Sunday, 26 February 2017

Liz's Last-Minute Oscar Predictions 2017

Hello, my lovely readers;

Yes, I have been fairly mum this Oscar season, other than my podcast with Martin Lastrapes and today I have received messages from a number of people asking me to reveal my picks, and help them win their Oscar pools.

Lovely readers, I have never lost an Oscar pool in my life. I do extensive research, from the start of festival season right up until, well, now. I scan what the critics say, compile their predictions and carefully examine the data. For the major categories, I explain my rationale for picking these particular winners. This is your one-stop shop for Oscar glory.

Here are my predictions for the winners of the 2017 Academy Awards:

Best Picture: La La Land

Best Actor: Denzel Washington (Fences)

Best Actress: Emma Stone (La La Land)

Best Supporting Actor: Mahershala Ali (Moonlight)

Best Supporting Actress: Viola Davis (Fences)

Best Director: Damien Chazelle (La La Land)

Best Original Screenplay: Moonlight

Best Adapted Screenplay: Manchester by the Sea

Best Animated Feature: Zootopia

Best Foreign Language Feature: The Salesman

Best Documentary Feature: O.J.: Made in America

Best Editing: La La Land

Best Cinematography: La La Land

Best Costume Design: Jackie

Best Makeup and Hairstyling: Star Trek Beyond

Best Production Design: La La Land

Best Sound Editing: Hacksaw Ridge

Best Sound Mixing: La La Land

Best Visual Effects: The Jungle Book

Best Original Song: 'City of Stars' (La La Land)

Best Original Score: La La Land

Best Live Action Short: Ennemis Interieurs

Best Animated Short: Piper

Best Documentary Short: The White Helmets

And there you have it, my lovely readers. My predictions for this year's Academy Awards. Congratulations on winning your Oscar pools.

Dish later;

Monday, 12 December 2016

Liz's Hot Takes on the 2017 Golden Globe Nominations

My lovely readers, I have often said that if the Oscars are like mad-hot monkey sex, the Golden Globes are like the best damn foreplay you’ve ever had. They rev you up, and get you all hot and bothered for what’s to come. Well, it’s time to light a scented candle, put on some smooth jazz, and lower your pants, because as of 5:15 PST this morning, the 2017 Golden Globe nominations were announced, and here are my hot takes:

The Moonlight shines in La La Land

As expected, La La Land and Moonlight reigned supreme, leading the pack with a respective 7 and 6 nominations. I think, hope, and pray that these flicks will helm a quiet, controversy-free year, because between the two of them, they really cover all the bases. More traditional fans will be pleased because La La Land is the whitest movie ever, and it’s looking like Moonlight will satisfy Oscar fans looking for some diversity after two years of #OscarsSoWhite, a hashtag I would happily see retired for good.

The early bird may get the worm, but Nocturnal Animals get the glory

Nocturnal Animals had been tossed around as a potential for a nomination here or there, but from what I heard, it was always middle of the pack. It was a dark arthouse film, and I thought that its only real shot was Best Supporting Actor for Michael Shannon’s comic relief performance. But it was once, twice, three times a success with Tom Ford achieving nominations in both the Directing and Screenplay categories, and dark, dark horse Aaron Taylor Johnson nabbing the Best Supporting Actor nod.

Garfield reconciles with Mondays…at least this Monday

If you’re anything like me, the question of Andrew Garfield’s nomination fate reminded you of the climactic scene in the dog-playing-basketball, childhood classic Air Bud. In an effort to determine who should have custody of Buddy, a judge – yes, a fucking judge – had the pooch sit square in the middle between his abusive clown master and the sweet little boy, and whoever the nothing-but-net doggy pranced over to would be awarded custody? Well in this metaphor, Garfield’s the dog, and we have Hacksaw Ridge at one end, Silence at the other. I really thought things would go in favor of Silence, because usually anything Scorsese is automatic awards-show candy, but it would appear that pacifist soldiers trump missionaries who need a haircut, because Garfield and Ridge got all kinds of love this morning.

There’s no such thing as bad publicity…if you’re Mel Gibson

Okay, I can understand Garfield’s nomination, and Hacksaw Ridge’s stellar reviews mean that my mouth wasn’t exactly agog when it got nominated for Best Drama. But Mel Gibson? I really didn’t think Hollywood was ready to let him out of the penalty box. Especially because these are sensitive times, and the college rape scandal surrounding Nate Parker totally black-balled Birth of a Nation’s chances of any awards-show glory.

To me, shutting out The Birth of a Nation, but awarding Hacksaw Ridge is like being cleared of a cancer scare, only to get hit by a bus. I really thought I was out of the woods for long, dramatic historical flicks. Both of these movies are on what my podcasting buddy Martin Lastrapes and I dub ‘The Schindler’s List List’. That is, movies well over two hours that take place in depressing historical times. Think slavery, the Holocaust, or any war. I’m sure Ridge is very good, Garfield is a tour de force, and blahdy blahdy blah. I do not like war movies, and I am not pleased. If you want to help, the Liz Needs Wine foundation is now accepting donations of bottle of Toasted Head Chardonnay.

Wolowitz: An Underdog Story

While I am still smarting over the abundance of love that Hacksaw Ridge received, I am grinning ear-to-ear about Simon Helberg’s Best Supporting Actor nod for Florence Foster Jenkins. His performance positively tickled me pink, and it really looked like he would be overshadowed by Hugh Grant’s magnanimous return to the screen, and Meryl Streep being Meryl Streep. I’m not confident this nod will spill over to the Oscars, but I’m pleased he got a little HFPA love.

Young lady blood runs deep

In more shocking news, I was reaching for my smelling salts at the Best Supporting Actress nominations of young ingĂ©nues Hailee Steinfeld (The Edge of Seventeen) and Lily Collins (Rules Don’t Apply). While Seventeen, and Steinfeld’s performance, garnered a ton of critical acclaim, it seemed to be viewed as more of a teen classic than an awards-show contender. As for Rules, it opened to tepid reviews and I think fewer than ten people actually saw it, because it’s already out of most theatres. I thought the awards well ran dry, but apparently not.

Also, with all this millennial love, I’d be pretty damn pissed if I was Lucas Hedges. The young actor was one of the stronger bets to get the Supporting nod for his multi-faceted performance in Manchester by the Sea, but just like his character, Hedges is SOL.

NBC proudly declares This Is Us!

Last year, it was somewhat of a running joke that NBC, the host of the Golden Globes, was the only major network not to have any Globe nominations. Really, NBC is definitely the ‘…and Peggy’ of the big three networks, so the love for This Is Us must be welcomed with open arms. I’ve never seen it, so I can’t give my personal take on the show’s quality, though I’ve only heard good things. It’s on my ‘To-Watch’ list along with about 647 other shows.

So many actresses, so much Drama

Okay, both the aforementioned This Is Us and Game of Thrones were nominated in the Best TV Drama Category. Not Best Limited TV Release/TV Movie, right? I’m not crazy? So then why did Mandy Moore, Chrissy Metz, and Lena Headey wind up getting nominations for Best Actress in Limited TV Release/TV Movie? Really, TV has never been better, and we have never seen such rich, meaty roles for women. Is it possible that there was just so much female dramatic talent gracing our airwaves that this is just spill-over? It strikes me as kind of odd, considering what a stickler the Golden Globes are when it comes to proper nominations. After all, between them, the SAGs, and the Oscars, the Globes were the only ones who put their foot down with last year’s Alicia Vikander/Rooney Mara category fraud controversy. I feel like I’m missing something. Does anybody know WTF is happening?

There you have it my lovely readers. My hot takes for this year’s Golden Globe nominations. As always, I am itching to hear your thoughts. Please leave a comment. Please clear up this TV actress conundrum. Please give me wine so I can get through Hacksaw Ridge. See you next time for my reaction to the Oscar nods.

Dish later;


Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Top Ten "Not a Hottie" Men of TV Whom Liz Has a Crush On

My lovely readers, I am back by popular demand, and I have a brand new list for you that will peel your panties knock your socks off.

As you know, I spend a lot of time thinking and talking about TV, and the other day I had the most fascinating musing. I never have a crush on the "hot guy" -- except in my personal life...have you seen my husband? But as far as TV goes, the dashing hero, the dreamy Adonis, just doesn't do it for me. I'm talking zero moisture in the lady flower department. No, the type of man I'm attracted to tends to have a dark side, is typically a bit of a sicko, and is rarely the guy whom teenyboppers hang posters of on their walls.

*WARNING!! This blog contains many spoilers of popular and current TV shows. Proceed with caution. Use a rubber if you have to.*

How many times has one of your girlfriends swooned over the babyfaced Jax Teller? Or swore up and down, to anybody who would listen, that they and they alone could really fix Don Draper? Do we really need to metaphorically throw our bras onto their stages anymore? No, we don't. It's time for the 'not-hots' to have their moment between my legs in the sun.

Here it is, my lovely readers, the Top Ten 'Not a Hottie' Men of TV Whom Liz Has a Crush On:

10. Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) - House of Cards

I've always been attracted to powerful men. When I was a tween, I would watch political debates just to feel that tingly sensation in my loins that only a man of influence could provide. However, my penchant for political men made me learn a lesson hard and fast -- most powerful men ain't that foxy-looking. That brings us to Frank Underwood. The more power he accrues, the more pounds he puts on. It works for me. The man is President of the Fucking United States. He doesn't have time to primp and preen for the mirror all day like your dime-a-dozen Remy Danton. 

Frank needs power like Doug Stamper needs therapy -- oh, so much therapy -- and that carries over to the bedroom. When Underwood had the affair with Zoe Barnes, he needed to own her. My favorite Season 1 scene was when he insisted on taking naked pictures of her, and Zoe was only too willing to submit -- who wouldn't be? 

Frank has always had a fairly equal partnership with his wife, Claire, but notice how when she got a taste for some of that power, they stopped sleeping together? A caring husband, Frank gave his blessing for the simpering Adonis author, Tom Yates, to fill his wife's bed. But who is filling Frank's? Mr. President, you've got an eager volunteer here.

9. Mike Ehrmantraut (Jonathan Banks) - Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul

Who doesn't love an ass-kicking grandpa with a heart of gold? Answer: nobody. But who lusts for him? That would be me. I dig Mike's simplicity. He's just a normal guy who only uses violence when he needs to. But man alive, when he does, somebody better fetch me my smelling salts, because I get the vapors! Everytime some wannabe gangster punk is on the receiving end of Mike's fist, I get some major girl-wood.

I really admire Mike's 'keep on keepin' on' outlook. Whenever he does something morally questionable, he doesn't brood about it like some whiny meth addicts we know -- cough, Jesse Pinkman, cough. Mike just picks himself off, goes to visit his granddaughter, and waits to for the next job. 

The only downside to Mike is that I feel like he would be a gentlemen in the bedroom -- Translation: boooo-ring. But if a girl's lucky enough to land a guy like Mike, you know how stalwart his devotion would be. Honestly, anytime we'd go out, I'd pray some asshole grabs my ass or shouts out a degrading comment to just to watch Mike go ballistic...and all in my honor. Ain't that the dream?

8. George 'Pornstache' Mendez (Pablo Schreiber) - Orange is the New Black

Pornstache is a sadistic dickwad who uses and abuses his power over those who have none... so of course I love him. Come on, even those of you who would happily rake Pornstache over the coals have to admit that whenever he put self-righteous Piper in her place, you got just a little bit horny. What other man can spit out phrases like 'tough shit', and have them sound like sweet, romantic nothings in my ear?

From 'Orange''s depiction, it seems like you spend your entire prison existence feeling gross and unattractive. What some call sexual harassment on Pornstache's part, I call reminding me I have a vagina, and one that's appreciated by the male race. Honestly, narcotics aren't my thing, never have been, but I would totally fake a drug addiction if it got me alone in a broom closet with that hunk of man.

For those of you ready to label me an anti-feminist, and deliver my head on a pike to Gloria Steinem, look deep inside yourselves. Did you go weak in the knees for kind-hearted softie Bennett? Did an 'awww' escape your lips every time he performed some sweet gesture for Daya? Well, what happened? As soon as Bennett was faced with the cold hard truth of what being a dad looks like, he drove right over to 'How to Get Away with Murder'. But Pornstache was up for the task of daddyhood. Why? Because he's a man.

7. Roger Sterling (John Slattery) - Mad Men


I honestly feel a little uncomfortable putting Roger on this list because I legit believe he is the most physically attractive man the show has to offer. For a man who's had two hedonistic heart attacks, he is hella trim, and don't get me started on that hair. Yes, my lovely readers, premarture gray hair totally does it for me. But it's not just the silver fox locks. It's the hair plus that youthful, vibrant face -- note, a youthful face is completely different from a baby face. Roger's looks take a decline in the final season, with that pedophile mustache and that comb-over that makes him look like a golfer sent out to office pasture. But substitute golf clubs for a scotch, and that's basically all he was.

Unlike Frank Underwood, Roger was never power-hungry. He wanted just enough to get a swanky office where he could drink all day and bang secretaries. So why put someone so un-ambitious on my list? Because Roger is nothing but a straight shooter. He is completely upfront with his aversion to responsibility, and throughout seven seasons, he never wavers. Unlike the infuriating Don Draper.

Yes, I will admit that I too have a thing for Don, particularly when he's degrading lonely housewives in hotel rooms -- yes, I'm the one person who enjoyed that episode. But what turns me off about our troubled protagonist is that he's so goddamn wishy-washy. One episode he's a pit-bull in the board room and the next he's getting hammered and bagging off work to go vomit at a funeral. Sometimes he's a pillar of fidelity and good daddyhood, then the wind changes direction and he's missing his weekend with the kids to go screw a waitress in an alley. I get it. Don's complicated, and it makes him a great character. But not a great man to crush on. Unlike Roger Sterling.

6. Alex 'Tig' Trager (Kim Coates) - Sons of Anarchy

My lovely readers, I can't begin to tell you the number of times I've been having a conversation about all things sexy, upon which I share some kind of erotic proclivity of mine, only to be met with, at the best of times, a look of bewilderment, and at the worst of times, a look of sheer horror. Tig also finds himself in the same boat when enjoying locker room chatter with the Sons, and that is why we are the perfect match.

Sometimes Tig's kinkiness makes him the butt of the joke, and it's a role he's comfortable filling. It's not until the end of the series that Tig gets any kind of emotional storyline, but that all changes when he meets trans-gendered goddess Venus. Even she questions their relationship, fearing that she's just another item to be crossed off Tig's perv bucket list. But he shows that he is more than just a provocateur, confessing his love for Venus in one of the sweetest, emotionally poignant scenes ever to grace my television.

In the negative column, sometimes Tig, aka, Mr. 'Blind Action' is a little too trigger-happy, and it's resulted in trouble for the club. But Tig lives in reality, unlike Jax Teller who, I'm sorry, ladies, will never do it for me. Jax is a hypocrite, donning rose-colored glasses about making the Sons crime-free when it suits him, and exerting cruel violence whenever he gets bored with playing Biker Gandhi. Jax is an entitled dreamer; Tig is a doer. Oh yeah, he is.

5. Adam Sackler (Adam Driver) - Girls

Adam may be a bit of a controversial pick, because he's technically the 'hot guy' of the show. But really, how much weight does that hold when your competition is self-proclaimed 'old man' Ray and the gorgeous yet unattainably gay Elijah? I don't know many classically handsome men sporting the haircut worn by young boys who spend their time torturing animals and writing fan letters to Charles Manson.

I knew I would have a soft (wet) spot for Adam since the pilot episode when he told Hannah, 'you should never be anyone's slave...except mine'. Oooh, only the most perfect of male specimens can coin a phrase like that.

Adam is a super-intense person, and while I'd imagine it would be exhausting dating him, he's super-arousing to watch. Sure, Adam has some atrocious taste in women, like the vacuous Mimi Rose Howard -- I swear, when Gillian Jacobs isn't playing an activist college student, her characters are really some of the worst people ever -- and the enabling, stick-up-her-butt Natalia. Adam needs someone who would happily crawl on her hands and knees to the bedroom, and let him ejaculate all over the place like it's confetti. To me, that's a party.

4. Chuck Rhoades (Paul Giamatti) - Billions

I have had an inexplicable crush on Paul Giamatti since my younger sister rented 'Big Fat Liar' from Blockbuster Video -- in other words, a long time. The man could play an insurance broker who only makes small talk about the weather and I would be head over heels.

So when he showed up in 'Billions' playing white collar justice avenger Chuck Rhoades, I was all in. Really, Rhoades doesn't care a lick about justice. He just wants to prove to the world, and specifically billionaire Bobby Axelrod, that he has some big balls. And if there's one thing I love, it's Paul Giamatti's big balls.

While I'm not really into sexually submissive men, I must say that watching Chuck get burnt with a cigarette and peed on is infinitely more entertaining that any soft-lit, vanilla, kind-of sex scene to show up on network TV. And that's just the first scene of the series. While Rhoades may be a bottom, his sexual antics will always be at the top of my spank-bank.

3. Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) - Game of Thrones

There are fewer men in TV-land who are more perfect than Tyrion Lannister. The man is well-read, is an expert in fine wine, is whip-smart with a sense of humor to match, and, oh yeah, is rich as shit. So he may have half a nose and is a little on the short side. Hey, we're all the same height when we're horizontal, am I right?

Really, my only turn-off with regards to Tyrion is his fondness for brothels. But the man has proven that when he's in love, he is a one-cooch man. And hey, all that sexual experience means that he ain't not green boy in the boudoir. He'd just have to get tested before he got under my petticoats.

Really, who is Tyrion's competition? His brother Jaime, who spent almost an entire season crying over the fact that he was forced to become a leftie -- hey, Jaime, you try being forced to use right-handed scissors in Grade 2 art class, then tell me how hard life is. There's also every girl's favorite, the forever-brooding Jon Snow. Please. The former Commander of the Wall would rather lie in a puddle of his own bastard tears than he would with a woman. Instead of cry about being a little person, Tyrion just got smart, hilarious, and wickedly talented in the bedroom. Mic dropped.

2. Danny Rayburn (Ben Mendelsohn) - Bloodline

When I was first introduced to Danny Rayburn, I thought, how the hell does a guy who looks like he spend his days picking up discarded cigarette butts attract the likes of the stunning Chloe Sevigny? Sure, Danny is a step up from bestie Eric O'Bannon, who, every time he appears onscreen, makes me want to take a bleach, but while Danny may win the Sexiest Scumbag of the Florida Keys award, he wasn't doing much for me in terms of the general male population.

That is, until it was revealed just how brilliant Danny really was. And what did he use his intelligence for? Money? No way. Fame? Forget that noise. He used it for vengeance, to fuck with his perfect-on-paper family who made him feel like the black sheep for his entire life. You know a dude's got brains when he can turn the screws on his detective and lawyer siblings.

Basically, Danny's a sick fuck. My favorite of his stunts is when he 'kidnapped' his niece Janey -- read, picked her up from school and took her on a boat ride. The sexual tension between them in the water was so thick you can cut it with a knife, and I am so mad at them for giving me blue lady-balls. They could have beat Cersei and Jaime as my favorite TV incest couple!

Sure, Kyle Chandler is pretty dollsome. But John Rayburn is basically the Ned Stark of the 'Bloodline' world... responsible and boring as shit. Danny has darkness. Which means Lizzie has wetness.

1. Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis) - Homeland

Really, it pains me to put Damian Lewis on this list, because I think he is an absolute smokeshow. So much that he is my hall pass. You read that correctly, my lovely readers, and that I can assure you is an honor. But the reason he's on my list of Not Hots is because every time I tell somebody this golden nugget of information, they look at me as if I am certifiably insane.

As soon as Brody was rescued, and you saw his scars, both physical and emotional, I was in TV love. I knew it was a mere matter of episodes before Carrie Mathison would share my feelings. I called their affair from the pilot episode, and my husband looked at me like I was a nutter, but I knew, I just knew, there was no way you could spy on that sexy ginger terrorist -- or is he?! -- all day without finding out if the carpet matches the drawers.

I decided not to include Damian Lewis as the aforementioned Bobby Axelrod of 'Billions' because I think he's a petulant asshole, and I jump for joy every time Paul Giamatti fucks with him just a little bit harder. Bobby's leather jacket is so corny, he looks like he just came from a dress rehearsal of 'Grease'. The way he undermines his annoying wife is deplorable. But that being said, anytime Bobby and Chuck go in for a cock fight, I would happily slip between them.

Basically, my lovely readers, I need you to settle the Damian Lewis debate. Does he belong on my list of Not Hots? Or is he a Hot Hot, and I should taking off, crowning Danny Rayburn at the top of my crush list? I'm sure it would be the first time that ever happened.

So please, my lovely readers, let me know what you think, not just of my #1 pick but of the whole list. Did I leave anybody out? Which Not-Hots do it for you? I'm dying to find out.

Until next time;