Entries in MTV (16)
Manuel here, pretending he’s still part of the demographic for the MTV Movie Awards. Amy Schumer (“Half of you don’t know me and half of you think I’m Meghan Trainor” she quipped at the start of the show) hosted the show which might just as well have been called the “Shailene Woodley” awards. After Jennifer Lawrence and her Hunger Games dominated the past couple of years, unlikely movie star Woodley emerged as the clear winner last night. On top of her MTV Trailblazer award, her film The Fault in Our Stars (the first non-franchise film to win the Movie of the Year award since Wedding Crashers in 2006!) took home 3 awards. Indeed, original and non-franchise films pretty much dominated, even as the show seemed intent on reminding us that Furious 7, Avengers Age of Ultron and plenty more of summer sequels are out or on their way.
In other news, Bradley Cooper may be 3-for-0 at the Oscars, but he won “Best Male Performance” over presumed favorites Chris Pratt (whose Marvel film went empty-handed), and Faults own Ansel Egort, Meryl Streep won her very first popcorn award and Zac Efron won “Best Shirtless Performance” for his beautifully psychopathic performance in Neighbors which sounds about right, don’t you think?
Manuel here pretending not to be baffled and utterly fascinated with the just-announced MTV Movie Awards nominations. As much as I’d like to bemoan their crass youth pandering, their lineup for Movie of the Year (a "category that honors the most loved theatrical release of the season") is quite a respectable one while any awards that nominate Kristen Wiig & Bill Hader for their tour de force lipsync for their lives on The Skeleton Twins is fine by me.
You’ll note that Neighbors (which netted Rose Byrne THREE nominations!), Guardians of the Galaxy and The Fault in Our Stars led the pack with seven a piece while Oscar favorites American Sniper, Selma, Boyhood, Whiplash and Birdman found some love. No such luck for Wes Anderson’s big Oscar winner The Grand Budapest Hotel nor for Oscar winners Patricia Arquette & Julianne Moore. Implausibly seeing as she's such an awards juggernaut, you may be surprised to hear that Meryl Streep garnered her second (!!) nomination ever at these awards (Best Villain for Into the Woods). She was previously recognized for her work in The Devil Wears Prada. She shares the category with J.K Simmons (Whiplash), Peter Dinklage (X-Men), Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl) and Jillian Bell (22 Jump Street) making it precisely the type of hodge-podge category MTV so enjoys putting together. Don't forget to vote, and maybe we can collectively nab ScarJo a win for Lucy and pretend it's for Under the Skin.
Check the full list of nominations after the jump:
Jose here. Ah, it’s Oscar season and all movie lovers can talk about is who was snubbed or who will and should win. While basking in the glow of acclaimed movies and conversations about the merits of sound editing and screenwriting is nothing to frown upon, most people forget that new movies are released each week, yes, even during Oscar season. And yes, most of these releases are of dubious quality, but sometimes you can only watch your favorite Best Foreign Language Film nominee so many times before you want to go see something new, right?
But what to choose among the pile of critically lambasted offerings that 2015 has brought us so far? I saw a bunch of them, to bring you this concise report.
Glenn here to discuss a lil something from 1989, but first a divergence to the modern day.
Last night’s MTV Video Music Awards were like stepping into a pop culture gulag. It’s easy to get misty-eyed thinking about VMA ceremonies of years past, when the network actually showed music videos and the form felt truly like art. Despite being aware of last night’s winner, “Wrecking Ball” by Miley Cyrus the icky Terry Richardson, I don’t claim to have near enough knowledge of modern music videos to truly complain. It does seem harder to imagine Neil Young, Peter Gabriel, or Pearl Jam winning these days though, doesn’t it? Are there brilliant works that just aren’t being recognized?
It’s been some time since videos were genuine pop culture moments and the internet certainly doesn’t help. Beyoncé appears to be the only one who’s been able to recreate the buzz of sitting around to watch the premiere of a new Michael Jackson or Madonna video. Most importantly, however, formative years are no longer spent watching music videos hoping to find our new favorite song and reveling in visual genius, rather we leave that to YouTube, iTunes and Spotify while we binge-watch sitcoms on Netflix instead.
Which brings me to 1989. If it weren’t for 1989 we wouldn’t have David Fincher. The future Oscar-nominated director had successes before ’89, but his two collaborations with Madonna that year – “Oh Father” and “Express Yourself” – as well as “Vogue” a year later feel like true moments of breakthrough genius. Whenever I tell fans of David Fincher that they should thank Madonna they balk, but isn’t it kind of true?
“Express Yourself” lost the video of the year award to Neil Young’s “This Note’s For You”, but much like a lot of Madonna’s music career, time has proven that she wasn’t just a momentary flash in the pan spurred on by a public wanting what’s new and shiny. Fincher’s video took liberal inspiration from Fritz Lang’s 1927 silent sci-fi classic Metropolis and gave it a slick and sexualized make-over (before blue filters were over-used). For mine, it remains the best thing David Fincher has ever directed – although, ever the contrarian, I don’t quite know if his maturing directorial instincts are for the better. Rather I find myself getting less excited for each new Fincher film and the very insular heterosexual male worlds they appear to inhabit. Will Gone Girl will change that?
Madonna has always been obsessed with cinema, old and new. She and Fincher would prove that again most famously one year later with “Vogue” with its recreations of the Golden Age of Hollywood as well as Isaac Julien's Looking for Langston. Every cent of Express Yourself's then record-breaking $5mil budget is on screen and it’s heightened, boldly stylized aesthetic is the exact kind that Baz Luhrmann was recreating with Moulin Rouge! over a decade later. From the rain-soaked underclass below to the sensual art-deco with modern twist of Madge’s world up top, “Express Yourself” surpasses even some of the work nominated for art direction and cinematography Oscars that year. Who remembers the sets of Driving Miss Daisy, you know? In a neat twist, Tim Burton’s Batman won the former category, itself also inspired by Metropolis. And remember when they went via satellite to present awards in England? Yikes!
The overt homoeroticism. The power of the pussy. The rally cry of the woman. It’s certainly a video that informed my early years a lot, and would go on to inspire my predilection for excessively stylish cinema as well as bold interpretations of eras. The “Express Yourself” video holds up better than most films of 1989, but perhaps works best of all as a beacon not only for Fincher’s career, but as an encapsulation of where cinema could and eventually would go in the following decades from Quentin Tarantino to endless remakes and reboots. By repurposing Metropolis, everything old was new again. Something we still see the effects of today.
The Guardian asks a really good question. Had James Dean lived would he have been a Newman or a Brando?
Nerd Approved swapping the genders on Disney characters
Comics Alliance one minute of the opening battle from X-Men Days of Future Past. Looks exciting
The Guardian an interview with the disfigured actor from Under the Skin
Vox 21 Times Stephen Colbert has dropped his satiric character and been himself
Telegraph an unusually candid confession: Pierce Brosnan doesn't think he was good enough as James Bond
Empire Harrison Ford talks Bladerunner sequel
MTV Movie Awards
I "forgot" to watch. But the internet provides the highlights anyway. Like Zac Efron getting his shirt ripped off. The masses have now seen his chest approximately in everything but it still excites them (More is more?)
Comics Alliance one minute of the opening battle from X-Men Days of Future Past. Looks exciting
Towleroad Jared Leto's AIDS focused speech. Yes he won another award for Rayon "Best Transformation"
YouTube they aired a commercia lfor A Million Ways to Die in the West. Charlize Theron's look is very Sharon Stone in The Quick and the Dead, right? Only with humor.
In Contention has a best and worst list from the night
Variety has the complete winners list which were awful... Mila Kunis terrible terrible villain in Oz: The Great and Powerful won (there were such better options like my Best Villain Nominees). Yikes. For what it's worth Hunger Games: Catching Fire won Best Movie and both lead actor prizes. Yes, Josh Hutcherson too! Since this is, you know, MTV and Twilight no longer exists.
This Weekend's Miracle
Michelle Pfeiffer left the house!
We always have to report on it since it's so rare. She was at Coachella in California this weekend with an undetermined friend.
Awesomely talented Laura Benanti explains the current Broadway season. (I don't understand why a great TV series doesn't snap her up. She was so good on the short-lived Playboy Club and in The Sound of Music: Live and surely she deserves better than a Law & Order franchise. Especially since the bitch can sang.)
The MTV Movie Award Nominations arrive hot on the heels of the Oscar ceremony. This awards show happens on April 13th. MTV, even moreso than the Globes is all about nominating big stars they think we'll give them ratings even if they stick out like sore thumbs in their category. That's why I have to admit shock that 12 Years a Slave shows up repeatedly in their nominations.
I thought it far too sober, artistic, and adult for the awards show that kept holding the Twilight franchise up as some kind of pinnacle of filmmaking. It's hard to consider them being nominated for the same prize, much less existing in the same universe. Gravity, which weirdly isn't up for "Movie of the Year" would have been a far more MTV like choice. Honestly I can't figure it.
In some way this is a bit more like the MTV Movie Awards of yore which would give prizes to Wes Anderson before he even had a fanbase to speak of. But maybe it's all merely a happy accident that two of the most Oscar nominated movies of the year (American Hustle, Wolf of Wall Street) are also "fun" and so MTV responds in kind.
MOVIE OF THE YEAR
• “12 Years a Slave” (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
• “American Hustle” (Columbia Pictures)
• “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” (Warner Bros. Pictures)
• “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” (Lionsgate)
• “The Wolf of Wall Street” (Paramount Pictures)