June 25, 2016

Tag Archives: Danny Boyle

Steve Jobs Bombs at Box Office

The word is in, Danny Boyle’s Steve Jobs didn’t make it at the Box Office. Expected revenue for this weekend is around $7.5 million from over 2,490 theaters.
Only a few critics have been backing this less-than-flattering biopic. Both Michael Fassbender and Kate Winslet’s performances are great.

Some of the critics have been brutal:
‘Steve Jobs’ Bombs: What Went Wrong With the Apple Drama
‘Sorkin’s script fails to shout and quip its way to anything approaching dramatic vibrancy’
In his latest work (Aaron Sorkin), Steve Jobs, the cringing for me started at the outset with his typical outpouring of clever sentences that in a better dramatist’s hand might lead to dazzling repartee
NOTE: Apple and Jobs’ wife, Laurene, have expressed their disapproval of the film. She called it “fiction.”
Next…

A second October Oscar predictions update

With only a week or so to go until Halloween, we’re really racing to the end of the 2015 awards season. As such, I think it’s more than prudent to take another look at my Oscar predictions today, something I’ll be doing more and more often going forward. Obviously, a number of X factors make predicting the Academy Awards in October little more than educated guesswork, but that’s how you slowly move towards answers. I’ve got a few big question marks still, but this represents one of my more fact based takes on what the race could ultimately shape up to be like. That’s something, right?
What I really tried to focus on this time was nailing down a potentially weak Best Actor race as well as where to put those pesky unseen contenders like The Big Short, Concussion, The Hateful Eight, Joy, The Revenant, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Currently, I have them all scoring nominations, with all but one getting cited in multiple categories. You obviously can’t quite know what to do with them, but with some awards hopefuls like Carol, Spotlight, and Steve Jobs being known entities, it pays to be a bit bullish. I’m playing it a little bit conservatively with Joy right now, but in the next update I might be going close to all in on that one. Sit tight for more on that hunch, but take a gander at what I currently think Oscar will do below…
Here now are my most up to date Academy Award predictions:
BEST PICTURE
1. Spotlight
2. Steve Jobs
3. The Revenant
4. The Martian
5. Room
6. The Hateful Eight
7. Brooklyn
8. Joy
9. The Big Short
10. Carol
Next in line: 11. The Danish Girl 12. Bridge of Spies 13. Inside Out 14. Son of Saul 15. Beasts of No Nation 16. Sicario 17. Concussion 18. Miles Ahead (possible 2016 release) 19. By the Sea 20. Our Brand is Crisis 21. In the Heart of the Sea 22. Macbeth 23. Black Mass 24. 45 Years 25. Suffragette 26. Truth 27. Straight Outta Compton 28. Mad Max: Fury Road 29. Anomalisa 30. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
BEST DIRECTOR
1. Tom McCarthy – Spotlight
2. Danny Boyle – Steve Jobs
3. Alejandro G. Iñárritu – The Revenant
4. Quentin Tarantino – The Hateful Eight
5. Ridley Scott – The Martian
Next in line: 6. John Crowley – Brooklyn 7. David O. Russell – Joy 8. Todd Haynes – Carol 9. Steven Spielberg – Bridge of […]

A first crack at Golden Globe predictions

Now that we’re well into the fall months and about to enter the tail end of the 2015 movie release season, I wanted to take my first crack at some Golden Globe predictions. I’ll be mixing these in with Oscar predictions going forward, but early Globe picks are always interesting to me, especially since sometimes you’re still guessing category placement and just what the tastes of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association will look like at the time. They’re almost impossible to accurately guess off the bat the first time around, but that little factoid has yet to stop me from trying all the same. Here goes nothing!
What you’ll notice below is that things more or less reflect how I see the Academy Awards going, but with some slight changes. Obviously, the Comedy or Musical categories open things up to some other contenders, though we won’t know for a bit still how certain contenders will decide to compete. We know that Joy is likely to go Drama, but The Big Short and The Martian, for example, are two that could go the Comedy route. I have pretty much the same winners here as with Oscar, with the exception of Ridley Scott winning Best Director, on the potential strength of The Martian going Comedy and winning Best Picture in that area and getting Matt Damon that Best Actor win as well. The Drama category at the Globes still is where the Best Picture winner for Oscar likely will come from, with Spotlight and Steve Jobs facing off for now, though The Revenant is an X factor spoiler here. We’ll have more HFPA analysis coming soon, but these predictions should suffice for now…
Here you go folks, my initial look at how the Golden Globe awards could shape up:
Best Picture (Drama)
1. Spotlight
2. The Revenant
3. Steve Jobs
4. The Hateful Eight
5. Joy
If there’s a sixth: Brooklyn
Best Picture (Comedy or Musical)
1. The Martian
2. Trainwreck
3. The Big Short
4. Love & Mercy
5. Our Brand is Crisis
If there’s a sixth: Grandma
Best Actor (Drama)
1. Michael Fassbender – Steve Jobs
2. Leonardo DiCaprio – The Revenant
3. Eddie Redmayne – The Danish Girl
4. Johnny Depp – Black Mass
5. Jake Gyllenhaal – Southpaw
If there’s a sixth: Tom Hanks – Bridge of Spies
Best Actor (Comedy or Musical)
1. Matt Damon – The Martian
2. Paul Dano – Love & Mercy
3. Bill Murray – Rock the Kasbah
4. John Cusack – Love & Mercy
5. Bill Hader – Trainwreck
If there’s a […]

Which films have benefitted most from screening at the 53rd New York Film Festival?

On Saturday, the 53rd annual New York Film Festival came to a close. I’ve been at the festival for a number of years now, and I have to say…NYFF is always something special. The 2015 incarnation of the fest was no different, though for my money it wasn’t quite as jam packed as last year, but that’s another story. What’s easy to see though is that a handful of films definitely benefitted from playing at the festival, especially in terms of Oscar. Below you’ll see my take on who and what is sitting in a prettier spot for Academy Award attention than before NYFF began…
First of all, which were the movies that played at NYFF that had some level of awards aspirations? Well, titles of that nature included The Assassin, Bridge of Spies (a special Gala presentation), Brooklyn, Carol, The Lobster, The Martian (a special surprise inclusion), Miles Ahead (the Closing Night selection), Mountains May Depart, Son of Saul, Steve Jobs (the Centerpiece selection), The Walk (the Opening Night selection), and Where to Invade Next. Those dozen flicks, to one degree or another, would like to appeal to the Academy. The question is just if they can and if so, then how much? Well, that’s what we’re going to be discussing right now.

In terms of Best Picture, Director, or the Screenplay categories, there’s some definite contenders. I’d say Bridge of Spies, Brooklyn, Carol, The Martian, and Steve Jobs are strong players, potentially, with Son of Saul as a possible spoiler. Bridge of Spies, Brooklyn, and Carol will have a tougher time in Best Director than in Best Picture due to the expanded lineup, though each will have a chance as well in Best Adapted Screenplay (especially Brooklyn, which could be a Screenplay lock for Nick Hornby) or Best Original Screenplay, depending on the situation. The Martian is an X factor (Ridley Scott and Drew Goddard are in play though for sure), with Son of Saul being the same, albeit a longer shot. Steve Jobs definitely emerged the strongest, now potentially in line to compete for wins all around (for Danny Boyle and Aaron Sorkin), not just nominations. As for The Walk? It had hopes initially, but those seem to have faded outside of technical categories. The Assassin and Mountains May Depart are far more limited in their chances, though Son of Saul seems like the foreign title that will eat […]

“The Big Short”: An October Oscar predictions update

Happy Friday friends! It’s not only the end of the week, but the beginning of the month of October as well, so obviously it’s time for a new set of Academy Award predictions. It’ll be an interesting new set as well, considering the things that I’ve seen since last time. Honestly, with Miles Ahead debuting tomorrow at the New York Film Festival, the list of unseen titles is shrinking by the day. As such, there’s hopefully a bit of clarity in the race, while also suggesting which categories will be the stronger ones this year and which ones will be the weaker ones (in fact, look for a piece on that next week). Right now though, I’ll give you a quick preview and then dive right into these Oscar predictions!
The big things to keep in mind with this Academy Award nominations update is that I’ve seen Bridge of Spies, Brooklyn, Son of Saul, Steve Jobs, and more firsthand. That can help clarify things a bit. What’s most noticeable here this time around is that Spotlight and Steve Jobs seem like the frontrunners for the major non acting categories right now (Aaron Sorkin especially seems like he could have Best Adapted Screenplay in the bag). I’ve also dropped Bridge of Spies from most categories, just to see how that feels. The new addition of note here is The Big Short, obviously, which I think could be our late year surprise. A lot will depend on how things like The Hateful Eight, Joy, and The Revenant do, but assuming they’re up to snuff, the one unexpected hit could be The Big Short. We’ll see, but it’s something to keep in mind…
Here now is how I see the Oscar nominations going down, as of today:
BEST PICTURE
1. Spotlight
2. Steve Jobs
3. The Revenant
4. The Hateful Eight
5. Brooklyn
6. Room
7. The Martian
8. Joy
9. The Big Short
10. The Danish Girl
Next in line: 11. Carol 12. Bridge of Spies 13. Inside Out 14. The Light Between Oceans (possible 2016 release) 15. Son of Saul 16. Beasts of No Nation 17. Sicario 18. Miles Ahead (possible 2016 release) 19. Our Brand is Crisis 20. Truth 21. By the Sea 22. Macbeth 23. Suffragette 24. The Walk 25. In the Heart of the Sea 26. Trainwreck 27. Freeheld 28. The End of the Tour 29. Anomalisa 30. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
BEST DIRECTOR
1. Tom McCarthy – Spotlight
2. Danny Boyle – Steve […]

Danny Boyle: His best films so far

Few filmmakers like to mix things up as much as Danny Boyle does. As a director, he has a style that’s easy to notice, but he often applies it to fairly unique projects. Boyle is an Academy Award winner, the helmer of a Best Picture winner, and considered one of the more interesting directors in the business. This week, he’s got another Oscar contender in Steve Jobs beginning to hit theaters, and it’s one of his better movies. In honor of that, I did want to give a rundown of the best films of Boyle’s career so far. He’s made almost a dozen flicks, but below you’ll see his top five to date. Enjoy, and as always, remember that this is just my take on Boyle’s work…
Here now are what I believe to be the five best films of Boyle’s directing career so far:
5. 127 Hours – Initially a film of his I wasn’t wild about, the years have been kind to Boyle’s visceral look at survival against all odds. It didn’t hurt that James Franco is outstanding in the only real role of note in the movie, but Boyle does utilize his sometimes frantic sense of direction to keep from boredom setting in. Boyle and Simon Beaufoy’s script is truly elevated by Boyle’s direction and Franco’s acting here, no question about it.
4. Trainspotting – The flick that really helped him break out, this hard to pin down film is more or less a cultural touchstone at this point. Armed with a soon to be star in Ewen McGregor and the early days of Miramax and Harvey Weinstein behind it, this was something that would be placed alongside titles like Pulp Fiction in attempting to change cinema. The movie is perhaps a bit overrated, but it’s still one of his best. With a long rumored sequel finally getting ready to go, fans of this one will be able to hang out with these junkies one more time in the next year or so.
3. 28 Days Later – Boyle is essentially the grandfather of the modern day zombie, courtesy of this movie. He and writer Alex Garland sped up the undead, looked at them as infected humans, and really did change the game. Without Boyle, this might not have hit in the same way as it did, so if you’re a fan of zombies in the 21st century, be it on […]

“Steve Jobs” continues to impress on the festival circuit and make its case to Oscar

Over the weekend, I was lucky enough to be at the New York Film Festival for the Centerpiece screening of Danny Boyle’s biopic Steve Jobs. The movie was initially going to be a World Premiere at NYFF, and technically that was the case, but an “unfinished” version screened at the Telluride Film Festival prior. Regardless, after its Centerpiece bow, the biopic of the Apple legend begins its theatrical run starting in limited release this Friday. For my money, it’s one of the best films of the year, a symphony of words on the part of Aaron Sorkin, among the best of NYFF so far, and a definite Academy Award player.
I’m sure you all know who this man is, but if you’re somehow unfamiliar with Steve Jobs, this high profile biopic should give you a sense of how important to the current technological culture he is, along with some clue about how he felt about himself. This look at the Apple innovator is as much about his legacy as his life, with the focus being on three important moments in time for the man and his technological dreams, both with the company he’s most associated with and apart from it. It’s based on the bestselling book on Jobs by Walter Isaacson, with Oscar winners Boyle at the helm and Sorkin having done the pitch perfect adaptation. After a long and public search through the A-list, Fassbender wound up in the title role and is doing some of the best work of his career. The top level supporting cast also features Jeff Daniels, Seth Rogen, Michael Stuhlbarg, and Kate Winslet impressing greatly, along with John Ortiz, Sarah Snook, Katherine Waterston, and more in smaller parts. Obviously, it was pretty much Oscar bait from the word go, but having seen it, I can vouch for it deserving that status.
What makes this a success is the combination of Boyle and Sorkin as well as the cast. On the filmmaking side, Sorkin’s writing soars as always, but for the first time (give or take how David Fincher kept his own style on The Social Network) a director attempts to have the visuals keep up with the dialogue. Boyle succeeds too, with flying colors. As for the acting, Fassbender is at his best, while Daniels, Rogen, Stuhlbarg, and Winslet all impress in their supporting turns. It’s an ensemble led by Fassbender, but definitely enhanced by the […]

“Steve Jobs”: Ten Films to see in October

Folks, it’s just about to become October, and that’s crazy to me. It’s the thick of the fall festival season, which means that we’re also officially knee deep in awards season now. I think this month is one of the very best of the year so far, especially in terms of new releases, though that sort of goes without saying as we move deeper into the fall. As you’ll see, a multitude of Academy Award possibilities are hitting theaters, so that alone is a major boost to cinema offerings. Of course, there’s no assurance of Oscar attention, but I’m of the opinion that whenever we have a bunch of contenders circling the wagons, as it were, it’s a good thing. As such, this could be a really good month indeed. Take a look below and I’ll be more than happy to show you what October has to offer up for you all…
Here now are the ten best bets for flicks to see in the month of October:
10. Suffragette – One of a handful of civil rights related awards hopefuls for 2015, this one I can’t quite figure out. Reviews have been fine, the cast has been praised, but something about it seems slightly too on the nose for the Academy too fully embrace. Carey Mulligan might be its main hope, but we shall see. I had originally been scheduled to see it today, but now that’s happening early next week, so stay tuned there.
9. The Walk – I enjoyed Robert Zemeckis’ latest flick, particularly the third act, when the spectacle takes over and you see things you’ve never seen on screen before. This is probably not a contender outside of the technical categories, which is bad news for those hoping to see Joseph Gordon-Levitt nominated, but it’s a very entertaining film nonetheless. Just wait until you see the third act…
8. Our Brand is Crisis – Yes, I was predicting this to win Best Picture and Best Director for a fair bit of time. That time has seemingly come and gone, but perhaps the precursors will revive its chances? Sandra Bullock at least seems like a potential Best Actress nominee still, so there’s that. I tend to be a David Gordon Green fan, so even if it’s not his Oscar winner, it still could be a quirky good time at the movies.
7. Burnt – This is a big curiosity for me. […]

“Spotlight”: Another September look at Oscar predictions

My oh my how things can change! Just a few weeks ago, I put up Oscar predictions for September that I thought I was pretty confident in. Alas, nothing stays the same, so now I’m back with an updated look at what the Academy Award nominations could look like. I’m going to two a month from now on, with potentially one a week by the end of the season, but right now, it’s time to get serious. You’ll notice a bunch of changes in the predictions, mostly spurred on by having seen some of the contenders, a few of which are now pretenders, quite honestly. That’s the name of the game though, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise to either you or me. On my end, I’m just still trying to get a feel for the race. What you’ll see today reflects a more realistic look at the field than before, so there’s that as well. It’ll get updated again next month, obviously, but for now…this is it.
The main thing to notice below is my new winner. Having seen Spotlight, which is a masterpiece, I honestly think it could go all the way. The film will be among the most beloved this year, has important subject matter, sharp direction by Tom McCarthy, and incredibly acting, especially from Michael Keaton as well as Mark Ruffalo, the latter giving the performance of the year so far. I could easily see it winning Best Picture, as it is undeniably the frontrunner at this point. You’ll also notice me backing off of Our Brand is Crisis completely and settling in on a new middle ground for The Martian, as well as placing The Big Short in the running for things in a bunch of categories. Things have been tinkered with all around, but there will be more done soon enough, so stay tuned…
Here now is how I see the Academy Award nominations going down, as of today:
BEST PICTURE
1. Spotlight
2. Bridge of Spies
3. Steve Jobs
4. The Revenant
5. Carol
6. The Hateful Eight
7. Brooklyn
8. The Martian
9. Room
10. Joy
Next in line: 11. The Danish Girl 12. The Light Between Oceans (possible 2016 release) 13. Inside Out 14. The Big Short 15. Truth 16. Beasts of No Nation 17. Sicario 18. Miles Ahead (possible 2016 release) 19. Our Brand is Crisis 20. The Walk 21. By the Sea 22. Macbeth 23. Suffragette 24. The End of the […]

“Steve Jobs”: Oscar predictions for September

Now that we’re well into the month of September, it’s time to kick predictions into high gear. It’ll be twice a month now in terms of updates, especially now that we’re also knee deep in the fall festival season. I love this time of year so much, which makes this a pleasure, but still…it’s crunch time. You really want to start making these predictions as close to accurate as possible at this point, so while it’s still fun, it’s also work. As you’ll see below, I’ve made some changes in light of festivals like Telluride, Venice, and now the start of Toronto, with New York to come next week. Suffice to say, by the end of the month when I update these predictions, they’ll likely already be out of date.
The big thing to take note of here is that I’ve bumped down The Martian from winning in the major categories. Now, the film did just premiere at TIFF and the early word is rather terrific, so why did I do that? Well, some of the praise makes it seem more likely of a nominee than perhaps expected by others, but maybe less of a winner as well. We’ll see, but for now, I’m experimenting and backing off. I’m also doing it in favor of seeing how Our Brand is Crisis looks in the top spot. I’ll adjust if the word up north isn’t too favorable for that one, but right now, I’m trying that out. Time will tell how it looks, but I’ll change it up in a few weeks if it’s clear I’ve made a blunder…
Anyway, enough talk. Here now is my up date Academy Award predictions. Enjoy:
BEST PICTURE
1. Our Brand is Crisis
2. The Revenant
3. Bridge of Spies
4. Steve Jobs
5. Carol
6. The Martian
7. Spotlight
8. Joy
9. The Hateful Eight
10. Brooklyn
Next in line: 11. The Light Between Oceans (possible 2016 release) 12. The Danish Girl 13. Miles Ahead (possible 2016 release) 14. Inside Out 15. Black Mass 16. By the Sea 17. Sicario 18. The End of the Tour 19. The Walk 20. Trainwreck 21. Beasts of No Nation 22. In the Heart of the Sea 23. Macbeth 24. Suffragette 25. Lion 26. Mad Max: Fury Road 27. Freeheld 28. I Saw The Light 29. Room 30. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
BEST DIRECTOR
1. David Gordon Green – Our Brand is Crisis
2. Alejandro G. Iñárritu – The Revenant
3. Danny Boyle – Steve […]

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