Sunday, January 31, 2010

I Got a Feeling

Here are my predictions for tomorrow's Grammy Awards:

album of the year: Big Whiskey and the Groogrux King (Dave Matthews Band)
record of the year: "Use Somebody" (Kings of Leon)
song of the year: "Pretty Wings" (Maxwell)
best new artist: Zac Brown Band

best pop vocal album: The E.N.D. (Black Eyed Peas)
best contemporary R&B album: I Am... Sasha Fierce (Beyonce)
best rap album: Relapse (Eminem)
best country album: Fearless (Taylor Swift)
best rock album: Big Whiskey and the Groogrux King (Dave Matthews Band)

best pop performance by a duo or group with vocals: I Gotta Feeling
best dance recording: Poker Face (Lady Gaga)
best alternative music recording: The Open Door (Death Cab for Cutie)

Sunday, January 24, 2010


The winners of the 16th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards today are:

for film-

best cast: "Inglourious Basterds"

best lead actor: Jeff Bridges in "Crazy Heart"

best lead actress: Sandra Bullock in "The Blind Side"

best supporting actor: Christoph Waltz in "Inglorious Basterds"

best supporting actress: Mo'Nique in "Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire"

best stunt ensemble: "Star Trek"

for television-

best drama series cast: "Mad Men"

best comedy series cast: "Glee"

best actor in a drama series: Michael C. Hall in "Dexter"

best actress in a drama series: Julianna Margulies in "The Good Wife"

best actor in a comedy series: Alec Baldwin in "30 Rock"

best actress in a comedy series: Tina Fey in "30 Rock"

best actor in a movie or miniseries: Kevin Bacon in "Taking Chance"

best actress in a movie or miniseries: Drew Barrymore in "Grey Gardens"

best stunt ensemble: "24"

Life Achievement: Betty White

Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Gloriously Mad Will Rock

Here are my thoughts for tomorrow's Screen Actors Guild awards tomorrow morning, Manila time:

Those who will win for film are-

best cast:
Inglourious Basterds

best lead actor: Jeff Bridges in
Crazy Heart
best lead actress: Meryl Streep in Julie & Julia

I hope Bullock will not pull off an upset.

best supporting actor:
Christoph Waltz in Inglourious Basterds
best supporting actress:
Mo'Nique in Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' By Sapphire

best stunt ensemble-
Star Trek

For television-

best drama series cast:
Mad Men deserves to win, and it will take this one.

best comedy series cast-
Curb Your Enthusiasm is overdue, but the trophy will go to 30 Rock.

best actor in a drama series- Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad) deserves to win, but the votes will go to Michael C. Hall (Dexter).

best actress in a drama series- Patricia Arquette is overdue for
Medium, but Glenn Close will win for Damages.

best actor in a comedy series- Alec Baldwin will be awarded for
30 Rock, but I think Larry David deserves it for Curb Your Enthusiasm.

best actress in a comedy series-
Edie Falco has a good chance for Nurse Jackie, but Tina Fey will most likely win for 30 Rock. I think Julia Louis-Dreyfus deserves it for The New Adventures of Old Christine.

best actor in a movie or miniseries- Kevin Bacon will win for
Taking Chance.
best actress in a movie or miniseries-
Jessica Lange will win for Grey Gardens.

Stunt ensemble- The deserving nominee is The Unit.

For nominations, click here.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Zero for Nine

The winners of today's Golden Globes are:

for film-

best picture (drama)- Avatar

best picture (musical or comedy)- The Hangover

best director: James Cameron for "Avatar"

best actor (drama)- Jeff Bridges in "Crazy Heart"

best actress (drama)- Sandra Bullock in "The Blind Side"

best actor (musical or comedy)- Robert Downey Jr. in "Sherlock Holmes"

best actress (musical or comedy)- Meryl Streep in "Julie & Julia"

best supporting actor- Christoph Waltz in "Inglourious Basterds"

best supporting actress- Mo'Nique in "Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire"

best foreign-language film- The White Ribbon

best animated film- Up

best screenplay- Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner for "Up in the Air"

best original score: Michael Giacchino for "Up"

best original song: "The Weary Kind (Theme from 'Crazy Heart')" (written by Ryan Bingham, T Bone Burnett) for "Crazy Heart"

for television-

best drama series- "Mad Men" (AMC)

best musical or comedy series- "Glee" (Fox)

best miniseries or movie- "Grey Gardens" (HBO)

best actor (drama)- Michael C. Hall in "Dexter"

best actress (drama)- Julianna Margulies in "The Good Wife"

best actor (musical or comedy)- Alec Baldwin in "30 Rock"

best actress (musical or comedy)- Toni Collette in "United States of Tara"

best actor (miniseries or movie)- Kevin Bacon in "Taking Chance"

best actress (miniseries or movie)- Drew Barrymore in "Grey Gardens"

best supporting actor (series, miniseries or movie)- John Lithgow in "Dexter"

best supporting actress (series, miniseries or movie)- Chloe Sevigny in "Big Love"

Sunday, January 17, 2010


Here's who should win the Golden Globes tomorrow morning, Manila time (For nominations, click here):

best drama:
House is overdue, but it does not look like it's going to win.

best comedy:
The Office is also overdue, but it also has slim chances.

best actor (drama):
Bill Paxton in
Big Love

best actress (drama):
Glenn Close in

best actor (musical or comedy):
Matthew Morrison in

best actress (musical or comedy):
Toni Collette in
United States of Tara

best supporting actor:
Neil Patrick Harris in
How I Met Your Mother

best supporting actress:
Rose Byrne in

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Not So Complicated

The Golden Globe Awards will be telecast Monday morning, Manila time. ( Click here for nominees. ) Here are my predictions in the movie categories:

best drama:
Up in the Air
, but look to Avatar to possibly snatch the top prize.

best musical or comedy:
Nine, but this movie has been slipping in critical appreciation in the past few weeks. Watch out for a win by It's Complicated.
The Hangover has good chances and 500 Days of Summer is a dark horse.

best director: James Cameron for Avatar, although critics would say it's his ex-wife Kathryn Bigelow (for "The Hurt Locker") who should win.

best actor (drama):
George Clooney (in "Up in the Air"). Jeff Bridges (in "Crazy Heart") is a distant possibility.

best actress (drama):

Sandra Bullock (in "The Blind Side"), possibly Carey Mulligan (in "An Education").

best actor (musical or comedy):
This is the one most widely open to anybody. In descending order of possibility: Daniel Day-Lewis (in "Nine"), Robert Downey Jr. (in "Sherlock Holmes"), or Matt Damon (in "The Informant!").

best actress (musical or comedy):
Meryl Streep (in "Julie & Julia"), the surest thing this year for the Globes. Her closest competition would be herself (in "It's Complicated").

best supporting actor:
Christoph Waltz (in "Inglourious Basterds"). Damon (in "Invictus") is still a possibility, however small his chances are.

best supporting actress:
Mo'Nique (in "Precious"). The next sure thing.

best screenplay:
Up in the Air

best animated film:

best foreign-language film:
The White Ribbon. A possibility: A Prophet, then Broken Embraces.

Friday, January 8, 2010

May It Be

For Christmas, Lamplighter gave me "Hobbits, Elves, and Wizards" by Michael N. Stanton (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2001), addicted as I have been to The Lord of the Rings. In this book, Stanton treats the geography and history and themes of LOTR, along with (as the title implies) the races of Middle-earth, such as dwarfs, ents, and humankind. The book includes a long essay on the first part of the movie trilogy.

In his preface, Stanton writes:

"It always was and still is a pleasure for me to talk about and write about
The Lord of the Rings, and I hope that pleasure shows through."

This is an accessible book even to non-fans.

During the holidays, I picked up the "Cambridge Guide to Fiction in English" by Ian Ousby (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998) at a used books store for Php 40. This is a survey of the English-speaking countries, and the Philippines is included. Here is the entry for F. Sionil Jose:

"Sionil, F(rankie) Sionil. 1924- Filipino. The foremost anglophone writer in the Philippines, he has published novels, novellas and collections of short stories. His reputation rests on the 'Rosales Quinology', consisting of The Pretenders (1962), Tree (1978), My Brother, My Executioner (1979), Mass (1982) and Po-on (1984). Beginning in contemporary middle-class settings, the sequence goes on to chronicle more than a century of life in every sphere of Philippine society."

The book deals with genres of fiction, types of novel, literary history and theory, and trends such as modernism, naturalism, realism, and magic realism. There are summaries of major novels, suggested reading among resources and references, and a list of selected literary prizes.

Most entries are relatively short, but this is nevertheless a helpful study of fiction in English.

These two books have been on my reading load since the holidays. Here's hoping 2010 will be a very good year in books.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Frakking Stellar

The third season of Battlestar Galactica begins in New Caprica about four months after the Cylon occupation.

Of the principal characters, Gaius Baltar has become a puppet president. Colonel Tigh is incarcerated and is missing an eye. Galen Tyrol and Samuel Anders lead the rebellion against the Cylons. Starbuck is being held by the Cylon Leoben.

The fleet had escaped, and Admiral Adama is preparing the rescue of the human population in New Caprica. By the fourth episode, Galactica returns to New Caprica and successfully liberates the humans. By the fifth, a tribunal called The Circle secretly metes out sentences to Colonials who had collaborated with the Cylons by having them airlocked. Later, Baltar is tried for crimes against humanity.

The rest of the season shows how they continue their search for a new home planet, while dealing with food supply and health issues along the way.

The main theme of the series has been questions of identity, and in this season identity is expanded to include not just race (humans vs. Cylons), but also loyalties, faith, and social class. It asks, among other things, the question, How does one become a collaborator? In the case of Baltar, where do we draw the line between self-preservation and being a traitor?

In the continuing efforts of the insurgency, suicide bombing becomes an option. Where in the first season the suicide bombers were the Cylons, this time it is men who blow themselves up. In times of desperation, how can man allow self-destruction? How Macchiavellian can he get? How noble is it to belong to the human race? Where should our sympathies lie now? Especially when these people believe in the gods of Kobol, and the Cylons believe in one God, and one God only.

In techniques that borrow from the TV news, BSG effectively tackles the horrors of sleeper cells and America's War on Terror.

There are 12 Cylon models, and for most of the season, the identities of the seven are known. There is a lot of speculation on who comprise the Final Five, and when four of them are revealed, the results are heartbreaking, given the roles they have played in the series so far.

With a single pout, Mary McDonnell (as President Laura Roslin) reminds you of Meryl Streep. And with her steely resolve, special guest star Lucy Lawless (as Number Three/ D'Anna) suggests that she can be up for parts available to Jodie Foster.

Battlestar Galactica is absolutely riveting, and illuminates the human condition in ways you have never seen before. It is consistently excellent, and only three or four of the 20 episodes can be rated very good only.

More than any other TV series,
Battlestar Galactica may have been the most relevant and the most resonant in this decade.