Time for a New Award Show?

Awards show is notorious for movies as “art.” It’s rare to find a film that is a good movie that wins any kind of award. TV has almost the same sordid past. Most things that are mainstream hits are ignored by the academies. The Golden Globe nominations prove this prejudice still exists.
The biggest problem with the movie nominations and this happens a lot. I have not seen or care to see but one of the movies on the list. Unfortunately Silver Linings Playbook is not playing near. The other issues are that, at the nominations, the movies had not even been released. These are mostly docudramas that screw up what really happened for entertainment value. Forget Lincoln, I’d rather watch Tommy Lee Jones in Men in Black 3. In fact, the only movies I have seen are those in the animated category (and this year they are all good competition!).
The Golden Globes are usually not completely against the grain with their television selections. In fact Katey Sagal won Best Actress in a Drama in 2011 for her work in Sons of Anarchy. But the rest of the cast and show gets snubbed. Like The Walking Dead, when it is nominated, it is for technical awards. Charlie Hunnam and Kim Coates have been snubbed just as much as Jon Bernthal was for his work on Season 2 of TWD. The two supporting actors have been ignored for any kind award for the work on their respective shows, and Hunnam can’t catch the attention of the votes even though he is a brilliant actor.
Instead we see shows like American Horror story get around the rules, by submitting as a miniseries though it is an actual TV show. Unlike the Emmy’, it only pulled one nomination in the major categories. There is also a few other odd ball nominations including Connie Britton in Nashville. Laurie Holden and Katey Sagal both kick her ass.
So I have decided to make my own awards and requirements that are the best of TV and movies as good TV and movies. Stay tuned for my take on what deserves an award.

Retribution is Here

Resident Evil: Retribution

R, 3-D & 2-D

I love the Resident Evil movies. I love the pro-feminist protagonist. I love the action in the zombie fights. I love the lack of gore in the films. I am always go see them opening week. Resident Evil Retribution did not disappoint.

Alice kicks zombie ass

Retribution starts with the ill fated showdown between Alice and Jill on the Arcadia. Alice is, as usual, recaptured by the Umbrella Corporation. Alice is release by an unknown entity and finds herself in Tokyo. But the zombies force Alice back into the Umbrella facility. There she meets Ada Wong, an Umbrella double agent that is trying to break Alice free on the orders of Albert Wesker. While Alice doesn’t trust him, she sees no other way to get out of the simulation facility that she is in. At this facility, Umbrella simulated the spread of the T-Virus in mock ups of different cities around the world enabling them to market the biohazard.

Alice and Ada must fight their way through a simulated New York City to meet up with the rescue team in Suburbia. After a battle with clones of people Alice was close to (including Rain and Carlos), she meets up with the rescue team that includes game favorites Leon Kennedy and Barry Burton. Also with them is Luther West, who survived Afterlife (sorry no Kim Coates this go around). With Alice is a young girl who thinks Alice is her mother. With help from one of the nice Rain clones, the group heads for an elevator to escape the facility. They are followed by zombie creatures as well as Jill and her army of clones.

Paul W.S. Anderson is back in the director’s eat proving two things: the series does better when he is at the helm and that he is a master of live action 3-D. Anderson has directed the first, fourth, and fifth movies and these are the strongest of the series. When he passed the chair for the second and third movies (Alexander Witt and Russell Mulcahy respectively), the quality of the movies suffered. Resident Evil is its strongest when completely controls the creator. With this installment and the last, he proves that he understands how live action 3-D should work. The action is more cut throat as you see the weapons coming at you. The 3-D gives creatures extra spook as they pop out you. Anderson also uses the effect to give dimension to scenes including the fight in Moscow. The viewer is often disappointed when there is not actually snow or zombie guts in their hands.

The film does suffer from two things. The first being the casting of the video game characters. Li Bingbing’s Ada Wong is very much out of character. It seems, though, it may be more how the character is written and directed than Bingbing’s portrayal. Ada is the movie is quit voiced and stilted. Only in appearance does she resemble the sarcastic kick-butt character that was featured in the games. Speaking of game character casting, I was very disappointed in Leon. Johann Urb made Leon look more a young Woody Harrelson instead of the gorgeous character created for the game. Urb also has a gruffer voice that the smooth talking Kennedy of the game.

The second issue is that the plot starts to get a little overloaded towards the end. The action flows smoothly and you aren’t aware that you have been sitting in a theater for almost two hours. But the final battle packs a lot of punch—a little too much. I won’t spoil it for you but there are rather fancy weapons and an aspect of Resident Evil 4 that the plot, honestly, didn’t have room for.

There is a lot of good zombie slaying action. Milla Jovovich continues to kick ass as Alice even without her T-virus powers. Along with her physical humanity comes more emotional humanity. While she never wants to leave survivors behind and has hatred towards Umbrella and rages against Wesker, she rarely has much positive emotions and feelings. Viewers glimpsed it with Carlos in Extinction but it’s not until she steps up as a mother figure for a young deaf girl that we see her emotionally mature. This is a much needed dimension to the super woman that is Alice.

Fans of the movies will really enjoy watching the other films come together. That means that new fans won’t understand all the connections and implications. Viewers see character from the first three movies that new fans might not recognize and the significance of Carlos clone’s as the child’s “father” may also be lost. Loyal fans will be excited to see the opening of Afterlife played out for what it really is. Plus it’s always nice to see the video game characters come to life and that the creator understands the content. I loved how they kept referring to the “biohazard”, the original Japanese name for Resident Evil.

Overall, a great romp in zombie slaying with a kick ass protagonist. Fans will be please with the 3-D venture and be really absorbed into the action. New fans may be a little lost, but this installment is a good addition to the Resident Evil movie legacy.

Check out my video game/movie comparison gallery below.

Sons of Anarchy Season 5 Premier: This Means War

FX

 

When last season of Sons of Anarchy ended, Clay had been dethroned and Jax was sitting at the head of the table. The club said goodbye to Piney, Kozik and Miles leaving the club a few members short. Clay was outed for killing both Piney and John Teller leading to a brutal attack in his life by Opie. Trying to keep things a secret, Jax and Clay blamed a rival gang for the attack, and Tig promptly repays in kind. But instead of killing the leader of the group, Tig accidentally kills the man’s daughter. This leaves Jax with a very tension situation to try to diffuse.

On The Road Again

The episode opens with the crew making a run with an unexpected attack by a rival gang. This as well as a rash of home invasions is the local Niners trying to tell SOA they don’t approve of the death of the daughter of Damon Pope. Jax has more to deal with than just the Niners as the sheriff threatens the club and relations between Tara and Gemma become even more tense. Both of the ladies are on hard times imbibing in drugs, alcohol, and, for Gemma, black out sex with pimps. Opie has stepped back from the club letting the newly released Bobby to step up as VP. The majority of the first hour of the show is used to set up the season.

The King Becomes the Old Fool

Appropriately entitled “Sovereign,” the viewer sees what happens to the old king once the new one has taken his place. Even though Piney is gone, it seems there is a new fool to take his place. Fragile Clay is trying to deal with his diminished state and in a sad scene fails to hold up his bike. Clay is shrunken, slumped, and low voiced. When he comes to the table, plops his oxygen tank on the table and sits in Piney’s old seat, we’re left to wonder, is he going to loose it in alcohol?  He has lost his wife who, after a brutal beating and learning that he tried to have her daughter in law killed, can’t stand to look at him. His state proves he is only weaker without Gemma.

Clay makes the one power play he has left: confesses to Piney’s murder. When I say confessed, I mean the only truth was that he pulled the trigger. This sad tale of self defense he spun does three things: takes away any blackmail threat surrounding the murder, makes the guys feel sorry for him and therefore loyal, and screws with Jax’s head.

But Clay hasn’t just lost his position in the club and his wife; he’s also lost his best friend. When Tig finds out he killed an innocent girl, Tig starts to truly second guess his relationship with Clay. The split that has been building up from last season is c0ming to a head.

Getting Tiggy With It

It’s the last half hour when the episode that takes viewers to reaches only SOA will go as Tig struggles with the consequences of his actions. In fact, Tig is a running theme in the episode. At the beginning, he is friendly with Jax and there seems to be no animosity between him and Jax. Even the club as a whole doesn’t seem overly angry with him for killing Pope’s daughter. He goes from accepted to humiliated as Clay reveals his lie. Not only is Tig dealing with the fact he killed an innocent girl, but now he knows his best friend lied to him. He and Clay have a frank discussing that leaves the future of their friendship in peril.

Things really heat up when Tig gets a phone call from a detective saying that have his daughter Dawn in custody. Tig has to pick her up so she will not be charged. Instead of finding his daughter, he finds Pope’s men and a detective ready to escort him to jail. But when he is handcuffed, he is not taken in a squad care but chained next to a dumpster. In the dumpster is Dawn. As Pope’s men cover her with gasoline, Tig begs Pope to kill him instead. It’s heartbreaking to watch this strong man beg for his daughter’s life. And for a moment you think Pope might. But Pope’s henchman dowses her in flames, and Tig can only call to his daughter as she is burned alive. Pope then leaves him to mourn. Tig manages to get loose enough to kill the two men Pope left behind. Only once this is done does Tig let the rage dissolve into grief.

This Means War

With the death of Tig’s daughter, viewers know there can be no truce with Pope. The club will have to balance this war while three of their members are on the lamb. It seems that Jax, and Chibs have been fingered for the truck explosion, and the law is out for Tig’s involvement in the Pope murder. Jax will have to manage a club that has no idea where its loyalties lie as each member tries to understand the events that transpire. Things will become increasingly difficult as Abel’s mom returns (so looking forward to that), and Romeo puts pressure on Jax from the CIA deal.

With this as the premier, things can only get more mind blowing and violent as Kurt Sutter takes us into the farthest reaching of his mind. Who will make it out alive?

The Emmy Nominations (Or how the TV Academy doesn’t really understand quality programming)

It’s Emmy nominations times! Meaning, the TV Academy ranks things in a way that the normal viewer doesn’t understand. Here’s my Average Josie take on the nominations.

 

Yays

Kudos to the voters for seeing the value in Nurse Jackie with Edie Falco and Merritt Weaver both picking up Actress/Supporting Actress nominations though I’m kind of sad Peter Facinelli didn’t get any love.  I was glad to see Homeland’s Claire Danes and Dexter’s Michael C. Hall get Leading Actress/Actor nods, and Martine Freeman nominated for his work as Dr. Watson before he’s shot into American fame by the Hobbit. I looking forward to seeing what the outcome of the Drama Guest Actor, with Michael J. Fox going up against Mad Men’s Ben Feldman (you may know him as Fred the angel from Drop Dead Diva). A high point of the nominations? Seeing Bob’s Burger’s included in Best Animated Show.

 

Nays

The biggest snub had to be for Sons of Anarchy and The Walking Dead. While TWD was nominated for Prosthetic Make-up and Visual effects, it was left out of the Dramas category as well as all actor/actress nominations. The biggest of these crimes was shutting out Jon Bernthal in the Drama Supporting Actor. He managed to give depth to a character that would have been a flat out villain in any other actor’s hands. The second biggest snub? Charlie Hunam from Sons of Anarchy. While many critics and viewers are outraged by the Katy Sagal snub, Hunam is to me, the most deserving as he balances the complex emotions and morality as the biker’s game vice president. SOA has been constantly forgotten culminating in the non-nomination of Kim Coates in Season 2 for Supporting Actor. I was surprised that Hugh Laurie was left out for his last season of House M.D., and shocked to learned that neither Archer nor H. Jon Benjamin were  included in the nominations. Benjamin had both Archer and Bob’s Burger to his voice acting credits.

 

WTF?

The three biggest WTF moments of the year

  1. American      Horror Story as a Miniseries. According to Entertainment Weekly, because      it has a self contained story line in its first 12 episodes, AHS qualifies      for the Miniseries/Movie category even though it has a second season      already lined up. I find this unfair and a way for Ryan Murphy and FX to      get credit knowing that they couldn’t go head to head with Downtown Abbey      or Mad Men.
  2. Multiple      Show Nominations for One Award. Thanks to EW, we know that several      categories have six nominations due to ties, while this doesn’t anger me. The      fact that many of those and other categories have multiple nominations      from the same show. For example: Best Supporting Drama Actor has six nominees      with two being from Breaking Band and two from Downtown Abbey. This shuts      other supporting actors, such as Bernthal, who deserve a shot even if they      aren’t in the two previous shows. I understand how voting works and how      this can happen, but it doesn’t mean its fair.
  3. Psych.      Psych has been forgotten by the Emmy voters since its inception which is      quite sad. It’s a marvelous show and James Roday and Dulé Hill are always      top notch. While Psych was recognized this year, it was for Best      Interactive Experience.

 

The Academy has plenty of time to decide who will win each category and which of my shows in the Yays section will be underappreciated. Till then I hoping (stupid, I know) that the voters get some taste.

Check out my snubs gallery below