Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Oscar invitees

A bit a trivia for those who read this blog (yes! both of you!) I had flipped past several articles mentioning the new crop of Academy additions. Most had titles like; "Jonah Hill, Melissa McCarthy, Terrence Malick and 173 others invited to join the Academy." But as I was scrolling though Deadline Hollywood Daily (what?), something caught my eye. See if you can spot it:

Simon Baker – “Margin Call,” “L.A. Confidential”
Sean Bean – “Flightplan,” “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring”
Bérénice Bejo – “The Artist,” “OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies”
Tom Berenger – “Inception,” “Platoon”
Demián Bichir – “A Better Life,” “Che”
Jessica Chastain – “The Help,” “The Tree of Life”
Clifton Collins, Jr. – “Star Trek,” “Traffic”
Bryan Cranston – “Contagion,” “Little Miss Sunshine”
Jean Dujardin – “Les infidèls, “The Artist”
Richard E. Grant – “The Iron Lady,” “Withnail & I”
Jonah Hill – “Moneyball,” “Superbad”
Ken Howard – “J. Edgar,” “In Her Shoes”
Diego Luna – “Milk,” “Y Tu Mamá También”
Margo Martindale – “Secretariat,” “Million Dollar Baby”
Melissa McCarthy – “Bridesmaids,” “The Back-Up Plan”
Matthew McConaughey – “The Lincoln Lawyer,” “A Time to Kill”
Janet McTeer – “Albert Nobbs,” “Tumbleweeds”
S. Epatha Merkerson – “Mother and Child,” “Terminator 2: Judgment Day”
Sam Rockwell – “Cowboys & Aliens,” “Noon”
Andy Serkis – “The Prestige,” “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King”
Octavia Spencer – “The Help,” “The Soloist”
Lili Taylor – “Being Flynn,” “High Fidelity”
Nia Vardalos – “For a Good Time, Call…,” “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”
Kerry Washington – “Django Unchained,” “Ray”
Michelle Yeoh – “The Lady,” “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”

And no, it isn't the fact that Sam Rockwell was invited. 

Friday, June 29, 2012

Best uses of music in tv last year

Whoo! Okay - there still aren't enough musicals on to have all choreographed numbers (special bits from Scrubs, Buffy, HIMYM aside...). SO this is both numbers and soundtracks in tv in the last year.

First up - Glee. The only thing they still do well occasionally.
Smooth Criminal

Cough Syrup. Awww. That was so awful.

Rumor Has It/Someone Like You No video, I'm afraid.
Let It Snow

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Emmy Nominations!

So - the Emmy nominations are announced July 19th. Let's look at the wish-fulfillment (and the probable):

Best Drama
Game of Thrones
Breaking Bad
The Good Wife

I think these all have a reasonable shot. Justified probably won't make it in, but I'd really love it to. It may have had a better shot in season 2. So: probably Mad Men. Doubtful on Downton Abbey - I heard season 2 was a disappointment. I've heard Damages was particularly good this year, so that could have a shot. Not Dexter this year, but hopefully next! (Aaaaaah Deb! Aaaahhhh!) If they pick the Walking Dead, I will personally kill Carl.

Best Actress Drama
Claire Danes - Homeland
Julianna Margulies - The Good Wife

I haven't seen Sons of Anarchy - but maybe Katey Segal? Probably someone from Downton Abbey. And Elisabeth Moss on Mad Men. Glenn Close on Damages. Emmy Rossum on Shameless. I think this was Kyra Sedgewick's last season on the Closer, so maybe her. And an honorary award for cousin Debbie's scarves.

Best Actor Drama
Timothy Olyphant - Justified
Bryan Cranston - Breaking Bad
Michael C. Hall - Dexter. The plots this season were kind of a mess, but he still did good work. 
Damian Lewis - Homeland.

I haven't seen House in several seasons, but as it is his last, Hugh Laurie. I'm sure Jon Hamm on Mad Men. Possibly Kelsey Grammer on Boss (ugh.) Probably Steve Buscemi on Boardwalk Empire. Jeremy Irons on the Borgias.

Wouldn't it be lovely: William H. Macy on Shameless.

Best Supporting Actress Drama
Archie Panjabi - The Good Wife
Jennifer Carpenter - Dexter. Please - god - someone recognize her ongoing great acting and the shit she had to play this season.
Christine Baranski - The Good Wife
Anna Gunn - Breaking Bad
Lena Headey - Game of Thrones

Probably Maggie Smith on Downton Abbey, Christina Hendricks on Mad Men, Rose Byrne on Damages. Possibly Kelly MacDonald on Boardwalk Empire. Anjelica Huston on Smash? Maise Wiliams - GoT? Everything about True Blood was terrible last season - except for Deborah Ann Woll, who is always the best thing. (Well, usually - Dennis O'Hare for next year!)

Wouldn't it be nice: Sharon Gless on Burn Notice. The rest of the show isn't respectable enough to nominate, but it should get some love! SVU is just as procedural, and it used to get love! Dexter gets love and it is pulpy and in Miami! The problem is, the Emmys may love dark comedies (the Big C, Girls, Enlightened), but they do not love light drama.

Best Supporting Actor Drama
Giancarlo Esposito - Breaking Bad
Aaron Paul - Breaking Bad
Walton Goggins - Justified
Alan Cumming - The Good Wife
Peter Dinklage - Game of Thrones
Mandy Patinkin - Homeland

I'd love to see Jeremy Allen White on here for Shameless, particularly given Lip's arc this season, but... this is always the most crowded category. And I REALLY want Walton Goggins on there. 

That goes for Robert Sean Leonard on House, too. He's not going to get any love.  :(

Probably John Slattery on Mad Men. Josh Charles on The Good Wife? I've heard also John Goodman on Damages. Maybe one of the other Mad Men? Jared Harris? Michael Pitt on Boardwalk Empire (sympathy vote?) I haven't seen the Killing, but Joel Kinnaman looks like the reason to watch...

Wouldn't it be nice: Christian Borle - Smash. It could happen. He beat Andrew Garfield...

Dude - they could start having musical numbers! Smash! Glee! They should totally have best musical moment in tv for the year. Ooh - new post on THAT.

Best Comedy
Parks and Rec
30 Rock
It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia

I dislike Modern Family, but probably that. And The Big Band Theory. I have yet to see Girls, but it seems like that could slip in here. Ditto Louie. Oh - and Veep. I need to see that. Maybe New Girl? Or Enlightened? I doubt HIMYM - and I haven't seen it in like a season and a half (ADD YOUR SHOWS TO HULU, CBS) - but I like that one!

Oh, is Curb Your Enthusiasm still on? That'll probably get in.

Best Actress Comedy
Amy Poehler - Parks and Rec

Probably Laura Dern - Enlightened, Lena Dunham - Girls, Julia Louis-Dreyfus - Veep, and Zooey Deschanel - New Girl. That leaves.... Tina Fey? Martha Plimton - Raising Hope? 

Best Actor Comedy
Joel McHale - Community
Jim Parsons - The Big Bang Theory. I'm not sure he should still be getting nods because Sheldon doesn't exactly change much... But hey. He's popular. 
Alec Baldwin - 30 Rock (Ditto.)
Adam Scott - Parks and Rec
Rob McElhenney - It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia

Don Cheadle - House of Lies, Louie CK - Louie. Possibly Johnny Galecki - The Big Bang Theory. He's been up before.

Best Supporting Actress Comedy
Jane Krakowski - 30 Rock
Aubrey Plaza - Parks and Rec
Alison Brie - Community
Gillian Jacobs - Community
Kathryn Hahn - Parks and Rec
Kaitlin Olson - It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia

Probably a bunch of ladies from Modern Family.  And I think SNL counts here - so Kristen Wiig. I've heard good things about Casey Wilson on Happy Endings...

Best Supporting Actor Comedy
Nick Offerman - Parks and Rec
Neil Patrick Harris - HIMYM
Chris Colfer - Glee
Charlie Day - It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia
Glenn Howerton -  It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia
Danny Pudi - Community

I have yet to see New Girl - but how about Deputy Leo from Veronica Mars? Otherwise, I'm sure it'll be a bunch of Modern Family.  Maybe Bill Hader? I mean, Stefon is one of the funnier things around.  Donald Glover on Community? Chris Pratt on Parks and Rec?

Best Miniseries
American Horror Story
The Hour

I'm guessing the others here will be some sort of combination from Game Change, Hemmingway and Gelhorn, Titanic, Great Expectations, and Hatfields and McCoys.

Best Actress - Miniseries
Romola Garai - The Hour. Probably doubtful, but I liked her.
Lara Pulver - Sherlock

I'm sure Julianne Moore in Game Change, Nicole Kidman in Hemmingway and Gelhorn, and Gillian Anderson in Great Expectations.  Possibly Rachel Weisz in Page Eight (did that come out already?)  Possibly Connie Britton in American Horror Story. I've also heard Mare Winningham in Hatfields and McCoys, Judy Davis in Page Eight, Emily Watson in Appropriate Adult, and - weirdly - Rebecca Hall in Parade's End. I'm pretty certain that isn't out yet...

Best Actor - Miniseries
Benedict Cumberbatch - Sherlock
Dominic West - The Hour

Probably Woody Harrelson and Ed Harris in Game Change. Maybe Clive Owen in Hemmingway and Gelhorn. Idris Elba for Luther. Bill Nighy in Page Eight. Someone in Hatfield and McCoys - Kevin Costner? Bill Paxton? I didn't see it.

Best Supporting Actress - Miniseries
Jessica Lange. For ever and ever and ever. There is no one else in this category.

Best Supporting Actor - Miniseries
Andrew Scott - Sherlock 
Ben Whishaw - The Hour
Martin Freeman - Sherlock. Hey! The first time I've ever liked Martin Freeman. His work in the Reichenbach fall was wonderful.
Evan Peters - American Horror Story

Maybe Powers Boothe in Hatfields and McCoys and David Straitharn in Hemmingway and Gelhorn.

In 2013, they are combining supporting and lead in a miniseries, which is bullshit.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Top movie songs (part 4) - the instrumentals

Last one!
(Weirdly, none by Hans Zimmer. I don't know. I think I'd probably like the King Arthur Soundtrack at least - I've just never listened to any of his scores straight through.) There should probably be some Philip Glass from Koyaanisqatsi in here somewhere, too...

Heaven Sent - John Digweed, Groove. Hmmm... I can't find the actual scene, so music video it is.
Fire Up the Shoesaw (LP Version), Go. Okay - I don't KNOW that this was written for this film. And yes, it plays over the opening credits. But god, it's such a great opening to a film. 

Derezzed - Daft Punk, Tron
Car Chase - The Chemical Brothers, Hanna
In Motion - Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, The Social Network
Adagio in D Minor - John Murphy. I'm not sure which film this was first used in, but I always associate it with Sunshine.
In the House, In a Heartbeat - John Murphy, 28 Days Later
An Irish Party in Third Class - Gaelic Storm, Titanic (I do also LOVE James Horner's score. Particularly Never an Absolution - it's so mournful.)
Chariots of Fire Theme - John Williams. They are using this in the Olympics, right?
Theme from Jurassic Park - John Williams
Twisted Nerve - Bernard Herrmann
Vertigo Prelude - Bernard Herrmann
The Good the Bad and the Ugly Theme - Ennio Morricone
Titoli - Ennio Morricone, A Fistful of Dollars
March from Bridge on the River Kwai
Step Into Liquid - Richard Gibbs. Ok - I can't find the song. So here's the trailer.
Endless Summer Theme - the Sandals
The Sting. Pretty much all of it. Here's the Rag Time Dance. (Ok - not written for the film. But so memorable!)
Cells (instrumental) - The Servant, Sin City
The Beginning of the Partnership - Stephen Warbeck, Shakespeare in Love.
The Kiss - Trevor Jones, The Last of the Mohicans. My favorite. Ever ever ever. 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Top movie songs (part 3) - the musicals

Yes, with a lot of overlap from previous musical song postings. But this is specifically movie musical versions. Just think! Soon we'll be able to add Les Mis to this! (And American Idiot?)

Honorable mentions:
America - West Side Story
Seize the Day - Newsies. Ah, just think what it would become
Bound to You - Burlesque. The movie is terrible. But it's a pretty song. 
Lullaby of Broadway - Gold Diggers of 1935
Hernando's Hideaway - The Pajama Game
Cell Block Tango - Chicago
One - A Chorus Line
On the Street Where You Live - My Fair Lady
Flesh Failures/Let the Sun Shine In - Hair. You know SMASH made me realize why Hair sometimes doesn't work in certain productions. (You can't end a musical on a suicide... She died!) It is hard to transition from Claude/Berger's death to Let the Sun Shine In. I think the movie does it well.  
You're the One that I Want - Grease
One Night Only - Dreamgirls
Midnight Radio - Hedwig & the Angry Inch. Okay - I ADORE this song on the musical soundtrack. I don't quite like the final version for the film as mich.
A Little Priest - Sweeney Todd (even if they did cut a few verses)
Springtime for Hitler - The Producers (HI CAP'N JACK!)
Suddenly Seymour - Little Shop of Horrors
Fame - Fame
Out Tonight/Another Day - the filmed Rent. It's not going in the top 10, since it isn't the movie, but... well. You know. 

Top 10:
10. Sit Down John - 1776
9. Time Warp - The Rocky Horror Picture Show

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Top movie songs (part 1)

Idea thanks to Paul Williams' own top 10 list.

A lot of songs that I immediately think of from movies are more properly from soundtracks. Not songs written for a film. Then again, I don't actually know that Born to Be Wild was written for Easy Rider. I'm assuming it was, because Paul Williams listed it. Anyhoo - I'm going to TRY to avoid those. But no promises. Some songs are just so ingrained with a particular film moment or otherwise so iconic, that they deserve mention.

I had such a hard time picking, I'm going to break it up. First up - songs from films that aren't musicals.

Honorable mentions:
Immigrant Song - Karen O & Trent Reznor, Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (okay, it wasn't originally written for a film, but this version was created for the film and the title sequence is awesome.)
California Earthquake - Mama Cass, Beautiful Thing.
Marcy's Song - John Hawkes, Martha Marcy Mae Marlene.
We Don't Need Another Hero - Tina Turner, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome.
Take My Breath Away - Berlin, Top Gun.
Always Look on the Bright Side of Life - Life of Brian. 
A Real Hero - College, Drive.
Lose Yourself - Eminem, 8 Mile. 
Kiss from a Rose - Seal, Batman Forever.
Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta - Geto Boys, Office Space.
Don't Let Me Be Understood - Santa Esmeralda, Kill Bill Vol. 1.
The Breakup Song - Greg Kihn Band, Let Me In. (The inclusion of this song was the best thing about the remake.)
You Can't Always Get What You Want - Rolling Stones, The Big Chill.
Footloose - Kenny Loggins.
That Thing You Do. 

Top 20:
20. Indian Love Call - Slim Whitman, Mars Attacks.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Top 10 LGBT films

Hey! It's Pride month! Let's make our next top 10 the top 10 great LGBT films.

(Haven't seen: And the Band Played On, Philadelphia, Bent, Maurice, Before Night Falls, The Celluloid Closet, Gods and Monsters, Boys Don't Cry, The Crying Game, The Color Purple, the Laramie Project, My Own Private Idaho, But I'm a Cheerleader, Transamerica, The Pillow Book, Vicki Christina Barcelona, De-Lovely, LIE, the Kids are Alright, Were the World Mine, Tipping the Velvet, Patrick 1.5, Borstal Boy...)

Honorable mentions: Scott Pilgrim, Birdcage, The Broken Hearts Club, Kaboom, Mysterious Skin, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, In & Out, Four Weddings & a Funeral, Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Breakfast on Pluto, I Love You Philip Morris, La Mission, V for Vendetta, Bound, Fire, Kinsey, and Soldier's Girl.

Bonus Soldier's Girl video!

Okay - before the list, here is the first of my two favorite LGBT-themed quotes. From Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin, Michael's Letter to Mama. I don't have space here to reprint the whole thing, but check it out over here. Here's my favorite part;

"No, Mama, I wasn't "recruited." No seasoned homosexual ever served as my mentor. But you know what? I wish someone had. I wish someone older than me and wiser than the people in Orlando had taken me aside and said, "You're all right, kid. You can grow up to be a doctor or a teacher just like anyone else. You're not crazy or sick or evil. You can succeed and be happy and find peace with friends - all kinds of friends - who don't give a damn who you go to bed with. Most of all, though, you can love and be loved, without hating yourself for it."

But no one ever said that to me, Mama. I had to find it out on my own, with the help of the city that has become my home. I know this may be hard for you to believe, but San Francisco is full of men and women, both straight and gay, who don't consider sexuality in measuring the worth of another human being.

These aren't radicals or weirdos, Mama. They are shop clerks and bankers and little old ladies and people who nod and smile to you when you meet them on the bus. Their attitude is neither patronizing nor pitying. And their message is so simple: Yes, you are a person. Yes, I like you. Yes, it's all right for you to like me, too."


Onto the list!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

TV - 1 fan art

These wouldn't post with the House and True Blood ads, but one flickr user mocked up versions the New Zealand tourism posters from Murray's office in Flight of the Conchords. I always thought HBO should have used those in their marketing. Here are some of my favorites:

God, I love these. Such a good job of making New Zealand unappealing. Go Murray.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Favorite TV ads - House and True Blood

I wanted to point out two campaigns that I think have done a particularly good job of branding their shows with good ads; House and True Blood. Plus throw in a couple of fan-made posters which I enjoy.

First up, House. Most of the ads stick with a simple theme: Hugh Laurie front and center with a medical twist - House getting heart surgery, House with bandaids, House with a defibrillator, House with pills, etc.. They're all simple and easy to grasp while, say, riding by on a bus, or flipping through a magazine. Even one of the posters for House's jail time plays off the DOC acronym. Some of them feature a brief tagline (incurably himself, lovesick, one sick bastard, prepare for complications, etc.) Again, slight medical twist, but short and sweet. The only one in a wildly different style is the propaganda poster with the syringes replacing aircraft. It is still pretty simple in concept.

And True Blood. As EW wrote; "If there is a marketing team that has more fun than the folks who have to push True Blood, we have not met them." It started off with a relatively simple poster:

Eye catching, bloody. Cute tagline.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Favorite TV posters

Since we were just discussing marketing with the Golden Trailer awards and movie posters, let's look at some TV posters. TV posters tend to just be ads, but they can still be clever, eye-catching, or particularly well designed. Here are some of my faves:

First up, a few well designed ones, but that aren't particularly original:

These are all good. I like the hearse riding into the sunset. I like the colors on Justified and the framing on Deadwood. And I like Stringer's reflection on The Wire.

The next few are more visually arresting. Summer Glau as a terminator:

Dennis Leary is crazy. I like how eye-catching this one is:

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Golden Trailers!

I forgot these were coming up, so I didn't get to say anything in advance, but let's take a look at the winners, shall we?

Best Action: Snow White and the Huntsman "Forever". Sounds good to me - this is one of my favorite trailers of the year. Mossy turtle! The Hunger Games "Trailer 2" and MI: Ghost Protocol "Trailer 1" were also nominated and both good, but definitely the right call on this one.

Best Animation/Family: The Muppets "Their Movie". Really? Out of all the clever Muppet trailers you go with the generic one? There were so many better ones! The only other trailer nominated which could have taken it is possibly Mirror Mirror "Beyond imagination". However, none of the trailers on youtube are titled that, so I'm not positive which trailer they are talking about.

Best Comedy: Bridesmaids "Red Band". Okay, I know everyone and their mother thought Bridesmaids was unbelievable. I didn't. More importantly, I don't think this trailer shows it off much at all. For an actual funny trailer: Ted "Red Band" and Tucker and Dale vs. Evil are actually funny. (Although I will point out again that the Tucker trailer gives away a few of the movies better gags.)