Archive for the ‘Movies’ Category

I’ve been hiding out working, but I’m coming back with a plethora of posting over the next week.  At least I’d like to think so.

But, I’m taking a hot minute to pay tribute to my beloved icon, Pam Grier.  Today’s her birthday, and she deserves some love.  Ever the beacon of pride, soul, and screen presence, she rode her curves and attitude to huge fame (and hopefully some cash).

(Fair warning – there is serious cleavage on display.)



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Yes, its been a bit since I’ve posted.  That whole work thing finally getting in the way (thank goodness).  Well, almost, but close enough.  Anyway…

I do have reviews of my theatre exploits, but in the meantime, here’s a lovely clip of the Mad Men cast taking on the title song from Bye Bye Birdie.  If you know either show, this is good fun.


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Despite not reading the Harry Potter novels until last fall (and in a three week period, no less), I have come to join the wagon of excitement.  And with the final movies on their way, there’s a particularly delightful sequence that Emma Thompson’s character, Professor Trewlawney, has in the final climatic battle.  There were rumors that she wasn’t going to be in either of the final installment’s two parts, but, alas, she is.

Thank goodness.  I will now giggle.

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Do you ever wish actors made better career choices?  Do you think they’re chasing the wrong career path?  Well, I’ve got some answers for them.  Entirely unsolicited.

Since my former career was in Human Resources, and I did a bit of talent management, I’ve got a pretty solid feel for placing people in the path of success.  And being that I have zero experience with Hollywood casting other than what I saw on Project Greenlight, I’m going to use my powers for good and goose up some careers that seem to be going off the rails.  And I’m not only going to pick people whose careers not only need a nudge in the right direction, but people whose careers I’d love to see flourish.

My inaugural candidate is Jennifer Garner.  No longer Sydney Bristow, prepare to get Career Counseling.

Career Summary
Plucked from obscurity (like one of “the girls” in the seminal epic “Dude, Where’s My Car?”), she rocketed to fame as the star of J. J. Abrams’s Alias, for which she won a Golden Globe (with a few more nominations) and was nominated for four Emmys.

Transitioning back to the screen, she took on Marvel Comics’ Elektra, first as a side note in the ill-delivered Daredevil film and then in her own titular box office failure.  She made a modest hit with “13 Going on 30”, and has become a rom-com staple over the last few years.  Made Broadway debut in Cyrano de Bergerac, to good reviews and a sold-out run.  Had a well-received supporting role in Juno.

Career Problems

  • Once considered an heir to Julia Roberts for her easy charm, winning smile, and ability to look good in whatever she wore
  • Trapped in the female rom-com roles with no end in sight

Career Potential

  • Box Office Draw: Moderately high
  • Awards: Needs a good role, hasn’t proven to be able to make something out of nothing


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So the Oscars are over.  I have many thoughts, but I’m working on a few more formal diatribes, but here’s my take on the voting & the ceremony.

First, though, I went 12 for 17 of the categories I bothered to attempt to predict.  That’s about 71%, so…uh…there.  I passed.  A nice round C for me.  As in Converse.  As in kiss them.

Best Picture: The Hurt Locker  YES
Best Director: Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker  YES
Best Lead Actor: Jeff Bridges, Crazy Heart  YES
Best Lead Actress: Sandra Bullock, The Blind Side  YES
Best Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz, Inglourious Basterds  YES
Best Supporting Actress: Mo’Nique, Precious  YES
Best Original Screenplay: The Hurt Locker  YES
Best Adapted Screenplay: Precious  NO
Best Animated Film: Up  YES
Best Foreign Language Film: El Secreto De Sus Ojos, Argentina NO
Best Original Score: Up  NO
Best Original Song: “The Weary Kind,” Crazy Heart  Who gives a ^$%*)#%^!
Best Editing: The Hurt Locker  YES
Best Art Direction: Avatar  NO
Best Cinematography: Avatar  NO
Best Costume Design: The Young Victoria  YES
Best Makeup: Star Trek  YES
Best Documentary: The Cove Who gives a ^$%*)#%^!
Best Documentary Short: Music by Prudence  Who gives a ^$%*)#%^!
Best Animated Short: Logorama  Who gives a ^$%*)#%^!
Best Live Action Short: The New Tenants  Who gives a ^$%*)#%^!
Best Sound Editing: The Hurt Locker  Who gives a ^$%*)#%^!
Best Sound Mixing: The Hurt Locker  Who gives a ^$%*)#%^!
Best Visual Effects: Avatar  YES

Actual thoughts after the jump.


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So, that time of year is nearing its end, thankfully: Oscar season.

Since I’m not the hugest fan of contemporary cinema, I didn’t do a year-end best of thoughts.  However, since the Oscars are the gay Superbowl of sorts (the Tonys are more apropos), I figured I’d go over most of the categories & give my vaunted opinion.

A few stray thoughts before I begin.

Something’s bothered me for the last few years with the Oscars.  The drama has been erased, and I think I know why.  In 2004, the producers of the Oscar ceremony and ABC wanted to get the show into February sweeps month for ratings and advertising dollars, moving it back from its late March timeslot where it had been for years.  In doing so, the season of campaigning went from November through early March to October through early February.  However, most of the critics awards did not change from their December/January timeframe.  The Guild Awards used to run from late January through late February.  Which meant there was more time for upsets to happen by giving time for common thinking to dissipate.

If you look at the last six Oscars, you’ll see frontrunners remaining there across the top categories.  With two notable exceptions.
2009 – Slumdog Millionaire, Danny Boyle, Sean Penn, Kate Winslet, Heath Ledger, Penelope Cruz
2008 – No Country For Old Men, the Coen Brothers, Daniel Day-Lewis, Marion Cotillard, Javier Barden, Tilda Swinton – Cotillard was an upset, though that race was muddled going in
2007 – The Departed, Martin Scorsese, Forest Whitaker, Helen Mirren, Alan Arkin, Jennifer Hudson
2006 – Crash, Ang Lee, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Reese Witherspoon, George Clooney, Rachel Weisz – Crash was the huge upset over Brokeback Mountain, due in part to some lingering homophobia behind the scenes in Hollywood
2005 – Million Dollar Baby, Clint Eastwood, Jamie Foxx, Hilary Swank, Morgan Freeman, Cate Blanchett
2004 – Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, Peter Jackson, Sean Penn, Charlize Theron, Tim Robbins, Renee Zellweger

And once again this year, we see the front runner maintaining a lead due to centrifugal force.  Seems to be the pattern.  Although, Best Picture has a unique ranking-based oriented system, which confuses me (someone who’s crunched data for over a dozen years).  Its method doesn’t seem to make sense, but what’s really interesting isn’t that they’re trying something new, but that they’re only doing it with the biggest ticket on the table.  The actors, directors, and writers would never stand for it happening in their categories, yet the producers are willing to chance chaos with their prize.  Dumb, dumb, dumb.

No issues with ten nominees.  Whatever.  But I do have a problem with the producers of the show tinkering again, eliminating the Best Song performances in lieu of a Dancing With The Stars set of moments.  When did Debbie Allen get back into the show’s plans?  Are we due again for the Saving Private Ryan ballet sequence?  Ugh.  Frak that.  Mofos can kiss my converse.

And its absolutely BS that Lauren Bacall’s lifetime achievement will not be getting televised.  Horse dukey on the Academy for screwing over a legend for the Twilight crowd.

Picks & ruminations after the jump.


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To kick of Women’s History Month properly, I figured a tribute to a fallen woman by two who live and perform on their own terms, and one having risen despite some rather difficult circumstances, would be apropos.  Here from the 2005 Grammys are Joss Stone & Melissa Etheridge paying tribute to Janis Joplin with Cry Baby & Piece of My Heart.

This was Melissa’s first public performance since her treatment for cancer, and just rips the roof off of the Grammys.


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