SAG Awards 2016: My Predictions

SAG.jpgHere’s the latest installment of my new tradition: hastily assembled predictions for the winners of tonight’s Screen Actors Guild Awards, broadcast at 8pm on TNT and TBS, and streaming here. (These predictions don’t reflect my preferences, except when they do.)

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The M&M Report: 2015 in Review

On this episode of The M&M Report, Devin Mitchell and I look back on our favorite movies, TV, music, cultural moments and more from the past year. Listen for Devin’s passionate-ish defense of Ballers and my emotional reaction to the triumphant rise of Oscar Isaac, as well as our choices for favorite movie, SNL episode and late-night TV development.


Don’t forget, you can now subscribe to our podcast on iTunes and download the feed directly into the podcast app of your choice. New episodes should show up on your feed immediately and on iTunes within a day or two of release. Subscribe away!

Peruse the M&M Report category page for previous episodes of the podcast. Thanks for listening!

Golden Globes 2016: My Slapdash Predictions

Each year, a collection of fewer than 100 international journalists known as the Hollywood Foreign Press Association choose their favorites in film and television from the past year. The awards are delivered at a raucous, booze-infused ceremony televised on NBC in January. This year, they’re coming just four days before the Oscar nominations.

Precedent suggests the HFPA doesn’t put a ton of rigorous thought or intellectual judgment into its decisions for the winners, so I’ve followed suit and cobbled together a list of predictions based entirely on instinct. Any time I wavered or waffled, I forced myself to pick a nominee and move on. Take this list as seriously as you do the average Golden Globe choice — which is to say, not much at all. Check back tonight to see how well I did.

MOVIES

Best Motion Picture, DramaSpotlight

Best Actress in a Drama: Brie Larson, Room

Best Actor in a Drama: Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant

Best Motion Picture, ComedyThe Big Short

Best Actress in a Comedy: Jennifer Lawrence, Joy

Best Actor in a Comedy: Matt Damon, The Martian

Best Animated Motion PictureInside Out

Best Foreign Language Motion PictureSon of Saul

Best Supporting Actress: Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight

Best Supporting Actor: Sylvester Stallone, Creed

Best Director: Alejandro G. Inarritu, The Revenant

Best Screenplay: Charles Randolph and Adam McKay, The Big Short

Best Original Score: Alexandre Desplat, The Danish Girl

Best Original Song: “See You Again,” Wiz Khalifa feat. Charlie Puth, Furious 7

TELEVISION

Best Drama SeriesEmpire

Best Actress, Drama: Taraji P. Henson, Empire

Best Actor, Drama: Wagner Moura, Narcos

Best Comedy SeriesCasual

Best Actress, Comedy: Jamie Lee Curtis, Scream Queens

Best Actor, Comedy: Rob Lowe, The Grinder

Best Limited SeriesFargo

Best Actress in a Limited Series: Lady Gaga, American Horror Story: Hotel

Best Actor in a Limited Series: Oscar Isaac, Show Me a Hero

Best Supporting Actress: Judith Light, Transparent

Best Supporting Actor: Christian Slater, Mr. Robot

“Star Wars”: The Franchise Awakens

BB-8I’m not the right age to have Star Wars imprinted on my DNA. I’m too young to have seen the original movies when they stormed theaters from 1977 to 1983, and too old to look past the tonal and narrative flaws of the prequels. Star Wars: The Force Awakens is a movie I wasn’t particularly clamoring for and didn’t really need. I like the originals just fine and found the prequels interesting as a fill-in-the-blanks exercise, but the cultlike devotion to the franchise has always eluded my grasp.

That’s not to say I wasn’t swept up in the multimillion dollar hype machine for this decade-in-the-making sequel, the first Star Wars movie produced without the guiding hand of creator George Lucas. I’d have to be made of stone not to feel some enthusiasm the sight of the movie’s young stars Daisy Ridley and John Boyega parading across the late-night talk shows or the typically taciturn Harrison Ford grinning from ear to ear at the climax of the teaser trailer. But I watched approvingly from the margins, regarding the entire spectacle as another uncomfortable mix of creativity and commerce. I never fully engaged with the excitement, even as I recognize, respect and appreciate that others did.

(Avoid reading the rest of this review until you’ve seen the movie. I spoil some things.)

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The M&M Report: “Room,” Grantland and Devin Doesn’t Like Things (!)

Brie

On this episode of The M&M Report, Devin Mitchell and I review the claustrophobia-inducing drama Room, which stars Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay as a mother and child held captive in a garden shed for more than five years. This movie freaked us out, but we recommend it.

Then we paid tribute to one of our favorite web sites: Grantland, which ESPN abruptly shuttered a couple weeks ago.

And finally, Devin explains why he doesn’t want to hear one more word about the 2016 election. (This episode was recorded on Sunday, before Tuesday’s GOP debate.)

Room – 0:25
Grantland ends – 20:56
Devin Doesn’t Like Things: 2016 Election – 36:05

Peruse the M&M Report category page for previous episodes of the podcast. Thanks for listening!

“Jurassic World”: Less Dino, More Problems

Jurassic World

During the climax of Jurassic World, two dinosaurs tear into each other with ferocity and menace. The movie builds to this moment, capturing its CGI spectacle in loving wide shots with Michael Giacchino’s nostalgia-tinged score pumping in the background. But for a few seconds, the camera pans to the movie’s three main characters, who are darting in between the dinosaurs’ legs, scrambling to get out of the way.

I wish they had. Human characters are a necessary component of any movie in which dinosaurs terrorize a theme park full of unsuspecting vacationers. But Jurassic World makes a convincing argument that future installments (of which there will undoubtedly be many) ought to do away with them entirely. The movie squanders good actors and does bad no ones no favors. It seems confident that its characterizations have one or two more dimensions than they actually do. And it’s hard to build up a dino-fueled head of steam when the action periodically pauses for another round of unconvincing dialogue.

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The M&M Report, Episode 61: “Spy” and “Mad Men” Finale

Spy

The M&M Report is back! Devin Mitchell and I are continuing our pop culture podcast after a brief hiatus. Last time you heard us, we were broadcasting from The Eagle. Since then, I’ve graduated from American University, which means I’m no longer a staff member at the school’s student newspaper. Sad as that is, Devin and I are excited to bring the podcast into a new era.

This week, Devin and I talked about the excellent new Paul Feig comedy Spy (2:00-18:19) and offered some further reflections on the series finale of Mad Men (18:20-43:20), following our written reaction the day after the episode aired.

For more M&M Report action, click the category page on the left side of the blog or listen to previous episodes on The Eagle. (A more easily navigable M&M Report home page is forthcoming, so stay tuned.)