Wednesday, November 18, 2015

CBS This Morning to kick off 58th Grammy Nominations announcement

The Recording Academy announced Wednesday morning specifics on how nominees will be announced for the 58th Annual Grammy Awards.

On Dec. 7, the nominees in the general field categories (record of the year, album of the year, song of the year and best new artist) will be announced live on CBS This Morning at 8:15, with the nominees in 79 categories to be announced through a press release at 8:30 and on

This year's announcement will be far quicker than last year's, where it was an all day affair starting in the morning, with sporadic announcements made through the afternoon. The album of the year nominations were announced live that night, with a complete list of nominees announced soon after.

Over 21,000 submissions were received for the annual kudos fest honoring the best in music for the calendar year running from Oct. 1, 2014 to Sept. 31, 2015.

The 58th Annual Grammy Awards airs live on CBS on Feb. 15, 2016.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Book Review: 'Rebound Remedy' a cure for broken hearts

Rebound Remedy (Written by Christine d'Abo. 155 pages, Riptide Publishing)

"Rebound Remedy" was a book I heard about from one of my friends who's a book reviewer. She mentioned to me about a month or two ago about this gay romance story written by a woman. From the jump, it sounded like a silly endeavor. A woman writing gay fiction? Sounded like a miss (even though I don't know the first thing about gay fiction).

While on vacation, she fished it out of her big plastic storage container filled with smutty romance novels she had read, or planned to read.

I picked it up and started reading and found myself quickly immersed in the story. Set in the Toronto metro area, Cole is heartbroken just weeks before Christmas when his boyfriend is proposed to by his ex-boyfriend as he and Cole prepare to fly out for a nice holiday vacation.

Monday, November 2, 2015

24th Philadelphia Film Festival, Day 11: Final day, final nerves!

It was the last day for this year's Philadelphia Film Festival, and boy what a day it was.

I was ready to sit through films 17-20 for this year's outing, but for reasons beyond my control I was not totally ready for it.

I started off with "Kilo Two Bravo", a BAFTA-nominated film about the true story of a group of British soldiers trapped in an abandoned mine field near the Kajaki Dam in Afghanistan. Michael Lerman, artistic director of the festival, said it was "10 times" more intense than the similar-ish "The Hurt Locker". That is no joke.

With the wrong step anyone could be blown up in this small piece of desert. Let me tell you, I was so pent up waiting for a bomb to go off at any second I wanted to leave the theater. "Kilo Two Bravo" is incredibly tense it was almost uncomfortable, but how could you look away!? You needed to know what was going to happen to this group of (mostly) GQ-wannabe guys. The ending was incredibly hooky, full of title cards on the real soldiers and a horribly Hallmark-esque song playing underneath it. There was a few shots before the end that would have been the most perfect ending, but it went for cheese factor instead.

After self-diagnosing myself with PTSD from "Kilo Two Bravo", I enjoyed a great train ride on the Empire Builder courtesy of the documentary "In Transit".

Sunday, November 1, 2015

24th Philadelphia Film Festival, Days 9 and 10: Closing Night Attack on Michael Moore, running with the best.

Closing night of the festival. The night where a non-publicized jury of people come up with a slate of winners for what was the best in the festival, even announcing winners of films that hadn't yet played at the fest. I think that's extremely odd, but whatever. I don't call the shots on what they do that. What's more weird is that it isn't actually held on the last day. Err, OK?

I'd put a list of the winners, but most were just honorable mention selections. How does one earn an honorable mention if there are no bigger winners above it. Wouldn't it just make them the best since they're the only one to win for a specific reason?

I think the festival's "jury", which could be a lottery machine that draws an award category and a film title at random and calls them winners, is an unnecessary part of a festival like Philadelphia. There are no big premieres, and I'm sure these "jurors" have already seen everything that plans to play here and just talks about it before the start of the fest and makes their decisions.

But seriously, honorable mention status without any other winners for a specific award? That's one of the dumbest things I've ever head at a fest. It's like agreeing nothing at the Cannes Film Festival is good and their jury, which is always announced publicly, hands out sad certificates of appreciation.

"You weren't the best, so we had to give out something. Here's an honorable mention certificate for trying."