Tuesday, December 27, 2011

'The Descendants' ****stars


'The Descendants' is a damn good film. it is a quiet film that delivers a heavy punch to the heart and the soul. George Clooney plays a Hawaiian land baron forced to deal with two daughters he hardly knows after his wife becomes comatose after a boating accident. After the accident he finds out his wife was having an affair from his eldest daughter. Now having to deal with this adultery, parenting and a life-death decision he tries to get his life back and his daughters on track.

George Clooney has never been better and may get a second oscar for his touching quiet yet at times frenetic performance. Shailene Woodley as the eldest daughter will get a well deserved oscar nomination in the supporting category. The rest of the cast delivers the goods as they are all well directed by Alexander Payne also a potential nominee.

The final scene of the film is perfection. There could be no better ending.

This film will stand the test of time and that is what makes a good film a great film.






I'm with George


Monday, December 26, 2011

TV'S Best 2011



2011 proved to be a good year for tv. some older shows got stronger, newer shows impressed and network and cable shows as well as pbs offered somewhat better fare than most theatrical releases.

I could not narrow my list to 'the top ten' as i could not leave any of these following shows off the list. in alphabetical order the best of 2011 tv are:

'American Horror Story' is the first time i have picked an FX show. Set in modern day Los Angeles it kept you on the edge of your seat in it's first season. There was not a weak performance in it as it showcased excellent work by Jessica Lange, Dylan McDermott, Lily Rabe, Connie Britton and Sarah Paulson to name a few.

'The Borgia's' was Showtimes take on the Vatican under the scandalous Borgia Dynasty rule. As an officiando on Vatican history I can say it was as close to the truth as it will get. Scandal, treachery, murder, implied incest...who could ask for anything more. Yet Showtime has one better series as you will see below.

'Camelot' was the Starz network's attempt to rise to the top. And rise it did. However, the network has cancelled plans for a second season due to production costs. What? They did not see this going in? But just because it left viewers hanging does not diminish this one and it's only season's excellence.

'Castle' on ABC like fine wine gets better season by season. Stana Katic and Nathion Fillion shine as the non-couple Castle and Becket. The supporting cast is given more to do season to season adding greater dimension to this hour of pure joy.

'The Closer' gets better and better with age. Sadly next summer it will close shop forever. The superb Kyra Sedgwick is calling it a day after seven seasons. The writers are setting us up for what hopes to be a fulfilling climax as each new episode unfolds.

'Criminal Minds' returns to the top of the heat after rehiring actresses JJ Cook and Paget Brewster after fans protested their firing in 2010. With Ms. Cook's return the show has it's heart back which is needed in this darkly gripping and often disturbing series.

'Downtown Abbey' on PBS was far and away the best of 2011. This was not just another upstairs/ downstairs  BBC piece. It was nothing short of brilliant. Brilliant writing, directing and production values were supported by one of the best casts on TV this year. Special kudos to Dame Maggie Smith, Hugh Bonneville, Michelle Dockery  and the sorely missed, from every medium, Elizabeth McGovern.

'Game of Thrones' was the finest HBO had to offer in 2011. It presented mythology at it's best. I started watching it with trepidation but was soon swept up in the majesty of the 'other worlds' with fleshed out performances drawn from an exceptional cast. Kudos to all involved and i can't wait for season 2.

'The Good Wife' keeps getting better as it fleshes out the characters supporting Alicia Florack portrayed by the wonderful Julianna Margulies. There are not enough superlatives to describe Ms. Margulies so i will stop gushing now. This season has made her a good wife no more...she is GREAT as is the show.

Homeland' on  Showtime was the best of Showtime. In the post 9/11 era where major concerns surround terrorism attacks on the USA  this drama pulls at the seams of those involved with aborting future attacks or presumed attacks on our soil. Damien Lewis, Mandy Patinkin and Claire Danes head a damn good cast. I have never been impressed by Ms. Danes prior to this show but I am coming around to her. She is finally showing me her acting chops and that she has a heart whereas before i only viewed her as cold as ice. I will eat my piece of humble pie now.

'The Lying Game' on ABC Family' is not just for kids. It twists and turns with mistaken, taken and/or borrowed identities. Newcomers Alexandra Chandro, Allie Greczyn and Ethan Whitehorse headline a personable and believable cast in this tale of two sisters twister.

'Once Upon a Time' was the network surprise on ABC. There is a reason this fractured fairy tale series is a hit. Because it is TERRIFIC.

'Pretty Little Liars' is still my guiltiest of pleasures. Four friends tormented by the mysterious 'A' continue to capture attention. Great writing keeps this show moving along. Just when you think you've figured the mystery out something wonderful steps in the way and the juggler keeps juggling the balls in the air that have yet to fall to the floor.

'The Killing' on AMC is a grim dark murder mystery set in a gloomy water soaked Seattle. Some were put off by the first season finale. Not me. I await season two with eyes wide open.

'True Blood' returned to form this past season. Adding witches in with the vampires and werewolves added a new dimension to the series. And next year Chris Meloni joins the series as the baddest vampire of all. I can't wait.

'The Vampire Diaries' on the CW network remains the best 'supernatural' series of them all. Mixing humor to all the bloodletting is it's charm. The cast has matured wonderfully so the sensual overtones feel more real. It already had witches mixed in with vampires and wolves so all they needed to do was flesh them out and bring them to new and higher levels. It succeeded on both counts.


Well that's a wrap. If you missed all or any of these shows and want to catch up you can find many of them for rental, 'on demand' or soon to be released video. here's hoping for 2012 to be as well worth watching.





All I Want for Christmas' Spoof

i don't  mean to offend anybody but as a half jew i find this humorous

video

Sunday, December 25, 2011

'Hugo' **1/2

Martin Scorsese's role in film preservation is well known and greatly appreciated. His tribute to film preservation in 'hugo' may be less appreciated. although technically brilliant and a great leap forward in 3d filming it is too long and too repetitive. an orphan who lives in a train station in search of film innovator georges melies clocks in at 126 minutes and would have been better served had it been edited by 20 minutes or so. Do not be fooled by the tv ads this is not for kids. they will be fidgeting throughout and any adult will be sorry they brought them to see it.

if you have not seen this in 3d don't waste your time on this film. as a traditional 2d piece of film it will not be worth the entrance price or the eventual rental fee.





Saturday, December 17, 2011

'Young Adult' 1/2*: A Different Kind of 'Monster'

Charlize Theron deservedly won the 2003 best actress oscar for playing serial killer Aileen Wuornos in 'Monster'. In 'Young Adult' Ms Theron admirably plays a 'monster' of a different sort to no avail.  there is certainly no oscar in her future for this film. it is monstrous bore. Both the film and the Ms Theron's character both have no redeeming value what so ever. there was a lot of good word of mouth about this film prior to it's release. It was all a bunch of garbage. It moves to the top tier of the worst of 2011 film releases. save your money and your time. you are warned.

Friday, December 16, 2011

More with Sandra the Great and 'Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close'

Sandra on her return to film after her hiatus, her supporting role and why she made this choice.

first up from 'entertainment tonight'


with matt lauer on 'today'



video

Sandra the Stunning

sandra at the london premiere of 'extremely loud and incredibly close'


Cinematic Joy 2011

video

the best of the year in film in review so far

Thursday, December 15, 2011

THE 69TH ANNUAL GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS NOMINATIONS

THE 69TH ANNUAL GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS NOMINATIONS

HOLLYWOOD FOREIGN PRESS ASSOCIATION
2012 GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS
FOR THE YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2011
NOMINATIONS PRESS RELEASE
1. BEST MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA
a. THE DESCENDANTS
Ad Hominem Enterprises; Fox Searchlight Pictures
b. THE HELP
DreamWorks Pictures, Participant Media; Touchstone Pictures
c. HUGO
Paramount Pictures presents a GK Films Production; Paramount Pictures
d. THE IDES OF MARCH
Columbia Pictures, Cross Creek Pictures, Exclusive Media Group, Crystal City
Entertainment; Sony Pictures Releasing
e. MONEYBALL
Columbia Pictures; Sony Pictures Releasing International
f. WAR HORSE
DreamWorks Pictures; Touchstone Pictures
2. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA
a. GLENN CLOSE ALBERT NOBBS
b. VIOLA DAVIS THE HELP
c. ROONEY MARA THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON
TATTOO
d. MERYL STREEP THE IRON LADY
e. TILDA SWINTON WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN
3. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA
a. GEORGE CLOONEY THE DESCENDANTS
b. LEONARDO DICAPRIO J. EDGAR
c. MICHAEL FASSBENDER SHAME
d. RYAN GOSLING THE IDES OF MARCH
e. BRAD PITT MONEYBALL
4. BEST MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY OR MUSICAL
a. 50/50
Summit Entertainment and Mandate Pictures; Summit Entertainment
b. THE ARTIST
a La Petite Reine – Studio 37 – La Classe Americaine – JD Prod- France3 Cinema -
Jouror Production-uFilms coproduction; The Weinstein Company
c. BRIDESMAIDS
Universal Pictures, Relativity Media, Apatow Productions; Universal Pictures
d. MIDNIGHT IN PARIS
A Mediapro, Versatil Cinema & Gravier Production; Sony Pictures Classics
e. MY WEEK WITH MARILYN
The Weinstein Company; The Weinstein Company
5. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY OR
MUSICAL
a. JODIE FOSTER CARNAGE
b. CHARLIZE THERON YOUNG ADULT
c. KRISTEN WIIG BRIDESMAIDS
d. MICHELLE WILLIAMS MY WEEK WITH MARILYN
e. KATE WINSLET CARNAGE
6. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY
OR MUSICAL
a. JEAN DUJARDIN THE ARTIST
b. BRENDAN GLEESON THE GUARD
c. JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT 50/50
d. RYAN GOSLING CRAZY, STUPID, LOVE.
e. OWEN WILSON MIDNIGHT IN PARIS
7. BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
a. THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN
Paramount Pictures/Columbia Pictures/ Hemisphere Capital/Amblin
Entertainment/Wingnut Films Production/ Kennedy/Marshall Production A Steven
Spielberg Film; Paramount Pictures and Columbia Pictures
b. ARTHUR CHRISTMAS
Columbia Pictures & Sony Pictures Animation; Sony Pictures Releasing
International
c. CARS 2
Walt Disney Pictures, Pixar Animation Studios; Walt Disney Pictures
d. PUSS IN BOOTS
DreamWorks Animation; Paramount Pictures
e. RANGO
Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies present A Blind Wink / GK Films
Production; Paramount Pictures
8. BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
a. THE FLOWERS OF WAR (CHINA)
(Jing Ling Shi San Chai)
New Pictures Film Company; New Pictures Film Company
b. IN THE LAND OF BLOOD AND HONEY (USA)
GK Films; FilmDistrict
c. THE KID WITH A BIKE (BELGIUM)
(Le Gamin au Velo)
Les Films du Fleuve; Sundance Selects
d. A SEPARATION (IRAN)
(Jodaeiye Nader az Simin)
Asghar Farhadi; Sony Pictures Classics
e. THE SKIN I LIVE IN (SPAIN)
(La piel que habito)
El Deseo D.A., S.L.U.; Sony Pictures Classics
9. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A
MOTION PICTURE
a. BERENICE BEJO THE ARTIST
b. JESSICA CHASTAIN THE HELP
c. JANET MCTEER ALBERT NOBBS
d. OCTAVIA SPENCER THE HELP
e. SHAILENE WOODLEY THE DESCENDANTS
10. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A
MOTION PICTURE
a. KENNETH BRANAGH MY WEEK WITH MARILYN
b. ALBERT BROOKS DRIVE
c. JONAH HILL MONEYBALL
d. VIGGO MORTENSEN A DANGEROUS METHOD
e. CHRISTOPHER PLUMMER BEGINNERS
11. BEST DIRECTOR – MOTION PICTURE
a. WOODY ALLEN MIDNIGHT IN PARIS
b. GEORGE CLOONEY THE IDES OF MARCH
c. MICHEL HAZANAVICIUS THE ARTIST
d. ALEXANDER PAYNE THE DESCENDANTS
e. MARTIN SCORSESE HUGO
12. BEST SCREENPLAY – MOTION PICTURE
a. WOODY ALLEN MIDNIGHT IN PARIS
b. GEORGE CLOONEY, GRANT THE IDES OF MARCH
HESLOV, BEAU WILLIMON
c. MICHEL HAZANAVICIUS THE ARTIST
d. ALEXANDER PAYNE, THE DESCENDANTS
NAT FAXON, JIM RASH
e. STEVEN ZAILLIAN, MONEYBALL
AARON SORKIN
13. BEST ORIGINAL SCORE – MOTION PICTURE
a. LUDOVIC BOURCE THE ARTIST
b. ABEL KORZENIOWSKI W.E.
c. TRENT REZNOR, THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON
ATTICUS ROSS TATTOO
d. HOWARD SHORE HUGO
e. JOHN WILLIAMS WAR HORSE
14. BEST ORIGINAL SONG – MOTION PICTURE
a. “HELLO HELLO” — GNOMEO & JULIET
Music by: Elton John
Lyrics by: Bernie Taupin
b. “THE KEEPER” — MACHINE GUN PREACHER
Music & Lyrics by: Chris Cornell
c. “LAY YOUR HEAD DOWN” — ALBERT NOBBS
Music by: Brian Byrne
Lyrics by: Glenn Close
d. “THE LIVING PROOF” — THE HELP
Music by: Mary J. Blige, Thomas Newman, Harvey Mason, Jr.
Lyrics by: Mary J. Blige, Harvey Mason, Jr., Damon Thomas
e. “MASTERPIECE” — W.E.
Music & Lyrics by: Madonna, Julie Frost, Jimmy Harry
15. BEST TELEVISION SERIES – DRAMA
a. AMERICAN HORROR STORY FX
Twentieth Century Fox Television
b. BOARDWALK EMPIRE HBO
Leverage, Closest to the Hole Productions, Sikelia Productions and Cold Front
Productions in association with HBO Entertainment
c. BOSS STARZ
Lionsgate Television in association with Grammnet NH Productions, Roya
Productions and Old Friends Productions
d. GAME OF THRONES HBO
Bighead, Littlehead, 360 Television, Grok and Generator Productions in
association with HBO Entertainment
e. HOMELAND SHOWTIME
SHOWTIME Presents, Teakwood Lane Productions, Cherry Pie Productions,
Keshet, Fox 21
16. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION SERIES –
DRAMA
a. CLAIRE DANES HOMELAND
b. MIREILLE ENOS THE KILLING
c. JULIANNA MARGULIES THE GOOD WIFE
d. MADELEINE STOWE REVENGE
e. CALLIE THORNE NECESSARY ROUGHNESS
17. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SERIES – DRAMA
a. STEVE BUSCEMI BOARDWALK EMPIRE
b. BRYAN CRANSTON BREAKING BAD
c. KELSEY GRAMMER BOSS
d. JEREMY IRONS THE BORGIAS
e. DAMIAN LEWIS HOMELAND
18. BEST TELEVISION SERIES – COMEDY OR MUSICAL
a. ENLIGHTENED HBO
Ripcord Productions in association with HBO Entertainment
b. EPISODES SHOWTIME
SHOWTIME Presents, Hat Trick Productions, Crane Klarik Productions
c. GLEE FOX
Ryan Murphy Television in association with Twentieth Century Fox Television
d. MODERN FAMILY ABC
Levitan-Lloyd Productions in association with Twentieth Century Fox Television
e. NEW GIRL FOX
Chernin Entertainment in association with Twentieth Century Fox Television
19. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION SERIES –
COMEDY OR MUSICAL
a. LAURA DERN ENLIGHTENED
b. ZOOEY DESCHANEL NEW GIRL
c. TINA FEY 30 ROCK
d. LAURA LINNEY THE BIG C
e. AMY POEHLER PARKS AND RECREATION
20. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SERIES –
COMEDY OR MUSICAL
a. ALEC BALDWIN 30 ROCK
b. DAVID DUCHOVNY CALIFORNICATION
c. JOHNNY GALECKI THE BIG BANG THEORY
d. THOMAS JANE HUNG
e. MATT LEBLANC EPISODES
21. BEST MINI-SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
a. CINEMA VERITE HBO
A Pariah Production in association with HBO Films
b. DOWNTON ABBEY (MASTERPIECE) PBS
A Carnival/Masterpiece Co-production
c. THE HOUR BBC AMERICA
Kudos Film and Television/BBC America co-production.
d. MILDRED PIERCE HBO
A Killer Films/John Wells Production in association with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
and HBO Miniseries
e. TOO BIG TO FAIL HBO
A Spring Creek and A Deuce Three Production in association with HBO Films
22. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MINI-SERIES OR MOTION
PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
a. ROMOLA GARAI THE HOUR
b. DIANE LANE CINEMA VERITE
c. ELIZABETH MCGOVERN DOWNTON ABBEY (MASTERPIECE)
d. EMILY WATSON APPROPRIATE ADULT
e. KATE WINSLET MILDRED PIERCE
23. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MINI-SERIES OR MOTION
PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
a. HUGH BONNEVILLE DOWNTON ABBEY (MASTERPIECE)
b. IDRIS ELBA LUTHER
c. WILLIAM HURT TOO BIG TO FAIL
d. BILL NIGHY PAGE EIGHT (MASTERPIECE)
e. DOMINIC WEST THE HOUR
24. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A
SERIES, MINI-SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
a. JESSICA LANGE AMERICAN HORROR STORY
b. KELLY MACDONALD BOARDWALK EMPIRE
c. MAGGIE SMITH DOWNTON ABBEY (MASTERPIECE)
d. SOFIA VERGARA MODERN FAMILY
e. EVAN RACHEL WOOD MILDRED PIERCE
25. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A SERIES,
MINI-SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
a. PETER DINKLAGE GAME OF THRONES
b. PAUL GIAMATTI TOO BIG TO FAIL
c. GUY PEARCE MILDRED PIERCE
d. TIM ROBBINS CINEMA VERITE
e. ERIC STONESTREET MODERN FAMILY

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

SAG Award Nominees 2011



Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture

"The Artist"
"Bridesmaids"
"The Descendants"
"The Help"
"Midnight in Paris"


Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role


Demián Bichir, "A Better Life"
George Clooney, "The Descendants"
Leonardo DiCaprio, "J. Edgar"
Jean Dujardin, "The Artist"
Brad Pitt, "Moneyball"



Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role

Glenn Close, "Albert Nobbs"
Viola Davis, "The Help"
Meryl Streep, "The Iron Lady"
Tilda Swinton, "We Need To Talk About Kevin"
Michelle Williams, "My Week With Marilyn"



Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role

Kenneth Brangah, "My Week with Marilyn"
Armie Hammer, "J. Edgar"
Jonah Hill, "Moneyball"
Nick Nolte, "Warrior"
Christopher Plummer, "Beginners"


Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role

Bérénice Bejo, "The Artist"
Jassica Chastain "The Help"
Melissa McCarthy, "Bridesmaids"
Janet McTeer, "Albert Nobbs"
Octavia Spencer, "The Help"

Female Actor - Movie or Miniseries

Diane Lane, "Cinema Verite"
Maggie Smith, "Downton Abbey"
Emily Watson, "Appropriate Adult"
Betty White, "The Lost Valentine"
Kate Winslet, "Mildred Pierce"

Male Actor - Movie or Miniseries
Laurence Fishburne, "Thurgood"
Paul Giamatti, "Too Big To Fail"
Greg Kinnear, "The Kennedys"
Guy Pearce, "Mildred Pierce"
James Woods, "Too Big to Fail"

Female Actor - Comedy Series
Julie Bowen, "Modern Family"
Edie Falco, "Nurse Jackie"
Tina Fey, "30 Rock"
Sofia Vergara, "Modern Family"
Betty White, "Hot in Cleveland"

Male Actor - Comedy Series
Alec Baldwin, "30 Rock"
Ty Burrell, "Modern Family"
Steve Carell, "The Office"
Jon Cryer, "Two and a Half Men"
Eric Stonestreet, "Modern Family"

Ensemble - Comedy Series
"30 Rock"
"The Big Bang Theory"
"Glee"
"Modern Family"
"The Office"

Female Actor - Drama Series
Kathy Bates, "Harry's Law"
Glenn Close, "Damages"
Jessa Lange, "American Horror Story"
Julianna Margulies, "The Good Wife"
Kyra Sedgwick, "The Closer"

Male Actor - Drama Series
Patrick James Adams, "Suits"
Steve Buscemi, "Boardwalk Empire"
Kyle Chandler, "Friday Night Lights"
Bryan Cranston, "Breaking Bad"
Michael C. Hall, "Dexter"

Ensemble - Drama Series
"Boardwalk Empire"
"Breaking Bad"
"Dexter"
"Game of Thrones"
"The Good Wife"

Outstanding Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture

"The Adjustment Bureau"
"Cowboys & Aliens"
"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Pt. 2"
"Transformers: Dark of the Moon"
"X-Men: First Class"

Outstanding Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Television Series


"Dexter"
"Game of Thrones"
"Southland"
"Spartacus: Gods of the Arena"
"True Blood"


L.A.dy Dior The Film - Starring Marion Cotillard

for those who follow my blog you know i am mad about actress marion cotillard. i mean i am really in love with this woman. so even this small film is a reason to celebrate. it's like an early chanukah/christmas gift.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

'Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close'

video

the film i most look forward to this season is the yet to be seen, by critics and public alike, is  'extremely loud and incredibly close' starring tom hanks, sandra bullock and max van sydow. the trailer above gives a sign for an emotional journey. it is perhaps the first really important film on the aftermath of the 9/11 events in 2011.  it will open on christmas day and i suspect will be a strong oscar contender in the months to come.





Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Year in Film 2011

video

Sorry!

i am currently going thru a round of chemo and radiation resulting from a cancer that has kept me down for the past few months. thus i have been neglecting this blog. i will be trying my best to post as i can especially at this year's film season wraps up. truly i will do my best.