2016 Academy Award Winners


Chris Rock was on FIRE tonight. I absolutely loved his hosting gig. He talked a lot about #OscarsSoWhite but I loved the way he went about it. Sure, he had a few things fall flat. Like Stacey Dash (although in hindsight, it's hilarious no one cheered for her) and a Girl Scout cookie gig that was too similar to Ellen's pizza one. The Weekend was the best musical act. Gaga brought abuse survivors on stage with her, and they somehow managed to stand out even with her massive ego. But there were some great surprises, a few let downs, and a whole lot of love for Mad Mac: Fury Road. The winners are highlighted in blue, please excuse me, I have had a Cersei amount of wine.

Best Picture
The Big Short
Bridge of Spies
Brooklyn
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
The Revenant
Room
Spotlight
I literally squealed when Spotlight won. My husband made fun of me, I probably woke up my kid for a second, but I'm so happy. I wanted this so badly, this is such a lovely important film and a worthy Best Picture winner. 


Best Actress
Cate Blanchett - Carol
Brie Larson - Room
Jennifer Lawrence - Joy
Charlotte Rampling - 45 Years
Saoirse Ronan - Brooklyn
Brie won as expected and gave a lovely speech where she thanked film festivals for showing Room. Very classy on her part. And Jacob Tremblay was so excited.

Shout out to the lovely Saoirse in this dress

Best Actor
Bryan Cranston -Trumbo
Matt Damon - The Martian
Leonardo DiCaprio - The Revenant
Michael Fassbender - Steve Jobs
Eddie Redmayne - The Danish Girl
LEO FINALLY HAS AN OSCAR (I love how everyone stood up like they knew it was overdue)



Best Supporting Actress
Jennifer Jason Leigh -The Hateful Eight
Rooney Mara - Carol
Rachel McAdams - Spotlight
Alicia Vikander - The Danish Girl
Kate Winslet - Steve Jobs
Despite Vikander's ego being massive and this role not being supporting, she did deserve a win here. She was great, though I'm bummed Kate didn't win. 


Best Supporting Actor
Christian Bale - The Big Short
Tom Hardy - The Revenant
Mark Ruffalo  -Spotlight
Mark Rylance  - Bridge of Spies
Sylvester Stallone  - Creed
I cannot believe Sly lost here. This was a huge shock to me. Rylance was the best part of Bridge of Spies, but he got rewarded for being chill. That's sort of a slap in the face to this category when so many great performances like Paul Dano and Michael Shannon got snubbed, and the dude who wins gets it for remaining calm. It did help, apparently. 


Best Director
Adam McKay - The Big Short
George Miller - Mad Max: Fury Road
Alejandro G. Iñárritu - The Revenant
Lenny Abrahamson - Room
Tom McCarthy - Spotlight


Best Adapted Screenplay
The Big Short
Brooklyn
Carol
The Martian
Room
Adam McKay has an Oscar!





Best Original Screenplay
Bridge of Spies
Ex Machina
Inside Out
Spotlight
Straight Outta Compton


Best Animated Feature
Anomalisa
Boy and the World
Inside Out
Shaun the Sheep Movie
When Marnie Was There


Best Documentary Feature
Amy
Cartel Land
Look of Silence
What Happened Miss Simone
Winter on Fire
This is such a weird win. I felt like I shouldn't have been watching Amy, it's such a sad, particularly weird doc. I haven't seen the rest of these, but I'm going to eventually.


Best Foreign Language Film
Embrace of the Serpent - Colombia
Mustang - France
Son of Saul - Hungary
Theeb - Jordan
A War - Denmark


Best Original Score
Bridge of Spies
Carol
The Hateful Eight
Sicario
Star Wars: The Force Awakens


Best Original Song
“Earned It,” Fifty Shades of Grey
“Manta Ray,” Racing Extinction
“Simple song No. 3,” Youth
“Til it Happens to You,” The Hunting Ground
“Writing’s on the Wall,” Spectre
I cannot believe this. This song is terrible, come on. I know none of these songs were all that strong, but this one? Part of me is happy Gaga doesn't get to stroke her ego, but man, Writing's on the Wall is just not good.


Best Cinematography
Carol
The Hateful Eight
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Revenant
Sicario
This pisses me off so much. I saw it coming, but Roger Deakins deserved it. Sicario was the best shot film of the year and he didn't rely on gimmicky camera tricks like Lubezski did. This is such a disappointment to see Deakins getting screwed again.


Best Film Editing
The Big Short
Mad Max Fury Road
The Revenant
Spotlight
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
The Fury Road parade begins. All the winners were so excited, and I love that a woman edited this film. She gave a great speech.


Best Production Design
Bridge of Spies
The Danish Girl
Mad Max Fury Road
The Martian
The Revenant


Best Makeup and Hairstyling
Mad Max: Fury Road
The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out a Window and Disappeared
The Revenant


Best Costume Design
Carol
Cinderella
The Danish Girl
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Revenant


Best Animated Short
Bear Story
Prologue
Sanjay’s Super Team
We Can’t Live Without Cosmos
World of Tomorrow
This surprised me. I've never seen Bear Story, but I thought World of Tomorrow had this. 


Best Visual Effects
Ex Machina
Mad Max Fury Road
The Martian
The Revenant
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
This was a huge surprise. I love that a little film like Ex Machina took this. (Even though I'm still salty about Age of Ultron not even being nominated) But after Fury Road took so many in a row, I expected that here too.


Best Sound Editing
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
The Revenant
Sicario
Star Wars The Force Awakens


Best Sound Mixing
Bridge of Spies
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
The Revenant
Star Wars: The Force Awakens


Best Documentary Short
Body Team 12
Chau, beyond the Lines
Spectres of the Shoah
A Girl in the River
Last Day of Freedom
According to presenter Louis CK, this award went home in a Honda Civic.


Best Live Action Short
Ave Maria
Day One
Everything Will Be Okay (Alles Wird Gut)
Shok
Stutterer



Indie Gems: Tangerine

Nothing is easy.

Sin-Dee (Kitana Kiki Rodriguez) is a trans working girl who has just been released from her month stint in prison. It's Christmas Eve, she meets her friend and fellow worker, Alexandra (Mya Taylor) a few hours before her show only to learn the news that her pimp/boyfriend, Chester (James Ronsone) has been cheating on her. Sin-Dee makes it her mission to find the woman and confront chester, while Alexandra reluctantly tags along. 

The film was shot entirely on an iPhone 5S. It's completely basked in the tangerine glow of its namesake. Strangely, it fits the tone so well. A harsh film like this benefits from a lens that is imperfect. I went in thinking "it's a shame a story like this had to be shot on a cell phone." (I assume it was for lack of funding) but that's not how I left at all. It just worked.

Rodriguez and Taylor, both in their debut feature roles feel so natural. They sound as if there was no script. That they could've been two random women just having a conversation (and a few different screaming matches) I hope they both find work after this, because I'd love to see them again. And casting James Ronsone was an excellent choice, seeing as there's no one I quite hate more then the guy that played fucking Ziggy Sobotka on The Wire. Rage just flows through me upon sight. 

The film isn't without its flaws. A subplot with a cab driver and client of Alexandra's ends on a tedious note instead of an intriguing one and at times it does feel a bit muddled. But it's an overwhelmingly sad story that I'm glad I had to opportunity to watch after all the buzz it generated.


Grade: B

Memorable Quote - "The world is a cruel place." - Alexandra (Mya Taylor)



Thursday Movie Picks: Love Triangles

The final Valentine's Day theme from Wandering Through the Shelves is something I cannot stand: Love triangles. I fucking hate love triangles. Most of the time they're so unbelievable and plot driven. Then the person I want to be the winner usually loses. It was hard to find three movies with love triangles that didn't piss me off, but I think I found an eclectic trio.

1) There's Something About Mary

Okay, so there ends up being more people involved in this then just Healy and Ted. But I love this film, it's one of my favorite comedies. I remember video taping it on Starz when I was about 12 or 13 and labeling it something else so my parents didn't know I had it. There fault for letting me have a TV in my room.


2) Y Tu Mamá También

This is actually a very beautiful story and the three leads have an insane amount of chemistry.

3) The Dreamers

Okay, so two of these are brother and sister. They go half Lannister, I get it. But this movie is really worth seeing. I love watching movies about other film fans. It's fascinating. (Though I disagree with their statement that movie lovers like to sit in the front. Back row, aisle seat, please.)

Review: The Witch

Blessed be. 

After Willam (Ralph Ineson) and his family are banished from their plantation, they strike up a life in the wilderness, barely getting by. Their crops are failing, their newborn baby disappears while under the watch of oldest daughter, Thomasin. (Anya Taylor-Joy) William's wife, Kate (Katie Dickie) starts to lose her faith, and things keep getting even more strange as the smaller children believe a Witch has cursed their family.

This is a film I've been looking forward to since it premiered at Sundance. Christian fundamentalism fascinates me in a completely morbid way, so a film about a family like that in the 1600's is instantly appealing. 

Director Robert Eggers based a lot of the dialogue off of fables and stories written around this time, so the puritanical nature is captured well. There's an underlying creepiness throughout that goes into full swing when we hit the 3rd act. Although the film suffers from a serious pacing problem. It trudges along slowly and doing so, it might make the ending anti climatic for some.

The acting here is fantastic. Katie Dickie is always reliable, but the two stars are Taylor-Joy and Harvey Scrimshaw who plays the oldest son, Caleb. I hope these two get plenty of work following this because they showed incredible range and were easily my two favorite characters. (And also the only two, minus the baby I didn't feel like punching at least once during the film's run time) The Witch succeeds in being very unsettling and gives us something that I feel like we haven't seen lately in the horror world.

Recommended: Yes

Grade: B

Memorable Quote: 'Twas only a jest." - Thomasin (Anya Taylor-Joy)

Review: Son of Saul

You had one job, Saul...


Saul Ausländer ( Géza Röhrig) is held prisoner at Auschwitz and is working as a member of the Sonderkommando. He helps clean up the bodies that go into the gas chambers. When he comes across a boy who he thinks is his son from a previous relationship, Saul ignores his part in a plot with the other kommandos to escape and tries to find a Rabbi to properly bury the boy.

This film is bleak, though being a Holocaust film that's not surprising. What did surprise me was how interesting the premise of the story was to me and how frustrated I felt watching it play out. It's ambiguous on whether or not this is actually Saul's son. I don't believe it is, which makes his focus on burying him even more difficult to watch as he consistently messes up the plan that the other kommandos put in place. It's sad to see them in this situation and to see their means to escape being lost with each passing mistake Saul makes.

Like the recent film Mommy, this is shot with a 1.375:1 aspect ratio. We rarely follow anyone but Saul and we only see what he sees. I think this was a great choice as it makes the film feel claustrophobic. The people in the camps were living on top of each other as it is, and the way this is shot really magnifies that with how close everything is. 

I enjoyed the acting very much and it was extremely well shot, but this is definitely a movie I wouldn't rush out to see again.

Recommended: Yes/No. It's hard to recommend a film like this. On one hand, see it as it's going to win an Oscar, but on the other, it's not the strongest film out there at the moment. 

Grade: C+

Memorable Quote: "You have no son." - Abraham (Levente Molnár)

Rambling TV: Thoughts on TWD, Agent Carter, + more

Rambling TV is a weekly series where I ramble semi-coherently about the things I watched on television. This post is brought to you by Moscato.

Agent Carter

I never thought this show would make me feel so sad. I saw the ending coming a mile away but it was still a gut punch. Poor Jarvis.

I'm not a fan of love triangles at all, but I think Peggy could solve her problem with a simple three way. I wouldn't complain.

Chief Thompson is such a wild card. It's like they go back and forth on whether or not he's going to be a complete asshole, or only a semi asshole. I'm rooting for semi.

The X Files

This episode was like the Twilight Zone. Mulder and Scully are working with their younger doppelgangers and then Mulder trips on schrooms. What the fuck is this show doing?

American Crime

I completely forgot to babble about this show last week. It's so intense. I don't even know what to think or who to feel sorry for or who to hate the most now. It's just this massive social clusterfuck that I can't take my eyes off of.

The Walking Dead

RICHONNE IS CANON! I have to admit, when I read the spoilers on Wednesday I was shocked they were going about this so quickly. I always knew Rick and Michonne would get together. I just didn't think it would be on the episode following Rick chopping his forced comic love interest. I still hope Michonne is able to have stories separate from the Grimes, they've been her anchor since season 4 and she's had nothing out side of them, but for now, I'm happy. The scene was so sweet and not at all how I pictured it, but in the best way ever. It was so fun and natural. Now I just need Carol and Daryl to get together. 

I am very disappointed we don't get to see a lot of the fall out of the mid season premiere. I wanted to see Carl struggling with his injury, Michonne struggling with having to kill Ron. Glenn and Maggie seeing each other again, Carol and Daryl seeing each other again. Rosita and Abraham also need to have a discussion, I think it was a massive mistake to skip all this due to time. They could've had the mid season premiere be the mid season finale and got rid of half the filler from 6A. Aside from the Richonne moment, and Michonne's scenes with Carl and Spencer, I felt this episode largely fell flat. Daryl and Rick's Excellent Adventure was Prey level bad with chasing Jesus. 

Better Call Saul

I forgot how beautifully this show is shot. I have to say, this episode was a bit boring. Nowhere near the quality of the first season, but it did have a great set up at the end. I look forward to seeing where it goes.

Vinyl

The first 10 minutes of this episode were fucking hysterical. After watching TWD try to do comedy, it was a stark contrast on how much they failed at that. Bobby Cannavale's kung fu coke fueled punching was perfect. This was a really strong episode and didn't drag at all like the opener did. I actually think their ratings might climb with this one. 
Click those gifs to be redirected to their makers.

2016 Oscar Predictions: Who will win, who should win.



Best Picture
The Big Short
Bridge of Spies
Brooklyn
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
The Revenant
Room
Spotlight
Who will win: The Big Short
Who should win: Spotlight
We have a bit of a race here, right? The Big Short, Spotlight, and The Revenant have all won big awards. I still think TBS comes through on Oscar night, though really Spotlight is the best of these.


Best Actress
Cate Blanchett - Carol
Brie Larson - Room
Jennifer Lawrence - Joy
Charlotte Rampling - 45 Years
Saoirse Ronan - Brooklyn
Who will win: Brie Larson
Who should win: Brie or Saoirse
Brie's been taking everything in sight, there's no reason she won't win here. Though I wouldn't be disappointed of Saoirse pulled a surprise win. 


Best Actor
Bryan Cranston -Trumbo
Matt Damon - The Martian
Leonardo DiCaprio - The Revenant
Michael Fassbender - Steve Jobs
Eddie Redmayne - The Danish Girl
Who will and should win: Leonardo DiCaprio
Everyone else can go home.


Best Supporting Actress
Jennifer Jason Leigh -The Hateful Eight
Rooney Mara - Carol
Rachel McAdams - Spotlight
Alicia Vikander - The Danish Girl
Kate Winslet - Steve Jobs
Who will win: Alicia Vikander
Who should win: Jennifer or Kate
I wish someone who was actually a supporting player would win this, but I think Vikander will even though she (and Mara) are clearly leads.


Best Supporting Actor

Christian Bale - The Big Short
Tom Hardy - The Revenant
Mark Ruffalo  -Spotlight
Mark Rylance  - Bridge of Spies
Sylvester Stallone  - Creed
Who will win: Sylvester Stallone
Who should win: Tom Hardy
Sly will take this one. I haven't seen Creed, so I don't know how good he is. It feels like he's being rewarded just for being Sly, but I hope to see Creed soon. 


Best Director
Adam McKay - The Big Short
George Miller - Mad Max: Fury Road
Alejandro G. Iñárritu - The Revenant
Lenny Abrahamson - Room
Tom McCarthy - Spotlight
Who will win: Alejandro G. Iñárritu
Who should win: Any of these
I love all these director nominees. I think there's a good chance McKay could take it, but with TBS having a better chance at Best Picture, I think AGI might win here.


Best Adapted Screenplay
The Big Short
Brooklyn
Carol
The Martian
Room
Who will win: The Big Short
Who should win: Room, Brooklyn, or The Martian
The Room craze isn't stopping, so I think they could win here too. I liked Brooklyn and The Martian a tad better, so I wouldn't complain if they won either. The only one I didn't care for in this category was Carol.


Best Original Screenplay
Bridge of Spies
Ex Machina
Inside Out
Spotlight
Straight Outta Compton
Who will and should win: Spotlight
I think if Spotlight has a chance at Best Picture, it needs this screenplay win. I expect they'll nab it, though I'd be happy for Ex Machina as well.


Best Animated Feature
Anomalisa
Boy and the World
Inside Out
Shaun the Sheep Movie
When Marnie Was There
Who will and should win: Inside Out
I didn't even care for this movie, but I appreciate its originality and it deserves to be rewarded for that after the lackluster Animated win last year.


Best Documentary Feature

Amy
Cartel Land
Look of Silence
What Happened Miss Simone
Winter on Fire
Who will win: Amy
Who should win: ?
The only one I've seen here is Amy and it seems to be getting the most buzz. 


Best Foreign Language Film
Embrace of the Serpent - Colombia
Mustang - France
Son of Saul - Hungary
Theeb - Jordan
A War - Denmark
Who will win: Son of Saul
Who should win:?
Again, I haven't seen all of these nominees. Though I am seeing Son of Saul today.


Best Original Score
Bridge of Spies
Carol
The Hateful Eight
Sicario
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Who will win: Carol
Who should win: Sicario
I don't know why I'm leaning towards Carol here. I feel like it's something they'll go for, but Sicario's score was the best. 


Best Original Song
“Earned It,” Fifty Shades of Grey
“Manta Ray,” Racing Extinction
“Simple song No. 3,” Youth
“Til it Happens to You,” The Hunting Ground
“Writing’s on the Wall,” Spectre
Who will win - Til it Happens to You
Who should win - Simple Song No. 3
Lady Gaga won't go away this year so she'll probably win just to annoy me. She just feels so insincere to me now, and I used to really enjoy her music.


Best Cinematography
Carol
The Hateful Eight
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Revenant
Sicario
Who will win: The Revenant
Who should win: Sicario
I really hope the Academy gives this to Roger Deakins to Sicario because he deserves it. Lubezki used so many gimmicks in The Revenant, and yes it was beautifully shot but nothing holds a candle to Sicario this year. Deakins is long overdue. 


Best Film Editing
The Big Short
Mad Max Fury Road
The Revenant
Spotlight
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Who will and should win: Mad Max: Fury Road
I foresee Mad Max taking a lot of these technical awards.


Best Production Design
Bridge of Spies
The Danish Girl
Mad Max Fury Road
The Martian
The Revenant
Who will and should win: Mad Max: Fury Road


Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Mad Max: Fury Road
The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out a Window and Disappeared
The Revenant
Who will and should win: Mad Max: Fury Road


Best Costume Design
Carol
Cinderella
The Danish Girl
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Revenant
Who will win: Cinderella
Who should win: Carol
I think Cinderella has a leg up for being flashy, but as far as costumes go, I think Carol was very well dressed. The Danish Girl was too.


Best Animated Short
Bear Story
Prologue
Sanjay’s Super Team
We Can’t Live Without Cosmos
World of Tomorrow
Who will win: World of Tomorrow
Who should win: That, or Sanjay's Super Team
The World of Tomorrow is an interesting little film. It's on Netflix Instant in the States. I think it will win just for being different, but I won't be mad if Sanjay takes it either. I loved that short too.


Best Visual Effects
Ex Machina
Mad Max Fury Road
The Martian
The Revenant
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Who will win: The Revenant
Who should win: The Force Awakens.
I'm still salty that Age of Ultron isn't here. I think Judy the Bear will take this one for the team, even though Star Wars, the more effects heavy film should probably win.


Best Sound Editing
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
The Revenant
Sicario
Star Wars The Force Awakens
Who will win: Sicario
Who should win: Any of these
For all the shooting and running through tunnels Sicario does, I'd like to see it win here. Though all the nominees are worthy.


Best Sound Mixing

Bridge of Spies
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
The Revenant
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Who will win: The Revenant
Who should win: The Martian, Mad Max or Star Wars
It surprises me that Sicario wouldn't end up in this category too. Sound categories are hard to call. I think Mad Max has a good chance of winning this too, but I foresee The Revenant getting a lot of wins too, so it's got to pick up a few of these technical awards too.


Best Documentary Short
Body Team 12
Chau, beyond the Lines
Spectres of the Shoah
A Girl in the River
Last Day of Freedom
Who will win: Spectres of the Shoah
Who should win: ?
I haven't seen any of these, I'm just guessing based on other rankings. 


Best Live Action Short
Ave Maria
Day One
Everything Will Be Okay (Alles Wird Gut)
Shok
Stutterer
Who will win: Everything Will Be Okay
Who should win: ?
Again, haven't seen these, but Everything Will Be Okay is the one I'd like to see most.

2016 Blind Spot Series: One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest


What I knew going in: Seen bits and pieces and nurse Rached's reputation

R.P McMurphy (Jack Nicholson) is a repeat offender, often jailed for violence among other things who pleads insanity even though no medical professional believes him. He winds up a psychiatric hospital where he attempts to rile up his fellow patients (played by Sydney Lassick, Christopher Lloyd, Danny DeVito, Will Sampson, and Brad Dourif among others) all while having a power struggle with the head Nurse, Miss Rached ( Louise Fletcher)

It's nice to finally see the whole film. I always happened to catch the fishing part on TV and could never figure out how the hell they got there in the first place. It ages well, with only a few scenes that look dated.

Apparently there's quite a few changes from the book; which I've never read so I can't comment on that. I thought McMurphy was an interesting lead and Nicholson is so charismatic and fun to watch. The supporting actors were also great in their roles, with Dourif being a standout and Christopher Lloyd doing really well for his first role. One thing that surprised me though was Nurse Rached. Fletcher was very good, but the way people describe this character, I expected her to be this furious sociopath. She was more like a terrible person on a power trip. She was calm and stern, but with so many people saying she's one of the most evil women in the history of movies, I have to say I expected something a bit more sinister. 

Recommended: Yes

Grade: A

Memorable Quote: "Would you like to take a vote?" - Nurse Ratched (Louise Fletcher) 

Indie Gems: The Stanford Prison Experiment

They just wanted their $15, man.

in 1971, Dr. Zimbardo (Billy Crudup) wanted to study the psychology of men in a simulated prison environment at Standford University. He puts out an ad, he and his team interview 25+ students, and while they tell them they are given the roles of "prisoner" and "guard" by their interviews, they really just flipped a coin. 

Our prisoners, among others are Daniel, (Ezra Miller) Peter, (Tye Sheridan) Jim, (Jack Kilmer) and 416. (Thomas Mann) The guards  among others are John, (Keir Gilchrist) Anthony, (Moises Arias) Benedict Samuel, (Jacob) and Christopher. (Michael Angarano) Christopher in particular decides he's going to play a part of his own, adapting an accent from a character in Cool Hand Luke, he escalates his antagonism of the prisoners to the point where other guards follow suit, and some prisoners began to break. Dr. Zimbardo and his team don't stop what's happening at first with the desire to see it through.

This little film is remarkable. This is the first time the real life study has been made into a movie, though there's a few others whose stories were based off it. This one actually tells us what happened, with only a few creative liberties taken. It's fascinating to say the least, and also very surprising, at least to me. If you haven't read Zimbardo's analysis on this or seen the movie, I won't spoil where it goes, but it's not what I expected. I realized about an hour into this that I was actually leaning in towards my TV. Like I needed to study it more closely. 

There's so many wonderful actors in this film that have popped up in indies I've liked for awhile. Ezra Miller is probably my favorite young actor at this point, with Tye Sheridan following him. Michael Arangano is the star here though, and he makes you so uncomfortable as he keeps escalating things. 

It's hard not to get mad while you're watching this, but it's the good kind of infuriating. The one that makes you question everything and want to learn more about the real story. That's when you know a film based on a true story, has done its job right. 

Grade: A

Memorable Quote: "Is it just me, or are these guys taking this a bit too seriously?" - Peter (Tye Sheridan)



Thursday Movie Picks: Movies with Memorable Declarations of Love

This week's Valentine's Day theme from Wandering Through the Shelves is movies with memorable declarations of love. Scenes like these are tricky, they can feel very corny or overly dramatic, but here are three of my favorites that I think work perfectly.

1) American Pie 2
This might seem like a weird one, but I love this scene in American Pie 2. It's so fitting with "Be Like That" by 3 Doors Down playing. (The American Pie movies always had the best soundtracks) It was a touching moment in a very raunchy film. How's that for a band camp story?

2) Slumdog Millionaire


I'm not sure if I've wanted two people to kiss more than I did while watching Slumdog Millionaire. Jamal says "this is our destiny" and Latika simply replies "kiss me" and followed by the words "it is written" on the screen. I love it. Even if they don't say "I love you" they might as well have.

3) The Empire Strikes Back

The only time "I know" is an acceptable response to "I love you."


Bonus: Never Been Kissed - completely corny and over the top, but I love that baseball scene. 

gifs via giphy

DVD Review: While We're Young

Asshole friends call for desperate measures.

Josh (Ben Stiller) is a documentarian whose been working on his latest film for the better part of a decade. His wife Cornelia (Naomi Watts) thinks he makes too many excuses, and has recently been struggling with fertility. On top of that, her asshole friend, and new crunchy mom Marina (Maria Dizzia) keeps telling her how much better her life would be if she had a child. One day during a lecture, Josh meets a young married couple Jamie, and Darby. (Adam Driver and Amanda Seyfried) Jamie sees Josh as an inspiration and also wants to make documentaries. They start hanging out with the two 20 something much to the shock of their crunchy asshole friends.

A film like this had potential to share an interesting commentary on ageism and midlife crisis. It got there a few times, but the film was never more than just "okay." Josh's work ethic is irritating. I felt bad for Cornelia, Jamie is a creep and Darby barely serves a purpose. It's like they kept scratching the surface of interesting but never moved past it. It was very disappointing. 

The one thing this film does have going for it is the acting. Driver and Watts are the stand outs and get a few opportunities to show their range. Brady Corbet, who I love shows up for a few scenes too that I enjoyed. Though Seyfriend is wasted. I read an interview with her where she says she related more to the adults in the film than her own character, I can see why. She was just there to be flaky.

Recommended: No

Grade: C

Memorable Quote. "I AM old!" - Josh (Ben Stiller)


Review: Deadpool

About fucking time.

Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) is a mercenary who is diagnosed with terminal cancer. A man named Francis (Ed Skrien) offers to cure him and turn him into a super hero, only it leaves him horribly disfigured and afraid to go back to his girlfriend, Vanessa. ( Morena Baccarin) Taking on the name "Deadpool," Wilson vows to go after Francis and win back his love. All while a couple of X-Men try to get him to go the hero route instead of the vigilante one.

Deadpool really wants you to know it's not like any other hero movie. It's entire marketing campaign has been based around it. The opening credits tell us the film is staring "A hot chick, a British Villian, a CGI guy and a moody teen." That it features a "gratuitous cameo," is produced by "asshats" and directed by an "overpaid tool." It hammers in its point.

The hard R rating on this film really works in it's favor, he was never meant for the PG-13 treatment. It's a lot of fun, Reynolds has a ton of charisma and I love that Deadpool fans finally got the film they wanted after his disastrous outing in X-Men Origins. My only gripe is they were way too heavy handed with breaking the fourth wall. It got repetitive fast. We know this is different, you don't need to keep telling us. 

Recommended: Yes

Grade: B

Memorable Quote: "I miss cocaine." - Blind Al (Leslie Uggums)

Rambling TV: Thoughts on TWD, Agent Carter, Vinyl and The X Files

Agent Carter

This was the episode that showed even Peggy Carter isn't invincible. After Whitney was one step ahead of them the entire way, Peggy engages her in a fight and ends up being knocked off a platform and impaled on a pole. She's okay, it didn't hit anything vital. Sousa's fiancee stitched her up then realized that Sousa still has feelings for Peggy. That's actually not the way I expected their relationship to start showing cracks, I figured she'd die. I watch too many dramas.

This was a very strong comedic episode, mostly coming from Jarvis. The big moment at the end was Dr. Wilkes disappearing. (Damn it, there goes my eye candy again)

Dottie comes back next week. That should be interesting. I'm still surprised with how little we've seen of Thompson this season, I expect he's got to be making a come back soon.

The X Files

This episode has a nice classic horror movie vibe, which I loved. It also showed the death of Scully's mother (who I could've sworn died already but clearly I was wrong there) It was a nice emotional episode for Gillian Anderson. My only gripe is compared to the other episodes that aired, this one wasn't that memorable. 

The Walking Dead

*sigh* This episode (which really should've been part of a 90 minute mid season finale) had so many flaws. I was watching you all tweet along and enjoy it, but I couldn't.

I did like everyone joining in to fight at the end. I liked Carol telling Morgan "you saved him for you, not us" in regards to this god awful story between them with the wolf. I like that Carl did lose his eye because that's going to be a great story for him moving forward.

But I hated the direction. Nicotero should stick with special effects. The entire "chop" scene was done terrible. Same and Jessie consumed off screen, Carl couldn't pry his hand away from the dying Jessie why? She was passed out at that point. And the shots of happy Jessie juxtaposed with a red filter looked like they came out of a cheap horror movie. The thing I hated the most was Carol's voice over in Sam's head. I feel like they are trying to make Carol look bad when in reality, Jessie should've made Sam go with Gabriel in the first place.  Her shit parenting strikes again. But I don't like Gimple's stance on edgy Carol.  I feel like he went out of his way to make her look bad when everyone else (except Jessie) didn't, and that bothers me as Carol is my favorite character. It was unnecessary, and I'm almost dreading what he has in store for her in the future since he seems to be completely taking away her agency.

Hello hate watching, my old friend. At least there's wine.

On the bright side, at least Carl is finally going to get a story line.



Vinyl

Fucking hell, that one scene was brutal. This show definitely has my interest. The ending was so sad. It was beautifully directed and shot. I love Bobby Canavale and Juno Temple. I do think two hours was a little much. Some shows aren't meant to be binged. Boardwalk Empire wasn't like that either. 

Gifs via http://riveralwaysknew.tumblr.com and giphy

*Rambling TV is a weekly series where I ramble semi-coherently about the things I've watched on TV this week. Tonight's Rambling TV was brought to you by way too much red wine.*

Acting Black Blogathon

Wendell over at Dell on Movies always has the greatest ideas for Blogathons. This time, he asks us to highlight black actors. I'd love to write a brilliant think piece on an actor or performance I love, but the truth is, I'm not very good at it. So I decided to go with a top 10 list of great performances by black actors in no particular order.

1) Adepero Oduye - Pariah

When I first saw the blogathon, this is who I wanted to write about, but I can barely put into words how amazing Oduye is in this film. She's so tragic and strong and moving. This is just a powerful film all together.

2) Akosua Busia - The Color Purple

"Nothing but death can keep me from it." I cry every single time I watch this scene. Busia has a small part in this film, but she leaves a lasting impact. I couldn't stop thinking of her as the film kept playing and Celie, the main character grew older. My mind always went back to Nettie. The acting in this film is outstanding all around.

3) Tyrese Gibson - Baby Boy


Okay, let me explain. This is my best friend since childhood's favorite movie. Both of us perved over Gibson when we were in high school, but this film, despite being really hard to watch at times is very nostalgic to me. I think of watching it with my friend in nights when we snuck home after getting drunk. Tyrese's intense performance is a good way to sober up. His character is a massive fuck up, you can't look away.

4) Don Cheadle - Manic

It's hard to choose a Don Cheadle performance. This guy is great in everything, but one that always stands out to me is this little film called Manic. He plays a doctor in a rehabilitation facility for teenagers, and he's perfect in this role. He's caring, comforting, stern, and realistic. Everything someone in that film needs to be.

5) Rosario Dawson - Explicit Ills


Like Cheadle, Dawson is consistently good and I also wanted to talk about a performance of hers in a little film. She plays a very dedicated mother trying her hardest to get her son's asthma medicine. There's a lot of great performances in this film but Dawson stands out. She has a comforting presence. (

6) Forest Whitaker - The Last King of Scotland

This is one of my favorite movies and Forest Whitaker is an absolute force. In the course of the film he goes from charming to terrifying so seamlessly. 

7) Taraji P. Henson - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

I should start off by saying I hated this movie. I really did, I hated every single minute of it except when Henson was on screen. She was wonderful, she was heartbreaking, her character was a good person and she was a bright light in this bleak film. I legitimately got super pissed when Button's daughter ended up being named after his bio mom instead of her. Fuck that. 

8) Samuel L. Jackson - Pulp Fiction

I think this is the most quotable performance on my list. Jackson is perfection in Pulp Fiction. What else can I say? He always plays characters that have this "cool" vibe to him and Jules is just a badass.

9) Morgan Freeman - Se7en

Another one of my favorite films. Freeman's wise detective serves as our anchor. Brad Pitt's character is impulsive, Freeman's isn't. He's steady and smart and in a film like this, we need Morgan Freeman to keep us calm.

10) Omar Epps and Sanaa Lathan - Love & Basketball

I cheated. I couldn't choose just one of them. This is another nostalgic film for me. I played basketball in high school and my entire team loved this movie. Epps and Lathan had amazing chemistry. That scene where they shoot and strip?  *cues SNL's "First Got Horny 2U*

Honorable Mentions:
Taye Diggs in everything he touches - that guy oozes charisma.

Issac Hayes in South Park. - Chef is an icon. Even though Hayes left on bad terms, and that was really hard for South Park fans, his legacy before all that drama lives on. 

Michael B. Jordan in Fruitvale Station - This was the first film I saw Jordan in and what a way to start - he's wonderful.

Meagan Good in Brick. - This is very small role, but her character kept it real. I love that.

Mya Taylor in Tangerine - More of her, please. 

Queen Latifah in Hairspray - I love the remake far more than the original and she was so perfect in it. Shout out to Elijah Kelly as well.

Daniel Kaluuya in The Fades - It was great seeing him taking a dramatic turn in Sicario this year to show is range, but I always love him as the goofy side kick in this short lived British series. 

Abraham Attah in Beasts of No Nation - One of my favorite lead performances of this year.


Thanks for hosting, Wendell!