December 09, 2016

Tag Archives: film

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 […]

Ranking the films in the “Jurassic Park” franchise

Tomorrow, audiences across the globe are going to be treated to the latest “Jurassic” film when Jurassic World hits theaters. No longer under embargo, I’m allowed to say that it’s pretty enjoyable, if really rather ridiculous. The movie isn’t the best of the franchise, but it’s nowhere near the worst either, so it makes for a perfect opportunity to rank the films in the series to date. I’ll also include a few extra thoughts below on Jurassic World (basically a mini review), since I had to keep it vague earlier this week, but I’ll be talking about all four films in the franchise, from Jurassic Park to third sequel/reboot Jurassic World. I hope you all enjoy!
As promised, first an initial take on Jurassic World, just to start painting a picture for everyone. Again…it’s ridiculous. In short, it’s like eating a bowl of ice cream for breakfast. What do I mean by that? It’s got no nutritional value and it’s not something you want to think much about later in the day, but in the moment it’s delicious. Essentially, it’s just another popcorn film, but an enjoyable one, so there’s that. Chris Pratt is solid, Bryce Dallas Howard has a few nice moments, and Jake Johnson is quality comic relief, but the dinosaurs are the main event. Co-writer/director Colin Trevorrow wisely apes Steven Spielberg in holding back on the mayhem, but he does seek to replicate the spectacle, this time with a functioning park. The results don’t always work, including the imposing Indominus Rex being a bit ridiculous, but for popcorn entertainment, this certainly does the trick. You could definitely do a lot worse this weekend…
Without further delay, here now is how I would rank the films in this franchise:
1. Jurassic Park – An all time great summer blockbuster, Spielberg made something instantly iconic here. A liberal adaptation of the Michael Crichton bestseller, this thrill ride upped the game not just for special effects work, but also effects driven storytelling. It holds up brilliantly still today, making it not just the clear best installment of this franchise, but one of the best action adventure tales of all time. An instant classic then, it remains one to this day. As such, it’s far and a way the tops of this series. The first is still very much the best in this particular case.
2. Jurassic World – As mentioned above, this isn’t […]

ZOOTOPIA – New Trailer

The modern mammal metropolis of Zootopia is a city like no other. Comprised of habitat neighborhoods like ritzy Sahara Square and frigid Tundratown, it’s a melting pot where animals from every environment live together—a place where no matter what you are, from the biggest elephant to the smallest shrew, you can be anything. But when optimistic Officer Judy Hopps (voice of Ginnifer Goodwin) arrives, she discovers that being the first bunny on a police force of big, tough animals isn’t so easy.

Determined to prove herself, she jumps at the opportunity to crack a case, even if it means partnering with a fast-talking, scam-artist fox, Nick Wilde (voice of Jason Bateman), to solve the mystery. Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “Zootopia,” a comedy-adventure directed by Byron Howard (“Tangled,” “Bolt”) and Rich Moore (“Wreck-It Ralph,” “The Simpsons”) and co-directed by Jared Bush (“Penn Zero: Part-Time Hero”), opens in theaters on March 4, 2016.
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6 WAYS TO DIE – starring VINNIE JONES & VIVICA A. FOX / out JULY 31ST

Sonny “Sundown” Garcia is the top cocaine distributor in the United States, which has made him a very rich and powerful man. It has also made him plenty of enemies.
John Doe is just such a man. A nameless man of mystery, John lives to see Sundown not just dead, but to suffer six meaningful losses before his death—his fortune, his freedom, his love, his reputation, his most valuable possession and, finally, his life. John hires six hit-men, each one assigned to inflict one of the six meaningful losses upon Sundown.
Starring: Vinnie Jones (X-Men: The Last Stand, Swordfish), Dominique Swain (Face/Off, Lolita), Vivica A. Fox (Kill Bill, Independence Day), Tom Sizemore (Saving Private Ryan, Black Hawk Down) & Bai Ling (The Crow, Anna and the King)

Richard Crudo Re-Elected ASC President

The Board of Governors of the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) has re-elected its slate of officers for another term. Continuing to serve in their roles will be Richard Crudo as president; Owen Roizman, Kees Van Oostrum and Lowell Peterson as vice presidents; Matthew Leonetti as treasurer; Fred Goodich as secretary; and Isidore Mankofsky as sergeant-at-arms.
Crudo will serve his sixth term as president. In addition to the last two years, he fulfilled the role from 2003 through 2006.
The members of the Board, elected in May by the organization?s active membership, include: John Bailey, Bill Bennett, George Spiro Dibie, Richard Edlund, Fred Elms, Daryn Okada, Lowell Peterson, Robert Primes, Rodney Taylor and Haskell Wexler.
“I am humbled to once again have the opportunity to serve this great organization,” said Crudo. “As we start to close in on our 100th anniversary, we will continue to honor the intents of our founders by protecting and promoting the interests of the cinematographer. Our Active and Associate members are the best people in the world at what they do; by their efforts the ASC will remain the industry’s standard bearers for many decades to come.”
In its entire history, the ASC has never been as busy as it is right now. Its quarterly Master Class series has set the highest standard for education and is regularly sold out in advance. Other efforts include its Student Heritage Awards, Breakfast Club seminars, panel discussions by their Education and Outreach committee, the Friends of the ASC membership, and the org?s ongoing committee collaborations with other industry participants vital to the image-making process. Perhaps most notable is the ASC Technology Committee, which has proven unique in its ability to shape the standards and practices of digital cinematography.
Crudo is also a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, serving on the Executive Committee of the Cinematographers Branch as well as the Sci-Tech Committee. In addition, he has chaired and co-chaired the ASC Awards for several years throughout the past decade.
Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Crudo began his film career as an assistant cameraman. As a director of photography, he has shot a wide range of feature, television and commercial productions. Among his feature credits are Federal Hill, American Buffalo, American Pie, Music From Another Room, Outside Providence, Down To Earth, Out Cold, Grind, Brooklyn Rules and the upcoming Addicted. He has also directed several independent features.
ASC was […]

Ranking the films of Cameron Crowe

I’m a big fan of positivity, especially when it comes to the film industry, since it seems to be at a premium most of the time. Two weeks ago, filmmaker Cameron Crowe’s latest movie Aloha opened to rather poor reviews, some of which began to look back and degrade his canon on the whole. In an attempt to keep it positive, I wanted to look back on Crowe’s filmography and rank his work to date, especially since I’m one of the few who feel that he’s basically never had a true “bad” movie. Some of his films are better than the others, of course, but they all have value…
Here’s my ranking of the films from writer/director Cameron Crowe:
1. Almost Famous – Crowe’s masterpiece and one of the best films of the last 25 years (along with one of my five favorites of all time), this is basically a perfect piece of cinema. A passion project based on Crowe’s childhood, it’s just brilliant on every single level. Multiple scenes are forever engrained in my mind, and I know I’m not alone. As a bonus, this is one of the few films that only gets better when you see more of it, as the three hour “Untitled” extended edition proves.
2. Jerry Maguire – One of the more quotable movies ever, this is Crowe at his most crowd pleasing. Armed with Tom Cruise in perhaps his peak form, at least charisma wise, it’s impossible not to fall in love with this romantic dramedy. By the time you hear “You had me at hello”, the film already has you. It’s probably the outing of Crowe’s that I’ve revisited most, due to just how pleasing it is, on pretty much all levels.
3. Say Anything – A very good film on its own, it’s made even better by the now iconic scene of John Cusack holding a boombox over his head, to the tune of Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes”. Crowe was making his directorial debut here, after making a name for himself by writing the book and screenplay adaptation for Fast Times at Ridgemont High, so he was a work in progress. Still, this is an incredibly accomplished debut, full of hints that he was going to one day become the best in the business.
4. Elizabethtown – Here’s one that I love way more than almost anyone else. I have a soft spot in […]

INSIDE OUT- New Film Clip

Do you ever look at someone and wonder what is going on inside their head? Disney•Pixar’s original new film “Inside Out” ventures inside the mind to find out.
Based in Headquarters, the control center inside 11-year-old Riley’s mind, five Emotions are hard at work, led by lighthearted optimist Joy (voice of Amy Poehler), whose mission is to make sure Riley stays happy. Fear (voice of Bill Hader) heads up safety, Anger (voice of Lewis Black) ensures all is fair and Disgust (voice of Mindy Kaling) prevents Riley from getting poisoned—both physically and socially. Sadness (voice of Phyllis Smith) isn’t exactly sure what her role is, and frankly, neither is anyone else.

When Riley’s family relocates to a scary new city, the Emotions are on the job, eager to help guide her through the difficult transition. But when Joy and Sadness are inadvertently swept into the far reaches of Riley’s mind—taking some of her core memories with them—Fear, Anger and Disgust are left reluctantly in charge. Joy and Sadness must venture through unfamiliar places—Long Term Memory, Imagination Land, Abstract Thought and Dream Productions—in a desperate effort to get back to Headquarters, and Riley.
Directed by Academy Award® winner Pete Docter (“Monsters, Inc.”, “Up”), produced by Jonas Rivera, p.g.a. (“Up”) and featuring an original score by Michael Giacchino (“The Incredibles,” “Ratatouille,” “Up”), Disney•Pixar’s “Inside Out” opens in theaters on June 19, 2015.

Notes:
· Director Pete Docter is the Academy Award®-winning director of “Up.” He made his directorial debut with Disney•Pixar‘s smash hit “Monsters, Inc.,” which was nominated for an Academy Award for best animated feature film. Along with John Lasseter and Andrew Stanton, Docter developed the story and characters for “Toy Story,” Pixar‘s first full-length feature film, for which he also served as supervising animator. He served as a storyboard artist on “A Bug’s Life” and wrote the initial story treatment for “Toy Story 2.” As one of Pixar Animation Studios’ key creative contributors, Docter garnered an Academy Award nomination for his original story credit on Disney•Pixar’s Golden Globe®- and Oscar®-winning “WALL•E.”
· Jonas Rivera produced the Academy Award®-winning “Up,” for which he was nominated for best picture. Prior to “Up,” he had worked on nearly every Pixar film since joining Pixar Animation Studios in 1994, beginning with “Toy Story” for which he served as production office assistant. His subsequent credits include “A Bug’s Life” (as art department coordinator), “Toy Story 2” (as […]

Steven Spielberg’s “Bridge of Spies” gets a compelling Trailer

It’s been a pretty good week for Trailers, I must say that. We’ve already gotten looks at a number of potential Academy Award players, including Everest and The Walk, but now Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks throw their hat into the ring with Bridge of Spies. This dramatic Cold War thriller, which got a Poster just yesterday, is considered by many to be the Oscar frontrunner in a number of categories, including Best Picture. As such, this was looked at with much anticipation, to say the least. You’ll be able to see the Trailer below, but take it from me…this looks like a contender to reckon with folks.
The story here has an American attorney (Hanks) being recruited by the CIA during the height of the Cold War to help rescue a downed pilot detained in the Soviet Union, while also negotiating the swap of a Soviet prison held by the United States. Hanks leads the charge, with Alan Alda, Domenick Lombardozzi, Billy Magnussen, Amy Ryan, Mark Rylance, and Austin Stowell also in the cast. Spielberg obviously directs, with Matt Charman having written the script that was then polished up by Joel Coen and Ethan Coen (yes, the Coen Brothers along with Hanks and Spielberg). Janusz Kaminski is the cinematographer here and Thomas Newman composes the score, making for a truly A-list crop of talent involved in this one.
From the Trailer, it appears that Spielberg is working well within his comfort zone, albeit with a superb master’s touch. Hanks looks great, while the thriller nature of it will surely be a box office draw. They may not be reinventing the wheel here, but it appears to be smart adult cinema that will more than satisfy in the fall. There’s no doubt that this is poised to be something pitched directly at members of the Academy. You can’t possibly know if voters will respond just yet, but there’s no reason to amend any predictions after this first look. Everything suggests an Oscar contender from the word go.
Awards wise, the possibilities are basically limitless here. Best Picture obviously comes to mind, including pseudo frontrunner status, but that’s not all. There’s also Best Director (for Spielberg), Best Actor (for Hanks) Best Actress or Best Supporting Actress (for Ryan), Best Supporting Actor (for Alda, Magnussen, or Rylance), Best Original Screenplay (for Charman and the Coens), Best Production Design, Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, Best Makeup, […]

EVEREST: Jason Clarke, Josh Brolin, John Hawkes, Robin Wright, Michael Kelly, Sam Worthington, Keira Knightley, Emily Watson and Jake Gyllenhaal

Inspired by the incredible events surrounding an attempt to reach the summit of the world’s highest mountain, Everest documents the awe-inspiring journey of two different expeditions challenged beyond their limits by one of the fiercest snowstorms ever encountered by mankind.

Their mettle tested by the harshest elements found on the planet, the climbers will face nearly impossible obstacles as a lifelong obsession becomes a breathtaking struggle for survival. The epic adventure stars Jason Clarke, Josh Brolin, John Hawkes, Robin Wright, Michael Kelly, Sam Worthington, Keira Knightley, Emily Watson and Jake Gyllenhaal.

Everest is directed by Baltasar Kormákur (2 Guns, Contraband) and produced by Working Title Films’ Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner, Cross Creek Pictures’ Brian Oliver and Tyler Thompson, as well as Nicky Kentish Barnes and Kormákur.

Jason Clarke, Josh Brolin, John Hawkes, Robin Wright, Michael Kelly, Sam Worthington, Keira Knightley, Emily Watson and Jake Gyllenhaal
www.everestmovie.com

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