September 17, 2015
        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                Will Smith crusades for Best Actor in the "Concussion" Trailer                59th BFI London Film Festival Announces 2015 Lineup        

Tag Archives: films

Sandra Bullock looks like a contender in the Trailer for “Our Brand is Crisis”

Yesterday, a Trailer dropped for Our Brand is Crisis, the political drama/satire hybrid that I’ve been predicting for Oscar attention all year. With it, we got our first real look at a film that could certainly liven up the impending awards season. David Gordon Green’s movie is getting a premiere shortly at the 2015 Toronto Film Festival, and assuming reviews are strong, this will quickly become more than just a Sandra Bullock vehicle, but a legitimate Academy Award contender as well. We’ll know soon enough, but this very solid Trailer is a hint that this is something to be excited about, especially if you’re looking for another contender to enter the race.
Here’s a quick refresher on the movie. Basically, it’s based on the documentary of the same name (Our Brand Is Crisis, of course), which focused on the use of American political campaign strategies in South American elections. Specifically, it was a Bolivian politician named Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada hiring James Carville’s political consulting firm to help him win the 2002 Bolivian presidential election. Carville works to use American political campaign strategies, leading to a different outcome than might otherwise have been. For the film, Bullock will play ‘Calamity’ Jane Bodine, basically a stand in for Carville, I believe, though Billy Bob Thornton as a rival consultant with a bald head makes me wonder if he’s actually the Carville stand in. Regardless, aside from Bullock and Thornton, also in the cast are Ann Dowd, Zoe Kazan, Anthony Mackie, Scoot McNairy, and more. Green directs, as mentioned before, with the script penned by Peter Straughan. The potential for something special is certainly there, it seems.
I’d always considered this a player more so than most, and the Trailer that you’ll be seeing below seems to indicate that I might be on to something. Not only does it look to showcase Bullock in a great leading role, it appears to be Green’s largest scale filmmaking to date. It’s easy to look at Our Brand is Crisis and think that it’s a cousin to Ben Affleck’s Argo, which also was produced by George Clooney and Grant Heslov. I’m sure all involved here would be thrilled if this one came even close to what that one did, but there’s certainly a chance.
If there’s one thing the Trailer for this movie really showed us, it’s that we’ve got a showcase for Bullock’s talents on our hands. […]

Zoolander 2: Starring Ben Stiller, Olivia Munn, Will Ferrell, Penelope Cruz, Kim Kardashian West. New trailer

Zoolander 2 is coming. Derek and Hansel are modeling again when an opposing company attempts to take them out from the business.
Starring Ben Stiller, Olivia Munn, Will Ferrell, Penelope Cruz, Kim Kardashian West.

“Freeheld,” starring Julianne Moore enters the Oscar race with a touching Trailer

Issue driven films with a ton of heart usually find their way into the awards season one way or another. Hopefully, it’s because they’re good movies and legitimately important, either for the culture or the world in general. Sometimes though, it’s just due to how shamelessly manipulative they can be on an emotional level. Hopefully, one new entry into the former category will be Freeheld, which is hitting the awards season at a very timely moment in history. A Trailer hit last week (which you can see below) and it appears to be hitting all of the right notes in order to appeal to Oscar in a potentially significant way come its October theatrical release.
The film is about same sex marriage and centers on two women fighting for the benefits that straight couples take for granted. Laurel Hester (Julianne Moore) is a Lieutenant in the New Jersey police force who encounters a struggle when she attempts to pass on her pension to her partner after developing terminal cancer. Her partner is a woman named Stacie Andree (Ellen Page) and is only her domestic partner (yes, it’s a period piece from less than a decade ago), so she’s denied. Thus begins a level fight that spurred a documentary on the subject. Peter Sollett directs, while Ron Nyswaner wrote the screenplay. In addition to Moore and Page, the cast includes Steve Carell, Josh Charles, Luke Grimes, Michael Shannon, and more. It’s prestige through and through.
Considering the leaps and bounds that we’ve taken as a society in terms of LGBT rights, this is an interesting look back at a time when we as a nation weren’t fully formed on the issue. Assuming Sollett and Nyswaner have nailed the material, there’s no reason to think that this won’t be an emotional an thought provoking cinematic experience. If that’s the case and it’s not just overt manipulation in the pursuit of awards, we very well might see this become a pretty notable contender with Oscar and all along the precursor season. The ingredients are most certainly all there, to say the least.
Assuming we have a worthy player on our hands, there are plenty of possibilities for the Academy to latch on to here in terms of awards. Obviously there’s Best Picture, along with Best Director (for Sollett), Best Actress (either Moore or Page, likely the former), Best Supporting Actor (Carell or Shannon), Best Supporting Actress […]

“Creed”: An under the radar Oscar contender?

Ladies and gentlemen, I know it sounds silly, but a sequel/spinoff from Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky films might be in awards contention this year. Yes, the upcoming movie Creed is another installment in the franchise centered around fighter Rocky Balboa, but this one takes a U-turn. Instead of being about Stallone’s pugilist, it’s about former rival turned friend Apollo Creed’s son. Rocky is more the trainer than the protagonist, essentially re-launching this series with a grittier and younger bent to it. A Trailer hit last week and really impressed me (which you’ll see below), leading me to wonder if the Academy might once again be interested in this franchise?
For those who don’t know, the first Rocky with a big time Oscar contender, nominated for ten Academy Awards and winning three (Best Picture, Best Director for John G. Avildsen, and Best Film Editing). Stallone himself was cited two times, for Best Actor as well as Best Original Screenplay. The franchise became a bit sillier each time out, as Stallone stepped behind the camera (except for Rocky V, which had Avildsen direct again) and made his hero a superhero, essentially negating the interest voters had in it. The most recent sequel, entitled Rocky Balboa, brought a measure of respect back to the series, so now Creed hopes to capitalize on that.
This film centers around Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan, best known for Fruitvale Station), the son of former champion Apollo Creed. Fans of the franchise know that Apollo has passed on, so it’s fellow former champ Rocky Balboa who steps in as a trainer to help Adonis follow in his father’s footsteps. Essentially, this looks to be more of the first Rocky than any other in the franchise so far, while also functioning as basically a reboot of sorts. Ryan Coogler (of Fruitvale Station fame as well) co-writes with Aaron Covington and directs, while aside from Jordan and Stallone, the cast includes Graham McTavish, Phylicia Rashad, and Tessa Thompson. Taking the series back to its roots might be just what the doctor ordered.
The main reason to be excited for this one is seeing Coogler and Jordan work together again. They both broke through in a big way with Fruitvale Station, a film that was majorly snubbed by the Academy. This time around, they’re getting to tell a similarly gritty (if fictional this time out) story, just couched around an established franchise. Especially if […]

“Magic Mike XXL” is one of the most purely entertaining films of the summer

There are few franchises with less likely of a crossover appeal than Magic Mike. The first one shocked many by engaging both critics and audiences alike, myself included. Today, the sequel Magic Mike XXL opens, and go figure, it’s a great film as well. Magic Mike took the idea of a story about male strippers and filtered it through the distinctive lens of filmmaker Steven Soderbergh, opting to make it as much or more about money and economic hardship/the quest for prosperity than about the dancing. Magic Mike XXL is almost the exact counterpoint to that, going for a party feel and celebrating the dancing/lifestyle in the process. It shouldn’t work, but Channing Tatum and company really make it soar.
Though very loose on plot, this one does pick up three years after Magic Mike ended. The title character Mike is now out of the game, but single again. His former co-workers get a reunion of sorts going with him and before long he’s on a road trip with Big Dick Richie (Joe Manganiello), Ken (Matt Bomer), Tarzan (Kevin Nash), Tito (Adam Rodriguez), and Tobias (Gabriel Iglesias). They’re headed to a stripping convention in Myrtle Beach, dancing and partying along the way. Aside from Tatum in the title role, the cast also includes Amber Heard, Jada Pinkett Smith, Donald Glover, Andie MacDowell, Michael Strahan, and others. Soderbergh no longer directs, but he’s the DP and editor for longtime assistant Gregory Jacobs, who’s at the helm here. Producer and scribe Reid Carolin again provides the script, which is loose and fun in all the right ways.
While the stripping was kind of a bait and switch last time around, it’s very much at the forefront of things here, which should make Magic Mike XXL shallow, but instead just makes it sex positive and a somewhat surprisingly innocent good time. How does that work? Well, it celebrates female desire and pleasure, but keeps almost all the hanky panky off screen, so it’s your imagination that fills in the blank. It’s an unusually subtle choice for a sequel that’s otherwise all about being bigger in every way, shape, or form that it can be. Instead of being a dark and almost cautionary tale, this one is a road trip/party flick that’s about the bonds of friendship, doing what you love, and making that one last right count.
The thing that works best here, though pretty much […]

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

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

THE WALK starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt – New trailer

Twelve people have walked on the moon. Only one has ever, or will ever, walk in the immense void between the World Trade Center towers.
Philippe Petit (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), guided by his real-life mentor, Papa Rudy (Ben Kingsley), is aided by an unlikely band of international recruits, who overcome long odds, betrayals, dissension and countless close calls to conceive and execute their mad plan.

Robert Zemeckis, the master director of such marvels as Forrest Gump, Cast Away, Back to the Future, Polar Express and Flight, again uses cutting edge technology in the service of an emotional, character-driven story. With innovative photorealistic techniques and IMAX® 3D wizardry, The Walk is genuine big-screen cinema, a chance for moviegoers to viscerally experience the feeling of reaching
the clouds.

It is also one of the more rare live-action films that is a PG-rated, all-audience entertainment for moviegoers 8 to 80 – and a true story to boot. It is unlike anything audiences have seen before, a love letter to Paris and New York City in the 1970s, but most of all, to the Towers of the
World Trade Center.

“San Andreas” continues to showcase Dwayne Johnson as a top tier action hero

We have more of almost everything at the movies these days, with one glaring exception: we don’t have nearly as many action heroes as we used to. Sure, there are plenty of action films opening with stars or up and comers in leading roles, saving the day, but very few true “action heroes”. One notable modern exception is Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, a certified A-list star of the action genre. He’s come a long way from just being The Rock, either in wrestling or his first on screen roles, but even removed from that, he’s a charismatic screen presence that holds the action hero title these days with aplomb. This week, he further cements his status with the disaster movie San Andreas.
In San Andreas, we get west coast spin on the disaster movie, leaving New York City alone for a moment to focus in on California. The film follows Johnson as a helicopter rescue pilot who tries to save his soon to be ex-wife and daughter in Los Angeles and San Francisco respectively as the Golden State sees the San Andreas fault crack open in literally Earth shaking quakes. He then goes on a mission to save his family, as you’d expect. Johnson stars, with Carla Gugino as his wife and Alexandra Daddario as his daughter. The cast also includes Paul Giamatti, Ioan Gruffudd, Hugo Johnstone-Burt, Art Parkinson, Archie Panjabi, Kylie Minogue, Todd Williams, and Will Yun Lee. The director here is Brad Peyton, while the screenwriting team consists of Carlton Cuse, Andre Fabrizio, and Jeremy Passmore.
The special effects are the star of this one, but Johnson gives them a run for their money, demonstrating the screen presence and charisma that has made him the star that he now is in Hollywood. Those qualities made him the top pro wrestler of his generation, so it’s no surprise that he’s a ready made action hero. Initially, he coasted by on those qualities, but now he’s developed some acting chops to boot. He’s no Oscar nominee in the making (though anything is possible), but San Andreas represents one of his best performances to date, outside of Snitch and perhaps Pain and Gain as well. He’s a movie star through and through.
What makes Johnson not only one of the few action heroes we have, but one of the best, is how well he compliments whatever is happening on the screen. Be it car […]

The Ten Best Horror Remakes of All Time

As I’ve mentioned a few times already this year, horror is a genre that doesn’t get a whole lot of respect. The same goes for remakes in general, so when you discuss horror remakes, you can expect a distant lack of appreciation. Still, there are some gems to be found, and with the release this weekend of a Poltergeist remake, I wanted to count down the best that this sub-genre has to offer. You might think that there’s a complete dearth of quality, but I was able to find a solid handful of titles that make for a more than respectable lineup.
Here now are the ten best horror remakes of all time:
10. Halloween – Not an incredibly popular choice, I know, but my heart has a soft spot within it for this one. I’m honestly not sure why, but I jived with what musician turned writer/director Rob Zombie was doing here. Old fashioned at times, but also very brutal and modern, this was a slasher that worked more than was expected.
9. The Crazies – Most of you have forgotten about this remake by now, but it’s surprisingly tight and effective. Breck Eisner is a mostly anonymous filmmaker in terms of his style and someone you’ll never confuse with George A. Romero, but this was his best work to date. It’s not extraordinary, especially as a pseudo zombie flick, but it manages to still leave a mark.
8. Evil Dead – Is it overly gory? Yes, but there’s a marvel to be had at the mostly practical effects work. It’s also way better than it should have been. Sam Raimi didn’t direct again, but the script (including an uncredited bit of work by Diablo Cody) is on point and once the blood starts flowing, it gets as intense as anything you’ve seen in the genre.
7. Nosferatu the Vampyre – Perhaps best known as what inspired Shadow of the Vampire in a way (which I almost considered cheating to include), this is one of Werner Herzog’s finest moments, if you ask me. Unique and both modern and old fashioned in equal measure, it stands out.
6. The Last House on the Left – One of the best modern remakes, this is both brutal and surprisingly classy. Dennis Iliadis is a director that deserves to work more, considering his masterful grip here. There’s weight to the violence here, which is almost never the case in […]

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