Tag Archives: Sarah Paulson

The Post Trailer #1 (2017) “If The Government Wins, The Washington Post Will Cease to Exist.”

Before The Washington Post and Watergate brought the Nixon administration down, they faced an issue just as daunting when, in 1971, they found themselves in possession of thousands of classified documents on the Vietnam War.  If the name Ben Bradlee sounds familiar to you, its because Jason Robards won an Oscar for playing the Post’s editor in the classic All the President’s Men.  Stepping into his shoes would be daunting, but if you’re going to have an actor do it, you want Tom Hanks.  He’ll be teaming with director Steven Spielberg for the fifth time, and while I’ve had my issues with Spielberg in the last 15 years, none of his collaborations with Hanks have ever been less than stellar.  If that weren’t enough, Meryl Streep will be playing the Post’s owner Katharine Graham.  In a time where the media has never been more important as the nation’s Fourth Estate, this film and the issues it will examine feel worthy of bringing together arguably the greatest actor, actress, and director of our age.  The Post will open December 22, 2017.  For the official synopsis, read below. Continue reading The Post Trailer #1 (2017) “If The Government Wins, The Washington Post Will Cease to Exist.”

Rebel in the Rye Trailer #1 (2017) “Imagine a Book You’d Want to Read; Then Go Write It!”

*Text from Coming Soon
Rebel in the Rye is the story of the life and mind of the legendary and secretive author J.D. Salinger. Through his rebellious youth, the bloody front lines of World War II, enduring great love and terrible loss, a life of rejection to the pages of The New Yorker, and the PTSD-fueled writer’s block that led to the birth of his iconic book “The Catcher in the Rye.”

The cast includes Nicholas Hoult (Mad Max: Fury RoadX-Men: Days of Futures Past), Kevin Spacey (House of CardsAmerican Beauty), Sarah Paulson (American Horror StoryCarol), Brian D’Arcy James (SpotlightMozart in the Jungle), Victor Garber (SicarioMilk), Zoey Deutch (Before I FallWhy Him?) and Hope Davis (American CrimeReal Steel).

Written and Directed by Danny Strong and adapted from Kenneth Slawenski’s biography, “J.D. Salinger: A Life,” Rebel in the Rye is financed by Black Label Media with Molly Smith, Trent Luckinbill and Thad Luckinbill producing alongside Academy Award winner Bruce Cohen, Jason Shuman, and Strong.

The film is set to open on September 15, 2017.
Rebel in the Rye

Movie Review: 12 Years as a Slave (2013)

TWELVE YEARS A SLAVE

12 Years as a Slave tells the powerful story of Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor) who was kidnapped by slavers and sold into bondage in the South from 1841-1853.  The film tells the story of those 12 years  as Northup  is sold from a master with about the maximum morals a Southern slave-owning plantation runner had in 1841 (Benedict Cumberbatch, now officially in all movies) to his polar opposite: a maniacal monster (played with vicious abandon by Michael Fassbender).  It’s an incredible story of the human will to survive in deepest scar on the soul of our country’s history.  The performances are stellar (especially Ejiofor and Fassbender), but the movie as a whole was…wierd.

12-years-a-slave

It’s hard to be critical at all of the story of someone who has gone through Hell’s fires on Earth like Northup did and I in NO way want to give the impression that this is not an important film or one that shouldn’t be compulsion viewing for every American.  We did this.  Maybe it wasn’t us, personally.  Maybe it wasn’t even our ancestors.  Mine, at that time, were eating a high-potato diet in Ireland and having a mini-version of all this being done to us by the English (thanks for that).  Part of being an American, though, is taking on the responsibility of the country past, present and future.  As we are responsible for interpreting the Founding Fathers’ wisdom, so are we responsible for their sins and their legacy.  We need to be reminded of history so it doesn’t repeat itself.  That goes for the Holocaust, slavery, the Inquisition and war.  I am of the opinion that these reminders need to be stark and accurate.  War movies where a guy clutches his chest and falls over, sicken me.  That’s not war.  War is the first 30 minutes of Saving Private Ryan (and even that cannot convey the smell, the tactile trauma, etc.).

This film is firmly of the opinion I hold as well.  In fact, one of my problems is I think it goes overboard.  Every manner of human cruelty and degradation was doled out to Solomon and his companions.  From roughly 15 minutes in through the end of the film, it’s nearly non-stop horror and cruelty.  My problem with that is not showing it.  My problem is that it’s basically all the film shows.

12 years as a slaveI spent 2 hours and 21 minutes with Solomon and all I learned about him as a person is that he loved his family, he was a survivor above all and he was a talented fiddle player.  That’s it.  The film makes no effort to make Northup anything more than the vehicle for showing the cruelty of the plantation system.  It’s not like there’s no information on Northup.  He wrote the account the film is based upon.  I wanted to know him.  I wanted to get to know what kind of man this was, beyond-clearly-an extraordinary survivor.  There is no character development and the reason why that is so important in a film like this is that eventually any human becomes inured to horror.  It’s a survival mechanism.  It’s how people survive thinks like Solomon did on a much smaller scale, but if all the viewer sees is Solomon beaten, betrayed, sold, mistreated and degraded, the viewer has to have some context for caring about him; connecting with him or the fabric of the film has nothing to bind it together.

I also thought McQueen’s direction was …odd.  Scenes were just thrown out there.  No more so is this evident in the beginning of the film in which a strange and disturbing event happens and then has no relevance later in the film.  It’s just out there.  There were too many star cameos where a big star would come in, have one scene, drop a bunch of N-bombs and you never see them again.  It’s distracting from the narrative.

The strong point of this film are the performances, most especially by Solomon and Epps (Fassbender), both of whom more than deserve Oscar consideration.  This isn’t a classic, though.  It’s a film whose craft is flawed and is ultimately redeemed by the quality of the performances it contains.  Something like this should stick with me forever, but I’m afraid it’s already fading from my consciousness and that’s a missed opportunity for impacting American film goers that’s irredeemable.
8.00/10
12 Years as a Slave, Brad Pitt

Movie Review: Mud (2013)

Mud, Matthew McConaughey

If you like Matthew McConaughey, Mud is the best thing that is ever going to happen to you.  At no time in his film career has McConaughey been so McConaughey as he is in Mud.  It is….maximum McConaughey.

Mud is the story of two best friends in the SOUTH (we’ll put that all in caps because one of the two is named “Neck Bone” so we’re damn SOUTH) who run across a boat stuck in a tree by a hurricane and a bundle of McConaughey living in it.  The boys strike up a friendship of sorts with the wanderer who is not what he seems.  Mud is less about the titular character than it is Ellis (played by Tye Sheridan who carries the whole film).  Ellis is losing his family, his home on the river and at 14 sits poised on that awkward cusp between childhood and adolescence.  He latches on to Mud because he needs something to believe in, and given that Mud is a wanted murderer, that belief becomes a very dangerous thing.

The main criticism I can level against Mud is that the pacing of the movie is about as fast as the title.  It is a looooong two hours and ten minutes of movie.  The cast is great, when things finally get moving the story is gripping, but the journey to get there is at times extremely trying.

Since there was plenty of time to think as the boys kept motoring across the Mississippi to Mud’s island and back, I kept thinking that I have no problem believing this IS how Matthew McConaughey actually lives.  That his part was just filmed by documentary crew outside his tree/boat house he lives in between films where he has to shower.  I mean, what screams McConaughey more to you?  This:
header-nolan-wants-mcconaughey-for-interstellar
orrrrrrrrrrr this
Mud, Matthew McConaughey
You know I’m right.  Mud is a good rental if you have the patience for it.  Good performances (especially by Tye Sheridan) and, like I said, whole lot of maximized McConaughey (that is really difficult to type over and over…I’m programming a macro).
7.0/10

65th Primetime Emmy Nominations and KT Picks

Emmy

The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences announced the nominations for the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards this morning (because it’s not a busy time entertainment-wise).  Peruse the nominees below along with the KT pick in each category, then tune in to watch the show, hosted by Neil Patrick Harris, on Sunday, September 22 on CBS.  Overall, I have to say, the nominations are pretty dead on this year.

Outstanding Drama Series
Breaking Bad • AMC • Sony Pictures Television
Downton Abbey • PBS • A Carnival / Masterpiece Co-Production
Game Of Thrones • HBO
Homeland • Showtime
House Of Cards • Netflix
Mad Men • AMC • Lionsgate Television
KT Pick: As strong a group as you’ll ever find.  Tough call, but Breaking Bad.

Outstanding Comedy Series
The Big Bang Theory • CBS
Girls • HBO
Louie • FX Networks
Modern Family • ABC
30 Rock • NBC
Veep • HBO
KT Pick: 30 Rock as a farewell to an amazing series, plus Modern Family was a bit off its standard this season.

Outstanding Lead Actor In A Drama Series
Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
Hugh Bonneville, Downton Abbey
Damian Lewis, Homeland
Kevin Spacey, House of Cards
Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Jeff Daniels, Newsroom
KT Pick: Again, impossible to go wrong in this group.  It’s criminal that Jon Hamm hasn’t won for Mad Men, but it also seems wrong not to give it to Bryan Cranston every year.  However, Kevin Spacey ate the screen alive in House of Cards and carried that show in a way none of the others did and should take home the Emmy.  Netflix is getting Emmy nominations.  We live in Bizzarroland.

Outstanding Lead Actress In A Drama Series
Vera Farmiga, Bates Motel
Michelle Dockery, Downton Abbey
Claire Danes, Homeland
Robin Wright, House of Cards
Elizabeth Moss, Mad Men
Kerry Washington, Scandal
KT Pick: Claire Danes won last year and should this year; awesome that Scandal got some recognition.

Outstanding Lead Actor In A Comedy Series
Jason Bateman, Arrested Development
Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory
Matt LeBlanc, Episodes
Don Cheadle, House of Lies
Louie C.K., Louie
Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
KT Pick: Baldwin one last time for creating one of my favorite TV characters of all-time: Jack Donaghy.

Outstanding Lead Actress In A Comedy Series
Laura Dern, Enlightened
Lena Dunham, Girls
Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation
Tina Fey, 30 Rock
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
KT Pick: Give Amy Poehler a freaking Emmy!  I don’t know why Parks and Rec gets no Emmy love.  To not even nominate it when the state of TV comedy is at the lowest point in my lifetime, is ludicrous.  I’ll be ok if Tina Fey gets it for not only starring, but creating, writing, producing and casting 30 Rock for seven years, but otherwise POEHLER!

Outstanding Lead Actor In A Miniseries Or A Movie
Michael Douglas, Behind the Candelabra
Matt Damon, Behind the Candelabra
Toby Jones, The Girl
Benedict Cumberbatch, Parade’s End
Al Pacino, Phil Spector
KT Pick: That’s a lot of star power for an Emmy category, proving that TV is eclipsing movies (in drama at least).  I’ll be honest, I’ve seen none of these, but a founding principle in the Killing Time Charter of Behavior (not available, don’t ask) is that we root for Benedict Cumberbatch in all things.  The year of Cumberbatchian dominance continues (though he’s facing 3 Oscar winners and an Oscar nominee so those aren’t betting odds)!

Outstanding Lead Actress In A Miniseries Or A Movie
Jessica Lange, American Horror Story: Asylum
Laura Linney, The Big C
Helen Mirren, Phil Spector
Sigourney Weaver, Political Animals
Elizabeth Moss, Top of the Lake
KT Pick: How is AHS not an ongoing series?  Again, haven’t seen any of them and I have no fundamental guiding doctrine on these actresses, so I’ll say Elizabeth Moss because she’s never going to win for Mad Men.

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Drama Series
Bobby Cannavale, Boardwalk Empire
Jonathan Banks, Breaking Bad
Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad
Jim Carter, Downton Abbey
Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones
Mandy Patinkin, Homeland
KT Pick: Mandy Patinkin is the best thing about Homeland, but if Aaron Paul or Peter Dinklage win, that’s perfectly fine with me.

Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Drama Series
Anna Gunn, Breaking Bad
Emilia Clarke, Game of Thrones
Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey
Christine Baranski, The Good Wife
Morena Baccarin, Homeland
Christina Hendricks, Mad Men
KT Pick: I always want Maggie Smith to win everything she’s nominated for, but Christina Hendricks is fricking due.  I usually have a problem with the Emmys and the comedy nominations are dismal, but they’ve nailed drama this year.  Everyone here is stellar.

Outstanding Guest Actor In A Drama Series
Nathan Lane, The Good Wife
Michael J. Fox, The Good Wife
Rupert Friend, Homeland
Robert Morse, Mad Men
Harry Hamlin, Mad Men
Dan Bucatinsky, Scandal
KT Pick: Michael J. Fox’s recurring character on The Good Wife is always the season highlight.

Outstanding Guest Actress In A Drama Series
Margo Martindale, The Americans
Diana Rigg, Game of Thrones
Carrie Preston, The Good Wife
Linda Cardellini, Mad Men
Jan Fonda, Newsroom
Joan Cusack, Shameless
KT Pick: I think Linda Cardellini has this one pretty much sewn up.

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Comedy Series
Adam Sackler, Girls
Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Modern Family
Ed O’Neill, Modern Family
Ty Burrell, Modern Family
Bill Hader, Saturday Night Live
Tony Hale, Veep
KT Pick: No Eric Stonestreet for Modern Family too?  Really the whole cast deserves to be nominated every year, but it’s Ed O’Neill’s turn to win one.

Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Comedy Series
Mayim Bialik, The Big Bang Theory
Jane Lynch, Glee
Sofia Vergara, Modern Family
Julie Bowen, Modern Family
Merritt Weaver, Nurse Jackie
Jane Krakowski, 30 Rock
Anna Chlumsky, Veep
KT Pick: Same as the men, but it’s Sofia Vergara’s turn.  Nice to see Jane Krakowski get a nod.  Are there people not exhausted by Jane Lynch still?

Outstanding Guest Actor In A Comedy Series
Bob Newhart, The Big Bang Theory
Nathan Lane, Modern Family
Bobby Cannavale, Nurse Jackie
Louis C.K., Saturday Night Live
Justin Timberlake, Saturday Night Live
Will Forte, 30 Rock
KT Pick: Justin Timberlake has somehow turned into the best SNL host of the last decade….it’s an odd world we live in, this.

Outstanding Guest Actress In A Comedy Series
Molly Shannon, Enlightened
Dot-Marie Jones, Glee
Melissa Leo, Louie
Melissa McCarthy, Saturday Night Live
Kristen Wiig, Saturday Night Live
Elaine Stritch, 30 Rock
KT Pick: Elaine Stritch’s turn as Alec Baldwin’s mother has been one of the best things about 30 Rock over the entire show.  Can’t deny her.  I’d be afraid to.  The woman is terrifying.

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Miniseries Or A Movie
James Cromwell, American Horror Story: Asylum
Zachary Quinto, American Horror Story: Asylum
Scott Bakula, Behind the Candelabra
John Benjamin Hickey, The Big C
Peter Mullan, Top of the Lake
KT Picks: Emmy for Spock, please!

Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Miniseries Or A Movie
Sarah Paulson, American Horror Story: Asylum
Imelda Staunton, The Girl
Ellen Burstyn, Political Animals
Charlotte Rampling, Restless
Alfre Woodard, Steel Magnolias
KT Picks: I have not seen the nominees other than AHS so Sarah Paulson it is.

Outstanding Host For A Reality Or Reality-Competition Program
American Idol
Betty White’s Off Their Rockers
Dancing With The Stars
Project Runway
So You Think You Can Dance
The Taste
KT Picks: Give Betty White anything she wants.  The woman’s had the best back 20 years of a century of anyone in television history.  She’s the Christopher Lee of TV.

Outstanding Reality-Competition Program
The Amazing Race
Dancing With The Stars
Project Runway
So You Think You Can Dance
Top Chef
The Voice
KT Picks: It’s won this category every year but once since it was invented and it’s won it for a reason.  Amazing Race!!!

Outstanding Variety Series
The Colbert Report
The Daily Show With Jon Stewart
Jimmy Kimmel Live
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon
Real Time with Bill Maher
Saturday Night Live
KT Picks: SNL had a rough year and I’d rather see Letterman here, but The Daily Show and Colbert Report both operate at a level of outstanding writing and comedy far beyond the rest.

Outstanding Miniseries Or Movie
American Horror Story: Asylum • FX Networks
Behind The Candelabra • HBO
The Bible • HISTORY
Phil Spector • HBO
Political Animals • USA
Top Of The Lake • Sundance Channel
KT Picks: AHS.  I find the possibility of The Bible getting an Emmy kind of hilarious.  Perhaps it’s because I’ve grown up with it, but it’s like the Oxford Dictionary winning an Oscar to me.

Outstanding Writing For A Drama Series
Breaking Bad • Dead Freight
Breaking Bad • Say My Name
Downton Abbey • Episode 4 • PBS • A Carnival
Game Of Thrones • The Rains Of Castamere
Homeland • Q&A • Showtime
KT Picks: Either Breaking Bad is deserving, but Game of Thrones second season finale kicked the series into a whole new gear.

Outstanding Directing For A Drama Series
Boardwalk Empire • Margate Sands • HBO
Breaking Bad • Gliding Over All • AMC
Downton Abbey • Episode 4 • PBS
Homeland • Q&A • Showtime
House Of Cards • Chapter 1 • Netflix
KT Picks: House of Cards smacks you between the eyes with its pilot and doesn’t let go of you until you’ve binge-watched the entire thing wondering where 10 hours went.

Outstanding Writing For A Comedy Series
Episodes • Episode 209 • Showtime
Louie • Daddy’s Girlfriend (Part 1) • FX Networks
The Office • Finale • NBC
30 Rock • Hogcock! • NBC
30 Rock • Last Lunch • NBC
KT Picks: The Office left us three years ago and its corpse has been on TV, so recognize a proper goodbye from 30 Rock (yeah, I’m trying super hard not to make Hogcock jokes….I’ll save them for my wife; she’ll be so thrilled).

Outstanding Directing For A Comedy Series
Girls • On All Fours • HBO
Glee • Diva • FOX
Louie • New Year’s Eve • FX Networks
Modern Family • Arrested
30 Rock • Hogcock! / Last Lunch
KT Picks: You had me at “hogcock”.  You had me at “hogcock”.  I’ll miss you, 30 Rock.

Outstanding Writing For A Miniseries, Movie Or A Dramatic Special
Behind The Candelabra • HBO
The Hour • BBC America
Parade’s End • HBO
Phil Spector • HBO
Top Of The Lake • Sundance Channel
KT Picks: I must plead out on these as I’ve not seen any yet.  Is Hogcock not going to be nominated for more things that I can pick it for?  I’m confused.

Outstanding Directing For A Miniseries/Movie/Dramatic Special
Behind The Candelabra • HBO
The Girl • HBO
Phil Spector • HBO
Ring Of Fire • Lifetime
Top Of The Lake • Part 5 • Sundance Channel
KT Picks: Hogcock wins in a write-in landslide…perpetrated by me.

Outstanding Variety Special
The Kennedy Center Honors • CBS
Louis C.K.: Oh My God • HBO
Mel Brooks Strikes Back! With Mel Brooks And Alan Yentob • HBO •
Saturday Night Live: Weekend Update Thursday (Part One) • NBC
12-12-12: The Concert For Sandy Relief
KT Picks: Seth Meyers has been the most consistently good thing about SNL this year.

Outstanding Writing For A Variety Series
The Colbert Report • Comedy Central
The Daily Show With Jon Stewart • Comedy Central
Jimmy Kimmel Live • ABC
Portlandia • IFC • Broadway Video
Real Time With Bill Maher • HBO
Saturday Night Live • NBC
KT Picks: Colbert or Stewart in a tie that must be broken by best use of Hogcock in a joke beaten to death buried in the middle of a 2000 word piece.

Outstanding Writing For A Variety Special
The 70th Annual Golden Globe Awards • NBC
Louis C.K.: Oh My God • HBO
Night Of Too Many Stars: America Comes Together • Comedy Central
Saturday Night Live: Weekend Update Thursday (Part One) • NBC
66th Annual Tony Awards • CBS
KT Picks: Golden Globes if Tina and Amy get Emmys for best tag team hosts ever.