Natalie Portman, Oscar Predictions, Xbox (New Substandard)

In this latest episode of the Substandard (subscribe, leave a review!), we discuss the sci-fi-horror-drama Annihilation. Sonny gives the big boy review, another reviewer was left angry and confused, and JVL thinks Natalie Portman's better acting days are behind her. Yes, we do get into the Portman oeuvre. No, no one mentioned Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium.

Meanwhile, I relate my Xbox exploits, much to the amusement of my cohosts. Attention old people: Unlike the Atari 2600 joystick, there is more than one button on the Xbox controller. There are about 13. And it's turning my playing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare into the movie Edge of Tomorrow, in which I repeat the same action sequence over and over until I figure out how not to die. (My character has also fallen under the spell of Kevin Spacey.)

Not mentioned on the show (because it arrived yesterday) is the kind gift sent to me by the Substandard Expanded Universe—Dead or Alive: Xtreme 2. It's what every lonely middle-aged man imagines those Hedonism resorts as being: full of beautiful women playing volleyball and no dudes. Except you're supposed to play as one of the women and trying to gain the friendship of the other women. Not that I have started playing. Also, not to look a gift-horse in the mouth, but the game is clearly used—most likely by a lonely middle-aged man. It feels rather worn. But thank you SSEU nonetheless!

Wait, there's more! Sonny Bunch provides Oscar predictions for this Sunday's main event. I think I might have only seen two of the nominated films (Dunkirk, Darkest Hour) but I will agree that The Shape of Water will win and so will its director, Guillermo del Toro. The real question is how many people will want to watch a show with films many of us have not seen. And will Jimmy Kimmel spend his monologue solely on Trump and not, say, on the predators in his industry and in the audience? And what about Ryan Seacrest on the red carpet? That pre-Oscar show might itself be worth checking out just to see what happens.