April 23, 2016

Tag Archives: channing tatum

The Coen Brothers are back with “Hail, Caesar!”

Just about every other year, more or less like clockwork, Joel Coen and Ethan Coen unleash another film on audiences across the world. Fans of their work will probably be delighted by Hail, Caesar!, which opens this weekend and really resembles some of the most overtly comedic work from the Coens. It’s got an A list cast and an Old Hollywood setting, which will make some folks assume this is a prestige picture. In reality though, this is more of a romp and an example of the filmmaking brothers just having a grand old time. It didn’t thrill me like it will thrill others, but I suspect this won’t be another big Oscar player of theirs, regardless.
The film is a look at the day in the life of a Hollywood fixer. Eddie Mannix (Josh Brolin) works at a big studio in the early 1950’s, making sure that all of the stars stay out of trouble, and more importantly…stay out of the papers. When top star Baird Whitlock (George Clooney) goes missing, Eddie is given his toughest assignment yet. For the most part, this movie is largely plotless, checking in on the Baird situation from time to time, but by and large just following around Eddie as he interacts with stars like Hobie Doyle (Alden Ehrenreich), starlets like DeeAnna Moran (Scarlett Johansson), and filmmakers like Laurence Laurentz (Ralph Fiennes). Obviously, Joel and Ethan Coen direct, with the rest of the cast including Jonah Hill, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton, Channing Tatum, and many more. Behind the camera, the legend that is Roger Deakins does the cinematography.
What works for me here with Hail, Caesar! is the feel for what the movie industry used to be like. In many ways, this has the tone and feel of a number of other funny flicks from the Coen Brothers, so if you’re down with something like The Big Lebowski, I suspect this will work for you as well. Those aren’t my favorites, so I can be hit or miss with the brothers Coen, but that shouldn’t prevent you from enjoying. Certain members of the cast, like Johansson and Tatum, steal the show too, so there’s that as well. It’s a mixed bag, but not without its charms.
Awards wise, I think this will have a hard road ahead, though one or two categories might be promising. Still, with a decent box office haul, I have no doubt […]

Oscar Isaac and Scarlett Johansson: Who’s most overdue for an Oscar nomination now?

Continuing to feed off of last week’s Academy Award nomination announcement (as well as yesterday’s piece on the snubs found within those nominations, in one or two cases), today I want to look at who happens to be most due a nod at this point. An Oscar nom is certainly no easy achievement, but you can usually look around at the actors and actresses who have never been nominated and find at least one missed opportunity on the part of the Academy. As such, today I’m again putting out a list of who deserves a nomination the most, updated since certain contenders like Jennifer Jason Leigh finally have their citation…

Here now are ten actors or actresses overdue for an Oscar nomination:
10. Zoe Kazan – Anyone who doesn’t consider Kazan to be overdue for a citation just isn’t paying attention. Look at The Exploding Girl or Ruby Sparks and you’ll see performances that were among the very best of their years. Kazan is as talented a writer as she is an actress though, so it seems only like a matter of time before Oscar finally takes notice of her.
9. Michael B. Jordan – Twice now Jordan has come close to getting voted in by the Academy. Fruitvale Station introduced him to them and this past year’s Creed almost won them over. Jordan is on a speeding train towards Oscar glory though, so I don’t think he has much to worry about. It’s just a shame it wasn’t this year, as I wrote about yesterday.
8. Kristen Stewart – Some might laugh at this notion, but Stewart has done some excellent work outside of the Twilight franchise. Simply pop in Adventureland, Clouds of Sils Maria, or On the Road and you’ll see what I mean. Stewart is a talented young actress, so while it should have happened for her already, it will at some point in the future…
7. Paul Dano – Another contender who was absolutely snubbed this year (again, he features in my article yesterday), Dano has come “this” close to nominations both for Love & Mercy as well as for There Will Be Blood. Factor in his work in Little Miss Sunshine and Ruby Sparks, and well…there’s just no excuse. He’s going to no doubt win an award one day, so the nomination is just the first step. His wait likely won’t be much longer.
6. Emily Blunt – Blunt is a […]

Quentin Tarantino’s “The Hateful Eight” is his latest Oscar hopeful

As promised, I’m back writing again about filmmaker Quentin Tarantino’s eighth cinematic outing this week. Whenever a new movie of his opens, it’s really an event, so this is no exception. Of late, Tarantino has been getting the attention of the Academy, so this is definitely a high profile release. Buzz had been steadily building for months now, with folks especially excited for the 70mm roadshow version being unveiled in select theaters. I’ve seen and dug the flick a great deal, so it’s a pleasure to be able to speak more about how good this film is. I praised Bruce Dern’s work in it a few days ago, but now I’m gushing over the whole thing, as well as speculating about its Oscar prospects.

Once again, this is Tarantino’s eight film, centering on a group of less than savory characters convening on a single location, namely Minnie’s Haberdashery. There’s John Ruth (Kurt Russell), Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh), Major Marquis Warren (Samuel L. Jackson), Chris Mannix (Walton Goggins), General Sandy Smithers (Bruce Dern), Joe Gage (Michael Madsen), Oswaldo Mobray (Tim Roth), and Bob (Demian Bichir), all trapped by a blizzard. Distrust turns to suspicion when murder occurs, with the plot becoming somewhat of a whodunit, before exploding into even more violence. QT writes and directs, with the cast, in addition to the aforementioned Bichir, Dern, Goggins, Jackson, Leigh, Madsen, Roth, and Russell, includes Zoë Bell, Dana Gourrier, Lee Horsley, Keith Jefferson, Gene Jones, Belinda Owino, James Parks, Craig Stark, and Channing Tatum. Robert Richardson handles the cinematography while Ennio Morricone composed the score.
What really works here for me is the sense of play that Tarantino is showing off. Is it absurdly violent? Sure, but in a cartoonish way that never goes over the edge. The filmmaker is showing that he’s a master of tension, using three hours and a confined space to make something really special. It’s brutal, funny, energetic, and unforgettable. The cast all find interesting notes to play, while the writing and directing is up there with the best that Tarantino has ever done. While I think this isn’t quite on the level of his masterpiece Pulp Fiction or Inglourious Basterds, it’s still really great, trust me. Especially in 70mm, it’s beautiful to look at too, with the aforementioned score likely the best I’ll hear this year.
Awards wise, this one definitely has a shot at nominations across the board, […]

Hollywood Film Awards: Quentin Tarantino’s “The Hateful Eight” to receive the Hollywood Ensemble Award

The 19th annual Hollywood Film Awards will be launching the awards campaigns of contenders both big and small, but few are bigger than Quentin Tarantino’s new movie The Hateful Eight. The film and its cast will be honored with the Hollywood Ensemble Award, which bodes well for its chances with Oscar. The ensemble consists of a group that includes Zoë Bell, Demian Bichir, Bruce Dern, Walton Goggins, Dana Gourrier, Lee Horsley, Samuel L. Jackson, Keith Jefferson, Gene Jones, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Michael Madsen, Belinda Owino, James Parks, Tim Roth, Kurt Russell, Craig Stark, and Channing Tatum, with some to compete for Academy Awards this year as well. It’s a heck of a cast, one that Tarantino seems to have had a blast playing with. The Hollywood Film Awards have recognized the ensemble with this honor, one that seems very appropriate to me…
Here’s part of the press release once again announcing this honor:
Quentin Tarantino’s film The Hateful Eight will be honored with the “Hollywood Ensemble Award” at the “19th Annual Hollywood Film Awards.” The Hateful Eight stars Zoë Bell, Demian Bichir, Bruce Dern, Walton Goggins, Dana Gourrier, Lee Horsley, Samuel L. Jackson, Keith Jefferson, Gene Jones, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Michael Madsen, Belinda Owino, James Parks, Tim Roth, Kurt Russell, Craig Stark and Channing Tatum among others. Written and directed by Quentin Tarantino, The Hateful Eight is produced by Richard N. Gladstein, Stacey Sher and Shannon McIntosh. Harvey Weinstein, Bob Weinstein and Georgia Kacandes are executive producers, and Coco Francini and William Paul Clark are associate producers.
The ceremony will be hosted by critically and globally acclaimed actor, comedian and late night talk show host, James Corden and will take place at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, on November 1, 2015. The Hollywood Film Awards, the official launch of the awards season®, has recognized excellence in the art of cinema and filmmaking for 18 years, honoring some of the world’s biggest stars. More than one hundred honorees have gone on to garner Oscar nominations and wins.
“Once again Tarantino has assembled an incredible cast of characters,” said Allen Shapiro, CEO of dick clark productions.
About The Hateful Eight
Six or eight or twelve years after the Civil War, a stagecoach hurtles through the wintry Wyoming landscape. The passengers, bounty hunter John Ruth (Kurt Russell) and his fugitive Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh), race towards the town of Red Rock where Ruth, known in these […]

Hollywood Film Awards: The Race Is On! The Hollywood Awards Launch the Push toward Oscar – Associated Press

Once again, Hollywood Stars will be going to the first awards event of the season — The Hollywood Film Awards®.
The ceremony will be hosted by critically and globally acclaimed actor, comedian and late night talk show host, James Corden and will take place at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, on November 1, 2015. The Hollywood Film Awards, the official launch of the awards season®, has recognized excellence in the art of cinema and filmmaking for 18 years, honoring some of the world’s biggest stars. More than one hundred honorees have gone on to garner Oscar nominations and wins.
Our confirmed presenters include: Steve Carell, Russell Crowe, Ice Cube, Johnny Depp, Laura Dern, Vin Diesel, Jamie Foxx, Selena Gomez, Ryan Gosling, Jake Gyllenhaal, Dakota Johnson, Armie Hammer, Amber Heard, Mark Ruffalo, David O. Russell, Kurt Russell, Amy Poehler, Quentin Tarantino, and Reese Witherspoon.
Our confirmed honorees include:Robert De Niro, Ridley Scott, Will Smith, Carey Mulligan, Jane Fonda, Benicio Del Toro, Amy Schumer, Alicia Vikander, Joel Edgerton, Saoirse Ronan, Kurt Russell, Samuel L Jackson, Jessica Jason Leigh, Channing Tatum, Bruce Dern, Wiz Khalifa, Charlie Puth, O’Shea Jackson, Corey Hawkins, Jason Mitchel, Ludacris, Jordana Brewester and Michele Rodriguez, Tom Hooper, Adam McKay, Asif Capadia and Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer. The craft categories include, Tim Alexander, Janusz Kaminski, David Rosenbloom, Alexander Desplat, Colin Gibson, Sandy Powell, Gary Rydstrom, and Lesley Vanderwalt.
This year, two-time Oscar-winning actor Robert De Niro will be honored with the “Hollywood Career Achievement Award.”
“Movie awards season kicks off with Hollywood Film Awards” – Reuters
““The first mandatory stop … in the awards season” – New York Times
“The Hollywood Film Awards has become a pre-Oscar showcase” – Los Angeles Times
“The Race Is On! The Hollywood Awards Launch the Push toward Oscar” – Associated Press
With participating Hollywood insiders, our Advisory Team identifies and selects the recipients of our honors. Our winners are pre-selected to receive our awards. Our selection is based on their outstanding achievement and contribution to the art of cinema. They are not “nominees.”
2014 honorees included some of the biggest names in Hollywood such as Keira Knightley, Michael Keaton, Steve Carell, Benedict Cumberbatch, Channing Tatum, Mark Ruffalo, Shailene Woodley, Eddie Redmayne, Jean-Marc Vallée, Julianne Moore, Robert Duvall, Jack O’Connell, Mike Myers, Chris Rock and many more.
HFA co-chairs, advisory team and judges have included:
Ken Annakin,Simon Assaad, Alberto Barbera, Gilles Bianrosa, Irene Bignardi, Clare Binns, John Briley, Judith Bronowski, Elisabetta Brunella, […]

The Hollywood Film Awards Series: “The Hateful Eight” could be another Oscar success story for Quentin Tarantino

Yesterday, it was announced that the 19th annual Hollywood Film Awards would be the first to honor Quentin Tarantino’s last movie The Hateful Eight. The film is being cited with an honor for its entire ensemble cast, which is a compliment not just to Tarantino, but to a number of Academy Award hopefuls as well. The flick is still by and large unseen by all but a few, so its Oscar prospects are still a bit up in the air. That being said, citations like this one make me think that QT could have another award winner on his hands here in The Hateful Eight. In any event, it’s time now for another installment of the Hollywood Film Awards series!
Here’s the official honor being bestowed on the film…
“Hollywood Ensemble Award”
The Hateful Eight, by Quentin Tarantino
Who is in the cast that shares in this particular honor? Well, a sampling of the ensemble would be Zoë Bell, Demian Bichir, Bruce Dern, Walton Goggins, Samuel L. Jackson, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Michael Madsen, James Parks, Tim Roth, Kurt Russell, and Channing Tatum, just to name a few of the group involved in this one.
Just in case you aren’t aware, The Hateful Eight is the latest western from Tarantino. The aforementioned Bichir, Dern, Goggins, Jackson, Leigh, Madsen, Roth, and Russell are the eight ruffians depicted in the title. They all wind up at a saloon during a blizzard, forced to share a small space and potentially deal with murder. QT writes and directs, while the behind the scenes talent includes cinematography by Robert Richardson, music by Ennio Morricone, and more. We still don’t know too much about this one, but in some ways, that makes it something to anticipate even more. It’s Tarantino, so you know it’ll be an event regardless. He’s been a favorite of Oscar lately, so it’s hard to bet against this one as a big time player.
Though you can’t say for sure, this does bode well for the film overall. Especially when you consider how most of Tarantino’s movies have received awards attention, it’s folly to assume that this one will be shut out. Aside from his Grindhouse segment Death Proof, only his debut Reservoir Dogs and the one two punch of Kill Bill Vol. 1 and Kill Bill Vol. 2 have gone unnoticed by the Academy. He’s won two Best Original Screenplay awards so far, while Oscar has also […]

Hollywood Film Awards: “The first mandatory stop … in the awards season”

Hollywood Film Awards: “The first mandatory stop … in the awards season” – The New York Times
Last year Hollywood Film Awards honorees included some of the biggest names in Hollywood such as Keira Knightley, Michael Keaton, Steve Carell, Benedict Cumberbatch, Channing Tatum, Mark Ruffalo, Shailene Woodley, Eddie Redmayne, Jean-Marc Vallée, Julianne Moore, Robert Duvall, Jack O’Connell, Mike Myers, Chris Rock and many more.
Which STARS will be this year’s recipients of the 19th Annual Hollywood Film Awards®?

This year, two-time Oscar-winning actor Robert De Niro will be honored with the “Hollywood Career Achievement Award.”
The “19th Annual Hollywood Film Awards” will take place at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, on November 1, 2015. The Hollywood Film Awards, the official launch of the awards season®, has recognized excellence in the art of cinema and filmmaking for 18 years, honoring some of the world’s biggest stars. Honorees have gone on to garner many Oscar nominations and wins.

What were the Ten Best summer releases of 2015?

We’re in the final days of August, which means that the summer movie season has basically come to an end. As is the case when things wrap up, I like to rank them, and this is no exception. September is right around the corner, so it’s a perfect time too. Below you will see what I feel were the ten best releases during the summer, which I’ve extended to potentially include April and May releases as well, since that’s part of the now expanded season, cinematically speaking. Take a gander, remember that it’s just my opinion here, and as always…I hope you enjoy my list!
Here now are what I feel were the best that the summer of 2015 had to offer us:
10. Avengers: Age of Ultron – Perhaps a disappointment to some, this mega sequel still delivered what it promised and was rather satisfying, so it deserves a spot on the list. Joss Whedon and his superhero team know how to entertain, so even if it wasn’t the second coming, it did do its job, so credit where credit is due. Marvel does this sort of thing like no other.
9. Spy – A bit of a pleasant surprise, though by now the team of Paul Feig and Melissa McCarthy is basically a sure sign of comedic gold. As effective a an action flick as it is a parody of spy movies, this is a comedy that does just about everything right. Could it have been slightly funnier? Sure, but now we’re just splitting hairs. It was a hit and deservedly so.
8. Ant-Man – One of the summer’s riskier blockbusters (and certainly a gamble for Marvel, to say the least) was also one of its more troubled productions, yet when push came to shove…it was another very solid comic book movie. An origin story for a second tier character, Peyton Reed took what Edgar Wright developed, and along with Paul Rudd, made it something a bit different. It wasn’t always as neat as it could have been, but it certainly worked.
7. Tomorrowland – I know folks were pretty mixed on this one, but I really appreciated the ambition on display here. Brad Bird and Damon Lindelof made a summer sci-fi epic that dares to encourage creativity, hope, and optimism for the future, and that’s a rare breed indeed. It probably was always going to be too expensive to be financially successful, […]

“Magic Mike XXL” is one of the most purely entertaining films of the summer

There are few franchises with less likely of a crossover appeal than Magic Mike. The first one shocked many by engaging both critics and audiences alike, myself included. Today, the sequel Magic Mike XXL opens, and go figure, it’s a great film as well. Magic Mike took the idea of a story about male strippers and filtered it through the distinctive lens of filmmaker Steven Soderbergh, opting to make it as much or more about money and economic hardship/the quest for prosperity than about the dancing. Magic Mike XXL is almost the exact counterpoint to that, going for a party feel and celebrating the dancing/lifestyle in the process. It shouldn’t work, but Channing Tatum and company really make it soar.
Though very loose on plot, this one does pick up three years after Magic Mike ended. The title character Mike is now out of the game, but single again. His former co-workers get a reunion of sorts going with him and before long he’s on a road trip with Big Dick Richie (Joe Manganiello), Ken (Matt Bomer), Tarzan (Kevin Nash), Tito (Adam Rodriguez), and Tobias (Gabriel Iglesias). They’re headed to a stripping convention in Myrtle Beach, dancing and partying along the way. Aside from Tatum in the title role, the cast also includes Amber Heard, Jada Pinkett Smith, Donald Glover, Andie MacDowell, Michael Strahan, and others. Soderbergh no longer directs, but he’s the DP and editor for longtime assistant Gregory Jacobs, who’s at the helm here. Producer and scribe Reid Carolin again provides the script, which is loose and fun in all the right ways.
While the stripping was kind of a bait and switch last time around, it’s very much at the forefront of things here, which should make Magic Mike XXL shallow, but instead just makes it sex positive and a somewhat surprisingly innocent good time. How does that work? Well, it celebrates female desire and pleasure, but keeps almost all the hanky panky off screen, so it’s your imagination that fills in the blank. It’s an unusually subtle choice for a sequel that’s otherwise all about being bigger in every way, shape, or form that it can be. Instead of being a dark and almost cautionary tale, this one is a road trip/party flick that’s about the bonds of friendship, doing what you love, and making that one last right count.
The thing that works best here, though pretty much […]

Channing Tatum returns to the stripper poles – MAGIC MIKE XXL

As he returns to the world of male striptease on-screen in the deliciously named Magic Mike XXL, Channing Tatum tells Vanity Fair contributing editor Rich Cohen not to count out an off screen return to the stripper pole, where his career began. ‘Well, we’re going to start a [Magic Mike] show in Vegas, and I’ll never say never,’ he says. In fact, it may be just a thin strip of fabric that stands in the way: ‘I wouldn’t mind going out there and doing it one more time. Or maybe twice. But, you know, every time I’ve put on a thong and am getting ready to walk onstage again, I’m like, ‘Why do I want to do this? ‘It’s very uncomfortable to be in a thong in front of a thousand people.’
In fact, this quandary was nearly a plot point in Magic Mike XXL: to thong or not to thong? ‘But my wife was like, ‘You cannot have a movie without these guys getting in thongs,’ Tatum says.
Cohen accompanies Tatum on a surreal hike through L.A.’s abandoned Griffith Park Zoo and crowns him ‘the biggest male star since Pitt or Clooney.’ Tatum is riding high off his performance in last year’s Foxcatcher as he prepares to star in films from Quentin Tarantino and the Coen brothers. But Tatum bristles when Cohen suggests he is among the last of the great movie idols, presenting a theory on the nature of modern movie stardom: ?The Brad Pitts, the Leos, the Downeys: Why aren’t there new versions of those guys? I think people just know too much about actors, about everything. Behind the scenes. It’s almost like the world is so with you all the time, people on the phones and blah blah blah, that to go into a movie theater for three hours and lose that time is harder and harder. People watch TV at home and they?re still on their phone, wired. They?re even wired to the actors. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram. You feel connected. So that [actor] doesn’t feel as mythic anymore. I used to go see movies to watch people because I didn?t know anything about them. The only time I got access was in a movie. I wanted to go see the movie because I hadn’t seen my guy in a while.
Later, while absentmindedly sketching a clown on a picnic table with a crayon, Tatum divulges that he and […]

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