Sunday, September 30, 2012

Sunday Best: Actress 2007

photo by Tony Shek

Best Actress:  
Ellen Page: Juno
She carries this movie on her able shoulders.  She has the difficult job of 
making Juno sarcastic and distant, yet charismatic and likeable.  You have to 
want to be Juno’s friend despite the fact that she continuously makes bad 
decisions.  She’s the smart girl who doesn’t think.  She’s good friend who 
continuously breaks your heart.  She embraced all of these contradictions in a 
believable way.  

Runners Up
Nikki Blondsky: Hairspray
Katherine Heigel: Knocked Up
Amy Adams: Enchanted
Lena Heady: 300

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Batman Casting Poll Winner

So, based on our recent CatholicSkywalker Casting Call polls, we now have a complete Justice League for our potential movie.

First we have the officially cast roles:

We have Henry Cavil as Superman

Ryan Reynolds as Green Lantern

Olivia Wilde as Wonder Woman

photo by Cameron Yee
Neil Patrick Harris as The Flash
photo by Lan Bui
Ryan Gosling as Aquaman
photo by AlBBie905
Donald Glover as Cyborg

photo by Gaelen Hadlett 
And now, finally, the one that the readers of the Catholic Skywalker Blog have chosen for their new Batman is....

photo by Erin

After watching him in The Town, I think that he can definitely pull of the Batman needed for this franchise to work.

So there it is: our Justice League.  Thoughts?

Film Flash: Pitch Perfect

15 words or less film review (full review to follow soon)

Like Glee, if Glee was good.  Enjoyed it from start to finish.  Anna Kendrick rules.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Film Flash: Looper

15 words or less film review (full review to follow soon)

Best Bruce Willis time travel movie.  Violent and complex with unexpected twists.

Film Review: Here Comes the Boom

Adam Sandler's production company, Happy Madison, makes a habit of infuriating movie critics with its films. They produce movies that are either simple and schmaltzy or juvenile and gross. Or both together. In a world where film critics gravitate to the dark and ironic, these movies are dismissed as escapist stupidity.

And I'm sure that's what most critics will say about their latest film Here Comes the Boom staring Kevin James. This movie has no subtlety in the script nor does it boast stellar performances, huge laughs, or artistic directing. But that does not mean that it is a bad move. Far from it. I actually enjoyed the heck of this film.

The plot revolves around Scott Voss (James) who is a high school biology teacher. After starting off his career with energetic idealism, he has been crushed by a system of mediocrity, where he simply sits and class reading his paper, waiting for his paycheck. This changes when the school announces because of budget cuts that the music program will be defunded. This means that his colleague Marty (played by a very un-Fonzie Henry Winkler), will lose his job. For reasons that have been established earlier, Scott feels compelled to raise money to save the program. While tutoring someone to pass their citizenship test (Bas Rutten), he watches a mixed-martial arts fight and finds out that UFC fighters makes at least $10 grand a fight, even if they lose.

Scott then goes on a series of comic episodes working his way up the fighting circuit to earn the money he needs. Like all good sports movies, and this is at heart a sports movie, Scott is the scrappy underdog who will not give up no matter how humiliated and injured he becomes. And those injures serve to bring him closer to the school nurse (played by Salma Hayek) as Marty's increasing passion and selflessness brings romance to the two of them.

Along the way he interacts with lots of quirky characters like his trainer Nico (Rutten), a gentle giant who is happy that life is “twisting” (i.e. cool). Then there's Malia (played by Filipino singer Charice) a smart and sweet girl who needs a teacher to help her. I could go on, but you get the idea. As he finds his outer strength, he begins to find his inner strength and brings his enthusiasm back to the classroom. In class he gives lecture (while gyrating on his desk) on how dynamic cells can bring a whole oranism back to life. This is a metaphor for the classroom and, as a teacher myself, I couldn't agree more. As I wrote in my Philosophy of Teaching, enthusiasm is contagious and students learn better when they feel excited.

The film routinely relies on silly situations to move the story forward. I can't say that there were a lot of laughs (although after Scott's first win, I couldn't stop laughing for a few minutes). But I found myself smiling throughout the entire film. The movie may not be the funniest, but it is enjoyable. The script doesn't give the actors a lot to work with, although James has lots of hidden charisma. He is completely believable as the layabout teacher, the inspiring teacher, the worthless fighter, and the worth fighter. That is no small feat. I would love to see James tackle some more dramatic roles that push his range because I think that he definitely has it in him.

As a Catholic I was also pleased with the subtle nods to faith in the movie. Religion doesn't really come up, but one trainer quotes Genesis 32 where Jacob wrestles God. Right before the final match, Scott and his team join hands in prayer and walk in to an exciting rendition of the Neil Diamond song “Holy Holy.”

As I said before, this is a sports movie. The most important quality of a sports movie is that it makes you feel like you are at a sporting event. Major League is my favorite movie about sports because I am riveted during that last game. The most salient crowd feature at a game is the cheer. The audience gives its full-throated commitment to the outcome of the contest. In Scott's last match in the movie, the stakes are raised. He is not prepared for this, but he goes forward anyway. I was desperate for him to win. That is impressive for a movie that for the most part was coasting at a “B-” grade.

They tell you that in good writing you don't explicitly say the theme. Here Comes the Boom throws that out the window. Marty tells a weary Scott that “teaching is inspiring.” Director Frank Coraci (who gave us the great The Wedding Singer and the under-appreciated Capra-esque Click) then shows us shot after shot of the quirky cast of characters Scott has encountered in his journey. And they all seem inspired. It is a cheesy film technique designed to tug at our hearts.

And it works. Somehow, Coraci makes this silly story work on an emotional level. I couldn't help but be a little inspired.

And I think you might be too.

3 ½ out of 5 stars

Here Comes the Boom opens October 12th

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Hollywood Courage

The 2012 Emmy Awards were this past Sunday.  It was a star-studded event where Hollywood once again honored great achievements in the medium of television.  It was sometimes funny, sometimes boring, but it was no better or worse than most Emmy shows.

But I was struck by once sentiment that came from a particular set of winners.  The movie Game Change won 4 Emmys including Best Movie/Miniseries, Best Directing, Best Writing, and Best Actress.  For those unfamiliar with the movie, it’s based on the 2008 Presidential election and focused on VP Candidate Sarah Palin.  In Game Change, Palin is portrayed as ignorant, selfish, and unpredictably emotional.  The intent was not to present a balanced view but a negative view of her.  This is evidenced by Julianne Moore’s (the actress who played Palin) acceptance speech reveling in the fact that she made Palin look bad.  Now, you may agree that this assessment of Palin mirrors reality or you may not.  I am not here to argue whether or not Palin deserves ridicule.  Regardless, this is the portrayal of the former governor of Alaska. 

When writer Danny Strong accepted his award, he thanked HBO for having the “courage” to make this movie.  When director Jay Roach got his Emmy, he thanked Julianne Moore for taking a huge chance on this part.  All I kept thinking though was: What?

I don’t understand how it takes any courage to make a movie in Hollywood that trashes a conservative.  It’s about the same amount of courage that it takes for a politician to trash President Obama at a Tea Party Rally.  How is telling people what they want to hear courageous?

Strong, Roach, and Moore put together a movie in a short amount of time.   Any major movie like this takes a great deal of effort, talent, and skill to pull off.  I congratulate them all on their earned awards.  But it didn’t take any real courage. 

What is courage?  Courage is the virtue that helps you overcome fear so you can act.  Courage is only laudable when it is used for a good end.  We admire the courage of a soldier who defends his friends from gunfire, but we don’t admire the courage of a criminal who breaks into a house knowing that there is a guard dog. 

And courage must have a real fear to overcome.  It must come at a price.  Courage only means something if it costs you.

Courage, like all other virtues, is only of value when tied to a good end.  Did the makers of Game Change have a good intention?  I’ll leave that up to your judgment, dear reader.  But did it require them to overcome great fear?  I’m not sure how.

The movie got top funding from Tom Hanks’ and Rita Wilson’s production company.  HBO Green lit the project quickly.  It was hailed by TV critics all over the country.  Entertainment Weekly fawned over Moore’s portrayal of Palin.

Wow!  Look at all the obstacles they had to overcome.  I’d be scared too.

Perhaps I am being unfair.  They did receive a backlash from talk radio and conservative blogs.  But since when has that been a huge influence in Hollywood? 

Among their peers in the industry, those who would have a direct effect on the future of their careers, do you think that making Game Change would help or hurt their future?  Maybe it wouldn’t help, but I cannot see how it would hurt.

What would be brave?  When George Clooney won his Oscar for Syriana, he said And finally, I would say that, you know, we are a little bit out of touch in Hollywood every once in a while. I think it's probably a good thing. We're the ones who talk about AIDS when it was just being whispered, and we talked about civil rights when it wasn't really popular. And we, you know, we bring up subjects. This Academy, this group of people gave Hattie McDaniel an Oscar in 1939 when blacks were still sitting in the backs of theaters. I'm proud to be a part of this Academy. Proud to be part of this community, and proud to be out of touch. And I thank you so much for this."

Ignoring the fact that blacks weren’t sent to back of theaters and the fact that Hollywood also engaged in the stereotypes that he says they fought against, you get Clooney’s point.  He lays out the role of courage in the film industry.  It is about addressing difficult subjects and leading the moral charge by changing the culture for the better even when it’s not popular.

If that is his definition of Hollywood Courage, then I couldn’t agree more.  Except that the culture that needs to change is inside of Hollywood, not outside of it.

So… who is challenging the Hollywood Culture in any significant way?

Certainly not Roach, Strong, and Moore. 

Who in Hollywood is promoting a culture of life?

Who in Hollywood is supports respect for Christianity?

Who in Hollywood is defending free speech?

I don’t mean these questions as cudgels, but as true interrogatives.  I would like to know who is doing this, so they I can honor them with my esteem.

Take the first topic: Culture of Life.

Movies that are explicitly pro-choice get Oscar nominations like The Cider House Rules and Vera Drake.  Movies that are explicitly pro-life like Bella and October Baby are ignored.  I’m not saying that these last two movies should have been nominated, but which do you think took more courage to produce in the film industry?

Take the middle topic: respect for Christianity.

Last spring ABC made a show called Good Christian B***es.  Insert any other religion into that title and could you imagine it getting even close to being made?  I’m not appealing to any kind of censorship, but to basic tolerance for religions.  I don’t want to see Good Muslim B***es or Good Jewish B***es, but who is leading the charge in Hollywood to have respect for Christianity?

Let’s take the last topic: free speech. 

A few weeks ago a person with an axe to grind against Islam released a horribly produced attack on the religion.  The US government absurdly blamed him for riots by Islamists around the world on 9/11 that led to the death of Americans, including one of our ambassadors.  In response, the government sent law enforcement to round this director up from his home.  Supposedly it was because of some supposed parole violations.  But in reality it was so that he could be paraded in front of cameras so the Muslim world could see that the US is investigating him.

Does this not chill you to your core?

You could argue that this man had courage because of the potential fatwa that would be headed his way.  But I don’t believe that it served a good end, so I don’t think he should be lauded.

I hate when South Park mocks my Jesus or my Blessed Mother.  If I was a Muslim I would hate that this man insulted my Prophet.  But it never occurred to me to have the government handcuff Matt Stone and Trey Parker because they offended me.  Why is it acceptable to do it to the guy who made the stupid Muslim video?

And I don’t hear anyone in Hollywood leading the moral charge against this infringement of the First Amendment rights (except maybe Robert Davi, but he is a bit of a Hollywood outsider).  Again, I’ll be more than happy to take correction and say so on this blog.  But where are those who fight for the right to free expression even if you disagree?

This is an excellent time to show courage, to stand up to government bullies.



Look, you can say that Sunday night the academy awarded a movie of top-notch quality in writing, directing and acting in Game Change and I have no problem with your assessment.

Just don’t tell me that it was courageous.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Fall's Worst New Show

As I begin to write this it is 9:48.

ABC's The Neighbors started at 9:30 and is not over yet.  But I can declare that it is the worst new show of the year.

I haven't seen any new show besides Go On.

And I feel very confident that The Neighbors is the worst new show of the year.

It may very well be the worst show I have ever seen, and I watched the pilot to Covington Cross.

To try to explain why it is so bad seems almost an exercise in excess.

The acting is horrible.

The special effects are atrocious.

But the worst is the writing.

You know those skits on Saturday Night Live that they play in the last half hour.  You know the ones, where some new member of the cast tries an offbeat skit that is really dumb, but they give it a shot in the wee hours.

Those skits are Shakespeare compared to The Neighbors.

To satisfy any curiosity, its about a group of aliens who pose as humans in a New Jersey suburb.  Then some humans move into one of the houses.

This is usually where I say wackiness ensues, but its more like a place where wackiness goes to die a slow horrible death from bacterial meningitis.

I can sum it up by what the alien communication device is called:  The poo-pod.

Someone wrote that and thought it was funny.  An actual human.

Here's what makes me mad: it's not that someone green-lit this piece of crap.  It's that there are so many other great pilots out there that get passed over for this horror show.

Seriously, my eyes feel violated after watching this show.

The horror.

The horror.

Wednesday Comics: Green Lantern: The New Guardians #0

Kyle Rayner is my favorite Green Lantern.

I didn’t like him at first. I was very upset at what they did to Hal Jordan during "Emerald Twilight," but writer Ron Marz made Kyle so incredibly likable. It wasn’t that he was necessarily a nice guy. But he was the guy that became a super hero late and always worked his butt off to be worthy of the mantle.

For the new DC 52, while Hal starred in the main title and Guy Gardner and John Stewart were leading Green Lantern Corps., Kyle starred in his own book: Green Lantern: New Guardians. The series started off with Kyle mysteriously receiving a ring from each of the main lantern corps. He was then joined by supporting characters from each corps: Bleez (red), Glommulous (Orange), Armadillo (Sinestro), Saint Walker (Blue), Monk (Indigo), and Fatality (Star Sapphire). Together they investigated the mystery of the disappearing rings and fought a common enemy together.

With that story arc over, writer Tony Bedard looks to take the book in a new direction and shuffle up the cast. I like this a lot. Even though I would have liked to explore a few more of the characters, it felt like time for a change in this book. And based on issue #0, the changes are for the better.

The story begins focusing on Carol Ferris, longtime love of Hal Jordan and leader in the Star Sapphire Corps. We haven't heard much from her in the main Green Lantern book, where she played and important supporting role. Kyle shows up looking for Hal and the two of them begin a search.

I have to say, this new start feels as much Carol's book as it does Kyle's, and that's a good thing. The two of them have never really interacted in an important way until this story. Together they fight the remnants of Black Hand's army. Carol, having more experience than Kyle with things cosmic begins to take the lead. It is good to see her have adventures apart from simply being Hal's helpful girlfriend. I also like that they gave her a less revealing (though still form-fitting) costume. I've been waiting for them to explore the powers and limits of the Star Sapphire ring, and this looks like just the book to do it. But that does not diminish this Green Lantern's importance. In fact, Bedard hints at even bigger plans for Kyle as the months unfold. Without giving anything away, Carol can foresee that Kyle is more important than he or the Guardians ever dreamed.

I've really enjoyed Bedard's run on this and his previous time on Green Lantern Corps. He understands the need for cosmic size events with intricate plots all the while making the characters enjoyable to read. Artist Aaron Kuder is reminiscent of Frank Quietly and gives the book a bit of a moodier tone than it had before.

Based on the cover, we will see the return of Arkillo and Saint Walker. I especially like this duo because of the sort-of friendship they've developed. Walker desperately wants to save Armadillo from his evil ways. Armadillo wants to use his evil ways to protect the only person he cares about: Saint Walker. They are such opposites, Bedard makes us feel a real friendship brewing. Also based on the cover the heads of the Red and Orange Lantern Corps (Attrocitus and Larfleeze) will be joining the story. The Indigo Lantern representative is conspicuously missing.

All of this is still a prelude to the Third Army story line that is about to explode into the Green Lantern universe. The book ends with some very ominous tidings regarding the Star Sapphires.

Because Geoff Johns' Green Lantern is the best DC book around today, I think that the other Lantern books can be a bit overlooked. That would be a shame since Green Lantern: New Guardians is a fun read and looks like it will only get better.

4 out of 5 stars.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

DVD Review: War Horse

This review will be brief, unlike War Horse.

Spielberg adapted the stage play of the same name into a movie.  The idea is that we encounter the lives of people in Europe before and during World War I.  The common thread that they all have is care of an English horse named Joey.

Along the way we spend time with a poor farming family, a brave cavalry officer, two young German brothers, a sick young girl and her grandfather, a plump horse tender, and soldiers surviving No Man's Land.

The only character you ever feel strongly for is Albert (Jeremy Irvine), the young man who trains Joey and cares for him like a friend.

I haven't seen the stage play, but from what I understand, there is a spectacle of a puppet that looks and acts like a real horse.  Here, the the horse looks and acts like a real horse because it IS a real horse.

Also, based on the story, the horse is merely a background performer that serves as a catalyst for the other characters to develop.  In Spielberg's movie, he makes the horse a character with emotions, heroic actions, and an arc.  And THAT is the main problem with the movie.

It's a horse!

Actual people are dying all around.  The horror of war is that it kills people, not horses.

To be sure, the wanton destruction of horses is bad.  But they're horses.

In the movie Defiance, Daniel Craig plays the leader of a rebel band of Jews hiding from the Nazis.  When winter comes and the people starve, he shoots his horse for the meat.

Sad?  Yes.  But totally the right call to save starving people.  The movie seems to place the value of Joey's life at the same level as the humans.  And that bothers me.

I know that in movies with Benji and Lassie we also sympathize with the animal.  But this is war and people are dying.

Also, the movie is ironically too long and too short.  It is too long in terms of overall length at nearly 2 1/2 hours.  But we spend too little time in the side stories to care all that much about what happens.

They should have dumped the stage script and made the movie about Albert and used the horse as a metaphor for how war transforms you.

The visuals are fine, but nothing special, especially for Spielberg.  The acting is also respectable.

The score is good.  Too good for this movie.

2 out of 5 stars

Emmy Predictions (or How I'm Terrible at Prognostication)

So, I scored 8 correct predictions out of 24.

Jimmy Kimmel said something interesting at the beginning of the broadcast: none of the shows nominated for best drama were on the big networks.

Now you could argue its because only the cable channels are willing to take more artistic risk for greater reward.  That's not a bad theory.

But I would like to point out how low the ratings were for this telecast.  And I think it was for the reason Kimmel mentioned.  Shows on cable may be more critically lauded, but they don't have the same audience as the networks.  If I don't watch the shows nominated, why should I care?

For those who suffered through my life-tweeting of the event, you know my thoughts on the show in general.

It wasn't bad, but also wasn't too good.  To make the show interesting, you need a horse race.  You have to care about what wins.

As we get closer to Oscar season, I'll post a diatribe I once wrote on the problems with the Academy Awards.  Those problems are similar to the Emmys.

But if want to find out what the REAL best shows of the year were, stay tuned in December when I lay out the best in movies and television.  It's like the Golden Globes, but much better choices and only 8/10 of the prestige.

But if you want to watch some excellent TV now, then watch the following:

Parks and Recreation
The Amazing Race
The Big Bang Theory
The Simpsons

I'll report on my first impressions of new Fall shows in a later post.


Monday, September 24, 2012

Monday Poetry: On Books

Another poem by WL Grayson.

Grayson put a great emphasis on the power of the human imagination.  He feared that dramatizing stories would solidify a in the mind of the watcher an image.  But this robs the human mind of the joy of creation.

And there is a truth to this.  How often do we read a book and create an image of the characters and location in our head.  But then we see a movie and we can no longer see it any other way.

I know that's true for me.   Danielle Radcliffe is Harry Potter.  Kristen Stewart is Bella Swan.  Elijah Wood is Frodo Baggins.

It is easy to let the movies do the work for you, but you lose something in the process.

On Books
by WL Grayson

I find my leisure in the pleasure of the page
Stories meant to capture or enrapture or enrage
Or comic/tragic, there's the magic of the mage
written in full glory is the story not the stage.

When there's an actor, it's a factor that will find
your inner thought will be bought and forever bind
the true lies inside eyes that live within your mind
imagination now abused or unused, and that's unkind.

To create a face or patterned lace without a look
It is a pleasure and a treasure that actors took
when they gave a form and made the norm and left the nook.
I use my wit for the bit of time I read by book.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Les Miserables Behind the Scenes

One of the things that has always been difficult for musicals is the fact that they are lip-syncing.  It robs a lot of the emotion.  Its one of the reasons that the best movie musical I have seen is Once, where the music breathes through the characters live.

This featurettte shows how the producers of Les Miserables understand that problem and have done something unique to correct.

This movie can't get here fast enough.


Logic Lessons pt 9: Metaphysical Fallacies

This last set of Material Fallacies deal with the aspect of philosophy known as Metaphysics.  It is important to know these because if you are wrong about the nature of the universe, you will be wrong about the understanding of that universe.

  1. Fallacy of Misplaced Concreteness” -confuse abstract with concrete
     e.g. “I love humanity, but I hate people.”  This is where you treat an abstract concept (like humanity) as more concrete than the substantial thing from which you made the abstraction (like actual people).  This is problematic when we lose site of where we need to place our priorities.  It reminds me of those who want to "save the planet" in the abstract sense but are willing to do it at the expense of the well-being of actual people.

  2. Fallacy of Accident = confusing accidents with essentials 
    This is when the non-essential things are confused with essential things.  The most obvious example of this is racism, where a person's race (a non-essential property of a person) is thought to be an essential aspect of their personhood.

  3. Confusing Quantity with Quality (and vice versa): includes “qualification of quantity” = claims numbers have personalities, moral values, mystical significance.
    This is what happens when we put the wrong value on numbers.  If we say that most 90% of American Catholics disobey the Church's teaching on contraception, that number tells us nothing more than 90% of American Catholics disobey the Church's teaching on contraception.  The number does not tell us whether or not the position is morally good or bad.  

  4. Reductionism: usually reducing from form to matter
    This is where a thing is only looked at and understood in its material parts.  For example,  “Mind is nothing but brain."  This reduces the complexity of the human soul to the firing of electrons.  Or like saying that the works Shakespeare are just "ink blots on paper."

  5. Confusing Logical, Causal, and Psychological Causes
    More on this one in a later post

  6. The Existential Fallacy = confusing essence and existence
    The most famous example of this is  St. Anselm’s Ontological Argument.  In it, he said that God is the greatest conceivable being.  That means that I could not possibly conceive of a being greater.  Anselm then asks if it is greater to exist in reality or only the mind.  The answer, of course, is that it is greater to exist in reality.  So if God only existed in the mind, He could not be the greatest conceivable of being because I could imagine a greater being (one who existed in reality).  So God must also exist in reality.  The problem with this argument is that he confuses the distinction that Thomas Aquinas makes between a thing's essence (its definition) and it's existence (whether it exists in reality or just the mind)

  7. Confusing Natural with the Common:
    We see this when we say things like "Teenagers are going to have sex no matter what we say."
    Is it common for teens to experiment with sex?  Yes.  But does that mean that it is in their nature?  No.
     -Natural is inherent and unchanging.  If the above statement was a statement of nature, then no teen could be chaste.  But that is obviously not true.
     -Common is accidental and changeable.  The presence or lack of chastity has no bearing on that which is natural to teens because it is something changeable.

Emmy Predictions

So the Emmy's are tonight.  I think that the Emmy Award is the coolest looking award out there:

Anyway, one of the biggest critiques that the Emmy's have is that the same people keep winning.  I see the point, since doing so makes the awards a bit boring.  But at the same time, you don't want to NOT award someone simply because they consistently do good work.

With that said, here are my predictions for the Emmy's.  I'll put who I think will win and who I think should win.  (list via The Internet Movie Database)

Outstanding Comedy Series


"Girls" (2012)
"30 Rock" (2006)
"Veep" (2012)

SHOULD WIN - The Big Bang Theory: consistently funny.  Funnier this year than the other shows nominated
WILL WIN - Modern Family:  It is the darling of the Emmy's.

Outstanding Drama Series


"Homeland" (2011)
"Mad Men" (2007)

SHOULD WIN - Downton Abbey:  I was surprised by how good this show was and how compelling all of the characters are.
WILL WIN - Mad Men:  Also an Emmy Darling

Outstanding Miniseries or Made for Television Movie


Game Change (2012) (TV)
Hemingway & Gellhorn (2012) (TV)
"Luther" (2010)
"Sherlock" (2010)

SHOULD WIN - Sherlock:  Amazing show.  Fantastic in every way.
WILL WIN - Game Change:  Hollywood hates Sarah Palin.

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series


Alec Baldwin for "30 Rock" (2006)
Louis C.K. for "Louie" (2010)

SHOULD WIN - Jim Parsons:  Consistently funny
WILL WIN - Jim Parsons:  Consistently funny

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series


Michael C. Hall for "Dexter" (2006)
Jon Hamm for "Mad Men" (2007)
Damian Lewis for "Homeland" (2011)

SHOULD WIN - Hugh Bonneville: He is flawed but benevolent and wears responsibility like a badge of honor.
WILL WIN - Steve Buscemi:  Well liked by voters

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie


Idris Elba for "Luther" (2010)
Woody Harrelson for Game Change (2012) (TV)
Clive Owen for Hemingway & Gellhorn (2012) (TV)

SHOULD WIN - Benedict Cumberbatch: Fantastic performance!
WILL WIN - Woody Harrelson: Hollywood hates Sarah Palin

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series


Lena Dunham for "Girls" (2012)
Edie Falco for "Nurse Jackie" (2009)
Tina Fey for "30 Rock" (2006)

SHOULD WIN - Amy Poehler : She is way beyond due for her work on the show.
WILL WIN - Lena Dunham: She is an independent darling and loved by the critics

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series


Kathy Bates for "Harry's Law" (2011)
Glenn Close for "Damages" (2007)
Claire Danes for "Homeland" (2011)
Elisabeth Moss for "Mad Men" (2007)

SHOULD WIN - Michelle Dockery: She never makes her character too sympathetic, yet you feel an affection for her.
WILL WIN - Claire Danes- critically hailed

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie


Ashley Judd for "Missing" (2012)
Julianne Moore for Game Change (2012) (TV)
Emma Thompson for The Song of Lunch (2010) (TV)

SHOULD WIN - Haven't seen any of them
WILL WIN -Julianne Moore - Hollywood hates Sarah Palin

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series


Max Greenfield for "New Girl" (2011)

SHOULD WIN - Ty Burrell: Funniest person nominated (no offense Ed O'Neill)
WILL WIN - Jesse Tyler Ferguson: just a guess, but Stonestreet and Burrell have already won

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series


Jared Harris for "Mad Men" (2007)
Aaron Paul for "Breaking Bad" (2008)

SHOULD WIN - Peter Dinklage:  Best part of Game of Thrones
WILL WIN - Peter Dinklage:  Best part of Game of Thrones

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Movie


Martin Freeman for "Sherlock" (2010)
Ed Harris for Game Change (2012) (TV)

SHOULD WIN - Martin Freeman: Great Performance
WILL WIN - Ed Harris - Hollywood hates Sarah Palin

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series


SHOULD WIN - Mayim Bialik:  Her character could be considered a caricature, but she makes me laugh all the time
WILL WIN - Sophia Vergara: Julie Bowen already won.

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series


Anna Gunn for "Breaking Bad" (2008)

SHOULD WIN - Joanne Froggat: Her complete devotion and goodness is not easy to perform
WILL WIN - Maggie Smith: She is a classic.

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie


Judy Davis for Page Eight (2011) (TV)
Sarah Paulson for Game Change (2012) (TV)

SHOULD WIN - Haven't seen any of them
WILL WIN - Sarah Paulson: Hollywood hates Sarah Palin

Outstanding Variety, Music Or Comedy Series


SHOULD WIN - SNL: As good as it is bad, but can still deliver laughs.
WILL WIN - The Daily Show: Hollywood thinks Jon Stewart is a genius

Outstanding Reality Competition Program


"Top Chef" (2006)
"The Voice" (2011)

SHOULD WIN - The Amazing Race:  Still the most compelling competition show around
WILL WIN - Project Runway:  Just a guess.

Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality-Competition Program


SHOULD WIN - Phil Keoghan:  Only show I watch
WILL WIN - Betty White: an excuse to give her an Emmy

Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series


"Curb Your Enthusiasm" (2000): Robert B. Weide("Palestinian Chicken")
"Girls" (2012): Lena Dunham("She Did")
"Louie" (2010): Louis C.K.("Duckling")
"Modern Family" (2009): Jason Winer("Virgin Territory")
"Modern Family" (2009): Steven Levitan("Baby on Board")
"New Girl" (2011): Jake Kasdan("Pilot")

WILL WIN - Modern Family: Jason Winer

Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series


"Boardwalk Empire" (2010): Timothy Van Patten("To the Lost")
"Breaking Bad" (2008): Vince Gilligan("Face Off")
"Downton Abbey" (2010): Brian Percival("Episode 7")
"Homeland" (2011): Michael Cuesta("Pilot")
"Mad Men" (2007): Phil Abraham("The Other Woman")

SHOULD WIN -Downton Abbey
WILL WIN - Mad Men

Outstanding Directing for a Miniseries, Movie or a Dramatic Special


Game Change (2012) (TV): Jay Roach
"Luther" (2010): Sam Miller

SHOULD WIN - Sherlock:  Because its awesome
WILL WIN -Game Change: Because Hollywood hates Sarah Palin

Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series


"Community" (2009): Chris McKenna("Remedial Chaos Theory")
"Girls" (2012): Lena Dunham("Pilot")
"Louie" (2010): Louis C.K.("Pregnant")
"Parks and Recreation" (2009): Amy Poehler("The Debate")
"Parks and Recreation" (2009): Michael Schur("Win, Lose, or Draw")

SHOULD WIN - Community: One of the most creative and complicated scripts on TV
WILL WIN -Girls:  Critics love this show.

Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series


"Downton Abbey" (2010): Julian Fellowes("Episode 7")
"Mad Men" (2007): Semi ChellasMatthew Weiner("The Other Woman")
"Mad Men" (2007): André JacquemettonMaria Jacquemetton("Commissions and Fees")
"Mad Men" (2007): Erin LevyMatthew Weiner("Far Away Places")

SHOULD WIN - Downton Abbey: Consistently good.
WILL WIN - Any of the Mad Men

Outstanding Writing for a Miniseries, Movie or a Dramatic Special


Game Change (2012) (TV): Danny Strong
"Luther" (2010): Neil Cross

SHOULD WIN - Sherlock:  Because its awesome
WILL WIN - Game Change: Because Hollywood hates Sarah Palin

Now, keep in mind that my Emmy predictions are usually horribly wrong.  So we'll have fun seeing if I get anything right!