2018 Awards Winners vs. MY picks!

This years Academy Award®-Winners were quite different than what I had anticipated but what and who won was hardly disappointing. 2018 was a good year in film and in several catagories, it was hard to choose who I thought was the more worthy of the gold. Here are my pics for some of the best. My ultimate choice for the winner in these categories will be in bold type and italics following a list of four others, in order of best to worst, that I sent to the Phoenix Critics Circle to be widdled down for our Oscar nominations.

Under my choice will be the selections that were in the envelopes on awards night. How’d I do?? Keep in mind these are sent in early.
*Again, my choices are listed below but HERE is a link to the Phoenix Critics Circle and the winners we sent to the Academy this year. You’ll notice that some groups are ours and ours alone. 

Best Film – BlacKkKlansman, Roma, First Reformed, A Star Is Born, Leave No Trace

Academy Award®-Winner: Green Book

Best Director – Spike Lee for BlacKkKlansman, Alfonso Cuaron for Roma, Yorgos Lanthimos for The Favourite, Bradley Cooper for A Star is Born, Paul Dano for Wildlife

Academy Award®-Winner: Alfonso Cuaron

Best Film Based on a Graphic Novel or Comic Book – Black Panther, Venom, Deadpool 2, Avengers: Infinity War, Ant-Man and the Wasp

Best Documentary – Free Solo, Won’t You Be My Neighbor, RBG, Active Measures, McQueen

Academy Award®-Winner: Free Solo

Best Foreign Language Film – Roma, Cold War, Shoplifters, The Interpreter, Burning

Academy Award®-Winner: Roma

Best Animated Feature – Isle of Dogs, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Incredibles 2, The Grinch, Ralph Breaks the Internet

Academy Award®-Winner: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Best Horror Features – A Quiet Place, Halloween, The First Purge, Hereditary, Upgrade

Best Science Fiction Film – Ready Player One, Solo, The Predator, The Meg, Annihilation

Best Comedy – The Favourite, Game Night, Eighth Grade, Crazy Rich Asians, Sorry to Bother You

Best Actor – Ethan Hawke for First Reformed, Rami Malek for Bohemian Rhapsody, Timothée Chalamet for Beautiful Boy, Bradley Cooper for A Star Is Born, Joaquin Phoenix for You Were Never Really Here

Academy Award®-Winner: Rami Malek 

Best Supporting Actor – Adam Driver for BlacKkKlansman, Richard E. Grant for Can You Ever Forgive Me? Steve Carell for Beautiful Boy, Michael B. Jordan for Black Panther, Stephan James for If Beale Street Could Talk

Academy Award®-Winner: Mahershala Ali — Green Book

Best Actress – Melissa McCarthy for Can You Ever Forgive Me? Lady Gaga for A Star is Born, Emily Blunt for Mary Poppins Returns, Yalitza Aparicio for Roma, Felicity Jones for On the Basis of Sex

Academy Award®-Winner: Olivia Colman 

Best Supporting Actress – Regina King for If Beale Street Could Talk, Emma Stone for The Favourite, Olivia Colman for The Favourite, Carey Mulligan for Wildlife, Meryl Streep for Mary Poppins Returns

Academy Award®-Winner: Regina King

Best Screenplay – Eighth Grade, First Reformed, Roma, The Favourite, Isle of Dogs

Academy Award®-Winner: Green Book by Nick Vallelonga, Brian Currie, Peter Farrelly

Best Score – First Man, If Beale Street Could Talk, Black Panther, Green Book, Mary Poppins Returns
Academy Award®-Winner: Black Panther, Ludwig Goransson

They couldn’t all win but they could have. Yes. 2018 was a marvelous year in film!! Try and see as many of the listed as possible… even the documentaries. I promise you’ll be surprised and how good they are and thoroughly entertained.    

‘The Highwaymen’ starring Kevin Costner and Woody Harrelson coming soon to Netflix!!

The outlaws made headlines. The lawmen made history. From director John Lee Hancock (The Blind Side), THE HIGHWAYMEN follows the untold true story of the legendary detectives who brought down Bonnie and Clyde. When the full force of the FBI and the latest forensic technology aren’t enough to capture the nation’s most notorious criminals, two former Texas Rangers (Kevin Costner and Woody Harrelson) must rely on their gut instincts and old school skills to get the job done.

*Launches globally on Netflix on March 29 with exclusive theatrical engagements beginning March 15th.

Distributor: Netflix

Cast: Kevin Costner, Woody Harrelson, Kathy Bates, Kim Dickens

Directed by: John Lee Hancock

Written by: John Fusco

Producer: Casey Silver

Executive Producers: Michael J. Malone, John Lee Hancock, Woody Harrelson, Kevin Costner, Rod Lake

Music By: Thomas Newman

Cinematography By: John Schwartzman

Production Design By: Michael Corenblith

Costume Design By: Daniel Orlandi

*Follow @NetflixFilm on 
Twitter and Instagram

Netflix film ‘The Dirt,’ co-written by members of Mötley Crüe, launches everywhere 3/22!!

A Netflix film


Launches Globally March 22

Based on the bestselling autobiography from Mötley Crüe, the film is an unflinching tale of success and excess as four misfits rise from the streets of Hollywood to the heights of international fame.

 Douglas Booth, Iwan Rheon, Colson Baker, Daniel Webber

Directed by Jeff Tremaine

Produced by Julie YornErik OlsenAllen Kovac

Executive produced by Rick YornChris NilssonSteve Kline, Ben OrmandMichelle Manning

Written by Rich Wilkes, Amanda Adelson

Based on the autobiography

The Dirt: Confessions of the World’s Most Notorious Rock Band

Co-written by the band members of Mötley Crüe and Neil Strauss

Blast from the Past (February 2019)

Yeah, the Box Office is rockin’ today with a whole lot of movies. But there are some from prior years that you may (or may not) remember. These older movies came out 5, 10, 15, 20 years ago, maybe even longer back. Some were instant classics, while others were not. So let’s jump into the DeLorean and travel backwards in time to revisit a few of these forgotten gems…

February 2014 (5 years ago)   — The LEGO Movie – Wait, a movie based on a child’s tiny building block toy? Everything is AWESOME!

Yes, they made a movie out of a small construction block toy set that was way more perfect than it had a right to be… They started with perfect voice casting. Then add a clever script that borders on meta-comedy. Top it off with movie direction (Phil Lord and Christopher Miller) that is both whimsical and profound. What do you get? An unexpected non-stop feast of fun…

February 2009 (10 years ago)  — Coraline – Stop Motion style animated movie of a small child’s nightmare, like the one “Before Christmas”

Neil Gaiman’s book gets the big screen adventure treatment, with the same director from “The Nightmare Before Christmas”. Only this time, the main role is for an animated Coraline, who finds a path into a nightmare world. In a place where everyone’s eyes are replaced by buttons, Coraline is left to find her way out.

February 2004 (15 years ago)  — Miracle – The 1980 Olympic Games had a hockey game that beat all expectations, thanks to Kurt Russell

Kurt Russell stars as the coach Herb Brooks. He is the leader of an Olympic team of ragtag college players. He is the one who drives them to play as well as the Soviet powerhouse players. They play as well, and then play better, because they have nothing to lose… This movie captured a moment in time, when everyone in American became hockey fans overnight – just because of this ‘miracle’ of a game.

February 1999 (20 years ago)  — Office Space – Mike Judge had created Bevis and Butthead, but this is where he really worked for corporate comedy

Mike Judge takes dead aim at the heart of corporate soul-draining work environments of the mid-90s. The movie scores a huge bulls-eye. This movie has become a cultural touchstone since it was dropped awkwardly into movie theaters a long time ago. The life that it gained since then has created a gold mine of laughs for new generations. “Yeah, we’re gonna need you to come in on Saturday” — to watch this movie, and laugh your ass off!

February 1995 (25 years ago)  — Billy Madison – Adam Sandler play to the LCD, with his first big movie — writing and starring — as Billy Madison

In math the LCD is short for ‘Lowest Common Denominator’. For Sandler, I think it stands for “Lowest Comedy Denominator”. This is the level that Adam Sandler has chosen to create his comedy. It is always as the lowest level. In this (Sandler’s first outing at main writer and star) bag of guano – the 27 year-old Mr. Madison must redo every level of grade school to prove he is worthy to be a CEO. It was not acclaimed for its brilliance or its wit…

February 1989 (30 years ago)  — Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure – Keanu Reeves, Alex Winter, George Carlin and others deal with time travel and bogus school reports… 

“Strange things are afoot at the Circle-K.” Strange things indeed! This crazy movie gets massice slackers Bill (Winter) and Ted (Reeves) into a time machine with Rufus (Carlin). This is in the shape of a phone booth outside a Circle-K. They time-travel back to fetch many Historical Dudes, so Bill and Ted ca bring them to school for a history report. “Bogus. Heinous. Most non-triumphant.” Such an appropriate (and sad) commentary on outrtimes. “Be excellent to each other. And… PARTY ON, DUDES!”

The Invisibles opening at Harkins Shea

 A Greenwich Entertainment release


Official Selection: New York Jewish Film Festival 2018 (Presented by The Jewish Museum & The Film Society of Lincoln Center)

Winner: Audience Favorite World Cinema, Mill Valley Film Festival 2018 

While Goebbels infamously declared Berlin “free of Jews” in 1943, 1,700 managed to survive in the Nazi capital. Claus Räfle’s gripping docudrama traces the stories of four real-life survivors who learned to hide in plain sight. Moving between cinemas, cafés and safe houses, they dodged Nazi officials and a dense network of spies and informants. Yet their prudence was at odds with their youthful recklessness, prompting them to join the resistance, forge passports, or pose as Aryan war widows. Masterfully weaving these story threads together, The Invisibles is a testament to the resourcefulness, willpower and sheer chance needed to survive against incredible odds. 

“What “Invisibles” documents and dramatizes is really pretty darned incredible.” —The Epoch Times

“Fascinating, true story of four Jews who were among the thousands who survived the Holocaust by hiding out in Berlin…plays like a thriller but is all the more remarkable for being true…keeps you on the edge of your seat.” — The Jerusalem Post


Tickets at www.theinvisiblesfilm.com/tickets

Like THE INVISIBLES on Facebook 

Bo Peep is a new woman in Toy Story 4… here is her New Look!!

“Bo’s taken control of her own destiny,” said “Toy Story 4” director Josh Cooley. “While Woody was watching Andy grow up, Bo gathered dust until she took it upon herself to head out into the world. And when Woody shows up, they can’t believe that they’ve found each other again.”

Annie Potts returns as the voice of Bo Peep. “She is modern, independent, capable and confident,” said Potts of her character. “Bo is written and conceived to be inspiring as she has weathered life’s ups and downs with grace. I aspire to that.”

“Toy Story,” originally released on Nov. 22, 1995, was the first fully computer-animated feature film and the highest grossing movie of the year. It was nominated for three Oscars® and two Golden Globes®. With new energy from Bo Beep, let’s see how far it goes.


Woody (voice of Tom Hanks) has always been confident about his place in the world, and that his priority is taking care of his kid, whether that’s Andy or Bonnie. So when Bonnie’s beloved new craft-project-turned-toy, Forky (voice of Tony Hale), declares himself as “trash” and not a toy, Woody takes it upon himself to show Forky why he should embrace being a toy. But when Bonnie takes the whole gang on her family’s road trip excursion, Woody ends up on an unexpected detour that includes a reunion with his long-lost friend Bo Peep (voice of Annie Potts). After years of being on her own, Bo’s adventurous spirit and life on the road belie her delicate porcelain exterior. As Woody and Bo realize they’re worlds apart when it comes to life as a toy, they soon come to find that’s the least of their worries.  

Directed by Josh Cooley (“Riley’s First Date?”), and produced by Jonas Rivera (“Inside Out,” “Up”) and Mark Nielsen (associate producer “Inside Out”), Disney·Pixar’s “Toy Story 4” ventures to U.S. theaters on June 21, 2019.

Social Media:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PixarToyStory/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/toystory

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ToyStory/

YouTube:  https://www.youtube.com/user/DisneyPixar

U.S. Release Date:  June 21, 2019

Voice Cast:  Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Annie Potts, Tony Hale, Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Peele, Joan Cusack, Wallace Shawn, John Ratzenberger, Blake Clark, Don Rickles, Estelle Harris

Director:  Josh Cooley

Producers:  Jonas Rivera, Mark Nielsen


Hailed by critics and audiences alike as a film that should be “seen on the biggest screen possible,” FREE SOLO will return to IMAX® for a final weeklong engagement beginning Friday, Feb. 1. Directors Chai Vasarhelyi (@chaivasarhelyi) and Jimmy Chin (@jimmychin) along with film subject Alex Honnold (@alexhonnold) broke the news today via Instagram. Chin shared this video and said, “We’re excited to offer moviegoers one last opportunity to experience the film in this epic way. Seeing the film in IMAX is as close to dangling  off El Capitan as you can get.”

FREE SOLO, from award-winning filmmaker Vasarhelyi and world-renowned filmmaker, cinematographer and mountaineer Chin (“MERU”), is a breathtaking portrait of the free soloist climber Honnold as he prepares for an unprecedented feat: climbing the face of the world’s most famous rock … the 3,200-foot El Capitan in Yosemite National Park … without a rope. The film opened in September to record-breaking box office in the U.S., and has expanded to global acclaim, with box office records in the U.K. (highest grossing documentary of 2018) and Australia (after opening wide this past weekend, entering the top 20 docs of all time).

WHAT: Experience FREE SOLO on IMAX Nationwide

WHEN: Friday, Feb. 1, through Thursday, Feb. 7

SHOWTIMES: www.imax.com/freesolo

HERE is my review of the film. Watching this on IMAX is the best way to see it!  You don’t have long so get to the theatre 2/1! You won’t be sorry. Here is a listing of where to catch it in and around Phoenix.

Westgate 20 +IMAX, Dolby
Superstion East 12 +IMAX
AMC Deer Valley 17 + IMAX
Desert Ridge 18 +IMAX, Dolby
AMC Surprise Pointe 14 + IMAX
Arizona Mills 25 +IMAX


About the film:

One of the most celebrated documentaries of 2018, FREE SOLO has grossed over $13 million worldwide and has been honored with three Critics’ Choice awards, including Most Innovative Documentary of the Year and Best Cinematography; three Cinema Eye Honors; and multiple guild nominations, including PGA, DGA, ACE, CAS and MPSE. The film is also nominated for both an Academy Award and BAFTA in the Best Feature Documentary category.  FREE SOLO premiered at the Telluride Film Festival in September and has since won Audience Awards at the Toronto International Film Festival and Mill Valley Film Festival.

Blast from the Past (January 2019)

Yeah, the Box Office is rockin’ today with a whole lot of movies. But there are some from prior years that you may (or may not) remember. These older movies came out 5, 10, 15, 20 years ago, maybe even longer back. Some were instant classics, while others were not. So let’s jump into the DeLorean and travel backwards in time to revisit a few of these forgotten gems…

January 2014 (5 years ago)   — That Awkward Moment – “Awkward” sums up everything about this movie

Yeah, the releases in January are mostly junk that did not find a spot on the release calendar any earlier – and that goes for this “Awkward” sex comedy, with Zac Efron, Miles Teller and Michael B. Jordan. All have moved on to better things…

January 2009 (10 years ago)  — Taken – Liam Neeson has some ‘particular set of skills’ that kills at the Box Office

It was a rare January release that took the theater audiences by storm and made them root for some ‘old guy’ to beat the snot out of any person who stands in his way of getting his daughter back. Liam Neeson was so good at being an ex-Agency security agent turned rogue revenge superstar, that it made being old cool again.

January 2004 (15 years ago)  — The Perfect Score – An underrated comedy that did not receive a perfect score

Where can you find a future Captain America and SHIELD Agent Natasha on a quest to break in and steal Standardized Test answers? This is small little picture (with two future superstars) that tanked at the box office. But the set up was there, the story was OK, and the acting was decent. But people thought this high school heist caper did not make the grade…

January 1999 (20 years ago)  — She’s All That – Somewhat standard romance movie with Freddie Prinze, Jr and Rachel Leigh Cook

This was a teenage revision of “My Fair Lady”. A high school stud (Prinze) who wants to take a nerdy girl (Leigh) and turn her into a ravishing beauty who will become the Prom Queen. Spoiler Alert: she was beauty from the start.  Made lots o’ money at the box office. Also, there was a side role of the future ‘Fast and Furious’ actor: Paul Walker.

January 1995 (25 years ago)  — Houseguest – The releases in January are mostly junk, and this one stars Sinbad and Phil Hartman

So the ‘star’ power of Sinbad and Phil Hartman could not generate any buzz at the box office. This one has Sinbad faking his identity to fool Phil Hartman into letting him stay at his house to hide from the mob. Was not a total failure, but it was nothing special…

January 1989 (30 years ago)  — The January Man – This one at least has the appropriate name for the release month…

The movie is about an ex-NYPD detective (Kevin Kline) who is needed to return to his position by his police commissioner brother. There is a serial killer in New York City, and Kevin Kline is the man to find him. Not much there, and the box office receipts bear that out. Except that there is also a side role played by Alan Rickman. This comes only a year after Die Hard.







The Walt Disney Company to Give $1.5 Million Grant to UNCF

To Help Minority Students Get To and Through College


BURBANK, CALIF. (Jan. 28, 2019)—Disney announced today that Academy Award®-nominated and SAG® winner “Black Panther” will return to the big screen to celebrate Black History Month for a one-week engagement, February 1-7, at 250 participating AMC Theatres locations. To ensure that the movie is accessible to all, tickets are free for everyone, and there will be two showings per day at each participating theater.

The Walt Disney Company will also give a $1.5 million grant to support UNCF (United Negro College Fund) in furthering its mission to help minority students access and move to and through college. For nearly 75 years, UNCF has been providing scholarships to students in need, and this grant is part of The Walt Disney Company’s longstanding commitment to diverse communities and to expand the pipeline of talent.

“‘Black Panther’ is groundbreaking for many reasons, including the rich diversity of voices behind its success,” said Robert A. Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company.  “The story also showcases the power of knowledge to change the world for the better, and the importance of ensuring everyone has access to it.  We’re proud to provide thousands of free screenings of ‘Black Panther’ in hopes it will continue to inspire audiences, and to support UNCF with a $1.5 million grant to make the dream of higher education a reality for more students.”

UNCF (United Negro College Fund) is the nation’s largest and most effective minority education organization. To serve youth, the community and the nation, UNCF supports students’ education and development through scholarships and other programs, strengthens its 37 member colleges and universities, and advocates for the importance of minority education and college readiness. 

“We know that providing aspiring young minority talent with scholarships and professional development opportunities is vital to making their dreams a reality,” said UNCF President and CEO Dr. Michael Lomax. “UNCF is grateful for The Walt Disney Company’s enduring commitment to expanding these types of opportunities, and we’re excited to continue to do so through our Walt Disney Company/UNCF Corporate Scholars Program. I recall the excitement we all had when ‘Black Panther’ was first released and it’s fantastic that Disney is bringing the record-breaking movie back to the big screen so that we can relive that excitement. Wakanda Forever!”

“Black Panther,” the global cultural phenomenon that shattered box office records and finished first at the North American box office in 2018, picked up seven Oscar® nominations, including Best Picture, Best Production Design, Best Costume Design, Best Original Music Score, Best Original Song, Best Sound Mixing and Best Sound Editing.  On Sunday, it was announced that “Black Panther” won the SAG® (Screen Actors Guild) Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture Award.

“Almost a year ago, movie-lovers were transported to Wakanda, and the guest response to ‘Black Panther’ was unlike anything our industry has seen before,” said Adam Aron, CEO and President of AMC. “AMC is excited this best-picture-nominated film is once again accessible on the big screen at AMC. We are also pleased to play a constructive role in Disney’s generous support of Black History Month.”


For free tickets to the “Black Panther” showings and a list of AMC participating theaters go to: weticketit.com/blackpanther

Twentieth Century Fox Offers Fans FREE SCREENINGS of ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL





LOS ANGELES, CA – January 28, 2019
 – Twentieth Century Fox is inviting fans across the country to be the very first to experience the highly-anticipated action-adventure epic ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL from producers James Cameron and Jon Landau (AVATAR) and director Robert Rodriguez on Thursday, January 31 at 7PM EST/PST/C.  The film opens nationwide on February 14.

The screenings will take place in DolbyÔ Cinema in 3D at AMC, IMAXÔ 3D and other select 3D premium large format theatres. In addition to the film, fans at selected theaters will get to see a conversation with the filmmakers and cast including James Cameron, Jon Landau, director Robert Rodriguez and cast members Rosa Salazar, Christoph Waltz, Jennifer Connell, and Keean Johnson and a special inside look at the making of the film. 

Said Cameron, “People may have heard of Alita, but don’t know who she is.  Why is she called the Battle Angel?  What is her world like?  Well, I think you’ve simply got to see it to believe it.  And the best way to see it is in a cinema, and in gorgeous 3D, the way Robert Rodriguez shot it.   So we’ve decided to do some special free screenings, for fans around the country, to introduce our Alita to the world.  When you see how big a heart she has, and what she stands for, and how she kicks major butt —  you’re going to fall in love with her, the way I did.”

Fans can RSVP to the free screenings via  ExperienceAlita.com and submit questions for the filmmakers and cast on James Cameron’s newly launched official Instagram @JamesCameronOfficial and Facebook @OfficialJamesCameron pages in the comments section using the hashtag #ExperienceAlita.


Cameron (AVATAR) and Robert Rodriguez (SIN CITY), comes ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL, an epic adventure of hope and empowerment. When Alita (Rosa Salazar) awakens with no memory of who she is in a future world she does not recognize, she is taken in by Ido (Christoph Waltz), a compassionate doctor who realizes that somewhere in this abandoned cyborg shell is the heart and soul of a young woman with an extraordinary past. As Alita learns to navigate her new life and the treacherous streets of Iron City, Ido tries to shield her from her mysterious history while her street-smart new friend Hugo (Keean Johnson) offers instead to help trigger her memories. But it is only when the deadly and corrupt forces that run the city come after Alita that she discovers a clue to her past – she has unique fighting abilities that those in power will stop at nothing to control. If she can stay out of their grasp, she could be the key to saving her friends, her family and the world she’s grown to love. @AlitaMovie #Alita

About Twentieth Century Fox Film

One of the world’s largest producers and distributors of motion pictures, Twentieth Century Fox Film produces, acquires and distributes motion pictures throughout the world. These motion pictures are produced or acquired by the following units of Twentieth Century Fox Film: Twentieth Century Fox, Fox 2000 Pictures, Fox Searchlight Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox Animation and Fox Family.