Singers Christina Aguilera, Ruben Blades and Juanes have been given reason to celebrate after emerging among the top Latin artists vying for Grammy Awards at the 2015 prizegiving. Blades' Tangos release and Juanes' Loco De Amor will face off for Best Latin Pop Album, against Camila (Elypse), Lila Downs, Nina Pastori and Soledad (Raiz) and Marco Antonio Solis (Gracias Por Estar Aqui).
The Best Latin Rock, Urban or Alternative Album category will be a battle between Calle 13 (Multiviral), Chocquibtown (Behind The Machine (Detras De La Maquina)), Jorge Drexler (Bailar En La Cueva), Molotov (Agua Maldita) and Ana Tijoux (Vengo), while Pepe Aguilar (Lastima Que Sean Ajenas), Vicente Fernandez (Mano A Mano - Tangos A La Manera De Vicente Fernandez), and Mariachi Los Arrieros Del Valle (Alegria Del Mariachi) are among those nominated for the Best Regional Mexican Music Album.
Best Tropical Latin Album contenders include El Gran Combo De Puerto Rico (50 Aniversario), Aymee Nuviola (First Class To Havana) and Carlos Vives (Mas + Corazon Profundo).
New mum Aguilera, who welcomed a baby girl in August (14), has been given a career boost as she makes her pop comeback with a nomination for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance for her A Great Big World collaboration, Say Something.
Responding to A Great Big World's "We love you!" message on Twitter.com on Friday (05Dec14), after the Grammys shortlist was announced, Aguilera writes, "Love you right back! Excited for the grammys".
The winners of the 57th annual Grammy Awards will be unveiled at a ceremony in Los Angeles on 8 February (15).
Lions Gate via Everett Collection
When we last left our heroes, they had conquered all opponents in the 74th Annual Hunger Games, returned home to their newly refurbished living quarters in District 12, and fallen haplessly to the cannibalism of PTSD. And now we're back! Hitching our wagons once again to laconic Katniss Everdeen and her sweet-natured, just-for-the-camera boyfriend Peeta Mellark as they gear up for a second go at the Capitol's killing fields.
But hold your horses — there's a good hour and a half before we step back into the arena. However, the time spent with Katniss and Peeta before the announcement that they'll be competing again for the ceremonial Quarter Quell does not drag. In fact, it's got some of the film franchise's most interesting commentary about celebrity, reality television, and the media so far, well outweighing the merit of The Hunger Games' satire on the subject matter by having Katniss struggle with her responsibilities as Panem's idol. Does she abide by the command of status quo, delighting in the public's applause for her and keeping them complacently saturated with her smiles and curtsies? Or does Katniss hold three fingers high in opposition to the machine into which she has been thrown? It's a quarrel that the real Jennifer Lawrence would handle with a castigation of the media and a joke about sandwiches, or something... but her stakes are, admittedly, much lower. Harvey Weinstein isn't threatening to kill her secret boyfriend.
Through this chapter, Katniss also grapples with a more personal warfare: her devotion to Gale (despite her inability to commit to the idea of love) and her family, her complicated, moralistic affection for Peeta, her remorse over losing Rue, and her agonizing desire to flee the eye of the public and the Capitol. Oftentimes, Katniss' depression and guilty conscience transcends the bounds of sappy. Her soap opera scenes with a soot-covered Gale really push the limits, saved if only by the undeniable grace and charisma of star Lawrence at every step along the way of this film. So it's sappy, but never too sappy.
In fact, Catching Fire is a masterpiece of pushing limits as far as they'll extend before the point of diminishing returns. Director Francis Lawrence maintains an ambiance that lends to emotional investment but never imposes too much realism as to drip into territories of grit. All of Catching Fire lives in a dreamlike state, a stark contrast to Hunger Games' guttural, grimacing quality that robbed it of the life force Suzanne Collins pumped into her first novel.
Once we get to the thunderdome, our engines are effectively revved for the "fun part." Katniss, Peeta, and their array of allies and enemies traverse a nightmare course that seems perfectly suited for a videogame spin-off. At this point, we've spent just enough time with the secondary characters to grow a bit fond of them — deliberately obnoxious Finnick, jarringly provocative Johanna, offbeat geeks Beedee and Wiress — but not quite enough to dissolve the mystery surrounding any of them or their true intentions (which become more and more enigmatic as the film progresses). We only need adhere to Katniss and Peeta once tossed in the pit of doom that is the 75th Hunger Games arena, but finding real characters in the other tributes makes for a far more fun round of extreme manhunt.
But Catching Fire doesn't vie for anything particularly grand. It entertains and engages, having fun with and anchoring weight to its characters and circumstances, but stays within the expected confines of what a Hunger Games movie can be. It's a good one, but without shooting for succinctly interesting or surprising work with Katniss and her relationships or taking a stab at anything but the obvious in terms of sending up the militant tyrannical autocracy, it never even closes in on the possibility of being a great one.
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Now that we’ve all had enough time to discuss the best and worstGolden Globe moments, gush over the amazing Girls return, and witness the long-lost Happy Endings kickball episode, it’s time to talk Shameless. The Gallaghers are the only family who can make us laugh, cry, gasp, and squirm all in one hour. “I think at the core the thing that makes the Gallagher family so appealing is that it’s a family, and blood is thicker than anything." William H. Macy said to Hollywood.com. "You can burn down their house, you can steal their car, you can take a job away, but if you try to split up the family you will see ferocity like you’ve never seen before.” The dramedy returned with so many hilarious, disgusting and downright bizarre moments that our heads are still spinning. Let’s go through the dys-fun-ctional facts of what we learned together:
- If you take part in bizarre — and intrusive! — bedroom behavior with Sheila Jackson, then you can smuggle 18 packages of cocaine across the Mexican border. Okay, wait, make that 19. Apparently Frank kept an extra one as a souvenir.
- Lasers make the best weapons. Don’t believe us? Just look at the hunk of junk that tried to battle Lip’s high-powered droid in the robot rumble.
- If you drink from a juicebox and are holding a mop, Fiona will not be attracted to you. In fact, she’ll think you’re a Mr. Mom, and there’s absolutely nothing sexy about that.
- If you’re looking for a job that pays well but completely strips you of all your dignity, then biohazardous waste clean-up is exactly the job you need!
- Kev and Veronica have discovered that if you perform sexual acts together on the internet, it does pretty well. But if you add a historic twist to the sexy scenes, then it’s both educational and exciting.
- If you agree to marry a drug lord’s daughter but you’re living with another woman, you’re probably going to get in trouble. Or if you’re like Marco, Estefania’s lover, you’ll be shot multiple times, chopped up in itty bitty pieces, and fed to the fishes.
- Even if you’re the world’s most alcoholic, irresponsible, and unreliable father, your youngest daughter will always love you. Well, at least until next week’s episode. What did you think of the season three premiere of Shameless? What is your favorite dys-fun-ctional fact from "El Gran Canon"? Spill your thoughts in the comments below!
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[Photo Credit: Showtime]
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