Tuesday, January 24, 2017

'LA LA LAND' LEADS 2017 OSCAR NOMINATIONS

By: Connor Glowacki

Image result for oscars 2017     The musical 'La La Land', starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, earned 14 Academy Awards nominations for the 2017 Oscars, which is tied with 'Titanic' and 'All About Eve' for most nominations received in the history of the Academy Awards.

     It's important to note that a big storyline coming into the 2017 award show are the success of black actors and actresses receiving multiple nominations, especially after the #OscarsSoWhite controversy for the last few years that consisted of the lists for nominated actors and actresses being primarily caucasian.

     Also, Mel Gibson was actually nominated for best director for his film 'Hacksaw Ridge.' Who saw that coming?

Image result for la la land
'La La Land' received the most
nominations with 14 total.
Photo from LACurb.com
Check out the list of nominees for some of the major categories below. Genres of the film are placed in parenthesis.

BEST PICTURE:

*'Arrival' (Science Fiction)
*'Fences' (Drama)
*'Hacksaw Ridge' (Biographical War Drama)
*'Hell Or High Water' (Western/Crime)
*'Hidden Figures' (Biographical Drama)
*'La La Land' (Romantic/Musical Comedy, Drama)
*'Lion' (Drama)
*'Manchester By The Sea' (Drama)
*'Moonlight' (Drama)

BEST ACTRESS:

*Isabelle Huppert in 'Elle'
*Ruth Negga in 'Loving'
*Natalie Portman in 'Jackie'
*Emma Stone in 'La La Land'
*Meryl Streep in 'Florence Foster Jenkins'

BEST ACTOR:

*Casey Affleck in 'Manchester By The Sea'
*Andrew Garfield in 'Hacksaw Ridge'
*Ryan Gosling in 'La La Land'
*Viggo Morgenstein in 'Captain Fantastic'
*Denzel Washington in 'Fences'

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS:

*Viola Davis in 'Fences'
*Naomie Harris in 'Moonlight'
*Nicole Kidman in 'Lion'
*Octavia Spencer in 'Hidden Figures'
*Michelle Williams in 'Manchester By The Sea'

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR:

*Mahershala Ali in 'Moonlight'
*Jeff Bridges in 'Hell Or High Water'
*Lucas Hedges in 'Manchester By The Sea'
*Dev Patel in 'Lion'
*Michael Shannon in 'Nocturnal Animals'

BEST DIRECTOR:

*Damien Chazelle for 'La La Land'
*Mel Gibson for 'Hacksaw Ridge'
*Barry Jenkins for 'Moonlight'
*Kenneth Lonergan for 'Manchester By The Sea'
*Denis Villeneuve for 'Arrival'

**

Who's going to win? Leave a comment below or let me know on Twitter @ConnorGlowacki.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

3 DOORS DOWN AND THE TRUMP INAUGURATION

By: Connor Glowacki

*These are just my thoughts/opinions about the situation.

Image result for 3 doors down 2016
     So yeah, let's talk about post-post-grunge outfit 3 Doors Down performing at President-Elect Donald Trump's 'Make America Great Again' inauguration event Jan. 19. The band will be performing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial with several other acts, including country singer Toby Keith and 'God Bless The USA' singer Lee Greenwood, among others. But if you take a look at the 'star-studded' lineup that the Trump transition team has composed, none are big surprises.

     Many singers and celebrities have decided to not perform or attend this year's inauguration because of the man who will be taking over the most powerful political office in the world. Yes, the entertainment industry skews to the left, but they don't have to perform.

     And the acts who have been chosen to perform shouldn't have to be attacked by the public and the media. It is their own individual choices. For this year, some acts may be hard-lined Trump supporters and Republicans, but others may want to perform for their country and to maintain the tradition of the U.S. having a peaceful transition of power.

     This applies to 3 Doors Down...

      It's not really a secret that the members of the Mississippi band probably skew toward the Republican side of the political spectrum. They performed at the 2012 Republican National Convention, which had former governor Mitt Romney as the party's nominee that year.

     But let's briefly break down the band for a minute to try and provide a larger context.

     3 Doors Down rode the post-grunge wave very well at the start of the new millennium with their first two albums, 2000's 'The Better Life' and 2002's 'Away From The Sun', selling over 10 million combined copies in the United States.
     And it's unfair to label 3 Doors Down as a one-hit wonder.
     They're more like a four or five-hit wonder, with three songs off of those first two albums peaking in the top-5 of the Billboard Hot 100. 'Kryptonite' being their most successful, reaching number 3, but also 'When I'm Gone' and 'Here Without You' reaching number four and five, respectively.

     Was 3 Doors Down ever the type of band that could display technically complex musicianship, innovate their sound and evolve with the times. No.
Image result for trump
Unsurprisingly, 3 Doors Down found
controversy after announcing they'd perform
at President-Elect Donald Trump's
inauguration.
(Photo by: Business Insider)

     They've been a meat-and-potatoes kind of band that has flourished on power chords, catchy melodies and songs with 'topics that everyone can relate to.' The music is bland, unassuming and doesn't draw any controversy in its own right. The message of the music was never going to piss anyone off. 3 Doors Down was, in their prime, a less annoying version of Nickelback.

     But as trends go in music, post-grunge got phased out of radio and the mainstream culture. Each of 3 Doors Down's next four albums sold fewer copies and their latest album, 2016's 'Us And The Night' only debuted 14th on the Billboard 200 and sold 24,000 copies in its first week. The band will probably be able to ride out the rest of its days on classic/modern rock radio and on the nostalgia circuit because they may not become musically relevant ever again.

     And that's where we are now.

     3 Doors Down's decision to perform as part of Trump's inauguration brings them back, even for just a few days, into the mainstream consciousness. People are actually talking about the band again for the first time in a long while. I'm not saying that's why they're performing, but no one was really talking about them a week ago.

     However, it's not necessarily fair to attack them performing at this event just because they may be Republicans and/or Trump supporters. Can we make fun of them because Trump's 'star-studded lineup' is pretty awful, in terms of musical quality and entertainment?
     Absolutely.
     But who are we to stop 3 Doors Down from performing if this is what they genuinely think is morally correct for them to do? It's like when Beyonce, Stevie Wonder or James Taylor performed at events for Obama.

     But the last thing I will say as I wrap this piece up is the band shouldn't resort to 'troll-baiting' on Twitter just because a lot of their fans are upset that they are performing at an event for Trump. Just as 3 Doors Down has every right to play, their fans have a right to voice their displeasure.

     3 Doors Down should be happy though...they still have fans who care about them!

**

Please feel free to let me know what you think about the 3 Doors Down situation and my piece right in the comments below.
Follow me on Twitter @ConnorGlowacki.