Movie Review: Hail Caesar (2016)

Hail Caesar (2015)
Written and Directed By: Joel and Ethan Coen

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Hollywood in the 1950’s was a well-oiled and composed machine that spun out hit after hit. Movies did not have to be of that soulful pensive nature (think The Revenant) or one with guns and plenty of blood (think Hateful Eight); instead they were elaborate tales that showcased grandeur and elegance. Usually the movie screen was filled with the grandness of a fake set with tons of extras and the films seemed so magnificently grand. It was a time when actors were the face of studios and many had to know how to sing and dance and be all around performers. Studios created stars and directors were treated like royalty. In Joel and Ethan Coens’ new film Hail Caesar!, they bring to life the reality of movie making in the fifties and the great lengths studios went to in order to keep up decorum and create the illusion of Hollywood magic.

Written and directed by the Coen brothers, it is obvious that they made this movie because they are lovers of film and in a sense ended up paying homage to it in their own silly way. This movie is so unlike many of their others such as No Country for Old Men, Fargo, etc, yet at the same time it is completely a Coen brothers’ film in the dialogue and the jovial hijinks aspect to it.

The film is about Eddie Mannix (Josh Brolin) the Hollywood fixer, similar to a modern day Olivia Pope, he works for Capitol studios and is in charge of keeping the actors in line and fixing any issues that could make the studio look bad. He is a Catholic family man who enjoys confessing his sins (even the Priest tells him he comes too often), an occasional cigarette despite his wife’s protests and knows how to give an old-fashioned slap around to any Hollywood actor or actress who goes awry.

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When one of the studios most famous and handsome actors go missing, Baird Whitlock (George Clooney), he is in charge of finding and bringing him back to the set. Whitlock is in the middle of filming Hail Caesar!, obviously a nod to the epic Ben Hur, and is taken fresh off the set in Roman regalia, sandals, armor, fake sword, and all. I am sure that in looking back at old films, the Coen brothers realized the ridiculousness of some of the over acted expressions that were used back then and they were smartly put into the film. Clooney smiles like a nitwit who barely knows his lines, yet exudes charm that can fill a room.

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Whitlock it turns out is captured by a group of screenwriters who are part of the Communist Party. They want $100, 000 dollars in exchange for the actor. They hold him up in a beautiful Malibu home and feed him cucumber sandwiches with the crusts cut off and indulge him in Communist theories. Being that he is so dim, he falls for everything they say and starts to think they are actually really smart. Yes, that’s how dumb he is.

We see that Mannix has a lot on his plate at all times. He places a Western movies actor Hobie Doyle (Alden Ehrenreich), who can sing country tunes and lasso a pony like no other, similar to Gene Autry, in a more serious film Merrily We Dance. Doyle has a pretty face and Mannix knows he would look great up on the poster, but the problem is as director Laurence Laurentz (Ralph Fiennes) realizes is that he can’t act to save his life. His southern drawl gets in the way of his lines and they both interact in one of the funniest scenes in the movie, going back and forth trying to say the line right.

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Another side story is that of the beautiful screen starlet DeeAnna Moran (Scarlett Johanssen) who Mannix has to go visit on the set of her Busby Berkeley-inspired movie filled with synchronized swimmers and a grand orchestra. He has to figure out a way for her to adopt her fatherless child, so that she doesn’t look bad in the press.

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One of my favorite scenes was the musical number by Hollywood heartthrob Burt Gurney (Channing Tatum), who performs a tap dance routine straight out of a Gene Kelly movie. Clad as sailors, Gurney and his fellow men, sing a tune and dance that turns a bit homoerotic, but that lends itself to the fact that movies back in the day didn’t realize they were being so friendly and gay.

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Clooney was fantastically funny and played the part to perfection. Tatum was rightly cast as the dancer of the group and his scenes literally had me cracking up. The way he looked at the camera, he was definitely playing into a Gloria Swanson type persona. Yes, Mr. Deville, Tatum is ready for his close-up.

My favorite performance was from Ehrenreich, who stole the film with his ability to act so naïve, yet, debonair at the same time. I look forward to seeing him in more films. Brolin carried the film from start to finish and exuded the grit necessary for the part.

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Overall the movie had a lot of different stories and actors running through it. I didn’t even mention them all, but together brings about an ensemble cast that leaves us wanting more. I felt some actors were underused and I wanted to see them on screen more, but with so much going on that was virtually impossible. This was not my favorite Coen brothers’ film, as I am a huge fan of Fargo, The Big Lebowski and Inside Llewyn Davis, but it was pleasantly good. I can’t rave about it because I felt it was missing something from the end and honestly I left wanting a little more. The film had a lot of funny moments and great dialogue and it is a must watch if you are fan of the Coen brothers and want to add this to your repertoire.

}}Melissa

Movie Review: Everest (2015)

Everest (2015)
Directed by Baltasar Kormákur
Written by William Nicholson, Simon Beaufoy

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In Jon Krakauer’s book Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mount Everest Disaster, he says that “Attempting to climb Everest is an intrinsically irrational act – a triumph of desire over sensibility.” This statement is perfectly understood and put into perspective in the film Everest, directed by Baltasar Kormákur, which depicts the events that occurred in the fateful 1996 Mount Everest expedition. The desire to reach the summit overtakes many of the climbers, as they spare all rationale reasoning at many points of endangerment for the ability to reach the top.

I saw the film in IMAX 3D and it encapsulated the grandness of Everest in every scene. The cold air and ice chips coming off the mountain looked dangerously frightening, yet breathtakingly beautiful. In fact the entire film looked like it came straight out of a National Geographic documentary.

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The story is centered on the two expedition leaders and their groups who have come from all over the world to try to conquer climbing and reaching the top of Mount Everest. Rob Hall (Jason Clarke) is the leader of Adventure Climbers and as his rival puts it, is the type of guide who walked his group through every motion up the mountain. Scott Fisher (Jake Gyllenhaal) on the other hand is more of the wild man, drinking scotch in his coffee cup at base camp and one who firmly believes that if a climber can’t get up to the top, then they shouldn’t be on the mountain.

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From there we get the stories of many of the climbers, there is Doug Hansen (John Hawkes) the mailman, Yasuko Namba (Naoko Mori) the quiet woman who had already climbed 6 of the tallest peaks and the fierce Texan Beck Weathers (Josh Brolin) just to name a few. Also on the expedition with Hall is writer Jon Krakauer (Michael Kelly), who is there to do a piece on them for Outside magazine.  At one point Krakauer asks everyone why they are there, why would anyone want to achieve such an impossible mission? They all seem to keep that answer close and laugh it off, but it is obvious that what motivates them is that desire to teeter between life and death, between a world that can be grasped to one that only few have ever seen.

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Throughout the film, we also get the stories of Hall’s wife, Jan (Kiera Knightly) who is at home stressed and pregnant and Weather’s wife Peach (Robin Wright) who seemingly feels off about her husband being away on his expedition. They both expressed that foreboding feeling and we could see that their women’s intuition was sounding off with their husbands being away. As many of the climbers put it, these climbing expeditions tear wedges between families, but with these two ladies we see that as impossible.

The film was beautiful as I mentioned before, I was on the edge of my seat for most of the film, even though I knew what was going to happen. Each time they crossed a crevasse on what appeared to be a ladder that was shaky, I felt myself holding my breath. I liked how they showed when they would cross ridges and mountain edges that it appeared they could fall off at any second.

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Some of the best acting came from Emily Watson who played Helen Winton, the base camp mother and the one that Hall had to communicate with for information. The sense of desperation and at the same time hope could always be seen in her eyes. Clarke really carried most of the film and was fantastic. Gyllenhaal always delivers for me, but I felt that he was barely in the movie. I would have liked to have seen more of him and his team.

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Brolin and Hawkes were really good in this too; I couldn’t stop focusing my attention on them. It was nice to see Sam Worthington as guide Guy Cotter back in action. I feel like he is barely in any movies nowadays, which is a shame because when he is given good material he is a great actor.

I thought Everest was a good movie, not great and not horrible. What I disliked about the film was that at some points, there were just too many characters and their stories going on at the same time. I would have liked it to been a little more focused. The movie is two hours long and I believe much of that time is taken because much of the movie is spent showing us the mountain. The cinematography for the film was wonderful and many of the shots were magnificent, but I believe that is where we lose much of the fact that this is a movie, not a documentary about Mount Everest. If the film had been tightened up a little more, with a firm and cohesive storyline, it would have been off the charts great.

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This movie was a treat to see in theaters. But now that it is on DVD it is worth a watch if you are a fan of drama and adventure stories.

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(Real life Everest expedition crew)

}}Melissa

Movie Review: Carol (2015)

Carol (2015)
Written by Phyllis Nagy (screenplay), Patricia Highsmith (novel)
Directed by Todd Haynes

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Patricia Highsmith wrote The Price of Salt in 1952 and through her novel chronicled her own feelings about her sexuality through two fictional characters. Known to have had relationships with women, she underwent various psychological treatments in order to rid her of her feelings and to force herself to get married to a man. It never worked. This outpouring of emotion, tense and terse, is translated perfectly into Carol, the film adaption of her book by Phyllis Nagy.

Directed by Todd Haynes, who also did I’m Not There, Mildred Pierce and several others, he knows how to not only shoot the female viewpoint, but also can capture the essence of a moment with a quietness about it. In Carol, we see how important and central a mere look or glance is and the physicality of a simple touch on a shoulder. Those soft and what sometimes seem like meaningless moments between people are actually highlighted and made important.

Set in the fifties, an era when two women seen touching, let alone being in a relationship, was a preposterous idea, Haynes shows the two central women in the film having moments with touches or looks seem electric and almost scary. As if we the audience know that what is about to transpire between them is completely real and filled with a mixture of lust and love.

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The story is about a young toy shop keeper, Therese Belivant (Rooney Mara) and her relationship with the older and glamorous Carol Aird (Cate Blanchett). Even her name sounds magical and seductive (just like her cheekbones); she is everything that Therese is not both good and bad. Carol is in the process of getting a divorce from her husband Harge (Kyle Chandler) and both are fighting for custody over their little girl Rani. She seems as if everything she does has glamour and charm to it, from the way she brushes her hair to the way she orders a martini. Therese is a budding photographer who sees life through a lens, unsure of whom she is or what she wants out life, she carries herself with a certain naiveté. She seems very disconnected from her boyfriend Richard (Jake Lacy) and unexcited about the possibility of traveling to Europe with him or even getting married. At a time when most young girls aspired to be married, she is completely modern in eschewing those traditional roles.

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One day Carol leaves her gloves behind at the toy store. Did she do this on purpose? We’re not sure, but it proceeded with the reaction I am sure she intended. Therese has them delivered to her and Carol thanks her by taking her out to eat lunch. During this lunch the two look at each other with a fondness for one another, but nothing is clearly ever stated. Instead it is drawn out, Carol invites Therese to her upstate home and from there the relationship continues to bloom. Therese begins to see that Carol’s relationship with Herge is volatile and unkind, but she continues with her. When Carol invites Therese on a road trip to get away from it all because Herge will have their daughter during Christmas time, Therese willingly agrees. A few scenes before, we see Therese dismiss her boyfriends invitations to travel all around Europe.

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What transpires from there is a romance that evolves on the road. Many scenes take place in the car, with Carol looking fondly over at Therese, who always seems perplexed and staring out a window. Their romance is subtle, but it starts to become very obvious that they are in love with one another.

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One of my favorite scenes was when Therese is sitting at a vanity and Carol comes up behind her. Carol puts her hand on Therese’s shoulder and she firmly holds onto it. They both look into the mirror as if they are facing who they really are and the sexual tension in the air can be cut with a knife. To be able to show that sentiment in a movie, and to truly feel it as an audience member, is quite difficult, yet it plays out with such ease. We feel as if we are in their world, intruding into something we shouldn’t be part of, but there we are smack dab in the middle of it and we have to embrace their tension and run with it.

Blanchett delivers one of her best performances, as if we thought she couldn’t get any better with her work in Blue Jasmine. Her hardened smiles are distinct and she brings to life a character that has an infinite amount of layers and emotions to shed. Mara was equally phenomenal, she restrains herself so much and that is exactly what this character needed. She holds back her emotions, but it’s obvious that she is weak in the knees for Carol.

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Chandler as the distraught and jealous husband did great against these two actresses. I am surprised he didn’t get nominated for his work in this film. He was powerful and deserved some credit.

Carol is a beautiful film, the cinematography and the costumes were quite gorgeous. All the details in the film only serve to add to the story and authenticity of it. This felt like a real story, not a made up one for Hollywood’s sake. It’s a story that needed to be told for those who lived in that era and for those who live in an era of freedom of sexuality and to realize that they should never take for granted the freedoms they have now. If you enjoy dramas with a lot of heart and feeling, then this is a great choice for you.

}}Melissa

Also posted on Pink Egg Media

Quick Flick Reviews – The Rev, H8, SW, Crd

I want to introduce a new segment to my blog. My cousin and movie partner in crime, Andrew, is going to be helping me out by doing some quick reviews of movies he has seen recently. He sees a lot of movies that I just never end up watching, so it’s great to be able to post some different opinions on my site. He’s the person I sit and talk with about movies and TV shows and I love hearing his thoughts. Please welcome him into our movie world and throw him some comments and feedback. I am sure he will love it!

Here are his first set of quick flick reviews. Hope you guys enjoy them! Ensue courageous and copious clapping.

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The Revenant is a grueling, magical, cinematic masterpiece. Leonardo DiCaprio is excellent and Tom Hardy is possibly just as special, if not maybe even a slight step above, with his performance as a real sadistic “bad guy” in the film. Alejandro González Iñárritu may have struck gold once again with this enthralling film that sucks you in from the very first scene by making you realize that you are in for a wild ride that’s coupled alongside some magnificent cinematography. The movie runs close to two and a half hours; however I never became disengaged. The Revenant never felt dull or dry because we were continuously fed one great scene after another. Great movie, a must watch, and definitely has some Oscar potential. Quite possibly one of the best movies I have seen since 12 Years a Slave. A+

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The Hateful Eight was a very well made Quentin Tarantino movie. I make a point to say “Tarantino movie” because I feel that if you are a fan of his work, then you will like this one. However, if you are a casual fan of the movies and maybe are not too familiar with his previous flicks, than you might just come away feeling slightly disappointed. Samuel L Jackson, Kurt Russell, Michael Madsen, and Bruce Dern are unquestionably standouts in this film, while the rest of the supporting cast are not too shabby themselves. But with the extensive running time of 3 hours or so and the ultra-lengthy moments of dialogue, I think it could leave some movie-goers feeling slightly anxious for the end. Good movie, a lot of dialogue with a sprinkling of some very “Tarantino” R-rated scenes that push the envelope as only he would know how to do best. B

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens was just so much fun! You go in expecting to be thrown into the world of Star Wars with the anticipation of a thrill ride and this film surely delivers. I couldn’t help but think about the fact that so many kids and teenagers who maybe are not necessarily familiar with the original 6 films, will instantly become transformed into Star Wars junkies after watching this one. I sat there with my 3D glasses, my popcorn and soda, and was entertained from start to finish. The new characters Rey, Finn, Kylo Ren, Poe, and BB-8, bring an enthusiasm to the film that Episodes 1-3 lacked. J.J. Abrams did a magnificent job of giving us a high quality stepping stone into the future of the franchise. This new rendition pays homage to the former episodes all while remaining fresh and unique. I cannot wait for what is to come! Someone should let George Lucas know that his darling baby is in good hands. A

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CREED.  Allow me to begin by saying that Sylvester Stallone is pretty darn good in this spinoff of the Rocky franchise. Michael B. Jordan stars as the young up and coming aspiring boxer Adonis “Donnie” Johnson, his father was the infamous Apollo Creed. Donnie hooks up with his father’s old rival Rocky Balboa, now aging, but fully intact with his boxing capabilities. Jordan looks the part and some of the boxing fight scenes are as realistic as I have ever seen. I went in expecting a corny and predictable remake of Rocky, but Creed did and will stand on its own as one of the better (if not the best) films in the series. I am a diehard boxing fan, so this movie was right up my alley. If you like action movies with grit than you will enjoy it, and even if you want to just sit down and turn your brain off, than this movie will not disappoint. Let’s just say even my fiancée and sister enjoyed watching it (that says a lot). B

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}}Andrew

Movie Review: Star Wars (2015)

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)
Directed by J.J. Abrams
Written by J.J. Abrams, Lawrence Kasdan and Michael Arndt

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To say that the world has been patiently waiting for Star Wars: The Force Awakens to come to life is an understatement. Gladly enough the wait is over and the film is worth every year, minute, and second that fans have waited for because it delivers on all aspects. The film takes places 30 years after where Star Wars: Return of the Jedi left off. Director J.J. Abrams was only 17 years old when that film was released in 1983 and it is evident that he carried his teenage nostalgia and sentiment and brought it to life in the new one.

The film is centered on two unlikely heroes who meet for the first time in a dusty planet far, far away. This sounds so much like the originals, yet not one moment felt forced or contrite, instead it felt like every scene was paying homage to the original films without making the new one feel, what’s the word I am looking for, lame. To have walked out of the theater feeling duped and unsatisfied (cough, cough think Star Wars: Phantom Menace) would have been a travesty to all the fans, but this film did just the opposite. I left feeling giddy and happy like a little kid reliving the first time I saw the original films. My smile beaming from ear to ear, all I needed was a cherry lollipop and some Star Wars stickers to make me feel complete again.

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The story takes place years after Darth Vader’s death and the culmination of Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) realizing that he was related to Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) and subsequently her marriage to Han Solo (Harrison Ford). The First Order has risen to power led by both Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) and General Hux (Domnhall Gleeson) who are being commanded by Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis), a figure head that knows all and sees all and wants the Resistance to be destroyed.

The Resistance is led by Leia Organa who seeks to find her long lost brother Luke. She sends X-wing pilot Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) to the planet of Jakku to find a mysterious map that will uncover his whereabouts. Poe hides the map in his droid BB-8, a little ball-like robot that is loyal to a fault and what happens from here is the First Order’s chase to find both.

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Stormtroopers have always been known to be the hench men that carry out the bad guys’ evil orders, never retreating back or disobeying orders, but there is one FN-2187 who seems to have a conscious. Unable to shoot people anymore and carry out the First Order’s malicious plans he defects and ends up as Finn (John Boyega). He joins the Resistance, almost unknowingly and ends up meeting Rey (Daisy Ridley), a scavenger from Jakku who is handy with electronics and smart as a whip. The two form a friendship that will be remain as timeless in movie history as Leia and Luke (yet these two aren’t related, at least I don’t think so) and create legions of new Star Wars fans. Along their journey to keep BB-8 safe, they face bad guys like Kylo Ren and meet the legendary characters of Han Solo, Chewbacca, R2-D2 and C3-PO.

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One of my favorite aspects of the film was how it kept much of the editing and camera work similar to the originals. There were many wipe transitions, that classic editing style where one side of the frame is replaced by another, this was used in old Sci-Fi and 80’s flicks and one George Lucas commonly employed. Many of the camera shots were low angle, where the camera is angled to look up at the actor causing them to look bigger in the frame (think Darth Vader in the originals) this was used many times whenever General Hux or Kylo Ren entered the picture. Abrams was deliberate and smart for using these techniques because it helped to not make the movie look to overly modern and if one was to sit and watch all the movies in a row it wouldn’t feel so disjointed and odd.

I loved the addition and the highlighting of a strong female character in Rey. I always wanted Leia to have a little more oomph and Rey gives us just that and more. Ridley brought strength and warmness to the character and was able to play off of heavy-hitter Ford with no problem and only helped to further enhance his scenes. Boyega brought a lot of personality to his character and the film and interjected with some of my favorite lines. Together the two newcomers worked well off each other and brought a ton of chemistry and likeability to the film.

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Driver gave Kylo Ren that mixture of vulnerability and evilness and it worked just right, hats off to him for scoring the role of a lifetime. Another one of my favorites was Isaac, who in my eyes always delivers as an actor. He made Poe seem fun and exciting, yet heroic and loyal and I loved seeing him interact with Leia. Who wouldn’t want to join the resistance after meeting him? And who cannot forget BB-8, the little ball of fun that stole the show, I think he was my favorite aspect of the whole film.

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I encourage every lover of cinema to go see this movie; whether or not they are die-hard Star Wars geeks (I mean fans). Viewers need not go in to the film knowing every bit of Star Wars history to enjoy it, I know that can seem intimidating to some who are not that invested, so if that is you don’t let that stop you from seeing it. Star Wars: The Force Awakens was a fun, thrill-ride of a movie and not one minute of it is time wasted. Do yourself a favor, use the force and score yourself some popcorn and tickets and go see this movie.

}}Melissa

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Also posted on Pink Egg Media

Top 12 Best, Most Interesting and Worst Moments of the Golden Globes

Last night Ricky Gervais hosted the 73rd annual Golden Globes and I have to say he did a great job. Despite all the hate he got for hosting before, they still decided to bring him back and it was obvious why they did. He’s funny. Plain and simple he is able to poke fun at Hollywood actors like no one else. Along with his British crass, you can tell he does not give one bloody flying f*%$@! about pissing anyone off. He did it all in good fun and brought hilarity to what is usually an overall boring night.

Let’s talk about some of the best, most interesting and worst moments of the night.

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1. The Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum bear bit. I don’t know I just didn’t care for it and thought it was kinda lame. And seriously what was up with Tatum’s hair?

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2. Streaming services showed network stations what’s up. Amazon Video won many awards with its’ wins for Mozart in the Jungle. It won for both Best Comedy/Musical TV series and Best Actor for Gael Garcia Bernal in the same category. Take that Netflix and Hulu.

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2. Oscar Issac for the Best Actor win for Show Me a Hero. I love that the world is finally starting to realize what a powerhouse of an actor he is and he truly deserved it. Honestly though he should have won for best dancing with his moves in Ex Machina.

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3. Best Joke of the night had to be when Ricky Gervais welcomed Matt Damon onto the stage by saying, “He’s been the only person Ben Affleck hasn’t been unfaithful to.” LOL.

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4. The numerous explicative words that had to be edited out kind of ruined the night for me. It got to the point that whole sentences were bleeped out and as someone watching it made me go okay what the hell just happened. NBC should have lightened up and not left audiences in the dark.

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5. When Eva Longoria and America Ferrara poked fun at how Latin actresses are all confused as one. They mentioned that no they are not Eva Mendes, Charo or Rosario Dawson. They were obviously jabbing at the slip-up that occurred at the Golden Globes nominations ceremony when one presenter confused Ferrara with Gina Rodriguez.

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6.  Ryan Gosling and Brad Pitt on the same stage. They did a goofy bit that was kind of stupid, but who really cares because they are both gorgeous. I think women all around the world were falling off their seats. Can someone tell me how Brad Pitt is not aging?

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7. Stallone got a standing ovation for his win with Creed, but he forgot to thank director Ryan Coogler and co-star Michael B. Jordan. WTF. But he did thank his imaginary friend Rocky Balboa.

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8. When Lady Gaga bumped Leonardo DiCaprio on the way to accept her award. The look on his face was priceless and the Twitter world went crazy with their reactions to the moment. I think it was funny because we rarely see Leo seem so real, he usually stays out of the media and does so few interviews that he is rather elusive. Seeing him act like a normal person with a funny reaction was great.

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9. The weirdness between Ricky Gervais and Mel Gibson. Gervais said, “I want to say something nice about Mel before he comes out. So: I’d rather have a drink with him in his hotel room tonight than with Bill Cosby.” Then there were more pauses filled with bleeps where we had no idea what they were saying. The bit between them was somewhat funny, but also felt awkward and weird and Gibson is still an oddball.

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10. Leonardo DiCaprio won Best Actor for The Revenant and it was awesome to see him get recognized for his work. I have loved him ever since he was on Growing Pains (haha), so I was super happy to see him win.

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11. Seeing Leo and Kate hugging and chatting off camera. What a moment for my inner teenage self to see Jack and Rose reunited once again. And now there are a million memes floating off of this moment.

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12. Alejandro González Iñárritu’s win for Best Director for The Revenant. So excited to see him win this year, he lost out last year to Boyhood. I am sure this is only a sign of things to come for the Oscars. Also, what a win for Latino directors and actors, I love it!

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What moments did you love or hate this year? I am also curious, do you guys even bother watching why or why not?

 

December Favorites

I feel like I have not been on here in what feels like ages. I am trying to get back into the swing of things and start posting more regularly and catching up on everyone’s blogs that I love reading. I have missed our little blogging world and feel happy to be back.

With December came the end of many great shows. Homeland was great, The Affair was one of the best, but I decided to include some other shows I loved instead. In case anyone else is going through their January wondering what the hell else to watch because everything has ended, here are some of my recommendations that I enjoyed last month.

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Master of None (Netflix)

I just finished Aziz Ansari’s new Netflix show Master of None and I have to say it is probably one of the best shows I saw in 2015. Ansari stars as Dev, an up and coming struggling Indian actor in New York City, who lives like a typical 20-something. He hangs out with his friends a lot and they talk about all kinds of random stuff from dating in a text driven world to sex to trying to figure out with your friends what to eat for lunch (we all know that the struggle is real with that one).

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One of my favorite aspects of the show is how he discusses his relationship with his parents (played by his actual real parents) and how he tries to find that balance living as a first generation Indian in America. I really love that he explored that dynamic because it has not been seen at all almost never on TV, but it is totally relatable for anyone who has a family from another country. Also his dad is probably one of my favorite characters on the show, he’s seriously funny.

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I wish someone would do the same for Mexican-Americans or Latin-Americans. I would love to see that play out similar to Ansari’s show versus some corny mocked up version of what someone else believes to be true for our culture. Regardless, this is a great show, if you are in the mood for something fun and light-hearted to watch on Netflix, than check this one out.

 

 

 Broadchurch: Season 2 (Netflix)

OMG I have been waiting on pins and needles for Season 2 of Broadchurch for what has felt like ever. Finally I saw that Netflix put it up and I watched it in two days. I think I am now having pangs that Season 3 is not here yet. This is definitely not a happy go lucky, fun show to watch, not the type of thing you watch with friends and have a jolly old time. It’s pretty dang depressing, but it’s one of the best shows on television. The acting is phenomenal and the writing is fantastic.

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Season 1 left us with the catching of Danny Latimer’s killer by DI’s Alex Hardy (David Tennant) and Ellie Miller (Olivia Colman) and Season 2 brings us to the trial of the killer and a new case for the detectives. Both Tennant and Colman are phenomenal actors and deserve awards for this show. The small coastal town where the murder takes place is beautiful and lends itself to the characters losing themselves in the grassy fields and staring off into the horizon. If you are a fan of murder mysteries and enjoy British dramas, then you should definitely take some time to watch this because it will not disappoint.

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}}Melissa