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Top 10 Best Films of 2017

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10. It
Though the 1990’s “It” mini-series scared me as a kid, it also bored me at times as it was a very drawn out film. Well, the latest version of “It” is perfectly packaged with thrills, humor, and a great plot. The remake of the iconic Georgie/sewer scene is enough to pull you in. Though some may argue the movie is not very scary, there’s no doubt that it’s a well-made adaptation with a talented young cast. “Stranger Things” star Finn Wolfhard shows a cruder and hilarious side as Richie.  Wolfhard and the rest of his cast-mates make you wish you were a part of “The Losers Club”.

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9. The Greatest Showman
Sometimes you just want to see a film for pure entertainment purposes, regardless of it’s generic story-line. Well “The Greatest Showman” hooked me in from the start with its spectacular opening number.  From there, I was in for laughter, tears, show-stopping acts, and a toe-tapping original soundtrack. “The Greatest Showman” goes beyond P.T. Barnum’s thirst for success. It also touches on the relevant topics of treating everyone like equals, inter-racial relationships, and embracing your individuality. “The Greatest Showman” is one of the few films that had me balling and in awe at the same time.  Side note: I bought the soundtrack immediately after watching  the film. Yes, it’s that good.

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8. Thor: Ragnarok
The last two Thor films, were more serious and only had glimmers of Hemsworth’s humor. Well, this time audiences got to see more of a “Guardians of the Galaxy” type of tone. “Thor: Ragnarok” is a light-hearted comedy adventure that is way more fitting for Chris Hemsworth’s comedic chops. The entire cast shines, including a vile Cate Blanchett as the evil Hela and Tessa Thompson plays an incredibly fierce heroine. “Thor: Ragnarok” is easily the most entertaining of the three movies, if not the best one.

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7. Lady Bird
Greta Gerwig’s directorial debut is an endearing coming-of-age story about Christine McPhearson (Saoirse Ronan), who only goes by the name she’s chosen, Lady Bird. She goes through the typical teenage drama of crushes, wanting popularity, college applications, and of course, constant bickers with her family. Laurie Metcalf and Saoirse Ronan’s tumultuous mother/daughter relationship is both relatable and heartbreaking. The two give very genuine and raw performances. “Lady Bird” is an excellent portrayal of teenage vulnerability.

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6. I, Tonya
I remember the attack on Nancy Kerrigan so well. At the time, I thought the incident was shocking and very serious.  Director Craig Gillespie has decided to take a comedic route in telling the story of Tonya Harding (Margot Robbie) and the infamous attack, and it’s genius! I mean, thinking back, how stupid was the guy that decided to bash the legs of an Olympic skater at the Olympic practice rink, with everyone there!? “I, Tonya” points out all the idiocy in the planned attack and Harding’s less than angelic personal life/ ice-skating career. Margot Robbie and Allison Janney give Oscar worthy performances.  And Janney’s portrayal as Harding’s mother is just as haunting as J.K. Simmons’ role in “Whiplash.” There is also heart in this comedy and by the end you truly empathize with Harding and all she’s been through.

5. The Disaster Artist
I, and most “The Room” fans, have been excited about this film since the moment we heard it was going to be made.  But I was thrilled when the film exceeded my expectations as a surprisingly touching and hilarious movie. James Franco shines in his best performance yet and has my vote for Best Actor of 2017. He fully immerses himself into the extremely odd, yet sensitive Tommy Wiseau. “The Disaster Artist” provides plenty of laughs but underneath the comedy there is an endearing story about a passionate guy who persistently goes after his dreams of being a “real Hollywood star” and you can’t help feel for the poor delusional guy.

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4. Raw
Most of you are probably wondering what this movie even is. “Raw” is a French mystery, horror about a young vegetarian (Garance Marillier) who eats raw meat as part of a college hazing ritual and develops a taste for it, and humans in particular. The film has it’s gruesome scenes, but is so captivating and unique that you’re kept on edge until the very end. It’s best to not give too much away, just watch! “Raw” is an exciting and unforgettable movie.

 

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3. Wonder Woman
The DC Extended Universe has been struggling for a while now with its past few films, but thank God for “Wonder Woman”! It is the best film of its franchise! There’s a proper balance between the film’s humor and serious tone.  AND a huge round of applause is in order for finally having a central focus that prevents the audience’s heads from spinning in confusion half way through the movie. You empathize with Wonder Woman when she’s in pain, while also getting pumped when she’s beating down a villain. The film is great as whole, but it’s the casting that makes this movie a knockout. Chris Pine charms as Steve Trevor, and Gal Gadot was born to play Wonder Woman. It is a thrilling and inspiring superhero movie.

2. Get Out
Every once in a while a horror flick comes along that not only scares, but also includes plenty of laughs along the way. In the past few years, films like “The Visit” and “The Guest” have provided this full package. And comedian Jordan Peele (“Key and Peele”) captured this rarity again, and presented us with the gift of his directorial debut, “Get Out”. Peele’s script is sharp, witty, and terrifying. There are subtle Hitchcock-like notes in his story telling, and the cast only furthers the film with their well-rounded performances.

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1. The Big Sick
I could go on forever talking about how much I love this film, but I’ll try to keep it brief. For a while now, people have been saying the romantic comedy is a dying genre. Thankfully, “The Big Sick” has officially revived rom-coms! Based on the real-life romance of Kumail Nanjiani and his wife, Emily V. Gordon, “The Big Sick” tells the story of Pakistan-born comedian and grad student who fall in love, but struggle as their cultures clash. When Emily contracts a mysterious illness and is put into a coma, Kumail gets to know her feisty parents (Holly Hunter and Ray Romano) and discovers his true feelings for Emily. “The Big Sick” is an unconventional love story with a lot of layers.  It’s a film I’ve watched repeatedly this year.

The Rest of the Films that Deserve Recognition:

11. Wind River
12. Gifted
13. Coco
14. Blade Runner 2049
15. Spider-man: Homecoming
16. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
17. Brad’s Status
18. Logan
19. Thelma
20. Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Top 5 Worst Films of 2017

5. Landline- Lots of cheating that made no sense.

4. Rings- The first film is gold, everything else after should be nonexistent.

3. Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets- Pretty movie, horrible script!

2. Snatched- I’m sorry this was Goldie Hawn’s comeback film?

1. Transformers: The Last Knight- A lot of loud crap.  STOP making these!!!

24rd Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards Nominations

Motion Picture Awards

Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
Timothee Chalamet, “Call Me by Your Name”
James Franco, “The Disaster Artist”
Daniel Kaluuya, “Get Out”
Gary Oldman, “Darkest Hour”
Denzel Washington, “Roman J. Israel, Esq.”

Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role
Judi Dench, “Victoria & Abdul”
Sally Hawkins, “The Shape of Water”
Frances McDormand, “Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri”
Margot Robbie, “I, Tonya”
Saoirse Ronan, “Lady Bird”

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
Steve Carell, “Battle of the Sexes”
Willem Dafoe, “The Florida Project”
Woody Harrelson,”Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Richard Jenkins, “The Shape of Water”
Sam Rockwell, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
Mary J. Blige, “Mudbound”
Hong Chau, “Downsizing”
Holly Hunter, “The Big Sick”
Allison Janney, “I, Tonya”
Laurie Metcalf, “Lady Bird”

Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Theatrical Motion Picture
“The Big Sick”
“Get Out”
“Lady Bird”
“Mudbound”
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture
“Baby Driver”
“Dunkirk”
“Logan”
“Wonder Woman”
“War for the Planet of the Apes”

Television Awards

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries
Benedict Cumberbatch, “Sherlock”
Jeff Daniels, “Godless”
Robert De Niro, “The Wizard of Lies”
Geoffrey Rush, “Genius”
Alexander Skarsgard, “Big Little Lies”

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries
Nicole Kidman, “Big Little Lies”
Jessica Lange, “Feud: Bette & Joan”
Susan Sarandon, “Feud: Bette & Joan”
Reese Witherspoon, “Big Little Lies”
Laura Dern, “Big Little Lies”

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series
Jason Bateman, “Ozark”
Sterling K. Brown, “This Is Us”
Peter Dinklage, “Game of Thrones”
David Harbour, “Stranger Things”
Bob Odenkirk, “Better Call Saul”

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series
Millie Bobby Brown, “Stranger Things”
Claire Foy, “The Crown”
Elisabeth Moss, “The Handmaid’s Tale”
Robin Wright, “House of Cards”
Laura Linney, “Ozark”

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series
Anthony Anderson, “Black-ish”
Aziz Ansari, “Master of None”
Larry David, “Curb Your Enthusiasm”
Sean Hayes, “Will & Grace”
William H. Macy, “Shameless”
Marc Maron, “GLOW”

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series
Uzo Aduba, “Orange Is the New Black”
Alison Brie, “GLOW”
Jane Fonda, “Grace and Frankie”
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “Veep”
Lily Tomlin, “Grace and Frankie”

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
“The Crown”
“Game of Thrones”
“The Handmaid’s Tale”
“Stranger Things”
“This Is Us”

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series
“Black-ish”
“Curb Your Enthusiasm”
“GLOW”
“Orange is the New Black”
“Veep”

Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Television Series
“Game of Thrones”
“GLOW”
“Homeland”
“Stranger Things”
“The Walking Dead”

Screen Actors Guild Annual Life Achievement Award
Morgan Freeman

The 24th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards, which will be hosted by Kristen Bell, airs Sunday, Jan. 21 at 8/7c on TNT and TBS.

Predicting the Winners: 89th Academy Awards

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Performance by an actor in a leading role

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

Will Win: Casey Affleck
Could Win: Denzel Washington
Want to Win: Casey Affleck

Performance by an actor in a supporting role

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

Will Win: Mahershala Ali
Could Win: Dev Patel
Want to Win: Mahershala Ali, Dev Patel, or Michael Shannon

Performance by an actress in a leading role

  • Isabelle Huppert in “Elle”
  • Ruth Negga in “Loving”
  • Natalie Portman in “Jackie”
  • Emma Stone in “La La Land”
  • Meryl Streep in “Florence Foster Jenkins”

Will Win: Emma Stone
Could Win: Natalie Portman
Want to Win: Natalie Portman or Emma Stone

Performance by an actress in a supporting role

  • Viola Davis in “Fences”
  • Naomie Harris in “Moonlight”
  • Nicole Kidman in “Lion”
  • Octavia Spencer in “Hidden Figures”
  • Michelle Williams in “Manchester by the Sea”

Will Win: Viola Davis
Could Win: No Contest
Want to Win: Viola Davis

Best animated feature film of the year

  • “Kubo and the Two Strings” Travis Knight and Arianne Sutner
  • “Moana” John Musker, Ron Clements and Osnat Shurer
  • “My Life as a Zucchini” Claude Barras and Max Karli
  • “The Red Turtle” Michael Dudok de Wit and Toshio Suzuki
  • “Zootopia” Byron Howard, Rich Moore and Clark Spencer

Will Win: Zootopia
Could Win: Moana
Want to Win: Zootopia

Achievement in cinematography

  • “Arrival” Bradford Young
  • “La La Land” Linus Sandgren
  • “Lion” Greig Fraser
  • “Moonlight” James Laxton
  • “Silence” Rodrigo Prieto

Will Win: La La Land
Could Win: Arrival
Want to Win: La La Lan

Achievement in costume design

  • “Allied” Joanna Johnston
  • “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” Colleen Atwood
  • “Florence Foster Jenkins” Consolata Boyle
  • “Jackie” Madeline Fontaine
  • “La La Land” Mary Zophres

Will Win: Jackie
Could Win: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Want to Win: Jackie

Achievement in directing

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

Will Win: La La Land
Could Win: Moonlight
Want to Win: Manchester by the Sea

Best documentary feature

  • “Fire at Sea” Gianfranco Rosi and Donatella Palermo
  • “I Am Not Your Negro” Raoul Peck, Rémi Grellety and Hébert Peck
  • “Life, Animated” Roger Ross Williams and Julie Goldman
  • “O.J.: Made in America” Ezra Edelman and Caroline Waterlow
  • “13th” Ava DuVernay, Spencer Averick and Howard Barish

Will Win: OJ: Made in America
Could Win: I Am Not Your Negro
Want to Win: OJ: Made in America

Best documentary short subject

  • “Extremis” Dan Krauss
  • “4.1 Miles” Daphne Matziaraki
  • “Joe’s Violin” Kahane Cooperman and Raphaela Neihausen
  • “Watani: My Homeland” Marcel Mettelsiefen and Stephen Ellis
  • “The White Helmets” Orlando von Einsiedel and Joanna Natasegara

Blind Guess: The White Helmets

Achievement in film editing

  • “Arrival”Joe Walker
  • “Hacksaw Ridge” John Gilbert
  • “Hell or High Water” Jake Roberts
  • “La La Land” Tom Cross
  • “Moonlight” Nat Sanders and Joi McMillon

Will Win: La La Land
Could Win: Moonlight
Want to Win: La La Land

Best foreign language film of the year

  • “Land of Mine” Denmark
  • “A Man Called Ove” Sweden
  • “The Salesman” Iran
  • “Tanna” Australia
  • “Toni Erdmann” Germany

Will Win: The Salesman
Could Win: A Man Called Ove
Want to Win: The Salesman

Achievement in makeup and hairstyling

  • “A Man Called Ove” Eva von Bahr and Love Larson
  • “Star Trek Beyond” Joel Harlow and Richard Alonzo
  • “Suicide Squad” Alessandro Bertolazzi, Giorgio Gregorini and Christopher Nelson

Will Win: Star Trek Beyond
Could Win: A Man Called Ove
Want to Win: Star Trek Beyond

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original score)

  • “Jackie” Mica Levi
  • “La La Land” Justin Hurwitz
  • “Lion” Dustin O’Halloran and Hauschka
  • “Moonlight” Nicholas Britell
  • “Passengers” Thomas Newman

Will Win: La La Land
Could Win: Moonight or Lion
Want to Win: La La Land or Lion

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original song)

  • “Audition (The Fools Who Dream)” from “La La Land”
    Music by Justin Hurwitz; Lyric by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul
  • “Can’t Stop The Feeling” from “Trolls”
    Music and Lyric by Justin Timberlake, Max Martin and Karl Johan Schuster
  • “City Of Stars” from “La La Land”
    Music by Justin Hurwitz; Lyric by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul
  • “The Empty Chair” from “Jim: The James Foley Story”
    Music and Lyric by J. Ralph and Sting
  • “How Far I’ll Go” from “Moana”
    Music and Lyric by Lin-Manuel Miranda

Will Win: City of Stars
Could Win: How Far I’ll Go
Want to Win: How Far I’ll Go

Best motion picture of the year

  • “Arrival” Shawn Levy, Dan Levine, Aaron Ryder and David Linde, Producers
  • “Fences” Scott Rudin, Denzel Washington and Todd Black, Producers
  • “Hacksaw Ridge” Bill Mechanic and David Permut, Producers
  • “Hell or High Water” Carla Hacken and Julie Yorn, Producers
  • “Hidden Figures” Donna Gigliotti, Peter Chernin, Jenno Topping, Pharrell Williams and Theodore Melfi, Producers
  • “La La Land” Fred Berger, Jordan Horowitz and Marc Platt, Producers
  • “Lion” Emile Sherman, Iain Canning and Angie Fielder, Producers
  • “Manchester by the Sea” Matt Damon, Kimberly Steward, Chris Moore, Lauren Beck and Kevin J. Walsh, Producers
  • “Moonlight” Adele Romanski, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner, Producers

Will Win: Moonlight
Could Win: La La Land or Hidden Figures
Want to Win: Manchester by the Sea or Hidden Figures

Achievement in production design

  • “Arrival” Production Design: Patrice Vermette; Set Decoration: Paul Hotte
  • “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” Production Design: Stuart Craig; Set Decoration: Anna Pinnock
  • “Hail, Caesar!” Production Design: Jess Gonchor; Set Decoration: Nancy Haigh
  • “La La Land” Production Design: David Wasco; Set Decoration: Sandy Reynolds-Wasco
  • “Passengers” Production Design: Guy Hendrix Dyas; Set Decoration: Gene Serdena

Will Win: La La Land
Could Win: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Want to Win: La La Land

Best animated short film

  • “Blind Vaysha” Theodore Ushev
  • “Borrowed Time” Andrew Coats and Lou Hamou-Lhadj
  • “Pear Cider and Cigarettes” Robert Valley and Cara Speller
  • “Pearl” Patrick Osborne
  • “Piper” Alan Barillaro and Marc Sondheimer

Will Win: Piper
Could Win: Pearl
Want to Win: Pearl

Best live action short film

  • “Ennemis Intérieurs” Sélim Azzazi
  • “La Femme et le TGV” Timo von Gunten and Giacun Caduff
  • “Silent Nights” Aske Bang and Kim Magnusson
  • “Sing” Kristof Deák and Anna Udvardy
  • “Timecode” Juanjo Giménez

Will Win: Sing
Could Win: Ennemis Interieurs
Want to Win: Sing

Achievement in sound editing

  • “Arrival” Sylvain Bellemare
  • “Deepwater Horizon” Wylie Stateman and Renée Tondelli
  • “Hacksaw Ridge” Robert Mackenzie and Andy Wright
  • “La La Land” Ai-Ling Lee and Mildred Iatrou Morgan
  • “Sully” Alan Robert Murray and Bub Asman

Will Win: Hacksaw Ridge
Could Win: La La Land
Want to Win: Sully

Achievement in sound mixing

  • “Arrival” Bernard Gariépy Strobl and Claude La Haye
  • “Hacksaw Ridge” Kevin O’Connell, Andy Wright, Robert Mackenzie and Peter Grace
  • “La La Land” Andy Nelson, Ai-Ling Lee and Steve A. Morrow
  • “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” David Parker, Christopher Scarabosio and Stuart Wilson
  • “13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi” Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers, Jeffrey J. Haboush and Mac Ruth

Will Win: La La Land
Could Win: Hacksaw Ridge
Want to Win: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Achievement in visual effects

  • “Deepwater Horizon” Craig Hammack, Jason Snell, Jason Billington and Burt Dalton
  • “Doctor Strange” Stephane Ceretti, Richard Bluff, Vincent Cirelli and Paul Corbould
  • “The Jungle Book” Robert Legato, Adam Valdez, Andrew R. Jones and Dan Lemmon
  • “Kubo and the Two Strings” Steve Emerson, Oliver Jones, Brian McLean and Brad Schiff
  • “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” John Knoll, Mohen Leo, Hal Hickel and Neil Corbould

Will Win: The Jungle Book
Could Win: Doctor Strange
Want to Win: The Jungle Book or Doctor Strange

Adapted screenplay

  • “Arrival” Screenplay by Eric Heisserer
  • “Fences” Screenplay by August Wilson
  • “Hidden Figures” Screenplay by Allison Schroeder and Theodore Melfi
  • “Lion” Screenplay by Luke Davies
  • “Moonlight” Screenplay by Barry Jenkins; Story by Tarell Alvin McCraney

Will Win: Moonlight
Could Win: Hidden Figures
Want to Win: Moonlight

Original screenplay

  • “Hell or High Water” Written by Taylor Sheridan
  • “La La Land” Written by Damien Chazelle
  • “The Lobster” Written by Yorgos Lanthimos, Efthimis Filippou
  • “Manchester by the Sea” Written by Kenneth Lonergan
  • “20th Century Women” Written by Mike Mills

Will Win: Manchest by the Sea
Could Win: The Lobster
Want to Win: Manchester by the Sea, 20th Century Women or The Lobster (JUST NOT LA LA LAND)

 

We will see how many of my predictions are right…Watch the 89th Academy Awards Sunday, February 26, 2017- on ABC.  Hosted by Jimmy Kimmel!

Best of 2016 from the NTFCA – North Texas Film Critics Association

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NORTH TEXAS FILM CRITICS NAME LA LA LAND” AS BEST FILM OF 2016

The North Texas Film Critics Association voted the romantic musical LA LA LAND as the best film of 2016, according to the results of its annual critics’ poll. Completing list of the top 10 films of the year were MANCHESTER BY THE SEA (2), MOONLIGHT (3), HACKSAW RIDGE (4), LOVING (5), ARRIVAL (6), CAPTAIN FANTASTIC (7), NOCTURNAL ANIMALS (8), JACKIE (9) and THE BIRTH OF A NATION (10).

For Best Actor, the association named Casey Affleck for MANCHESTER BY THE SEA. Runners-up included Ryan Gosling for LA LA LAND (2), Denzel Washington for FENCES (3), Andrew Garfield for HACKSAW RIDGE (4) and Don Cheadle for MILES AHEAD (5).

Natalie Portman was voted Best Actress for JACKIE. Next in the voting were Emma Stone for LA LA LAND(2), Amy Adams for ARRIVAL (3), Emily Blunt for THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN (4) and Ruth Negga for LOVING (5).

In the Best Supporting Actor category, the winner was Michael Shannon for NOCTURNAL ANIMALS. He was followed by Mahershala Ali for MOONLIGHT (2), Dev Patel for LION (3), Jeff Bridges for HELL OR HIGH WATER (4) and Lucas Hedges for MANCHESTER BY THE SEA (5).

For Best Supporting Actress, the association named Michelle Williams for MANCHESTER BY THE SEA. Runners-up included Viola Davis for FENCES (2), Naomie Harris for MOONLIGHT (3), Octavia Spencer for HIDDEN FIGURES (4) and Janelle Monáe for HIDDEN FIGURES (5).

Damien Chazelle was voted Best Director for LA LA LAND. Next in the voting were Barry Jenkins for MOONLIGHT (2), Mel Gibson for HACKSAW RIDGE (3), Denis Villeneuve for ARRIVAL (4) and Kenneth Lonergan for MANCHESTER BY THE SEA (5).

The association voted ELLE as the Best Foreign Language film of the year. Runners-up were THE HANDMAIDEN (2), THE HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE (3), TONI ERDMANN and THE SALESMAN tied for the last spot (4).

GLEASON won for Best Documentary over 13th (2), TOWER (3), WEINER (4) and THE EAGLE HUNTRESS (5).

ZOOTOPIA was named the Best Animated film of 2016, over KUBO AND THE TWO STRINGS (2) and SING (3).

The award for Best Cinematography went to Linus Sandgren for LA LA LAND, followed by James Laxton for MOONLIGHT (2), Bradford Young for ARRIVAL and  Simon Duggan for HACKSAW RIDGE tied for the next spot (3) and Stéphane Fontaine for JACKIE (5).

This year’s awards were dedicated to the memory of our past president, Gary Murray. In his honor, next year we will designate an award in perpetuity. The Gary Murray Award will honor the Best Newcomer in a film.

NTFCA

Interview: Wyatt Russell, J. Quinton Johnson, & Glen Powell talk “Everybody Wants Some”

I sat down with Wyatt Russell, J. Quinton Johnson, & Glen Powell, stars of Richard Linklater’s hilarious new film, “Everybody Wants Some”. We discussed self discoveries, how to hit on girls when your in college, and films they felt gave them insight into the High School and College years!

“Everybody Wants Some” opens in theaters April 8.

Click Here to watch the ‘Everybody Wants Some” Interview

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Interview: Byron Howard & Rich Moore talk “Zootopia”

 

I sat down with directors Byron Howard & Rich Moore to discuss their incredible new animated film, “Zootopia”. We talked about not giving up on your dream job, the stereotypes directors fight against and which message from a film impacted them the most as a kid!

“Zootopia” opens in theaters March 4.

“Zootopia” Interview with Directors Byron Howard & Rich Moore

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Predicting the Winners: 88th Academy Awards

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Best Picture:

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

Will Win: Spotlight
Could Win: The Revenant
Want to Win: The Martian

Best Director:

  • Adam McKay – The Big Short
  • Alejandro González Iñárritu – The Revenant
  • Lenny Abramson – The Room
  • Tom McCarthy – Spotlight
  • George Miller – Mad Max: Fury Road

Will Win: George Miller
Could Win: Alejandro González Iñárritu
Want to Win: George Miller

Best Actor:

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

Will Win: Leonardo DiCaprio
Could Win: No Contest
Want to Win: Leonardo DiCaprio (FINALLY!)

Best Actress:

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

Will Win: Brie Larson
Could Win: Saoirse Ronan
Want to Win: Brie Larson

Best Supporting Actor:

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

Will Win: Sylvester Stallone
Could Win: Tom Hardy
Want to Win: Tom Hardy

Best Supporting Actress:

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

Will Win: Alicia Vikander
Could Win: Kate Winslet
Want to Win: Alicia Vikander

Best Original Screenplay:

  • Matt Charman, Joel & Ethan Coen – Bridge of Spies
  • Alex GarlandEx Machina
  • Pete Docter, Meg LeFauve, Josh Cooley, Ronnie del Carmin – Inside Out
  • Josh Singer and Tom McCarthy – Spotlight
  • Andrea Berloff, Jonathan Herman, S. Leigh Savidge, Alan Wenkus, Andrea Berloff –Straight Outta Compton

Will Win: Spotlight
Could Win: Straight Outta Compton
Want to Win: Inside Out

Best Adapted Screenplay:

  • Nick Hornby – Brooklyn
  • Adam McKay and Charles Randolph – The Big Short
  • Drew Goddard – The Martian
  • Phyllis Nagy – Carol
  • Emma Donoghue – Room

Will Win: The Big Short
Could Win: The Martian
Want to Win: The Martian

Best Animated Feature Film:

  • Anomalisa
  • Inside Out
  • Boy and the World
  • Shaun of the Sheep
  • When Marnie Was There

Will Win: Inside Out
Could Win: Anomalisa
Want to Win: Inside Out

Best Foreign Language Film:

  • Embrace of the Serpent
  • Mustang
  • A War
  • Son of Saul
  • Theeb

Will Win: Son of Soul
Could Win: No Contest
Want to Win: Son of Soul

Best Documentary — Feature:

  • Amy
  • Cartel Land
  • The Look of Silence
  • What Happened Miss Simone?
  • Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom

Will Win: Amy
Could Win: The Look of Silence
Want to Win: Amy

Best Documentary — Short Subject:

  • Body Team 12
  • Chau, Beyond the Lines
  • Last Day of Freedom
  • Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah
  • A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness

Blind Guess: Body Team 12

Best Live Action Short Film:

  • Day One
  • Everything Will Be Okay
  • Stutterer
  • Ave Maria
  • Shok

Blind Guess: Ava Maria

Best Animated Short Film:

  • Sanjay’s Super Team
  • An Object at Rest
  • If I Was God…
  • Bear Story
  • World of Tomorrow

Blind Guess: Sanjay’s Super Team

Best Original Score:

  • The Hateful Eight
  • Sicario
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  • Bridge of Spies
  • Carol

Will Win: The Hateful Eight
Could Win: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Want to Win: The Hateful Eight

Best Original Song:

  • “Earned It” – 50 Shades of Gray
  • “Writing’s on the Wall” – Spectre
  • “Manta Ray” – Racing Extinction
  • “Simple Song #3” – Youth
  • “Till it Happens to You” – The Hunting Ground

Will Win: Till it Happens to You
Could Win: Writing on the Wall
Want to Win: Till it Happens to You

Best Sound Editing:

  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • The Martian
  • The Revenant
  • Sicario
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Will Win: Mad Max: Fury Road
Could Win: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Want to Win: Mad Max: Fury Road

Best Sound Mixing:

  • Bridge of Spies
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • The Martian
  • The Revenant
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Will Win: Mad Max: Fury Road
Could Win: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Want to Win: Mad Max: Fury Road

Best Production Design:

  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • The Martian
  • The Revenant
  • Bridge of Spies
  • The Danish Girl

Will Win: Mad Max: Fury Road
Could Win: The Martian
Want to Win: The Martian

Best Cinematography:

  • Edward Lachman – Carol
  • Robert Richardson – The Hateful Eight
  • John SealeMad Max: Fury Road
  • Emmanuel Lubezki – The Revenant
  • Roger Deakins – Sicario

Will Win: The Revenant
Could Win: Mad Max: Fury Road
Want to Win: The Revenant

Best Makeup and Hairstyling:

  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • The Revenant
  • The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed out the Window and Disappeared

Will Win: Mad Max: Fury Road
Could Win: The Revenant
Want to Win: Mad max: Fury Road

Best Costume Design:

  • Carol
  • Cinderella
  • The Danish Girl
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • The Revenant

Will Win: Cinderella
Could Win: Mad Max: Fury Road
Want to Win: Cinderella

Best Film Editing:

  • The Big Short
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • The Revenant
  • Spotlight
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Will Win: Mad Max: Fury Road
Could Win: The Revenant
Want to Win: Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Best Visual Effects:

  • The Revenant
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • Ex Machina
  • The Martian

Will Win: Mad Max: Fury Road
Could Win: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Want to Win: Star Wars: The Force Awakens

We will see how many of my predictions are right…Watch the 88th Academy Awards Sunday, February 28, 2016- on ABC.  Hosted by Chris Rock!

Interview: Adam Pally talks “Dirty Grandpa”

I sat with Adam Pally (Happy Endings, The Mindy Project), one of the stars of the new comedy, “Dirty Grandpa”. We discussed which family member he’d want to drive to Daytona Beach with, how to flirt with women, the meaning behind the song “Lightening Crashes”, and much more!

Click Here to Watch Adam Pally Interview

adam

North Texas Film Critics Association Name “The Martian” Best Picture of 2015

the martian

 

NORTH TEXAS FILM CRITICS ASSOCIATION NAME “THE MARTIAN” BEST PICTURE OF 2015

The North Texas Film Critics Association is proud to announce their Best of 2015 and winners in ten categories. The association was founded in 2005 and consists of a group of twelve film critics who write or broadcast in the North Texas area. 

The North Texas Film Critics Association voted the space epic based on the best selling novel THE MARTIAN as the Best Film of 2015, according to the results of its annual critics’ poll which was released today.

BEST of 2015

BEST ACTOR – Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant 

BEST ACTRESS – Brie Larson, Room

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR – Idris Elba, Beasts of No Nation

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS – Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY – Emmanuel Lubezki, The Revenant

BEST DOCUMENTARY – Amy (Asif Kapadia, director)

BEST FOREIGN FILM – Son of Saul (Hungary;  László Nemes, director)

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE – Inside Out

BEST DIRECTOR – Ridley Scott, The Martian

BEST PICTURE – The Martian (Ridley Scott)

Top 10 Best Films of 2015

 

10. The Revenant
As most of my colleagues have said, The Revenant isn’t a film, it’s an experience. Though, I can’t say it would be high on my re-watch-ability list. It is quite possibly the most unforgettable film this year. Largely due to an epic bear fight, in which images of that sequence are forever burned in my brain. Leonardo DiCaprio gives his most physically demanding and best performance yet! This film is beautifully shot, and with little dialogue director Alejandro G. Iñárritu still manages to captivate audiences through the entire 2 hours and 36 minutes.

9. Spotlight
Though this is a kind of slow burn film, it is worth patiently waiting for these reporters to gather all their research on the massive scandal of child molestation and cover-up within the local Catholic Church. As Spotlight nears its conclusion with the Boston Globe publishing one of the most shocking revelations in history, you’re in for a powerful and emotional ending that I didn’t even expect to be so moved by.

8. The Hateful 8
I don’t know how Quentin Tarantino keeps doing it, but The Hateful 8 is just another great work of art by the iconic director. His dialogue never ceases to amaze me. As we watch the first half of the film trying to figure out the mystery among these peculiar characters, we wait in anticipation for the mind blowing second act that ends in true Tarantino style.

7. Room
For those who haven’t heard of this film, please do yourself a favor and see it right away! After being held captive in a room for over 5 years, we are shown the emotional trauma that follows after finally escaping and entering the real world. Room features an Oscar-worthy performance by Brie Larson and a breakout performance by Jacob Tremblay.

6. It Follows
These days horror films are rarely interesting and hardly scary, but It Follows manages to tell an original and clever story along with many scream-out-loud moments. The soundtrack only adds to this surprisingly, entertaining thriller that will leave you thinking twice before having unprotected sex.

5. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Overall I have enjoyed almost all of the Star Wars films, but man, the recent piece to the saga is amazing! I can’t help but geek out talking about it. Not only is it a great continuation of the story filled with non-stop action and excitement, but all the new characters are likable and blend in perfectly with the return of the old.

4. Trainwreck
A good comedy that can make you truly laugh out loud and provide originality is like finding a diamond in the rough. And this year that diamond is Trainwreck. Amy Schumer has brought a whole new level of funny with the comedy about a commitment-phobic woman who never thought monogamy was possible, until she meets the one guy (Bill Hader) worth trying to commit with. There’s humor, there’s heart, and there’s Hader.

3. Inside Out
Not since Toy Story has an animated film hit me so hard with the reality of how sad growing up can be. Let’s put aside the fact that this script is smart and beyond creative. Inside Out is a bitter-sweet tale that reminds us of how simple our emotions were when we were kids and how much easier it was to stay joyful. Though there is a gloom to getting older and life’s changes, Inside Out also shows us the positive side of broadening our emotions.

2. The Martian
Well done Ridley Scott!!! Finally you make up for the crap that was The Counselor and Exodus: Gods and Kings. The past two years we’ve seen a visually stunning space film with Gravity and a confusing, long space film with Interstellar. But it’s 2015 that has brought us the best space movie yet! The Martian is the whole package film. Surprisingly enough, there is a lot of comic relief and the script does an excellent job of explaining the science in the film without going over the audiences’ head. With a running time of 2 hours and 24 minutes, the film never loses steam. The Martian is a beautifully shot and hilarious thrill ride.

1. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
I wish this film got more recognition. Might be hard to remember back in July when ME and Earl and the Dying Girl came out, but it has stuck with me since. Alfonso Gomez-Rejon tells this story in such a John Hughes like manner that it almost feels nostalgic. This isn’t just a film about a girl with cancer. It’s her story told through point of view a new friend who is just now getting know her. With its awkwardly realistic dialogue, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is funny and incredibly moving.

Top 5 Worst Films of 2015

5. Adult Beginners– A less funny and messy version of The Skeleton Twins.

4. Jupiter Ascending– What a waste of perfectly good special effects.

3. Aloha– What a waste of a perfectly good cast.

2. Hot Pursuit– Still wondering why Reese Witherspoon was an accomplice to this crime.

1. By the Sea– What the f***!?!?