Black Panther – Does Killmonger Have a Point?

black panther and king T'Challa
If you can help, are you morally obligated to do so?  What is better: peaceful existence with a whiff of moral cowardice, or committing purposeful acts of brutality, to achieve real cultural equality?

[Spoilers ahead for everything Black Panther but not Infinity War]

For Black Panther Week, and before the 2019 Oscars, I’d like to give this gorgeous and exciting film a shoutout. Black Panther is up for no less than SEVEN Academy Awards, so beyond being yet another fantastic Marvel Universe superhero film, the tone struck a cord with audiences everywhere. And the more you dig into the narrative, the more story layers are revealed.

From the website Shadow and Act comes this thoughtful and possibly inflammatory piece (depending on your point of view). Do you believe the ends justifies the means? Can we ethically pursue freedom while co-signing on acts of inhumanity, in order to arrive at a more enlightened state?

Here’s the aforementioned article, which goes into some detail on Killmonger’s anti-heroic, yet not entirely misguided journey:

If you don’t agree with anything here, that’s fine too.  But it’s clear within Black Panther that some of our ostensible heroes are either committing their own foul acts (at worst), or turning a blind eye to them (at best).

(Remember, spoilers ahead if you haven’t seen Black Panther, but you are safe if you haven’t seen Avengers: Infinity War.)

Who’s Right? Who’s Wrong?

It’s really only T’Challa’s (Chadwick Boseman) spy girlfriend Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o )who takes a strong stance on this issue. The entire royal family is otherwise quite comfortable in their position of prestige and luxury in the hidden Utopia of Wakanda.

I would say T’Chaka  — the kingly father of T’Challa — in his seemingly casual decision to abandon young Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) to the streets of Los Angeles, and by extension, the rest of the children lost from the diaspora, is cowardly and wrong-thinking (especially after killing his brother/Erik’s father!). But even the most noble kings have flaws. The movie takes great pains to point this out. Killmonger is beyond awful in his methods, yet is full of righteous rage, worthy of consideration.

In the above linked article, this line seems to stand out: “Swirling in constant reminders of worthlessness, of the specific anti-Black-American toxicity experienced by Black folk in the U.S.A., Killmonger is angry—not just at white supremacist oppressors or systemic racism, but also the Black Elite who left him behind. And he has every right to want vengeance.”

It’s a little risky to place your eponymous superhero in a morally questionable stance, but the movie and T’Challa himself (eventually) rise to the challenge. After the events of Avengers: Infinity War, we are forced to see how this might play out between Wakanda and the outside world.

All the Stars song and end credit image from black panther
What is the true role of a leader? Are you responsible for a nation, a race, a world, or even (within the MCU) the galaxy?

What Can We Take Away From Killmonger and His End Goal for Wakanda?

I asked our RunPeep Shani Ogilve  (see her previous post on A Black Perspective On Black Panther) for a few words about the Forgotten Children of Wakanda, and how sympathetically we can view Killmonger, his mission, and the central lesson of the Black Panther film:

Ogilve writes: “This is a great piece. To start, #TeamKilmonger with a caveat — there is no other team to be on. Killmonger can be compared to other figures in fiction and history — Malcolm X and Magneto come to mind. Though their methods also are extreme, they are justified. I usually go for the MLK and Professor X route, but in Black Panther’s case T’Challa wasn’t even any type of activist. Maybe Killmonger was the martyr for the diaspora. His hurt brought enlightenment to T’Challa, to hopefully step up and make meaningful changes to other black communities.

“I also would say that the blame doesn’t fall on Wakanda or T’Challa completely. Though Wakandans aren’t completely ignorant of how Black people outside of Wakanda are living, they aren’t all-knowing of the Black experience in America or elsewhere. That is honestly an experience that you must experience yourself to actually understand.

“Additionally, it’s not fair to say that because they are doing better than other Black communities, they should be the ones to help them. I don’t hate Wakanda for not helping, because I don’t actually believe that anything they do will make an impact big enough to change systematic injustices. I believe the only way to fix the injustice in our society — and hopefully prevent future Killmongers —  is for the colonizing bodies of the world to do what they must, to reverse the effects of colonization and slavery. By any means necessary.”

Things Black Panther Still Makes Us Think About

Who is really a true villain in the MCU, and who is better termed an ‘anti-villain’? Would you say you understand and sympathize with Killmonger in some way, or his stance? Are all methods fair — even through deliberate murder, casual brutality, and the possibility of inciting a world war — in the name of the greater good?

And on the other hand, as with T’Challa’s choice, if you CAN help others, are you morally obliged to do so? These aren’t easy questions. Feel free to sound off in the comments below. I won’t rip your heads off for your opinion. 🙂

#BlackPantherWeek #WakandaForever #IHaveADream

More RunPee Posts About Black Panther:

A Black Perspective on Marvel’s Black Panther

All The Stars – End Credits Song from Black Panther – Video and Lyrics

Movie Review – Black Panther – One Incredible Party

The 5 Movies You Need To Watch Before Infinity War

How to Dress Like You’re From Wakanda in Black Panther

New Black Panther Trailer is Fantastic – Watch the Video Show Off Wakanda

All The Stars – End Credits Song from Black Panther – Video and Lyrics

black panther and king T'Challa
All The Stars from Black Panther is one hell of a great song.

Up for Best Original Song at the Oscars this year, All The Stars from Black Panther is looking very good. It’s up against the big contender Shallow from A Star Is Born, but it could certainly bring in a win if the Academy sees fit to go in a different direction from their usual drama-type film awards. All The Stars is a great song — very inspiring — and while I’m biased by being a total science fiction geek, I’d love to see something in my genre of choice actually win this time.

Here’s that gorgeous Black Panther end credits video, and the lyrics from All The Stars, just to get you excited and happy. You’re welcome. 🙂


All The Stars

(Sung by Kendrick Lamar, SZA)

Love, let’s talk about love
Is it anything and everything you hoped for?
Or do the feeling haunt you?
I know the feeling haunt you

This maybe the night that my dreams might let me know
All the stars are closer, all the stars are closer, all the stars are closer
This maybe the night that my dreams might let me know
All the stars are closer, all the stars are closer, all the stars are closer

Tell me what you gon’ do to me
Confrontation ain’t nothin’ new to me
You can bring a bullet, bring a sword
Bring a morgue, but you can’t bring the truth to me
Fuck you and all your expectations
I don’t even want your congratulations
I recognize your false confidence and calculated promises all in your conversation
I hate people that feel entitled
Look at me crazy ’cause I ain’t invite you
Oh, you important?
You the moral to the story, you endorsing?
Motherfucker, I don’t even like you
Corrupt a man’s heart with a gift
That’s how you find out who you dealin’ with
A small percentage, who I’m building with
I want the credit if I’m losing or I’m winning
On my momma that’s the realest shit

Girl, let’s talk about love
Is it anything and everything you hoped for?
Or do the feeling haunt you?
I know the feeling haunt you

This maybe the night that my dreams might let me know
All the stars are closer, all the stars are closer, all the stars are closer
This maybe the night that my dreams might let me know
All the stars are closer, all the stars are closer, all the stars are closer

Skin covered in ego
Get to talkin’, I get involved, like a rebound
No control, no off switch in the way that you bringing me down
It’s a turn on, get it away from me
Know you mean wrong, keep away from me
And it’s all wrong, get it away from me, yeah
I just cry for no reason, I just pray for no reason
I just thank for the life, for the day, for the hours and another life breathin’
I did it all ’cause it feel good
You could live it all if you feel bad
Better live your life
We are running out of time

Love, let’s talk about love
Is it anything and everything you hoped for?
Or do the feeling haunt you?
I know the feeling haunt you

This maybe the night that my dreams might let me know
All the stars are closer, all the stars are closer, all the stars are closer
This maybe the night that my dreams might let me know
All the stars are closer, all the stars are closer, all the stars are closer…

(Songwriters: Alexander William Shuckburgh / Kendrick Lamar / Mark Anthony Spears / Solana I. Rowe / Anothony Tiffith. All The Stars lyrics 2018 © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc, Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.)

…Did you know? Black Panther is the world’s ninth-highest-grossing film of all time. From the wikipedia.org


Movie Review – Black Panther – One Incredible Party

A Black Perspective on Marvel’s Black Panther

How to Dress Like You’re From Wakanda in Black Panther

Main Song from A Star Is Born – Video and Lyrics from Shallow – by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper

lady gaga and bradley cooper in a star is born
Not a shallow song.

One of the top movie hits from 2018 is A Star is Born, starring Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper, and their best film song is Shallow, a duet that slays everyone who hears it. It’s almost a perfect song, and it won the awards to prove it:

  • Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song
  • Grammy Award for Best Song Written for Visual Media
  • Grammy Award for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance
  • Critics’ Choice Movie Award for Best Song
    Shallow also got an Oscar nod for Best Original Song, and the movie itself, A Star is Born, is nominated for seven other different Oscars: Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Cinematography, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Sound Mixing

It was also announced by the Oscars Academy (via Twitter) that Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper will perform Shallow at the 2019 Oscars. All the news sources say Copper will perform in a tuxedo as himself, and not as his character Jackson Maine. IndieWire says “Cooper doesn’t intend to bring back Jackson’s deep voice either as he said he has fully retired the character.” No matter. Lady Gaga will probably do her big extravagantly costumed persona as herself. Expect the song to bring down the house!

Here’s the movie video of their on-stage duet of Shallow, followed by the lyrics for you to learn, and sing along to in the privacy of your shower:


Shallow

(Sung by  Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga) 

Tell me somethin’, girl
Are you happy in this modern world?
Or do you need more?
Is there somethin’ else you’re searchin’ for?

I’m falling
In all the good times I find myself
Longin’ for change
And in the bad times I fear myself

Tell me something, boy
Aren’t you tired tryin’ to fill that void?
Or do you need more?
Ain’t it hard keeping it so hardcore?

I’m falling
In all the good times I find myself
Longing for change
And in the bad times I fear myself
I’m off the deep end, watch as I dive in
I’ll never meet the ground
Crash through the surface, where they can’t hurt us
We’re far from the shallow now

In the shallow, shallow
In the shallow, shallow
In the shallow, shallow
We’re far from the shallow now

Oh, oh, oh, oh
Whoah!

I’m off the deep end, watch as I dive in
I’ll never meet the ground
Crash through the surface, where they can’t hurt us
We’re far from the shallow now

In the shallow, shallow
In the shallow, shallow
In the shallow, shallow
We’re far from the shallow now…

(Songwriters: Andrew Wyatt / Anthony Rossomando / Mark Ronson / Stefani Germanotta. Shallow lyrics © 2018 Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Downtown Music Publishing, Universal Music Publishing Group, Concord Music Publishing LLC.)


Movie Review – A Star Is Born

Quiz – The Movie and Musical World of Lady Gaga

Quiz – Bradley Cooper – Actor, Director, Musician

Full List (and comments) for the 2019 76th Annual Golden Globes Nominees & Winners

RunPee and the 2019 Oscars – Predictions for the 2018 Movie Awards

The Lego Movie 2 – Super Cool Song by Beck (video and lyrics from the end credit scene)

Stephanie-Beatriz-as-Mayhem
General Mayhem, living up to her name.

One of the fun surprises about The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part is how it became a full-blown musical ensemble, unlike in the three previous Lego films, which had only the one notable song (Everything is Awesome). In Lego 2, there was a moody reprise of Everything is (Not) Awesome, a show stopper bringing down the house from DUPLO Queen Whatvra Wa’Nabi (Tiffany Hadish, having a great year), the insanely irresistible “Catchy Song” — the plus this final credit sequence song Super Cool by Beck, featuring Robyn and the Lonely Island. I found myself bopping along to the beat during the end credits. I see a lot of movies for RunPee each year, and few films inspire a whole ‘seat-dancing’ routine on my end, like this did.

META NOTE: The Super Cool lyrics are innovative on a whole other level –> they’re actually about how amazing it is to be the end credits song itself. They say it’s the best spot to be a song in any movie: “I roll into the theater about 90 minutes late, skip the whole dang movie, ’cause the credits are great. Now if you’re gonna be featured on a movie song, the credits is the part that you wanna be on.” I’ve before never seen or heard any film song break the 4th wall in a self-aware way. Have you?

This is a good little tune. (The actual end credits scene is not available yet on YouTube, but this will get you hyped to dance around to the beat. If you find a better video, please tell me in the comments.)


 Lyrics to Super Cool in The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part

(Song by Beck)

Unbelievable, super cool, outrageous and amazing
Phenomenal, fantastic, so incredible, woo-hoo!
Unbelievable, super cool, outrageous and amazing
Phenomenal, fantastic, so incredible, woo-hoo!

We gotta bring both sides together
Like champagne and leather
Like birds are with feather, we’ll fly
Like rain on a sunny day
Like a million dollars that you’re givin’ away
Like a stray dog on the freeway, we’ll fly

‘Cause we’re all like a team
Livin’ inside a dream

You and me doin’ our thing
And we’ll fly, woo-hoo

Unbelievable, super cool, outrageous and amazing
Phenomenal, fantastic, so incredible, woo-hoo!
Unbelievable, super cool, outrageous and amazing
Phenomenal, fantastic, so incredible, woo-hoo!

It’s the credits, yeah that’s the best part
When the movie ends and the reading starts
You can keep your adventure and all that action
‘Cause the credits of the film are the main attraction
And don’t even think about try’na leave
Or you might miss a name like Pam and Steve
Both incredible names, so let’s stay in our seats
And read incredible lists of their incredible feats

‘Cause we’re all like a team
Livin’ inside a dream
You and me doin’ our thing
And we’ll fly, woo-hoo

Unbelievable, super cool, outrageous and amazing
Phenomenal, fantastic, so incredible, woo-hoo!
Unbelievable, super cool, outrageous and amazing
Phenomenal, fantastic, so incredible, woo-hoo!

And we’re back, and still lovin’ the credits
Can’t wait to see the one about the person who edits
And even better than that is who edits the credits
I bet I’ll never forget ’cause once I read it then I’m ready
I roll into the theater about 90 minutes late
Skip the whole dang movie, ’cause the credits are great
Now if you’re gonna be featured on a movie song
The credits is the part that you wanna be on

Unbelievable, super cool, outrageous and amazing
Phenomenal, fantastic, so incredible, woo-hoo!
Unbelievable, super cool, outrageous and amazing
Phenomenal, fantastic, so incredible, woo-hoo!

Everything is super cool right now
Everything is awesome here right now
Everything is super cool right now
Everything is awesome here right now

Everything is super cool right now
Everything is awesome here right now
Everything is super cool right now
Everything is awesome here right now…

(Beck, featuring Robyn and the Lonely Action.  2109.)

The Lego Movie 2 – Video and Lyrics to Catchy Song (This is song is gonna get stuck inside your head)

The Lego Movie 2 – Video and Lyrics to Not Evil (by Tiffany Haddish)

Lego Movie 2 – Video and Lyrics to Everything’s Not Awesome

Everything is Awesome – Video and Lyrics to The Lego Movie Theme Song

Rewatch Review – Mary Poppins – The Original & Classic Film

mary poppins flies with her unbrella
How do I get my Umbrella to do that?

As we approach the Oscar season, I decided to rewatch the original Mary Poppins (MP). I’m certainly torn as to which one is better, considering that Mary Poppins Returns is not a remake; it’s a continuation of the Banks family drama. I love Julia Andrews and Emily Blunt as Mary Poppins. They both have a sassy, arrogant, and attractive draw to their personalities that make each one a stand-out character.

[pullquote]I enjoy Mary Poppins so much, for so many reasons. It’s fun; the music is uplifting; the cross between human and animation scenes is intriguing, and there’s a morale message for both adults and children.[/pullquote] From the moment MP arrives floating from the sky until she fades into that same sky, my heart beats like a big.band.drum (tee he he).

The storyline tells a lot about parenting and coping with problems and stress. The Banks are so consumed with their careers and lives that they miss precious moments with their children. [pullquote position=”right”]Watching this movie as a child triggered different thoughts in me about my own parent’s attention to me, than watching it as an adult. [/pullquote]Today, I view the message through parental eyes and reflect on how I can do a better job of parenting my daughter, Destiny, and ensuring I don’t just let the street sweeper babysit her, just because I have a book signing or speaking engagement.

The movie truly gives perspective to managing work and life. I dare not say work/life balance, because I don’t personally believe work and life are ever balanced or equal. At some point, one or the other is sacrificed. I prefer to tell people that I’m standing on a see-saw where life is on one end and work is on the other. My goal to keep from falling my behind off the see-saw.

In the same vein, the hard-working and overly focused Mr. Banks got an eye opener on how to live and laugh at the same time. [pullquote]The word that changed George Banks wasn’t the normal word we would think should crack this grumpy old man, like the word love. The word was supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.[/pullquote] Phew! That was the game changer for him. That word opened his heart, mind, and his mouth with laughter, and a flood of love and awareness oozed from him like marshmallows in a s’mores.

As a bank examiner by day, I know the bank language they speak of in the movie regarding the tuppence. We see that story come full circle in Mary Poppins Returns as well, as with that kite which seems to get Micheal in trouble in both movies.

One thing that always stand out for me in MP is how the bankers fired George. They didn’t escort him out of the building with a guard and a pink slip in hand. They ripped his suit pocket flower, inverted his umbrella, and pushed a hole through his top hat. Every time I watch this movie, I laugh so hard because I guess for boujee rich people that was equivalent to being a disgrace, when your clothing and accessories are in disarray. Lol!

One more thing, did you notice in the credits of MP how Mr. Dawes, Sr.’s cast name was displayed? It showed as Navckid Keyd, then unscrambled before our eyes to reflect Dick Van Dyke. That’s because Van Dyke played the role of Bert and Mr. Dawes, Sr.

So of course, in Disney style, they had to make it magically-cute.

Mary Poppins will remain as one of my favorite movies, no matter how many times they add on to the story. To me, it’s practically perfect in every way. Now, chop chop, I have work to do here Peeple.

Movie Review – Mary Poppins Returns

5 Differences between the Old and New Mary Poppins

Movie Review – Saving Mr. Banks

While Mary Poppins Returns didn’t get any Golden Globes, it did boast four well-deserved nominations: 

Full List (and comments) for the 2019 76th Annual Golden Globes Nominees & Winners

Mary Poppins is now currently nominated for three Oscars: 

RunPee and the 2019 Oscars – Predictions for the 2018 Movie Awards

Edge of Tomorrow – Lyrics and Video to Love Me Again – A Kickin’ Action GroundHog Day Themed Movie

emily blunt and tom cruise in edge of tomorrow - live die repeat - lyrics for love me again
How can you NOT love them again? I am all verklempt.

Live. Die. Repeat.

A lot of people know Edge of Tomorrow only by the above tagline, and they’re not far wrong: this Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt adventure slash sci-fi slash action flick ticks every box of awesomeness anyone could want for an evening of movie fun. It doesn’t hurt that Cruise and Blunt know their craft and have the filmographies to prove it.

RunPee reviewed Edge of Tomorrow here, but we heartily recommend you do a personal re-watch before February 2, the  (frankly bizarre) American holiday Groundhog Day, since it’s got the same ‘repeating day” theme, and executes it almost flawlessly.

The theme song Love Me Again is rousing and sort of a an earworm, albeit a worthy one. Here’s the Edge of Tomorrow song video, followed by the lyrics so you can sing along.

We recommend this tune for any wake-up or work-out playlist. You’ll enjoy having this one back on your radar, so enjoy, and you’re welcome: 

Lyrics to Love Me Again

(by John Newman, 2013)


Know I’ve done wrong,
I left your heart torn
Is that what devils do?
Took you so low,
Where only fools go
I shook the angel in you

Now I’m rising from the ground
Rising up to you
Filled with all the strength I found
There’s nothing I can’t do!

I need to know now
Know now, can you love me again?

I need to know now
Know now, can you love me again?

I need to know now
Know now, can you love me again?

I need to know now
Know now, can you love me again?
Can you love me again?
It’s unforgivable,

I stole and burnt your soul
Is that what demons do?
They rule the worst of me
Destroy everything,
They bring down angels like you

Now I’m rising from the ground
Rising up to you
Filled with all the strength I found
There’s nothing I can’t do!

I need to know now
Know now, can you love me again?
I need to know now
Know now, can you love me again?

Can you love me again?

I told you once again,
Do this again
Do this again oh lord

I told you once again,
Do this again
Do this again oh no

I need to know now
Know now, can you love me again?
I need to know now
Know now, can you love me again?

I need to know now
Know now, can you love me again?

Can you love me again?
Can you love me again oh no

Can you love me again?

(Songwriters: John Newman / Stephen Andrew Booker
Love Me Again lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.)


Movie Review – Edge of Tomorrow (Live. Die. Repeat.)

20 Groundhog Day Type Movies – The Ultimate Repeating Day Film List

A Quiet Place – RunPee Jilly’s Movie Review (with SPOILERS)

RunPee and the 2019 Oscars – Predictions for the 2018 Movie Awards

oscars statue for the awards ceremony
The big one: this year’s Oscar Awards Ceremony

The 2019 Oscar nominees will be announced on Tuesday, January 22.  It has been a wild awards season full of uncertainty, surprises, upsets, and scandal.  The nominations from the 2018 movies may bring their own share of upsets and surprises. Here are my predictions for what Tuesday morning will bring. (NOTE: All links go to RunPee’s movie reviews. If there is no link, we didn’t review it.)

Best Picture  – Under the current rules, there can be up to ten Best Picture nominees.  I’m predicting nine for this year. These are my choices in no particular order.  

  1. Black Panther

Black Panther has been preordained as a Best Picture nominee since it came out last year.  Like Straight Outta Compton was, this is one of the most successful movies of the year, both financially and critically.  If it does not get nominated, the Academy needs to take a long, hard look at itself. After Straight Outta Compton‘s snub, the Academy has done a lot of work to increase the diversity of its membership.  This is an exciting year, because there may be multiple films by people of color eligible for a Best Picture nomination including BlacKkKlansman, Crazy Rich Asians, If Beale Street Could Talk, and my beloved dark horses The Hate U Give and Sorry to Bother You (go watch them!). 

 

  1. A Star Is Born

The belle of the ball.  The early front runner.  As RuPaul might say, “You are safe.  Step to the back of the stage.”  Everyone knows this one is getting nominated.  It doesn’t make it any less of an achievement for Bradley Cooper, who struck gold with his directorial debut. 

 

  1. Green Book

This is the crowd pleaser.  From the first screenings at film festivals, audiences have been in love with this comedy about reconciliation, based on a true story.  There’s no way this doesn’t get nominated.

 

  1. Bohemian Rhapsody

Whatever plays for 2-3 weeks at Thanksgiving at the local arthouse ALWAYS goes to the Oscars.  This year, it was Bohemian Rhapsody and Boy Erased.  If it weren’t for Mary Poppins opening, they would have played Bohemian Rhapsody for an extra month probably.  A Golden Globes win for Best Picture has guaranteed this nomination. 

 

  1. Boy Erased

See above.  Strong performances by Lucas Hedges and Nicole Kidman make this one of the most powerful films of the year. 

 

  1. Vice

With a Best Actor and Best Director nomination likely, a Best Picture nomination is a lock for this Dick Cheney biopic.

 

  1. The Favourite

Living up to its title, this has been a critical and Hollywood favorite, racking up praise, awards, and nominations.  It truly is a “favorite.”  While I personally am not a fan, I’d be surprised if it doesn’t make the list. 

 

  1. BlacKkKlansman

Spike Lee’s masterpiece is one of the few summer films that’s so undeniable Oscar still remembers it, come winter.  The epilogue is a punch in the gut I can still feel. 

 

  1. A Quiet Place

A Quiet Place is this year’s Get Out.  It’s not a socially conscious satire.  However, A Quiet Place is the most talked about (and least talked during) horror movie of the year.  Sorry, Hereditary.  It did well at the box office, and it’s been shortlisted for at least one Oscar: Best Original Score. 

 

If there is a rare tenth slot this year, it goes to Crazy Rich Asians.  It is the first major film to feature an Asian-American cast since The Joy Luck Club twenty-five years ago.  That’s something worth celebrating.   

 

Sadly, this leaves First Man, Can You Ever Forgive Me?, and If Beale Street Could Talk on the sidelines.  

 

Best Actress

Lady Gaga, A Star Is Born

Glenn Close, The Wife

Melissa McCarthy, Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Olivia Colman, The Favourite

Saoirse Ronan, Mary Queen of Scots

 

Everyone has been whispering about an Oscar for Lady Gaga since A Star Is Born came out.  Glenn Close was a personal favorite before she won the Golden Globe. Just saying.  The Wife is a career highlight.  Melissa McCarthy showed the range of what she can do, from comedy to drama, in Can You Ever Forgive Me?  Olivia Colman will ride the praise for The Favourite to a nomination.  Mary Queen of Scots has been playing for over a month at the arthouse.  I’m going to go out on a limb, and say that audiences know something the odds makers don’t.  Maybe I’m blinded by my admiration for her, but I predict Saoirse Ronan is going to pull an upset and fill the fifth slot.  It’s not like she’s a stranger to the red carpet. 

 

Best Actor

Christian Bale, Vice

Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody

Bradley Cooper, A Star Is Born

Lucas Hedges, Boy Erased

Viggo Mortensen, Green Book

 

Bale and Malek embody the men they are playing to a degree you forget you aren’t watching the real thing.  It would be a major upset if Bradley Cooper does not get a nomination for A Star is Born.  Lucas Hedges followed up Manchester By the Sea with another heartbreaking performance.  Viggo Mortensen makes it here by good will.  I like Green Book.  I liked Ryan Gosling in First Man, and Jonathan Pryce in The Wife better. 

 

Best Supporting Actress

Nicole Kidman , Boy Erased

Emma Stone, The Favourite

Rachel Weisz, The Favourite

Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk

Amy Adams, Vice

 

Kidman excels at sentimental mother roles.  And she has at least one great scene in Boy Erased.  Stone and Weisz have been seen as competitors in this race, much like they were on-screen.  For all the pairs that publicists hoped would get nominated together this year (Ali and Mortensen for Green Book, Carell and Chalamet for Beautiful Boy), these two are the surest thing this side of A Star is Born. Regina King is a character actress that is loved by her peers.  She won the Golden Globe.  She may well win the Oscar.  Amy Adams has one of the best scenes of the year early on in Vice.  She’s also an Oscar favorite with several nominations. 

 

Best Supporting Actor

Sam Elliott, A Star is Born

Mahershala Ali, Green Book

Richard E. Grant, Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Timothy Chalamet, Beautiful Boy

Steve Carell, Vice

 

Despite being snubbed by the Globes, I’m confident Sam Elliott is going to get a nomination.  (Isn’t it time?)  Ali’s nomination is similarly a foregone conclusion.  Grant is a respected British character actor with a decent amount of buzz behind his performance.  Chalamet gave a powerful portrayal of drug addiction and recovery.  I’m going to throw a monkey wrench into the works by predicting it will be Steve Carell rather than Sam Rockwell who gets nominated for the movie Vice.  Rockwell’s portrayal of George W. Bush is featured in the trailer and has garnered more attention.  But it’s Carell as Donald Rumsfeld who really steals the movie.  This makes the race a bit awkward by pitting Carell against his Beautiful Boy co-star Chalamet.  I’m still holding out hope though that the Academy will surprise me though, and fill one of these slots (not Sam’s!) with Russell Hornsby from The Hate U Give or Josh Hamilton from Eighth Grade (Best. Dads. Ever.).

 

Best Director

Bradley Cooper, A Star Is Born

Alfonso Cuaron, Roma

Spike Lee, BlacKkKlansman

Peter Farrelly, Green Book

Adam McKay, Vice

 

Bradley Cooper nailed it with his first feature.  Not only did he make an entertaining film, he made a love story that feels authentic.  Alfonso Cuaron dug into his childhood memories to bring to life a similarly authentic story.  Spike Lee made a humorous, suspenseful, moving meditation about race in America.  Peter Farrelly took us on a road trip that changed the lives of two men.  Adam McKay made a brave film about politics and power.  There are no real surprises in my choices.  This is the same lineup as the Globes and the Directors Guild nominations.  If I had my druthers, Bo Burnham (Eighth Grade) or Damien Chazelle (First Man) would take Peter Farrelly’s slot. 

 

Best Original Song

Shallow,” A Star is Born

“A Place Called Slaughter Race,” Ralph Breaks the Internet

“Trip a Little Light Fantastic,” Mary Poppins Returns

“The Place Where Lost Things Go,” Mary Poppins Returns

“All the Stars,” Black Panther

 

Shallow” is a lock.  Of course, A Star Is Born is going to get a Best Song nomination.  If Ralph Breaks the Internet‘s side-splittingly funny, “A Place Called Slaughter Race” doesn’t get nominated, there is no justice.  It’s a send up of the classic Disney princess “I Want” song (“Part of Your World”, etc.) And I’m dying for a Randy Newman cover version.  Who do you think they’ll get to sing it at the Oscars? 

It’s not unusual for Disney to have more than one song nominated from the same film (The Lion King had three).  So I think both shortlisted Mary Poppins songs could make it through, though “Light Fantastic” is the ear worm.  I’m giving the final slot to “All the Stars” though it could go to “Girl in the Movies” by Dolly Parton from Dumplin’.  She has been nominated twice before.

 

Best Original Screenplay

Green Book, Nick Vallelonga, Brian Currie, and Peter Farrelly

Vice, Adam McKay

Eighth Grade, Bo Burnham

First Reformed, Paul Schrader

A Quiet Place, Bryan Woods, Scott Beck, and John Krasinski

 

Green Book: how do you not nominate the crowd-pleaser?  For Vice, McKay not only had to do exhaustive research, he employs several unique narrative devices.  Bo Burnham managed to capture not only the awkwardness of middle school, but to tell it from the point of view of a teenage girl.  Paul Schrader wrote one of the two best movies about faith this year.  (Disobedience was the other one.  Watch them both.)  A Quiet Place was one of the most unique theatrical experiences of the year.  The first sequence is its own horror short film that should be used to teach would-be screenwriters how to tell a story visually. 

 

Best Adapted Screenplay

If Beale Street Could Talk, Barry Jenkins

Can You Ever Forgive Me?,  Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty

Black Panther, Ryan Coogler and Joe Robert Cole

A Star Is Born, Eric Roth and Bradley Cooper & Will Fetters

BlacKkKlansman, Spike Lee, Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz and Kevin Willmott

 

Barry Jenkins didn’t just tell a story.  He found ways to add power to James Baldwin’s words through imagery.  Can You Ever Forgive Me? found the humanity in two hard to love people. 

Out of the comic books (Black Panther) came one of the most empowering films of all time.  The fourth version of A Star Is Born made us fall in love again.  BlacKkKlansman delivered a necessary message through an entertaining story. 

 

Best Animated Film

Incredibles 2

Ralph Breaks the Internet

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Mirai

Isle of Dogs

 

This is the same lineup as the Globes, but these are simply the five best animated films that came out this year.  If I could find anything artier or weirder to put in Mirai‘s spot, I would have, because Oscar would too.  (See My Life As a Zuchini.)

 

Incredibles 2 was the sequel that goes bigger than the original.  It was huge summer fun and everything I love about Pixar.  Ralph Breaks the Internet was…a little less fun but still had lots of laughs and lots of heart and the ultimate song (see above).  Spider-Man was an unexpected roller-coaster ride full of surprises.  I’m pulling for it to win.  Mirai was a sweet anime about family and heritage.  Isle of Dogs was Wes Anderson’s tale of a boy in search of his dog, in a world where dogs have been banned. 

 

I’m predicting Mirai in the fifth slot but the Academy could go more commercial and choose Teen Titans Go to the Movies, Hotel Transylvania 3 (such a let-down after 2!), Sherlock Gnomes, or Smallfoot instead. 


 

Kumail Nanjiani (The Big Sick—amazing rom com!) and Tracee Ellis Ross (Black-ish) will announce the nominees live on Tuesday, January 22 at 8:20 am ET/5:20 am PT.  

You can live stream it at Oscar.com or watch the Oscars live on TV Sunday, Feb 24th. Check my predictions then, and find out if I was way off base or right on the money!  Feel free to make your own predictions in the comments below. Check back here for more awards coverage! And don’t forget to use the Run Pee app for those lengthy, bladder-busting awards bait movies.  

Highlights, Comments, and Acceptance Videos for the 76th Annual Golden Globes

Movie Review – Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen Will Rock You

Movie Review – Black Panther – One Incredible Party

Movie Review – A Star Is Born

Movie Review – BlacKkKlansman

The Cast of Voices for Arctic Justice

The cast of voices in Arctic Justice. Photos and characters appear on top, while their actor information is listed below:

James Franco


Lemmy
Nominated for Best Actor Oscar for 127 Hours

Jeremy Renner

Swifty
Nominated for a Best Actor Oscar for Hurt Locker

Alec Baldwin

PB
Best known for the television sitcom 30 Rock

Laurie Holden

Dakota
Played Andrea in the top rated television drama The Walking Dead for two seasons

John Cleese

Otto Von Walrus
Best known for Monty Python and A Fish Called Wanda

Omar Sy

Leopold
Known for Jurassic World, The Untouchables, X-Men: Days of Future Past

Heidi Klum

Jade / Bertha
Best known for creating and hosting Project Runway for 17 seasons, and currently is a judge on America’s Got Talent

Is A Dog’s Way Home a Sequel to A Dog’s Purpose?

a dogs way home by w bruce cameron
It’s sort of a sequel and definitely a reboot.

Well, is it a sequel? Yes. And no. It’s also kind of a remake. I’ll get to that in a minute.

A Dog’s Way Home and A Dog’s Purpose, both written by W. Bruce Cameron, are intended as the first two parts in a “shared universe” dog trilogy. This is slated to culminate in A Dog’s Journey later this year.

What both current movies have in common — besides, you know, dogs — is a desire to make their audiences cry. So if that doesn’t sound like a fun time, neither of these films are for you. At least try not to see them alone.

Another thing that stands out is how morbid both stories are. Life, death, and life again are repeating motifs in what on the surface would seem to be harmless family films. [pullquote]I don’t want to spoil any plots, but some freaky things happen in both Home and Purpose that make me wonder what the writer intends for the final film in his doggie-verse.[/pullquote]

One thing you might recall from A Dog’s Purpose is how the titular dog, in one of his lives, has a swim rescue scene where the actual canine actor almost drowned. That kind of terrifying real-life event can go on to sink a franchise, and the new movie will probably remind everyone of Peta’s Purpose movie boycott action: “No amount of spin from Hollywood will change the fact that being forced to do a terrifying stunt is not a dog’s purpose,” said PETA Senior Vice President Lisa Lange in a statement. “PETA is calling on kind people to boycott this film and send the message that animals should be treated humanely, not exploited as movie props.”

So  I’m a little surprised a follow-up got greenlit, and that the writer returned to the death-theme well once again.  [pullquote position=”right”]There’s one section with veteran actor Edward James Olmos that’s so upsetting I’m shocked A Dog’s Way Home doesn’t come with a disclaimer.[/pullquote]

I mentioned above that A Dog’s Way Home is also a remake, because the theme of ‘pet crossing the country to get home’ has already been told a few times on the big screen. The 1963 live action Disney film The Incredible Journey features a bull terrier, a lab mix, and a Siamese cat who band together to cross a vast distance and help each other through many dangers…and it’s still the film to beat.

Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey (1993) was a rebooted version with a few changes (this features the animals narrating, as does the one canine in A Dog’s Way Home), but is essentially the same story.

I’m willing to bet W. Bruce Cameron saw both of these movies.  🙂

Movie Review – A Dog’s Way Home – A Harrowing Experience for Dog Lovers

Movie Review – A Dog’s Purpose – A Brutal Experience in Non-Stop Crying

Highlights, Comments, and Acceptance Videos for the 76th Annual Golden Globes

golden globes award 2019 76th ceremony
Who deserves to win a Golden Globe from the 2018 movies?

The 76th Golden Globe Awards was a night full of surprises.  Held by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the Globes are often an early predictor of the Oscars.   

In case you didn’t know, the Wikipedia describes exactly what a Golden Globe Award is about:

The Golden Globe Awards are accolades bestowed by the 93 members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association beginning in January 1944, recognizing excellence in film and television, both domestic and foreign.

[pullquote]The annual ceremony at which the awards are presented is a major part of the film industry’s awards season, which culminates each year in the Academy Awards.[/pullquote] The eligibility period for the Golden Globes corresponds to the calendar year (i.e. January 1 through December 31). The 76th Golden Globe Awards, honoring the best in film and television in 2018, were held on January 6, 2019.

Here are some of this 2019’s Golden Globe highlights from the 2018 films: 


 

 

— Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse won Best Animated Motion Picture, beating out two Pixar movies (Incredibles 2, Ralph Breaks the Internet).  Writer/producer Phil Lord said, “We’re living in an alternate universe where we win this.”  Director Peter Ramsey said, “”We were trying to make a movie that spoke to the idea that anyone can be behind the mask. We’re telling the story of Miles Morales, a kid from Brooklyn, African American, Puerto Rican. Anyone can be behind the mask. We’re counting on you.  You can do it.”

 

— Host Sandra Oh won Best Actress in a TV Series for the show Killing Eve and used the moment to honor her parents that were there with her. 

 

— Comedy legend Carol Burnett was presented with the First Annual Carol Burnett Award for Outstanding Achievement in Television.  She beat out other “nominees” Christian Bale, Charlize Theron, and Antonio Banderas with her fingers crossed in anticipation.   

— Jeff Bridges received The Cecil B. DeMille Award.  He gave a Dude-esque speech about trim tabs, the small devices on boats that have the power to change the entire direction of the boat.  He “tagged” the audience (at the theater and at home) declaring everyone a trim tab with the power to change the direction of our world. 

— In Regina King’s acceptance speech for Best Supporting Actress for If Beale Street Could Talk, she pledged to make everything she produces over the next two years 50% women.  She challenged anyone in a position of power in all industries to do the same. 

— In his acceptance speech for Best Actor in a Comedy for Vice, Christian Bale thanked Satan for providing him with the inspiration to play Dick Cheney.  Then he proposed making a Mitch McConnell movie next. 

— A Star is Born won Best Song for “Shallow.”  However, it was surprisingly shut out of every other category it was nominated in.  A major shocker as it’s been the movie to beat for months.  Bohemian Rhapsody won Best Actor in a Drama instead and the coveted Best Picture.  Alfonso Cuaron beat out Bradley Cooper for Best Director for the Netflix film Roma.  And Glenn Close won Best Actress for the underrated drama The Wife despite months of buzz about Lady Gaga’s film debut. 

— Glenn Close gave the best speech of the night.  “Women, we’re nurturers.  That’s what’s expected of us.  We have our children.  We have our husbands, if we’re lucky enough.  And our partners.  Whoever.  But we have to find personal fulfillment…We have to follow our dreams.  We have to say, ‘I can do that.  And I should be allowed to do that.’ “


 

The Oscar nominees will be announced Tuesday, January 22. We’ll find out then how many of the Golden Globe nominees and winners will make it to the big show.  Check back here for more awards coverage.

Someone who knows his stuff: Read Golden Man’s 76th Annual Golden Globes commentary and coverage.

Full List (and comments) for the 2019 76th Annual Golden Globes Nominees & Winners

Movie Review – Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen Will Rock You

The Voice Actors of Spider-Verse

Movie Review – Incredibles 2

Movie Review – Ralph Breaks the Internet

Movie Review – Vice – Deeply Funny But Tonally Strange

Movie Review – If Beale Street Could Talk

Movie Review – A Star Is Born