Here’s The Trailer for Soul!


Here’s the latest trailer for Soul!

Yes, yes …. I know.  I’m two days late in sharing this.  Listen, these things happen and I think you should find it within your soul to forgive me.  After all, how can you be angry when I’m sharing a trailer for a PIXAR film?

Personally, I have loved just about every PIXAR film that I’ve ever seen.  That said, I also think that it’s possible that PIXAR is secretly run by aliens who want to see how frequently someone can be traumatized before they totally give up on happiness.  From all of the toys being given away in Toy Story 3 to the first ten minutes of Up, PIXAR is all about getting people to cry.  I’ve cried during every PIXAR film that I’ve ever watched, with exception of those movies about the talking cars.

This latest PIXAR film is called Soul and it’s about just that.  It’s about …. well, the plot sounds really strange to me so I’m not even sure if I want to try to type it out.  I will say that it involves death and not giving up on your dreams and celebrating life and it’ll probably make me cry a lot.

Soul was originally going to be released into theaters but we all know what they say about the best laid plans of Disney and PIXAR.  So, instead, it’ll be released on Disney+ on Christmas Day.  Hopefully, Disney+ will let its subscribers watch it, as opposed to charging them an extra thirty dollars for the opportunity.  (That’s right …. I’m looking at you, Mulan!)

Here’s the latest trailer for Soul:

Lisa’s Oscar Predictions for August


As this very strange year enters into the home stretch, it does seem like, almost despite itself, the Oscar picture is becoming a little bit clearer.  The Venice and Toronto film festivals have announced their lineups.  Theaters are tentatively reopening and, assuming that there isn’t a spike in moviegoers contracting the Coronavirus as a result, the majority of them could be reopen by December.  For all the talk about how this year was going to be the Streaming Oscars, it’s totally possible that, with the eligibility window being extended to February and assuming theaters don’t have to close again, the Oscars could, once again, be dominating by traditional theatrical releases.

Anyway, here are my predictions for this month.  Though the picture may have cleared a little, the year is still pretty uncertain so take these with a grain of salt.  I imagine, over the next month, we’ll see a lot of movies scheduled for that January/February window of eligibility.

Be sure to check out my predictions for January, February, March, April, May, June, and July!

Best Picture

Ammonite

Da 5 Bloods

The Father

Hillbilly Elegy

Minari

News of the World

Nomadland

Respect

Soul

West Side Story

Best Director

Paul Greengrass for News of the World

Ron Howard for Hillbilly Elegy

Spike Lee for Da 5 Bloods

Steven Spielberg for West Side Story

Chloe Zhao for Nomadland

Best Actor

Tom Hanks in News of the World

Anthony Hopkins in The Father

Delroy Lindo in Da 5 Bloods

Gary Oldman in Mank

Denzel Washington in The Tragedy of MacBeth

Best Actress

Amy Adams in Hillybilly Elegy

Viola Davis in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Jennifer Hudson in Respect

Frances McDormand in Nomadland

Kate Winslet in Ammonite

Best Supporting Actor

Chadwick Boseman in Da 5 Bloods

Richard E. Grant in Everybody’s Talking About Jamie

Mark Rylance in The Trial of Chicago 7

Forest Whitaker in Respect

Steven Yeun in Minari

Best Supporting Actress

Glenn Close in Hillbilly Elegy

Natasha Lyonne in The United States vs. Billie Holiday

Saoirse Ronan in Ammonite

Meryl Streep in The Prom

Helena Zengel in News of the World

Lisa’s Oscar Predictions for July


At this point, who knows anything?

I’m making my monthly predictions on the assumption that most of these movies are even going to be released this year (and during the first two months of 2021).  I may be making an even bigger assumption when I predict that they’ll even give out Oscars for 2020.  Right now, it’s hard to know what’s going to happen.

But I am going to keep making these predictions because their fun to make and I believe that you do have to have some sort of normalcy in life.  You can’t just say, “OH MY GOD, EVERYTHING’S SO NEGATIVE!  I’M JUST GOING TO SIT IN FRONT OF TWITTER AND DRINK FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE!”  I mean, don’t get me wrong.  A lot of people are, in fact, saying and doing just that.  It’s kind of sad to think about the number of people who I once liked but who I have still, over the past few months, muted because I’m just sick of all the drama.  I suppose I could list them all here just to see if any of them are actually bothering to read my posts but …. no, no.  This post is about the movies and the performers and the Oscars who make every year a special year.

Be sure to check out my previous predictions for January, February, March, April, May, and June!

Best Picture

Ammonite

Da 5 Bloods

The Father

Hillbilly Elegy

Kajillionaire

News of the World

Nomadland

Respect

Soul

West Side Story

Best Director

Paul Greengrass for News of the World

Ron Howard for Hillbilly Elegy

Spike Lee for Da 5 Bloods

Steven Spielberg for West Side Story

Chloe Zhao for Nomadland

Best Actor

Tom Hanks in News of the World

Anthony Hopkins in The Father

Delroy Lindo in Da 5 Bloods

Bill Murray in On The Rocks

Gary Oldman in Mank

Best Actress

Amy Adams in Hillybill Elegy

Viola Davis in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Jennifer Hudson in Respect

Frances McDormand in Nomadland

Kate Winslet in Ammonite

Best Supporting Actor

David Alvarez in West Side Story

Tom Burke in Mank

Richard E. Grant in Everybody’s Talking about Jamie

Forest Whitaker in Respect

Steven Yeun in Minari

Best Supporting Actress

Glenn Close in Hillbilly Elegy

Olivia Colman in The Father

Saoirse Ronan in Ammonite

Debra Winger in Kajillionaire

Helena Zengel in News of the World

Lisa Marie’s Oscar Predictions For June


Once again, even trying to predict the Oscars this year seems like a fool’s errand.

Our story so far:

  1. COVID-19 shut everything down, including both theaters and production on many of the films that were expected to be contenders for the 2020 Oscars.
  2. The Academy announced that, for this year only, VOD and streaming-only films would be considered eligible for the Oscars.  That’s good news for all of the films premiering on Netflix and Prime right now, right?
  3. It looked briefly as if theaters might start reopening in July.  Tenet awaits!
  4. Oh wait, there’s still a pandemic going on.  Keep those theaters closed.
  5. But what about Tenent!?  Tenet will open in July, no matter what!
  6. Tenet gets moved back to August.  Every other big production gets moved back to August and chances are they’ll get moved back again.
  7. The Academy, meanwhile, throws everything into even more disarray by announcing that they will be extending the eligibility window to the end of February of 2021.
  8. And now, we’re all waiting to see which films will be moved either back or forward to a January or February 2021 opening in order to qualify for the Oscars.

In other words, who knows what’s going to be eligible once the Academy finally gets around to selecting their nominees.  Personally, I wish they hadn’t moved the eligibility window.  It feels like a bunch of studios complained about the having to release all of their big movies via VOD so the Academy said, “Okay, we’ll give you an extra two months.”  With the way things are going, though, it’s totally possible that theaters could still be closed in January and February so joke’s on them.  ENJOY YOUR VOD OSCARS, YA BASTARDS!

Anyway, here are my monthly Oscar predictions.  I did the best I could with what little information is actually out there.  Normally, I would say that the Da 5 Bloods came out too early to be remembered at Oscar time but this is not a typical year.  Despite the best picture victories of 12 Years A Slave and Moonlight, no black director has ever won best director.  If there’s ever a year when the Academy is going to be motivated to rectify that, it will be this year.

Anyway, be sure to check out my equally useless predictions for January, February, March, April, and May!

Best Picture

Ammonite

Da 5 Bloods

The Father

Hillbilly Elegy

News of the World

Nomadland

On The Rocks

Respect

Soul

West Side Story

Best Director

Ron Howard for Hillbilly Elegy

Paul Greengrass for News of the World

Spike Lee for Da 5 Bloods

Steven Spielberg for West Side Story

Chloe Zhao for Nomadland

Best Actor

Benedict Cumberbatch in The Courier

Tom Hanks in News of the World

Sir Anthony Hopkins in The Father

Delroy Lindo in Da 5 Bloods

Bill Murray in On the Rocks

Best Actress

Amy Adams in Hillbilly Elegy

Jennifer Hudson in Respect

Angelina Jolie in Those Who Wish Me Dead

Frances McDormand in Nomadland

Kate Winslet in Ammonite

Best Supporting Actor

David Alvarez in West Side Story

Tom Burke in Mank

Richard E. Grant in Everybody’s Talking About Jamie

Mark Rylance in The Trial of the Chicago 7

Forest Whitaker in Respect

Best Supporting Actress

Abigail Breslin in Stillwater

Glenn Close in Hillbilly Elegy

Ariana DeBose in West Side Story

Saoirse Ronan in Ammonite

Helena Zengel in News of the World

Lisa Marie’s Oscar Predictions For May (For What They’re Worth)


Are we even going to have an Oscar ceremony next year?

Who knows?  I hope we do because I think that it would provide some sort of normalcy.  Even if everyone chooses not to watch it, at least they’ll have that choice.  (People tend to forget how important, psychologically and emotionally, it is for people to have a choice.  All of these cheery “We’re all in it together” commercials don’t mean shit if people are feeling imprisoned.)  Up until this week, I was pretty confident that we would because COVID-19 was in decline and restrictions were being lifted and things seemed like they were heading in the right direction.  (Or, at least, that’s the way it seemed in my part of the world.  I know that some people disagreed with my assessment.)  Now, we’re in the middle of nation-wide rioting and a divisive presidential election so who knows what’s going to happen with the rest of this year.  Will theaters even want to risk reopening before 2021?  Will they be able to?  The Academy has said that streaming films will qualify this year but how many studios want to release all of their big productions VOD?

I’m going to continue to make my monthly Oscar predictions, though.  My reasons are pretty selfish: making them helps to keep me centered.  I’m a compulsive scheduler and keeping that schedule (which is really what I’m doing with these monthly predictions) helps me deal with my ADD.

So, with that in mind, here are my Oscar predictions.  Take them with a grain of salt.  And be sure to check out my previous predictions for January, February, March, and April!

Best Picture

Ammonite

The Father

Hillbilly Elegy

Minari

News of the World

Nomadland

Respect

Soul

The Trial of Chicago 7

West Side Story

Best Director

Paul Greengrass for News of the World

Ron Howard for Hillbilly Elegy

Francis Lee for Ammonite

Steven Spielberg for West Side Story

Chloe Zhao for Nomadland

Best Actor

Matt Damon in Stillwater

Tom Hanks in News of the World

Anthony Hopkins in The Father

Bill Murray in On The Rocks

Gary Oldman in Mank

Best Actress

Jennifer Hudson in Respect

Angelina Jolie in Those Who Wish Me Dead

Sofia Loren in The Life Ahead

Frances McDormand in Nomadland

Kate Winslet in Ammonite

Best Supporting Actor

David Alvarez in West Side Story

Tom Burke in Mank

Delroy Lindo in Da 5 Bloods

Forest Whitaker in Respect

Steven Yeun in Minari

Best Supporting Actress

Abigail Breslin in Stillwater

Glen Close in Hillbilly Elegy

Olivia Colman in The Father

Saoirse Ronan in Ammonite

Helena Zengel in News of the World

That’s it for this month!  Hopefully, next month will bring a bit more clarity.

 

Song of the Day: Father Figure (by George Michael)


george-michael

The year of 2016 has taken many of the music scene’s greatest. Prince, David Bowie and Glenn Frey just to name a few taken too soon. Now, George Michael joins his musical brethren as news of his passing on Christmas Day was announced and confirmed.

There’s not much to say other than any kid growing up during the late 80’s knew and listened to George Michael in some capacity or another. While he became famous as part of the British boy band WHAM! it was when he branched out on his own as a solo act that he hit megastar status. His solo debut album, Faith, would reach multi-platinum levels and each single released from the album and each video that ran in circulation on MTV would become instant hits.

My favorite song of his and this goes to his many excellent post-modern videos, would be the third single released from his debut album, “Father Figure.”.

Father Figure

That’s all I wanted
Something special, something sacred
In your eyes

For just one moment
To be bold and naked
At your side

Sometimes I think that you’ll never
Understand me (understand me)
Maybe this time is forever
Say it can be, woah

That’s all you wanted
Something special, someone sacred
In your life

Just for one moment
To be warm and naked
At my side

Sometimes I think that you’ll never
Understand me (understand me)
But something tells me together
We’d be happy, woah baby

I will be your father figure (oh baby)
Put your tiny hand in mine (I’d love to)
I will be your preacher teacher (be your daddy)
Anything you have in mind (it would make me)

I will be your father figure (very happy)
I have had enough of crime (please let me)
I will be the one who loves you
Till the end of time

That’s all I wanted
But sometimes love can be mistaken
For a crime

That’s all I wanted
Just to see my baby’s
Blue-eyed shine

This time I think that my lover
Understands me (understands me)
If we have faith in each other
Then we can be strong, baby

I will be your father figure
Put your tiny hand in mine (my baby)
I will be your preacher teacher
Anything you have in mind

I will be your father figure
I have had enough of crime
I will be the one who loves you
Till the end of time

If you are the desert, I’ll be the sea
If you ever hunger, hunger for me
Whatever you ask for, that’s what I’ll be

So when you remember the ones who have lied
Who said that they cared
But then laughed as you cried

Beautiful darling
Don’t think of me
Because all I ever wanted
It’s in your eyes
Baby, baby
And love can’t lie, no

(Greet me with the eyes of a child)
My love is always telling me so
(Heaven is a kiss and a smile)
Just hold on, hold on
And won’t let you go, my baby

I will be your father figure
Put your tiny hand in mine
I will be your preacher teacher
Anything you have in mind

I will be your father figure
And I have had enough of crime
So I am gonna love you
Till the end of time

(I will be your father) I will be your
(I will be your preacher) Father
(I will be your father) I’ll be your daddy, whoa
I will be the one who loves you
Till the end of time

Song of the Day: You Are So Beautiful (R.I.P. Joe Cocker)


joe-cocker-you-are-so-beautiful-1984

A rock legend passed away today. Joe Cocker had one of those very unique voices which most everyone recognized. A blues and soul rock singer who performed with some of the rock legends of the 60’s and 70’s, he would become a mainstream hit with songs such as “Up Where We Belong” and his covers of Beatles songs.

It was in 1975, covering a ballad written and composed by Billy Preston, Bruce Fisher and Dennis Wilson that he truly burst into the mainstream scene. The song was “You Are So Beautiful” and while the album it was a part of never truly took off the single itself reached No. 5 on the Billboards chart of that year.

Cocker’s version was much slower in tempo than the original song and this worked well in concert with his gritty, bluesy voice where each word and lyric felt full of emotion that blues and soul singers have become well-known for.

Joe Cocker might have faded away from the mainstream consciousness after the 80’s but rock and blues aficionados always remembered and admired him right down to his last days.

Time for the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame to heed the words of Billy Joel and induct the man in it’s hallowed halls. He’s more than earned it.

You Are So Beautiful

You are so beautiful to me
You are so beautiful to me
Can’t you see
Your everything I hoped for
Your everything I need
You are so beautiful to me

Such joy and happiness you bring
Such joy and happiness you bring
Like a dream
A guiding light that shines in the night
Heavens gift to me
You are so beautiful to me

27 Days of Old School: #24 “Here and Now” (by Luther Vandross)


LutherVandross

“One look in your eyes and there I see
Just what you mean to me”

Those opening lyrics are instantly recognizable to anyone who grew up during the late 80’s. Whether one was in junior high, high school, college or already settled down. It’s a song with not a single cynical bone in its making.

“Here and Now” was the song that introduced the velvet-voiced crooner Luther Vandross to the general public. He was already a favorite singer for those who followed the R&B and soul music scene, but for the rest of the world he was an unknown. After the release of “Here and Now” in 1989 he was not an unknown to the rest of the world.

It’s a song that’s become a staple at proms and formal dances. The song soon became at weddings and continues to this day.

27 Days of Old School: #20 “Whip Appeal” (by Babyface)


Babyface-PNG

“‘Cause you’ve got that whip appeal
So work it on me”

It would be impossible not to include one of the most popular old school ballads from my era.

“Whip Appeal” was the third single off of singer-producer Babyface’s second R&B album, Tender Lover. The single released in early 1990 just in time for the song to put it’s melodic hooks into everyone who heard it for the first time. I can confirm that this was a staple of all high school dances and proms from 1990 and onwards. It was one of the go-to ballads that would get couples and potential ones to get on the dance floor and just sway to the song.

Ballads like this are truly old school. When I say they don’t make them like this anymore there’s some truth in that. The lyrics themselves are quite risque, but definitely more subtle than what R&B artists nowadays put into their own form of ballads. There’s a classic soulful sound to the music that harkens back to the Motown sounds of the 60’s that have been lacking in most R&B today.

A song that’s 25 years old and yet still planting it’s soulful hooks into old and new listeners alike.

Song of the Day: I Want You Back (by The Jackson 5)


TheJackson5

One of the great classic R&B songs also happens to be today’s late “Song of the Day.”

The song “I Want You Back” by The Jackson 5 is not just a great song but also reminds us that, through all the scandal and absurdity which that became Michael Jackson’s adulthood, he was a great singer and performer and none more so than when he was fronting his band of brothers.

I also picked this song for another reason that seems so out of left field (which it is), but also fit in so perfectly to end two hours of an enjoyable time at the cinemas. James Gunn had personally picked the classic 70’s songs that would be part of mixtape for Guardians of the Galaxy. One such song is The Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back” and it’s use and timely appearance in the film also marks one of it’s most adoring sequences.

I know for a fact that site co-founder Lisa Marie Bowman will love not just this song but the scene it gets attached too.

I Want You Back

Let me tell you now

When I had you to myself
I didn’t want you around
Those pretty faces always made you
Stand out in a crowd

But someone picked you from the bunch
One glance was all it took
Now it’s much too late for me
To take a second look

Oh baby, give me one more chance
(To show you that I love you)
Won’t you please let me
Back in your heart

Oh darling, I was blind to let you go
(Let you go, baby)
But now since I see you in his arms
(I want you back)

Yes I do now (I want you back)
Ooh, ooh baby (I want you back)
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah (I want you back)
Na na na na

Trying to live without your love
Is one long sleepless night
Let me show you, girl
That I know wrong from right

Every street you walk on
I leave tear stains on the ground
Following the girl
I didn’t even want around
Let me tell you now

Oh baby, all I need is one more chance
(To show you that I love you)
Won’t you please let me
Back in your heart

Oh darlin’, I was blind to let you go
(Let you go baby)
But now since I see you in his arms, uh huh

A buh buh buh buh
A buh buh buh buh
All I want
A buh buh buh buh
All I need
A buh buh buh buh
All I want
A buh buh buh buh
All I need

Oh, just one more chance
To show you that I love you
Baby (baby), baby (baby), baby (baby)

(I want you back)
Forget what happened then
And let me live again

Oh baby, I was blind to let you go
But now since I see you in his arms
(I want you back)
Spare me of this cause
Gimme back what I lost

Oh baby, I need one more chance, ha
I tell ya that I love you
Baby, ow, baby, baby
I want you back
I want you back