Dec 2, 2013

Inventory: November 2013

Welcome to Inventory: a monthly column in which we take a moment to look back at the past few weeks and highlight articles that I have written that may be worth a second glance. From the archives of Optigrab, The Oscar Buzz, and CinemaBeach, the following is what I feel to be the Top 10 articles that I have written in any given month and feel the need to highlight. Also covered will be any known details on what will be coming up in the month ahead. So without further ado, let's take inventory and see what I have to say.

Left to right: Adele Exarchopolous and Lea Seydoux
Source: The Oscar Buzz
Comments: With the end of the year rapidly approaching, I am a little confused as to why this particular film is showing up on majority of people's "Best Of" lists if just because it didn't feel as great as they say. I also discovered that this film is ineligible for Oscar consideration and thus my enthusiasm in the second half are somewhat frayed, yet strongly reflective of my overall opinion.

Source: The Oscar Buzz
Comments: It has been a rough year with very little content for me to dissect over at The Oscar Buzz, but this look into the Best Original Song category serves as predictions to how I feel like the category could go. It also includes some personal bias and my pick for Best Original Song potential contender that probably won't make it.

Source: Optigrab
Comments: While I have notoriously disliked the show, I have never given a full-on opinion on what I think of the show and when I felt like it decline in the wake of losing one of the show's most crucial characters. It is also an exploration of how TV shows can handle death episodes and why King of the Hill should be held up more often as the masters of this concept.

Lady GaGa
Source: Optigrab
Comments: Following up the great "Born This Way" album is the enigmatic Lady GaGa whose new album "ARTPOP" is somewhat of a concept album that explores how the two mix in a sexual, materialistic experiment that has plenty of highs and lows. It is a catchy little album that has plenty of merit even if it doesn't have the immediacy of her previous two albums.

W. Kamau Bell
Source: Optigrab
Comments: It is sad to see the end of one of the best late night talk shows come to an end, though it may not entirely be host W. Kamau Bell's fault, as the new channel FXX had its share of problems. However, what the show did right was giving a voice to those that needed to heard and made a community that even if only briefly, made the news entertaining and authentic.

Source: Optigrab
Comments: The legendary rapper that nobody thought would make it has now been around long enough and is still relevant enough to release an album that attempts to update his menacing personality with growing older. It doesn't always work, but there are moments that remind you why he was great in the first place.

Aziz Ansari
Source: Optigrab
Comments: One of the funniest comedians working today turns 30 and has a lot to say about his generation in this comedic new Netflix special that shows him both growing as a performer as well as riffing on technology influences culture. It also serves as one of the best analysis of the modern era that has been released in 2013.

Left to right: Eric Wareheim and Tim Heidecker
Source: Optigrab
Comments: It has been a personal challenge to understand the comedic styling of the comedy duo Tim and Eric, whose surreal, grotesque sense of humor has been off putting and keeps from connecting with me. With this special one-off for a 2014 series, I may have finally found a show that I understand their satirical point of view with a show that is already now on my anticipation list for next year.

Source: Optigrab
Comments: More than my review, this analysis comparing the book and movie of the Palme d'Or winner adaptation should help to explain why I am not a big fan of the film. The book is well worth checking out, if just to help understand why the last half (or the director's additional notes) isn't as strong as the first half.

Julianne Hough
Source: Optigrab
Comments: While the film isn't quite a masterpiece, the latest from Diablo Cody has received an unfair amount of backlash that probably has more to do with the writer than the final product. What the final product has is plenty of heart and ingenuity that makes for a solid yet flawed film that shows Cody continuing to expand and try out interesting and new things that remind you why she is one of the more intriguing screenwriters of today.

What to Expect: December 2013

Coming Monday, December 2: A Channel Surfing column on the new Dan Harmon series Rick and Morty

Coming Monday, December 2: The release of this year's dates for the Listmania series

Coming Thursday, December 5: A look at Out of the Furnace

Left to right: Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts
Coming Monday, December 23: A look at August: Osage County

TBA: A wrap-up of my Academy Awards Challenge for 2013

Left to right: Bruce Dern and Will Forte in Nebraska
TBA: Reviews for the films Nebraska, Inside Llewyn Davis, American Hustle, Saving Mr. Banks, Her, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, and The Wolf of Wall Street

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