Lisa Marie’s Week In Television: 12/12/21 — 12/18/21


Again, I didn’t watch much this week.  I was busy getting ready for Christmas and my boyfriend’s birthday and watching and writing reviews for 2022.  So, not much television this week!  However, here’s a few notes on what little I did watch.

Boxing (ESN, Sunday Night)

Yikes!  I’m not sure who was fighting who but everyone certainly did seem angry.  I have to admit that I do have an odd weakness for the spectacle of men hitting each other but I also cringe whenever the blood starts flowing.  The best thing about boxing is when everyone hugs after the match and you realize that none of it was personal.  Awwwwwww!

Curb Your Enthusiasm (HBO, Sunday Night)

Larry David annoyed a lot of people.  It’s what he’s good at.  Now, I haven’t really been keeping up with this season but, as far as I can tell from watching Sunday’s episode, Larry is sleeping with a really annoying local politician because he’s hoping she’ll change the zoning laws and this somehow will allow Larry to fire an actor who he dislikes.  And apparently, someone drowned in Larry’s pool and now Larry is being blackmailed or something.  (Actually, I kind of got the feeling that maybe Larry killed whoever it was.)  I don’t know.  It was confusing but it was funny just because Larry doesn’t know when to stop.

Dexter: New Blood (Showtime, Sunday Night)

I wrote about the latest episode of Dexter: New Blood here!

The Love Boat (MeTV, Sunday Night)

There was a definitely lack of Christmas cheer on the Christmas cruise but luckily, Mickey Rooney played an angel who brought everyone together, taught the children how to sing, and saved the marriage of Donnie Osmond and Maureen McCormick.

Mom (Friday Afternoon, Paramount)

I swear, have the people on this show ever met anyone who they didn’t automatically accuse of being an alcoholic?  On Friday, Paramount showed a quartet of depressing Christmas episodes.  Yikes!

Seinfeld (Comedy Central, Sunday Night)

I watched three episodes on Sunday night.  Jerry learned how to express his emotions and George sold computers.  George lost his keys in a pothole and Jerry had a panic attack after a toothbrush fell in a toilet. (Ewwwwww!  I don’t blame him.)  And then George killed his fiancée with toxic envelopes.  Unfortunately, Jerry had just gotten engaged so the tragic end of George’s engagement was a bit awkward for all involved.  Line of the episode: “I can’t be with someone who reminds me of me!  I HATE MYSELF!”

The 70th Miss Universe Pageant (Fox, Sunday Night)

Miss Paraguay should have won.  Also, Steve Harvey needs to get some new material.  I mean, Steve — we know you announced the wrong winner a few years ago.  We’ve moved on.  The only person who keeps bringing this up is you.

SERIOUSLY, STEVE, IT’S OKAY!

Survivor (CBS, Wednesday Night)

I wrote about the season finale of Survivor here!  This was an okay season.  I was happy to have Survivor back but Jeff Probt’s new happy and enthusiastic persona didn’t really work for me.  Of the final three, Xander probably should have won but the jury was a bit bitter so congrats to Erika on her victory!

The Utah Film Critics Association Honors The Power of the Dog


The Utah Film Critics Association is the latest group of critics to name The Power of the Dog as the best film of 2021.  Power of the Dog has definitely emerged as the critical favorite for best picture.  Next month, when the Guilds start to announce their picks, we’ll see if the Academy feels the same way.

Here are the winners from Utah:

Best Picture
Winner: The Power Of The Dog
Runner Up: CODA

Best Director
Winner: Jane Campion – The Power Of The Dog
Runner Up: Steven Spielberg – West Side Story

Best Actor
Winner: Nicolas Cage – Pig
Runner Up: Andrew Garfield – Tick, Tick…Boom!

Best Actress
Winner: Emilia Jones – CODA
Runner Up: Olivia Colman – The Lost Daughter

Best Supporting Actress
Winner: Ann Dowd – Mass
Runner Up: Ariana DeBose -West Side Story

Best Supporting Actor
Winner: Kodi Smit-McPhee – The Power Of The Dog
Runner Up: Troy Kotsur – CODA

Best Original Screenplay
Winner: The Mitchells vs. The Machines
Runner Up: Mass

Best Adapted Screenplay
Winner: CODA
Runner Up: The Lost Daughter

Best Cinematography
Winner: The Green Knight
Runner Up: The Tragedy Of Macbeth

Best Original Score
Winner: The Power Of The Dog
Runner Up: Bo Burnham’s Inside

Best Film Editing
Winner: West Side Story
Runners Up: Tick, Tick…Boom! & The Tragedy Of Macbeth (TIE)

Best Documentary Feature
Winner: The First Wave
Runner Up: Flee

Best Animated Feature
Winner: Flee
Runner Up: The Mitchells vs. The Machines

Non-English Language Feature
Winner: Flee
Runner Up: A Hero

Vice/Martin Award for Performance in a Fantasy, Horror or Science-Fiction Film
Winner: Tony Leung – Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings
Runner Up: Dev Patel – The Green Knight

The Los Angeles Film Critics Association Honors Drive My Car


The Los Angeles Film Critics Association announced their picks for the best of 2021 and they became the latest group to honor Drive My Car.  Drive My Car is already considered to be a front runner for Best International Film.  Could it also pick up a Best Picture nomination?

We’ll find out soon!  For now, here are the LAFCA’s picks!

Best Film
Winner: Drive My Car
Runner-Up: The Power Of The Dog

Best Foreign Film
Winner: Petite Maman
Runner-Up: Quo Vadis, Aida?

Best Director
Winner: Jane Campion – The Power Of The Dog
Runner-Up: Ryusuke Hamaguchi – Drive My Car

Best Actor
Winner: Simon Rex – Red Rocket
Runner-Up: Benedict Cumberbatch – The Power Of The Dog

Best Actress
Winner: Penelope Cruz – Parallel Mothers
Runner-Up: Renate Reinsve – The Worst Person In The World

Best Documentary Film
Winner: Summer Of Soul
Runner-Up: Procession

Best Screenplay
Winner: Ryusuke Hamaguchi – Drive My Car
Runner-Up: Paul Thomas Anderson – Licorice Pizza

Best Animated Film
Winner: Flee
Runner-Up: Belle

Best Supporting Actor
Winners: Vincent Lindon – Titane & Kodi Smit-McPhee – The Power Of The Dog (TIE)

Best Editing
Winner: Joshua L. Pearson – Summer Of Soul
Runner-Up: Andy Jurgensen – Licorice Pizza

Best Production Design
Winner: Barb And Star Go To Vista Del Mar
​Runner-Up: Nightmare Alley

Best Supporting Actress
Winner: Ariana DeBose – West Side Story
Runner-Up: Aunjanue Ellis – King Richard

Best Music/Score
Winner: Alberto Iglesias – Parallel Mothers
Runner-Up: Jonny Greenwood – Spencer/The Power Of The Dog

Best Cinematography
Winner: Ari Wegner – The Power Of The Dog
Runner-Up: Greig Fraser – Dune

New Generation Award
Shatara Michelle Ford – Test Pattern & Tatiana Huezo – Prayers For The Stolen (TIE)

Douglas Edwards Experimental Film Prize
C.W. Winter & Anders Edstrom – The Works And Days (Of Tayoko Shiojiri In The Shiotani Basin)

Career Achievement Award
Mel Brooks

The Phoenix Critics Circle Honors The Power of the Dog


Here are the Phoenix Critics Circle’s picks for the best of 2021!

BEST PICTURE
DRIVE MY CAR
LICORICE PIZZA
THE POWER OF THE DOG
SPENCER
WEST SIDE STORY

BEST COMEDY FILM
BARB AND STAR GO TO VISTA DEL MAR
THE FRENCH DISPATCH
LICORICE PIZZA
RED ROCKET
SHIVA BABY

BEST SCIENCE FICTION FILM
DUNE
THE MITCHELLS VS THE MACHINES
A QUIET PLACE PART II
SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS
THE SUICIDE SQUAD

BEST HORROR FILM
CANDYMAN
LAST NIGHT IN SOHO
MALIGNANT
THE NIGHT HOUSE
TITANE

BEST ANIMATED FILM
ENCANTO
LUCA
THE MITCHELLS VS THE MACHINES
RAYA AND THE LAST DRAGON
VIVO

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
DRIVE MY CAR
THE HAND OF GOD
PETITE MAMAN
TITANE
THE WORST PERSON IN THE WORLD

BEST DOCUMENTARY
FLEE
THE SPARKS BROTHERS
SUMMER OF SOUL
VAL
THE VELVET UNDERGROUND

BEST ACTOR
NICOLAS CAGE, PIG
BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH, THE POWER OF THE DOG
ANDREW GARFIELD, TICK,TICK…BOOM!
JOAQUIN PHOENIX, C’MON C’MON
DENZEL WASHINGTON, THE TRAGEDY OF MACBETH

BEST ACTRESS
OLIVIA COLMAN, THE LOST DAUGHTER
LADY GAGA, HOUSE OF GUCCI
ALANA HAIM, LICORICE PIZZA
NICOLE KIDMAN, BEING THE RICARDOS
KRISTEN STEWART, SPENCER

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
BRADLEY COOPER, LICORICE PIZZA
MIKE FAIST, WEST SIDE STORY
CIARIN HINDS, BELFAST
KODI SMIT-MCPHEE, THE POWER OF THE DOG
JEFFREY WRIGHT, THE FRENCH DISPATCH

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
CAITRIONA BALFE, BELFAST
KIRSTEN DUNST, THE POWER OF THE DOG
ARIANA DEBOSE, WEST SIDE STORY
RITA MORENO, WEST SIDE STORY
RUTH NEGGA, PASSING

BEST DIRECTOR
PAUL THOMAS ANDERSON, LICORICE PIZZA
WES ANDERSON, THE FRENCH DISPATCH
JANE CAMPION, THE POWER OF THE DOG
RYUSUKE HAMAGUCHI, DRIVE MY CAR
STEVEN SPIELBERG, WEST SIDE STORY

BEST SCREENPLAY
PAUL THOMAS ANDERSON, LICORICE PIZZA
JANE CAMPION AND THOMAS SAVAGE, THE POWER OF THE DOG
RYÛSUKE HAMAGUCHI, HARUKI MURAKAMI, AND TAKAMASA OE, DRIVE MY CAR
MIKE MILLS, C’MON C’MON
AARON SORKIN, BEING THE RICARDOS

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
BRUNO DELBONNEL, THE TRAGEDY OF MACBETH
GREIG FRASER, DUNE
JANUSZ KAMINSKI, WEST SIDE STORY
DAN LAUSTSEN, NIGHTMARE ALLEY
ARI WEGNER, THE POWER OF THE DOG

BEST SCORE
ALEXANDRE DESPLAT, THE FRENCH DISPATCH
JONNY GREENWOOD, THE POWER OF THE DOG
JONNY GREENWOOD, SPENCER
JEYMES SAMUEL, THE HARDER THEY FALL
HANS ZIMMER, DUNE

SPECIAL RECOGNITION
Lifetime Achievement In Actin Cinema – Sonny Chiba

Spider-Man: No Way Home (dir. by Jon Watts)


This is basically where we are.

If you haven’t seen a film on the Thursday preview night, chances are every online publisher is going to share spoilers by Friday Evening. I get it. It’s the Nature of the Beast. It makes for news, and there are people out there who either don’t mind being spoiled or need to know what they’re seeing going into a film. It’s partially why sites like Movie Pooper, and Does The Dog Die are popular. I usually try not to say anything about a movie on Twitter because of this. Everyone deserves to feel that sense of awe and surprise when the lights come down in their cinema.

These are as spoiler free as I can make them. I may write something else to focus on my thoughts with spoilers down the road.

If you managed to stay off the Internet and avoid any spoilers to Spider-Man: No Way Home (outside of the trailers themselves), then you are in for some grand fun that is almost on the level of Avengers: Endgame. I’ve been to the theatres a few times during the pandemic. Perhaps because it was an After-Midnight showing, but the audience was fantastic. The film comes full circle, with an adventure that celebrates Spider-Man’s guest appearance in the MCU for Disney/Marvel, while still building on the character for Sony’s purposes in the future. As a Trilogy, Jon Watts and the team deserve a round of applause for sticking the landing so very well here. The third film in a series is never easy, and even Sam Raimi found that out with Spider-Man 3. By the time the movie was done, I was soaking up the applause like Colin Robinson in What We Do In the Shadows.

The film picks up right at the last end credit from Spider-Man: Far From Home with Quentin Beck’s Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal) proclaiming to the world (through J. Jonah Jameson, played by J.K. Simmons as usual) that Spider-Man was in control of the Stark Drones and that he is really Peter Parker. Normally, my first thought here would be to own it – like Stark did. However, with murders tied in, it’s a bad rap for our webbed hero and anyone associated with him. Peter decides to make things right by visiting Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch, Power of the Dog) to make everyone forget that Spider-Man is Peter Parker. This gets botched and pulls through some villains that our Peter (Tom Holland) isn’t quite ready for.

As you’ve seen in the posters and trailers, Dr. Otto Octavius (Alfred Molina, Spider-Man 2), and Norman Osborn (Willem Dafoe, Spider-Man) along with a few others are pulled from their universe into Peter’s. When Peter discovers their fates in their own universes, he makes an attempt to save them, which puts him at odds with Doctor Strange. Can Peter find a way to change their futures, and clear his name in the process?

Of course, the gang’s all here. Zendaya, Jacob Batalon, Tony Revolori, Angourie Rice, Marisa Tomei, and Jon Favreau are all on hand for this third one. Everyone has something to offer, with Zendaya, Batalon, and Tomei carrying the most weight. The only awkward character in the whole bunch is Favreau’s Happy Hogan, who is regulated into kind of a silly comic relief here. I don’t know. I just remember Happy being a bit more capable than they way they have him this time around.

From a writing standpoint, it’s somewhat innovative. If we didn’t already have the 2019’s Academy Award winning Spider-Man: Into the Spider Verse, I’d say No Way Home was walking into uncharted territory. The film makes up for this by allowing our Peter to choose differently, compared to what we historically know about Spider-Man and these villains. I honestly enjoyed that angle and thought it helped to drive home the whole “With Great Power, Comes Great Responsibility” motto that defines Spider-Man.

Musically, Michael Giacchino weaves his own form of magic here. Pulling themes both from Doctor Strange and what he’s done with the previous films, there are a number of great sequences. When all is said and done, the score for this film may very well rival Shirley Walker’s Batman: Mask of the Phantasm score for me.

At the time of this writing, it sounds like NYC is headed for another lockdown. I’m hoping that’s not the case. If this is the last movie I get to see in a theatre for a while, I’m thankful for it. Spider-Man: No Way Home completes a great handoff from Disney/Marvel to Sony. The character did what he needed for Disney/Marvel’s MCU, and Sony still holds the movie rights to the character for where they want to take him. I’m hopeful for Spider-Man’s cinematic future.

Our Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man’s going to be okay.