Peanuts and Popcorn

Peanuts and Popcorn

2015 Golden Globe Nominees Announced

posted by jtotey
Kate Beckinsale, Jeremy Piven, Peter Krause and Paula Patton had the honor of announcing the nominees for the 72nd Annual Golden Globes. (Golden Globes)

Kate Beckinsale, Jeremy Piven, Paula Patton and Peter Krause had the honor of announcing the nominees for the 72nd Annual Golden Globes. (Golden Globes)

Early this morning, Kate Beckinsale, Jeremy Piven, Peter Krause and Paula Patton had the honor of announcing the nominees for the 72nd Annual Golden Globes. This of course means that none of them are up for an award but who is may surprise you. This year’s nominees seem to focus more on movies and TV shows that are on the fringe rather than the most popular.

In TV, only a handful of mentions are given toward the main four traditional networks. The CW received two surprise nominations for Jane the Virgin and ABC’s Modern Family did not receive a single nomination this year. In addition, a lot of attention has gone toward the mini-series Fargo (five nominees) and True Detective (three nominees).

For movies, Michael Keaton’s Birdman received the most nominations (seven) with The Imitation Game and Boyhood close behind with five nominations each. Some surprises include Jennifer Aniston receiving a nomination for Best Actress in a Drama for Cake (the internet seemed to be more impressed that she played the role sans makeup), Robert Duvall receiving a nomination for his work in The Judge, a film that was greatly panned by critics and that Noah received any nominations at all. Meanwhile, nobody is surprised that Meryl Streep is nominated for her supporting role in Disney’s Into the Woods, a film that nobody has even seen yet.

Julianne Moore is up for two awards for Still Alice and Maps to the Stars. Bill Murray is doing double duty this year being nominated for Best Performance for the movie St. Vincent and for his guest role in the TV mini-series Olive Kitteridge.

Here is the complete list of this year’s nominees:

MOVIES
Best Motion Picture – Drama
Boyhood, Foxcatcher, The Imitation Game, Selma, and The Theory of Everything

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama
Jennifer Aniston (Cake), Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything), Julianne Moore (Still Alice), Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl) and Reese Witherspoon (Wild)

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama
Steve Carell (Foxcatcher), Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game), Jake Gyllenhaal (Nightcrawler), David Oyelowo (Selma) and Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything)

Best Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical
Birdman, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Into the Woods, Pride and St. Vincent

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical
Amy Adama (Big Eyes), Emily Blunt (Into the Woods), Helen Mirren (The Hundred-Foot Journey), Julianne Moore (Maps to the Stars) and Quvenzhane Wallis (Annie)

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical
Ralph Fiennes (The Grand Budapest Hotel), Michael Keaton (Birdman), Bill Murray (St. Vincent), Joaquin Phoenix (Inherent Vice) and Christoph Waltz (Big Eyes)

Best Animated Feature Film
Big Hero 6, The Book of Life, The Boxtrolls, How to Train Your Dragon 2 and The Lego Movie

Best Foreign Language Film
Force Majeure Turist (Sweden), Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem Gett (Israel), Ida (Poland/Denmark), Leviathan (Russia) and Tangerines Mandariinid (Estonia)

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
Patricia Arquette (Boyhood), Jessica Chastain (A Most Violent Year), Keira Knightley (The Imitation Game), Emma Stone (Birdman) and Meryl Streep (Into the Woods)

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
Robert Duvall (The Judge), Ethan Hawke (Boyhood), Edward Norton (Birdman), Mark Ruffalo (Foxcatcher) and J.K. Simmons (Whiplash)

Best Director – Motion Picture
Wes Anderson (The Grand Budapest Hotel), Ava Duvernay (Selma), David Fincher (Gone Girl), Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (Birdman) and Richard Linklater (Boyhood)

Best Screenplay – Motion Picture
The Grand Budapest Hotel, Gone Girl, Birdman, Boyhood and The Imitation Game

Best Original Score – Motion Picture
The Imitation Game, The Theory of Everything, Gone Girl, Birdman and Interstellar

Best Original Song – Motion Picture
“Big Eyes” (Big Eyes), “Glory” (Selma), “Mercy Is” (Noah), “Opportunity” (Annie) and “Yellow Flicker Beat” (The Hunger Games: Mockingjay-Part 1)

TELEVISION
Best TV Series – Drama
The Affair, Downton Abbey, Game of Thrones, The Good Wife and House of Cards

Best Performance by an Actress in a TV Series – Drama
Claire Danes (Homeland), Viola Davis (How to Get Away with Murder), Julianna Margulies (The Good Wife), Ruth Wilson (The Affair) and Robin Wright (House of Cards)

Best Performance by an Actor in a TV Series – Drama
Clive Owen (The Knick), Live Schreiber (Ray Donovan), Kevin Spacey (House of Cards), James Spader (The Blacklist) and Dominic West (The Affair)

Best TV Series – Comedy or Musical
Girls, Jane the Virgin, Orange is the New Black, Silicon Valley and Transparent

Best Performance by an Actress in a TV Series – Comedy or Musical
Lena Dunham (Girls), Edie Falco (Nurse Jackie), Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Veep), Gina Rodriguez (Jane the Virgin) and Taylor Schilling (Orange is the New Black)

Best Performance by an Actor in a TV Series – Comedy or Musical
Louis C.K. (Louie), Don Cheadle (House of Lies), Ricky Gervais (Derek), William H. Macy (Shameless) and Jeffrey Tambor (Transparent)

Best Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for TV
Fargo, The Missing, The Normal Heart, Olive Kitteridge and True Detective

Best Performance by an Actress in a Mini Series or Motion Picture Made for TV
Maggie Gyllenhaal (The Honorable Woman), Jessica Lange (American Horror Story: Freak Show), Frances McDormand (Olive Kitteridge), Frances O’Connor (The Missing) and Allison Toman (Fargo)

Best Performance by an Actor in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for TV
Martin Freeman (Fargo), Woody Harrelson (True Detective), Matthew McConaughey (True Detective), Mark Ruffalo (The Normal Heart) and Billy Bob Thornton (Fargo)

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for TV
Uzo Aduba (Orange is the New Black), Kathy Bates (American Horror Story: Freak Show), Joanne Froggatt (Downton Abbey), Allison Janney (Mom) and Michelle Monaghan (True Detective)

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Min-Series or Motion Picture Made for TV
Matt Bomer (The Normal Heart), Alan Cumming (The Good Wife), Colin Hanks (Fargo), Bill Murray (Olive Kitteridge) and Jon Voight (Ray Donovan)

Michael W. Smith Releases 4th Christmas Album

posted by jtotey

bff07f90c9dffa2d67d3aab2_440x293Diehard fans of Michael W. Smith and his Christmas music may be disappointed with his 4th holiday album: Michael W. Smith & Friends: The Spirit of Christmas. The album isn’t bad, but it is so much less than what we’ve come to expect from this talented performer. However, it should be said that this album has a whole different direction from his earlier works too and this new album has its share of fans that may not have been too hip on the others.

Unlike his previous works, this one features a lot less original material and the majority of it focuses on classic Christmas tunes. Only a couple of songs are composed for a full orchestra but they pale when compared to Smith first Christmas record, Christmas, which was recorded in 1993.

Instead, Spirit of Christmas is sort of a throwback of classic Christmas albums our parents had when we were little. In fact, Smith looks more like Lawrence Welk than his more youthful self on the cover. The music, though good, sounds more like classic Christmas special. The album features duets with some really big names including Vince Gill, Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, Martina McBride, Amy Grant, Bono, Carrie Underwood, Jennifer Nettles, Michael McDonald and Smith’s own granddaughter, Audrey Smith.

If you caught the CMA Christmas special this year, you already know how incredible “All is Well” with Carrie Underwood is. Other standouts include “Almost There” with Amy Grant, “Christmas Time is Here” with Vince Gill and “Peace” with Michael McDonald . Bono doesn’t sing on the album, only narrates The Darkest Midnight with an incredibly haunting voice.

Michael-W-Smith-e1410399972951The line-up of music on the album includes:

  1. The Miracle of Christmas
  2. It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year
  3. Happy Holiday / Holiday Season
  4. Christmas Time is Here (featuring Vince Gill)
  5. White Christmas (featuring Lady Antebellum)
  6. Somewhere in My Memory (featuring Audrey Smith)
  7. The Spirit of Christmas (Deck the Halls, Good King Wenceslas, O Little Town of Bethlehem, O Come All Ye Faithful)
  8. Silent Night (Featuring Little Big Town)
  9. What Child is this (Featuring Martina McBride)
  10. Almost There (Featuring Amy Grant)
  11. All is Well (Featuring Carrie Underwood)
  12. Christmas Day (Featuring Jennifer Nettles)
  13. The Darkest Midnight (Featuring Bono)
  14. Peace (Featuring Michael McDonald)

Jamie Grace and Sis Sing for the Holiday

posted by jtotey
Gotee Records

Gotee Records

Grammy nominee and positive role model, Jamie Grace has teamed up with her sister, Morgan Harper Nichols, to release the Christmas EP, Family Christmas: Songs by Jamie Grace and Morgan Harper Nichols. The five-song features two by Grace, two by Nichols and one sung by both under the name, Harper Still. The two have sung together in the past, but this marks the first “official” collaboration of the two. Nichols was featured on Grace’s Ready to Fly album on the song “White Boots.”

Family Christmas features the following songs:

  • Born Tonight – Jamie Grace
    Sweet Little Jesus Boy – Jamie Grace
    Go Tell It On The Mountain – Morgan Harper Nichols
    The Prodigal Christmas – Morgan Harper Nichols
    I’ll Be Home For Christmas – Harper Still

To hear a sample, watch the lyric video below for “Born Tonight,” which has already been picked up by 22 Christian radio stations and debuted at No. 29 on the Christian AC Chart. It’s difficult to come up with something new and fresh for Christmas, but Jamie has done it and believe it or not, this is the singer’s second Christmas album in her short career! Her Christmas Together was released in 2011. The album is available now through Gotee Records, iTunes and Amazon.

7-UP Bottling Company

7-UP Bottling Company

This album’s release caps off Grace’s year where the singer reached 500,000 singles downloads for her hit “Hold Me” (which featured TobyMac and pushed her into a group of only four female Christian artists to have sold more than half a million singles) and she became this first Christian artist ever to appear on 7-Up can! Her image was printed on four million can in promotion of K-LOVE and has been distributed throughout Illinois, Missouri, Arkansas, Kentucky and Tennessee.

Look for Jamie Grace in The Rock & Worship Roadshow touring next year with MercyMe, Crowder, Matt Maher and Tedashii.

‘Saving Christmas’ is Full of Useful Stuff

posted by jtotey
Christian (Darren Doane) is not happy with the idea of Christmas this year. (Provident Films)

Christian (Darren Doane) is not happy with the idea of Christmas this year. (Provident Films)

Some may view actor Kirk Cameron as a hyper-religious, ultra-conservative Christian, so it may surprise you that his latest venture, Saving Christmas, is the polar opposite of what you might expect. In fact, this film is actually aimed at those who are hyper-religious, ultra-conservative Christians and even proves that the title is inaccurate. Christmas isn’t in need of saving; it needs to be celebrated.

Saving Christmas is different from what you might expect in a lot of ways. It isn’t really a tradition movie as there isn’t much of a storyline. It isn’t really a documentary, because there IS a storyline. The production is written and directed by Darren Doane who also has a large role in the film as Kirk’s fictional brother-in-law “Christian” and obvious metaphor for everyone who watches this movie. Christian’s wife is played by Kirk’s sister, Bridgette Cameron.

The thin plot revolves around a family Christmas party where Christian spends most of it sulking in his car. Instead of the over-used storyline about someone who has “lost the Christmas spirit,” Christian has had it with Christmas. He is upset with all of the commercialism and he fears that he is partaking in traditions that have history in druidism. Kirk goes out to talk to him and addresses each of his concerns with historical facts and stories.

Kirk’s and Christian’s conversation is pretty entertaining to watch as Doane is actually very funny in his awkwardness. Christian rants about one subject, Kirk addresses it and then they move on to the next. Here you won’t find schmaltzy stories like the “legend of the candy cane,.” Instead, lessons on the background of many holiday traditions and little-known facts about the nativity story are presented. This is all good stuff, however, comparing the Christmas tree to the Tree of Knowledge found in the Adam and Eve story is a bit of a stretch. The argument that “just because the druids worshipped trees doesn’t mean we have to” is enough.

At just one hour and twenty minutes long, Saving Christmas feels more like a Christmas TV special than a movie and like many holiday specials, about 20 minutes of the production is filled with fluff that doesn’t really belong. These are “comedy bits” from other cast members that aren’t especially funny that should have been left out. That’s not to say that it isn’t worth watching. It is. Just don’t expect to be entertained as much as you would with another movie. The other thing is don’t wait too long to see this movie as it is only showing in theaters until November 27. (Click here to find a theater near you.)

One final thought, though the film is family-friendly, it is really geared toward adults. Parents will do better sharing the material with their children on their own level at home.

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