Posts Tagged ‘Spike Lee’

Random Thoughts — March 5, 2019

Wait, it’s not Friday!  But, I’m still sharing some random thoughts with you.

Thank you for checking them out and I hope you have a great week ahead!

LUKE PERRY

After suffering a massive stroke last week, actor Luke Perry died Monday at the age of 52.

Luke Perry.jpg

Perry rocketed to fame in the early 1990s playing Dylan McKay on the first six seasons of Fox’s “Beverly Hills 90210”.  (While he became a series regular in the show’s last two seasons in 1999 and 2000, he was billed as a “special guest”.)

And, in Perry, the LGBTQ community lost an ally!

Luke Perry 1.JPG

R.I.P. LUKE

“MELROSE PLACE”

I was familiar with “90210” and thought Jason Priestley (“Brandon Walsh”) was cute, but I was obsessed with the 1992 spin-off, “Melrose Place”.

Even though I was almost the same age as the “90210” actors playing teenagers, I felt I had more in common with the “Melrose Place” characters and I would have loved to live in that complex!

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Well, before crazy Kimberly blew it up!

I had a major crush on Grant Show (“Jake Hanson”) and I loved Amy Locane (“Sandy”), even though she was only on the first eleven or so episodes.

Grant Amy.jpg

BERNIE SANDERS & 2020 DEMOCRATIC NOMINATION

We’re still about 20 months away from the 2020 Presidential Election.

If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you know I’ve been pretty quiet overall about the “national emergency” the country is experiencing and I’m not talking about a damn wall!

If you recall in 2016, there were more than a dozen Republicans vying for the nomination.  Well, in 2020, that’s the Democrats looking to earn the right to run against that man.

Bernie Sanders has thrown his hat into the race.  That’s all I’ll say about him since my feelings toward him haven’t changed in the past four years. (Well, they have but not for the better.)

A recent NBC/Wall Street Journal poll shows some interesting thoughts going through potential voters’ minds.

NBC News Poll

A couple of highlights:

68% of those surveyed would be comfortable with a gay or lesbian candidate — that’s up from 43% in 2006!

And, 62% are very uncomfortable with someone over 75!

Ages at the 2020 election:  Sanders (79), Michael Bloomberg (78) and Joe Biden (77).

Hillary AP

If you’re still reading, Hillary Clinton said Monday night, “I’m not running, but I’m going to keep on working and speaking and standing up for what I believe” and added, “I want to be sure that people understand I’m going to keep speaking out. I’m not going anywhere”.

Translation:  Vice President under Joe Biden! 🙂

But, in the words of Benita Buttrell…

but-i-aint-one-to-gossip-so-you-aint-heard-that-from-me.jpg

POST OSCARS THOUGHTS

I’m so happy that Rami Malek won the Best Actor Oscar for his Freddie Mercury in “Bohemian Rhapsody”.

I still haven’t seen “Green Book”, but it’s definitely on my list.

While social media (and Spike Lee) is upset that it won Best Picture, I’m just happy that “Roma” didn’t win!  As I’ve said before, I wasn’t blown away by “Roma”!

Glenn Close

Going into the Academy Awards, I was certain that seven-time nominee Glenn Close would finally win an Oscar.  Well, she didn’t!

I still haven’t seen “The Favourite”, but once I do, I may agree with the Academy that Olivia Colman deserves it.

After the Oscars, I saw another of Close’s competitors.  In retrospective, Close would have been my second choice!

I would have given the Best Actress Oscar to…. MELISSA McCARTHY!!!!!!!!!!!

“CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME?”

She blew me away in “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”, a real-life story of author Lee Israel, who became a forger of celebrity letters.

While McCarthy is mostly known for her comedic roles, I saw a hint at her dramatic acting in 2014’s “St. Vincent”.

McCarthy’s co-star, Richard E. Grant was excellent in the movie and picked up a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination.

“Can You Ever Forgive Me?” wasn’t a box office smash, but in addition to the two acting Oscar nominations, it was also up for Best Adapted Screenplay.

I don’t give too many movies this grade!

GRADE:  A+

“A STAR IS BORN”

I finally saw the Academy Award Best Picture-nominated movie.  (It was nominated for a total of eight Oscars and won for Best Original Song for “Shallow”.)

It was enjoyable enough.  I thought Lady Gaga held her own with dramatic acting.  The brutal bathtub scene proved that!

If you haven’t seen it, this really isn’t a spoiler.  I had a hard time buying into one of the first scenes in the movie.

I know if you’re an alcoholic and you need liquor, you might go into a drag bar.  But, to become best buddies?

Even so, I still found Willam’s comment later in the movie, “I wore my Jackson titties!” hilarious! 🙂

Would I watch it again?  Yes, if I was with someone that wanted to see it.

Would I watch it again on my own?  No.

GRADE:  B

“SANTA CLARITA DIET” 

The third season of the hilarious zombie comedy premieres March 29th on Netflix.

I can’t believe how much I still crush on Timothy Olyphant!  That’s not true, I can believe it!

I absolutely loved him in “The Broken Hearts Club: A Romantic Comedy” (2000) and the critically panned “Catch and Release” (2006).

I have the first three seasons of “Justified” on DVD that I should binge and I need to check Netflix to see if seasons 4-6 are there!

Here’s a sample of “Santa Clarita Diet” and it contains language and violence (and humor)!

“HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER”

spoiler-alert

The fifth (and final?) season of the fantastic ABC drama wrapped up with a few shocks and cliffhangers!

Two characters went missing, which explains why Annalise is screaming like a mad woman on the street!  And, another was poisoned and left gasping for air!

Capture

The bigger question is not who kidnapped them or will the <poisoned person> die, it’s will ABC renew the low-rated series for us to find out the answers?

With Viola Davis on board, I’d say yes!

I’m still one of those people that can’t wait to see what Annalise and the “Keating 5” (oops, “Keating 4”) get into and out of each week!

Another reason I want the show to come back is to see more of Gerardo Celasco (Xavier Castillo, Laurel’s brother)!

gerardo.jpeg

“THE OLD MAN & THE GUN”

This movie was sold as Robert Redford’s last acting role.  We’ll see!

If it is, then he put in a nice performance and I absolutely love Sissy Spacek.

But, there’s really no need to see this movie based on a real-life elderly (and charming) bank robber.

With that being said, I’m not even posting the trailer!

GRADE:  C

THAT’S IT

With all the craziness in the world, make it the best in your little part of it!

Anthony

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Randomness — Holidays, Movies & More

Since I’m taking a break from my “Random Friday Thoughts”, I still wanted to share some recommendations on things I watched and enjoyed lately.

If you saw these, too, let me know what you thoughts.  If you didn’t, you have some things to check out!

A QUEEN BRINGS LIFE TO THE NEWBORN KING!

Leave it to a queen, BeBe Zahara Benet, to bring life to the newborn king holiday ballad, “The Little Drummer Boy” !

This is an incredible, fun version of the song and I love the video. 🙂

BABY, BRING THE BUBBLY INSIDE!

Fun Mimosas.jpg

CHRISTMAS SONG THOUGHTS

I’m not even going to get into the whole “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” debate.  It was already one of my least favorite holiday songs even before this year!

But, here are a few things to think about when listening to Christmas music this year!

In “Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer”, it lists the other reindeer and then asks a very silly question, “but do you recall the most famous reindeer of all”!

hermey-rudolph01

Seriously, if he’s the most famous reindeer of all, of course we remember him!

From “Do You Hear What I Hear”, “a child, a child, shivers in the cold, let us bring him silver and gold”.

While silver and gold would be nice to have, why not a damn blanket since the baby is cold!!!

Wise-Men-Baby-Jesus-Manger.png

And, I love the Carpenters!  But, in “Home For The Holidays”, I shake my head when Karen sings of going home and “Geez, the traffic is terrific!”

Traffic is terrific????  SAID.NO.ONE.EVER.

It’s more like…

gtfo

… of my way!

“IT’S CHRISTMAS, EVE”

I finally got around to watching “It’s Christmas, Eve” with LeAnn Rimes, which made debuted on the Hallmark Channel in November.

Rimes stars as Eve Morgan, who goes back home as Interim school superintendent to get the district out of financial trouble.  The easiest way to do it is to cut the arts program.

And, who does she meet living across the street from her mother and stepfather?  You probably guessed it — a very handsome music teacher, Liam (Tyler Hynes), at one of the schools on the chopping block!

While predictable, it’s still a cute movie.

The only thing I cringed about was the use of my least favorite (and widely overused) term these days:  “meet cute”.   It wasn’t used once or twice, but three times, if I’m not mistaken! 🙂

GRADE:  B

Before the show premiered, I wrote, “the soundtrack is incredible!  Okay, incredible is an understatement.  It’s the best Christmas album in the past few years!!!!” and I gave it an “A” grade!

REMEMBERING DREW & JUAN

After the summer 2016 Pulse Nightclub massacre, I vowed that as long as I blog, I’ll remember the victims — especially 32-year-old Christopher “Drew” Leinonen and his 22-year-old boyfriend Juan Guerrero.

Christmas Was Perfect

While that Christmas was perfect for the young men and their families, I know the following ones have been difficult for the grieving families.

To their families. Christopher and Juan are still not forgotten this Christmas!

“JONESTOWN:  TERROR IN THE JUNGLE”

This past November marked the 40th anniversary of the Jonestown massacre.  Some called it “mass murder” and others, a “mass suicide”.

I’m in the “mass murder” camp, since the Reverend Jim Jones was deranged and pretty much forced those people to drink cyanide-laced Kool-Aid at gunpoint!

More than 900 people died.

This SundanceTV documentary following Jones’ life from Indiana to the jungles of Guyana was incredible.

GRADE:  A

“PADDINGTON 2”

2014’s “Paddington” was fun.  The little bear is adorable and especially so, voiced by my big-time crush, Ben Whishaw!

Ben Whishaw

Plus, Nicole Kidman as a villain was icing on the cake.

This year’s $40 million sequel was box office gold.  It made $226.9 million.

Paddington is living in London and wants to buy his aunt a picture book.  But, this movie’s villain (played by Hugh Grant) wants the book because it holds clues to a treasure that no one knows about, except him.

The movie is very cute and heartwarming.  With just minutes before the end credits, Iit brought tears to my eyes!  🙂

Also, at one point near the end of the movie, a scene with two-time Oscar nominee Sally Hawkins made me feel like I was watching “The Shape of Water 2”! 🙂

GRADE: A-

“SEARCHING”

This incredible movie was made for just a million dollars and brought in an astounding $70.6 million in theaters.

It was shot mostly on smartphones and computer screens and is eerie and creepy.

John Cho stars as a dad that learns he knows very little about his 15-year-old daughter when she goes missing.

Debra Messing (“Will & Grace”) is a detective that’s helping solve the case.

Cho is nominated for the “Independent Spirit Award for Best Male Lead”.

GRADE: A-

“THE GOOD DOCTOR” WINTER FINALE

While I still like “The Good Doctor” on ABC, I recently wrote that I’ve cooled on the show.  Well, that all changed with the winter finale, “Quarantine”!

If you’ve never watched the show or you don’t watch it religiously, watch this episode “On Demand”!!!

And, if you’ve never watched it, all you need to know is that Dr. Shaun Murphy (Freddie Highmore) is autistic and is considered a savant!

It was intense and scary to think that this could really happen!  And, which major characters will die?

“The Good Doctor” returns on ABC Monday, January 14, 2019.

“JANE FONDA IN FIVE ACTS”

Two-time Oscar winner Jane Fonda, who turns 81 next week, is still turning out award nominated work both on the big screen and on television (“Grace and Frankie”).

There are still people in the U.S. that dislike (okay, hate) Fonda for a mistake she made back in the Vietnam conflict.

But, this HBO documentary is amazing.

It shows Fonda in five acts:  from Henry Fonda’s daughter and her first years as an actress through the men that try to define her (three ex-husbands) to her current work.

GRADE: A-

“BLACKkKLANSMAN”

This Spike Lee picture was made for $15 million and made $88.2 million in theaters.

It’s based on the true story of Ron Stallworth, the first African-American to join the Colorado Springs Police Department in Colorado in the early-1970s.

John David Washington (Denzel’s son) plays Stallworth, who contacts the Ku Klux Klan and then has to coach a white officer (Adam Driver) to pose as Stallworth to meet the hooded haters!

While this story took place in the ’70s, there were subtle and not so subtle references to “that man”, 45!

The nominations are coming in for BLACKkKLANSMAN”!  It’s up for five Critics Choice Awards including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Supporting Actor (Driver).

It’s also nominated for four Golden Globes including Best Motion Picture – Drama, Best Director, Best Actor – Drama (Washington) and Best Supporting Actor (Driver).

While this movie was very enjoyable and entertaining, my favorite Spike Lee movie is still 1999’s underappreciated “Summer of Sam”.

GRADE: B+

“SORRY TO BOTHER YOU”

Lakeith Stanfield will be a name you’ll hear more of in the future.

He leads this movie about a telemarketer who learns that using a “white voice” helps his sales and will move him up the corporate ladder at WorryFree faster.

But, it comes with a price.

This comedy is crazy and definitely goes off the rails with well-endowed horse people (you’ll have to watch the movie)! 🙂

Sexy Armie Hammer (“Call Me By Your Name”) stars as the CEO of the company.

It made $17.6 million in theaters and is nominated for two Independent Spirit Awards.

GRADE: B

“HEREDITARY”

I like horror movies and I love Toni Collette (“Muriel’s Wedding”), but I wasn’t drawn to the theaters to see “Hereditary”.

I finally saw it on DVD and I made the right decision to avoid it.

Supernatural movies have less appeal to me than horror movies with deranged serial killers!  Hello Michael Myers!

Halloween

“Hereditary” does have a very surprising and shocking death scene that I didn’t see coming.

While Collette and Alex Wolff, who plays her 16-year-old son, are great, the movie was too long and convoluted.

Yet, it was a box office hit earning $79.3 million.

GRADE:  B-

THAT’S IT

With all the craziness in the world, make it the best in your little part of it!

Anthony

 

Random Friday Thoughts — August 11, 2017

The weekend is almost here.  I can’t believe that I start counting down to the next weekend when my alarm goes off at midnight Sunday (Monday morning).

I hope you have a spectacular weekend whether you have a lot planned or nothing at all.

Thank you for taking the time to check out my “Random Friday Thoughts”.

ANOTHER WEEK, ANOTHER CAITLYN DISAPPOINTMENT

The transgender community’s biggest nightmare (okay, that’s not scientific), but the woman I see as the least qualified person to represent the trans community proved me right once again.

A little over a week after #45 tweeted that transgender men and women cannot serve in the U.S. military, Caitlyn Jenner was seen wearing one of those dreaded #45 hats about America’s future.

EXCLUSIVE: Caitlyn Jenner wears a red 'Make America Great Again' while cruising her classic car in Malibu

I’m not even going to get into the reasons Jenner gave for wearing the hat or the apology she gave after getting busted.

Caitlyn, I personally think you’re an insult to the transgender community.  So, don’t apologize. We (or I) expect nothing more than what you’ve displayed time and time again.

Go away!

ON A SEXIER & HAPPIER TRANSGENDER NOTE

Check out this sexy and stunning new PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) advertising spread.

It features trans models Loiza Lamers and Benjamin Melzer.

PETA

Loiza is a Dutch model, best known for winning the eight season of Holland’s “Next Top Model”.  She also became the world’s first transgender winner of the global television franchise.

Loiza underwent gender reassignment surgery in 2003, at the age of 18.

German born Melzer became the first transsexual to grace the cover of the European “Men’s Fitness” magazine.

Melzer

The 30-year-old transitioned seven years ago.

SCHOOL LUNCHES & EATING IN GENERAL

Now that more schools are back in session and others are getting ready, it’s time to think about school lunches.

My favorite meals when I was in school were the cardboard pizza, which I’d cover in ketchup, salt, and pepper, and the sloppy joes, with whatever mystery “meat” that was supplied to schools in the 1970s and early-1980s.

The debate is still on about what’s good for kids and what some school districts can afford.

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I don’t believe kids should have the option of soda or whole milk (low-fat instead) with lunch and I think fruits and veggies should be served with every school meal.  That’s where I draw the line.

I know kids, just like us, have the option and will choose much less healthier choices outside of school.

The sad thing about nutrition is that it’s cheaper to eat the unhealthy choices than what’s good for you.  Take McDonald’s, for example.

You can get many options on the dollar menu, but a meal-sized salad costs several dollars!

mcdonalds dollar menu

At the grocery, you can get a full box of snack cakes or bags of chips with hundreds of calories per serving for a dollar or two, but healthier choices are much more expensive for far less food.

It’s a no win situation!

DUCKS A LA KING!

This looks like a muddy version of the duck game at the county and state fairs.  However, it’s actually a grassy area that becomes a “pond” with each heavy rain.

It’s also a safe haven for all of the little ducklings.

DUcks

The other day, I was walking around the big pond and noticed that a turtle had grabbed a duckling.  If it had just happened, I would have waded into the pond to try to rescue it. But, it was too late.

As much as I know it’s a game of “survival of the fittest”, it’s still tough to witness.

I gave up beef years ago and I love prime rib and a nice, messy, juicy cheeseburger, but I can’t imagine eating a beautiful bovine.

Burger

However, after witnessing the wildlife here in Panama City and not seeing cows, maybe I should indulge!!!!!!!

“MR. ROBOT” RETURNS IN TWO MONTHS

If you haven’t seen the season two finale of “Mr. Robot”, skip past the season three trailer and start reading at “Son of Sam”!

spoiler-alert

It appears that Elliot Alderson (Emmy Award winner Rami Malek) survives being shot! Or, who knows with this show?  It’s hard to know who or what is real.

The one thing that’s certain on “Mr. Robot” is that the world is screwed up.  Notice I chose the polite description even though that’s rather sanitized!

“Mr. Robot” returns Wednesday, October 11 at 10 p.m. ET on the USA Network.

“SON OF SAM”

Notoriously, David Berkowitz will always be remembered as the “Son of Sam”, who terrorized New York City during the mid-1970s.

It was 40 years ago this week that his killing spree ended.  When he was arrested on August 10, 1977, after killing six people and injuring eight others, the fear subsided in New York City.

What helped bring him down?  A parking ticket and a barking dog!

A new 2-hour special called “Son of Sam:  The Hunt for a Killer” on the Investigation Discovery network is incredible and features a lot of new interviews.

Also, if you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend Spike Lee’s 1999’s unappreciated “Summer of Sam”.

To this day, I still think Mira Sorvino should have nominated for her performance!

JAMES FRANCO — GAY FOR PAY (ART)

James Franco does it all in Hollywood.  In 2017 alone, he’s in eleven movies!

He starred in the Tobey Maguire “Spiderman” series in the 2000s (all three movies) and he earned an Oscar nomination for “127 Hours”, which was based on a true story.

Franco was captivating as Harvey Milk’s lover, Scott Smith, in “Milk”, that earned Sean Penn an Best Actor Academy Award.

That was just one of several gay roles he’s played.  Recently, on Netflix, I saw him in two of his most recent gay roles, both based on true stories.  I’ll start with the best (and most bizarre).

“KING COBRA”

It’s the story of “Brent Corrigan”, a teenager from Idaho that traveled across the country and became an adult movie star in films from pornographer Bryan Kocis (played by Christian Slater).  Kocis was named “Stephen” in the movie.

After getting famous in the gay movie world, Corrigan (sexy Garrett Clayton) wants more money, but Kocis has the youngster under contract and has claim to his professional name and image.

James Franco plays Joe Kerekes, a rival pornographer that devised a plan to get Corrigan to star in his new movie and reap all the financial benefits.

Needless to say, things go wrong and not everyone survives the twisted outcome!

This trailer is rather risque!

GRADE:  A-

“I AM MICHAEL”

In this movie based on another true story, Franco plays San Francisco gay activist Michael Glatze, who moves to Canada with his lover, Bennett (Zachary Quinto).

While there, they bring a younger third, Tyler (Charlie Carver) into the relationship, but the biggest shock is when Michael finds religion and proclaims himself an ex-gay.

He then falls in love with a woman and becomes a Christian preacher.

Quinto is believable in this movie, but the only thing that really stands out about Franco is his bad hair styles over the year.

He’s much more intense in “King Cobra” and more vulnerable in “Milk”.

GRADE:  B-

REMEMBERING GLEN CAMPBELL

Glen Campbell, the country music and pop crossover (and television) star of the 1960s and the 1970s, passed away earlier this week after a long battle with Alzheimer’s.  He was 81.

He was also well known for his rocky relationship with Tanya Tucker, one of the biggest country music stars in the 1970s.Glen TanyaI blogged about her (and Campbell) in the summer of 2014 and many people checked it out after his death.

Here’s the link if you want to read it:

 https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2014/07/10/im-glad-tanya-tucker-shared-her-nickel-dreams/

During this long music career, Campbell scored an amazing 56 country hits with 28 of them hitting the Top Ten and five topped the Billboard Country singles chart.

He was a huge crossover artist, too.  21 of his songs hit the Top 40 on the Billboard Hot 100.  Of those, five reached the Top Ten, and two (“Rhinestone Cowboy” and “Southern Nights”) reached the #1 on the pop chart!.

My five favorite Glen Campbell songs were:

#5 “Gentle on My Mind

#4 “Galveston”

#3  “Wichita Lineman”

#2  “Southern Nights”

#1 MOVIE

#1  “Country Boy (You Got Your Feet in L.A.)”

PICK HIT

Happy Birthday Shawn Mendes!

The Canadian singer turned 19-year-old earlier this week.

His first two studio albums have topped the charts here in the U.S.

“Stiches” hit #1 on the airplay chart at Top 40 radio and he’s already scored six hits on American radio.

Until now, my favorite Mendes song was “Treat You Better”, which reached #6 last year.

But, his latest, “There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back”, is catchy, fun, and my new favorite.  It’s also the most played song in America!

It’s from his “Illuminate” album.

THAT’S IT

With all the craziness in the world, make it the best in your little part of it!

Anthony

 

 

Beat The Cold & Snow With These Three Movies

I hope you enjoyed the first weekend of spring.

While it looked nice, it was a chilly one in the Quad Cities after Friday’s high of 62°!  That was the first 60-plus temperature this year and the warmest day in more than four months!

Saturday LeClaire

Now, we have a little snow (an inch or two) on the way today and tonight.  The good news is that it won’t last long and much warmer weather is expected by the weekend!  Yes, I’m already thinking of the weekend and it’s just Monday!

So, if you want to cuddle up on the couch tonight and Tuesday and if you’re not watching “The Following”, I have a few suggestions to definitely check out if you want to rent movies!  I love my Redbox!

“INSTRUCTIONS NOT INCLUDED”

This Mexican comedy-drama directed and written by star Eugenio Derbez stunned the American box office when it opened last fall and I can see why.

Instructions Not Included

The $5 million dollar movie is now up to $90.2 million in box office revenues.

Of that amount, $39.3 million was made in the U.S.  “Instructions” is now the highest grossing Spanish-language movie of all time and it’s the 4th highest grossing foreign film domestically.

In Mexico, by the second week in release, it had become the highest grossing Mexican film of all time.

Derbez stars as Valentin’, a bum that likes to sleep around.  One day, a former fling shows up at his door while he’s entertaining a couple of women.  She hands him a baby and gets money to go back down to pay the taxi.  She doesn’t return.

instructions_not_included

Valentin’ begins tracking down the American mother and realizes that she may be in Los Angeles.  He and the little girl, Maggie, head off in search of the baby’s mother, Julie.

He gets a job as a stunt man after saving the baby’s life in front of a director.  Over the years, Valentin’ and Maggie grow close.

Valentin Maggie

And, that’s where the drama comes in.

This movie is a definite must-see.  You won’t even notice that you have to read subtitles!

GRADE:  A

“NEBRASKA”

This black & white movie was nominated for six Academy Awards this year, including Best Picture, Best Director for Alexander Payne, Best Actor for Bruce Dern and Best Supporting Actress for June Squibb.

Nebraska

Dern stars as Woody Grant, an elderly Billings, Montana, man who thinks he’s won a million dollars in a sweepstakes.  Since he’s suffers from memory loss, he heads off walking several times to Lincoln, Nebraska to collect his money.

You can see the stress that this brings to his wife, Kate (Squibb) and his son, David, played by former “Saturday Night Live” comedian, Will Forte, in a dramatic role that he aces.

David gives in and decides to drive to Nebraska with his father.  On the way, there will be a family get together in Woody’s small Nebraska hometown the weekend before they arrive in Lincoln.  Once Woody tells people he’s won a million dollars, family and friends all come forward to demand their share of the winnings.

June Squibb

The movie was very hard to watch at times because it was so awkward, but real.  I felt like I was a voyeur in the Grant family’s life.

While Dern and Forte were amazing, June Squibb made the movie.  The fact that she didn’t have a filter and said what she was thinking, her performance definitely deserved an Oscar nomination — if not for the cemetery scene alone and it was funny!

GRADE:  A-

“OLDBOY”

Director Spike Lee’s remake of the 2003 South Korean cult film, Oldboy, was a box office bomb, but it was very entertaining and intriguing.

OLDBOY

Josh Brolin stars as Joe, an alcoholic advertisement executive.  He drinks during the work day just to get through it and he’s good at what he does.

However, one night, after he botches a pretty much sealed high-profile deal over dinner, he gets wasted and wakes up being held captive in a “room” after following an Asian woman with an umbrella through an alley.

In his captivity, he finds out the he’s being framed for the rape and murder of his ex-wife.  His infant child, Mia, survived the attack.

Josh Brolin

Joe is held prisoner for 20 years and then he’s drugged and released in a box in the middle of a field with cash and a cell phone.  While in captivity, he was forced to watch a video of his grown daughter, Mia, talking about how she’d feel to meet her father again.

That’s where it gets violent and very creepy.

The movie also features incredible performances from Samuel L. Jackson, Elizabeth Olsen, who’s one of the best new actresses out there, and Sharlto Copley (“District 9” and “Elysium”).

While I enjoyed this movie, when it hits theaters, it was one of the weakest openings for Thanksgiving of all time.  It only grossed $850,000 in the first five days.

“Summer of Sam” is still my favorite Spike Lee movie, but this is solid, too.

GRADE: B

As you know, I love watching movies and I’m sure I’ll have a few more short reviews to share with you soon.

Anthony