Friday, December 25, 2015

'The Hateful Eight' is Tarantino's best in years

The Hateful Eight (2015, directed by Quentin Tarantino. U.S.A. English, Color, 187 minutes [roadshow version])

Admittedly, I haven't been a fan of Quentin Tarantino's most recent films. 

Though a majority of film buffs think his 2007 effort "Death Proof" is his worst film, I think that B-movie throwback to kick ass racing chicks is one of his best. It was with that film a new wave of Tarantino came into play: the direct homage.

Following "Death Proof" was the Nazi revenge tale "Inglourious Basterds" and then the slave revenge talker "Django Unchained". I wasn't a huge fan of the latter selections, finding them overly talky and extremely violent lackluster efforts as Tarantino pays homage to the similarly-titled 70's films he took the plots that he replaced with his stylized conversations. 

Anyone can rehash something and add tons of violence to it, but who cares? 

When I saw the trailer for "The Hateful Eight" came out, I didn't even watch it, but commenters on IMDb said it would be another movie filled with tons of talking and some violence. That sounded accurate, and I wasn't terribly motivated to see it.

The commenters were right, so right, and in the best (worst?) possible way.

Friday, December 11, 2015

'Fifty Shades,' Wiz Khalifa Tunes among 74 Vying for Oscar


LOS ANGELES, CA – The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences today announced that 74 songs from eligible feature-length motion pictures released in 2015 are in contention for nominations in the Original Song category for the 88th Academy Awards®.
The original songs, along with the motion picture in which each song is featured, are listed below in alphabetical order by film title and song title:

"Happy" from "Altered Minds"
"Home" from "Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip"
"None Of Them Are You" from "Anomalisa"
"Stem To The Rose" from "Becoming Bulletproof"
"The Mystery Of Your Gift" from "Boychoir"
"I Run" from "Chi-Raq"
"Pray 4 My City" from "Chi-Raq"
"Sit Down For This" from "Chi-Raq"
"Strong" from "Cinderella"
"So Long" from "Concussion"
"Fighting Stronger" from "Creed"
"Grip" from "Creed"
"Waiting For My Moment" from "Creed"
"Don't Look Down" from "Danny Collins"
"Hey Baby Doll" from "Danny Collins"
"Dreamsong" from "The Diary of a Teenage Girl"
"It's My Turn Now" from "Dope"
"Ya Rahem, Maula Maula" from "Dukhtar"
"Earned It" from "Fifty Shades of Grey"
"Love Me Like You Do" from "Fifty Shades of Grey"
"Salted Wound" from "Fifty Shades of Grey"
"Hands Of Love" from "Freeheld"
"See You Again" from "Furious Seven"
"Brother" from "Godspeed: The Story of Page Jones"
"As Real As You And Me" from "Home"
"Dancing In The Dark" from "Home"
"Feel The Light" from "Home"
"Red Balloon" from "Home"
"Two Of A Crime" from "Hot Pursuit"
"Til It Happens To You" from "The Hunting Ground"
"I'll See You In My Dreams" from "I'll See You in My Dreams"
"The Movie About Us" from "Ingrid Bergman – In Her Own Words"
"Bhoomiyilenghanumundo" from "Jalam"
"Koodu Vaykkan" from "Jalam"
"Pakalppaathi Chaari" from "Jalam"
"Yaathra Manoradhamerum" from "Jalam"
"Lost In Love" from "Jenny's Wedding"
"True Love Avenue" from "Jenny's Wedding"
"Hypnosis" from "Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet"
"Juntos (Together)" from "McFarland, USA"
"The Light That Never Fails" from "Meru"
"The Crazy Ones" from "Miss You Already"
"There's A Place" from "Miss You Already"
"Johanna" from "Mortdecai"
"Little Soldier" from "Pan"
"Something's Not Right" from "Pan"
"Paranoid Girl" from "Paranoid Girls"
"Better When I'm Dancin'" from "The Peanuts Movie"
"Pink & Blue" from "Pink & Blue: Colors of Hereditary Cancer"
"Flashlight" from "Pitch Perfect 2"
"Birds Of A Feather" from "Poached"
"Still Breathing" from "Point Break"
"Manta Ray" from "Racing Extinction"
"Cold One" from "Ricki and the Flash"
"Torch" from "Rock the Kasbah"
"Someone Like You" from "The Rumperbutts"
"Aankhon Me Samaye Dil" from "Salt Bridge"
"Bachpana Thaa" from "Salt Bridge"
"Kanpne Lage Tum" from "Salt Bridge"
"Kyaa Bataaun Tujhe" from "Salt Bridge"
"Le Jaaye Jo Door Tumse" from "Salt Bridge"
"Na Jaane Kitni Door" from "Salt Bridge"
"Sookha Hi Rang Daalo" from "Salt Bridge"
"Feels Like Summer" from "Shaun the Sheep Movie"
"Phenomenal" from "Southpaw"
"Writing's On The Wall" from "Spectre"
"Squeeze Me" from "The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge out of Water"
"Teamwork" from "The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge out of Water"
"Who Can You Trust" from "Spy"
"Came To Win" from "Sweet Micky for President"
"Mean Ol' Moon" from "Ted 2"
"Love Was My Alibi" from "The Water Diviner"
"Fine On The Outside" from "When Marnie Was There"
"Simple Song #3" from "Youth"

During the nominations process, all voting members of the Music Branch will receive a Reminder List of works submitted in the category and a DVD copy of the song clips.  Members will be asked to watch the clips and then vote in the order of their preference for not more than five achievements in the category.  The five achievements receiving the highest number of votes will become the nominations for final voting for the award.  A maximum of two songs may be nominated from any one film.
To be eligible, a song must consist of words and music, both of which are original and written specifically for the film.  A clearly audible, intelligible, substantive rendition of both lyric and melody must be used in the body of the film or as the first music cue in the end credits.
The 88th Academy Awards nominations will be announced live on Thursday, January 14, 2016, at 5:30 a.m. PT at the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills.

The 88th Oscars® will be held on Sunday, February 28, 2016, at the Dolby Theatre® at Hollywood & Highland Center® in Hollywood, and will be televised live by the ABC Television Network at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT.  The Oscar presentation also will be televised live in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

'Carol', 'Outlander' lead Golden Globe nominations

  1. Chloe Grace Moretz helped announce the nominees for the 73rd Golden Globe Awards on Dec. 11. Getty

Best Motion Picture – Drama
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Revenant

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama
Cate Blanchett, Carol
Brie Larson, Room
Rooney Mara, Carol
Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn
Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama
Bryan Cranston,                Trumbo
Leonardo Dicaprio, The Revenant
Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs
Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl
Will Smith, Concussion

Best Motion Picture – Musical Or Comedy
The Big Short
The Martian

Best Performance by an 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

Best Performance by an Actor in a 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

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Helen Mirren, "Trumbo" lead 22nd SAG movie nominations

With no film taking a massive lead in nominations for the 22nd Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards, the bio-pic "Trumbo" crept in with a leading three nominations. 

The cast was nominated for outstanding performance by a cast in a motion picture, with Bryan Cranston earning a lead male actor nod as the titular, blacklisted Hollywood writer, and Helen Mirren getting a supporting female actor mention.

In addition to her leading female actor nod for her work in "Woman in Gold," Mirren received three nominations overall, the most of any performer this year.

"Trumbo" competes against "Beasts of no Nation," The Big Short," "Spotlight," and "Straight Out of Compton" for the film cast prize.

While Mirren leads among all in film categories only, Idris Elba picked up three bids as well as a cast member in "Beasts of No Nation", a supporting film bid for the same role, and as a lead in the miniseries/TV movie category for "Luther."
Winners will be announced live on TNT and TBS on Jan. 30, 2016 at 8 p.m.

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
BRYAN CRANSTON / Dalton Trumbo – “TRUMBO” (Bleecker Street)
JOHNNY DEPP / James "Whitey" Bulger – “BLACK MASS” (Warner Bros. Pictures)
LEONARDO DiCAPRIO / Hugh Glass – “THE REVENANT” (20th Century Fox)
MICHAEL FASSBENDER / Steve Jobs – “STEVE JOBS” (Universal Pictures)
EDDIE REDMAYNE / Einar Wegener/Lili Elbe – “THE DANISH GIRL” (Focus Features)

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role
CATE BLANCHETT / Carol Aird – “CAROL” (The Weinstein Company)
HELEN MIRREN / Maria Altmann – “WOMAN IN GOLD” (The Weinstein Company)
SAOIRSE RONAN / Eilis – “BROOKLYN” (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
SARAH SILVERMAN / Laney Brooks – “I SMILE BACK” (Broad Green Pictures)

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
CHRISTIAN BALE / Michael Burry – “THE BIG SHORT” (Paramount Pictures)
IDRIS ELBA / Commandant – “BEASTS OF NO NATION” (Netflix)
MARK RYLANCE / Abel Rudolph – “BRIDGE OF SPIES” (DreamWorks)
MICHAEL SHANNON / Rick Carver – “99 HOMES” (Broad Green Pictures)

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
ROONEY MARA / Therese Belivet – “CAROL” (The Weinstein Company)
RACHEL McADAMS / Sacha Pfeiffer – “SPOTLIGHT” (Open Road Films)
HELEN MIRREN / Hedda Hopper – “TRUMBO” (Bleecker Street)
ALICIA VIKANDER / Gerda Wegener – “THE DANISH GIRL” (Focus Features)
KATE WINSLET / Joanna Hoffman – “STEVE JOBS” (Universal Pictures)

Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
THE BIG SHORT (Paramount Pictures)
SPOTLIGHT (Open Road Films)
TRUMBO (Bleecker Street)

Monday, December 7, 2015

58th Annual Grammy Nominations

Album of the Year
Sound & Color, Alabama Shakes
Beauty Behind the Madness, The Weeknd
1989, Taylor Swift
Traveller, Chris Stapleton
To Pimp a Butterfly, Kendrick Lamar

Record of the Year
"Blank Space," Taylor Swift
"I Can't Feel My Face," The Weeknd
"Really Love," D'angelo and the Vanguard
"Thinking Out Loud," Ed Sheeran
"Uptown Funk," Mark Ronson f/ Bruno Mars

Song of the Year
"Blank Space" (Taylor Swift)
"Alright" (Kendrick Lamar)
"Girl Crush" (Little Big Town)
"See You Again" (Wiz Khalifa f/ Charlie Puth)
"Thinking Out Loud"" (Ed Sheeran)

Best New Artist
Courtney Barnett
James Bay
Sam Hunt
Tori Kelly
Meghan Trainor

Best Pop Solo Performance
"Blank Space," Taylor Swift
"Can't Feel my Face," The Weeknd
"Heartbreak Song," Kelly Clarkson
"Love me Like you do," Ellie Goulding
"Thinking out Loud," Ed Sheeran

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance
"Ship To Wreck,"  Florence + The Machine
"Sugar,  Maroon 5
"Uptown Funk," Mark Ronson Featuring Bruno Mars
"Bad Blood," Taylor Swift Featuring Kendrick Lamar
"See You Again," Wiz Khalifa Featuring Charlie Puth

Best Pop Album
1989, Taylor Swift
Before This World, James Taylor
How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful, Florence + The Machine
Piece by Piece, Kelly Clarkson
Uptown Special, Mark Ronson