Todd’s Top 25 David Bowie Songs: Nos. 20-16

We’ve arrived at day two of my personal Top 25 David Bowie, covering numbers 20-16. Let’s get to some incredible music, shall we?

20. “Under Pressure” from Queen album Hot Space (1982), released in 1981 as a duet with Bowie and Queen

19. “The Jean Genie” from Aladdin Sane (1973)

18. “Modern Love” from Let’s Dance (1983)

17. “Aladdin Sane” from Aladdin Sane (1973)

16. “Ashes to Ashes” from Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps) (1980)

I’ll cover numbers 15-11 tomorrow!

Todd’s Top 25 David Bowie Songs: 25-21

I’ve always been a massive fan of the eclectic genius that was David Bowie. In the last few weeks since his death, I’ve found myself listening to his music more and more and even discovering some gems I wasn’t aware of. It got me to create this here five part blog series where I count down my personal favorite 25 songs by this brilliant artist. And here we go:

25. “Golden Years” from Station to Station (1976)

24. “I’m Afraid of Americans” from Earthling (1997)

23. “Station to Station” from Station to Station (1976)

22. “Lazarus” from Blackstar (2016)

21: “The Man Who Sold the World” from The Man Who Sold the World (1970)

I’ll be back tomorrow with numbers 20-16!

SAG Award Predictions 2015

This evening, the 23rd Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards airs and it will likely provide further hints of the direction the Academy may go in with their acting races. As I did with the Globes and will with the Oscars, here are my predictions on what and who will win!



Beasts of No Nation

The Big Short


Straight Outta Compton


Prediction: It’s important to note that SAG is honoring best cast and NOT Best Picture. Therefore the Academy’s Best Picture and this category have only matched 10 out of 22 times. This really appears to be a horse race between Short and Spotlight and it truly go either way. I’ll pick Spotlight for the win which would solidify a true three movie race with Short and The Revenant for the Oscar.



Bryan Cranston, Trumbo

Johnny Depp, Black Mass

Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant

Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs

Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl

PREDICTION: Oscar and SAG have matched 17 of 22 times here, which is the best margin of all. This race will further determine whether Leo is the true front runner and my suspicion is it will. Leo all the way.



Cate Blanchett, Carol

Brie Larson, Room

Helen Mirren, Woman in Gold

Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn

Sarah Silverman, I Smile Back

Prediction: 15 for 22 match with Oscar here. Larson keeps racking up trophies and is the Academy front runner and I suspect she’ll win here.



Christian Bale, The Big Short

Idris Elba, Beasts of No Nation

Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies

Michael Shannon, 99 Homes

Jacob Tremblay, Room

Prediction: 14 for 22 Academy match. This is the most interesting category of the night. Only 2 of the nominees here (Bale, Rylance) are Oscar nominated and the potential Academy favorite (Creed’s Sylvester Stallone) is nowhere to be found. This race could certainly provide an upset, but it’s fair to say Bale and Rylance are the most likely winners. In a tough one, I’ll give the slight edge to Rylance.



Rooney Mara, Carol

Rachel McAdams, Spotlight

Helen Mirren, Trumbo

Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl

Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs

Predicton: 13 of 22 Oscar match. Winslet was a surprise Globe winner and if she prevails here, we all may need to rethink our Oscar prognostications. Here’s another race where an upset is possible, but I’ll go with Miss Vikander for the win.

And that’ll do it for now, folks!

The Choice Box Office Prediction

Next weekend brings your yearly dose of Nicholas Sparks adaptations as his 2007 novel The Choice comes to the screen. Benjamin Walker and Teresa Palmer headline with Maggie Grace, Tom Welling, and Tom Wilkinson costarring.

The romance seems destined to continue the trend of diminishing returns for Sparks fare. While 2012’s The Lucky One and 2013’s Safe Heaven each started out in the low 20s, 2014’s The Best of Me earned just $10 million and 2015’s The Longest Ride made $13 million out of the gate. I believe The Choice might even struggle to earn double digits and I’ll put it just under that.

The Choice opening weekend prediction: $9.6 million

For my Hail, Caesar! prediction, click here:

For my Pride and Prejudice and Zombies prediction, click here:

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies Box Office Prediction

Based on a 2009 novel, the works of Jane Austen get a scary injenction with Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, out next weekend. The horror comedy features Cinderella star Lily James alongside Sam Riley, Jack Huston, Charles Dance, and Lena Headey. Interestingly at one time, Natalie Portman was tapped to headline this and David O. Russell was attached to direct.

Coming out on Super Bowl weekend, its tough to see this breaking out in any significant way. The marketing campaign has been iffy and it’s not like there hasn’t been plenty of zombie offerings in the past few years. I’m not at all confident this will approach $16.3 million managed by another mashup, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, in the summer of 2012. In fact, unless horror aficiandos really turn out, I think this grosses about half that figure.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies opening weekend prediction: $8.1 million

For my Hail, Casesar! prediction, click here:

For my The Choice prediction, click here:

Hail, Caesar! Box Office Prediction

The Coen Brothers are back behind the camera with Hail, Caesar!, out next weekend and they’re bringing a star studded cast with them. The Hollywood set comedy features Josh Brolin, Coens regular George Clooney, Ralph Fiennes, Jonah Hill, Scarlett Johansson, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton, and Channing Tatum. Joel and Ethan have spent the last couple of years having their scripts (Unbroken, Bridge of Spies) produced rather than directing and it’s their first effort since 2013’s Inside Llewyn Davis. This marks their first feature to debut wide since megahit True Grit over five years ago.

Hail, Caesar! should be helped by its familiar face cast, but I don’t think that means it’ll open too much bigger than Coen comedies of the past dozen years. Both 2003’s Intolerable Cruelty (also starring Clooney) and 2004’s The Ladykillers started out with around $12 million. 2008’s Burn After Reading got off to a $19 million debut and it may have helped that it came hot on the heels of the directors’ Oscar winning No Country for Old Men. 

I’ll predict a gross in the mid teens looks most feasible here.

Hail, Caesar! opening weekend prediction: $14.3 million

For my Pride and Prejudice and Zombies prediction, click here:

For my The Choice prediction, click here:

Oscar Watch: The Birth of a Nation


Just one day after the Sundance Film Festival gave us our first 2016 Oscar contender with Manchester by the Sea, the second landed today in a very big way. It arrived in the form of Nate Parker’s The Birth of a Nation, which Mr. Parker also cowrote and stars in. Nation tells the story of the 1831 slave rebellion led by Nat Turner. Costars include Armie Hammer, Jackie Earle Haley, and Gabrielle Union. The $10 million production reportedly took Parker (a semi well known actor known who’s appeared in Red Tails and Non-Stop) seven years to get off the ground.

At today’s Sundance screening, Nation was greeted with rapturous word of mouth and a prolonged standing ovation. There is expected to be a feeding frenzy among studios to purchase the film’s rights. Expect fervent buzz for this get attention for Best Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, and Actor with Parker seemingly on his way to becoming a household name.

Bottom line: two days at Sundance have already in January produced two real possibilities come next year at Oscar time.

Box Office Predictions: January 29-31

The final weekend of January brings four new offerings to the multiplexes: animated threequel Kung Fu Panda 3, Marlon Wayans spoof Fifty Shades of Black, true life rescue drama The Finest Hours, and Western Jane Got a Gun with Natalie Portman. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on each of them right here:

As I see it, Panda should have no trouble topping the charts with Fifty Shades coming in as a distant runner-up. The Revenant and Star Wars could find themselves in a competition for the three and four spots with The Finest Hours, which I have underperforming (especially considering its reported $80M budget). As for Jane, opening on just approximately 550 screens, my $1.7 million estimate for it should leave it outside the top ten.

And with that, my top five predictions for the weekend:

  1. Kung Fu Panda 3

Predicted Gross: $41.7 million

2. Fifty Shades of Black

Predicted Gross: $16 million

3. The Finest Hours

Predicted Gross: $10.2 million

4. The Revenant

Predicted Gross: $9.8 million (representing a drop of 39%)

5. Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Predicted Gross: $8.6 million (representing a drop of 38%)

Box Office Results (January 22-24)

In a slow weekend where the winter storms in D.C. and NYC likely had a negative impact, Leonardo DiCaprio moved up to #1 with The Revenant. The potential Oscar favorite took in $16 million (under my $19.6M prediction) for a total of $119M.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens was second with $14 million, a bit under my $15.9M estimate and its record setting total now sits at $879M.

Last week’s champ Ride Along 2 suffered a huge drop in weekend #2 with $12.4 million (below my $16.8M projection). The Kevin Hart/Ice Cube sequel stands at $58 million and is unlikely to reach $100M – pretty disappointing considering the original just two years ago took in $134M.

A trio of newcomers all failed to make a splash and populated the 4-6 spots. All three opened a bit under my projections. The critically savaged Robert De Niro/Zac Efron comedy Dirty Grandpa placed fourth with $11.6 million (I said $14.6M).

Fifth place was British horror pic The Boy with a muted $10.7 million (my projection was $12.1M). Sixth place was YA adventure flick The 5th Wave with just $10.3 million (I said $11.4M). Look for all three to fade quickly.

And that’ll do it for now, folks! Until next time…

Oscar Watch: Manchester by the Sea


It’s only January but the currently happening Sundance Film Festival has given us our first potential Oscar contender for 2016. The film is Kenneth Lonergan’s Manchester by the Sea, a New England set drama starring Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams, Kyle Chandler, and Lucas Hedges. Yesterday’s Sundance screening prompted rave reviews and immediate Oscar chatter. Writer/director Lonergan was nominated in 2000 for an Original Screenplay nod for You Can Count on Me and it could happen here. Affleck, Williams, and Hedges in particular have been singled out for their work. Amazon snapped up rights to Manchester quickly and are planning an awards push.

If it seems too early for these predictions, note that Sundance has provided many eventual Oscar nominees over the years. The last two years have provided three: 2014’s Boyhood and Whiplash and 2015’s Brooklyn. Going back further, the list includes Hannah and Her Sisters, Moonstruck, The Full Monty, Little Miss Sunshine, Precious, An Education, Winter’s Bone, The Kids Are All Right, and Beasts of the Southern Wild.

Obviously there’s a full year for many other contenders to emerge, but there’s little doubt that Manchester by the Sea is the first legitimate one.

Todd’s Ten Songs of the Week: January 24th Edition

We’re back at it again with my second edition of my now weekly post where I simply post ten songs I’m digging nowadays. For the first post last week, I gave you ten David Bowie lesser known cuts that I felt are worth a listen.

This Sunday (and for most of them I imagine), we move onto just a random sampling of stuff I love… and I how you dig to — because we all need great music in our lives, don’t we?

And in honor of some truly sad news this week…