Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Sandy Bullock and Melissa McCarthy Buddy Cop Movie

I still remember my reaction when I first heard about The Heat, the upcoming Sandra Bullock/Melissa McCarthy buddy cop movie, as clearly as if it happened yesterday. I was on break at work, praying for a quick death to end my misery. You see, the night before, I had gone out to celebrate my birthday and this Dame had a little bit too much to drink. I was so hungover that, thirty minutes before I had to be in, I could barely move from my couch. Miraculously, I somehow made my way to work--on time, mind you!--only to find out as soon as I got in that I had to go out in the hot sun and get carts. So, by the time my break rolled around, I was not a happy camper. But then I got a Twitter notification from Will on my phone: Sandy Bullock and Melissa McCarthy are doing a buddy cop movie together. To this day, I'm not sure if it was because of my sickness, the heat or a surprise surge of hormones, but I damn near cried reading that. Yes, in the middle of the breakroom, I nearly cried over the vaguest of film plots and casting news. Have I reached a new level of cinephilia?

The reason I mention all this is because photographic evidence that this movie is actually going to happen and isn't just some cruel practical joke the world is playing on me has (finally) turned up:

Holy fuck. I was already sold before this, but now I want to have nasty sex with this picture. They are such badasses. As I said on Twitter, I am so excited for this movie I could cry, vomit and shit my pants all at the same time.

Every since the day I heard about this movie, I prayed and prayed to Oprah that the casting wouldn't fall through and we'd be stuck with Katherine Heigl and Octavia Spencer. Because, in all honesty, the main reason I'm excited for The Heat is because of Sandy and Melissa. With anyone else, this would barely be worth tweeting about. But Sandy and Melissa are so dear to me on their own (we all remember how hard I stanned for them in the respective years they were nominated for Oscars) the thought of them together is almost too much for me to handle. They have such wildly different comic personas--Sandy is simultaneously self-deprecating and goofy while Melissa's style is more balls-to-the-wall, in-your-face improv--I'm eager to see how well they work together. And with Bridesmaids director Paul Feig in their corner, I feel like this one will be hard to fuck up.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

100 Hot Men and a Dame: The List

Remember my 100 Hot Men and a Dame series? The one I started nearly a year ago but, last time I checked, stalled out at #84? Yeah, I wouldn't blame you if you have forgotten. The last entry was published all the way back in March (another reminder of just how time flies). Since my blogging has slowed down considerably this year due to other projects I'm working on (namely that screenplay I keep yammering on about every chance I can on Twitter), there's a good (read: 99.9%) chance that I'll never finish the series. Sad, I know, but hold on a second. There is good news ahead! With this being the case, I have decided that there is no harm in posting my closely-guarded, ranked list of my 100 hot men. Considering the fact that I would make numerous changes to this list, not to mention add all of the hotties (Zayn! Josh Hutcherson!) who would easily make this list today, I think it's all the more important to share the original list just to see where my head was back in August 2011. Links to the original entries are in pink, as will future entries when they are posted (I have a few entries that were written out of order ages ago chilling on my dashboard, ready to be posted any time now). As always, enjoy the list and let me know what you think of the choices all the way down to the (inevitable) number one.

83. Warren Beatty
82. Gene Kelly
81. Jonathan Rhys-Meyers

80. Daniel Craig
78. Henry Fonda
77. Hurts (Theo Hutchcraft & Adam Anderson)
76. Patrick Wilson
75. Chris Meloni
74. River Phoenix
73. Ricky Nelson
71. Tom Brady

70. Tom Hardy
69. Steve McQueen
68. Simon Nessman
67. John Cena
66. François Truffaut
65. Nick Youngquest
64. Daniel Brühl
63. Prince Harry
62. John Slattery
61. Chris Pine

60. Ryan Gosling
59. David Beckham
58. Joe McElderry
57. Taye Diggs
56. Jon Hamm
55. Taylor Lautner
54. Armie Hammer
53. Hugh Jackman
52. Anderson Cooper
51. Robert Redford

50. Gaspard Ulliel
49. Joel McCrea
48. Lee Pace
47. Xavier Samuel
46. Sebastian Stan
45. Clive Owen
44. Cary Grant
43. Dominic Cooper
42. Joel McHale
41. Francisco Lachowski

40. Gael Garcia Bernal
39. Louis Garrel
38. Nick Jonas
37. Tom Ford
36. Sam Rockwell
35. Jamie Bell
34. Rupert Graves
33. Neil Patrick Harris
32. Richard Widmark
31. Mark Wahlberg

30. Mark Ruffalo
29. Penn Badgley
28. Kris Allen
27. Brad Davis
26. Alain Delon
25. Justin Timberlake
24. James McAvoy
23. Aaron Tveit
22. Joseph Gordon-Levitt
21. Marcello Mastroianni

20. Marlon Brando
19. Robert Downey, Jr.
18. Chad White
17. Paul Newman
16. Anthony Perkins
15. Gary Cooper
14. Buster Keaton
13. Adam Brody
12. Montgomery Clift
11. Dirk Bogarde

10. Channing Tatum

09. James Marsden

08. Jean-Paul Belmondo

07. Nicholas Hoult

06. Andrew Garfield

05. James Dean

04. Michael Fassbender

03. Jean-Pierre Léaud

02. Jake Gyllenhaal

01. Zac Efron

Sunday, July 15, 2012

2011 Diva Cup Awards: The Oscar Categories

Best Picture
Young Adult

Best Actor
Dominic Cooper, The Devil's Double
Michael Fassbender, Shame
Mel Gibson, The Beaver
Ryan Gosling, Drive
☆Ewan McGregor, Beginners

An extremely tough decision between two star-making performances from Fassbender and Gosling, a dynamic duet of good and evil from Cooper and what should have been Gibson's return to the top. But McGregor sneaks past them all with his carefully constructed performance, delicately and intricately balanced between comedy and drama.

Best Actress
Juliette Binoche, Certified Copy
Kirsten Dunst, Melancholia
Tilda Swinton, We Need to Talk About Kevin
☆Charlize Theron, Young Adult
Kristen Wiig, Bridesmaids

Can you think of another performance where we are supposed to be simultaneously disgusted by a character's self-delusion and narcissism, yet, against all odds, find tiny bits of ourselves among the acid-tongue barbs and Diet Coke chugging? Oscar-winner Theron "slumming" it in a comedy is anything but.

Best Supporting Actor
Armie Hammer, J. Edgar
Jeremy Irons, Margin Call
Nick Nolte, Warrior
Chris O'Dowd, Bridesmaids
☆Christopher Plummer, Beginners 

For years and years, people have been going on about Plummer getting a career Oscar. I'm just glad that he won for something so well deserved as his work in Beginners. Like McGregor, he does a masterful job juggling the sly comedy of the script with the profound sadness that hangs over all the characters.

Best Supporting Actress
Rose Byrne, Bridesmaids
Mary Page Keller, Beginners
Mélanie Laurent, Beginners
☆Melissa McCarthy, Bridesmaids
Amy Ryan, Win Win

You don't even notice until long after the credits roll that Melissa McCarthy has indeed stolen Bridesmaids from everyone around her. McCarthy's balls-out, take-no-prisoners style of comedy is used to full effect and certainly grabs everyone's attention (Let us never forget that her Oscar clip is the "steamy undercarriage" moment!). But I suspect what really seals the deal for her is her final one-on-one moment with Wiig's Annie, a could-have-been schmaltz fest turned on its head by McCarthy's energy and heart.

Best Director
☆Mike Mills, Beginners
Asif Kapadia, Senna
Abbas Kiarostami, Certified Copy
Nicolas Winding Refn, Drive
Joe Wright, Hanna 

Best Original Screenplay
☆Diablo Cody, Young Adult
Abbas Kiarostami, Certified Copy
Leon Ford, Griff the Invisible
Mike Mills, Beginners
Annie Mumolo & Kristen Wiig, Bridesmaids

I've already gone on and on about Young Adult's ending--still a marvel--but there is so much to be appreciated in Cody's script. From its economy (a compact 95 minutes), to the way it captures chronic unhappiness and dissatisfaction without making Mavis a caricature, to the way it makes even minor characters in The Mavis Gary Show human and interesting (a Cody specialty), Young Adult is another huge step forward for Diablo Cody as the premiere screenwriter of her time. She is a voice of a generation.

Best Adapted Screenplay
Austín Almodóvar & Pedro Almodóvar, The Skin I Live In
☆Hossein Amini, Drive
Dustin Lance Black, J. Edgar
Bridget O'Connor & Peter Straughan, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Bryan Singer & Sheldon Turner (Story); Jane Goldman, Ashley Miller, Zack Stentz & Matthew Vaughn (Screenplay), X-Men: First Class 

Best Cinematography
The Skin I Live In
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy 

Best Editing
Certified Copy

Best Costume Design
Jane Eyre
The Skin I Live In
X-Men: First Class
Young Adult 

Best Art Direction
The Artist
The Skin I Live In
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy 

Best Score
The Artist
Winnie the Pooh 

Best Song
The Muppets: "Pictures in My Head"
Winnie the Pooh: "The Backson Song"
X-Men: First Class: "Love Love"

Best Sound
Jane Eyre
Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Best Makeup
The Iron Lady
The Skin I Live In 

Best Visual Effects
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
X-Men: First Class 

Saturday, July 7, 2012

A Look at the 2012 VMAs Best Female Video

Last year, I took a look at what I thought would be potential nominees for Best Female Video at the VMAs. Surprisingly, I did quite well, picking four of the eventual nominees out of the top seven while surprise nominee Beyoncé for "Run the World (Girls)" was highlighted towards the bottom of the list (before the video had even premiered!). The other night I was thinking of that post and decided to try again to come up with what I thought this year's race might look like. Not sure if I can match my predictions last year, but let's give this a shot and see what happens.

The Top 5:

Katy Perry "Part of Me"
4 Noms/0 Wins
In Her Favor: After two years, six #1's and a 3D concert movie, the Teenage Dream Era is coming to an end. Can you think of a more fitting farewell to Katy's immense success than with another nomination here?
But: Nothing. She's in.

Rihanna "We Found Love"
2 Noms/1 Win
In Her Favor: Rihanna manages to pump out hit after hit, but "We Found Love" was her biggest song since "Umbrella." Plus, "We Found Love" is without a doubt her best video to date.
But: Only two nominations? As big of a star as Rihanna should have more.

Kelly Clarkson "What Doesn't Kill You (Stronger)"
3 Noms/2 Wins
In Her Favor: Sometimes all it takes is a #1 hit like this to remind everyone why we fell in love with Kelly in the first place. Girlfriend already has two wins so they clearly love her.
But: Is she "hip" enough for MTV in these days of Katy Perry and Teen Wolf?

Nicki Minaj "Starships"
1 Nom/0 Wins
In Her Favor: Having just notched its 20th week in the Top 10, the song has proven to have massive staying power.
But: Does anybody remember the video? Like, at all?

Lana Del Rey "National Anthem"
0 Noms
In Her Favor: This is my No Guts, No Glory pick. This line-up is in clear need of a Critical Darling. Although Lana is not quite as huge as Adele, last year's Darling, is, she does have a rabid fanbase who were salivating over her material even before her Born to Die album came out. She seems like a long shot, but every once in awhile this category does embrace lesser-known artists with great, buzzworthy videos.
But: This only happens every once in awhile. As odd as it sounds, she probably has a better shot in the Video of the Year category, which is much more open to artistic videos like "National Anthem."

In the Running:

Lady Gaga "Marry the Night"
4 Noms/2 Wins
In Her Favor: I know I sound crazy for betting against Gaga, considering her rabid fanbase who are only out-crazied by the Beliebers. And this video was everything those fanatics could have possibly wanted from an artiste like Lady Gaga.
But: Come on. For an artist who has made a living off turning everything about her persona into pretentious bullshit, this fourteen minute, ultra serious video exploring the inner torment of Gaga The Person was Pretentious Bullshit.

Carly Rae Jepsen "Call Me Maybe"
0 Noms
In Her Favor: A zeitgeist hit...
But: ...That's only mildly less trashy than Rebecca Black's "Friday." More likely than not, expect her to pop up with One Direction in the Best New Artist category.

Madonna "Give Me All Your Luvin'" OR "Girl Gone Wild"
12 Noms/4 Wins
In Her Favor: In very different ways, these two videos have proven why Madonna is still the undisputed Queen of the Music Video.
But: The Gays have completely turned on her. If they don't care, why will MTV?

Britney Spears "I Wanna Go" OR "Criminal"
5 Noms/1 Win
In Her Favor: "I Wanna Go" and "Criminal" were both far better videos than the previous Femme Fatale singles produced.
But: I read somewhere that "I Wanna Go" debuted on the cutoff date for last year's VMAs. I refuse to believe this as that masterpiece received zero nominations while the mediocre "Till The World Ends" nabbed her a Best Pop Video trophy. And if she couldn't get a Best Female Video nomination with that massive track, I doubt either of these songs has the legs to get her there this year.

Jessie J "Domino"
0 Noms
In Her Favor: For better or worse, her loud, painted on jumpsuits were certainly eye-catching in this video.
But: Despite the fact that this song was a hit in the U.S., I still don't feel like she's that big over here. Do you ever hear people talking about her (well, I mean, despite complaining about her singing/wailing)?

Never Say Never:

Demi Lovato "Give Your Heart a Break"
0 Noms 
In Her Favor: With her upcoming X-Factor gig, people are finally taking notice and trying to make her happen.
But: I don't think it's her moment yet. We'll see where she's at after X-Factor debuts this fall.

Cher Lloyd "Want U Back"
0 Noms 
In Her Favor: Against all odds, it appears that she's crossing over into America.
But: She's only just hit the Top 40 here. And if Carly Rae doesn't make it, Cher certainly won't.

Dev "In the Dark"
0 Noms 
In Her Favor: An ubiquitous singer with her own big hit.
But: The song is nearly a year old; has her Moment passed already?