Aaron Sorkin is a Self-Plagiarizer

Did you watch The Newsroom last night? I didn’t! I’ll tell you why: 1. I was out at a bar having fun like a normal human, and 2. I kind of hate Aaron Sorkin. Sure, I have never seen The West Wing, Studio 60, or Sports Night, but I always felt like I’ve had a good handle on them because I have seen The American President, The Social Network, and Moneyball. Know what I mean? What I’m saying: I can only take so much of big-feathered A-list actors delivering grand monologues that give Mr. Sorkin a major boner. Turns out I was on to something!

If you weren’t already turned off by his general shitty attitude toward women and anyone, basically, who is not Aaron Sorkin, you’ll be delighted to see nearly eight minutes of proof in which Sorkin is, in fact, not that creative and original after all!

(via Bobby Finger)

2011 Oscar Nominations Go More or Less as Expected

With the speed of a lumbering engine powered by critical hubris and self-importance, the 84th Academy Awards nominations dropped into our newsfeeds this morning with predictable result. Did you know that people liked The Descendants this year, The Artist as well? Brad Pitt and George Clooney scored the requisite Hollywood heartthrob acting votes (they will lose to the no-name French guy who doesn’t talk), while Meryl Streep got her due for sticking around. Woody Allen and Martin Scorsese were also nominated, just like they always are. It’s another Oscar ceremony, y’all!

But not to sound cynical or anything. It’s somewhat surprising, though definitely nice, to see Terrence Malick get official recognition for The Tree of Life, even if there’s almost no way the hype-happy Academy will give their highest awards to a movie with more than a handful of inscrutably artsy scenes. Equally surprising on the other end is the inclusion of Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, a movie that no one seemed to like but not for any inscrutably artsy reasons, simply because it’s kind of schmaltzy and not very good. Why not give the spot to something innocuous like Bridesmaids or even the last Harry Potter movie, if they’re trying to go commercial? Madness, it’s all madness. (I won’t even get started on Albert Brooks’ snub for Drive.) You can look at the important nominees below, or go to the Academy’s website for the full list.

Best Picture
The Artist, The Descendants, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, The Help, Hugo, Midnight in Paris, Moneyball, The Tree of Life, War Horse

Actor in a Leading Role
Demian Bichir – A Better Life, George Clooney – The Descendants, Jean Dujardian – The Artist, Gary Oldman – Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Brad Pitt – Moneyball

Actress in a Leading Role
Glenn Close – Albert Nobbs, Viola Davis – The Help, Rooney Mara – The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Meryl Streep – The Iron Lady, Michelle Williams – My Week with Marilyn

Directing
Michael Hazanavicius – The Artist, Alexander Payne – The Descendants, Martin Scorsese – Hugo, Woody Allen – Midnight in Paris, Terrence Malick – The Tree of Life

Actor in a Supporting Role
Kenneth Branaugh – My Week with Marilyn, Jonah Hill – Moneyball, Nick Nolte – Warrior, Christopher Plummer – Beginners, Max von Sydow – Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

Actress in a Supporting Role
Berenice Bejo – The Artist, Jessica Chastain – The Help, Melissa McCarthy – Bridesmaids, Janet McTeer – Albert Nobbs, Octavia Spencer – The Help

Afternoon Links: Casey Anthony Spotted, Ashton Kutcher Is a Billionaire

● The first Casey-Anthony-is-a-free-person pics have been taking as the tot mom went shopping in Ohio. Win the Superbowl, go to Disneyland! Get acquitted of murdering your daughter, go to Old Navy! [TMZ] ● Things are finally looking up for New Jersey! After having its reputation smeared by tanning oil, reports indicate that the Garden State might get its very own F1 race by 2013. [WSJ] ● The new full-length trailer for Moneyball, otherwise known as your last chance to see fat Jonah Hill, has hit the web [/Film]

● “Real-Life Ken Doll Gets Cast as Ken Doll” is the perfect headline for any story about the alleged casting of actor Trevor Donovan as Ken in the live-action Barbie movie. (There’s a live-action Barbie movie?) [Perez Hilton] ● When we first heard that Ted Danson joined the cast of the flagship CSI, the words “what in the fuck” came puking out of our mouths. It turns out the CSI overlords had a plan. The next season will apparently be funnier. Not David Caruso funny, either. Real funny.[Deadline] ● And finally, Ashton Kutcher will play an Internet billionaire with a broken heart on Two and a Half Men 2.0. That’s not bad, actually. [NY Times]