How did I do with my must see 2014 films?

I hope everyone has a fun and safe new years eve tonight! This is how I fared with my must see movies of 2014.

9 A's
7 B's
5 C's
1 D (fuck you, Monuments Men!)

Three of the seven films I haven't seen yet got moved to 2015 releases.(The Green Inferno, The Ever After, and Every Secret Thing) Tusk will probably suck, but I still have Eleanor Rigby, Whiplash, and Foxcatcher to look forward to in 2015. 

1) Interstellar (B+)
2) Captain America: The Winter Soldier (A-)
3) Night Moves (A)
4) The Green Inferno
5) Only Lovers Left Alive (C)
6) The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby
7) Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (C)
8) Maleficent (B)
9) 22 Jump Street (B-)
10) The Monuments Men (D)
11) Gone Girl (A+)
12) How To Train Your Dragon 2 (A+)
13) Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (B-)
14) Hellion (B)
15) I Origins (A)
16) God Help The Girl (B)
17) Enemy (A)
18) Frank (C+)
19) Whiplash
20) The Theory of Everything (A)
21) Under The Skin (C)
22) The Ever After
23) Every Secret Thing
24) Guardians of the Galaxy (B)
25) Tusk
26) Nightcrawler (A)
27) Horns (C-)
28) Foxcatcher
29) Birdman (A+)

Review: The Interview

The art of honey potting, and honey dicking.

Aaron Rapaport (Seth Rogen) is a producer on a popular Entertainment Tonight type show staring the slightly dimwitted Dave Skylark. (James Franco) Upset that his peers aren't taking him quite as seriously due to the nature of his show, that is about to change when they find out North Korean leader Kim Jung Un (Randall Park) is actually a huge fan. They are set to conduct an interview with him, but before they go, the CIA intercepts them and wants them to take him out.

Unless you've been living under a rock for the past month, you know the drama surrounding this film. Luckily for us, the film was released and we can finally see what all the fuss was about. I admit, I never had the highest expectations for this film, despite being a huge fan of both Franco and Rogen. Most of the comments I saw from people around the web called it "terrible" and "a huge waste of time." I disagree on both parts. It's not the best comedy out there, but it still has some funny parts. Actually, a lot of it was hilarious. Stupid, but hilarious.

The film is pretty ballsy. When I first heard about it, I was shocked they didn't go the route of The Great Dictator and change Un's name. I like Franco and Rogen's style. They made an amusing comedy, and I'm glad Sony at least released it online and in some theaters and didn't bitch out completely like we all thought they would. 

Recommended: Yes

Grade: B-

Memorable Quote: "It's like Spike Lee came out as white!" - Dave (James Franco)

Review: Wild

I'm going to walk all my problems away.

Cheryl (Reese Witherspoon) recently ruined her marriage to Paul (Thomas Sadoski) by cheating on him and doing heroin, among other things. Disappointed that she's not the woman her late mother, Bobbi (Laura Dern) wanted her to be, she sets out to hike the Pacific Crest Trail alone to clear her head.

You know what's a good way to make a decent film a little less decent? Annoying people sitting next to you. That's what I had to deal with here. I sat next to a woman who was whispering to her husband throughout the entire film about which man was going to try to rape Cheryl. According to her, whenever a man hands a woman a drink, it's spiked. She even said "see, there it goes!" a few times during the film when she thought said rape was going to happen. Spoiler alert, there is no rape in this film. Go home and watch the Lifetime channel for that. 

Back to the actual movie, I kind of expected it to be fairly slow given the premise and the heavy use of flashbacks, but it was paced very well. Witherspoon gives her best performance since Walk The Line. Is it Oscar worthy? Not really, but it's still a good performance. She carries the film easily. Sadoski is wonderful in his short scenes as well. I really want to see more of that guy now that The Newsroom is ended. 

Wild exceeded my somewhat lukewarm expectations and turned out to be very enjoyable. Even with Twat McRapey talking through the whole thing.

Recommended: Yes

Grade: B

Memorable Quote: "You just want to be the hero." - Cheryl (Reese Witherspoon)

Indie Gems: Happy Christmas

Getting your shit together 101.

Jenny (Anna Kendrick) moves in with her older brother, Jeff (Joe Swanberg) and his wife, Kelly (Melanie Lynskey) and their adorable two year old son. She's trying to bounce back from a breakup, one that she probably caused herself judging by the way she acts in the film. She also tries to inspire Kelly to starting writing again.

First things first, I have a gigantic crush on Mark Webber. I will seriously watch this guy in anything. I think he's tremendous. His character strikes up a relationship with Jenny, and that was one of my favorite parts of the film. Much like Drinking Buddies, this film wasn't made with a traditional script. The actors ad-libbed most of their lines. All the conversations, especially the drunken ones felt very authentic. Everyone has had these talks before.

I can't get enough of Lynskey and Kendrick. They play off each other so well. I was a little worried about Lena Dunham, but her character is only in a couple of scenes, so it's tolerable. Happy Christmas isn't as strong as Drinking Buddies, but it made for a good watch this Christmas. 

Grade: B

Memorable Quote: "So your idea is to write an erotic novel and make millions?" - Kelly (Melanie Lynskey)

Essential Christmas Movies

Merry Christmas everyone! I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday. My family does most of our celebrating on Christmas Eve, so it's bumming around and watching movies for me today. Here's a quick list of my favorite holiday films.

Nightmare Before Christmas
This film works for Christmas and Halloween. I never get tired of watching it. 

This film screams nostalgia for me. I remember having the story on a little record, and I liked listening and comparing it to the movie.

A Christmas Story

Bad Santa

I worked at a movie theater when this was showing. Our theater was in the mall, and the mall Santa went to the late show in his Santa costume. He loved it. I'll never forget that. 

A Christmas Carol
This story has been done so many times, but my favorite will always be the Disney version. I watched it again with my son a few days ago, it still holds up.

DVD Review: Jodorowsky's Dune

The 'greatest' science fiction film never made.

Another documentary that showed up on the short list for the Academy Awards. This one follows director Alejandro Jodorowsky and his failed attempt to adapt the popular science fiction novel Dune into a film. 

I find stories of failed films or hardships making films fascinating. Film making is obviously a lot of fucking work, but how often do people really think about what goes into making a film?

After watching this relatively short documentary (not even an hour and a half) I'm kind of left with a bad taste in my mouth instead of sympathy like I expected. It sucks when a film maker doesn't get to show everyone their vision, and maybe his Dune would've been wonderful, but Jodorowsky doesn't really take any responsibility for his film not getting made. He refused to budge on the run time, which he wanted to be 10+ hours when the studio wanted 90 mins. Then he goes as far to say that George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, etc, all took his ideas from the beautiful illustrations he drew and used them for their own films. He provides absolutely nothing to back this up either and that seems like a pretty big thing to speculate on. 

I admittedly have trouble enjoying documentaries on people/subjects I don't like (example: Jesus Camp) so that probably played a part, but I just can't help it. This wasn't as good as I was expecting.

Recommended: No

Grade: D+

Memorable Quote: "I needed my warriors." - Alejandro Jodorowsky. 

2014 Blind Spot Series: Fanny and Alexander

This wraps up my first year of doing the Blind Spot Series! I'm so glad Ryan created this and I'm looking forward to next year's.

What I knew going in: When I first published my list of the films I was going to be watching, many said to save this for December. So I knew it had a holiday theme.

The story follows the sprawling Ekdahl family over the course of a few years. Most of the focus is on young children Alexander (Bertil Guve) and Fanny. (Pernilla Allwin) Their father suddenly passes away in the film's first act, and their mother Emilie (Ewa Froling) remarries a bishop Edvard (Jan Malmsjo) despite him giving her several red flags like his bare as a bone house and his request that she and her children move their with no possessions whatsoever. Spoiler alert: he turns out to be a super douche. 

Igmar Bergman is still a director I'm new to. This was his 3rd film on my list, and it honestly felt so different from the other two I watched. I hate to say it, but it was a little over indulgent. The film is nearly three hours long when it had no right to be. I've seen a lot of comparisons with The Deer Hunter (coincidentally the first film I watched on my Blind Spot List) in terms of the first act. While I wasn't crazy about DH's first hour, I liked this one even less.

It's not to say the film is bad. It isn't. The story is interesting, it's very festive and the production design is flawless, I just think he over reached a bit. I see why he would want to, it is semi autobiographical. 

Recommended: Sure. It's still a good film, albeit a little bloated. 

Grade: B-

Memorable Quote: "I can speak for myself, but not for them." Emilie (Ewa Froling)

DVD Review: Joe

How do you know when a movie is truly forgettable?

When you completely forget that you saw it and had planned to review it. I always review every new movie I finish, and I knew I've been forgetting something for weeks. Turns out, that something was Joe

Ex con Joe (Nicolas Cage) who runs a tree removal business takes the young Gary (Tye Sheridan) under his wing when the boy shows up to work for him one day. Gary lives in an abusive home, constantly beat by his father. (Gary Poulter, a homeless man that was cast in this film who tragically died on the streets 6 months after it wrapped)

This is probably the best I've seen Nic Cage in awhile, but I'm going to be honest. I don't like good Nic Cage. I like Batshit crazy Wicker Man Nic Cage. So watching him carry this film was kind of a bore. Tye Sheridan is wonderful though, and I was disappointed that he wasn't in it more. This kid has a seriously bright future.

Joe isn't a terrible film, it's just not terribly interesting. The 117 run times feels twice as long and I think it would've benefited with more focus on Gary and less on Joe. It feels like a lot of wasted potential. 

Recommended: No

Grade: C

Memorable Quote: "You mess up a lot." - Gary (Tye Sheridan)

Indie Gems: Parts Per Billion

A different take on the end of the world.

A deadly pathogen has been released in the Middle East as chemical warfare. It's spreading rapidly and killing millions. You know there would be people stocking up on supplies, barricading themselves in houses, but there's always going to be those people that still try to go about their day. This movie is about those people.

Andy and Esther (Frank Langella and Gena Rowlands) are scouring a children's hospital for remaining oxygen tanks, trying to survive as long as possible. Andy is the one that sold the information on how to make this deadly weapon in the first place. Then there's his lawyer, Mia and her husband (Rosario Dawson and Josh Hartnett) that were having a rocky marriage to begin with. Andy's grandson Erik (Penn Badgley) and his fiance Anna (Teresa Palmer) take a different approach as Anna tries to let go of her fear of what's going in.

This film is a lot like Bobby. There's a big important event happening, but this film really isn't about that, it's about this small group of people. That's not everyone's cup of tea, but I thought the film worked. Sure, this it's depressing, but it feels very different from other films of this genre. And I will watch anything with Teresa Palmer in it.

Grade: B-

Memorable Quote: "Why is the deepest thing I've ever read on the back of soap?" - Anna (Teresa Palmer)

Thursday Movie Picks: Coming of Age Movies

This week's theme from Wandering through the Shelves is Coming of Age movies. Sometimes I feel like I'm getting too old for films like this, then I find a good one that I just fall in love with. Here are three of my favorites

1) Stand By Me

I imagine this film is on everyone's favorite coming of age lists. It's one of those that I loved as a kid, and still loved as an adult.

2) Blue is the Warmest Color

I'm not sure if I've ever rooted for a character like I did with Adele in this film. I legitimately wanted to hug her at the end of it.

3) The Perks of Being a Wallflower

I wish I would've read this book when I was in junior high, I feel like I could've related to it more back then, but it still didn't stop me from enjoying the hell out of this film now. (Particularly Ezra Miller's performance) 

Review: The Theory of Everything


That word easily describes both Jane and Stephen Hawking. Especially after watching this.

The film takes a look at Dr. Stephen Hawking (Eddie Redmayne), a now world famous physicist and his first wife, Jane (Felicity Jones) when they first meet at Cambridge University. Early on in their relationship is when Hawking is diagnosed with motor neuron disease which slowly destroys him physically, but Jane vows to fight with him. 

I never read Traveling to Infinity, Jane's memoir of which this film is based, but I knew enough about it to be a little concerned with the way they were initially advertising this as some epic love story when in fact, things were very difficult for them. I'm glad I see I was wrong about that first impression. The film captures both their love and hardships.

Redmayne and Jones are both spectacular here. I can't say enough about how great their performances are. The film is shot beautifully and had a lovely score on top of it. I can see how some would think this is obvious Oscar bait, I believe it deserves all the recognition it's getting. It went far above my expectations.

Recommended: Yes

Grade: A

Memorable Quote: "I have loved you. I tried my best." - Jane (Felicity Jones)

Rambling TV: Thoughts on the series finale of The Newsroom + more

Go fuck yourself, Aaron Sorkin.

It had to be said. I've actually been saying it all season. I get that The Newsroom isn't everyone's cup of tea, but I loved the show. I liked the concept the cast was immensely talented. It's too bad Aaron Sorkin, the show's creator didn't feel the same. 

Sorkin's a genius, but let's face it. His ego is massive. He didn't get the same ratings he had for The West Wing, so he was ready to move on. Which is his right, I know, but it sucks for the people he put out of a job, and the viewers who liked the show. Not to mention he threw his entire production under the bus last week when he said the penultimate episode was the first one he actually liked. The Newsroom ended ahead of it's time because of Sorkin's ego. It's not like he wasn't putting out quality work.

Now let's talk the episode. In what seems to be a trend with HBO shows on their final season this year, this episode centered around unnecessary flashbacks of how Charlie got Mac to come to New Night. The present time was at Charlie's funeral. The series ended with Mac being promoted to Charlie's job, Jim being promoted to hers. Maggie is interviewing for a field producer position in D.C, and Jim vows to keep a long distance relationship with her because he loves her. Neal is back in the states, and lays a gentle verbal smackdown on Bree upon his return. (Though he has no scenes really with the rest of the cast, which is a damn shame) As many guested in the last episode, Mac is pregnant. The final scene was everyone in the Newsroom doing their job like Charlie would've wanted.

Parts were very touching and sweet, but this season's 6 episode order really hurt it. There just wasn't enough time. This show deserved more time. We didn't even get to find out what happened with the Genoa lawsuit, which was what SEASON 2 WAS ALL ABOUT!

Other TV thoughts:

Two big things happened in Agents of SHIELD's finale last Tuesday. Trip died, which really sucks because he was awesome, and Skye is revealed to be Daisy Johnson aka Quake. This should be interesting.

If you ever missed Kirsten Dunst's Drop Dead Gorgeous accent, fear not! You'll get to hear it again, she's just been cast in season 2 of Fargo.

I rewatched Sherlock and forgot how much I disliked Amanda Abbington as Mary. Good actress, just no chemistry with Watson. (Which is weird considering they're a couple in real life)

Since 3 of my shows ended this year, I'll be starting The Wire. (finally)

*Click those gifs to be redirected to their makers*

Review: God Help The Girl

She needs all the help she can get.

Eve (Emily Browning) is an Australian living in Glasgow. She's been battling an eating disorder and depression and has been staying at a voluntary rehabilitation center. She sneaks out and goes to a show and meets James (Olly Alexander) and becomes intrigued with him. She loves to write music, he loves good music. Together they team up with one of his guitar students, Cassie (Hannah Murray) to form their own band. 

I've seen this film described as a "musical for everyone." I'm not sure if it's for everyone, (people will complain about the entire cast being hipsters) but I enjoyed it for what it's worth. The songs were sweet. The cast, while not having the strongest voices still have a nice folky charm to them. It does feel different from other musicals I've seen.

The costumes are beautiful. The film is set in modern times, yet they wear a lot of vintage clothing. Sadly, it's the modern costumes that get over looked at  the Oscars, which is a shame. My only real gripe with the film was that Cassie ended up feeling like a 3rd wheel most of the time, and she was far too sweet for that.

Recommended: Yes

Grade: B

Memorable Quote: "What if everything I'm feeling is shit?" - Eve (Emily Browning)

Review: The Internet's Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz

The way I watched this film was very fitting.

When I saw the Academy put up its shortlist for the documentary Oscar nominations, this one sounded immediately interesting. It's set to release on Netflix next month, but luckily I came across a tweet where someone said the whole movie was on youtube. And it still is. 

Of course a film about Aaron Swartz's life would be on the internet for all to see. That's what he was about. He wanted people to have access to all the knowledge they could. Aaron was a programming prodigy who helped start plenty of sites online that you've certainly heard of. (RSS, Reddit, etc) The former he helped with when he was all of 14. He was arrested when he conducted a mass download of information from MIT. He wasn't selling it or going to blackmail someone with it, he just thought everyone should have access to it to learn. He was going to be charged with nearly 13 felonies and was treated like a criminal. He sadly committed suicide last year at the age of 26.

This doc is very informative. I was somewhat familiar with Swartz prior to watching this. I remember reading about his arrest, his help to stop SOPA, and the general sadness of the online community when news of his death broke. Though nearly all of the parties opposing what he did declined to speak (because of course they did) they still had plenty of interesting things to say.

As far as the Oscars go, I wonder if this will suffer the same problem Blackfish had. It seemed like a lot of this information could've already been found online, so if you're familiar with the subject, it might not be anything new. But I stand by this the same way I did Blackfish, it's nice to have all of this complied into one place. 

Recommended: Yes

Grade: A

Memorable Quote: "In that moment, I regret that I said it." - Quinn Norton

Indie Gems: The Immigrant

Welcome to America, you get to be a hooker now.

Ewa (Marion Cotillard) escapes conflicted Poland in 1921 to come to America with her sister. However her sister has tuberculosis and isn't allowed to leave Staten Island. Ewa has to pay for her care to be released, and her aunt and uncle that she planned on living with have apparently disappeared. Ewa is pulled aside by a man named Bruno (Joaquin Phoenix) who offers to help her. But soon we find that he's not as nice as he seems as he forces her into prostitution. She then finds herself falling for his eccentric cousin, Emil (Jeremy Renner) who performs as a magician. 

This is the type of movie you expect to see during Oscar season, but unfortunately the marketing for this movie was awful and it ends up on Netflix Instant instead. It's a shame, Cotillard gives a fantastic performance here. 

You may see the ending coming from a mile away, but our leads give wonderful performances and the film is never boring.

Grade: B

Memorable Quote: "I hate you, and I hate myself." - Ewa (Marion Cotillard)

2015 Golden Globe Nominations

Here are the 2015 Golden Globe nominations. Unbroken was surprisingly shut out. No tears from me over that. Big Eyes and Grand Budapest made some surprise moves. Begin Again was shut out, and most of the TV nominations are awful. (for my taste, anyways) My thoughts as always follow in green.

Best Performance By an Actress in a Television Series – Drama
Claire Danes - Homeland
Viola Davis - How to Get Away With Murder
Julianna Margulies -The Good Wife
Ruth Wilson -The Affair
Robin Wright - House of Cards

Best Original Song – Motion Picture
"Big Eyes" - Big Eyes
“Glory” - Selma
“Mercy Is” - Noah
“Opportunity” - Annie
“Yellow Flicker Beat” - The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1
No Lost Stars from Begin again or Everything is Awesome from the Lego Movie. Honestly, the Globes usually go for more mainstream artists than the ones that actually end up winning the Oscar. I bet only Glory carries over to Oscars.

Best Original Score 
Alexandre Desplat - The Imitation Game
Jóhann Jóhannsson - The Theory of Everything
Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross - Gone Girl
Antonio Sanchez - Birdman
Hans Zimmer - Interstellar
I love seeing all of these people here, but I think Sanchez will win. He deserves it. 

Best Performance By an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Miniseries, or Motion Picture Made for Television
Uzo Aduba - Orange Is the New Black
Kathy Bates - American Horror Story: Freak Show
Joanne Froggatt - Downton Abbey
Allison Janney - Mom
Michelle Monaghan - True Detective
Well, I wanted Melissa McBride here, but that always was a long shot. It's nice to see Monaghan in there though.

Best Performance by an Actress in a TV Series – Comedy 
Lena Dunham - Girls
Edie Falco - Nurse Jackie
Julia Louis-Dreyfus - Veep
Gina Rodriguez - Jane the Virgin
Taylor Schilling - Orange Is the New Black
Three thoughts: 1) Go JLD! 2) What the fuck is Jane the Virgin? and 3) OITNB isn't a comedy. 

Best Screenplay 
Wes Anderson - The Grand Budapest Hotel
Gillian Flynn - Gone Girl
Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, and Armando Bo - Birdman
Richard Linklater - Boyhood
Graham Moore - The Imitation Game
I'm psyched to see Gone Girl here, and surprised by Grand Budapest. I thought it's early release date would hurt it. Apparently not.

Best Performance By an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Miniseries, or Motion Picture Made for Television
Matt Bomer - The Normal Heart
Alan Cumming - The Good Wife
Colin Hanks - Fargo
Bill Murray - Olive Kitteridge
Jon Voight - Ray Donovan
I'm happy for Hanks, I'm surprised Parsons got shut out here, but not as surprised as...

Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Comedy 
Louis C.K. - Louie
Don Cheadle - House of Cards
Ricky Gervais - Derek
William H. Macy - Shameless
Jeffrey Tambor - Transparent
Parsons getting shut out here. Oh well, Louis C.K is there.

Best Foreign Language Film
Force Majeure
Tangerine Mandarin
I haven't even heard of any of these...

Best Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television
The Missing
The Normal Heart
Olive Kitteridge
True Detective
So now True Detective is a mini series. They should've been one at the Emmys if they wanted to win. Going up against Breaking Bad in it's final season was stupid. 

Best Television Series – Comedy 
Jane the Virgin
Orange Is the New Black
Silicon Valley
No Veep? Louie? Zzzzzzzz

Best Animated Feature Film
Big Hero 6
The Book of Life
The Boxtrolls
How to Train Your Dragon 2
The Lego Movie
Go HTTYD2!!!

Best Performance By an Actor in a Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television
Martin Freeman - Fargo
Woody Harrelson - True Detective
Matthew McConaughey - True Detective
Mark Ruffalo - The Normal Heart
Billy Bob Thornton - Fargo
I expected Cumberbatch to be here for Sherlock, but I didn't expect True Detective to be a mini, so there that went..

Best Performance By an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama
Jennifer Aniston - Cake
Felicity Jones - The Theory of Everything
Julianne Moore - Still Alice
Rosamund Pike - Gone Girl
Reese Witherspoon - Wild
Loving Pike being here. Aniston again, the Best Actress race is getting tighter. 

Best Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Into the Woods
St. Vincent
I wish Begin Again was here. I imagine it was better than St. Vincent. Pride is a surprise, I still really want to see that one.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Drama
Clive Owen - The Knick
Liev Schreiber - Ray Donovan
Kevin Spacey - House of Cards
James Spader - The Blacklist
Dominic West - The Affair

Best Television Series – Drama
The Affair
Downton Abbey
Game of Thrones
The Good Wife
House of Cards
This is Game of Thrones' only nod. It better win here.

Best Performance By an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
Robert Duvall - The Judge
Ethan Hawke - Boyhood
Edward Norton - Birdman
Mark Ruffalo - Foxcatcher
J.K. Simmons - Whiplash
Duvall AGAIN?! 

Best Performance By an Actor in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical
Ralph Fiennes - The Grand Budapest Hotel
Michael Keaton - Birdman
Bill Murray - St. Vincent
Joaquin Phoenix - Inherent Vice
Christoph Waltz - Big Eyes
Big Eyes isn't dead yet. (Actually it probably is after these) Fiennes is a surprise. For me anyways.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television
Maggie Gyllenhaal - The Honorable Woman
Jessica Lange - American Horror Story: Freak Show
Frances McDormand - Olive Kitteridge
Frances O’Connor - The Missing
Allison Tolman - Fargo
Allison *heart eyes*

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
Patricia Arquette - Boyhood
Jessica Chastain - A Most Violent Year
Keira Knightley - The Imitation Game
Emma Stone - Birdman
Meryl Streep - Into the Woods

Best Director 
Wes Anderson - The Grand Budapest Hotel
Ava DuVernay - Selma
David Fincher - Gone Girl
Alejandro González Iñárritu - Birdman
Richard Linklater - Boyhood
Wes Anderson being here is a shock. I love that Fincher is though. 

Best Performance By an Actress in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical
Amy Adams -Big Eyes
Emily Blunt - Into the Woods
Helen Mirren - The Hundred-Foot Journey
Julianne Moore - Still Alice
Quvenzhané Wallis - Annie
I swear Wallis is a consolation prize. I love her, she's got a long career if she wants it, but I feel like the Globes felt guilty about not nominating her eventual Oscar performance in Beasts of the Southern Wild. You can't tell me her performance as a precocious child (anyone can play Annie, let's be honest.) is better than Jenny Slate in Obvious Child or Keira Knightley in Begin Again. 

Best Performance By an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama
Steve Carell - Foxcatcher
Benedict Cumberbatch - The Imitation Game
Jake Gyllenhaal - Nightcrawler
David Oyelowo - Selma
Eddie Redmayne - The Theory of Everything
The sad thing about this list is that they are all worthy men, but one of them won't get an Oscar nomination (because you know Keaton will)

Best Motion Picture – Drama
The Imitation Game
The Theory of Everything
I wanted Gone Girl to be here, but this is a tight race. I'll hold out for Best Picture. 

2015 Screen Actors Guild Nominations

Here's a list of the 2015 SAG nominations! I'm actually kind of surprised by a lot of things. Let's get to it. My thoughts as always follow in green.

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
Steve Carell - Foxcatcher
Benedict Cumberbatch - The Imitation Game
Jake Gyllenhaal - Nightcrawler
Michael Keaton - Birdman
Eddie Redmaybe - The Theory of Everything
I'm so psyched Gyllenhaal got in there. I think this is how the Oscars will look too, he's still the wild card as Oyelowo could sneak in for Selma. (which wasn't released in time for enough people to see it here.)

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role
Jennifer Aniston - Cake
Felicity Jones - The Theory of Everything
Julianne Moore - Still Alice
Rosamund Pike - Gone Girl
Reese Witherspoon - Wild
Rosamund!! She's my favorite here. I'm kind of surprised to see Aniston. I was thinking Cotillard would get in.

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
Robert Duvall - The Judge
Ethan Hawke - Boyhood
Edward Norton - Birdman
Mark Ruffalo - Foxcatcher
J.K. Simmons - Whiplash
Robert Duvall? Really?

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
Patricia Arquette - Boyhood
Keira Knightley - The Imitation Game
Emma Stone - Birdman
Meryl Streep - Into The Woods
Naomi Watts - St. Vincent
Did not know Naomi Watts was in St. Vincent. I would've expected her for Birdman. I'm still holding out hope for Carrie Coon for Oscars. 

Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
The Theory of Everything
Did anyone actually predict The Imitation Game and Theory of Everything being in here? I sure as hell didn't. I'm rooting for Birdman, but it's nice to see Grand Budpest in there. That movie was weird as fuck, but the cast is great.

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries
Adrien Brody - Houdini
Benedict Cumberbatch - Sherlock: His Last Vow
Richard Jenkins - Olive Kitteridge
Mark Ruffalo - The Normal Heart
Billy Bob Thorton - Fargo
No Martin Freeman. *sighs*

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries
Ellen Burstyn - Flowers in the Attic
Maggie Gyllenhaal - The Honorable Woman
Frances McDormand - Olive Kitterage
Julia Roberts - The Normal Heart
Cicely Tyson - The Trip To Bountiful

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series
Steve Buscemi - Boardwalk Empire
Peter Dinklage - Game of Thrones
Woody Harrelson - True Detective
Matthew McConaughey - True Detective
Kevin Spacey - House of Cards
I think this is McConaughey's to win, unless they get sentimental and give it to Buscemi. There's no Cranston stopping him now! (Does anyone else miss Breaking Bad?)

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series 
Claire Danes - Homeland
Viola Davis - How To Get Away With Murder
Julianna Margulies - The Good Wife
Tatiana Maslany - Orphan Black
Maggie Smith - Downton Abbey
Robing Wright - House of Cards

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series
Ty Burrell - Modern Family
Louis C.K - Louie
William H. Macy - Shameless
Jim Parsons - The Big Bang Theory
Eric Stonestreet - Modern Family
I never tire of seeing Louis C.K get nominated for things.

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series
Uzo Aduba - Orange is the New Black
Julie Bowen - Modern Family
Edie Falco - Nurse Jackie
Julia Louis-Dreyfus - Veep 
Amy Poehler - Parks and Recreation
Oh look, GUEST actress Aduba for OITNB. That was so stupid. I'm happy for her, but OITNB was petty in the way they submitted their actresses for the Emmys.

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
Boardwalk Empire
Downton Abbey
Game of Thrones
House of Cards
Please give this to Game of Thrones. You never do!

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series
The Big Bang Theory
Brooklyn Nine Nine
Modern Family
Orange is the New Black 

Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture
Get On Up
The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies
X-Men: Days of Future Past
Get On Up must have had some serious stunts. Like, better than Captain American 2: The Winter Soldier. 

Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Comedy or Drama Series 
24: Live Another Day
Boardwalk Empire
Game of Thrones
Sons of Anarchy
The Walking Dead

Review: Horns


Ig Parrish (Daniel Radcliffe) is the prime suspect in his beloved girlfriend Merrin's (Juno Temple) murder. He didn't do it, by the way, and all the DNA evidence that could've cleared him has been destroyed. After a night of heavy drinking (and urinating all over the memorial at Merrin's murder site in anger) he wakes up the next morning with horns growing out of his head. When he talks to people, they suddenly start telling him things they never would dream of saying. Eventually, one of them admits to knowing something about what happened to Merrin.

I read the book earlier this year, which I really enjoyed. It turns out I should've waited. When we think about book to movie adaptations, we're always thinking "I hope they don't make any big changes." Well here, it's the little changes that got on my nerves, there's SO many of them. The character's professions, their location, the timeline things occurred, added drama and stupid unnecessary CGI scenes. All of those things were different.

The basic premise of the movie was the same, but it didn't feel like I was watching the same story that I read, and that really pissed me off. It became impossible to enjoy it, because I didn't understand why they would do it this way in the first place. 

Recommended: No

Grade: C-

Memorable Quote: "How about you just love me for the rest of mine." - Merrin (Juno Temple)

Rambling TV: Thoughts on The Newsroom and Agents of SHIELD.

The Newsroom

I've always loved The Newsroom. I find is fascinating and interesting and hard to take my eyes away from it, yet I was shocked last night at how emotional I got over it. 

This was a solid hour of TV. Will has been in jail for 52 days since we've last seen him. He's having a conversation with a cell mate that turns out to be a hallucination of his father at the end. Infuriatingly, he also refuses to give up the name of his source again, even though Lily Hart, THE source, shot and killed herself on the steps of the Justice Building. 

Don goes to interview a rape victim, Mary (played by VEEP's wonderful Sarah Sutherland, who honestly deserves a guest star Emmy after this) at Princeton who isn't getting a trial, so she started a website where people can name the ones that assaulted them. Pruitt wants both Mary and her attacker to be in the studio, moderated by Elliot. Mary will actually do it, but Don doesn't want her to. He knows she won't get her trial and will end up getting slut shamed because of it. He wants to protect her. This particular story was SO good and it pisses me off even more that Aaron Sorkin chose a fucking six episode finale because now we won't get to see where this goes. 

Jim and Maggie are on a flight trying to catch a glimpse of Edward Snowden. Besides the fact that none of the things they did in the airport would actually happen in real life if you know ANYTHING about air travel, they finally confessed their feelings and kissed. FINALLY (but again, this is episode 5, so no follow up)

Sloan gets into an argument with Neal's replacement over an ap that tracks celebrities in real time, so paparazzi and how Sloan puts it, sociopaths are waiting for them when they leave. Sloan decides to interview this guy live on air, and gives him the verbal smackdown...thus leading us to our penultimate scene. 

Charlie, who for the entire episode felt like he was giving into all of Pruitt's demands finally snaps out of it when Pruitt storms the Newsrooms and demands Mac and Sloan get fired. He sticks up for them, says he'll talk to Pruitt upstairs, then as he's walking away, has a heart attack.

Will is released from prison later on that night, Mac greets him and tells him Charlie died a few hours ago. *cue ugly cry face*

Charlie was an awesome character, and it was SO sad to see him go like that. I really hope someone punches Pruitt in the balls next week.

Agents of SHIELD

DID MACK JUST DIE!?!??! - I don't think so, but they made it seem like he might. That would really suck.

Fitz and Simmons finally talked to each other (after Simmons had a nice girl talk with Bobbie early on about her feelings for Fitz) but he drops the bombshell that he will let her lead the lab and go to work in the garage with Mack. He can work with her, but not for her. Of course Simmons didn't get a word in because Agents of SHIELD hates me. 

Patton Oswalt and his weird ass character(s) are back!

Ward and Skye meet up again, and he's taking her to see her father. I guess we'll be learning her real name next week. Skye is at her worst when she's with Ward, hopefully all this time away has made them less boring together.

*click those gifs to be redirected to their makers*

Indie Gems: In A World...

Speak up.

Carol (Lake Bell) is the daughter of a famous voice over actor, Sam (Fred Melamed) whose been trying to break into the business herself. She's mostly doing accent coaching, but when she lands the part of doing a trailer for an upcoming big franchise, the voice over world just isn't ready to handle the female voice.

Lake Bell is becoming somewhat of an "it girl" on the indie scene, and I was never really sure why until I saw this. She wrote and directed this and shows a lot of potential. The supporting cast of Rob Corddry, Demetri Martin, Ken Marino, and Alexandra Holden are particularly strong as well. (Eva Longoria and Cameron Diaz also make cameos as themselves) 

In A World had plenty of witty one liners and managed to make an extremely infuriating topic (Men's world, women can't do it) intriguing. 

Grade: B+

Memorable Quote: "It's like if a beanie baby could talk..." - Carol (Lake Bell)

Review: Penguins of Madagascar

They're sick of hearing 'I like to move it" too.

If any of you have had the misfortune of seeing the Madagascar movies, you'll know that the penguins, while always a minor role were destined to be big. Now they are fulfilling that destiny by having their own movie.

This is the plot: Sick of hearing "that song" over and over, the Penguins leave and and promptly kidnapped by an Octopus (seriously) that was a former zoo mate of theirs, whose seriously butthurt over being shipped off from zoo to zoo in favor of the public paying more attention to cute and cuddly penguins. He's created a serum that's going to turn all the earth's penguins into monsters after he's done kidnapping them all. The penguins escape at first, but one of them (Private, the little one, on his quest to prove himself worthy) is taken again. Now they have to team up with an undercover organization, The North Wind, consisting of a bear, a wolf, an owl, and some other annoying animal that is escaping my mind that was voiced by the truly awful Ken Jueng. (seriously)

Obviously this movie isn't geared towards me, my son loved it, and that makes me happy. There were a few really stupid moments my husband and I laughed at, but holy shit this movie was dumb. I've never liked the Madagascar movies. When you have animated flicks like How to Train Your Dragon, WALL-E, The Lion King, etc, you can't really give these kind of films a pass when it comes to quality. It's possible to make a children's movie not painful for adults. This one didn't succeed at that.

Recommended: No

Grade: D

Memorable Quote: "Please Nicholas Cage them." - Dave (John Malkovich)

2015 Blind Spot Series

I had such a good time doing the Blind Spot challenge in 2014 that doing it again was a no brainer. This year's list is a little different though. A few of these movies I've actually seen bits and pieces of, but I've never sat down to watch the entire film in one sitting and I'd like to change that. Here's my list! What have you seen? Am I in for a good year?

*EDIT - I have updated my list with their final letter grades.*

1) Misery (A)
2) Primal Fear (A)
3) Mulholland Dr. (B)
4) Smiles of a Summer Night (A-)
5) Taxi Driver (A)
6) Bringing Up Baby (B-)
7) Welcome to the Dollhouse (B)
8) His Girl Friday (B-)
9) The Crying Game (A-)
10)The Elephant Man (A)
11) Winter Light (B-)
12) Enter The Void (B+)

(I'm not sure why I saved my gif here. I've had this draft for months, but I'm leaving it because it's hysterical. I suppose it could represent how I feel about awesome movies.)

Rambling TV: Thoughts on The Walking Dead and The Newsroom

The Walking Dead has really been on a roll with underwhelming mid season finales since season 2.

Rick decided to go through with Tyreese's trading plan, only it ended up with Beth making an impulsive mistake in stabbing Dawn that cost her life.

Maggie and co arrived too late, she didn't get to reunite with her sister.

The church is overrun, and after the credits, Morgan finds the map that Abe addressed to Rick.

I saw Beth's death coming a mile away. Ever since they paired her with Daryl (arguable the most popular character) last season, I knew the purpose was "to get people to care about her before she dies." Apparently it worked. I just hope they don't make her death all about Daryl's man pain when it should be all about Maggie. (especially since Robert Kirkman confirmed that Beth was like Daryl's Sophia 2.0)

On a side note, was anyone else concerned for Judith when Michonne was going ape shit on that church door and those walkers? She was trashing around on her back. Damn! lol

The Newsroom

It was all about relationships. Will and Mac got married, (I still don't care) Jim and Hallie broke up, and Maggie's new boyfriend calls her out on her feelings for Jim. Don and Sloan find out the HR guy was essentially trolling them the entire time. 

Rebecca Halliday also continues to be boss. "I don't care if we're in your fucking hot tub."

Will also goes to jail, and I guess they're not going to do anything about Genoa this season. What a shame. Fuck you for pulling the plug on this series and shortening it to 6 episodes, Aaron Sorkin.

Also I'm calling that Mac is pregnant. 

*Don't forget to click those gifs to be redirected to their makers. Most of my shows are going on a winter hiatus, but I think I'll try to keep Rambling TV going with some specific character posts or something like that. We'll see*