7:29 — Enjoy it, Taylor Lautner… the clock is ticking before everyone realizes you really can't do much with your shirt on. On your way out tonight, swing by the alley and ask Leif Garrett how that whole "talent-free teen heartthrob" thing works out.
7:28 – Jeff Bridges is so "laid back" on the carpet, you expect him to be wearing a bath robe and holding a White Russian. He appears to have spent the afternoon hanging out in Willie Nelson's tour bus.
7:27 – I give teen-idol actors and actresses a lot of crap because, well, I'm getting old and bitter… But I have to say in all fairness, Miley Cyrus really does seem like a particularly horrible celebrity. What's worse is I doubt she ever gets dragged down into the Paris-Lindsey-Britney Swamp (aka the ParLinBri Swamp), which means she'll grow up to be one of those ultra-phony celebrities who pretends to be all Down-Home Good Works and Positive Role-Model, but in fact spends most of her time off-screen throwing things at assistants. The best we can hope for is that in 50 years her children write a nasty tell-all book about her.
7:26 – When actors-writers you truly adore and admire, like Tina Fey and Steve Carrell, are continually paraded out to shill for an upcoming film project it's like when your neighborhood friends start selling Amway. You still love them, but you try to pretend you're not home when they stop by.
7:25 – Jim S. says Christopher Plummer looks like Cesar Romero as the original TV Batman's Joker. But I'm voting either Sandra Bullock or Cameron Diaz.
7:24 — Once again Matthew Broderick is doing a great job of keeping his mouth shut when his wife is talking fashion. He looks so stiff and awkward, he'd probably be more comfortable chilling with the Price-Waterhouse accountants.
7:21 – Morgan Freeman is "loose" and chewing a giant wad of gum. He either pitching out of the bullpen tonight or going for the "To Hell With It, I'm Not Gonna Win Anyway" vibe.
7:18 — Zac Efron goes after the Annual Depp Award by having done his hair with a blender. Who was his hair stylist? The Heat Miser?
7:12 — Clooney may be the only star big and hot enough to bring the mullet back. Clooney looks a little tired–maybe too much party in the back latley, not enough business in the front?
7:10 — After much fighting over the DVR remote, we are getting the "official" red-carpet pre-show started. They've lined up the Best Supporting Actress nominees in order to make mocking their dresses that much easier. Someone as animated a speaker as Penelope Cruz shouldn't wear long, pendulous earrings–I'm afraid she's gonna swing one around and put an eye out.
6:50 — More conventional wisdom from the estrogen gallery: Those bemoaning the lack of truly disastrous fashion train wrecks in recent years have been handed a huge gift this year by Charlize Theron and her cupcake swirls.
6:40 — The ladies at my party are oohing and ahhing over J-Lo's dress, which to me looks like it's falling off. On the other hand, I loathe Jennifer Lopez almost more than I can bear, so I may be biased.
6:33 — So far at the party I'm at it's all women, so all the talk is about the dresses. It's a weird and fascinating anthropological experience for me. Meanwhile, I can't actually hear the E! red carpet telecast over the fashion chatter in the room. So here's a standard joke: Ryan Seacrest is very short.
6:30 — Okay, let's start this par-tay… although I have to get warmed up–right now I'm more interested in my beer and stinky cheese than in Ryan Seacrest talking to Clooney.
5:30pm Central Time — Howdy folks! I'm heading off to my Oscar party, but in about an hour (6:30 Central Time) I'll be firing up the live-chat-blog-o-maker. Meet me right here for some casual observations, arguments, and plenty of snarky comments about the red carpet and the ceremony itself.
In the meantime, you guys can get things started in the comments below while I trek across town. Who are you rooting for tonight? (You can see my faves and predictions here.) How do you think Baldwin and Martin will do as co-hosts? What presenters are you excited about? Who will get the most applause during the Roll Call of the Dead? Who will be driven from the stage by the orchestra when an acceptance speech goes on too long?
Fire away and I'll see you in a short bit!