Emmy Perdictions

Predicted Winners in red, preferences in blue-ish

please-don’t-win in cry

How I Did: 12/17

-All in all, a lot of great and worthy shows/actors/craftsmen were awarded tonight. For the first time in a long time I found myself agreeing with the “best,” subjective as it may be. Particularly, the love for “Mad Men” and “Damages” two of the best shows of the season. Though I must admit to not getting the humor of the “multi-talented” Tina Fey. Content wise, though, the actual production, hosts, presenters etc. were unwatchable. The telecast gets a big fat f-in F.

*“Mad Men” -good, so glad it will/may win. such a good show
“Damages” -the best lawyer show ever.
“Lost” -just glad to see this show nominated again.
“House” -oh gawd
“Dexter” -wow, another fantastic show. for me this is a three-way tie betwene MM, Damages and Dexter.
“Boston Legal” –cry

*“30 Rock”crythe most overrated comedy since… um… see below
“The Office” –cry
“Entourage” –cry the worst show of the year
“Curb Your Enthusiasm” – the only worthy nominee here. perhaps the show’s best season to date. the way David handles the race issue is flawlessly funny and anything but predictable. and the Freak book episode was genus.
“Two and a Half Men” –cry

*Bryan Cranston, “Breaking Bad” -the anti-Dentite?
James Spader, “Boston Legal” -please, please, please, please don’t give Spader his third Emmy for this crap.
Jon Hamm, “Mad Men -i agree with the projected winner! the standout performance of the year. in years. perhaps ever.
Hugh Laurie, “House” –cry
Michael C. Hall, “Dexter” -soooooooo good on Dexter. I would love to see Hall win.
Gabriel Byrne, “In Treatment” –

*Glenn Close, “Damages” -again, i agree with the projected winner! Close is a force. though she’s more of a supporiting character on this fantastic show, but I’m not complaining.
Mariska Hargitay, “Law and Order: S.V.U.” –cryyawn
Sally Field, “Brothers and Sisters” –cryyawning
Holly Hunter, “Saving Grace” –cryyawn-astic
Kyra Sedgwick, “The Closer” –cryyawned

*Alec Baldwin, “30 Rock” -if you ask me this whole category sucks but Baldwin is the best… I guess
Steve Carell, “The Office” –
Lee Pace, “Pushing Daisies” –
Tony Shalhoub, “Monk” –
Charlie Sheen, “Two and a Half Men” –cry

America Ferrera, “Ugly Betty” –cry
Christina Applegate, “Samantha Who?”cry a win=pity vote
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “New Adventures of Old Christine” –
*Tina Fey, “30 Rock” cryNOT THAT FUNNY
Mary-Louise Parker, “Weeds” -sure, why not.

*“John Adams” -a lock. what a series!
“Cranford” –
“Tin Man” –cry
“The Andromeda Strain” –

*“Recount” -okay
“Extras: The Extra Special Series Finale”
“A Raisin in the Sun” –cry
“Bernard and Doris” –
“The Memory Keeper’s Daughter” –

*Paul Giamatti, “John Adams” -well, he may never get an Oscar but at least an Emmy helps.
Ricky Gervais, “Extras: The Extra Special Series Finale” -Poor Gervais, he’s in a category with, like a billion Oscar nominees.
Ralph Fiennes, “Bernard and Doris” –
Kevin Spacey, “Recount” –
Tom Wilkinson, “Recount”

Phylicia Rashad, “A Raisin in the Sun” –cry
Susan Sarandon, “Bernard And Doris” –
*Laura Linney, “John Adams” -cool. I’ve ended up agreeing with a lot of winners. how could she not win?
Dame Judi Dench, “Cranford” –
Catherine Keener, “An American Crime” –

*“The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” -again? But Colbert is so much better.
“Saturday Night Live” –cry
“The Colbert Report” –
“Late Show With David Letterman” –
“Real Time with Bill Maher” -pompus but better than the other politicals shows this year.

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series (preference: none)
*Entourage – Jeremy Piven as Ari Goldcry
Entourage – Kevin Dillon as Johnny Dramacry
How I Met Your Mother – Neil Patrick Harris as Barney Stinson
The Office – Rainn Wilson as Dwight Schrutecry
Two and a Half Men – Jon Cryer as Alan Harpercry

Oustanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Boston Legal – William Shatner as Denny Cranecry
Damages – Ted Danson as Arthur Frobisher
*Damages – Zeljko Ivanek as Ray Fiske–Danson is great on this show but Zeljko steals it!
Lost – Michael Emerson as Ben
Mad Men – John Slattery as Roger Sterling

Oustanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Movie
*John Adams – David Morse as George Washington
John Adams – Stephen Dillane as Thomas Jefferson
John Adams – Tom Wilkinson as Benjamin Franklin
Recount – Denis Leary as Michael Whouleycry
Recount – Bob Balaban as Ben Ginsberg

Oustanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series (preference: a big fat none)
Pushing Daisies – Kristin Chenoweth as Olive Snookcrycrycry
*Samantha Who? – Jean Smart as Regina Newlycry
Saturday Night Life – Amy Poehler, Performercry
Two and a Half Men – Holland Taylor as Evelyn Harpercry
Ugly Betty – Vanessa Williams as Wilhelmina Slatercry

Oustanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series (preference: none)
Boston Legal – Candice Bergen as Shirley Schmidtcry
Brothers & Sisters – Rachel Griffiths as Sarah Walker-Whedon
Grey’s Anatomy – Chandra Wilson as Dr. Miranda Baileycry
Grey’s Anatomy – Sandra Oh as Cristina Yangcry
*In Treatment – Dianne Wiest as Dr. Gina Toll

Oustanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie
A Raisin in the Sun – Audra McDonald as Ruth Younger
*Cranford (MASTERPIECE) – Dame Eileen Atkins as Miss Deborah jenkyns
Extras: The Extra Special Series Finale – Ashley Jensen as Maggie Jacobs
Pictures of Hollis Woods – Alfre Woodard as Edna Reilly
Recount – Laura Dern as Katherine Harris

Review: Lakeview Terrace

  • What’s Good: Because “Lakeview Terrace” is a thriller first and political/social message second, it is a perfectly fine and fun piece of entertainment. With an edge! Were it a political/social polemic first and thriller second it would be insincere, cheep and, well, “Crash.” The intense aura Samuel L. Jackson gives off here as the racist cop named Able allows for one of his best (…and only nuanced…) performances since “Changing Lanes;” I like that this character is not the Evil Cop Next Door, he’s a good father at times and actually makes some good points about people owning up to things. His bulgy glares alone should get him an Oscar nom, though that will never happen. The dude keeps it real-real scary.
  • What’s Not: Contrived at times. And the cheesy Kane and Able/LA is burning metaphors juxtaposed with scenes of heated (get it!) racial hatred and brother vs. brother scenes are a bit much, no? Also, the cast is great except for Patrick Wilson’s wife played by Kerry Washington. She overacts, and this is a Samual L Jackson film, people, so that’s saying something!
  • Food Equivalent: Burned, surburbian made BBQ steak.
  • Made Up Hacky Peter Travers Quote: A high octane psycho thriller that will put you in the seat of the danger zone from zero to sixty, “Lakeview” sizzles!

I’m Samuel L. Jackson! I was in “Lakeview Terrace!” I got mad at an interracial couple moving to the suburbs! I make their lives a nightmare because I’m the man, not the movie “The Man,” which I want y’all to rent, but THE MAN as in the po-po, you dig! You’d expect me, a black cop, would be vibin’ with a white dude marrying a sista but I’m Samuel L. Jackson! I got mad at Ben Affleck in my other racially charged polemical thriller “Changing Lanes” and I’m damn-hell sure going to get madder at Patrick Wilson because he’s going to be in “The Watchman” and that’s the one film this year I’m not in! That makes me more mad than that time a Shark ate me in “Deep Blue Sea!”

grade: B

Review: Burn After Reading

The powers that be just don’t want the Coen Brothers anywhere near comedy. This matter is, or was, to such an extreme that the minute they reentered the crime genre last year they were meet with unanimous critical support, box office riches and a handful of Oscars. Make that TWO handfuls! The filmmakers have sensibilities so dark and askew that high drama is often the only way people can bring themselves to comprehend the events that transpire in their world. This film looks to break with tradition by being the first comedy hit of theirs since, um, “Big Lebowski,” which wasn’t even a hit when it first came out. What doesn’t so much break with tradition is the film itself as the Coens find themselves plowing familiar fields that include eccentric characters, funky haircuts, fat lawyers, love affairs gone explosively bad, shock deaths played for laughs, and a general cluster-f comedy style that favors dialogue from the Preston Sturges handbook (“Hundred bucks, all in – not counting my labor, and the… cost of the dildo” which, uh, sure, he could have written) and plots so deep and dark and cynical that you have to punish yourself for laughing.

“Burn” involves a cast of characters so expansive and unlikable that the film, in addition to being uniquely Coen-esq, feels like a Elmore Leonard crime classic. Except it’s not really a classic; a fun dose of macabre humor with a dynamic but far from Cohen’s best shooting style. This is one of those madcap films where a single event (the firing of an alcoholic CIA analyst played by John Malkovich) sparks all the subsequent actions that envelope his cold wife (Swinton), her lover (a twitchy Clooney), his lover (Francis McDormand, doing an expanded version of her chatty Raising Arizona persona), her best friend (Brad Pitt, vibing effortlessly with the Cohen’s sensibilities), and his boss (a fine Richard Jenkins-the only sympathetic sucker in the film). When the hilariously clueless CIA higher ups try to extract meaning from a cloud of commotion that brings to mind Looney Tunes characters fighting so feaverishley that all we can see is a ball of dust and claws, just about the only thing the agents can figure out for certain is the fact that “they all seem to be sleeping with each other.” Right. This is that kind of film, where characters fornicate, pontificate and detonate. It’s also a political satire more tolerable anything George “Syriana” Clooney and Brad “Bable” Pitt have subjected us to. 

As screenwriters, the Coens have admitted that they pride themselves on nudging characters into a corner only to figure out new ways to get them out. This film is all corners. And the chain of events is comically haphazard; unlike their philosophical Oscar winner, the role chance plays on determining the outcome of events is negated here by the simple fact that everything about this film is stylized, predetermined and, thus, thoroughly announced its written-ness. Look, I would not, perhaps could not, consider myself a hardcore Coen fan. Don’t get me wrong, I love their darkness and am consistently fascinated by how they extract strange crystals of warped truth and singular uniqueness out of the material they work with. Example: whenever Clooney’s character, an ex US Marshal, enters a room he has a knack for staring at the floor, tapping it with his feet and trying to guess the composition of the wood. This never gets old. My problem, once again, though, is that this film does nothing to disprove the criticism that the Coens have no heart. It’s all surface causalites and clever writing that never quite gets beyond the clever stage if you ask me. Which isn’t a total negative seeing as how the Coens are making a film about contemptible people  functioning within a demoralized, decentralized, and desensitized system. Again, the jabs towards the myopic/moronic American “intelligence” apparatus and self-realization culture (even more moronic) are clever but nothing deep or profound. The lack of depth, heart and possibly even sincerity makes this comedy a fun weekend fix rather than an enduring comedy classic on par with “O Brother” and, in my view (and my view alone), that flawless gem known as “The Ladykillers.”

When the Coens addressed the academy and viewing public at the Oscars earlier this year they thanked the industry for “allowing” them to play in their sandbox. To be left alone with their thoughts. Well, the characters in this film seem as if they are trapped in that same proverbial sandbox along with the filmmakers. At once insulated from the world and, yet, just as equally alienated from it! When Mcdormand praises Clooney for abandoning his negative views, they both look at each other and dismiss all mortal frets and fears on earth by reducing them to being “all small things!” Perhaps we too should to lighten up and view things in a similar perspective. Then again, maybe not because the Coen’s are so detached from the human experience that everything is small.

grade: B