Reviewing the ‘Paranormal Activity’ Franchise

Reviewing the ‘Paranormal Activity’ Franchise

Reviews of ‘Paranormal Activity 1’, ‘Paranormal Activity 2’, ‘Paranormal Activity 3’, ‘Paranormal Activity 4’, ‘Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones’, thoughts on each film individually, as a whole, and the future of the franchise.

by Mitch Burns

Downloads27‘Paranormal Activity’ (2007 Limited / 2009 Wide Release)

Director: Oren Peli

Starring: Katie Featherston, Micah Sloat and Mark Fredrichs

The film that started not only the ‘Paranormal Activity’ franchise, but in a lot of ways, the hand-held camera craze. It also saw a trend of studios putting faith in smaller budget horror films, with a decent story and some originality, and reaping the rewards.

‘Paranormal Activity’ is about a young couple, Katie (Katie Featherston) and Micah (Micah Sloat), who move into a new home and begin to notice many strange things beginning to happen to them. Katie is convinced that they are being “Haunted”, so Micah begins recording their life, and the two of them while they sleep. The recordings capture something horrifying and things only start to worsen for the young couple.

On the surface, it’s very easy to see the issues with ‘Paranormal Activity’, The acting isn’t great, the characters are a bit one note, and in the case of Micah, slightly annoying. These issues aren’t entirely bothersome in the grand scheme of things, as the movie does so much with a reported $15,000 budget. ‘Paranormal Activity’ is freaky and creepy, I’m glad I didn’t see this in theaters as I can only imagine how much scarier it would have been amplified on the big screen.

The creators found a way to make something incredibly spine-tingling, on a small budget, avoiding a low-budget feel. I often found myself asking “How did they do that?”. The film creates a compelling mystery as well, one that has spanned 5 films, and I am still intrigued to learn more about. After making almost $200 million ‘Paranormal Activity’ has surpassed cult classic, and become a straight up classic, a notion that I know will be correct on even in 20-30 years.

Grade: A-

‘Paranormal Activity 2’ (2010)

Director: Tod Williams

Starring: Molly Ephraim, Sprague Grayden, Brian Boland, Seth Ginsberg, Vivis Cortez, Micah Sloat, and Katie Featherston

‘Paranormal Activity 2’ continues with the story established in the first of the series, instead of being a direct sequel, they decide to go the prequel route, which is an interesting premise. ‘Paranormal Activity 2’ centers on Kristi (Sprague Grayden), the sister of Katie (Katie Featherston), and Kristi’s family, her husband Dan (Brian Boland), their young son Hunter, and Dan’s daughter from another marriage Ali (Molly Ephraim).

Several weeks before the events of the first film, Katie’s sisters family has their house broken into and trashed, so Brian has security cameras installed throughout the entire property. The security cameras begin to catch some Paranormal Activity…

Unfortunately, ‘Paranormal Activity 2’ takes a major plummet in quality from the first film to the second. ‘Paranormal Activity 2’ has some issues, among those issues are terrible writing and bad dialogue and two terrible characters, Kristi (Sprague Grayden) and Dan (Brian Boland), who are not helped as the actors playing them give appalling performances.

If the film was as scary as the first I may have been able to overlook some of the problems the film has, but not only is the film lacking in scares, it can be dull in spots. I started to feel some fatigue with the product as well, as I found myself thinking that the film felt quite like “More of the same”, and ‘Paranormal Activity 2’ shouldn’t have these problems being only the second in a franchise.

The franchise overall may have a problem with this film (and the fourth, but more on that later), as there are questions raised in ‘Paranormal Activity 2’ that the creators may never be able to answer and will forever remain plot-holes. luckily, myself and most audiences won’t see this film as so bad because the last 20 minutes are shocking, interesting and leave you wanting more.

Grade: C-

‘Paranormal Activity 3’ (2011)

Director: Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman

Starring: Chris Smith, Lauren Bittner, Chloe Csengery, Jessica Tyler Brown, Hallie Foote, Dustin Ingram, Sprague Grayden and Katie Featherston

‘Paranormal Activity 3’  is a prequel to a prequel, taking place in 1988, nearly 18 years before the events of ‘Paranormal Activity 1′ and 2. With a larger amount of story layered in, in order to weave the films together, and it makes ‘Paranormal Activity 3′ all the more interesting.

In ‘Paranormal Activity 2′  we were never shown that a box of video tapes were stolen from Kristi (Sprague Grayden) and Dan’s house in the robbery that resulted in them installing the security cameras. These video tapes belonged to Kristi and Katie’s (Katie Featherston) mother Julie (Lauren Bittner) and boyfriend Dennis (Chris Smith). The tapes were made by Dennis, a wedding photographer, who began to notice some supernatural events surrounding a young Katie (Jessica Tyler Brown) and Kristi (Chloe Csengery), and began to film the house.

The decisions made actually feel necessary and interesting instead of forced like in ‘Paranormal Activity 2’, (and all of ‘Paranormal Activity 4’). Taking the film back to the beginning of the haunting’s surrounding Kristi and Katie, which were only hinted at in 1 and 2, actually answers some questions, creates a few new ones, and remains scary. ‘Paranormal Activity 3’ is probably the most well made film of the entire series, it has a larger budget, and  likeable characters, good acting, and it may take a bit to get moving it does have an interesting, multi-layered story.

‘Paranormal Activity 3’ falls victim to an irritating trend that besieges most horror films, and even the first two in some fashion, those moments when no one will believe anyone. It’s basically just common knowledge that if you are in a horror film, and you see a ghost or something creepy, nobody will believe you, no matter if it’s your significant other, parents, siblings or best friend, they won’t believe you, and it’s irritating.

Also, put the damn camera down if you’re being chased, you’re trying to save someones life, and it is a life or death situation. The first two didn’t have this problem, but 3, 4 and the spin-off do, and it is quite unbelievable that these people would still be holding a camera while running scared, and so well.

Grade: B-

‘Paranormal Activity 4’ (2012)

Director: Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman 

Starring: Kathryn Newton, Matt Shively, Aiden Lovekamp, Brady Allen, Alexondra Lee, Stephen Dunham, and Katie Featherston

It’s now 2011, a young girl named Alex (Kathryn Newton) and her family, her Mom (Alexondra Lee), her Dad (Stephen Dunham) and her littler brother Wyatt (Aiden Lovekamp), get some new neighbors across the street. One night, cops and ambulance’s surround the new neighbors house, and Alex and her friend Ben (Matt Shively), discover the child, Robbie (Brady Allen), who just moved in across the street in their treehouse.

After Alex’s mom discovers that Robbie’s mom is in the hospital, she decides to take him in to their home. Shortly after, mysterious things begin to happen and Alex, with the help of Ben, begin to film the house using webcams, phone cameras and more to capture what is going on.

The film immediately makes my blood boil as they treat the film’s star Kathryn Newton, who was 15 at the time of filming, as a sexual object. Her friend Ben (Matt Shively) is the most irritating character I’ve ever had the pleasure of seeing on-screen and he is consistently trying to seduce the young Alex, trying to get her to show her boobs, talks about being cock-blocked and watches her sleep!

The film then begins to shit on any good reputation the first three films had already built up. The scares aren’t handled well in ‘Paranormal Activity 4’, while the first 3 developed a creep factor, and worked to scare you, here the imagination is completely turned off and they throw anything at the audience to try and make the jump. The film fails, miserably. and you won’t be scared at all, in fact you will definitely find yourself rooting for the evil to win.

I don’t know how the franchise is going to work themselves out of the hole ‘Paranormal Activity 4’ dug, the first 3 created a mystery, and the 4th screws it up, at least in my opinion. I don’t know what they have planned for future installments, but the logic flaws, plotholes and lack of information actually makes me angry.

I’m trying to remind myself why I went with a D- and not an F, I know I didn’t completely hate it, probably because it is in the ‘Paranormal Activity’ universe which I do like. Although, when you take all the issues I’ve stated above, it can only get worse when you add the typical bad acting (Matt Shively), underdeveloped characters (supposedly Alex’s parents are fighting?), the predictability (if you don’t see what’s coming, you’re an idiot), and no one puts the camera down even when they are being chased.

Grade: D-

‘Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones’ (2014)

Director: Christopher Landon

Starring: Andrew Jacobs, Jorge Diaz, Gabrielle Welsh, Renee Victor, David Saucedo, Gloria Sandoval, Molly Ephraim, Micah Sloat and Katie Featherston

‘Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones’ is a spin-off according to creators, after having seen it, I would call it essential viewing if you are a fan of the franchise. The spin-off takes place in 2012, essentially after all four films, although (for all spoiler-free purposes) it doesn’t really connect to those first four films (but it does, but I didn’t tell you that).

The film is set in a small apartment complex, where new high school graduate Jesse (Andrew Jacobs) lives with his Grandmother (Renee Victor) and his father (David Saucedo). He has two close friends in Hector (Jorge Diaz) and Marisol (Gabrielle Welsh), they buy a camera from a pawn shop and begin to film their surroundings. When one evening Jesse’s neighbor below him, Ana (Gloria Sandoval), is murdered, he teams up with Hector and Marisol to figure out what is happening.

‘Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones’ takes a while to get going, and if it weren’t for the likeable characters, the beginning would be a complete bore. These characters are probably the most likeable characters since Katie in the first film, the film actually builds some good relationships, friendship and family. I applaud the franchise for adding some ethnicity into the series, while most films wouldn’t dare trying something like this, I think adding a Latino family adds something different and fresh.

While the film is interesting and actually funny at points, the first hour goes by without almost a single scare, which is very odd for a horror film, it leans more towards thriller or even mystery. I think at this point the franchise needs something to liven it up, this could have been it but it still wasn’t as scary as I would have liked it to be, but still a lot scarier than the fourth film. Again, I will decry the handheld camera portion as the last 20 minutes of the film are spent with a lot of running and screaming, and any sane person would discard the camera for certain.

Although, I enjoyed ‘Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones’ for its differences, for its characters, and maybe because I had just come off ‘Paranormal Activity 4’ and anything is better than that. This is a direction the film should go towards, but amp up the scares and get the story moving a little faster please, some editing and cuts would make this a tighter, scarier thrill.

Grade: C

Thoughts on the entire Paranormal Franchise

It’s 2015 and I’m just watching the Paranormal franchise, so what are my thoughts? 1 and 3 are definitely the best, 2 and The Marked ones aren’t bad, and 4 is almost unwatchable.

Ranking: In order from my favorite to least favorite, although it’s probably pretty obvious by my grades.

#1- ‘Paranormal Activity’
#2- ‘Paranormal Activity 3’
#3- ‘Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones’
#4- ”Paranormal Activity 2′
#5- ‘Paranormal Activity 4’

Did I enjoy my time watching these films? Yes, it’s a fun little franchise, and there were many points that I had to turn the volume down or almost closed my eyes. They’ve tapped into something scary, using the handheld camera style makes the horror seem real and tangible.

Am I looking forward to more? Yes! The mystery the franchise has built up intrigues me, I’m hoping they can wrap it up in one or two more films, but these movies make so much money that I could see why they would continue forever.

The Future of the Paranormal Franchise

Seeing as I am now excited about the Paranormal Franchise and where it is going, I’ve looked into it a bit. Christopher B. Landon, who helped write all but the first film, has said that there is an end planned, and that it will take a few more films to see that out. If fatigue doesn’t hit the franchise at all, I could see that being 2, maybe 3, more films.

The next film in the franchise is titled ‘Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension’, a title that suggests a link to events that happened in ‘Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones’ , which should be interesting. It is also being seen as the fifth film in the ‘Paranormal Activity’ franchise, as  ‘Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones’ was a spin-off. The film is due in theaters October 23, 2015, but after having been delayed about three times already, and not knowing much else about the film, I’m a little worried if we will see it on that date. It will center on a family of four, with Katie Featherston reprising her role as Katie, the only actor to have been in every film so far.

Thanks for Reading!

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The Best performances of 2011

Best Performances of 2011

Tonight Oscar will celebrate the best movies and performances of 2011, but not every great performance 2011 had will be celebrated tonight. While 2011 was not a stellar year for movies, it boasted some amazing performances that I will never forget. I understand The Academy can’t honor everyone, but here is my list of the actors and actresses who made me believe in them and the character they were portraying.

Octavia Spencer – The Help                    

Alan Rickman – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2

Jessica Chastain – The Tree Of Life, The Help, Take Shelter

Brad Pitt – The Tree Of Life, Moneyball

Viola Davis – The Help, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Ryan Gosling – Drive, The Ides of March, Stupid, Crazy Love

Bryce Dallas Howard – The Help, 50/50

Albert Brooks – Drive

George Clooney – The Descendants, The Ides of March

Jean Dujardin – The Artist

Tom Hardy – Warrior

Berenice Bujo – The Artist

Michael Shannon – Take Shelter

Jennifer Ehle – Contagion

Shailene Woodley – The Descendants

Joseph Gordon-Levitt – 50/50

Rooney Mara – The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

Meryl Streep – The Iron Lady

Glen Close – Albert Nobbs

Christopher Plummer – Beginners

Elizabeth Olsen – Martha Marcy May Marlene

Ben Kingsley – Hugo

Sandra Bullock – Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Nick Nolte – Warrior

Saoirse Ronan – Hanna

Kristen Wiig – Bridesmaids

Melissa McCarthy – Bridesmaids

Janet McTeer – Albert Nobbs

Emma Stone – The Help, Crazy, Stupid, Love

The 84th Academy Awards Predictions

The 84th Annual Academy Awards
Mitchell’s Predictions

When: Sunday evening, beginning at 7:00 PM Eastern Time

Where: live on ABC and will be broadcast live from the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, California.

Hosting: Billy Crystal (9th time)  Producing: Bryan Grazer 
Presenting: The ‘Bridesmaids’ Cast, Jennifer Lopez, Tom Hanks, Tom Cruise, Halle Berry, Cameron Diaz, Angelina Jolie, Bradley Cooper, Chris Rock, Ben Stiller, Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy, Tina Fey, Michael Douglas, Will Ferrell, Zach Galifianakis, Meryl Streep, Christian Bale, Colin Firth, Melissa Leo, Natalie Portman
For more on the Oscar Sunday Coverage click here but if you have learned enough from the information above, read on! 
They are here! It feels like ever since the new year I’ve been preparing for it and were now less than 48 hours away from Hollywood’s biggest night! Just like the Golden Globes I’ve assembled my predictions, My list includes the following:
Will win – Who I am fairly  certain the Academy will give the award to
Should Win – Who I think the Academy should give it  to
Could win – A possible upset/surprise/strong contender in the category

Since I’m scoring myself I’ll let you know how I will keep score: 1 point if I guess who Will win correctly. No points if I guess who Could or Should win correctly, those will just be a personal pat on the back. 

So without further ado, here is my list. Follow me on Twitter on Oscar Sunday while I live tweet the Oscars on Twitter, @mitchburns 


“The Artist”
“The Descendants”
“Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close”
“The Help”
“Midnight in Paris”
“The Tree of Life”
“War Horse”
Will Win: The Artist    
Could Win: Hugo/The Descendants    
Should Win: The Artist/The Help
Demián Bichir in “A Better Life”
George Clooney in “The Descendants”
Jean Dujardin in “The Artist”
Gary Oldman in “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”
Brad Pitt in “Moneyball”
Will Win: Jean Dujardin    Could Win: George Clooney    Should Win: Jean Dujardin
Glenn Close in “Albert Nobbs”
Viola Davis in “The Help”
Rooney Mara in “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”
Meryl Streep in “The Iron Lady”
Michelle Williams in “My Week with Marilyn”
Will Win: Viola Davis      Could Win: Meryl Streep   
Should Win: I will be happy if either Meryl or Viola wins, both deserve it!
Kenneth Branagh in “My Week with Marilyn”
Jonah Hill in “Moneyball”
Nick Nolte in “Warrior”
Christopher Plummer in “Beginners”
Max von Sydow in “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close”
Will Win: Christopher Plummer    Could Win: Max Von Sydow
Should Win: Christopher Plummer
Bérénice Bejo in “The Artist”
Jessica Chastain in “The Help”
Melissa McCarthy in “Bridesmaids”
Janet McTeer in “Albert Nobbs”
Octavia Spencer in “The Help”
Will Win: Octavia Spencer   Could Win: Jessica Chastain  
Should Win: Octavia Spencer but Jessica Chastain wouldn’t be bad either, 2011 was an amazing year for her with The Help, The Tree of Life and Take Shelter. 3 great roles!
“The Artist” Michel Hazanavicius 
“The Descendants” Alexander Payne
“Hugo” Martin Scorsese 
“Midnight in Paris” Woody Allen
“The Tree of Life” Terrence Mallick
Will Win: The Artist    Could Win: Hugo or The Descendants  
Should Win: The Artist
“The Descendants”
“The Ides of March”
“Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”
Will Win: The Descendants     Could Win: The Artist
Should Win: The Descendants 
“The Artist”
“Margin Call”
“Midnight in Paris”
“A Separation”
Will Win: Midnight in Paris      Could Win: The Artist
Should Win: Midnight in Paris
“The Artist”
“The Descendants”
“The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”
Will Win: The Artist     Could Win: Hugo    Should Win: The Artist
“A Cat in Paris”
“Chico & Rita”
“Kung Fu Panda 2”
“Puss in Boots”
Will Win: Rango    Could Win: Puss in Boots     Should Win: Rango
“The Artist”
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2”
“Midnight in Paris”
“War Horse”
Will Win: Hugo    Could Win: The Artist   Should Win: Harry Potter
“The Artist”
“The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”
“The Tree of Life”
“War Horse”
Will Win: Hugo    Could Win: The Tree Of Life     Should Win: The Tree Of Life   
“The Artist”
“Jane Eyre”
Will Win: The Artist    Could Win: Hugo    Should Win: Jane Eyre
“Hell and Back Again”
“If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front”
“Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory”
Will Win: Paradise Lost    Could Win: Undefeated   Should Win: Paradise Lost
“The Barber of Birmingham: Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement”
“God Is the Bigger Elvis”
“Incident in New Baghdad”
“Saving Face”
“The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom”
Will Win: The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom     Could Win: Saving Face
Should Win: The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom
“In Darkness”
“Monsieur Lazhar”
“A Separation”
Will Win: A Separation      Could Win: In Darkness      Should Win: A Separation
“Albert Nobbs”
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2”
“The Iron Lady”
Will win: Harry Potter   Could Win: The Iron Lady   Should Win: Harry Potter
“The Adventures of Tintin”
“The Artist”
“Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”
“War Horse”
Will Win: The Artist   Could Win: Hugo   Should Win: The Artist
“Man or Muppet” from “The Muppets”
“Real in Rio” from “Rio”
Will Win: The Muppets     Could Win: hmmm…      Should Win: The Muppets
“The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore”
“La Luna”
“A Morning Stroll”
“Wild Life”
Will Win: Flying Books      Could Win: La Luna      Should Win: La Luna
“The Shore”
“Time Freak”
“Tuba Atlantic”
Will Win: The Shore    Could Win: Raju    Should Win: The Shore
“The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”
“Transformers: Dark of the Moon”
“War Horse”
Will Win: Hugo    Could Win: War Horse     Should Win: War Horse
“The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”
“Transformers: Dark of the Moon”
“War Horse”
Will Win: Hugo    Could Win: War Horse     Should Win: Hugo
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2”
“Real Steel”
“Rise of the Planet of the Apes”
“Transformers: Dark of the Moon”
Will Win: Rise of The Planet Of The Apes     Could Win: Harry Potter
Should Win: Planet of the Apes   (sorry Harry) 

Thanks for reading! See you Sunday!!!! 
Live Tweeting @mitchburns

The Best Movies of 2011

The Best Movies of 2011
By Mitchell Burns
I will start by saying that this list is purely my opinion, you can call it whatever you would like. Lets say in some rare occasion you are talking about my list to a friend, you could call it “Mitchell’s Top Ten List“. For me, in my humble opinion these movies are the best of 2011. A lot of sequels, superhero movies, remakes and other crap poured out of Hollywood this year, one of the worst year for movies in a long time (in my opinion).  The top ten grossing films of 2011 were all sequels, except for the ninth highest grossing film of 2011, The Smurfs (A remake). 2011 saw the most sequels of any year ever, with 28 sequels. Many of the movies I looked forward to in 2011 turned out to be huge upsets and then many of the movies that I never planned on seeing turned out to be my favorites.  
In preparation of making this list I did as much research as possible, I watched at least 66 movies that came out in 2011. 66 movies from 2011, and I still haven’t seen all of them. For the sake of an argument, lets say each movie is an hour and a half, that’s almost 100 hours of movie watching (66 x 1.5 hours= 99 hours)! That’s not including all the movies I watched during 2011 that weren’t from 2011. Some would say I have a problem, I say I have a hobby. I tried as quick as I could to get this list ready and out into the world, but mid-February was the quickest I could handle. 
You might say “Well then how can you make a best of list if you haven’t seen all the movies from that year?” and it’s a valid question, but I know the movies that I would never include on this list. The movies I didn’t see were movies like The Smurfs, Kung Fu Panda 2, Paranormal Activity 3, The Human Centipede 2, Diary Of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules, Mr. Popper’s Penguins, Monte Carlo, Zookeeper, Spy Kids 4D: All The Time In The World, and even Shark Night 3D (I love Shark Movies). Even though I didn’t see those movies, and others, I know that none of them would make it onto my Top Ten list. Yes, even though I did not see Breaking Dawn – Part 1, I Can assure you with 100% certainty that it would not make it on this list. I don’t mean to offend anyone who’s favorite movie may have been listed above, I’m not saying those are bad movies, I’m just saying they are not my cup of tea. To be honest, this is the first Twilight movie I haven’t seen, My Fiancee was kind enough to not include me in her Breaking Dawn viewing plans. 
Alright, I will stop talking now and get on with it, I am just very, very excited to share this list. This is the first time I feel 100% satisfied with the time and effort put into the list, and with the list itself. I will thank you in advance for reading, you don’t know how much it means to me that you clicked on the little link and came to this page. Thank you so very much. Starting with number 10…

10. Contagion/The Descendants

Surprise! #10 is a tie, and it isn’t the only tie on my list, I’m sure as my years as a movie critic go on I will be able to make the hard decisions but for now I’ll live with a tie or two on my list. Contagion is smart, scary, tense and extremely well acted, take a disaster movie and add Oscar caliber writing, directing and acting to it. Contagion has more style than any movie ever made by Roland Emmerich (2012 director). 
The Descendants is beautiful and doesn’t shy away from the truth, it’s emotional but very often funny. George Clooney and Shailene Woodley give amazing performances, the movie is very heartwarming. 

9. Warrior

One of the best moments that comes with critiquing movies is when a movie blows you away, Warrior blew me away, I was never expecting it to make it on this list, I wasn’t even planning on seeing it until Nick Nolte was nominated for a supporting actor Oscar. Warrior is incredibly full of heart, more heart then you could ever imagine in a fighting movie. Tom Hardy and Nick Nolte are incredible in Warrior, their acting astounded me. Warrior goes from one emotionally gripping scene to a wonderfully captured fighting scene with such ease and grace. Warrior is a winner. 

8. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

It’s like James Bond but a little darker, but Bond lets the girl do a few more stunts this time. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo is brutal, disturbing, intense and Tense, it’s essentially a violent mystery movie. David Fincher, probably my favorite director did such a superb job. Rooney Mara literally transformed herself for the title role, I have seen her in other movies but didn’t know until afterwards who she was. 

7. 50/50/Bridesmaids

Another tie! So what I put the comedies together, I couldn’t decide which was better!
Bridesmaids exceeded all of my expectations, when you look at the poster/trailer/title you think “Chick Flick”, but it’s not really a chick flick. Bridesmaids is downright hilarious, I was laughing out loud. Bridesmaids may have it’s occasional over the top hilarious moments, but what shocked me was how real it felt. Kristen Wiig’s character felt real and authentic, and you could relate to her problems, every line out of these women’s mouths were just pure comic genius. I’m glad the academy recognized Wiig for her writing and Melissa McCarthy who obviously stole the show on many occasions. 
50/50 takes the award for most heartfelt comedy of the year, director Jonathan Levine from comedy to bittersweet moments with such easy. Rising star Joseph Gordon-Levitt does a wonderful job, the story feels authentic and real, and even though it might make you tear up you’ll leave the theatre feeling a little bit better about life.

6. The Artist

When I first heard about The Artist I was confused and a little angry that some stupid person would even make another silent film, I couldn’t help but think “Why?”. Even though I was confused, I still saw The Artist and I couldn’t believe how in love I was with it. The Artist IS a silent film, but it defies all logic and seeps its way into your heart. The Artist is full of life and happiness, I attribute a lot of that to Jean Dujardin who absolutely breathes life into this movie with his charm, and his co-star Berenice Bejo does a wonderful job as well. 

5. Martha Marcy May Marlene/Take Shelter

This is the last tie I promise! Two indie films that absolutely blew me away
Take Shelter is driven by two great performances by Michael Shannon and Jessica Chastain. The story is tense and scary, it sneaks up on you slowly, each minute that passes you become more and more involved drawn in, your tied to the ending good or bad. 
Martha Marcy May Marlene is a story about a girl who escapes a cult and lives with her sister. Elizabeth Olsen stars as Martha Marcy May Marlene in her debut role that is Oscar worthy, The story is haunting and terrifying as Martha tries to settle into her life but is haunted by her old one. 

4. Drive

Ah Drive! The movie the Oscars forgot, I still shake my head. Drive stars possibly the biggest name of 2011, and was one of the most unforgettable movies 2011 had to offer. It’s different, it’s violent but it’s exciting and captivating and intriguing. Drive is the best action film of 2011, driven by a great cast. 

3. The Help

While it may boast a few cliches and stereotypes The Help rises to the #3 spot on my list due to the fine story and top notch acting. The Help boasts one of the best ensemble casts this year, every actress involved deserves a round of applause and a trophy of some sort. Viola Davis is the front runner of the movie, and her acting is absolutely amazing, but she gives her wonderful co-stars room to shine also like Octavia Spencer, Emma Stone, Jessica Chastain, Bryce Dallas Howard and Allison Janney. 

2. The Muppets

Did I lose you? I hope not. The Muppets is, in my opinion, the second best movie of 2011. Eleven years since The Muppets have graced the big screen and thanks to the help of Jason Segel, The Muppets are back and a huge success. The Muppet’s is funny, heartfelt and over joyous with happiness that doesn’t feel forced, if you leave unhappy than there is something incredibly wrong with you. 

So Have you guessed the #1 movie?

Are you Ready?

And Now…

The Number 1 Movie of 2011 is….

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2

Yes, in 2011 it all ended in a spectacular, amazing and magical finish. I knew what to expect, ten years of seeing every Harry Potter in theatres, and at 21 years old I think I was more excited this time than the first time. This Harry Potter was extremely well paced, and wonderfully acted especially from Alan Rickman. The finale was fitting and amazing, and I am extremely satisfied with a movie that is being called “The end of an era”. 

The Movies That almost made it on this list:
Rise of the Planet of the Apes (was just beat out by Contagion)
X-Men: First Class, Super 8, The Tree Of Life, Mission Impossible 4, Attack The Block, Hugo, Hanna, We Bought a Zoo, and Our Idiot Brother. 

Thanks for reading 🙂 

The Artist {Review}

The Artist
A silent. black & white film with more emotion and heart then many of today’s hollywood movies

Directed by: Michael Hazanavicius   Starring: Jean Dujardin         Reviewed by: Mitchell Burns
                                                                         Bérénice Bejo
                                                                         John Goodman                      5/5 stars
                                                                         James Cromwell

For me, The Artist is this years “The King Speech”. You know, everyone has been talking about it so much, the critics absolutely adore it, but it seems like one of those movies only a critic could love. You watch the trailer and you think to yourself “I’m not looking forward to see that” but then you finally see it, after months of putting it off, and you’re blown away. I know I was blown away. 

Jean Dujardin plays George Valentin, a silent film star in the late 1920’s, he’s at the top of the career, he loves his job and he’s completely happy. He’s married to a beautiful wife named Doris (Penelope Ann Miller), and they live in a huge house. Valentin has a Valet named Clifton (James Cromwell) who doubles as a friend, and he also has a cute dog named Jack (Uggie), who follows his master everywhere.

After a showing of Valentin’s movie, A Russian Affair, he leaves the theatre and is surrounded by cameramen and the flash of bulbs. A young woman named Peppy Miller (Bérénice Bejo) accidentally falls into Dujardin and is embarrassed, but Dujardin brushes it off and makes the girl laugh. She thanks him for being kind to her and kisses him on the cheek and of course the kiss is caught on camera and the two are on the front of the newspaper the next day with the caption “Who’s That Girl?” 

Peppy Miller is thrust into super stardom after Valentin puts her in one of his movies, and she becomes a huge star. A few years later the boss of Kinograph studio’s, Al Zimmer (John Goodman), shows him the newest thing in movies, Talking. According to Zimmer, no one wants to see George Valentin anymore and silent movies will become a thing of the past. 

The Artist does a really great job of conveying so much depth and emotion, which is one part the acting and another part the music, and a director that can put it all together perfectly. Jean Dujardin is so marvelous in this movie I am going to have a hard time seeing him act in anything else, he definitely deserves the Oscar for this role. Bérénice Bejo did a wonderful job as well, the chemistry between the two is perfect, I’m not sure if she deserves the Oscar, but it’s still up in the air for me. Bejo is stunningly beautiful, and she fits into the role pretty perfectly. 

The Artist is extremely emotional, it does a great job at showing the fall of the silent film era in a perfect way, with a silent film. Now, did the silent film aspect bug me? Not really. The music fills that void perfectly enough and you become so captivated with the performances and the story that you kind of forget it’s a silent movie. 

Part of me feels that the silent aspect is a gimmick, to draw awards attention, but it’s well done enough to actually deserve the awards. I don’t ever want to see Hollywood make another silent film again, I hope no one tries to ride on the success of The Artist.

and a nod to the amazingly trained Uggie, who plays Jack the dog, if there was an Oscar for animals he would definitely win, because he is a scene stealer.

– Mitch burns

Drive {Review}

An exciting and Tense thriller that surprises and is carried by amazing performances from Gosling and Brooks

Directed By: Nicolas Winding Refn       Starring: Ryan Gosling             Reviewed by: Mitchell Burns
                                                                              Albert Brooks
                                                                              Carey Mulligan                       4 1/2 / 5 stars
                                                                              Bryan Cranston
                                                                              Ron Perlman

Before watching Drive I tweeted this: “Wish I could Jump on the “I love Ryan Gosling” band wagon, but I’m not there yet”, after seeing Drive, I am there. I have seen Gosling in a few movies The Notebook, Blue Valentine, The Ides Of March, and Stupid Crazy Love and I could see that he is a good actor, but I think Drive is his best performance yet. 

Drive is about an unnamed Hollywood stunt performer (Ryan Gosling) who also works as a driver for criminals looking for a quick getaway. The Driver Has a friend, Shannon (Bryan Cranston from TV’s Breaking Bad) who owns a garage, and basically sets up other jobs for The Driver. Shannon borrows money from a crooked mobster Bernie Rose (Albert Brooks) to buy a sports car so that The Driver can race, Bernie Rose agrees to give Shannon the money after he sees The Driver drive. Shannon knows Bernies right hand man, Nino (Ron Perlman) because Nino shattered his pelvis years before because Shannon over charged him once.

The Driver starts to get close to his neighbor Irene (Carey Mulligan) and her son Benicio (Kaden Leos), after running into them several times and helping them with car troubles. Trouble starts when Irene’s husband Standard (Oscar Isaac) gets out of jail, Standard owes protection money to a man named Cook (James Biberi) and The Driver agrees to help him with his problems.

Drive Has a retro feel, it has some nice cars, music that feels retro despite being from the 2000’s and some pink opening credits that feels like some Risky Business like writing. Goslings character is quiet, he exudes a Clint Eastwood vibe, he does some bad things but he’s a hero and he helps those in need. I really enjoyed Gosling in this role and I Shake my head at the thought of him not even being nominated for an Oscar.

The reason people are stating that Drive was shunned from the Oscars is because of it’s very violent movies, a few scenes in general will stick with you, and the body count is high. Carey Mulligan pulls off her role well, her attraction for Gosling’s character is evident and genuine. Mulligan described filming Drive as “staring longingly at Ryan Gosling for hours each day.” Gosling and Mulligan said that they themselves cut many of the lines they were supposed to say to one another to make Gosling’s quiet character more believable and help show the chemistry between the two. 

The director, Nicolas Winding Refn, said there was about 6 or 7 actors he could have gone with for the character of Bernie Rose, The ruthless mob leader type of actor, but he wanted to go with someone who hasn’t played this type of character before and he picked the perfect actor, Albert Brooks. Brooks, who’s only credits I am familiar with are Taxi Driver, The Simpson’s and Marlin from Finding Nemo, is great in Drive, you can’t tell if he’s bad until you know he’s bad. 

Drive is Tense, it’s violent and it’s thrilling in spots. Drive slows down when it comes to Goslings and Mulligans scenes, and the movie comes to a screeching halt, but there moments are sweet and add a flair of romance to the film. The movies trailer may misrepresent Drive, which I hate, Drive is what happens when you take an action movie and add artistic flair to it. Don’t be mistaken, Drive is an award winner for that.

P.s – Fun Fact: The movies Tagline is the same as “No Country For Old Men” “There are no clean getaways”

-Mitch Burns (Who is now a fan of Ryan Gosling) 

Oscar Nominations: Shockers, Snubs and Surprises

84th Academy
Shockers, Snubs and Surprises

Tom Sherak, President of the Academy of  Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, stood beside the beautiful Jennifer Lawrence, early this morning to announce the 2011 Academy  Award Nominations. Lawrence, who made a splash last at the Oscars for her best actress nomination for the movie “Winters Bone”. Winters Bone  received a surprising Best Picture nomination last year, so maybe it was only fitting that Lawrence helped announce the nominations this year, as it was a very surprising year.

In my opinion 2011 was a rather dismal year in movies, I was rather disappointed with most of the movies this year but as always there’s a good list of movies from every year that I loved and enjoyed, and a lot of them were nominated today, many were not.

I am still rocking and reeling at some snubs, that’s for sure.

Let me now dissect most of the Oscar nomination categories, I won’t do all of the categories, just the ones with some surprises or snubs.

Best Picture 

  • “The Artist” 
  • “The Descendants” 
  • “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close” 
  • “The Help” 
  • “Hugo” 
  • “Midnight in Paris” 
  • “Moneyball” 
  • “The Tree of Life” 
  • “War Horse” 

Shocker: Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close -This Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock, post 9/11 movie, which is more of a fan favorite than a critic favorite

Snubs: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Drive, Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows: Part 2, Bridesmaids

Actor in a Leading Role

  • Demián Bichir in “A Better Life”
  • George Clooney in “The Descendants”
  • Jean Dujardin in “The Artist”
  • Gary Oldman in “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”
  • Brad Pitt in “Moneyball”
Shocker: Demián Bichir is a big shocker. So is Gary Oldman, but most everyone was rooting for him

Snubs: Michael Fassbender (Shame), Ryan Gosling (The Ides Of March, Drive), Leonardo Dicaprio (J. Edgar), Michael Shannon (Take Shelter)
Actor in a Supporting Role
  • Kenneth Branagh in “My Week with Marilyn”
  • Jonah Hill in “Moneyball”
  • Nick Nolte in “Warrior”
  • Christopher Plummer in “Beginners”
  • Max von Sydow in “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close”
Shocker: Jonah Hill, Nick Nolte

Snub: Albert Brooks (Drive), Andy Serkis (Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes), Alan Rickman (Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows: part 2)

Actress in a Leading Role
  • Glenn Close in “Albert Nobbs”
  • Viola Davis in “The Help”
  • Rooney Mara in “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”
  • Meryl Streep in “The Iron Lady”
  • Michelle Williams in “My Week with Marilyn”
A snub for Tilda Swinton (We Need To Talk About Kevin) and Charlize theron (Young Adult) but that was expected. Kirsten Dunst (Melancholia)

Actress in a Supporting Role
  • Bérénice Bejo in “The Artist”
  • Jessica Chastain in “The Help”
  • Melissa McCarthy in “Bridesmaids”
  • Janet McTeer in “Albert Nobbs”
  • Octavia Spencer in “The Help”
Shocker: Melissa McCarthy, but in my opinion a welcome shock, and Janet McTeer (Albert Nobbs)

Snub: Shailene Woodley (The Descendants) definitly deserved a nomination

Animated Feature Film
  • “A Cat in Paris “Alain Gagnol and Jean-Loup Felicioli
  • “Chico & Rita “Fernando Trueba and Javier Mariscal
  • “Kung Fu Panda 2” Jennifer Yuh Nelson
  • “Puss in Boots” Chris Miller
  • “Rango” Gore Verbinski
Shockers: A Cat In Paris and Chico & Rita, 2 movies i have never even heard of

Snubs: The Adventures Of Tintin, and Cars 2

    • “The Artist” Michel Hazanavicius
    • “The Descendants” Alexander Payne
    • “Hugo” Martin Scorsese
    • “Midnight in Paris” Woody Allen
    • “The Tree of Life” Terrence Malick
    Snub: Spielberg! No love for Tintin and no directorial love for “War Horse” 

    Foreign language Film

    A Snub for Angelina Jolie’s Foreign language film “In The Land Of Blood and Honey”

    Music (Original Score)
    • “The Adventures of Tintin” John Williams
    • “The Artist” Ludovic Bource
    • “Hugo” Howard Shore
    • “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” Alberto Iglesias
    • “War Horse” John Williams
    Snubs: The Score for The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo had an amazing score!!!

    Music (Original Song)
    • “Man or Muppet” from “The Muppet’s” Music and Lyric by Bret McKenzie
    • “Real in Rio”from “Rio” Music by Sergio Mendes and Carlinhos Brown Lyric by Siedah Garrett

    I am so glad to see The Muppet’s nominated, but Why only 2 choices from a short list of 38 songs, also “Man or Muppet” wasn’t even the best song from The Muppet’s! 

    Side notes:
    Nice to see Kristen Wiig (and Annie Mumolo) receive a nomination for Bridesmaids. 
    No Love for 50/50, which is another favorite from this year. 
    I will say this now, a little more love for the finale of movies that defined a generation would have been nice, Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part 2 deserves all the love it can get and I feel as if 3 nominations isn’t enough. 
    Oh, and I’m still shaking my head at the nominations for Transformers. 

    The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo {Review}

    The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
    A gritty, dark, intense thriller that grabs hold of you from the beginning and never lets go

    Directed by: David Fincher       Starring: Rooney Mara                   Review By: Mitchell Burns
                                                                      Daniel Craig
                                                                      Christopher Plummer                   4 1/2 / 5 stars
                                                                      Stellan Skarsgård
                                                                      Robin Wright

    I had no idea what to expect from The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, it probably had the best trailer of 2011, a trailer that didn’t give away any of the story line (a good thing). I had read tiny blurbs and excerpts about the movie, I knew it was rated R, I knew who starred in it. I also knew it was based on the first of a three part best selling book series written by the late Stieg Larson. Larson never became a bestselling author until after his death in 2004.

    Larson’s three part book series has already been turned into three movies in Sweden. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played With Fire and The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets Nest, which are the names of the three books in the series. I have not see the three Swedish movies, but have heard they are top notch. Some critics even say the Swedish version of the first movie is better than this version, U.S version.

    So that is what I knew going into the movie, I knew most critics enjoyed it but not knowing anything about the story I was kind of excited to be able to form my own opinion. I was very happy, “Dragon Tattoo” has everything, intrigue, action, an insanely detailed story line, and the acting power to make it all work.

    Daniel Craig plays Mikael, a journalist who has just lost a major case against a crooked businessman, Wennerstromm, and is now forced to pay damages of almost 100,000 US.

    Unbeknown to Mikael, a girl named Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara) is learning everything about him and compiling a background check for a man named Henrik (Christopher Plummer) the retired CEO of Vanger industries.

    Lisbeth Salander, the title character, is a ward of the state due to mental incompetence. She is a computer hacker, and rides a killer motorcycle, everywhere. Her current legal guardian suffers a stroke, and when she is placed under the care of a new legal guardian, A Lawyer, more trouble arises for her.

    Mikael is contacted by Henrik of Vanger industries and is asked to come his families island. The Vanger family lives on one island, scattered vicariously throughout. The Vanger family has a deeply troubled past and most members of the family rarely talk to one another. Mikael leaves his life behind, his married girl friend (Robing Wright) and accepts Henrik’s (Plummer) case. The case, which is trying to solve the unsolved murder of Henrik’s niece, who went missing one night at the age of 18 and is presumed murdered.

    The case has Mikael interviewing the entire Vanger family, with a lot of help from Henrik’s nephew (Stellan Skarsgård), and a lot of un-helpfulness from the rest of the family (most unrecognizable, but good actors and actresses).

    As you guessed Mikael’s path does intertwine with Lisbeth’s as he enlists her skills as the case gets more and more intense. 

    Maybe I’ve explained too much, but I definitely left a lot out. 

    The depth in the storyline and the characters must come from Stieg Larson, The Author, but I can easily see the influences David Fincher brought to the direction of this movie. David Fincher has quickly become my favorite director, just last year we were raving over his movie, The Social Network and in past years movies like Se7en, The Curious Case of Benjamin Buttons and Panic Room.

    The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo is an intriguing mystery, an intense psycho-thriller, no laughs to speak of, a little twinge of romance, and decent acting! The only reason I wouldn’t recommend TGWTDT too everyone is because it deserves it’s R rating. Although, my fiancée and I were the youngest in the theatre, and most were couples in there 60’s who probably had read the book. Three people did walk out during our showing due to some intense scenes about 40 minutes into the movie. 

    The intensity of some scenes only build upon Lisbeth’s character and show you a glimpse into why she is the way she is. Rooney Mara depicts her perfectly, I didn’t realize until I looked it up but she is Jesse Eisenberg’s love interest in The Social Network and the main actress in the Nightmare On Elm Street remake. Mara does a bang up job, and I don’t think we’ve seen the last of her.

    The rest of the cast does there job, Daniel Craig barely even tries at an accent, but does well and it only heightened my excitement for Skyfall (The new James Bond) and almost made me forget Cowboys and Aliens. Christopher Plummer is great as always as is Stellan Skaarsgard.

    I can not wait to see The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo again, it’s an intense thrill ride that I would have walked right back into the theatre too see again!
    -Mitch Burns

    Click here to see the red-band poster that was too risky to put in my blog!!! This just goes to show, if the poster is R rated, imagine the movie!  

    The Golden Globes: WHO WON!

    The Golden Globes:
    Who Should, Could and Will Win
    and who Won!
    By Mitchell Burns
    Tonight the Hollywood Foreign Press Association will award the second best award, after the Oscar, to a group of deserving winners while Ricky Gervais, in his third time hosting, will mock everyone in attendance. Gervais has made me laugh more than any host of the academy awards since Billy Crystal in 2003, So I am glad that Gervais is back (and Crystal for that matter). 
    There are a few movies on the Golden Globes ballot sheet that I have not seen, but I promise I will see them all before the Academy Awards on Feb. 26th. I have seen most of the movies mentioned, and most I have liked, some I have loved and some just didn’t stick out enough to even be nominated. Below, I will state who I think should win, Who I think Will win, and Who I think Could win (If the person that I think will win doesn’t) 
    *** And now I have edited this blog, since the Globes are over, to show who won, and which categories I got right, wrong or horribly wrong. Look for the highlighted Portions to see where I made the right pick!!

    The Descendants, The Artist, Modern Family, Homeland, Octavia Spencer, Meryl Streep, and Clooney were the big winners of the night, while Gervais leaned towards the safe side and wasn’t as funny as previous years! read on!!

    Best Motion Picture, Drama:
    Who Should Win – The Help
    Who Will Win – The Descendants 
    Who Could Win – The Help
    Won: The Descendants

    Best Motion Picture, Comedy or Musical:
    Who Should Win – Bridesmaids
    Who Will Win – The Artist
    Who Could Win – The Artist Has this in the bag, no question.
    Won: The Artist

    Best Director:
    Who Should Win – Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
    Who Will Win – Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
    Who Could Win – Martin Scorsese, Hugo 

    Won – Martin Scorsese, Hugo

    Best Actor, Drama:
    Who Should Win – George Clooney, The Descendants 
    Who Will Win – George Clooney, The Descendants
    Who Could Win – Brad Pitt, Moneyball
    Won – George Clooney, The Descendants

    Best Actress, Drama:
    Who Should Win – Viola Davis, The Help
    Who Will Win – Viola Davis, The Help
    Who Could Win – Meryl Streep, Iron Lady

    Won – Meryl Streep, Iron Lady
    Best Actor, Comedy Or Musical:
    Who Should Win – Jean Dujardin, The Artist
    Who Will Win – Jean Dujardin, The Artist
    Who Could Win – Brendan Gleeson, The Guard
    Won – Jean Dujardin, The Artist

    Best Actress, Comedy or Musical:
    This category will be so different at the Oscars…
    Who Should Win – Michelle Williams, My Week With Marilyn
    Who will Win – Michelle Williams, My Week With Marilyn
    Who Could Win – Kristen Wiig, Bridesmaids
    Won – Michelle Williams, My Week With Marilyn

    Best Supporting Actor:
    Who Should Win – Christopher Plummer, Beginners
    Who Will Win – Christopher Plummer, Beginners
    Who Could Win – Albert Brooks, Drive
    Won – Christopher Plummer, Beginners

    Best Supporting Actress:
    Toughest category, so many great actresses this year
    Who Should Win – Jessica Chastain, The Help
    Who Will Win – Jessica Chastain, The Help
    Who Could Win – Octavia Spencer, The Help. Unless the two girls from The Help split the votes, then the award is fair game to go to either Shailene Woodley, The Descendants, or Berenice Bejo, The Artist. 

    Won – Octavia Spencer
    Best Animated Film:
    Who Should Win – The Adventures Of Tintin
    Who Will Win – The Adventures Of Tintin
    Who Could Win – Rango
    Won – The Adventures Of Tintin

    Best Screenplay:
    Who Should Win – The Descendants

    Who Will Win – The Descendants

    Who Could Win – Moneyball

    Won – The Descendants

    Best Foreign Language Film:
    Who Should Win – The Skin I Live In

    Who will Win – The Skin I Live In

    Who Could Win – In The Land Of Blood and Honey

    Won – A Seperation (from Iran)

    Best Original Score:
    Who Should Win: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

    Who will Win – The Artist

    Who Could Win – War Horse

    Won – The Artist

    Best Original Song:
    (Or the category The Muppets were shafted in)
    Who Should Win: The Muppets, but not nominated

    Who Will Win – The Living Proof

    Who Could Win – Hello Hello
    Won – Masterpiece, W.E (Madonna)

    Best Television Series, Drama:
    Who Should Win – Game Of Thrones
    Who Will Win – Game Of Thrones
    Who Could Win – American Horror Story
    Won – Homeland

    Best Television Series, Musical or Comedy:
    Who Should Win – New Girl
    Who Will Win – New Girl
    Who Could Win – Modern Family
    Won – Modern Family

    Best Actress, Television Drama:
    Who Should Win – Madeleine Stowe, Revenge
    Who will Win – Claire Danes, Homeland
    Who Could Win – Madeleine Stowe, Revenge
    Won – Claire Danes, Homeland

    Best Actor, Television Drama:
    Who Should Win – Kelsey Grammer, Boss
    Who Will Win – Kelsey Grammer, Boss
    Who Could Win – Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
    Won – Kelsey Grammer, Boss

    Best Actor, Television Musical or Comedy:
    Who Should Win – Matt LeBlanc, Episodes
    Who Will Win – Matt LeBlanc, Episodes
    Who Could Win – Johnny Galecki, The Big Bang Theory
    Won – Matt LeBlanc, Episodes

    Best Actress, Television Musical or comedy:
    Who Should win – Zooey Deschanel, New Girl
    Who Will Win – Zooey Deschanel, New Girl
    Who Could Win – Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation
    Won – Laura Dern, Enlightened
    I left the Mini-Series portion completely untouched, because I have not seen a single mini-Series mentioned, but here is who won for the mini-series portions:

    Best Mini-series:
    Downton Abbey

    Best Actress in a Miniseries:
    Kate Winslet, Mildred Pierce

    Best Actor in a miniseries:
    Idris Elba, Luther

    Best Actress in a supporting role in a miniseries:
    Jessica Lange, American Horror Story

    Best Actor in a supporting role in a miniseries:
    Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones

    The Ides Of March {Review}

    The Ides Of March
    An unmemorable but entertaining political thriller with a great cast that fails too live up to high expectations 

    Directed By: George Clooney       Starring: Ryan Gosling                          Review by: Mitchell Burns
                                                                          Phillip Seymour Hoffman
                                                                          George Clooney                             2 1/2/ 5 stars
                                                                          Paul Giammatti
                                                                          Evan Rachel Wood
                                                                          Marisa Tomei

    George Clooney directs (and stars), The newest and most talked about kid on the block is the lead actor, and the movie was nominated for a few Golden Globes. No wonder I had such high expectations for The Ides Of March.

    Ryan Gosling stars as Stephen Meyers, the junior campaign manager for Mike Morris (George Clooney). Meyers loves his job, and everything is going pretty well. Morris is up against Ted Pullman (Mitchell Mantell) and the movie is based over a few days before the Ohio elections. Both candidates need Ohio or else they risk losing the entire election, and both candidates are trying to get support from the North Carolina  Democratic Senator Franklin Thompson (Jeffrey Wright) who will also play huge part in who wins the election.

    The movie is more focused on the behind the scenes of the election, and the happenings of Meyers (Gosling). Meyers starts a sexual relationship with a young intern, Molly Steams (Evan Rachel Wood). Meyers runs into real trouble when he gets a phone call from the opposing candidates Campaign manager Tom Duffy (Paul Giammatti), who wants Meyers to come work for him. More trouble arises when the Morris` campaign manager own campaign manager, Paul Zara (Phillip Seymour Hoffman) finds out. Then the press (Marisa Tomei) is threatening to leak the story and Meyers has no idea how she found out.

    No character in the Ides Of March has a happy ending, the movie just exposes everyone as a scum bag and a backstabber but The Ides of March moves at a quick pace, and keeps you interested. With the quick pace, the slickness of the movie, and the acting the movie keeps you interested, but that’s all. I was pretty let down. The movie isn’t memorable, and it doesn’t bring anything new or fresh to the table.

    I’m hoping the two categories at the Golden Globes resulted in The Ides Of March being nominated, I would much rather see Bridesmaids nominated at the academy awards then March. If you like George Clooney, don’t see this movie for Clooney, he directs the movie so he takes a step back and only shows his face sporadically. If you want to see Clooney act, go see The Descendants! Hoffman and Giammatti were the best part of The Ides Of March, not only was there acting terrific, there scenes and there dialoge was the best. Gosling was good, but I never once liked his character so it’s hard to feel something for a movie when you don’t really like the main character.

    Maybe The Ides of March is a movie you don’t want to have high hopes or they will be squashed, It’s a good movie, it’s entertainig, but I was expecting a whole lot more.

    – Mitch burns