Friday, December 30, 2011

Movie Binge Month and Happy New Year

It’s cold out, so the only thing to do is watch movies all month. Between trying to get off my lazy behind and going to the movies, watching TV and my instant Netflix subscription, I’ve watched a few movies this month.

Some have been great, some just good, and some I’ve seen many times already....In no particular order, I’ve seen:

The Tree of Life
Shattered Glass
Raging Bull
On the Waterfront
Tiny Furniture
Page One: Inside The New York Times
Cave of Forgotten Dreams
Road to Perdition
Young Adult
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
The Romantics
The Myth of the American Sleepover
Waiting for "Superman"

Have a happy and healthy New Year peeps. 2012 is going to be a good one. The Dark Knight Rises, The Amazing Spider-Man and The Great Gatsby are just a few reasons.

Happy New Year.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

"Dark Knight Rises Trailer": The Comeback Kid

I can't stop watching this is amazing. Can't wait for next summer already.

Also a great screen shot by shot look at the trailer from io9.

And yeah, it's hard to hear what Bane says, but it's not thaaaaat hard. They'll fix it before July, and even if they don't, it doesn't take a genius to figure out what he'll be up to.

Watch out for that end zone Hines Ward.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Awards Season: Golden Globe Noms Released

The Golden Globe nominations can be weird sometimes due to the fact that they split up movie awards into comedy/musical and drama and also because of the way they combine supporting awards on TV...and also because they are voted on by the foreign press. Sometimes the nominees can make you go..huh? Like this year with Breaking Bad not getting a nomination for Best TV Drama.

But while they aren't perfect, the Globes are still a good barometer to see what will come with the Academy Award nominations. This years nominees are pretty great, especially in the Best Actor - Drama category for film:

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama

Georege Clooney, "The Descendants"
Leonardo DiCaprio, "J. Edgar"
Michael Fassbender, "Shame"
Ryan Gosling, "The Ides of March"
Brad Pitt, "Moneyball"

The rest of the movie nominees:

Best Motion Picture - Drama

"The Descendants"
"The Help"
"The Ides of March"
"War Horse"

Best Motion Picture - Comedy Or Musical

"The Artist"
"Midnight in Paris"
"My Week with Marilyn"

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama

Glenn Close, "Albert Nobbs"
Viola Davis, "The Help"
Rooney Mara, "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"
Meryl Streep, "The Iron Lady"
Tilda Swinton, "We Need To Talk About Kevin"

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Comedy Or Musical

Jodi Foster, "Carnage"
Charlize Theron, "Young Adult"
Kristen Wiig, "Bridesmaids"
Michelle Williams, "My Week with Marilyn"
Kate Winslet, "Carnage"

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Comedy Or Musical

Jean Dujardin, "The Artist"
Joseph Gordon Levitt, "50/50"
Ryan Gosling, "Crazy Stupid Love"
Brendan Gleeson, "The Guard"
Owen Wilson, "Midnight in Paris"

Best Performance by an Actress In A Supporting Role in a Motion Picture

Berenice Bejo, "The Artist"
Jessica Chastain, "The Help"
Janet McTeer, "Albert Nobbs"
Octavia Spencer, "The Help"
Shailene Woodley, "The Descendants"

Best Performance by an Actor In A Supporting Role in a Motion Picture

Kenneth Branagh, "My Week with Marilyn"
Albert Brooks, "Drive"
Jonah Hill, "Moneyball"
Viggo Mortensen, "A Dangerous Method"
Christopher Plummer, "Beginners"

Best Director - Motion Picture

Woody Allen, "Midnight in Paris"
George Clooney, "The Ides of March"
Michel Hazanavicius, "The Artist"
Alexander Payne, "The Descendants"
Martin Scorsese, "Hugo"

Best Screenplay - Motion Picture

"Midnight in Paris"
"The Ides of March"
"The Artist"
"The Descendants"

And the TV nominees:

Best Television Series - Drama

"American Horror Story"
"Boardwalk Empire"
"Game of Thrones"

Best Television Series - Comedy Or Musical

"Modern Family"
"New Girl"

Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series - Drama

Steve Buscemi, "Boardwalk Empire"
Bryan Cranston, "Breaking Bad"
Kelsey Grammer, "Boss"
Jeremy Irons, "The Borgias"
Damian Lewis, "Homeland"

Best Performance by an Actress In A Television Series - Drama

Claire Danes, "Homeland"
Mireille Enos, "The Killing"
Julianna Margulies, "The Good Wife"
Madeline Stowe, "Revenge"
Callie Thorne, "Necessary Roughness"

Best Performance by an Actress In A Television Series - Comedy Or Musical

Laura Dern, "Enlightened"
Zooey Deschanel, "The New Girl"
Tina Fey, "30 Rock"
Laura Linney, "The Big C"
Amy Poehler, "Parks and Recreation"

Best Performance by an Actor In A Television Series - Comedy Or Musical

Alec Baldwin, "30 Rock"
David Duchovny, "Californication"
Johnny Galecki, "The Big Bang Theory"
Thomas Jane, "Hung"
Matt LeBlanc, "Episodes"

Best Mini-Series Or Motion Picture Made for Television
"Cinema Verite"
"Downton Abbey"
"The Hour"
"Mildred Pierce"
"Too Big to Fail"

Best Performance by an Actress in a Mini-Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television

Romola Garai, "The Hour"
Diane Lane, "Cinema Verite"
Elizabeth McGovern, "Downton Abbey"
Emily Watson, "Appropriate Adult"
Kate Winslet, "Mildred Pierce"

Best Performance by an Actor in a Mini-Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television

Hugh Bonneville, "Downton Abbey"
Idris Elba, "Luther"
William Hurt, "Too Big To Fail"
Bill Nighy, "Page Eight"
Dominic West, "The Hour"

The 69th Golden Globes will be held on Sunday, Jan. 15.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Awards Season: SAG Nominations Released

The SAG awards were released on Wednesday morning and there are some surprises among this years crop.

Best ensemble cast
The Artist
The Descendants
The Help
Midnight in Paris

Interesting fact: "No film has won Best Picture without a SAG nomination in 15 years.." Should make the rest of the awards season very interesting.

Best actor
Demián Bichir, A Better Life
George Clooney, The Descendants
Leonardo DiCaprio, J. Edgar
Jean Dujardin, The Artist
Brad Pitt, Moneyball

Best actress
Glenn Close, Albert Nobbs
Viola Davis, The Help
Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady
Tilda Swinton, We Need to Talk About Kevin
Michelle Williams, My Week With Marilyn

Best supporting actor
Kenneth Branagh, My Week With Marilyn
Armie Hammer, J. Edgar
Jonah Hill, Moneyball
Nick Nolte, Warrior
Christopher Plummer, Beginners

Best supporting actress
Berenice Bejo, The Artist
Jessica Chastain, The Help
Melissa McCarthy, Bridesmaids
Janet McTeer, Albert Nobbs
Octavia Spencer, The Help


Best ensemble cast in a comedy
30 Rock
The Big Bang Theory
Modern Family
The Office

Best ensemble cast in a drama
Boardwalk Empire
Breaking Bad
Game of Thrones
The Good Wife

Best actress in a comedy
Julie Bowen, Modern Family
Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
Tina Fey, 30 Rock
Sofia Vergara, Modern Family
Betty White, Hot in Cleveland

Best actor in a comedy
Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
Ty Burrell, Modern Family
Steve Carell, The Office
Jon Cryer, Two and a Half Men
Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family

Best actress in a drama
Kathy Bates, Harry's Law
Glenn Close, Damages
Jessica Lange, American Horror Story
Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife
Kyra Sedgwick, The Closer

Best actor in a drama
Patrick J. Adams, Suits
Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire
Kyle Chandler, Friday Night Lights
Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
Michael C. Hall, Dexter

The awards will air on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2012 on TNT.

Monday, December 12, 2011

AFI Awards: Cold Winter Gives Way to Awards Season Heat

It’s getting to that time of year again when the Top Tens start filtering out and many Academy Awards dreams start to become realized or shattered. Not all lists or awards are equal in weight, but there are many out there that are considered to be a cut above all the rest, and one of those is the AFI Awards.

This year the AFI top ten list for film offers a wide range of genres:

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
The Descendants
The Help
J. Edgar
Midnight in Paris
The Tree of Life
War Horse

Absent from the list are films like The Artist, Shame and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, which don’t qualify for the awards because they are not an American production. Sidenote, both The Artist and the entire Harry Potter series will receive special awards at the ceremony.

The AFI list usually does a decent job at predicting the nominees and winners of Best Picture, but since some films aren’t eligible to be nominated, it changes things a bit. The top tens have been released by the AFI since 2000 and only three times has the Best Picture winner not been among the top ten.

The first one was in 2006 when The Departed won Best Picture and the second time was in 2008 when Slumdog Millionaire won Best Picture. Slumdog, however, was not eligible for the AFI Awards considering it was a British film and the same goes for The King's Speech last year, although it did win a special award.

AFI's Top Ten American TV shows for this year is an extremely stacked list:

Breaking Bad
Boardwalk Empire
Curb Your Enthusiasm
Game of Thrones
The Good Wife
Modern Family
Parks and Recreation

Hard to have a beef with any one of these choices. While I’ve never seen The Good Wife, I hear enough to know it deserves to be here and as for the rest, I’ve seen every episode of each from this past year and while there are a lot of good choices not on the list, it's hard to have much beef with those nine.

The AFI Awards will be held on January 13, 2012.

Boardwalk Empire Finale: “To The Lost”

Great shows usually make audiences react in the most emotional ways, and this finale of “Boardwalk Empire” was no different. Anytime a show kills of a main character, especially right after making him so damn interesting, it’ll hurt. But take a step back for a minute and you realize, this was the only logical way for things to end.

Time’s critic James Poniewozik, in his wrap up of the finale, puts it best:

“ terms of sheer character and story, killing Jimmy was the wrong thing to do. From where I sit, collecting my jaw from the floor, it feels right now like the most logical thing for the show to do. Considering what unfolded this season, all the shit that went down between them, for Nucky and Jimmy to partner up again and get back to old times would have felt like a contrivance.”

We all know Jimmy didn’t exactly want Nucky killed when he took a bullet to the hand, but as an audience we KNEW that Terence Winter and crew wouldn’t kill Nucky anyway because he’s real and necessary for the show. But from that point on, it must have been simmering in Nucky to get full on revenge for everything that had happened.

Earlier in the series, in the first episode I believe, Jimmy said to Nuck, “You can’t be half-a gangster.” Well for Nucky, this was his Walter White moment, the point where he went from being a politician and a gangster on the side to just a full on gangster.

I’m upset about it just as many of you are, not only because I felt they were turning Jimmy into such an interesting character, but because of just how excellent Michael Pitt was in the role. The simplicity of Jimmy staring out at the ocean or smoking a cigarette and how powerful those moments were is a testament to Pitt’s skill.

I also thought the wedding sequence mixed in with Neary’s death was awesome and a great hark to “The Godfather.” One of the most interesting scenes of the episode to me was the very last shots of Jimmy in the trench in WWI. It was great writing and a powerful moment when he says: "I died in the trench, years back. I thought you knew that."

The episode leaves many questions, and luckily creator Terance Winter spoke with a few writers about the episode and the show’s future:

From the NY Times Art Blog:

“For most of the episode, I was hoping to [annoy] the audience a little bit in having them think, ‘Oh, great, everything’s going to be forgiven, and now he’s going to take this guy back and everything’s fine.’ And of course it’s not. But that was all by design, so that’s great.”

At HitFlix with awesome critic Alan Sepinwall:

It's clear, as you said, that when Jimmy gets the phone call and doesn't bring his knife, he knows it's coming. Does he know it earlier in the episode? Because it seems like some of his interactions with Tommy, for instance, are that of a father getting ready to say goodbye.

“I think he knew. I don't know that he knew exactly when it was coming, but this finale was Jimmy mopping up all the business he could, preparing knowing that at some point in the future, this was going to happen, whether it's now or next week or next month. He's going to do as much undoing of the damage he's caused as he can, he's going to psychologically say goodbye to his son, say goodbye to Richard, and get his affairs in order, and then he's ready to ship out.”

And on Entertainment Weekly, both Winter and Michael Pitt answered questions:

Said Pitt on Jimmy’s shocking death: “I like it...As much as I will miss working with everyone on this incredible project, I thought that it would be very shocking, and I’m always drawn to that.”

There are also many questions to be answered in season three, like will we ever see Van Alden again? Or what role will Gillian and Richard have now that Jimmy is gone? For all you Harrow fans, don’t be alarmed, Winter has things in store for him and the others.

Some quick hits from various interviews:

Q: What about Michael Shannon’s character, the now-disgraced federal agent Nelson Van Alden?
Winter: People in the audience who are students of Mob history might pick up on the fact that Cicero, Ill., was the place that became Al Capone’s headquarters in 1924. It wasn’t an accident that we chose to put him somewhere in the Midwest that might or might not have ramifications down the line for him.

Q: So can we expect to see Al Capone come into his own as a formidable force next season?
“As time goes on. The plan is now is we would come back in season 3 a little further into the future and start to really track Al Capone’s rise and — God willing — through the course of the series. By 1925, Capone was the guy everybody recognizes — the guy in the white fedora who’s firmly in charge of Chicago. Hopefully we’ll be on the air long enough to see that guy. Certainly in [season 3] we’ll start to see Capone on pretty much equal footing as Johnny Torrio in terms of who’s running the town.”

Q: And I’m assuming Richard Harrow will continue as a key player?
“Yes, Harrow will continue to be part of the show, absolutely.”

Obviously it hurts to lose a character as great as Jimmy and an actor as good as Pitt, but if you are a fan of the show, please don’t let this discourage you. These are many of the same people who did “The Sopranos” and this show is turning into something special.

Don’t let the emotion of it get the best of you. Can’t wait for season three. RIP James Darmody.

NFL Week 14: They Did What?!?!?

An astute analysis of the Week 14 thrillll-fest between the Giants and Cowboys from friend of the Breeze Gary Hartman:

"NEW YORK GIANTS FOOTBALL. NEVER GIVE UP. ALWAYS RESILIENT. In a five minute period we go from season being over to being a first place team. Now, I will be the first person to tell you that our defense sucks. Plain and simple play calling is awful and execution is even worse. 10 out of 11 players on the defensive end were playing with their heads up their asses the whole game. That needs to be fixed.

Jason Pierre-Paul is a freak of nature. Blocking that kick was simply unreal. He would be by far our MVP so far this season if it weren't for that one guy. Eli Manning is absolutely, unbelievable, undoubtedly simply amazing. ELI-te for sure. Best fourth quarter QB in the league and it is not even close. He never gives up, never stops fighting ( through dropped passes, constant blitzes, tipped balls) and it paid off today. Look at this offense when it has a run game! Put up 37 and that is with settling for 2 FGs and the unlucky turnover. Brandon Jacobs deserves a huge shout out.

Great game for Nicks too. O-Line was great in the run game not as good as it looked in the pass game, that is again credited to Eli. Blitzes in his face and he makes perfect throws, he is again unreal. Defense has to get its shit together. We control our own destiny. Fuck the Cowgirls. New York Giants Football. First place. Washington next week, Fewell get it together and let's run the table like we are capable of doing with Eli at the helm. GMEN."

Here we go boys. On to the next one.

Monday, December 5, 2011

NFL Week 13: What's A Catch These Days?

An astute analysis of the Week 13 poorly officiated game between the Giants and Packers from friend of the Breeze Gary Hartman:

"First off, that was absolutely one of the worst, one sided officiated games I have ever seen in my 19 years. Unfortunately as Dave Tollefson said, there are no moral victories. The Giants did play their hearts out though. Our defense gave up 28 points to the Packers offense which is about standard, yet does not make up for the fact that they did not make plays when they had to. If you give Rodgers all day to throw he'll kill you regardless of how poor coverage is. I still cant get over the officiating. So fucking terrible. Awful pass interference call against Prince, very bad call on the third down sack, JPP and Kiwanuka were being blatantly held all day in ways that vastly effected the game and we still should have won. That being said, it was really nice to see fire with this team again. One of the more exciting games I have gone to in a long time and we did not play like a team that just lost 4 straight. Offense was great. Luckily remain in the same position as last week and all in all if we play like we did tonight we can no doubt take the division. 38-35--same score of the week 17 Patriots game in 2007. Let's hope this game lights the same fire under this teams asses. Heartbreaking loss but looking up right now. Dallas next week baby. Let's get it.

One more thought: The packers are not a that should win the Super Bowl. Not taking away from their greatness but they have a very average to weak defense and no run game. They just need the right test. I'd love to see em again. NYG Football."

Time to win out boys. We still have two games against Dallas, lets do it.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

These New "Dark Knight Rises" Photos Are Effing Amazing

Soon enough we will some real footage for The Dark Knight Rises, with a real trailer and the 6-minute-sure-to-be-amazing IMAX prologue to fawn over, but for now all we have are some pics. And they are spectacular.

The new pics show off Batman standing over some rubble looking grizzled and bad-ass, Bane standing on what looks to be his own customized Tumbler in front of a city building (City Hall?). He is holding up a picture of fallen DA Harvey Dent, perhaps in a speech telling Gotham that his hero story was a cover up?

The last picture is the best, as usual. Bane in the foreground, back to the camera, veins and muscles pulsing with rage. Batman is in the background prepared to do some battle, but clearly looking slightly worried.

While there aren't many details on the upcoming film, director Christopher Nolan has let out a few snippets that make the story sound like it will be something truly epic.

Said Nolan to Empire Magazine: "It's really all about finishing Batman and Bruce Wayne's story. We left him in a very precarious place. Perhaps surprisingly for some people, our story picks up quite a bit later, eight years after 'The Dark Knight.' So he's an older Bruce Wayne; he's not in a great state."

Actor Tom Hardy also spoke about his role as the villain Bane: "It's not about fighting. It's about carnage. The style is heavy-handed, heavy-footed, it's nasty. Anything from small-joint manipulation to crushing skulls, crushing rib cages, stamping on shins and knees and necks and collarbones and snapping heads off and tearing his fists through chests, ripping out spinal columns. He is a terrorist in mentality as well as brutal action."

Cannot wait for this one.

Idiots On The Trail

Things on the trail Republican candidates have already proven they don't know:

Bachmann says if she were President she would close down the U.S. Embassy In Iran...Hmm. Ever hear of the Iran hostage crisis? The U.S. hasn't had a functioning embassy in Iran since 1980.

Cain is worried about China "Trying to develop nuclear capability."...Hmm. Just so you know, China's first test on a nuclear device dates back to October of 1964. Better watch out.

Now we could go on all day about the good 'ol Texan Rick Perry. "Uhhhh Ooops." But lets stick with this. Apparently Mr. Perry didn't get the memo that the voting age is 18.

As he said in New Hampshire recently, "Those of you that will be 21 by November the 12th, I ask for your support and your vote." He also couldn't grasp what day the election is, but we'll let that slide. Guess he didn't hear about that little thing called the Twenty-sixth Amendment, which limited the minimum voting age to no more than 18.. By the way, it was adopted on July 1, 1971. Yeah, 1971.

We could go on and on with these idiots, but these are pretty egregious if you ask me.

These aren't gaffes or mental errors, these are pure facts that these idiotic candidates just do not know and should know if they want to become the POTUS.

Read an effing newspaper.