September 17, 2015
        J.J. Abrams and Denis Villeneuve: Ten potential first time writer/director nominees for Oscar in 2015                Roger Deakins offers up some of his very best cinematography in "Sicario"                "The Martian" launches itself as an awards hopeful at the Toronto Film Festival                "Steve Jobs": Oscar predictions for September                "Sleeping with Other People" is one of the most charming films of 2015                Sandra Bullock looks like a contender in the Trailer for "Our Brand is Crisis"                Sam Smith will sing the theme song for the upcoming 007 film "Spectre"                Richard Gere is an under the radar Best Actor contender for "Time Out of Mind"                Telluride and Venice launch festival debuts into the Oscar race                “The Hateful Eight”: Looking at potential Best Original Screenplay Contenders                David O. Russell and Ridley Scott: Which filmmaking contenders this year are most due for their first win?                Telluride Announces 2015 Lineup - Steve Jobs, Black Mass, Suffragette                “Sicario”: Ten Films to see in September                Will Smith crusades for Best Actor in the "Concussion" Trailer                59th BFI London Film Festival Announces 2015 Lineup        

Tag Archives: Anthony Mackie

Sandra Bullock looks like a contender in the Trailer for “Our Brand is Crisis”

Yesterday, a Trailer dropped for Our Brand is Crisis, the political drama/satire hybrid that I’ve been predicting for Oscar attention all year. With it, we got our first real look at a film that could certainly liven up the impending awards season. David Gordon Green’s movie is getting a premiere shortly at the 2015 Toronto Film Festival, and assuming reviews are strong, this will quickly become more than just a Sandra Bullock vehicle, but a legitimate Academy Award contender as well. We’ll know soon enough, but this very solid Trailer is a hint that this is something to be excited about, especially if you’re looking for another contender to enter the race.
Here’s a quick refresher on the movie. Basically, it’s based on the documentary of the same name (Our Brand Is Crisis, of course), which focused on the use of American political campaign strategies in South American elections. Specifically, it was a Bolivian politician named Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada hiring James Carville’s political consulting firm to help him win the 2002 Bolivian presidential election. Carville works to use American political campaign strategies, leading to a different outcome than might otherwise have been. For the film, Bullock will play ‘Calamity’ Jane Bodine, basically a stand in for Carville, I believe, though Billy Bob Thornton as a rival consultant with a bald head makes me wonder if he’s actually the Carville stand in. Regardless, aside from Bullock and Thornton, also in the cast are Ann Dowd, Zoe Kazan, Anthony Mackie, Scoot McNairy, and more. Green directs, as mentioned before, with the script penned by Peter Straughan. The potential for something special is certainly there, it seems.
I’d always considered this a player more so than most, and the Trailer that you’ll be seeing below seems to indicate that I might be on to something. Not only does it look to showcase Bullock in a great leading role, it appears to be Green’s largest scale filmmaking to date. It’s easy to look at Our Brand is Crisis and think that it’s a cousin to Ben Affleck’s Argo, which also was produced by George Clooney and Grant Heslov. I’m sure all involved here would be thrilled if this one came even close to what that one did, but there’s certainly a chance.
If there’s one thing the Trailer for this movie really showed us, it’s that we’ve got a showcase for Bullock’s talents on our hands. […]

Bruce Dern: Looking at potential Best Supporting Actor contenders

HOLLYWOOD CONTENDERS:Here we go again folks. It’s time for another category to get a somewhat in depth look at what/who its top contenders might be. I’ve gone over what this is a number of times, but in case you’re new to it all, here it is in short: it’s one thing to read early Academy Award predictions at this point in the year in order to see what folks like myself think will happen six or so months from now, but it’s a whole other thing entirely to actually know something about what will be in contention. To help out in that regard, I’m once again running down some of the major contenders in each Oscar category in order to prep you all for the season to come. Basically, the format will have me saying a few words about what/who I feel are the top tier contenders right now in said categories, along with a longer list afterwards of many of the other hopefuls that the Academy might take a shine to. Consider this a sort of before the awards season cheat sheet that you can use as you see fit.
Today I’m continuing with another of the bigger acting categories…yes, it’s Best Supporting Actor. Hot on the heels of Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight dropping a first Trailer that offers up tons of Supporting Actor possibilities, this seems like a perfect bit of timing. You can see the Trailer in question now, by the by, but there are plenty of other contenders on hand as well. You’ll see what I mean momentarily…
First up, the Teaser Trailer for The Hateful Eight:

Here now are the ten particular thespians that I have in play for Best Supporting Actor, with the top five cracking the unofficial lineup at this point:
1. Bruce Dern (The Hateful Eight) – After seeing that Trailer, you have to think that the whole ensemble could be in play, but I think the secret weapon for Tarantino might be Dern. He’s quiet and in the background, but within the film could really steal some scenes. Few others in this category fit the form of a winner more aptly than Dern, as he’s a veteran still looking for that elusive statue. He came close a few years ago with Nebraska, and if he’s half as good here as he was there, he can certainly contend for a win now. If you veer […]

Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron” begins to roll out worldwide

All this week, we’ve seen Marvel slowly begin to allow reviews to trickle out about Avengers: Age of Ultron, in advance of the global release this weekend, followed by the U.S. next week. So far, the early word has been pretty solid, with some out and out raves and almost no outright detractors. After how big a smash across the board The Avengers was, seeing the sequel apparently continue the trend is a solid sight to behold. Marvel continues their perfect record and comic book fans get another top tier piece of entertainment to enjoy. The summer movie season is about to begin folks…
You’d basically have to live under a rock not to be fully aware what this film is about, but at the off chance you don’t, I’m more than willing to provide a quick primer. Continuing the Marvel Cinematic Universe and working not only as a sequel to The Avengers but also Captain America: The Winter Soldier, this flick sees the team of superheroes faced with a dastardly Artificial Intelligence named Ultron (voice of James Spader). As such, it’s up to Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), Bruce Banner/Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Thor (Chris Hemseworth), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), along with newcomers Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), to save the day. Hayley Atwell, Paul Bettany, Don Cheadle, Samuel L. Jackson, Anthony Mackie, Colbie Smulders, and more return as well. Joss Whedon once again co-writes and directs. All told, it’s probably the largest scale comic book film to date.
What Avengers: Age of Ultron is doing now is setting up the next phase in Marvel’s giant plan, culminating in the next Avengers flick, which is a two parter. Sure, it’s a few years before Avengers: Infinity War – Part 1 hits in May of 2018 and Avengers: Infinity War – Part 2 in May of 2019. Those films will basically result in a whole new direction for the company, or at least we assume. At the very least, they will mark Whedon turning over controls of the flagship Marvel franchise to veterans of Captain America: The Winter Solider and next year’s Captain America: Civil War, the Russo brothers, Anthony Russo and Joe Russo. They’ll be the big shepherds from here on out, with Civil War upping the ante presumably from Age of Ultron and whetting the appetite for both parts of […]

The 82nd Academy Awards: If I had been a voter

As I mentioned last time out, this series has officially returned. Yes, once again I’m going to be taking a look back at a recent (or now recent-ish) Oscar lineup and explaining what my vote would have been in each of the big eight categories we all follow so intently each season. I previously mentioned that potentially I could do this once a week with previous Academy Award ceremonies, and while I’m going to be attempting to do just that, time will still tell if it’s something that gets stuck with or not. Again, if nothing else, this continues to give you an interesting look into my cinematic tastes. Over the course of the year you can sort of get a feel for what my current favorites are, but now we can look to the past a bit more.
Alright then, here goes nothing folks…behold my picks for this particular ceremony:
Best Picture – Up in the Air
The nominees here were A Serious Man, An Education, Avatar, The Blind Side, District 9, The Hurt Locker, Inglourious Basterds, Precious, and Up. The main snub here, in my book at least, was (500) Days of Summer, and I nearly went with the actual winner in The Hurt Locker, but Up in the Air was my #1 film of this year, so that made it pretty academic in the end.
Best Director – Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker
A history making and diverse category this time out, the field consisted of Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker, James Cameron for Avatar, Lee Daniels for Precious, Jason Reitman for Up in the Air, and Quentin Tarantino for Inglourious Basterds. I believe Marc Webb was snubbed for (500) Days of Summer and really wish that Reitman had come closer to winning, but when you come right down to it, I can’t argue with Bigelow. The first woman to ever win Best Director gets my vote here as well.
Best Actor – George Clooney for Up in the Air
Here the nominees were Jeff Bridges for Crazy Heart, George Clooney for Up in the Air, Colin Firth for A Single Man, Morgan Freeman for Invictus, and Jeremy Renner for The Hurt Locker. The Academy missed the boat on nominating Sam Rockwell for Moon, but aside from him, I’d have to go for Clooney.
Best Actress – Carey Mulligan for An Education
The big snub to me here was Zooey Deschanel for (500) Days […]

Kevin Costner shines in “Black or White”

One of the interesting things about the month of January is that we not only see the expansion of Academy Award nominated films, but also the release of many would be contenders that simply weren’t recognized by Oscar. One such movie this month is Mike Binder’s Black or White, which happens to feature a tremendously good turn from Kevin Costner. When I saw the film a few months ago, I thought Costner had a chance to impact the Best Actor field…now, that obviously didn’t happen, but at this point others can finally see what I was talking about. Costner and Binder have something here with Black or White, which opens on Friday.

The movie, which got a small qualifying run last month, is a drama centered around a custody fight over a little girl. Costner stars as an attorney caring for his mixed race granddaughter after his wife passes away. They had been caring for the girl after the death of their daughter, with her biological father out of the picture, dealing with drug problems. Costner’s character has a prickly relationship with his granddaughter’s paternal grandmother, played by Octavia Spencer. The grandmother begins to push to see the girl more, eventually looking to sue for custody. A court battle then ensues. Binder writes and directs, with the cast also including Bill Burr, Jennifer Ehle, Jillian Estell, Andre Holland, Gillian Jacobs, Anthony Mackie, and more.
In a perfect world, Costner would have been a far bigger Best Actor contender for this role. It’s not only one of his best performances in some time, it might very well be one of his best ever. At the very least, it’s top five, that much is almost inarguable. Costner has turned in a similarly strong performance before in a Binder flick (The Upside of Anger), so it’s no surprise that this pairing is producing quality. Costner also gets to show his age in a new way, playing a grandfather for the first time, I believe. It might be the start of the next act of his career, so even though it didn’t manage to crack the Actor lineup (though I think he got a handful of votes), it could lead to a lot of good things in the next few years for Costner. Just watch a particular speech that Costner gives on the witness stand. It might be one of his finest moments ever.
Going forward, as […]

“The Hunger Games” stays strong and tops $350m Weekend Box Office It was an ‘everybody wins’ weekend at the box office as all three openers outperformed even the most optimistic expectations. The number one film of the weekend was not The Hunger Games but rather Think Like A Man. The all-star romantic comedy based off of Steve Harvey’s best-selling relationship self-help book grossed a somewhat surprising $33 million on just over 2000 screens. The Screen Gems film was notable in that the small studio made a real effort to market the African-American-centric rom-com both to black males and white audiences (Vulture has a detailed article about the marketing campaign). Racial demographics aren’t available yet, but the film played 63% female and 62% over 30. For what it’s worth, it earned an A from Cinemascore, including an A+ from audiences under 25. Even more impressive is that the film achieved a near-3x, including a token increase on Saturday (from $12 million to $13 million). The film has a ton of ‘would probably be a bigger star in a color-blind society’ actors, including Gabrielle Union, Meagan Good, Michael Ealy, Steve Harvey, and Taraji P. Henson. But the secret weapon may have been comedian Kevin Hart, who powered his stand-up concert film, Laugh At My Pain to $7 million last September despite playing on less than 300 screens. Pay no attention to this large opening folks, nothing to see about an under-served audience demographic delivering near-blockbuster numbers on a $13 million budget. Just move along and keep putting Anthony Mackie in fourth-billed supporting roles.
There will be lots of talk comparing this film to the Tyler Perry cannon, but know this: If the estimates hold up, Tim Story’s decidely secular romantic comedy will have opened higher than every Perry feature save the $41 million debut of Madea Goes To Jail. In fact, aside from that Perry release, I can’t think of another African-American comedy or drama that opened as high as this one perhaps ever. How well the film holds up over the long haul is an open question, and arguably *that’s* where the attempt at cross-racial outreach come into play. If Screen Gems can convince white audiences that this isn’t so much a ‘black film’ as much as it’s a Valentine’s Day-type ensemble piece that happens to star actors of color, it may have strong legs as its sampled by general […]

Bethenny Frankel has allegedly auditioned for a Michael Bay movie It looks like Bethenny Frankel might be trying to expand her career even more as it is rumored that she recently auditioned for a Michael Bay movie.
Frankel has allegedly auditioned for his film, ‘Pain and Gain,’ which will reportedly be starring Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Ed Harris and Anthony Mackie, states Frankel was allegedly in Miami when she was reportedly randomly scouted to read for the part.
The casting directors reportedly realized it was Frankel when she came in to read for them. She allegedly did a good job, but no decision has yet been made.
Do you think she’ll get the role?
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Indie Spirit noms are coming Nov. 29 – AWARDS ALLEY

By Sean O’Connell Anthony Mackie and Kate Beckinsale will announce the nominees for the 2012 Film Independent Spirit Awards on Tuesday, Nov. 29 at 8 a.m. at The London West Hollywood Hotel, it was revealed today by Film Independent, the non-profit arts organization that produces the Spirit Awards and the Los Angeles Film Festival.
As previously announced, the 27th annual Film Independent Spirit Awards will be held at the beach in Santa Monica on Saturday, Feb. 25.
The premiere broadcast of the ceremony will air later that evening at 10 p.m. ET/PT on IFC.
Bios on each actor, from a release:
Anthony Mackie was classically trained at the Julliard School of Drama and was discovered playing Tupac Shakur in the off-Broadway play “Up Against the Wind.” He made his film debut in Curtis Hanson’s 8 Mile and proceeded to garner roles in Spike Lee’s Sucker Free City and She Hate Me, Clint Eastwood’s Million Dollar Baby, and Jonathan Demme’s The Manchurian Candidate. Mackie earned Film Independent Spirit Award and Gotham Award nominations for his performance in Rodney Evans’ Brother to Brother. In 2006, Mackie starred in Half Nelson, Freedomland, Heaven’s Fall, Crossover and We Are Marshall. Intertwined throughout his film career, Mackie continues to perform in several plays, which include “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” alongside Whoopi Goldberg, Regina King’s modern re-telling of Chekhov’s “the Seagull,” the Pulitzer Prize-winning “Soldier’s Play,” and Martin McDonough’s “A Behanding in Spokane.” In 2009, he starred in Kathryn Bigelow’s Academy Award-winning The Hurt Locker, which earned him a Film Independent Spirit nomination for Best Supporting Male. 2009 also saw Mackie revisit the role of Tupac Shakur in Fox Searchlight’s Notorious and he was in Dreamworks’ Eagle Eye. Mackie recently starred in Night Catches Us alongside Kerry Washington, The Adjustment Bureau with Matt Damon and Emily Blunt, and Real Steel opposite Hugh Jackman. He will next be seen in Man on a Ledge, Ten Year, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and Gangster Squad.
English actress Kate Beckinsale is revealing herself to be one of films’ most versatile and charismatic actresses. She first gained notice in Kenneth Branagh’s Much Ado About Nothing, then subsequently appeared in Cold Comfort Farm, The Last Days of Disco, Brokedown Palace and Shooting Fish. She then moved on to star in Disney’s epic Pearl Harbor, followed by Serendipity, Laurel Canyon, Van Helsing and the hit vampire tales Underworld and Underworld: Evolution. Beckinsale also […]

First image of Sam Worthington on the “Ledge”

By Sean O’Connell How will “Man on a Ledge” work?
I get the premise. There’s a man, played by Sam Worthington (“Avatar,” “Clash of the Titans”). And he’s on a ledge. Oh, sure, there’s more to the story. Worthington plays an ex-cop who is now a fugitive. Elizabeth Banks is on board as a negotiator trying to talk the man off the ledge. And there might be a secret reason he’s standing out there in the first place.
But really, this looks like 100 minutes of a man. On a ledge. Sounds like “Phone Booth” with Colin Farrell. Only on a ledge.
And yet, the picture – directed Asger Leth – has lured some serious talent. Ed Harris is the latest actor to join an ensemble that already includes Jamie Bell, Anthony Mackie, and Ed Burns. There must be something in that script that has attracted them.
For now, we’re getting the first image from the set. SUmmit sent it over, and it shows … well, Worthington on a ledge.
A picture says 1,000 words. The film will speak for itself in 2012.
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Elizabeth Banks to step out on “Ledge” with Worthington

By Sean O’Connell How much room do they have on that ledge?
We’ll find out soon enough once Asger Leth releases his thriller “Man on a Ledge” in 2012. The drama – about an ex-cop threatening to jump from a Manhattan hotel rooftop – already has lured Sam Worthington, Amy Adams, Jamie Bell and Anthony Mackie of “The Hurt Locker.” Now we’re learning that beautiful Elizabeth Banks will join the growing ensemble, according to Variety.
The script has a role for a female psychologist, who must talk down the disturned cop. But up to this point, I assumed that would be Adams. Maybe it’s Banks? Maybe one of them will play the cop’s love interest?
Banks certainly has plenty on her plate. Her “30 Rock” character figures to play a major role now that she’s carrying Alec Baldwin’s baby. And according to IMDB, Banks also has roles in “My Idiot Brother” with Paul Rudd as well as Paul Haggis’ “The Next Three Days” with Russell Crowe. But those films are in post-production, so Banks has time to climb out on that “Ledge” with Worthington.
More news as it comes!
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