Friday, January 6, 2017

2016 Mixes

Done!
[Past mixes: 2008200920102011201220132014, 2015]

Disc 1
1. Shearwater - Quiet Americans. This was one of the first songs I head at the start of last January and is now one of my all time favorite songs. It's so, so perfect. (There is an official video, but it is new to me, so I'd recommend just listening first and getting swept up in it.)

2. Panic! At the Disco - LA Devotee. Hi Stranger Things child!


4. Beyonce - Daddy Lessons (not shareable because Jay-Z makes bad business decisions. While I haven't really liked much of anything Beyonce has done since Destiny's Child, I really like Lemonade.)


6. Black Honey - Spinning Wheel (hey! Music video. Who knew. How very Lana. I also quite like their songs Madonna and Teenager.)


8. Mitski - Your Best American Girl (Does pointing out her inclusion on 2015 give me hipster brownie points?)

9. The Kills - Doing It To Death. I love this video like I have trouble expressing:

10. Garbage - So We Can Stay Alive. The new album is so good. I think it might be my favorite since Version 2.0. 

11. Savages - The Answer

12. Metallica - Hardwired


14. AFI - Aurelia (Awww - look at those three bay area bands in a row.)

15. The Unfortunates - Quarantine. Thank god the next musical I saw after Hamilton was The Unfortunates. It was stupendous, and has become one of my favorites. I listened to this 'album inspired by' all year, and although some of the songs are a bit different than the reworked show at A.C.T., it is still fantastic and highly recommended. (Not on youtube, but here's an Amazon link and an iTunes link.)


Disc 2

Saturday, December 10, 2016

2015 superlatives & JWD awards

Edit: So - in starting to create my 2016 post, I've only just realized that I never finished and posted this. So, although incomplete, I'm going ahead and hitting publish so that it will be up.

2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 - Hey! First time getting this out POST-OSCARS. One day I'll have a manageable winter. *sigh.*

Best Film
Carol
The World of Tomorrow
Diary of A Teenage Girl
Room
Brooklyn
Mad Max
The Royal Road
The Duchess of Malfi
Tangerine
Results
Amy
Crimson Peak
Far from the Madding Crowd

Best Film not Starring a Woman
Spotlight
The Look of Silence
What We Do in the Shadows
Me And Earl and the Dying Girl
The Hateful Eight
Son of Saul
The Martian
Kingsman
The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
Charlie's Country
Jimmy's Hall
The Dark Horse

Notable Omissions here.

Best Actress
Bel Powley - Diary of a Teenage Girl
Saorsie Ronan - Brooklyn
Brie Larson - Room
Rooney Mara - Carol
Charlize Theron - Mad Max
Cobie Smulders - Results

(I saw it last year, but Rinko Kikuchi was brilliant in Kumiko the Treasure Hunter. Notable Omissions: Charlotte Rampling - 45 Years, Alicia Vikander - the Danish Girl, Arielle Holmes - Heaven Knows What, Jennifer Jason Leigh - Anomalisa, Julianne Moore - Maps to the Stars, Juliette Binoche - Clouds of Sils Maria, Karidja Toure - Girlhood, Laia Costa - Victoria, Nina Hoss - Phoenix, Shu Qi - The Assassin, Sidse Babett Knudsen - Duke of Burgundy, Teyonah Parris - Chi-raq, Carey Mulligan - Suffragette, Golshifteh Farahani - About Elly, Brit Marling - the Keeping Room,)

Best Actor
David Gulpilil - Charlie's Country
Emory Cohen - Brooklyn
Geza Rohrig - Son of Saul
Jacob Tremblay - Room
Thomas Mann-  Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

(Notable Omissions: Michael Fassbender - Steve Jobs, Abraham Attah - Beasts of No Nation, Andrew Garfield - 99 Homes, Ben Mendelsohn - Mississippi Grind, Felix de Givry - Eden, Jason Mitchell - Straight Outta Compton, Jason Segel - End of the Tour, Johnny Depp - Black Mass, Koudous Seihon - Mediterranea, Michael B. Jordan - Creed, Ronald Zehrfeld - Phoenix, Shameik Moore - Dope, Tom Hardy - Legend, Viggo Mortensen - Jauja, Jack O'Connell - '71, Xavier Dolan - Tom at the Farm)

Best Supporting Actress
Cate Blanchett - Carol
Alicia Vikander - Ex Machina
Mya Taylor - Tangerine
Olivia Cooke - Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
Rachel McAdams - Spotlight
Jessica Chastain - Crimson Peak
Joan Allen - Room
Julie Walters - Brooklyn
Elizabeth Banks - Love & Mercy

(Notable Omissions: Kate Winslet - Steve Jobs, Angela Bassett - Chi-raq, Chiara D'Anna - Duke of Burgundy, Cynthia Nixon - James White, Franziska Weisz - Stations of the Cross, Katherine Waterson - Queen of Earth, Kristen Stewart - Clouds of Sils Maria, Lise Roy - Tom at the Farm, Marin Ireland - Glass Chin, Mia Wasikowska - Maps to the Stars, Nina Kunzendorf - Phoenix, Rachel Weisz - Youth, Robin Bartlett - H., Tessa Thompson - Creed)

Best Supporting Actor 
Walton Goggins - The Hateful Eight
Matthias Schoenaerts - Far from the Madding Crowd
Michael Keaton - Spotlight
Oscar Isaac - Ex Machina
Paul Dano - Love & Mercy
Tom Hardy - Mad Max
Stanley Tucci - Spotlight
Nicholas Hoult - Mad Max
Michael Sheen - Far from the Madding Crowd
Alexander Skarsgaard - Diary of a Teenage Girl
Mark Rylance - Bridge of Spies
Christian Bale - The Big Short
RJ Cyler - Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
Michael Cyril Creighton - Spotlight

(Notablie Omissions: Idris Elba - Beasts of No Nation, Jesse Eisenberg - End of the Tour, Michael Shannon - 99 Homes, O'Shea Jackson - Straight Outta Compton, Ryan Reynolds - Mississippi Grind, Tom Courtenay - 45 Years, Pierre-Yves Cardinal - Tom at the Farm, Caleb Landry Jones - Heaven Knows What, Billy Crudup - Glass Chin, Sylvester Stallone - Creed)

Best Ensemble
Carol
Tangerine
Brooklyn
Diary of a Teenage Girl
Love & Mercy
The Hateful Eight
Spotlight

(Notable Omissions: Eden, Girlhood, Mississippi Grind, A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence, Straight Outta Compton, Beasts of No Nation)

Best Director
Tom McCarthy - Spotlight
George Miller - Mad Max
Lenny Abrahamson - Room
Laszlo Nemes - Son of Saul
Marielle Heller - Diary of a Teenage Girl
Todd Haynes - Carol

(Notable Omissions: Cary Joji Fukunaga, Charlie Kaufman & Duke Johnson - Anomalisa, Christan Petzold - Phoenix, Hou Hsiao-hsien - The Assassin, Sarah Gavron - Suffragette, Celine Sciamma - Girlhood)

Best Screenplay - Adapted
The Martian
Brooklyn
Carol
Room
Diary of a Teenage Girl

(Notable Omissions: Steve Jobs, Creed, Beasts of No Nation)

Best Screenplay - Original
Spotlight
What We Do in the Shadows
Ex Machina
The Hateful Eight
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
Tangerine

(Notable Omissions: Straight Outta Compton, Phoenix, Duke of Burgundy, Clouds of Sils Maria, Anomalisa)

Best Animated
Inside Out
Shan the Sheep Movie
The Good Dinosaur

(Notable Omissions: Anomalisa, When Marnie Was There, Boy and the World, The Prophet, the Peanuts Movie)

Best Documentary
Amy
Look of Silence
What Happened, Miss Simone?
Racing Extinction

(Notable Omissions: Cartel Land, Winter on Fire, Heart of a Dog, the Hunting Ground, Listen to Me Marlon, Meru, We Come As Friends, Going Clear, Ballet 422, Dreamcatcher, Finders Keepers, Hitchcock/Truffaut, In Jackson Heights, Song from the Forest, Stray Dog, Beats of the Antonov, The Wolfpack, Democrats, Western, T-Rex)

Best Foreign
Son of Saul
The Tribe
Jimmy's Hall
Charlie's Country
The Dark Horse

...I don't even know. Can we toss Mad Max, Room, and What We do in the Shadows on here?

(Notable Omissions: Mustang, A War, Embrace of the Serpent (not out yet), Theeb, Viva, Goodnight Mommy, Lamb, Arabian Nights, A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence, The Assassin, Girlhood, Phoenix, Mediterranea, Timbuktu, Rams, Felix and Meira, Marshland, 10000 Km, White God, Black Coal Thin Ice, the Brand New Testament, the New Girlfriend, the Postman's White Nights, Vincent, Winter Sleep, Sworn Virgin, Stations of the Cross)

Best Editing
Mad Max
Spotlight
Amy
Carol
Room
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
Tangerine
The Martian
Son of Saul
What We Do in the Shadows
Diary of a Teenage Girl

(Notable Omissions: White God, Phoenix, Heaven Knows What, Beasts of No Nation, Duke of Burgundy, Eden, Arabian Nights, Anomalisa)

Best Cinematography
Carol
The Hateful Eight
Mad Max
Sicario
The Revenant
Ex Machina
Far From the Madding Crowd
It Follows
Son of Saul
Tangerine

(Notable Omissions: The Assassin, Beasts of No Nation, Clouds of Sils Maria, Duke of Burgundy, Goodnight Mommy, Heaven Knows What, Jauja, Meadowland, Phoenix, A Pigeon Sat on a Branch, Slow West, Songs my Brothers Taught Me (not out yet?), Western)

Best Costumes
Kingsman
Carol
Cinderella
Mad Max
Brooklyn
Crimson Peak
Duchess of Malfi
The Hateful Eight
The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
Far from the Madding Crowd
MI5

(Notable Omissions: Danish Girl, Beasts of No Nation)

Best Makeup
Mad Max
The Revenant
Carol
The Hateful Eight
Brooklyn

(Notable Omissions: Black Mass, the Danish Girl)

Best Production Design
Mad Max
The Martian
Carol
Brooklyn
Ex Machina
Crimson Peak

(Notable Omissions: Danish Girl)

Best Visual Effects
Ex Machina
Mad Max
The Martian
Star Wars
The Good Dinosaur

(Notable Omissions: The Walk)

Best Score
Far From the Madding Crowd
Carol
The Hateful Eight

Mad Max
Spotlight

Best Song/Musical Moment
Siuil a Run - Jimmy's Hall
Earned It - 50 Shades
Manta Ray - Racing Extinction
Til It Happens to You - Hunting Ground
Jim Jones at Botany Bay - The Hateful Eight
Silent Night - The Hateful Eight
Back to Black - Amy
Wouldn't It Be Nice - Love & Mercy

The Big Ship - Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
Disintegration - Ant Man

(Notable Omissions: It's My Turn Now - Dope, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun - Anomalisa, Liszt - Victoria, Pray 4 My City and Oh Girl - Chi-raq, No Vaseline - Straight Outta Compton)

Best Animated Short
World of Tomorrow
We Can't Live Without Cosmos
Discussion Questions
Bang Bang!
Horse Raised by Spheres
Faded Finery
One Night in Hell
A Pattern for Survival
Caveirão
Street of Crocodiles (new to me)

Best Live Action Short
Cailleach
Territory (also winner of best unexpected werewolves)
Arrowed
NO ID
Stutterer

Film I didn't get to that I am most looking forward to:
Mustang
Girlhood
Phoenix
Clouds of Sils Maria
Anomalisa
Duke of Burgundy
Pigeon Sat on A Branch


Best Quote
What We Do In the Shadows:
"Sometimes you make the honest mistake of making a mask out of crackers and a duck eats your face"

Deacon: “I think we drink virgin blood because it sounds cool.”
Vladislav: “I think of it like this: if you were going to eat a sandwich, you would just enjoy it more if you knew no one had fucked it.”

Anton: “Hey, don’t swear! What are we?”
Werewolves: “We’re werewolves, not swear-wolves.”

Viago: “Yeah, some of our clothes are from our victims. You might bite someone and then think, ‘Oooh, these are nice pants’.”

Vladislav: "Leave me to do my dark bidding on the internet!"
Viago: "What are you bidding on?"
Vladislav: "I am bidding on a table."

The Martian:
“I don’t want to come off as arrogant here, but I’m the greatest botanist on this planet.”

“In the face of overwhelming odds, I’m left with only one option: I’m gonna have to science the shit out of this.”

“They say once you grow crops somewhere, you have officially colonized it. So, technically, I colonized Mars. In your face, Neil Armstrong!”

"I've been thinking about laws on Mars. There's an international treaty saying that no country can lay claim to anything that's not on Earth. By another treaty if you're not in any country's territory, maritime law aplies. So Mars is international waters. Now, NASA is an American non-military organization, it owns the Hab. But the second I walk outside I'm in international waters. So Here's the cool part. I'm about to leave for the Schiaparelli Crater where I'm going to commandeer the Ares IV lander. Nobody explicitly gave me permission to do this, and they can't until I'm on board the Ares IV. So I'm going to be taking a craft over in international waters without permission, which by definition... makes me a pirate. Mark Watney: Space Pirate."

Best Trailer


Best Poster
Neon Bull
Love & Mercy
Crimson Peak

It Follows

Unforgettable Moment Award [SPOILERS]
Furiosa taking the shot - Mad Max
The Church Scene - Kingsman


Other Superlatives:
Best Bats: What We Do in the Shadows
Best Squirrels: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
Best Butterflies/Moths: Duke of Burgundy (I assume.)
Best Dogs: White God (again, I assume.)
Best Crab: Luna
Best Guitar: Mad Max
Best Dance: Ex Machina and Magic Mike XXL (notable omissions: Girlhood and Catch Me Daddy)
Prettiest landscape: Arnhem Land - Charlie's Country (Runner Up: Chile - The Revenant)
Best Restoration: Well - Rififi was probably the *best*, but the most interesting was the director's cut of 54, in which massive changes to characterization occurred.
Best Female Action Star: Charlize Theron - Mad Max
Best Trailer for a 2016 Film: Deadpool (Runner Up: Captain America Civil War)
Best Action Scene: Mad Max. (Runners Up: Harry vs. the Church - Kingsman, the Opera scene - MI5)
Movie You Wanted to Love But Just Couldn't: In the Heart of the Sea (Runner up: Spectre, Age of Ultron)
Most Wasted Potential of an Idea: It Follows
Most ridiculous, entertaining music cue: Pomp & Circumstance - Kingsman (Runner Up: Muse's Uprising - Pitch Perfect 2)
Best Chase: Mad Max.
Best Cameo: Channing Tatum - The Hateful Eight (I was surprised! I wasn't spoiled!) (Runner Up: LeBron James - Trainwreck)
Best Breakthrough: Bel Powley
Best Ending (the McKayla Maroney award): Tangerine
Best Opening: Kingsman (Runners-up: It Follows, Sicario)
Worst Song: Writing's on the Wall - Spectre
Worst Hair: The Big Short
Best Sciencing: The Martian
Most in Need of Some Muthafucking Tree Stars: The Good Dinosaur
Creepiest Scene: The Tall Man - It Follows
Best Train: Ant-Man
Best Sidekick: Stu - What We Do in the Shadows
Still Most in Need of Diction Lessons: Tom Hardy - The Revenant
Most Overrated: It Follows
Best TV Show: STILL HANNIBAL.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Emmys

The Good
The Americans for Best Drama!!!!!!!!

Mr. Robot for Best Drama!!!!!!!!

Keri Russell for Best Drama Actress!!!!!!!
Matthew Rhys for Best Drama Actor!!!!!!!!
Rami Malek for Best Actor!!!!
Tommy Kail for Best Direction for a Variety Special!!!! (Grease Live got a total of 10 emmy noms - the most for any live musical ever)

Idris Elba for Best Mini Actor
Hiddles for Best Mini Actor
Margo Martindale for Best Guest Drama Actress
The Americans for Best Writing (for the season finale)
Lemonade is up for 4 Emmys (incl. Best Variety Special)

Settle for Me is up for Original Music (and the title is up for best theme song)

3 choreography nods for Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
Carrie Preston & Michael J Fox for Guest Actors
Costume and Production design nods for Outlander
Constance Zimmer for supporting drama actress!!!

UnReal for best writing
Jesse Plemons, Bokeem Woodbine, Jean Smart, and Kirsten Dunst for Fargo

Sarah Paulson and Kathy Bates for AHS: Hotel

Sarah Paulson for OJ Simpson [Per MZS; "I’d also like Paulson to take supporting actress in the same category for playing Hypodermic Sally in American Horror Story: Hotel; the contrast between that punk-rock wackadoo performance and her subtler, more realistically shaded work in The People v. O.J. Simpson makes you appreciate both performances more."]
Olivia Colman for the Night Manager (and Hiddles and Hugh Laurie. I've only seen the first ep. so far, but Olivia Colman is the best.)
Kate McKinnon for SNL
RuPaul got his first emmy nod!
Keegan-Micahel Key for Key & Peele!
Tatiana Maslany for Orphan Black
Bradley Whitford for Transparent (haven't seen it, but I love him)
The Veep nods
Audra McDonald for Lady Day
The Night Manager is up for Title Design
“A New Season aka Suck It Cancellation Bear” is up for best song from Galavant

What Happened, Miss Simone? is up!
Honest Trailers are nominated. For Outstanding Short Form Variety Series.

The Bad
No UnReal for Best Drama

No Penny Dreadful for Best Drama

Nothing for Daredevil (not even Jon Bernthal!)

I'm glad UnReal got a type of short form nomination, but I wish it had been for the Faith Diaries.
No Alan Cumming for the Good Wife


No Stephen Colbert
No Peter Capaldi for Doctor Who (it's never been eligible until this season when an American cable company came aboard as a co-producer. It hasn't been submitted for best drama, but Capaldi was finally on the ballot!)
I haven't seen it, but S2 of the Leftovers really seems like it should have been up for best Drama. I heard great things about Christopher Eccleston and Carrie Coon in particular.
Ditto Show Me a Hero for limited.
No Christian Slater for Mr. Robot
No Jordan Peele for Key & Peele
No other love for Outlander (even GRRM is offended by that!)
No love for Happy Valley (to be fair, I'm not *positive* it was eligible)
No Shiri Appleby for Best drama actress
No Patrick Wilson for Fargo
No Ben Whishaw for London Spy.
No Denis O'Hare for AHS: Hotel
No Annet Mahendry, Dylan Baker, Frank Langella, Holly Taylor, or Alison Wright for The Americans
No Christine Baranski for the Good Wife
No Aldis Hodge for Underground (haven't seen it, but I like him)
No Pete Gardner for Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
No Rachael Taylor for Jessica Jones
No What'll It Be for Best Song

No Joshua Jackson or Fred Armisen for Best Guest Actor in a Comedy for Unbreakable Kimmy
No Miranda Otto for Homeland (I haven't seen it, but I heard she was awesome)
No Aya Cash (a perennial favorite for me, as I grew up with her, and I heard she was brilliant in S2 of You're the Worst)
It was a long shot, but no Aaron Tveit for Grease Live!
No Timothy Olyphant for Guest Actor on a Comedy for the Grinder
No Emmy Rossum or Jeremy Allen White for Shameless
No Cristin Miloti for Fargo
No Tom Hollander for Night Manager
Nothing for The Knick [to quote indiewire; "Neither can compete with the more accessible narrative fireworks of “Game of Thrones” or “House of Cards,” but to expect them to do so is to misunderstand them. Where the contenders for Outstanding Drama Series seem written in prose, “Hannibal” and “The Knick” are pure poetry."]
No Tina Fey for Unbreakable Kimmy (I thought she was the worst part of S1 and the best part of S2).
I knew it wouldn't happen, but I would have liked some acknowledgement for Person of Interest at some point. It was really well done.
I need to catch up on a lot of things.

The Ugly
No Hannibal for Best Drama

No Mads Mikkelsen for Best Actor

No Richard Armitage for Best Guest Actor
No Siouxsie Sioux for song
No Crazy Ex-Girlfriend for Best Comedy
No Rachel Bloom for Best Comedy Actress

No Donna Lynn Champlin for Best Supporting Comedy Actress
No Samantha Bee (although thankfully she got a writing nod)
No David Tennant for Jessica Jones

No Krysten Ritter for Jessica Jones

No Eva Green for Penny Dreadful


Other Tidbits (mostly a h/t here, and here.) 
There are actors of color in every leading actor category. 18% of nominees are PoS, up from the last two years. (And that is leaving off Fresh Off the Boat, OitNB, Jane the Virgin, Being Mary Jane, etc. that were all skunked in acting.) Rami Malek is the first non-white dramatic lead nominee since 2001. The last person of color to win an Emmy for Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series was in 1979. There are three nominations in the category this year -- the most ever!: Andre Braugher for Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Tituss Burgess for Unbreakable Kimmy, and Keegan-Michael Key for Key & Peele. Half the nominees for Outstanding Actor in a Limited Series or Movie are actors of color. This is the first time two nonwhite comedies have been nominated concurrently since 1970 (Black-ish and Master of None).
Both Seth MacFarlane and Tatiana Maslany scored nominations for playing seven different roles on their TV shows.
Camera operator Hector Ramirez has held the title for most Emmy nominations for an individual for several years; last year, he hit 74, which was a new record. This year, HBO documentary dynamo Sheila Nevins has also hit 74 noms, and the two are now tied. (Nevins already has the most wins, with 31 Emmys, of any individual ever.)
Every nominee in Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Limited Series or Movie category is from FX.

This dream ballot suggestion made me snicker:
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Gary Cole, “Veep”
Kevin Dunn, “Veep”
Hugh Laurie, “Veep”
Sam Richardson, “Veep”
Reid Scott, “Veep”
Timothy Simons, “Veep”
Matt Walsh, “Veep”
In Case of a Tie: Tony Hale, “Veep”

Best tweet:

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Garbage (Part 1 - the albums)

Garbage's sixth album comes out in less than a month! Since I've been listening to their new single, I thought I'd revisit the rest of their oeuvre. So here goes - ranking the collective output of my favorite band (rating the songs, not the videos, but including video links where applicable):

Garbage
This is a really difficult album for me to rank, as I love most of the songs fairly equally, and tend to listen to the whole album straight through. Really everything from Vow through Queer below could be rearranged and I'd still be okay with it. I think this is due in part to the album's cohesion in tone and production. As Heaven Is Wide/A Stroke of Luck/Dog New Tricks/My Lover's Box; even Not My Idea/Fix Me Now are all of a (post-grunge) piece. As this huge chunk of review from Addicted to Noise puts it; "[the album] is akin to a Jackson Pollock painting, thick layers upon layers of sound that have been stripped down, torn apart, pasted together and then stripped again, until the result is a dizzying soundscape that reveals fresh nuances upon repeated listening... [the mix of ambience, rhythms, and noise] gels and rises above the din thanks to catchy hooks and killer song construction."

Only Happy When It Rains - Even though I'm on a particular Supervixen kick at the moment, this has to be one of the most defining songs of my life (which makes sense, as the signature song for my favorite band). It's dark, but also sarcastic and affirming. I love one reviewer's description of it as "pop-noir," although I've always thought of it as a defining song of the alternative genre. It is also one of their best videos (from acclaimed director Samuel Bayer (Smells Like Teen Spirit, No Rain, Green Day's American Idiot videos). He also did Vow, Stupid Girl, AND the upcoming video for Empty (!)):


Supervixen - I honestly believe this is the best first song on any album ever. Those pauses are amazing (they even get a shout out in Jennifer Egan's truly amazing (and pulitzer-prize winning!) A Visit From the Goon Squad). I love every bit of this song.

Vow - Really where it all started. Dark, defiant, fuzzed-out perfection.



As Heaven is Wide - Beautifully sinister. Shirley growls and spits the ominous lyrics over that intense, propulsive beat.

Fix Me Now - Great guitar riff, and I love how Shirley switches between whisper-singing the verses and belting out the chorus and bridge.

Stupid Girl - Amazing intro, fabulous use of the drum sample, great riff, and Shirley's growl. Also one of the band's best videos (I love the obvious Fincher se7en inspiration):


Dog New Tricks - I love the industrial energy on this one.

My Lover's Box - I love the contrast between the slinky verses and the more commanding chorus (much like Fix Me Now above). I also love the ending.

A Stroke of Luck - This is one of the band's best down-tempo songs, due to its haunting tone and fantastic chorus. I also love Shirley's vocal range on this one.

Not My Idea - I go back and forth on this one. On the one hand, it is a simple melody and construction. On the other, it's a total earworm that is really fun to sing (shout) along to, so....

Queer - I really like the slinky, menacing tone of this one, and I only rank it this low because it's nearly impossible to memorize the verse progressions. I've seen Shirley blow them live.


Milk - Really, the only song on the album I'm not super fond of, although I'm clearly in the minority on this one.





Version 2.0
I love this album front to back. Picking favorites is (again) somewhat ridiculous. (There's a reason it was up for album of the year and best rock album at the Grammys.) One of my favorite reviews comes from the Village Voice; "For those of us with no knack for real-life sadomasochism, how better to combine pleasure and pain than to let 12 impregnable theoretical hits march over us in their digital boots?"

I Think I'm Paranoid - Favorite Song. Favorite video:


Sleep Together - On an overtly sexual record, this one is the stand out. You've got those amazing drum parts, contrasted with the synth effects, all propelled along by Shirley's manipulative, cheeky lyrics.

Temptation Waits - I love the driving beat of this one and the obsessive lyrics.

You Look So Fine - Other than Milk (above), I love all of Garbage's album-closing songs. This one is astoundingly beautiful. (I dislike that the video cuts off the rest of the outro, although I understand why):


Push It - I like how the verses are dreamy and just a little foreboding, and then it just ratchets up the intensity through to the chorus. I also love how weird the video is:


Dumb - Another great unrelenting rocker. I love those weird scratchy effects, and all the distortion on the guitars.

When I Grow Up - I love that one of their catchiest, poppiest songs is still so uniquely them; there's that minor key intro, it's firmly on the rock side of the pop/rock divide, and Shirley being both damaged and defiant in the same breath. I also find it hilarious that the video gives Shirley back-up dancers:


The Trick Is To Keep Breathing - The band describe the song as "moody and spare" which is the perfect description, and I love the bass.


Hammering In My Head - the epitome of the futuristic robot vibes in the album. (Fun fact! I sang the lyrics to the chorus wrong for nearly a decade. It's "like an animal." I no longer remember what I thought it was, but it is probably my most notable mondegreen.)

Wicked Ways - So much to love in this one; the pulsing refrain on "And I tried," the western guitar riff, the pounding chorus, the ominous/bitter bridge, followed by that ringing, twinkling guitar bit.

Special - I know! The massive hit this far down the list! I love the song; the kiss-off attitude, the outro (complete with Pretenders nod!) - it's just competing with many excellent songs.


Medication - My least favorite on the record, and yet I still think it's great. I love how the chorus kicks in. (Fun fact - Medication and The Trick is to Keep Breathing both feature a cymbalom, which is a type of dulcimer.)

Sunday, February 28, 2016

2016 Oscars - Results

Okay easy blog first: What should win/What will win (As always, happy if a should win makes an upset tomorrow.)

Best Motion Picture:
The Big Short
Bridge of Spies
Brooklyn
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
The Revenant - Will Win
Room
Spotlight - Should Win/DID WIN!!! I'M SO TOTALLY HAPPY ABOUT THIS!

I mean. Carol should be nominated. But I do really love Spotlight - it's great, and I'm glad it won the indie.

Best Actor:
Bryan Cranston, Trumbo
Matt Damon, The Martian
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant - Should Win/Will Win/Did Win
Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs
Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl

Huh - I'm not thrilled with this category at all. So I'll go with Leo, although he was better in both Catch Me if You Can and Wolf of Wall Street.

Best Actress:
Brie Larson, Room - Will win/Did Win
Jennifer Lawrence, Joy
Cate Blanchett, Carol
Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn - Should win
Charlotte Rampling, 45 Years

Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara should absolutely be in the opposite categories (as should Alicia Vikander). So I'm not voting for them (although Rooney Mara does absolutely amazing work.) So it comes down to Brie Larson and Saoirse Ronan for me. They're both excellent, and Saorsie *just* nudges it out for me, as she carries the whole film so well.

Best Supporting Actress:
Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight
Rooney Mara, Carol
Rachel McAdams, Spotlight - Should Win
Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl - Will Win/Did Win
Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs

CATEGORY FRAUD AHOY. I'd be okay if Alicia Vikander were up for Ex Machina. Sheesh. I've heard Kate Winslet is excellent in Jobs, but I'm going to go with Rachel McAdams, who was great in Spotlight (the whole cast was - I'm sorry it didn't get more recognition in acting in Oscars - I'm thrilled it got the Altman at the Indies.)

Best Supporting Actor:
Christian Bale, The Big Short
Tom Hardy, The Revenant
Mark Ruffalo, Spotlight
Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies - Should Win/Did Win - YAAAAY!!!
Sylvester Stallone, Creed - Will Win

Christian Bale was also easily the best part of the Big Short. I thought Ruffalo was the weakest link in Spotlight - his big monologue was too showy.

Best Director:
Adam McKay, The Big Short
George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road - Should Win
Alejandro González Iñárritu, The Revenant - Will Win/Did Win. Ugh.
Lenny Abrahamson, Room
Tom McCarthy, Spotlight

Best Original Screenplay:
Bridge of Spies
Ex Machina
Inside Out
Spotlight - Should Win/ Will Win/Did Win
Straight Outta Compton

Best Adapted Screenplay:
The Big Short - Did Win. Ugh. Kill it.
Brooklyn
Carol - Should Win
The Martian
Room - Will Win

It may actually be The Big Short, but I hated the writing so much that I can't deal with that. So I'm going with Room as will win. 

Best Animated Film:
Anomalisa - Probably Should Win (I haven't seen it yet!)
Boy and the World
Inside Out - Will Win/Did Win
Shaun the Sheep Movie
When Marnie Was There

Best Documentary Feature:
Amy - Will Win/Did Win
Cartel Land
What Happened, Miss Simone?
The Look of Silence - Should Win
Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom

Best Foreign Language Film:
Embrace of the Serpent
Mustang
Son of Saul - Should Win/Will Win/Did Win
Theeb
A War

Although I do still really want to see Mustang. 

Best Costume Design:
Carol - Should Win
Cinderella
The Danish Girl
Mad Max: Fury Road - Will Win/Did Win
The Revenant

I think Sandy Powell will split her own votes, so yay Mad Max!

Best Sound Editing:
Mad Max: Fury Road - Should Win/ Will Win/Did Win
The Martian
The Revenant
Sicario
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Best Sound Mixing:
Bridge of Spies
Mad Max: Fury Road - Should Win/ Will Win/Did Win
The Martian
The Revenant
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Best Cinematography:
Carol
The Hateful Eight
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Revenant - Should Win/ Will Win/Did Win
Sicario

I love the Cinematography in all of these. But the cinematography was easily the best part of the Revenant, and I so love Emmanuel Lubezki's work and pretty wilderness shots. I'm not sure I want him to win three in a row (Roger Deakins already!!), but there it is. That's what the Revenant has to recommend itself. Long pretty shots of birch trees. 

Best Film Editing:
The Big Short
Mad Max: Fury Road - Should Win/ Will Win/Did Win YAAAAAAAAAS
The Revenant
Spotlight
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Best Production Design:
Bridge of Spies
The Danish Girl
Mad Max: Fury Road - Should Win/ Will Win/Did Win
The Martian
The Revenant

Best Original Score:
Bridge of Spies
Carol - Should Win
The Hateful Eight - Will Win/Did Win
Sicario
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

That said, I do love the Hateful Eight score. I loved that movie - and I'm sorry it's not up for more. 

Best Original Song:
“Earned It,” 50 Shades Of Grey - Should Win
“Manta Ray,” Racing Extinction
“Simple Song #3,” Youth
“Til It Happens to You,” The Hunting Ground - Will Win
“Writing’s on the Wall,” Spectre - Did Win. KILL IT WITH FIRE.

WHY WOULD YOU NOMINATE THE SPECTRE SONG?! (I also really like Manta Ray - and I'm absolutely appalled that the Oscars didn't invite Anohni to perform. I actually thought the Weeknd would have more of a shot here, but prevailing opinion is Lady Gaga has this in the bag.)

Best Visual Effects:
Ex Machina - Did Win. Whoa. Good for them.
Mad Max: Fury Road - Should Win
The Martian
The Revenant
Star Wars: The Force Awakens - Will Win

Hmmm - I'm very torn on this. My gut reaction is Mad Max, but part of the appeal of the film was just how much of it was done with practical effects. The VES awards all went Star Wars - so I'm going to say that Star Wars takes this one. 

Best Makeup & Hairstyling:
Mad Max - Should Win/ Will Win/Did Win
The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out a Window and Disappeared
The Revenant

Best Documentary Short:
Body Team 12 - Will Win & from what I hear Should Win
Chau Behind the Lines
Claude Lanzman
A Girl in the River - Did Win
Last Day of Freedom

Best Live Action Short Film:
Ave Maria - Will Win
Day One
Everything Will Be Okay - Should Win
Shok
Stutterer - Did Win. I'm okay with this! It was the only one I actually enjoyed. 

Hum. The only one I liked was Stutterer, and that was too precious. The prevailing crowd wisdom seems to be Ave Maria, which I thought was not particularly well done, although it was an interesting setting. I thought the German film was probably best, although the subject matter was so harrowing to watch. Then again, the Academy skews Jewish, so I think Ave Maria might edge it out. 

Best Animated Short Film:
Bear Story - Did Win. UGH. UGH UGH UGH. 
Prologue
Sanjay’s Super Team
We Can’t Live Without Cosmos
World of Tomorrow - Should Win/ Will Win. 

I refuse to believe the Pixar one will pull it out over this. 

Saturday, February 27, 2016

2015 Best Films

1. Carol

2. Spotlight

3. Diary of a Teenage Girl

4. Mad Max

5. What We Do in the Shadows

6. World of Tomorrow


7. The Look of Silence

8. Brooklyn

9. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

10. The Hateful Eight

11. The Royal Road

12. The Duchess of Malfi

13. Room

14. Son of Saul
(yeah, nope.)


15. The Martian

16. Tangerine

17. Amy

18. Results

19. Kingsman

20. Crimson Peak



(OH GOD SO PRETTY.)

21. The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

Honorable mentions: Jimmy's Hall, Charlie's Country, The Dark Horse, Far from the Madding Crowd
   

(13/25 female led, unfortunately only one female-directed (need to see Mustang and Girlhood!))

New to Me and Excellent: Rififi, the Devil's Backbone

Saw Last Year: Kumiko the Treasure Hunter

My notable omissions for the year: Anomalisa, Phoenix, Mustang, Girlhood, Clouds of Sils Maria, the Duke of Burgundy, A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence, Straight Outta Compton, Heaven Knows What, Boy and the World, When Marnie Was There, Black Coal Thin Ice, the Assassin, Tom at the Farm, Dope, White God, Beasts of No Nation, Eden, Maps to the Stars, Going Clear, Tanna, The Postman's White Nights, the Keeping Room, About Elly, Amour Fou, Ballet 422, Beloved Sisters, Black Mass, Respire, Buzzard, Kurt Cobain Montage of Heck, Dreamcatcher, Democrats, Far from Men, Faults, Fidelio Alice's Odyssey, Finders Keepers, Gabriel, Goodnight Mommy, H., In Jackson Heights, Janis Little Girl Blue, Jauja, Lamb (the Ethiopian one), Legend, Macbeth, the Man from Reno, Medeas, Meru, Mississippi Grind, Slow West, Spring, Stations of the Cross, Stray Dog, Suffragette, T-Rex, the Daughter, the End of the Tour, the Last Five Years, the New Girlfriend, the Overnight, the Stanford Prison Experiment, Beats of the Antonov, the Voices, the Wolfpack, this Changes Everything, Tokyo Tribe, Victoria, and Western.  A few other film fest films, too, but I think those may be coming out in 2016.

I need to watch more films.