Wednesday, July 31, 2013

August Movies to See and Skip

Wow, July went by in a whirl wind.  The biggest success of July, and its no surprise, was the animated sequel Despicable Me 2.  The first film was a sleeper hit at the box office, and only grew in popularity on DVD.  Even though The Heat was released (June 28th) most of its business came in July, and is proof Melissa McCarthy is good for business, way to go Sookie St. James!

In other news July was a slow domestic month, Pacific Rim proved to be too much of a genre film, and the excitement from Comic Con, turned out to be hot air.  Rim has only grossed 85 million domestic is on the same track as Cowboys & Aliens in the States.  The Conjuring scared up a large box office with a small budget, it's at 86 million, and counting.  In fact many of the smaller films did quite well, look for July releases Fruitvale Station, Blue Jasmine, and The Way Way Back to perform solidly.

While Rim's box office was not as impressive as expected, nothing could be more disappointing than The Lone Ranger, and R.I.P.D..  Ranger has barely grossed 100 million and cost 250 million, who thought this nostalgia was a good idea?  Depp has proven he is no longer box office magic; his only major successes of late were the fourth Pirates and Alice in Wonderland.   Someone also needs to tell Ryan Reynolds to stop trying so hard, with two flops in one weekend R.I.P.D., and Turbo he needs to assess to future of his career.  Let's just hope neither of these film studios have had money withheld from them from China.  Now to August, and to be honest I am glad I do not have much free time this month the movies look bad.

August 2nd

2 Guns

Hard to pick which movie looks like the biggest joke this month, but this film, which was originally intended to reunite Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn, but instead has Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg.  This movie looks pointless, and not pointless fun.

The Smurfs 2 (July 31st)

The first looked bad, and made a lot of money.  I dread having to take my children to such terrible movies.  If this is what is passing for "family entertainment, I weep.  Nostalgia is both a good and bad thing, you make the assessment, I know how I feel with these films.

The Spectacular Now

This looks like a great look at the realistic nature of young teenage love, which is ambitious, heart felt, passionate, and sometimes misguided.  Shailene Woodley is a star to watch; she just needs to shed that crappy ABC Family show.  Everyone has their baggage.

The Canyons

Lindsey Lohan tries yet again, the trailer looks so bad, that it will be a camp classic for years to come!

August 9th 


I am looking forward to this film the most this August.  Matt Damon looks bad ass, and Neil Blomkamp's District 9 was a shot of adrenaline to a boring August 4 years ago.  This should be a solid film, with great action and story, sold.

Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters

I was puzzled why they made this sequel, the first did not make much money, but this book series has a massive fan base.  The first one isn't good, but it was fun enough.


Has Pixar gotten this lazy?  This looks worse than Cars 2 and that's saying a lot, I am sad this once great animation company has faltered so much, and become a lazy sequel machine.

We're the Millers

This looks like a movie that gives away all the best jokes in the preview, with that said I thought that about The Heat, and was wrong.  This could just be a fun comedy.  The cast is solid, and Aniston looks better than ever.

August 16th 

Kick-Ass 2 

I think I would have been happy without a sequel, I really enjoyed the first film, after watching the extended look on this film from Comic Con I am less worried, but without Matthew Vaughn directing this film has some ground to make-up, and Jim Carey has not been in a good movie in almost 10 years.


This could be a really fun thriller, Gary Oldman and Harrison Ford going at it as moguls, using Liam Hemsworth as their pawn?  How does that sound bad, the book it's based on is pretty fun, and hopefully they capture the same basic elements in the film.

Lee Daniel's The Butler 

Talk about Oscar pedigree.  The cast has 17 Oscar nominations and 5 wins.  I think this has bait written all over it, with the President's throughout the years, and the man who served them, and finally getting to see the first black President elected.  Remember the Weinstein's are behind this, and got Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close two Oscar nominations.  Oprah is also touted as strong front runner for Supporting Actress.


I take Lindsey Lohan more seriously than Kutcher as an actor, I can't take this film seriously, watch the trailer, and see if you can, I dare you

Ain't Them Bodies Saints

Lots of buzz from Sundance with strong performances?  I trust Sundance with these small films, they always steer me right, and I will be checking this out.

August 23rd 

Mortal Instruments: City of Bones

Is this the next Hunger Games, or more in the vein of Percy Jackson and The Host.  My guess is the latter, I have not seen much with regard to publicity for this film, and even though the book is popular, I feel like film studios are not waiting long enough to make books into films, or should let this practice breath a little bit more.

The World's End

Simon Pegg and Nick frost for the final part in "Blood and Ice Cream" trilogy.  I love Shaun of the Dead and Hott Fuzz, and depending on my mood, it's a tough pick as to which I like better.  Edgar Wright is back as director, and I am beyond excited for this film.

You're Next 

This trailer honestly scarred the shit out of me, and I think I would nightmare for weeks from this film, enter at your own risk.

August 30th

One Direction: This is Us

If someone had a gun to my head and they asked me to pick between this film, and Getaway, I would seriously consider the bullet (kidding....).  Enough with these concert movies, put them on HBO and be done.


Selena Gomez, in action film playing a "thug" girl, nuff said, this film looks like a sure fire Razzie contender, and gets the award for film that looks the worst this month.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Ryan Coogler's Fruitvale Station is an Emotional Story about a Young Man's Final Hours

Fruitvale Station (4 1/2 out of 5 Stars)
Directed and Written by: Ryan Coogler
Starring: Michael B. Jordan, Melonie Diaz, and Octavia Spencer

There have recently been many discussions about the role race play with regard to the arrest, death for people of color, especially black young men.  Most of these conversations have come from the Trayvon Martin death, trial, and verdict.  This one case has recently represented the way in which black people are treated by the justice system.  The socially constructed paranoia of race, has intersected with crime, and there are two realities, within this paradigm.  The first is centered on privilege and the lack of opportunity for poorer people, predominantly poorer people of color to escape their societal confines.  The second is based on the stereotypes, in which men of color particularly black men are seen as antagonists.  Fruitvale Station explores both. 

On January 1st 2010, Oscar Grant was shot and killed in the Fruitvale Station BART train stop in Oakland California.  The film opens with the real cell phone footage taken from numerous passengers on the train.  After watching the footage we see Oscar (Jordan) in bed with his young girl friend Sophina (Diaz) at the beginning of what is the last day of his life.  

Throughout this last day there are glimpses of the good and flawed nature of Oscar.  Oscar is a young father who loves his daughter Tatiana; he is a loving son shopping for his mother Wanda's birthday, which is that day, and he is trying to turn over a new leaf, and no longer smoke and deal drugs.  There are flashbacks to Oscars time in prison, and the challenges for his mother and family.  There are also glimpses of anger, and his temper.  First time director/writer Ryan Coogler has created a well balanced, a heartfelt character study of a young man stuck in a position trying to do the best while struggling with all of the bad around him.

Some people are going to argue this film is one sided, but I think this a great representation of the way in which society keeps people down, and unfortunately we have to view this through the death of a young man.  Coogler's first time direction and writing, with feature films, has proven to be an incredibly successful, and impactful film.  Coogler knows how to emphasize the good, and flawed aspects of Oscar well.  The way he uses the real time text messaging helps emphasize the emotional level of the communication, and sadness for this person.  Coogler knows how to give you hope, when you know there is none.You want Oscar to succeed especially after running into the man with his pregnant wife, there is hope for work. Coogler also knows how to hit you where it hurts especially in the final scenes while the cops wrestle Oscar to the ground.  Coogler hits every emotion, and creates a brilliant character study.

This study of young Oscar could not be possible, without the brilliant performance from from Michael B. Jordan.  Jordan is such a natural in this role; he embodies every aspect of young Osc (nickname), all the way down to his smile.  Jordan played the young drug dealer Wallace in the television series The Wire, and based on an interview at Sundance, Coogler stated that the role was tailor made for Jordan.  Jordan conveys the balance between have that dark edge, and being that love able guy brilliantly. Jordan conveys this best while his mother Wanda visits him in prison.  You can't help but feel the depth in this moment.

One of the most tragic things about the story within this film is that Oscar died almost exactly on his mother's birthday.  Octavia Spencer has shed even the minute comedic shades of her role in The Help, and past acting experiences to channel the depth and love of Wanda.  Wanda is a loving mother who wants to do the best for her son; she wants him to succeed, which is the general tone of this film.  

Station is about a young flawed man, who you want to see succeed; he tries hard throughout this film film, to be the best he can be for his mother, girlfriend, and daughter, but he never gets the opportunity, which is one of the greatest aspects of this tragedy.  Fruitvale Station is a raw emotional journey that provides an broad perspective on a young man with prospects who never got to live to meet his potential.

Friday, July 26, 2013

The Conjuring is a Solid Film, and One of the Scariest Films in Years

The Conjuring (4 out of 5 Stars)
Directed by James Wan (Saw, Insidious)
Written by Chad Hayes, Corey Hayes (The Reaping, House of Wax)
Starring: Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Ron Livingston, and Lili Taylor

I rarely like or see horror films, I think this is one of the hardest genres, if not the hardest "to get it right."  There are few horror or suspense films, which are both scary, and good films, have character development, or any of a variety of elements which make a film good.  The last "scary" movie I saw in the movie theatres was The Woman in Black.  The film fit too much of a formula, and the scary moments felt predictable or planned.  While The Conjuring does not break new ground within the world of possession or exorcism, the film is both scary, and measures up within every other aspect.

The Conjuring follows two families, the first is a family who moves into a new house after some hard times financially, and the second is a family with two "demonologists."    The film opens with Ed (Wilson) and Lorraine (Farmiga) Warren the two demonologists who laughingly describe their titles in a variety of manners, and are meeting with two young girls and their friend after they encounter a demonic possession in a doll they found.  Let me tell you, Chucky is a Barbie compared to merely the look of this doll.  This encounter along with one with a their explanation of what an exorcism or possession look like set the scene for the role this plays within this specific case within this film.

The second family is the Perron family, led by father Roger (Livingston), mother Carolynn (Taylor) who have five daughters.  As the family has moved into their new home they start to notice little things that appear odd or out of the ordinary.  Without giving much away these families paths soon meet, and there is an intense exploration of demonic possession, and what that means, in general and for this family.

Again without giving the plot away, this film succeeds at connecting you with the characters, their lives, and making you feel true terror for everyone involved.  The actors are great, make a note horror directors/writers/producers getting better actors can help elevate the material (not a guarantee).  Farmiga, Wilson, and Taylor are major stand outs, each of them adding to their character, and the plot of the film.  Farmiga and Wilson not only make you believe in their characters, the script uses them wisely, never over doing the fact that this paranormal activities expert (Ed), and  his clairvoyant wife could be crazy ghost busters.

Wan who directed Insidious, and Saw steps further into the "haunted house" genre, but never gets weighed down by the script or the material.  The film is set within the 1970s and Wan balances the quick cut horror edits with a well paced story development to add to the thrill.  The script, and direction adeptly blend the stories of these two families, and the times of the early 70s well.  There was a paranoia surrounding this era, and the combination of these families mixes well to create one of the scariest stories to date.

As stated above creating a truly scary well made film is tough, and most of the time its about being "the first" Halloween, Carrie, The Exorcist, Rosemary's Baby all of these were popular films which scare, and haunt dreams.  Most of them were not the first of their kind, but they became the benchmarks.  The Conjuring may set a benchmark, but it lives up to the creepy well told story within all of these films.  Mr. Wan allows the shock, and thrill to exist creating the perfect aura for this film.  To put it bluntly, this is one scary movie.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Wolverine has a few Bumps, but the Film Succeeds where Origin Fails

The Wolverine (3 out 5 Stars)
Directed by James Mangold (Walk the Line, 3:10 to Yuma, Knight and Day)
Written by Mark Bomback (Total Recall), Scott Frank (Minority Report), and Christopher McQuarrie (The Usual Suspects)
Starring: Hugh Jackman, Tao Okamoto, Rila Fukishima, and Famke Janssen

In 2009 Wolverine got his own shot at his own film, with X:Men Origins: Wolverine.  Wolverine is one of the most popular, if not the most popular X-Men character for mass audiences.  If you were to ask many people to character they either know the best, or their favorite within the X-Men world, most people would say Wolverine.  With that said, anticipation for Jackman's first solo film centered on this character were highly anticipated.  The film was a flop for critics, and fans, no one liked it, and the box office numbers while decent caused a decrease in the franchise.  In 2011 there was a break from Wolverine with, X-Men: First Class, and now four years after his last film Jackman is back as 'Logan' the Wolverine.

The Wolverine centers around, well Wolverine (Jackman) sometime after the events from X-Men: The Last Stand (2006).  Wolverine has isolated himself in the mountains of Canada, but the old animal instincts are still within his repertoire.  Logan is dealing with the PTSD from killing the women he loved, Jean Grey (Janssen).  Logan is seeing visions of Jean in his dreams; she laying on the guilt, his own internal guilt, which has plagued him and caused him to isolate. In a bar one night Wolverine unleashes his inner beast, and is confronted by a mutant named Yukio (Fukishima).  Yukio explain that the man Logan saved in a flashback at the beginning, Yashida has requested his presence on his deathbed.  Wolverine agrees to fly back in order to say his goodbyes, and potentially let go of his own immortality.

The Wolverine tackles the three act arc play, lending the beginning to the set-up Wolverine his PTSD, the middle, which focuses on the connection between Wolverine and his connection and protection Mariko (Okamoto), Yashida's grand daughter, and then finally an action packed finale.  While the script is not perfect for the film, it achieves something Origins lacked, depth, intensity, and a great exploration of Wolverine in an interesting situation.  The film misses the boat on bringing about a convincing villain, the film focuses too much on Viper, she is neither interesting nor someone worthwhile to cannon of this story.  One of of my favorite parts about this film was Yukio, which brought another strong female Asian character, who can hold her own, two in one year (Pacific Rim had the other) is a massive accomplishment. The X-Men films struggle with their, except for Magneto and Stryker (in X-2).  Without spoilers the end villain brings about the intensity, with which you have hope to see battled out.

While the script prevents a "great" villain, Mangold creates an action packed film, which never needs one.  The script has a depth, thanks to the Logan, Mariko pairing.  The two were both searching for something to save them, and they found each other.  Mangold was not a bad choice for this film, but his shaky camera style which appeared in Knight and day shows up once again, and it can be more distracting than a style that adds to the substance of the film.

With that said, the action sequences are fun, the story is engaging, and the lead Hugh Jackman is once again fantastic as Wolverine.  This film will marks the sixth appearance of Jackman as Wolverine, and his best to date.  Jackman gets to explore the loss of love, the journey and exploration of self, and kick some ass all in the same film.  Jackman was born to play this role, and he is great as this character.  Wolverine was his first major role in the States, and with every film Jackman adds a new layer to this character.  In this film he commands the screen, and will continue to be a dominant force in the next X-Men film, stay for after the credits.

While this film is nowhere near perfection its a satisfying chapter in the X-Men films, and made me forgot about the terrible Origins movie.  Wolverine is an entertaining action packed film.

Monday, July 22, 2013

The To Do List, Starring Aubrey Plaza, is a Movie that Should be Placed on your 'To Do List' for this Summer

The To Do List (3 1/2 out of 5 Stars)
Directed and Written by: Maggie Carey
Starring: Aubrey Plaza, Johnny Simmons, Alia Shawkat, Scott Porter, Bill Hader, Connie Britton, and Clark Gregg


I couldn't help but have the Icona Pop lyric "But I'm a 90s bitch" playing in my head after I walked out the screening for the film The to Do List.  I was 9 in 1993, but I remember all the the things made the 90s such interesting, but odd decade.  The last remaining gasps of the yuppies paved way for 90210, trapper keepers, and the birth of the next political dynasty the Clintons.

Hillary Clinton is a major influence to Valedictorian Brandy Klark (Plaza).  On graduation day as she attempts to give her speech, the crowd yells out virgin she pauses, and the wholesome Brandy is escorted to the side.  As Brandy is driving off with her best friends Fiona (Shawkat) and Wendy (Sarah Steele) they divert from going a wholesome after graduation part and end up heading to a keg party.  Brandy is ready to go right away; she has made her lists in preparation for her time at Georgetown, but she is soon entranced by college boy Rusty Waters (Porter).  Brandy's wholesome demeanor slips away as she dives into inebriation.  While drunk she mistakenly ends up making out with Rusty, and soon after the party ends she decides rather than prep for her new year at college she is going to embark on a journey of sexual exploration.

Creating a film about female sexual exploration is rare in the film world, most films about teenage sexual exploration show the women as the object of the hunt.  Films like American Pie, Fast Time's at Ridgemont High or Porky's play a big role in within this genre.  These films and many others were at the forefront films about teenagers, and sex.  Back in 2010 Easy A helped break through this wall with mild success in theatres, and strong success after the dust was settled and the DVD released.  The late 90s and 2000s saw a rise in strong female led teenage films, like Bring it On, Pitch Perfect, and of course Mean Girls.  Maggie Carey expands the female vantage point in new ways with her film using the more typical guy horn dog mentality with a woman.  I think this a great way to show a diverse perspective using gender.

Carey has not had much experience within the television world; she has only worked on a few shows, and this is her first feature film.  Carey's film is smart in the way it explores sexual encounters for both genders, and I appreciate the lens she uses.  Carey has some sharp witty moments for many of the characters, her 90s jokes are great.  I think my favorite is a reference to the way Tracy Gold dressed on Growing Pains.  Carey is good at the one liners, my guess is that her experience with Funny or Die.  On the other hand Carey's lack of focused work in even a variety of sitcoms, and film, and only in the Funny or Die venue lends to some holes or gaps in the script which create moments where the film lags and falls flat.  

While the script has its flaws, these flaws are ironed over with this terrific ensemble led brilliantly by Aubrey Plaza.  Plaza finally steps outside of her acting comfort zone and is no longer the morose teen/person, but rather she embarks on this new person with Brandy.  Plaza's comedic timing is still there but in a new form, she takes all of the achievements she has made within her work in numerous films, and Parks and Recreation, and shows us "Who's the Boss" (a great 90s reference.  Plaza tackles naive well, and transforms at the same pace with which Brandy grows as a character.

Plaza is of course joined by many great actors in this cast who elevate the comedy, Hader is great as the  pool manager/bum. Sawkat and Steele are hilarious as Brandy's two slutty best friends, and I love Wendy's obsession with Beaches.  While many of the side players in Brandy's life were hilarious, I found her family the funniest, especially her sexually experienced mother played by Connie Britton, and her uptight Rush Limbaugh loving father played by the great Clark Gregg.

While Carey's script is not the strongest, the film is still funny, and a great inventive new format at looking at girls exploring their sexuality.  Plaza is terrific, and along with the emsemble this film is some thing you should ad to your 'To Do List' this summer.

Despicable Me 2 is Just Plain Cute

Despicable Me 2 (3 out of 5 Stars)
Directed by Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud (Despicable Me)
Written by: Ken Daurio, and Cinco Paul (Despicable Me, Hop)
Voiced by: Steve Carell, Kristin Wiig, and Benjamin Bratt

The first film took everyone by surprise as a solid hit, with great of word of mouth from audiences.  Put three cute orphans, some odd yellow creatures called minions, and a character voiced by Steve Carell, and you get one great film.  I was not surprised there was a sequel to this, and there will most likely be a third, the second is raking in money.  I just hope this does not follow in vein of Shrek.

The sequel follows Gru (Carell) in domestic bliss with his three young girls Lucy, Margo, and Agnes.  Gru puts on a birthday party, is cooking chicken, and even throws on a fairy princess outfit to please the young children, it appears his villain days are numbered.  At the end of the party Gru is approached by Lucy (Wiig), captured and brought to the headquarters of the Anti-Villain League (AVL).  Gru is asked to join and help them capture someone who is plot turning people or animals purple and even more evil.

The first film took me by surprise, like many others, I remember the trailer and thinking this looks pretty lame. There was something about the first film, a charm, which held me, this villain being changed and his heart warmed, much like the Grinch by these three young girls, which made the first film truly unique.  The sequel keeps up the funny/cute/charming aspects, but the novelty was missing.  I loved the first film, and I liked this one.  There were of course some great jokes for adults, but without Gru balancing the villain and father role the film was not as much fun as the first.  There were of course some moments where Gru showed his more fun darker side, but they were not as many. 

One of the other elements I like about the series is that Gru is a single dad raising three young girls, and he does a great job, but this film implies he needs a woman or mother to complete the picture.  I wish the film would have avoided the "family" agenda.  With that said the fun chemistry between Gru and Lucy was great, Wiig was the perfect voice actor for this role.  Wiig does just as much voice work as she does acting on screen, and I think this film succeeds because the voice actors add so much to the characters. 

Dreamworks is a machine with there films, and see dollar signs more doing more creative projects the way Pixar has done (although Pixar has gotten worse with this lately).  I do not want this film series to lose the mojo it has going, so with a third one pretty much guaranteed, please do not let go of the themes, or try too hard the way Shrek 3 did. With any of my minor complaints this film has terrific animation, and just plain cute.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Emmy Predictions (Nomination Day)

Now that the Emmy nominations are out, and the mistakes and triumphs have been laid to bed (almost) here are my initial gut reactions on who will win (should win), before the tapes the shows, and actors have been released.

"Breaking Bad"
"Downton Abbey"
"Game of Thrones"
"House of Cards"
"Mad Men"

I would say that Mad Men, and House of Cards are out, but even the latter has a better shot.  Downton could win, it won SAG, the actors are very supportive of this show.  I think this is a three way race between Bad, Thrones, and Homeland.  Homeland has the fact that it's won on its side, got more acting nominations, and writing and directing nominations.  Thrones has the most nominations, including a writing nomination, more acting and a cinematography nomination (which its never received).  Breaking Bad has never gotten a writing nomination, but got two nominations this year, and voting will occur while the final part of the last season airs.  This is a tough one, but at the moment, my gut goes with Breaking Bad.

Will Win:Breaking Bad
Should Win: Any of the three top contenders, I'd pick Homeland

Hugh Bonneville, "Downton Abbey"
Bryan Cranston, "Breaking Bad"
Jeff Daniels, "The Newsroom"
Jon Hamm, "Mad Men"
Damian Lewis, "Homeland"
Kevin Spacey, "House of Cards"

This is the hardest race to predict, Lewis was a bit of a surprise last year, and Kyle Chandler beating John Hamm, was one of the biggest surprises ever.  So who takes the prize?  Bonneville is the weakest link, but he has more material then last year.  Cranston does not have any tape that I can think of, and has won many times before, I think he could win next year.  If Hamm submits the season finale he's a contender.  Lewis has Q&A, Daniels The Pilot, and Spacey has 3 great episodes.  My gut is between newcomers Spacey and Daniels, but could this be Hamm's year?  At the moment I am going with Spacey.

Will and Should Win: Kevin Spacey

Connie Britton, "Nashville"
Claire Danes, "Homeland"
Michelle Dockery, "Downton Abbey"
Vera Farmiga, "Bates Motel"
Elisabeth Moss, "Mad Men"
Kerry Washington, "Scandal"
Robin Wright, "House of Cards"

7 ladies, another great category, I still am angry the snubbed Marguilles.  Moss, Britton, Wright, Dockery, and Farmiga are the long shots of the bunch.  Last year's winner Claire Danes is the favorite, but Kerry Washington is a serious threat especially with history on her side; she is the first black actress to be nominated in this category since 1995.  I think Danes may lose this one honestly, and while history shouldn't ensure a win Washington is great in the show.

Will Win: Kerry Washington
Should Win: Claire Danes

Jonathan Banks, "Breaking Bad" 
Bobby Cannavale, "Boardwalk Empire" 
Jim Carter, "Downton Abbey" 
Peter Dinklage, "Game of Thrones" 
Mandy Patinkin, "Homeland" 
Aaron Paul, "Breaking Bad"

I would have only nominated two of these people so predicting this list will be tough.  The Emmy Awards like Cannavale, he has an Emmy for Will & Grace, has now been nominated twice for Nurse Jackie, and now enters the major categories.  He chews scenery with the best of em, and could win.  I would say this is anyone's guess, but I think Mandy Patinkin is the favorite.

Will and Should Win: Mandy Patinkin

Morena Baccarin, "Homeland" 
Christine Baranski, "The Good Wife"
Emilia Clarke, "Game of Thrones" 
Anna Gunn, "Breaking Bad"
Christina Hendricks, "Mad Men" 
Maggie Smith, "Downton Abbey" 

Most of the time I would say Smith has most awards in the bag, but I do not think she has this one, not even close.Clarke is solid, but I can't see her winning.  Hendricks doesn't have many tapes.  I could se Baranski winning; she has good tapes and is well like.  I think Anna Gunn takes this!

Will and Should Win: Anna Gunn

Dan Bucatinsky, "Scandal" 
Michael J. Fox, "The Good Wife" 
Rupert Friend, "Homeland" 
Harry Hamlin, "Mad Men"
Nathan Lane, "The Good Wife" 
Robert Morse, "Mad Men"

Will and Should Win: Nathan Lane 

Linda Cardellini, "Mad Men" 
Joan Cusack, "Shameless" 
Jane Fonda, "The Newsroom" 
Margo Martindale, "The Americans"
Carrie Preston, "The Good Wife" 
Diana Rigg, "Game of Thrones" 

Will Win: Jane Fonda
Should Win: Carrie Preston

"The Big Bang Theory"
"Modern Family"
"30 Rock"

Girls is out, too polarizing, unlike Sex and the City, there are ardent haters.  I do not think Big Bang has a shot either, same acting nominations, no writing or directing, I think the Academy views this show as too cute, and not "important" enough.  Louie and Veep score major bumps, but Veep has no writing or directing nominations, shows of this pedigree rarely win this award without them.  Louis C.K. just received 9 nominations today, and his show could win out.  I think this is between 30 Rock, and Modern Family.  Tough call! Rock has the last two episodes, which are fantastic and both nominated for writing, and one is nominated for directing.  Modern Family has only one directing nomination.  I am going to go out on a limb with this one.

Will Win: 30 Rock
Should Win: Louie

Alec Baldwin, "30 Rock"
Jason Bateman, "Arrested Development"
Don Cheadle, "House of Lies"
Louis C.K., "Louie"
Matt LeBlanc, "Episodes"
Jim Parsons, "The Big Bang Theory"

Development was majorly snubbed, but Bateman could win if they judge based on tapes, and the Academy could make up for the snub.  Baldwin is very well liked, but has had some bad press lately, never prevented him from winning.  Louis C.K. was obviously well liked, but comedians rarely win in the acting categories.  My money is on C.K. this year.

Will and Should Win: Louis C.K.

Laura Dern, "Enlightened"
Lena Dunham, "Girls"
Edie Falco, "Nurse Jackie"
Tina Fey, "30 Rock"
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, "Veep"
Amy Poehler, "Parks and Recreation"

Tough call, I think Dreyfuss is going to simply repeat, the best way to honor Veep.  The rest of the nominees all have a shot, but I think Falco, Dunham, and Dern should all be happy for the nomination. Fey could get tapped for a parting tap, like at SAG.  Could this be the year they finally honor Poehler?  They do not seem to like her show, so probably not.

Will Win: Julia Louis-Dreyfuss
Should: Laura Dern

Ty Burrell, "Modern Family"
Adam Driver, "Girls"
Jesse Tyler Ferguson, "Modern Family"
Bill Hader, "Saturday Night Live"
Tony Hale, "Veep"  
Ed O'Neill, "Modern Family"

Last years winner is gone! I am pretty surprised Hale, and Driver made this list, but they are both great.  Hader will submit his farewell episode, great episode for him.  I think this is where Modern Family continues their winning streak, and with Ty Burell again, although I could see them finally honoring O'Neill.

Will Win: Ty Burrell
Should Win: Adam Driver 

Mayim Bialik, "The Big Bang Theory"
Julie Bowen, "Modern Family"
Anna Chlumsky, "Veep"
Jane Krakowski, "30 Rock"
Jane Lynch, "Glee"
Sofia Vergara, "Modern Family"
Merritt Wever, "Nurse Jackie"

If Jane Lynch wins for this I would be shocked, but they like Glee again for some reason.  I could honestly see any of these women winning.  Bowen has won two years running, but after a weak season I can't think of a single tape that she can win with.  I think this is going to be between Krakowski; she is great in the finale.  I do think this will be based on tapes, but this is going to come right now Krakowski is my prediction.

Will Win: Jane Krakowski
Should Win: Anna Chlumsky

Louie C.K., "Saturday Night Live" 
Bobby Cannavale, "Nurse Jackie" 
Will Forte, "30 Rock" 
Nathan Lane, "Modern Family" 
Bob Newhart, "The Big Bang Theory"
Justin Timberlake, "Saturday Night Live"

Will and Should Win: Bob Newhart

Dot-Marie Jones, "Glee" 
Melissa Leo, "Louie" 
Melissa McCarthy, "Saturday Night Live" 
Molly Shannon, "Enlightened"
Elaine Stritch, "30 Rock"
Kristin Wiig, "Saturday Night Live" 

Will Win: Kristin Wiig
Should Win: Melissa Leo 

"American Horror Story: Asylum"
"Behind the Candelabra"
"The Bible"
"Phil Spector"
"Political Animals"
"Top of the Lake"

Will and Should Win: Behind the Candelabra

Benedict Cumberbatch, "Parade's End" 
Matt Damon, "Behind the Candelabra" 
Michael Douglas, "Behind the Candelabra" 
Toby Jones, "The Girl" 
Al Pacino, "Phil Spector"

Will Win: Michael Douglas
Should Win: Matt Damon

Jessica Lange, "American Horror Story: Asylum" 
Laura Linney, "The Big C: Hereafter" 
Helen Mirren, "Phil Spector"
Elisabeth Moss, "Top of the Lake" 
Sigourney Weaver, "Political Animals"

Will and Should Win: Elisabeth Moss

Scott Bakula, "Behind the Candelabra" 
James Cromwell, "American Horror Story: Asylum" 
John Benjamin Hickey, "The Big C: Hereafter" 
Peter Mullan, "Top of the Lake" 
Zachary Quinto, "American Horror Story: Asylum" 

Will Win: Zachary Quinto
Should Win: Peter Mullan

Ellen Burstyn, "Political Animals" 
Sarah Paulson, "American Horror Story: Asylum"
Charlotte Rampling, "Restless" 
Imelda Staunton, "The Girl" 
Alfre Woodard, "Steel Magnolias" 

Will and Should Win Sarah Paulson