April 22, 2014

Tag Archives: films

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 [...]

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 [...]

“Captain America: The Winter Soldier” – Worldwide weekend box office estimates

Rentrak Corporation (NASDAQ: RENT), today announced the worldwide weekend box office estimates for the weekend of April 13, 2014 as compiled by the company’s Box Office Essentials™ and International Box Office Essentials™ theatrical measurement services.
As the trusted standard for all studio box office reporting, Rentrak provides intelligence into overnight theatre-level reporting across the global theatrical market. Coupled with the official reported data, studios are able to analyze admissions and gross results in over 50 territories using Rentrak’s suite of products.
Rentrak’s Senior Media Analyst Paul Dergarabedian commented, “Fox’s animated “Rio 2″ flaps its wings to an international chart topping performance of $62.3 million in 62 territories while Disney/Marvel’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” makes its two worldwide weekends in a row at over $100 million and nearly half a billion to date as it continues to draw audiences internationally and in North America. Impressively, Paramount’s biblical-epic “Noah” is approaching the $250 million global threshold.”
The top-12 domestic weekend box office estimates listed in descending order, per data collected as of Sunday, April 13, 2014, are below.
Estimated Box Office Numbers for Weekend of Apr. 13:
1. Captain America: The Winter Soldier – Disney – $41.4M
2. Rio 2 – 20th Century Fox – $39.0M
3. Oculus – Relativity Media – $12.0M
4. Draft Day – Lionsgate – $9.8M
5. Divergent – Lionsgate – $7.5M
6. Noah – Paramount – $7.5M
7. God’s Not Dead – Freestyle Releasing – $5.5M
8. Grand Budapest Hotel, The – Fox Searchlight – $4.0M
9. Muppets Most Wanted – Disney – $2.2M
10. Mr. Peabody And Sherman – 20th Century Fox – $1.8M
11. Raid 2, The – Sony Pictures Classics – $1.0M
12. Non-Stop – Universal – $0.7M.
RENTO
Contacts:
Paul Dergarabedian
Senior Media Analyst
(818) 917-9697
pauld@rentrak.com

Oscars®: Breathe In – What’s up with the 2015 Awards Race

Directed by: Drake Doremus
Written by: Drake Doremus and Ben York Jones
Main Cast: Felicity Jones, Guy Pearce, Mackenzie Davis, Amy Ryan, Matthew Daddario, Ben Shenkman, Kyle MacLachlan, and others
Past Oscar relations: Amy Ryan was nominated for Best Supporting Actress for Gone Baby Gone
Here now is the next article in this new series on 2014 contenders hoping to compete for Oscar attention. Next up is Drake Doremus’ Breathe In, which hopes to build on his previous indie contender Like Crazy. That film ultimately fell short, so armed with some goodwill from that movie, can this one do better? Doremus once again has Felicity Jones in a main role, this time with Guy Pearce, Amy Ryan, and newcomer Mackenzie Davis among her costars. It’s a romantic drama with strains of the dysfunctional family genre thrown in, but it’s the way that this admittedly well worn story is told that sets it apart, particularly in what it allows its cast to do.
What this flick has going in its favor are the performances, particular the one from Jones. She’s phenomenal, perhaps even better than she was in Like Crazy. Veteran actor Pearce is very good too, while newcomer Davis makes an impression as well. Ryan is again a useful supporting player too, but Jones is the one you really remember when all is said and done. If anyone where to come out of this movie in terms of awards hopefuls, it’s her.
Working against Breathe In is that the movie has an almost total lack of buzz. It debuted a year ago at the Sundance Film Festival, so all that time waiting to come out didn’t do it any favors. It literally took over a year to begin screening for critics, playing a few other festivals, but mostly sitting on the shelf, and that creates the perception of something that’s not exactly top notch. The quality is there for this film, but I have my doubts that most voters will wind up even seeing it later on in 2014 when they begin thinking about awards and nominations.
So, can this be a player at all? Simply put, the odds aren’t at all in its favor. I’d be shocked if it held on until the end of awards season, but crazier things have happened, I suppose. The flick will really have an uphill battle, but Breathe In deserves to be seen regardless of that, so hopefully people find [...]

Could a Best Picture nominee launch from Cannes this year?

In the pretty near future, the lineup for the 2014 Cannes Film Festival will be announced. We already know that potential Oscar player Grace of Monaco will be there, but what else could debut at Cannes and then potentially appeal to Academy members? This particular festival isn’t nearly as awards season centric as the New York or Toronto Film Festivals are (or the Telluride Film Festival, for that matter), but we always get a contender or two to discuss. Last year we had Blue is the Warmest Color debut, while future nominees like The Great Beauty, Inside Llewyn Davis, and Nebraska unspooled as well. That got me thinking about what this year’s slate could have inside of it for prognosticators like myself to chew on…
Below you’ll find five titles that I think could have a chance at turning the heads of voters, provided of course that they play at the fest. I’ve opted to focus on American movies just because those are the ones that the Academy tends to focus in on themselves, though of course there are exceptions from time to time like Amour. Still, big time contenders (and even the occasional Best Picture winner like No Country for Old Men) tend to be english language outings. Anyway, now I’ll dive in and speculate about five likely Cannes titles that could have a chance to woo members of the Academy.
1. Birdman – There’s a chance that this comedy from Alejandro González Iñárritu could be too offbeat for Oscar voters, but they’ve gone out on dramatic limbs with him before, so if this tale of a washed up actor doesn’t get too weird for them, there are tons of nomination opportunities. This could also be the role that nabs Michael Keaton his first Academy Award nomination too, so there’s that. This one could either get shut out or be a huge player, but it’s potentially the most likely to transition to awards season attention. We’ll see if it actually debuts at Cannes, but I think it’s highly likely that it will.
2. Magic in the Moonlight – Another highly likely title for the fest, Woody Allen’s next movie is set in France, so that only makes it even more apt for a slot. That being said, of late Allen has basically seen every other film of his become Oscar players, so this could be the off year for him. Still, it’s likely [...]

Shanghai’s $2.4 billion “DreamCenter” to Open in 2017

In a sign of Hollywood’s expanding ties with China, DreamWorks Animation and Chinese partners Thursday unveiled their $2.4 billion “DreamCenter,” an entertainment complex in Shanghai that is set to open in 2017.
The complex will contain a 500-seat IMAX cinema with international film festivals and red carpet events in mind, bars, restaurants and performance venues, according to the companies.
A “Dream Avenue” theater district modeled on London’s West End and New York City’s Broadway will also be part of the complex, according to the Associated Press.
The 40-acre site includes eight outdoor events plazas.
The project is led by “Kung Fu Panda” and “Shrek” maker DreamWorks Animation, Chinese investment fund CMC Capital Partners, whose owners include state-owned companies, and Hong Kong developer Lan Kwai Fong, according to the AP.
“This will become the world’s third great urban center of entertainment and arts alongside New York’s Broadway and London’s West End,” DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg told a news conference, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ has one of the top limited release openings at this weekend’s Box Office

HOLLYWOOD NEWS NETWORK: Happy Sunday everyone, here’s the weekly box office report! Leading the way handily this weekend was the sequel 300: Rise of an Empire, which debuted at number one with an estimated $45 million, proving that folks still cared about this story years later. At number two we had the debut a new animated film in Mr. Peabody & Sherman, which hauled in an estimated $32.5 million. Among the limited release openings, the one of note is clearly The Grand Budapest Hotel, which managed to crack the top 20 despite only playing in four theaters. That quartet of theaters still brought the movie $800,000 in business, which gave it a top ten of all time per theater average of $200,000. Impressive.
The first 300 was something new and different, so its success was something to be celebrated, regardless of your thoughts on the actual flick. This time around, it’s now solidified itself as a franchise and a name brand, so look for another one of these in a few years time. As for Mr. Peabody & Sherman, audiences that had already seen the other animated offerings at least once were more than ready for this, so the good opening is somewhat to be expecting. In the case of The Grand Budapest Hotel though, this good an opening was a bit surprising, since it opened even better than Moonrise Kingdom did two years back.

Among the notable holdovers in theaters, Non-Stop managed not to crumble in its second week, taking in $15.3 million, while The LEGO Movie finally came down to earth, though it still added $11 million more to its cume. Son of God didn’t fare quite as well though, since it had over a 60% drop, giving it just $10 million for the weekend. Also of note is the return to the top ten of 12 Years a Slave, which managed to open at number nine despite coming out earlier this week on Blu-Ray and DVD. That Best Picture win last weekend was good for an extra $2.1 million, so congrats there.
Here now folks is what the top ten looked like at the box office for this particular weekend:
1. 300: Rise of an Empire – $45,050,000
2. Mr. Peabody & Sherman – $32,500,000
3. Non-Stop – $15,378,000
4. The LEGO Movie – $11,005,000
5. Son of God – $10,000,000
6. The Monuments Men – $3,100,000
7. 3 Days to Kill – $3,062,000
8. Frozen – $3,010,000
9. [...]

R.I.P. Shirley Temple (1928-2014)

The film world lost a certified legend lat last night as Shirley Temple (or Shirley Temple Black as she was known after she got married to Charles Black and retired from acting in her 20′s) passed away at the age of 85. She died of natural causes and obviously led a long life, much of it spent in front of the camera. Perhaps the most famous child star of all time, Temple Black was a giant in the industry for sure, and made her impact as a young girl, which makes that even more astounding.
One of the biggest box office draws of her time and easily the youngest A-lister ever, Temple Black was able to command a record salary of $50,000 a picture. That might not sound like a huge amount now, but this was the 1930′s, so that was a massive sum of money to earn. That alone puts her in the history books.
Temple Black won a special Oscar in 1935, but once she retired as an actress at the age of 22, she continued to do some noteworthy work, perhaps even affecting the world in a bigger way. She became a diplomat and served in the U.S. delegation to the United Nations from 1969 to 1974. She also was the U.S. ambassador to Ghana from 1974 to 1976, and the U.S. ambassador to Czechoslovakia from 1989 to 1992. She spent two decades in front of the camera and then nearly three decades serving her country.
In terms of her film work, Temple Black was best known for her performances in movies like Bright Eyes, Curly Top, Fort Apache, Heidi, Little Miss Marker, and The Littlest Rebel, among others. She was the child actor of her time, and probably the most well known child actor ever. Her name will undoubtedly live on in history until the end of time.
She will most certainly be missed by just about everyone. Rest in peace Shirley…
Photo by Shirley Temple Films

TV Show Recommendations for Sunday, February 2, 2014

A football game, a couple of Billy Wilder films and a comic top our list of TV show recommendations for tonight, Sunday, February 2, 2104.
12 Angry Men
Airs: February 02 at 3:15 PT/6:15 ET
TCM has 12 Angry Men, Sidney Lumet’s 1957 classic in which a single juror tries to convince the other 11 jurors to reconsider their guilty verdict in a murder trial, at 3:15 PT/6:15 ET. Starring Henry Fonda, Martin Balsam, Jack Klugman and Jack Warden.

Super Bowl XLVIII
Airs: February 02 at 3:30 PT/6:30 ET
The Denver Broncos battle the Seattle Seahawks in East Rutherford New Jersey in Super Bowl XLVIII on Fox at 3:30 PT/6:30 ET. Bruce Mars and the Red Hot Chili Pepper perform at halftime.
The Lost Weekend
Airs: February 02 at 5:00 PT/8:00 ET
Four time Oscar winner (Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Adapted Screenplay), The Lost Weekend, Billy Wilder’s 1945 drama about an alcoholic writer, starring Ray Milland and Jane Wyman, is on TCM at 5:00 PT/8:00 ET.
To read more go to TV Show Recommendations for Sunday, February 2, 2014

Jake Gyllenhaal to be honored with the Hollywood Supporting Actor Award at the Hollywood Film Awards

Carlos de Abreu, founder and executive producer of the 17th Annual Hollywood Film Awards, announced today that Academy Award®-nominated actor Jake Gyllenhaal will be honored with this year’s Hollywood Supporting Actor Award for his extraordinary work in Denis Villeneuve’s acclaimed thriller “Prisoners.” The award will be bestowed at the Hollywood Film Awards Gala Ceremony on Monday evening, October 21, 2013 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills.
“We are thrilled to present the Hollywood Supporting Actor Award to Jake Gyllenhaal for his unforgettable performance in ‘Prisoners,’” said de Abreu. “His is a truly compelling, subtly layered portrayal of a man tasked with the impossible and driven by the demons of his own past. Jake has given a myriad of outstanding performances throughout his career, but his work in ‘Prisoners’ delivers a new level of complexity, as reflected in the rave reviews the film has received.”
Jake Gyllenhaal received Oscar® and Screen Actors Guild Award® nominations, and won the BAFTA and National Board of Review Awards, for his performance in Ang Lee’s “Brokeback Mountain.” He also earned a Golden Globe nomination for his leading role in Edward Zwick’s “Love and Other Drugs.” Gyllenhaal has worked with some of Hollywood’s greatest filmmakers, starring in both independent and studio films, including Richard Kelly’s cult hit “Donnie Darko”; Sam Mendes’ “Jarhead”; Jim Sheridan’s “Brothers”; David Fincher’s “Zodiac”; John Madden’s “Proof”; Miguel Arteta’s “The Good Girl”; Brad Silberling’s “Moonlight Mile”; Nicole Holofcener’s “Lovely and Amazing”; and Joe Johnston’s “October Sky.” More recently, he starred in Duncan Jones’s critically acclaimed sci-fi thriller “Source Code,” and David Ayer’s “End of Watch,” and will next be seen in a dual role in Villeneuve’s “Enemy.” The actor will also star in and produce the crime drama “Nightcrawler,” written and directed by Dan Gilroy, followed by “Everest,” for director Baltasar Kormákur.
“Prisoners” is an edge-of-your-seat dramatic thriller that poses the question: How far would you go to protect your family? Keller Dover (Hugh Jackman) is facing every parent’s worst nightmare. His six-year-old daughter, Anna, is missing, together with her young friend, Joy, and as minutes turn to hours, panic sets in. The best lead is a dilapidated RV that had earlier been parked on their street. Heading the investigation, Detective Loki (Gyllenhaal) arrests its driver, Alex Jones (Paul Dano), but a lack of evidence forces his release. As the police [...]

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