April 20, 2014

Tag Archives: Entertainment/Culture

Red Carpet: “A Haunted House 2″

There’s nothing worse than an ex-girlfriend scorned. Unless it’s a demonic ex-girlfriend scorned.
Marlon Wayans, Jaime Pressly, Gabriel Iglesias and Cedric the Entertainer were among the film’s cast on the red carpet Wednesday night at LALive for the premiere of “A Haunted House 2.” No one was frightened away from this sequel, which opens Friday and is expected to scare up some tidy box office grosses for distributorOpen Road Films.
Fans lined the block to try and get a glimpse of their favorites,who included a variety of celebrity names like singer-actress Brandy, musicexec Russell Simmons, former football great Shawne Merriman as well as welterweightboxing legend Floyd Mayweather, Jr., who, with his full Money Team entourage, tooktime out getting ready for his upcoming fight to support his friend, Wayans. Ablizzard of flashes went off when the two embraced on the carpet in front ofphotographers.
Wayans was taking red carpet selfies and live tweeting to fans todrum up the base. He’s a pro at this, considering his other “Scary Movie” franchise and it’s success. Wayans and producing partner Rick Alvarez wrote and produced “A Haunted House 2,”
Directed by Michael Tiddes, the ‘?Hauned House’ sequel revolves a round Wayans’ character, Malcolm, who moves with his new girlfriend and hertwo children into their dream house only to find the place plagued by bizarreparanormal events.

Hollywood Bad Times: Part 2

By ROBERT W. WELKOS
The Curse of the Blood Moons isn’t on any studio release schedule this year as far as we know, but then again, we’re not talking about the latest horror flick.
We’re talking about Hollywood itself.
No matter how you look at it, 2014 is shaping up to be among the most turbulent year Hollywood has ever experienced—and we have yet to reach summer.
It wasn’t that long ago that Hollywood was reeling from the drug overdose death of actor Phillip Seymour Hoffman in his Greenwich Village apartment.
Hoffman’s death followed on the heels of director Woody Allen being accused by his adopted daughter Dylan Farrow of molesting her when she was only 7 years old.
Then there was the suicide of Nancy Motes, Julia Roberts’ half-sister, who died of a drug overdose and left a five-page suicide ranting against the Oscar winner. In the weeks before her death, Motes tweeted: “Just so you all know ‘America’s Sweetheart is a B***H.”
And all this coming as we recently said goodbye to Mickey Rooney, Shirley Temple and Sid Caesar.
Now comes the shocking lawsuit by a man named Michael Egan accusing “X-Men” director Bryan Singer of sexually abusing him when Egan was a teenager at a September 1999 party held at an Encino estate. Egan claims in the lawsuit that he felt “Like a piece of meat to these people.”
Singer’s attorney, Martin Singer, has vigorously denied the allegations, calling Egan’s allegations “clearly fabricated.”
Hollywood: Welcome to Hard Times – Part 1
Fabricated or not, the Egan lawsuit is just the latest bad press endured by a bludgeoned Hollywood—and we haven’t mentioned Miley Cyrus twerking or Justin Bieber allegedly egging a neighbor’s house when not getting busted for DUI in Miami.
If Hollywood were a person, it would be time for intervention.
If Hollywood were a person, it would be time for a crisis management team from Sitrick & Co. to come in to handle PR.
But Hollywood is not a person. It’s a Dream Factory. Only lately it seems to resemble a Nightmare Factory.

Foxcatcher will debut at Cannes and might be on a collision course with Oscar

About a month ago, I wrote a piece here that speculated on some of the Academy Award hopefuls that might be debuting at the Cannes Film Festival. Well, the lineup for Cannes has been announced (at least the preliminary list of titles…look for some movies to be added in the coming weeks), and while a few flicks I mentioned in that article like The Homesman, How to Catch a Monster, and Maps to the Stars are set to unspool in France, the film that probably is the most anticipated, especially in terms of awards potential, is Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher. In fact, I’ve listed it as a Best Picture frontrunner in my Oscar predictions, if you haven’t already noticed.
In case you’re not up to speed on this movie, it’s obviously directed by Miller based on a script from Dan Futterman and based on a true story. The plot surrounds Olympic Wrestling Champion Mark Schultz and how, while training with paranoid schizophrenic millionaire John duPont, Schultz’s brother, Olympic Champion Dave Schultz, was killed by duPont. The cast is led by Steve Carrell as duPont, Mark Ruffalo as Dave, and Channing Tatum as Mark, with Anthony Michael Hall, Sienna Miller, and Vanessa Redgrave in supporting turns as well. That’s pretty baity stuff if I do say so myself, especially in terms of the potential it holds for Carrell and Ruffalo.
Miller has so far been perfect at getting his films into Best Picture lineups, with both Capote and Moneyball scoring citations. This is also a passion project of his, which could put an extra chip on his shoulder to really nail this one. He’s also gotten multiple performers of his nominated each time out (along with his screenplays getting nominated both times to go along with one Best Director nomination for himself as well), so the odds are really in this cast’s favor. Assuming the debut at Cannes goes well, it’d be pretty foolish to bet against this one not turning into a major awards player.
So, what are the odds of Foxcatcher going from Cannes to the Oscar ceremony? Well, it’s not incredibly uncommon, though winners are a bit more on the rare side. The last movie to pull that off was No Country for Old Men, so while Foxcatcher (along with The Homesman, for example) might not have any statistics out there in the universe to suggest that a strong debut at this [...]

Academy Announces Key Dates for Oscars®

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the ABC Television Network today announced the dates for the 87th Oscars. The Academy Awards® presentation will air live on ABC on Oscar® Sunday, February 22, 2015.
Key dates for the Awards season are:
Saturday, November 8, 2014 The Governors Awards
Wednesday, December 3, 2014 Official Screen Credits and music submissions due
Monday, December 29, 2014 Nominations voting begins 8 a.m. PT
Thursday, January 8, 2015 Nominations voting ends 5 p.m. PT
Thursday, January 15, 2015 Oscar nominations announced
Monday, February 2, 2015 Oscar Nominees Luncheon
Friday, February 6, 2015 Final voting begins 8 a.m. PT
Saturday, February 7, 2015 Scientific and Technical Awards
Tuesday, February 17, 2015 Final voting ends 5 p.m. PT
Oscar Sunday, February 22, 2015 87th Academy Awards begins 7 p.m. ET/ 4 p.m. PT
The Oscars will be held at the Dolby Theatre® at Hollywood & Highland Center® in Hollywood, and will be televised live by the ABC Television Network. The Oscar presentation also will be televised live in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.
# # #
ABOUT THE ACADEMY
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is the world’s preeminent movie-related organization, with a membership of more than 6,000 of the most accomplished men and women working in cinema. In addition to the annual Academy Awards–in which the members vote to select the nominees and winners–Academy presents a diverse year-round slate of public programs, exhibitions and events; provides financial support to a wide range of other movie-related organizations and endeavors; acts as a neutral advocate in the advancement of motion picture technology; and, through its Margaret Herrick Library and Academy Film Archive, collects, preserves, restores and provides access to movies and items related to their history.
Through these and other activities the Academy serves students, historians, the entertainment industry and people everywhere who love movies.
FOLLOW THE ACADEMY
www.oscars.org
www.facebook.com/TheAcademy
www.youtube.com/Oscars

VH1 Classic to Air 2014 Golden Gods Awards

Today VH1 Classic announced it will air the 2014 GOLDEN GODS AWARDS, America’s only hard-rock and heavy-metal awards show, on Saturday, May 24th at 8 PM ET/PT.
Hosting this year’s show is the trio from “That Metal Show” and VH1 Classic’s own resident metal experts: Eddie Trunk, Don Jamieson and Jim Florentine. Additionally, VH1.com and the VH1 App will live-stream the entire four-hour live awards ceremony and the 2014 Revolver Golden Gods Awards Black Carpet, hosted by Dee Snider, on Wednesday, April 23rd starting at 10 PM ET/ 7 PM PT.
Guns N’ Roses frontman Axl Rose will take home this year’s Ronnie James Dio Lifetime Achievement Award, and Joan Jett will take her place as the first female recipient of the Golden God Award, which will be presented to her by 2011 Golden God Award-winner Alice Cooper. Additionally, the 2014 Golden Gods will feature some of the most unforgettable moments to date: epic performances from Guns N’ Roses, Joan Jett and Zakk Wylde, and appearances by Dave Navarro, Alice Cooper, Marilyn Manson, Rob Zombie, Andrew Dice Clay, Joe Manganiello, Tony Hawk, Pauley Perrette and Carmen Electra.
“The VH1 Classic audience has a rabid appetite for all things hard rock and metal, so bringing our audience the only hard rock awards show was a must-do on our programming list,” said Lee Rolontz, Executive Vice President, Music Production, VH1 + VH1 Classic. “With dick clark productions on board to produce alongside Revolver Magazine, we couldn’t be more excited to rock it out at this year’s Golden Gods especially with our ‘That Metal Show’ trio hosting.”
For a full list of nominees, presenters and performances for the 2014 Revolver Golden Gods Awards Show, please visit www.GoldenGods2014.com. For information on how to get tickets to the live show at Club Nokia in Los Angeles on April 23, please visit http://www.axs.com/events/248802/revolver-golden-gods-tickets. For more information on VH1 Classic and the 2014 Golden Gods Awards, please visit www.VH1Classic.com.
The 2014 Golden Gods Awards television special will be produced by dick clark productions, with executive producers Assaf Blecher and Paul Cockerill. Executive producing for VH1 Classic are Lee Rolontz, Rick Krim and Jay Moran. Executive producing for Revolver Magazine is Alana Zinn.
About VH1 Classic:
VH1 Classic brings you the best metal, rock, soul and pop from the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s. The channel features the gods of rock – from Black Sabbath, Metallica and Iron Maiden to Stone Temple Pilots, [...]

Transcendence – Johnny Depp, Paul Bettany, Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Morgan Freeman, Cole Hauser, Cillian Murphy

Directed by: Wally Pfister
Written by: Jack Paglen
Main Cast: Johnny Depp, Paul Bettany, Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Morgan Freeman, Cole Hauser, Cillian Murphy, and others
Past Oscar relations: Pfister won Best Cinematography for Inception and Morgan Freeman won Best Supporting Actor for Million Dollar Baby
Here now we have the next article in this series on 2014 contenders hoping to compete for Oscar attention at the Academy Award ceremony in 2015. Next up is DP turned filmmaker Wally Pfister’s directorial debut Transcendence, which hopes to more or less establish Pfister as the next Christopher Nolan (especially since he’s Nolan’s longtime cinematographer), though that may be a somewhat overly optimistic ambition. There’s clearly a bit of Nolan in Pfister though, so we’ll see. He’s got a top notch cast in place here, including Johnny Depp, Paul Bettany, Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Morgan Freeman (a Nolan veteran), Cole Hauser, and Cillian Murphy (ditto), so that’s a big help. If Pfister can take scribe Jack Paglen’s well regarded script and make it into something special, perhaps this can be the sort of smart blockbuster that the Academy notices?
What this flick has going in its favor is mainly its pedigree. From the A list cast to the directorial debut of one of the best cinematographers in the business to the hot script that got this all start, hopes have been high from day one here. There’s also the allure of seeing Depp in a role that doesn’t require massive amounts of make up, so older fans of his may be intrigued by this more than many of his recent Disney outings. Followers of Nolan also know Pfister pretty well, so there’s some level of anticipation of him getting to helm his own movie. There’s an original premise on display as well, which is sort of rare these days. This all adds up to a film with lots of potential.
Working against Transcendence is that it appears to be caught between the worlds of heady science fiction and summer blockbuster action. The film could be too talky for the crowd who wants to see things blow up and it could be too reliant on adding spectacle for those who are looking to really get into the nitty gritty of the story here. Honestly, the release date makes me think that Warner Brothers themselves aren’t quite sure how this will all play out, so unless there are top notch [...]

Under the Radar: David Gordon Green

Today I have another series for you all, basically a spinoff of the Spotlight on the Stars series. As a quick refresher, each week I’ll look at an actor/actress/filmmaker that I’d like to celebrate in some kind of way. It could be due to something of theirs coming out that weekend (like in many of the cases so far) or just because I feel they deserve to have a moment in the sun all their own, but each time it’ll be a bit of positivity about someone who I’d like to pay tribute to. Here though, I’m going to look at more of an under the radar individual.
For this week’s piece, I wanted to take a look at our first filmmaker getting this kind of treatment…David Gordon Green. Honestly, most don’t seem to know what to do with this talented and still young writer/director. He changes genres and interests more so than most in the industry, leading to an inability to put him into a neat little package or hole. The quality of the work speaks for itself, but when he goes off in odd directions, some like to say that he’s on a cold streak or “lost it”, as opposed to recognizing him flexing his creative muscles in a whole new way.
Gordon Green began his career as almost an heir apparent to Terrence Malick. The films that he started with, like George Washington, All the Real Girls (such an underrated flick if you’ve never seen it), and Undertow suggested that he was going to be a filmmaker to be reckoned with and a future Oscar darling. Many would have kept right on trucking there, but Gordon Green decided to go in a whole new direction. He adapted the novel Snow Angels, another drama, but one far different than what he had done before. Then, he turned his attention to a whole new genre.
Taking a career 180 from there, the filmmaker began to focus on offbeat studio comedies. Many thought that he was “above” the movies he was now making in some way, but he brought a bit of art to comedies like Pineapple Express. Even his odder efforts like The Sitter and Your Highness still showed off ambition and a lot of love for what he was doing. Last year he even sort of merged his older interests and his newer ones when he made the indie comedy Prince [...]

Critics’ Choice: Joey Berlin from BFCA

Joey Berlin from the Broadcast Film Critics Association – Critics’ Choice Awards
By ROBERT W. WELKOS
In 1995, Joey Berlin and Rod Lurie, two entertainment reporters and film critics who had written for rival publications, joined forces to create the Broadcast Film Critics Assn.
While Lurie would go on to carve out a successful Hollywood career as a screenwriter and director with such films as “The Contender” and “The Last Castle,” Berlin hasn’t faired too badly, either, as the president of the BFCA.
Starting with 44 members the first year, the BFCA’s voting membership today hovers between 285 and 290 and the organization bills itself as the largest film critics group in the U.S. and Canada.
At the same time, the BFCA created the Critics’ Choice Awards, a glitzy tux-and-gown gala now televised on the CW Network that features red carpet celebrity arrivals, drawing worldwide media attention and plenty of Oscar buzz since the show coincides with the run-up to the Academy Awards.
But as the show has catapulted the broadcast critics into the Oscar conversation each movies awards season, tax records show that the nonprofit group Berlin leads has paid his privately-owned company, Berlin Entertainment, Inc., hundreds of thousands of dollars each year for production services.
IRS Form 990 filings list Berlin Entertainment, Inc., receiving a combined $992,270 from the nonprofit between fiscal 2009 and 2011.
Berlin notes that his members seem to be satisfied with the job he’s doing since he has been repeatedly re-elected president every two years.
The tax files show that Berlin’s base compensation and benefits were a combined $1,297,133 for the three-year period spanning fiscal 2009 to 2011. But his compensation is listed as coming from “related organizations” and not directly from the BFCA, according to the Form 990 documents, which all nonprofits are required to file with the IRS to qualify for tax-exempt status.
When asked about his sizeable compensation, Berlin told HollywoodNews.com in a recent telephone interview: “I did this for five years for zero compensation, but this is what I do all day, every day. I’m really proud of what we’ve built and accomplished….
“My compensation has grown with the growth of the show,” he adds without apology. “The television show is an incredible benefit to the members.” He notes that these benefits include such things as access and awards screeners. “That seems a comfortable arrangement for everybody.”
One plus for maintaining membership in the BFCA is that—much like [...]

The Matrix: The Top 25 (Best Film Editing)

Continuing onward with this weekly series I’m doing here on the site, we’re talking about the top 25 Oscar winners in just about every single one of the Academy Award categories out there for us to talk about. Aside from the short categories and likely something a bit harder to rank like Best Sound Editing or Best Sound Mixing as I’ve mentioned before, I’ll be hitting them all over the coming weeks, including of course the big eight categories, two of which have already received this particular treatment. I’m also potentially going to do one that doesn’t actually exist (a fictitious Best Ensemble category), but that’s just an idea I’m currently toying with. We’ll see about that one, but for now, we’ll stick to reality and the categories currently endorsed by the Academy.
Today I’ll be knocking off one more of the technical categories, with this one being the somewhat unsexy but still essential Best Film Editing field. Depending on the category in question, I may wind up discussing the individual winners I’m citing rather specifically or just giving a more broad overview of the winners. Like I’ve been saying over the past few weeks, in all honesty, you really just want to see the end result list anyway, so I have no problem obliging you there in that regard. All you have to do is just be patient over the next couple paragraphs…
This time around, I’m again just going with the overview route. Film Editing is another type of category where you sort of know it’s good by seeing it in the films themselves. There are a few different types of editing that the Academy has honored, though sometimes they can fall into the trap of going for “most” instead of best, if that makes sense. For example, you can see in certain winners that the editing is smooth and you’re almost not meant to notice it all, while other winners want to constantly impress you with their flashy approach to editing. I’m not particularly partial to either one, basically just going for what fits the movies best. Sometimes I don’t want to notice the editing at all in the flick, and sometimes I want it to be front and center. It all just depends.
I’ll discuss my top ten a bit now before getting to the list itself. The winner that I think is the best ever happens to be [...]

“American Ultra” – Kristen Stewart and Jesse Eisenberg

Production is getting under way in New Orleans on the Lionsgate action comedy “American Ultra” starring Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart.
Directed by Nima Nourizadeh (“Project X”) and written by Max Landis (“Chronicle”), the story revolves around a seemingly hapless and unmotivated stoner (Eisenberg) whose small-town life with his live-in girlfriend (Stewart) is suddenly turned upside down when he discovers that he has a secret past as a highly trained, lethal sleeper agent. In the blink of an eye, he is forced to summon his inner action-hero in order to survive.
The cast also includes Topher Grace, Tony Hale, John Leguizamo, Bill Pullman and Walton Goggins.
A PalmStar/Likely Story/Circle of Confusion production, the film is produced by Anthony Bregman (“Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”), Kevin Frakes, Raj Brinder Singh, David Alpert (“The Walking Dead”) and Britton Rizzio, with Ray Angelic as executive producer.

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