Here Are The Dorian Award Nominees!


Carol_(film)_POSTER

The Dorian Awards are handed out by the Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Film Critics Association.  Here are their film nominations for 2015.

FILM OF THE YEAR
The Big Short / Paramount, Regency
Brooklyn / Fox Searchlight
Carol / The Weinstein Company
Mad Max: Fury Road / Warner Bros., Village Road Show
Spotlight / Open Road, Participant, First Look

DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR
(Film or Television)
Sean Baker, Tangerine / Magnolia Pictures
Todd Haynes, Carol / The Weinstein Company
Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu, The Revenant / Fox
Tom McCarthy, Spotlight / Open Road, Participant, First Look
George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road / Warner Bros., Village Road Show

PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR — ACTRESS
Cate Blanchett, Carol / The Weinstein Company
Brie Larson, Room / A24
Rooney Mara, Carol / The Weinstein Company
Charlotte Rampling, 45 Years / Sundance Selects
Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn / Fox Searchlight

PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR — ACTOR
Matt Damon, The Martian / Fox
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant / Fox
Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs / Universal
Tom Hardy, Legend / Universal, Cross Creek
Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl / Focus, Working Title

LGBTQ FILM OF THE YEAR
Carol / The Weinstein Company
The Danish Girl / Focus, Working Title
Freeheld / Summit
Grandma / Sony Pictures Classics
Tangerine / Magnolia Pictures

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM OF THE YEAR
The Assassin / Central Motion Pictures, Well Go USA
Mustang / Cohen Media Group
Phoenix / Sundance Selects
Son of Saul / Sony Pictures Classics
Viva / Magnolia Pictures

SCREENPLAY OF THE YEAR
Emma Donoghue, Room / A24
Phyllis Nagy, Carol / The Weinstein Company
Charles Randolph and Adam McKay, The Big Short / Paramount, Regency
Josh Singer & Tom McCarthy, Spotlight / Open Road, Participant, First Look
Aaron Sorkin, Steve Jobs / Universal

DOCUMENTARY OF THE YEAR
(theatrical release, TV airing or DVD release)
Amy / A24
Best of Enemies / Magnolia Pictures, Magnet
Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief / HBO
Making a Murderer / Netflix
What Happened, Miss Simone? / Netflix

VISUALLY STRIKING FILM OF THE YEAR
(honoring a production of stunning beauty, from art direction to cinematography)
Carol / The Weinstein Company
The Danish Girl / Focus, Working Title
Mad Max: Fury Road / Warner Bros., Village Road Show
The Martian / Fox
The Revenant / Fox

UNSUNG FILM OF THE YEAR
The Diary of a Teenage Girl / Sony Pictures Classics
Ex Machina / A24
Grandma / Sony Pictures Classics
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl / Fox Searchlight
Tangerine (Magnolia)

CAMPY FLICK OF THE YEAR
The Boy Next Door
Fifty Shades of Grey
Magic Mike XXL
Jupiter Ascending
Stonewall

Here Are the Reliably Boring Razzie Nominations!


Yawn!  The Razzies are always so boring!  Here are this year’s predictable nominations.  Talk about them on twitter and impress your friends.

Worst Picture
Fantastic Four
Fifty Shades of Grey
Jupiter Ascending
Paul Blart Mall Cop 2
Pixels

Worst Director
Andy Fickman, Paul Blart Mall Cop 2
Tom Six, Human Centipede 3
Sam Taylor-Johnson, Fifty Shades of Grey
Josh Trank, Fantastic Four
Andy and Lana Wachowski, Jupiter Ascending

Worst Actor
Johnny Depp, Mortdecai
Jamie Dornan, Fifty Shades of Grey
Kevin James, Paul Blart Mall Cop 2
Adam Sandler, The Cobbler and Pixels
Channing Tatum, Jupiter Ascending

Worst Actress
Katherine Heigl, Home Sweet Hell
Dakota Johnson, Fifty Shades of Grey
Mila Kunis, Jupiter Ascending
Jennifer Lopez, The Boy Next Door
Gwyneth Paltrow, Mortdecai

Worst Supporting Actor
Chevy Chase, Hot Tub Time Machine 2 and Vacation
Josh Gad, Pixels and The Wedding Ringer
Kevin James, Pixels
Jason Lee, Alvin and the Chipmunks: Road Chip
Eddie Redmayne, Jupiter Ascending

Worst Supporting Actress
Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting, Alvin and the Chipmunks: Road Chip and The Wedding Ringer
Rooney Mara, Pan
Michelle Monaghan, Pixels
Julianne Moore, Seventh Son
Amanda Seyfried, Love the Coopers and Pan

Worst Screenplay
Simon Kinberg, Jeremy Slater and Josh Trank, Fantastic Four
Kelly Marcel, Fifty Shades of Grey
Andy and Lana Wachowski, Jupiter Ascending
Kevin James and Nick Bakay, Paul Blart Mall Cop 2
Tim Herlihy and Timothy Dowling, Pixels

Worst Remake or Sequel
Alvin and The Chipmunks: The Road Chip
Fantastic Four
Hot Tub Time Machine 2
Human Centipede 3
Paul Blart Mall Cop 2

Worst Screen Combo
Miles Teller, Michael B. Jordan, Kate Mara and Jamie Bell, Fantastic Four
Johnny Depp and his glued-on mustache, Mortdecai
Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson, Fifty Shades of Grey
Kevin James and either his Segway or glued-on mustache, Paul Blart Mall Cop 2
Adam Sandler and any pair of shoes, The Cobbler

Razzies Redeemer Award
Elizabeth Banks
M. Night Shyamalan
Will Smith
Sylvester Stallone

Here Are The Houston Film Critics Nominations!


Another one of my former hometowns has checked in with their nominations for the best of 2015!  The Houston Film Critics gave Ex Machina another nomination for best picture.  Wouldn’t it be kinda neat if Ex Machina snuck into the Oscar race as well?

BEST PICTURE:
The Big Short, Paramount
Ex Machina, A24 Films
Inside Out, Disney/PIXAR
Mad Max: Fury Road, Warner Bros.
The Martian, 20th Century Fox
The Revenant, 20th Century Fox
Room, A24 Films
Sicario, Lionsgate
Spotlight, Open Road Films
Steve Jobs, Universal

BEST DIRECTION OF A MOTION PICTURE:
Alejandro G. Iñárritu, The Revenant
George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road
Lenny Abrahamson, Room
Ridley Scott, The Martian
Tom McCarthy, Spotlight

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE:
Brian Cranston, Trumbo
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant
Matt Damon, The Martian
Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs
Tom Hardy, Legend

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE:
Brie Larsen, Room
Cate Blanchett, Carol
Charlize Theron, Mad Max: Fury Road
Emily Blunt, Sicario
Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE:
Mark Ruffalo, Spotlight
Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies
Michael Shannon, 99 Homes
Sylvester Stallone, Creed
Tom Hardy, The Revenant

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE:
Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl
Alicia Vikander, Ex Machina

Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight
Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs
Rooney Mara, Carol

BEST SCREENPLAY:
Aaron Sorkin, Steve Jobs
Drew Goddard, The Martian
Emma Donaghu, Room
Josh Singer & Tom McCarthy, Spotlight
Quentin Tarantino, The Hateful Eight

BEST ANIMATED FILM:
Anomalisa, Paramount
The Good Dinosaur, Disney/PIXAR
Inside Out, Disney/PIXAR
The Peanuts Movie, 20th Century Fox
Shaun the Sheep, StudioCanal

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY:
Dariusz Wolski, The Martian
Emmanuel Lubezki, The Revenant
John Seale, Mad Max: Fury Road
Robert Richardson, The Hateful Eight
Roger Deakins, Sicario

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE:
Amy, Altitude Film Distribution
Best of Enemies, Magnolia
Cartel Land, IFC Films
The Look of Silence, Drafthouse Films
Where to Invade Next, IMG Films

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM:
The Assassin, Well Go USA
Goodnight Mommy, Radius/TWC
Son of Saul, Sony Pictures Classic
The Tribe, Drafthouse Films
White God, Magnolia

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE:
Ennio Moriccone, The Hateful Eight
Michael Giacchino, Inside Out
Junkie XL, Mad Max: Fury Road

Daniel Pemberton, Steve Jobs
Ryuichi Sakamoto, Alva Noto & Bryce Dessner, The Revenant

BEST ORIGINAL SONG:
“Love Me Like You Do,” music & lyrics by Savan Kotecha, Ilya Salmanzadeh, Tove Lo, Max Martin & Ali Payami, 50 Shades of Grey
“One Kind of Love,” music & lyrics by Brian Wilson & Scott Bennett, Love & Mercy
“See You Again,” music & lyrics by Wiz Khalifa, DJ Frank E, Charlie Puth & Andrew Cedar, Furious 7
“Simple Song #3,” music & lyrics by David Lang, Youth
“Writing’s on the Wall,” music & lyrics by Sam Smith & Jimmy Napes, Spectre

TEXAS INDEPENDENT FILM AWARD:
6 Years
7 Chinese Brothers
Last Man on the Moon
Results
Sir Doug and the Genuine Texas Cosmic Groove

BEST POSTER
Carol – Theatrical Poster
Ex Machina – Theatrical Poster
It Follows – Rear Window Alternate
Mad Max: Fury Road – ‘What A Lovely Day’ Alternate
Sicario – Theatrical Poster
The Walk – IMAX Alternate

WORST FILM OF THE YEAR:
Aloha, Columbia
The Boy Next Door, Universal
Fantastic Four, 20th Century Fox
Mortdecai, Lionsgate
Pixels, Columbia

50 Shades of Obsession: The Boy Next Door and Bound


Happy Valentine’s Day!

Okay, I know.  It’s not Valentine’s Day yet.  But it will be soon.  50 Shades of Grey is opening tomorrow and I have a feeling that, come November, there will be hundreds of newborn babies being named Christian and Anastasia.  (And, in a few years, they’ll all have teenage babysitters named Bella…)

However, in case you can’t get into 50 Shades of Grey, here’s two other films that you could possibly watch on Valentine’s Day.  Much like 50 Shades, they both involve a woman having sex with a manipulative sociopath.  The Boy Next Door is still in theaters while Bound has just been released on video.

And they’re both reviewed below!
The-Boy-Next-Door-2015

The Boy Next Door, which was released towards the end of January, was the first film of 2015 that I was really excited about seeing.  That’s not because I thought that the film was going to be any good.  Instead, it was because I literally couldn’t watch any movie on Lifetime without seeing about a dozen commercials for The Boy Next Door.  The commercials promised a lot of cheap thrills and sordid melodrama.

Anyway, my BFF Evelyn and I saw The Boy Next Door on the weekend that it was first released and we had a great time watching it.  Though the film may start slow, it eventually becomes a minor triumph of so-bad-its-good filmmaking.  This is the type of film that you would normally expect to see going straight to cable but, somehow, it managed to get a theatrical release.  Making it all the more fun is the fact that it stars Jennifer Lopez, playing the type of role that you would normally expect to see Jennifer Love Hewitt or Elizabeth Berkley playing in a Lifetime movie.

Jennifer Lopez plays an AP English teacher who has recently separated from her adulterous husband (John Corbett).  When a teenage boy (Ryan Guzman) moves in next door and starts standing naked in front of his bedroom window, can you really be surprised that he and Lopez end up spending one night making torrid love?  Well, unfortunately, Guzman turns out to be a bit obsessive and, when the new school year begins, he suddenly shows up as one of Lopez’s students.  And you can probably guess what happens from there…

As directed by Rob Cohen, there’s really nothing surprising or interesting to be found in The Boy Next Door but we still had a lot of fun watching it, if just because it gave us an excuse to be snarky.  Ryan Guzman was undeniably hot and, wisely, Jennifer Lopez didn’t seem to be taking the film that seriously.  The great Kristin Chenoweth showed up as Lopez’s best friend and the film’s climax was appropriately over the top.

And, three weeks after seeing the film, Evelyn and I are still laughing about the scene where Guzman gives Lopez a gift, a copy of The Illiad.   Looking down at the book, J. Lo says, “Oh!  A first edition!”  Evelyn and I were just like, “Really?  So, that book’s from 760 B.C!?”  Seriously, did the character have a time machine?

Now, that would have made for an interesting movie!

Bound

If, for some reason, you can’t find a theater showing 50 Shades of Grey this weekend, I would suggest instead watching the Asylum’s mockbuster version, Bound.  

(Personally, I would have titled the film 50 Shades of Charisma but anyway…)

In Bound, Charisma Carpenter plays Michelle, a real estate broker who has an unsatisfying sex life and who finds herself regularly being bullied by her boss (Daniel Baldwin).  However, Michelle then meets Ryan (Bryce Draper), who is young, handsome, rich, and very much into domination  He even has a red room in his mansion where…

Oh wait, does this sound familiar?

Okay, so Bound pretty much tells the same story as 50 Shades of Grey but there are a few significant differences.  A big one is that, as played by Carpenter, Michelle is a much stronger character than Anastasia Steele.  For one thing, she’s not an innocent and naive girl being introduced to sex for the first time by a charming sociopath.  Instead, she’s significantly older than Ryan, which also brings an interesting dynamic to the film.  Michelle’s not a virgin, she doesn’t say things like “jeez” or “oh my,” and she’s capable of getting aroused without obsessing about what her inner goddess is doing as a result.  And, while her relationship with Ryan does head in a similar direction as Anastasia’s relationship with Christian Grey, Michelle never seems weak as a result.  Instead, she’s experimenting and there’s no way you can’t root for her as you watch the movie.

(Ryan, meanwhile, is ultimately portrayed as being the type of manipulative sociopath that Christian Grey would be in real life.)

Perhaps my favorite part of the film was Michelle’s relationship with her teenage daughter, Dara (Morgan Oberender).  The two actresses play off each other well and, from the minute they first interacted, I believed that they could be mother and daughter.  They’re relationship felt real and, as a result, you cared about both of them and found yourself hoping that things would work out for the best.  And, as a result, it made one of the film’s final plot twists feel very immediate and real.

Bound is the type of film that will be (and has been) dismissed by a lot of mainstream critics but it deserves more consideration than it’s been given.

Trailer: The Boy Next Door


So, January is coming up and as a film lover, you already know what that means.  Along with at least one movie featuring Liam Neeson killing people, we’re all going to get a slew of really bad films that the studios and stars are hoping no one will notice.

That said, sometimes a January film can prove to be good, trashy fun.  That’s certainly what I’m hoping will be the case with The Boy Next Door.  I have to admit that I was not even aware that there was an upcoming movie called The Boy Next Door until earlier tonight.  My sister Megan and I spent four hours watching Lifetime and, every 15 minutes or so, they showed a commercial for The Boy Next Door.

As for the movie itself, it would appear to have a few things to recommend it.  First off, the great Kristin Chenoweth appears to be playing Jennifer Lopez’s undoubtedly sassy best friend.  Secondly, it looks like there will be at least a few minutes of soft-focus, saxophone-themed sex and that’s always a good sign for those of us who like our January films to be just a little bit over-the-top and ludicrous.  Finally, the entire trailer reminded me of the trailer for another trashy film that I happen to have really enjoyed, The House At The End of the Street.*

On the negative side — well, it’s coming out in January.  You know what else came out in January?  Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones.  Consider that.

Anyway, here’s the trailer for The Boy Next Door!

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* a.k.a. The Cleavage At The End of The Street, as my friend Evelyn renamed it.