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25 February 2014

Oscar Predictions 2014

You didn't ask for them but here they are...My Oscar predictions for 2014...


BEST PICTURE

Will win: GRAVITY
Should win: 12 YEARS A SLAVE or PHILOMENA


BEST DIRECTOR

Will win: Alfonso Cuaron
Should win: Steve McQueen

**Should have been nominated: Joss Whedon


BEST ACTOR

Will win: Matthew McConaughey, DALLAS BUYERS CLUB
Possible surprise winner: Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 YEARS A SLAVE


BEST ACTRESS

Will win: Cate Blanchett, BLUE JASMINE
Possible surprise winner: Sandra Bullock, GRAVITY

***Should NOT have been nominated: Meryl Streep: AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY


BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Will win: Jared Leto, DALLAS BUYERS CLUB
Should win: Jared Leto, DALLAS BUYERS CLUB or Michael Fassbender, 12 YEARS A SLAVE


BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Will win: Lupita Nyong’o, 12 YEARS A SLAVE
Possible surprise winner: Jennifer Lawrence, AMERICAN HUSTLE or Sally Hawkins, BLUE JASMINE

***Should have NOT have been nominated: Julia Roberts, AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTRY


BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM

Will win: FROZEN
Should win: THE WIND RISES


BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

Will win: THE GREAT BEAUTY
Should win: THE HUNT
Possible surprise winner: THE BROKEN CIRCLE BREAKDOWN

**Should have been nominated: I'M SO EXCITED


BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Will win: Spike Jonze, HER
Should win: Bob Nelson, NEBRASKA


BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

Will win: John Ridley, 12 YEARS A SLAVE
SHOULD win: Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope, PHILOMENA


BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

Will win: THE GREAT GATSBY
Should win: 12 YEARS A SLAVE
Possible surprise winner: GRAVITY


BEST COSTUME DESIGN

Will win: THE GREAT GATSBY
Possible surprise winner: AMERICAN HUSTLE


BEST ORIGINAL SONG

Will win: "Let it Go," FROZEN


BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

Will win: GRAVITY
Possible surprise winner: HER


BEST DOCUMENTARY

Will win: ACT OF KILLING
Possible surprise winner: 20 FEET FROM STARDOM or THE SQUARE

**Should have been nominated: BLACKFISH


BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Will win: GRAVITY
Possible surprise winner: THE GRANDMASTER


BEST FILM EDITING

Duh: GRAVITY


BEST MAKEUP

Will win: DALLAS BUYERS CLUB
Possible surprise winner: JACKASS PRESENTS: BAD GRANDPA


BEST SOUND EDITING

Will win: GRAVITY


BEST SOUND MIXING

Will win: GRAVITY


BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

Duh: GRAVITY


BEST MUSTACHE IN A SHAKESPEAREAN FILM (not a real category)

Will win: Tom Lenk, MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING







04 September 2013

MAN OF STEEL

It's never a good sign when the only real takeaway from a film is the insult "dick splash." I can thank the writers of Man of Steel for that little gem of a put-down. Too bad that's the only thing I feel comfortable thanking the writers for.

The first 20 minutes or so of Man of Steel, minus the birth scene, were the best 20 minutes of the film. Those treasured few minutes took place on Krypton and focused mostly on Russell Crowe as Jor El and Michael Shannon as General Zod. Oh, if only the entire movie had taken place on Krypton, maybe then it wouldn't have been the colossal disappointment of film it turned out to be. Once the story made its way to earth, any glimmer of hope that the opening of the film provided was quickly quashed. That might come across as overly harsh, but the film comes across as overly ambitious. I mean, clearly a great deal of effort was put into making the CGI look "cool," AND creating fight scenes full of excessive destruction with almost boundless collateral damage, AND having Superman be a Christ-like figure (and sometimes a Wolverine-like figure). It's a pity that all of this effort to make a good film stopped there. The time spent on these important things must have taken away from trivial things like writing decent or even passable dialogue.

There were so many lines that made me cringe and so much room for improvement that I could go on and on listing off examples, but I would rather not relive 80% of the film right here, right now. I'm sure many would disagree but, for me, the focus on making the film a Jesus allegory was likely the main reason the script was so lacking. The writers cared more about making Superman be the messiah than they did about writing the dialogue that didn't have anything to do with 'Jesus-man.' I've already seen a movie with a Jesus character who wore a big "S" on his shirt, the 1973 movie Godspell. The two most striking differences between Man of Steel and Godspell are 1- Godspell knew the sort of film it wanted to be and 2 - Godspell had likable characters. These are not small distinctions by any means.

Victor Garber in Godspell
Man of Steel's characters were painfully one-dimensional and just plain boring. Michael Shannon's Zod did not knock my socks off. His character made ridiculous decisions and came across as downright silly. I quickly grew tired of Zod and Henry Cavill as Superman goofing around, causing mayhem, and pretending not to like one another. I suppose I should be thankful for all the action since Cavill had few lines and didn't offer up much in the way of discernible emotion. Really, the only person in the film worth paying attention to was Richard Schiff as Dr. Hamilton. He's the real hero of the film. He's not a dick splash.

05 June 2013

FRANCES HA

I was hoping to thoroughly enjoy Frances Ha. I mean, the name of it is Frances HA. When the title of a film appears to be laughing at something, I take that to mean it will be fun or maybe even funny. I was wrong. In Frances Ha, you have a 20-something female living in New York City, being annoying, making bad choices, and still coming out okay in the end. There isn't much funny in that. Unless of course the joke is on the audience. And I suspect it may just be.


Frances' frustrating and directionless life choices are mirrored by the equally aimless course of the film. Not a horrible way to make a film. Stories don't need to have a clear path to be enjoyable. But when it makes an 86 minute long film feel like a 186 minute long mistake, I'm not sure I can, or would want to, jump on board with that. The meandering story-line could have been the worst part of the film. Surprisingly it was not.

Frances bounced between being charismatic to being super-duper unlikable in the blink of an eye. Greta Gerwig gave a quite convincing performance as the selfish and flawed Francis. Her character often went off on broken streams of consciousness. She seemed more to be talking to herself than the people around her throughout most of the film. That's probably not an altogether awful representation of more than a handful of the young folks of today, which was more frightening than impressive. Even with the often effective dialogue, it was difficult to care much about the characters at any given moment...except perhaps for the break-up scene between Frances & her boyfriend. It happens early in the story and it gives you a pretty good idea whether or not you will like or dislike Frances. I ended up only liking the boyfriend and he never showed up again. Yet somehow even that was not the most disappointing thing about the film.

So what was most objectionable, the most vile, the most atrocious part of the film? The answer is remarkably simple...It was filmed in black and white. Noah Baumbach made quite the pretentious and unnecessary choice to shoot Frances Ha this way. It can work for some films, but it really doesn't for this one. He may have intended to add some charm and whimsy to the film or possibly some depth, but for me it added an artificial, insincere quality to it. Plus the grungy black and white accentuated all the other deficiencies in the film. It's a shame...I liked his film The Squid and the Whale. And before seeing Francis Ha, I didn’t realize that one of the reasons for my liking Squid was because it was in color.

31 March 2013

Top 13 Favorite Actors

The following is a list of my Top 13 Favorite Actors at this very moment.

NOTE: The list is subject to change. The list is not solely based on acting ability; it is also based on likability and nostalgia. The list is in no particular order with the exception of the number 1 actor; he is the best so he deserves to be placed in the top spot. The list almost included Alan Arkin, Damian Lewis, Dule Hill & Jeff Bridges; however it does not.*

Austin Comic Con (2012)
13. LeVar Burton

First on my radar for: Reading Rainbow (TV)
Most memorable role: Geordi La Forge in Star Trek: TNG (TV)
Additional works of note: Perception (TV), Christy (TV), Roots (TV)

I wasn't much of a reader when I was a wee little one, LeVar Burton changed that. Although he was technically a host and not an actor on Reading Rainbow, he won my heart and made me a fan. Then he had to go and be Geordi on Star Trek: TNG. I have no idea how he was able to act so well with a little girl's plastic headband across his eyes, but man did he ever. It was his time as Georgi that made me a fan for life. It would make my year, if he was able to replace Alex Trebek as the host of Jeopardy. But you don't have to take my word for it...


Fearless Hyena (1979)
12. Jackie Chan

First on my radar for:  Cannonball Run II (1984)
Most memorable role: Shing Lung in Fearless Hyena (1979)
Additional works of note: The Forbidden Kingdom (2008), Rush Hour 2 (2001), Rush Hour (1998), Rumble in the Bronx (1995), Supercop (1992), Operation Condor (1991), The Young Master (1980), Drunken Master (1978), Snake in Eagles Shadow (1978), and Shaolin Wooden Men (1976)

I like to say that Jackie Chan has the biggest fan base in the world as though it's a fact. I'm pretty sure it's not true but I refuse to stop saying it. If I am ever in a funk, I can pop in a Jackie Chan film and feel better in no time. He has charisma and a very flexible body. He's impressive, so much so that I read his biography. It made me even more impressed with him.


A Dangerous Method (2011)
11. Michael Fassbender

First on my radar for: Band of Brothers (TV)
Most memorable role: Lt. Archie Hicox in Inglourious Basterds (2009)
Additional works of note: Prometheus (2012), Haywire (2011), Shame (2011), A Dangerous Method (2011), Hunger (2008), 300 (2006), and Agatha Christie's Poirot: After the Funeral (TV)

Fassbender is more than just a perfect face and a large member. He's a man with natural acting ability. He's got pep. That's right, pep. He is the best part of two sub-par films: Prometheus and X-Men: First Class. I think that says something, something wonderful.


2046 (2004)
10. Tony Leung Chiu Wai

First on my radar for: Hard Boiled (1992)
Most memorable role: Cop 663 in Chungking Express (1994)
Additional works of note: 2046 (2004), Infernal Affairs (2002), Hero (2002), In the Mood for Love (2000), and Happy Together (1997)

Tony Leung can express just about any emotion one can think of and make me feel what he looks like he is feeling. I'm not straight out saying he is a master of mind control or anything, but I wouldn't put it past him. 


Fortysomething (TV)
9. Stephen Fry

First on my radar for: A Fish Called Wanda (1988)
Most memorable role: Reginald Jeeves in Jeeves and Wooster (TV)
Additional works of note: QI (TV), Bones (TV), Kingdom (TV), V for Vendetta (2005), Fortysomething (TV), Bright Young Things (2003), Spice World (1997), A Bit of Fry and Laurie (TV), Cold Comfort Farm (1995), Peter's Friends (1992), and The Young Ones (TV)

Stephen Fry is a masterful entertainer. I'll watch just about anything he is a part of. He's so full of wit, he makes me both jealous and enchanted. He is also a frank and captivating writer. I've read his memoir, Moab is my Washpot. He is so very open in that book, that I feel like I know better than I know most of my friends. Although I'm intimidated by his talent, I would love to meet him and have a long conversation with him. It would be nice to hear his voice in person. It would be even nicer if he would come over to my house at least once a week and read me bedtime stories. But I digress...


The Big Lebowski (1998)
8. John Goodman

First on my radar for: Revenge of the Nerds (1984)
Most memorable role: Dan Conner and Adult D.J. of Roseanne (TV)
Additional works of note: Argo (2012), Red State (2011), The West Wing (TV), The Big Lebowski (1998), Fallen (1998), The Hudsucker Proxy (1994), Barton Fink (1991), and Always (1989)

John Goodman was the reason that I watched Roseanne. I think that's explanation enough.


White Christmas (1954)
7. Danny Kaye

First on my radar for: White Christmas (1954)
Most memorable role: Walter Mitty in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (1947)
Additional works of note: The Cosby Show (TV), The Court Jester (1955), The Inspector General (1949), and The Kid from Brooklyn (1946)

Danny Kaye has the same birthday as I do, different year but you get the idea. That's not actually the reason he made it to my favorite list. Kevin Costner has the same birthday as I do too, and you won't be seeing him on the list. Kaye was the cream of the crop. He was quirky and at the same time a model of excellence in his field. There aren't many Christmas movies that are actually good out there. And I'm not entirely convinced that White Christmas is that good of a film, but I know that Danny Kaye made it a film I could watch over and over again. The man was gifted. May he rest in peace. 


Miss Potter (2006)
6. Ewan MacGregor

First on my radar for: Trainspotting (1996)
Most memorable role: Curt Wild in Velvet Goldmine (1998)
Additional works of note: Haywire (2011), Beginners (2010), The Ghost Writer (2010), Angels and Demons (2009), I Love you Phillip Morris (2009), Miss Potter (2006), Big Fish (2003), Little Voice (1998), and The Pillow Book (1996)

Ewan McGregor is fun to watch... Before Star Wars: Episode 1 came out, I was pretty happy that he was able to play Obi-Wan Kenobi. After Episode 1 came out, I was just happy that he was a good enough actor to still get work.


Rushmore (1998)
5. Bill Murray

First on my radar for: Ghostbusters (1984)
Most memorable role: Carl Spackler in Caddyshack (1980)
Additional works of note: Moonrise Kingdom (2012), Zombieland (2009), The Darjeeling Limited (2007), Broken Flowers (2005), The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004), Lost in Translation (2003), Rushmore (1998), Groundhog Day (1993), Scrooged (1988), Tootsie (1982), and Saturday Night Live (TV)

For a large part of my childhood I thought that I wanted to marry Bill Murray. Turns out, I really wanted to marry Dr. Peter Venkman. It'd be pretty cool to marry a Ghostbuster. Am I right or am I right?
Anyway, I didn't think it was possible but Murray gets better with age. Moonrise Kingdom is proof of that.


Wild Target (2009)
4. Bill Nighy

First on my radar for: Underworld (2003)
Most memorable role: Philip in Shaun of the Dead (2004)
Additional works of note: The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011), Glorious 39 (2009), Wild Target (2009), Hot Fuzz (2007), Notes on a Scandal (2006), The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy (2005), and Love Actually (2003)

Bill Nighy made it onto my favorites list because he is so dang likable. He is an enigmatic actor. I love his voice and the way he moves his body. He is a scene stealer in almost every film he's in and I see that as a good thing. 


Django Unchained (2012)
3. Christoph Waltz

First on my radar for: Inglourious Basterds (2009)
Most memorable role: Dr. King Schultz in Django Unchained (2009)
Additional works of note: Carnage (2011), and The Green Hornet (2011)

Christoph Waltz makes me want to learn to speak German...for real this time. He's an Austrian actor who can actually act, unlike a certain former Governor of California. Waltz has a knack for coming across as both arrogant and endearing. Quentin Tarantino clearly likes him...why shouldn't I? 


Smart People (2008)
2. Thomas Haden Church

First on my radar for: Wings (TV)
Most memorable role: Lowell Mather in Wings (TV)
Additional works of note: We Bought a Zoo (2011), Killer Joe (2011), Easy A (2010), Smart People (2008), Sideways (2004), Rolling Kansas (2003), 3000 Miles to Graceland (2001), and Ned and Stacy (TV)

I feel like Thomas Haden Church is the most underrated actor on my list. He's clever, crafty, and charming. I like him for a lot of the same reasons people don't like him. And I'm fine with that. He is a great actor with a great voice and a sharp mind.  


Batman Begins (2005)
1. Gary Oldman

First on my radar for: Dracula (1992)
Most memorable role: Drexyl Spivey in True Romance (1993)
Additional works of note: Lawless (2012), Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011), The Dark Knight (2008), Batman Begins (2005), Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004), Hannibal (2001), Nobody's Baby (2001), Lost in Space (1998), Air Force One (1997), The Fifth Element (1997), Murder in the First (1995), Immortal Beloved (1994), Leon: The Professional (1994), JFK (1991), Prick Up Your Ears (1987), and Sid and Nancy (1986)

Gary Oldman is by far the best actor alive today. He is Sid Vicious, Beethoven, Pontius Pilate, Commissioner Gordon, and Dracula. He didn't just play these characters; he is them. It is difficult for me to put into words how extraordinary Oldman truly is. He's the real deal. The fact that he has never won an Oscar is either an absurdity or a badge of honor. I haven't decided which it is yet. One thing I am certain of is that Oldman has a great head of hair. You know that's right.

These are my favorites right now. Who are yours?

*Rupaul did not make it on to this list, but my favoritism and judging is somewhat inspired by Ru yet again.

19 March 2013

A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD

I was considering saying nothing about this so-called "Die Hard" film and just pretending it didn't exist, but I already wasted my time watching it; I may as well spend a little bit of time venting about it.

A Good Day to Die Hard, it was not...

Here are the PROS:
1. When one of the generic villains says, "Yippee Ki-Yay!," Bruce Willis smirks.
2. It ended.

And here are the CONS:
1. The film started off painfully slow. Bruce Willis, as John McClane, himself actually seemed bored by the first 20 minutes of the film.
2. The action, although quite implausible, was not nearly as absurd and over-the-top as I was expecting/needing.
3.The stunts pale by comparison to the ridiculously fantastic action in Live Free or Die Hard.
4. The characters left me longing for Hans Gruber, Col. Stuart, Zeus Garver, Simon Gruber, and surprisingly enough Matt Farrell.
5. The story was moth-eaten and unimpressive. Oddly, father/son animosity and bad guys in the market for weapons-grade uranium are not tremendously cutting edge.
6. And the cast, well let me just put it this way: Eh.

(Twentieth Century Fox)
I'm not so sure this one will ever make it to my Die Hard DVD Collection even to simply round out the set.

14 March 2013

Top 13 Favorite Actresses


The following is a list of my Top 13 Favorite Actresses at this very moment. 

NOTE: The list is subject to change. The list is not solely based on acting ability; it is also based on charisma, uniqueness, nostalgia, and talent.* The list is alphabetical by last name with the exception of the number 1 actress; she is the best so she doesn't need to be alphabetized. The list almost included Audrey Hepburn & Julie Walters; however it does not.

Little Fish (2005)
13.  Cate Blanchett

First on my radar for: Pushing Tin (1999)
Most memorable role: Janine in Hot Fuzz (2007)
Additional works of note: Notes on a Scandal (2006), Little Fish (2005), Coffee and Cigarettes (2003), and Bandits (2001).

I never did see Elizabeth or its follow up. But I might just do it someday specifically because Blanchett is in them. I have yet to be disappointed by her. And this is coming from someone who watched Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull in its entirety.


Freaky Friday (1976)
12.  Jodie Foster

First on my radar for: Freaky Friday (1976)
Most memorable role: Annabel in Freaky Friday (1976)
Additional works of note: The Brave One (2007) and Nell (1994)

Yes, that is correct. I was introduced to Foster in Freaky Friday, not Taxi Driver or Silence of the Lambs. For a while I thought I wanted to be just like Annabel from Freaky Friday; later in life I realized that I just wanted to play field hockey like her.  
She is magnificent in Nell. And although I may be the only person to feel this way, The Brave One is one of Foster's best films. 


Jumpin' Jack Flash (1986)
11.  Whoopi Goldberg

First on my radar for: Jumpin' Jack Flash (1986)
Most memorable role: Celie in The Color Purple (1985)
Additional works of note: Rat Race (2001), Corrina, Corrina (1994), Star Trek: TNG (TV), Ghost (1990), and Burglar (1987)

Whoopi is an ingenious human being with a wide range of talents. I've looked up to her as a person for as long as I can remember. She's brilliant and hardworking. Over the years I've repeatedly watched her in Jumpin' Jack Flash and I have yet to tire of her character or her performance. Star Trek: TNG would not be the same without her as my Guinan. 
No, I didn't list Sister Mary Clarence from Sister Act in any of the roles of note for Whoopi. We all know about Sister Act, don't we? If I happen to be flipping through the channels and find Whoopi singing 'My Guy/My God,' I'm most definitely going to stop flipping and start watching. 


10 Things I Hate About You (1999)
10.  Allison Janney

First on my radar for: The Ice Storm (1997)
Most memorable role: Claudia Jean Craig on The West Wing (TV)
Additional works of note: Away We Go (2009), The Chumscrubber (2005), Nurse Betty (2000), 10 Things I Hate About You (1999), and Guiding Light (TV)

Allison Janney is often underrated, and that's a pity. She's strong, beautiful, and can act her ass off. She is the sort of human being that I think I would love to meet, but if it actually happened I would probably have some sort of uncontrollable bodily fluid evacuation. That's right, she's that good.


The Apartment (1960)
9.  Shirley MacLaine 

First on my radar for: Steel Magnolias (1989)
Most memorable role: Fran in The Apartment (1960)
Additional works of note: Bernie (2011), Guarding Tess (1994), and The Trouble with Harry (1955)

Two of my favorite actresses don't need any explanation. Shirley MacLaine is one of them; Dame Maggie Smith is the other. 


Greenfingers (2000)
8.  Helen Mirren 

First on my radar for: Greenfingers (2000)
Most memorable role: Chris in Calendar Girls (2003)
Additional works of note: The Queen (2006), The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy (2005), Teaching Mrs. Tingle (1999), and Caligula (1979)

Mirren has a special something that I find difficult to explain. So I won't even try.


Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994)
7.  Kristin Scott Thomas 

First on my radar for: Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994)
Most memorable role: Juliette in I've Loved You So Long (2008)
Additional works of note: The Golden Compass (2007), Tell No One (2006), and Keeping Mum (2005)

Kristin Scott Thomas, or as I like to call her KST (pronounced 'kisst'), blew me away in I've Loved You So Long. I had never really realized how amazing she was until I saw that film. And she is truly amazing. I didn't much care for The English Patient or Gosford Park, so I always just categorized her as a women who liked being cast in relentlessly tedious films. Now I know better.


Resident Evil (2002)
6.  Michelle Rodriguez 

First on my radar for: Resident Evil (2002)
Most memorable role: Diana in Girlfight (2000)
Additional works of note: Machete (2010), Lost (TV), and S.W.A.T. (2003)

Rodriguez is someone that little kids can look up to. She has serious acting chops. More often then not she portrays strong characters and she does it with ease. She is convincing as a person who can kick some ass. I like that. It's one of the reasons why she is on my list of favorites and an "action star" like Angelina Jolie is not.


Evil Under the Sun (1982)
5.  Maggie Smith 

First on my radar for: Hook (1991)
Most memorable role: Daphne in Evil Under the Sun (1982)
Additional works of note: The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011), Harry Potter 1-7 (2001-2011), Keeping Mum (2005), Murder by Death (1976)

Two of my favorite actresses don't need any explanation. Dame Maggie Smith is one of them; Shirley MacLaine is the other. 


Glorious 39 (2009)
4.  Juno Temple 

First on my radar for: Glorious 39 (2009)
Most memorable role: Dottie in Killer Joe (2011)
Additional works of note: The Dark Knight Rises (2012) and Notes on a Scandal (2006)

Juno Temple has an amazing young actress with a promising career in her future. Killer Joe convinced me of that. Her American accent in Killer Joe is spot on and her performance is stellar. I expect great things from her. Hopefully she will never have to be in a movie like Year One again. Even if she is, I will probably find a way to forgive her. 


Godspell (1973)
3.  Lynne Thigpen 

First on my radar for: Godspell (1973)
Most memorable role: The Chief in Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego (TV)
Additional works of note: Novocaine (2001), Shaft (2000), The Insider (1999), thirtysomething (TV), and Tootsie (1982)

Lynne Thigpen was special. She had talent oozing out of her pores. Her vocal prowess was unmatched. Her voice will forever be burned in my memory. Thigpen was a strong influential women. Although she had too short a life, she made a huge impact on me. Rest in peace, Ms. Thigpen and thank you. 


Wit (2001)
2.  Emma Thompson 

First on my radar for: Henry V (1989)
Most memorable role: Vivian in Wit (TV movie 2001)
Additional works of note: Last Chance Harvey (2008), Stranger Than Fiction (2006), Love Actually (2003), Maybe Baby (2000), Peter's Friends (1992), and The Young Ones (TV)

Emma Thompson is witty, but I'm not saying that because she starred in the movie Wit. That movie is gut-wrenching and seeing her performance in it made me realize she is a unique talent with more than a few tricks up her sleeve. 


Connie and Carla (2004)
1.  Toni Collette

First on my radar for: Muriel's Wedding (1994)
Most memorable role: Julie in Cosi (1996)
Additional works of note: Fright Night (2011), The Black Balloon (2008), LIttle Miss Sunshine (2006), Connie and Carla (2004), Japanese Story (2003), About a Boy (2002), Shaft (2000), The Sixth Sense (1999), Velvet Goldmine (1998), and The Efficiency Expert (1992)

Toni Collette is one of the best actresses working today. I will watch any film starring Collette. The fact that I have seen In Her Shoes is proof of that.
Collette is often underrated, but not by me. She has an amazing set of pipes on her. She is gutsy and strong.  And she has heart. You can get a sense of her range of talents by watching just a single episode of United States of Tara. 
I knew that I liked her after seeing Muriel's Wedding, Cosi, and Velvet Goldmine. It wasn't until I saw Japanese Story that I recognized how much respect I had for her. And it wasn't until Connie and Carla that I realized I loved her. 

These are my favorites right now. Who are yours?


*My favoritism and judging inspiration comes partially from RuPaul, even though Ru did not make this list.

27 February 2013

Top 13 Guilty Pleasure Films

D Dot Cinema
The following is a list of painfully bad films that I should be embarrassed, or quite possibly ashamed, to admit that I love. But no matter how many times I watch any one of these substandard films, I end up loving them more. They all have put their own little spell on me.

Listed in no intentional order...

13.  Twins (1988)
Director: Ivan Reitman
Faces: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Danny DeVito, David Caruso




12.  Never Been Kissed (1999)
Director: Raja Gosnell
Faces: Drew Barrymore, Michael Vartan, Molly Shannon, John C. Reilly, Jessican Alba





11.  Exit Wounds (2001)
Director: Andrzej Bartkowiak
Faces: Steven Seagal, DMX, Anthony Anderson, Tom Arnold





10.  The Brothers Solomon (2007)
Director: Bob Odenkirk
Faces: Will Arnett, Will Forte, Kristen Wiig, Lee Majors






9.  The Legend of Billie Jean (1985)
Director: Matthew Robbins
Faces: Helen Slater, Christian Slater, Dean Stockwell, Yeardley Smith





8.  Scream (1996)
Director: Wes Craven
Faces: Neve Campbell,Matthew Lillard, Jaime Kennedy






7.  Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion (1997)
Director: David Mirkin
Faces: Mira Sorvino, Lisa Kudrow, Jeneane Garofalo, Alan Cumming, Justin Theroux



6.  The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006)
Director: Justin Lin
Faces: Lucas Black, Sonny Chiba





5.  The Cutting Edge (1992)
Director: Paul Michael Glaser
Faces: D.B. Sweeney, Moira Kelly, Michael Hogan, Terry O’Quinn





4.  Red Sonja (1985)
Director: Richard Fleischer
Faces: Brigette Neilsen, Ernie Reyes, Jr., Arnold Schwarzenegger




3.  Night at the Roxbury (1998)
Director: John Fortenberry
Faces: Will Ferrell, Chris Kattan, Molly Shannon, Jennifer Coolidge, Loni Anderson, Richard Grieco



2.  Wild Wild West (1999)
Director: Barry Sonnenfeld
Faces: Will Smith, Kenneth Branagh, Kevin Kline, Salma Hayek



1.  Beverly Hills Ninja (1997)
Director: Dennis Dugan
Faces: Chris Farley, Robin Shou, Chris Rock, Billy Connolly




There you have it...my top 13 guilty pleasure films. What are yours?