The Spotlight

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Here is the list of Golden Globe nominees.

Apparently Wonder Woman and Lady Bird directed themselves. Golden Globes snubs Patty Jenkins and Greta Gerwig for best directing nominations.

Salma Hayek recalls Harvey Weinsteins outrageous demands while filming Frida.

And here is the list of SAG nominees.

Kelly Marie Tran-utterly charming and having the time of her lifeKelly Marie Tran-utterly charming and having the time of her life at the Star Wars: The Last Jedi Premier.

Death Becomes Her slated to become a Broadway musical.

Latest additionsLatest additions to Library of Congress’ National Film Registry

How California’s wildfires are affectingaffectingaffecting the film and TV industry.

Not everyone cares about the Golden Globes and it’s okay.

Women in Film sets up hotline for victims of sexual harassment.

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Guest Movie Review: Axis by Tari Jordan

By now, people who park themselves in my corner of the Internet are quite familiar with one of my favorite people, Tari Jordan. Several months ago she wrote a guest review of the movie 68 Kill. Ms. Jordan is also at the helm of Criminal Minds Fans, a treasure trove of Criminal Minds goodness I can’t recommend enough.

So it is a joy to post Tari’s review of the movie Axis directed by Aisha Tyler, who plays Dr. Tara Lewis on Criminal Minds. Not only is Ms. Tyler a talented actress, stand-up comic, and former host of the daytime show The Talk, she’s now proving to be a formidable film director, too. 

Take it away Tari!

From the opening shot of a bearded and bloodied junkie lying prone in an expensive car, to the mysterious culmination behind a closed door, we’re taken on a tightly-wound journey that’s both literal and figurative.

Literal because the entire film takes place in a drive through Los Angeles (the shots of LA earning co-star status for their meticulously suggestive framing) as recovering addict and actor Tristan wends his way home to his girlfriend, eschewing the clogged freeway in favor of side roads. Figurative because we’re privy to everything that happens to him on that given day via phone calls that continuously come through his hands-free system.

Written by Emmett Hughes (who also happens to play Tristan), Aisha Tyler’s directorial debut is a stunner not only because it was filmed in one week for about 200k – a mere pittance by Hollywood standards – but that it successfully tells a gripping and deeply moving story while staying on Tristan’s face nearly the entire film. Emmett’s acting is subtle and superb. He manages to hold our attention effortlessly as we watch him react to the intimate life events unfolding all throughout his drive that he’s powerless to do anything about.

He’s the sole person we actually see, as everyone else appear only as voices on his phone. Criminal Minds fans hit the jackpot here, as Aisha asked her friends Kirsten Vangsness, Paget Brewster, Thomas Gibson, and Adam Rodriguez to come and play with her in this ambitious endeavor, and it’s a treat seeing (hearing) them all out of their element.

Reminiscent of a radio play, the powerful performances by the voice actors, including Paula Malcomson (another CM alum from the episode Seven Seconds), and Ciaran Hinds, are not to be missed. Paget Brewster’s Dr. Lynch is particularly intense, and Tristan ignores her at his peril. Thomas Gibson as Joseph starts out very Hotch-like, but quickly devolves into sneering animus, and maybe more. Aisha’s turn as Louise has some of the best lines, she’s hugely funny and inserts a much-needed and welcome respite from all the tension. All convey a solid sincerity as they each bring their own emotional baggage and motivations, some with devastating news, to Tristan’s journey.

I won’t spoil the ending except to say that I thoroughly enjoyed it, they deliberately left it open to much interpretation, and that even though there is only one right answer (given to us at the Q&A by the writer Emmett, himself), the viewer is left to decide for themselves what they believe actually transpired.

Two bespectacled beauties, Tari Jordan and Axis director, the multi-talented Aisha Tyler.

Cut!

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Thought I’d give a brief explanation of my absence. First, I’m getting over the head cold to end all head colds. I’ve been pretty out of it so this blog hasn’t exactly been my top priority. I’ve been eating a lot of homemade chicken soup and drinking lots of tea and orange juice. But most of all I’m taking it easy and getting a lot of rest.

I’ve also been busy with my church’s film series. Our November selection “13” is being shown this Friday and I’m doing some last minute publicity via this blog, social media and word of mouth. Last month’s film had a great audience turnout and I hope November’s selection does too.

But I have to admit one of the reasons I’ve been absent is because I am thoroughly sickened about the deplorable actions of key figures in Hollywood in the wake of Weinstein and women coming forth telling their stories via #metoo. I know sexual harassment isn’t just a problem in Hollywood, every industry has its monsters and its victims. I’m just hoping this issue is taken seriously by both the film industry and those who love film. All of us deserve so much better.

 

And The Winner Is…Tari Jordan

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Tari Jordan, guest blogger over at these parts and blogging goddess over at Criminal Minds Fans got to interview Criminal Minds show runner Erica Messer. Tari asked some thoughtful and inspired questions and Ms. Messer answered them in a very intelligent, illuminating and entertaining way giving us a thorough take on how to make a TV show happen, what’s in store when it comes to Criminal Minds’ future, her very own career and what it’s like to work as a woman in television. I think you’ll really enjoy it and learn so much from this interview. I know I did.

Thanks Tari and Erica!

 

 

 

 

The Spotlight: Harvey Weinstein Edition

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New York Times’ initial article on Weinstein’s history of sexual harassment.

List of Weinstein’s victims and accusers, including Jolie and Paltrow, continues to grow.

Rose McGowan among the first to accuse Weinstein of sexual harassment.

Late night talk show hosts rip Weinstein to shreds.

Journalist Lisa Sivan claims Weinstein  masturbated in front of her.

Designer Donna Karan claims Weinstein’s accusers were asking for it. Fuck you, Donna!

RNC chair tries to “explain” why Weinstein is a monster, but Trump is okay.

Mark Ruffalo continues to be one of the good guys!

How Weinstein’s Hollywood connections made his wife a fashion success.

Weinstein fired.

 

 

Guilty Pleasure Movies: The Boys and Girls Guide to Getting Down

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Do you want to know why it’s better to snort coke off of fake breasts instead of real breasts? Do you wonder why some straight men become “fauxmosexuals” to pick up chicks? And just what is an “after party?” Well, these questions (and more) are all answered in the guilty pleasure gem The Boys and Girls Guide to Getting Down.

The Boys and Girls Guide to Getting Down takes an anthropological look at LA’s club scene. Using a format reminiscent of those cheesy educational films we saw in school (if TMZ.com made educational films), the movie utilizes live action, graphical diagrams and “knowledgeable” narrators. You know they are knowledgeable” because one of them has a British accent. Among the informative “chapters” you will learn the following:

  • Getting past the velvet rope
  • What certain drinks make smart girls stupid
  • The importance of determining the difference between good and bad drugs
  • How to get rid of a sexual hook-up once daylight arrives
  • And so much more!!!

With a cast of unknowns (other than a brief cameo by the guy who played the principal on Saved by the Bell), The Boys and Girls Guide to Getting Down follows these club go-ers from their initial getting ready rituals ‘til the moment they wake up with hangovers after a night of revelry. These unknowns aid the slightly mockumentary feel of the movie. The assorted collection of sleazebags, sluts, losers, punks and druggies are the kind of people who actually keep up with the Kardashians and whose Instagram accounts put the S in selfie.

I couldn’t help but laugh out loud while watching this movie, even though at times I wanted to clutch the pearls in shock. Some of you might recognize yourself (or at least your youth) in their shenanigans. And some of you will give be grateful you never quite partied this hard. The Boys and Girls Guide to Getting Down is a gloriously fun and trashy movie, and possibly a how-to for people who really want to PARTY! The party scene, whether in LA or even in my hometown of Milwaukee, is always perfect for mocking and The Boys and Girls Guide to Getting Down does it perfectly.