Sunday, February 28, 2010

Countdown to Oscar 2010: 16th Annual SAG Nominees and Winners

Inglourious Basterds Claims Top SAG

The nominees and winners for the 16th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards with the WINNERS in bold:

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series for Television
Simon Baker, "The Mentalist"
Bryan Cranston, "Breaking Bad"
Michael C. Hall, "Dexter" WINNER
Jon Hamm, "Mad Men"
Hugh Laurie, "House"

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series for Television (Because there was a tie, there are six nominees instead of the traditional five in this category.)
Patricia Arquette, "Medium"
Glenn Close, "Damages"
Mariska Hargitay, "Law and Order: Special Victims Unit"
Holly Hunter, "Saving Grace"
Julianna Margulies, "The Good Wife" WINNER
Kyra Sedgwick, "The Closer"

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series for Television
"The Closer"
"The Good Wife"
"Mad Men" WINNER
"True Blood"

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series for Television
Christina Applegate, "Samantha Who?"
Toni Collette, "United States of Tara"
Edie Falco, "Nurse Jackie"
Tina Fey, "30 Rock" WINNER
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, "The New Adventures of Old Christine"

Oustanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series for Television
Alec Baldwin, "30 Rock" WINNER
Steve Carell, "The Office"
Larry David, "Curb Your Enthusiasm"
Tony Shalhoub, "Monk"
Charlie Sheen, "Two and a Half Men"

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series for Television
"30 Rock"
"Curb Your Enthusiasm"
"Modern Family"
"The Office"

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries
Kevin Bacon, "Taking Chance" WINNER
Cuba Gooding Jr., "Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story"
Jeremy Irons, "Georgia O'Keeffe"
Kevin Kline, "Great Performances: Cyrano de Bergerac"
Tom Wilkinson, "A Number"

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries
Joan Allen, "Georgia O'Keeffe"
Drew Barrymore, "Grey Gardens" WINNER
Ruby Dee, "America"
Jessica Lange, "Grey Gardens"
Sigourney Weaver, "Prayers for Bobby"

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
Matt Damon, "Invictus"
Woody Harrelson, "The Messenger"
Christopher Plummer, "The Last Station"
Stanley Tucci, "The Lovely Bones"
Christoph Waltz, "Inglourious Basterds" WINNER

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
Penelope Cruz, "Nine"
Vera Farmiga, "Up in the Air"
Anna Kendrick, "Up in the Air"
Diane Kruger, "Inglourious Basterds"
Mo'Nique, "Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire" WINNER

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role in a Motion Picture
Jeff Bridges - "Crazy Heart" WINNER
George Clooney - "Up in the Air"
Colin Firth - "A Single Man"
Morgan Freeman - "Invictus"
Jeremy Renner - "The Hurt Locker"

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role in a Motion Picture
Sandra Bullock - "The Blind Side" WINNER
Helen Mirren - "The Last Station"
Carey Mulligan - "An Education"
Gabourey Sidibe - "Precious: Based on the novel Push by Sapphire"
Meryl Streep - "Julie and Julia"

Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
"An Education"
"The Hurt Locker"
"Inglourious Basterds" WINNER
"Precious: Based on the novel Push by Sapphire"

"American Hardcore" is a Potent Rock Documentary

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 58 (of 2007) by Leroy Douresseaux

American Hardcore (2006)
Running time: 100 minutes (1 hour, 40 minutes)
MPAA – R for pervasive language including sex and drug references
PRODUCER/WRITER: Steven Blush (inspired by his book, American Hardcore: A Tribal History)
DOCUMENTARY – Music, Retrospective

Starring: Henry Rollins, Edward Colver, Flea, Paul “H.R.” Hudson, Ian MacKaye, and Moby

Director Paul Rachman and writer Steven Blush joined forced to created the music documentary, American Hardcore, tracing punk rock music’s turbulent history from 1980 to 1986. The filmmakers focus on “thrash” hardcore bands and the punk music scenes in cities such as Boston, New York, and Washington, D.C., and various locales in California. They also explain the cultural and political backdrops and social context in which hardcore was born.

The thesis of American Hardcore is that hardcore began in 1980 and ended in 1986, although some will argue that new and different versions of it continued after ’86. The film also says very little about the pre-hardcore bands like The Ramones or Sex Pistols or that period of 1977-80 that set the stage for hardcore. The film is really a quick and broad overview of the hardcore punk scene that, while it might frustrate hardcore fans, experts, historians, etc., is easily digestible for people who know little or nothing about hardcore (including this reviewer).

Rachman packs the film with archival concert footage, which is something akin to a revelation when seeing these kinds of performances for the first time. It’s just mind-boggling to watch all that youthful energy and mania – both onstage and in the crowd. This film also features many photographs by Edward Colver. For many viewers, next to the concert footage, the best material in the film will be the many interviews with members of hardcore bands active during the 1980-86 period:  Bad Brains, Black Flag, Circle Jerks, Gang Green, MDC, Minor Threat, SS Decontrol and many more. There are even appearances by musicians influenced by the scene (Flea of Red Hot Chili Peppers and Moby). The best thing about American Hardcore is that it offers something for everyone from punk rock fans to newcomers, and while the film seems to lose energy after the first hour or so, it’s still fun to watch and an eye-opening experience.

7 of 10

Friday, March 30, 2007


Review: Colin Firth is Strong in "The Advocate" a.k.a. "The Hour of the Pig"

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 94 (of 2006) by Leroy Douresseaux

The Hour of the Pig (1993)
Also known as The Advocate
Running time: 102 minutes
MPAA – R (originally NC-17)
PRODUCER: David M. Thompson
EDITOR: Isabelle Dedieu

DRAMA/MYSTERY/HISTORICAL with elements of a thriller

Starring: Colin Firth, Ian Holm, Donald Pleasence, Amina Annabi, Nicol Williamson, Michael Gough, Harriet Walter, Jim Carter, Lysette Anthony, Sophie Dix, and Justin Chadwick

France in the year 1452: Richard Courtois (Colin Firth), a lawyer from Paris, and his law clerk, Mathieu (Jim Carter), move to the small rural village of Abbeville, in the province of Ponthieu, where Courtois will become the public defender. He hopes to find peace in the countryside, but what he finds instead is ignorance, superstition, and fear. He is especially taken aback because some of the clients he must defend are animals (because in Middle Ages France, animals could be tried and executed for murder as the law recognized they could be possessed to do evil).

Courtois must defend a pig accused of murdering a Jewish boy. He tries to settle the case by buying the pig, but the owner, Samira (Amina Annabi), refuses the offer. Samira is an alluring Moor who travels throughout France in a caravan with her people, and she believes that the pig is innocent and shouldn’t be punished. Courtois comes to believe that the Jewish boy’s murder is part of a sinister conspiracy. Still, he is trying to solve a mystery in a town where the denizens view Courtois’ intelligence as if it were as mysterious as the witchcraft they fear so much.

The Hour of the Pig better known as The Advocate to American audiences, is probably one of the strangest coherent movies many film viewers will ever see. The history of filmmaking is full of strange, peculiar, and ultimately confounding films. There are others films that are strange because they contain ideas from the real world, either past or present, that mystify us because they are so alien either to our times and culture. The Advocate is one such film. It’s story takes place in a time in France when the power of the feudal lords was waning, and the economically powerful bourgeoisie were throwing their power behind a centralized authority, the monarchy.

Still, the feudal lord in this film, Seigneur Jehan d’Auferre, the Lord of Abbeville (wonderfully played by the always regal Nicol Williamson), wields a lot of power and also influences both the outcome of both and the lives of the film’s central players. The Seigneur recognizes that the peasants are ignorant and superstitious, but it is best to appease their fear when it comes to religious matters. Into this comes Courtois, who recognizes the law about prosecuting animals, but thinks it to be ridiculous as a practical matter. In his estimation, the local magistrate, Boniface (Michael Gough, who played Bruce Wayne’s butler Alfred in the 1989 film Batman and its three sequels), and the local prosecutor, Pincheon (Donald Pleasence), should not prosecute animals simply because they are supposed to be reasonable and enlightened men who shouldn’t do such a… dumb thing.

Courtois finds himself in the midst of a murder mystery, where the political and religious leaders of Abbeville know more than they let on. They are corrupt not only so they can maintain their power, but also because it allows them to take advantage of the villagers for both their bodies and souls. In a quiet way, this film takes a glance at how superstition and particularly fear dictate how a community lives. The Advocate is fascinating; combine that with a murder mystery and plenty of seduction (the frankness of language, innuendo, and sex will surprise some viewers who expect period dramas to be so refined) and The Advocate is a mystery thriller to rival classic Film-Noir.

Actor Colin Firth is one of the two people who hold this concept together. He plays Richard Courtois with great subtlety for a lead. Although we see this narrative largely through Courtoir’s eyes, Firth is not flashy and doesn’t try to dominate the screen. He doesn’t need to because he knows that the strange world of Middle Ages Abbeville will develop before our eyes with him as the guide, but doesn’t need to show off because of it. We attend him without Firth forcing our attention to Courtois, and Firth rewards us with a wonderful trip into the past with his character as our guide.

The other pillar is writer/director Leslie Megahey, who allows the actors to play with and embody the characters. However, the fact that Megahey created such an engaging screenplay from such an alien time (that feels so real) is the biggest achievement, and his film (whether you know it as The Hour of the Pig or The Advocate) is a fascinating story worth watching.

7 of 10

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Twilight's Robert Pattinson to Appear on "The Daily Show"

Robert Pattinson, the wildly popular young actor who portrays dreamy vampire Edward Cullen in the "Twilight" movies will be in New York City next week.  Pattinson will visit several talk shows to promote his new film, Remember Me (March 12, 2010).  This is, of course, all subject to change:

March 2: The Daily Show
March 2: The View with Remember Me costar Emilie de Ravin
??? Jimmy Kimmel

"The View" is broadcast on ABC affiliates in the morning, while "The Daily Show" appears on cable channel Comedy Central, 11 p.m. Eastern and 10 p.m. Eastern, but check your local listings.

Review: "Pluto Nash" Harmless and Funny Box Office Disaster


TRASH IN MY EYE No. 200 (of 2004) of Leroy Douresseaux

The Adventures of Pluto Nash (2002)
Running time: 95 minutes (1 hour 35 minutes)
MPAA – PG-13 for violence, sexual humor, and language
DIRECTOR: Ron Underwood
WRITER: Neil Cuthbert
PRODUCERS: Martin Bregman, Michael Scott Bregman, and Louis A. Stroller
EDITORS: Alan Heim and Paul Hirsch


Starring: Eddie Murphy, Randy Quaid, Rosario Dawson, Joe Pantoliano, Jay Mohr, Luis Guzmán, James Rebhorn, Peter Boyle, Burt Young, Miguel A. Núñex, Jr., Pam Grier, John Cleese, Victor Varnado, and Illeana Douglas with Alec Baldwin

In the future, an ex-con named Pluto Nash (Eddie Murphy) takes a dive and turns it into the hottest bar on the moon, Club Pluto. However, when he resists the local mafia’s demands to buy him out, they blow up Club Pluto and put out a far-reaching contract on his life. Now, to save his business and his life, Nash, a beautiful young employee named Dina Lake (Rosario Dawson), and Nash’s loyal robot bodyguard, Bruno (Randy Quaid), rush to discover the who, what, and where on the mafia boss with the initials MZM, before the hit men kill them.

Although released in the late summer of 2002, The Adventures of Pluto Nash was finished in 2000. When the film was finally released, it earned just under $4.5 million on its $100 million budget, the biggest budget to gross loss to date. Still, I have a feeling that Warner Bros. Pictures bailed on the film. It’s not as bad the box office failure indicates, not even close. In terms of Pluto Nash’s concept and production values, it is retro, archaic even. The last time a big studio movie looked like The Adventures of Pluto Nash, it was Total Recall. Pluto Nash is the kind of faux sci-fi that might have gone over better in the 80’s. In fact, the science fiction setting seems arbitrarily chosen; the plot and story would work quite well set in the present day. Heck, this could have been set in Prohibition and been the sequel to Harlem Nights, and like the much maligned Harlem Nights, I really like this.

As it is, Pluto Nash is a funny, goofy comedy. It’s not a very good Eddie Murphy movie; in fact, the film isn’t specifically an Eddie Murphy film because the script isn’t really geared towards his film personality. However, Murphy is funny and loose in this low rent crime comedy. It’s a slapstick and chase comedy, and, as an actor, he does more than just go through the motions.

There is, however, something awkward and mishandled about this film, and it’s hard for me to place my finger on it. The problems start from the conception all the way through the final execution and completion of the project. Still, I enjoyed it for Murphy, some cute moments, and a nice supporting cast that include a small appearance by Pam Grier (sorely underutilized here) and a cameo by Alec Baldwin, who would have made this movie had his part been enlarged. But besides Murphy, I love this most of all because of Rosario Dawson; beautiful, sexy, and possessing a bright screen personality that lights up any scene in which she appears, I’d see a The Adventures of Pluto Nash part two for her.

6 of 10



Gregg Araki Went Straight for "The Doom Generation"

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 134 (of 2004) by Leroy Douresseaux

The Doom Generation (1995)
Running time: 85 minutes; Unrated
PRODUCERS: Gregg Araki and Andrea Sperling
EDITORS: Gregg Araki with Kate McGowan


Starring: James Duval, Rose McGowan, Johnathon Schaech, Cress Williams, Dustin Nguyen, Margaret Cho, Nicky Katt, Parker Posey, and Perry Farrell

Sex, mayhem, murder, and whatever are all in ample evidence in bad boy indie director Greg Araki’s film, The Doom Generation. Controversial and bold, the film is an apocalyptic vision of a dead end generation who live for whatever makes them feel something good (usually feeling good through sex, drugs, and giving others pain) at the moment.

A teen couple, Jordan White (James Duval) and Amy Blue (Rose McGowan), picks up Xavier Red (Johnathon Schaech), an adolescent drifter with a penchant for violence and kinky (or deviant as some call it) sex. Dimwitted Jordan and crystal method addict Amy save Xavier from some skinheads who are stomping his ass. Xavier returns the favor when he saves the kooky couple from a gun-wielding, Asian convenience store clerk (Dustin Nguyen) by killing the clerk. Thus begins a hellish road trip that finds the trio dishing out remorseless brutality and freefalling into nihilism, and it all leads to a sad and shattering ending.

The film is filled with shocking images, jaw-dropping sex, and uproariously deadpan dialogue that pricks up the ears. The film, however, is mostly flat. Fictional road trips are often a sign of a story that doesn’t know where it’s going or of a writer who is stalling for time while he figures out where his story is going. Still, The Doom Generation is bold and unflinching and is the perfect antidote for the staid, mind numbing, eye candy that the film industry churns out for the movie masses. Araki’s bold stokes and colorful decadence is a breath of fresh air even if the story is flat and the plot nonexistent. So boldness must count for something.

5 of 10

VIZ Media DVD Releases for April 2010 Include "Naruto" Sets


VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), one of the entertainment industry’s most innovative and comprehensive publishing, animation and licensing companies, has announced their list of DVD titles scheduled for release in April 2010. This includes the final box set release of NANA, the next episodic releases of the popular BLEACH and NARUTO SHIPPUDEN series, and the latest box set release of NARUTO SHIPPPUDEN. Also releasing is the live action feature film, K-20: THE FIEND WITH TWENTY FACES, from VIZ Pictures. VIZ Media DVD titles are distributed (in English) in the U.S and Mexico by Warner Home Video and in Canada by Allegro.

New NARUTO and NARUTO SHIPPUDEN Releases Include:

NARUTO SHIPPUDEN Box Set 2 Special Edition • Rated 'T+' for Older Teens • MSRP: $69.97 US / $99.99 CAN • Available April 20

Team Kakashi is joined by Team Guy in their pursuit of Gaara's kidnappers, Deidara and Sasori, but their way to the Akatsuki hideout is fraught with familiar enemies and deadly traps. Once inside, Sakura and Granny Chiyo must take on Chiyo's own grandson, the puppet master Sasori, whose complex tricks and genius puppetry demand every last ounce of Chiyo's and Sakura's strength and skill to counter. Meanwhile, Naruto and Kakashi take off after Deidara, who is once again on the run with Gaara in tow...

The Special Edition Box Set contains 13 episodes on 3 discs, exclusive art card, and a collectible NARUTO Shippuden Mininja figure (Deidara).

NARUTO SHIPPUDEN Box Set 2 Standard Edition • Rated 'T+' for Older Teens • MSRP: $49.95 US / $71.99 CAN • Available April 20

DVD-only collection featuring 13 episodes on 3 discs. Exclusive art card and collectible figure not included.

NARUTO SHIPPUDEN Volume 8 • Rated 'T+' for Older Teens • MSRP: $24.92 US / $35.99 CAN • Available April 6

Supported by Naruto's powerful chakra, Granny Chiyo performs the Reanimation Ninjutsu to revive Gaara, but the cost is high. Back in the Leaf Village, Kakashi must spend time in the hospital to recover from his use of the Mangekyo Sharingan. With two open spots on Team Kakashi, Naruto is prepared to recruit some of his friends from the village. But unbeknownst to him, the replacements are being chosen by the village elders, and at least one of them he's really going to hate!

Episodes 31-34

NARUTO Uncut Season 2 Volume 2 Box Set • Rated 'T+' for Older Teens • MSRP: $39.97 US / $57.99 CAN • Available April 27

The destruction of the Hidden Leaf Village has been averted, but at great cost. While the village mourns, a new menace arrives in the form of Sasuke's brother, Itachi Uchiha--but why is he after Naruto? Then Jiraiya whisks Naruto away on a training journey to find the legendary kunoichi Tsunade, who's been selected to become the new Hokage. But they'd better hurry, because Orochimaru is looking for her as well!

For more information on NARUTO and NARUTO SHIPPUDEN, please visit

Additional VIZ Media DVD releases include:

NANA Box Set 4 • Rated 'M' for Mature • MSRP: $59.90 US/ $85.99 CAN • Available April 13

Life is a whirlwind--will the Nanas make it through the storm without each other? As if Blast's debut wasn't causing enough stress, Takumi and Nana K.'s announcement sends everyone reeling, but none more than Nana O. and Reira. While Reira turns to Shin for comfort, Nana is drawn to Yasu and his calm understanding, leaving her questioning her relationship with Ren. Nana K. meanwhile is happily nesting in her new home, but her continued estrangement from Nana O. weighs heavily on her heart.

Contains episodes 35-47

For more information on NANA, please visit

BLEACH Volume 27 • Rated ‘T’ for Teens • MSRP: $24.92 US / $35.99 CAN • Available April 20

With the Bounts defeated, Ichigo and his friends settle down to what they think will be an ordinary life of school and battling Hollows. But things take a turn for the unusual when a new student arrives at school who seems to know all about Ichigo--including the Hollow within him that's getting stronger all the time. With a menacing Spiritual Pressure descending on Karakura Town, Isshin and Urahara are worried that someone is creating an army of Arrancar--Hollows with Soul Reaper powers--and that someone may be former Soul Reaper captain Sosuke Aizen!

Episodes: 110 thru 113

For more information on BLEACH, please visit

From VIZ Pictures (Live Action Feature Films):

K-20: THE FIEND WITH TWENTY FACES • MSRP: $24.92 US/ $35.99 CAN • Available April 20

It is 1949 in Japan, in a world where World War II never happened and the nobility system is still in place. Heikichi, a circus acrobat, is deceived by "The Fiend (Kaijin) with Twenty Faces" and is set up to take the fall for the phantom thief. Now, Heikichi must wage war against K-20. Directed by Shimako Sato, starring Takeshi Kaneshiro, Takako Matsu, and Toru Nakamura.

For more information on VIZ Pictures titles please visit

Regina King is Frustrated with Sony Pictures over "The Boondocks"

I found this article over at AOL Black Voices:  Regina King, the voice of brothers Huey and Riley Freeman, on Cartoon Network's, "The Boondocks," expresses frustration with the series' producer, Sony Pictures, over the gap between the second season of the hit animated series and the third season.  Although there hasn't been an official announcement, Aaron McGruder has posted statements on the Web saying that the third season of "The Boondocks" will happen, perhaps as early as the end of March.

My favorite quote:

"'Boondocks could be so bigger than what it is," the former '227' actress furthered. "If I had the money to buy 'The Boondocks' off Sony, I would because all of you would be wearing 'Boondocks' T-shirts and there would be Huey and Riley dolls. I would capitalize off of that, and I would be a very rich woman."

I'm also curious as to why the series has been delayed for so long.

41st NAACP Image Awards Complete List of Winners

The NAACP Image Awards are awards presented annually by the NAACP or National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. The awards honor outstanding people of color and their work and performances in film, television, music, and literature.

Like the Grammy and Oscars, members of the NAACP vote for nominees and winners of the Image Awards. There are also honorary awards, including the President's Award, the Chairman's Award, Entertainer of the Year and The Image Award Hall of Fame.

Fox Network broadcast the 41st edition of award ceremony live, Friday, February 26, 2010.

Thanks to the New York Times for the following complete list of winners:

The complete list of winners of the 41st NAACP Image Awards:

-- Comedy Series: ''Tyler Perry's House of Payne''

-- Actor in a comedy series: Daryl ''Chill'' Mitchell, ''Brothers''

-- Actress in a comedy series: Cassi Davis, ''Tyler Perry's House of Payne''

-- Supporting actor in a comedy series: Lance Gross, ''Tyler Perry's House of Payne''

-- Supporting actress in a comedy series: Keshia Knight Pulliam, ''Tyler Perry's House of Payne''

-- Drama series: ''Lincoln Heights''

-- Actor in a drama series: Hill Harper, ''CSI: NY''

-- Actress in a drama series: Jada Pinkett Smith, ''HawthoRNe''

-- Supporting actor in a drama series: Delroy Lindo, ''Law & Order: Special Victims Unit''

-- Supporting actress in a drama series: S. Epatha Merkerson, ''Law & Order''

-- Television movie, miniseries or dramatic special: Gifted Hands

-- Actor in a television movie, miniseries or dramatic special: Cuba Gooding Jr., ''Gifted Hands''

-- Actress in a television movie, miniseries or dramatic special: Kimberly Elise, ''Gifted Hands''

-- Actor in a daytime drama series: Cornelius Smith, Jr., ''All My Children''

-- Actress in a daytime drama series: Debbi Morgan, ''All My Children''

-- News/information (series or special): ''The Inauguration of Barack Obama, 44th President of the United States''

-- Talk series: ''The Mo'Nique Show''

-- Reality series: ''Extreme Makeover: Home Edition''

-- Variety series or special: ''The Michael Jackson Memorial: Celebrating the Life of Michael Jackson''

-- Children's program: ''Dora the Explorer''

-- Performance in a youth/children's program: Keke Palmer, ''True Jackson, VP''

-- New artist: Keri Hilson

-- Male artist: Maxwell

-- Female artist: Mary J. Blige

-- Duo, Group or Collaboration: The Black Eyed Peas

-- Jazz album: He and She, Wynton Marsalis

-- Gospel album: Still, BeBe & CeCe Winans

-- World music album: Black President, Sila and the Afrofunk Experience

-- Music video: ''I Look to You,'' Whitney Houston

-- Song: God In Me, Mary Mary

-- Album: ''Stronger With Each Tear,'' Mary J. Blige

-- Literary work, fiction: The Long Fall, Walter Mosley

-- Literary work, non-fiction: In Search of Our Roots: How 19 Extraordinary African Americans Reclaimed Their Past, Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

-- Literary work, debut author: A Question of Freedom, R. Dwayne Betts

-- Literary work, biography/autobiography: Michelle Obama, Deborah Willis

-- Literary work, instructional: Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man, Steve Harvey

-- Literary work, poetry: Bicycles, Nikki Giovanni

-- Literary work, children: Our Children Can Soar: A Celebration of Rosa, Barack, and the Pioneers of Change, Michelle Cook

-- Literary work, youth/teens: Michelle Obama: Meet the First Lady, David Bergen Brophy

-- Motion picture: ''Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire''

-- Actor in a motion picture: Morgan Freeman, ''Invictus''

-- Actress in a motion picture: Gabourey Sidibe, ''Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire''

-- Supporting actor in a motion picture: Adam Rodriguez, ''Tyler Perry's I Can Do Bad All By Myself''

-- Supporting actress in a motion picture: MoNique, ''Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire''

-- Independent motion picture: ''Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire''

-- Foreign motion picture: ''The Stoning of Soraya M.''

-- Documentary: Good HairGood Hair

-- Writing in a comedy series: Halsted Sullivan and Warren Lieberstein, ''The Office''

-- Writing in a dramatic series: Shonda Rhimes, ''Grey's Anatomy''

-- Writing in a motion picture: Geoffrey Fletcher, ''Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire''

-- Directing in a comedy series: Ken Whittingham, ''30 Rock''

-- Directing in a drama series: Chandra Wilson, ''Grey's Anatomy''

-- Directing in a motion picture: Lee Daniels, ''Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire''


Friday, February 26, 2010

Review: "X-Men: The Last Stand" is a Mixed Bag of Good and Bad

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 115 (of 2006) by Leroy Douresseaux

X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)
Running time: 105 minutes (1 hour, 45 minutes)
MPAA – PG-13 for intense sequences of action violence, some sexual content, and language
DIRECTOR: Brett Ratner
WRITERS: Simon Kinberg and Zak Penn
PRODUCERS: Avi Arad, Lauren Shuler Donner, and Ralph Winter
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Dante Spinotti (with Philippe Rousselot)
EDITORS: Mark Goldblatt, Mark Helfrich, and Julia Wong


Starring: Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry, Ian McKellen, Famke Janssen, Anna Paquin, Kelsey Grammar, Rebecca Romijn, James Marsden, Shawn Ashmore, Aaron Stanford, Vinnie Jones, Patrick Stewart, Ben Foster, Dania Ramirez, Michael Murphy, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Ellen Page, Josef Sommer, Bill Duke, and Daniel Cudmore

Warren Worthington III (Ben Foster) is a mutant; a pair of large, white angelic wings grows out of his back. His father, Warren Worthington II (Michael Murphy), through his pharmaceutical company, has created a “cure” for mutancy, one that will suppress the gene that makes them unique, take away their powers and make them normal humans. Worthington wants to use it on his son...

Meanwhile, the X-Men are in a state of flux. Ororo Munroe/Storm (Halle Berry) is now the X-Men’s leader, while Scott Summers/Cyclops (James Marsden) mourns the loss of the love of his life, Jean Grey (Famke Janssen), who was apparently killed in X2: X-Men United. Now, Professor Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart), founder of the X-Men and a school for mutants on his palatial estate, wants Storm to take leadership of the X-Men. Logan/Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) finds himself caught in the middle, counseling Storm, the Professor, and a teen mutant love triangle: Rogue (Anna Paquin), Bobby Drake/Iceman (Shawn Ashmore), and Kitty Pryde (Ellen Page). With all that drama, they find the issue of Worthington’s cure brought to their doorstep when an old colleague, the blue-furred Dr. Hank McCoy/Beast (Kelsey Grammar), visits to inform the X-Men of the cure’s existence.

A “cure” for mutancy threatens not only the status quo, but also threatens to alter history. For the first time, mutants have a choice. They can retain the thing that makes them unique and gives them their powers, although that also isolates them, alienates them from normal humanity, and marks them as targets for humans afraid of mutants. Or they can take the cure, give up their powers, and become humans. Magneto (Ian McKellen), the mutant mastermind and powerful adversary of the X-Men, believes that taking the cure won’t always be voluntary, and that one day mutants will be in internment camps where the government will force them to take the cure. Magneto gathers a mutant army, a brotherhood of mutants, including X-Men turncoat Pyro (Aaron Stanford) and such new faces as Juggernaut (Vinnie Jones) and Callisto (Dania Ramirez), to wage war against humanity and any mutants that stand in his way. However, a powerful new ally, one even more powerful than Magneto, joins the brotherhood – a mutant with power to trigger the war to end all wars. Known as Phoenix, this mutant’s arrival also causes deep turmoil within the X-Men.

X-Men: The Last Stand is a very well made film. Brett Ratner (the Rush Hour franchise) directed a movie that doesn’t have many dry or dull moments. This is a graphic film in terms of violence, but it is also visceral and purposefully driven. Ratner visually captures the script’s rough interplay of ideas about bigotry, conformity, self-defense, and zealotry. It’s all about an “eye for an eye” and “get you before you get me.” The film also has especially high production values. In terms of cinematography, this is the best looking film in the X-Men franchise. It has a gritty futuristic look when necessary, but can also come across as a lifelike, moody drama and character piece when needed. The sets, costumes, and art direction are as good as those in any superhero film (except for maybe the Spider-Man films).

The acting is good, quite good in fact. The script and director allow Hugh Jackman to show a more dramatic and human side of Wolverine, he’s more a character than he is the cool, killing machine (as he was in the second X-Men film, X2), and Jackman, a fine actor, is more than up to the task of being a somber, stern, and sober actor. Halle Berry, who’d long demanded more screen time and more meat in her role as Storm, gets it here. Her Storm makes an effective leader, and though some of Storm’s dialogue sounds clumsy coming out of her mouth, Berry takes on her larger part with brazen confidence. Ian McKellen is masterful as Magneto; his words carry the force of a born leader, a king, and a master strategist. Proud and bold, he has his eyes on the prize, and he doesn’t waver even when his troops falter. The younger cast members, new mutants like Ashmore, Paquin, Stanford, and others add freshness to this dire third film.

However, for all that this flick is so well made, X-Men: The Last Stand is too dark and downbeat, and (considering that children are a big part of its intended audience) a bit too spicy with language and one almost-love-scene. Some of the action sequences are overdone, over the top, and some seem embarrassingly desperate, such as the one at the Golden Gate Bridge. The surprise new character seems like a fifth wheel/third leg – overdone, unnecessary, and maybe even misused and underutilized. At the end of the day, X-Men: The Last Stand just manages to outdo its gloom and doom with good acting and some surprisingly adroit wit and many clever asides. It’s sad to see this trilogy put forth such a dark final(?) piece, but this mosaic does have enough shiny pieces that I can at least give it a “B” with reservations.

6 of 10

Saturday, May 27, 2006



Review: "X2: X-Men United" is Still the Best X-Men Film

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 65 (of 2003) by Leroy Douresseaux

X2: X-Men United (2003)
Running time: 133 minutes (2 hours, 13 minutes)
MPAA – PG-13 for sci-fi action/violence, some sexuality, and brief language
DIRECTOR: Bryan Singer
WRITERS: Michael Dougherty, Daniel P. Harris, and David Hayter; from a story by Zak Penn, David Hayter, and Bryan Singer
PRODUCERS: Lauren Shuler-Donner and Ralph Winter
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Newton Thomas Sigel (D.o.P.)
EDITOR: John Ottman with Elliot Graham


Starring: Patrick Stewart, Hugh Jackman, Ian McKellan, Halle Berry, Famke Janssen, James Marsden, Rebecca Romijn-Stamos, Brian Cox, Alan Cumming, Bruce Davison, Anna Paquin, Kelly Hu, Shawn Ashmore, and Aaron Stanford

Once upon a time, a good sequel to a successful film was a big deal. Then, came a time that when a sequel surpassed the original, movie fans really had to take notice. X2: X-Men United, the sequel to the 2000 film X-Men, blows its predecessor away. I’m not kidding. Once it was difficult for me to name five great films based upon superhero comics; hell, I would need to add movies based on any comic character just to come up with five decent films based on that genre. Now with Blade II and this film, I’m in hog heaven; they’re signs that maybe good things can come from superhero movies. Let’s be honest: The Matrix is a comic book movie without actually being a comic book first.

In the new film, a mutant new on the scene, named Nightcrawler/Kurt Wagner (Alan Cumming) makes an attempt on the life of the President of the United States (Cotter Smith). A military scientist, General William Stryker (Brian Cox) uses that attack to spur the President McKenna into giving Stryker permission to initiate an attack on the X-Men. Stryker uses drugs to force the secrets of Professor Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) and his School for Gifted Youngsters out of Eric Lehnsherr/Magneto (Ian McKellan). While the professor and Scott Summers/Cyclops are off to visit Magneto and Dr. Jean Grey (Famke Janssen) and Ororo Munroe/Storm (Halle Berry) are off to find Nightcrawler, Stryker and an assault force attack the school where Logan/Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) is babysitting the students. Now divided, the X-Men must reunite and also find themselves with old foes Magneto and Mystique (Rebecca Romijn-Stamos) as allies in their war against Stryker. And the merry mutants must also discover the whereabouts of their professor before the evil Stryker uses him to unleash Armageddon on mutantkind.

X-Men director Bryan Singer returns for the sequel, but X2 is so much different from the first. It’s more fun, and there is lots more action. It’s an edge-of-your-seat, rollicking slugfest from beginning to end, filled with suspense and sci-fi thrills. The film is gorgeous. The sets, props, and special effects are tight. The costumes look good, seeming almost as natural civilian clothing; in fact the X-Men spend a lot of time in regular clothes, so they really do seem like regular guys (albeit with special powers) who are being harassed by dangerous jerks. Almost everyone in this film, from good guy to bad, is cool, beautiful, and stylish – always looking hip while in character. Even the hairdos are hittin.’

Best of all is the story. In the first movie, the story had a few glitches, some starts and stops, but this time, the screenplay is a lean, mean fighting machine. Every character, both large and small, plays his part to the hilt. Everybody counts, not like in the first film where many smaller parts seemed painfully extraneous. Every actor makes a point to make his moments on the screen count, and that gives the film a striking verisimilitude.

Dude! The writers unleash Wolverine. He kicks lots of butt, and Hugh Jackman seems to be having a ball doing it. He really gets to use those claws, and the bad guys get a taste of hot, adamantium (the metal from which Wolverine’s claws are made) rage. Nightcrawler is a very good character, and I expected a disaster when I first saw early photos of the character. Stryker and his killer companion Yuriko Oyama (Kelly Hu) are very good bad guys; they made me care, made me hope really badly, that they’d get theirs in the end.

Words won’t do this justice. This is a comic book fanboy’s dream: a great X-Men movie – pure action, great adventure, thrilling suspense, and sci-fi as awe-inspiring as you’d find in some of the best science fiction films. If you liked the first one, you’ll really like this one. If you only had a passing interest in the original, that’s all the more reason to see the sequel. X2: X-Men United could be the pinnacle of superhero films. I know I’ll be harping on its super goodness for a long time. It’s not totally dumb, the story throws the viewer a few tidbits to think about. But, really, just sit back and enjoy the ride.

8 of 10


Tyler Perry Goes to the Oscars, But No Madea

According to HitFix, Tyler Perry will be a presenter at the 82nd Academy Awards, March 7th.  We could hope, but I'm sure he won't appear as Madea.

Burger King and Summit Entertainment Continue Twilight Cross Promotion with "Eclipse"

Burger King Corporation Teams with Summit Entertainment for the Studio’s Upcoming Film ‘The Twilight Saga: Eclipse’

MIAMI--(BUSINESS WIRE)--On the heels of its highly successful “The Twilight Saga: New Moon” in-restaurant promotion, Burger King Corp. (NYSE:BKC) announced that the brand will sustain momentum with Summit Entertainment and sponsor the third installment in the Studio’s film series, “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse.” Fans of the hit “Twilight Saga” film series can expect more exclusive access to the property from Burger King Corp. in conjunction with the theatrical release of the movie on June 30, 2010.

“‘The Twilight Saga: New Moon’ promotion was a tremendous success, with our guests eager to get their bite of the property through exclusive merchandise offered at BURGER KING® restaurants,” said Cindy Syracuse, senior director, cultural marketing, Burger King Corp. “We look forward to continuing our partnership with Summit Entertainment for the third film, ‘The Twilight Saga: Eclipse.’”

Burger King Corp.’s multi-faceted “New Moon” promotion, which began on Nov. 16, included a special “New Moon” fan pack, a series of limited-edition "New Moon"-themed BK® Crown Cards, “New Moon” water bottles and much more. Stay tuned for additional details about Burger King Corp.’s promotion of “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse.”

“The Twilight Saga: Eclipse” is directed by David Slade from a screenplay by Melissa Rosenberg. Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner will reprise their roles as Bella Swan, Edward Cullen and Jacob Black.

In “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse”, Bella once again finds herself surrounded by danger as Seattle is ravaged by a string of mysterious killings and a malicious vampire continues her quest for revenge. In the midst of it all, Bella is forced to choose between her love for Edward and her friendship with Jacob — knowing that her decision has the potential to ignite the ageless struggle between vampire and werewolf. With her graduation quickly approaching, Bella is confronted with the most important decision of her life.

Summit Entertainment, LLC is a worldwide theatrical motion picture development, financing, production and distribution studio. The studio handles all aspects of marketing and distribution for both its own internally developed motion pictures as well as acquired pictures. Summit Entertainment, LLC also represents international sales for both its own slate and third party product. Summit Entertainment, LLC plans to release 10 to 12 films annually.

The BURGER KING® system operates more than 12,000 restaurants in all 50 states and in 73 countries and U.S. territories worldwide. Approximately 90 percent of BURGER KING® restaurants are owned and operated by independent franchisees, many of them family-owned operations that have been in business for decades. In 2008, Fortune magazine ranked Burger King Corp. (BKC) among America's 1,000 largest corporations and in 2010, Standard & Poor's included shares of Burger King Holdings, Inc. in the S&P MidCap 400 index. BKC was recently recognized by Interbrand on its top 100 "Best Global Brands" list and Ad Week has named it one of the top three industry-changing advertisers within the last three decades. To learn more about Burger King Corp., please visit the company's Web site at

AMC Theatres Showing All 2010 Oscar Best Picture Nominess This Weekend

Oscar® Starts This Weekend: AMC Theatres® Will Begin Showing All ‘Best Picture’ Nominees on Feb. 27

Tickets on Sale at and at Participating Theatres

KANSAS CITY, Mo.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--AMC Theatres® (AMC), a leading theatrical exhibition and entertainment company, kicks off its extended AMC Best Picture ShowcaseSM this weekend on Saturday, Feb. 27. The program offers guests the rare opportunity to experience all the films nominated by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for “Best Picture” at 90 theatres in 46 markets. For 2010, the “Best Picture” category doubled in size and guests will be enjoying this year’s AMC Best Picture Showcase during back-to-back weekends, Saturday, Feb. 27 and Saturday, March 6 (a complete theatre list with schedules is available at

In addition, AMC has added a new element for its most enthusiastic fans, a special 24-hour marathon of all 10 “Best Picture” nominated films in five select markets beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, March 6: Chicago (AMC River East 21), Los Angeles (AMC 30 at the Block), New York (AMC Empire 25), Toronto (AMC Whitby 24) and Washington, D.C. (AMC Georgetown 14).

Tickets for the marathon and the Two-Day and One-Day passes are available on a first-come, first-served basis online at or by visiting the box office or Guest Services area at any participating theatre. As in previous years, with the purchase of a pass, attendees receive a large popcorn with unlimited refills and a souvenir lanyard, featuring artwork from the films and giving guests the freedom to come and go throughout the event.

AMC Best Picture Showcase Pass Purchasing Options:

New! 24-Hour Marathon Pass (includes all 10 films beginning March 6 at 12:01 a.m. in select markets)

$45: Online and box office price available either at or at participating theatres

Two-Day Pass (includes all 10 films on Feb. 27 and March 6)

$60: Online price available at (Discount available at participating box offices only)

$50: Box office bundled discount price available only at participating AMC Best Picture Showcase theatres

$40: MovieWatcher® member price available only at participating AMC Best Picture Showcase theatre box offices

One-Day Pass (includes five films on Feb. 27 OR March 6)

$30: Online and box office price available either at or at participating theatres

$25: MovieWatcher member price available only at participating AMC Best Picture Showcase theatre box offices

About AMC Entertainment Inc.
Headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., AMC Entertainment Inc. is a leading theatrical exhibition and entertainment company. With a history of industry leadership and innovation dating back to 1920, the company today serves hundreds of millions of guests annually through interests in 299 theatres with 4,528 screens in five countries.

Oscar® is the registered trademark and service mark of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

41st NAACP Image Award Nominees - Film and TV Writing and Directing Categories

The NAACP Image Awards are awards presented annually by the NAACP or National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. The awards honor outstanding people of color and their work and performances in film, television, music, and literature.

Like the Grammy and Oscars, members of the NAACP vote for nominees and winners of the Image Awards. There are also honorary awards, including the President's Award, the Chairman's Award, Entertainer of the Year and The Image Award Hall of Fame.

The awards were first presented in 1970. Fox Network will broadcast live the 41st edition of the awards show, Friday, February 26, 2010 at 8/7 PM Central.

Writing Categories

Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series
Alyson Fouse – "Brothers" – Meet Mike Trainor (FOX)
Halsted Sullivan & Warren Lieberstein – "The Office" – Café Disco (NBC)
Kenny Smith – "The Game" – The Wedding (CW)
Marc Wilmore – "The Simpsons" – The Good, The Sad, & The Drugly (FOX)
Saladin Patterson & James Roday – "Psych" – High Top Fade Out (USA Network)

Outstanding Writing in a Dramatic Series
Alexander Woo – "True Blood" – Beyond Here Lies Nothin (HBO)
Kathleen McGhee-Anderson – "Lincoln Heights" – Home Again (ABC Family)
Sara Hess – "House" – The Greater Good (FOX)
Shonda Rhimes – "Grey's Anatomy" – What a Difference A Day Makes (ABC)
Zoanne Clack – "Grey's Anatomy" – Stand By Me (ABC)

Outstanding Writing in a Motion Picture (Theatrical or Television)
Anthony Peckham – "Invictus" (Warner Bros. Pictures)
Geoffrey Fletcher – "Precious: Based on the Novel "Push" by Sapphire" (Lionsgate)
John Lee Hancock – "The Blind Side" (Warner Bros. Pictures)
Reggie Rock Bythewood and Cheo Hodari Coker – "Notorious" (Fox Searchlight)
Tyler Perry – "Tyler Perry's I Can Do Bad All By Myself" (Lionsgate)

Directing Categories

Outstanding Directing in a Comedy Series
Ali LeRoi – "Everybody Hates Chris" – Everybody Hates The G.E.D. (CW)
Justin Lin – "Community" – Introduction to Statistics (NBC)
Ken Whittingham – "30 Rock" – The Funcooker (NBC)
Michael Schultz – "Drop Dead Diva" – Second Chances (Lifetime)
Reggie Hudlin – "The Office" – Koi Pond (NBC)

Outstanding Directing in a Dramatic Series
Chandra Wilson – "Grey's Anatomy" – Give Peace a Chance (ABC)
Edward James Olmos – "Battlestar Galactica" – Islanded in a Stream of Stars (Syfy)
Ernest Dickerson – "Dexter" – Road Kill (Showtime)
Kevin Sullivan – "Lincoln Heights" – Aftershock (ABC Family)
Paris Barclay – "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" – Coup de Grace (CBS)

Outstanding Directing in a Motion Picture (Theatrical or Television)
F. Gary Gray – "Law Abiding Citizen" (Overture Films)
George Tillman, Jr. – "Notorious" (Fox Searchlight)
Lee Daniels – "Precious: Based on the Novel "Push" by Sapphire" (Lionsgate)
Scott Sanders – "Black Dynamite" (Apparition)
Spike Lee – "Passing Strange: The Movie" (IFC Films/Sundance Selects)

41st NAACP Image Awards Nominees - TV Categories

The NAACP Image Awards are awards presented annually by the NAACP or National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. The awards honor outstanding people of color and their work and performances in film, television, music, and literature.

Like the Grammy and Oscars, members of the NAACP vote for nominees and winners of the Image Awards. There are also honorary awards, including the President's Award, the Chairman's Award, Entertainer of the Year and The Image Award Hall of Fame.

The awards were first presented in 1970. Fox Network will broadcast live the 41st edition of the awards show, Friday, February 26, 2010 at 8/7 PM Central.

Television Categories

Outstanding Comedy Series
"30 Rock" (NBC)
"Everybody Hates Chris" (CW)
"Glee" (FOX)
"Tyler Perry's House of Payne" (TBS)
"Ugly Betty" (ABC)

Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series
Daryl "Chill" Mitchell – "Brothers" (FOX)
Donald Faison – "Scrubs" (NBC)
Dulé Hill – "Psych" (USA Network)
LaVan Davis – "Tyler Perry's House of Payne" (TBS)
Tyler James Williams – "Everybody Hates Chris" (CW)

Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series
America Ferrera – "Ugly Betty" (ABC)
Cassi Davis – "Tyler Perry's House of Payne" (TBS)
CCH Pounder – "Brothers" (FOX)
Sherri Shepherd – "Sherri" (Lifetime)
Tichina Arnold – "Everybody Hates Chris" (CW)

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Lamman Rucker – "Tyler Perry's Meet the Browns" (TBS)
Lance Gross – "Tyler Perry's House of Payne" (TBS)
Larenz Tate – "Rescue Me" (FX)
Malcolm-Jamal Warner – "Sherri" (Lifetime)
Tracy Morgan – "30 Rock" (NBC)

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Ana Ortiz – "Ugly Betty" (ABC)
Keshia Knight Pulliam – "Tyler Perry's House of Payne" (TBS)
Tisha Campbell-Martin – "Rita Rocks" (Lifetime)
Vanessa Williams – "Ugly Betty" (ABC)
Wendy Raquel Robinson – "The Game" (CW)

Outstanding Drama Series
"Cold Case" (CBS)
"Grey's Anatomy" (ABC)
"HawthoRNe" (TNT)
"Lincoln Heights" (ABC Family)
"The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency" (HBO)

Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series
Anthony Anderson – "Law & Order" (NBC)
Hill Harper – "CSI: NY" (CBS)
LL Cool J – "NCIS: Los Angeles" (CBS)
Laurence Fishburne – "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" (CBS)
Taye Diggs – "Private Practice" (ABC)

Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series
Chandra Wilson – "Grey's Anatomy" (ABC)
Jada Pinkett Smith – "HawthoRNe" (TNT)
Jill Scott – "The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency" (HBO)
Regina King – "Southland" (NBC)
Sandra Oh – "Grey's Anatomy" (ABC)

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Corey Reynolds – "The Closer" (TNT)
Delroy Lindo – "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (NBC)
James Pickens, Jr. – "Grey's Anatomy" (ABC)
Mekhi Phifer – "Lie To Me" (FOX)
Rocky Carroll – "NCIS" (CBS)

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Anika Noni Rose – "The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency" (HBO)
Audra McDonald – "Private Practice" (ABC)
Gabrielle Union – "Flash Forward" (ABC)
Jurnee Smollett – "Friday Night Lights" (NBC)
S. Epatha Merkerson – "Law & Order" (NBC)

Outstanding Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special
"America" (Lifetime)
"Brick City" (Sundance)
"Georgia O'Keeffe" (Lifetime)
"Gifted Hands" (TNT)
"Relative Stranger" (Hallmark)

Outstanding Actor in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special
Cuba Gooding Jr. – "Gifted Hands" (TNT)
Eriq La Salle – "Relative Stranger" (Hallmark)
Gus Hoffman – "Gifted Hands" (TNT)
Jaishon Fisher – "Gifted Hands" (TNT)
Philip Johnson – "America" (Lifetime)

Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special
Aunjanue Ellis – "Gifted Hands" (TNT)
Cicely Tyson – "Relative Stranger" (Hallmark)
Kimberly Elise – "Gifted Hands" (TNT)
Rosie O'Donnell – "America" (Lifetime)
Ruby Dee – "America" (Lifetime)

Outstanding Actor in a Daytime Drama Series
Bryton James – "The Young and The Restless" (CBS)
Cassius Willis – "The Young and The Restless" (CBS)
Cornelius Smith, Jr. – "All My Children" (ABC)
Terrell Tilford – "One Life To Live" (ABC)
Texas Battle – "The Bold and the Beautiful" (CBS)

Outstanding Actress in a Daytime Drama Series
Daphnee Duplaix – "One Life to Live" (ABC)
Debbi Morgan – "All My Children" (ABC)
Eva Marcille – "The Young and the Restless" (CBS)
Tatyana Ali – "The Young and The Restless" (CBS)
Tonya Lee Williams – "The Young and the Restless" (CBS)

Outstanding News/ Information – (Series or Special)
"Anderson Cooper 360: President Obama's African Journey" (CNN)
"CNN Presents: Reclaiming the Dream 2" (CNN)
"The Inauguration of Barack Obama, 44th President of the United States" (BET)
"Judge Mathis" (Syndicated)
"Leading Women: India.Arie, Dr. Maya Angelou" (Centric)

Outstanding Talk Series
"Lopez Tonight" (TBS)
"The Mo'Nique Show" (BET)
"The Tyra Banks Show" (CW)
"The View" (ABC)
"The Wanda Sykes Show" (FOX)

Outstanding Reality Series
"American Idol 8" (FOX)
"America's Next Top Model" (CW)
"Dancing With the Stars" (ABC)
"Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" (ABC)
"Real Housewives of Atlanta" (Bravo)

Outstanding Variety – (Series or Special)
"BET Awards 2009" (BET)
"Bill Cosby: The Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize for American Humor" (PBS)
"The Michael Jackson Memorial: Celebrating the Life of Michael Jackson"
"Wanda Sykes: I'ma Be Me" (HBO)
"We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial" (HBO)

Outstanding Children's Program
"The Backyardigans" (Nickelodeon)
"Dora The Explorer" (Nickelodeon)
"Go, Diego, Go" (Nickelodeon)
"True Jackson, VP" (Nickelodeon)
"Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie" (Disney Channel)

Outstanding Performance in a Youth/Children's Program – (Series or Special)
Caitlin Sanchez – "Dora the Explorer" (Nickelodeon)
Keke Palmer – "True Jackson, VP" (Nickelodeon)
LaShawn Jefferies – "The Backyardigans" (Nickelodeon)
Nick Cannon – "TeenNick HALO Awards" (TeenNick

41st NAACP Image Awards Nominees - Motion Picture Categories

The NAACP Image Awards are awards presented annually by the NAACP or National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. The awards honor outstanding people of color and their work and performances in film, television, music, and literature.

Like the Grammy and Oscars, members of the NAACP vote for nominees and winners of the Image Awards. There are also honorary awards, including the President's Award, the Chairman's Award, Entertainer of the Year and The Image Award Hall of Fame.

The awards were first presented in 1970. Fox Network will broadcast live the 41st edition of the awards show, Friday, February 26, 2010 at 8/7 PM Central.

Motion Picture Categories

Outstanding Motion Picture
"The Blind Side" (Warner Bros. Pictures)
"Invictus" (Warner Bros. Pictures)
"Michael Jackson's: This Is It" (Columbia Pictures)
"Precious: Based on the Novel "Push" by Sapphire" (Lionsgate)
"The Princess and the Frog" (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture
Denzel Washington – "The Taking of Pelham 123" (Columbia Pictures)
Idris Elba – "Obsessed" (Screen Gems)
Jamie Foxx – "Law Abiding Citizen" (Overture Films)
Morgan Freeman – "Invictus" (Warner Bros. Pictures)
Quinton Aaron – "The Blind Side" (Warner Bros. Pictures)

Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture
Anika Noni Rose – "The Princess and the Frog" (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
Gabourey Sidibe – "Precious: Based on the Novel "Push" by Sapphire" (Lionsgate)
Sandra Bullock – "The Blind Side" (Warner Bros. Pictures)
Sophie Okonedo – "Skin" (Jour De Fete Films)
Taraji P. Henson – "Tyler Perry's I Can Do Bad All By Myself" (Lionsgate)

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture
Adam Rodriguez – "Tyler Perry's I Can Do Bad All By Myself" (Lionsgate)
Anthony Mackie – "The Hurt Locker" (Summit Entertainment)
Chiwetel Ejiofor – "2012" (Columbia Pictures)
Danny Glover – "2012" (Columbia Pictures)
Lenny Kravitz – "Precious: Based on the Novel "Push" by Sapphire" (Lionsgate)

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture
Alfre Woodard – "American Violet" (Samuel Goldwyn Films)
Mariah Carey – "Precious: Based on the Novel "Push" by Sapphire" (Lionsgate)
Mo'Nique – "Precious: Based on the Novel "Push" by Sapphire" (Lionsgate)
Paula Patton – "Precious: Based on the Novel "Push" by Sapphire" (Lionsgate)
Zoe Saldana – "Avatar" (Twentieth Century Fox)

Outstanding Independent Motion Picture
"American Violet" (Samuel Goldwyn Films)
"Amreeka" (National Geographic Entertainment)
"Endgame" (monterey media)
"Medicine for Melancholy" (IFC Films)
"Precious: Based on the Novel "Push" by Sapphire" (Lionsgate)

Outstanding Foreign Motion Picture
"The Maid" (Elephant Eye Films)
"Rudo y Cursi" (Sony Pictures Classics)
"Sin Nombre" (Focus Features)
"Skin" (Jour De Fete Films)
"The Stoning of Soraya M." (Mpower Pictures)

Outstanding Documentary (Theatrical or Television)
"Capitalism: A Love Story" (Overture Films)
"Crips and Bloods: Made in America" (Gravitas Ventures)
"Crude" (First Run Features)
"Good Hair" (Roadside Attractions)
"More than a Game" (Lionsgate)

VIZ Cinema Presents "Tokyoscope" and SEGA's "Yakuza 3"


New Lecture Series Launches In March With An Installment On Gangster Cinema; SEGA To Demo New Yakuza 3 Video Game

The shadowy and often bloody celluloid world of Japanese gangsters – hit men, loan sharks, outlaws, gamblers and tattooed tough guys – or “yakuza” cinema, is explored in detail in TokyoScope: The Wild & Crazy World of Japanese Cult Films, a new lecture series launching at VIZ Cinema on Friday, March 5th. TokyoScope, Vol.1 Yakuza Night Fever begins at 6:00pm with a reception and discussion to be hosted by Patrick Macias, Editor-in-Chief of Otaku USA, a leading national magazine on anime and Asian pop culture.

Also sponsored by SEGA® of America, the evening will feature highlights of Yakuza 3, the eagerly anticipated new release for the PlayStation 3 that debuts on March 9th. Preceding the release, SEGA will demonstrate Yakuza 3 in a special sneak preview and give away the actual game (valued at $54.99) to lucky 10 winners at the event. Tickets for the event are $10.00.

Macias’ hour-long lecture starts at 7:00pm and will trace the history of gangster cinema in Japan, highlighted with clips from such genre masterpieces as Brutal Tales of Chivalry, Battles Without Honor and Humanity, Dead or Alive, and Like a Dragon. Macias will discuss the culture of the yakuza genre and its action-packed, blood-soaked cinematography, along with themes of loyalty and betrayal these films often explore.

SEGA’s Yakuza 3 is the next chapter in the prestigious video game saga, offering an authentic, gritty and, often, violent story set in modern day Japan. Following the events of the previous game, Kazuma and Haruka (his adopted daughter) have left Kamurochoto to seek a new life in Okinawa where they manage an orphanage for children. However, their peaceful life is soon interrupted when a series of events unfold, pulling Kazuma back into the shadowy past he thought he had left behind. Making its first appearance exclusively on the PlayStation 3 platform, the rich story and vibrant world of Yakuza 3 lets players engage in intense brutal clashes on the streets of Okinawa, and the pulsating and, often, dangerous city of Tokyo where only the strongest will survive. Yakuza 3 will carry an ESRB rating of ‘M’ For Mature Audiences.

VIZ Cinema is the nation’s first movie theatre devoted exclusively to Japanese film and anime. The 143-seat subterranean theatre is located in the basement of the NEW PEOPLE building and features plush seating, digital as well as 35mm projection, and a THX®-certified sound system.

NEW PEOPLE offers the latest films, art, fashion and retail brands from Japan and is the creative vision of the J-Pop Center Project and VIZ Pictures, a distributor and producer of Japanese live action film. Located at 1746 Post Street, the 20,000 square foot structure features a striking 3-floor transparent glass façade that frames a fun and exotic new environment to engage the imagination into the 21st Century. A dedicated web site is also now available at:

Thursday, February 25, 2010

District 9 an Exceptional Science Fiction Film

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 8 (of 2010) by Leroy Douresseaux

District 9 (2009)
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA/New Zealand; Languages: English, Nyanja, Afrikaans
Running time: 112 minutes
MPAA – R for bloody violence and pervasive language
DIRECTOR: Neill Blomkamp
WRITERS: Neill Blomkamp and Terri Tatchell
PRODUCERS: Peter Jackson and Carolynne Cunningham
EDITOR: Julian Clarke
Academy Award nominee


Starring: Sharlto Copley, Louis Minnaar, Vanessa Haywood, David James, Kenneth Nkosi, Nathalie Boltt, and Elizabeth Mkandawie, and Jason Cope

Last summer, the science fiction movie, District 9, took moviegoers by surprise. The movie first gained attention because it had been shepherded into existence by Peter Jackson (Lord of the Rings). Eventually, director Neill Blomkamp’s socio-political parable stood on its own as an exceptional film.

District 9’s story began 20 years ago when an alien ship arrived on earth, coming to a dead stop over Johannesburg, South Africa. Humanity waited for the aliens’ hostile attack, which never came. Even the hope that the visitors would bring giant advances in technology proved to be an empty one. Instead, these aliens, whom humans derisively refer to as the “prawns” were refugees. After two decades, nearly a million prawns live in a makeshift Johannesburg encampment called District 9, as the world’s nations argue over what to do with them.

Now, control over the prawns belongs to Multi-National United (MNU), a private company contracted to relocate the aliens, by force if necessary, to a new settlement, District 10. MNU does not care about the aliens’ welfare, but the company’s weapons division is interested in finding a way to make the prawns’ awesome weaponry work, which no one on earth has thus far managed to do. Hapless MNU field operative, Wikus van der Merwe (Sharlto Copley), recently assigned to head the relocation task force, is about to unlock the secrets of the alien technology, a feat that will change his life and the fate of the aliens.

It is a wonder that a science fiction film with story elements that mirror so much of our world’s troubles can be such thrilling popcorn entertainment and social commentary. The social status of the prawns, their plight and predicament, and the way humans act towards them have a number of real world parallels: South Africa’s own system of apartheid; slavery, Jim Crow and segregation in the American South; Gaza; the expulsion of American Indians from their lands, the displacement of Iraqis due to the American invasion of Iraq, etc.

Yet District 9 is amazingly entertaining, probably because the deeper and more pointed meanings and messages are dressed in sci-fi and war simulation violence and action movie tropes. Co-writer and director Neill Blomkamp and co-writer Terri Tatchell have done something that is rare – create a science fiction film that speaks directly to the modern condition with relevance and meaning. Instead of wowing audiences with gaudy gadgets and impossible (and impractically designed) machines, vehicles, and space ships, Blomkamp and Tatchell wow us their execution of substantive science fiction that seems real.

At the heart of the film is the performance of Sharlto Copley as everyman, Wikus van der Merwe. Wikus is filled with ignorance, dim-witted preconceptions, and the urge to treat the aliens like children who have to have common sense beaten into them – the way White southerners used think of African-Americans (and some still do). Copley presents Wikus’ rise, fall, and rise again as a journey of both self-discovery and revelation. Wikus is a road map to our better selves, in regards to the way we treat others. That we can have a fun time with such a thoughtful film is due in large part to Copley’s underrated performance. District 9 is a winner.

8 of 10

2010 Academy Awards: 4 nominations: “Best Achievement in Editing” (Julian Clarke), “Best Achievement in Visual Effects” (Dan Kaufman, Peter Muyzers, Robert Habros, and Matt Aitken), “Best Motion Picture of the Year” (Peter Jackson, Carolynne Cunningham), and “Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published” (Neill Blomkamp and Terri Tatchell)

2010 BAFTA Awards: 7 nominations: Best Cinematography, Best Director, Best Editing, Best Production Design, Best Screenplay – Adapted, Best Sound, and Best Special Visual Effects

2010 Golden Globe Awards: 1 nomination for best screenplay-motion picture

Thursday, February 25, 2010

VIZ Cinema Offers "Mobile Suit Gundam" and Yakuza at New People


Theatre Announces Many Unique Activities Including NEW PEOPLE Artist Series Festival, Lecture On Anime Icon Hayao Miyazaki, U.S. Premiere Of Gundam UC And Screenings For 2010 San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival

VIZ Cinema, the nation’s only movie theatre dedicated to Japanese film, has announced a variety of notable film screenings, festivals, lectures and other special events to be held throughout the month of March.

Tokyo Scope: The Wild and Crazy World of Japanese Cult Films:

New activities kick off on March 5th with Tokyo Scope: The Wild and Crazy World of Japanese Cult Films. Come celebrate the launch of Japanese pop culture critic and Otaku USA Editor-in-Chief Patrick Macias’s new film/lecture series. Also sponsored by SEGA of America, the evening’s events begin at 6:00pm and will include a lecture on the history of Japanese yakuza (gangster) cinema and the debut of SEGA’s highly anticipated new video game, Yakuza 3, for the PlayStation 3. Tickets are only $10.00.

NEW PEOPLE Artist Series Festival
VIZ Cinema will present the NEW PEOPLE Artist Series Festival, a special collection of six insightful documentaries each profiling a unique Japanese contemporary artist. The 4-day festival runs March 6th – 9th and features the U.S. theatrical premieres of several films featuring the Neo-Japanese “Hip-Hop-Samurai” painter Hisashi Tenmyouya, the cynical artistic genius of Makoto Aida, and the life and work of master sculptor Katsura Funakoshi. By popular demand, the festival has announced encore showings of three documentaries on artists Yoshitomo Nara, Yayoi Kusama, and photographer Daido Moriyama. Summaries of each film and a list of screening times are available at: Special festival passes are available for $30.00 offer access to ANY screening at ANY time during the festival! General admission tickets for individual films are available for $10.00 each, Senior (+62) and Children (under 12) are $8.

NEW PEOPLE Artist Series Festival Films Include:
Hisashi Tenmyouya : Samurai Nouveau: 3/6 Sat, 1:00pm & 3/7 Sun, 3:00pm
Makoto Aida : Cynic in the Playground: 3/6 Sat, 3:00pm & 3/7 Sun, 5:00pm
Katsura Funakoshi: Whispering Gaze: 3/6 Sat, 5:00pm & 3/8 Mon, 7:00pm
Traveling with Yoshitomo Nara: 3/7 Sun, 7:00pm & 3/9 Tue, 5:00pm
Yayoi Kusama: I Love ME: 3/7 Sun, 1:00pm & 3/9 Tue, 7:00pm
Daido Moriyama: Stray Dog of Tokyo: 3/6 Sat, 7:00pm & 3/8 Mon, 5:00pm

The Allure of Hayao Miyazaki
Don’t miss a rare chance to attend a lecture given Fred Schodt and Beth Cary, the translators of Starting Point: 1979-1996, an autobiography written by Academy Award winning film director and anime visionary, Hayao Miyazaki! Hear some interesting stories of these two recognized experts on anime and manga who spent time with Miyazaki and glean deeper insights into his world of incredible imagination. The Allure of Hayao Miyazaki will be held on March 10th at 7:00pm; tickets are $8.00.

San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival

VIZ Cinema also partners with the 28th San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival to present Dear Doctor, by award-winning director Miwa Nishikawa (Sway and Wild Berries). Dear Doctor is a drama centering on a physician that goes missing after moving to his post in a remote village with no other doctors. Notable for exposing the complicated human psyche, this touching film plays for one night only on Wednesday, March 17th at 9:15pm. Information and advance tickets ($12.00) are available at the festival website

U.S. Premiere Of Mobile Suit Gundam UC
Anime fans won’t want to miss VIZ Cinema’s just-added week long screening of the Mobile Suit Gundam UC feature film (58 min) running March 19th – 25th. Gundam has been popular for more than 30 years and this brand new story is based on a bestseller written by acclaimed science fiction author Harutoshi Fukui. The film makes a special U.S. debut only one month after its original premiere in Japan and was made possible via a special arrangement with Studio Sunrise.

In the year U.C. 0096, a colony called Industrial 7 is the stage for a young boy named Banagher's encounter with destiny: the white Mobile Suit called the Unicorn Gundam. A mysterious Laplace's Box becomes the basis for a galactic scale battle. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to catch the U.S. theatrical of the latest Gundam movie! Tickets are $8.00; no discounts apply.

VIZ Cinema is the nation’s only movie theatre devoted exclusively to Japanese film and anime. The 143-seat subterranean theatre is located in the basement of the NEW PEOPLE building and features plush seating, digital as well as 35mm projection, and a THX®-certified sound system.

NEW PEOPLE offers the latest films, art, fashion and retail brands from Japan and is the creative vision of the J-Pop Center Project and VIZ Pictures, a distributor and producer of Japanese live action film. Located at 1746 Post Street, the 20,000 square foot structure features a striking 3-floor transparent glass façade that frames a fun and exotic new environment to engage the imagination into the 21st Century. A dedicated web site is also now available at: