camp have to feel like they have a shot at best picture. What do you think?
Malik: Ask me after the give out the Directing award in a few minutes…
Thomas: Jennifer Hudson. Hot?
Malik: Usually but I don’t like her look tonight
Thomas: Yeah, I agree. Doesn’t seem like her own look.
Thomas: But, she lost weight and that looks good for her.
Malik: oh i see brotha; you like those size 1 types…
Thomas: I ain’t saying that.
Thomas: Just think that she looks good either way.
Malik: i guess you’re digging Gwyneth Paltrow huh?
Thomas: lol. The skinny snow bunnies…?
Thomas: Gwyneth’s never been my type. To each his own.
Thomas: I do wonder if Jennifer Hudson looks at Gwyneth’s singing and is like, “Don’t even try it…”
Thomas: The Family Guy Randy Newman is still in my head. Lol…
Malik: it’s going to be there for awhile LOL
Malik: “she takes a bite”
Thomas: The real randy Newman is pretty funny, though.
Malik: yeah that dude is pure Cali
Thomas: Uh Oh. Celine’s singing your song.
Malik: no comment
Thomas: You’ve always been a fan of “Smile” and an even bigger fan of Celine.
Thomas: This is nice.
Malik: i heard this really was MJ’s favorite song though
Thomas: Perfect song for this montage.
Thomas: Well done. They normally go to commercial after the montage. Not this year. Think I still have a crush on Lena Horne.
Malik: I still have a crush on Halle Berry…
Thomas: NOW they go to commercial.
Malik: that may have been the best In Memoriam even though it wasn’t the most star studded
Thomas: It was well done.
Thomas: Here we go – directing…
Thomas: Wow. Hooper wins in his first nomination.
Malik: yeah that’s impressive
Thomas: Not sure how I feel about that.
Malik: the Social Network folks just got their bubble burst I think..
Thomas: Looks like The King’s Speech just grabbed the inside track on best picture again.
Thomas: The Social Network took the early prizes, but The King’s Speech might be coming on late.
Malik: nice Mama’s boy speech there
Thomas: Yeah. Nice and simple speech.
Thomas: Fincher has one in the bank for a future award, though.
Malik: you know the historian in me wants to get into the Governors Award ceremony one day
Thomas: Wow. That photo of Lucas, Scosese, Speilberg, Coppola, DePalma etc, was pretty cool.
Malik: yeah i was wondering if you caught that!
Thomas: Don’t think I’ve seen a director’s photo like that before.
Thomas: How would you feel if they were taking a photo like that and asked you to step out of it?
Malik: LOLOLOL oh man….
Malik: thanks for pulling me out of my sentimental moment brotha…
Malik: Warren Beatty looking like “I remember when you yelled at me like that…”
Thomas: Jennifer Lawrence has a bright immediate future if she wants it.
Thomas: BUT, this is Natalie Partman’s night.
Thomas: Think I still feel that my favorite nomination announcement was when it was done by peers (a group of fellow actors/actresses) a year or two ago.
Malik: agreed that was awesome
Thomas: Natalie Portman takes it.
Thomas: She’s been good for years. Deserves this. Was great in Black Swan.
Malik: I’m a Natalie fan so this is cool
Thomas: She’s been acting since she was born, so you know she’s been thinking about this moment forever.
Thomas: Shout out to Luc Besson!
Thomas: The Professional!
Malik: still the flick!
Thomas: I like Portman, because as I said before, she seems very normal and even has a geeky side.
Malik: it’s coming out in this speech
Malik: she just thanked the 1st AD and the camera operators for God’s sake!!!
Thomas: 1st AD is even surprised by that…
Malik: also loving the Chinese Theatre backdrop by the way
Thomas: Yeah, that’s great.
Thomas: Hey, if you get nominated for an acting oscar and I’m sitting behind you, remind me to lean up behind you when they call your name and be like, “Yo, they said your name. You hear that? You hear that?” as I shake your shoulder.
Malik: LOLOL, please don’t…
Malik: that’s EXACTLY why there aren’t any minorities nominated…
Thomas: Colin Firth has to win this, it seems.
Malik: well deserved in my opinion
Thomas: Yeah, they got it right. Great performance.
Thomas: Funny first line of his speech, too.
Malik: that’s going to be replayed for years…
Thomas: Does Harvey Weinstein ever shave?
Malik: naw that’s his look
Thomas: But, he never lets it grow into a full beard.
Thomas: The stubble beard has been his thing forever.
Malik: yeah he’s on that Paul Pierce program
Malik: so the last one, it has to be King’s Speech right?
Malik: Spielberg keepin it real!
Thomas: Nicely put by Speilberg.
Thomas: Even if you lose, you’re in great company.
Thomas: They’re playing the best moment from The King’s Speech.
Thomas: By the way, this is a great score as I said before.
Malik: Excellent montage
Thomas: Yup. Well done.
Thomas: Whoever did the montages for the oscars should get an award themselves.
Malik: yeah montages and set design were aces
Thomas: Alright. There you go.
Thomas: King’s Speech. Well done.
Malik: I know we have other obligations; any last words brotha?
Thomas: It’s been fun. Gotta love the movies. Best job in the world is to be able to tell stories. On to Oscars 2012.
Malik: i don’t think The Dark Knight Rises will be eligible yet but I’m sure there will be other good films..
Thomas: Looking forward to seeing them. Peace out!
Malik: thanks to everyone who read along.