Saturday, August 26, 2006

Emmyone Else Gonna Watch?

I'm a sucker for award shows. I think most people that work in entertainment have practiced "the speech" in front of a mirror at least once. For me, this is a morning ritual. This is also probably part of the reason why I'm single. Nothing sexier than turning over the morning after a two-minute night of sex/crying to see my lanky ass thanking my imaginary wife, my agents and God at 7 am.

But seriously, I am looking forward to this Sunday's show. Conan's never let me down, and I'm sure he'll be a great host. By the way, check out his interview on Charlie Rose.

Went to two pre-Emmy thingies, which were pretty cool, mostly because of the two sweetest words in all the world: "open bar". On Wednesday, my friend and I went to the Hollywood Reporter's cocktail party at the Avalon Hotel. Saw Roger Cross (Curtis Manning of 24) and Jon Voight, had to hold myself back from running up and commending him for his performance in Anaconda.

On Thursday, some friends and I went to a panel discussion hosted by Dennis Miller, with the following Emmy nominees: Doug Elllin (Entourage), Carlton Cuse (Lost), Damen Lindelof (Lost), Ian Maxtone-Graham (Simpsons), Krista Vernoff (Grey's Anatomy), and Cliff Schoenberg (Penn & Teller). I felt bad for the Penn & Teller guy because he was a bit more nervous and awkward than the rest, so Dennis seemed to ask him only every tenth question. Anyways, I always walk away from these panel events with some sort of inspiration, so it was good for the soul, as was the dessert reception and again, open bar. Also ran into two fellow bloggers, Sarah of "Procrastinatey" and Kira of "Fresh Hell". Disarmed by the lack of anonymity of real life interaction, we quickly said goodbye.

Hopefully, some day, the Emmy week will end with my writing partner and I actually making a speech at the real thing. In the meantime, I'm more than content with a Sunday night dinner with friends, an Emmy ballot printout, and another chance to rehearse in front of the mirror.

p.s. here are my full predictions.. not necessarily who I think SHOULD win, but who I think WILL win:

*EDIT:: per kavina's comment, i decided to add a little asterisk to the right of the nominees who i think SHOULD win. let me know what you think! interaction peoples!

**EDIT:: my post emmy-thoughts: they sucked. 24? Tony Shalhoub?? Barry Manilow??? good lord. 11/27... pretty rough. my favorite moment was when colbert and stewart presented, "i lost to barry manilow??"

COMEDY SERIES
Arrested Development*
Curb Your Enthusiasm
--> The Office
Scrubs
Two And A Half Men

LEAD ACTOR IN A COMEDY
Larry David, Curb Your Enthusiasm
Kevin James, The King Of Queens
Tony Shalhoub, Monk
--> Steve Carell, The Office*
Charlie Sheen, Two and a Half Men

LEAD ACTRESS IN A COMEDY
Lisa Kudrow, The Comeback
--> Jane Kaczmarek, Malcolm In the Middle
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, The New Adventures of Old Christine*
Stockard Channing, Out of Practice
Debra Messing, Will & Grace

SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A COMEDY
Will Arnett, Arrested Development
--> Jeremy Piven, Entourage*
Bryan Cranston, Malcolm in the Middle
Jon Cryer, Two and a Half Men
Sean Hayes, Will & Grace

SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY
Cheryl Hines, Curb Your Enthusiasm*
Alfre Woodard, Desperate Housewives
--> Jaime Pressly, My Name is Earl
Elizabeth Perkins, Weeds
Megan Mullally, Will & Grace

DRAMA SERIES
--> Grey’s Anatomy*
House
The Sopranos
24
The West Wing

LEAD ACTOR IN A DRAMA
Christopher Meloni, Law & Order: SVU
--> Denis Leary, Rescue Me*
Peter Krause, Six Feet Under
Kiefer Sutherland, 24
Martin Sheen, The West Wing

LEAD ACTRESS IN A DRAMA
Kyra Sedgwick, The Closer
Geena Davis, Commander In Chief
Mariska Hargitay, Law & Order: SVU
Frances Conroy, Six Feet Under*
--> Allison Janney, The West Wing

SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA
William Shatner, Boston Legal
Oliver Platt, Huff
Michael Imperioli, The Sopranos*
Gregory Itzin, 24
--> Alan Alda, The West Wing

SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA
--> Candice Bergen, Boston Legal
Sandra Oh, Grey’s Anatomy
Chandra Wilson, Grey’s Anatomy*
Blythe Danner, Huff
Jean Smart, 24

DIRECTING FOR A COMEDY
--> The Comeback, "Valerie Does Another Classic Leno" - Michael Patrick King
Curb Your Enthusiasm, "The Christ Nail" - Robert B. Weide
Entourage, "Oh, Mandy" - Dan Attias
Entourage, "Sundance Kids" - Julian Farino*
My Name Is Earl, "Pilot" - Marc Buckland
Weeds, "Good S*** Lollipop" - Craig Zisk

DIRECTING FOR A DRAMA
Big Love, "Pilot" - Rodrigo Garcia
Lost, "Live Together, Die Alone" - Jack Bender
--> Six Feet Under, "Everyone’s Waiting" - Alan Ball*
The Sopranos, "Members Only" - Tim Van Patten
The Sopranos, "Join The Club " - David Nutter
24, "7:00 AM - 8:00 AM" - Jon Cassar
The West Wing, "Election Day" - Mimi Leder

DIRECTING FOR A VARIETY, MUSIC OR COMEDY PROGRAM
--> 78th Annual Academy Awards - Louis J. Horvitz
American Idol, "Finale" - Bruce Gowers
The Colbert Report, "Episode #110" - Jim Hoskinson*
The Daily Show With Jon Stewart, "Episode #10140" - Chuck O’Neil
Saturday Night Live, "Host: Steve Martin" - Beth McCarthy Miller

DIRECTING FOR A MINISERIES, MOVIE OR DRAMATIC SPECIAL
Bleak House (Masterpiece Theatre), "Episode 1" - Justin Chadwick
--> Elizabeth I - Tom Hooper
Flight 93 - Peter Markle
The Girl In The Café - David Yates*
High School Musical - Kenny Ortega
Mrs. Harris - Phyllis Nagy

LEAD ACTOR IN A MINISERIES OR MOVIE
Charles Dance, Bleak House
Donald Sutherland, Human Trafficking
--> Ben Kingsley, Mrs. Harris*
Jon Voight, Pope John Paul II
Andre Braugher, Thief

LEAD ACTRESS IN A MINISERIES OR MOVIE
Kathy Bates, Ambulance Girl
Gillian Anderson, Bleak House*
--> Helen Mirren, Elizabeth I
Judy Davis, A Little Thing Called Murder
Annette Bening, Mrs. Harris

SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A MINISERIES OR MOVIE
Denis Lawson, Bleak House*
Hugh Dancy, Elizabeth I
--> Jeremy Irons, Elizabeth I
Robert Carlyle, Human Trafficking
Clifton Collins, Jr., Thief

SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A MINISERIES OR MOVIE
--> Kelly Macdonald, The Girl In The Café*
Shirley Jones, Hidden Places
Ellen Burstyn, Mrs. Harris
Cloris Leachman, Mrs. Harris
Alfre Woodard, The Water is Wide

INDIVIDUAL PERFORMANCE IN VARIETY OR MUSIC PROGRAM
Barry Manilow, Barry Manilow: Music And Passion
--> Stephen Colbert, The Colbert Report*
Craig Ferguson, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson
David Letterman, Late Night with David Letterman
Hugh Jackman, The 59th Annual Tony Awards (2005)

MINISERIES
--> Bleak House (Masterpiece Theatre)
Elizabeth I
Into The West
Sleeper Cell*

MADE FOR TELEVISION MOVIE
--> Flight 93
The Flight That Fought Back
The Girl In The Café*
Mrs. Harris
Yesterday

VARIETY, MUSIC OR COMEDY SERIES
The Colbert Report
The Daily Show With Jon Stewart
Late Night With Conan O’Brien*
--> Late Show With David Letterman
Real Time With Bill Maher

REALITY-COMPETITION PROGRAM
--> The Amazing Race
American Idol
Dancing With The Stars*
Project Runway
Survivor

WRITING FOR A COMEDY
--> Arrested Development, "Development Arrested" - Mitchell Hurwitz & Co.*
Entourage, "Exodus" - Doug Ellin
Extras, "Kate Winslet" - Ricky Gervais
My Name Is Earl, "Pilot" - Greg Garcia
The Office, "Christmas Party" - Michael Schur

WRITING FOR A DRAMA
--> Grey’s Anatomy, "It’s the End Of The World, As We Know It (Part 1 & 2)" - Shonda Rhimes
Grey’s Anatomy, "Into You Like A Train" - Krista Vernoff*
Lost, "The 23rd Psalm" - Carlton Cuse & Damon Lindelof
Six Feet Under, "Everyone’s Waiting" - Alan Ball
The Sopranos, "Members Only" - Terence Winter

WRITING FOR A VARIETY, MUSIC OR COMEDY PROGRAM
The Colbert Report
--> The Daily Show With Jon Stewart
Late Night With Conan O’Brien*
Late Show With David Letterman
Real Time With Bill Maher

WRITING FOR A MINISERIES, MOVIE OR DRAMATIC SPECIAL
Bleak House (Masterpiece Theatre)
Elizabeth I
Flight 93
--> The Girl In The Café*
Mrs. Harris

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Watch This Space

Not having a job has given me a ridiculous amount of time.. and the opposite amount of money. This fun combo naturally leads me to a LOT of free screenings. So, I've decided to start doing a regular post reviewing said movies before they come out. Of course, like everything else in my life, I've procrastinated, so all the movies below have come out. Oh wells, hope you still enjoy...

The Descent   (C-)
Um, how the hell does this have an 82% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes?? I don't get it. I do love scary movies, and sure, this made me jump a few times, but come on writers, put a little bit of effort into the dialogue. And even if they had, these five actresses would have butchered it. Horrible all around, but it gets above a 'D' because it was set in a cave and it was dark. It would get a 'C' if they showed some boobie, which would seem like a no-brainer with an all female cast.

On a side note, have you noticed that trailers lately, including this one, have really upped the use of "from the studio that brought you [insert title here]"? This one has "from the studio that brought you Saw and Hostel", and the trailer for Accepted starts with "from the studio that brought you American Pie". This must stop before it gets way out of hand:
"From the studio that brought you To Kill a Mockingbird and Schindler's List... Fast and the Furious 5: the Gaza Strip."

Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby   (A-)
Will Ferrell is back. I was starting to get a little concerned... the last movie of his I enjoyed was Anchorman, which I know a lot of people did not. To all of you, you suck. So have most of Ferrell's movies since: Kicking & Screaming, Bewitched, The Producers... okay fine, I didn't see The Producers but I bet it sucked.

But no worries, he's back in full form in this one. I laughed quite a bit for the first third of the movie, then it went into a lull, and I returned to laughing for the last third. Overall, a great time. Sacha Baron Cohen was AWESOME, it really doesn't matter what he's saying, he sells it with the facial expressions and accent. I cannot wait to see Borat.

And I truly believe every movie should end with bloopers... even dramas. Imagine ending Platoon or The Godfather with a nice little blooper reel, it'd be pretty awesome.

Standout Song:
"Cochise" - Audioslave

Little Miss Sunshine   (B+) (A-)
Wonderful job all-around, great, but pretty damn good. I've watched this movie about five times now, and everytime it gets better. Had to go back and change this review. Solid acting, great script, Sufjan songs on the soundtrack... makes you laugh, makes you cry... definitely watch it. The little girl from Signs is again incredibly adorable and endearing here. The teenage son's played by Paul Dano, who looks exactly like Elliott Smith, and he lives in my old apartment building in NYC. God, I miss New York... my old job.. my friends....

*sigh*
*weeping*
*gun to head*
*drive-by on LA street kills me first*

Standout Songs:
"No Man's Land" - Sufjan Stevens
"Chicago" - Sufjan Stevens
"You Love Me" - DeVotchKa
"How It Ends" - DeVotchKa
"Coming Home" - the 88
*this song was on the trailer

Clerks II   (A)
LOVED this movie. It's actually better than the first, and it was surprisingly touching. Very few movies can make your heart feel all warm while also throwing in a donkey sex show. Like the original, it's a lot of talking about random things, which is where Kevin Smith's at his best, covering Lord of the Rings vs. Star Wars, Transformers, and the nuances of "ass to mouth".

If I ever become suicidal, just show me Jason Mewes doing the "Silence of the Lambs" dance repeatedly and I'll love life again. I also loved the romantic storyline between Brian O'Halloran and Rosario Dawson, very sweet. Rosario is smoking hot. And definitely keep your eye on the new guy, Trevor Fehrman... hilarious.

My buddies and I got an extra special treat at this screening, as Kevin Smith came into the theater and did a Q&A session for about an hour and a half. I'm pretty sure he could've gone on for another three hours if the ushers didn't stop him. The guy likes to hear himself talk. And so do I. Check out some of his live stuff at youtube.

Standout Songs:
"(Nothing But) Flowers" - Talking Heads
"1979" - The Smashing Pumpkins
"Everything" - Alanis Morissete
"Misery" - Soul Asylum
"ABC" - Jackson 5
*don't wanna get sued, so I'm just gonna link to the youtube scene

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest   (C)
Superman Returns   (C)
X-Men: The Last Stand   (C-)
They were all disappointing. These were the huge blockbusters I'd been waiting for? Hate you Hollywood! The scripts were really, really awful for all of them. And they were all ridiculously long. There is no need for a movie about pirates and a giant squid to clock in at two and a half hours. And as Kevin Smith said in his Q&A, "Could Superman please punch something? Something's wrong when you have Lex Luthor beating up more guys than the Man of Steel." Also check out Kevin Smith's funny tale of his Superman script experience. Maybe Bryan Singer should've stuck with the X-Men franchise, cause then the third one wouldn't have blown so hard, and someone else could've told a Superman story where the villain's demonic plot isn't selling real estate.

Waist Deep   (C-)
Not as bad as I was expecting... but not good. Tyrese is actually a pretty good actor, who I hope gets some better material. This was a typical B-movie, pretty well directed, but the script left much to be desired.

I did walk away from the movie with a heightened level of already existing fear of The Game. This guy was in a three-day coma in real life after being shot five times during a failed drug deal. I'm pretty sure he did a little method acting for this film.

The ending is so lame that it becomes pretty solid comedy. Actually, I recommend you go watch just to have that nice laugh in the last five minutes.

Oh and Meagan Good is smoking hot as well. She was also in the movie below...

Brick   (A)
This is my favorite film of 2006 thus far. Written and directed by Rian Johnson, it's crazy to think this is his first movie. Very, very impressive. It's a noir set in high school, with all the old-school noir dialogue... which could've really flopped. But the actors really pull it off... Lukas Haas is perfect as The Pin, and who would've thunk that Joseph Gordon-Levitt would become one of the best drama actors of his age? The score is really cool too.. composed by Rian's cousin, Nathan. For you independent moviemakers, check out their story of how they got the movie made (scroll down). A labor of love.

Anyhoo, it just came out on DVD so go buy it!! It's also on my "be my generous friend" list in my sidebar, so be a kind soul and send me a copy too. Just click, purchase and my address pops up as you're checking out. Oh and why don't you send me a MacBook too while you're at it.. sweet, sweet.. love you.

Standout Song:
"Emily's Theme" (Main Title) - Nathan Johnson

Okay, I'm running out of steam here... but here's a short summary of a few things I've watched on DVD lately:

25th Hour   (A)
One of Spike Lee's best. I think Ed Norton's in my top five favorite actors. Again, Rosario is smoking hot.

Apt Pupil   (B)
Interesting movie. Sir McKellen is awesome as usual.. but I feel like the story had more potential. Nonetheless, it's still an intriguing film.

Bringing Out the Dead   (A-)
Not Scorsese's finest, but still above and beyond almost everyone else. It's oddly humorous.. didn't expect that going in. Still proves that whenever Schrader and Scorsese hook up (The Last Temptation of Christ, Raging Bull, Taxi Driver), it's something special. Anyone else insanely excited for The Departed?

Standout Songs:
"T.B. Sheets" - Van Morrison
"Janie Jones" - The Clash
"What's The Frequency, Kenneth?" - R.E.M.
"I'm So Bored With The U.S.A" - The Clash
"Nowhere To Run" - Martha Reeves & The Vandellas
"Bell Boy" - The Who

Running Scared   (B)
Trying way too hard to be Pulp Fiction. And ridiculously over-the-top.. but ya know, director Wayne Kramer intended this to be an over-the-top B-movie thriller, and in the end, I gotta say, I enjoyed the ride.

The Shield Season One and Two   (A+)
The best cop drama on TV ever. Ever!!!! Why haven't I seen this show til now?! Michael Chiklis rocks my socks, and Jay Karnes, who plays Detective Dutch, really needs to be in more shows and movies! CATCH UP ON THIS SHOW BEFORE THE SIXTH SEASON STARTS IN EARLY 2007! I watched the first two seasons in one week... you should do the same.

Standout Songs:
(overall, they have some horrible songs on this show, but here's a few good ones)
"Graciosa" - Moby (Episode 101: Pilot)
"Promises" - India Arie (Episode 102: Our Gang)
"Love Loss" - Cardia (Episode 106: Cherrypoppers)
"Take Me Somewhere Nice" - Mogwai (Episode 107: Pay in Pain)
"All My Little Words" - The Magnetic Fields (Episode 108: Cupid and Psycho)
"Helicon 1" - Mogwai (Episode 110: Dragonchasers)
"Trouble" - Coldplay (Episode 113: Circles)
"If I Ever Leave This World Alive" - Flogging Molly (Episode 208: Scar Tissue)
"Overcome" - Live (Episode 213: Dominoes Falling)

High Tension   (D)
Piece of shit.

*EDIT: Figured I'd throw up some songs from the above movies to hopefully notch up the comment count. =)

Files for Friday

Sometimes I think I hear my cell phone ringing, like positively sure it's ringing, and I run to the phone hoping it's someone other than my mom or the creditors, only to find the ringing was all in my head. Sometimes this happens even when the phone's on vibrate in my pocket.. I'm sure it's vibrating, take it out to answer, and nothing. Am I crazy? Anyone else do this? No? No one's mirror reflection talks back to them?! I'm not crazy, damn it!!!!

Soo... I feel like Entourage is slipping a bit, just not that interesting lately. And I've snapped out of my Hills phase, the episode titles alone are just too ridiculous, I haven't watched since my last post. But here are the songs anyway:

Entourage - "Strange Days"
"High Fidelity" - Jurassic 5

Entourage - "The Release"
"Woman" - Wolfmother
"In My Head" - Queens Of The Stone Age

Entourage - "Vegas Baby Vegas"
"Gone Daddy Gone" - Gnarls Barkley

the Hills - "Somebody Always Has To Cry"
"I Bet You Look Good On The Dance Floor" - Artic Monkeys
"Running with Scissors" - The Checkers

the Hills - "Can't You Just Be With Me?"
"Promiscuous Girl" - Nelly Furtado
"Pumping On Your Stereo" - Supergrass
"Nobody Cares" - the 88
"Do You Have A Little Time" - Dido

the Hills - "Love Is Not A Maybe Thing"
"How To Save A Life" - The Fray
*i think every show has officially used this song now

the Hills - "Timing Is Everything"
"Suddenly I See" - KT Tunstall
"23" - Jimmy Eat World