Yesterday, Netflix released a trailer for Season Two of its award-winning political thriller, "House of Cards" The new season will be released in February 2014 and all episodes will likely be released at the same time, much like the first season.
It's award show season, my favorite time of year! Here are the nominees for this years Golden Globes. Who do you think was snubbed?
No Oprah and what is Rush doing in these nominations? That feels pretty out of left field. No love for The Butler either. Gonna be an interesting awards season!
Best Motion Picture – Drama "12 Years A Slave" "Captain Phillips" "Gravity" "Philomena" "Rush"
Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy "American Hustle" "Her" "Inside Llewyn Davis" "Nebraska" "The Wolf Of Wall Street"
Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama Chiwetel Ejiofor, "12 Years A Slave" Idris Elba, "Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom" Tom Hanks, "Captain Phillips" Matthew McConaughey, "Dallas Buyers Club" Robert Redford, "All Is Lost"
Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy Christian Bale, "American Hustle" Bruce Dern, "Nebraska" Leonardo DiCaprio, "The Wolf of Wall Street" Oscar Isaac, "Inside Llewyn Davis" Joaquin Phoenix, "Her"
Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama Cate Blanchett, "Blue Jasmine" Sandra Bullock, "Gravity" Judi Dench, "Philomena" Emma Thompson, "Saving Mr. Banks" Kate Winslet, "Labor Day"
Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy Amy Adams, "American Hustle" Julie Delpy, "Before Midnight" Greta Gerwig, "Frances Ha" Julia Louis-Dreyfus, "Enough Said" Meryl Streep, "August: Osage County"
Best Supporting Actor Barkhad Abdi, "Captain Phillips" Daniel Bruhl, "Rush" Bradley Cooper, "American Hustle" Michael Fassbender, "12 Years A Slave" Jared Leto, "Dallas Buyers Club"
Best Supporting Actress Sally Hawkins, "Blue Jasmine" Jennifer Lawrence, "American Hustle" Lupita Nyong'o, "12 Years A Slave" Julia Roberts, "August: Osage County" June Squibb, "Nebraska"
Best Director Alfonso Cuaron, "Gravity" Paul Greengrass, "Captain Phillips" Steve McQueen, "12 Years A Slave" Alexander Payne, "Nebraska" David O. Russell, "American Hustle"
Best Screenplay Spike Jonze, "Her" Bob Nelson, "Nebraska" Jeff Pope and Steve Coogan, "Philomena" John Ridley, "12 Years A Slave" Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell, "American Hustle"
Best Original Score "All Is Lost" "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom" "Gravity" "The Book Thief" "12 Years A Slave"
Best Original Song "Atlas," Coldplay ("The Hunger Games: Catching Fire") "Let It Go," Idina Menzel ("Frozen") "Ordinary Love," U2 ("Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom") "Please Mr. Kennedy," Oscar Isaac, Justin Timberlake and Adam Driver ("Inside Llewyn Davis") "Sweet Than Fiction," Taylor Swift ("One Chance")
Best Foreign Language Film "Blue is the Warmest Color" "The Great Beauty" "The Hunt" "The Past" "The Wind Rises"
Best Animated Feature Film "The Croods" "Despicable Me 2" "Frozen" Click the RAWR for the TV nominees!
Mike Birbiglia’s new
comedy special, My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend,
proves what an amazing talent he has as both a storyteller and a comedian. Here
he tells a great story, with wonderful detours and side roads but always coming
back to the main thread at just the right moment. He even allows serious and
sweet moments into his routine. The main story is his relationship to Jenny and
how that has changed him. But the road he takes to get there is truly hilarious
and often touching.
He starts by talking
about how a few years ago everyone he knew started getting married. He starts
with a somewhat general statement that I can relate to: “Sometimes when I think I am right about something, it can be a real
source of tension between me and the person I’m arguing with, and the reason
it’s a source of tension is that I’m right.” He talks about how he thinks
marriage is insane, and mentions how fifty percent of marriages end in divorce.
He adds: “That’s just first marriages.
Second marriages, sixty to sixty-two percent end in divorce. Third marriages,
seventy to seventy-five percent end in divorce. That’s a learning curve.”
But don’t worry – he can
be romantic, like when he says, “From the
moment I met Jenny, I knew I wanted to sleep with her at least once.” And: “I remember the first time I fell in love. It
was in high school, it was that first time where you fall in love and you’re
just like, ‘This is it, I found her, I’m seventeen years old and I’m done.’”
I love his material about failed attempts at kisses,
and about seeing people making out. “Making
out is just sloppy. It’s like watching a dog eat spaghetti.” He also
mentions how the way women argue can be maddening. “That’s how Jenny argues things sometimes. She’ll just say, ‘That’s how
I feel.’ And I’ll say, ‘That’s not an argument.’”
Jayne Mansfield’s Car is an interesting and engaging family drama
set in the south in 1969, when a death brings two very different, though
perhaps equally dysfunctional, families together. It boasts a fairly incredible
ensemble cast including Robert Duvall, John Hurt, Kevin Bacon, Robert Patrick,
Ray Stevenson, Frances O’Connor, Ron White and Billy Bob Thornton, who also
co-wrote and directed the film.
The film opens with a
small anti-war demonstration in the town of Morrison, Alabama, while the two
local cops look on. Meanwhile, the older folk are in a barber shop, discussing
politics. Jim Caldwell (Robert Duvall) says, “You ought to have to be from here to run for office, the way I see it.”
Another guy tells him, “Well, they’ve
been here some forty-odd years, though, Jim.” Jim is then upset to learn
that one of his sons, Carroll (Kevin Bacon) was the leader of the anti-war
demonstration. He seems to be leaning pretty far to the right, so the sudden
shot of Jim seated by a stream is completely welcome, for it makes us feel for
him. It makes him more human.
This family has money.
They live in a mansion. Skip (Billy Bob Thornton), one of the other sons, has a
small collection of sports cars. But they are far from being trouble-free.
Skip, though fifty years old, still lives at home. Jimbo (Robert Patrick),
though married and with a son, also still lives at home. Jim lives partially in
the past, harboring an anger, and also a morbid passion for car accidents. The
family dynamic is almost immediately apparent during an early dinner scene at
the house. Jim is interestingly quiet for the beginning of this scene, and he
when he does speak, it’s to say basically what he said in the barber shop,
which now simply comes off as rather sad instead of strong and indignant like
the first time.
A phone call from England
interrupts their dinner. Jim’s ex-wife – the mother to all of his children –
has died and is going to be buried in Alabama. A death in the family is an easy
way to make an audience feel for a group of people, but it’s really when Jim
says, “She deserved to be with her
people, don’t matter what she’d done to us” that you become involved and
One of my favorite types of films to review is mainstream foreign
films that have not yet opened in America. There’s a thrill in being able to
draw attention to some really great movies that have been, up to this point,
somewhat obscure In this country, often due to something as small as a language
barrier. I hadn’t heard of ‘What’s in a
Name?’ until I had the chance to see it and now that I have I’m excited to talk
This is a comedy set in an apartment over a dinner party.
Vincent (Patrick Bruel) is an expectant father attending the party thrown by
his sister for himself and some of their friends. Things are going well until they
start a game to guess what the baby will be named. When Vincent announces the
name it snowballs into an evening of revelations, great arguments, and some
very funny dialogue. Things get heated almost like ‘Who’s Afraid of Virginia
Wolfe’ but with less venom.
The opening reminds me a lot of ‘Amelie’. There are a lot of
shots of moving through Paris traffic while a narrator gives us trivia and
background information on our characters. Once we settle into the plot the film
becomes a filmed play with most of the action all taking place in one
apartment. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a new film of this type and I
sorely missed the genre. Watching these characters verbally spar with each
other is absolutely captivating.
The film is from writer/director team Alexandre de La
Patellière and Matthieu Delaporte, based on their 2010 original play. It’s just
now opening in America but was released in France over a year ago (a major
source of pride for the production is that it opened against The Avengers and
had a higher opening weekend gross).
What’s in a Name? opens on VOD (Available on ITunes HERE) and in select theaters including
NYC's Cinema Village on December 13th.
Hey Pop Culture
Beasties! Who wants to party?! I want to party! You want to party! We want to
party! Let's party!
To party, we need a
great house party music mix!
I tend towards EDM events these days for my music enjoyment, but I threw a certified bash
for the Fourth of July in 2008. Well, by my standards. I invited 20 people, and
50 showed up. There were fireworks from a cool vantage point (accompanied
bythe Kiss version of the national
anthem), many foods and drinks, unexpected actors passed out on the floor,
and grown men throwing Pop Its in each others' faces! I even had a freaking
Photo Credit: Matt Carpenter
But what's all of that
without a great soundtrack? Would any awesome even happen without one? When I go to a party, I
love party music. You know, those songs pretty much everyone loves and can sing
along to, or get a good groove going on. So when it came time to decide on
music for my party, I thought about all the songs I love to sing along and
dance to when I'm in a party mood.
People loved the mix!
Walking through the room, I'd be hearing, "omg! I love this song!"
People were dancing on the patio. But this was 2008! Would my mix stand the
test of time? I recently unearthed those party mix CDs, and was really excited
to find they're still mostly great. So, I want to share my list with
you as inspiration for your own party mixes!
CLICK RAWR TO UNLOCK A TREASURE CHEST OF AUDITORY PARTY FAVORS!
Monday nights at Largo in Los Angeles have become legendary, primarily due to Tig Notaro's comedic confessions about her very difficult year in 2012. Even prior to Notaro's touching and talented set, Largo was known as a comedy laboratory: Monday nights are when comedians like Sarah Silverman show up to massage some new material. And it's a celebrity comedian oasis, too. One night, Ed Helms appeared on stage without any pre-announcement or fanfare. In this intimate small-theater setting, it's like a private party: It's impolite to gawk at the celebrities, and we're all on our best behavior. Any night you're at a Largo comedy night, you're probably going to feel lucky to have been there.
Monster Pies is an absolutely wonderful film about first love and
the troubles of growing up, finding one’s place in the world and asserting
oneself. It features excellent performances, particularly by the two leads, but
also by all of the supporting players. It stars Tristan Barr as Mike and Lucas
Linehan as William, two gay teenagers who develop a relationship and learn about themselves through a
class assignment on Romeo And Juliet.
The film opens with Mike
riding his bicycle to school. He’s late, and the teacher makes him go to the
office to get a late pass, which apparently is a regular thing for him. While
waiting, a new boy comes out of the office, and the two make eye contact. All
of this is set to gorgeous piano music, and is the opening credit sequence.
In class, the teacher
holds up a copy of Romeo And Juliet
(the Signet Classic edition, for those who are curious). William doesn’t have a
copy yet, so the teacher asks Mike to share his. William, at the teacher’s
request, then reads aloud from Act I Scene i: “Alas that love, whose view is muffled still.” The shot is from the
side, with William in the foreground, but the focus being on Mike who is next
to him in the background, looking toward us. It’s a nicely framed shot of the
two of them.
The teacher assigns the
students a project. In groups of two or three, they must do their own modern
interpretations of Romeo And Juliet,
which will be due at the end of the semester. It’s nice that Mike doesn’t
immediately try to partner up with Will. But all the other kids get other
partners, showing Mike as a bit of an outsider. So then Mike asks Will, who is
also without a partner, being the new kid. They decide to do their project as a
horror film (as Will says, “The only kind
that can be so bad but still be good”).
The film does a good job
of establishing the two characters’ worlds by cutting back and forth between
shots of their individual lives, showing them with their families. Will’s dad
thinks he should be working instead of in school, and his mother is in a
hospital after suffering a brain injury. She is nearly catatonic. (There is a
great shot of Will’s mother alone, after Will and his dad have left.) Mike’s
parents are divorced, and his father is upbeat through a bit awkward.
I'm not gonna lie, I have a bit of a chip on my shoulder when it comes to horror movies that appear to go straight to video. I grew up during a time where this meant your movie was terrible and in a lot of cases this is still true. The thing is that today is a rapidly evolving world in terms of film and film distribution so have a movie release on DVD and not have a big (or any) theatrical release is not necessarily an indication of the quality of the movie. Look at Curse of Chucky for a prime example, which I think went direct to DVD more as a way to get the Chucky Collection box set to sell more copies rather than as a determiner of its quality. It's great btw.
So it was not without a bit of trepidation that I sat down to watch All Hallows' Eve, an anthology/narrative hybrid about a babysitter and her two charges watching an unmarked VHS tape. The tape contains three stories all featuring a maniacal clown, amongst other things, doing all manner of horrific things to various people.
I had seen the trailer for this one and I found myself interested in seeing it, and after watching it, I am pleased to say it's damn good. I watch a lot of horror movies and it takes a lot for me to get creeped out. I'm not talking jump scenes, I am talking genuine creeps. All Hallows' Eve delivers the good old fashioned under your skin back of your neck creeps. The kind you just don't get anymore.
Heavy on gore and scares, this film delivers something for pretty much any horror fan. When I finished watching it, I'll be honest, I was hesitant to turn the lights off. I had no idea what manner of demon or monster would show up once the light was gone.
That is exactly the way you should feel after a good horror movie, the need to check your locks and then get up out of bed to check them again. All Hallows' Eve left me with that feeling.
This is definitely a fun flick to watch with friends and one that you can enjoy scaring yourself with even if you're all alone. Don't let the cover fool you. This movie is about so much more than a clown. It's really rather multilayered in terms of its scares and what kind of monstrosities you experience.
I'm not going to spoil anything for you just do yourself a favor and check it out. It's a fun little flick that does prove that releasing on DVD does not have to be a indicator of a bad movie. Not by any stretch. I, for one, can't wait for a sequel.
Triple Crossed tells the story of a soldier who has returned from
Afghanistan, suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and living in his
car. He needs money and a place to live, and is offered both by a woman who
wishes him to kill her deceased brother’s lover.
The film opens with a
brief battle scene in Afghanistan, focusing quickly on a soldier on the ground,
a certain tattoo on his wrist. It then cuts to Los Angeles, a year or so later.
Chris (Jack Brockett) is working out in a park, the same tattoo on his wrist.
He calls Jackie to follow up on a job as head of security. Interestingly, in
this scene, we don’t see Jackie’s eyes. Her mouth is at the top of the frame,
forcing us to focus on her voice, just as Chris does. She has him meet her at
her house. And even then right away we don’t see her eyes, for she has on large dark
Jackie (Laura Reilly)
tells Chris that he failed the drug test, so her company can’t hire him. But
she has a personal job for him – to kill Andrew Warner, her brother’s partner.
Her brother was killed in Afghanistan, and he had left his partner fifty-one
percent of the family company. It is then she removes her glasses, as if to get
a better look at Chris and to show him that she trusts him and knows he’ll do
the job. She tells him she’ll set him up with a place to live and fifty
thousand dollars in cash.
Meanwhile Andrew (played
by Sean Paul Lockhart, who also directed the film) is hanging out with a female
friend, Kendra, who tells him it’s time he met someone.
There are flashbacks to
the war, hinting at the troubles Chris suffers from, and also hinting at
another relationship there.
Gov’t Mule’s new album, Shout!, is the band’s first studio album
in four years. This rock jam band has an interesting approach to the new album.
There are two discs, but it’s the same material on each disc. That is, the same
songs appear on both discs. But the second disc features different versions of
the tunes, each with a special guest vocalist. Folks like Elvis Costello, Dr.
John and Steve Winwood all join Gov’t Mule on the second disc.
All the songs on Shout! were written by Warren Haynes.
Sometimes the sort of gruff, boisterous energy of the vocals reminds me just a
bit of Brent Mydland. Other times, like on “When The World Gets Small,” the
vocals remind me of Lou Gramm. These are basically rock tunes, but a song like
“No Reward” has a heavy blues-rock vibe. And then “Scared To Live” has a reggae
beat, which is nice, though it is the sound of that song’s choruses that I
On the second CD, the
songs are presented in a different order. With three exceptions, the versions
on the second disc are shorter.
Shout! kicks off with “World Boss,” a groovy rock number with a bit
of a funky dance rhythm at its base. “Everybody,
have you heard the news/World boss is coming.” There is a nice jam toward
the end of the tune. On the second disc, Ben Harper provides vocals for this
“Whisper In Your Soul”
has more of a trippy feel, particularly due to the guitar. The vocals, however,
have a somewhat romantic bent, which is nice. “Lie with your body next to mine/Feels like I’m traveling through time/I
feel the whisper in your soul/I feel me losing all control.” And when it
kicks in, it has more of a rock feel. Grace Potter provides vocals on the
version on the second disc.
"I drew a line on the ground. And I said, 'On the other side
of this line, everything will be different.'" So stated co-founder Larry Harvey in Spark, a documentary about Burning Man. He was speaking of the genesis of Burning Man, the long-running counter-culture festival of arts, music, and positive intent.
Burning Man is certainly a different world. It's a temporary near-utopia in the Nevada desert, a true phoenix that is born and dies in the span of a week every summer. But Spark, the Steve Brown-led documentary, shows us that not everything is different there out on that dusty playa playground. While conscious living and love are overarching principles of the event, its participants and organizers display human foibles that sometimes interfere with achieving those goals. With so much tension, can the spark of intention shine through?
CLICK RAWR FOR THE SPARK THAT WILL START YOUR FIRE!
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