April 22, 2014

Tag Archives: Entertainment/Culture

Under the Radar: Tom Hardy

Today I’m going to be pressing on with another series for you all here at the site, one that I started last week. Basically, it’s a spinoff of the Spotlight on the Stars series. As a quick refresher, each week I 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, including today) 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 as opposed to a tried and true star.
For this week’s sophomore piece, I wanted to take a look at our first actor getting the treatment in this particular way…Tom Hardy. Frankly, not nearly enough people know who he is, despite some very high profile roles. He has the ability to morph with each role, so pinning him down can be tricky. He’s been a hero, a villain, a romantic lead, and just about everything in between. This is a chameleon of an actor, one who seems up for anything and basically is a filmmaker’s dream.
Hardy first showed up on screens in Star Trek: Nemesis, followed by small parts in films like Layer Cake, Marie Antoinette, RocknRolla, and Sucker Punch, though it wasn’t until he burst on to the scene with his searing performance in Bronson that people really started to take notice. From there, he was officially someone to watch (along with becoming a bit of a critics darling), and boy has he not disappointed.
Since that breakthrough role, he has wound up in such diverse fare as The Dark Knight Rises, Inception, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, and Warrior, not to mention lighter things like This Means War. Especially in The Dark Knight Rises and Warrior, Hardy has been outstanding, along with Bronson, those are his three finest performances to date, though this week he has another tremendous bit of acting hitting screens, one that’s well deserving of a top five spot in his filmography.
Now, it appears that Hardy is interested in expanding his range even more, as seen by the one man show that is Locke, which opens this weekend. It’s essentially him and [...]

Carrie Underwood, Ellie Goulding and OneRepublic are the top three finalists for the Milestone Award

Billboard, dick clark productions and Chevrolet announced today that Carrie Underwood, Ellie Goulding and OneRepublic are the top three finalists for the Milestone Award presented by Chevrolet at the 2014 Billboard Music Awards on Sunday, May 18 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, NV and broadcast LIVE on ABC at 8pm ET. Fan voting for the three finalists will continue online with the winner being announced during this year’s broadcast.
This is the second year that this editorial award will go to an innovative artist who achieved a notable chart milestone in the past year. In addition to the three finalists, the other nominees for the 2014 Milestone Award presented by Chevrolet included Imagine Dragons, John Legend, and Luke Bryan.
Voting for the three finalists is now open on Billboard.com/milestone. Voting will continue through the first two hours of the live Billboard Music Awards telecast, closing at 10pm ET / 9pm CT. The 2014 Milestone Award will be announced toward the end of the show and presented to the winner by superstar artist, Kelly Rowland. Tune in for the announcement of a special sweepstakes during the show.
“The Milestone Award presented by Chevrolet is a 100% fan voted category putting the final selection process in the hands of the music fans themselves,” said Larry Klein, producer of the 2014 Billboard Music Awards. “Carrie Underwood, Ellie Goulding and OneRepublic have made a tremendous impact on music over the past year making it an exciting race completely determined by the fans voting right up through the first two hours of the live broadcast.”
The 2014 Billboard Music Awards will broadcast live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Sunday, May 18th at 8pm ET on ABC.

ABOUT BILLBOARD
Billboard is the world’s most influential music brand, built on the most complete and well respected database of charts across all music genres. The Billboard charts define success in music. From the iconic Billboard magazine to Billboard.com which is the ultimate consumer-facing destination for millions of passionate music fans, to the industry’s most elite conference series and influencer events including the Power 100 and Women in Music ­ the Billboard brand has unmatched authority among fans, artists and the industry alike.
ABOUT “2014 BILLBOARD MUSIC AWARDS”
The “2014 Billboard Music Awards” are set to return to ABC and will be broadcast live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in [...]

Craig Zadan and Neil Meron will return to produce the Oscars

Motion picture, television and theater producing team Craig Zadan and Neil Meron will return to produce the Oscars for a third consecutive year, Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs announced today. The 87th Oscars will air live on the ABC Television Network on Oscar® Sunday, February 22, 2015.
“We couldn’t be more thrilled to have Craig and Neil back to produce the Oscars again in 2015,” said Boone Isaacs. “Their showmanship has elevated the show to new heights and we are excited to keep the momentum going with this creative partnership.”

“This year’s show reached viewers of all ages and set social media records, proving that Craig and Neil are masters at tapping into the zeitgeist and capturing the hearts of movie fans around the world,” said Academy CEO Dawn Hudson.
“We are delighted to work with Cheryl, Dawn and the Academy to produce the Oscars for a third time,” said Zadan and Meron. “We’re proud of the show’s success over the last two years and are eager to embark on another entertaining show to honor this year’s motion pictures.”
The 86th Oscars on March 2, marked the return of host Ellen DeGeneres, and featured memorable musical performances by artists including Pharrell Williams and U2, a tribute to “The Wizard of Oz” by Pink, and a star-studded, record-breaking selfie seen around the world.
The show drew an average audience of 45.4 million total viewers, delivering a 13.7 rating among adults 18–49 (Live+7), and reached 74.6 million viewers watching 6+ minutes, the best since 2004. The Oscars were TV’s most-watched entertainment telecast in 10 years and attracted the biggest viewership in 14 years. The show helped drive increases for the second consecutive year, marking a seven-year high for adults 18–34 (+3%); a nine-year high for teens 12–17 (+13%); and an eight-year high for kids 2–11 (+13%). Social media activity was particularly robust with more than one billion impressions generated on Twitter and 25 million interactions happening on Facebook on Oscar® Sunday. Additionally, DeGeneres’s selfie became the most retweeted photo of all time with 32.8 million views.
Zadan and Meron’s feature film, television and theater productions have earned a total of six Oscars, 11 Emmy® Awards, two Tony® Awards, a Grammy® Award, five Golden Globes®, two Peabody Awards, five GLAAD Awards and two NAACP Image Awards. For film, they executive produced the 2002 Best Picture winner “Chicago,” which won Oscars in six of the 13 categories in which it [...]

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 distributor Open 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.

Photos by PRPhotos.com

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 [...]

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