Two Days One Night

Two Days One Night.

Another mass shooting at a movie theater

There was the horrifying mass shooting in Aurora, Colorado. James Holmes, killed 12 people during a midnight screening of “The Dark Knight Rises,” now last night, John Russell Houser, in Lafayette, Louisiana opened fire killing two and injuring several more..

When Col. Michael D. Edmonson, superintendent of the Louisiana State Police,was asked at a news conference  “Why did he come here? Why did he do that?” he responded, “We don’t know that,”  “We may not find a motive.”

As I prepare to head off to the Traverse City Film Festival, where I will be spending 16 -18 hours each day in or around theaters, I am both saddened  and frightened. There is seldom a week that passes where I’m not in a movie theater, this latest shooting was during a comedy; so clearly no showing of any film is free from the prospect of some crazy, pulling out a gun and killing a random number of people. Yes, there is something frightening about that reality. I am also a great lover of film, and of watching them on a “Big screen,” and yes, in the company of others. Comedies are funnier when you’re in a room filled with other people laughing, Horror films do not have the same power when watched at home.

My heart goes out to the families that lost loved ones, or saw friends and family injured in this senseless rampage.


Jurassic World

Jurassic WorldDirected by …. Colin Trevorrow
Written by (screenplay) ….. Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver, Colin Trevorrow & Derek Connolly
(Story) …. Rick Jaffa … Amanda Silver
Based on characters and concept of Michael Crichton

Music …. Michael Giacchino
Director of photography … John Schwartzman
Film Editing … Kevin Stitt

Runtime (124 min) Color
Aspect Ratio 2.00 : 1

Cameras…. Both film and digital Arriflex 435, Panavision Primo Lenses
Panavision 65 HR Camera, Panavision System 65 Lenses
Panavision Panaflex Millennium XL2, Panavision Primo Lenses
Panavision Panaflex Platinum, Panavision Primo Lenses
Red Epic Dragon, Panavision Primo Lenses

Chris Pratt … Owen
Bryce Dallas Howard … Claire
Irrfan Khan … Masrani
Vincent D’Onofrio … Hoskins
Ty Simpkins Gray
Nick Robinson Zach
Jake Johnson … Lowery
Omar Sy … Barry
BD Wong … Dr. Henry Wu
Judy Greer … Karen
Lauren Lapkus… Vivian
Brian Tee … Hamada
Katie McGrath Zara
Andy Buckley… Scott
Courtney James Clark … Mosasaurus Announcer
Colby Boothman … Young Raptor Handler
Jimmy Fallon … as Himself

Some lessons go unheeded. In the original film, the attraction “Jurassic Park,” on Isla Nublar, Jeff Goldblum’s character, Dr.Ian Malcolm, expresses concern that the creators’s “scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.” This film begins 22 years after the original disastrous failure of Jurassic Park, the ability to produce living dinosaurs proved too great a draw not to reconstruct Jurassic World, an even grander new park on Isla Nublar. The attraction opened for business, and was a great success, but people are always looking for something new, something bigger, badder; so the park’s scientists genetically engineer a dinosaur larger and more ferocious than T-Rex. I assume I’m not giving away a secret when I confirm playing with dino DNA is not a great idea.

Jurassic World- HowardIn that film, the creator, John Hammond had invited a few people along with his his two grandchildren, to sample Jurassic Park, this time the up and running park is occupied by thousands of paying guests. This time the film moves further away from the philosophical questions, and more towards a basic corporate greed. Colin Trevorrow, who until this had never made a blockbuster film, at first seems like an odd choice to direct, but did a successful job of capturing the look and spirit of Steven Spielberg’s 1993 classic.

Chris Pratt, Jurassic World

“Avengers: Age of Ultron”

You got to love Joss Whedon. It’s difficult to name another writer/director responsible for creating a greater collection of strong female characters. Whether writing for film, TV or comics, the woman that populate his world have depth, intelligence, empathy and yeah, some of them can kick any guys ass.

When Joss was tapped to direct the Avengers, he made no secret that he was frustrated with Marvel for them not backing a film with a female lead .

“It’s frustrating to me that I don’t see anybody developing one of these movies. It actually pisses me off. My daughter watched The Avengers and was like, ‘My favorite characters were the Black Widow and Maria Hill,’ and I thought, Yeah, of course they were.”

This week “Avengers: Age of Ultron” is set to hit theaters and might smash all box office records, and why not? The biggest grossing films are sequels, action films have a wide appeal, especially when filled with Superheroes; so it should not come as a surprise that the Avengers 2 can draw big audiences-Good for Joss and good for Marvel. I’m looking forward to seeing the film, but I have to agree, I can see no reason to suggest that the public will not flock to a action movie with a female out in front. If Hollywood is looking for successful films confirming a woman can carry an action driven story, proof can be found in Kill Bill, Alien, Tomb Raider, and The Hunger Games. Scarlett Johansson clearly has the talent to allow Black Widow to be the center attraction and sell tickets. Hopefully we will see more female lead superhero films.

AVENGERS 2 Age of Ultron

Hunger Games

Kill Bill


10 Best Female Superheros

Albert Maysles, of Gimme Shelter fame, Dies at 88

It’s always sad to lose a great filmmaker, and Albert Maysles was a real force in the world of documentary films. Albert Maysles Albert Maysles, along with his brother David, who died in 1987, received numerous awards, including an Emmy and Oscar.  They are most well known for “Grey Gardens,” a film about Edith Bouvier and her daughter, Edith Bouvier Beale, cousins of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, documenting their lives with mental illness and showed them living a the ruins of what was once a grand mansion.

Gimme Shelter is part concert film, part behind the scenes look into what it took for The Rolling Stones​ and Jefferson Airplane to put on a free concert at the Altamont speedway. The Maysles brothers were documenting the concert when the Hell’s Angels (brought in by organizers to provide security) began beating spectators. Mick pleaded from the stage, “Why are we all fighting,” but nothing would stop the escalating violence, which left one concert-goer dead.

Gimme Shelter, Stones

American Sniper

Between my classes, homework and time devoted to theatre and film productions, I still found enough time to see every film up for a major award, but not to write as many reviews as I had in previous years. “American Sniper” had been a film that caught my interest based on the respect I have for Bradley Cooper’s work, when I saw he had gotten a nomination for best actor “Sniper” appeared on my must-see list. The film, based on an autobiography of Chris Kyle, a Navy SEAL sniper credited with a record number of kills during his four tours of duty in Iraq, and the difficult time he has leaving the war behind him when returning to his family.

Continue on reading American Sniper Review

Vote for Academy Awards 2015

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Oscar nominations for the 87th Academy Awards (Video)

I must say there were a more than few surprises this year.
I was struck by the fact that Rosamund Pike was the only nomination for “Gone Girl,” “Selma” only got listed for best picture and song, and the total snub for “the Lego Movie.”

I was upset to see “Whiplash put into the Adapted screenplay category, because it really is an original script, The only reason it was because it had already been produced as a short film. That decision is a bit questionable because the short was really just done to get investors for the full-length film. I’m glad to see both “Grand Budapest Hotel” and “Birdman” do so well.

My Oscar Nomination Predictions 2014

Academy Award Films of 2014Best Picture:
1) Boyhood
2) Birdman
3) The Imitation Game
4) The Grand Budapest Hotel
5) The Theory of Everything
6) Selma
7) Whiplash
8) American Sniper
9) Nightcrawler
10) Gone Girl
11) Foxcatcher
12) Unbroken
13) Into the Woods
Please: Under the Skin, Wild, Guardians of the Galaxy, or The Babadook

Best Actor:
1) Michael Keaton – Birdman
2) Eddie Redmayne – The Theory of Everything
3) Benedict Cumberbatch – The Imitation Game
4) David Oyelelo – Selma
5) Jake Gyllenhaal – Nightcrawler
6) Ralph Fiennes – The Grand Budapest Hotel
7) Steve Carell – Foxcatcher
8) Bradley Cooper – American Sniper
9) Timothy Spall – Mr. Turner
10) Joaquin Phoenix – Inherent Vice
Please: Miles Teller – Whiplash or Bill Murray – St. Vincent

Best Actress:
1) Julianne Moore – Still Alice
2) Reese Witherspoon – Wild
3) Felicity Jones – The Theory of Everything
4) Rosamund Pike – Gone Girl
5) Jennifer Aniston – Cake
6) Amy Adams – Big Eyes
7) Marion Cotillard – Two Days, One Night
8) Emily Blunt – Into the Woods
9) Hilary Swank – The Homesman
10) Marion Catillar – The Immigrant
Please: Scarlett Johannson – Under the Skin

Best Supporting Actor
1) J.K. Simmons – Whiplash
2) Edward Norton – Birdman
3) Mark Ruffalo – Foxcatcher
4) Ethan Hawke – Boyhood
5) Steve Carell – Foxcatcher (if eligible)
6) Robert Duvall – The Judge
7) Josh Brolin – Inherent Vice
8) Chris Pine – Into the Woods
9) Tom Wilkinson – Selma
10) Christoph Waltz – Big Eyes
11) Charlie Cox – The Theory of Everything
Please: Matt Damon – Interstellar

Best Supporting Actress:
1) Patricia Arquette – Boyhood
2) Emma Stone – Birdman
3) Meryl Streep – Into the Woods
4) Keira Knightly – The Imitation Game
5) Rene Russo – Nightcrawler
6) Jessica Chastain – A Most Violent Year
7) Laura Dern – Wild
8) Carmen Ejogo – Selma
9) Naomi Watts – St. Vincent
10) Tilda Swinton – Snowpiercer
Please: Stacy Martin – Nymphomaniac (Vol. I)

Best Director:
1) Richard Linklater – Boyhood
2) Alejandro G. Iñaritu – Birdman
3) Wes Anderson- The Grand Budapest Hotel
4) Ava DuVarney – Selma
5) Morten Tydlem – The Imitation Game
6) Clint Eastwood – American Sniper
7) David Fincher – Gone Girl
8) Damien Chazelle – Whiplash
9) James Marsh – Theory of Everything
10) Bennett Miller – Foxcatcher
Please: Jonathan Glazer – Under the Skin

Best Original Screenplay
1) Birdman – Alejandro G. Iñaritu, Nicholas Guacabone, Alexaner Dinelaris, & Armando Bo
2) The Grand Budapest Hotel – Wes Anderson (Story & Screenplay) & Hugo Guinness (Story)
3) Boyhood – Richard Linklater
4) Nightcrawler- Dan Gilroy
5) Foxcatcher – E. Max Fry & Dan Futterman
6) Selma – Paul Webb
7) Big Eyes – Scott Alexander & Larry Kazawzeski
8) Mr. Turner – Mike Leigh
9) Interstellar – Christopher & Jonathan Nolan
10) Top Five – Chris Rock
Please: The Lego Movie – Phil Lord & Christopher Miller and Dan Hageman & Kevin Hageman or St. Vincent – Theodore Melfi

Best Adapted Screenplay
1) The Imitation Game – Graham Moore
2) Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn
3) The Theory of Everything – Anthony McCarten
4) Wild – Nick Hornby
5) Whiplash – Damien Chazelle
6) American Sniper – Jason Hall
7) Inherent Vice – Paul Thomas Anderson
8) Unbroken – William Goldenberg, Richard LaGravenese, and Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
9) Still Alice – Richard Glatzer & Wash Westmooreland
10) Guardians of the Galaxy – James Gunn & Nicole Perlman
Please: Under the Skin – Jonathan Glazer & Walter Campbell

Best Cinematography
1) Emmanuel Lubezki – Birdman
2) Dick Pope – Mr. Turner
3) Robert D. Yeoman – The Grand Budapest Hotel
4) Hoyte Van Hoytema – Interstellar
5) Roger Deakins – Unbroken
6) Ryszard Lenczewski and Łukasz Żal – Ida
7) Oscar Faura – The Imitation Game
8) Tom Stern – American Sniper
9) Bradford Young – Selma
10) Jeff Cronenweth – Gone Girl
Please: Yves Belanger – Wild

Best Editing
1) Birdman – Douglas Crise
2) Boyhood – Sandra Adair
3) The Imitation Game – William Goldenberg
4) Whiplash – Tom Cross
5) The Grand Budapest Hotel – Barney Pilling
6) Gone Girl – Kirk Baxter
7) American Sniper – Joel Cox & Gary Roach
8) Nightcrawler – John Gilroy
9) Interstellar – Lee Smith
10) Selma – Spencer Averick
Please: Wild – Martin Pensa & John Mac McMurphy and/or Under the Skin – Paul Watts

Best Production Design:
1) The Grand Budapest Hotel
2) Into the Woods
3) Mr. Turner
4) Birdman
5) The Imitation Game
6) Interstellar
7) The Theory of Everything
8) Big Eyes
9) Unbroken
10) Guardians of the Galaxy
Please: The Babadook

Best Makeup & Hairstyling
1) Foxcatcher
2) Maleficent
3) The Grand Budapest Hotel
4) Guardians of the Galaxy
5) The Theory of Everything
Please: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1

Best Costume Design:
1) Into the Woods – Colleen Atwood
2) Maleficent – Anna B. Shepard
3) The Grand Budapest Hotel – Milena Canonero
4) Mr. Turner – Jacqueline Durran
5) The Imitation Game – Sammy Sheldon
6) Inherent Vice – Mark Bridges
7) The Theory of Everything – Stephen Noble
8) Big Eyes – Colleen Atwood
9) Selma – Ruth E. Carter
10) Guardians of the Galaxy- Alexandra Byrne
Please: Magic in the Moonlight – Sonia Grande

Best Original Score:
1) The Theory of everything- Jóhan Jóhannsson
2) The Imitation Game – Alexandre Desplat
3) Interstellar – Hans Zimmer
4) Gone Girl – Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
5) The Grand Budapest Hotel – Alexandre Desplat
6) Unbroken – Alexandre Desplat
7) Under the Skin – Mica Levi
8) The Judge – Thomas Newman
9) How to Train Your Dragon 2 – John Powell
10) Big Hero 6 – Henry Jackman
Please: Godzilla – Alexandre Desplat or The Monuments Men – Alexandre Desplat

Best Original Song
1. Glory – Selma – John Legend & Common
2. Lost Stars – Begin Again – Gregg Alexander, Danielle Brisebois, Nick Lashley & Nick Southwood – Perf. by Adam Levine
3. Everything is Awesine – The Lego Movie – Shawn Patterson, Joshua Bartholomew, Lisa Hamilton, and The Lonely Island – Tegan & Sara (ft. The Lonely Island)
4. Big Eyes – Big Eyes – Lana Del Rey
5. I’m Not Gonna Miss You – Glenn Campbell: I’ll Be Me – Glenn Campbell and Julian Raymond – Glenn Campbell
6. Mercy Is – Noah – Patti Smith and Lenny Kaye – Patti Smith
7. Split the Difference – Boyhood – Ethan Hawke and Charlie Sexton – Ethan Hawke
8. Yellow Flicker Beat – The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 – Ella Yelich-O’Connor & Joel Little – Lorde
9. Miracles – Unbroken – Coldplay
10. Ryan’s Song – Boyhood – Ethan Hawke – Ethan Hawke, Ellar Coltrane, and Lorelei Linklater
Please: Immortals – Big Hero 6 – Patrick Strump, Pete Wentz, Joe Trohman, and Andy Hurley – Fall Out Boy

Best Visual Effects:
1. Interstellar
2. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
3. Guardians of the Galaxy
4. Godzilla
5. The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies
6. Maleficent
7. X-Men: Days of Future Past
8. Transformers: Age of Extinction
9. Birdman
10. Captain America: The Winter Solider
Please: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1

Best Sound Mixing
1. Interstellar
2. Into the Woods
3. Whiplash
4. American Sniper
5. Fury
6. Unbroken
7. Guardians of the Galaxy
8. Birdman
9. Lucy
Please: Wild or Godzilla

Best Sound Editing
1. American Sniper
2. Interstellar
3. Whiplash
4. Guardians of the Galaxy
5. Unbroken
6. Fury
7. Birdman
8. Into the Woods
9. The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies
Please: Godzilla or Lucy

Best Animated Feature:
1. The Lego Movie
2. How to Train Your Dragon 2
3. Big Hero 6
4. The Boxtrolls
5. The Tale of Princess Kaguya
6. The Book of Life
7. Rio 2
8. Song of the Sea
9. Penguins of Madagascar
10. Mr. Peabody and Sherman

Complete Golden Globe Predictions (for Film):

Golden Globes 2015 - CinemaShadow

Lane J. Lubell

Will: Boyhood
Could: The Imitation Game
Should: The Imitation Game
Missing: Whiplash & Gone Girl
Will: Birdman
Could: The Grand Budapest Hotel
Should: Either
Missing: Guardians of the Galaxy
Will: Richard Linklater – Boyhood
Could: Alejandro G. Iñaritu – Birdman
Should: Wes Anderson – The Grand Budapest Hotel or Iñaritu
Missing: Damien Chazelle – Whiplash or Jonathan Glazer – Under the Skin
Actor – Drama:
Will: Eddie Redmayne – Theory of Everything
Could: Benedict Cumberbatch – The Imitation Game
Should: Steve Carell – Foxcatcher or Redmayne
Missing: Bradley Cooper – American Sniper
Actor – Comedy:
Will: Michael Keaton – Birdman
Could: Ralph Fiennes – The Grand Budapest Hotel
Should: Fiennes
Missing: Bill Hader – The Skeleton Twins
Actress – Drama:
Will: Julianne Moore – Still Alice
Could: Rosamund Pike – Gone Girl
Should: Felicity Jones – Theory of Everything or Reese Witherspoon – Wild
Missing: Scarlett Johannson – Under the Skin
Actress – Comedy:
Will: Emily Blunt – Into The Woods
Could: Amy Adams – Big Eyes
Should: Either
Missing: Angelina Jolie – Maleficent
Supporting Actor:
Will: J.K. Simmons – Whiplash
could: Edward Norton – Birdman
should: Simmons
Missing: Matt Damon – Interstellar
Supporting Actress:
Will: Patricia Arquette – Boyhood
Could: Meryl Streep – Into the Woods
Should: Emma Stone – Birdman
Missing: Stacy Martin – Nymphomaniac
Will: Wes Anderson & Hugo Guinness – The Grand Budapest Hotel
Could: Alejando G. Iñaritu, Nicholas Guacabone, Alexander Dinelaris, & Armando Bo – Birdman
Should: Either
Missing: Damien Chazelle – Whiplash
Will: Glory – Selma – John Legend & Common
Could: Mercy Is – Noah – Patti Smith & Lenny Kaye
Should: Big Eyes – Big Eyes – Lana Del Ray
Missing: Everything is Awesome – The Lego Movie – Shawn Patterson, Bartholomew, Lisa Harrington, Akiva Schaffer, Andy Samberg, Jorma Taccone, & Mark Mothersbaugh (perf by Tegan & Sara (ft. The Lonely Island))
Will: Johan Johannson – The Theory of everything
Could: Alexandre Desplat – The Imitation Game
Should: Antonio Sanchez – Birdman
Missing: Mica Levi – Under the Skin
Will: The Lego Movie
Could: How to Train Your Dragon 2
Should: Lego
Missing: The Tale of Princess Kaguya
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