Saturday, March 30, 2013

Hugo Awards Nominations

Just in time for the 2013 premiere of Doctor Who, which begins in about 90 minutes, the Hugo Awards have released their nominations. To refresh your memory, the Hugo Awards are given out every year since 1953 honoring "excellence in the field of science fiction and fantasy." The complete list of nominations is long with categories ranging from novels, editors, graphic novels, etc. Let's take a look at their TV and film nominations this year!

Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form
  • Doctor Who, “The Angels Take Manhattan”
  • Doctor Who, “Asylum of the Daleks”
  • Doctor Who, “The Snowmen”
  • Fringe, “Letters of Transit”
  • Game of Thrones, “Blackwater”

This is the fourth year in a row that Doctor Who has grabbed three of the five slots in this category. That's just insane. Now, I love the show and the episodes they usually nominate are damn worthy, but I wished this group was able to recognize other shows as much as they do this one. Of course, you would think this might cause some sort of vote splitting. You would be wrong. In fact, since the show's reboot in 2005, it has won every single year except one (Joss Whedon's Doctor Horrible won in 2009). So while one of those episodes will probably win, I'm rooting for the other two episodes nominated as they both feature exquisite turning points for two respected series.

Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form
  • The Avengers
  • The Cabin in the Woods
  • The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
  • The Hunger Games
  • Looper

I'm a tad disappointed not to see Chronicle or even Life of Pi (was that eligible?), but how can I really complain about a short list that contains 3 of my top 10 favorite films of last year? Top geek of the year, Joss Whedon, expectantly double-dipped while Peter Jackson continues his Middle Earth streak with the Hugo Awards by being nominated here after picking up the win for all three of the Lord of the Rings films a few years ago. I'm slightly rooting for The Cabin in the Woods, which surprises even myself, but there you go.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Birthday Girl: Lucy Lawless

I've been in a flu-induced haze the past week or so, but I can't pass up the opportunity to wish Xena, warrior princess, herself a happy birthday. Of course, it's actress Lucy Lawless who celebrates her 45th birthday today despite not looking a day over 30 if you ask me. No matter how many roles she takes from now to eternity though, she will always be that kick-ass Amazon princess who tousled with Hercules, crossed hairs with Ares the god of war, had a complicated history with Julius Caesar, pissed off the archangel Michael, and had a sapphic relationship with sidekick/friend Gabrielle. Yeah, I saw every episode of that show. Judge me all you want.

Her series ended the summer of 2001 and she took a slight break, opting to only appear in small cameos in various films and TV shows. She made her biggest comeback playing D'Anna Biers in Battlestar Galactica in 2005 unbeknownst to most of the fans that she would end up playing a big part of the show's final seasons. More recently she's found more regular work on Starz's Spartacus as one of the leads and guest starring on Parks and Recreation as a love interest to Ron Swanson himself. Not too shabby!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Everyone Loves An Irish Boy

Meant to blog about TV and stuff, but it's been such a long ass week and an even longer weekend that I didn't even get to do a St. Patrick's Day post. Then I saw this very lovely image of Once Upon A Time's Colin O'Donoghue on Tumblr and I think it just speaks for itself really.

And might as well briefly talk about Once Upon A Time, which hilariously didn't feature the good pirate on its episode tonight. It doesn't matter though since they welcomed back the equally hot Irish actor Jamie Dornan to reprise his role as the Sheriff for a special flashback episode.

Seriously, say what you will about this show, but it sure does know how to cast hot men. Oh right, the show. Well, I actually don't have much to say. It was certainly great seeing how the curse played out from the very beginning and how it affected Regina and it's wonderful to finally find out who Ethan Embry's character really is. But I'm curious to see how exactly the show will handle the "real world" encroaching on their little town.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Quick TV Thoughts...

Forgot to talk about TV last week, but it was mostly fine since many of my usual shows took their usual break post-February sweeps. But not those non-broadcast shows though which all kept chugging right along including one show I haven't nearly talked about all season even though I really should have been aka Shameless.

Give Emmy Rossum an Emmy Already

I had to really catch up on this show which is exactly what I did over the weekend marathoning the last five episodes. The fact that Emmy Rossum hasn't even been nominated for an Emmy yet for her role as Fiona Gallagher on Shameless is an absolutely travesty, but she has only gotten even better in this also pretty damn good third season of the show. Perhaps it's the case of both the show and the character working together flawlessly because the more the show keeps crapping on Fiona and her family, the more the actors and their characters are given a chance to show their mettle. But really it's Rossum who's the show's MVP with her most recent courtroom scene to try and get guardianship of her siblings a slam dunk for Emmy consideration in a perfect world. I also want to praise William H. Macy for really committing to playing one of the most heinous characters on TV I have had the displeasure of watching as well as the rest of the ensemble who give nothing about 100% to their roles. If you aren't watching this show yet, you're missing out.

But Wait! Keri Russell Kicks Ass Too!

Another show you should probably be watching is The Americans which I still maintain, after a few episodes in, is a hybrid of Mad Men, Homeland, and Alias in all the best ways. Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell's performances with or without the spy wigs are captivating especially in this latest episode that forced both of them to really think about their mission, their loyalty to it above all else, and to each other. Rhys this season seemed to have had the flashier role so far, but Russell is slowly catching up to him with one scene in particular as she expressed her "displeasure" to new handler played by Margo Martindale. And I haven't even mentioned Noah Emmerich and his tense subplot with his informant/kinda paramour Nina.

No One Likes Andrea, but Michonne is Funny

I'm not an Andrea hater or anything like many people are, but her affinity with the Governor irks me. I get that she isn't exactly privy to the same information us the audience have, but is she so seriously emotionally bonded to him that it has become difficult to actually convince her he's not right in the head even after all of the evidence? Thankfully we took a breather last week to follow just Rick, Carl, and Michonne into Rick's hometown to get more guns enabling us to not only get to know Michonne more finally, but to also reunite with Morgan from the pilot. It was probably one of the season's strongest episode mostly because Lennie James painted such a heartbreaking bleak character study.

Girls Delves Deeper Into Its Characters

So Hannah has OCD? I'll go along with it, especially since it's at least giving a dimension to Hannah that I actually don't find annoying plus I always love finding more about her checkered history with her parents. It was also nice to see Adam again and this time acting shockingly (and to be honest unnervingly) normal, even going on a relatively charming blind date. And though I love Shoshanna and Ray together, Shoshanna's impromptu make-out session brought a smile to my face. No real comment on Marnie's or Jessa's existential crises, but Marnie singing to Ray was definitely a highlight.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Trailer Break: Much Ado About Nothing

We're just three months away from another Joss Whedon film appearing on the big screen! Last time that happened, Whedon managed to deliver a mega-blockbuster superhero film that was a box office phenomenon as well as an unexpected critical hit. This time around he trades in Marvel Studios and explosions for Williams Shakespeare and elocution.

Whedon's Much Ado About Nothing has been one of my most anticipated film ever since I found out about its existence on my birthday two years ago. That was also the day they wrapped filming and decided to share the news with the world that Whedon was adapting one of Shakespeare's play into a film and was intent on filling his ensemble with who's who of Whedon players such as Amy Acker, Alexis Denisof, Nathan Fillion, Clark Gregg, Fran Kranz, Sean Maher, and Tom Lenk. The film had its world premiere last year at the Toronto Film Festival and was picked up by Lionsgate which will release the film this summer June 7th 2013. And now it has a shiny brand new trailer which I have seen half a dozen times already:

Fun, right? And doesn't it just seem like Whedon videotaping a bunch of his friends who he has invited over his house to re-enact some Shakespeare while partaking in some food and alcohol? There's something so low-key and charming about that and I cannot wait to see the end result.

Birthday Boy: Bryan Cranston

Bryan Cranston celebrates his 57th birthday today and while that's not any sort of milestone, I think it's nigh time he gets a bit of love on my blog. He is after all the star of one of my favorite shows Breaking Bad for which he has won three Emmy Awards and as well as his first SAG Award which he just received a couple months ago. He also picked up his second SAG Award that night as part of the ensemble for Argo which of course went on to win Best Picture at this year's Academy Awards. And if you think all he can do is act in a drama, don't forget that he was also Emmy nominated multiple times for his work in Malcolm in the Middle about a decade ago and was very recently nominated for a DGA Award for directing an episode of Modern Family.

So to say that professionally Cranston is doing well would probably be a bit of an understatement, but it makes thinking about his future that more intriguing. It will certainly be curious to see what lies next for him after Breaking Bad ends its run this summer. Will he parlay his TV successes with more leading film roles as opposed to the more ensemble roles he has taken or will he continue as a TV actor, but perhaps go back to doing lighter fare ala Malcolm in the Middle and less like Breaking Bad? Or perhaps he will take a break in front of the camera to direct as he has been doing that more lately. The sky is the limit!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

We're off to see the Wizard!

This post is part of Nathaniel's "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" series in which the participants must post a single image from a movie he or she deems as the "best shot" for any particular reason.

I've been taking a slight blogging hiatus after awards season and February sweeps, but I had to come back just in time for the season premiere of Hit Me With Your Best Shot aka one of my favorite film blog series. The first film on dock is the visually captivating gem of a film The Wizard of Oz. Unfortunately, I didn't get to re-watch the film before writing this post, but I actually think that was a good thing, because I'm pretty sure I would have just been tempted to post screencaps of every other scene--from the gorgeous sepia-toned Kansas farm all the way to the luscious technicolor of Oz. Instead I went with this group shot from behind as they skip along the yellow brick road.

It's not the super famous shot of the group on the yellow brick road heading straight for the glittering spires of Emerald City, but it is their first group shot together. The film has countless of scenes like this, with the characters heading into the unknown, the long yellow brick road ahead of them. It's a shot that isn't immediately iconic, but definitely representative of the film and is one of my favorites. Plus it's also the last reprise of that wonderful catchy "We're Off to See the Wizard" song, which I love, love so very much...

We're off to see the wizard, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
We hear he is a whiz of a wiz, if ever a wiz there was
If ever, oh ever a wiz there was, The Wizard of Oz is one because
Because, because, because, because, because
Because of the wonderful things he does
We're off to see the wizard, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz