Sunday, September 23, 2012

Emmy Nominations

Just in case I happen to get them all correct this time, here's are my Emmy predictions:

Comedy Series:           Modern Family (ABC)
Lead Actress:              Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep (HBO)
Lead Actor                  Louis CK, Louie (FX)       (RU: Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory)
Supporting Actress:    Kristen Wiig, SNL (NBC)
Supporting Actor:       Ed O'Neill, Modern Family (ABC)
Directing:                    Louie, "Duckling" (FX),    (RU:Modern Family, "Baby on Board" (ABC))
Writing:                       Girls "Pilot" (HBO)

Drama Series:               Mad Men (AMC)            (RU: Homeland, then Downton, then Breaking Bad)
Lead Actress:                Claire Danes, Homeland (Showtime
Lead Actor:                   Brian Cranston, Breaking Bad (AMC)
Supporting Actress:      Joanne Frogatt, Downton Abbey (PBS)  (RU: Christina Hendricks, Mad Men)
Supporting Actor:         Giancarlo Esposito, Breaking Bad (AMC)
Directing:                      Homeland, "Pilot" (Showtime)       (RU: Breaking Bad, "Face Off")       
Writing:                         Downton Abbey, "Episode 7) (PBS)   (RU: Homeland, "Pilot" (Showtime))

Miniseries/Movie:        Game Change (HBO)
Lead Actress:                Julianne Moore, Game Change (HBO)
Lead Actor:                   Benedict Cumberbatch, Sherlock (BBC)
Supporting Actress:      Jessica Lange, American Horror Story (FX)
Supporting Actor:         Ed Harris, Game Change (HBO)
Directing:                     Game Change (HBO)
Writing:                        Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia (BBC)

Variety Series:             The Daily Show with John Stewart (CC)
Reality Series:             The Amazing Race (CBS)
Reality Show Host:     Betty White
Directing for a Variety Special:  Glen Weiss, 65th Annual Tony Awards (CBS)
Writing for a Variety Special:     Louis CK, Live at the Beacon Theater (FX)

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Indefinite Postponal!

Unfortunately, due to time commitments and a lack of artistic skill, I am postponing the creation of the webseries Fluff & Bone indefinitely. That being said, the idea is not dead... rather, I am trying to convert it to another medium; one that I am far less likely to ever have a chance to make.

Because while a Fluff & Bone webseries would be fun, an animated Fluff & Bone television series would be so much better.

Also, I actually plan to use this blog for blogging purposes in the near future.

Monday, January 23, 2012

2011 in Film

Oscar nominees will be announced tomorrow morning, so I've been reflecting on the movies from 2011 and compiling a list of ones that I will need to catch before the ceremony on the 26th of February. Any recommendations for 2011 films that I have overlooked?

I'll do a best of the year list a few days before the Oscars, as well as a prediction of who will win. Because predicting things is almost as much fun as making lists!

Seen (73)
13 Assassins
30 Minutes or Less
The Adventures of Tintin 
Albert Nobbs
Another Earth
The Arbor
The Artist
Attack the Block
Bad Teacher
Bill Cunningham New York
Certified Copy
Crazy, Stupid, Love.
Captain America: The First Avenger
Conan O'Brien Can't Stop
The Descendants
Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame
Don't Be Afraid of the Dark
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
Film Socialisme
Fright Night
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
The Green Hornet
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt. 2
The Help
Horrible Bosses
The Ides of March
The Iron Lady
I Saw the Devil
Kung Fu Panda 2
Margin Call
Martha Marcy May Marlene
Meek's Cutoff
Midnight in Paris
The Muppets
My Week With Marilyn
The Perfect Host
Project Nim
Puss in Boots
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Scream 4
A Seperation
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
The Skin I Live In
Source Code
Sucker Punch
Super 8
Take Shelter
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
The Tree of Life
The Trip
Tucker and Dale VS. Evil
Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives
War Horse
Win Win
X-Men: First Class
Young Adult

Have Yet to Watch
A Better Life
A Cat in Paris
Cave of Forgotten Dreams
Chico & Rita
A Dangerous Method
Into the Abyss
Mysteries of Lisbon
We Need to Talk About Kevin

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Golden Globes 2012 Predictions

The Golden Globes are tomorrow! I am not actually all that excited, but it's boring in Mount Pleasant right now, and I have some spare time. So, here are my predictions for who I think will win each award tomorrow night, as well as who I want to win (of the actors nominated). Also, I have no idea why the spacing is so weird, as it looks fine on the edit screen.


Best Motion Picture (Drama)
Who Will Win: The Descendants
Who Should Win: Hugo

Best Motion Picture (Comedy)
Who Will Win: The Artist
Who Should Win: Midnight in Paris        *I haven't had a chance to see The Artist yet*

Best Director
Who Will Win: Michel Hazanavicius for The Artist
Who Should Win: Martin Scorsese for 'Hugo'

Best Actor (Drama)
Who Will Win: Brad Pitt for 'Moneyball'
Who Should Win: Michael Fassbender for 'Shame'

Best Actor (Comedy)
Who Will Win: Jean Dujardin for 'The Artist'
Who Should Win: N/A

Best Actress (Drama)
Who Will Win: Viola Davis for 'The Help'
Who Should Win: Rooney Mara for 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo'

Best Actress (Comedy)
Who Will Win: Michelle Williams for 'My Week with Marilyn'
Who Should Win: Charlize Theron for 'Young Adult'

Best Supporting Actress
Who Will Win: Octavia Spencer for 'The Help' 
Who Should Win: Jessica Chastain for 'Take Shelter', 'The Tree of Life' and 'The Help' combined

Best Supporting Actor
Who Will Win: Christopher Plummer for 'Beginners'
Who Should Win: Albert Brooks for 'Drive'

Best Animated Feature
Who Will Win: Rango
Who Should Win: Rango        *I haven't had a chance to see TinTin yet*

Best Foreign Language Film
Who Will Win: A Separation
Who Should Win: A Separation or The Skin I Live In   *I'll be happy either way*

Best Screenplay
Who Will Win: Midnight in Paris
Who Should Win: Midnight in Paris

Best Original Score
Who Will Win: Ludovic Bource for 'The Artist'
Who Should Win: Howard Shore for 'Hugo'

Best Original Song
Who Will Win: 'The Living Proof' from 'The Help'
Who Should Win: N/A


Best Series (Drama)
Who Will Win: Homeland
Who Should Win: Game of Thrones

Best Series (Comedy or Musical)
Who Will Win: Modern Family
Who Should Win: Modern Family

Best Mini-Series or Made-For-TV Movie
Who Will Win: Downton Abbey
Who Should Win: Downton Abbey

Best Actor (Drama)
Who Will Win: Bryan Cranston for 'Breaking Bad'
Who Should Win: Bryan Cranston for 'Breaking Bad'

Best Actor (Comedy or Musical)
Who Will Win: Matt LeBlanc for 'Episodes'
Who Should Win: N/A

Best Actor (Mini-Series or Made-For-TV Movie)
Who Will Win: Hugh Bonneville for 'Downton Abbey'
Who Should Win: N/A

Best Actress (Drama)
Who Will Win: Claire Danes for 'Homeland'
Who Should Win: Claire Dances for 'Homeland'

Best Actress (Comedy or Musical)

Who Will Win: Zooey Deschanel for 'New Girl'
Who Should Win: Amy Poehler for 'Parks and Recreation'

Best Actress (Mini-Series or Made-For-TV Movie)
Who Will Win: Kate Winslet for 'Mildred Pierce'
Who Should Win: N/A

Best Supporting Actor (Series, Mini-Series, or Made-For-TV Movie)
Who Will Win: Peter Dinklage for 'Game of Thrones'
Who Should Win: Peter Dinklage for 'Game of Thrones'

Best Supporting Actress (Series, Mini-Series, or Made-For-TV Movie)
Who Will Win: Jessica Lange for 'American Horror Story'
Who Should Win: N/A

Monday, December 26, 2011

Fluff and Bone Promo #2

The Top Ten (of the 500 Movies)!

Finally! A full year in the making, I can now publish my top ten favorite films from the 500 movies that I watched between November 1st, 2010, and October 31st, 2011.

Brace yourself...

 #10 - The Red Shoes - dir. Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger - 1948
Directors Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger have appeared numerous times over my list, and not for the last time, either. The Red Shoes is a beautiful film - shot if gorgeous technicolor - that follows the rise of a talented ballet dancer, showcasing the joy and pain that comes from the level of dedication that some people put towards their art. The film is about more than just ballet, it is about what some people will sacrifice to achieve the highest levels of perfection. In the case of Vicky Page (played wonderfully by Moira Shearer), it comes to choosing between love and her art.

The following link is easily one of the best moment in any film, ever:

#9 - The Holy Mountain - dir. Alejandro Jodorowsky - 1973
Certain images from The Holy Mountain have probably stuck with me better than any other film on this list. I'm not entirely sure how to describe it... I suppose I can sum the plot up to being about a Christ-like figure undergoing a meta-physical quest towards enlightenment in a world full of perversions and religious symbolism. And, be warned, this is not a film for the faint of heart, or the easily offended.

The visual aesthetics of this film are extraordinary - the set pieces especially. Incredibly imaginative - in an acid trip sort of way - Jodorowsky tries to connect a lot of very different ideas: from alchemy and mysticism, through cynicism, poetry, surrealism and satire, making this film an extremely ambitious achievement. Whether or not it is successful in those ambitions would probably vary wildly from person to person, as this film certainly isn't for everyone.

The Holy Mountain is fascinating, entertaining, and incredibly grotesque. It also has a scene of toads re-enacting the conquest of Mexico. I have attached the link... view at your own discretion:

#8 - Shallow Grave - dir. Danny Boyle - 1994
Shallow Grave, Danny Boyle's directorial debut, is also his best film. A fast-paced, stylish, tightly written thriller about three roommates who find their fourth roommate dead with a case full of money in his room, the film works as both a black-comedy and an effectively scary thriller, with the dynamics between the three friends ever changing. The three main actors are terrific (Ewan McGregor, Kerry Fox, and Christopher Eccleston), with Eccleston giving a performance so good that I'm tempted to go back and watch him on Doctor Who again. Having had seen and liked almost every other Boyle film (whilst turning a blind-eye to The Beach), I had high expectations when watching this, and the film managed to completely exceed them.

#7 - Pierrot Le Fou - dir. Jean-Luc Godard - 1965
Godard, one of the leading directors during the French New Wave movement of the late 1950's and 1960's, shows up multiple times on my list, with Pierrot Le Fou ending up as my favorite of his films.

Following a man and his ex-girlfriend as they are pursued by gangsters, the film becomes a road-trip movie as the characters travel south whilst committing crime on a journey of both re-creation and self-destruction (figuratively and literally). At once part gangster film, part musical, part crime-road-movie, Godard ignores typical narrative conventions and instead improvises much as it goes along, making Pierrot Le Fou both messy and a little bit maddening (in the best way possibles).

A scene early in the film shows a conversation with the director Samuel Fuller (The Naked Kiss, Shock Corridor), who plays himself. Fuller says, "Film is like a battleground. Love. Hate. Action. Violence. Death. In one word: Emotions."All of these emotions run high throughout Pierrot Le Fou, and as a result, it ends up being the finest Godard film I've seen yet.

#6 - Stalker - dir. Andrei Tarkovsky - 1979
Stalker may be the best science fiction film ever made. It follows a guide known as the Stalker as he leads a Writer and a Professor through a mysterious land known only as The Zone, an area where the laws of physics no longer apply. The men travel in search of a place called The Room, where their deepest desires are said to come true, and each holds a different reason for why they have come.

The film may be slow but is highly rewarding. It is a science-fiction film that has no explanation of science or futuristic technology, instead developing an atmosphere than can be both as harrowing as it is beautiful, and concluding with one of the best final shots of any film ever made.

#5 - The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp - dir. Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger - 1943
The Archers appear more times throughout this list than any other director. The fact is, I have yet to see a film directed by the duo that I did not, in fact, love. So that The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp manages to be my favorite of their films says an awful lot about just how high of esteem I hold for it.

The film spans forty years, detailing the life of General Clive Candy, a military man first seen in his  year of old age - fat, bald, and sporting a walrus mustache. What first appears as a caricature develops into a fascinating persona as the life of Candy is laid out before us, revealing him as both the ideologist and the romantic that he is. The finest part of the consistently excellent Colonel Blimp may be the miraculous performance of Deborah Kerr, playing three different roles that intertwine with Candy over the course of his life.

#4 - Playtime - dir. Jacques Tati - 1967
Playtime is a movie without a story. It is a movie where things are constantly occurring, but nothing actually happens. It also may be the single greatest comedic achievement in cinematic history.

The sheer number of visual gags in Playtime is astounding. The film takes place in a variety of locations over the course of a day, and is only linked together by a couple of characters (including Jacques Tati's Monsieur Hulot), whose paths cross on occasion. Yet the focus of the film remains on the people and technology around them, turning the most mundane of situations into brilliant comedy. It's a film that takes multiple viewings just to pick up on all of the jokes. The choreography that Tati must have put in to setting up some of the gags is astounding, with many being built up so naturally that you won't even realize something is coming until it actually occurs. That the humor carries additional weight by holding a message on both tourism and the excesses consumerism only improves the quality of this already perfect film.

#3 - Chungking Express - dir. Kar Wai Wong - 1994
Like Playtime, Chungking Express is the type of film you really need to watch multiple times to get the most out of it.

Comprised of two overlapping stories - the first, about a love-sick cop who encounters a mysterious woman (who also happens to be a drug smuggler), carries an almost noir-feeling, and ends where the second story begins, at a snack bar known as Midnight Express. The second story, about a second love-sick cop, centers around a girl (in a miraculous performance by Faye Wong) who falls for him, and genre-shifts the movie into almost a romantic-comedy.

The direction of the film is stylish and full of energy; the camera work is kinetic, showcasing some fantastic imagery of the metro Hong Kong area, and the soundtrack (with its constant repetition of 'California Dreamin') is wonderful. However, the unconventional format of the film makes it so that some details - especially in how the two stories overlap - may not stick the first time. As a result, Chungking Express becomes one of those rare films that gets better every time you watch it.

#2 - Brand Upon the Brain! - dir. Guy Maddin - 2006
Guy Maddin's films are a sort of reinvention of the age of silent cinema. Brand Upon the Brain!, his best film, is like a dream that borders on becoming a nightmare. Almost hypnotic in nature, the film weaves the story follows a fictional Guy Maddin as he returns to the island with the lighthouse-orphanage that he grew up in, only to have his mind flash back to his childhood. What follows is a story that weaves together a tyrannical mother, children detectives, a mad scientist, lesbian lovers, and orphan nectar, held together by the fantastic visual aesthetics that make Maddin's films unlike any other working director.

#1 - Elevator to the Gallows - dir. Louis Malle - 1958
My number one film! Easily one of my favorite films ever, too (though I guess I could say that about all of my top ten)! Elevator to the Gallows, Louis Malle's directorial debut, is simply one of the coolest movies ever made. It has one of my all time favorite scores (composed by Miles Davis, who pretty much improvised the entire thing), and could very well be considered as the first film of the French New Wave, having been released nearly two years before both Godard's Breathless and Truffaut's The 500 Blows.
A superb noir crime-thriller, Elevator to the Gallows follows two separate crimes that intersect: a carefully planned murder by one man who finds himself trapped in an elevator, and the theft of the murderer's car by a young couple. What follows is storytelling at its finest, and I would hate to ruin it with spoilers.


So there you have it... my film list is complete. At least for this year. Even though I am no longer on my 500-in-a-year challenge, I'm still watching an awful lot, so I may make another best list once next November comes around. AndI do plan on making a best of 2011 list around Oscar time.

However, I have further plans for this blog, as I will be launching my original animated web-comic Fluff & Bone hopefully in the near future! So be excited!