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The BBC strikes again

by Moe - 2 Comment(s)

Time and time again BBC turns out superior miniseries. With a seemingly endless pool of classically trained talent from which to draw, multi award winning directors, and truly original storylines, they just have an excellent product. When you can't take the endless banality of Hollywood offerings, with their regurgitated plots and their cookie cutter actors and actresses, turn your attention across the pond.

Their latest is the excellent "The Hour". This BBC production is actually about a fictitious BBC show. Set in the mid 50's in the early days of television, it follows the launch of a new sixty minute long current events show. With the always excellent Dominic West acting as the show's anchor, it follows their struggles to strike the right balance between informing and entertaining their audience.

We have just recieved season two, and it is even better than the first, and that's saying something. Set aside 5 hours to watch season one. As I so often do, I went to watch episode one, and stayed up far too late devouring the whole show in one sitting.

Excellent acting, compelling three dimensional characters, several tight, well crafted intersecting plots running throughout the 5 hours, and amazing attention to period details. It was recently nominated for a Golden Globe for Best MiniSeries or Motion Picture made for Television.

Golden Globes Gowns Gawking

by Melanie - 0 Comment(s)

I have to agree with Moe. I'm not sure about this award show. I mean, Ben Affleck for best director over Ang Lee and Spielberg? Come on! Good thing the real business of the show is to show off all those great dresses. Even so, there's so much chat and a big rush to seat everyone, that we miss a lot of them. We can't show them here, but here's a list of my favorites:

Best black and gold:

Kate Hudson and Helen Mirren looked like super-heroines in Alexander McQueen and Badgley Mischka respectively.

Best reds (Isn't red a neutral?):

Jennifer Garner in sparkling strapless Vivienne Westwood

Claire Danes in plunging Versace

Naomi Watts' 1940s style crepe and satin gown was lovely but few commented on it sadly.

Best white:

Anne Hathaway in 2 piece Chanel corset with skirt looked great

Best Colour:

Tracey Pollan was classically elegant in fuschia silk one shouldered Ralph Lauren

Jessica Alba was fresh in peach Oscar de la Renta. Anyone who can pull off peach, taffetta and a ruffle deserves an award.

You couldn't argue with Jodie Foster in her knockout blue beaded gown.

Best Nude:

Helen Hunt in Dolce and Cabana. The column style and horizontal beading made this one a little different.

Best showing lots:

Juliana Margulies in sheer black Pucci.

Best showing little:

Adelle in a black Burberry floor length with 3/4 sleeves suited to her 1960s style.

Best short:

For sure Rachel Weiss' short sleeve long sheer polka dot over black was the best.

Best Black:

Rosie Huntington Whitely's Saint Laurent bow tied sleeveless was super cool.

All of Tina Fey's dresses were sensational on her. Nobody can pull off a 3/4 length and she looked great in L'Wren Scott. Plus she's smart and hilarious.

You can view all 100 dresses at:

Here are just a few topical library books to go with the outfits: Bossypants, The Party Dress, The Naked and the Dressed: 20 years of Versace, Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty, Ralph Lauren, Chanel: Collections and Creations, Dolce and Gabbana Fashion Album, and Couture Techniques, in case you want to try this at home...

Coming Soon

by Moe - 1 Comment(s)

We just finished the Golden Globes and for the most part, as an event I rate it as mediocre. I was not happy to see Argo get best picture nor Ben Affleck best director. I have a real problem with this typical Hollywood rewriting of an historical event, all done with far too much flag waving and the down playing of the important part that Canada played in the real story. Largely retold as a chase caper I thought it a disappointing choice given some of the other really remarkable films in this category. I'll hope for better from the Oscars.

The nominees for this years Oscars were just announced on January 10th. The 85th annual event airs on Sunday February 24th with Seth MacFarlane (creator Family Guy) and Emma Stone (The Help) acting as hosts.

Closer to the date we will have a more detailed post with links to titles that CPL carries. If you want to get a head start, pop in to the nominees link above, grab the titles and then cruise on back to our catalogue to see what we have available right now. As you know we constantly add new titles so remember to check back regularly.

And speaking of coming soon................................

Trevor has been guest blogging with us for awhile now, and Movie Maniacs is pleased to announce that he has agreed to be a regular contributor. I've popped in and had a peek at some of what he has ready to go for us and you won't be disappointed. If you want to catch up on some of his previous posts you can find them here, along with the always fun '6 degrees' by our other guest blogger, Alex. Or just jump in fresh and watch for his new insights and suggestions. Either way, we're happy to have him on board.

The Golden Globes kick off the awards season

by Moe - 0 Comment(s)

The Golden Globes air Sunday January 13th with funny ladies Amy Poehler and Tina Fey sharing hosting duties. Always more relaxed than the Oscars, they start off the awards season. Some people believe them to be precursors to nominations for Oscars, some find them entirely without merit, and some feel they heavily favour A-Listers, like when Angelina Jolie got a best director nod for the mediocre In the Valley of Elah. But this marks their 70th year, so they must be doing something right.

And with the Globes coming up, Oscar nominataions aren't far behind. In fact the nominees will be announced at 5:30 in the morning this Thursday. The actual event will air on Feb 24th with Emma Stone and Seth MacFarlane sharing hosting duties.

Following is an abbreviated list of nominees, but for the full meal deal visit them at their official site. It is just loaded with all things past and present about the GG's. The nominations are for both feature films and television so it is quite a mixed bag. Many of the feature films nominated are still currently in theatres.

If it is in the CPL collection, either already on the shelves or on order and available to place on hold, it appears in bold.

Best Picture, Drama:
Argo, Django, Life of Pi, Lincoln, Zero Dark Thirty

Best Picture, Musical or Comedy:
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Les Misérables, Moonrise Kindgom, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, Silver Linings Playbook

Best Animated Feature Film:
Brave, Frankenweenie, Hotel Transylvania, Rise of the Guardians, Wreck-It Ralph

Best Television Series, Drama:
Breaking Bad, Boardwalk Empire, Downton Abbey: Season 2, Homeland, The Newsroom

Best Television Series, Comedy or Musical:
The Big Bang Theory, Episodes, Girls, Modern Family, Smash

Best Miniseries or Television Movie:
Game Change, The Girl, Hatfields & McCoys, The Hour, Political Animals

It's not just Christmas around the corner

- 0 Comment(s)

The Golden Globe nominations have just been announced and thus begins the awards seasons--- all which culminates with the 84th Oscars on February 26, 2012.

A lot of the nominees are very current releases, but you will likely recognize many of the titles- The Help, Ides of March, Moneyball, Bridesmaids to name but a few. Lot of the usual suspects for personal awards ---Clooney, Leo di, Meryl, Tilda, Brad, Scorcese and Branagh. For a full listing of the GG's follow this link- the awards will be given on Jan 15/12. Also just announced are the Critics Choice Awards (Jan 12/12) and the Screen Actors Guild Awards or SAGS on Jan 29th,2012.

It's actually been a great year for any movie maniac---lots of worthy nominees. I know what I am going to be doing on any days off over Christmas.

Performance of the Year

- 0 Comment(s)

As I watched the Golden Globes last Sunday, I couldn't help but feel a little saddened when the nominations and winners for the best performance by an actress were read out. Sandra Bullock won the "Best Dramatic Performance" for her work in "The Blind Side" and Meryl Streep's portrayal of Julia Child in "Julie & Julia" won her the "Best Comedic Performance" prize. Both performances were very strong, especially Streep giving yet another master class in mimicry. What saddened me was the fact that Tilda Swinton was not recognized for her work in "Julia".

I saw many movies last year, but I saw no performance from any actor that matched what Swinton did in "Julia". In this film Tilda shreds her image of an icy, confident, classy British dame. This is a fearless performance.

"Julia" is the story of an out-of-control alcoholic (Swinton) who is caught in a spiral of ever increasing bad decisions. Drunken decisions that lead from losing her job, to theft, to kidnapping, to extortion, to murder, to... well, you get the idea. At times this can be a difficult movie to watch, but Tilda Swinton makes for a fascinating study as she abandons herself to the wanton destruction of her character. Oscar nominations come out on Feb 2nd. I only hope that enough Academy voters get to see this film before that time and let Tilda Swinton have the nomination she deserves.

You can place a hold on "Julia" by following the link here.

Some of Tilda Swinton's other fine performances available at the CPL include:

1993 - Orlando {Based on the novel by Virginia Woolf}

2005 - The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe

2007 - Michael Clayton {For which she won an Oscar for Best Support Actress}

2008 - Burn After Reading

2008 - The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian

Meryl Streep's Golden Globe winning performance in "Julie & Julia" can be found here.

68th Golden Globes

- 0 Comment(s)

The 68th annual Golden Globe Awards were held on Sunday January17th. Honoring the best in film and television, there is often considerable cross-over between the Globes and Oscar. It was hosted by the very entertaining Ricky Gervais, who I will be blogging about in the upcoming months. Follow this link to see the big winners and don't forget to check CPL's catalogue to search for nominees and winners that we already have, or will soon be adding to the collection. Now we can count down to the Oscars.

Golden Globes

- 0 Comment(s)

The 66th annual Golden Globe Awards were held on January 11th, 2009. This is a major part of the film industry's award season which culminates with the Academy Awards on Feb 22, 2009. It is not unusual for there to be considerable cross over between the two ceremonies, both in terms of nominees and winners. The Oscars only pay tribute to motion pictures, while the Globes recognize outstanding achievement in the entertainment industry--so you will see television as well as movies honored.

While most of the selections from the Globes are very current releases (some only hitting the theatres as recently as Christmas), CPL will undoubtedly acquire many of the titles as they arrive to DVD over the next few months. Take a look at the choices and get a heads-up on what you want to watch. Follow this link to the home page of the Golden Globes.