Thursday, December 19, 2013

Movie Reviews; 'Inside Llewyn Davis,' 'Saving Mr. Banks' and 'American Hustle'

Inside Llewyn Davis: Their first overtly musical film since "O Brother, Where Art Thou?", "Inside Llewyn Davis" throws us to another decade of music, specifically the 1961 folk scene of Greenwich Village. As Llewyn (Oscar Isaac) struggles through the longest week of his life to get a music career going, he's approached with an aggressive ex-fling (Carey Mulligan), an older traveler (John Goodman) and an elusive cat. Beautifully shot and with spot-on direction, "Inside" is the Coen Brothers most different yet best film. Smart, engrossing and with a great folk-y soundtrack to boot. Beautifully haunting and emotionally raw. Rating: A+


Saving Mr. Banks: As Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) tries to woo Mary Poppins author P.L. Travers (Emma Thompson) to sell him the rights to her book, a never-ending story of stubborness and acid-tongued dialogue ensues. Travers, as portrayed by Thompson, is a crotchety old bitch that is pleased by nothing, but eventually sells the rights to her book out of financial desperation. This is one movie that would have done better on the Hallmark Channel because it's ripe with cliche and that mean old hag that eventually turns nice by the end. Oh, and the constant flashbacks to Travers' childhood added nothing to the film. Rating: D

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

75 Songs in the Running For Oscar

Image courtesy of AMPAS

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced on Monday that 75 songs from this year's eligible features are in contention for the best original song Oscar come March.

The five nominees will be announced on Jan. 16.

Some of the notable contenders include Taylor Swift (for the song,"Sweeter Than Fiction" from One Chance), Karen O (for "The Moon Song" from Her), Lana Del Rey, Jay Z and Florence Welch (all for their contributions to The Great Gatsby) and U2 (for the song "Ordinary Love" from Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom).
Contending tracks "Atlas (From The Hunger Games: Catching Fire)," Stranger than Fiction" and "Young and Beautiful" all recently earned Golden Globe nominations for best original song and Grammy nominations for best song written for visual media. The Great Gatsby soundtrack earned a Grammy nomination for best compilation soundtrack for visual media.

One of the most notable omissions is the recently Golden Globe-nominated "Please Mr. Kennedy" from the film Inside Llewyn Davis. Co-written by Justin Timberlake, T-Bone Burnett, Ed Rush, George Cromarty, and the film's directors Joel and Ethan Coen, the song sampled a refrain from other songs in it and was thus deemed ineligible.

Films like Austenland, Black Nativity, The Great Gatsby and Turbo all have at least three songs contending, but academy rules state no more than two songs from a film may be nominated.

Here is the list of contenders:

    "Amen" from "All Is Lost"
     "Alone Yet Not Alone" from "Alone Yet Not Alone"
     "Doby" from "Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues"
     "Last Mile Home" from "August: Osage County"
     "Austenland" from "Austenland"
     "Comic Books" from "Austenland"
     "L.O.V.E.D.A.R.C.Y" from "Austenland"
     "What Up" from "Austenland"
     "He Loves Me Still" from "Black Nativity"
     "Hush Child (Get You Through This Silent Night)" from "Black Nativity"
     "Test Of Faith" from "Black Nativity"
     "Forgiveness" from "Brave Miss World"
     "Lullaby Song" from "Cleaver's Destiny"
     "Shine Your Way" from "The Croods"
     "Happy" from "Despicable Me 2"
     "Gonna Be Alright" from "Epic"
     "Rise Up" from "Epic"
     "What Matters Most" from "Escape from Planet Earth"
     "Bones" from "For No Good Reason"
     "Going Nowhere" from "For No Good Reason"
     "Gonzo" from "For No Good Reason"
     "The Courage To Believe" from "Free China: The Courage to Believe"
     "Let It Go" from "Frozen"
     "100$ Bill" from "The Great Gatsby"
     "A Little Party Never Killed Nobody (All We Got)" from "The Great Gatsby"
     "Over The Love" from "The Great Gatsby"
     "Together" from "The Great Gatsby"
     "Young and Beautiful" from "The Great Gatsby"
     "The Moon Song" from "Her"
     "I See Fire" from "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug"
     "Bite Of Our Lives" from "How Sweet It Is"
     "Try" from     "How Sweet It Is"
     "Atlas" from "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire"
     "Better You, Better Me" from "The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete"
     "Bring It On" from "Jewtopia"
     "Aygiri Nadani" from "Kamasutra 3D"
     "Har Har Mahadeva" from "Kamasutra 3D"
     "I Felt" from "Kamasutra 3D"
     "Of The Soil" from "Kamasutra 3D"
     "Sawariya" from "Kamasutra 3D"
     "In The Middle Of The Night" from "Lee Daniels' The Butler"
     "You And I Ain't Nothin' No More" from "Lee Daniels' The Butler"
     "Let's Take A Trip" from "Live at the Foxes Den"
     "Pour Me Another Dream" from "Live at the Foxes Den"
     "The Time Of My Life" from "Live at the Foxes Den"
     "Ordinary Love" from "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom"
     "Monsters University" from "Monsters University"
     "When The Darkness Comes" from "The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones"
     "Sacrifice (I Am Here)" from "Murph: The Protector"
     "The Muslims Are Coming" from "The Muslims Are Coming!"
     "Oblivion" from "Oblivion"
     "Sweeter Than Fiction" from "One Chance"
     "Nothing Can Stop Me Now" from "Planes"
     "We Both Know" from "Safe Haven"
     "Get Used To Me" from "The Sapphires"
     "Stay Alive" from "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty"
     "So You Know What It's Like" from "Short Term 12"
     "There's No Black Or White" from "Somm"
     "Cut Me Some Slack" from "Sound City"
     "You Can't Fix This" from "Sound City"
     "Let It Go" from "Spark: A Burning Man Story"
     "We Ride" from "Spark: A Burning Man Story"
     "Becomes The Color" from "Stoker"
     "Younger Every Day" from "3 Geezers!"
     "Here It Comes" from "Trance"
     "Let The Bass Go" from "Turbo"
     "The Snail Is Fast" from "Turbo"
     "Speedin'" from "Turbo"
     "My Lord Sunshine (Sunrise)" from "12 Years a Slave"
     "Make It Love" from "Two: The Story of Roman & Nyro"
     "One Life" from "The Ultimate Life"
     "Unfinished Songs" from "Unfinished Song"
     "For The Time Being" from "The Way, Way Back"
     "Go Where The Love Is" from "The Way, Way Back"
     "Bleed For Love" from "Winnie Mandela"

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Delco's 'Silver Linings Playbook' Earns Grammy Nomination

Industry recognition for the locally shot “Silver Linings Playbook” keeps coming after the film received a Grammy nomination on Friday night.

The song “Silver Lining (Crazy ‘Bout You)” scored a best song written for visual media nomination for its songwriter Diane Warren. Jessie J performed the song which was featured on the film’s soundtrack.
“Silver Lining” is nominated against the Oscar-winning James Bond song “Skyfall,” “Atlas” from “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” “We Both Know” form the film “Safe Haven,” “Young and Beautiful” from the most recent screen adaptation of “The Great Gatsby” and the main theme “You’ve Got Time” of the Netflix original series “Orange is the New Black.”
The winner will be announced at the pre-Grammy telecast on January 26.

This is Warren’s ninth nomination in this category, winning in 1997 for the ballad “Because You Loved Me.” Her songs have also been nominated for six Academy Awards. “Silver Lining” was not listed by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences as one of 75 songs in competition for the best original song Oscar earlier this year.

“Silver Linings Playbook” caused a stir in Delaware County when scenes were shot in Upper Darby, Lansdowne and Ridley Park. It became the homegrown favorite to win Academy Awards in February but won only one, best actress for Jennifer Lawrence, from eight nominations including best picture.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Final 2014 Grammy Nominations Predictions

Here are my final predictions in a select group of categories.

Personally, 2013 was one of the worst years in music in recent years. So many songs received notoriety for their scandalous videos ("Blurred Lines" and "Wrecking Ball") or just because another pop princess was back (Gaga's "Applause" and Katy Perry's "Roar'). Through all of the crap there will still be five nominees each in the Grammy's top four categories, but who?

Official nominees will be announced on December 6.

Album of the Year
The 20/20 Experience, Justin Timberlake
The Heist, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis
Random Access Memories, Daft Punk
Red, Taylor Swift
Unorthodox Jukebox, Bruno Mars

Girl on Fire, Alicia Keys
Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City, Kendrick Lamar

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Album Review: Soundtrack For 'Inside Llewyn Davis' Is Folky Gold Mine.

First the Coen Brothers, Joel and Ethan, brought in a sweeping new audience for bluegrass and traditional American roots music with the Grammy-winning soundtrack for "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" Thirteen years later, and working again with T-Bone Burnett, comes the movie and the accompanying soundtrack to "Inside Llewyn Davis," an album that could spark a resurgence in folk music with new recordings to fit the film's early-'60s Greenwich Village setting.

Starring Oscar Isaac as the title character, "Inside Llewyn Davis" explores the trials and tribulations of Llewyn as he tries to make a solo career for himself from the baskethouses of the Village to Chicago. Carey Mulligan, Justin Timberlake, Adam Driver and Stark Sands also star in the film, lending their own voices for live performances in the film and the soundtrack recordings.

Album review: 'Artpop'- 2013: A Gaga Odyssey

In the two-and-a-half years since her last album Born This Way, Lady Gaga must have watched Stanley Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey" and "A Clockwork Orange" on repeat for a long while. For starters, on the Artpop album cover she looks like one of the sculptures of the girls in the Korovo Milk Bar, and the album on the whole sounds like it's a voyage to space, to a faraway planet where dance music rules and inhibitions are left at the door.

Artpop is Gaga's weirdest, most experimental album to date, and it shows the "progression" she has made from party girl to all out crazy girl playing with all of the knobs in the studio. Since her first album, The Fame, came out five years, she's donned more personas than Roger from "American Dad!" On Artpop, Gaga takes us through her own musical stargate sequence as she tries to find herself, and it's not the most pleasant journey.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Movie Review: '12 Years a Slave' Run-Of-The-Mill Slavery Movie
Chiwetel Ejiofor as Solomon Northup has his last meal as a free man in "12 Years a Slave."

“12 Years a Slave” has received universal acclaim, but what else would you expect from a historical drama like this? For one, it exploits a painful time in the country’s history, and two, it makes a hero out of a normal person. Look at “Schindler’s List,” “Sophie Scholl: The Final Days,” and even last year’s “Lincoln.” All three films were showered with praise for doing just that.
This is exactly what I was hoping Steve McQueen wouldn’t do with “12 Years,” but I was wrong. The English auteur threw out his signature raw style for a convenient and rudimentary way of telling a story we’ve seen time and again.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Some Grammy 2014 Submissions!


I have already written about what I think the Grammy nominees will be in a good chunk of categories come December 6, just guessing on what could be submitted. In a partially leaked submission list posted at, some of my guesses have been more or less confirmed.

Of the surprise guesses I made that could be true (based on this list) include rap duo Macklemore & Ryan Lewis submitting "Same Love" for song of the year over "Thrift Shop" (submitted for record of the year) or "Can't Hold Us." The number one song of the summer, "Blurred Lines," was not listed as potential submissions for record or song of the year. Did it not submit at all? Furthermore, Burno Mars did not, allegedly, submit "When I Was Your Man" or "Locked Out of Heaven," for song of the year, but submitted the latter for record of the year.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Philadelphia Film Festival- STRANGER BY THE LAKE

Wednesday was my closing night at the 22nd Philadelphia Film Festival, two days before the actual closing. I had only seen four movies, "The Congress," "August: Osage County," "Blue is the Warmest Color" and now "Stranger By the Lake." With that film I could not have asked for a better end to my first film festival.

Premiering at Cannes, alongside Palme d'Or winner and PFF entry"Blue is the Warmest Color," "Stranger By the Lake" is what I call the gay counterpart to "Blue." They both feature uncompromising showings of same-sex relations but with characters we care about, even if they're two completely different stories.

During the summer a lake spot in France becomes a cruising destination for gay men. On the rocky shores are men of all ages hanging around naked in the open, including Franck (Pierre Deladonchamps) a guy who we know nothing about except that he's looking for a lover. He has his flings in the woods with some of the naturalists, but nothing of substance.

Sunday, October 20, 2013


Obviously, I wasn't impressed at all by "The Congress," the first film I had seen at the Philadelphia Film Society this year. Things picked up, a bit, with my viewings of "August: Osage County," starring Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts, and the Palme d'Or-winning "Blue is the Warmest Color." A slight technical hiccup interrupted the screening of "August" (the screen went blank), and I kind of wish that happened to "Blue."

August: Osage County 

Adapting his Tony-winning play of the same name, Tracy Letts writes an incredible vehicle for Meryl Streep and Margo Martindale, who play sisters Violet and Mattie Fae, in the story of a family coping with a loss in the fiery summer hells of Oklahoma.

Violet's husband has killed himself and her family comes back to console her, opening up a barrage of posionous words on her three girls Barbara (Julia Roberts), Ivy (Julianne Nicholson) and Karen (Juliette Lewis), and their respective families and loved ones. The relationship among the daughters and their mother isn't the best, but it makes for absolutely gritty and, at times, hilarious moments.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Philadelphia Film Festival: THE CONGRESS

I've never been to a film festival, much less the Philadelphia Film Festival (now in its 22nd year). But something changed in me this year, I thought I should check out what they're showing and buy some tickets.

When tickets went on sale in early October I ended up buying tickets to four movies; "The Congress," "August: Osage County," "Blue is the Warmest Color," and "Stranger By The Lake." I had heard of all of them by reading their reviews after playing in Cannes (except "August") so I knew I picked some good ones. "August" is Meryl Streep's latest film so of course I had to see it.

These are just some of the critically-lauded films that are showing this year, but I obviously can't afford to go to all of them. Other highlights include "12 Years s Slave," "All is Lost," "Philomena," and "Labor Day," all of which early Oscar bait.

The first film I saw was "The Congress" on October 18. Didn't know what it was about until I saw the trailer for it, which really interested me. However, the film was something totally different. The latest project from Israeli filmmaker Ari Folman —who shattered documentary protocol with his animated "Waltz With Bashir" — this was such a mess!

The half-live-action, half-animated film stars Robin Wright, as herself, as an aging actress who agrees to get herself scanned so a film studio can use her in any film they want without actually having her in it. The film morphs into a "Miyazaki on LSD" visual spectacle that collapses under the weight of its own stupidity. Folman thought he was trying something awesome here, and it could have been, but it looked like the anime "Steamboy" combined with "The Tree of Life," minus the latter's deep philosophical messages. It was just as stupid as "Steamboy," too.

"The Congress" is nothing more than Folman looking at himself in the mirror as he pleasures himself with an idea only he thought was a good one. It's a long, painful concoction that ends up being so pretentious you'd think Folman was a 4-year-old trying to impress his older brother by jumping off the roof of a house to proves he's stronger. He's not, and I hope it kills him.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Movie Review: Visual Effects Give 'Gravity' Life

It's true. In space no one can hear you scream, especially in 'Gravity.'   (Courtesy of Warner Bros.)

Space movies are all the same. It's a story about humans fighting aliens (Alien, Aliens, Starship Troopers), technology (2001: A Space Odyssey, Moon) or themselves (Solaris). "Gravity" falls into the latter category while being propelled by the second. The film is not heavy on story but the seat-shaking music and dazzling visual effects more than make up for it.

While conducting a space mission on the Explorer in the open nothingness of space, Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) and Matt Kowalski (George Clooney) are abruptly torn apart when debris from a satellite comes crashing into the space shuttle. With a damaged communications network to Houston, it's established that they must get to the International Space Station to survive and call home. Now the real story begins- how much willpower does a person have to survive on their own?

Grammy Nominations Predictions!!!!

Ladies and gentlemen, the time has come. The Grammy eligibility window for 2012-2013 has ended. Now the fun part begins, guessing how will be nominated for the music industry's highest honor.

Personally, 2013 was one of the worst years in music in recent years. So many songs received notoriety for their scandalous videos ("Blurred Lines" and "Wrecking Ball") or just because another pop princess was back (Gaga's "Applause" and Katy Perry's "Roar'). Through all of the crap there will still be five nominees each in the Grammy's top four categories, but who?

Official nominees will be announced on December 6.
EDIT: Oct. 30
EDIT: Nov. 24

Album of the Year
The 20/20 Experience, Justin Timberlake
The Heist, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis
Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City, Kendrick Lamar
Random Access Memories, Daft Punk
Red, Taylor Swift

Girl on Fire, Alicia Keys
Unorthodox Jukebox, Bruno Mars

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Movie review: 'Rush' Runs on Empty

Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Brühl portray dueling F1 racers John Hunt and Niki Lauda in 'Rush'. (Universal Pictures)

In their first collaboration since the Oscar-nominated "Frost/Nixon" in 2008, director Ron Howard and screenwriter Peter Morgan team up for an action movie of sorts. Their first effort was a political power struggle, this time it's the feud between the top two Formula One racers in the 1976 season; James Hunt and Niki Lauda.

The two drivers couldn't be more different. Hunt is a somewhat privileged English guy who likes the partying lifestyle and the ladies (one of the first scenes is him having sex with a nurse after being treated for fighting over another man's woman). Lauda, from a wealthy Austrian family of bankers, is a more shut-in personality. He doesn't like parties, he's disciplined, and he takes the world of racing very seriously.

Naturally, this makes a great premise for Morgan whose writing often deals with two opposites going head-to-head in some sort of battle (see "The Queen," "The Last King of Scotland," "Longford," etc.).

The story of Hunt and Lauda's feud would be largely unknown to those that don't follow the world of racing, which is a shame because it was probably one of the best sports feuds of the '70s, if not of all time. When the movie starts we see them preparing for the 1976 German Grand Prix at Nüburgring, the race that almost killed Lauda, and it was a boring way to introduce two people who don't like each other. It even shows it in the trailer and TV spots.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Creative Arts Emmy Predictions

Yes, it's Emmy time, and time for the television academy to hand out Emmys in 81 categories in the Creative Arts Primetime Emmys - or as Kathy Griffin famously called them, The Shmemmys. Awarding the best in fields most people don't care about including hairstyling, sound mixing and choreography, they can add to a program's overall Emmy total in addition to the main broadcast. (Variety show "Saturday Night Live" has been nominated 124 times in part to these below the belt categories)

FX's "American Horror Story: Asylum" and HBO's "Game of  Thrones" lead the pack with 12 nominations each in the creative fields. "Saturday Night Live" received 11 nominations.

The following are predictions that broken up into different fields (acting, cinematography, music, etc.).

Guest Actor in a Comedy Series- Bob Newhart, "The Big Bang Theory"
Guest Actress in a Comedy Series- Elaine Stritch, "30 Rock"
Guest Actor in a Drama Series- Michael J. Fox, "The Good Wife"
Guest Actress in a Drama Series- Jane Fonda, "The Newsroom"
Voice-over performance- Lily Tomlin, "An Apology to Elephants"

Art DirectionMulti-camera series- "Hot I Met Your Mother"
Single-camera series- "Game of Thrones"
Miniseries or movie- "American Horror Story: Asylum" Episode- Welcome to Briarcliff
Variety or nonfiction program- London 2012 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony

Comedy series- "Veep"
Drama series- "House of Cards"
Miniseries, movie or a special- "Behind the Candelabra"

"So You Think You Can Dance" 

Multi-camera series- "How I Met Your Mother"
Single-camera series- "Game of Thrones"
Miniseries or movie- "American Horror Story: Asylum"
Nonfiction programming- "Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence In The House Of God"
Reality programming- "Deadliest Catch"

Series- "The Borgias"
Miniseries, movie or a special- "Killing Lincoln"

Single-camera (comedy)- "Louie"
Single-camera (drama)- "Breaking Bad" Episode:"Dead Freight"
Multi-camera (comedy)- "How I Met Your Mother"
Miniseries or movie- "Behind The Candelabra"
Short-Form Segments And Variety Specials- London 2012 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony
Nonfiction programming- "Crossfire Hurricane"
Reality programming- "The Amazing Race"

Single-camera series-"Downton Abbey"
Multi-camera series or special-"Dancing With the Stars"
Miniseries or movie- "American Horror Story: Asylum"

Lighting Design/Direction
Variety series- "Saturday Night Live"
Variety special- London 2012 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony

Main Title Design

Single-camera series (non-prosthetic)- "Once Upon a Time"
Multi-camera series or special (non-prosthetic)- "Saturday Night Live"
Miniseries Or A Movie (non-prosthetic)- "Behind the Candelabra"
Prosthetic Makeup For A Series, Miniseries, Movie Or A Special- "Behind the Candelabra" 

Composition for a series (original dramatic score)- "Downton Abbey"
Composition for a miniseries, movie or special (original dramatic score)- "World Without End"
Music direction- "The Kennedy Center Honors"
Original music and lyrics- If I Had Time from the "66th Annual Tony Awards"
Main title theme music- "House of Cards"

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Katy and Gaga are 'Roar'ing with unnecessary 'Applause.'

The two new titans of pop music released their new singles this weekend after being leaked online.

Katy Perry's "Roar" and Lady Gaga's "Applause" made their official launch on radio airwaves and iTunes as the first singles from their upcoming albums due out this fall. "Applause's" release came a week early because of the leak.

Their new albums, Perry's Prism and Gaga's ARTPOP, are due out on October 22 and November 11, respectively.

If these new singles are a taste of things to come, I'm not sure we can hold our breaths for anything spectacular on the albums, especially from Perry. Gaga seems to be pretty comfortable playing with genres and sounds that we may be able to take yet another album from her.

"Roar" is another inspirational track that sounds like Complete Confection leftovers. Lyrically and vocally weak, Perry's strain to sound like she is brand new is nothing refreshing or surprising. Sounding like she's still using her failed marriage to Russell Brand as material for her album, Perry could be slowly morphing into a pop (a second pop?) Taylor Swift. Both artists are weak singers and songwriters, and use relationships for songs. Perry, stick to the crappy bubble gum pop you're used to, even though that's not any better than what you're releasing now.

Gaga, on the other hand, has an OK single that, like Perry's, is lyrically weak. A rushing throwback to the '80s, "Applause" still seems to ride on Madonna's coattails, this new Madonna crap not the fun Madonna ("Give Me All Your Loving," anyone?). This track is like gum, the first minute is bursting with flavor and then you keep on chewing it hoping it gets better. Nope.

If Perry and Gaga are looking to prove themselves as good artists, they're new albums better be great. With the way things are going, they'll be received luke-warmly and get overblown Grammy nods for album of the year.

"Roar" and "Applause" will both be performed at the MTV VMAs on August 25.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Kylie Celebrates 45th Birthday By Dropping Her 'Skirt'

Kylie Minogue isn't taking a break on her 45th birthday, letting her her latest single, "Skirt," drop online.

The Australian dance icon revealed the new song on her Twitter today with the message "Birthday Surprise!!!" Producer Nom de Strip uploaded the track to his SoundCloud.

"Skirt" is a drastic EDM turn for the Australian dance icon, incorporating a strong dubstep sound with an up-all-night club beat. The chorus is more familiar territory while still advancing the singer into the evolving EDM scene. Die hard Kylie fans may not know exactly what they're listening to at first, but the track grows on you and makes you move.

"Skirt" is the first new song Minogue has released since "Timebomb" last year, coinciding with the release of her latest compilation album, The Best of Kylie Minogue. "Timebomb" was Minogue's fastest-selling single in the states since "Can't Get You Outta My Head"

Monday, May 27, 2013

Cannes' Golden Palme Warms Up To 'Blue'

Director Abdellatif Kechiche, center, with stars Lea Seydoux and Adele Exarchopolous collect the Palme d'Or for the film 'La Vie d'Adèle- Chapitre 1 & 2 (Blue is the Warmest Colour).'                                                                                                                                                                    Photo courtesy of EPA

A French film about a young woman's lesbian romance took the Palme d'Or Sunday Night at the 66th Cannes Film Festival.

"La Vie d'Adèle- Chapitre 1 & 2 (Blue is the Warmest Colour)" took the top award at the renowned festival, splitting the prize three ways among its director, Abdellatif Kechiche, and two stars, Lea Seydoux and Adele Exarchopolous.

The film was selected for the top prize by a jury that was headed by director Steven Spielberg, with actors Nicole Kidman and Christoph Waltz, and two-time Academy Award-winning director Ang Lee serving as jury members.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Big Bang Theory, American Horror Story Lead Critics' Choice TV Nominations

CBS laffer "The Big Bang Theory" and FX's horror drama "American Horror Story: Asylum" earned six nominations for the 3rd Annual Choice TV Awards Wednesday morning.

The NBC comedy "Parks and Recreation" and the Sundance miniseries mystery "Top of the Lake" were close behind with five nominations each.

The Broadcast Journalists TV Association will announce the winners on June 10, 2013 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

"Bang" earned nominations for best comedy series, comedy actor (Jim Parsons), supporting comedy actor (Simon Helberg), supporting comedy actress (Kaley Cuoco and Melissa Rauch) and guest comedy performer (Bob Newhart). This is the show's and Jim Parsons third nominations in their categories, and the first for all of the others. Parsons won the inaugural award in 2011.

The other nominated laffers include, all from different networks, include "Louie" (FX), "The Middle" (ABC), "New Girl (FOX), "Parks and Recreation" (NBC)" and "Veep" (HBO)

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Early Grammy Nominations (2012/2013)

With only a month-and-half left in the 2012-2013 Grammy eligibility window, the amount of Grammy-worthy (or at least some overly popular Grammy fare) is really starting to emerge. Taylor Swift's "Red" and Justin Timberlake's "The 20/20 Experience" just to name a couple. What other late-2012, 2013 releases could grab Grammy's attention before year's end?

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Movie Review: 'Iron Man 3' Just Another Pointless Superhero Flick

Tony Stark keeps his swag after "The Avengers," still run down and tired. Image: Disney/Marvel

Not since "Lincoln" can I remember being so bored sitting through a movie, and I sat through the Romanian juggernaut, "Beyond the Hills." Of course I wasn't expecting "Iron Man 3" to be a great film by any means, but I'd be damned if I thought it was going to be so boring. A boring action movie. Yes, I've come to learn that they are possible.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Who's taking home Oscar on Sunday; Winners Update!

One of these best picture nominees are clamoring for Oscar. Which has the best odds?

            It is that time of year once again.
The cream of the crop will be gathering shortly in Hollywood to celebrate the best in film at the Academy Awards. Celebrities of all ages (have you seen the best actress slate?) will walk the red carpet into the Dolby Theater and wait anxiously to hear if their name will be called to take home Oscar.
Meanwhile, people are glued to their television looking over their mock ballot seeing who they picked in their office pool. Some people pick their ballots based on what the few best picture nominees they’ve seen, others, like me, go all out to see all of the nominees and follow the Oscar race like a hawk.
While some races appear to be all sewn up, there are a few that are still wide open, and some that are really close. With all of the major precursor awards handed out, predicting who Oscar will go home with is a little bit easier. Let’s take a look at the top races and see what your safest bet is in your office pool.