Archives for category: Actors

The biggest award show in movies is just hours away now; so last minute with my picks this year! Anyway, minus a few categories I still haven’t seen or decided among nominees, here are my favorites to win.

  • Best Picture: “Darkest Hour,” “Dunkirk,” “Lady Bird” or “The Post”
  • Actor in a Leading Role: Gary Oldman – “Darkest Hour”
  • Actress in a Leading Role: Saoirse Ronan – “Lady Bird,” Meryl Streep – “The Post” or Margot Robbie – “I, Tonya”
  • Actor in a Supporting Role: Christopher Plummer – “All the Money in the World”
  • Actress in a Supporting Role: Allison Janney – “I, Tonya”
  • Director – Christopher Plummer – “All the Money in the World”
  • Animated Feature – “Coco”
  • Animated Short: ?
  • Adapted Screenplay: “Molly’s Game”
  • Original Screenplay: “Lady Bird”
  • Cinematography: “Dunkirk”
  • Documentary Feature: ?
  • Documentary Short Subject: ?
  • Live Action Short: ?
  • Foreign Language Film: ?
  • Film Editing: “Dunkirk”
  • Sound Editing: “Dunkirk”
  • Sound Mixing: “Dunkirk”
  • Production Design: “Beauty and the Beast”
  • Original Score: “Dunkirk”
  • Original Song: ?
  • Makeup and Hair: “Darkest Hour”
  • Costume Design: “Beauty and the Beast” or “Victoria and Abdul”
  • Visual Effects: “Star Wars: The Last Jedi”

Any thoughts on this year’s nominees? Which are your favorites?

I remember the original “Magnum, P.I.” TV series, although I never watched it at the time. Considering how young I was, it just didn’t appeal to me or others my age. Looking back on the show, I can see the main audience being viewers in their 20s and 30s. The lead star, Tom Selleck, as a handsome actor certainly would’ve been part of the draw. That, too, I also get now. I was just too young to see him as a celeb crush when the Hawaiian-set show was airing new episodes.

Checking my email recently, I saw a message from the Hollywood Reporter. Its subject line was about a new version of the early 80s TV series. As it turns out, the lead actor is a new celeb crush of mine, Jay Hernandez. I first saw him in “Bad Moms” when he’s walking in slo-mo up to his onscreen daughter’s school with her. The camera, also in slo-mo to emphasize his attractiveness, moved up toward his face; my jaw dropped. I just thought he was so gorgeous! Actually, he somewhat resembles a guy I had a crush on for a while. My best friend and I also followed up on seeing “Bad Moms” when its hilarious sequel arrived in theaters.

Among his other roles, I’d been wanting to check out “Suicide Squad” and finally saw it; pretty good and with a cast of favorites in acting. But as with other movie stars I don’t become aware of until later, I’m hoping to catch up on past roles Hernandez has to his credits, such as an early one in “Crazy / Beautiful” from 2001. I think there’s something in its storyline that I could relate to in a way through my high school experiences. Other movies I want to see include “Torque” and “Friday Night Lights,” both from 2004, “World Trade Center” (2006) and “Nothing Like the Holidays” (2008) to name a few.

So, even though we’re in an era of remake and reboot mania, I’ll be sure to tune in as the new version makes its debut. It’s the same with movies; some updated takes on them aren’t that appealing to me, while others are for one reason or another.

Now that the SAG awards are coming up next, it seems as though the year’s top honors will be here before we know it. I still have some catching up to do in choosing Oscar favorites until then. Except for a few categories I’m unsure of, here are the nominees I hope will win this weekend.

Movies

  • Male Actor in a Leading Role: Gary Oldman – “Darkest Hour”
  • Female Actor in a Leading Role: Saoirse Ronan – “Lady Bird”
  • Male Actor in a Supporting Role: ?
  • Female Actor in a Supporting Role: Allison Janney – “I, Tonya”
  • Cast in a Motion Picture: “Lady Bird”

TV

  • Male Actor in a TV Movie or Miniseries: Geoffrey Rush – “Genius”
  • Female Actor in a TV Movie or Miniseries: Jessica Lange or Susan Sarandon – “Feud: Bette & Joan”
  • Male Actor in a Drama Series: Peter Dinklage – “Game of Thrones”
  • Female Actor in a Drama Series: Claire Foy – “The Crown”
  • Male Actor in a Comedy Series: ?
  • Female Actor in a Comedy Series: ?
  • Ensemble in a Drama Series: “The Crown”
  • Ensemble in a Comedy Series: ?
  • Stunt Ensemble in a Comedy or Drama Series: “Game of Thrones”
  • Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture: “Dunkirk” or “Wonder Woman”

Any thoughts on this year’s SAG nominees?

Several factors led to not catching this year’s Golden Globes. I never added it to my calendar, plans with a friend ran late and we were without a working television set. I didn’t want to track live social media updates as we caught up with each other. Later on, I found out which nominees won (congrats to all!) and heard a lot about the “Me Too” movement in relation to the show.

I’m mobile blogging about movies for the first time, due to a technical issue on my laptop. Considering the long list ahead in sharing my favorite Critics’ Choice nominees, it seemed daunting to get through by typing on a phone. Yet with so many great nominees again this year, I didn’t want to skip my award season posts until next time. So, here are my 2018 favorites:

Movies

  • Picture: “Darkest Hour,” “Dunkirk” or “Lady Bird”
  • Actor: Gary Oldman – “Darkest Hour”
  • Actress: Saoirse Ronan – “Lady Bird”
  • Supporting Actor: ?
  • Supporting Actress: Allison Janey – “I, Tony’s”
  • Young Actor / Actress: Jacob Tremblay – “Wonder”
  • Acting Ensemble: “Lady Bird”
  • Director: Greta Gerwig – “Lady Bird”
  • Original Screenplay: “Lady Bird”
  • Adapted Screenplay: “Wonder”
  • Cinematography: “Dunkirk”
  • Production Design: “Beauty and the Beast”
  • Editing: ?
  • Costume Design: “Beauty and the Beast”
  • Hair & Makeup: “Darkest Hour” or “I, Tonya”
  • Visual Effects: “Thor: Ragnarok”
  • Animated Feature: ?
  • Action Movie: “Thor: Ragnarok”
  • Comedy: “The Disaster Artist” or “Lady Bird”
  • Actor in a Comedy: Chris Hemsworth – “Thor: Ragnarok” or James Franco – “The Disaster Artist”
  • Actress in a Conedy: Saoirse Ronan – “Lady Bird”
  • Sci-Fi / Horror Movie: “It”
  • Foreign Language Film: ?
  • Song: ?
  • Score: “Dunkirk”

TV

  • Drama Series: “Game of Thrones”
  • Actor in a Drama Series: ?
  • Actress in a Drama Series: ?
  • Supporting Actor in a Drama Series: ?
  • Supporting Actress in a Drama Series: ?
  • Comedy Series: “The Big Bang Theory”
  • Actor in a Comedy Series: ?
  • Actress in a Comedy Series: ?
  • Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series: ?
  • Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series: ?
  • Limited Series: “Feud: Bette and Joan” or “Big Little Lies”
  • Movie Made for TV: ?
  • Actor in a Movie Made for TV or Limited Series: ?
  • Actress in a Movie Made for TV or Limited Series: Jessica Lange – “Feud: Bette and Joan”
  • Supporting Actor in a Movie Made for TV or Limited Series: Stanley Tucci – “Feud: Bette and Joan”
  • Supporting Actress in a Movie Made for TV or Limited Series: Regina King – “American Crime”
  • Talk Show: “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon”
  • Animated Series: “The Simpsons”
  • Unstructured Reality Series: “Ice Road Truckers”
  • Structured Reality Series: “Who Do You Think You Are?”
  • Reality Competition Series: ?
  • Reality Show Host: ?

Which nominees are you rooting for this year?

Hope everyone is enjoying 2018 so far and here’s to another year of great movies!

This movie has so many old Hollywood details that I love, from the big studios to executives’ vintage phones taking audiences back to that time of glamorous style. Eddie Mannix (Josh Brolin) opens the story and as an industry exec, his demeanor is also like a detective in a classic black and white film. He’s sitting in a curvy, old car at night and the rain falls. I love it because the whole scene looks very mysterious.

Following that are scenes of the cinematic work “Hail, Caesar!” within the onscreen world, in which George Clooney first appears. He plays an actor named Baird Whitlock, leading the epic ancient Roman-themed film in production.

Mannix discusses actors in a phone conversation, leading to the possibility of a young western star working for him. One of my favorite scenes includes this particular character. The actor in question for Mannix is Hobie Doyle (Alden Ehrenreich), who is rather stuck in the mode of cowboy roles, maybe an early example of being typecast.

Someone approaches him about a change in his image as a movie star, including being in an arranged date and taking on a drama film. Acting in a new genre means numerous mishaps in this case, as it brings him into unfamiliar territory from wardrobe and mannerisms to language and phrases. The way he swaggers and poses is still in cowboy style. I even wonder if his accent is possibly from working in so many westerns, as a way to go all the way with the idea that he’s truly stuck in that genre. Either way, it gets in the way of him saying his lines with the accent for the drama. He can’t seem to get away from his twang, no matter how hard his director, Laurence Laurentz (Ralph Fiennes) tries to help him.

A creatively choreographed swimming scene being filmed is lead by DeeAnna Moran (Scarlett Johansson). She’s a spitfire personality in debating relationships and her public image with Mannix. What the public sees her as is totally different from that of how she responds to him and he is concerned by her personal life, how it is perceived in that time period.

Throughout the story, filmmaking issues are discussed among higher-ups, from problems regarding those who can’t act and the use of various images onscreen. International relations also come into play with certain characters.

Meanwhile, Whitlock has been kidnapped and he finds himself among a group of elder men whose serious and intellectual topics cover history and economics. I believe that they see themselves as anti-Hollywood or a group who fear for how Hollywood would impact the coming years. They have sent a note to Mannix about their captive and a deal.

I haven’t seen too many movies in which Tilda Swinton has starred. But I loved the styles worn by her dual characters, twin sisters Thora and Thessaly Thacker. A hat with a striking black feather tops off a pale pastel suit and sections divided by an inch of black material in either case. She’s a strong feminine character representing that time, while advising Mannix about his predicament.

Another one of my favorite scenes is when actor Burt Gurney (Channing Tatum) leads a Navy sailor musical number in his film. His dance routine is reminiscent of classic movie dance scenes as he incorporates the bar furniture around him. Gurney’s part in the overall storyline of the Coen Brothers movie has a twist.

Back to Whitlock and his kidnappers, it is revealed why they took action involving the leading actor of a major film. The big-wig studios get everything for what ends up on the silver screen. They explain their actions to him by using the topics of concern and that they’re not even asking for much in return. In their level of the film industry, they feel that their work is forgotten while higher-ups reap the benefits. However, there is more to the group’s agenda.

Some cool lasso work is displayed by the young western-turned-drama star as he awaits his arranged date with an actress named Carlotta. They seem to have a nice bonding moment as she shows ease in her onscreen dance moves. It breaks the barriers that they each have some kind of skill from consistent acting in certain type of role. Their date takes them to one of his westerns showing at the cinema and the audience gets great laughs at one character’s antics.

Adding to the timeframe of this movie, Whitlock references a real-life classic Hollywood actor as he talks with his kidnappers. In another scene featuring Moran and for the first time, Joe Silverman (Jonah Hill), the glamor shows again. Johansson’s classy blonde waves remind me of many actresses in the 1940s and the hairstyles they donned. In this scene, they’re in an shadowy office and it looks very noir.

The young stars on a date share more laughs over dinner and confusion over the sisters they encounter only seconds apart. But suddenly, suspicion arises in Doyle when he spots Gurney at a nearby table. He follows him, having been alerted earlier about the kidnapping situation. As he comes across the captive star and drives him back to the studio, little do they know what becomes of the kidnappers’ plan. But now, Whitlock has to contend with how he interacted with those who held him hostage, as well as with finishing “Hail, Caesar!”

I enjoyed this movie for all the detail reflecting the story’s time period, along with the great cast, characters and how various issues come into play. If you love classic Hollywood, you’ll love it as well. This Coen Brothers work also stars Frances McDormand, Fisher Stevens, David Krumholtz and Wayne Knight.

 

Right away, the overwhelming stress Amy (Mila Kunis) has can be felt as she prepares for Christmas. It’s a mix of wanting to enjoy that time of year, but how, with so many things on her to-do list. I love how she simply gives up on wrapping one gift and tosses it over her shoulder, having too much struggle getting it to look perfect. One thing’s for sure in the hectic moments of getting ready for holiday season. Heart-melting and reminding me of a former crush, Jessie (Jay Hernandez) is so sweet, supportive and helpful every step of the way. Amy then gets the nightmare call and her reaction hints at a battle looming ahead.

Her friends Kiki (Kristen Bell) and Carla (Kathryn Hahn) have their own mom-induced surprises for the holidays. Much like the Amy and her friends, their respective moms have a variety of personalities that from one generation to another bring about clashes. For Amy, it’s her relaxed style vs. her mom Ruth’s (Christine Baranski) must-be-the-best style of celebrating. Kiki wants distance from her mom Sandy (Cheryl Hines), whose closeness breaks too many boundaries. Isis (Susan Sarandon) is the opposite, not present enough in Carla and her son Jaxon’s (Cade Cooksey) lives.

As the story goes on, it mirrors the first “Bad Moms” in that Amy’s trio find a cause to rebel against in the seasonal festivities. They sit together, share their troubles with one another and party on throughout the mall. Along the way, the friends drew others into their wild shopping spree. It helped loosened them up until the next obstacle in holiday prep time.

When it comes to Christmas decorating, Ruth is both severely traditional and over-the-top in a way that Amy definitely finds tacky. Her mom is an awful stress-inducer in a number of other ways. She nags at Amy, treats Jessie in a brush-off manner and says socially inappropriate things. Trying to downplay it all is Amy’s much more relaxed dad, Hank (Peter Gallagher).

Before seeing this movie, the two generations of moms was interesting to me because of how they were matched up. Kiki and Sandy were similar in appearance. Carla and Isis mirrored each other in wild personality and style. Yet Amy and Ruth don’t look alike and their characters are vastly different, building up their clashes. Kiki’s mom relationship was weird, Carla’s was sad. In my opinion, Amy had the worst trouble brewing with her mom. So it complimented the story that she had a father whose personality was closer to her own.

With everyone gathered at the SkyZone, most of the adults forget their cares and stress-triggering issues. All except for Ruth; she ends up in a challenge after Amy’s rebellious decision in favor of a laughter-filled family-friendly night. What happened to Ruth and the slo-mo result of that moment was hilarious. Kiki making a fight-ready pose, combined with the sound and more slo-mo was another favorite from while they enjoyed their night out. Oh and I remembered Amy speeding around in her ex-husband’s cool red classic Dodge Challenger in the first “Bad Moms.” I guess it was kept off of the wintry roads this time.

The problem Kiki has with her mom sure would inspire her to appear tough and strong, which she has to be emotionally. Sandy keeps laying on guilt-trips whenever her daughter tries to explain that boundaries must be set between them. Kiki simply wants her mom to understand the importance of an adult life that doesn’t include such an in-her-face parent. Her husband Kent (Lyle Brocato) has already been made to feel very awkward as a result of Sandy’s overbearing desire to be around all the time. It seemed as though Kiki and her mom needed that therapy meeting with Dr. Karl (Wanda Sykes) more than Amy and her husband did in the first “Bad Moms” movie.

In a little mother-daughter bonding moment, Carla hinted to her mom that she’s lonely, yet tries to joke about it. Isis appears to sense how her daughter really feels. Despite not being around much in recent years, she shows concern in her expression. Of course, as a non-conventional mom, Isis does something totally unexpected of a parent and it lightens up the sad moment. It isn’t long before Carla’s heart is lit up. She meets Ty (Justin Hartley) and wow, look at this guy! I love how they just click right away, understanding each other; new love found so easily.

During the stripping Santa scene, I thought Carla was going to have a new and rather awkward problem with her wild mom. She looked as if trying to keep herself from simmering at the antics unfolding before her eyes. But a mishap takes place, leading to another dilemma for the newly lovestruck bad mom. I could feel for Carla as her gaze follows Ty, that expression of longing for him when he has to leave after such brief time together.

When Amy tells her mom how it’s gonna be this Christmas…her house, her way…the result makes for a nice twist to come later on. Ruth, as rigid as she was, reacts in such a way that had me thinking she was plotting…but what? Of course, Amy just gets dragged in to more unwanted over-the-top Christmas activities against her laid-back plans. She finds herself singing Christmas Carols throughout the neighborhood and…Surprise! It’s an old rival, Gwendolyn, (Christina Applegate) who answers the doorbell at one house. How will Amy ever live that moment down?

Taking in an over-decorated house and a party with entertainment including Kenny G playing saxophone, the big battle is on. Amy’s fight with her mom was insane and hilarious as Ruth is yelling out claims about why various decor pieces are extra special. It made no difference to Amy where they came from or what made them significant. That scene leads to another moment similar to the first “Bad Moms” movie, as Amy’s kids are upset at the turn of events. Jane (Oona Laurence) is especially hurt by this family upheaval, while Dylan (Emjay Anthony) showed disappointment. Kiki and Carla also have their mom troubles and scenes that reflect stress from not having better relationships with them. A nice transition follows in which Ruth, Sandy and Isis come together, although still at odds over personalities and it’s hard to tell if they’ll end up close friends.

As things get patched up for everyone, Christmas dinner brings a welcomed adult surprise for someone. Jessie’s daughter, Lori (Ariana Greenblatt) delivers one of those “the things kids say” lines about what she’s too young to understand, as she did in an earlier scene. It reminded me of a famous quote from a long-time favorite Christmas movie, similar language in different context blurted out by a young kid. Anyway, everything is now cheery and bright in Amy’s world of family and friends.

In the end, the older generation of moms all strut out on their way to an earlier suggested ladies vacation. I couldn’t help but imagine what’s to come. It had the feel of a cliffhanger and that they’d have their own crazy adventure. What about Amy, Kiki and Carla? I’d love to see those friends again, as well as their love interests. If another sequel came along, what would be next for Amy and Jessie’s relationship and that of Carla and Ty? What hilarious scenarios would happen? After many laughs throughout this movie, its ending credits brought even more fun as the cast goofed around and danced in a wintry setting. I can’t wait to see this again when it’s available in stores.

Even though another Halloween has just pasted, I caught a few old horror flicks on TV this past week. Two of them starred Vincent Price – “The Haunted Palace” (1963) and “The Fall of the House of Usher” (1960). Other than summarizing and sharing opinions on each one, I thought I’d write about some things I’ve always loved about these classic scares.

One element is the creepy, old estates or castles, sometimes overlooking a cliffside and stormy seas. Other times, they’re just beyond an eerie forest surrounded in a lingering fog. I wished these settings were real locations and that I could visit them and explore foreboding structures. Throughout the horror tales onscreen, such detail in every room and exterior areas make for the perfect atmospheric mansion with a haunting past. Old-fashioned lighting, watchful portraits, ornate windows, gates of swirling iron, spiderwebs, climbing overgrowth and then some.

Another part of many horror gems of decades ago is the handsome, young man drawn into the story. He’s always so dashing in those poet shirts, jackets with coattails and riding boots. One such dark-haired, dark-eyed fellow is in “The Fall of the House of Usher” and another is Jack Nicholson in his early film years in “The Terror” and “The Raven,” both from 1963. As a fan of Nicholson from many other roles, I have those on DVD. His costumes had a different style, but he looked equally dashing in them. Aside from him, I usually don’t know who the actor is by name. These men are also usually the heroic figure, rescuing the young woman in danger. I imagine they’d be among my actor crushes if I’d been a teenager or around that age during the 60s.

Last but not least, there are the legendary actors of this genre – Price as well as Bela Lugosi, Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Peter Lorre, Boris Karloff and Lon Chaney, Jr. Each was perfect in their respective creepy roles. Their classic works were before my time, but I love to watch these every Halloween season or whenever I happen to catch them airing on TV throughout the year. I have an old VHS copy of a horror compilation titled “Creepy Classics,” hosted by Price and I wish I could find in on DVD. There are probably a few old flicks I forgot about since last watching the tape and not seeing them air on TV for a while.