September 21, 2015
        “Inside Out”: Looking at potential Best Animated Feature Contenders                "Black Mass" could get Johnny Depp back in the Oscar game                J.J. Abrams and Denis Villeneuve: Ten potential first time writer/director nominees for Oscar in 2015                Roger Deakins offers up some of his very best cinematography in "Sicario"                "The Martian" launches itself as an awards hopeful at the Toronto Film Festival                "Steve Jobs": Oscar predictions for September                "Sleeping with Other People" is one of the most charming films of 2015                Sandra Bullock looks like a contender in the Trailer for "Our Brand is Crisis"                Sam Smith will sing the theme song for the upcoming 007 film "Spectre"                Richard Gere is an under the radar Best Actor contender for "Time Out of Mind"                Telluride and Venice launch festival debuts into the Oscar race                “The Hateful Eight”: Looking at potential Best Original Screenplay Contenders                David O. Russell and Ridley Scott: Which filmmaking contenders this year are most due for their first win?                Telluride Announces 2015 Lineup - Steve Jobs, Black Mass, Suffragette                “Sicario”: Ten Films to see in September        

Tag Archives: Entertainment/Culture

“MINIONS” – World Premiere in Los Angeles

“MINIONS” – World Premiere, Shrine AUditorium, Los Angeles, CA – Saturday, June 27, 2015
The story of Illumination Entertainment and Universal Pictures’ Minions begins at the dawn of time. Starting as single-celled yellow organisms, Minions evolve through the ages, perpetually serving the most despicable of masters. Continuously unsuccessful at keeping these masters—from T. rex to Napoleon—the Minions find themselves without someone to serve and fall into a deep depression.
But one Minion named KEVIN has a plan, and he—alongside teenage rebel STUART and lovable little BOB—ventures out into the world to find a new evil boss for his brethren to follow.

The trio embarks upon a thrilling journey that ultimately leads them to their next potential master, Scarlet Overkill (Academy Award® winner SANDRA BULLOCK of The Blind Side, The Heat), the world’s first-ever female super-villain. They travel from frigid Antarctica to 1960s New York City, ending in mod London, where they must face their biggest challenge to date: saving all of Minionkind…from annihilation.

Joining Kevin, Stuart, Bob, Scarlet and the rest of the Minions team is a cast of characters led by JON HAMM (TV’s Mad Men, Bridesmaids) as Herb Overkill, Scarlet’s mod-scientist husband; MICHAEL KEATON (Birdman: Or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), Toy Story 3) as Walter Nelson, patriarch of his felonious troupe; five-time Golden Globe Award nominee ALLISON JANNEY (TV’s The West Wing, Finding Nemo) as Madge, Walter’s domestic villainess and purveyor of a number of crimes in the family name; STEVE COOGAN (Despicable Me 2, Philomena) as both Professor Flux, inventor of the world’s first time machine, and the doddering Tower Guard, who is singlehandedly responsible for the protection of the Queen’s priceless jewels; JENNIFER SAUNDERS (TV’s Absolutely Fabulous, Shrek 2) as the surprisingly spry and ribald Queen Elizabeth II; and Academy Award® winner GEOFFREY RUSH (The King’s Speech, Pirates of the Caribbean series) as the narrator who takes us along this fascinating and brilliant journey.
Featuring a soundtrack of hit music from the ’60s that still permeates our culture today, Minions is produced by Illumination founder and CEO CHRIS MELEDANDRI (Despicable Me series, Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax, Hop, Ice Age series), who, alongside JANET HEALY (Despicable Me series, Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax), has produced all of the studio’s films since its inception. The film is directed by PIERRE COFFIN (Despicable Me, Despicable Me 2) and KYLE BALDA (Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax).

Marvel/Sony picks a Spider-Man actor in Tom Holland and a director in Jon Watts

After what seems like one of the longest casting processes in a while, Marvel and Sony have settled on the next actor to play Peter Parker and his superhero alter ego Spider-Man. The search literally took months, involved names both expected and unexpected, but finally concluded yesterday. Putting on the costume will be young Tom Holland, while stepping behind the camera will be Jon Watts. Not familiar with either of those names that Marvel Cinematic Universe godfather Kevin Feige saw fit to hire? Fear not, as I’ll give you the rundown on who they are below, along with who they beat out for their plum new gigs in each case.
First up, I should remind you where the character has gone before. We’re getting our third incarnation of Spidey, with Tobey Maguire as Peter in the first three films that Sony put out (Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2, and Spider-Man 3), all of which were directed by Sam Raimi. Money and a sapping of creative energy led to a scrapping of Spider-Man 4 for what was expected to be a younger reboot, this time led by Andrew Garfield in the tights and Marc Webb at the helm. That only lasted for two movies (The Amazing Spider-Man and The Amazing Spider-Man 2) before they went back to the drawing board again. Instead of pursuing The Amazing Spider-Man 3, Sony reached an agreement with Marvel to let the character join their cinematic universe in a partnership between both corporate giants. That got us to where we are now.
Alright, so let’s talk about Holland a bit. He’s an up and coming actor, mainly known for an excellent supporting turn a few years ago in The Impossible. He even got some awards buzz for that role, so he’s clearly got acting chops. Who did he beat out to play the web head? The main contender seemed to be Asa Butterfield, though along with Butterfield and Holland, the actual finalists were Judah Lewis, Matthew Lintz, Charlie Plummer, and Charlie Rowe. At one point Nat Wolff seemed to be in the running as well. Rumors had it down to just Holland and Rowe in the last few days, so Holland obviously managed to put himself over the top. Now, he’ll be high school student Peter Parker, but more importantly, he’ll also be teenaged superhero and future Avenger Spider-Man.
As for Watts, he’s an initially surprising pick by Marvel and Sony, […]

R.I.P. James Horner: A top tier contributor to cinematic music

It was with great sadness that we learned yesterday of the death of composer James Horner at just 61 years old. Horner died in a plane crash, piloting a small aircraft that went down a day ago in California. The composer is a multiple Oscar winner, taking home Academy Awards for Best Original Score and Best Original Song for Titanic, marking just one of his many collaborations with filmmaker James Cameron. All told, Horner was nominated by the Academy ten times, with various other nominations and wins to his credit. He was a well respected musician and giant in the industry, so he will certainly be missed in a big way.
Horner was cited by the Academy for his work on not just Titanic, but also Aliens, An American Tail, Apollo 13, Avatar, A Beautiful Mind, Braveheart, Field of Dreams, as well as House of Sand and Fog. All of the nods came in Best Original Score, except for ones in Best Original Song for An American Tail (the song Somewhere Out There) and with one of his wins for Titanic (for his work making My Heart Will Go On happen). Those Original Score and Original Song noms just scratch the surface of Horner’s talents, but it gives you an idea just how beloved he was in Hollywood. This is truly a loss, and that’s putting it mildly.
Here’s how I’d quickly rank his ten best scores to date, though honestly everything he did was pretty top notch. You can’t go wrong with anything of his, but these scores from Horner really stand out from the rest, at least for me. No list is wrong, but off the top of my head, this is what mine would look like:
10. Windtalkers
9. A Beautiful Mind
8. Braveheart
7. Avatar
6. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
5. Titanic
4. Deep Impact
3. Apollo 13
2. Field of Dreams
1. Aliens
Honorable Mentions: The Amazing Spider-Man, Courage Under Fire, and Legends of the Fall
That list above makes for quite a career, right? Just think, that top ten list doesn’t even include An American Tail, Courage Under Fire, Glory, House of Sand and Fog, Jumanji, The Land Before Time, Legends of the Fall, The Rocketeer, Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, or Troy. You could easily go 25 deep on his catalogue and only be talking about scores that you’ll recognize as some of the industry’s best. My honorable mentions merely scratch the […]

KUNG FU PANDA 3 First Trailer

The star-studded cast returns to this franchise with Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, Dustin Hoffman, Jackie Chan, Seth Rogen, Lucy Liu, and David Cross; joined by newcomers Bryan Cranston, Rebel Wilson, and J.K. Simmons.
KUNG FU PANDA 3 hits theaters everywhere on JANUARY 29, 2016!
Check out the first trailer and get ready for the hilarious adventure to continue in 2016!

In 2016, one of the most successful animated franchises in the world returns with its biggest comedy adventure yet, KUNG FU PANDA 3. When Po’s long-lost panda father suddenly reappears, the reunited duo travels to a secret panda paradise to meet scores of hilarious new panda characters. But when the supernatural villain Kai begins to sweep across China defeating all the kung fu masters, Po must do the impossible, learn to train a village full of his fun-loving, clumsy brethren to become the ultimate band of Kung Fu Pandas!
KUNG FU PANDA 3 Official Socials
Snapchat: dwanimation
Hashtag: #kungfupanda

He Named Me Malala Yousafzai

“One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world.”– Malala Yousafzai
Fox Searchlight Pictures announced today that National Geographic Channel has joined forces with Fox Searchlight Pictures for the global theatrical release of Academy Award winner Davis Guggenheim’s upcoming feature documentary HE NAMED ME MALALA, an intimate portrait of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Malala Yousafzai, who was targeted by the Taliban and severely wounded by a gunshot when returning home on her school bus in Pakistan’s Swat Valley.
With this partnership, National Geographic Channel and National Geographic Society will join the global launch campaign to support the theatrical release this October. Additionally, in 2016 the film will air on the National Geographic Channels in 171 countries and 45 languages.
National Geographic will support this important film from theatrical release through the broadcast television premiere with all of the resources of the National Geographic Channels as well as through the National Geographic Society in National Geographic Magazine, National Geographic Digital Media, National Geographic Education Programs, National Geographic Kids, and more.

“This is a film that you leave not only feeling incredibly inspired, but truly wanting to make a difference. As leaders in bringing stories of global importance to the largest audience possible, it is more than just an honor to be part of this project, I feel it is our duty,” said Courteney Monroe, CEO, National Geographic Channels. “That is why we are joining this project as true partners, from the global theatrical release through our eventual television broadcast, and dedicating our collective resources to bring Malala’s important journey and advocacy for girls’ education to millions of people worldwide.”

“We are excited to be partnering with the National Geographic Channels to help bring Davis’ passion and commitment in the telling of Malala’s moving story to audiences worldwide across their extensive media platforms. Davis’ masterful eye captures this inspiring young individual and we are proud to champion her efforts to bring awareness to the critical global issue of the education of girls,” said Fox Searchlight Pictures Presidents Nancy Utley and Steve Gilula.
The documentary offers a look into Malala’s life both before and following the attack. Fifteen at the time of the incident, she was singled out, along with her father, for advocating for girls’ education. The shooting sparked an outcry from supporters around the world. Malala miraculously survived and is now a leading campaigner for girls’ education globally as […]

Al Pacino’s Top Ten performances to date

More or less ever since winning an Oscar for Best Actor in Scent of a Woman, Al Pacino has seen less than his fair share of top notch roles. Luckily though, that drought ends this week with David Gordon Green’s Manglehorn, which features Pacino doing easily his best work in a long time. As such, I wanted to rank his best work to date, covering both his newest film as well as some of his most exciting early roles. Obviously, someone like Pacino has more than ten great performances under his belt, but these are what make up my personal list. I hope you enjoy!

Here now are what I consider to be Pacino’s ten best works to date:
10. Glengarry Glen Ross – He doesn’t have the most iconic role of the lot, but he certainly makes the most of his screen time. Everyone here is uniformly great, so it’s hard for anyone in the cast not to have this film on a list of their best performances. Pacino is no exception, obviously. It may not be his flashiest part, but you admire his work all the same.
9. Scent of a Woman – His Oscar winning role is one that sometimes is not given its due, but I find it to be more than a solid performance. Sure, it’s loud, but that’s kind of the point, I think. This is a brash character and Pacino never once is frightened of potential caricature. Some bad habits developed here, but he’s still very good in the role. It’s hardly a crime that he won for this one.
8. Manglehorn – On Friday you can see Pacino be quietly heartbreaking in David Gordon Green’s latest experimentation. Getting to see the master dial it back in ways he hasn’t in just about decades is truly something to behold. He hinted a bit at this with The Humbling recently, but this performance really reminds you that he’s one of the greatest at the craft of acting who’ve ever lived.
7. …And Justice for All – Pacino is perhaps best known for uttering the now iconic line of “You’re out of order! You’re out of order! The whole trial is out of order!” in this film, but it’s an overall delight to watch Al in a court room. He doesn’t chew the scenery, but instead makes the legal system theatrical in an incredibly compelling way. A very underrated title.
6. […]

‘Jurassic World’ has the biggest opening of all time at the box office

Over the weekend dinosaurs ruled the planet once again. Yes, Jurassic World shattered every single one of the box office predictions, actually becoming the Opening Weekend all time champion, dethroning The Avengers. It now has the record for not just Domestic, but International and Worldwide as well, making this a smash hit that very few saw coming. Perhaps we should have though, considering how both Jurassic Park as well as The Lost World: Jurassic Park set Opening Weekend records at the time. Sure, Jurassic Park III didn’t do that kind of business, but we ignored some clues with Jurassic World, making this possibly a much bigger surprise than it actually is.
Numbers wise here in the states, Jurassic World made an estimated $208.8 million, good enough to beat The Avengers’ $207.4 from merely three years ago. Initially, predictions has Jurassic World coming up just short with $204.6, but obviously that turned out to be on the lower end of the spectrum. It’s only the second film to open to more than $200 million, which is a staggering number however you slice it. The fact that it managed to eek out Marvel’s big juggernaut is probably just icing on the cake for the folks at Universal today. If nothing else, I bet filmmaker Colin Trevorrow and his partner Derek Connelly now have their pick of what they’d like to make next. Who would deny them at this point? Also, as if he wasn’t on the A-list already, Chris Pratt is now one of the biggest movie stars in Hollywood, it’s just that simple.
For some perspective on this record being broken, here’s what the top ten Opening Weekends of all time look like now, domestically:
1. Jurassic World – $208.8
2. The Avengers – $207.4
3. Avengers: Age of Ultron – $191.2
4. Iron Man 3 – $174.1
5. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 – $169.1
6. The Dark Knight Rises – $160.8
7. The Dark Knight – $158.4
8. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire – $158
9. The Hunger Games – $152.5
10. Spider-Man 3 – $151.1
The opening that Jurassic World had, about or slightly more than double what was initially expected, pushed the recently released Furious 7 out of the top ten, showing that, combined with Avengers: Age of Ultron rounding out the top three, this year the box office certainly knows how to catch fire. The other interesting thing to look at on this list is how […]

The World To GET SMURFY – Demi Lovato

Demi Lovato, Rainn Wilson and Mandy Patinkin to lend their voices to fully computer-animated feature Film.
To mark this year’s June 14th Global Smurfs Day, Sony Pictures Animation announced the all star cast of Get Smurfy, its brand new, fully computer-animated feature film reminiscent of creator Peyo Culliford’s original recognizable style.
Get Smurfy finds Smurfette and her brothers trekking through the uncharted Enchanted Forest to try and discover a fabled Smurfs village before their nemesis, the evil wizard Gargamel, does. Along the way, some of the mysteries of the little blue creatures’ origins are brought to light: do Smurfs come in any other colors? are their mushroom houses organic? And… why are there 99 boys and only one girl???
Platinum-selling recording artist Demi Lovato has signed to voice the girl-power-ful Smurfette, with Emmy-nominated comic actor Rainn Wilson (The Office, Monsters vs. Aliens) stepping into the evil shoes of the Smurf nemesis, Gargamel. Papa Smurf will be played by Emmy winner Mandy Patinkin (The Princess Bride, Homeland).
Set for a worldwide release on March 31, 2017, the new feature-length animated adventure will be directed by Kelly Asbury (Shrek 2, Gnomeo & Juliet), produced by Jordan Kerner (Charlotte’s Web, The Smurfs) and co-produced by Mary Ellen Bauder (Hotel Transylvania).
Get Smurfy will stand as a brand new entry in the Columbia Pictures movie franchise that has grossed more than $900 million globally.
Says director Kelly Asbury, “The continued popularity of the Smurfs is unmistakeable, and this new outing will return them to the fully-animated world that launched them.”
Producer Jordan Kerner continues, “We felt it was important to take a very different approach with this origin story. It returns to the roots of Peyo’s creation in this CG animated adventure. I hope it will delight not only fans but audiences worldwide. We couldn’t be more excited with the talented new cast we’re starting to assemble for our Smurfy reboot! ”
Adds Sony Pictures Animation’s Kristine Belson, “We have gathered a group of filmmakers and artists who have grown up with these loveable characters, and Get Smurfy will be imbued with the same spirit of adventure that first made all of us lifelong fans of these little blue guys…and girl.”
Based on the characters and works of PEYO.
SMURF, and all Smurfs characters: ©Peyo. All Rights Reserved. “Smurf” and “The Smurfs” are registered trademarks of STUDIO PEYO

“The Martian”: Oscar Predictions for June 2015

I’d been planning all week to write about Ridley Scott and Matt Damon’s The Martian, which debuted an incredible Trailer at the start of the week, but decided to hold off and incorporate it into my new Oscar predictions update. Why? Well, mainly because the film appears to be exceeding even my high expectations. I said after the Trailer debut of Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks’ Bridge of Spies that you couldn’t bet against that one right now, but if you want to be bold, The Martian is one route to take. You’ll see in my predictions that I’ve decided to get a bit risky this time out…
Yes, instead of just going with as many obvious frontrunners for Academy Awards as possible, I’m looking to see what some fresh blood here and there might look like. As such, The Martian is really all over the place, doing better than any other film. A long shot? Perhaps, but everything so far suggests a special movie, so I’m banking that the book I adore so much was faithfully executed by Scott and company. If that’s the case, it easily could do what Gravity and Interstellar couldn’t, which is to really contend for a Best Picture win. Time will tell, but this update shows that at least I think it potentially has a chance. The Academy will have its say eventually, but right now, this is how I see things going.
Here now, without further delay, are my newest Oscar predictions:
1. The Martian
2. Bridge of Spies
3. Our Brand is Crisis
4. The Light Between Oceans
5. Carol
6. The Revenant
7. Brooklyn
8. Steve Jobs
9. The Hateful Eight
10. Joy
Next in line: 11. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl 12. Ricki and the Flash 13. The End of the Tour 14. Lion 15. MacBeth 16. Inside Out 17. By the Sea 18. Demolition 19. Freehold 20. The Walk 21. The Danish Girl 22. Black Mass 23. Southpaw 24. In the Heart of the Sea 25. Trainwreck 26. Sicario 27. Mad Max: Fury Road 28. Ex Machina 29. Suffragette 30. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
1. Ridley Scott – The Martian
2. Steven Spielberg – Bridge of Spies
3. David Gordon Green – Our Brand is Crisis
4. Todd Haynes – Carol
5. Derek Cianfrance – The Light Between Oceans
Next in line: 6. David O. Russell – Joy 7. Alejandro G. Iñárritu – The Revenant 8. Quentin Tarantino – The Hateful Eight 9. […]

SPY starring Melissa McCarthy and Jason Statham

20th Century Fox is excited to announce that their hilarious new comedy, SPY, is currently Certified Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. In honor of opening day, 20th Century Fox is debuting a new mondo poster and some fun gifs. Download all the new images below and be sure to check out SPY in theaters now!
Susan Cooper (Melissa McCarthy) is an unassuming, deskbound CIA analyst, and the unsung hero behind the Agency’s most dangerous missions. But when her partner (Jude Law) falls off the grid and another top agent (Jason Statham) is compromised, she volunteers to go deep undercover to infiltrate the world of a deadly arms dealer, and prevent a global disaster.
SPY Official Socials

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