Search

Loading...

September 18, 2016

2016 Green Sox TV Awards

BEST ACTRESS
Maura Tierney, The Affair
BEST ACTOR
Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul
BEST EPISODE
"Battle of the Bastards", Game of Thrones (Miguel Sapochnik, David Benioff & D.B. Weiss)
BEST TV PROGRAM
The Leftovers (Damon Lindelof & Tom Perrotta)


September 16, 2016

68th Primetime Emmy Awards: Final Predictions


-Outstanding Drama Series=Game of Thrones
-Outstanding Comedy Series=Veep
-Outstanding Limited Series=The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story
-Outstanding Television Movie=All the Way
-Outstanding Reality-Competition Program=The Voice
-Outstanding Variety Talk Series=Last Week Tonight With John Oliver
-Outstanding Variety Sketch Series=Inside Amy Schumer 
-Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series=Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent
-Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series=Kevin Spacey, House of Cards
-Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie=Courtney B. Vance, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story
-Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series=Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
-Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series=Robin Wright, House of Cards
-Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie=Sarah Paulson, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story
-Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series=Tony Hale, Veep
-Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series=Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones
-Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie=Sterling K. Brown, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story
-Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series=Anna Chlumsky, Veep
-Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series=Lena Headey, Game of Thrones
-Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie=Olivia Colman, The Night Manager
-Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series=Master of None
-Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series=Game of Thrones (“Battle of the Bastards”)
-Outstanding Directing for a Limited Series, Movie or Dramatic Special=The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story (“From the Ashes of Tragedy”)
-Outstanding Directing for a Variety Special=Lemonade
-Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series=Veep (“Mother”)
-Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series=Game of Thrones
-Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series, Movie or Dramatic Special=The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story (“From the Ashes of Tragedy”)

-Outstanding Writing for a Variety Special=Amy Schemer: Live at the Apollo

September 11, 2016

2016 Green Sox TV Awards Nominations


BEST TV PROGRAM
-Better Call Saul (Vince Gilligan & Peter Gould)
-Game of Thrones (David Benioff & D.B. Weiss)
-The Leftovers (Damon Lindelof & Tom Perrotta)








BEST EPISODE
-"Axis Mundi", The Leftovers (Mimi Leder, Damon Lindelof & Jacqueline Hoyt)
-"Battle of the Bastards", Game of Thrones (Miguel Sapochnik, David Benioff & D.B. Weiss)
-"The Door", Game of Thrones (Jack Bender, David Benioff & D.B. Weiss)





BEST ACTOR
-Aziz Ansari, Master of None
-Bryan Cranston, All the Way
-Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul








BEST ACTRESS
-Jemima Kirke, Girls
-Maura Tierney, The Affair
-Ruth Wilson, The Affair







NOMINATION LEADERS
3-Game of Thrones
2-The Affair, Better Call Saul, The Leftovers

September 3, 2016

68th Primetime Emmy Award Nominations: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly


Here are my way overdue thoughts on July’s Emmy nominations announcement:

THE GOOD

-Overall there was not much to not like about these nominations.  There was a lot of diversity among the acting nominees, and the diversity was not because of the backlash to the lack of diversity with the Oscars.  It was because all of these actors of color deserved their nominations.  Audra McDonald delivers a show-carrying performance in Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill if you have not seen it yet.  The People v. O.J. Simpson has arguably the best ensemble of the year.  Bookeem Woodbine was the breakout star of the year, and Tituss Burgess has always been a hoot on Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.  Additionally, the nominations seemed to be spread out among more shows this year, and voters definitely seemed to finally kick “the once you’re nominated, you’re nominated until your off the air” mindset that has hampered these awards at times.

-So many acting nominees made me happy.  Jonathan Banks is back for his portrayal of one of television’s best characters ever!  Now let’s give him the Emmy he should have won twice over.  Maisie Williams finally broke through for her performance that has been great from the beginning on Game of Thrones (arguments that it should have been Sophie Turner getting nominated for this season are fully justifiable though), and Bookeem Woodbine turned his breakout Fargo role into an Emmy nomination.  Nothing makes me happier though than Maura Tierney getting a nomination for what might be the performance of the TV season on The Affair. 

-After getting shafted for his impeccable work on the Lost finale, Jack Bender is back in the hunt for an Emmy with his strong work on this season of Game of Thrones’ most emotional episode, “The Door”

-Christian Slater didn’t get nominated for his work on Mr. Robot.  I get that the TV industry loves the guy and feels bad for him for constantly being stuck on shows that get cancelled almost instantly.  However, that should not be enough to get you an Emmy nomination because his one-note performance on Mr. Robot certainly is not worthy.

THE BAD
-Girls is still inconsistent as ever, but there are certainly aspects of this show (and especially this past season) that deserve to be lauded.  It’s a shame that Jemima Kirke still does not have a nomination for her work on this show, and it’s just bizarre that voters decided to drop Adam Driver after one of his stronger seasons and his first season post Star Wars.

THE UGLY
-The Leftovers IS the best show on television right now.  There’s no better written and audacious show out there, and it’s baffling how this show still has not picked up a single Emmy nomination in any category.  Sure, the show is polarizing but with HBO and Damon Lindelof behind the show, it does have a pedigree that Emmy voters should be paying attention to.


I had my worst year ever at predicting the Emmy nominations.  I went 105 for 156, which is only good enough for a 67.3%.  The only category I correctly predicted was Outstanding Drama Series where I correctly called all seven nominees.

Of the 2016 Summer Movie Season


            I have heard numerous complaints about how awful a summer season this was for film, and I honestly can’t find much evidence to disagree.  Obviously I have not seen as many films as I would have liked during the season (thanks to car problems and just wanting to spend the warm months of the season outside) although the nine films I did end up seeing seem like a group of films that are in line with what the summer movie season was as a whole.  The blockbusters didn’t really work as films like Jason Bourne and (especially) Suicide Squad failed creatively.  Even Captain America: Civil War, which was ultimately a fun experience, felt more bogged down by franchise restraints than the other Captain America films.  To make matters worse it seems like there wasn’t really any independent fare that broke through.  My one experience with this side of the filmmaking world was Woody Allen’s latest in Café Society.  Café Society unfortunately struggled way too much with being way too similar to ever other Woody Allen film.  Kristen Stewart and Jesse Eisenberg (and supporting cast standouts Ken Stott and Corey Stoll) sure do deliver strong performances, but that isn’t enough to distract you from the fact that this is something you have seen before.

            Ultimately, two of the better films of the summer ended up sharing settings.  If you take a glance at the summer box office leaderboards, you will find Finding Dory sitting at the top.  Fortunately, this was a summer season where audiences flocked to a film that was actually good.  Finding Dory is missing that extra something that makes Finding Nemo so memorable (maybe it’s the originality of the first one), but otherwise the filmmakers succeed in everything else they attempt.  This is certainly one of the better directed animated films I have ever seen as Andrew Statnton (who also directed Nemo and the critical favorite Wall-E) finds a way to draw so much emotion from his A-storyline of Dory trying to figure out her past while still making the film’s B-storyline (Marlin still trying to come to terms with being a single father) enjoyable enough to not be as forgettable as so many B-storylines are in films nowadays.  The film also deserves a lot of credit for somehow avoiding the massive iceberg they were heading for with making Dory, a gimmicky character that easily could have been extremely annoying with expanded screen time, even more likeable in her expanded role.  Additionally, I found this film to be funnier than its predecessor with side characters such as Idris Elba’s lazy but intimidating sea lion and the controversial Gerald character delivering the laughs.  Ultimately, Finding Dory isn’t good enough to carry the entire summer season on its back but it is a nice diversion from most of the crap that ended up bring released the summer.

            The Shallows could not be more tonally different from Finding Dory but it does end up taking place on the sea as well as being one of the better films of the summer.  The Shallows is the tale of a med student (Blake Lively) who ends up surfing on a remote beach alone and comes face to face with an angry and man-eating shark.  The film is really a two person show with Blake Lively and director Jaume Collet-Serra carrying most of the film (despite what some of the animal characters may think about this).  Collet-Serra has quietly racked up an impressive resume.  He first came onto the scene with the terribly reviewed House of Wax remake but since has followed that up with the underrated thriller Orphan and a trio of solid Liam Neeson action films (the Hickockian Unknown being the highlight).  This film just further cements his status as a director to look out for as he just draws just the right levels of inspiration from both Jaws and Deep Blue Sea.  What you get with this combination is an intense thriller that is able to get away with its sillier moments (and there are quite a few).
           
            While Blake Lively occasionally gets some human actors to work with she spends most of the film interacting with a CGI shark and a trained seagull.  So she definitely deserves a lot of credit for carrying this film even if it does feel like she is reaching the limits of her acting capabilities at many points.  Most actors of her age just wouldn’t have the courage to take on a role like this where she wouldn’t get many notices for her work despite the fact that she probably deserves them.  It also helps that Collet-Serra shoots her like a goddess throughout the course of the film.

            All in all, The Shallows ends up being something slightly more than dumb fun thanks to some strong direction and a creative performance, and that’s enough to be one of the highlights of this weak summer.


            With the summer gone, and the fall movie season (as well as awards season) on the way I should have some time to update this blog more often. So keep an eye open!

Finding Dory = 8/10
The Shallows = 8/10

July 13, 2016

68th Primetime Emmy Awards Predictions: Final Predictions


OUTSTANDING DRAMA SERIES
1. Game of Thrones
2. House of Cards
3. Downton Abbey
4. Homeland
5. Better Call Saul
6. Mr. Robot
7. The Americans

OUTSTANDING COMEDY SERIES
1. Veep
2. Transparent
3. Master of None
4. Silicon Valley
5. Modern Family
6. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
7. The Last Man on Earth

OUTSTANDING LIMITED SERIES
1. The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story
2. Fargo
3. American Crime
4. Roots
5. Show Me a Hero

OUTSTANDING VARIETY TALK SERIES
1. Last Week Tonight With John Oliver
2. Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
3. Jimmy Kimmel Live
4. Late Show With Stephen Colbert
5. Late Late Show With James Corden
6. Real Time With Bill Maher

OUTSTANDING VARIETY SKETCH SERIES
1. Saturday Night Live
2. Inside Amy Schumer
3. Key and Peele
4. Portlandia
5. W/ Bob & David

OUTSTANDING REALITY-COMPETITION PROGRAM
1. The Amazing Race
2. The Voice
3. Top Chef
4. Project Runway
5. So You Think You Can Dance
6. Dancing With the Stars

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
1. Aziz Ansari, Master of None
2. Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent
3. Don Cheadle, House of Lies
4. William H. Macy, Shameless
5. Anthony Anderson, black-ish
6. Thomas Middleditch, Silicon Valley

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES
1. Bobby Cannavale, Vinyl
2. Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul
3. Kevin Spacey, House of Cards
4. Rami Malek, Mr. Robot
5. Matthew Rhys, The Americans
6. Hugh Bonneville, Downton Abbey

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE
1. Courtney B. Vance, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story
2. Bryan Cranston, All the Way
3. Idris Elba, Luther
4. Cuba Gooding Jr., The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story
5. Bill Murray, A Cery Murray Christmas
6. Benedict Cumberbatch, Sherlock: The Abominable Bride

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
1. Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
2. Amy Schumer, Inside Amy Schumer
3. Ellie Kemper, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
4. Rachel Bloom, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
5. Ilana Glazer, Broad City
6. Constance Wu, Fresh Off the Boat

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES
1. Robin Wright, House of Cards
2. Viola Davis, How to Get Away With Murder
3. Claire Danes, Homeland
4. Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife
5. Michelle Dockery, Downton Abbey
6. Keri Russell, The Americans

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE
1. Sarah Paulson, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story
2. Kerry Washington, Confirmation
3. Kirsten Dunst, Fargo
4. Audra McDonald, Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill
5. Felicity Huffman, American Crime
6. Rachel McAdams, True Detective

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
1. Tony Hale, Veep
2. Adam Driver, Girls
3. T.J. Miller, Silicon Valley
4. Ty Burrell, Modern Family
5. Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Modern Family
6. Tituss Burgess, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES
1. Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones
2. Christian Slater, Mr. Robot
3. Jim Carter, Downton Abbey
4. Jonathan Banks, Better Call Saul
5. Mandy Patnkin, Homeland
6. Kit Harington, Game of Thrones

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE
1. Sterling K. Brown, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story
2. John Travolta, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story
3. Martin Freeman, Sherlock: The Abominable Bride
4. Jesse Plemons, Fargo
5. David Schwimmer, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story
6. Greg Kinnear, Confirmation

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
1. Anna Chlumsky, Veep
2. Allison Janney, Mom
3. Jane Krakowski, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
4. Julie Bowen, Modern Family
5. Mayim Bialik, The Big Bang Theory
6. Kate McKinnon, Saturday Night Live

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES
1. Uzo Aduba, Orange is the New Black
2. Christine Baranski, The Good Wife
3. Emilia Clarke, Game of Thrones
4. Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey
5. Laverne Cox, Orange is the New Black
6. Maura Tierney, The Affair

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE
1. Kathy Bates, American Horror Story: Hotel
2. Sarah Paulson, American Horror Story: Hotel
3. Regina King, American Crime
4. Jean Smart, Fargo
5. Charlotte Rampling, London Spy
6. Olivia Colman, The Night Manager

OUTSTANDING DIRECTING FOR A COMEDY SERIES
1. Master of None
2. Transparent
3. Silicon Valley
4. Veep
5. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

OUTSTANDING DIRECTING FOR A DRAMA SERIES
1. Vinyl
2. Game of Thrones
3. Game of Thrones
4. The Good Wife
5. House of Cards

OUTSTANDING DIRECTING FOR A LIMITED SERIES, MOVIE OR DRAMATIC SPECIAL
1. All the Way
2. The People V. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story
3. The People V. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story
4. The Night Manager
5. The People V. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story
6. American Crime

OUTSTANDING DIRECTING FOR A VARIETY SPECIAL
1. Amy Schumer: Live at the Apollo
2. Lemonade
3. The Kennedy Center Honors
4. Grease: Live
5. 58th Grammy Awards

OUTSTANDING WRITING FOR A COMEDY SERIES
1. Master of None
2. Veep
3. Silicon Valley
4. Transparent
5. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

OUTSTANDING WRITING FOR A DRAMA SERIES
1. Downton Abbey
2. The Americans
3. Game of Thrones
4. The Good Wife
5. Mr. Robot

OUTSTANDING WRITING FOR A LIMITED SERIES, MOVIE OR DRAMATIC SPECIAL
1. All the Way
2. American Crime
3. The People V. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story
4. Fargo
5. Sherlock: The Abominable Bride
6. Luther

OUTSTANDING WRITING FOR A VARIETY SPECIAL
1. Amy Schumer: Live at the Apollo
2. The 73rd Annual Golden Globe Awards
3. 69th Annual Tony Awards
4. The Kennedy Center Honors
5. The Oscars


July 11, 2016

Of Money Monster and Other May Releases


            It’s been a while since my last post here so unfortunately this will just be a quick post on the few new films I was able to see during the month of May.  The best of the new releases I was able to see during May was definitely Money Monster.  Money Monster is the George Clooney-Julia Roberts film about the corruption taking place in Wall Street.  This film has received some criticism for just retreading on things that were already widely known, but in reality this is an exciting and interesting piece of entertainment.  While a lot of the advertising has focused on Jack O’Connell’s average joe turned to extreme measures in order to bring attention to his financial woes (and rightfully so as his character is one of the main ones), this does draw away from the interesting portrayal of present day media.  This is definitely much more of a cautionary tale on what the media does to American society rather than a cautionary tale on what Wall Street does to American society, and the film is definitely better for that.  It allows the film to go in much more expansive directions and allows the film to have a sense of wit that will remind you of The Great Dictator or Dr. Strangelove at times.  While the main trio of Clooney, Roberts and O’Connell are serviceable in their roles, it’s the supporting cast that makes this one of the more memorable ensembles of the year.  Caitriona Balfe and Dominic West do a lot with little to work with, and Emily Meade is quite memorable in her one scene.  The way that Jodie Foster is also able to balance the intricate mood swings of this satire also reveals that she has a lot of potential as a director.  Between this and The Beaver she has two good films that are really difficult to place into one genre.

            My most anticipated film for the month of May was Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising.  The original film starring Seth Rogen, Zac Efron and Rose Byrne is still one of the most memorable comedies of the last five years, so it would be a tough task to live up to that film.  As such, Neighbors 2 has to be considered somewhat of a disappointment.  It still has a great use of biting social commentary while still finding room for laughs, but it is just missing the heart of the original.  The adventures of Mac (Rogen) and Kelly (Byrne) just seem a slight bit repetitive this go around, and the film is just missing an antagonist on the level of Teddy (Efron).  In fact, the best parts about this film generally revolve around whenever Efron is onscreen, and his ongoing problems are much more interesting than the ones the new villains, a sorority led by a stoner played by Chloe Grace Moretz, encounter.  Moretz and the new characters give admirable performances, but the creative crew just isn’t able to conjure up any skits as memorable as the ones from the first film.  Once again, though, this film deserves your attention for the commentary on present day society that it brings a long without it ever seeming intrusive on the plot or comedy of the film.


            The final new release I was able to see during the month of May was the latest edition in the X-Men franchise, X-Men: Apocalypse.  Apocalypse picks up with the God-like mutant, Apocalypse (who is just a more powerful version of Magneto as they both share the same world views), planning to take over the world.  It’s a silly plot that’s just as silly as the appearance of Apocalypse.  In fact, Apocalypse as a character is just a complete waste of time.  Fortunately, the rest of the film is the most comic book-y a film has ever felt onscreen before.  As someone who really only ever got into comic books briefly with the Uncanny Wolverine series, I found the appearance of the fan favorite character to be truly memorable.  Meanwhile, the film seems to correct the storylines of many characters that it failed in previous films.  This is never more the case than with Jean Grey, who gets one of the better plot lines in the film.  Additionally, it was great to see Quicksilver (this version still played by Evan Peters) become an actual character rather than a one scene gag while still retaining the innovative visual style of the character that made him something to remember in the first place.  It also seems like this film establishes Magneto as a main character of the X-Men series on the same level (if not an even higher one) as Wolverine.  Michael Fassbender’s portrayal of the character is just as memorable as Ian McKellen’s iteration of the character.  Fassbender just makes everything about this intricate performance look easy at this point.  While this film ultimately feels like a minor addition in the franchise thanks to its unmemorable plot and silly additions, the film does more than enough right to overcome its shortcomings.

Money Monster=8/10
Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising=7.5/10
X-Men: Apocalypse=7.5/10