July 11, 2015

Tag Archives: Billy Crystal

Ranking every Pixar film so far

I’m hardly the only one to think of this, but with Pixar putting their new film Inside Out into theatrical release today, what better time is there to rank all of their works to date? I’ve obviously seen all 15 films, from Toy Story and A Bug’s Life all the way to this week’s Inside Out. Again, with a list/ranking, my take is not the definitive one, so just keep that in mind. Especially with Pixar, everyone has a different favorite. I do hope you enjoy my version though, and remember not to miss Inside Out, which is a real special flick of theirs…
Here now is how I’d rank every Pixar movie so far:
15. Cars – Not a bad film, per say, but a strangely un Pixar-like outing. By and large, this follows the same beats as Doc Hollywood, which I much prefer. Here, it’s the voice of Owen Wilson subbed in for Michael J. Fox, which is a downgrade. Oddly enough, the highlight is Larry the Cable Guy. It’s nothing to boo and hiss at, but it’s perhaps their most disposable movie.
14. Brave – Rarely does Pixar play it safe, but it felt like they did here. Their take on a Princess movie doesn’t have the brain of their best work, even if it’s among their most visually stunning. Aside from the look of it, you really have a hard time remembering any of the plot details. It’s not as smart as they usually make their movies, so again…it’s not something you avoid, but it’s clearly part of their lower end of the Pixar spectrum.
13. Cars 2 – Notable to me mainly for just how odd it is, the sequel was an improvement on the first one, but not an undisputed success either. A spy movie this time out, it’s closer to a Bond flick than anything else, which sounds insane, I know. As such, it only sometimes works, but the bold direction does help distinguish it a bit among the bottom tier of their movies.
12. A Bug’s Life – This early Pixar entry has a lot of the ingredients that would go into their classics, but at this point, the meal was still a bit raw. I don’t really have many complaints about this one, though part of my lack of cheerleading for it has to do with my preference for the edgier Antz, which came out around […]

Ten candidates to host the 88th Academy Awards

As always seems to be the case immediately after the Oscars, a lot of chatter has turned to who should be the next host of the show following Neil Patrick Harris’ turn on Sunday. Honestly, the Academy Awards doesn’t actually need a host, but since they’re committed to the idea, it makes sense to really shoot for the moon next time out. I’ve never disliked any of the hosts (yes, I even found James Franco and Anne Hathaway to be fine), but I’ve also never really been over the moon for any of them. As such, I didn’t have to think too much in order to find a bunch of worthy names that I wish the Academy would consider. Below you’ll see ten of them, but trust me…there are plenty more than just these men and women.
Here are the ten individuals that I think could knock the 88th Oscars out of the park:
10. Billy Crystal – When in doubt, why not go back to what you know works? There are other options I could have listed here, like Ellen DeGeneres, Chris Rock, or even Harris again (I’d easily be the most willing to give Seth MacFarlane another crack at it, even if it seems he’s one and done), but I have a feeling that we haven’t seen Crystal’s last turn at this gig. He wouldn’t be an exciting or sexy pick, but he’d do the job with a consistency that the Academy craves.

9. Sarah Silverman – Given the chance, I think Silverman could really do a great job with this big stage. Sure, she’s dirtier than most previous hosts, but she has a unique personality that could be well suited to a slight roast of Hollywood. I doubt she’d get the call, but I think it’s one that Oscar should make.

8. Kevin Smith – Hear me out. Quietly, the filmmaker has become an incredible interviewer on his many podcasts, someone who speaks with a genuine affection and love for cinema. For Hollywood’s biggest night/their prom, shouldn’t the MC be a big fan of the movies too? They’ll never even consider him, but they should.

7. Jimmy Kimmel – I think if it weren’t for the fact that Kimmel already hosts a post show special, he’d already have been given the gig. He’s a low risk choice that could wind up paying bigger dividends than expected. Of all the people on this […]

Check out the new poster for “MONSTERS UNIVERSITY”

Ever since college-bound Mike Wazowski (voice of Billy Crystal) was a little monster, he has dreamed of becoming a Scarer—and he knows better than anyone that the best Scarers come from Monsters University (MU). But during his first semester at MU, Mike’s plans are derailed when he crosses paths with hotshot James P. Sullivan, “Sulley” (voice of John Goodman), a natural-born Scarer. The pair’s out-of-control competitive spirit gets them both kicked out of the University’s elite Scare Program. To make matters worse, they realize they will have to work together, along with an odd bunch of misfit monsters, if they ever hope to make things right.
Screaming with laughter and oozing with heart, Disney•Pixar’s “Monsters University” is directed by Dan Scanlon (“Cars,” “Mater and the Ghostlight,” “Tracy”), produced by Kori Rae (“Up,” “The Incredibles,” “Monsters, Inc.”) and features music from future Rock-and-Roll-Hall-of-Fame–inductee and award winning composer Randy Newman (“Monsters, Inc.,” “Toy Story 3”). The film opens in U.S. theaters on June 21, 2013, and will be shown in Disney Digital 3D™ in select theaters.
Mike Wazowski’s (voice of Billy Crystal) lifelong dreams of becoming a Scarer are derailed during his first semester at Monsters University when he crosses paths with hotshot James P. Sullivan, “Sulley” (voice of John Goodman), and their out-of-control competitive spirit gets them both kicked out of the University’s elite Scare Program.
“Like” MONSTERS UNIVERSITY on Facebook: http://facebook.com/PixarMonstersUniversity
“Follow” Disney/Pixar on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/DisneyPixar
Visit the website: http://www.Disney.com/MonstersU

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Los Angeles Times to be Presenting Sponsor for 2012 Hollywood Film Festival and Hollywood Film Awards

HollywoodNews.com: Entering their sixteenth year, the Hollywood Film Festival and Hollywood Film Awards announced today that the Los Angeles Times will be the Presenting Sponsor of this year’s festival and star-studded gala.
“We are very honored and excited to have the Los Angeles Times as our Presenting Sponsor,” said founder and CEO Carlos de Abreu. “The Times is a Hollywood institution, and their support and leadership will help take the festival and awards to the next level.”
The festival, which starts October 18, encompasses five days of screenings at ArcLight Cinemas Hollywood and culminates with the prestigious Hollywood Film Awards Gala on October 22. The event honors cherished stars and up-and-coming talent, and traditionally kicks off the film awards season with the biggest stars and top industry executives in attendance. Times publisher and Tribune Company CEO Eddy Hartenstein will present one of the evening’s special awards, with details to be announced next month.
“The Los Angeles Times is Hollywood’s hometown news source and we have been at the forefront of entertainment coverage since trailblazing filmmakers and producers invented the industry,” said Times Vice President, Film Advertising, Francie Berns. “We’re excited to present the first marquee event of the all-important film awards season and support the creative community.”
“We are very proud to be the first stop of the awards season. In the last nine years, a total of 85 Oscar nominations and 32 Oscars were given to the honorees of the Hollywood Film Awards,” said de Abreu.
The 2011 awards show reached a total TV audience of more than 41 million media impressions, in addition to more than 300 million online and print readers’ impressions.
“In addition, we are very happy to continue to bridge the gap between established Hollywood and emerging filmmakers. Craig Brewer, director of “Footloose,” “Hustle and Flow,” and “Black Snake Moan,” was discovered by the Hollywood Film Festival with the world premiere of his first film, “Poor and Hungry,” added de Abreu.
Aside from celebrating accomplishments on screen, the Hollywood Film Awards established the “Hollywood Gives Back” program to expand and continue highlighting and assisting important local and national charities to raise funds. Over the years, the Hollywood Film Awards has contributed to such charities as the following: The Art of Elysium, Artists For Human Rights, Artists for Peace and Justice, MatchingDonors.com, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, the Enough Project, and Variety The Children’s Charity of So. CA, among others.
Further, the Hollywood Film Awards […]

Kelly Ripa to host the “10th Annual TV Land Awards”

The “TV Land Awards 2012,” honoring classic television, film and music icons, will return to New York City and be hosted by Kelly Ripa (nationally syndicated talk show “LIVE! With Kelly”), it was announced today by Larry W. Jones, president, TV Land. Ripa previously hosted the show in 2007. Celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, the awards show will honor powerhouse songstress Aretha Franklin with the Music Icon Award and will be held at the Lexington Avenue Armory at Gramercy Park on Saturday, April 14th. The “TV Land Awards 2012″ will air on Sunday, April 29th at 9:00pm ET/PT. More honorees will be announced in coming weeks.
“We are ecstatic to welcome back Kelly as she reprises her role as host of the ‘TV Land Awards’ this year for our 10th annual celebration,” said Jones. “Her energy, enthusiasm and love of television make her the perfect person to lead the evening on the occasion of our 10th Anniversary.”
The successful “TV Land Awards” has scored a decade of success including the record-breaking numbers from the “TV Land Awards 2011,” which attracted over 2 million viewers for its premiere telecast. The star-studded special, which was held last year in New York City for the very first time, was the highest rated “TV Land Awards” show since 2004 across all key demos and posted double-digit gains in rating and delivery over preceding shows.
The “TV Land Awards” pays tribute to classic and contemporary luminaries of television, music and movies. The 90-minute telecast will feature exhilarating musical performances and will reunite some of the most iconic celebrity TV casts.
Previous honorees include Regis Philbin, Michael J. Fox, John Travolta, Bill Cosby, Mike Myers, Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner, Garry Marshall, the cast of “Glee,” “Desperate Housewives” and the hilarious sitcoms “Cheers,” “The Cosby Show,” “Family Ties,” “The Facts of Life,” “Everybody Loves Raymond,” “Bosom Buddies,” “Welcome Back, Kotter,” “The Dick Van Dyke Show” and “M*A*S*H*.” Past presenters include Academy Award©-winner Halle Berry, Barbara Walters, Justin Timberlake, Ray Romano, Steve Carell, Billy Crystal, Sharon Stone, Robin Williams and Academy Award©-nominee Robert Downey, Jr., to name a few. Past musical performers include Liza Minnelli, Stevie Wonder, Blondie, Diana Ross, Willie Nelson and Lionel Richie.
Michael Levitt (“Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D List,” “Billboard Music Awards,” “Scream Awards”) is executive producer; Five-time Emmy Award©-winning Glenn Weiss is director (“Primetime Emmy Awards,” “BET Awards,” “The Tony Awards”); Greg Sills […]

Oscars: Billy Crystal Was Far From His Best

By Michael Russnow
HollywoodNews.com: The Academy Awards was a lot better than last year’s offering and generally moved along pretty well. However, Billy Crystal’s performance was mixed. Sometimes he was spot on and in other instances resorted to forced humor that missed its mark.
After Morgan Freeman’s opening we saw Billy in an uninspiring repeat of what he’d done so well many times before, inserting himself into reproductions of well-known clips from the top films. Maybe it’s because he’s done it so many times. It’s true that he hasn’t been host since 2004, and we often enjoy an entertainer repeating his or her best work, but like an aging singer whose voice doesn’t hold up when the muscles sag, what was downright hysterical in past years, like when he came out as Hannibal Lecter in 1992, this go-around didn’t work too well for me in 2012.
The one exception was from The Descendants, when George Clooney recreated his visit to his comatose wife, played by Crystal lying in bed. Clooney’s kiss was so heartfelt it provided a big laugh. The Justin Bieber bit from Midnight in Paris wasn’t bad. Not so much the scene with Tom Cruise from Mission Impossible, nor was Crystal’s business spoofing The Help or Tintin particularly funny.
Oddly when he segued into his Oscar medley it worked better, with the lyrics sharp and engaging. After that, it was hit and miss. Sometimes very clever and other times flat. And when the latter happened he often responded defensively, at one point indicating the band in the pit liked the joke. He also was a bit insensitive regarding the age of some of the nominees as he mentioned octogenarians Christopher Plummer and Max von Sydow, followed by senility jokes at their expense. Considering that Crystal himself is pushing 64 and that ageism besetting Hollywood is rampant with many talented professionals unemployed, it’s just not funny anymore.
As the three hour ten minute show progressed, they whizzed through awards at a relatively rapid pace. Instead of starting with a celebrity award, such as supporting actor and actress, they began with Tom Hanks presenting Oscars for cinematography and art direction, both of which went on the scorecard for Hugo.
There was a montage of film clips that moved along all right, but, unless I missed one, it appeared that it was as if movie history began with 1969’s Midnight Cowboy, because none of the featured films […]

The Help Should Win the Oscar for Best Picture

HollywoodNews.com: It is almost that time again; time to see what people are wearing as well as who says what in their acceptance speeches. Also, this year it’s the return of Billy Crystal as host. Yes, it’s Oscar time and while the world won’t know until this Sunday who actually wins these awards, here are who Americans think should win some of the top honors.
This year, one in five Americans (21%) believes that The Help should win the Academy Award for best picture while one in ten (9%) say the Oscar should go to War Horse. Next on the list is Moneyball (7%) followed by The Artist (6%), Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (5%) and The Descendants (5%). Small percentages believe the Oscar should go to Hugo (3%), Midnight in Paris (3%) and The Tree of Life (2%). One-third of Americans (34%) are not sure who the best picture Oscar should go to this year and 6% say it should go to none of the nominated films.
These are some of the results of The Harris Poll of 2,239 adults surveyed online between February 13 and 15, 2012 by Harris Interactive.
There is a bit of a gender difference for best picture. For women, it is clear as three in ten (29%) say The Help should win best picture. Men are a little more divided as 13% say The Help but 12% say Moneyball.
Best Actor and Actress
When it comes to the best actor statue, almost one quarter of Americans (23%) say George Clooney should win for The Descendants followed by 16% who say Brad Pitt should win for his role in Moneyball. One in ten (10%) believe the Oscar should go to Gary Oldman for Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, followed by 7% who say Jean Dujardin should win for his role in The Artist and 1% who believe the award should go to Dimian Bichr for A Better Life. Just over one-third of Americans (35%), however, say they are not sure who should win the best actor Oscar and 7% believe none of the nominated actors should win.
For best actress, there are two actresses at the top as 23% of Americans believe Viola Davis should win for her role in The Help while 22% think the award should go to Meryl Streep for her portrayal of The Iron Lady. One in ten believe Rooney Mara should win […]

The official trailer of the 84th Academy Awards®

HollywoodNews.com: The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has produced its trailer for the 84th Academy Awards in conjunction with Funny Or Die. The trailer features host Billy Crystal and celebrity cameo appearances by Robin Williams, Josh Duhamel, Megan Fox, William Fichtner and Vinnie Jones.
“We wanted to try something a little bit different this year instead of a traditional, clip-based piece,” said Academy Chief Marketing Officer Christina Kounelias. “The trailer has a fun twist that conveys how excited everyone is to have Billy back.”

Crystal has one of the most distinguished track records of any host in Oscar® history. His upcoming appearance will mark his ninth turn hosting the Academy Awards. The enthusiastic response to the announcement of his return was the inspiration for the trailer.
“Our team had a great time working with the Academy and joining forces with Billy again,” said Mike Farah, Funny Or Die’s president of production. “We think the trailer really speaks to the excitement around this year’s Oscars®, and Funny Or Die was honored to be a part of it.”
The trailer will have a one-month run in more than 2,000 theaters beginning January 6 and can be viewed online at Oscars.org/trailer.
Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2011 will be presented on Sunday, February 26, at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center®, and televised live by the ABC Television Network. The Oscar presentation also will be televised live in more than 225 countries worldwide.

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Oscars: Billy Crystal Tweets he’s hosting again – AWARDS ALLEY

By Sean O’Connell
hollywoodnews.com:Billy Crystal will host the 84th annual Academy Awards.
The former Oscar host – a perennial favorite – steps into a murky mess of a PR situation following the “resignation” of producer Brett Ratner and subsequent exit of Ratner’s chosen host, Eddie Murphy. While some fervent Twitter players lobbied hard for The Muppets to host next year’s event, level heads believed a seasoned vet like Crystal would be the right choice to right the Academy’s ship.
They get their wish.
“Am doing the Oscars so the young woman in the pharmacy will stop asking my name when I pick up my prescriptions. Looking forward to the show,” Crystal just Tweeted. We’re waiting on confirmation from the Academy, but it looks like a go.
So, after a few days of instability, the Oscars have a producer (Brian Grazer) and a host (Billy Crystal). The choices are as safe as the Ratner-Murphy experiment was dangerous and appealing.
Now tell us, does Crystal’s return to the Oscars make you more or less willing to tune on to next year’s ceremony? Or are you only interested in the nominated films, and don’t give a hoot about the host?
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Eddie Murphy will host the Oscars and Anderson Cooper will host the Winehouses

HollywoodNews.com: Eddie Murphy is the official host of the 2012 Oscars. The Academy named him today much to the delight of producer Brett Ratner. Ratner and Murphy will have had a big movie opening in November, “Tower Heist.” Surely a hit, the film will be wave they can ride right into the February proceedings.
Why announce this so early? It helps promote “Tower Heist.” And it eclipses what the Golden Globes will do with Ricky Gervais. I’m excited because with tributes to Oprah Winfrey and James Earl Jones, the Oscars will finally feel like a ceremony for everyone. It’s about time. Here’s hoping, though, that Billy Crystal will be involved, too, more than last time. The Oscars are already shaping up like a great night and we don’t even know which movies will be nominated. (Well, we have an idea.)…
…Anderson Cooper kicks off his syndicated talk show next week. His first guests will be Amy Winehouse’s family. That should be something. Will the Winehouses become the new generation Jacksons? The cash-in is right around the corner…
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