The (Socially Distanced) Oscar Goes To

side_oscarAs they finish polishing up the statues for tomorrow’s awards ceremony, it’s time to finish up our predictions with the major categories. In a strange change of pace, not only haven’t I’ve seen these films, I haven’t actually heard of many of them. So, without further ado, we begin with:

Best Picture

The Father
Judas and the Black Messiah
Mank
Minari
Nomadland
Promising Young Woman
Sound of Metal
The Trial of the Chicago 7

I’ve seen a grand total of zero of these, so I’ll go with Mank, since Hollywood certainly loves films about itself.

Best Actor

Riz Ahmed, Sound of Metal
Chadwick Boseman, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Anthony Hopkins, The Father
Gary Oldman, Mank
Steven Yeun, Minari

Having seen none of these, I’ll go with the sentimental pick of Boseman in what I believe was his final performance.

Best Actress

Viola Davis, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Andra Day, The United States vs. Billie Holiday
Vanessa Kirby, Pieces of a Woman
Frances McDormand, Nomadland
Carey Mulligan, Promising Young Woman

Again, I’ve seen none of these, so I’ll take a stab in the dark and pick Carey Mulligan.

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2020: The Year In Movies Part 2

Movie_Reel_22272 different people starred in the 154 movies I saw last year (starring in being the first two named stars, a tradition dating back to the old Chicago Tribune TV guide which populated the early days of my database), and 28 of them starred in more than 1 film. Those 28 thespians are:

Films Per Actor Per Year
Actor Name Films
Charles Bronson 4
Harrison Ford 4
Katie Holmes 3
Keanu Reeves 3
Bruce Willis 3
Renee Zellwegger 3
Chadwick Boseman 2
Alison Brie 2
Jessica Chastain 2
Adam Driver 2
Jesse Eisenberg 2
Karen Gillan 2
Carla Gugino 2
Tom Hanks 2
Anna Hutchison 2
Samuel L. Jackson 2
Gillian Jacobs 2
Felicity Jones 2
Ewan McGregor 2
Kumail Nanjiani 2
Al Pacino 2
Brad Pitt 2
Issa Rae 2
Arnold Schwarzenegger 2
Will Smith 2
Kristen Stewart 2
Charlize Theron 2
Jessie T. Usher 2

Now let’s take a look at the next batch of movies that I saw in 2020, following up on last Wednesday’s post.

The Prodigy (2019)
The soul of a serial killer takes over a young boy’s body, much to his mother’s chagrin.

Alex & The List (2017)
A dog trainer is given a list of things to change about himself by his fiancé before she’ll marry him.

Hide (2011)
A Boston detective investigates the mummified remains of six women.

Pretty Little Stalker (2018)
A writer takes in a troubled girl and sees her family disintegrate.

Road To Perdition (2002)
Tom Hanks and Paul Newman star in this adaptation of the graphic novel by Max Allan Collins and Richard Piers Rayner.

Jumanji: The Next Level (2019)
The kids head back into the game, this time dragging along Dannys DeVito and Glover.

Are You In The House Alone? (1978)
A supposed horror movie that turned out to be a made-for-tv movie.

My Soul To Take (2010)
A serial killer returns to his hometown to stalk the seven children born on the day he was allegedly put to rest.

Bridget Jones: The Edge Of Reason (2004)
The second installment in the series starring Renee Zellwegger.

Good People (2014)
A couple finds themselves in a pickle after discovering, and keeping, cash in their dead tenants apartment. Continue reading →

The Academy Award Goes To

side_oscarAs they finish polishing up the statues for tonight’s awards ceremony, it’s time to finish up our predictions with the major categories. In a strange change of pace, I’ve actually seen one or two of these. So, without further ado, we begin with:

Best Picture

Ford V Ferrari
The Irishman
Jojo Rabbit
Joker
Little Women
Marriage Story
1917
Once Upon A Time In Hollywood
Parasite

I’ve seen a grand total of two of these, so I’ll go with 1917, since Hollywood seems to love a war epic.

Best Actor

Antonio Banderas, Pain And Glory
Leonardo DiCaprio, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood
Adam Driver, Marriage Story
Joaquin Phoenix, Joker
Jonathan Pryce, The Two Popes

I’ll pick one of the two performances I’ve seen and go with Adam Driver.

Best Actress

Cynthia Erivo, Harriet
Scarlett Johansson, Marriage Story
Saorise Ronan, Little Women
Charlize Theron, Bombshell
Renee Zellwegger, Judy

I’ve only seen one of these, so I’ll go with the talented Saorise Ronan from the perennial favorite Little Women.

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And The Nominees Are

side_oscarThe 92nd Academy Awards are going down Sunday night, so here’s my uneducated predictions for the non-acting awards. I have seen a couple of these movies, so I will still mostly be going on gut feel and word of mouth with just a little bit of personal experience.

Best Original Screenplay

Rian Johnson, Knives Out
Noah Baumbach, Marriage Story
Sam Mendes and Krysty Wilson-Cairns, 1917
Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood
Bong Joon-ho and Han Jin-won, Parasite

I’ve seen none of these films, so this is a total shot in the dark, but I’ve heard lots of good things about Knives Out.

Best Adapted Screenplay

Steven Zaillian, The Irishman
Taika Waititi, Jojo Rabbit
Todd Phillips and Scott Silver, Joker
Greta Gerwig, Little Women
Anthony McCarten, The Two Popes

I’ve only seen one of these, but my guess is that Greta Gerwig takes home the prize.

Best Animated Feature

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
I Lost My Body
Klaus
Missing Link
Toy Story 4

I’m assuming the continuing adventures of the talking Mr. Potato Head and friends will be the winner.

Best Cinematography

Rodrigo Prieto, The Irishman
Lawrence Sher, Joker
Jarin Blaschke, The Lighthouse
Roger Deakins, 1917
Robert Richardson, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood

Well, again, I’ve seen one of these, so I will go with the war effort 1917.

Best Costume Design

Sandy Powell and Christopher Peterson, The Irishman
Mayes C. Rubeo, Jojo Rabbit
Mark Bridges, Joker
Jacqueline Durran, Little Women
Arianne Phillips, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood

Quentin Tarantino’s tale of 1960s Hollywood is my choice to win this particular prize.

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The Envelope Please

side_oscarThe 91st Academy Awards are going down Sunday night, so here’s my uneducated predictions for the non-acting awards. I have seen a couple of these movies, so I will still mostly be going on gut feel and word of mouth with just a little bit of personal experience.

Best Original Screenplay

Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara, The Favourite
Paul Schrader, First Reformed
Nick Vallelonga, Brian Currie, and Peter Farrelly, Green Book
Alfonso Cuarón, Roma
Adam McKay, Vice

I’ve seen none of these films, so this is a total shot in the dark, but I’m going The Favourite, hoping it is the favorite.  (See what I did there?)

Best Adapted Screenplay

Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz, Kevin Willmott, and Spike Lee, BlacKkKlansman
Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty, Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Barry Jenkins, If Beale Street Could Talk
Eric Roth, Bradley Cooper, and Will Fetters, A Star Is Born

Again, I haven’t seen any of these, but my guess is that Barry Jenkins will take home the award, based on word of mouth.

Best Animated Feature

Incredibles 2
Isle Of Dogs
Mirai
Ralph Breaks The Internet
Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse

Hey, I finally saw one of the nominated films, but not the one I’m picking to win.  By all accounts, Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse is a sensational film, one which I need to see sooner or later, and it should take home this prize.

Best Cinematography

Lukasz Zal, Cold War
Robbie Ryan, The Favourite
Caleb Deschanel, Never Look Away
Alfonso Cuarón, Roma
Matthew Libatique, A Star Is Born

Well, again I’ve seen none of these, so I will go with the latest remake of A Star Is Born.

Best Costume Design

Mary Zophres, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
Ruth E. Carter, Black Panther
Sandy Powell, The Favourite
Sandy Powell, Mary Poppins Returns
Alexandra Byrne, Mary Queen of Scots

Typically, I would go for one of the historical films to take home this prize, but I’m hoping that Black Panther breaks through and scores a well-deserved win.

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Another Mix Tape Monday – Volume 1

20 years ago, during my sophomore year of high school, I put together the first of what would become a nearly 20 volume collection of mix tapes, containing my favorite songs that I had gathered either from the radio, a cassette tape, or (eventually) CD.  We last looked back at all 20 volumes three years ago to see which of my “favorite” songs still resonated in today’s digital world.  Today, we revisit those mix tapes and see how, or if, things have changed in the past 3 years.

Volume 1, again, was started in 1989 when I was a sophomore and stretches to early 1990.  It features a steady stream of hair metal, with a smattering of pop, rap and dance, with a morning zoo radio bit thrown in for good measure.

Side A

Warrant – Heaven

The biggest hit from Warrant, which I most likely originally recorded from Z95, peaked at #2 on the Billboard charts.  It has more than doubled its number of plays over the last 3 years.

iTunes Stats
2012 2015 2019
3 plays 6 plays 13 plays, most recently on 12/4/2018 

Young MC – Bust A Move

One of the first tunes I bought on cassingle, this one hit wonder won the Grammy for Best Rap Performance in 1990.  It had another impressive increase, gaining 6 plays since 2015.

iTunes Stats
2012 2015 2019
13 plays 20 plays 26 plays, most recently on 9/17/2018 

New Kids Got Run Over By A Reindeer

Thanks to YouTube, I just finally tracked down this parody song that I originally heard on the Welch & Woody morning show on Z95.  I may even listen to it next Christmas.

Bon Jovi – You Give Love A Bad Name

Originally written by Desmond Child for Bonnie Tyler, the song was rewritten and became the first single from Bon Jovi’s third album in 1986.  After a dry spell between 2012 and 2015, it has more than doubled in the 3 years since.

iTunes Stats
2012 2015 2019
5 plays 6 plays 14 plays, most recently on 12/11/2018 

B-52s –  Love Shack

I’m still hoping to acquire the full version of the song on MP3, which I had originally taped off the radio.   In spite of that, I’ve more than tripled the number of listens over the last three years.

iTunes Stats
2012 2015 2019
2 plays 3 plays 13 plays, most recently on 10/2/2018 

Paula Abdul – The Way That You Love Me

After stalling out on the Billboard charts on its original release in 1988, the song, along with a video by future Academy Award nominee David Fincher, was re-released the following year, making it up to #3.  Despite barely hearing the song for years, it’s added 7 new plays in the past three years.

iTunes Stats
2012 2015 2019
0 plays 1 play 8 plays, most recently on 11/6/2018 

Richard Marx – Right Here Waiting

The #1 hit, the third consecutive for Marx, was the second single from his second album.  After a dry spell between 2012 and 2015, it has more than tripled in the 3 years since.

iTunes Stats
2012 2015 2019
1 play 3 plays 10 plays, most recently on 12/12/2018 

Side B

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Trying To Get It Right This Year

side_oscarAs they finish polishing up the statues for Sunday’s awards ceremony, it’s time to finish up our predictions with the major categories.  In a strange change of pace, I’ve actually seen one or two of these.  So, without further ado, we begin with:

Best Picture

Call Me By Your Name
Darkest Hour
Dunkirk
Get Out
Lady Bird
Phantom Thread
The Post
The Shape Of Water
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Unlike years past, I’ve actually seen 2 of these films.  Sadly, I’m not picking either to win, but instead am going with The Shape Of Water.

Best Actor

Timothée Chalamet, Call Me By Your Name
Daniel Day-Lewis, Phantom Thread
Daniel Kaluuya, Get Out
Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour
Denzel Washington, Roman J. Israel, Esq.

With talk of his upcoming retirement from acting, my guess is that Daniel Day-Lewis will take home the prize.

Best Actress

Sally Hawkins, The Shape Of Water
Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Margot Robbie, I, Tonya
Saoirse Ronan, Lady Bird
Meryl Streep, The Post

I’m guessing that Margot Robbie’s turn as disgraced skater Tonya Harding will earn the ultimate recognition.

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Those Non-Acting Oscars

side_oscarThe 90th Academy Awards are going down next Sunday night, so here’s my uneducated predictions for the non-acting awards. I have seen a couple of these movies, so I will still mostly be going on gut feel and word of mouth with just a little bit of personal experience.

Best Original Screenplay

Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani, The Big Sick
Jordan Peele, Get Out
Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird
Guillermo del Toro and Vanessa Taylor, The Shape Of Water
Martin McDonagh, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

I’ve actually seen three of these films, and, while I would love for Emily and Kumail to win, my money is going on Jordan Peele for Get Out.

Best Adapted Screenplay

James Ivory, Call Me By Your Name
Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber, The Disaster Artist
Scott Frank, James Mangold, and Michael Green, Logan
Aaron Sorkin, Molly’s Game
Virgil Williams and Dee Rees, Mudbound

I’ve only seen one of these, but my guess is that the legend behind the story of The Disaster Artist will earn it the nod.

Best Animated Feature

The Boss Baby
The Breadwinner
Coco
Ferdinand
Loving Vincent

I’ve only heard of two of these, one of which is from the good folks at Pixar, so I’ll go with that.

Best Cinematography

Roger A. Deakins, Blade Runner 2049
Bruno Delbonnel, Darkest Hour
Hoyte van Hoytema, Dunkirk
Rachel Morrison, Mudbound
Dan Laustsen, The Shape Of Water

Well, again I’ve seen none of these, so I will go with the war epic Dunkirk.

Best Costume Design

Jacqueline Durran, Beauty And The Beast
Jacqueline Durran, Darkest Hour
Mark Bridges, Phantom Thread
Luis Sequeira, The Shape Of Water
Consolata Boyle, Victoria & Abdul

Another category where I’m at a loss, so I’ll go with the live action Disney hit.

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2017 Emmy Awards – Drama

Emmy_statueTonight’s the night for the Emmy Awards, so it’s time to finish off my predictions for the awards.  Today, we’re focusing on the awards for Dramas.  I most likely have seen most of these shows, so, unlike my annual Oscar predictions, I will not mostly be going on gut feel and word of mouth, but will have a somewhat informed decision.

Outstanding Drama

Better Call Saul

The Crown

The Handmaid’s Tale

 

House of Cards

Stranger Things

This Is Us

Westworld

I watched two of these, but I don’t expect either of them to win.  With Westworld being HBO’s only entry, my guess is it will take home the prize.

Outstanding Actress In A Drama

Viola Davis, How To Get Away With Murder

Claire Foy, The Crown

Elisabeth Moss, The Handmaid’s Tale

Keri Russell, The Americans

Evan Rachel Wood, Westworld

Robin Wright, House of Cards

If it were up to me, I’d give the award to either Keri Russell, but I assume that Viola Davis will take home the prize.

Outstanding Actor In A Drama

Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us

Anthony Hopkins, Westworld

Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul

Matthew Rhys, The Americans

Liev Schreiber, Ray Donovan

Kevin Spacey, House of Cards

Milo Ventimiglia, This Is Us

Some new blood in this category.  I’m assuming that Brown and Ventimiglia will split the vote and leave Sir Hopkins to claim victory.

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