Oscars 2014: Back Down to Earth

Ellen

I already spent 35 minutes pontificating about last night’s Oscars on a special instant-reaction edition of The M&M Report. Nonetheless, I’ve still got a few more thoughts on last night’s show to offer. How did Ellen succeed where so many other hosts have failed? Why did Idina Menzel stumble when we all expected her to soar? Why are the Oscars relevant to discussing movies? My answers to these questions and more below.

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Three More Thoughts on “Saving Mr. Banks”

Mr. Banks

Saving Mr. Banks, written by Kelly Marcel and Sue Smith and directed by John Lee Hancock (The Blind Side), tells the story of P.L. Travers, the author of the beloved Mary Poppins children’s novels, who clashed with the production staff at Disney over every aspect of the company’s adaptation of her novel for the big screen. Before we get to my “three more thoughts,” here’s my review for The Eagle:

Saving Mr. Banks is a testament to the cathartic power of artistic expression. It’s also an appealing showcase for a wide array of talented actors and an opportunity for Disney to pay tribute to its rich and complex history. Though it occasionally lapses into rote sentimentality and overdoses on manipulative melodrama, the film packs a punch with its nuanced depiction of a story that most people are only glancingly familiar with.”

Read the rest of my review for The Eagle here, then keep scrolling for three more thoughts.

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Three More Thoughts on the 2014 Grammy Nominations

Lorde

I’ve already complained about the clunky telecast for the 2014 Grammy nominations in my piece for The Eagle. Nonetheless, I have a few more thoughts (three, in fact) on the nominations in general.

First, to quote from my piece:

“Despite some oversights, the nominations reflected the wide, if scattered, range of excellent pop music in 2013. Rising country star Kacey Musgraves nabbed three well-deserved nominations including one for Best New Artist. The Grammys embraced the anti-establishment alternative hip-hop of Lorde and the irrepressible smooth of Daft Punk. Taylor Swift’s excellent album Red ended up in the Album of the Year category, suggesting that the Grammys have longer memories than they are given credit for.”

Read on for three more thoughts.

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Three More Thoughts on the 2013 AMAs

JT

Even though I live-blogged the entire three-hour behemoth last night, I have lots to say about the 2013 American Music Awards. The live-blog format is necessarily limiting, and I’ve revised or expanded many of my opinions since the show aired. With that in mind, here are three big takeaways from this awards show (one of the silliest around, don’t forget.)

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Three More Thoughts on Miley Cyrus’ “Bangerz”

Miley

Miley Cyrus has been in the news quite a bit lately, but one of the least talked-about aspects of the Miley of it all is the music. I gave Miley’s new album “Bangerz” a mixed review in The Eagle’s latest Album Reviews Brew.

“In case anyone lived under a rock for the past few months, Miley Cyrus dominated the pop culture conversation with foam fingers, giant teddy bears, gratuitous nudity and problematic associations with hip-hop culture. “Bangerz,” her first album to fully abandon all traces of her Hannah Montana origins, is neither a game-changing triumph nor an outright disaster. Instead, it lands somewhere in the middle: several songs are excellent with strong vocal performances, but many of the raunchier hip-hop-flavored tracks fall flat.”

Read the rest of my review here. Click through for three more thoughts!

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Three More Thoughts on “Rush”

Rush

Introducing my new feature, “Review Plus Three.” As the Assistant Entertainment Editor, I’ll be writing about various pop culture-related things for The Eagle, but there’s always room to expand. Here are three more thoughts on Ron Howard’s racing drama Rush.)

“Director Ron Howard’s biographical drama “Rush” takes nearly half an hour to rev its engines, but once it does, it’s a solid, sturdy, frequently thrilling survey of two adrenaline-craving Formula One racers battling for the coveted 1976 championship title.”

Read the rest of my Rush review here. Click through for three more thoughts!

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Three More Thoughts on the Emmys

(Introducing “Three More Thoughts,” a new feature on my blog. In each post, I’ll include a link to my article for The Eagle about a particular topic – in this case, the Emmy awards. Then, I’ll add three more thoughts – hence the title – that didn’t make it into my initial piece.)

Even though the show was honoring the best of television, last night’s Emmy Awards telecast was decidedly not the best of television. Read on my for piece at The Eagle, plus my three additional thoughts.

Breaking Bad and Modern Family took home the top prizes for Outstanding Drama and Comedy Series at the Emmy Awards last night. It was a night of surprise winners, technical difficulties and awkwardly integrated musical performances. Neil Patrick Harris hosted as well as he could, under the circumstances, but even the magical NPH couldn’t atone for the many sins of this year’s Emmys telecast.”

Read the rest here. And read on for three more thoughts!

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