Archive for December 2013

2013 in GIFs   Leave a comment

So I decided to skip my annual movie, TV shows, red carpet looks, and songs lists for this year since I have no time to write them all. Instead, I’ll be posting my favorite moments of 2013 in GIF style. So yes, most of these would be from awards show ceremonies or basically any pop culture event of the year. Okay.

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Okay so let’s begin with five six time Oscar loser a.k.a Albert Nobbs herself Glenn Close. At the Golden Globes last January, Close probably thought that she’s also one of the cool kids when she decided to play drunk after Tina Fey’s signal. You probably have no idea how epic this moment was. I mean I can’t even choose my favorite part. Is it the closing of her eyes to give a more convincing portrayal? Is it when she changed her mind and started to look up the heavens instead to make it even more convincing? Is it her husband’s coy “WTF I think I actually married Alex Forrest” tepid laugh? I guess I have to go with none of the above and choose the closing shot of her looking sideways to see check if people find her stuff funny.

That same night, we’re treated to one of the best (and yes I mean the best) awards show presentations ever. When SNL alums Kristin Wyg and Will Pharrell (as Tina Fey would say it) presented the Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Musical/Comedy, I.WAS.DYING. As a refresher, here’s how they described the nominees that night:

(on Emily Blunt’s Salmon Fishing in Yemen): “When the salmon comes out.. and when the bad guy comes…. and the salmon was like.. and you’re in Yemen.
(on Judi Dench of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel): “That Judi Dench. Where did she come from? Unknown, she used to be a police officer, and this is her fist movie. And when all the marigold comes out.. and it’s on her hair. And on one scene, she looks at the town people and she’s like “YOUUU!!! YOUUU GET OUT OF HERE!!!”
(on Jennifer Lawrence of Silver Lings Playbook): “Ugh love Jennifer Lawrence. J.LAW. And then comes the silverrr!! I thought it was an animated film. And all the silver she has collected and they tried to get it away from her and she’s like “NOOO! THAT’S MY COOKBOOK!” and she’s like “YOUUU!!! YOUUU GET OUT OF HERE!!!”
(on Maggie Smith of Quartet): “And no one knows what a quartet is. IT IS AMBIGUOUS! And you think you know what it is, but then the guy comes and says “I think I know what a quartet is!” but he doesn’t”
(
on Meryl Streep of Hope Springs): “And Meriall Streep. And she’s the sassy sheriff! “I’m Hope Springs!” She comes in a horse and she’s like she looks at the town people and she’s says “YOUUU!!! YOUUU GET OUT OF HERE!!!”

UGH TYPING THAT WAS A HOOT. I’m laughing again. And everyone in the room was actually entertained. Everyone that is except that creature named Tommy Lee Jones.

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Ugh Gramps looked grumpy as hell during that presentation. Guess what TLJ, that was my exact look when you stole that Oscar from Ralph Fiennes and Leonardo di Caprio.

Then we have the Screen Actors Guild Awards where you’re allowed to waste a minute of your life listening to Giuliana Rancic say things like this:

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Girl is useless as their manicam. By the way let’s appreciate that the SAG was the only time this award season where Anne Hathaway opened her mouth and said something entertaining that does not involve
a.”a blunt object I will forevermore use as a weapon against self-doubt”,
b. thanking Victor Hugo
c. thinking her Oscar win will stop prostitution.
d. correcting the spelling of her name
It was when Anne presented with co-star Hugh Jackman and they played a banter of how they will describe Les Mis in 2013.

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Yes Anne, you crushed it. Speaking of crushed, don’t you love this BFF pic of Nicole Kidman and the lesser Nicole Kidman Naomi Watts at the SAGs? Go Nic, giving some Regina George fierceness.

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Prior to her history making releasing an album without anything stint, Beysus graced us all with her presence at the Superbowl. But it wasn’t even her who stole the show. Two words: poor Michelle.

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Go poor Michelle!! Put that one day off to good use and appear at the Superbowl.I’m living for her facial reaction. She suddenly got cocky when she realized she did not fall off the mosh pit. YESSS!!

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But then again, we’re quickly reminded why she never skyrocketed as a solo artist. I mean not literally a rocket but even Bey can do it.

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Anyway, let’s move on to the Grammys a.k.a the first televised exam to see if Taylor Swift knows this song…

taylor 1or this song…

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and this one as well…

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and did you know she knew this song too?

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Okay we get it Taylor. You know all the songs. But then again who wants to see her do it for a fifth  time when you can see Legend Kidman bopping to that Bob Marley tribute?

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It wasn’t as epic as her singing Teenage Dream  at the Grammys last year but she gets bonus points because Adele is wearing a red doily.

Then there’s also the BAFTA where the only two interesting things we saw were Dame Dench’s O face (and when I say O, I mean Oh my god!) as Javier Bardem falls asleep

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and David O. Russell’s reaction when Emmanuelle Riva wins Best Actress.

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I was secretly wishing Emmanuelle would say “I beat J.Law” at the podium but then I remembered she doesn’t speak in English. So maybe in French? Anyway, off to the Oscars.

Okay remember when I said a few posts above that Giuliana Rancic is as useless as the manicam? Well I take it back. The Manicam is more useful than Giuliana apparently. I’m pretty sure it made Catherine Zeta Jones upset when Ryan Seacrest denied her to do one. You can clearly see in her eyes she wants to parade her fingers on the manicam. Not good, Ryan!

nicole-kidmanSee even Mr. and Mrs. Keith Urban felt bad for La Zeta.

Aside from that, we saw Lil’ Quvenzhane Wallis proving she’s the man (with a proud Denzel Washington beaming from behind),

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a bored Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter

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and a tripping Best Actress winner. Whoever put that banana peel there for Anne Hathaway clearly didn’t work

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But the best moment happened when Emmanuelle Riva unintentionally takes revenge on David O. Russell upon learning his reaction to her BAFTA Best Actress win.

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Be thankful, David. At least Em didn’t squashed your face with a pillow. #justsaying

In April this year, Reese Witherspoon was arrested by the cops but she tried to get herself out of this…

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…which only means she ended up in prison with a mugshot. You should have called Elle Woods to save you, Reese.

Taylor Swift won eight Billboard Music Awards in May of this year. But surprisingly, not any of those can match the WIN level of her reactions here:

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Meanwhile, Miguel channels his inner Bjorn Barrefors and trains for the Olympics on air

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Ouch for that woman whose head was found in between Miguel’s legs.

And as everyone celebrates film over at the Cannes Film Festival, two tiny teeny things clearly doesn’t wanna be there. Julianne Moore’s little toes can’t wait enough to go home instead they’re trying to escape while she’s on the red carpet.

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Still on the subject of feet, it’s not cool to talk about North West anymore, so let’s just hope Kim K’s feet some speedy recovery for everything they’ve been through this year:

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tumblr_mo6lqdTBl81qanm80o1_400Yes Debra Messing don’t act too surprised, those are her feet.

Last August 10, two of the biggest popstars go head to head as Lady Gaga releases Applause and Katy Perry releases Roar on the same week. You know it was bound to get messy.

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And someone’s coming out on top:

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But come the VMAs, it wasn’t even the two of them who became the talk of the town. But before that we saw…

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Justin Timberlake joined by four other lessers perform,

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Taylor Swift asking her BFF to STFU,

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Willow Smith whipping her head back and forth as Jaden Smith tries another shot at “acting”,

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Lady Gaga opening the show,

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but Katy Perry closing it.. (Ouch Gags! Was that msg for you?)

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But it Miley who made the whole thing classic. Even getting a classic rxn from Rih

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September also was the end for Breaking Bad. And I think no amount of GIF will give it justice so I’ll just post a photo of Bryan and Aaron because uhm, duh, bitch.

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And when the Emmys came, Neil Patrick Harris bombed as host, but no other bombed better than what this guy did:

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Then cute Merritt Wever gives one of the best Emmy speeches ever when she said nothing but…

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while Julia Louis Dreyfus stays in character in her speech.

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Michael Douglas, meanwhile, uses Matt Damon as metaphor in his thank you speech

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And though he did not win, Kevin Spacey still scores one in my b0ok after doing this:

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And the delight of Oprah pushing people

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And last month, Miley Cyrus wins Round 2 of best performance at the American Music Awards when she performs with a huge cat behind her:

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As Ariana Grande shows us all how it’s really done just by standing up.

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Meanwhile, a certain legend named Christina Aguilera is slaying the red carpet fo’sho:

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And that’s how you make an exit!  Wait let me reiterate

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On the other hand, here’s how you make an entrance. An album entrance that is. As Beysus Christ showed us, just drop em ‘off and boom.

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Let’s pause this moment and recognize Queen B.

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Oh wait, did you know Britney released an album this year? I’m sure even she’s not aware, but I guess she’s raking it in Vegas no so go Brit and

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And as Oscar season comes, we’re treated to a whole lot of epic GIFs from contenders like this of J.Law pleading…

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or Sandra Bullock in Gravity a.k.a basically whatever you wanna do to your enemy

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But to close this off, a legendary performance to close the year happened between Gags and Legend X when they did a duet of Do What U Want on The Voice finale.

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Anybody who does not get the ABBA meets Whatever Happened to Baby Jane reference is deads to me. Plus, I’d kill to have my head on Legend’s bosoms. Anyway, cheers to a happy 2013 and let’s hope for crazier things this 2014.

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Happy New Year everyone!

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2013 Metro Manila Film Festival Review: Part 2   5 comments

Hi! here’s the second part of my Metro Manila Film Festival reviews. The first part which you can read here includes Marlon Rivera’s My Little Bossings, Frasco Mortiz’ Pagpag Siyam na Buhay, Wenn Deramas’ Girl Boy Bakla Tomboy, and Chito Rono’s Boy Golden. Here’s the other four films of this year’s batch:

Kimmy Dora

KIMMY DORA: ANG KIYEMENG PREQUEL
Director: Chris Martinez
Cast: Eugene Domingo (x2), Sam Milby, Ariel Ureta, Angel Aquino, Joel Torre

A prequel of this prominent movie twins, this shows how newly grad Kimmy GoDongHae and then theater actress Dora GoDngHae trained under their father’s wing only to later save the company itself.

The Kimmy Dora film experiments this time, as it’s under the guidance of Chris Martinez since original director Joyce Bernal was unavailable due to a commitment to another MMFF entry. On one hand, it’s an interesting move to inject something fresh about the series after that so-so second film. On another, it gives some sort of a stale feeling to the franchise already. Sure it’s nice to see a throwback references to the first movie, and all the cameos were cute. This (at least) tried to embrace a story, but while they give a clear explanation of the turn out of the events, this futuristic approach seems so left out and ahead of its time from the first two films. I was pleasantly surprised seeing Joel Torre and Angel Aquino for the nth time here (I think their pairing is one of my favorite 2013 discoveries), though they weren’t given much to do. Speaking of nothing much to do, Sam Milby was pretty much in a thankless role as well, though with all the amount of kicks and punches he gave here, he and KC Concepcion should be given an action project soon. The roles of Kimmy and Dora will definitely go down in history as Eugene Domingo’s career defining role, and I think she’s really great in it. It’s just that this time she has more inferior work to do. I like the intricate production design and costume design of the film; they’re really lavish, but then again it always brings me back to “Wait this happened before the first movie right?” Don’t get me wrong, this one still provided the laughs , and Eugene Domingo is still a hoot (I think I can watch her doing nothing for hours), but at times you question of this is still necessary. I think I like this better than that horror sequel.

Rating: 2.5/5

Pedro Calungsod

PEDRO CALUNGSOD: BATANG MARTIR
Director: Francis Villacorta
Cast: Rocco Nacino, Christian Vasquez, Ryan Eigenmann, Jestoni Alarcon, Victor Basa

Biopic on Pedro Calungsod, the second Filipino canonised by the Catholic Church. The film shows how he assisted Fr. Diego San Vitores in Marianas Islands in introducing Christianity there.

Oh boy this is as straightforward as it gets. We follow their journey back from the Jesuit house in Cavite until they reach the Marianas Islands. From then, we see Rocco Nacino’s bad wig, then Father Vitores’ leading an example of a selfless act, followed by some Chamorro natives killing one of the volunteers, then Pedro getting hallucinations seeing his father. Lather rinse repeat for about five times, and there you have your movie. This is by no means an attack on Saint Pedro Calungsod or for his contributions, but the film is so repetitive that I won’t take it against you if you zone off by the half of the film. You can see Rocco Nacino’s dedication to the role, but not even him can save it. Nor does Christian Vasquez’ one note written role. Not the fault of both actors as they were given stagnant things to do. I’m sure the intent was to show how selfless and giving Pedro was, but then again, it does not necessarily translate that it was what the movie achieved. It’s either you feel bad for yourself that you’re not as nice as him or you appreciate Father Vitores more since he did the bigger sacrifices in the movie. And it’s never a good thing if you leave the movie house thinking that the lead character, coincidentally the title of the movie, played second fiddle to the supporting character.

Rating: 1.5/5

Kaleidoscope World

KALEIDOSCOPE WORLD
Director: Eliza Cornejo
Cast: Sef Cadayona, Yassi Pressman, Mayton Eugenio, Alma Concepcion

Inspired from the music of the great late Francis Magalona, the movie shows the romance that transpired between rich girl Elsa and poor boy Lando in the midst of their hip hop dance crew contest rehearsals.

This concept of a hiphop dance film probably looked good on paper, but everything about this movie isn’t. Intent can only get you so far. I feel bad for everyone involved in it because I don’t think this is what they intend to produce, but this film is just not ready to be seen yet. Okay so where do we begin? Let’s start with the story where all the possible drama cliches are inserted in it. A love story between a rich girl and poor boy? Check. A history check that the poor boy was actually rich before but fate led them to their current state? Check. The rich girl is under the supervision of her strict aunt who does everything to contradict her niece? Check. And there are lots more as the movie progresses. Sadly, the film can’t depend on its technical accomplishments as the transition of the scenes just fades in and out. The dance numbers weren’t even shown in whole due to bad camera angles which only usually shows the upper part of the body. And the worst offender is the sound. There are literally scenes with no sound while there are some scenes where the dubbing screwed it all as you hear both the dubbed and the actual lines of the actors. It’s really painful to watch it on a technical standpoint and the less said about it, the better. The acting isn’t even commendable as well since they were all acting on a different platform. If not amateurish (which most of them were), you have Alma Concepcion whose sheer dedication should be commended, and while Sef Cadayona and Yassi Pressman share some sort of chemistry, it’s not even enough to save even a tenth of the movie. The discography of Francis Magalona is the only bright spot in this otherwise mess of a film, but I feel more sorry because it seems that it was rushed just to make it in the festival. Continuous polishing could have fixed at least the technical issues, and I think they’d even get a longer release period had it not been a part of the MMFF.

Rating: 0.5/5

10000 Hours

10,000 HOURS
Director: Joyce Bernal
Cast: Robin Padilla, Mylene Dizon, Michael de Mesa, Pen Medina, Bela Padilla

Loosely based on the life of Panfilo Lacson, then prominent senator Gabriel Alcaraz leaves the country and turns to be a fugitive when he was accused as a part of a big political pandemonium.

And to cap it off is Joyce Bernal’s entry in this year’s film fest. It’s the reason why she had to drop off Kimmy Dora ang Kiyemeng Prequel, and it’s actually a good trade. Time and again, the movie has to remind us all that it is a fictional one despite being loosely based on a politician, but I don’t get why the movie keeps on giving us winks every now and then such as a female president, some shout outs to current national issues etc only to remind us again that yes, it’s not a close adaptation. But other than that, it’s a pretty solid and well done effort. Production of the film is top notch here. Cinematography, sound, and stunts all factored in to come up with a really thrilling output. Instead of using some old fashioned tricks when it comes to pulling action scenes, Bernal decides to give it a refreshed spin, and it shows. I also like Ketchup Eusebio’s character’s throwback to the infamous Michael Fajatin viral reporting video in one of his earlier scenes. I guess if there’s another qualm about it is that of the uneven turn of events especially with the countdown clock showing every now and then. It was fairly quick in the earlier parts only to get longer as the movie enters its second half. We’re also treated to some commendable acting here especially that of Robin Padilla’s. His stature as an action star figure in the country will never get old, and I like that he showed restraint by not going all on his usual mannerisms here. Both Michael de Mesa and Pen Medina share a chemistry with Padilla that worked well in the film whether as a sidekick or an arch rival. Bela Padilla was also a surprise here, though I can’t remember if this is the first I’ve sen of her in the movies. She exudes a natural charismatic vibe that fits in the movie. I guess in the end, the film’s biggest achievement is that it proved we are still capable of coming up with solid popcorn action thrillers, probably in the veins of Taken or Prisoners, without always going back to the 60s or 70.

Rating: 3.5/5

There you have it! What are your favorites from this year’s batch? Mine’s Boy Golden and 10,000 Hours by a mile. This year, the action flicks delivered and they both deserve to be seen more.

You can follow me on Twitter: @nikowl

2013 Metro Manila Film Festival Review: Part 1   12 comments

In the last three decades, Christmas time in the Philippines is not complete without the celebration of the Metro Manila Film Festival. The history of this festival might have been very shaky at best, but this one produced some of the best films our country ever produced ranging from Ishmael Bernal’s Himala and Eddie Romero’s Ganito Kami Noon Paano Kayo Ngayon. Other notable films include Marilou Diaz Abaya’s Jose Rizal, Jose Javier Reyes’s May Minamahal, and last year’s entry Brillante Mendoza’s Thy Womb. With that said, the last decade of the festival has focused mostly on commercially viable films with the same actors, producers, and even stories to watch every single year. Now on it’s 39th year, here’s the first half of my reviews for the MMFF entries of this year’s batch.

My Little Bossings

MY LITTLE BOSSINGS
Director: Marlon Rivera
Cast: Vic Sotto, Kris Aquino, Ryzza Mae Dizon, Bimby Aquino Yap, Aiza Seguerra

For his eleventh consecutive year in the film fest, Vic Sotto takes off his superhero costume and lays down all the swords and the magic as he now portrays Torky, who lives alone now after his wife died four months into their marriage. Working as a bookeeping accountant to a wealthy single mother Barbara (Kris Aquino), all he wanted was to travel around the world and leave where he’s at. Tides change when Barbara’s life was put into danger as her stepsister puts the blame on her on a pyramid scam and she relied on Torky to take care of her son, spoiled kid Justin (Bimby Aquino Yap).

The film is actually a feel good one in terms of emphasizing the role of the family and while it did not offer anything new, it was engaging and at times, really funny. There were some inspired approaches used in the film such as that of the Ili Ili montage in the first half hour of the movie involving mother Barbara and son Justin. I guess one of the movie’s most valuable asset is the chemistry: Aiza Seguerra and Vic Sotto has one, Kris Aquino and Vic Sotto has one, Ryzza Mae Dizon and Bimby Aquino Yap has one. Vic Sotto’s schtick (and his looks) really never gets old. He might have been doing the same act for years now both in TV and film, but he has that charisma that appeals to the movie goers. I like it more when Kris Aquino pokes fun at herself (confession: I love her in Sisterakas last year), so when she keeps doing all these drama scenes here opposite a very campy Jaclyn Jose shows her awkward kunot noo theatrics. Aiza Seguerra’s doing more mother roles now no? I think it actually suits her as she gives an affecting mother figure here. But then again, the stars of the show are the kids. Ryzza Mae Dizon is really a natural. She’s such a blast to watch as she’s not conscious in front of the cameras. On the other hand, Bimby Aquino Yap has been mostly relegated to scenes where he does the “reaction face” (think of the person reacting after the punchline was thrown in gag shows), but the kid has the charm that’s lovely to watch. He does not look awkward and it seems like he’s enjoying this acting stint. If anything, I think this film perfectly encapsulates the usual feel good family movie of the earlier MMFF days, and it’s this season that fits the vibe of the film the most.

Rating: 2.5/5

Pagpag

PAGPAG
Director: Frasco Mortiz
Cast: Daniel Padilla, Kathryn Bernardo, Paulo Avelino, Shaina Magdayao, Clarence Delgado

The film tackles the different superstitious beliefs that one should not do after visiting a wake, with Death knocking at your doors if you fail to do so. When a group of five teens accidentally visits a wake that a funeral wake service group prepared for, things start to get eerie for both camps.

Another mainstay genre at the MMFF is that of the horror one. I don’t know why people love to scare themselves on Christmas day, though “scaring” them is quite a task since most of the horror films failed to deliver. Pagpag is an interesting one. When the film starts to be get predictable, the writers still inject something twisted or new in order to balance it. And for the most part, it actually works. The superstition niche is one that never gets old, and we’re given a rich serving of that in the movie. The Final Destination deaths were actually hit or miss with some really interesting deaths and some senseless lazy ones. The movie also opens with an interesting short story explaining the concept of pagpag. If anything, I guess the final act went on too long and it just.doesn’t.die.down. And of course in the middle of scaring us all, there’s the obligatory kilig scenes, since this stars the top love team for Christ’s sake. But that’s countered with the great visuals offered by the movie. The editing, production design, and cinematography were really great. I love the colors palette used, and the crisp editing was put into good use in the death scenes. Overall, I felt this one is a very competent film style wise, and whether you’ll actually be scared is up to you. But it’s one of the better ones did the past few years.

Rating: 3/5

Girl Boy Bakla Tomboy

GIRL BOY BAKLA TOMBOY
Director: Wenn Deramas
Cast: Vice Ganda (x4), Maricel Soriano, Joey Marquez, Ruffa Gutierrez, Kiray Celis

Quadruplets representing each possible gender preference reunite, and it’s not as warm and loving as one actually thinks it is.

Disclaimer: I actually enjoy most Vice Ganda movies. Maybe I share the same humor with him, but when he starts to do his schtick, I really end up cracking. I laugh with him while watching Showtime  and Gandang Gabi Vice, and I laugh a lot in his past films. However, this one is really tiring and overkill. I give him props though for playing all these four characters, as I find it a really daunting task, but it’s just too much for me. He made the mannerisms work somehow by sticking one quality per character, but I did not buy the boy and girl part at all. There’s a reason I guess why bakla is the narrator and center of the film, as it is his most natural. His tomboy used this lower voice which he held on until the end. Of course, there are still some hilarious parts. Bakla’s scene in the near end is one for the books and it’s really funny, but everything else feels so dated and tired. And I won’t even begin with the black face character of Kiray Celis and how many endless jokes were done about it (though I guess it’s sadder that the audience bought it a lot and we’re hilariously dying at it). Meh. I’m indifferent on this one, but I expect it to be this batch’s top grosser.

Rating: 2/5

Boy Golden

BOY GOLDEN
Director: Chito Rono
Cast: ER Ejercito, KC Concepcion, Eddie Garcia, John Estrada, Gloria Sevilla

Based on the Arturo Porcuna story, ER Ejercito plays the title role of Boy Golden as he partners with dancer Marla Dee (KC Concepcion) in taking revenge against the biggest mafia in town.

Color me surprised, but boy is this my favorite so far. I’m surprised because I don’t even have any idea what the film will be about, but this is an enjoyable as one can get. It has camp!!! I mean how can you not love it when there’s a white face character named Boy Putla. There’s Boy Putla, there’s an endless Elvis references, there’s Gloria Sevilla pulling her underarm hair while talking to Roi Vinzons. There’s even a Valentina motel with an unguarded big yellow python crawling on the tree near its entrance. I guess the lack of hype over this one is what wins me over. Manila Kingpin was good for the most part, and I like the black and white approach used. I’m simply not here for overdone El Presidente. But I think this one manages camp and action smoothly that it’s an enjoyable watch. I enjoyed the twists and turns in the story, and the fight scenes were for the most part, well done. As always though, my main problem with an ER Ejercito film is ER Ejercito himself. He’s really just awkward and it was painful to see him jumping off the roofs with his bulging belly in tow. But then he gets saved by the wonderful ensemble as KC Concepcion enjoying her role as Marla Dee, Eddie Garcia in an Eddie Garcia performance, and John Estrada, Jhong Hilario, Baron Geisler, and Tonton Gutierrez delivering as well. I guess the person most responsible here is director Chito Rono. He made this thing more interesting with the shots, and the production design and costumes here are top notch. He could have trimmed 10-15 minutes here as it’s quite long, but I’m living for the camp of this film. Whether it’s intentional or not, I don’t know, but I enjoyed it a lot.

Rating: 3.5/5

There you have it. What where your favorites this year? You can click here to see the second batch of MMFF reviews which includes Chris Martinez’ Kimmy Dora ang Kiyemeng Prequel, Francis Villacorta’s Pedro Calungsod, Eliza Cornejo’s Kaleidoscope World, and Joyce Bernal’s 10,000 Hours. Happy post Christmas day everyone, and happy MMFF season! 🙂

You can follow me on Twitter: @nikowl

Entertainers of the Year 2013   2 comments

Hi everyone! We’ve passed the latter part of the month, and Christmas is really around the corner? One of the things I really love about December is coming up with my year end lists! And there’s no better kick off to that than by posting my list of Entertainers of the Year list. Inspired by Entertainment Weekly’s same title, I came up with 15 names whose 2013 is a breakout year in local pop culture scene. Last year, Nora Aunor topped the list which also included Janice de Belen, Iza Calzado, and married couple Zoren Legaspi and Carmina Villaroel. Here are 2013’s batch of entertainers:

15 doris bigornia

Photo courtesy of: twitter.com/DorisBigornia

And she’s bacccckkkk!!! After long years, the one and only Mutya ng Masa graces our screen again with her strong and feisty presence. Whether it’s asking the taumbayan questions for senatoriables, going back and forth with people on the street on their opinions of things, or showing her natural flair of humor and comedy on Gandang Gabi Vice, hers is a presence that was greatly missed. As if that’s not enough, she also serves as a fairy godmother very Tuesday afternoon in her own public service program, 2013 reunited us with this lively lady muse.

14 angeli bayani

Photo courtesy of: philstar.com

Sure, the Philippine independent cinema has been roaring and peaking as each year passes, but aside from the movies that we see, we’re also showered with the great talents that we witness. And this year, indie figure Angeli Bayani is definitely the queen of festivals. You can find her participating in the Cinemalaya entry Purok 7, Sineng Pambansa entries Lauriana and Tinik and in the CineFilipino entry The Guerilla is a Poet. As if that’s enough yet, she shares the same distinction this year with Marion Cotillard and Carey Mulligan: all three of them graced the Cannes Film Festival multiple times as she’s a part of Lav Diaz’ Norte, Hangganan ng Kasaysayan, and Singapore’s Oscar entry, Anthony Chen’s Ilo Ilo. 2x Oscar Best Director Ang Lee summed it best, when he said Angeli is a national treasure.

13 alden richards

Photo by Jojit Lorenzo from http://manila.coconuts.com

Ever since his breakthrough in One True Love last year, Kapuso actor Alden Richards is definitely primed to be the next big leading man of its network. As a proof, he participated in two Kapuso series this year (Indio, Mundo Mo’y Akin), starred in his own Magpakailanman episode, and will soon be seen in the Metro Manila Film Festival entry 10,000 Hours alongside Robin Padilla. That’s more than enough confirmation that this mestizo hunk is definitely being groomed to follow the paths of Dingdong Dantes and Richard Gutierrez among others. Oh, and who would forget his Cosmopolitan Bachelor Bash stint this year?

12 kathniel

Photo courtesy of: bidakapamilya.blogspot.com

If there’s one love team who definitely takes the cake as the most remarkable this year, no question that it’s the team up of Kapamilya stars Daniel Padilla and Kathryn Bernardo. Collectively known as Kathniel, they have managed to sweep the whole nation’s feet and surge into their best year yet as a love team. Last March, they had their launching movie Must Be Love which performed greatly at the box office. And as before the year ends, they’ll once again star in the lone horror MMFF entry Pagpag which will be another of their blockbuster. But aside from that, their follow up teleserye Got 2 Believe not only is a consistent top rater, but it’s definitely on Twitter’s trending topic worldwide EVERY.SINGLE.NIGHT. It’s definitely a career peak for both of these teens, and we’re waiting what’s next for them.

11 teng brothers

Photo courtesy of: philstar.com

The most prominent siblings in collegiate basketball the past season, the whole UAAP men’s basketball finale was all about one surname: TENG. Elder brother Jeric Teng of the UST Growling Tigers competes with younger sibling Jeron Teng of the DLSU Green Archers during the best of three series. And while it’s Jeron and the rest of the Green Archers that added a championship trophy in their mantle, the biggest winner from this are parents Alvin and Susan Teng whose hundreds of interviews and guesting stints this season have already emphasized how proud of them of their kids. The good things doesn’t stop there though, as Jeric easily got drafted by Rain or Shine Elasto Painters in the PBA while Jeron, if not doing guest stints in Got 2 Believe, continues his stints everywhere.

10 beauty queens

Photos courtesy of: sashfactor.info, normannorman.com, abs-cbnnews.com

2013 is probably the best year in a long time for Philippines in the pageant world, as it’s a year of firsts, fabs, and fun for this pageant loving country. Megan Young clinched the country’s first ever Miss World title when she won last September. Weeks before, Mutya Datul also gave us our first Miss Supranational title, and just two days ago, Bea Rose Santiago clinched us out fifth Miss International title (just one crown away in tying the best performing Venezuela). As if that’s enough yet, Ariella Arida continued the winning streak of our Miss Universe contenders by placing in the Top 5 for the fourth consecutive year. Both Cindy Miranda and Angelee Forbes also ended up as semifinalists in Miss Tourism Queen International and Miss Earth contests respectively. Then Ali Forbes also ended up as third runner up in Miss Grand International. And to cap this fantastic year, Gil Wagas is 4th Runner Up in the Mr. International pageant. Whew!

09 atom araullo

Photo courtesy of: twitter.com/atomaraullo

As if he’s not on anybody’s list yet, ABS CBN’s in house reporter Atom Araullo suddenly became the country’s top leading man. Only this time it’s not for the movies. His commendable and brave coverage of the Yolanda incident last month gave new meaning to the word professionalism. Not only did he turn out to be the unsung hero of the incident, it also gave birth to memes such as the Man in the Rain and ATHORM Araullo. But what’s more impressive about it is that you know the man is not doing it for the acclaims or the buzz, but more of the human intention of helping other people. Apart from that, he continues to be a reason women wake up in the morning – literally that is – via Umagang Kay Ganda and creeping us every Friday afternoon with interesting stories in Hiwaga.

08 vivian velez

Photo courtesy of: sssip.wordpress.com

Definitely one of the prettiest faces in the biz then and now, Vivian Velez made 2013 a perfect comeback year for her both in television and movies. In the small screen, she starred  in two series for two networks with Misibis Bay in TV5, and as Malvina Sancuevas in the local adaptation of famous Mexican telenovela in Maria Mercedes in ABSCBN. In the big screen, her short but memorable stint as the female boss in On the Job made her the fierce female boss, but more than that, her participation in the Cinema One Originals entry Bendor not only gave her her first lead role status in years, but also a Best Actress accolade in the said festival. What a comeback indeed.

07 abra

Photo courtesy of: musicweekly.asia

Rap music continues to be a force to be reckoned with in the Philippine music scene, after the likes of the late great Francis M., and Gloc 9 kept it alive the past few years.  The latest addition and poster boy of the said genre is 23 year old Raymond Abracosa, more familiarly known as Abra. Initially a part of the hiphop group LDP (Lyrically Deranged Poets) back in 2010, the rise of the fliptop sensation introduced him more to the general public. Last August, Abra launched his first concert and has performed in over 25 different TV shows the past year in the three largest networks of the country from ABS CBN’s Gandang Gabi Vice and Minute to Win It to GMA’s Celebrity Bluff and TV5’s Wowowillie. Now a certified household name, I’m pretty certain it takes more than a gayuma or an ilusyon on why he’s one of 2013’s entertainers of the year.

06 ryzza mae

Photo courtesy of: Yes! Magazine Facebook page

Big things come in small packages. Or in this case, big talents come in small eight year old girls. Ryzza Mae Dizon is probably as cute as a button but I’m sure you’d be wowed by all her achievements thus far. Hosting her own talk show The Ryzza Mae Show everyday then going straight to Eat Bulaga! right after, that’s just a part of Aling Maliit”s daily routines. She has also covered magazines, starred in a lot of advertisements. and won awards left right from Child Star of the Year up to Best Talk Show Host. And she’s ending this year with a bang by starring in her own MMFF entry My Little Bossings. Her 2013 alone can definitely be considered as one of the greatest in the history of child stars.

05 jessy mendiola

Photo courtesy of: Esquire Philippines Facebook page

What a year for this pretty mestiza actress! Not only did she step out from being one of the second tier actresses in her station, she carved a name for herself as one of 2013’s biggest breakthrough stars. Probably the greatest thing that happened to her this year is that she went single as it opened a lot of new doors for her career wise. Playing the coveted title role in Maria Mercedes, Jessy not only showed us her amazing salsa skills, she also highlights her acting chops amidst the great veteran actors of the show. And of course, the endless magazine covers she had (even twice in the same month!) and appearing as Pokwang’s daughter in Call Center Girl. But I guess if there’s one visual image that Jessy left her stamp in 2013, it’s that ordering a McSpicy meal hasn’t been sexier the way she did it in her commercial.

04 the voice coaches

Photo courtesy of: talentscoops.com

Certainly one of the best things that happened to Philippine singing shows, The Voice of the Philippines just murdered all these other local adaptations of foreign singing shows by coming up with an inspired coach line up. On one hand, you have apl.de.ap, a part of the prominent Grammy winning group Black Eyed Peas. Then there’s rocker Bamboo whose fanbase continues to grow as his years in the industry grows as well. Then there’s Pop Royalty Sarah Geronimo who still remains as the best output of her generation. And to complete the quartet, Tony winner and definitely on a league of her own, Lea Salonga. Aside from their natural chemistry, one of the best things they produced are their different coaches collaboration which we got a lot this year from Imagine to Man in the Mirror and even up to the official Christmas soundtrack. I mean if you’re gonna be coaching people in a singing competition, then you better show them how it’s actually done.

03 tom rodriguez

Photo courtesy of: latestcelebrityupdate.blogspot.com

Ever since he entered show business way back in 2009, there’s no doubt that 2013 has been the best by far for hunk Tom Rodriguez. Earlier this year, he’s best known as Aiza Seguerra’s partner Pards in the daytime hit drama Be Careful with my Heart. Months after, her switched networks to GMA, and that proved to be the best career decision by far. He got his first primetime lead role via the buzzed show My Husband’s Lover which opened more doors not only for him, but an unlikely love team with co-star Dennis Trillo (a.k.a TomDen). This show catapulted him not only to leading man status, but a pin up boy as one of the two faces of this year’s Cosmo Bachelor Bash. He’s also a recording artist and did concerts here and abroad with the rest of My Husband’s Lover’s cast. With this great 2013, he definitely jumps his way as one of the best and most successful post-Pinoy Big Brother careers.

02 gilas pilipinas

Photo courtesy of: stardomfanatics.com

One word: PUSO. Probably in the best local basketball result of the year, it has been a long and winding road for this Philippine basketball team. But like anything else, patience is definitely worth the wait. Whether facing issues of the events venue, finding an immediate replacement for the host country, and even player participation, Gilas Pilipinas lives up to its name by showing greatness among other things via the team’s hard work and resiliency. That’s why when they’re up against that crucial game against Korea, the whole country is on their back supporting the whole team. And I’m certain that when that game ended, not a dry eye can be found on the whole arena as all you hear are loud congratulatory cheers. And while the team wasn’t able to beat Iran in the final round, who even cares anymore? It’s all about Madrid in 2014, and I’m sure the country will be there again to support this team, and the team will be motivated than ever to bring pride to the country.

01 joel torre

Photo courtesy of: Esquire Philippines Facebook page

And 2013’s Entertainer of the Year is none other than… Joel Torre. In probably one of his most notable years in his career, Torre aced both the small and big screen this year. He started this year in the small screen as Pepe in Juan dela Cruz and ended it up with the role of funny and conniving Governor Hugo Layer in Honesto. But aside from that, his most remarkable moments for this year were his performances in the movies. As Tatang in On the Job, Torre shared lead star status with the likes of Piolo Pascual and Gerald Anderson. Then his Best Actor winning portrayal in the Cinema One Originals entry Kabisera as the controlling patriarch gave him two of the finest roles to work on this year. It’s rare that actors of his age get meaty roles like this, but it’s even rarer to find actors who’ll give justice to both roles. He already earned two Best Actor trophies, each film apiece, and he better makes more space for his shelf as he’ll be getting more this coming awards season. And with that, there’s person no more fitting to own the title of 2013’s Entertainer of Year than him.

There you have it! 2013’s honor roll as Entertainers of the Year! Who were your favorites in the list? Who do you think were overlooked? And who are your personal entertainers of the year? I’d love to hear your thoughts as well!

You can follow me on Twitter: @nikowl

86th Oscars Predictions: December Edition   Leave a comment

With the Globe and SAG nods already announced, and three of the four major critics already revealing their choices, here’s the state of the race (and the last one prior to noms on January).

bp

director

lead actor

lead actress

supp actor

supp actress

FLF

orig screenplay

adapted screenplay

REVIEW: Beyonce   Leave a comment

beyonce-visual-album

A day after, and Beysus still leaves me slaying for her.

I have been very critical of Beyonce for the longest time. I find her too manufactured, to say the least. But I’ve always been vocal that she’s the best entertainer among all her contemporaries. Gurl can pull off a show like no other. However, after yesterday, I’ve developed a new found admiration of her. She just schooled all these lesser pop gurls how it must be done. I guess I’ll credit this to Beyonce the entrepreneur. She ain’t playing around this time. She knows how mainstream pop for female artists this year has been underwhelming hype (Artpop), safe (Prism), or too PR dependent (Bangerz). So for her to drop an album out of nowhere is some genius marketing on its own. And I’m glad its paying off.

More than that, I like that she also evolved with her sound and her music. Beyonce, the album that is, is more mature. She comes from a different personal place with the material here. No more singing about precums or Jay Z’s dick. Nothing about satellites or overlong belting. She has moved on from that, and it shows. It comes from a place where she is comfortable enough to share a part of herself devoid from the glitz and the glamour of of the world where she belongs. To come up with a genius marketing ploy is one thing; to back it up with a quality album is another.  A part of me doesn’t eventwant her to release a single anymore. Her album provides the complete experience that it’s better to listen to it as a whole.

At this stage in her career, it’s wise of her to do such risks. She’s not competing with all these other girls now; she’s on an entirely different level. Beyonce isn’t playing by the rules this time. She’s setting it. And I’m pretty certain that years from now, this will always be one of the most innovative steps ever done in the pop world. And Beyonce deserves all the credit for that. When all is said and done, she always can be summed up in one word – ICON.

71st Golden Globe Awards Nominations Predictions   Leave a comment

A day after the Screen Actors Guild Awards announce their nods, it’s the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s turn to do the same and unveil their picks for their choices in film and TV for 2013. Zoe Saldana, Azis Ansari, and Olivia Wilde were tasked to announce this year’s nominees. And here are my predictions in all 25 categories.

film drama

FILM DRAMA
Blue Jasmine
Gravity
Lee Daniel’s The Butler
Saving Mr. Banks
12 Years a Slave

NEXT IN LINE:Captain Phillips“; “Philomena“; “Prisoners“; “Lone Survivor

FILM ACTOR, DRAMA
Chiwetel Ejiofor, “12 Years a Slave
Tom Hanks, “Captain Phillips
Hugh Jackman, “Prisoners
Matthew McConaughey, “Dallas Buyers Club
Robert Redford, “All is Lost

NEXT IN LINE: Forest Whitaker, “Lee Daniels’ The Butler“; Mark Wahlberg, “Lone Survivor“; Michael B. Jordan, “Fruitvale Station“; Idris Elba, “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom

FILM ACTRESS, DRAMA
Bérénice Bejo, “The Past
Cate Blanchett, “Blue Jasmine
Sandra Bullock, “Gravity
Judi Dench, “Philomena
Emma Thomspon, “Saving Mr. Banks

NEXT IN LINE: Adele Exarchopolous, “Blue is the Warmest Color“; Kate Winslet, “Labor Day

film musical comedy

PICTURE: MUSICAL/COMEDY (Yes I’m going with SIX nominees)
American Hustle
August: Osage County
Her
Inside Llewyn Davis
Nebraska
The Wolf of Wall Street

NEXT IN LINE:Enough Said“; “Before Midnight“; “Don Jon

FILM ACTOR, MUSICAL/COMEDY
Christian Bale, “American Hustle
Bruce Dern, “Nebraska
Leonardo di Caprio, ‘The Wolf of Wall Street
Joseph Gordon Levitt, “Don Jon
Joaquin Phoenix, “Her

NEXT IN LINE: Oscar Isaac, “Inside Llewyn Davis” ; Ethan Hawke, “Before Midnight“; Ben Stiller, “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty“; James Gandolfini, “Enough Said

FILM ACTRESS, MUSICAL/COMEDY
Amy Adams, “American Hustle
Julie Delpy, “Before Midnight
Julia Louis Dreyfus, “Enough Said
Scarlett Johansson, “Don Jon
Meryl Streep, “August: Osage County

NEXT IN LINE: Melissa McCarthy, “The Heat“; Sandra Bullock, “The Heat“; Jennifer Hudson, “Black Nativity“; Shailene Woodley, “The Spectacular Now

film supporting

FILM SUPPORTING ACTOR
Bradley Cooper, “American Hustle
Michael Fassbender, “12 Years a Slave
Tom Hanks, “Saving Mr. Banks
Jonah Hill, “The Wolf of Wall Street
Jared Leto, “Dallas Buyers Club

NEXT IN LINE: Jake Gyleenhaal, “Prisoners“; George Clooney, “Gravity“; Daniel Bruhl, “Rush“; Harrison Ford, “42″

FILM SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Jennifer Lawrence, “American Hustle
Lupita Nyong’o, “12 Years a Slave
Julia Roberts, “August: Osage County
June Squibb, “Nebraska
Oprah Winfrey, “Lee Daniels’ The Butler

NEXT IN LINE: Octavia Spencer, “Fruitvale Station“; Sally Hawkins, “Blue Jasmine

FILM DIRECTING
Alfonso Cuaron, “Gravity
Steve McQueen, “12 Years a Slave
Alexander Payne, “Nebraska
David O. Russell, “American Hustle
Martin Scorsese, “Wolf of Wall Street

NEXT IN LINE: Woody Allen, “Blue Jasmine“; Spike Jonze, “Her“; Lee Daniels, “Lee Daniels’ The Butler“; Baz Luhrmann, “The Great Gatsby

FILM SCREENPLAY:
American Hustle
Blue Jasmine
Her
12 Years a Slave
Wolf of Wall Street

NEXT IN LINE:Nebraska“; “Before Midnight“; “August: Osage County“; “Inside Llewyn Davis

film flf animated

ANIMATED FEATURE:
Despicable Me 2
Frozen
Monsters University

NEXT IN LINE:Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2“; “The Croods“; “Epic

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM:
Blue is the Warmest Color” (France)
The Grandmaster” (Hong Kong)
Instructions Not Included” (Mexico)
The Past” (France/Iran)
Wadjda” (Saudi Arabia)

NEXT IN LINE:The Hunt” (Denmark); “Man of Tai Chi” (USA/China); “The Broken Circle Breakdown” (The Netherlands); “The Great Beauty” (Italy)

FILM SCORE:
The Book Thief” (John Williams)
Gravity” (Steven Price)
Her” (Arcade Fire, Owen Pallett)
Philomena” (Alexander Desplat)
12 Years a Slave” (Hans Zimmer)

NEXT IN LINE:Frozen“; “Inside Llewyn Davis“; “Saving Mr. Banks“;”Nebraska

FILM SONG:
Atlas” (Hunger Games: Catching Fire)
Let It Go” (Frozen)
Please Mr. Kennedy” (Inside Llewyn Davis)
We Remain” (Hunger Games: Catching Fire)
The Young and the Beautiful” (The Great Gatsby)

NEXT IN LINE:The Moon Song” (Her), “Ordinary Love” (Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom); ”Rise Up” (Epic)

TELEVISION NOMINEES:

tv drama

TV DRAMA SERIES
Breaking Bad
Downton Abbey
Homeland
Orange is the New Black
Scandal

NEXT IN LINE:House of Cards“; “Mad Men“; “Game of Thrones” ; “Masters of Sex

TV DRAMA ACTOR
Bryan Cranston, “Breaking Bad
Jon Hamm, “Mad Men
Damian Lewis, “Homeland
Michael Sheen, “Masters of Sex
Kevin Spacey, “House of Cards

NEXT IN LINE: Jeff Daniels, “The Newsroom“; Liev Schreiber, “Ray Donovan“; Steve Buscemi, “Boardwalk Empire

TV DRAMA ACTRESS
Claire Danes, “Homeland
Michelle Dockery, “Downton Abbey
Tatiana Maslany, “Orphan Black
Taylor Schilling, “Orange is the New Black
Kerry Washington, “Scandal

NEXT IN LINE: Vera Farmiga, “Bates Motel”; Robin Wright, “House of Cards“; Julianna Margulies, “The Good Wife“; Lizzy Caplan, “Masters of Sex

tv comedy

TV COMEDY SERIES
The Big Bang Theory
Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Girls
Modern Family
Veep

NEXT IN LINE:Arrested Development“; “Enlightened“; “The Michael J. Fox Show“; “30 Rock

TV COMEDY ACTOR
Andre Braugher, “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”
Don Cheadle, “House Of Lies”
Michael J. Fox, “The Michael J. Fox Show”
Jim Parsons, “The Big Bang Theory”
Robin Williams, “The Crazy Ones”

NEXT IN LINE: Jason Bateman, “Arrested Development“; Andy Samberg, “Brooklyn Nine-Nine“; Alec Baldwin, “30 Rock“; Sean Hayes, “Sean Saves the World

TV COMEDY ACTRESS
Laura Dern, “Enlightened
Lena Dunham “Girls
Tina Fey, “30 Rock
Julia Louis Dreyfus, “Veep
Amy Poehler, “Parks and Recreation

NEXT IN LINE: Zooey Deschanel, “New Girl“; Anna Farris, “Moms“; Allison Janney, “Moms“; Sarah Michelle Gellar, “The Crazy Ones

tv longform

TV MOVIE/MINISERIES
American Horror Story: Coven
Behind the Candelabra
Burton & Taylor
The Sound of Music
Top of the Lake

NEXT IN LINE:Phil Spector“; “Parade’s End“; “Luther

TV MOVIE/MINISERIES ACTOR
Benedict Cumberbatch, “Parade’s End
Matt Damon, “Behind the Candelabra
Idris Elba, “Luther
Michael Douglas, “Behind the Candelabra
Al Pacino, “Phil Spector

NEXT IN LINE: Dominic West, “Burton & Taylor“; Stephen Moyer, “The Sound of Music“; Jon Hamm, “A Young Man’s Notebook

TV MOVIE/MINISERIES ACTRESS
Helena Bonham Carter, “Burton & Taylor
Jessica Lange, “American Horror Story: Coven
Helen Mirren, “Phil Spector
Elisabeth Moss, “Top of the Lake
Carrie Underwood, “The Sound of Music

NEXT IN LINE: Rebecca Hall, “Parade’s End“; Laura Linney, “The Big C: Hereafter“; Hilary Swank, “Mary & Martha

tv supp

TV SUPPORTING ACTOR
Adam Driver, “Girls
Aaron Paul, “Breaking Bad
Mandy Patinkin, “Homeland
Jeff Perry, “Scandal
Jon Voight, “Ray Donovan

NEXT IN LINE: James Wolk, “The Crazy Ones“; Peter Mullan, “Top of the Lake“; Rob Lowe, “Behind the Candelabra“; Eric Stonestreet, “Modern Family

TV SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Angela Bassett, “American Horror Story: Coven
Kathy Bates, “American Horror Story: Coven
Audra McDonald, “The Sound of Music
Kate Mulgrew, “Orange is the New Black
Sofia Vergara, “Modern Family

NEXT IN LINE: Holly Hunter, “Top of the Lake“; Maggie Smith, “Downton Abbey“; Emilia Clarke, “Game of Thrones“; Anna Gunn, “Breaking Bad