Oscar Predictions

1 03 2014

I covered the main categories in Thursday’s Bowling Green Daily News. You can read it at this link http://www.bgdailynews.com/features/timeout/movie_reviews/predicting-the-oscars/article_5babfc27-7816-5d5c-98a4-c27a60eb5987.html
Here is how I see the entire night shaping up

Best Picture: 12 Years a Slave (although the Gravity train seems to be picking up steam)
Best Director: Alfonso Cuaron, Gravity
Best Actor: Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club
Best Actress: Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
Best Supporting Actor: Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club
Best Supporting Actress: Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave
Best Original Screenplay: Her
Best Adapted Screenplay: 12 Years a Slave
Production Design: The Great Gatsby
Cinematography: Gravity
Costumes: American Hustle
Foreign Film: The Great Beauty
Sound mixing: Gravity
Sound editing: Gravity
Documentary feature: 20 Feet from Stardom
Documentary short: Room 106
Animated feature: Frozen
Animated short: Get a Horse
Live Action short: Helium
Special effects: Gravity
Editing: Captain Phillips
Score: Gravity
Song: Let it Go
Make-up: Dallas Buyers Club





Remembering Philip Seymour Hoffman

2 02 2014

Philip Seymour Hoffman was the greatest actor of his generation.
Don’t believe me? Look at his resume on IMDb.
There isn’t one bad performance on his resume. Sure he was in some bad movies, but Hoffman always brought an intensity and passion to his character that helped elevate the material.
He was a chameleon, an actor capable of taking any role.
From “Scent of a Woman” to “Catching Fire,” Hoffman was everything from the dynamic leading man that demanded your attention to the essential supporting role that made everyone else around him better.
Hoffman’s range of roles is incredible to think about.
He was in everything from “Twister” and “Along Came Polly” to little seen gems like “Before the Devil Knows Your Dead” and “A Late Quartet.” There were memorable supporting roles in “Almost Famous,” “Moneyball,” and a handful of Paul Thomas Anderson films – including “Boogie Nights” and “The Master.”
Then there was his crowning achievement, his Oscar winning turn in “Capote.” It was a performance in which Hoffman morphed into Truman Capote. This large and intense man managed to make himself smaller and meeker to perfect the mannerisms of the 5-foot-3 Capote. It’s one of the great performances of the last 15 years.
Then again, I came to expect nothing more from Hoffman.
Even in his missteps, which included a directorial gig in the adaptation of “Jack Goes Boating,” Hoffman brought the same intensity and passion that not many other actors could match.
But as word of his death leaked, we all learned that Hoffman’s larger than life persona wasn’t without some demons. A battle with drug addiction ended tragically with reports that the 46-year-old died of an overdose.
It’s a sad final chapter to a career that still seemed to be in its prime.
He was a memorable actor, who will now be immortalized forever in some of the best films of the last 20 years. He will also serve as a cautionary tale on the tragedies of addiction, and how it can tear apart even the strongest of people.
He will now be known as a great actor who left us all way too soon.





2014 Oscar nomination predictions

15 01 2014

The Oscar race hits a fever pitch on Thursday with the announcement of the 2014 nominees.
It is a list that is sure to include a few surprises, especially in a year when most races seem to be wide open.
Here is how I see the six major categories shaking out:

BEST PICTURE
American Hustle
12 Years a Slave
Gravity
Nebraska
Captain Phillips
Saving Mr. Banks
Dallas Buyers Club
Philomena

It could be up to 10 nominees and as few as five, but I think eight seems to be the likely number. The Wolf of Wall Street and Her are the two films I could see breaking through, while Saving Mr. Banks and Nebraska may be the ones on the list most in danger.

BEST ACTOR
Christian Bale, American Hustler
Bruce Dern, Nebraska
Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave
Tom Hanks, Captain Phillips
Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club

Someone is going to be left out in arguably the deepest category this year. Dern, Ejiofor, Hanks, and McConaughey are all likely locked in, leaving Bale, Robert Redford for All is Lost (my personal favorite) and Leonardo DiCaprio for the Wolf of Wall Street to fight for that final spot. I’ll take Bale because Hustle seems to have the momentum. Wolf may be too divisive, while Redford’s momentum has faded away.

BEST ACTRESS
Amy Adams, American Hustle
Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
Sandra Bullock, Gravity
Judi Dench, Philomena
Emma Thompson, Saving Mr. Banks

Like actor, this has four sure things with Blanchett, Bullock, Dench, and Thompson. The fifth spot comes down to Adams versus Meryl Streep for August:Osage County. Streep is an Academy darling, but Adams and Hustle has momentum. If Adams sneaks in she is a major contender to win. If Streep gets in Blanchett could have the most to benefit because her path to a victory gets a lot easier.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips
Daniel Bruhl, Rush
Michael Fassbender, 12 Years a Slave
James Gandolfini, Enough Said
Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club

This is one category where I could see a big shake-up. Daniel Bruhl and James Gandolfini could both be on the outside looking in, with everyone from Bradley Cooper in American Hustle, Jonah Hill in the Wolf of Wall Street, Tom Hanks in Saving Mr. Banks, and yes even James Franco in Spring Breakers capable of breaking into the final five.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave
Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle
Julia Roberts, August: Osage County
June Squibb, Nebraska
Oprah Winfrey, Lee Daniels’ The Butler

This could be the easiest category to call, with perhaps Sally Hawkins from Blue Jasmine replacing Julia Roberts.

BEST DIRECTOR
Alfonso CuarĂ³n, Gravity
Paul Greengrass, Captain Phillips
Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave
Alexander Payne, Nebraska
David O. Russell, American Hustle

Depending on what happens with best picture, you could see Martin Scorsese and Spike Jonze break through. Cuaron, McQueen, and Russell seemed to be the most sure things of the bunch.





Hot Rods start postseason with loss to Fort Wayne

5 09 2013

The Bowling Green Hot Rods dropped to 0-5 all-time in the postseason with a 6-1 loss to Fort Wayne (Ind.) on Wednesday at Bowling Green Ballpark.
Fort Wayne starter Joe Ross and three relievers combined to one-hit the Hot Rods, who must now win two straight at Fort Wayne to keep their season alive.
Here are post game comments from manager Jared Sandberg and outfielder Marty Gantt.

Sandberg
“Joe Ross is an incredible pitcher. He’s got tremendous stuff. I think when we’ve seen him the three times this year he was working on stuff and developing as a pitcher. He was using his four-seamed fastball a lot. Today he went to his two-seamed fastball – I felt more than normal for him. I know he is a ground ball power pitcher and he got a lot of ground balls today. That was the performance that they needed. Sometimes you run into that.
“In the playoffs the best team on a given day is going to win. Today they beat us.”

on what can be taken from the late mini-rally
“You look at the way the ninth inning went, anything could have happened. I think defensively we didn’t make the plays we needed to make. If we make the plays we should have made that ninth inning is really, really different. That’s frustrating because we’ve played good defense all season long.”

on being down 1-0
“It’s one game at a time from here on out. From out past experiences we know that losing the first game of the series doesn’t mean it is over. It just means we have to win two in a row now. We’ll go tomorrow and give our best effort and see what we can do.”

Gantt
On the offensive struggles against Ross
“We faced him earlier in the year. He didn’t have maybe his best stuff those couple of times. Tonight he came out there and attacked hitters. He was throwing the ball where he wanted to and had a plus breaking ball to go along with it. You saw what he did to us. He basically just went through our line-up.”

on being down 1-0
“We’ve been doing this for seven months now. (Pitching coach Kyle Snyder) and Jared preach just win the series. We’ve started off three game series with a loss but came back to win two in a row to win the series. It’s the same thing we’re doing now. Its the playoffs and it is a little bit different, but it is basically the same thing. If we go out there and compete like we always have good things will happen.”





Bullpen lifts Hot Rods to fifth straight win

23 08 2013

The Bowling Green Hot Rods inched closer to a playoff spot with a 4-3 win over West Michigan on Thursday at Bowling Green Ballpark.
Ryan Dunn delivered a game-winning single in the eighth, but it was the bullpen who helped the Hot Rods win a fifth straight game. Ryan Garton and Andrew Hanse combined for 4 2/3 scoreless innings of work to keep the game tied and set up Dunn’s game winner.
Here are post game comments from Garton and BG manager Jared Sandberg.

Sandberg
“Ryan had some days off some he needed to pitch tonight. We gave him the opportunity and he went out there and pitched. He was erratic at times but he made some huge pitches when he needed to and it was a gutsy performance for sure. It was a short bullpen and he gave us some much needed innings.”

On the game ending 4-1 grounder from Tommy Coyle to Andrew Hanse that clinched the win
“That was a huge play at the end of the game. It’s something we’ve worked on all year, a point of emphasis in the Rays organization. That play can be messed up all the time and we executed it to perfection with the game on the line in a huge part of our season.”

on Dunn’s game winning hit

“He battled, fouled off a couple of pitches with two strikes, and was able to put barrel on the ball and make a nice adjustment. That’s the grinder type of player he is. He grinds out at-bats, grinds out the season. He has a flair for the dramatic with two walk-off homers early this (season). It was the right guy at the right time for sure.”

Garton
“I’ve been on a couple of days rest now so there was no pitch limit. I’ve gone three or four innings before on big rest and I think I had three or four days rest going into today because we’ve been trying to save the bullpen because we are short right now. I just kept focusing on competing.”

on Marty Gantt’s game-saving catch in the eighth

“It’s helpful when Marty makes a play like that. That puts a lot of confidence in your head and you pitch 100 times better. We were able to get the bats going after that. I think because of Marty’s play we got confidence in our bats too.”

on his 22 inning scoreless streak

“I had a a talk with Jared about a month ago. We talked about last year and he said he didn’t see the confidence that I had last year (at Hudson Valley). I took it to heart and I’m going out every time with confidence, competing the best I can.”





Hot Rods return home with big win

22 08 2013

The Bowling Green Hot Rods moved one step closer to a playoff berth with a 9-1 win over West Michigan on Wednesday at Bowling Green Ballpark.
Bowling Green pounded out 15 hits, while Jeff Ames went six strong innings to improve to 9-4 on the season.
With the win the Hot Rods magic number is shaved to seven with 11 games remaining.
Here are post game comments from manager Jared Sandberg and third baseman Tyler Goeddel, who finished with four hits.

Sandberg
“It’s never easy, but that was a great win coming off a 10 game road trip. That was against a West Michigan team that has played very well against us over the course of the season. They’ve had our number at times. Coming off that road trip, that is a great win.
“I think they were refreshed tonight coming off the road trio. I didn’t know what to expect…that is a long time being on the road. To battle through that and come in tonight and do what we did, I think that is a good sign.”

on going 4-for-8 with runners in scoring position

“That hasn’t happened very often the last month or so. Even though we’ve scored some runs…it seems like every night we’ve looked up there and it is 1-for-11, 1-for-12. We got the big hits with runners in scoring position.”

on Ames six innings of work
“He is a fierce competitor. I think today he went to his two seamed fastball more than he has in the past and he was able to have four seam fastball with good life up in the zone. He was able to limit the damage.”

on if the team can sense the finish line, with a playoff spot in sight
“I think they can see the finish line. I also think there were a lot guys that were a lot of guys that were gassed 12 or 14 days ago. We went on the road, limited the amount of work we were doing, and we played the game. We continued to play at a high level, with high energy and it is fun to watch.”

“There is still a lot of baseball left to be played. We have to finish this thing off and then once you get to the playoffs anything can happen.”

Goeddel
“It’s definitely good to be home. I think it was our longest road trip of the year. We played pretty well and carried it over to tonight, which is nice. Hitting is contagious and hopefully we can carry this through the rest of the season.”

On the 15 hit attack
“There was a lot of clutch hitting, a lot of hits with runners in scoring position. Up and down the order we had a lot of quality at-bats. It was fun out there.”

on his four hit night
“I was able to find some holes, which was nice. I was able to put some good at-bats tonight and the results were in my favor.”

on being able to see the finish line

“We were in a little rough patch last week. I think we thought as a team that we only had a few games left so we had to finish strong. We control whether or not we make the playoffs. We’re just trying to take it one game at a time and hopefully finish the season the way we are playing right now.”





Hot Rods lose late lead again

8 08 2013

It was another late inning heartache for the Bowling Green Hot Rods, who dropped the opener of a three games series to Great Lakes (Mich.) 4-3 on Wednesday at Bowling Green Ballpark.
Bowling Green lost for the fourth time in five games. In all four losses the Hot Rods have been tied or had a lead in the seventh inning or later. On Wednesday Aaron Miller’s two-run homer in the eighth erased a 3-2 lead.
Here are post game comments from manager Jared Sandberg and third baseman Tyler Goeddel.

Sandberg

“Whether it was they made pitches, they made plays, or we didn’t execute – whatever it was, we didn’t get the job done. That’s what really hurt us tonight. Again we are hurt late in the game with a home run. If you give up a home run late in a game it’s magnified, and it was tonight.”

on going 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position, stranding nine runners
“We definitely had our chances.”

“Lopez gave us a really solid effort like he always does. He pounded the zone down and worked under the barrels (of the bat) tonight. He made some pitches against an aggressive lineup. I thought he did an excellent job. You see what he did last time against Great Lakes and he does it again tonight.”

on the game winning homer after the lead-off walk
“It’s tough when the lead-off walk scores. Then you compound it with the home run and it is late in the game. That’s tough.”

Goeddel

“We definitely couldn’t get the big hit with runners on. I know we had a bunch of chances with guys on third and less than two out and we weren’t able to cash in. It ended up costing us the game.”

on losing the opener to the team right behind them in the standings
“It’s tough knowing they are right on our tail and then we lose a game like this were we feel like we had it in control. We still have a chance to win the series and that’s our goal.”