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Oscars: My Response to the Newly Announced Academy Award Changes

The Oscars are losing relevance or so says the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, which announced Wednesday a batch of changes to its annual telecast. The changes, designed to reverse a ratings dip in recent years, are the kind of desperate attempt to stay relevant that threatens the integrity of the whole affair. 

The first change, consistent with the Academy's desire to create a three-hour telecast, is that some awards will be presented during commercial breaks, with edited (meaning condensed) versions of the acceptance speeches airing later in the broadcast. It has not been determined which categories will be bumped, but I'll tell you right now it ain't gonna be Best Actress. The categories where celebrities are nominated will be shown live, and the tech categories won't be. This move is flat-out disrespectful to the men and women nominated in the below-the-line categories who deserve recognition for their vital contributions to movies. The Tony Awards fo…
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"Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again" is a Fun Musical and Showcase for the Wonderful Lily James: Review

Film Review: Mamma Mia: Here We Go AgainMamma Mia: Here We GoAgain is the sequel to the 2008 film Mamma Mia, which was based on the stage musical of the same name, which itself was based on the songs of ABBA. If it seems like some of the fun would be lost with each additional iteration,  Here We Go Again proves otherwise. As unnecessary as it may be, the sequel is an exceptionally fun time at the movies.

Following the Godfather Part II template, Here We Go Again is actually half-sequel, half-prequel, with a continuation of the first movie's plot interwoven with flashbacks depicting how Donna met each of her daughter's potential fathers and how she came to inexplicably live on a gorgeous Greek island, which was set up in the first film. Being the second musical to exclusively feature the music of ABBA, Here We Go Again faces the inevitable challenge of the first movie having done nearly all of the Swedish group's best and most well-known songs. A number of them are trotted o…

"Death on the Nile" Hits Theaters in 2019: Here's my Dream Cast

Following the success of Kenneth Branagh's film of Murder on the Orient Express, it was announced that a follow-up would be released on December 20, 2019. This time Branagh will direct and star in an adaptation of Christie's 1937 novel Death on the Nile. I loved that novel when I read it many years ago, and although I'd prefer to see Branagh adapt a Poirot novel that has not already gotten the big-screen treatment (like Death in the Clouds or Cards on the Table), I am looking forward to seeing a new interpretation. It's about a murder that occurs on a luxury steamer that is traveling down the Nile River in Egypt. Naturally, all the passengers are suspects. Since no casting information aside from Branagh has been announced, I thought I'd share some of my dream casting choices. 

For the role of Simon Doyle - Dan Stevens The former Dowton Abbey star is no stranger to period pieces and would be perfect fit for Simon Doyle, the new husband of Linnet Ridgeway and ex-finace…

The Eighth Annual Timmy Television Awards

The Timmys annually honor the best in television from the past season. Here are the nominees from the 2017-18 television season (winners are in bold):

Best Comedy Series:
Mom(CBS)Great News (NBC)Shameless (Showtime)Santa Clarita Diet (Netflix)The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon)Best Drama Series: Stranger Things (Netflix)Killing Eve (BBC America)This Is Us (NBC)The Crown (Netflix)Rise (NBC)Best Actress in a Comedy Series: Drew Barrymore - Santa Clarita DietRachel Brosnahan - The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Allison Janney - MomAnna Farris - MomSutton Foster - YoungerLogan Browning - Dear White PeopleBest Actor in a Comedy Series: William H. Macy - ShamelessTimothy Olyphant - Santa Clarita DietDonald Glover - AtlantaLarry David - Curb Your EnthusiasmIain Armitage - Young SheldonBest Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series: Andrea Martin - Great NewsNicole Richie - Great NewsAlex Borstein - The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Megan Mullally - Will & GraceMeredith Hagner - Search PartyBest Supporting Actor in …