Ever since THE GODFATHER, I’ve been fascinated by the history of the Mafia in America. I’ve devoured just about every book on the subject, and consider myself a bit of an expert on this clandestine crime cartel. I believe it was while reading Ovid Demaris’s 1980 THE LAST MAFIOSO, a biography of gangster-turned-rat Jimmy “The Weasel” Fratianno, that I first became aware of the man known as Johnny Rosselli. His story captivated my interest, so when I saw a new biography of Rosselli was on the shelves at the local Barnes & Noble, I thought it’d make a great Christmas present… for myself! Naturally, I bought a copy, eager to learn more about this man who played a pivotal role in both the Mafia’s rise and the shadowy underbelly of American life in the 20th Century.
Author Lee Server is someone I’m unfamiliar with, which is strange, because his previously…
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The Director’s Guild announced their nominations for 2018 earlier today.
Typically, getting a DGA nomination tends to translate into a film also getting a Best Picture nomination from the Academy. There’s been some exceptions, of course. David Fincher somehow received a DGA nom for his work on The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, but the Academy was not quite as enamored. Personally, I’m hoping that, this year, Adam McKay will get the David Fincher treatment. McKay may have picked up a DGA nom for Vice but that doesn’t mean that the film’s actually any good. In fact, I’d say that Vice is one of smuggest, most self-congratulatory films that I’ve ever seen but I’ll save all that for my review.
Anyway, here are the DGA nominations! For Best Director of a Feature Film:
Bradley Cooper, A Star is Born
Alfonso Cuaron, Roma
Peter Farrelly, Green Book
Spike Lee, BlackKklansman
Adam McKay, Vice
Can you believe that, until today, Spike Lee has never received a nomination for the DGA? Interestingly, BlackKklansman is one of his weaker films but it’s also definitely more of a mainstream crowd pleaser than some of his previous work, which I imagine is why he received a nomination for it and not Da Sweet Blood of Jesus.
This is also the first nomination for both Cooper and Peter Farrelly. With Cooper, that makes sense because this is the first film that he’s ever directed. But how did the Guild fail to nominate Peter Farrelly for that movie where Matt Damon and Greg Kinnear are conjoined twins?
This was Cuaron’s second nomination. It was also McKay’s second nomination, despite the fact Adam McKay hasn’t made a good film since The Other Guys.
Here are the nominations for Best First Time Director:
Bo Burhnam, Eighth Grade
Bradley Cooper, A Star is Born
Carlos Lopez Estrada, Blindspotting
Matthew Heineman, A Private War
Boots Riley, Sorry to Bother You
For everyone who is hoping to see Black Panther become the first comic book movie to receive a best picture nomination, it’s hard not to be disappointed by the snubbing of Ryan Coogler. A DGA nomination would have really Black Panther with the members of the Academy who might still be hesitant about the idea of honoring a Marvel film.
Personally, I would have replaced Adam McKay with Ryan Coogler. For that matter, I would have replaced Adam McKay with just about anyone else who had a film released last year. Lynne Ramsay. Debra Granik. Yorgos Lanthimos. The Russo Brothers. Peyton Reed. Who directed The Equalizer 2? I’m not sure but I’d nominate him before I nominated Adam McKay. Hell, I’d even build a time machine and bring Ed Wood and Phil Tucker into the present and have them collaborate on a movie about a haunted laundromat before I gave that fifth slot to Adam McKay.
Anyway, should I try to make a prediction? Okay: Alfonso Cuaron wins Best Director for Roma while Bradley Cooper is named Best First-Time Director for A Star is Born.
Yes, I know it’s another trailer for a zombie series. Even with my love for all things zombie fiction, I must admit that we’ve reached beyond the point of oversaturation. There’s more and more bad zombie fiction (in TV, film, books, etc.) than there are good ones. Once in awhile we will get something that puts a new spin or adds something new to the zombie genre.
We saw this with 2016’s The Girl with All the Gifts and South Korea’s Train to Busan. Even the darling of all things zombie fiction, AMC’s The Walking Dead has hit a new low in ratings (yet still continues to be the highest rated cable series).
Netflix is now jumping into the zombie pool to take it’s pound of flesh with it’s South Korean production of a zombie series set during Korea’s medieval Joseon dynastic period. It’s a blend of court intrigue and survival horror.
The series is called Kingdom and from all promotional materials released since it was first announced, the series looks to bring the zombie genre into a time period we rarely see the genre appear. Rarely do we see zombie fiction on the big or small screen set in a time period other than modern times.
Netflix will release Kingdom worldwide on January 25, 2019 with a second season already set for production early 2019.
How do I know that 2019 is going to be a good year?
Because The Chemical Brothers have got a new album coming out! No Geography, their 9th studio album, is set to be released this spring. Today, they released a video for a new song called MAH. What does MAH stand for? Mad as Hell, of course! As for the video, it was shot at a recent show at London’s Alexandra Palace.