The Spotlight: Oscars 2018

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All things Oscar.

Here is a full list of the nominees courtesy of CNN.

Entertainment Weekly asks if the Oscars finally got things right.

Oscar predictions according the 538.

Oscar snubs and surprises according to Rolling Stone.


The Cut


Hello everyone. I hope everyone survived their NYE revelry and are now starting off 2018 on a good note. I’m sitting here, taking a quick break, trying to keep warm on this brutally cold Wisconsin morning and updating this blog after several weeks of absence.

I spent the waning days and weeks of 2017 nursing a bad head cold, dealing with professional issues, family issues and needless to say, the busyness of the holidays.

However, this blog isn’t far from my mind. Look for me to unreel some more movie reviews and other assorted film-related posts in the coming days and weeks.

I appreciate your patience!

The Spotlight


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.

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.



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


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!