Wednesday, March 01, 2017

In Memoriam

Bill Paxton (May 17, 1955 - February 25, 2017)


Just as Hollywood was getting ready to celebrate its brightest stars this past Sunday, the news broke of Bill Paxton's passing (apparently for complications from surgery).

Paxton never reached the coveted A-list status in Tinseltown, but he nonetheless worked steadily in both TV and film, amassing 93 acting credits to his resume that include classics like The Terminator and Aliens, hugely successful fare such as Titanic and Apollo 13, crowd pleasers like True Lies and Twister, and very good smaller titles like Boxing Helena, Frailty, A Simple Plan.

In TV I remember him fondly as Big Love's patriarch with a very big heart.

He'll be missed.

R.I.P.

Monday, February 27, 2017

The 89th Academy Awards - The Winners

The Oscars ceremony just ended and while it proceeded all the way to the end as a very plain albeit well orchestrated affair, it will be forever remembered as the ceremony in which the biggest mistake imaginable, the one we always wonder about happening, finally happened: the Best Picture Oscar was handed out to the wrong film!!

We now know that, when Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, who were presenting the final award, were handed the envelope containing the name of the winning film, they were given the wrong envelope. That is why Beatty looked so confused and almost dumbfounded when he pulled the paper out of the envelope, even doing a subtle double-take. He realized something was odd, but wasn't really sure what to do, likely because this had never happened before!

He checked to see if there was another piece of paper, but the clock was ticking and he knew he had to go on with the show. Dunaway, like the rest of the audience, simply thought he was putting on a show, dragging on the moment to drum up the suspense, but he was just desperately trying to buy some time in the hopes that the producers realized and fixed the problem. When he hands her the envelope, you can tell he's trying to make her aware of the problem, but she just wants the whole thing to be over, so simply reads the title of the movie she sees printed.

I bet that if the Best Actor rather than Best Actress Oscar had just been announced, this wouldn't have happened, because Manchester By the Sea wasn't given as a favorite for Best Picture, unlikely La La Land, so Dunaway didn't realize there was a problem when she saw the latter's title written down. If she had seen the former, she'd likely would have paused as well, sensing a problem.

In the end, Moonlight was given its due, so all's well that ends well I guess.

Jimmy Kimmel overall did a good job as host, pushing the ceremony along at a good pace and throwing some softballs that never really crossed any lines.

I found his back and forth with Matt Damon quite funny, especially when Damon went on stage with Ben Affleck and he was being played off, in "secret," by Kimmel.

The bus tour skit was also funny. If I had been on that bus and suddenly found myself parading in front of all of the biggest stars in Hollywood, including my idol, Meryl Streep, I would have either started crying or pooped my pants.

John Legend's and Sara Bareilles' performances were great, John Cho and Leslie Mann short introduction of the scientific Oscars was funny, and the Mean Tweets clip was good for a few chuckles.

Mahershala Ali's and Viola Davis' speeches were definitely the most moving of the night. I also enjoyed the few critical condemnations of the current Republican administration's efforts to divide us and demonize the "other."

Here's the full list of winners:

Best Motion Picture of the Year

Moonlight

Arrival
Fences
Hacksaw Ridge
Hell or High Water
Hidden Figures
La La Land
Lion
Manchester by the Sea

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role

Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea

Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge
Ryan Gosling, La La Land
Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic
Denzel Washington, Fences

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role

Emma Stone, La La Land

Isabelle Huppert, Elle
Ruth Negga, Loving
Natalie Portman, Jackie
Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role

Mahershala Ali, Moonlight

Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water
Lucas Hedges, Manchester by the Sea
Dev Patel, Lion
Michael Shannon, Nocturnal Animals

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role

Viola Davis, Fences

Naomie Harris, Moonlight
Nicole Kidman, Lion
Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures
Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea

Best Achievement in Directing

Damien Chazelle, La La Land

Mel Gibson, Hacksaw Ridge
Barry Jenkins, Moonlight
Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea
Denis Villeneuve, Arrival

Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published

Barry Jenkins, Tarell Alvin McCraney, Moonlight

Luke Davies, Lion
Eric Heisserer, Arrival
Allison Schroeder, Theodore Melfi, Hidden Figures
August Wilson, Fences

Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen

Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea

Damien Chazelle, La La Land
Yorgos Lanthimos, Efthymis Filippou, The Lobster
Mike Mills, 20th Century Women
Taylor Sheridan, Hell or High Water

Best Animated Feature Film of the Year

Zootopia

Kubo and the Two Strings
Moana
My Life as a Zucchini (Ma vie de Courgette)
The Red Turtle (La tortue rouge)

Best Foreign Language Film of the Year

The Salesman (Forushande)

Tanna
A Man Called Ove (En man som heter Ove)
Toni Erdmann
Land of Mine (Under sandet)

Best Documentary, Feature

O.J.: Made in America

13th
Fire at Sea (Fuocoammare)
I Am Not Your Negro
Life, Animated

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score

Justin Hurwitz, La La Land

Nicholas Britell, Moonlight
Mica Levi, Jackie
Thomas Newman, Passengers
Dustin O'Halloran, Lion

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song

"City of Stars," La La Land, Justin Hurwitz, Benj Pasek, Justin Paul

"Audition (The Fools Who Dream)," La La Land, Justin Hurwitz, Benj Pasek, Justin Paul
"Can't Stop the Feeling," Trolls, Justin Timberlake, Max Martin, Shellback
"The Empty Chair," Jim: The James Foley Story, J. Ralph, Sting
"How Far I'll Go," Moana, Lin-Manuel Miranda

Best Achievement in Editing

Hacksaw Ridge

Arrival
Hell or High Water
La La Land
Moonlight

Best Achievement in Cinematography

La La Land

Arrival
Lion
Moonlight
Silence

Best Achievement in Production Design

La La Land

Arrival
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Hail, Caesar!
Passengers

Best Achievement in Sound Mixing

Hacksaw Ridge

13 Hours
Arrival
La La Land
Rogue One

Best Achievement in Sound Editing

Arrival

Deepwater Horizon
Hacksaw Ridge
La La Land
Sully

Best Achievement in Visual Effects

The Jungle Book

Deepwater Horizon
Doctor Strange
Kubo and the Two Strings
Rogue One

Best Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling

Suicide Squad

A Man Called Ove (En man som heter Ove)
Star Trek Beyond

Best Achievement in Costume Design

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Allied
Florence Foster Jenkins
Jackie
La La Land

Best Short Film, Live Action

Mindenki

Ennemis intérieurs
La femme et le TGV
Silent Nights
Timecode

Best Documentary, Short Subject

The White Helmets

4.1 Miles
Extremis
Joe's Violin
Watani: My Homeland

Best Short Film, Animated

Piper

Blind Vaysha
Borrowed Time
Pear Cider and Cigarettes
Pearl

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Monday, February 20, 2017

Friday, February 17, 2017

Carver of Mountains


A view of Arizona's magnificent Grand Canyon.

Visit my Redbubble page to purchase my art. Thank you!!
www.redbubble.com/people/massimon71/works/25329257

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Thursday, February 16, 2017

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Monday, February 13, 2017