Entries tagged with “Hollywood”.


Big news spreads like wildfire on fire.

Big news spreads like wildfire on fire.

Tinsel Town is quiet tonight. Sealed like a vacuum-tight can of cashews. No one’s saying nothing, but the rumors wash this glittery city like waves beating the shore.

In and out, in and out, in and out, in and out, in and out, in and out, in and out, in and out, in and out, in and out, in and out, in and out, in and out, in and out, in and out, in and out, in and out, in and out, in and out, in and out, in and out, in and out, in and out, in and out, in and out, in and out, in and out, in and out–– you get the drift.

What has Hollywood quaking? The Lint Screen has heard unconfirmed rumors that one of the major studios is harboring an original idea that could be green-lighted for production soon!

“Word is it’s something totally fresh,” said Mumbles McElroy, a trusted Hollywood insider. “And I hear tell it ain’t got nothing to do with comic books, best selling novels, tent pole franchises, sequels or reboots. Hollywood ain’t made a film like that in decades,” Mumbles said lighting a cigar and taking a long nip from his flask. “One skuttlebutt says it’s about an underdog boxer who beats incredible odds and becomes the world champion! So help me, Jimmy, an underdog finally getting his day in the sun! I’d buy a row of tickets and a barrel of popcorn for that kind of fresh idea, yes sir,” the grizzled vet said as he spat on the ground and did a two-step.

Timothy Olyphant as Deputy U.S. Marshall Raylan Givens in "Justified" demands your attention.

After shelling out big bucks to see well over a couple dozen movies this past year, it finally struck me–– the big screen is getting trumped by the little one.

The creative output on broadcast television far exceeds the re-hashed plotlines, remakes, kiddie pablum, cookie cutter sequels, artsy-fartsy borefests and special effects-driven mindless fare Hollywood keeps churning out.

Here are 23 great shows you can see on air. Some are subscription based, but many are free, and almost all are available on Netflix or on demand. It’s a feast of storytelling and rich, complex character development.

Get a load of these:
Justified, Falling Skies, Mad Men, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Luther, Downton Abbey, Weeds, Hell on Wheels, Boardwalk Empire, The Daily Show, Game of Thrones, Louie, Portlandia, Dexter, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Homeland, The Colbert Report, Modern Family, Breaking Bad, The Middle, Treme, Californication and The Walking Dead.

That’s 23 terrific shows, everything from period pieces to fantasy to gritty drama to sharp political satire and commentary to gripping psychological character studies to absurdist humor to family friendly comedy to rich explorations into the human condition.

It’s no wonder some of the sharpest talent in entertainment has gone from the big screen to the smaller one. There is more freedom to create, to develop, to take risks, to tell truly interesting stories and to succeed.

In short, contrary to what our parents always told us, we should all be watching more TV.

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And the big winner is...

I think you went overboard in the your Oscar nomination love for The King’s Speech and True Grit.

Yes, both films were well made, acted, and directed, but 22 nominations between them is a bit much.

You should have slathered much more love on The Social Network, far and away the best film that I saw last year.

You could have shown a little more love for Black Swan and The Fighter, two fresh takes on the human condition.

But, you went and did what you usually do: bow down and curtsey for the period movie with British accents, and toss rose petals at the feet of talented filmmakers who are being recognized more for their past work that you ignored than their film being honored.

Oh, Hollywood, you are so predictable you deserve to give yourself an award for consistency.

    Before the stars begin traipsing down the red carpet, The Lint Screen proudly predicts who will clutch statues of golden glory and who will grasp fistfuls of disappointment and heartache.

Hollywood's catnip, yummiliciousness!

Hollywood's catnip, yummiliciousness!

    Let’s get straight to the biggie–best picture: and the winner will be Slumdog Millionaire. A tough, tough call. I saw all the nominees except Frost/Nixon, but I don’t think it’s going to win since Dick Nixon was never much of a box office draw (he was more of a behind the scenes guy).

    Stiff competition with the other pictures though. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button was a spectacular film, but will be remembered more for seamless special effects than anything else.

    Milk was an amazing character study and acting tour de force for Sean Penn and Josh Brolin. But, we knew the story before sitting down. Not enough mystery to satisfy our insatiable curiosity.

    Then there was The Reader. Fresh, interesting story, great acting, directing, everything. But a little too too for an Oscar handshake. Too much of a downer.

    Which leaves us with Slumdog. This film had it all: exotic and mysterious locale (India), incredible storytelling in a non-linear and ever-poke-the-ol’-curiosity-way, terrific performances, romance, game show, good versus evil (Chuck Dickens would be proud), visually stunning, poo humor, Bollywood dance number, captivating music, etc. It’s the entire package. A fresh film from a fresh place Hollywood hasn’t yet exploited. Oh, and it was done by Brits. Hollywood is totally Anglophile, I say… it finds all things English to be quite brilliant. Yep, Slumdog is an Oscar lock.

    For leading actress, it’s a fight between Meryl Streep in Doubt and Kate Winslet in The Reader. My money’s on Meryl and her rosary beads. She sent shivers up the spines of any child who ever had a nun as a teacher (a performance so authentic, I had red imprints on my sweaty palms from phantom slaps of the ruler). Then again, Kate is British, so I could be wrong. I just hope it isn’t Anne Hathaway in Rachel Getting Married, an over-hyped soap opera of self-indulgent shaky cam. It was a movie that made every minute seem like five. 

    For leading actor, it’s Sean Penn versus Mickey Rourke as heavyweight contenders. I have to say Mickey was pretty incredible as a washed-up wrestler, but I didn’t feel his playing a has-been on the ropes was much of a stretch for him as an actor. As for Sean Penn, his was an incredible performance of becoming Harvey Milk. Penn continues to amaze as he transforms himself into varied roles. I think this will be his second handshake with Mr. O. Then again, Hollywood loves the Rocky-style actor comeback plotline, too. If Mickey were British, it’d be an easier pick. But I’m betting Penn, the dark horse.

    In supporting actress, it’s a tough call. Could be Amy Adams in Doubt. Could be Viola Davis in Doubt (a relatively short time on film. but a legendary performance). Could be Marisa Tormei for baring darn near everything including her soul in The Wrestler. But wait, Marisa’s got an Oscar and we need a surprise pick. My money’s on Viola Davis. A long shot, I know, but I’m tossing the dice. 

It's tough to beat death.

It's tough to beat death.

For supporting actor, go with Heath Ledger. Nothing aids fame quite like death. Ledger was terrific, he did some of the best tongue acting of all time, and he certainly caused many people to fear pencils. It’s too bad he’ll be the walkaway winner because there were great competitors with John Brolin in Milk, Philip Seymour Hoffman in Doubt, and Robert Downey, Jr. in Tropic Thunder. But, it’s all Heath, babes. Too bad he won’t be there to get the gold man.

    For directing, Slumdog will win. Danny Boyle has a fresh eye, and it’s a brave film with wonderful performances. My quibble with it: too many Dutch angle shots, Danny-boy-o. They drive me nuts, like strong perfume in an elevator. Dutch angles try too hard. I think David Fincher deserves the award because Benjamin Button was a phenomenal story that required tons of special effects and pitch perfect performances, yet he pulled it all off in a perfectly natural way. A real magician’s trick and artistic touch. But, it’s the year of Slumdog. Hey, man, it is written.

    In best adapted screenplay, the winner is (oh, these envelopes are so hard to get open),  Simon Beaufoy for Slumdog Millionaire. No argument here, it’s a terrific tale well told. Well written. Can I milk this gag any more? Doubtful.

    For best original screenplay, give a little fellow to Martin McDonagh for In Bruges. No, I didn’t see all the nominees, but I did love this screenplay and movie.

    As for the other categories, well, I’ve got to go with Tony Smidlagg for Best Best Boy. I’ve always said “he’s the best.”

    Enjoy the show. Make your picks. Ciao, babe, I’ll be poolside at The Beverly Hills Hotel…