Racism Exists. Gun Control Does Not. by Alexander Hallett [Guest Wreckers]

Alex HalletThere are no words that can adequately express how heartbreaking, devastating, and sad what happened in Charleston yesterday really is. Nine innocent people are dead. Nine innocent people who have moms and dads, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters. Nine innocent people who were murdered by a racist, grown-up, white male simply because of the color of their skin. Nine innocent people who were murdered because racism, and gun culture, are institutionally endemic in our society.

As much as Fox News would like you to believe that gun control wouldn’t have prevented this, or that racism doesn’t exist because we live in a “post-racial society because we have a black president”, they’re not true. (Hours after the shooting occurred, Fox was already live with coverage lambasting President Obama for understandably mentioning that the conversation about gun control needs to happen. They referred to the shooter as a “troubled boy” who was specifically targeting Christians, even though the shooter specifically said he was doing it because he wanted to murder black people.) And though it would be easy to write a tomb about Fox News being a cancer in our society and the public discourse, because they are, this isn’t about them. This is about us.

This is about how racism exists, and is allowed, in two ways: actively and passively.

Racism is active in the fact that the Confederate flag, a symbol of racism, slavery, hatred, and oppression, still flies high above the South Carolina Capitol.

It’s active when police officers pull someone over because they’re committing the crime of driving while black, or pull a gun on black teenagers for attending a pool party, or choke a black man to death for selling loosey cigarettes.

It’s active when Tamir Rice was shot to death, and not given CPR, for holding a toy gun.

It’s active in the fact that the Charleston shooter was taken into custody without a scratch on him, which is more than can be said if you’re a black teenage girl at a pool party in Texas.

It’s active in the fact that people of color make up 30% of the population in the US, but 60% of the prison population.

It’s active when Richard Sherman is called a “thug” for raising his voice in an interview with Erin Andrews.

It’s active in more ways than can be listed here, unless you want to be reading for the next 7 months.

Racism is passive when people say “I don’t see color.” Certainly, most mean well when they say that, but…really? To portend not to see color is to deny the differences in our cultures that make us unique, that make us diverse, that make us beautiful.

Racism is passive when news anchors use the phrase “the n word.”

Racism is passive when the shooting in Charleston is talked about as an “act of violence by a mentally ill boy” and not, simply “a murder and hate crime by a racist, white man.”

Racism is passive when we deny the fact that racism still exists.

Racism is passive when you and I choose to stay silent rather than speak up at injustices done to our friends, neighbors, or strangers of color (Black, Hispanic, Native, Asian, Middle Eastern), because there are a lot of egregious, hateful acts committed toward minorities every day. To pretend otherwise is to condone the actions.

This is about how the murder of innocent children, women, and men may not ever be fully stopped, but the prevalence can sure as hell be reduced.

How many Charlestons, Sandy Hooks, Columbines, or Auroras need to occur before we admit we have a gun culture epidemic in our society? How many black kids need to be killed in Chicago, in Baltimore, in Washington DC before we actually have a meaningful dialogue about gun control? How much money do we need to drain from the politicians who accept lobbying money from the NRA before we take concrete action to diminish tragic deaths from a weapon whose only purpose is violence?

Gun control opponents don’t want a drastic overreach by the government into their personal liberties. I get it. (Hopefully they can empathize with women who want the same consideration from the government when it comes to personal control of their body). But this isn’t about “taking away your guns.” It’s about minimizing the chances that hate-filled people with vendettas will get their hands on one and murder someone’s child.

It’s about common sense safety measures designed to prevent more unnecessary death in our country. Sort of like vehicle safety measures. Who would argue that speed limits, seat belts, air bags, traffic lights, and laws against drunk driving are bad things that infringe on our rights as a society? We still have thousands die on the road every month, but can you imagine how many more would if we didn’t have those safety measures in place?

If you’re opposed to gun control, I don’t think you’re a bad person. But I’d like you to take a little test to check on your level of compassion, empathy, and love. Here’s a picture of the 20 children and 6 teachers murdered at Sandy Hook, and the 9 men and women murdered in Charleston:

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Look for a few minutes. If it brings tears to your eyes, you’re a caring human – just as I thought. Please understand that, if you don’t believe in regulations to prevent someone from getting a gun and committing another atrocity like Sandy Hook or Charleston, then these innocent souls died in vain and, ultimately, you’re OK with something like Sandy Hook or Charleston happening again.

We can’t do anything about what happened in Charleston. But we can prevent another act of terrorism, hatred, and racism from happening again. It starts with us. It ends with us. It starts with being honest about the fact that racism exists and gun control does not. It ends with more innocent people dead, or with a society that acknowledges and embraces diversity and decides gun violence is an intolerable evil that must be vanquished.

 

This article originally appeared as a blog post on the Alexander Hallet’s site for his photography company Sattva Photo. Please inform yourself of his work as a hip hop mastermind and photographer. You will be happy that you did. Alex has always been an integral force in the Trainwreck’d world, and always will be. If, for some strange reason, you are only now becoming aware of our little world here at TWS, go here to learn more.

Kevin Smith – Vilification [Video]

 

I, like so many other out there, am a huge fan of Kevin Smith.  The man can seriously do no wrong in my eyes…. Hell, I even loved Jersey Girl (and to a lesser extent, Cop Out).  So, for those of you who have been wondering how I came up with the Top 37 1/2 Albums of 20__“, you need look no further than the seminal 90’s classic film of twenty-something angst, Clerks (Hey!  Now you get it, right?).

Today’s video is just about perfect to represent Smith’s influence on all things Trainwreck’d, with it with dialogue and ultimate hilarity.  But, it also happens to feature two fine actors who have been kind enough to share a few words with us in our interview department – Scott Schiaffo and Marilyn Ghigliotti.

I could go on and on about Mr. Smith and how his films were a brilliant medium for bonding with my father, or how I could repeat every line from Chasing Amy without even having the film on….or how I once made a deck of playing cards in 11th grade that simply had names like Walt Flanagan, Ming Chen, Bryan Johnson, and many more View Askew related names on them (This being 2001, long before he made them famous for being his indentured servants at a store he owned)….but, that would take an entire book in itself, or at least three hours of breath taking breaks between the preverbal dick sucking I would probably give Sir Smith if he demanded it of my very heterosexual self.  He’s just that great.

Just to throw in a few more links, I will mention that we were also graced with the honor of stealing a few words from the legendary “Holy Bartender” from Dogma, voice actor on the Clerks animated series, and a total creeper in the View Askewniverse’s classic flick and Bryan Johnson directed film Vulgar, Mr. Matthew Maher.

I always knew our little site here probably wouldn’t reach the heights of being able to get in touch with the every-so-busy Kevin, but thankfully a few of his friends were nice enough to digitally stop by, proving that Smith is not only a god damned genius in the realm of word to screen, but he would be shit in this life if it weren’t for the wonderful people he surrounds himself with.

So, Scott, Marilyn, and Matthew…..thank you for everything!  And Kevin…. thank you for winning in life for all of us who may never have that chance.

 

Note: While Trainwreck’d Society is transiting into its imminent extinction, reflective posts like this with a shit ton of links can be expected from now until we call the whole damn thing off in July. Enjoy!

Matt Beat – Story Time with Mr. Beat [Video]

 

I have been following the work of Mr. Matt Beat for quite some time.  He was one of the first folks to jump in as a contributor for the book I developed entitled Children of Mercy, and I had already been a fan of his two piece band Electric Needle Room.  But, what became most interesting about Matt was that he was a indie pop mastermind by night…..but, a middle school social studies teacher by day.  And as a man who has been seen fit to grace our future’s children with the knowledge they deserve, it has been an honor to hear what he has to say.  This may very well be why he has been a Guest Wrecker here at TWS not just once, but twice!  He has also managed to make our Top 37 1/2 Albums list for the last 3 years (#31 in 2012, #21 in 2013, and #32 in 2014)

As the years drove on, Matt begun creating these wonderful albums entitled The Presidents of the United States of America.  3 volumes, each with a song about each and every president.  And he released them each President’s Day for 3 straight years (as well, as a bonus single for our current Commander in Chief.  Have you ever wanted to know more about Millard Filmore?   Where you actually unsure that he was even a president?  Well, Mr. Beat has you covered!

Matt’s latest ventures have lead him to create Story Time With Mr. Beat, a YouTube based format that he uses to making learning history, just a bit more fun.  Matt Beat is one of those rare beings in this world who has decided to use his talent and powers for good and to educate the youth about some of the most important events in American history.

I will always be a fan of yours Mr. Beat…..but, I am still waiting on that Al Gore track you promised.  Until then folks, check out Story Time with Mr. Beat!

 

Note: While Trainwreck’d Society is transiting into its imminent extinction, reflective posts like this with a shit ton of links can be expected from now until we call the whole damn thing off in July. Enjoy!

Bobby Joe Ebola & The Children MacNuggits – Life Is Excellent [Video]

 

15 years ago, I fell in love with my friend Tyler’s bootleg CD (remember those?) of some band called Bobby Joe Ebola and the Children MacNuggits that had somehow migrated up to my shitty hometown from the exotic East Bay in Northern California.  I was absolutely smitten with their hilarity, but more so with their brutal honesty about life, love, and how fucking great it would be to be cat.

Several years later I had the distinct honor to do something that I still consider my greatest accomplishment.  I got to announce the band’s return with their first album review in several years over at Fensepost, almost 5 years ago!  Since then I also had the chance to fulfill a life long dream of seeing them live in 2012 at Backspace in Portland Oregon (and again a few years later at Powell’s Books!).  And the boys have not slowed down since.  They have since released their seminal album Trainwreck To Narnia (which hit our Top 37 1/2 Albums of 2012 list at #7), as well as the musical companion to the “children’s book” Meal Deal With The Devil (our #1 EP of 2013), a songbook of Bobby Joe Ebola lyrics and great stories, countless music videos, and hundreds upon hundreds of live performances.

Corbett has been hard at work in a different field these days. He has been hard at work creating the forthcoming documentary East Bay: By the Punx, For the Punx, About the Punx that promises to be nothing short of amazing.  He has also recently become a new father to a beautiful baby boy!  Of course Dan is in on the project as well (the documentary, not the baby…I don’t think?) And when not playing in BJE, he can be found with his other project Thee Hobo Goblins.

Without a doubt, being able to cover BJE over the last five years, whether at Fensepost or here at Trainwreck’d, has been one of the greatest honors of my “career”.  And with that being said, check out this awesome video for “Life Is Excellent”, one of my favorite BJE songs of all time, and the perfect embodiment of the BJE ethos: Just because we’re laughing, doesn’t mean we’re joking.

 

Note: While Trainwreck’d Society is transiting into its imminent extinction, reflective posts like this with a shit ton of links can be expected from now until we call the whole damn thing off in July. Enjoy!

Michael J. Epstein & Sophia Cacciola – Magnetic [Video]

 

Few people have been a staple here at Trainwreck’d Society like Michael J. Epstein and Sophia Cacciola, the brilliant Somerset based filmmaking/music making/just about anything making duo of artists we adore so, so much.

We have covered musical projects (there are several!) they have both been involved with, including Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling and Darling Pet Munkee.  Michael has also been a our most viewed Guest Wrecker.  And the duo has landed on our year end lists on several occasions, including hitting the #16 and #13 spots on 2013’s Top 40 Songs list, as well as #15 on our Top 37 1/2 Albums list in the same year.  Sophia was kind enough to contribute to our 2013 With Friends Like These list, as well as in 2014 when we were also able to snatch of Michael as well!

Musically speaking, they are phenomenal.  But, we haven’t even gotten into their work in the world of film.  They have managed to create one of the most unique horror films of the last decade with their wonderful thriller TEN, that we have covered extensively.  From the film’s awesome soundtrack (previously mentioned as one of the best albums of 2013), produced by the wonderful Catherine Capozzi to the awesome novelization of the film written by our favorite poet/writer Jade Sylvan, there is just so much to love about this film and the work of Michael J. Epstein and Sophia Cacciola, and the immensely talented folks they surround themselves with every day.

And that brings us to today’s video!  The duo is back at it again, this time with a psychological thriller entitled Magnetic featuring the talented actress Allix Mortis.  They have been working on the film for a while now, and have recently released this trailer!  Learn more about this awesome project at the film’s website, and if you find yourself in the Boston area on March 29th, be sure to watch the film’s premiere at the Boston Underground Film Festival.  Enjoy!

 

Note: While Trainwreck’d Society is transiting into its imminent extinction, reflective posts like this with a shit ton of links can be expected from now until we call the whole damn thing off in July. Enjoy!

Trevor Moore – High In Church [Video]

 

If you’ve been following TWS over the last few years, you may have noticed that we absolutely love the Whitest Kids U Know.  We have been fortunate enough to have a few of the guys on the site over the years.  In fact, my very first interview was with the oh-so-hilarious cast member Timmy Williams (thinking about it more, most of my readers will probably remember him best from THIS).  And years later we got a few words from the equally awesome, vacuum fucking, Sam Brown.  Also you can find the immensely talented, and later star of the awesome show Guys With Kids that was cancelled because people don’t understand GOOD television,  Zach Cregger right here.

One guy we never seemed to be able to get in touch with was the undisputed “leader” of the pack, Trevor Moore (and Darren Trumeter, but not for lack of trying!).  But, that hasn’t stopped us from loving what he (they) does (do).  And Trevor has been on a roll lately.  You may have caught him as the “man in the street”, basically a trick on Jay Leno’s track on The Tonight Show.  But, more importantly, he has released two wonderful comedy albums in the last couple of years, Drunk Texts To Myself and the most recent High In Church.

High In Church has also spawned into a brilliant hour long comedy special that aired on Comedy Central recently.  The special featured several videos that have exploded on YouTube, simply because they are uniquely hilarious.

So with that, I thought it would be fun to share the video for the title track, “High In Church”.  And as a little extra special bonus, the video features another previous TWS interviewee, the brilliant comedian Johnny Pemberton.

So check out the video, and head on over to iTunes, and pick up the album High In Church.

 

Note: While Trainwreck’d Society is transiting into its imminent extinction, reflective posts like this with a shit ton of links can be expected from now until we call the whole damn thing off in July.  Enjoy!

Trainwreck’d Society’s 2015 Oscar Preview with Chris & Ron [Exclusive]

 

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Introduction by Ron:

With Trainwreck’d Society coming to an end, I can’t think of anything else that I am going to miss more than this segment right here.  One of the reasons I started this site back in that Biloxi hotel room was to incorporate the world of film into my rants.  And Chris Eaves has been there every step of the way.  When it comes to the world of film, Chris is my go to guy.  We don’t always see eye to eye on some things (see our obvious disagreements on last year’s Gravity, and this year’s Interstellar.  I don’t like science fiction, I am sorry.  But Chris does, and he articulates his thoughts in such a great manner that I have to respect it.)  But alas, there is nobody I would like to discuss current events in the world of film with than Sir Christopher Eaves.  It has been a wonderful experience to bring this annual nod to the the most under appreciated awards ceremony in existence.  I still look back in awe of the year 1998 when it seemed like every film in that was nominated was fantastic, and I still hold faith in the Academy if not just for that year alone.  And I have been so honored to create this annual event to help showcase this amazing event.  Plus, any time I get to work with Chris on anything, that is a special time for me.  Thanks for reading!  Now check out Chris’s far superior comments:

 

Introduction by Chris:

For the last two years my Oscar pick approach was more about passive aggressive cynicism against the Oscars than an honest conversation about movies. Hollywood is a system and such representative of a machine that typically overlooks great work in place of the level of connection and sway a producer may hold. The leaked “For Your Consideration” prints we have all “Obtained” being an example of this power. This is not to say the Oscars are not deserving of cynicism, but for these picks, I choose instead to hold a conversations around movies and the culture they represent. Mostly.

Movies are entertainment first, followed by everything else. If the movie does not entertain all other goals and reasons are made impossible. Raising heart rates, horror filled sweat sliding down the neck or side breaking laughter are the physical reactions of an audience being entertained by the movies. The spectacle of the cinema facilitates this connection. I was lucky enough in my life to had been born in the final days of a traditional cinema experience – front lobbies, smells of popcorn, film projection sounds, red velvet rails, and creaky seats. I found my love from the movies of the 90’s and their flickering spectacle. This movie/audience relationship is where the humanism is found – our ability to empathize and sympathize with characters and apply their journey to our own world. The movies are in this way not just about the story’s quality but how the form of the story can cause reaction from the audience from that spectacle.

Hal Douglas (September 1, 1924 – March 7, 2014) was the man who narrated many of the trailers that got us to go to the movies. Douglas never took himself too seriously believing no matter which movie he was narrating, that movie was going to be, for someone in the world, their favorite film. In Douglas’s memory, this is my approach to the Oscars this year. For the love of film and going to the movies I choose from the choices given via the academy not as a calculation but rather how I felt in my own experience watching their spectacle on screen.

The movies are about love. Let us love the movies and the experiences they give us. Not just the experiences we have with the movie but the experience we have with the people we watch them with. Film is a collaborative work and so should be the viewing.

 

And make sure you make your way over to the Trainwreck’d Society Facebook Page to cast your vote for either Team Ron or Team Chris, and partake in the chance to win some pretty cool swag.  Who wouldn’t love some free stuff, amiright?

 

Best Motion Picture of the Year

…And the nominees are:

American Sniper

Birdman (or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

Boyhood

The Grand Budapest Hotel

The Imitation Game

Selma

The Theory of Everything

Whiplash

WHO RON WANTS TO WIN: Birdman (or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance).  It was a tough year, and not one individual film really stood out for me.  Each of the films in this category had something special about it, with the exception of American Sniper which brought absolutely nothing to the table and is undeserving of anything.  But, in the end, I think I enjoyed Birdman the most.

Birdman

WHO CHRIS WANTS TO WIN: Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) – I loved this film. The creative approach to the cinematography while dealing with a fully developed range of characters centered around a unique story makes for an immensely entertaining film that works on many levels. The field is very strong this year such as Boyhood, which was an undertaking of over 12 years, which needs to be appreciated but as storytelling goes Birdman left me the most entertained.

Birdman

WHO RON THINKS WILL ACTUALLY WIN:  Boyhood.  While the hype for this film seems to have died down a bit, I still believe it is the clear winner.  And good for Mr. Linklater.  An honor well deserved.

Boyhood

WHO CHRIS THINKS WILL ACTUALLY WIN: Birdman (or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) – Same.

Birdman

Best Performance By An Actor in a Leading Role

…And the nominees are:

Steve Carell for Foxcatcher

Bradley Cooper for American Sniper

Benedict Cumberbatch for The Imitation Game

Michael Keaton for Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

Eddie Radmayne for The Theory of Everything

WHO RON WANTS TO WIN: Benedict Cumberbatch for The Imitation Game.  My gut tells me that this is a win for the OG Batman, but I really dug Cumberbatch and thought he turned out the best performance.  Although, I would not be disappointed to see the 40 Year Old Virgin be an Oscar winner.  But alas, Benedict did the best job.

Imitation Game

WHO CHRIS WANTS TO WIN: Michael Keaton for Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) – Keaton was a powerhouse in the 80s through the mid 90s to which I feel ended with Tarantino’s Jackie Brown (1997). In the past few years Keaton has been poking up in smaller parts across a variety of different genres. Like Matthew Mcconaughey resurgence, Keaton continues to be one of the best actors working today, again.

Birdman

WHO RON THINKS WILL ACTUALLY WIN:  Michael Keaton for Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance).  I think we are going to see a whole new side of Michael Keaton in the years to come.

Birdman

WHO CHRIS THINKS WILL ACTUALLY WIN: Michael Keaton for Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) – Same.

Birdman

Best Performance By An Actress in a Leading Role

…And the nominees are:

Marion Cotillard for Two Days, One Night

Felicity Jones for The Theory of Everything

Julianne Moore for Still Alice

Rosamund Pike for Gone Girl

Reese Witherspoon for Wild

WHO RON WANTS TO WIN: Felicity Jones for The Theory of Everything.  Jones was the most impressive part of The Theory of Everything.  The film really centered around her, which I found surprising yet wonderful.

Theory of Everything

WHO CHRIS WANTS TO WIN: Julianne Moore for Still Alice – When watching celebrity actors versus unknown actors it is difficult to shake the actor’s persona over the character they are playing. In the case of Julianne Moore I was able to forget Julianne Moore the person and instead watch Dr. Alice Howland the character. This a tribute to Julianne Moore continued relevance as an actress and her range of ability. She was the actress who had to act bad in Boogie Nights (1997).

Still Alice

WHO RON THINKS WILL ACTUALLY WIN: Julianne Moore for Still Alice.  I’m guessing it is about her time.  I think she earned this long ago, probably around Bennie & Joon timeframe, but I still don’t believe this should really be her year.  But, that is the Academy, I suppose.

Still Alice

WHO CHRIS THINKS WILL ACTUALLY WIN: Reese Witherspoon for Wild. Wild is Witherspoon’s passion project. Witherspoon got this film moving and she brings the acting to match. I found the film harder to relate to personally, but the quality of the performance is not in question. In a very beauty driven industry where even in war you have to look good, especially for an actress, to pull back on the physical beauty is what will help Witherspoon lead for a win.

Wild

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role

Robert Duvall for The Judge

Ethan Hawke for Boyhood

Edward Norton for Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

Mark Ruffalo for Foxcatcher

J.K. Simmons for Whiplash

WHO RON WANTS TO WIN: J.K. Simmons for Whiplash.  I honestly wasn’t as impressed with Whiplash as I felt I should have been.  Simmons was really the only highlight of the film.  Also, I recently marathoned the series Oz, and discovered a whole new love for Juno’s dad.

Whiplash

WHO CHRIS WANTS TO WIN:  J.K. Simmons for Whiplash – Simmons portrayal of the hardass jazz teacher Terence Fletcher gives the dynamic range necessary for the acting work of Miles Teller portail of Andrew Neiman, an ambitious young jazz student. The better the villain the better the story and Simmons was a great antagonist in Whiplash.

Whiplash

WHO RON THINKS WILL ACTUALLY WIN: J.K. Simmons for Whiplash.  He really stole the show as this year’s Nurse Ratchet.

Whiplash

WHO CHRIS THINKS WILL ACTUALLY WIN:  J.K. Simmons for Whiplash – Same.

Whiplash

Best Performance by and Actress in a Supporting Role:

…And the nominees are:

Patricia Arquette for Boyhood

Laura Dern for Wild

Keira Knightley for The Imitation Game

Emma Stone for Birdman or (The Unxpected Virtue of Ignorance)

Meryl Streep for Into the Woods

WHO RON WANTS TO WIN: Patricia Arquette for Boyhood.  This was her best performance since her role as Alabama in True Romance.

Boyhood

WHO CHRIS WANTS TO WIN:  Patricia Arquette for Boyhood – Boyhood was filmed over a 12 year period showing the true aging of the family portrayed. Having to return to a character periodically and adapt to where the character is now in their own live versus where the actor is now in their own life is challenging enough of an undertaking. For Patricia Arquette there is no question this is the same character growing over time without question or gap.

Boyhood

WHO RON THINKS WILL ACTUALLY WIN:  Patricia Arquette for Boyhood.  Although Keira Knightley’s empowered woman performance in The Imitation Game was rather impressive, I still think we will finally see an Arquette with a statue.

Boyhood

WHO CHRIS THINKS WILL ACTUALLY WIN:  Laura Dern for Wild – Laura Dern is a talented woman who writes, directs and acts in film. Her talent is unquestioned. I enjoyed Patricia performance more than Derns but I feel the Hollywood machinery will be at work here. I can’t escape all cynicism. I am human and a contradiction.

Wild

Best Animated Feature

…And the nominees are:

Dan Hall, Chris Williams, and Roy Conli for Big Hero 6

Anthony Stacchi, Graham Annable, and Travis Knight for The Boxtrolls

Dean DeBlois and Bonnie Arnold for How To Train Your Dragon 2

Tomm Moore and Paul Young for Song of the Sea

Isao Takahata and Yoshiaki Nishimuna for The Tale of Princess Kaguya

WHO RON WANTS TO WIN:  Anthony Stacchi, Graham Annable, and Travis Knight for The Boxtrolls.  Surprisingly enough, as a father of three small children, I didn’t see many of these.  And the ones I did, I wasn’t that impressed with overall.  But, The Boxtrolls had music by Loch Lomond, so let’s go with that one.

Boxtrolls

WHO CHRIS WANTS TO WIN:  Lego Movie – Wait, this wasn’t nominated? Okay… Big Hero 6 I had fun watching this.

Big Hero 6

WHO RON THINKS WILL ACTUALLY WIN: Dan Hall, Chris Williams, and Roy Conli for Big Hero 6.  Why not?

Big Hero 6

WHO CHRIS THINKS WILL ACTUALLY WIN: Dean DeBlois and Bonnie Arnold for How To Train Your Dragon 2 – How to Train Your Dragon was a great movie but the sequel does not hold up as well to the original. Big Hero Six doesn’t have the built in voting bracket of Dragon, and Dragon 2 is still good.

How To Train Your Dragon 2

Best Achievement in Cinematography

…And the nominees are:

Emmanuel Lubezki for Birdman or (The Unxpected Virtue of Ignorance)

Robert Yeoman for The Grand Budapest Hotel

Lukass Zal and Ryszard Lenczewski for Ida

Dick Poop for Mr. Turner

Roger Deakins for Unbroken

WHO RON WANTS TO WIN: Emmanuel Lubezki for Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance).  This film was one long, swooping real of film.  it felt like the On The Road of digital technology.

Birdman

WHO CHRIS WANTS TO WIN: Emmanuel Lubezki for Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) – The movie is just beautiful. The visuals are necessary to tell this story. The camera work is just as important as the acting in this work. I loved Grand Budapest Hotel, but in thinking about the shot composition, what I loved in the visual is not the shot itslef but rather the art design. In the case of Birdbman, just go and see this movie!

WHO RON THINKS WILL ACTUALLY WIN:  Emmanuel Lubezki for Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance).  Since the Academy seems to only take Wes Andersen films seriously, I’d say it’s a given.

Birdman

WHO CHRIS THINKS WILL ACTUALLY WIN: Emmanuel Lubezki for Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) – Same.

Birdman

Best Costume Design

…And the nominees are:

Milena Canonero for The Grand Budapest Hotel

Mark Bridges for Inherent Vice

Colleen Attwood for Into the Woods

Anna B. Sheppard for Maleficent

Jacqueline Durran for Mr. Turner

WHO RON WANTS TO WIN: Milena Canonero for The Grand Budapest Hotel.  I’ve been working on this list for some time now, and it feels like The Grand Budapest Hotel needs to make an appearance.  Plus I know dick about costume designs.

Grand Budapest Hotel

WHO CHRIS WANTS TO WIN: Milena Canonero for The Grand Budapest Hotel – The look is so stylish. I know little of style but the Grand Budapest tenets look so damn good. The costumes are just so memorable. I’ve never been a big fan of fantasy in this category. Complicated costume design seems to be just a given with that type of gener. This is probably me being ignorant on the subject, but in watching Budapest Hotel every character was so unique in their look, no other film held up.

Grand Budapest Hotel

WHO RON THINKS WILL ACTUALLY WIN: Colleen Attwood for Into the Woods.  It was like a fairy tale thing, right?  Sure, I’l go with that one.

Into the Woods

WHO CHRIS THINKS WILL ACTUALLY WIN: Milena Canonero for The Grand Budapest Hotel – Same.

Grand Budapest Hotel

Best Achievement in Directing

…And the nominees are

Alejandro G. Inarritu for Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

Richard Linklater for Boyhood

Bennett Miller for Foxcatcher

Wes Anderson for The Grand Budapest Hotel

Morten Tyldum for The Imitation Game

WHO RON WANTS TO WIN: Richard Linklater for Boyhood.  It took 12 years to make this film.  12 damn years.  Same actors, different ages.  His patience alone is worthy of this award.

Boyhood

WHO CHRIS WANTS TO WIN: Richard Linklater for Boyhood – I’ve already said a lot here in being directed over 12 years. This is unique and chances in form deserve recognition, especially in the era of the Hollywood remake.

Boyhood

 

WHO RON THINKS WILL ACTUALLY WIN: Richard Linklater for Boyhood.  12 YEARS!!!!

Boyhood

WHO CHRIS THINKS WILL ACTUALLY WIN:  Richard Linklater for Boyhood – I’ve already said a lot here in being directed over 12 years. This is unique and chances in form deserve recognition, especially in the era of the Hollywood remake.

Boyhood

 

Best Documentary Feature

…And the nominees are:

Laura Poitras, Mathilde Bonnefry and Dirk Wilutzky for Citizenfour

John Maloof and Charlie Siskel for Finding Vivian Maier

Rory Kennedy and Kevin McAlester for Last Days in Vietnam

Wim Wenders, Juliano Ribeiro Salgado and David Rosier for The Salt of the Earth

Orlando von Einsedel and Joanna Natasegara for Virunga

WHO RON WANTS TO WIN:  Laura Poitras, Mathilde Bonnefry and Dirk Wilutzky for Citizenfour.  A doc about Americans getting spied on?  Yeah that is a no-brainer.

Citizenfour

WHO CHRIS WANTS TO WIN:  Rory Kennedy and Kevin McAlester for Last Days in Vietnam – Guess, I didn’t see any of these…

Last Days In Vietnam

WHO RON THINKS WILL ACTUALLY WIN:  Laura Poitras, Mathilde Bonnefry and Dirk Wilutzky for Citizenfour.  I can already see the Fox News headlines about the Oscars “honoring” Edward Snowden and snubbing Chris Kyle.  This should be fun.

Citizenfour

WHO CHRIS THINKS WILL ACTUALLY WIN: Wim Wenders, Juliano Ribeiro Salgado and David Rosier for The Salt of the Earth – Womp Womp…

Salt of the Earth

Best Documentary, Short Subject

…And the nominees are:

Ellen Goosenberg Kent and Dana Perry for Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1

Aneta Kopacz for Joanna

Tomasz Sliwinski and Maciej Slesicki for Our Curse

Gabriel Serra Arguello for The Reaper (La Parka)

J. Christian Jensen for White Earth

WHO RON WANTS TO WIN: Ellen Goosenberg Kent and Dana Perry for Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1.  Didn’t actually see any of them, but I believe this one touched on some pretty serious stuff.

Crisis Hotline

WHO CHRIS WANTS TO WIN: Tomasz Sliwinski and Maciej Slesicki for Our Curse – Guess, I didn’t see any of these…

Our Curse

WHO RON THINKS WILL ACTUALLY WIN: Ellen Goosenberg Kent and Dana Perry for Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1.  It’s like the Academy’s “see, we don’t hate America” laugh at American Sniper.

Crisis Hotline

WHO CHRIS THINKS WILL ACTUALLY WIN: J. Christian Jensen for White Earth – Womp, Womp.

White Earth

Best Film Editing

…And the nominees are:

Joel Cox and Gary D. Roach for American Sniper

Sandra Adair for Boyhood

Barney Pilling for The Grand Budapest Hotel

William Goldenberg for The Imitation Game

Tom Cross for Whiplash

WHO RON WANTS TO WIN:  William Goldenberg for The Imitation Game.  I just really dug this movie so much, I want it to win something.

Imitation Game

WHO CHRIS WANTS TO WIN: Barney Pilling for The Grand Budapest Hotel – Simply, the editing is really tight. No shot was wasted. Every cut needed.

Grand Budapest Hotel

WHO RON THINKS WILL ACTUALLY WIN: Sandra Adair for Boyhood.  Seriously…..12 YEARS!!!

Boyhood

WHO CHRIS THINKS WILL ACTUALLY WIN: Barney Pilling for The Grand Budapest Hotel – Same.

Grand Budapest Hotel

 

Best Foreign Language Film

…And the nominees are:

Pawl Pawlikowski for Ida (Poland)

Audrey Zvyagintsev for Leviathan (Russia)

Zaza Urushadze for Tangerines (Estonia)

Abderrahmane Sissako for Timbuktu (Mauritania)

Damian Szifron for Wild Tales (Argentina)

WHO RON WANTS TO WIN: Pawl Pawlikowski for Ida (Poland).  This was an amazingly powerful movie, in any language.

Ida

WHO CHRIS WANTS TO WIN: Audrey Zvyagintsev for Leviathan (Russia) – Film is culture and there will be a bit of irony with a Russian win here given the events in Ukraine. Russia, as reported by NPR is not promoting this film at the moment in Russia but giving it a big push internationally as Russian culture. For me as entertainment, I enjoyed seeing an old story and remixed through those cultural differences.

Leviathan

WHO RON THINKS WILL ACTUALLY WIN: Pawl Pawlikowski for Ida (Poland).  Just that good.

Ida

WHO CHRIS THINKS WILL ACTUALLY WIN: Audrey Zvyagintsev for Leviathan (Russia) – Same.

Leviathan

 

Best Make up and Hairstyling

…And the nominees are:

Bill Corso and Dennis Liddiard for Foxcatcher

Frances Hannon and Mark Coulier for The Grand Budapest Hotel

Elizabeth Yianni-Georgiou and David White for Guardians of the Galaxy

WHO RON WANTS TO WIN: Bill Corso and Dennis Liddiard for Foxcatcher.  It probably took a lot of work to make Steve Carell look like a caricature of himself.

Foxcatcher

WHO CHRIS WANTS TO WIN: Elizabeth Yianni-Georgiou and David White for Guardians of the Galaxy – Makeup is hard and Guardians of the Galaxy offers a whole lot of aliens. Makeup is hard and the work here is really good and for blockbuster a lot of practical alien make up, Raccoons not counting.

Guardians of the Galaxy

WHO RON THINKS WILL ACTUALLY WIN: Bill Corso and Dennis Liddiard for Foxcatcher.  I don’t think there are any other options.

Foxcatcher

WHO CHRIS THINKS WILL ACTUALLY WIN: Elizabeth Yianni-Georgiou and David White for Guardians of the Galaxy – Same.

Guardians of the Galaxy

 

Best Music, Original Score

…And the nominees are:

Alexandre Desplat for The Grand Budapest Hotel

Alexandre Desplat for The Imitation Game

Hans Zimmer for Interstellar

Gary Yenshon for Mr. Turner

Johann Johannsson for The Theory of Everything

WHO RON WANTS TO WIN: Alexandre Desplat for The Imitation Game.  It has to be awesome to be nominated twice, right?  While I love me some Wes Andersen, I think this was the better film.  Good music too, I guess.

Imitation Game

WHO CHRIS WANTS TO WIN: Hans Zimmer for Interstellar – Zimmer’s score has received some criticism over the use of synthesiser. For me, I bought the soundtrack. Watching the same scene on a film projection system in a crowded theater, the use of score punctuated the spectacle which made my heart race during a docking sequence. If I’m excited over docking, something is being done correctly.

WHO RON THINKS WILL ACTUALLY WIN: Hans Zimmer for Interstellar.  I think the Academy is dying to give this piece of shit as many Oscars as it can without seeming desperate.

Interstellar

WHO CHRIS THINKS WILL ACTUALLY WIN: Hans Zimmer for Interstellar – Same. Maybe The Theory of Everything. Good score there too.

Interstellar

 

Best Music, Original Song

…And the nominees are:

Shawn Paterson for The Lego Movie, “Everything Is Awesome”

John Stephens and Lonnie Lynn for Selma, “Glory”

Diane Warren for Beyond The Lights, “Grateful”

Glen Campbell and Julian Raymond for Glen Campbell….I’ll Be Me, “I’m Not Gonna Miss You”

Gregg Alexander and Danielle Brisebois for Begin Again, “Lost Stars”

WHO RON WANTS TO WIN: John Stephens and Lonnie Lynn for Selma, “Glory”.  Granted, Selma wasn’t as good of a film as it should have been, but so much credit has to be given to wonderful voices that came out of it.

Selma

WHO CHRIS WANTS TO WIN: John Stephens and Lonnie Lynn for Selma, “Glory” – Full synicall mode. It’s civil rights and the academy will always vote for civil rights. At least about music. I’m looking at you Three 6 Mafia and Crash (2004). Oscar winning Three 6 Mafia.

Selma

WHO RON THINKS WILL ACTUALLY WIN: John Stephens and Lonnie Lynn for Selma, “Glory”.  #OscarsSoWhite

Selma

WHO CHRIS THINKS WILL ACTUALLY WIN: John Stephens and Lonnie Lynn for Selma, “Glory” – Same.

Selma

 

Best Production Design

..And the nominees are:

Adam Stockhausen and Anna Pinnock for The Grand Budapest Hotel

Maria Djurkovic and Tatiana Macdonald for The Imitation Game

Nathan Crowley and Gary Fettis for Interstellar

Dennis Bassner and Anna Pinnock for Into the Woods

Suzie Davies and Charlotte Watts for Mr. Turner

WHO RON WANTS TO WIN: Adam Stockhausen and Anna Pinnock for The Grand Budapest Hotel.  I will be the first to admit that I know nothing about production design.  But, I do know that Wes Andersen films have a look all of their own and are very distinctive.  I think it is time to acknowledge this. Even if Budapest wasn’t Andersen’s greatest effort.

Grand Budapest Hotel

WHO CHRIS WANTS TO WIN: Nathan Crowley and Gary Fettis for Interstellar – Science Fiction is not easy. This is a film that has to deal with a future dust bowl Earth, advance space ships in motion, and alien worlds in the model of practical realism.

Interstellar

WHO RON THINKS WILL ACTUALLY WIN: Nathan Crowley and Gary Fettis for Interstellar.  Gravity 2 will probably grab another unwarranted win.

Interstellar

WHO CHRIS THINKS WILL ACTUALLY WIN:  Adam Stockhausen and Anna Pinnock for The Grand Budapest Hotel – A Wes Anderson film has style and a look, and not an easy look to get right. I’m okay with this win because this film is great just as a visual work.

Grand Budapest Hotel

 

Best Short Film – Animated

…And the nominees are:

Daisy Jacobs and Christopher Hees for The Bigger Picture

Robert Kondo and Dice Tsutsumi for The Dam Keeper

Patrick Osborner and Kristina Reed for Feast

Torill Kove for Me and My Moulton

Joris Opring for A Single Life

WHO RON WANTS TO WIN: Robert Kondo and Dice Tsutsumi for The Dam Keeper.  It’s a WAG.  I seriously have no idea.

Dam Keeper

WHO CHRIS WANTS TO WIN: Daisy Jacobs and Christopher Hees for The Bigger Picture – Guess, I didn’t see any of these…

Bigger Picture

WHO RON THINKS WILL ACTUALLY WIN: Robert Kondo and Dice Tsutsumi for The Dam Keeper.

Dam Keeper

WHO CHRIS THINKS WILL ACTUALLY WIN: Patrick Osborner and Kristina Reed for Feast – Womp, Womp!!

Feast

 

Best Short Film – Live Action

…And the nominees are:

Oded Binnun and Mihal Brezis for Aya

Michael Lennox and Ronan Blaney for Boogaloo and Graham

Hu Wei and Julian Feret for Butter Lamp (La Lampe au Beaurre de Yak)

Talkhon Hamzani and Stefan Eichenberger for Parvaneh

Mark Kirby and James Lucas for The Phone Call

WHO RON WANTS TO WIN: Mark Kirby and James Lucas for The Phone Call.  It’s the one with Sally Hawkins in it.

Phone Call

WHO CHRIS WANTS TO WIN: Talkhon Hamzani and Stefan Eichenberger for Parvaneh – I really tried to see as many things as I could but I have a day job. I’m sorry.

Parvaneh

WHO RON THINKS WILL ACTUALLY WIN: Mark Kirby and James Lucas for The Phone Call.

Phone Call

WHO CHRIS THINKS WILL ACTUALLY WIN: Mark Kirby and James Lucas for The Phone Call – I have bills okay, a job, I had to make sacrifices.

Phone Call

 

Best Sound Editing

…And the nominees are:

Alan Robert Murray and Bub Asman for American Sniper

Martin Hernandez and Aron Glascock for Birdman or (The Uxpected Virtue of Ignorance)

Brent Burge and Jason Canovas for The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

Richard King for Interstellar

Becky Sullivan and Andrew DeCristofaro for Unbroken

WHO RON WANTS TO WIN: Martin Hernandez and Aron Glascock for Birdman or (The Uxpected Virtue of Ignorance).  I have to stick with my favorite film of the year, I suppose.

Birdman

WHO CHRIS WANTS TO WIN: Richard King for Interstellar – There is no sound in space but Interstellar wins best Sound Editing. I loved this film but the story is heavy handed, but as technical work goes, the film is just outstanding. Sound being a pivotal pillar of this work.

Interstellar

WHO RON THINKS WILL ACTUALLY WIN: Richard King for Interstellar.  Seriously, fuck this movie.  But, alas, another win.

Interstellar

WHO CHRIS THINKS WILL ACTUALLY WIN: Richard King for Interstellar – Same.

Interstellar

 

Best Sound Mixing

…And the nominees are:

John Reitz, Gregg Rudloff, and Walt Martin for American Sniper

Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montano, and Thomas Varga for Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

Gary A. Rizzo, Gregg Landaker, and Mark Weingarter for Interstellar

Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montano, and David Lee for Unbroken

WHO RON WANTS TO WIN: Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montano, and Thomas Varga for Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance).  I will feel bad for David Lee, whoever that is.

Birdman

WHO CHRIS WANTS TO WIN: Gary A. Rizzo, Gregg Landaker, and Mark Weingarter for Interstellar – Same as Sound Editing.

Interstellar

WHO RON THINKS WILL ACTUALLY WIN: Gary A. Rizzo, Gregg Landaker, and Mark Weingarter for Interstellar.  Maybe I will get lucky and this won’t happen?

Interstellar

WHO CHRIS THINKS WILL ACTUALLY WIN: Gary A. Rizzo, Gregg Landaker, and Mark Weingarter for Interstellar – Same as Sound Editing.

Interstellar

 

Best Visual Effects

…And the nominees are:

Dan DeLeeuw, Russell Earl, Bryan Grill and Dan Sudick for Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, Daniel Barnett, and Erik Winquiest for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Stephen Ceretti, Nicolas Aithadi, Jonathan Fawkner and Paul Corbould for Guardians of the Galaxy

Paul Franklin, Andrew Lockley, Ian Hunter and Scott Fisher for Interstellar

Richard Stammers, Lou Pecora, Tim Crosbie, and Cameron Waldbwer for X-Men: Days of Future Past

WHO RON WANTS TO WIN: Stephen Ceretti, Nicolas Aithadi, Jonathan Fawkner and Paul Corbould for Guardians of the Galaxy.  I actually didn’t see any of these films. But, I really like Chris Pratt’s face.

Guardians of the Galaxy

WHO CHRIS WANTS TO WIN: Paul Franklin, Andrew Lockley, Ian Hunter and Scott Fisher for Interstellar – Again, I love Interstellar and the space work is seamless in execution.

Interstellar

WHO RON THINKS WILL ACTUALLY WIN: Paul Franklin, Andrew Lockley, Ian Hunter and Scott Fisher for Interstellar. Probably the most obvious choice there is. Sorry Marvel fans.

Interstellar

WHO CHRIS THINKS WILL ACTUALLY WIN: Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, Daniel Barnett, and Erik Winquiest for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes – Space is so 1970s but apes are so, 1970s…? Motion capture suits are the future and Planet of the Apes pushes the technology further for our ape masters.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

 

Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay

…And the nominees are:

Jason Hall for American Sniper

Graham Moore for The Imitation Game

Paul Thomas Andersen for Inherent Vice

Anthony McCarter for The Theory of Everything

Damien Chazelle for Whiplash

WHO RON WANTS TO WIN: Graham Moore for The Imitation Game.  The writing categories have always been my favorite.  And this year was a rough one to choose from.  Although it was a pretty mild year for great films, there still were some great stories to be told.  It really did boil down to three of these for me, but I have to stick with my love for The Imitation Game.  You guys should seriously watch it.

Imitation Game

WHO CHRIS WANTS TO WIN:  Anthony McCarter for The Theory of Everything – The Theory of Everything needs some love – cynicalness kicking in. The move is worthy of the award. Imitation Game could sneak this based on the subject matter in question, especially given our current culture and the court decision of late and on the horizon.

Theory of Everything

WHO RON THINKS WILL ACTUALLY WIN: Graham Moore for The Imitation Game.  I might just be full of hope, but I have to go with it.  I just really don’t like nazis, I guess.  I shall go on record as saying that The Theory of Everything stands a solid chance, but I like to gamble a little.  We shall see.

Imitation Game

 

WHO CHRIS THINKS WILL ACTUALLY WIN: Anthony McCarter for The Theory of Everything – Same.

Theory of Everything

 

Best Writing, Original Screenplay

…And the nominees are:

Alejandro G. Inarritu, Nicolas Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris Jr. and Armand Bo for Birdman or (The Unxpected Virtue of Ignorance)

Richard Linklater for Boyhood

E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman for Foxcatcher

Wes Anderson and Hugo Guinness for The Grand Budapest Hotel

Dan Gilroy for Nightcrawler

WHO RON WANTS TO WIN: Alejandro G. Inarritu, Nicolas Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris Jr. and Armand Bo for Birdman or (The Unxpected Virtue of Ignorance).  This is probably one of the first years that I was more impressed in the Adapted Screenplay category.  But, again, Birdman and The Imitation Game were the best films of the year, so I will divide them into their respected categories.

Birdman

WHO CHRIS WANTS TO WIN: Wes Anderson and Hugo Guinness for The Grand Budapest Hotel – Wes Anderson has a style about him. For good or bad you can tell when you are watching a Wes Anderson film. I have contradiction in this. I am not a fan of Tim Burton starting after Sleepy Hollow. My complaint is Burton movies are all the same wacky films. With that said I love Wes Anderson films, they all have that same vibe and feel. On some inner level Wes Anderson tends to keep my attention and with that my entertainment. Plus as writing goes Anderson may be doing similar things already done, but man, what a thing though.

Grand Budapest Hotel

 

WHO RON THINKS WILL ACTUALLY WIN: Richard Linklater for Boyhood.  I really really really want Birdman to win, about as much as I really really really wanted to like Boyhood more than I did.  It was a great film, and Linklater is a legend.  That is why I think it will win.  But, my hope is still on Birdman.

Boyhood

WHO CHRIS THINKS WILL ACTUALLY WIN: Alejandro G. Inarritu, Nicolas Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris Jr. and Armand Bo for Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) – Birdman runs away with most of bigger awards. Why, the form of the movie is new and refreshing but still telling a story we all know dealing with losing relevance. The dialogue is sharp and and the story has no fat.

Birdman

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