Archive | January 2011

the product placement quiz #4

All right, to simplify things this time, I’m giving you three images, all of which are product placement samples from movies that feature the same actor. Can you name any or all of the movies and the connecting actor?




remember when: CAST of BIG LOVE

Amidst all the hoopla of Oscars this, SAGs that, it seems it’s time to take a trip back to normalcy for a bit. Time to return to Remember When, this time starring the cast of Big Love, which just recently premiered its final season (and it’s already better than season four!), namely some former roles you may’ve forgotten about…

Before he was clan leader and Home Plus owner Bill Hendrickson, Bill Paxton did his fair share of roles as ’80s super-jerks, one of them being the infamous Chet in 1985’s Weird Science.

Long before her stint as first wife, casino manager, and now-lost soul Barb, Jeanne Tripplehorn’s big-screen debut was as Dr. Beth Garner in 1992’s Basic Instinct.

Before she was scheming compound escapee and middle wife Nikki Grant (and before she was an Oscar nominee for Boys Don’t Cry), Chloe Sevigny was part of the cast of the controversial teen sex drama Kids in 1995.

Before she was cutesy third wife and jewelry peddler Margene on Big Love, and prior to that string of romantic comedies she’s hitched her wagon to, Ginnifer Goodwin made her acting debut on an episode of Law & Order in 2001.

Before she was staunchly faith-filled, though diabolically masterminded, matriarch Adaleen Grant, Mary Kay Place played Loretta on the cult classic 1970s series Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman.

Long before playing controversial prophet of Juniper Creek Roman Grant, Harry Dean Stanton played dozens of roles in television, including a one-off role in a 1959 episode of the western series The Rifleman.

Before playing the nutty mother and exotic bird smuggler Lois Hendrickson, Grace Zabriskie had a variety of screen roles, including one as one of Sally Field’s fellow workers in 1979’s Norma Rae.

Now-big-name movie star Amanda Seyfried, before her stint as confused daughter Sara on Big Love, got her start on daytime television, including a regular role from 1999 to 2001 on As the World Turns.

Before he played boneheaded but harmless son Ben, Douglas Smith played several roles as a child actor, including performing as a young Brendan Fraser in the 1999 comedy Blast from the Past.

say goodbye to the gallery…

Though it eventually became a seemingly pointless effort on my part, that gallery of title down and to the right of “2010 Movies Seen” will be vacating the premises soon.  So take one last look, as it’s about to become the zone for review links.  I’m going to attempt to actually write reviews on this blog!  My stars!  It’ll start off with my recent reviews of Made in Dagenham and The Way Back over at Anomalous Material.  In other news, I’m conducting some year-end polls over at the LCT Awards website and could really use all of your input!  Click over here, and navigate to the polls section to vote on the big six categories (minus Best Director).

best films: #11: TITANIC (1997)

It’s only fitting that another big prestige movie (The King’s Speech) garnered a higher-than-average Oscar nomination count just a few days ago (and that it happens to be a little polarizing to viewers), as my number 11 entry in my top 100 (this is circa 2009, so expect a revision once I finally finish counting down this version) fits both bills. Garnering 14 Oscar nominations, Titanic tied a 47-year-old record set by All About Eve, but was arguably the most successful film ever at the ceremony (Eve received six wins, while Titanic managed 11). And, since no seemingly infallible success can go without its detractors, it also happens to be a movie that polarized critics and audiences alike. Due to its placement on this list, you can assume which side of the aisle I fall on. I’m the first to admit that Titanic is deeply flawed in many ways. There are historical plot holes and scientific inaccuracies – and hey, it leaned on the melodrama time and again throughout the romantic trials of Jack and Rose, but I will always love it for the following reasons.

For one, it launched the careers of the two people that would become the greatest actors of their generation (feel free to fight me on that), or, at the very least, two of the most lauded actors. Without Titanic, we perhaps might never have seen the countless stellar performances that have occurred for the duo since. Imagine the roles that happened simply because they were the stars of the biggest movie ever! (And yes, I’m fully aware that Kate and Leo were both Oscar nominees at this point, but let’s all agree they’ve grown into their abilities since 1997.) Second on my list of insistences is that the grandiose effects, art direction, cinematography, and sound editing were incredible even by today’s standards. Third, though James Cameron’s head may be bigger than the ship itself, the man can achieve spectacle without schlock (for the most part) – the only other director that I think can achieve this degree of spectacle effectively is Peter Jackson (see King Kong for proof of this). And last, James Horner happens to be one skilled composer. Check out his filmography, and come back to me with any missteps you can find in his soundtracks – really, because I can’t find any. So I guess what I’m saying is, at first glance of the above headline, I’m sure you were sent into a tizzy of negative comments, but I implore you – don’t let backlash get the better of you. It’s been almost 15 years; Titanic deserves another viewing.

oscars 2010: what the acting nominees are up to in 2011

With the Oscar nominees now announced, it’s time to take a look at the upcoming projects of the newly bestowed honorees. Now, there are many project in the mix for the 20 people nominated, but only some have any stills released as of now. Check out the slideshow below for a preview of what’s to come from our prestigious 20…

the 2010 LCT nominees, the ones that just missed the cut

As was previously announced in the past couple days, the LCT Awards’ film nominees for 2010 are all stacked up. But what of the rest of the crop? I mean, I screened about 120 films this year (yes, exhausting), so there were bound to be quite a few deserving candidates who didn’t quite make the cut… and here they are:

Best Picture
6th The Kids Are All Right
8th Rabbit Hole
9th How to Train Your Dragon
10th Another Year

Best Lead Actress
6th – Annette Bening, Mother and Child
7th – Tilda Swinton, I Am Love
8th – Lesley Manville, Another Year
9th – Catherine Keener, Please Give
10th – Ruth Sheen, Another Year

Best Lead Actor
6th – Colin Firth, The King’s Speech
7th – Jesse Eisenberg, The Social Network
8th – James Franco, Howl
9th – Martin Landau, Lovely, Still
10th – Leonardo DiCaprio, Shutter Island

Best Supporting Actress
6th – Juliette Lewis, Conviction
7th – Barbara Hershey, Black Swan
8th – Phylicia Rashad, For Colored Girls
9th – Karina Fernandez, Another Year
10th – Ashley Bell, The Last Exorcism

Best Supporting Actor
6th – Andrew Garfield, Never Let Me Go
7th – Mark Ruffalo, The Kids Are All Right
8th – Jack McGee, The Fighter
9th – Ed Harris, The Way Back
10th – Dylan Riley Snyder, Life During Wartime

**It’s your turn – which unfortunate few didn’t quite make your top 5 for 2010, but are still deserving of a nod?**

the 2010 LCT nominees, music categories

Pick up the phone!  It’s Lady Gaga telling you to head over to the official LCT Awards website to check out the 2010 nominees in the music categories, where Lady Gaga and “Telephone” lead the nomination count with five nods, and Cee Lo Green comes second with three mentions.  Go check it out, and come back here for the conversation!