Daily Archives: January 20, 2016

BQB’s Oscar 2016 Predictions



Bryan Cranston – Trumbo

Leonardo DiCaprio – The Revenant

Matt Damon – The Martian

Michael Fassbender – Steve Jobs

Eddie Redmayne – The Danish Girl

WHO WILL WIN: Leonardo DiCaprio for The Revenant

WHO SHOULD WIN: Leonard DiCaprio.  He’s young and still has plenty of time to win an Oscar ahead of him, but he also started his career young and has been working on Oscar worthy pictures for what seems like forever now.

Bryan Cranston is great and his Breaking Bad shot to super stardom late in life is a great Little Engine That Could story.  We all feel time’s hand on our shoulders, reminding us that we’re not here forever and if there’s something we want to do, we’d better do it.  Thus, we love Cranston because he reminds us its still always possible.  BUT – no one saw Trumbo.

Matt Damon was great but he’s already got an Oscar.  Even if its for screenwriting and he’d like one for acting, precedence should go to the guy who doesn’t have one yet, i.e. Leo.

Michael Fassbender – He’s great.  I didn’t see Steve Jobs but…how many Steve Jobs movies   have there been now?  He’ll have his chance.

Eddie Redmayne – I didn’t see the Danish Girl but…he won last year.


I’m going to skip this one because I didn’t see any of the movies they were nominated for. I’ll just go with fan favorite Jennifer Lawrence for Joy until I get around to seeing the others’ movies.


Christian Bale – The Big Short

Mark Rylance – The Bridge of Spies

Tom Hardy – The Revenant

Sylvester Stallone – Creed

Mark Ruffalo – Spotlight

WHO WILL WIN AND WHO SHOULD WIN – Sylvester Stallone for Creed. He’s 70 years old. His Rocky movies have been fan favorites since the 1970’s, entertaining one generation after the next.  They’re all pretty much have the same message – life’s attempts to knock you down are unavoidable.  It’s not about whether or not you’ll get knocked down because you will.  It’s about whether you get up and keep going or lie down for the count that matters.

The original Rocky won best picture and Stallone’s been big in the movie business for years, though mostly as an action hero and we all know what the Academy thinks about action.  Its now or never and the Academy will reward him here.

Plus, I’ve seen Creed and given Rocky’s still the same old Rocky as always, its still not a bad movie.


Totally not intentional, but I don’t know much about the movies and/or performances by the supporting actresses either.

I’m going to root for Jennifer Jason Leigh for Hateful Eight as we haven’t seen her in anything for awhile, but she was great back in the day.  I want to see Hateful Eight but haven’t gotten around to it.  She looks great in the previews though.


I’ll go with Inside Out because I didn’t see the others and it was good.  Did anyone see Peanuts?  Was it any good? I’m surprised that one didn’t get a nomination.


I’m going to go with George Miller for Mad Max: Fury Road.  His original Mad Max films are sci-fi classics and he pretty much invented the post-apocalyptic genre.  All these movies and TV shows about people wandering around in drab, post-society wastelands are thanks to him.  (Or, maybe thanks for giving us depression about the future, as the case may be.)

Plus, it couldn’t have been easy directing all those people in leather speedos jumping around willy nilly.

Which brings me to…



The Big Short – Haven’t seen it.

Bridge of Spies – Saw it.

Brooklyn – Haven’t seen it.

Mad Max: Fury Road – Saw it.

The Martian – Saw it.

The Revenant – Saw it.

Room – Haven’t seen it.

Spotlight – Haven’t seen it.

WHICH MOVIE WILL WIN – The smart money seems to be on Spotlight, a film about the Boston Globe investigative journalism team that uncovered child abuse allegations in the Boston area Catholic Church, which had major ramifications worldwide.  Critics seem to like it and it casts light on how journalists are the last resort to protect the public when government and social institutions fail.

If the Revenant won, I would not be surprised.  I liked it and it did have the feel of an Oscar winner.

WHICH MOVIE SHOULD WIN – Mad Max, Mad Max, and Mad Max.  I went into it thinking, “Oh boy, Hollywood’s cashing in on a remake of an old movie yet again.”  But it was so much more than that.  Messages about the future, how people interact with one another, mans’ primal instincts, women standing up for themselves (it’s called Mad Max but he’s pretty much Furiosa’s sidekick in this movie).

Great writing in that the story is told in many parts where no words are even spoken.  Amazing action, stunningly awesome special effects – a really great visually pleasing movie that overcomes a drab desert landscape.

But it won’t win.  It won’t win because the Oscars have always been to boost movies that Hollywood makes to get a message across or discuss a difficult subject.  Spotlight might be great but more people lined up on Saturday nights in December to watch lightsabers get swung around in Star Wars.  Not as many people lined up to watch actors pretend to be journalists in the middle of discussions as to how expose priests for wrongdoing.  (Not that that wasn’t important, but if we’re talking about what entertains people on a Saturday night…)

In other words, big blockbuster movies already got their reward in the form of a payday.  Lesser known but important message movies need the nominations and awards to get publicity so more people will see them and the studios make their money back so they can keep making less popular important message films.

That, and its action.  And sci-fi.  Action movies and sci-fi movies don’t get Oscars.  At least not for best picture.  They’ll never let something so comic book-ish win.  They’ll worry it will open the floodgates for every damn Avengers movie to sweep the Oscars in the future.  They can’t have that.

I could see some of these other movies and change my mind but IMO, of the ones I saw, Mad Max was the best, and not just on action but in story as well.

The Martian was also great.  If that won, I wouldn’t mind but hey, it was nominated.

Let that be an inspiration for you, 3.5 self publishing readers.





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#31ZombieAuthors – Day 22 Interview – Ryan Casey – Zombies and TV Style Serialization

Ryan Casey. He’s a prolific writer with two zombified series, plus he writes mysteries.

He was also interviewed by the one and only Alien Jones! Yes, October 2015 was very busy on bookshelfbattle.com

Bookshelf Battle



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By: Special Guest Interviewer, Alien Jones

Attention all humans. Today’s guest is Ryan Casey, author of the critically acclaimed zombie apocalypse series, Dead Days. Zombie fans will also enjoy Infection Z and mystery buffs should check out the Brian McDone Mysteries series.

Known for tales filled with dark, page-turning suspense, complex characters and knockout twists, Casey has a BA in English with Creative Writing from the University of Birmingham. A resident of the United Kingdom, he enjoys American serial television and wastes too much time playing football manager games.

Thanks for taking my call, Ryan. I hope you don’t mind being interviewed by an alien. BQB was kind of a wuss about touching a phone covered in intergalactic goo. Go figure.

NOTE: BOLD=Alien Jones; ITALICS=Ryan

Q. Let’s get the important stuff…

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Writing – Are you a pantser or an outliner?

I’m a pantser.  I fly by the seat of my pants.  I can’t outline.  I have many ideas and plots in my head, but really, the characters don’t begin to come to life until I begin writing.

I put myself into their shoes and figure out what they’d do, what they’d say, etc.  Sometimes I surprise myself when I can’t think of what to write next and then it comes to me.

But I do write myself into walls and then end up wasting a lot of time…I’ll have “Oh crap” moments where I realize that science or logic or some little tidbit just doesn’t work and it requires a major overhaul or a complete changeover to make up for one little thing.

I suppose outlining could fix all of that.  Many writers swear by it.

What do you do, 3.5 readers?

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