My Favorite Holiday Films (Updated)

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on 11/12/2014 by Kevin Entrekin

A few years back I wrote an article listing my five favorite Christmas films, and it in review is pretty bad writing. And though I still stand by some of the films, I included Home Alone and It’s A Wonderful Life in that list. And if I’m honest, as enjoyable as those films are, I will survive each year without viewing either of them. Because I don’t really enjoy most films with a heavy focus on the holidays, more the ones who just happen to take place during. They all would make ole’ Saint Nick blush and add you to the naughty list, which is the where you should be anyways. So here is my updated, true, five six favorite X-Mas films. And maybe they’ll be aides in your survival of the holidays as well.

  •  Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005)

kisskissIf I could choose only one film to consider essential personal viewing during the holidays, I’d choose Shane Black’s genre-blending Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. What more could you want? Murder. Mystery. An inept Robert Downey Jr. Val Kilmer as a gay private eye. And femmes Michelle Monaghan and Shannyn Sossamon round out an even more expansively talented cast in a modern, comical noir. Black’s name has more provenance since last year with his sophomore directing effort, a little indie flick called Iron Man 3. And he wrote another film on this list, but more on that later. But this film, clever and underratedly brilliant, is still one of my favorite films.

  • Die Hard (1988)

diehardI have only ever seen two Die Hard films. The original McClane classic and then the terrible A Good Day to Die Hard. And I’m fine with that. The original has a plethora of fun and mayhem to satisfy each repeat viewing. You get a primed and smart-ass Bruce Willis facing off against wicked Alan Rickman set in Nakatomi Towers. There is an unmistakable 80’s aesthetic without straying too far into the stereotype. Well… anyways, think of it like this: it is that crappy Christmas party you were invited to, but exciting. So get together, have a few laughs, and listen to Theo recite ‘Twas the night before Christmas”.

  • Trading Places (1983)

jlc4Time to buffer that action with some comedy, and what better way to do that than with this classic Landis 80’s Pauper-adaptation. It has many great actors (sadly) at the height of their careers. Eddie Murphy is hilarious yet sincere as a poor black man given a job as a stock trader. Dan Aykroyd is equally entertaining as snooty stock trader turned poor white man. And Jamie Lee Curtis, who (no secret) I very much adore, is great as a smart prostitute with a heart of gold.

  • Lethal Weapon (1987)

lethal-weapon-2I love the Lethal Weapon films. They’re a guilty pleasure that I don’t really feel guilty about. It’s odd to me, that modern action films shy away from such a brilliant formula as these films. Yeah, you get to switch off and just watch, but not like now where people have to wipe away dribble from their lips at the end of a Michael Bay film. Did LW get a little ridiculous? Better believe it. I mean, a guy gets killed by a flying surfboard in the sequel. But there was some intelligence to these films, something to keep you lucid and connected. Before Gibson went nutty and Glover was actually too old for anything, they were one of the best buddy cop duos around. Well, they still are. And that Shane Black guy mentioned earlier? Yeah, he wrote it.

 

  •  National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)

Christmas-vacation-ssA December nary passes the Entrekin household before watching Clark Griswald’s decent into middle-class holiday hell. To this day, this comedic observation of those quirky people we call family is still relevant. Considering that this film comes from the Lampoon’s, a studio that pumps out about fifteen films a year and the last one that was of any relevance was… Christmas Vacation, that’s quite impressive.  Most everyone has a Eddie in the family, albeit a good bit more racist. Most everyone has heavily medicated grandparents that just stare at the tele and have the age-old conversation of how “the good ole days are gone”. And most everyone has strung out parents just trying to hold everything barely together.

  • Batman Returns (1992)

batmanbatman1

I mean… Batman. Catwoman. Penguin. Walken. Burton. Christmas. Can’t go wrong.

 

 

Yeah, the holidays can be hell sometimes. The haze of Christmas lights and seasonal scents and corporate greed sends some into a sedated existence. And then there are the Christmas social media defenders. You know, those people who get really worked up and hateful when underprivileged people point out inequality in America. They are the ones you mostly wonder why you added them to your Facebook in the first place.  The ones who like to share that “IT’S MERRY CHRISTMAS, NOT HAPPY HOLIDAYS” photo everyday. Yeah, screw those grinches. Anyways, this time of year can get pretty heavy for a lot of people. So spike that egg nog just a bit more, kick back with these films, and drift away from Grandpa Ulysses’ snoring.

 

LEGO MOVIE GIVEAWAY and other stuff.

Posted in Life with tags , , , on 22/06/2014 by Kevin Entrekin

 

LEGOIt’s been awhile loves. My absence from here has been a multitude of things. A time to reflect on the meaning of why I do this site. Pondering what to do with the future in regards to content and writing. My real hope in going forward with this site is expansion. Before my hiatus I ventured into writing about comics, and I’m fairly pleased with the outcome, as much as it popcorned a bit. I’d like to write more on that subject and other mediums of art and media, like television and possibly literature. I’d also like to make a more interactive environment, as well as bring in guest writers/bloggers. So, with that said, if you are interested in being a contributor, shoot me a email and we’ll talk.

For a quick update on what I have seen lately but have not written about:

  • Captain America 2- See it. Best MCU film yet. Others, take note.
  • Transcendence- See it. Slow paced, smart Sci-Fi.
  • Neighbors- Skip it. Mildly humorous, but laughs few and far between.
  • Godzilla- See it. Though you may feel like there is not enough of everyone’s favorite monster, this ‘Zilla will make you scrub any memory of Matthew Broderick away.
  • Amazing Spidey 2- See it. Plot a little bloated at times, but great villains entertain and Peter/Gwen chemistry will make you cry.
  • X-Men: DOFP: See it. How a Marvel film should be. Enjoyed it more than The Avengers.
  • Maleficent: Rent it. Where plot and Disney silliness fail, Angie carries.
  • Edge of Tomorrow: See it. A popcorn thriller with brains. A popcorn thriller with brains. A popcorn thriller with brains.

Now for some cool stuff- Did you see The Lego Movie? Of course you did. Everything about it was, indeed, awesome! And Warner Bros. and the awesome people at Partners Hub want you to bring the awesomeness home with you. They want to give you a Blu-Ray copy of the movie, sent directly to your door, for free. Pretty simple- Using the app below, make a six-second Lego gif (get creative with it!), which will be instantly posted to Youtube. Once made, Post the link to your video and your main email adress in the comments below. Best .gif wins. Awesome, huh?

Now the boring stuff you need to know-

  • Contest will end June, 25th June 30th on TMTB. I must have the winners shipping info by July 3rd. If you do not respond to my email within two days of sending, I will send a winner announcement to the second-runner up. And so on, so the first person to respond gets the prize of Lego goodness. So don’t be pissed off if you email me in two months and I inform you it’s too late.
  • No Facebook comments/messenger addresses will be taken. An example: The winner of The Conjuring contest was sent a message that way and it went directly into their “other” box and I’m guessing they still don’t know. Ridiculous Facebook feature in some aspects, I know.
  • Suggested by PartnerHub: Each household is only eligible to win The Lego Movie Blu-Ray via blog reviews and giveaways. Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.
  • Farts are not eligible for entry. Yes, I know you consider them ghost of yourself, but I am not a believer in ghost. I am a believer in your sulfurous gases forcibly escaping your bum, but that is no excuse to think you can submit multiple times.

Alright, so… after some difficulty, if you click on the photo below, you’ll be linked to someone else’s blog who can actually get their app to work. If you want to be entered here, just comment below with your link on THIS site. Have fun readers.

 

Screen Shot 2014-06-19 at 11.58.44 PM

What Comics I’ve Been Reading- April, Part Two

Posted in Comics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 22/04/2014 by Kevin Entrekin

BlhyA5zIQAEJUj9.jpg large

Continued…

comtomb-Tomb Raider #1. Series. Dark Horse Comics. Script by Gail Simone. Art by Nicolas Daniel Selma. No rating- personally suggest teen. $3.50.

I didn’t do much gaming last year. Or this year either. But one of the titles I was not going to miss was the Tomb Raider reboot. Short version of a review: One of my childhood mainstays got an amazing upgrade.

So I’m a bit disappointed when it comes to this first issue from Dark Horse. In some ways it’s a nice fan service to pick up shortly after where the game left off. But really it is just kind of boring and pretty much a standard first issue. But with most first issues, you want the reader to pick up the next issue. With this, I really didn’t.

The one real positive I take away from this is the art. I’ve never seen any of Nicolas Daniel Selma’s work before this, but I enjoyed it here. The colors are nice and vibrant as well.

comicjup-Jupiter’s Legacy #4. Series. Image Comics. Written by Mark Miller. Art by Frank Quitely. Rated M/ Mature. $2.99.

I wouldn’t say I’m a fan of Mark Millar works, but I have really been enjoying his series Jupiter’s Legacy. It’s an alternate origins of supers and how we and they interact. Millar has wasted no time getting down to the nitty gritty in the first three chapters either.

This fourth chapter takes place several years after the game-changing events that take place in the third, in non-spoiler terms. This is probably the weakest chapter so far from Millar. Which is disappointing since Millar has taken a very lazy approach to releasing this title. Sometimes it is bi-monthly. Sometimes… whenever.

But for $2.99 for Frank Quitely’s beautiful and detailed art is a bargain, especially if you are into this series. If not, I’d encourage finding some copies, as I still find this one of the most interesting series out at the moment. Plus, who knows when the next one comes out?

comstarlight-Starlight #1. Series. Image Comics. Written by Mark Millar. Art by Goran Parlov. Rated M/ Mature. $2.99.

Maybe this somewhat newish series from Millar can explain a bit why it takes him forever to publish Jupiter’s Galaxy. Starlight is what Millar touts as the beginning of his “expanded Millarworld universe”.

Starlight is the tale of Duke Mcqueen, who forty years ago via wormhole became the saviour of the universe. Fast-forward to the present and Duke is a recent widower with some life questions. But it looks like the universe needs saving again and Duke is the man for the job.

There is not much originality here. Millar crafts a story that has been done before. A washed-up old man with a flaky and uncaring family. It’s like The Incredibles  and Gran Torino had a child. But somehow Millar makes you ignore all that and makes an intriguing, albeit short, first issue. I am mostly unfamiliar with Goran Parlov’s work but really enjoyed it. He has a mobius-esque landscapes with lovely pastel-tinted colors.

Ya’ got my attention again, Mark.

comsurf-Silver Surfer #1. Series. Marvel Comics. Written by Dan Slott. Art by Mike & Laura Allred. Rated T+ (teen). $3.99.

I will go anywhere Mike Allred takes me. If that means hitchin’ a ride with Silver Surfer, so be it.

I’m a bit rusty on the SS back story, but I knew enough to understand where this first issue picks up. Basically, Surfer was once Norrin Radd who turned into the Surfer when he begins helping Galactus consume planets. When he comes to Earth, The Fantastic Four helps him find his humanity and turns against Galactus.

Knowing that short bio is beneficial when picking this up, as it takes place sometime after. It’s a pretty standard first issue, but what really makes it worth picking up is the Allreds art. The colors and energy of the art takes some of the sting out of the four-dollar price tag. Worth picking up #2 (which comes out tomorrow) just to see where this goes.

And that’s about it for now. I also picked up Image’s first issue of Deadly Class, which came out in January. Wasn’t anything interesting really. A lot of borrowed, unoriginal ideas pasted together in one book. See you again in May, especially on Free Comic Book Day, May third. Keep reading, ya ginchy people.

 

 

What Comics I’ve Been Reading- April, Part One

Posted in Comics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 18/04/2014 by Kevin Entrekin

BlhyA5zIQAEJUj9.jpg largeI don’t get down to the comic shop as much as I’d like. Mainly because the closest one is in Memphis. Which, in terms of math, is distance plus funds plus mags costing on average about $3 to $5 equals rare visits. I mainly keep up with the goings on in trade paperbacks and similar. But when I do decide to take the advice of Tom and Donna to treat myself, I’ve always gone to Comics & Collectibles on Popular Ave. I’ve never really had a reason to go anywhere else. It has a nice atmosphere, great staff, and all the comics and trades you could want.

Recently my friend Cody and I visited C&C and this is some of new(ish) stuff I picked up:

comroyals-The Royals: Masters of War #1 and #2. Six part series. Vertigo comics. Written by Rob Williams. Art by Simon Coleby. Suggested for Mature Readers. $2.99.

It is the Royal family as you have never seen them before. Throughout history, the royal families of the world have consisted of individuals with super powers. The more pure the bloodline, the stronger the powers. Which might explain that whole inbreeding bit. But during WW2 the royals agree to not use their powers… until British Prince Henry can no longer take sitting by and intervenes. While the morale of Britain is at its highest, the young Prince has broken the treaty and all the countries of the world take notice.

This story is quite an ingenious idea, one that I am surprised no one has thought of before. Ever since Tarantino’s Inglourious Bastards, the idea of alternative history has never been quite the same. This work by Rob Williams is probably the first truly fun story to come out since the above mentioned film in any medium. Simon Coleby’s artwork is beautifully dark and has a sepia-tinge noir feel, which adds a necessary depth here. Having read the first two parts, I’m now really intrigued to see where William will take this story. Part three is now available in local comic shops as well, and this series is well worth looking into.

-comempowEmpowered: Internal Medicine. Special one shot issue. Dark Horse Comics. Story by Adam Warren. Art by Brandon Graham (color) and Adam Warren (B&W). No rating- personally suggest older audience. $3.99.

Before this mag, I have never read any of the Empowered comics. I picked this up because of Brandon Graham. I have just recently become infatuated with Mr. Graham’s Gonzo graffiti-style of art and storytelling. He is one of my favorite artist working right now.

The great thing about this one-shot is you don’t really need to know anything about Empowered to enjoy the story. You get a pretty good idea about the character’s modus operandi and even get a crib sheet recap on the first page.

The mass of the story is by Graham, whose colors and art and puns are beautifully presented here. Graham is a brilliant pick for this female lead, as I believe few (male) artist represent strong women quite like him. He can pencil a voluptuous women in real-world dimensions and can make things sexy without making it demeaning to the character, which for some reason seems to be a difficulty for many. Mr. Warren’s manga-esque work here is in beautiful black and white. Together, these two make a fun and entertaining one-shot worthy of the $3.99 price tag.

I think what I come away with after reading this comic most of all is:

  1. I’m very interested in going back and looking at the Empowered trades now.
  2. I’d like to see Graham and Warren work together again.

comdoop- All-New Doop #1. Series. Marvel Comics. Written by Peter Milligan. Art by David Lafuente. Rated T+ (Personally, younger audience would be fine). $3.99.

I picked up this comic because of the Mike Allred (another favorite artist) cover. So I was a bit disappointed when I learned he actually only did the cover for this character he created years ago. The bright side though is that Allred’s wife Laura does the coloring here, which are some of the best you’ll find in a comic. Ultimately though, this first issue falls a bit flat. While it’s a standard first issue in many ways, the direction of where this story is going seems a bit aimless. It has its moments of zany fun and enjoyment, but I think it’s missing that one certain thing that really makes it interesting.

I plan on picking up the second issue when it comes out, but the little green X-Man really has to impress for me to keep picking up any further.

saga3-Saga, Volume 3. TPB collection of series #13-18. Image Comics. Written by Brian K. Vaughan. Art by Fiona Staples. Rated M/Mature. $14.99.

Image Comics is my favorite comic publisher at the moment. They have amazing creator-owned mini-series like Brian Woods Mara and Grant Morrison’s Happy!. They also have ongoing series like Sex Criminals and Great Pacific. Or have you ever heard of The Walking Dead? Yeah, they do that too.

But I think the best representation of what Image has to offer is the vaughn/Staples work Saga. For those unfamiliar with the series, it’s rather simple. Marko is from Wreath. Alana is from Landfall. These two places have been at war with each other forever, but that doesn’t stop Marko and Alana from falling in love with each other. Eventually the two have a child, and both governments of each planet have no interest of letting the birth known to their citizens. The couple have to fight their way planet to planet against the like of bounty hunters and military officers. And worse of all, Marko’s parents.

Of all the now three collected story arcs in the series, I would say this is the weakest. Not to say that it isn’t great. The writing is still top-notch, adult, and witty. Vaughn’s art is still sharp and beautiful. And there is plenty of action and surprises to keep you entertained. But still this just doesn’t have the same bite or vigor. Only slightly though. Still worth picking up.

Part two should be on the way soon…

 

 

Should Have Spent More Time Being it’s Namesake; Divergent, in Review

Posted in Film Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 31/03/2014 by Kevin Entrekin

divergentMany times on this site, I have gone back and forth on what I think a good book adaptation is. Honestly, I feel like if you are going to make a book into a film, I kind of expect you to make it your own. Stay true to the story but make it your own. If I want the story that is available in the book, then I’d rather use my imagination and read the book. But I guess that would be an “inspired by” situation and not an adaptation, such as Divergent.

In the distant future, a great war ravaged the United States and has left the entire country in an apocalyptic state. In a wall-in city that was once Chicago (the place of choice for destruction in literature now), a society of people have decided on a class system that keeps everything (and everyone) in order. People are divided into five subcategories, called factions: Abnegation (the selfless), Amity (the peaceful), Candor (the truthful), Erudite (the intelligent), and Dauntless (the brave).

Fast forward many years and Beatrice Prior (Shailene Woodley), the daughter of an Abnegation government official, is preparing to take the test that will suggest what faction she should join. But when her test reveals that she doesn’t fit into any of the factions, called Divergent, she is warned not to tell anyone and to choose the faction she comes from. Will Beatrice carve her own path or stay in Abnegation during a turbulent time for the factions.

I’ve read all three books in the Divergent series, which I enjoyed far more than most young adult fantasy books that have been coming out lately, including The Hunger Games. Maybe the final book in the series, Allegiant, fell flat but still enjoyable all the same. So you would think with this great source material, Summit Entertainment could produce a real competitor for Katniss Everdeen…

But instead of trying to carve its own path, Divergent decides not to be divergent at all. Instead it has been branded, marketed, and filmed as “the next Hunger Games” when it should have tried being original or more faithful to the source material.

Potentially this film could have been both edgy and grown up, but instead decides to play it safe. Why director Neil Burger stays so complacent for a film about being different and revolution is beyond me. I’m not saying R-rated violence or substance is needed, but I none-the-less find it distracting when someone gets a bullet wound and nothing comes out. When did the young adult genre get redefined and overtaken by pubescent preteens?

The standout performance comes from Kate Winslet, which is a bit sad because Shailene Woodley should be the strongest of the bunch. I’m not saying miss Woodley is not strong or puts forth a good performance, but I maintain that she isn’t the best choice for this role. What young actress would have been stronger, though? I can’t really say. Maybe Emma Watson? Regardless, there is a certain amount of verve that is missing for this strong and feminine character. But much to my surprise, I actually enjoyed Theo James as Four/Tobias. That is when he is not attempting to let his English accent stray into whatever androgynous accent he was aiming for.

*Spoilers in this next paragraph. Be thee warned.

As for the rest of the cast, they are mostly forgettable. This really is not their fault though. Again, the fault lies with straying from a strong character-driven story with plenty of action to a film focused more so on the action. This leaves the viewer with murky relationships and without fully understanding the characters. So when Will is gunned down by  Tris, you really don’t feel anything because you don’t really feel any connection to the character. Or when Al kills himself by diving into the chasm, you don’t really feel sorry for the lad. Or who even remembers what happened to Edward.

There was a lot of potential here. And a lot of it was wasted. Where there could have been a new king over the YA genre; instead it is just a forgettable foot soldier.

Verdict: Rent it!

*Rated PG-13/ UK: 12A for intense violence and action, thematic elements, and some sensuality. 139 minutes. Directed by Neil Burger (The Illusionist, Limitless).

**Thanks to my friend Cody for seeing this with me.

Totally Straight, Sweaty, Muscular, Dude Action: 300: Rise of An Empire in Review

Posted in Film Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on 23/03/2014 by Kevin Entrekin

300I never fully understood the appeal of 300. Or most of Zach Snyder’s directed or produced films, frankly. Especially Sucker Punch, which a lot of people misguidedly consider some sort of feminism manifesto, even though it is created by a male manifestation of the song “Blurred Lines”. But that’s a discussion for another time. I understand these films have the trifecta of macho man stuff- blood, boobs, and brahs (and latent homosexual feelings). But why these historically inaccurate films seem to continue stimulating young men across the land continues to baffle.

Set during the same time King Leonidas is being massacred at Thermopylae, legendary general Themistocles (Sullivan Stapleton) is waging war against the Persians on the Aegean Sea. His fight is against Artemisia (Eva Green), A Naval Commander with a hatred for Greece. With a small fleet compared to Artemisias, Themistocles must prove his legendary status and unite the Greeks as one.

There really isn’t much more to this story. The rest is filled with what you expect from this sort of show. Graphic decapitations and delimbings with unrealistic spurts of muddy CGI “blood” abound. Scantily clad muscular dudes running in slow motion (but don’t worry bros, this usually happens as some maimed body part flies across the screen. Totally not homoerotic. I mean, Eva Green totally show her tits, yo). There are such witty dialogue such as “You’ve come a long way to stroke your cock while real men train” and “You fight much harder than you f**k”. And thinly veiled misogyny, to round out the substance over story structure.

Which, with all that stated above, technically makes this film a success in its own way. The first film, which is nothing more than a dumb lump of time during bong rips, is all show and no story. This is more or less the same. And like the first, can be fun while drifting between consciousness and wondering what the other recent Bond girls have been up to. And the primary crowd, guys wearing wrinkled Affliction shirts and backward hats stumbling out of frat houses, don’t expect any more out of a film anyways.

But where the first film was memorable, Rise really isn’t. It looks like 300. It is dumb and cheesy like 300. But it just doesn’t fully feel like 300. Imitation is flattering, so it is said, and I guess it’s not really difficult for director Noam Murro to imitate Snyder’s previous work. But as odd as it is to say, something just seems to be missing from this mass bloodletting. Maybe the slow-motion debauchery was not orchestrated well enough. Or maybe limbs just didn’t float across the screen with enough garish gusto.

I think the problem really lies with originality- in that there is none here. This is just a rehashing of a film that came out in 2006, and it feels exactly as if it has been sitting on a shelf for eight years. There is nothing memorable, except for the sex battle between Green and Stapleton. And you read that correctly- it is a “fight” between both parties while said parties are engaging in sex.

Casting is a plus, if you like films with unknown faces who are just as easily forgettable. The only stand out is Eva Green, but even that praise is just a reminder that she is better than this. I believe Sullivan Stapleton could be an effective actor (even lead) in the future, much in the same vein Sam Worthington or Gerard Butler. Maybe with time we could see.

When I go into a film that I intend to review, I try to remind myself that I have to go into it in the eyes of the target audience. And through the eyes of the people who would be willing to pay $12.50+ to see this film, I would recommend just waiting until this comes out on Redbox. While it has enough here to satisfy the blood lust of the American youth, it lacks the penache that made the original memorable and fun.

Verdict: Rent it!

*Rated R/UK: 15 for strong sustained sequences of stylized bloody violence throughout, a sex scene, nudity, and some language. 102 minutes. Directed by Noam Murro (Smart People).

**Thanks to Cody for seeing this with me.

TMTB Predicts the 86th Academy Awards

Posted in list, Oscars with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 24/02/2014 by Kevin Entrekin

tmtb86BEST PICTURE

  1. American Hustle
  2. Captain Phillips
  3. Dallas Buyers Club
  4. Gravity
  5. Her
  6. Nebraska
  7. Philomena
  8. 12 Years A Slave
  9. The Wolf of Wall Street

Who Will Win: 12 Years A Slave, Gravity

Who Should Win: 12 Years A Slave, Gravity

Who Could Win: The Wolf of Wall Street

Who Got Snubbed: Prisoners, Blue is the Warmest Color, Only God Forgives

Really, this race is down to either 12 Years A Slave or Gravity, with respect to the other nominees. And either film would be worthy of the statue. Gravity is the most technologically advanced film to date. Not only that, it’s probably the years most entertaining as well. By the same token, 12 Years A Slave is a brilliant work displaying humanity vs. humanity. In the end, it can go either way and I wouldn’t really mind. Others, who have more opinionated thoughts and anger issues will think otherwise. Both are great works, in their own rights.

ACHIEVEMENT IN DIRECTING

  1. American Hustle, David O. Russell
  2. Gravity, Alfonso Cuarón
  3. Nebraska, Alexander Payne
  4. 12 Years A Slave, Steve McQueen
  5. The Wolf of Wall Street, Martin Scorsese

Who Will Win: Alfonso Cuarón

Who Should Win: Steve McQueen

Who Could Win: Martin Scorsese

Who Got Snubbed: Harmony Korine, Nicolas Winding-Refn

This is another toss up. It could be Cuarón . It could be McQueen. Distantly it could possibly be Scorsese. Everyone in this category has earned their nomination, and quite a few deserve a nod as well.

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE

  1. Christian Bale, American Hustle
  2. Bruce Dern, Nebraska
  3. Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street
  4. Chiwetel Ejofor, 12 Years A Slave
  5. Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club

Who Will Win: Matthew McConaughey

Who Should Win: Matthew McConaughey

Who Could Win: Leonardo DiCaprio

Who Got Snubbed: Jake Gyllenhaal, Joaquin Phoenix

I’m a full supporter of the McConaissance. For an actor who for years was a rom-com punchline to become a dark force in dramas is an incredibly bold career shift that has paid off. His haunting performance as Ron Woodroof is one of the most emotional you could see in 2013. But what about Leo? His performance as scummy NY stock broker Jordan Belfort is the best of his career. And considering he has been snubbed many times by the academy over the years, is this statue his finally?

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

  1. Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips
  2. Bradley Cooper, American Hustle
  3. Michael Fassbender, 12 Years A Slave
  4. Jonah Hill, The Wolf of Wall Street
  5. Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club

Who Will Win: Jared Leto

Who Should Win: Jared Leto

Who Could Win: Michael Fassbender

Who Got Snubbed: Hugh Jackman

This is an easy choice for the most part. Jared Leto was simply devastating as Rayon, a transgender woman who acts as the buffer for Ron Woodroof in Dallas Buyers Club. If there is one person in this category who can really give Mr. Leto a run for the statue is Michael Fassbender’s hellish slave owner in 12 Years A Slave.

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE

  1. Amy Adams, American Hustle
  2. Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
  3. Sandra Bullock, Gravity
  4. Judi Dench, Philomena
  5. Meryl Streep, August: Osage County

Who Will Win: Cate Blanchett

Who Should Win: ?

Who Could Win: Sandra Bullock

Who Got Snubbed: Scarlett Johansson, Adèle Exarchopoulos

Every year, when the nominations come out, I always end up looking at the leading/supporting actress category and I think… why the hell have I not seen any of these performances? Seriously, the only performance I’ve seen is Sandy B’s gut-wrencher in Gravity. I can only expect brilliance from the other wonderful women… although I consider Meryl Streep one of the most over-rated actresses. Anyways- it looks like Cate Blanchett is this years front-runner.

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

  1. Sally Hawkins, Blue Jasmine
  2. Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle
  3. Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years A Slave
  4. Julia Roberts, August: Osage County
  5. June Squibb, Nebraska

Who Will Win: Jennifer Lawrence

Who Should Win: Lupita Nyong’o

Who Could Win: Lupita Nyong’o

Who Got Snubbed: Léa Seydoux

I still have hope that Lupita Nyong’o can take home this trophy. But the Jennifer Lawrence love train is pretty strong. Not saying she doesn’t deserve it, because as I stated earlier I haven’t seen American Hustle, but I question whether I could be any better than Ms. Nyong’o.

Who do you think will or should win? Who got snubbed?

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