Golden Globes

January 12, 2016

2016 Golden Globe Results: Who won…who should have won….

It’s officially the start of the Award Season as the 73rd Annual Golden Globes wrapped up this past Sunday Night with the ever-resourceful Ricky Gervais was back at the helm after a few years off.

Of course so many people have their opinions on who the winners should have been or that the winners were perfectly chosen…well, you know what they say about opinions….

With that said, here are the winners from the Golden Globes, and whether the Hollywood Foreign Press made the right choices. Keep in mind, this is only about the film categories for this year’s show.

Best Motion Picture, Drama
Winner: The Revenant
Who Should Have Won: The Revenant
Why: Well, the argument could be made that “Spotlight” should have been a victor in this category, but it can also be argued that the Golden Globes are weird awards with weird ways of doing things. From a film-making perspective, “The Revenant” is hard to beat. From a story perspective, its rather thin; a revenge tale hidden in a metaphor-riddled art film.

Best Motion Picture, Comedy and/or Musical
Winner: The Martian
Who Should Have Won: Anything else that is actually a comedy or musical…
Why: Well, is “The Martian” a comedy or musical? I’d be on the side that it isn’t, but I guess if the only factor of a comedy is that you might laugh a few times over the course of a 2+ hour film, sure, I guess “The Martian” is a comedy.

Best Actor, Drama
Winner: Leonardo DiCaprio
Who Should Have Won: Michael Fassbender
Why: This is likely going to be Leo’s year due to a pretty weak class of Best Actors. The other thing in Leo’s favor is the lack of game-changing or “lightning in a bottle” performances likes we’ve seen from the likes of Eddie Redmayne last year and Matthew McConaughey the year before that, so this is looking like it will finally be his year, if just for the physical demands the role take. Fassbender had to deal with the onslaught that is Aaron Sorkin dialogue, and while I enjoyed his role in “Steve Jobs” more so, this win for DiCaprio might as well punch his ticket for Oscar gold in February.

Best Actress, Drama
Winner: Brie Larson
Who Should Have Won: Brie Larson
Why: If it wasn’t only for the reason that I have a small crush on Larson, and if that was enough of a reason, she’s also paid her dues and has shown that she has range and is willing to play any role with that rare combination of innocence, youth, and vulnerability. Beginning with “Short Term 12” Larson is starting to pave her way to a long and great career and “Room” is the first in what will likely begin her Jennifer Lawrence-type accession.

Best Actor, Comedy/Musical
Winner: Matt Damon
Who Should Have Won: Matt Damon
Why: I’ll just say Matt Damon because I like Matt Damon. Again, “The Martian” slipping into the comedy/musical category just seems like lip service and an excuse to honor both Damon and DiCaprio in the same show. Might I also add, that I feel this is a very weak year for the Best Actor category.

Best Actress, Comedy/Musical
Winner: Jennifer Lawrence
Who Should Have Won: Amy Schumer
Why: Probably the only film and actress nominated in this category correctly. After a string of misses, it looks like Judd Apatow might be back to making funny films, and his muse, Schumer, who I’ve been cold on for quite a while, actually put in a performance that made me like her. However, we all know the tactics of David O Russell, which pretty much handed Lawrence the Globe this year. Again, if “Joy” funny enough to land in this category…probably not.

Best Supporting Actor
Winner: Sylvester Stallone
Who Should Have One: Idris Elba
Why: This really is splitting hairs here. I only pick Elba because I think he is great, but he also put in a scary performance, albeit a performance that I feel like I’ve seen before. But I’ve also had to sit through five additional “Rocky” movies before I finally felt that I got to a “Rocky” performance that made me feel something. Can the underdog do it again around Oscar time? For some reason I think he might.

Best Support Actress
Winner: Kate Winslet
Who Should Have Won: Kate Winslet
Why: Seeing what Winslet did with Sorkin’s dialogue, mixed with the use of her accent, was something I don’t think I’ve ever seen out of the one-time Oscar winner. I think this might be her year again.

Best Screenplay
Winner: Aaron Sorkin
Who Should Have Won: Aaron Sorkin
Why: I base who I think should win on whether I’m hanging on every word that is spoken on screen and nothing really put me on edge in 2015 like “Steve Jobs” did. When you have actors that can read what Sorkin writes, even Seth Rogen who gives a criminally underrated performance, you know you have a special film and a special script. Any other year I would have given this one to Quentin Tarantino, but Sorkin knocks this one out of the park.

Best Director
Winner: Alejandro G. Inarritu
Who Should Have Won: George Miller
Why: Yes, Inarritu has created two exceptionally gimmicky films in back-to-back year, but is his direction the best? I’d lean on the side of no. If you job as a director is to not kill your cast, but bring them right to the edge, sure, he succeeded, but what George Miller did with “Fury Road” was downright shocking. He created a feminist icon, created one of the most talked about and debated films of the year, and not to mention put things on the silver screen that are nearly impossible to direct, yet, he did it, at over the age of 80.

“Shocker” of a Winner: John Hamm for Mad Men
I’m not going to crap on Hamm, I think the guy is cool, affable, and had a great run. But after not winner a Globe for his entire run on “Mad Men” I guess it was time for him to win one, even though there were ballsier performance from the likes of Rami Malek and Wagner Moura.

Actual Shocker of a Winner: Lady Gaga for American Horror Story: Hotel
This one I didn’t see coming, and I’m not sure many others did either. Thinking about it, this is actually a ballsy move by the Globes to award this to a genre show like “AHS,” so I’m all for it. This one takes the sting away from the wins that felt like “give-aways.”

January 18, 2014

The Simplistic Reviews Podcast: Oscar Nomination Reaction Special

It’s that time of the year again folks.  You might think “Oh, the time of the year where you continue to embarrass yourself with your inept film talk?”  Well, yeah, that too, but we’re talking about The Academy Award Nominations sillies.

Join DJ, Justin, and Matt as they go over the nominations, share their disdain for the people who got nominated and their joy for those who got snubbed.  It’s sure to be a super-rad time on this special edition of The Simplistic Reviews Podcast.

Show Notes:
Full List of Oscar Nominations 2014
Biggest Oscar Upsets
Worst Oscar Winners

Music Notes:
“All Gold Everything” By Trindad James
“Police Academy March” By Robert Folk

FOR MATURE AUDIENCES ONLY.
Click HERE to listen to podcast

Check us out on FacebookTwitter, YouTube, Letterboxd, and Pinterest

January 17, 2013

Simplistic TV Holiday Hangover: Girls, Season One

Girls, Season One – Polarizing

*The following is a wrap-up, of sorts, of Season One of “Girls” as well as an op-ed, or sorts.  Sorry if this offends anyone, but don’t take it personal, I’m sure you’re all lovely people.  There also might be a few spoilers, so tread carefully*

Hooray!  The Hipsters won!  They finally won!  Oh wait, they really don’t care, they were too busy drinking PBR, waiting for their parent’s monthly check, and hitting up the vintage clothing store looking for a blazer with padded shoulders.  Yes, I’m talking about “Girls” which I might call the most polarizing show I’ve ever started watching.

Let me start from the beginning; I ended up watching the premier episode when it first aired on HBO last April.  I figured, give it a chance and see what comes of it.  I knew from what I read about the show it was going to be “Hipsters in the City…..and Sex.”  Of course, that was the show in a nutshell.  Did I really want to watch the type of people I normally don’t like on TV?  No, that’s why I gave up after the one episode.  Turn the clock almost a year and we have “Girls” winning Golden Globe awards, a show that glamorizes being privileged, lazy, submissive, and sad.  Of course I only had one episode to go off of so I decided to take the plunge and really give the “Girls” an opportunity to redeem themselves in my eyes.  Watching the entire first season over the course of a day and a half did prove one thing; I still don’t like these characters, any of them, and I blame a growing group of viewers that think this is how you are supposed to act if you are a struggling 20-something living in the big city.  Maybe I sound like a really old f*uck (I’m only 29 by the way) but I feel like I’m a generation removed from Hanna, Marnie, Jessa, and Shoshana, all privileged white girls who want to think their life is so bad, but really do nothing to improve it.

Climbing off the soapbox now, and getting into the brass tacks of the first season of “Girls.”  Throughout the season we follow our “heroine” Hanna as she navigates Brooklyn after her parents cut her off financially. This is the one idea of the show that I thought was great.  Yes, finally, something that does happen in real life. After a certain point you have to go into the big bad world on your own and the fact that you chose one of the most expensive cities in the world to live in, how long do your parents have to support you?  Good start, but then we meet Hanna’s friends; Marnie works in an art gallery and acts the part of the prude who knows what she wants, yet doesn’t know what she wants.  Jessa is the free spirit and least responsible member of the group.  But I ask, since when did being irresponsible and not caring become so cool?  Oh another thing, and this is a very important lesson for you Hipsters in training out there, everything will be all right in the long run, because as long as you act like an arrogant shit you’ll find YOUR “Mr. Big” and you won’t have to worry about looking for a menial job while living in your cousin’s paid-for apartment, because acting like a shit will get you everything you’ve ever wanted in life.  This is Jessa’s lesson to you.

The Hipster mentality is both a fad and a state of mind.  I know people that fashion themselves as hipsters, or call themselves hipsters (whether that is ironic or not you’ll never know because Hipsterism is founded on irony….ironic, don’t you think?)  The conflict in “Girls” is that the girls really aren’t Hipsters, sure they dress in vintage clothing and constantly complain about their situation even though they are probably better off than most of us who are really struggling in this world, but it’s pretty much a Hipster in Carrie Bradshaw’s clothing.  To be fair here is another article that is a little nicer to the Movement.

What’s so polarizing about the show is that while you might get a few chuckles here and there because these “real” life experiences by show creator, writer, and star, Lena Dunham, are so out of left field you have to laugh; all the characters are as unlikable as unlikable gets.  I return to the character of Jessa, and I didn’t even mention Shoshanna yet, but I’ll get to her shortly.  I keep going back to being a responsible adult in the big city.  Yes, for the record, when I was 24 I didn’t have an idea what I really wanted in life, but I did have a job that supported me while going to school and actively seeking better employment.  A prime example of what vexes me about Jessa is her high and mighty attitude while remaining willfully irresponsible and blaming her irresponsibility on children, please see Episode Four for an example.  I know this is supposed to be for comic relief, but in reality, is this the type of behavior that people enjoy and tolerate?  I could talk about a character like Adam, Hanna’s on-again-off-again boyfriend, but he’s the only reason to watch the show and not want to throw your lace-less Converses at the TV.


Shoshanna is an interesting character because she lives a pretty good life, she’s in school, and wants to live the “Sex in the City” lifestyle while still living in Williamsburg.  She is a walking, talking, contradiction.  It’s assumed that she is wealthy, doesn’t work, and only goes to school, so why does she decide to slum it? Well, because it’s cool, and settling is way better than trying hard.  Out of all the female leads Shoshanna seems the happiest with who she is, despite being the only virgin in the group.  Her quirky attitude is welcome respite from Hanna’s self-destructive behavior, Marnie’s constant indecision, and Jessa, well, being Jessa.  If I was to liken her to another character on TV, I might say Ralph Wiggum from “The Simpsons.”

People also have a problem with the nearly-All White Cast.  I personally don’t care about this gripe, but the fact that the Brooklyn-area is supposed to be a melting pot, hell, all of New York City for that matter, is a little troubling.  The show becomes an exercise in “White People Problems.”  Even though the strife that the cast deals with is pretty much universal (pregnancy, unemployment, rent, relationships) the fact that it’s coming from an all white-leading cast neglects the fact other races have the same problem.  Personally, the people that complain about this aspect of the show need to pull their heads out of their asses and realize that just because a white cast is depicting struggle doesn’t mean they don’t understand that other social and racial groups are experiencing the same thing.  I don’t remember a lot of people complaining about “Seinfeld” and their all-white cast, or “Mad About You.”  Don’t worry though, Donald Glover showed up in Season Two, which started last week.  While I love Glover, it’s still a feeble attempt by the show-runners to introduce a black member to the cast.  Glover is about as urban and black as Urkel from “Family Matters.”  Sorry Donald, I love you, but it’s the truth.

The last person I’ll blame for the polarizing affect of “Girls” is Judd Apatow, the Executive Producer.  Once again, I usually love Judd, and he’s been a driving force in some of the funniest comedies in the past 10 years.  But the one thing that you’ll notice about most of his later work, starting with “Knocked Up” is that he really likes to make women look like bitches.  I never gave credence to what Katherine Heigl said after “Knocked Up” came out, and that it made women look like shrews, but looking at “Girls” now, he likes to do two things now;  make girls look like bitches, and supports the Hipster agenda.  I appreciate the fact that he supports young artists and comedians, but as time has gone on his subject matter has gotten dark and again, bitchier.  Some people might say it’s maturation in his art; I call it giving a dog a treat after it poops on the carpet.

So “Girls” are you a fad, or are you the real thing?  I’ll tell you one thing, you sure have a lot of people talking, and in recent memory I really can’t remember a show that had this many people polarized.  I was reluctant to watch the show after a long hiatus of watching, but I did finish the whole season within two days.  Did it captivate me?  No.  Is it exasperating an already obnoxious and silly subculture?  Yes.  Will I keep watching?  Probably.

Fun Fact:  Fun Fact?  No Fun Fact!  Go get me a PBR and my Member’s Only jacket.

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