Category: Movie Reviews



The new Ricky Gervais stand up on Netflix is interesting to me because, it’s really three shorter sets edited together…

In the first set, he’s basically doing his David Brent, ‘oblivious asshole’ character to poke fun at the Kardashians (well just one really) and how his own celebrity and wealth have left him ‘out of touch’ with the common man…

The second set is a more traditional stand up routine where he talks about everything they don’t tell you about becoming middle aged.  Self deprecating jokes, fat jokes and dick jokes, you know the drill…

In the last set he seems to be speaking in his natural voice, as he (with humor) focuses on all the good of social media (the ability to unite and organize around a cause in hours instead of months) and the bad (how we all fall victim to gaslighting).

It’s a sharp not quite 90 minutes from someone the vast majority of us will never think of as a ‘stand up comedian’.  If you’re a fan of any of his work (‘The Office,’ ‘Extras,’ ‘Derek’), I think it’s definitely worth checking out.












Here are this year’s nominees for Best Picture:

Call Me By Your Name

Darkest Hour


Get Out

Lady Bird

Phantom Thread

The Post

The Shape of Water

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Who I’m Cheering For: Come on…

Who Should Win: Last year (I think) established unless you have ‘Titantic’, nobody really knows until the envelopes are (double) checked.  ‘Dunkirk’ is the most traditional feeling Best Picture.  ‘Get Out’ is the one we’ll still be referring back to years from now.  Actors love ‘Three Billboards’ and percentage wise we have the most votes.  Take your pick…

Who Will Win: I’ll call ‘The Shape of Water’.  Across all the branches, this one feels the most respected.

Enjoy the show!





Here are the nominees for Best Actress in a Leading Role:

Sally Hawkins – The Shape of Water

Frances McDormand – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Margot Robbie – I, Tonya

Saorise Ronan – Lady Bird

Meryl Streep – The Post

Who I’m Cheering For: I don’t know if anyone here completely ‘doesn’t belong’ this year.  I’ll go with Robbie just for proving (again) she can do more than be the sexpot.

Who Should Win: Let’s not underestimate being a leading character who’s a mute means.  I’d say Sally Hawkins here.

Who Will Win: McDormand.  The people love her and she only seems to do films now once every few years.




Here are the nominees for Best Actor in a Leading Role:

Timothee Chalamet – Call Me By Your Name

Daniel Day-Lewis – Phantom Thread

Daniel Kaluuya – Get Out

Gary Oldman – Darkest Hour

Denzel Washington – Roman J Israel Esq.

Who I’m Cheering For: Multiple names I admire on this list, but looking at all the names above, I realized I’m screaming the loudest on Sunday if Kaluuya wins.

Who Should Win: If the critieria is ‘degree of difficulty within the film they’re nominated for’, it would have to be one of the kids: Chalamet or Kaluuya.

Who Will Win: Commissioner Gordon is due for his ‘lifetime achievement Oscar’.  And I’m fine with that.




Here are the nominees for Best Actress in a Supporting Role:

Mary J. Blige – Mudbound

Allison Tanney – I, Tonya

Lesley Manville – Phantom Thread

Laurie Metcalf – Lady Bird

Octavia Spencer – The Shape of Water

Who I’m Cheering For: You know how a part of you always remembers someone from the first time you saw them?  Octavia Spencer will always be ‘Lady in Alley’ from S.W.A.T (the movie) to me.  Silly I know, but it’s an ‘actor paying their dues, moving up the ranks’ thing.  I know this isn’t her year though.

Who Should Win: One of the two ‘difficult mother’ characters; their movies fall apart without them.  I think Allison has more goodwill at this moment.

Who Will Win: Allison Tanney.  Fine by me.




Here are the nominees for Best Actor in a Supporting Role:

Willem Dafoe – The Florida Project

Woody Harrelson – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Richard Jenkins – The Shape of Water

Christopher Plummer – All the Money in the World

Sam Rockwell – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Who Should Win: Hmmm.  I thought the most standout of these five was Dafoe.  A completely different turn than his trademark roles.

Who I’m Cheering For: Dafoe, for the reason above.  Plummer getting nominated is already quite a ‘F*** You’ to Spacey, isn’t it?

Who Will Win: There’s a 10 percent chance that two nominations for Ebbing will split the vote for him, but based on momentum you got to thank Sam Rockwell completes his victory tour.

‘Strong Island’



‘Strong Island’ is another film that’s compelling both for what’s on screen, and also for how perfectly timely it is with larger discussions happening in 2018 America.

Nominated this year in the Best Documentary – Feature category, the skeleton of the story is way too familiar to everyone now: a young black man is murdered, the local police look at the evidence and drift toward the attitude of ‘Well, he wasn’t an angel…’

Yance Ford (the director, the sibling of the victim, and if I’m not mistaken, the first transgender person nominated in this category) gives us enough time with all the judicial elements of the story to upset anyone with a conscience.  The true gift of the film is in the time spent (and the focus) on how a crime like this, the sudden, unnecessary death of a young man, implodes the whole family unit.  (There’s a larger metaphor in there for the black experience in America if you wanted to go there.)

Powerful film.  Now streaming on Netflix.





Nominated for Best Documentary Feature, ‘Icarus’ is one of those films where the larger implications stick with you a little more than what you see on the screen.  Especially right now…

Doing well but never really excelling as a cyclist, Bryan Fogel (also our narrator) hooks up with Girgory Rodchenkov, a leading Russian scientist in the field of ‘sports medicine’.  What starts out as a ‘wink wink nudge nudge’ light hearted relationship (with Fogel using my needles on a daily basis than I ever want to see in my life), first turns a little more serious as the Russian team (the ENTIRE Russian team) is briefly banned from competing in the Olympics, then turns legitimately scary as Grigory escapes Russia (leaving his wife and family behind), and eventually ends up in witness protection in America as he goes into detail, on the record, with how Russia has essentially, a state sponsored doping program, and uses the former KGB to make sure its athletes don’t get caught.

Fascinating for what it is, as a documentary on 21st century sports.  Interesting because of what else we’ve essentially proven about Russia bending and breaking all protocols to get what it wants and end up on top.

Now streaming on Netflix.