The Walking Dead Power Rankings: “It’s All Over”

Each week, we’ll give every episode at least 24 hours to breathe…and for you to get caught up. After that, you’re clicking at your own risk. Spoilers ahead. 

In “East”, the penultimate episode of The Walking Dead’s 6th season, things go awry in a hurry. Johnny Cash’s song playing during the montage following the opening credits told you everything. The relationships, the security, the confidence…”It’s All Over.” It setup some powerful symbolism to Rick and Michonne biting the apple in bed.

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Like Adam and Eve with the forbidden fruit. They thought they had the world to themselves, and it all changed quickly after

It’s a difficult episode to watch as we see some of the strongest characters we’ve come to love make some very foolish choices that put everyone else in danger. You know a fight is coming. You know the vengeful Saviors are knocking at your door. Yet, well..

A quick, “we hardly knew ye” goodbye to Jiro and his Savior posse. 

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Funny how Jiro’s voice sounded very similar to Paula’s when confronting Carol. He knows the community is called “Alexandria” and he knows how close they are to it. Obviously Negan’s men have been doing their homework.

Now for this week’s Power Rankings:

1. Rick Grimes (Previously 2nd)

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What I appreciate about Rick’s leadership is his willingness to go head first on missions. It was smart of him to go with Morgan to find Carol and get intel along the way of how close the Saviors are and what they’re carrying. It was even smarter of him to take Morgan’s advice to head back to Alexandria as soon as possible.

We also see another side to Rick. He’s out looking for Carol because she’s family. Rather than react badly to Morgan’s “Wolf” admission, he wants him back at Alexandria. You wonder how much more Rick can grow, and here’s more evidence.

“Michonne did steal that protein bar” was Rick awesomely trading a confession for Morgan’s. Hopefully it isn’t the last thing he gets to tell him.

2. Negan (Previously 3rd)

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“Hi…I’m Negan.”

I understand that’s from the finale’s teaser, but Negan is holding all the cards right now. He has at least 4 of Rick’s people in his captivity, an infinite number of henchmen (apparently), and a barbedwire bat named Lucille.

Right now, this man holds to keys to your heart as a viewer. There is going to be blood, but who among your favorite characters will be shedding it?

 

3. Dwight (Previously 18th)

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NOBODY MAKES DARYL BLEED HIS OWN BLOOD!

Oh, Dwight did. The rivalry between these two is one of the most compelling aspects of this story. Dwight is in Daryl’s head, has the group reeling after taking out Denise, and has captured 4 of their best warriors. It’s too impressive not to give credit to.

4. Maggie Greene (Previously 4th)

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Michonne mentions at the start of the episode that Maggie has her and Rick on a tight schedule. That suggests Maggie is as much in command of Alexandria as anyone, even as much as Rick. Although she’s in a bad spot toward the end of the episode with her baby, there’s an obvious arc change for her as she asks Enid to cut her hair.

“I don’t want anything to get in my way.” This harkens back to when Shane shaved his head after killing Otis, who pulled on his hair and was weighing him down as they fought off walkers. I don’t think Maggie is turning into a complete asshole like Shane, because she has endured even more than he had to this point and remained strong. With Glenn in danger and apparently her child as well, how does she stay poised?

 

5. Morgan Jones (Previously 14th)

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We’ve been waiting a few episodes now to see what Morgan will do in the next time of crisis. It’s huge that he springs into action to chase after Carol. The woman wanted to kill him not long ago, and here he is chasing after her when there’s apparent danger EVERYWHERE.

There was a lot of references to Morgan’s “standalone” episode with Eastman. Literally, he and Rick were traveling east and the episode was called “East”. Then Morgan explains the “circle of life” process of him saving the Wolf, who kidnapped Denise, then saved Denise, who eventually saved Carl. It was interesting justification of his decision making. Now he’s helped bring back some humanity in Rick in this episode alone, and Carol has all of a sudden found hers again too…just like he did.

 

6. Glenn Rhee (Previously 7th)

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The group’s moral compass is currently in trouble. Glenn knows that the group is significantly stronger when it’s together rather than separated. That’s been proven MULTIPLE times like at Terminus, fighting the horde, and raiding the Saviors camp. It’s amazing that he still has to be the voice of reason to convince characters like Daryl and Rosita in the toughest of times.

 

7. Michonne (Previously 6th)

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Michonne is right there with Glenn, having to play babysitter to other members going rogue but also tied up among Saviors. If there’s anyone you can feel better about getting out of this pickle, it’s Michonne.

There’s also something that Jesus said a few episodes ago that I think motivates Michonne, “You have to know what you’re fighting for.” She’s fighting for Rick, Judith, Carl and their community now. She even says so after taking a bite of the apple in bed toward the beginning.

 

8. Daryl Dixon (Previously 1st)

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I’m sorry, friends, but Daryl was acting a fool in this episode. He’s been regularly at the top of our rankings since we began keeping them, but right now he has put at least 3 other characters and himself in harm’s way.

As Dwight said after shooting Daryl, “You’ll be fine.” Will he be by the end of the season finale?

(He’s booked to be on Talking Dead that night. That makes everyone nervous but I think Daryl has more of a score to settle with Dwight to go out anytime soon)

 

9. Jesus (Previously 5th)

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Jesus doesn’t get any face time, which was why he slips here, but his abilities and intelligence on the Saviors are going to be crucial in the inevitable fight with Negan. He and his Hilltop community are referenced twice in the episode, which leads me to think they have to be a variable in the finale.

 

10. Abraham (Previously 11th)

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I love Abraham’s “Ready to tear the world a brand new asshole” attitude right now. It’s huge considering how he was spiraling not too long ago and things looked bleak for his arc. That isn’t to say we’re being set up for tragedy with him, but Abraham is much more on his game when he’s happy and has something he is invested in…that being Sasha.

 

11. Sasha (Previously 12th)

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I know…where Abraham gets ranked, Sasha isn’t far away. They are a team right now and a pretty good one when they are on point. If we’re talking defense, Sasha is key as a sniper. She has also come a long way since losing Bob and Tyreese. It’s hard not to feel happy for her. It’s also interesting that she maintains her chill when having to stand her post right next to Rosita. I loved the glare she gave after Abraham climbed up to take her place. It silently screamed “Don’t mess with this.”

 

12. Father Gabriel (Previously 10th)

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Speaking of defense, Father Gabriel is definitely someone we can trust more. In a sneak peak to the finale, Gabriel pledges his service to keeping Judith safe when the war comes to them. I think his development has been critical to the narrative that “People can come back.” As someone who tried to sell out Rick and his people not long ago, after giving them shelter a season before, Gabriel is proof of what Morgan has preached this season.

 

13. Aaron (Previously 13th)

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Aaron will be a character Rick needs in the confrontation with the Saviors in the Finale, and probably after. Someone we love is likely going to die, and I would like for Aaron to take on that role that fills their place. He is the most proven out of the original Alexandrians and trusts Rick more than most.

 

14. Carol Peletier (Previously 26th)

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Welp, Carol’s “no kill” policy lasted all but 1 episode.

She’s out of my doghouse though because her leaving didn’t result in Alexandrian loss…yet. This was the first time she seemed really upset about having to kill Saviors, so she’s obviously still very conflicted. Rick and Morgan tracking her reminded me a lot of the group’s search for Sophia in season 2. I’m a little worried that Morgan will find a similar result because of that.

But she still pulled off a ridiculously impressive standoff against Jiro and the Saviors.

15. Carl Grimes (Previously 15th)

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Some serious foreshadowing as Carl checked out the Savior gun with the “Lucille” carving in it. I think we currently have the strongest version of Carl to handle what is to come. His experiences and learning from #Richonne have him more than prepared for a Savior attack.

Also, if we’re keeping score…

Carl – 2

Daryl – 1

…when it comes to being shot.

16. Eugene Porter (Previously 9th)

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“Phase 2” Eugene is also prepared for the worst case scenario. You wonder if his bullet making plan will be beneficial more in the short term or the longterm though.

 

17. Enid (Previously 20th)

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Hey look!…It’s Enid!

And she’s not being a brat! That’s so awesome. Seriously, I was worried for quite a while since her and Carl had their momentary spat in the woods.

What I hoped sort of came true. You could tell that she and Maggie were growing closer, and it’s nice to see her step in to fill in for duties when possible. Right now, she’s  most responsible for keeping Maggie safe while she deals with something going wrong in her belly too.

 

18. Doctor Harlan (Previously 19th)

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Only doctor between Alexandria and The Hilltop. Yeah, he’s kinda important while Maggie has pregnancy problems.

 

19. Heath (Previously 16th)

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In a 90 minute finale, there could be time for a look-in on Heath and Tara on their run. Maybe the come back in time or show up while the 6 characters (Carol, Morgan, Glenn, Michonne, Rosita and Daryl) are on the outside. His presence would certainly be helpful.

20. Tara Chambers (Previously 17th)

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Oh Tara…Like Carol, I have no idea how she’s going to react when she finds out about Denise. Maybe she’ll get some revenge. Maybe she’ll join her lover. I guess we’ll see, but it seems like something that should be resolved by the end of the season.

21. Tobin (Previously 21st)

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Heavy sleeper, that Tobin.

I still think he looks like the love child of Craig T. Nelson and Bill Fagerbakke from the TV show Coach.  He’s going to get a moment to fight, but I still don’t think it’s going to end well for him. PROVE ME WRONG, TOBIN. Your fling with Carol was already shocking enough. Do it again!

22. Spencer Monroe (Previously 22nd)

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So which Spencer are we going to get when shit hits the fan again?

The one who nuts up or the one who shuts up?

23. Roman (Newbie)

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The lone survivor of Jiro’s Savior crew that was blown away by Carol, and he’s on the hunt. I think he’s going to represent a crossroads moment for Morgan and Carol. Will one of them kill him? Will he kill one of them? Now I’m nervous…

24. Olivia (Previously 23rd)

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Ready your jars, Olivia.

 

25. Andy (Previously 24th)

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Saviors probably want to get some revenge on this dude, right?

26. Eric Raleigh (Previously 25th)

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Similar to Spencer, nut up or shut up time is coming for Eric.

 

27. Baby Judith (Previously 27th)

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Keep doing you, Judith.

28. Gregory (Previously 28th)

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You wonder if Gregory will stand in Jesus’s way to help the Alexandrians against Negan. He seems shifty like that.

29. Cal (Previously 29th)

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Sit on it, Potsy.

30. Freddie (Previously 30th)

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What would you say, you do here?

31. Craig (Previously 31st)

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…and you too.

Anyone too high or too low in this week’s rankings? Let me know on Facebook or Twitter

 

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Walking Dead Power Rankings: Stuck in the Middle With You

Each week, we’ll give every episode at least 24 hours to breathe…and for you to get caught up. After that, you’re clicking at your own risk. Spoilers ahead. 

Only a few of the Walking Dead regulars actually appeared in this episode and it primarily focused on two of them. However, it was a big episode for both Maggie and Carol as they overcame some ridiculous odds. We also learned a lot more about The Saviors and Negan, as we saw how they operate in tough spots.

As the title of this edition of the power rankings suggests, there was a lot of Reservoir Dogs to this episode. Themes of captivity, interrogation, deception, someone about to get lit on fire (and then a few people do, on the kill floor)…All this episode was missing was a debate on tipping and Steven Wright playing Stealer Wheel on the radio

Playing the Michael Madsen role, and biting it (see what I did there) were The Saviors.

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And that’s who we say goodbye to before the rankings…

Donnie

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“Donnie, you’re out of your element!”

Donnie was a jerk. Carol shot him. Maggie kicked his ass with her hands tied up. Then he turned into a zombie.

Molly

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Carol called her shot twice in this episode, giving you a good feeling of who she was going to put down herself. It was also the second time she told someone that smoking would kill them…

She also gives away an important detail about The Saviors by saying, “We are ALL Negan.”

Michelle

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I didn’t really have a problem with Michelle. It was just bad circumstances for her and she was on the wrong side of a gun.

Paula

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Pretty strong performance for someone who only got an episode and some change on The Walking Dead. Paula gave you a look at who The Saviors are and their point of view, which is very similar to the group we’ve followed for nearly 6 whole seasons. Carol admits that she sees a lot of herself in Paula, and that terrifies her (more on that later).

Primo

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I think there are going to be some consequences for killing Primo off too soon.

And now for this week’s power rankings:

1. Daryl Dixon (Previously 2nd)

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Daryl reclaims his top spot, even in a limited role. It wasn’t necessarily what he said but the image of him comforting Carol with the wings on his back said it all. Easy to believe his tracking skills got the group to the very unsafe “safehouse”. But it’s what he didn’t do that elevates him over Rick…

Also, Daryl is the lone representative from The Walking Dead in this year’s TV Character Madness tournament. Check out where he’s seeded in the bracket and be sure to vote for him when his number’s called!

2. Rick Grimes (Previously 1st)

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I think given what Rick knew, he did what he had to by eliminating who he thought was Negan. He and the others would probably have been much better off if they held onto Primo to get as much information as they could out of him. Would’ve been a bigger help if either Maggie or Carol stepped in to let him know they are “ALL Negan”.

3. Maggie Greene (Previously 7th)

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Great episode for Maggie. She stuck to her guns all episode and never gave in, even with the pressure of having her child. She also tried to stay diplmotic with Paula recommending that talking to Rick would be in her best interest. And damn was the #MaggieRage real the second she got free.

4. Carol Peletier (Previously 6th)

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We knew Carol was putting on her “defenseless” act from the start of the episode, to garner sympathy and become unsuspecting to the Saviors. Paula did point out though that some of the fear was real in Carol. This was the first time in a while that we had seen some real humanity in her, and I don’t think she wanted to kill Paula. To extent, it was like looking into a mirror when Carol had her gun pointed at her.

Small bit of symbolism to keep an eye one: When Carol tells that smoking will kill them, they die. Then Carol takes a drag herself. Does that spell doom for her?

5. Negan (Previously 10th)

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We know this^ isn’t Negan, but it does show how smart he is to hide his identity throughout everyone in his organization. Considering there’s more Saviors than the massive body count the Alexandrians have stacked up, I’d be scared of his army…that’s looking for revenge now.

6. Glenn Rhee (Previously 3rd)

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Glenn was also limited, like the rest of the others who showed up at the end, but there was a powerful moment for him and Maggie. They both have blood on their hands now, and that may change their approach to everything going forward. I think it’s still important though that they can relate to each other having experienced similar situations now.

7. Jesus (Previously 4th)

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Didn’t see Jesus in this episode but now the deal is complete for his Hilltop community and Alexandria. He’ll be intricate on both ends.

8. Michonne (Previously 5th)

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Quick appearance by Michonne and she only slides for not really having a line in the episode. You get a feeling she’ll be huge when things escalate soon.

From hear on out, everyone stays in the same order since they didn’t make an appearance in the episode. You can see how they earned their rankings last week here.

9. Aaron (Previously 8th)

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10. Father Gabriel (Previously 9th)

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11. Tara Chambers

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12. Heath 

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13. Rosita Espinosa 

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14. Andy (Previously 27th)

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15. Eugene Porter 

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16. Sasha 

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17. Abraham 

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18. Carl Grimes 

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19. Denise Cloyd (Previously 20th)

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20. Morgan Jones (Previously 21st)

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21. Enid (Previously 22nd)

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22. Tobin (Previously 23rd)

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23. Spencer Monroe (Previously 24th)

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24. Doctor Harlan (Previously 25th)

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25. Eric Raleigh (Previously 26th)

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26. Baby Judith (Previously 27th)

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27. Gregory (Previously 28th)

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28. Cal (Previously 29th)

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29. Olivia (Previously 30th)

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30. Dwight (Previously 31st)

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31. Freddie (Previously 32nd)

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32. Craig (Previously 33rd)

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Anyone too high or too low in this week’s rankings? Let me know on Facebook or Twitter

Top 25 Films of 2015 – The Final List

It took until 2016 to get this list done, but that’s the price of being thorough…and loving movies.

I released a list at the end of the summer and another before the holidays. Of course, studios waited till Christmas and after to release some of the most anticipated films of the year. Just in time for the announcement of this year’s Oscar nominees, here are my Top 25 – The films I liked, really liked, and loved.

25. Carol

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It’s elegant and shot beautifully. Cate Blanchett has the title character but Rooney Mara is the one you’re invested in. I would have loved to see this film shot decades ago with Audrey Hepburn in Mara’s role. Kyle Chandler’s classic look would have fit in nicely. Also enjoyed the appearance from Cory Michael Smith who is currently The Riddler on FOX’s Gotham. It’s fitting.

24. Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation

MI Rogue Nation 2015

It was a strong year for blockbuster franchises. There are two more represented further down this list. The Mission Impossible series seems to get better as time goes on and fortunately for them, Rogue Nation hit theaters before Spectre did with a similar plot and much better execution. 

23. Beasts of No Nation

Beasts of No Nation 2015

Idris Elba seems to show us in everything he does that he is one of the best actors of our time, and this Netflix Original film gets him closer to the acclaim he properly deserves. Beasts of No Nation is also a milestone for Netflix that shows they should be taken seriously as a film studio and not just for television…Just try to avoid the string of unfortunate Adam Sandler flicks they will be putting out for a while.

22. Creed

Creed 2015

Creed is a very good sports movie. It reminded me a lot of the first Rocky film. I love how they filmed the fights and Sylvester Stallone deserves every “best supporting actor” nomination he gets. We’re reminded how great an actor he is, and how awesome a character Rocky Balboa is in this film. Michael B. Jordan is certainly in store for big things and this film is a clear sign of that. I just wished they held back on the cheese factor of a certain training scene and that his “big opponent” was a much more memorable character. 

21. Trumbo

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The acting in Trumbo is outstanding. The hype was real regarding Bryan Cranston’s performance. Both Helen Mirren and John Goodman play their parts very well. The correlation between how members of the American communist party were treated and some of our society’s current issues today strikes a chord. I just wish I hadn’t seen so many of the big scenes in the trailer already and that the directing was better.

20. The Big Short

The Big Short 2015

The more I think about The Big Short, the more I think I liked it. Christian Bale, Steve Carell and Ryan Gosling are all awesome in the film and it’s incredibly smart. Hamish Linklater is also an excellent complement, similar to his role in The Crazy Ones with Robin Williams. The constant explaining of every economic term (which might have been necessary) gets distracting and the comedic approach takes away some of the necessary emotional investment. Had I not seen 99 Homes, I probably would have appreciated this film a lot more while watching it. 

19. 99 Homes

99 Homes 2015

Like The Big Short, 99 Homes takes place during the financial and housing crisis but it’s way much more of a punch to the gut. You get the perspective of people who lost their homes from the crisis, and it’s even more of a thriller because you have no idea how these people will react to those who have to break the news to them. Michael Shannon is also as good as anyone in supporting actor categories from this film.

18. Straight Outta Compton

Straight Outta Compton 2015

The music, the acting, the “Bye Felicia” scene…

Straight Outta Compton was an awesome biopic and it told a story that I think a lot of younger hip hop fans needed to hear, considering how influential members of NWA really are to the genre. The only reason I don’t have it ranked higher is because it did feel long by the end. 

17. Love & Mercy

Love and Mercy 2015

Love and Mercy was another biopic (also with Paul Giamatti as a jerk manager) that I enjoyed, but this one stuck with me a lot longer after. Paul Dano is great as young Brian Wilson and for once John Cusack is a lot less “John Cusack”-ish than he is in most of his roles. Elizabeth Banks also gives one of the more underrated performances in film from this year. If you’re like me, you probably listened to “Pet Sounds” for a week after seeing it.

16. The Walk

The Walk 2015

I’m a little disappointed The Walk isn’t getting more chatter during awards season. Obviously I think there are better films, but Robert Zemeckis did a brilliant job utilizing 3D, especially for the climax of the film. Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Ben Kinglsey were both remarkably charming as well. 

15. The Hateful EightHateful Eight 2015

It’s not Quentin Tarantino’s best, but “Not Tarantino’s Best” is still better than most. The second half of the film was up there with some of his most entertaining…and bloodiest. For me, this was Walton Goggins’s coming out party on the big screen. Loved him in Justified and The Shield. I think it’s obvious Tarantino did too.

14. Mississippi Grind 

Mississippi Grind

It was too appropriate that I watched this film while waiting to hear my lottery numbers called. Australian actor Ben Mendelsohn has the All-American Asshole role down between this and Bloodline, yet knows just how to make you feel for him. Sure, Ryan Reynolds plays another good-looking fast talker, but his whole “who, what, and why” deal keeps you as intrigued as the constant gambling…which is enough drama by itself. 

13. Ex Machina

Ex Machina 2015

This was a big year for all 3 stars of Ex Machina. Oscar Isaac continued his path to Pacino-status with his roles in Show Me A Hero and Star Wars, which Domhnall Gleeson also stars in (as well as Brooklyn and The Revenant). Alicia Vikander has a good chance of getting both Best Actress and Supporting Oscar nominations for her roles in The Danish Girl and Ex Machina. Her character, Ava, still haunts my dreams as well. It’s an unreal suspense film. 

12. The End of the Tour

The End of the Tour 2015

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again…I can’t recall a time where I’ve seen two actors be so natural interacting with each other for a film. That’s all this film is…a long weekend conversation from Bloomington-Normal to Minnesota and back, with honest thoughts and feelings. I’m happy to see Jason Segel is getting some acclaim as well for his portrayal of David Foster Wallace.

11. Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs 2015

Yes, I’m a HUGE Sorkin fan, but I found the approach to this biopic to be incredibly original. It wasn’t your typical “start-to-end” story, but just 3 different periods in time and how each person has evolved in that time. It also helps that everyone involved nails it with their parts, especially Michael Fassbender.

10. Brooklyn

Brooklyn 2015

If anyone is challenging Brie Larson for Best Actress, it’s Saoirse Ronan. She and Brooklyn do an amazing job of making you feel all the emotions you can muster. It also helps that two of my TV crushes, Emily Bett Rickards (Felicity Smoak, Arrow) and Jessica Paré (Megan Draper, Mad Men), have solid roles in the film. The contrast in two worlds during the 1950s and how Eilis (Ronan) evolves is what makes the film.

 

09. Inside Out

Inside Out 2015

A movie about feelings makes you feel feelings…and even more than the typical Pixar feelings (which is saying a lot, considering the first 3 minutes to Up). It also helps that they casted all the right people for all the right feelings.

08. The Martian

The Martian 2015

I came across a Facebook friend listing his “Top 10” and he said he hadn’t seen The Martian because “It looked like Castaway in space.” He is very wrong…unless he values Jeff Daniels, Donald Glover, Kristen Wiig, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Sean Bean, Michael Pena, Jessica Chastain, and Kate Mara to all be a volleyball named Wilson. There’s also a Lord of the Rings reference that probably won the film “Best Comedy” at the Golden Globes by itself. 

07. The Revenant

The Revenant 2015

I have a very difficult time seeing anyone other than Leonardo DiCaprio winning Best Actor at the Oscars. Maybe Bryan Cranston, but Leo will be SO pissed if he doesn’t because of everything he went through for this film…It’s pretty evident.

06. Room

Room 2015

The Best Actress category at any awards show is Brie Larson’s to lose because of Room. Jacob Tremblay is amazing as well…just be prepared to have your heart strings pulled hard.

05. Mad Max: Fury Road

Mad Max Fury Road 2015

Mad Max: Fury Road is a 2 hour long roller coaster of action, explosions, and rock’n’roll. I don’t recall taking a breath between the start and end. The twisted and beautiful mind of George Miller is on full awesome display. 

04. Me and Earl and The Dying Girl

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl 2015

I think we all have our personal movies that connect with us in more ways than most and matches our personalities. Me and Earl and The Dying Girl was that movie for me, my favorite from the summer. There’s also something about Nick Offerman as a sociology professor, robe-wearing, cat-obsessed dad that still tickles me funny.

03. Bridge of Spies

Bridge of Spies 2015

Bridge of Spies is about as good a film as you could ask for from a combination of Steven Spielberg and the Coen Brothers…I was pleasantly surprised to see that the latter wrote the movie once the closing credits rolled. It was all meant for someone like Tom Hanks to lead in. There is one scene toward the end that I found to be as powerful as any in 2015. 

02. Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Star Wars- The Force Awakens

The best way I’ve heard The Force Awakens described is that it hit all the right spots in all the right ways…It really did. Nostalgia and newness brilliantly combined. Fantastic well-timed humor that the past films lacked. If you waited for something to disappoint you, you’d only be disappointed by the fact that you’re still waiting. It’s also the only other film, besides #1, that I went back to see in the theater again and appreciated more for it.

01. Spotlight

Spotlight 2015

I really don’t think there was a better performance by an ensemble this year. It was a refreshing take on journalism, not over-glorifying the industry but simply presenting how a paper goes about getting a story. All the comparisons to All The President’s Men are warranted. I will also stump hard for Mark Ruffalo getting Best Supporting Actor recognition, even when the category is heavy enough as is. 

 

What does your list look like? Let me know on Facebook or Twitter

The 2016 SAG Award Nominations and My Thoughts

The 2016 SAG Award nominations were announced Wednesday morning, and two things struck me:

  1. The Screen Actors Guild LOVED Trumbo, maybe a bit more than me.
  2. I don’t think they’ve seen Fargo yet on FX. Seriously…

This is just one of several award shows (which airs Jan. 30th on TNT and TBS), but it’s one of the few that gauges my interest more than others because it acknowledges both the film and TV world. Here are the nominees and some quick thoughts on each category.

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role

  • Bryan Cranston – Trumbo
  • Johnny Depp – Black Mass
  • Leonardo DiCaprio – The Revenant
  • Michael Fassbender – Steve Jobs
  • Eddie Redmayne – The Danish Girl

I really have no problem with this category. I have yet to see Revenant or The Danish Girl, but I don’t doubt the performances of DiCaprio or Redmayne carry their films like the other nominees. If there was someone that I would like to see get more credit, it’s Jason Segel as David Foster Wallace in End of the Tour. It didn’t take much transforming, aside from the obvious hair and glasses, but Segel’s performance is as engaging and natural as any from the summer…especially in his interactions with Jesse Eisenberg.

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role

  • Cate Blanchett – Carol
  • Brie Larson – Room
  • Helen Mirren – Woman In Gold
  • Saoirse Ronan – Brooklyn
  • Sarah Silverman – I Smile Back

I can’t get upset about this category because I think it’s Brie Larson’s award to lose, and hers alone. However, I’m surprised Jennifer Lawrence was left out after another highly anticipated David O’Russell  role. Of course the film hasn’t hit theaters yet, so I can’t really talk..Alicia Vikander deserves more love for Ex Machina because she still haunts my dreams for her performance.

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role

  • Christian Bale – The Big Short
  • Idris Elba – Beasts of No Nation
  • Mark Rylance – Bridge of Spies
  • Michael Shannon – 99 Homes
  • Jacob Tremblay – Room

This category is HEAVY. Even without Mark Ruffalo (Spotlight), Sylvester Stallone (Creed) or Paul Dano (Love & Mercy), it looks stacked…but I’d like to see them all in it.

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role

  • Rooney Mara – Carol
  • Rachel McAdams – Spotlight
  • Helen Mirren – Trumbo
  • Alicia Vikander – The Danish Girl
  • Kate Winslet – Steve Jobs

Helen Mirren has 3 nominations here and I’m not sure she’s winning any of them. It will be fun to see what her batting average is though by the night’s end. I would be interested to see what kind of buzz Jennifer Jason Leigh gets after Hateful Eight is released.

Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture

  • Beasts of No Nation
  • The Big Short
  • Spotlight
  • Straight Outta Compton
  • Trumbo

Spotlight is my favorite film from this year and it deserves all the good things that come its way. I am surprised both The Martian or Steve Jobs were left out of this category, considering how star studded their casts were. Their performances didn’t disappoint either.

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries

  • Idris Elba – Luther
  • Ben Kingsley – Tut
  • Ray Liotta – Texas Rising
  • Bill Murray – A Very Murray Christmas
  • Mark Rylance – Wolf Hall

I don’t have many thoughts on this other than (1) Luther rules, (2) I turned off A Very Murray Christmas after 10 minutes and (3) Where is Oscar Isaac for Show Me A Hero. 

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries

  • Nicole Kidman – Grace of Monaco
  • Queen Latifah – Bessie
  • Christina Ricci – The Lizzie Borden Chronicles
  • Susan Sarandon – The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe
  • Kristen Wiig – The Spoils Before Dying

I literally have zero thoughts about this one, because I haven’t seen any of the nominated performances yet.

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series

  • Peter Dinklage – Game of Thrones
  • Jon Hamm – Mad Men
  • Rami Malek – Mr. Robot
  • Bob Odenkirk – Better Call Saul
  • Kevin Spacey – House of Cards

I’m happy to see Rami Malek get props for playing the best introvert on TV, but this is Don Draper’s victory lap and I don’t see anyone getting in his way. I’m also always shocked to not see Mads Mikkelsen ever nominated for Hannibal. I guess that’s for fringe loving types like me.

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series

  • Claire Danes – Homeland
  • Viola Davis – How To Get Away With Murder
  • Julianna Margulies – The Good Wife
  • Maggie Smith – Downton Abbey
  • Robin Wright –House of Cards

Viola Davis has the momentum from the Emmys but I will always maintain that the past two seasons of House of Cards have been great nearly because of Robin Wright as much as Spacey.

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series

  • Ty Burrell – Modern Family
  • Louis C.K. – Louie
  • William H. Macy – Shameless
  • Jim Parsons – The Big Bang Theory
  • Jeffrey Tambor – Transparent

Modern Family to me is “What Will Phil Dunphy Do Next?” because that’s all I watch for now, but Jeffrey Tambor holding a torch for the transgender community has become way more important.

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series

  • Uzo Aduba – Orange is the New Black
  • Edie Falco – Nurse Jackie
  • Ellie Kemper – Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
  • Julia Louis-Dreyfus – Veep
  • Amy Poehler – Parks and Recreation

Poehler Thug

That is all.

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series

  • Downton Abbey
  • Game of Thrones
  • Homeland
  • House of Cards
  • Mad Men

If you’ve been watching the second season of Fargo, you’re probably wondering if perhaps the actors didn’t know how to spell it filling out their nominations, considering every Monday night feels like the show’s best episode…If you’ve been watching Homeland this seasonyou might be wondering why it’s on here. The season finale is in a week and I still have no idea if it was good or not this year.

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series

  • The Big Bang Theory
  • Key & Peele
  • Modern Family
  • Orange is the New Black
  • Transparent
  • Veep

I would love to see Key & Peele ride off into the sunset with some hardware.

Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture

  • Everest
  • Furious 7
  • Jurassic World
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation

Fury Road is one of the best films of this year and a modern classic. Pick against it and you lose.

Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Comedy or Drama Series

  • The Blacklist
  • Game of Thrones
  • Homeland
  • Marvel’s Daredevil
  • The Walking Dead

I just watched end Episode 2 of the first season again. This is why I love Daredevil.

How are you pulling for this Awards season? Let me know on Facebook or Twitter.