Baseball Toaster Screen Jam
Monthly archives: January 2008


Lost Season Premiere Chat
2008-01-31 16:42
by Jon Weisman

If you're like me, you're feeling the excitement about tonight's Lost season premiere. I watched the episode two nights ago, and I'm still excited to chat about it.

So here's the game plan for tonight.

1) If you want to talk about Lost before or during the episode, do so in the comments below.

2) For more Lost chat after the episode, I ask that you go to the Variety blog Season Pass, where there will be a new post right at 10 p.m.

Ground rules: No chatting about anything that hasn't been seen by West Coast viewers, and no spoilers. That includes not talking about scenes from next week's episode.

Have fun …

New Series Watch: In Treatment and Breaking Bad
2008-01-29 15:07
by Jon Weisman

I've got a couple of new Season Pass posts at Variety: one on new HBO series In Treatment, the other on AMC's Breaking Bad.
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2007 Film Honors To Date
2008-01-22 12:00
by Jon Weisman

SAG Award winners coming Sunday ...
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Oscar Nominations Open Chat
2008-01-22 07:13
by Jon Weisman

Here's the list. No big surprises on first glance. Atonement, Juno, There Will Be Blood and No Country for Old Men were all forgone conclusions for best picture nominations - the only doubt I had was whether the SAG-supported Into the Wild might beat Michael Clayton for the fifth spot. Similarly, the actor noms were by the book, with the mild but understandable surprise being that Laura Linney sneaked past Angelina Jolie for a chance to lose to either Marion Cotillard or Julie Christie.

One other mild upset on first glance: While many expected Juno to get loads of nominations, few saw director Jason Reitman actually getting credit. But it was nice to see that he did. I still wonder if the dialogue in the first part of that movie was intentionally meant to be as annoying as it was - as much as I liked it at the end.

More to come later, time permitting.

The Wire: A Rookie's Perspective
2008-01-14 11:56
by Jon Weisman

At Variety, I offer my thoughts about The Wire after having missed the first four seasons. I also have a post about how Friday Night Lights recalled the 1954 Cotton Bowl.

Best Animated Film of 2007: Persepolis
2008-01-09 11:25
by Jon Weisman

It's not as colorful as Ratatouille and maybe lacks the transcendent ending, but Persepolis is absolutely engaging and illuminating from start to finish. It makes good use of animation but isn't beholden to the form. I highly recommend it.

SAG Noms Bode Well for Into the Wild
2008-01-04 09:57
by Jon Weisman

As Robert Hofler writes in Variety today, the Screen Actors Guild Awards are a better bellwether for Oscar acting nominations than the Golden Globes.

None of the 80 or so members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. will be casting nom ballots for the Oscars (announced Jan. 22), a fact that is not true of the 2,100 nominating SAG voters, who overlap heavily with the Academy membership of thesps. In other words, look to SAG, not the HFPA, to forecast the upcoming Oscar picks. ...

The big loser in the 2007 SAG sweepstakes, however, is a musical. "Sweeney Todd" failed to bring home a nom for its ensemble, as well as for leads Helena Bonham Carter and Johnny Depp. Also shut out is "Atonement," which has not fared particularly well with crix orgs but garnered three thesp noms from the Globes. ...

"Into the Wild" emerges as the big SAG winner. Maybe the foreign-journalist voters didn't respond to this very American road story, which got shut out in all major categories there. Or did the pic's notoriously PR-shy director, Sean Penn, simply not provide them enough press-junket obeisance?

Regardless, SAG went for their fellow actor's directorial work in a big way, giving "Into the Wild" more noms -- four -- than any other film.

The Greatest Jan Smithers WKRP Episodes of All Time
2008-01-03 15:25
by Jon Weisman

6) Dear Liar: Bailey behaves badly.

5) For Love or Money, Part One: Bailey has a crush. On Johnny. Enough said.

4) Bailey's Show: Our first extended peak into the shy, innocent but determined Bailey.

3) Bailey's Big Break: Bailey growing up professionally.

2) Rumors: Baliey at her angriest - and then sexiest - following false rumors that she and Johnny are sleeping together.

1) I Am Woman: Bailey's "Save the Flimm" monologue is one of the show's most memorable - surprisingly moving.