Review: Silver Linings Playbook

I just want us to be friends.
Pat (Bradley Cooper) has just gotten out of of the mental institution. He's been there for the last 8 months because he beat up his wife's lover, and at the time had an undiagonsed bi polar disorder. He's determined to reinvent himself. He sees the silver lining in everything, and he knows if he works hard, his wife Nikki will take him back. He lives with his parents (played by Robert Deniro and Jacki Weaver) don't agree, but are hoping for the best. Through his friends, he meets Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence) a recently widowed young woman with plenty of issues herself. When Tiffany offers something to Pat that he cannot resist, he decides to enter a dance competition with her.


Tiffany and Pat are both very unstable people, and I thought Cooper and Lawrence portrayed them perfectly. They never felt fake or over the top. Maybe it's because I work with young kids with mental illnesses that made me appreciate it so much more. (and laugh out loud at the Trazadone reference - that stuff really will knock you on your ass) If anything can be taken away from Silver Linings, I hope it shows that mental illness is not something to be ashamed off, but something you seek help for. It can be cured. Ok, enough of that tangent, let's focus on how awesome this movie is. The acting is top notch. Lawrence is the MVP, her Tiffany made me laugh and nearly cry. Bradley Cooper is also much better than I ever gave him credit for. I'm used to him as just a pretty face. That's not true here, he matches Lawrence punch for punch and turns in the most brilliant performance of his career. The supporting cast of Weaver, Deniro, Shea Wingham and Chris Tucker is wonderful as well. While the movie has plenty of serious situations, it's full of laughs (and F bombs) and it sends you off on a feel good note.

Recommended: Yes

Grade: A+

Memorable Quote: "I have no filter when I talk." - Pat (Bradley Cooper)

Indie Gems: Headhunters

Hodejegerne
Roger Brown (Aksel Hennie) is a headhunter that lives above his means. He's self conscious about his short stature and is constantly afraid his wife will leave him. So be buys her plenty of expensive things, and funds it by stealing expensive art work on the side. Then he meets Clas Greve (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) who is perfect for a job that Roger is trying to recruit. He also happens to own a very expensive piece of art. However Roger will soon learn that stealing from Clas is not a good idea.

Roger is an interesting protagonist because he's so flawed to begin with. At first, I was actually kind of rooting for Clas to kill the guy. I loved how intricate the film felt. Roger goes to some extreme measures to avoid Clas and cover up his tracks. Even though he's clearly the weaker of the two, Roger always managed to survive.

I'm a fan of Coster-Waldau, and while his character is pretty one dimensional  he's still fun to watch, but Aksel Hennie really impressed me here. This is the first film that I've seen him in, and I definitely want to see more.

Grade: B

Memorable Quote: "The one thing that she wants most is the one thing I won't give her." - Roger Brown (Aksel Hennie)

DVD Review: Goon

A movie you may have missed.
I honestly don't remember if Goon was in theaters near me. I can see why I would write something like this off without seeing it, but as I saw it on Instant Netflix, I figured I'd give it a try. I'm glad I did.

Goon is about Doug Glatt. (Seann William Scott) He's a naive bouncer that's a hell of a fighter. One day he beats up a local hockey player so badly that they offer him a spot on the team just to fight. Then he catches the eye of a semi pro hockey coach that puts him on his team to fight, while trying to straighten up his fallen protigy LaFlamme. (Marc-Andre Grodin) Then there's Ross Rhea, (Leiv Schreiber, with the most badass goatee you've ever seen) he's the ultimate thug on the ice. And soon, he'll get to go face to face with Glatt.

This movie was hilarious and actually pretty spot on when it comes to local to semi pro hockey games. I was laughing for nearly all of the first 15 minutes thanks to Jay Baruchel, who plays Doug's annoying friend from Boston.  I loved the over the top Canadian accent one of Doug's team mates had. Growing up so close to Canada, I can tell you that most of them don't sound like that, but it's always refreshing when you meet someone who does. I love it. There's lots of laughs in Goon, and lots of blood. It's definitely worth checking out.

Recommended: Yes

Grade: B

Memorable Quote: "You make me want to stop sleeping with a bunch of other guys." Eva - Alison Pill

Indie Gems: Bernie

Even the nicest people can do horrible things.
 
Bernie Tiede (Jack Black) is a friendly funeral director who recently moved to Carthage, TX. He takes a lot of pride in his work and is very involved with the church. The residents fall in love with him easily, and how could you not? Bernie is just so nice and so good at what he does. When the towns crabbiest lady, Marjorie Nugent (Shirley McClaine) becomes a widow, he treats her with the same kindness he shows everyone else. Marjorie takes a liking to him and soon they are traveling on lush vacations and he is her constant companion. In fact, he basically becomes her servant, and under stress he ends up killing her and covering it up. The story is told through interviews of the locals and by the DA  Danny Buck. (Matthew McConaughey)
 
Jack Black gives the best performance of his career in Bernie. He perfectly embodies him. There were times when I was watching that his performance reminded me of another great one this year; Philip Seymour Hoffman's in The Master. Telling the story through interviews with the town folk was a good choice and made way for plenty of humor. McConaughey was also brilliant ant playing who he plays best...a lawyer. This is all based on a true story as well and the credits even show Black chatting with Tiede. At first glance, one might over look this little gem, but it is definitely worth your time.
 
Grade: A-
 
Memorable Quote: "Oh she will rip you a new 3 bedroom, 2 bath, double wide ass hole." - Townsperson 

DVD Review: There Be Dragons

Faith, Forgiveness, Redemption.
 
Warning - Boardwalk Empire season 3 spoilers are ahead***
 
When Boardwalk Empire decided to kill of one of the two only good looking guys left on the show Owen, played by Charlie Cox, I decided I needed to get my fix elsewhere. So I stumbled upon a recent film he did with Wes Bently called "There Be Dragons."
 
Now I know why this film was a barely a blip on anyone's radar - it was terribly boring. A journalist, Roberto (Dougray Scott) is investigating the story of Josemarie Escriva. (Charlie Cox, in flash backs) As it turns out, his own father (played by Wes Bently in flashbacks) has a very long history with this man.
 
I have to admit, I had no prior knowledge of Josemaria, or Opus Dei for that matter. (Apart from just recognizing the names) Even after watching this film, I don't know that I could tell you much about it. The pacing makes it almost excruciating to sit through and the performances are terrible. I hate to say it about actors I enjoy, but they are. Their accents were all over the place. At times I thought the film was very nice to look at, but it had no emotional connection whatsoever. Ultimately, this is very forgettable.
 
Recommended: No
 
Grade: D
 
Memorable Quote: "It is remarkably easy to join a war." - Josemarie Escriva (Charlie Cox)

DVD Review: Rango

I get his boots.
When Rango, (voiced by Johnny Depp) a pet lizard who winds up on the side of the road due to a car accident stumbles upon the old western town of Dirt, he puts on an act. The town is out a sheriff, and they are out of water, Rango takes on the task while bragging about being the gunslinger he never was. His eventual reality check comes, but now he's going to stand up for this town.
I was really surprised about how hilarious I found this. I never got around to seeing it last year. I watched it win plenty of awards and always vowed to check it out. I'm glad I did. It's nice to see a film like this come from Nickelodeon when most animated features are dominated by Disney, Pixar, and Dreamworks. It had plenty of gags for the kids, and plenty for us parents that are watching that with them. I especially liked "The Spirit of the West." That was perfect.
Recommended: Yes
Grade: B
Memorable Quote: "You've got a funny looking face." - Rango (Johnny Depp)

DVD Review: Friends With Kids

The "unconventional story" with a very conventional ending.
Director/writer/star/frozen face Jennifer Westfedlt said that her film is an unconventional story, and on the outside, that's very true. Too bad it submits to over used cliches and the ending can be seen miles away.
Julie (Westfedlt) and her best friend Jason (Adam Scott) decide that they want kids, but they want to skip all of the relationship problems that can come with the stress of being a parent. So they have drunken sex, get pregnant, and share the duties 50/50. Their group of friends; sometimes bitchy Leslie, (Maya Rudolph) laid back Alex, (Chris O'Dowd) broken woman Missy, (Kristen Wiig) and douchebag Ben (John Hamm) don't think it will work. Once Julie and Jason start other relationships, their friends slowly begin to be proved right.
I can give credit where credit is due. This was a good idea for a story and it had a lot of nice touches here and there, but it is ruined by the ending. I'm guessing by the time you've gotten to this paragraph, you've probably already figured out the ending for yourself. It's a shame that this (mostly) talented cast is wasted on cliches. Adam Scott somewhat saves it. He's an intriguing guy to watch. (seriously, check out The Vicious Kind) Friends With Kids is not only predictable, but it takes far to long to confirm your suspicions. I was shocked that this film was only 107 minutes, it felt like it was way over two hours. Needless to say, I am very disappointed with this. I really wanted it to work.
Recommended: No
Grade: C
Memorable Quote: "What better woman could I have picked to be the mother of my child?" - Jason (Adam Scott)

Indie Gems: Your Sister's Sister

Well this is about to get awkward.
 
Jack (Mark Duplass) has had a hard time after the death of his brother. His close friend Iris (Emily Blunt) tells him to go to her family's secluded cabin for some much needed alone time. When he arrives, Iris's half sister Hannah (Rosemarie DeWitt) is already there after a nasty break up with her girlfriend. There's a lot of tequila, lots of secrets, and when Iris shows up the next day, things just turn complicated.
 
If you haven't seen this film, I'm going to explain something that drove me nuts: Iris is British, Hannah is American. The story is their dad met Hannah's mom in the U.S, then 10 years later went to London and met Iris's mom, so she was raised there and came back to the US with them. The fact that they were sisters with different accents got on my nerves until they explained it about half way through the movie. I know, it's weird.
 
Anywho - Your Sister's Sister was a cute little film to watch. The leads all had great chemistry together, and the story was different. The only thing I'm torn on is the ending. Part of me wanted to love it, the other part thinks it's a bit of a cop out.
 
Grade: B
 
Memorable Quote: "I'm just so happy that you are here." - Iris (Emily Blunt) 

2013 Golden Globe Nominations

Here's a list of the 2013 Golden Globe nominations. There's a lot of surprises, variety, and of course, a few major fails on the HFPA's part. As always, my thoughts follow in green.

Best Motion Picture — Drama
Argo
Django Unchained
Life of Pi
Lincoln
Zero Dark Thirty

I'm surprised The Master didn't make the cut. I expect it will still get a Best Pic nom at the Oscars since they can vote up to 10. Personally, I would've stuck The Dark Knight Rises in there. *cough cough*

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture — Drama
Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
Richard Gere, Arbitrage
John Hawkes, The Sessions
Joaquin Phoenix, The Master
Denzel Washington, Flight

I wonder if Joaquin will show up?
Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture — Drama
Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty
Marion Cotillard, Rust & Bone
Helen Mirren, Hitchcock
Naomi Watts,
The ImpossibleRachel Weisz, The Deep Blue Sea
Since Jennifer Lawrence is moved to the comedy category it gave some room for Rachel Weisz to get in there. I wasn't overly impressed with The Deep Blue Sea as a whole, but Weisz was great in it.

Best Motion Picture — Comedy Or Musical
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Les Miserables
Moonrise Kingdom

 Salmon Fishing in the Yemen
Silver Linings Playbook
Salmon Fishing in the Yemen? I know I'm not the only one surprised by that. Frankly, I think the HFPA made a huge mistake not nominating Seven Psychopaths. They gave In Bruges some love, why not this one?

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture — Comedy Or Musical
Emily Blunt, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen
Judi Dench, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook
Maggie Smith, Quartet
Meryl Streep, Hope Springs

Candace from Reel Talk put it the best: Can't be awards season without Meryl.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture — Comedy Or Musical
Jack Black, Bernie
Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings Playbook
Hugh Jackman, Les Miserables
Bill Murray, Hyde Park on Hudson
Ewan McGregor, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

Again, I'm surprised about the lack of noms for Seven Psychopaths here. I can't imagine Hyde Park on Hudson being all that funny.

Best Performance by an Actress In A Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
Amy Adams, The Master
Sally Field, Lincoln
Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables
Helen Hunt, The Sessions
Nicole Kidman, The Paperboy


Best Performance by an Actor In A Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
Alan Arkin, Argo
Leonardo DiCaprio, Django Unchained
Philip Seymour Hoffman, The Master
Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln
Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained

It's nice to see Django Unchained getting some love her. Go Leo!

Best Director — Motion Picture
Ben Affleck, Argo
Kathryn Bigelow, Zero Dark Thirty
Ang Lee, Life of Pi
Steven Spielberg, Lincoln
Quentin Tarantino, Django Unchained

I really want Ben Affleck to win this.

Best Screenplay — Motion Picture
Argo, Chris Terrio
Django Unchained, Quentin Tarantino
Lincoln, Tony Kushner
Silver Linings Playbook, David O. Russell

Zero Dark Thirty
, Mark Boal
I don't pay a lot of attention to the Screenplay category here. I don't like that they combine adapted and original, I'll wait for the Oscars.

Best Original Score — Motion Picture
Anna Karenina, Dario Marianelli
Argo, Alexandre Desplat
Cloud Atlas, Tom Tykwer, Johnny Klimet & Reinhold Heil
Life of Pi, Michael Danna
Lincoln, John Williams

I think it's pretty criminal that Beasts of the Southern Wild didn't get nominated here. Their score was fantastic. As was Hans Zimmer's for The Dark Knight Rises. Hell even Moonrise Kingdom's score was brilliant and it got left out. I'll be happy for Alexandre Desplat.

Best Original Song — Motion Picture
“For You” from Act of Valor
“Not Running Anymore” from Stand Up Guys
“Safe and Sound” from The Hunger Games
“Suddenly” from Les Miserables
“Skyfall” from Skyfall

I knew HFPA would nominate Taylor Swift's song. Actually, despite how awful Taylor Swift's music has become, this song is actually pretty great. It fits nicely with The Hunger Games. And it's not about any of her 500 ex boyfriends, so that's a plus.

Best Animated Film
Brave
Frankenweenie
Hotel Transylvania
Rise of the Guardians
Wreck-It Ralph

I haven't seen any of these. I'm slacking.

Best Foreign Language Film
Amour
The Intouchables
Kon-Tiki
A Royal Affair
Rust & Bone

I'm still super pissed that my theater had The Intouchables for one week while I was out of town and missed it.

Best Television Series — Comedy Or Musical
The Big Bang Theory
Episodes

Girls
Modern Family
Smash


Best Performance by an Actor In A Television Series – Drama
Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire
Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
Jeff Daniels, The Newsroom
Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Damian Lewis, Homeland

The HFPA have yet to honor Cranston for Breaking Bad. They need to get their shit together.

Best Performance by an Actress In A Television Series – Drama
Connie Britton, Nashville
Glenn Close, Damages
Claire Danes, Homeland
Michelle Dockery, Downton Abbey
Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife


Best Performance by an Actor in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Kevin Costner, Hatfields and McCoys
Benedict Cumberbatch, Sherlock
Woody Harrelson, Game Change
Toby Jones, The Girl
Clive Owen, Hemingway and Gellhorn
Good to see Toby Jones in there. He was so creepy in The Girl. Same with Benedict Cumberbatch. So deserving.

Best Performance by an Actress In A Mini-series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Nicole Kidman, Hemingway and Gellhorn
Jessica Lange, American Horror Story: Asylum
Sienna Miller, The Girl
Julianne Moore, Game Change
Sigourney Weaver, Political Animals


Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Max Greenfield, New Girl
Ed Harris, Game Change
Danny Huston, Magic City
Mandy Patinkin, Homeland
Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family

Ok, this category is where I think they failed the most. No Aaron Paul or Giancarlo Esposito for Breaking Bad? No Peter Dinklage for Game of Thrones? I realize this is crowded category but those three should've been shoe ins. Max Greenfield is NOT better than them.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Hayden Panettiere, Nashville
Archie Panjabi, The Good Wife
Sarah Paulson, Game Change
Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey
Sofia Vergara, Modern Family


Best Performance by an Actress In A Television Series — Comedy Or Musical
Zooey Deschanel, New Girl
Lena Dunham, Girls
Tina Fey, 30 Rock
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
Amy Poehler, Parks And Recreation


Best Performance by an Actor In A Television Series — Comedy Or Musical
Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
Don Cheadle, House of Lies
Louis C.K., Louis
Matt LeBlanc, Episodes
Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory

Louis Louis Louis Louuuieee. Louis Louis Louis Loouaaaaa.

Best Television Series — Drama
Boardwalk Empire
Breaking Bad
Downton Abbey
Homeland
The Newsroom

The Newsroom over Game of Thrones? Not buying it.

Best Mini-Series Or Motion Picture Made for Television
Game Change
The Girl
Hatfield & McCoys
The Hour
Political Animals

2013 Screen Actors Guild Nominations

This year's SAG nominations are in. I have to say, there's a lot of surprises here. That's nice, though a lot of them threw my predictions off. Here's a list of the nominees. My thoughts will follow in green. I'll see you tomorrow with the Golden Globe nominations.

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
Bradley Cooper (“Pat”) - Silver Linings Playbook (The Weinstein Company)
Daniel Day-Lewis (“Abraham Lincoln”) – Lincoln (Touchstone Pictures)
John Hawkes (“Mark”) - The Sessions (Fox Searchlight)
Hugh Jackman (“Jean Valjean”) - Les Misérables (Universal Pictures)
Denzel Washington (“Whip Whitaker”) – Flight (Paramount Pictures)

The biggest surprise here for me was Denzel, but really, after Joaquin Phoenix shit all over anyone giving him recognition I shouldn't be that surprised.


Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role
Jessica Chastain (“Maya”) – Zero Dark Thirty (Columbia Pictures)
Marion Cotillard (“Stephanie”) – Rust and Bone (Sony Pictures Classics)
Jennifer Lawrence (“Tiffany”) – Silver Linings Playbook (The Weinstein Company)
Helen Mirren (“Alma Reville”) – Hitchcock (Fox Searchlight)
Naomi Watts (“Maria”) - The Impossible (Summit Entertainment)

I didn't see Naomi Watts coming, but good for her. She's a great actress. Helen Mirren is a bit of a surprise too considering how horrible the reviews for Hitchcock have been. I see a show down between Chastain and Lawrence.


Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
Alan Arkin (“Lester Siegel”) – Argo (Warner Bros. Pictures)
Javier Bardem (“Silva”) – “SKYFALL” (Columbia Pictures)
Robert De Niro (“Pat, Sr.”) – Silver Linings Playbook (The Weinstein Company)
Philip Seymour Hoffman (“Lancaster Dodd”) – The Master (The Weinstein Company)
Tommy Lee Jones (“Thaddeus Stevens”) - Lincoln (Touchstone Pictures)

It's nice to see Javier Bardem in there, but no Sam Rockwell is a disappointment. He was fantastic in Seven Psychopaths. I would've liked to have seen Ezra Miller in there for Perks of Being A Wallflower as well, but that's just a pipe dream. Apparently only the Boston film critics thought he was worthy.


Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
Sally Field (“Mary Todd Lincoln”) - Lincoln (Touchstone Pictures)
Anne Hathaway (“Fantine”) – Les Misérables (Universal Pictures)
Helen Hunt (“Cheryl”) – The Sessions (Fox Searchlight)
Nicole Kidman (“Charlotte Bless”) – The Paperboy (Millennium Entertainment)
Maggie Smith (“Muriel Donnelly”) - The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (Fox Searchlight)

People really love Maggie Smith. This is Anne Hathaway's, I really don't see any way around it. She's getting a massive Oscar push.


Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
Argo
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Les Misérables
Lincoln
Silver Linings Playbook

If you would've told me that The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel was going to be in here I would've laughed at you. Who the hell saw that coming? Personally, I would've stuck Seven Psychopaths or The Dark Knight Rises in here. I also would've added more actors to Lincoln's nomination. John Hawkes and Joseph Cross were in it enough. Jackie Earle Haley wasn't, but I'd still put him in anyways.


Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture
The Amazing Spider-Man
The Bourne Legacy
The Dark Knight Rises
Les Misérables
Skyfall

Les Mis has a stunt nomination. I'll let that sink in.


Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series
Steve Buscemi (“Enoch ‘Nucky’ Thompson”) – Boardwalk Empire (HBO)
Bryan Cranston (“Walter White”) – Breaking Bad (AMC)
Jeff Daniels (“Will McAvoy”) – The Newsroom (HBO)
Jon Hamm (“Don Draper”) – Mad Men (AMC)
Damian Lewis (“Nicholas Brody”) – Homeland (Showtime)

To be blunt, if anyone other than Bryan Cranston wins I will see it as a let down. Sorry, Breaking Bad bias over here. It's the best.


Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series
Claire Danes (“Carrie Mathison”) – Homeland (Showtime)
Michelle Dockery (“Lady Mary Crawley”) – Downton Abbey (PBS)
Jessica Lange (“Sister Jude”) – American Horror Story: Asylum (FX)
Julianna Margulies (“Alicia Florrick”) – The Good Wife (CBS)
Maggie Smith (“Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham”) – Downton Abbey (PBS)

American Horror Story gets to be a drama series here! Just not at the Emmys.


Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series
Alec Baldwin (“Jack Donaghy”) – 30 Rock (NBC)
Ty Burrell (“Phil Dunphy”) – Modern Family (ABC)
Louis C.K. (“Louie”) – Louie (FX)
Jim Parsons (“Sheldon Cooper”) – The Big Bang Theory (CBS)
Eric Stonestreet (“Cameron Tucker”) – Modern Family (ABC)

It will be pretty funny if Alec Baldwin wins this for the 8th (I think) year in a row. I'm just glad Louis C.K is nominated.


Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series
Edie Falco (“Jackie Peyton”) - Nurse Jackie (Showtime)
Tina Fey (“Liz Lemon”) – 30 Rock (NBC)
Amy Poehler (“Leslie Knope”) – Parks and Recreations (NBC)
Sofia Vergara (“Gloria Delgado-Pritchett”) – Modern Family (ABC)
Betty White (“Elka Ostrovsky”) – Hot in Cleveland (TV Land)

Stop it, Betty White. Just stop.


Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
Boardwalk Empire (HBO)
Breaking Bad (AMC)
Downtown Abbey (PBS)
Homeland (Showtime)
Mad Men (AMC)

Again. Anything other than Breaking Bad winning is bullshit. I'm really surprised Game of Thrones isn't in here. It should be.


Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series
30 Rock (NBC)
The Big Bang Theory (CBS)
Glee (FOX)
Modern Family (ABC)
Nurse Jackie (Showtime)
The Office (NBC)



Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries
Kevin Costner (“‘Devil Anse’ Hatfield”) – Hatfields & McCoys (History)
Woody Harrelson (“Steve Schmidt”) – Game Change (HBO)
Ed Harris (“John McCain”) – Game Change (HBO)
Clive Owen (“Ernest Hemingway”) - Hemingway & Gellhorn (HBO)
Bill Paxton (“Randall McCoy”) – Hatfields & McCoys (History)

No Benedict Cumberbatch for Sherlock is a mistake.


Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries
Nicole Kidman “Martha Gellhorn”) – Hemingway & Gellhorn (HBO)
Julianne Moore (“Sarah Palin”) – Game Change (HBO)
Charlotte Rampling (“Eva Delectorskaya”) – Restless (Sundance Channel)
Sigourney Weaver (“Elaine Barrish Hammond”) – Political Animals(USA)
Alfre Woodward (“Ouiser”) – Steel Magnolias (Lifetime)



Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Television Series
Boardwalk Empire (HBO)
Breaking Bad (AMC)
Game of Thrones (HBO)
Sons of Anarchy (FX)
The Walking Dead AMC)

Oh there you are, Game of Thrones! The Walking Dead probably has this in the bag.

Random Ramblings: Quick Film/TV Thoughts

I've managed to watch an insane amount of TV this past week. I was sick, it was snowing outside, basically it was a good excuse to not move from my couch all day. So here's a bunch of mini reviews of the things I've been watching on TV Lately.


Klown - I actually enjoyed Klown, but the reason I feel like I can't do a full review justice is because I fell asleep watching it and had to start over. (Not because it was boring, mind you. Because I was very sick) That being said, holy crap this movie is dirty. Raunchy comedy is usually my thing, but man this one has it's filthy moments. I'd really suggest watching this on Netflix Instant while it's still out there.

Magic Mike - I couldn't finish this. The minute one of the lead characters (played by the horrible Alex Pettifer) gets into drugs, and inevibidly starts his downward spiral, I had to turn it off. It was stupid to begin with, but at that point it just got worse. I enjoy hot guys, wearing next to nothing dry humping things/people just as much as the next person, but you can really only go so far with that. Channing Tatum had some good moves, He'll probably end up with a Globe nom for it. Joe Manganiello is hot, anyone who watches him on True Blood already knew that. (His character here is just about as pointless as Alcide is at times) but I have to bring attention to another one of the strippers; Tarzan, played by Kevin Nash. I don't know how many of my readers are wrestling fans, but if fucking Kevin Nash - a 7 foot tall beast started giving me a lap dance, I'd be fucking terrified. I grew up watching this guy jack knife powerbomb everybody. No thanks. Another thing that got on my nerves - the way the film was shot. There are so many scenes shot from far away with the actors out of focus. It was just strange.


Extreme Couponing - I use coupons, especially after having a child. Am I extreme? Hell no. Extreme couponing is practically hoarding. I don't see the point of having a "stock pile" of good take up half of my basement. Even if it was cheap. Although one episode I did watch had a lady that was donating all of it to a church soup kitchen, that was nice. More people like her, please.

My Strange Addiction - I'm really torn on how I feel about this show. On one hand, it's really interesting and I aplaud some of these people for coming out and saying they have a problem. Maybe it will help others. On the other hand, how are some of these people still alive? There were people drinking gasoline, eating toilet paper, eating couch coushins, drinking urine. How are they not suffereing any sever side effects from this? And why are they surprised when they learn something is bad for them? The girl drinking the gasoline acted like she had no idea it could harm her. Really? I hate to say it, but that had to be fake. In fact, I have to question the validity of TLC shows as a whole now after watching so much of this. Some of the people on this show weren't addicted to anything. They had strange life choices, that's all. The guy with the doll for a girlfriend? That's a choice. The girl who wears her furry costume out in public? Again. A choice. The dude dressing up as an adult baby? Also a choice. Is it fair to call these things addictions? They're probably more popular lifestyles then you think. Also I noticed that TLC reuses some of these people. They have a woman named Hattie who is in her late 70's that loves dating guys in their 20's. I saw her on two separate TLC shows. The girl addicted to tanning? She's been used before too.

I really put way too much thought into that..
All Dogs Go To Heaven - This was one of my favorite cartoons as a kid, and I rewatched it with my child. All I can think of now when I see this is Judith Barsi. She voiced Anne Marie. Why do I think about her? Because her father murdered her and her mother (and then himself) when she was 10. This poor girl had such a bright future, and it was all taken away. That is beyond sad.

Sin City - This is one of my favorite movies and also one of the best DVD Combo packs I've ever purchased. It has each segment split up and extended if you chose to watch it that way. It also has a sped up reel of the entire movie shot against the green screen. That is pretty damn cool.

The Black Dahlia - When I saw this in theaters, I was initially annoyed because it wasn't really about The Black Dahlia. It was about two cops that were investigating a different crime and inadvertedly ended up investigating this one too. After I got over that it actually ended up being a pretty decent film with a noir vibe. Even if Aaron Eckhart, who is usually wonderful gives a pretty brutal performance.

Talladega Nights - I don't remember the uncut version being so damn long. They really edited that thing down for it's theatrical release.

Sherlock - The mini series, Benedict Cumberbatch is the man. That's all I have to say about this.

Making a Case For Pierce Gagnon



Best Actor in a Supporting Role: Pierce Gagnon - Looper
Look at that face!

Stevee over at Cinematic Paradox is hosting her first ever blogathon and she's asking for everyone to make a case movies that probably won't get awards recognition. 

I could've made a case for The Dark Knight Rises being nominated for everything, but I'm still holding out on that. So I will be making my case for this young actor.

One of my favorite things about Looper was the surprise in the plot. The trailers didn't show Pierce's Cid. They didn't even show his mother. (played by Emily Blunt) Everything about this story was a pleasant surprise. This kid was five when he made Looper. FIVE! He managed to turn in one of the best child performances I've seen in a long time. A lot of times when a child actor is told to act sad or angdry, it feels forced. Not with him, everything felt so natural. He went from having a terrifying fit one second, to being a sweet innocent child the next.

Let's be honest, the only child actor that might come close to any awards consideration this year is little Quvenzhane Wallis for Beasts of the Southern Wild (she deserves it too, I might add) But how cool would it be if little Pierce got in on the Best Supporting Actor race? It would be awesome.

At the very least these two cute kids need to be presenters or something.

Indie Gems: My Summer Of Love

Summer will end eventually.
 
Mona (Natalie Press) is a high strung tomboy who lives with her born again Christian brother, Phil. (Paddy Considine) She's not thrilled with her life, she's gone through a lot. When she meets Tamsin (Emily Blunt) a rich teen living a pampered life, Mona becomes interested in her. They are both so different that they have a lot to teach each other, but like the title suggests, it's their summer of love. Meaning summer eventually has to come to an end.
 
I've been pretty impressed with Emily Blunt's career, and I have to say this is probably her best performance that I've seen. Both her and Press are astounding here. They're complicated girls, yet everything about them felt real and relatable at one point or another. I watched this on Netflix - the streaming quality was beyond horrible. The words didn't match up with the actor's mouths, there was a constant delay, and even through all that technical bull shit I managed to really enjoy this. I wouldn't call this a "lesbian movie" like Netflix files it under. It much more than that.
 
Grade: A
 
Memorable Quote: "Because I think you're a fake, that's why." - Mona (Natalie Press)

Review: Anna Karenina

Jewelry envy.
 
In 19th century Russia, Anna Karenina (Keira Knightley) is suddenly attracted to Count Vronsky (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) even though she's been married to Karenin (Jude Law) for years. How will acting on these feelings effect her and those around her?
 
Joe Wright makes some beautiful movies, and Anna Karenina is no exception. Everything is lavish and beautiful. The jewels that Anna wears stood out the most to me. They were lovely. The way the scenes change is interesting too. It almost felt like a play, with the characters walking from stage to stage and each scene blending in to each other. I thought that was a nice touch. I loved the dancing in the movie as well. The film is a visual masterpiece, but does it have substance story wise?
 
A little. I have to admit I never read the novel, nor have I seen any other adaptations. Anna is an interesting character, her emotions are all over the place. Sometimes I felt myself wishing she had been born in another era. Where what she had done isn't considered so controversial. The one actor that really stuck with me was Jude Law. He doesn't have a lot to do, but he wears his feelings on his face and I thought he was just tremendous in this part. It's very rare that I use "Jude Law" and "tremendous" in the same sentence. There is another story line involving a man name Levin (Domhnall Gleeson) that felt a lot like unnecessary filler to me. Apparently he's a bigger character in the book? I did enjoy the actor, but his scenes just felt a little random.
 
I expect to see Anna Karenina in the Costume Design and maybe even Art Direction categories at the Oscars. I think giving this film an R rating will ultimately hurt it in the long run. There is no reason for it. No excessive language, no nudity, what's the deal?
 
Recommended: Yes
 
Grade: B
 
Memorable Quote: "You have to love Papa, he's better than me." - Anna (Keira Knightley)


Review: Lincoln

Can the time you see the film effect the quality?
 
This is a question I have been asking myself. More on that later.
 
The Civil War rages on and President Abraham Lincoln (Daniel Day-Lewis) is trying to pass an amendment that would abolish slavery in the United States. However, like all political decisions, not everyone agrees.
 
Director Steven Speilberg walks a fine line between obvious Oscar bait and a history lesson with his latest. Luckily, there are fine performances all around. Especially by Day-Lewis, who feels like a lock for Best Actor after watching this film. The supporting cast is beyond impressive and includes big names such as Tommy Lee Jones, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Sally Feild, (although she looks old enough to be Lincoln's mother rather than his wife) David Strathain, John Hawkes, Joseph Cross, James Spader, Hal Holbrook, Jackie Earle Haley, Jared Harris and Michael Stuhlbarg. Many other recognizable faces pop up here in there. There's so many great people that some of them feel a bit wasted.
 
I found the scenes where the House is discussing the bill to be the most interesting. At times it even made Lincoln himself feel like an afterthought. Although when Lincoln is on screen he commands attention. But this brings me back to my previous statement about the time of day when I watched this. The showing I went to was at 11:00pm. It was late, I worked a long day so this was the only show time I could make. I have to say the movie felt way too long. Especially after the bill itself is passed, it felt like an eternity to get to the ending. I'm not sure if I would've felt this antsy had I seen the film at a reasonable hour. Lincoln reminds me a lot of The King's Speech. A good movie all around, but it's not something I'm dying to see again.
 
Recommended: Yes
 
Grade: B
 
Memorable Quote: "I can't lose you." - Abraham Lincoln (Daniel Day-Lewis)