Posts Tagged ‘U2’

My Big Bold 2014 Academy Award Winner Predictions

March 1, 2014

12 chewitAs usual, I have to apologize for the lack of posts. Gratefully I have been busy working, auditioning and prepping several new projects. I’m in pre-production on the feature Like You Mean It (as a Producer) and the short Jack (as a Producer/Star) and I will be shooting an episode of one of my favorite dramatic TV shows next week. So, that’s all great. However, I know you would rather know what I think is gonna happen at Sunday’s big Oscar ceremony hosted by the hilarious Ellen Degeneres.

Well, this year has been an incredibly competitive one with lots of split winners in the Best Picture race at the precursor awards. In fact Gravity, 12 Years a Slave, and even the lackluster and overrated American Hustle could win the big race. Luckily that means we could have a lot of surprises come Sunday night. As such, there are several big races that are too close too call (Best Picture, Adapted Screenplay, Original Screenplay, Score, Editing, Documentary, Supporting Actress and even Best Actor could surprise). So, just who will and should win the Academy Awards this year after an incredibly great year for film? Check out my Big Bold Oscar Winner Predictions below.

My Big Bold 2014 Oscar Winner Predictions~

Best Picture:
12 Years A Slave, American Hustle, Captain Phillips, Dallas Buyers Club, Gravity, Her, Philomena, Nebraska, The Wolf of Wall Street
Will & Should win: 12 Years a Slave
Spoiler: Gravity
* Seriously, either of those two could win. Thankfully, I just don’t think American Hustle can upset them.

Best Actor:
Christian Bale (American Hustle), Bruce Dern (Nebraska), Leonardo DiCaprio (The Wolf of Wall Street), Chewitel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave), Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club)Jared-Leto-Matthew-McConaughey-Dallas-Buyers-Club
Will & Should win: Matthew McConaughey
Spoiler: Leonardo DiCaprio

*McConaughey  has had the edge all season but Ejifor just won the BAFTA and DiCaprio is overdue and has had a big spending campaign. This one might actually go down to the wire…

Best Actress:
Amy Adams (American Hustle), Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine), Sandra Bullock (Gravity), Judi Dench (Philomena), Meryl Streep (August Osage County)

Will & Should win: Cate Blanchett

Spoiler: Amy Adams (but yeah, that’s not gonna happen)

Best Supporting Actor:
Barkhad Abdi (Captain Phillips), Bradley Cooper (American Hustle), Michael Fassbender (12 Years a Slave), Jonah Hill (The Wolf of Wall Street), Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club)

Will & Should win: Jared Leto

Spoiler: Michael Fassbender (but yeah, that’s not gonna happen)

Best Supporting Actress:
Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine), Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle), Lupita N’yongo (12 Years a Slave), Julia Roberts (August Osage County), June Squibb (Nebraska)
Will & Should win: Lupita N’yongo
Spoiler: Jennifer Lawernce
* This race is crazy close. Most pundits are now predicting Lawrence, but I think it is way too soon for her to win two lupitaOscars, let alone back to back. So, hopefully people will vote for the actual Best performance in SAG and Critics Choice Award winner N’yongo

Best Director:
Alfonso Cuaron (Gravity), Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave), David O’Russell (American Hustle), Alexander Payne (Nebraska), Martin Scorsese (The Wolf of Wall Street)
Will & Should win: Alfonso Cuaron
Spoiler: Steve McQueen

Best Adapted Screenplay:
12 Years a Slave, Before Midnight, Captain Phillips, Philomena, The Wolf of Wall Street
Will & Should win: 12 Years a Slave
Spoiler: Philomena

Best Original Screenplay:
American Hustle, Blue Jasmine, Dallas Buyers Club, Her, Nebraska
Will win: Her
Should win: Dallas Buyers Club
Spoiler: American Hustle
* This one is also a toss-up between Her and Hustle, but I think the sheer originality of Her will win the day.

Best Score:
The Book Thief, Gravity, Her, Philomena, Saving Mr. Banks
Will & Should win: Philomena
Spoiler: Gravity
* I’m going out on a limb here and think the actual best score, Philomena, will eek out a win. However, smarter money might be on Gravity.

Best Song:
“Let It Go” (Frozen), “Ordinary Love” (Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom), “The Moon Song” (Her), “Happy” (Despicable Me 2)
Will & Should win: “Let It Go”
Spoiler: “Happy”
* This race has become incredibly close of late. “Ordinary Love” is by powerhouse U2, won the Golden Globe and has a frozen-let-it-go-full-scene-watch-nowhuge campaign behind it. “Happy” is the # 1 song in the country by Grammy Golden boy Pharrell Williams. However, you just can’t deny the phenomena that is Frozen and it’s amazing anthem sung by Tony winner Idina Menel.

Best Cinematography:
Gravity, The Grandmaster, Inside Llewyn Davis, Nebraska, Prisoners
Will & Should win: Gravity
Spoiler: Prisoners

Best Editing:
American Hustle, Captain Phillips, Gravity, Dallas Buyers Club, 12 Years a Slave
Will & Should win: Gravity
Spoiler: Captain Phillips
* Captain Phillips has come on very strong of late in this race and I wouldnt be surprised if it pulled this one out.

Best Production Design:
12 Years a Slave, American Hustle, Gravity, The Great Gatsby, Her
Will & Should win: The Great Gatsby
Spoiler: Gravity

Best Costume Design:
12 Years a Slave, American Hustle, The Great Gatsby, The Grandmaster, The Invisible Woman
Will & Should win: The Great Gatsby
Spoiler: American Hustle
* with 10 nominations, Hustle has its other great chance of winning in this category. However, I think Gatsby will still have the edge.

Best Makeup & Hairstyling:
Dallas Buyers Club, Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa, The Lone Ranger
Will & Should win: Dallas Buyers Club
Spoiler: Bad Grandpa

Best Sound Editing:
All is Lost, Captain Phillips, Gravity, Lone Survivor, The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug
Will & Should win: Gravity
Spoiler: Captain Phillips

Best Sound Mixing:
Captain Phillips, Gravity, The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug, Inside Llewyn Davis, Lone Survivor
Will & Should win: Gravity
Spoiler: Captain Phillipssandra-bullocks-new-movie-gravity-is-an-extreme-4-d-thrill-ride-1

Best Visual Effects:
Gravity, The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug, Iron Man 3, Lone Ranger, Star Trek Into Darkness
Will & Should win: Gravity
No spoiler

Best Animated Film:
The Croods, Despicable Me 2, Ernest and Celestine, Frozen, The Wind Rises
Will & Should win: Frozen
Spoiler: The Wind Rises

Best Documentary:
20 Feet From Stardom, The Act of Killing, Cutie and the Boxer, Dirty Wars, The Square
Will & Should win: 20 Feet From Stardom
Spoiler: The Act of Killing
* Killing is the critical favorite, but audiences and yours truly loooooved Stardom. So, this is another tight race.

Best Foreign Film:
The Broken Circle Breakdown, The Great Beauty, The Hunt, The Missing Picture, Omar
Will win: The Great Beauty
Should win: the Hunt or Broken Circle Breakdown
Spoiler: Broken Circle Breakdown
* any of those 3 I mentioned could win. Don’t bet on my choice for this one people.

And as for the shorts, that’s all up to you. I cant tell you everything. lol

So, there you go~ My Big Bold Oscar Winner Predictions. Use ’em or lose ’em, but enjoy the show on Sunday night!
J

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American Idol Quick Wrap 5/8/13~ Here Comes the Tears

May 9, 2013

_MB17817.JPGTonight, the best top three singers in the history of American Idol performed admirably thru many vats of tears on arguably the best episode of the season to date. Not only were their songs bringing us to tears but the annual home town visits were showcased and that was a serious bawl-fest. Whether it was the “Boston Strong” signs Angie witnessed or Candice‘s massive family displaying their incredible joy or the heartbreak of visiting Kree’s home where she grew up with her late parents, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. And that includes my house where I was a blubbering fool….
Yes, the emotions were high throughout the night which helped to bring out some great performances as the contestants sang three songs (Jimmy’s Choice, Judge’s Choice, Producers Choice) as they fought for a spot in next week’s finale. All of them have a good shot with these wonderful performances, but just who has the edge? Take a look at my performance rankings and predictions below~

American Idol Season 12 Top Three Performance Rankings~
~ the Astounding
1. Candice- “Somewhere”: tackling the iconic ballad from West Side Story, Candice absolutely slayed the monster with a version that rivals Barbra and Broadway’s best. It was simply amazing. Her vocals were rich with piercing emotion and soaring notes that not only transported us to a different plane but made the song seem new and fresh.I was crying and giving a “Standing O” alongside the judges. It was arguably the best “moment” of the season to date. FYI~ the other best “moment” of the season was Candice’s “Love Song”. Somebody absolutely deserves to win this competition with her insanely good performances and that someone is Candice!
~ the great
2. Kree- “Here Comes Goodbye”: singing the Rascal Flatts hit (co-written by American Idol alum Chris Sligh), Kree gave her best performance of the season. It was a glorious and emotionally wrenching vocal that had me in tears. If she records music this good with this amount of feeling, she will have a big career ya’ll. Just wonderful.
3. Angie Miller- “Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word”: delivering Elton John’s classic ballad with a surprising amount of heart and subtlety, Angie gave her best performance of the night. Shockingly I agreed with Randy that the verses were the best part and her simplicity there really connected with the emotion perfectly. Angie is a pro and so comfortable in front of or behind the piano. Well done.
4. Candice- “One”: Candice hit it out of the park again on U2’s glorious anthem. Her emotions were on point and the vocals really cut to the core of this aching rocker. Candice showed she can sing any genre yet again tonight and with this rock track, I’d love to see her venture into this genre on her debut album. So good!
5. Angie- “Try”: holy crap, I have to admit it. I believed Angie the rock star tonight as she truly rose to the occasion on P!nk’s recent top ten smash. Her voice fit the song perfectly and she had such confidence and swagger on the stage. She really is the whole package now.

~ the good
6. Candice- “Next to Me”: with this soaring and sultry version of Emeli Sande’s current hit, Candice showed how she can be a contemporary artist and still smash the hell out of the vocal. It felt like it was her very own song and I loved how she played with the riffs at the end.
7. Angie- “Maybe”: I’m sure most people didn’t know this Emeli Sande song before tonight, but I bet a bunch of you went straight to iTunes and bought it after hearing Angie’s lovely interpretation. (Seriously, I’m living for all things Emeli Sande right now!) It’s the perfect kind of song for Angie to sing and record. Another fine job.
~ the pretty good:
8. Kree- “Better Dig Two”: singing the recent # 1 country hit by The Band Perry (co-written by my fiend Shane MacAnally), Kree was able to let loose a bit and have fun. I could see her record something like this in the future. However, on a night of great performances, this one just seemed average. I did love seeing Kree have fun on an uptempo number though.
9. Kree- “Perfect”: I have to agree with Kree that this # 2 smash from P!nk wasn’t the right fit for her. While her voice sounded great, especially on the countrified first verse, the song just felt a bit off. I do love that Kree focused on the positive message of the song and she certainly delivered that sentiment well.

Predictions~
I don’t think they’ll announce an actual bottom two. They’ll just say who’s going home and that person will be…
Going Home: Kree

Sadly, I think this is the end of the line for our kind-hearted and full-voiced country girl Kree Harrison. She’s a true authentic singer and artist and I can’t wait to see what she does in the future…. However, if I’m wrong and she makes the finale, I’ll be surprised and excited. But who would she replace? At this point I don’t really think she can take down Candice or Angie…. We’ll find out tomorrow night on American Idol.… Oh and on a side note, I have to applaud the judges for their most civil and least long-winded judging of the season. I wish they had been like this all year!

And just because I had to watch it like 10 times in a row, I’m gonna share it with you again. Check out Candice’s astounding performance of “Somewhere” below.

The American Idol Finale~ America Gets it Wrong… Again…

May 26, 2011

Ok, America, what is your problem? Year after year, you pick the wrong winner for American Idol! I mean Lee over Crystal? Kris over Adam? Taylor over Katharine? Ugh… And now Scotty McCreery wins over Lauren Alaina. Now, at least it’s not as atrocious a result as those other seasons, but it’s still disappointing. Lauren is clearly the better and more talented singer while Scotty is a serviceable singer and decent entertainer. Of course, Scotty is apparently a teen idol that the girls love. Not to mention, the churchgoers, the Southerners and the conservative power voters of America…. To think, they probably all liked Lauren too, but still another boring boy wins in the end is frustrating indeed. At least, both Scotty and Lauren look as though they will have successful careers and both of their coronation singles are at the top of the iTunes charts… Of course, will they reach superstar Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood levels? That remains to be seen, but it’s doubtful. I’m certainly more interested in seeing the career trajectory of the massively talented ninth place finisher Pia Toscano (yes that was the biggest “shocker boot” of the season Idol fans) and the darkhorse of all darkhorses who won me over and proved the most interesting and daring of all the contenders, Haley Reinhart. I do expect both of them to release singles asap (and they will according to the interwebs buzz)…. Until those two and our country kids release their albums, we can take comfort in the fact that at least Idol got its groove back this season with great singers and two good and entertaining new judges. (Simon who?) … So, for the last time this season, it’s time to do some rankings. This time, I’m gonna count down the best and worst of last night’s performances on the season 10 finale of American Idol.

Ranking the American Idol Season finale performances…
1. Beyonce- “One Plus One”: holy crap, THAT is singing people. The diva needs her stage baby and Ms. B owned the Nokia last night. Fantastic. Grade: A+
2. Lady Gaga- “The Edge of Glory”: with her triumphant current 80’s dance smash “Glory”, Gaga gave you performance art, sexy dancing (with the amazing Mark from season 4 of So You Think You Can Dance), wonderful vocals and a daring leap off a “cliff” at the end. Simply great. Grade: A
3. Steven Tyler- “Dream On”: um, how old is he and how on Earth does he still hit those notes? Now, that’s how you rock future Idol contenders! I just wish the song had been longer. Grade: A
4. Lauren & Carrie Underwood- “Before He Cheats”: the dueling ladies powered through Underwood’s smash with fun and finesse and wow was Carrie gorgeous. She did kinda wipe the floor with Lauren a bit though… Carrie: A+, Lauren: B, Overall: A-
5. James Durbin & Judas Priest- “Living After Midnight/Breaking the Law“: despite wearing the gayest outfit ever, James rocked the crap out of the Priest hits alongside the iconic metal band. I didn’t think I’d like it, but damn, it was good. Grade: A-
6. The Idol Girls & Beyonce- “Beyonce Hit Medley”: if it was just Beyonce, this would’ve ranked higher. However, it was still a strong medley featuring standout performances from Pia, Haley and surprisingly Karen. And I have to say practically all these ladies were good dancers too. And then, Beyonce just murdered “Crazy in Love” at the end of course. Grade: B+
7. Haley & Tony Bennett- “Steppin Out”: This would’ve ranked higher too if not for a few flubs on Bennett’s part because Haley was astounding on the number. However, you have to give Bennett credit. He’s literally like 85 years old! Well done and they had surprising chemistry. Grade: B
8. Scotty & Tim McGraw- “Live Like You Were Dying”: in a well matched duet, both men sounded good and gave each other mad respect. Strong song choice too. Grade: B
9. Marc Anthony w/Jennifer Lopez- “Aguanile”: sure I didn’t understand a word Anthony was singing and his creepy facial expressions were unappealing, but damn if he isn’t a fantastic singer. Plus, J Lo werrrrrrrrrrrrrrked it with the booty shaking. Grade: B
10. The Idol Top 13 finalists- “Born This Way”: I was prepared to cringe with this one, but the finalists shocked me into happy Glee-type submission with their performance of Lady Gaga’s empowering # 1 smash. Standouts were Stefano and Haley and hello,, this was the best dancing by any top 13 in the history of the show. Grade: B
11. Reeve Carney, Bono & The Edge- “Rise Above”: sure the vocals and the passion were there. Plus there were cool Spidermen flying around during this song from the troubled U2 Broadway musical Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark. Unfortunately, the song and the performance were rather snoozey. Grade: B-
12. Scotty- “I Love You This Big”: reprising his coronations song with confetti flying and tears flowing, Scotty gave an emotional and appropriate performance. However, the song is really trite and boring. But I loved all the family hugs and then Scotty dissing Jack Black (unintentionally that is) was hilarious. Grade: B-
13. Jacob Lusk, Kirk Franklin & Gladys Knight- “I Smile”: taking us to church for one last time, Jacob got his gospel on with some music legends. It was a high energy entertaining performance, but Jacob was pitchy and inconsistent. Plus you could barely hear Gladys and Franklin was just running around yelling at everyone. Grade: C+
14. TLC, Lil Jon & the female finalists- “No Scrubs/Waterfalls“: it was great to see TLC back on stage again, but the Idols and Lil Jon added nothing to the songs and it was a little low energy. Grade: C
15. Casey Abrams & Jack Black- “Fat Bottomed Girls”: um, it was fun? … But it was a bit of a mess and Jack Black sounded better than Casey. Oops. Grade: C-
16. The Idol Male Finalists & Tom Jones- “Tom Jones Medley”: an utter and complete disaster for the most part. Grade:D+

So, there you have it. One last Idol ranking session… And there are no predictions to make… Ok, here’s one: Scotty and Lauren will have success, but nowhere near the success of Beyonce. And why do I bring her up again? … Well, let’s be honest, she stole the show last night.. So, before I go and you give me your thoughts on last night’s finale, take one final look at B’s performance of her new single “One plus One” below.

Beyonce “One Plus One”

Songs for Japan

March 25, 2011

As I’m sure you’ve heard, the crisis in Japan is nowhere near an end. The damage, destruction and death toll is enormous and heartbreaking, but there is a way you can help. Along with donating to groups like the Red Cross, you can also help by purchasing the Songs for Japan compilation sold exclusively on iTunes. It features 38 songs by huge names like Madonna, Pink, John Lennon, Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake, Beyonce, Bruce Springsteen, U2, Rihanna and many more. The album only costs $9.99 and all proceeds go directly to the disaster relief fund. For more on the album, info on Japan relief and to buy the album, head to iTunes here. And check out the full track list below. It’s a pretty amazing album and a great way to help out those in need.

Songs for Japan:
1. John Lennon “Imagine” (Remastered)
2. U2 “Walk On” (Radio Edit)
3. Bob Dylan “Shelter From The Storm”
4. Red Hot Chili Peppers “Around The World” (Live)
5. Lady Gaga “Born This Way” (Starsmith Remix)
6. Beyonce “Irreplaceable”
7. Bruno Mars “Talking To The Moon” (Acoustic piano version)
8. Katy Perry “Firework” (Remix)
9. Rihanna “Only Girl (In The World)”
10. Justin Timberlake “Like I Love You”
11. Madonna “Miles Away” (Live)
12. David Guetta “When Love Takes Over”
13. Eminem “Love The Way You Lie”
14. Bruce Springsteen “Human Touch”
15. Josh Groban “Awake” (Live)
16. Keith Urban “Better Life”
17. Black Eyed Peas “One Tribe”
18. Pink “Sober”
19. Cee Lo Green “It’s Ok”
20. Lady Antebellum “I Run To You”
21. Bon Jovi “What Do You Got”
22. Foo Fighters “My Hero”
23. REM “Man On The Moon” (Live)
24. Nicki Minaj “Save Me” (Clean version)
25. Sade “By Your Side”
26. Michael Buble “Hold On”
27. Justin Bieber “Pray” (Acoustic)
28. Adele “Make You Feel My Love”
29. Enya “If I Could Be Where You Are”
30. Elton John “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me”
31. John Mayer “Waiting On The World To Change”
32. Queen “Teo Torriate (Let Us Cling Together)” (Remastered)
33. Kings Of Leon “Use Somebody”
34. Sting “Fragile” (Live in Berlin)
35. Leona Lewis “Better In Time”
36. Ne-Yo “One In A Million”

And here’s John Lennon’s classic “Imagine”

Carly Smithson and We Are the Fallen take on U2 and it’s Awesome!

May 24, 2010

The girl who should’ve won American Idol season 7, Carly Smithson, and her band We Are the Fallen, recently released their great debut album, Tear the World Down, preceded by the fantastic rocking first single “Bury Me Alive.” Now comes footage of the band taking on supergroup U2 with an amazing cover of “With or Without You” that I daresay, I might like better than the original. Check it out below and you be the judge, and for more on We Are the Fallen, click here.

We Are the Fallen “With or Without You”