MEET THE NEW GUY – Media Mikes welcomes writer Michael D. Smith

It is with great pride that we at Media Mikes are able to introduce you to our new film reviewer/writer:  Michael D. Smith.

Michael began his film critic path by writing movie reviews for his college newspaper for a couple years. After graduation, he wrote reviews for his hometown paper in Harrisonville, Missouri for six years before becoming the Arts & Entertainment editor and film critic at a publication in Overland Park, Kansas. a position he held for three years.

Our newest “Mike” – Michael D. Smith

In 2009 was offered an opportunity at KCMETROPOLIS.ORG where he predominately covered independent/art house films.   He will now cover them for Media Mikes as well as contributing commentary when the mood takes him.

Michael is a long-standing member of the Kansas City Film Critics Circle, the second oldest film critic group in America.

You can find his first review for Media Mikes, of the film “Mountain,” HERE

“GET OUT” chosen the Best Film of 2017 by Media Mikes readers.

After tabulating the votes from more than 3,000 entries, “Get Out,” writer/director Jordan Peele’s debut feature, was chosen the Best Film of 2017 by the readers and staff of Media Mikes.   The film also nabbed Peele the award for Best Original Screenplay.

 

Director Guillermo del Toro was chosen the year’s Best Director for his film “The Shape of Water.”       

 

In the acting categories, James Franco was selected as Best Actor for his role in “The Disaster Artist” while Frances McDormand was chosen Best Actress for her performance in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the supporting categories, Sam Rockwell was named Best Supporting Actor for “Three Billboards” while Allison Janney was named Best Supporting Actress for “I, Tonya.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Coco” was chosen the year’s Best Animated Feature.

 

“Call Me By Your Name” was recognized for it’s Best Adapted  Screenplay.  Benjamin Wallfisch was named Composer of the Year for his work on “IT” and “Bladerunner 2049.”

Negative Effects Of Social Media On Students

Every coin has two sides, both positive and negative and so the social media. Everybody needs to understand that social networking sites are here to stay for a long. Because there are millions of users signing in to all these networking sites every day, makes them so popular and trending. You might have also heard about blogs and video blogs. And some young people and students are engaged in all these online communities so actively that it is sometimes so disturbing and hard to trust. It is also important to note the adverse effects of social media sites that they put on the youth of the nations along with looking at the plus points of them.

This is one such assignment template to help students to understand the problems and ill effects of social media networking sites.

Problem faced by the students

Today, the students rely on the accessibility of data that is widely available on the online platforms and especially the social media forums to get all types of answers they have been looking for. This eliminates or reduces the focus of students from learning the things and depending completely on the available information provided by the online sites.

Another major effect that the students go through is spending a lot of time on social media sites and getting less socialized in person. The social media sites lack in objectifying or explaining the body signals other than the nonverbal clues, tone, and inflection. They cannot be termed as the sufficient replacement for the face to face communication.

It is Reported that students who spend maximum time socializing through the social media sites are unable to communicate face to face as in person and find it extremely difficult. The popularity of social media sites has increased so much in such a short time because the information gets viral in the fastest way through these sites.

This is also stopped students and the Young generation from using proper spelling and grammar while conversing. In fact today the students are finding it difficult to write without the help of spell checking feature or auto correction provided in the computers and cell phones.

Technology used by students

The technology that is being used by the students and the young generation including the social media sites get them into serious health issues as well with regular use. These children and students face some health problems including depression, anxiety, sleeping problems such as insomnia, and stomach aches. It is reported that the children and the students who use social media sites on a regular basis to the extreme right develop psychological disorders in the very future along with becoming antisocial and aggressive at times.

Use of technology and Health problems

Excessive use of social media sites can put an adverse effect on the health of the students as it makes them susceptible to some health problems in the coming future. This is when the parents, teachers, and good friends play a vital role in explaining these students about the ill effects of using so much of social media sites and what they are missing out at the meantime.

Conclusion

Children today cannot even imagine how much fun it was in the earlier days when the mobile phones and computers were not invented. It is important to use the social media sites along with other websites for gaining knowledge and spending some free time but using them on excess will bring nothing good as it has not done any good to anyone till date other than bringing health issues and mental problems.

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Pick the Winners of the 2017 Media Mikes Awards and Win Some Swag!

Hello 2018.  Which means it’s time to say goodbye to the films and performances we loved in 2017.  And once again, the readers of MediaMikes.com will have the opportunity to choose the winners of the 2017 Media Mikes Awards.

All you have to do is let us know your pick as the Best in each of the following categories:  Picture, Director, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress and Animated Feature.  You can leave your nominees in the comments below or send them HERE

All nominations will be totaled up and the winners announced on Monday, February 12th.  (5) random entries, either on this post or via email, will be selected and will receive a selection of 2017 movie swag.  Balloting runs through 6:00 pm CST on Sunday, February 11, 2017.  Thanks for voting!

Media Mikes staff picks the Best and Worst Films of 2017

As 2017 comes to a close it’s time our film critics look back on the movies they enjoyed and the ones they didn’t.  Enjoy!

 

Mike Smith –  You must remember, it takes a lot for me to dislike a film – if it’s in focus I’ll give it a “star” – so the few on my list are, as Joseph Bologna said in MY FAVORITE YEAR, “Stinkburgers!”  Happy New Year.

 

THE BEST

1.  ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD – I was a teenager when John Paul Getty III was kidnapped and I was intrigued about the case then as much as I am now.  For those of you who may have been out of the loop, director Ridley Scott had already finished this film, with Kevin Spacey appearing as billionaire/grandfather John Paul Getty, when news of Spacey’s “issues” came   out.  Rather than have his film judged, unfairly in my opinion, with it’s association with the disgraced actor, Scott was able to gather his cast and crew together in late November and re-shot all of Spacey’s scenes with Christopher Plummer now playing the part.  That he was able to do this and complete a flawless edit in a month is worthy of an award just on that achievement alone.  I wonder if Plummer will thank Spacey in his Oscar acceptance speech?

2.   GET OUT – I was late to the table in seeing this (thank you Academy screeners).  Writer/director Jordan Peele gives us not only one of the most original horror films ever created, but also uses his art to make us all sit back and recognize the world we are living in.

3.  THE POST – Tom Hanks.  Meryl Streep.  And the master director, Steven Spielberg.  Put them together with a story that was actually taken from the headlines and you’ll get a lesson not only in first-rate film making but in how this government is supposed to run.  Will make an amazing part of a double feature with ALL THE PRESIDENT’S MEN.

4.  THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI – A first rate story backed by powerhouse acting, if this film doesn’t bring Sam Rockwell his first Academy Award nomination then the fix is in.  Extra points for it’s make-up work, created by the drummer of my garage band in high school , Corey Castellano.

5.  SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING –  Yes, there have been some great superhero films the past few years, but THIS was the Spider-man we’ve all been waiting for.  Instead of the polished young man/junior photographer, we get a nervous, anxious teenager still trying to understand his gift.  Extra points for making Aunt May a hottie.

6.  IN DUBIOUS BATTLE – The first film on my list to star and be directed by James Franco, this adaptation of a John Steinbeck novel features amazing performances from a cast lead by Franco and Vincent D’Onofrio.

7.  THE SHAPE OF WATER – Guillermo del Toro’s love letter to THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON, proving that love can exist anywhere.  Sally Hawkin’s wordless performance is heartbreaking.

8.   THE DISASTER ARTIST – Film number two from Mr. Franco and company.  A behind the scenes look at the making of a film that ranks as one of the most unusual off all time.

9.   STAR WARS: EPISODE VIII – THE LAST JEDI – I don’t understand all of the backlash this film is taking.  Writer/director Rian Johnson has taken the galaxy on a new direction and I have no doubt that J.J. Abrams will bring this final trilogy to a satisfactory conclusion.  If you don’t tear up when Luke Skywalker and Princess/General Leia embrace than you’ve obviously gone over to the Dark Side.

10.  IT –  If you read my review, you know I FRICKIN HATE CLOWNS!  That being said, this is the film that kept me up nights long after I first saw it.

 

THE WORST

BEFORE I FALL – Good lord, what a piece of junk!  Imagine if you will the worse movie ever made involving the supernatural and GROUNDHOG’S DAY.  Now multiple that by 100.  A young girl keeps dying, then coming back, only to die again.  After the third time I was silently praying that the next one to die would be me.  Note to the filmmakers – Valentine’s Day is on February 14th, not the 13th.

THE SPACE BETWEEN US –  This came out a few weeks before BEFORE I FALL, and the latter was so much worse that I found myself apologizing to it on my Podcast.  A woman gives birth to a baby while in space.  For some reason, this makes him as vulnerable to the world as Sam Jackson was in UNBREAKABLE.  Now a teenager, the youngster comes to Earth to meet his on-line gal-pal and find his father – whose identity is obvious 10 minutes into the film.

FIST FIGHT – How in the world can you make Charlie Day UN-funny?  This film has three credited writers, none of whom apparently have never heard of comedy.  Shame on you.  Charlie deserved better.

 

Mike Gencarelli

 

BEST

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST – Music was amazing, especially the new songs. Emma Watson was amazing. Overall perfect!

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY – VOL 2 – Nearly perfect. Love everything about this film. Drax steals the show!

THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE – I’ve seen this film probably 25 times already and it only gets better and better with each viewing. So much is packed in here and is super funny and yet still heart filled.

GET OUT – Funniest movie I’ve seen all year (according to the Golden Globes assholes). It is really a creepy mind fuck that does not get out of your head.

IT – Expectations were HUGE and they were destroyed! Great scares. Finally a GOOD Stephen King adaptation

BLADE RUNNER 2049 – Gorgeous, slow moving yet full of detail and deeper meanings. Perfect sequel.

THOR: RAGNOROK – Absolutely insanely funny, easily one of the top Marvel films to date.

COCO – Great songs and a real family message, which I loved.

STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI – No explanation needed.

THE GREATEST SHOWMAN – Music is outstanding. This movie makes me so happy.

 

 

 

WORST

RESIDENT EVIL: THE FINAL CHAPTER

RINGS

GOESTORM

ALIEN: COVENANT

BAYWATCH

THE DARK TOWER

THE EMOJI MOVIE

TRANSFORMER: THE LAST KNIGHT

POWER RANGERS

THE GREAT WALL

 

 

Lauren Damon – Lauren will share her reasons behind her choices later this week in a separate article.

 

BEST

 

  1. THOR: RAGNAROK
  2. CALL ME BY YOUR NAME
  3. I, TONYA
  4. STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI
  5. IT

 

WORST

 

MOTHER!

 

 

Jeremy Werner – I didn’t rank my top movies of the year because I felt like anyone of these movies could be my favorite on the year. That’s how good 2017 has been to us cinephiles.

 

Top 5 in No Particular Order:

 

BABY DRIVER –  With Edgar Wright in the driver’s seat, nearly every little thing about “Baby Driver” is perfect, from the action sequences, the dialogue callbacks, and the perfect harmony between soundtrack and cinematography. One of the most accessible and fun movies of the year.

 

 

GET OUT – Jordan Peele’s satirical horror has already cemented the first time director in the annals of horror movie history. From the first to final frame, “Get Out” meticulously weaves a thrilling horror,that not only scares, but masterfully comments on 21st century racism.

 

DETROIT –  On that same note, “Detroit” gives a history lesson on America’s racism. Unlike “Get Out,” Kathryn Bigelow couldn’t tinker much with reality. Out of everything I’ve watched on the year, “Detroit” was the most visceral as it unrelentingly forces viewers to live through a horrific and tragic ordeal.

THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBINGS, MISSOURI – This may be writer and director Martin McDonagh’s best work, thanks to an outstanding ensemble cast, led by Frances McDormand. The film is a puree of heart-wrenching drama, side splitting comedy, and a mixed message about how morality is never black and white.

THE FLORIDA PROJECT – Some in modern America don’t have a home, or even an apartment, to retreat to at the end of the day. Those lower class families, sometimes with unemployed and/or single parents, scrounge for pennies to pay to live at rundown motels in the shadow of America’s corporate greed. “The Florida Project” is about those people and at times it’s oddly beautiful.

 

Movies on the Outside Looking In:

 

BLADE RUNNER 2049

CALL ME BY YOUR NAME

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST

THE MEYEROWITZ STORIES

GOOD TIME

STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI

 

Movies You Should Never See That Were Unfortunately Released in the Same Year as the Above Movies:

 

A DOG’S PURPOSE – Mixing reincarnation with a Christian message is confusing, but at its core I believe this film attempts to preach a misguided and dangerous message about humanity’s power and even God’s power over animals. If you’re a dog lover, donate to a local animal shelter instead of buying this dog turd of a movie.

 

BAYWATCH – So it IS possible for the Rock to make a genuinely terrible film?  Lacking in any heart, fun or laughs, this comedy reboot tries to follow in the footsteps of “21 Jump Street,” but instead trips and falls flat. A TV show about hunky beach detectives shouldn’t be that hard to make fun of.

 

CHIPS – Speaking of reboots, here’s one that should have been left behind at the pitch meeting. Dax Shepard, who I’m sure is a wonderful outstanding guy, continues to find funding for his terrible movies. Dax, maybe the things you liked as a kid should remain a fond memory.

 

HOME AGAIN – I’m not the target audience for this film, but I’m also not sure who is. It plays out like a weak sitcom before the predictable ending that wraps up every problem with a neat bow tie. I felt like I was watching a “Lifetime” original TV show lacking any creative effort.

 

POWER RANGERS – I am the target audience for this and I found myself bored. I’m not sure why the Power Rangers needed a gritty reboot, complete with forced subliminal advertising, but I would have been fine with it if it had attempted any character development or compelling storytelling.

 

Other movies that should be forgotten about forever and never mentioned again: THE MUMMY, THE HITMAN’S BODYGUARD and XX.

 

 

Loey Lockerby

 

BEST

 

GET OUT

THE DISASTER ARTIST

THE BIG SICK

ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD

DOWNSIZING

THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI

BLADE RUNNER 2049

DUNKIRK

STAR WARS:  THE LAST JEDI

LOGAN

WORST

WISH UPON

THE MUMMY

THE HITMAN’S BODYGUARD

SUBURBICON

VALERIAN AND THE CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS

 

 

The Increasing Role Of Social Media In The World Of Online Casinos

Whether the business is big or small, social media networks can play a huge role in helping them develop. This is thanks to them being excellent for attracting new customers, keeping existing customers entertained and informed, marketing new products and services and providing the vital link between a business and its customer base. With billions of people regularly using platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat, it’s no surprise businesses such as online casino brands are taking advantage of what social media has to offer.

For a start, engaging with customers these days is huge, especially on platforms such as Facebook. People who visit online casino sites they want to feel appreciated and not only that but they want the services on offer to be kept updated with fresh content. Through social media, it’s remarkably easy to inform customers and potential customers of the latest games, services and promotions on offer. Social media also allows reactions to be gauged accurately too through the use of likes and comments; which is invaluable to any successful service. It’s the ideal link between customers, both new and existing, and the business.

So apart from social media being great for marketing purposes it’s also a great way to actually get to know the customers too. When an online casino operator knows what a large part of their fan base wants from a slot game for example, they can set about ensuring that it accurately reflects their tastes as much as possible. It reduces a lot of risk involved when bringing fresh content to the table. Knowing what somebody likes beforehand is a great advantage and social media can help make this possible.

Keeping customers happy and interested is vital in the success of any business, be it online or offline. Online casinos, Unibet being a perfect example, are renowned for having promotions on for both new and existing customers and what better way to get the message out there than through the use of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram? It won’t just be members who take note either as special offers such as a triple deposit bonus will spread like wildfire on social media from person to person remarkably quickly.

Social media also allows for promotions, special offers and information to be presented to people in much more engaging ways through images and videos. Online casinos often utilize these methods well in order to communicate directly to people and as they will also attract more feedback than a generic Facebook post for example, they’re great tools to ascertain what customers like and dislike.

The role of social media has never been more important, especially for highly competitive businesses, as per seen in the online casino industry. It’s vital that customers are kept happy and are regularly engaged in the right ways and the likes of Facebook and Twitter make this a whole lot easier. With social media also being a hub for accurate feedback on the latest services and products, it’s a crucial tool when it comes to delivering the fresh content that people want and need.

Get Your Vote in For The 2016 Media Mikes Awards and Win Some Great Swag

2016 is coming to a close and you know what that means. It’s time to vote for the 4th Annual Media Mikes Awards. Once again you, the readers, help choose our winners in six categories, with the staff of Media Mikes deciding on others. And, once again, (10) lucky entrants will be randomly chosen to win some great swag.

All you have to do is pick your favorites in the following categories: Picture, Director, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress and Animated Feature. When you have your choices, just email them to MikeS@Mediamikes.com That’s all there is to it. Last year over 3,000 readers submitted their choices.

The voting period runs through Sunday, January 8th, with the winners being announced on January 15th.

Good luck!

Get Your Vote in For The 2015 Media Mikes Awards and Win a 2015 Movie Prize Package

2015 is almost over and once again it’s up to our staff and readers to decide who did it best in the world of film this year. And, once again, (10) lucky readers will win a nice selection of movie swag – T-shirts, DVDs, CDs, whatever we have in closet. This year readers can send in nominations for the following: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress and Best Animated Feature. Other awards will be decided by the staff of MediaMikes.com.

All you have to do is list your choices below. Or, if you prefer, you can send them to MikeS@mediamikes.com. One nominee per category, please. Voting ends on Sunday, January 3, with the winners announced on Monday, January 11. Good luck!

“Birdman” Dominates 2014 Media Mikes Awards

After two weeks of email and on-line submissions by the staff and readers of Media Mikes.com the winners of the 3rd Annual Media Mikes Awards have been announced.

“Birdman” led all films with four awards, including (2) for director and co-writer Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu. “The Grand Budapest Hotel” was chosen as the Best Film of the Year. Michael Keaton edged out Jake Gyllenhaal to win the Best Actor Award for his work in “Birdman” while Reese Witherspoon out-dueled Julianne Moore to take the Best Actress prize for “Wild.” Another tight battle saw “Big Hero 6” narrowly out-point “The Lego Movie” for the year’s Best Animated Feature.

In the supporting categories, the races were not even close, with Mark Ruffalo running away with the Best Supporting Actor prize for his work in “Foxcatcher” and Emma Stone doing the same in the Best Supporting Actress category for her role in “Birdman.”

In awards voted on by the staff, “Birdman” took home the Best Original Screenplay Award while “The Imitation Game” was honored as the year’s Best Adapted Screenplay. “Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me” was chosen the year’s Best Documentary Feature. Composer Alexandre Desplat won the Best Original Score Award for his work on “The Imitation Game.”

THE COMPLETE LIST OF WINNERS:

BEST FILM – “The Grand Budapest Hotel”

BEST DIRECTOR – Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu – “Birdman”

BEST ACTOR – Michael Keaton – “Birdman”

BEST ACTRESS – Reese Witherspoon – “Wild”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR – Mark Ruffalo – “Foxcatcher”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS – Emma Stone – “Birdman”

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE – “Big Hero 6”

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY – Armando Bo, Alexander Dinelaris, Nicolas Giocabone and Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu – “Birdman”

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY – Graham Moore – “The Imitation Game”

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE – “Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me”

BEST ORIGINAL MOTION PICTURE SCORE- Alexandre Desplat – “The Imitation Game”

The Nominees for the 2014 Media Mikes Awards are in!

After hundreds of on-line and email nominations from readers, the finalists
for the 3rd Annual Media Mikes Awards are in. The nominees are:

BEST PICTURE
“Birdman”
“Gone Girl”
“The Grand Budapest Hotel”
“Guardians of the Galaxy”
“The Imitation Game”

BEST DIRECTOR
Wes Anderson – “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu – “Birdman”
“Angelina Jolie – “Unbroken”
Richard Linklater – “Boyhood”
Rob Marshall – “Into theWoods”

BEST ACTOR
Bradley Cooper – “American Sniper”
Benedict Cumberbatch – “The Imitation Game”
Ralph Fiennes – “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
Jake Gyllenhaal – “Nightcrawler”
Michael Keaton – “Birdman”

BEST ACTRESS
Felicity Jones – “Theory of Everything”
Julianne Moore – “Still Alice”
Chloe Grace-Moritz – “If I Stay”
Rosamund Pike – “Gone Girl”
Reese Witherspoon – “Wild”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Robert Duvall – “The Judge”
Ethan Hawke – “Boyhood”
Edward Norton – “Birdman”
Mark Ruffalo – “Foxcatcher”
J.K. Simmons – “Whiplash”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Patricia Arquette – “Boyhood”
Keira Knightley – “The Imitation Game”
Emma Stone – “Birdman”
Tilda Swinton – “Snowpiercer”
Meryl Streep – “Into the Woods”

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
“Big Hero 6”
“Book of Life”
“Boxtrolls”
“How to Train Your Dragon 2”
“The Lego Movie”

The winners will be announced during this coming week’s episode of our “Behind the Mikes” Podcast – available this Monday, January 26 – and will be posted here the next day. Thank you for everyone that sent in their nominations!

Media Mikes’ Music Wrap-Up for 2014

Another year in music has come and gone here at Media Mikes and that can really only mean one thing. It’s time for our annual year end wrap up where the writers here at the site get together to present our top 5 album releases of the year. We also like to take this time to thank all of our dedicated readers, press outlets and artists who make this site possible. Without all of your continued support we would not be able to do what we do. Here is to a safe and happy 2015. Now without further a due we present to you Media Mikes top 2014 music releases.

Mike Gencarelli: Site Owner
1.) The Amity Affliction- “Let the Ocean Take Me”
2.) Kontrust- “Explositive”
3.) Marketa Irglova- “Muna”
4.) Pink Floyd- “The Endless River”
5.) You+Me- “Rose Ave”

Adam Lawton: Music Editor
1.) Against Me!- “Transgender Dysphoria Blues”
2.) The Gaslight Anthem- “Get Hurt”
3.) Judas Priest- “Redeemer of Souls”
4.) Foo Fighters- “Sonic Highways”
5.) CJ Ramone- “Last Chance to Dance”

Jeremy Werner: Staff Writer
1.) Dog Fashion Disco- “Sweet Nothings”
2.) Mastadon- “Once More Round the Sun”
3.) Skindred- “Kill the Power”
4.) Weird Al Yankovic- “Mandatory Fun”
5.) Slipknot- “.5: The Gray Chapter”

 

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Media Mikes’ 2014 Holiday Film Preview

As you just spent the last few days fighting those “Black Friday” crowds, making sure that for years to come your children will know that you paid $10.00 less than anyone else for their JAWS Lego set, why not set aside some family time and take in a movie?

This time of year not only brings jolly Saint Nick around but also a lot of what the studios deem their “prestige” films – the ones to remember come award time.  Of course, they occasionally sneak in a couple of stinkers as well.  Here is a list of both for you to plan your next cinema visit.  As usual, thanks to our friends at the Internet Movie Database for some synopsis information and, as always, remember that this list is not all-inclusive and that the opening dates are subject to change depending on the whims of the studios and where you live.  Enjoy!

 

DECEMBER 

ESCOBAR:  PARADISE LOST

Starring:  Benicio Del Toro, Josh Hutcherson

Directed by:  Andrea Di Stefano

While vacationing in Columbia, a young man meets the woman of his dreams and soon finds himself introduced to her uncle, the infamous drug dealer Pablo Escobar.

OSCAR CHANCES:  Not a lot of buzz on this film but Del Toro did win an Oscar for his Supporting work in “Traffic.”

 

STILL ALICE

Starring:  Julianne Moore, Kate Bosworth and Kristen Stewart

Directed by:  Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland

When Alice Howland (Moore), a noted linguistics professor, begins forgetting words she learns she is in the early stages of Alzheimer.

OSCAR CHANCES:  Moore, a four time nominee, is generating great word of mouth for a fifth nod.

 

TOP FIVE

Starring:  Chris Rock and Rosario Dawson

Directed by:  Chris Rock

A comedian tries to make it as a serious actor when his reality-TV star fiancé talks him into broadcasting their wedding on her TV show.  Rock, who also wrote the film, promises this film to carry the edge of his stand up.

OSCAR CHANCES:  Adam Sandler also appears but who am I to dream?

 

WILD

Starring:  Reese Witherspoon and Gaby Hoffman

Directed by:  Jean-Marc Vallee

A chronicle of one woman’s 1,100-mile solo hike undertaken as a way to recover from a recent catastrophe.

OSCAR CHANCES:  Like Julianne Moore, Witherspoon, who already has a Best Actress Oscar for her work in “Walk the Line,” is getting great word of mouth.  Director Vallee guided both Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto to Oscars last year in “Dallas Buyers Club” and earned a nomination himself for his editing of the film.

 

DECEMBER 12

DEMONIC

Starring:  Maria Bello and Frank Grillo

Directed by:  Will Canon

A police officer and a psychologist investigate the deaths of five people who were killed while trying to summon ghosts.  The story comes from James Wan (“Saw,” “Insidious,” “The Conjuring”) so hopefully this will be on the plus side of horror.

OSCAR CHANCES:  “Horror,” asks the Academy, “what is that?”

 

EXODUS:  GODS AND KINGS

Starring:  Christian Bale and Joel Edgerton

Directed by:  Ridley Scott

The defiant leader Moses (Bale) rises up against the Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses (Edgerton), setting 600,000 slaves on a monumental journey of escape from Egypt and its terrifying cycle of deadly plagues.

OSCAR CHANCES:  Bale has one Oscar (Best Supporting Actor for “The Fighter”) and a second nomination while director Scott has been nominated three times, including for “Gladiator.”  Look for a lot of technical nods.

 

INHERENT VICE

Starring:  Joaquin Phoenix and Josh Brolin

Directed by:  Paul Thomas Anderson

In 1970, drug-fueled Los Angeles detective Larry “Doc” Sportello (Phoenix) investigates the disappearance of a former girlfriend.  Here’s a little trivia for you:  writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson’s production company is named Ghoulardi after the late night horror host his father, Ernie Anderson, used to portray on Cleveland television.  As a boy I loved Ghoulardi!

OSCAR CHANCES:  If Paul Thomas Anderson has made a bad film I’ve never seen it.  He and his casts are nomination magnets so look for plenty.

 

DECEMBER 17

THE HOBBIT:  THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES

Starring:  Martin Freeman and Cate Blanchett

Directed by:  Peter Jackson

The final episode of director Jackson’s “Hobbit” trilogy.  As he proved with the “Lord of the Rings” films, Jackson is a master storyteller and this last chapter should be amazing!

OSCAR CHANCES:  Technical across the board.

 

DECEMBER 19

ANNIE

Starring:  Quvenzhane Wallis and Jamie Foxx

Directed by:  Will Gluck

OK, the synopsis really has nothing to do with the Broadway musical except that Annie (Wallis) is an orphan and eventually she will sing “Tomorrow.”  This is the one film that I’m torn on.  I loved the original show – at one time it was so popular that when you went to audition for a musical you were told that you COULDN’T perform “Tomorrow” – so I’m trying to go in with blinders.  That fact that director Gluck only has a few PG-13 teen comedies on his resume, and that he helped produce the still horrible memory “About Last Night” remake makes me sad.

OSCAR CHANCES:  Young Miss Wallis remains the youngest Best Actress nominee EVER for her work in “Beasts of the Southern Wild” while Foxx not only has an Oscar for “Ray” but kicked ass in “Dreamgirls.”  I’m not looking for any here but hopefully I’ll be surprised.

 

THE GAMBLER

Starring:  Mark Walberg and Brie Larson

Directed by:  Rupert Wyatt

A literature college professor and high stakes gambler runs afoul of a loan shark and his bodyguard-like gangsters while he has an affair with one of his students.

OSCAR CHANCES:  Can’t see any.

 

TURNER

Starring:  Timothy Spall and Paul Jesson

Directed by:  Mike Leigh

An exploration of the last quarter century of the great, if eccentric, British painter J.M.W. Turner’s life.

OSCAR CHANCES:  Spall (probably best known as the band manager in “Rock Star” and Peter Pettigrew in the “Harry Potter” series, is getting huge word of mouth for his work here.  Writer/director Mike Leigh has seven previous nominations.

 

NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM:  SECRET OF THE TOMB

Starring:  Ben Stiller and Rebel Wilson

Directed by:  Shawn Levy

Larry (Stiller) spans the globe, uniting favorite and new characters while embarking on an epic quest to save the magic before it is gone forever.  The final film in the series sadly features the final performance of the great Mickey Rooney and one of the final performances of the beloved Robin Williams.

OSCAR CHANCES:  Technical?

 

DECEMBER 24

TWO DAYS, ONE NIGHT

Starring:  Marion Cotillard

Directed by:  Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenn

Sandra, a young Belgian mother, discovers that her workmates have opted for a significant pay bonus, in exchange for her dismissal. She has only one weekend to convince her colleagues to give up their bonuses so that she can keep her job.

 

OSCAR CHANCES:  Cotillard is a past winner for “La Vie en Rose” and is always a threat to earn a nomination.

 

DECEMBER 25

AMERICAN SNIPER

Starring:  Bradley Cooper

Directed by:  Clint Eastwood

A Navy S.E.A.L. recounts his military career, which includes more than 150 confirmed kills.  Based on the life of the late Chris Kyle.

OSCAR CHANCES:  Everyone I’ve spoken to who has seen this predicts nods for Cooper, which would be his third year in a row, and Eastwood, who already has two directing Oscars on the shelf (“Unforgiven” and “Million Dollar Baby”).

 

BIG EYES

Starring:  Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz

Directed by:  Tim Burton

A drama centered on the awakening of the painter Margaret Keane, her phenomenal success in the 1950s, and the subsequent legal difficulties she had with her husband, who claimed credit for her works in the 1960s.  A true change of pace film for director Burton.

OSCAR CHANCES:  Waltz has two Supporting Actor awards (“Inglorious Basterds” and “Django Unchained”) while Adams has been nominated five times previously.

 

THE INTERVIEW

Starring:  Seth Rogen and James Franco

Directed by:  Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen

Dave Skylark (Franco) and his producer Aaron Rapoport (Rogen) run the popular celebrity tabloid TV show “Skylark Tonight.” When they discover that North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un is a fan of the show, they land an interview with him in an attempt to legitimize themselves as journalists.  This is the second film co-directed by Rogen and his writing partner Goldberg, after the very funny “This is the End.”

OSCAR CHANCES:  “Comedy,” asks the Academy, “what is that?”

 

INTO THE WOODS

Starring:  Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt and Johnny Depp

Directed by:  Rob Marshall

A witch (Streep) conspires to teach important lessons to various characters of popular children’s stories including Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk and Rapunzel.  Based on the Tony Award winning musical by the legendary Stephen Sondheim.

OSCAR CHANCES:  Did I mention Meryl Streep is in it?  Director Marshall helmed “Chicago” to the Best Picture Oscar in 2003.

 

SELMA

Starring:  David Oyelowo and Carmen Ejogo

Directed by:  Ava DuVernay

The film looks at the lives of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr and President Lyndon B. Johnson as well as the turbulent civil rights marches of the 1960s.

OSCAR CHANCES:  A supporting cast of previous nominees (Tim Roth, Oprah Winfrey and Tom Wilkinson) and winner (Cuba Gooding, Jr) bode well for a possible nod.  Oyelowo was brilliant last year in “Lee Daniels’ The Butler.”

 

UNBROKEN

Starring:  Jack O’Connell and Jai Courtney

Directed by:  Angelina Jolie

A chronicle of the life of Louis Zamperini, an Olympic runner who was taken prisoner by Japanese forces during World War II.  As a long time follower of Lou Zamperini’s story this is one of my most anticipated films of the year.

OSCAR CHANCES:  The academy loves a good bio-film!

 

 

DECEMBER 31

A MOST VIOLENT YEAR

Starring:  Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain

Directed by:  J.C. Chandor

In New York City 1981, an ambitious immigrant fights to protect his business and family during the most dangerous year in the city’s history.

OSCAR CHANCES:  Both Isaac and Chastain are bright new stars in Hollywood.

Oscar Nominated, Composer of “Gravity”, Steven Price Thanks Media Mikes Readers for Honoring Him

Steven Price, whose original score for the film “Gravity” was voted the Best of 2013 by the staff and readers of Media Mikes.com wanted to share these comments with his fans:

“Thank you so much for this honour! I’m thrilled, especially as it comes from this site. I had such fun talking to your colleague earlier in the year, and am an avid reader of the site. Thank you so much for supporting the film, and my score. It’s truly appreciated.”

Next stop for Steven Price…the Oscars on March 2nd!

Media Mikes to Co-Sponsor Kansas City Sneak Peek at Upcoming Film “Swan Song”

Media Mikes has teamed up with CinemaKC and The Kansas City Film Critics Circle to present a special test screening of “Swan Song,” the newest film by Academy Award nominated filmmaker John D. Hancock.

Hancock, a Kansas City native, is best known for such films as “Bang the Drum Slowly,” “Let’s Scare Jessica to Death,” “Weeds” and “Prancer.”

The screening will take place on Thursday, January 30, beginning at 7:00 pm, with a Q&A with Hancock and screenwriter/co-star Dorothy Tristan afterwards.

Synopsis: Julie is a 13-year-old girl who comes to La Porte County, Indiana to live with her grandmother, Karen. Karen, a former star of stage and screen, wants desperately to connect with her granddaughter in a meaningful way and share her history. But the two of them—each stubborn in her own way—butt heads at every turn. Soon, Karen makes a remarkable discovery: Julie’s powerful, unique singing voice. Will the sudden discovery of Julie’s talent be enough to bring the two together and allow Karen to pass on her legacy?

SCREENLAND CROWN CENTER THEATRE,
Kansas City, Missouri

THURSDAY, JANUARY 30, 2014

PRE-SCREENING MIXER: 6PM

SCREENING: 7PM

ADMISSION: YOUR $10 DONATION SUPPORTS CINEMAKC

FOR TICKET INFORMATION CONTACT:
STEVEN FULLER 816-500-9498

Media Mikes Critics Choose the Years Best Films (and the Worse)

With voting almost over for the 2013 Media Mikes.com awards, the site’s main critics got together and chose their favorite films of the past year. And a few that weren’t anyone’s favorite. As always, it’s a rather diverse grouping of movies. Agree? Disagree? Let us know below!

Mike Gencarelli’s Top 5

FROZE
GRAVITY
THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG
PACIFIC RIM
THE CONJURING

and

Worse 5
MOVIE 43
BYZANTIUM
AFTERSHOCK
BEAUTIFUL CREATURES
THE HOST

Lauren Damon’s Top 4
Lauren’s original list contained a film that she actually saw this year but will not be released until some time in 2014. Rather than possibly give a look at next year’s list, here are her top four:

12 YEARS A SLAVE
THE WORLD’S END
AMERICAN HUSTLE
INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS

Phillip Smith’s Top 5
CAPTAIN PHILLIPS
MANDELA
12 YEARS A SLAVE
AMERICAN HUSTLE
DALLAS BUYERS CLUB

Jeremy Werner’s Top 5
12 YEARS A SLAVE
THE WORLD’S END
GRAVITY
THE SPECTACULAR NOW
FRUITVALE STATION

and

Worse 5
MORTAL INSTRUMENTS: THE CITY OF BONES
WALKING WITH DINOSAURS
PERCY JACKSON: SEA OF MONSTERS
A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD
ONLY GOD FORGIVES

Michael Smith’s Top 8
I couldn’t stop at five so I thought I’d do my five favorite mainstream titles as well as three more independent features.

THE WOLF OF WALL STREET
AMERICAN HUSTLE
THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG
PRISONERS
THE CONJURING
AIN’T THEM BODIES SAINTS
THE WAY, WAY BACK
THE SAPPHIRES

and

Worse 5
THE HOST
CARRIE
OUT OF THE FURNACE
A PLACE BEYOND THE PINES
21 AND OVER