Tag Archives: Friday Night Lights

[Review] – Battleship

11 May

Title: Battleship
Year: 2012
Director: Peter Berg
Writers: John Hoeber and Erich Hoeber
Starring: Taylor Kitsch, Alexander Skarsgard, Rihanna, Brooklyn Decker, Liam Neeson, Hamish Linklater, Jesse Plemons
MPAA Rating: PG-13, intense sequences of violence, action and destruction, and for language
Runtime: 131 min
IMDb Rating: 6.4
Rotten Tomatoes: 47%
Metacritic: 43

The concept of a film based on Battleship, that classic board game in which you took turns to try to sink your opponents five boats, has always sounded pretty ridiculous. Never mind that it seemingly had absolutely nothing to do with the board game other than the fact that, admittedly, it took place at sea on some pretty huge battleships. But it’s not even a film about naval combat tactics, about one side doing their best to sink the other side’s boats. Because, you see, in Battleship the other side doesn’t really have boats; instead, the other side are aliens. Not even kidding.

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Emmy Results

20 Sep

The Emmy Awards took place last night, and while there were some highs (the Lead Actress in a Comedy pageant, Ty Burrell’s speech, the The Office spoof) and some lows (the opening musical number, those Emmy-Tones, the New Jersey spoof) that we can argue about how actually good or bad they were, the results are definite and can’t be argued about. As per usual, there were a few surprises (both good and bad), so I’ll round up the winners of the categories which I predicted and then see how I did with those predictions.

OUTSTANDING DRAMA SERIES

Winner: Mad Men

I got this one right, as the masterful AMC series got its fourth win in a row in this category, tying a legendary streak imposed only by The West Wing, L.A. Law and Hill Street Blues for consecutive wins in the category.

OUTSTANDING COMEDY SERIES

Winner: Modern Family

Will this become the Comedy equivalent of Mad Men? It sure seems to be looking that way, as Modern Family really dominated last night’s award telecast, and easily got its second straight Emmy in this category.

OUTSTANDING TV MOVIE OR MINISERIES

Winner: Downton Abbey

Look, I haven’t seen Downton Abbey, but I guess now I really should. Got it wrong considering I was really sure Mildred Pierce would get this one.

OUTSTANDING REALITY SHOW COMPETITION

Winner: The Amazing Race

I wanted Idol to win because it was this year or never for them, but you really can’t stop the ambitious around-the-world competition.

OUTSTANDING REALITY SERIES

Winner: Deadliest Catch

I predicted this one right even though I don’t actually watch the show, not really much else to say here.

OUTSTANDING VARIETY SERIES

Winner: The Daily Show with Jon Stewart

How can you bet against Stewart here? As long as he’s in business this award will have his named engraved on it.

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES

Winner: Kyle Chandler (Friday Night Lights)

Yes!!! Never in my life I think have I been so glad to miss a prediction. Yes, this was arguably Jon Hamm’s year considering Bryan Cranston wasn’t here to beat him, but for FNL and Chandler to get love for the final season of my favorite show of all-time was the best thing that happened Sunday night.

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES

Winner: Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory)

Look, I love Jim Parsons as much as the next guy, but I think even he would be quick to agree that this just didn’t make sense. Who did Steve Carell piss off in the Academy? This should have been his for his stellar final season as Michael Scott.

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A TV MOVIE OR MINISERIES

Winner: Barry Pepper (The Kennedys)

What.the.frak? Literally any of the other five nominees would have been a much more deserving winner. Seriously didn’t get this win.

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES

Winner: Julianna Margulies (The Good Wife)

The FNL love didn’t extend to Mrs. Coach, though. As Julianna Margulies got her second Emmy for The Good Wife‘s second season (her first was in 1995 for her work on ER). And it really was much deserved.

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES

Winner: Melissa McCarthy (Mike & Molly)

The way all of the nominees in this category got up on stage as their names were called out and formed a kind of parade was my favorite bit of the telecast. However, the award itself shouldn’t have gone to the least deserving of the nominees. It felt like they were giving McCarthy kudos for Gilmore Girls or Bridesmaids, because there’s no way you can argue her work on Mike & Molly being superior than that of any of her co-nominees.

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A TV MOVIE OR MINISERIES

Winner: Kate Winslet (Mildred Pierce)

This one was always hers. Now she has the EGO in her EGOT. Can’t wait to see what she does to get that T.

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES

Winner: Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones)

I didn’t get this one right, as I didn’t see Game of Thrones getting this much love from the Academy. Kind of sad because that meant Slattery wouldn’t go on to win and the Mad Men acting Emmy drought would continue.

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES

Winner: Ty Burrell (Modern Family)

Last year Stonestreet, now the extremely deserving Burrell. My guess is that O’Neill will be the winner in 2012 and Ferguson in 2013. This award is Modern Family‘s for as long as it stays on the air with this level of excellence.

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A TV MOVIE OR MINISERIES

Winner: Guy Pearce (Mildred Pierce)

Good win here, even though I hated his speech about having sex with Kate Winslet, that bit was a bit weird.

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES

Winner: Margo Martindale (Justified)

Possibly my second favorite win of the whole night after Chandler’s. Martindale has been one of the best actresses in television for years now, and she finally gets her due. How she got up after stumbling on the steps and then gave that great speech was just the icing on the cake.

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES

Winner: Julie Bowen (Modern Family)

Another sensationally satisfying win for me. In my predictions I had her to win, but I noted that I was just going on gut feeling but thought that Jane Lynch would get it. Goes to show you that listening to one’s gut can work.

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A TV MOVIE OR MINISERIES

Winner: Maggie Smith (Downton Abbey)

I may not have seen Downton Abbey, but I know better than to bet against Dame Maggie Smith. I got this prediction right.

OUTSTANDING REALITY HOST

Winner: Jeff Probst (Survivor)

Impossible for him to ever lose this one, really.

 

So those were the results of the races I tried to predict. I went 13 for 19 which I think is quite decent, we’ll see how I do next year. Until then!

Emmy Predictions: Drama

8 Sep

The 63rd Annual Emmy Awards will take place on Sunday September 18th, just a bit over two weeks from now, so I started making my formal Emmy Predictions and posting my review of each of the major races, since the last time I did so was in my EmmyWatch posts which I did to predict the nominations and as such they had a broader outlook. When predicting the nominees, I went 86 out of the 110 slots I had called, which I think is a solid number, hopefully my accuracy will only improve now that I’m predicting the actual winners. On this, my final Emmy Predictions post, I will take a look at the main Drama categories.

OUTSTANDING DRAMA SERIES

Nominees

  • Boardwalk Empire
  • Dexter
  • Friday Night Lights
  • Game of Thrones
  • The Good Wife
  • Mad Men

If you want to call this a Boardwalk Empire vs. Mad Men battle, well I guess you can go right ahead because technically it’s probably exactly that. But seriously, this has gone to Mad Men three times in a row, and it’s still one of the five or ten best shows of all-time, so it won’t stop now.

Should Win: Friday Night Lights/Mad Men

Will Win: Mad Men

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES

Nominees

  • Steve Buscemi (Boardwalk Empire)
  • Kyle Chandler (Friday Night Lights)
  • Michael C. Hall (Dexter)
  • Jon Hamm (Mad Men)
  • Hugh Laurie (House)
  • Timothy Olyphant (Justified)

Like I said above, Mad Men is right up there as one of the best TV shows ever, and it has won the Best Drama kudos for every single one of its seasons, however, it hasn’t received a single acting Emmy so far, despite garnering quite a bit of nods for its thesps. However, this is all going to change this year, because the talented/hilarious/handsome Jon Hamm has the ‘The Suitcase’ episode to submit, and not even Steve Buscemi can attempt to compete with that.

Should Win: Kyle Chandler/Jon Hamm

Will Win: Jon Hamm

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES

Nominees

  • Kathy Bates (Harry’s Law)
  • Connie Britton (Friday Night Lights)
  • Mireille Enos (The Killing)
  • Mariska Hargitay (Law & Order: SVU)
  • Julianna Margulies (The Good Wife)
  • Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men)

Read above and you’ll see that I’m betting on a Jon Hamm win because he finally has a seriously impeccable episode to submit in ‘The Suitcase’ (that, and the fact that Bryan Cranston is sitting out of the race this year). Now, Elisabeth Moss has that same episode to submit (and she has) and she’s just as phenomenal in it. But the academy already screwed it up last year by not giving it to Margulies, and that’s not gonna happen again this year. Better luck next year, Lizzy.

Should Win: Connie Britton/Julianna Margulies

Will Win: Julianna Margulies

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES

Nominees

  • Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones)
  • Josh Charles (The Good Wife)
  • Alan Cumming (The Good Wife)
  • Walton Goggins (Justified)
  • John Slattery (Mad Men)
  • Andre Braugher (Men of a Certain Age)

I have no idea how to call this one as I can literally see all six of these guys winning for a number of reasons each. I’ve literally typed up four names in the will win and deleted them and came back here, I can’t pick one. Like, I said above, I think Jon Hamm will win and end the Mad Men acting trophy drought, and I think John Slattery will only drive that point further.

Should Win: Walton Goggins

Will Win: John Slattery

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES

Nominees

  • Kelly MacDonald (Boardwalk Empire)
  • Archie Panjabi (The Good Wife)
  • Christine Baranski (The Good Wife)
  • Margo Martindale (Justified)
  • Michelle Forbes (The Killing)
  • Christina Hendricks (Mad Men)

Look, I love me some Archie Panjabi, and I love me some Christina Hendricks just as much if not even moreso. But, as spellbinding as these women all were at different points of their seasons, no one came even close to displaying the riveting performance Margo Martindale gave us in Justified’s stellar second season.

Should Win: Panjabi/Hendricks/Martindale (yeah, too many, I know, I can’t pick)

Will Win: Margo Martindale

 

This is it for my Emmy Predictions, I have given 19 predictions for the main Variety/Mini/Comedy/Drama races, so we’ll see how I do when the envelopes are open and the winners are announced in some 10 days from now. Look for a recap of the action the following morning here, until then it’s back to the usual movie review coverage!

Emmy Nominations

14 Jul

Melissa McCarthy and Joshua Jackson announced the Emmy nominations bright and early this morning, and there were quite a few interesting nominations to say the least, as well as your usual group of horribly snubbed actors and shows, but then again it wouldn’t be the Emmy nominations if you weren’t cheering uncontrollably for someone while you were weeping over the exclusion of someone else. I did four EmmyWatch posts last month, tackling the major categories in the Drama, Comedy, TV Movie/Miniseries and Reality/Variety races, so now I’ll list the full set of nominations, and a brief reaction to it, including how I did with my predictions.

OUTSTANDING DRAMA SERIES

  • Boardwalk Empire
  • Dexter
  • Friday Night Lights
  • Game of Thrones
  • The Good Wife
  • Mad Men
Reaction: I went 5-for-6 in this one, I predicted Justified over Game of Thrones. However, Game of Thrones was amongst my 6 dream nominees so I’m happy about it. Still this one is still probably a Boardwalk Empire vs. Mad Men race to the finish line, and I’m just happy that my beloved Friday Night Lights was finally given a shot to compete in the big race.
OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES
  • Steve Buscemi (Boardwalk Empire)
  • Kyle Chandler (Friday Night Lights)
  • Michael C. Hall (Dexter)
  • Jon Hamm (Mad Men)
  • Hugh Laurie (House)
  • Timothy Olyphant (Justified)
Reaction: Also went 5-for-6 in this category, predicting a William H. Macy nod over that of Timothy Olyphant. That said, Olyphant was actually my #3 dream nominee, and hearing his name called out was one of the happiest moments of the nominations for me, so I’m seriously glad he’s in there. Much like in the Outstanding Drama category, though, this is a Boardwalk Empire vs. Mad Men battle.
OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES
  • Kathy Bates (Harry’s Law)
  • Connie Britton (Friday Night Lights)
  • Mireille Enos (The Killing)
  • Mariska Hargitay (Law & Order: SVU)
  • Julianna Margulies (The Good Wife)
  • Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men)
Reaction: I went 4-for-6 here. I predicted Katey Sagal and Kyra Sedgwick instead of Bates and Hargitay. And those misses are weird to me for a number of reasons. First and foremost, Sagal won the Globe and I can’t believe she got snubbed again by the Emmy’s. Sedgwick actually won this last year and her total omission from this year’s race was bizarre. And Kathy Bates may be great, but Harry’s Law really isn’t, this just goes to prove how Emmy voters sometimes just vote for the name.
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES
  • Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones)
  • Josh Charles (The Good Wife)
  • Alan Cumming (The Good Wife)
  • Walton Goggins (Justified)
  • John Slattery (Mad Men)
  • Andre Braugher (Men of a Certain Age)
Reaction: A strong 5-for-6 showing again in this category. And, again, the one prediction I missed was one I was still incredibly happy to hear. I had Michael Pitt of Boardwalk Empire getting a nod because I reckoned the voters wanted to go deep for their love of the HBO crime saga, but Goggins got in there, and he was actually my #2 dream nominee, so I was damn happy about his inclusion. Still pissed about the lack of John Noble, though.
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA
  • Kelly MacDonald (Boardwalk Empire)
  • Archie Panjabi (The Good Wife)
  • Christine Baranksi (The Good Wife)
  • Margo Martindale (Justified)
  • Michelle Forbes (The Killing)
  • Christina Hendricks (Mad Men)
Reaction: Another 5-for-6 here. Missed Forbes’ nomination in favor of Sharon Gless. However, Forbes was #4 dream nominee and I don’t even watch Burn Notice so I was seriously glad to miss out on a perfect prediction score here.
OUTSTANDING COMEDY SERIES
  • The Big Bang Theory
  • Glee
  • Modern Family
  • The Office
  • Parks and Recreation
  • 30 Rock
Reaction: 5-for-6 again here, but I was SO happy about that, because that miss of mine in this category meant that Parks and Rec, my #2 dream nominee, got in instead of Nurse Jackie which I had predicted to get a nod. The Big Bang Theory also finally broke through to the big race. Still, the thing that pissed me off the most about today’s nominations was the overall lack of love for Community.
OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
  • Alec Baldwin (30 Rock)
  • Louis C.K. (Louie)
  • Steve Carell (The Office)
  • Johnny Galecki (The Big Bang Theory)
  • Matt LeBlanc (Episodes)
  • Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory)
Reaction: 4-for-6 in this one. I had Joel McHale and Matthew Morrison instead of Louis and Galecki. And while I was ecstatic to hear Louis C.K. named this morning (he was #5 in my dream ballot), and I loved that he got in instead of Morrison, I don’t really care much for Galecki and the fact that he probably meant McHale wasn’t nominated ticks me off.
OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
  • Edie Falco (Nurse Jackie)
  • Tina Fey (30 Rock)
  • Laura Linney (The Big C)
  • Melissa McCarthy (Mike & Molly)
  • Martha Plimpton (Raising Hope)
  • Amy Poehler (Parks and Recreation)
Reaction: 5-for-6 again, I had Toni Collette instead of McCarthy in this one. Still, it was awesome to see Poehler and Plimpton get in, and I actually quite liked the fact that they realized this was a comedy category and Lea Michele got snubbed.
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
  • Chris Colfer (Glee)
  • Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family)
  • Ed O’Neill (Modern Family)
  • Eric Stonestreet (Modern Family)
  • Ty Burrell (Modern Family)
  • Jon Cryer (Two and a Half Men)
Reaction: 4-for-6 here, I predicted Nick Offerman (who was my #1 dream nominee) and Neil Patrick Harris over Cryer and Ferguson. But I guess the Modern Family party prevailed (and I’m actually very happy about that) and the voters wanted to give Cryer the nod for having to put up with Sheen’s antics, which is good too, I guess. I just wanted to see Ron Swanson in there.
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
  • Jane Lynch (Glee)
  • Betty White (Hot in Cleveland)
  • Julie Bowen (Modern Family)
  • Sofia Vergara (Modern Family)
  • Kristen Wiig (Saturday Night Live)
  • Jane Krakowski (30 Rock)
Reaction: Finally, my first 6-for-6! Though I was still holding out for a surprise Alison Brie or Aubrey Plaza nod.
OUTSTANDING REALITY SHOW COMPETITION
  • The Amazing Race
  • American Idol
  • Dancing with the Stars
  • Project Runway
  • So You Think You Can Dance
  • Top Chef
Reaction: 5-for-6. I was hoping The Voice would get in there instead of So You Think You Can Dance, but here’s hoping it’ll make the shortlist next season!
OUTSTANDING REALITY SERIES
  • Hoarders
  • Antiques Roadshow
  • Deadliest Catch
  • MythBusters
  • Undercover  Boss
  • Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List
Reaction: 4-for-6, not bad considering this was the category I randomly guessed because I only watch Mythbusters out of the contenders.
OUTSTANDING REALITY HOST
  • Jeff Probst (Survivor)
  • Cat Deeley (So You Think You Can Dance)
  • Phil Keoghan (The Amazing Race)
  • Tom Bergeron (Dancing with the Stars)
  • Ryan Seacrest (American Idol)
Reaction: 4-for-5. I was thinking Padma Lakshmi over Deeley here.
OUTSTANDING VARIETY SERIES
  • The Colbert Report
  • Late Night with Jimmy Fallon
  • Saturday Night Live
  • Conan
  • Real Time with Bill Maher
  • The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
Reaction: 5-for-6 here, I went with Letterman over Fallon in my predictions, but I’m damn glad Fallon got in, he keeps getting better and better.
OUTSTANDING TV MOVIE OR MINISERIES
  • Mildred Pierce
  • Downton Abbey
  • The Kennedys
  • Cinema Verite
  • Too Big to Fail
  • The Pillars of the Earth
Reaction: 4-for-6 here, and I’m really pissed that Carlos (my far-and-out #1 dream nominee) wasn’t nominated. I also predicted Luther would get in but it didn’t.
OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A TV MOVIE OR MINISERIES
  • Greg Kinnear (The Kennedys)
  • Barry Pepper (The Kennedys)
  • Édgar Ramírez (Carlos)
  • William Hurt (Too Big to Fail)
  • Idris Elba (Luther)
  • Laurence Fishburne (Thurgood)
Reaction: 4-for-6 again in this one, I had Hugh Bonneville and Samuel L. Jackson over Kinnear and Pepper, because I really didn’t think The Kennedys was going to get this ridiculous amount of love. Still, Ramírez and Elba got in here, and that’s really all I cared about.
OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A TV MOVIE OR MINISERIES
  • Kate Winslet (Mildred Pierce)
  • Elizabeth McGovern (Downton Abbey)
  • Diane Lane (Cinema Verite)
  • Taraji P. Henson (Taken From Me: The Tiffany Rubin Story)
  • Jean Marsh (Upstairs Downstairs)
Reaction: 4-for-5 here, even though I did 6 predictions and Henson was in there but at #6 so I’m not going to count her. I had Haley Atwell over her. Still, this Emmy probably already has Winslet’s name engraved on it.
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A TV MOVIE OR MINISERIES
  • Guy Pearce (Mildred Pierce)
  • Brian F. O’Byrne (Mildred Pierce)
  • Tom Wilkinson (The Kennedys)
  • Paul Giamatti (Too Big to Fail)
  • James Woods (Too Big to Fail)
Reaction: 4-for-5, I had Tim Robbins over Wilkinson, even though Wilkinson was my #6 in the predictions. I just didn’t anticipate The Kennedys getting this much love.
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A TV MOVIE OR MINISERIES
  • Evan Rachel Wood (Mildred Pierce)
  • Melissa Leo (Mildred Pierce)
  • Mare Winningham (Mildred Pierce)
  • Maggie Smith (Downton Abbey)
  • Eileen Atkins (Upstairs Downstairs)
Reaction: 4-for-5 again here, I had Cynthia Nixon over Winningham, but apparently Mildred Pierce just dominated the category.
So there they are, the Emmy nominations for the categories I had predicted and commented on in my EmmyWatch posts. As the ceremony grows nearer I’ll make similar posts detailing the state of the race and my final prediction for who will actually win it, but for now let’s just let these nods simmer. There were plenty to be happy about (The Justified love, the Friday Night Lights love, Ed O’Neill finally getting in) but there were also a fair share of misses (like the shut-outs for Community and Fringe), but all for all it was a solid pack of nominees. As for my predictions, I went an overall 86-for-110, which I think is pretty damn solid, and hopefully my accuracy won’t fall when predicting the actual winners!

EmmyWatch 2011: Drama

24 Jun

Joshua Jackson and Melissa McCarthy are set to announce the nominations for the 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards bright and early on Thursday, July 14th. And even though this is a film blog, some of you many know I’m also a pretty obsessive TV-watcher, and I currently watch over 70 television series, so I’d like to think I know a fair bit about what’s on the air right now. And in that spirit, I’ll do what I did with my OscarWatch posts back in January, and tackle the major categories for this years Emmy Awards in 4 EmmyWatch posts: Reality/Variety, Mini/Movie, Comedy and Drama.

In them I’ll give my quick thoughts on a particular race and how I personally think things will eventually shape up, listing both the 6 contenders I would personally pick were the nominations up to me, and then 6 who I actually think will have their names called out come nomination morning. Then once the nominations are announced I’ll do a post with my reactions and my actual predictions for the races. In this, the final EmmyWatch post, we’ll take a look at the Drama races…

DRAMA SERIES

This is kind of the category that really shows you that the cable networks really do have the best drama series on television right now. Between HBO, AMC, Showtime and FX there will probably be room for only one broadcast network nominee. The question is not really about who will get the nods, because that’s more or less clear cut, but who will actually pick up the trophy…

My Personal 6 (in specific order)

  1. Friday Night Lights – Look, I watch over 70 TV shows that are currently airing, and I have watched over 120 others that have already finished their run, and none of those I like more than I do Friday Night Lights. It’s my favorite TV show of all time, and while it was insanely great that Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton finally got their much deserved nominations last year, I think the Emmy voters would be stupid if they don’t nominate the show itself for its final season.
  2. Mad Men – It will obviously get nominated again, but will it manage to score its fourth consecutive win? I wouldn’t be against that happening, this is the show that manages to put out the highest quality writing and acting on display week after week (and yes, I’m crying over having to wait till January for the new season, too).
  3. Fringe – I’m a huge fan of this show, the fact that it seemingly keep getting better and better with each season is just a testament to the perfect writing and the characters its superb cast has managed to flesh out.
  4. Justified – Its second season was arguably better than its first, which is really saying something, I just really want this one to get the nod.
  5. Parenthood – I don’t think this one really has much of a chance of scoring a nod, but it definitely classifies for my Top 6. When this show hits the high notes it can hit, it’s amongst the very best on television.
  6. Game of Thrones – My #6 slot could really be altered between this or The Good Wife or The Walking Dead, but since Game of Thrones just ended this past weekend on a high note I’ll give the spot to this epic saga full of twists and meticulously plotted shorelines because it’s just really fresh on my mind.

How I think the actual nominations will look like (in specific order)

  1. Mad Men – I think the buzz surrounding Boardwalk Empire has subsided enough now to grant this one its fourth straight win.
  2. Boardwalk Empire – But maybe the buzz hasn’t died down and the wonderfully lavish HBO Atlantic City-based saga will reign supreme.
  3. The Good Wife – A broadcast network is bound to have a show in here, and this one is the one that will appeal to voters the most, just a stellar second season.
  4. Dexter – The fifth season was probably the most inconsistent one the show has had to date, but it was the highest-rated one, too, and an inconsistent season of Dexter is still better than most of what’s on TV out there anyways.
  5. Justified – I think there will be about five shows battling it out for the last two nominations, and I sure as hell hope the voters choose to reward this one.
  6. Friday Night Lights – So that would leave four shows battling for this final slot. My guess is that they’ll be this one, The Killing, Game of Thrones and True Blood. And while something tells me The Killing will ultimately get it, I don’t want to jinx it, so I’ll put my personal #1 in here.

LEAD ACTOR IN DRAMA SERIES

Will this finally be Jon Hamm’s time? I sure as hell hope so. Bryan Cranston has won this award for the masterclass in acting he gives in Breaking Bad every single episodes for the past three years. However, Breaking Bad didn’t air this year during the eligibility period, so that opens the field for a new winner, and hopefully that’ll mean the mad man will get it.

My Personal 6 (in specific order)

  1. Kyle Chandler (Friday Night Lights) – Coach Taylor. Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can’t Lose. There has been no one better than him on television (with the exception of maybe Bryan Cranston) for the past five years, it’s time for him to get his due.
  2. Jon Hamm (Mad Men) – How no one in this insanely talented cast has gotten an Emmy yet is beyond me, but considering Cranston is out this year, and Hamm has ‘The Suitcase’ to submit as his episode, this might finally be his year.
  3. Timothy Olyphant (Justified) – I cannot say enough about this man’s performance, and even though he doesn’t necessarily have the flashiest role that Emmy voters may warm up to, he should definitely get in there.
  4. William H. Macy (Shameless) – I really loved this series from the get-go, and a lot of this has to do with this man’s performance as the drunken father of a very dysfunctional family.
  5. Michael C. Hall (Dexter) – I love Dexter, and one of the reasons the show is so great is because the man who plays our favorite serial killer is perfect at embedding in the character a lot of likability.
  6. Peter Krause (Parenthood) – Again, Parenthood has a special place in my heart because when it’s on it gives some of the most emotional performances on television, and Peter Krause is front and center in a cast full of terrific actors.

How I think the actual nominations will look like (in specific order)

  1. Jon Hamm (Mad Men) – Read Personal 6. With Cranston out and the episode he has to submit, he’s not losing this year.
  2. Steve Buscemi (Boardwalk Empire) – He didn’t make my Personal 6, but the Mad Men vs. Boardwalk Empire battle won’t only happen in the Best Drama category. If anyone can prevent Hamm from winning, it’s him.
  3. Michael C. Hall (Dexter) – Read Personal 6.
  4. William H. Macy (Shameless) – Read Personal 6.
  5. Hugh Laurie (House) – He’s always a nominee, and that won’t stop this year.
  6. Kyle Chandler (Friday Night Lights) – Much like I did in the Best Drama category, I give this final slot to him because my heart really wants it to be. But look for an also very deserving Timothy Olyphant, and maybe even Jeremy Irons, to challenge Chandler for that final slot.

LEAD ACTRESS IN DRAMA SERIES

Last year Julianna Marguiles somehow lost to Kyra Sedgwick (who voters wanted to finally reward after a lot of years of getting nominations for The Closer). Elisabeth Moss and some other will try and deny Marguiles again, but she should score this time. This is one strong category this year.

My Personal 6 (in specific order)

  1. Connie Britton (Friday Night Lights) – The series came in as my personal #1, so did Kyle Chandler, so of course Connie Britton would to. She’s a force of nature in the best show ever on television.
  2. Julianna Marguiles (The Good Wife) – The likeliest winner there can be, and her work on the show’s second season has been on par, if not above, the great performances she turned in during its debut run.
  3. Lauren Graham (Parenthood) – Yes, I love this show dearly, and it’s an outrage to me that Graham never got Emmy nominations for her time on Gilmore Girls so not only do voters have to reward for her sheer brilliance on this show, but also for the mistakes they made in the past.
  4. Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men) – I’m usually not such a huge supporter of Moss no matter how much I live and die for this show, but, just like Jon Hamm, she now has ‘The Suitcase’ episode to submit, which makes her an instant favorite.
  5. Emmy Rossum (Shameless) – This is such a fantastic role that Rossum manages to make the most of. It’s very doubtful she’ll get a nod, but I wanted to give her a slot on my list.
  6. Anna Torv (Fringe) – I had a horrible time picking my final personal nominee. So honorary shout-outs to Katey Sagal (Sons of Anarchy) and Mireille Enos (The Killing), but I had to go with the woman who’s on the best sci-fi show on TV (other than Doctor Who), and who managed to play four different roles, each to great levels of perfection.

How I think the actual nominations will look like (in specific order)

  1. Julianna Marguiles (The Good Wife) – Look, she was totally snubbed last year, it’s just not gonna happen again.
  2. Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men) – Again, she has ‘The Suitcase’ episodes to submit. If Marguiles hadn’t been snubbed last year this would be hers.
  3. Kyra Sedgwick (The Closer) – The fact that she finally won last year doesn’t mean she’ll stop getting nominated for her consistently solid work.
  4. Connie Britton (Friday Night Lights) – She has a better chance of getting in there than the show itself or Kyle Chandler, and I think she’ll sit firmly in the middle of the pack.
  5. Katey Sagal (Sons of Anarchy) – She somehow got snubbed of a nod last year, but her win at the Globes gives her the momentum to secure one now.
  6. Mireille Enos (The Killing) – My guess is that this final slot is between Enos and Mariska Hargitay, and I’m hoping Emmy voters will opt for the newbie here, who has given us quiet and beautifully nuanced performance in AMC’s new series.

SUPPORTING ACTOR IN DRAMA SERIES

This race is wide open this year, considering that the amazing Aaron Paul, who finally got his win for Breaking Bad last year, is ineligible because his show didn’t air during the eligibility window. Ditto for Damages‘ Martin Short. And now that Lost is gone that means no Michael Emerson or Terry O’Quinn, either. So yeah, this one is wide open this year.

My Personal 6 (in specific order)

  1. John Noble (Fringe) – Much like Anna Torv in the Lead Actress race, I think people should reward Noble, the stand-out in an impeccable cast on TV’s best sci-fi show, for so wonderfully playing two very different versions of the same character to perfection.
  2. Walton Goggins (Justified) – The reason why I thought Justified‘s second season was better than its already stellar first one was because of the introduction of Margo  Martindale and Goggins. Goggins hasn’t gotten much Emmy love in the past, and he’ll have a hard time getting the nod now, but he’s extremely deserving.
  3. Alan Cumming (The Good Wife)The Good Wife has four solid eligible men for this category, Cumming, Josh Charles, Chris Noth and Matt Czuchry. Cumming was nominated for Guest Star last year, but now that he’s a regular on the CBS hit you can certainly count him as a major contender here.
  4. Joel Kinnaman (The Killing) – If Mireille Enos is the quiet performer that gives the show its intensity, it’s Kinnaman that keeps it from ever being boring, the way he plays the shady-at-times Holder is one of the biggest reasons to watch this show.
  5. John Slattery (Mad Men) – I was torn between Slattery and Jared Harris for Mad Men‘s slot in this personal list of mine, but Slattery has been incredibly consistent and this year he has a real good shot at winning.
  6. Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones) – I was thinking about a couple other picks for my final slot (Mad Men‘s Harris, Hawaii Five-0‘s Scott Caan or Boardwalk Empire‘s Michael Shannon) but I kept coming back to this guy, his performance in HBO’s epic is tremendous, and in a cast full of standout actors it’s him you remember.

How I think the actual nominations will look like (in specific order)

  1. John Slattery (Mad Men) – My money is on him to, much like Jon Hamm, finally break through and get the win after three straight nominations. With Breaking Bad gone this year it’s time for Mad Men to go on a spree.
  2. Andre Braugher (Men of a Certain Age) – I don’t watch this show (though I plan on catching up with it soon as it’s done with its current season), but the consensus is that Braugher’s performance is simply outstanding.
  3. Alan Cumming (The Good Wife) – Read Personal 6.
  4. Michael Pitt (Boardwalk Empire) – I’m having a hard time predicting which Boardwalk Empire guy, either Pitt or Michael Shannon, will get the most love from Emmy voters. I think Pitt, though both of them might get in.
  5. Josh Charles (The Good Wife) – Yeah, I’m thinking two The Good Wife guys will get in here and, much like in the series, Charles and Chris Noth will fight to be the one. I’m going with Charles because I like his performance more, but if you hear Noth’s name called out don’t be surprised.
  6. Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones) – Much like in my Personal 6, I had a hard time predicting who would get the voters final slot, either Dinklage or Michael Shannon, and, much like in my Personal 6, my hunch said Dinklage.

SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN DRAMA SERIES

I said the Lead Actress race was a strong one this year. Well, this one’s even stronger, and will be tougher to call. With Elisabeth Moss going Lead and January Jones being dumb and entering in Lead as well instead of here where she’d have a better shot, there’s one new slot here, and another one when you factor in Rose Byrne’s absence from the race as Damages didn’t air during the eligibility period.

My Personal 6 (in specific order)

  1. Archie Panjabi (The Good Wife) – Kalinda is one of the best characters in broadcast TV, and when Panjabi came out of nowhere and won last year, over her castmate Christine Baranski which was more favored, she got people to notice her. The stuff she did on the show’s second season was stunning as always and a repeat nod is assured, and maybe even a two-peat will be in order.
  2. Christina Hendricks (Mad Men) – My beloved Joanie went through quite a ride during Mad Men‘s stellar fourth season, but that only meant that Hendricks would have chances to really let her acting shine.
  3. Margo Martindale (Justified) – An industry vet who has given probably the role of her career here, just one insanely fun character to watch develop week after week, and it was all because of the little things Martindale did with her performance.
  4. Michelle Forbes (The Killing) – That this TV veteran hasn’t gotten any Emmy love is an outrage, but the way in she portrays so much grief and pain in this dark and rainy show is one of the most perfect parts of it.
  5. Kelly MacDonald (Boardwalk Empire) – She’s my favorite part of the great ensemble on this HBO series, she gives her character so many layers that really adds a lot to the overall effect of the show.
  6. Kiernan Shipka (Mad Men) – I wanted a young member of one my favorite ensembles to get my personal sixth slot. I was between Shipka or Parenthood‘s Mae Whitman, but Shipka, at just 12 years old, was given a lot of really mature and challenging stuff to portray in her first year as a series regular, and she absolutely nailed each and every one of them.

How I think the actual nominations will look like (in specific order)

  1. Archie Panjabi (The Good Wife) – Read Personal 6. I think she’s still the favorite to repeat.
  2. Christina Hendricks (Mad Men) – Read Personal 6.
  3. Kelly MacDonald (Boardwalk Empire) – Read Personal 6. If Boardwalk starts getting a lot of love she could potentially pull this one off.
  4. Margo Martindale (Justified) – Read Personal 6.
  5. Christine Baranski (The Good Wife) – I doubt they’ll leave her out of the conversation, she’s been great on TV for years.
  6. Sharon Gless (Burn Notice) – I don’t watch Burn Notice, and I don’t really intend to start, but people seem to love Gless and I fear she might be the one to keep Michelle Forbes out of the running.

Prom

11 May

Title: Prom
Year: 
2011
Director: 
Joe Nussbaum
Writer: Katie Wech
Starring: 
Aimee Teegarden, Nicholas Braun, Dean Norris, Danielle Campbell, Cameron Monaghan, Christine Elise, Raini Rodriguez
MPAA Rating: 
PG, mild language and a brief fight
Runtime: 
104 min
Major Awards: –

IMDb Rating: 
3.7
Rotten Tomatoes: 
40%

Prom stars Aimee Teegarden, so just because of that it was on good terms with me prior to me watching it, since Friday Night Lights is my favorite television show of all time and now that it has ended I’ll take any chance to see any of its castmembers in anything I can get. But, I mean, you just can’t expect all that much from a live-action Disney movie named Prom, you know? It’s title and studio pedigree will give away from the get go every single thing that will happen in it, and they will indeed happen, and you know it’ll be all sorts of wonderfully clichéed. But, for my money, even though Prom isn’t really all that good, it was quite better than I what initially expected from it.

Prom faithfully follows its generic playbook line by line, which was to be expected all that more when you consider director Joe Nussbaum is the guy that crafted the similar and similarly family-friendly Sleepover and Sidney White, but I will praise the fact that even though everything here is corny and predictable, and the build-up to the big prom dance is a total bore, at least the film goes down relatively easily and by the end you’ll realize that even though it wasn’t the greatest film experience, Prom grew on you.

And everything that makes Prom feel so predictable and, at times, dull, is actually what makes Prom one of the rarest movies out there. And that’s the fact that it’s actually an innocent movie. Yes, we get PG-rated films nowadays, but they’re mostly either animated or based on little kids. Very few times do we get PG-rated movies in which the characters are teenagers on the verge of going to prom, not even your most wholehearted TV series or films with kids these ages are as charmingly innocent as Prom is, and the fact that the cast can sell that innocence so well is quite commendable. Ms. Teegarden especially, her acting isn’t on display here like it was in her role as Julie in Friday Night Lights, but she plays Nova, our lead character, impeccably well and makes her, the virgin that has no prom date, a human character which often isn’t the case when we see these roles played out.

She’s part of the prom committee though, and as it so happens there’s this bad boy at school who she’ll obviously fall over but he obviously hates prom but he’s obviously forced by school authorities to join the committee and help her out. Yes, everything here is pretty damn obvious, but still, it works for what it is. And, again, that’s because of the actors. Ms. Teegarden gives Nova a believability to her that’s endearing and Thomas McDonnell, who plays bad boy Jesse, will get obvious comparisons to a cheaper version of a younger Johnny Depp and actually plays the part real well here, ditto with Nicholas Braun who plays the nerd of the movie and does so will real nice comedic timing.

So count me amongst the ones who kind of liked Disney’s Prom, I didn’t mind that no one spiked the punch or that somehow not one teenager swore, we’ve seen that too many times and this earnest take on the topic was actually somewhat refreshing. The sort of film that’s just all about the dreams of high school kids and how magical prom is and how the bad boy had a heart underneath it all. I liked that, I thought it was kind of cool just knowing that Nova would obviously get along with Jesse and eventually they’d fall for each other, and I liked knowing how all the other couples we’re introduced to here would obviously overcome their communication mishap to turn out just fine at the end.

I’m definitely not Prom‘s ideal target audience, which is why I probably won’t give it a higher grade, but I do appreciate when a film is so decidedly wholesome because even those that try to be nowadays many times end up sacrificing some of their ideals along the way, and that’s just not the case with Prom. This film is family-friendly in every aspect, even the guy that’s the school’s stoner who would have been a much more marked figure in other films is appropriately PG-rated, you see him being super chill and funny, but nothing more.

So yeah, I’ll give this one a strong C+, but if you’re a pre-teen girl, who’s still a couple years away from going to your prom and are still idealistic about that whole ordeal, then my guess is that this film will play real strongly to you. The film is totally charming in just how incredibly innocent and overly-sweet it is, and how it doesn’t try to be too cool or anything, and it has a cast full of really nice people who do their best at the roles they are given, and as such the result is one that even if you’re not a pre-teen girl you’ll sure be able to appreciate it, if not fully embrace and like.

Grade: C+

Scream 4

6 May

Title: Scream 4
Year: 
2011
Director: 
Wes Craven
Writer: Kevin Williamson, based on his own characters
Starring: 
David Arquette, Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox, Emma Roberts, Hayden Panettiere, Anthony Anderson, Adam Brody, Rory Culkin, Mary McDonnell, Marley Shelton, Alison Brie, Anna Paquin, Kristen Bell, Lucy Hale, Britt Robertson, Shenae Grimes, Aimee Teegarden, Roger L. Jackson
MPAA Rating: 
R, strong bloody violence, language and some teen drinking
Runtime: 
111 min
Major Awards: –

IMDb Rating: 
7.2
Rotten Tomatoes: 
56%

I’m a pretty big fan of horror movies, and as one my life has been marked by Wes Craven. The master of horror, the genius behind such classics as The Last House on the Left, The Hills Have Eyes, Nightmare on Elm Street and, of course, the Scream series. The Scream movies redefined the horror genre in the mid-nineties, the first one was just a huge breath of fresh air, one of the smartest horror films out there, full of self-referencing moments, self-aware characters and a nice amount of blood to go along with a great cast. It’s impossible to watch Scream and not love it, it’s just too damn fun, and the many spoofs that have been made of it just speak volumes about the impact it has had on pop culture.

In any case, Scream was obviously a huge success, so pretty much exactly a year after its release we got Scream 2, which had Neve Campbell, David Arquette and Courtney Cox, the three main players from the first one, returning to star alongside a new slew of secondary characters. And you know, even though the main castmembers and the writer and director were back on board you kind of have to expect a sequel, moreso when it’s to a horror film, to be a decline in quality from the first one. And yet it wasn’t, Scream 2 was pretty much just as great as the original, with an incredibly witty screenplay that worked as a terrific satire of the genre. Not to mention that the new characters introduced here were all pretty awesome, and the amount of funny and genuinely scary moments was on par with the first one.

And now, we get to Scream 3, released in the year 2000, the one that we all hoped would get Scream to be that perfect horror trilogy that had no faults. But that just wasn’t to be, and the third installment was just horribly sub-par in comparison to the spectacular first two. And that’s because the first two Scream films were well aware of the films they were representing to the point in which they became spoofs of them while still remaining having a solid quantity of great scary moments, while this third one just became plain-out dumb, and it really sucked, it was just a horrible mix of the typical genre clichés the first Scream films were so damn good at avoiding and at making fun of. Not to mention that the supporting cast, which is usually full of awesome characters and actors, was just filled with thinly written characters that did nothing to help out the main 3, who were great as always, especially Ms. Campbell who was the best thing about that film.

Now, Scream 3 may have sucked because Kevin Williamson, the guy that came up with the characters and wrote the first two, wasn’t there. But whatever the case, that crappy entry into the series essentially seemed to have killed it, until now, eleven years later. And Scream not only reunites all three main castmembers with Wes Craven, but Kevin Williamson was also there to craft the ideas, concepts and script, even though Ehren Kruger, who wrote the third one, was brought in mid-production to do some re-writes at Mr. Williamson’s unavailability, but the script is still credited to the guy that crafted the two good Scream films. And maybe having this one be written by the guy that crafted the good ones but retouched by the guy that wrote the bad one may explain the overall result of this film, one that’s not as incredible as those first two classics but that’s certainly an improvement over the last one.

Seriously, I thought Scream 4 was a success, and if what they want is a new trilogy then this is a commendable start to it. This one is full of pretty rad kills, goes back to its silly meta humor and has some awesome new characters played by some great young actors to join our main three. This one is just cool, the sort of film that serves as a very welcome reminder of just how fresh the first Scream films were and that even though this one doesn’t live up to those heights it’s still quite great to watch.

This film really doesn’t quite pull it off, it’s not a hugely towering achievement, but it comes this close, and the fact that this, a film that’s the fourth entry in a franchise that was thought dead and left alone over a decade ago, got that close to being incredible, is a feat to really celebrate and, much like he did six years ago with the terrific Red Eye, Mr. Craven shows that, at 71 years old, he’s got plenty left in the tank. And it comes so close at working because, if you liked the first films, then you’ll feel right at home here, with the new kids at that Woodsboro highscool who still all love horror films and thus spawn a bucketload of self-references and meta fun that goes a long way to making Scream 4 pretty damn good.

Now, I was five years old when the first Scream came out, so it’s not as though the wait has been unbearable on me because I saw all three films in one week back in 2003, but I still feel love for these films because they were some of the ones that got me introduced to world of horror films and because I was fascinated with how the characters were all so very aware of all the horror film clichés so that they can avoid them, which added layers of layers of meta to it and made for some very original and entertaining plotlines and, especially, kills.

So I loved this one because it still had the two hot girls watching a horror movie and talking about the meta and postmodern stuff behind it all, and of course even that’s meta because those are characters behind Stab 6 which is a film about the killings in Woodsboro. And that’s what we get in Scream 4, all these references within itself that work to blend in the fiction into reality and get us just as used to both things and to any situation that could present itself to us here, but of course once we’re back in the real Woodsboro we’ll find out that the latest Ghostface has been killing new teenagers who watch horror films.

Not to mention that our main three characters from the originals are all grown-up now! Sidney Prescott, who’s played by Neve Campbell who’s as awesome as always, comes back to town now being a best-selling author after writing a self-help book based on her experience from surviving the first Ghostface, and Sheriff Dewey and Gale Weathers, played by David Arquette and Courtney Cox when they were still married, are now a couple here with a very fun relationship to watch. But of course we’re on the verge of watching something horrible happen as someone points out when Sydney comes back to town, because she kind of brings all these crazy happenings to town.

As for the new breeds, it’s all based around Emma Roberts’ character Jill, who’s actually Sidney’s young cousin. And she an her friends are the focus of the latest Ghostface who’s hell beant of re-creating the events of that first Stab film-within-a-film. And it’s all good, it’s all in really good fun, the past ten years with the explosion of the internet have given the filmmakers new toys to play with here, and the three original castmembers are all awesome at reprising their roles. And the new blood includes some awesome people like Adam Brody, Rory Culkin and Alison Brie, who’s a favorite of mine from her work in Community and who’s 7 different kinds of gorgeous. Not to mention that some of the hottest faces of television are also here with True Blood‘s Anna Paquin, Pretty Little Liars‘ Lucy Hale, Life Unexpected‘s Britt Robertson (I’ll miss that show), 90210‘s Shenae Grimes and Friday Night Lights‘ (my favorite TV show ever which I’ll miss even more) Aimee Teegarden all making appearances here. If Scream 4 means the start of a new trilogy, I’m insanely happy about this one being the first stepping stone set.

Grade: B