Category Archives: Hollywood Can you Hear Me?

Jo Jo Rabbit, your life is calling!

Let’s go to the Globes! It’s 2020, winter came and left us holding a bag of a list of nominees to distribute to the French Press to do what they do best. Can you taste the competition? I like my award shows like I like my coffee: after I’ve had something small to eat so it doesn’t irritate my stomach. Here’s my roundup of the ultimate Golden Globe winners slated to win.

This year we saw Antonio Banderas polish off his bandolier for a tango of “Pain and Glory.” Ice cold blonde “Bombshells” made accusations on and off the screen and the Me Too Choir kept us all on our toes. And Tarantino was there to capture all 10 dirty bare ones in “Once Upon a Time in the West” – a real story of adversity and true grit! We saw human chameleon Robert DeNero whet his whistle and flex his pork chops to play someone of Irish descent, and master of disguise Joaquin Phoenix had audiences rolling in the aisles with “Jokes.”

When I hear the name Jonathan Pryce my mind shows me Jonathan Silverman. Todd Solondz, Todd Haynes. It’s all I can do to avoid confusion Between Two Todds. And now Phillips? Let’s keep this controversy off the ballots and out of our inboxes this year.


As I was reading the exemplary biography of Harriet Tubman from the children’s “Ordinary People Change the World” series sometime last year I thought her life would make an amazing movie. Shortly after that I saw a preview for the heroine’s titular film. Coincidence? Once again Hollywood shows us how it’s done, telling compelling stories of the Black Experience, AND we got a Dolemite biopic. Diversity, California style! But not Tupac’s California, the white one.

One pope is enough thanks, but I guess it takes two to reflect on one of the grandest cultural institutions of humanity that promotes fear, control, and the prolific molestation of countless children. Amen!

That trailer for 1916 looks like a doozy. Mr. Kate Winslow, you done good! Welp, it looks like you got divorced ten years ago but doesn’t WWI feel like yesterday?

Noah Baumgartener, is it your year? If the Winslows saw “Marriage Story” ten years ago would it have inspired them to work through the pain and strike a balance between creative self-involvement and affluent cruelty? This is a question for which there may be no answers, but I’ll wager a guess and say “who knows.”

The song nominated from Cats happened when I went to the bathroom so I’m a clean slate for this category. My money is on the Lovers Lopez (although maybe they are family – no judgments!) for their song from Freeze 2: “Into the Unknown.” “Into the Unknown” is what I whisper as I flush the toilet in the morning and it’s a real theme for the new year. I think a good idea for a film would begin with a toilet flushing – just an idea!

Now let’s give it up for the “Little Women” of the actress categories. My thoughts here are few and far between. Annette Bening, isn’t it enough for you to be there glowering at us from the start of every Columbia Pictures movie? Wouldn’t you just love to do a jigsaw puzzle with Beanie Feldstein? Ladies – gotta love em.


There’s only room for one Todd this year

Sometimes I’m trying to relax but then I get worried that one day I’ll get Billied on the street and I won’t be prepared, so I stay sharp by naming as many Asian celebrities as fast as I can – just in case that’s what he asks me. I’m always going to put Awkwafina at the top of my list, so let’s put her at the top of this one too. But let’s also make room for Constance – can’t wait to see her dazzle us in some Wu-Wear on the Rug of Stars. And if it’s a year where Bongo Ho is behind the lens you know you’re in for a treat. Let’s all starve our proverbial tapeworms, hold a bowl of warm broth near our open mouths and let that “Paradise” out!

The night of the Globes, will it be Ford or Ferrari? Or will Adam drive the competition home as a show of good sportsmanship and neighborly goodwill? Keep your eyes peeled, keep this page bookmarked, and keep dreaming about the stars!

You Won’t Believe These Emmy Highlights


I’m finally caught up on the Emmys highlights from GIFs and Twitter. My favorite midtown dumpster for discarded screeners has a lock on it now so that well has run dry. You know what I always say, restricted access is the great equalizer.

I started watching “Pretty Big Liars” and it’s a real ice cream sandwich of a show: decadent, cool in the middle, with some brown wafers on either side. Let me know if you’ve taken a bite or if it’s in the back of your freezer collecting frost.

Speaking of which, Are you ready for the winter?! Which Game of Thrones character are you? If I had to guess, I’d say I’m a cross between Jack Snow and Khaleesa B, because how can you beat those names! I would love to see these guys get out of the small screen and onto the dance floor with something I could really move to.

It’s hard to keep up with everyone who is starring in Peak TV. Speaking of which,
I haven’t gotten to Twin Peaks but once I’ve had TWO PEEKS I’ll sit down with some coffee and dang pie and write out some ideas on that. If I’ve ever told you about some of the nightmares I have it sounds a lot like that show so maybe I can saunter by the Season Two writers’ room and drop off some notes – and well wishes, and maybe some fresh pencils. Love that smell.

Now let’s talk about these Emmy winners! My favorite win is for “Hotlanta.” Donnie Glover is the son of silver screen’s Danny – wait a second. Donnie and Danny? Two cool dudes on ANY block if you ask me!

In conclusion, the In Memorium segment was way too long and if you ask me (go ahead and ask!) they should run an In Aliveness segment. Let’s get Mrs. Garrett, Carol Channing, Marsha Warfield, Marla Gibbs, Crystal Gayle, and MORE to the top of that list. Let’s stop dying and start living Hollywood!

Are You Ready For Some Oscars?!

The Super Bowl of sports took over the streets last weekend, and now it’s time for the Super Bowl of movies – the Oscars!

Hollyweird is at it again with another slew of obscure, cerebral features and unknowns jostling for the spotlight. For weeks now, critics and voters have been fighting against all odds to bring the rightful winners to justice. But it’s time for that emotional roller coaster to wind down. We’ve voted with our dollars at the box office, now it’s time for the Academy voters to vote with their ballots. The tension is palpable!

I don’t get out too much, but I think I saw a subway ad that said Allen Degeneres will be hosting. Not sure who that is, but I’m sure he’ll do great. I don’t have any insider info as to why “Jimmy” James Franco was too busy to do it this year, but either way he needs to quit prankin’ around and get back to screens of all sizes!

There will be lots of questions in the air that night. Will someone make a political statement? Will Julia R and George C dazzle the pre-game show with their riffing? Will Soon-Yi have a wardrobe malfunction? I just love speculating on and sometimes even watching the excitement of this exclusive industry unfold. It’s gonna be great.

Okay, enough pussy footing around! Let’s get to it.

Ladies are seemingly everywhere you look in cinema – it was definitely the Year of the Woman, as women filled the titular roles in “Her” and “Philomena.” Women also crowd the Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress categories.

I guess “Diversity” is the name of the motion picture game!

It was another year of the sequel, and another year of the snub. Blockbusters like “Ronin 47” and “Hunger Games: Catch a Fire” blew out the box offices even more than they did the first time around. Remakes like “Rush” heated things up as well. However, much like the maligned holiday dessert, non-sequel “Fruitcake Station” couldn’t get any nibbles even by naming the main character Oscar.  “Inside Llewelyn Davis” sounded like an adult film so I skipped that one. And I can’t help myself, but I have to give away a huge spoiler alert for “Jeff Daniels’ The Butler:” He did it – and he’d do it again.

Let’s jump into the Best Picture category with all-around fave American Russell – director David O. that is! Are there categories for coolest wig or best cleavage? If so, and I was representing “American Hustle” in a court of law I would advise them to plead “no contest!” Speaking of law, how about that Jennifer? As part of the Law acting dynasty that that includes Victoria, Joseph and Martin, she’s just gotta be a shoe-in.


You know the SAG Awards? This is more my speed.

But cinema wasn’t all jean shorts and groovy disco balls this year. If you’ve never seen a movie before, your first one may as well be “Wolf on Wall Street,” but if you have, maybe think twice. A piece of popcorn got stuck in my gum as I watched this endlessly bloated, bloviating, poorly edited, musically UNsupervised monstrosity. I thought it was a toothache so I went to the dentist (I was overdue for my checkup anyway). The hygienist removed the popcorn and my pain was relieved – but my face sure was red. I think there was a little egg on it as well (figuratively speaking, but only the hygienist knows the truth).

In sum, I think Martin “Swayze” Scorsese and Leonardo “da Vinci” diCaprio served up one for the dogs – woof! (My follow-up at the periodondist was no picnic either.) Yet it’s everybody’s sweetheart story and I’m just one person so I’ll leave the voting to the pros.

I’ve been reading “Last Night at the Viper Room,” and I can’t figure out if they mean last night as in 12-24 hours ago, or last as in final? I’ll let you know.

Speaking of, bad boy Johnny Depp eschewed his signature role this year and handed it off to Barkhad Abdi in “Captain Ron Phillips,” proving copyright laws are no joke! However, all eyes will surely be on Seinfeld’s Yul Vazquez as he walks the red carpet – let’s see if he’s wearing “the ribbon.”

As for Tom Hanks, all right already! We get it – you’re a chameleon and all around nice guy, and you wanted to reprise your role in “Saving Private Banks,” but it’s time to free up some categories for the other guys.

For this year’s contenders, the landscape of America is a recurring character. “Nebraska” takes us to Bruce Springsteen’s home state for a look at what could have been, while native Texan Matthew McConaghey takes us home to kick back a couple of cold Lone Stars, and also to contract AIDS in Richard Linkletter’s “Dallas.”

Question: if someone described you as the female Jonah Hill, would you be flattered or offended? Food for thought.  P.S. Who is his dentist?

“Her” was a fine flick, with a nice performance from Mr. Oscar snubber himself Joaquin Phoenix. Et tu, Leaf? (tying it back in to the Viper Room). But for me it was all about Spike Jonze’s star turn in “The Wolf on Wall Street” that should have set tongues wagging. Break out alert! Maybe stick to your day job Spike, but maybe also make a little room in your schedule for some more moonlighting in small but memorable roles.

And of course, stars that burn twice as long burn half as bright. The starriest stars on the walk of fame of life that were extinguished will be honored in the annual death reel. I haven’t been following the obits so hopefully there are no rude awakenings when I tune in.

Now on to the rest of the best… of my picks.

Animated Feature Film

With everyone on the east coast tired of old man winter, I think “Frozen” is looking at a freeze-out. I’ll go with “The Wind Rises” because it sounds like spring is in the air.

Documentary Feature

I like “20 Feet From Stardom” because everyone loves a success story.

Documentary Short Subject

I’ll go with “Facing Fear” because I can just imagine a duo of A-list presenters like John Leguizamo and Renee Zellwegger leaning in to the mic to forever change the lives of these filmmakers.

Foreign Language Film

I’m liking Italy’s “The Great Beauty” to take home the golden man. Does anyone know if it’s a sequel to “Life is Beautiful?” I think we could ALL use a little more Roberto Bagnini in our lives.

Short Film Animated

I like “Room on the Broom” because it rhymes with “womb” and it sounds witchy, hence, The Year of the Woman, but I’m going to go with “Get a Horse!” because it has an unforgettable title. It’s anyone’s game though.

Sound Mixing

Everyone knows there’s no sound in space, so I’m going to pass on “Gravity” for this one and give it to “The Hobbit.” I mean, why not?


Let’s all pray Pharrell checks his outrageous hat at the door, and also leaves some of the limelight for U2’s version of Sade’s “Ordinary Love.”

Adapted Screenplay

In terms of history, slavery is a human atrocity. But in terms of adapted screenplays, it can’t be beat. I vote once, twice, “12 Years a Slave.”

Well, I could do this all day, but I just found out the Oscars don’t air until March 2nd, not this Sunday like I woke up thinking. Last week I thought the Super Bowl was this week. What’s next?

Burt’s Bees

The other night I found myself watching “Heat” with Burt Reynolds and Howard Hesseman (and Peter MacNicol, whose most stunning personal trivia seems to be that he “is one of four “24” actors to appear in every episode of the only season in which they appeared.” Huh? And Zzzz.)

Anyhoo, if you find yourself in a similar situation and you’re throwing YOURSELF “Evening Shade,” might I recommend exiting your home as calmly and quickly as possible. Slap yourself, and yell something like “Get a hold of yourself!” or “What’s wrong with you!” Once you’ve come to your senses and it’s safe, you may return to your living room to watch something else. You should probably cancel Netflix, because you just can’t rely on other people’s bad taste. Who gave “Heat” 4.5 stars?

So, when I find myself watching a terrible movie, my mind makes up it’s own million dollar ideas between bites of whatever block of cheese I’m gnawing on at the time. And my mind came up with this:  Burt deserves a triumphant 3rd Act in his life and career. So, I’d like to offer Burt Reynolds his own franchise called Burt’s Bees.

To start, a film and sequel, television miniseries and perhaps an overseas-distributed children’s cartoon. Let’s celebrate the fact that there is already a cosmetic line called Burt’s Bees and we’ll take that promotional tie-in to the next level.

Burt Reynolds stars as Burt, a cantankerous Holloywood legend. Retirement doesn’t suit him, and he somehow finds himself coaching a girls softball team to while away the lonely nights. The team: The “Bad News” Bees. There’s confusion because every few minutes someone says “Wait a minute – are you THAT Burt?” And he’s like, “No, I’m just the coach.” And then that someone replies “Oh it’s a shame you’re not him, I just adore that Burt’s Bees line of lip balms” or “Oh it’s a shame you’re not him, I wasted 45 minutes of my life watching “Heat” last night, and I want to make someone pay.”  LAUGHS!!

Stuff happens and then it turns out HE IS the head of the Burt’s Bees corporation, he was just trying to keep it on the down low. Hilarity ensues when Burt’s Bees (the softball team) “buzz” about the latest samples he hands out after practice.

Forgive my highbrown paraphrase, but as Marky Mark said in “The Happening:” Don’t you want to know what happened to the bees?

Because I do.