Pop culture from Southern California and beyond.

Oscar the couch: Academy debuts new outdoor theater in Hollywood

wizard of oz

Getty Images

Jerry Maren as a Lollipop Guild Member presents Judy Garland with a gift in the 1939 film, 'The Wizard of Oz.'

Abandon sofa and grab some grass -- the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is bringing surround sound and a 40-foot screen to the great outdoors with a new open-air theater in Hollywood.

The "Oscars Outdoors" film series / screening space was unveiled Monday by Academy president Tom Sherak who said he wanted to build a drive-in theater at the location, but "this is the closest we could get."

The first feature to be featured is "Casablanca" on June 15. Films will screen every Friday and Saturday night through Aug. 18.

Admission is free for kids under 10-years-old. General admission is $5, and admission for students and Academy members is $3. All screenings are scheduled to begin at sunset. Tickets for June films go on sale 6/1/12.

Check the official site for schedule updates:


Watson's a lady, Twitter won't keep your secret identity if you threaten violence & Jimmy Kimmel gets more meta

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Warner Bros.

Robert Downey, Jr. as Sherlock Holmes

  • Jimmy Kimmel offered a pretty spectacular post-Oscars video, a trailer for "Movie: The Movie" starring a cavalcade of stars including George Clooney, Charlize Theron, Tom Hanks, Cameron Diaz and many more. Well, now he's managed to get one more level of meta with "Making the Movie: The Making of Movie: The Movie."

  • Everybody loves Sherlock Holmes, with a hit movie franchise and a BBC TV show, so CBS is making a new modern American take on the character called "Elementary." Except it takes place in New York and now Watson is a lady played by Lucy Liu.

  • Looking for something to do in a couple weekends? Well the WonderCon comic convention, run by the same folks who do the ultra-famous San Diego Comic-Con, is moving from San Francisco to Anaheim for this year, and they just released their full schedule. (You can see my tentative schedule here, which will change 58 times by the time the convention rolls around.)

  • OK, we know that none of us probably saw most if any of the Oscar-nominated shorts, so here's your chance to see the winner for Best Animated Short, "The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore." (Hat tip: Vulture)

  • Hey everyone who wants to be anonymous on Twitter: Maybe don't threaten to violently rape political candidate Michele Bachmann? A judge says Twitter has to reveal the mystery tweeter's identity, even though the judge didn't believe the person was an actual threat.

  • Greendale Community College is back in session; two weeks from Thursday, "Community" returns to the airwaves. Before that, check out this interview the Daily Beast did with the female stars of the show, as well as writer Megan Ganz.

  • Oh great, another way for comic books to take my money: Now there's a comics section in the iTunes bookstore.

  • A shoutout to one of my favorite blogs, the Mary Sue, offering geek girls a voice; they're celebrating their one year anniversary.


Oscar patriarchy: 94% of Academy members are white, and most are men

Actress Jennifer Lawrence and Tom Sherak

Robyn Beck/Getty Images

Actress Jennifer Lawrence and Tom Sherak, president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts, announce the nominees at the 84th Academy Awards Nominations Announcement, January 24, 2012 at the Academy's Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills, California. Martin Scorsese's lavish 3D adventure "Hugo" won 11 Oscar nominations Tuesday, just ahead of hotly-tipped silent movie "The Artist" with 10 nods for Hollywood's top awards.


Eric Charbonneau/Getty

James Cromwell, Penelope Ann Miller, Berenice Bejo, Jean Dujardin and Writer/Director Michel Hazanavicius at "The Artist" Los Angeles Premiere After Party Celebrating with Bombay Sapphire at The Little Door on Nov. 8, 2011 in Los Angeles.

Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Actress Octavia Spencer accepts the Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role award for "The Help" onstage during the 18th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on Jan. 29, 2012 in Los Angeles.

"The Ides Of March" New York Premiere - Outside Arrivals

Theo Wargo/Getty Images

George Clooney attends the premiere of "The Ides of March" at the Ziegfeld Theater on October 5, 2011 in New York City.

Sunday the Los Angeles Times released a stunning revelation about the current crop of voting members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. 

After surveying 5,100 members (and their reps) who decide who recieve Oscars, the newspaper discovered that 97% are white and 77 percent are men.

The Times also learned that of the 5,765 voting members, blacks and Hispanics only account for 4% of those who dole out the golden statuettes. And only 2 percent of AMPAS members are younger than 40 years old.

Some may argue that despite pearly white front-running films like "The Artist" (a silent film that celebrates old-time Hollywood), "The Decendents" (George Clooney struggling through Hawaii to find out the truth about his dying wife), and "Midnight in Paris" (the Woody Allen romanitic fantasy set in the City of Lights), "The Help" proves that white men can celebrate and identify well-made diverse films.


Disney goes bearded, Sundance goes silent, Vanilla Ice goes hipster and Tracy Morgan goes home

somethingstartedcrazy/Flickr (Creative Commons-licensed)

Marina Abromovic at New York's Museum of Modern Art

Today's pop culture roundup:

  • Clearly staged, but if seeing Vanilla Ice singing "Ice, Ice Baby" and "Ninja Rap" as an Echo Park indie rock hipster doesn't make you happy, you, sir or madame, have no heart:
    (via the Daily What)
  • Disney is finally lifting their legendary ban on facial hair for theme park employees. So next time you're at Disneyland, you may see some well-groomed goatees. Well-groomed, because there are still limitations, such as keeping the facial hair less than a quarter of an inch. Still banned? Soul patches. Disney knows that's still wrong.
  • Tracy Morgan returned to Los Angeles after collapsing at Sundance, but it sounds like it was unrelated to his struggles with alcohol. He's blaming the high altitude. Morgan also suffers from diabetes, which is known to be harder to manage at high altitudes. (via The Atlantic Wire)
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    1930s mugshots of women, Crystal clears Oscar jokes, Star Wars cello battle in our daily roundup

  • Mugshots of women from 1930s-40s Los Angeles. Charges including cons, embezzlement, burglary, prostitution, assault with a deadly weapon, "mental case" and... "lesbian."
  • If Photoshop was a real-world cosmetic:

    (via the Ebert Club)

  • The actor who plays fictional character I most identify with, Josh Radnor (aka Ted on "How I Met Your Mother") is releasing a memoir about growing up in Ohio and... wait, what's this? Doing hallucinogenics in the Amazon? Huh. So, there's that.
  • Host Billy Crystal teased some new Oscars jokes, making fun of the idea that he's a little out of touch with pop culture at this point.
  • Liverpool moviegoers demanded refunds after going to see "The Artist" but not knowing in advance it was going to be a silent film.
  • Herman Cain endorses Stephen Colbert: The Stephen Colbert telling South Carolinians to vote for Herman Cain to show their support for Colbert has hit another level, as now Cain is endorsing the thing personally. So, is this reverse endorsing? Endorsing himself? Cain will be taping a segment with Colbert as well.
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