Two years ago, Leona Lewis was the biggest name in pop music. Her debut album Spirit, and its lead single, "Bleeding Love," took the world by storm. One would think her insane success would guarantee automatic sales of her sophomore album, Echo. That hasn't been the case. Her sales have sagged, especially in the U.S., even though Echo is flat out better than Spirit. Lewis just released the video for the album's second single, "I Got You." The song is fantastic, just try not getting the chorus (And when you need a place to run to/ for better for worse/ I got you) stuck in your head -- it's impossible. It's definitely one of her best.
And for those who missed out on "Happy," the catchy yet (slightly) schmaltzy lead single, watch the video. It's good stuff. Embedded below:
It's Valentine's Day, so it's the perfect excuse for me to post two of the best scenes from my all-time favorite television pairing, Alias' Sydney and Vaughn. They likely won't mean much for anyone who hasn't seen the show, but they're adorable nonetheless.
Vaughn: Syd, this watch belonged to my father. It's broken now, but it used to keep perfect time. And when he gave it to me, he said, "You could set your heart by this watch." It stopped October first -- the day we met.
Vaughn: We're not gonna make it out of here. There's something I need you to know. Sydney: Vaughn... Vaughn: In my life, there's only one person... Sydney: Don't do this. Vaughn: Look at me. Sydney: Vaughn... Vaughn: The only reason I pushed you away... Sydney: Please... Vaughn: The only reason I didn't know how to be around you... Sydney: They're coming. Vaughn: Sydney... Sydney: I know, Vaughn. I know. We'll find each other. We always find each other.
It's that time of year again: Oscar nomination time. Tomorrow the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences will announce the 2010 Oscar nominees, and as always, I am stoked. Unlike many critics, I think 2009 was a fantastic year for film. Better than most years in recent memory. It was a year that contained crowd-pleasing comedies (The Hangover, Julie & Julia), animated films with multi-generational appeal (Up, 9, Fantastic Mr. Fox), gut-wrenching dramas (The Hurt Locker, Precious, A Single Man), and, oh yeah, what will soon be the highest grossing film of all-time (Avatar). With that, what follows is my "ballot" if I were an Academy member, as well as my 2010 Oscar predictions. (And as a note, I've seen almost everything worth seeing, but not quite.)
Top Ten / Best Picture 1. Up. Without question, Pixar's best and most moving film. The film's opening 15 minutes are some of the best ever. 2. A Single Man. The best "gay movie" I've seen. Yes, better than Brokeback Mountain. Tom Ford's directorial debut is beautifully shot, incredibly acted, and utterly moving. 3. Precious. This wake-up call for all of America features two dynamite performances from Mo'Nique and newcomer Gabourey Sibide. 4. Avatar. The story isn't the most original, but the groundbreaking visuals are an absolute spectacle, and worth seeing again, and again, and again. 5. The Hurt Locker. A Single Man may be one of the best "gay" movies ever made, and The Hurt Locker may be one of the best war films ever made. Kathryn Bigelow's detailed direction makes The Hurt Locker the definition of a nail-biter. 6. Up in the Air. The movie of the moment. Jason Reitman's third film is the perfect film to describe the state of America in 2009. 7. Where the Wild Things Are. Maurice Sendak's beloved short story becomes an even better film that brings out the child in all of us. 8. (500) Days of Summer. The year's best romantic comedy, and it isn't even a feel-good love story. 9. Inglourious Basterds. Tarantino rewrites history and it couldn't be more fun. As with Up, the film's opening sequence is absolute brilliance. 10. District 9. The rare sci-fi flick that's both intelligent and entertaining.
What Will Actually Be Nominated: An Education, Avatar, District 9, The Hurt Locker, Inglourious Basterds, Invictus, Precious, A Serious Man, Up, Up in the Air
Best Director: Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker Tom Ford, A Single Man James Cameron, Avatar Jason Reitman, Up in the Air Pete Docter, Up
Who Will Actually Be Nominated: Bigelow, Cameron, Lee Daniels (Precious), Reitman, Quentin Tarantino (Inglourious Basterds)
Best Actor Colin Firth, A Single Man Jeremy Renner, The Hurt Locker Max Records, Where the Wild Things Are Joseph Gordon-Levitt, (500) Days of Summer George Clooney, Up in the Air
Who Will Actually Be Nominated: Jeff Bridges (Crazy Heart), Clooney, Firth, Morgan Freeman (Invictus), Renner
Best Actress Meryl Streep, Julie & Julia Gabourey Sibide, Precious Sandra Bullock, The Blind Side Carey Mulligan, An Education Emily Blunt, The Young Victoria
Who Will Actually Be Nominated: Blunt, Bullock, Mulligan, Sibide, Streep (We agree! Go figure.)
Best Supporting Actor Christoph Waltz, Inglourious Basterds Peter Calpadi, In the Loop Anthony Mackie, The Hurt Locker Zach Galfanakis, The Hangover Stanley Tucci, Julie & Julia
Who Will Actually Be Nominated: Matt Damon (Invictus), Woody Harrelson (The Messenger), Alfred Molina (An Education), Waltz, Tucci (The Lovely Bones)
Best Supporting Actress Mo'Nique, Precious Julianne Moore, A Single Man Vera Farmiga, Up in the Air Diane Kruger, Inglourious Basterds Anna Kendrick, Up in the Air
Who Will Actually Be Nominated: Farmiga, Kendrick, Melanie Laurent (Inglourious Basterds), Mo'Nique, Moore
Original Screenplay Up (500) Days of Summer The Hurt Locker Inglourious Basterds The Hangover
What Will Actually Be Nominated:A Serious Man, (500) Days of Summer, The Hurt Locker, Inglourious Basterds, Up
Adapted Screenplay Up in the Air A Single Man Where the Wild Things Are Precious In the Loop
What Will Actually Be Nominated:An Education, District 9, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Precious, Up in the Air
2009's Best (and Worst) of the Rest 11. An Education 12. Star Trek 13. Julie & Julia 14. The Hangover 15. In the Loop 16. Fantastic Mr. Fox 17. Zombieland 18. Adventureland 19. Food Inc. 20. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince 21. Paranormal Activity 22. I Love You, Man 23. The Proposal 24. 9 25. Sunshine Cleaning 26. The Blind Side 27. Earth 28. The Road 29.The Princess & the Frog 30. Invictus 31. Duplicity 32. The Time Traveler's Wife 33. Coraline 34. The Invention of Lying 35. The Young Victoria 36. The Informant! 37. Bruno 38. Surrogates 39. Taken 40. X-Men Origins: Wolverine 41. Law Abiding Citizen 42. G.I. Joe: The Rise of the Cobra 43. He's Just Not That Into You 44. 2012 45. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen 46. The Men Who Stare At Goats