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Sunday, September 29, 2013

Girl Most Likely (written by: Michelle Morgan; directed by: Shari Springer Berman & Robert Pulcini)

Imogene is a failed New York playwright awkwardly navigating the transition from Next Big Thing to Last Year's News. After both her career and relationship hit the skids, she is forced to make the humiliating move back home to New Jersey with her eccentric mother and younger brother. Adding further insult to injury, there is a strange man sleeping in her old bedroom and an even stranger man sleeping in her mother's bed.

Starring: Kristen Wiig, Annette Bening, Matt Dillon, Darren Criss, Christopher Fitzgerald, June Diane Raphael, Natasha Lyonne, Bob Balaban, Sydney Lucas

Why I loved this film: It is one of the best comedies out there at the moment!
Unlike many others, 'Girl Most Likely' does not turn to gross-out humour for its laughs, but rather generates them from character, dialogue, timing, and visuals - which are very cleverly thought out.
This is also the first movie I have seen starring Darren Criss and - if I was ever in doubt - I am sure that this guy can do anything: he sings, he acts, he dances, he is funny, and he does all that in one single movie. Watch out Justin Timberlake!
I also loved Kristen Wiig and Annete Bening's dialogues. They were the funniest and most insightful.
A true laugh from beginning to end!

Monday, September 23, 2013

The 65th Primetime Emmy Awards

Hosted by Neil Patrick Harris
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series: Merritt Wever (Nurse Jackie)
Note: Shortest speech ever... Or 'best speech ever' in the words of Neil Patrick Harris!

Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series: Tina Fey & Tracey Wigfield (30 Rock)

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series: Tony Hale (Veep)

Robin Wiliams pays tribute to Jonathan Winters (1925-2013): Actor known for his comic roles, among which are ten Grammy-nominated recordings. He died at the age of 87 of natural causes.

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series: Julia Louis-Dreyfus
Note: Another very funny speech-performance, as always!

Outstanding Guest Actor/Actress in a Comedy Series: Melissa Leo (Louie) and Bob Newhart (The Big Bang Theory)

Outstanding Director in a Comedy Series: Gail Mancuso (Modern Family)

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series: Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory)

Rob Reiner pays tribute to Jean Stapleton (1923-2013): Actress better known for giving life to character Edith Bunker in 'All in the Family'.
Note: I watched this show years later and loved it! R.I.P.

Sir Elton John pays an emotional tribute to Liberace: Introduction by actors Michael Douglas and Matt Damon

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie: Laura Linney (The Big C)
Matt Damon: 'She's such a great actress that she couldn't even be bothered to show up'

Outstanding Writing in a Drama Series: Henry Bromell (Homeland) - Henry passed away earlier this year. His award was accepted by his wife, Sarah Bromell.

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series: Anna Gunn (Breaking Bad)

Jane Lynch pays an emotional tribute to Cory Monteith (1982-2013): Glee actor who passed away this summer from drug addiction. As Jane usually refers to him, 'a bright light'.

Neil Patrick Harris finally does the musical number everyone has been expecting 'in the middle of the show'

Outstanding Reality Competition Program: The Voice

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series: Bobby Cannavale (Boardwalk Empire)

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series: Jeff Daniels (The Newsroom)
Note: About time too!

Don Cheadle pays tribute to the last 50 years by remembering the Kennedys and The Beatles: Carrie Underwood sings 'Yesterday'

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series: Claire Danes (Homeland)

Outstanding Guest Actor/Actress in a Drama Series: Dan Bucatinsky (Scandal) and Carrie Preston (The Good Wife)

Outstanding Directing in a Drama Series: David Fincher (House of Cards)

Outstanding Writing in a Variety Series: The Colbert Report

Outstanding Directing in a Variety Series: Don Roy King (Saturday Night Live)

Michael J. Fox pays tribute to Gary David Goldberg (1944-2013): The creator of Family Ties.

Outstanding Choreography: Derek Hough (Dancing with the Stars)

Outstanding Variety Series: The Colbert Report

Edie Falco pays tribute to James Gandolfini (1961-2013): The Sopranos star.

Outstanding Writing in a Miniseries or Movie: Abi Morgan (The Hour)

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Movie: James Cromwell (American Horror Story)

In Memoriam

Outstanding Directing in a Miniseries or Movie: Steven Soderbergh (Behind the Candelabra)

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie: Ellen Burstyn (Political Animals)

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie: Michael Douglas (Behind the Candelabra)
Note: Another hilarious speech

Outstanding Miniseries or Movie: Behind the Candelabra

Outstanding Comedy Series: Modern Family

Outstanding Drama Series: Breaking Bad

That is all for the 2013 Emmys!

Friday, September 06, 2013

Jobs (Director: Joshua Michael Stern; Writer: Matt Whiteley)

The story of Steve Jobs' ascension from college dropout into one of the most revered creative entrepreneurs of the 20th century.

Starring: Ashton Kutcher, Dermot Mulroney, Josh Gad, Lukas Haas, Matthew Modine, J.K. Simmons, Lesley Ann Warren, Ron Eldard, Ahna O'Reilly, Kevin Dunn, James Woods, Lenny Jacobson, David Denman, Abby Brammell, Annika Bertea, Amanda Crew

Why I loved this film: I was not acquainted with the tumultuous early years of the Apple founder, therefore this movie seemed very interesting to me. Beginning in 2001 with the unveiling of his masterpiece, the iPod, to rapturous applause, the clock is then set back thirty years to 1971, when Jobs was a student at Reed College, Portland.
The storytelling is pretty straightforward, covering the important events of his professional ups and downs but providing little details beyond what is already public knowledge. Jobs' crucial relationship with Wozniak is not very clear, not only because it omits how they met and their chemistry, but also because it barely explains why Woz quit Apple dissatisfied with the direction the company was heading and the person that Jobs had become; We see Jobs dumping his pregnant girlfriend and refusing to recognise his newly born daughter as his own early on, but are given little explanation on how and why he settles down and turns into a family man later. However, I found Ashton Kutcher's portrait of Steve Jobs quite surprising, one can tell Kutcher has put in a lot of effort into the role, emulating his character's awkwardly hunched posture as well as his voice and gestures, to some degree.
Other critics may not agree, but for someone who did not know the Man very well, this was a really interesting movie, which made me believe that if you put your mind to it and never give up, anything is possible. You cannot be too good or life will get you!

We're the Millers (Bob Fisher, Steve Faber, Sean Anders, John Morris)

Directed by: Rawson Marshall Thurber
After being robbed, small-time pot dealer David is forced by his boss to go to Mexico to pick up a load of marijuana. In order to improve his odds of making it past the border, David asks the broke stripper Rose and two local teenagers to join him and pretend that they are on a family holiday.

Starring: Jennifer Aniston, Jason Sudeikis, Emma Roberts, Will Poulter, Nick Offerman, Kathryn Hahn, Molly C. Quinn, Tomer Sisley

My thoughts on this film: This is not a gold mine of comedy by any means, but it did the job!
It made me laugh!
They really brought together a dysfunctional family and did it in a way that allowed for some suspension and disbelief.
The 'family' we see on screen is funny, in some ways disgusting, and in a few ways charming.
I loved the story, the characters, and found it quite original in comparison to modern comedy.