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Expect some guest posts from our pop-culture liaison Leora Horowitz and sports and movie man Moshe Kolb.
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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

2009 Golden Globe Nominations and Picks

Our picks are the nominees that are in bold. Enjoy!!!!!

Best Motion Picture - Drama
The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
Precious: Based On The Novel Push By Sapphire
Up In The Air

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama
Emily Blunt –
The Young Victoria
Sandra Bullock – The Blind Side
Helen MirrenThe Last Station
Carey Mulligan – An Education
Gabourey SidibePrecious: Based On The Novel Push By Sapphire

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama
Jeff Bridges –
Crazy Heart
George ClooneyUp In The Air
Colin Firth – A Single Man
Morgan Freeman – Invictus
Tobey MaguireBrothers

Best Motion Picture - Musical Or Comedy
(500) Days Of Summer
The Hangover
It's Complicated
Julie & Julia

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy
Sandra Bullock –
The Proposal
Marion CotillardNine
Julia Roberts – Duplicity
Meryl StreepIt's Complicated
Meryl StreepJulie & Julia

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical Or Comedy
Matt Damon –
The Informant!
Daniel Day-Lewis – Nine
Robert Downey Jr. – Sherlock Holmes
Joseph Gordon-Levitt – (500) Days Of Summer
Michael StuhlbargA Serious Man

Best Performance by an Actress In A Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
Penélope Cruz –
Vera FarmigaUp In The Air
Anna Kendrick – Up In The Air
Mo'niquePrecious: Based On The Novel Push By Sapphire
Julianne Moore – A Single Man

Best Performance by an Actor In A Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
Matt Damon –
Woody HarrelsonThe Messenger
Christopher PlummerThe Last Station
Stanley TucciThe Lovely Bones
Christoph Waltz – Inglourious Basterds

Best Animated Feature Film
Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs
Fantastic Mr. Fox
The Princess And The Frog

Best Foreign Language Film
Baaria (Italy)

Broken Embraces (Spain)
The Maid (La Nana) (Chile)
A Prophet (Un Prophete) (France)
The White Ribbon (Das Weisse Band - Eine Deutsche Kindergeschichte) (Germany)

Best Director - Motion Picture
Kathryn Bigelow
The Hurt Locker
James Cameron – Avatar
Clint Eastwood – Invictus
Jason ReitmanUp In The Air
Quentin TarantinoInglourious Basterds

Best Screenplay - Motion Picture
Neill Blomkamp, Terri Tatchell -
District 9
Mark Boal - The Hurt Locker
Quentin Tarantino - Inglourious Basterds
Nancy Meyers - It's Complicated
Jason Reitman, Sheldon Turner - Up In The Air

Best Original Score - Motion Picture
Michael Giacchino -
Marvin Hamlisch - The Informant!
James Horner - Avatar
Abel Korzeniowski - A Single Man
Karen O and Carter Burwell - Where The Wild Things Are

Best Original Song - Motion Picture
"Cinema Italiano" –
NineMusic & Lyrics By: Maury Yeston
"I See You" –
AvatarMusic By: James Horner and Simon FranglenLyrics By: James Horner, Simon Franglen and Kuk Harrell
"I Want To Come Home" –
Everybody's FineMusic & Lyrics By: Paul McCartney
"The Weary Kind (Theme From Crazy Heart)" –
Crazy HeartMusic & Lyrics By: Ryan Bingham and T Bone Burnett
"Winter" –
BrothersMusic By: U2Lyrics By: Bono

Best Television Series - Drama
Big Love (HBO)
House (FOX)
Mad Men (AMC)
True Blood (HBO)

Best Performance by an Actress In A Television Series - Drama
Glenn Close –
Damages (FX NETWORK)
January Jones –
Mad Men (AMC)
Julianna Margulies
The Good Wife (CBS)
Anna Paquin
True Blood (HBO)
Kyra Sedgwick
The Closer (TNT)

Best Performance by an Actor In A Television Series - Drama
Simon Baker –
The Mentalist (CBS)
Michael C. Hall –
Jon Hamm
Mad Men (AMC)
Hugh Laurie –
House (FOX)
Bill Paxton –
Big Love (HBO)

Best Television Series - Musical Or Comedy
30 Rock (NBC)
Entourage (HBO)
Glee (FOX)
Modern Family (ABC)
The Office (NBC)

Best Performance by an Actress In A Television Series - Musical Or Comedy
Toni Collette –
United States Of Tara (SHOWTIME)
Courteney Cox –
Cougar Town (ABC)
Edie Falco
Nurse Jackie (SHOWTIME)
Tina Fey –
30 Rock (NBC)
Lea Michele –
Glee (FOX)

Best Performance by an Actor In A Television Series - Musical Or Comedy
Alec Baldwin –
30 Rock (NBC)
Steve Carell –
The Office (NBC)
David Duchovny –
Californication (SHOWTIME)
Thomas Jane –
Hung (HBO)
Matthew Morrison –
Glee (FOX)

Best Mini-Series Or Motion Picture Made for Television
Georgia O'Keeffe (LIFETIME)
Grey Gardens (HBO)
Into The Storm (HBO)
Little Dorrit (PBS)
Taking Chance (HBO)

Best Performance by an Actress In A Mini-series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Joan Allen –
Georgia O'Keeffe (LIFETIME)
Drew Barrymore –
Grey Gardens (HBO)
Jessica Lange –
Grey Gardens (HBO)
Anna Paquin –
The Courageous Heart Of Irena (CBS)
Sigourney Weaver –
Prayers For Bobby (LIFETIME)

Best Performance by an Actor in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Kevin Bacon –
Taking Chance (HBO)
Kenneth Branagh –
Wallander: One Step Behind (BBC)
Chiwetel Ejiofor –
Endgame (PBS)
Brendan Gleeson –
Into The Storm (HBO)
Jeremy Irons –
Georgia O'Keeffe (LIFETIME)

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Jane Adams –
Hung (HBO)
Rose Byrne –
Damages (FX NETWORK)
Jane Lynch –
Glee (FOX)
Janet McTeer – Into The Storm (HBO)
Chlo Sevigny –
Big Love (HBO)

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Michael Emerson –
Lost (ABC)
Neil Patrick Harris –
How I Met Your Mother (CBS)
William Hurt –
Damages (FX NETWORK)
John Lithgow –
Jeremy Piven –
Entourage (HBO)

Monday, December 21, 2009

DVD Picks of the Week

Genre Film
Action -----Watchmen
Comedy -----Away We Go
Drama -----The Wrestler
Thriller -----Taken
Guilty Pleasure ----- Gone in Sixty Seconds
Classic -----Face Off

New Trailers

Robbin Hood -http://www.apple.com/trailers/universal/robinhood/
Day Breakers -http://www.apple.com/trailers/lions_gate/daybreakers/
Iron Man 2 -http://www.apple.com/trailers/paramount/ironman/

The Hurt Locker

If you haven’t heard or seen this movie you should be ashamed of yourself. In my mind without a shadow of a doubt the best movie of the year!!!! Released early in 2009, The Hurt Locker is an intense, heart pounding, thriller that will have you completely engulfed in the lives of the three main characters. In an incredible directorial performance, Kathryn Bigelow provides us with one of the best Iraq movies ever and in my opinion the Best Picture of 2009 (thankfully the Golden Globes agreed). Taking place during the early months of the post-invasion period in Iraq, Sergeant First Class William James (Jeremy Renner) becomes the new team leader of an Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) unit with the U.S. Army's Bravo Company, replacing Staff Sergeant Thompson, (Guy Pearce) a long-standing member of the team who was killed by a remote-detonated improvised explosive device (IED) in Baghdad. He joins Sergeant J.T. Sanborn (Anthony Mackie) and Specialist Owen Eldridge (Brian Geraghty), whose jobs are to communicate with their team leader via radio inside his bombsuit, and provide him with rifle cover while he examines an IED. James joins the team with team with 39 days left on their deployment. All three of the soldiers, whom we get to know very well are all complex and unique in their own way. James is a renegade for who the thrill of the dismantlement seems to be the ultimate goal regardless of the safety of his fellow team members, others on the scene or himself. On the other hand, Sanborn is by the books: he knows his place and duty and trusts others in the army to carry out theirs as well as he. Eldridge is an insecure soldier who is constantly worried that an error or misjudgment on his part will lead to the death of an innocent civilian or a military colleague. While the three members face their own internal issues, they have to be aware of any person at the bomb sites, some of who may be bombers themselves. James is kind of the unpredictable fascinating soldier who seems as if he’s indifferent to death. He recklessly plunges his unit into a deadly game of urban combat. For example, at one point James disregarding all protocol, refuses to send in a robot first and approaches a deadly car bomb while taking off his protective suit and gear, claiming, “If I am going to die, I am going to die comfortable.” The three men go on a roller coaster ride living on the edge of a deadly game with more consequences than they can imagine as both they and the audience learn a lot more about what makes these men who they are. Renner (James) does an excellent job of portraying this indifference to death. As the audience, we begin to understand his need for the thrill of defusing bombs. The second he gets home and things are boring again we want to go back to Iraq almost as badly as he does. I think this plays into one of Bigelow’s best accomplishments with this film. James hates the dull life outside of his job and as the part of the audience so did I. Every time they were not out in the field in a situation, I eagerly anticipated the next outing. I had heard great things about this film before I had seen it and I was not at all disappointed. I am just happy that the Golden Globes have recognized not only the film but Bigelow’s work as well. I can only hope the Oscars do as well.

Sex: some talk about it, drinking is involved
Violence: bombs and war violence
Language: plenty of cursing, drinking is involved
Rated: R
Run time: 131 min
Grade: 5 Stars

Friday, December 18, 2009


Last night I decided to feel young again so I decided to stay up until 12am and then went to the world premier of James Cameron new film, Avatar. Hailed by critics as the movie that will change all movies, I went all out and saw Avatar in IMAX 3-D. This was a truly remarkable experience. A film, which Cameron (Terminator 2 and Titanic) has been working on for years is supposed to be his life’s best work. I am going to be perfectly honest here. I was a little nervous coming into the film. I have been to some 3-D movies before and overall I am not such a fan. Additionally, I was fearful that the film would be too sci-fi for me and get lost in the grander of the digital creations Cameron had in mind. A gentleman in front of me had a blow up beach ball that the entire audience enjoyed hitting around for the hour we waited in the theater. I was a little worried the Beach ball would be the best part of the night.The film is a true piece of art with arguably some of the greatest special effects ever seen. You realize you are watching digitally enhanced images but the picture is just so beautiful.
Here is a brief summary of the plot. When his brother is killed in battle, paraplegic Marine Jake Sully (Sam Worthington- Terminator Salvation) decides to take his place in a mission on the distant world of Pandora. There he learns of greedy corporate figurehead Parker Selfridge's (Giovanni Ribisi) intentions of driving off the native humanoid "Na'vi" in order to mine for the precious material scattered throughout their rich woodland. In exchange for the spinal surgery that will fix his legs, Jake gathers intel for the cooperating military unit spearheaded by gung-ho Colonel Quaritch (Stephen Lang), while simultaneously attempting to infiltrate the Na'vi people with the use of an "avatar" identity. While Jake begins to bond with the native tribe and quickly falls in love with the beautiful alien Neytiri (Zoe Saldana), the restless Colonel moves forward with his ruthless extermination tactics, forcing the soldier to take a stand - and fight back in an epic battle for the fate of Pandora.
Some things to discuss. James Cameron’s World of Pandora. This insanely beautiful planet is only something that we can dream about and Cameron not only brings our dreams to life, he does it in a stunning fashion. The sheer beauty of the world left the entire audience in awe. The use of light, trees, forest, and waterfalls all drew me into this world. Of course seeing this in IMAX 3-D made it that much better. A quick spoiler!!!!!! At one point in the film we are introduced to the Floating Mountains. These are actual mountains that simply float in the sky with waterfalls running off of them and all. I can honestly say that the panoramic view Cameron provides is arguably the most beautiful scenery I have ever seen on film. The creatures, scenery, and design are all beautifully drawn and digitally created.
The story is well written and plays out in a predictable yet entertaining fashion. There is a twofold love story here in the film. The first is that between Jake and Neytiri. As she trains Jake to become one of them, they begin to fall in love with a sense of admiration and respect for one another. The love story is not too overbearing in the film, which is why I actually enjoyed it. The second love story is perhaps the greatest aspect of the film. That is the falling in love between Jake and Pandora. This is also the falling in love between the audience and Pandora. Cameron does a fabulous job at building a slow and steady connection between the character (and his audience) to the native planet. Sitting there in my seat I actually felt like I was falling in love with the planet along with Jake. As the film neared it end I actually want to live on Pandora. This is probably one of best qualities this film provides.
The film runs a long 162 minutes but contains a perfect balance of action, drama, and humor. Worthington plays a worthy hero, as he did in Terminator Salvation and he is helped out by a good cast including Zoe Saldana, his Na’vi love, Sigourney Weaver, the Doctor in charge of the program, and Michelle Rodriguez, a fighter pilot who has a soft spot for the natives.
Slight warning!!! This is definitely a sci-fi film and that should be known going in. It doesn’t always play like a sci-fli but you don’t want to be caught off guard for the moments that do. Another small warning would be that the film is rather long, running at almost 3 hours long. I personally enjoyed the 3-D for this film because it brought the film to life for me but it definitely was a little strenuous having to focus with those big glasses on for the whole film. Overall this film is another must see. Cameron keeps on pumping out blockbusters and this is no exception. When I left the theater at 3am to head home I definitely was not thinking about the beach ball.

Sex: Hinting to and some intense hugging
Violence: intense epic battle sequences and warfare
Language: not a problem
Rated: PG-13
Run time: 162 min
Grade: 4 Stars

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Inglorious Bastards

This new release to DVD is an absolute must see. In what some are saying is his greatest most iconic piece, Quentin Tarantino takes on World War 2. This engaging and shocking film which to be kind is a piece of historical fiction is an incredible watch. The story takes place in Nazi occupied France, where a young Jewish refugee Shosanna Dreyfus (Melanie Laurent), witnesses the slaughter of her family by Colonel Hans Landa (Christopher Waltz). Narrowly escaping with her life, she plots her revenge several years later when German war hero Fredrick Zoller takes a rapid interest in her and arranges an illustrious movie premiere at the theater she now runs. With the promise of every major Nazi officer in attendance, the event catches the attention of the "Basterds", a group of Jewish-American guerilla soldiers led by the ruthless Lt. Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt). As the relentless executioners advance and the conspiring young girl's plans are set in motion, their paths will cross for a fateful evening that will shake the very annals of history.
As is in his other films, Tarantino’s Bastards runs a long 153 but those are 153 minutes that will keep you enthralled in the film ultimately leaving you with one of the best endings to any film I have seen this year. Arguably the best ever at it,Tarantino is able to keep the viewer completely attentive through a 20 min batter between two characters. There is incredible writing in this film which allows the viewer to really get to know each and every character in the film. One warning, this movie is gory. Too be honest it is beyond gory. Tarantino truly expressed his point of brutality with the clear view scalping and smashing of heads in this one.
Two performances must be noticed in the film. The first would be that of Brad Pitt as the American leader, Lt. Aldo Raine. What I loved most about his performance in this film was that at no point did Pitt try to steal the show of the film. He works with the film as opposed to against it. His character is genuine and entertaining. Pitt plays the role with a sense of humor and gives the audience the good guy to love. Pitt also has a very good supporting cast of American soldiers which include Til Schweiger, B.J. Novak, and Eli Roth who is known as the “Bear Jew” (you will understand why in the film).
However, the eye opening performance in this film is turned in by Christopher Waltz as Colonel Hans Landa of the Nazi Regime. Already nominated for the Golden Globe and probably on his way to the Oscar nomination as well, Waltz gives us the Villian of the Year with his Colonel Landa. Some would say the Joker of 2009. His villain is a brilliant, intellectual, ruthless Nazi who not only seeks to destroy those in his way but chooses to do so in a clever, formal, and witty manner. I wont spoil the first scene for you but trust me you will know what I am talking about after the first 20 minutes of the film. Waltz succeeds in giving us that villain we all love to hate.
Overall this was an excellent film. A little long for those who are not true Tarantino fans but still a must see. The film is now out on DVD so I suggest you rent it one night.

Sex: Brief Sexuality
Violence: A lot, tons of gore and extreme violence
Language: extreme
Rated: R
Run time: 153 min
Grade: 4 Stars