Thursday Movie Picks: Snowy Winter Movies

This week's theme from Wandering Through the Shelves is snowy winter movies. I have a love/hate relationship with snow. I think it's beautiful, when it's falling softly at night, it's so pretty and there are many scenes in films where it's snowing that I love. But fuck ice, and -50 degree weather, seriously.

Here are some of my favorite winter movies.

1) 30 Days of Night

This ended up as a bonus pick during the graphic novel week, so I'm glad I get a chance to use it here. The snowy setting makes this scenario even more dire.

2) Let the Right One In

Yeah, two winter vampire movies. I know, but I love Let The Right One In and winter plays an important part in one of my favorite scenes, Eli and Oskar meeting outside and Eli isn't dressed for winter.

3) Misery

Worst person to get caught in a snow storm with ever. 

Bonus: The Ice Storm - not a whole lot of snow in this movie, but the ice they get at the end of it is memorable.

DVD Review: Z for Zachariah

The Godzilla rev up of eye fucks.

A nuclear disaster wipes out nearly all of the human race. Ann (Margot Robbie) is a young woman living on a farm in a valley that has protected her from the unnamed plague that killed everyone. One day, she meets a scientist John (Chiwetel Ejiofor) whom she saves from radiation poisoning after he's wandered near her farm. They have their disagreements, but they work together to survive, then grow a little closer than that. Then, another man, Caleb (Chris Pine) enters their world, and makes things 50 shades of awkward.

I never read the book this is based on. Which apparently doesn't matter because after reading the summary of it, it's nothing like the film. I think this initially had a lot of potential, but it's wasted on a love triangle that doesn't make much sense, and comes to a pretty anticlimactic conclusion. Did they not think the film could work with just Ann and John? I think it could've. Caleb's only purpose was to be a pain in the ass. 

The cinematography is breathtaking. Those subliminal New Zealand tourism videos sure are working. I'd love to go there. The actors do what they can with the material given, but it just feels like a wasted opportunity to explore something very interesting.

Recommended: No

Grade: C-

Memorable Quote: "I think it was your brother." - John (Chiwetel Ejiofor)

Review: The Danish Girl

"I dream her dreams."

In 1920's Denmark, two painters Einar and Gerda Wegener (Eddie Redmaybe and Alicia Vikander) are happily married. Einar has all the acclaim, Gerda is still trying to make her mark. What starts out as asking her husband to put on stockings and shoes to finish a portrait of her friend, Ulla (Amber Heard) starts escalating to Einar wearing her nightgown during a bit of foreplay, to actually dressing up as a woman and going by the name "Lili" at an art show. But Einar has always gravitated towards women's clothes, you can see it in the light touches he gives them. Soon, he wants to only be Lili and both he and Gerda struggle with the hurdles to come.

The film captures Einar's pain well. Being born with the wrong gender has to be one of the hardest things in the world, I would think. Especially so long ago. You really want to just hold Lili and tell her it's okay. The same compassion is felt for Gerda who goes from having a husband she adores to losing him and gaining a friend. 

I can say now without a shadow of a doubt (I believed everyone before) but there is no way in hell Alicia Vikander should be put in the supporting actress slot during awards season. I actually think she has a hair more screen time then Redmayne. She's also literally referred to as "The Danish Girl" the film's title. This story is as much about Gerda as it is about Lili and this category fraud is ridiculous.

The acting in this film is wonderful. This is the best I've ever seen Vikander and Redmayne always delivers. It's shot beautifully and the costumes are lovely, but the film feels dreadfully longer than it really is. The pacing really kills a lot of it's momentum, which is unfortunate for an important film like this one. It feels three hours long. 

Recommended: Yes

Grade: C+

Memorable Quote: "Don't make her a slut!" - Gerda (Alicia Vikander)

DVD Review: Southpaw

Sometimes you just know.

I almost went to see Southpaw in theaters a few different times, but I never did. Something always stopped me. After getting it from Netflix, I can see why. The movie itself is just "fine." Nothing more.

Billy Hope (Jake Gyllenhaal) is a boxer who in the prime of his career suffers a massive tragedy when his wife, Maureen (Rachel McAdams) is accidentally shot by someone in a rival boxers' entourage and killed. He goes off the deep end, loses his house, his friends, and worst of all, his daughter, Leila (Oona Laurence) He seeks the help of a coach, Tick Wills (Forest Whitaker) to get back on track.

There's nothing I dislike about Southpaw, but there's nothing I love either. Gyllenhaal is a great lead, and it's nice to see him in shape after that creepy  look he had in Nightcrawler, and Oona Laurence showed incredible range for an actress so young. The film itself dissolves into cliche after cliche and has a very predictable, though happy ending. It followed a simple formula and never strayed from it. The most interesting thing about this film for me was finding out Eminem was originally supposed to play Billy Hope.

Recommended: No, unless you are a big Gyllenhaal fan, then see it for him.

Grade: C

Memorable Quote: "You can't control shit." - Tick Wills (Forest Whitaker) 

Indie Gems: Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus


Like the title says, this isn't a true biopic of photographer Diane Arbus. (Nicole Kidman) Diane feels like an outsider in her own family, despite her husband and fellow photographer Allan (Ty Burrell) trying to encourage her otherwise. She's intrigued by a new neighbor who moves in upstairs, Lionel (Robert Downey Jr.) a man who suffers from hypertrichosis who introduces Diane to a world of "different people" whom she feels immediately at home, and becomes entranced with Lionel himself.

I don't know anything about the real Diane Arbus, unfortunately, aside from recognizing a few of her pictures. So I can't really argue the veracity on how she's portrayed here. The film makes her both sympathetic and selfish at the same time. She's quiet, caring, and while I was happy she found this world where she fit in, I hated that it was at the expensive of ignoring her entire family.

The acting is wonderful across the board. Kidman was mesmerizing as always, and while you don't see Downey's face until the end of the film, his voice is at least very soothing. Ty Burrell was my favorite part.  He's a very expressive actor, which we see on Modern Family with his comedic timing, but he's very capable of playing these sad, dramatic roles as well. I loved him here.

The film is beautifully shot, almost in a way that the audience could also be Diane. Like we're looking at something we've never seen before and are quietly fascinated with it.

Grade: A

Memorable Quote: "I saw you through my window, and right away I wanted to take a portrait of you." - Diane (Nicole Kidman)

Thursday Movie Picks: Holiday/Vacation Movies

This week's theme from Wandering Through the Shelves is Holiday/Vacation movies. You would think this week would be all Christmas (Merry Christmas, everyone!) But I'm stuck on two Thanksgiving movies instead. Here's a few of my favorites.

1) The Vicious Kind

Peter brings his girlfriend Emma home for Thanksgiving, and she ends up forming a strange attraction to his brother, Caleb, who also happens to hate his father for leaving his mother. To say things get complicated in this movie would be a massive understatement.

2) Pieces of April

April's mother has cancer so she invites her entire family over to her apartment for Thanksgiving. April is obviously the black sheep of her family.

3) Elf

This kind of counts as a vacation! Buddy, being raised with Elves his entire life takes a trip to New York City to find his birth father. 

DVD Review: The Falling

Follow the leader.

Abbie (Florence Pugh) and Lydia (Maisie Williams) are best friends at an English Boarding school in the late 60's. When something terrible happens to them, an epidemic of fainting starts happening throughout the school. 

Spoilers because this movie is pretty terrible and spoiling a few things will help explain why. I'll get the good out of the way: There are some gardens in this film that are absolutely breathtaking to look it. 

That's about it. This movie fundamentally fails at just about everything else. When you have an unlikable lead character, you should at least make her interesting. Lydia is not. Maisie Williams shows such range on Game of Thrones, but none of that can be found here. It's like trying trying too hard to be this bratty, melancholy teenager. I don't know if it's the direction, but Williams isn't a bad actor. It reminded me of Georgie Henley and Kara Hayward in the equally terrible Sisterhood of the Night. Bad movies happening to good actors. Maisie is the only actor that doesn't look wooden in this film, but she doesn't look convincing either.

I also get the sense that only half of the script made it to the screen. Abbie drops dead towards the beginning of the film, and they never say why. Lydia, jealous of Abbie's sexual escapades actually fucks her own brother, and the excuse she gives is "I forgot he was my brother." What? The film had a chance to explore this interesting relationship between Lydia and her mother, but chose to give it two minutes towards the end. It's not a very good pay off for sitting through 90 minutes of a hive mind mentality. Furthermore, I've never seen a film fail so spectacularly at the musical interlude. Scores can be the best part of a movie but the one here is so jarring and out of place, it feels like the filmmakers just didn't know what to do, so they were like "Oh yeah, MUSIC!"

Recommended: No

Grade: F

Memorable Quote: "It was real to me." - Lydia (Maisie Williams)

Review: Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Droid, please.

It's here. Oh my God it's here. I was smiling like an idiot as soon as "A long time ago, in a galaxy far away..." hit the screen. I'm probably going to see it again in theaters this week, which I never do. 

The First Order has risen from the Empire, lead by General Hux (Domhnall Gleeson) and Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) they are trying to find a Resistance pilot named Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) who has something they desperately need. In true Star Wars fashion, he hides his secrets in his droid, BB-8 (Who is my new favorite droid, by the way) right before he's captured. A Stormtrooper, Finn (John Boyega) horrified with what the First Order is doing defects and sets him free. After they crash land back on the planet of Jakku, BB-8 has fallen into the hands of a scavanger Rey (Daisy Ridley) who now along with Finn find themselves on the First Order's most wanted list, and fleeing to the Resistance. 

This film is so fun. It's everything those prequels should've been. The biggest complaint I hear is that is rehashes a lot of A New Hope, but it was always going to. It's the start of a new trilogy and it's not a carbon copy. They found the perfect balance in paying homage and being their own movie, something we saw Jurassic World fail at earlier this year. Rey, Finn, Poe, and Kylo are all very interesting characters whose dialogue flows so easily with each other. I'm not sure I've ever rooted for a bromance so quickly as I did with Finn and Poe. I loved Rey and Finn's enthusiasm. And of course, I loved seeing Han, Leia, and the rest of the original cast. They played supporting roles to our new cast and that's perfectly fine. 

I want to talk about Kylo Ren. I feel like a lot of people are raving about the three good guys, but Ren is actually one of the most intriguing villains Star Wars has to offer. He's very conflicted, erratic, and he uses the force in ways we've never seen. Strangely, even though he does a lot of despicable things, he's the one I'm most interested in seeing.

And one other thing - SPOILER ALERT - highlight over text - I really hope they don't go the route of Rey being a Skywalker, or Solo, or any way related to them. I think it's more interesting if she's her own person and not another part of the family affair. - END SPOILER

I fucking love this movie. So what if it's my fangirl talking. 

Recommended: Yes

Grade: A+

Memorable Quote: "I didn't know this much green existed in the entire galaxy." - Rey (Daisy Ridley)

Rambling TV: Thought on Fargo and Jessica Jones


Look at that picture! Allison Tolman had a voice over as adult Molly talking about her life, and they showed this scene of the original cast. I loved it.


The finale was pretty underwhelming, especially compared to last year's but it still had some good moments.

Peggy has gone full on insane, imagining that Hanzee was trying to smoke her and Ed out of the freezer they were hiding in. Ed has this look of "I'm so fucking over this" right before he dies. It's very fitting. Later, Peggy's dumb ass keeps going on about how it's not really her fault until Lou shuts her up and tells her people died because of her. 

Lou's wife didn't die, that surprised me.

Mike Milligan, after working so hard to "move up" so to speak is now going to be stuck in a tiny office. That's probably not a good idea, he looks like the type that would go all Nelson Van Alden and kill his co workers.

The most interesting part (aside from that flashback) was Hanzee actually breaking up a fight between a young Mr. Wrench and Mr. Numbers and two other boys. So he's the mastermind behind season one's hitmen. That was cool.

Overall, another solid season of Fargo and I can't wait for season 3!

Jessica Jones

I started watching Jessica Jones. So far, I like it. Krysten Ritter has the best resting bitch face out there and the story is interesting, but they are trying way too hard to be the "sexy" MCU TV show. Don't get me wrong, I like that they included sex scenes at first because it was different, but now there's so many and they're awkwardly placed AND paced. They're too long and give us the sense of "Did we really need to see that instead of focusing on the plot?"

It gets corny at times, but I'll stick with it. It's got a lot of potential. 

Indie Gems: Defendor

Get the spelling right.

Arthur Poppington (Woody Harrelson) is just a regular guy who turns into "Defendor" his alter ego and super hero at night. He's looking for "Captain Industry" who he believes murdered his mother long ago. He fights crime with his home made weapons. One day he encounters Kat (Kat Dennigs) a prostitute and crack addict he saves,  she speculates on who Captain Industry might be. This turns Arthur's sights on a local king pin.

I feel like this movie was massively marketed wrong. The trailers I watched made it seem like a comedy, and there are some amusing moments, but it's certainly not one. Arthur is actually very tragic. He's a man who suffered from fetal alcohol syndrome when he was born and isn't "all there" now. So seeing him sort of blow off his small support system is sad. 

Harrelson is great, and he looks like he's having fun with this role. Of course a film like this will remind you of Kick Ass and Super. I'd put it right between the two in terms of how good it is. Super is the clear winner for me, and Defendor definitely has a leg up on Kick Ass.

Grade: B

Memorable Quote: "When I'm Defendor, I'm not Arthur any more. I'm a million times better than Arthur" - Arthur (Woody Harrelson)

Thursday Movie Picks: Family Get-Togethers/Reunions

This week's theme from Wandering Through the Shelves is something either people love, or people hate. Personally, I love seeing my extended family...until they start talking politics, then I want to drink myself into a stupor. This week, I decided to focus on family get-togethers that none of these people wanted:

1) Rachel Getting Married

Kym has been in and out of rehab for a long time. She comes home for Rachel's wedding, but ends up with most of the attention on her, albeit unwanted. This may have been the most awkward pre-wedding of all time. 

2) Shotgun Stories

You know what's super awkward? Being at a funeral of your father, when his three other children from a previous marriage show up and deliver a eulogy over how shitty he is. (And he must have been, he named his older kids "Son," "Boy" and "Kid")

3) Winter Passing

Reese goes home to visit her writer father because she's offered a ton of money to find some love letters he had written her mother. When she gets there, she finds one of his former students and a wannabe musician living with him. Of course she clashes with them. 

2015 Blind Spot Series: Winter Light + my 2016 list

What I knew going in: Absolutely nothing. It was just a random title I selected from Bergman's films.

Well, here is is. My final Blind Spot film of 2015. I love participating in this so much. When I threw my list together, I saved this one for last because it had "Winter" in the title and seemed fitting. But this is definitely not a cheery movie by any means.

Pastor Tomas Ericsson (Gunnar Björnstrand) is having a bit of a spiritual crisis. He goes through the motions at his small church with an even smaller congregation. He's a widower, and frequently refuses the love of a woman, Marta. (Ingrid Thulin) who says she's in love with him. He's also faced with counselling a depressed man named Jonas (Max Von Syndow) though he doesn't know what to say to him since he's barely a believer anymore.

This movie is bleak. I'm so torn on how I feel about it. On one hand, I think it was wise of Bergman to have a run time of 81 minutes as this is a very depressing story, but on the other hand, it doesn't feel fully fleshed out. It's fascinating on the surface. I'm not sure what exactly I wanted from this film. I think this is one I'll probably have to revisit again at a later time to see if it comes to me.

Acting wise, it's solid. Syndow doesn't get much to do but you can clearly see the depression etched on his face. Björnstrand also perfectly portrays his spiritual crisis in a very subtle way.

Recommended: Yes

Grade: B- (Part of me wants to give this a C, but I think there's something there, and I just need to take more time to reflect.)

Memorable Quote: "I never even knew her." - Marta (Ingrid Thulin)

And now for my 2016 list for this event set up by the very gracious Ryan McNeil over at The Matinee. This is my 3rd year, and I finally narrowed my list down. Sorry, All About Eve and Videodrome. You were close. 

1) Au Revoir Les Enfants
2) One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Next
3) The Apartment
4) Marnie
5) Funny Face
6) Guess Who's Coming to Dinner
7) The Passion of Joan of Arc
8) The French Connection
9) JFK
10) The Miracle Worker
11) All The President's Men
12) Chinatown

Okay, Netflix. Throw a few more of these on Instant to make my life easier.

Review: Room

He's not our friend.

Jack (Jacob Tremblay) just turned five years old. He wakes up in Room, the place he lives with Ma. (Brie Larson) He greats his sink, wardrobe, rug, all he knows is Room. Ma has chosen to tell him that Room is all there is, and nothing exists outside of it. Only she did, Ma was kidnapped when she was seventeen and has been imprisoned in a man named Old Nick's (Sean Bridgers) shed for seven years. She finally tells Jack there's more to the world than just Room, and she sets Jack up for an elaborate escape. But things aren't easy, and getting used to the world as it is now isn't going to be a cake walk for either of them.

I suppose it goes without saying that I ugly cried in this. More than once. Actually, I probably devoted one hour of the two hour run time to scrunching my face up and using my scarf as a tissue. I reached the point that I like to call "Internal discussion ugly cry." I kept telling myself "you didn't cry when you read the book." Of course, my track record for this is about 1/100 and on I went. At least other people were audibly sobbing with me.

After I finished the book, I immediately thought it would make a better film, and it did. I'm okay with the things they trimmed, and I thought the film, while still a very slow burn had a good flow to it. It's shot beautifully and so true to Jack, who is seeing things that are normal to us for the first time. Watching him see the sky, a dog, while it all sounds simple, is very profound.

Brie Larson is getting a lot of buzz for this role, and rightfully show. She's amazing, the power she has when she simply whispers two words (you'll know what I'm talking about if you've seen it) is breathtaking , but she shares that prestige with Jacob Tremblay. This remarkable young actor is the star of this, and deserves an Oscar nomination. (Though apparently he's being campaigned as supporting, which is ridiculous, but tis the season for category fraud.) What he does at his age is so amazing. It's just A+ casting for both of them. 

Recommended: Yes

Grade: A

Memorable Quote: "What, are you upset that I'm not nice anymore?" Ma - Brie Larson

Rambling TV: Thoughts on Fargo and Agents of SHIELD


Well that was a hell of a penultimate episode. We finally see the big Sioux Falls shoot out that was referenced in season one and it did not disappoint. Well, I'm a bit disappointed the Blumquists continue to live.

Lou's wife, though, that made me so sad.

Hanzee getting a proper revenge story is interesting, and I love that they brought Martin Freeman back to narrate. (Even if it was kind of a weird change considering they've never done that before)

So what do you think of the UFO? I didn't mind Rye seeing it in the first episode, I thought it perfectly symbolized paranoia of that time, but I'm not crazy about everyone seeing it again. It's just weird, I'm not sure where they're going with this.

Agents of SHIELD

I have to say, I love Mack taking charge of SHIELD like this. Man is sexy when he's handing out orders. I also love May being the only person with her shit together during that siege.

Let's talk about Will. Pointless Will whose now dead. His literal only purpose was to create a love triangle between Fitz and Simmons. I knew it, and it was still terrible. Will died saving Jemma, then was possessed by "It" when Fitz and the Hydra crew found them. He killed several of them. Ward and Fitz got into a scuffle, (Fitz needs more combat training) only for them to get split up. Fitz kills NotWill, and Coulson kills Ward, though I knew as soon as they left Ward on that planet that he probably wasn't dead forever.

I hated the ambiguous look Jemma has when she's waiting for them to come out of the portal. Was she sad Will was dead? Or that Fitz was safe? Why does Jemma care so much about this card board cut out of a dude again? I'm grateful this story is finally over.

The final scene was FrankenWard, now possessed by "It" who apparently got out of the portal after the SHIELD crew did. Of course they're not going to let their big bad go.

Also Daisy and Lincoln feel kind of forced. Why are they making out in front of their colleagues again?

Rambling TV is a weekly series were I, you guessed it, ramble about things I watched on TV.

Indie Gems: Heartbeats

Imaginary lovers.

Marie (Monia Chokri) and Francis (Xavier Dolan) are best friends who both start falling for a sweet and unassuming dumbass, Nicolas. (Niels Schneider) He's blissfully unaware of Marie and Francis' affections for him, and soon things start to escalate between the two of them when Nicolas hasn't chosen one over the other.

This is a very thought provoking film. All three of these people start off as likable individuals, but slowly change as their insecurities come to light. Marie tries to be something she's not. Francis struggles with exception. Nicolas is well...just kind of daft with beautiful hair. 

Dolan must be a big Gregg Araki fan. The way this film was shot reminded me of scenes from both Mysterious Skin and Kaboom. I loved that. I love the color pallet Dolan chose for this film. He captures some beautiful moments, even if he over does it with the zoom and the slow motion shots. 

This is probably my least favorite Dolan movie, but "least favorite Dolan" still equals beautiful film that left me with a lot to think about despite its flaws.

Grade: B- 

Memorable Quote: "Do you have think of movie stars when you fuck?"

2016 Golden Globe Nominations + my thoughts

And the award for worst live stream goes too....

Seriously, the HFPA needed to sort their live stream out. I couldn't hear half of these. Here's a list of the 2016 Golden Globe nominations. There was a few great surprises here, and some eye rollers as well. My thoughts follow in green.

Best TV Series - Comedy or Musical
Mozart in the Jungle 
Orange Is the New Black 
Silicon Valley 
Two of these I haven't heard of, Two are not comedies, and the other two are Veep and Silicon Valley which are very deserving of their spot. 

Best Actress in a TV Series - Comedy
Rachel Bloom- Crazy Ex Girlfriend 
Jamie Lee Curtis- Scream Queens 
Lily Tomlin - Grace and Frankie 
Julia Louis-Dreyfus - Veep 
Gina Rodriquez - Jane the Virgin 
I've only seen Veep so JLD forever. 

Best Actor in a TV Series - Comedy
Aziz Ansari - Master of None
Gael García Bernal - Mozart in the Jungle
Rob Lowe - The Grinder
Patrick Stewart - Blunt Talk
Jeffrey Tambor - Transparent
It's cool to see Aziz here. I'm sure this is Tambor's to lose. I think Rob Lowe is a douche, though I haven't seen The Grinder, nor have I ever heard of it. Still a douche. 

Best TV Limited Series/Motion Picture
American Crime 
American Horror Story: Hotel 
Flesh and Bone 
Wolf Hall 
Yay Fargo!

Best Actress in a Limited Series/TV Movie
Kirsten Dunst - Fargo 
Lady Gada - American Horror Story: Hotel 
Sarah Hay - Flesh and Bone 
Felicity Huffman - American Crime 
Queen Latifah - Bessie 
Kirsten Dunst is so good in Fargo even though I hate her character with a passion. I'm happy to see her here. Of course the HFPA gave into the Gaga hype. 

Best Supporting Actress in a Series, Limited Series or TV Movie
Uzo Aduba - Orange Is the New Black 
Joanna Frogatt - Downton Abbey 
Regina King - American Crime 
Maura Tierney - The Affair 
Judith Light - Transparent 
Not that I expected her to be here, but Melissa McBride really should've been for The Walking Dead. Shit writing aside, she slays every single scene she's in.

Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Limited-Series or TV Movie
Alan Cumming - The Good Wife
Damien Lewis - Wolf Hall
Ben Mendelsohn - Bloodline
Tobias Menzies - Outlander
Christian Slater - Mr. Robot
Christian Slater!!

Best Actor in a Limited Series/TV Movie
Idris Elba - Luther 
Oscar Isaac - Show Me a Hero 
David Oyelowo - Nightingale 
Mark Rylance - Wolf Hall 
Patrick Wilson - Fargo 
Happy to see Wilson here. 

Best TV Series, Drama
Game of Thrones
Mr. Robot
I love Mr. Robot and Game of Thrones being here. Outlander, from what I watched in S1 was good too. And Empire makes a bit of a come back after being snubbed at the SAGS.

Best Actor in a TV Series, Drama
Jon Hamm - Mad Men
Rami Malek - Mr. Robot
Wagner Moura - Narcos
Bob Odenkirk - Better Caul Saul
Liev Schreiber - Ray Donovan
Rami!! It's too bad he'll lose to John Hamm.

Best Actress in a TV Series, Drama
Caitriona Balfe - Outlander
Viola Davis - How to Get Away With Murder
Eva Green - Penny Dreadful
Taraji P. Henson - Empire
Robin Wright - House of Cards

Best Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical
The Big Short 
The Martian 
Everyone is bitching about The Martian being here but I honestly have no problem with it. That movie was funny and a lot funnier than some of the other comedies that were out this year. 

Best Actress in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy
Jennifer Lawrence - Joy 
Melissa McCarthy - Spy 
Amy Schumer - Trainwreck 
Maggie Smith - The Lady in the Van 
Lily Tomlin - Grandma 
I was right in my prediction that Lily Tomlin would get some Globes love for this. But the big question is...are you ready for some "hilarious" Lawrence/Schumer shenanigans on the red carpet?

Best Motion Picture - Drama
Mad Max: Fury Road 
The Revenant 
Fury Road is a hit this awards season so far. I was not expecting it to get all this love. I like these nominations, even though it's a shame Brooklyn and Sicario missed out.

Best Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama
Cate Blanchett - Carol 
Brie Larson - Room 
Rooney Mara - Carol 
Saoirse Ronan - Brooklyn 
Alicia Vikander - The Danish Girl 
Dennis Quaid butchered Saoirse's name. Seriously, it's not like she's an unknown, people should be pronouncing this correctly by now. HFPA was having none of that category fraud. They just kiss big stars' asses, is all. 

Best Actor in Motion Picture - Drama
Bryan Cranston - Trumbo 
Leonardo DiCaprio - The Revenant 
Michael Fassbender - Steve Jobs 
Eddie Redmayne - The Danish Girl 
Will Smith - Concussion 
Will Smith? Really? Trembly, Depp, or Attah would've been better choices. Hell, Joseph Gordon-Levitt for The Walk would've been better

Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture
Jane Fonda - Youth 
Jennifer Jason Leigh - The Hateful Eight 
Helen Mirren - Trumbo 
Alicia Vikander - Ex Machina 
Kate Winslet - Steve Jobs 
Vikander is a double nominee. I'm probably the most excited about her in this category, which is kind of uneventful for me at the moment. Kristen Stewart being in for Clouds of Sils Maria would make it more eventful.

Best Actor in Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy
Christian Bale - The Big Short 
Steve Carell - The Big Short 
Matt Damon - The Martian 
Al Pacino - Danny Collins 
Mark Ruffalo - Infinitely Polar Bear 
I love, love, LOVE Ruffalo being here for Infinitely Polar Bear. He was so good and that film was such a gem. I'm glad it's getting a bit of attention.

Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture
Paul Dano - Love & Mercy 
Idris Elba - Beasts of No Nation 
Michael Shannon - 99 Homes 
Sylvester Stallone - Creed 
Mark Rylance - Bridge of Spies
I LOVE Dano and Shannon being in here. That's all I care about. Idris, though I love him was meh in Beasts and I don't care about Creed or Bridge of Spies. I would rather see Tom Hardy for The Revenant and Mark Ruffalo for Spotlight than Stallone and Rylance

Best Animated Film
The Good Dinosaur
Inside Out
The Peanuts Movie
Shaun the Sheep Movie
I imagine this will be the Oscar line up too.

Best Screenplay – Motion Picture
The Big Short
Steve Jobs
The Hateful Eight
I thought Steve Jobs was dead in the water for anything other than Fassy. I should've known better. Sorkin has gotten a Globe nomination for every single major film he's written.

Best Original Score – Motion Picture
The Danish Girl
The Hateful Eight
Steve Jobs
The Revenant
I really don't remember Steve Jobs' score at the moment, and haven't seen the rest.

Best Original Song – Motion Picture
"Love Me Like You Do"  - Fifty Shades of Grey
"One Kind of Love" - Love and Mercy
"See You Again"  - Furious 7
"Simple Song #3"  -Youth
"Writings on the Wall" - Spectre
Fifty Shades is a Globe nominee. Good lord. I'm Glad Love & Mercy is here, but that awful Spectre song shouldn't be. 

Best Foreign Language Film
The Brand New Testament - Belgium, France and Luxembourg
The Club - Chile
The Fencer - Estonia
Mustang - Colombia
Son of Saul - Hungary
I didn't realize countries could share a film like this. I haven't seen any of these. Good for Estonia for getting another nomination in. I loved Tangerines. 

Thursday Movie Picks: Movies set in a Hotel

Ahh hotels, they either provide you with the best part of your vacation or the worst. This week's theme from Wandering Through The Shelves is about movies set in such a place. Here are three of my favorites.

1) Bobby

I thought the idea of following around a group of people who happened to be staying at the same hotel that Robert F. Kennedy would eventually be shot and killed at was a very interesting idea. The cast was mostly excellent too.

2) Lost In Translation

It's at a hotel bar were Charlotte and Bob first meet and start their beautiful friendship in this wonderful film.

3) Forgetting Sarah Marshall

You know you want to stay at the Turtle Bay resort in Hawaii after seeing this. I know I do. Especially if Paul Rudd is giving surfing lessons. 

Bonus: Dunston Checks In - Okay this movie is awful, I haven't seen it since I was about 6, but I was all about it back then. 

2016 Screen Actors Guild Nominations

The SAG's decided to sleep in a few hours this year, and Anthony Mackie adorably butchered a few names. But here is the list of nominees that were announced on Wednesday. (Busy week at the blog) There were a few surprises here for me. My thoughts as always follow in green.

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
Bryan Cranston - Trumbo
Johnny Depp - Black Mass
Leonardo DiCaprio - The Revenant
Michael Fassbender - Steve Jobs
Eddie Redmayne - The Danish Girl
The SAGS never match up with the Oscars in all 5 spots, but I would not complain if these were the 5 Oscar nominees. Actually, I would a little because Attah should be in there for Beasts of No Nation, but his age makes him have a long shot. 

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role
Cate Blanchett - Carol
Brie Larson - Room
Helen Mirren - Woman in Gold
Saoirse Ronan - Brooklyn
Sarah Silverman - I Smile Back
Who the fuck saw Mirren and Silverman coming? I didn't. I really want to see I Smile Back, but The Woman in Gold looked terrible. SAG has a Mirren boner. Carey Mulligan should've been there for Suffragette. 

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
Christian Bale - The Big Short
Idris Elba - Beasts of No Nation
Mark Rylance - Bridge of Spies
Michael Shannon - 99 Homes
Jacob Trembley - Room
I LOVE Michael Shannon being here. I wish Paul Dano was with him though. Trembley, in all honesty should be in the lead category, but category fraud is running rampant this year. I love me some Idris, but he wasn't that good in Beasts of No Nation. Dano should've had his spot. 

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
Rooney Mara - Carol
Rachel McAdams - Spotlight
Helen Mirren - Trumbo
Alicia Vikander-  The Danish Girl
Kate Winslet-  Steve Jobs
We all wondered what SAG would do with Mara and Vikander and here's where they landed. I haven't seen either film yet, but come on, they're leads in the freaking trailers. Mirren and Winslet were good in these roles, but they were not the stand outs of their respective films. I'm happy to see McAdams in there for Spotlight though. Would've liked to have seen Kristen Stewart here though. 

Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
Beasts of No Nation
The Big Short
Straight Outta Compton
Staight Outta Compton? LOL where the fuck did that come from? That's actually pretty cool. I'm shocked The Martian got shut out here. They should be here. At least Attah gets to be a SAG nominee with ensemble, and after seeing Trumbo this week, they deserve to be here too, but Spotlight is the clear winner for me.

Outstanding Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture
Fast 7
Jurassic World
Mad Max: Fury Road
Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series
Peter Dinklage - Game of Thrones
Jon Hamm - Mad Men
Bob Odenkirk - Better Call Saul
Kevin Spacey - House of Cards
Rami Malek - Mr. Robot
I LOVE these nominees. Especially Rami Malek, Mr. Robot is so good.

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series
Claire Danes - Homeland
Viola Davis - How To Get Away With Murder
Julianne Marguiles - The Good Wife
Maggie Smith - Downton Abbey
Robin Wright - House of Cards
These are kind of boring with the exception of Viola Davis. Melissa McBride in The Walking Dead? Now that would be interesting. 

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
Downton Abbey
Game of Thrones
House of Cards
Mad Men
I wasn't expecting Empire to get completely shut out.

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series
Ty Burrell - Modern Family
Louis C.K. - Louis
William H. Macy - Shameless
Jim Parsons - Big Bang Theory
Jeffrey Tambor - Transparent
I used to love seeing Parsons nominated but now I'm just bored with Sheldon and The Big Bang Theory in general. Glad to see Louis C.K here, as always. 

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series
Uzo Aduba - Orange is the New Black 
Edie Falco - Nurse Jackie
Ellie Kemper - Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Julia Louis Dreyfus - Veep
Amy Poehler - Parks & Recreation
So OITNB gets to be a comedy at the SAGs but a drama at the Emmys? Good lord, make up your mind. This show is a drama. I'm happy for JLD and Poehler. I don't watch UKS, but I imagine plenty will be happy with her nomination.

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series
The Big Bang Theory
Key & Peele
Modern Family
Orange Is The New Black
Key and Peele being here is so awesome. I think this is my favorite nomination after Rami.

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie
Idris Elba - Luther
Ben Kingsley - Tut
Ray Liotta - Texas Rising
Bill Murray - A Very Murray Christmas
Mark Rylance - Wolf Hall
Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm Idris. Rylance is also a double nominee. The SAGs love doing that.

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie
Nicole Kidman - Grace of Monaco
Queen Latifah - Bessie
Christina Ricci - The Lizzie Borden Chronicles
Susan Sarandon - The Secret Life Of Marilyn Monroe
Kristen Wiig - The Spoils Before Dying
Christina Ricci is awesome. Kristen Wiig is overrated. And the SAGS love Nicole even though Grace of Monaco was panned. 

Outstanding Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Television Series
The Blacklist
Game Of Throne
The Walking Dead