Top Ten: Most Likely Celebrities Ricky Gervais Will Make Fun of at the Golden Globes

Ricky’s back at the Golden Globes, hosting for the third consecutive year and the hype at a fever pitch after his stellar performance last year that brought some controversy on whether he went to far with some of his jokes. I’m in Gervais’ camp on this one, these are movie stars dressed up in designer dresses and tuxes, eating free gourmet food, on national television to have people watch them get even more praise, if you can’t take a few jokes about you than you need to lighten up. Now, who is going to be in Ricky’s cross sights this year. Here’s who I think might need to grow a sense of humor by Sunday:

10. Meryl Streep – This one’s a stretch. Not many people would dare go after Streep, she is one of the most popular movie stars ever, a legend, and even Gervais’ may find it hard to make fun of her. But still, she is always nominated at the Globes it seems, no matter what the film (she got nominated for “Mamma Mia!” people). So if there is a joke to be made about her omnipresence at the Globes, and maybe even her long drought at the Academy’s, Gervais would be the one to make it.

9. Michael Fassbender – Fassbender had a pretty busy year and is being recognized for his performance in “Shame”. That is his calling card on Sunday and it may be the avenue for any jokes toward him. He plays a sex-addict in the film, who is fully nude on several occasions in the film, a huge factor in the film getting an “NC-17” rating. Don’t be shocked if there’s a Fassbender penis joke at some point.

8. George Clooney – Clooney’s in similar situations as Streep, people have a hard time finding anything to make a joke about him for. And yet a shot at one of Hollywood’s golden boys who has more nominations than any other person at the ceremony (4) may be a very tempting opportunity for Gervais.

7. Ryan Gosling – He’s the reigning sexiest man alive and a double nominee this year for “Ides of March” and “Crazy, Stupid, Love”, plus he had one of the most talked about movies of the year with “Drive”. Making it on Ricky’s joke list could be a nice little feather in the cap to end the year for Gosling as a sign that his status as the next big star is such a lock we can make fun of it.

6. Woody Allen – Woody Allen is one of the most recognizable and often parodied Hollywood icon’s because he has such a distinct quirkiness to him that just leads itself so easily into jokes. Also, with “Midnight in Paris” being his biggest success to date, Gervais could throw something together about how it took him so long into this career to have suck a hit.

5. Jonah Hill – Nominated for Best Supporting Actor for “Moneyball”, Hill is a surprising presence at the Globes since he is nominated for a dramatic role when he is well known as one of the biggest comedy stars right now. However, the real area Ricky would probably go after is the huge weight loss that Hill has had in the last year, making some jest about how a strange, skinny man is here to accept on behalf of Jonah Hill.

4. Johnny Depp – I know he isn’t nominated and won’t even be at the Globes, but Depp was one of the topics that caused people to think Gervais had gone to far last year and made it seem that the Hollywood Foreign Press wouldn’t bring him back. Well, he is back, and Ricky is never one to forget one of his insults, and wouldn’t mind warming everyone up with retreading some familiar ground.

3. Madonna – Her directorial debut, “W.E.”, is nominated twice, both for music related awards. It’s Madonna, Ricky will be making fun of her in some way.

2. Alec Baldwin – The “30 Rock” star is nominated once again for Best Actor in a Comedy Series, and after his incident with American Airlines when he wouldn’t turn off his phone because he was playing “Words with Friends” is still just a little more than a month old, it is one of the more easily set-up current events that makes sense for Gervais to take a poke at. I don’t think Blue Ivy Carter is exactly a lingering topic on a night about film and television.

1. Angelia Jolie & Brad Pitt – The other half of “The Tourist”-gate last year and part two of Hollywood’s golden boy list (right up there with Clooney) are both nominated this year. Pitt is up for his role in “Moneyball” has said in some interviews that he may possibly retire in the next couple of years from acting. Jolie’s directorial debut, “In the Land of Blood and Honey”, is nominated for Best Foreign Language film. This is Hollywood’s premier couple, hosts with less controversy that Gervais have made small quips about these two, but I wouldn’t expect anything about the material Gervais may throw at them to be small.

And in case any of you somehow don’t know what I’m talking about as of Ricky Gervais’ performance last year at the Golden Globes, here’s a quick taste, his monologue from last year. If you enjoy it take a look at some of his other stuff, his jokes about Robert Downey Jr. were pretty good too.

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Top Ten: Most Anticipated Movies of 2012

Happy New Years Eve. I’ve closed my book on 2011 in film with my top ten list the other day, so why not kick off 2012 with less than twenty-four hours till its arrival. Some big name franchises are returning to theaters in 2012, but while I’m looking forward to “Spider-man”, “Prometheus”, “The Bourne Legacy” and “The Avengers”, my interest is really high on these next ten films.

10. Lincoln

This may be one of the few times in the Steven Spielberg’s illustrious career that he is the second headline on one of his sets. But that’s the case here for me as he directs one of the greatest actors today in Daniel Day-Lewis as the 16th President. Day-Lewis is spot on as Lincoln, and the picture above isn’t even him in full costume. While Day-Lewis is the big ticket, it doesn’t hurt that one he’s directed by one of the all-time greats in Spielberg.

9. Only God Forgives

The “Drive” duo is at it again. After making one of the most talked about movies of 2011 they reteam once again. Refn is an emerging talent that brings a unique perspective to film with his Danish sensibilities and Gosling is quickly becoming the biggest name in Hollywood after this year. Plus the logline of this is very intriguing: A Bangkok police lieutenant and a gangster settle their differences in a Thai-boxing match.

8. Cogan’s Trade

Another second go around for actor and director after a successful first trip. Brad Pitt and Andrew Dominik follow-up “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford” with Cogan’s Trade, where Jackie Cogan (Pitt), a professional enforcer, investigates a heist that went down during a mob-protected poker game. The only thing that would make this better is if they had the great Roger Deakins back on as Director of Photography.

7. Moonrise Kingdom

Wes Anderson is a unique filmmaker, with some of the more out there films in the past ten years. But if you like him you’re always excited to see one of his next films, and I like Wes Anderson. He brings back some of his regulars in Bill Murray and Jason Schwartzman, but adds some new talent to his acting corp: Bruce Willis, Tilda Swinton, Frances Mcdormand, and Edward Norton. Can’t wait to see how the new talent fairs in a Wes Anderson production.

6. Skyfall

Craig’s Bond is one for two in my books; “Quantum of Solace” was a let down after the shot in the arm “Casino Royale” was to the Bond franchise. But Craig is back and being helmed by Sam Mendes who is in new a bit new territory with this one, and this may have one of the best supporting casts that a Bond film has ever seen with Ralph Fiennes and Javier Bardem playing Bond villians. Word is also that Adele might sing the them song, icing on the cake if that ends up being the case.

5. The Great Gatsby

A trend in the movies that I’m really excited for that you’re probably getting at is that I get real excited by good casts and directors of films that I have liked in the past, and am more willing to be open to the stories if that is the case. Here’s another example of that, an adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s most famous work headlined by Leonardo Dicaprio, Carey Mulligan, and Tobey Maguire, and directed by Baz Lurhmann, who is putting his sweat and blood into this movie (literally). http://www.nme.com/filmandtv/news/the-great-gatsby-director-baz-luhrmann-injured-during/256379

4. Great Hope Springs

This may be the biggest toss-up for me on this list, but the potential of a movie with Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones as a married couple in trouble, and Steve Carell as their marriage counselor is really promising for not only great back and forth moments between the trio, but what I have a hunch may be a surprisingly fantastic performance from Steve Carell, standing toe to toe with these two legends.

3. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Peter Jackson returns to Middle Earth eight years after completing what is to me quite possibly the greatest trilogy of all-time… Yes, I think I’m pretty excited to see this one. Though I am not without my hesitations. Jackson managed to fit all three of the Lord of the Rings books into their own singular movies, so it isn’t unconceivable that he could have done it with “The Hobbit”; will the first part of this duo suffer a similar fate as to the first “Deathly Hallows” where everyone was pissed because there wasn’t a real ending? I hope not.

2. Django Unchained

One of the highlights of last summer for me was getting to read Quentin Tarantino’s script for his take on the Spaghetti Western. Not surprisingly, it’s good! There are plenty of opportunities for Tarantino to take his talents and make something supremely entertaining. We also get Christoph Waltz back in a Tarantino film after giving us one of the his best character’s in “Inglourious Basterds”, another Tarantino standard with Samuel L. Jackson, and Jamie Foxx and Leonardo Dicaprio as the hero and villain. This is an all-star cast if you’ve ever seen one, just check out the imdb page, http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1853728/.

1. The Dark Knights Rises

I imagine this is a lot of people’s most anticipated movie of the year as Christopher Nolan returns one last time to the Batman franchise and promises an epic conclusion to what has been one of the biggest franchise in the past six years. It is my opinion that Nolan hasn’t made a bad film in Hollywood yet, “Insomnia” being my least favorite of his US releases, but its still a solid movie, so what can perhaps the most revered director today do to top not only what many consider the best superhero movie ever with “The Dark Knight” but 2010’s most popular movie “Inception”. And will this film be a big enough success to get the awards attention that everyone believed “The Dark Knight” deserved, but more importantly, the attention from the Academy Christopher Nolan has deserved as a director?

Is there anything I missed that you guys are looking forward to in 2012?

Top Ten: Favorite Films of 2011

I won’t waste anybody’s time explaining what this post entails. I saw 34 films in 2011, and out of those I have below my 10 personal favorites. I’m not saying these are the best films of the year, but these are the films that I enjoyed the most from this past year. Anyway, here we go:

10. Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop

One of the few docs that I got around to seeing this year, but I’m glad I did see this look into the world of Conan O’Brien shortly after his dismissal from “The Tonight Show” as he goes on his “Banned from Television” tour. This is a great peak into an entertainer’s life at both ends of the spectrum. There is plenty of the Conan his fans know and love from his time as a late night host, but then we get to see him with that persona completely turned off in his home with his family or just alone, as he no longer is a comedian and is just a man who lost something dear to him. A great mix of comedy and deep emotions in a fantastic look into the mind of one of the best entertainers in the world today.

9. Warrior

Every sports movie is the underdog story, the athlete that came from nowhere and beats the odds to win the big trophy; thanks “Rocky”. And “Warrior” is that, but it is something else entirely that makes it different. It’s a family drama as much as a sports movie and we desperately care for the members of the Conlon family thanks a fantastic trio of performances from Tom Hardy, Joel Edgerton, and Nick Nolte. Sadly passed over when it was in theatres, this is a deserved watch from this year.

8. Adjustment Bureau

My favorite sci-fi film of the year. It was a battle between this and “Source Code”, but where “Adjustment Bureau” came out on top was in the relationship of the characters. Matt Damon and Emily Blunt’s relationship in this film is what takes this above and beyond a clever little idea of where men walk through doors in cool looking fedoras that purposely tinker with our lives. A strong debut from director George Nolfi. And will somebody please give Anthony Mackie a leading role!

7. Midnight in Paris

Woody Allen’s biggest box-office hit in his career, and a film that I think everyone would love if its concept was real. Owen Wilson’s character gets to go back in time and meet some of the great artists from the twentieth century. It’s a fun concept that Woody Allen brings a great comedic touch with highlighting the eccentric qualities of these characters allowing each a memorable moment. But while the true highlights of the film are these often brief encounters with the legends of the 20s, Allen sends us a message that actually speaks well to the present world, we may have such a cynical view of the present only because we glorify the past.

6. The Artist

It’s a silent film. It’s a silent dramatic film. It’s a silent dramatic French film. And yet it is one of the more enjoyable films of the year for my money, and currently the Oscar front-runner. Brilliantly crafted, and tremendously acted, as I stated recently in my review, but the film itself is a time machine. We are transported back like Owen Wilson in “Midnight” to a classical time, fully engrained in an experience long forgotten. And if the film itself doesn’t do it for you, you should be able to get some joy out of the performance of Uggie, the fantastic dog in the film.

5. Hugo

Like “The Artist”, this is a film for film lovers. Not surprising since it was directed by one of the biggest film nerds in history, the great Martin Scorsese. While the story of Hugo, the boy who lives in the train station hoping to decipher a final message from his father, is a good one on it’s own, the incorporation of Ben Kingsley as a disheartened George Melies was worth the price of admission for me. This was also a film that I nearly broke my 3D strike for, as I hear Scorsese uses the medium to one of its best effects to date, however I didn’t, but the film was no less enjoyable in 2D.

4. Submarine

Raise your hand if you’ve heard of this film. This independent British comedy is a diamond in the rough from this year. It tells the story of Oliver Tate, one of the most unique characters you’ll find in any year. Quirky, funny, and fantastically awkward, it reminds me of Wes Anderson and his films. Like my favorite film of the year it also gives us a story completely from the view of our unique thinking protagonist but his supporting characters are not overshadowed and add to him, a change we are easily and pleasingly able to pick up. Oliver is a character we’d all probably make fun of in real life, but love to love in a movie.

3. Drive

It’s been branded the coolest movie of the year, and I hate to sound like a broken record, but it is. The sound track, the brutal action sequences, the car, the leather gloves and scorpion jacket, and I personally love that Gosling’s driver is a Clippers fan even before they got Chris Paul. Nicolas Winding Refn creates the most stylized film of the year, the elevator scene will always be one of the first things I think of when I come back to this movie. But also you have surprising performances from Ryan Gosling and Albert Brooks. Gosling’s turn as the mostly silent Driver makes you second guess that this is the guy from “The Notebook”; Albert Brooks pulls a similar 180, he becomes a no nonsense gangster who will stab you with a fork, maybe that’s the side of Marlin Nemo never got to see. I wonder how much the download for “Real Hero” grew after this movie.

2. 50/50

Seth Rogen has been apart of a Cancer comedy before, “Funny People”, and it failed. But that didn’t stop him from helping to get another one of the ground, and with “50/50” they make up for it. How they did it was focusing on what cancer really is and then mixing in comedy with that natural, powerful, drama to make us feel the pain of Adam, but then relieve it with laughter. Maybe the biggest reason it works though is Joseph Gordon-Levitt. He is fantastic, my favorite performance from an actor this year. It’s a film that doesn’t stay away from the heavy stuff, it will take you to a moment of almost crying, but brings it back with the natural humor that can come out of these tough situations.

1. Beginners

Christopher Plummer is very possibly on his way to an Oscar win for his great performance as a gay man who just came out of the closet at 75, but the one thing that angers me about that is that is the only way a lot of people know this film. Do yourself a favor, SEE THIS FILM! Ewan McGregor is at the top of his game, Melanie Laurent, the French girl from “Inglourious Basterds”, is absolutely breath-taking, and there’s a talking dog (subtitles), what part of that doesn’t interest you? This is a touching film about relationships with our family, the ones we are intimate with, and ourselves. This is a movie I wish I could write, that I could direct, if I ever were to make a film as good as this one I could be happy with what I’ve done in film. Oh yeah, Christopher Plummer is also pretty damn good in it.

So there they are, my favorite films from 2011. What do you think? Agree or disagree, let me know where you stand on the year in film.