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.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Oscars 2014: Last-Minute Predictions

Gravity

For my predictions and analysis of the major categories in this year’s seemingly endless horse race, check out my collaboration with Devin Mitchell for The Eagle. Once you’re done with that, here’s a very quick list of the rest of my predictions. I arrived at all of them with the utmost scientific accuracy. (Okay, so I guessed on most of them.)

Continue reading

The M&M Report, Episode 22: Wrong Side of the Tracks

House of Cards

Listen to Episode 22 of The M&M Report here.

This week on The M&M Report, Devin and I welcomed a very special guest: self-described “House of Cards enthusiast” Leah Doolittle. Leah and Devin kicked off the podcast with an in-depth discussion of the best and worst of season 2, from the twist in the premiere to the shockers later.

After Devin and Leah’s discussion, I offered my thoughts (okay, a rant) on the subject of pop-culture shaming in the first installment of Mark Occasionally Doesn’t Like Things. Why is it acceptable for people to tell me that I have to watch House of Cards just because they watch it and think it’s cool? It’s not.

Finally, Devin and I offered some brief thoughts on Jimmy Fallon‘s first week as host of The Tonight Show. So far, Jay hasn’t breathed a word in dissent, but there’s still time.

Next week, we’ll be doing something special. Instead of doing another preview of the Oscars and then talking about the show a week later, when you’ll have already forgotten about it, Devin and I will press “Record” immediately after the telecast ends on Sunday night, and you can listen to it by Monday morning. We’ll talk best and worst moments, biggest surprises and much more.

Until next time…thanks for listening!

Click through for the time breakdown.

Continue reading

The M&M Report, Episode 17: The Year’s Best Movies

12 Years a Slave


 

Welcome to The M&M Report! This week, Devin and I broke down the Oscar nominees in the major categories, offering our thoughts on the nominees, as well as some alternatives who we would have enjoyed seeing on the list. We closed by listing our five favorite movies of 2013. (For further reading, check out my thoughts on the Oscar nominations.)

Devin and I are proud to announce that The M&M Report will be moving to TheEagleOnline.com beginning next week. We’re very excited to bring a podcast presence to our student newspaper, and we hope that you’ll join us in our transition. Our shows will be very much the same, though perhaps a little shorter – we know firsthand that college students have busy schedules. We’ll start the new era of The M&M Report with a discussion of one of our favorite shows, The West Wing. Plus, the triumphant return of Devin Doesn’t Like Things.

Until then…thanks for listening!

Click through for the time breakdown.

Continue reading

The Oscar Nominations: Outside “Llewyn Davis,” Little to Complain About

Hemsworth

First, some obligatory awards season perspective: the Oscars don’t matter to you. You’re allowed to like a movie whether it was nominated for Best Picture or not. You are your own Oscars.

If that’s the case, why do we get so worked up about snubs and surprises and predictions and hopes and dreams? We want to see quality work recognized. The Academy Awards are one of the most common starting points for someone looking at the films of a particular year. If the awards don’t reflect the best movies, they’ll provide an inaccurate reflection of what we thought about film in 2013.

Nonetheless, complaining about the Oscar nominations is futile. It’s better to look at them as a starting point for discussions about the merits of movies. In that spirit, I’ve chosen four nominated-related things that made me happy this morning, and four that made me less than happy. Let’s use this list as a way of talking about movies, not awards.

(For more of my thoughts on the subject, stay tuned for this week’s episode of The M&M Report, in which Devin Mitchell and I will talk in depth about the year in movies.)

Continue reading

Alright, Alright, Alriiiiiight…Thoughts on the 2014 Golden Globe Awards

Slave

Technical glitches and Jacqueline Bisset-bombs aside, last night’s Golden Globe Awards telecast was a standard affair: drunken speechess, witty one-liners and confusing winners. Here’s a look at what five takeaways from last night’s show. (Read the full list of winners here.)

Continue reading

“American Hustle”: The Roaring 70s

American Hustle

Perhaps the biggest pleasure of the enormously pleasurable American Hustle is watching four of the finest living movie stars sink their teeth into meaty roles and have more fun than you’re ever likely to have. Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Amy Adams and Jennifer Lawrence make up the movie’s central quartet of lovable conmen and conmen wannabes, each apparently engaging in a contest to see which one can generate the most onscreen sparks. Anchored by this magnificent quartet, director David O. Russell’s follow-up to last year’s Oscar winning romance Silver Linings Playbook is overlong, narratively confounding, tonally precarious and utterly exhilarating.

Though the story is inspired by the FBI’s utterly insane Abscam sting, which claimed four senators and one representative in the late 1970s, an amusing introductory title card makes Russell’s intentions quite clear. “Some of this actually happened,” the card reads, absolving the movie of any pesky adherence to historical fact. The movie revels in this freedom. It’s not a documentary, nor does it pretend to be. Rather, as scripted by Russell and Eric Singer, it’s an exploration of four characters searching for their own identities even as they assume others.

Continue reading