Thursday Movie Picks - TV Edition: 2018 Freshman Series

The first TV theme of 2019 from Wandering Through The Shelves is about looking back at the new shows 2018 gave us. The problem for me is, I didn't actually pick up any new ongoing series. Everything new that I watched and enjoyed in 2018 was limited series. So here are some shows I started watching, but haven't finished.

1) Barry

Barry won big at the Emmys and I normally enjoy Bill Hader but I found this to be incredibly dull. I only made it through four episodes before I gave up. This wasn't for me.

2) Succession

Admittedly, I keep starting the first episode and getting distracted by other things. I do really like Kieran Culkin so I might try harder but the pilot doesn't do much for me.

3) The Bodyguard

Richard Madden is insanely hot and I started watching this Netflix show for him. It's interesting at times, but not consistently enough for me to want to binge this quickly. I've been stuck on episode 5 or 6 for quite some time. 

Quick Ramblings: The Good, The Meh, and the Ugly

Oh January releases. Since my theater hasn't seen it fit to bless my city with If Beale Street Could Talk yet, I've been spending a lot of my time with Netflix. One of my goals is to watch everything in my Instant queue before 2019 is up, but I've got all that nonsense in a separate post. Below are a few quick reviews courtesy of my DVD queue, with a few exceptions

The Good

Fair Game - Despite this staring Naomi Watts and Sean Penn, apparently this never pinged my radar. (or it did and I forgot) but after watching Vice and hearing them reference this real life case, I was happy to see this was available to stream on Netflix - and I liked it! It's not amazing by any means but perfectly watchable. B

Fyre - Everyone knows about the failed Fyre Festival at this point and who can resist Netflix and Hulu putting out documentaries at the same time? Fyre is Netflix's and is far superior to the Hulu doc because it doesn't try to blame millennials for everything. A

Juliet, Naked - Rose Byrne, Chris O'Dowd and Ethan Hawke star in this light comedy/drama about a man obsessed with a has been singer and his frustrated girlfriend who ends up becoming pen pals with the man. It was sweet. B-

The Meh

Fyre Fraud - Hulu's documentary isn't bad, while there's a lot of overlap with Netflix's this does touch on the earlier ventures a bit more, it's just not as watchable and they used so many clips from other shows that it felt a bit cheap. I still think it's worth the watch after you've seen Fyre though. C

Operation Finale - Jewish men go undercover in Argentina to capture a former Nazi officer who is hiding. The accents in this movie are all over the place and it reminded me a bit of Valkyrie. There's a good movie in there somewhere but the script wasn't interested in finding it. C

Bad Education - Two men look back at the time they were in school together and were abused by a priest. The premise of this is interesting and Gael Garcia Bernal is really good, but I found the structure kind of odd to watch. I've been wanting to see this for a long time and I'm glad I did, but I think I got my expectations up a little too high for it. C+

What They Had - I watched this movie for Michael Shannon and it was a predictable dud. Shannon's character is a dick, but he's painted as the bad guy despite being the one speaking the truth regarding forcing his father to make the difficult decision of putting his ailing mother in a nursing home. I swear Taissa Farmiga was thrown in there just so they could tick off a younger demographic. Her character added nothing to the story. C

The Ugly

Don't Worry He Won't Get Far On Foot -Jonah Hill, Joaquin Phoenix, Rooney Mara, Jack Black, there are a lot of talented people in this movie but it's just not interesting at all despite initially sounding like it should be. This follows John Callahan, who discovers the healing power of art after an accident. C-

WTF Bonus

Madeline's Madeline - It's been over a week since I saw this and I'm still trying to figure out what the hell I watched. It's either a brilliant look at how actors can sometimes take things too seriously or an insane experiment. Hopefully I land somewhere soon. N/A

2019 Screen Actors Guild Winners


There wasn't even a televised red carpet for the SAG's tonight.I caught a stream on people.com and it was one of the most dreadfully boring things I've ever seen. I was hoping this wasn't a bad oman for how this show was going to go...but it was. Host Megan Mullaly took so many long pauses between everything she said it was so awkward. This show really doesn't need a host. I went  10/13 with my picks which was far better than the Globes. Here are the winners + some quick thoughts.

Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
A Star Is Born
Black Panther
BlacKkKlansman
Bohemian Rhapsody
Crazy Rich Asians”
Thank God Black Panther won this. After that bullshit with Rami I was afraid for a bit. Chadwick gave a wonderful speech and I hope this wins Best Picture. 

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
Christian Bale, “Vice”
Bradley Cooper, “A Star Is Born”
Rami Malek, “Bohemian Rhapsody”
Viggo Mortensen, “Green Book”
John David Washington, “BlacKkKlansman”
Give me a break. Over Bale? Over Cooper? I don't hate Rami. I love his work in Mr. Robot but he's been consistently rubbing me the wrong way in all of this interviews all season and he's now trying to play dumb over the Singer situation. On top of that, Bale and Cooper were just better. This is a disappointing win.

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role
Emily Blunt, “Mary Poppins Returns”
Glenn Close, “The Wife”
Olivia Colman, “The Favourite”
Lady Gaga, “A Star Is Born”
Melissa McCarthy, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”
Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz how is Colman not winning? I'm over career Oscars. Also fuck the person who shouted at Gary Oldman when he was announcing the winner. 


Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
Mahershala Ali, “Green Book”
Timothee Chalamet, “Beautiful Boy”
Adam Driver, “BlacKkKlansman”
Sam Elliott, “A Star Is Born”
Richard E. Grant, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”
Who will win: Mahershala Ali
I don't hate this win, but I would've preferred Driver. Ali is winning his second Oscar now. 

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
Amy Adams, "Vice"
Emily Blunt, "A Quiet Place"
Margot Robbie, "Mary, Queen of Scots"
Emma Stone, "The Favourite"
Rachel Weiss, "The Favourite"
Is there some kind of industry rule where Amy Adams isn't allowed to win anything? Blunt was great in A Quiet Place so I think this is a fine win, but what is going on with Amy?

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
The Americans
Better Call Saul
The Handmaid’s Tale
Ozark
This Is Us
I guessed the Americans was going to win this but I should've known This Is Us is still going strong. As part of the Black Panther ensemble as well, Sterling K. Brown won twice tonight.

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series
Jason Bateman, Ozark
Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us
Joseph Fiennes, The Handmaid’s Tale
John Krasinki, Jack Ryan
Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul
I tried really hard to get into Ozark and I just couldn't. But Bateman was good in what I saw. 


Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series
Julia Garner, "Ozark"
Laura Linney, "Ozark"
Elisabeth Moss, "The Handmaid's Tale"
Sandra Oh, "Killing Eve"
Robin Wright, "House of Cards"
I had a feeling Oh would repeat her Globe win. Her speech was wonderful and so heartfelt. 

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series
Atlanta
Barry
GLOW
The Kominsky Method
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Who will win: The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
I really wish I could watch this show. I may have to try that free Prime trial.

Outstanding Performane by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series
Alan Arkin, “The Kominsky Method”
Michael Douglas, “The Kominsky Method”
Bill Hader, “Barry”
Tony Shalhoub, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
Henry Winkler, “Barry”
I guessed this right! *pats self on back*


Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series
Alex Borstein, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
Alison Brie, “GLOW”
Rachel Brosnahan, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
Jane Fonda, “Grace and Frankie”
Lily Tomlin, “Grace and Frankie”


Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie
Antonio Banderas, “Genius: Picasso”
Darren Criss, “Assassination of Gianni Versace”
Hugh Grant, “A Very English Scandal”
Anthony Hopkins, “King Lear”
Bill Pullman, “The Sinner”
I just want to say one final time that Bill Pullman was awful in The Sinner.  

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie
Amy Adams, “Sharp Objects”
Patricia Arquette, “Escape at Dannemora”
Patricia Clarkson, “Sharp Objects”
Penelope Cruz, “Assassination of Gianni Versace”
Emma Stone, “Maniac”
UUUUUUUUGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

Thursday Movie Picks: Movies You've Walked Out Of

This week's theme from Wandering Through The Shelves is one that I suggested because I just can't resist talking about bad movies. I always try to sit through movies at the theater no matter what, and believe me there's plenty that I should've walked out of (Hi every movie Uwe Boll has ever made) but here are the only ones that I actually did leave early. 

1) The Jungle Book (1994)

My entire family walked out of this movie about 20 minutes in. Honestly, I was too young to remember everyone's reasons. I know the wolves getting hurt bothered me but none of us were having this. We left the theater and walked into another. 

2) The Devil's Rejects

This movie was absolute trash. Mind you, Rob Zombie is a shitty screenwriter to begin with and the film's predecessor, House of a 1000 Corpses wasn't good either. Its hyper-sexual because that's how Zombie thinks people actually talk, and he framed his villains as the heroes only they are so dull and vile that I struggle to understand why I'm supposed to be interested in them in the first place.

3) The Book of Eli

This movie I technically left and came back in. I was so bored during it that I excused myself to the "rest room" and by rest room I mean "Went to sit in The Lovely Bones for a while"

2019 Academy Award Nominations


The most wonderful time of the year (for Film Twitter) is here and it's...well...it's something. If you're a huge fan of Roma (I wasn't) then you're probably over the moon. Super Hero Fatigue™ still proves to be bullshit as Marvel walks away with 9 nominations, and for some reason the Academy still can't use their 10 fucking slots. Here are the nominees + my quick thoughts. 


Best Picture
Black Panther”
A Star Is Born 
Roma
The Favourite
Vice
Bohemian Rhapsody
Green Book
BlacKkKlansman
This is so dumb. Just pick 10 movies. The fact that Bohemian Rhapsody and Green Book are taking time away from better movies and they STILL didn't pick 10 is just egregious. I'm happy Black Panther got in since that was still a bit of a question mark. I hope it wins. 

Best Actress
Glenn Close: The Wife
Lady Gaga: A Star Is Born
Yalitza Aparicio: Roma
Olivia Colman: The Favourite
Melissa McCarthy: Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Simon asked the best question here. Close and Gaga aren't nearly as good as Toni Collete, Elsie Fisher, Thomasin McKenzie, Viola Davis, OR Carey Mulligan were in their films this year (I'd throw in McCarthy too, to be honest) Please for the love of God let Olivia Colman win this.  

Best Actor
Christian Bale: Vice
Bradley Cooper: A Star Is Born
Viggo Mortensen: Green Book”
Willem Dafoe: At Eternity’s Gate
Rami Malek: Bohemian Rhapsody
I'm really bummed John David Washington couldn't sneak in. Willem DaFoe is the surprise nom, stealing that obscure indie slot from Ethan Hawke. I'll have to find this movie and watch it now.


Best Supporting Actress
Amy Adams: Vice
Marina de Tavira: Roma
Regina King: If Beale Street Could Talk
Emma Stone: The Favourite
Rachel Weisz: The Favourite
I know everyone loves Roma but de Tavira is a huge head scratcher for me because she didn't do anything in Roma. 

Best Supporting Actor
Mahershala Ali: The Green Book
Adam Driver: BlacKkKlansman
Sam Elliott: A Star Is Born
Richard E. Grant: Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Sam Rockwell: Vice
Sam Elliott played himself in A Star Is Born so that's a completely underwhelming nod for me. Twitter seems to hate Rockwell's nod, which I don't mind. I think Carrell was slightly better in Vice but he's better than Elliott.


Best Director
Spike Lee: BlacKkKlansman
Pawel Pawlikowski: Cold War
Yorgos Lanthimo: The Favourite
Alfonso CuarĂ³n: Roma
Adam McKay: Vice
LOOOOOOOL over Bradley "I'm focusing more on director" Cooper getting snubbed. I'm sorry, but I couldn't help but laugh. I'm glad Farelly got snubbed here too. Pawlikowski is a huge shocker. I can't believe this is Spike Lee's first director nomination. 

 Best Original Screenplay
"First Reformed”
“Green Book”
“Roma”
“The Favourite”
“Vice”  
Green Book being in this category is still a massive joke. 


Best Animated Film
“Incredibles 2” 
“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
“Mirai”
“Ralph Breaks the Internet”
“Isle Of Dogs”
Spider-Verse didn't get snubbed! This is all I care about, all the other films can go home.


Best Cinematography
“Cold War”
“The Favourite”
“Never Look Away”
“Roma”
“A Star Is Born” 
I need to see Cold War and Never Look Away. 

Best Visual Effects
“Avengers: Infinity War”
“Christopher Robin”
“First Man”
“Ready Player One”
“Solo: A Star Wars Story”
Avengers! Is it bad that despite being firmly on the Black Panther bandwagon that I'm okay with it missing out here? No one should be winning this besides Avengers. Don't you dare try to give this to First Man, Academy!


Best Foreign Language Film
“Capernaum”
“Cold War” 
“Never Look Away”
“Roma”
“Shoplifters”
The only one of these I've seen is Roma which I found boring, hopefully the rest fare better. 


Best Documentary Feature
“Free Solo” 
“Minding The Gap” 
“Of Fathers and Sons” 
“RBG”
“Hale County This Morning, This Evening”
I'm shocked Won't You Be My Neighbor was snubbed, everyone deemed this the winner when it was released. The only one of these I've seen is RBG which I enjoyed. Hopefully I can see the rest before February. 

 Best Documentary Short Subject
“Black Sheep”
“End Game”
“Lifeboat”
“A Night at the Garden”
“Period. End of Sentence.”
I wish more theaters would bundle these short subject films together and show them all at once. I never get to see them beforehand.


Best Costume Design
“The Ballad of Buster Scruggs”
“Black Panther”
“The Favourite”
“Mary Poppins Returns”
“Mary Queen of Scots”
I think it's a bunch of crap that Crazy Rich Asians missed out here


Best Makeup and Hairstyling
“Border”
“Mary Queen of Scots”
“Vice”
I had to look up Border, I had never heard of it until now. While I can't speak for that, I'm happy for the other two nominations. I wish this category would get stretched to 5 though. I think they could do it. 

 Best Film Editing
“BlacKkKlansman”
“Bohemian Rhapsody”
“Green Book”
“The Favourite”
“Vice” 
Green Book had an editor?


Best Sound Mixing
“Black Panther”
“Bohemian Rhapsody”
“First Man”
“Roma”
“A Star Is Born”
I think First Man should take all of these, but I'm bummed Avengers couldn't make it in the sound categories too. 



Best Sound Editing
“A Quiet Place”
“Black Panther”
“Bohemian Rhapsody”
“First Man”
“Roma”
see above


Best Animated Short Film
“Animal Behaviour”
“Bao”
“Late Afternoon”
“One Small Step”
“Weekends”
I've only seen Bao which made me cry so there's that. 


Best Live Action Short Film
“Detainment”
“Fauve”
“Marguerite”
“Mother”
“Skin”
Again, I've seen nothing. Hopefully some of these will pop up on youtube. 


Best Original Score
“Black Panther”
“BlacKkKlansman”
“If Beale Street Could Talk”
“Isle of Dogs”
“Mary Poppins Returns”
I'm happy to see Black Panther here. I thought they would be a bit of long shot

Best Original Song:
"All The Stars" - "Black Panther"
"I'll Fight" - "RBG"
"Shallow" - "A Star Is Born
"The Place Where Lost Things Go" - "Mary Poppins Returns"

"When A Cowboy Trades His Spurs For Wings" - "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs"
I mean, we all know Shallow is winning this (which is perfectly fine) but I'll go ahead and still root for All The Stars. This is probably the one Buster Scruggs nomination I agree with because that song was hilarious. 

Review: Glass

We live in a world of Superheros. 

David Dunn (Bruce Willis) has been using his super strength for years as some what of a vigilante around Philadelphia, aided by his son, Joseph. (Spencer Treat Clark) He's been tracking someone kidnapping young girls, and when he comes across Kevin Wendell Crumb (James McAvoy) their very public fight lands them in a mental institution run by Dr. Staple (Sarah Paulson) who wants to prove to these men that they are delusional in their belief that they are superheros. Of course, our title character Mr. Glass (Samuel L. Jackson) also resides at said hospital. 

Despite thinking both of the film's predecessors, Unbreakable and Split were just okay, I bought into the hype with this one. But It's taken me a while to write this review. I'm very annoyed with a lot of Glass, actually, I'm mostly annoyed with director M. Night Shaymalan. 

Shaymalan apparently thinks only comic nerds are vaguely familiar with how comics work. That's why we have several scenes of people explaining the most obvious comic book tropes, like a "showdown" or a "master plan" to characters like Joseph, Casey (Anya Taylor Joy) and Mrs. Price. (Charlayne Woodard, covered in terrible make up to make her look older than Jackson since she's playing his mother, despite him being five years older than her in real life) The dialogue is absolutely goofy because of this. It felt so condescending that I can't tell if he meant this as a joke or not. They're at a very incompetently run hospital, and someone at one point says "This is where we enter it into the universe" Jokes....right?

This is where I'm torn. I hate this script, but the bones of it aren't bad and most of the actors are good. This really felt like McAvoy's greatest hits in a way. Despite the movie being called Glass it's really his show. Jackson doesn't even speak until well over an hour info the film. Bruce Willis phones it in but I can't blame him because Dunn is given nothing to do here. Casey, Crumb's victim from before has now become his defender in trying to get people to understand his DID. That might have made for an interesting move in itself directed by someone else. I walked away from this really sympathizing with Glass, which I'm not sure was the intended result. And of course, Jolly ol' Shaymalan throws in a ~twist~ towards the end that makes it worse. He also heavily hints at wanting to start his own cinematic universe, complete with his credits showing the names of the three films that he tied together as if his audience is too stupid to know that already. 

I feel bad for all the actors involved. This was a cool idea that Shaymalan completely butchered. I wanted to give it more points for them, but it's a few days later and I'm still irritated about this.

Recommended: No

Grade: C- (I keep going back and forth with this and a D to be honest)

Memorable Quote: "Was he crying? Pussy." - Hedwig (James McAvoy)

My Top 10 Films of 2018 (+10 worst)

Here it is! My annual Top 10 list + bottom 10 because we had that many disappointments this year. I watched 179 films in 2018, a good chunk of them 2018 releases. There are a few 2018 films I wish I could've seen before making this list, such as If Beale Street Could Talk and Vox Lux, but my theater hasn't gotten them and unless one of them ends up a Best Picture nominee in February, I probably will have to wait until DVD. 

Below are my 10 favorite films of the year, a few that just missed, plus some honorable mentions. Then of course we bring it home with the 10 worst films I saw, plus some random winners just for fun.



Top 10 Films of 2018


"We're here to fight, and if you stand in our way, we'll fight you too."

"Wakanda Forever!"


"I want to understand it."

"Imagine that."

"All power to all the people."

"Hot damn."

"I hope your month is full of successful days and ventures."

"The difference between me and you is I ain't no killer."

"Cunt!"

"Anyone can wear the mask."





Just missed






Honorable Mentions: Unsane, The Hate U Give, Crazy Rich Asians, Hereditary,  Leave No Trace, Nancy, Private Life, Dumplin' The Miseducation of Cameron Post

The Bottom 10
And here are the 10 worst films I subjected myself to this year. 

1) Peter Rabbit - Oh, the life of a parent.
2) Mute - This one pisses me off the most because I was really looking forward to it. 
3) A Wrinkle in Time - What a let down.
4) Woody Woodpecker - I cannot believe I let my six year old talk me into watching this with him ON THE SAME DAY WE SAW PETER RABBIT! Fuck me. 
5) Sicario: Day of the Soldado - This did not need a sequel.
6) The Seagull - Waste of a great cast.
7) Hold The Dark - Ditto.
8) A Futile and Stupid Gesture - This movie was so boring and unfunny that I can't even remember the specific details of it.
9) The Wife  - Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
10) Summer of 84 - This felt like a bait and switch.


Random winners

Best Cinematic Example of "When Keeping It Real Goes Wrong" - Kayla throwing a banana at her father in Eighth Grade

Cleganebowl GET HYPE Award for - you guessed it - maximum hype - Thor arrives in Wakanda in Avengers Infinity War

Star Trek Into Darkness Award for "Fuck you, I loved this!" - Sorry To Bother You in all its "wtf" glory. 

Martha Award for Best Unintentional Laugh - "I just want to take another look at you." - A Star Is Born

10/10 Would Bang Award for Hottest Performance in a Film -
Chris Evans and his beard - Infinity War
Chris Hemsworth - Infinity War/Bad Times at the El Royale
Idris Elba - Infinity War (Idris is so hot even 1 minute of screen time counts)
Winston Duke as Mmmmmmm'Baku - Black Panther
John Chu as a hot and concerned dad - Searching
Steven Yeun - Sorry to Bother You

"I know a guy" Breakout Side Character Award -Piek Lin (Awkwafina) - Crazy Rich Asians

"You didn't see that coming?" Award for the film that surprised me the most - Searching and Dumplin'

Lars Von Trier Award for "This Scene is Going on Way too Long" - Turning down the house - Roma. 

Best Female Performances
Olivia Coleman - The Favourite
Carey Mulligan - Wildlife
Elsie Fisher - Eighth Grade
Emma Stone - The Favourite
Toni Collette - Hereditary
Thomasin Mackenzie - Leave No Trace
Cynthia Ervio - Bad Times At The El Royale
Viola Davis - Widows
Elizabeth Debicki - Widows
Danai Gurira - Black Panther/Infinity War

Best Male Performances
Bradley Cooper - A Star Is Born
John Cho - Searching
Adam Driver - BlackKklansman
Lakeith Stanfield - Sorry To Bother You
Ben Foster - Leave No Trace
Ed Oxenbould - Wildlife
Daveed Diggs - Blindspotting
Christian Bale - Vice
Nicholas Hoult - The Favourite
John David Washington - BlackKklansman



Here's to many good films in 2019 my friends!


2019 SAG Predictions: Who Will Win/Who Should Win

Time for my SAG predictions. There's no way I can bomb as hard as I did with my Globe predictions, right? RIGHT?! Here's who I think will win, and in some cases, who should win. 

Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
A Star Is Born
Black Panther
BlacKkKlansman
Bohemian Rhapsody
Crazy Rich Asians”
Who will and should win: Black Panther
Hear me out. I know you're thinking "All the signs point to Bohemian Rhapsody." And you're probably right, but something tells me the actors are going to vote differently on this than the rest of the industry will. I think they will honor Black Panther here. I'd be fine with this, BlackKklansman, or Crazy Rich Asians winning. 

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
Christian Bale, “Vice”
Bradley Cooper, “A Star Is Born”
Rami Malek, “Bohemian Rhapsody”
Viggo Mortensen, “Green Book”
John David Washington, “BlacKkKlansman”
Who will and should win: Christian Bale
This is by no means a sure thing at this point, but this is where I think Bale moves into front runner status. 

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role
Emily Blunt, “Mary Poppins Returns”
Glenn Close, “The Wife”
Olivia Coleman, “The Favourite”
Lady Gaga, “A Star Is Born”
Melissa McCarthy, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”
Who will win: Glenn Close
Who should win: Olivia Coleman
I really hope I'm wrong here, but I think we may be in for another "Career" Oscar which is ridiculous for a movie as dull as The Wife. Coleman should be running away with this. 

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
Mahershala Ali, “Green Book”
Timothee Chalamet, “Beautiful Boy”
Adam Driver, “BlacKkKlansman”
Sam Elliott, “A Star Is Born”
Richard E. Grant, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”
Who will win: Mahershala Ali
Who should win: Adam Driver of Chalamet
This one is out there too. Ali got the Globe win, but I prefer Drier and Chalamet's roles. Grant could maybe squeeze himself in. Elliott was just playing himself.

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
Amy Adams, "Vice"
Emily Blunt, "A Quiet Place"
Margot Robbie, "Mary, Queen of Scots"
Emma Stone, "The Favourite"
Rachel Weiss, "The Favourite"
Who will and should win: Amy Adams
Without Regina King here, and with the fact that they will (wrongly) not give her a statue for Sharp Objects, I think they'll award her here. 


Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
The Americans
Better Call Saul
The Handmaid’s Tale
Ozark
This Is Us
Who will win: The Americans
Who should win: The Handmaid's Tale
I really love THT's overall cast but I think The Americans might get a send off reward since it was their final season.  

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series
Jason Bateman, Ozark
Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us
Joseph Fiennes, The Handmaid’s Tale
John Krasinki, Jack Ryan
Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul
Who will win: Sterling K. Brown
Who should win: Joseph Fiennes
I don't see how Fiennes hasn't won everything for his role in this. I see them repeating with Sterling. 

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series
Julia Garner, "Ozark"
Laura Linney, "Ozark"
Elisabeth Moss, "The Handmaid's Tale"
Sandra Oh, "Killing Eve"
Robin Wright, "House of Cards"
Who will win: Sandra Oh
Killing Eve and House of Cards are two that I don't watch and the other ladies are all equal. I think Oh takes it since she took the Globe, but I wouldn't count Wright out either.


Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series
Atlanta
Barry
GLOW
The Kominsky Method
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Who will win: The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
The only one of these I watched was Barry and I hated it. Maisel seems popular and I would definitely be watching if I had Amazon. Kominsky Method could take it too, but Maisel seems like a better choice. 

Outstanding Performane by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series
Alan Arkin, “The Kominsky Method”
Michael Douglas, “The Kominsky Method”
Bill Hader, “Barry”
Tony Shalhoub, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
Henry Winkler, “Barry”
Who will win: Tony Shaloub
I'm guessing there will be a lot of vote splitting between the other two shows so lucky Tony will win. 


Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series
Alex Borstein, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
Alison Brie, “GLOW”
Rachel Brosnahan, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
Jane Fonda, “Grace and Frankie”
Lily Tomlin, “Grace and Frankie”
Who will win: Rachel Brosnahan
I don't think vote splitting will affect her, she feels like a front runner. 

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie
Antonio Banderas, “Genius: Picasso”
Darren Criss, “Assassination of Gianni Versace”
Hugh Grant, “A Very English Scandal”
Anthony Hopkins, “King Lear”
Bill Pullman, “The Sinner”
Who will and should win: Darren Criss
Everyone else is there because they can't just give it to him. 

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie
Amy Adams, “Sharp Objects”
Patricia Arquette, “Escape at Dannemora”
Patricia Clarkson, “Sharp Objects”
Penelope Cruz, “Assassination of Gianni Versace”
Emma Stone, “Maniac”

Who will win:Patricia Arquette
Who should win: Amy Adams
I've never understood the appeal of Arquette but she'll probably win this too even though Adams was outstanding in Sharp Objects. *heavy sigh*

Indie Gems: Loveless

Why are you even doing this?

Zhenya (Maryana Spivak) and Boris (Aleksey Rozin) are going through a bitter divorce. They're trying to sell their apartment so they unfortunately still live under the same roof. Their biggest issues is their son, Alyosha. (Matvey Novikov) Neither actually want him. Boris has already gotten his new girlfriend pregnant and they won't have the room, and Zhenya is enjoying her freedom too much. They entertain the thought of dropping him at an orphanage, though Boris is afraid his conservative boss will find out. Alyosha listens to all of this from the bathroom and cries himself to sleep. He runs away the next day, and his parents don't notice he's gone until two days later.

This might be one of the harshest movies I've ever watched. Zhenya and Boris are terrible people. All I wanted to do was take Alyosha away, wrap him in a warm blanket, and punch both of his parents in the face. It's a bit jarring to see two people act so selfishly about their child, but that's the point of the film. Director Andrey Zvyagintsev wanted to make a movie about how selfish the world has gotten, particularly his home nation of Russia. He succeeds with flying colors.

The cinematography is absolutely gorgeous for a film with so much despair, and actors are all very good. I prefer this to the other I saw of his, Leviathan. It's one of those that's not going to be for everyone. At times even I had a hard time watching people behaving as shitty as these ones do but for what he was trying to say, it worked very well. I'm not sure I've ever seen a movie tackle a subject like this.

Grade: B-

Watched on: DVD (thanks local library!)

Memorable Quote: "Here I was thinking you actually cared for your son." - Zhenya (Maryana Spivak)

Thursday Movie Picks: 2018 Releases

This week's theme from Wandering Through The Shelves wants us to look back at 2018. I decided to choose three films that surprised me with how much I liked them. 

1) Searching

When my theater opened Searching, I had never heard of it, so I watched the trailer and it looked like a really basic thriller, but I like John Cho and had nothing to do, so I went anyways. So glad I did because this was really enjoyable and they made the most of the gimmicks they used.

2) Dumplin'

I cried like a baby in this. It was just so sweet. Sometimes I forget that I need to watch movies where nice things happen, I'm always drawn to darker things. 

3) Blindpsotting

When I saw the trailer for this, I thought it looked like so many other movies I had seen like it and upon watching it, it didn't check any of the boxes I expected it too. I really wish I would've gotten to see this in theaters and given them some of my money because it was extraordinary. 

Review: On The Basis of Sex

The Notorious R.B.G

After last year's wonderful documentary following Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, we get the dramatic story of how she started out. We meet up with Ruth (Felicity Jones) as she's starting law school at Harvard. Of course none of her professors (Sam Waterston and Stephen Root) take her seriously, but her husband Marty (Armie Hammer) always does. We see her go through school, struggle to find a job as a lawyer due to gender discrimination and finally take on Charles Moritz's (Chris Mulkey) tax case that puts her on the map.

I feel like this movie has almost been forgotten. It was talked up like it was going to be a massive awards contender only for it to be pushed to a January release with little fanfare. It's almost ironic considering all Ruth has had to fight for. For what it's worth, On The Basis of Sex might not be perfect but it's still a very good film.

While the film does take its liberties as biopics do, it doesn't do anything egregious and the flow of the story works well. It's easy to be on Ruth's side when so many men go against her, even the ones like Mel Wulf (Justin Theroux) of the ACLU who are on her side. Felicity Jones brings a fine gravity to the role. The accent is a bit of a struggle but not to the point where it gets distracting. I think she does her justice. I believed every word she said.

The same can't be said for a few very reliable actors. Waterston, Root and Jack Raynor, who are all very good actors were the weak point here. They play professors and lawyers who go up against Ruth during a hearing, but the thing about it is I never once believed a word they were saying. They're the bad guys, the ones that think women should have their place at home, but you can tell that these men really don't believe that in real life and it showed in their performances. Felicity never pulls you out of the moment with her acting, but those three certainly did. It was bizarre considering I was going into this film expecting to dislike Armie Hammer the most and he ended up being not bad at all.

Aside from the acting, another thing that really stands out is the costume design. It's wonderful, especially when we make it to the 70's. It makes me long for more pieces like that to come back. The film's 3rd act is easily the strongest and it doesn't hold anything back. The last shot of the film was enough to get me chocked up.

Recommended: Yes

Grade: B

Memorable Quote: "Because that's what I wanted to do!" - Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Felicity Jones)

Review: Aquaman

Permission to come aboard?

Arthur (Jason Momoa) was born of a human, Tom (Temuera Morrison) and the queen of Atlantis, Atlanna. (Nicole Kidman) She returns to Atlantis to protect her husband and son, is forced to marry another and has another son, Orm (Patrick Wilson) and then is executed for her crime of falling in love with a human. Now Orm wants to wage war against the surface world, so his betrothed, Mera (Amber Heard) goes to recruit Arthur, the rightful king for this fight.

If you would've told me last year that I'd be paying theater money to go see an Aquaman movie I probably would've laughed, but here I am, enjoying the camp that was provided to me. Aquaman has hands down some of the most ridiculous dialogue I have heard in a movie this year, but damn do they know it. And they make it work. The awesome score that plays throughout elevates it. 

Aquaman is the first "fun" DCEU movie. Where others failed, they succeed in flying colors mostly thanks to its charismatic lead actor in Momoa. He took what many (myself included) called a boring character and made him into a beer loving bro, which is the best thing that could've happened to Arthur Curry on the big screen. It also manages to not completely flop in its 3rd act like even the mighty Wonder Woman did. I really liked how this film ended, it easily could've gone in another direction and it didn't.

This is a very CG heavy film, which some won't like but 90% of it is stunning. Atlantis looks beautiful, really the only shoddy CG in this is during fight scenes on land and when some of the humans ride animals but who gets those right on the first try?

I did have a few complaints, Amber Heard had zero chemistry with Momoa and made their romance feel so forced and unearned, especially when Kidman and Morrison display 100 times the chemistry in their short amount of scenes together. Mera is a cool character, but emotionally Heard did her no justice. The other issue, I think falls squarely on WB. I got the feeling that director James Wan did not feel confident in this film becoming a hit (and who could blame him) therefore, he shoves a lot of Aqua-lore into this movie, but also leaves a lot of questions. Why exactly is Aquaman essentially bullet proof and has super strength above water? They also waste their secondary villain, Black Manta (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) A lot of this could've been saved for the sequel. 

I hope DCEU eventually starts tying these movies together. We get a mention of Steppenwolf here but we don't see any other familiar faces. They should either make cameos in each movie or have a Phil Coulson-like character that ties them all together. That would be a good idea if they plan on continuing this universe.

Recommended: Yes

Grade: B

Memorable Quote: "If only I knew you'd grow up to be such a dick." - Arthur (Jason Momoa)