And the Oscar Goes To…

 

And the Oscar Goes To…

by Amy Lignor

 

When it comes to the Oscars, the word “upset” is used almost every year. In at least one category, usually the supporting actor or actress role, there is more often than not a huge surprise when it comes to the winner. However, when you look La La Land, Moonlight, best actor, best actress, upsets, 2017 Oscars, Jimmy Kimmel, best movieback at the awards season thus far, it seems that the same names keep coming up again and again, with no upset in sight. What became mostly a surprise for viewers was the fact that “La La Land” was gifted with the most statuettes, thus far, for best movie of the year. Not a huge surprise, perhaps, but there are nine other films nominated that each were spectacular in their own right.

“Moonlight,” a Barry Jenkins’ film about a gay African-American man growing up in Miami, earned eight nominations; a number that sci-fi flick “Arrival” also garnered. “Jackie,” a lesser known film about Jacqueline Kennedy, is also up for the “top” award of the night. Now, yes, “La La Land” is the favorite going into the night, but it’s the movie “Manchester by the Sea,” starring Casey Affleck as a troubled loner, that has the best bet of stealing the Oscar and saying “Ha Ha” to “La La” as they walk away with the prize.

 

When we look at the “Best Actor” of the 2017 Oscar season, Ben Affleck’s younger bro, Casey Affleck, floored people with his performance in “Manchester by the Sea.” However, Andrew Garfield did the same in “Hacksaw Ridge,” and Denzel Washington gave a powerful performance in “Fences.” Ryan Gosling is up for his “La La Land” performance, but it seems more likely that Affleck has this category sewn up. His work was more than convincing, as well as what most experts call, “effortless,” and Affleck certainly deserves to be congratulated by the Oscar community for this one. Who is the most unlikely to win? Viggo Mortensen did well in “Captain Fantastic,” but the movie, itself, was not one that will go down in history as the “best of the best.”

 

Turning to “Best Actress,” it almost looks like a list that was hard to pull together. Other than Emma Sone in “La La Land,” it was mostly a shock that Amy Adams did not receive a nod for her superb work as a translator in “Arrival.” Perhaps it’s because Meryl Streep somehow has to be nominated for every performance she gives that Adams was ousted from the nominations. Yes, Streep is a magnificent actress who is destined to go down in history as the best who ever lived, but the movie she’s nominated for, “Florence Foster Jenkins,” was mostly just ‘cute’ and not an Oscar-winning performance. Some reviewers state that Natalie Portman could win for “Jackie,” but in the end Emma Stone looks to be the logical choice.

 

Who was the best behind the camera? Well, the same names can be found here that are found in the “Best Movie” category. Denis Villeneuve for “Arrival”; Mel Gibson for “Hacksaw Ridge”;

Damien Chazelle for “La La Land”; Kenneth Lonergan for “Manchester by the Sea”; and, Barry Jenkins for “Moonlight.” Barry Jenkins did an absolute incredible job, with visuals that were extremely dark and moody as well as a soundtrack that will be remembered by movie fans and music fans, as well. It was also a very personal subject for Jenkins and he definitely has a chance at taking the Oscar home. But who will win? It looks like Chazelle has the best shot when it comes to his salute to Hollywood. Skill, talent, and imagination most definitely came from this young director, who is bound to see many Oscar wins if he keeps going the way he’s going.

 

For supporting roles, it seems that Viola Davis has the Oscar locked when it comes to her emotional performance in “Fences.” For the supporting actor, however, even though the favorite is Dev Patel for his awesome role in “Lion,” it is Mahershala Ali’s name, playing a very brief role in “Moonlight” that keeps cropping up. His time on-screen was short, but his performance haunted viewers long after they left the movie theaters.

 

In the end, upsets will most likely not be a part of the 2017 Oscar presentation. Of course…with comedian Jimmy Kimmel as the host, you never know what ‘bad’ joke will make headlines the next day and usurp all the Oscar winners.

Source:  GIG News

Sophie and the Rising Sun

 

Sophie and the Rising Sun

interracial lovers, 1941, South Carolina, World War II, Julianne Nicholson, Margo Martindale, Lorraine Toussaint, Takashi Yamaguchi, Diane Ladd, Joel Murray and Bobby Henline

Starring: Julianne Nicholson, Margo Martindale, Lorraine Toussaint, Takashi Yamaguchi, Diane Ladd, Joel Murray and Bobby Henline

Screenplay by: Maggie Greenwald

Based on the novel by: Augusta Trobaugh

Directed by: Maggie Greenwald

Produced by:  Brenda Goodman, Nancy Dickenson, Lorraine Gallard, Maggie Greenwald

Co-Producer: Susan Lazarus

Running Time: 105 min

MPAA:  R

Genre:  Drama

Set in the autumn of 1941 in Salty Creek, a fishing village in South Carolina, the film tells the dramatic story of interracial lovers swept up in the tides of history. As World War II rages in Europe a wounded stranger, Mr. Ohta, appears in the town under mysterious circumstances. Sophie, a native of Salty Creek, quickly becomes transfixed by Mr. Ohta and a friendship born of their mutual love of art blossoms into a delicate and forbidden courtship. As their secret relationship evolves the war escalates tragically. When Pearl Harbor is bombed, a surge of misguided patriotism, bigotry and violence sweeps through the town, threatening Mr. Ohta’s life. A trio of women, each with her own secrets – Sophie, along with the town matriarch and her housekeeper – rejects law and propriety, risking their lives with their actions.

Based on the novel by Augusta Trobaugh

https://www.montereymedia.com/sophieandtherisingsun/

Click Here for an automatic download link

Source:  GIG News

ChatterBaits a Key for Early Season Bass

 

ChatterBaits a Key for Early Season Bass

When the ChatterBait bladed jig burst onto the scene in 2006, many anglers considered it another ‘flash in the pan’ lure that would quickly slide off the radar, as seems to be so common in the fishing world.  However, over the last ten years, this unique spinner/jig hybrid has carved out a permanent spot in the tackle boxes of most serious bass anglers and has repeatedly been a top producer in bass tournaments—particularly early in the year during ‘pre-spawn’ conditions.

A ChatterBait lure consists of a hexagon-shape stainless blade connected directly to the eyelet of a jighead.  The fishing line is tied to a snap that is secured to the blade via two mounting holes, and when the bait is pulled through the water, the blade vibrates and flashes erratically, drawing attention from far off and provoking vicious strikes from otherwise stubborn fish.  Most bladed swim jigs are dressed with silicone skirts, and anglers add a variety of different plastic trailers, most commonly swimbaits or crawfish imitations.  The ChatterBait brand lure, manufactured by South Carolina lure maker Z-Man Fishing Products, is far-and-away the most popular bladed jig because of the company’s patents covering the direct head-to-blade connection, an orientation that consistently outperforms other similar baits.

While many anglers consider the ChatterBait to be a spinnerbait alternative that is fished by simply casting it out and reeling it in quickly, astute bass fishermen have found that it is much more than a standard ‘chunk and wind’ style bait, particularly in colder water.  Mixing up presentations by slowing down or varying retrieves, working the bait along the bottom in deeper water, and fishing it more like a jig than a spinner has resulted in multiple pros hitting paydirt in early season derbies.

Bassmaster Elite Series pro-Stephen Browning sees the ChatterBait’s versatility as one of its biggest draws early in the year.  “There are so many different ways you can fish it,” remarks Browning.  “I use it a lot as a search bait, but it’s a great big fish bait too, and that’s what makes fishing it so exciting.”

During the early season pre-spawn period—just prior to when bass move up shallow to spawn—Browning prefers winding the ChatterBait slowly through deep grass, particularly around contour changes like underwater channels and submerged points.  His favorite cold water retrieve is a stop-and-go style retrieve, and the key to this cold water presentation is using his reel—not his rod—to move the bait.  Holding his rod at about a thirty-degree angle, Stephen winds the reel quickly before letting the bait fall, varying the number of turns of the reel handle to mimic the erratic movements of injured baitfish.  He pays close attention to what he is doing when he generates a strike, noting the retrieval pattern so he can duplicate it going forward.

In the first two months of 2017, several professional-level tournaments—not to mention a number of local events—have already been won on the ChatterBait, further cementing its position as a lure that is here to stay.  Whether you are a serious tournament angler or a weekend warrior, learning the different ways to fish this versatile bait in the relatively cooler water during the first few months of the year will undoubtedly help you up your catch rate, and maybe even help you catch the bass of a lifetime!

Visit Z-Man Fishing.com Today!

Original Source:  Sportsmans Lifestyle.com

 

 

Perfect Vacation Spots in Small Town, USA

 
Perfect Vacation Spots in Small Town, USA

by Amy Lignor

 

Yes, big cities such as New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, as well as Orlando always rate as being perfect vacation spots to travel to in the U.S. of A. But, oddly enough, small towns are out there littering the road maps that are fun and kooky
Ferndale, Mount Airy, unforgettable memories , Gibsonton, Ligonier, Santa Claus, Indiana, where Superman lives, save money, quirkiestenough to draw visitors each and every day. Some even have extremely fun names like, Accident, Maryland, Peculiar, MO, and even Ugly, TX. So if you wish to save a little more money when it comes to your spring or summer vacations, instead of having to deal with higher price locations, visiting these will save on money and still allow you and the family to make memories you’ll never forget.

We begin with towns that literally feel like they are straight out of a movie. Some are even based on movies and movie characters, as well as one that pays homage to perhaps the biggest and most popular “celebrity” known worldwide.

One town that feels like it was the ‘set’ for every lovely, sweet, all-American town that was ever on-screen is Ferndale, California. Registered as a California Historic Landmark (the whole town, that is, not just one building), the avenues that visitors walk down are lined with pristine Victorian homes and businesses that make you feel as if you’ve been transported back in time to when the world was a peaceful, serene place.

 

Yet another area like this is Mount Airy, North Carolina. The allure for most visitors comes from the fact that this was the inspiration for the beloved “Andy Griffith” television show. You can’t get more “apple pie” than that. Mounty Airy is literally a remake of the fictional town of Mayberry, offering tours in squad cars that are identical to the ones Barney and Andy drove in the show, as well as a very real “Floyd’s Barber Shop.” (If you don’t understand these references, rent the TV show; it’s worth it to see Mayberry in all its glory.)

 

If looking for the ultimate realm that will remind your kids of every fairytale they’ve ever read, head to Carmel-by-the-Sea, located in California. With a population under 4,000, the hometown boys and girls dwell by the seaside in little storybook cottages. This is a very well-preserved town that even has laws in place to keep their community as beautiful as possible. In other words, leave the high heels at home ladies before traveling here, because there is an actual ban on wearing them without a permit. (Not kidding).

 

The location of Metropolis is absolutely well-known to most everyone on Earth. Why? Because Superman dwells there, of course. In the state of Illinois, you can visit Metropolis and actually take pictures of the 15-foot bronze statue of the “Man of Steel” that watches over the town. The local newspaper is called “The Metropolis Planet” (AKA: The Daily Planet, where Superman and Lois Lane worked), and every year a Superman celebration is had by one and all.

 

But what little, lovely town is dedicated to the most popular and well-known “celebrity?” Well…that would be Santa Claus, Indiana, of course. A large budget is not needed to visit here, thankfully, considering you do not have to head to the North Pole in order to be a part of this truly beloved location. Here you can take pics of the 20-foot statue of St. Nick (yes, he rates an extra five-feet over Superman, himself). You can stroll and shop along Christmas Boulevard and Kringle Place, and even visit an adorable amusement park called “Holiday World.”

 

And speaking of amusement parks that should be seen by one and all…Ligonier, Pennsylvania, boasts one of the oldest parks in the country. Settled in the 1760s, Ligonier also maintains a truly historic downtown square that still has its bandstand to this day. Somewhere to sit and relax after the visit to the amusement park comes to an end.

 

If you’re looking for the “quirkiest” of all areas to head to, Gibsonton, Florida, is also all about the “amusement” industry. This off-season retreat where famous carnival performers once lived, (AKA: “Lobster Boy”), Gibsonton is a hub for the carnival lover in you. While visiting the local diner, it’s not a shock to see a sword-swallower as well as an exotic animal grazing outside, enjoying its own special meal.

 

No matter what you choose, these are locations that offer families the ultimate picturesque vacations that serve up unforgettable memories and allow you to save dollars at the same time.

 

Source:  GIG News

For movies opening February 24, 2017

 

OPENING THIS WEEK

Kam’s Kapsules

Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun

by Kam Williams

For movies opening February 24, 2017

MOVIES OPENING THIS WEEK,   Kam's Kapsules,  Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun,  by Kam Williams

BIG BUDGET FILMS

Collide (PG-13 for violence, profanity, sexuality and drug use) Action thriller about a couple of American tourists (Nicholas Hoult and Felicity Jones) backpacking across Europe who end up on the run from drug smugglers in Germany. With Anthony Hopkins, Ben Kingsley and Nadia Hilker.

Get Out (R for violence, profanity, bloody images and sexual references) Psychological thriller about a black college student (Daniel Kaluuya) who goes home with his white girlfriend (Allison Williams) to meet her parents (Catherine Keener and Bradley Whitford) only to uncover the suburban town’s sordid history marked by a string of African-American male disappearances. Supporting cast includes Lakeith Stanfield, Caleb Landry Jones and Erika Alexander.

Rock Dog (PG for action and mild epithets) Animated adventure about a Tibetan Mastiff (Luke Wilson) torn between guarding a flock of sheep and pursuing his dream of Rock & Roll stardom. Voice cast includes K.K. Simmons, Kenan Thompson, Matt Dillon, Sam Elliott, Eddie Izzard and Lewis Black.

INDEPENDENT & FOREIGN FILMS

Bitter Harvest (R for violence and disturbing images) Fact-based drama, set in the Ukraine in the early Thirties, revolving around the efforts of a young artist (Max Irons) to save his childhood sweetheart (Samantha Barks) from the state-sanctioned famine orchestrated by Stalin (Gary Oliver) that would claim millions of lives. With Terence Stamp, Barry Pepper and Lucy Brown. 

Drifter (Unrated) Horror flick about a couple of outlaws (Aria Emory and Drew Harwood) who unwittingly take refuge in a ghost town inhabited only by a hungry clan of psychotic cannibals. Support cast includes Monique Rosario, James McCabe and Anthony Ficco.

Dying Laughing (Unrated) Behind-the-scenes documentary offering a revealing look at the complicated lives and creative process of stand-up comedians. Featuring Jerry Seinfeld, Cedric the Entertainer, Kevin Hart, Sarah Silverman, 

Fabricated City (Unrated) Action thriller about an unemployed gamer (Chang-wook Ji), framed for murder, who tries to clear his name with the help of a computer hacker (Eun-kyung Shim). With Jae-hong Ahn, Sang-ho Kim and Jeong-se Oh. (In Korean with subtitles)

Lost Cat Corona (Unrated) Ensemble comedy about an uptight nerd (Ralph Macchio) forced to interact with some shady characters while searching the neighborhood for his wife’s (Gina Gershon) missing cat. Cast includes Sean Young, Paul Sorvino and Tom Wopat.

My Life as a Zucchini (PG-13 for mature themes and suggestive material) Coming-of-age tale, nominated for an Oscar in the Best Animated Feature category, about a 9 year-old’s (Gaspard Schlatter) attempt to adjust to life in an orphanage after the mysterious disappearance of his mother (Natacha Koutchoumov). Voice cast includes Sixtine Murat, Paulin Jaccoud and Raul Ribera. (In French with subtitles)

Punching Henry (Unknown) Quirky character study about a struggling standup comedian (Henry Phillips) who comes to regret being lured to L.A.  by a TV producer (J.K. Simmons) to star in a reality show revolving around the life of a loser. Featuring Sarah Silverman, Tig Notaro and Mike Judge.

Tulip Fever (Unrated) Romance drama, set in 17th Century Amsterdam, about a portrait artist (DaneDeHaan) who embarks on a passionate affair with a married woman (Alicia Vikander) he’s been hired to paint. With Christoph Waltz, Zach Galifiniakis and Dame Judi Dench.

Year by the Sea (Unrated) Adaptation of Joan Anderson’s memoir of the same name about a jaded housewife who opted to move to a Cape Cod cottage rather than accompany her husband of 30 years to his new job in Kansas. Supporting cast includes S. Epatha Merkerson, Yannick Bisson and Celia Imrie. 

 

 Source:  GIG News

Yamaha’s new F25

 

Yamaha’s new F25

By Craig Lamb

Today’s hot angling trend toward fishing skinny inshore backwaters with lightweight tackle just got a lift from Yamaha. Meet the all-new F25. This updated 25 horsepower outboard is the ticket to accessing remote fishing spots like never before.

The reason is weight, and that translates to unparalleled portability and performance in a midrange outboard. Weighing less than 126 pounds and easy to grip, store and transport, the F25 is the perfect match for  today’s lightweight inflatable boats.

The F25 is one of the lightest 25 horsepower available. Two stroke or four stroke. What is more, this outboard is packed with impressive firsts and features that take midrange portability to a new level.

Improved, built-in carry handles, a resting pad on two sides for more protected storage options and the outboard’s overall compact profile and lighter weight. Add it all up, and this outboard can be easily transported in a vehicle. As a result, you can access more skinny water than ever before for new fishing opportunities.  

Lightweight means easy to carry and easier to start. Take a seat, and with a one-handed pull, the F25 easily comes to life. You also have the option of adding an electric start kit for even more convenience. 

Easy starts come from Yamaha’s Electronic Fuel Injection that is standard on the F25. Best of all, Yamaha’s EFI is battery-less for minimal effort with manual starting. No battery also means less weight.

Grab the tiller handle (available in short and long models) and feel the new ergonomics that make gripping more comfortable and better control with wet hands. The three-position tiller handle locks firmly into place for safer, easier handling. Speaking of handling, boats are easier to maneuver in tight turns at the dock or through cramped fishing spots with a 45-degree steering angle.

For trolling the Variable, Trolling Switch is another first for a midrange outboard. With VTS® you can troll slower than standard in-gear idle for better fishing.  Take control of the VTS using the multi-function tiller handle or through Yamaha’s Command Link Plus®. Using Command Link®, anglers can adjust trolling speed from 750 to 1050 RPM in 50 RPM increments. The result is more lure control and precise presentations to keep baits in the strike zone, longer, when fishing cuts, canals, and inlets.

The F25 is packed with performance features like you find in heavier, higher range horsepower outboards. Yamaha’s EFI means smoother running, greater fuel efficiency, and leading acceleration in class. To keep weight down and efficiency up, the F25 uses an all-new twin cylinder design with a single overhead camshaft. It’s quiet, clean and keeps with the overall idea behind making the F25 the lightest around.

For saltwater anglers and boaters needing a midrange outboard for a skiff, the F25 delivers all of the above portability and performance with Yamaha’s class-leading corrosion protection. The F25—and all Yamaha midranges—feature the exclusive Ultimate Corrosion Protection System. That pairs Yamaha’s exclusive industry-leading corrosion resistant base materials with a proprietary five-layer paint process. Yamaha also placed sacrificial anodes in and around the powerhead, drawing corrosion away from vital engine parts.

Easy to transport, start and handle. That equates to lower operating costs, longer lasting parts, and better fishing. What more could you ask for in a midrange outboard? Visit Yamaha Outboards.com Today!

Original Source:  Sportsmans Lifestyle.com 

Ice Cube in a Mellow Mood!

 

Ice Cube   

The “Fist Fight” Interview

with Kam Williams

Ice Cube in a Mellow Mood!

Born O’Shea Jackson in Compton, California on June 15, 1969, Renaissance man Ice Cube is an actor, writer, producer, director, rapper, philanthropist and father. N.W.A., the rap group he co-founded with Dr. Dre, Eazy-E, MC Ren and DJ Yella, was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2016.

Cube made his feature film debut in 1991 in Boyz n the Hood, and proceeded to parlay his critically-acclaimed performance into an enviable career. He has become one of the most bankable names in Hollywood as a writer, star and producer.

His production company, Cube Vision, has been making memorable films for over two decades. And his movies have cumulatively grossed over a billion dollars at the box office. Here, he talks about his latest outing in Fist Fight, a comedy co-starring Charlie Day.

Ice Cube, The “Fist Fight” Interview, with Kam Williams, Boyz n the Hood, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Kam Williams: Hey Cube. How you been, brother?

Ice Cube: I’m good, good. How about you, Kam?

KW: Great, thanks. What interested you in Fist Fight?

IC: I thought it was a great concept based on a funny premise. And when they started filling in the pieces with Charlie Day and Tracy Morgan, I just knew we were going to have a great time and hopefully shoot a funny movie.

KW: In this film you play a teacher who is sort of like a bully. Did you ever have a teacher like your character, Mr. Strickland? And were you either bullied or a bully when you were a kid?

IC: In my neighborhood, you were either one or the other. Going back to my memory bank, there were teachers who were no-nonsense and intimidating. Most of them were coaches or gym teachers.But a few were classroom teachers who just didn’t take no mess. I just went over the top with it, because we were having fun with the comedy.

KW: Growing up, was there a spot where kids would settle their differences after school?

IC: There wasn’t just one spot. But it had to be out of sight of teachers, like behind a building, which is where most fights took place. There was never one particular area where we always got down.

Ice Cube, The “Fist Fight” Interview, with Kam Williams, Boyz n the Hood, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

KW: Who came up with the idea of flipping the script by having the after school fight be between two teachers instead of two students?

IC: Well, the script was brought to us by [director] Rich Keen and New Line Cinema. I don’t know exactly who came up with the concept, but that’s what made it funny to me. It’s unusual to have two teachers going at it, instead of two students. That unique premise was one of the things that hooked me.

KW: How did you and Charlie Day go about generating the bully-nerd anti-chemistry that the story called for? How did you know how mean to be without going over the line and ending up looking cruel?

IC: It’s a dance. We had a mutual respect for each other’s skills. And when you have that mutual respect, you’re more giving actors. You’ll make sure he shines where he’s supposed to shine, and vice versa. The key is to not get in the way of the character, and to be honest and true with it. Still, real personalities creep in every now and then. It’s all about knowing the script, and understanding its ebbs and flows. So, we worked well together. I think we’re going to end up doing a few more movies together.

KW: Well, you already set up the sequel to Fist Fight in the closing scene.

IC: Yeah, without a doubt! Without a doubt!

KW: You guys had a terrific supporting cast: Dennis Haysbert, Dean Norris, Christina Hendricks, Kym Whitley, Jillian Bell and Tracy Morgan. Was this Tracy’s first film since the accident? I don’t remember seeing him in anything.

IC: Yeah, this was his first movie back. It was great to have him. I’d worked with him before in a movie called First Sunday. It was cool to see him again, to be able to hang, and to just have him here. That accident he was in was horrible. It was great to have him around again.

Ice Cube, The “Fist Fight” Interview, with Kam Williams, Boyz n the Hood, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

KW: I’ve interviewed him several times, and he’s one of those rare people who’s just naturally funny.

IC: Yeah, he doesn’t have to tell a joke. All he has to do is talk. He’s just a funny dude. God blesses some people with a gift.

KW: Fist Fight was Richard Keen’s first full-length feature film. It’s pretty impressive considering it was a directorial debut.

IC: Without a doubt! He did a great job. And he’s the one who really sold me on the movie. He cut together a trailer showing what the movie would look like by cutting Charlie and me into pieces of other movies. That sold me. I said, “Dude, if you make this movie that you’re showing me, then I’m in.” and he definitely went above and beyond expectations.

KW: He certainly was able to keep it exciting by setting the film in a high school on Senior Prank Day. That way, all sorts of surprises could pop up during lulls in the action.

IC: Yeah, it’s cool, because people think it’s just a fight, but there are a thousand other things going on. [Chuckles] It’s nice to have a lot of surprises in a movie like this.

KW: What message do you think people will take away from Fist Fight?

IC: I think it’s really talking about the school system, and the underlying problems  that the society’s facing when it comes to educating kids. Do we just coddle them or do we really try to hold them accountable for what they learn?

KW: What do you think of the Academy Awards nominating a half-dozen black actors after none the previous two years?

IC: I don’t really know what they’re going through, but I’m pretty sure the nominees deserved it, and that’s all that matters, that our work is recognized. We don’t want any quotas. Just recognize good work.

KW: Last year, it was unfortunate that your biopic, Straight Outta Compton, was only nominated for Best Original Screenplay. And your scriptwriters were all white.

IC: It ain’t no thing. At least I don’t make movies for no Oscars. i make movies for the people.

KW: Finally, what’s in your wallet?

IC: What’s in my wallet? [LOL] Not too much. An I.D. card. That’s it. [Laughs some more]

KW: Thanks again for the time, Cube, and best of luck with the film.

IC: Take it easy, Kam. Catch you later.

Source:  GIG News

Oscar Predictions 2017

 

Oscar Predictions 2017

Your Guide to the Academy Awards

by Kam Williams

 

Will La La Land make history by eclipsing the record of 11 Academy Awards? Damien Chazelle’s magical homage to the Hollywood musical definitely has a decent shot. After all, it’s a lock to win in 5 categories: Best Picture, Director, Score, Oscar Predictions 2017Original Song, and Sound Mixing. And it ‘s the heavy favorite in another 5: Lead Actress, Cinematography, Costume Design, Production Design and Film Editing.

That leaves Sound Editing, Original Screenplay and Lead Actor. La La’s best shot at tying the record will be by beating the World War II epic, Hacksaw Ridge in Sound Editing.

If successful there, it has two paths to 12. Unfortunately, Ryan Gosling is unlikely to win for Lead Actor because he’s up against some very stiff competition in Casey Affleck and Denzel Washington. That leaves Original Screenplay where Manchester by the Sea has the advantage by virtue of its being a super-realistic drama as opposed to an escapist musical fantasy.

Nevertheless, I’m optimistic that the Academy voters will pull the lever for the very-deserving La La Land a record-breaking dozen times.    

The Envelope Please

Who Will Win, Who Deserves to Win, Who Was Snubbed

           

Best Picture     

Will Win: La La Land

Deserves to Win: La La Land

Overlooked: Deadpool

Best Director

Will Win: Damien Chazelle (La La Land)

Deserves to Win: Damien Chazelle

Overlooked: Denzel Washington (Fences) and Theodore Melfi (Hidden Figures)

Comment : Wunderkind Damien Chazelle, at 32, becomes the youngest Best Director winner in history.

Best Actor

Will Win: Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea)

Deserves to Win: Casey Affleck 

Overlooked: Ryan Reynolds (Deadpool)

Comment: Denzel Washington might upset Affleck, if the Academy decides to overcompensate for its complete snubbing of minority actors the last two years. And Ryan Gosling has a puncher’s chance of prevailing if La La Land’s sweep turns out to be a record-breaking tsunami.   

Best Actress

Will Win: Emma Stone (La La Land)

Deserves to Win: Emma Stone

Overlooked: Amy Adams (Arrival) and Annette Bening (20th Century Women)

Comment: Stone is a shoo-in for three reasons. First, Viola Davis opted to compete in the Supporting Actress category. Second, it was an off-year for perennial-nominee Meryl Streep whose performance in Florence Foster Jenkins was undeserving. Third, Amy Adams wasn’t even nominated. Fourth, Emma’s the only Lead Actress nominee whose movie was also nominated for Best Picture.

Best Supporting Actor

Will Win: Mahershala Ali (Moonlight)

Deserves to Win: Mahershala Ali

Overlooked: Andre Holland (Moonlight) and John (La La Land)

Comment: 2016 was a breakout year for Mahershala Ali who was only on screen in Moonlight for about 20 minutes. But he always cuts such a mesmerizing presence that he could have just as easily been nominated for Hidden Figures, Kicks or Free State of Jones. 

Best Supporting Actress

Will Win: Viola Davis (Fences)

Deserves to Win: Viola Davis

Overlooked: Greta Gerwig (20th Century Women) and Janelle Monae (Moonlight)

Comment: Viola Davis finally gets the Oscar she deserved for The Help. This go-round, she strategically avoided a head-to-head showdown with Meryl Streep by downsizing her starring role into a support performance. 

Best Original Screenplay

Will Win: La La Land

Deserves to Win: La La Land

Overlooked: Loving

Comment: La La Land manages to squeak by Manchester by the Sea, a critical win on an historic night.

Best Adapted Screenplay

Will Win: Moonlight

Deserves to Win: Moonlight

Overlooked: Deadpool

Question: Why was Moonlight nominated for the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar, but nominated in the Best Original Screenplay category by both the British Academy and the Writers Guild of America?

Predictions for the Balance of the Categories

Animated Feature: Zootopia

Foreign Language Film: Toni Erdmann

Documentary Feature: 13th

Cinematography: La La Land

Costume Design: La La Land

Production Design: La La Land

Film Editing: La La Land

Makeup and Hairstyling: Star Trek Beyond

Original Score: La La Land

Best Song: La La Land (“City of Stars”)

Sound Editing: La La Land

Sound Mixing: La La Land

Visual Effects: The Jungle Book

Animated Short: Piper

Documentary Short: Extremis

Live-Action Short: Ennemis Interieurs

The Envelope Please, Who Will Win, Who Deserves to Win, Who Was Snubbed, Your Guide to the Academy Awards

Source:  GIG News

Business Industries to Explore in 2017

 

Business Industries to Explore in 2017

by Amy Lignor

 

It’s no surprise that with the popular TV show “Shark Tank” taking over the headlines, promoting small businesses and giving people the chance to ‘make it big,’ that the industry researchers have gotten together a list of the very best Software Development, children's services, senior care, financial advisors, quirkiest businesses, business opportunities, profitsopportunities when it comes to starting up companies in 2017. The profits are there, in some categories, just waiting to be made, and most do not require a large amount of investment money to begin. Most outlooks for 2017 include home-based businesses that generate healthy incomes and allow people to be their own boss and make their own decisions. In other words, this year is going to be the year of “independents” making it big.

So…what categories will make it to the “top” of the list when it comes to choosing the best businesses?

We first begin with the category of ‘Software Development.’ The demand for engineers and developers (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics) is expected to increase ten-fold – continuing to rise straight through 2023, with an annual profit being $100,000 and up. Because of the ease of remote access, this is one business category that is ideal for those wishing to concentrate on a home-based business.

 

Other top categories come from the children’s services market, as well as the senior care market. The list of children’s services that can be operated as small businesses continues to increase. From tutoring to fitness instruction to opening quality preschools and daycares that are now venturing into the Great Outdoors, anyone who enjoys working with kids has a wealth of opportunities to choose from.

 

And when it comes to the senior care services market, this is one area that has increased in size for the last ten years…and has no chance of expiring anytime soon. Demographics played a huge role in this industry, with the first of the “baby boomers” reaching retirement age in 2011. Seniors will make up one quarter of the entire U.S. population and, fortunately for entrepreneurs, they are also a wealthy demographic compared to generations that came before. They can afford to pay for services that allow them to stay at home and get the help they need to maintain their lifestyles. According to data and research put together by the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), nearly 90 percent of seniors have made this their ultimate goal. In other words, business opportunities come in the form of taking care of them. From driving to house sitting/pet sitting to cleaning and cooking, these self-employed businesses can be started up from scratch for very little capital.

 

Along those same lines, the need for financial advisors will be huge in 2017, with a projected growth rate of 30 percent straight through the next decade. Although this is one business that normally requires some sort of training in securities management, the same enormous pool of ‘baby boomers’ are at retirement age or heading into that stage of their lives, and will require assistance and planning with their funds.

 

What are the quirkiest businesses that will grow rapidly in 2017? Oddly enough, one is the tattoo industry. There is a long list of statistics that rate the tattoo industry among the most profitable and perfect for those creative types out there. It is a fact that 22% of millennials have at least one tattoo, with that number growing each and every day. Most tattoo artists learn through a mentor – serving as an apprenticeship alongside a professional that has worked in this trade for three years-plus. So for those who own that creative talent, becoming a tattoo artist is a stellar business opportunity to explore in 2017.

 

The second quirkiest industry that will continue to grow and draw business entrepreneurs is also a creative one. But this isn’t about art, it’s about food. Gluten-free restaurants and bakeries are something people are looking to find. In 2017, avoiding wheat and gluten is not only something people with celiac disease do, but something that almost everyone has shown that they want to do to better their health. Just look at your local supermarket; gluten-free food products are being stocked on shelves across the country with even some big name restaurants adding gluten-free meals to their menus. So if that ‘creative’ gene exists inside you to produce everything from specialty coffees to tasty desserts, this is one industry that’s perfect for you to explore.

 

In the end, 2017 is loaded with business opportunities that will allow you to make a considerable profit while also allowing you to do exactly what you want to do. Who knows? You may even get a chance to sell it to the “sharks.”

 

Source:  GIG News

Historical Drama Recounts Scandalous Interracial Romance

 

A United Kingdom

Film Review by Kam Williams

Historical Drama Recounts Scandalous Interracial Romance

Upon the untimely death of his father, Seretse Khama (David Oyelowo) was crowned the King of Bechuanaland at the tender age of 4. But his Uncle Tshekedi (Vusi Kunene) assumed the reins of power until the heir apparent could complete his education.

A United Kingdom,  Film Review, by Kam Williams, David Oyelowo, King of Bechuanaland, Vusi Kunene, racial segregation, whirlwind romanceWhile studying law in Great Britain, Seretse fell in love at first sight with Ruth Williams (Rosamund Pike), a lowly clerk at Lloyd’s of London. Their whirlwind romance ignited an international firestorm of controversy because of their color, not their class, differences.

For, he was black and she was white, and this was 1946, a time of strict racial segregation. So, the couple’s scandalous liaison was met with resistance both in England and back of Africa.

Although they found themselves assailed with racial slurs like “slut” and “savage” while out on dates, the hostility only served to intensify their feelings for one another. Meanwhile, Seretse was threatened with the loss of his throne, since Bechuanaland was a protectorate of neighboring South Africa, a white supremacist nation. Nevertheless, he got down on one knee and proposed to Ruth and the two married just a year after they met.

Unfortunately, major impediments were subsequently placed between the exiled young monarch and his governing, and that struggle is the subject of A United Kingdom. Directed by Amma Asante (Belle), the film was shot on location in Botswana, which is what the country has called itself since gaining independence in 1966.

Because the movie telescopes tightly on Ruth and Seretse’s relationship, it’s success or failure is destined to turn on the performances of co-stars David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike. The good news is that they’re very talented thespians capable of disappearing into their roles while generating the requisite chemistry to make their characters’ enduring affair convincing.

The film’s only flaw is that it feels a bit rushed, as if director Asante had a long checklist of touchstones from “Colour Bar” (the 432-page book it’s based on) she was determined to shoehorn into the encyclopedic biopic. Nonetheless, the final product is a praiseworthy production reminiscent of another tale of racial intolerance recently in theaters.

Let’s say, “Loving,” African style!

Very Good (3 stars)

Rated PG-13 for sensuality, profanity and ethnic slurs

Running time: 111 minutes

Studio: Harbinger Pictures

Distributor: Fox Searchlight Pictures

Source:  GIG News