Ah, a freshly pulled pint! What could be better? How about following it up with a second pint that you didn’t have to pay for?A company called Glassify is making smart beer glasses that can lead you to the promised land where the beer flows free — or heavily discounted, depending on the personalized offer you receive. Yes, the beers really are free or substantially cheaper. It’s all about marketing.Despite being a $1.2 trillion business, boozy beverage makers still don’t have a great way to target their customers when they’re most receptive to the message. Glassify is helping to drag them into the 21st century by offering — what else? — an app-based way to go one-on-one with beer drinkers.It all starts with Glassify’s smart glass, which looks pretty much like a regular pint glass until you look at the base. There’s something embedded in there that looks a lot like what’s in the base of a Lego Dimensions minifig — which makes sense, because that’s pretty much what it is. Request a smart glass and the bartender writes information about the beer your drinking when it’s poured and the PCB passes that information to the Glassify app when you tap the glass on your phone.From there, the cloud goes to work. Say the good folks at New Belgium saw you order up a Fat Tire and they think you might enjoy their new Heavy Melon ale — you know, since it’s summertime and whatnot. They could give you half off your next order or even send a free beer your way on the Glassify app.It’s a solid promotional tool for beverage makers, and one that has much greater potential to drive actual sales than traditional advertising. But it’s not all about producers boosting sales and you earning the occasional free beer (as awesome as that is).You can use Glassify to promote your own personal brand, too. You can use the app to buy a round for your friends, as long as they’re sitting in a bar that has the company’s smart glasses on hand, of course.
Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. Stay on target What’s going to win big at The Academy Awards this year?Politically-conscious genre films, women standing up and fresh blood – not necessarily in that order and not necessarily in the sense of actually receiving trophies.Will it be worth watching, even if my favorites weren’t nominated for anything?Probably. It’s the first show following the debacle of accidentally awarding the wrong film Best Picture last year so… look for jokes about that to get run into the ground pretty early on. It’s the first show after a full year in the Trump Era, so we can all be on the lookout for highly-politicized jokes and/or statements from the podium and furious Twitter retorts from a certain someone who should really have better things to do with his time. There doesn’t appear to be a clear favorite for Best Picture though there are definitely strong contenders (which always makes things interesting). And of course the righteous specter of the #MeToo Movement will continue to hang over the industry as we wonder if any presenter, winner or honoree will make, speak or even answer to any accusations. Also, probably lots of stupid comedy skits.Are you surprised Wonder Woman wasn’t nominated for Best Picture?Not really. I think it had a better shot than a superhero movie has had in a long time based on how well it was received and what it meant as a “zeitgeist movie,” i.e. a big lavish spectacle of feminist-iconography at a moment in time when that felt especially necessary. But it’s not a shock when a movie that loses steam so noticeably in Act 3 isn’t nominated for Best Picture (even though there’ve been “worse” nominees and winners than it in the past.) Sooner or later, one of “these” is going to get in (Black Panther probably has the next best shot coming up) but we’ll see.Alright, here’s the predictions I’ve got for categories where I feel comfortable offering an opinion:BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAYNominees: The Big Sick (Emily V. Gordon & Kumail Nanjiani), Get Out (Jordan Peele), Lady Bird (Greta Gerwig), The Shape of Water (Guillermo del Toro, Vanessa Taylor), Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri (Martin McDonagh)It’s easy to imagine this going to Jordan Peele for Get Out, as his big writer/director debut becoming a massive Best Picture-nominated smash hit and the most profitable film of the year is one the biggest film industry stories of 2017. But Greta Gerwig is a beloved indie darling as an actress and Lady Bird is buzzed-about as one of The Academy’s favorite overall features this year and nominated in a bunch of other categories where it’s probably not going to win. This could be where her chance to get up onstage and have a Big Moment goes, and out of all the nominees Lady Bird is the one that most lived/died based on its script.Prediction: Lady Bird (Greta Gerwig)BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAYNominees: Call Me by Your Name (James Ivory), The Disaster Artist (Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber), Logan (Scott Frank & James Mangold and Michael Green), Molly’s Game (Aaron Sorkin), Mudbound (Virgil Williams and Dee Rees)It’d really be something to see this go to Logan, but the rest of the field is really strong and I can’t shake the notion that just the idea of giving an Oscar to one of the X-Men movies. It’s a wildly-uneven franchise that lacks either the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s box-office and critical acclaim or Wonder Woman’s decades of pop-culture ubiquity and is now tainted by associations with scandal-plagued Bryan Singer. That is “too much” for a lot of The Academy, especially with so much strong competition. Here’s where I go out on a small limb: I think James Ivory gets it. He’s a beloved fixture of the Old Guard Academy from the Merchant Ivory days but (incredibly!) has no Oscar of his own. He is tied with fellow 2018 nominee Agnes Varda as the oldest nominee and represents the much-liked Call Me By Your Name’s best chance at gold in what’s feeling like a “spread the love” year.Prediction: Call Me By Your Name (James Ivory)BEST ANIMATED FEATURENominees: The Boss Baby, The Breadwinner, Coco, Ferdinand, Loving VincentIt’s going to be Coco, easiest call of the night. It’s Pixar, it’s Disney, it was a giant hit, it was excellent and everybody saw it, cried and then brought their grandparents so they could cry too. Plus, there’s no getting around this being a highly-politicized year in pop-culture. So an animated film all about (literally) a struggle to help an extended Mexican family remain unified despite an ominous border governed by arcane rules is an irresistible fist-in-their-air/finger-in-the-eye to a certain someone the Creative Community widely views as the villain of the moment.Prediction: CocoBEST DOCUMENTARYNominees: Abacus, Faces Places, Icarus, Last Men in Aleppo, Strong Island2017 saw the continued trend of documentaries having more presence on streaming and long-form television than theaters, so surprise-surprise it’s not an especially strong year for the category at The Oscars. Faces Places feels the most likely. It’s a photography/travelogue doc from JR and legendary French New Wave pioneer Agnes Varda (potentially her final film), whose beaming, grandmotherly appearance accepting a Lifetime Achievement statue at last year’s Governors Awards (and hitting the dance floor with Angelina Jolie) made her a brief social-media sensation.Prediction: Faces PlacesBEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILMNominees: A Fantastic Woman (Chile), The Insult (Lebanon),Loveless (Russia), On Body and Soul (Hungary), The Square (Sweden)The “big story” in awards-caliber foreign language film in 2017 was the dissipation of heat for The Square, which was expected to run the table but fizzled outside the festival circuit. Also raising eyebrows is the absence of the well-reviewed German hit In The Fade, which featured Diane Kruger as a widow following a dark path to avenge the murder of her Turkish-born Muslim husband and their mixed-race son by neo-nazi terrorists. Of the nominees, A Fantastic Woman has had the most buzz going in, though most U.S. audiences will be unfamiliar with it.Prediction: A Fantastic WomanBEST SUPPORTING ACTRESSNominees: Mary J. Blige (Mudbound), Allison Janney (I Tonya), Leslie Manville (Phantom Thread), Laurie Metcalf (Lady Bird), Octavia Spencer (The Shape of Water)Also sometimes known as the “Wow, what a career!” award for long-respected character actresses of a certain age and/or better known for the stage or television, often won for playing eccentric mother figures to rising starlets. That describes Janney and Metcalf, who’ve been splitting the lead-up awards between one another, but I feel like Janney gets it here. It’s the “showier” version of the role, mainly, but also – let’s face it – Oscars are voted on by category peers and among Hollywood actors nothing is closer to secular sainthood than having been part of the West Wing ensemble.Prediction: Allison JanneyBEST ACTRESSNominees: Sally Hawkins (The Shape of Water), Frances McDormand (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri), Margot Robbie (I Tonya), Saoirse Ronan (Lady Bird), Meryl Streep (The Post)Strong category, but I think Frances McDormand will get Oscar #2 for Three Billboard. Here’s the thing: That movie isn’t good, but she’s AMAZING in it and she’s kind of the whole movie which is why some people *think* it was good enough to nominate it for other things – so it stands to reason they liked her enough to win.Prediction: Frances McDormandBEST SUPPORTING ACTORNominees: Willem Dafoe (Florida Project), Woody Harrelson (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri), Richard Jenkins (The Shape of Water), Christopher Plummer (All The Money in The World), Sam Rockwell (Three Billboard Outside Ebbing Missouri)Sam Rockwell is one of America’s best and most underrated actors, his peers have basically been waiting for him to an even vaguely Oscar-ready role so they can award him for it, they’re probably going to do it here. Good for him, but I kind of wish there was more of a chance for Willem Dafoe because The Florida Project was a really good movie and he was really good in it. If there’s going to be a spoiler here it might be Christopher Plummer for since everyone was kind of blown away he was able to come in cold and help save that movie from having to purge Kevin Spacey (plus, y’know, he reminded everyone he was still alive.)Prediction: Sam RockwellBEST ACTORNominees: Timothée Chalamet (Call Me by Your Name), Daniel Day-Lewis (Phantom Thread), Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out), Gary Oldman (Darkest Hour), Denzel Washington (Roman J. Israel Esq.)One has to assume that Gary Oldman is closer to having this one “in the bag” to a greater degree than any other nominee in any other category this year. Incredible makeup aside; Darkest Hour is kind of cheesy, underwhelming and it feels like Oldman has been better in a lot of other recent roles where he also wasn’t trying quite so hard.But you can’t deny that he’s one of the best actors of his generation and it’s ridiculous that he’s not sitting on a pile of Oscars already. He’s had this coming for a long time; it’s exactly the sort of performance The Academy likes best (and not a bad version of it!) so that’s probably that.Prediction: Gary OldmanBEST DIRECTORNominees: Christopher Nolan (Dunkirk), Jordan Peele (Get Out), Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird), Paul Thomas Anderson (Phantom Thread), Guillermo del Toro (The Shape of Water)My sense of things is Gerwig, Peele and del Toro are the ones with the real shot here – Nolan doesn’t do “heart” enough for Oscar’s taste and Phantom Thread is too “weird.” Gerwig has sympathetic momentum, as actor-turned-director is just about The Academy’s favorite flavor of anything, but the movie is a little slight – good, but slight. I think it comes down to either Peele or Del Toro, and whichever one wins the other guy’s movie is gonna take Best Picture. Call it a hunch. In this case, I think smart money is on Jordan Peele: It’s his first movie, he blew everyone’s doors off, he’s ALSO a actor-turned-director and he wrote the damn thing… it’s just a better “victory story,” plus I think The Shape of Water is more of an “Academy Movie” for reasons we’ll talk about in just a moment.Prediction: Jordan PeeleBEST PICTURENominees: Call Me By Your Name, Darkest Hour, Get Out, Lady Bird, Phantom Thread, The Post, The Shape of Water, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing MissouriFor reasons outlined mainly in other categories, I think this is a four-way split between Lady Bird, Three Billboards, Get Out and Shape of Water as the “actual chance” nominees; and of those three it comes down more specifically to Get Out and The Shape of Water.Interestingly, along with both being excellent, they’re similar films (i.e. socially-conscious sci-fi/horror hybrids using fantastical stories as metaphors about oppression) but I think Get Out is the more “radical” one whereas Shape of Water is the safer bet here. Yes, it’s an R-rated monster movie about manphibian sex, but its overall moral paradigm fits very comfortably into the way The Academy tends to be most comfortable framing oppression narratives. A rainbow coalition of marginalized good guys (disabled woman, black woman, gay artist, well-intentioned Communist scientist) united in common cause to rescue a magical creature from The White 1950s Military-Industrial Patriarchy. And it’s “good” coded to “sensitive outsiders,” “not part of The Mainstream” (as recalled by now-aging Baby Boomers) and “appreciates classic movies;” so the old-guard of Academy voters can easily see themselves in the heroes.Whereas in Get Out, they can see themselves as well… but in a much less positive way. Get Out isn’t just about blowing up the unique unease of being a young Black man surrounded by rich White people in “their” environment, it’s very specifically about being surrounded by seemingly-“progressive” rich White people. People whose eagerness to demonstrate how enthusiastic they are about Blackness takes on a creepy and dehumanizing edge of its own. It’s not an accident that the film’s central Luciferian villain is a softly-smug, silver-haired Boomer in a turtleneck (played by yet another West Wing alum, no less!) who coos about voting for Obama “a third time – if I could!” It’s like the way Bela Lugosi’s Dracula declared “I never drink – wine;” and it’s hard to imagine the same type of Academy voter who feels hyper-validated that they, too, would be an ally of the fish-man in The Shape of Water not realizing that Get Out is pointing its finger at them… and I suspect not all of them were comfortable with the implication.Prediction: Get OutI could be wrong, of course. We’ll find out soon enough when The 90th Annual Academy Awards airs on Sunday, March 4th. MovieBob Reviews: ‘Shadow’MovieBob Reviews: ‘The Curse of La Llorona’