Here’s The Trailer for Flashback!


I have to be honest.

Whenever I see any trailer for a film featuring Dylan O’Brien, my main reaction is one of relief. It doesn’t matter whether or not the film looks like it’s any good or not. Instead, I’m just relieved that Dylan’s still with us and still making movies. It’s only been five years since O’Brien was seriously injured during the filming The Maze Runner: The Death Cure. At the time, some reports speculated that O’Brien might never act again. Fortunately, that wasn’t the case.

Dylan O’Brien is a good actor but I still don’t feel like he’s quite had his breakthrough film. The Maze Runner, for all of its success, always labored in the shadow of The Hunger Games and the Divergent films. Despite being better than the last few Bourne movies, American Assassin was not a hit. Love and Monsters had the misfortune to be released in the middle of a pandemic. Some day, though, Dylan O’Brien will get a project that will really allow him to show the world what he’s capable of doing.

I don’t know that Flashback is gong to be that project but the trailer certainly looks intriguing and properly creepy. Flashback features O’Brien as a man struggling with an unsolved mystery and literally entering his memories in an attempt to try to solve it. It co-stars Maika Monore and will be released on June 4th!

Here’s the trailer:

Here’s The Trailer for Fast & Furious 9!


Earlier today, a lot of people on twitter got insanely excited when Helen Mirren showed up for a few seconds in the trailer for Fast & Furious 9. There’s nothing wrong with that, of course. Even before her casting was announced, Helen Mirren seemed like someone who belonged in a Fast & Furious film.

Personally, I’ve always been a fan of the Fast & Furious films. They’re just so wonderfully over the top while at the same time, in their own strange way, being almost achingly sincere. When Dom starts talking about family, you believe that he means everything that he’s saying. I’m happy that, after being delayed by COVID and to make room for the original release dates for Hobbes & Shaw and No Time To Die, F9 is finally going to be released. While Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham apparently will not be appearing in this film, Vin Diesel and Michelle Rodriguez are back! And it also appears that Lucas Black will also appear in this film. A lesser franchise would have just pretended like Tokyo Drift never happened but the Fast & Furious films have always been surprisingly good when it comes to maintaining continuity from film to film. There’s none of this “Let’s just do a reboot and pretend like 75% of the franchise never happened” attitude. This isn’t Halloween. This is Fast and this is Furious!

Anyway, F9 will finally be released on June 25th and I’m sure that Leonard is already making plans to see it on opening night. I can’t wait to see it myself. Check out the trailer below:

The Minnesota Film Critics Alliance Honors Nomadland


The Minnesota Film Critics Alliance has announced its picks for the best of 2020 and the first three months of 2021!  This is their first year to give out awards so congratulations to them!

Being their inaugural year, this would have been a good opportunity to totally honor something unexpected.  Instead, they honored Nomadland.

Here are the nominee and winners out of Minnesota!

BEST PICTURE
“Da 5 Bloods” Producers Spike Lee, Jon Kilik, Lloyd Levin and Beatriz Levin.
“The Invisible Man” Producers Jason Blum and Kylie Du Fresne.
“Judas and the Black Messiah” Producers Charles King, Ryan Coogler and Shaka King.
“Minari” Producers Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner and Christina Oh.
WINNER: “Nomadland” Producers Frances McDormand, Peter Spears, Dan Janvey, Chloé Zhao and Mollye Asher.
RUNNER-UP: “Promising Young Woman” Producers Ben Browning, Emerald Fennell, Margot Robbie, Josey McNamara, Tom Ackerley and Ashley Fox.
“Sound of Metal” Producers Bert Hamelinck, Kathy Benz, Bill Benz and Sacha Ben Harroche.

BEST DIRECTOR
Lee Isaac Chung, “Minari”
RUNNERS-UP: Emerald Fennell, “Promising Young Woman”
Shaka King, “Judas and the Black Messiah”
RUNNERS-UP: Spike Lee, “Da 5 Bloods”
WINNER: Chloé Zhao, “Nomadland”

BEST ACTOR
RUNNERS-UP: Riz Ahmed, “Sound of Metal”
WINNERS TIE: Chadwick Boseman, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
RUNNERS-UP: Anthony Hopkins, “The Father”
WINNERS TIE: Delroy Lindo, “Da 5 Bloods”
RUNNERS-UP: Lakieth Stanfield, “Judas and the Black Messiah”
RUNNERS-UP: Steven Yuen, “Minari”

BEST ACTRESS
Viola Davis, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
Sidney Flanigan, “Never Rarely Sometimes Always”
Vanessa Kirby, “Pieces of a Woman”
Frances McDormand, “Nomadland”
RUNNER-UP: Elisabeth Moss, “The Invisible Man”
WINNER: Carey Mulligan, “Promising Young Woman”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Chadwick Boseman, “Da 5 Bloods”
Bo Burnham, “Promising Young Woman”
WINNER: Daniel Kaluuya, “Judas and the Black Messiah”
Alan Kim, “Minari”
Leslie Odom Jr., “One Night in Miami”
RUNNER-UP: Paul Raci, “Sound of Metal”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
RUNNER-UP: Maria Bakalova, “Borat Subsequent Movie Film”
Olivia Colman, “The Father”
Dominique Fishback, “Judas and the Black Messiah”
WINNER: Youn Yuh-Jung, “Minari”
Amanda Seyfried, “Mank”

BEST SCREENPLAY
Danny Bilson, Paul De Meo, Kevin Willmott and Spike Lee, “Da 5 Bloods”
Lee Isaac Chung, “Minari”
WINNER: Emerald Fennell, “Promising Young Woman”
Charlie Kaufman, “I’m Thinking of Ending Things”
RUNNERS-UP: Aaron Sorkin, “The Trial of the Chicago 7”
RUNNERS-UP: Leigh Whannell, “The Invisible Man”
RUNNERS-UP: Chloé Zhao, “Nomadland”

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
WINNER: K.K. Barrett, “Birds of Prey”
RUNNER-UP: Donald Graham Burt, “Mank”
David Crank, “News of the World”
Molly Hughes, “I’m Thinking of Ending Things”
Peter Francis, “The Father”
Mark Ricker, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
Kave Quinn, “Emma”

BEST EDITING
Alan Baumgarten, “The Trial of the Chicago 7”
RUNNER-UP: Robert Franzen, “I’m Thinking of Ending Things”
Adam Gough, “Da 5 Bloods”
WINNER: Mikkel E.G. Nielsen, “Sound of Metal”
Kristan Sprague, “Judas and the Black Messiah”
Frédéric Thoraval, “Promising Young Woman”
Harry Yoon, “Minari”

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Sean Bobbitt, “Judas and the Black Messiah”
RUNNER-UP: Stefan Duscio, “The Invisible Man”
Lachlan Milne, “Minari”
WINNER: Joshua James Richards, “Nomadland”
Newton Thomas Sigel, “Da 5 Bloods”

BEST ANIMATED FILM
“A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon” Producer Paul Kewley.
“Onward” Producer Kori Rae.
“Over the Moon” Producers Peilin Chou and Gennie Rim.
RUNNER-UP: “Soul” Producer Dana Murray.
WINNER: “Wolfwalkers” Producers Tomm Moore, Nora Twomey, Paul Young and Stephan Roelants.

BEST MUSIC
RUNNER-UP: Terence Blanchard, “Da 5 Bloods”
“Judas and the Black Messiah” Music by Craig Harris and Mark Isham. Featuring the song “Fight for You” by D’Mile and H.E.R., lyrics by H.E.R. and Tiara Thomas.”
Emile Mosseri, “Minari”
WINNER: Trent Reznor, Atticus Russ and John Batiste, “Soul”
Benjamin Wallfisch, “The Invisible Man”
Anthony Willis, “Promising Young Woman”

BEST SOUND WORK
“Da 5 Bloods”
“Greyhound”
“I’m Thinking of Ending Things”
RUNNER-UP: “The Invisible Man”
WINNER: “Sound of Metal”

BEST SPECIAL EFFECTS
“Birds of Prey”
“Greyhound”
WINNER: “The Invisible Man”
“Mank”
“Mulan”
RUNNER-UP: “Tenet”
“Wonder Woman 1984”

Lisa Reviews An Oscar Nominee: The Citadel (dir by King Vidor)


The 1938 Best Picture nominee, The Citadel, is about a doctor who briefly loses his way but — don’t worry! — he eventually finds it again.

The film opens with the following title card:

This motion picture is a story of individual characterizations and is in no way intended as a reflection on the great medical profession which has done so much towards beating back those forces of nature that retard the physical progress of the human race.

Having gotten that out of the way, it goes on to tell the story of Dr. Andrew Manson (Robert Donat), an idealistic British doctor who serves his apprenticeship in rural England and who eventually ends up in Wales, trying to figure out why all of the miners seem to developing a mysterious cough. Along the way, he marries the always supportive Christine (Rosalind Russell, doing a lot with an underwritten role). Unfortunately, Dr. Manson discovers that being a doctor is not always an easy life. He’s frequently underpaid and underappreciated. His patients are often suspicious and argumentative and the medical establishment is hesitant to accept change. When the frustrated Dr. Manson returns to London, he discovers that he can make a fortune by working as a doctor for the type of wealthy people who are always willing to spend a little extra money on the latest fad treatment. With the encouragement of the decadent Dr. Lawford (Rex Harrison), Manson abandons his old ways and he’s finally able to make some money off of patients who will basically do anything that he tells them to do. However, a personal tragedy forces Manson to reexamine his life and consider why he became a doctor in the first place.

The Citadel is a coming-of-age film, one the follows Dr. Manson from the time when he’s a young doctor in need of a mentor until he himself is the one who is doing the mentoring. It gets off to a bit of a slow start. To be honest, I found Manson’s early apprenticeship to be almost as tedious as Dr. Manson found it to be. Things pick up a bit once Manson is on his own, fighting for the rights of miners or trying to find some sort of ethical justification for only treating the rich. If Robert Donat seems oddly hesitant during the first half of the film, he’s undeniably compelling during the second half. Though Dr. Manson has many scenes in which he rails against ignorance and injustice, Donat wisely resists the temptation to go overboard while portraying his indignation and, as a result, The Citadel never slips into melodrama. Donat doesn’t play Manson as being a crusader but instead as just being an often frustrated professional who knows that he’s being prevented from doing his best work. Director King Vidor, who made several films about thwartded visionaries, was never a particularly subtle director but Donat’s performance goes a long way towards making Vidor’s messianic tendencies tolerable.

Donat gets good support from the rest of the cast, especially Ralph Richardson in the role of his sometimes mentor. That said, Donat is still definitely the main reason to watch The Citadel, which is an uneven thought ultimately worthwhile film. The Citadel is very much a film of 1938 and it’s slow pace, earnest seriousness, and dialogue-heavy style will undoubtedly be an issue for some people watching the film in 2021. Watching a film like The Citadel today requires a willingness to adjust to the aesthetics of a past age. This is a film that will definitely be best-appreciated by those who aren’t unfamiliar with spending an entire weekend watching TCM. But you know what? It’s good to watch old movies. You can’t understand the present or prepare for the future if you’re not willing to look at the past.

The Academy nominated The Citadel for Best Picture. It was one of the first British films to be so honored (though not the first, that honor went to The Private Life of Henry VIII). However, it lost to Frank Capra’s You Can’t Take It With You. Though Robert Donat lost the Oscar for Best Actor to Spencer Tracy in Boys Town, he would be rewarded the very next year for his performance in Goodbye Mr. Chips. Among those who Donat defeated was Clark Gable, nominated for playing Rhett Butler in Gone With The Wind, a characters that Margaret Mitchell always said she envisioned as being played by Robert Donat.

The Black Reel Awards Honor Judas and the Black Messiah


The 2020 winners of the Black Reel Awards have been announced, with Judas and the Black Messiah taking the prize for best film.

Here are all the nominees and winners:

OUTSTANDING MOTION PICTURE
DA 5 BLOODS
JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH
MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM
ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI
SOUL

OUTSTANDING ACTOR
KINGSLEY BEN-ADIR – ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI
CHADWICK BOSEMAN – MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM
DELROY LINDO – DA 5 BLOODS
ROB MORGAN – BULL
LAKEITH STANFIELD – JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH

OUTSTANDING ACTRESS
NICOLE BEHARIE – MISS JUNETEENTH
VIOLA DAVIS – MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM
ANDRA DAY – THE UNITED STATES VS. BILLIE HOLIDAY
TESSA THOMPSON – SYLVIE’S LOVE
ZENDAYA – MALCOLM & MARIE

OUTSTANDING DIRECTOR
RADHA BLANK – THE FORTY-YEAR-OLD VERSION
REGINA KING – ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI
SHAKA KING – JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH
SPIKE LEE – DA 5 BLOODS
CHANNING GODFREY PEOPLES – MISS JUNETEENTH

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR
CHADWICK BOSEMAN – DA 5 BLOODS
COLMAN DOMINGO – MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM
ALDIS HODGE – ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI
DANIEL KALUUYA – JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH
LESLIE ODOM JR. – ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS
ALEXIS CHIKAEZE – MISS JUNETEENTH
DOMINIQUE FISHBACK – JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH
KIKI LAYNE – THE OLD GUARD
TRACEE ELLIS ROSS – THE HIGH NOTE
GABOUREY SIDIBE – ANTEBELLUM

OUTSTANDING SCREENPLAY
THE FORTY-YEAR-OLD VERSION – RADHA BLANK
JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH – WILL BERSON & SHAKA KING
MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM – RUBEN SANTIAGO-HUDSON
ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI – KEMP POWERS
SOUL – PETE DOCTER, MIKE JONES & KEMP POWERS

OUTSTANDING DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
ALL IN: THE FIGHT FOR DEMOCRACY
JOHN LEWIS: GOOD TROUBLE
MLK/FBI
TIME
THE WAY I SEE IT

OUTSTANDING FOREIGN-LANGUAGE FILM
HIS HOUSE
NIGHT OF THE KINGS
THE LIFE AHEAD

OUTSTANDING ENSEMBLE
DA 5 BLOODS
JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH
MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM
MISS JUNETEENTH
ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI

OUTSTANDING VOICE PERFORMANCE
ANGELA BASSETT – SOUL
JAMIE FOXX – SOUL
MAYA RUDOLPH – THE WILLOUGHBYS
OCTAVIA SPENCER – ONWARD
PHYLICIA RASHAD – SOUL

OUTSTANDING SCORE
THE FORTY-YEAR-OLD VERSION – GUY C. ROUTTE
JINGLE JANGLE: A CHRISTMAS JOURNEY – JOHN DEBNEY
THE PHOTOGRAPH – ROBERT GLASPER
SOUL – TRENT REZNOR, ATTICUS ROSS & JON BATISTE
SYLVIE’S LOVE – FABRICE LECOMTE

OUTSTANDING ORIGINAL SONG
FIGHT FOR YOU – JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH
MAKE IT WORK – JINGLE JANGLE: A CHRISTMAS JOURNEY
POVERTY PORN – THE FORTY-YEAR-OLD VERSION
SPEAK NOW – ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI
TIGRESS & TWEED – THE UNITED STATES VS. BILLIE HOLIDAY

OUTSTANDING INDEPENDENT FEATURE
AMERICAN SKIN
FAREWELL AMOR
THE FORTY-YEAR-OLD VERSION
MISS JUNETEENTH
SYLVIE’S LOVE

OUTSTANDING SHORT FILM
BROTHER
CANVAS
THE CYPHER
GRAB MY HAND: A LETTER TO MY DAD
THE PANDEMIC CHRONICLES

OUTSTANDING INDEPENDENT DOCUMENTARY
MR. SOUL!
THE SIT-IN: HARRY BELAFONTE HOSTS THE TONIGHT SHOW
WITH DRAWN ARMS

OUTSTANDING EMERGING DIRECTOR
EUGENE ASHE – SYLVIE’S LOVE
RADHA BLANK – THE FORTY-YEAR-OLD VERSION
REGINA KING – ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI
SHAKA KING – JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH
CHANNING GODFREY PEOPLES – MISS JUNETEENTH

OUTSTANDING BREAKTHROUGH PERFORMANCE, MALE
YAHYA ABDUL-MANTEEN II – THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7
KINGSLEY BEN-ADIR – ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI
DUSAN BROWN – MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM
ELI GOREE – ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI
NTARE MWINE – FAREWELL AMOR

OUTSTANDING BREAKTHROUGH PERFORMANCE, FEMALE
RADHA BLANK – THE FORTY-YEAR-OLD VERSION
ALEXIS CHIKAEZE – MISS JUNETEENTH
ANDRA DAY – THE UNITED STATES VS. BILLIE HOLIDAY
DOMINIQUE FISHBACK – JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH
ZENDAYA – MALCOLM & MARIE

OUTSTANDING FIRST SCREENPLAY
THE FORTY-YEAR-OLD VERSION – RADHA BLANK
MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM – RUBEN SANTIAGO-HUDSON
MISS JUNETEENTH – CHANNING PEOPLES GODFREY
ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI – KEMP POWERS
SYLVIE’S LOVE – EUGENE ASHE

OUTSTANDING CINEMATOGRAPHY
DA 5 BLOODS
JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH
MALCOLM & MARIE
ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI
TENET

OUTSTANDING COSTUME DESIGN
JINGLE JANGLE: A CHRISTMAS JOURNEY
MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM
ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI
SYLVIE’S LOVE
THE UNITED STATES VS. BILLIE HOLIDAY

OUTSTANDING PRODUCTION DESIGN
JINGLE JANGLE: A CHRISTMAS JOURNEY
JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH
MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM
ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI
TENET

Nomadland Cleans Up At The BAFTAS!


Another day, another set of awards for Nomadland.  This time, it was the British Academy of Film and Television Arts that honored the Oscar front runner.

Here are all the 2020 BAFTA winners!

BEST FILM
The Father
The Mauritanian
Nomadland
Promising Young Woman
The Trial of the Chicago 7

OUTSTANDING BRITISH FILM
Calm With Horses
The Dig
The Father
His House
Limbo
The Mauritanian
Mogul Mowgli
Promising Young Woman
Rocks
Saint Maud

OUTSTANDING DEBUT BY A BRITISH WRITER, DIRECTOR OR PRODUCER
His House – Remi Weekes (Writer/Director)
Limbo – Ben Sharrock (Writer/Director), Irune Gurtubai (Producer)
Moffie – Jack Sidey (Writer/Producer)
Rocks – Theresa Ikoko, Claire Wilson (Writers)
Saint Maud – Rose Glass (Writer/Director), Oliver Kassman (Producer)

BEST FILM NOT IN ENGLISH LANGUAGE
Another Round
Dear Comrades!
Les Misérables
Minari
Quo Vadis, Aida?

BEST DOCUMENTARY
Collective
David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet
The Dissident
My Octopus Teacher
The Social Dilemma

BEST ANIMATED FILM
Onward
Soul
Wolfwalkers

BEST DIRECTOR
Thomas Vinterberg – Another Round
Shannon Murphy – Babyteeth
Lee Isaac Chung – Minari
Chloé Zhao – Nomadland
Jasmila Žbanić – Quo Vadis, Aida?
Sarah Gavron – Rocks

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Another Round
Mank
Promising Young Woman
Rocks
The Trial of the Chicago 7

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
The Dig
The Father
The Mauritanian
Nomadland
The White Tiger

BEST LEADING ACTRESS
Bukky Bakray – Rocks
Radha Blank – The Forty-Year-Old Version
Vanessa Kirby – Pieces of a Woman
Frances McDormand – Nomadland
Wunmi Mosaku – His House
Alfre Woodard – Clemency

BEST LEADING ACTOR
Riz Ahmed – Sound of Metal
Chadwick Boseman – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Adarsh Gourav – The White Tiger
Anthony Hopkins – The Father
Mads Mikkelsen – Another Round
Tahar Rahim – The Mauritanian

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Niamh Algar – Calm With Horses
Kosar Ali – Rocks
Maria Bakalova – Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
Dominique Fishback – Judas and the Black Messiah
Ashley Madekwe – County Lines
Yuh-Jung Youn – Minari

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Daniel Kaluuya – Judas and the Black Messiah
Barry Keoghan – Calm With Horses
Alan Kim – Minari
Leslie Odom Jr. – One Night In Miami…
Clarke Peters – Da 5 Bloods
Paul Raci – Sound of Metal

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Judas and the Black Messiah
Mank
The Mauritanian
News of the World
Nomadland

BEST EDITING
The Father
Nomadland
Promising Young Woman
Sound of Metal
The Trial of the Chicago 7

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
Mank
Minari
News of the World
Promising Young Woman
Soul

RISING STAR
Bukky Bakray
Kingsley Ben-Adir
Morfydd Clark
Sope Dirisu
Conrad Khan

BEST CASTING
Calm With Horses
Judas and the Black Messiah
Minari
Promising Young Woman
Rocks

BEST COSTUME DESIGN
Ammonite
The Dig
Emma.
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Mank

BEST MAKE UP & HAIR
The Dig
Hillbilly Elegy
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Mank
Pinocchio

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
The Dig
The Father
Mank
News of the World
Rebecca

BEST BRITISH SHORT FILM
Eyelash
Lizard
Lucky Break
Miss Curvy
The Present

BEST BRITISH SHORT ANIMATION
The Fire Next Time
The Owl and the Pussycat
The Song of A Lost Boy

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
Greyhound
The Midnight Sky
Mulan
The One and Only Ivan
Tenet

BEST SOUND
Greyhound
News of the World
Nomadland
Soul
Sound of Metal

Lisa’s Week In Television: 4/4/21 — 4/10/21


Another busy week so, once again, I’m running behind on watching some things that I really want to watch. Hopefully, I’ll get caught up with shows like The Walking Dead, Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and The Serpent during this upcoming week!

American Justice (CIN, Monday Morning)

I watched two episodes of this old true crime series on the Crime and Investigation Network. One episode was about teacher Pamela Smart convincing her students to murder her husband. The other was about a crazed Texas deputy who murdered a woman with whom he was obsessed. The most memorable thing about the episodes was the very precise and dramatic narration of Bill Kurtis. Kurtis sounded like a such a stereotypical anchorman that he became oddly fascinating to listen to. Discovering that there were journalists who actually sounded like a comedian doing an imitation of a journalist felt a bit like stumbling across Bigfoot after watching a movie about the Abominable Snowman.

America’s Most Wanted (Fox, Monday night)

The revival of America’s Most Wanted is entertaining in its tabloid-like way and it might even lead to the capture of some bad people. That said, it’s hard for me not to worry about the idea of the show eventually being used to track down people who have criticized the government or who have been accused of thought crimes. As dramatic as that might sound, that is the way our culture seems to be heading.

Until then, though, I really hope that this week’s episode leads to the capture of grotesque bodybuilder Raymond McLeod, who apparently murdered his girlfriend five years ago.

Baywatch (H&I, weekday evenings)

On Sunday’s episode, Billy Warlock got hit on the head and ended up fantasizing that he was starring in an episode of Gilligan’s Island. That was seriously the entire episode and you know what? It was actually kind of cute. It was an episode in which Baywatch acknowledged that it was silly show and not meant to be taken seriously. It fit into my thesis that Baywatch was meant to be a satirical. Of course, that episode was immediately followed by an episode in which David Hasselhoff was trapped underneath an old shipwreck. That episode took itself very seriously and was full of flashbacks to previous episodes, forcing me to consider that the Gilligan episode might have just been an outlier.

Monday’s episodes did little to settle the question as to whether or not Baywatch was meant to be taken seriously. The first episode featured Shauni (Erika Eleniak) freaking out after thinking that one of her friends had been eaten by a shark. It was all very dramatic and it too featured flashbacks to previous episodes and it ended up with a very important message about not pressuring your daughter to the extent that she ends faking her own death while swimming around Shark’s Cove. (That’s a rather ominous name for any part of the beach.) That would seem to suggest that Baywatch took itself seriously. The second of Monday’s episodes featured a beach bum/poet who discovered a stolen jewelry box on the beach. The poet was such a silly character that it was hard to believe that anyone involved could have taken that episode’s script seriously. In other words, when it comes to the Is Baywatch Serious Or Not debate, Monday’s episodes constituted yet another draw.

Tuesday’s episodes led to another draw. The first episode featured Hasselhoff breaking into the headquarters of a multinational corporation to track down evidence that they were polluting the bay. It also featured a character who was a lifeguard-turned-environmental activist and it took itself very seriously. The 2nd episode, however, featured an illegal poker game and a B-plot in which Billy Warlock stood up to his girlfriend’s snobby family. It also featured Erika Eleniak dramatically announcing, “He’s a lifeguard!” when someone tried to stop Billy Warlock from giving CPR to a woman who had drowned. The 2nd episode, again, seemed to suggest that the show was in on the joke.

Wednesday’s episodes broke the tie, with both episodes being ludicrous enough that it was hard not to believe that the show had to be at least a little bit aware of how silly it was. The first episode featured a gypsy fortune teller. The second featured David Charvet battling evil surfers. At the same time, the 2nd episode also featured Alexandra Paul as Stephanie, a woman from Mitch’s past, and Hasselhoff acted the Hell out of being shocked to see her. Based on Wednesday’s episodes, it would seem Baywatch did not take itself as seriously as David Hasselhoff did.

Thursday’s episodes — well, who knows? You had a two parter that started with Mitch getting all weepy over a dead uncle but you also had a subplot about the search for a lost gold mine. And, to top it all off, you had Pamela Anderson, Nichole Eggert, and David Charvet all showing up for the first time. (Though all three were in Wednesday’s episode, it appears that H&I showed the episodes out-of-order.) Who knows what to make of all that?

Friday’s episodes both dealt with Nicole Eggert and David Charvet struggling to make it through rookie school and they were both silly enough to make me think that Baywatch was in on the joke. Saturday, however, featured not only a native American activist with magical powers but it also ended with a PSA about the dangers of huffing inhalants. It seemed to be taking itself pretty seriously, even if no one else was.

In the end, all I can surmise is that Baywatch took place in a strange dream world where everyone was in on the joke but they still took the joke literally.

Court Cam (Wednesday Night, A&E)

With the cancellation of Live P.D., Court Cam is A&E’s newest way to 1) exploit people during the worst moments of their lives and 2) justify keeping Dan Abrams under contract. This show is made up of courtroom footage, all breathlessly narrated by Abrams. A typical episode will feature several stories. There’s usually one story that ends in a brawl. There’s at least one sarcastic judge story. There’s at least one story where the defendant begs for mercy. It’s all pretty exploitive and, of course, it’s also fully on the side of the system as opposed to the people living under it.

“But Lisa, if you hate the show so much, why do you watch it?”

Each episode is only 30 minutes long and it passes the time. Plus, occasionally, they’ll show footage from DFW and I’ll spot someone I know.

The District (Weekday Nights, H&I)

Last week, I said that the main appeal of this old show was watching Craig T. Nelson somehow find a way to overact in every single scene in which he appeared. It turns out that appeal is actually kind of limited. On Tuesday morning, as I watched Nelson’s Jack Mannion violate the Constitutional rights of suspects and browbeat everyone who works for him, I realized that the act was no longer particularly amusing so I think I’m done with The District for now.

The Drew Barrymore Show (Weekdays, Syndication)

I caught an episode on Tuesday. I was depressed for hours afterwards. Drew used to be so cool and now she’s hosting a talk show for people find Ellen DeGeneres to be too challenging.

Kung Fu (Wednesday Night, The CW)

I wrote about Kung Fu and my mixed reaction to pilot over at SyFyDesigns.

The Old Guys (Sunday Night, PBS)

This is a British sitcom that aired in the UK in 2009 and 2010. In America, it just recently started airing on PBS. It’s about two …. well, old guys. Tom (Roger Lloyd-Pack) and Roy (Clive Swift) are old and they are housemates and they’re both in love with Sally (Jane Asher). This Sunday’s episode was called “the triple date” and it found the two men competing to see who could go on a date with Sally, who apparently didn’t realize she was on a date with either of them. It was amusing, largely due to the performance of Jane Asher and the two men. Sadly, both Lloyd-Pack and Swift have since passed away.

Open All Hours (Sunday Night, PBS)

This is an incredibly depressing British sitcom about two men and a grocer’s shop. Arkwright, the older of the two, is always trying to cheat people out of their money. His nephew, Granville, always appears to be on the verge of walking into the middle of traffic. The show originally aired in the 70s and 80s and, in America, it’s pretty much a PBS mainstay. I have to admit that I don’t usually pay much attention to the show when it’s on. I usually just watch it because it’s the lead-in to Yes, Minister and there’s not really much else on at 11:30 on Sunday night. That said, the few times I have really paid attention to it, I’ve found it to be well-acted if a bit grim. The bits where Arkwright has to deal with the customers are occasionally amusing.

Don’t even ask me what happened during this Sunday’s episode. I think Granville was in love but he knew it would never work out because he was stuck in a go-nowhere life. By the end of the episode, he appeared to be borderline catatonic due to the overwhelming misery of his existence. It was hard not to feel bad for him.

The Rookies (Sunday Morning, H&I)

I’m still setting the DVR to record this old 70s cop show. Though the storylines are predictable cop stuff (albeit from the point of view of idealistic rookies as opposed to cynical veterans), it’s still pretty interesting if you’re just looking for a show with some early 70s flavor.

This week’s episode featured special guest star Lou Gossett, Jr. as a criminal-turned-preacher. The older cops suspected that he was just running a scam. The Rookies — Georg Stanford Brown and Michael Ontkean — felt that he was sincere in his desire to reach people and atone for his past. In the end, the show left it somewhat ambiguous as to just how sincere Gossett was. Gossett gave an excellent performance as the preacher and the show actually treated his congregation of hippies with a bit more respect than you might expect from an early 70s cop show.

The SAG Awards (Sunday Night, TBS)

This year, the televised SAG Awards were handed out in an hour and there weren’t any awkward attempts at either comedy or political pontification. To be honest, it was probably the best awards show that I’ve seen so far this year. Here’s hoping the Oscars pay attention to how SAG did it.

Shipping Wars (Vice, Sunday afternoon)

I wrote about Shipping Wars a few years ago. I watched two episodes on Sunday, though I mostly just had them on for background noise. The people involved in the show are always too angry and their customers are always too unlikeable for me to really spend too much time really paying attention to Shipping Wars.

The first episode featured Jen delivering bottled water to hurricane victims in Louisiana while Roy delivered a boat and acted like a jackass. It was typical Roy behavior, which made him entertaining to watch even though you wouldn’t want to actually have a conversation with him. When Roy suddenly died in 2014, Shipping Wars brought on a handful of people to try to replace him but none of them could. Certainly not Dusty! Don’t even get me started on freaking Dusty.

The second episode featured more of Roy being a jackass, this time as he transported a Cadillac to a 50s diner. It also featured Robbie and Chris transporting a deactivated nuclear missile. It would have been more fun if it had been an active missile but still, just the strangeness of that situation explains why Shipping Wars was briefly a popular show.

Storage Wars (A&E, Tuesday Night)

I watched four episodes. None of the storage lockers had any cursed amulets and dead bodies inside of them. I was disappointed.

Tough As Nails (CBS, Wednesday Night)

This reality competition show doesn’t really make a lot of sense to me. Two teams, made up of blue collar, salt-of-the-Earth workers, compete to see which team can be the first to complete various blue collar tasks, like cleaning windows on an office building or installing drywall. It seems like the show would be more interesting if it was like middle-management types and low-level executives having to do the hard work while being instructed and judged by construction works and plumbers.

Still, I watch almost every week, just because the show is hosted by The Amazing Race’s Phil Keoghan. Love ya, Phil!

Wipeout (TBS, Sunday Night)

So apparently, this is a thing again. Wipeout is a game show where teams make money if they can manage to cross an obstacle course without falling or dying. It used to be on ABC, where every episode ended with John Henson saying, “Big balls,” with a creepy smile on his face. Now, it’s on TNT and it’s hosted by John Cena, who just can’t quite match Henson when it comes to being creepy.

Anyway, on Sunday night, they reaired the first episode of the reboot. It aired after the SAG Awards. I have to admit that I mostly just had it on for background noise. Every time I looked up at the TV, people were either jumping on top of or falling off of big rubber balls. I imagine the reboot will probably run until 2060 and I’ll never watch another episode.

Yes Minister (Monday Morning, PBS)

Well, sadly enough, this week’s episode of Yes, Minister is the last one that’s going to be aired on my local PBS station for a while. Next week, Yes, Minister is being replaced by …. ugh …. Are You Being Served? Imagine, going from one showing one of the wittiest and most intellectually engaging sitcoms of all time to showing a hundred episodes of Are You Being Served?

Fortunately, this week’s episode was a great one. It featured both Paul Eddington’s Jim Hacker and Nigel Hawthorne’s Sir Humphrey testifying at a committee meeting about cutting government waste. For once, Hacker actually got the better of Sir Humphrey. Both Eddington and Hawthorne, both of whom are sadly no longer with us, gave brilliant comedic performances. It was a joy to watch.

(UPDATE: I wrote the above on Monday afternoon. When I checked on Tuesday morning, the guide had been changed and apparently, Yes, Minister is going to continue to air on PBS! So, I guess the listing for Are You Being Served was an error. I also checked with KERA.org and found no plans to replace Yes, Minister with Are You Being Served so, hopefully, all that frustration was for nothing! I’ll find out for sure on Monday at midnight, I suppose.)

Watched But Not Reviewed:

  1. American Idol (Sunday and Monday Nights on ABC)
  2. ‘Allo ‘Allo (Sunday Night on PBS)
  3. Hell’s Kitchen (Thursday Night on Fox)
  4. Hill Street Blues (Weekday mornings on H&I)
  5. House Hunters (Tuesday Night, HGTV)
  6. House Hunters International (Tuesday Night, HGTV)
  7. Law & Order: Organized Crime (Thursday Night, NBC)
  8. Law & Order: SVU (Thursday Night, NBC)
  9. The Masked Singer (Wednesday Night, FOX)
  10. Temptation Island (Tuesday Night, USA)
  11. Upstart Crow (Sunday Night on PBS)
  12. The Voice (Monday Night on NBC)

The Previous Week In Television

The Directors Guild Honors Nomadland


The Directors Guild has announced their winners for 2020 and there’s really no surprises to be found below.  Chloe Zhao won for Nomadland.  Darius Marder won for Sound of Metal.  Documentary went to the directors of The Truffle Hunters.  I’m sure we’ll be hearing a lot from them in the future.

Here are the film nominees and winners.  (They also honored some TV folks but who cares about them?)

NARRATIVE FEATURE FILM
Lee Isaac Chung – Minari
Emerald Fennell – Promising Young Woman
David Fincher – Mank
Aaron Sorkin – The Trial of the Chicago 7
Chloe Zhao – Nomadland

FIRST TIME NARRATIVE FEATURE FILM
Radha Blank – The Forty-Year-Old Version
Fernando Frías de la Parra – I’m No Longer Here
Regina King – One Night in Miami
Darius Marder – Sound of Metal
Florian Zeller – The Father

DOCUMENTARY
Michael Dweck & Gregory Kershaw – The Truffle Hunters
Pippa Ehrlich & James Reed – My Octopus Teacher
David France – Welcome to Chechnya
Amanda Mcbaine & Jessie Moss – Boys State
Benjamin Ree – The Painter and the Thief

The Visual Effects Society Honors Mank, Soul, and The Midnight Sky


About three days ago (yes, I’m late in sharing this), the Visual Effects Society announced their picks for the best visual effects of 2020!  And here they are:

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Photoreal Feature
JINGLE JANGLE: A CHRISTMAS JOURNEY
PROJECT POWER
TENET
THE MIDNIGHT SKY
THE WITCHES

Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Photoreal Feature
DA 5 BLOODS
EXTRACTION
MANK
NEWS OF THE WORLD
WELCOME TO CHECHNYA

Outstanding Visual Effects in an Animated Feature
ONWARD
OVER THE MOON
SOUL
THE CROODS: A NEW AGE
TROLLS WORLD TOUR

Outstanding Animated Character in a Photoreal Feature
DIE KÄNGURU-CHRONIKEN; Kangaroo
JINGLE JANGLE: A CHRISTMAS JOURNEY; Don Juan Diego
THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN; Ivan
THE WITCHES; Daisy

Outstanding Animated Character in an Animated Feature
ONWARD; Dad Pants
OVER THE MOON; Chang’e
SOUL; Terry
THE SPONGEBOB MOVIE: SPONGE ON THE RUN; SpongeBob

Outstanding Created Environment in a Photoreal Feature
BLOODSHOT: Neuralspace
MULAN; Imperial City
THE EIGHT HUNDRED; 1937 Shanghai Downtown
THE EIGHT HUNDRED; Shanghai Warehouse District

Outstanding Created Environment in an Animated Feature
ONWARD; Swamp Gas
SOUL; You Seminar
TROLLS WORLD TOUR; Techno Reef
TROLLS WORLD TOUR; Volcano Rock City

Outstanding Virtual Cinematography in a CG Project
GHOST OF TSUSHIMA; A Storm is Coming
SOUL
THE MANDALORIAN; The Believer
THE MANDALORIAN; The Siege

Outstanding Model in a Photoreal or Animated Project
THE MANDALORIAN; Boba Fett’s Ship
THE MANDALORIAN; The Rescue; Light Cruiser
THE MIDNIGHT SKY; Aether
THE WITCHES; Rollercoaster

Outstanding Effects Simulations in a Photoreal Feature
BLOODSHOT
GREYHOUND
MONSTER HUNTER
MULAN
PROJECT POWER

Outstanding Effects Simulations in an Animated Feature
ONWARD
OVER THE MOON
SOUL
TROLLS WORLD TOUR
THE WILLOUGHBYS

Outstanding Compositing in a Feature
GREYHOUND
MULAN
PROJECT POWER
UNDERWATER

VES Lifetime Achievement Award
PETER JACKSON

VES Award for Creative Excellence
ROB LEGATO, ASC