October 28, 2016
        Ten Contenders will compete for Best Documentary Short Subject                "The Circle" and "The Lost City of Z": Which potential 2016 contenders got bumped to 2017?                Natalie Portman, Janelle Monáe, Matthew McConaughey, Bryce Dallas Howard, Edgar Ramirez, Stacy Keach at Hollywood Film Awards                Viola Davis will be campaigned in Best Supporting Actress for "Fences"                Mel Gibson to be Honored with the Hollywood Director Award at the 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                Michael Moore drops a surprise new film with "Michael Moore in TrumpLand"                Hollywood Contenders: New Oscar Predictions for October                Nicole Kidman, Hugh Grant, Naomie Harris, Lily Collins get Honors at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                "Manchester by the Sea" leads the Gotham Award nominations                Tom Ford, Marc Platt and Kenneth Lonergan to be Honored at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                Tom Cruise is in his action hero comfort zone with "Jack Reacher: Never Go Back"                "Moonlight" could be A24's big Oscar horse this year                Ewan McGregor steps behind the camera with "American Pastoral"                Hollywood Contenders: A second crack at Golden Globe predictions for 2016                "The Accountant" seeks to help give Ben Affleck another blockbuster        

2011 Summer Movie Review Part I

HollywoodNews.com: We’ll see if my schedule allows me to do a comprehensive ‘end of summer’ box office wrap-up, but since summer 2011 doesn’t officially end until next weekend, I figure I’ve got time. For now, here is my annual rundown of the various scenes, performances, moments, and miscues that defined the summer just past. Because sometimes, discussing the ‘parts’ is more fun than discussing the ‘whole’. I’ll try to avoid divulging plot twists and the like, but consider this a SPOILER WARNING.

Best Fake-Out: Vin Deisel sacrifices himself for the team at the finale of Fast Five.
Even if you feel silly admitting that you cared about the characters in this fifth and inexplicably terrific entry in the eleven-year long racing action franchise, you cannot deny that the characters cared about each other. What made the movie pop was the genuine sense of camaraderie and bonding that existed between our main characters, which is one of the benefits of being the fifth film in a long running franchise.

So when Deisel’s Dominic Toretto separates himself from the pack during the final chase scene, apparently intent on sacrificing himself to give the rest of his friends (including his pregnant sister Mia and her boyfriend Brian) a chance at freedom and riches, I bought it. The film had built up a genuine ‘series finale’ vibe, and it seemed completely appropriate that the franchise would end with Dom, the series’s most prominent character, giving his life so that his sister’s unborn child wouldn’t have to grow up without a father. When Toretto miraculously survived his one-man cannon-ball run, I rolled my eyes a bit. It wasn’t until a week later that I remembered that this fifth film actually took place BEFORE the third film in the series (Tokyo Drift), at the end of which Vin Deisel made a cameo appearance. Point being, Dominic Toretto was never in danger. But the film was so unexpectedly compelling and exciting that I completely forgot what I already knew going in.

Photo by Warner Bros. Pictures

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About Scott Mendelson

Mendelson's Memos: The basics - 30 years old, married with one child, currently residing in Woodland Hills, CA. I am simply a longtime film critic and pundit of sorts, especially in the realm of box office. The main content will be film reviews, trailer reviews, essays, and box office analysis and comparison. I also syndicate myself at The Huffington Post and Open Salon. I will update as often as my schedule allows. Yes, I'm on Facebook/Twitter/LinkIn, so feel free to find me there. All comments are appreciated, just be civil and try to keep a level discourse, as I will make every effort to do the same. Read more at Mendelson's Memos:

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