Matt’s Movie Thoughts Has Moved…Check Out The Filtered Lens!

•January 18, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Hello viewers! From now on all of my content will be published on my new website, The Filtered Lens. Thank you to everyone who checked out Matt’s Movie Thought since I started it in May and I look forward to bringing fresh content to this new website, which I own. Thanks for reading!


Golden Globes Wrap-Up: Winners, Losers, and Surprises!

•January 16, 2012 • 2 Comments

The ceremony is now over and we know the winners of the Golden Globes. A few surprises ran across the evening as the winners were announced and what could tonight mean for the upcoming Academy Awards?

Lets start with the acting categories. George Clooney’s win for The Descendants all but guarantees him an Oscar, despite the fact that Brad Pitt was better. Meryl Streep’s win for The Iron Lady was a bit of an upset as many believed that Viola Davis would take home the globe for The Help. The race for the Best Actress Oscar just got a lot tighter (meanwhile I’m still sitting in the corner quietly rooting for Rooney Mara). Jean Dujardin and Michelle Williams both deserved their wins but don’t expect either of them to beat out Clooney, Streep, or Davis for the Oscar.

For the supporting roles, I expect that both of tonight’s winners will win their respective Oscars. They deserve it too. Christopher Plummer and Octavia Spencer both gave some of the most affecting performances of the year. Also, I have to note that Spencer gave the best speech of the night.

Best Screenplay was a bit of a surprise tonight as neither The Descendants or Moneyball won. Instead the trophy went to Woody Allen for Midnight in Paris. It will be interesting to see how this affects the Oscar race since the screenwriting categories are split between Original and Adapted.

The Best Director category was another shocker tonight. It is extremely rare for a director to win the award and then not be back up on the stage for either Best Picture category at the Globes. Martin Scorsese did a phenomenal job on Hugo, but the movie didn’t win anything else. My guess is that Scorsese won’t see the same recognition in February.

Now lets get to the big winners, The Descendants and The Artist. Since the later is pretty much already a lock to be rewarded by the Academy with a win, I will mostly focus on the losers here. The biggest loser tonight? War Horse. Spielberg’s epic is slipping out of the Oscar race faster than its main character can run. Of the eleven films nominated between the two categories The Artist, The Descendants, Hugo, The Help, and Midnight in Paris are definitely getting nominated for Best Picture next week. After tonight, War Horse and Moneyball have fallen back a bit.

A win for The Adventures of Tintin was a bit surprising, as Rango was the best animated film I saw this year. As for Best Foreign Film, there is no doubt that A Separation might as well have accepted the Oscar along with its Golden Globe tonight.

That just leaves the two music categories. I loved that Madonna’s Masterpiece won and I really hope that this raises its Oscar chances. As for Best Original Score, I was severely disappointed to see Trent Reznor’s haunting score for The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo lose. Yes, The Artist has a great score, but Reznor’s work is some of the best ever seen among cinematic scores.

So that’s it, the Golden Globes are done. At some point this week I will be doing predictions for the Oscar nominations to be revealed January 24th. Any other losers that made you angry tonight? Sound off in the comments’ section!


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Golden Globes Preview – My Predictions

•January 14, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Tomorrow night, Ricky Gervais will retake the stage as the host of the Golden Globes. Insults aside, the nominations for the Globes this year were interesting as always. On the movies side we saw great films from all of 2011 seeing recognition. I must admit my own disappointment with the TV nominations and therefore my predictions will only focus on the movies. Below I will list my ideas of who will win, and in a few cases, should win instead.


Best Picture Drama:












Of the six films nominated, I would say that The Ides of March has the smallest chance of winning. Moneyball won’t win because it’s award’s campaign hasn’t been as strong as the other films nominated. Sadly, Hugo won’t win because it is a kids movie, despite it being the best of the bunch. That leaves The Descendants, The Help, and War Horse. The Help features great performances but aside from that not much else. War Horse‘s awards hype has me scratching my head as I hated it, but the hype surrounding it has subsided in the past week. I think the Hollywood Foreign Press will reward the intensely emotion and sometimes hilarious Alexander Payne film.

Will Win: The Descendants.   Should Win: Hugo.


Best Actress Drama:












The race here is really between Viola Davis and Meryl Streep. However, reviews of The Iron Lady haven’t been too optimistic despite Streep’s supposedly spectacular performance. As for the others nominations Glenn Close and Tilda Swinton have pretty much been swept under the rug, but wouldn’t it be a nice surprise if Rooney Mara won for her electrifying portrayal of Lisbeth Salander in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo? Mara showed an amazing commitment to the role and brought this fascinating character to the screen perfectly. She deserves it.

Will Win: Viola Davis for The HelpShould Win: Rooney Mara for The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.


Best Actor Drama:






















You can easily count out Leonardo DiCaprio and Ryan Gosling here. Michael Fassbender could potentially sneak out a win here but this race really belongs to two superstars. Clooney and Pitt both gave fantastic performances in The Descendants and Moneyball respectively. However, I believe that neither of them was a career best. I actually think Pitt was better in The Tree of Life. As for Clooney, his performance was much more in his range. Pitt’s portrayal of Billy Beane was just different enough from many of his other roles to warrant it a win, but Descendants is also a favorite for Best Picture.

Will Win: George Clooney for The DescendantsShould Win: Brad Pitt for Moneyball.


Best Picture Comedy or Musical:












First off, why was My Week With Marilyn nominated in the comedy or musical category? It is definitely a drama more than anything else. As for Bridesmaids and 50/50, they are a bit too lighthearted to take home the trophy. That leaves Midnight in Paris and The Artist, two incredibly smart films. However, The Artist is much more of an achievement in filmmaking than Woody Allen’s French comedy. The Artist deserves a win and is quite easily the best film in the category.

Will and Should Win: The Artist.


Best Actress Comedy or Musical:












You can count out the two nominations from Carnage. That film has gotten almost no awards attention and even though both Jodie Foster and Kate Winslet are great actresses, I expect they will be ignored. Same goes for Kristen Wiig since Bridesmaids is easily the least serious of all these performances. A win for Charlize Theron in Young Adult wouldn’t be terribly surprising, but I think Michelle Williams will win this one. Her dark portrayal of Marilyn Monroe was beyond captivating and even though My Week With Marilyn is hardly a comedy, her performance is the best of the bunch.

Will and Should Win: Michelle Williams for My Week With Marilyn.


Best Actor Comedy or Musical:












Has anyone even seen, let alone heard of, The Guard, the movie that Brenden Gleeson is nominated for? You can count him out. Owen Wilson, Ryan Gosling, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt were all great in there movies but there performances didn’t quite require enough emotion to warrant a win. Jean Dujardin, star of The Artist, is a lock for this one. Without speaking a word he was captivating and deeply affecting.

Will and Should Win: Jean Dujardin for The Artist.


Best Animated Film:












I have to admit, Rango is the only film nominated here that I have seen. However, I am confident enough that it will win and deserves to win since it was such a different, yet fun animated movie. As for the other nominees, Cars 2 was considered Pixar’s first failure and Puss in Boots was a spinoff of a dying franchise. Arthur Christmas really looked like nothing special which just leaves Tintin. But based on War Horse, Spielberg’s creativity and intellect are slipping fast.

Will and Should Win: Rango.


Best Foreign Film:












Again I have to confess something, I have not seen any of the nominated foreign films. From what I hear, The Flowers of War and In the Land of Blood and Honey were nothing special. Also the only foreign film anyone cares to talk about is A Separation.

Will Win: A Separation.


Best Supporting Actress:












This category is stacked. Octavia Spencer, Berenice Bejo, and Shailene Woodley all deserve to win. Janet McTeer hasn’t really seen much hype surround her and like Brad Pitt, Jessica Chastain gave a better performance in The Tree of Life than the movie she is nominated for. Berenice Bejo was amazing in The Artist and like her leading man had an amazing screen presence while not speaking a word. But all the awards hype is going to Octavia Spencer for The Help.

Will Win: Octavia Spencer for The HelpShould Win: Berenice Bejo for The Artist.


Best Supporting Actor:












This one is easy. Christopher Plummer knocked Beginners right out of the park. Albert Brooks’ nomination for Drive is a bit puzzling to me. Jonah Hill and Viggo Mortensen both deserve recognition but they won’t win. Plummer’s only true competition is Kenneth Branagh for My Week With Marilyn, but I doubt he can overtake the most honest performance of this legend’s career.

Will and Should Win: Christopher Plummer for Beginners.


Best Director:









This category is full of very talented directors. Just listen to some of the names: Woody Allen, George Clooney, Alexander Payne, and Martin Scorsese. But are any of them going to win? No, and they shouldn’t. The fifth nominee is Michel Hazanavicius for The Artist, and he will win. The only other possibility if Alexander Payne if The Descendants wins the best picture drama category, but even so The Artist required a creative genius to work and luckily it had one.

Will and Should Win: Michel Havanavicius for The Artist.


Best Screenplay:












Aaron Sorkin’s creative stamp is all over Moneyball and it deserves a win for its sharp screenplay and brilliantly real dialogue. The Artist‘s nomination here makes sense in a way but it is still a silent film and I doubt it will win over voters in this category. It could be beat out by The Descendants or Midnight in Paris but I seriously doubt that Aaron Sorkin will get ignored.

Will and Should Win: Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin for Moneyball.


Best Original Score:












You can pretty easily count out the scores for W.E. and Hugo, but everything else is fair game. John Williams’ wonderful score for War Horse could snag a win. However, The Artist, heavily relies on its music and I expect that the voters will recognize that and vote it in for a win. That being said, the best score nominated is Trent Reznor’s haunting composition for The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. The opening credits alone warrant a win for this one.

Will Win: Ludovic Bource for The ArtistShould Win: Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross for The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo


Best Original Song:



















All five songs nominated are pretty good. I prefer the duet version of Elton John’s Hello, Hello featuring Lady Gaga but that version isn’t nominated. Lay Your Head Down could win but my bet is on Mary J. Blige’s song for The Help, The Living Proof. It is an inspiring and upbeat song, the type of stuff the voters will probably instantly go for. However something has to be said for Madonna’s ballad Masterpiece, which lives up to its title. It is the best song nominated by far.

Will Win: The Living Proof by Mary J. Blige for The HelpShould Win: Masterpiece by Madonna for W.E.


So do you agree with my predictions? Who do you want to win? Sound off in the comments section! Check back after the Globes for an article about the Globes and what they could mean for the Oscars!


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‘Star Wars: The Clone Wars – A Friend in Need’ Review

•January 14, 2012 • 1 Comment

This week, Clone Wars decided to bring back two characters from past episodes and mesh them together in one plot. The first one we saw was Lux Bonteri, Ahsoka’s love interest of sorts who appeared in last season’s Heroes on Both Sides. The second was the group of Jango Fett look-alikes known as the Death Watch from the season two Mandalore saga. Seeing these two brought together was cool but the way it was done felt a little bit forced.

Lux wants revenge on Count Dooku for the revenge of his mother, and when the Separatists refuse to acknowledge these accusations, he contacts the Death Watch. Ahsoka gets involved when Lux is unfairly taken prisoner during Republic-Separatist negotiations on Mandalore. She rescues him but then Lux betrays her, knocking her unconscious and leading her right into the arms of Death Watch.

Lux came across extremely naive the whole episode, which is why the reveal that Death Watch was working for Lux felt a little farfetched. It also was a little strange to see the focus do a complete 180 to how ruthless Death Watch was. Watching them turn on a peaceful village and set it aflame was certainly devilish, but not really in line with the rest of the episode.

Regardless, the ending was one of the best endings of the season with Ahsoka getting what was easily her most badass moment yet. Watching R2-D2 plan a droid revolt against the Death Watch while Ahsoka simultaneously fought the leader was incredible, let alone seeing her decapitate four of the warriors at once! Also, just when I thought the episode was too busy with Death Watch to further explore Ahsoka and Lux’s relationship, the final scene shed light on where they stand.

A Friend in Need was not quite as well thought out as a lot of other episodes of Clone Wars, but the climax was simply one of the best we’ve seen so far on the show. I look forward to seeing Lux and the Death Watch again, but perhaps next time they’ll have some time to breathe. But what this episode will be remembered for is taking Ahsoka to the next level, she’s hardly an apprentice anymore. (8/10)

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‘The Office: Trivia’ Review

•January 13, 2012 • 3 Comments

So, how did The Office fare on its return episode? In a word, bad. Trivia actually had potential with both of its storylines, but they continued to tear down these opportunities in favor of uplifting office bonding, like the other ten episodes this season. I was excited about this show at the beginning of the season, now I consider it work to watch.

The set up of Trivia was actually pretty decent. Oscar let it slip that he was attending a trivia contest at a bar in Philadelphia. This caused Andy to get Jim and Darryl involved. The interaction between Jim and Darryl was pretty funny and had me wondering why we don’t see more of it.

However, this meant that everyone was to go to the bar for yet another office unity plot. The standout sequence of the episode was watching everyone decide which team they were on, A-team, the back up team, and the “just here for fun” team. It also was funny when Andy said he would be willing to try anything, in a gay bar.

But once the trivia started all the humor was sucked out of this plot. In a completely unbelievable turn of events, the “just here for fun” team ended up winning the contest. Remember when The Office was a bit meaner? Yeah, this season everyone seems to be best friends. This is still a show about going to work, these relationships don’t make sense and aren’t worth the emotions the writers are trying to force upon us.

The B-story saw Dwight going down to Florida to interview with Robert California for a management position. A bad idea from the start, it became interesting for a few seconds when Dwight would have to interview with the COO. It would have been nice to see Dwight interact with someone new but this idea was quickly shot down in favor of Gabe interviewing him. Then they went to Robert’s house after Dwight forced Gabe to take him there. There was not a single moment worth laughing at in this subplot. It felt recycled and dry.

Trivia was not a complete failure as its set up was pretty decent, but the writers did nothing with the potential they gave themselves, making the plot devoid of even the slightest chuckle. It also featured perhaps the worst B-story in the show’s eight season run. I used to hope this show would get better, now I have no faith. The Office is done. (4/10)

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’30 Rock: Dance Like Nobody’s Watching’ (Season Premiere) Review

•January 13, 2012 • Leave a Comment

30 Rock is back! Season six got off to a nice start with a very funny premiere that injected a bit of mystery into the show. Picking up from last season, Avery is still being held captive in North Korea. I enjoyed the quick addition of Kim Jong-un after Kim Jong-il’s recent death. However, this episode stood on its own and did not rely on continuity.

The main story this week focused on Liz Lemon’s uncharacteristic good mood. Besides the always fantastic interactions between Liz and Jack, this plot didn’t prove to be all that funny until the end when it was revealed that Liz has been participating in a half-time dance team for the WNBA. But there was another surprise in store when Jack dropped Liz off at the movies and she secretly ran into the arms of a mysterious man.

The two subplots in back of Liz’s new-found happiness were fantastic. Jenna became the stereotypically mean judge on an American Idol style show that features kids singing. Every line she had was perfectly delivered. I loved her face when she had to be nice. The other saw Kenneth preparing for the rapture. Seeing him completely let loose was absolutely hysterical, as were the hijinks that the writers pulled on him after the world didn’t end.

Overall, Dance Like Nobody’s Watching was a great return of the show. It isn’t a classic but certainly enough to keep the fans happy and intrigued. Next week I look forward meeting Liz’s mystery man. (8.5/10)

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‘Modern Family: Egg Drop’ Review

•January 12, 2012 • 1 Comment

Egg Drop was an episode that had great ideas for plots but didn’t quite execute them to their full potential. However, this episode did continue the trend of more focused episodes that we have seen as of late. Once again there were only three storylines this week and that worked better than some of the episodes earlier this season that had four or even five plots to follow.

The main plot saw Claire and Jay taking over Luke and Manny’s egg drop projects and making a competition out of it. There were some great moments here as Julie Bowen and Ed O’Neill bounced off of each other with electrifying chemistry. Still though, between the pairing of Manny and Luke and the father-daughter competition, this plot should have been funnier.

Another plot saw Phil asking Haley and Gloria for help with a seminar  for his new Real Estate position. Gloria and Phil’s confrontation at the end was pretty hysterical but again, it should have been funnier.

Perhaps the saving grace of this episode was Mitch and Cam’s interview with a potential mother for their next child. I enjoyed how the two of them reacted to the mother’s stupidity. This was a solid B-story and helped remind us of something from last season’s finale, these two want to have another kid.

But I must say, Modern Family has me worried. If this episode aired last year it would have been brilliant. All three plots are great but just didn’t quite reach their full potential. Could the writers already be bored with these characters? If so how long can the show last? Egg Drop shows more signs of laziness than any other episode this season, but still, there were some great moments and these plots were all good so this was not a bad episode. (7.5/10)

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