September 28, 2016

Tag Archives: Anthony Mackie

Marvel’s “Captain America: Civil War” prepares for an epic big screen fight

Sort of quietly and without nearly the fanfare of some other properties, Marvel has seen their Captain America series of films become some of the most popular in their cinematic universe. With the release this week of Captain America: Civil War, the Marvel Cinematic Universe (or MCU) might very well have their biggest hit yet. High praise, I know, especially considering how well The Avengers did, but this seems to have a groundswell of support. From the newcomers joining the fray to seeing basically every hero go toe to toe, it’s an event film in the very sense of the word. For all the ways that Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice seemed not to satisfy audiences/critics, this one could be picking up the slack. It looks like a slam dunk blockbuster is coming our way.
A quick refresher for you all who might not be completely in the know about this one. The film, which is the third in the Captain America franchise (now a trilogy after Captain America: The First Avenger and Captain America: The Winter Soldier) and the next in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, picks up following the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron. In some ways, this is essentially a pseudo sequel to that and basically an Avengers movie in everything but name. When government regulation of superheroes is proposed in the aftermath of a tragedy and the previous destruction caused by various heroes, as well as dealings with Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan), our protectors take up opposing sides of the law. On one end, opposing regulation, is Captain America (Chris Evans), while supporting the act is Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.). All of the Avengers and other heroes take up one side or the other, with newcomers including Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) and Peter Parker/Spider-Man (Tom Holland), who have their own agendas. The movie is directed by Anthony Russo and Joe Russo (who previously did Captain America: The Winter Soldier and will be doing the next Avengers sequel), the screenplay is by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely (who are Winter Soldier vets too), while the cast, aside from the aforementioned big players, includes Scarlett Johansson, Anthony Mackie, Emily VanCamp, Don Cheadle, Jeremy Renner, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Rudd, Frank Grillo, William Hurt, and Daniel Brühl, among plenty of others. The Russo Brothers are obviously helming their second Captain America flick and have […]

“Captain America: Civil War” dropped a top notch new Trailer

Yesterday morning, Marvel delivered a powerful new Trailer for their upcoming blockbuster sequel Captain America: Civil War. Almost a pseudo Avengers film, this impending epic sees the beloved Civil War comic storyline adapted for the screen, another milestone/seminal moment for superhero cinema and its fans. The debut of the new Spider-Man in this Trailer would be big enough on its own for a post today, but the whole thing is strong enough to warrant a slightly larger read on it all. So, that’s just what we’ll be doing right now. It’s time to start getting excited for Captain America: Civil War in a real big way. It could wind up being something special.
The film, the third in the Captain America franchise (after Captain America: The First Avenger and Captain America: The Winter Soldier) and the next in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, picks up following the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron. When government regulation of superheroes is proposed in the aftermath of a tragedy, as well as dealings with Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan), our protectors take up opposing sides. On one end, opposing regulation, is Captain America (Chris Evans), while supporting the act is Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.). All of the Avengers and other heroes take up one side or the other, with newcomers including Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) and Peter Parker/Spider-Man (Tom Holland). The movie is directed by Anthony Russo and Joe Russo, the screenplay is by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, while the cast, aside from the aforementioned players, includes Scarlett Johansson, Anthony Mackie, Emily VanCamp, Don Cheadle, Jeremy Renner, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Rudd, Frank Grillo, William Hurt and Daniel Brühl, among others. The Russo Brothers are helming their second Captain America flick and have the next Avengers movie on their plate (a two parter, no less), so this is a big title for them, to say the least.
What has me so interested in this movie is how it’s potentially so many things at once. Not only is it our third Captain America installment, it’s as close to an extra Avengers film as we can possibly get, while hopefully restoring some goodwill after Avengers: Age of Ultron underwhelmed some folks. In addition, we’re seeing the introduction of two new major characters in Black Panther and Spider-Man, while really building full steam ahead towards the two part Avengers: Infinity War epic that will […]

Casey Affleck moves closer to leading man status with “Triple 9”

As much as this week is pretty much dedicated to the run up to the Academy Awards, we can’t completely forget about new releases, now can we? The most notable of which for this week is obviously Triple 9, which boasts an incredible cast from top to bottom, on par with any Oscar bait movie. Personally, I didn’t care for the film too much, but what it does sport is a leading man role for Casey Affleck, who is deserving of many more of these. He’s been knocking on the front door of the A-list for some time now, so hopefully it’s about to happen for him.
The film is a crime drama about desperate men. A group of ex military and/or current Atlanta cops are pulling off bank heists for the wife of a jailed Russian mob boss (Kate Winslet). When she informs their leader (Chiwetel Ejiofor) that a hit on a Homeland Security installment for something that could get her husband free is next, the group initially finds the request impossible. Then, one of the cops on the crew (Anthony Mackie) essentially offers up his straight laced new partner (Affleck) as bait. They’ll pull a “999”, which is code for officer shot, and kill him, sending every officer to that scene and leaving them to pull off the job. Of course, nothing goes according to plan. John Hillcoat directs a script from Matt Cook, while the cast, in addition to the aforementioned Affleck, Ejiofor, Mackie, and Winslet, includes Clifton Collins Jr., Gal Gadot, Woody Harrelson, Teresa Palmer, Aaron Paul, Norman Reedus, Michael Kenneth Williams, and many more. A lot of them are wasted, frankly, but as mentioned above, it’s good to see Affleck get a leading man role.
I have a lot of problems with the movie, but the cast does give it the old college try. Winslet has fun with her part, though only Affleck really emerges completely unscathed. He plays it straight and doesn’t seem nearly as silly as the rest of the cast does when things fall apart. There’s a great procedural sequence during a search of a house that highlights the talent we know Hillcoat has as a filmmaker, but most of the time everyone falls short of the mark. Affleck comes off looking the best, but this definitely won’t be a project that will get him any kind of awards love, that’s for sure.
Speaking of […]

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

HollywoodNews.com: 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

HollywoodNews.com: 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 UsMagazine.com. 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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