Tag Archive: globes 2010


So you came by today because you want to know how I went 7 for 10 in my Golden Globe predictions right?  No?  Oh yeah, that ‘other thing’…

I’ll try to knock this out quickly and in chronological order, frequently asked question format…

Woke up, went for my Sunday run, came home, my stomach was in knots.  I’ve never understood the idea of being nervous over something you did months ago until today.  A lot of people were blowing me up, which was fantastic, but none of them saw the piece, so they really couldn’t tell you if the film was, you know, entertaining or good. 

Midwest and East Coast saw the show first, so the emails and texts started coming in a little after 9-ish my time.  Many congrats and good jobs sent my way.  I was going to send out a sarcastic post saying “I only hope Sanaa says my name correctly,’ so my curiosity definitely peaked when I got a few ‘Man she was putting you on blast!’ type, sarcastic comments. 

The Minnesota game was more or less over so I was able to start flipping into the show before I left the house.  Saw the introduction (nice), and I have to admit, when I saw my logo with the little BET logo in the corner, that was hype time (and I told the brother who designed that logo as much).  I flipped in and out the next 5 minutes (you have no idea how many times I’ve seen the short by this point), and came back in for the credits.

Definitely wasn’t expecting the split screen, so sorry to my crew that they didn’t get the ups they also deserved.  As far as Sanaa doing my bio, I’m being pragmatic when I say my film was 5 minutes in an hour long show, i.e., they had a little time to burn around my film.  I honestly wouldn’t read any more into that, but regardless that’s on permanent DVR status for yours truly. 

Favorite anecdote: one of my close friends put the show on when he came from church, and asked his 2 year old if she recognized the man on TV, and she said, ‘That’s Uncle Mister Malik!”  That tickled me good; my goal of making/working on projects I can show to my entire family without feeling embarrassed is in full swing.

Film geek time: yeah I did throw a lot of information at you for a 5 minute story, but judging by your response the story works.  Everyone seems to like the ‘Until the End of Time’ reference; do people get every beat of that joke (he has a habit of running late so she buys him a watch?), or is that too cerebral?  Hell, I wish a woman would buy me a nice watch, and I’m big on punctuality. I’m digressing…

A few people have mentioned that Lens on Talent is a contest; this is true.  In all sincerity though, my ‘goal’ was to have this national showcase for this project; I wasn’t thinking about it as a competition today or at any point in time in dealing with BET. 

That said…IF Lady in My Life is selected as one of the finalists, THEN I will go into full on ‘competitive’ mode.  If any of my people at BET are reading this, rest assured we have another short story we’ve wanted to do for YEARS waiting in the wings, just give us the opportunity to make it.  I’m just saying…

Finally and most importantly, I’m not remotely an old man, but over the past few days I’ve been reminded by how many paths I’ve crossed over my time on this Earth so far.  I’m the ‘star of the show’ so to speak, but if you read my first L.A. piece you know Magic was my sports hero growing up.  Meaning I love being a ‘point guard’ in life.  I do enjoy taking the big shots, but my past, present and future are directly tied to my ‘team’, and staying in the game long enough just to have an opportunity to take those shots.  While I know these people are around on the regular, now is as good a time as any to say:

Thank you Sumner Academy of Arts & Sciences

Thank you Fradieu Family, Washington Family and all my blood relatives

Thank you Black Entertainment Television

Thank you University of Kansas, McNair Scholars Program, and my Jayhawk Family

Thank you University of Southern California, Peter Stark Program and my Trojan Family

Thank you Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., especially Upsilon Chapter

Thank you to my Ummah

Thank you to HNTB, THQ, and the numerous gigs I’ve held over the years

And of course thank you to my beautiful cast and crew on this project and all the past projects.  I learn something new every time.

Last word then I’m out: one of my heroes growing up was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  A lot of you have the day off to celebrate his birthday.  While it’s not my place (or anyone else’s really) to tell you what Dr. King ‘would have’ done if he were around, it’s pretty easy to figure with his history he would have been involved in the Haiti situation trying to help out.  A whole country with an infrastructure in ruins, it’s still hard to imagine.  If giving cash is not your thing, trust in this situation there’s probably another way to help.  Give blood, donate clothes, do a little volunteer work.  A lot of you took the time on email, Twitter, Facebook or what have you to tell your people a friend of yours had a short film that was going to be on TV this weekend (and trust me I’m eternally grateful).  At the end of the day though, I’m just a guy making movies.  Now if you put that same call out to your people, except this time you said “Send me one dollar so I can send it to Haiti,” how many dollars could we put together? 

And on that note, those of you still on vacation, enjoy your MLK Day.  Peace!

Advertisements

2010 has gotten off to a crazy start, so I’m posting my Golden Globe predictions to start the week.  I doubt I’ll see any more of the films between now and Sunday, so away we go…

Best Screenplay – Motion Picture

Who I’d Like to Win: The Hurt Locker.  And I wouldn’t be surprised if it does win.  It all starts with the script as they say.

Who Will Probably Win: Up in the Air.  The modern day equivalent of a classic Hollywood film.  You threw in the fact that it’s more upbeat than Locker and it was directed by a (legitimately talented) Hollywood legacy kid, and all the signs of there.  That said, Tarantino is HUGE overseas and this is the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, so who knows?

Best Director – Motion Picture

Who I Want to Win: Katheryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker

Who Will Probably Win: Katheryn Bigelow.  This is one of those categories where every nominee is legitimate, but I think the Globes will set the stage for a female director to walk away with the top prize.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role – Motion Picture

Who I Want to Win: Matt Damon in the upset. 

Who Will Probably Win: Christoph Waltz, Inglorious Basterds.  This is the scene stealer category.  Not much more to add.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role – Motion Picture

Who I Want to Win: Mo’Nique.

Who Will Probably Win:  As cynical as I am, I think the two ladies from Up in the Air will split the vote and Mo’Nique will actually win this category.

Best Actor – Motion Picture Comedy or Musical

Who I Want to Win: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, 500 Days of Summer.  If I could have played any role in a movie I saw in the past 12 months, this would have been it.  I admit I’m jealous.

Who Will Probably Win:  Man, I could make a strong case for every nominee here.  I really don’t know so I’ll go with Gordon-Levitt.

Best Actress – Motion Picture Comedy or Musical

Who I Want to Win: Meryl Streep – It’s Complicated.

Who Will Probably Win:  Meryl Streep – Julie & Julia Yeah I know I’m cheating a bit here, but…it’s Meryl Streep.

Best Actress – Motion Picture – Drama

Who I Want to Win: Gabourey Sidibe, Precious.  Now the cynicism kicks in – it ain’t gonna happen.  But giving the sister her due.

Who Will Probably Win:  Sandra Bullock, The Blind Side.  Accuse me of being biased since she was by far one of the most down to earth actresses I’ve met (on her level), but I think Blind Side mania gets its coup de gras with a victory here.

Best Actor – Drama

Who I Want to Win: George Clooney, Up in the Air.  You know, as I write this entry I’m starting to recognize how much personal biases really do shape who wins awards in this town.  Ah, got to love Hollywood politics…

Who Will Probably Win: Jeff Bridges, Crazy Heart.  I think this is this year’s ‘Mickey Rourke Special’ where a guy who’s been around forever gets some overdue love from his peers.

Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy

Who I Want to Win: 500 Days of Summer. If for no other reason than the Hall & Oates dance sequence.  Damn you, Joseph Gordon-Levitt…

Who Will Probably Win: The Hangover.  Time will tell if this film is as transcendent as the comedies that came before it, but it was certainly the crowd pleaser of the year.

Best Motion Picture – Drama

Who I Want to Win: Up in the Air.  One more admission of bias: Clooney’s the star, they shot in the Midwest, and guys I’ve worked with worked on this film.

Who Will Probably Win:  The Hurt Locker.  And I won’t be remotely upset of it does win.  The most ‘powerful’ film of last year in my opinion.

One last note, Ricky Gervais is the host.  I’m in the cult of people who love his sense of humor; if you’re unfamiliar with his work (creator of The Office and Extras, two shows I love), the Globes is probably the perfect opportunity to see if he’s your cup of tea or not.

Later,

M

Invictus

 

Invictus tells the story of the 1995 South African rugby team.  Hyped up by the newly elected president of South Africa Nelson Mandela, the rugby team goes on a great run in the 1995 World Cup.  (I won’t ruin it for you if they won or loss; rugby is not my forte so the outcome didn’t automatically register with me).  I have no idea how Clint Eastwood is still directing quality films at his age, but he is.  The first half of the film is about Mandela using the rugby team as a metaphor for bringing the two races of his country together; in the last act a sports film breaks out.  If you know Eastwood’s directing style (slow burn, working the plot to its breaking point) you probably know what you’re getting into here.  His style is what it is, so if you don’t care for his other movies too much, this isn’t the one that’s going to ‘win you over.’  A few other quick points from me:

I’ve raved before about my respect for Matt Damon as an actor.  And the cat is still so young!  Hollywood is a different animal than sports obviously, but when Damon’s career is done, it will be interesting to see where his name is mentioned with the all time greats (keep in mind, he’s already won an Oscar, headlined an action franchise, established his comedy chops and I believe he won People’s Sexiest Man Alive a couple years back (don’t quote me on that last one)).  And like I said, he’s still a pretty young guy.

Morgan Freeman was Mandela’s hand picked choice to play him in a movie.  No surprise he pulled it off: the gait, the accent, the dignity and the quiet charisma.  Others have said this before me, but I don’t feel like this was Morgan’s best work.  He did great, but Mandela (the character in this movie) didn’t have much of an arc.  We get all the references to what he was before, but all that happened before the film’s story started.

I doubt I was the only one (and if I was, leave me alone), but I’ve known the poem Invictus for a long time; I learned it as a teenager.  I know it wasn’t intentional, but for someone like myself who memorized the poem in a different way; hearing Morgan’s slow, Hollywood, melodramatic recitation left me chuckling a little bit.  I could never get away with saying it that slow in my day….(but it really is a tremendous poem for those of you unfamiliar with it).

All things considered, I wouldn’t be surprised if this film is one of the TEN Best Picture nominees (yeah, it’s time to start thinking about that) off of name recognition alone.

Sherlock Holmes

 

Sherlock Holmes is the latest character to get a ‘reboot’ for today’s generation in an attempt to start a new Hollywood franchise.  And in this case…I think they got it right (as a film, the box office will decide if it becomes a franchise of course).  Robert Downey Jr. continues to make all of us who are fans of his immense talent look good for hoping he would conquer his demons (personally I’ve been a big fan of his since Chaplin).  As the title character, Downey plays into the best parts of his own persona (a possible genius internally who looks like a simpleton on the outside) to headline a fun, ‘could/should this have been a summer release?’ movie.  And in my opinion, the action may be a wee bit too slow for the summer, but it’s perfect counterprogamming right now (even though that didn’t stop Downey from getting a Golden Globe nod here).  Jude Law is pitch perfect as Watson, used here as the sensible more down to earth member of this Dynamic Duo, and Rachel McAdams still has one of the prettiest smiles in Hollywood and is perfectly charming as the love interest.

Even the story of the film feels right, a ‘supernatural’ villain who comes back from the dead to terrorize London.  But that’s not possible right?  I don’t know how ‘rewatchable’ this film is,but it’s fun for the audience to play along with Holmes and try to figure out how certain things happen in the story.

So a fun film for the holiday season in the middle of the more serious stuff that’s popping up with awards season also in full bloom.  Nice if you just want some good old fashioned Hollywood ‘junk food’.

Up in the Air

 

Written and Directed by Jason Reitman

Starring George Clooney

Jeremy Osbern – Rigging Lighting Techinician

Michael Stoecker – Rigging Grip

(and yes, Jeremy and Michael drove straight to St. Louis to work on this film from the set of my film so I’m shouting them out here)

I’ll try to keep this one short and sweet, since this film is a big front runner for the Globes and most likely the Oscars.  The hype is deserved in my opinion.  For all the various gripes everyone inside and outside of it has about Hollywood movies, when a Hollywood movie is done right like this one is, it’s well worth the price of admission.  The story about a ‘corporate hitman’ literally could not be more timely, and Clooney knows how to pick a role (a big reason why I admire him).  I won’t spoil it for you, but things happen along the way that go outside of the audience’s expectations, and the movie is better than average because of it.  As someone who has played the ‘my career is all I need’ AND the ‘disconnect from the Midwest and the wife and kids’ cards, this character and this story arc hit a little close to home at certain points (no comments from the Peanut Gallery).  Last comment: the casting in this movie was phenomenal.  Can never say enough about how much easier it is to get caught up in the story when you believe in the characters.

As promised, kept that one short and sweet, but I imagine it will come up again as awards season kicks into full gear…

The Young Victoria

 

Emily Blunt has been nominated for the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Drama for her turn as Victoria in The Young Victoria.   Let me start by saying this, if you have no interest in the ‘English period piece’ genre, this film won’t win you over.  If you love things in the Jane Austen vein, you’ll probably like this movie regardless.  Me?  If you didn’t know by now, I live, breathe and sleep movies, and while this certainly isn’t within my wheelhouse as far as genre films go, the Globe nomination meant I had to check it out to what kind of craftmanship we’re talking about.

The highest compliment I can play a movie like this that I normally wouldn’t see is this: when we reached the 100 minute mark (the end), I said to myself “It’s over?”  (in a good way).  The ending was a little on the anticlimatic side, but I get pulled into the world and the characters enough to be invested in the story.  In a story about a real life queen, the actor playing that role has to completely own the ‘center of attention’ factor, or the movie as a whole doesn’t work.  Emily Blunt pulled it off.  At turns vulnerable, sexual, childish, and regal, she was the centerpiece of what I thought was an extremely well cast film.

Haven’t seen any of the other nominees in this category yet, but don’t worry; the nominations just came out this morning.  I’m using the tag ‘globes 2010’ to cover this year’s nominees.  A few of the films I saw when they originally came out; you can check out my initial thoughts on those films/performances by using that tag.

The Informant!

 

informant_1

My sincerity has always been one of my calling cards; so it stands to reason that pathological liars are people I consider to be my polar opposite.  The best movie I’ve ever seen about people like this is still Shattered Glass; but The Informant probably deserves to be in the conversation now.  The film stars Matt Damon as a typical Midwestern middle management type who decides to ‘do the right thing’ and sell his bosses out to the F.B.I. when he realizes they’re involved in price fixing in their industry.  But as a member of the Justice Department asks when the case is nearly closed, ‘Why is he doing this?  What’s in it for him?’

I won’t ruin the various twists and turns of the film for you; it’s well worth watching and enjoying for yourself.  So let me be the 1424th person to ask: is there anything Matt Damon can’t do?  More than once as I watching this, I thought to myself, this is the same cat who plays Jason Bourne, one of the most badass action characters in the movie game right now.  And here he is, playing a complete schlub, being everybit as convincing.  Brad Pitt certainly couldn’t pull it off, I don’t think Clooney could either.  Damon is mastering the Everyman character.

One last note, Steven Soderbergh was one of the directors I (and many others of my generation) looked up to for a long time.  sex, lies and videotape, Traffic, Out of Sight, Ocean’s 11 – that is a career and a half.  He’s kind of made whispers that he might be done with the game; I know about the various struggles Spike has getting his projects off the ground.  These two guys aren’t my age obviously, but they’re not that old.  I throw that out there to say, while we can kind of see the direction the Business is going in, if it forces artists to completely leave, it’s not necessarily a direction for the benefit of the Game.

And now I climb down off my soapbox…

500 Days of Summer

 

500-days-of-summer-01

The best movie I think I’ve seen so far this year was The Hurt Locker.  The most entertaining movie I think I’ve seen was 500 Days of Summer.  As the poster, the trailer, and the prologue all indicate, this isn’t a typical romantic comedy.  ‘The Guy’ in this one (played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt) believes in true love and finding the One.  ‘The Girl’ (Summer, played by Zooey Deschanel) is much more free spirited, and not into the relationship game as much.  The guy is a little on the simp side for my tastes, but that’s the nature of the story that’s being told.  (Although I’ve already had a fun conversation with one of my buddies about how long you let your homie get strung along by some girl who’s not into him as much as he’s into her.  My answer: it’s a movie, you kind of roll with it.) 

The brilliance of this film to me is in the structure of how the story is told.  Mostly non-linear, there’s a series of devices used to keep the story popping.  One involves one of my top ten favorite songs ever (check out the trailer for a hint), there’s a sequence that plays to the film snob in me, split-screen is used really, really well in this movie.  Anyway, if you haven’t seen it, I highly suggest doing so. 

Oh, one last note.  My favorite cutie from Friday Night Lights, Minka Kelly is billed as a co-star in the film.  I won’t ruin her part for you, but I’ll say if that was a ‘co-starring’ role, I’m closer to getting my name on the marquee on a regular basis than I thought!

The Hurt Locker

 

the-hurt_locker

The Hurt Locker is probably the best film I’ve seen so far this year.  The story revolves around the three young men who make up Bravo Company, played by Anthony Mackie, Brian Geraghty, and Jeremy Renner.  The best film I’ve seen so far set in the Iraq War, Bravo Company has one primary job: to diffuse bombs.  With that relatively simple premise, Katheryn Bigelow makes a movie filled with suspense, action, and just the right amount of humor.

There’s a pair of well placed cameos that I won’t ruin if you haven’t seen the film, but the star of The Hurt Locker in every sense of the word is Jeremy Renner.  He’s been around for awhile, starring in some good indie films, and popping up once in a while in a ‘Hollywood blockbuster.’  Every time I see him act I think, “OK, this is the film that puts him on the full scale Hollywood radar.”  Maybe this film will do it, maybe it won’t.  But his portrayal of James, the primary defuser for Bravo Company was (another) starmaking performance.  What makes a man crazy enough to even want this job?  What is his life like back in the U.S.?  Can he live a regular life when his rotation is done, or is diffusing bombs ‘the one thing he loves’ and the thing he will always be driven to do?  All questions the movie and the actor attempt to answer, and all answered in my opinion in a satisfying way.

If you’re looking for a political statement about the war, or an ‘us vs. them’ movie, this probably isn’t the movie for you.  If you want to see a film that will keep you engaged for a little more than two hours, I highly recommend checking this out.