How I learned to avoid boredom and enjoy the 2014 Oscars using social media
1st Mar 2014 | 02:04
The apps that will enhance your Oscar-viewing experience
Zeebox, Awards Party and more
As much as I know about movies, I've never won a betting pool for the Academy Awards. But I do make one Oscar prediction every year that is incredibly reliable. So much so, that it always comes true. The Oscars will be boring! Bet on it!
Sure, the opening monologue can be filled with hilarious jokes or gaffes or better yet, both, but after that, it's a downward spiral of oh-so serious messaging about the importance of "the movies" and actors endlessly thanking people whose names we do not know. And there's often little surprise as to the winners. Yawn.
This year's Oscar telecast is shaping up to be less exciting and more forgettable than the most recent Super Bowl. But will the Twitter feed that saved the big game be enough to entertain us through the slogging speeches, musical numbers and montages-of-Hollywood-patting-itself-on-the-back?
Fear not! As an Oscar Twitter veteran, I consider it my duty to entertain the masses of bored television viewers left underwhelmed by the show itself. So to add yet another distraction during your viewing of the awards, I present to you this list of apps that will enhance your Oscar-viewing experience.
And the "Appscar" goes to…
If you're a "second-screen" experience guy like myself, you need a tablet in your lap in order to fully enjoy whatever it is that's on the television while you're texting and tweeting your thoughts about whatever it is that's on the television. Because everyone who watches the Oscars knows that complaining about the awards is as fun as watching it. That makes Zeebox the perfect app for our comment-crazy culture of folks like myself who think their insipid thoughts about what we just saw are worth sharing. You can do searches for keywords and you'll get a running social media feed about the TV program you're watching, like the Oscars! You can also login to your Twitter and Facebook and chat with your online pals. Even start a viewing party so your friends can join you as you complain away. Zeebox is the perfect Oscar companion and works in your browser or as an app.
Live From the Red Carpet
Some of the most embarrassing moments of the Academy Awards do not happen on stage, but rather on the red carpet before the Oscars. You can count on names to be forgotten and fun fact mix-ups happening right outside the theater on the red carpet. Which is why E! Online's app is so entertaining as those awkward moments are preserved for your amusement and viewable via the app.
Don't like to write in analog with a pen? Do you want to easily keep track of your Oscar picks for yourself and everyone at your party? Have .99 cents that you just don't want? Then Awards Party for just .99 cents will help you keep track of each of your guests' predictions which makes collecting on that betting pool so much easier.
- Get Awards Party on iOS
I am ashamed and humiliated to admit to you that I found Frozen to be one of my favorite films of the year, due mostly to that excellent soundtrack and score reminiscent of a Broadway musical. (Feel free to mock me now.) Now the best way to discover exactly where that musical number is from and how to purchase it immediately, is with Shazam.
The app simply listens to the music examining the .wav file to identify the tune so you don't have to ask anyone, which is a bonus because you won't look stupid. You don't even need to buy the musical track, you can just quietly name the song title and composers by using Shazam's simple interface. See? I just made you look smart.
Action Movie, Run Pee and Watch ABC
Made just for those times when the Oscars, or any awards show for that matter, get deadly dull. Action Movie allows you to take any short piece of video that you shoot, like some slow-moving drama scene from the latest Meryl Streep piece of Oscar-bait and add explosions or car crashes or aliens or flaming meteorites filled with tons of carnage and destruction. Just shoot anything off your television and enjoy watching Oscar host Ellen DeGeneres explode in a hail of rocket fire. Hey, if the Academy is not going to bestow good Hollywood movies where things blow up with awards, then we can do the next best thing and blow up the awards.
If you're like me, you can't see an entire feature film without having to pee at least once. Damn large-soda-and-popcorn-deal! Start this app at the beginning of a three-hour Oscar movie like, say, The Wolf of Wall Street, and you'll receive an alert at the boring parts telling you the best times to make a run to the restroom.
Once the show is over, check the app and you'll read a description of the boring parts you missed. While the app would be really useful during the Oscars, it's safe to say you can pee during commercials (unlike the Super Bowl) and during those over-the-top dance numbers.
At some point there must be a Run Pee app for television, but for now enjoy this useful movie-going tip.
While a recent update of the Watch ABC requires users to enter a cable provider in order to access content, this second-screen experience app provides… oh who am I kidding? This app is crap, just use Zeebox.
And if these apps fail to provide amusement, I find seeking out trailers for the Oscar porn parodies a very rewarding experience unto itself. Surprised? Yes, in fact, there are Oscar porn parodies and if the Academy ever decides to honor adult films, this year's winner should be 12 Inches a Slave.
Chris Gore is the founder of Film Threat, a writer and comedian whose debut comedy book/album is titled Celebrities Poop. (www.celebritiespoop.com) Chris' Oscar Twitter feed can be read @ThatChrisGore.