Last night's Golden Globes were full of surprise wins, strange moments, and bleeped-out speeches, but the real stars of the night weren't the films or shows that took home awards, they were the hosts. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler returned for a second year to drink wine, heckle celebrities, and make all of us wish that we could be their friend. This year, the Golden Globes were the award show everyone was most looking forward to, which meant that they had the difficult task of coming up with a show that topped everything they did last year. After all, last year had "drunk" Glenn Close, the stars of Dog President, and a James Cameron joke that still makes people laugh.
So, just how well did our favorite funny ladies do this time around? We've graded them on their jokes, sketches and props to determine whether or not Fey and Poehler managed to make this Golden Globes even funnier than the last. And considering how stunning they both looked last night, we think they're off to a pretty good start.
The Monologue: A-Fey and Poehler had a lot to live up to this year, as their 2013 monologue has been passed around the internet more times than any other awards show opening. But despite a shaky start - we were amused by the Tom Hanks/Tam Honks joke, but nobody in the room seemed to be - and some hilarious but surprisingly racy jokes, they delivered a solid monologue and proved why they're the best awards hosts around, and the opening was once again the best part of the night. The biggest laugh and biggest burn went to a joke about Gravity, "the story of how George Clooney would rather float off into space and die than spend one more minute with a woman his own age." Their other major burn? "Matthew McConaughey did amazing work this year. For his role in Dallas Buyers Club he lost forty-five pounds. Or, what actresses call 'being in a movie.'" They made a few callbacks to last year's awards, which included Poehler's goofy bit with Martin Scorsese, where she listed all of the Bobby's and Danny's who wanted to say hi to him in her Boston accent, and earning a high-five with a quip about Masters of Sex being the degree she earned in college.
One of their funniest jokes came at the expense of a slightly unexpected target, when Fey said that the movie Her "takes place in a not-so-distant future, which is perfect, because so does Joaquin Phoenix." Phoenix looked slightly confused, but seemed to be a good sport about it. Their other surprising target was Captain Phillips star Barkhad Abdi, who earned two separate jokes, including one from Fey about how The Blacklist is the list of people invited to her room later, which she punctuated with a Somali Pirate shout-out and by telling Abdi "I am the captain now." it probably shouldn't have worked, but for some reason it did, and Abdi's willingness to play along helped it land. It was just the start of some slightly more risque material, including the first of many genitalia jokes, with a reference to the prosthetic that Jonah Hill used in The Wolf of Wall Street "so you have that to look forward to the next time you eat at Planet Hollywood."
By far, the best part of their monologue was their shout out to Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who was nominated in both the film and television categories. Fey and Poehler made reference to her "changing" and sitting with the film actors, and the cameras cut to Louis-Dreyfus, wearing sunglasses, smoking a e-cigarette and pretending not to remember her friends. She then upped the ante by waving off an excited Reese Witherspoon, who tried to take a picture with her, and together, she, Fey and Poehler stole the show.
Randy Fey: AAs part of Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgqick's introduction of their daughter, Miss Golden Globe, Sosie Bacon, Fey rushed out onstage to introduce Mr. Golden Globe, her adult son from a previous relationship, Randy aka Poehler in a tux and a ridiculous Bieber-inspired wig. After trading a few jokes about Randy's unwillingness to participate, Fey chided Randy to introduce himself to Sosie, which prompted Poehler to ask, "What are you, the Olympics?" It was a quick, amusing bit that they then took to the next level when Fey declared that Randy's estranged father was somewhere in the room, leading Poehler to march over to Idris Elba and ask if he was the father. Elba seemed completely game to have fathered Fey's child, and even a little disappointed when Fey dismissed the idea with a curt, "Think about it!" Poehler then went with the next best option, Harvey Weinstein, and judging by Fey's awkward silence, it seems like whatever Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom brings in at the box office will have to go towards Randy's college fund. Unfortunately, the cameras cut away from a hilarious shot of Poehler caressing Weinstein's face, but it was a great bit, and helped keep the show as weird as ever.
The Swift Joke: B+Remember when Fey and Poehler made a joke about Taylor Swift dating Michael J. Fox's son at last year's ceremony, and Swift didn't seem to think it was funny at all? Well, the hosts remembered, and Fey made reference to the most surprising celebrity feud of all time when she celebrated Poehler's Best Actress in a Comedy win with this statement: "I just want to say congratulations again to my friend Amy Poehler, I love you and there's a special place in hell for you." The joke is a call-back to the quote by Katie Couric that Swift used in a Vanity Fair article to express her dislike of Fey and Poehler's comments last year, "There's a special place in hell for women who don't support other women." And with that, let's hope the score between these three has finally been settled.
The Leo Joke: AOne of the funniest and most shocking jokes of the night came towards the end, after everyone had apparently hit the open bar a little too hard. When introducing presenter Leonard DiCaprio, Fey decided to go with this zinger: "Like a supermodel's vagina, let's all give a warm welcome to Leonard DiCaprio." Like the rest of us, DiCaprio found it funny, and was still laughing to himself when he arrived onstage to present. It might not be the kind of joke that anyone expected to hear at the Golden Globes, but it's definitely unforgettable.
The Lack of Fey and Poehler: CIf you've missed the show and are catching up through this recap, it might sound hard to believe, but there was actually a surprising lack of screen time for our favorite hosts. Sure, they had the monologue at the beginning and the Randy skit halfway through, but other than that, they only appeared periodically to introduce presenters, only to disappear backstage for about a half an hour at a time. We don't begrudge the ladies for wanting to take a quick break and share a martini with Emma Thompson, because we know that hosting can be very stressful, but we wish that Fey and Poehler had gotten a little more to do between awards. Think of the jokes they could've come up with after Jacqueline Bisset's disjointed and overly-censored acceptance speech. Or the delight that would've resulted from them sharing the stage with Diddy. Hopefully, they will celebrate the end of their hosting run next year by spending a lot more time onstage, drinking wine and making jokes. At the very least, someone should hand them some popcorn and let them heckle everyone's speeches next year. It'll certainly go over better than the awkward play-off music does.
Golden Globe Winner Amy Poehler: A+Setting aside the jokes, the monologue, and the Bieber wig, the best moment of the night had to be when Poehler finally won her first major award for her role as Leslie Knope on Parks and Recreation. After celebrating in true Poehler fashion (making out with Bono, of course), she appeared to be genuinely surprised and delighted and delivered a speech that was both funny and heartwarming. And because she's the nicest woman in Hollywood, she took a moment to share her joy and her award with her thrilled cast members, by shouting out "Whoo, Parks!" while they all cheered and clapped. It may have taken a lot longer than we all would have liked, but Poehler is finally a Golden Globe winning actress. Looks like Jon Hamm will have to host that Loser's Party alone next year.
Final Grade: AIt might not have been as polished as last year's awards, but in the end, Fey and Poehler delivered their second time around, and helped continue the Golden Globes' tradition of being the funniest and most outrageous award show of all. Only one whole year to go until we get to see them hosting again.
The Glee cast started the night poised to be the toast of the 62nd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, after landing a massive 19 nominations, including bids for Best Comedy Series and nominations for cast members Matthew Morrison, Lea Michele, Jane Lynch and Chris Colfer.
And the show's leading stars joined Fallon to kick off the evening with a musical sketch, based on the idea of raising money for the cast to afford tickets to the show.
Along the way, Betty White surfaced as a dance instructor, while 30 Rock’s Fey joined the performance as the group took to the stage for a rendition of Bruce Springsteen’s Born To Run, which featured Fallon on guitar and American Idol judge Randy Jackson on bass.
Mad Men star Jon Hamm and Betty White handed out the night's first award, Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series, to Eric Stonestreet for Modern Family.
And the actor used his time on stage to pay tribute to his co-stars and encourage young hopefuls to follow their dreams.
Stonestreet said, "All I wanted to be was a clown in the circus when I was a kid growing up, from the age that I can remember. And to be in this industry and working with such incredible people. A lot of people say don't pursue this as a career because it's difficult, and it is. But I'm most proud of all the people I've met in this business, our crews, and the people I get to go to work with and act with every day. I get to work with Ed O'Neill everyday. I get to work with Ty Burrell and Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Julie Bowen, it's incredible."
Animation particularly when it comes out of the Disney/Pixar stable is one of those areas of filmmaking that regularly inspires the phrase "They don't make them like they used to." In the case of Toy Story 3 however it's more accurate to say "They have never made them like this." It's certainly not unheard of for an animated film to be good for a Pixar film to be great or for the third film in a trilogy to be outstanding (though that's the rarest of the three) but in the case of Lee Unkrich's film the sheer degree at which it exceeds at all three is not just rare it's unprecedented.
Eleven years have elapsed since Woody (Tom Hanks) Buzz (Tim Allen) and all of Andy's favorite playthings had their last adventure -- rather 11 years have elapsed since Andy stopped playing with his toys. Buoyed by Woody's never-failing devotion the gang is all optimistic that Andy will elect to bring them with him to his first year of college but as that fateful empty-nest day approaches it becomes clearer and clearer that the only toy that will be making the trek to school is Woody. The rest are all by a series of unfortunate events consigned to live out their remaining days at Sunnyside daycare. Things are actually looking up for the neglected entertainers until they realize just how careless the ankle-biters are when it comes to playing with toys.
Unfortunately there is no escape in sight for the lovable personalities Pixar has been refining for over a decade. Lotso Huggin' Bear (Ned Beatty) runs a tight ship at Sunnyside; the new toys are just going to have to be sacrificed to the aggressive toddlers so the old veterans can have a relaxing time with their more mature counterparts. Eventually Woody catches wind of what kind of life his old pals are being forced to live and Toy Story 3 quite brilliantly becomes a riff on classic prison escape movies as Woody seeks to breach Lotso's security measures and bring his bunch back to Andy where they belong. And while this on-the-run chunk of the film is some of the most thrilling material Pixar has ever delivered it's also some of the most touching.
Unlike most sequels not a moment of Toy Story 3 feels artificial. There's no sense that Pixar decided to make a third film because it knew that the box office would gladly support another entry; no sense that this is a cash grab (unlike a certain green ogre's most recent trip to the big screen). All of those typical sequel pitfalls are carefully avoided by a swelling sense of finality. Toy Story 3 isn't just another adventure with these characters -- there is in fact no doubt that this is their final adventure their final hoorah together. Director Lee Unkrich and screenwriter Michael Arndt meticulously lead the audience along with bated breath the entire time culminating in a life-or-death scenario for the toys that is more heartfelt and genuine than most live-action films can ever muster.
It's astonishing how the creative team at Pixar can make you forget that what you're watching is all a bunch of digital wizardry. Maybe it's the 3D this time around maybe it's that this is the studio's most accomplished technical feat to date (there are single shots at a landfill that pack in richer detail than the entirety of the pioneering first film) that makes Toy Story 3 such an immersive experience. Or maybe it's simply because Pixar treats its property which is ostensibly for children with the utmost sincerity. The result is an overwhelming success the rare kind of film that were it a human being would be your best friend.
One could reasonably make the case that Toy Story 3 is the single best animated film ever made. I wouldn't outright agree with such grandiose claims but it's certainly not a baseless proposition that you'd be laughed at for bringing up. However with part three now tucked under Pixar's belt one could present an even better case that Toy Story is the best film trilogy ever made -- a claim I am far more comfortable signing on the dotted line for.
For the first time the tale is centered firmly on the Batman himself or in this case Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) and not on one of his over-the-top enemies. Now the non-comics audiences can witness--and understand--the sequence of events that led an orphaned billionaire to dress up like a bat and scare the bejeezus out of bad guys. Expanding The Batman's world beyond the claustrophobic confines of Gotham the film opens on a tormented and rudderless Wayne abroad in Asia recruited by hypnotic Henri Ducard (Liam Neeson) to join the world-redefining forces of the enigmatic Ra's al Ghul (Ken Watanabe) by way of some serious ninja schooling. All the while Bruce flashes back on his parents' violent murder and his growing sense of impotence against injustice despite the attentions of childhood sweetie and future D.A. Rachel Dawes (Katie Holmes). Unwilling to mete out Ra's extreme form of "justice " Wayne returns to Gotham City to launch his own unique campaign to clean up the city's corrupt and crime-plagued streets with three key allies: his faithful family valet Alfred Pennyworth (Michael Caine); Gotham's only clean cop Jim Gordon (Gary Oldman); and tech-savvy Lucius Fox (Morgan Freeman) who provides the Batman's wonderful toys from Wayne Enterprises' experimental arsenal. Now trying on two different masks--Batman's crime-hating fury for the back alleys and a foppish playboy façade for the public--Wayne soon finds himself pitted against an inventive doomsday plot instigated by psychologist Dr. Jonathan Crane better known as the sinister Scarecrow (Cillian Murphy) who uses fear as a weapon almost as formidably as The Batman himself. We're finally given a noble post-modern Batman who with compelling motivation will not resort to lethal force.
Bale leads the all-star cast making the best movie Batman since Michael Keaton's excellently eccentric 1989 performance. Whereas Keaton's slight intensely brilliant Wayne seemed to don the Batsuit to gain an edge of intimidation Bale's Batman is simply a dark emblem expressing the rage and fury roiling underneath the billionaire's surface. His is a ferocious Dark Knight indeed. He's also effective portraying two other sides of the character's persona: the silly randy public face of Bruce Wayne and the tortured real man underneath both guises. Of the potent supporting cast Caine imbues Alfred with the appropriate fatherly warmth and wit while adding a fresh element of authority and capability as well; Neeson's multidimensional Ducard leaves one guessing if he's a hero antihero villain or all of the above; and Freeman is clearly having a ball as Batman's own "Q." Holmes is comely capable and utterly superfluous; Tom Wilkinson tastefully chews the scenery as crime boss Carmine Falcone; and Murphy (once a close contender for the role of Batman himself) is tantalizingly creepy and villainous--the film could have used more of his off-kilter charisma. The only minor speed bump is Oldman's Gordon. His acting is always on the mark but the character so well-developed in the seminal comic book tale Batman: Year One is never utilized to its fullest potential.
Along the way every element of the Batman's back story is fleshed out in almost excruciating detail. Here's how he found the Batcave. Here's where he got the Batmobile. Here's why he has little pockets on his utility belt. Yadda yadda yadda. But some clever plot twists from director Christopher Nolan and screenwriter/professional comic book scribe David S. Goyer fuel the story's forward momentum. Nolan and Goyer work hard to inventively crib together a mélange of origin elements and plot points from influential comic book storytellers including original Batman creator Bob Kane unsung early writer Bill Finger Sin City's Frank Miller David Mazzuccelli Dennis O'Neil Neal Adams and others (even bits and pieces from a comic story penned by Ducard's creator Sam Hamm also the screenwriter behind Burton and Keaton's 1989 film). All these patches are effectively sewn into a clever quilt creating a cohesive original tale told with entertaining gusto. However the film does lack a certain knockout visual flair that defines the best comics--great imposing "money shots" of the fearsome Batman are few and far between--and the action sequences are a tad too choppy close-up and over-edited. Plus for a film about a dude dressed as a winged mammal it takes itself so darn seriously. The movie would definitely have benefited from a jolt of loopy outlandishness akin to Burton's undeniably quirky vision. And--despite the reigning notion that the previous films overdid the villains--a crazier more charismatic bad guy would have done wonders to liven up the stately proceedings. There's a reason the audience burst into wild applause in the screening I saw at a third-act allusion to one of Batman's more famous adversaries. Let's hope for a little more inspired lunacy in the sequel.