Harris Goldberg [Interview]


Folks, we are kicking the week off right with an interview subject who is an absolute legend in the world of film and television, especially (but not limited to) the genre of comedy. It’s Harris Goldberg, Everyone! Harris may be best known for penning the screenplays to modern classic comedies like Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo, The Master of Disguise, and the semi-autobiographical comedy-drama, Numb. He also has a story credit alongside our old friend Mitch Rouse for his work on the hilarious buddy comedy we know and love known as Without A Paddle. He is a damn fine writer and filmmaker, who we are so honored to be able to steal some time from to tell us about his career thus far, and what the future holds for him.

So Folks, without any further babbling on my part, please find some wonderful words from the great Harris Goldberg!


What initially inspired you to get into the world of screenwriting? was it something you have had as a passion since your youth, or did you just happen to find yourself in this world one day?

My older brother was/is a very successful screenwriter/producer. I witnessed his journey to Los Angeles and two back to back hit movies at the time (Meatballs & Stripes). That inspired me to follow in his ‘quite large’ and daunting footsteps. I had also been doing some stand-up at a very early age.

What was your very first paid gig in the world of entertainment? and were there any sort of lessons learned from this experience that still affects your work today?

My first paid gig came very fast. within weeks of being in L.A. It was a writing assignment for National Lampoon and producer Matty Simmons (who had produced Animal House & Vacation).  After I got the job, a more experienced writer friend in town said, “Don’t get too cocky. It’s not usually like this. The dips are so low you’ll need a shovel to dig yourself out.” I didn’t believe him. I thought he was just a bit bitter. Ten movies later, I realized exactly what he meant.

You made your feature film directorial debut in 2007 with the brilliant film Numb, which I heard was quite a cathartic experience for you on a personal level? Can you tell our readers a bit about the making of this film and how the story came to be?

Before Numb I was known as a broad comedy guy. I was branded in the Adam Sandler, SNL camps of comedy. the stress of L.A. was taking a toll. I was dealing with some profound anxiety, depression, etc… as a way to settle myself, I began to write a screenplay about the experience. Before I knew it, I was writing a screenplay – a screenplay I did not intend to show anyone really.  When I completed it, I was almost embarrassed to show it. I slipped it to a producer of note I had worked with before. He called back the next day and wanted to make it. Matthew Perry came on board in a big way and I was suddenly directing this very personal, autobiographical story.



While you have done so many amazing projects and I would like to ask about them all, but i feel like we would be going on forever. so, i would like to ask about just one more of your films that i truly loved as a kid, and that would be 2002’s The Master of Disguise. i have been a huge fan of dana carvey for as long as i can remember, so i may be biased. but, i am curious to know how this story was developed? what was it that made you want to create this very zany story?

Adam Sandler & Sony asked if I would write a  feature film for/with Dana. I was a fan of his as well. Same producers of Deuce Bigalow, which I had done in ’98 I think it was. I met Dana and we really hit it off. He could go into so many characters so quickly, I thought taking advantage of this skill could make an entertaining picture, as well as tap into his comfort zone for characterization. The first draft was a hilarious, R-rated comedy we were both pretty ecstatic about. The producer called us the next day with, “You have redefined comedy,” so he must have liked it. In any event, the studio executive in charge of the project hated it, wanted a PG version of the story to tap into the massive youth market. I assumed the project was dead. On a flight up to mill valley, where Dana lives, I came up with the idea of this Disguise Master, and a tamer storyline I thought would appeal to the studio executive. Dana slowly got on board and we wrote what is now the movie.

If you were handed an unlimited budget & free range to create the biopic of any famous figure in world history, who would it be?

Actor, Steve McQueen. I was very friendly with his wife of 15 years who told me incredible stories about this mercurial, charismatic icon. I’ve always been a McQueen fan. In particular, I thought I could really show who this man was and why he had such an impact.

What does the future hold for you? anything you would like to plug to our readers?

I’m currently doing a Sci-Fi thriller for Miramax.

What was the last thing that made you smile?

A dream last night where, for 24 hours, everyone in L.A. were honest, kind and not trying to rip your head off.

Saturday Special: A Perfect Host [Film]


“Four friends rent an isolated lake house for a weekend getaway. While the dramas of the friends’ relationships unfold, they are continually interrupted by the home’s owner: a health-obsessed bodybuilder named Tad. Throughout the group’s short stay, Tad’s seemingly affable gestures take an eerie and sinister twist, turning their dream vacation into a nightmare. Mystery entangles this tale that questions the blind acceptance of modern-day practices.” – October Coast PR



Happy Saturday, Folks! Today we are showcasing a suspense thriller for the ages. A Perfect Host is an intriguing film littered with suspense and ultimate pay off that is simply not to be missed. With some twists and turns, I will decree here and now that whatever you are expecting to experience whilst watching this modern gem of a horror film, you will definitely receive more than expected. Filmmaker Chad Werner hit the proverbial nail on the head in terms of keeping the suspense tight, while keeping the attitude a bit light and somewhat comedic at times. He’s an obvious mastermind of his craft and I am very excited to see what the future holds for him.


Brady Burelson Johnson is absolutely incredible in is portrayal of the film’s protagonist, Tad. Just superb. And might I had that the name Tad says so much about the character he is playing. I sincerely cannot think of a better name for this somewhat charming psychopath. KoKo Marshall is also a stand out performer in this wonderfully casted film that I recommend to anyone obsessed with great horror and suspense projects. A Perfect Host is simply brilliant. Check it out!


A Perfect Host is available now on DVD and VOD.




Chelsea Gilson [Interview]


Hello Folks! We have a wonderful interview to share with you all today. We have the inspirational and immensely talented actress, traveler, yoga instructor, and so much more. It’s Chelsea Gilson, Everyone! In 2019 alone, Chelsea worked on two of our favorite films of the year, which will be discussed below. She is a star on the rise and has an incredible future. We are so excited to have her join the TWS alum. She’s incredibly kind with her time and just an overall incredible soul. So please enjoy some brilliant responses from this incredible performer. Enjoy!




What inspired you to get into the world of entertainment? Was it something that has been ingrained in you since you were a child, or did you happen to find yourself in this world one day?

I live to create.  There is nothing that fuels me quite as much as an opportunity to pour myself into a role and become rooted in a new character.  I wouldn’t say I always dreamed of becoming an actress or television host – or travel blogger or yoga teacher for that matter –  but I always had an inclination for the limelight. I was a pageant kid who realized quite young that the energy of being on stage, of being seen and heard, it’s pretty damn liberating.

What was your very first paid gig in the world of entertainment? And were there any sort of lessons learned from this experience that still affect your work today?

I can’t recall my first paid entertainment gig, but my first big break was when I booked a show on Travel Channel called Scambushed.  I can vividly remember getting the call that I was selected as one of four hosts for the show.  I was driving home from a fitness shoot, and I had to pull over to catch my breath – I was seriously too excited to drive!  That experience gave me the self-confidence boost I needed to pursue a career in this crazy whirlwind of a business.

We are huge fans of the universe that the legendary Kevin Smith has brought to the screen, having interviewed literally dozens of folks from this world. Including yourself! I understand you can be heard the most recent installment, Jay and Silent Bob Reboot. I am curious to know how your experience was working on a Kevin Smith project? Was there anything that set it apart from the variety of other projects you have worked on?

I only worked as voiceover on Jay & Silent Bob Reboot, so I never got any set time with Kevin!  Everything was recorded in a sound studio 🙂 Voiceover is such a fun avenue of the entertainment world I’m just now starting to explore.  I’d really love to try my voice (see what I did there!) at an animated movie one day, how cool would that be?!



Another incredible project you worked on was the brilliant Dolemite Is My Name, which was high on our list of the best films of 2019. Same sort of question. How was your experience working on this incredible film? And what was it about this legendary story that made you want to be a part of it?

There were so many world-class actors on Dolemite Is My Name, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t star-struck on set.  I really loved how everyone was so professional during the takes – never missing lines, conscious of their blocking, grounded in their character.  But the second the director yelled cut it felt like one big party, with everyone cracking jokes and laughing it up like a backyard bbq.  It really was a dream experience and I’m so grateful I had a small part in such an iconic film.

If you were handed the opportunity to create & star in the biopic of any legendary figure in American history, who would it be? 

I’m smitten with Dolly Parton and would love to give tribute to her remarkable life story.  She is beyond talented and so fiercely grounded in her sense of self, it would be an honor to walk in her shoes!

What does the future hold for you? Anything you would like to plug to our readers?

This week I’m headed to Temecula to film a movie.  I can’t share any details yet, but if it turns out half as good as the script, you’ll be hearing about it soon!  Other than that, I stay busy blogging away at www.travelingfig.com, stop by anytime to connect or collaborate!  You can also find me on IG at @chelseagilson and @organictravel  & on Twitter @chelseagilson

What was the last thing that made you smile?

I am obnoxiously optimistic, so it’s pretty rare that I don’t have a smile plastered on my face.  But if I had to say the last thing that evoked a big grin, I would pick this morning when I was teaching yoga.  I always cheese during the whole class – I’m just so grateful for the opportunity to share the practice with my students!

Allen Strickland Williams [Interview]


Hello Folks! Happy Wednesday to you all! We have an incredible interview for you all today. We’ve had some wonderful comedians on the site in the past years, and today is absolutely no exception! Today we have some amazing responses from the brilliant Allen Strickland Williams! For comedy fans, Allen is a true household name, and one of the best in the game. For those sad few who aren’t quite familiar with Williams and his unique and brilliant brand of comedy, you are in for damn treat! You’re seriously going to LOVE him. He’s been hard at work with a brand new series that we will all hopefully get to see for ourselves soon! Until then catch him at a live show! Listen to his podcast The Male Gaze he does with Steve Hernandez each Monday! And because I know our readership is loud and proud in our homeland of the Pacific Northwest, he’s coming your way in March! More information below! Be there!

So Folks, please enjoy some wonderful words from the brilliant Allen Strickland Williams!




When did you first discover that you are a hilarious human being, and that you wanted to make people laugh for a living?

I ran a semi-successful blog when I was still in the womb called Baby Speak. Got some traction around the third trimester. Once the influencer opportunities started rolling in I thought, “Goo goo gah gah. Maybe I got a shot at this thing.”

What was your first paid gig in the world of entertainment? And were there any sort of lessons learned from this experience that still affect your work to this day?

Besides getting paid 20 bucks here and there for some live stand-up spots, I somehow got a gig to write an entire season of an animated show about a dog who, get this, was a little bit of a potty mouth. I wrote an outline and a bunch of episodes about this dirty—and when I say dirty I mean DIRTY—dog. I think the dog’s name was Pussy? Thank god it never got made. At the time it was a lot of money to get all at once, the most I’d ever seen on a check with my name on it. But, it took me forever to get paid, and the money went away pretty fast. That was a lesson in how work can come from anywhere, there’s a lot of bad shit that needs writing, you can get paid even if something doesn’t get made, and that one gig or check isn’t gonna change your life. Which sucks. Because all I want to do is get paid in one of those big checks and take it out to the desert, never to be seen again.


We always like to ask comedians who make their way across the country one thing: What are so unsuspectingly wonderful places for comedy? What are some of those “fly-over” cities that simply don’t get the credit they deserve as wonderful places to perform stand up?

DAVENPORT, IOWA. I cannot stress this enough. Daniel Bush and Sean Moeller have put on some of the best shows I’ve ever done anywhere. And it’s a beautiful town, no matter the season.



I recently heard you on our friend Amy Miller’s podcast, Who’s Your God?, talking about an upcoming project you are working on entitled Unmatched. Without giving away too much, can you tell us a bit about this project? What sort of hilarity should our readers expect to see when the show is finally made?

It’s a show about a world where everyone is monogamous because an app’s algorithm can match you to your perfect soulmate. But the algorithm isn’t perfect, and some people can’t be matched, so they’re living non-monogamously in a world that’s completely built for everybody else.


If you were handed the opportunity, with unlimited resources, to write and produce the biopic of any well known figure in American history, who would it be? Why?

George Washington. And I’d just make him look like an idiot who got really lucky.


What else does the future hold for you? Anything you would like to plug to our readers?

I’ll be headlining in Washington, D.C. at the Drafthouse Comedy Theater on 2/7 and 2/8, and at the Funhouse Lounge in Portland, OR on 3/20 and 3/21.


What was the last thing that made you smile?

Remembering I had my weed vape at my office.



Craig Hamann [Interview]


Hot damn do we have a good interview for you all today, Folks! We are kicking February off right with some words from an absolute legend in the world of film. It’s Craig Hamann, Everyone! Craig has been involved in filmmaking for almost 40 years, and is actually one of the reasons you may know the likes of one Quentin Tarantino. That’s right, Craig worked alongside QT on his very first film, My Best Friend’s Birthday, which has a making of story like no other, that you simply must learn about. In the interview Craig will talk about a great book by Andrew J. Rausch regarding the making of this film. And while I have not read it myself, I plan to. And if Craig is willing to co-sign on this venture, then I am totally down to do so as well.

Beyond the one memorable venture, Hamann has worked on many other awe-inspiring projects, including working with some of our old friends at Full Moon Entertainment, which he will tell us about in his answers below. He has an exciting new series in the works that we hope gets to see the proverbial light of day soon. And overall, he’s just a genuinely kind man and we are so grateful that he could take some time out of his busy schedule to share a few answers with us here today.

So Folks, please enjoy some wonderful words from the great Craig Hamann!




What initially inspired you to get into the world of filmmaking? Was it something you had dreamt of doing since your youth, or did you happen to find yourself in this world one day?

Two things inspired me. The first happened when I was maybe five or six years old. I always liked seeing movies, even when I was that young. As a result, my parents would take me to matinees on weekends. One day they took me to a double feature with Bela Lugosi in Dracula and Boris Karloff in Frankenstein. I was immediately hooked on horror and genre films, and the possibility of one day writing for film.

The second inspiration came while I was attending Eastern Michigan University, which is a good writing school. I just happened to notice screenwriting was being taught and so I took the class. I loved it. It completely erased any doubts I had about getting into the film business.

What was your first paid gig in the world of entertainment? And were there any sort of lessons learned from this experience that still affects your work today?

The first paid jobs were uncredited rewrites for a few low budget indie films. A couple didn’t even get produced. I also did some martial arts fighting stunts in a couple films best left forgotten. But my first paid gig where my name was seen was acting in The Tomb, directed by Fred Olen Ray. The experience itself was dope. Another big plus was I met Sybil Danning during the filming. She was drop dead sexy and such a nice person. During the shoot, I spent as much time as possible talking with Sybil about the independent film industry as I could.

If there is one thing working on The Tomb  taught me, it’s filmmaking is a job. A fun job. But still a job. Everyone is working hard to complete the shots on schedule. 



A number of years ago, you created a film with Quentin Tarantino entitled My Best Friend’s Birthday in the early days of both of your careers. I am curious as to how this relationship came about? I believe I’ve heard that you originally began the project? How did this all play out?

A great book by Andrew J. Rausch recently came out titled My Best Friend’s Birthday: The Making Of A Quentin Tarantino Film. It really goes into depth about the film. Quentin, Roger Avary and myself all participated in interviews for it. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in the film. 

Quentin and I had become close friends at the James Best Acting School. We decided one day to basically hold our noses and take a plunge into making a film. It was a trying but rewarding time in our lives. Of course, the best part is I got to work with Quentin. That’s an experience I will always cherish. As for me originally beginning the project, make no mistake, despite what some people have said, Quentin and I originated and made the film together. We worked hard at it. As Quentin likes to say, it was his film school. I agree with that sentiment. It was the only sort of filmmaking school I ever attended.

I also like the idea of simply saying, “We’re gonna make a movie.” We didn’t know at all what we were in for and we didn’t really know what we were doing while we were filming. It was trial by fire. But what a learning experience! 

By the way, the camera we used to shoot the movie was a 16mm Bolex that Fred Olen Ray lent to us. He did us a real solid. I’ll never forget it.

I came across something pretty interesting whilst scanning the internet that I was wondering you could give some detail about. I understand that you reunited with Quentin a few years later as a consultant on Pulp Ficiton. I am curious to know what kind of consulting work you provided to the film? And how was your experience working on this project?

I am a former substance abuser. That’s a fancy way of saying I was a drug addict many years ago while living in Detroit. I talked in depth with John Travolta about the heroin use in the film and I met with Quentin and Uma Thurmond to talk about her overdose scene. I also talked with Quentin about what the overdose would look like. He did a superb job with it.

I would come to the set and always end up in John Travolta’s trailer talking about film, life, whatever. He’d make us iced tea and we would just sit and shoot the breeze. A couple times Quentin joined us for lunch. Quentin also had me present while he shot Christopher Walken’s incredible “watch” scene. It was amazing. Walken is blow away amazing as an actor. And Quentin wrote a brilliant scene.

My apologies for all the Quentin praise here, but I find the guy’s talent to be astonishing. He has to be looked at as one of the greatest signature writer/directors to ever grace the big screen. Of course, yeah, I’m a bit biased.

We’ve spoken with quite a few folks who have worked in the Full Moon Entertainment world, especially writers, which you did yourself in 1993 with Dollman vs. Demonic Toys. We love horror films around here at TWS, so I am curious to know about your experience working on this very specific type of horror camp-like genre?

My buddy Courtney Joyner introduced me to Charlie Band. We hit it off well. I ended up writing Dollman vs. Demonic Toys. It was great writing for Full Moon because of their colorful approach to films, but equally fun was having two friends on  board with Courtney as an associate producer and Tim Thomerson in the lead. 

One project I really was hoping to do with Full Moon was going to be their version of H.P. Lovecraft’s The Shadow Over Innsmouth. It didn’t happen. I believe they had difficulty securing the rights to that one at the time.



What does the future hold for you? Anything you would like to plug to our readers?

Right now I’m excited about a project called Smokers, which I’m doing with my good friend Sam Dobbins. Sam is a smart and experienced actor/producer. We’ve put a lot of time and hard work into this one. To be honest the project is fairly fresh off the presses, but it’s ready to start being shopped. One of the reasons I’m so crazy about this action/horror/revenge story is because of the streaming TV shows on Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and Shudder (among others). We have 10 episodes already written and a complete story/character bible for Smokers. Admittedly, it’s gritty stuff, very violent, but it’s an intriguing plot with wonderfully offbeat characters. I firmly believe the cross pollination of genres in the story would be fascinating to viewers.

What was the last thing that made you smile?

Here, right now answering the interview questions. It brought back a lot of cool memories. Thank you for doing that for me.

2020 Oscar Preview with Chris & Ron [Exclusive]


Introduction from Mr. Eaves:

What is the difference between a best film and our favorite film? How do we talk about cinema? We build definitions and debate parameters in order to categorize but in doing so can risk sacrificing the unique and personal experience of filmgoing.

I remember watching The Criterion Blu-ray release of Noah Baumbach’s Frances Ha (2012) several years ago. A black and white eccentric coming of age film set to a New York backdrop starring Greta Gerwig. While I absolutely hated this film upon first viewing there was also something that latched onto me. I unwantedly spent the next few days thinking about Gerwig’s performance. While eccentric it oozed this humanistic energy. The following week I had to revisit the film to figure out why I was still thinking about a movie I thought I disliked. By the ending credits, I had completely transitioned my feelings on the film. While I cannot explain this change of disposition, I can acknowledge that change did occur.

While Frances Ha still rests neatly on my movie shelf I have never sat down to watch the film a third time. Mostly driven by a fear of my second joyful experience reverting to my original. Film is a powerful medium. It is a mighty empathy machine capable of changing perspective and in that is a very personal experience.

What is a best film and what is a favorite film?



Introduction from Mr. Trembath:

The Irishman was lame. Joker was an incel manifesto, but Joaquin was great. Greta Gerwig was robbed. The Lion King was just an animated pile of dog shit. If I were you, I would vote for Chris.



So Folks, reach out to either Chris or Ron via social media, wherever you would like, and let us know which team you are on

The pointing system works as follows:

Correct “Want to Win” = 0.5 points

Correct “Going to Win” = 1.0 points

So tell us what you think, and if you choose the winner, you are entered into a pool to win an exceptionally mediocre prize of the finest Korean bootlegs from 2012-2013 (and before), a copy of Children of Mercy: Tales and Teachings From the World of Independent Music, and more!

And after you have picked your team, come back here and bump the winners against our choices, and wait for word from one of us that you are big winner! It’s that easy, Folks!

Let’s have some fun!






“Ford v Ferrari”

“The Irishman”

“Jojo Rabbit”


“Little Women”

“Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood”

“Marriage Story”



WHO CHRIS WANTS TO WIN: A technical achievement of the cinematic art form but should not be limited to this sole accomplishment. Presented as a single in real-time take, 1917 uses its form as a direct choice to enhance the emotional resonance of its larger themes. While The Academy has nominated many great films, the Academy also has ignored many others. Parasite continues to be a film I think about often. Depending on when I am asked, I could change my answer over to Parasite or Little Women.

My Nominations for Best Film in order of Preference.

The Last Blackman in San Francisco
Little Women
Uncut Gems
The Lighthouse
Dolemite is My Name
Marriage Story



WHO RON WANTS TO WIN: Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood. Look, I’ve seen 4 of the 9, and I loved 2 of them. And as a lifelong (almost) Quentin Tarantino fan, it really behooves me to pick this film that I really did love. Although, I have the feeling that I probably would have chosen Jojo Rabbit because it seems so damn great. But, QT for life.





WHO RON THINKS WILL ACTUALLY WIN: 1917. This was not one of the 4 that I even saw, but I honestly feel like it is the safe bet. This year actually feels like we may be reverting to the old days (not in a good way) and we may not see many surprises. So, I’m gonna pick this one for my buddy Chris. You’re welcome, Chris.





Kathy Bates, “Richard Jewell”

Laura Dern, “Marriage Story”

Scarlett Johansson, “Jojo Rabbit”

Florence Pugh, “Little Women”

Margot Robbie, “Bombshell”


Scarlett Johansson, “Jojo Rabbit” – Taika Waititi crafted a whimsical farce of Nazi Germany. Waititi walks the line in his use of comedy to express hopefulness in direct contradiction to the worst of what humanity has to offer. Waititi was able to accomplish this through his actors especially Johansson’s mother role as the most grounded of the film’s characters capturing many heartwarming and authentic portrayals of motherhood and a general sense of hope. Without Johansson, I’m unsure Jojo Rabbit works.

My Nominations for Best Supporting Actress in order of Preference.

Scarlett Johansson – Jojo Rabbit
Park So-dam – Parasite
Zhao Shuzhen – The Farewell
Jennifer Lopez – Hustlers
Billie Lourd – Booksmart



WHO RON WANTS TO WIN: Laura Dern, “Marriage Story”. I know this seems like an obvious choice, and a cheap trick to score some points, but this lady fucking EARNED it. This was one of those performances that I absolutely knew for a fact was going to end up in this silly award show, and it is well deserved.




WHO CHRIS THINKS WILL ACTUALLY WIN: Laura Dern, “Marriage Story” – Dern is top-level acting. She is wonderful in everything she does. Dern’s character is memorable playing the role of the possible dubious motivated lawyer for Johansson. For me, the role fills more plot required then character driven.



WHO RON THINKS WILL ACTUALLY WIN: Laura Dern, “Marriage Story”. Same as above.




Tom Hanks, “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”

Anthony Hopkins, “The Two Popes”

Al Pacino, “The Irishman”

Joe Pesci, “The Irishman”

Brad Pitt, “Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood”


Brad Pitt, “Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood” – Brad Pitt is consistently amazing. Although, I consider Pitt’s character a co-lead to DiCaprio and not supporting. Both Pitt and DiCaprio’s characters have their own unique arcs throughout the film. Joe Pesci should also be mentioned as he came out of retirement for The Irishman playing a far more reserved character then he is known for bringing this softness and introspection.

My Nominations for Best Supporting Actor in order of Preference.

William Defoe – The Lighthouse
Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood – Brad Pitt
Shia LaBeouf – Honey Boy
Joe Pesci – The Irishman
Song Kang-ho – Parasite

WHO RON WANTS TO WIN: Brad Pitt, “Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood”. There is no question. If we are going to celebrate this film for acting, it has to be Brad. Everyone was wonderful, but Brad was absolutely fantastic. 



WHO CHRIS THINKS WILL ACTUALLY WIN: Brad Pitt, “Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood” – SEE ABOVE!

WHO RON THINKS WILL ACTUALLY WIN: Brad Pitt, “Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood”. Same as above.



South Korea, “Parasite”

Spain, “Pain and Glory”

France, “Les Misérables”

North Macedonia, “Honeyland”

Poland, “Corpus Christi”

WHO CHRIS WANTS TO WIN: South Korea, “Parasite” – This is a difficult choice between Parasite and Pain and Glory. These films could not be more different in presentation while remaining both so incredibly cinematically satisfying. Parasite brings this bizarre genre approach to social issues which I would not want to ruin for anyone who has yet to see the film, while Pain and Glory is a very complex expression of a man’s journey of accomplishments and failures. Pain and Glory is Antonia Bandera’s best work. Ideally Parasite would win Best Directing or Best Film allowing Pain and Glory to win Best International Film. I cannot see the Academy going that direction.



WHO RON WANTS TO WIN: South Korea, “Parasite”. No real basis for this pick, it just happens to be the one film that seemed interesting to me and I will probably watch later. And I just love South Korea. 





WHO RON THINKS WILL ACTUALLY WIN: South Korea, “Parasite”. If it’s in the Best Picture category, it wins this one. No questions.



“In the Absence”

“Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You’re a Girl)”

“Life Overtakes Me”

“St. Louis Superman”

“Walk Run Cha-Cha”

WHO CHRIS WANTS TO WIN: “Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You’re a Girl)” – I wish it was not so difficult to see these films. As of writing this piece I have not seen any of these nominated films. One week before Awards Night is not a proper release for the general public. If you wait so late to put these films in a theater at least find a way to have them available on VOD. The home theater is what I prefer but not being able to watch these films at all is a far worse choice.



WHO RON WANTS TO WIN: “St. Louis Superman”. I haven’t seen any of the shorts, but this one seemed the most up my alley. And St. Louis is a great city.


WHO CHRIS THINKS WILL ACTUALLY WIN: “Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You’re a Girl)” – SEE ABOVE!


WHO RON THINKS WILL ACTUALLY WIN: “Life Overtakes Me”. I’ve actually heard of this one. That’s really it.



“American Factory”

“The Edge of Democracy”


“For Sama”

“The Cave”

WHO CHRIS WANTS TO WIN:“American Factory” – There is not a lot of escapism in these documentaries. These nominations reflect the sense of the world right now. Free Solo last year felt exciting and gripping and felt of human accomplishment. This year feels more painful and sorrowful. American Factory has the Netflix and the Obama power push.



WHO RON WANTS TO WIN: “The Edge of Democracy”. I did only happen to see two of these, and yes they were the Netflix ones. I really did dig this film though. I can’t confirm that it is better than any of the others, but I do know that this shit was inspiring in a way. Also American Factory was corporate propaganda, plain and simple.






WHO RON THINKS WILL ACTUALLY WIN: “The Edge of Democracy”. Same as above.



“I’m Standing With You,” “Breakthrough”

“Into the Unknown,” “Frozen II”

“Stand Up,” “Harriet”

“(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again,” “Rocketman”

“I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away,” “Toy Story 4”


“(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again,” “Rocketman” – Taron Egerton sings his own songs. He acts just as good or better than Rami Malek who won for best actor in 2019. Now, this is not the section for best Actors, this is clearly the best song of the nominations. Glasgow from Wild Rose completes that film. How could this song be missed?

My Nominations for Best Original Song in order of Preference.

“Glasgow (No Place Like Home)” – “Wild Rose”
“(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again,” – “Rocketman”



WHO RON WANTS TO WIN: “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again,” “Rocketman”. While I do love this song, I am really only picking it because I love when songs from non-animated films win this award. It brings a weird thrill to my simple heart.


WHO CHRIS THINKS WILL ACTUALLY WIN: “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again,” “Rocketman” – SEE ABOVE!

WHO RON THINKS WILL ACTUALLY WIN: “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again,” “Rocketman”. It was a wildly successful biopic about one of our most beloved musicians. I see this being a trend for the future.



“How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World”

“I Lost My Body”


“Missing Link”

“Toy Story 4”

WHO CHRIS WANTS TO WIN:  “Missing Link” – I am an unabashed sucker for Claymation. I absolutely love this technique and style. Made by the local production house outside of Portland Oregon too. This is all subjective and my bias should be known.


WHO RON WANTS TO WIN: “Toy Story 4”. I want this for spiteful reasons if I’m being honest. Let Pixar get their 10th win, and let the Toy Story franchise, which started it all, finally be at rest.



WHO CHRIS THINKS WILL ACTUALLY WIN: “Toy Story 4” – Pixar is a juggernaut. Their worst movies are the equivalent to most other animation studios’ best movies. How the magic of Toy Story has lasted I do not know but am happy it has as a series that is completely cross-generational now without transitioning into the Direct to VOD cheap money grab movie model. What great stewardship of this perfect collection of films.



WHO RON THINKS WILL ACTUALLY WIN: “Toy Story 4”. Same as above.



“The Irishman”

“Jojo Rabbit”

“Little Women”

“The Two Popes”


WHO CHRIS WANTS TO WIN: “Little Women” – Greta Gerwig is an auteur. It is a shame to have not been nominated for Best Director. This will drive the vote to Gerwig for adapted screenplay. Thich is also completely deserving in how Gerwig can modernize an adaptation that has seen so many previous attempts. The construction of the story is a clear standout to pull new themes and character emotions from a well-known source.



WHO RON WANTS TO WIN: “Jojo Rabbit”. I feel like this is the most original of the bunch, even though I have not seen the film. I have a deep-rooted love for the screenplay categories, and I feel like I have a pretty good gauge of how these things go. Or not. Who knows?





WHO RON THINKS WILL ACTUALLY WIN: “Jojo Rabbit”. Same as above.



“Marriage Story”

“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”


“Knives Out”


WHO CHRIS WANTS TO WIN: “Parasite” – Parasite is one of the most original screenplays of the year. Marriage Story and Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood are two of the best-written screenplays of the year.



WHO RON WANTS TO WIN: “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”. Again, I only saw 2 of these films. I truly believe 1917 is out for sure, as we haven’t seen a war movie win in this category in, well, forever. These films are appreciated as a visual stimulation, but not as a story itself. And I believe that the Academy is not beyond giving QT awards for writing for 3 of his last 4 films. I think they will take pride in it.


WHO CHRIS THINKS WILL ACTUALLY WIN: “Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood” – Tarantino is one of the most unique screenwriters of film.



WHO RON THINKS WILL ACTUALLY WIN: “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”. Same as above.



Antonio Banderas, “Pain and Glory”

Leonardo DiCaprio, “Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood”

Adam Driver, “Marriage Story”

Joaquin Phoenix, “Joker”

Jonathan Pryce, “The Two Popes”


Antonio Banderas, “Pain and Glory” – Antonia Banderas is an amazing actor. This is also Bandera’s best work. Banderas crafts a human with all his accomplishments and flaws. This is a stacked year for Best Leading Actor and a huge miss for lacking a nomination for Eddie Murphy.

My Nominations for Best Actor in order of Preference:

Pain and Glory – Antonio Banderas
Adam Sandler – Uncut Gems
Joaquin Phoenix – Joker
Adam Driver – Marriage Story
Eddie Murphy – Dolomite is My Name



WHO RON WANTS TO WIN: Joaquin Phoenix, “Joker”. I know that I should probably go with Leo on this one, but I have to admit that Joaquin gave it his all to this portrayal. It’s definitely the most unique of the bunch, and I actually saw 4 out of 5 of these performances! The film was mediocre at best, but Joaquin’s performance was undeniably outstanding.


WHO CHRIS THINKS WILL ACTUALLY WIN: Joaquin Phoenix, “Joker” – Phoenix is one of the best actors of all time. For better or worse he gives himself over to whatever role he is taking on. Phoenix elevates Joker through his performance.



WHO RON THINKS WILL ACTUALLY WIN: Joaquin Phoenix, “Joker”. Same as above.



Cynthia Erivo, “Harriet”

Scarlett Johansson, “Marriage Story”

Saoirse Ronan, “Little Women”

Renée Zellweger, “Judy”

Charlize Theron, “Bombshell”


Saoirse Ronan, “Little Women” – Ronan and Gerwig are meant to work together. They each bring out so much in each other’s craft. Little Women is an adaptation of the book 152 years removed but Saoirse Ronan’s portrayal of Jo feels complete with nuance and complexity. Scarlett Johansson’s work in Marriage Story, meant completely as positive, is a wonderful portrayal a complex human.

My Nominations for Best Actress in order of Preference.

Jessie Buckley – Wild Rose
Elisabeth Moss – Her Smell
Awkwafina – The Farewell
Saoirse Ronan – Little Women
Lupita Nyong’o – US



WHO RON WANTS TO WIN: Cynthia Erivo, “Harriet”. Never saw it, but for the sake of the legendary CIA agent Harriet Tubman, I have to cast my vote for Cynthia.


WHO CHRIS THINKS WILL ACTUALLY WIN: Renée Zellweger, “Judy” – Renee Zellweger acting elevates a fine film. Renee Zellweger is Judy in mannerisms and look – thank you makeup team!



WHO RON THINKS WILL ACTUALLY WIN: Charlize Theron, “Bombshell”. Liberal elites most likely make up 98% of the Oscar judges, so this seems like a clear shot. Controversy sells. Also Charlize is probably due for an Oscar, although I am unclear as to why.



Martin Scorsese, “The Irishman”

Quentin Tarantino, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”

Bong Joon-ho, “Parasite”

Sam Mendes, “1917”

Todd Phillips, “Joker”


Bong Joon-ho, “Parasite” – Greta Gerwig is an auteur and deserved a nomination. Her ability to balance personal, social and interpersonal conflicting relationships across the runtime of Little Women is a feat. Bong Joon-ho accomplishes his own achievements of depicting social plight and family turmoil that hit both the pathos of the characters but also the entertainment value of a genre film. His style blends the best of both worlds into a unique artistic vision.

My Nominations for Best Director in order of Preference.

The Safdie Brothers – Uncut Gems
Bong Joon-ho – Parasite
Greta Gerwig – Little Women
Joe Talbot – The Last Black Man in San Francisco
Sam Mendes – 1917

WHO RON WANTS TO WIN: Quentin Tarantino, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”. I know it is asking a lot, as he already as 3 Oscars for writing, but I would really like QT to be appreciated for his visual storytelling as well. Please?


WHO CHRIS THINKS WILL ACTUALLY WIN: Bong Joon-ho, “Parasite” – Rolling the dice and playing OSCARS Politics here. Paradise while deserving to win the best picture well be kept in the best Internal Category. But I think the Academy still wants to give Bong Joon-ho a win.



WHO RON THINKS WILL ACTUALLY WIN: Sam Mendes, “1917”. As far as a good looking film goes, I’d be willing to admit, without even having seen it, that 1917 is probably the best out there right now. Mendes and cinematographer Roger Deakins are a shoe-in.



“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”

“The Irishman”


“Jojo Rabbit”


WHO CHRIS WANTS TO WIN: “Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood” – Hollywood of 1969 is very recent. Most of the featured locations still exist but not as they once did. The level of detail applied to the period recreated is astonishing. The film functions as a time capsule to the transitional period of old Hollywood and the new wave of American Cinema.



WHO RON WANTS TO WIN: “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”. This film was amazing to look at. It was extremely transformative to another era, and I alway appreciate that look in a film.

WHO CHRIS THINKS WILL ACTUALLY WIN: “1917” – A technical achievement in production design across multiple set pieces.



WHO RON THINKS WILL ACTUALLY WIN: “1917”. So much work went into making this film work, I imagine. It’s probably worthy of all the technical awards.




“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”

“The Irishman”


“The Lighthouse”


“The Lighthouse” – I will take any and every chance to call out Joe Talbot’s “The Last Black Man in San Francisco.” Adam Newport-Berra cinematography on this film, every single frame of his work, is a piece of art you could frame on your wall. How this film could escape being nominated is incomprehensible. The Lighthouse was filmed on celluloid using lenses from the 1930s. The film’s approach to its cinematography is a direct choice to enhance the emersion and the character madness of the story. 1917 is its own achievement. While I know what they did, I can’t begin to tell you how they did it during certain sequences.

My Nominations for Best Cinematography in order of Preference.

The Last Black Man in San Francisco
The Lighthouse
John Wick Chapter 3



WHO RON WANTS TO WIN: “1917”. I know that I haven’t seen it, but when a film does something even remotely unique, and gets rid of that damn green screen, I feel like it needs to be celebrated. I’m certain this movie would bore the shit out of me, has nothing interesting to say, but is wonderful to look act. Sort of like Johnny Depp in recent years, amiright?


WHO CHRIS THINKS WILL ACTUALLY WIN: “1917” – The technical achievement of the year. Roger Deakins was the only man who could show up Roger Deakins.

WHO RON THINKS WILL ACTUALLY WIN: “1917”. Same as above.



“Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood”

“Little Women”

“The Irishman”

“Jojo Rabbit”



“Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood” – In a very stacked category cool is always an element to consider. Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood has cool costume designs. It is frustrating to whiteness another miss for Dolomite is My Name as that film also oozes cool just as much as Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood. Little Women has an Auteur style for an adapted story, Irishman is sleek, and Jojo Rabbit’s Sam Rockwell has a fabulous uniform at the end. Sam Rockwell is fabulous!

My Nominations for Best Costume Design in order of Preference.

Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood
Dolomite is my name
Little Women
Knives Out
Sam Rockwell



WHO RON WANTS TO WIN: “Jojo Rabbit”. Just from glancing through some photos of the costumes, I found JoJo Rabbit to have made some of the more interesting choices in this field. Although I loved Once Upon a Time’s entire decor, and I believe it will win, I have to be honest with you all. You deserve it.


WHO CHRIS THINKS WILL ACTUALLY WIN: “Little Women” – Cool is not always recognized as technical. Little Women’s costume design is about art. Technical will win over cool.



WHO RON THINKS WILL ACTUALLY WIN: “Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood”. It’s a very specific time capsule of a film, and I think they nailed it. Especially Brad’s wardrobe when he is on that roof. Hot damn, amiright?




“Ford v Ferrari”

“Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker”

“Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood”


WHO CHRIS WANTS TO WIN: “Ford v Ferrari” – Sound Editing is the choice of sound effects, dialogue pieces, the capturing of foley effects, to be assembled for sound mixing. Sound Editing and Sound Mixing connected in the same way your left and right feet are connected in how well you can run. In the case of capturing and assembling all the unique sounds – Ford v Ferrier is a standout this year. 1917 could also be a win in this category.



WHO RON WANTS TO WIN: “1917”. Always go with the war movie.





WHO RON THINKS WILL ACTUALLY WIN: “1917”. Again, ALWAYS go with the war movie.




“Ford v Ferrari”

“Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood”

“Ad Astra”


WHO CHRIS WANTS TO WIN: “1917” – Ford v Ferrari and 1917 are excellent technical powerhouses. Both films’ mixing of dialogue, sound effects, foley work, and scores are incredibly produced. In the case of 1917, the crossing of no-man-land and bombed-out-village sequences are stand out examples of mixing. In the case of Ford v Ferrari, every single race sequence is also an achievement of balancing engine, dialogue and music levels. The quieter moments of 1917 are the small details of that movie which elevates it above the others.



WHO RON WANTS TO WIN: “1917”. Always go with the war movie.



WHO RON THINKS WILL ACTUALLY WIN: “1917”. Always go with the war movie.



“Dcera (Daughter)”

“Hair Love”




WHO CHRIS WANTS TO WIN: “Memorable” – I wish it was not so difficult to see these films. As of writing this piece I have not seen any of these nominated films. One week before Awards Night is not a proper release for the general public. If you are waiting so late to put these films in a theater at least find a way to have them available on VOD. The home theater is better than not being able to watch theme at all.



WHO RON WANTS TO WIN: “Sister”. Just based on premise alone, I am very intrigued by this film the most. I’d also like to take this paragraph to plug the somewhat related doc on Amazon Prime entitled One Child Nation. You are going to cry.



WHO RON THINKS WILL ACTUALLY WIN: “Sister”. Same as above.




“Nefta Football Club”

“The Neighbors’ Window”


“A Sister”

WHO CHRIS WANTS TO WIN: “The Neighbors’ Window” – Everyone of this year’s Live Action Short Films are outstanding. Unlike last year, not every single one is tonally dark. The Neighbors’ Window adds a bit of comedy to the mix landing a wonderful story and theme. Nefta Football Club is a straight-up comedy worth a watch while Brotherhood and Saria tackle very of the moment issues.



WHO RON WANTS TO WIN: “Brotherhood”. Again, did not see, but most intrigued by this one.


WHO CHRIS THINKS WILL ACTUALLY WIN: “Saria” – The final moments of this film had me weeping. The film leaves little hope and offers little in the sense of change but keeps the memory of 41 one young girls alive.



WHO RON THINKS WILL ACTUALLY WIN: “Brotherhood”. Same as above.



“1917,” Thomas Newman

“Joker,” Hildur Guðnadóttir

“Little Women,” Alexandre Desplat

“Marriage Story,” Randy Newman

“Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” John Williams


“Little Women” by Alexandre Desplat – A flip of a coin between Little Women and 1917. Little Women works as a record while 1917 works better as a film score. Little Women’s compositions emanate curiosity and innocence. Yes, John Williams is great – 52 nominations great. Randy Newman continues to be a shining light of awesomeness. It is disappointing to have not honored Uncut Gems or Honey Boy with a nomination. The music of Uncut Gems is the anxiety heart of that movie.

My Nominations for Best Original Score in order of Preference.

Uncut Gems
Little Women
Honey Boy



WHO RON WANTS TO WIN: “Marriage Story,” Randy Newman. I learned a lot about Randy Newman this year, which has nothing to do with his work on Marriage Story, but I dig the guy. Not that he’s going to win, just being honest with the choice.


WHO CHRIS THINKS WILL ACTUALLY WIN: “1917,” Thomas Newman – For the reasons mentioned above. 1917 is an amazing film score complementing the visual achievement. Marriage Story could be a welcomed upset – Love You Randy!



WHO RON THINKS WILL ACTUALLY WIN: “1917,” Thomas Newman. All the technical awards!



“Avengers: Endgame”

“The Lion King”

“Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker”

“The Irishman”


WHO CHRIS WANTS TO WIN: “1917” – Fuck off Lion King you are an animated movie, not special effects! The Irishman’s de-aging technology looks great but old man hips remain old man hips. Avengers Endgame is a special effects spectacular constructed mostly in front of a green screen. Even with its high-quality execution I still know I am watching special effects. This isn’t the 90s anymore. Every blockbuster has giant special effects now. Making the effects disappear into the background – that’s the challenge. 1917 conceals most of its special effects work into its world apart from a small sequence near the end of the film.



WHO RON WANTS TO WIN: “1917”. Same as above.








“The Irishman”

“Ford v Ferrari”



“Jojo Rabbit”

WHO CHRIS WANTS TO WIN: “Parasite” – Parasite is efficient without feeling efficient. Every cut means something in its serves to the story while never feeling present. While I was captivated by every chewy moment of The Irishman a three and a half-hour run time could have been cut down. Runtime does not equal bad I feel the form of film needs to be a balance between the story being told and the efficient at which that story is being delivered.



WHO RON WANTS TO WIN: “Jojo Rabbit”. I really don’t have an opinion on this, except that The Irishman BEST NOT win for this one. As the great Super Geeky Play Date host Brady Berserker would say, “You can’t un-70 year old man somebody”. Which is true, but if you’re making a movie with 108 year old De Niro curb stomping a guy when he’s supposed to be in his thirties, you gotta edit that shit better.


WHO CHRIS THINKS WILL ACTUALLY WIN: “Ford v Ferrari” – The most technical of the nominations. A classic old Hollywood throwback with very tight plotting and passing “driven” by the film’s editing. A two-and-a-half-hour movie that feels closer to a 110-minute runtime.



WHO RON THINKS WILL ACTUALLY WIN: “Jojo Rabbit”. I just wanted to give one last nod to what will probably end up being my favorite film of 2019.






“Maleficent: Mistress of Evil”


WHO CHRIS WANTS TO WIN: “Bombshell” – It is difficult enough to play historical figures let alone attempt to take on the attributes and mannerisms of living people. Bombshell’s makeup team has performed a magnificent job of turning these actors into the people they represent. I would say the same for the makeup work in Judy. 1917 brings a different angle to its makeup with the grim and gritty depiction of World War 1. While I would be ecstatic to see a 1917 upset, I feel this award is Bombshell’s to lose.



WHO RON WANTS TO WIN: “Joker”. Everything about Joaquin looked pretty damn gross. So, good job?









There you have it Folks! Get out there and vote!