The Skywalker Saga Rant


BY: Amanda Guarragi 

May the Fourth be with you all on Star Wars Day.

After four decades of Star Wars content, the Skywalker saga finally came to an end last year, with The Rise of Skywalker. Today Disney Plus released the final instalment on their streaming, two months ahead of schedule and the series finale of Star Wars: The Clone Wars was also released to celebrate today. Disney really had the right idea in mind to have a Star Wars party on the day that is treasured by so many fans worldwide. The Skywalker Saga is truly something special, so I thought I would do a breakdown, of what I think of the series as a whole.

Even if you haven’t succumbed to the hardcore nature of the fanbase, everyone knows who Luke Skywalker is and his story. It’s a tale as old as time now, considering that A New Hope came out in 1977, its lore is now embedded in pop culture forever. For those who have invested so much time, love, and money in the Skywalker Saga, it’s fair to say that when any new age Star Wars film was released, the fans were extremely critical of what Disney was doing to these characters.

Some have said that The Force Awakens was a carbon copy of A New Hope and in many ways it was. However, I found that having some similarities while introducing it to a new generation, helped them appreciate the original saga and the journey they were about to embark on with the new ones. There are similar personality traits with certain characters and it was entertaining to watch them interact. The Force Awakens presented a new, more diverse cast and it all seemed promising. Disney also marketed the new Star Wars saga extremely well and that was the driving force of this new trilogy.

The Force Awakens was my first Star Wars film that I watched in theatres and I think that’s why I enjoyed it so much. I didn’t think I would feel emotional watching the opening titles the way I did, but it was such a huge moment. I always envied the people who were able to watch Star Wars on the big screen and when I eventually did, I finally understood how powerful the Star Wars films were. I had become heavily invested in the characters and couldn’t wait for more content, I was hooked.

I would be considered a freshman to the world of Star Wars. I enjoyed watching the original trilogy and the prequel trilogy but I have to admit that I was never a die hard fan. It’s a franchise that everyone should watch in their lifetime and that’s why I did it. As much as people hate the prequel trilogy, it was great to see how Anakin and Obi Wan started. It made Luke’s story so much richer and then his encounter with Darth Vader in The Empire Strikes Back holds so much weight and it’s a very emotional moment. The new trilogy used nostalgia to pull on the heartstrings and that’s why the attachment to these new characters were different. The reason why we loved Rey, Finn, Poe and Kylo was because they were somehow connected to previous characters, whether it was lineage or similar character traits.

I became attached to these characters and I really enjoyed the story arc of one of them in particular. Even though Rey was the lead and it was great to see a woman, at the forefront in a Star Wars film, Kylo Ren still had the most interesting story in the new trilogy. He is the son of a Solo and a Skywalker, he is apart of the golden lineage that has graced the screen for the past four decades. He is a descendent of Anakin Skywalker and struggles with both, light and dark, within him because of who his parents were. Ben Solo was THE BEST character in the trilogy and it is because he is a Skywalker.

There has been so much controversy surrounding the new trilogy and it was because a woman was at the forefront. People also complained that the nostalgia overpowered the content of the film and they never had a clear plan for this trilogy. When The Last Jedi was released, I was blown away by the stunning visuals and the story involving Luke Skywalker. Rian Johnson added so many layers to the world and the meaning of hope in one film, but sadly others felt that the magic of Star Wars was ruined. After The Last Jedi the discourse did not stop until we all caught a glimpse of The Rise of SkywalkerThey didn’t really show much and the trailer seemed promising because it was the final film in the Skywalker saga.

The months leading up to The Rise of Skywalker were quiet. There wasn’t the same hype as the previous instalments. Even the marketing seemed more tame. You could say there was a shift in the force. There was an entirely different feeling going into the final film and no, it wasn’t the same as heading into Avengers: Endgame or gearing up to watch the Game of Thrones finale. No, there was a different type of dread that I couldn’t  understand. People were genuinely worried with how they were going to wrap up four decades worth of a story. Everyone had a right to be worried because, like I said before, there was no plan for this trilogy.

We went from a sequel that restored hope in the galaxy, showing that anyone can become a jedi and harness that power, to a film that completely erased everything that came before it. The Rise of Skywalker was a complete mess the second we found out about Rey’s lineage. I loved the first half of that film because Poe was finally at the forefront and Finn also had a bit more to do. I was gearing up for Rey and Kylo to be the balance in the force and work together, while Kylo turns back to the light. How can you call something The Rise of Skywalker and then cut the lineage? That’s what was so frustrating. No one wanted Rey to be anyone. The fact that she was a nobody and she wanted to study the Jedi way, was what made her story unique. The fact that anybody could harness that power is what made her special.

If anyone should get their own trilogy it should be Ben Solo because of the injustice they served his character. I just couldn’t believe the journey they decided to take him on and then just destroy it in the most irresponsible way. A name is important, you don’t just give away a name to try and make sense of the title you gave your own film. Rey had no right to take up the Skywalker name, considering her lineage of being a Palpatine, which is also just lazy writing. How can you give a Palpatine, the Skywalker name after four decades worth of a story? It definitely leaves a bitter taste in everyone’s mouth, it sure did make me angry when I walked out of that theatre.

Whether you loved The Rise of Skywalker or hated it, the Skywalker saga has made a huge impact on pop culture and will always have a place in everyone’s hearts. In a way the ending of The Last Jedi could technically be used as the last film in the Skywalker story. It did end with Luke dying and restored hope to the galaxy. This debate will go on forever, but don’t worry Disney has more things planned for the Star Wars universe. They won’t let it fizzle out after one bust. So I hope everyone enjoys their mini Star Wars marathon today and may the force be with you always.

*click here to see where I ranked each Star Wars film*

 

 

2020 Critics’ Choice Awards: List of Winners

Taye Diggs hosted the 25th Annual Critics’ Choice Awards tonight and the confusion continues as the winners were announced.

Here are the list of winners…

BEST PICTURE

1917
Ford v Ferrari
The Irishman
Jojo Rabbit
Joker
Little Women
Marriage Story
Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood
Parasite
Uncut Gems

MY PICK: Once Upon A Time… in Hollywood 

WINNER: Once Upon A Time… in Hollywood 

BEST ACTOR

Antonio Banderas, Pain and Glory
Robert De Niro, The Irishman
Leonardo DiCaprio, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood
Adam Driver, Marriage Story
Eddie Murphy, Dolemite Is My Name
Joaquin Phoenix, Joker
Adam Sandler, Uncut Gems

MY PICK: Adam Sandler, Uncut Gems 

WINNER: Joaquin Phoenix, Joker 

BEST ACTRESS

Awkwafina, The Farewell
Cynthia Erivo, Harriet
Scarlett Johansson, Marriage Story
Lupita Nyong’o, Us
Saoirse Ronan, Little Women
Charlize Theron, Bombshell
Renée Zellweger, Judy

MY PICK: Lupita Nyong’o, Us 

WINNER: Renee Zellweger, Judy 

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Willem Dafoe, The Lighthouse
Tom Hanks, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
Anthony Hopkins, The Two Popes
Al Pacino, The Irishman
Joe Pesci, The Irishman
Brad Pitt, Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

MY PICK: Brad Pitt, Once Upon A Time… in Hollywood 

WINNER: Brad Pitt, Once Upon A Time… in Hollywood 

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Laura Dern, Marriage Story
Scarlett Johansson, Jojo Rabbit
Jennifer Lopez, Hustlers
Florence Pugh, Little Women
Margot Robbie,  Bombshell
Zhao Shuzhen, The Farewell

MY PICK: Florence Pugh, Little Women 

WINNER: Laura Dern, Marriage Story 

BEST YOUNG ACTOR/ACTRESS

Julia Butters, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood
Roman Griffin Davis, Jojo Rabbit
Noah Jupe, Honey Boy
Thomasin McKenzie, Jojo Rabbit
Shahadi Wright Joseph, Us
Archie Yates, Jojo Rabbit

MY PICK: Noah Jupe, Honey Boy 

WINNER: Roman Griffin Davis, Jojo Rabbit 

BEST ACTING ENSEMBLE

Bombshell
The Irishman
Knives Out
Little Women
Marriage Story
Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood  
Parasite

MY PICK: Little Women/The Irishman 

WINNER: The Irishman 

BEST DIRECTOR

Noah Baumbach, Marriage Story
Greta Gerwig, Little Women
Bong Joon Ho, Parasite
Sam Mendes, 1917
Josh Safdie and Benny Safdie, Uncut Gems
Martin Scorsese, The Irishman
Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood

MY PICK: Bong Joon Ho, Parasite

WINNER: Sam Mendes, 1917 & Bong Joon Ho, Parasite 

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Noah Baumbach, Marriage Story
Rian Johnson, Knives Out
Bong Joon Ho and Han Jin Won, Parasite
Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood
Lulu Wang, The Farewell

MY PICK: Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon A Time… in Hollywood 

WINNER: Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon A Time… in Hollywood 

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

Greta Gerwig, Little Women
Noah Harpster and Micah Fitzerman-Blue, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
Anthony McCarten, The Two Popes
Todd Phillips & Scott Silver, Joker
Taika Waititi, Jojo Rabbit
Steven Zaillian, The Irishman

MY PICK: Steve Zaillian, The Irishman 

WINNER: Greta Gerwig, Little Women 

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Jarin Blaschke, The Lighthouse
Roger Deakins, 1917
Phedon Papamichael, Ford v Ferrari
Rodrigo Prieto, The Irishman
Robert Richardson, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood
Lawrence Sher, Joker

MY PICK: Roger Deakins, 1917 

WINNER: Roger Deakins, 1917

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

Mark Friedberg, Kris Moran, Joker
Dennis Gassner, Lee Sandales, 1917
Jess Gonchor, Claire Kaufman, Little Women
Lee Ha Jun, Parasite
Barbara Ling, Nancy Haigh, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood
Bob Shaw, Regina Graves, The Irishman
Donal Woods, Gina Cromwell, Downton Abbey

MY PICK: Bob Shaw, Regina Graves, The Irishman 

WINNER: Barbara Ling, Nancy Haigh, Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

BEST EDITING

Ronald Bronstein, Benny Safdie, Uncut Gems
Andrew Buckland, Michael McCusker, Ford v Ferrari
Yang Jinmo, Parasite
Fred Raskin, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood
Thelma Schoonmaker, The Irishman
Lee Smith, 1917

MY PICK: Thelma Schoonmaker, The Irishman 

WINNER: Lee Smith, 1917 

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

Ruth E. Carter, Dolemite Is My Name
Julian Day, Rocketman
Jacqueline Durran, Little Women
Arianne Phillips, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood
Sandy Powell & Christopher Peterson, The Irishman
Anna Robbins, Downton Abbey

MY PICK: Ruth E. Carter, Dolemite Is My Name 

WINNER: Ruth E. Carter, Dolemite Is My Name 

BEST HAIR AND MAKEUP

Bombshell
Dolemite Is My Name The Irishman
Joker
Judy
Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood
Rocketman

MY PICK: The Irishman 

WINNER: Bombshell 

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

1917
Ad Astra
The Aeronauts
Avengers: Endgame
Ford v Ferrari
The Irishman
The Lion King 

MY PICK: Ad Astra 

WINNER: Avengers: Endgame 

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

Abominable
Frozen II
How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
I Lost My Body
Missing Link
Toy Story 4

MY PICK: Missing Link 

WINNER: Toy Story 4 

BEST ACTION MOVIE

1917
Avengers: Endgame
Ford v Ferrari
John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum
Spider-Man: Far From Home

MY PICK: Ford v Ferrari 

WINNER: Avengers: Endgame 

BEST COMEDY

Booksmart
Dolemite Is My Name
The Farewell
Jojo Rabbit
Knives Out

MY PICK: Booksmart 

WINNER: Dolemite Is My Name 

BEST SCI-FI OR HORROR MOVIE

Ad Astra
Avengers: Endgame
Midsommar
Us

MY PICK: Us 

WINNER: Us 

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

Atlantics
Les Misérables
Pain and Glory
Parasite
Portrait of a Lady on Fire

MY PICK: Parasite 

WINNER: Parasite 

BEST SONG

“Glasgow (No Place Like Home)”, Wild Rose
“(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again”, Rocketman
“I’m Standing With You”, Breakthrough
“Into the Unknown”, Frozen II
“Speechless”, Aladdin
“Spirit”, The Lion King
“Stand Up”, Harriet

MY PICK: “I’m Gonna Love Me Again” Rocketman  

WINNER: “Glasgow (No Place Like Home)”, Wild Rose
“(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again”,  Rocketman

BEST SCORE

Michael Abels, Us 
Alexandre Desplat, Little Women
Hildur Guðnadóttir, Joker
Randy Newman, Marriage Story
Thomas Newman, 1917
Robbie Robertson, The Irishman

MY PICK: Hildur Guðnadóttir, Joker

WINNER: Hildur Guðnadóttir, Joker

My picks are in BOLD and the winners will be highlighted in GOLD

BEST DRAMA SERIES

The Crown (Netflix)
David Makes Man (OWN)
Game of Thrones (HBO)
The Good Fight (CBS All Access)
Pose (FX)
Succession (HBO)
This Is Us (NBC)
Watchmen (HBO)

BEST ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES

Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us (NBC)
Mike Colter,  Evil (CBS)
Paul Giamatti, Billions (Showtime)
Kit Harington, Game of Thrones (HBO)
Freddie Highmore, The Good Doctor (ABC)
Tobias Menzies, The Crown (Netflix)
Billy Porter, Pose (FX)
Jeremy Strong, Succession (HBO)

BEST ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES

Christine Baranski, The Good Fight (CBS All Access)
Olivia Colman, The Crown (Netflix)
Jodie Comer, Killing Eve (BBC America)
Nicole Kidman, Big Little Lies (HBO)
Regina King, Watchmen (HBO)
Mj Rodriguez, Pose (FX)
Sarah Snook, Succession (HBO)
Zendaya, Euphoria (HBO)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES

Asante Blackk, This Is Us (NBC)
Billy Crudup, The Morning Show (Apple)
Asia Kate Dillon, Billions (Showtime)
Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones (HBO)
Justin Hartley, This Is Us (NBC)
Delroy Lindo, The Good Fight (CBS All Access)
Tim Blake Nelson, Watchmen (HBO)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES

Helena Bonham Carter, The Crown (Netflix)
Gwendoline Christie, Game of Thrones (HBO)
Laura Dern, Big Little Lies (HBO)
Audra McDonald, The Good Fight (CBS All Access)
Jean Smart, Watchmen (HBO)
Meryl Streep, Big Little Lies (HBO)
Susan Kelechi Watson, This Is Us (NBC)

BEST COMEDY SERIES

Barry (HBO)
Fleabag (Amazon)
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon)
Mom (CBS)
One Day at a Time (Netflix)
PEN15 (Hulu)
Schitt’s Creek (Pop)

BEST ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES

Ted Danson, The Good Place (NBC)
Walton Goggins, The Unicorn (CBS)
Bill Hader, Barry (HBO)
Eugene Levy, Schitt’s Creek (Pop)
Paul Rudd, Living with Yourself (Netflix)
Bashir Salahuddin, Sherman’s Showcase (IFC)
Ramy Youssef, Ramy (Hulu)

BEST ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES

Christina Applegate, Dead to Me (Netflix)
Alison Brie, GLOW (Netflix)
Rachel Brosnahan, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon)
Kirsten Dunst, On Becoming a God in Central Florida (Showtime)
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep (HBO)
Catherine O’Hara, Schitt’s Creek (Pop)
Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Fleabag (Amazon)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES

Andre Braugher, Brooklyn Nine-Nine (NBC)
Anthony Carrigan, Barry (HBO)
William Jackson Harper, The Good Place (NBC)
Daniel Levy, Schitt’s Creek (Pop)
Nico Santos, Superstore (NBC)
Andrew Scott, Fleabag (Amazon)
Henry Winkler, Barry (HBO)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES

Alex Borstein, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon)
D’Arcy Carden, The Good Place (NBC)
Sian Clifford, Fleabag (Amazon)
Betty Gilpin, GLOW (Netflix)
Rita Moreno, One Day at a Time (Netflix)
Annie Murphy, Schitt’s Creek (Pop)
Molly Shannon, The Other Two (Comedy Central)

BEST LIMITED SERIES

Catch-22 (Hulu)
Chernobyl (HBO)
Fosse/Verdon (FX)
The Loudest Voice (Showtime)
Unbelievable (Netflix)
When They See Us (Netflix)
Years and Years (HBO)

BEST MOVIE MADE FOR TELEVISION

Brexit (HBO)
Deadwood: The Movie (HBO)
El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie (Netflix)
Guava Island (Amazon)
Native Son (HBO)
Patsy & Loretta (Lifetime)

BEST ACTOR IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE MADE FOR TELEVISION

Christopher Abbott, Catch-22 (Hulu)
Mahershala Ali, True Detective (HBO)
Russell Crowe, The Loudest Voice (Showtime)
Jared Harris, Chernobyl (HBO)
Jharrel Jerome, When They See Us (Netflix)
Sam Rockwell, Fosse/Verdon (FX)
Noah Wyle, The Red Line (CBS)

BEST ACTRESS IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE MADE FOR TELEVISION

Kaitlyn Dever, Unbelievable (Netflix)
Anne Hathaway, Modern Love (Amazon)
Megan Hilty, Patsy & Loretta (Lifetime)
Joey King, The Act (Hulu)
Jessie Mueller, Patsy & Loretta (Lifetime)
Merritt Wever, Unbelievable (Netflix)
Michelle Williams, Fosse/Verdon (FX)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE MADE FOR TELEVISION

Asante Blackk, When They See Us (Netflix)
George Clooney, Catch-22 (Hulu)
John Leguizamo, When They See Us (Netflix)
Dev Patel, Modern Love (Amazon)
Jesse Plemons, El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie (Netflix)
Stellan Skarsgård, Chernobyl (HBO)
Russell Tovey, Years and Years (HBO)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE MADE FOR TELEVISION

Patricia Arquette, The Act (Hulu)
Marsha Stephanie Blake, When They See Us (Netflix)
Toni Collette, Unbelievable (Netflix)
Niecy Nash, When They See Us (Netflix)
Margaret Qualley, Fosse/Verdon (FX)
Emma Thompson, Years and Years (HBO)
Emily Watson, Chernobyl (HBO)

BEST ANIMATED SERIES

Big Mouth (Netflix)
BoJack Horseman (Netflix)
The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance (Netflix)
She-Ra and the Princesses of Power (Netflix)
The Simpsons (Fox)
Undone (Amazon)

BEST TALK SHOW

Desus & Mero (Showtime)
Full Frontal with Samantha Bee (TBS)
The Kelly Clarkson Show (NBC)
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)
The Late Late Show with James Corden (CBS)
Late Night with Seth Meyers (NBC)

BEST COMEDY SPECIAL

Amy Schumer Growing (Netflix)
Jenny Slate: Stage Fright (Netflix)
Live in Front of a Studio Audience: Norman Lear’s All in the Family and The Jeffersons (ABC)
Ramy Youssef: Feelings (HBO)
Seth Meyers: Lobby Baby (Netflix)
Trevor Noah: Son of Patricia (Netflix)
Wanda Sykes: Not Normal (Netflix)

2020 Golden Globes: List of Winners

Ricky Gervais hosted last night and he made some questionable jokes about the Hollywood elite. As the night went on, we saw some well deserved wins and some wins that were rather unexpected.

Here are the list of winners:

BEST MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA
“1917″
The Irishman
Joker
Marriage Story
The Two Popes

MY PICK: The Irishman

WINNER: 1917

BEST MOTION PICTURE – MUSICAL OR COMEDY
Dolemite Is My Name
Jojo Rabbit
Knives Out
Once Upon A Time in Hollywood
Rocketman

MY PICK: Once Upon A Time in Hollywood

WINNER: Once Upon A Time in Hollywood

BEST DIRECTOR
Bong Joon Ho, “Parasite
Sam Mendes, “1917”
Todd Phillips, “Joker
Martin Scorsese, “The Irishman
Quentin Tarantino, “Once Upon A Time in Hollywood

MY PICK: Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon A Time in Hollywood 

WINNER: Sam Mendes, 1917

BEST ACTOR – DRAMA
Christian Bale, “Ford v. Ferrari
Antonio Banderas, “Pain and Glory”
Adam Driver, “Marriage Story
Joaquin Phoenix, “Joker
Jonathan Pryce, “The Two Popes

MY PICK: Joaquin Phoenix, Joker 

WINNER: Joaquin Phoenix, Joker 

BEST ACTRESS – DRAMA
Cynthio Erivo, “Harriet”
Scarlett Johansson, “Marriage Story
Soarise Ronan, “Little Women
Charlize Theron, “Bombshell”
Renee Zellweger, “Judy

MY PICK: Renee Zellweger, Judy 

WINNER: Renee Zellweger, Judy 

BEST ACTOR – MUSICAL OR COMEDY
Daniel Craig, “Knives Out
Leonardo DiCaprio, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Taron Egerton, “Rocketman
Roman Griffin Davis, “Jojo Rabbit
Eddie Murphy, “Dolemite Is My Name

MY PICK: Taron Egerton, Rocketman 

WINNER: Taron Egerton, Rocketman 

BEST ACTRESS – MUSICAL OR COMEDY
Awkwafina, “The Farewell”
Ana de Armas, “Knives Out
Cate Blanchett, “Where’d You Go Bernadette”
Beanie Feldstein, “Booksmart
Emma Thompson, “Late Night

MY PICK: Ana de Armas, Knives Out 

WINNER: Awkwafina, The Farewell 

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Tom Hanks, “A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood
Anthony Hopkins, “The Two Popes
Al Pacino, “The Irishman
Joe Pesci, “The Irishman
Brad Pitt, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

MY PICK: Brad Pitt, Once Upon A Time in Hollywood 

WINNER: Brad Pitt, Once Upon A Time in Hollywood  

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Kathy Bates, “Richard Jewell”
Annette Bening, “The Report
Laura Dern, “Marriage Story
Jennifer Lopez, “Hustlers
Margot Robbie, “Bombshell

MY PICK: Laura Dern, Marriage Story 

WINNER: Laura Dern, Marriage Story 

BEST SCREENPLAY
The Irishman
Marriage Story
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
​“Parasite
The Two Popes

MY PICK: Once Upon A Time in Hollywood 

WINNER: Once Upon A Time in Hollywood  

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
“1917”
Joker
Little Women
Marriage Story
“Motherless Brooklyn”

MY PICK: Joker 

WINNER: Joker 

BEST ORIGINAL SONG
“Beautiful Ghosts” – CATS
“I’m Gonna Love Me Again” – Rocketman
“Into the Unknown” – Frozen 2
“Spirit” – The Lion King
“Stand Up” – Harriet

MY PICK: “I’m Gonna Love Me Again” – Rocketman 

WINNER: “I’m Gonna Love Me Again” – Rocketman 

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
“Frozen 2”
“How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World”
The Lion King
“Missing Link”
Toy Story 4

MY PICK: Frozen 2 

WINNER: Missing Link 

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
“The Farewell”
“Les Misérables”
“Pain and Glory”
Parasite
Portrait of a Lady on Fire

MY PICK: Parasite 

WINNER: Parasite 

The following winners will be in BOLD. 

BEST TELEVISION SERIES – DRAMA
“Big Little Lies”
“The Crown”
“Killing Eve”
“The Morning Show”
Succession

BEST TELEVISION SERIES – COMEDY
“Barry”
Fleabag
“The Kominsky Method”
“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
“The Politician”

MINISERIES OR TELEVISION FILM
“Catch-22”
Chernobyl
“Fosse/Verdon”
“The Loudest Voice”
“Unbelievable”

BEST ACTOR TV SERIES – DRAMA
Brian Cox, “Succession”
Kit Harington, “Game of Thrones”
Rami Malek, “Mr. Robot”
Tobias Menzies, “The Crown”
Billy Porter, “Pose”

BEST ACTRESS TV SERIES – DRAMA
Jennifer Aniston, “The Morning Show”
Jodi Comer, “Killing Eve”
Nicole Kidman, “Big Little Lies”
Reese Witherspoon, “The Morning Show”
Olivia Colman, “The Crown”

BEST ACTOR TV SERIES – COMEDY
Ben Platt, “The Politician”
Paul Rudd, “Living With Yourself”
Ramy Yousef, “Ramy”
Bill Hader, “Barry”
Michael Douglas, “The Kominsky Method”

BEST ACTRESS TV SERIES – COMEDY
Christina Applegate, “Dead to Me”
Phoebe Waller-Bridge, “Fleabag”
Natasha Lyonne, “Russian Doll”
Kirsten Dunst, “On Becoming a God in Central Florida”
Rachel Brosnahan, “Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”

BEST ACTOR – MINISERIES OR TELEVISION FILM
Chris Abbott, “Catch 22”
Sacha Baron Cohen, “The Spy”
Russell Crowe, “The Loudest Voice”
Jared Harris, “Chernobyl”
Sam Rockwell, “Fosse/Verdon”

BEST ACTRESS – MINISERIES OR TELEVISION FILM
Michelle Williams, “Fosse/Verdon”
Helen Mirren, “Catherine the Great”
Merritt Wever, “Unbelievable”
Kaitlyn Dever, “Unbelievable”
Joey King, “The Act”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR – SERIES, MINISERIES OR TELEVISION FILM
Alan Arkin, “Kominsky Method”
Kieran Culkin, “Succession”
Andrew Scott, “Fleabag”
Stellan Skarsgård, “Chernobyl”
Henry Winkler, “Barry”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS – SERIES, MINISERIES OR TELEVISION FILM
Meryl Streep, “Big Little Lies”
Helena Bonham Carter, “The Crown”
Emily Watson, “Chernobyl”
Patricia Arquette, “The Act”
Toni Collette, “Unbelievable”

6 Gems to Keep in Mind While Watching ‘Avengers: Endgame’ (SPOILER WARNING)

After eleven years and twenty-two movies later, the “Infinity Saga” has officially come to an end.

Marvel President, Kevin Feige had an idea, to build a franchise that is all interconnected and would eventually culminate the longform story structure into a daring finale.

It’s easier to breakdown what happened and look over the MCU as a whole. So, here are the major clues from other films in the MCU, which will all make sense while watching “Avengers: Endgame”

The most important question after watching “Infinity War” is “What happened after the snap?”

Thanos believed that he restored balance to the universe by wiping out 50% of humanity. At the end of “Infinity War”, we see that half of the heroes have vanished and the original Avengers have stayed back.

Before vanishing, Doctor Strange went forward in time and saw all the possible outcomes before fighting Thanos. He then gave up the time stone to Thanos in order to carry out the proper plan to defeat him. As “Sorcerer Supreme” it was his duty to protect the time stone because it’s a power source for him, so when he gave up the stone to Thanos, in exchange to save Tony Stark’s life, there must have been a reason for him to do so. The time stone is a major player going into “Endgame” because of the one outcome that can save them all.

At the beginning of ‘Avengers: Endgame’ Scott Lang is alive, as he pops out of the Quantum Realm. He has an idea to use the realm and pinpoint an exact moment in time so they can time travel. It’s a simple plan and it’s the only option the Avengers have to get everyone back. Scott Lang was actually one of the best characters in Endgame because he had a lot to lose, he DID NOT stop fighting for his family, even when he had to talk Tony Stark into conducting this “time heist”. The trials that they conducted with Bruce Banner made for quite an entertaining schtick before Tony jumps in and saves the day with his “time gps”. The original 6, plus Nebula, Rocket and Rhodie all enter the realm and travel back to specific moments from previous films in which the stones appeared in. This was such a beautiful idea from the Russo’s, to incorporate the important moments for their characters and memorable ones for audiences.

INFINITY SAGA PHASE 1 PODCAST
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The previous films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe have all been perfectly placed to lead up to ““Endgame””, starting with the first ““Avengers”” movie. The “Battle of New York” changed the trajectory of all the characters, but most importantly Tony Stark’s character arc. In this film, Tony Stark is introduced to space for the first time. He battled Loki and the Chitauri, which were from another realm. These aliens completely destroyed New York and from that moment, Tony Stark made it a point to create more weapons to keep the entire world safe. The aftermath of this film affected Tony Stark’s mental health, which was carried out in “Iron Man 3”. He had post traumatic stress disorder and was obsessed with building more suits, so he would always be protected. It wasn’t until “Age of Ultron” where his ultimate fear was revealed, due to Scarlet Witch and her mind control. She made him see the fate of The Avengers and it was death by Thanos. Since “Age of Ultron” Tony Stark had a personal vendetta against Thanos because of how obsessive he had become in keeping his loved ones safe from the Mad Titan. Tony Stark’s character arc is the most important heading into “Endgame” because of everything that he has been through with Thanos. The Marvel Cinematic Universe began with Tony Stark, so it is only fitting that he avenges the lives that were lost.

One of the most powerful Avengers also undergoes one of biggest transformations and the God of Thunder changes after the events in “Thor: The Dark World”. In this film the reality stone is discovered by Dr. Jane Foster on Earth. Jane noticed that various portals have appeared around her area and the laws of physics had been suspended. She entered this abandoned building, where the power was at its strongest and she ends up entering another realm. After entering she is infected with the “Aether”, otherwise known as the reality stone. Thor’s father, Odin, then warns Thor that Jane is out of reach and he can no longer track her whereabouts. He then goes to save Jane and they have to remove the “aether” from her body. He brings Jane to Asgard in order to keep her safe because an enemy force wants the “Aether”. In order to keep her and the stone safe, Thor’s mother, Frigga ends up sacrificing herself in order to protect Jane from the Dark Elves. In this film, Thor loses his mother and renounces the throne. He becomes more humble and acknowledges his own faults. As Thor navigates his way through the other films he finally comes into his own in “Thor:Ragnarok”, he had a purpose to protect his people. In “Infinity War”, Thor is the one to attack Thanos with all the power he had gained from his axe “Stormbreaker” and he unleashed it in Wakanda. Thor took on Thanos on his own and went to stab his heart. Unfortunately, Thanos was still able to snap his fingers and complete his plan. Thor then becomes our discouraged hero and blames himself for not doing the right thing. Thor falls off the wagon into a depression that leaves him struggling to find out who he is instead of who he is supposed to be.

INFINITY SAGA 2 PODCAST
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The first sign of Thanos retrieving the infinity stones was during “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1”. The power stone was locked up on planet Morag and Peter Quill was able to retrieve it, not knowing the contents of the orb. In this film, Thanos sends Nebula and Gamora to go retrieve the orb. Gamora ends up making contact with Quill and the battle for the orb continues throughout the film. Gamora sees what her father, Thanos has done to the universe and ends up protecting the power stone, instead of giving it to him. At this point, Thanos loses Gamora to the Guardians and begins to search for the stones on his own. The Guardians ended up giving the power stone to the Nova Corps in order to keep it safe. Thanos began to recruit his own army, known as The Black Order, in order to retrieve the stones. They destroyed planets and many lives were lost while trying to uncover these stones.

Another issue ‘The Avengers’ face when they head into the Quantum Realm is that they were all clueless about the soul stone. Thanos is the only one who has ever ventured to Voromir and in exchange for the stone, he had to sacrifice his daughter. Clint and Natasha were sent there without any knowledge of the decision they had to make in order to retrieve the stone. This could have all been avoided if Nebula actually told the full story of her sister Gamora’s death. The soul stone is not easy to retrieve and even Scott Lang knew it was a bad idea, since he opted out. What is very unfortunate is that Black Widow was the most excited to get the stones and return back to the present and it didn’t happen for her. Black Widow’s ending made sense because she finally had a family and she would do anything for them, including sacrificing herself. We’re getting a Black Widows standalone anyway and I’m sure it will have better characterization than what she had in previous movies.

INFINITY SAGA PHASE 3 PODCAST
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The most important thing to take away from the “Infinity Saga” coming to an end is that Stan Lee was fortunate enough to watch his comic panels come to life. Stan Lee, Steve Ditko and Jack Kirby all contributed to this universe and their work will live on forever. From the writing, witty characters and special cameos, it’s a real treat to be a Marvel fan because of how dedicated everyone has been in doing these characters justice.

So in the words of Stan Lee,

Excelsior and enjoy Avengers: Endgame.