July 27, 2016
        A Teaser Trailer for "Justice League" suggests a really fun blockbuster                "Blair Witch" and "Wonder Woman": Comic-Con unleashes a ton of buzz worthy Trailers                Hollywood Contenders: Looking at potential Best Actress contenders                "Star Trek Beyond" is a rare success for the 2016 summer movie season                The 2016 New York Film Festival will open with Ava Duvernay's documentary "The 13th"                Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone make us swoon as "La La Land" drops a luminous Teaser Trailer                "Loving" announces itself as an awards player with a great Trailer                Hollywood Contenders: New Oscar Predictions for July                Woody Allen has another crowd pleaser on his hands with "Cafe Society"                Hollywood Contenders: Looking at potential Best Actor contenders                Kristen Stewart shines in the sci-fi love story "Equals"                'Ghostbusters' is an excellent re-invention of the classic franchise                Hollywood Contenders: Looking at potential Best Director contenders                "Captain Fantastic" is one of the year's most pleasant surprises                This week brings an adorable bit of animation in "The Secret Life of Pets"        

Tag Archives: Entertainment/Culture

Hollywood Film Awards Officially Launched the Awards Season with Star-Studded Evening

“The 19th Annual Hollywood Film Awards” brought together Hollywood’s elite to honor performances from this year’s most talked about and highly anticipated films. The awards ceremony took place at the Beverly Hilton Hotel and was hosted by critically and globally acclaimed actor, comedian and late-night talk show host James Corden. 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.

Alicia Vikander graciously accepted the “Hollywood Breakout Actress” award from Armie Hammer, who noted that she’s been in a remarkable seven films this year. Amy Poehler borrowed reading glasses from Pete Doctor’s wife to present him with the “Hollywood Animation Award.” Ryan Gosling set the record straight on how to pronounce Saoirse Ronan’s name, while singing her praises. Jane Fonda received a standing ovation after stepping onstage to accept the “Supporting Actress Award” for her work in Youth. Jordana Brewster and Michelle Rodriguez accepted the “Hollywood Blockbuster Award” for Furious 7 along with Vin Diesel, who gave an emotional speech about the cast, as well as the impact of losing a member of that family too soon. Carey Mulligan spoke passionately about women’s rights while accepting the “Hollywood Actress Award” for her work in Suffragette. Amy Schumer drew big laughs while accepting the “Hollywood Comedy Award” from an excited Selena Gomez.

Vin Diesel took the stage again to introduce a powerful performance of “See You Again” by “Hollywood Song Award” winners Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth. Will Smith accepted the “Hollywood Actor Award” for Concussion from Jamie Foxx, and spoke passionately about wanting to honor the truth of the film while also being a football dad, and the role that played in his work. Robert De Niro received a standing ovation after a reel honoring his work was played. He noted that while this event typically marks the start of awards season, for him this award season started forty years ago.

This year’s award show honored the following:
“Hollywood Career Achievement Award”
Robert De Niro, presented by David O. Russell
“Hollywood Producer Award”
Ridley Scott for The Martian, presented by Russell Crowe
“Hollywood Director Award”
Tom Hooper for The Danish Girl, presented by Amber Heard
“Hollywood Actor Award”
Will Smith for Concussion, presented by Jamie Foxx
“Hollywood Actress Award”
Carey Mulligan for Suffragette, presented […]

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, […]

Will Fantasy Titles “Crimson Peak” and “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” Make the Cut in Oscar’s Costume Design Race?

Fashion is on display every Oscar night. Fashion also is rewarded in the category of the Academy Award for Best Costume Design. The wardrobe for a film can provide exceptional glamor. But more importantly, well-designed costumes tell us something about the characters who wear them, in terms of their time, place, class, age, and self-image.
The Costume Designers’ branch is without question one of the most original in AMPAS. Every year, films that are usually forgotten in other categories, either due to being too poorly reviewed, too small, or too un-Oscary, manage to score here. It’s very rare that at least one of the nominees isn’t the “sole representative” of its film.
But notwithstanding its originality in terms of films rewarded, the branch is conservative in two other ways. The first is the love of past nominees. Though there is usually at least one first-timer nominated each year, the costume designers are far from the most welcoming branch when it comes to prospective first-time nominees. The second is the love of the period piece. Usually featuring relatively showy costumes and frequently research-intensive, period films tend to grab four-to-five of the nominations. There is typically one fantasy title, but not always. And truly contemporary films tend to be nominated only once or twice a decade.
Leading the way this year may be the great ten-time nominee/three-time winner Sandy Powell, who has both “Cinderella” and “Carol” in contention. Todd Haynes’s 1950s New York City drama will undoubtedly draw comparisons to his 1950s Connecticut film “Far From Heaven.” While Powell was remarkably not nominated for that effort, I suspect “Carol” will be a bigger hit with the Academy. “Cinderella,” on the other hand, blends period and fantasy with an extraordinary array of colors and costumes. While one may wonder how hard Disney will push this March release, the fact remains that the costumes were praised by virtually everyone who saw the film and if it gets a nomination anywhere, one would expect it to be here. At the end of the day, I think Powell is destined to repeat her 1998 feat and get a double nomination (as she did then, for “Velvet Goldmine” and “Shakespeare in Love”).
Also set in 1950s New York is “Brooklyn,” with costumes designed by Odile Dicks-Mireaux. The costumes are not only top-notch and spanning cultures, but they were instrumental in illustrating the protagonist’s transition between cultures and countries. I suspect […]

Hollywood Film Awards: A Parade of Hollywood Stars Celebrating Cinema

The stars scheduled to present honorees with their awards at the “19th Annual Hollywood Film Awards,” hosted by critically and globally acclaimed actor, comedian and late-night talk show host, James Corden. Presenters Steve Carell, Russell Crowe, Johnny Depp, Vin Diesel, Jamie Foxx, Selena Gomez, Ryan Gosling, Jake Gyllenhaal, Armie Hammer, Amber Heard, Ice Cube, Amy Poehler, Mark Ruffalo, David O. Russell, Kurt Russell, Quentin Tarantino and Reese Witherspoon will be in attendance at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, on Sunday, November 1, 2015 to honor their colleagues and friends.
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.
Honorees for this year’s show include:
• Robert De Niro – “Hollywood Career Achievement Award”
• Ridley Scott – “Hollywood Producer Award” for The Martian
• Tom Hooper – “Hollywood Director Award” for The Danish Girl
• Will Smith – “Hollywood Actor Award” for Concussion
• Carey Mulligan – “Hollywood Actress Award” for Suffragette
• Benicio Del Toro – “Hollywood Supporting Actor Award” for Sicario
• Jane Fonda – “Hollywood Supporting Actress Award” for Youth
• Joel Edgerton – “Hollywood Breakout Actor Award” for Black Mass
• Alicia Vikander – “Hollywood Breakout Actress Award” for The Danish Girl
• Saoirse Ronan – “New Hollywood Award” for Brooklyn
• The Hateful Eight – “Hollywood Ensemble Award”
• Cast of Straight Outta Compton: Corey Hawkins, O’Shea Jackson, Jr. & Jason Mitchell – “Hollywood Breakout Ensemble Award”
• Amy Schumer – “Hollywood Comedy Award” for Trainwreck
• Adam McKay – “Hollywood Breakthrough Director Award” for The Big Short
• Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer – “Hollywood Screenwriter Award” for Spotlight
• Furious 7 – “Hollywood Blockbuster Award”
• Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth – “Hollywood Song Award” for their hit “See You Again” from the Furious 7 soundtrack
• Asif Kapadia – “Hollywood Documentary Award” for Amy
• Inside Out, directed by Pete Docter – “Hollywood Animation Award”
• Janusz Kaminski – “Hollywood Cinematography Award,” for Bridge of Spies
• Alexandre Desplat – “Hollywood Film Composer Award” for The Danish Girl and Suffragette
• David Rosenbloom – “Hollywood Editor Award” for Black Mass
• Tim Alexander – “Hollywood Visual Effects Award” for Jurassic World
• Gary Rydstrom – “Hollywood Sound Award” for Bridge of Spies
• Sandy Powell – “Hollywood Costume Design Award” for Cinderella
• Lesley Vanderwalt – “Hollywood Make-Up & Hair Styling Award” for Mad Max: Fury Road
• Colin Gibson – “Hollywood Production Design Award” for Mad Max: Fury Road
CHEAT TWEET: .@SteveCarell, @iamjamiefoxx, @RyanGosling & MORE announced […]

Living Legends John Williams and Ennio Morricone Compete for the Oscar for Best Original Score

The Academy Award for Best Original Score rewards those musicians who compose the original music for our films. It is without question one of the most recognized crafts categories. It is not difficult to think of examples of film scores that are simply iconic, from “Gone With the Wind” to “The Godfather” to “Once Upon a Time in the West” to “Jurassic Park.”
The nominees are chosen by the music branch (who also choose the nominees for Best Original Song, which, as we will analyze in December, is a very different category due to several different reasons).
Epic films, as well as best picture contenders and animated features, frequently find favor here. The music branch is also renowned for being an “insiders’ club.” It is rare that more than one of the five nominees is a first-timer, and there are certain stalwarts who we are used to seeing year after year.

Without question the branch’s favorite composer ever is 49-time nominee John Williams. This year he is once again providing the music from the galaxy far far away in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” It is destined to be a hit, and Williams can never be ruled out. So I suspect that he is going to find himself joining Walt Disney as the second person to receive a fiftieth Oscar nomination.

Williams’s age (83) may be preventing him from being as prolific as he once was. In the result, he is not fulfilling composer duties for Steven Spielberg for the first time in 30 years. Instead, another Academy favorite – Thomas Newman – stepped into that role for “Bridge of Spies.” In addition to the fact that Newman has 12 nominations of his own, the score also featured many of the trademarks that have made Spielberg scores so successful in this category. Given that the film has already been released, I’d say Newman is even more assured of a spot than Williams. (One never knows how to analyze a score’s potential before hearing it.) Newman also has “Spectre” coming out this year but despite his nomination for “Skyfall,” I doubt Newman will become a double nominee, given the strength of the competition.
Alexandre Desplat won this category last year for “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” capping off an extraordinary decade in which his European sensibilities have found favor on both sides of the Atlantic. “The Danish Girl” reunites him with Tom Hooper and gives him […]

Chris Rock will host the 88th Academy Awards

A bit of breaking news for you folks. It’s been announced that Chris Rock will be the host of the Oscars. Yes, the comedian/actor has been selected to lead the 88th Academy Awards telecast, marking the second time that Rock has been given this prestigious job. Not everyone wants to do it more than once, or accepts it when offered, so this now puts him into a small club of returning hosts. I didn’t include him in my recent speculation about how could get the gig, so it just goes to show how unpredictable things can be. It’s his job now, so let’s discuss that for a little bit…

First up, for comparison’s sake, here’s the other folks who are in Rock’s club of hosting the Academy Awards at least twice:
Bob Hope (19 times)
Billy Crystal (9 times)
Johnny Carson (5 times)
Whoopi Goldberg (4 times)
Jack Lemmon (4 times)
Jerry Lewis (3 times)
Steve Martin (3 times)
Conrad Nagel (3 times)
David Niven (3 times)
Jack Benny (2 times)
Chevy Chase (2 times)
Sammy Davis Jr. (2 times)
Ellen DeGeneres (2 times)
William C. deMille (2 times)
Jane Fonda (2 times)
Goldie Hawn (2 times)
Walter Matthau (2 times)
Richard Pryor (2 times)
Frank Sinatra (2 times)
James Stewart (2 times)
Jon Stewart (2 times)
Add in Rock to the two time club and those are all of the men and women who have been Oscar hosts more than once.
One thing to keep in mind about that above list is that a lot of those names that you might not have realized were hosts (let along hosts more than once) are there because they were part of a group that co-hosted the ceremony. I’ve often wondered if that could be something that the Academy goes back to for their show one day, but so far, they’ve just gone with two hosts of less in the modern era. There’s nothing wrong with that, especially since I’ve never especially disliked their choices, but I’d be thrilled to see them just have a group of stars co-host again one day. It’d be different, that’s for sure.
As for Rock, I enjoyed his last time around back in 2005, but I didn’t think he was the best choice ever. He’s not the worst either, and that’s the thing here…you rarely get raves or pans. Most just think of the job as a necessary evil. I’m a bit more generous, thinking that everyone pretty much has been fine so far, with a few doing slightly better than […]

Hollywood Film Awards: Will Smith and Jane Fonda to be Honored

Two-time Academy Award® nominated actor Will Smith will be honored with the “Hollywood Actor Award” for his performance in Concussion, and Academy Award® winning actress Jane Fonda will receive the “Hollywood Supporting Actress Award” for her role Paolo Sorrentino’s Youth. The “19th Annual Hollywood Film Awards” will be hosted by critically and globally acclaimed actor, comedian and late-night talk show host, James Corden. The awards ceremony will take place at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, on Sunday, 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.
“Will Smith and Jane Fonda, two of Hollywood’s finest actors, deliver tour de force performances in Concussion and Youth,” said Allen Shapiro, CEO of dick clark productions. “We are thrilled to have them join the star-studded list of honorees at this year’s ceremony.”

About Will Smith
Two-time Academy Award® nominee Will Smith has enjoyed unprecedented success in a career encompassing films, television and multi-platinum records. For his memorable portrayal of Muhammad Ali in Michael Mann’s Ali, he received his first Academy Award® nomination, which was followed by his second nomination for the true-life drama, The Pursuit of Happyness. Smith recently wrapped production on the David Ayer-directed Suicide Squad for Warner Bros. Pictures. Based on the DC comic book, Smith will play Deadshot opposite Jared Leto, Joel Kinnaman, Margot Robbie, Jai Courtney and Cara Delevingne. The film is slated for release on August 5, 2016.
About CONCUSSION
Will Smith stars in CONCUSSION, a dramatic thriller based on the incredible true David vs. Goliath story of American immigrant Dr. Bennet Omalu, the brilliant forensic neuropathologist who made the first discovery of CTE, a football-related brain trauma, in a pro player and fought for the truth to be known. Omalu’s emotional quest puts him at dangerous odds with one of the most powerful institutions in the world. The film also stars Alec Baldwin, Luke Wilson, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Arliss Howard, Paul Reiser, with David Morse and Albert Brooks. A Columbia Pictures presentation in association with LStar Capital and Village Roadshow Pictures, the film is written and directed by Peter Landesman, based on the GQ article “Game Brain” by Jeanne Marie Laskas, and produced by […]

Hollywood Contenders: Steve Jobs Didn’t Work

By Michael Russnow
In his latest work, 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. However, the key word is dramatist, the ability to fashion together plots and conversation that compel us to pay attention, through comedy or tragedy or a mix of both. The mere stringing together of shrewd phraseology that, for the most part, is not believable patter among characters, doesn’t work no matter how intriguing we believe them to be.
So, whether it’s Jobs played by Michael Fassbender, who does an awfully good job with what he has, or his key aide and ally Joanna Hoffman played by Kate Winslet (who seems to develop a thick eastern European accent in the middle of the film not indicated early on) or Steve Wozniak, well portrayed by Seth Rogen, the exchanges are so intuitively profound without anyone giving a moment’s thought to what they are about to say or where they’re saying it that it ceases to be about people in conflict. It’s as if they were robots with access to a terrific thesaurus.

To read more go to http://www.huffingtonpost.com/
Michael Russnow’s website is www.ramproductionsinternational.com
Read his new book, Hollywood on the Danube, available at https://www.createspace.com/4497564 and on Kindle & Amazon sites.

Hollywood Film Awards: James Corden to Host the 2015 HFAs

James Corden, critically and globally acclaimed actor, comedian and late night show star to host the “19th annual Hollywood Film Awards.
The “19th Annual Hollywood Film Awards” will be hosted by critically and globally acclaimed actor, comedian and late night talk show host, James Corden. The awards ceremony 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.
“James Corden is one of the brightest stars on television today,” said Allen Shapiro, CEO of dick clark productions. “We can’t wait to see what he has in store for the big night.”
In the past year alone, Corden has taken over The CBS Late Late show to critical acclaim, was one of the stars of the Golden Globe nominated film Into The Woods, and will be honored this month with BAFTA’s Britannia Award for British Artist of the Year.
Previously announced honorees for this year’s show include:
• Robert De Niro – “Hollywood Career Achievement Award”
• Ridley Scott – “Hollywood Producer Award” for The Martian
• Tom Hooper – “Hollywood Director Award” for The Danish Girl
• Carey Mulligan – “Hollywood Actress Award” for Suffragette
• Benicio Del Toro – “Hollywood Supporting Actor Award” for Sicario
• Joel Edgerton – “Hollywood Breakout Actor Award” for Black Mass
• Saoirse Ronan – “New Hollywood Award” for Brooklyn
• Alicia Vikander – “Hollywood Breakout Actress Award” for The Danish Girl
• Cast of Straight Outta Compton: Corey Hawkins, O’Shea Jackson Jr. & Jason Mitchell – “Hollywood Breakout Ensemble Award”
• Amy Schumer – “Hollywood Comedy Award” for Trainwreck
• Adam McKay – “Hollywood Breakthrough Director Award” for The Big Short
• Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer – “Hollywood Screenwriter Award” for Spotlight
• Furious 7 – “Hollywood Blockbuster Award”
• Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth – “Hollywood Song Award” for their hit “See You Again” from the Furious 7 soundtrack
• Asif Kapadia – “Hollywood Documentary Award” for Amy
• Inside Out, directed by Pete Docter – “Hollywood Animation Award”
• Janusz Kaminski – “Hollywood Cinematography Award,” for Bridge of Spies
• Alexandre Desplat – “Hollywood Film Composer Award” for The Danish Girl and Suffragette
• David Rosenbloom – “Hollywood Editor Award” for Black Mass
• Tim Alexander – “Hollywood Visual Effects Award” for Jurassic World
• Gary Rydstrom – “Hollywood Sound Award” for Bridge of Spies
• Sandy Powell – “Hollywood Costume Design Award” for […]

Will “Star Wars” Awaken a Force within the Sound Editing race?

What does a lightsaber sound like? Or a storm on Mars? Or Q’s latest gadget? Well we don’t know. Rather, films’ sound effects editors use their ingenuity to create these artificial sounds, to be integrated into a film’s soundtrack. The Academy Award for Best Sound Editing rewards the supervising sound editors who are responsible for this important craft.
War films and action films frequently score here, and science-fiction/fantasy is another favorite. Animated films also do disproportionately well in this category, which is not surprising given that all non-dialogue, non-music sounds need to be created. Best Picture nominees by no means dominate this category, but films that tank usually have considerable difficulty making the final five.
“The Martian” featured extraordinary sounds during crashes and explosions such that viewers feel they are on Mars/in space. Oliver Tarney was nominated two years ago for another October release –“Captain Phillips.” He seems a good bet for a second nod.
“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” will undoubtedly feature a feast of sound effects. Critical response is obviously unknown but there’s no doubt this will be a massive hit. Matthew Wood is a two-time nominee (“There Will Be Blood,” “Wall-E”) who would seem likely to return if the film is even of respectable quality.
Also coming out soon is “Spectre,” the latest James Bond title. Following up the massive critical and commercial success that was “Skyfall,” which won this category three years ago, will be challenging. Karen Baker Landers and Per Hallberg will be seeking another nod. Whether they get it depends, in my view, on the quality of the film.
Earlier this year, “Jurassic World” lit the box office on fire. The franchise’s first film won this category twenty-two years ago. The dino sounds are back, and could end up in play if the film manages to score outside the Visual Effects category. Al Nelson is seeking a first nomination while Gwendolyn Yates Whittle is seeking her third, having previously been nominated for “Avatar” and “TRON: Legacy.”
“Mad Max: Fury Road” may not have lit the box office on fire, but it sure excited critics. It will likely be revitalized with end-of-year critics’ citations. The film’s visual landscape has been justly praised, but listening to it also reveals just what an exceptional soundtrack it has, largely courtesy of extraordinary sound effects. Wayne Pashley, Scott Hecker and Mark Mangini have four nominations between them and might well end up with an invitation […]

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