Duffman

My 16th Annual Oscars Picks and Wishes, 2021 edition for the 2020 movies

Here it is, my only post I write every year. Next Sunday night, The Oscars will be on. so time for me to start writing. We all know what a shit year 2020 was, and also what a shit year last year's Oscars were. If you forgot, it was the year that "Parasite" won it all, a Korean film that people liked, but haven't seen since. And yet both "1917" and "Once Upon a Time in... Hollywood" continue to be shown on the cable channels, and I still finding myself watching for a few minutes. Fuck Covid and Fuck China, Fuck all of 2020. From Mid-March until Mid-August, I couldn't go to the movies. I had 5 local movie theaters, and all were closed due to covid. Then they opened up for a small month, only to have such restrictions like no selling popcorn, that theaters closed from October until a few weeks ago. With all the movies theaters closed, this was the first time since I've been a teenager that all the movies nominated for Best Picture, I didn't seen any of them at the theater when the official nominees came out. 8 movies nominated for Best Picture, and I had seen one of them, "Mank", which was because it was available through Netflix.

However, I did my job as a movie geek, and saw all 8 of the Best Picture nominees. I was able to go to the movies (I have 5 local theaters, all closed, so I had to go out to Lowell to see a few of these movies) and others were seen on streaming services. I was not "wowed" by any of these 8 movies. In fact, not a single one of them got a full 4-stars from me. Two managed to get up to 3 1/2 star status. The wow factor is in seeing a movie at a movie theater. Where, I have been wowed with "Nobody" and "Raya and the Last Dragon", but maybe those movies will be written about next year. Anyway, here's how it will go, I'll say an Oscar category, who's nominated, how many of the films I saw, then, who I think SHOULD win, and who I think WILL win.

Of the 23 different Oscar categories (it used to be 24, but they combined Sound Editing and Sound Mixing to just Best Sound), I only deal with the serious 8 categories (4 acting, 2 writing, best director, best picture). But I'll also throw in a couple guesses for fun. I always keep the best picture pick and wish for the very end. So, lets knock this out.

Best Actor in a Leading Role:

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

Saw all five films.

Should Win--Riz Ahmed (“Sound of Metal”)
Will Win--Chadwick Boseman (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”)

Chadwick Boseman died young, and posthumously he has been winner this award in all the award shows. This is the biggest lock of the night. It will get a standing ovation and his wife will accept on his behalf. But, Boseman's performance was ok, not GREAT. Riz Ahmed and Anthony Hopkins had much better performances. Hopkins already won an Oscar, and Ahmed is too new for his great performance of a heavy metal drummer who loses his hearing and how to deal with the next step in his life. For those who have Amazon Prime, do yourself a favor and watch "Sound of Metal".

Best Actress in a Leading Role:

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

Did not see “The United States v. Billie Holiday” or "Pieces of a Woman".

Should Win--Carey Mulligan (“Promising Young Woman”)
Will Win--Viola Davis (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”)

Perhaps an overcorrection on the whole "Oscars So White" that they might go out of there way to not give out Oscars to the white people. Look, Carey Mulligan was really great in "Promising Young Woman" and she should have won an Oscar a long time ago for "An Education". In this film, she likes to be at bars and night clubs, pretends she is really drunk, and allow men to bring her home, to see if they pass the test of being a nice guy or not. It's strange and twisted, and a dark ending I saw only half of happening, but not the other half. Where as Viola Davis, I don't even know if that is her really singing. She just sweats a lot and is mean to white guys who just want to record her song.

Best Actor in a Supporting Role:

Sacha Baron Cohen (“The Trial of the Chicago 7”)
Daniel Kaluuya (“Judas and the Black Messiah”)
Leslie Odom Jr. (“One Night in Miami”)
Paul Raci (“Sound of Metal”)
Lakeith Stanfield (“Judas and the Black Messiah”)

Should Win--Paul Raci (“Sound of Metal”)
Will Win--Leslie Odom Jr. (“One Night in Miami”)

I should begin to say, I have no clue who will win this Oscar. You can make the argument for everyone BUT Sacha Baron Cohen. I just think that because he did his own singing, Odom can win. In a fictionalized movie about what if Muhammed Ali, Malcolm X, Jim Brown, and Sam Cooke all hung out in the same hotel room and just talked about life. "One Night in Miami" felt like a play, because it was based on a stage play. But the Sam Cooke character has the best role in the film, Odom outshines the rest of the cast. And at the end, when he sings, goddamn, that is a special movie moment. Paul Raci, who I've never heard of, is the one who runs the institute that deals with def and mute people who are also addicts in "Sound of Metal". He is great in his simple, guiding ways, and in real life, he does speak in American Sign Language. This movie is nothing without this crucial, perfect role meant for Raci. I hope he wins.

Best Actress in a Supporting Role:

Maria Bakalova (‘Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”)
Glenn Close (“Hillbilly Elegy”)
Olivia Colman (“The Father”)
Amanda Seyfried (“Mank”)
Yuh-jung Youn (“Minari”)

Still never got around to seeing "Hillbilly Elegy"

Should Win--Yuh-jung Youn (“Minari”)
Will Win--Glenn Close (“Hillbilly Elegy”)

The only thing I know is that Colman won't win, because she won the Oscar a couple of years back for "The Favourite". I just think this might be a life time achievement award situation and they give it to Glenn Close as none of these other roles were that great. You can make the argument that the girl is Borat was amazing to keep up with that much improv that actually works and sells the movie. I think the grandma character in "Minari" was solid too. I don't know, I got dueling grandmas. This is like when every team needs to send a player to the all-star team, and one team sucks, and this is a list of the best mid-relievers.

Best Director:

Thomas Vinterberg (“Another Round”)
David Fincher (“Mank”)
Lee Isaac Chung (“Minari”)
Chloé Zhao (“Nomadland”)
Emerald Fennell (“Promising Young Woman”)

Saw them all

Should Win--Thomas Vinterberg (“Another Round”)
Will Win--Chloé Zhao (“Nomadland”)

I really did enjoy the movie "Another Round", which I believe you can watch on Hulu. It's about this group of teachers at this Swedish prep school who try out this psychological theory that humans are at their ideal best when they are a little bit drunk. Watching these guys experiment with drinking while at work, and how it affects their home lives are great. Well acted, nicely paced, I enjoyed it a lot. But "Nomadland" might be the big movie for this year. It's essentially a documentary about people who just live in their vans, and move from city to city across the USA to find work and live these weird van life. They hire a couple of real actors (Frances McDormand) and everyone else are real van people. Semi-homeless people that agreed to be on film, using their real names.

Best Adapted Screenplay:

“Borat Subsequent Moviefilm.” Screenplay by Sacha Baron Cohen, Anthony Hines, Dan Swimer, Peter Baynham, Erica Rivinoja, Dan Mazer, Jena Friedman, Lee Kern; Story by Sacha Baron Cohen, Anthony Hines, Dan Swimer, Nina Pedrad
“The Father,” Christopher Hampton and Florian Zeller
“Nomadland,” Chloé Zhao
“One Night in Miami,” Kemp Powers
“The White Tiger,” Ramin Bahrani

Never got around to seeing "The White Tiger", but I might tonight, it's on Netflix.

Should Win--“Borat Subsequent Moviefilm.”
Will Win--“One Night in Miami"

"Borat", even thought it's essentially a documentary of real people being setup by the writers, actors, and producers of the film, is also one of the best written things to set up the jokes. A simple scene at a bakery leads to the funniest scene ever at a planned parenthood office. That takes some special writing. However, I think "One Night in Miami" will get proper recognition for taking that play and putting it on the screen.

Best Original Screenplay:

“Judas and the Black Messiah.” Screenplay by Will Berson, Shaka King; Story by Will Berson, Shaka King, Kenny Lucas, Keith Lucas
“Minari,” Lee Isaac Chung
“Promising Young Woman,” Emerald Fennell
“Sound of Metal.” Screenplay by Darius Marder, Abraham Marder; Story by Darius Marder, Derek Cianfrance
“The Trial of the Chicago 7,” Aaron Sorkin

Saw them all

Should Win--“Sound of Metal"
Will Win--“Judas and the Black Messiah"

This is a very tough one, and I have no clue what will win. I just like "Sound of Metal" a whole lot. There is not a single movie choice here that will have me shocked or mad that it won. Good luck and congrats to whatever the winner is, but I still hope it's "Sound of Metal".

Normally, after going through 7 of the 8 categories, I like to write up different locks in different categories. Just some wild card options that I think might win. But with 2020 being the year I saw the least amount of movies ever in my past 25 years, this is much more difficult. So, give me a moment to look through some movies nominated for other stuff...

Best Original Song--“Speak Now,” (“One Night in Miami”). Music and Lyric by Leslie Odom, Jr. and Sam Ashworth
Best Sound--"Sound of Metal"
Best Animated Short Film--“If Anything Happens I Love You” (Netflix)
Best Cinematography--“Nomadland,” Joshua James Richards
Best Visual Effects--“Tenet"
Best International Feature Film--“Another Round” (Denmark)

Keep in mind, these are wild guesses, I have no clue for this years Oscars. But, enough bullshit, here is the category I always get wrong.

Best Picture:

“The Father” (David Parfitt, Jean-Louis Livi and Philippe Carcassonne, producers)
“Judas and the Black Messiah” (Shaka King, Charles D. King and Ryan Coogler, producers)
“Mank” (Ceán Chaffin, Eric Roth and Douglas Urbanski, producers)
“Minari” (Christina Oh, producer)
“Nomadland” (Frances McDormand, Peter Spears, Mollye Asher, Dan Janvey and Chloé Zhao, producers)
“Promising Young Woman” (Ben Browning, Ashley Fox, Emerald Fennell and Josey McNamara, producers)
“Sound of Metal” (Bert Hamelinck and Sacha Ben Harroche, producers)
“The Trial of the Chicago 7” (Marc Platt and Stuart Besser, producers)

Yes, I did see them all. I was not a fan of "The Father", it should not have been nominated.

Should Win--“Sound of Metal”
Will Win--“Nomadland”

I usually write a whole lot more about the Best Picture category, and really let people know where I stand on these films. But I loved "Sound of Metal" the most, well, of these movies nominated. I'm still blown away that "Tenet" didn't get the proper love it deserves. I've read a thing or two and people seem to think "Nomadland" will win the big one. Who am I to argue with that. I just didn't see enough movies. No one did. Which is probably why way too many "critic's darlings" are being nominated for major awards.

"The Father", lets watch an old man go through dementia over the course of the movie. "Mank", black and white movie about the writing of the script for "Citizen Kane". Just watch "Kane" instead. "Judas and the Black Messiah" and "The Trial of the Chicago 7" both include the death of the former head of the Chicago Black Panthers.

Now, for some lighter fare movies. "Minari", Korean family moves from California to Arkansas, try to be farmers, tragedy happens when grandma arrives. "Promising Young Woman" is about a woman who is motivated because her best friend in college had her life ruined due to being too drunk to stopped getting raped. "Sound of Metal", former heroine addict who plays drums goes deaf. "Nomadland", lets watch a woman shit in a bucket because she lives in a van.

2020 was a shit year, and these are some depressing movies to watch. The ratings will have to go up next year by default. I'm not sure what to expect, but these are my picks and wishes.

Until next year when I'll be wrong about other movies.
Duffman

My 15th Annual Oscars Picks and Wishes, 2020 edition for the 2019 movies

Here it is, my only post I write every year. This Sunday night, The Oscars will be on. so time for me to start writing. I no longer use MoviePass or Sinemia (wondering if either end up in the In Memoriam segment at the halfway part of the show) but I did pay a lot of good money to see a lot of good movies this past year. I will not be a downer, this was a great year at the movies.

This Sunday night is when they will televise the Oscars. Once again, i did my job as a movie geek, and saw all 9 of the Best Picture nominees. Here's how it will go, i'll say an Oscar category, who's nominated, how many i saw, then, who i think SHOULD win, and who i think WILL win.

Of the 24 different Oscar categories, i only deal with the serious 8 categories (4 acting, 2 writing, best director, best picture). But i'll also throw in a couple guesses for fun. I always keep the best picture pick and wish for the very end. So, lets knock this out.

Lead Actor:

Antonio Banderas, “Pain and Glory”
Leonardo DiCaprio, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”
Adam Driver, “Marriage Story”
Joaquin Phoenix, “Joker”
Jonathan Pryce, “The Two Popes”

Did not see either "Pain and Glory" or "The Two Popes"

Should Win--Leonardo DiCaprio, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”
Will Win--Joaquin Phoenix, “Joker”

I am not say Joaquin Phoenix is a bad actor. He really is amazing in Joker, and he also lost 52 pounds for that role. I just think in the future, Leo should have an extra Oscar or two, and it should be for roles like this. But he won an Oscar a few years ago when he got raped by that bear in a movie that no one has ever watched for a second time. So, let's give it to Joker because he doesn't have an Oscar yet, and also he has won at every awards show this entire season. In fact, all 4 acting categories are locks. The same 4 people, for the same for roles, have won at all the different things. SAG, Golden Globes, BAFTAS, DGA, PGA; there will be very little suspense as they announce everyone of my Will Wins for acting.

Lead Actress:

Cynthia Erivo, “Harriet”
Scarlett Johansson, “Marriage Story”
Saoirse Ronan, “Little Women”
Charlize Theron, “Bombshell”
Renee Zellweger, “Judy”

Did not see "Harriet"

Should Win--Charlize Theron, “Bombshell”
Will Win--Renee Zellweger, “Judy”

I am telling you, Charlize Theron looked just liked Megyn Kelly. I know that is the makeup, but I never saw Theron at all, only Megyn. She was amazing in a fun movie that not that many people saw. Another movie that not that many people saw was "Judy", about the last months of Judy Garland as she struggles with divorce, a new marriage, money issues, and still trying to perform despite her addictions that will eventually kill her. Renee Zellweger did a pretty impressive job with the singing, but the movie was made to essentially win this Oscar, and not really entertain. It reminds me too much of when Natalie Portman was in that first lady movie about Jackie O. It got her a best actress nominee, but you can't find that movie played anywhere, and no one even remembers the title.

Supporting Actor:

Tom Hanks, “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”
Anthony Hopkins, “The Two Popes”
Al Pacino, “The Irishman”
Joe Pesci, “The Irishman”
Brad Pitt, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”

Did not see "The Two Popes", but it's on Netflix, who knows, I might see it this weekend.

Should Win--Brad Pitt, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”
Will Win--Brad Pitt, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”

Fuck Yeah! I will be very excited when this happens. I loved "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" so much, I saw the movie twice. The best thing about this movie are the scenes with Brad Pitt. He plays Leo's stuntman, but he's also his driver, and errand boy, and also his best friend in the movie. We get to witness all the stuff that Brad Pitt does while Leo is out making movies and tv shows. And we also see how great of a friend his is at the very end of the movie when... I don't want to spoil the movie's amazing ending. Let's just say Tarantino has this way of rewriting true history that leaves the audience shocked and amazed. Because of Tarantino, we know what it's like to see Hitler and an entire movie theater of Nazis get fucking wiped out at the end of "Inglorious Basterds". In "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" we get to see a dark night in Hollywood in 1969 play out in a very different way. Brad Pitt is so great. Let's face it, he won the Oscar the moment he went up on that roof to fix an antenna and took off his shirt. He also gets to fight Bruce Lee, pick up a hitch hiking hippie, make someone fix a flat tire, check up on the well being of an old friend, and also play with his beloved dog. Brad Pitt was amazing, and I can't wait for him to finally win his first Oscar for acting.

Supporting Actress:

Kathy Bates, “Richard Jewell”
Laura Dern, “Marriage Story”
Scarlett Johansson, “Jojo Rabbit”
Florence Pugh, “Little Women”
Margot Robbie, “Bombshell”

Saw them all

Should Win--Scarlett Johansson, “Jojo Rabbit”
Will Win--Laura Dern, “Marriage Story”

Scarlett Johansson was nominated for two different Oscars, for two different movies, and she won't win on either. Which is a shame, she was a great mother in "Jojo Rabbit", who is dealing with her young son who wants to be a Nazi in Germany near the end of World War II. She is not in a lot of scenes, but in the few that she is in, she knocks them out of the park. But instead, because for some unknown reason, Laura Dern will win as the divorce attorney who does everything for her client because divorce is a dirty thing and men always lose at it. Ironically, Laura Dern's client in "Marriage Story" is Scarlett Johansson, so, that has to be some mixed feelings for ScarJo. I lose twice, but at least my scene partner gets to win.

Director:

Martin Scorsese, “The Irishman”
Todd Phillips, “Joker”
Sam Mendes, “1917”
Quentin Tarantino, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”
Bong Joon Ho, “Parasite”

Saw them all

Should Win--Quentin Tarantino, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”
Will Win--Sam Mendes, “1917”

It's confession time. Of the 9 movies nominated for Best Picture this year, only two films gets my highest grade of 4-stars. And they happen to be these two movies, my two favorite movies of the year. I really do want QT to finally win an Oscar as best director, because he really is an amazing director. However, Stanley Kubrick and Alfred Hitchcock never won an Oscar for Best Director. It took both Spielberg and Scorsese multiple decades of making films before they finally got their first Oscar for Best Director. And yet, Sam Mendes will win his second Best Director Oscar for "1917", this amazing World War I film, shot to make it look like one long, uncut scene, as we follow two soldiers who are told to bring news up front. The Germans are setting up a trap. If the attack happens, over a thousand soldiers will die. Bring word to the front lines to cancel the attack, and save so many lives. I have seen both 1917 and Once Upon a time in Hollywood twice in the theaters. They really are the two best movies of the year. The director's vision to bring us into those trenches and this long journey in real time is such an amazing feat of greatness. And on the other end of things, Tarantino recreated Hollywood just like it was in 1969. But to make it a more complete film, there are other characters, dialogue, and fun visual shots of western backlots for filming, and rich houses in the Hollywood hills. Great movies both, but I think Mendes wins the Oscar for directing.

Adapted Screenplay:

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

Did not see "The Two Popes"

Should Win--“Jojo Rabbit,” Taika Waititi
Will Win--“Little Women,” Greta Gerwig

In a way for the Academy to not look so bad for not having Greta Gerwig nominated for her directing skills, I think she ends up winning the Oscar for her screenplay of "Little Women". I had never read the book or saw any of the many, many other filmed versions of "Little Women". It's slightly better than fine for what is essentially the biggest chick flick of the year that I saw. My mom loved it, and it held my interest. However, Jojo Rabbit has a boy who wants to be a nazi so bad that he had an imaginary best friend who is Adolph Hitler, and it works. It is darkly funny, and a wonderful view of both war and extreme hatred and racism from the young kid's perspective.

“Knives Out,” Rian Johnson
“Marriage Story,” Noah Baumbach
“1917,” Sam Mendes and Krysty Wilson-Cairns
“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” Quentin Tarantino
“Parasite,” Bong Joon-ho, Jin Won Han

Saw them all

Should Win--“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” Quentin Tarantino
Will Win--“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” Quentin Tarantino

God I love this Oscar category. In fact, after best picture, this is the other best picture trophy. To take an idea that doesn't exist, you just write it all out, and put it on the screen, and we get to see that originality play out. It's art at it's finest. Even if Tarantino doesn't win, I'm actually perfectly happy if any of the other movies do win. Except Marriage Story. I wasn't that big of a fan. I'm not in the world of divorce, nor am I in the world of acting, or in the world of living in New York City or living in L.A. This movie wasn't real to me because I've never had this life. Not that I had the life of a soldier in World War I like in 1917, or a Korean family like in Parasite, but those movies entertained the hell out of me. 4 of these 5 movies are very worthy of winning this Oscar. Would love to see if it somehow goes to Knives Out, another 4-star movie from this year that made 2019 so special.

Now that I have gone through 7 of the main 8 categories, here are some locks that I think will win during the Oscars:

Cinematography--“1917,” Roger Deakins
Best International Feature Film--“Parasite,” Bong Joon Ho
Production Design--“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” Barbara Ling and Nancy Haigh
Original Song--“I’m Gonna Love Me Again,” “Rocketman”
Makeup and Hair--"Bombshell"
Visual Effects--“Avengers Endgame”
Costume Design--"Little Women"

It's time for the final and biggest category of them all. Here they are in proper alphabetical order.

Best Picture:

“Ford v Ferrari”
“The Irishman”
“Jojo Rabbit”
“Joker”
“Little Women”
“Marriage Story”
“1917”
“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”
“Parasite”

Saw them all (that's the point, every year, see every movie nominated for Best Picture so no matter what, I will always know what is the Best Picture in my opinion)

Should Win--“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”
Will Win--“1917”

Yes, I saw them all. Another fun way to list these movies is what I did earlier today on Twitter. For the first time in a long time, all the movies nominated for Best Picture, I would recommend them to someone. They all got 3 to 4 stars. In fact, here was how I broke them down:

I break them into 3 sections:

3-Star movies:
Marriage Story
Little Women
The Irishman

3 1/2 Star movies:
Joker
Parasite
Ford V Ferrari
Jojo Rabbit

4-Star movies:
1917
Once Upon A Time In Hollywood

I won't go into detail with all the movies, but here's a few things. "The Irishman" was a great movie for the first 2 hours or so. Then it hit it's climax. And instead of finishing things off in about 20 minutes, the movie kept going for another hour plus. Sunk my rating by a full star.

I really enjoyed Ford V Ferrari, but this is just a year when the very good movie is there, but it doesn't win a damn thing, except maybe something in sound editing.

Joker has the most nominations, but I think it wins one award, and it will be for Best Actor. It's going to lose a lot of times before Joker gets its one trophy for the night.

Jojo Rabbit, god, what a unique movie. It's playing again in my local theaters. I really thought about seeing it again. I loved the scene where we find out about all the information the little boy has been writing about Jews in his secret book. Very funny stuff. It's a beautiful film, please, try to see it if you haven't.

OK, 1917 vs Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. Both great movies. I know some voters don't want 1917 to win because it's a war movie. And I know some voters don't want Once Upon a Time in Hollywood to win because it rewrites history. When they vote for Best Picture, it's based on preferential voting, so they don't really pick the BEST movie, but the most liked movie, or the least un-liked movie. Normally I would hedge my pick. If 1917 wins director, that means Once Upon a Time in Hollywood wins for picture. Except the Producers Guild made their pick, and it was for 1917. It's such a solidly done war film. It's meant to be watched on the big screen. I think it brings home Best Picture. I really hope I'm wrong. I would love nothing more than for Quentin Tarantino to somehow win 3 Oscars tonight and a couple more for Brad Pitt and Leo.

Normally, I do a really great job at picking most of the actual winners. But Best Picture I don't do that well at. The last 6 years, one movie was a flat out favorite, and then something else won it. Currently, 1917 is the favorite (according to betting websites) to win Best Picture. If it doesn't win, I think that could mean Once Upon a Time in Hollywood sneaks in to take it. Crazy upsets could occur. With so many old white guys still voting, maybe The Irishman wins the biggest prize of the night with no other awards to be won. Some thing it might go to the foreign film Parasite. What if Ford V Ferrari happens to be that one movie that everyone has as their 2nd or 3rd favorite, and due to the voting process, that is how it wins? I'm the least confident as to what will bring home the final Oscar of the night. Tune in this Sunday night to watch and find out along with me.
Duffman

My 14th Annual Oscars Picks and Wishes, 2019 edition for the 2018 movies

Here it is, my only post I write every year. In less than 12 hours, the Oscars will be on, so time for me to start writing. I no longer use MoviePass, which helped me watch over 60+ movies in 2018. Now I use Sinemia, and I'm only a couple of movies in, but this should help me on my way to watch a lot of movies in 2019.

This Sunday night is when they will televise the Oscars. Once again, i did my job as a movie geek, and saw all 8 of the Best Picture nominees. Here's how it will go, i'll say an Oscar category, who's nominated, how many i saw, then, who i think SHOULD win, and who i think WILL win.

Of the 24 different Oscar categories, i only deal with the serious 8 categories (4 acting, 2 writing, best director, best picture). But i'll also throw in a couple guesses for fun. I always keep the best picture pick and wish for the very end. So, lets knock this out.

Overall, 2018 was a below average year for movies. I did not see that many 4-star movies. My two favorite movies of the year ended up being "Ready Player One" and "Avengers: Infinity War". Sure, I liked some other movies, but I'll save that for the only 4-star movie nominated for best picture. Anyway, we have a bunch of other things nominated, and let's dive into them right now.

Actor in a Leading Role
Christian Bale, Vice
Bradley Cooper, A Star Is Born
Willem Dafoe, At Eternity’s Gate
Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody
Viggo Mortensen, Green Book

I did not see "At Eternity's Gate"

Should Win--Bradley Cooper, A Star Is Born
Will Win--Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody

This pains me so much. Bradley Cooper was amazing. He directed this amazing movie, wrote a shit load of the songs, learned how to play the guitar, and he does his own singing. But, let's give the award to the guy lip syncing to the best of Queen because he has fake teeth.

Actress in a Leading Role
Yalitza Aparicio, Roma
Glenn Close, The Wife
Olivia Colman, The Favourite
Lady Gaga, A Star Is Born
Melissa McCarthy, Can You Ever Forgive Me?

I did not see "The Wife"

Should Win--Lady Gaga, A Star Is Born
Will Win--Glenn Close, The Wife

I will admit, this year's acting Oscars are much more difficult. I think there are so many better performances, but the gambling odds know who is going to win it seems like. I can be wrong and maybe Olivia Colman wins for being a queen who loves women. But in a, "Glenn Close has always been good and she's never won an Oscar before" life time achievement award, they will give it to her, even though everyone who watched "The Wife" said it sucked.

Actor in a Supporting Role
Mahershala Ali, Green Book
Adam Driver, BlacKkKlansman
Sam Elliott, A Star Is Born
Richard E. Grant, Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Sam Rockwell, Vice

Saw them all, really good performances by all, won't be mad at whoever wins.

Should Win--Sam Elliott, A Star Is Born
Will Win--Mahershala Ali, Green Book

Some might complain that Ali got screwed over. He's not a supporting actor, he was the lead and co-starred with Viggo. I would say good job by playing it safe and getting an Oscar as a supporting guy. That's how Denzel did it. Not for Malcolm X, but as a supporting actor in "Glory". Also, to play piano that well on camera, I always give bonus points for being that talented.

Actress in a Supporting Role
Amy Adams, Vice
Marina de Tavira, Roma
Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk
Emma Stone, The Favourite
Rachel Weisz, The Favourite

I did not see "If Beale Street Could Talk"

Should Win--Emma Stone, The Favourite
Will Win--Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk

I love Emma, and she was the best part of "The Favourite", and she had a much juicier role than Rachel Weisz. But, everyone says Regina King will win, so that's how this pick goes.

Directing
BlacKkKlansman, Spike Lee
Cold War, Paweł Pawlikowski
The Favourite, Yorgos Lanthimos
Roma, Alfonso Cuarón
Vice, Adam McKay

I did not see "Cold War"

Should Win--Spike Lee for BlacKkKlansman
Will Win--Alfonso Cuarón for Roma

I am at a lost of words for why "Roma" was so great. I watched it last night. Granted, it was on my TV, not on a 70MM print played in special movie theaters where this has been screened for some audiences. I just didn't like this movie. Yeah, some powerful scenes stand out, but this is was not an enjoyable movie watching experience. I say, let's give the Oscar to Spike because BlacKkKlansman is really damn good, but also to make up for the scene of never even nominating him back in 1989 for "Do the Right Thing".

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

Still didn't see "Beale Street" and saw the first half of "Buster Scruggs".

Should Win--A Star Is Born
Will Win--BlacKkKlansman

These two movies are my personal favorites in movies that got nominated for Best Picture. This is just adapted screenplay. And I think Spike Lee will win his first Oscar ever for his screenplay on "BlacKkKlansman" because he probably won't win an Oscar for directing. "A Star Is Born" is the 4th different time this movie has been made. I never saw the ones with Judy Garland or with Streisand. This is just a great fucking movie. The songs are amazing. Guys who helped create other versions of "A Star Is Born" admit this version is the best. It's a hell of a story, easily re-watchable, highly entertaining. Great story, but I think they'll give the runner up Oscar to Spike.

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

Saw them all

Should Win--Paul Schrader for First Reformed
Will Win--Green Book

There is a lot of backlash currently for Green Book. People look at it like a white man's journey to improve a black guy. A reverse "Driving Miss Daisy". But here's the thing, there is also a "Forrest Gump" quality to it that makes the movie flow really good and it's a wonderfully interesting story. The Academy can give this to "The Favourite", a movie I thought was actually quite ugly and displeasing to watch. If I had it my way, give it to "First Reformed", a movie about a priest (Ethan Hawke, who should have been nominated for Best Actor) who takes action when confronted with moral and ethical dilemmas. A tough watch, but a better story.

Now that I have gone through 7 of the main 8 categories, here are some locks that will happen during the Oscars:

Foreign Language Film--Roma (it must win, only foreign language film nominated for Best Picture)
Animated Feature--Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Original Song--“Shallow,” A Star Is Born (potentially the only Oscar this movie wins)
Animated Short Film--Bao, by Pixar
Makeup and Hairstyling--Vice

OK, enough fucking around, here is the big one:

Best Picture
Black Panther
BlacKkKlansman
Bohemian Rhapsody
The Favourite
Green Book
Roma
A Star Is Born
Vice

Saw them all (that's the point, every year, see every movie nominated for Best Picture so no matter what, I will always know what is the Best Picture in my opinion)

Should Win--A Star Is Born
Will Win--Roma

This might be one of the worst Oscars in recent memory, perhaps with no host, it will be even worse than that James Franco/Anne Hathaway shit show from a few years back. One of the real reasons this might be a bad year for the Oscars are the movies nominated for Best Picture. Of the 8, 3 are flat out bad movies I don't ever want to watch again (Roma, Vice, and The Favourite) and 2 movies are just meh (Black Panther and Bohemian Rhapsody). That only leaves 3 movies I respect enough that I would like to win Best Picture.

A Star Is Born was a complete and great surprise. Real, original songs, an amazing performance by all actors (3 acting nominations is pretty impressive), a great remake that is better than the previous version. And Bradley Cooper, who in his first try at directing, makes this amazing, 4-star movie. I loved A Star Is Born and I wish more people saw it and I wish it won a lot more awards. Bradley didn't even get nominated for Best Director. What a shame that Hollywood said no to this movie.

I also enjoyed BlacKkKlansman and Green Book a lot, but both movies deal too much with racial issues, that instead of becoming Oscar gold, becomes a issue that people don't want to deal with.

Roma seems to be the movie that everyone thinks will win. I could be wrong, and Green Book might actually win it. I hated Roma. It doesn't have a narrative. No close ups. It's way too fucking artistic, and it just didn't work for me. First few times I tried watching this movie, I ended up falling asleep. That is not a good sign for a Best Picture winner, helps you fall asleep.

I want A Star Is Born to win, or for the ultra liberal left to go crazy and have Green Book win. (A white man teaches a black guy how to eat fried chicken?!? We hate that shit!)

I don't know what will happen later tonight, but please, watch the Oscars. Who the hell knows, maybe Black Panther wins it all in the biggest surprise of all time.

Brian's Big Thought of the Day: I think Kevin Hart would have made a fantastic host, but we have social media kill that shit instantly for old jokes from 10 years ago.
Duffman

My 13th Annual Oscars Picks and Wishes, 2018 edition for the 2017 movies

It appears I only write in this thing once a year. Well, the Oscars are here, so time for me to start writing. God I love movies. It's why I have Netflix, and Hulu, and Amazon Prime, and now Movie Pass. Earlier today, I just saw my 6th movie in the month of February, and that entertainment only cost me $10 for the month, saving me $32 for my first month of using Movie Pass. Not sure when this company will completely go bankrupt, but I am liking it for now.

This Sunday night is when they will televise the Oscars. Once again, i did my job as a movie geek, and saw all 9 of the Best Picture nominees. Here's how it will go, i'll say an Oscar category, who's nominated, how many i saw, then, who i think SHOULD win, and who i think WILL win.

Of the 24 different Oscar categories, i only deal with the serious 8 categories (4 acting, 2 writing, best director, best picture). Who cares about best sound mixing, or sound editing (but I'm hoping "Baby Driver" wins for both), or best documentary--short subject? (Please, for the love of god, don't let it go to "Traffic Stop", overrated garbage about how a simple speeding ticket turns much worse if you don't follow the cops command, no matter what race you are). But i'll also throw in a couple guesses for fun. I always keep the best picture pick and wish for the very end. So, lets knock this out.

Overall, 2017 was a very average year for movies. It took until the middle of the year for me to see my first 4-star movie, "The Big Sick", and a few days later to see another 4-star movie, "Baby Driver". "Baby Driver" was my favorite movie of the year. It's the kind of movie I would have happily brought my dad to watch after he would bring me to see another Fast and the Furious sequel. Amazing car chases, kick ass soundtrack, great editing, all very fun. It's a shame "Baby Driver" is not nominated for more of the serious Oscar categories. Such a great film. Instead, we have a bunch of other things nominated, and let's dive into them right now.

ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
 Timothée Chalamet, Call Me by Your Name
 Daniel Day-Lewis, Phantom Thread
 Daniel Kaluuya, Get Out
 Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour
 Denzel Washington, Roman J. Israel, Esq.

I did not see "Roman J. Israel, Esq"

Should Win--Timothée Chalamet, Call Me by Your Name
Will Win--Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour

This is crazy unfair. Gary Oldman is one of the biggest locks of the night. He will win an Oscar for his portrayal of Winston Churchill during the beginnings of World War II. However, they seem to be just giving him the Oscar as a lifetime achievement award. Which, fine, whatever, Gary Oldman is a pretty good actor and has been that way for decades. I just have multiple problems with "Darkest Hour", like how it's boring. Or by playing both a drunk and a guy with a strong English accent, I could not understand a damn weird Churchill says throughout the entire movie.

Chalamet, that is a star making performance worthy of the Oscar. The level of difficulty that he does is truly staggering. Can you think of anyone that can speak fluently in multiple languages like Chalamet does in his movie? Or play the guitar and piano perfectly on camera? Maybe make love to a man and a woman with the same amount of passion? Or the physicality of swimming and biking through Italy? He pulls off being drunk in a realistic way, being in love, in lust, in shame, in mourning, and in angst during this movie. Chalamet does a lot in this movie that made me think, no one else can pull this off as successfully as he already has. This was the best acting performance I saw this year, and it's a shame that Chalamet is too young to win it, so literally, they give it to an Oldman.

ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE
 Sally Hawkins, The Shape of Water
 Frances McDormand, Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri
 Margot Robbie, I, Tonya
 Saoirse Ronan, Lady Bird
 Meryl Streep, The Post

Saw all movies.

Should Win--Sally Hawkins, The Shape of Water
Will Win--Frances McDormand, Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri

Another lock; France McDormand has been winning during this entire awards season. She is really solid in "Three Billboards", a movie I enjoyed so much I saw twice this year at the movies. It's a great performance, I won't take anything away from it. It's just that Sally Hawkins, I really did believe that her character could fall in love with that creature from the black lagoon. Add in her sign language, her dancing, her raw and passionate scenes, and yes, she elevates this from not just the fish fucking movie, but into an adult fairy tale story that was one of the best surprises of the year. Both "Three Billboards" and "The Shape of Water" were great, 4-star movies. I have thought a long enough time on which one is better, and I feel that between the two, "The Shape of Water" is the movie I am most interested in watching again and again and again in the future. It's mostly because of Sally Hawkins.

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
 Willem Dafoe, The Florida Project
 Woody Harrelson, Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri
 Richard Jenkins, The Shape of Water
 Christopher Plummer, All the Money in the World
 Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri

Saw all movies.

Should Win--Willem Dafoe, The Florida Project
Will Win--Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri

Another lock (I don't know why, but in the past 5 years, there are really no surprises in the acting categories) as Sam Rockwell will bring home the Oscar. This is a fun category, as all nominees are deserving, except for Plummer, who got the role replacing Kevin Spacey after his career blew up during the Hollywood Sex Scandal of 2017. Both supporting actors are in my favorite scenes of the movie season. For Dafoe, who is the motel manager for the very poor on the outskirts of Disney World, he witnesses what is clearly a pedophile near the playground that the young children who live in his motel play at. How Dafoe deals with this stranger, absolutely beautiful.

Rockwell has a very different but amazing scene. As a dipshit cop who loses his cool after his chief of police and best friend has died, he lives his station, goes across the streets, and settles thing with the person in charge of the actual 3 billboards the movie title suggests. It's one long, uncut shot, of complete violence and shock. It's breath taking. Just watch for yourself:

https://youtu.be/opuuQ1nEyTo

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
 Mary J. Blige, Mudbound
 Allison Janney, I, Tonya
 Lesley Manville, Phantom Thread
 Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird
 Octavia Spencer, The Shape of Water

Did not see "Mudbound", but I might watch it on Netflix before Sunday.

Should Win--Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird
Will Win--Allison Janney, I, Tonya

I really fucking hate that Allison Janney is a lock. There is nothing in her performance. The writer of the movie wrote the part with her in mind. She chain smokes, has a shitty hair cut, is a total cunt to her daughter, and has a bird on her shoulder. Big fucking deal. What am I missing, because to me, that is not a good acting performance at all. Anyone could pull that off.

Laurie Metcalf, who plays the mom roll in "Lady Bird" with such perfection, that I literally got misty-eyed talking about it with my own mom earlier today. Being a mom is very difficult, and much more difficult with a teenage daughter who does not appreciate all the coupon cutting and extra hours you put in to keep your kids happy on such a small budget. There should be that great day when your kid goes off to college, but what if instead of them going to an in-state school that's only a 45 minute drive away, they go and fly 3,000 miles away to a college. I present to you, the airport scene, and tell me how Laurie Metcalf does not win an Oscar after this:

https://youtu.be/pzCoaweA_BE

DIRECTING
 Christopher Nolan, Dunkirk
 Jordan Peele, Get Out
 Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird
 Paul Thomas Anderson, Phantom Thread
 Guillermo del Toro, The Shape of Water

Saw all movies.

Should Win--Guillermo del Toro, The Shape of Water
Will Win--Guillermo del Toro, The Shape of Water

I could be wrong, maybe Directing did not have enough goose bump moments as they used too. For all the positive praise that Jordan Peele will get for making a great movie, and not being white, or that Greta Girwig will get for making a great movie, and not being male, they are crazy long shots. And I am fucking baffled why "Phantom Thread" got any nominations beyond costume design. One of the worst movies of the year that I sat down and saw. Not the worst, because I actually saw the Baywatch movie, but one of the worst. So that only leaves Nolan for Dunkirk, which could end up winning. Except that lately, the Academy likes to award Best Director to guys from Hispanic backgrounds. It has to go to Guillermo del Toro who creates this cold war style movie about a mute and a man fish into a wonderful and surprisingly erotic movie that is never dull. If anyone pitched this movie, they would have been laughed out of the room, and maybe all of Hollywood. It takes a certain vision to pull "The Shape of Water" off correctly, and that is why del Toro should win it.

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
 Call Me by Your Name
 The Disaster Artist
 Logan
 Molly's Game
 Mudbound

Never saw The Disaster Artist or Mudbound.

Should Win--Logan
Will Win--Call Me by Your Name

I don't have much faith in my actual pick. Hell, this could easily go to the Disaster Artist or Molly's Game. I really have no clue. I just think, in some weird way, they will find a way to honor "Call Me by Your Name", because the Oscars love their gay movies. This is one of the only real chances this movie can bring home a trophy, so why not here. Only reason I think "Logan" should win, it's an R-rated comic book movie that was really great. I never read a single X-Men comic, but watching an old Wolverine kick ass and help the new mutants, amazing to get all of that on screen from the comic pages in originated from.

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
 The Big Sick
 Get Out
 Lady Bird
 The Shape of Water
 Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri

Saw them all, and easily, this is my favorite category of the night.

Should Win--The Big Sick
Will Win--The Shape of Water

I thoroughly enjoyed all these movies. In fact, no matter what happens, I'll be happy with whatever movie is picked to win. I have always felt that if you can't win Best Picture, try to win Best Original Screenplay. Something that started from nowhere that is now considered the best story at the movies is no small feat. I just personally love "The Big Sick" because of the enjoyable true story and also being the best date movie of the year. A struggling stand up comedian hates being forced on dates because of his Pakistan tradition. Meets and falls for a white girl, and they break up, just before she falls into a coma, and now he must meet her parents. That's a hell of a story.

"The Shape of Water" has soviet spies and fish fucking. You can see how I'm torn.

I have gone through 7 of the 8 categories.

Here are some fun guesses:

Animated Feature Film--Coco
Sound Mixing--Baby Driver
Costume Design--Phantom Thread
Film Editing--Dunkirk

For the first time in a long time, I don't have any thoughts on any of the movies up for Best Documentary or Best Foreign Language Film. I just never saw any of these movies. That only leaves one big category left.

BEST PICTURE
 Call Me by Your Name
 Darkest Hour
 Dunkirk
 Get Out
 Lady Bird
 Phantom Thread
 The Post
 The Shape of Water
 Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri

Saw all movies.

Should Win--The Shape of Water
Will Win--Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri

I must say, half of these movies don't deserve to be here at all. "Darkest Hour", "Phantom Thread", "Call Me by Your Name" and "The Post" (all these movies don't have a snowballs chance in hell at winning Best Picture) could all have been removed and replaced with "Baby Driver", "The Big Sick", "Coco", and "Wonder Woman". You know, so movies that were good and people actually saw were nominated and you just might have a bigger audience. It's really a simple fix, just tell all the voters that the first thing they do is vote for their favorite movie that made at least $100 million at the box office. (I might be aware that of these movies, either "Get Out" or "Dunkirk" made that much. Perhaps vote on best movie that crossed the $200 M mark) After that, fill out the ballot with a bunch of other movies they felt were great. Expending the nomination field from 5 movies to as many as 10 has not allowed for more commercially successful movies. Instead it has opened the door for many more small, independent, and arty movies. That is fine to show off the diversity of the movies in a year. I am excited that "Get Out", a horror movie is nominated for Best Picture. But the Academy has to keep looking for other great movies that made money. No one would have had a problem if "Wonder Woman" was nominated for Best Picture. Of course, it would not win, but more people would watch because everyone enjoyed that movie.

Of the movies nominated for Best Picture, only "The Shape of Water" and "Three Billboards" are 4-star movies. I might have already mentioned this earlier in my post. Both films are great and memorable, and I would be really happy if either movie won Best Picture. I have just been noticing a trend that is slightly weird. One movie is really good, and that wins Best Director. And another movie is also really good, and that edges out the Best Director and takes home Best Picture. "The Shape of Water" is practically a lock on Best Director. I just don't think the Academy wants to go all the way and award a movie that is so out there and strange as "The Shape of Water". It really is so messed up. I think a simple movie about revenge and redemption, that really does not have the backlash that people thought it would, will hold out and win it this year.

For me, I will be excited to watch it all go down this Sunday night. I can't wait for the Oscars, and I also can't wait for the first joke about reading from the correct ballot card this year after last years "La La Land" wins, on no, wait, the real winner was actually "Moonlight" incident. Good luck to Jimmy Kimmel, and let's try to keep the speeches not so political. You are all beautiful people that get paid a lot of money to play pretend. No one cares that you also hate Trump. Tell us a funny story of what it took for you to win that special award.

Brian's Big Thought of the Day: I think I'll be realistic and say I'll see you next year readers.
Duffman

My 12th Annual Oscars Picks and Wishes, 2017 edition for the 2016 movies

This Sunday night is when they will televise the Oscars. Once again, i did my job as a movie geek, and saw all 9 of the Best Picture nominees. Here's how it will go, i'll say an Oscar category, who's nominated, how many i saw, then, who i think SHOULD win, and who i think WILL win. This is just for fun and maybe i will do a recap and see how good i really am at picking the winners.

Of the 24 different Oscar categories, i only deal with the serious 8 categories (4 acting, 2 writing, best director, best picture). Who cares about best sound mixing, or sound editing, or best documentary--short subject? But i'll also throw in a couple guesses for fun. Let's face it, I do care what wins for both Best Animated and also Best Documentary--Full Length. But i always keep the best picture pick and wish for the very end. So, lets knock this out.

Overall, 2016 was an average year for movies. Although I felt it was short on multiple 4-star movies, I ended up seeing plenty of 3 and 3 1/2 star movies. But this is The Oscars, I want the best of the best to win. Not just the pretty good. That's what the Golden Globes are for. OK, enough with the small talk, let's get to the nominations.

BEST ACTOR

Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea
Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge
Ryan Gosling, La La Land
Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic
Denzel Washington, Fences

I did not see "Captain Fantastic".

Should Win--Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea
Will Win--Denzel Washington, Fences

Before I end up saying it about a dozen times in this journal, I should tell you all that I felt the best movie of the year was "Manchester by the Sea". I ended up seeing that movie twice in the theater. Only other movie that got that honor this year was for "Sausage Party". Casey Affleck's performance is so amazing. You wonder why he is such a weirdo at the very beginning of the movie. Then you learn his secret to make him that troubled maintenance man he is and why he is having trouble being a guardian to his nephew. Such a tight rope performance that feels absolutely real in every awkward pause and smart ass joke done throughout the movie.

Yet I feel there is a weird backlash against Affleck and people are leaning towards Denzel. It's a Tony-award winning play, and he directs himself, and he talks like he's from an episode of the Gilmore Girls, if they were drunk and black and living in the 1950's.

BEST ACTRESS

Isabelle Huppert, Elle
Ruth Negga, Loving
Natalie Portman, Jackie
Emma Stone, La La Land
Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins

I only saw "Jackie" and "La La Land"

Should Win--Isabell Huppert, Elle
Will Win--Emma Stone, La La Land

I've been told the movie "Elle" is amazing, and it's all because of this person's performance. However, if "La La Land" is going to win a bunch of awards this Sunday, one of them has to be for the living sunshine that is Emma Stone. Despite the movie's multiple short comings (horrible plot, songs aren't that good, and they are sung by horrible singers), I cannot keep my eyes off of Emma Stone. That's good enough for me.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Mahershala Ali, Moonlight
Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water
Lucas Hedges, Manchester by the Sea
Dev Patel, Lion
Michael Shannon, Nocturnal Animals

Saw all performances, and the younger version of Dev Patel's character should really be nominated for what he did in "Lion"

Should Win--Michael Shannon, Nocturnal Animals
Will Win--Mahershala Ali, Moonlight

"Moonlight", as I so quickly described it, is the black version of "Brokeback Mountain". Ali play's a loving drug dealer who helps the main character in the first third of the movie. He looks out for the kid, makes sure he has food and shelter, and teaches him to swim. And when asked serious questions about life, he answers in the most perfect way you would never expect.

In the crazy and imperfect movie that is "Nocturnal Animals", Michael Shannon was so great as a sheriff who seeks frontier justice as he is dying from cancer. You have no clue what his character will do, but my interest perked up the moment he showed up on screen.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Viola Davis, Fences
Naomie Harris, Moonlight
Nicole Kidman, Lion
Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures
Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea

Saw all nominees

Should Win--Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea
Will Win--Viola Davis, Fences

If what I described actually happens, this would be an #OscarsSoBlack year. Here's the deal, Michelle Williams knocked it out of the fucking park with her PERFECT, SUPPORTING role. Her last scene with Casey Affleck as they finally have the talk about their past is something that just ripped my heart out.

Voila Davis is the actual lead in "Fences". She might have less dialogue then Denzel, but she's on screen a whole lot more. And when they air the clip of her crying and all snotty in the kitchen, that will probably win her the Oscar. But it's not a SUPPORTING role. She should be nominated in a leading role. They probably figured this was an easier way for her to win an Oscar. And if so, smartly done by them. But Michelle Williams deserves it so much more.

BEST DIRECTOR

Denis Villeneuve, Arrival
Mel Gibson, Hacksaw Ridge
Damien Chazelle, La La Land
Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea
Barry Jenkins, Moonlight

Saw all nominees

Should Win--Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea
Will Win--Damien Chazelle, La La Land

This is a really tough category this year. With "Arrival", it created a new alien life form and language never seen before. "Hacksaw Ridge" had the bloodiest war scenes since the opening of "Saving Private Ryan". "Moonlight" and "Manchester" had some of the best acting performances of the year. So the Oscar will most likely go to "La La Land" just based on how they had a giant dance sequence to start the movie in an actual LA traffic jam. If it does go to Damien Chazelle, I will just assume its to make up the awards that "Whiplash" should have won two years ago.

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

Arrival
Fences
Hidden Figures
Lion
Moonlight

Saw all nominees.

Should Win--Lion
Will Win--Moonlight

"Lion" was so surprisingly great, that even when I knew what would happen at the very end, and it did, and did not stop me from turning into a puddle of tears. When that movie ended, I had to call my mom and tell her I love her. To take a simple orphan story and turn it into this amazing story, that should win something.

"Moonlight" has both black and gay people. It will piss Trump off more, so that will get the Oscar.

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Hell or High Water
La La Land
The Lobster
Manchester by the Sea
20th Century Women

Did not see the Lobster or 20th Century Women.

Should Win--Manchester by the Sea
Will Win--Manchester by the Sea

Just once, I want Manchester to win an award over something that La La Land is up against. And the screenplay should be it. "La La Land" has a few zingers, but really the script is about a white guy talking about jazz, and a beautiful actress who isn't a good actress, yet.

Manchester by the Sea is the movie with the most realistic dialogue I have heard in years. Hell, maybe ever. It's real. Every scene is pitch perfect with that realistic screenplay that is so original and most to me, so much more entertaining and gripping that the other movies.

I have gone over 7 of the 8 main Oscar Nominations. Here are a few quick hit thoughts:

BEST DOCUMENTARY--O.J.: Made in America
ANIMATED FEATURE FILM--Zootopia
VISUAL EFFECTS--Kubo and the Two Strings
FILM EDITING--Moonlight

It's now time for the biggest award of them all. Or then again, the most overrated award. Fun fact, 5 years ago, the Best Picture Oscar went to "The Artist", a black and white, silent film about 1930s Hollywood when they went from silent movies to talkies. The best thing about that movie was the dog. Since "The Artist" won Best Picture, it has never been shown on HBO, Cinemax, Showtime, Starz, AMC, Bravo, A&E, TBS, TNT, TCM, or nationally shown on ABC, NBC, CBS, or Fox. It also appears to never stream on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime. No one has seen this fucking movie that was just an excuse for Hollywood to reward themselves.

This year, it appears three different movies are the front runners to win Best Picture. Here are all the nominees:

BEST PICTURE

Arrival
Fences
Hacksaw Ridge
Hell or High Water
Hidden Figures
La La Land
Lion
Manchester by the Sea
Moonlight

Saw all nominees.

Should Win--Manchester by the Sea
Will Win--La La Land

When Casey Affleck got the honor to host on Saturday Night Live, and introduce us all to Dunkin's Vanilla Nut Taps, he mentioned how dark and depressing Manchester by the Sea was. He never got to properly include all the scenes that are really damn funny. When things get to dark or real, we cope with humor. Manchester does that throughout and it's really, really great. I can't recommend this movie enough.

As for La La Land, people will tell you it's a throwback to classic Hollywood musicals like "Singin' in the Rain". Bullshit. If you have the chance to see "La La Land" or "Singin' in the Rain", for the love of god, see "Singin' in the Rain". It's so much better. Better singing, better dancing, better story. The one song La La Land keeps playing isn't even uplifting. It's a fucking drag.

But it's a great musical, isn't it?

No. Not even close. Not for the year 2016. Here are other movies that are flat out musicals that came out in 2016. "Sing Street", which is playing on Netflix right now, is the best musical of the year. Original songs set in Dublin in the 1980's. It's about a high school boy who likes the girl that lives across from his new school. She's a model, so he asks if she will like to be a model in a music video he's shooting. She agrees, and the boy gets to forming a band so he can make this music video. Funny, romantic, sweet, and touching, and also it has a hell of a musical score. Multiple songs will stick with you. "Sing Street" should be getting all the love that "La La Land" is currently getting.

Other musical movies that came out in 2016 include the Lonely Island movie "Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping". Very funny, great original songs, and easily re-watchable as i keep watching it when it shows up on HBO this past month. All though I didn't think it was all that great, there is the Disney movie "Moana" that had a solid story, and also that one song, "Your Welcome" which is better than anything in "La La Land".

Even the just OK animated movie "Sing", which feature about 80 different actual songs from all decades of pop music is good for the pigs doing "Shake It Off" and the mouse singing "My Way".

The sad reason why "La La Land" will most likely win is because all the voters in the Academy are living that actual la la land dream. They were lucky enough and talented enough to try and break it into the movies. And they somehow did. The dream of "La La Land" was a dream for all the voters, and their actual reality. It's one giant Hollywood hand job of self pleasure. Put a couple of nice looking actors on screen, pretend people still give a shit about jazz music (we don't and we never will), and in the end, (SPOILER ALERT), have the good looking people's dreams come true. THE END. What a Hollywood ending.

I know Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling are basically sunrises and sunsets. They are great on the big screen, and they'll stay that way for the next few decades. They have great chemistry, you do (sometimes) root for them, and they look great dancing. I just don't see this movie having the longevity or respect that "Singing' in the Rain" currently does have. Just give Best Picture to the movie that I think is the best movie of the year. The one set around Boston starring Ben Affleck's little brother. The musical sequence in "Manchester" is great because they're in shitty high school band, and their singing is bad on purpose. In "La La Land", Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling just aren't good singers in the first place.

For the record, this probably makes it seem that "La La Land" was the worst movie of the year. It wasn't, i just thought it was perfectly fine. "Fences" though, i did think that movie sucked ass. They filmed a play, and did nothing special even though it's a movie and not a live stage. Very disappointing.

That's enough from me. I started writing this before midnight, and now it's 1:15 AM. Bruins are tied 3-3 to the Ducks late in the third period. A reminder, this Sunday, on ABC, watch the Oscars. I don't watch any of that red carpet bullshit. I just like watching the awards and hoping for good acceptance speeches. God I hope these winning assholes don't use the night to shit all over the President because it's not who they voted for. They should thank the people that got them their career. You play pretend for a living and won an Oscar; don't start mouthing off like a freshman that's a poli-sci major.

Brian's Big Thought of the Day:

I think it would be nice to get just one comment from this entry.
Duffman

My 11th Annual Oscars Picks and Wishes, 2016 edition for the 2015 movies

This Sunday night is when they will televise the Oscars. Once again, i did my job as a movie geek, and saw all 8 the Best Picture nominees. Here's how it will go, i'll say an Oscar category, who's nominated, how many i saw, then, who i think SHOULD win, and who i think WILL win. This is just for fun and maybe i will do a recap and see how good i really am at picking the winners..

Of the 24 different Oscar categories, i only deal with the serious 8 categories (4 acting, 2 writing, best director, best picture). Who cares about best sound mixing, or sound editing, (although i did read an article today explaining the difference. "Mad Max Fury Road" for sound editing, and "Star Wars" for sound mixing) or best costume, or best documentary--short subject? But i'll also throw in a couple guesses for fun. But i always keep the best picture pick and wish for the very end. So, lets knock this out.

I should say that unlike last year, or previous years, this was a GREAT year for movies. Maybe it was because I went to a lot more than usual, but really, it was because I saw a lot more great movies. Last year, i only saw one movie worthy of 4-stars, and that was "Whiplash". This year, i saw 7 or 8 that were 4-star movies, and some of those just happen to be nominated for Best Picture. So, despite what Chris Rock will joke about this Sunday about the Oscars being so white, it was a very good year for movies. Now, let's knock out some nominations.

BEST ACTOR

Bryan Cranston, Trumbo
Matt Damon, The Martian
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant
Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs
Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl

Never saw "Steve Jobs" or "The Danish Girl"

Should win--(not nominated, but Jacob Tremblay for "Room")
Will win--Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant

You get raped and mauled by a bear, and i believed it. Good job Leo, you get the Oscar.

BEST ACTRESS

Cate Blanchett, Carol
Brie Larson, Room
Jennifer Lawrence, Joy
Charlotte Rampling, 45 Years
Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn

Never saw "45 Years"

Should win--Brie Larson, Room
Will win--Brie Larson, Room

Great performance, great movie, this is a total LOCK. SHE WILL WIN.

Christian Bale, The Big Short
Tom Hardy, The Revenant
Mark Ruffalo, Spotlight
Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies
Sylvester Stallone, Creed

Saw all nominees

Should win--(not nominated, but Jacob Tremblay for "Room")
Will win--Sylvester Stallone, Creed

"Rocky" won Best Picture of 1976, it's only fair that 40 years later, the creator wins himself an Oscar for the character he created. But really, it should be the kid in "Room" that should be nominated... It was the biggest Oscar snub of the year. That kid's performance will last forever. I already forgot what the others did in this category.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight
Rooney Mara, Carol
Rachel McAdams, Spotlight
Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl
Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs

Once again, did not see "Steve Jobs" or "The Danish Girl"

Should win--Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight
Will win--Rooney Mara, Carol

I don't really have a strong opinion on this one. I will say, it's a shame Alicia Vikander did not get nominated for her amazing performance in "Ex Machina".

DIRECTING

Adam McKay - The Big Short
George Miller - Mad Max: Fury Road
Alejandro G. Iñárritu - The Revenant
Lenny Abrahamson - Room
Tom McCarthy - Spotlight

Saw all nominees

Should win--Lenny Abrahamson - Room
Will win--Alejandro G. Iñárritu - The Revenant

Don't feel too strong about this one; this category has the true potential for an upset as you can easily make the case for everyone. Maybe a lifetime achievement award to George Miller, or Tom McCarthy get's it for having so many A-List actors in his movie, or McKay for breaking the fourth wall (Director's choice) throughout The Big Short. Tough call.

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

The Big Short
Brooklyn
Carol
The Martian
Room

Saw all nominees

Should win--Room
Will win--Room

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Bridge of Spies
Ex Machina
Inside Out
Spotlight
Straight Outta Compton

Saw all nominees

Should win--Ex Machina
Will Win--Inside Out

I hate that 3 of the 5 movies under original screenplay are actually true stories. They need a new category for this issue. I want true originals, not biopics or based on true stories.

A few quick hit thoughts on other categories:

Original Score--The Hateful Eight
Visual Effects--Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Foreign Language Film--Son of Saul (never saw it)
Animated Featured Film--Inside Out

BEST PICTURE

The Big Short
Bridge of Spies
Brooklyn
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
The Revenant
Room
Spotlight

Saw all nominees

Should win--Room
Will win--The Revenant

So I was not lying when i said 2015 was a great year for movies. Of these 8 movies nominated, The Big Short, Mad Max: Fury Road, Room, and Spotlight were to me all 4-star movies. The Revenant got 3 1/2 stars for dragging and that mystical bullshit about Leo's wife. Bridge of Spies, Brooklyn, and The Martian were entertaining 3-star movies. If I had my way I would have chucked those three out and replaced them with the far superior movies Inside Out, Ex Machina, and Straight Outta Compton. But this is the Oscars and things will never be perfect with so many old ass voters who don't see all the movies and a joke of a voting tabulation. Upsets happen at the Oscars because the system is fucked up and maybe we should wait a few years, see who is still watching these movies, and then hand out the best picture.

I am just happy that a bad movie is not nominated for Best Picture. There is no "Les Miserables" this year. Nor did i have to sit through a movie like "The Danish Girl". I recommend all of the movies this year up for Best Picture. If you are reading this and have not seen some of these movies, force yourself to spend a couple of hours and be entertained. You'll be a better person because of it.

Brian's Big Thought of the Day:

I think Great Movies can make us become Great People.
Duffman

Andrews Brothers Football Picks, 2015 Season, Week 13

Paul's Picks:

Pick 1:
12/6 1:00 FAV: Cincinnati -7 DOG: At Cleveland O/U: 43.5 PICK: Cincinnati PICK OF THE WEEK

Pick 2:
12/6 4:25 FAV: Carolina -7 DOG: At New Orleans O/U: 49.5 PICK: Carolina
Pick 3:
12/6 4:05 FAV: Denver -4 DOG: At San Diego O/U: 43.5 PICK: Denver
========================================
Brian's Picks:

Pick 1:
12/6 1:00 FAV: At Miami -4 DOG: Baltimore O/U: 43.5 PICK: BaltimorePICK OF THE WEEK

Pick 2:
12/6 1:00 FAV: At Minnesota PK DOG: Seattle O/U: 41.5 PICK: At Minnesota
Pick 3:
12/6 4:05 FAV: Denver -4 DOG: At San Diego O/U: 43.5 PICK: Denver
========================================
John's Picks:

Pick 1:
12/6 4:25 FAV: Carolina -7 DOG: At New Orleans O/U: 49.5 PICK: Carolina PICK OF THE WEEK

Pick 2:
12/6 1:00 FAV: At Minnesota PK DOG: Seattle O/U: 41.5 PICK: Seattle
Pick 3:
12/7 8:30 FAV: At Washington -4 DOG: Dallas O/U: 42 PICK: At Washington
========================================
Duffman

Results for week 12, 2015 Season NFL Picks

Fucking Steelers.

WHERE THE FUCK WAS THE DEFENSE!?! FORGET TO FUCKING TACKLE YOU ASSHOLES!!!

I was so fucking close to going perfect this week with John.
Instead, the worst fucking 4th quarter ever happens.

Paul's picks:

11/29 1:00 FAV: At Atlanta -2 DOG: Minnesota O/U: 45.5 PICK: Minnesota Actual score:
At Atlanta 10
Minnesota 20
Covered: Minnesota
WIN

11/29 1:00 FAV: NY Giants -2 DOG: At Washington O/U: 47 PICK: NY Giants Actual score:
NY Giants 14
At Washington 20
Covered: At Washington
loss

11/29 1:00 FAV: At Kansas City -4 DOG: Buffalo O/U: 41 PICK: At Kansas City Actual score:
At Kansas City 30
Buffalo 22
Covered: At Kansas City
WIN
POTW WIN
Paul got 3 points this week.
------------------------

Brian's picks:

11/29 1:00 FAV: At Atlanta -2 DOG: Minnesota O/U: 45.5 PICK: Minnesota Actual score:
At Atlanta 10
Minnesota 20
Covered: Minnesota
WIN

11/29 1:00 FAV: At Kansas City -4 DOG: Buffalo O/U: 41 PIC K: At Kansas City Actual score:
At Kansas City 30
Buffalo 22
Covered: At Kansas City
WIN

11/29 4:25 FAV: At Seattle -4.5 DOG: Pittsburgh O/U: 44.5 PICK: Pittsburgh Actual score:
At Seattle 39
Pittsburgh 30
Covered: At Seattle
loss
Brian got 2 points this week.
------------------------

John's picks:

11/29 1:00 FAV: At Cincinnati -9.5 DOG: St. Louis O/U: 42 PICK: At Cincinnati Actual score:
At Cincinnati 31
St. Louis 7
Covered: At Cincinnati
WIN

11/29 1:00 FAV: NY Giants -2 DOG: At Washington O/U: 47 PICK: At Washington Actual score:
NY Giants 14
At Washington 20
Covered: At Washington
WIN
POTW WIN

11/29 4:25 FAV: At Seattle -4.5 DOG: Pittsburgh O/U: 44.5 PICK: Pittsburgh Actual score:
At Seattle 39
Pittsburgh 30
Covered: At Seattle
loss
John got 3 points this week.
---------------------------


UPDATED SCORES:

Brian-31 points, all squared with Paul, wins $30 from John for Thanksgiving
Paul--29 points, all squared with Brian, wins $30 from John
John--27 points, owes $30 to Brian, owes $30 to Paul
Duffman

Andrews Brothers Football Picks, 2015 Season, Week 12

In case you were wondering, thanks to a garbage time touchdown by the Dallas Cowboys, and a successful 2-point conversion, I won the Thanksgiving Day Picks.

Now onto our regular picks:

Paul's Picks:

Pick 1:
11/29 1:00 FAV: At Atlanta -2 DOG: Minnesota O/U: 45.5
PICK: Minnesota

Pick 2:
11/29 1:00 FAV: NY Giants -2 DOG: At Washington O/U: 47
PICK: NY Giants

Pick 3:
11/29 1:00 FAV: At Kansas City -4 DOG: Buffalo O/U: 41
PICK: At Kansas City
PICK OF THE WEEK

========================================
Brian's Picks:

Pick 1:
11/29 1:00 FAV: At Atlanta -2 DOG: Minnesota O/U: 45.5
PICK: Minnesota

Pick 2:
11/29 1:00 FAV: At Kansas City -4 DOG: Buffalo O/U: 41
PICK: At Kansas City

Pick 3:
11/29 4:25 FAV: At Seattle -4.5 DOG: Pittsburgh O/U: 44.5
PICK: Pittsburgh
PICK OF THE WEEK

========================================
John's Picks:

Pick 1:
11/29 1:00 FAV: At Cincinnati -9.5 DOG: St. Louis O/U: 42
PICK: At Cincinnati

Pick 2:
11/29 1:00 FAV: NY Giants -2 DOG: At Washington O/U: 47
PICK: At Washington
PICK OF THE WEEK

Pick 3:
11/29 4:25 FAV: At Seattle -4.5 DOG: Pittsburgh O/U: 44.5
PICK: Pittsburgh

========================================
Duffman

5th Annual Andrews Brothers Thanksgiving Picks

A few basic rules about these picks:

-THANKSGIVING DAY ONLY
(Does not count to season point total)

-Losers pay off $30 to winner.

-Most points win (7 points would be highest score).

-In case of a tie, Best POTW win gets the money.
(Example--two people are tied at 5 points each, but have different POTW.
If someone's POTW covers by 4 points, and the other covers by 10,
the person whose POTW that covered by 10 win).

-Because we all have different POTW, there are no extra tie-breakers.

-Good luck to all and Happy Thanksgiving!

Paul's Picks:

11/26 12:30 FAV: Philadelphia -1 DOG: At Detroit O/U: 45.5.
Philadelphia and the Under

11/26 4:30 FAV: Carolina -1 DOG: At Dallas O/U: 45.5.
POTW--Carolina and the Over

11/26 8:30 FAV: At Green Bay -9 DOG: Chicago O/U: 47.
Chicago and the Under
-------------------------------------------

Brian's Picks:

11/26 12:30 FAV: Philadelphia -1 DOG: At Detroit O/U: 45.5.
Detroit and the Over

11/26 4:30 FAV: Carolina -1 DOG: At Dallas O/U: 45.5.
Carolina and the Over (POTW is the OVER)

11/26 8:30 FAV: At Green Bay -9 DOG: Chicago O/U: 47.
Green Bay and the Under
--------------------------------------------

John's Picks:

11/26 12:30 FAV: Philadelphia -1 DOG: At Detroit O/U: 45.5.
Detroit and the Over, POTW--OVER

11/26 4:30 FAV: Carolina -1 DOG: At Dallas O/U: 45.5.
Dallas and the Over

11/26 8:30 FAV: At Green Bay -9 DOG: Chicago O/U: 47.
Green Bay and the Under