Showing posts with label Kris Kristofferson. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kris Kristofferson. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

59th Grammy Award Nominations Announced - Complete Nominees List

The Grammy Awards (or Grammys) are given out by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) of the United States. The Grammy is an accolade that recognizes outstanding achievement in the music industry. It is the music industry equivalent to the Academy Awards for film, the Emmy Awards for television, and the Tony Award for stage.

The nominees for The 59th Annual GRAMMY Awards were announced Tuesday, December 6, 2016.  The 59th Annual Grammy Awards recognize the best musical (and some spoken word and video) recordings, compositions, and artists for the eligibility year that began on October 1, 2015 and ended on September 30, 2016 in a total of 84 categories.

The 59th Annual GRAMMY Awards will be held on Monday, February 12, 2017, at Staples Center in Los Angeles.  The ceremony will be broadcast live in high-definition TV and 5.1 surround sound on CBS from 8 – 11:30 p.m. (ET/PT).

59th / (2015-2016) Annual GRAMMY Award nominations:


Album Of The Year:
25  - Adele
Lemonade  - Beyoncé
Purpose  - Justin Bieber
Views  - Drake
A Sailor's Guide To Earth - Sturgill Simpson

Record Of The Year:
"Hello" - Adele
"Formation" - Beyoncé
"7 Years" - Lukas Graham
"Work" - Rihanna Featuring Drake
"Stressed Out" - Twenty One Pilots

Song Of The Year:
"Formation" - Khalif Brown, Asheton Hogan, Beyoncé Knowles & Michael L. Williams II, songwriters (Beyoncé)
"Hello" - Adele Adkins & Greg Kurstin, songwriters (Adele)
"I Took A Pill In Ibiza" - Mike Posner, songwriter (Mike Posner)
"Love Yourself" - Justin Bieber, Benjamin Levin & Ed Sheeran, songwriters (Justin Bieber)
"7 Years" - Lukas Forchhammer, Stefan Forrest, Morten Pilegaard & Morten Ristorp, songwriters (Lukas Graham)

Best New Artist:
Kelsea Ballerini
The Chainsmokers
Chance The Rapper
Maren Morris
Anderson .Paak


Best Pop Vocal Album:
25 - Adele
Purpose - Justin Bieber
Dangerous Woman - Ariana Grande
Confident - Demi Lovato
This Is Acting - Sia

Best Pop Solo Performance:
"Hello" - Adele
"Hold Up" - Beyonce
"Love Yourself" - Justin Bieber
"Piece By Piece (Idol Version)" - Kelly Clarkson
"Dangerous Woman" - Ariana Grande

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance:
"Closer" - The Chainsmokers Featuring Halsey
"7 Years" - Lukas Graham
"Work" - Rihanna Featuring Drake
"Cheap Thrills" - Sia Featuring Sean Paul
"Stressed Out" - Twenty One Pilots

Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album:
Cinema - Andrea Bocelli
Fallen Angels - Bob Dylan
Stages Live - Josh Groban
Summertime: Willie Nelson Sings Gershwin - Willie Nelson
Encore: Movie Partners Sing Broadway - Barbra Streisand


Best Dance Recording:
"Tearing Me Up" - Bob Moses
"Don't Let Me Down" - The Chainsmokers Featuring Daya
"Never Be Like You" - Flume Featuring Kai
"Rinse & Repeat" - Riton Featuring Kah-Lo
"Drinkee" - Sofi Tukker

Best Dance/Electronic Album:
Skin - Flume
Electronica 1: The Time Machine - Jean-Michel Jarre
Epoch - Tycho
Barbara Barbara, We Face A Shining Future - Underworld
Louie Vega Starring…XXVIII - Louie Vega


Best Contemporary Instrumental Album:
Human Nature - Herb Alpert
When You Wish Upon a Star - Bill Frisell
Way Back Home: Live From Rochester, NY - Steve Gadd Band
Unpsoken - Chuck Loeb
Culcha Vulcha  - Snarky Puppy


Best Rock Performance:
"Joe (Live From Austin City Limits)" - Alabama Shakes
"Don't Hurt Yourself" - Beyoncé Featuring Jack White
"Blackstar" - David Bowie
"The Sound Of Silence" - Disturbed
"Heathens" - Twenty One Pilots

Best Metal Performance:
"Shock Me" - Baroness
"Slivera" - Gojira
"Rotting in Vain" - Korn
"Dystopia" - Megadeth
"The Price Is Wrong" - Periphery

Best Rock Song:
"Blackstar" - David Bowie, songwriter (David Bowie)
"Burn the Witch"  - Radiohead, songwriters (Radiohead)
"Hardwired" - James Hetfield & Lars Ulrich, songwriters (Metallica
"Heathens" - Tyler Joseph, songwriter (Twenty One Pilots)
"My Name Is Human" - Rich Meyer, Ryan Meyer & Johnny Stevens, songwriters (Highly Suspect)

Best Rock Album:
California  - Blink-182
Tell Me I'm Pretty - Cage The Elephant
Magma - Gojira
Death Of A Bachelor - Panic! At The Disco
Weezer - Weezer


Best Alternative Music Album:
22, A Million  - Bon Iver
Blackstar  - David Bowie
The Hope Six Demolition Project  - PJ Harvey
Post Pop Depression  - Iggy Pop
A Moon Shaped Pool  - Radiohead


Best R&B Performance:
"Turnin' Me Up" - BJ The Chicago Kid
"Permission" - Ro James
"I Do" - Musiq Soulchild
"Needed Me" - Rihanna
"Cranes in the Sky" - Solange

Best Traditional R&B Performance:
"The Three Of Me" - William Bell
"Woman's World" - BJ The Chicago Kid
"Sleeping With The One I Love" - Fantasia
"Angel" - Lalah Hathaway
"Can't Wait" - Jill Scott

Best R&B Song:
"Come and See Me" - J. Brathwaite, Aubrey Graham & Noah Shebib, songwriters (PartyNextDoor Featuring Drake)
"Exchange" - Michael Hernandez & Bryson Tiller, songwriters (Bryson Tiller)
"Kiss It Better" - Jeff Bhasker, Robyn Fenty, John-Nathan Glass & Natalia Noemi, songwriters (Rihanna)
"Lake By the Ocean" - Hod David & Musze, songwriters (Maxwell)
"Luv" - Magnus August Høiberg, Benjamin Levin & Daystar Peterson, songwriters (Tory Lanez)

Best Urban Contemporary Album:
Lemonade - Beyoncé
Ology - Gallant
We Are King - KING
Malibu - Anderson .Paak
Anti - Rihanna

Best R&B Album:
In My Mind - BJ The Chicago Kid
Lalah Hathaway Live - Lalah Hathaway
Velvet Portraits - Terrace Martin
Healing Season - Mint Condition
Smoove Jones - Mya


Best Rap Performance:
"No Problem" - Chance The Rapper Featuring Lil Wayne & 2 Chainz
"Panda" - Desiigner
"Pop Style" - Drake Featuring The Throne
"All The Way Up" - Fat Joe & Remy Ma Featuring French Montana & Infared
"That Part"  - ScHoolboy Q Featuring Kanye West

Best Rap/Sung Performance:
"Freedom" - Beyoncé Featuring Kendrick Lamar
"Hotline Bling" - Drake
"Broccoli" - D.R.A.M. Featuring Lil Yachty
"Ultralight Beam" - Kanye West Featuring Chance The Rapper, Kelly Price, Kirk Franklin & The-Dream
"Famous" - Kanye West Featuring Rihanna

Best Rap Song:
"All The Way Up" - Joseph Cartagena, Edward Davadi, Shandel Green, Karim Kharbouch, Andre Christopher Lyon, Reminisce Mackie & Marcello Valenzano, songwriters (Fat Joe & Remy Ma Featuring French Montana & Infared)

"Famous" - Chancelor Bennett, Ross Birchard, Ernest Brown, Andrew Dawson, Kasseem Dean, Mike Dean, Noah Goldstein, Kejuan Muchita, Patrick Reynolds, Kanye West & Cydel Young, songwriters (Kanye West Featuring Rihanna)

"Hotline Bling" - Aubrey Graham & Paul Jefferies, songwriters (Drake)

"No Problem" - Chancelor Bennett, Dwayne Carter & Tauheed Epps, songwriters (Chance The Rapper Featuring Lil Wayne & 2 Chainz)

"Ultralight Beam" - Chancelor Bennett, Kasseem Dean, Mike Dean, Kirk Franklin, Noah Goldstein, Samuel Griesemer, Terius Nash, Jerome Potter, Kelly Price, Nico "Donnie Trumpet" Segal, Derek Watkins, Kanye West & Cydel Young, songwriters (Kanye West Featuring Chance The Rapper, Kelly Price, Kirk Franklin & The-Dream)

Best Rap Album:
Coloring Book - Chance The Rapper
And the Anonymous Nobody - De La Soul
Major Key - DJ Khaled
Views - Drake
Blank Face LP - ScHoolboy Q
The Life of Pablo - Kanye West


Best Country Solo Performance:
"Love Can Go To Hell" - Brandy Clark
"Vice" - Miranda Lambert
"My Church" - Maren Morris
"Church Bells" - Carrie Underwood
"Blue Ain't Your Color" - Keith Urban

Best Country Duo/Group Performance:
"Different for Girls" - Dierks Bentley Featuring Elle King
"21 Summer" - Brothers Osborne
"Setting The World On Fire" - Kenny Chesney & P!nk
"Jolene" - Pentatonix Featuring Dolly Parton
"Think Of You" - Chris Young With Cassadee Pope

Best Country Song:
"Blue Ain't Your Color" - Clint Lagerberg, Hillary Lindsey & Steven Lee Olsen, songwriters (Keith Urban)
"Die A Happy Man" - Sean Douglas, Thomas Rhett & Joe Spargur, songwriters (Thomas Rhett)
"Humble and Kind" - Lori McKenna, songwriter (Tim McGraw)
"My Church" - busbee & Maren Morris, songwriters (Maren Morris)
"Vice" - Miranda Lambert, Shane McAnally & Josh Osborne, songwriters (Miranda Lambert)

Best Country Album:
Big Day In A Small Town - Brandy Clark
Full Circle - Loretta Lynn
Hero - Maren Morris
A Sailor's Guide To Earth - Sturgill Simpson
Ripcord - Keith Urban


Best New Age Album:
Orogen - John Burke
Dark Sky Island - Enya
Inner Passion - Peter Kater & Tina Guo
Rosetta - Vangelis
White Sun II - White Sun


Best Improvised Jazz Solo:
"Countdown" - Joey Alexander, soloist
"In Movement" - Ravi Coltrane, soloist
"We See" - Fred Hersch, soloist
"I Concentrate On You" - Brad Mehldau, soloist
"I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry" - John Scofield, soloist

Best Jazz Vocal Album:
Sound Of Red - René Marie
Upward Spiral - Branford Marsalis Quartet With Special Guest Kurt Elling
Take Me To The Alley - Gregory Porter
Harlem On My Mind - Catherine Russell
The Sting Variations - The Tierney Sutton Band

Best Jazz Instrumental Album:
Book of Intuition - Kenny Barron Trio
Dr. Um - Peter Erskine
Sunday Night At The Vanguard - The Fred Hersch Trio
Nearness - Joshua Redman & Brad Mehldau
Country For Old Men - John Scofield

Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album:
Real Enemies - Darcy James Argue's Secret Society
Presents Monk'estra, Vol. 1 - John Beasley
Kaleidoscope Eyes: Music of the Beatles - John Daversa
All L.A. Band - Bob Mintzer
Presidential Suite: Eight Variations On Freedom - Ted Nash Big Band

Best Latin Jazz Album:
Entre Colegas - Andy González
Madera Latino: A Latin Jazz Perspective On The Music Of Woody Shaw - Brian Lynch & Various Artists
Canto América  - Michael Spiro/Wayne Wallace La Orquesta Sinfonietta
30 - Trio Da Paz
Tribute To Irakere: Live In Marciac - Chucho Valdés


Best Gospel Performance/Song:
"It's Alright, It's OK" - Shirley Caesar Featuring Anthony Hamilton; Stanley Brown & Courtney Rumble, songwriters
"You're Bigger [Live]" - Jekalyn Carr; Allundria Carr, songwriter
"Made A Way [Live]" - Travis Greene; Travis Greene, songwriter
"God Provides" - Tamela Mann; Kirk Franklin, songwriter
"Better" - Hezekiah Walker; Jason Clayborn, Gabriel Hatcher & Hezekiah Walker, songwriters

Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song:
"Trust In You" - Lauren Daigle; Lauren Daigle, Michael Farren & Paul Mabury, songwriters
"Priceless" - For King & Country; Benjamin Backus, Seth Mosley, Joel Smallbone, Luke Smallbone & Tedd Tjornhom, songwriters
"King of the World" - Natalie Grant; Natalie Grant, Becca Mizell & Samuel Mizell, songwriters
"Thy Will" - Hillary Scott & The Scott Family; Bernie Herms, Hillary Scott & Emily Weisband, songwriters Track from: Love Remains
"Chain Breaker" - Zach Williams; Mia Fieldes, Jonathan Smith & Zach Williams, songwriters

Best Gospel Album:
Listen - Tim Bowman Jr.
Fill This House - Shirley Caesar
A Worshipper's Heart [Live] - Todd Dulaney
Losing My Religion - Kirk Franklin
Demonstrate [Live] - William Murphy

Best Contemporary Christian Music Album:
Poets & Saints - All Sons & Daughters
American Prodigal - Crowder
Be One - Natalie Grant
Youth Revival [Live] - Hillsong Young & Free
Love Remains - Hillary Scott & The Scott Family  

Best Roots Gospel Album:
Better Together - Gaither Vocal Band
Nature's Symphony In 432 - The Isaacs
Hymns - Joey+Rory
Hymns And Songs Of Inspiration - Gordon Mote
God Don't Ever Change: The Songs Of Blind Willie Johnson - (Various Artists)


Best Latin Pop Album:
Un Besito Mas - Jesse & Joy
Ilusión - Gaby Moreno
Similares - Laura Pausini
Seguir Latiendo - Sanalejo
Buena Vida - Diego Torres

Best Latin Rock, Urban or Alternative Album:
iLevitable - ile
L.H.O.N. (La Humanidad O Nosotros) - Illya Kuryaki & The Valderamas
Buenaventura - La Santa Cecilia
Los Rakas - Los Rakas
Amor Supremo - Carla Morrison

Best Regional Mexican Music Album (Including Tejano):
Raíces - Banda El Recodo De Cruz Lizárraga
Hecho A Mano - Joss Favela
Un Azteca En El Azteca, Vol. 1 (En Vivo) - Vicente Fernández
Generación Maquinaria Est. 2006  - La Maquinaria Norteña
Tributo A Joan Sebastian Y Rigoberto Alfaro - Mariachi Divas De Cindy Shea

Best Tropical Latin Album:
Conexión - Fonseca
La Fantasia Homenaje A Juan Formell - Formell Y Los Van Van
35 Aniversario - Grupo Niche
La Sonora Santanera En Su 60 Aniversario - La Sonora Santanera
Donde Están? - Jose Lugo & Guasábara Combo


Best American Roots Performance:
"Ain't No Man" - The Avett Brothers
"Mother's Children Have A Hard Time" - Blind Boys Of Alabama
"Factory Girl" - Rhiannon Giddens
"House Of Mercy" - Sarah Jarosz
"Wreck You" - Lori McKenna

Best American Roots Song:
"Alabama At Night" - Robbie Fulks, songwriter (Robbie Fulks)
"City Lights" - Jack White, songwriter (Jack White)
"Gulfstream" - Eric Adcock & Roddie Romero, songwriters (Roddie Romero And The Hub City All-Stars)
"Kid Sister" - Vince Gill, songwriter (The Time Jumpers)
"Wreck You" - Lori McKenna & Felix McTeigue, songwriters (Lori McKenna)

Best Americana Album:
True Sadness - The Avett Brothers
This Is Where I Live - William Bell
The Cedar Creek Sessions - Kris Kristofferson
The Bird & The Rifle - Lori McKenna
Kid Sister - The Time Jumpers

Best Bluegrass Album:
Original Traditional - Blue Highway
Burden Bearer - Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver
The Hazel Sessions - Laurie Lewis & The Right Hands
North And South - Claire Lynch
Coming Home - O'Connor Band With Mark O'Connor

Best Traditional Blues Album:
Can't Shake The Feeling - Lurrie Bell
Live At The Greek Theatre - Joe Bonamassa
Blues & Ballads (A Folksinger's Songbook: Volumes I & II) - Luther Dickinson
The Soul of Jimmie Rodgers - Vasti Jackson
Porcupine Meat - Bobby Rush

Best Contemporary Blues Album:
The Last Days Of Oakland - Fantastic Negrito
Love Wins Again - Janiva Magness
Bloodline - Kenny Neal
Give It Back To You - The Record Company
Everybody Wants A Piece - Joe Louis Walker

Best Folk Album:
Silver Skies Blue - Judy Collins & Ari Hest
Upland Stories - Robbie Fulks
Factory Girl - Rhiannon Giddens
Weighted Mind - Sierra Hull
Undercurrent - Sarah Jarosz

Best Regional Roots Music Album:
Broken Promised Land - Barry Jean Ancelet & Sam Broussard
It's A Cree Thing - Northern Cree
E Walea - Kalani Pe'a
Gulfstream - Roddie Romero And The Hub City All-Stars
I Wanna Sing Right: Rediscovering Lomax In The Evangeline Country - (Various Artists)


Best Reggae Album:
Sly & Robbie Presents... Reggae For Her - Devin Di Dakta & J.L
Rose Petals - J Boog
Ziggy Marley - Ziggy Marley
Everlasting - Raging Fyah
Falling Into Place - Rebelution
Soja: Live In Virginia - Soja


Best World Music Album:
Destiny - Celtic Woman
Walking In The Footsteps Of Our Fathers - Ladysmith Black Mambazo
Sing Me Home - Yo-Yo Ma & The Silk Road Ensemble
Land Of Gold - Anoushka Shankar
Dois Amigos, Um Século De Música: Multishow Live - Caetano Veloso & Gilberto Gil


Best Children's Album:
Explorer Of The World - Frances England
Infinity Plus One - Secret Agent 23 Skidoo
Novelties - Recess Monkey
Press Play - Brady Rymer And The Little Band That Could
Saddle Up - The Okee Dokee Brothers


Best Spoken Word Album (Includes Poetry, Audio Books & Storytelling):
The Girl With The Lower Back Tattoo - Amy Schumer
In Such Good Company: Eleven Years Of Laughter, Mayhem, And Fun In The Sandbox - Carol Burnett
M Train - Patti Smith
Under The Big Black Sun: A Personal History Of L.A.Punk (John Doe With Tom DeSavia) - (Various Artists)
Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink - Elvis Costello


Best Comedy Album:
...America...Great... - David Cross
American Myth - Margaret Cho
Boysih Girl Interrupted - Tig Notaro
Live At The Apollo - Amy Schumer
Talking For Clapping - Patton Oswalt


Best Musical Theater Album:
Bright Star - Carmen Cusack, principal soloist; Jay Alix, Peter Asher & Una Jackman, producers; Steve Martin, composer; Edie Brickell, composer & lyricist (Original Broadway Cast)

The Color Purple - Cynthia Erivo & Jennifer Hudson, principal soloists; Stephen Bray, Van Dean, Frank Filipetti, Roy Furman, Scott Sanders & Jhett Tolentino, producers (Stephen Bray, Brenda Russell & Allee Willis, composers/lyricists) (New Broadway Cast)

Fiddler On The Roof - Danny Burstein, principal soloist; Louise Gund, David Lai & Ted Sperling, producers (Jerry Bock, composer; Sheldon Harnick, lyricist) (2016 Broadway Cast)

Kinky Boots - Killian Donnelly & Matt Henry, principal soloists; Sammy James, Jr., Cyndi Lauper, Stephen Oremus & William Wittman, producers (Cyndi Lauper, composer & lyricist) (Original West End Cast)

Waitress - Jessie Mueller, principal soloist; Neal Avron, Sara Bareilles & Nadia DiGiallonardo, producers; Sara Bareilles, composer & lyricist (Original Broadway Cast)


Best Compilation Soundtrack For Visual Media:
Amy - (Various Artists)
Miles Ahead - Miles Davis & Various Artists)
Straight Outta Compton - (Various Artists)
Suicide Squad (Collector's Edition) - (Various Artists)
Vinyl: The Essentials Season 1 - (Various Artists)

Best Score Soundtrack For Visual Media:
Bridge of Spies - Thomas Newman, composer
Quentin Tarantino's The Hateful Eight - Ennio Morricone, composer
The Revenant - Alva Noto & Ryuichi Sakamoto, composers
Star Wars: The Force Awakens - John Williams, composer
Stranger Things Volume 1 - Kyle Dixon & Michael Stein, composers
Stranger Things Volume 2 - Kyle Dixon & Michael Stein, composers

Best Song Written For Visual Media:

"Can't Stop The Feeling!" - Max Martin, Shellback & Justin Timberlake, songwriters (Justin Timberlake, Anna Kendrick, Gwen Stefani, James Corden, Zooey Deschanel, Walt Dohrn, Ron Funches, Caroline Hjelt, Aino Jawo, Christopher Mintz-Plasse & Kunal Nayyar), Track from: Trolls

"Heathens" - Tyler Joseph, songwriter (Twenty One Pilots), Track from: Suicide Squad

"Just Like Fire" - Oscar Holter, Max Martin, P!nk & Shellback, songwriters (P!nk), Track from: Alice Through The Looking Glass

"Purple Lamborghini" - Shamann Cooke, Sonny Moore & William Roberts, songwriters (Skrillex & Rick Ross), Track from: Suicide Squad

"Try Everything" - Mikkel S. Eriksen, Sia Furler & Tor Erik Hermansen, songwriters (Shakira), Track from: Zootopia

"The Veil" - Peter Gabriel, songwriter (Peter Gabriel), Track from: Snowden


Best Instrumental Composition:
"Bridge of Spies (End Title)" - Thomas Newman, composer (Thomas Newman)
"The Expensive Train Set (An Epic Sarahnade For Big Band)" - Tim Davies, composer (Tim Davies Big Band)
"Flow" - Alan Ferber, composer (Alan Ferber Nonet)
"L'Ultima Diligenza Di Red Rock - Verisione Integrale" - Ennio Morricone, composer (Ennio Morricone)
"Spoken At Midnight" - Ted Nash, composer (Ted Nash Big Band)

Best Arrangement, Instrumental or A Cappella:
"Ask Me Now" - John Beasley, arranger (John Beasley)
"Good 'Swing' Wenceslas" - Sammy Nestico, arranger (The Count Basie Orchestra)
"Linus & Lucy" - Christian Jacob, arranger (The Phil Norman Tentet)
"Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds" - John Daversa, arranger (John Daversa)
"We Three Kings" - Ted Nash, arranger (Jazz At Lincoln Center Orchestra With Wynton Marsalis)
"You And I" - Jacob Collier, arranger (Jacob Collier)

Best Arrangement, Instruments and Vocals:
"Do You Hear What I Hear?" - Gordon Goodwin, arranger (Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band Featuring Take 6)
"Do You Want To Know A Secret" - John Daversa, arranger (John Daversa Featuring Renee Olstead)
"Flintstones" - Jacob Collier, arranger (Jacob Collier)
"I'm A Fool To Want You" - Alan Broadbent, arranger (Kristin Chenoweth)
"Somewhere (Dirty Blvd) (Extended Version)" - Billy Childs & Larry Klein, arrangers (Lang Lang Featuring Lisa Fischer & Jeffrey Wright)


Best Recording Package:
Anti (Deluxe Edition) - Ciarra Pardo & Robyn Fenty, art directors (Rihanna)
Blackstar - Jonathan Barnbrook, art director (David Bowie)
Human Performance - Andrew Savage, art director (Parquet Courts)
Sunset Motel - Sarah Dodds & Shauna Dodds, art directors (Reckless Kelly)
22, A Million - Eric Timothy Carlson, art director (Bon Iver)

Best Boxed Or Special Limited Edition Package:
Edith Piaf 1915-2015 - Gérard Lo Monaco, art director (Edith Piaf)
401 Days - Jonathan Dagan & Mathias Høst Normark, art directors (J.Views)
I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It - Samuel Burgess-Johnson & Matthew Healy, art directors (The 1975)
Paper Wheels (Deluxe Limited Edition) - Matt Taylor, art director (Trey Anastasio)
Tug of War (Deluxe Edition) - Simon Earith & James Musgrave, art directors (Paul McCartney)


Best Album Notes:
The Complete Monument & Columbia Albums Collection - Mikal Gilmore, album notes writer (Kris Kristofferson)
The Knoxville Sessions, 1929-1930: Knox County Stomp - Ted Olson & Tony Russell, album notes writers (Various Artists)
Ork Records: New York, New York - Rob Sevier & Ken Shipley, album notes writers (Various Artists)
Sissle And Blake Sing Shuffle Along - Ken Bloom & Richard Carlin, album notes writers (Eubie Blake & Noble Sissle)
Waxing The Gospel: Mass Evangelism & The Phonograph, 1890-1990 - Richard Martin, album notes writer (Various Artists)


Best Historical Album:
The Cutting Edge 1965-1966: The Bootleg Series, Vol. 12 (Collector's Edition) - Steve Berkowitz & Jeff Rosen, compilation producers; Mark Wilder, mastering engineer (Bob Dylan)

Music Of Morocco From The Library Of Congress: Recorded By Paul Bowles, 1959 - April G. Ledbetter, Steven Lance Ledbetter, Bill Nowlin & Philip D. Schuyler, compilation producers; Rick Fisher & Michael Graves, mastering engineers (Various Artists)

Ork Records: New York, New York - Rob Sevier & Ken Shipley, compilation producers; Jeff Lipton & Maria Rice, mastering engineers (Various Artists)

Vladimir Horowitz: The Unreleased Live Recordings 1966-1983 - Bernard Horowitz, Andreas K. Meyer & Robert Russ, compilation producers; Andreas K. Meyer & Jeanne Montalvo, mastering engineers (Vladimir Horowitz)

Waxing The Gospel: Mass Evangelism & The Phonograph, 1890 - 1900 - Michael Devecka, Meagan Hennessey & Richard Martin, compilation producers; Michael Devecka, David Giovannoni, Michael Khanchalian & Richard Martin, mastering engineers (Various Artists)


Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical:
Are You Serious - Tchad Blake & David Boucher, engineers; Bob Ludwig, mastering engineer (Andrew Bird)
Blackstar - David Bowie, Tom Elmhirst, Kevin Killen & Tony
Dig In Deep - Ryan Freeland, engineer; Kim Rosen, mastering engineer (Bonnie Raitt)
Hit N Run Phase Two - Booker T., Dylan Dresdow, Chris James, Prince & Justin Stanley, engineers; Dylan Dresdow, mastering engineer (Prince)
Undercurrent - Shani Gandhi & Gary Paczosa, engineers; Paul Blakemore, mastering engineer (Sarah Jarosz)

Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical:
Benny Blanco
Greg Kurstin
Max Martin
Ricky Reed

Best Remixed Recording:
"Cali Coast (Psionics Remix)" - Josh Williams, remixer (Soul Pacific)
"Heavy Star Movin' (staRo Remix)" - staRo, remixer (The Silver Lake Chorus)
"Nineteen Hundred Eighty-Five (Timo Maas & James Teej Remix)" - Timo Maas & James Teej, remixers (Paul McCartney & Wings)
"Only" (Kaskade X Lipless Remix) - Ryan Raddon, remixer (Ry X)
"Tearing Me Up (RAC Remix)" - André Allen Anjos, remixer (Bob Moses)
"Wide Open (Joe Goddard Remix)" - Joe Goddard, remixer (The Chemical Brothers)


Best Surround Sound Album:
Dutilleux: Sur La Mêe Accord; Les Citations; Mystère De L'Instant & Timbres, Espace, Mouvement - Alexander Lipay & Dmitriy Lipay, surround mix engineers; Dmitriy Lipay, surround mastering engineer; Dmitriy Lipay, surround producer (Ludovic Morlot & Seattle Symphony)

Johnson: Considering Matthew Shephard - Brad Michel, surround mix engineer; Brad Michel, surround mastering engineer; Robina G. Young, surround producer (Craig Hella Johnson & Conspirare)

Maja S.K. Ratkje: And Sing ... - Morten Lindberg, surround mix engineer; Morten Lindberg, surround mastering engineer; Morten Lindberg, surround producer (Maja S.K. Ratkje, Cikada & Oslo Sinfonietta)

Primus & The Chocolate Factory - Les Claypool, surround mix engineer; Stephen Marcussen, surround mastering engineer; Les Claypool, surround producer (Primus)

Reflections - Morten Lindberg, surround mix engineer; Morten Lindberg, surround mastering engineer; Morten Lindberg, surround producer (Øyvind Gimse, Geir Inge Lotsberg & Trondheimsolistene)


Best Engineered Album, Classical:

Corigliano: The Ghosts Of Versailles - Mark Donahue & Fred Vogler, engineers (James Conlon, Guanqun Yu, Joshua Guerrero, Patricia Racette, Christopher Maltman, Lucy Schaufer, Lucas Meachem, LA Opera Chorus & Orchestra)

Dutilleux: Sur La Mêe Accord; Les Citations; Mystère De L'Instant & Timbres, Espace, Mouvement - Alexander Lipay & Dmitriy Lipay, engineers (Ludovic Morlot & Seattle Symphony)

Reflections - Morten Lindberg, engineer (Øyvind Gimse, Geir Inge Lotsberg & Trondheimsolistene)

Shadow of Sirius - Silas Brown & David Frost, engineers; Silas Brown,

Shostakovich: Under Stalin's Shadow - Symphonies Nos. 5, 8 & 9 - Shawn Murphy & Nick Squire, engineers; Tim Martyn, mastering engineer (Andris Nelsons & Boston Symphony Orchestra)

Producer of the Year, Classical:
Blanton Alspaugh
David Frost
Marina A. Ledin, Victor Ledin
Judith Sherman
Robina G. Young


Best Orchestral Field:
Bates: Works For Orchestra - Michael Tilson Thomas, conductor (San Francisco Symphony)
Ibert: Orchestral Works - Neeme Järvi, conductor (Orchestre De La Suisse Romande)
Prokofiev: Symphony No. 5 In B-Flat Major, Op. 100 - Mariss Jansons, conductor (Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra)
Rouse: Odna Zhizn; Symphonies 3 & 4; Prospero's Rooms - Alan Gilbert, conductor (New York Philharmonic)
Shostakovich: Under Stalin's Shadow - Symphonies Nos. 5, 8 & 9 - Andris Nelsons, conductor (Boston Symphony Orchestra)

Best Opera Recording:
Corigliano: The Ghosts Of Versailles - James Conlon, conductor; Joshua Guerrero, Christopher Maltman, Lucas Meachem, Patricia Racette, Lucy Schaufer & Guanqun Yu; Blanton Alspaugh, producer (LA Opera Orchestra; LA Opera Chorus)

Handel: Giulio Cesare - Giovanni Antonini, conductor; Cecilia Bartoli, Philippe Jaroussky, Andreas Scholl & Anne-Sofie von Otter; Samuel Theis, producer (Il Giardino Armonico)

Higdon: Cold Mountain - Miguel Harth-Bedoya, conductor; Emily Fons, Nathan Gunn, Isabel Leonard & Jay Hunter Morris; Elizabeth Ostrow, producer (The Santa Fe Opera Orchestra; Santa Fe Opera Apprentice Program For Singers)

Mozart: Le Nozze De Figaro - Yannick Nézet-Séguin, conductor; Thomas Hampson, Christiane Karg, Luca Pisaroni & Sonya Yoncheva; Daniel Zalay, producer (Chamber Orchestra Of Europe; Vocalensemble Rastatt)

Szymanowski: Król Roger - Antonio Pappano, conductor; Georgia Jarman, Mariusz Kwiecień & Saimir Pirgu; Jonathan Allen, producer (Orchestra Of The Royal Opera House; Royal Opera Chorus)

Best Choral Performance:
Himmerland - Elisabeth Holte, conductor (Marianne Reidarsdatter Eriksen, Ragnfrid Lie & Matilda Sterby; Inger-Lise Ulsrud; Uranienborg Vokalensemble)

Janáček: Glagolitic Mass - Edward Gardner, conductor; Håkon Matti Skrede, chorus master (Susan Bickley, Gábor Bretz, Sara Jakubiak & Stuart Skelton; Thomas Trotter; Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra; Bergen Cathedral Choir, Bergen Philharmonic Choir, Choir Of Collegium Musicum & Edvard Grieg Kor)

Lloyd: Bonhoeffer - Donald Nally, conductor (Malavika Godbole, John Grecia, Rebecca Harris & Thomas Mesa; The Crossing)

Penderecki Conducts Penderecki, Volume 1 - Krzystof Penderecki, conductor; Henryk Wojnarowski, choir director (Nikolay Didenko, Agnieszka Rehlis & Johanna Rusanen; Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra; Warsaw Philharmonic Choir)

Steinberg: Passion Week - Steven Fox, conductor (The Clarion Choir)

Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance:
Fitelberg: Chamber Works - ARC Ensemble
Reflections - Øyvind Gimse, Geir Inge Lotsberg & Trondheimsolistene
Serious Business - Spektral Quartet
Steve Reich - Third Coast Percussion
Trios From Our Homelands - Lincoln Trio

Best Classical Instrumental Solo:
Adams, J.: Scheherazade.2 - Leila Josefowicz; David Robertson, conductor (Chester Englander; St. Louis Symphony)
Daugherty: Tales Of Hemingway - Zuill Bailey; Giancarlo Guerrero, conductor (Nashville Symphony)
Dvorák: Violin Concerto & Romance; Suk: Fantasy  - Christian Tetzlaff; John Storgårds, conductor (Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra)
Mozart: Keyboard Music, Vols. 8 & 9 - Kristian Bezuidenhout
1930's Violin Concertos, Vol. 2 - Gil Shaham; Stéphane Denève, conductor (The Knights & Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra)

Best Classical Solo Vocal Album:
Monteverdi - Magdalena Kožená; Andrea Marcon, conductor (David Feldman, Michael Feyfar, Jakob Pilgram & Luca Tittoto; La Cetra Barockorchester Basel)
Mozart: The Weber Sisters - Sabine Devieilhe; Raphaël Pichon, conductor (Pygmalion)
Schumann & Berg - Dorothea Röschmann; Mitsuko Uchida, accompanist
Shakespeare Songs - Ian Bostridge; Antonio Pappano, accompanist (Michael Collins, Elizabeth Kenny, Lawrence Power & Adam Walker)
Verismo - Anna Netrebko; Antonio Pappano, conductor (Yusif Eyvazov; Coro Dell'Accademia Nazionale Di Santa Cecilia; Orchestra Dell'Accademia Nazionale Di Santa Cecilia)

Best Classical Compendium:
Daugherty: Tales Of Hemingway; American Gothic; Once Upon A Castle - Giancarlo Guerrero, conductor; Tim Handley, producer
Gesualdo - Tõnu Kaljuste, conductor; Manfred Eicher, producer
Vaughan Williams: Discoveries - Martyn Brabbins, conductor; Andrew Walton, producer
Wolfgang: Passing Through - Judith Farmer & Gernot Wolfgang, producers
Zappa: 200 Motels - The Suites - Esa-Pekka Salonen, conductor; Frank Filipetti & Gail Zappa, producers

Best Contemporary Classical Composition:
Bates: Anthology Of Fantastic Zoology - Mason Bates, composer (Riccardo Muti & Chicago Symphony Orchestra)
Daugherty: Tales Of Hemingway - Michael Daugherty, composer (Zuill Bailey, Giancarlo Guerrero & Nashville Symphony)
Higdon: Cold Mountain - Jennifer Higdon, composer; Gene Scheer, librettist
Theofanidis: Bassoon Concerto - Christopher Theofanidis, composer (Martin Kuuskmann, Barry Jekowsky & Northwest Sinfonia)
Winger: Conversations With Nijinsky - C. F. Kip Winger, composer (Martin West & San Francisco Ballet Orchestra)


Best Music Video:
"Formation" - Beyoncé
"River" - Leon Bridges
"Up & Up" - Coldplay
"Gosh" - Jamie XX
"Upside Down & Inside Out" - OK Go

Best Music Film:
I'll Sleep When I'm Dead - Steve Aoki
The Beatles: Eight Days A Week The Touring Years - (The Beatles)
Lemonade - Beyoncé
The Music Of Strangers - Yo-Yo Ma & The Silk Road Ensemble
American Saturday Night: Live From The Grand Ole Opry - (Various Artists)


Monday, January 12, 2015

Ridley Scott, Alex Gibney Have Pilots for Amazon's First Pilot Season of 2015

Amazon’s First Pilot Season of 2015, Featuring Slate of 13 Original Comedy, Drama, Docuseries and Kids Offerings, will Debut January 15 on Amazon Instant Video in the US, UK and Germany

Seven new comedy, drama and docu-series pilots will be available including hour-long shows Cocked, Mad Dogs, Man in the High Castle and Point of Honor, half hour shows Down Dog and Salem Rogers, and half hour docu-series The New Yorker Presents

Six new kids pilots will be available including preschool projects Buddy: Tech Detective, Sara Solves It and The Stinky & Dirty Show, as well as 6-11 animated show Niko and the Sword of Light, and 6-11 live-action shows Table 58 and Just Add Magic

Pilots come from a talented creative roster including Ridley Scott (Blade Runner), Frank Spotnitz (The X-Files), Carlton Cuse (Lost), Randall Wallace (Braveheart), Shawn Ryan (The Shield), Brad Silberling (Jane the Virgin, Lemony Snickets…), Mark Waters (Mean Girls), Academy and Emmy Award winning director Alex Gibney (The Armstrong Lie), Angela Santomero (Blue’s Clues), and Carol Greenwald (Arthur)

SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--(NASDAQ: AMZN)—Amazon Studios announced it will debut its first pilot season of 2015 on Thursday, January 15, 2015 on Amazon Instant Video in the US, UK and Germany. Seven drama and comedy pilots will premiere, including hour-long shows Cocked from Samuel Baum (Lie to Me) and Sam Shaw (Manhattan – TV series), Mad Dogs from Cris Cole (The Bill) and Shawn Ryan (The Shield), Man in the High Castle from Frank Spotnitz (The X-Files), and Point of Honor from Carlton Cuse (Lost) and Randall Wallace (Braveheart). In addition, pilots for two half hour shows will debut, including Down Dog from Robin Schiff (Are You There, Chelsea?) and Salem Rogers from Will Graham (Onion News Network) and newcomer Lindsey Stoddart, along with a documentary series, The New Yorker Presents, inspired by non-fiction and fiction material from one of the most acclaimed and longest running publications, The New Yorker. The New Yorker Presents is Executive Produced by Oscar and Emmy-winning documentarian Alex Gibney (The Armstrong Lie).

    “We look forward to seeing our customers’ response to these new projects.”

Four animated kids pilots—Buddy: Tech Detective, The Stinky & Dirty Show, Sara Solves It, Niko and the Sword of Light—will join two live-action kids pilots—Table 58 and Just Add Magic—from a brilliantly talented roster of creative talent including May Chan (Phineas & Ferb), Carol Greenwald (Arthur), Jennifer Hamburg (Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood), Rob Hoegee (Generator Rex), Guy Toubes (The Adventures of Chuck & Friends), Angela Santomero (Creative Galaxy), and Joanna Lewis & Kristine Songco (Sullivan & Son).

Customers will once again be invited to watch and provide feedback on the shows they want to see turned into full series. All pilots will be available via the Amazon Instant Video app on Amazon Fire TV, Fire TV Stick, Fire tablets, Fire phone, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Roku, Xbox, PlayStation, Wii, as well as hundreds of other connected devices such as smart TVs—or customers can visit to watch online.

“We are working with great storytellers on some fascinating ideas for the year’s first pilot season,” said Roy Price, Vice President, Amazon Studios. “We look forward to seeing our customers’ response to these new projects.”

Amazon’s comedy and drama pilots include:

    Created by Samuel Baum (Lie to Me) and Sam Shaw (Manhattan – TV series), Cocked stars Sam Trammell (True Blood) as Richard Paxson, a family man and corporate lap dog who left his family in rural Colorado twenty years before and vowed never to go back. After some unfortunate circumstances, he is forced to leave the big city and return home to help his family’s gun business—one of the oldest in the country. But no good deed goes unpunished. Older brother Grady Paxton, played by Jason Lee (My Name is Earl), who’s a bachelor, playboy and gun aficionado, isn’t so happy to have him back, and Richard’s liberal wife and two opinionated teenage children are horrified by the world they have been thrown into. Hilarity, epic fights and emotional breakdowns ensue. Cocked also stars Tony award-winning Brian Dennehy (Death of a Salesman) as Wade Paxson and Laura Fraser (Breaking Bad) as Hannah Paxson, and Dreama Walker (The Good Wife) as Tabby Paxson. The hour-long dark comedy pilot was directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts (Skull Island), and Erwin Stoff (Unbroken) and Baum are Executive Producers.

    Down Dog
    Blessed with good looks, a winning smile, hippie parents, and a Southern California upbringing, life has been relatively easy thus far for Logan Wood (played by Josh Casaubon, I Just Want My Pants Back). In his late 30's, having coasted through romances with countless women and various random jobs, he now teaches yoga to the trophy wives, hot moms and aspiring celebrities of Santa Monica and Venice Beach. But when Logan and his current girlfriend, a successful and attractive older woman named Amanda (played by Paget Brewster, Criminal Minds) who happens to be the owner of the yoga studio, break up, life starts to get more complicated. Down Dog also stars Lyndsy Fonseca (How I Met Your Mother), Will Greenberg (Halt and Catch Fire), Andrea Savage (The Life and Times of Tim), Amir Talai (American Dad), Kris Kristofferson (Lone Star), and Alysia Reiner (Orange is the New Black). The pilot was written by Robin Schiff (Are You There, Chelsea?), produced by Bob Cooper (RFK) and Michael Fuchs (Death in the Modern Age), and directed by Bradley Silberling (Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events).

    Mad Dogs
    Mad Dogs is an hour-long dark comedy created by Cris Cole (The Bill), and Executive Produced by Cole, Shawn Ryan (The Shield) and Marney Hochman (Last Resort), Andy Harries (DCI Banks), Suzanne Mackie (All in Good Time), and Charles McDougall (The Mindy Project). Based on the hit UK series, Mad Dogs follows the twisted reunion of a group of underachieving forty-something friends—a mixture of single, married and recently divorced—who are all at different crossroads in their lives. Celebrating the early retirement of an old friend at his gorgeous Belize villa, grudges begin to emerge and secrets explode as their trip becomes a labyrinthine nightmare of lies, deception and murder. Mad Dogs is a twisted tale of friendship put to the ultimate test. As an inconceivable chain of events unfolds, cracks within the group widen before the friends realize that the only people they can trust are each other, the last people they want to be relying on. The pilot stars Steve Zahn (Dallas Buyers Club) as Cobi, Billy Zane (Twin Peaks) as Milo, Romany Malco (Weeds) as Gus, Michael Imperioli (The Sopranos) as Lex and Ben Chaplin as Joel. Mad Dogs is directed by McDougall and is being co-produced with Sony Pictures Television.

    The Man in the High Castle
    Based on Philip K. Dick's Hugo Award-winning 1962 alternative history, The Man in the High Castle considers the question of what would have happened if the Allied Powers had lost World War II. Almost 20 years after that loss, the United States and much of the world has now been split between Japan and Germany, the major hegemonic states. But the tension between these two powers is mounting, and this stress is playing out in the western U.S. Through a collection of characters in various states of posing (spies, sellers of falsified goods, others with secret identities), The Man in the High Castle provides an intriguing tale about life and history as it relates to authentic and manufactured reality. The hour-long dramatic pilot stars Alexa Davalos (Mob City) as Juliana Crain, Luke Kleintank (Pretty Little Liars) as Joe Blake, Rupert Evans (The Village) as Frank Frink, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa (Mortal Kombat Legacy) as Tagomi, Joel De La Fuente (Hemlock Grove) as Inspector Kido, Rufus Sewell (Eleventh Hour) as John Smith and DJ Qualls (Z Nation) as Ed McCarthy. The pilot was directed by David Semel (Madam Secretary, Heroes) and written by Frank Spotnitz (The X-Files), both serving as Executive Producers. Also executive producing are Ridley Scott (Blade Runner) and David W. Zucker (The Good Wife), with co-executive producer Jordan Sheehan of Scott Free Productions (The Good Wife, The Andromeda Strain), and Executive Producers Stewart Mackinnon and Christian Baute of Headline Pictures (The Invisible Woman). In addition, Isa Dick Hackett will executive produce and Kalen Egan will co-executive produce on behalf of Electric Shepherd (The Adjustment Bureau). Christopher Tricarico (May in the Summer) is also Executive Producer.

    The New Yorker Presents
    America’s most award-winning magazine comes to life in this half hour docu-series pilot. The New Yorker Presents is a completely unique viewing experience that features Tony-Award winner Alan Cumming (The Good Wife) and actor Brett Gelman (Go On) in a short film based on a story by Simon Rich (Saturday Night Live) and directed by Emmy Award-winning director Troy Miller (Arrested Development); a poem by Matthew Dickman and narrated by Andrew Garfield (The Amazing Spiderman); a documentary by Academy Award-winning director Jonathan Demme (The Silence of the Lambs) about biologist Tyrone Hayes based on a Rachel Aviv article; and an interview with famous performance artist, Marina Abramović, conducted by The New Yorker writer Ariel Levy. Academy Award-winning documentarian Alex Gibney (Taxi to the Dark Side) is Executive Producer, joined by Dave Snyder (Death Row Stories) and Dawn Ostroff (The Fashion Fund). The pilot is co-produced by Condé Nast Entertainment and Jigsaw Productions.

    Point of Honor
    At the start of the Civil War, a Virginia family, led by their West Point bred son, John Rhodes (played by Nathan Parsons, True Blood), makes the controversial decision to defend the South while freeing all of their slaves. At battle against his northern brethren and his best friend and brother-in-law Robert Sumner (played by Christopher O’Shea, Baby Daddy), John leaves his three strong-willed sisters at home to run the plantation that is now without a free labor source. The choice to protect the life they have always known and defend the moral high ground will pit the family against one another and test their strength, courage and love. An hour-long drama shot entirely on-location in historic Virginia, Point of Honor also stars Annabelle Stephenson (Revenge) as Kate Rhodes, Riley Voelkel (The Newsroom) as Lorelei Rhodes, Hanna Mangan Lawrence (Old School) as Estella Rhodes, Patrick Heusinger (Revolution) as Colonel Palmer Kane, Luke Benward (Ravenswood) as Garland Rhodes, Adrienne Warren (Black Box) as Abby, Lucien Laviscount (Waterloo Road) as Elijah, and James Harvey Ward (Low Winter Sun) as Cutler. The pilot was directed by Randall Wallace (Braveheart), written by Carlton Cuse (Lost) and Wallace, and Executive Produced by Cuse, Wallace and Barry Jossen (Sex and the City). Point of Honor is a co-production with ABC Signature Studios.

    Salem Rogers
    A half-hour comedy, Leslie Bibb (About a Boy) plays Salem Rogers, an overly confident, blunt, hard-partying former supermodel who is forced to face her past and re-enter the real world after ten years in a posh rehab center. Intent on recreating her glamorous lifestyle and modeling success, she tracks down Agatha (played by Rachel Dratch, Saturday Night Live), her former assistant who has since built a career as an author of self-help books to help her win back the spotlight. Salem Rogers also stars Jane Kaczmarek (Malcolm in the Middle), Brad Morris (Playing House), Harry Hamlin (Mad Men), Toks Olagundoye (The Neighbors), and Scott Adsit (30 Rock). The pilot was written by newcomer Lindsey Stoddart, Executive Produced by Will Graham (The Onion News Network) and directed by Mark Waters (Mean Girls). Salem Rogers was submitted to Amazon as part of the studio’s open screenplay submission process.

Amazon’s original kids pilots include:

    Buddy: Tech Detective (for preschool-aged children)
    Based on an original idea by Chris Dicker (What’s Your News?) and created by Jon Burton (The Lego Movie), Dicker and Jocelyn Stevenson (Fraggle Rock), and developed for television by Jennifer Hamburg (Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Henry Hugglemonster), Buddy: Tech Detective is an exciting preschool whodunit that follows super-sleuth Buddy, his inventor best friend Trudy, the funny furry ferret Ferdo and you, the smarty-pants viewer! Using a myriad of interactive technologies, Buddy and his team gather evidence, follow cues and crack the case. The project is a TT Animation/The Foundation (a part of Zodiak Kids) production, and is animated by Jellyfish Animation Limited.

    Sara Solves It (for preschool-aged children)
    This animated musical comes from the talented minds of Carol Greenwald (Arthur, Martha Speaks, Curious George), and Angela C. Santomero (Super Why, Blue’s Clues, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Creative Galaxy, Wishenpoof!) with animation production handled by DHX (Martha Speaks, Kid vs. Kat, Inspector Gadget). Produced by WGBH and Out of the Blue Enterprises with Greenwald, Santomero and Samantha Freeman executive producing, Sara Solves It follows 9-year-old whiz kid Sara and her younger brother Sam as they work together in order to solve mysteries in their apartment building, at school and beyond using creative problem solving! Each mystery is an interactive problem, steeped in musical goodness. In this first episode, viewers will use math and music in a creative way as they help Sara and Sam solve the cheesiest pizza mystery!

    The Stinky & Dirty Show (for preschool-aged children)
    The Stinky & Dirty Show, based on the “I Stink!” book series by Kate & Jim McMullan, is written by Guy Toubes (The Adventures of Chuck & Friends, Littlest Pet Shop, Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi) and animated by Brown Bag Films, Ltd (Peter Rabbit, Octonauts, Doc McStuffins). The Stinky & Dirty Show follows the adventures and mishaps faced by best friends and unlikely heroes, Stinky the garbage truck and Dirty, the backhoe loader. Whether it’s rescuing their pal Mighty the tugboat, or moving a giant boulder blocking the highway in their town of Go City, Stinky & Dirty are a dynamic duo of resourcefulness who make plenty of mistakes along the way. For them, hilariously failing turns out to be the most fun path to success.

    Niko and the Sword of Light (for children ages 6-11)
    Niko and the Sword of Light is based on the motion graphic comic by Imaginism Studios, Inc., the studio behind character and concept designs for Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland and Men in Black 3, and Studio NX (The Carrot and Rabbit Show, Tree Fu Tom). Written by Rob Hoegee (Generator Rex, League of Super Evil, Storm Hawks, Teen Titans) and animated by Titmouse (Motorcity, Metalocalpyse, Turbo FAST, Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja), Niko and the Sword of Light follows ten-year-old Niko who is the last of his kind in a strange, fantastical world. He must embark on an epic quest to defeat the darkness and bring the light back to his land. Armed with his magic sword, brave Niko journeys to the Cursed Volcano, making new friends and powerful foes along the way, all while uncovering secrets about his mysterious past. Tom Kenny (SpongeBob SquarePants) and Jim Cummings (Shrek) lend their vocal talent.

    Table 58 (for children ages 6-11)
    Written by May Chan (Phineas & Ferb, Bucket & Skinner’s Epic Adventures), Table 58 is a single-camera live-action pilot directed by Gil Junger (10 Things I Hate About You, Greek). In Table 58, they’re not a part of the popular crowd, and they’re not a part of the geek crowd. The only thing they’re a part of is Table 58: the odd table in the lunchroom, made up of kids from all different cliques who have been ousted from the table where they seemingly belong. When new kid Logan moves to town, he rallies the group of six mismatched middle schoolers to form a tenuous partnership in order to help each other get back to their rightful place in the cafeteria. The project stars Grace Kaufman (Bad Teacher), Johnnie Ladd (Melissa & Joey), Jacob Melton (The Middle), Nathaniel Potvin (Girl Meets World), Juliana Rigolioso (The Smurfs), and Zack Shires (Wilfred).

    Just Add Magic (for children ages 6-11)
    Based on Cindy Callaghan’s young adult book of the same name and adapted by Joanna Lewis & Kristine Songco (Sullivan & Son, Fairly Odd Parents, My Little Pony), Just Add Magic is a single-camera live-action pilot directed by Joe Nussbaum (George Lucas in Love, Awkward). The story centers on Kelly Quinn and her two BFF’s, Darbie and Hannah, who stumble upon her grandmother’s mysterious cookbook in the attic and discover it has some interesting recipes. The Shut’em Up Shortcake actually silences Kelly’s pesky little brother and when the Healing Hazelnut Tart quickly heals Darbie’s ankle, the girls discover they have the power of magic. The project stars Olivia Sanabia (Extant), Abby Donnelly (Suburgatory), Aubrey Miller (Austin & Ally), and Judah Bellamy (Home).

About Amazon Studios
Amazon Studios most recently debuted its dramatic comedy Mozart in the Jungle from Roman Coppola, Jason Schwartzman, Paul Weitz, John Strauss and Alex Timbers as well as Jill Soloway’s critically acclaimed and Golden Globe nominated dark comedy Transparent; its first live-action series for kids 6-11, Gortimer Gibbon’s Life on Normal Street; and a second season of the Garry Trudeau political comedy Alpha House. The studio has also launched three additional children’s series, the Annecy International Animated Film Festival Award-winning and Annie Award-nominated Tumble Leaf from Bix Pix Entertainment; Creative Galaxy from Angela Santomero and Out of the Blue Enterprises, the creators of Blue’s Clues; and Annedroids, from Emmy nominated Sinking Ship Entertainment.

Amazon Studios has also announced four additional, original series to debut in 2015 including Michael Connelly’s Bosch; Hand of God from Marc Forster and Ben Watkins; Red Oaks from Steven Soderbergh, David Gordon Green, Greg Jacobs and Joe Gangemi; and kids series Wishenpoof! from Angela Santomero and Out of the Blue Enterprises; as well as a second season of Transparent.

Amazon Studios launched in 2010 as a new way to develop feature films and episodic series—one that’s open to great ideas from creators and audiences around the world. Anyone can upload a script online and Amazon Studios will read and review all submissions. Those who choose to make their projects public can also receive feedback from the Amazon Studios community.

Comprehensive cast and crew information, including bios and filmographies, is available on Amazon's IMDb (, the world’s most popular and authoritative source for movie, TV and celebrity content.

About Amazon opened on the World Wide Web in July 1995. The company is guided by four principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, commitment to operational excellence, and long-term thinking. Customer reviews, 1-Click shopping, personalized recommendations, Prime, Fulfillment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle, Fire phone, Fire tablets, and Fire TV are some of the products and services pioneered by Amazon.


Sunday, January 26, 2014

Reivew: Sayles Draws Viewers in "LIMBO" (Happy B'day," David Strathairn)

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 34 (of 2003) by Leroy Douresseaux

Limbo (1999)
Running time:  126 minutes (2 hours, 6 minutes)
MPAA – R for language
PRODUCER:  Maggie Renzi
COMPOSER:  Mason Daring
Palme d'Or nominee


Starring:  Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, David Strathairn, Venessa Martinez, Kris Kristofferson, and Casey Siemaszko

The subject of this movie review is Limbo, a 1999 drama and crime-thriller from writer-director John Sayles.  The film focuses on a fisherman who tries to protect his new girlfriend and her daughter from his past and his brother’s present.  The film was nominated for the Palme d'Or at the 1999 Cannes Film Festival, and at the 1999 Seattle International Film Festival, Sayles received the “Golden Space Needle Award” for “Best Director.”  The National Board of Review, USA also gave Limbo a “Special Recognition” award “For excellent in filmmaking.”

John Sayles is a true independent filmmaker, rarely dealing with the major studios to produce his pictures, although they have distributed them, as is the case with Limbo.  Upon seeing this film, one can understand why he remains an independent.  Most directors can do this kind of film once or twice, but to make a career out of films like this, a director has to have an iron will.

Joe Gastineau (David Strathairn, a veteran of several Sayles films) lives, but that’s all he does.  He merely lives, working a few odd jobs in a small Alaska town.  He meets and helps out Donna De Angelo (Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves) a lovelorn lounge singer and the mother of one of Joe’s coworkers Noelle (Vanessa Martinez), and Joe gently falls for Donna.  When Joe’s self-inflated half-brother Bobby (Casey Siemaszko, Young Guns) blows into town, the four take a journey to up-country Alaska that changes and endangers their lives.

The acting is good, especially from the trio of Strathairn, Ms. Mastrantonio, and Ms. Martinez.  Strathairn is a vulnerable and moody character, but a quite approachable guy, a strong and supportive man when he has to be.  Ms. Mastrantonio is punch drunk from the love of broken relationships, but she never gives up on the positive, even when things keep falling apart.  Ms. Martinez is the sullen, self-pitying teen; quiet and withdrawn, she is an imaginative storyteller who can take elements of her life and create metaphorical delights.  Sayles has affection for these characters, and, because he takes time to give them depth, we care about them.

Sayles, a novelist and short story writer, creates films with characters that are very much like real people.  Each and every character has their own story, and a Sayles movie is actually of composition containing all these characters’ stories.  His gift is to show the viewers enough of each story so that they can get a feel for the film.  We see more of the lead characters’ stories, but we get a taste of every person’s story.  He is a visionary, able to weave stories with the same complexities and depth of a novel into the visual shorthand of a film.

Critics have accused his films of not having passion, but they have sold their souls for the press junkets and star interviews of the major studios and their product.  A Sayles film is vibrant and engaging.  He makes you think, and he lets you be part of the film, to put yourself inside the story.  This is as vicarious a thrill as any adrenalin-monkey action movie.

8 of 10

1999 Cannes Film Festival:  1 nomination: “Palme d'Or” (John Sayles)

Updated:  Sunday, January 26, 2014

The text is copyright © 2014 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this site for syndication rights and fees.


Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Review: "Blade: Trinity" is An Average End to a Special Franchise (Happy B'day, Wesley Snipes)

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 240 (of 2004) by Leroy Douresseaux

Blade: Trinity (2004)
Running time: 105 minutes (1 hour, 45 minutes)
MPAA – R for strong pervasive violence and language, and some sexual content
DIRECTOR:  David S. Goyer
WRITER:  David S. Goyer (based upon characters by Marv Wolfman and Gene Colan)
PRODUCERS:  Wesley Snipes, Peter Frankfurt, Lynn Harris, and David S. Goyer
CINEMATOGRAPHER:  Gabriel Beristain
EDITORS:  Conrad Smart and Howard E. Smith
COMPOSERS:  Ramin Djawadi and The RZA


Starring:  Wesley Snipes, Kris Kristofferson, Ryan Reynolds, Jessica Biel, Parker Posey, Cascy Beddow, Dominic Purcell, Triple H (Paul Michael Levesque), Natasha Lyonne, Eric Bogosian, Vitaly Kravchenko, James Remar, and Patton Oswalt

The subject of this movie review is Blade: Trinity, a 2004 vampire horror and superhero action movie from writer-director David S. Goyer.  It is the third and final movie in the Blade film series produced by New Line Cinema.  Blade: Trinity finds Blade a wanted man by the FBI and forced to unite with a band of vampire hunters called the Nightstalkers in order to battle his most challenging opponent ever, Dracula.

Early in Blade: Trinity, a group of vampires by led nasty girl vamp princess, Danica Talos (Parker Posey), awakens the original vampire, Dracula (Dominic Purcell), who is buried deep within a pyramid in Iraq.  Apparently, the vampires are desperate to rid themselves of their mortal enemy, the vampire hunter, Blade (Wesley Snipes), aka the Daywalker, and hope Dracula, who goes by the name Drake, will defeat Blade.  Meanwhile, Danica and her crew have also set Blade up so that he mistakenly kills a human he thinks is a vampire.  The murder sets the corrupt police and media against him.  The FBI track Blade to his new lair and launch an attack.  During the strike, Blade’s mentor, father figure, and weapons creator, Abraham Whistler (Kris Kristofferson), is killed, and the FBI captures Blade.

Enter The Nightstalkers, a group of human vampire hunters, Blade never knew existed.  One of them is Abigail Whistler (Jessica Biel), Abraham Whistler’s out-of-wedlock daughter, and she is an ass-kicking, bow-hunting babe who doesn’t flinch from going toe to toe with bloodsuckers.  Add a third partner to Blade and Abigail, and you have a trinity.  The third player is the buff, wise-cracking Hannibal King (Ryan Reynolds), who was once turned into a vampire, and later cured by Abigail.  Together, the trio must hunt down Drake and his vampire cabal and stop them from implementing the vampire final solution against humanity.

Blade: Trinity is the least in terms of quality of the three Blade films, but it still manages to be a thrill (sometimes).  Writer/director David S. Goyer (who also wrote the screenplays for the previous Blade films) and cinematographer Gabriel Beristain (who also shot Blade II) were also determined to make this film look different from the previous two.  Blade: Trinity looks like an extended music video, but the photography has the crystal clear quality of digital video, so much so that the film looks like a television program shot in high definition.  Goyer also dropped a lot of the muddy and murky CGI that didn’t always work in Blade II.

It’s the performances that really hamper Blade: Trinity; in fact, it wouldn’t be too mean to say that the acting is atrocious.  Wesley Snipes always played Blade as stoic, with little to say except for a few lines delivered in a thuggish monotone.  However, Snipes is often too stiff, here.  He’s is too “in character,” and that keeps Blade from interacting with the other characters.  Granted Blade is a loner, but he goes overboard this time.  There are huge segments in this film in which he hardly utters more than a few grumbles.  Thankfully, towards the end of the film, he does come to life as a badass delivering the kind of lines that would fit right into a blaxtiploitation or Quentin Tarantino movie.

Ryan Reynolds really tries to liven up this film as Hannibal King, but rarely is anybody up to his challenge.  His lines are always funny, but often fall flat or are lost in the moroseness of the rest of the cast.  Jessica Biel is almost undead herself in this film, but she’s fine and pretty and moves well; that saves her performance (a little).  Parker Posey is miscast and is made up to look like an ugly, pasty-white trash, hag vampire.  Though she has a (very) few moments, she’s simply annoying.  If Dominic Purcell gets anything out of this film, it’s that he’s one of the worst and least intriguing Dracula’s in cinema history; that would include Dracula’s that have appeared in Scooby-Doo cartoons and other Hanna-Barbera animated programs.

The stiff (non) acting is what makes Blade: Trinity seem so listless and clunky for about half the film’s running time – that and the fact that the vampires spend most of the time brooding and hiding in their tacky skyscraper/palace.  Blade: Trinity is as much a hunt as it is a waiting game, but the waiting is the hardest part.  The film is pretty to look at, and the film score (co-written by The RZA of The Wu-Tang Clan who also co-wrote music for Tarantino’s Kill Bill films) and soundtrack are killer.  But for all the credit I give Goyer, the film’s plot is… dumb and stretched thin, and falls apart to almost nonexistence.  At times, the film is lethargic and meanders, playing a waiting game until the final act.  Though I love Blade, even I have to admit that unless you’re a fan of the series, you can catch this one when it’s on home video.

5 of 10

Update:  Wednesday, July 31, 2013


Sunday, July 8, 2012

"Joyful Noise" is Joyful Indeed

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 55 (of 2012) by Leroy Douresseaux

Joyful Noise (2012)
Running time: 118 minutes (1 hour, 58 minutes)
MPAA – PG-13 for some language including a sexual reference
PRODUCERS: Joseph Farrell, Broderick Johnson, Andrew A. Kosove, Michael G. Nathanson, and Catherine Paura
EDITOR: Kathryn Himoff
COMPOSER: Mervyn Warren


Starring: Queen Latifah, Dolly Parton, Keke Palmer, Jeremy Jordan, Dexter Darden, Courtney B. Vance, Jesse L. Martin, Angela Grovey, Andy Karl, Dequina Moore, Paul Woolfolk, Kirk Franklin, and Kris Kristofferson

Joyful Noise is a 2012 music-driven film and Christian-theme drama from Todd Graff, the director of Bandslam. Joyful Noise stars Queen Latifah and Dolly Parton as rivals in a small church choir that is competing in a national singing competition.

The story is set in the small town of Pacashau, Georgia. Pacashau is going through some hard economic times, but the people take pride in Pacashau Sacred Divinity Choir. For quite a few years now, the choir has made it to the regional finals of Joyful Noise, a national amateur singing competition for church choirs.

The choir recently suffered a tragic loss. Now, G.G. Sparrow (Dolly Parton), a patron of Pacashau Sacred Divinity Church, faces off with the choir’s newly appointed director, Vi Rose Hill (Queen Latifah), over the choir’s direction as they head to the Joyful Noise regionals. To make matters more complicated, G.G.’s wayward grandson, Randy Garrity (Jeremy Jordan), is back in town, and he becomes immediately attracted to Vi Rose’s daughter, Olivia (Queen Latifah). As internal dissent begins to threaten the choir, can faith and determination combined with young talent keep the choir singing God’s praise? Will the choir win the Joyful Noise nationals in Los Angeles?

Joyful Noise is strange in that writer/director Todd Graff seems to have fashioned not one movie, but several mini-movies put together to form one patchwork film narrative. At its heart, Joyful Noise is two things. The first is a teen romance featuring former childhood friends reunited in the throws of teen angst. Surprisingly, although Olivia is black and Randy is white, this is not an interracial love story. Their race/skin color never comes up as an obstacle in their relationship or as a problem for other characters. Joyful Noise’s second identity is that of a modern dustbowl drama about a rural, small town suffering the deprivations of what is essentially our modern version of the Great Depression, except that we call it the Great Recession.

The problem is that the love story and the town-in-recession story never come together; normally, one would affect the other, but they remain separate, and not quite equal. They’re like two different dramas sharing the same stage.

Meanwhile, there are these other dramas competing for space. There is the Vi Rose/G.G. cat fight that goes on too long, although the script doesn’t really provide enough to convince me that they should be mad at one another. There is the marital discord between Vi Rose and her husband, Marcus Hill (Jesse L. Martin), which is well written and perhaps should have been at the center of this movie. Instead, it seems like a tacked-on subplot. There is some kind of conflict between G.G. and Pastor Dale (Courtney B. Vance), and while Graff drops hints about it, he largely ignores it.

Of course, the movie is supposed to be about Pacashau Sacred Divinity Choir’s quest to get to the Joyful Noise nationals in L.A., but Graff often loses that behind all the other melodramas. Still, it is the music and singing that make this movie soar. At this point in the review, dear reader, you probably think that I didn’t like Joyful Noise. Quite the contrary: this movie is made of parts that don’t always fit, but I love it because the great music brings it all together and turns Joyful Noise into something that tugs at my heart.

Joyful Noise is Tyler Perry + Hallmark Channel holiday special + Glee. I love the Hallmark Channel’s Christmas movies, and Joyful Noise seems to put a gospel theatre spin on that. Although this is not a Christmas movie, it felt like Christmas-time to me, as I watched these characters come together to make things good for one another in really bad times. As for the acting, it’s mixed, although Queen Latifah has a screaming-fit scene with Keke Palmer that could pass as a pitch for an Oscar nomination. But Joyful Noise is about the noise and it is joyful. I want get that soundtrack.

6 of 10

Friday, July 06, 2012

Monday, December 19, 2011

"Joyful Noise" Soundtrack Has Dolly Parton, Queen Latifah and More

“Joyful Noise” Soundtrack to Be Released January 10, 2012

Soundtrack Features New Music Performed by Dolly Parton, Queen Latifah, Kirk Franklin, Keke Palmer and Others

BURBANK, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--WaterTower Music announces the release of the soundtrack to Alcon Entertainment’s and Warner Bros. Pictures’ “Joyful Noise,” a funny and inspirational story of music, hope, love and renewal, which opens in theatres January 13, 2012.

This musically driven story brings together the sounds of gospel, pop, country, rock and R & B with multiple performances by Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award recipient and Oscar® winner Dolly Parton (“Transamerica,” “Steel Magnolias,” “Nine to Five”), Grammy, Oscar®, and Golden Globe Award winner Queen Latifah (“Chicago,” “Hairspray”), and BET and NAACP Award winner Keke Palmer (“True Jackson VP,” “Akeelah and the Bee”). The soundtrack to “Joyful Noise” includes these performances, including renditions of memorable songs originally recorded by a wide range of artists: Chris Brown, Michael Jackson, Paul McCartney, Sly & the Family Stone, Usher, and Stevie Wonder. Additionally, the soundtrack boasts recordings of the three original songs Dolly Parton wrote for the film, “He’s Everything,” “Not Enough” and “From Here to the Moon and Back.”

The collection also includes tracks by some of the finest acts in gospel and R&B. Grammy winner Kirk Franklin wrote and takes the vocal reins on his jubilant new song “In Love,” and award winning gospel vocalist Karen Peck creates harmonic gold on “Mighty High.”

Five-time Grammy winner and 10-time Grammy nominee Mervyn Warren (“Dreamgirls,” “The Preacher’s Wife,” “Sister Act 2”) produced and arranged all songs on the “Joyful Noise” soundtrack. Warren has written arrangements for the likes of Quincy Jones, David Foster and Whitney Houston, and was a member of acclaimed a cappella group Take 6. He is also a recipient of a Soul Train Award and has been recognized by the NAACP Image Awards, Dove Awards, and Stellar Awards.

The “Joyful Noise” soundtrack will see its release at both physical and digital retail on January 10, 2012.

Track List:
1. Not Enough - Dolly Parton and Queen Latifah

2. Man In The Mirror - Keke Palmer

3. Maybe I'm Amazed - Jeremy Jordan and Keke Palmer

4. In Love - Kirk Franklin

5. Fix Me Jesus - Queen Latifah

6. From Here To The Moon And Back - Dolly Parton, Kris Kristofferson and Jeremy Jordan

7. I'm Yours - Keke Palmer, DeQuina Moore and Angela Grovey

8. Mighty High - Karen Peck

9. That's The Way God Planned It - Ivan Kelley, Jr.

10. Higher Medley - Queen Latifah, Dolly Parton, Keke Palmer, Jeremy Jordan, Andy Karl, Angela Grovey, and DeQuina Moore

11. He's Everything - Queen Latifah, Dolly Parton, Keke Palmer, Jeremy Jordan, Andy Karl and DeQuina Moore

12. Joyful Noise Suite - Mervyn Warren

Oscar® nominees Queen Latifah (“Chicago,” “Hairspray”) and Dolly Parton (“Transamerica,” “Steel Magnolias,” “Nine to Five”) star in Alcon Entertainment’s and Warner Bros. Pictures’ “Joyful Noise,” a funny and inspirational story of music, hope, love and renewal.

The small town of Pacashau, Georgia, has fallen on hard times, but the people are counting on the Divinity Church Choir to lift their spirits by winning the National Joyful Noise Competition. The choir has always known how to sing in harmony, but the discord between its two leading ladies now threatens to tear them apart. Their newly appointed director, Vi Rose Hill (Latifah), stubbornly wants to stick with their tried-and-true traditional style, while the fiery G.G. Sparrow (Parton) thinks tried-and-true translates to tired-and-old. Shaking things up even more is the arrival of G.G.’s rebellious grandson, Randy (Jeremy Jordan). Randy has an ear for music, but he also has an eye for Vi Rose’s beautiful and talented daughter, Olivia (Keke Palmer), and the sparks between the two teenagers are causing even more friction between G.G. and Vi Rose. If these two strong-willed women can put aside their differences for the good of the people in their town, they—and their choir—may make the most joyful noise of all.

Starring with Latifah and Parton are Keke Palmer (“Akeelah and the Bee”), Courtney B. Vance (“Extraordinary Measures”), Jeremy Jordan (Broadway’s “Bonnie and Clyde”), and Kris Kristofferson (“Dolphin Tale”). Rounding out the main cast are Dexter Darden, Angela Grovey, Paul Woolfolk and Jesse L. Martin.

Todd Graff (“Bandslam”) directed “Joyful Noise” from his original screenplay. The film is produced by Oscar® nominee Michael Nathanson (“L.A. Confidential”), Joseph Farrell, Catherine Paura, and Oscar® nominees Broderick Johnson and Andrew A. Kosove (“The Blind Side”). The executive producers are Timothy M. Bourne, Queen Latifah and Shakim Compere, with Yolanda T. Cochran and Steven P. Wegner serving as co-producers. Five-time Grammy Award winner Mervyn Warren composed the score.

Alcon Entertainment presents a Farrell Paura Productions/O.N.C. Entertainment Production, “Joyful Noise,” being distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company. The film opens nationwide on January 13, 2012. This film has been rated PG-13 for some language including a sexual reference.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Review: "Blade II" is Still Too Legit to Quit (Happy B'day, Wesley Snipes)

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 26 (of 2002) by Leroy Douresseaux

Blade II (2002)
Running time: 117 minutes (1 hour, 57 minutes)
MPAA – R for strong pervasive violence, language, some drug use and sexual content
DIRECTOR: Guillermo del Toro
WRITER: David S. Goyer (Blade based upon the character created by Marv Wolfman and Gene Colan)
PRODUCERS: Peter Frankfurt, Patrick J. Palmer, and Wesley Snipes
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Gabriel Beristain (D.o.P.)
EDITOR: Peter Amundson
COMPOSER: Marco Beltrami


Starring: Wesley Snipes, Kris Kristofferson, Ron Perlman, Leonor Varela, Norman Reedus, Thomas Kretschmann, Luke Goss, Matthew Schulze, Danny John-Jules, and Donnie Yen

The human/vampire warrior Blade (Wesley Snipes) returns to do his thing, which is hunt and destroy vampires. While in Prague, Czech Republic to rescue his old partner Whistler (Kris Kristofferson), Blade receives a summons from Damaskinos (Thomas Kretschmann), the overlord of vampires. A new breed of creatures, The Reapers, is loose, and they feed on both humans and vampires. Damaskinos has formed a vampire tactical unit dubbed the Bloodpack to hunt the Reapers, but he also wants Blade’s assistance and offers a truce. The Reapers, however, led by the powerful Nomak (Luke Goss), prove to be a formidable foe.

Directed by Guillermo del Toro (Mimic), Blade II is that rare sequel that not only surpasses the original in quality, but also manages to be very different than the original. This is primarily through the efforts of del Toro; his sense of visual style has a huge impact upon this movie, and the look is seemingly based on art rather than music videos. (Stephen Norrington, the director of Blade, was also a director of music videos). He plays with light (natural and artificial) and darkness to set mood and tone, but also to suggest character motivation and plot elements. del Toro works like a painter, and he makes Blade 2 a wild ride, but reveals a thoughtful composition behind the camera.

In fact, the art department played a huge role in the look of the film. Wayne D. Barlow, the head creature designer, is famous in science fiction and fantasy circles for his drawings of aliens. Mike Mignola, the concept artist, worked on Atlantis: The Lost Continent for Disney. Timothy Bradstreet, a comic book artist and illustrator like Mignola and like Blade 2 storyboard artist Leo Duranona, designed the vampires in this film. Bradstreet’s work, according to him, probably influenced the look of the Blade character in the first film.

The dark and decayed look of inner city Prague is absolutely beautiful and mesmerizing even in the dankest and dirtiest sections. Kudos to the art directors and set decorators; they manage to make Blade 2 one of the most gorgeous looking movies ever that used low rent sets.

The eclecticism of the cast also adds to the aura of this movie. Snipes is clearly more confident and more comfortable in his role. He dropped his monotone delivery from the first film for more effective banter this time around, and he portrays Blade throughout this film more as the bold warrior who finished off the original film than the one we first saw.

Kristofferson’s role is a little weightier this go round. Whistler has an air of mystery and intrigue about him, and every time he is on screen, there is something about him that makes you wonder about his motivations. His verbal jousts with his replacement Scud (Norman Reedus) brings a little humor to the film.

Although Kretschmann and Goss are good in their respective roles as Damaskinos and Nomak, the Bloodpack are the true supporting vampire stars. Leonor Varela as Nyssa, Damaskinos’s daughter, brings beauty and a hint of sexuality to these mostly male proceedings. Fight choreographer Donnie Yen also has a small role as Bloodpack member Snowman. Ron Perlman also does a nice turn as Reinhardt, Blade’s opposite in the Bloodpack.

Visually exciting, intriguing, and beautiful, Blade 2 is unique horror movie simply because of the way it looks. It is an exciting action movie filled with leather suits and high tech chop-socky. The CGI fights scenes are a little off in some instances, but for the most part are very good and only add to Blade 2’s exceptional look; it gives the movie the feel of being something other than just another violent action movie. The fight scene between Nyssa and Asad (Danny John-Jules of the British sci-fi television series “Red Dwarf”) against Blade, alone, is worth the price of admission because it tops anything in the first film. It stands with some of the good fight scenes found in Hong Kong movies (thanks to Donnie Yen).

Guillermo del Toro has created a special cinematic visual experience in Blade 2, which adds to the appeal of seeing his other work. Simply put, in popular parlance, Blade 2 rocks, and it is worth repeated viewings.

8 of 10


Monday, January 24, 2011

Review: "Planet of the Apes" is the "Razzie Award" Winner for Worst Remake, But It's Not So Bad

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 2 (of 2002) by Leroy Douresseaux

Planet of the Apes (2001)
Running time:  119 minutes (1 hour, 59 minutes)
MPAA – PG-13 for some sequences of action/violence
DIRECTOR: Tim Burton
WRITERS: William Broyles, Jr., Lawrence Konner, and Mark D. Rosenthal (based upon the novel by Pierre Boulle)
PRODUCER: Richard D. Zanuck
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Philippe Rousselot (D.o.P.)
EDITOR: Chris Lebenzon
COMPOSER: Danny Elfman
BAFTA Award nominee

SCI-FI/FANTASY/ACTION/THRILLER with elements of adventure

Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Tim Roth, Helena Bonham Carter, Michael Clarke Duncan, Paul Giamatti, Estella Warren, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, David Warner, Kris Kristofferson, Erick Avari, and (uncredited) Charlton Heston

When Captain Leo Davidson (Mark Wahlberg) leaves the safety of a United States Air Force space station, he is on an unauthorized mission to save his favorite chimp. He enters some kind of electro-magnetic storm, and his space pod crashes on an uncharted planet.

Before long, he is running through the jungle with a back of wild humans, chased by half glimpsed pursuers. A group of talking apes led by General Thade (Tim Roth) capture Davidson and the humans. Ari (Helena Bonham-Carter) buys Davidson because his intelligence and demeanor piques her interest. He convinces her to follow him on a quest to find his shipmates whom he believes are on the planet in search of him. However, a deeper mystery resides in the desert heart of their destination.

Directed by one of cinema’s finest visual stylists, Tim Burton, Planet of the Apes, the 2001 remake of the 1968 classic is noisy spectacle that is not without some nice moments. Burton has admitted to not knowing a good script when he sees one, but when he inadvertently gets one, he makes good movies (Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, Ed Wood, and Sleepy Hollow). When he gets a troubled piece of writing, the audience writhes in pain at the cinematic potential clumsily handled before their eyes (Batman Returns); this one falls somewhere in the middle.

The script is a simple cat and mouse chase story with a battle scene thrown late into the movie for a faux epic aura. Here and there are smatterings of issues of freedom, slavery, intelligence, friendship and betrayal, but the smart stuff doesn’t get in the way of the fun, dumb stuff – fist fights, gunfire and explosions. Burton expertly wields the story and creates a nearly two-hour movie that feels much shorter. It is a “lite” affair meant to entertain by keeping the protagonists in a constant state of discomfort and definite sense of entertainment.

The acting is mostly adequate professional work. Ms. Bonham-Carter creates the illusion that her character Ari has quite a bit of depth, more so than with which the action movie script can deal; there’s not too much time for character in many action movies. Michael Clarke Duncan as Thade’s right hand man-ape, Colonel Attar, is wonderfully convincing as an officer and as a leader of soldiers. Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa as Krull, the disgraced soldier, is equally compelling; between Attar and Krull is some interesting back-story that would have greatly embellished the movie had that story been give a chance. But this is a summer bang-bang.

Planet of the Apes wastes the talented Roth, who can portray layered, multi-dimensional villains (such as the vile Archibald Cunningham in Rob Roy, which earned him an Oscar nomination) behind a heavy costume. Here, the mask hides that which truly makes Roth’s gifts work, his face of a thousand expressions – exaggerated and otherwise. This is no criticism of the fantastic work of makeup effects artist Rick Baker. Once again, he uncannily delivers brilliant work. However, the glare from Baker’s skills dim the light of Roth’s thespian talents.

Light fare for sure, Planet of the Apes’ massive box office success is a surprise. But it’s clear and linear movie and it properly strings the audience along until it’s pitiable ending. By then, one gets the feeling that this entire exercise was merely the testing ground for a long lasting franchise similar to the franchise birthed from the original.

Still, the magic is in what Burton does. This is a very entertaining movie and remains so even as one tries to poke holes in it. One can hold the same light up to Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, and Sleepy Hollow and find all manner of ridiculousness, but they remain fun films, always ready to be popped into a VCR or DVD player and become a filling midnight video snack.

Planet of the Apes is like that and it pretty much delivers on being the vacuous treat it started out to be. Not much of a goal, but a goal attained, more or less.

6 of 10

2002 BAFTA Awards: 2 nominations: “Best Costume Design” (Colleen Atwood) and “Best Make Up/Hair” (Rick Baker, Toni G, and Kazuhiro Tsuji)

2002 Razzie Awards: 3 wins: “Worst Remake or Sequel,” “Worst Supporting Actor” (Charlton Heston), and “Worst Supporting Actress” (Estella Warren)


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Review: First "Blade" Still Cool

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 23 (of 2002) by Leroy Douresseaux

Blade (1998)
Running time: 120 minutes (2 hours)
MPAA – R for strong, pervasive vampire violence and gore, language, and brief sexuality
DIRECTOR: Stephen Norrington
WRITER: David S. Goyer (based upon characters created in the comic book Tomb of Dracula by Marv Wolfman and Gene Colan)
PRODUCERS: Robert Engelman, Peter Frankfurt, and Wesley Snipes
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Theo van de Sande (D.o.P.)
EDITOR: Paul Rubell
COMPOSER: Mark Isham


Starring: Wesley Snipes, Stephen Dorff, Kris Kristofferson, N’Bushe Wright, Donal Logue, Udo Kier, Arly Jover, Traci Lords, Kevin Patrick Walls, and Sanaa Lathan

Blade (Wesley Snipes) is a vampire hunter. Born Eric Brooks, his mother died from a vampire attack, and Eric, still in the womb, underwent a change in his DNA, which made him part human and part vampire. He has all the vampires' strengths but none of their weakness. As a adult, Blade seeks revenge on all vampires.

Blade’s war on the vampire nation focuses on Deacon Frost (Stephen Dorff), an ambitious bloodsucker who plans to resurrect the vampire god, La Magra. Blade rescues Dr. Karen Jenson (N’Bushe Wright), a doctor attacked by one of Frost’s henchmen, and she joins Blade and his fellow soldier/father figure Abraham Whistler (Kris Kristofferson) in the battle to stop Frost and his world ending plans.

Directed by Stephen Norrington, Blade is an exhilarating, action thriller/horror. Before The Matrix, Blade featured sped up motion and high tech chop socky. With a pumped up electronica soundtrack and the visual panache of a music video, Blade didn’t have to lean on its skimpy story. It is amazing eye candy: cool, fast paced, violent, gory; it is a part arcade game, part music video, horror movie, action movie, and all around good time.

The performances are decent. Snipes is dead on monotone as the super vampire killer, and Dorff is the delightful, eternally young and sexy bad boy. Kristofferson is cardboard gruff and Ms. Wright is earnest, if not a bit over reaching, in her determination to act like the serious doctor/scientist.

A review can’t really do this very fun film the justice it deserves. Blade is not smart. It’s perfect action movie entertainment that delivers much more than it initially seems to offer. Reading this won’t do it. Blade and Deacon Frost are all bad boy cool with a very good movie as the backdrop. Just see the damn thing for yourself.

7 of 10


Saturday, November 13, 2010

"Dolphin Tale" Begins Production with Morgan Freeman, Ashley Judd

Press release:

“Dolphin Tale” is Underway

Morgan Freeman, Harry Connick, Jr. and Ashley Judd Lead the Cast in the Inspiring True-Life Story

BURBANK, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Principal photography has begun on Alcon Entertainment’s “Dolphin Tale,” inspired by the remarkable true story of a courageous dolphin named Winter and the compassionate people who banded together to save her life.

The film stars Academy Award® winner Morgan Freeman (“Million Dollar Baby”), recording artist and actor Harry Connick Jr., award-winning actress Ashley Judd, and music and movie legend Kris Kristofferson. The main cast also features young actor Nathan Gamble (“Marley & Me”) and newcomer Cozi Zuehlsdorff, as well as the actual Winter, who plays herself in the movie.

“Dolphin Tale” is being directed by Charles Martin Smith (“Air Bud”) and produced by Alcon Entertainment’s Broderick Johnson and Andrew A. Kosove (Oscar® nominees for “The Blind Side”) and Richard Ingber. Robert Engelman and Steven P. Wegner are serving as executive producers. The screenplay is by Karen Janszen, Noam Dromi, Charles Martin Smith and Jordan Roberts.

In announcing the start of production, producers Broderick Johnson and Andrew Kosove stated, “The real Winter has served as an example of courage, perseverance and hope to people around the world, and we’re hoping that the movie about her extraordinary rescue and recovery will also inspire, as well as entertain, audiences everywhere.”

Producer Richard Ingber added, “We are very excited to be filming ‘Dolphin Tale’ at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, the very place where her story unfolded. And we are also thrilled to be working with Charlie and our amazing cast. But, without a doubt, Winter is the one who has captured all our hearts. She is a star in every sense of the word.”

Collaborating with Charles Martin Smith behind the scenes are director of photography Karl Walter Lindenlaub (“The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian”), editor Harvey Rosenstock (“Lottery Ticket”) and costume designer Hope Hanafin (“[500] Days of Summer”).

“Dolphin Tale” is being filmed on location in Florida, including Clearwater Marine Aquarium, whose motto is “Rescue, Rehabilitate and Return.”

Slated for release on September 16, 2011, “Dolphin Tale” will be distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Review: "Fast Food Nation" a Stomach-Turning Great Movie

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 50 (of 2007) by Leroy Douresseaux

Fast Food Nation (2006)
Running time: 113 minutes (1 hour, 53 minutes)
MPAA – R for disturbing images, strong sexuality, language, and drug content
DIRECTOR: Richard Linklater
WRITERS: Eric Schlosser and Richard Linklater (based upon the nonfiction book Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal by Eric Schlosser)
PRODUCERS: Jeremy Thomas and Malcolm McLaren
EDITOR: Sandra Adair


Starring: Patricia Arquette, Bobby Cannavale, Paul Dano, Frank Ertl, Luis Guzmán, Ethan Hawke, Ashley Johnson, Greg Kinnear, Kris Kristofferson, Avril Lavigne, Esai Morales, Catalina Sandino Moreno, Lou Taylor Pucci, Ana Claudia Talancón, Wilmer Valderrama, and Bruce Willis

Richard Linklater’s film, Fast Food Nation, is a fictional take on Eric Schlosser’s 2001 best-selling nonfiction book of the same name. Like the book, the film critiques America’s fast-food industry, and the narrative covers everything involved in manufacturing, marketing, and selling hamburgers. Linklater was nominated for the “Golden Palm” at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival for his work in this movie.

The story takes place in and around the imaginary city of Cody, Colorado. It begins with Don Anderson (Greg Kinnear), a hotshot marketing guru at the fictional Mickey’s burger chain. Don arrives in Cody to investigate why there are contaminants in the frozen patties used to make, “The Big One,” Mickey’s best-selling hamburger. His visit takes him inside the bowels of their patty supplier, Uni-Globe Meat Packing, where undocumented workers toil in wretched conditions. As he visits strip malls, ranchers, and suppliers, and people recommended to him, Don doesn’t see nearly all the people who are connected to him and his company. He wonders what his investigation will make of all these perspectives because the fast-food world turns out to be fraught with more peril than he ever realized.

Richard Linklater achieves that rare feat of directing two great films released in the same year: the trippy, animated, sci-fi drama, A Scanner Darkly and the recent socio-political drama, Fast Food Nation. Both films examine flawed, but likeable people caught in larger dramas and dealing with forces of which they have no control or have much less than they think. Both films are at their best when Linklater allows the narratives (and audience) to hang out with an eclectic collection of flawed characters. In that, Nation has some similarities to Robert Altman’s Short Cuts and John Sayles’ Sunshine State. Fast Food Nation, however, deals with the immediate world in which we live today.

While it may seem as if Linklater and his co-writer Eric Schlosser, the writer of this movie’s source, are condemning Nation’s characters to hopelessness, this film is a rallying cry to all of us to wake up about the food we put into our bodies – both the food itself and how and who produces it. Although Nation isn’t merely a message film, it is informing us of our food culture, and Linklater and Schlosser allow the characters to inform us in concise, but rich and vibrant banter and debates. To that end, the filmmakers assembled a far-flung cast made of one bona fide Hollywood megastar (Bruce Willis), some well-known film and TV stars (Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke, and Greg Kinnear), some acclaimed veteran actors, (Luis Guzmán and Kris Kristofferson), and some up and coming young talent (Paul Dano, Ashley Johnson, and Catalina Sandino Moreno). It’s obvious watching these earnest performances that the cast believes in this film, and each actor does his or her point to tie the various sub-plots and storylines together, so rather than something disjointed, we get a coherent multi-layered narrative.

Fast Food Nation will make you think about fast food, in particularly meat: the dangerous conditions in which meat packing workers toil; how the industry obtains these workers and then virtually enslave them; and how the animals that become our food are treated. Perhaps, Nation’s strongest point is revealing again the conditions in which these animals live and what food and drugs they are given. In a matter-of-fact, but engaging visual style, Linklater turns real world news into cinematic art – the most essential and important, important film in years.

9 of 10

Tuesday, March 13, 2007