Sunday, February 27, 2011

My finalized Oscar predicitions

2:16 pm...February 27th... Here we go, love it or leave it, here's my Oscar picks...

Picture- The King's Speech
Actor- Colin Firth
Actress- Annette Bening
Supporting Actor-Christian Bale
Supporting Actress- Hailee Stienfeld
Director- Tom Hooper- TKS
Adapted screenplay- Aaron Sorkin- TSN
Original screenplay- David Seidler- TKS
Cinematography- Roger Deakins- TG ( Finally gets his gold statue-he's been nominted 9 times already ! The best in the biz )
Editing- The Social Network ( though wouldn't be surprised if TKS won-because most of the time the best picture winner wins editing as well )
Documentary- Inside Job ( can't believe my favorite movie of the year, The Tillman Story, didn't even get nominated- criminal ! )
Art direction- Inception ( wouldn't be surprised if TKS gets this one too )
Score- TKS ( Alexander Desplat's score truly sets the mood for each scene )
Song- Toy Story 3 ( how could that lose ? )
Costume design- Alice In Wonderland
Foreign language- Biutiful ( though I think the better film is In A Better World )
Makeup- The Wolfman ( Rick Baker is a makeup genuis and how could it lose to those other two ? )
Visual effects-Inception ( the biggest slam dunk of the ceremony )
Sound mixing- Inception
Sound editing- Inception
Animated short film- Night and Day ( my heart says The Gruffalo )
Live action short- Na Wewe

Independent Spirit Award winners

Here are the winners from last nights ceremony ( and the coldest.windiest of all time too ) Natalie Portman was wearing a parka by the end of the night.

Best Picture: Black Swan
Best Director: Darren Aronofsky, Black Swan
Best Actress: Natalie Portman, Black Swan
Best Actor: James Franco, 127 Hours
Best Supporting Actress: Dale Dickey, Winters Bone
Best Supporting Male: John Hawkes, Winter’s Bone
Best Screenplay: The Kids Are All Right
Best Cinematography: Matthew Libatique, Black Swan
Best Documentary: Exit Through the Gift Shop
Best Foreign Film: The King’s Speech
Best First Feature: Get Low
Best First Screenplay: Lena Dunham, Tiny Furniture
Truer Than Fiction Award: Marwencol, Jeff Malmberg
Someone to Watch Award: Mike Ott, Littlerock
Producers Award: Anish Savjani, Meek’s Cutoff
Robert Altman Award (ensemble): Please Give
Cassavetes Award: Daddy Longlegs

I guess you could say there were some surprises. I think John Hawkes and Dale Dickey winning in supporting roles caught some people off guard. Black Swan took 4 wins, which means that film dominated the ceremony, with DP Mathrew Libatique also winning for his fine lensing. Happy to see some recognition go Darren Aronofsky's way. He's a talented filmmaker. Amazing that film was made for a paltry 10 million and has grossed over 100. The film was slow to get going because lack of funds, but we know how the people that financed that film are feeling today. They made a 90 million profit !

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Hall Pass Trailer

Out this weekend. May take a chance on it if I'm bored before the Oscar's. At the same time, I'd be lying if I didn't admit I was slightly Owen Wilson'd out. But... you have to see it for yourself to make an honest assessment and sometimes a flick you didn't think would float your boat, ends up totally changing your mind. Ya just never know.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Bad Teacher trailer

June 24 2011

Directed by Jake Kasdan ( Walk Hard ) and starring Cameron Diaz, Jason Segel, Justin Timberlake, Lucy Punch and John Michael Higgins.

Usually this isn't the type of comedy I go for...but I think given the right kind of material, Diaz has comedic chops, as everyone should remember from There's Something About Mary. So, I feel more positive about this than I usually would with crude humor genre comedies. Obviously I could be way off, because you can never gauge a flick from it's trailer, but if anything, I was feeling something naturally funny eminating from Cameron. And I thought Walk Hard showed good promise from the young filmmaker Kasdan ( good roots; son of director Lawrence )

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Adjustment Bureau premise/synopsis

March 4

Screenwriter Goerge Tolfi ( Oceans Twelve, The Sentinal ) makes his directorial debut starring Matt Damon, Emily Blunt, John Slaterry, Terence Stamp, Shoherah Aghdashloo, Michael Kelly. Cinematography by Oscar winner John Toll ( Braveheart )Editing by Jay Robinowitz and score by multiple Oscar nominee Thomas Newman ( American Beauty, Road To Perdition )

The story is loosely based on the Philip K. Dick short story "Adjustment Team", and features a smooth-talking congressman whose political future is thrown in doubt by uncontrollable events and the arrival of a mysterious woman in his life.

Matt Damon plays David Norris, a former Fordham University basketball player and charismatic United States Congressman who seems destined for national political stardom. He meets a beautiful modern dancer named Elise Sallas, played by Emily Blunt, only to find that strange circumstances keep them from becoming romantically involved. Norris discovers forces are at work to separate them, and he peels the layers to find out why. The action takes place in various places in Manhattan.

Rated PG-13 for brief strong language, some sexuality and violent images. 124 min.

Oscar chances ? Not likely, but you never know. Toll is a well respected cinematographer.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Liberace film pushed backed till next year

Originally set to shoot this summer, Steven Sodebergh’s Liberace biopic starring Michael Douglas and Matt Damon has been pushed back to summer 2011. Filming was delayed when Soderbergh decided to go forward with the world-spanning thriller Contagion instead (which will also star Damon as well as Kate Winslet, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jude Law and Marion Cotillard to name a few in the all-star cast).
Now, according to the Las Vegas Sun [via The Playlist], filming has been slightly delayed, but Damon says he’s still on board to play Liberace’s lover Scott Thorson and Douglas is still set to play Liberace. In the meantime, after Soderbergh finishes filming Contagion, he will fast track his take in The Man From U.N.C.L.E., then start work on Liberace.

Hesher trailer

April 2011

After the tragic loss of his mother, T.J. (Devin Brochu) and his pill popping father (Rainn Wilson) are forced to live with T.J.'s elderly grandmother (Piper Laurie). A young man with a troubled past named Hesher (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) assumes the role as both mentor and tormentor, leading T.J into troubles he could never have imagined. A young grocery clerk named Nicole (Natalie Portman) steps in to protect T.J., and becomes the object of T.J.'s fantasies, while Hesher moves into Grandma's home. Although uninvited, he is somehow accepted.

Friday, February 18, 2011

New pic of Meryl as Margret Thatcher

Here's a new photo of Meryl Streep, in one of the most anticipated roles for 2011, as Margaret Thatcher in the new film, The Iron Lady. Uncanny resemblence actually. Really looking forward to this project.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Scorsese back to Silence

It looks like legendary director Martin Scorsese's next project will be 'Silence', his pet project he has been wanting to adapt for years.

The Good Fellas/Taxi Driver/The Departed filmmaker was recently reattached to work on 'The Wolf of Wall Street' - which follows the rise and fall of stock broker Jordan Belfort and is set to star Leonardo DiCaprio - but his publicist has confirmed that he will take on 'Silence' first. This makes sense, as he has been publicly giving props to to the novel for a long time and dreaming to make a movie out of it.

The drama focuses on two 17th century Jesuit priests who face violence and persecution when they travel to Japan to locate their mentor and preach about Christianity.

'Silence' has been in development since 2006 and was due to star Daniel Day-Lewis, Benicio Del Toro and Gael Garcia Bernal, though it is unclear as yet whether they are still involved in the project because of projects they are tied to as of now..

Age of Innocence and Gangs Of New York writer Jay Cocks is adapting the script from Shusaku Endo's original book.

Though it will be the director's next project, start dates are not yet known but he first needs to complete postproduction on his Paris-set fable 'Hugo Cabret'.

Work on 'The Wolf of Wall Street' - which had previously set to be directed by Ridley Scott - is scheduled to begin in June 2012. Good news to hear for both projects !

Do you know who Henry Cavill is ?

If you subscribe to Entertainment Weekly or buy the rag, you'll find a face on this weeks cover that may not be quite familiar to you. Who's this face you may wonder... it's a young British actor by the name of Henry Cavill. If you saw Woody Allen's Whatever Works, you may remember Henry as Evan Rachel Wood's love interest. I think the kid has a future. Other than that, probably the biggest news to his career is that he's been chosen as the new Clark Kent/Superman in that franchises reboot called Superman: Man Of Steel. Obviously that's a highlight of his young career.

He also has two other films coming in 2011, the action film The Immortals with Mickey Rourke and Frieda Pinto and also kidnapping thriller The Cold Light Of Day, playing the son of Bruce Willis and Sigourney Weaver. Definitely a star on the rise to keep your eyes on in the future.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Chistopher Nolan to explore Howard Hughes ?

It looks like famous Brit director Christpoher Nolan has chosen his next project after he finishes filming his third Batmen installment ( The Dark Knight Rises ) this summer, and it seems it will be a Howard Hughes biopic of all things. Many familiar with the billionaire that went into seclusion in his later years will remember Martin Scorsese's version of Hughes with Leonardo DiCaprio ( The Aviator ), and that film earning multiple Oscar nominations. Added to that, there was even a version of Hughes life starring Paul Lemat and Jason Robards that was called Melvin and Howard which was a decent film in it's own right.

As for Nolan's take, it goes a little like this...We’ll meet the Howard Hughes who spent much of 1948 sitting naked in a bungalow at the Beverly Hills Hotel with only a pink dinner napkin covering his genitals as he screened movies from his studio, RKO Pictures, and ran up an $11 million tab; the Hughes who — obsessed with food safety — once bought every franchise restaurant chain in his home state of Texas, and who was similarly so concerned about air quality that he installed an aircraft filtration system in his 1954 Chrysler New Yorker, taking up its entire trunk; the Howard Hughes who had his hair cut and nails trimmed only once a year, and who was seemingly as addicted to Baskin Robbins Banana Ripple ice cream as he was to regular codeine injections; the Hughes who at the end of his life considered only Mormons trustworthy enough to be let into his inner circle.

I know there are some movie geeks that don't like Nolan for whatever reason ( yes there WERE Inception detractors ) but I'm a fan. I have liked more of his films than I haven't ( Mostly Memento and The Prestige being the best ) so I'm going to give this project a shot. What if Nolan conjures up stuff and previous info Joe public was not privy to up till now ? You never know.

Casting the right actor will be of utmost importance if he goes through with this. I am fully confidant in Nolan's screenwriting abilities. He's a good storyteller. No delusions there on that point. Many people over the Internet have mentioned Christian Bale to play Hughes, whom as we all know, obviously Nolan and Christian have a strong working relationship who have collaborated on four movies together in their filmography. Nolan's original choice was Jim Carrey some 10 years ago. Now that's interesting ! Some others have said go with the method actor... Daniel Day-Lewis. Not a bad choice either, but he mostly likely will be filming the Abraham Lincoln biopic, Lincoln, with Steven Spielberg. So he proabaly won't be available for the Hughes treatment. Either way, the project sounds like an interesting one at that. I know it has my attention.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

No blog today.. birthday day off

That caption is a bit snide and snarky to say the least. I had a good day today, spent some time with some cool people, saw a flick ( Unknown ) but to be honest, if I didn't ever have to have another birthday again, I would be so fine with that.

See ya tomorrow, with some interesting " to be announced " upcoming film projects...

Monday, February 14, 2011

On set photo of DiCaprio as J. Edgar Hoover

Here's one of the first pics of Leo on the Clint Eastwood set for the film they are currently shooting in Los Angeles on J. Edgar. Personally... I wish they would change the film back to the old title which was simply called Hoover.

X-Men:First Class trailer

June 3, 2011

Trailer's up for the new X-Men: First Class. In a strange twist, I'm actually looking forward to this film directed by Matthew Vaughn ( Stardust, Kick-Ass, Layer Cake ). 1) I didn't mind the first series of X-Men films, 2) I was a fan of the comic book, 3) I find this particular prequel to the orgins of this story interesting. Oh... And I can't deny that the cast is pretty impressive with James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender as the young Professor X and Magneto respectively, with Jennifer Lawrence, Rose Byrne, Kevin Bacon, Oliver Platt, Jason Flemyng, Zoe Kravitz, Nicholas Hoult and Ray Wise also starring.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The King's Speech rules The BAFTA's

2011 BAFTA Awards

Winners announced on Sunday, February 13th.

Best Film
The King's Speech (2010)

Other Nominees:

Black Swan (2010)
Inception (2010)
The Social Network (2010)
True Grit (2010)

Alexander Korda Award for Outstanding British Film of the Year
The King's Speech (2010)

Other Nominees:
127 Hours (2010)
Another Year (2010)
Four Lions (2010)
Made in Dagenham (2010)

Best Actor
Colin Firth for The King's Speech (2010)

Other Nominees:
Javier Bardem for Biutiful (2010)
Jeff Bridges for True Grit (2010)
Jesse Eisenberg for The Social Network (2010)
James Franco for 127 Hours (2010)

Best Actress

Natalie Portman for Black Swan (2010)

Other Nominees:
Annette Bening for The Kids Are All Right (2010)
Julianne Moore for The Kids Are All Right (2010)
Noomi Rapace for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2009)
Hailee Steinfeld for True Grit (2010)

Best Supporting Actor
Geoffrey Rush for The King's Speech (2010)

Other Nominees:
Christian Bale for The Fighter (2010)
Andrew Garfield for The Social Network (2010)
Pete Postlethwaite for The Town (2010)
Mark Ruffalo for The Kids Are All Right (2010)

Best Supporting Actress
Helena Bonham Carter for The King's Speech (2010)

Other Nominees:
Amy Adams for The Fighter (2010)
Barbara Hershey for Black Swan (2010)
Lesley Manville for Another Year (2010)
Miranda Richardson for Made in Dagenham (2010)

David Lean Award for Achievement in Direction
David Fincher for The Social Network (2010)

Other Nominees:
Darren Aronofsky for Black Swan (2010)
Danny Boyle for 127 Hours (2010)
Tom Hooper for The King's Speech (2010)
Christopher Nolan for Inception (2010)
Best Screenplay (Original)

The King's Speech (2010): David Seidler

Other Nominees:
Black Swan (2010): Mark Heyman, Andres Heinz, John J. McLaughlin
The Fighter (2010): Scott Silver, Paul Tamasy, Eric Johnson
Inception (2010): Christopher Nolan
The Kids Are All Right (2010): Lisa Cholodenko, Stuart Blumberg

Best Screenplay (Adapted)
The Social Network (2010): Aaron Sorkin

Other Nominees:
127 Hours (2010): Danny Boyle, Simon Beaufoy
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2009): Rasmus Heisterberg, Nikolaj Arcel
Toy Story 3 (2010): Michael Arndt
True Grit (2010): Joel Coen, Ethan Coen

Best Cinematography
True Grit (2010): Roger Deakins

Other Nominees:
127 Hours (2010): Anthony Dod Mantle, Enrique Chediak
Black Swan (2010): Matthew Libatique
Inception (2010): Wally Pfister
The King's Speech (2010): Danny Cohen

Best Editing
The Social Network (2010): Angus Wall, Kirk Baxter

Other Nominees:
127 Hours (2010): Jon Harris
Black Swan (2010): Andrew Weisblum
Inception (2010): Lee Smith
The King's Speech (2010): Tariq Anwar

Best Production Design
Inception (2010): Guy Hendrix Dyas, Larry Dias, Douglas A. Mowat

Other Nominees:
Alice in Wonderland (2010): Robert Stromberg, Karen O'Hara

Black Swan (2010): Thérèse DePrez, Tora Peterson
The King's Speech (2010): Eve Stewart, Judy Farr
True Grit (2010): Jess Gonchor, Nancy Haigh

Best Costume Design
Alice in Wonderland (2010): Colleen Atwood

Other Nominees:
Black Swan (2010): Amy Westcott
The King's Speech (2010): Jenny Beavan
Made in Dagenham (2010): Louise Stjernsward
True Grit (2010): Mary Zophres

Anthony Asquith Award for Film Music
The King's Speech (2010): Alexandre Desplat

Other Nominees:
127 Hours (2010): A.R. Rahman
Alice in Wonderland (2010): Danny Elfman
How to Train Your Dragon (2010): John Powell
Inception (2010): Hans Zimmer

Best Make Up/Hair
Alice in Wonderland (2010)

Other Nominees:
Black Swan (2010)
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (2010)
The King's Speech (2010)
Made in Dagenham (2010)

Best Sound
Inception (2010)

Other Nominees:
127 Hours (2010)
Black Swan (2010)
The King's Speech (2010)
True Grit (2010)

Best Achievement in Special Visual Effects
Inception (2010)

Other Nominees:
Alice in Wonderland (2010)
Black Swan (2010)
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (2010)
Toy Story 3 (2010)

Best Film not in the English Language
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2009)

Other Nominees:
Biutiful (2010)
I Am Love (2009)
Of Gods and Men (2010)
The Secret in Their Eyes (2009)

Best Animated Feature Film
Toy Story 3 (2010)

Other Nominees:
Despicable Me (2010)
How to Train Your Dragon (2010)

Orange Rising Star Award
Tom Hardy

Other Nominees:
Gemma Arterton
Andrew Garfield
Aaron Johnson
Emma Stone

Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer
Four Lions (2010): Christopher Morris(Director/Writer)

Other Nominees:
The Arbor (2010): Clio Barnard, Tracy O'Riordan(Director, Producer)
Exit Through the Gift Shop (2010): Banksy, Jaimie D'Cruz(Director, Producer)
Monsters (2010): Gareth Edwards(Director/Writer)
Skeletons (2010): Nick Whitfield(Director/Writer)

Best Short Animation
The Eagleman Stag (2010)

Other Nominees:
Matter Fisher (2010)

Best Short Film
Until the River Runs Red (2010)

Other Nominees:
Connect (2010/I)
Lin (2010)
Rite (2010)
Turning (2010)

My short review of The Eagle

I think I'm " Gladiatored " out. Don't get me wrong...I'm a fan of Gladitor, which ended up winning best picture and best actor for Russell Crowe back in the day. But by and large, I have never really been a huge fan of the genre. I don't hate it, but I also don't covet it compared to other genres. Maybe it's because I just saw Centurion for a second viewing recently to see if my feelings would change towards my banality at that film in my first viewing, but it didn't. Then I saw The Eagle yesterday, and though it's a well made film, in terms of the general filmmaking process, I think it suffers casting Channing Tatum as the lead.

I think he is good in small doses, but he just cannot carry a film all by himself without turning into a cardboard character. You have to be more than a super model onscreen to be convincing. And many times, you catch him trying to act in his films. His plight reminds me of the way Hollywood was trying to make Ben Affleck a A list leading man in the late 90's. He radiates best as a supporting actor, and also is a damn fine director, but he has rarely carried a film as a leading man to good results. How many forgettable Ben Affleck lead films are there ?

I had hopes for The Eagle though, because the film is directed by a good director ( Kevin Macdonald ) and the cinematography of recent Oscar winner Anthony Dod Mantle ( Slumdog Millionaire ) Jamie Bell is usually solid and Donald Sutherland hardly ever lets down even in cameos. But I just felt the The Eagle was a tad cliched even for this genre and the story lagged and became predictable. It's very familiar terrain that is dificult to tel originally and at times my mind tended to started getting flashbacks to Spartacus, 300 and Gladiator.

Maybe this genre cannot escape from it's own very familiar genre milieu to other films of it's same ilk ?

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Happy birthday to Darren Aronofsky

Director Darren Aronofsky turns 42 today. This has be a good year for him in earning his first best director Oscar nomination for Black Swan. I personally like his work, though I have come across those that haven't been as big of fans as I am. One thing that cannot be denied, is he somehow has a way of getting his actors Oscar nominations. Ellen Burstyn was nominated for Requiem For A Dream ( my personal favorite of his ) Mickey Rourke and Marisa Tomei for The Wrestler, and most recently Natalie Portman for Black Swan this year.

It appears his next movie is doing a Wolverine film with Hugh Jackman. This doesn't surprise me at all when I first heard this news, as Aronofsky has done this type of big scale film in the past with The Fountain.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Ridley Scott's Alien prequel Prometheus

Prometheus star Michael Fassbender spoke about the upcoming Ridley Scott Alien prequel and said the film has a "connecting vein" that is in "keeping with the old ones."

He goes on to add, "When I read it, I was like, 'Well, okay, another Alien. Where do you go with this idea?' And then I sort of read the script, and it's new, yet it's in keeping with the old traditions as well. But there's a whole new revelation within this film."

Hmm, is this all to back up a previous report that said Prometheus is connected to Alien in more ways than one?

Fassbender does say that he'll be getting into some physical training soon to try and "be as tall as I can standing next to those aliens!"

The actor will star in the film alongside Noomi Rapace and Charlize Theron. No word yet on definite shooting plans.

Arthur remake trailer

I like most of the people casted in this film, I just don't see why they would remake this though. Arthur has grown into an iconic character over the years. The original film was nominated for 4 Academy Awards, winning two for best song and best supporting actor ( John Gielgud ) So I always wonder, if you don't think you could better the original, then why remake it ? I have nothing personal against Russell Brand, but I guarantee you he won't have squat on Dudley Moore's Oscar nominated Arthur. So...this is one I'll be skipping. What's the point when I have already seen the film in the first place ?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Christian Bale and Brad Anderson to reunite

Scuttlebutt around Hollywood has it that director Brad Anderson ( Transsiberian, Happy Accidents ) will reunite with his The Mechanic ( 2004 ) star Christian Bale. This teaming will see them tackling an adaptation of the 1974 J.G. Ballard novel Concrete Island.

The premise is a twisted adaptation of Robinson Crusoe, the story's protagonist, Robert Maitland ( Bale ), a wealthy architect, finds himself stranded in a manmade 'island' (a section of fenced-off wasteland in the middle of a motorway intersection) between the Westway and M4 Motorway in West London, forced to survive on only what is in his crashed Jaguar and what he is able to find. As his condition degrades, it soon becomes difficult to determine whether Maitland is finding sanity or watching his mind fall apart as he finds companions on the island and eventually decides to remain there and forsake his former life.

Many remember the drastic weight loss Bale accomplished for The Mechanic, dropping to 120 pounds, and literally scaring everyone involved on the film, including director Anderson. Rumor has it that Bale will lose the weight for this role as well. We sure can appreciate his level of commitment, but this can't be good for his overall health especially long term. At least people can't say that Bale doesn't put in 120% effort for a role

Scott Kosar, who wrote The Mechanic will adapt the screenplay. No word on a filming start date, as Concrete Island will most likely prep in pre-production while Bale shoots The Dark Knight Rises this spring.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Come on...lay off Melissa Leo already

There's always been smear campaigns that go on in Hollystrange, that's no secret, but not usually when the Oscar nominations are announced. That seems to have changed the last week or so, as it seems some groups have decided to put it on themselves to try and smear Melisa Leo's name.

In a strange twist, it appears that she it putting on her very own best supporting actress for your consideration ad campaign. Apparently, some groups are put off by an actor/actress that doing their own promotion for an Oscar win.

I don't see the problem personally, it's all self congratulatory anyway all these award groups. I also understand her analogy in her reasoning. Melissa feels that she is a character actress and not a A list star. That even though she was nominated for a best actress Oscar for Frozen River a couple of years ago, that she is still a relative unknown at age 50 compared to people like Amy Adams and Helena Bonham Carter. Usually it's the actors representation or the studio behind the film that does the for your consideration ads in magazines. Yet Melisa felt this time around she wasn't getting enough promotion for the role.

I saw the ad myself, and it's nothing but a small ad asking for the Academy's consideration. And to be honest, I think her role was one of the best acted performances of the year in support or otherwise and she really didn't need to self promote for this performance. I think she's been a front runner to win in suport the weekend the film was released. But if she wants to handle her own promotion for the movie, I don't see any problem with it. She's most likely going to win anyway.

Happy birthday to Joe Pesci

Joe Pesci turns 68 today and in his honor, here is the famous " you think I'm funny ? " clip from his Oscar winning role in Good Fellas. There's rumors Pesci has been asked to take part in David O' Russell's upcoming new film Uncharted, that will also star Robert De Niro and Mark Wahlberg.

Will there be any upsets at this years Oscar's ?

So far all the wins in the precursor awards have been Colin Firth, Natalie Portman, Christian Bale, Melissa Leo, Aaron Sorkin ( The Social Network ) and David Seilder ( The King's Speech ) for screenplays taking home most of the trophies thus far. Until the DGA and PGA wins for The King's Speech recently, it looked like The Social Network was going to win best picture with ease, but now it's not looking so clear cut for TSN. It could still win but The King's Speech is more the Oscar type film. Picture and director, could split though as we saw when Ang Lee won for Brokeback Mountain while Crash took home best picture. That could easily happen this year with David Fincher winning best diector instead of Tom Hooper.

If I had to bet, I would think the actors that have dominated so far are taking home Oscar, but I still have this weird inkling of a feeling about Annette Bening. Sure... Portman has pretty much won everything ( her and Bening split the Globe in drama/comedy ) but the Academy is a different branch of voters and they may feel that Bening is due at this point in her career, a solid actress that's been nominated three times in the past and coming home empty. They could look at choosing her as sort of lifetime achievement, thinking Portamn has a lot more time to pick up the Oscar statue.

So if I had to pick a upset, it would be Annette Bening. Then in a big long shot, Geoffrey Rush for his impeccable acting as Lionel Louge in The King's Speech, though this long shot would blow me away, as I just feel Bale was in another stratosphere of acting as Dicky Ekland in The Fighter.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

My Oscar picks

OK... everybody that cares just a little bit about the Academy Awards has their picks and opinions as who they would nominate for the Oscar's. I'm no different. So... this is if it was up to me on who I would have voted for for this years Oscar picks compared to how the Academy ended up voting. I left a bunch of the technical categories off, because truthfully, I don't care. * denotes who I'd have as the winner...

Best Picture

Animal Kingdom
Another Year
The Fighter *
The King's Speech
127 Hours
Rabbit Hole
Shutter Island
The Tillman Story
True Grit

Best Actor

Jeff Bridges- True Grit
Leonardo DiCaprio- Shutter Island
Michael Douglas- Solitary Man
Aaron Eckhart- Rabbit Hole
Colin Firth- The King's Speech *

Best Actress

Nicole Kidman- Rabbit Hole *
Lesley Manville- Another Year
Julianne Moore- The Kid's Are Alright
Natalie Portman- Black Swan
Hilary Swank- Conviction

Best Suporting Actor

Christian Bale- The Fighter *
Michael Douglas- Wall Street 2
John Hawkes- Winter's Bone
Sam Rockwell- Conviction
Geoffrey Rush- The King's Speech

Best Supporting Actress

Amy Adams- The Fighter
Helen Bonham Carter- The King's Speech
Melissa Leo- The Fighter *
Hailee Stienfeld- True Grit
Jacki Weaver- Animal Kingdom

Best Director

Ethan and Joel Coen- True Grit
Tom Hooper- The King's Speech *
Christopher Nolan- Inception
Dvid Michod- Animal Kingdom
David O' Russell- The Fighter

Best Original Screenplay

The King's Speech

Best Adapted Screenplay

The Social Network

Best cinematography

Black Swan- Matthew Libatque
Inception- Wally Pfister
Shutter Island- Robert Richardson
True Grit- Roger Deakins *
The Way Back- Rusell Boyd

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Hobbit begins shooting next month

March 21st to be exact. This time director Peter Jackson will be shooting in New Zealand instead of homeland Australia. Much of the cast members from the three Lord Of The Rings movies will have roles in The Hobbit as well, including Cate Blanchett, Ian McKellen, Orlando Bloom, Christopher Lee, Andy Serkis ( reprising his role as Gollum ) with new cast members Saorise Ronan, David Tennant and Martin Freeman ( portraying Bilbo Baggins. ) Leonard Nimoy has been cast to do the voice of the evil dragon Smaug.

The film which will be released in two parts and will be receiving a December, 21 2012 release date for part 1, with usual Peter Jackson cinematographer Andrew Lesnie handling the lensing duties.

Box office numbers

Title/ Weekend/ Gross

1 The Roommate (2011) $15M $15M
2 Sanctum (2011) $9.45M $9.45M
3 No Strings Attached (2011) $8M $51.4M
4 The King's Speech (2010) $7.71M $83.5M
5 The Green Hornet (2011) $5.97M $87.1M
6 The Rite (2011) $5.59M $23.7M
7 The Mechanic (2011) $5.3M $20M
8 True Grit (2010) $4.64M $155M
9 Black Swan (2010) $3.37M $95.9M
10 The Dilemma (2011) $3.28M $45.6M

Well... by looking at this list, it truly looks like a top 10 in the month of February, arguably one of the worst months of the year for movie releases. Still seeing The King's Speech, Black Swan and True Grit still hanging in the top 10. And True Grit has passed the 150 million mark as I mentioned last week, with Black Swan possibly making a 100 million profit by the time the film is out on dvd, now that's amazing.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Captain America teaser trailer

July 22, 2011

Directed by Joe Johnston ( Jumanji, Hidalgo ) starring Chris Evans, Samuel L. Jackson, Hugo Weaving, Hayley Atwell, Toby Jones, Tommy Lee Jones, Neal McDonough, Sebastian Stand and Stanley Tucci.

What will be the best animated films of 2011 ?

I thought I'd do an entry on the animated films of this upcoming year, even though it's by far a favorite movie genre of mine, I figured since this was a pretty good year for animated movies, I'd take a peak into this year.


Release Date: March 4, 2011
Director: Gore Verbinski
Screenwriter: Gore Verbinski, John Logan, James Byrkit
Voice talent: Johnny Depp, Isla Fisher, Abigail Breslin, Bill Nighy, Stephen Root, Ray Winstone, Beth Grant, Ned Beatty, Harry Dean Stanton, Alfred Molina
Rated: PG (for rude humor, language, action and smoking)

Plot: A chameleon ( Depp ) that aspires to be a swashbuckling hero finds himself in a Western town plagued by bandits and is forced to literally play the role in order to protect it.

Kung Fu Panda 2-

Release Date: May 26, 2011
Director: Jennifer Yuh Nelson
Voice talent: Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, Dustin Hoffman, Jackie Chan, Seth Rogen, Lucy Liu, David Cross, James Hong, Gary Oldman, Michelle Yeoh, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Victor Garber

Plot: Po is now living his dream as The Dragon Warrior, protecting the Valley of Peace alongside his friends and fellow kung fu masters, The Furious Five - Tigress, Crane, Mantis, Viper and Monkey. But Po's new life of awesomeness is threatened by the emergence of a formidable villain, who plans to use a secret, unstoppable weapon to conquer China and destroy kung fu. It is up to Po and The Furious Five to journey across China to face this threat and vanquish it. But how can Po stop a weapon that can stop kung fu? He must look to his past and uncover the secrets of his mysterious origins; only then will he be able to unlock the strength he needs to succeed.

The Adventures Of Tintin: Secret Of The Unicorn-

Release Date: December 23, 2011 (2D/3D theaters and IMAX 3D)
Director: Steven Spielberg
Voice talent: Jamie Bell, Daniel Craig, Andy Serkis, Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Gad Elmaleh, Toby Jones, Mackenzie Crook

Plot Summary: "The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn" ( co-produced by Peter Jackson ) is the first in the series of 3D motion capture films based on the iconic character created by Georges Remi, better known to the world by his pen name "Herge" and is due for release in 2011. The film stars Jamie Bell as Tintin, the intrepid young reporter whose relentless pursuit of a good story thrusts him into a world of high adventure, and Daniel Craig as the nefarious Red Rackham.

Gnomeo and Juliet-
Release Date: February 11, 2011
Director: Kelly Asbury
Voice talent: James McAvoy, Emily Blunt, Michael Caine, Maggie Smith, Jason Statham, Patrick Stewart, Ashley Jensen, Stephen Merchant, Matt Lucas, Jim Cummings, Julie Walters, Richard Wilson, Ozzy Osbourne, Dolly Parton, Hulk Hogan.
MPAA Rating: G

Plot: The greatest love story ever told, starring... garden gnomes? In the upcoming "Gnomeo & Juliet," Shakespeare's revered tale gets a comical, off-thewall makeover. Directed by Kelly Asbury ("Shrek 2") and showcasing both classic and original songs by Elton John, the film features the voices of James McAvoy and Emily Blunt as Gnomeo and Juliet, who have as many obstacles to overcome as their quasi namesakes when they are caught up in a feud between neighbors. But with plastic pink flamingos and thrilling lawnmower races in the mix, can this young couple find lasting happiness?

Arthur Christmas-
Release Date: November 23, 2011 (3D/2D theaters)
Director: Sarah Smith, Barry Cook
Voice talent: James McAvoy, Hugh Laurie, Jim Broadbent, Bill Nighy, Imelda Staunton, Ashley Jensen
Plot: Set on Christmas night, the story of Arthur Christmas at last reveals the incredible, never-before seen answer to every child's question: 'So how does Santa deliver all those presents in one night?' The answer: Santa's exhilarating, ultra-high-tech operation hidden beneath the North Pole. But at the heart of the film is a story with the ingredients of a Christmas classic – a family in a state of comic dysfunction and an unlikely hero, Arthur, with an urgent mission that must be completed before Christmas morning dawns.

Release Date: April 15, 2011
Director: Carlos Saldanha
Voice talent: Anne Hathaway, Jesse Eisenberg, George Lopez, Tracy Morgan, Jemaine Clement, Leslie Mann,, Jamie Foxx

Plot: "Rio" is a 3-D animation feature from the makers of the "Ice Age" films. Set in the magnificent city of Rio de Janeiro and the lush rainforest of Brazil, the comedy-adventure centers on Blu, a rare macaw who thinks he is the last of his kind. When Blu discovers there's another — and that she's a she — he leaves the comforts of his cage in small town Minnesota and heads to Rio. But it's far from love at first sight between the domesticated and flight-challenged Blu and the fiercely independent, high-flying female, Jewel. Unexpectedly thrown together, they embark on an adventure of a lifetime, where they learn about friendship, love, courage, and being open to life's many wonders. "Rio" brings together a menagerie of vivid characters, a heart-warming story, colorful backdrops, energizing Latin and contemporary music, and family-friendly song and dance.

Happy Feet 2-
Release Date: November 18, 2011 (3D/2D theaters and IMAX 3D)
Director: George Miller
Voice talent: Elijah Wood, Robin Williams, Brad Pitt, Hank Azaria, Matt Damon, Alecia Moore (Pink), EG Daily

Plot: The sequel to the Academy Award®-winning animated smash hit, "Happy Feet 2" returns audiences to the magnificent landscape of Antarctica, reuniting us with the world's most famous tap-dancing penguin, Mumble (Elijah Wood), the love of his life, Gloria (Alecia Moore {Pink}) and their old friends Ramon and Lovelace (Robin Williams). Mumble and Gloria now have a son of their own, Erik (EG Daily), who is struggling to find his own particular talents in the Emperor Penguin world. But new dangers are threatening the penguin nation, and it's going to take everyone working--and dancing--together to save them.

Doesn't seem on paper to be as strong of a year as 2010, but I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Kristen Stewart as Snow White ?

Kristen Stewart is reportedly just a signature away from portraying Snow White in the upcoming film adaptation of the classic fairy tale.

Kristen, 20, was offered the lead role in Universal’s Snow White and the Huntsman. As previously reported Stewart was on the shortlist of possible actresses to portray Snow White in the Rupert Sanders-directed live-action film. Apparently she won over the movie bigwigs! Sanders is a newcomer to directing films but did receive a DGA nomination in 2009 for his commercial work.

Other actresses that were being considered for the role of Snow White included Kristen’s Runaways co-star Riley Keough and Sucker Punch star Emma Browning.

There is no word on if Kristen will accept the role but if decides to sign on to the film it will be her first post-Twilight project. The young actress is currently in the middle of filming The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Parts 1 and 2 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Other stars that are rumored to be joining the film include Charlize Theron (who will play the Evil Queen) and Viggo Mortensen as The Huntsman. Filming is to begin this summer with a December 21, 2012 release date.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

This weeks box office numbers

USA Weekend Box-Office Summary

Week of 28 January 2011 Rank/Title/ Weekend Gross...

1 The Rite (2011) $14.8M $14.8M
2 No Strings Attached (2011) $13.4M $39.5M
3 The Mechanic (2011) $11.4M $11.4M
4 The Green Hornet (2011) $11.2M $78.5M
5 The King's Speech (2010) $11.1M $72.2M
6 True Grit (2010) $7.52M $148M
7 The Dilemma (2011) $5.67M $40.8M
8 Black Swan (2010) $5.12M $90.7M
9 The Fighter (2010) $3.96M $78.3M
10 Yogi Bear (2010) $3.17M $92.5M

Cool to see True Grit, The Fighter and The King's Speech in the top 10 still. Black Swan has almost grossed 100 million dollars and it was financed on a paltry 13 million dollars budget. The film is going to profit 85 million dollars ! I'm also amazed that True Grit has almost made 150 million dollars to date. It'll double their all time best grosser which was No Country For Old Men. Couldn't be more happier for the film and more so, for the Coen brothers.

It would surprise me in the least if they follow up their highest grossing film ( for them at least ) and make a 15 million dollar indie for their next project. That's what I like about them. Their indie roots will always be in play.

New on set photo from We Bought A Zoo

Here's a shot of Matt Damon filming a scene in the upcoming We Bought A Zoo, directed by Cameron Crowe. The script is co-written by Crowe and Aline Brosh McKenna of The Devil Wears Prada fame.

I wrote a piece on November 8 of last year about just finishing the book, about a family that buys a debilitated zoo and that a film adaptation was in pre-production. It has a December 23 release date.

The film also stars Scarlett Johansson, Thomas Haden Church, Ellle Fanning, Colin Ford, Patrick Fugit, Angus Macfadyen and Carla Gallo.

Beginners trailer

June 3, 2011

Beginners is a upcoming drama film, written and directed by Mike Mills. It tells the story of Oliver (Ewan McGregor), a man trying to deal with two stunning revelations from his 75 year-old father Hal (Christopher Plummer): that he is gay and gravely ill.

The film is based on the true-life coming out of Mills' father at the age of 75, five years before his death.

Beginners premiered at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival, where The Los Angeles Times heralded it as a "heady, heartfelt film" with a cast who has "a strong sense of responsibility to their real-world counterparts".

Win Win trailer

March 18, 2011

Written and directed by Thomas McCarthy ( The Station Agent, The Visitor ) starring Paul Giamatti, Amy Ryan, Melanie Lynskey, Bobby Cannavale, Jeffrey Tambor, Alex Shaffer and Burt Young.

Premise: Tom McCarthy an actor is his own right and writer/director of "The Visitor" and "The Station Agent," explores the allegiances and bonds between unlikely characters with a lighter touch in his new film. Struggling attorney Mike Flaherty (Paul Giamatti), who moonlights as a high school wrestling coach, becomes legal guardian of an elderly client in an attempt to help keep his practice afloat. When the client's teenage grandson runs away from home and shows up on his grandfather's doorstep, Mike's family life and his wrestling team are turned upside down. Mike's win-win proposition turns into something much more complicated than he ever bargained for. McCarthy's deft touch balancing drama and comedy, broken hearts and poignant humanity is at play in Win Win.

The film and especially the performances of Giamatti and Ryan have been getting good reviews at this years Sundance Festival.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Does The Social Network still have a chance ?

Well the last couple have days have been kind of interesting hearing from the so called Oscar experts, bloggers and pundits, having switched over their predictions that The King's Speech will win best picture. This all coming from some tides turning it seems more in The King's Speech favor with the recent wins the movie had by snagging the Producer's Guild Award and then director Tom Hooper grabbing the DGA award for best director.

This new sentiment is in The King's Speech favor, and is not illogical at all. The King's Speech I always felt was more of a " Oscar " type film than The Social Network, where that film was clearly the critics favorite, the Academy doesn't always align with the critics favorites.

But... I wouldn't turn my back totally on The Social Network. I can see both films splitting votes where it comes to best film and director. I would not be surprised in the least if David Fincher won his first best director Oscar, while The King's Speech wins best picture. I can say this, at least it's not so predictable as it's been in the last couple years. People that predict the Oscar nominations as of now, can truly say they have a good idea what film might win, but for once best picture is not a slam dunk. And I like that. Makes for a more interesting night.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Biutiful preview/synopsis

January 28

Directed by Oscar nominee Alejandro Gonzales Inarittu ( Babel, 21 Grams ) starring Oscar winner Javier Bardem ( No Country For Old Men ) written by Inarittu, Armado Bo and Nicolas Giacabone, cinematography by Oscar nominee Rodrigo Prieto ( Brokeback Mountain, 21 Grams ) editing by Oscar nominee Stephen Mirrone ( Babel, Traffic ) and original score by two time Oscar winner Gustavo Santaolla ( Babel, Brokeback Mountain )

Premise: This is a story of a man in free fall. On the road to redemption, darkness lights his way. Connected with the afterlife, Uxbal ( Bardem ) is a tragic hero and father of two who's sensing the danger of death. He struggles with a tainted reality and a fate that works against him in order to forgive, for love, and forever.

Rated R for disturbing images, language, some sexual content, nudity and some drug use. 147 min.

Oscar chances ? Pretty good, given the fact that Javier Bardem received his 2nd best actor Oscar nomination.

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Started to really pay attention to film ( movies ) what was going on in front of the camera, but more interestingly, behind it as well at about as far back as age 10. Motion pictures ( when good ) are a fascinating medium. All the work and prep that goes into filmmaking. It's an amazing process !