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Showing posts from February, 2016

Upcoming Releases — March

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Here's a look at all the movies coming to you this March.

Friday, March 4:
London Has Fallen — This is a sequel to "Olympus Has Fallen," the more successful of a pair of films about people attacking the White House. Gerard Butler is back in the lead role as the most skilled, most unlucky Secret Service Agent of all time. This time the President — and other world leaders — are under attack in London.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot — This is the latest from Tina Fey, a comedy of a different sort set on the front lines of a war zone. It looks to have humor, romance, and a decent story.

Zootopia — This is the latest animated feature, one that hopes to dominate with the kiddos all month long.

The Other Side of the Door — A supernatural thriller starring Sarah Wayne Callies, of "Walking Dead" fame. This is one of those low-budget horror films that appears year-round.

Friday, March 11:
10 Cloverfield Lane — This is the next mysterious film from producer J.J. Abrams, who was responsi…

Academy Award Predictions

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Oscar day is finally here! Today is the Super Bowl of entertainment. Below are my final picks in each category.


BEST PICTURE
The Big Short
Bridge of Spies
Brooklyn
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
The Revenant
Room
Spotlight

Will Win: "Spotlight." This is a wide open field, but I feel like "Spotlight" will pull it out, and it would be my pick. It is simply amazing.

ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
Bryan Cranston, Trumbo
Matt Damon, The Martian
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant
Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs
Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl

Will Win: This is Leonardo DiCaprio's year. I think he takes the trophy.

ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE
Cate Blanchett, Carol
Brie Larson, Room
Jennifer Lawrence, Joy
Charlotte Rampling, 45 Years
Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn

Will Win: Brie Larson gave a beautiful performance in "Room," and she wins this award.

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Christian Bale, The Big Short
Tom Hardy, The Revenant
Mark Ruffalo, Spotlight
Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies
Sylvester Stallone, Creed

Academy Awards Preview — Spotlight

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Today I conclude my Academy Award previews with the final Best Picture nominee, "Spotlight."

Spotlight
Starring: Micheal Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, and Liev Schreiber
Director: Tom McCarthy
Total Nominations: Six
Nominated For: Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor (Ruffalo), Best Supporting Actress (McAdams), Best Director (McCarthy), Best Original Screenplay (McCarthy and Josh Singer), and Best Film Editing
About: "Spotlight" was my favorite film of 2015, and I think it's got a good shot at winning Best Picture. It's the most wide open Best Picture field I can remember, but "Spotlight" has as good a shot as any. In terms of other awards, I think director and the acting nominations are long shots. While worthy, I don't see any of those nominated coming home with the award. If "Spotlight" is grabbing Best Picture, I think it will get the editing award, too. The one award I'm sure it takes is the Original Screenplay award. It …

Academy Award Previews - The Writing Awards

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Today I continue my preview with the writing categories.

Best Original Screenplay:
Bridge of Spies - Matt Charman, Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
Ex Machina - Alex Garland
Inside Out - Pete Docter, Meg LeFauve, Josh Cooley, Ronnie Del Carmen
Spotlight - Josh Singer, Tom McCarthy
Straight Outta Compton - Andrea Berloff, Jonathan Herman, S. Leigh Savidge, Alan Wenkus
About: This is a loaded category, and it features one of the few nominations for a movie of color in "Straight Outta Compton." If members want to make a political statement, that script could win. But it's not the best in the category. You could make a case for "Inside Out," a hailed animated feature, "Ex Machina," a movie sci-fi piece, and "Bridge of Spies," which boasts a script from the Coen Brothers. But I think the winner here is "Spotlight," which is also my Dark Horse pick for Best Picture.
Best Adapted Screenplay: The Big Short - Charles Randolph, Adam McKay Brooklyn - Nick Hornby

Now Playing

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Here's a look at the new movie I saw this week.

Race
Starring: Stephan James, Jason Sudeikis, William Hurt, and Jeremy Irons
Synopsis: In the early 1930s in Cleveland, Ohio, people were looking for a hero. It was the height of the Great Depression, poverty was high and jobs were scarce. It was in that time and place that Joel Schuster and Jerry Siegel created “Superman” as a means of escape and a way to offer people hope. Really, all they needed to do was look to Ohio State University. There one of the greatest athletes in the history of the United States — Jesse Owens — was plying his trade. He was winning races and preparing for the Olympics, all while carrying the weight of a nation, and especially oppressed minorities, on his shoulders. The new film “Race” captures Owens’ story and his run to glory in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. It also captures the challenges he faced on the track and in the world. “Race” is the first great and inspiring movie of 2016. While “Deadpool” has soa…

Top 25 Countdown - No. 11

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Today the countdown continues with the last film before the Top 10. It's also one of my favorite action movies and, I contend, the best Christmas movie.

No. 11 - Die Hard (1988)
Starring: Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, Bonnie Bedelia, and Reginald Vel Johnson
Director: John McTiernan
Quote: ""And when Alexander saw the breadth of his domain, he wept, for there were no more worlds to conquer." Benefits of a classical education." - Hans Gruber
About: I was in college when I saw "Die Hard" for the first time. It didn't take long for me to watch the second and third installment after that. But "Die Hard" remains the best of the bunch for me, and quickly became one of my all-time favorites. Willis is perfect in the lead role, and Rickman gives a great performance as Hans Gruber. It was such a shame when he passed away earlier this year. Many people thought of his work in "Harry Potter," but the first thing I thought of was his performance …

Winter TV Roundup, Week 8

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In these weekly posts I look at the new scripted series of the winter. Each week I review the pilot and second episode. Don't see a new show below? Check previous weeks.

Sunday Nights:
Vinyl, Sundays at 9 p.m. on HBO (Premiered February 14)
About: This is the latest from HBO, and it's a series that got a second season pick up after the first episode. That would seem like a mark of success, but "Vinyl" actually scored one of the worst premier ratings HBO has had. So why the pick up? The series comes from the team behind "Boardwalk Empire" and Mick Jagger, and it's a great hope for HBO that it will find an audience. Will it? I somehow doubt it. It tackles the 1970s music world, which might be a tough sell. Add to that the fact that the first episode was two hours and confusing, and the second episode wasn't much better, and you have a limp drama. I thought the performances were mediocre and I still have no idea what I'm supposed to take away from th…

Change comes slowly

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"I want to show you the new world." Rick, "The Walking Dead."

One of my favorite parts about season five of "The Walking Dead" was a moment when they were talking about being out on the road yet again. Michonne warned that if they stayed out too long, they'd lose themselves to the road.

Then they found Alexandria. But that change from feral life on the road to suburb dweller was easier for some than others. While Michonne and Daryl advocated for a change in perspective, Rick couldn't let go of his inner warrior. His walls were up.

Deanna noted that, too, in the first half of the season. She told Rick everyone in Alexandria was "his people." But it didn't sink in until tragedy struck. When he saw the frailty of life, and nearly lost his son. He ended the episode with a tearful plea to his son. He wanted to show him the beauty of the new world they could make.

Though only six days passed between episodes, about two months passed in th…

Academy Award Preview — Other film races

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Today in my preview of the Academy Awards I'm looking at some of the other movie races — animated films, documentary, and foreign film.

Best Animated Feature:
Anomalisa
O Menino e o Mundo
Inside Out
Shaun the Sheep Movie
Omoide no Mânî

About: This category is probably more notable for what didn't get nominated. Many thought "The Peanuts Movie" should have been in this category. And there were other animated films that were more mainstream commercial releases that could have been in this category. But in the end, I'm not sure it matters. "Inside Out" has drawn rave reviews all year long, and is a runaway favorite in this category. Some thought it would get a Best Picture nomination, so it seems like a lock in this category.

Best Documentary Feature:
Amy
Cartel Land
The Look of Silence
What Happened, Miss Simone?
Winter on Fire: Ukraine's Fight for Freedom

About: This is another tough category. Many of these films don't get mainstream releases, and most of the…

Academy Award Preview — Actor's races

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Today I take a look at the race for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor.

Best Actor:
Bryan Cranston for Trumbo
Matt Damon for The Martian
Leonardo DiCaprio for The Revenant
Michael Fassbender for Steve Jobs
Eddie Redmayne for The Danish Girl

About: This is a category that features some incredible performances, and could be a tight race to the finish. Cranston was somewhat of a surprise nominee for "Trumbo," and seems to be the least likely to win here. The category features only one previous winner for acting, Redmayne, who has decent odds to repeat, but is far from the favorite. Damon has an Oscar, though not for acting. Fassbender is a great actor who's been nominated before, and gave an excellent performance as Steve Jobs. But the favorite here is DiCaprio, who's been nominated many times before but never won. He was great in "The Revenant," which was not only a different kind of role but one that presented extreme physical challenges. DiCaprio is the deservi…

Academy Award Preview — The Revenant

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Today I continue my preview of the Academy Awards with a look at one of the favorites, "The Revenant."

The Revenant
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, and Domhnall Gleeson
Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu
Total Nominations: 12
Nominated For: Best Picture, Best Actor (DiCaprio), Best Supporting Actor (Hardy), Best Director (Iñárritu), Best Cinematography, Best Editing, Best Costume Design, Best Hair and Makeup, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, Best Visual Effects, and Best Production Design
About: The Best Picture race might be one of the most wide open races in years. There are half a dozen of films that could win out of a field of eight nominees. But one of the strongest ones is "The Revenant." Last year Iñárritu won Best Director and saw his movie, "Birdman," win Best Picture. I think there's a strong possibility of a repeat in February 28. "The Revenant" is a good movie and it's well made. It was also a difficult film to ma…

Now Playing

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Here's a look at the new movies I saw this week.

Deadpool
Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin, Ed Skein, Gina Carano, and TJ Miller
Synopsis: One of the most reliable staples at the movies and on TV are superhero stories. They remain wildly popular and Marvel and DC Comics seem to have an unending supply of stories to tell. But usually they take a similar shape and feel. One of the reasons superhero films have been so reliable is that they ride the middle when it comes to content, going for PG-13 ratings and attracting mass audiences that include scores of young viewers. When it came to the adaptation of “Deadpool,” the studio went a different way. “Deadpool” is hardly the first superhero movie to get slapped with an R-rating. But it’s certainly the first to be proud of that rating and to wear it like a badge of honor. But it’s not just the limits of content that make “Deadpool” different from your average superhero fare. This film has a light, irreverent tone to go along with …

Top 25 Countdown - No. 12

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Today I continue my Top 25 Countdown with a fantastic film based on a stage play.

No. 12 - Doubt (2008)
Starring: Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams, Meryl Streep, and Viola Davis
Director: John Patrick Shanley
Quote: "There are people who go after your humanity, Sister, that tell you that the light in your heart is a weakness. Don't believe it. It's an old tactic of cruel people to kill kindness in the name of virtue." - Father Flynn
About: This is one of the newer films on the list, but it's one of the best. The original title of the stage play, also written by Shanley, is "Doubt: A Parable." This is a fantastic film and a fantastic story, and one that some people didn't really get. When this film debuted, I kept hearing that it was a story about the Catholic sex abuse scandal. "Spotlight" is a film about the Catholic sex abuse scandal. "Doubt" is about a fundamental ideology of faith. Yes, part of the story surrounds a nun's s…

Winter TV Roundup, Week 7

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In these weekly posts I look at the new scripted shows of winter. I review the pilot and second episodes of the new shows of winter. Don't see a new show listed below, check previous weeks.

Monday Nights:
Full Frontal, Mondays at 10:30 p.m. on TBS (Premiered February 8)
About: Samantha Bee, long-time correspondent for "The Daily Show," got her own comedy show on TBS. I thought the pilot started well last week. Late night needs more diverse voices, especially women. And Bee was always a fun contributor to "The Daily Show." So I was a little bummed with her second episode, which wasn't as funny and felt more like a train wreck. He closing piece was still amusing, but the first two acts of the show — dedicated to the recent Republican and Democratic debates — didn't work. And her following the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia didn't work well, either. Bee is a funny lady, but I'm not sure if this show is going to work long term. If you&#…

No Happy Endings

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"Someday this pain will be useful to you." — Deanna, "The Walking Dead"

The NFL Season is over. While I'll have off-season musings on the Broncos, for the bulk of the Spring and Summer, Monday posts will be dedicated to Sunday prestige cable drama hot stove. Thankfully, "The Walking Dead" is back.

"The Walking Dead" is the most popular show on television. It's also one of the most ideologically rich for me. I've often looked at episodes in recap/post form in the past. For season six, I had to wait for Lindsay to catch up, so I marathoned the first eight episodes during some snow days Super Bowl week. And Sunday night, I was ready for the show to continue.

What I wasn't quite ready for is how it would continue. When the fall finale left off, our heroes were in a precarious position. Daryl, Sasha, and Abraham had been stopped on the road. Glenn was on the outside looking in. Maggie was trapped on the wall. And the town was over ru…

Academy Award Preview — Mad Max: Fury Road

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In this post I continue my look at Best Picture nominees with a summer blockbuster that became a surprise Best Picture nominee.

Mad Max: Fury Road
Starring: Charlize Theron, Tom Hardy, and Nicholas Hoult
Directed by: George Miller
Total Nominations: 10
Nominated For: Best Picture, Best Director (Miller), Best Cinematography, Best Editing, Best Costume, Best Hair and Makeup, Best Visual Effects, Best Sound Mixing, Best Sound Editing, and Best Production Design
About: It's been a long time since Miller visited the world of Mad Max. The third film, "Mad Max: Beyond the Thunderdome," was released in 1985. 30 years later, Miller returned to the world with banner results. Tom Hardy took over the lead role, but this film was essentially one, long, sustained car chase. And for what it is, the film looks really good. I wasn't as taken with "Mad Max: Fury Road." I'm not a huge fan of the series, and while I appreciated the stunts and effects, I wasn't as drawn int…

Academy Awards Preview — Actresses

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In this preview post, I will look at the race for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role
Cate Blanchett for Carol
Brie Larson for Room
Jennifer Lawrence for Joy
Charlotte Rampling for 45 Years
Saoirse Ronan for Brooklyn
About: This is a strong field of talented women who gave diverse and wonderful performances. It's a field that includes two previous winners in Blanchett and Lawrence. But the favorite in the race is a first-time nominee. I think this is a two-horse race between Brie Larson, who was devastating in "Room," and Saoirse Ronan for "Brooklyn." Blanchett was good in "Carol" but seems to be a long-shot. In part, to me, that's because I think Rooney Mara — a nominee in the supporting category — might have been the best actress in the film. Ronan, a previous nominee for "Atonement," did a beautiful job in "Brooklyn," a fascinating slice of life film also nominated for Best Pi…

Academy Award Preview - The Martian

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With just a couple weeks left until the Academy Awards, we're getting to the more serious contenders for Best Picture. Today and Tomorrow I'll look at the more commercial entries.

The Martian
Starring: Matt Damon, Jeff Daniels, Chiwetel Ejoifor, Jessica Chastain, Michael Pena, Kristen Wiig, Kate Mara, Donald Glover, Mackenzie Davis, Sean Bean, and Sebastian Stan
Director: Ridley Scott
Total Nominations: 7
Nominated For: Best Picture, Best Actor (Damon), Best Adapted Screenplay (Drew Goddard), Best Sound Mixing, Best Sound Editing, Best Visual Effects, and Best Production Design
About: There is a a theory that "The Martian" could ascend to the top of the Best Picture heap. The theory is based on what happened a few years ago with "Argo." That film was nominated for a number of awards but, curiously, Ben Affleck was snubbed in the Best Director category. Something similar happened with Ridley Scott on "The Martian," and some have theorized it might ignit…

Now Playing

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Here's a look at the new movies I saw this week.

Hail, Cesar!
Starring: Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Scarlett Johansson, Channing Tatum, and Alden Ehrenreich
Synopsis: The Coen Brothers have a style all their own. Since their first movies in the 1980s, through classics over the last four decades, they’ve delivered original and entertaining stories. That’s the case with their latest film, “Hail, Cesar!,” too. There are really two kinds of Coen Brothers stories. The first is comedies that tell interesting stories about different kinds of people. The second is crime stories, usually where ordinary people get pulled into situations that spin wildly out of control. “Hail, Ceasar!” falls into the former category. Set in the 1950s, in chronicles about 36 hours in the life of a fixer for a movie studio. It’s a movie with a lot of incredible moments. It has a lot of Coen Brothers signatures. But if you’re looking for one of their deep, resonant stories, this film falls short. The Coen Brothe…

Top 25 Countdown — No. 13

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Today I continue my countdown of my favorite movies with one that didn't get a lot of viewers when it was released in 2000.

No. 13 — Way of the Gun (2000)
Starring: Ryan Phillippe, Benico Del Toro, Juliette Lewis, Taye Diggs, James Caan, and Nicky Katt
Director: Christopher McQuarrie
Quote: "There is a natural order. The way things are meant to be. An order that says that the good guys always win. That you die when it's your time, or you have it coming. That the ending is always happy, if only for someone else. Now at some point it became clear to us that our path had been chosen and we had nothing to offer the world. Our options narrowing down to petty crime or minimum wage. So, we stepped off the path, and went looking for the fortune that we knew was looking for us." — Parker
About: Did I lose you with this one? That's OK. There's not a ton of people that saw "Way of the Gun" when it was released in 2000. In fact, I almost didn't see it. But one …

Winter TV Roundup, Week 6

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In these weekly posts I look at the new scripted series of the winter. I review the pilot and second episodes. Don't see a new show below? Check previous weeks.

Monday Nights:
Full Frontal, Mondays at 10:30 a.m. on TBS (Premiered February 8)
About: Even before Jon Stewart hung it up, "Daily Show" correspondents started moving on to their own feature opportunities. John Oliver is great on HBO, Larry Fillmore has a nightly show on Comedy Central, and Stephen Colbert now has the David Letterman spot in late night. The latest to grab their own show is Samantha Bee. This is remarkable for a couple reasons: first, it's breaking some new ground for TBS; and second, Bee is one of the only women making a mark in late night. And that can't be dismissed, and shouldn't be overlooked. I always liked Bee as a contributor on "The Daily Show," and I think she'll do well in a starring role on her own show. The first episode featured a lot of political chat — which…

2015 Broncos Season — Super Bowl 50

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Your 2015 World Champion Denver Broncos!

Super Bowl 50: Denver Broncos 24, Carolina Panthers 10
Season Record: 15-4 (8-2 home)
Key Play: In the fourth quarter, leading 16-10 with under five minutes remaining, Von Miller came around the end and stripped the ball from Cam Newton. TJ Ward recovered deep in Panthers territory and CJ Anderson punched the ball in for a touchdown to push the lead to 14 with just over three minutes left, sealing the win.

Recap: Two years ago, the Broncos stood on the field in dismay. They made it to the Super Bowl on one of the greatest offensive seasons in history, but lost to the Seahawks 43-8. John Elway, who won the only Super Bowls in Broncos history, vowed to learn from it and change the team. And over the last two years he has. The Broncos weren't a good offensive team this year, but they became a powerful force of nature on defense. And defense wins championships. Going into Super Bowl 50 the Carolina Panthers were heavy favorites. In fact, most pred…

Super Bowl Pick

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Today is the day. After months of blood, sweat, and tears, it all comes down to this for the NFL. The Broncos versus the Panthers for the Super Bowl title.

Prediction:
No. 1 Denver Broncos 24, No. 1 Carolina Panthers 21
MVP: CJ Anderson, Broncos running back
Why: At the start of the playoffs, I predicted the Broncos over the Panthers. I'm certainly not backing off that now. The Panthers are the heavy favorites, and most don't give the Broncos a chance. What else is new. This season Denver has been discounted at every turn, yet they've persevered. I think they will do that again. Teams that go 15-1 during the Regular Season are 2-4 in the Super Bowl. Teams that win the Conference Championship Game by 30 or more points are 2-5 in Super Bowls. Teams with the reigning MVP facing the league's No. 1 defense are 0-2 in Super Bowls. Meanwhile, teams with the No. 1 defense are 12-2 in Super Bowls. All those give me confidence. But, really, I think this will be a tough, close, ugly…

Academy Award Previews — The Big Short

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Today I continue my preview of the Academy Awards with one of the most interesting films of the year.

The Big Short
Starring: Steve Carell, Christian Bale, Ryan Gosling, and Brad Pitt
Total Nominations: 5
Nominated For: Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor (Bale), Best Director (Adam McKay), Best Adapted Screenplay (McKay, Charles Randolph), and Best Editing
About: When you hear a movie is being made about the financial crisis, it's easy to be tempted to roll your eyes. But when you see "The Big Short," you realize great care was taken to make a dry subject come to life. That's a credit to the writers — McKay and Randolph, who adapted the book from Michael Lewis — the performers, and to the direction. McKay is best known as Will Ferrell's producing partner, and the director of many of his broad comedies, including "Anchorman." "The Big Short" has light-hearted moments, but it's a serious film about a serious subject. And McKay handles that well…

Academy Award Preview — Room

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I continue my Academy Award previews today with another Best Picture nominee.

Room
Starring: Brie Larson, Jacob Tremblay, and Joan Allen
Total Nominations: 4
Nominated For: Best Picture, Best Actress (Brie Larson), Best Director (Lenny Abrahamson), Best Adapted Screenplay (Emma Donoghue)
About: "Room" was a mild surprise inclusion in the Best Picture race, and is somewhat a long shot in that category. However, it's one of the Best Picture nominees that will likely come away with at least one award. It's a devastating story, based on the novel from Donoghue, about a woman who was kidnapped, held in captivity, tried to protect the child that resulted from her assault, and eventually escapes. It's really two stories. The first half is a story about how she and her son survive in captivity. The second half is how they adjust to the world. It is a beautifully told story, and it's well acted. Which is where the awards come in. Abrahamson is a long-shot, too, to win as …

Now Playing

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Here's a look at the new movie I saw this week.

Dirty Grandpa
Starring: Robert De Niro, Zac Efron, Dermot Mulroney, Julianna Hough, and Aubrey Plaza
Synopsis: When you see Robert De Niro is in a movie, it conjures a certain idea. De Niro is a two-time Oscar winner who has done some memorable roles throughout a decorated career in acting. But it’s easy to forget about that when seeing his latest film, “Dirty Grandpa,” which is a movie and a role unlike anything he’s done in the past. And that’s not a compliment. January is typically a rough time for movies. There’s a lot of rough and very few diamonds that come out. That’s certainly the case with “Dirty Grandpa,” which aims at being crass fun but instead is an over-the-top mess. On the surface this looks like it could be an interesting fish-out-of-water kind of comedy. A straight-laced young man finds out about his grandfather’s unexpected wild side. And there are moments in the movie that are funny and kind of work. But a lot of it …

Top 25 Countdown — No. 14

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Today I continue my personal Top 25 countdown with my favorite Michael Mann movie.

No. 14 — Heat (1995)
Starring: Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Val Kilmer, Ashley Judd, Natalie Portman, Jon Voigt, and Wes Studi
Director: Michael Mann
Quote: Vincent Hanna: You know, we are sitting here, you and I, like a couple of regular fellas. You do what you do, and I do what I gotta do. And now that we've been face to face, if I'm there and I gotta put you away, I won't like it. But I tell you, if it's between you and some poor bastard whose wife you're gonna turn into a widow, brother, you are going down.
Neil McCauley: There is a flip side to that coin. What if you do got me boxed in and I gotta put you down? Cause no matter what, you will not get in my way. We've been face to face, yeah. But I will not hesitate. Not for a second.
About: Michael Mann has crafted some great and memorable films. He was the man behind "Manhunter," "Last of the Mohicans," "Th…

Winter TV Roundup, Week 5

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In there weekly posts I take a look at the new shows of winter. I review the pilot and second episode of new scripted series. If you don't see a new series below, check previous weeks.

Monday Nights:
Lucifer, Mondays at 9 p.m. on FOX (Premiered January 25)
About: This is the latest drama on FOX, and it's another show based on a D.C. Comics property — albeit one cribbed from the Bible. It imagines that Lucifer got bored ruling Hell and took a vacation to Los Angeles. And in the midst of running a club and running wild among the hedonists of Los Angeles, he buddies up with a cop and helps to fight crime. Yes, a serialized formula added to something decidedly different. Tom Ellis is incredible charming in the lead role, and that kind of helps this series. I wasn't wild about the pilot, but I thought the second episode was a bit more amusing. All that charm is largely due to the show's star. I don't know if this works as a long-term series, but it's not the worst new…

Upcoming Releases — February

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Here's a look at all the new movies coming to theaters in February. There's some gems headed our way, beginning with this weekend.

Friday, February 5:
Pride & Prejudice & Zombies — On the surface, you're asking yourself, "what is this?" But the trailers look awesome, and the concept is also awesome. It re-imagines the classic "Pride & Prejudice" in a world with zombies. What's not to love?

The Choice — The annual Nicholas Sparks cry fest. This is out a week ahead of Valentine's Day, but just know that this will be a hot one for the ladies. And someone will dies. And this will be sad. It's Nicholas Sparks.

Hail Cesar! — The latest from the Coen Brothers is a comedy set in the world of studio films in the 1950s. It stars George Clooney and Josh Brolin, among others. If you love the Coen Brothers, this is a must see.

Friday, February 12:
Deadpool — This isn't your mother's superhero movie. Ryan Reynolds is in the starring role, t…